Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent/Second Part/Pius, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God

Incipit: Auctorem fidei, published 1794

Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to all the faithful in Christ, health and apostolical benediction.

The apostle[1] commands us, beholding Jesus, the author and consummator of our faith, sedulously to consider what and how great contradiction he sustained from sinners against himself, lest, wearied out by hardships and dangers, we may at length fail in our spirits, and in a manner sink. That we be fortified and strengthened by this most wholesome reflection is then most necessary, when against the body itself of Christ, which is the Church,[2] the tide of that dread conspiracy which is never to cease rages more intensely, that comforted by the Lord, and in the power of his might, protected by the shield of faith, we may be able to resist in the evil day, and to extinguish[3] all the fiery weapons of the most unjust. In this commotion of the times, in this most perturbed overturning of all things, all good men have to undergo a serious strggle against all the enemies of the Christian name, of what kind soever; we a still more serious one, on whom, in consideration of the care and management of the entire flock committed to our pastoral solicitude, a greater zeal for the Christian religion is incumbent[4] than upon all others. But in this very weight of the burden which has been placed on our shoulders, that of bearing the burdens of all who are oppressed, the more we are conscious to ourselves of our own weakness, into so much the firmer hope does the divinely established principle of the apostolic duty instituted in the person of Saint Feter, raise and exalt us, that he who was never to abandon the government of the Church once delivered to him by Christ, should not cease to carry the burdens of apostolic government among those whom God had given to him to be protected by perpetual succession, and to be guarded as his heirs.

And amid these miseries which surround us on all hands, it has been added as an accumulation of all our other troubles, that from that quarter whence we should rejoice, from thence we should derive greater sorrow; inasmuch as when[5] any governor in the sacred Church of God under the name of priest turns away the very people of Christ from the path of truth into the precipice or a devious persuasion, and this a most noble city, then is our lamentation to be redoubled and greater anxiety to be felt.

It was not truly in distant lands, but in the very central light of Italy, under the eyes of the city, and nigh the threshold of the apostles; it was a bishop distinguished by the honour of a double see (Scipio de Ricini, formerly bishop of Pistoria and Prato), whom, when he came to us for the purpose of taking on him his pastoral function, we embraced with paternal charity, who in turn sealed the attachment and obedience due to us and to this Apostolic See, at the very rite of his sacred ordination, by the sacredness of a solemn oath.

And that same person, not long after that, being dismissed from our embrace with the kits of peace, he came to the people committed to his care, circumvented by the wiles of the masters of a perverse philosophy assembled around him, began to apply his mind to this, not to defend, cultivate, and perfect, as he ought to do, that praiseworthy and peaceful arm of the Christian institution, which former prelates had, according to the ecclesiastical rule, long sinceinmtroduced, and in a manner established, but on the contrary, under the mask of a feigned reformation, by introducing unseasonable novelties, he disturbed, convulsed, and tore it up from the foundation.

Nay more, when even by our exhortation he directed his attention to the diocesan synod, it was effected by his refractory pertinaciousness in his own way of thinking, that from that quarter whence some remedy of the wounds was to be sought, more disastrous ruin sprung forth. Indeed, after this Synod of Pestoria burst forth from its lurking-place, in which it lay concealed for a considerable time, there was no person entertaining a pious and wise sentiment concerning the interests of religion, who did not forthwith perceive that the intention of the authors was, that the seeds of perverse doctrines, which they had before scattered by pamphlets of various kinds, they should condense as it were into one body, should resuscitate errors long since proscribed, and take away credit and authority from the apostolic decrees in which they were proscribed.

When we saw that these things, in proportion as they are the more alarming in themselves, so much the more urgently demanded the aid of our solicitude, we hesitated not to turn our attention to the adoption of those measures which should seem to be more suited either to remedy or altogether to check the rising evil.

And first, mindful of the wise admonition of our predecessor Zosimus,[6] that those matters which are important called for great weight of examination, we committed the Bjnod first published by the bishop to be examined by four bishops, having attached other theologians also from the secular clergy; then we deputed a congregation also of several cardinals of the holy Soman Church, and of other bishops, who were carefully to examine the whole series of proceedings, to bring together passages separated from each other, to discuss sentences extracted. Whose suffrages we received, expressed before us by word of mouth and by writing, who gave it as their opinion both that the synod was to be universally reprobated, and very many opinions thence collected were deserving of being visited with more or less severe censures, some indeed in themselves, some by the attentive connection of the sentences; on hearing and duly considering their observations, we took care of this also, that certain leading heads of perverse doctrines selected from the entire synod, to which the censurable sentences scattered through the synod chiefly refer, directly or indirectly, might be afterwards reduced to a certain order, and that the censure peculiarly belonging to each should be affixed to the same.

But lest evil-minded persons might take occasion for cavilling from this, whether collation of places, or collection of suffrages, however accurately made, in order to meet this calumny which is perhaps already prepared, we determined on having recourse to the prudent measure which our most holy predecessors, as well as most wise prelates, and even general synods, have duly and cautiously adopted in checking the further progress of dangerous and mischievous innovations of this kind, and have left behind them testified and recommended by striking examples.

They were well aware of the wily and deceptive tricks of innovators, who, afraid of giving offence to Catholic ears, are often times careful to wrap up the snares of their captions propositions in the subtle covering of words, that the error lurking amid the difference of meaning may get more easy admission into the mind, and so that the truth of a proposition being upset by the slightest addition or change, the confession of it which was to effect salvation may, by a by sort of wily transition, incline to death. And this involved and deceptive mode of arguing is faulty in every kind of discourse, but in a synod is not at all to be tolerated, whose characteristic merit is this, to adhere to that lucid style of speaking in the instruction which it gives, such as may leave behind no danger of offence. If, on such occasions, anything wrong should present itself it cannot be defended by the artful excuse usually adduced, that any expressions of rather a harsh nature which may fall out anywhere, will be found in other passages more plainly explained, or even corrected, as though the pert flippancy of affirming and denying, and of contradicting themselves ad libitum, which has ever been the fraudulent resource of innovators to indirectly introduce error might not tend rather to expose error thin to palliate or excuse it; or as if illiterate persons more especially, who should fall in perchance with this or that part of the synod set forth to the public in the vernacular tongue, might always have at hand other scattered passages which might have to be inspected; or even after these were inspected, each person might have sufficient means to compare them one with the other, so that, as they idly pretend, they might be able to shun all risk of error. A most baneful trick no doubt for insinuating error, which was some time since wisely detected in the letter of Nestorius, a prelate of Constantinople, and most severely reproved by our predecessor, Celestinus;[7] in which letter, that artful individual was tracked, caught, and held fast, weakening his case by his own verbosity, whilst mixing up that which was true with what are obscure, and again confounding both, he either confessed what had been denied, or endeavoured to deny what had been confessed. To ward off which stratagems, too often resorted to in every age, no better method has been adopted, than that by which, by exposing those passages, which, under the cover of ambiguity, involve a perilous and suspicious discrepance of meanings, their mischievous signification might be marked, under which lurked the error reprobated by the Catholic sense.

Which method, abounding in moderation, we too embraced so much the more willingly, as we foresaw that it would rather prove a great aid to reconcile the feelings, and to bring them to the unity of the spirit, in the bonds of peace (which, with the favour of God, we feel pleasure, has justly turned out successful in many cases), to see, first, that the perverse followers of the synod, if any shall remain, which God forbid, may not be able, for the purpose of exciting new disturbances, to attach as partners in their condemnation and associates in guilt the Catholic schools, which, absolutely in spite of them, and plainly resisting, they are endeavouring to draw over to their side by means of a forced similitude of kindred terms in expression, where they find there is any discrepancy in meaning. Then if any unthinking persons have been led astray by any more favourable opinion as yet preconceived regarding the synod, let such persons be deprived of all room for complaint, who, if they possess correct sense, as they wish to appear to do, let them no longer feel annoyed at the condemnation of doctrines so marked, which bear on their front errors from which they themselves profess to be altogether free.

