THREE PASTORAL LETTERS TO THE
CLERGY OF THE DIOCESE
ARCHBISHOP OF WESTMINSTER
Πᾶσι τῆς τοῦ μακαρίου Πέτρου φωνῆς ἑρμηνεὺς καθιστάμενος.
Epist. Concil. Chalced. ad S. Leon. Magn.
Concil. Labbe, tom. iv. p. 1235.
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
S. Leo Magn. Serm. iii. 2,
Ed. Ballerini, Venet. 1753.
Magnum et mirabile, dilectissimi, huic viro consortium potentiæ suæ tribuit divina dignatio: et si quid cum eo commune cæteris voluit esse principibus, nunquam nisi per ipsum dedit quicquid aliis non negavit.
Ibid. iv. 2.
Soliditas enim ilia, quam de Petra Christo etiam ipse Petra factus accepit, in suos quoque se transfudit hæredes.'
Ibid. iv. 4.
The three Pastoral Letters, now collected in one volume, were written at separate times, and contain three distinct parts of the same subject; that is to say, the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.
The first, which treats of the eighteenth Centenary of St. Peter's martyrdom, simply affirms the doctrine of Infallibility as it has been enunciated and taught by the Theological tradition of the Church.
The second traces the line of the historical tradition by which the same Catholic doctrine has been affirmed.
The third states and explains the doctrine of the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff as it has been defined by the Œcumenical Council of the Vatican.
Taken as a whole the three Pastorals present at least an outline of this revealed truth, now happily for ever placed beyond controversy or doubt by the divine authority of the Church.
They record, also, the indiction, the prelude, and the first four sessions of the first Council of the Vatican, the nineteenth Œcumenical Synod of the Catholic Church, which will leave its indelible mark upon the future, as the Council of Trent has left its impression upon the past and present, of the Christian world.