source of catholic dogma 1200-1300


1200  50. Intercourse with a married woman, with the consent of her husband, is not adultery, and so it is enough to say in confession that one had committed fornication.

1201  51. A male servant who knowingly by offering his shoulders assists his master to ascend through windows to ravage a virgin, and many times serves the same by carrying a ladder, by opening a door, or by cooperating in something similar, does not commit a mortal sin, if he does this through fear of considerable damage, for example, lest he be treated wickedly by his master, lest he be looked upon with savage eyes, or, lest he be expelled from the house.

1202 52. The precept of keeping feast days is not obligatory under pain of mortal sin, aside from scandal, if contempt be absent.

1203  53. He satisfies the precept of the Church of hearing the Holy Sacrifice, who hears two of its parts, even four simultaneously by different celebrants.

1204 54. He who cannot recite Matins and Lauds, but can the remaining hours, is held to nothing, since the great part brings the lesser to it.

1205 55. He satisfies the precept of annual communion by the sacrilegious eating of the Lord.

1206 56. Frequent confession and communion, even in those who live like pagans, is a mark of predestination.

1207 57. It is probable that natural but honest imperfect sorrow for sins suffices.

1208 58. We are not bound to confess to a confessor who asks us about the habit of some sin.

1209 59. It is permitted to absolve sacramentally those who confess only half, by reason of a great crowd of penitents, such as for example can happen on a day of great festivity or indulgence.

1210 60. The penitent who has the habit of sinning against the law of God, of nature, or of the Church, even if there appears no hope of amendment, is not to be denied absolution or to be put off, provided he professes orally that he is sorry and proposes amendment.

1211  61. He can sometimes be absolved, who remains in a proximate occasion of sinning, which he can and does not wish to omit, but rather directly and professedly seeks or enters into.

1212  62. The proximate occasion for sinning is not to be shunned when some useful and honorable cause for not shunning it occurs.

1213  63. It is permitted to seek directly the proximate occasion for sinning for a spiritual or temporal good of our own or of a neighbor.

1214  64. A person is fit for absolution, however much he labors under an ignorance of the mysteries of the faith, and even if through negligence, even culpable, he does not know the mystery of the most blessed Trinity, and of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1215  65. It is enough to have believed the mysteries once.

All condemned and prohibited, as they are here expressed,

at least as scandalous and in practice pernicious.

 The Holy Pontiff concludes the decree with these words:

1216 Finally, in order that doctors, whether scholastics or any others whatsoever, may refrain from injurious contentions in the future, and that there be deliberations for peace and charity, the same Holy Pontiff commands them in virtue of holy obedience, to be on their guard in printing books and manuscripts, as well as theses, disputations, and sermons against any censure and note, and likewise violent railings against such propositions which are still being carried on among Catholics here and there, until the matter has been considered, and a judgment is rendered * by the Holy See upon these same propositions.

Errors on "donated omnipotence"*

[Condemned in the decree of the Holy Office, Nov. 23, 1679]

1217 1. God gives us His omnipotence, that we may use it, just as someone gives another a villa or a book.

1218  2. God submits His omnipotence to us.

They are prohibited asat least rash andnovel.

Moral Systems * 

[Decree of the Holy Office, June 26, 1680]

1219 In a report of the contents of the letters of Father Gonzales Thirsus directed to His Holiness through Father Laurea of the Society of Jesus, their most blessed Eminences said that the Secretary of State had written to the Apostolic Nuncio of the Spaniards, asking that he inform the said Father Thirsus what His Holiness commanded, after the letter was kindly received and read not without praise; that he himself freely and boldly preach, teach, and defend with his pen the more probable opinion, and not vigorously attack the opinion of those who assert that in the conflict of the less probable opinion with the more probable so recognized and judged, it is lawful to follow the less probable opinion; and to inform him that whatever he shall do and write in favor of the more probable will be pleasing to His Holiness. Let it be enjoined on the Father General of the Society concerning this order of His Holiness, that he not only permit the Fathers of the Society of Jesus to write in defense of the opinion of the more probable and to oppose the opinion of those who assert that in the controversy of the less probable opinion with the more probable so understood and judged, it is allowed to follow the less probable; but, moreover, let him also write to all the universities of the Society that it is the mind of His Holiness that anyone who will may freely write as he pleases in behalf of the more probable opinion and may attack the contrary opinion above mentioned; and let him order them to submit themselves in all things to the orders of His Holiness. *

Error Concerning the Seal of. Confession *

[Condemned in the decree of the Holy Office, Nov. 18, 1862]


1220 Concerning the proposition:"It is lawful to use knowledge obtained in confession, provided it is done without any direct or indirect revelation, and without burden upon the penitent, unless some much greater evil follows from its nonuse, in comparison with which the first would be rightly held of little account," an explanation or limitation then being added, that it is to be understood concerning the use of the knowledge obtained from confession with burden to the penitent, any revelation whatsoever being excluded, and in the case in which a much greater burden to the same penitent would follow from its nonuse,

  it is decided: "that the stated proposition, as far as it admits the use of said knowledge with the burden upon the penitent, must be altogether prohibited, even with the aforesaid explanation or limitation."


Errors of Michael of Molinos* 

[Condemned in the decree of the Sacred Office, August 28, and in the Constitutions "Coelestis Pastor," Nov. 20, 1687]


1221 1. It is necessary that man reduce his own powers to nothingness, and this is the interior way.

1222  2. To wish to operate actively is to offend God, who wishes to be Himself the sole agent; and therefore it is necessary to abandon oneself wholly in God and thereafter to continue in existence as an inanimate body.

1223  3. Vows about doing something are impediments to perfection.

1224 4. Natural activity is the enemy of grace, and impedes the operations of God and true perfection, because God wishes to operate in us without us.

1225  5. By doing nothing the soul annihilates itself and returns to its beginning and to its origin, which is the essence of God, in which it remains transformed and divinized, and God then remains in Himself, because then the two things are no more united, but are one alone,and in this manner God lives and reigns in us, and the soul annihilates itself in operative being. 

1226  6. The interior way is that in which neither light, nor love, nor resignation is recognized, and it is not necessary to understand God, and in this way one makes progress correctly. 

1227  7. A soul ought to consider neither the reward, nor punishment, nor paradise, nor hell, nor death, nor eternity.

1228 8. He ought not to wish to know whether he is progressing with the will of God, or whether or not with the same resigned will he stands still; nor is it necessary that he wish to know his own state or his own nothingness; but he ought to remain as an inanimate body.

1229 9. The soul ought not to remember either itself, or God, or anything whatsoever, and in the interior life all reflection is harmful, even reflection upon its human actions and upon its own defects.

1230 10. If one scandalizes others by one's own defects, it is not necessary to reflect, as long as the will to scandalize is not present, and not to be able to reflect upon one's own defects, is a grace of God.

1231 11. It is not necessary to reflect upon doubts whether one is proceeding rightly or not.

1232 12. He who gives his own free will to God should care about nothing, neither about hell, nor about heaven; neither ought he to have a desire for his own perfection, nor for virtues, nor his own sanctity, nor his own salvation, the hope of which he ought to remove.

1233 13. After our free will has been resigned to God, reflection and care about everything of our own must be left to that same God, and we ought to leave it to Him, so that He may work His divine will in us without us.

1234 14. It is not seemly that he who is resigned to the divine will, ask anything of God; because asking is an imperfection, since the act is of one's own will and election, and this is wishing that the divine will be conformed to ours, and not that ours be conformed to the divine; and this from the Gospel: "Seek you shall find" [John 16:24], was not said by Christ for interior souls who do not wish to have free will; nay indeed, souls of this kind reach this state, that they cannot seek anything from God.

1235 15. Just as they ought not ask anything from God, so should they not give thanks to Him for anything, because either is an act of their own will.

1236 16. It is not proper to seek indulgences for punishment due to one's own sins, because it is better to satisfy divine justice than to seek divine mercy, since the latter proceeds from pure love of God, and the former from an interested love of ourselves, and that is not a thing pleasing to God and meritorious, because it is a desire to shun the cross.

1237 17. When free will has been surrendered to God, and the care and thought of our soul left to the same God, no consideration of temptations need any longer be of concern; neither should any but a negative resistence be made to them, with the application of no energy, and if nature is aroused, one must let it be aroused, because it is nature.

1238 18. He who in his prayer uses images, figures, pretension, and his own conceptions, does not adore God "in spirit and in truth" [John 4:23].

1239  19. He who loves God in the way which reason points out or the intellect comprehends, does not love the true God.

1240 20. To assert that in prayer it is necessary to help oneself by discourse and by reflections, when God does not speak to the soul, is ignorance. God never speaks; His way of speaking is operation, and He always operates in the soul, when this soul does not impede Him by its discourses, reflections, and operations.