Nor even still have we considered that we have gratified our spirit of lenity to our satisfaction, or to speak more truly, our spirit of charity, which urges us towards our brother, whom we would assist[8] with Si the means in our power, if it is fulfil possible. Por we are urged on by that charity, under the influence of which, our predecessor Celestinus[9] did not refuse to wait for priests to be amended, even against right, or with still greater forbearance, than seemed to be consistent with right. For with Augustine and the fathers of Milevis, we are more willing and desirous that persons holding forth perverse doctrines should be healed by pastoral care in the Church, than that, despairing of salvation, they should be cut off from it, unless some necessity force it.

For which end, that no kind of attention may seem to have been neglected to gain over a brother, we deemed it meet that the aforesaid bishop, before we should proceed to ulterior measures, should be invited to come to us by a most affectionate letter, directed to him by our orders, in which we promised that he should find a kind reception from us, and that he should not be prevented from openly and freely expressing whatever might seem to tend to his advantage. Nor indeed had all hope forsaken us that it might happen that if he brought with him a docile mind, which, according to the apostle's sense, Augustine[10] chiefly required in, a. bishop, when all contention and asperity being kept aloof the principal heads of his doctrines should be simply and candidly proposed to him to be reconsidered, such as might have appeared to have called for greater reprehension than he would readily collect himself, and would not hesitate to explain in a more sound sense whatever was put ambiguously, or openly to reject whatever should present the character at manifest perverseness, and thus, with great credit to his own character, as well as to the very great joy of all good persons,, the tumults which had arisen in the Church might be put a stop to by the most wished for correction, in the most peaceable manner possible.[11]

But now when he, under the pretext of bad health, thought it right not to avail himself of the favour thus offered to him, we can no longer delay the discharge of our apostolic duty. It is not the danger of one or two dioceses only that is in question; the whole church is shaken hy any innovation soever,[12] The decision of the supreme Apostolic See is this long time not only expected, but earnestly called for on all sides by repeated entreaties. Haven forbid that the voice of Peter should ever be silent in that his seat, in which he, perpetually living and presiding, insures to those seeking it the truth of faith. In such cases longer connivance is not safe, because there is almost as much guilt in conniving in such coses as in preaching that which is so contrary to religion.[13] Such a wound, therefore, must be cut away, by which not one limb only is affected, but the. whole body of the Church is wounded,[14] and by the aid of the divine goodness care must be taken, that all dissensions being cut off, the Catholic faith be kept inviolate, and those who defend that which is perverse, being reclaimed from error, those whose faith has been approved may be secured by our authority.[15]

Wherefore the light of the Holy Ghost being implored with the continual prayers both of ourselves and of the pious followers of Christ, all things being fully and maturely considered, we have given it as our opinion that several propositions, doctrines, sentences, whether given expressly, or insinuated ambiguously, from the acts and decrees of the above-mentioned synod, with their marks and censures, as has been premised, affixed to each, are to be condemned and reprobated, as by this our constitution, which is to hold good for ever, we condemn and reprobate them.

They are as follows:—


Ex decr, de grat, § 1.

I. Ihe proposition, which asserts, "that in these latter ages a general obscuration has been spread over truths of graver moment, regarding religion, and which are the basis of faith, and of the moral doctrine of Jesus Christ:" is heretical,


Epist. convoc.

II. The proposition, which lays down, "that the power given by God to the Church, to be communicated to the pastors, who are his ministers, for the salvation of souls, so understood that the power of the ecclesiastical ministry and government is derived from the community of the faithful to the pastors: heretical.


Decret. de fide, § 3.

III. Moreover, that which lays down, "that the Roman pontiff is ministerial head," so explained as that the Roman pontiff receives the power of the ministry not from Christ in the person of Saint Peter, but from the Church, by which, as successor of Peter, true vicar of Christ, and head of the entire Church, he possesses sway in the universal Church: heretical.


Decret. de fide, § 13, 14.

IV. The proposition affirming, "that there would be an abuse of the authority of the Church, in transferring it beyond the limits of doctrine and morals, and extending it to externals, and in exacting by force that which depends on persuasion and the heart, and also that it appertains much less to it to exact by force external submission to its decrees,"—in as far as by those indefinite words extending to externals denotes as it were an abuse of the authority of the church, the use of that power received from God, which even the apostles themselves employed in establishing and enforcing external discipline: is heretical.

V. In which part it insinuates, that the Church has not the authority of exacting submission to her decrees otherwise than by means which depend on persuasion—in as much as it intends that the Church "has not the power conferred on her by God, not only directing by counsel and persuasion, but also of commanding by laws, and of coercing and compelling the stragglers and contumacious by external judgment and wholesome penalties" (ex Bened. XIV. in a brief ad Assiduas, ann. 1755. To the primate, archbishops, and bishops of the kingdom of Poland): leading to a system otherwise condemned as heretical.


Decr, de ord. § 25.

VI. The doctrine of the synod, in which it states, "that it is persuaded that the bishop has received from Christ all the rights necessary for the good government of his diocese"—as if to the good government of each diocese superior ordinances were not necessary, regarding whether faith and morals, or general discipline, the right of which is vested in the sovereign pontiffs and general counsels for the universal Church, is schismatical, at least erroneous.

VII. Likewise in that, that it exhorts the bishop "to follow up diligently the more perfect establishment of ecclesiastical discipline, and that against all contrary usages, exemptions, reservations, which are adverse to the good order of the diocese, the greater glory of God, and the greater edification of the faithful,"—by this, that it supposes it to be lawful for the bishop, by his own judgment and decision, to determine and decree contrary to usages, exemptions, reservations, whether those which take place in the universal Church, or even in each province, without the permission and interference of a superior hierarchical power, by which they have been introduced or approved, and obtain the force of a law: leading to schism a subversion of the rarchical government, erroneous.

VIII. Likewise in this, that it says that it is persuaded that the rights of the bishop received from Jesus Christ for governing the Church can neither be altered nor impeded; and when it has happened that the exercise of these rights has for any cause been interrupted, that the bishop ever could and ought to revert to his original rights, as often as the greater good of his church requires it," in as far as it intimates that the exercise of episcopal rights can be impeded or coerced by no superior power whensoever the bishop may by his own judgment think it less expedient for the greater good of his church: leading to schism and the subversion of hierarchical government erroneous.


Epist. convoc.

IX. The doctrine, which determines, "that the reformation of abuses regarding ecclesiastical discipline in diocesan synods depends equally on the bishop and parish priests, and ought to be strengthened by them, and that without freedom of decision that submission to the suggestion and commands of the bishops: "false rash, injurious to episcopal authority subversive of hierarchical government, favouring the Arian heresy introduced anew by Calvin.

Ex ep. ad vic. for. Ex orat ad syn. § 8. Ex sess. 3.

X. Likewise the doctrine, by which parish priests or other priests assembled in synod are pronounced together with the bishop to be judges of faith, and it is intimated at the same time that judgment in causes of faith belongs to them by a peculiar night, and by one indeed received through ordination: False, rash, subversive of hierarchical order, detracting from the strength of the definitions or dogmatic judgments of the Church, at least erroneous.

Orat. synod. § 8.

XI. The proposition stating, that by an ancient institute of our ancestors, derived even from the apostolic times, observed through the better ages of the Church, it was received, " that decrees, or definitions, or propositions, even of greater sees, should not be admitted, unless they had been recognized and approved by the diocesan synod: "False, rash, derogating according to its generality from the obedience due to apostolic constitutions, as also from the propositions emanating from superior legitimate hierarchical power, cherishing schism and heresy.


XII. The assertions of the synod, taken collectively, concerning decisions in matter of faith emanating from several ages back, which it represents as decrees originating from one particular church or a few pastors, supported by no sufficient authority, intended for spoiling the purity of faith, and for exciting, turbulence, obtruded by violence, and from wounds which, still too recent, have been inflicted: False, captious, rash, scandalous, injurious to the Roman pontiffs and Church, derogatory from the obedience due to apostolic constitutions, schismatic, pernicious, at least erroneous.


Or. synod. § 2, in nota.

XIII. A proposition stated among the acts of the synod, which intimates that Clement IX. restored peace to the Church, by the approbation of the distinction of law and fact, prescribed in the subscription of a formulary by Alexander VII.: False, rash, injurious to Clement IX.

