Reform the Pope, Reform the Papacy Cusanus on Correcting Peter’s Successors
Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464) was not an uncritical supporter of papal authority. This essay recounts a nuanced understanding of his development by looking at a number of treatises and sermons focused on the reform of the pope as person and therefore of the reform of the papacy as institution. Cusanus believed the pope’s authority was grounded in the faith and office of Peter and not personally in Peter’s successor, who could therefore fairly be corrected. The successor to Peter was no more the rock than Peter as a human being had been. Consequently, Cusanus’ recommendations for papal reform began with the personal reform of the pope as a faithful Christian first and not as a prelate. His critiques did not thereby threaten the papacy as an institution but, in fact, were intended to improve the man holding the see of Peter and in so doing to reform the office and its exercise.
Church History and Religious Culture
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Bellitto, Christopher M., "Reform the Pope, Reform the Papacy Cusanus on Correcting Peter’s Successors" (2023). Kean Publications. 329.