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ment of heterodox texts. For the universal practice of the Church in commending the writings of orthodox, and of condemning those of heterodox authors, is a part of the doctrinal authority of the Church in the custody and defence of the faith. It falls therefore within the limits of its infallibility.
The commendation of the works of St. Augustine, and the commendation of the Thalia of Arius at Nicæa, of the Anathematisms of Nestorius at Ephesus, and of the Three Chapters of Ibas, Theodore, and Theodoret, in the Second Council of Constantinople, all alike involved a judgment of dogmatic facts.
The subterfuge of the Jansenists as to the literal meaning of “Augustinus" came too late. The practice of the Church and the decrees of Councils had already pronounced its condemnation.
(4.) What has here been said of the condemnation of heretical texts, is equally applicable to the censures of the Church..
The condemnation of propositions is only the condemnation of a text by fragments.
The same discernment which ascertains the orthodoxy of certain propositions, detects the heterodoxy of those which are contradictory. And in both processes that discernment is infallible. To define doctrines of faith, and to condemn the contradictions of heresy, is almost one and the same act. The infallibility of the Church in condemning heretical propositions is denied by no Catholic.
In like manner, the detection and condemnation of propositions at variance with theological cer
tainty is a function of the same discernment by which theological certainty is known. But the Church has an infallible discernment of truths which are theologically certain; that is, of conclusions resulting from two premises of which one is revealed and the other evident by the light of nature.
In these two kinds of censures, at least, it is therefore of faith that the Church is infallible.
As to the other censures, such as temerity, scandal, offence to pious ears, and the like, it is evident that they all relate to the moral character of propositions. It is not credible that a proposition condemned by the Church as rash should not be rash, and as scandalous should not be scandalous, or as offensive to pious ears should not be such, and the like. If the Church be infallible in faith and morals, it is not to be believed that it can err in passing these moral judgments on the ethical character of propositions. In truth, all Catholic theologians, without exception, so far as I know, teach that the Church is infallible in all such censures.* They differ only in this: that some declare this truth to be of faith, and therefore the denial of it to be heresy; others declare it to be of faith as to the condemnation of heretical propositions, but in all others to be only of theological certainty ; so that the denial of it to be not heresy, but error.
To deny the infallibility of the Church in the censures less than for heresy, is held to be heretical by De Panormo, Malderus, Coninck, Diana, Ovie
* Of course, I am not speaking of writers whose works are under
do, Amici, Matteucci, Pozzobonelli, Viva, Nannetti. Murray calls it objective heresy. Griffini, Herincx, Ripalda, Ferraris, and Reinerding do not decide whether it be heretical, erroneous, or proximate to
Cardenas and Turrianus hold it to be erroneous; Anfossi, erroneous, or proximate to error. De Lugo in one place maintains that it is erroneous; in another, that to deny the infallibility of the Church in the condemnation of erroneous propositions, is heresy.* All, therefore, affirm the Church in passing such censures to be infallible.
The infallibility of the Church in all censures less than heresy may be proved from the Acts of the Council of Constance. In the eleventh article of the Interrogatory proposed to the followers of Huss are included condemnations of all kinds.
