By St. Thomas Aquinas



Contents | Part 1 | Part 2-1 | Part 2-2 | Part 3 | Supplement


Penance (Cont.)

PARTS (CONTRITION): Definition (1) of contrition. Its object (2), degree (3), duration (4) and effect (5).

PARTS (CONFESSION): Its necessity (6), nature (7), minister (8), quality (9), and effect (10). The seal (11) of confession.

PARTS (SATISFACTION): Its nature (12), possibility (13), quality (14), and means (15).

RECIPIENTS: Recipients (16) of the sacrament of Penance.

KEYS (GENERAL): The keys: their nature and meaning (17), effect (18), ministers (19) and recipients (20).

KEYS (EXCOMMUNICATION): Definition, congruity and cause (21) of excommunication. Who (22) can excommunicate or be excommunicated. Communication (23) with excommunicated persons. Absolution (24) from excommunication.

KEYS (INDULGENCES): Indulgences in itself (25). Those who grant (26) and receive (27) indulgences.

RITE: The solemn rite (28) of Penance.

Extreme Unction

GENERAL: Its essentials and institution (29), effects (30), minister (31), recipient (32) and repetition (33).

Holy Orders

GENERAL: The essence, quiddity, and parts (34) of the sacrament. Its effect (35) and recipients (36). The difference (37) of Orders. Those who confer (38) Orders. Impediments (39) and other things (40) connected with Orders.

Matrimony

GENERAL: Matrimony as an office of nature (41) and as a sacrament (42). The betrothal (43). The nature of matrimony (44).

EFFICIENT CAUSE: Its efficient cause, namely the consent: both in itself (45) and confirmed (46) by oath or carnal intercourse. Compulsory and conditional (47) consent. The object (48) of the consent.

BLESSINGS: The blessings (49) of matrimony.

IMPEDIMENTS: The impediments of marriage in general (50) and in particular: error (51), slavery (52), vows and orders (53), consanguinity (54), affinity (55), spiritual relationship (56), legal relationship by adoption (57), impotence, spell, insanity, incest, and defective age (58), disparity of worship (59), and wife-murder (60). Impediments which supervene marriage: A solemn vow (61), which affects an unconsummated marriage; and fornication (62), which affects a consummated marriage.

THINGS ANNEXED: Second marriages (63). The marriage debt (64), the plurality of wives (65), bigamy (66), the bill of divorce (67), and illegitimate children (68).

The Resurrection

PRECEDING THE RESURRECTION: Where souls go (69) after death. The quality (70) of separated souls, and the punishment by fire. How the living assist the departed souls (71). How the saints assist the living (72). The signs preceding (73) the last judgment. The world's final conflagration (74) which will precede the Second Coming.

ACCOMPANYING THE RESURRECTION: The resurrection itself (75). Its cause (76), its time and manner (77), and its term "wherefrom" (78). The conditions of the good and wicked in common: their identity (79), integrity (80), and quality (81). The conditions of the good: impassibility (82), subtlety (83), agility (84), and clarity (85). The conditions of the bodies of the wicked (86).

JUDGMENT FOLLOWING THE RESURRECTION: The knowledge (87) which men will have at the judgment. The time and place (88) of the last judgment. Who (89) will judge and who will be judged. The form (90) of the Judge.

FOLLOWING THE JUDGMENT: The state and quality of the world (91). The state of the blessed: their beatific vision (92), their happiness and mansions (93), their relations with the damned (94), their gifts (95) and their crowns (96). The state of the wicked: punishment of their bodies (97) by fire, and of their will and intellect (98). God's justice and mercy (99) in regard to the damned.

Appendices

APPENDIX I: The quality of souls who die with original sin only (1), and of those in purgatory (2).

APPENDIX II: Two additional articles on purgatory (1).


Supplement to Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas

Gathered from his Commentary on Book IV of the Sentences (QQ[1] -99) EDITOR'S NOTE: After writing these few questions of the treatise on Penance, St. Thomas was called to the heavenly reward which he had merited by writing so well of his Divine Master. The remainder of the Summa Theologica, known as the Supplement, was compiled probably by Fra Rainaldo da Piperno, companion and friend of the Angelic Doctor, and was gathered from St. Thomas's commentary on the Fourth Book of the Sentences of Peter Lombard. This commentary was written in the years 1235-1253, while St. Thomas was under thirty years of age. Everywhere it reveals the influence of him whom St. Thomas always called the Master. But that influence was not to be always supreme. That the mind of the Angelic Doctor moved forward to positions which directly contradicted the Master may be seen by any student of the Summa Theologica. The compiler of the Supplement was evidently well acquainted with the commentary on the Sentences, which had been in circulation for some twenty years or more, but it is probable that he was badly acquainted with the Summa Theologica. This will be realized and must be borne in mind when we read the Supplement, notably [4820]TP, Q[62], A[1]; also Q[43], A[3], ad 2 of the Supplement.


OF THE PARTS OF PENANCE, IN PARTICULAR, AND FIRST OF CONTRITION (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider each single part of Penance, and (1) Contrition; (2) Confession; (3) Satisfaction. The consideration about Contrition will be fourfold: (1) What is it? (2) What should it be about? (3) How great should it be? (4) Of its duration; (5) Of its effect. Under the first head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether Contrition is suitably defined?

(2) Whether it is an act of virtue?

(3) Whether attrition can become contrition?


Whether contrition is an assumed sorrow for sins, together with the purpose of confessing them and of making satisfaction for them?

Objection 1: It would seem that contrition is not "an assumed sorrow for sins, together with the purpose of confessing them and of making satisfaction for them," as some define it. For, as Augustine states (De Civ. Dei xiv, 6), "sorrow is for those things that happen against our will." But this does not apply to sin. Therefore contrition is not sorrow for sins.

Objection 2: Further, contrition is given us by God. But what is given is not assumed. Therefore contrition is not an assumed sorrow.

Objection 3: Further, satisfaction and confession are necessary for the remission of the punishment which was not remitted by contrition. But sometimes the whole punishment is remitted in contrition. Therefore it is not always necessary for the contrite person to have the purpose of confessing and of making satisfaction.

On the contrary, stands the definition.

I answer that, As stated in Ecclus. 10:15, "pride is the beginning of all sin," because thereby man clings to his own judgment, and strays from the Divine commandments. Consequently that which destroys sin must needs make man give up his own judgment. Now he that persists in his own judgment, is called metaphorically rigid and hard: wherefore anyone is said to be broken when he is torn from his own judgment. But, in material things, whence these expressions are transferred to spiritual things, there is a difference between breaking and crushing or contrition, as stated in Meteor. iv, in that we speak of breaking when a thing is sundered into large parts, but of crushing or contrition when that which was in itself solid is reduced to minute particles. And since, for the remission of sin, it is necessary that man should put aside entirely his attachment to sin, which implies a certain state of continuity and solidity in his mind, therefore it is that the act through which sin is cast aside is called contrition metaphorically. In this contrition several things are to be observed, viz. the very substance of the act, the way of acting, its origin and its effect: in respect of which we find that contrition has been defined in various ways. For, as regards the substance of the act, we have the definition given above: and since the act of contrition is both an act of virtue, and a part of the sacrament of Penance, its nature as an act of virtue is explained in this definition by mentioning its genus, viz. "sorrow," its object by the words "for sins," and the act of choice which is necessary for an act of virtue, by the word "assumed": while, as a part of the sacrament, it is made manifest by pointing out its relation to the other parts, in the words "together with the purpose of confessing and of making satisfaction." There is another definition which defines contrition, only as an act of virtue; but at the same time including the difference which confines it to a special virtue, viz. penance, for it is thus expressed: "Contrition is voluntary sorrow for sin whereby man punishes in himself that which he grieves to have done," because the addition of the word "punishes" defines the definition to a special virtue. Another definition is given by Isidore (De Sum. Bono ii, 12) as follows: "Contrition is a tearful sorrow and humility of mind, arising from remembrance of sin and fear of the Judgment." Here we have an allusion to the derivation of the word, when it is said that it is "humility of the mind," because just as pride makes the mind rigid, so is a man humbled, when contrition leads him to give up his mind. Also the external manner is indicated by the word "tearful," and the origin of contrition, by the words, "arising from remembrance of sin," etc. Another definition is taken from the words of Augustine [*Implicitly on Ps. 46], and indicates the effect of contrition. It runs thus: "Contrition is the sorrow which takes away sin." Yet another is gathered from the words of Gregory (Moral. xxxiii, 11) as follows: "Contrition is humility of the soul, crushing sin between hope and fear." Here the derivation is indicated by saying that contrition is "humility of the soul"; the effect, by the words, "crushing sin"; and the origin, by the words, "between hope and fear." Indeed, it includes not only the principal cause, which is fear, but also its joint cause, which is hope, without which, fear might lead to despair.

Reply to Objection 1: Although sins, when committed, were voluntary, yet when we are contrite for them, they are no longer voluntary, so that they occur against our will; not indeed in respect of the will that we had when we consented to them, but in respect of that which we have now, so as to wish they had never been.

Reply to Objection 2: Contrition is from God alone as to the form that quickens it, but as to the substance of the act, it is from the free-will and from God, Who operates in all works both of nature and of will.

Reply to Objection 3: Although the entire punishment may be remitted by contrition, yet confession and satisfaction are still necessary, both because man cannot be sure that his contrition was sufficient to take away all, and because confession and satisfaction are a matter of precept: wherefore he becomes a transgressor, who confesses not and makes not satisfaction.


Whether contrition is an act of virtue?

Objection 1: It would seem that contrition is not an act of virtue. For passions are not acts of virtue, since "they bring us neither praise nor blame" (Ethic. ii, 5). But sorrow is a passion. As therefore contrition is sorrow, it seems that it is not an act of virtue.

Objection 2: Further, as contrition is so called from its being a crushing, so is attrition. Now all agree in saying that attrition is not an act of virtue. Neither, therefore, is contrition an act of virtue.

On the contrary, Nothing but an act of virtue is meritorious. But contrition is a meritorious act. Therefore it is an act of virtue.

I answer that, Contrition as to the literal signification of the word, does not denote an act of virtue, but a corporeal passion. But the


QUESTION in point does not refer to contrition in this sense, but to that which the word is employed to signify by way of metaphor. For just as the inflation of one's own will unto wrong-doing implies, in itself, a generic evil, so the utter undoing and crushing of that same will implies something generically good, for this is to detest one's own will whereby sin was committed. Wherefore contrition, which signifies this, implies rectitude of the will; and so it is the act of that virtue to which it belongs to detest and destroy past sins, the act, to wit, of penance, as is evident from what was said above (Sent. iv, D, 14, Q[1], A[1]; [4821]TP, Q[85], AA[2],3).

Reply to Objection 1: Contrition includes a twofold sorrow for sin. One is in the sensitive part, and is a passion. This does not belong essentially to contrition as an act of virtue, but is rather its effect. For just as the virtue of penance inflicts outward punishment on the body, in order to compensate for the offense done to God through the instrumentality of the bodily members, so does it inflict on the concupiscible part of the soul a punishment, viz. the aforesaid sorrow, because the concupiscible also co-operated in the sinful deeds. Nevertheless this sorrow may belong to contrition taken as part of the sacrament, since the nature of a sacrament is such that it consists not only of internal but also of external acts and sensible things. The other sorrow is in the will, and is nothing else save displeasure for some evil, for the emotions of the will are named after the passions, as stated above (Sent. iii, D, 26, Q[1], A[5]; [4822]FS, Q[22], A[3], ad 3). Accordingly, contrition is essentially a kind of sorrow, and is an act of the virtue of penance.

Reply to Objection 2: Attrition denotes approach to perfect contrition, wherefore in corporeal matters, things are said to be attrite, when they are worn away to a certain extent, but not altogether crushed to pieces; while they are said to be contrite, when all the parts are crushed [tritae] minutely. Wherefore, in spiritual matters, attrition signifies a certain but not a perfect displeasure for sins committed, whereas contrition denotes perfect displeasure.


Whether attrition can become contrition?

Objection 1: It would seem that attrition can become contrition. For contrition differs from attrition, as living from dead. Now dead faith becomes living. Therefore attrition can become contrition.

Objection 2: Further, matter receives perfection when privation is removed. Now sorrow is to grace, as matter to form, because grace quickens sorrow. Therefore the sorrow that was previously lifeless, while guilt remained, receives perfection through being quickened by grace: and so the same conclusion follows as above.

On the contrary, Things which are caused by principles altogether diverse cannot be changed, one into the other. Now the principle of attrition is servile fear, while filial fear is the cause of contrition. Therefore attrition cannot become contrition.

I answer that, There are two opinions on this question: for some say that attrition may become contrition, even as lifeless faith becomes living faith. But, seemingly, this is impossible; since, although the habit of lifeless faith becomes living, yet never does an act of lifeless faith become an act of living faith, because the lifeless act passes away and remains no more, as soon as charity comes. Now attrition and contrition do not denote a habit, but an act only: and those habits of infused virtue which regard the will cannot be lifeless, since they result from charity, as stated above (Sent. iii, D, 27, Q[2], A[4]; [4823]FS, Q[65], A[4]). Wherefore until grace be infused, there is no habit by which afterwards the act of contrition may be elicited; so that attrition can nowise become attrition: and this is the other opinion.

Reply to Objection 1: There is no comparison between faith and contrition, as stated above.

Reply to Objection 2: When the privation is removed from matter, the matter is quickened if it remains when the perfection comes. But the sorrow which was lifeless, does not remain when charity comes, wherefore it cannot be quickened. It may also be replied that matter does not take its origin from the form essentially, as an act takes its origin from the habit which quickens it. Wherefore nothing hinders matter being quickened anew by some form, whereby it was not quickened previously: whereas this cannot be said of an act, even as it is impossible for the identically same thing to arise from a cause wherefrom it did not arise before, since a thing is brought into being but once.


OF THE OBJECT OF CONTRITION (SIX ARTICLES)

We must now consider the object of contrition. Under this head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a man should be contrite on account of his punishment?

(2) Whether, on account of original sin?

(3) Whether, for every actual sin he has committed?

(4) Whether, for actual sins he will commit?

(5) Whether, for the sins of others?

(6) Whether, for each single mortal sin?


Whether man should be contrite on account of the punishment, and not only on account of his sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that man should be contrite on account of the punishment, and not only on account of his sin. For Augustine says in De Poenitentia [*Cf. Hom. 50 inter 1]: "No man desires life everlasting unless he repent of this mortal life." But the morality of this life is a punishment. Therefore the penitent should be contrite on account of his punishments also.

Objection 2: Further, the Master says (Sent. iv, D, 16, cap. i), quoting Augustine (De vera et falsa Poenitentia [*Work of an unknown author]), that the penitent should be sorry for having deprived himself of virtue. But privation of virtue is a punishment. Therefore contrition is sorrow for punishments also.

On the contrary, No one holds to that for which he is sorry. But a penitent, by the very signification of the word, is one who holds to his punishment [*"Poenitens," i.e. "poenam tenens"]. Therefore he is not sorry on account of his punishment, so that contrition which is penitential sorrow is not on account of punishment.

I answer that, As stated above ([4824]Q[1], A[1]), contrition implies the crushing of something hard and whole. Now this wholeness and hardness is found in the evil of fault, since the will, which is the cause thereof in the evil-doer, sticks to its own ground*, and refuses to yield to the precept of the law, wherefore displeasure at a suchlike evil is called metaphorically "contrition." [*There is a play on the words here — 'integer' (whole) and 'in suis terminis' (to its own ground)]. But this metaphor cannot be applied to evil of punishment, because punishment simply denotes a lessening, so that it is possible to have sorrow for punishment but not contrition.

Reply to Objection 1: According to St. Augustine, penance should be on account of this mortal life, not by reason of its mortality (unless penance be taken broadly for every kind of sorrow); but by reason of sins, to which we are prone on account of the weakness of this life.

Reply to Objection 2: Sorrow for the loss of virtue through sin is not essentially the same as contrition, but is its principle. For just as we are moved to desire a thing on account of the good we expect to derive from it, so are we moved to be sorry for something on account of the evil accruing to us therefrom.


Whether contrition should be on account of original sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that contrition should be on account of original sin. For we ought to be contrite on account of actual sin; not by reason of the act, considered as a kind of being, but by reason of its deformity, since the act, regarded in its substance, is a good, and is from God. Now original sin has a deformity, even as actual sin has. Therefore we should be contrite on its account also.

Objection 2: Further, by original sin man has been turned away from God, since in punishment thereof he was to be deprived of seeing God. But every man should be displeased at having been turned away from God. Therefore man should be displeased at original sin; and so he ought to have contrition for it.

On the contrary, The medicine should be proportionate to the disease. Now we contracted original sin without willing to do so. Therefore it is not necessary that we should be cleansed from it by an act of the will, such as contrition is.

I answer that, Contrition is sorrow, as stated above ([4825]Q[1], AA[1],2), respecting and, so to speak, crushing the hardness of the will. Consequently it can regard those sins only which result in us through the hardness of our will. And as original sin was not brought upon us by our own will, but contracted from the origin of our infected nature, it follows that, properly speaking, we cannot have contrition on its account, but only displeasure or sorrow.

Reply to Objection 1: Contrition is for sin, not by reason of the mere substance of the act, because it does not derive the character of evil therefrom; nor again, by reason of its deformity alone, because deformity, of itself, does not include the notion of guilt, and sometimes denotes a punishment. But contrition ought to be on account of sin, as implying deformity resulting from an act of the will; and this does not apply to original sin, so that contrition does not apply to it. The same Reply avails for the Second Objection, because contrition is due to aversion of the will.


Whether we should have contrition for every actual sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that we have no need to have contrition for every actual sin we have committed. For contraries are healed by their contraries. Now some sins are committed through sorrow, e.g. sloth and envy. Therefore their remedy should not be sorrow, such as contrition is, but joy.

Objection 2: Further, contrition is an act of the will, which cannot refer to that which is not known. But there are sins of which we have no knowledge, such as those we have forgotten. Therefore we cannot have contrition for them.

Objection 3: Further, by voluntary contrition those sins are blotted out which we committed voluntarily. But ignorance takes away voluntariness, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. iii, 1). Therefore contrition need not cover things which have occurred through ignorance.

Objection 4: Further, we need not be contrite for a sin which is not removed by contrition. Now some sins are not removed by contrition, e.g. venial sins, that remain after the grace of contrition. Therefore there is no need to have contrition for all one's past sins.

On the contrary, Penance is a remedy for all actual sins. But penance cannot regard some sins, without contrition regarding them also, for it is the first part of Penance. Therefore contrition should be for all one's past sins. Further, no sin is forgiven a man unless he be justified. But justification requires contrition, as stated above (Q[1], A[1]; [4826]FS, Q[113]). Therefore it is necessary to have contrition for all one's sins.

I answer that, Every actual sin is caused by our will not yielding to God's law, either by transgressing it, or by omitting it, or by acting beside it: and since a hard thing is one that is disposed not to give way easily, hence it is that a certain hardness of the will is to be found in every actual sin. Wherefore, if a sin is to be remedied, it needs to be taken away by contrition which crushes it.

Reply to Objection 1: As clearly shown above (A[2], ad 1), contrition is opposed to sin, in so far as it proceeds from the choice of the will that had failed to obey the command of God's law, and not as regards the material part of sin: and it is on this that the choice of the will falls. Now the will's choice falls not only on the acts of the other powers, which the will uses for its own end, but also on the will's own proper act: for the will wills to will something. Accordingly the will's choice falls on that pain or sadness which is to be found in the sin of envy and the like, whether such pain be in the senses or in the will itself. Consequently the sorrow of contrition is opposed to those sins.

Reply to Objection 2: One may forget a thing in two ways, either so that it escapes the memory altogether, and then one cannot search for it; or so that it escapes from the memory in part, and in part remains, as when I remember having heard something in general, but know not what it was in particular, and then I search my memory in order to discover it. Accordingly a sin also may be forgotten in two ways, either so as to remain in a general, but not in a particular remembrance, and then a man is bound to bethink himself in order to discover the sin, because he is bound to have contrition for each individual mortal sin. And if he is unable to discover it, after applying himself with due care, it is enough that he be contrite for it, according as it stands in his knowledge, and indeed he should grieve not only for the sin, but also for having forgotten it, because this is owing to his neglect. If, however, the sin has escaped from his memory altogether, then he is excused from his duty through being unable to fulfill it, and it is enough that he be contrite in general for everything wherein he has offended God. But when this inability is removed, as when the sin is recalled to his memory, then he is bound to have contrition for that sin in particular, even as a poor man, who cannot pay a debt, is excused, and yet is bound to, as soon as he can.

Reply to Objection 3: If ignorance were to remove altogether the will to do evil, it will excuse, and there would be no sin: and sometimes it does not remove the will altogether, and then it does not altogether excuse, but only to a certain extent: wherefore a man is bound to be contrite for a sin committed through ignorance.

Reply to Objection 4: A venial sin can remain after contrition for a mortal sin, but not after contrition for the venial sin: wherefore contrition should also cover venial sins even as penance does, as stated above (Sent. iv, D, 16, Q[2], A[2], qu. 2; [4827]XP, Q[87], A[1]).


Whether a man is bound to have contrition for his future sins?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man is bound to have contrition for his future sins also. For contrition is an act of the free-will: and the free-will extends to the future rather than to the past, since choice, which is an act of the free-will, is about future contingents, as stated in Ethic. iii. Therefore contrition is about future sins rather than about past sins.

Objection 2: Further, sin is aggravated by the result that ensues from it: wherefore Jerome says [*St. Basil asserts this implicitly in De Vera Virgin.] that the punishment of Arius is not yet ended, for it is yet possible for some to be ruined through his heresy, by reason of whose ruin his punishment would be increased: and the same applies to a man who is judged guilty of murder, if he has committed a murderous assault, even before his victim dies. Now the sinner ought to be contrite during that intervening time. Therefore the degree of his contrition ought to be proportionate not only to his past act, but also to its eventual result: and consequently contrition regards the future.

On the contrary, Contrition is a part of penance. But penance always regards the past: and therefore contrition does also, and consequently is not for a future sin.

I answer that, In every series of things moving and moved ordained to one another, we find that the inferior mover has its proper movement, and besides this, it follows, in some respect, the movement of the superior mover: this is seen in the movement of the planets, which, in addition to their proper movements, follow the movement of the first heaven. Now, in all the moral virtues, the first mover is prudence, which is called the charioteer of the virtues. Consequently each moral virtue, in addition to its proper movement, has something of the movement of prudence: and therefore, since penance is a moral virtue, as it is a part of justice, in addition to its own act, it acquires the movement of prudence. Now its proper movement is towards its proper object, which is a sin committed. Wherefore its proper and principal act, viz. contrition, essentially regards past sins alone; but, inasmuch as it acquires something of the act of prudence, it regards future sins indirectly, although it is not essentially moved towards those future sins. For this reason, he that is contrite, is sorry for his past sins, and is cautious of future sins. Yet we do not speak of contrition for future sins, but of caution, which is a part of prudence conjoined to penance.

Reply to Objection 1: The free-will is said to regard future contingents, in so far as it is concerned with acts, but not with the object of acts: because, of his own free-will, a man can think about past and necessary things, and yet the very act of thinking, in so far as it is subject to the free-will, is a future contingent. Hence the act the contrition also is a future contingent, in so far as it is subject to the free-will; and yet its object can be something past.

Reply to Objection 2: The consequent result which aggravates a sin was already present in the act as in its cause; wherefore when the sin was committed, its degree of gravity was already complete, and no further guilt accrued to it when the result took place. Nevertheless some accidental punishment accrues to it, in the respect of which the damned will have the more motives of regret for the more evils that have resulted from their sins. It is in this sense that Jerome [*Basil] speaks. Hence there is not need for contrition to be for other than past sins.


Whether a man ought to have contrition for another's sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man ought to have contrition for another's sin. For one should not ask forgiveness for a sin unless one is contrite for it. Now forgiveness is asked for another's sin in Ps. 18:13: "From those of others spare thy servant." Therefore a man ought to be contrite for another's sins.

Objection 2: Further, man is bound, ought of charity, to love his neighbor as himself. Now, through love of himself, he both grieves for his ills, and desires good things. Therefore, since we are bound to desire the goods of grace for our neighbor, as for ourselves, it seems that we ought to grieve for his sins, even as for our own. But contrition is nothing else than sorrow for sins. Therefore man should be contrite for the sins of others.

On the contrary, Contrition is an act of the virtue of penance. But no one repents save for what he has done himself. Therefore no one is contrite for others' sins.

I answer that, The same thing is crushed [conteritur] which hitherto was hard and whole. Hence contrition for sin must needs be in the same subject in which the hardness of sin was hitherto: so that there is no contrition for the sins of others.

Reply to Objection 1: The prophet prays to be spared from the sins of others, in so far as, through fellowship with sinners, a man contracts a stain by consenting to their sins: thus it is written (Ps. 17:27): "With the perverse thou wilt be perverted."

Reply to Objection 2: We ought to grieve for the sins of others, but not to have contrition for them, because not all sorrow for past sins is contrition, as is evident for what has been said already.


Whether it is necessary to have contrition for each mortal sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is not necessary to have contrition for each mortal sin. For the movement of contrition in justification is instantaneous: whereas a man cannot think of every mortal sin in an instant. Therefore it is not necessary to have contrition for each mortal sin.

Objection 2: Further, contrition should be for sins, inasmuch as they turn us away from God, because we need not be contrite for turning to creatures without turning away from God. Now all mortal sins agree in turning us away from God. Therefore one contrition for all is sufficient.

Objection 3: Further, mortal sins have more in common with one another, than actual and original sin. Now one Baptism blots out all sins both actual and original. Therefore one general contrition blots out all mortal sins.

On the contrary, For diverse diseases there are diverse remedies, since "what heals the eye will not heal the foot," as Jerome says (Super Marc. ix, 28). But contrition is the special remedy for one mortal sin. Therefore one general contrition for all mortal sins does not suffice. Further, contrition is expressed by confession. But it is necessary to confess each mortal sin. Therefore it is necessary to have contrition for each mortal sin.

I answer that, Contrition may be considered in two ways, as to its origin, and as to its term. By origin of contrition I mean the process of thought, when a man thinks of his sin and is sorry for it, albeit not with the sorrow of contrition, yet with that of attrition. The term of contrition is when that sorrow is already quickened by grace. Accordingly, as regards the origin of contrition, a man needs to be contrite for each sin that he calls to mind; but as regards its term, it suffices for him to have one general contrition for all, because then the movement of his contrition acts in virtue of all his preceding dispositions. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.

Reply to Objection 2: Although all mortal sins agree in turning man away from God, yet they differ in the cause and mode of aversion, and in the degree of separation from God; and this regards the different ways in which they turn us to creatures.

Reply to Objection 3: Baptism acts in virtue of Christ's merit, Who had infinite power for the blotting out of all sins; and so for all sins one Baptism suffices. But in contrition, in addition to the merit of Christ, an act of ours is requisite, which must, therefore, correspond to each sin, since it has not infinite power for contrition. It may also be replied that Baptism is a spiritual generation; whereas Penance, as regards contrition and its other parts, is a kind of spiritual healing by way of some alteration. Now it is evident in the generation of a body, accompanied by corruption of another body, that all the accidents contrary to the thing generated, and which were the accidents of the thing corrupted, are removed by the one generation: whereas in alteration, only that accident is removed which was contrary to the accident which is the term of the alteration. In like manner, one Baptism blots out all sins together and introduces a new life; whereas Penance does not blot out each sin, unless it be directed to each. For this reason it is necessary to be contrite for, and to confess each sin.


OF THE DEGREE OF CONTRITION (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the degree of contrition: under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether contrition is the greatest possible sorrow in the world?

(2) Whether the sorrow of contrition can be too great?

(3) Whether sorrow for one sin ought to be greater than for another?


Whether contrition is the greatest possible sorrow in the world?

Objection 1: It would seem that contrition is not the greatest possible sorrow in the world. For sorrow is the sensation of hurt. But some hurts are more keenly felt than the hurt of sin, e.g. the hurt of a wound. Therefore contrition is not the greatest sorrow.

Objection 2: Further, we judge of a cause according to its effect. Now the effect of sorrow is tears. Since therefore sometimes a contrite person does not shed outward tears for his sins, whereas he weeps for the death of a friend, or for a blow, or the like, it seems that contrition is not the greatest sorrow.

Objection 3: Further, the more a thing is mingled with its contrary, the less its intensity. But the sorrow of contrition has a considerable admixture of joy, because the contrite man rejoices in his delivery, in the hope of pardon, and in many like things. Therefore his sorrow is very slight.

Objection 4: Further, the sorrow of contrition is a kind of displeasure. But there are many things more displeasing to the contrite than their past sins; for they would not prefer to suffer the pains of hell rather than to sin. nor to have suffered, nor yet to suffer all manner of temporal punishment; else few would be found contrite. Therefore the sorrow of contrition is not the greatest.

On the contrary, According to Augustine (De Civ. Dei xiv, 7, 9), "all sorrow is based on love." Now the love of charity, on which the sorrow of contrition is based, is the greatest love. Therefore the sorrow of contrition is the greatest sorrow. Further, sorrow is for evil. Therefore the greater the evil, the greater the sorrow. But the fault is a greater evil than its punishment. Therefore contrition which is sorrow for fault, surpasses all other sorrow.

I answer that, As stated above ([4828]Q[1], A[2], ad 1), there is a twofold sorrow in contrition: one is in the will, and is the very essence of contrition, being nothing else than displeasure at past sin, and this sorrow, in contrition, surpasses all other sorrows. For the more pleasing a thing is, the more displeasing is its contrary. Now the last end is above all things pleasing: wherefore sin, which turns us away from the last end, should be, above all things, displeasing. The other sorrow is in the sensitive part, and is caused by the former sorrow either from natural necessity, in so far as the lower powers follow the movements of the higher, or from choice, in so far as a penitent excites in himself this sorrow for his sins. In neither of these ways is such sorrow, of necessity, the greatest, because the lower powers are more deeply moved by their own objects than through redundance from the higher powers. Wherefore the nearer the operation of the higher powers approaches to the objects of the lower powers, the more do the latter follow the movement of the former. Consequently there is greater pain in the sensitive part, on account of a sensible hurt, than that which redounds into the sensitive part from the reason; and likewise, that which redounds from the reason when it deliberates on corporeal things, is greater than that which redounds from the reason in considering spiritual things. Therefore the sorrow which results in the sensitive part from the reason's displeasure at sin, is not greater than the other sorrows of which that same part is the subject: and likewise, neither is the sorrow which is assumed voluntarily greater than other sorrows — both because the lower appetite does not obey the higher appetite infallibly, as though in the lower appetite there should arise a passion of such intensity and of such a kind as the higher appetite might ordain — and because the passions are employed by the reason, in acts of virtue, according to a certain measure, which the sorrow that is without virtue sometimes does not observe, but exceeds.

Reply to Objection 1: Just as sensible sorrow is on account of the sensation of hurt, so interior sorrow is on account of the thought of something hurtful. Therefore, although the hurt of sin is not perceived by the external sense, yet it is perceived to be the most grievous hurt by the interior sense or reason.

Reply to Objection 2: Affections of the body are the immediate result of the sensitive passions and, through them, of the emotions of the higher appetite. Hence it is that bodily tears flow more quickly from sensible sorrow, or even from a thing that hurts the senses, than from the spiritual sorrow of contrition.

Reply to Objection 3: The joy which a penitent has for his sorrow does not lessen his displeasure (for it is not contrary to it), but increases it, according as every operation is increased by the delight which it causes, as stated in Ethic. x, 5. Thus he who delights in learning a science, learns the better, and, in like manner, he who rejoices in his displeasure, is the more intensely displeased. But it may well happen that this joy tempers the sorrow that results from the reason in the sensitive part.

Reply to Objection 4: The degree of displeasure at a thing should be proportionate to the degree of its malice. Now the malice of mortal sin is measured from Him against Whom it is committed, inasmuch as it is offensive to Him; and from him who sins, inasmuch as it is hurtful to him. And, since man should love God more than himself, therefore he should hate sin, as an offense against God, more than as being hurtful to himself. Now it is hurtful to him chiefly because it separates him from God; and in this respect the separation from God which is a punishment, should be more displeasing than the sin itself, as causing this hurt (since what is hated on account of something else, is less hated), but less than the sin, as an offense against God. Again, among all the punishments of malice a certain order is observed according to the degree of the hurt. Consequently, since this is the greatest hurt, inasmuch as it consists in privation of the greatest good, the greatest of all punishments will be separation from God. Again, with regard to this displeasure, it is necessary to observe that there is also an accidental degree of malice, in respect of the present and the past; since what is past, is no more, whence it has less of the character of malice or goodness. Hence it is that a man shrinks from suffering an evil at the present, or at some future time, more than he shudders at the past evil: wherefore also, no passion of the soul corresponds directly to the past, as sorrow corresponds to present evil, and fear to future evil. Consequently, of two past evils, the mind shrinks the more from that one which still produces a greater effect at the present time, or which, it fears, will produce a greater effect in the future, although in the past it was the lesser evil. And, since the effect of the past sin is sometimes not so keenly felt as the effect of the past punishment, both because sin is more perfectly remedied than punishment, and because bodily defect is more manifest than spiritual defect, therefore even a man, who is well disposed, sometimes feels a greater abhorrence of his past punishment than of his past sin, although he would be ready to suffer the same punishment over again rather than commit the same sin. We must also observe, in comparing sin with punishment, that some punishments are inseparable from offense of God, e.g. separation from God; and some also are everlasting, e.g. the punishment of hell. Therefore the punishment to which is connected offense of God is to be shunned in the same way as sin; whereas that which is everlasting is simply to be shunned more than sin. If, however, we separate from these punishments the notion of offense, and consider only the notion of punishment, they have the character of malice, less than sin has as an offense against God: and for this reason should cause less displeasure. We must, however, take note that, although the contrite should be thus disposed, yet he should not be questioned about his feelings, because man cannot easily measure them. Sometimes that which displeases least seems to displease most, through being more closely connected with some sensible hurt, which is more known to us.


Whether the sorrow of contrition can be too great?

Objection 1: It would seem that the sorrow of contrition cannot be too great. For no sorrow can be more immoderate than that which destroys its own subject. But the sorrow of contrition, if it be so great as to cause death or corruption of the body, is praiseworthy. For Anselm says

(Orat. lii): "Would that such were the exuberance of my inmost soul, as to dry up the marrow of my body"; and Augustine [*De Contritione Cordis, work of an unknown author] confesses that "he deserves to blind his eyes with tears." Therefore the sorrow of contrition cannot be too great.

Objection 2: Further, the sorrow of contrition results from the love of charity. But the love of charity cannot be too great. Neither, therefore, can the sorrow of contrition be too great.

Objection 3: On the contrary, Every moral virtue is destroyed by excess and deficiency. But contrition is an act of a moral virtue, viz. penance, since it is a part of justice. Therefore sorrow for sins can be too great.

I answer that, Contrition, as regards the sorrow in the reason, i.e. the displeasure, whereby the sin is displeasing through being an offense against God, cannot be too great; even as neither can the love of charity be too great, for when this is increased the aforesaid displeasure is increased also. But, as regards the sensible sorrow, contrition may be too great, even as outward affliction of the body may be too great. In all these things the rule should be the safeguarding of the subject, and of that general well-being which suffices for the fulfillment of one's duties; hence it is written (Rom. 12:1): "Let your sacrifice be reasonable [*Vulg.: 'Present your bodies . . . a reasonable sacrifice']."

Reply to Objection 1: Anselm desired the marrow of his body to be dried up by the exuberance of his devotion, not as regards the natural humor, but as to his bodily desires and concupiscences. And, although Augustine acknowledged that he deserved to lose the use of his bodily eyes on account of his sins, because every sinner deserves not only eternal, but also temporal death, yet he did not wish his eyes to be blinded.

Reply to Objection 2: This objection considers the sorrow which is in the reason: while the Third considers the sorrow of the sensitive part.


Whether sorrow for one sin should be greater than for another?

Objection 1: It would seem that sorrow for one sin need not be greater than for another. For Jerome (Ep. cviii) commends Paula for that "she deplored her slightest sins as much as great ones." Therefore one need not be more sorry for one sin than for another.

Objection 2: Further, the movement of contrition is instantaneous. Now one instantaneous movement cannot be at the same time more intense and more remiss. Therefore contrition for one sin need not be greater than for another.

Objection 3: Further, contrition is for sin chiefly as turning us away from God. But all mortal sins agree in turning us away from God, since they all deprive us of grace whereby the soul is united to God. Therefore we should have equal contrition for all mortal sins.

On the contrary, It is written (Dt. 25:2): "According to the measure of the sin, shall the measure also of the stripes be." Now, in contrition, the stripes are measured according to the sins, because to contrition is united the purpose of making satisfaction. Therefore contrition should be for one sin more than for another. Further, man should be contrite for that which he ought to have avoided. But he ought to avoid one sin more than another, if that sin is more grievous, and it be necessary to do one or the other. Therefore, in like manner, he ought to be more sorry for one, viz. the more grievous, than for the other.

I answer that, We may speak of contrition in two ways: first, in so far as it corresponds to each single sin, and thus, as regards the sorrow in the higher appetite, a man ought to be more sorry for a more grievous sin, because there is more reason for sorrow, viz. the offense against God, in such a sin than in another, since the more inordinate the act is, the more it offends God. In like manner, since the greater sin deserves a greater punishment, the sorrow also of the sensitive part, in so far as it is voluntarily undergone for sin, as the punishment thereof, ought to be greater where the sin is greater. But in so far as the emotions of the lower appetite result from the impression of the higher appetite, the degree of sorrow depends on the disposition of the lower faculty to the reception of impressions from the higher faculty, and not on the greatness of the sin. Secondly, contrition may be taken in so far as it is directed to all one's sins together, as in the act of justification. Such contrition arises either from the consideration of each single sin, and thus although it is but one act, yet the distinction of the sins remains virtually therein; or, at least, it includes the purpose of thinking of each sin; and in this way too it is habitually more for one than for another.

Reply to Objection 1: Paula is commended, not for deploring all her sins equally, but because she grieved for her slight sins as much as though they were grave sins, in comparison with other persons who grieve for their sins: but for graver sins she would have grieved much more.

Reply to Objection 2: In that instantaneous movement of contrition, although it is not possible to find an actually distinct intensity in respect of each individual sin, yet it is found in the way explained above; and also in another way, in so far as, in this general contrition, each individual sin is related to that particular motive of sorrow which occurs to the contrite person, viz. the offense against God. For he who loves a whole, loves its parts potentially although not actually, and accordingly he loves some parts more and some less, in proportion to their relation to the whole; thus he who loves a community, virtually loves each one more or less according to their respective relations to the common good. In like manner he who is sorry for having offended God, implicitly grieves for his different sins in different ways, according as by them he offended God more or less.

Reply to Objection 3: Although each mortal sin turns us away from God and deprives us of His grace, yet some remove us further away than others, inasmuch as through their inordinateness they become more out of harmony with the order of the Divine goodness, than others do.


OF THE TIME FOR CONTRITION (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the time for contrition: under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the whole of this life is the time for contrition?

(2) Whether it is expedient to grieve continually for our sins?

(3) Whether souls grieve for their sins even after this life?


Whether the whole of this life is the time for contrition?

Objection 1: It would seem that the time for contrition is not the whole of this life. For as we should be sorry for a sin committed, so should we be ashamed of it. But shame for sin does not last all one's life, for Ambrose says (De Poenit. ii) that "he whose sin is forgiven has nothing to be ashamed of." Therefore it seems that neither should contrition last all one's life, since it is sorrow for sin.

Objection 2: Further, it is written (1 Jn. 4:18) that "perfect charity casteth out fear, because fear hath pain." But sorrow also has pain. Therefore the sorrow of contrition cannot remain in the state of perfect charity.

Objection 3: Further, there cannot be any sorrow for the past (since it is, properly speaking, about a present evil) except in so far as something of the past sin remains in the present time. Now, in this life, sometimes one attains to a state in which nothing remains of a past sin, neither disposition, nor guilt, nor any debt of punishment. Therefore there is no need to grieve any more for that sin.

Objection 4: Further, it is written (Rom. 8:28) that "to them that love God all things work together unto good," even sins as a gloss declares [*Augustine, De Correp. et Grat.]. Therefore there is no need for them to grieve for sin after it has been forgiven.

Objection 5: Further, contrition is a part of Penance, condivided with satisfaction. But there is no need for continual satisfaction. Therefore contrition for sin need not be continual.

On the contrary, Augustine in De Poenitentia [*De vera et falsa Poenitentia, work of an unknown author] says that "when sorrow ceases, penance fails, and when penance fails, no pardon remains." Therefore, since it behooves one not to lose the forgiveness which has been granted, it seems that one ought always to grieve for one's sins. Further, it is written (Ecclus. 5:5): "Be not without fear about sin forgiven." Therefore man should always grieve, that his sins may be forgiven him.

I answer that, As stated above ([4829]Q[3], A[1]), there is a twofold sorrow in contrition: one is in the reason, and is detestation of the sin committed; the other is in the sensitive part, and results from the former: and as regards both, the time for contrition is the whole of the present state of life. For as long as one is a wayfarer, one detests the obstacles which retard or hinder one from reaching the end of the way. Wherefore, since past sin retards the course of our life towards God (because the time which was given to us for the course cannot be recovered), it follows that the state of contrition remains during the whole of this lifetime, as regards the detestation of sin. The same is to be said of the sensible sorrow, which is assumed by the will as a punishment: for since man, by sinning, deserved everlasting punishment, and sinned against the eternal God, the everlasting punishment being commuted into a temporal one, sorrow ought to remain during the whole of man's eternity, i.e. during the whole of the state of this life. For this reason Hugh of St. Victor says [*Richard of St. Victor, De Pot. Lig. et Solv. 3,5,13] that "when God absolves a man from eternal guilt and punishment, He binds him with a chain of eternal detestation of sin."

Reply to Objection 1: Shame regards sin only as a disgraceful act; wherefore after sin has been taken away as to its guilt, there is no further motive for shame; but there does remain a motive of sorrow, which is for the guilt, not only as being something disgraceful, but also as having a hurt connected with it.

Reply to Objection 2: Servile fear which charity casts out, is opposed to charity by reason of its servility, because it regards the punishment. But the sorrow of contrition results from charity, as stated above ([4830]Q[3], A[2]): wherefore the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 3: Although, by penance, the sinner returns to his former state of grace and immunity from the debt of punishment, yet he never returns to his former dignity of innocence, and so something always remains from his past sin.

Reply to Objection 4: Just as a man ought not to do evil that good may come of it, so he ought not to rejoice in evil, for the reason that good may perchance come from it through the agency of Divine grace or providence, because his sins did not cause but hindered those goods; rather was it Divine providence that was their cause, and in this man should rejoice, whereas he should grieve for his sins.

Reply to Objection 5: Satisfaction depends on the punishment appointed, which should be enjoined for sins; hence it can come to an end, so that there be no further need of satisfaction. But that punishment is proportionate to sin chiefly on the part of its adherence to a creature whence it derives its finiteness. On the other hand, the sorrow of contrition corresponds to sin on the part of the aversion, whence it derives a certain infinity; wherefore contrition ought to continue always; nor is it unreasonable if that which precedes remains, when that which follows is taken away.


Whether it is expedient to grieve for sin continually?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is not expedient to grieve for sin continually. For it is sometimes expedient to rejoice, as is evident from Phil. 4:4, where the gloss on the words, "Rejoice in the Lord always," says that "it is necessary to rejoice." Now it is not possible to rejoice and grieve at the same time. Therefore it is not expedient to grieve for sin continually.

Objection 2: Further, that which, in itself, is an evil and a thing to be avoided should not be taken upon oneself, except in so far as it is necessary as a remedy against something, as in the case of burning or cutting a wound. Now sorrow is in itself an evil; wherefore it is written (Ecclus. 30:24): "Drive away sadness far from thee," and the reason is given (Ecclus. 30:25): "For sadness hath killed many, and there is no profit in it." Moreover the Philosopher says the same

(Ethic. vii, 13,14; x, 5). Therefore one should not grieve for sin any longer than suffices for the sin to be blotted out. Now sin is already blotted out after the first sorrow of contrition. Therefore it is not expedient to grieve any longer.

Objection 3: Further, Bernard says (Serm. xi in Cant.): "Sorrow is a good thing, if it is not continual; for honey should be mingled with wormwood." Therefore it seems that it is inexpedient to grieve continually.

On the contrary, Augustine [*De vera et falsa Poenitentia, work of an unknown author] says: "The penitent should always grieve, and rejoice in his grief." Further, it is expedient always to continue, as far as it is possible, those acts in which beatitude consists. Now such is sorrow for sin, as is shown by the words of Mat. 5:5, "Blessed are they that mourn." Therefore it is expedient for sorrow to be as continual as possible.

I answer that, We find this condition in the acts of the virtues, that in them excess and defect are not possible, as is proved in Ethic. ii, 6,7. Wherefore, since contrition, so far as it is a kind of displeasure seated in the rational appetite, is an act of the virtue of penance, there can never be excess in it, either as to its intensity, or as to its duration, except in so far as the act of one virtue hinders the act of another which is more urgent for the time being. Consequently the more continually a man can perform acts of this displeasure, the better it is, provided he exercises the acts of other virtues when and how he ought to. On the other hand, passions can have excess and defect, both in intensity and in duration. Wherefore, as the passion of sorrow, which the will takes upon itself, ought to be moderately intense, so ought it to be of moderate duration, lest, if it should last too long, man fall into despair, cowardice, and such like vices.

Reply to Objection 1: The sorrow of contrition is a hindrance to worldly joy, but not to the joy which is about God, and which has sorrow itself for object.

Reply to Objection 2: The words of Ecclesiasticus refer to worldly joy: and the Philosopher is referring to sorrow as a passion, of which we should make moderate use, according as the end, for which it is assumed, demands.

Reply to Objection 3: Bernard is speaking of sorrow as a passion.


Whether our souls are contrite for sins even after this life?

Objection 1: It would seem that our souls are contrite for sins even after this life. For the love of charity causes displeasure at sin. Now, after this life, charity remains in some, both as to its act and as to its habit, since "charity never falleth away." Therefore the displeasure at the sin committed, which is the essence of contrition, remains.

Objection 2: Further, we should grieve more for sin than for punishment. But the souls in purgatory grieve for their sensible punishment and for the delay of glory. Much more, therefore, do they grieve for the sins they committed.

Objection 3: Further, the pain of purgatory satisfies for sin. But satisfaction derives its efficacy from the power of contrition. Therefore contrition remains after this life.

On the contrary, contrition is a part of the sacrament of Penance. But the sacraments do not endure after this life. Neither, therefore, does contrition. Further, contrition can be so great as to blot out both guilt and punishment. If therefore the souls in purgatory could have contrition, it would be possible for their debt of punishment to be remitted through the power of their contrition, so that they would be delivered from their sensible pain, which is false.

I answer that, Three things are to be observed in contrition: first, its genus, viz. sorrow; secondly, its form, for it is an act of virtue quickened by charity; thirdly, its efficacy, for it is a meritorious and sacramental act, and, to a certain extent, satisfactory. Accordingly, after this life, those souls which dwell in the heavenly country, cannot have contrition, because they are void of sorrow by reason of the fulness of their joy: those which are in hell, have no contrition, for although they have sorrow, they lack the grace which quickens sorrow; while those which are in purgatory have a sorrow for their sins, that is quickened by grace; yet it is not meritorious, for they are not in the state of meriting. In this life, however, all these three can be found.

Reply to Objection 1: Charity does not cause this sorrow, save in those who are capable of it; but the fulness of joy in the Blessed excludes all capability of sorrow from them: wherefore, though they have charity, they have no contrition.

Reply to Objection 2: The souls in purgatory grieve for their sins; but their sorrow is not contrition, because it lacks the efficacy of contrition.

Reply to Objection 3: The pain which the souls suffer in purgatory, cannot, properly speaking, be called satisfaction, because satisfaction demands a meritorious work; yet, in a broad sense, the payment of the punishment due may be called satisfaction.


OF THE EFFECT OF CONTRITION (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the effect of contrition: under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the remission of sin is the effect of contrition?

(2) Whether contrition can take away the debt of punishment entirely?

(3) Whether slight contrition suffices to blot out great sins?


Whether the forgiveness of sin is the effect of contrition?

Objection 1: It would seem that the forgiveness of sin is not the effect of contrition. For God alone forgives sins. But we are somewhat the cause of contrition, since it is an act of our own. Therefore contrition is not the cause of forgiveness.

Objection 2: Further, contrition is an act of virtue. Now virtue follows the forgiveness of sin: because virtue and sin are not together in the soul. Therefore contrition is not the cause of the forgiveness of sin.

Objection 3: Further, nothing but sin is an obstacle to receiving the Eucharist. But the contrite should not go to Communion before going to confession. Therefore they have not yet received the forgiveness of their sins.

On the contrary, a gloss on Ps. 50:19, "A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit," says: "A hearty contrition is the sacrifice by which sins are loosed." Further, virtue and vice are engendered and corrupted by the same causes, as stated in Ethic. ii, 1,2. Now sin is committed through the heart's inordinate love. Therefore it is destroyed by sorrow caused by the heart's ordinate love; and consequently contrition blots out sin.

I answer that, Contrition can be considered in two ways, either as part of a sacrament, or as an act of virtue, and in either case it is the cause of the forgiveness of sin, but not in the same way. Because, as part of a sacrament, it operates primarily as an instrument for the forgiveness of sin, as is evident with regard to the other sacraments

(cf. Sent. iv, D, 1, Q[1], A[4]: [4831]TP, Q[62], A[1]); while, as an act of virtue, it is the quasi-material cause of sin's forgiveness. For a disposition is, as it were, a necessary condition for justification, and a disposition is reduced to a material cause, if it be taken to denote that which disposes matter to receive something. It is otherwise in the case of an agent's disposition to act, because this is reduced to the genus of efficient cause.

Reply to Objection 1: God alone is the principal efficient cause of the forgiveness of sin: but the dispositive cause can be from us also, and likewise the sacramental cause, since the sacramental forms are words uttered by us, having an instrumental power of conferring grace whereby sins are forgiven.

Reply to Objection 2: The forgiveness of sin precedes virtue and the infusion of grace, in one way, and, in another, follows: and in so far as it follows, the act elicited by the virtue can be a cause of the forgiveness of sin.

Reply to Objection 3: The dispensation of the Eucharist belongs to the ministers of the Church: wherefore a man should not go to Communion until his sin has been forgiven through the ministers of the Church, although his sin may be forgiven him before God.


Whether contrition can take away the debt of punishment entirely?

Objection 1: It would seem that contrition cannot take away the debt of punishment entirely. For satisfaction and confession are ordained for man's deliverance from the debt of punishment. Now no man is so perfectly contrite as not to be bound to confession and satisfaction. Therefore contrition is never so great as to blot out the entire debt of punishment.

Objection 2: Further, in Penance the punishment should in some way compensate for the sin. Now some sins are accomplished by members of the body. Therefore, since it is for the due compensation for sin that "by what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented" (Wis. 11:17), it seems that the punishment for suchlike sins can never be remitted by contrition.

Objection 3: Further, the sorrow of contrition is finite. Now an infinite punishment is due for some, viz. mortal, sins. Therefore contrition can never be so great as to remit the whole punishment.

On the contrary, The affections of the heart are more acceptable to God than external acts. Now man is absolved from both punishment and guilt by means of external actions; and therefore he is also by means of the heart's affections, such as contrition is. Further, we have an example of this in the thief, to whom it was said

(Lk. 23:43): "This day shalt thou be with Me in paradise," on account of his one act of repentance. As to whether the whole debt of punishment is always taken away by contrition, this question has already been considered above (Sent. iv, D, 14, Q[2], AA[1],2; [4832]TP, Q[86], A[4]), where the same question was raised with regard to Penance.

