Sayfadaki görseller

I. A certain number of grave testimonies containing the controverted proposition.

This after thorough discussion was unanimously acknowledged to be a sufficient character, and it was said that to deny it would be going against the councils, the dogmatic bulls of pontiffs, and the economy of the church itself. Thus with a certain number of such testimonies referred to in the acts of the councils, it is easily seen how the fathers proceeded to a definition at Ephesus against Nestorius, in the sixth council against the Monothelites, and in the seventh against the Iconoclasts.

II. One or more revealed principles in which is contained the proposition in question.

Upon this also the consultors were unanimous, and they moreover said that the production of such principles would be equivalent to a virtual and immediate revelation. Thus, from the revealed principle that Jesus Christ is perfect God and perfect man, it follows as revealed that Jesus Christ has two wills:. also, in the revealed principle that God is One and the Divine Persons three, and that all in God is one except where the relation of origin intervenes, it is also revealed that the Holy Ghost can only proceed from the Father and the Son as from one principle of spiration.

III. The intimate nexus of the dogmas, or, what is the same thing, that a proposition must be believed to be revealed, from the denial of which the falsity of one or more articles of faith would necessarily and immediately follow.

The consultors were unanimous on this point, agreeing that such a character was equivalent to a virtual and immediate revelation. Thus, when it is established that some sins are mortal, and that not every sin is incompatible with a state of grace, it necessarily follows that the distinction between mortal and venial sins is a revealed doctrine. So also from the fact that the Sacraments produce their effect ex opere operato and that Jesus Christ is the primary minister of them, it follows as virtually and immediately rerealed, that the effect of the Sacraments does not depend upon the virtue or malice of the secondary minister. IV. The concordant testimony of the existing episcopate.

The consultors with regard to this were again unanimous, and it was said that to deny the sufficiency of this character was to contradict the promises of our Lord, and the constant practice of the fathers in proving the articles of faith. Tous Irenæus, Tertullian, Augustine, and Fulgentiis, in order to put an end to controversies, considered it sufficient to ascertain the faith of the Sees and more especially the chief ones.

V. The practice of the Church.

That this point would afford sufficient evidence to proceed to a definition, was likewise unanimously affirmed by the consultors.



I HAVE intentionally refrained from treating the historical evidence in the case of Honorius in the text of the fourth chapter, for the following reasons :

1. Because it is sufficient to the argument of that chapter to affirm that the case of Honorius is doubtful. It is in vain for the antagonists of Papal Infallibility to quote this case as if it were certain Centuries of controversy have established, beyond contradiction, that the accusation against Honorius cannot be raised by his most ardent antagonists to more than a probability. And this probability, at its maximum, is less than that of his defence. I therefore affirm the question to be doubtful; which is abundantly sufficient against the private judgment of his accusers. Tho

cumulus of evidence for the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff outweighs all such doubts.

2. Because the argument of the fourth chapter necessarily excludes all discussion of detailed facts. Ilad they been introduced into the text, our antagonists would have evaded the point, and confused the argument by a discussion of details. I will, nevertheless, here affirm, that the following points in the case of Honorius can be abundantly proved from documents :

(1) That Honorius defined no doctrine whatsoever. (2) That he forbade the making of any new definition. (3) That his fault was precisely in this omission of Apostolic authority, for which he was justly censured. (4) That his two epistles are entirely orthodox; though, in the use of language, he wrote as was usual before the condemnation of Monothelitism, and not as it became necessary afterwards. It is an anachronism and an injustice to censure his language, used before that condemnation, as it might be just to censure it after the condemnation had been made.

To this I add the following excellent passage from the recent Pastoral of the Archbishop of Baltimore:

“The case of Honorius forms no exception; for 1st, Honorius expressly says in his letters to Sergius, that he meant to define nothing, and he was condemned precisely because he temporized and would not define; 2nd, because in his letters he clearly taught the sound Catholic doctrine, only enjoining silence as to the use of certain terms, then new in the Church; and 3rd, because his letters were not addressed to a general council of the whole Church, and were rather private, than public and official; at least they were not published, even in the East, until several years later. The first letter was written to Sergius in 633, and eight years afterwards, in 641, the Emperor Heraclius, in


exculpating himself to Pope John I., Honorius' successor,

II for having published his edict--the Ecthesis—which enjoined silence on the disputants, similar to that imposed by Honorius, lays the whole responsibility thereof on Sergius, who he declares, composed the edict. Evidently, Sergius had not communicated the letter to the Emperor, probably because its contents, if published, would not have suited his wily purpose of secretly introducing, under another form, the Euteyhian heresy. Thus falls to the ground the only case upon which the opponents of Infallibility have continued to insist. This entire subject has been exhausted by many recent learned writers.”

On the question of Virgilius, see Cardinal Orsi De irreformabili Rom. Pont. in definiendis fidei controversiis judicio, tom. i. p. i. capp. 19, 20; Jeremias a Benetti's Privileg. S.

i Petri vindic. p. ii. tom. V. art. 12, p. 397, ed. Roman. 1759; Ballerini De vi et ratione primatus, cap. 15; Lud. Thomassin, Disp. rir, in Conci.; Petr. De Marca Diss. de Vigilio; Vincenzi in S. Gregorii Nyss. et Origenis scripta cum App. de actis Synodi V. tom. iv. and v.

On the question of Honorius, amongst older writers: Ios. Biner S. J. in Apparatu eruditionis, p. iii. iv. and xi.; Orsi, op. cit. capp. 21–28; Bellarm. De Rom. Pontif. liv. iv.; Thomassin, op. cit. diss. xx.; Natalis Alex. Hist. Eccles. Saec. VII. diss. 2.; Zaccaria Antifebrom. p. ii. lib. iv. Amongst later authors, see Civilta cattolica, ann. 1864, ser. V. vol. xi. and xii.; Schneeman, Studia in qu. de Honorio; Ios. Pennachi de Honorii I. Romani Pontificis causa in Concilio VI.




[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ The undersigned Bishops to the reverend clergy and faithful, greeting, and peace in the Lord.

Having returned to our respective Dioceses from the Holy Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, we, in union with other German Bishops who were prevented attending the Council, consider it our duty as your chief pastors to address to you, dearly beloved in the Lord, a few words of instruction and exhortation. The occasion and reason for our doing so, and that unitedly and solemnly, is found in the fact that many erroneous ideas have for several months been disseminated, and still, without any authority, are striving in many places to gain acceptance.

“In order, then, to maintain the divine truths which Christ our Lord hath taught mankind in their entire purity, and to secure them from all change and distortion, He has established in His Holy Church the office of infallible teaching, and has promised and also given to it His protection and the assistance of the Holy Ghost for all times. On this office of infallible teaching of the Church reposes entire the security and joy of our faith.

“As often as in the course of time misunderstandings of or oppositions to individual points of teaching have sprung up, this office of infallible teaching has in various ways, at one time in greater Councils, at another without them, both exposed and foiled the errors, and declared and established the truth. This has been done in the most solemn man. ner by the General Councils, that is, by those great assemblies in which the Head and the members of the one teaching body of the Church combined for the deciding of the doubts and controversies in matters of faith which then prevailed.

« ÖncekiDevam »