Infallibility and Heresy

Not since certain American Protestants were publicly anti-Catholic, as older readers may remember them having been, have we read as many headlines with words like “infallibility,” “heresy,” papal “plots,” “schism,” etc., as we do these days. My late colleague, patristic scholar Robert M. Grant, told of a scene at the Vatican when he and a circle of other clerically dressed scholars were being introduced to Pope Paul VI. When the Pontiff, greeting Grant, was told that his guest was Anglican, he commented,“You are awfully tall for an Englishman!” As Grant recalled, “I am an American, so the Pope confused some terms. I thought: And he's supposed to be infallible?”

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