"If the popes have always been infallible in any meaningful sense of the word--if their official pronouncements as heads of the church on matters of faith and morals have always been unerring and so irreformable--then all kinds of dubious consequences ensue. Most obviously, twentieth century popes would be bound by a whole array of past papal decrees reflecting the responses of the Roman church to the religious and moral problems of former ages . . . To defend religious liberty would be 'insane' and to persecute heretics commendable. Judicial torture would be licit and the taking of interests on loans a mortal sin. The pope would rule by divine right 'not only the universal church but the whole world.' Unbaptized babies would be punished in Hell for all eternity. Maybe the sun would still be going around the earth. All this is impossible of course. No one understands the fact better than modern theologians of infallibility. If past popes have always been infallible--again, we must add, in any meaningful sense of the word--then present popes are hopelessly circumscribed in their approaches to all the really urgent moral problems of the twentieth century, problems involving war, sex, scientific progess, state power, social obligations, and individual liberties . . . Real infallibility has regrettable implications. In the years since 1870, therefore, theologians have devoted much ingenuity to devising a sort of pseudo-infallibility for the pope, a kind of Pickwickian infallibility" (Tierney, Origins of Papal Infallibility: 1150-1350, pages 2-3).