Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Fallible Authority

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Ecclesiology

Old Catholic theologians have often underlined the relationship between papal supremacy and infallibility and the priority of the former: the pope has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, therefore he must be obeyed; but at the same time, he may be obeyed, because he will not mislead the Church due to his infallibility. This article analyses this relationship, applying differentiations on two axes: on the one hand, Bocheński’s typology of epistemic and deontic authority; on the other hand, the notions of personal, formal and constitutional authority. The fact that the infallibility dogma of Vatican I considers papal authority at the same time as epistemic and constitutional authority, is identified as a major weakness of the dogma. The article will then approach the question how church leaders should practise their deontic authority in a context where their (and everybody else’s) epistemic authority is considered to be fallible.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Old Catholic Theology, University of Bern, Switzerland,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Ecclesiology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation