Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent/Second Part/Condemnation of the Errors of Jansenius
III.—CONDEMNATION OP THE ERRORS OF JANSENIUS.
Bull of Innocentius X. against the Five Propositions.
Innocentius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all the faithful in Christ, health and apostolical benediction. When, on the occasion of the printing of a book entitled. The Augustinus of Cornelius Jansenius, bishop of Ypres, among other opinions of his, a controversy arose, especially in Gaul, regarding five of them: several bishops of Gaul urged upon us, that we should duly consider the same propositions presented to us, and that we should deliver a defined and clear judgment concerning each one of them. But the tenor of the above-named propositions is as follows:—
1. Some commands of God are impossible to just men, though willing and endeavouring (to fulfil them), according to the strength they possess at present; the grace also is deficient, by which they may become possible.
2. Inward grace in the state of fallen nature is never resisted.
3. To merit and to demerit in a state of fallen nature, freedom from necessity is not required in man, but freedom from compulsion is sufficient.
4. The Semipelagians admitted the necessity of preventing inward grace for single acts, even for the beginning of faith, and in this they were heretics, that they would have it that that grace was such, as human will might resist or comply with.
5. It is semipelagian to say, that Christ died or shed his blood for all men entirely. We, who, amid the manifold cares which constantly harass our mind, were especially anxious that the church of God committed to us from on high, the errors of depraved opinions being removed, might proceed in safety, and as a ship in a calm sea, the waves and storms of all tempests being appeased, might sail on in security, and gain the wished-for haven of salvation, considering the importance of the thing, in the presence of some cardinals of the holy Roman Church, specially and frequently assembled for the purpose, and in the presence of several masters in sacred theology, caused the same five propositions presented to us as above to be carefully examined one by one, and we maturely considered their suffrages, taken as well vivâ voce as in writing, and heard the same masters, various assemblies having been held in our presence, descanting at full length on the same, and on each one of them.
But when from the commencement of such discussions, we both privately and also publicly indicted the prayers of the many faithful in Christ to implore the divine aid, the same being afterwards repeated with still greater fervour, and the presence of the Holy Ghost being anxiously implored by us; at length, by favour of the Divine Being, we came to the declaration and definition below written,
The first of the aforesaid propositions: Some commandments of God are impossible to just men, though willing and endeavouring, according to the present strength which they possess; they even want the grace by which they may become possible: we declare to be rash, impious, blasphemous, condemned with anathema and heretical, and as such we condemn it.
The second: Inward grace in a state of fallen nature is never resisted: we declare to be heretical, and as such condemn it.
The third: To merit and to demerit in a state of fallen nature, freedom from necessity is not required in man, but freedom from compulsion suffices: we declare to be heretical, and as such we condemn it.
The fourth: The Semipelagians admitted the necessity of preventive interior grace for every single act, even for the beginning of faith, and in this they were heretics, because they would have that grace to be such, as that human will could resist or comply with it: we declare to be false and heretical, and as such condemn it.
The fifth: It is semipelagian to say, that Christ died or shed his blood for all men: we declare to be false, rash, scandalous, and understood in that sense, that Christ died for the salvation only of the predestined, impious, blasphemous, contumelious, derogating from divine goodness, and heretical, and as such we condemn it.
We command, therefore, all the faithful in Christ, of both sexes, that they presume not to think of the aforesaid propositions, to teach, to preach otherwise than is contained in this our present declaration and definition, under the censures and penalties expressed in the law against heretics and their abettors.
We equally instruct all patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and other ordinaries of places, as also all inquisitors into heretical perverseness, by all means to restrain and keep in check all contradictory and rebellious persons whatsoever by censures and the penalties aforesaid, and tje other convenient remedies of law and fact, the aid of the secular arm being called in for this purpose, if it should be necessary.
Not intending, however, by this declaration and definition, made on the five aforesaid propositions, to approve in any degree other opinions, which are contained in the aforesaid book of Cornelius Jansenius.
Given at Rome, at Saint Mary Major's, in the year of the incarnation of our Lord 1653, the day before the calends of June, the ninth year of our pontificate.