Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Francis A. Sullivan, S.J.

theology department

Francis A. Sullivan, S.J.

Adjunct Professor

Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: 617-552-8152
Fax: 617-552-2977

Office Hours: By appointment


MA, Philosophy, Boston College, 1945
MA, Classics, Fordham University, 1948
STD, Gregorian University, 1956


Before coming to Boston College in 1992, Fr. Sullivan was professor of ecclesiology in the Faculty of Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome for 36 years, where he was dean of that faculty from 1964 to 1970.


Ecclesiology, ecumenism, Church history


Fr. Sulivan has given courses to graduate students at Boston College on the following topics: Church, Sacrament of Salvation; Ministry in the Early Church; Evaluation and Interpretation of Documents of the Magisterium; Ecclesiological Issues in Ecumenical Dialogues; Documents of Vatican II.


He serves as a theological advisor to the USA Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue Commission. He is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, which in 1994 awarded him its John Courtney Murray Award for Distinguished Achievement in Theology.


Charisms and Charismatic Renewal, 1982Magisterium: Teaching Authority in the Catholic Church, 1983The Church We Believe In: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, 1988Salvation Outside the Church? 1992Creative Fidelity. Weighing and Interpreting Documents of the Magisterium, 1996From Apostles to Bishops. The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church, 2001



“Évolution de la question de l’autorité doctrinale dans l’Églisecatholiquedepuis Vatican II,” in Nouveaux Apprentissages pour l’Église. Mélanges en l’honneur de Hervé Legrand, O.P., eds. Gilles Routhier et Laurent Villemin. Paris: Cerf, 401-15.

“A Response to Karl Becker, S.J. on the Meaning of subsistit in.” Theological Studies 67, 395-409.

“Do the Sins of its Members affect the Holiness of the Church?” in In God’s Hands. Essays on the Church and Ecumenism in Honor of Michael A. Fahey, S.J., eds Jaroslav Z. Skira and Michael S. Attridge. Leuven/Paris/Dudley, MA: Leuven University Press, 247-268.


“Comments of a Roman Catholic on Called to Common Mission and the Porvoo Agreement," The Anglican 33/2, 5-12.

“Dialogues and Agreements between Anglican and Lutheran Churches,” in Saperetheologico e unitàdellafede. Studi in onore del Prof. Jared Wicks, eds. C. AparicioValls, C. Dotolo, and G. Pasquale. Roma: Pont. Università Gregoriana, 571-588.

“St. Cyprian on the Role of the Laity in Decision Making in the Early Church,” in Common Calling: The Laity and Governance of the Catholic Church, ed. Stephen J. Pope. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 39-49.

“The Charism of Vocation to Lay Ecclesial Ministry,” New Theology Review 17/4, 80-82.


“Clement of Alexandria on Justification through Philosophy,” in In Many and Diverse Ways: In Honor of Jacques Dupuis, eds. Daniel Kendall and Gerald O’Collins. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, pp. 101-113.

“The Bishop’s Teaching Office,” in Unfailing Patience and Sound Teaching: Reflections on Episcopal Ministry in Honor of Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., ed. David A. Stosur. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, pp. 67-86.

“Faith and Order: The Nature and Purpose of the Church: Comments on the ‘material inside the boxes’, ” Ecumenical Trends 32/10, 1-9.

“The Authority of the Diocesan Bishop in The Roman Catholic Church,” Lutheran Forum 37/1, 30-35.

“Vatican II on the Charisms of the Faithful,” in Vatican II: Forty Personal Stories, eds. Wm. Madges and Michael J. Daley. Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 94-97.


“The Sense of Faith: The Sense/Consensus of the Faithful,” in Authority in the Roman Catholic Church: Theory and Practice, ed. Bernard Hoose. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., pp. 85-93.

“The Teaching Authority of Episcopal Conferences,” Theological Studies 63/3, 472-93.

“Introduction and Ecclesiological Issues,” in Sic et Non: Encountering Dominus Iesus, eds. Stephen J. Pope and Charles Hefling. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, pp. 47-56.