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This extends to certain truths of natural science, as, for example, the existence of substance; and to truths of the natural Feason, such as that the soul is immaterial; that it is “the form of the body;"* and the like. It extends also to certain truths of the supernatural order, which are not revealed ; as, the authenticity of certain texts or versions of the Holy Scripture.

The Council of Trent by a dogmatic decree declared, under anathema, that the Vulgate edition is authentic. Now this is a definition or dogmatic judgment, to be believed on the infallible authority of the Church. But this truth or fact is not revealed.

(2.) Secondly, there are truths of mere human history, which therefore are not revealed, without which the deposit of the Faith cannot be taught or guarded in its integrity. For instance, that St. Peter was Bishop of Rome; that the Council of Trent and the Council of the Vatican are Ecumenical, that is, legitimately celebrated and confirmed; that Pius IX. is the successor of Peter by legitimate election. These truths are not revealed. They have no place in Scripture ; and except the first, they have no place in tradition; yet they are so necessary to the order of faith, that the whole would be undermined if they were not infallibly certain. But such infallible certainty is impossible by means of human history and human evidence alone. It is created only by the infallible authority of the Church.

(3.) Thirdly, there are truths of interpretation,

* Concil. Later. V. Bulla Apostolici Regiminis.

not revealed, without which the deposit of the faith cannot be preserved.

The Council of Trent* declares that to the Church it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of Holy Scripture. Now the sense of the Holy Scripture is two-fold; namely, the literal and grammatical, or, as it is called, the sensus quis; and the theological and doctrinal, or the sensus qualis. The Church judges infallibly of both. It judges of the question that such and such words or texts have such and such literal and grammatical meaning. It judges also of the conformity of such meaning with the rule of faith, or of its contradiction to the same. The former is a question of fact, the latter of dogma. That the latter falls within the infallible judgment of the Church has been denied by none but heretics. The former has been denied, for a time, by some who continued to be Catholics : for this is, in truth, the question of dogmatic facts. But the Jansenists never ventured to extend their denial to the text of Scripture, though the argument is one and the same. The Church has the same assistance in judging of the grammatical and theological sense of texts, whether sacred or simply human: and has exercised it in all ages.

For instance: Pope Hormisdast says, “The venerable wisdom of the Fathers providently defined by faithful ordinance what doctrines are Catholic: fixing also certain parts of the ancient books to be received as of authority, the Holy Ghost so instructing them; lest the reader, indulging in his

* Sess. iv.
Hormisdæ Ep. LXX. Labbe, Concil. tom. v. p. 664.

own opinion ... should assert not that which tends to the edification of the Church, but what his own pleasure had conceived."

Pope Nicholas I. * writes, “ by their decree (i. e. that of the Roman Pontiffs) the writings of other authors are approved or condemned, so that what the Apostolic See approves, is to be held at this day, and what it has rejected, is to be esteemed of no effect," &c.

Pope Gelasius, in a Council held at Rome, decreed as follows: “Also the writings of Cæcilius Cyprianus, Martyr, Bishop of Carthage, are in all things to be received; also the writings of Blessed Gregory, Bishop of Nazianzum .... also the writings and treatises of all orthodox Fathers, who in nothing have deviated from the fellowship of the Holy Roman Church, nor have been separated from its faith and preaching; but have been partakers by the Grace of God of its communion unto the last day of their life, we decree to be read." +

Turrecremata says, “It is to be believed that the Roman Pontiff is directed by the Holy Ghost in things of faith, and consequently in these cannot err; otherwise any one might as easily say that there was error in the choice (or discernment) of the four Gospels, and of the canonical epistles, and of the books of other doctors, approving some, and disapproving others; which, however, we read, and as is evident, was determined by the Roman Pontiffs Gregory and Gelasius.” + Again, he says, * Nic. Ep. ad Univ. Episc. Galliæ, Labbe, Concil. tom. x. p. 282.

+ Labbe, Concil. tom. V p. 387. | Turrecremata, De potestate Papali, lib. ii. cap. 112, in Bibl. M. Rocaberti, tom. xiii. p. 453.

" The sixth kind of Catholic truths are those which are asserted by doctors, approved by the Universal Church for the defence of the faith and the confutation of heretics. ... This is evident: for since the Church, which is directed by the Holy Ghost, approves certain doctors, receiving their doctrine as true, it necessarily follows that the doctrine of such (writers), delivered by way of assertion, and never otherwise retracted, is true and ought to be held by all the faithful with firm belief, in so far as it is received by the Universal Church; otherwise, the Universal Church would appear to have erred in approving and accepting their doctrine as true, which however was not true.” *

And Stapleton lays down, “Bishops ... when they treat of the Scripture as doctors, have not this certain and infallible authority of which we are speaking: until their treatises, approved by sacred authority, are commended by the Church as Catholic and certainly orthodox interpretation, which Gelasius first did," + &c.

I will give one more example, as it is eminently in point.

The Church has approved in a special manner the works of St. Augustine as containing the true doctrines of grace against the Pelagian and semiPelagian heresies.

In this particular, his works have been declared to be orthodox by St. Innocent I., St. Zosimus, St. Boniface I., St. Celestine, St. Hormisdas, St. Felix IV., and Boniface II. For that reason Clement XI. justly condemned the book of Launoy called “ Véritable tradition de l'Église sur la Prédestination et la Grâce," &c., as “at least impious and blasphemous, and injurious to St. Augustine, the shining light and chief doctor of the Catholic Church; as also to the Church itself and to the Apostolic See.” *

* Ibid. lib. iv. p. ii. c. ii. 382. + Controo. Fidei, lib. x. c. ii. p. 355, ed. Paris, 1620.

Now, in this approbation the Church approved the doctrine of St. Augustine, not only in the sensus qualis but also in the sensus quis; that is, it approved not only a possible theological sense which was orthodox, but the very and grammatical sense of the text. It was therefore a true doctrinal judgment

. as to a dogmatic fact.

For, as Cardinal Gerdil argues, the doctrine of St. Augustine was proposed by the Church as a rule of faith against the Pelagian and semi-Pelagian

“ When it is said that the doctrine of St. Augustine in the matter of grace was adopted by the Church, it must not be understood in the sense as if St. Augustine had worked out a peculiar system for himself, which the Church then adopted as its own. .... “The great merit of St. Augustine is, that with marvellous learning he expounded and defended the antient belief of the faithful.”+ The Church infallibly discerned the orthodoxy of his writings, and approving them, commended them as a rule of faith.

If the Church have this infallible discernment of the meaning, grammatical and theological, of orthodox texts, it has eodem intuitu the same discern


* Brev. "Cum. sicut,28 Jan. 1704. D'Argentré, Collec. Jud. tom. vi. p. 444.

Saggio d'Istruz. teol. De gratia," ed. Rom. p. 189.

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