condemned by the Council of Trent when it forbade the wresting of Scripture to profane uses (Sess. IV, Decret. "De editione et usu Sacrorum Librorum "). Interpreters are wont to give the following rules for guidance in the accommodation of Scripture: (a) Accommodated texts should never be used as arguments drawn from revelation; for the words are not employed in the sense, either literal or typical, intended by the Holy Ghost. Violations of this rule are not rare, either in sermons or in pious literature. (b) Accommodation should not be far-fetched. Allusive accommodations in many cases are mere distortions of the sacred text. (c) Accommodations should be reverent. Holy words should be employed for purposes of edification, not to excite laughter, much less to cloak errors.
Cornely, Introductio Generalis, nn. 206–208; Patrizi, De Interpretatione Bibliorum (Rome, 1862), 273 sq.; Vasquez in S. Thom., I, Q. i, a. 7, dist. 14; Serarius, Prolegomena Biblica, 21, 14; Acosta, De verâ Scripturas tractandi ratione, III, v–viii; Vigouroux, Manuel biblique, I; Longhaye, La prédication (Paris, 1888), 295–301; Bainvel, Les contresens biblioques; Mangenot in Vig. Dict. de la Bible, s.v. Accommodation; cf. works on biblical hermeneutics, and also many of the introductions to Sacred Scripture.
Accomplice, a term generally employed to designate a partner in some form of evil-doing. An accomplice is one who co-operates in some way in the wrongful activity of another who is accounted the principal. From the viewpoint of the moral theologian not every such species of association is straightway to be adjudged unlawful. It is necessary to distinguish first of all between formal and material co-operation. To formally co-operate in the sin of another is to be associated with him in the performance of a bad deed in so far forth as it is bad, that is, to share in the perverse frame of mind of that other. On the contrary, to materially co-operate in another's crime is to participate in the action so far as its physical entity is concerned, but not in so far as it is motived by the malice of the principal in the case. For example, to persuade another to absent himself without reason from Mass on Sunday would be an instance of formal co-operation. To sell a person in an ordinary business transaction a revolver which he presently uses to kill himself is a case of material co-operation. Then it must be borne in mind that the co-operation may be described as proximate or remote in proportion to the closeness of relation between the action of the principal and that of his helper. The teaching with regard to this subject-matter is very plain, and may be stated in this wise: Formal co-operation is never lawful, since it presupposes a manifestly sinful attitude on the part of the will of the accomplice. Material complicity is held to be justified when it is brought about by an action which is in itself either morally good or at any rate indifferent, and when there is a sufficient reason for permitting on the part of another the sin which is a consequence of the action. The reason for this assertion is patent; for the action of the accomplice is assumed to be unexceptionable, his intention is already bespoken to be proper, and he cannot be burdened with the sin of the principal agent, since there is supposed to be a commensurately weighty reason for not preventing it. Practically, however, it is often difficult to apply these principles, because it is hard to determine whether the co-operation is formal or only material, and also whether the reason alleged for a case of material co-operation bears due proportion to the grievousness of the sin committed by the principal, and the intimacy of the association with him. It is especially the last-named factor which is a fruitful source of perplexity. In general, however, the following considerations will be of value in discerning whether in an instance of material co-operation the reason avowed is valid or not. The necessity for a more and more powerful reason is accentuated in proportion as there is (1) a greater likelihood that the sin would not be committed without the act of material co-operation; (2) a closer relationship between the two; and (3) a greater heinousness in the sin, especially in regard to harm done either to the common weal or some unoffending third party. It is to be observed that, when damage has been done to a third person, the question is raised not only of the lawfulness of the co-operation, but also of restitution to be made for the violation of a strict right. Whether in that case the accomplice has shared in the perpetration of the injustice physically or morally (i.e. by giving a command, by persuasion, etc.) whether positively or negatively (i.e. by failing to prevent it) the obligation of restitution is determined in accordance with the following principle. All are bound to reparation who in any way are accounted to be the actual efficient causes of the injury wrought, or who, being obliged by contract, express or implied, to prevent it, have not done so. There are circumstances in which fellowship in the working of damage to another makes the accomplice liable to restitution in solidum; that is, he is then responsible for the entire loss in so far as his partners have failed to make good for their share. Finally, mention must be made of the Constitution of Benedict XIV, Sacramentum Pœnitentiæ, governing a particular case of complicity. It provides that a priest who has been the accomplice of any person in a sin against the Sixth Commandment is rendered incapable of absolving validly that person from that sin, except in danger of death, and then only if there be no other priest obtainable.
Genicot, Theol. Moralis (Louvain, 1898).
Accursius, Francesco (It. Accorso), (1) a celebrated Italian jurisconsult of the Middle Ages, b. at Florence, 1182; d. at Bologna, 1260. After applying himself to various studies until he was twenty-eight, or according to other statements, thirty-seven years old, he took up the law and became one of its most distinguished exponents. He taught at Bologna, and then devoted himself to compiling a glossary or commentary on the whole body of law, which took precedence of any work then extant. Accorso, or Accursius, was not proficient in the classics, but he was called "the Idol of the Jurisconsults". (2) Francesco, son of the preceding, and also a lawyer, b. at Bologna, 1225; d. 1293. The two are often confounded. Francesco was more distinguished for his tact than for his wisdom. Edward I of England, returning from the Holy Land, brought him with him to England. He returned to Bologna in 1282, and practiced law there until his death. His two sons, Cervottus and Guglielmo, and a daughter studied law with him and also practised in Bologna. Dante places Francesco Accursius in Hell (Inf. XV, 110). The tomb of his father and himself in Bologna bears the inscription: "Sepulchrum Accursii, glossatoris legum, et Francisci, ejus filii."
Giraud, Bibl., Sac.
Aceldama. See Haceldama.
Acephali, a term applied to the Eutychians who withdrew from Peter Mongus, the Monophysite Patriarch of Alexandria, in 482. With the apparent purpose of bringing the orthodox and heretics into unity, Peter Mongus and Acacius of Constantinople had elaborated a new creed in which they condemned expressly Nestorius and Eutyches, but at the same time affected to pass over the decisions of the Council of Chalecdon and rejected them hypocritically. This ambiguous formula, though approved by the