XIV. But as far as it supports that distinction, by lauding the abettors of the same, and by vituperating their adversaries: Rash, pernicious, injurious to the sovereign pontiffs, cherishing schism and heresy.


Append, n. 28.

XV. The doctrine which holds forth, "that the Church is to be considered as one mystical body, composed of Christ as head, and of the faithful, who are its members by an infallible union, by which we become in a wonderful maimer with him one sole priest, one sole victim, one sole perfect adorer of God the Father in spirit and truth,"—understood in this sense, that to the body of the Church there belong only the faithful, who are perfect adorers in spirit and truth; Heretical.


De grat. §§ 4, 7; de sacr. in gen. § 1; de pœnit. § 4.

XVI. The doctrine of the synod on the state of happy innocence, such as it represents it in Adam before sin, embracing not only integrity, but also inward righteousness, with an impulse to God through the love of charity, and primeval sanctity by some means restored after the fell,—so far as, by implication, it intimates that that state was subsequent to creation, a favour due from the natural exigency and condition of human nature, not a gratuitous favour of God: False, otherwise condemned in the case of Baius, and in that of Quesnell, erroneous, favouring the Pelagian heresy.


De Bapt. § 2.

XVII. The proposition stated in these words, "Taught by the apostle, we view death no longer as a natural condition of man, but in reality, as a just punishment of original sin,"—inasmuch as, under the name of the apostle, artfully adduced, it insinuates that death, which in the present state has been inflicted as a just punishment of sin, by the just withdrawal of immortality, had not been a natural condition of man, as if immortality had not been a gratuitous favour, but a natural condition: Captious, rash, injurious to the apostle, otherwise condemned.


De grat. §10.

XXIII. The doctrine of the synod, stating, "that after the fall of Adam, God announced the promise of a future redeemer, and wished to console mankind by the hope of salvation, which Jesus Christ was to bring, yet that God wished that mankind should pass through various states, before the fulness of time should come; and first, that in the state of nature, man left to his own lights should learn to distrust his own blind reason, and from his own aberrations should move himself to desire the aid of superior light,"—a doctrine, as it lies, captious, and understood of the desire of the aid of superior light promised in order to salvation through Christ, to conceive which, man, left to his own lights, may be supposed to have been able to move himself: Suspicious, favouring the semi-Pelagian heresy.



XIX. Likewise that which subjoins that man under the law, "when he was unable to observe it, had become a transgressor, not indeed through the fault of the law, which was most holy, but through fault of man, who under the law without grace became more and more a transgressor;" and superadds, "that the law, if it did not heal the heart of man, caused that he should know his own evils, and, convinced of his own weakness, he should feel the want of a mediator"—in which part it intimates generally, that man had become a prevaricator through not observing the law, which he was unable to observe, as if he who is lust would command anything which was impossible, or as if he who is merciful would condemn man for that which he could not avoid (ex S. CsBsario, serm. 73, in append. S. Augustini, serm. 278, edit. Maur. Ex S. Aug. de Nat. et Gtr. c. 48; De Grat. et Lib. art. c. 16; Enarr. in Psal. 56, n. 1): False, scandalous impious, condemned in the case of Baius.

XX. In which part it is given to be understood, that man under the law without grace could conceive a desire of the grace of a mediator ordained to salvation promised through Christ, as if grace itself did not cause that he be invoked by us (ex Concil. Araus. II., can. 8): A proposition, as it lies, captious, suspicious, favouring the semi-Pelagian heresy.


De grat. § 11.

XXI. A proposition which asserts, "that the light of grace, when it is alone, tends only that we should know the unhappiness of our state, and the serious nature of our evil; that grace in such a case produces the same effect which light produced; therefore, that it is necessary that God should create in our heart a holy love, and inspire a holy delight contrary to the love predominating in us; that this holy love, this holy delight, is properly the grace of Jesus Christ, the inspiration of charily, which, being known, we may act with holy love; that this is that root from which shoot forth good works; that this is the grace of the New Testament, which emancipates us from the slavery of sin, and constitutes us sons of God,"—inasmuch as it intends, that it alone is properly the grace of Jesus Christ, which may create in the heart holy love, and which causes that we act, or also that by which man being freed from the slavery of sin, is constituted the son of God and the grace of Christ is not properly that grace by which the heart of man is touched by the illumination of the Holy Spirit (Trid. sess. vi. cap. v.) nor does there really exist an interior grace of Christ, which men resist: False, captious, leading into an error condemned in the second proposition of Jansenius, and heretical; and introducing it anew.


De fide, § 1.

XXIII. The proposition which intimates "that faith, from which commences a series of graces, and by which, as the first voice, we are called to salvation and the Church, is itself an excellent virtue of faith, by which men are called faithful, and are so,"—just as if that grace were not prior, which, as it precedes the will, so also precedes faith (ex S. Aug. de Dono Persev. c. 16, n. 41): Suspected of heresy; and savouring of it, otherwise condemned in Quesnellis, erroneous.


De grat. § 8.

XXIII. The doctrine of the synod concerning the two-fold love of predominant desire and predominant charity, stating that man without grace is under the slavery of sin, and that he in that state, by the general influx of predominant desire, infects and spoils all his actions,—in as far as it insinuates, that in man, whilst he is under slavery or in the state of sin, destitute of that grace by which he is freed from the slavery of sin, and constituted son of God, desire so predominates, that by the general influx of this, all his actions are in themselves infected and corrupted, or all the works which are done before justification, by what means soever they may be done, are sins, as if in all his acts the sinner is a slave to predominant desire: False, pernicious, leading into an error condemned as heretical by Trent, again condemned in the case of Baius, art. 40.

§ 12.

XXIV. But in that part in which no intermediate affections are placed between predominant desire and predominant charity, implanted by nature herself, and in their own nature commendable, which, together with the love of beatitude, and the natural inclination to good, have remained as last lineaments, and the mere remains of the image of God (ex S. Aug. de Spir. et lit. c. 28),—just as if between the divine love which leads us to the kingdom, and illicit human love, which is condemned, there existed not lawful human love, which is not censured (ex S. Aug. serm. 349, de Carit. edit. Maur.): False, otherwise condemned.


De pœnit § 8.

XXV. The doctrine, which represents that the fear of punishments, in general, can only not be called evil, if at least it tends to restrain the hand, as if the fear itself of hell, which faith teaches, is to be inflicted on sin, is not in itself good and useful, as a supernatural gift, and a motive inspired by God preparing for the love of justice: False, rash, pernicious, injurious to the divine gifts, otherwise condemned, contrary to the doctrine of the Council of Trent, and also to the common understanding of the fathers, that it was necessary, according to the usual order of preparation for justice, that fear may enter first, through which charity may come fear the medicine, charity the health. (Ex. S. Aug. in Epist. Joan. c. 4, tract. 9, n. 4, 5; in Joan. Evang. tract. 41, n. 10; Euarratione in Psal. 127, n. 7; Sermone 157, de Verbis Apostoli, c. 13; Sermone 161, de Verbis Apostoli, n. 8; Sermone 349, de Caritate, n. 7.)


XXVI. The doctrine, which explodes as a Pelagian fable, that place of the dead (which the faithful designate by the name of the limbo of children) in which the souls of those dying with original sin alone are punished by the punishment of loss, without the punishment of fire;—just as if by this, that those who remove the penalty of fire would introduce that place and middle state, void of guilt and punishment between the kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as the Pelagians fabled: False, rash, injurious to Catholic schools.


De Bapt. § 12.

XXVII. The deliberation of the synod, in which under the pretext of adhesion to the ancient canons in case of doubtful baptism, it declares its purpose of leaving out mention of the conditional form: Rash, contrary to the practice, law, authority of the Church.


De such. § 6.