I answer that, The intensity of contrition may be regarded in two ways. First, on the part of charity, which causes the displeasure, and in this way it may happen that the act of charity is so intense that the contrition resulting therefrom merits not only the removal of guilt, but also the remission of all punishment. Secondly, on the part of the sensible sorrow, which the will excites in contrition: and since this sorrow is also a kind of punishment, it may be so intense as to suffice for the remission of both guilt and punishment.

Reply to Objection 1: A man cannot be sure that his contrition suffices for the remission of both punishment and guilt: wherefore he is bound to confess and to make satisfaction, especially since his contrition would not be true contrition, unless he had the purpose of confessing united thereto: which purpose must also be carried into effect, on account of the precept given concerning confession.

Reply to Objection 2: Just as inward joy redounds into the outward parts of the body, so does interior sorrow show itself in the exterior members: wherefore it is written (Prov. 17:22): "A sorrowful spirit drieth up the bones."

Reply to Objection 3: Although the sorrow of contrition is finite in its intensity, even as the punishment due for mortal sin is finite; yet it derives infinite power from charity, whereby it is quickened, and so it avails for the remission of both guilt and punishment.


Whether slight contrition suffices to blot out great sins?

Objection 1: It would seem that slight contrition does not suffice to blot out great sins. For contrition is the remedy for sin. Now a bodily remedy, that heals a lesser bodily infirmity, does not suffice to heal a greater. Therefore the least contrition does not suffice to blot out very great sins.

Objection 2: Further, it was stated above ([4833]Q[3], A[3]) that for greater sins one ought to have greater contrition. Now contrition does not blot out sin, unless it fulfills the requisite conditions. Therefore the least contrition does not blot out all sins.

On the contrary, Every sanctifying grace blots out every mortal sin, because it is incompatible therewith. Now every contrition is quickened by sanctifying grace. Therefore, however slight it be, it blots out all sins.

I answer that, As we have often said ([4834]Q[1], A[2], ad 1;[4835] Q[3], A[1];[4836] Q[4] , A[1]), contrition includes a twofold sorrow. One is in the reason, and is displeasure at the sin committed. This can be so slight as not to suffice for real contrition, e.g. if a sin were less displeasing to a man, than separation from his last end ought to be; just as love can be so slack as not to suffice for real charity. The other sorrow is in the senses, and the slightness of this is no hindrance to real contrition, because it does not, of itself, belong essentially to contrition, but is connected with it accidentally: nor again is it under our control. Accordingly we must say that sorrow, however slight it be, provided it suffice for true contrition, blots out all sin.

Reply to Objection 1: Spiritual remedies derive infinite efficacy from the infinite power which operates in them: wherefore the remedy which suffices for healing a slight sin, suffices also to heal a great sin. This is seen in Baptism which looses great and small: and the same applies to contrition provided it fulfill the necessary conditions.

Reply to Objection 2: It follows of necessity that a man grieves more for a greater sin than for a lesser, according as it is more repugnant to the love which causes his sorrow. But if one has the same degree of sorrow for a greater sin, as another has for a lesser, this would suffice for the remission of the sin.


OF CONFESSION, AS REGARDS ITS NECESSITY (SIX ARTICLES)

We must now consider confession, about which there are six points for our consideration: (1) The necessity of confession; (2) Its nature; (3) Its minister; (4) Its quality; (5) Its effect; (6) The seal of confession. Under the first head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether confession is necessary for salvation?

(2) Whether confession is according to the natural law?

(3) Whether all are bound to confession?

(4) Whether it is lawful to confess a sin of which one is not guilty?

(5) Whether one is bound to confess at once?

(6) Whether one can be dispensed from confessing to another man?


Whether confession is necessary for salvation?

Objection 1: It would seem that confession is not necessary for salvation. For the sacrament of Penance is ordained for the sake of the remission of sin. But sin is sufficiently remitted by the infusion of grace. Therefore confession is not necessary in order to do penance for one's sins.

Objection 2: Further, we read of some being forgiven their sins without confession, e.g. Peter, Magdalen and Paul. But the grace that remits sins is not less efficacious now than it was then. Therefore neither is it necessary for salvation now that man should confess.

Objection 3: Further, a sin which is contracted from another, should receive its remedy from another. Therefore actual sin, which a man has committed through his own act, must take its remedy from the man himself. Now Penance is ordained against such sins. Therefore confession is not necessary for salvation.

Objection 4: Further, confession is necessary for a judicial sentence, in order that punishment may be inflicted in proportion to the offense. Now a man is able to inflict on himself a greater punishment than even that which might be inflicted on him by another. Therefore it seems that confession is not necessary for salvation.

On the contrary, Boethius says (De Consol. i): "If you want the physician to be of assistance to you, you must make your disease known to him." But it is necessary for salvation that man should take medicine for his sins. Therefore it is necessary for salvation that man should make his disease known by means of confession. Further, in a civil court the judge is distinct from the accused. Therefore the sinner who is the accused ought not to be his own judge, but should be judged by another and consequently ought to confess to him.

I answer that, Christ's Passion, without whose power, neither original nor actual sin is remitted, produces its effect in us through the reception of the sacraments which derive their efficacy from it. Wherefore for the remission of both actual and original sin, a sacrament of the Church is necessary, received either actually, or at least in desire, when a man fails to receive the sacrament actually, through an unavoidable obstacle, and not through contempt. Consequently those sacraments which are ordained as remedies for sin which is incompatible with salvation, are necessary for salvation: and so just as Baptism, whereby original sin is blotted out, is necessary for salvation, so also is the sacrament of Penance. And just as a man through asking to be baptized, submits to the ministers of the Church, to whom the dispensation of that sacrament belongs, even so, by confessing his sin, a man submits to a minister of the Church, that, through the sacrament of Penance dispensed by him, he may receive the pardon of his sins: nor can the minister apply a fitting remedy, unless he be acquainted with the sin, which knowledge he acquires through the penitent's confession. Wherefore confession is necessary for the salvation of a man who has fallen into a mortal actual sin.

Reply to Objection 1: The infusion of grace suffices for the remission of sin; but after the sin has been forgiven, the sinner still owes a debt of temporal punishment. Moreover, the sacraments of grace are ordained in order that man may receive the infusion of grace, and before he receives them, either actually or in his intention, he does not receive grace. This is evident in the case of Baptism, and applies to Penance likewise. Again, the penitent expiates his temporal punishment by undergoing the shame of confession, by the power of the keys to which he submits, and by the enjoined satisfaction which the priest moderates according to the kind of sins made known to him in confession. Nevertheless the fact that confession is necessary for salvation is not due to its conducing to the satisfaction for sins, because this punishment to which one remains bound after the remission of sin, is temporal, wherefore the way of salvation remains open, without such punishment being expiated in this life: but it is due to its conducing to the remission of sin, as explained above.

Reply to Objection 2: Although we do not read that they confessed, it may be that they did; for many things were done which were not recorded in writing. Moreover Christ has the power of excellence in the sacraments; so that He could bestow the reality of the sacrament without using the things which belong to the sacrament.

Reply to Objection 3: The sin that is contracted from another, viz. original sin, can be remedied by an entirely extrinsic cause, as in the case of infants: whereas actual sin, which a man commits of himself, cannot be expiated, without some operation on the part of the sinner. Nevertheless man is not sufficient to expiate his sin by himself, though he was sufficient to sin by himself, because sin is finite on the part of the thing to which it turns, in which respect the sinner returns to self; while, on the part of the aversion, sin derives infinity, in which respect the remission of sin must needs begin from someone else, because "that which is last in order of generation is first in the order of intention" (Ethic. iii). Consequently actual sin also must needs take its remedy from another.

Reply to Objection 4: Satisfaction would not suffice for the expiation of sin's punishment, by reason of the severity of the punishment which is enjoined in satisfaction, but it does suffice as being a part of the sacrament having the sacramental power; wherefore it ought to be imposed by the dispensers of the sacraments, and consequently confession is necessary.


Whether confession is according to the natural law?

Objection 1: It would seem that confession is according to the natural law. For Adam and Cain were bound to none but the precepts of the natural law, and yet they are reproached for not confessing their sin. Therefore confession of sin is according to the natural law.

Objection 2: Further, those precepts which are common to the Old and New Law are according to the natural law. But confession was prescribed in the Old Law, as may be gathered from Is. 43:26: "Tell, if thou hast anything to justify thyself." Therefore it is according to the natural law.

Objection 3: Further, Job was subject only to the natural law. But he confessed his sins, as appears from his words (Job 31:33) "If, as a man, I have hid my sin." Therefore confession is according to the natural law.

On the contrary, Isidore says (Etym. v.) that the natural law is the same in all. But confession is not in all in the same way. Therefore it is not according to the natural law. Further, confession is made to one who has the keys. But the keys of the Church are not an institution of the natural law; neither, therefore, is confession.

I answer that, The sacraments are professions of faith, wherefore they ought to be proportionate to faith. Now faith surpasses the knowledge of natural reason, whose dictate is therefore surpassed by the sacraments. And since "the natural law is not begotten of opinion, but a product of a certain innate power," as Tully states (De Inv. Rhet. ii), consequently the sacraments are not part of the natural law, but of the Divine law which is above nature. This latter, however, is sometimes called natural, in so far as whatever a thing derives from its Creator is natural to it, although, properly speaking, those things are said to be natural which are caused by the principles of nature. But such things are above nature as God reserves to Himself; and these are wrought either through the agency of nature, or in the working of miracles, or in the revelation of mysteries, or in the institution of the sacraments. Hence confession, which is of sacramental necessity, is according to Divine, but not according to natural law.

Reply to Objection 1: Adam is reproached for not confessing his sin before God: because the confession which is made to God by the acknowledgment of one's sin, is according to the natural law. whereas here we are speaking of confession made to a man. We may also reply that in such a case confession of one's sin is according to the natural law, namely when one is called upon by the judge to confess in a court of law, for then the sinner should not lie by excusing or denying his sin, as Adam and Cain are blamed for doing. But confession made voluntarily to a man in order to receive from God the forgiveness of one's sins, is not according to the natural law.

Reply to Objection 2: The precepts of the natural law avail in the same way in the law of Moses and in the New Law. But although there was a kind of confession in the law of Moses, yet it was not after the same manner as in the New Law, nor as in the law of nature; for in the law of nature it was sufficient to acknowledge one's sin inwardly before God; while in the law of Moses it was necessary for a man to declare his sin by some external sign, as by making a sin-offering, whereby the fact of his having sinned became known to another man; but it was not necessary for him to make known what particular sin he had committed, or what were its circumstances, as in the New Law.

Reply to Objection 3: Job is speaking of the man who hides his sin by denying it or excusing himself when he is accused thereof, as we may gather from a gloss [*Cf. Gregory, Moral. xxii, 9] on the passage.


Whether all are bound to confession?

Objection 1: It would seem that not all are bound to confession, for Jerome says on Is. 3:9 ("They have proclaimed abroad"), "their sin," etc.: "Penance is the second plank after shipwreck." But some have not suffered shipwreck after Baptism. Therefore Penance is not befitting them, and consequently neither is confession which is a part of Penance.

Objection 2: Further, it is to the judge that confession should be made in any court. But some have no judge over them. Therefore they are not bound to confession.

Objection 3: Further, some have none but venial sins. Now a man is not bound to confess such sins. Therefore not everyone is bound to confession.

On the contrary, Confession is condivided with satisfaction and contrition. Now all are bound to contrition and satisfaction. Therefore all are bound to confession also. Further, this appears from the Decretals (De Poenit. et Remiss. xii), where it is stated that "all of either sex are bound to confess their sins as soon as they shall come to the age of discretion."

I answer that, We are bound to confession on two counts: first, by the Divine law, from the very fact that confession is a remedy, and in this way not all are bound to confession, but those only who fall into mortal sin after Baptism; secondly, by a precept of positive law, and in this way all are bound by the precept of the Church laid down in the general council (Lateran iv, Can. 21) under Innocent III, both in order that everyone may acknowledge himself to be a sinner, because "all have sinned and need the grace of God" (Rom. 3:23); and that the Eucharist may be approached with greater reverence; and lastly, that parish priests may know their flock, lest a wolf may hide therein.

Reply to Objection 1: Although it is possible for a man, in this mortal life, to avoid shipwreck, i.e. mortal sin, after Baptism, yet he cannot avoid venial sins, which dispose him to shipwreck, and against which also Penance is ordained; wherefore there is still room for Penance, and consequently for confession, even in those who do not commit mortal sins.

Reply to Objection 2: All must acknowledge Christ as their judge, to Whom they must confess in the person of His vicar; and although the latter may be the inferior if the penitent be a prelate, yet he is the superior, in so far as the penitent is a sinner, while the confessor is the minister of Christ.

Reply to Objection 3: A man is bound to confess his venial sins, not in virtue of the sacrament, but by the institution of the Church, and that, when he has no other sins to confess. We may also, with others, answer that the Decretal quoted above does not bind others than those who have mortal sins to confess. This is evident from the fact that it orders all sins to be confessed, which cannot apply to venial sins, because no one can confess all his venial sins. Accordingly, a man who has no mortal sins to confess, is not bound to confess his venial sins, but it suffices for the fulfillment of the commandment of the Church that he present himself before the priest, and declare himself to be unconscious of any mortal sin: and this will count for his confession.


Whether it is lawful for a man to confess a sin which he has not committed?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is lawful for a man to confess a sin which he has not committed. For, as Gregory says (Regist. xii), "it is the mark of a good conscience to acknowledge a fault where there is none." Therefore it is the mark of a good conscience to accuse oneself of those sins which one has not committed.

Objection 2: Further, by humility a man deems himself worse than another, who is known to be a sinner, and in this he is to be praised. But it is lawful for a man to confess himself to be what he thinks he is. Therefore it is lawful to confess having committed a more grievous sin than one has.

Objection 3: Further, sometimes one doubts about a sin, whether it be mortal or venial, in which case, seemingly, one ought to confess it as mortal. Therefore a person must sometimes confess a sin which he has not committed.

Objection 4: Further, satisfaction originates from confession. But a man can do satisfaction for a sin which he has not committed. Therefore he can also confess a sin which he has not done.

On the contrary, Whosoever says he has done what he did not, tells an untruth. But no one ought to tell an untruth in confession, since every untruth is a sin. Therefore no one should confess a sin which he has not committed. Further, in the public court of justice, no one should be accused of a crime which cannot be proved by means of proper witnesses. Now the witness, in the tribunal of Penance, is the conscience. Therefore a man ought not to accuse himself of a sin which is not on his conscience.

I answer that, The penitent should, by his confession, make his state known to his confessor. Now he who tells the priest something other than what he has on his conscience, whether it be good or evil, does not make his state known to the priest, but hides it; wherefore his confession is unavailing: and in order for it to be effective his words must agree with his thoughts, so that his words accuse him only of what is on his conscience.

Reply to Objection 1: To acknowledge a fault where there is none, may be understood in two ways: first, as referring to the substance of the act, and then it is untrue; for it is a mark, not of a good, but of an erroneous conscience, to acknowledge having done what one has not done. Secondly, as referring to the circumstances of the act, and thus the saying of Gregory is true, because a just man fears lest, in any act which is good in itself, there should be any defect on his part. thus it is written (Job 9:28): "I feared all my works." Wherefore it is also the mark of a good conscience that a man should accuse himself in words of this fear which he holds in his thoughts. From this may be gathered the Reply to the Second Objection, since a just man, who is truly humble, deems himself worse not as though he had committed an act generically worse, but because he fears lest in those things which he seems to do well, he may by pride sin more grievously.

Reply to Objection 3: When a man doubts whether a certain sin be mortal, he is bound to confess it, so long as he remains in doubt, because he sins mortally by committing or omitting anything, while doubting of its being a mortal sin, and thus leaving the matter to chance; and, moreover, he courts danger, if he neglect to confess that which he doubts may be a mortal sin. He should not, however, affirm that it was a mortal sin, but speak doubtfully, leaving the verdict to the priest, whose business it is to discern between what is leprosy and what is not.

Reply to Objection 4: A man does not commit a falsehood by making satisfaction for a sin which he did not commit, as when anyone confesses a sin which he thinks he has not committed. And if he mentions a sin that he has not committed, believing that he has, he does not lie; wherefore he does not sin, provided his confession thereof tally with his conscience.


Whether one is bound to confess at once?

Objection 1: It would seem that one is bound to confess at once. For Hugh of St. Victor says (De Sacram. ii): "The contempt of confession is inexcusable, unless there be an urgent reason for delay." But everyone is bound to avoid contempt. Therefore everyone is bound to confess as soon as possible.

Objection 2: Further, everyone is bound to do more to avoid spiritual disease than to avoid bodily disease. Now if a man who is sick in body were to delay sending for the physician, it would be detrimental to his health. Therefore it seems that it must needs be detrimental to a man's health if he omits to confess immediately to a priest if there be one at hand.

Objection 3: Further, that which is due always, is due at once. But man owes confession to God always. Therefore he is bound to confess at once.

On the contrary, A fixed time both for confession and for receiving the Eucharist is determined by the Decretals (Cap. Omnis utriusque sexus: De Poenit. et Remiss.). Now a man does not sin by failing to receive the Eucharist before the fixed time. Therefore he does not sin if he does not confess before that time. Further, it is a mortal sin to omit doing what a commandment bids us to do. If therefore a man is bound to confess at once, and omits to do so, with a priest at hand, he would commit a mortal sin; and in like manner at any other time, and so on, so that he would fall into many mortal sins for the delay in confessing one, which seems unreasonable.

I answer that, As the purpose of confessing is united to contrition, a man is bound to have this purpose when he is bound to have contrition, viz. when he calls his sins to mind, and chiefly when he is in danger of death, or when he is so circumstanced that unless his sin be forgiven, he must fall into another sin: for instance, if a priest be bound to say Mass, and a confessor is at hand, he is bound to confess or, if there be no confessor, he is bound at least to contrition and to have the purpose of confessing. But to actual confession a man is bound in two ways. First, accidentally, viz. when he is bound to do something which he cannot do without committing a mortal sin, unless he go to confession first: for then he is bound to confess; for instance, if he has to receive the Eucharist, to which no one can approach, after committing a mortal sin, without confessing first, if a priest be at hand, and there be no urgent necessity. Hence it is that the Church obliges all to confess once a year; because she commands all to receive Holy Communion once a year, viz. at Easter, wherefore all must go to confession before that time. Secondly, a man is bound absolutely to go to confession; and here the same reason applies to delay of confession as to delay of Baptism, because both are necessary sacraments. Now a man is not bound to receive Baptism as soon as he makes up his mind to be baptized; and so he would not sin mortally, if he were not baptized at once: nor is there any fixed time beyond which, if he defer Baptism, he would incur a mortal sin. Nevertheless the delay of Baptism may amount to a mortal sin, or it may not, and this depends on the cause of the delay, since, as the Philosopher says (Phys. viii, text. 15), the will does not defer doing what it wills to do, except for a reasonable cause. Wherefore if the cause of the delay of Baptism has a mortal sin connected with it, e.g. if a man put off being baptized through contempt, or some like motive, the delay will be a mortal sin, but otherwise not: and the same seems to apply to confession which is not more necessary than Baptism. Moreover, since man is bound to fulfill in this life those things that are necessary for salvation, therefore, if he be in danger of death, he is bound, even absolutely, then and there to make his confession or to receive Baptism. For this reason too, James proclaimed at the same time the commandment about making confession and that about receiving Extreme Unction (James 5:14, 16). Therefore the opinion seems probable of those who say that a man is not bound to confess at once, though it is dangerous to delay. Others, however, say that a contrite man is bound to confess at once, as soon as he has a reasonable and proper opportunity. Nor does it matter that the Decretal fixes the time limit to an annual confession, because the Church does not favor delay, but forbids the neglect involved in a further delay. Wherefore by this Decretal the man who delays is excused, not from sin in the tribunal of conscience; but from punishment in the tribunal of the Church; so that such a person would not be deprived of proper burial if he were to die before that time. But this seems too severe, because affirmative precepts bind, not at once, but at a fixed time; and this, not because it is most convenient to fulfill them then (for in that case if a man were not to give alms of his superfluous goods, whenever he met with a man in need, he would commit a mortal sin, which is false), but because the time involves urgency. Consequently, if he does not confess at the very first opportunity, it does not follow that he commits a mortal sin, even though he does not await a better opportunity. unless it becomes urgent for him to confess through being in danger of death. Nor is it on account of the Church's indulgence that he is not bound to confess at once, but on account of the nature of an affirmative precept, so that before the commandment was made, there was still less obligation. Others again say that secular persons are not bound to confess before Lent, which is the time of penance for them; but that religious are bound to confess at once, because, for them, all time is a time for penance. But this is not to the point; for religious have no obligations besides those of other men, with the exception of such as they are bound to by vow.

Reply to Objection 1: Hugh is speaking of those who die without this sacrament.

Reply to Objection 2: It is not necessary for bodily health that the physician be sent for at once, except when there is necessity for being healed: and the same applies to spiritual disease.

Reply to Objection 3: The retaining of another's property against the owner's will is contrary to a negative precept, which binds always and for always, and therefore one is always bound to make immediate restitution. It is not the same with the fulfillment of an affirmative precept, which binds always, but not for always, wherefore one is not bound to fulfill it at once.


Whether one can be dispensed from confession?

Objection 1: It would seem that one can be dispensed from confessing his sins to a man. For precepts of positive law are subject to dispensation by the prelates of the Church. Now such is confession, as appears from what was said above [4837](A[3]). Therefore one may be dispensed from confession.

Objection 2: Further, a man can grant a dispensation in that which was instituted by a man. But we read of confession being instituted, not by God, but by a man (James 5:16): "Confess your sins, one to another." Now the Pope has the power of dispensation in things instituted by the apostles, as appears in the matter of bigamists. Therefore he can also dispense a man from confessing.

On the contrary, Penance, whereof confession is a part, is a necessary sacrament, even as Baptism is. Since therefore no one can be dispensed from Baptism, neither can one be dispensed from confession.

I answer that, The ministers of the Church are appointed in the Church which is founded by God. Wherefore they need to be appointed by the Church before exercising their ministry, just as the work of creation is presupposed to the work of nature. And since the Church is founded on faith and the sacraments, the ministers of the Church have no power to publish new articles of faith, or to do away with those which are already published, or to institute new sacraments, or to abolish those that are instituted, for this belongs to the power of excellence, which belongs to Christ alone, Who is the foundation of the Church. Consequently, the Pope can neither dispense a man so that he may be saved without Baptism, nor that he be saved without confession, in so far as it is obligatory in virtue of the sacrament. He can, however, dispense from confession, in so far as it is obligatory in virtue of the commandment of the Church; so that a man may delay confession longer than the limit prescribed by the Church.

Reply to Objection 1: The precepts of the Divine law do not bind less than those of the natural law: wherefore, just as no dispensation is possible from the natural law, so neither can there be from positive Divine law.

Reply to Objection 2: The precept about confession was not instituted by a man first of all, though it was promulgated by James: it was instituted by God, and although we do not read it explicitly, yet it was somewhat foreshadowed in the fact that those who were being prepared by John's Baptism for the grace of Christ, confessed their sins to him, and that the Lord sent the lepers to the priests, and though they were not priests of the New Testament, yet the priesthood of the New Testament was foreshadowed in them.


OF THE NATURE OF CONFESSION (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the nature of confession, under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether Augustine fittingly defines confession?

(2) Whether confession is an act of virtue?

(3) Whether confession is an act of the virtue of penance?


Whether Augustine fittingly defines confession?

Objection 1: It would seem that Augustine defines confession unfittingly, when he says (Super Ps. 21) that confession "lays bare the hidden disease by the hope of pardon." For the disease against which confession is ordained, is sin. Now sin is sometimes manifest. Therefore it should not be said that confession is the remedy for a "hidden" disease.

Objection 2: Further, the beginning of penance is fear. But confession is a part of Penance. Therefore fear rather than "hope" should be set down as the cause of confession.

Objection 3: Further, that which is placed under a seal, is not laid bare, but closed up. But the sin which is confessed is placed under the seal of confession. Therefore sin is not laid bare in confession, but closed up.

Objection 4: Further, other definitions are to be found differing from the above. For Gregory says (Hom. xl in Evang.) that confession is "the uncovering of sins, and the opening of the wound." Others say that "confession is a legal declaration of our sins in the presence of a priest." Others define it thus: "Confession is the sinner's sacramental self-accusation through shame for what he has done, which through the keys of the Church makes satisfaction for his sins, and binds him to perform the penance imposed on him." Therefore it seems that the definition in question is insufficient, since it does not include all that these include.

I answer that, Several things offer themselves to our notice in the act of confession: first, the very substance or genus of the act, which is a kind of manifestation; secondly, the matter manifested, viz. sin; thirdly, the person to whom the manifestation is made, viz. the priest; fourthly, its cause, viz. hope of pardon; fifthly, its effect, viz. release from part of the punishment, and the obligation to pay the other part. Accordingly the first definition, given by Augustine, indicates the substance of the act, by saying that "it lays bare" — the matter of confession, by saying that it is a "hidden disease" — its cause, which is "the hope of pardon"; while the other definitions include one or other of the five things aforesaid, as may be seen by anyone who considers the matter.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the priest, as a man, may sometimes have knowledge of the penitent's sin, yet he does not know it as a vicar of Christ (even as a judge sometimes knows a thing, as a man, of which he is ignorant, as a judge), and in this respect it is made known to him by confession. or we may reply that although the external act may be in the open, yet the internal act, which is the cause of the external act, is hidden; so that it needs to be revealed by confession.

Reply to Objection 2: Confession presupposes charity, which gives us life, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 17). Now it is in contrition that charity is given; while servile fear, which is void of hope, is previous to charity: yet he that has charity is moved more by hope than by fear. Hence hope rather than fear is set down as the cause of confession.

Reply to Objection 3: In every confession sin is laid bare to the priest, and closed to others by the seal of confession.

Reply to Objection 4: It is not necessary that every definition should include everything connected with the thing defined: and for this reason we find some definitions or descriptions that indicate one cause, and some that indicate another.


Whether confession is an act of virtue?

Objection 1: It would seem that confession is not an act of virtue. For every act of virtue belongs to the natural law, since "we are naturally capable of virtue," as the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 1). But confession does not belong to the natural law. Therefore it is not an act of virtue.

Objection 2: Further, an act of virtue is more befitting one who is innocent than one who has sinned. But the confession of a sin, which is the confession of which we are speaking now, cannot be befitting an innocent man. Therefore it is not an act of virtue.

Objection 3: Further, the grace which is in the sacraments differs somewhat from the grace which is in the virtues and gifts. But confession is part of a sacrament. Therefore it is not an act of virtue.

On the contrary, The precepts of the law are about acts of virtue. But confession comes under a precept. Therefore it is an act of virtue. Further, we do not merit except by acts of virtue. But confession is meritorious, for "it opens the gate of heaven," as the Master says

(Sent. iv, D, 17). Therefore it seems that it is an act of virtue.

I answer that, As stated above ([4838]FS, Q[18], AA[6],7; [4839]SS, Q[80]; [4840]SS, Q[85] , A[3]; [4841]SS, Q[109], A[3]), for an act to belong to a virtue it suffices that it be of such a nature as to imply some condition belonging to virtue. Now, although confession does not include everything that is required for virtue, yet its very name implies the manifestation of that which a man has on his conscience: for thus his lips and heart agree. For if a man professes with his lips what he does not hold in his heart, it is not a confession but a fiction. Now to express in words what one has in one's thoughts is a condition of virtue; and, consequently, confession is a good thing generically, and is an act of virtue: yet it can be done badly, if it be devoid of other due circumstances.

Reply to Objection 1: Natural reason, in a general way, inclines a man to make confession in the proper way, to confess as he ought, what he ought, and when he ought, and in this way confession belongs to the natural law. But it belongs to the Divine law to determine the circumstances, when, how, what, and to whom, with regard to the confession of which we are speaking now. Accordingly it is evident that the natural law inclines a man to confession, by means of the Divine law, which determines the circumstances, as is the case with all matters belonging to the positive law.

Reply to Objection 2: Although an innocent man may have the habit of the virtue whose object is a sin already committed, he has not the act, so long as he remains innocent. Wherefore the confession of sins, of which confession we are speaking now, is not befitting an innocent man, though it is an act of virtue.

Reply to Objection 3: Though the grace of the sacraments differs from the grace of the virtues, they are not contrary but disparate; hence there is nothing to prevent that which is an act of virtue, in so far as it proceeds from the free-will quickened by grace, from being a sacrament, or part of a sacrament, in so far as it is ordained as a remedy for sin.


Whether confession is an act of the virtue of penance?

Objection 1: It would seem that confession is not an act of the virtue of penance. For an act belongs to the virtue which is its cause. Now the cause of confession is the hope of pardon, as appears from the definition given above [4842](A[1]). Therefore it seems that it is an act of hope and not of penance.

Objection 2: Further, shame is a part of temperance. But confession arises from shame, as appears in the definition given above (A[1], OBJ[4]). Therefore it is an act of temperance and not of penance.

Objection 3: Further, the act of penance leans on Divine mercy. But confession leans rather on Divine wisdom, by reason of the truth which is required in it. Therefore it is not an act of penance.

Objection 4: Further, we are moved to penance by the article of the Creed which is about the Judgment, on account of fear, which is the origin of penance. But we are moved to confession by the article which is about life everlasting, because it arises from hope of pardon. Therefore it is not an act of penance.

Objection 5: Further, it belongs to the virtue of truth that a man shows himself to be what he is. But this is what a man does when he goes to confession. Therefore confession is an act of that virtue which is called truth, and not of penance.

On the contrary, Penance is ordained for the destruction of sin. Now confession is ordained to this also. Therefore it is an act of penance.

I answer that, It must be observed with regard to virtues, that when a special reason of goodness or difficulty is added over and above the object of a virtue, there is need of a special virtue: thus the expenditure of large sums is the object of magnificence, although the ordinary kind of average expenditure and gifts belongs to liberality, as appears from Ethic. ii, 7; iv, 1. The same applies to the confession of truth, which, although it belongs to the virtue of truth absolutely, yet, on account of the additional reason of goodness, begins to belong to another kind of virtue. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 7) that a confession made in a court of justice belongs to the virtue of justice rather than to truth. In like manner the confession of God's favors in praise of God, belongs not to truth, but to religion: and so too the confession of sins, in order to receive pardon for them, is not the elicited act of the virtue of truth, as some say, but of the virtue of penance. It may, however, be the commanded act of many virtues, in so far as the act of confession can be directed to the end of many virtues.

Reply to Objection 1: Hope is the cause of confession, not as eliciting but as commanding.

Reply to Objection 2: In that definition shame is not mentioned as the cause of confession, since it is more of a nature to hinder the act of confession, but rather as the joint cause of delivery from punishment

(because shame is in itself a punishment), since also the keys of the Church are the joint cause with confession, to the same effect.

Reply to Objection 3: By a certain adaptation the parts of Penance can be ascribed to three Personal Attributes, so that contrition may correspond to mercy or goodness, by reason of its being sorrow for evil — confession to wisdom, by reason of its being a manifestation of the truth — and satisfaction to power, on account of the labor it entails. And since contrition is the first part of Penance, and renders the other parts efficacious, for this reason the same is to be said of Penance as a whole, as of contrition.

Reply to Objection 4: Since confession results from hope rather than from fear, as stated above (A[1], ad 2), it is based on the article about eternal life which hope looks to, rather than on the article about the Judgment, which fear considers; although penance, in its aspect of contrition, is the opposite. The Reply to the Fifth Objection is to be gathered from what has been said.


OF THE MINISTER OF CONFESSION (SEVEN ARTICLES)

We must now consider the minister of confession, under which head there are seven points of inquiry:

(1) Whether it is necessary to confess to a priest?

(2) Whether it is ever lawful to confess to another than a priest?

(3) Whether outside a case of necessity one who is not a priest can hear the confession of venial sins?

(4) Whether it is necessary for a man to confess to his own priest?

(5) Whether it is lawful for anyone to confess to another than his own priest, in virtue of a privilege or of the command of a superior?

(6) Whether a penitent, in danger of death can be absolved by any priest?

(7) Whether the temporal punishment should be enjoined in proportion to the sin?


Whether it is necessary to confess to a priest?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is not necessary to confess to a priest. For we are not bound to confession, except in virtue of its Divine institution. Now its Divine institution is made known to us

(James 5:16): "Confess your sins, one to another," where there is no mention of a priest. Therefore it is not necessary to confess to a priest.

Objection 2: Further, Penance is a necessary sacrament, as is also Baptism. But any man is the minister of Baptism, on account of its necessity. Therefore any man is the minister of Penance. Now confession should be made to the minister of Penance. Therefore it suffices to confess to anyone.

Objection 3: Further, confession is necessary in order that the measure of satisfaction should be imposed on the penitent. Now, sometimes another than a priest might be more discreet than many priests are in imposing the measure of satisfaction on the penitent. Therefore it is not necessary to confess to a priest.

Objection 4: Further, confession was instituted in the Church in order that the rectors might know their sheep by sight. But sometimes a rector or prelate is not a priest. Therefore confession should not always be made to a priest.

On the contrary, The absolution of the penitent, for the sake of which he makes his confession, is imparted by none but priests to whom the keys are intrusted. Therefore confession should be made to a priest. Further, confession is foreshadowed in the raising of the dead Lazarus to life. Now our Lord commanded none but the disciples to loose Lazarus

(Jn. 11:44). Therefore confession should be made to a priest.

I answer that, The grace which is given in the sacraments, descends from the Head to the members. Wherefore he alone who exercises a ministry over Christ's true body is a minister of the sacraments, wherein grace is given; and this belongs to a priest alone, who can consecrate the Eucharist. Therefore, since grace is given in the sacrament of Penance, none but a priest is the minister of the sacrament: and consequently sacramental confession which should be made to a minister of the Church, should be made to none but a priest.

Reply to Objection 1: James speaks on the presupposition of the Divine institutions: and since confession had already been prescribed by God to be made to a priest, in that He empowered them, in the person of the apostles, to forgive sins, as related in Jn. 20:23, we must take the words of James as conveying an admonishment to confess to priests.

Reply to Objection 2: Baptism is a sacrament of greater necessity than Penance, as regards confession and absolution, because sometimes Baptism cannot be omitted without loss of eternal salvation, as in the case of children who have not come to the use of reason: whereas this cannot be said of confession and absolution, which regard none but adults, in whom contrition, together with the purpose of confessing and the desire of absolution, suffices to deliver them from everlasting death. Consequently there is no parity between Baptism and confession.

Reply to Objection 3: In satisfaction we must consider not only the quantity of the punishment but also its power, inasmuch as it is part of a sacrament. In this way it requires a dispenser of the sacraments, though the quantity of the punishment may be fixed by another than a priest.

Reply to Objection 4: It may be necessary for two reasons to know the sheep by sight. First, in order to register them as members of Christ's flock, and to know the sheep by sight thus belongs to the pastoral charge and care, which is sometimes the duty of those who are not priests. Secondly, that they may be provided with suitable remedies for their health; and to know the sheep by sight thus belongs to the man, i.e. the priest, whose business it is to provide remedies conducive to health, such as the sacrament of the Eucharist, and other like things. It is to this knowledge of the sheep that confession is ordained.


Whether it is ever lawful to confess to another than a priest?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is never lawful to confess to another than a priest. For confession is a sacramental accusation, as appears from the definition given above ([4843]Q[7], A[1]). But the dispensing of a sacrament belongs to none but the minister of a sacrament. Since then the proper minister of Penance is a priest, it seems that confession should be made to no one else.

Objection 2: Further, in every court of justice confession is ordained to the sentence. Now in a disputed case the sentence is void if pronounced by another than the proper judge; so that confession should be made to none but a judge. But, in the court of conscience, the judge is none but a priest, who has the power of binding and loosing. Therefore confession should be made to no one else.

Objection 3: Further, in the case of Baptism, since anyone can baptize, if a layman has baptized, even without necessity, the Baptism should not be repeated by a priest. But if anyone confess to a layman in a case of necessity, he is bound to repeat his confession to a priest, when the cause for urgency has passed. Therefore confession should not be made to a layman in a case of necessity.

On the contrary, is the authority of the text (Sent. iv, D, 17).

I answer that, Just as Baptism is a necessary sacrament, so is Penance. And Baptism, through being a necessary sacrament has a twofold minister: one whose duty it is to baptize, in virtue of his office, viz. the priest, and another, to whom the conferring of Baptism is committed, in a case of necessity. In like manner the minister of Penance, to whom, in virtue of his office, confession should be made, is a priest; but in a case of necessity even a layman may take the place of a priest, and hear a person's confession.

Reply to Objection 1: In the sacrament of Penance there is not only something on the part of the minister, viz. the absolution and imposition of satisfaction, but also something on the part of the recipient, which is also essential to the sacrament, viz. contrition and confession. Now satisfaction originates from the minister in so far as he enjoins it, and from the penitent who fulfills it; and, for the fulness of the sacrament, both these things should concur when possible. But when there is reason for urgency, the penitent should fulfill his own part, by being contrite and confessing to whom he can; and although this person cannot perfect the sacrament, so as to fulfill the part of the priest by giving absolution, yet this defect is supplied by the High Priest. Nevertheless confession made to a layman, through lack* of a priest, is quasi-sacramental, although it is not a perfect sacrament, on account of the absence of the part which belongs to the priest. [*Here and in the Reply to OBJ[2] the Leonine edition reads "through desire for a priest".]

Reply to Objection 2: Although a layman is not the judge of the person who confesses to him, yet, on account of the urgency, he does take the place of a judge over him, absolutely speaking, in so far as the penitent submits to him, through lack of a priest.

Reply to Objection 3: By means of the sacraments man must needs be reconciled not only to God, but also to the Church. Now he cannot be reconciled to the Church, unless the hallowing of the Church reach him. In Baptism the hallowing of the Church reaches a man through the element itself applied externally, which is sanctified by "the word of life" (Eph. 5:26), by whomsoever it is conferred: and so when once a man has been baptized, no matter by whom, he must not be baptized again. On the other hand, in Penance the hallowing of the Church reaches man by the minister alone, because in that sacrament there is no bodily element applied externally, through the hallowing of which grace may be conferred. Consequently although the man who, in a case of necessity, has confessed to a layman, has received forgiveness from God, for the reason that he fulfilled, so far as he could, the purpose which he conceived in accordance with God's command, he is not yet reconciled to the Church, so as to be admitted to the sacraments, unless he first be absolved by a priest, even as he who has received the Baptism of desire, is not admitted to the Eucharist. Wherefore he must confess again to a priest, as soon as there is one at hand, and the more so since, as stated above (ad 1), the sacrament of Penance was not perfected, and so it needs yet to be perfected, in order that by receiving the sacrament, the penitent may receive a more plentiful effect, and that he may fulfill the commandment about receiving the sacrament of Penance.


Whether, outside a case of necessity, anyone who is not a priest may hear the confession of venial sins?

Objection 1: It would seem that, outside a case of necessity, no one but a priest may hear the confession of venial sins. For the dispensation of a sacrament is committed to a layman by reason of necessity. But the confession of venial sins is not necessary. Therefore it is not committed to a layman.

Objection 2: Further, Extreme Unction is ordained against venial sin, just as Penance is. But the former may not be given by a layman, as appears from James 5:14. Therefore neither can the confession of venial sins be made to a layman.

On the contrary, is the authority of Bede (on James 5:16, "Confess . . . one to another") quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 17).

I answer that, By venial sin man is separated neither from God nor from the sacraments of the Church: wherefore he does not need to receive any further grace for the forgiveness of such a sin, nor does he need to be reconciled to the Church. Consequently a man does not need to confess his venial sins to a priest. And since confession made to a layman is a sacramental, although it is not a perfect sacrament, and since it proceeds from charity, it has a natural aptitude to remit sins, just as the beating of one's breast, or the sprinkling of holy water (cf. [4844]TP, Q[87], A[3]). This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection, because there is no need to receive a sacrament for the forgiveness of venial sins. and a sacramental, such as holy water or the like, suffices for the purpose.

Reply to Objection 2: Extreme Unction is not given directly as a remedy for venial sin, nor is any other sacrament.


Whether it is necessary for one to confess to one's own priest?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is nol necessary to confess to one's own priest. For Gregory [*Cf. Can. Ex auctoritate xvi, Q[1]] says: "By our apostolic authority and in discharge of our solicitude we have decreed that priests, who as monks imitate the ex. ample of the apostles, may preach, baptize, give communion, pray for sinners, impose penances, and absolve from sins." Now monks are not the proper priests of anyone, since they have not the care of souls. Since, therefore confession is made for the sake of absolution it suffices for it to be made to any priest.

Objection 2: Further, the minister of this sacrament is a priest, as also of the Eucharist. But any priest can perform the Eucharist. Therefore any priest can administer the sacrament of Penance. Therefore there is no need to confess to one's own priest.

Objection 3: Further, when we are bound to one thing in particular it is not left to our choice. But the choice of a discreet priest is left to us as appears from the authority of Augustine quoted in the text

(Sent. ix, D, 17): for he says in De vera et falsa Poenitentia [*Work of an unknown author]: "He who wishes to confess his sins, in order to find grace, must seek a priest who knows how to loose and to bind." Therefore it seems unnecessary to confess to one's own priest.

Objection 4: Further, there are some, such as prelates, who seem to have no priest of their own, since they have no superior: yet they are bound to confession. Therefore a man is not always bound to confess to his own priest.

Objection 5: Further, "That which is instituted for the sake of charity, does not militate against charity," as Bernard observes (De Praecept. et Dispens. ii). Now confession, which was instituted for the sake of charity, would militate against charity, if a man were bound to confess to any particular priest: e.g. if the sinner know that his own priest is a heretic, or a man of evil influence, or weak and prone to the very sin that he wishes to confess to him, or reasonably suspected of breaking the seal of confession, or if the penitent has to confess a sin committed against his confessor. Therefore it seems that one need not always confess to one's own priest.

Objection 6: Further, men should not be straitened in matters necessary for salvation, lest they be hindered in the way of salvation. But it seems a great inconvenience to be bound of necessity to confess to one particular man, and many might be hindered from going to confession, through either fear, shame, or something else of the kind. Therefore, since confession is necessary for salvation, men should not be straitened, as apparently they would be, by having to confess to their own priest.

On the contrary, stands a decree of Pope Innocent III in the Fourth Lateran Council (Can. 21), who appointed "all of either sex to confess once a year to their own priest." Further, as a bishop is to his diocese, so is a priest to his parish. Now it is unlawful, according to canon law (Can. Nullus primas ix[4845], Q[2]; Can. Si quis episcoporum xvi[4846], Q[5]), for a bishop to exercise the episcopal office in another diocese. Therefore it is not lawful for one priest to hear the confession of another's parishioner.

I answer that, The other sacraments do not consist in an action of the recipient, but only in his receiving something, as is evident with regard to Baptism and so forth. though the action of the recipient is required as removing an obstacle, i.e. insincerity, in order that he may receive the benefit of the sacrament, if he has come to the use of his free-will. On the other hand, the action of the man who approaches the sacrament of Penance is essential to the sacrament, since contrition, confession, and satisfaction, which are acts of the penitent, are parts of Penance. Now our actions, since they have their origin in us, cannot be dispensed by others, except through their command. Hence whoever is appointed a dispenser of this sacrament, must be such as to be able to command something to be done. Now a man is not competent to command another unless he have jurisdiction over him. Consequently it is essential to this sacrament, not only for the minister to be in orders, as in the case of the other sacraments, but also for him to have jurisdiction: wherefore he that has no jurisdiction cannot administer this sacrament any more than one who is not a priest. Therefore confession should be made not only to a priest, but to one's own priest; for since a priest does not absolve a man except by binding him to do something, he alone can absolve, who, by his command, can bind the penitent to do something.

Reply to Objection 1: Gregory is speaking of those monks who have jurisdiction, through having charge of a parish; about whom some had maintained that from the very fact that they were monks, they could not absolve or impose penance, which is false.

Reply to Objection 2: The sacrament of the Eucharist does not require the power of command over a man, whereas this sacrament does, as stated above: and so the argument proves nothing. Nevertheless it is not lawful to receive the Eucharist from another than one's own priest, although it is a real sacrament that one receives from another.

Reply to Objection 3: The choice of a discreet priest is not left to us in such a way that we can do just as we like; but it is left to the permission of a higher authority, if perchance one's own priest happens to be less suitable for applying a salutary remedy to our sins.

Reply to Objection 4: Since it is the duty of prelates to dispense the sacraments, which the clean alone should handle, they are allowed by law (De Poenit. et Remiss., Cap. Ne pro dilatione) to choose a priest for their confessor; who in this respect is the prelate's superior; even as one physician is cured by another, not as a physician but as a patient.

Reply to Objection 5: In those cases wherein the penitent has reason to fear some harm to himself or to the priest by reason of his confessing to him, he should have recourse to the higher authority, or ask permission of the priest himself to confess to another; and if he fails to obtain permission, the case is to be decided as for a man who has no priest at hand; so that he should rather choose a layman and confess to him. Nor does he disobey the law of the Church by so doing, because the precepts of positive law do not extend beyond the intention of the lawgiver, which is the end of the precept, and in this case, is charity, according to the Apostle (1 Tim. 1:5). Nor is any slur cast on the priest, for he deserves to forfeit his privilege, for abusing the power intrusted to him.

Reply to Objection 6: The necessity of confessing to one's own priest does not straiten the way of salvation, but determines it sufficiently. A priest, however, would sin if he were not easy in giving permission to confess to another, because many are so weak that they would rather die without confession than confess to such a priest. Wherefore those priests who are too anxious to probe the consciences of their subjects by means of confession, lay a snare of damnation for many, and consequently for themselves.


Whether it is lawful for anyone to confess to another than his own priest, in virtue of a privilege or a command given by a superior?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is not lawful for anyone to confess to another than his own priest, even in virtue of a privilege or command given by a superior. For no privilege should be given that wrongs a third party. Now it would be prejudicial to the subject's own priest, if he were to confess to another. Therefore this cannot be allowed by a superior's privilege, permission, or command.

Objection 2: Further, that which hinders the observance of a Divine command cannot be the subject of a command or privilege given by man. Now it is a Divine command to the rectors of churches to "know the countenance of their own cattle" (Prov. 27:23); and this is hindered if another than the rector hear the confession of his subjects. Therefore this cannot be prescribed by any human privilege or command.

Objection 3: Further, he that hears another's confession is the latter's own judge, else he could not bind or loose him. Now one man cannot have several priests or judges of his own, for then he would be bound to obey several men, which would be impossible, if their commands were contrary or incompatible. Therefore one may not confess to another than one's own priest, even with the superior's permission.

Objection 4: Further, it is derogatory to a sacrament, or at least useless, to repeat a sacrament over the same matter. But he who has confessed to another priest, is bound to confess again to his own priest, if the latter requires him to do so, because he is not absolved from his obedience, whereby he is bound to him in this respect. Therefore it cannot be lawful for anyone to confess to another than his own priest.

On the contrary, He that can perform the actions of an order can depute the exercise thereof to anyone who has the same order. Now a superior, such as a bishop, can hear the confession of anyone belonging to a priest's parish, for sometimes he reserves certain cases to himself, since he is the chief rector. Therefore he can also depute another priest to hear that man. Further, a superior can do whatever his subject can do. But the priest himself can give his parishioner permission to confess to another. Much more, therefore, can his superior do this. Further, the power which a priest has among his people, comes to him from the bishop. Now it is through that power that he can hear confessions. Therefore, in like manner, another can do so, to whom the bishop gives the same power.

I answer that, A priest may be hindered in two ways from hearing a man's confession: first, through lack of jurisdiction; secondly, through being prevented from exercising his order, as those who are excommunicate, degraded, and so forth. Now whoever has jurisdiction, can depute to another whatever comes under his jurisdiction; so that if a priest is hindered from hearing a man's confession through want of jurisdiction, anyone who has immediate jurisdiction over that man, priest, bishop, or Pope, can depute that priest to hear his confession and absolve him. If, on the other hand, the priest cannot hear the confession, on account of an impediment to the exercise of his order, anyone who has the power to remove that impediment can permit him to hear confessions.

Reply to Objection 1: No wrong is done to a person unless what is taken away from him was granted for his own benefit. Now the power of jurisdiction is not granted a man for his own benefit, but for the good of the people and for the glory of God. Wherefore if the higher prelates deem it expedient for the furthering of the people's salvation and God's glory, to commit matters of jurisdiction to others, no wrong is done to the inferior prelates, except to those who "seek the things that are their own; not the things that are Jesus Christ's" (Phil. 2:21), and who rule their flock, not by feeding it, but by feeding on it.

Reply to Objection 2: The rector of a church should "know the countenance of his own cattle" in two ways. First, by an assiduous attention to their external conduct, so as to watch over the flock committed to his care: and in acquiring this knowledge he should not believe his subject, but, as far as possible, inquire into the truth of facts. Secondly, by the manifestation of confession; and with regard to this knowledge, he cannot arrive at any greater certainty than by believing his subject, because this is necessary that he may help his subject's conscience. Consequently in the tribunal of confession, the penitent is believed whether he speak for himself or against himself, but not in the court of external judgment: wherefore it suffices for this knowledge that he believe the penitent when he says that he has confessed to one who could absolve him. It is therefore clear that this knowledge of the flock is not hindered by a privilege granted to another to hear confessions.

Reply to Objection 3: It would be inconvenient, if two men were placed equally over the same people, but there is no inconvenience if over the same people two are placed one of whom is over the other. In this way the parish priest, the bishop, and the Pope are placed immediately over the same people, and each of them can commit matters of jurisdiction to some other. Now a higher superior delegates a man in two ways: first, so that the latter takes the superior's place, as when the Pope or a bishop appoints his penitentiaries; and then the man thus delegated is higher than the inferior prelate, as the Pope's penitentiary is higher than a bishop, and the bishop's penitentiary than a parish priest, and the penitent is bound to obey the former rather than the latter. Secondly, so that the delegate is appointed the coadjutor of this other priest; and since a co-adjutor is subordinate to the person he is appointed to help, he holds a lower rank, and the penitent is not so bound to obey him as his own priest.

Reply to Objection 4: No man is bound to confess sins that he has no longer. Consequently, if a man has confessed to the bishop's penitentiary, or to someone else having faculties from the bishop, his sins are forgiven both before the Church and before God, so that he is not bound to confess them to his own priest, however much the latter may insist: but on account of the Ecclesiastical precept (De Poenit. et Remiss., Cap. Omnis utriusque) which prescribes confession to be made once a year to one's own priest, he is under the same obligation as one who has committed none but venial sins. For such a one, according to some, is bound to confess none but venial sins, or he must declare that he is free from mortal sin, and the priest, in the tribunal of conscience, ought, and is bound, to believe him. If, however, he were bound to confess again, his first confession would not be useless, because the more priests one confesses to, the more is the punishment remitted, both by reason of the shame in confessing, which is reckoned as a satisfactory punishment, and by reason of the power of the keys: so that one might confess so often as to be delivered from all punishment. Nor is repetition derogatory to a sacrament, except in those wherein there is some kind of sanctification, either by the impressing of a character, or by the consecration of the matter, neither of which applies to Penance. Hence it would be well for him who hears confessions by the bishop's authority, to advise the penitent to confess to his own priest, yet he must absolve him, even if he declines to do so.


Whether a penitent, at the point of death, can be absolved by any priest?

Objection 1: It would seem that a penitent, at the point of death, cannot be absolved by any priest. For absolution requires jurisdiction, as stated above [4847](A[5]). Now a priest does not acquire jurisdiction over a man who repents at the point of death. Therefore he cannot absolve him.

Objection 2: Further, he that receives the sacrament of Baptism, when in danger of death, from another than his own priest, does not need to be baptized again by the latter. If, therefore, any priest can absolve, from any sin, a man who is in danger of death, the penitent, if he survive the danger, need not go to his own priest; which is false, since otherwise the priest would not "know the countenance of his cattle."

