Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/696

This page needs to be proofread.




ethics, attributed to the more prominent hermits and monks who peopled the Egyptian deserts in the fourtli centur\-. Three or four such collections in Latin were edited by Rosweyde (Vita? Patrum, Bks. Ill, V, VI. VII; P. L., XXIII), one in Greek by Cotelier (Ecclesia; Gra>Cie Monumenta, I; P. G. XV) , and a Syriac collection lately included in the editions of Anan Isho's "Paradise" by Bedjan (Paris, 1S97), and Budge (London, 1904), the latter supplying an English translation. In all these col- lections the great mass of material is the same, al- though differently disposed, and it is now agreed that our actual apophthegma literature is Greek, though no doubt much of it is ultimately of Coptic origin. The stages in the growth of the extant col- lections of "apophthegmata" may be traced with some certainty. In the course of the fourth century this or that saying of the more famous ascetics was repeated by their disciples, and thus circulated. There is no reason to doubt that these sayings and anecdotes were in large measure authentic, but no doubt many were attributed to ^vrong persons, and many more were apocryphal inventions. These single sayings tended to coalesce into groups, some- times as' the apophthegmata of one Father, some- times as those dealing with the same subject. Out of these groups were formed the great collections which we have. They are arranged on an alphabet- ical principle, or according to the subject-matter. Of such collections, that contained in the fifth and sixth books of Rosweyde 's "Vitse Patrum" is known to have existed before the end of the fifth century.

As to the character of the apophthegmata we find that, while they contain a certain grotesque ele- ment, the general teaching maintains a high, level. They cover the whole field of the spiritual and re- ligious life, and are a veritable storehouse of ascetic lore. Many of them have a primitive freshness and quaintness, and a directness that comes from a deep knowledge of the human heart. They almost always possess a simple beauty that makes them interesting and wholesome reading, and at times they rise to great mystic heights. Along with Cassian, the apophthegmata reveal to us the well-springs of Christian spirituality and religious life.

Where the chief collections of Apophthegmata are to be found has already been indicated. They have been trans- lated from the Syriac into English by Budge in their entirety (see above), and in a well-chosen selection by Hannay, Wis- dom of the Desert (London, 1904). The only critical investiga- tion into this literature as a whole is by Butler, Lausiac His- tory of PaiJodiiis (Cambridge, 1S98), Parti, 208-214. 283-285.

E. CuTHBERT Butler.

Aporti, Ferrante, educator and theologian, b. at San Martino dell'Argine, province of Mantua, Italy, 20 Nov., 1791; d. 14 Nov., 1858, at Turin. After liis ordination to the priesthood and a three- years' course in Vienna, he was appointed professor of church history in the seminary of Cremona and .superintendent of schools in the same city. He took a special interest in the education of poor chil- ilrcn and opened for their benefit an infant school at Cremona (1827). The success of this undertaking led to the establishment of similar schools in various cities of Italy. Aporti visited each, encouraged the teachers and published for their guidance: "II nianuale per le scuole infantili" (Cremona, 18.33), and 'Sillabario per I'infanzia" (Cremona, 1837). He also gave, in the University of Turin, a course of instruction on educational methods which attracted a large nimiber of teachers. He received from the French Government the title of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour (1846) and from Victor I^nmanuel the rank of .Senator (1848). He was called in 1855 to the rectorship of the University of Turin, a posi- tion which he held until shortly before his death.

Hi inHos, Dirl. de pi-tlaoogit (Paria, 1887), s. v.; Nuova Knciclopedta lUiLiana, e. v.

E. A. Pace.

Apostasy (ifA, from, and <rT(£<ris, station, stand- ing, or position). The word itself in its etymo- logical sense, signifies the desertion of a post, the giving up of a state of life; he who voluntarily embraces a definite state of life cannot lea\e it, therefore, without becoming an apostate. Most authors, however, distinguish, with Benedict XIV (De Synodo dioecesana, XIII, xi, 9), between three kinds of apostasy: apostasy a Fide or perfidup, when a Christian gives up his faith; apostasy ab ordine, when a cleric abandons the ecclesiastical state; apostasy a religione, or tnonachatus , when a religious leaves the religious life. The Gloss on title 9 of the fifth book of the Decretals of Gregory IX mentions two other kinds of apostasy: apostasy inobedientice , disobedience to a command given by lawful authority, and iteratio baptwmatis, the repeti- tion of baptism, "quoniam reiterantes baptismum videntur apostatare dum recedunt a priori bap- tismate". As all sin involves disobedience, the apostasy inobedientice does not constitute a specific offence. In the case of iteratio baptismatis, the of- fence falls rather under the head of heresy and irreg- ularity than of apostasy; if the latter name has sometimes been given to it, it is due to the fact that the Decretals of Gregory IX combine into one title, under the rubric " De apostatis et reiterantibus baptisma" (V, title 9) the two distinct titles of the Justinian Code: "Ne sanctum baptisma itcretur" and " De apost.atis " (I, titles 6, 7), in Corpus juris civilis ed. Krueger, (Beriin, 1888); II, 60-61. See Miinchen, "Das kanonische Gerichtsverfahren und Strafrecht" (Cologne, 1874), II, 362, 363. Apostasy, in its strict- est sense, means apostasy a Fide (St. Thomas, Summa theologica, II — II, Q. xii a. 1).

Apostasy a Fide, or Perfidi.e, is the complete and voluntary abandonment of the Christian religion, whether the apostate embraces another religion, such as Paganism, Judaism, Mohammedanism, etc., or merely makes profession of Naturalism, Rational- ism, etc. The heretic differs from the apostate in that he only denies one or more of the doctrines of revealed religion, whereas the apostate denies the religion itself, a sin which has always been looked upon as one of the most grievous. The "Shep- herd" of Hermas, a work written in Rome in the middle of the second century, states positively that there is no forgiveness for those who have wilfully denied the Lord. [Similit. ix, 26, 5; Funk, Opera Patrum apostolicorum (Tubingen, 1887), I, 547). Apostasy belonged, therefore, to the class of sins for which the Church imposed perpetual penance and excommunication without hope of par- don, leaving the forgiveness of the sin to God alone. After the Deciaii persecution (249, 250), however, the great numbers of Lapsi and Libetlatici, and the claims of the Martyres or Confcssores, who assumed the right of remitting the sin of apostasy by giving the Lapsi a letter of communion, led to a relaxation of the rigour of ecclesiastical discipline. St. Cyprian and the Council of the African Church which met at Carthage in 251 admitted the principle of the Church's right to remit the sin of apostasy, even before the hour of death. Pope Cornelius and the council which he held at Rome confirmed the de- cisions of the Synod of Carthage, and the discipline of forgiveness was gradually introduced into all the Churches. [Epistohe S. Cypriani, 55 et 68; Cor- pus scriptoruin ccclesiasticorum latinoruin (Vienna, 1871), III, ii, ed. Ilartel, 624, 666; Eusebius, Church History, VI, xhii, 1, 2]. Nevertheless, the Council of Elvira, held in Spain about the year 300, still refused forgiveness to apostates. [Harduin, Acta Concilionim (Paris, 1715), I, 250; Funk, Kirchcn- (^cscliichtliche Abhandlungen und Untersuchungeu (I'adcrliorn, 1897), I, 155-181; BatilTol, Etude3 il'liistoire ct de tn6ologio positive (Paris, 19021.