These three related questions regarding Magisterial authority, the Church as custodian of truth, and the authority of Church tradition have brought up this new question.

The dogmatic definition (ex cathedra) of Papal infallibility came out of the first Vatican Council in 1869. It has been asserted that this doctrine had been developed and defended previously and is claimed to have been already in existence in Medieval Theology. It is further claimed that this teaching has always existed with the Roman Catholic Church.

I am looking for that latter claim to be substantiated: The doctrine of Papal infallibility has always existed within the Church.

  • Note: I do not desire to see an appeal to Matthew 16 and, if the questions and answers linked above are perused, it should be clear why that is the case.
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    You can not take Matthew 16 out of the equation. That is like limiting the question to no biblical support. That seems like basically limiting the question to something else, but not limited to biblical sources. There is no reason to fear Matthew 16: 17-19. It is Scripture! If you desire a Catholic answer, you must accept a Catholic framed response.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 14:15
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    @KenGraham Comments in the other questions indicate that the RCC refers to Matthew 16 because the Church has conferred inspiration upon that Scripture rather than obeying an inherent inspiration. Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 0:24
  • @MikeBorden - The Church refers to Matthew 16 as an actual event in history, that Christ founded a physical church and authorized Peter and the apostles to continue it. That actual event took place before any of the New Testament was written. Hence the Church has existed since the time of Christ, before the time that the Scripture was written.
    – qxn
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 15:31
  • @ken Of course it is an actual event in history! guess my issue is that the RCC seems to have conferred inspiration upon the Scripture rather than recognizing the inspiration that is inherent within it. Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 1:43

3 Answers 3


How is the claim that the doctrine of Papal Infallibility has always existed within the Church substantiated?

No matter what Christian Faith we belong to, we all take it take the Church or faith we follow is the true faith. In a perfect society of Christians without any diverse denominations that would be considered proof in itself.

However, due to historical events and many influences produced either by Satan or man, the Church has been divided into a multitude of denominations, each one claiming to be the True Church of Christ. For Catholics it is the Catholic Church.

On the basis of Mark 3:16, 9:2, Luke 24:34 and 1 Corinthians 15:5, the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes Peter as holding first place among the apostles. It speaks of Peter as the rock on which, because of Peter's faith, Christ said in Matthew 16:18 he would build his Church, which he declared would be victorious over the powers of death. In Luke 22:32, Jesus gave Peter the mission to keep his faith after every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it. The Catechism of the Catholic Church sees the power of the keys that Jesus promised in Matthew 16:19 to be for Peter alone and as signifying authority to govern the house of God, that is, the Church, an authority that Jesus after his resurrection confirmed for Peter by instructing him in John 21:15–17 to feed Christ's sheep. The power to bind and loose, conferred on all the apostles jointly and to Peter in particular (Matthew 16:19), is seen in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as authority to absolve sins, to pronounce judgments on doctrine and to make decisions on Church discipline.

Proof of the Church's infallibility

That the Church is infallible in her definitions on faith and morals is itself a Catholic dogma, which, although it was formulated ecumenically for the first time in the Vatican Council, had been explicitly taught long before and had been assumed from the very beginning without question down to the time of the Protestant Reformation. The teaching of the Vatican Council is to be found in Session III, cap. 4, where it is declared that "the doctrine of faith, which God has revealed, has not been proposed as a philosophical discovery to be improved upon by human talent, but has been committed as a Divine deposit to the spouse of Christ, to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted by her"; and in Session IV, cap. 4, where it is defined that the Roman pontiff when he teaches ex cathedra "enjoys, by reason of the Divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer wished His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith and morals". Even the Vatican Council, it will be seen, only introduces the general dogma of the Church's infallibility as distinct from that of the pope obliquely and indirectly, following in this respect the traditional usage according to which the dogma is assumed as an implicate of ecumenical magisterial authority. Instances of this will be given below and from these it will appear that, though the word infallibility as a technical term hardly occurs at all in the early councils or in the Fathers, the thing signified by it was understood and believed in and acted upon from the beginning. We shall confine our attention in this section to the general question, reserving the doctrine of papal infallibility for special treatment. This arrangement is adopted not because it is the best or most logical, but because it enables us to travel a certain distance in the friendly company of those who cling to the general doctrine of ecclesiastical infallibility while rejecting the papal claims. Taking the evidence both scriptural and traditional as it actually stands, one may fairly maintain that it proves papal infallibility in a simpler, more direct, and more cogent way than it proves the general doctrine independently; and there can be no doubt but that this is so if we accept as the alternative to papal infallibility the vague and unworkable theory of ecumenical infallibility which most High-Church Anglicans would substitute for Catholic teaching. Nor are the Eastern schismatical Churches much better off than the Anglican in this respect, except that each has retained a sort of virtual belief in its own infallibility, and that in practice they have been more faithful in guarding the doctrines infallibly defined by the early ecumenical councils. Yet certain Anglicans and all the Eastern Orthodox agree with Catholics in maintaining that Christ promised infallibility to the true Church, and we welcome their support as against the general Protestant denial of this truth.

