sources of catholic dogma 1000-1100


ST. PIUS V 1566-1572

Errors of Michael du Bay (BAII) *

[Condemned in the Bull "Ex omnibus afflictionibus," Oct. 1, 1567]

1001 1. Neither the merits of an angel nor of the first man still in the state of integrity are called grace.

1002 2. Just as an evil work by its nature is deserving of eternal death, so a good work by its own nature is meritorious of eternal life.

1003 3. Felicity would be the reward, and not grace both for the good angels and for the first man, if he had persevered in that state even to the end of his life.

1004 4. Eternal life was promised to integral man and to the angel in view of good works, and good works in themselves from the law of nature suffice for attaining it.

1005 5. In the promise made both to the angel and to the first man is contained the disposition of natural justice, whereby for good works without any other regard eternal life is promised to the just.

1006 6. By the natural law it has been ordained for man that, if he would persevere in obedience, he would attain to that life, in which he could not die.

1007 7. The merits of the first integral man were the gifts of the first creation, but according to the manner of speech in Sacred Scripture they are not rightly called grace; for this reason they should be called merits only, not also grace.

1008 8. In the redeemed through the grace of Christ no good merit can be found, which may not be freely bestowed upon one who is unworthy.

1009 9. Gifts bestowed upon integral man and to an angel, perhaps not to be condemned by reason, can be called grace; but, according to the use of Sacred Scripture, these gifts which were bestowed through Jesus Christ upon those badly meriting and unworthy of them are understood only by the name of grace; therefore, neither the merits nor the reward, which is rendered to them, should be called grace.

1010 10. The remission of temporal punishment, which often remains after the forgiveness of sin, and the resurrection of the body must properly be ascribed only to the merits of Christ.

1011 11. The fact that having lived piously and justly in this mortal life even to the end of life we attain eternal life, should not be imputed to the grace of God, but to the natural order instantly ordained in the beginning of creation by the just judgment of God; neither in this recompense of goods is regard paid to the merit of Christ, but only to the first institution of the human race, in which it is ordained by the natural law that by the just judgment of God eternal life is paid for obedience to His mandates.

1012 12. The opinion of Pelagius is: A good work performed without the grace of adoption, is not meritorious of the heavenly kingdom.

1013 13. Good works, performed by the sons of adoption, do not receive a consideration of merit from the fact that they are done through the spirit of adoption which lives in the hearts of the sons of God, but only from the fact that they are conformable to law, and because through them obedience is preferred to law.

1014 14. The good works of the just do not receive on the day of the last judgment a fuller reward than they deserve to receive by the just judgment of God.

1015 15. The reason of merit does not consist in this, that he who works well should have grace and the indwelling Holy Spirit, but in this only, that he obeys the divine law.

1016 16. That is not true obedience of the law, which is done without charity.

1017 17. They are in agreement with Pelagius who say that it is necessary for reason of merit, that man through the grace of adoption be lifted up to a deified state.

1018 18. The works of the catechumens, as faith and penance performed before the remission of sins, are merits for eternal life; and they will not attain this life, unless the impediments of preceding faults are first taken away.

1019 19. The works of justice and temperance which Christ performed, have not obtained greater value from the dignity of the person operating.

1020 20. No sin is venial by its own nature, but every sin deserves eternal punishment.

1021 21. The sublimation and exaltation of human nature in participation with the divine nature has been due to the integrity of the first condition, and hence must be called natural, and not supernatural.

1022 22. They agree with Pelagius who understand the text of the Apostle to the Romans: "The nations, who do not have a law, do naturally the things, which are of the law" [Rom. 2:14], concerning nations who do not possess the grace of faith.

1023 23. Absurd is the opinion of those who say that man from the beginning, by a certain supernatural and gratuitous gift, was raised above the condition of his nature, so that by faith, hope, and charity he cherished God supernaturally.

1024 24. By vain and idle men, in keeping with the folly of philosophers, is the opinion devised which must be referred to Pelagianism, that man was so constituted from the beginning that through gifts added upon nature by the bounty of the Creator he was raised and adopted into the sonship of God.

