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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 1. 1967.

Pope yes -Durning

page 5

Pope yes -Durning

Curious Cove—The Papacy could be a possible centre for the reunification of Christianity. Father Francis Durning told students at Curious Cove.

He said the primacy of the See of Rome was one of the facts of history and that until the end of the fifth century nearly all Christians acknowledged its authority.

The main obstacles to the reunification of the churches was the misunderstanding of the doctrine of Papal infallibility.

Father Francis Durning is an assistant lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Canterbury. He was born in Scotland and came to New Zealand as a child. He studied at Canterbury and Victoria colleges and graduated MA in History. His special field of studies is the Reformation.

Catholics believed the Pope; was the last court of appeal on matters of faith and the direct inheritor of the author-ity of St. Peter. They did not believe anything about the Pope personally. They did not believe he was divinely inspired or had any special revelations, or that he knew all the answers.

Pope infallible

But there were moments when the faith of the Church on some matter was in doubt. When the Pope spoke on this he was infallible.

The papacy could still perform this function in a reunified church but the direct authority of the Bishop of Rome would have to be cut down or largely decentralised. The Baroque-Byzantine image of the Papacy would have to be changed, Father Durning said.

Some kind of authority on the interpretation of the Bible would also be needed but apart from this the papacy would only be last court of appeal on matters of faith.