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BAIUS


210


BAIUS


Baius returned to Louvain in 1564 and the same year published new tracts which, with the addition of anotlier series, were collected in "Opuscula omnia", in 1566, the year of Hessels' death. It is Uktly that Hessels collaborated with Baius in these " Opuscula ". Their defence rested now on Baius alone, and it was no small task. Ravestein, who had succeeded Tap- per as chancellor, thought it was high time to call a halt, and informed Rome, requesting decisive ac- tion; 1 October, 1567, Pope Pius V signed the Bull, "Ex omnibus afflictionibus", in which were to be found a number of condemned propositions, but without mention of Baius' name. According to the usage of the Roman Chancery, the papal docimient was without punctuation, divisions, or numbers. Again, as had been done before in several instances, the objectionable propositions were not censured severally, but to the whole series were applied various "notes", from "heretical" down to "of- fensive". Moreover, not only was Baius' name not mentioned, but for obvious reasons of prudence in those days, so near the Reformation, the text itself was not to be made public. These facts gave occasion to many quibbles on the part of the Baian- ists: What was the exact number of propositions? — 76, 79, or 80? — Were they, or were they not, Baius' propositions? — Why had not a copy of the Bull been given to those on whose honour it was supposed to reflect? In the famous sentence, "quas quidem sen- tentias stricto coram nobis examine ponderatas quamquam nonnulhe aliquo pacto sustineri possent in rigore et proprio verborum sensu ab assertoribus intento hsreticas, erroneas . . . damnamus", was the comma Pianuin to be placed after intento or after possent, the meaning being reversed according as the comma came after the one or the other word? Nevertheless Baius did not stoop to these evasions at first, but when the papal Bull (1567) was brought to the university and read to the faculty, he sub- scribed with the other professors. Meanwhile, the text of the Bull having been divulged by some in- discreet person, Baius began to find fault with it and wrote to, or for, the pope two lengthy apologies, in vindication, he said, not so much of himself as of St. Augvistine. The tone of the apologies was respect- ful in appearance rather than in reality. By a Brief, dateil 1569, Pius V answered that the ease had been maturely examined and finally adjudged, and de- manded submission. After much tergiversation, wherein he stooped to the ridiculous evasion of the comma Planum and the practical stultification of a papal act, Baius abjured to Morillon, de Granvelle's vicar-general, all the errors condemned in the Bull, but was not then and there required to sign his re- cantation. The absence of that formality contributed later to revive the discusions. In 1570, at Rave- stein's death, Baius became dean of the faculty. Then rumors went abroad that the new dean was by no means in accord with orthodox teaching. Followers and adversaries suggested a clear pronouncement. It came under the title of the "Explicatio articu- lorum", in which Baius averred that, of the many condemned propositions, some were false and justly censured, some only ill expressed, while still others, if at variance with the terminology of the Scho- lastics, were yet the genuine sayings of the Fathers; at any rate, with more than forty of the seventy- nine articles he claimed to have nothing whatever to do. Baius, after two recantations, was simply reverting to his original position. The Bull was then solemnly published at Louvain, and subscribed by the whole faculty. Baius accepted it again. His apparent magnanimity even won him sympathy and preferments; he was in quick succession made Chancellor of Louvain, Dean of St. Peter's Collegiate Church, and "con.servator" of the university's privi- leges. Thus was peace restored, but only for a while.


Certain inconsiderate views of the master regai ding the authority of the Holy See, and even of the Council of Trent, and, on the part of his disciples, the ill disguised hope that Gregory XIII might de- clare void all that had been done by his predecessor, bade fair to reopen the whole question. Pope Gregory XIII would not permit this. The Bull, "Provisionis nostra'" (1579), confirmed the pre- ceding papal acts and the Jesuit Toletus was com- missioned to receive and bring to the pope the final abjuration of Baius. We have it midcr the name of "Confe.ssio Michaelis Bail". It reads, in part: "I am convinced that the condemnation of all those propositions is just and lawful. I confess that very many (plurimas) of these propositions are in my booM, and in the sense in which they are condemned. I renounce them all and resolve never more to teach or defend any of them." Despite this recantation, Baius' errors had sunk too deep into his mind not to occasionally crop up in rash tenets. Up to the last few years of his life sad contests were raised by, or around, him, and nothing short of the official ad- mission by the university of a compact body of doc- trine could quell those contests. Baius died in the Church, to which his studiousness, attainments, and piety did honour, but whose doctrinal unity his raslmess came near to infringing. The evil seed he had sown bore fruits of bitterness later on in the errors of Jansenism.

His System. — Baius' system has been conven- iently called Baianism, as a more objective name for it would be difficult to find. It is contained in a series of opuscula, or pamphlets: "On Free Will; "Justice and Justification"; "Sacrifice"; "Meri- torious Works"; "Man's Original Integrity and the Merits of the Wicked"; "The Sacraments"; "The Form of Baptism"; "Original Sin"; "Charity"; "Indulgences"; "Prayers for the Dead". Baius himself collected all those pamphlets in "M. Baii opuscula theologica" (Louvain, 1.566). The Maurist Gerberon gave a more complete edition: "M. Baii opera cum bullis pontificum et aliis ad ipsius causam spectantibus" (Cologne, 1696). This edition was put on the Index in 1697 on account of its second part, or "Baiana", in which the editor gives useful information about, but shows too much synipathj' for, Baius. The gist of Baianism is also found in the 79 propositions censured by Pius V (.Denzingi i . Enchiridion, 881-959). All cavil apart, the finst 60 are easily identified in Baius' printed works, and the remaining 19 — "tales quae vulgo circum- ferrentur", says an old manuscript copy of the Bull "Ex omnibus" — represent the oral teaching of the Baianist wing. In the preface to "Man's Original Integrity" Baius says: "What w-as in the beginning the integrity natural to man? Without that ques- tion one can understand neither the first corruption of nature (by original sin) nor its reparation by the grace of Christ." Those words give us the sequence of Baianism: (1) the state of innocent nature ; (2) the state of fallen natiu'e; (3) the state of redeemed nature.

(1) State of Innocent Xatiirc. — From the fact, .so strongly asserted by the Fathers, of the actual con- junction of nature and grace in the first man, Baius infers their necessary connexion or even practical identity. In his view, primitive innocence was not supernatural, at least in the ordinary acceptation of that word, but due to, and demanded by, the normal condition of humanity (which cannot, without it, remain in the state of salvation). And that primitive state, natural to man, included among its necessarj- requirements destination to heaven, immunity from ignorance, suffering, and death, and the inherent power of meriting. None of these was, nor could rightly be called, a gratuitous gift of grace.

(2) State of Fallen Nature. — The downfall of mar