1025 25. All works of infidels are sins, and the virtues of philosophers are vices.

1026 26. The integrity of the first creation was not the undeserved exaltation of human nature, but its natural condition.

1027 27. Free will, without the help of God's grace, has only power for sin.

1028 28. It is a Pelagian error to say that free will has the power to avoid any sin.

1029 29. Not only are they "thieves" and "robbers" who deny that Christ is the way and "the door" of the truth and life, but also whoever teaches that there can be ascent [cf. John 10:1; to the way of justice (that is to any justice) otherwise than through Him,

1030 30. or, that man can resist any temptation without the help of His grace, so that he may not be led into it and not be overcome by it.

1031 31. Perfect and sincere charity, which is from a "pure heart and good conscience and a faith not feigned" [1 Tim. 1:5], can be in catechumens as well as in penitents without the remission of sins.

1032 32. That charity which is the fullness of the law is not always connected with the remission of sins.

1033 33. A catechumen lives justly and rightly and holily, and observes the commandments of God, and fulfills the law through charity, which is only received in the laver of baptism, before the remission of sins has been obtained.

1034 34. That distinction of a twofold love, namely a natural one, by which God is loved as the author of nature, and of a gratuitous love, by which God is loved as one who blesses, is vain and false and devised to ridicule the sacred literature and most of the testimonies of the ancients.

1035 35. Every action which a sinner, or a slave of sin performs is a sin.

1036 36. Natural love which arises from the force of nature, is defended by some doctors according to philosophy alone through the pride of human presumption with injury to the Cross of Christ.

1037 37. He agrees with Pelagius, who acknowledges anything as a natural good, that is, whatever he thinks has arisen from the forces of nature alone.

1038 38. All love of a rational creature is either vicious cupidity, by which the world is loved, which is prohibited by John; or that praiseworthy charity by which "when poured forth" by the Holy Spirit in our heart [Rom. 5:5], God is loved.

1039 39. What is voluntarily done, even though it be done by necessity, is nevertheless freely done.

1040 40. In all his actions a sinner serves his ruling passion.

1041 41. This measure of freedom, which is of necessity, is not found in the Scriptures under the name of freedom, but is merely the name for freedom from sin.

1042 42. Justice, by which an impious person is justified by faith, consists formally in the obedience of mandates, which is the justice of works; not however in any grace [habitual] infused into the soul, by which man is adopted into the sonship of God and renewed according to the interior man and made a sharer of the divine nature, so that, thus renewed through the Holy Spirit, he can in turn live well and obey the mandates of God.

1043 43. In persons who are penitent before the sacrament of absolution, and in catechumens before baptism, there is true justification, yet separated from the remission of sin.

1044 44. In most good works performed by the faithful, simply to obey the mandates of God, such as obedience to parents, paying a trust, abstain ing from homicide, theft, fornication, certain men are justified, because these are obedience to the law and the true justice of the law; and yet they do not obtain for them the increments of the virtues.

1045 45. The sacrifice of the Mass is a sacrifice for no other reason than for that general one by which "every work is performed that man may be closely connected with God in holy association." *

1046 46. Voluntariness does not pertain to the essence and definition of sin, nor is it a question of definition, but of cause and origin, whether every sin is bound to be voluntary.

1047 47. Therefore original sin truly has the essence of sin without any relation and respect to will, from which it had its origin.

1048 48. Original sin is voluntary in the habitual will of a child and habitually dominates the child, in this, that a child does not act contrary to the freedom of the will.

1049 49. And from an habitually dominating will it comes to pass that a small child, dying without the sacrament of regeneration, when he has attained the use of reason actually holds God in hatred, blasphemes God, and resists the law of God.

1050 50. Bad desires, to which reason does not consent, and which man unwillingly suffers, are prohibited by the precept: "Thou shalt not covet" [cf. Exod. 20:17].

1051 51. Concupiscence, whether the law of the members, and its depraved desires which men experience against their will, are the true disobediences of the law.

