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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Did Cardinal Newman initially reject the doctrine of papal infallibility?

Question:

Is it true that Cardinal John Henry Newman, the Anglican convert from the Oxford Movement of the last century, rejected the doctrine of papal infallibility up until the definition at Vatican I and only accepted it out of obedience afterward?

Answer:

No, it is not true. Cardinal Newman professed that he personally believed that the pope must be infallible, but he questioned the issuing of a formal definition of the doctrine at that particular time. He was not alone among the Church hierarchy in holding this opinion and was perfectly within his rights to do so. Once the definition was issued he embraced it unhesitatingly.

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