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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/494

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MOLINISM


440


MOLINISM


pp. 574 sqq.), deniwi, if not the existence, at least flie infallinility of God's knowledge coneerniiif; the eonditioned free future, and atlrihuli'd to it only unat probability. Hut, from the time that suili cminiiil IhtHiloRians as Alvarez, Cionel, (lotii, and Billuarl sur- eeedeil in harmonizing the infallibility of tliis l)i\inc knowledge with the fuii<lainental tenets of 'riiomism by the subtle theory of hyijothetical Divine ilecrc'cs, there has been no Thomist who does not ui)h()ld the omniseienee of Ciod also with regard to conditioned events. Hut have they not then become supporters of the scittilid nuilid.' Hy no means. Kor it is jire- cisely the .Molinists who most .sternly repudiate these Divine predetermining decrees, be they absolute or conditioned, iis the deathknell of man's freedom. For the very purpose of securing the freedom of the will and in no way to do violence to it by a physical pre- motion of any .sort, the Molinists insisted all along that the knowledge of God precedes the decrees of His will. They thus kept this knowledge free an<l unin- fluencc<l by any antecedent absolute or conditioned de- cree of God's will. iMolinism is pledged to the following princijile: The knowledge of God precedes as a guiding light the decree of His will, and His will is in no way the source of His knowledge. It was because by their scicniia media they understood a knowledge in- dependent of any decrees, that they were most sharply assailed by the Thomists.

II. Latkk Dkvelop.ment of MoLi.\isxr. — Thus far we have learned that the central idea cf .MnliniMn li<'s in thejirinciple that the infallible .sini v- n| ,11 ,■;;.■. ms grace is nut to be ascribed to its own ininM>ir ii.iiiirc, but to the Divine sricntiii iiudin. The Society of Jesus has ever since chnig tenaciously to this principle, but without considering itself bound to maintain all the assertions and arguments of Molina's "Concordia"; on many [loints of secondary importance its teachers are allowed perfect freedom of opinion.

First of all it was clear to the Jesuits from the begin- ning and the disputations before the Congregatio de Auxiliis (q. v.) did but strengthen the conviction, that a more perfect, more fully developed, and more accu- rate exposition of the Molinistic system on grace was both possible and desirable. As a modification of Molinism we are usually referred in the first place to that expansion and development, which afterwards took the name of Congruism (q. v.), and which owes its final form to the joint labours of Bellarminc, Sua- rez, Vasquez, and Lessius. As the article on Congru- ism shows in detail, the system received its name from the gralifi congrua, i. e. a grace accommodated to cir- cumstances. By such is understood a grace which, owing to its internal relationship and adaptation to the state of the reri|iient (his eharaed'r, dis|)osition, education, place, limcrli i. produces its elTeil in the light of the Kn.iilia iim/in with itifaliil.le (cilainty, and thus is objectively identical with eflicaeious grace. The exi)re.ssion is borrowed from St. Augustine, as when he says: "Cujus autem miserctur, sic cum vocat, quomodo scit ei congruere, ut vocantem non re.spuat" (.yd Simplicianum, I, Q. ii, n. 13). Consistently then with this tcrminologj', the grace which is merely suffi- cient must be called gratia incongrua, i. e. a grace which has not a (-ongruity with the circumstances, and is therefore inefiicacious. This term also is sanctioned by St. Augustine (I. c), for he says: "Illi enim electi, qui congruenter vocat i; illi autem, qui non congrue- bant neque contemijcrabantur vocationi, non electi, quia non secuti, quamvis vocati". This doctrine seems to have advanced beyond "extreme Molinism" to this extent, that inefiicacious grace and merely suffi- cient grace are ma<le to differ even in aclu prima — not indeed in their internal nature and physical entity, but in their moral worth and ethical nature — inasmuch as the bestowal of an (^ver so weak gratia congrua is an incomparably greater benefit of God than that of an ever so powerful gratia incongrua, the actual inefficacy