Objection 3: Further, when there is danger of death, Baptism can be conferred not only by a strange priest, but also by one who is not a priest. But one who is not a priest can never absolve in the tribunal of Penance. Therefore neither can a priest absolve a man who is not his subject, when he is in danger of death.

On the contrary, Spiritual necessity is greater than bodily necessity. But it is lawful in a case of extreme necessity, for a man to make use of another's property, even against the owner's will, in order to supply a bodily need. Therefore in danger of death, a man may be absolved by another than his own priest, in order to supply his spiritual need. Further, the authorities quoted in the text prove the same (Sent. iv, D, 20, Cap. Non Habet).

I answer that, If we consider the power of the keys, every priest has power over all men equally and over all sins: and it is due to the fact that by the ordination of the Church, he has a limited jurisdiction or none at all, that he cannot absolve all men from all sins. But since "necessity knows no law" [*Cap. Consilium, De observ. jejun.; De reg. jur. (v, Decretal)] in cases of necessity the ordination of the Church does not hinder him from being able to absolve, since he has the keys sacramentally: and the penitent will receive as much benefit from the absolution of this other priest as if he had been absolved by his own. Moreover a man can then be absolved by any priest not only from his sins, but also from excommunication, by whomsoever pronounced, because such absolution is also a matter of that jurisdiction which by the ordination of the Church is con. fined within certain limits.

Reply to Objection 1: One person may act on the jurisdiction of another according to the latter's will, since matters of jurisdiction can be deputed. Since, therefore, the Church recognizes absolution granted by any priest at the hour of death, from this very fact a priest has the use of jurisdiction though he lack the power of jurisdiction.

Reply to Objection 2: He needs to go to his own priest, not that he may be absolved again from the sins, from which he was absolved when in danger of death, but that his own priest may know that he is absolved. In like manner, he who has been absolved from excommunication needs to go to the judge, who in other circumstances could have absolved him, not in order to seek absolution, but in order to offer satisfaction.

Reply to Objection 3: Baptism derives its efficacy from the sanctification of the matter itself, so that a man receives the sacrament whosoever baptizes him: whereas the sacramental power of Penance consists in a sanctification pronounced by the minister, so that if a man confess to a layman, although he fulfills his own part of the sacramental confession, he does not receive sacramental absolution. Wherefore his confession avails him somewhat, as to the lessening of his punishment, owing to the merit derived from his confession and to his repentance. but he does not receive that diminution of his punishment which results from the power of the keys; and consequently he must confess again to a priest; and one who has confessed thus, is more punished hereafter than if he had confessed to a priest.


Whether the temporal punishment is imposed according to the degree of the fault?

Objection 1: It would seem that the temporal punishment, the debt of which remains after Penance, is not imposed according to the degree of fault. For it is imposed according to the degree of pleasure derived from the sin, as appears from Apoc. 18:7: "As much as she hath glorified herself and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye her." Yet sometimes where there is greater pleasure, there is less fault, since "carnal sins, which afford more pleasure than spiritual sins, are less guilty," according to Gregory (Moral. xxxiii, 2). Therefore the punishment is not imposed according to the degree of fault.

Objection 2: Further, in the New Law one is bound to punishment for mortal sins, in the same way as in the Old Law. Now in the Old Law the punishment for sin was due to last seven days, in other words, they had to remain unclean seven days for one mortal sin. Since therefore, in the New Testament, a punishment of seven years is imposed for one mortal sin, it seems that the quantity of the punishment does not answer to the degree of fault.

Objection 3: Further, the sin of murder in a layman is more grievous than that of fornication in a priest, because the circumstance which is taken from the species of a sin, is more aggravating than that which is taken from the person of the sinner. Now a punishment of seven years' duration is appointed for a layman guilty of murder, while for fornication a priest is punished for ten years, according to Can. Presbyter, Dist. lxxxii. Therefore punishment is not imposed according to the degree of fault.

Objection 4: Further, a sin committed against the very body of Christ is most grievous, because the greater the person sinned against, the more grievous the sin. Now for spilling the blood of Christ in the sacrament of the altar a punishment of forty days or a little more is enjoined, while a punishment of seven years is prescribed for fornication, according to the Canons (Can. Presbyter, Dist. lxxxii). Therefore the quantity of the punishment does not answer to the degree of fault.

On the contrary, It is written (Is. 27:8): "In measure against measure, when it shall be cast off, thou shalt judge it." Therefore the quantity of punishment adjudicated for sin answers the degree of fault. Further, man is reduced to the equality of justice by the punishment inflicted on him. But this would not be so if the quantity of the fault and of the punishment did not mutually correspond. Therefore one answers to the other.

I answer that, After the forgiveness of sin, a punishment is required for two reasons, viz. to pay the debt, and to afford a remedy. Hence the punishment may be imposed in consideration of two things. First, in consideration of the debt, and in this way the quantity of the punishment corresponds radically to the quantity of the fault, before anything of the latter is forgiven: yet the more there is remitted by the first of those things which are of a nature to remit punishment, the less there remains to be remitted or paid by the other, because the more contrition remits of the punishment, the less there remains to be remitted by confession. Secondly, in consideration of the remedy, either as regards the one who sinned, or as regards others: and thus sometimes a greater punishment is enjoined for a lesser sin; either because one man's sin is more difficult to resist than another's (thus a heavier punishment is imposed on a young man for fornication, than on an old man, though the former's sin be less grievous), or because one man's sin; for instance, a priest's, is more dangerous to others, than another's sin, or because the people are more prone to that particular sin, so that it is necessary by the punishment of the one man to deter others. Consequently, in the tribunal of Penance, the punishment has to be imposed with due regard to both these things: and so a greater punishment is not always imposed for a greater sin. on the other hand, the punishment of Purgatory is only for the payment of the debt, because there is no longer any possibility of sinning, so that this punishment is meted only according to the measure of sin, with due consideration however for the degree of contrition, and for confession and absolution, since all these lessen the punishment somewhat: wherefore the priest in enjoining satisfaction should bear them in mind.

Reply to Objection 1: In the words quoted two things are mentioned with regard to the sin, viz. "glorification" and "delicacies" or "delectation"; the first of which regards the uplifting of the sinner, whereby he resists God; while the second regards the pleasure of sin: and though sometimes there is less pleasure in a greater sin, yet there is greater uplifting; wherefore the argument does not prove.

Reply to Objection 2: This punishment of seven days did not expiate the punishment due for the sin, so that even if the sinner died after that time, he would be punished in Purgatory: but it was in expiation of the irregularity incurred, from which all the legal sacrifices expiated. Nevertheless, other things being equal, a man sins more grievously under the New Law than under the Old, on account of the more plentiful sanctification received in Baptism, and on account of the more powerful blessings bestowed by God on the human race. This is evident from Heb. 29: "How much more, do you think, he deserveth worse punishments," etc. And yet it is not universally true that a seven years' penance is exacted for every mortal sin: but it is a kind of general rule applicable to the majority of cases, which must, nevertheless, be disregarded, with due consideration for the various circumstances of sins and penitents.

Reply to Objection 3: A bishop or priest sins with greater danger to others or to himself; wherefore the canons are more anxious to withdraw him from sin, by inflicting a greater punishment, in as much as it is intended as a remedy; although sometimes so great a punishment is not strictly due. Hence he is punished less in Purgatory.

Reply to Objection 4: This punishment refers to the case when this happens against the priest's will: for if he spilled it willingly he would deserve a much heavier punishment.


OF THE QUALITY OF CONFESSION (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider the quality of confession: under which head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether confession can be lacking in form?

(2) Whether confession ought to be entire?

(3) Whether one can confess through another, or by writing?

(4) Whether the sixteen conditions, which are assigned by the masters, are necessary for confession?


Whether confession can be lacking in form?

Objection 1: It would seem that confession cannot be lacking in form. For it is written (Ecclus. 17:26): "Praise [confession] perisheth from the dead as nothing." But a man without charity is dead, because charity is the life of the soul. Therefore there can be no confession without charity.

Objection 2: Further, confession is condivided with contrition and satisfaction. But contrition and satisfaction are impossible without charity. Therefore confession is also impossible without charity.

Objection 3: Further, it is necessary in confession that the word should agree with the thought for the very name of confession requires this. Now if a man confess while remaining attached to sin, his word is not in accord with his thought, since in his heart he holds to sin, while he condemns it with his lips. Therefore such a man does not confess.

On the contrary, Every man is bound to confess his mortal sins. Now if a man in mortal sin has confessed once, he is not bound to confess the same sins again, because, as no man knows himself to have charity, no man would know of him that he had confessed. Therefore it is not necessary that confession should be quickened by charity.

I answer that, Confession is an act of virtue, and is part of a sacrament. In so far as it is an act of virtue, it has the property of being meritorious, and thus is of no avail without charity, which is the principle of merit. But in so far as it is part of a sacrament, it subordinates the penitent to the priest who has the keys of the Church, and who by means of the confession knows the conscience of the person confessing. In this way it is possible for confession to be in one who is not contrite, for he can make his sins known to the priest, and subject himself to the keys of the Church: and though he does not receive the fruit of absolution then, yet he will begin to receive it, when he is sincerely contrite, as happens in the other sacraments: wherefore he is not bound to repeat his confession, but to confess his lack of sincerity.

Reply to Objection 1: These words must be understood as referring to the receiving of the fruit of confession, which none can receive who is not in the state of charity.

Reply to Objection 2: Contrition and satisfaction are offered to God: but confession is made to man: hence it is essential to contrition and satisfaction, but not to confession, that man should be united to God by charity.

Reply to Objection 3: He who declares the sins which he has, speaks the truth; and thus his thought agrees with his lips or words, as to the substance of confession, though it is discordant with the purpose of confession.


Whether confession should be entire?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is not necessary for confession to be entire, namely, for a man to confess all his sins to one priest. For shame conduces to the diminution of punishment. Now the greater the number of priests to whom a man confesses, the greater his shame. Therefore confession is more fruitful if it be divided among several priests.

Objection 2: Further, confession is necessary in Penance in order that punishment may be enjoined for sin according to the judgment of the priest. Now a sufficient punishment for different sins can be imposed by different priests. Therefore it is not necessary to confess all one's sins to one priest.

Objection 3: Further, it may happen that a man after going to confession and performing his penance, remembers a mortal sin, which escaped his memory while confessing, and that his own priest to whom he confessed first is no longer available, so that he can only confess that sin to another priest, and thus he will confess different sins to different priests.

Objection 4: Further, the sole reason for confessing one's sins to a priest is in order to receive absolution. Now sometimes, the priest who hears a confession can absolve from some of the sins, but not from all. Therefore in such a case at all events the confession need not be entire.

On the contrary, Hypocrisy is an obstacle to Penance. But it savors of hypocrisy to divide one's confession, as Augustine says [*De vera et falsa Poenitentia, work of an unknown author]. Therefore confession should be entire. Further, confession is a part of Penance. But Penance should be entire. Therefore confession also should be entire.

I answer that, In prescribing medicine for the body, the physician should know not only the disease for which he is prescribing, but also the general constitution of the sick person, since one disease is aggravated by the addition of another, and a medicine which would be adapted to one disease, would be harmful to another. The same is to be said in regard to sins, for one is aggravated when another is added to it; and a remedy which would be suitable for one sin, might prove an incentive to another, since sometimes a man is guilty of contrary sins, as Gregory says (Pastoral. iii, 3). Hence it is necessary for confession that man confess all the sins that he calls to mind, and if he fails to do this, it is not a confession, but a pretense of confession.

Reply to Objection 1: Although a man's shame is multiplied when he makes a divided confession to different confessors, yet all his different shames together are not so great as that with which he confesses all his sins together: because one sin considered by itself does not prove the evil disposition of the sinner, as when it is considered in conjunction with several others, for a man may fall into one sin through ignorance or weakness, but a number of sins proves the malice of the sinner, or his great corruption.

Reply to Objection 2: The punishment imposed by different priests would not be sufficient, because each would only consider one sin by itself, and not the gravity which it derives from being in conjunction with another. Moreover sometimes the punishment which would be given for one sin would foster another. Again the priest in hearing a confession takes the place of God, so that confession should be made to him just as contrition is made to God: wherefore as there would be no contrition unless one were contrite for all the sins which one calls to mind, so is there no confession unless one confess all the sins that one remembers committing.

Reply to Objection 3: Some say that when a man remembers a sin which he had previously forgotten, he ought to confess again the sins which he had confessed before, especially if he cannot go to the same priest to whom his previous confession was made, in order that the total quantity of his sins may be made known to one priest. But this does not seem necessary, because sin takes its quantity both from itself and from the conjunction of another; and as to the sins which he confessed he had already manifested their quantity which they have of themselves, while as to the sin which he had forgotten, in order that the priest may know the quantity which it has under both the above heads, it is enough that the penitent declare it explicitly, and confess the others in general, saying that he had confessed many sins in his previous confession, but had forgotten this particular one.

Reply to Objection 4: Although the priest may be unable to absolve the penitent from all his sins, yet the latter is bound to confess all to him, that he may know the total quantity of his guilt, and refer him to the superior with regard to the sins from which he cannot absolve him.


Whether one may confess through another, or by writing?

Objection 1: It would seem that one may confess through another, or by writing. For confession is necessary in order that the penitent's conscience may be made known to the priest. But a man can make his conscience known to the priest, through another or by writing. Therefore it is enough to confess through another or by writing.

Objection 2: Further, some are not understood by their own priests on account of a difference of language, and consequently cannot confess save through others. Therefore it is not essential to the sacrament that one should confess by oneself, so that if anyone confesses through another in any way whatever, it suffices for his salvation.

Objection 3: Further, it is essential to the sacrament that a man should confess to his own priest, as appears from what has been said

([4848]Q[8], A[5] ). Now sometimes a man's own priest is absent, so that the penitent cannot speak to him with his own voice. But he could make his conscience known to him by writing. Therefore it seems that he ought to manifest his conscience to him by writing to him.

On the contrary, Man is bound to confess his sins even as he is bound to confess his faith. But confession of faith should be made "with the mouth," as appears from Rom. 10:10: therefore confession of sins should also. Further, who sinned by himself should, by himself, do penance. But confession is part of penance. Therefore the penitent should confess his own sins.

I answer that, Confession is not only an act of virtue, but also part of a sacrament. Now, though, in so far as it is an act of virtue it matters not how it is done, even if it be easier to do it in one way than in another, yet, in so far as it is part of a sacrament, it has a determinate act, just as the other sacraments have a determinate matter. And as in Baptism, in order to signify the inward washing, we employ that element which is chiefly used in washing, so in the sacramental act which is intended for manifestation we generally make use of that act which is most commonly employed for the purpose of manifestation, viz. our own words; for other ways have been introduced as supplementary to this.

Reply to Objection 1: Just as in Baptism it is not enough to wash with anything, but it is necessary to wash with a determinate element, so neither does it suffice, in Penance, to manifest one's sins anyhow, but they must be declared by a determinate act.

Reply to Objection 2: It is enough for one who is ignorant of a language, to confess by writing, or by signs, or by an interpreter, because a man is not bound to do more than he can: although a man is not able or obliged to receive Baptism, except with water, which is from an entirely external source and is applied to us by another: whereas the act of confession is from within and is performed by ourselves, so that when we cannot confess in one way, we must confess as we can.

Reply to Objection 3: In the absence of one's own priest, confession may be made even to a layman, so that there is no necessity to confess in writing, because the act of confession is more essential than the person to whom confession is made.


Whether the sixteen conditions usually assigned are necessary for confession?

Objection 1: It would seem that the conditions assigned by masters, and contained in the following lines, are not requisite for confession: Simple, humble, pure, faithful, Frequent, undisguised, discreet, voluntary, shamefaced, Entire, secret, tearful, not delayed, Courageously accusing, ready to obey. For fidelity, simplicity, and courage are virtues by themselves, and therefore should not be reckoned as conditions of confession.

Objection 2: Further, a thing is "pure" when it is not mixed with anything else: and "simplicity," in like manner, removes composition and admixture. Therefore one or the other is superfluous.

Objection 3: Further, no one is bound to confess more than once a sin which he has committed but once. Therefore if a man does not commit a sin again, his penance need not be "frequent."

Objection 4: Further, confession is directed to satisfaction. But satisfaction is sometimes public. Therefore confession should not always be "secret."

Objection 5: Further, that which is not in our power is not required of us. But it is not in our power to shed "tears." Therefore it is not required of those who confess.

On the contrary, We have the authority of the masters who assigned the above.

I answer that, Some of the above conditions are essential to confession, and some are requisite for its well-being. Now those things which are essential to confession belong to it either as to an act of virtue, or as to part of a sacrament. If in the first way, it is either by reason of virtue in general, or by reason of the special virtue of which it is the act, or by reason of the act itself. Now there are four conditions of virtue in general, as stated in Ethic. ii, 4. The first is knowledge, in respect of which confession is said to be "discreet," inasmuch as prudence is required in every act of virtue: and this discretion consists in giving greater weight to greater sins. The second condition is choice, because acts of virtue should be voluntary, and in this respect confession is said to be "voluntary." The third condition is that the act be done for a particular purpose, viz. the due end, and in this respect confession is said to be "pure," i.e. with a right intention. The fourth condition is that one should act immovably, and in this respect it is said that confession should be "courageous," viz. that the truth should not be forsaken through shame. Now confession is an act of the virtue of penance. First of all it takes its origin in the horror which one conceives for the shamefulness of sin, and in this respect confession should be "full of shame," so as not to be a boastful account of one's sins, by reason of some worldly vanity accompanying it. Then it goes on to deplore the sin committed, and in this respect it is said to be "tearful." Thirdly, it culminates in self-abjection, and in this respect it should be "humble," so that one confesses one's misery and weakness. By reason of its very nature, viz. confession, this act is one of manifestation: which manifestation can be hindered by four things: first, by falsehood, and in this respect confession is said to be "faithful," i.e. true. Secondly, by the use of vague words, and against this confession is said to be "open," so as not to be wrapped up in vague words; thirdly, by "multiplicity" of words, in which respect it is said to be "simple" indicating that the penitent should relate only such matters as affect the gravity of the sin; fourthly none of those things should be suppressed which should be made known, and in this respect confession should be "entire." In so far as confession is part of a sacrament it is subject to the judgment of the priest who is the minister of the sacrament. Wherefore it should be an "accusation" on the part of the penitent, should manifest his "readiness to obey" the priest, should be "secret" as regards the nature of the court wherein the hidden affairs of conscience are tried. The well-being of confession requires that it should be "frequent"; and "not delayed," i.e. that the sinner should confess at once.

Reply to Objection 1: There is nothing unreasonable in one virtue being a condition of the act of another virtue, through this act being commanded by that virtue; or through the mean which belongs to one virtue principally, belonging to other virtues by participation.

Reply to Objection 2: The condition "pure" excludes perversity of intention, from which man is cleansed: but the condition "simple" excludes the introduction of unnecessary matter.

Reply to Objection 3: This is not necessary for confession, but is a condition of its well-being.

Reply to Objection 4: Confession should be made not publicly but privately, lest others be scandalized, and led to do evil through hearing the sins confessed. On the other hand, the penance enjoined in satisfaction does not give rise to scandal, since like works of satisfaction are done sometimes for slight sins, and sometimes for none at all.

Reply to Objection 5: We must understand this to refer to tears of the heart.


OF THE EFFECT OF CONFESSION (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the effect of confession: under which head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether confession delivers one from the death of sin?

(2) Whether confession delivers one in any way from punishment?

(3) Whether confession opens Paradise to us?

(4) Whether confession gives hope of salvation?

(5) Whether a general confession blots out mortal sins that one has forgotten?


Whether confession delivers one from the death of sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that confession does not deliver one from the death of sin. For confession follows contrition. But contrition sufficiently blots out guilt. Therefore confession does not deliver one from the death of sin.

Objection 2: Further, just as mortal sin is a fault, so is venial. Now confession renders venial that which was mortal before, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 17). Therefore confession does not blot out guilt, but one guilt is changed into another.

On the contrary, Confession is part of the sacrament of Penance. But Penance deliver from guilt. Therefore confession does also.

I answer that, Penance, as a sacrament, is perfected chiefly in confession, because by the latter a man submits to the ministers of the Church, who are the dispensers of the sacraments: for contrition has the desire of confession united thereto, and satisfaction is enjoined according to the judgment of the priest who hears the confession. And since in the sacrament of Penance, as in Baptism, that grace is infused whereby sins are forgiven, therefore confession in virtue of the absolution granted remits guilt, even as Baptism does. Now Baptism delivers one from the death of sin, not only by being received actually, but also by being received in desire, as is evident with regard to those who approach the sacrament of Baptism after being already sanctified. And unless a man offers an obstacle, he receives, through the very fact of being baptized, grace whereby his sins are remitted, if they are not already remitted. The same is to be said of confession, to which absolution is added because it delivered the penitent from guilt through being previously in his desire. Afterwards at the time of actual confession and absolution he receives an increase of grace, and forgiveness of sins would also be granted to him, if his previous sorrow for sin was not sufficient for contrition, and if at the time he offered no obstacle to grace. Consequently just as it is said of Baptism that it delivers from death, so can it be said of confession.

Reply to Objection 1: Contrition has the desire of confession attached to it, and therefore it delivers penitents from death in the same way as the desire of Baptism delivers those who are going to be baptized.

Reply to Objection 2: In the text venial does not designate guilt, but punishment that is easily expiated. and so it does not follow that one guilt is changed into another but that it is wholly done away. For "venial" is taken in three senses [*Cf. [4849]FS, Q[88], A[2]]: first, for what is venial generically, e.g. an idle word: secondly, for what is venial in its cause, i.e. having within itself a motive of pardon, e.g. sins due to weakness: thirdly, for what is venial in the result, in which sense it is understood here, because the result of confession is that man's past guilt is pardoned.


Whether confession delivers from punishment in some way?

Objection 1: It would seem that confession nowise delivers from punishment. For sin deserves no punishment but what is either eternal or temporal. Now eternal punishment is remitted by contrition, and temporal punishment by satisfaction. Therefore nothing of the punishment is remitted by confession.

Objection 2: Further, "the will is taken for the deed" [*Cf. Can. Magna Pietas, De Poenit., Dist. i], as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 17). Now he that is contrite has the intention to confess. wherefore his intention avails him as though he had already confessed, and so the confession which he makes afterwards remits no part of the punishment.

On the contrary, Confession is a penal work. But all penal works expiate the punishment due to sin. Therefore confession does also.

I answer that, Confession together with absolution has the power to deliver from punishment, for two reasons. First, from the power of absolution itself: and thus the very desire of absolution delivers a man from eternal punishment, as also from the guilt. Now this punishment is one of condemnation and total banishment: and when a man is delivered therefrom he still remains bound to a temporal punishment, in so far as punishment is a cleansing and perfecting remedy; and so this punishment remains to be suffered in Purgatory by those who also have been delivered from the punishment of hell. Which temporal punishment is beyond the powers of the penitent dwelling in this world, but is so far diminished by the power of the keys, that it is within the ability of the penitent, and he is able, by making satisfaction, to cleanse himself in this life. Secondly, confession diminishes the punishment in virtue of the very nature of the act of the one who confesses, for this act has the punishment of shame attached to it, so that the oftener one confesses the same sins, the more is the punishment diminished. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.

Reply to Objection 2: The will is not taken for the deed, if this is done by another, as in the case of Baptism: for the will to receive Baptism is not worth as much as the reception of Baptism. But a man's will is taken for the deed, when the latter is something done by him, entirely. Again, this is true of the essential reward, but not of the removal of punishment and the like, which come under the head of accidental and secondary reward. Consequently one who has confessed and received absolution will be less punished in Purgatory than one who has gone no further than contrition.


Whether confession opens paradise?

Objection 1: It would seem that confession does not open Paradise. For different sacraments have different effects. But it is the effect of Baptism to open Paradise. Therefore it is not the effect of confession.

Objection 2: Further, it is impossible to enter by a closed door before it be opened. But a dying man can enter heaven before making his confession. Therefore confession does not open Paradise.

On the contrary, Confession makes a man submit to the keys of the Church. But Paradise is opened by those keys. Therefore it is opened by confession.

I answer that, Guilt and the debt of punishment prevent a man from entering into Paradise: and since confession removes these obstacles, as shown above ([4850]AA[1],2), it is said to open Paradise.

Reply to Objection 1: Although Baptism and Penance are different sacraments, they act in virtue of Christ's one Passion, whereby a way was opened unto Paradise.

Reply to Objection 2: If the dying man was in mortal sin Paradise was closed to him before he conceived the desire to confess his sin, although afterwards it was opened by contrition implying a desire for confession, even before he actually confessed. Nevertheless the obstacle of the debt of punishment was not entirely removed before confession and satisfaction.


Whether confession gives hope of salvation?

Objection 1: It would seem that hope of salvation should not be reckoned an effect of confession. For hope arises from all meritorious acts. Therefore, seemingly, it is not the proper effect of confession.

Objection 2: Further, we arrive at hope through tribulation, as appears from Rom. 5:3,4. Now man suffers tribulation chiefly in satisfaction. Therefore, satisfaction rather than confession gives hope of salvation.

On the contrary," Confession makes a man more humble and more wary," as the Master states in the text (Sent. iv, D, 17). But the result of this is that man conceives a hope of salvation. Therefore it is the effect of confession to give hope of salvation.

I answer that, We can have no hope for the forgiveness of our sins except through Christ: and since by confession a man submits to the keys of the Church which derive their power from Christ's Passion, therefore do we say that confession gives hope of salvation.

Reply to Objection 1: It is not our actions, but the grace of our Redeemer, that is the principal cause of the hope of salvation: and since confession relies upon the grace of our Redeemer, it gives hope of salvation, not only as a meritorious act, but also as part of a sacrament.

Reply to Objection 2: Tribulation gives hope of salvation, by making us exercise our own virtue, and by paying off the debt of punishment: while confession does so also in the way mentioned above.


Whether a general confession suffices to blot out forgotten mortal sins?

Objection 1: It would seem that a general confession does not suffice to blot out forgotten mortal sins. For there is no necessity to confess again a sin which has been blotted out by confession. If, therefore, forgotten sins were forgiven by a general confession, there would be no need to confess them when they are called to mind.

Objection 2: Further, whoever is not conscious of sin, either is not guilty of sin, or has forgotten his sin. If, therefore, mortal sins are forgiven by a general confession, whoever is not conscious of a mortal sin, can be certain that he is free from mortal sin, whenever he makes a general confession: which is contrary to what the Apostle says (1 Cor. 4:4), "I am not conscious to myself of anything, yet am I not hereby justified."

Objection 3: Further, no man profits by neglect. Now a man cannot forget a mortal sin without neglect, before it is forgiven him. Therefore he does not profit by his forgetfulness so that the sin is forgiven him without special mention thereof in confession.

Objection 4: Further, that which the penitent knows nothing about is further from his knowledge than that which he has forgotten. Now a general confession does not blot out sins committed through ignorance, else heretics, who are not aware that certain things they have done are sinful, and certain simple people, would be absolved by a general confession, which is false. Therefore a general confession does not take away forgotten sins.

On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 33:6): "Come ye to Him and be enlightened, and your faces shall not be confounded." Now he who confesses all the sins of which he is conscious, approaches to God as much as he can: nor can more be required for him. Therefore he will not be confounded by being repelled, but will be forgiven. Further, he that confesses is pardoned unless he be insincere. But he who confesses all the sins that he calls to mind, is not insincere through forgetting some, because he suffers from ignorance of fact, which excuses from sin. Therefore he receives forgiveness, and then the sins which he has forgotten, are loosened, since it is wicked to hope for half a pardon.

I answer that, Confession produces its effect, on the presupposition that there is contrition which blots out guilt: so that confession is directly ordained to the remission of punishment, which it causes in virtue of the shame which it includes, and by the power of the keys to which a man submits by confessing. Now it happens sometimes that by previous contrition a sin has been blotted out as to the guilt, either in a general way (if it was not remembered at the time) or in particular (and yet is forgotten before confession): and then general sacramental confession works for the remission of the punishment in virtue of the keys, to which man submits by confessing, provided he offers no obstacle so far as he is concerned: but so far as the shame of confessing a sin diminishes its punishment, the punishment for the sin for which a man does not express his shame, through failing to confess it to the priest, is not diminished.

Reply to Objection 1: In sacramental confession, not only is absolution required, but also the judgment of the priest who imposes satisfaction is awaited. Wherefore although the latter has given absolution, nevertheless the penitent is bound to confess in order to supply what was wanting to the sacramental confession.

Reply to Objection 2: As stated above, confession does not produce its effect, unless contrition be presupposed; concerning which no man can know whether it be true contrition, even as neither can one know for certain if he has grace. Consequently a man cannot know for certain

Whether a forgotten sin has been forgiven him in a general confession, although he may think so on account of certain conjectural signs.

Reply to Objection 3: He does not profit by his neglect, since he does not receive such full pardon, as he would otherwise have received, nor is his merit so great. Moreover he is bound to confess the sin when he calls it to mind.

Reply to Objection 4: Ignorance of the law does not excuse, because it is a sin by itself: but ignorance of fact does excuse. Therefore if a man omits to confess a sin, because he does not know it to be a sin, through ignorance of the Divine law, he is not excused from insincerity. on the other hand, he would be excused, if he did not know it to be a sin, through being unaware of some particular circumstance, for instance, if he had knowledge of another's wife, thinking her his own. Now forgetfulness of an act of sin comes under the head of ignorance of fact, wherefore it excuses from the sin of insincerity in confession, which is an obstacle to the fruit of absolution and confession.


OF THE SEAL OF CONFESSION (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must now inquire about the seal of confession, about which there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether in every case a man is bound to hide what he knows under the seal of confession?

(2) Whether the seal of confession extends to other matters than those which have reference to confession?

(3) Whether the priest alone is bound by the seal of confession?

(4) Whether, by permission of the penitent, the priest can make known to another, a sin of his which he knew under the seal of confession?

(5) Whether he is bound to hide even what he knows through other sources besides?


Whether in every case the priest is bound to hide the sins which he knows under the seal of confession?

Objection 1: It would seem that the priest is not bound in every case to hide the sins which he knows under the seal of confession. For, as Bernard says (De Proecep. et Dispens. ii), "that which is instituted for the sake of charity does not militate against charity." Now the secret of confession would militate against charity in certain cases: for instance, if a man knew through confession that a certain man was a heretic, whom he cannot persuade to desist from misleading the people; or, in like manner, if a man knew, through confession, that certain people who wish to marry are related to one another. Therefore such ought to reveal what they know through confession.

Objection 2: Further, that which is obligatory solely on account of a precept of the Church need not be observed, if the commandment be changed to the contrary. Now the secret of confession was introduced solely by a precept of the Church. If therefore the Church were to prescribe that anyone who knows anything about such and such a sin must make it known, a man that had such knowledge through confession would be bound to speak.

Objection 3: Further, a man is bound to safeguard his conscience rather than the good name of another, because there is order in charity. Now it happens sometimes that a man by hiding a sin injures his own conscience — for instance, if he be called upon to give witness of a sin of which he has knowledge through confession, and is forced to swear to tell the truth — or when an abbot knows through confession the sin of a prior who is subject to him, which sin would be an occasion of ruin to the latter, if he suffers him to retain his priorship, wherefore he is bound to deprive him of the dignity of his pastoral charge, and yet in depriving him he seem to divulge the secret of confession. Therefore it seems that in certain cases it is lawful to reveal a confession.

Objection 4: Further, it is possible for a priest through hearing a man's confession to be conscious that the latter is unworthy of ecclesiastical preferment. Now everyone is bound to prevent the promotion of the unworthy, if it is his business. Since then by raising an objection he seems to raise a suspicion of sin, and so to reveal the confession somewhat, it seems that it is necessary sometimes to divulge a confession.

On the contrary, The Decretal says (De Poenit. et Remiss., Cap. Omnis utriusque): "Let the priest beware lest he betray the sinner, by word, or sign, or in any other way whatever." Further, the priest should conform himself to God, Whose minister he is. But God does not reveal the sins which are made known to Him in confession, but hides them. Neither, therefore, should the priest reveal them.

I answer that, Those things which are done outwardly in the sacraments are the signs of what takes place inwardly: wherefore confession, whereby a man subjects himself to a priest, is a sign of the inward submission, whereby one submits to God. Now God hides the sins of those who submit to Him by Penance; wherefore this also should be signified in the sacrament of Penance, and consequently the sacrament demands that the confession should remain hidden, and he who divulges a confession sins by violating the sacrament. Besides this there are other advantages in this secrecy, because thereby men are more attracted to confession, and confess their sins with greater simplicity.

Reply to Objection 1: Some say that the priest is not bound by the seal of confession to hide other sins than those in respect of which the penitent promises amendment; otherwise he may reveal them to one who can be a help and not a hindrance. But this opinion seems erroneous, since it is contrary to the truth of the sacrament; for just as, though the person baptized be insincere, yet his Baptism is a sacrament, and there is no change in the essentials of the sacrament on that account, so confession does not cease to be sacramental although he that confesses, does not purpose amendment. Therefore, this notwithstanding, it must be held secret; nor does the seal of confession militate against charity on that account, because charity does not require a man to find a remedy for a sin which he knows not: and that which is known in confession, is, as it were, unknown, since a man knows it, not as man, but as God knows it. Nevertheless in the cases quoted one should apply some kind of remedy, so far as this can be done without divulging the confession, e.g. by admonishing the penitent, and by watching over the others lest they be corrupted by heresy. He can also tell the prelate to watch over his flock with great care, yet so as by neither word nor sign to betray the penitent.

Reply to Objection 2: The precept concerning the secret of confession follows from the sacrament itself. Wherefore just as the obligation of making a sacramental confession is of Divine law, so that no human dispensation or command can absolve one therefrom, even so, no man can be forced or permitted by another man to divulge the secret of confession. Consequently if he be commanded under pain of excommunication to be incurred "ipso facto," to say whether he knows anything about such and such a sin, he ought not to say it, because he should assume that the intention of the person in commanding him thus, was that he should say what he knew as man. And even if he were expressly interrogated about a confession, he ought to say nothing, nor would he incur the excommunication, for he is not subject to his superior, save as a man, and he knows this not as a man, but as God knows it.

Reply to Objection 3: A man is not called upon to witness except as a man, wherefore without wronging his conscience he can swear that he knows not, what he knows only as God knows it. In like manner a superior can, without wronging his conscience, leave a sin unpunished which he knows only as God knows it, or he may forbear to apply a remedy, since he is not bound to apply a remedy, except according as it comes to his knowledge. Wherefore with regard to matters which come to his knowledge in the tribunal of Penance, he should apply the remedy, as far as he can, in the same court: thus as to the case in point, the abbot should advise the prior to resign his office, and if the latter refuse, he can absolve him from the priorship on some other occasion, yet so as to avoid all suspicion of divulging the confession.

Reply to Objection 4: A man is rendered unworthy of ecclesiastical preferment, by many other causes besides sin, for instance, by lack of knowledge, age, or the like: so that by raising an objection one does not raise a suspicion of crime or divulge the secret of confession.


Whether the seal of confession extends to other matters than those which have reference to confession?

Objection 1: It would seem that the seal of confession extends to other matters besides those which have reference to confession. For sins alone have reference to confession. Now sometimes besides sins other matters are told which have no reference to confession. Therefore, since such things are told to the priest, as to God, it seems that the seal of confession extends to them also.

Objection 2: Further, sometimes one person tells another a secret, which the latter receives under the seal of confession. Therefore the seal of confession extends to matters having no relation to confession.

On the contrary, The seal of confession is connected with sacramental confession. But those things which are connected with a sacrament, do not extend outside the bounds of the sacrament. Therefore the seal of confession does not extend to matters other than those which have reference to sacramental confession.

I answer that, The seal of confession does not extend directly to other matters than those which have reference to sacramental confession, yet indirectly matters also which are not connected with sacramental confession are affected by the seal of confession, those, for instance, which might lead to the discovery of a sinner or of his sin. Nevertheless these matters also must be most carefully hidden, both on account of scandal, and to avoid leading others into sin through their becoming familiar with it. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.

Reply to Objection 2: A confidence ought not easily to be accepted in this way: but if it be done the secret must be kept in the way promised, as though one had the secret through confession, though not through the seal of confession.


Whether the priest alone is bound by the seal of confession?

Objection 1: It would seem that not only the priest is bound by the seal of confession. For sometimes a priest hears a confession through an interpreter, if there be an urgent reason for so doing. But it seems that the interpreter is bound to keep the confession secret. Therefore one who is not a priest knows something under the seal of confession.

Objection 2: Further, it is possible sometimes in cases of urgency for a layman to hear a confession. But he is bound to secrecy with regard to those sins, since they are told to him as to God. Therefore not only the priest is bound by the seal of confession.

Objection 3: Further, it may happen that a man pretends to be a priest, so that by this deceit he may know what is on another's conscience: and it would seem that he also sins if he divulges the confession. Therefore not only the priest is bound by the seal of confession.

On the contrary, A priest alone is the minister of this sacrament. But the seal of confession is connected with this sacrament. Therefore the priest alone is bound by the seal of confession. Further, the reason why a man is bound to keep secret what he hears in confession, is because he knows them, not as man but as God knows them. But the priest alone is God's minister. Therefore he alone is bound to secrecy.

I answer that, The seal of confession affects the priest as minister of this sacrament: which seal is nothing else than the obligation of keeping the confession secret, even as the key is the power of absolving. Yet, as one who is not a priest, in a particular case has a kind of share in the act of the keys, when he hears a confession in a case of urgency, so also does he have a certain share in the act of the seal of confession, and is bound to secrecy, though, properly speaking, he is not bound by the seal of confession. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


Whether by the penitent's permission, a priest may reveal to another a sin which he knows under the seal of confession?

Objection 1: It would seem that a priest may not, by the penitent's permission, reveal to another a sin which he knows under the seal of confession. For an inferior may not do what his superior may not. Now the Pope cannot give permission for anyone to divulge a sin which he knows through confession. Neither therefore can the penitent give him such a permission.

Objection 2: Further, that which is instituted for the common good of the Church cannot be changed at the will of an individual. Now the secrecy of confession was instituted for the good of the whole Church, in order that men might have greater confidence in approaching the confessional. Therefore the penitent cannot allow the priest to divulge his confession.

Objection 3: Further, if the priest could grant such a permission, this would seem to palliate the wickedness of bad priests, for they might pretend to have received the permission and so they might sin with impunity, which would be unbecoming. Therefore it seems that the penitent cannot grant this permission.

Objection 4: Further, the one to whom this sin is divulged does not know that sin under the seal of confession, so that he may publish a sin which is already blotted out, which is unbecoming. Therefore this permission cannot be granted.

On the contrary, If the sinner consent, a superior may refer him by letter to an inferior priest. Therefore with the consent of the penitent, the priest may reveal a sin of his to another. Further, whosoever can do a thing of his own authority, can do it through another. But the penitent can by his own authority reveal his sin to another. Therefore he can do it through the priest.

I answer that There are two reasons for which the priest is bound to keep a sin secret: first and chiefly, because this very secrecy is essential to the sacrament, in so far as the priest knows that sin, as it is known to God, Whose place he holds in confession: secondly, in order to avoid scandal. Now the penitent can make the priest know, as a man, what he knew before only as God knows it, and he does this when he allows him to divulge it: so that if the priest does reveal it, he does not break the seal of confession. Nevertheless he should beware of giving scandal by revealing the sin, lest he be deemed to have broken the seal.

Reply to Objection 1: The Pope cannot permit a priest to divulge a sin, because he cannot make him to know it as a man, whereas he that has confessed it, can.

Reply to Objection 2: When that is told which was known through another source, that which is instituted for the common good is not done away with, because the seal of confession is not broken.

Reply to Objection 3: This does not bestow impunity on wicked priests, because they are in danger of having to prove that they had the penitent's permission to reveal the sin, if they should be accused of the contrary.

Reply to Objection 4: He that is informed of a sin through the priest with the penitent's consent, shares in an act of the priest's, so that the same applies to him as to an interpreter, unless perchance the penitent wish him to know it unconditionally and freely.


Whether a man may reveal that which he knows through confession and through some other source besides?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man may not reveal what he knows through confession and through some other source besides. For the seal of confession is not broken unless one reveals a sin known through confession. If therefore a man divulges a sin which he knows through confession, no matter how he knows it otherwise, he seems to break the seal.

Objection 2: Further, whoever hears someone's confession, is under obligation to him not to divulge his sins. Now if one were to promise someone to keep something secret, he would be bound to do so, even if he knew it through some other source. Therefore a man is bound to keep secret what he knows through the confession, no matter how he knows it otherwise.

Objection 3: Further, the stronger of two things draws the other to itself. Now the knowledge whereby a man knows a sin as God knows it, is stronger and more excellent than the knowledge whereby he knows a sin as man. Therefore it draws the latter to itself: and consequently a man cannot reveal that sin, because this is demanded by his knowing it as God knows it.

Objection 4: Further, the secrecy of confession was instituted in order to avoid scandal, and to prevent men being shy of going to confession. But if a man might say what he had heard in confession, though he knew it otherwise, scandal would result all the same. Therefore he can nowise say what he has heard.

On the contrary, No one can put another under a new obligation, unless he be his superior, who can bind him by a precept. Now he who knew of a sin by witnessing it was not bound to keep it secret. Therefore he that confesses to him, not being his superior, cannot put him under an obligation of secrecy by confessing to him. Further, the justice of the Church would be hindered if a man, in order to escape a sentence of excommunication, incurred on account of some sin, of which he has been convicted, were to confess to the person who has to sentence him. Now the execution of justice falls under a precept. Therefore a man is not bound to keep a sin secret, which he has heard in confession, but knows from some other source.

I answer that, There are three opinions about this question. For some say that a man can by no means tell another what he has heard in confession, even if he knew it from some other source either before or after the confession: while others assert that the confession debars him from speaking of what he knew already, but not from saying what he knew afterwards and in another way. Now both these opinions, by exaggerating the seal of confession, are prejudicial to the truth and to the safeguarding of justice. For a man might be more inclined to sin, if he had no fear of being accused by his confessor supposing that he repeated the sin in his presence: and furthermore it would be most prejudicial to justice if a man could not bear witness to a deed which he has seen committed again after being confessed to him. Nor does it matter that, as some say, he ought to declare that he cannot keep it secret, for he cannot make such a declaration until the sin has already been confessed to him, and then every priest could, if he wished, divulge a sin, by making such a declaration, if this made him free to divulge it. Consequently there is a third and truer opinion, viz. that what a man knows through another source either before or after confession, he is not bound to keep secret, in so far as he knows it as a man, for he can say: "I know so end so since I saw it." But he is bound to keep it secret in so far as he knows it as God knows it, for he cannot say: "I heard so and so in confession." Nevertheless, on account of the scandal he should refrain from speaking of it unless there is an urgent reason.

Reply to Objection 1: If a man says that he has seen what he has heard in the confessional, he does not reveal what he heard in confession, save indirectly: even as one who knows something through hearing and seeing it, does not, properly speaking, divulge what he saw, if he says he heard it, but only indirectly, because he says he has heard what he incidentally saw. Wherefore he does not break the seal of confession.

Reply to Objection 2: The confessor is not forbidden to reveal a sin simply, but to reveal it as heard in confession: for in no case is he allowed to say that he has heard it in the confessional.

Reply to Objection 3: This is true of things that are in opposition to one another: whereas to know a sin as God knows it, and to know it as man knows it, are not in opposition; so that the argument proves nothing.

Reply to Objection 4: It would not be right to avoid scandal so as to desert justice: for the truth should not be gainsayed for fear of scandal. Wherefore when justice and truth are in the balance, a man should not be deterred by the fear of giving scandal, from divulging what he has heard in confession, provided he knows it from some other source: although he ought to avoid giving scandal, as far as he is able.


OF SATISFACTION, AS TO ITS NATURE (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider satisfaction; about which four things have to be considered: (1) Its nature; (2) Its possibility; (3) Its quality; (4) The means whereby man offers satisfaction to God. Under the first head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether satisfaction is a virtue or an act of virtue?

(2) Whether it is an act of justice?

(3) Whether the definition of satisfaction contained in the text is suitable?


Whether satisfaction is a virtue or an act of virtue?

Objection 1: It would seem that satisfaction is neither a virtue nor an act of virtue. For every act of virtue is meritorious; whereas, seemingly, satisfaction is not, since merit is gratuitous, while satisfaction answers to a debt. Therefore satisfaction is not an act of virtue.

Objection 2: Further, every act of virtue is voluntary. But sometimes a man has to make satisfaction for something against his will, as when anyone is punished by the judge for an offense against another. Therefore satisfaction is not an act of virtue.

Objection 3: Further, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 13): "Choice holds the chief place in moral virtue." But satisfaction is not an act of choice but regards chiefly external works. Therefore it is not an act of virtue.

On the contrary, Satisfaction belongs to penance. Now penance is a virtue. Therefore satisfaction is also an act of virtue. Further, none but an act of virtue has the effect of blotting out sin, for one contrary is destroyed by the other. Now satisfaction destroys sin altogether. Therefore it is an act of virtue.

I answer that, An act is said to be the act of a virtue in two ways. First, materially; and thus any act which implies no malice, or defect of a due circumstance, may be called an act of virtue, because virtue can make use of any such act for its end, e.g. to walk, to speak, and so forth. Secondly, an act is said to belong to a virtue formally, because its very name implies the form and nature of virtue; thus to suffer courageously is an act of courage. Now the formal element in every moral virtue is the observance of a mean. wherefore every act that implies the observance of a mean is formally an act of virtue. And since equality is the mean implied in the name of satisfaction (for a thing is said to be satisfied by reason of an equal proportion to something), it is evident that satisfaction also is formally an act of virtue.

Reply to Objection 1: Although to make satisfaction is due in itself, yet, in so far as the deed is done voluntarily by the one who offers satisfaction, it becomes something gratuitous on the part of the agent, so that he makes a virtue of necessity. For debt diminishes merit through being necessary and consequently against the will, so that if the will consent to the necessity, the element of merit is not forfeited.

Reply to Objection 2: An act of virtue demands voluntariness not in the patient but in the agent, for it is his act. Consequently since he on whom the judge wreaks vengeance is the patient and not the agent as regards satisfaction, it follows that satisfaction should be voluntary not in him but in the judge as agent.

Reply to Objection 3: The chief element of virtue can be understood in two ways. First, as being the chief element of virtue as virtue, and thus the chief element of virtue denotes whatever belongs to the nature of virtue or is most akin thereto; thus choice and other internal acts hold the chief place in virtue. Secondly, the chief element of virtue may be taken as denoting that which holds the first place in such and such a virtue; and then the first place belongs to that which gives its determination. Now the interior act, in certain virtues, is determined by some external act, since choice, which is common to all virtues, becomes proper to such and such a virtue through being directed to such and such an act. Thus it is that external acts hold the chief place in certain virtues; and this is the case with satisfaction.


Whether satisfaction is an act of justice?

Objection 1: It would seem that satisfaction is not an act of justice. Because the purpose of satisfaction is that one may be reconciled to the person offended. But reconciliation, being an act of love, belongs to charity. Therefore satisfaction is an act of charity and not of justice.

Objection 2: Further, the causes of sin in us are the passions of the soul, which incline us to evil. But justice, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. v, 2,3), is not about passions, but about operations. Since therefore satisfaction aims at removing the causes of sin, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 15), it seems that it is not an act of justice.

Objection 3: Further, to be careful about the future is not an act of justice but of prudence of which caution is a part. But it belongs to satisfaction, "to give no opening to the suggestions of sin" [*Cf. XP/Q[12]/A[3]/OBJ[1]]. Therefore satisfaction is not an act of justice.

On the contrary, No virtue but justice considers the notion of that which is due. But satisfaction gives due honor to God, as Anselm states

(Cur Deus Homo i). Therefore satisfaction is an act of justice. Further, no virtue save justice establishes equality between external things. But this is done by satisfaction which establishes equality between amendment and the previous offense. Therefore satisfaction is an act of justice.

I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. v, 3,4), the mean of justice is considered with regard to an equation between thing and thing according to a certain proportion. Wherefore, since the very name of satisfaction implies an equation of the kind, because the adverb "satis" [enough] denotes an equality of proportion, it is evident that satisfaction is formally an act of justice. Now the act of justice, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. v, 2,4), is either an act done by one man to another, as when a man pays another what he owes him, or an act done by one man between two others, as when a judge does justice between two men. When it is an act of justice of one man to another, the equality is set up in the agent, while when it is something done between two others, the equality is set up in the subject that has suffered an injustice. And since satisfaction expresses equality in the agent, it denotes, properly speaking, an act of justice of one man to another. Now a man may do justice to another either in actions and passions or in external things; even as one may do an injustice to another, either by taking something away, or by a hurtful action. And since to give is to use an external thing, the act of justice, in so far as it establishes equality between external things, signifies, properly speaking, a giving back: but to make satisfaction clearly points to equality between actions, although sometimes one is put for the other. Now equalization concerns only such things as are unequal, wherefore satisfaction presupposes inequality among actions, which inequality constitutes an offense; so that satisfaction regards a previous offense. But no part of justice regards a previous offense, except vindictive justice, which establishes equality indifferently,

Whether the patient be the same subject as the agent, as when anyone punishes himself, or whether they be distinct, as when a judge punishes another man, since vindictive justice deals with both cases. The same applies to penance, which implies equality in the agent only, since it is the penitent who holds to the penance [poenam tenet], so that penance is in a way a species of vindictive justice. This proves that satisfaction, which implies equality in the agent with respect to a previous offense, is a work of justice, as to that part which is called penance.

Reply to Objection 1: Satisfaction, as appears from what has been said, is compensation for injury inflicted. Wherefore as the injury inflicted entailed of itself an inequality of justice, and consequently an inequality opposed to friendship, so satisfaction brings back directly equality of justice, and consequently equality of friendship. And since an act is elicited by the habit to whose end it is immediately directed, but is commanded by that habit to whose end it is directed ultimately, hence satisfaction is elicited by justice but is commanded by charity.

Reply to Objection 2: Although justice is chiefly about operations, yet it is consequently about passions, in so far as they are the causes of operations. Wherefore as justice curbs anger, lest it inflict an unjust injury on another, and concupiscence from invading another's marriage right, so satisfaction removes the causes of other sins.

Reply to Objection 3: Each moral virtue shares in the act of prudence, because this virtue completes in it the conditions essential to virtue, since each moral virtue takes its mean according to the ruling of prudence, as is evident from the definition of virtue given in Ethic. ii, 6.


Whether the definition of satisfaction given in the text is suitable?

Objection 1: It would seem that the definition of satisfaction given in the text (Sent. iv, D, 15) and quoted from Augustine [*Gennadius Massiliensis, De Eccl. Dogm. liv] is unsuitable — viz. that "satisfaction is to uproot the causes of sins, and to give no opening to the suggestions thereof." For the cause of actual sin is the fomes. [*"Fomes" signifies literally "fuel," and metaphorically, "incentive." As used by the theologian, it denotes the quasi-material element and effect of original sin, and sometimes goes under the name of "concupiscence," Cf. [4851]FS, Q[82], A[3].] But we cannot remove the "fomes" in this life. Therefore satisfaction does not consist in removing the causes of sins.

Objection 2: Further, the cause of sin is stronger than sin itself. But man by himself cannot remove sin. Much less therefore can he remove the cause of sin; and so the same conclusion follows.

Objection 3: Further, since satisfaction is a part of Penance, it regards the past and not the future. Now "to give no opening to the suggestions of sin" regards the future. Therefore it should not be put in the definition of satisfaction.

Objection 4: Further, satisfaction regards a past offense. Yet no mention is made of this. Therefore the definition of satisfaction is unsuitable.

Objection 5: Further, Anselm gives another definition (Cur Deus homo i): "Satisfaction consists in giving God due honor," wherein no reference is made to the things mentioned by Augustine [*Gennadius, OBJ[1]] in this definition. Therefore one or the other is unsuitable.