XXVIII. The proposition of the synod, in which, after it sets down that participation of the victim is an essential part of the mass, subjoins: "that it does not condemn as illicit those masses in which those present do not communicate sacramentally, for this reason, because they participate, though less perfectly, of the victim of receiving it in spirit,"—in as far as it insinuates that to the essence of the sacrifice, something is wanting in that sacrifice, which may be done whether no one being present, or those being present, who participate of the victim neither sacramentally nor spiritually, and as if those masses were to be condemned as illicit, in which the priest alone communicating, no one may be present, who communicates either sacramentally or spiritually: False, erroneous, suspected of heresy, and savouring of it.


De euch. § 2.

XXIX. The doctrine of the synod, in that part where intending to deliver the doctrine of faith on the rite of consecration, those scholastic questions being; kept out of view, regarding the manner in which Christ is in the eucharist, from which it exhorts parish priests discharging the office of teaching to abstain, these two points being proposed—1. That Christ, after consecration, is truly, really, and substantially under the species. 2. That then all the substance of bread and wine ceases, the species alone remaining,—entirely omits to make any mention of transubstantiation, or of the conversion of the entire substance of the bread into the body, and the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which, as an article of faith, the Council of Trent defined, and which is contained in the solemn profession of faith, inasmuch as by such unadvised and suspicious omission a knowledge is withdrawn as well of the article pertaining to faith, and also of the term consecrated by the Church to defend the profession of it against heresies, and tends consequently to induce a forgetfulness of it, as though a question merely scholastic were under consideration: Pernicious, derogating from the exposition of Catholic truth regarding the dogma of transubstantiation, favouring heretics.


De euch. § 8.

XXX. The doctrine of the synod, in which, whilst it professes "to believe that the oblation of the sacrifice extends to all, so however, that in the liturgy, special commemoration may be made of some, as well living as dead, by praying to God peculiarly for them;" then immediately after it subjoins, "not however that we believe that it is at the option of the priest to apply the fruits of the sacrifice to whom he pleases: nay, we condemn this error, as greatly offending the rights of God, who alone distributes the fruits of the sacrifice in whomsoever he wishes, and according to the measure which is pleasing to him: "whence consequently he traduces it as "a false opinion, introduced among the people, that those who supply alms to the priest on condition that he celebrates one mass, derive a special fruit from it,"—so understood that beside the special commemoration and prayer, the special oblation itself, or application of the sacrifice, which is made by the priest, is not more available, ceteris paribus, to those for whom it is applied, than to any other persons whatsoever, as though no special fruit resulted from the special application, which the Church recommends to be made for certain persons, and orders of persons, and advises to be made specially by the pastors for their sheep; which, as if descending from the divine precept, has been plainly expressed by the sacred Synod of Trent (Sess. 23, cap. 1, de reform. Bened. XIV. Constit. Quum semper oblatas, § 2): False, rash, pernicious, injurious to the Church, leading into an error, otherwise condemned in Wickliff.


De euch. § 5.

XXXI. The proposition of the synod, stating that it is befitting for the order of the divine offices, and for ancient usage, that in every temple there be only one altar, and consequently that it pleases them to restore that custom: Rash, injurious to the very ancient, pious custom, prevailing many ages since, especially in the Latin Church, and to the approved custom.


XXXII. Likewise the prescription forbidding the cases of the sacred relics or flowers being placed on the altars: Rash, injurious to the pious and approved custom of the Church.

Ibid. § 6.

XXXIII. The proposition of the synod, in which it shows that it desires that the causes should be taken away, by which a forgetfulness of the principles relating to the order of the liturgy was introduced, by recalling it to greater simplicity of rites, by expounding it in the vulgar tongue, and uttering it in a loud voice, as if the prevailing order of the liturgy received by the Church, and in some measure approved, had emanated from a forgetfulness of the principles by which it ought to be regulated: Rash, offensive to pious ears, insulting to the Church, favouring the reproaches of heretics against it.


De Pœnit. § 7.

XXXIV. The declaration of the synod, in which, after premising that the order of canonical penance was be determined by the Church after the example of the apostles, that it should he common to all, and not only for the punishment of guilt, but chiefly for disposing to grace, adds, "that it in that admirable and august order recognizes the entire dignity of a sacrament so necessary, free from the subtleties which in the course of time have been added to it,"—as if by the order in which, without completing the course of the canonical penance, this sacrament has been wont to be administered through the whole Church, its dignity had been impaired: Rash, scandalous, leading to a contempt of the dignity of the sacrament, as it has been wont to be administered by the whole Church, injurious to the Church itself.

De pœnit. §10, n. 4.

XXXV. The proposition conceived in these words: "If charity in the beginning is always weak, from the ordinary way to obtain an increase of this charity, it is meet that the priest should cause those acts of humiliation and penance to precede, which were in every age recommended by the Church; to reduce those acts to a few prayers, or to some fact after absolution has been now conferred, seems rather the material desire of preserving to this sacrament the bare name of penance, than an enlightened means, and one suited to augment that fervour of charity which ought to precede absolution; we are indeed very averse to the practice, to be disproved of, of imposing penances to be fulfilled even after absolution; if all our good works have our defects annexed to them, how much more ought we to dread, lest we incur very many imperfections in the very difficult and momentous work of our reconciliation," in as far as it intimates that penances which are imposed after absolution, are to be considered rather as a supplement for defects incurred in the work of our reconciliation, than as penances truly sacramental and satisfactory for sins confessed: as if, that the true nature of a sacrament, not the bare name, be preserved, it were necessary, out of the ordinary way, that the acts of humiliation and penance, which are imposed by way of sacramental satisfaction, ought to precede absolution: False rash, injurious to the common practice of the Church leading into an error stamped with the brand of heresy in the case of Peter de Osma.


De grat § 15.

XXXVI. The doctrine of the synod, after premising, "When unequivocal signs of the love of God prevailing in the heart of man shall be had, that he may be fairly indicated as worthy to be admitted to a participation of the blood of Jesus Christ, which takes place in the sacraments;" it adds, "that the suppositious conversions, which are done by attrition, are wont to be neither effectual nor permanent;" consequently, "that the pastor of souls ought to insist on unequivocal signs of prevailing charity, before he admits his penitents to sacraments," which signs, as it then says (§ 17), "the pastor will be able to deduce from a steady cessation from sin and his fervour in good works;" which fervour of charity, moreover, it represents (de pœnit. § 10) as a disposition which ought to precede absolution; so understood, that not only imperfect contrition, which where passes under the name of attrition, even that which is joined with love, by which man begins to love God as the fountain of all righteousness, and not only contrition formed by charity, but also the fervour of predominant charity, and that too, proved by long trial, by fervour in good works, may be generally and absolutely required, that a man may be admitted to sacraments, and in particular penitents may be admitted to the benefit of absolution: False, rash, calculated to disturb the quiet of souls, contrary to the practice, safe and approved, in the Church, detracting from and injurious to the efficacy of the sacrament.


De pœnit § 10. n. 6

XXXVII. The doctrine of the synod, which regarding the authority to absolve, received by ordination, says, "After the establishment of dioceses and of parishes, that it was meet that each should exercise this judgment on persons subject to them, whether with respect to territory, or by any personal right, for this reason, that otherwise confusion and perturbation would be introduced," inasmuch as after the establishment of dioceses and parishes it states it to be meet to guard against confusion, that the power of absolving may be exercised on subjects, so understood, as if for the valid use of this power, the ordinary or that subdelegated jurisdiction were not necessary, without which the Council of Trent declares that absolution given by a priest was of no moment: False, rash, pernicious, contrary and injurious to Trent, erroneous.

Ibid. § 11.

XXXVIII. Likewise the doctrine in which, after the synod declared that it could not but admire that so venerable discipline of antiquity, which, as it says, "did not so easily, and perhaps never admitted to penance him, who, after the first sin and the first reconciliation, had relapsed into crime," subjoins, "that by the fear of perpetual exclusion from communion and peace, even in articulo mortis, a rein will be thrown on those who but little consider the evil of sin, and fear it still less;" Contrary to the 13 can. of the Council of Nice, to the decretal of Innocentius I., to Exuperius of Toulouse, and also to the decretal of Celestinus I. to the bishops of Vienna and the province of Narbonne, redolent of depravity, of which the holy Pontiff expresses a horror in that decretal.


De pœnit. § 12.

