‘When secular opinion needed resisting, the Church undermined its own defences’ Premium16 April 2014 | by Clifford Longley
It was apparently Bishop Basil Christopher Butler OSB who coined the term “creeping infallibility”. In an article in The Tablet in 1971, he dealt cautiously with the dispute that had broken out in the Catholic Church after the publication of Humanae Vitae in 1968. But he acknowledged that certain teachings, not intended as infallible, were often being treated as if they were. Perhaps, he speculated, the example of Humanae Vitae might encourage a more grown-up and constructively critical attitude to church teaching among the laity, and a more reasonable and less dogmatic tone among church leaders.Humanae Vitae’s status as non-infallible was underlined at the Vatican’s initial press conference where the encyclical was unveiled, when the official spokesman said he had
Register for free articles a month or subscribe now from £53* for 6 months unlimited access to article content.
Subscribe now and enjoy access to all parts of the tablet website, Including its 175 year archive...
Delivered to you each week
Read online / download on your iPad, iPhone, computer or Android device
For institutions: read online / download on your iPad, iPhone, computer or Android device. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Most Read Articles
Setting themselves apartPremium
Manage my subcription hereManage
Sign up for our newsletterSign Up