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Dominicans and the Pope

The Dominicans and the Pope

Papal Teaching Authority in the Medieval and Early Modern Thomist Tradition

Ulrich Horst, O.P.
Translated by James D. Mixson

“Based on a lifetime of research and writing, these three lectures of Father Ulrich Horst, O.P., provide a masterful overview with copious references of the predominant, official, and evolving positions of the Dominicans on the teaching authority of the pope. While always supportive of the jurisdictional primacy of the papacy upon which their own faculties to preach, teach, and render pastoral care depended, Dominican theologians beginning with Thomas Aquinas initially held that the Roman Church, rather than the pope personally, was infallible. Only in the sixteenth century with the need for prompt and certain responses to the Protestant challenge did some members of the Dominican School of Salamanca (Melchior Cano, Juan de la Peña, Domingo Báñez, etc.) teach that the pope cannot err. The Jesuits (Gregorio de Valencia, Robert Bellarmine, etc.) adopted and expanded on this teaching which triumphed at Vatican I despite the efforts of Dominican cardinal Filippo Maria Guidi to defend the earlier Dominican position that the pope must first properly consult before defining. Father Horst has thus demonstrated how nuanced, varied, and slowly evolving was the teaching of the Dominicans on papal authority." —Nelson H. Minnich, The Catholic University of America

In The Dominicans and the Pope, Ulrich Horst reviews the long tradition within the Dominican order of commenting on the teaching authority of the pope and the role of conciliar authority. Horst succinctly shows the differences within the order on the topic and makes clear how Dominicans tended to differ on the matter from theologians of other orders such as the Franciscans and, later, the Jesuits, whose views would eventually lead to the proclamation on infallibility at Vatican I.

Despite his distinguished career as a medievalist and authority on ecclesiology, little of Horst’s scholarly corpus has been translated into English. These lectures, then, mark an introduction of this formidable scholar to a wider audience.

ISBN: 978-0-268-03077-3
144 pages
Publication Year: 2006

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Ulrich Horst, O.P., is emeritus senior professor and director of the Grabmann Institute at the University of Munich. He is the author of a number of books, including Papst, Konzil, Unfelhbarkeit and Unfehlbarkeit und Geschichte.

“. . . One of the best expositions of the history of the doctrine of infallibility to emerge in the last five years, ranking it with the works of Brian Tierney or Francis Oakley. . . . This is an example of a mature scholar in absolute command of his subject matter. It will be highly valuable for church historians, graduate, and seminary libraries.” — Catholic Library World

“For many years Ulrich Horst has published enlightening studies of historical ecclesiology . . . . In this case, Professor Horst has focused on Dominican viewpoints on papal teaching authority. . . . These lectures on the Dominican view of papal authority can be read with profit by anyone interested in historical ecclesiology.” — The Catholic Historical Review

“[This book includes] Horst’s three lectures concerning the evolution of Dominican thought on the issue of doctrinal infallibility, specifically the pope’s role in exercising it. . . There is deep learning and much to be learned from the master of this slim volume.” — Speculum

“Eastern Christians . . . will find much of interest in this slender book. . . . Horst helpfully shows that intra-Latin developments are important for understanding how papal authority in general and infallibility in particular came to be understood starting in the thirteenth century and culminating eventually in the nineteenth-century definition of Pastor Aeternus.” — Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies

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The Dominicans and the Pope

Papal Teaching Authority in the Medieval and Early Modern Thomist Tradition

Ulrich Horst, O.P.
Translated by James D. Mixson

The Dominicans and the Pope: Papal Teaching Authority in the Medieval and Early Modern Thomist Tradition
Paper Edition

“Based on a lifetime of research and writing, these three lectures of Father Ulrich Horst, O.P., provide a masterful overview with copious references of the predominant, official, and evolving positions of the Dominicans on the teaching authority of the pope. While always supportive of the jurisdictional primacy of the papacy upon which their own faculties to preach, teach, and render pastoral care depended, Dominican theologians beginning with Thomas Aquinas initially held that the Roman Church, rather than the pope personally, was infallible. Only in the sixteenth century with the need for prompt and certain responses to the Protestant challenge did some members of the Dominican School of Salamanca (Melchior Cano, Juan de la Peña, Domingo Báñez, etc.) teach that the pope cannot err. The Jesuits (Gregorio de Valencia, Robert Bellarmine, etc.) adopted and expanded on this teaching which triumphed at Vatican I despite the efforts of Dominican cardinal Filippo Maria Guidi to defend the earlier Dominican position that the pope must first properly consult before defining. Father Horst has thus demonstrated how nuanced, varied, and slowly evolving was the teaching of the Dominicans on papal authority." —Nelson H. Minnich, The Catholic University of America

In The Dominicans and the Pope, Ulrich Horst reviews the long tradition within the Dominican order of commenting on the teaching authority of the pope and the role of conciliar authority. Horst succinctly shows the differences within the order on the topic and makes clear how Dominicans tended to differ on the matter from theologians of other orders such as the Franciscans and, later, the Jesuits, whose views would eventually lead to the proclamation on infallibility at Vatican I.

Despite his distinguished career as a medievalist and authority on ecclesiology, little of Horst’s scholarly corpus has been translated into English. These lectures, then, mark an introduction of this formidable scholar to a wider audience.

ISBN: 978-0-268-03077-3

144 pages

“. . . One of the best expositions of the history of the doctrine of infallibility to emerge in the last five years, ranking it with the works of Brian Tierney or Francis Oakley. . . . This is an example of a mature scholar in absolute command of his subject matter. It will be highly valuable for church historians, graduate, and seminary libraries.” — Catholic Library World

“For many years Ulrich Horst has published enlightening studies of historical ecclesiology . . . . In this case, Professor Horst has focused on Dominican viewpoints on papal teaching authority. . . . These lectures on the Dominican view of papal authority can be read with profit by anyone interested in historical ecclesiology.” — The Catholic Historical Review

“[This book includes] Horst’s three lectures concerning the evolution of Dominican thought on the issue of doctrinal infallibility, specifically the pope’s role in exercising it. . . There is deep learning and much to be learned from the master of this slim volume.” — Speculum

“Eastern Christians . . . will find much of interest in this slender book. . . . Horst helpfully shows that intra-Latin developments are important for understanding how papal authority in general and infallibility in particular came to be understood starting in the thirteenth century and culminating eventually in the nineteenth-century definition of Pastor Aeternus.” — Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies

The Conway Lectures in Medieval Studies