XXXIX. The declaration of the synod concerning the confession of venial sins, which, it says, it wished was not so frequently practised, lest such confessions may be rendered too contemptible: Rash, pernicious, contrary to the practice of holy and pious persons, approved by the holy Council of Trent.


De. Pœnit § 16.

XL. The proposition asserting, that "an indulgence, according to its precise notion, is nothing else than a remission of part of that penance, which, by the canons, was set to the sinning individual,—as if an indulgence, besides the bare remission of the canonical punishment does not also avail to the remission of the temporal punishment, due for actual sins before the divine justice: False, rash, injurious to the merits of Christ, some time since condemned in the 19 th art. of Luther.


XLI. Likewise in that which is added, "that the schoolmen, inflated with their subtleties, have introduced an ill-understood treasure of the merits of Christ and the saints, and for the clear notion of absolution from canonical punishment, have substituted a confused and a false one of the application of merits,"—as if the treasures of the Church, whence the Pope grants indulgences, are not the merits of Christ and of the saints: False, rash, injurious to the merits of Christ and of the saints, before now condemned in the 17 th art. of Luther.


XLII. Likewise in this which it superadds: "that it was still more lamentable, that that chimerical application used to be transferred to the dead:" False, rash, offensive to pious ears, injurious to the Roman pontiffs, and to the practice and sense of the universal Church, leading into an error branded with the stamp of heresy in Peter de Osma, again condemned in the 22nd art of Luther


XLIII. In this, also that it inveighs most impudently against the tables of indulgences, privileged altars, &c.: Rash, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, contumelious to the sovereign pontiffs, and to the practice constantly resorted to by the whole Church


De pœnit, § 19.

XLIY. A proposition of the synod, assuming that "the reservation of cases at the present time is nothing else than an improvident tie for inferior priests, and a sound void of sense for penitents accustomed not to care much for this reservation:" False, rash, sounding amiss, pernicious, contrary to the Council of Trent, detrimental to the superior hierarchical power.'


XLV. Likewise regarding the hope which it holds out, that it will come to pass "that the ritual and order of penance being reformed, such reservations will no longer have any place,"—as by a studied generality of words it intimates, that by the reformation of the ritual and of the order of penance, made by a bishop or synod, the cases can be done away with, which the Trent Synod (Sess. xiv. c. 7) declares, that the sovereign pontiffs could, by virtue of the supreme power committed to them in the universal Church, reserve for their own peculiar judgment: A proposition false, rash, derogating from the Council of Trent, and from the authority of the sovereign pontiffs, and injurious.'


De pœnit. §§20, 22.

XLVI. A proposition asserting "that the effect of excommunication is only external, as if by its nature it only excludes from the external communication of the Church,"— as if excommunication were not a spiritual punishment, binding in heaven, obliging souls (ex S. Aug. Ep. 250. Auxilio Episcopo, tract. 60, in Joan. n. 12): False, pernicious, condemned in the 23rdart of Luther, at least erroneous.

§§ 21, 23.

XLVII. Likewise that which states that it is necessary, according to the natural and divine laws, that whether to excommunication or to suspension the personal examination ought to go before, and accordingly, that the sentences called ipso facto have no other force but that of serious threatening without any actual effect: False, rash, pernicious, injurious to the power of the Church, erroneous.


XLVIII. Likewise that which pronounces that the form introduced some ages ago is useless and unavailing, of absolving generally from excommunications, into which one of the faithful might have fallen:False, rash injurious to the practice of the Church.

§ 24.

XLIX. Likewise that which condemns as null and void suspensions from acquaintance with the case which is not formal:[16] False, pernicious, injurious to Trent.


L. Likewise in this, that it insinuates that it is not lawful for the bishop alone to use the power which Trent confers on him, of legitimately inflicting suspension from acquaintance with the case which is not formal: Detrimental to the, jurisdiction of the prelates of the Church.


De ordine, § 4.

LI. The doctrine of the synod, which represents that in promoting to orders, this method used to be observed by the custom and establishment of ancient discipline, "that, if any of the clerks was distinguished by sanctity of life, and was esteemed worthy to be raised to holy orders, he used to be promoted to the deaconship or priesthood, even though he may not have taken inferior orders, nor at that time was such ordination said to be per saltum, as was afterwards said."

§ 5.

LII. Likewise that which intimates, that there was not any other title of ordination than the deputation to some special minister, such as is prescribed in the Council of Chalcedon, adding (§ 6) as long as the Church conformed to these principles in the selection of sacred ministers, that the ecclesastical order flourished, but that those happy days had passed away, and that new principles were introduced from time to time, by which discipline was vitiated in the selection of the ministers of the sanctuary,


LIII. Likewise that it reckons among these very beginnings of corruption, that a departure was made from the ancient usage, by which, as it says (§ 5), the Church, treading in the footsteps of the apostle, determined that no one should be admitted to the priesthood, unless he who had preserved his baptismal innocence,—inasmuch as it intimates that discipline had been corrupted by decrees and institutes, (1) whether those by which ordinations per saltum were forbidden,, (2) or those by which, according to the necessity and convenience of the churches, ordinations were approved of without a title of special duty, as specially by the Council of Trent ordination to the title of a patrimony, saying the obedience by which those so ordained are obliged to attend to the necessities of the churches, by executing those offices to which they were attached by the bishop for the place and time, as was wont to be done in the primitive Church from the apostolic times, (3) or those by which a distinction of crimes was made by canon law, which render delinquents irregular—as if by this distinction the Church receded from the spirit of the apostle, not by excluding generally and promiscuously from the ecclesiastical ministry all persons whatsoever, who should not have retained their baptismal innocence: A doctrine in each of its parts false rash, calculated to disturb the order introduced for the necessity and convenience of the churches, injurious to the discipline approved by the canons and especially by the decrees of Trent.


LIV. Likewise, that which marks as a shameful abuse ever to give alms for celebrating masses and administering sacraments, as also to receive any profit said to be that of the stole, and generally whatever stipend and fee, which might be offered on the occasion of suffrages, or any parochial function,— as if the ministers of the Church were to be noted with the crime of shameful abuse, whilst according to the received and approved custom and usage of the Church, they use the right promulged by the apostle of receiving temporals from those to whom they minister spirituals: False, rash, detrimental to ecclesiastical and pastoral right, injurious to the Church and its ministers.

§ 14.

LV. Likewise that in which it professes a desire that some measure might be found of removing the petty dergee (by which name he designates the degree of the lower orders) from cathedral and collegiate churches, by providing otherwise, namely, by honest laymen of somewhat advanced age, by assigning a suitable stipend to the ministry of serving masses and other offices, as acolytes, &c., as used to be done formerly, it says, when such offices were not reduced to the mere show for receiving higher orders, in as much as it finds fault with the institution by which it is provided, that the functions of the lesser orders should be performed or exercised by those only who were appointed or assigned to them (Concil prov. iv. Mediol), and that according to meaning of Trent (Sess. xxiii c. 17), that the functions of holy orders, from the deaconship to the beadleship,[17] laudably received in the Church from the apostolic times, and in many places for some time intermitted, may be revived according to the sacred canons, and may not be misrepresented by heretics as idle: A suggestion rash, offensive to pious ears calculated to disturb the ecclesiastical ministry, and to impair the decency which should be observed as far as is possible in celebrating the mysteries, injurious to the offices and functions of minor orders, and also injurious to discipline approved by the canons, and especially by Trent, favouring the reproaches and calumnies of heretics against it.

§ 18.

LVI. The doctrine which lays down that it seems befitting in canonical impediments which result from misdemeanour, expressed in law, that no dispensation is to be admitted: Detrimental to equity and canonical moderation approved by the sacred Council of Trent, derogating from the authority and rights of the Church.

Ibid. § 22.

LVII. The prescription of the synod, which generally and indiscriminately rejects as an abuse any dispensation whatsoever, so that more than one residented benefice maybe conferred on one and the same person, likewise in this which it adds, that it was satisfied than no one could enjoy more than one benefice, though a simple one, according to the spirit of the Church: Considering its generality, derogating from the moderation of Trent, Sess. vii. c. 5, and Sees. xxiy. c. 17.