1241 21. In prayer it is necessary to remain m obscure and universal faith, with quiet and forgetfulness of any particular and distinct thought of the attributes of God and the Trinity, and thus to remain in the presence of God for adoring and loving Him and serving Him, but without producing acts, because God has no pleasure in these.

1242 22. This knowledge through faith is not an act produced by a creature, but it is a knowledge given by God to the creature, which the creature neither recognizes that he has, and neither later knows that he had it; and the same is said of love.

1243  23. The mystics with Saint Bernard in theScala Claustralium *(The Ladder of the Recluses)distinguished four steps: reading, meditation, prayer, and infused contemplation. He who always remains in the first, never passes over to the second. He who always persists in the second, never arrives at the third, which is our acquired contemplation, in which one must persist throughout all life, provided that God does not draw the soul (without the soul expecting it) to infused contemplation; and if this ceases, the soul should turn back to the third step and remain in that, without returning again to the second or first.

1244 24. Whatever thoughts occur in prayer, even impure, or against God, the saints, faith, and the sacraments, if they are not voluntarily nourished, nor voluntarily expelled, but tolerated with indifference and resignation, do not impede the prayer of faith, indeed make it more perfect, because the soul then remains more resigned to the divine will.

1245 25. Even if one becomes sleepy and falls asleep, nevertheless there is prayer and actual contemplation, because prayer and resignation, resignation and prayer are the same, and while resignation endures, prayer also endures.

1246 26. The three ways: the purgative, illuminative, and unitive, are the greatest absurdity ever spoken about in mystical (theology), since there is only one way, namely, the interior way.

1247 27. He who desires and embraces sensible devotion, does not desire nor seek God, but himself; and anyone who walks by the interior way, in holy places as well as on feast days, acts badly, when he desires it and tries to possess it.

1248 28. Weariness for spiritual matters is good, if indeed by it one's own love is purified

1249  29. As long as the interior soul disdains discourses about God, and disdains the virtues, and remains cold, feeling no fervor in himself, it is a good sign.

1250  30. Everything sensible which we experience in the spiritual life, is abominable, base, and unclean.

1251   31. No meditative person exercises true interior virtues; these should not be recognized by the senses. It is necessary to abandon the virtues.

1252  32. Neither before nor after communion is any other preparation or act of thanksgiving required for these interior souls than continuance in a customary passive resignation, because in a more perfect way it supplies all acts of virtues, which can be practiced and are practiced in the ordinary way. And, if on this occasion of communion there arise emotions of humility, of petition, or of thanksgiving, they are to be repressed, as often as it is not discerned that they are from a special impulse of God; otherwise they are impulses of nature not yet dead.

1253  33. That soul acts badly which proceeds by this interior way, if it wishes on feast days by any particular effort to excite some sensible devotion in itself, since for an interior soul all days are equal, all festal. And the same is said of holy places, because to souls of this kind all places are alike.

1254  34. To give thanks to God by words and by speech is not for interior souls which ought to remain in silence, placing no obstacle before God, because He operates in them; and the more they resign themselves to God, they discover that they cannot recite the Lord's prayer, i.e., the Our Father.

1255  35. It is not fitting for souls of this interior life to perform works even virtuous ones, by their own choice and activity; otherwise they would not be dead. Neither should they elicit acts of love for the Blessed Virgin, saints, or the humanity of Christ, because since they are sensible objects, so, too, is their love toward them.

1256  36. No creature, neither the Blessed Virgin, nor the saints ought to abide in our heart, because God alone wishes to occupy and possess it.

1257  37. On occasion of temptations, even violent ones, the soul ought not to elicit explicit acts of opposite virtues, but should persevere in the above mentioned love and resignation.

1258  38. The voluntary cross of mortifications is a heavy weight and fruitless, and therefore to be dismissed.

1259  39. The more holy works and penances, which the saints performed, are not enough to remove from the soul even a single tie.

1260  4o. The Blessed Virgin never performed any exterior work, and nevertheless was holier than all the saints. Therefore, one can arrive at sanctity without exterior work.

1261  41. God permits and wishes to humiliate us and to conduct us to a true transformation, because in some perfect souls, even though not inspired, the demon inflicts violence on their bodies, and makes them commit carnal acts, even in wakefulness and without the bewilderment of the mind, by physically moving their hands and other members against their wills. And the same is said as far as concerns other actions sinful in themselves, in which case they are not sins, but in them (Viva: quiahis,because with these) the consent is not present.