1052 52. Every crime is of this nature, that it can corrupt its author and all posterity in the way in which the first transgression corrupted.

1053 53. As much as arises from the force of transgression, so much of merited evils do they contract from the one generating, those who are born with lesser faults as well as those who are born with greater ones.

1054 54. This definitive opinion, that God has given no impossible commands to man, is falsely attributed to Augustine, whereas it belongs to Pelagius.

1055 55. God would not have had the power from the beginning to create such a man as is born now.

1056 56. There are two things in sin, an act and guilt; when, however, the act has passed, nothing remains except the guilt and the obligation to pay the penalty.

1057 57. Therefore, in the sacrament of baptism or in the absolution of the priest the guilt of the sin only is taken away, and the ministry of the priests frees from guilt alone.

1058 58. A penitent sinner is not vivified by the ministry of a priest who absolves, but by God alone, who by suggesting and inspiring penance, vivifies and brings him back to life; however, by the ministry of the priest on the other hand, the guilt alone is taken away.

1059 59. When by almsgiving and other works of penance we make satis- faction to God for temporal punishments, we do not offer a worthy price to God for our sins, as some erring persons affirm (for otherwise, at least in some part, we should be redeemers); but we do something, in view of which the satisfaction of Christ is applied and communicated to us.

1060 60. Through the sufferings of the saints communicated in indulgences, our sins are not properly atoned for; but through a communion of charity their sufferings are communicated to us, that we, who were freed by the price of the blood of Christ from punishments due to sins, may be worthy.

1061 61. That famous distinction of the doctors, that the mandates of the divine law are fulfilled in two ways: in one way, in so far as pertains to the substance of the works alone; in the other way, in so far as pertains to a definite manner, namely, according to which they can guide the doer to eternal life (that is in the meritorious manner), is fabricated and should be rejected.

1062 62. That distinction also by which a work is called good in two ways, either because it is right and good from its object and all its circumstances (which is usually termed moral), or because it is meritorious of the eternal kingdom, in so far as it proceeds from a living member of Christ the Spirit of charity, must be rejected.

1063 63. Moreover that distinction of a twofold justice, one which is brought to pass through the indwelling Spirit of charity, the other which arises from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit exciting the heart to penance, but not yet dwelling in the heart and diffusing charity in it, by which the justification of the divine law may be fulfilled, is similarly condemned.

1064 64. And likewise that distinction of a twofold vivification, the one, by which a sinner is vivified, when the resolution to penance and the beginning of a new life through the grace of God inspire him; the other, by which he is vivified who is truly justified and is made a living branch on the vine for Christ, is equally deceitful and in no way consonant with the Scriptures.

1065 65. Some good, or at least not bad use of free will can be admitted only by a Pelagian error; and he who knows and teaches this, does injury to the grace of Christ.

1066 66. Violence alone repels the natural liberty of man.

1067 67. Man sins, even to damnation, in what he does by necessity.

1068 68. Purely negative infidelity in those among whom Christ has not been preached, is a sin.

1069 69. The justification of a wicked man takes place formally through obedience to the law, not, however, through the hidden communication and the inspiration of grace, which makes those justified by it fulfill the law.

1070 70. Man existing in the state of mortal sin, or under the penalty of eternal damnation can have true charity; and even perfect charity can exist along with the guilt of eternal damnation.

1071 71. Through contrition even when joined with perfect charity and with the desire to receive the sacrament, a crime is not remitted without the actual reception of the sacrament, except in case of necessity, or of martyrdom.

1072 72. All afflictions of the just are punishments for sins themselves, therefore, both Job and the martyrs suffered what they suffered on account of sins.

1073 73. No one except Christ is free from original sin; hence, the Blessed Virgin died because of sin contracted from Adam, and all of her afflictions in this life as well as those of other just persons were the punishments for actual sin, or for original sin.

1074 74. Concupiscence in the regenerated who have fallen back into mortal sin, and in those in whom it dominates, is a sin, as also are other bad habits.