Proof from Scripture

In order to prevent misconception and thereby to anticipate a common popular objection which is wholly based on a misconception it should be premised that when we appeal to the Scriptures for proof of the Church's infallible authority we appeal to them merely as reliable historical sources, and abstract altogether from their inspiration. Even considered as purely human documents they furnish us, we maintain, with a trustworthy report of Christ's sayings and promises; and, taking it to be a fact that Christ said what is attributed to Him in the Gospels, we further maintain that Christ's promises to the Apostles and their successors in the teaching office include the promise of such guidance and assistance as clearly implies infallibility. Having thus used the Scriptures as mere historical sources to prove that Christ endowed the Church with infallible teaching authority it is no vicious circle, but a perfectly legitimate logical procedure, to rely on the Church's authority for proof of what writings are inspired.

Merely remarking for the present that the texts in which Christ promised infallible guidance especially to Peter and his successors in the primacy might be appealed to here as possessing an a fortiori value, it will suffice to consider the classical texts usually employed in the general proof of the Church's infallibility; and of these the principal are:

  • Matthew 28:18-20;

  • Matthew 16:18;

  • John 14, 15, and 16;

  • I Timothy 3:14-15; and

  • Acts 15:28 sq.

Matthew 28:18-20

In Matthew 28:18-20, we have Christ's solemn commission to the Apostles delivered shortly before His Ascension: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." In Mark 16:15-16, the same commission is given more briefly with the added promise of salvation to believers and the threat of damnation for unbelievers; "Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned."

Matthew 16:18

In Matthew 16:18, we have the promise that "the gates of hell shall not prevail" against the Church that is to be built on the rock; and this also, we maintain, implies the assurance of the Church's infallibility in the exercise of her teaching office. Such a promise, of course, must be understood with limitations according to the nature of the matter to which it is applied. As applied to sanctity, for example, which is essentially a personal and individual affair, it does not mean that every member of the Church or of her hierarchy is necessarily a saint, but merely that the Church, as whole, will be conspicuous among other things for the holiness of life of her members. As applied to doctrine, however — always assuming, as we do, that Christ delivered a body of doctrine the preservation of which in its literal truth was to be one of the chief duties of the Church — it would be a mockery to contend that such a promise is compatible with the supposition that the Church has possibly erred in perhaps the bulk of her dogmatic definitions, and that throughout the whole of her history she has been threatening men with eternal damnation in Christ's name for refusing to believe doctrines that are probably false and were never taught by Christ Himself. Could this be the case, would it not be clear that the gates of hell can prevail and probably have prevailed most signally against the Church?

John 14-16

In Christ's discourse to the Apostles at the Last Supper several passages occur which clearly imply the promise of infallibility: "I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you forever. The spirit of truth . . . he shall abide with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16, 17). "But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you" (ibid. 26). "But when he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth (John 16:13). And the same promise is renewed immediately before the Ascension (Acts 1:8). Now what does the promise of this perennial and efficacious presence and assistance of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, mean in connection with doctrinal authority, except that the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is made responsible for what the Apostles and their successors may define to be part of Christ's teaching? But insofar as the Holy Ghost is responsible for Church teaching, that teaching is necessarily infallible: what the Spirit of truth guarantees cannot be false.

