papal infallibility


: the Roman Catholic doctrine that the pope cannot err when speaking ex cathedra in defining a doctrine of Christian faith or morals

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Most famously, Ratzinger helped censure his friend Hans Kung, a Swiss theologian skeptical of the concept of papal infallibility. Henry Chudeputy News Editor, Los Angeles Times, 31 Dec. 2022 Küng rejected the doctrine of papal infallibility and was banned in 1979 by Pope John Paul II from teaching Catholic theologians. al, 30 Apr. 2021 His rejection of the omnicompetent state seemed attended by a notion of an omnicompetent papacy, something perhaps encouraged by the First Vatican Council’s declaration of papal infallibility and supreme and universal Church jurisdiction. David P. Deavel, National Review, 24 Oct. 2019 The idea that the Vatican, with its doctrine of papal infallibility, would invite open debate about official religious doctrine shocked religious and irreligious people around the world. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, 25 June 2019 In recent years, papal infallibility, a concept officially codified by Pius IX nearly 150 years ago, seems to have been supplanted by papal apology. Ian Austen And Jason Horowitz, New York Times, 23 Apr. 2018 But when Pius IX secured the declaration of papal infallibility, Döllinger refused to concede and was excommunicated, remaining under church condemnation until his death in 1890. D.g. Hart, WSJ, 29 Aug. 2017 That gathering ratified the dogma of papal infallibility, the capstone of Pius’s expansion of the papacy’s power. D.g. Hart, WSJ, 29 Aug. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'papal infallibility.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1831, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of papal infallibility was in 1831

Dictionary Entries Near papal infallibility

Cite this Entry

“Papal infallibility.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

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