Objection 6: Further, an innocent man can give due honor to God: whereas satisfaction is not compatible with innocence. Therefore Anselm's definition is faulty.

I answer that, Justice aims not only at removing inequality already existing, by punishing the past fault, but also at safeguarding equality for the future, because according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 3) "punishments are medicinal." Wherefore satisfaction which is the act of justice inflicting punishment, is a medicine healing past sins and preserving from future sins: so that when one man makes satisfaction to another, he offers compensation for the past, and takes heed for the future. Accordingly satisfaction may be defined in two ways, first with regard to past sin, which it heals by making compensation, and thus it is defined as "compensation for an inflicted injury according to the equality of justice." The definition of Anselm amounts to the same, for he says that "satisfaction consists in giving God due honor"; where duty is considered in respect of the sin committed. Secondly, satisfaction may be defined, considered as preserving us from future sins; and as Augustine (Cf. OBJ[1]) defines it. Now preservation from bodily sickness is assured by removing the causes from which the sickness may ensue, for if they be taken away the sickness cannot follow. But it is not thus in spiritual diseases, for the free-will cannot be forced, so that even in the presence of their causes, they can, though with difficulty, be avoided, while they can be incurred even when their causes are removed. Hence he puts two things in the definition of satisfaction, viz. removal of the causes, as to the first, and the free-will's refusal to sin.

Reply to Objection 1: By "causes" we must understand the proximate causes of actual sin, which are twofold: viz. the lust of sin through the habit or act of a sin that has been given up, and those things which are called the remnants of past sin; and external occasions of sin, such as place, bad company and so forth. Such causes are removed by satisfaction in this life, albeit the "fomes," which is the remote cause of actual sin, is not entirely removed by satisfaction in this life though it is weakened.

Reply to Objection 2: Since the cause of evil or of privation

(according as it has a cause) is nothing else than a defective good, and since it is easier to destroy good than to set it up, it follows that it is easier to uproot the causes of privation and of evil than to remove the evil itself, which can only be removed by setting up good, as may be seen in the case of blindness and its causes. Yet the aforesaid are not sufficient causes of sin, for sin does not, of necessity, ensue therefrom, but they are occasions of sin. Nor again can satisfaction be made without God's help, since it is not possible without charity, as we shall state further on ([4852]Q[14], A[2]).

Reply to Objection 3: Although Penance was primarily instituted and intended with a view to the past, yet, as a consequence, it regards the future, in so far as it is a safeguarding remedy; and the same applies to satisfaction.

Reply to Objection 4: Augustine [*Gennadius Massiliensis, De Eccl. Dogm. liv] defined satisfaction, as made to God, from Whom, in reality, nothing can be taken, though the sinner, for his own part, takes something away. Consequently in such like satisfaction, amendment for future time is of greater weight than compensation for the past. Hence Augustine defines satisfaction from this point of view. And yet it is possible to gauge the compensation for the past from the heed taken for the future, for the latter regards the same object as the former, but in the opposite way: since when looking at the past we detest the causes of sins on account of the sins themselves, which are the starting-point of the movement of detestation: whereas when taking heed of the future, we begin from the causes, that by their removal we may avoid sins the more easily.

Reply to Objection 5: There is no reason why the same thing should not be described in different ways according to the various things found in it: and such is the case here, as explained above.

Reply to Objection 6: By debt is meant the debt we owe to God by reason of the sins we have committed, because Penance regards a debt, as stated above [4853](A[2]).


OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SATISFACTION (TWO ARTICLES)

We must now consider the possibility of satisfaction, under which head there are two points of inquiry:

(1) Whether man can make satisfaction to God?

(2) Whether one man can make satisfaction for another?


Whether man can make satisfaction to God?

Objection 1: It would seem that man cannot make satisfaction to God. For satisfaction should balance the offense, as shown above

([4854]Q[12], AA[2],3). But an offense against God is infinite, since it is measured by the person against whom it is committed, for it is a greater offense to strike a prince than anyone else. Therefore, as no action of man can be infinite, it seems that he cannot make satisfaction to God.

Objection 2: Further, a slave cannot make compensation for a debt, since all that he has is his master's. But we are the slaves of God, and whatever good we have, we owe to Him. Therefore, as satisfaction is compensation for a past offense, it seems that we cannot offer it to God.

Objection 3: Further, if all that a man has suffices not to pay one debt, he cannot pay another debt. Now all that man is, all that he can do, and all that he has, does not suffice to pay what he owes for the blessing of creation, wherefore it is written (Is. 40:16) that "the wood of Libanus shall not be enough for a burnt offering [*Vulg.: 'Libanus shall not be enough to burn, nor the beasts thereof for a burnt offering']." Therefore by no means can he make satisfaction for the debt resulting from the offense committed.

Objection 4: Further, man is bound to spend all his time in the service of God. Now time once lost cannot be recovered, wherefore, as Seneca observes (Lib. i, Ep. i, ad Lucilium) loss of time is a very grievous matter. Therefore man cannot make compensation to God, and the same conclusion follows as before.

Objection 5: Further, mortal actual sin is more grievous than original sin. But none could satisfy for original sin unless he were both God and man. Neither, therefore, can he satisfy for actual sin.

On the contrary, Jerome [*Pelagius, Expos. Fidei ad Damasum] says: "Whoever maintains that God has commanded anything impossible to man, let him be anathema." But satisfaction is commanded (Lk. 3:8): "Bring forth . . . fruits worthy of penance." Therefore it is possible to make satisfaction to God. Further, God is more merciful than any man. But it is possible to make satisfaction to a man. Therefore it is possible to make satisfaction to God. Further, there is due satisfaction when the punishment balances the fault, since "justice is the same as counterpassion," as the Pythagoreans said [*Aristotle, Ethic. v, 5; Cf. [4855]SS, Q[61], A[4]]. Now punishment may equal the pleasure contained in a sin committed. Therefore satisfaction can be made to God.

I answer that, Man becomes God's debtor in two ways; first, by reason of favors received, secondly, by reason of sin committed: and just as thanksgiving or worship or the like regard the debt for favors received, so satisfaction regards the debt for sin committed. Now in giving honor to one's parents or to the gods, as indeed the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 14), it is impossible to repay them measure for measure, but it suffices that man repay as much as he can, for friendship does not demand measure for measure, but what is possible. Yet even this is equal somewhat, viz. according to proportion, for as the debt due to God is, in comparison with God, so is what man can do, in comparison with himself, so that in another way the form of justice is preserved. It is the same as regards satisfaction. Consequently man cannot make satisfaction to God if "satis" [enough] denotes quantitative equality; but he can, if it denote proportionate equality, as explained above, and as this suffices for justice, so does it suffice for satisfaction.

Reply to Objection 1: Just as the offense derived a certain infinity from the infinity of the Divine majesty, so does satisfaction derive a certain infinity from the infinity of Divine mercy, in so far as it is quickened by grace, whereby whatever man is able to repay becomes acceptable. Others, however, say that the offense is infinite as regards the aversion, and in this respect it is pardoned gratuitously, but that it is finite as turning to a mutable good, in which respect it is possible to make satisfaction for it. But this is not to the point, since satisfaction does not answer to sin, except as this is an offense against God, which is a matter, not of turning to a creature but of turning away from God. Others again say that even as regards the aversion it is possible to make satisfaction for sin in virtue of Christ's merit, which was, in a way, infinite. And this comes to the same as what we said before, since grace is given to believers through faith in the Mediator. If, however, He were to give grace otherwise, satisfaction would suffice in the way explained above.

Reply to Objection 2: Man, who was made to God's image, has a certain share of liberty, in so far as he is master of his actions through his free-will; so that, through acting by his free-will, he can make satisfaction to God, for though it belongs to God, in so far as it was bestowed on him by God, yet it was freely bestowed on him, that he might be his own master, which cannot be said of a slave.

Reply to Objection 3: This argument proves that it is impossible to make equivalent satisfaction to God, but not that it is impossible to make sufficient satisfaction to Him. For though man owes God all that he is able to give Him, yet it is not necessary for his salvation that he should actually do the whole of what he is able to do, for it is impossible for him, according to his present state of life, to put forth his whole power into any one single thing, since he has to be heedful about many things. And so his conduct is subject to a certain measure, viz. the fulfillment of God's commandments, over and above which he can offer something by way of satisfaction.

Reply to Objection 4: Though man cannot recover the time that is past, he can in the time that follows make compensation for what he should have done in the past, since the commandment did not exact from him the fulfillment of his whole power, as stated above (ad 3).

Reply to Objection 5: Though original sin has less of the nature of sin than actual sin has, yet it is a more grievous evil, because it is an infection of human nature itself, so that, unlike actual sin, it could not be expiated by the satisfaction of a mere man.


Whether one man can fulfill satisfactory punishment for another?

Objection 1: It would seem that one man cannot fulfill satisfactory punishment for another. Because merit is requisite for satisfaction. Now one man cannot merit or demerit for another, since it is written

(Ps. 61:12): "Thou wilt render to every man according to his works." Therefore one man cannot make satisfaction for another.

Objection 2: Further, satisfaction is condivided with contrition and confession. But one man cannot be contrite or confess for another. Neither therefore can one make satisfaction for another.

Objection 3: Further, by praying for another one merits also for oneself. If therefore a man can make satisfaction for another, he satisfies for himself by satisfying for another, so that if a man satisfy for another he need not make satisfaction for his own sins.

Objection 4: Further, if one can satisfy for another, as soon as he takes the debt of punishment on himself, this other is freed from his debt. Therefore the latter will go straight to heaven, if he die after the whole of his debt of punishment has been taken up by another; else, if he be punished all the same, a double punishment will be paid for the same sin, viz. by him who has begun to make satisfaction, and by him who is punished in Purgatory.

On the contrary, It is written (Gal. 6:2): "Bear ye one another's burdens." Therefore it seems that one can bear the burden of punishment laid upon another. Further, charity avails more before God than before man. Now before man, one can pay another's debt for love of him. Much more, therefore, can this be done before the judgment seat of God.

I answer that, Satisfactory punishment has a twofold purpose, viz. to pay the debt, and to serve as a remedy for the avoidance of sin. Accordingly, as a remedy against future sin, the satisfaction of one does not profit another, for the flesh of one man is not tamed by another's fast; nor does one man acquire the habit of well-doing, through the actions of another, except accidentally, in so far as a man, by his good actions, may merit an increase of grace for another, since grace is the most efficacious remedy for the avoidance of sin. But this is by way of merit rather than of satisfaction. on the other hand, as regards the payment of the debt, one man can satisfy for another, provided he be in a state of charity, so that his works may avail for satisfaction. Nor is it necessary that he who satisfies for another should undergo a greater punishment than the principal would have to undergo (as some maintain, who argue that a man profits more by his own punishment than by another's), because punishment derives its power of satisfaction chiefly from charity whereby man bears it. And since greater charity is evidenced by a man satisfying for another than for himself, less punishment is required of him who satisfies for another, than of the principal: wherefore we read in the Lives of the Fathers (v, 5) of one who for love of his brother did penance for a sin which his brother had not committed, and that on account of his charity his brother was released from a sin which he had committed. Nor is it necessary that the one for whom satisfaction is made should be unable to make satisfaction himself, for even if he were able, he would be released from his debt when the other satisfied in his stead. But this is necessary in so far as the satisfactory punishment is medicinal: so that a man is not to be allowed to do penance for another, unless there be evidence of some defect in the penitent, either bodily, so that he is unable to bear it, or spiritual, so that he is not ready to undergo it.

Reply to Objection 1: The essential reward is bestowed on a man according to his disposition, because the fulness of the sight of God will be according to the capacity of those who see Him. Wherefore just as one man is not disposed thereto by another's act, so one man does not merit the essential reward for another, unless his merit has infinite efficacy, as the merit of Christ, whereby children come to eternal life through Baptism. On the other hand, the temporal punishment due to sin after the guilt has been forgiven is not measured according to the disposition of the man to whom it is due, since sometimes the better man owes a greater debt of punishment. Consequently one man can merit for another as regards release from punishment, and one man's act becomes another's, by means of charity whereby we are "all one in Christ" (Gal. 3:28).

Reply to Objection 2: Contrition is ordained against the guilt which affects a man's disposition to goodness or malice, so that one man is not freed from guilt by another's contrition. In like manner by confession a man submits to the sacraments of the Church: nor can one man receive a sacrament instead of another, since in a sacrament grace is given to the recipient, not to another. Consequently there is no comparison between satisfaction and contrition and confession.

Reply to Objection 3: In the payment of the debt we consider the measure of the punishment, whereas in merit we regard the root which is charity: wherefore he that, through charity, merits for another, at least congruously, merits more for himself; yet he that satisfies for another does not also satisfy for himself, because the measure of the punishment does not suffice for the sins of both, although by satisfying for another he merits something greater than the release from punishment, viz. eternal life.

Reply to Objection 4: If this man bound himself to undergo a certain punishment, he would not be released from the debt before paying it: wherefore he himself will suffer the punishment, as long as the other makes satisfaction for him: and if he do not this, then both are debtors in respect of fulfilling this punishment, one for the sin committed, the other for his omission, so that it does not follow that one sin is twice punished.


OF THE QUALITY OF SATISFACTION (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the quality of satisfaction, under which head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a man can satisfy for one sin without satisfying for another?

(2) Whether if a man fall into sin after being contrite for all his sins, he can, now that he has lost charity, satisfy for his other sins which were pardoned him through his contrition?

(3) Whether a man's previous satisfaction begins to avail when he recovers charity?

(4) Whether works done without charity merit any good?

(5) Whether such works avail for the mitigation of the pains of hell?


Whether a man can satisfy for one sin without satisfying for another?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man can satisfy for one sin without satisfying for another. Because when several things are not connected together one can be taken away without another. Now sins are not connected together, else whoever had one would have them all. Therefore one sin can be expiated by satisfaction, without another.

Objection 2: Further, God is more merciful than man. But man accepts the payment of one debt without the payment of another. Therefore God accepts satisfaction for one sin without the other.

Objection 3: Further, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 15), "satisfaction is to uproot the causes of sin, and give no opening to the suggestions thereof." Now this can be done with regard to one sin and not another, as when a mall curbs his lust and perseveres in covetousness. Therefore we can make satisfaction for one sin without satisfying for another.

On the contrary, The fast of those who fasted "for debates and strifes"

(Is. 58:4,5) was not acceptable to God, though fasting be a work of satisfaction. Now satisfaction cannot be made save by works that are acceptable to God. Therefore he that has a sin on his conscience cannot make satisfaction to God. Further, satisfaction is a remedy for the healing of past sins, and for preserving from future sins, as stated above ([4856]Q[12], A[3]). But without grace it is impossible to avoid sins. Therefore, since each sin excludes grace, it is not possible to make satisfaction for one sin and not for another.

I answer that, Some have held that it is possible to make satisfaction for one sin and not for another, as the Master states (Sent. iv, D, 15). But this cannot be. For since the previous offense has to be removed by satisfaction, the mode of satisfaction must needs be consistent with the removal of the offense. Now removal of offense is renewal of friendship: wherefore if there be anything to hinder the renewal of friendship there can be no satisfaction. Since, therefore, every sin is a hindrance to the friendship of charity, which is the friendship of man for God, it is impossible for man to make satisfaction for one sin while holding to another: even as neither would a man make satisfaction to another for a blow, if while throwing himself at his feet he were to give him another.

Reply to Objection 1: As sins are not connected together in some single one, a man can incur one without incurring another; whereas all sins are remitted by reason of one same thing, so that the remissions of various sins are connected together. Consequently satisfaction cannot be made for one and not for another.

Reply to Objection 2: When a man is under obligation to another by reason of a debt, the only inequality between them is that which is opposed to justice, so that for restitution nothing further is required than that the equality of justice should be reinstated, and this can be done in respect of one debt without another. But when the obligation is based on an offense, there is inequality not only of justice but also of friendship, so that for the offense to be removed by satisfaction, not only must the equality of justice be restored by the payment of a punishment equal to the offense, but also the equality of friendship must be reinstated, which is impossible so long as an obstacle to friendship remains.

Reply to Objection 3: By its weight, one sin drags us down to another, as Gregory says (Moral. xxv): so that when a man holds to one sin, he does not sufficiently cut himself off from the causes of further sin.


Whether, when deprived of charity, a man can make satisfaction for sins for which he was previously contrite?

Objection 1: It would seem that if a man fall into sin after being contrite for all his sins, he can, now that he has lost charity, satisfy for his other sins which were already pardoned him through his contrition. For Daniel said to Nabuchodonosor (Dan. 4:24): "Redeem thou thy sins with alms." Yet he was still a sinner, as is shown by his subsequent punishment. Therefore a man can make satisfaction while in a state of sin.

Objection 2: Further, "Man knoweth not whether he be worthy of love or hatred" (Eccles. 9:1). If therefore one cannot make satisfaction unless one be in a state of charity, it would be impossible to know whether one had made satisfaction, which would be unseemly.

Objection 3: Further, a man's entire action takes its form from the intention which he had at the beginning. But a penitent is in a state of charity when he begins to repent. Therefore his whole subsequent satisfaction will derive its efficacy from the charity which quickens his intention.

Objection 4: Further, satisfaction consists in a certain equalization of guilt to punishment. But these things can be equalized even in one who is devoid of charity. Therefore, etc.

On the contrary, "Charity covereth all sins" (Prov. 10:12). But satisfaction has the power of blotting out sins. Therefore it is powerless without charity. Further, the chief work of satisfaction is almsdeeds. But alms given by one who is devoid of charity avail nothing, as is clearly stated 1 Cor. 13:3, "If I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor . . . and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Therefore there can be no satisfaction with mortal sin.

I answer that, Some have said that if, when all a man's sins have been pardoned through contrition, and before he has made satisfaction for them, he falls into sin, and then makes satisfaction, such satisfaction will be valid, so that if he die in that sin, he will not be punished in hell for the other sins. But this cannot be, because satisfaction requires the reinstatement of friendship and the restoration of the equality of justice, the contrary of which destroys friendship, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. ix, 1,3). Now in satisfaction made to God, the equality is based, not on equivalence but rather on God's acceptation: so that, although the offense be already removed by previous contrition, the works of satisfaction must be acceptable to God, and for this they are dependent on charity. Consequently works done without charity are not satisfactory.

Reply to Objection 1: Daniel's advice meant that he should give up sin and repent, and so make satisfaction by giving alms.

Reply to Objection 2: Even as man knows not for certain whether he had charity when making satisfaction, or whether he has it now, so too he knows not for certain whether he made full satisfaction: wherefore it is written (Ecclus. 5:5): "Be not without fear about sin forgiven." And yet man need not, on account of that fear, repeat the satisfaction made, if he is not conscious of a mortal sin. For although he may not have expiated his punishment by that satisfaction, he does not incur the guilt of omission through neglecting to make satisfaction; even as he who receives the Eucharist without being conscious of a mortal sin of which he is guilty, does not incur the guilt of receiving unworthily.

Reply to Objection 3: His intention was interrupted by his subsequent sin, so that it gives no virtue to the works done after that sin.

Reply to Objection 4: Sufficient equalization is impossible both as to the Divine acceptation and as to equivalence: so that the argument proves nothing.


Whether previous satisfaction begins to avail after man is restored to charity?

Objection 1: It would seem that when a man has recovered charity his previous satisfaction begins to avail, because a gloss on Lev. 25:25, "If thy brother being impoverished," etc., says that "the fruit of a man's good works should be counted from the time when he sinned." But they would not be counted, unless they derived some efficacy from his subsequent charity. Therefore they begin to avail after he recovers charity.

Objection 2: Further, as the efficacy of satisfaction is hindered by sin, so the efficacy of Baptism is hindered by insincerity. Now Baptism begins to avail when insincerity ceases. Therefore satisfaction begins to avail when sin is taken away.

Objection 3: Further, if a man is given as a penance for the sins he has committed, to fast for several days, and then, after falling again into sin, he completes his penance, he is not told, when he goes to confession a second time, to fast once again. But he would be told to do so, if he did not fulfill his duty of satisfaction by them. Therefore his previous works become valid unto satisfaction, through his subsequent repentance.

On the contrary, Works done without charity were not satisfactory, through being dead works. But they are not quickened by penance. Therefore they do not begin to be satisfactory. Further, charity does not quicken a work, unless in some way that work proceeds therefrom. But works cannot be acceptable to God, and therefore cannot be satisfactory, unless they be quickened by charity. Since then the works done without charity, in no way proceeded from charity, nor ever can proceed therefrom, they can by no means count towards satisfaction.

I answer that, Some have said that works done while in a state of charity, which are called living works, are meritorious in respect of eternal life, and satisfactory in respect of paying off the debt of punishment; and that by subsequent charity, works done without charity are quickened so as to be satisfactory, but not so as to be meritorious of eternal life. But this is impossible, because works done in charity produce both these effects for the same reason, viz. because they are pleasing to God: wherefore just as charity by its advent cannot make works done without charity to be pleasing in one respect, so neither can it make them pleasing in the other respect.

Reply to Objection 1: This means that the fruits are reckoned, not from the time when he was first in sin, but from the time when he ceased to sin, when, to wit, he was last in sin; unless he was contrite as soon as he had sinned, and did many good actions before he confessed. Or we may say that the greater the contrition the more it alleviates the punishment, and the more good actions a man does while in sin, the more he disposes himself to the grace of contrition, so that it is probable that he owes a smaller debt of punishment. For this reason the priest should use discretion in taking them into account, so as to give him a lighter penance, according as he finds him better disposed.

Reply to Objection 2: Baptism imprints a character on the soul, whereas satisfaction does not. Hence on the advent of charity, which removes both insincerity and sin, it causes Baptism to have its effect, whereas it does not do this for satisfaction. Moreover Baptism confers justification in virtue of the deed [ex opere operato] which is not man's deed but God's, wherefore it does not become a lifeless deed as satisfaction does, which is a deed of man.

Reply to Objection 3: Sometimes satisfaction is such as to leave an effect in the person who makes satisfaction, even after the act of satisfaction has been done; thus fasting leaves the body weak, and almsdeeds result in a diminution of a person's substance, and so on. In such cases there is no need to repeat the works of satisfaction if they have been done while in a state of sin, because through penance they are acceptable to God in the result they leave behind. But when a work of satisfaction leaves behind no effect in the person that does satisfaction, it needs to be repeated, as in the case of prayer and so forth. Interior works, since they pass away altogether, are nowise quickened, and must be repeated.


Whether works done without charity merit any, at least temporal, good?

Objection 1: It would seem that works done without charity merit some, at least a temporal, good. For as punishment is to the evil act, so is reward to a good act. Now no evil deed is unpunished by God the just judge. Therefore no good deed is unrewarded, and so every good deed merits some good.

Objection 2: Further, reward is not given except for merit. Now some reward is given for works done without charity, wherefore it is written

(Mat. 6:2, 5, 16) of those who do good actions for the sake of human glory, that "they have received their reward." Therefore those works merit some good.

Objection 3: Further, if there be two men both in sin, one of whom does many deeds that are good in themselves and in their circumstances, while the other does none, they are not equally near to the reception of good things from Gods else the latter need not be advised to do any good deeds. Now he that is nearer to God receives more of His good things. Therefore the former, on account of his good works, merits some good from God.

On the contrary, Augustine says that "the sinner is not worthy of the bread he eats." Therefore he cannot merit anything from God. Further, he that is nothing, can merit nothing. But a sinner, through not having charity, is nothing in respect of spiritual being, according to 1 Cor. 13:2. Therefore he can merit nothing.

I answer that, Properly speaking a merit is an action on account of which it is just that the agent should be given something. Now justice is twofold: first, there is justice properly so called, which regards something due on the part of the recipient. Secondly, there is metaphorical justice, so to speak, which regards something due on the part of the giver, for it may be right for the giver to give something to which the receiver has no claim. In this sense the "fitness of the Divine goodness" is justice; thus Anselm says (Proslog. x) that "God is just when He spares the sinner, because this is befitting." And in this way merit is also twofold. The first is an act in respect of which the agent himself has a claim to receive something, and this is called merit of "condignity." The second is an act the result of which is that there is a duty of giving in the giver by reason of fittingness, wherefore it is called merit of "congruity." Now since in all gratuitous givings, the primary reason of the giving is love, it is impossible for anyone, properly speaking, to lay claim to a gift, if he lack friendship. Wherefore, as all things, whether temporal or eternal, are bestowed on us by the bounty of God, no one can acquire a claim to any of them, save through charity towards God: so that works done without charity are not condignly meritorious of any good from God either eternal or temporal. But since it is befitting the goodness of God, that wherever He finds a disposition He should grant the perfection, a man is said to merit congruously some good by means of good works done without charity. Accordingly suchlike works avail for a threefold good, acquisition of temporal goods, disposition to grace, habituation to good works. Since, however, this is not merit properly so called, we should grant that such works are not meritorious of any good, rather than that they are.

Reply to Objection 1: As the Philosopher states (Ethic. viii, 14), since no matter what a son may do, he can never give back to his father the equal of what he has received from him a father can never become his son's debtor: and much less can man make God his debtor on account of equivalence of work. Consequently no work of ours can merit a reward by reason of its measure of goodness, but it can by reason of charity, which makes friends hold their possessions in common. Therefore, no matter how good a work may be, if it be done without charity, it does not give man a claim to receive anything from God. On the other hand, an evil deed deserves an equivalent punishment according to the measure of its malice, because no evil has been done to us on the part of God, like the good which He has done. Therefore, although an evil deed deserves condign punishment, nevertheless a good deed without charity does not merit condign reward. Reply OBJ 2 and 3: These arguments consider merit of congruity; while the other arguments consider merit of condignity.


Whether the aforesaid works avail for the mitigation of the pains of hell?

Objection 1: It would seem that the aforesaid works do not avail for the mitigation of the pains of hell. For the measure of punishment in hell will answer to the measure of guilt. But works done without charity do not diminish the measure of guilt. Neither, therefore, do they lessen the pains of hell.

Objection 2: Further, the pain of hell, though infinite in duration, is nevertheless finite in intensity. Now anything finite is done away with by finite subtraction. If therefore works done without charity canceled any of the punishment due for sins, those works might be so numerous, that the pain of hell would be done away with altogether: which is false.

Objection 3: Further, the suffrages of the Church are more efficacious than works done without charity. But, according to Augustine

(Enchiridion cx), "the suffrages of the Church do not profit the damned in hell." Much less therefore are those pains mitigated by works done without charity.

On the contrary, Augustine also says (Enchiridion cx): "Whomsoever they profit, either receive a full pardon, or at least find damnation itself more tolerable." Further, it is a greater thing to do a good deed than to omit an evil deed. But the omission of an evil deed always avoids a punishment, even in one who lacks charity. Much more, therefore, do good deeds void punishment.

I answer that, Mitigation of the pains of hell can be understood in two ways: first, as though one were delivered from the punishment which he already deserved, and thus, since no one is delivered from punishment unless he be absolved from guilt, (for an effect is not diminished or taken away unless its cause be diminished or taken away), the pain of hell cannot be mitigated by works done without charity, since they are unable to remove or diminish guilt. Secondly, so that the demerit of punishment is hindered; and thus the aforesaid works diminish the pain of hell — first because he who does such works escapes being guilty of omitting them — secondly, because such works dispose one somewhat to good, so that a man sins from less contempt, and indeed is drawn away from many sins thereby. These works do, however merit a diminution or postponement of temporal punishment, as in the case of Achab (3 Kings 21:27, seqq.), as also the acquisition of temporal goods. Some, however, say that they mitigate the pains of hell, not by subtracting any of their substance, but by strengthening the subject, so that he is more able to bear them. But this is impossible, because there is no strengthening without a diminution of passibility. Now passibility is according to the measure of guilt, wherefore if guilt is not removed, neither can the subject be strengthened. Some again say that the punishment is mitigated as to the remorse of conscience, though not as to the pain of fire. But neither will this stand, because as the pain of fire is equal to the guilt, so also is the pain of the remorse of conscience: so that what applies to one applies to the other. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


OF THE MEANS OF MAKING SATISFACTION (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the means of making satisfaction, under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether satisfaction must be made by means of penal works?

(2) Whether the scourges whereby God punishes man in this life, are satisfactory?

(3) Whether the works of satisfaction are suitably reckoned, by saying that there are three, viz. almsdeeds, fasting, and prayer?


Whether satisfaction must be made by means of penal works?

Objection 1: It would seem that satisfaction need not be made by means of penal works. For satisfaction should make compensation for the offense committed against God. Now, seemingly, no compensation is given to God by penal works, for God does not delight in our sufferings, as appears from Tob. 3:22. Therefore satisfaction need not be made by means of penal works.

Objection 2: Further, the greater the charity from which a work proceeds, the less penal is that work, for "charity hath no pain [*Vulg.: 'Perfect charity casteth out fear, because fear hath pain']" according to 1 Jn. 4:18. If therefore works of satisfaction need to be penal, the more they proceed from charity, the less satisfactory will they be: which is false.

Objection 3: Further, "Satisfaction," as Anselm states (Cur Deus homo i) "consists in giving due honor to God." But this can be done by other means than penal works. Therefore satisfaction needs not to be made by means of penal works.

On the contrary, Gregory says (Hom. in Evang. xx): "It is just that the sinner, by his repentance, should inflict on himself so much the greater suffering, as he has brought greater harm on himself by his sin." Further, the wound caused by sin should be perfectly healed by satisfaction. Now punishment is the remedy for sins, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 3). Therefore satisfaction should be made by means of penal works.

I answer that, As stated above ([4857]Q[12], A[3]), satisfaction regards both the past offense, for which compensation is made by its means, and also future sin wherefrom we are preserved thereby: and in both respects satisfaction needs to be made by means of penal works. For compensation for an offense implies equality, which must needs be between the offender and the person whom he offends. Now equalization in human justice consists in taking away from one that which he has too much of, and giving it to the person from whom something has been taken. And, although nothing can be taken away from God, so far as He is concerned, yet the sinner, for his part, deprives Him of something by sinning as stated above ([4858]Q[12], AA[3],4). Consequently, in order that compensation be made, something by way of satisfaction that may conduce to the glory of God must be taken away from the sinner. Now a good work, as such, does not deprive the agent of anything, but perfects him: so that the deprivation cannot be effected by a good work unless it be penal. Therefore, in order that a work be satisfactory it needs to be good that it may conduce to God's honor, and it must be penal, so that something may be taken away from the sinner thereby. Again punishment preserves from future sin, because a man does not easily fall back into sin when he has had experience of the punishment. Wherefore, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 3) punishments are medicinal.

Reply to Objection 1: Though God does not delight in our punishments as such, yet He does, in so far as they are just, and thus they can be satisfactory.

Reply to Objection 2: Just as, in satisfaction, we have to note the penality of the work, so, in merit, we must observe its difficulty. Now if the difficulty of the work itself be diminished, other things being equal, the merit is also diminished; but if the difficulty be diminished on the part of the promptitude of the will, this does not diminish the merit, but increases it; and, in like manner, diminution of the penality of a work, on account of the will being made more prompt by charity, does not lessen the efficacy of satisfaction, but increases it.

Reply to Objection 3: That which is due for sin is compensation for the offense, and this cannot be done without punishment of the sinner. It is of this debt that Anselm speaks.


Whether the scourges of the present life are satisfactory?

Objection 1: It would seem that the scourges whereby we are punished by God in this life, cannot be satisfactory. For nothing but what is meritorious can be satisfactory, as is clear from what has been said

([4859]Q[14], A[2]). But we do not merit except by what is in our own power. Since therefore the scourges with which God punishes us are not in our power, it seems that they cannot be satisfactory.

Objection 2: Further, only the good make satisfaction. But these scourges are inflicted on the wicked also, and are deserved by them most of all. Therefore they cannot be satisfactory.

Objection 3: Further, satisfaction regards past sins. But these scourges are sometimes inflicted on those who have no sins, as in the case of Job. Therefore it seems that they are not satisfactory.

On the contrary, It is written (Rom. 5:3,4): "Tribulation worketh patience, and patience trial, i.e. deliverance from sin," as a gloss explains it. Further, Ambrose says (Super Ps. 118): "Although faith," i.e. the consciousness of sin, "be lacking, the punishment satisfies." Therefore the scourges of this life are satisfactory.

I answer that, Compensation for a past offense can be enforced either by the offender or by another. When it is enforced by another, such compensation is of a vindictive rather than of a satisfactory nature, whereas when it is made by the offender, it is also satisfactory. Consequently, if the scourges, which are inflicted by God on account of sin, become in some way the act of the sufferer they acquire a satisfactory character. Now they become the act of the sufferer in so far as he accepts them for the cleansing of his sins, by taking advantage of them patiently. If, however, he refuse to submit to them patiently, then they do not become his personal act in any way, and are not of a satisfactory, but merely of a vindictive character.

Reply to Objection 1: Although these scourges are not altogether in our power, yet in some respect they are, in so far as we use them patiently. In this way man makes a virtue of necessity, so that such things can become both meritorious and satisfactory.

Reply to Objection 2: As Augustine observes (De Civ. Dei i, 8), even as "the same fire makes gold glisten and straw reek," so by the same scourges are the good cleansed and the wicked worsened on account of their impatience. Hence, though the scourges are common to both, satisfaction is only on the side of the good.

Reply to Objection 3: These scourges always regard past guilt, not always the guilt of the person, but sometimes the guilt of nature. For had there not been guilt in human nature, there would have been no punishment. But since guilt preceded in nature, punishment is inflicted by God on a person without the person's fault, that his virtue may be meritorious, and that he may avoid future sin. Moreover, these two things are necessary in satisfaction. For the work needs to be meritorious, that honor may be given to God, and it must be a safeguard of virtue, that we may be preserved from future sins.


Whether the works of satisfaction are suitably enumerated?

Objection 1: It would seem that the works of satisfaction are unsuitably enumerated by saying that there are three, viz. almsdeeds, fasting, and prayer. For a work of satisfaction should be penal. But prayer is not penal, since it is a remedy against penal sorrow, and is a source of pleasure, wherefore it is written (James 5:13): "Is any of you sad? Let him pray. Is he cheerful in mind? Let him sing." Therefore prayer should not be reckoned among the works of satisfaction.

Objection 2: Further, every sin is either carnal or spiritual. Now, as Jerome says on Mk. 9:28, "This kind" of demons "can go out by nothing, but by prayer and fasting: Diseases of the body are healed by fasting, diseases of the mind, by prayer." Therefore no other work of satisfaction is necessary.

Objection 3: Further, satisfaction is necessary in order for us to be cleansed from our sins. But almsgiving cleanses from all sins, according to Lk. 11:41: "Give alms, and behold all things are clean unto you." Therefore the other two are in excess.

Objection 4: On the other hand, it seems that there should be more. For contrary heals contrary. But there are many more than three kinds of sin. Therefore more works of satisfaction should be enumerated.

Objection 5: Further, pilgrimages and scourgings are also enjoined as works of satisfaction, and are not included among the above. Therefore they are not sufficiently enumerated.

I answer that, Satisfaction should be of such a nature as to involve something taken away from us for the honor of God. Now we have but three kinds of goods, bodily, spiritual, and goods of fortune, or external goods. By alms-deeds we deprive ourselves of some goods of fortune, and by fasting we retrench goods of the body. As to goods of the soul, there is no need to deprive ourselves of any of them, either in whole or in part, since thereby we become acceptable to God, but we should submit them entirely to God, which is done by prayer. This number is shown to be suitable in so far as satisfaction uproots the causes of sin, for these are reckoned to be three (1 Jn. 2:16), viz. "concupiscence of the flesh," "concupiscence of the eyes," and "pride of life." Fasting is directed against concupiscence of the "flesh," alms-deeds against concupiscence of the "eyes," and "prayer" against "pride of life," as Augustine says (Enarr. in Ps. 42). This number is also shown to be suitable in so far as satisfaction does not open a way to the suggestions of sin, because every sin is committed either against God, and this is prevented by "prayer," or against our neighbor, and this is remedied by "alms-deeds," or against ourselves, and this is forestalled by "fasting."

Reply to Objection 1: According to some, prayer is twofold. There is the prayer of contemplatives whose "conversation is in heaven": and this, since it is altogether delightful, is not a work of satisfaction. The other is a prayer which pours forth sighs for sin; this is penal and a part of satisfaction. It may also be replied, and better, that every prayer has the character of satisfaction, for though it be sweet to the soul it is painful to the body, since, as Gregory says (Super Ezech., Hom. xiv), "doubtless, when our soul's love is strengthened, our body's strength is weakened"; hence we read (Gn. 32:25) that the sinew of Jacob's thigh shrank through his wrestling with the angel.

Reply to Objection 2: Carnal sin is twofold; one which is completed in carnal delectation, as gluttony and lust. and, another which is completed in things relating to the flesh, though it be completed in the delectation of the soul rather than of the flesh, as covetousness. Hence such like sins are between spiritual and carnal sins, so that they need a satisfaction proper to them, viz. almsdeeds.

Reply to Objection 3: Although each of these three, by a kind of likeness, is appropriated to some particular kind of sin because it is reasonable that, whereby a man sins, in that he should be punished, and that satisfaction should cut out the very root of the sin committed, yet each of them can satisfy for any kind of sin. Hence if a man is unable to perform one of the above, another is imposed on him, chiefly almsdeeds, which can take the place of the others, in so far as in those to whom a man gives alms he purchases other works of satisfaction thereby. Consequently even if almsgiving washes all sins away, it does not follow that other works are in excess.

Reply to Objection 4: Though there are many kinds of sins, all are reduced to those three roots or to those three kinds of sin, to which, as we have said, the aforesaid works of satisfaction correspond.

Reply to Objection 5: Whatever relates to affliction of the body is all referred to fasting, and whatever is spent for the benefit of one's neighbor is a kind of alms, and whatever act of worship is given to God becomes a kind of prayer, so that even one work can be satisfactory in several ways.


OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the recipients of the sacrament of Penance: under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether penance can be in the innocent?

(2) Whether it can be in the saints in glory?

(3) Whether in the good or bad angels?


Whether penance can be in the innocent?

Objection 1: It would seem that penance cannot be in the innocent. For penance consists in bewailing one's evil deeds: whereas the innocent have done no evil. Therefore penance cannot be in them.

Objection 2: Further, the very name of penance [poenitentia] implies punishment [poena]. But the innocent do not deserve punishment. Therefore penance is not in them.

Objection 3: Further, penance coincides with vindictive justice. But if all were innocent, there would be no room for vindictive justice. Therefore there would be no penance, so that there is none in the innocent.

On the contrary, All the virtues are infused together. But penance is a virtue. Since, therefore, other virtues are infused into the innocent at Baptism, penance is infused with them. Further, a man is said to be curable though he has never been sick in body: therefore in like manner, one who has never been sick spiritually. Now even as there can be no actual cure from the wound of sin without an act of penance, so is there no possibility of cure without the habit of penance. Therefore one who has never had the disease of sin, has the habit of penance.

I answer that, Habit comes between power and act: and since the removal of what precedes entails the removal of what follows, but not conversely, the removal of the habit ensues from the removal of the power to act, but not from the removal of the act. And because removal of the matter entails the removal of the act, since there can be no act without the matter into which it passes, hence the habit of a virtue is possible in one for whom the matter is not available, for the reason that it can be available, so that the habit can proceed to its act — thus a poor man can have the habit of magnificence, but not the act, because he is not possessed of great wealth which is the matter of magnificence, but he can be possessed thereof.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the innocent have committed no sin, nevertheless they can, so that they are competent to have the habit of penance. Yet this habit can never proceed to its act, except perhaps with regard to their venial sins, because mortal sins destroy the habit. Nevertheless it is not without its purpose, because it is a perfection of the natural power.

Reply to Objection 2: Although they deserve no punishment actually, yet it is possible for something to be in them for which they would deserve to be punished.

Reply to Objection 3: So long as the power to sin remains, there would be room for vindictive justice as to the habit, though not as to the act, if there were no actual sins.


Whether the saints in glory have penance?

Objection 1: It would seem that the saints in glory have not penance. For, as Gregory says (Moral. iv), "the blessed remember their sins, even as we, without grief, remember our griefs after we have been healed." But penance is grief of the heart. Therefore the saints in heaven have not penance.

Objection 2: Further, the saints in heaven are conformed to Christ. But there was no penance in Christ, since there was no faith which is the principle of penance. Therefore there will be no penance in the saints in heaven.

Objection 3: Further, a habit is useless if it is not reduced to its act. But the saints in heaven will not repent actually, because, if they did, there would be something in them against their wish. Therefore the habit of penance will not be in them.

Objection 4: On the other hand, penance is a part of justice. But justice is "perpetual and immortal" (Wis. 1:15), and will remain in heaven. Therefore penance will also.

Objection 5: Further, we read in the Lives of the Fathers, that one of them said that even Abraham will repent of not having done more good. But one ought to repent of evil done more than of good left undone, and which one was not bound to do, for such is the good in question. Therefore repentance will be there of evil done.

I answer that, The cardinal virtues will remain in heaven, but only as regards the acts which they exercise in respect of their end. Wherefore, since the virtue of penance is a part of justice which is a cardinal virtue, whoever has the habit of penance in this life, will have it in the life to come: but he will not have the same act as now, but another, viz. thanksgiving to God for His mercy in pardoning his sins.

Reply to Objection 1: This argument proves that they do not have the same act as penance has now; and we grant this.

Reply to Objection 2: Christ could not sin, wherefore the matter of this virtue was lacking in His respect both actually and potentially: so that there is no comparison between Him and others.

Reply to Objection 3: Repentance, properly speaking, considered as that act of penance which is in this life, will not be in heaven: and yet the habit will not be without its use, for it will have another act. Reply OBJ 4,5: We grant the Fourth argument. But since the Fifth

Objection proves that there will be the same act of penance in heaven as now, we answer the latter by saying that in heaven one will be altogether conformed to the will of God. Wherefore, as God, by His antecedent will, but not by His consequent will, wishes that all things should be good, and therefore that there should be no evil, so is it with the blessed. It is this will that this holy father improperly calls penance.


Whether an angel can be the subject of penance?

Objection 1: It would seem that even a good or bad angel can be a subject of penance. For fear is the beginning of penance. But fear is in the angels, according to James 2:19: "The devils . . . believe and tremble." Therefore there can be penance in them.

Objection 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 4) that "evil men are full of repentance, and this is a great punishment for them." Now the devils are exceeding evil, nor is there any punishment that they lack. Therefore they can repent.

Objection 3: Further, a thing is more easily moved to that which is according to its nature than to that which is against its nature: thus water which has by violence been heated, of itself returns to its natural property. Now angels can be moved to sin which is contrary to their common nature. Much more therefore can they return to that which is in accord with their nature. But this is done by penance. Therefore they are susceptible to penance.

Objection 4: Further, what applies to angels, applies equally to separated souls, as Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 4). But there can be penance in separated souls, as some say, as in the souls of the blessed in heaven. Therefore there can be penance in the angels.

On the contrary, By penance man obtains pardon for the sin he has committed. But this is impossible in the angels. Therefore they are not subjects of penance. Further, Damascene says (De Fide Orth. ii, 4) that man is subject to penance on account of the weakness of his body. But the angels are not united to a body. Therefore no penance can be in them.

I answer that, In us, penance is taken in two senses; first, as a passion, and thus it is nothing but pain or sorrow on account of a sin committed: and though, as a passion it is only in the concupiscible part, yet, by way of comparison, the name of penance is given to that act of the will, whereby a man detests what he has done, even as love and other passions are spoken of as though they were in the intellectual appetite. Secondly, penance is taken as a virtue, and in this way its act consists in the detestation of evil done, together with the purpose of amendment and the intention of expiating the evil, or of placating God for the offense committed. Now detestation of evil befits a person according as he is naturally ordained to good. And since this order or inclination is not entirely destroyed in any creature, it remains even in the damned, and consequently the passion of repentance, or something like it, remains in them too, as stated in Wis. 5:3 "(saying) within themselves, repenting," etc. This repentance, as it is not a habit, but a passion or act, can by no means be in the blessed angels, who have not committed any sins: but it is in the wicked angels, since the same applies to them as to the lost souls, for, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 4), "death is to men what sin is to an angel." But no forgiveness is possible for the sin of an angel. Now sin is the proper object of the virtue itself which we call penance, in so far as it can be pardoned or expiated. Therefore, since the wicked angels cannot have the matter, they have not the power to produce the act, so that neither can they have the habit. Hence the angels cannot be subjects of the virtue of penance.

Reply to Objection 1: A certain movement of penance is engendered in them from fear, but not such as is a virtue. This suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection.

Reply to Objection 3: Whatever is natural in them is entirely good, and inclines to good: but their free-will is fixed on evil. And since the movement of virtue and vice follows the inclination, not of nature, but of the free-will, there is no need that there should be movements of virtue in them either actually or possibly, although they are inclined to good by nature.

Reply to Objection 4: There is no parity between the holy angels and the beatified souls, because in the latter there has been or could have been a sin that could be pardoned, but not in the former: so that though they are like as to their present state, they differ as to their previous states, which penance regards directly.


OF THE POWER OF THE KEYS (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the power of the ministers of this sacrament, which power depends on the keys. As to this matter, in the first place we shall treat of the keys, secondly, of excommunication, thirdly, of indulgences, since these two things are connected with the power of the keys. The first of these considerations will be fourfold: (1) the nature and meaning of the keys. (2) the use of the keys; (3) the ministers of the keys; (4) those on whom the use of the keys can be exercised. Under the first head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether there ought to be keys in the Church?

(2) Whether the key is the power of binding and loosing, etc.?

(3) Whether there are two keys or only one?


Whether there should be keys in the Church?

Objection 1: It would seem that there is no necessity for keys in the Church. For there is no need for keys that one may enter a house the door of which is open. But it is written (Apoc. 4:1): "I looked and behold a door was opened in heaven," which door is Christ, for He said of Himself (Jn. 10:7): "I am the door." Therefore the Church needs no keys for the entrance into heaven.

Objection 2: Further, a key is needed for opening and shutting. But this belongs to Christ alone, "Who openeth and no man shutteth, shutteth and no man openeth" (Apoc. 3:7). Therefore the Church has no keys in the hands of her ministers.

Objection 3: Further, hell is opened to whomever heaven is closed, and vice versa. Therefore whoever has the keys of heaven, has the keys of hell. But the Church is not said to have the keys of hell. Therefore neither has she the keys of heaven.

On the contrary, It is written (Mat. 16:19): "To thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven." Further, every dispenser should have the keys of the things that he dispenses. But the ministers of the Church are the dispensers of the divine mysteries, as appears from 1 Cor. 4:1. Therefore they ought to have the keys.

I answer that, In material things a key is an instrument for opening a door. Now the door of the kingdom is closed to us through sin, both as to the stain and as to the debt of punishment. Wherefore the power of removing this obstacle is called a key. Now this power is in the Divine Trinity by authority; hence some say that God has the key of "authority." But Christ Man had the power to remove the above obstacle, through the merit of His Passion, which also is said to open the door; hence some say that He has the keys of "excellence." And since "the sacraments of which the Church is built, flowed from the side of Christ while He lay asleep on the cross" [*Augustine, Enarr. in Ps. 138], the efficacy of the Passion abides in the sacraments of the Church. Wherefore a certain power for the removal of the aforesaid obstacle is bestowed on the ministers of the Church, who are the dispensers of the sacraments, not by their own, but by a Divine power and by the Passion of Christ. This power is called metaphorically the Church's key, and is the key of "ministry."

Reply to Objection 1: The door of heaven, considered in itself, is ever open, but it is said to be closed to someone, on account of some obstacle against entering therein, which is in himself. The obstacle which the entire human nature inherited from the sin of the first man was removed by Christ's Passion; hence, after the Passion, John saw an opened door in heaven. Yet that door still remains closed to this or that man, on account of the original sin which he has contracted, or the actual sin which he has committed: hence we need the sacraments and the keys of the Church.

Reply to Objection 2: This refers to His closing Limbo, so that thenceforth no one should go there, and to His opening of Paradise, the obstacle of nature being removed by His Passion.

Reply to Objection 3: The key whereby hell is opened and closed, is the power of bestowing grace, whereby hell is opened to man, so that he is taken out from sin which is the door of hell, and closed, so that by the help of grace man should no more fall into sin. Now the power of bestowing grace belongs to God alone, wherefore He kept this key to Himself. But the key of the kingdom is also the power to remit the debt of temporal punishment, which debt prevents man from entering the kingdom Consequently the key of the kingdom can be given to man rather than the key of hell, for they are not the same, as is clear from what has been said. For a man may be set free from hell by the remission of the debt of eternal punishment, without being at once admitted to the kingdom, on account of his yet owing a debt of temporal punishment. It may also be replied, as some state, that the key of heaven is also the key of hell, since if one is opened to a man, the other, for that very reason, is closed to him, but it takes its name from the better of the two.


Whether the key is the power of binding and loosing, etc.?

Objection 1: It would seem that the key is not the power of binding and loosing, whereby "the ecclesiastical judge has to admit the worthy to the kingdom and exclude the unworthy" therefrom, as stated in the text

(Sent. iv, D, 16). For the spiritual power conferred in a sacrament is the same as the character. But the key and the character do not seem to be the same, since by the character man is referred to God, whereas by the key he is referred to his subjects. Therefore the key is not a power.

Objection 2: Further, an ecclesiastical judge is only one who has jurisdiction, which is not given at the same time as orders. But the keys are given in the conferring of orders. Therefore there should have been no mention of the ecclesiastical judge in the definition of the keys.

Objection 3: Further, when a man has something of himself, he needs not to be reduced to act by some active power. Now a man is admitted to the kingdom from the very fact that he is worthy. Therefore it does not concern the power of the keys to admit the worthy to the kingdom.

Objection 4: Further, sinners are unworthy of the kingdom. But the Church prays for sinners, that they may go to heaven. Therefore she does not exclude the unworthy, but admits them, so far as she is concerned.

Objection 5: Further, in every ordered series of agents, the last end belongs to the principal and not to the instrumental agent. But the principal agent in view of man's salvation is God. Therefore admission to the kingdom, which is the last end, belongs to Him, and not to those who have the keys, who are as instrumental or ministerial agents.

I answer that, According to the Philosopher (De Anima ii, text. 33), "powers are defined from their acts." Wherefore, since the key is a kind of power, it should be defined from its act or use, and reference to the act should include its object from which it takes its species, and the mode of acting whereby the power is shown to be well-ordered. Now the act of the spiritual power is to open heaven, not absolutely, since it is already open, as stated above (A[1], ad 1), but for this or that man; and this cannot be done in an orderly manner without due consideration of the worthiness of the one to be admitted to heaven. Hence the aforesaid definition of the key gives the genus, viz. "power," the subject of the power, viz. the "ecclesiastical judge," and the act, viz. "of excluding or admitting," corresponding to the two acts of a material key which are to open and shut; the object of which act is referred to in the words "from the kingdom," and the mode, in the words, "worthy" and "unworthy," because account is taken of the worthiness or unworthiness of those on whom the act is exercised.

Reply to Objection 1: The same power is directed to two things, of which one is the cause of the other, as heat, in fire, is directed to make a thing hot and to melt it. And since every grace and remission in a mystical body comes to it from its head, it seems that it is essentially the same power whereby a priest can consecrate, and whereby he can loose and bind, if he has jurisdiction, and that there is only a logical difference, according as it is referred to different effects, even as fire in one respect is said to have the power of heating, and in another, the power of melting. And because the character of the priestly order is nothing else than the power of exercising that act to which the priestly order is chiefly ordained (if we maintain that it is the same as a spiritual power), therefore the character, the power of consecrating, and the power of the keys are one and the same essentially, but differ logically.

Reply to Objection 2: All spiritual power is conferred by some kind of consecration. Therefore the key is given together with the order: yet the use of the key requires due matter, i.e. a people subject through jurisdiction, so that until he has jurisdiction, the priest has the keys, but he cannot exercise the act of the keys. And since the key is defined from its act, its definition contains a reference to jurisdiction.