1075 75. The bad impulses of concupiscence in the state of depraved man are prohibited by the precept: "Thou shalt not covet" [Exod. 20:17]. hence, a man aware of these and not consenting, transgresses the precept: "Thou shalt not covet," although the transgression is not to be classed as a sin.

1076 76. As long as there is something of carnal concupiscence in one who loves, he does not fulfill the precept: "Thou shalt love the Lord with thy whole heart" [Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37].

1077 77. Laborious satisfactions of those who are justified are of no avail to expiate condignly the temporal punishments remaining after the fault has been remitted.

1078 78. The immortality of the first man was not a benefit of grace, but a natural condition.

1079 79. The opinion of the doctors that the first man could have been created by God and established without natural justice, is false.

1080 These opinions have been carefully considered and examined before us; although some of them could be maintained in some way,* yet in the strict and proper sense intended by those asserting them, we condemn them respectively as heretical, erroneous, suspect, rash, scandalous, and as giving offense to pious ears.

Exchanges (i.e., Exchanging of Money, Promissory Notes) *

[From the ordinance "In earn pro nostro," Jan 28, 1571]

1081 First (then) we condemn all those exchanges which are called fictitious, (elsewhere, dry), and are so devised that the contracting parties at certain market places or at other localities pretend to solemnize exchanges; at which places those who receive money, actually hand over their letters of exchange, but they are not sent, or they are so sent that, when the time has passed they are brought back void, whence they had set out; or, even when no letters of this kind were handed over, the money is finally demanded with interest, where the contract had been solemnized; for between givers and receivers even from the beginning it had been so decided, or surely such was the intention, and there is no one who in the marketplaces or the above mentioned places makes payment, when such letters are received. And similar to this evil is also that, when money or deposits or by another name fictitious exchanges are handed over so that afterwards in the same place or elsewhere they are paid back with interest.

1082 But even in the exchanges which are called real, sometimes, as it is reported to me, bankers put off the prescribed term of payment, when a profit has been received according to tacit or expressed agreement or even only a promise. All these things we declare to be usurious, and strictly prohibit their being done.

 GREGORY XIII 1572-1585

Profession of Faith Prescribed for the Greeks *

[From the acts concerning the union of the Greco-Russian church, 1575]

1083  I, N., in firm faith believe and profess each and every thing which is contained in the Creed of faith, which the holy Roman Church uses, namely: I believe in one God [as in the Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed, n. 86, 994].

1084 I also believe, and I accept and profess all the things which the holy ecumenical Synod of FLORENCE defined and declared concerning the union of the western and eastern Church, namely that the Holy Spirit is eternally from the Father and the Son; and that He has His essence and His subsistent being from the Father and from the Son together; and that He proceeds from both eternally, as from one principle and by a single procession, since what the holy Doctors and Fathers say comes to mean the same thing, that from the Father through the Son the Holy Spirit proceeds, and that the Son, according to the Greeks, is also the cause, and according to the Latins, indeed the principle of the subsistence of the Holy Spirit, as is the Father. All things, however, which are of the Father, the Father Himself has given to His only-begotten Son in generation, outside of being the Father; the very fact that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, the Son himself eternally has from the Father, by whom He has also been eternally begotten. And that the explanation of these words, "Filioque," for the sake of declaring the truth, and because of imminent necessity, has lawfully and reasonably been added to the Creed. . . . The text follows from the decrees of the union of the Greeks. Council of FLORENCE.

1085 Besides, I profess and accept all the other things which the holy Roman and Apostolic Church, according to the decrees of the holy ecumenical general Synod of TRENT, proposed and prescribed should be professed and accepted, as well as the contents in the above mentioned creeds of faith, as follows:

 Apostolic . . . and all the rest, as in the profession of faith of TRENT [n.995 ff.].