1 Timothy 3:15

In 1 Timothy 3:15, St. Paul speaks of "the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth"; and this description would be something worse than mere exaggeration if it had been intended to apply to a fallible Church; it would be a false and misleading description. That St. Paul, however, meant it to be taken for sober and literal truth is abundantly proved by what he insists upon so strongly elsewhere, namely, the strictly Divine authority of the Gospel which he and the other Apostles preached, and which it was the mission of their successors to go on preaching without change or corruption to the end of time. "When you had received of us", he writes to the Thessalonians, "the word of the hearing of God, you received it not as the word of men, but (as it is indeed) the word of God, who worketh in you that have believed" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The Gospel, he tells the Corinthians, is intended to bring "into captivity every understanding unto the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). Indeed, so fixed and irreformable is the doctrine that has been taught that the Galatians (1:8) are warned to anathematize any one, even an angel from heaven, who should preach to them a Gospel other than that which St. Paul had preached. Nor was this attitude — which is intelligible only on the supposition that the Apostolic College was infallible — peculiar to St. Paul. The other Apostles and apostolic writers were equally strong in anathematizing those who preached another Christianity than that which the Apostles had preached (cf. 2 Peter 2:1 sqq.; 1 John 4:1 sqq.; 2 John 7 sqq.; Jude 4); and St. Paul makes it clear that it was not to any personal or private views of his own that he claimed to make every understanding captive, but to the Gospel which Christ had delivered to the Apostolic body. When his own authority as an Apostle was challenged, his defense was that he had seen the risen Saviour and received his mission directly from Him, and that his Gospel was in complete agreement with that of the other Apostles (see, v.g., Galatians 2:2-9).

Acts 15:28

Finally, the consciousness of corporate infallibility is clearly signified in the expression used by the assembled Apostles in the decree of the Council of Jerusalem: "It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay no further burden upon you", etc. (Acts 15:28). It is true that the specific points here dealt with are chiefly disciplinary rather than dogmatic, and that no claim to infallibility is made in regard to purely disciplinary questions as such; but behind, and independent of, disciplinary details there was the broad and most important dogmatic question to be decided, whether Christians, according to Christ's teaching, were bound to observe the Old Law in its integrity, as orthodox Jews of the time observed it. This was the main issue at stake, and in deciding it the Apostles claimed to speak in the name and with the authority of the Holy Ghost. Would men who did not believe that Christ's promises assured them of an infallible Divine guidance have presumed to speak in this way? And could they, in so believing, have misunderstood the Master's meaning?

Proof from Tradition

If, during the early centuries, there was no explicit and formal discussion regarding ecclesiastical infallibility as such, yet the Church, in her corporate capacity, after the example of the Apostles at Jerusalem, always acted on the assumption that she was infallible in doctrinal matters and all the great orthodox teachers believed that she was so. Those who presumed, on whatever grounds, to contradict the Church's teaching were treated as representatives of Antichrist (cf. 1 John 2:18 sq.), and were excommunicated and anathematized.

  • It is clear from the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch how intolerant he was of error, and how firmly convinced that the episcopal body was the Divinely ordained and Divinely guided organ of truth; nor can any student of early Christian literature deny that, where Divine guidance is claimed in doctrinal matters, infallibility is implied.

  • So intolerant of error was St. Polycarp that, as the story goes, when he met Marcion on the street in Rome, he did not hesitate to denounce the heretic to his face as "the firstborn of Satan". This incident, whether it be true or not, is at any rate thoroughly in keeping with the spirit of the age and such a spirit is incompatible with belief in a fallible Church.

  • St. Irenaeus, who in the disciplinary Paschal question favoured compromise for the sake of peace, took an altogether different attitude in the doctrinal controversy with the Gnostics; and the great principle on which he mainly relies in refuting the heretics is the principle of a living ecclesiastical authority for which he virtually claims infallibility. For example he says: "Where the Church is, there also is the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God is there is the Church, and every grace: for the Spirit is truth" (Adv. Haer. III, xxiv, 1); and again, Where the charismata of the Lord are given, there must we seek the truth, i.e. with those to whom belongs the ecclesiastical succession from the Apostles, and the unadulterated and incorruptible word. It is they who . . . are the guardians of our faith . . . and securely [sine periculo] expound the Scriptures to us" (op. cit., IV xxvi, 5).

  • Tertullian, writing from the Catholic standpoint, ridicules the suggestion that the universal teaching of the Church can be wrong: "Suppose now that all [the Churches] have erred . . . [This would mean that] the Holy Spirit has not watched over any of them so as to guide it into the truth, although He was sent by Christ, and asked from the Father for this very purpose — that He might be the teacher of truth" (doctor veritatis — "De Praescript", xxxvi, in P.L., II, 49).

  • St. Cyprian compares the Church to an incorruptible virgin: Adulterari non potest sponsa Christi, incorrupta est et pudica (De unitate eccl.).