Reply to Objection 3: A person may be worthy to have something in two ways, either so as to have a right to possess it, and thus whoever is worthy has heaven already opened to him — or so that it is meet that he should receive it, and thus the power of the keys admits those who are worthy, but to whom heaven is not yet altogether opened.

Reply to Objection 4: Even as God hardens not by imparting malice, but by withholding grace, so a priest is said to exclude, not as though he placed an obstacle to entrance, but because he does not remove an obstacle which is there, since he cannot remove it unless God has already removed it. [*St. Thomas here follows the opinion of Peter Lombard, and replies in the negative. Later in life he altered his opinion. Cf. [4860]TP, Q[62], A[1]; [4861]TP, Q[64], A[1]; [4862]TP, Q[86], A[6].] Hence God is prayed that He may absolve, so that there may be room for the priest's absolution.

Reply to Objection 5: The priest's act does not bear immediately on the kingdom, but on the sacraments, by means of which man wins to the kingdom.


Whether there are two keys or only one?

Objection 1: It would seem that there are not two keys but only one. For one lock requires but one key. Now the lock for the removal of which the keys of the Church are required, is sin. Therefore the Church does not require two keys for one sin.

Objection 2: Further, the keys are given when orders are conferred. But knowledge is not always due to infusion, but sometimes is acquired, nor is it possessed by all those who are ordained, and is possessed by some who are not ordained. Therefore knowledge is not a key, so that there is but one key, viz. the power of judging.

Objection 3: Further, the power which the priest has over the mystic body of Christ flows from the power which he has over Christ's true body. Now the power of consecrating Christ's true body is but one. Therefore the power which regards Christ's mystic body is but one. But this is a key. Therefore, etc.

Objection 4: On the other hand, It seems that there are more than two keys. For just as knowledge and power are requisite for man to act, so is will. But the knowledge of discretion is reckoned as a key, and so is the power of judging. Therefore the will to absolve should be counted as a key.

Objection 5: Further, all three Divine Persons remit sins. Now the priest, through the keys, is the minister for the remission of sins. Therefore he should have three keys, so that he may be conformed to the Trinity.

I answer that, Whenever an act requires fitness on the part of the recipient, two things are necessary in the one who has to perform the act, viz. judgment of the fitness of the recipient, and accomplishment of the act. Therefore in the act of justice whereby a man is given what he deserves, there needs to be a judgment in order to discern whether he deserves to receive. Again, an authority or power is necessary for both these things, for we cannot give save what we have in our power; nor can there be judgment, without the right to enforce it, since judgment is determined to one particular thing, which determination it derives, in speculative matters, from the first principles which cannot be gainsaid, and, in practical matters, from the power of command vested in the one who judges. And since the act of the key requires fitness in the person on whom it is exercised — because the ecclesiastical judge, by means of the key, "admits the worthy and excludes the unworthy," as may be seen from the definition given above [4863](A[2]) — therefore the judge requires both judgment of discretion whereby he judges a man to be worthy, and also the very act of receiving (that man's confession); and for both these things a certain power or authority is necessary. Accordingly we may distinguish two keys, the first of which regards the judgment about the worthiness of the person to be absolved, while the other regards the absolution. These two keys are distinct, not in the essence of authority, since both belong to the minister by virtue of his office, but in comparison with their respective acts, one of which presupposes the other.

Reply to Objection 1: One key is ordained immediately to the opening of one lock, but it is not unfitting that one key should be ordained to the act of another. Thus it is in the case in point. For it is the second key, which is the power of binding and loosing, that opens the lock of sin immediately, but the key of knowledge shows to whom that lock should be opened.

Reply to Objection 2: There are two opinions about the key of knowledge. For some say that knowledge considered as a habit, acquired or infused, is the key in this case, and that it is not the principal key, but is called a key through being subordinate to another key: so that it is not called a key when the other key is wanting, for instance, in an educated man who is not a priest. And although priests lack this key at times, through being without knowledge, acquired or infused, of loosing and binding, yet sometimes they make use of their natural endeavors, which they who hold this opinion call a little key, so that although knowledge be not bestowed together with orders, yet with the conferring of orders the knowledge becomes a key which it was not before. This seems to have been the opinion of the Master (Sent. iv, D, 19). But this does not seem to agree with the words of the Gospel, whereby the keys are promised to Peter (Mat. 16:19), so that not only one but two are given in orders. For which reason the other opinion holds that the key is not knowledge considered as a habit, but the authority to exercise the act of knowledge, which authority is sometimes without knowledge, while the knowledge is sometimes present without the authority. This may be seen even in secular courts, for a secular judge may have the authority to judge, without having the knowledge of the law, while another man, on the contrary, has knowledge of the law without having the authority to judge. And since the act of judging to which a man is bound through the authority which is vested in him, and not through his habit of knowledge, cannot be well performed without both of the above, the authority to judge, which is the key of knowledge, cannot be accepted without sin by one who lacks knowledge; whereas knowledge void of authority can be possessed without sin.

Reply to Objection 3: The power of consecrating is directed to only one act of another kind, wherefore it is not numbered among the keys, nor is it multiplied as the power of the keys, which is directed to different acts, although as to the essence of power and authority it is but one, as stated above.

Reply to Objection 4: Everyone is free to will, so that no one needs authority to will; wherefore will is not reckoned as a key.

Reply to Objection 5: All three Persons remit sins in the same way as one Person, wherefore there is no need for the priest, who is the minister of the Trinity, to have three keys: and all the more, since the will, which is appropriated to the Holy Ghost, requires no key, as stated above (ad 4).


OF THE EFFECT OF THE KEYS (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider the effect of the keys under which head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the power of the keys extends to the remission of guilt?

(2) Whether a priest can remit sin as to the punishment?

(3) Whether a priest can bind in virtue of the power of the keys?

(4) Whether he can loose and bind according to his own judgment?


Whether the power of the keys extends to the remission of guilt? [*St. Thomas here follows the opinion of Peter Lombard, and replies in the negative. Later in life he altered his opinion. Cf. TP, Q[62], A[1]; TP, Q[64], A[1]; TP, Q[86], A[6]]

Objection 1: It would seem that the power of the keys extends to the remission of guilt. For it was said to the disciples (Jn. 20:23): "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them." Now this was not said in reference to the declaration only, as the Master states

(Sent. iv, D, 18), for in that case the priest of the New Testament would have no more power than the priest of the Old Testament. Therefore he exercises a power over the remission of the guilt.

Objection 2: Further, in Penance grace is given for the remission of sin. Now the priest is the dispenser of this sacrament by virtue of the keys. Therefore, since grace is opposed to sin, not on the part of the punishment, but on the part of the guilt, it seems that the priest operates unto the remission of sin by virtue of the keys.

Objection 3: Further, the priest receives more power by his consecration than the baptismal water by its sanctification. Now the baptismal water receives the power "to touch the body and cleanse the heart," as Augustine says (Tract. lxxx in Joan.). Much more, therefore, does the priest, in his consecration, receive the power to cleanse the heart from the stain of sin.

On the contrary, The Master stated above (Sent. iv, D, 18) that God has not bestowed on the minister the power to co-operate with Him in the inward cleansing. Now if he remitted sins as to the guilt, he would co-operate with God in the inward cleansing. Therefore the power of the keys does not extend to the remission of guilt. Further, sin is not remitted save by the Holy Ghost. But no man has the power to give the Holy Ghost, as the Master said above (Sent. i, D, 14). Neither therefore can he remit sins as to their guilt.

I answer that, According to Hugh (De Sacram. ii), "the sacraments, by virtue of their sanctification, contain an invisible grace." Now this sanctification is sometimes essential to the sacrament both as regards the matter and as regards the minister, as may be seen in Confirmation, and then the sacramental virtue is in both together. Sometimes, however, the essence of the sacrament requires only sanctification of the matter, as in Baptism, which has no fixed minister on whom it depends necessarily, and then the whole virtue of the sacrament is in the matter. Again, sometimes the essence of the sacrament requires the consecration or sanctification of the minister without any sanctification of the matter, and then the entire sacramental virtue is in the minister, as in Penance. Hence the power of the keys which is in the priest, stands in the same relation to the effect of Penance, as the virtue in the baptismal water does to the effect of Baptism. Now Baptism and the sacrament of Penance agree somewhat in their effect, since each is directly ordained against guilt, which is not the case in the other sacraments: yet they differ in this, that the sacrament of Penance, since the acts of the recipient are as its matter, cannot be given save to adults, who need to be disposed for the reception of the sacramental effect; whereas Baptism is given, sometimes to adults, sometimes to children and others who lack the use of reason, so that by Baptism children receive grace and remission of sin without any previous disposition, while adults do not, for they require to be disposed by the removal of insincerity. This disposition sometimes precedes their Baptism by priority of time, being sufficient for the reception of grace, before they are actually baptized, but not before they have come to the knowledge of the truth and have conceived the desire for Baptism. At other times this disposition does not precede the reception of Baptism by a priority of time, but is simultaneous with it, and then the grace of the remission of guilt is bestowed through the reception of Baptism. On the other hand, grace is never given through the sacrament of Penance unless the recipient be disposed either simultaneously or before. Hence the power of the keys operates unto the remission of guilt, either through being desired or through being actually exercised, even as the waters of Baptism. But just as Baptism acts, not as a principal agent but as an instrument, and does not go so far as to cause the reception itself of grace, even instrumentally [*See note at beginning of this article], but merely disposes the recipient to the grace whereby his guilt is remitted, so is it with the power of the keys. Wherefore God alone directly remits guilt, and Baptism acts through His power instrumentally, as an inanimate instrument, and the priest as an animate instrument, such as a servant is, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 11): and consequently the priest acts as a minister. Hence it is clear that the power of the keys is ordained, in a manner, to the remission of guilt, not as causing that remission, but as disposing thereto. Consequently if a man, before receiving absolution, were not perfectly disposed for the reception of grace, he would receive grace at the very time of sacramental confession and absolution, provided he offered no obstacle. For if the key were in no way ordained to the remission of guilt, but only to the remission of punishment, as some hold, it would not be necessary to have a desire of receiving the effect of the keys in order to have one's sins forgiven, just as it is not necessary to have a desire of receiving the other sacraments which are ordained, not to the remission of guilt, but against punishment. But this enables us to see that it is not ordained unto the remission of guilt, because the use of the keys, in order to be effective, always requires a disposition on the part of the recipient of the sacrament. And the same would apply to Baptism, were it never given save to adults.

Reply to Objection 1: As the Master says in the text (Sent. iv, D, 18), the power of forgiving sins was entrusted to priests, not that they may forgive them, by their own power, for this belongs to God, but that, as ministers, they may declare [*See note at the beginning of this article] the operation of God Who forgives. Now this happens in three ways. First, by a declaration, not of present, but of future forgiveness, without co-operating therein in any way: and thus the sacraments of the Old Law signified the Divine operation, so that the priest of the Old Law did but declare and did not operate the forgiveness of sins. Secondly, by a declaration of present forgiveness without co-operating in it at all: and thus some say that the sacraments of the New Law signify the bestowal of grace, which God gives when the sacraments are conferred, without the sacraments containing any power productive of grace, according to which opinion, even the power of the keys would merely declare the Divine operation that has its effect in the remission of guilt when the sacrament is conferred. Thirdly, by signifying the Divine operation causing then and there the remission of guilt, and by co-operating towards this effect dispositively and instrumentally: and then, according to another and more common opinion, the sacraments of the New Law declare the cleansing effected by God. In this way also the priest of the New Testament declares the recipient to be absolved from guilt, because in speaking of the sacraments, what is ascribed to the power of the ministers must be consistent with the sacrament. Nor is it unreasonable that the keys of the Church should dispose the penitent to the remission of his guilt, from the fact that the guilt is already remitted, even as neither is it unreasonable that Baptism, considered in itself, causes a disposition in one who is already sanctified.

Reply to Objection 2: Neither the sacrament of Penance, nor the sacrament of Baptism, by its operation, causes grace, or the remission of guilt, directly, but only dispositively [*St. Thomas here follows the opinion of Peter Lombard, and replies in the negative. Later in life he altered his opinion. Cf. [4864]TP, Q[62], A[1]; [4865]TP, Q[64], A[1]; [4866]TP, Q[86], A[6]]. Hence the Reply to the Third

Objection is evident. The other arguments show that the power of the keys does not effect the remission of guilt directly, and this is to be granted.


Whether a priest can remit sin as to the punishment?

Objection 1: It would seem that a priest cannot remit sin as to the punishment. For sin deserves eternal and temporal punishment. But after the priest's absolution the penitent is still obliged to undergo temporal punishment either in Purgatory or in this world. Therefore the priest does not remit the punishment in any way.

Objection 2: Further, the priest cannot anticipate the judgment of God. But Divine justice appoints the punishment which penitents have to undergo. Therefore the priest cannot remit any part of it.

Objection 3: Further, a man who has committed a slight sin, is not less susceptible to the power of the keys, than one who has committed a graver sin. Now if the punishment for the graver sin be lessened in any way through the priestly administrations, it would be possible for a sin to be so slight that the punishment which it deserves is no greater than that which has been remitted for the graver sin. Therefore the priest would be able to remit the entire punishment due for the slight sin: which is false.

Objection 4: Further, the whole of the temporal punishment due for a sin is of one kind. If, therefore, by a first absolution something is taken away from the punishment, it will be possible for something more to be taken away by a second absolution, so that the absolution can be so often repeated, that by virtue of the keys the whole punishment will be taken away, since the second absolution is not less efficacious than the first: and consequently that sin will be altogether unpunished, which is absurd.

On the contrary, The key is the power of binding and loosing. But the priest can enjoin a temporal punishment. Therefore he can absolve from punishment. Further, the priest cannot remit sin either as to the guilt [*St. Thomas here follows the opinion of Peter Lombard, and replies in the negative. Later in life he altered his opinion. Cf. [4867]TP, Q[62], A[1]; [4868]TP, Q[64], A[1]; [4869]TP, Q[86], A[6]], as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 18), or as to the eternal punishment, for a like reason. If therefore he cannot remit sin as to the temporal punishment, he would be unable to remit sin in any way, which is altogether contrary to the words of the Gospel.

I answer that, Whatever may be said of the effect of Baptism conferred on one who has already received grace, applies equally to the effect of the actual exercise of the power of the keys on one who has already been contrite. For a man may obtain the grace of the remission of his sins as to their guilt, through faith and contrition, previous to Baptism; but when, afterwards, he actually receives Baptism, his grace is increased, and he is entirely absolved from the debt of punishment, since he is then made a partaker of the Passion of Christ. In like manner when a man, through contrition, has received the pardon of his sins as to their guilt, and consequently as to the debt of eternal punishment, (which is remitted together with the guilt) by virtue of the keys which derive their efficacy from the Passion of Christ, his grace is increased and the temporal punishment is remitted, the debt of which remained after the guilt had been forgiven. However, this temporal punishment is not entirely remitted, as in Baptism, but only partly, because the man who is regenerated in Baptism is conformed to the Passion of Christ, by receiving into himself entirely the efficacy of Christ's Passion, which suffices for the blotting out of all punishment, so that nothing remains of the punishment due to his preceding actual sins. For nothing should be imputed to a man unto punishment, save what he has done himself, and in Baptism man begins a new life, and by the baptismal water becomes a new man, as that no debt for previous sin remains in him. on the other hand, in Penance, a man does not take on a new life, since therein he is not born again, but healed. Consequently by virtue of the keys which produce their effect in the sacrament of Penance, the punishment is not entirely remitted, but something is taken off the temporal punishment, the debt of which could remain after the eternal punishment had been remitted. Nor does this apply only to the temporal punishment which the penitent owes at the time of confession, as some hold, (for then confession and sacramental absolution would be mere burdens, which cannot be said of the sacraments of the New Law), but also to the punishment due in Purgatory, so that one who has been absolved and dies before making satisfaction, is less punished in Purgatory, than if he had died before receiving absolution.

Reply to Objection 1: The priest does not remit the entire temporal punishment, but part of it; wherefore the penitent still remains obliged to undergo satisfactory punishment.

Reply to Objection 2: Christ's Passion was sufficiently satisfactory for the sins of the whole world, so that without prejudice to Divine justice something can be remitted from the punishment which a sinner deserves, in so far as the effect of Christ's Passion reaches him through the sacraments of the Church.

Reply to Objection 3: Some satisfactory punishment must remain for each sin, so as to provide a remedy against it. Wherefore though, by virtue of the absolution some measure of the punishment due to a grave sin is remitted, it does not follow that the same measure of punishment is remitted for each sin, because in that case some sin would remain without any punishment at all: but, by virtue of the keys, the punishments due to various sins are remitted in due proportion.

Reply to Objection 4: Some say that at the first absolution, as much as possible is remitted by virtue of the keys, and that, nevertheless, the second confession is valid, on account of the instruction received, on account of the additional surety, on account of the prayers of the priest or confessor, and lastly on account of the merit of the shame. But this does not seem to be true, for though there might be a reason for repeating the confession, there would be no reason for repeating the absolution, especially if the penitent has no cause to doubt about his previous absolution; for he might just as well doubt after the second as after the first absolution: even as we see that the sacrament of Extreme Unction is not repeated during the same sickness, for the reason that all that could be done through the sacrament, has been done once. Moreover, in the second confession, there would be no need for the confessor to have the keys, if the power of the keys had no effect therein. For these reasons others say that even in the second absolution something of the punishment is remitted by virtue of the keys, because when absolution is given a second time, grace is increased, and the greater the grace received, the less there remains of the blemish of the previous sin, and the less punishment is required to remove that blemish. Wherefore even when a man is first absolved, his punishment is more or less remitted by virtue of the keys, according as he disposes himself more or less to receive grace; and this disposition may be so great, that even by virtue of his contrition the whole punishment is remitted, as we have already stated ([4870]Q[5], A[2]). Consequently it is not unreasonable, if by frequent confession even the whole punishment be remitted, that a sin remain altogether unpunished, since Christ made satisfaction for its punishment.


Whether the priest can bind through the power of the keys?

Objection 1: It would seem that the priest cannot bind by virtue of the power of the keys. For the sacramental power is ordained as a remedy against sin. Now binding is not a remedy for sin, but seemingly is rather conducive to an aggravation of the disease. Therefore, by the power of the keys, which is a sacramental power, the priest cannot bind.

Objection 2: Further, just as to loose or to open is to remove an obstacle, so to bind is to place an obstacle. Now an obstacle to heaven is sin, which cannot be placed on us by an extrinsic cause, since no sin is committed except by the will. Therefore the priest cannot bind.

Objection 3: Further, the keys derive their efficacy from Christ's Passion. But binding is not an effect of the Passion. Therefore the priest cannot bind by the power of the keys.

On the contrary, It is written (Mat. 16:19): "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound also in heaven." Further, rational powers are directed to opposites. But the power of the keys is a rational power, since it has discretion connected with it. Therefore it is directed to opposites. Therefore if it can loose, it can bind.

I answer that, The operation of the priest in using the keys, is conformed to God's operation, Whose minister he is. Now God's operation extends both to guilt and to punishment; to the guilt indeed, so as to loose it directly. but to bind it indirectly, in so far as He is said to harden, when He withholds His grace; whereas His operation extends to punishment directly, in both respects, because He both spares and inflicts it. In like manner, therefore, although the priest, in absolving, exercises an operation ordained to the remission of guilt, in the way mentioned above [4871](A[1]), nevertheless, in binding, he exercises no operation on the guilt; (unless he be said to bind by not absolving the penitent and by declaring him to be bound), but he has the power both of binding and of loosing with regard to the punishment. For he looses from the punishment which he remits, while he binds as to the punishment which remains. This he does in two ways — first as regards the quantity of the punishment considered in general, and thus he does not bind save by not loosing, and declaring the penitent to be bound, secondly, as regards this or that particular punishment, and thus he binds to punishment by imposing it.

Reply to Objection 1: The remainder of the punishment to which the priest binds the penitent, is the medicine which cleanses the latter from the blemish of sin.

Reply to Objection 2: Not only sin, but also punishment is an obstacle to heaven: and how the latter is enjoined by the priest, has been said in the article.

Reply to Objection 3: Even the Passion of Christ binds us to some punishment whereby we are conformed to Him.


Whether the priest can bind and loose according to his own judgment?

Objection 1: It seems that the priest can bind and loose according to his own judgment. For Jerome [*Cf. Can. 86, Mensuram, De Poenit. Dist. i] says: "The canons do not fix the length of time for doing penance so precisely as to say how each sin is to be amended, but leave the decision of this matter to the judgment of a discreet priest." Therefore it seems that he can bind and loose according to his own judgment.

Objection 2: Further, "The Lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely" (Lk. 16:5), because he had allowed a liberal discount to his master's debtors. But God is more inclined to mercy than any temporal lord. Therefore it seems that the more punishment the priest remits, the more he is to be commended.

Objection 3: Further, Christ's every action is our instruction. Now on some sinners He imposed no punishment, but only amendment of life, as in the case of the adulterous woman (Jn. 8). Therefore it seems that the priest also, who is the vicar of Christ, can, according to his own judgment, remit the punishment, either wholly or in part.

On the contrary, Gregory VII [*Cf. Act. Concil. Rom. v, Can. 5] says: "We declare it a mock penance if it is not imposed according to the authority of the holy fathers in proportion to the sin." Therefore it seems that it does not altogether depend on the priest's judgment. Further, the act of the keys requires discretion. Now if the priest could remit and impose as much as he liked of a penance, he would have no need of discretion, because there would be no room for indiscretion. Therefore it does not altogether depend on the priest's judgment.

I answer that, In using the keys, the priest acts as the instrument and minister of God. Now no instrument can have an efficacious act, except in so far as it is moved by the principal agent. Wherefore, Dionysius says (Hier. Eccl. cap. ult.) that "priests should use their hierarchical powers, according as they are moved by God." A sign of this is that before the power of the keys was conferred on Peter (Mat. 16:19) mention is made of the revelation vouchsafed to him of the Godhead; and the gift of the Holy Ghost, whereby "the sons of God are led" (Rom. 8:14), is mentioned before power was given to the apostles to forgive sins. Consequently if anyone were to presume to use his power against that Divine motion, he would not realize the effect, as Dionysius states (Hier. Eccl., cap. ult.), and, besides, he would be turned away from the Divine order, and consequently would be guilty of a sin. Moreover, since satisfactory punishments are medicinal, just as the medicines prescribed by the medical art are not suitable to all, but have to be changed according to the judgment of a medical man, who follows not his own will, but his medical science, so the satisfactory punishments appointed by the canons are not suitable to all, but have to be varied according to the judgment of the priest guided by the Divine instinct. Therefore just as sometimes the physician prudently refrains from giving a medicine sufficiently efficacious to heal the disease, lest a greater danger should arise on account of the weakness of nature so the priest, moved by Divine instinct, some times refrains from enjoining the entire punishment due to one sin, lest by the severity of the punishment, the sick man come to despair and turn away altogether from repentance.

Reply to Objection 1: This judgment should be guided entirely by the Divine instinct.

Reply to Objection 2: The steward is commended also for having done wisely. Therefore in the remission of the due punishment, there is need for discretion.

Reply to Objection 3: Christ had the power of "excellence" in the sacraments, so that, by His own authority, He could remit the punishment wholly or in part, just as He chose. Therefore there is no comparison between Him and those who act merely as ministers.


OF THE MINISTERS OF THE KEYS (SIX ARTICLES)

We must now consider the ministers and the use of the keys: under which head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the priest of the Law had the keys?

(2) Whether Christ had the keys?

(3) Whether priests alone have the keys?

(4) Whether holy men who are not priests have the keys or their use?

(5) Whether wicked priests have the effective use of the keys?

(6) Whether those who are schismatics, heretics, excommunicate, suspended or degraded, have the use of the keys?


Whether the priest of the Law had the keys?

Objection 1: It would seem that the priests of the Law had the keys. For the possession of the keys results from having orders. But they had orders since they were called priests. Therefore the priests of the Law had the keys.

Objection 2: Further, as the Master states (Sent. iv, D, 18), there are two keys, knowledge of discretion, and power of judgment. But the priests of the Law had authority for both of these: therefore they had the keys.

Objection 3: Further, the priests of the Law had some power over the rest of the people, which power was not temporal, else the kingly power would not have differed from the priestly power. Therefore it was a spiritual power; and this is the key. Therefore they had the key.

On the contrary, The keys are ordained to the opening of the heavenly kingdom, which could not be opened before Christ's Passion. Therefore the priest of the Law had not the keys. Further, the sacraments of the old Law did not confer grace. Now the gate of the heavenly kingdom could not be opened except by means of grace. Therefore it could not be opened by means of those sacraments, so that the priests who administered them, had not the keys of the heavenly kingdom.

I answer that, Some have held that, under the Old Law, the keys of the kingdom were in the hands of the priests, because the right of imposing punishment for sin was conferred on them, as related in Lev. 5, which right seems to belong to the keys; but that these keys were incomplete then, whereas now they are complete as bestowed by Christ on the priests of the New Law. But this seems to be contrary to the intent of the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Heb. 9:11-12). For there the priesthood of Christ is given the preference over the priesthood of the Law, inasmuch as Christ came, "a high priest of the good things to come," and brought us "by His own blood" into a tabernacle not made with hand, whither the priesthood of the Old Law brought men "by the blood of goats and of oxen." Hence it is clear that the power of that priesthood did not reach to heavenly things but to the shadow of heavenly things: and so, we must say with others that they had not the keys, but that the keys were foreshadowed in them.

Reply to Objection 1: The keys of the kingdom go with the priesthood whereby man is brought into the heavenly kingdom, but such was not the priesthood of Levi; hence it had the keys, not of heaven, but of an earthly tabernacle.

Reply to Objection 2: The priests of the Old Law had authority to discern and judge, but not to admit those they judged into heaven, but only into the shadow of heavenly things.

Reply to Objection 3: They had no spiritual power, since, by the sacraments of the Law, they cleansed men not from their sins but from irregularities, so that those who were cleansed by them could enter into a tabernacle which was "made with hand."


Whether Christ had the key?

Objection 1: It would seem that Christ did not have the key. For the key goes with the character of order. But Christ did not have a character. Therefore He had not the key.

Objection 2: Further, Christ had power of "excellence" in the sacraments, so that He could produce the sacramental effect without the sacramental rite. Now the key is something sacramental. Therefore He needed no key, and it would have been useless to Him to have it.

On the contrary, It is written (Apoc. 3:7): "These things saith . . . He that hath the key of David," etc.

I answer that, The power to do a thing is both in the instrument and in the principal agent, but not in the same way since it is more perfectly in the latter. Now the power of the keys which we have, like other sacramental powers, is instrumental: whereas it is in Christ as principal agent in the matter of our salvation, by authority, if we consider Him as God, by merit, if we consider Him as man [*For St. Thomas' later teaching on this point, Cf. [4872]TP, Q[48], A[6]; [4873]FS, Q[112], A[1], AD 1]. But the very notion of a key expresses a power to open and shut, whether this be done by the principal agent or by an instrument. Consequently we must admit that Christ had the key, but in a higher way than His ministers, wherefore He is said to have the key of "excellence."

Reply to Objection 1: A character implies the notion of something derived from another, hence the power of the keys which we receive from Christ results from the character whereby we are conformed to Christ, whereas in Christ it results not from a character, but from the principal form.

Reply to Objection 2: The key, which Christ had was not sacramental, but the origin of the sacramental key.


Whether priests alone have the keys?

Objection 1: It would seem that not only priests have the keys. For Isidore says (Etym. vii, 12) that the "doorkeepers have to tell the good from the bad, so as to admit the good and keep out the bad." Now this is the definition of the keys, as appears from what has been said

([4874]Q[17], A[2]). Therefore not only priests but even doorkeepers have the keys.

Objection 2: Further, the keys are conferred on priests when by being anointed they receive power from God. But kings of Christian peoples also receive power from God and are consecrated by being anointed. Therefore not only priests have the keys.

Objection 3: Further, the priesthood is an order belonging to an individual person. But sometimes a number of people together seem to have the key, because certain Chapters can pass a sentence of excommunication, which pertains to the power of the keys. Therefore not only priests have the key.

Objection 4: Further, a woman is not capable of receiving the priesthood, since she is not competent to teach, according to the Apostle (1 Cor. 14:34). But some women (abbesses, for instance, who exercise a spiritual power over their subjects), seem to have the keys. Therefore not only priests have the keys.

On the contrary, Ambrose says (De Poenit. i): "This right," viz. of binding and loosing, "is granted to priests alone." Further, by receiving the power of the keys, a man is set up between the people and God. But this belongs to the priest alone, who is "ordained . . . in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins" (Heb. 5:1). Therefore only priests have the keys.

I answer that, There are two kinds of key. one reaches to heaven itself directly, by remitting sin and thus removing the obstacles to the entrance into heaven; and this is called the key of "order." Priests alone have this key, because they alone are ordained for the people in the things which appertain to God directly. The other key reaches to heaven, not directly but through the medium of the Church Militant. By this key a man goes to heaven, since, by its means, a man is shut out from or admitted to the fellowship of the Church Militant, by excommunication or absolution. This is called the key of "jurisdiction" in the external court, wherefore even those who are not priests can have this key, e.g. archdeacons, bishops elect, and others who can excommunicate. But it is not properly called a key of heaven, but a disposition thereto.

Reply to Objection 1: The doorkeepers have the key for taking care of those things which are contained in a material temple, and they have to judge whether a person should be excluded from or admitted to that temple; which judgment they pronounce, not by their own authority, but in pursuance to the priest's judgment, so that they appear to be the administrators of the priestly power.

Reply to Objection 2: Kings have no power in spiritual matters, so that they do not receive the key of the heavenly kingdom. Their power is confined to temporal matters, and this too can only come to them from God, as appears from Rom. 13:1. Nor are they consecrated by the unction of a sacred order: their anointing is merely a sign that the excellence of their power comes down to them from Christ, and that, under Christ, they reign over the Christian people.

Reply to Objection 3: Just as in civil matters the whole power is sometimes vested in a judge, as in a kingdom, whereas sometimes it is vested in many exercising various offices but acting together with equal rights (Ethic. viii, 10,11), so too, spiritual jurisdiction may be exercised both by one alone, e.g. a bishop, and by many together, e.g. by a Chapter, and thus they have the key of jurisdiction, but they have not all together the key of order.

Reply to Objection 4: According to the Apostle (1 Tim. 2:11; Titus 2:5), woman is in a state of subjection: wherefore she can have no spiritual jurisdiction, since the Philosopher also says (Ethic. viii) that it is a corruption of public life when the government comes into the hands of a woman. Consequently a woman has neither the key of order nor the key of jurisdiction. Nevertheless a certain use of the keys is allowed to women, such as the right to correct other women who are under them, on account of the danger that might threaten if men were to dwell under the same roof.


Whether holy men who are not priests have the keys?

Objection 1: It would seem that holy men, even those who are not priests, have the use of the keys. For loosing and binding, which are the effects of the keys, derive their efficacy from the merit of Christ's Passion. Now those are most conformed to Christ's Passion, who follow Christ, suffering by patience and other virtues. Therefore it seems that even if they have not the priestly order, they can bind and loose.

Objection 2: Further, it is written (Heb. 7:7): "Without all contradiction, that which is less is blessed by the greater [Vulg.: 'better']." Now "in spiritual matters," according to Augustine (De Trin. vi, 8), "to be better is to be greater." Therefore those who are better, i.e. who have more charity, can bless others by absolving them. Hence the same conclusion follows.

On the contrary, "Action belongs to that which has the power," as the Philosopher says (De Somno et Vigil. i). But the key which is a spiritual power belongs to priests alone. Therefore priests alone are competent to have the use of the keys.

I answer that, There is this difference between a principal and an instrumental agent, that the latter does not produce, in the effect, its own likeness, but the likeness of the principal agent, whereas the principal agent produces its own likeness. Consequently a thing becomes a principal agent through having a form, which it can reproduce in another, whereas an instrumental agent is not constituted thus, but through being applied by the principal agent in order to produce a certain effect. Since therefore in the act of the keys the principal agent by authority is Christ as God, and by merit is Christ as man,* it follows that on account of the very fulness of Divine goodness in Him, and of the perfection of His grace, He is competent to exercise the act of the keys. [*For St. Thomas' later teaching on this point, cf. [4875]TP, Q[48], A[6]; [4876]FS, Q[112], A[1], ad 1]. But another man is not competent to exercise this act as principal agent, since neither can he give another man grace whereby sins are remitted, nor can he merit sufficiently, so that he is nothing more than an instrumental agent. Consequently the recipient of the effect of the keys, is likened, not to the one who uses the keys, but to Christ. Therefore, no matter how much grace a man may have, he cannot produce the effect of the keys, unless he be appointed to that purpose by receiving orders.

Reply to Objection 1: Just as between instrument and effect there is need or likeness, not of a similar form, but of aptitude in the instrument for the effect, so is it as regards the instrument and the principal agent. The former is the likeness between holy men and the suffering Christ, nor does it bestow on them the use of the keys.

Reply to Objection 2: Although a mere man cannot merit grace for another man condignly, yet the merit of one man can co-operate in the salvation of another. Hence there is a twofold blessing. One proceeds from a mere man, as meriting by his own act: this blessing can be conferred by any holy person in whom Christ dwells by His grace, in so far as he excels in goodness the person whom he blesses. The other blessing is when a man blesses, as applying a blessing instrumentally through the merit of Christ, and this requires excellence of order and not of virtue.


Whether wicked priests have the use of the keys?

Objection 1: It would seem that wicked priests have not the use of the keys. For in the passage where the use of the keys is bestowed on the apostles (Jn. 20:22,23), the gift of the Holy Ghost is promised. But wicked men have not the Holy Ghost. Therefore they have not the use of the keys.

Objection 2: Further, no wise king entrusts his enemy with the dispensation of his treasure. Now the use of the keys consists in dispensing the treasure of the King of heaven, Who is Wisdom itself. Therefore the wicked, who are His enemies on account of sin, have not the use of the keys.

Objection 3: Further, Augustine says (De Bapt. v, 21) that God "gives the sacrament of grace even through wicked men, but grace itself only by Himself or through His saints." Hence He forgives sin by Himself, or by those who are members of the Dove. But the remission of sins is the use of the keys. Therefore sinners, who are not "members of the Dove," have not the use of the keys.

Objection 4: Further, the prayer of a wicked priest cannot effect reconciliation, for, as Gregory says (Pastor. i, 11), "if an unacceptable person is sent to intercede, anger is provoked to yet greater severity." But the use of the keys implies a kind of intercession, as appears in the form of absolution. Therefore wicked priests cannot use the keys effectively.

On the contrary, No man can know whether another man is in the state of grace. If, therefore, no one could use the keys in giving absolution unless he were in a state of grace, no one would know that he had been absolved, which would be very unfitting. Further, the wickedness of the minister cannot void the liberality of his lord. But the priest is no more than a minister. Therefore he cannot by his wickedness take away from us the gift which God has given through him.

I answer that, Just as participation of a form to be induced into an effect does not make a thing to be an instrument, so neither does the loss of that form prevent that thing being used as an instrument. Consequently, since man is merely an instrument in the use of the keys, however much he may through sin be deprived of grace, whereby sins are forgiven, yet he is by no means deprived of the use of the keys.

Reply to Objection 1: The gift of the Holy Ghost is requisite for the use of the keys, not as being indispensable for the purpose, but because it is unbecoming for the user to use them without it, though he that submits to them receives their effect.

Reply to Objection 2: An earthly king can be cheated and deceived in the matter of his treasure, and so he does not entrust his enemy with the dispensation thereof. But the King of heaven cannot be cheated, because all tends to His own glory, even the abuse of the keys by some, for He can make good come out of evil, and produce many good effects through evil men. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 3: Augustine speaks of the remission of sins in so far as holy men co-operate therein, not by virtue of the keys, but by merit of congruity. Hence He says that God confers the sacraments even through evil men, and among the other sacraments, absolution which is the use of the keys should be reckoned: but that through "members of the Dove," i.e. holy men, He grants forgiveness of sins, in so far as He remits sins on account of their intercession. We might also reply that by "members of the Dove" he means all who are not cut off from the Church, for those who receive the sacraments from them, receive grace, whereas those who receive the sacraments from those who are cut off from the Church, do not receive grace, because they sin in so doing, except in the case of Baptism, which, in cases of necessity, may be received even from one who is excommunicate.

Reply to Objection 4: The prayer which the wicked priest proffers on his own account, is not efficacious: but that which he makes as a minister of the Church, is efficacious through the merit of Christ. Yet in both ways the priest's prayer should profit those who are subject to him.


Whether those who are schismatics, heretics, excommunicate, suspended or degraded have the use of the keys?

Objection 1: It would seem that those who are schismatics, heretics, excommunicate, suspended or degraded have the use of the keys. For just as the power of the keys results from orders, so does the power of consecration. But the above cannot lose the use of the power of consecration, since if they do consecrate it is valid, though they sin in doing so. Therefore neither can they lose the use of the keys.

Objection 2: Further, any active spiritual power in one who has the use of his free-will can be exercised by him when he wills. Now the power of the keys remains in the aforesaid, for, since it is only conferred with orders, they would have to be reordained when they return to the Church. Therefore, since it is an active power, they can exercise it when they will.

Objection 3: Further, spiritual grace is hindered by guilt more than by punishment. Now excommunication, suspension and degradation are punishments. Therefore, since a man does not lose the use of the keys on account of guilt, it seems that he does not lose it on account of the aforesaid.

On the contrary, Augustine says (Tract. cxxi in Joan.) that the "charity of the Church forgives sins." Now it is the charity of the Church which unites its members. Since therefore the above are disunited from the Church, it seems that they have not the use of the keys in remitting sins. Further, no man is absolved from sin by sinning. Now it is a sin for anyone to seek absolution of his sins from the above, for he disobeys the Church in so doing. Therefore he cannot be absolved by them: and so the same conclusion follows.

I answer that, In all the above the power of the keys remains as to its essence, but its use is hindered on account of the lack of matter. For since the use of the keys requires in the user authority over the person on whom they are used, as stated above ([4877]Q[17], A[2], ad 2), the proper matter on whom one can exercise the use of the keys is a man under one's authority. And since it is by appointment of the Church that one man has authority over another, so a man may be deprived of his authority over another by his ecclesiastical superiors. Consequently, since the Church deprives heretics, schismatics and the like, by withdrawing their subjects from them either altogether or in some respect, in so far as they are thus deprived, they cannot have the use of the keys.

Reply to Objection 1: The matter of the sacrament of the Eucharist, on which the priest exercises his power, is not a man but wheaten bread, and in Baptism, the matter is simply a man. Wherefore, just as, were a heretic to be without wheaten bread, he could not consecrate, so neither can a prelate absolve if he be deprived of his authority, yet he can baptize and consecrate, albeit to his own damnation.

Reply to Objection 2: The assertion is true, provided matter be not lacking as it is in the case in point.

Reply to Objection 3: Sin, of itself, does not remove matter, as certain punishments do: so that punishment is a hindrance not because it is contrary to the effect, but for the reason stated.


OF THOSE ON WHOM THE POWER OF THE KEYS CAN BE EXERCISED (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider those on whom the power of the keys can be exercised. Under this head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a priest can use the key, which he has, on any man?

(2) Whether a priest can always absolve his subject?

(3) Whether anyone can use the keys on his superior?


Whether a priest can use the key which he has, on any man?

Objection 1: It would seem that a priest can use the key which he has, on any man. For the power of the keys was bestowed on priests by Divine authority in the words: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them" (Jn. 20:22,23). But this was said without any restriction. Therefore he that has the key, can use it on any without restriction.

Objection 2: Further, a material key that opens one lock, opens all locks of the same pattern. Now every sin of every man is the same kind of obstacle against entering into heaven. Therefore if a priest can, by means of the key which he has, absolve one man, he can do the same for all others.

Objection 3: Further, the priesthood of the New Testament is more perfect than that of the Old Testament. But the priest of the Old Testament could use the power which he had of discerning between different kinds of leprosy, with regard to all indiscriminately. Much more therefore can the priest of the Gospel use his power with regard to all.

On the contrary, It is written in the Appendix of Gratian: "It is not lawful for every priest to loose or bind another priest's parishioner." Therefore a priest cannot absolve everybody. Further, judgment in spiritual matters should be better regulated than in temporal matters. But in temporal matters a judge cannot judge everybody. Therefore, since the use of the keys is a kind of judgment, it is not within the competency of a priest to use his key with regard to everyone.

I answer that, That which has to do with singular matters is not equally in the power of all. Thus, even as besides the general principles of medicine, it is necessary to have physicians, who adapt those general principles to individual patients or diseases, according to their various requirements, so in every kingdom, besides that one who proclaims the universal precepts of law, there is need for others to adapt those precepts to individual cases, according as each case demands. For this reason, in the heavenly hierarchy also, under the Powers who rule indiscriminately, a place is given to the Principalities, who are appointed to individual kingdoms, and to the Angels who are given charge over individual men, as we have explained above ([4878]FP, Q[113], AA[1],2). Consequently there should be a like order of authority in the Church Militant, so that an indiscriminate authority over all should be vested in one individual, and that there should be others under him, having distinct authority over various people. Now the use of the keys implies a certain power to exercise authority, whereby the one on whom the keys are used, becomes the proper matter of that act. Therefore he that has power over all indiscriminately, can use the keys on all, whereas those who have received authority over distinct persons, cannot use the keys on everyone, but only on those over whom they are appointed, except in cases of necessity, when the sacraments should be refused to no one.

Reply to Objection 1: A twofold power is required in order to absolve from sins, namely, power of order and power of jurisdiction. The former power is equally in all priests, but not the latter. And therefore, when our Lord (Jn. 20:23) gave all the apostles in general, the power of forgiving sins, this is to be understood of the power which results from receiving orders, wherefore these words are addressed to priests when they are ordained. But to Peter in particular He gave the power of forgiving sins (Mat. 16:19), that we may understand that he has the power of jurisdiction before the others. But the power of orders, considered in itself, extends to all who can be absolved: wherefore our Lord said indeterminately, "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them," on the understanding that this power should be used in dependence on the power given to Peter, according to His appointment.

Reply to Objection 2: A material key can open only its own lock. nor can any active force act save on its own matter. Now a man becomes the matter of the power of order by jurisdiction: and consequently no one can use the key in respect of another over whom he has not jurisdiction.

Reply to Objection 3: The people of Israel were one people, and had but one temple, so that there was no need for a distinction in priestly jurisdiction, as there is now in the Church which comprises various peoples and nations.


Whether a priest can always absolve his subject?

Objection 1: It would seem that a priest cannot always absolve his subject. For, as Augustine says (De vera et false Poenitentia [*Work of an unknown author]), "no man should exercise the priestly office, unless he be free from those things which he condemns in others." But a priest might happen to share in a sin committed by his subject, e.g. by knowledge of a woman who is his subject. Therefore it seems that he cannot always use the power of the keys on his subjects.

Objection 2: Further, by the power of the keys a man is healed of all his shortcomings. Now it happens sometimes that a sin has attached to it a defect of irregularity or a sentence of excommunication, from which a simple priest cannot absolve. Therefore it seems that he cannot use the power of the keys on such as are shackled by these things in the above manner.

Objection 3: Further, the judgment and power of our priesthood was foreshadowed by the judgment of the ancient priesthood. Now according to the Law, the lesser judges were not competent to decide all cases, and had recourse to the higher judges, according to Ex. 24:14: "If any


QUESTION shall arise" among you, "you shall refer it to them." It seems, therefore, that a priest cannot absolve his subject from graver sins, but should refer him to his superior.

On the contrary, Whoever has charge of the principal has charge of the accessory. Now priests are charged with the dispensation of the Eucharist to their subjects, to which sacrament the absolution of sins is subordinate [*Cf.[4879] Q[17], A[2], ad 1]. Therefore, as far as the power of the keys is concerned, a priest can absolve his subject from any sins whatever. Further, grace, however small, removes all sin. But a priest dispenses sacraments whereby grace is given. Therefore, as far as the power of the keys is concerned, he can absolve from all sins.

I answer that, The power of order, considered in itself, extends to the remission of all sins. But since, as stated above, the use of this power requires jurisdiction which inferiors derive from their superiors, it follows that the superior can reserve certain matters to himself, the judgment of which he does not commit to his inferior; otherwise any simple priest who has jurisdiction can absolve from any sin. Now there are five cases in which a simple priest must refer his penitent to his superior. The first is when a public penance has to be imposed, because in that case the bishop is the proper minister of the sacrament. The second is the case of those who are excommunicated when the inferior priest cannot absolve a penitent through the latter being excommunicated by his superior. The third case is when he finds that an irregularity has been contracted, for the dispensation of which he has to have recourse to his superior. The fourth is the case of arson. The fifth is when it is the custom in a diocese for the more heinous crimes to be reserved to the bishop, in order to inspire fear, because custom in these cases either gives the power or takes it away.

Reply to Objection 1: In this case the priest should not hear the confession of his accomplice, with regard to that particular sin, but must refer her to another: nor should she confess to him but should ask permission to go to another, or should have recourse to his superior if he refused, both on account of the danger, and for the sake of less shame. If, however, he were to absolve her it would be valid*: because when Augustine says that they should not be guilty of the same sin, he is speaking of what is congruous, not of what is essential to the sacrament. [*Benedict XIV declared the absolution of an accomplice "in materia turpi" to be invalid.]

Reply to Objection 2: Penance delivers man from all defects of guilt, but not from all defects of punishment, since even after doing penance for murder, a man remains irregular. Hence a priest can absolve from a crime, but for the remission of the punishment he must refer the penitent to the superior, except in the case of excommunication, absolution from which should precede absolution from sin, for as long as a man is excommunicated, he cannot receive any sacrament of the Church.

Reply to Objection 3: This objection considers those cases in which superiors reserve the power of jurisdiction to themselves.


Whether a man can use the keys with regard to his superior?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man cannot use the keys in respect of a superior. For every sacramental act requires its proper matter. Now the proper matter for the use of the keys, is a person who is subject, as stated above ([4880]Q[19], A[6]). Therefore a priest cannot use the keys in respect of one who is not his subject.

Objection 2: Further, the Church Militant is an image of the Church Triumphant. Now in the heavenly Church an inferior angel never cleanses, enlightens or perfects a higher angel. Therefore neither can an inferior priest exercise on a superior a hierarchical action such as absolution.

Objection 3: Further, the judgment of Penance should be better regulated than the judgment of an external court. Now in the external court an inferior cannot excommunicate or absolve his superior. Therefore, seemingly, neither can he do so in the penitential court.

On the contrary, The higher prelate is also "compassed with infirmity," and may happen to sin. Now the power of the keys is the remedy for sin. Therefore, since he cannot use the key on himself, for he cannot be both judge and accused at the same time, it seems that an inferior can use the power of the keys on him. Further, absolution which is given through the power of the keys, is ordained to the reception of the Eucharist. But an inferior can give Communion to his superior, if the latter asks him to. Therefore he can use the power of the keys on him if he submit to him.

I answer that, The power of the keys, considered in itself, is applicable to all, as stated above [4881](A[2]): and that a priest is unable to use the keys on some particular person is due to his power being limited to certain individuals. Therefore he who limited his power can extend it to whom he wills, so that he can give him power over himself, although he cannot use the power of the keys on himself, because this power requires to be exercised on a subject, and therefore on someone else, for no man can be subject to himself.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the bishop whom a simple priest absolves is his superior absolutely speaking, yet he is beneath him in so far as he submits himself as a sinner to him.

Reply to Objection 2: In the angels there can be no defect by reason of which the higher angel can submit to the lower, such as there can happen to be among men; and so there is no comparison.

Reply to Objection 3: External judgment is according to men, whereas the judgment of confession is according to God, in Whose sight a man is lessened by sinning, which is not the case in human prelacy. Therefore just as in external judgment no man can pass sentence of excommunication on himself, so neither can he empower another to excommunicate him. On the other hand, in the tribunal of conscience he can give another the power to absolve him, though he cannot use that power himself. It may also be replied that absolution in the tribunal of the confessional belongs principally to the power of the keys and consequently to the power of jurisdiction, whereas excommunication regards jurisdiction exclusively. And, as to the power of orders, all are equal, but not as to jurisdiction. Wherefore there is no comparison.


OF THE DEFINITION, CONGRUITY AND CAUSE OF EXCOMMUNICATION (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now treat of excommunication: we shall consider: (1) the definition, congruity and cause of excommunication; (2) who has the power to excommunicate; (3) communication with excommunicated persons;

(4) absolution from excommunication. Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether excommunication is suitably defined?

(2) Whether the Church should excommunicate anyone?

(3) Whether anyone should be excommunicated for inflicting temporal harm?

(4) Whether an excommunication unjustly pronounced has any effect?


Whether excommunication is suitably defined as separation from the communion of the Church, etc?

Objection 1: It would seem that excommunication is unsuitably defined by some thus: "Excommunication is separation from the communion of the Church, as to fruit and general suffrages." For the suffrages of the Church avail for those for whom they are offered. But the Church prays for those who are outside the Church, as, for instance, for heretics and pagans. Therefore she prays also for the excommunicated, since they are outside the Church, and so the suffrages of the Church avail for them.

Objection 2: Further, no one loses the suffrages of the Church except by his own fault. Now excommunication is not a fault, but a punishment. Therefore excommunication does not deprive a man of the general suffrages of the Church.

Objection 3: Further, the fruit of the Church seems to be the same as the Church's suffrages, for it cannot mean the fruit of temporal goods, since excommunication does not deprive a man of these. Therefore there is no reason for mentioning both.

Objection 4: Further, there is a kind of excommunication called minor*, by which man is not deprived of the suffrages of the Church. [*Minor excommunication is no longer recognized by Canon Law.] Therefore this definition is unsuitable.

I answer that, When a man enters the Church by Baptism, he is admitted to two things, viz. the body of the faithful and the participation of the sacraments: and this latter presupposes the former, since the faithful are united together in the participation of the sacraments. Consequently a person may be expelled from the Church in two ways. First, by being deprived merely of the participation of the sacraments, and this is the minor excommunication. Secondly, by being deprived of both, and this is the major excommunication, of which the above is the definition. Nor can there be a third, consisting in the privation of communion with the faithful, but not of the participation of the sacraments, for the reason already given, because, to wit, the faithful communicate together in the sacraments. Now communion with the faithful is twofold. One consists in spiritual things, such as their praying for one another, and meeting together for the reception of sacred things; while another consists in certain legitimate bodily actions. These different manners of communion are signified in the verse which declares that those who are excommunicate are deprived of — "os, orare, vale, communio, mensa." "Os," i.e. we must not give them tokens of goodwill; "orare," i.e. we must not pray with them; "vale," we must not give them marks of respect; "communio," i.e. we must not communicate with them in the sacraments; "mensa," i.e. we must not take meals with them. Accordingly the above definition includes privation of the sacraments in the words "as to the fruit," and from partaking together with the faithful in spiritual things, in the words, "and the general prayers of the Church." Another definition is given which expresses the privation of both kinds of acts, and is as follows: "Excommunication is the privation of all lawful communion with the faithful."

Reply to Objection 1: Prayers are said for unbelievers, but they do not receive the fruit of those prayers unless they be converted to the faith. In like manner prayers may be offered up for those who are excommunicated, but not among the prayers that are said for the members of the Church. Yet they do not receive the fruit so long as they remain under the excommunication, but prayers are said for them that they may receive the spirit of repentance, so that they may be loosed from excommunication.

Reply to Objection 2: One man's prayers profit another in so far as they can reach to him. Now the action of one man may reach to another in two ways. First, by virtue of charity which unites all the faithful, making them one in God, according to Ps. 118:63: "I am a partaker with all them that fear Thee." Now excommunication does not interrupt this union, since no man can be justly excommunicated except for a mortal sin, whereby a man is already separated from charity, even without being excommunicated. An unjust excommunication cannot deprive a man of charity, since this is one of the greatest of all goods, of which a man cannot be deprived against his will. Secondly, through the intention of the one who prays, which intention is directed to the person he prays for, and this union is interrupted by excommunication, because by passing sentence of excommunication, the Church severs a man from the whole body of the faithful, for whom she prays. Hence those prayers of the Church which are offered up for the whole Church, do not profit those who are excommunicated. Nor can prayers be said for them among the members of the Church as speaking in the Church's name, although a private individual may say a prayer with the intention of offering it for their conversion.