  SIXTUS V 1585 - 1590 GREGORY XIV 1590 - 1591


CLEMENT VIII 1592-1605

The Faculty of Blessing Sacred Oils *

[From the Instruction concerning the rites of the Italo-Greeks, August 30, 1595]

1086 (3) . . . Greek priests are not to be forced to accept the holy oils, except the chrism from the Latin diocesan bishops, since oils of this kind are produced and blessed by them in the furnishing of the oils and the presensation of the sacraments according to the ancient rite. . . . Let them be forced to accept chrism, however, which, even according to their rite, cannot be blessed except by a bishop.

Ordination of Schismatics

[From the same Instruction] * 

1087 (4) Those ordained by schismatic bishops, who have been otherwise duly ordained, the due form having been observed, receive, indeed, ordination, but not jurisdiction.

Absolution of One in absentia *

[From the Decree of the Holy Office, June 20, 1602]

1088   His Holiness . . . condemned and forbade as false, rash, and scandalous the proposition, namely, "that it is lawful through letters or through a messenger to confess sins sacramentally to an absent confessor, and to receive absolution from that same absent confessor," and orders in turn that that proposition thereafter not be taught in public or private gatherings, assemblies, and congresses; and that it never in any case be defended as probable, be given the stamp of approval, or be reduced in any way to practice.

1089  According to an opinion of the Holy Office, published repeatedly (especially on June 7, 1603, and January 24, 1522) under Clement VIII and Paul V, this decree also in a divided sense, i.e., on confession and on absolution separately, is sound; to the decree of the Holy Office a reply was made on July 14. 1605: "The most holy has decreed that the mentioned interpretation of P. Suarez on the above mentioned decree [namely, on the divided sense] is not adequate," and, according to a decree of the Congregation of the Fathers Theologians on June 7, 1603, it cannot be supported "from that case, when upon only signs of repentance being given and reported to a priest who is present, absolution is given one on the very point of death after confession of sins was made to an absent priest, since it contains an entirely conflicting difficulty." This decree, "by the aforesaid Supreme Pontiffs" is said to have been approved in a decree published on January 24, 1622, by a cardinal, one of the Inquisitors, together with some theologians, and is published a second time: according infants in Italy and adjacent islands, since this was expressly forbidden [see n. 1459] them by Clement Vlll in the year 1595. to a decree of January 24, 1622, "from the case of that sick person, to whomon the very point of death upon petitioning for confession and after signs of repentance were given, and reported to a priest who is coming, absolution is given, although (the circumstances) contain conflicting reason, no controversy can arise over the spoken decree of Clement VIII.'' *

LEO XI 1605

PAUL V   1605-1621

The Aids or Efficacy of Grace *

[From the formula for ending disputes sent to the superior generals of the Order of Preachers and of theSociety of Jesus, Sept. 5, 1607]

1090 In the matter of aids [de auxiliis] the right is granted by the Supreme Pontiff not only to the disputants but also to the consultors of returning to their countries and their homes; and it is added that this will be so that His Holiness may promulgate at an opportune time the declaration and conclusion which were awaited. But it was most seriously forbidden by the same Most Holy Lordship that in treating this question anyone either qualify the position opposite his own or note it with any censure. Even more he desires that they in turn abstain from harsh words indicating bitterness of mind. * 

GREGORY XV 1621 - 1623    URBAN VIII 1623 - 1644

INNOCENT X 1644-1655

Error of the Dual Head of the Church (or the Primacy of R. P.) *

[From the decree of the Sacred Office, Jan. 24, 1647]

1091  The most holy . . . has decreed and declared hereticalthis proposition so presented that it established an exact equality between St. PETER and St. Paul, without subordination and subjection of St. Paul to St. Peter in supreme power, and in the rule of the universal Church: "St. PETER and St. Paul are the two princes of the Church who form one head, or: there are two Catholic heads and supreme leaders Of the Catholic Church, joined in highest unity between themselves"; or, "the head Of the Catholic Church consists of two who are most divinely united into one"; or, "there are two supreme pastors and guardians of the Church, who form one head only." 

Errors (5) of Cornelius Jansen *

[Excerpts from "Augustinus" and condemned in the Constitutions

"Cum occasione," May 31. 1658]

1092 I. Some of God's precepts are impossible to the just, who wish and strive to keep them, according to the present powers which they have; the grace, by which they are made possible, is also wanting.

