Ex Cathedra Debate Rosenthal v. Windsor

Working Definition of Ex Cathedra for this Debate:

We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that

  • when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA,
    • that is, when,
      1. in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians,
      2. in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority,
      3. he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church,
  • he possesses,
    • by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter,
  • that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals.
  • Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.
  • Vatican I Chapter 4.9:

Affirmative: David Rosenthal

Popes in exercise of ex cathedra pronouncements have contradicted Scripture.

Negative: Scott Windsor

Popes have not contradicted Scripture in ex cathedra statements.

Debate Rules/Format:

When a round is posted to this page that is when the "counting" starts for the next round to be posted.

Keep in mind, the question: "Are there ex cathedra statements which are contrary to Scripture?" Each round...

  • To open with thesis statement
  • Follow by documentation of thesis statement
  • Followed by summary arguments linking documentation with thesis statement
  • Use of valid argumentation throughout
  • All valid sources will have online links.

Round 1
2000 words (max) Opening Arguments

Rosenthal will open with a challenge including an ex cathedra statement he feels is contrary to Scripture.

Windsor will open with a counter to Rosenthal's thesis.

Round 2a - (within 5 days of start of Round 1)
Up to 300 words Cross-Examination
Participants question each other for clarity (No new material may be introduced, but you may call into question the source or context). This is a question round, not a round to make assertions.

Rosenthal will question Windsor first. Windsor responds.

Round 2b - (within 48 hours)
Pariticipants will provide rebuttal of Round 2a of up to 1200 words (new material/sources may be introduced here).

Round 3a - Question Round (within 48 hours)
Up to 8 questions in this Cross-Examination of 2b Rebutal (no new material may be introduced again here). Windsor begins this round of questions.

Round 3b - (within 48 hours)
Windsor will provide up to 1200 words of rebuttal to Rosenthal's answers and earlier mentioned topics plus, new material may be introduced. Rosenthal will have up to 1200 words of rebuttal to Windsor's arguments and may introduce new issues at this time. This is the LAST PHASE where new information can be introduced for either participant.

Round 4 - (within 72 hours)
Concluding statement up to 1500 words either rebutting opponents argument and/or reinforcing their own. NO NEW MATERIAL!

Official Debate Ends Here

Round 5: (Unofficial)
This debate on ex cathedra teachings and their consistency with Scripture will continue on the Catholic Debate Forum (Catholic Debate Forum (CDF) is where the challenge of this debate initiated). A poll will be taken among CDF subscribers (you must be a member of CDF to participate in the poll). This is also being followed on the CathApol Blog.


Rosenthal's Opening Statement

Windsor's Opening Statement


Rosenthal's Questions to Windsor

Windsor's Replies to Rosenthal's Questions

Rebuttal Round

Rosenthal Rebuttal Argument to Windsor's responses - and new material may be entered.

Windsor responds to Rosenthal's Rebuttal Argument and may counter with his own arguments.


Windsor's Questions to Rosenthal

Rosenthal's Responses to Windsor

Rebuttal Round

Windsor offers rebuttal arguments to Rosenthal's responses and/or earlier arguments. This is Windsor's last chance for entering new information to be considered by Rosenthal.

Rosenthal can answer Windsor's 3b Rebuttals and/or earlier statements and/or it is also his last chance to offer new information for Windsor to consider in this debate.


Rosenthal's Closing Arguments

Windsor's Closing Arguments

ROUND 5 - Unofficial

The debate started in a discussion in the Catholic Debate Forum (CDF) with the thread I have linked here.

Rosenthal opened the debate on CDF with the post linked here.

Discussion in CDF continues HERE, beginning with the posting of the closing arguments.

Poll in CDF

Debate linked on the CathApol Blog.

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