In His Books, Magazine Articles, Book Reviews, Columns for the Boston Globe, and Interviews with the Media, Novelist James Carroll Has Made It Clear That He Rejects the Catholic Doctrine of Papal Infallibility

By Bottum, Joseph | First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, June-July 2010 | Go to article overview
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In His Books, Magazine Articles, Book Reviews, Columns for the Boston Globe, and Interviews with the Media, Novelist James Carroll Has Made It Clear That He Rejects the Catholic Doctrine of Papal Infallibility


Bottum, Joseph, First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life


In his books, magazine articles, book reviews, columns for the Boston Globe, and interviews with the media, novelist James Carroll has made it clear that he rejects the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility. According to this teaching, the pope has infallibility when he speaks on the two limited areas of faith and morals. In a recent column for the Boston Globe ("Rescue Catholicism From Vatican"), Carroll attempts to explain how and why the Catholic Church decided to make the pope infallible. "The pope was a supreme ruler only over the papal territories in Italy, and when he lost those in the humiliations of 1870, Catholic bishops rallied to him at the simultaneous Vatican Council I," Carroll wrote. "His political collapse led to his spiritual elevation, with the bishops only then promulgating papal infallibility." As usual, Carroll displays his ignorance of history.

In his 2001 book Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, Carroll admitted that Pope Pius IX employed infallibility in 1854 to define the teaching of the Immaculate Conception, which states that Mary, as the Mother of Jesus Christ, was conceived without sin.

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In His Books, Magazine Articles, Book Reviews, Columns for the Boston Globe, and Interviews with the Media, Novelist James Carroll Has Made It Clear That He Rejects the Catholic Doctrine of Papal Infallibility
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