It is needless to go on multiplying citations, since the broad fact is indisputable that in the ante-Nicene, no less than in the post-Nicene, period all orthodox Christians attributed to the corporate voice of the Church, speaking through the body of bishops in union with their head and centre, all the fullness of doctrinal authority which the Apostles themselves had possessed; and to question the infallibility of that authority would have been considered equivalent to questioning God's veracity and fidelity. It was for this reason that during the first three centuries the concurrent action of the bishops dispersed throughout the world proved to be effective in securing the condemnation and exclusion of certain heresies and maintaining Gospel truth in its purity; and when from the fourth century onwards it was found expedient to assemble ecumenical councils, after the example of the Apostles at Jerusalem, it was for the same reason that the doctrinal decision of these councils were held to be absolutely final and irreformable. Even the heretics, for the most part recognized this principle in theory; and if in fact they often refused to submit, they did so as a rule on the ground that this or that council was not really ecumenical, that it did not truly express the corporate voice of the Church, and was not, therefore, infallible. This will not be denied by anyone who is familiar with the history of the doctrinal controversies of the fourth and fifth centuries, and within the limits of this article we cannot do more than call attention to the broad conclusion in proof of which it would be easy to cite a great number of particular facts and testimonies.

Popes pronounce Infallible Dogmas very rarely. Pastor aeternus does not allow any infallibility for the Church or Pope for new doctrines. Any doctrines defined must be "conformable with Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Traditions". The reasons are obvious.

Instances of infallible declarations

Regarding historical papal documents, Catholic theologian and church historian Klaus Schatz made a thorough study, published in 1985, that identified the following list of ex cathedra documents:

  1. Tome to Flavian, Pope Leo I, 449, on the two natures in Christ, received by the Council of Chalcedon;

  2. Letter of Pope Agatho, 680, on the two wills of Christ, received by the Third Council of Constantinople;

  3. Benedictus Deus, Pope Benedict XII, 1336, on the beatific vision of the just after death rather than only just prior to final judgment;

  4. Cum occasione, Pope Innocent X, 1653, condemning five propositions of Jansen as heretical;

  5. Auctorem fidei, Pope Pius VI, 1794, condemning several Jansenist propositions of the Synod of Pistoia as heretical;

  6. Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX, 1854, defining the Immaculate Conception;

  7. Munificentissimus Deus Pope Pius XII, 1950, defining the Assumption of Mary.

There is no complete list of papal statements considered infallible.

Theological history

Brian Tierney argued that the 13th-century Franciscan priest Peter Olivi was the first person to attribute infallibility to the pope. Tierney's idea was accepted by August Bernhard Hasler, and by Gregory Lee Jackson, It was rejected by James Heft[36] and by John V. Kruse. Klaus Schatz says Olivi by no means played the key role assigned to him by Tierney, who failed to acknowledge the work of earlier canonists and theologians, and that the crucial advance in the teaching came only in the 15th century, two centuries after Olivi; and he declares that, "It is impossible to fix a single author or era as the starting point."[38] Ulrich Horst criticized the Tierney view for the same reasons. In his Protestant evaluation of the ecumenical issue of papal infallibility, Mark E. Powell rejects Tierney's theory about 13th-century Olivi, saying that the doctrine of papal infallibility defined at Vatican I had its origins in the 14th century – he refers in particular to Bishop Guido Terreni – and was itself part of a long development of papal claims.

Schatz points to "... the special esteem given to the Roman church community [that] was always associated with fidelity in the faith and preservation of the paradosis (the faith as handed down)." Schatz differentiates between the later doctrine of "infallibility of the papal magisterium" and the Hormisdas formula in 519, which asserted that, "The Roman church has never erred (and will never err)." He emphasizes that Hormisdas formula was not meant to apply so much to "... individual dogmatic definitions but to the whole of the faith as handed down and the tradition of Peter preserved intact by the Roman Church."

Thus not everything a Pope pronounces is infallible. There are limits set in place.

In the end I pray that some day, just some day we will all be of one faith and see the desire of Christ fulfilled on day he was arrested: That they all may be one!


