Fallible Authority

Suter, Adrian (9 September 2015). Fallible Authority (Unpublished). In: The Authority of the Churches in a Pluralist Europe. Anglican, Old Catholic, Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed perspectives. Exeter, UK. 07.-10.09.2015.

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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 – at the same time, he may be obeyed, because he will not mislead the Church due to his infallibility (e. g. Küry, Altkatholische Kirche, 55). The paper will further analyse this relationship, applying Bochenski’s differentiation between epistemic and deontic authority. It 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 fallible.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Old Catholic Theology [discontiued]

UniBE Contributor:

Suter, Adrian


100 Philosophy > 190 Modern western philosophy
200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology
200 Religion > 280 Christian denominations




Adrian Suter

Date Deposited:

13 Apr 2017 09:42

Last Modified:

26 Apr 2017 02:30

Additional Information:

Vortrag, gehalten am 9. Sept. 2015 in Exeter. Überarbeitet Fassung wird im Mai 2017 in der Zeitschrift "Ecclesiology" veröfftentlicht.

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Papal infallibility, Authority





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