Reply to Objection 3: The spiritual fruit of the Church is derived not only from her prayers, but also from the sacraments received and from the faithful dwelling together.

Reply to Objection 4: The minor excommunication does not fulfill all the conditions of excommunication but only a part of them, hence the definition of excommunication need not apply to it in every respect, but only in some.


Whether the Church should excommunicate anyone?

Objection 1: It would seem that the Church ought not to excommunicate anyone, because excommunication is a kind of curse, and we are forbidden to curse (Rom. 12:14). Therefore the Church should not excommunicate.

Objection 2: Further, the Church Militant should imitate the Church Triumphant. Now we read in the epistle of Jude (verse 9) that "when Michael the Archangel disputing with the devil contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee." Therefore the Church Militant ought not to judge any man by cursing or excommunicating him.

Objection 3: Further, no man should be given into the hands of his enemies, unless there be no hope for him. Now by excommunication a man is given into the hands of Satan, as is clear from 1 Cor. 5:5. Since then we should never give up hope about anyone in this life, the Church should not excommunicate anyone.

On the contrary, The Apostle (1 Cor. 5:5) ordered a man to be excommunicated. Further, it is written (Mat. 18:17) about the man who refuses to hear the Church: "Let him be to thee as the heathen or publican." But heathens are outside the Church. Therefore they also who refuse to hear the Church, should be banished from the Church by excommunication.

I answer that, The judgment of the Church should be conformed to the judgment of God. Now God punishes the sinner in many ways, in order to draw him to good, either by chastising him with stripes, or by leaving him to himself so that being deprived of those helps whereby he was kept out of evil, he may acknowledge his weakness, and humbly return to God Whom he had abandoned in his pride. In both these respects the Church by passing sentence of excommunication imitates the judgment of God. For by severing a man from the communion of the faithful that he may blush with shame, she imitates the judgment whereby God chastises man with stripes; and by depriving him of prayers and other spiritual things, she imitates the judgment of God in leaving man to himself, in order that by humility he may learn to know himself and return to God.

Reply to Objection 1: A curse may be pronounced in two ways: first, so that the intention of the one who curses is fixed on the evil which he invokes or pronounces, and cursing in this sense is altogether forbidden. Secondly, so that the evil which a man invokes in cursing is intended for the good of the one who is cursed, and thus cursing is sometimes lawful and salutary: thus a physician makes a sick man undergo pain, by cutting him, for instance, in order to deliver him from his sickness.

Reply to Objection 2: The devil cannot be brought to repentance, wherefore the pain of excommunication cannot do him any good.

Reply to Objection 3: From the very fact that a man is deprived of the prayers of the Church, he incurs a triple loss, corresponding to the three things which a man acquires through the Church's prayers. For they bring an increase of grace to those who have it, or merit grace for those who have it not; and in this respect the Master of the Sentences says (Sent. iv, D, 18): "The grace of God is taken away by excommunication." They also prove a safeguard of virtue; and in this respect he says that "protection is taken away," not that the excommunicated person is withdrawn altogether from God's providence, but that he is excluded from that protection with which He watches over the children of the Church in a more special way. Moreover, they are useful as a defense against the enemy, and in this respect he says that "the devil receives greater power of assaulting the excommunicated person, both spiritually and corporally." Hence in the early Church, when men had to be enticed to the faith by means of outward signs (thus the gift of the Holy Ghost was shown openly by a visible sign), so too excommunication was evidenced by a person being troubled in his body by the devil. Nor is it unreasonable that one, for whom there is still hope, be given over to the enemy, for he is surrendered, not unto damnation, but unto correction, since the Church has the power to rescue him from the hands of the enemy, whenever he is willing.


Whether anyone should be excommunicated for inflicting temporal harm?

Objection 1: It would seem that no man should be excommunicated for inflicting a temporal harm. For the punishment should not exceed the fault. But the punishment of excommunication is the privation of a spiritual good, which surpasses all temporal goods. Therefore no man should be excommunicated for temporal injuries.

Objection 2: Further, we should render to no man evil for evil, according to the precept of the Apostle (Rom. 12:17). But this would be rendering evil for evil, if a man were to be excommunicated for doing such an injury. Therefore this ought by no means to be done.

On the contrary, Peter sentenced Ananias and Saphira to death for keeping back the price of their piece of land (Acts 5:1-10). Therefore it is lawful for the Church to excommunicate for temporal injuries.

I answer that, By excommunication the ecclesiastical judge excludes a man, in a sense, from the kingdom. Wherefore, since he ought not to exclude from the kingdom others than the unworthy, as was made clear from the definition of the keys ([4882]Q[17], A[2]), and since no one becomes unworthy, unless, through committing a mortal sin, he lose charity which is the way leading to the kingdom, it follows that no man should be excommunicated except for a mortal sin. And since by injuring a man in his body or in his temporalities, one may sin mortally and act against charity, the Church can excommunicate a man for having inflicted temporal injury on anyone. Yet, as excommunication is the most severe punishment, and since punishments are intended as remedies, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii), and again since a prudent physician begins with lighter and less risky remedies, therefore excommunication should not be inflicted, even for a mortal sin, unless the sinner be obstinate, either by not coming up for judgment, or by going away before judgment is pronounced, or by failing to obey the decision of the court. For then, if, after due warning, he refuse to obey, he is reckoned to be obstinate, and the judge, not being able to proceed otherwise against him, must excommunicate him.

Reply to Objection 1: A fault is not measured by the extent of the damage a man does, but by the will with which he does it, acting against charity. Wherefore, though the punishment of excommunication exceeds the harm done, it does not exceed the measure of the sin.

Reply to Objection 2: When a man is corrected by being punished, evil is not rendered to him, but good: since punishments are remedies, as stated above.


Whether an excommunication unjustly pronounced has any effect?

Objection 1: It would seem that an excommunication which is pronounced unjustly has no effect at all. Because excommunication deprives a man of the protection and grace of God, which cannot be forfeited unjustly. Therefore excommunication has no effect if it be unjustly pronounced.

Objection 2: Further, Jerome says (on Mat. 16:19: "I will give to thee the keys"): "It is a pharisaical severity to reckon as really bound or loosed, that which is bound or loosed unjustly." But that severity was proud and erroneous. Therefore an unjust excommunication has no effect.

On the contrary, According to Gregory (Hom. xxvi in Evang.), "the sentence of the pastor is to be feared whether it be just or unjust." Now there would be no reason to fear an unjust excommunication if it did not hurt. Therefore, etc.

I answer that, An excommunication may be unjust for two reasons. First, on the part of its author, as when anyone excommunicates through hatred or anger, and then, nevertheless, the excommunication takes effect, though its author sins, because the one who is excommunicated suffers justly, even if the author act wrongly in excommunicating him. Secondly, on the part of the excommunication, through there being no proper cause, or through the sentence being passed without the forms of law being observed. In this case, if the error, on the part of the sentence, be such as to render the sentence void, this has no effect, for there is no excommunication; but if the error does not annul the sentence, this takes effect, and the person excommunicated should humbly submit (which will be credited to him as a merit), and either seek absolution from the person who has excommunicated him, or appeal to a higher judge. If, however, he were to contemn the sentence, he would "ipso facto" sin mortally. But sometimes it happens that there is sufficient cause on the part of the excommunicator, but not on the part of the excommunicated, as when a man is excommunicated for a crime which he has not committed, but which has been proved against him: in this case, if he submit humbly, the merit of his humility will compensate him for the harm of excommunication.

Reply to Objection 1: Although a man cannot lose God's grace unjustly, yet he can unjustly lose those things which on our part dispose us to receive grace. for instance, a man may be deprived of the instruction which he ought to have. It is in this sense that excommunication is said to deprive a man of God's grace, as was explained above (A[2], ad 3).

Reply to Objection 2: Jerome is speaking of sin not of its punishments, which can be inflicted unjustly by ecclesiastical superiors.


OF THOSE WHO CAN EXCOMMUNICATE OR BE EXCOMMUNICATED (SIX ARTICLES)

We must now consider those who can excommunicate or be excommunicated. Under this head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether every priest can excommunicate?

(2) Whether one who is not a priest can excommunicate?

(3) Whether one who is excommunicated or suspended, can excommunicate?

(4) Whether anyone can excommunicate himself, or an equal, or a superior?

(5) Whether a multitude can be excommunicated?

(6) Whether one who is already excommunicated can be excommunicated again?


Whether every priest can excommunicate?

Objection 1: It would seem that every priest can excommunicate. For excommunication is an act of the keys. But every priest has the keys. Therefore every priest can excommunicate.

Objection 2: Further, it is a greater thing to loose and bind in the tribunal of penance than in the tribunal of judgment. But every priest can loose and bind his subjects in the tribunal of Penance. Therefore every priest can excommunicate his subjects.

On the contrary, Matters fraught with danger should be left to the decision of superiors. Now the punishment of excommunication is fraught with many dangers, unless it be inflicted with moderation. Therefore it should not be entrusted to every priest.

I answer that, In the tribunal of conscience the plea is between man and God, whereas in the outward tribunal it is between man and man. Wherefore the loosing or binding of one man in relation to God alone, belongs to the tribunal of Penance, whereas the binding or loosing of a man in relation to other men, belongs to the public tribunal of external judgment. And since excommunication severs a man from the communion of the faithful, it belongs to the external tribunal. Consequently those alone can excommunicate who have jurisdiction in the judicial tribunal. Hence, of their own authority, only bishops and higher prelates, according to the more common opinion can excommunicate, whereas parish priests can do so only by commission or in certain cases, as those of theft, rapine and the like, in which the law allows them to excommunicate. Others, however, have maintained that even parish priests can excommunicate: but the former opinion is more reasonable.

Reply to Objection 1: Excommunication is an act of the keys not directly, but with respect to the external judgment. The sentence of excommunication, however, though it is promulgated by an external verdict, still, as it belongs somewhat to the entrance to the kingdom, in so far as the Church Militant is the way to the Church Triumphant, this jurisdiction whereby a man is competent to excommunicate, can be called a key. It is in this sense that some distinguish between the key of orders, which all priests have, and the key of jurisdiction in the tribunal of judgment, which none have but the judges of the external tribunal. Nevertheless God bestowed both on Peter (Mat. 16:19), from whom they are derived by others, whichever of them they have.

Reply to Objection 2: Parish priests have jurisdiction indeed over their subjects, in the tribunal of conscience, but not in the judicial tribunal, for they cannot summons them in contentious cases. Hence they cannot excommunicate, but they can absolve them in the tribunal of Penance. And though the tribunal of Penance is higher, yet more solemnity is requisite in the judicial tribunal, because therein it is necessary to make satisfaction not only to God but also to man.


Whether those who are not priests can excommunicate?

Objection 1: It would seem that those who are not priests cannot excommunicate. Because excommunication is an act of the keys, as stated in Sent. iv, D, 18. But those who are not priests have not the keys. Therefore they cannot excommunicate.

Objection 2: Further, more is required for excommunication than for absolution in the tribunal of Penance. But one who is not a priest cannot absolve in the tribunal of Penance. Neither therefore can he excommunicate.

On the contrary, Archdeacons, legates and bishops-elect excommunicate, and yet sometimes they are not priests. Therefore not only priests can excommunicate.

I answer that, Priests alone are competent to dispense the sacraments wherein grace is given: wherefore they alone can loose and bind in the tribunal of Penance. On the other hand excommunication regards grace, not directly but consequently, in so far as it deprives a man of the Church's prayers, by which he is disposed for grace or preserved therein. Consequently even those who are not priests, provided they have jurisdiction in a contentious court, can excommunicate.

Reply to Objection 1: Though they have not the key of orders, they have the key of jurisdiction.

Reply to Objection 2: These two are related to one another as something exceeding and something exceeded [*Cf. A[1], a[2];[4883] Q[24], A[1], ad 1], and consequently one of them may be within the competency of someone while the other is not.


Whether a man who is excommunicated or suspended can excommunicate another?

Objection 1: It would seem that one who is excommunicated or suspended can excommunicate another. For such a one has lost neither orders nor jurisdiction, since neither is he ordained anew when he is absolved, nor is his jurisdiction renewed. But excommunication requires nothing more than orders or jurisdiction. Therefore even one who is excommunicated or suspended can excommunicate.

Objection 2: Further. it is a greater thing to consecrate the body of Christ than to excommunicate. But such persons can consecrate. Therefore they can excommunicate.

On the contrary, one whose body is bound cannot bind another. But spiritual gyves are stronger than bodily fetters. Therefore one who is excommunicated cannot excommunicate another, since excommunication is a spiritual chain.

I answer that, Jurisdiction can only be used in relation to another man. Consequently, since every excommunicated person is severed from the communion of the faithful, he is deprived of the use of jurisdiction. And as excommunication requires jurisdiction, an excommunicated person cannot excommunicate, and the same reason applies to one who is suspended from jurisdiction. For if he be suspended from orders only, then he cannot exercise his order, but he can use his jurisdiction, while, on the other hand, if he be suspended from jurisdiction and not from orders. he cannot use his jurisdiction, though he can exercise his order: and if he be suspended from both, he can exercise neither.

Reply to Objection 1: Although an excommunicated or suspended person does not lose his jurisdiction, yet he does lose its use.

Reply to Objection 2: The power of consecration results from the power of the character which is indelible, wherefore, from the very fact that a man has the character of order, he can always consecrate, though not always lawfully. It is different with the power of excommunication which results from jurisdiction, for this can be taken away and bound.


Whether a man can excommunicate himself, his equal, or his superior?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man can excommunicate himself, his equal, or his superior. For an angel of God was greater than Paul, according to Mat. 11:11: "He that is lesser in the kingdom of heaven is greater then he, a greater" than whom "hath not risen among men that are born of women." Now Paul excommunicated an angel from heaven (Gal. 1:8). Therefore a man can excommunicate his superior.

Objection 2: Further, sometimes a priest pronounces a general excommunication for theft or the like. But it might happen that he, or his equal, or a superior has done such things. Therefore a man can excommunicate himself, his equal, or a superior.

Objection 3: Further, a man can absolve his superior or his equal in the tribunal of Penance, as when a bishop confesses to his subject, or one priest confesses venial sins to another. Therefore it seems that a man may also excommunicate his superior, or his equal.

On the contrary, Excommunication is an act of jurisdiction. But no man has jurisdiction over himself (since one cannot be both judge and defendant in the same trial), or over his superior, or over an equal. Therefore a man cannot excommunicate his superior, or his equal, or himself.

I answer that, Since, by jurisdiction, a man is placed above those over whom he has jurisdiction, through being their judge, it follows that no man has jurisdiction over himself, his superior, or his equal, and that, consequently, no one can excommunicate either himself, or his superior, or his equal.

Reply to Objection 1: The Apostle is speaking hypothetically, i.e. supposing an angel were to sin, for in that case he would not be higher than the Apostle, but lower. Nor is it absurd that, if the antecedent of a conditional sentence be impossible, the consequence be impossible also.

Reply to Objection 2: In that case no one would be excommunicated, since no man has power over his peer.

Reply to Objection 3: Loosing and binding in the tribunal of confession affects our relation to God only, in Whose sight a man from being above another sinks below him through sin; while on the other hand excommunication is the affair of an external tribunal in which a man does not forfeit his superiority on account of sin. Hence there is no comparison between the two tribunals. Nevertheless, even in the tribunal of confession, a man cannot absolve himself, or his superior, or his equal, unless the power to do so be committed to him. This does not apply to venial sins, because they can be remitted through any sacraments which confer grace, hence remission of venial sins follows the power of orders.


Whether a sentence of excommunication can be passed on a body of men?

Objection 1: It would seem that sentence of excommunication can be passed on a body of men. Because it is possible for a number of people to be united together in wickedness. Now when a man is obstinate in his wickedness he should be excommunicated. Therefore a body of men can be excommunicated.

Objection 2: Further, the most grievous effect of an excommunication is privation of the sacraments of the Church. But sometimes a whole country is laid under an interdict. Therefore a body of people can be excommunicated.

On the contrary, A gloss of Augustine [*Cf. Ep. ccl] on Mat. 12 asserts that the sovereign and a body of people cannot be excommunicated.

I answer that, No man should be excommunicated except for a mortal sin. Now sin consists in an act: and acts do not belong to communities, but, generally speaking, to individuals. Wherefore individual members of a community can be excommunicated, but not the community itself. And although sometimes an act belongs to a whole multitude, as when many draw a boat, which none of them could draw by himself, yet it is not probable that a community would so wholly consent to evil that there would be no dissentients. Now God, Who judges all the earth, does not condemn the just with the wicked (Gn. 18:25). Therefore the Church, who should imitate the judgments of God, prudently decided that a community should not be excommunicated, lest the wheat be uprooted together with the tares and cockle. The Reply to the First Objection is evident from what has been said.

Reply to Objection 2: Suspension is not so great a punishment as excommunication, since those who are suspended are not deprived of the prayers of the Church, as the excommunicated are. Wherefore a man can be suspended without having committed a sin himself, just as a whole kingdom is laid under an interdict on account of the king's crime. Hence there is no comparison between excommunication and suspension.


Whether a man can be excommunicated who is already under sentence of excommunication?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man who is already under sentence of excommunication cannot be excommunicated any further. For the Apostle says (1 Cor. 5:12): "What have I to do to judge them that are without?" Now those who are excommunicated are already outside the Church. Therefore the Church cannot exercise any further judgment on them, so as to excommunicate them again.

Objection 2: Further, excommunication is privation of divine things and of the communion of the faithful. But when a man has been deprived of a thing, he cannot be deprived of it again. Therefore one who is excommunicated cannot be excommunicated again

On the contrary, Excommunication is a punishment and a healing medicine. Now punishments and medicines are repeated when necessary. Therefore excommunication can be repeated.

I answer that, A man who is under sentence of one excommunication, can be excommunicated again, either by a repetition of the same excommunication, for his greater confusion, so that he may renounce sin, or for some other cause. And then there are as many principal excommunications, as there are causes for his being excommunicated.

Reply to Objection 1: The Apostle is speaking of heathens and of other unbelievers who have no (sacramental) character, whereby they are numbered among the people of God. But since the baptismal character whereby a man is numbered among God's people, is indelible, one who is baptized always belongs to the Church in some way, so that the Church is always competent to sit in judgment on him.

Reply to Objection 2: Although privation does not receive more or less in itself, yet it can, as regards its cause. In this way an excommunication can be repeated, and a man who has been excommunicated several times is further from the Church's prayers than one who has been excommunicated only once.


OF COMMUNICATION WITH EXCOMMUNICATED PERSONS (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider communication with those who are excommunicated. Under this head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether it is lawful to communicate in matters purely corporal with one who is excommunicated?

(2) Whether one who communicates with an excommunicated person is excommunicated?

(3) Whether it is always a mortal sin to communicate with an excommunicated person in matters not permitted by law?


Whether it is lawful, in matters purely corporal, to communicate with an excommunicated person?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is lawful, in matters purely corporal, to communicate with an excommunicated person. For excommunication is an act of the keys. But the power of the keys extends only to spiritual matters. Therefore excommunication does not prevent one from communicating with another in matters corporal.

Objection 2: Further, "What is instituted for the sake of charity, does not militate against charity" (Cf.[4884] Q[11], A[1], OBJ[1]). But we are bound by the precept of charity to succor our enemies, which is impossible without some sort of communication. Therefore it is lawful to communicate with an excommunicated person in corporal matters.

On the contrary, It is written (1 Cor. 5:11): "With such an one not so much as to eat."

I answer that, Excommunication is twofold: there is minor excommunication, which deprives a man merely of a share in the sacraments, but not of the communion of the faithful. Wherefore it is lawful to communicate with a person lying under an excommunication of this kind, but not to give him the sacraments. The other is major excommunication which deprives a man of the sacraments of the Church and of the communion of the faithful. Wherefore it is not lawful to communicate with one who lies under such an excommunication. But, since the Church resorts to excommunication to repair and not to destroy, exception is made from this general law, in certain matters wherein communication is lawful, viz. in those which concern salvation, for one is allowed to speak of such matters with an excommunicated person; and one may even speak of other matters so as to put him at his ease and to make the words of salvation more acceptable. Moreover exception is made in favor of certain people whose business it is to be in attendance on the excommunicated person, viz. his wife, child, slave, vassal or subordinate. This, however, is to be understood of children who have not attained their majority, else they are forbidden to communicate with their father: and as to the others, the exception applies to them if they have entered his service before his excommunication, but not if they did so afterwards. Some understand this exception to apply in the opposite way, viz. that the master can communicate with his subjects: while others hold the contrary. At any rate it is lawful for them to communicate with others in matters wherein they are under an obligation to them, for just as subjects are bound to serve their master, so is the master bound to look after his subjects. Again certain cases are excepted; as when the fact of the excommunication is unknown, or in the case of strangers or travelers in the country of those who are excommunicated, for they are allowed to buy from them, or to receive alms from them. Likewise if anyone were to see an excommunicated person in distress: for then he would be bound by the precept of charity to assist him. These are all contained in the following line: "Utility, law, lowliness, ignorance of fact, necessity," where "utility" refers to salutary words, "law" to marriage, "lowliness" to subjection. The others need no explanation.

Reply to Objection 1: Corporal matters are subordinate to spiritual matters. Wherefore the power which extends to spiritual things, can also extend to matters touching the body: even as the art which considers the end commands in matters ordained to the end.

Reply to Objection 2: In a case where one is bound by the precept of charity to hold communication, the prohibition ceases, as is clear from what has been said.


Whether a person incurs excommunication for communicating with one who is excommunicated?

Objection 1: It would seem that a person does not incur excommunication for communicating with one who is excommunicated. For a heathen or a Jew is more separated from the Church than a person who is excommunicated. But one does not incur excommunication for communicating with a heathen or a Jew. Neither, therefore, does one for communicating with an excommunicated Christian.

Objection 2: Further, if a man incurs excommunication for communicating with an excommunicated person, for the same reason a third would incur excommunication for communicating with him, and thus one might go on indefinitely, which would seem absurd. Therefore one does not incur excommunication for communicating with one who is excommunicated.

On the contrary, An excommunicated person is banished from communion. Therefore whoever communicates with him leaves the communion of the Church: and hence he seems to be excommunicated.

I answer that, A person may incur excommunication in two ways. First, so that the excommunication includes both himself and whosoever communicates with him: and then, without any doubt, whoever communicates with him, incurs a major excommunication. Secondly, so that the excommunication is simply pronounced on him; and then a man may communicate with him either in his crime, by counsel, help or favor, in which case again he incurs the major excommunication, or he may communicate with him in other things by speaking to him, greeting him, or eating with him, in which case he incurs the minor excommunication.

Reply to Objection 1: The Church has no intention of correcting unbelievers as well as the faithful who are under her care: hence she does not sever those, whom she excommunicates, from the fellowship of unbelievers, as she does from the communion of the faithful over whom she exercises a certain power.

Reply to Objection 2: It is lawful to hold communion with one who has incurred a minor excommunication, so that excommunication does not pass on to a third person.


Whether it is always a mortal sin to communicate with an excommunicated person in other cases than those in which it is allowed?

Objection 1: It would seem that it is always a mortal sin to hold communion with an excommunicated person in other cases than those in which it is allowed. Because a certain decretal (Cap. Sacris: De his quae vi, metuve, etc.) declares that "not even through fear of death should anyone hold communion with an excommunicated person, since one ought to die rather than commit a mortal sin." But this would be no reason unless it were always a mortal sin to hold communion with an excommunicated person. Therefore, etc.

Objection 2: Further, it is a mortal sin to act against a commandment of the Church. But the Church forbids anyone to hold communion with an excommunicated person. Therefore it is a mortal sin to hold communion with one who is excommunicated.

Objection 3: Further, no man is debarred from receiving the Eucharist on account of a venial sin. But a man who holds communion with an excommunicated person, outside those cases in which it is allowed, is debarred from receiving the Eucharist, since he incurs a minor excommunication. Therefore it is a mortal sin to hold communion with an excommunicated person, save in those cases in which it is allowed.

Objection 4: Further, no one should incur a major excommunication save for a mortal sin. Now according to the law (Can. Praecipue, seqq., caus. xi) a man may incur a major excommunication for holding communion with an excommunicated person. Therefore it is a mortal sin to hold communion with one who is excommunicated.

On the contrary, None can absolve a man from mortal sin unless he have jurisdiction over him. But any priest can absolve a man for holding communion with those who are excommunicated. Therefore it is not a mortal sin. Further, the measure of the penalty should be according to the measure of the sin, as stated in Dt. 25:3. Now the punishment appointed by common custom for holding communion with an excommunicated person is not that which is inflicted for mortal sin, but rather that which is due for venial sin. Therefore it is not a mortal sin.

I answer that, Some hold that it is always a mortal sin to hold communion with an excommunicated person, by word or in any of the forbidden ways mentioned above [4885](A[2]), except in those cases allowed by law (Cap. Quoniam). But since it seems very hard that a man should be guilty of a mortal sin by uttering just a slight word to an excommunicated person, and that by excommunicating a person one would endanger the salvation of many, and lay a snare which might turn to one's own hurt, it seems to others more probable that he is not always guilty of a mortal sin, but only when he holds communion with him in a criminal deed, or in an act of Divine worship, or through contempt of the Church.

Reply to Objection 1: This decretal is speaking of holding communion in Divine worship. It may also be replied that the same reason applies both to mortal and venial sin, since just as one cannot do well by committing a mortal sin, so neither can one by committing a venial sin: so that just as it is a man's duty to suffer death rather than commit a mortal sin, so is it his duty to do so sooner than commit a venial sin, inasmuch as it is his duty to avoid venial sin.

Reply to Objection 2: The commandment of the Church regards spiritual matters directly, and legitimate actions as a consequence: hence by holding communion in Divine worship one acts against the commandment, and commits a mortal sin; but by holding communion in other matters, one acts beside the commandment, and sins venially.

Reply to Objection 3: Sometimes a man is debarred from the Eucharist even without his own fault, as in the case of those who are suspended or under an interdict, because these penalties are sometimes inflicted on one person for the sin of another who is thus punished.

Reply to Objection 4: Although it is a venial sin to hold communion with one who is excommunicated, yet to do so obstinately is a mortal sin: and for this reason one may be excommunicated according to the law.


OF ABSOLUTION FROM EXCOMMUNICATION (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider absolution from excommunication: under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether any priest can absolve his subject from excommunication?

(2) Whether a man can be absolved from excommunication against his will?

(3) Whether a man can be absolved from one excommunication without being absolved from another?


Whether any priest can absolve his subject from excommunication?

Objection 1: It would seem that any priest can absolve his subject from excommunication. For the chains of sin are stronger than those of excommunication. But any priest can absolve his subject from sin. Therefore much more can he absolve him from excommunication.

Objection 2: Further, if the cause is removed the effect is removed. But the cause of excommunication is a mortal sin. Therefore since any priest can absolve (his subject) from that mortal sin, he is able likewise to absolve him from the excommunication.

On the contrary, It belongs to the same power to excommunicate as to absolve from excommunication. But priests of inferior degree cannot excommunicate their subjects. Neither, therefore, can they absolve them.

I answer that, Anyone can absolve from minor excommunication who can absolve from the sin of participation in the sin of another. But in the case of a major excommunication, this is pronounced either by a judge, and then he who pronounced sentence or his superior can absolve — or it is pronounced by law, and then the bishop or even a priest can absolve except in the six cases which the Pope, who is the maker of laws, reserves to himself: the first is the case of a man who lays hands on a cleric or a religious; the second is of one who breaks into a church and is denounced for so doing; the third is of the man who sets fire to a church and is denounced for the deed; the fourth is of one who knowingly communicates in the Divine worship with those whom the Pope has excommunicated by name; the fifth is the case of one who tampers with the letters of the Holy See; the sixth is the case of one who communicates in a crime of one who is excommunicated. For he should not be absolved except by the person who excommunicated him, even though he be not subject to him, unless, by reason of the difficulty of appearing before him, he be absolved by the bishop or by his own priest, after binding himself by oath to submit to the command of the judge who pronounced the excommunication on him. There are however eight exceptions to the first case: (1) In the hour of death, when a person can be absolved by any priest from any excommunication; (2) if the striker be the doorkeeper of a man in authority, and the blow be given neither through hatred nor of set purpose; (3) if the striker be a woman; (4) if the striker be a servant, whose master is not at fault and would suffer from his absence; (5) if a religious strike a religious, unless he strike him very grievously; (6) if the striker be a poor man; (7) if he be a minor, an old man, or an invalid; (8) if there be a deadly feud between them. There are, besides, seven cases in which the person who strikes a cleric does not incur excommunication: (1) if he do it for the sake of discipline, as a teacher or a superior; (2) if it be done for fun; (3) if the striker find the cleric behaving with impropriety towards his wife his mother, his sister or his daughter; (4) if he return blow for blow at once; (5) if the striker be not aware that he is striking a cleric; (6) if the latter be guilty of apostasy after the triple admonition; (7) if the cleric exercise an act which is altogether contrary to the clerical life, e.g. if he become a soldier, or if he be guilty of bigamy [*Namely, that which is known by canonists as "similar bigamy"].

Reply to Objection 1: Although the chains of sin are in themselves greater than those of excommunication, yet in a certain respect the chains of excommunication are greater, inasmuch as they bind a man not only in the sight of God, but also in the eye of the Church. Hence absolution from excommunication requires jurisdiction in the external forum, whereas absolution from sin does not. Nor is there need of giving one's word by oath, as in the case of absolution from excommunication, because, as the Apostle declares (Heb. 6:16), controversies between men are decided by oath.

Reply to Objection 2: As an excommunicated person has no share in the sacraments of the Church, a priest cannot absolve him from his guilt, unless he be first absolved from excommunication.


Whether anyone can be absolved against his will?

Objection 1: It would seem that no man can be absolved against his will. For spiritual things are not conferred on anyone against his will. Now absolution from excommunication is a spiritual favor. Therefore it cannot be granted to a man against his will.

Objection 2: Further, the cause of excommunication is contumacy. But when, through contempt of the excommunication, a man is unwilling to be absolved, he shows a high degree of contumacy. Therefore he cannot be absolved.

On the contrary, Excommunication can be pronounced on a man against his will. Now things that happen to a man against his will, can be removed from him against his will, as in the case of the goods of fortune. Therefore excommunication can be removed from a man against his will.

I answer that, Evil of fault and evil of punishment differ in this, that the origin of fault is within us, since all sin is voluntary, whereas the origin of punishment is sometimes without, since punishment does not need to be voluntary, in fact the nature of punishment is rather to be against the will. Wherefore, just as a man commits no sin except willingly, so no sin is forgiven him against his will. On the other hand just as a person can be excommunicated against his will, so can he be absolved therefrom.

Reply to Objection 1: The assertion is true of those spiritual goods which depend on our will, such as the virtues, which we cannot lose unwillingly; for knowledge, although a spiritual good, can be lost by a man against his will through sickness. Hence the argument is not to the point.

Reply to Objection 2: It is possible for excommunication to be removed from a man even though he be contumacious, if it seem to be for the good of the man for whom the excommunication was intended as a medicine.


Whether a man can be absolved from one excommunication without being absolved from all?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man cannot be absolved from one excommunication without being absolved from all. For an effect should be proportionate to its cause. Now the cause of excommunication is a sin. Since then a man cannot be absolved from one sin without being absolved from all, neither can this happen as regards excommunication.

Objection 2: Further, absolution from excommunication is pronounced in the Church. But a man who is under the ban of one excommunication is outside the Church. Therefore so long as one remains, a man cannot be loosed from another.

On the contrary, Excommunication is a punishment. Now a man can be loosed from one punishment, while another remains. Therefore a man can be loosed from one excommunication and yet remain under another.

I answer that, Excommunications are not connected together in any way, and so it is possible for a man to be absolved from one, and yet remain under another. It must be observed however that sometimes a man lies under several excommunications pronounced by one judge; and then, when he is absolved from one, he is understood to be absolved from all, unless the contrary be expressed, or unless he ask to be absolved from excommunication on one count only, whereas he was excommunicated under several. On the other hand sometimes a man lies under several sentences of excommunication pronounced by several judges; and then, when absolved from one excommunication, he is not therefore absolved from the others, unless at his prayer they all confirm his absolution, or unless they all depute one to absolve him.

Reply to Objection 1: All sins are connected together in aversion from God, which is incompatible with the forgiveness of sin: wherefore one sin cannot be forgiven without another. But excommunications have no such connection. Nor again is absolution from excommunication hindered by contrariety of the will, as stated above [4886](A[2]). Hence the argument does not prove.

Reply to Objection 2: Just as such a man was for several reasons outside the Church so is it possible for his separation to be removed on one count and to remain on another.


OF INDULGENCES (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider indulgence: (1) in itself; (2) those who grant indulgence; (3) those who receive it. Under the first head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether an indulgence remits any part of the punishment due for the satisfaction of sins?

(2) Whether indulgences are as effective as they claim to be?

(3) Whether an indulgence should be granted for temporal assistance?


Whether an indulgence can remit any part of the punishment due for the satisfaction of sins?

Objection 1: It would seem that an indulgence cannot remit any part of the punishment due for the satisfaction of sins. Because a gloss on 2 Tim. 2:13, "He cannot deny Himself," says: "He would do this if He did not keep His word." Now He said (Dt. 25:2): "According to the measure of the sin shall the measure also of the stripes be." Therefore nothing can be remitted from the satisfactory punishment which is appointed according to the measure of sin.

Objection 2: Further, an inferior cannot absolve from an obligation imposed by his superior. But when God absolves us from sin He binds us to temporal punishment, as Hugh of St. Victor declares (Tract. vi Sum. Sent. [*Of doubtful authenticity]). Therefore no man can absolve from that punishment, by remitting any part of it.

Objection 3: Further, the granting of the sacramental effect without the sacraments belongs to the power of excellence. Now none but Christ has the power of excellence in the sacraments. Since then satisfaction is a part of the sacrament of Penance, conducing to the remission of the punishment due, it seems that no mere man can remit the debt of punishment without satisfaction.

Objection 4: Further, the power of the ministers of the Church was given them, not "unto destruction," but "unto edification" (2 Cor. 10:8). But it would be conducive to destruction, if satisfaction, which was intended for our good, inasmuch as it serves for a remedy, were done away with. Therefore the power of the ministers of the Church does not extend to this.

On the contrary, It is written (2 Cor. 2:10): "For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned anything, for your sakes have I done it in the person of Christ," and a gloss adds: i.e. "as though Christ Himself had pardoned." But Christ could remit the punishment of a sin without any satisfaction, as evidenced in the case of the adulterous woman (Jn. 8). Therefore Paul could do so likewise. Therefore the Pope can too, since his power in the Church is not less than Paul's. Further, the universal Church cannot err; since He Who "was heard for His reverence" (Heb. 5:7) said to Peter, on whose profession of faith the Church was founded (Lk. 22:32): "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not." Now the universal Church approves and grants indulgences. Therefore indulgences have some value.

I answer that, All admit that indulgences have some value, for it would be blasphemy to say that the Church does anything in vain. But some say that they do not avail to free a man from the debt of punishment which he has deserved in Purgatory according to God's judgment, and that they merely serve to free him from the obligation imposed on him by the priest as a punishment for his sins, or from the canonical penalties he has incurred. But this opinion does not seem to be true. First, because it is expressly opposed to the privilege granted to Peter, to whom it was said (Mat. 16:19) that whatsoever he should loose on earth should be loosed also in heaven. Wherefore whatever remission is granted in the court of the Church holds good in the court of God. Moreover the Church by granting such indulgences would do more harm than good, since, by remitting the punishment she had enjoined on a man, she would deliver him to be punished more severely in Purgatory. Hence we must say on the contrary that indulgences hold good both in the Church's court and in the judgment of God, for the remission of the punishment which remains after contrition, absolution, and confession,

Whether this punishment be enjoined or not. The reason why they so avail is the oneness of the mystical body in which many have performed works of satisfaction exceeding the requirements of their debts; in which, too, many have patiently borne unjust tribulations whereby a multitude of punishments would have been paid, had they been incurred. So great is the quantity of such merits that it exceeds the entire debt of punishment due to those who are living at this moment: and this is especially due to the merits of Christ: for though He acts through the sacraments, yet His efficacy is nowise restricted to them, but infinitely surpasses their efficacy. Now one man can satisfy for another, as we have explained above

([4887]Q[13], A[2]). And the saints in whom this super-abundance of satisfactions is found, did not perform their good works for this or that particular person, who needs the remission of his punishment (else he would have received this remission without any indulgence at all), but they performed them for the whole Church in general, even as the Apostle declares that he fills up "those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ . . . for His body, which is the Church" to whom he wrote (Col. 1:24). These merits, then, are the common property of the whole Church. Now those things which are the common property of a number are distributed to the various individuals according to the judgment of him who rules them all. Hence, just as one man would obtain the remission of his punishment if another were to satisfy for him, so would he too if another's satisfactions be applied to him by one who has the power to do so.

Reply to Objection 1: The remission which is granted by means of indulgences does not destroy the proportion between punishment and sin, since someone has spontaneously taken upon himself the punishment due for another's guilt, as explained above.

Reply to Objection 2: He who gains an indulgence is not, strictly speaking, absolved from the debt of punishment, but is given the means whereby he may pay it.

Reply to Objection 3: The effect of sacramental absolution is the removal of a man's guilt, an effect which is not produced by indulgences. But he who grants indulgences pays the debt of punishment which a man owes, out of the common stock of the Church's goods, as explained above.

Reply to Objection 4: Grace affords a better remedy for the avoidance of sin than does habituation to (good) works. And since he who gains an indulgence is disposed to grace through the love which he conceives for the cause for which the indulgence is granted, it follows that indulgences provide a remedy against sin. Consequently it is not harmful to grant indulgences unless this be done without discretion. Nevertheless those who gain indulgences should be advised, not, on this account, to omit the penitential works imposed on them, so that they may derive a remedy from these also, even though they may be quit of the debt of punishment; and all the more, seeing that they are often more in debt than they think.


Whether indulgences are as effective as they claim to be?

Objection 1: It would seem that indulgences are not as effective as they claim to be. For indulgences have no effect save from the power of the keys. Now by the power of the keys, he who has that power can only remit some fixed part of the punishment due for sin, after taking into account the measure of the sin and of the penitent's sorrow. Since then indulgences depend on the mere will of the grantor, it seems that they are not as effective as they claim to be.

Objection 2: Further, the debt of punishment keeps man back from the attainment of glory, which he ought to desire above all things. Now, if indulgences are as effective as they claim to be, a man by setting himself to gain indulgences might become immune from all debt of temporal punishment. Therefore it would seem that a man ought to put aside all other kinds of works, and devote himself to gain indulgences.

Objection 3: Further, sometimes an indulgence whereby a man is remitted a third part of the punishment due for his sins is granted if he contribute towards the erection of a certain building. If, therefore, indulgences produce the effect which is claimed for them, he who gives a penny, and then another, and then again another, would obtain a plenary absolution from all punishment due for his sins, which seems absurd.

Objection 4: Further, sometimes an indulgence is granted, so that for visiting a church a man obtains a seven years' remission. If, then, an indulgence avails as much as is claimed for it a man who lives near that church, or the clergy attached thereto who go there every day, obtain as much indulgence as one who comes from a distance (which would appear unjust); moreover, seemingly, they would gain the indulgence several times a day, since they go there repeatedly.

Objection 5: Further, to remit a man's punishment beyond a just estimate seems to amount to the same as to remit it without reason; because in so far as he exceeds that estimate, he limits the compensation. Now he who grants an indulgence cannot without cause remit a man's punishment either wholly or partly, even though the Pope were to say to anyone: "I remit to all the punishment you owe for your sins." Therefore it seems that he cannot remit anything beyond the just estimate. Now indulgences are often published which exceed that just estimate. Therefore they do not avail as much as is claimed for them.

On the contrary, It is written (Job 13:7): "Hath God any need of your lie, that you should speak deceitfully for Him?" Therefore the Church, in publishing indulgences, does not lie; and so they avail as much as is claimed for them. Further, the Apostle says (1 Cor. 15:14): "If . . . our preaching is vain, your faith is also vain." Therefore whoever utters a falsehood in preaching, so far as he is concerned, makes faith void. and so sins mortally. If therefore indulgences are not as effective as they claim to be, all who publish indulgences would commit a mortal sin: which is absurd.

I answer that, on this point there are many opinions. For some maintain that indulgences have not the efficacy claimed for them, but that they simply avail each individual in proportion to his faith and devotion. And consequently those who maintain this, say that the Church publishes her indulgences in such a way as, by a kind of pious fraud, to induce men to do well, just as a mother entices her child to walk by holding out an apple. But this seems a very dangerous assertion to make. For as Augustine states (Ep. ad Hieron. lxxviii), "if any error were discovered in Holy Writ, the authority of Holy Writ would perish." In like manner, if any error were to be found in the Church's preaching, her doctrine would have no authority in settling questions of faith. Hence others have maintained that indulgences avail as much as is claimed for them, according to a just estimate, not of him who grants it — who perhaps puts too high a value on it — nor of the recipient — for he may prize too highly the gift he receives, but a just estimate according to the estimate of good men who consider the condition of the person affected, and the utility and needs of the Church, for the Church's needs are greater at one time than at another. Yet, neither, seemingly, can this opinion stand. First, because in that case indulgences would no longer be a remission, but rather a mere commutation. Moreover the preaching of the Church would not be excused from untruth, since, at times, indulgences are granted far in excess of the requirements of this just estimate, taking into consideration all the aforesaid conditions, as, for example, when the Pope granted to anyone who visited a certain church, an indulgence of seven years, which indulgence was granted by Blessed Gregory for the Roman Stations. Hence others say that the quantity of remission accorded in an indulgence is not to be measured by the devotion of the recipient, as the first opinion suggested, nor according to the quantity of what is given, as the second opinion held; but according to the cause for which the indulgence is granted, and according to which a person is held deserving of obtaining such an indulgence. Thus according as a man approached near to that cause, so would he obtain remission in whole or in part. But neither will this explain the custom of the Church, who assigns, now a greater, now a lesser indulgence, for the same cause: thus, under the same circumstances, now a year's indulgence, now one of only forty days, according to the graciousness of the Pope, who grants the indulgence, is granted to those who visit a church. Wherefore the amount of the remission granted by the indulgence is not to be measured by the cause for which a person is worthy of an indulgence. We must therefore say otherwise that the quantity of an effect is proportionate to the quantity of the cause. Now the cause of the remission of punishment effected by indulgences is no other than the abundance of the Church's merits, and this abundance suffices for the remission of all punishment. The effective cause of the remission is not the devotion, or toil, or gift of the recipient; nor, again, is it the cause for which the indulgence was granted. We cannot, then, estimate the quantity of the remission by any of the foregoing, but solely by the merits of the Church — and these are always superabundant. Consequently, according as these merits are applied to a person so does he obtain remission. That they should be so applied demands, firstly, authority to dispense this treasure. secondly, union between the recipient and Him Who merited it — and this is brought about by charity; thirdly, there is required a reason for so dispensing this treasury, so that the intention, namely, of those who wrought these meritorious works is safeguarded, since they did them for the honor of God and for the good of the Church in general. Hence whenever the cause assigned tends to the good of the Church and the honor of God, there is sufficient reason for granting an indulgence. Hence, according to others, indulgences have precisely the efficacy claimed for them, provided that he who grants them have the authority, that the recipient have charity, and that, as regards the cause, there be piety which includes the honor of God and the profit of our neighbor. Nor in this view have we "too great a market of the Divine mercy" [*St. Bonaventure, Sent. iv, D, 20], as some maintain, nor again does it derogate from Divine justice, for no punishment is remitted, but the punishment of one is imputed to another.

Reply to Objection 1: As stated above ([4888]Q[19], A[3]) there are two keys, the key of orders and the key of jurisdiction. The key of orders is a sacramental: and as the effects of the sacraments are fixed, not by men but by God, the priest cannot decide in the tribunal of confession how much shall be remitted by means of the key of orders from the punishment due; it is God Who appoints the amount to be remitted. On the other hand the key of jurisdiction is not something sacramental, and its effect depends on a man's decision. The remission granted through indulgences is the effect of this key, since it does not belong to the dispensation of the sacraments, but to the distribution of the common property of the Church: hence it is that legates, even though they be not priests, can grant indulgences. Consequently the decision of how much punishment is to be remitted by an indulgence depends on the will of the one who grants that indulgence. If, however, he remits punishment without sufficient reason, so that men are enticed to substitute mere nothings, as it were, for works of penance, he sins by granting such indulgences, although the indulgence is gained fully.

Reply to Objection 2: Although indulgences avail much for the remission of punishment, yet works of satisfaction are more meritorious in respect of the essential reward, which infinitely transcends the remission of temporal punishment.

Reply to Objection 3: When an indulgence is granted in a general way to anyone that helps towards the building of a church, we must understand this to mean a help proportionate to the giver: and in so far as he approaches to this, he will gain the indulgence more or less fully. Consequently a poor man by giving one penny would gain the full indulgence, not so a rich man, whom it would not become to give so little to so holy and profitable a work; Just as a king would not be said to help a man if he gave him an "obol."

Reply to Objection 4: A person who lives near the church, and the priest and clergy of the church, gain the indulgence as much as those who come perhaps a distance of a thousand days' journey: because the remission, as stated above, is proportionate, not to the toil, but to the merits which are applied. Yet he who toils most gains most merit. This, however, is to be understood of those cases in which an indulgence is given in an undeterminate manner. For sometimes a distinction is expressed: thus the Pope at the time of general absolution grants an indulgence of five years to those who come from across the seas, and one of three years to those who come from across the mountains, to others an indulgence of one year. Nor does a person gain the indulgence each time he visits the church during the term of indulgence, because sometimes it is granted for a fixed time; thus when it is said, "Whoever visits such and such a church until such and such a day, shall gain so much indulgence," we must understand that it can be gained only once. on the other hand if there be a continual indulgence in a certain church, as the indulgence of forty days to be gained in the church of the Blessed Peter, then a person gains the indulgence as often as he visits the church.

Reply to Objection 5: An indulgence requires a cause, not as a measure of the remission of punishment, but in order that the intention of those whose merits are applied, may reach to this particular individual. Now one person's good is applied to another in two ways: first, by charity; and in this way, even without indulgences, a person shares in all the good deeds done, provided he have charity: secondly, by the intention of the person who does the good action; and in this way, provided there be a lawful cause, the intention of a person who has done something for the profit of the Church, may reach to some individual through indulgences.


Whether an indulgence ought to be granted for temporal help?

Objection 1: It would seem that an indulgence ought not to be granted for temporal help. Because the remission of sins is something spiritual. Now to exchange a spiritual for a temporal thing is simony. Therefore this ought not to be done.

Objection 2: Further, spiritual assistance is more necessary than temporal. But indulgences do not appear to be granted for spiritual assistance. Much less therefore ought they to be granted for temporal help.

On the contrary, stands the common custom of the Church in granting indulgences for pilgrimages and almsgiving.

I answer that, Temporal things are subordinate to spiritual matters, since we must make use of temporal things on account of spiritual things. Consequently an indulgence must not be granted for the sake of temporal matters as such, but in so far as they are subordinate to spiritual things: such as the quelling of the Church's enemies, who disturb her peace; or such as the building of a church, of a bridge, and other forms of almsgiving. It is therefore evident that there is no simony in these transactions, since a spiritual thing is exchanged, not for a temporal but for a spiritual commodity. Hence the Reply to the First Objection is clear.

Reply to Objection 2: Indulgences can be, and sometimes are, granted even for purely spiritual matters. Thus Pope Innocent IV granted an indulgence of ten days to all who prayed for the king of France; and in like manner sometimes the same indulgence is granted to those who preach a crusade as to those who take part in it.


OF THOSE WHO CAN GRANT INDULGENCES (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider those who can grant indulgences: under which head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether every parish priest can grant indulgences?

(2) Whether a deacon or another, who is not a priest, can grant indulgences?

(3) Whether a bishop can grant them?

(4) Whether they can be granted by one who is in mortal sin?


Whether every parish priest can grant indulgences?

Objection 1: It would seem that every parish priest can grant indulgences. For an indulgence derives its efficacy from the superabundance of the Church's merits. Now there is no congregation without some superabundance of merits. Therefore every priest, who has charge of a congregation, can grant indulgences, and, in like manner, so can every prelate.

Objection 2: Further, every prelate stands for a multitude, just as an individual stands for himself. But any individual can assign his own goods to another and thus offer satisfaction for a third person. Therefore a prelate can assign the property of the multitude subject to him, and so it seems that he can grant indulgences.

On the contrary, To excommunicate is less than to grant indulgences. But a parish priest cannot do the former. Therefore he cannot do the latter.

I answer that, Indulgences are effective, in as much as the works of satisfaction done by one person are applied to another, not only by virtue of charity, but also by the intention of the person who did them being directed in some way to the person to whom they are applied. Now a person's intention may be directed to another in three ways, specifically, generically and individually. Individually, as when one person offers satisfaction for another particular person; and thus anyone can apply his works to another. Specifically, as when a person prays for the congregation to which he belongs, for the members of his household, or for his benefactors, and directs his works of satisfaction to the same intention: in this way the superior of a congregation can apply those works to some other person, by applying the intention of those who belong to his congregation to some fixed individual. Generically, as when a person directs his works for the good of the Church in general; and thus he who presides over the whole Church can communicate those works, by applying his intention to this or that individual. And since a man is a member of a congregation, and a congregation is a part of the Church, hence the intention of private good includes the intention of the good of the congregation, and of the good of the whole Church. Therefore he who presides over the Church can communicate what belongs to an individual congregation or to an individual man: and he who presides over a congregation can communicate what belongs to an individual man, but not conversely. Yet neither the first nor the second communication is called an indulgence, but only the third; and this for two reasons. First, because, although those communications loose man from the debt of punishment in the sight of God, yet he is not freed from the obligation of fulfilling the satisfaction enjoined, to which he is bound by a commandment of the Church; whereas the third communication frees man even from this obligation. Secondly, because in one person or even in one congregation there is not such an unfailing supply of merits as to be sufficient both for the one person or congregation and for all others; and consequently the individual is not freed from the entire debt of punishment unless satisfaction is offered for him individually, to the very amount that he owes. On the other hand, in the whole Church there is an unfailing supply of merits, chiefly on account of the merit of Christ. Consequently he alone who is at the head of the Church can grant indulgences. Since, however, the Church is the congregation of the faithful, and since a congregation of men is of two kinds, the domestic, composed of members of the same family, and the civil, composed of members of the same nationality, the Church is like to a civil congregation, for the people themselves are called the Church; while the various assemblies, or parishes of one diocese are likened to a congregation in the various families and services. Hence a bishop alone is properly called a prelate of the Church, wherefore he alone, like a bridegroom, receives the ring of the Church. Consequently full power in the dispensation of the sacraments, and jurisdiction in the public tribunal, belong to him alone as the public person, but to others by delegation from him. Those priests who have charge of the people are not prelates strictly speaking, but assistants, hence, in consecrating priests the bishop says: "The more fragile we are, the more we need these assistants": and for this reason they do not dispense all the sacraments. Hence parish priests, or abbots or other like prelates cannot grant indulgences. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


Whether a deacon or another who is not a priest can grant an indulgence?

Objection 1: It would seem that a deacon, or one that is not a priest cannot grant an indulgence. Because remission of sins is an effect of the keys. Now none but a priest has the keys. Therefore a priest alone can grant indulgences.

Objection 2: Further, a fuller remission of punishment is granted by indulgences than by the tribunal of Penance. But a priest alone has power in the latter, and, therefore, he alone has power in the former.

