Posted by: frroberts | October 9, 2015

Spiritual thought for the day

On the memorial of Bl. John Henry Newman, here is some food for thought as we go deeper into the Synod:

“Was St. Peter infallible on that occasion at Antioch when St. Paul withstood him? was St. Victor infallible when he separated from his communion the Asiatic Churches? or Liberius when in like manner he excommunicated Athanasius? And, to come to later times, was Gregory XIII, when he had a medal struck in honor of the Bartholomew massacre? or Paul IV, in his conduct towards Elizabeth? or Sextus V when he blessed the Armada? or Urban VIII when he persecuted Galileo?  No Catholic ever pretends that these Popes were infallible in these acts.  Since then infallibility alone could block the exercise of conscience, and the Pope is not infallible in that subject-matter in which conscience is of supreme authority, no dead-lock, such as implied in the objection which I am answering, can take place between conscience and the Pope….

Certainly, if I am obliged to bring religion into after-dinner toasts, (which indeed does not seem quite the thing) I shall drink, — to the Pope, if you please, — still, to Conscience first, and to the Pope afterwards.”

From his “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk”


  1. I walked with a friend yesterday and this was one topic of discussion. I have shared this post with her. Certainly food for thought.


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