of which God foresaw from all eternity. Though Mo- lina himself had taught this doctrine ("Concordia", Paris, ISTC), i)p. 4.")l), 4(i(i, .")22, etc.), it s.'cms that a II II iiig Ills followers .some ("xtriMiie Molinistsiiiidul.vem- liliasizcd the power of the will over grace, thus draw- ing upon lliemselves the siisiiieion of Seniipelagianism. At least Carilinal Hellariiiiiie attacks some who prop- agated such one-sided Moliiiist ie views, and who eaiiiiol lia\e beiai men' iinagiiiaiy adversaries; against t hem he skilfully si iciigl lieiii'd t he tenets of Congruism by numerous quotations from St. .Augustine.

As was natural the later Molinism underwent con- siderable changes, and was iiii|iro\ cd by tic unweary- ing labours of those who sought to establish the .scien- tia iiii'iHu — the most important factor in the whole system — on a deeper philosophical and theological basis, and to demonstrate its worth from a dogmatic jHiiiit of view. The task was a very difficult one. The t lieory of t he Thomistic decrees of the Divine will hav- ing been eliminated as the infallible source of God's knowledge of free acts belonging to the conditional future, some other theory had to be substituted. Molina's doctrine, which Bellarmine and Beeanus had made their own, was soon abandoned as savouring of Deteniiinisin. Molina (Concordia, pp. 290, 303) transferred the medium of God's infallible knowledge to the supercomprehensio cordis {KapSioyvuala, the searching of hearts). In virtue of this supcrcompre- hension, God knows the most secret inclinations and peiii't rates the most hidden recesses of man's heart, and is thus enabled to foresee with mathematical cer- l:iiiity the free resolves latent in man's will. This uiisatisractory exjjlanation, however, met with the ii:iliii:d objection that the mathematically certain foieknowledge of an effect from its cause is nothing more or less than the knowledge of a necessarj' effect; consequently the will would no longer be free (cf. Kleutgen, "De Deo Uno", Rome, 1881, pp. 322 sqq.). Therefore, the opinion, gradually adopted since the time of Suarez (but repudiated in Molina's work), maintains that, by the scientia media, God sees the conditioned future acts in themselves, i. e. in their own (formal or objective) truth. For, since every free act must be absolutely determined in its being, even be- fore it becomes actual or at least conditionally possi- ble, it is from all eternity a definite truth {dclerminaia Veritas), and must consequently be knowable as such by the omniscient God with metaphysical eerttiint.y. Ruiz ("De scientia Dei", Paris, 1629), with asulitlety beyond his fellows, laid a deeper foundation for this theory, and .succeeded in getting it permanently adopted by the Molinists. Further proofs for the scientia media may be found in Pohle's "Dogmatik", I (4th ed., 1908), pp. 206 sq. However, when further investigations were made, so great and well-nigh in- surmountable were the difficulties which arose against the establishing of the absolute indejiendence of the srii-nlia iiudia in regard to the Divine Will, that the greater number of the modern Molinists eitlier give up the 'at tempt to indicate a medium of Divine knowledge iiii'iliiim IN ijiio), or positively declare it to be super- lluoiis; nevertheless, there are a few (e. g. Kleutgen, Cornoldi, Regnon) who make a sharp distinction be- tween the question of the actual existence of the scientia media and that of its process. \\'hile vigor- ously maintaining the existence of the sciintin media, they frankly acknowledge their ignorance with regard to its process of operation. Thus, the scientia iimlia, which was meant to solve all the mysteries concerning grace, seems to have become itself the greatest mys- tery of all. The most favourable statement that may be made in its favour is that it is a necessary postulate in any doctrine of grace in which the freedom of the will is to be safeguarded; in itself it is but a thcologou- menon. If we then consider that the Thomists also, with Billuart (De Deo di.ssert., VIII, art. iv, §2 ad 6) at their head, call the reconcihation of their prcsmotio