1262 42. A case may be given, that things of this kind contrary to the will result in carnal acts at the same time on the part of two persons, for example man and woman, and on the part of both an act follows.

1263 43. God in past ages has created saints through the ministry of tyrants; now in truth He produces saints through the ministry of demons, who, by causing the aforesaid things contrary to the will, brings it about thatthey despise themselves the more and annihilate and resign themselves to God.

1264 44. Job blasphemed, and yet he did not sin with his lips because it was the result of the violence of the devil.

1265 45. Saint Paul suffered such violences of the devil in his body; thus he has written: "For the good that I will I do not do; but the evil which I will not, that I do" [ Rom. 7:19].

1266 46. Things of this kind contrary to the will are the more proportionate medium for annihilating the soul, and for leading [Viva: et eam]it to true transformation and union, nor is there any other way; and this is the easier and safer way.

1267 47. When things of this kind contrary to the will occur, it is proper to allow Satan to operate, by applying no effort and making no real attempt, but man should persist in his own nothingness; and even if pollutions follow and obscene acts by one's own hands, and even worse, there is no need to disquiet oneself [Viva:inquietari],but scruples must be banished, as well as doubts and fears, because the mind becomes more enlightened, more confirmed, and more candid, and holy liberty is acquired. And above all there is no need to confess these matters, and one acts in a most saintly way by not confessing, because the devil is overcome by this agreement, and the treasure of peace is acquired.

1268 48. Satan, who produces violences of this kind contrary to the will, afterwards persuades that they are grave sins, so that the mind disturbsitself, lest it progress further in the interior way; hence for weakening his powers it is better not to confess them, because they are not sins, not even venial. 

1269   49. Job from the violence of the devil polluted himself with his own hands at the same time as "he offered pure prayer to God" (thus interpreting the passage from chapter 16. Job) [cf. Job. 16:18 ].

1270 50. David, Jeremias, and many of the holy Prophets suffered violence of this kind, of these impure external operations contrary to the will.

1271 51. In Sacred Scripture there are many examples of violence to the will unto external sinful acts, as that of Samson, who by violence killed himself with the Philistines [ Judg. 16:29 f.], entered a marriage with a foreigner [Judg. 14:1 ff.], and committed fornication with the harlot Dalila [Judg. 16:4 ff.], which in other times were prohibited and would have been sins; that of Judith, who had lied to Holofernes, [ Judith. 2:4 ff.]; that of Elisaeus, who cursed children [ 2 Kings 2:24 ]; that of Elias, who burned the leaders with the troops of King Achab [cf. 2 Kings 1:10 ff.]. But whether violence was immediately executed by God, or by the minister of the demons, as it happens in some souls, is left in doubt.

1272  52. When such things contrary to the will, even impure, happen without confusion of the mind, then the soul can be united to God, and de factois always the more united.

1273 53. To recognize in practice, whether an operation has been violence in some persons, the rule which I have for this is not the protestations of those souls which protest that they have not consented to the said violences or cannot swear that they have consented, and cannot see that they are the souls who make progress in the interior life, but I would adopt a rule from a certain light which is superior to actual human and theological cognition, that makes me recognize for certain, with internal certitude, that such operation is violence; and I am certain that this light proceeds from God, because it comes to me joined with certitude that it comes forth from God, and it leaves in me no shadow of doubt to the contrary, in that way by which it sometimes happens that God in revealing something reassures the soul at the same time that it is He who reveals it, and the soul cannot doubt to the contrary. 

1274  54. Persons who lead ordinary spiritual lives, in the hour of death will find themselves deluded and confused with all the passions to be purged in the other world.

1275 55. Through this interior life one reaches the point, although with much suffering, of purging and extinguishing all passions, so that he feels nothing more, nothing, nothing; nor is any disquietude felt, just as if the body were dead, nor does the soul permit itself to be moved any more.

1276 56. Two laws and two desires (the one of the soul, the other of self-love) endure as long as self-love endures; wherefore, when this is purged and dead, as happens through the interior way, those two laws and two desires are no longer present; nor, is any lapse incurred further, nor, is anything felt more, not even venial sin.

1277 57. Through acquired contemplation one comes to the state of not committing any more sins, neither mortal nor venial.

1278 58. One arrives at such a state by no longer reflecting on his own actions, because defects arise from reflection.

1279  59. The interior way is separated from confession, from those who confess, and from cases of conscience, from theology and from philosophy.

