Papal infallibility at Vatican I


#1

How many bishops voted for the definition of papal infallibility at Vatican I? I know there was some debate about it in some Church circles prior to the definition.


#2

“Debate” among bishops about a church document’s wording doesn’t mean that anyone disagrees with the underlying teaching. “Debate” in this context means discussion about how to word this particular line or how to phrase that particular line. It isn’t “debate” about the principle itself. If a bishop dislikes the way a proposed document is worded, or even thinks the time might not be ripe for the church to make this declaration, that doesn’t mean the bishop has “debated” the veracity of the teaching involved.


#3

I expect the bishops of Ireland were in a bit of a quandary at Vatican I and the infallibility debate. :slight_smile: They had issued an Encylcical to the Irish people denying papal infallibility. In addition the Catechism used in Ireland and England (and the US) also denied the Pope’s infallibility.

See this message for more detail
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=1696790&postcount=37


#4

Of the bishops that were left at the final voting, there were 533 “placet” votes, and 2 “non placet” votes.

There were originally an estimated 800 bishops at the Council in the beginning. A roll call on January 6, 1870, counted exactly 750 voting members.

An anti-papal tract put out during the Council stated there were about 600 bishops for the definition and about 200 against in the beginning.

By the time of the final voting on July 18, 1870, the number had dwindled due to deaths, illness, necessity of return to their Sees, and protests against the definition. All who left for the last two reasons promised adhesion to the decisions of the Council.

After the promulgation of the Decrees, NOT A SINGLE SCHISM RESULTED FROM ANY OF THE ORIGINAL 800 BISHOPS THAT ATTENDED THE COUNCIL.

Blessings,
Marduk


#5

Wow, that’s pretty wild! Talk about “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”!

Peace,
Dante


#6

Great reply Mardukm.
Cor, if you’d like more detail, go to:

newadvent.org/cathen/15303a.htm

In case you’re not familiar with it, www.newadvent.org is a great website. It has the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia,with a search engine.

Nita


#7

Pope Pius IX did not inform the council bishops that there was to be any discussion or decision on papal infallibility. He summoned the Council ostensibly to deal with modernist errors and the teaching of the Church. It was only AFTER the Council had begun that he placed papal infallibility on the agenda. This resulted in 60 bishops leaving the Council and declining to participate.

There are several fsacinating books on Vatican I and the politics and tactics involved. One of the best ones is by a priest August Bernhard Hasler (Catholic priest, historian, and former staff member of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Christian Unity) How The Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion, Doubleday, 1981.

After the promulgation of the Decrees, NOT A SINGLE SCHISM RESULTED FROM ANY OF THE ORIGINAL 800 BISHOPS THAT ATTENDED THE COUNCIL.

The promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility at Vatican I led to schism in Europe and the creation of a new Church, the Old Catholic Church. German, Dutch, Austrian and Swiss Catholics refused to accept papal infallibility.


#8

“Many of his disciples, hearing it said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?” And “after this, many of his disciples went back, and walked with him no more.”


#9

I would highly recommend the book Papal Primacy: From its Origins to the Present by Klaus Schatz. It’s a good, impartial study of Papal primacy that respects the current Catholic understanding of the Pope’s role while giving an honest picture of how the Pope’s power grew over time, ultimately leading to the ultramontanist victory at Vatican I.


#10

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