Libell. memor, circa sponsalia, &c. § 2.

LVIII. The proposition, which lays down that sponsals, properly so called, contain merely a civil act, which disposes to celebrate marriage, and that the same is entirely subservient to the direction of the civil laws,—as if an act disposing to a sacrament were not in this way subservient to the law of the Church: False, detrimental to the right of the Church as to the effects also flowing from the sponsals by the force of canonical sanctions, derogating from the discipline established by the Church.

De matrim. §§ 7, 11, 12.

LIX. The doctrine of the synod, asserting that it belongs originally to the supreme power only to affix to the marriage contract such impediments which render it null, and are said to be diriment, because the original right, moreover, is said to be connected with the right of dispensing, adding, "supposing the assent or connivance of the chief persons, that the Church could justly establish impediments severing the marriage contract itself,"—as if the Church could not always and cannot establish impediments in the marriages of Christians by its own right, which impediments may not only impede matrimony, but also render it null as to the tie, by which Christians may also be held bound down in the countries of unbelievers, and dispense in the same: Subversive of the canon 3, 4, 9, 12, Sess. xxiv. of the Council of Trent. heretical.

Cet. lib. et memor, circa sponsal. § 10.

LX. Likewise the request of the synod to the civil power, to take away from the number of impediments spiritual kindred, and that of public propriety, as it is called, the origin of which is found in the collection of Justinian, then, that "it would restrict the impediment of affinity and relationship arising from any licit or illicit conjunction whatsoever to the fourth degree according to the civil computation through the lateral and oblique line, so, however, that no hope be left of obtaining a dispensation,"— in as far as it attributes to the civil power the right either of abolishing or of restricting the impediments, or of restricting the impediments established or approved by the authority of the Church;—likewise in that part where it supposes that she may by the civil power be despoiled of her right of dispensing regarding impediments established or approved by it: Subversive of the liberty and power of the Church contrary to Trent, emanating from the heretical principle above condemned.


De fide, § 3.

LXI. The proposition, which asserts, "to adore directly the humanity of Christ, or rather any part of it, would always be divine honour given to the creature,"—in as far as by this word directly it intends to reprobate the worship of adoration, which the faithful direct to the humanity of Christ, just as if such adoration, by which the humanity and enlivening flesh itself of Christ is adored, not indeed for itself and as bare flesh, but as united to the divinity, divine honour were bestowed on the creature, and not rather one and the same adoration, by which the incarnate Word is adored together with his own flesh itself (for the council CP. V. gen. can. 9): Flase, captious, detracting from and injurious to the pious worship due to the humanity of Christ shown and to be shown by the faithful.

De orat § 17.

LXII. The doctrine, which throws back and enumerates devotion towards the most sacred heart of Jesus among the devotions which it censures as new, erroneous, or at least dangerous—understood of this devotion such as it has been approved by the Apostolic See: False, rash, pernicious, offensive to pious ears, injurious to the Apostolic See.

De orat. § 10, et append. n. 32.

LXIII, Likewise in this, that it reproves the worshippers of the heart of Jesus on this plea also, that they do not advert that the most holy flesh of Christ, or some part of it, or even the entire humanity with its separation or removal from the divinity, cannot be adored with the worship of latria—as if the faithful adored the heart of Jesus with its separation or removal from the divinity, whilst they adore it, as it is the heart of Jesus, the heart forsooth of the person of the Word, to which it is inseparably united, after that manner, in which the lifeless body of Christ was adorable in the sepulchre in the three days of death, without separation or removal from the divinity: Captious, injurious to the faithful worshippers of the heart of Christ.


De orat. § 14, append. n. 84.

LXIV. The doctrine, which universally censures as superstitious "any efficacy whatsoever, which is placed in a definite number of prayers and pious salutations,"—as if the efficacy were to be set down as superstitious, which is taken not from the number considered in itself, but from the prescription of the Church, defining a certain number of prayers or external acts for obtaining indulgences, for fulfilling penances, and generally for performing sacred and religious worship duly and according to order: False, rash, scandalous, pernicious, injurious to the piety of the faithful, derogating from the authority of the Church, erroneous.

De pœnit. § 10.

LXV. The proposition, stating "that the irregular din of new institutions, which were called exercises or missions, perchance never, or at least very rarely, goes so far as to effect conversion, and that those external acts of commotion, which have appeared, were nothing else but passing flashes of natural concussion: Rash, ill-sounding, pernicious, injurious to pious usage frequently adapted in a salutory mannner by the Church, and founded in the word of God.


De orat. § 24.

LXVI. The proposition asserting "that it would be contray to the apostolic practice and the counsels of God unless more easy methods were prepared for the people of joining their voice with the voice of the whole Church"—understood of the use of the vulgar tongue to be introduced into the prayers of the liturgy: False, rare calculated to disturb the quiet prescribed for the celebration of the mysteries, easily productive of several evils.


Ex nota in fine decr, de gratia.

LXVILL. The doctrine representing that nothing but real inability excuses from reading the Sacred Scripture, adding still further that they detect the obscurity which has arisen from the neglect of this precept over the primary truths of religion: False, rash, calculated to disturb the quiet of souls, otherwise condemned in Quesnell.


De Orat. § 29.

LXVIII. The praise with which the synod very much recommends Quesnell's commentaries on the New Testament, and other works favouring Quesnell's errors, although proscribed, and proposes the same to parish priests, that they may read, them over to the people after the other offices, as though replete with solid principles of religion, each in his respective parish: False, scandalous, rash, seditious, injurious to the Church, cherishing schism and heresy.


De orat. § 17.

LXXIX. The prescription, which generally and without distinction marks among the images to be taken away from the Church, as affording a handle for error to the ignorant, the images of the incomprehensible Trinity; 'On account of its generality rash and contrary to the pious custom frequently adopted by the Church, as though there were no images extant of the most holy Trinity, generally approved and safely to be permitted. (Ex brevi Solicitudini nostræ, Benedicti XIV. an. 1745)

LXX. Likewise the doctrine and prescription generally reprobating all special worship, which the faithful are wont to pay to some image specially, and to have recourse to it rather than to another: Rash, pernicious, injurious to the pious usage frequently adopted by the Church, as well as to that order of providence according to which God willed not that those things should be done in all [churches] to the memory of the saints, he who distributes his own to each according as he wills. (Ex S. Aug. ep. 78. Clero, senioribus et universæ plebi ecclesiæ Hipponen.)

LXXI. Likewise that which forbids that the images, especially of the Blessed Virgin, be not distinguished by any titles, except by denominations, which may be analogous to the mysteries of which express mention is made in Sacred Scripture,—as if other pious denominations could not be affixed to images, which it approves and recommends, even in the very public prayers of the Church: Rash, offensive to pious ears, injurious to the veneration due more especially to the Blessed Virgin.

LXXII. Likewise that which wishes the custom to be extirpated as an abuse, by which certain images are kept veiled: Rash, contrary to the custom introduced to cherish the piety of the faithful.


Libell, memor, pro feat, reform. § 3.

LXXIII. The proposition stating that the institution of new festivals had originated from neglect in observing old ones, and from false notions of the nature and end of the same solemnities: False, rash, scandalous, injurious to the Church, favouring the reproaches of heretics on the festival days celebrated by the Church.

Ibid. § 8.

LXXIV. The deliberation of the synod on transferring to the Lord's day festivals instituted annually, and that by the right, which it says it is convinced is in the bishop's power regarding ecclesiastical discipline in order to things merely spiritual, and, therefore, that of abrogating the precept of hearing mass on days on which that precept still prevails according to an ancient law of the Church; and also in this, which it superadds, of transferring to Advent, by episcopal authority, fasts to be kept every year according to the precept of the Church,—inasmuch as it attaches to the bishop that it is lawful, by his own right, to transfer days prescribed by the Church for celebrating festivals or fasts, or to abrogate the precept once introduced of hearing mass: A proposition false, detrimental to the right of general councils and sovereign pontiffs, scandalous and favouring schism.


Libell. memor, pro juram. reform. § 4.