On the contrary, The distribution of the Church's treasury is entrusted to the same person as the government of the Church. Now this is entrusted sometimes to one who is not a priest. Therefore he can grant indulgences, since they derive their efficacy from the distribution of the Church's treasury.

I answer that, The power of granting indulgences follows jurisdiction, as stated above ([4889]Q[25], A[2]). And since deacons and others, who are not priests, can have jurisdiction either delegated, as legates, or ordinary, as bishops-elect, it follows that even those who are not priests can grant indulgences, although they cannot absolve in the tribunal of Penance, since this follows the reception of orders. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections, because the granting of indulgences belongs to the key of jurisdiction and not to the key of orders.


Whether a bishop can grant indulgences?

Objection 1: It would seem that even a bishop cannot grant indulgences. Because the treasury of the Church is the common property of the whole Church. Now the common property of the whole Church cannot be distributed save by him who presides over the whole Church. Therefore the Pope alone can grant indulgences.

Objection 2: Further, none can remit punishments fixed by law, save the one who has the power to make the law. Now punishments in satisfaction for sins are fixed by law. Therefore the Pope alone can remit these punishments, since he is the maker of the law.

On the contrary, stands the custom of the Church in accordance with which bishops grant indulgences.

I answer that, The Pope has the plenitude of pontifical power, being like a king in his kingdom: whereas the bishops are appointed to a share in his solicitude, like judges over each city. Hence them alone the Pope, in his letters, addresses as "brethren," whereas he calls all others his "sons." Therefore the plenitude of the power of granting indulgences resides in the Pope, because he can grant them, as he lists, provided the cause be a lawful one: while, in bishops, this power resides subject to the Pope's ordination, so that they can grant them within fixed limits and not beyond. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


Whether indulgences can be granted by one who is in mortal sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that indulgences cannot be granted by one who is in mortal sin. For a stream can no longer flow if cut off from its source. Now the source of grace which is the Holy Ghost is cut off from one who is in mortal sin. Therefore such a one can convey nothing to others by granting indulgences.

Objection 2: Further, it is a greater thing to grant an indulgence than to receive one. But one who is in mortal sin cannot receive an indulgence, as we shall show presently ([4890]Q[27], A[1]). Neither, therefore, can he grant one.

On the contrary, Indulgences are granted in virtue of the power conferred on the prelates of the Church. Now mortal sin takes away, not power but goodness. Therefore one who is in mortal sin can grant indulgences.

I answer that, The granting of indulgences belongs to jurisdiction. But a man does not, through sin, lose jurisdiction. Consequently indulgences are equally valid, whether they be granted by one who is in mortal sin, or by a most holy person; since he remits punishment, not by virtue of his own merits, but by virtue of the merits laid up in the Church's treasury.

Reply to Objection 1: The prelate who, while in a state of mortal sin, grants an indulgence, does not pour forth anything of his own, and so it is not necessary that he should receive an inflow from the source, in order that he may grant a valid indulgence.

Reply to Objection 2: Further, to grant an indulgence is more than to receive one, if we consider the power, but it is less, if we consider the personal profit.


OF THOSE WHOM INDULGENCES AVAIL (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider those whom indulgences avail: under which head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether indulgences avail those who are in mortal sin?

(2) Whether they avail religious?

(3) Whether they avail a person who does not fulfill the conditions for which the indulgence is given?

(4) Whether they avail him who grants them?


Whether an indulgence avails those who are in mortal sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that an indulgence avails those who are in mortal sin. For one person can merit grace and many other good things for another, even though he be in mortal sin. Now indulgences derive their efficacy from the application of the saints' merits to an individual. Therefore they are effective in one who is in mortal sin.

Objection 2: Further, the greater the need, the more room there is for pity. Now a man who is in mortal sin is in very great need. Therefore all the more should pity be extended to him by indulgence.

On the contrary, A dead member receives no inflow from the other members that are living. But one who is in mortal sin, is like a dead member. Therefore he receives no inflow, through indulgences, from the merits of living members.

I answer that, Some hold that indulgences avail those even who are in mortal sin, for the acquiring of grace, but not for the remission of their punishment, since none can be freed from punishment who is not yet freed from guilt. For he who has not yet been reached by God's operation unto the remission of guilt, cannot receive the remission of his punishment from the minister of the Church neither by indulgences nor in the tribunal of Penance. But this opinion seems to be untrue. Because, although those merits which are applied by means of an indulgence, might possibly avail a person so that he could merit grace (by way of congruity and impetration), yet it is not for this reason that they are applied, but for the remission of punishment. Hence they do not avail those who are in mortal sin, and consequently, true contrition and confession are demanded as conditions for gaining all indulgences. If however the merits were applied by such a form as this: "I grant you a share in the merits of the whole Church — or of one congregation, or of one specified person," then they might avail a person in mortal sin so that he could merit something, as the foregoing opinion holds. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.

Reply to Objection 2: Although he who is in mortal sin is in greater need of help, yet he is less capable of receiving it.


Whether indulgences avail religious?

Objection 1: It would seem that indulgences do not avail religious. For there is no reason to bring supplies to those who supply others out of their own abundance. Now indulgences are derived from the abundance of works of satisfaction to be found in religious. Therefore it is unreasonable for them to profit by indulgences.

Objection 2: Further, nothing detrimental to religious life should be done in the Church. But, if indulgences were to avail religious, this would be detrimental to regular discipline, because religious would become lax on account of indulgences, and would neglect the penances imposed in chapter. Therefore indulgences do not avail religious.

On the contrary, Good brings harm to no man. But the religious life is a good thing. Therefore it does not take away from religious the profit to be derived from indulgences.

I answer that, Indulgences avail both seculars and religious, provided they have charity and satisfy the conditions for gaining the indulgences: for religious can be helped by indulgences no less than persons living in the world.

Reply to Objection 1: Although religious are in the state of perfection, yet they cannot live without sin: and so if at times they are liable to punishment on account of some sin, they can expiate this debt by means of indulgences. For it is not unreasonable that one who is well off absolutely speaking, should be in want at times and in some respect, and thus need to be supplied with what he lacks. Hence it is written (Gal. 6:2): "Bear ye one another's burdens."

Reply to Objection 2: There is no reason why indulgences should be detrimental to religious observance, because, as to the reward of eternal life, religious merit more by observing their rule than by gaining indulgences; although, as to the remission of punishment, which is a lesser good, they merit less. Nor again do indulgences remit the punishment enjoined in chapter, because the chapter is a judicial rather than a penitential tribunal. hence even those who are not priests hold chapter. Absolution from punishment enjoined or due for sin is given in the tribunal of Penance.


Whether an indulgence can ever be granted to one who does not fulfill the conditions required?

Objection 1: It would seem that an indulgence can sometimes be granted to one who does not fulfill the required conditions. Because when a person is unable to perform a certain action his will is taken for the deed. Now sometimes an indulgence is to be gained by giving an alms, which a poor man is unable to do, though he would do so willingly. Therefore he can gain the indulgence.

Objection 2: Further, one man can make satisfaction for another. Now an indulgence is directed to the remission of punishment, just as satisfaction is. Therefore one man can gain an indulgence for another; and so a man can gain an indulgence without doing that for which the indulgence is given.

On the contrary, If the cause is removed, the effect is removed. If therefore a person fails to do that for which an indulgence is granted, and which is the cause of the indulgence, he does not gain the indulgence.

I answer that, Failing the condition of a grant, no grant ensues. Hence, as an indulgence is granted on the condition that a person does or gives a certain thing, if he fails in this, he does not gain the indulgence.

Reply to Objection 1: This is true of the essential reward, but not of certain accidental rewards, such as the remission of punishment and the like.

Reply to Objection 2: A person can by his intention apply his own action to whomever he lists, and so he can make satisfaction for whomever he chooses. On the other hand, an indulgence cannot be applied to someone, except in accordance with the intention of the grantor. Hence, since he applies it to the doer or giver of a particular action or thing, the doer cannot transfer this intention to another. If, however, the indulgence were expressed thus: "Whosoever does this, or for whomsoever this is done, shall gain so much indulgence," it would avail the person for whom it is done. Nor would the person who does this action, give the indulgence to another, but he who grants the indulgence in this form.


Whether an indulgence avails the person who grants it?

Objection 1: It would seem that an indulgence does not avail him who grants it. For the granting of an indulgence belongs to jurisdiction. Now no one can exercise jurisdiction on himself. thus no one can excommunicate himself. Therefore no one can participate in an indulgence granted by himself.

Objection 2: Further, if this were possible, he who grants an indulgence might gain the remission of the punishment of all his sins for some small deed, so that he would sin with impunity, which seems senseless.

Objection 3: Further, to grant indulgences and to excommunicate belong to the same power. Now a man cannot excommunicate himself. Therefore he cannot share in the indulgence of which he is the grantor.

On the contrary, He would be worse off than others if he could not make use of the Church's treasury which he dispenses to others.

I answer that, An indulgence should be given for some reason, in order for anyone to be enticed by the indulgence to perform some action that conduces to the good of the Church and to the honor of God. Now the prelate to whom is committed the care of the Church's good and of the furthering of God's honor, does not need to entice himself thereto. Therefore he cannot grant an indulgence to himself alone; but he can avail himself of an indulgence that he grants for others, since it is based on a cause for granting it to them.

Reply to Objection 1: A man cannot exercise an act of jurisdiction on himself, but a prelate can avail himself of those things which are granted to others by the authority of his jurisdiction, both in temporal and in spiritual matters: thus also a priest gives himself the Eucharist which he gives to others. And so a bishop too can apply to himself the suffrages of the Church which he dispenses to others, the immediate effect of which suffrages, and not of his jurisdiction, is the remission of punishment by means of indulgences. The Reply to the Second Objection is clear from what had been said.

Reply to Objection 3: Excommunication is pronounced by way of sentence, which no man can pronounce on himself, for the reason that in the tribunal of justice the same man cannot be both judge and accused. On the other hand an indulgence is not given under the form of a sentence, but by way of dispensation, which a man can apply to himself.


OF THE SOLEMN RITE OF PENANCE (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the solemn rite of Penance: under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a penance can be published or solemnized?

(2) Whether a solemn penance can be repeated?

(3) Whether public penance should be imposed on women?


Whether a penance should be published or solemnized?

Objection 1: It would seem that a penance should not be published or solemnized. Because it is not lawful for a priest, even through fear, to divulge anyone's sin, however notorious it may be. Now a sin is published by a solemn penance. Therefore a penance should not be solemnized.

Objection 2: Further, the judgment should follow the nature of the tribunal. Now penance is a judgment pronounced in a secret tribunal. Therefore it should not be published or solemnized.

Objection 3: Further, "Every deficiency is made good by penance" as Ambrose [*Cf. Hypognost. iii, among the spurious works ascribed to St. Augustine] states. Now solemnization has a contrary effect, since it involves the penitent in many deficiencies: for a layman cannot be promoted to the ranks of the clergy nor can a cleric be promoted to higher orders, after doing solemn penance. Therefore Penance should not be solemnized.

On the contrary, Penance is a sacrament. Now some kind of solemnity is observed in every sacrament. Therefore there should be some solemnity in Penance. Further, the medicine should suit the disease. Now a sin is sometimes public, and by its example draws many to sin. Therefore the penance which is its medicine should also be public and solemn so as to give edification to many.

I answer that, Some penances should be public and solemn for four reasons. First, so that a public sin may have a public remedy; secondly, because he who has committed a very grave crime deserves the greatest confusion even in this life; thirdly, in order that it may deter others; fourthly, that he may be an example of repentance, lest those should despair, who have committed grievous sins.

Reply to Objection 1: The priest does not divulge the confession by imposing such a penance, though people may suspect the penitent of having committed some great sin. For a man is not certainly taken to be guilty, because he is punished, since sometimes one does penance for another: thus we read in the Lives of the Fathers of a certain man who, in order to incite his companion to do penance, did penance together with him. And if the sin be public, the penitent, by fulfilling his penance, shows that he has been to confession.

Reply to Objection 2: A solemn penance, as to its imposition, does not go beyond the limits of a secret tribunal, since, just as the confession is made secretly, so the penance is imposed secretly. It is the execution of the penance, that goes beyond the limits of the secret tribunal: and there is nothing objectionable in this.

Reply to Objection 3: Although Penance cancels all deficiencies, by restoring man to his former state of grace, yet it does not always restore him to his former dignity. Hence women after doing penance for fornication are not given the veil, because they do not recover the honor of virginity. In like manner, after doing public penance, a sinner does not recover his former dignity so as to be eligible for the clerical state and a bishop who would ordain such a one ought to be deprived of the power of ordaining, unless perhaps the needs of the Church or custom require it. In that case such a one would be admitted to minor orders by way of exception, but not to the sacred orders. First, on account of the dignity of the latter; secondly, for fear of relapse; thirdly, in order to avoid the scandal which the people might take through recollection of his former sins; fourthly, because he would not have the face to correct others, by reason of the publicity of his own sin.


Whether a solemn penance can be repeated?

Objection 1: It would seem that a solemn penance can be repeated. For those sacraments which do not imprint a character, can be solemnized a second time, such as the Eucharist, Extreme Unction and the like. But Penance does not imprint a character, therefore it can be solemnized over again.

Objection 2: Further, penance is solemnized on account of the gravity and publicity of the sin. Now, after doing penance, a person may commit the same sins over again, or even more grievous sins. Therefore the solemn penance should be imposed again.

On the contrary, Solemn penance signifies the expulsion of the first man from paradise. Now this was done but once. Therefore solemn penance should be imposed once only.

I answer that, Solemn penance ought not to be repeated, for three reasons. First, lest frequency bring it into contempt. Secondly, on account of its signification; for it signifies the expulsion of the first man from paradise, which happened only once; thirdly, because the solemnization indicates, in a way, that one makes profession of continual repentance. Wherefore repetition is inconsistent with solemnization. And if the sinner fall again, he is not precluded from doing penance, but a solemn penance should not be imposed on him again.

Reply to Objection 1: In those sacraments which are solemnized again and again, repetition is not inconsistent with solemnity, as it is in the present case. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 2: Although, if we consider his crime, he ought to do the same penance again, yet the repeated solemnization is not becoming, for the reasons stated above.


Whether solemn penance should be imposed on women and clerics, and whether any priest can impose it?

Objection 1: It would seem that solemn penance should not be imposed on women. Because, when this penance is imposed on a man, he has to cut his hair off. But this becomes not a woman, according to 1 Cor. 11:15. Therefore she should not do solemn penance.

Objection 2: It also seems that it ought to be imposed on clerics. For it is enjoined on account of a grievous crime. Now the same sin is more grievous in a cleric than in a layman. Therefore it ought to be imposed on a cleric more than on a layman.

Objection 3: It also seems that it can be imposed by any priest. Because to absolve in the tribunal of Penance belongs to one who has the keys. Now an ordinary priest has the keys. Therefore he can administer this penance.

I answer that, Every solemn penance is public, but not vice versa. For solemn penance is done as follows: "On the first day of Lent, these penitents clothed in sackcloth, with bare feet, their faces to the ground, and their hair shorn away, accompanied by their priests, present themselves to the bishop of the city at the door of the church. Having brought them into the church the bishop with all his clergy recites the seven penitential psalms, and then imposes his hand on them, sprinkles them with holy water, puts ashes on their heads, covers their shoulders with a hairshirt, and sorrowfully announces to them that as Adam was expelled from paradise, so are they expelled from the church. He then orders the ministers to put them out of the church, and the clergy follow reciting the responsory: 'In the sweat of thy brow,' etc. Every year on the day of our Lord's Supper they are brought back into the church by their priests, and there shall they be until the octave day of Easter, without however being admitted to Communion or to the kiss of peace. This shall be done every year as long as entrance into the church is forbidden them. The final reconciliation is reserved to the bishop, who alone can impose solemn penance" [*Cap. lxiv, dist. 50]. This penance can be imposed on men and women; but not on clerics, for fear of scandal. Nor ought such a penance to be imposed except for a crime which has disturbed the whole of the city. On the other hand public but not solemn penance is that which is done in the presence of the Church, but without the foregoing solemnity, such as a pilgrimage throughout the world with a staff. A penance of this kind can be repeated, and can be imposed by a mere priest, even on a cleric. Sometimes however a solemn penance is taken to signify a public one: so that authorities speak of solemn penance in different senses.

Reply to Objection 1: The woman's hair is a sign of her subjection, a man's is not. Hence it is not proper for a woman to put aside her hair when doing penance, as it is for a man.

Reply to Objection 2: Although in the same kind of sin, a cleric offends more grievously than a layman, yet a solemn penance is not imposed on him, lest his orders should be an object of contempt. Thus deference is given not to the person but to his orders.

Reply to Objection 3: Grave sins need great care in their cure. Hence the imposition of a solemn penance, which is only applied for the most grievous sins, is reserved to the bishop.


EXTREME UNCTION (QQ[29]-33) OF EXTREME UNCTION, AS REGARDS ITS ESSENCE AND INSTITUTION (NINE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the sacrament of Extreme Unction: in respect of which five points have to be considered: (1) Its essentials and institution; (2) Its effect; (3) Its minister; (4) on whom should it be conferred and in what parts; (5) Its repetition. Under the first head there are nine points of inquiry:

(1) Whether Extreme Unction is a sacrament?

(2) Whether it is one sacrament?

(3) Whether this sacrament was instituted by Christ?

(4) Whether olive oil is a suitable matter for this sacrament?

(5) Whether the oil ought to be consecrated?

(6) Whether the matter of this sacrament should be consecrated by a bishop?

(7) Whether this sacrament has any form?

(8) Whether the form of this sacrament should take the shape of a deprecatory phrase?

(9) Whether this is a suitable form for this sacrament?


Whether Extreme Unction is a sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that Extreme Unction is not a sacrament. For just as oil is used on sick people, so is it on catechumens. But anointing of catechumens with oil is not a sacrament. Therefore neither is the Extreme Unction of the sick with oil.

Objection 2: Further, the sacraments of the Old Law were figures of the sacraments of the New Law. But there was no figure of Extreme Unction in the Old Law. Therefore it is not a sacrament of the New Law.

Objection 3: Further, according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. iii, v) every sacrament aims at either cleansing, or enlightening, or perfecting. Now Extreme Unction does not aim at either cleansing, or enlightening, for this is ascribed to Baptism alone, or perfecting, for according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. ii), this belongs to Confirmation and the Eucharist. Therefore Extreme Unction is not a sacrament.

On the contrary, The sacraments of the Church supply man's defects sufficiently with respect to every state of life. Now no other than Extreme Unction does this for those who are departing from this life. Therefore it is a sacrament. Further, the sacraments are neither more nor less than spiritual remedies. Now Extreme Unction is a spiritual remedy, since it avails for the remission of sins, according to James 5:15. Therefore it is a sacrament.

I answer that, Among the visible operations of the Church, some are sacraments, as Baptism, some are sacramentals, as Exorcism. The difference between these is that a sacrament is an action of the Church that reaches to the principal effect intended in the administration of the sacraments, whereas a sacramental is an action which, though it does not reach to that effect, is nevertheless directed towards that principal action. Now the effect intended in the administration of the sacraments is the healing of the disease of sin: wherefore it is written (Is. 27:9): "This is all the fruit, that the sin . . . should be taken away." Since then Extreme Unction reaches to this effect, as is clear from the words of James, and is not ordained to any other sacrament as an accessory thereto, it is evident that Extreme Unction is not a sacramental but a sacrament.

Reply to Objection 1: The oil with which catechumens are anointed does not convey the remission of sins to them by its unction, for that belongs to Baptism. It does, however, dispose them to receive Baptism, as stated above ([4891]TP, Q[71], A[3]). Hence that unction is not a sacrament as Extreme Unction is.

Reply to Objection 2: This sacrament prepares man for glory immediately, since it is given to those who are departing from this life. And as, under the Old Law, it was not yet time to enter into glory, because "the Law brought nobody [Vulg.: 'nothing'] to perfection" (Heb. 7:19), so this sacrament had not to be foreshadowed therein by some corresponding sacrament, as by a figure of the same kind. Nevertheless it was somewhat foreshadowed remotely by all the healings related in the Old Testament.

Reply to Objection 3: Dionysius makes no mention of Extreme Unction, as neither of Penance, nor of Matrimony, because he had no intention to decide any question about the sacraments, save in so far as they serve to illustrate the orderly disposition of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, as regards the ministers, their actions, and the recipients. Nevertheless since Extreme Unction confers grace and remission of sins, there is no doubt that it possesses an enlightening and cleansing power, even as Baptism, though not so copious.


Whether Extreme Unction is one sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that Extreme Unction is not one sacrament. Because the oneness of a thing depends on its matter and form, since being and oneness are derived from the same source. Now the form of this sacrament is said several times during the one administration, and the matter is applied to the person anointed in respect of various parts of his body. Therefore it is not one sacrament.

Objection 2: Further, the unction itself is a sacrament, for it would be absurd to say that the oil is a sacrament. But there are several unctions. Therefore there are several sacraments.

Objection 3: Further, one sacrament should be performed by one minister. But the case might occur that Extreme Unction could not be conferred by one minister: thus if the priest die after the first unction, another priest would have to proceed with the others. Therefore Extreme Unction is not one sacrament.

On the contrary, As immersion is in relation to Baptism, so is unction to this sacrament. But several immersions are but one sacrament of Baptism. Therefore the several unctions in Extreme Unction are also one sacrament. Further, if it were not one sacrament, then after the first unction, it would not be essential for the perfection of the sacrament that the second unction should be performed, since each sacrament has perfect being of itself. But that is not true. Therefore it is one sacrament.

I answer that, Strictly speaking, a thing is one numerically in three ways. First, as something indivisible, which is neither actually nor potentially several — as a point, and unity. Secondly, as something continuous, which is actually one, but potentially several — as a line. Thirdly, as something complete, that is composed of several parts — as a house, which is, in a way, several things, even actually, although those several things go together towards making one. In this way each sacrament is said to be one thing, in as much as the many things which are contained in one sacrament, are united together for the purpose of signifying or causing one thing, because a sacrament is a sign of the effect it produces. Hence when one action suffices for a perfect signification, the unity of the sacrament consists in that action only, as may be seen in Confirmation. When, however, the signification of the sacrament can be both in one and in several actions, then the sacrament can be complete both in one and in several actions, even as Baptism in one immersion and in three, since washing which is signified in Baptism, can be completed by one immersion and by several. But when the perfect signification cannot be expressed except by means of several actions, then these several actions are essential for the perfection of the sacrament, as is exemplified in the Eucharist, for the refreshment of the body which signifies that of the soul, can only be attained by means of meat and drink. It is the same in this sacrament, because the healing of the internal wounds cannot be perfectly signified save by the application of the remedy to the various sources of the wounds. Hence several actions are essential to the perfection of this sacrament.

Reply to Objection 1: The unity of a complete whole is not destroyed by reason of a diversity of matter or form in the parts of that whole. Thus it is evident that there is neither the same matter nor the same form in the flesh and in the bones of which one man is composed. In like manner too, in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and in this sacrament, the diversity of matter and form does not destroy the unity of the sacrament.

Reply to Objection 2: Although those actions are several simply, yet they are united together in one complete action, viz. the anointing of all the external senses, whence arises the infernal malady.

Reply to Objection 3: Although, in the Eucharist, if the priest die after the consecration of the bread, another priest can go on with the consecration of the wine, beginning where the other left off, or can begin over again with fresh matter, in Extreme Unction he cannot begin over again, but should always go on, because to anoint the same part a second time would produce as much effect as if one were to consecrate a host a second time, which ought by no means to be done. Nor does the plurality of ministers destroy the unity of this sacrament, because they only act as instruments, and the unity of a smith's work is not destroyed by his using several hammers.


Whether this sacrament was instituted by Christ?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament was not instituted by Christ. For mention is made in the Gospel of the institution of those sacraments which Christ instituted, for instance the Eucharist and Baptism. But no mention is made of Extreme Unction. Therefore it was not instituted by Christ.

Objection 2: Further, the Master says explicitly (Sent. iv, D, 23) that it was instituted by the apostles. Therefore Christ did not institute it Himself.

Objection 3: Further, Christ showed forth the sacraments which He instituted, as in the case of the Eucharist and Baptism. But He did not bestow this sacrament on anyone. Therefore He did not institute it Himself.

On the contrary, The sacraments of the New Law are more excellent than those of the Old Law. But all the sacraments of the Old Law were instituted by God. Therefore much more do all the sacraments of the New Law owe their institution to Christ Himself. Further, to make an institution and to remove it belongs to the same authority. Now the Church, who enjoys the same authority in the successors of the apostles, as the apostles themselves possessed, cannot do away with the sacrament of Extreme Unction. Therefore the apostles did not institute it, but Christ Himself.

I answer that, There are two opinions on this point. For some hold that this sacrament and Confirmation were not instituted by Christ Himself, but were left by Him to be instituted by the apostles; for the reason that these two sacraments, on account of the plenitude of grace conferred in them, could not be instituted before the mission of the Holy Ghost in perfect plenitude. Hence they are sacraments of the New Law in such a way as not to be foreshadowed in the Old Law. But this argument is not very cogent, since, just as Christ, before His Passion, promised the mission of the Holy Ghost in His plenitude, so could He institute these sacraments. Wherefore others hold that Christ Himself instituted all the sacraments, but that He Himself published some, which present greater difficulty to our belief, while he reserved some to be published by the apostles, such as Extreme Unction and Confirmation. This opinion seems so much the more probable, as the sacraments belong to the foundation of the Law, wherefore their institution pertains to the lawgiver; besides, they derive their efficacy from their institution, which efficacy is given them by God alone.

Reply to Objection 1: Our Lord did and said many things which are not related in the Gospel. For the evangelists were intent on handing down chiefly those things that were necessary for salvation or concerned the building of the ecclesiastical edifice. Hence they related the institution by Christ of Baptism, Penance, the Eucharist and orders, rather than of Extreme Unction and Confirmation, which are not necessary for salvation, nor do they concern the building or division of the Church. As a matter of fact however an anointing done by the apostles is mentioned in the Gospel (Mk. 6:13) where it is said that they "anointed the sick with oil."

Reply to Objection 2: The Master says it was instituted by the apostles because its institution was made known to us by the teaching of the apostles.

Reply to Objection 3: Christ did not show forth any sacrament except such as He received by way of example: but He could not be a recipient of Penance and Extreme Unction, since there was no sin in Him: hence He did not show them forth.


Whether olive oil is a suitable matter for this sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that olive oil is not a suitable matter for this sacrament. For this sacrament is ordained immediately to the state of incorruption. Now incorruption is signified by balsam which is contained in chrism. Therefore chrism would be a more suitable matter for this sacrament.

Objection 2: Further, this sacrament is a spiritual healing. Now spiritual healing is signified by the use of wine, as may be gathered from the parable of the wounded man (Lk. 10:34). Therefore wine also would be more suitable a matter for this sacrament.

Objection 3: Further, where there is the greater danger, the remedy should be a common one. But olive oil is not a common remedy, since the olive is not found in every country. Therefore, since this sacrament is given to the dying, who are in the greatest danger, it seems that olive oil is not a suitable matter.

On the contrary, oil is appointed (James 5:14) as the matter of this sacrament. Now, properly speaking, oil is none but olive oil. Therefore this is the matter of this sacrament. Further, spiritual healing is signified by anointing with oil, as is evident from Is. 1:6 where we read: " . . . swelling sores: they are not . . . dressed nor fomented with oil." Therefore the suitable matter for this sacrament is oil.

I answer that, The spiritual healing, which is given at the end of life, ought to be complete, since there is no other to follow; it ought also to be gentle, lest hope, of which the dying stand in utmost need, be shattered rather than fostered. Now oil has a softening effect, it penetrates to the very heart of a thing, and spreads over it. Hence, in both the foregoing respects, it is a suitable matter for this sacrament. And since oil is, above all, the name of the liquid extract of olives, for other liquids are only called oil from their likeness to it, it follows that olive oil is the matter which should be employed in this sacrament.

Reply to Objection 1: The incorruption of glory is something not contained in this sacrament: and there is no need for the matter to signify such a thing. Hence it is not necessary for balsam to be included in the matter of this sacrament, because on account of its fragrance it is indicative of a good name, which is no longer necessary, for its own sake, to those who are dying; they need only a clear conscience which is signified by oil.

Reply to Objection 2: Wine heals by its roughness, oil by its softness, wherefore healing with wine pertains to Penance rather than to this sacrament.

Reply to Objection 3: Though olive oil is not produced everywhere, yet it can easily be transported from one place to another. Moreover this sacrament is not so necessary that the dying cannot obtain salvation without it.


Whether the oil ought to be consecrated?

Objection 1: It would seem that the oil need not be consecrated. Because there is a sanctification in the use of this sacrament, through the form of words. Therefore another sanctification is superfluous if it be applied to the matter.

Objection 2: Further, the efficacy and signification of the sacraments are in their very matter. But the signification of the effect of this sacrament, is suitable to oil on account of its natural properties, and the efficacy thereof is due to the Divine institution. Therefore its matter does not need to be sanctified.

Objection 3: Further, Baptism is a more perfect sacrament than Extreme Unction. But, so far as the essentials of the sacrament are concerned, the baptismal matter needs no sanctification. Neither therefore does the matter of Extreme Unction need to be sanctified.

On the contrary, In all other anointings the matter is previously consecrated. Therefore since this sacrament is an anointing, it requires consecrated matter.

I answer that, Some hold that mere oil is the matter of this sacrament, and that the sacrament itself is perfected in the consecration of the oil by the bishop. But this is clearly false since we proved when treating of the Eucharist that that sacrament alone consists in the consecration of the matter ([4892]Q[2], A[1], ad 2). We must therefore say that this sacrament consists in the anointing itself, just as Baptism consists in the washing, and that the matter of this sacrament is consecrated oil. Three reasons may be assigned why consecrated matter is needed in this sacrament and in certain others. The first is that all sacramental efficacy is derived from Christ: wherefore those sacraments which He Himself used, derived their efficacy from His use of them, even as, by the contact of His flesh, He bestowed the force of regeneration on the waters. But He did not use this sacrament, nor any bodily anointing, wherefore in all anointings a consecrated matter is required. The second reason is that this sacrament confers a plenitude of grace, so as to take away not only sin but also the remnants of sin, and bodily sickness. The third reason is that its effect on the body, viz. bodily health, is not caused by a natural property of the matter. wherefore it has to derive this efficacy from being consecrated.

Reply to Objection 1: The first consecration sanctifies the matter in itself, but the second regards rather the use of the matter considered as actually producing its effect. Hence neither is superfluous, because instruments also receive their efficacy from the craftsman, both when they are made, and when they are used for action.

Reply to Objection 2: The efficacy which the sacrament derives from its institution, is applied to this particular matter when it is consecrated. The Reply to the Third Objection is gathered from what has been said.


Whether the matter of this sacrament need be consecrated by a bishop?

Objection 1: It would seem that the matter of this sacrament need not be consecrated by a bishop. Because the consecration of the Eucharistic elements surpasses that of the matter in this sacrament. But a priest can consecrate the matter in the Eucharist. Therefore he can do so in this sacrament also.

Objection 2: Further, in material works the higher art never prepares the matter for the lower, because the art which applies the matter is more excellent than that which prepares it, as stated in Phys. ii, text. 25. Now a bishop is above a priest. Therefore he does not prepare the matter of a sacrament which is applied by a priest. But a priest dispenses this sacrament, as we shall state further on ([4893]Q[31]). Therefore the consecration of the matter does not belong to a bishop.

On the contrary, In other anointings also the matter is consecrated by a bishop. Therefore the same applies to this.

I answer that, The minister of a sacrament produces the effect, not by his own power, as though he were the principal agent, but by the efficacy of the sacrament which he dispenses. This efficacy comes, in the first place, from Christ, and from Him flows down to others in due order, viz. to the people through the medium of the ministers who dispense the sacraments, and to the lower ministers through the medium of the higher ministers who sanctify the matter. Wherefore, in all the sacraments which require a sanctified matter, the first consecration of the matter is performed by a bishop, and the application thereof sometimes by a priest, in order to show that the priest's power is derived from the bishop's, according to Ps. 132:2: "Like the precious ointment on the head," i.e. Christ, "that ran down upon the beard of Aaron" first, and then "to the skirt of his garment."

Reply to Objection 1: The sacrament of the Eucharist consists in the consecration of the matter and not in its use. Consequently, strictly speaking, that which is the matter of the sacrament is not a consecrated thing. Hence no consecration of the matter by a bishop is required beforehand: but the altar and such like things, even the priest himself, need to be consecrated, all of which can be done by none but a bishop: so that in this sacrament also, the priest's power is shown to be derived from the bishop's, as Dionysius observes (Eccl. Hier. iii). The reason why a priest can perform that consecration of matter which is a sacrament by itself, and not that which, as a sacramental, is directed to a sacrament consisting in something used by the faithful, is that in respect of Christ's true body no order is above the priesthood, whereas, in respect of Christ's mystic body the episcopate is above the priesthood, as we shall state further on

([4894]Q[40], A[4]).

Reply to Objection 2: The sacramental matter is not one that is made into something else by him that uses it, as occurs in the mechanical arts: it is one, in virtue of which something is done, so that it partakes somewhat of the nature of an efficient cause, in so far as it is the instrument of a Divine operation. Hence the matter needs to acquire this virtue from a higher art or power, since among efficient causes, the more prior the cause the more perfect it is, whereas in material causes, the more prior the matter, the more imperfect it is.


Whether this sacrament has a form?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament has no form. Because, since the efficacy of the sacraments is derived from their institution, as also from their form, the latter must needs be appointed by the institutor of the sacrament. But there is no account of the form of this sacrament being instituted either by Christ or by the apostles. Therefore this sacrament has no form.

Objection 2: Further, whatever is essential to a sacrament is observed everywhere in the same way. Now nothing is so essential to a sacrament that has a form, as that very form. Therefore, as in this sacrament there is no form commonly used by all, since various words are in use, it seems that this sacrament has no form.

Objection 3: Further, in Baptism no form is needed except for the sanctification of the matter, because the water is "sanctified by the word of life so as to wash sin away," as Hugh states (De Sacram. ii). Now the matter of this sacrament is already consecrated. Therefore it needs no form of words.

On the contrary, The Master says (Sent. iv, D, 1) that every sacrament of the New Law consists in things and words. Now the words are the sacramental form. Therefore, since this is a sacrament of the New Law, it seems that it has a form. Further, this is confirmed by the rite of the Universal Church, who uses certain words in the bestowal of this sacrament.

I answer that, Some have held that no farm is essential to this sacrament. This, however, seems derogatory to the effect of this sacrament, since every sacrament signifies its effect. Now the matter is indifferent as regards its effect, and consequently cannot be determined to any particular effect save by the form of words. Hence in all the sacraments of the New Law, since they effect what they signify, there must needs be things and words. Moreover James (5:14,15) seems to ascribe the whole force of this sacrament to prayer, which is the form thereof, as we shall state further on (ad 2: AA[8],9). Wherefore the foregoing opinion seems presumptuous and erroneous; and for that reason we should hold with the common opinion that this, like all the other sacraments, has a fixed form.

Reply to Objection 1: Holy Writ is proposed to all alike: and so, the form of Baptism, which can be conferred by all, should be expressed in Holy Writ, as also the form of the Eucharist, which in regard to that sacrament, expresses faith which is necessary for salvation. Now the forms of the other sacraments are not contained in Holy Writ, but were handed down to the Church by the apostles, who received them from our Lord, as the Apostle declares (1 Cor. 11:23): "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you," etc.

Reply to Objection 2: The words which are essential to the form, viz. the prayer of deprecation, are said by all; but other words which pertain to the well-being thereof, are not said by all.

Reply to Objection 3: The matter of Baptism has a certain sanctification of its own from the very contact of our Saviour's flesh; but the form of words sanctifies it so that it has a sanctifying force. In like manner when the matter of this sacrament has been sanctified in itself, it requires sanctification in its use, so that it may sanctify actually.


Whether the form of this sacrament should be expressed by way of assertion or of petition?

Objection 1: It would seem that the form of this sacrament should be expressed by way of assertion rather than of petition. Because all the sacraments of the New Law have a sure effect. But sureness of effect is not expressed in the sacramental forms except by way of assertion, as when we say: "This is My body" or "I baptize thee." Therefore the form of this sacrament should be expressed as an assertion.

Objection 2: Further, the intention of the minister should be expressed in the sacramental forms because it is essential to the sacrament. But the intention of conferring a sacrament is not expressed except by an assertion. Therefore, etc.

Objection 3: Further, in some churches the following words are said in the conferring of this sacrament: "I anoint these eyes with consecrated oil in the name of the Father," etc., which is in keeping with the forms of the other sacraments. Therefore it seems that such is the form of this sacrament.

On the contrary, The form of a sacrament must needs be one that is observed everywhere. Now the words employed according to the custom of all the churches are not those quoted above, but take the form of a petition viz.: "Through this holy unction, and His most tender mercy, may the Lord pardon thee whatever sins thou hast committed, by sight," etc. Therefore the form of this sacrament is expressed as a petition. Further, this seems to follow from the words of James, who ascribes the effect of this sacrament to prayer: "The prayer of faith," says he

(5:15), "shall save the sick man." Since then a sacrament takes its efficacy from its form, it seems that the form of this sacrament is expressed as a petition.

I answer that, The form of this sacrament is expressed by way of a petition, as appears from the words of James, and from the custom of the Roman Church, who uses no other than words of supplication in conferring this sacrament. Several reasons are assigned for this: first, because the recipient of this sacrament is deprived of his strength, so that he needs to be helped by prayers; secondly, because it is given to the dying, who are on the point of quitting the courts of the Church, and rest in the hands of God alone, for which reason they are committed to Him by prayer; thirdly, because the effect of this sacrament is not such that it always results from the minister's prayer, even when all essentials have been duly observed, as is the case with the character in Baptism and Confirmation, transubstantiation in the Eucharist, remission of sin in Penance (given contrition) which remission is essential to the sacrament of Penance but not to this sacrament. Consequently the form of this sacrament cannot be expressed in the indicative mood, as in the sacraments just mentioned.

Reply to Objection 1: This sacrament, like the others mentioned, considered in itself, is sure of its effect. yet this effect can be hindered through the insincerity of the recipient (though by his intention he submit to the sacrament), so that he receives no effect at all. Hence there is no parity between this sacrament, and the others wherein some effect always ensues.

Reply to Objection 2: The intention is sufficiently expressed by the act which is mentioned in the form, viz.: "By this holy unction."

Reply to Objection 3: These words in the indicative mood, which some are wont to say before the prayer, are not the sacramental form, but are a preparation for the form, in so far as they determine the intention of the minister.


Whether the foregoing prayer is a suitable form for this sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that the foregoing prayer is not a suitable form for this sacrament. For in the forms of the other sacraments mention is made of the matter, for instance in Confirmation, whereas this is not done in the aforesaid words. Therefore it is not a suitable form.

Objection 2: Further, just as the effect of this sacrament is bestowed on us by the mercy of God, so are the effects of the other sacraments. But mention is made in the forms of the other sacraments, not of the Divine mercy, but rather of the Trinity and of the Passion. Therefore the same should be done here.

Objection 3: Further, this sacrament is stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 23) to have a twofold effect. But in the foregoing words mention is made of only one effect, viz. the remission of sins, and not of the healing of the body to which end James directs the prayer of faith to be made (James 5:15): "The prayer of faith shall save the sick man." Therefore the above form is unsuitable.

I answer that, The prayer given above [4895](A[8]) is a suitable form for this sacrament, for it includes the sacrament by the words: "By this holy unction," and that which works in the sacrament, viz. "the mercy of God," and the effect, viz. "remission of sins."

Reply to Objection 1: The matter of this sacrament may be understood in the act of anointing, whereas the matter of Confirmation cannot be implied by the act expressed in the form. Hence there is no parity.

Reply to Objection 2: The object of mercy is misery: and because this sacrament is given when we are in a state of misery, i.e. of sickness, mention of mercy is made in this rather than in other sacraments.

Reply to Objection 3: The form should contain mention of the principal effect, and of that which always ensues in virtue of the sacrament, unless there be something lacking on the part of the recipient. Now bodily health is not an effect of this kind, as we shall state further on ([4896]Q[30], AA[1] ,2), though it does ensue at times, for which reason James ascribes this effect to the prayer which is the form of this sacrament.


OF THE EFFECT OF THIS SACRAMENT (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the effect of this sacrament: under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether Extreme Unction avails for the remission of sins?

(2) Whether bodily health is an effect of this sacrament?

(3) Whether this sacrament imprints a character?


Whether Extreme Unction avails for the remission of sins?

Objection 1: It would seem that Extreme Unction does not avail for the remission of sins. For when a thing can be attained by one means, no other is needed. Now repentance is required in the recipient of Extreme Unction for the remission of his sins. Therefore sins are not remitted by Extreme Unction.

Objection 2: Further, there are no more than three things in sin, the stain, the debt of punishment, and the remnants of sin. Now Extreme Unction does not remit the stain without contrition, and this remits sin even without Unction; nor does it remit the punishment, for if the recipient recover, he is still bound to fulfill the satisfaction enjoined; nor does it take away the remnants of sin, since the dispositions remaining from preceding acts still remain, as may easily be seen after recovery. Therefore remission of sins is by no means the effect of Extreme Unction.

Objection 3: Further, remission of sins takes place, not successively, but instantaneously. On the other hand, Extreme Unction is not done all at once, since several anointings are required. Therefore the remission of sins is not its effect.

On the contrary, It is written (James 5:15): "If he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him." Further, every sacrament of the New Law confers grace. Now grace effects the forgiveness of sins. Therefore since Extreme Unction is a sacrament of the New Law, its effect is the remission of sins.

I answer that, Each sacrament was instituted for the purpose of one principal effect, though it may, in consequence, produce other effects besides. And since a sacrament causes what it signifies, the principal effect of a sacrament must be gathered from its signification. Now this sacrament is conferred by way of a kind of medicament, even as Baptism is conferred by way of washing, and the purpose of a medicament is to expel sickness. Hence the chief object of the institution of this sacrament is to cure the sickness of sin. Therefore, just as Baptism is a spiritual regeneration, and Penance, a spiritual resurrection, so Extreme Unction is a spiritual healing or cure. Now just as a bodily cure presupposes bodily life in the one who is cured, so does a spiritual cure presuppose spiritual life. Hence this sacrament is not an antidote to those defects which deprive man of spiritual life, namely. original and mortal sin, but is a remedy for such defects as weaken man spiritually, so as to deprive him of perfect vigor for acts of the life of grace or of glory; which defects consist in nothing else but a certain weakness and unfitness, the result in us of actual or original sin. against which weakness man is strengthened by this sacrament. Since, however, this strength is given by grace, which is incompatible with sin, it follows that. in consequence, if it finds any sin, either mortal or venial, it removes it as far as the guilt is concerned, provided there be no obstacle on the part of the recipient; just as we have stated to be the case with regard to the Eucharist and Confirmation (TP, Q[73], A[7]; [4897]TP, Q[79], A[3]). Hence, too, James speaks of the remission of sin as being conditional, for he says: "If he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him," viz. as to the guilt. Because it does not always blot out sin, since it does not always find any: but it always remits in respect of the aforesaid weakness which some call the remnants of sin. Some, however, maintain that it is instituted chiefly as a remedy for venial sin which cannot be cured perfectly in this lifetime: for which reason the sacrament of the dying is ordained specially against venial sin. But this does not seem to be true, since Penance also blots out venial sins sufficiently during this life as to their guilt, and that we cannot avoid them after doing penance, does not cancel the effect of the previous penance; moreover this is part of the weakness mentioned above. Consequently we must say that the principal effect of this sacrament is the remission of sin, as to its remnants, and, consequently, even as to its guilt, if it find it.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the principal effect of a sacrament can be obtained without actually receiving that sacrament (either without any sacrament at all, or indirectly by means of some other sacrament), yet it never can be obtained without the purpose of receiving that sacrament. And so, since Penance was instituted chiefly against actual sin, whichever other sacrament may blot out sin indirectly, it does not exclude the necessity of Penance.

Reply to Objection 2: Extreme Unction remits sin in some way as to those three things. For, although the stain of sin is not washed out without contrition, yet this sacrament, by the grace which it bestows, makes the movement of the free will towards sin to be one of contrition, just as may occur in the Eucharist and Confirmation. Again it diminishes the debt of temporal punishment; and this indirectly, in as much as it takes away weakness, for a strong man bears the same punishment more easily than a weak man. Hence it does not follow that the measure of satisfaction is diminished. As to the remnants of sin, they do not mean here those dispositions which result from acts, and are inchoate habits so to speak, but a certain spiritual debility in the mind, which debility being removed, though such like habits or dispositions remain, the mind is not so easily prone to sin.

Reply to Objection 3: When many actions are ordained to one effect, the last is formal with respect to all the others that precede, and acts by virtue of them: wherefore by the last anointing is infused grace which gives the sacrament its effect.


Whether bodily health is an effect of this sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that bodily health is not an effect of this sacrament. For every sacrament is a spiritual remedy. Now a spiritual remedy is ordained to spiritual health, just as a bodily remedy is ordained to health of the body. Therefore bodily health is not an effect of this sacrament.

Objection 2: Further, the sacraments always produce their effect in those who approach them in the proper dispositions. Now sometimes the recipient of this sacrament does not receive bodily health, no matter how devoutly he receives it. Therefore bodily health is not its effect.

Objection 3: Further, the efficacy of this sacrament is notified to us in the fifth chapter of James. Now healing is ascribed there as the effect, not of the anointing, but of the prayer, for he says: "The prayer of faith shall save the sick man." Therefore bodily healing is not an effect of this sacrament.

On the contrary, The operation of the Church is more efficacious since Christ's Passion than before. Now, before the Passion, those whom the apostles anointed with oil were healed (Mk. 6:13). Therefore unction has its effect now in healing bodies. Further, the sacraments produce their effect by signifying it. Now Baptism signifies and effects a spiritual washing, through the bodily washing in which it consists outwardly. Therefore Extreme Unction signifies and causes a spiritual healing through the bodily healing which it effects externally.

I answer that, Just as Baptism causes a spiritual cleansing from spiritual stains by means of a bodily washing, so this sacrament causes an inward healing by means of an outward sacramental healing: and even as the baptismal washing has the effect of a bodily washing, since it effects even a bodily cleansing, so too, Extreme Unction has the effect of a bodily remedy, namely a healing of the body. But there is a difference, for as much as the bodily washing causes a bodily cleansing by a natural property of the bodily element, and consequently always causes it, whereas Extreme Unction causes a bodily healing, not by a natural property of the matter, but by the Divine power which works reasonably. And since reasonable working never produces a secondary effect, except in so far as it is required for the principal effect, it follows that a bodily healing does not always ensue from this sacrament, but only when it is requisite for the spiritual healing: and then it produces it always, provided there be no obstacle on the part of the recipient.

Reply to Objection 1: This objection proves that bodily health is not the principal effect of this sacrament: and this is true. The Reply to the Second Objection is clear from what has been said above (cf.[4898] Q[29], A[8]).

Reply to Objection 3: This prayer is the form of this sacrament as stated above ([4899]Q[29], AA[8],9). Hence, so far as its form is concerned, this sacrament derives from it its efficacy in healing the body.


Whether this sacrament imprints a character?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament imprints a character. For a character is a distinctive sign. Now just as one who is baptized is distinguished from one who is not so is one who is anointed, from one who is not. Therefore, just as Baptism imprints a character so does Extreme Unction.

Objection 2: Further, there is an anointing in the sacraments or order and Confirmation, as there is in this sacrament. But a character is imprinted in those sacraments. Therefore a character is imprinted in this one also.

Objection 3: Further, every sacrament contains something that is a reality only, something that is a sacrament only, and something that is both reality and sacrament. Now nothing in this sacrament can be assigned as both reality and sacrament except a character. Therefore in this sacrament also, a character is imprinted.

On the contrary, No sacrament that imprints a character is repeated. But this sacrament is repeated as we shall state further on

([4900]Q[33]). Therefore it does not imprint a character. Further, a sacramental character causes a distinction among those who are in the present Church. But Extreme Unction is given to one who is departing from the present Church. Therefore it does not imprint a character.

I answer that, A character is not imprinted except in those sacraments whereby man is deputed to some sacred duty. Now this sacrament is for no other purpose than a remedy, and man is not deputed thereby to do or receive anything holy. Therefore it does not imprint a character.

Reply to Objection 1: A character marks a distinction of . states with regard to duties which have to be performed in the Church, a distinction which a man does not receive by being anointed.

Reply to Objection 2: The unction of orders and Confirmation, is the unction of consecration whereby a man is deputed to some sacred duty, whereas this unction is remedial. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 3: In this sacrament, that which is both reality and sacrament is not a character, but a certain inward devotion which is a kind of spiritual anointing.


OF THE MINISTER OF THIS SACRAMENT (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the minister of this sacrament: under which head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a layman can confer this sacrament?

(2) Whether a deacon can?

(3) Whether none but a bishop can confer it?


Whether a layman can confer this sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that even a layman can confer this sacrament. For this sacrament derives its efficacy from prayer, as James declares (James 5:15). But a layman's prayer is sometimes as acceptable to God as a priest's. Therefore he can confer this sacrament.

Objection 2: Further, we read of certain fathers in Egypt that they sent the oil to the sick, and that these were healed. It is also related of the Blessed Genevieve that she anointed the sick with oil. Therefore this sacrament can be conferred even by lay people.

On the contrary, Remission of sins is given in this sacrament. But laymen have not the power to forgive sins. Therefore, etc.

I answer that, According to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v) there are some who exercise hierarchical actions, and some who are recipients only. Hence laymen are officially incompetent to dispense any sacrament: and that they can baptize in cases of necessity, is due to the Divine dispensation, in order that no one may be deprived of spiritual regeneration.

Reply to Objection 1: This prayer is not said by the priest in his own person, for since sometimes he is in sin, he would not in that case be heard. But it is said in the person of the whole Church, in whose person he can pray as a public official, whereas a layman cannot, for he is a private individual.

Reply to Objection 2: These unctions were not sacramental. It was due to the devotion of the recipients of the unction, and to the merits of those who anointed them that they procured the effects of bodily health, through the "grace of healing" (1 Cor. 12:9) but not through sacramental grace.


Whether deacons can confer this sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that deacons can confer this sacrament. For, according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v) "deacons have the power to cleanse." Now this sacrament was instituted precisely to cleanse from sickness of the mind and body. Therefore deacons also can confer it.

Objection 2: Further, Baptism is a more excellent sacrament than the one of which we are speaking. But deacons can baptize, as instanced by the Blessed Laurence. Therefore they can confer this sacrament also.

On the contrary, It is written (James 5:14): "Let him bring in the priests of the Church."

I answer that, A deacon has the power to cleanse but not to enlighten. Hence, since enlightenment is an effect of grace, no sacrament whereby grace is conferred can be given by a deacon in virtue of his office: and so he cannot confer this sacrament, since grace is bestowed therein.

Reply to Objection 1: This sacrament cleanses by enlightening through the bestowal of grace: wherefore a deacon is not competent to confer it.

Reply to Objection 2: This is not a necessary sacrament, as Baptism is. Hence its bestowal is not committed to all in cases of necessity, but only to those who are competent to do so in virtue of their office. Nor are deacons competent to baptize in virtue of their office.


Whether none but a bishop can confer this sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that none but a bishop can confer this sacrament. For this sacrament consists in an anointing, just as Confirmation does. Now none but a bishop can confirm. Therefore only a bishop can confer this sacrament.

Objection 2: Further, he who cannot do what is less cannot do what is greater. Now the use of consecrated matter surpasses the act of consecrating the matter, since the former is the end of the latter. Therefore since a priest cannot consecrate the matter, neither can he use the matter after it has been consecrated.

