Appears in Vol. 1 No. 2
Papal power is often misunderstood in today’s world. In an effort to end the confusion, Jeffrey A. Mirus analyzes the treatises of the pro-papal authors of the Renaissance period. In so doing he not only sheds light on the nature of authority in the Catholic Church, but he specifically points out the importance of a hierarchical structure in determining the Church’s character and role in the process of human sanctification.
Some study of papal authorIty would seem to be called for considering the challenge to that authority in our own day. Moreover, the concern about the nature of religious authority in general which characterizes the modern world makes an inquiry into the nature of the Catholic Church as an authoritative institution of crucial importance. Perhaps one of the most rewarding ways to study this whole question is to examine the quarrel between popes and councils in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, a quarrel which centered on the distribution of power and authority within the Church.
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