Cover image for The chair of Saint Peter : a history of the papacy
The chair of Saint Peter : a history of the papacy
La Due, William J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Maryknoll, N.Y. : Orbis Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 374 pages ; 24 cm
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BX955.2 .L35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Chair of Saint Peter surveys the history of the papal office from the first century to the current papacy of Pope John Paul II. At the approach of the third millennium, the office of the papacy remains a vital sign of unity in the Catholic church and a link with the earliest church. But the papal office in its current form is the product of a long and conflicted history of evolution. The Chair of Saint Peter is an essential resource for future discussions about the shape of the church to come.

Author Notes

William J. La Due received a licentiate in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, and a doctorate in canon law from the Lateran University. He taught at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee and Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Laicized in 1976 he married and worked for seventeen years in the banking industry. Mr. La Due is now a writer and researcher concentrating in church history and doctrinal development.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

La Due tries to do two things. First he attempts to provide an accessible one-volume history of the papacy, beginning with the New Testament (though with surprisingly little attention to the Petrine passages) and steadily continuing on to the pontificate of John Paul II (who is predictably criticized for his conservative stances and begrudgingly admired for his global pastoral ministry). Second, La Due uses his historical overview to criticize what he describes as "papal absolutism." Trying to do both at once, he does not quite succeed at either. On the one hand, as a history of the papacy, the almost exclusive emphasis on the issue of papal authority gives the history a very limited focus. On the other hand, the attempt to cover nearly 2000 years of history does not allow La Due sufficient space to fully develop his critique by presenting and engaging with alternative viewpoints. Nonetheless the book can be recommended for undergraduates as a well-written presentation of a widely shared perspective on the papacy. However, for a balance of viewpoints, one ought also to consider J. Michael Miller's The Shepherd and the Rock: Origins, Development, and Mission of the Papacy (1995). J. Gresham; Fontbonne College