LXXV. The doctrine which states, that in the times of the Church, at its birth, oaths appeared so foreign to the teachings of the divine preceptor, and to the golden evangelical simplicity, that the very swearing, without extreme and inevitable necessity, was deemed an irreligious act, unworthy of a Christian man; moreover, that the continued series of the fathers demonstrated that oaths were considered as forbidden by the general feeling; and thence it proceeds to disapprove of the oaths, which the ecclesiastical court, following the standard, as it says, of feudal jurisprudence, has adopted in the investitures and in the very sacred ordinations of the bishops, and has laid it down that a law is therefore to be implored from the secular power for abolishing oaths, which are exacted even in ecclesiastical courts for undertaking duties and offices, and generally for every act relating to the court: False, injurious to the Church, detrimental to ecclesiastical right, subversive of the discipline introduced and approved by the canons.


De collat. ecclesiast.

LXXVI. The vituperation, with which the synod attacks the school, as that "which opened the way for introducing novel systems, disagreeing the one with the other, as to truths of greater value, and at length brought matters to probabilism and laxism"—in as far as it throws back upon' the school the vices of private individuals, who may have the power to abuse it, or have abused it:False, rash, injurious with respect to the mast holy men and doctors, who cultivated school learning to the great advantage of the Catholic religon, favouring the bitter reproaches of heretics.

LXXVII. Likewise in what it adds, "that the change of form in the ecclesiastical government, by which it has come to pass, that the ministers of the Church came into a forgetfulness of their rights, which are their obligations, has brought the matter to such a pass, that it caused the primitive notions of the ecclesiastical ministry and of the pastoral solicitude to be obliterated,"—as if; through change of government corresponding to the discipline established in the Church and approved, the primitive notion of the ecclesiastical ministry, or pastoral solicitude could ever be obliterated and lost: A proposition false, rash, erroneous.

§ 4.

LXXVIII. The prescription of the synod concerning the order of the things to be treated in collations, by which, after premising, "In any article whatever that is to be distinguished, which pertains to faith and to the essence of religion, from that which is appertaining to discipline," it subjoins, "In this itself we must distinguish what is necessary or useful to retain the faithful in spirit from that which is useful or too burthensome for the liberty of the sons of the new covenant to brook, or rather from that which is dangerous or injurious, as leading tosuperstition or materialism,"—inasmuch as, considering the generality of the words it comprehends, and subjects to the prescribed examination even the discipline established and approved by the Church, as if the Church, which is ruled by the Spirit of God, could establish discipline, not only useless and too burthensome for Christian liberty to submit to, but also dangerous, hurtful, leading to superstition and materialism: False, rash, scandalous, pernicious, offensive to pious ears, injurious to the Church and Spirit of God, by whom itself is ruled, at least erroneous.


Orta, ad synd. § 1.

LXXIX. The assertionn which casts reproaches and contumelies on the propositions in the Catholic schools, and regarding which the Apostolic See has considered that nothing was as yet to be defined or pronounced: False, rash, injurious to the Catholic schools, derogating from the obedience due to apostolic constitutions.


Libell. memorial, pro reform, regular. § 9.

LXXX. Rule 1, which determines universally and indiscriminately, "that the regular or monastic state cannot be consistent with the cure of souls, and with the functions of pastoral life, and consequently cannot come in for a share of ecclesiastical hierarchy, without being at direct variance with the principles of the monastic life itself: False, pernicious, injurious to the most holy fathers and prelates of the Church, who associated the institutes of the regular life with the offices of the clerical order, contrary to the pious, ancient, approved usage of the Church, and the sanctions of the Sovereign Pontiffs; as if monks, whom austerity of morals and holy training of life and faith recommends, could not he associated duly with the offices of clergymen, and not only without offence to religion, but also without great advantage to the Church. (Ex S. Siricio, Epist. decret. ad Hemerium Tarracon. c. 13.)

LXXXI. Likewise in this which it subjoins, that Saints Thomas and Bonaventura were engaged in such a manner in defending the institutes of mendicants against the greatest men, that in their defences less warmth, greater accuracy was to be wished for: Scandalous, injurious to the most holy doctors, favouring the impious contumelies of condemned authors.'

LXXXII. Rule 2, " that the multiplication and diversity of orders introduced naturally perturbation and confusion;" likewise in that which it premises, § 4, " that the founders of the regulars, who came forth after the monastic institutions, superadding orders to orders, reformations to reformations, effected nothing else, but more and more to extend the primary cause of the evil,"—understood of the orders and institutes approved by the Holy See, as the distinct variety of pious offices, to which distinct orders were devoted, must by their nature create perturbation and confusion: False calumniating to the holy founders and their faithful followers, and also injurious to the Sovereign Pontiffs themselves.

LXXXIII. Rule 8, in which, after premising, "that a small body living within a civil society, without being a part of the same, and establishing a little monarchy therein, is always dangerous,"—on this plea occasionally attacks private monasteries, associated by the the of a common institute, especially under one head, as so many special monarchies, dangerous and mischievous to a civil republic: False, rash, injurious to regular institutes approved by the Holy See for the interest of religion, favouring the cavils and calumnies of heresies against the same institutes

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LXXXTV. Art. 1: "About retaining one order only in the Church, and selecting in preference to all others the rule of Saint Benedict, as well ou account of its excellence, as for the distinguished merits of that order, so, however, that in those matters which shall perchance occur less suitable to the condition of the tunes, the mode of life established at Port Royal may hold out a light to try what it may be necessary to add, what to subtract."

2. " That those who may have joined this order may not be made partakers in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, nor promoted to holy orders, except at moat one or two, to be initiated as curates or capellani of the monastery, the others remaining in the simple order of laymen."

3. "That one monastery only is to be admitted in each state, and that that should be placed outside the walls of the city, in rather sequestered and remote situations."

4. "Among the occupations of monastic life, its own share must be reserved for manual labour inviolate, a suitable time, however, being left to be bestowed on psalmody, or even, if it shall please any one, on the study of literature. Pslamody should be moderate, because too great prolixity engenders precipitancy, trouble and straying. The more psalmody is increased, as also orisons and prayers, in just an equal proportion is fervour and sanctity of regulars always

6. "No distinction perhaps should be admitted between monks, or those devoted to the choir or to the ministries; that inequality has at all time excited the most serious contentions and discords, and has driven the spirit of charity from communitics of regulars."

6. "A vow of perpetual stability is never to be tolerated. The old monks were not aware of that, who still were the consolation of the Church, and the ornament of Christianity. The vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, are not to be admitted as a common and stable rule. If any one should be disposed to make those vows, either all or some, he will demand advice and leave from the bishop, who, however, will never permit that they should be perpetual, nor shall they exceed the limits of a year. Only the power shall be given to renew them on the same conditions.

7. "The bishop shall have every care to examine into their life, studies, and progress in piety; to him it shall appertain to admit and expel monks; always, however, taking the advice of the associates."

8. "The regulars of the orders, which still remain, may be admitted into this monastery as priests, provided they should desire to devote themselves in silence and solitude to their own sanctification, in which case an opportunity would be created for a dispensation in the genenral rule set down as number 2, so, however, that they follow not a mode of life different from others, so that not more than one or two masses at most be celebrated every day, and that one ought to be sufficient for the other priests to celebrate with the community."



"Perpetual vows not to be allowed up to the fortieth or forty-fifth year! Nuns are to be devoted to solid exercises, especially to labour; to be called away from carnal spirituality, by which most of them are distracted; it is to be considered whether, with respect to them it would be better that the monastery should be left in the city:" a system subversive of discipline flourishing, and now from ancient times approved and received, pernicious, opposed, and injurious to the apostolic constitutions, as well as to the enactments of several even general councils, and especially that ff Trent, abetting the reproaches and calumnies of heretics against monastic vows, and regular institutes addicted to the more stable profession of evangelical counsels.


Libell. memor. pro convoc. concil. nation. § 1.

LXXXV. The proposition, stating that any ecclesiastical knowledge whatsoever of history is sufficient for any one to be obliged to acknowledge, that the conveying of a national council is one of the canonical ways, by which controversies regarding religion may be terminated in the Church of the respective nations,—so understood, that controversies regarding faith and morals, in whatever church they may have arisen, can be terminated by an indisputable decision by a national council, as though exemption from error in questions of faith and morals were applicable to a national council: Schismatical, heretical.

