Saturday, May 24, 2008
Duns Scotus the Papalist?
I came across the following quote today, in a discussion of the Joachim of Fiore's criticism of Peter Lombard, to the effect that his views entail a quaternity in divinis. It is from Reportatio I-A, d.5 pars 1 q.1 n.10:
"Quantum ad primum errorem, respondet Papa et tenet pro Magistro Petro; et in hoc Papa confirmat et canonizat opinionem Petri, cuius auctoritas forte maior est quam scripturae vel sanctorum-sed non curo hoc asserere- et ostendit quod non sequitur consequentia quaternitatis..."
"As far as to the first error, the Pope responds and holds to Master Peter [Lombard]; and in this the Pope confirms and canonizes the opinion of Peter, whose authority perhaps is greater than scripture or the saints-but I do not care to assert this-and he shows that the consequence of quaternity does not follow..."
Now the relative pronoun 'cuius' is ambiguous, and could refer to either the Pope or Peter Lombard. In translation my natural sense is that it refers to Lombard, though that would be a rather odd claim. A bishop of Paris, who compiled various sayings of the fathers into a textbook is possessed of greater authority than the saints or scripture themselves? It seems more likely that it is referring to the Pope; after all, as one can read in his discussions of the Eucharist, Scotus is a firm believer in the authority of the Church to determine doctrine and holds to transubstantiation purely on the authority of Lateran IV. This passage could be meant along those lines. And it is not so terribly far from the modern teachings on infallibility, etc., though one probably not want to take this to mean that the Pope has authority over scripture. Perhaps we might want also to substitute 'magisterium' for pope here. Well, that's all folks.