1. bookVolume 18 (2020): Issue 5 (October 2020)
    Roman Catholic, Reformed Catholic and Evangelical Protestant. Reformation Issues Five Hundred Years Later. Editor: Issue editor: Joshua R. Farris
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2284-7308
First Published
20 Sep 2012
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Problem of Bad Popes: The Argument from Conspicuous Corruption

Published Online: 19 Aug 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 18 (2020) - Issue 5 (October 2020)<br/>Roman Catholic, Reformed Catholic and Evangelical Protestant. Reformation Issues Five Hundred Years Later. Editor: Issue editor: Joshua R. Farris
Page range: 87 - 104
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2284-7308
First Published
20 Sep 2012
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The fact that a number of popes have been bad in the sense that they did not even meet minimal standards of moral integrity and sincere piety poses a serious problem for Roman Catholicism. After surveying a gallery of these infamous popes, I hone in more exactly on just what the problem is. I then argue that the problem remains on both a weak providence view and a strong providence view. According to the former, there is no guarantee that the man chosen pope is God’s will. According to the latter, deploying the resources of middle knowledge, God can make sure that popes infallibly avoid error and teach only truth by making sure the right man is chosen pope. Neither view satisfactorily explains how the papacy can be as important as Rome says it is while so many popes have been such unworthy holders of the office.

Keywords

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