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the passive intaliibility of the Church in al ages and anas, vitti the martial and Tansen imicas alrearly xpresseci.

Tie toctrine was therefore irendit urinary de ide, and iso subiectitsiy inuing in conscience unon al v10 mew tale revenie:i.

Tie terinition is addedt uuting to its in-sic certainty, ir tuis is derived rom Cirne reveia ticn.

It ias utert oniy tie extensic certainty of universai promulgation jy the Ecclesia docens, 08ing cligation uçon ail the taittui.

Flirterto, theratcre, che utilors of us. Izd the lice, who appeaieit to sientiic history, a. cealed indeed from the doctrinal authority of tie Church in a matter of revelation; but they may be so far as Gort knows their good faith, protected by the pica that the doctrine had not yet been promulgater by a definition.

Vevertheless, the process of their opposition was essentially heretical. It was an appeal from the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church, delirered by its common and constant teaching, to history interpreted by themselves.

It does not at all diminish the gravity of this act to say that the appeal was not to mere human history, nor to history written by enemies, but to the sute of Councils, and to the documents of EcclesiEstical tradition,

This makes the opposition more formal; for it amounts to an assumption that scientific history knows the mind of the Church, and is better able to interpret its acts, decrees, condemnations, and documents, cither by superiority of scientific criticism, or by superiority of moral honesty, than the Church itself.

But surely the Church best knows its own history, and the true sense of its own acts and documents.

The Crown of England would make short work of those who should scientifically interpret the unwritten law, or the acts of Parliament, contrary to judgment.

Do modern critics suppose that the case of Honorious is as new to the Church as it is to them, or that the Church has not a traditional knowledge of the value and bearing of the case upon the doctrines of faith?

This, again, in non-Catholics, would imply no more than the ordinary want of knowledge as to the Divine nature and office of the Church. In Catholics it would imply, if not heresy, at least a heretical animus.

If the Church has prohibited, under pain of excommunication, any appeal from the Holy See to a future General Council, certainly under the same censure it would condemn an appeal from the Council of the Vatican to the Councils of Constantinople interpreted by scientific history.

It is of faith that the Church alone can declare the contents and the limits of revelation, and can alone determine the extent of its own infallibility. And as it alone can judge of the true sense and interpretation of Holy Scripture, it alone can judge of the true sense and interpretation of the acts of its own Pontiffs and Councils.

Under the same head, therefore, and under the same censure, come all appeals from the Divine authority of the Church at this hour, under whatsoever pretext or to whatsoever tribunal; whether to Councils in the future or the past, or to Scripture or the Fathers, or to unauthentic interpretations of the acts of Councils, or to documents of human history.

This being so, it cannot be said that there exist grave difficulties from the words and acts of the Fathers, from the genuine documents of history, and from the Catholic doctrine itself, which if not solved, would render it impossible to propose to the faithful as a doctrine, the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff; because it was contained before definition, in the universal and constant teaching of the Church as a truth of revelation. Who is the competent judge to declare whether such difficulties really exist? or, if they exist, what is the value of them; whether they be grave or light, relevant or irrelevant? Surely it belongs to the Church to judge of these things. They are so inseparably in contact with dogma, that the deposit of faith cannot be guarded or expounded without judging of them and pronouncing on them. And it is passing strange if the Church should be incompetent to judge of these things, and the scientific historians alone competent; that is, if the Church should be fallible in dogmatic facts, and the scientific historians infallible. What is this but Lutheranism in history? In those that are without, this is consistent: in Catholics, it would not only be inconsistent but a heresy.

The Council of the Vatican has with great precision condemned this error in these words : “Catholics can have no just cause of calling into


doubt the faith they have received from the teaching authority (magisterium) of the Church, and of suspending their assent, until they shall have completed a scientific demonstration of the truth of their faith.*

Again, the Council lays down, in respect to sciences properly so called, a principle which a fortiori applies to “historical science,” with signal impropriety so called, by declaring “that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is false ... Wherefore all faithful Christians are not only forbidden to defend as legitimate conclusions of science all such opinions as are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith, especially if they have been condemned by the Church, but are altogether bound to hold them to be errors, which put on the fallacious appearance of truth.'

I have said that the treatment of history can only be called science with signal impropriety; and for the following reasons:

According to both philosophers and theologians, science is the habit of the mind conversant with necessary truth; that is, truth which admits of demonstration, and of the certainty which excludes the possibility of its contradictory being true.

According to the scholastic philosophy, science is defined as follows:

Viewed subjectively, it is “ the certain and evident knowledge of the ultimate reasons or principles of truth attained by reasoning.”

Viewed objectively, it is “the system of known


* Constitutio De Fide Catholica. Appendix, p. 206.

truths belonging to the same order as a whole, and depending only upon one principle."

This is founded on the definitions of Aristotle. In the sixth book of the Ethics, chapter iii. he says: “From this it is evident what science is : to speak accurately, and not to follow mere similitudes; for we all understand that what we know cannot be otherwise than we know it. For whatsoever may or may not be, as a practical question, is not known to be, or not to be."

Such also is the definition of St. Thomas. He says: “Whatsoever truths are truly known as by certain knowledge (ut certa scientia) are known by resolution into their first principles, which of themselves are immediately present to the intellect ... So that it is impossible that the same thing should be the object both of faith and of science, that is, because of the obscurity of the principles of faith.” He nevertheless calls theology a science. But Vasquez shows from Cajetan that this is to be understood not simply but relatively, non simpliciter, sed secundum quid. The Thomists generally hold theology to be a science; but imperfect in its kind.

Gregory of Valentia sums up the opinions of the Schools, and concludes as follows: “That theology is not science is taught by Durandus, Ocham, Gabriel, and others, whose opinions I hold to be the truest." He adds: “ Though it be not a proper science, it is a habit absolutely more perfect than any science;" and again: “Yet, nevertheless, by the best of rights, it may be called a science because absolutely it is a habit more perfect than any science described by philosophers."*


Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, p. 107–112.

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