  • 1
    Thank you for this answer (+1). I get stuck in the second paragraph within your block-quote: The Church used information from an uninspired historical document to claim infallible authority and then, using that infallible authority, proclaimed the historical document to be inspired. The quote claims this is not a vicious circle but it is actually the very definition of a vicious circle. Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 15:33
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    @MikeBorden - Imagine Steve wins a battle and acquires a kingdom. King Steve will begin a royal lineage. One of the king's scribes begins recording this lineage and other events in a book. Generations later, King Joe, Steve's descendant, thinks that book is pretty great and puts it in the royal library. More generations later, the king is Tom, Joe's descendant, and some are calling into question the validity of Joe's kingship, and therefore Tom's. Tom appeals to the book in the royal library as historic evidence of Joe's rightful kingship. This is a timeline of events, and not circular.
    – qxn
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 14:48
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    @ken What you have proposed works perfectly fine and does not even need to consider divine inspiration of what is written in the book. The laws of the Medes and Persians were considered in such a way and precedent of law is much the same. The Bible is infinitely more than a history book, although it contains stellar history. Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 1:50

The concept of infallibility, that God affords the religious head a certain charism of speaking without error, is biblical, and therefore would probably have been understood by the very early Church.

Consider John 11:47-53 (emphasis mine)

So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him.

Who was the high priest?

the priest at the head of the priestly affairs

We shouldn't confuse this guy with an especially pious Jew. From the same link above:

By the end of the Second Temple period the high priest was considered no more than a religious functionary of the Roman administration

So, what is the Gospel author telling us when he writes the high priest prophesied since he was high priest? He is telling us that, due to his office of religious head, God influenced his speech in a way reserved for that office.

It would be strange if early Christians did not think God afforded them a similar gift through their head. See the other answers to this question for evidence that they did not think that way.

For more on this, see The Papacy: God’s Gift to the Church.

  • 2
    "The concept of infallibility is biblical" If your answer is based upon an assertion, that assertion should be supported within the answer and not just stated. Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 16:50
  • @MikeBorden - Is prophesy ever in error? The high priest prophesied.
    – qxn
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 17:16
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    That is no proof that everything the High Priest says is without error. Balaam's donkey also spoke the truth. Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 17:38
  • @MikeBorden - I'm not claiming that everything the high priest said was without error, only this saying, which Scripture also claims is without error.
    – qxn
    Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 17:51
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    Isn't the concept of infallibility a bit bigger than that one guy once said something that was correct? Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 13:12

How is the claim that the doctrine of Papal Infallibility has always existed within the Church substantiated?

If we cannot cite Matthew16:18-19, whom Jesus clearly empowered Peter to bind and loose any teachings, that also are bound in Heaven, meaning, Peter cannot bind teachings that is contrary to God's Will in Heaven, its like forcing God to accept errors because Jesus gave Peter the power of the keys.

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20Then He admonished the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ.…

This passage is clear that Peter is infallible, because if not, then, Peter will be forcing God to accept an erroneous teachings that Peter will bind as the Truth.

If we want to exclude this strong passages that clearly supports Peter's infallibility, then, the second most powerful passage is Luke22:32.

Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial 31Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33“Lord,” said Peter, “I am ready to go with You even to prison and to death.”…

Here in this passage, Jesus is showing his foreknowledge of event, or he foreknew the fall of Peter, because Satan is all vent on destroying Peter.

So, Satan can put a lot of traps or deception on Peter, for him to fall into errors or heresy, and so, Jesus himself, assures Peter, that His powerful protection is there, all the time, for Peter's faith not to fail.

That's why, it is a Catholic Tradition for over 2000 years, rooting from the very words of Jesus Christ, empowering Peter to bind and loose, and guarantying, that when he binds and loose, this teachings are free from error, because Peter's faith will not fail.

Peter's infallibility are rooted in the very powerful words of Jesus Christ.

And in Catholic Teachings, they made Peter's infallibility a dogma in Pastor Aeturnus.

Chapter 4: On the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff

  1. That apostolic primacy which the Roman Pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This Holy See has always maintained this, the constant custom of the Church demonstrates it, and the ecumenical councils, particularly those in which East and West met in the union of faith and charity, have declared it.
  1. So the fathers of the fourth Council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith: "The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,[55] cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the Apostolic See the Catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honor. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the Apostolic See preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion."[56]

What is more, with the approval of the second Council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession: "The Holy Roman Church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole Catholic Church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman Pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled."[57]

Then there is the definition of the Council of Florence: "The Roman Pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole Church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole Church."[58]


  • The fourth council of Constantinople is the oldest one listed with the second council of Lyons a close second. Both councils were called due to overarching political concerns and the Greeks, at Lyons, submitted to the Roman Pontiff so that the Byzantine Emperor might gain financial support for his wars. Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 14:38

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