* De Panormo, Scrutinium Doctrinarum, cap. iii. art. xiii. num. 7 sqq. p. 196, Rome, 1709 ; Diana, Opp. tom. ix. De infall. Rom. Pont. resol. x. num. 8 sqq. p. 262, Venice, 1698; Amici, Cursus Theologicus, tom. iv. De Fide, disp. vii. num. 55, p. 146, Douay,
Matteucci, Opus Dogmatic. De Controv. Fidei, vii. cap. iii. num. 33, p. 359, Venice, 1755 ; Viva, Theses Damnatæ, quæst. prodrom. num. xviii. p. 10, Padua, 1737 ; Murray, De Ecclesia, tom. iii. fasc. i. p. 226, Dublin, 1865; Herincx, Summ. Theol. Schol. et Moral. dub. ix. num. 98, p. 185, Antwerp, 1663 ; Ripalda, tom. iii. disp. i. sect. 7, num. 59, p. 16, Cologne, 1648 ; Ferraris, Bibliothec. Canonic. tom. vi. sub. v. Prop. Damn. num. 37, p. 565, Rome, 1789; Reinerding, Theol. Fundamental. tract. i. num. 408, p. 237, Münster, 1864; Cardenas, Crisis Theologica, dis. procem. num. 140, p. 35, Cologne, 1690 ; Turrianus, Select. Disput. T'heol. pars i. disp. xxx. dub. 3, p. 149, Lyons, 1634; Anfossi, Difesa dell' “ Auctorem Fidei,” lett. x. tom. ii. p. 141, Rome, 1816; De Lugo, De Virtute Fidei, tom. iii. disp. xx. sect. 3, num. 109, p. 324, and num. 113–117, p. 325, Venice, 1751. For the summary and for the references to Pozzobonelli, Malderus, Coninck, Oviedo, Nannetti and Griffini, I am indebted to an unpublished work of Fr. Granniello of the congregation of Barnabites in Rome.
They were asked whether they believed the articles of Wickliffe and Huss to be “not Catholic, but some of them notoriously heretical, some erroneous, others temarious and seditious, others offensive to pious ears."* Martin V., therefore, in the Bull “ Inter cunctos” requires belief, that is, interior assent, to all such condemnations made by the Council of Constance, which therein extended its infallible jurisdiction to all the minor censures, less than that of heresy.
In like manner, again, in the Bull “Auctorem Fidei,” the propositions condemned as heretical are very few, but the propositions condemned as erroneous, scandalous, offensive, schismatical, injurious, are very numerous.
During the last three hundred years, the Pontiffs have condemned a multitude of propositions of which perhaps not twenty were censured with the note of heresy.
Now in every censure the Church proposes to us some truth relating to faith or morals; and whether the matter of such truths be revealed or not revealed, it nevertheless so pertains to faith and morals that the deposit could not be guarded if the Church in such judgments were liable to error.
The Apostle declares that “the Church is the pillar and ground of the Truth.”+ On what authority these words can be restricted to revealed truth alone, I do not know. I know of no commentator, ancient or modern, who so restricts them. On the other hand St. Peter Damian, Six tus V., Ferré, Cardinal de Lugo, Gregory de Valentia, expressly extend these words to all truths necessary to the custody of the deposit.
* “Utrum credat sententiam sacri Constantiensis concilii, scilicet quod supradicti 45 articuli Joannis Wicliff, et Joannis Huss triginta, non sunt Catholici ; sed quidam ex eis sunt notorie hæretici, quidam erronei, alii temerarii et seditiosi, alii piarum aurium offensivi.”—Labbe, Concil. tom. xvi. p. 194.
f 1 Tim. iii. 15.
This doctrine is abundantly confirmed by the following declarations of Pius IX. For the Church by its Divine institution is bound with all diligence to guard whole and inviolate the deposit of Divine faith, and constantly to watch with supreme zeal over the salvation of souls, driving away therefore, and eliminating with all exactness, all things which are either contrary to faith or can in any way bring into peril the salvation of souls. Wherefore the Church, by the power committed to it by its Divine Author, has not only the right but above all the duty, of not tolerating but of proscribing and of condemning all errors, if the integrity of the faith and the salvation of souls should so require. On all philosophers who desire to remain sons of the Church, and on all philoso, phy, this duty lies, to assert nothing contrary to the teachings of the Church, and to retract all such things when the Church shall so admonish. The opinion which teaches contrary to this we pronounce and declare altogether erroneous, and in the highest degree injurious to the faith of the Church, and to its authority.”*
From all that has been said, it is evident that the Church claims no jurisdiction over the processes
* Litteræ Pii IX., “Gravissimas inter," ad Archiep. Monac. et Frising. Dec. 1862.