A journal of academic theology

Francis A. Sullivan S.J.


At the Second Vatican Council the bishops expressed their “earnest desire” that provincial councils should again flourish with renewed strength. This article describes the role provincial councils have played since the fourth century in choosing priests for appointment as bishops—a role that they had here in the United States with Rome’s approval from 1833 until

Developments in Teaching Authority since Vatican II

The author describes and comments on developments that have taken place since Vatican II with regard to teaching authority. Among subjects exercising such authority he treats episcopal conferences and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Among objects of definitive teaching he treats truths that are not revealed but necessarily connected with revealed truth.

The Development of Doctrine about Infants Who Die Unbaptized

The author traces the history of Catholic doctrine about the fate of infants who die unbaptized: (1) from Augustine’s teaching that they are condemned to hell where they suffer “the least of its pains“; (2) to the medieval doctrine of Limbo as the state in which those infants, although excluded from the vision of God,

Quaestio Disputata Further Thoughts on the Meaning of Subsistit in

The author argues that the intention of the theological commission in proposing the change from “is” to “subsists in” was no longer to affirm full identity between the church of Christ and the Catholic Church, for the reason that such full identity contradicted the tradition followed by the popes and Western councils of recognizing the

Reply to Lawrence J. Welch

[In the course of his critique of Richard Gaillardetz’s views on the ordinary universal magisterium, Professor Welch also called into question certain formulations on that topic articulated in various writings of Francis Sullivan. To clarify his own position and to elucidate further his own convictions, Sullivan here expatiates on his original intention and contextualizes several

The Teaching Authority of Episcopal Conferences

[Pope John Paul II in Apostolos suos has decreed that doctrinal statements to be issued by episcopal conferences either must have been approved unanimously, or, if approved by a two-thirds majority, must have received the recognitio of the Holy See. The author argues that these requirements are consistent with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s opinion that the

Scroll to Top