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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

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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