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The Conciliarist TraditionConstitutionalism in the Catholic Church 1300-1870$
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Francis Oakley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541249.001.0001

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Epilogue: Unfinished Business, Trailing Ends

Epilogue: Unfinished Business, Trailing Ends

(p.250) Epilogue: Unfinished Business, Trailing Ends
The Conciliarist Tradition

Francis Oakley (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

For a Church with a global presence and the drawbacks attendant upon so marked a degree of centralized monarchical control combined with so small a measure of jurisdictional accountability, it is puzzling that the memory of the age-old constitutionalist strand in the Catholic ecclesiological experience appears to have been repressed. One would have thought that ecclesiologists and reformist churchmen might more frequently have found something of value in a constitutionalist tradition that had contrived somehow to endure for more than half a millennium. Also, that ecclesiologists might by now have become a little more conscious of the confusion and disarray prevalent in Catholic circles in face of the interpretative challenges posed by the Great Schism, the 15th-century councils, and their historic enactments. However, that has not proved to be the case, and one can only speculate, by way of conclusion, upon the consequences that may well follow from that particular failure to attend to the past.

Keywords:   Roman Catholic Church, general councils, papacy, conciliar theory, constitutionalism, church reform, Great Schism, legitimacy, popes

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