A little deep for me, but maybe some of my readers will have read the relevant documents he cites in this post. But interesting, nonetheless. An excerpt:
Theologians of distinction can be listed who have taught that Canonisation is an infallible act of the Papal Magisterium. But, with regard to those who wrote before 1870, is there not a prior question that has to be asked? The Church had then not defined (i.e. put limits, ‘fines‘, to) the dogma of Papal Infallibility. The terms of Pastor aeternus are (to the chagrin of Manning and the palpable relief of Newman) extremely limited. Therefore, can we be sure that those earlier theologians really were categorising canonisation as infallible in the sense of the word infallible as defined with all the limitations of the 1870 decrees? Or, because of the limits imposed by that definition, might they have used a different term had they needed to develop their arguments within the confines of what Pastor aeternus lays down? Is this why Benedict XIV accepts the possibility of arguing that what a Roman Pontiff decrees may be infallible, but still not be de fide? After 1870, I surmise, that possibility may not be open to us: because the scope and function of the term infallibilis have changed to imply that a proposition is of faith. Am I right?
In assessing the arguments of such pre-1870 writers, should we pay attention to the general extent which they assert when talking about the authority of the Roman Pontiff? That is: if a writer is generous in his estimate of the fields to which papal infallibility extends, should we be less willing to assume that he is writing in terms of something like the limited 1870 definition, than we would be when considering a writer who is very much more sparing and circumspect in associating infallibility with papal interventions?
As a consequence of this, when we turn to theologians who wrote later than 1870, and who argued that papal canonisations are infallible, should we not subtract from the arguments with which they sustain their conclusions the mere citation, qua authorities, and without further discussion, of those earlier theologians? In other words, should not the event of 1870 have the effect of pruning back some previous theologically luxuriant growths?
And there is another question raised by the Definition and Practice of Papal infallibility which the pontificate of B Pius IX bequeathed us. It implies an assumption that the Roman Pontiff is acting with the morally unanimous, collegial, assent of the whole ecclesia docens. I know that, for SSPXers, Collegiality is a dirty word; but B Pius IX and Pius XII wrote to the bishops of the entire world seeking their counsel before defining the two Marian Dogmas (‘Is it definable? Is it opportune to define it?’) and … well … I’m just an ordinary Catholic … the praxis of those two pontiffs is good enough for me! But do Popes seek the counsel of all their Venerable Brethren before canonising?