We command, therefore, all the faithful in Christ of both sexes, that they presume not concerning the aforesaid propositions, to think, teach, or preach contrary to the declaration made in this our constitution; so that whoever either collectively or separately shall teach, defend, publish them, or any one of them, or shall treat of them by disputing on them, in public or in private, unless it may be by impugning them, subjects himself to ecclesiastical censures, and other penalties enacted by law against those perpetrating similar acts, by the very fact, without any other declaration.

But by this express reprobation of the aforesaid propositions and doctrines, we by no means intend to approve other things contained in the same book, especially since in it have been detected several propositions and doctrines, whether akin to those which were above condemned, or such as evince a rash contempt of the common and approved both doctrine and discipline, and most particularly a hostile feeling towards the Roman pontiffs and the Apostolic See.

But we consider two matters to be especially noted, which dropped from the synod, if not with an evil intention, at least rather imprudently, regarding the most august mystery of the most holy Trinity (§ 2, Decreti de Fide), which may readily drive into mischief, the ignorant more especially, and the incautious. First, whilst, after it duly premised that God in Himself is one and most simple, immediately after adding that God Himself is distinguished in three persons, erroneously abandons the common and approved formula in the institutions of the Christian doctrine, by which God is said to be one indeed in three distinct persons, not distinct in three persons; by the change of which formula, this danger of error creeps in by force of the words, that the divine essence is supposed distinct in persons, which Catholic faith confesses to do one in distinct persons, so that it professes it at the same time wholly indistinct in itself.

The other is that which it states regarding the three divine persons themselves, that they, according to their personal and incommunicable properties, more strictly speaking, are expressed or called the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, as though the appellation of Son, consecrated by so many passages of Scripture, would be less proper and exact, which by the very voice of the Father came down from the heavens and from the cloud, as well in the formula of baptism prescribed by Christ, as also in that illustrious confession in which Peter was pronounced blessed by Christ himself, and that should not rather be retained which the angelic[18] preceptor, having been taught by Augustine, taught in his own turn, that "in the name of the Word the same property was conveyed as in the name of the Son," Augustine saying, for instance, "For the same thing is He called Word as Son."[19]

Nor is that signal temerity of the synod, full of fraud, to be passed over in silence, which dares not only to set off with the highest encomiums the declaration of 1682, some time since disapproved by the Apostolic See, but in order to establish for it greater weight, insidiously to include it in the decree inscribed de Fide, openly to adopt the articles contained in it, and to seal with a public and solemn profession of these articles matters which were stated in a scattered and detached way throughout this same decree. For which reason have we not only far graver cause for expostulating regarding the synod than our predecessors, with respect to that meeting (of the Gallican clergy), but further, no inconsiderable injury is inflicted on the Gallican Church itself, which the synod deemed worthy to have its authority called in to patronise the errors with which that decree was contaminated.

Wherefore, whatever acts of the Gallican Convention, on their coming forth soon after, our venerable predecessor, Innocentius XI., by a letter in the form of a brief, on the 2nd of April, 1682, but afterwards more expressly, Alexander VIII., in the constitution Inter multiplices, on the 4th of August, 1609, in virtue of their apostolic duty, disapproved, rescinded, and declared null and void; our pastoral solicitude more forcibly requires of us to condemn and reprobate the recent adoption of these same acts which took place in the synod, and which laboured under so many vices, such adoption being rash, scandalous, and especially as being extremely injurious to the Apostolic See, as we reprobate and condemn it by this our present constitution, and wish it to be considered reprobated and condemned. To that class of fraud it appertains, that the synod, comprising in this very decree several articles regarding faith, which the theologians of the faculty of Louvain laid before the judgment of Innocentius XI., as well as twelve others also presented by Cardinal de Noailles to Benedict XIII., hesitated not to awaken an idle and silly fiction from the Second Council of Utrecht, which was reprobated, and inconsiderately blazoned it among the multitude, that it was well known to all Europe that those articles were submitted to the most rigorous examination at Rome, and that they not only escaped free from any censure whatsoever, but that they were recommended by the aforesaid Roman pontiffs; of which asserted commendation, however, there is no authentic document extant; nay more, this same is contradicted by the proceedings of the examination, which are preserved in the tablets of our Supreme Inquisition, from which this only appears, that no judgment had been published regarding them.

For these causes, therefore, we prohibit and condemn, by apostolic authority, by the tenor of these presents, this same book, entitled "Atti e decreti del concilio diocesano di Pistoria, del' 1786. In Pistoria, per Atto Bracali, stampatore vescovile, Con approvazione," inscribed either with the preceding or some other title, wheresoever, or in what idiom soever, in whatsoever edition or version hitherto printed or to be printed; as in like manner we prohibit and interdict all other books in its defence, or in defence of that doctrine, edited in manuscript as well as printed, or to be edited, which God forbid, as also the reading of them, copying, retention, and use, to all and each of the faithful in Christ, under pain of excommunication, to be incurred ipso facto by those who disobey.

We recommend, moreover, to our venerable brethren, patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops, and other ordinaries of places, as well as to the inquisitors of heretical perverseness, by all means to constrain and force all refractory and rebellious persons whatsoever, by censures and the aforesaid pains, and the other remedies of law and fact, invoking even for this purpose, if necessary, the aid of the secular arm.

But we desire, that the same credit be given to copies, even printed copies of the same presents, subscribed by the hand of some notary-public, and confirmed by the seal of a person placed in ecclesiastical dignity, as should be given to the original letter itself, if it were exhibited or shown.

Let it be lawful, therefore, for no one to infringe, or by rash daring to contravene, this page of our declaration, condemnation, mandate, prohibition, and interdiction. But if any one shall presume to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God, and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul.

Given at Rome, at Saint Mary Major's, in the year of the incarnation of our Lord 1794, on the 5th of the calends of September, the twentieth year of our pontificate.

Ph. Card. Prodatarius.
VisaR. Card, Braschius de Honestis.
De curia I. Manassii. Loco ✠ Plumbi. F. Livizzarius.
De curia I. Manassii. Loco ✠ Plumbi. F. Livizzarius.
De curia I. Manassii. Loco ✠ Plumbi. F. Livizzarius.
Registered in the Secretary's Office of Briefs.

In the year from the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1791, on the twelfth indiction, on the 31st day of August in the twentieth year of the pontificate of our most holy father in Christ, and of our Lord Pius VI., Pope, the aforesaid apostilic letter was affixed and published at the doors of the Lateran Bassilica and of the Prince of the Apostles of the Aposotlic Chancery, of the General Court in Montecitatoiio, in the plain of Campo di Fiore,[20] and in the other and usual places of the city, by me, John Renzoni, Apostolic Courier.

Felix Castellacei, Magister Chursorum

  1. To the Heb. xii. 4.
  2. Ad Coloss. i 18.
  3. Ad Ephes. vi. 16.
  4. S. Siricius ad Himerium Trasc. Epist. i. apud. Const.
  5. S. Cœlestinius
  6. S. Zosimus, ep. ii. apud Cons.
  7. S. Celestinus, ep. xiii. n. 2, ap. Const.
  8. S. Celest. ep. 14, ad populum G. P. n. 8, ap. Const.
  9. Ep. 13, ad Nestor, n. 9.
  10. L. 4, de Bapt. cont. Donat. c. 5, et 1, 5, 0. 26.
  11. S. Celest. ep. 16, n. 2, ap. Const.
  12. S. Celest. ep. 21, ad Episcopos Gralliarum.
  13. S. Celeat. ep. 12, n. 2.
  14. Idem, ep. 14, Cyrillo, n. 3.
  15. S. Leo M. ep. 23. Flaviano C. P. n. 2.
  16. Ex inrormata coiscientia.
  17. Ostiariatum
  18. St. Thomas was universally called the angelic doctor.
  19. Aug. de Trinitat. 1. vii. c. 2
  20. A moderate-sized square, with a fountain in the middle. I have some doubts as to the meaning of "in acis"