Table of Contents

Introductory Notep. ix
1. The Models of Church in the New Testamentp. 1
The Pauline Modelp. 4
The Model in Luke-Actsp. 7
The Matthean Modelp. 10
The Johannine Modelp. 11
The Church in the Pastoralsp. 14
Conclusionsp. 16
2. Developments from I Clement to Pope Stephen I: ca. 95 A.D. to 257p. 20
The Monarchical Episcopate in Romep. 25
Bishop Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258)p. 33
Summaryp. 39
3. The Expansion of the Papal Office: 257 to 590p. 40
Early Conciliar Activityp. 43
Pope Leo I (440-61)p. 48
Doctrinal Divisions after Chalcedon (451)p. 54
Pope Vigilius (537-55) and the "Three Chapters"p. 57
Italy Invaded by the Lombards (568)p. 59
Conclusionsp. 60
4. The Pope Turns to the West: 590 to 1000p. 62
Pope Gregory I's Administrationp. 63
New Difficulties with Byzantium (649-752)p. 68
The Popes and the Merovingian Kingdomp. 73
The Popes and Charlemagnep. 75
The Iconoclast Controversyp. 78
The Pentarchyp. 80
Francia after Charlemagnep. 81
The Ecclesiology of Hincmar of Rheims (ca. 850)p. 83
The False Decretalsp. 84
Pope Nicholas I (858-67)p. 86
Constantinople IV (869-70)p. 88
Pope John VIII (872-82)p. 89
Summaryp. 90
5. The Rise of the Medieval Papacy: 1000 to 1300p. 92
The Reform Papacy--Leo IX (1049-54)p. 94
Nicholas II (1058-61) and Alexander II (1061-73)p. 97
Pope Gregory VII (1073-85)p. 98
Urban II (1088-99) and Paschal II (1099-1118)p. 104
Lateran I (1123)p. 107
Innocent II (1130-43) and Lateran II (1139)p. 108
Eugene III (1145-53) and Papal Centralizationp. 110
Alexander III (1159-81) and Lateran III (1179)p. 112
The Papal System of Justicep. 115
Celestine III (1191-98) and Innocent III (1198-1216)p. 117
Lateran IV (1215)p. 122
Honorius III (1216-27) and Gregory IX (1227-41)p. 124
Innocent IV (1243-54) and Lyons I (1245)p. 127
Bishop Robert Grosseteste of Lincolnp. 129
The Papal Decline after Innocent IVp. 130
Gregory X and Lyons II (1274)p. 131
The Growing Influence of the Cardinals and the Abdication of Celestine V (1294)p. 133
Summaryp. 134
6. The Worldly Papacy: 1300 to 1523p. 135
The Papacy of Boniface VIIIp. 135
Clement V and the Council of Vienne (1311-12)p. 140
John XXII at Avignon (1316-34)p. 146
Benedict XII (1334-42) and Clement VI (1342-52)p. 148
Innocent VI (1352-62) and Urban V (1362-70)p. 150
Gregory XI (1370-78) and the Avignon Administrationp. 152
The Great Western Schismp. 155
Conciliarismp. 158
The Council of Constance (1414-18)p. 161
Martin V (1417-31), Eugene IV (1431-47), and the Council of Basel (1431-38)p. 167
Conciliar Proceedings at Ferrara and Florencep. 171
The Renaissance Popes--from Nicholas V (1447-55) to Innocent VIII (1484-92)p. 174
Alexander VI (1492-1503)p. 177
Julius II (1503-13) and Leo X (1513-21)p. 178
The Need for Councilsp. 178
Lateran V (1512-17)p. 180
Summaryp. 181
7. The Evolution of Papal Absolutism: 1523 to 1869p. 183
Clement VII (1523-34)p. 185
Paul III (1534-49)p. 186
The Religious Revolt in Germanyp. 187
The Council of Trent Begins (1545-47)p. 190
The Second Period of Trent (1551-52)p. 193
Paul IV (1555-59)p. 194
The Third Period of Trent (1562-63)p. 195
The Shape of Europe after Trentp. 201
Pius V (1566-72) and Gregory XIII (1572-85)p. 204
Sixtus V and the Reorganization of the Curiap. 206
Clement VIII (1592-1605) and the Grace Controversyp. 207
Paul V (1605-21) and the Waning of Reformp. 209
The Seventeenth-Century Popes and Francep. 211
Conflict over the Spanish Successionp. 215
Clement XI (1700-21) and Unigenitus (1713)p. 215
Benedict XIV (1740-58)p. 218
Clement XIII, Clement XIV, and the Jesuitsp. 221
Pius VI (1775-99), Pistoia (1786), and Napoleonp. 223
Pius VII (1800-23)p. 226
Leo XII (1823-29) and Gregory XVI (1831-46)p. 231
Pius IX (1846-78)p. 235
Summaryp. 239
8. The Installation of the Absolutist Model: 1869 to the Presentp. 240
The Question of Papal Infallibilityp. 248
Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903)p. 249
Pius X (1903-14)p. 252
The Modernist Crisisp. 253
Benedict XV and World War Ip. 256
Pius XI (1922-39) and the Lateran Treatyp. 257
Pius XII (1939-58)p. 260
John XXIII (1958-63) and Vatican IIp. 264
Paul VI (1963-78) and the Resumption of Vatican IIp. 266
Paul VI's Theme of Dialogue Misfires--Humanae vitaep. 272
The World Synod of Bishopsp. 275
The Election of Karol Wojtylap. 278
The 1983 Code of Canon Lawp. 280
John Paul II and the Bishops' Synodp. 282
The New Catechismp. 284
John Paul II and the Moralistsp. 284
The Ordination of Womenp. 285
The Selection of Bishopsp. 286
John Paul II's Special Apostolatep. 287
Epilogue: Looking Back and Looking Forwardp. 291
I. The Role of the Papacy in the Twenty-one Ecumenical Councilsp. 299
II. The Stages in the Separation of the Eastern Churches from Romep. 312
III. A Clarification of the Two (and Eventually Three) Papal Lines Leading up to the Council of Constance: 1414-18p. 315
IV. The Papacy and the Protestant Revoltp. 317
Glossary of Termsp. 321
Notesp. 331
Bibliographyp. 357
Indexp. 365