 Declared and condemned as rash, impious, blasphemous, condemned by anathema, and heretical. 

1093 2. In the state of fallen nature one never resists interior grace.

 Declared and condemned as heret ical. 

1094 3. In order to merit or demerit in the state of fallen nature, freedom from necessity is not required in man, but freedom from external compulsion is sufficient.

 Declared and condemned as heretical. 

1095 4. The Semipelagians admitted the necessity of a prevenient interior grace for each act, even for the beginning of faith; and in this they were heretics, because they wished this grace to be such that the human will could either resist or obey.

 Declared and condemned a s false and heretical. 

1096 5. It is Semipelagian to say that Christ died or shed His blood for all men without exception. 

 Declared and condemned as false, rash, scandalous, and intended in this sense, that Christ died for the salvation of the predestined, impious, blasphemous, contumelious, dishonoring todivinepiety, and heretical. 

The Aids or Efficacy of Grace * 

[From the decree against the Jansenists, April 23, 1654]

1097 But, since at Rome as well as elsewhere there are being circulated certain assertions, acts, manuscripts, and, perchance, printed documents of the Congregations held in the presence of most happily reigning Clement VIII and Paul V on the question of "Aids of Divine Grace," both under the name of Francis Payne, once Dean of the Roman Rota, and under the name of Fr. Thomas of Lemos, O.P., and of other prelates and theologians, who, as it is asserted, were present at the aforementioned Congregations, besides a certain autograph or exemplar of the Constitution of the same Paul V on the definition of the aforesaid questionOn Aids,and of the condemnation of the opinion or opinions of Louis Molina, S.J., His Holiness by the present decree declares and decrees that no trust at all is to be placed in the above-mentioned assertions, acts, on behalf of the opinion of the Brothers, O.S.D., as well as of Louis Molina and of the other religious, S.J., and in the autograph or exemplar of the above mentioned Constitution of Paul V; and that nothing can or ought to be alleged by either side or by anyone whatsoever; but that on this aforesaid question the decrees of Paul V and Urban VIII, their predecessors, are to be observed. * 



The Meaning of the Words of Cornelius Jansen *

[From the Constitution "Ad sacram beati PETRI Sedem," Oct. 16, 1656]

1098 (6) We declare and define that these five propositions have been taken from the book of the aforementioned Cornelius Jansen, Bishop of Ypres, entitled AUGUSTINUS, and in the sense understood by that same Cornelius condemned.

Formulary of Submission Proposed for the Jansenists * 

[From the Constitution, "Regiminis apostolicis," Feb. 15. 1665]


1099 "I, N., submit to the apostolic Constitution of INNOCENT X, dated May 31. 1653, and to the Constitution of ALEXANDER VII, dated Oct. 16. 1656, Supreme Pontiffs, and I reject and condemn with a sincere heart, just as the Apostolic See has condemned them by the said Constitutions, the five propositions taken from the book of Cornelius Jansen, entitled Augustinus, and in the sense understood by that same author, and so I swear: So help me God, and this holy gospel of God." * 

The Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. * 

[From the Bull "Sollicitudo omnium eccl.," Dec. 8, 1661]

1100  (1) The devotion to the most blessed Virgin Mary is indeed of long standing among the faithful of Christ who believe that her soul, from the first instant of its creation and infusion into her body, was preserved immune by a special grace and privilege of God from the stain of original sin, in view of the merits of her Son, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of our human race, and who, in this sense, esteem and solemnly celebrate the festivity of her conception; the number of these has increased (after the Constitutions of SIXTUS IV renewed by the Council of Trent, note 734 f., 792.) ... so that ... now almost all Catholics embrace it. . . . (4) We renew the Constitutions and decrees published by Roman Pontiffs in favor of the opinion that asserts that the soul of the blessed Virgin Mary at its creation, and at its infusion into her body, was blessed by the grace of the Holy Spirit and was preserved from original sin.

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