1280  60. For advanced souls, who begin to die from reflections, and who even arrive at the point that they are dead, God sometimes makes confession impossible, and He Himself supplies it with such great preserving grace as they receive in the sacrament; and therefore for such souls it is not good in such a case to approach the sacrament of penance, because it is impossible for them.

1281  61. When the soul arrives at mystical death, it cannot wish for anything more than what God desires, because it does no longer have a will, since God has taken it away from it.

1282  62. By the interior way it arrives at a continuous, immobile state in an imperturbable peace.

1283 63. By the internal way one even arrives at the death of the senses; moreover, it is a sign that one remains in a state of nothingness, that is, of mystical death, if the exterior senses no longer represent sensible things (from which they are) as if they did not exist, because they do not succeed in making the intellect apply itself to them.

1284 64. A theologian is less disposed than an ignorant man for the contemplative state; in the first place, because he does not have such pure faith; secondly, because he is not so humble; thirdly, because he does not care so much for his own salvation; fourthly, because he has a head full of phantasms, images, opinions, and speculations, and cannot enter into that true light.

1285 65. One must obey directors in the exterior life, and the latitude of the vow of obedience of religious extends only to the external. In the interior life the matter is different, because only God and the director enter.

1286 66. A certain new doctrine in the Church of God is worthy of ridicule, that the soul should be governed as far as its interior is concerned by a bishop; but if the bishop is not capable, the soul should go to him with his director. I speak a new doctrine; because neither Sacred Scripture, nor councils, nor bulls, nor saints, nor authors have ever transmitted it, nor can transmit it, because the Church does not judge about hidden matters, and the soul has its faculty of choosing whatsoever shall seem good to it [Viva: anima ins habet eligendi quaecumque sibi bene visums].

1287 67. To say that the interior must be manifested to the exterior tribunal of directors, and that it is a sin not to do so, is a manifest deception, because the Church does not pass judgment on hidden matters, and they prejudge their own souls by these deceptions and hypocrisies.

1288 68. In the world there is neither faculty nor jurisdiction for commanding that the letters of a director, as far as the interior direction of a soul is concerned, should be made manifest; therefore, it is necessary to assert that it is an insult of Satan, etc.

  Condemnedas heretical, suspect, erroneous, scandalous, blasphemous, offensive to pious ears, rash, of relaxed Christian discipline, subversive, and seditious respectively.


Errors Concerning the Goodness of an Act and Concerning

Philosophic Sin *

[Condemned in the Decr. S. Off., Aug. 24, 1690]

1289 1. Objective goodness consists in the agreement of an object with rational nature; but formal goodness consists in the conformity of an act with the rule of morals. For this it is sufficient that the moral act tend toward its ultimate end interpretatively. Man is not obliged to love this end, neither in the beginning nor in the course of his moral life.

  Declared and condemnedas heretical.

1290  2. Philosophic or moral sin is a human act not in conformity with rational nature and right reason; but theological and mortal sin is a free transgression of the divine law. A philosophic sin, however grave, in a man who either is ignorant of God or does not think about God during the act, is a grave sin, but is not an offense against God, neither a mortal sin dissolving the friendship of God, nor one worthy of eternal punishment.

 Declared and condemnedas scandalous, rash, an offense to pious ears, and erroneous. *


Errors of the Jansenists * 

[Condemned in a Decr. of the Holy Office, Dec. 7, 1690]


1291  1. In the state of fallen nature, for mortal [Viva: formale] sin and for demerit that liberty is sufficient by which the mortal sin or demerit was voluntary and free in its cause, namely, in original sin and in the will of Adam sinning.

1292 2. Although there is such a thing as invincible ignorance of the law of nature, this, in the state of fallen nature, does not excuse from formal sin anyone acting out of ignorance.

1293  3. It is not permitted to follow a (probable) opinion or among the probables the most probable.* 

1294  4. Christ gave Himself for us as an oblation to God, not for the elect only, but for all the faithful only.

1295 5. Pagans, Jews, heretics, and others of this kind do not receive in any way any influence from Jesus Christ, and so you will rightly infer from this that in them there is a bare and weak will without any sufficient grace.

1296  6. Grace sufficient for our state is not so much useful as pernicious, so that we can justly pray: From sufficient grace deliver us, O Lord.

1297 7. Every human act is a deliberate choice of God or of the world; if of God, it is love of the Father; if of the world, it is concupiscence of the flesh, that is, it is evil.

1298 8. Of necessity, an infidel sins in every act.

1299 9. In truth he sins who hates sin merely because of its vileness and its inconsistency with nature, without any reference to the offense to God.