On the contrary, The minister of this sacrament has to be brought in to the recipient, as is clear from James 5:14. Now a bishop cannot go to all the sick people of his diocese. Therefore the bishop is not the only one who can confer this sacrament.

I answer that, According to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v), the office of perfecting belongs to a bishop, just as it belongs to a priest to enlighten. Wherefore those sacraments are reserved to a bishop's dispensation, which place the recipient in a state of perfection above others. But this is not the case with this sacrament, for it is given to all. Consequently it can be given by ordinary priests.

Reply to Objection 1: Confirmation imprints a character, whereby man is placed in a state of perfection, as stated above ([4901]TP, Q[63], AA[1], 2,6). But this does not take place in this sacrament; hence there is no comparison.

Reply to Objection 2: Although the use of consecrated matter is of more importance than the consecration of the matter, from the point of view of the final cause; nevertheless, from the point of view of efficient cause, the consecration of the matter is the more important, since the use of the matter is dependent thereon, as on its active cause: hence the consecration of the matter demands a higher power than the use of the matter does.


ON WHOM SHOULD THIS SACRAMENT BE CONFERRED AND ON WHAT PART OF THE BODY? (SEVEN ARTICLES)

We must now consider on whom this sacrament should be conferred and on what part of the body: under which head there are seven points of inquiry:

(1) Whether this sacrament should be conferred on those who are in good health?

(2) Whether it should be conferred in any kind of sickness?

(3) Whether it should be conferred on madmen and imbeciles?

(4) Whether it should be given to children?

(5) Whether, in this sacrament, the whole body should be anointed?

(6) Whether certain parts are suitably assigned to be anointed?

(7) Whether those who are deformed in the above parts ought to be anointed thereon?


Whether this sacrament ought to be conferred on those who are in good health?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament should be conferred even on those who are in good health. For the healing of the mind is a more important effect of this sacrament than the healing of the body, as stated above ([4902]Q[30], A[2]). Now even those who are healthy in body need to be healed in mind. Therefore this sacrament should be conferred on them also.

Objection 2: Further, this is the sacrament of those who are departing this life, just as Baptism is the sacrament of those who are entering this life. Now Baptism is given to all who enter. Therefore this sacrament should be given to all who are departing. But sometimes those who are near departure are in good health, for instance those who are to be beheaded. Therefore this sacrament should be conferred on them.

On the contrary, It is written (James 5:14): "Is any man sick among you," etc. Therefore none but the sick are competent to receive this sacrament.

I answer that, This sacrament is a spiritual healing, as stated above

([4903]Q[30], AA[1],2), and is signified by way of a healing of the body. Hence this sacrament should not be conferred on those who are not subjects for bodily healing, those namely, who are in good health.

Reply to Objection 1: Although spiritual health is the principal effect of this sacrament, yet this same spiritual healing needs to be signified by a healing of the body, although bodily health may not actually ensue. Consequently spiritual health can be conferred by this sacrament on those alone who are competent to receive bodily healing, viz. the sick; even as he alone can receive Baptism who is capable of a bodily washing, and not a child yet in its mother's womb.

Reply to Objection 2: Even those who are entering into life cannot receive Baptism unless they are capable of a bodily washing. And so those who are departing this life cannot receive this sacrament, unless they be subjects for a bodily healing.


Whether this sacrament ought to be given in any kind of sickness?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament should be given in any kind of sickness. For no kind of sickness is determined in the fifth chapter of James where this sacrament is delivered to us. Therefore this sacrament should be given in all kinds of sickness.

Objection 2: Further, the more excellent a remedy is, the more generally should it be available. Now this sacrament is more excellent than bodily medicine. Since then bodily medicine is given to all manner of sick persons, it seems that this sacrament should be given in like manner to all.

On the contrary, This sacrament is called by all Extreme Unction. Now it is not every sickness that brings man to the extremity of his life, since some ailments prolong life, according to the Philosopher (De Long. et Brev. Vitae i). Therefore this sacrament should not be given in every case of sickness.

I answer that, This sacrament is the last remedy that the Church can give, since it is an immediate preparation for glory. Therefore it ought to be given to those only, who are so sick as to be in a state of departure from this life, through their sickness being of such a nature as to cause death, the danger of which is to be feared.

Reply to Objection 1: Any sickness can cause death, if it be aggravated. Hence if we consider the different kinds of disease, there is none in which this sacrament cannot be given; and for this reason the apostle does not determine any particular one. But if we consider the degree and the stage of the complaint, this sacrament should not be given to every sick person.

Reply to Objection 2: The principal effect of bodily medicine is bodily health, which all sick people lack, whatever be the stage of their sickness. But the principal effect of this sacrament is that immunity from disorder which is needed by those who are taking their departure from this life and setting out for the life of glory. Hence the comparison fails.


Whether this sacrament ought to be given to madmen and imbeciles?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament should be given to madmen and imbeciles. For these diseases are full of danger and cause death quickly. Now when there is danger it is the time to apply the remedy. Therefore this sacrament, which was intended as a remedy to human weakness, should be given to such people.

Objection 2: Further, Baptism is a greater sacrament than this. Now Baptism is conferred on mad people as stated above ([4904]TP, Q[68], A[12]). Therefore this sacrament also should be given to them.

On the contrary, This sacrament should be given to none but such as acknowledge it. Now this does not apply to madmen and imbeciles. Therefore it should not be given to them.

I answer that, The devotion of the recipient, the personal merit of the minister, and the general merits of the whole Church, are of great account towards the reception of the effect of this sacrament. This is evident from the fact that the form of this sacrament is pronounced by way of a prayer. Hence it should not be given those who cannot acknowledge it, and especially to madmen and imbeciles, who might dishonor the sacrament by their offensive conduct, unless they have lucid intervals, when they would be capable of acknowledging the sacrament, for then the sacrament should be given to children the same in that state.

Reply to Objection 1: Although such people are sometimes in danger of death; yet the remedy cannot be applied to them, on account of their lack of devotion. Hence it should not be given to them.

Reply to Objection 2: Baptism does not require a movement of the free-will, because it is given chiefly as a remedy for original sin, which, in us, is not taken away by a movement of the free-will. On the other hand this sacrament requires a movement of the free-will; wherefore the comparison fails. Moreover Baptism is a necessary sacrament, while Extreme Unction is not.


Whether this sacrament should be given to children?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament ought to be given to children. Because children suffer from the same ailments sometimes as adults. Now the same disease requires the same remedy. Therefore this sacrament should be given to children the same as to adults.

Objection 2: Further, this sacrament is given in order to remove the remnants of sin, whether original or actual, as stated above

([4905]Q[30], A[1]). Now the remnants of original sin are in children. Therefore this sacrament should be given to them.

On the contrary, This sacrament should be given to none but those to whom the form applies. But the form of this sacrament does not apply to children, since they have not sinned by sight and hearing; as expressed in the form. Therefore this sacrament should not be given to them.

I answer that, This sacrament, like the Eucharist, requires actual devotion in the recipient. Therefore, just as the Eucharist ought not to be given to children, so neither ought this sacrament to be given to them.

Reply to Objection 1: Children's infirmities are not caused by actual sin, as in adults, and this sacrament is given chiefly as a remedy for infirmities that result from sins, being the remnants of sin, as it were.

Reply to Objection 2: This sacrament is not given as a remedy for the remnants of original sin, except in so far as they gather strength, so to speak, from actual sins. Hence from the very form it appears that it is given chiefly as a remedy for actual sins, which are not in children.


Whether the whole body should be anointed in this sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that the whole body should be anointed in this sacrament. For, according to Augustine (De Trin. vi, 6), "the whole soul is in every part of the body." Now this sacrament is given chiefly in order to heal the soul. Therefore the whole body ought to be anointed.

Objection 2: Further, the remedy should be applied to the part affected by the disease. But sometimes the disease is general, and affects the whole body, as a fever does. Therefore the whole body should be anointed.

Objection 3: Further, in Baptism the whole body is dipped under the water. Therefore in this sacrament the whole body should be anointed.

On the contrary, stands the rite observed throughout the Church, according to which in this sacrament the sick man is anointed, only in certain fixed parts of the body.

I answer that, This sacrament is shown to us under the form of a healing. Now bodily healing has to be effected, by applying the remedy, not to the whole body, but to those parts where the root of the disease is seated. Consequently the sacramental unction also ought to be applied to those parts only in which the spiritual sickness is rooted.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the whole soul is, as to its essence, in each part of the body, it is not as to its powers which are the roots of sinful acts. Hence certain fixed parts have to be anointed, those, namely, in which powers have their being.

Reply to Objection 2: The remedy is not always applied to the part affected by the disease, but, with greater reason, to the part where the root of the disease is seated.

Reply to Objection 3: Baptism is given under the form of washing: and a bodily washing cleanses only the part to which it is applied; for this reason Baptism is applied to the whole body. It is different with Extreme Unction for the reason given above.


Whether the parts to be anointed are suitably assigned?

Objection 1: It would seem that these parts are unsuitably assigned, namely, that the eyes, nose, ears, lips, hands, and feet should be anointed. For a wise physician heals the disease in its root. Now "from the heart come forth thoughts . . . that defile a man" (Mat. 15:19,20). Therefore the breast ought to be anointed.

Objection 2: Further, purity of mind is not less necessary to those who are departing this life than to those who are entering therein. Now those who are entering are anointed with chrism on the head by the priest, to signify purity of mind. Therefore in this sacrament those who are departing should be anointed on the head.

Objection 3: Further, the remedy should be applied where the disease is most virulent. Now spiritual sickness is most virulent in the loins in men, and in the navel in women, according to Job 40:11: "His strength is in his loins, and his force in the navel of his belly," as Gregory expounds the passage (Moral. xxxii, 11). Therefore these parts should be anointed.

Objection 4: Further, sins are committed with other parts of the body, no less than with the feet. Therefore, as the feet are anointed, so ought other members of the body to be anointed.

I answer that, The principles of sinning are the same in us as the principles of action, for a sin is an act. Now there are in us three principles of action; the first is the directing principle, namely, the cognitive power; the second is the commanding principle, namely, the appetitive power; the third is the executive principle, namely, the motive power. Now all our knowledge has its origin in the senses. And, since the remedy for sin should be applied where sin originates in us first, for that reason the places of the five senses are anointed. the eyes, to wit, on account of the sight, the ears on account of hearing, the nostrils on account of the smell, the mouth on account of the taste, the hands on account of the touch which is keenest in the finger tips,

(in some places too the loins are anointed on account of the appetite), and the feet are anointed on account of the motive power of which they are the chief instrument. And since the cognitive power is the first principle of human activity, the anointing of the five senses is observed by all, as being essential to the sacrament. But some do not observe the other unctions — some also anoint the feet but not the loins — because the appetitive and motive powers are secondary principles.

Reply to Objection 1: No thought arises in the heart without an act of the imagination which is a movement proceeding from sensation (De Anima ii). Hence the primary root of thought is not the heart, but the sensory organs, except in so far as the heart is a principle of the whole body, albeit a remote principle.

Reply to Objection 2: Those who enter have to receive purity of the mind, whereas those who are departing have to cleanse the mind. Hence the latter need to be anointed in those parts in respect of which the mind's purity may be sullied.

Reply to Objection 3: Some are wont to anoint the loins, because they are the chief seat of the concupiscible appetite: however, as stated above, the appetitive power is not the primary root.

Reply to Objection 4: The bodily organs which are the instruments of sin, are the feet, hands, and tongue, all of which are anointed, and the organs of generation which it would be unbecoming to anoint, on account of their uncleanliness, and out of respect for the sacrament.


Whether those who are deformed in those parts should be anointed?

Objection 1: It would seem that those who are deformed should not be anointed in those parts. For just as this sacrament demands a certain disposition on the part of the recipient, viz. that he should be sick, so it demands that he should be anointed in a certain part of the body. Now he that is not sick cannot be anointed. Therefore neither can he be anointed who lacks the part to be anointed.

Objection 2: Further, a man born blind does not sin by his sight. Yet in the anointing of the eyes mention is made of sins by sight. Therefore this anointing ought not to be applied to one born blind, and in like manner as regards the other senses.

On the contrary, Bodily deformity is not an impediment to any other sacrament. Therefore it should not be an impediment to this one. Now each of the anointings is essential to the sacrament. Therefore all should be applied to those who are deformed.

I answer that, Even those who are deformed should be anointed, and that as near as possible to the part which ought to have been anointed. For though they have not the members, nevertheless, they have, at least radically, the powers of the soul, corresponding to those members, and they may commit inwardly the sins that pertain to those members, though they cannot outwardly. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


OF THE REPETITION OF THIS SACRAMENT (TWO ARTICLES)

We must now consider the repetition of this sacrament: under which head there are two points of inquiry:

(1) Whether this sacrament ought to be repeated?

(2) Whether it ought to be repeated during the same sickness?


Whether this sacrament ought to be repeated?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament ought not to be repeated. For the anointing of a man is of greater import than the anointing of a stone. But the anointing of an altar is not repeated, unless the altar be shattered. Neither, therefore, should Extreme Unction, whereby a man is anointed, be repeated.

Objection 2: Further, nothing comes after what is extreme. But this unction is called extreme. Therefore it should not be repeated.

On the contrary, This sacrament is a spiritual healing applied under the form of a bodily cure. But a bodily cure is repeated. Therefore this sacrament also can be repeated.

I answer that, No sacramental or sacrament, having an effect that lasts for ever, can be repeated, because this would imply that the sacrament had failed to produce that effect; and this would be derogatory to the sacrament. On the other hand a sacrament whose effect does not last for ever, can be repeated without disparaging that sacrament, in order that the lost effect may be recovered. And since health of body and soul, which is the effect of this sacrament, can be lost after it has been effected, it follows that this sacrament can, without disparagement thereto, be repeated.

Reply to Objection 1: The stone is anointed in order that the altar may be consecrated, and the stone remains consecrated, as long as the altar remains, hence it cannot be anointed again. But a man is not consecrated by being anointed, since it does not imprint a character on him. Hence there is no comparison.

Reply to Objection 2: What men think to be extreme is not always extreme in reality. It is thus that this sacrament is called Extreme Unction, because it ought not to be given save to those whose death men think to be nigh.


Whether this sacrament ought to be repeated during the same sickness?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament ought not to be repeated during the same sickness. For one disease demands one remedy. Now this sacrament is a spiritual remedy. Therefore it ought not to be repeated for one sickness.

Objection 2: Further, if a sick man could be anointed more than once during one disease, this might be done for a whole day: which is absurd.

On the contrary, Sometimes a disease lasts long after the sacrament has been received, so that the remnants of sin, against which chiefly this sacrament is given, would be contracted. Therefore it ought to be given again.

I answer that, This sacrament regards not only the sickness, but also the state of the sick man, because it ought not to be given except to those sick people who seem, in man's estimation, to be nigh to death. Now some diseases do not last long; so that if this sacrament is given at the time that the sick man is in a state of danger of death, he does not leave that state except the disease be cured, and thus he needs not to be anointed again. But if he has a relapse, it will be a second sickness, and he can be anointed again. on the other hand some diseases are of long duration, as hectic fever, dropsy and the like, and those who lie sick of them should not be anointed until they seem to be in danger of death. And if the sick man escape that danger while the disease continues, and be brought again thereby to the same state of danger, he can be anointed again, because it is, as it were, another state of sickness, although strictly speaking, it is not another sickness. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


HOLY ORDERS (QQ[34]-40) OF THE SACRAMENT OF ORDER AS TO ITS ESSENCE AND ITS PARTS (FIVE ARTICLES)

In the next place we must consider the sacrament of Order: (1) Order in general; (2) the difference of Orders; (3) those who confer Orders; (4) the impediments to receiving Orders; (5) things connected with Orders. Concerning Order in general three points have to be considered: (1) Its essence, quiddity, and parts; (2) Its effect; (3) The recipients of Orders. Under the first head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether there should be Order in the Church?

(2) Whether it is fittingly defined?

(3) Whether it is a sacrament?

(4) Whether its form is expressed properly?

(5) Whether this sacrament has any matter?


Whether there should be Order in the Church?

Objection 1: It would seem that there should not be Order in the Church. For Order requires subjection and preeminence. But subjection seemingly is incompatible with the liberty whereunto we are called by Christ. Therefore there should not be Order in the Church.

Objection 2: Further, he who has received an Order becomes another's superior. But in the Church everyone should deem himself lower than another (Phil. 2:3): "Let each esteem others better than themselves." Therefore Order should not be in the Church.

Objection 3: Further, we find order among the angels on account of their differing in natural and gratuitous gifts. But all men are one in nature, and it is not known who has the higher gifts of grace. Therefore Order should not be in the Church.

On the contrary, "Those things that are of God, are in order [*Vulg: 'Those (powers) that are, are ordained of God.']." Now the Church is of God, for He Himself built it with His blood. Therefore there ought to be Order in the Church. Further, the state of the Church is between the state of nature and the state of glory. Now we find order in nature, in that some things are above others, and likewise in glory, as in the angels. Therefore there should be Order in the Church.

I answer that, God wished to produce His works in likeness to Himself, as far as possible, in order that they might be perfect, and that He might be known through them. Hence, that He might be portrayed in His works, not only according to what He is in Himself, but also according as He acts on others, He laid this natural law on all things, that last things should be reduced and perfected by middle things, and middle things by the first, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. v). Wherefore that this beauty might not be lacking to the Church, He established Order in her so that some should deliver the sacraments to others, being thus made like to God in their own way, as co-operating with God; even as in the natural body, some members act on others.

Reply to Objection 1: The subjection of slavery is incompatible with liberty; for slavery consists in lording over others and employing them for one's own profit. Such subjection is not required in Order, whereby those who preside have to seek the salvation of their subjects and not their own profit.

Reply to Objection 2: Each one should esteem himself lower in merit, not in office; and orders are a kind of office.

Reply to Objection 3: Order among the angels does not arise from difference of nature, unless accidentally, in so far as difference of grace results in them from difference of nature. But in them it results directly from their difference in grace; because their orders regard their participation of divine things, and their communicating them in the state of glory, which is according to the measure of grace, as being the end and effect, so to speak, of grace. on the other hand, the Orders of the Church militant regard the participation in the sacraments and the communication thereof, which are the cause of grace and, in a way, precede grace; and consequently our Orders do not require sanctifying grace, but only the power to dispense the sacraments; for which reason order does not correspond to the difference of sanctifying grace, but to the difference of power.


Whether Order is properly defined?

Objection 1: It would seem that order is improperly defined by the Master (Sent. iv, D, 53), where it is said "Order is a seal of the Church, whereby spiritual power is conferred on the person ordained." For a part should not be described as the genus of the whole. Now the character which is denoted by the seal in a subsequent definition is a part of order, since it is placed in contradistinction with that which is either reality only, or sacrament only, since it is both reality and sacrament. Therefore seal should not be mentioned as the genus of Order.

Objection 2: Further, just as a character is imprinted in the sacrament of order, so is it in the sacrament of Baptism. Now character was not mentioned in the definition of Baptism. Therefore neither should it be mentioned in the definition of Order.

Objection 3: Further, in Baptism there is also given a certain spiritual power to approach the sacraments; and again it is a seal, since it is a sacrament. Therefore this definition is applicable to Baptism; and consequently it is improperly applied to Order.

Objection 4: Further, Order is a kind of relation, and relation is realized in both its terms. Now the terms of the relation of order are the superior and the inferior. Therefore inferiors have order as well as superiors. Yet there is no power of preeminence in them, such as is mentioned here in the definition of Order, as appears from the subsequent explanation (Sent. iv, D, 53), where promotion to power is mentioned. Therefore Order is improperly defined there.

I answer that, The Master's definition of Order applies to Order as a sacrament of the Church. Hence he mentions two things, namely the outward sign, a "kind of seal," i.e. a kind of sign, and the inward effect, "whereby spiritual power," etc.

Reply to Objection 1: Seal stands here, not for the inward character, but for the outward action, which is the sign and cause of inward power; and this is also the sense of character in the other definition. If, however, it be taken for the inward character, the definition would not be unsuitable; because the division of a sacrament into those three things is not a division into integral parts, properly speaking; since what is reality only is not essential to the sacrament, and that which is the sacrament is transitory; while that which is sacrament and reality is said to remain. Wherefore it follows that inward character itself is essentially and principally the sacrament of Order.

Reply to Objection 2: Although in Baptism there is conferred a spiritual power to receive the other sacraments, for which reason it imprints a character, nevertheless this is not its principal effect, but the inward cleansing; wherefore Baptism would be given even though the former motive did not exist. On the other hand, order denotes power principally. Wherefore the character which is a spiritual power is included in the definition of Order, but not in that of Baptism.

Reply to Objection 3: In Baptism there is given a certain spiritual potentiality to receive, and consequently a somewhat passive potentiality. But power properly denotes active potentiality, together with some kind of preeminence. Hence this definition is not applicable to Baptism.

Reply to Objection 4: The word "order" is used in two ways. For sometimes it denotes the relation itself, and thus it is both in the inferior and in the superior, as the objection states; but it is not thus that we use the word here. On the other hand, it denotes the degree which results in the order taken in the first sense. And since the notion of order as relation is observed where we first meet with something higher than another, it follows that this degree of pre-eminence by spiritual power is called Order.


Whether Order is a sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that Order is not a sacrament. For a sacrament, according to Hugh of St. Victor (De Sacram. i) "is a material element." Now Order denotes nothing of the kind, but rather relation or power; since Order is a part of power according to Isidore. Therefore it is not a sacrament.

Objection 2: Further, the sacraments do not concern the Church triumphant. Yet Order is there, as in the angels. Therefore it is not a sacrament.

Objection 3: Further, just as spiritual authority, which is Order, is given by means of consecration, so is secular authority, since kings also are anointed, as stated above ([4906]Q[19], A[3], ad 2). But the kingly power is not a sacrament. Therefore neither is order of which we speak now.

On the contrary, It is mentioned by all among the seven sacraments of the Church. Further, "the cause of a thing being such, is still more so." Now Order is the cause of man being the dispenser of the other sacraments. Therefore Order has more reason for being a sacrament than the others.

I answer that, As stated above (Q[29], A[1]; [4907]TP, Q[60]), a sacrament is nothing else than a sanctification conferred on man with some outward sign. Wherefore, since by receiving orders a consecration is conferred on man by visible signs, it is clear that Order is a sacrament.

Reply to Objection 1: Although Order does not by its name express a material element, it is not conferred without some material element.

Reply to Objection 2: Power must needs be proportionate to the purpose for which it is intended. Now the communication of divine things, which is the purpose for which spiritual power is given, is not effected among the angels by means of sensible signs, as is the case among men. Hence the spiritual power that is Order is not bestowed on the angels by visible signs, as on men. Wherefore Order is a sacrament among men, but not among angels.

Reply to Objection 3: Not every blessing or consecration given to men is a sacrament, for both monks and abbots are blessed, and yet such blessings are not sacraments, and in like manner neither is the anointing of a king; because by such blessings men are not ordained to the dispensing of the divine sacraments, as by the blessing of Order. Hence the comparison fails.


Whether the form of this sacrament is suitably expressed?

Objection 1: It would seem that the form of this sacrament is unsuitably set forth in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24). Because the sacraments take their efficacy from their form. Now the efficacy of the sacraments is from the divine power, which works our salvation in them in a most hidden manner. Therefore the form of this sacrament should include a mention of the divine power by the invocation of the Trinity, as in the other sacraments.

Objection 2: Further, to command pertains to one who has authority. Now the dispenser of the sacrament exercises no authority, but only ministry. Therefore he should not use the imperative mood by saying: "Do" or "Receive" this or that, or some similar expression.

Objection 3: Further, mention should not be made in the sacramental form, except of such things as are essential to the sacrament. But the use of the power received is not essential to this sacrament, but is consequent upon it. Therefore it should not be mentioned in the form of this sacrament.

Objection 4: Further, all the sacraments direct us to an eternal reward. But the forms of the other sacraments make no mention of a reward. Therefore neither should any mention be made thereof in the form of this sacrament, as in the words: "Since thou wilt have a share, if faithfully," etc.

I answer that, This sacrament consists chiefly in the power conferred. Now power is conferred by power, as like proceeds from like; and again power is made known by its use, since powers are manifested by their acts. Wherefore in the form of order the use of order is expressed by the act which is commanded; and the conferring of power is expressed by employing the imperative mood.

Reply to Objection 1: The other sacraments are not ordained chiefly to effects similar to the power whereby the sacraments are dispensed, as this sacrament is. Hence in this sacrament there is a kind of universal communication. Wherefore in the other sacraments something is expressed on the part of the divine power to which the effect of the sacrament is likened, but not in this sacrament.

Reply to Objection 2: [There is a special reason why this sacrament, rather than the others, is conferred by employing the imperative mood. For]* although the bishop who is the minister of this sacrament has no authority in respect of the conferring of this sacrament, nevertheless he has some power with regard to the power of Order, which power he confers, in so far as it is derived, from his. [*The sentence in brackets is not in the Leonine edition.]

Reply to Objection 3: The use of power is the effect of power in the genus of efficient cause, and from this point of view it has no reason to be mentioned in the definition of Order. But it is somewhat a cause in the genus of final cause, and from this point of view it can be placed in the definition of order.

Reply to Objection 4: There is here a difference between this and the other sacraments. Because by this sacrament an office or the power to do something is conferred; and so it is fitting that mention be made of the reward to be obtained if it be administered faithfully. But in the other sacraments no such office or power to act is conferred, and so no mention of reward is made in them. Accordingly the recipient is somewhat passive in relation to the other sacraments, because he receives them for the perfecting of his own state only, whereas in relation to this sacrament he holds himself somewhat actively, since he receives it for the sake of exercising hierarchical duties in the Church. Wherefore although the other sacraments, from the very fact that they give grace, direct the recipient to salvation, properly speaking they do not direct him to a reward, in the same way as this sacrament does.


Whether this sacrament has any matter?

Objection 1: It would seem that this sacrament has no matter. Because in every sacrament that has a matter the power that works in the sacrament is in the matter. But in the material objects which are used here, such as keys, candlesticks, and so forth, there is not apparently any power of sanctification. Therefore it has no matter.

Objection 2: Further, in this sacrament the fulness of sevenfold grace is conferred, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24), just as in Confirmation. But the matter of Confirmation requires to be consecrated beforehand. Since then the things which appear to be material in this sacrament are not consecrated beforehand, it would seem that they are not the matter of the sacrament.

Objection 3: Further, in any sacrament that has matter there needs to be contact of matter with the recipient of the sacrament. Now, as some say, it is not essential to this sacrament that there be contact between the aforesaid material objects and the recipient of the sacrament, but only that they be presented to him. Therefore the aforesaid material objects are not the matter of this sacrament.

On the contrary, Every sacrament consists of things and words. Now in any sacrament the thing is the matter. Therefore the things employed in this sacrament are its matter. Further, more is requisite to dispense the sacraments than to receive them. Yet Baptism, wherein the power is given to receive the sacraments, needs a matter. Therefore order also does, wherein the power is given to dispense them.

I answer that, The matter employed outwardly in the sacraments signifies that the power which works in the sacraments comes entirely from without. Wherefore, since the effect proper to this sacrament, namely the character, is not received through any operation of the one who approaches the sacrament, as was the case in Penance, but comes wholly from without, it is fitting that it should have a matter, yet otherwise than the other sacraments that have matter; because that which is bestowed in the other sacraments comes from God alone, and not from the minister who dispenses the sacrament; whereas that which is conferred in this sacrament, namely the spiritual power, comes also from him who gives the sacrament, as imperfect from perfect power. Hence the efficacy of the other sacraments resides chiefly in the matter which both signifies and contains the divine power through the sanctification applied by the minister; whereas the efficacy of this sacrament resides chiefly with him who dispenses the sacrament. And the matter is employed to show the powers conferred in particular by one who has it completely, rather than to cause power; and this is clear from the fact that the matter is in keeping with the use of power. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.

Reply to Objection 2: It is necessary for the matter to be consecrated in the other sacraments, on account of the power it contains; but it is not so in the case in point.

Reply to Objection 3: If we admit this assertion, the reason for it is clear from what we have said; for since the power of order is received from the minister and not from the matter, the presenting of the matter is more essential to the sacrament than contact therewith. However, the words themselves of the form would seem to indicate that contact with the matter is essential to the sacrament, for it is said: "Receive" this or that.


OF THE EFFECT OF THIS SACRAMENT (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must next consider me effect of this sacrament. Under this head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether sanctifying grace is conferred in the sacrament of Order?

(2) Whether a character is imprinted in connection with all the Orders?

(3) Whether the character of Order presupposes of necessity the character of Baptism?

(4) Whether it presupposes of necessity the character of Confirmation?

(5) Whether the character of one Order presupposes of necessity the character of another Order?


Whether sanctifying grace is conferred in the sacrament of Order?

Objection 1: It would seem that sanctifying grace is not conferred in the sacrament of Order. For it is commonly agreed that the sacrament of Order is directed to counteract the defect of ignorance. Now not sanctifying grace but gratuitous grace is given to counteract ignorance, for sanctifying grace has more to do with the will. Therefore sanctifying grace is not given in the sacrament of Order.

Objection 2: Further, Order implies distinction. Now the members of the Church are distinguished, not by sanctifying but by gratuitous grace, of which it is said (1 Cor. 12:4): "There are diversities of graces." Therefore sanctifying grace is not given in order.

Objection 3: Further, no cause presupposes its effect. But grace is presupposed in one who receives orders, so that he may be worthy to receive them. Therefore this same grace is not given in the conferring of Orders.

On the contrary, The sacraments of the New Law cause what they signify. Now Order by its sevenfold number signifies the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24). Therefore the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which are not apart from sanctifying grace, are given in Orders. Further, Order is a sacrament of the New Law. Now the definition of a sacrament of that kind includes the words, "that it may be a cause of grace." Therefore it causes grace in the recipient.

I answer that The works of God are perfect (Dt. 32:4); and consequently whoever receives power from above receives also those things that render him competent to exercise that power. This is also the case in natural things, since animals are provided with members, by which their soul's powers are enabled to proceed to their respective actions unless there be some defect on the part of matter. Now just as sanctifying grace is necessary in order that man receive the sacraments worthily, so is it that he may dispense them worthily. Wherefore as in Baptism, whereby a man is adapted to receive the other sacraments, sanctifying grace is given, so is it in the sacrament of Order whereby man is ordained to the dispensation of the other sacraments.

Reply to Objection 1: Order is given as a remedy, not to one person but to the whole Church. Hence, although it is said to be given in order to counteract ignorance, it does not mean that by receiving Orders a man has his ignorance driven out of him, but that the recipient of Orders is set in authority to expel ignorance from among the people.

Reply to Objection 2: Although the gifts of sanctifying grace are common to all the members of the Church, nevertheless a man cannot be the worthy recipient of those gifts, in respect of which the members of the Church are distinguished from one another, unless he have charity, and this cannot be apart from sanctifying grace.

Reply to Objection 3: The worthy exercise of Orders requires not any kind of goodness but excellent goodness, in order that as they who receive orders are set above the people in the degree of Order, so may they be above them by the merit of holiness. Hence they are required to have the grace that suffices to make them worthy members of Christ's people, but when they receive Orders they are given a yet greater gift of grace, whereby they are rendered apt for greater things.


Whether in the sacrament of Order a character is imprinted in connection with all the Orders?

Objection 1: It would seem that in the sacrament of Order a character is not imprinted in connection with all the Orders. For the character of Order is a spiritual power. Now some Orders are directed only to certain bodily acts, for instance those of the doorkeeper or of the acolyte. Therefore a character is not imprinted in these Orders.

Objection 2: Further, every character is indelible. Therefore a character places a man in a state whence he cannot withdraw. Now those who have certain Orders can lawfully return to the laity. Therefore a character is not imprinted in all the Orders.

Objection 3: Further, by means of a character a man is appointed to give or to receive some sacred thing. Now a man is sufficiently adapted to the reception of the sacraments by the character of Baptism, and a man is not appointed to dispense the sacraments except in the Order of priesthood. Therefore a character is not imprinted in the other Orders.

On the contrary, Every sacrament in which a character is not imprinted can be repeated. But no Order can be repeated. Therefore a character is imprinted in each Order. Further, a character is a distinctive sign. Now there is something distinct in every Order. Therefore every Order imprints a character.

I answer that, There have been three opinions on this point. For some have said that a character is imprinted only in the Order of priesthood; but this is not true, since none but a deacon can exercise the act of the diaconate, and so it is clear that in the dispensation of the sacraments, he has a spiritual power which others have not. For this reason others have said that a character is impressed in the sacred, but not in the minor, Orders. But this again comes to nothing, since each Order sets a man above the people in some degree of authority directed to the dispensation of the sacraments. Wherefore since a character is a sign whereby one thing is distinguished from another, it follows that a character is imprinted in each Order. And this is confirmed by the fact that they remain for ever and are never repeated. This is the third and more common opinion.

Reply to Objection 1: Each Order either has an act connected with the sacrament itself, or adapts a man to the dispensation of the sacraments; thus doorkeepers exercise the act of admitting men to witness the Divine sacraments, and so forth; and consequently a spiritual power is required in each.

Reply to Objection 2: For all that a man may return to the laity, the character always remains in him. This is evident from the fact that if he return to the clerical state, he does not receive again the order which he had already. The Reply to the Third Objection is the same as to the First.


Whether the character of Order presupposes the baptismal character?

Objection 1: It would seem that the character of Order does not presuppose the character of Baptism. For the character of Order makes a man a dispenser of the sacraments; while the character of Baptism makes him a recipient of them. Now active power does not necessarily presuppose passive power, for it can be without it, as in God. Therefore the character of Order does not necessarily presuppose the character of Baptism.

Objection 2: Further, it may happen that a man is not baptized, and yet think with probability that he has been baptized. If therefore such a person present himself for Orders, he will not receive the character of Order, supposing the character of Order to presuppose the character of Baptism; and consequently whatever he does by way of consecration or absolution will be invalid, and the Church will be deceived therein, which is inadmissible.

On the contrary, Baptism is the door of the sacraments. Therefore since Order is a sacrament, it presupposes Baptism.

I answer that, No one can receive what he has not the power to receive. Now the character of Baptism gives a man the power to receive the other sacraments. Wherefore he that has not the baptismal character, can receive no other sacrament; and consequently the character of Order presupposes the character of Baptism.

Reply to Objection 1: In one who has active power of himself, the active does not presuppose the passive power; but in one who has active power from another, passive power, whereby he is enabled to receive the active power, is prerequisite to active power.

Reply to Objection 2: Such a man if he be ordained to the priesthood is not a priest, and he can neither consecrate, nor absolve in the tribunal of Penance. Wherefore according to the canons he must be baptized, and reordained (Extra De Presbyt. non Bapt., cap. Si quis; cap. Veniens). And even though he be raised to the episcopate, those whom he ordains receive not the Order. Yet it may piously be believed that as regards the ultimate effects of the sacraments, the High Priest will supply the defect, and that He would not allow this to be so hidden as to endanger the Church.


Whether the character of Order necessarily presupposes the character of Confirmation?

Objection 1: It would seem that the character of Order necessarily presupposes the character of Confirmation. For in things subordinate to one another, as the middle presupposes the first, so does the last presuppose the middle. Now the character of Confirmation presupposes that of Baptism as being the first. Therefore the character of Order presupposes that of Confirmation as being in the middle.

Objection 2: Further, those who are appointed to confirm should themselves be most firm. Now those who receive the sacrament of Order are appointed to confirm others. Therefore they especially should have received the sacrament of Confirmation.

On the contrary, The apostles received the power of order before the Ascension (Jn. 20:22), where it is said: "Receive the Holy Ghost." But they were confirmed after the Ascension by the coming of the Holy Ghost. Therefore order does not presuppose Confirmation.

I answer that, For the reception of Orders something is prerequisite for the validity of the sacrament, and something as congruous to the sacrament. For the validity of the sacrament it is required that one who presents himself for Orders should be capable of receiving them, and this is competent to him through Baptism; wherefore the baptismal character is prerequisite for the validity of the sacrament, so that the sacrament of Order cannot be conferred without it. On the other hand, as congruous to the sacrament a man is required to have every perfection whereby he becomes adapted to the exercise of Orders, and one of these is that he be confirmed. Wherefore the character of Order presupposes the character of Confirmation as congruous but not as necessary.

Reply to Objection 1: In this case the middle does not stand in the same relation to the last as the first to the middle, because the character of Baptism enables a man to receive the sacrament of Confirmation, whereas the character of Confirmation does not enable a man to receive the sacrament of Order. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 2: This argument considers aptness by way of congruity.


Whether the character of one Order necessarily presupposes the character of another Order?

Objection 1: It would seem that the character of one Order necessarily presupposes the character of another Order. For there is more in common between one Order and another, than between Order and another sacrament. But the character of Order presupposes the character of another sacrament, namely Baptism. Much more therefore does the character of one Order presuppose the character of another.

Objection 2: Further, the Orders are degrees of a kind. Now no one can reach a further degree, unless he first mount the previous degree. Therefore no one can receive the character of a subsequent Order unless he has first received the preceding Order.

On the contrary, If anything necessary for a sacrament be omitted in that sacrament, the sacrament must be repeated. But if one receive a subsequent Order, without receiving a preceding Order, he is not reordained, but he receives what was lacking, according to the canonical statutes (cap. Tuae literae, De clerico per salt. prom.). Therefore the preceding Order is not necessary for the following.

I answer that, It is not necessary for the higher Orders that one should have received the minor Orders, because their respective powers are distinct, and one, considered in its essentials, does not require another in the same subject. Hence even in the early Church some were ordained priests without having previously received the lower Orders and yet they could do all that the lower Orders could, because the lower power is comprised in the higher, even as sense in understanding, and dukedom in kingdom. Afterwards, however, it was decided by the legislation of the Church that no one should present himself to the higher orders who had not previously humbled himself in the lower offices. And hence it is that according to the Canons (cap. Tuae literae, De clerico per salt. prom.) those who are ordained without receiving a preceding Order are not reordained, but receive what was lacking to them of the preceding Order.

Reply to Objection 1: Orders have more in common with one another as regards specific likeness, than order has with Baptism. But as regards proportion of power to action, Baptism has more in common with Order, than one Order with another, because Baptism confers on man the passive power to receive Orders, whereas a lower Order does not give him the passive power to receive higher Orders.

Reply to Objection 2: Orders are not degrees combining in one action or in one movement, so that it be necessary to reach the last through the first; but they are like degrees consisting in things of different kinds, such as the degrees between man and angel, and it is not necessary that one who is an angel be first of all a man. Such also are the degrees between the head and all members of the body; nor is it necessary that that which is the head should be previously a foot; and thus it is in the case in point.


OF THE QUALITIES REQUIRED OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE THIS SACRAMENT (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must next consider the qualities required of those who receive the sacrament of Order. Under this head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether goodness of life is required of those who receive this sacrament?

(2) Whether the knowledge of the whole of Sacred Writ is required?

(3) Whether the degree of Orders is obtained by mere merit of life?

(4) Whether he who raises the unworthy to Orders sins?

(5) Whether one who is in sin can without committing a sin exercise the Order he has received?


Whether goodness of life is required of those who receive Orders?

Objection 1: It would seem that goodness of life is not required of those who receive Orders. For by Orders a man is ordained to the dispensation of the sacraments. But the sacraments can be administered by good and wicked. Therefore goodness of life is not requisite.

Objection 2: Further, the service of God in the sacraments is no greater than service offered to Him in the body. Now our Lord did not cast aside the sinful and notorious woman from rendering Him a bodily service (Lk. 7). Therefore neither should the like be debarred from His service in the sacraments.

Objection 3: Further, by every grace a remedy is given against sin. Now those who are in sin should not be refused a remedy that may avail them. Since then grace is given in the sacrament of order, it would seem that this sacrament ought also to be conferred on sinners.

On the contrary, "Whosoever of the seed of Aaron throughout their families hath a blemish, he shall not offer bread to his God neither shall he approach to minister to him [*Vulg.: 'Say to Aaron: Whosoever of thy seed,'etc.]" (Lev. 21:17,18). Now "blemish signifies all kinds of vice" according to a gloss. Therefore he who is shackled by any vice should not be admitted to the ministry of Orders. Further, Jerome commenting on the words of Titus 2:15, "Let no man despise thee," says that "not only should bishops, priests, and deacons take very great care to be examples of speech and conduct to those over whom they are placed, but also the lower grades, and without exception all who serve the household of God, since it is most disastrous to the Church if the laity be better than the clergy." Therefore holiness of life is requisite in all the Orders.

I answer that, As Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iii), "even as the more subtle and clear essences, being filled by the outpouring of the solar radiance, like the sun enlighten other bodies with their brilliant light, so in all things pertaining to God a man must not dare to become a leader of others, unless in all his habits he be most deiform and godlike." Wherefore, since in every order a man is appointed to lead others in Divine things, he who being conscious of mortal sin presents himself for Orders is guilty of presumption and sins mortally. Consequently holiness of life is requisite for Orders, as a matter of precept, but not as essential to the sacrament; and if a wicked man be ordained, he receives the Order none the less, and yet with sin withal.

Reply to Objection 1: Just as the sinner dispenses sacraments validly, so does he receive validly the sacrament of Orders, and as he dispenses unworthily, even so he receives unworthily.

Reply to Objection 2: The service in point consisted only in the exercise of bodily homage, which even sinners can offer lawfully. It is different with the spiritual service to which the ordained are appointed, because thereby they are made to stand between God and the people. Wherefore they should shine with a good conscience before God, and with a good name before men.

Reply to Objection 3: Certain medicines require a robust constitution, else it is mortally dangerous to take them; others can be given to the weakly. So too in spiritual things certain sacraments are ordained as remedies for sin, and the like are to be given to sinners, as Baptism and Penance, while others, which confer the perfection of grace, require a man made strong by grace.


Whether knowledge of all Holy Writ is required?

Objection 1: It would seem that knowledge of all Holy Writ is required. For one from whose lips we seek the law, should have knowledge of the law. Now the laity seek the law at the mouth of the priest (Malachi 2:7). Therefore he should have knowledge of the whole law.

Objection 2: Further, "being always ready to satisfy everyone that asketh you a reason of that faith and hope in you [*Vulg.: 'Of that hope which is in you; St. Thomas apparently took his reading from Bede]." Now to give a reason for things pertaining to faith and hope belongs to those who have perfect knowledge of Holy Writ. Therefore the like knowledge should be possessed by those who are placed in Orders, and to whom the aforesaid words are addressed.

Objection 3: Further, no one is competent to read what he understands not, since to read without intelligence is "negligence,"* as Cato declares (Rudiment.). [*"Legere et non intelligere est negligere." The play on the words is more evident in Latin.] Now it belongs to the reader (which is the lower Order) to read the Old Testament, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24). Therefore he should understand the whole of the Old Testament; and much more those in the higher Orders.

On the contrary, Many are raised to the priesthood even who know nothing at all of these things, even in many religious Orders. Therefore apparently this knowledge is not required. Further, we read in the Lives of the Fathers that some who were monks were raised to the priesthood, being of a most holy life. Therefore the aforesaid knowledge is not required in those to be ordained.

I answer that, For any human act to be rightly ordered there must needs be the direction of reason. Wherefore in order that a man exercise the office of an Order, it is necessary for him to have as much knowledge as suffices for his direction in the act of that Order. And consequently one who is to be raised to Orders is required to have that knowledge, and to be instructed in Sacred Scripture, not the whole, but more or less, according as his office is of a greater or lesser extent — to wit, that those who are placed over others, and receive the care of souls, know things pertaining to the doctrine of faith and morals, and that others know whatever concerns the exercise of their Order.

Reply to Objection 1: A priest exercises a twofold action: the one, which is principal, over the true body of Christ; the other, which is secondary, over the mystical body of Christ. The second act depends on the first, but not conversely. Wherefore some are raised to the priesthood, to whom the first act alone is deputed, for instance those religious who are not empowered with the care of souls. The law is not sought at the mouth of these, they are required only for the celebration of the sacraments; and consequently it is enough for them to have such knowledge as enables them to observe rightly those things that regard the celebration of the sacrament. Others are raised to exercise the other act which is over the mystical body of Christ, and it is at the mouth of these that the people seek the law; wherefore they ought to possess knowledge of the law, not indeed to know all the difficult points of the law (for in these they should have recourse to their superiors), but to know what the people have to believe and fulfill in the law. To the higher priests, namely the bishops, it belongs to know even those points of the law which may offer some difficulty, and to know them the more perfectly according as they are in a higher position.

Reply to Objection 2: The reason that we have to give for our faith and hope does not denote one that suffices to prove matters of faith and hope, since they are both of things invisible; it means that we should be able to give general proofs of the probability of both, and for this there is not much need of great knowledge.

Reply to Objection 3: The reader has not to explain Holy Writ to the people (for this belongs to the higher orders), but merely to voice the words. Therefore he is not required to have so much knowledge as to understand Holy Writ, but only to know how to pronounce it correctly. And since such knowledge is obtained easily and from many persons, it may be supposed with probability that the ordained will acquire that knowledge even if he have it not already, especially if it appear that he is on the road to acquire it.


Whether a man obtains the degrees of Order by the merit of one's life?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man obtains the degrees of order by the mere merit of his life. For, according to Chrysostom [*Hom. xliii in the Opus Imperfectum, wrongly ascribed to St. John Chrysostom], "not every priest is a saint, but every saint is a priest." Now a man becomes a saint by the merit of his life. Consequently he thereby also becomes a priest, and "a fortiori" has he the other Orders.

Objection 2: Further, in natural things, men obtain a higher degree from the very fact that they are near God, and have a greater share of His favors, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iv). Now it is by merit of holiness and knowledge that a man approaches nearer to God and receives more of His favors. Therefore by this alone he is raised to the degree of Orders.

On the contrary, Holiness once possessed can be lost. But when once a man is ordained he never loses his order. Therefore order does not consist in the mere merit of holiness.

I answer that, A cause should be proportionate to its effect. And consequently as in Christ, from Whom grace comes down on all men, there must needs be fulness of grace; so in the ministers of the Church, to whom it belongs, not to give grace, but to give the sacraments of grace, the degree of order does not result from their having grace, but from their participating in a sacrament of grace.

Reply to Objection 1: Chrysostom is speaking of the priest in reference to the reason for which he is so called, the word "sacerdos" signifying dispenser of holy things [sacra dans]: for in this sense every righteous man, in so far as he assists others by the sacraments, may be called a priest. But he is not speaking according to the actual meaning of the words; for this word "sacerdos" [priest] is employed to signify one who gives sacred things by dispensing the sacraments.

Reply to Objection 2: Natural things acquire a degree of superiority over others, from the fact that they are able to act on them by virtue of their form; wherefore from the very fact that they have a higher form, they obtain a higher degree. But the ministers of the Church are placed over others, not to confer anything on them by virtue of their own holiness (for this belongs to God alone), but as ministers, and as instruments, so to say, of the outpouring from the Head to the members. Hence the comparison fails as regards the dignity of Order, although it applies as to congruity.


Whether he who raises the unworthy to Orders commits a sin?

Objection 1: It would seem that he who raises the unworthy to orders commits no sin. For a bishop needs assistants appointed to the lesser offices. But he would be unable to find them in sufficient number, if he were to require of them such qualifications as the saints enumerate. Therefore if he raise some who are not qualified, he would seem to be excusable.

Objection 2: Further, the Church needs not only ministers for the dispensation of things spiritual, but also for the supervision of temporalities. But sometimes men without knowledge or holiness of life may be useful for the conduct of temporal affairs, either because of their worldly power, or on account of their natural industry. Therefore seemingly the like can be promoted without sin.

Objection 3: Further, everyone is bound to avoid sin, as far as he can. If therefore a bishop sins in promoting the unworthy, he is bound to take the utmost pains to know whether those who present themselves for Orders be worthy, by making a careful inquiry about their morals and knowledge, and yet seemingly this is not done anywhere.

On the contrary, It is worse to raise the wicked to the sacred ministry, than not to correct those who are raised already. But Heli sinned mortally by not correcting his sons for their wickedness; wherefore "he fell backwards . . . and died" (1 Kings 4:18). Therefore he who promotes the unworthy does not escape sin. Further, spiritual things must be set before temporal things in the Church. Now a man would commit a mortal sin were he knowingly to endanger the temporalities of the Church. Much more therefore is it a mortal sin to endanger spiritual things. But whoever promotes the unworthy endangers spiritual things, since according to Gregory (Hom. xii in Evang.) "if a man's life is contemptible, his preaching is liable to be despised"; and for the same reason all the spiritual things that he dispenses. Therefore he who promotes the unworthy sins mortally.

I answer that, Our Lord describes the faithful servant whom He has set "over His household to give them their measure of wheat." Hence he is guilty of unfaithfulness who gives any man Divine things above his measure: and whoso promotes the unworthy does this. Wherefore he commits a mortal crime, as being unfaithful to his sovereign Lord, especially since this is detrimental to the Church and to the Divine honor which is promoted by good ministers. For a man would be unfaithful to his earthly lord were he to place unworthy subjects in his offices.

Reply to Objection 1: God never so abandons His Church that apt ministers are not to be found sufficient for the needs of the people, if the worthy be promoted and the unworthy set aside. And though it were impossible to find as many ministers as there are now, it were better to have few good ministers than many bad ones, as the blessed Clement declares in his second epistle to James the brother of the Lord.

Reply to Objection 2: Temporal things are not to be sought but for the sake of spiritual things. Wherefore all temporal advantage should count for nothing, and all gain be despised for the advancement of spiritual good.

Reply to Objection 3: It is at least required that the ordainer know that nothing contrary to holiness is in the candidate for ordination. But besides this he is required to take the greatest care, in proportion to the Order or office to be enjoined, so as to be certain of the qualifications of those to be promoted, at least from the testification of others. This is the meaning of the Apostle when he says (1 Tim. 5:22): "Impose not hands lightly on any man."


Whether a man who is in sin can without sin exercise the Order he has received? [*Cf. TP, Q[64], A[6]]

Objection 1: It would seem that one who is in sin can without sin exercise the order he has received. For since, by virtue of his office, he is bound to exercise his order, he sins if he fails to do so. If therefore he sins by exercising it, he cannot avoid sin: which is inadmissible.

Objection 2: Further, a dispensation is a relaxation of the law. Therefore although by rights it would be unlawful for him to exercise the order he has received, it would be lawful for him to do so by dispensation.

Objection 3: Further, whoever co-operates with another in a mortal sin, sins mortally. If therefore a sinner sins mortally by exercising his order, he who receives or demands any Divine thing from him also sins mortally: and this seems absurd.

Objection 4: Further, if he sins by exercising his order, it follows that every act of his order that he performs is a mortal sin; and consequently since many acts concur in the one exercise of his order, it would seem that he commits many mortal sins: which seems very hard.

On the contrary, Dionysius says (Ep. ad Demophil.): "It seems presumptuous for such a man, one to wit who is not enlightened, to lay hands on priestly things; he is not afraid nor ashamed, all unworthy that he is to take part in Divine things, with the thought that God does not see what he sees in himself; he thinks, by false pretense, to cheat Him Whom he falsely calls his Father; he dares to utter in the person of Christ, words polluted by his infamy, I will not call them prayers, over the Divine symbols." Therefore a priest is a blasphemer and a cheat if he exercises his order unworthily, and thus he sins mortally: and in like manner any other person in orders. Further, holiness of life is required in one who receives an order, that he may be qualified to exercise it. Now a man sins mortally if he present himself for orders in mortal sin. Much more therefore does he sin mortally whenever he exercises his order.

I answer that, The law prescribes (Dt. 16:20) that "man should follow justly after that which is just." Wherefore whoever fulfills unworthily the duties of his order follows unjustly after that which is just, and acts contrary to a precept of the law, and thereby sins mortally. Now anyone who exercises a sacred office in mortal sin, without doubt does so unworthily. Hence it is clear that he sins mortally.

Reply to Objection 1: He is not perplexed as though he were in the necessity of sinning; for he can renounce his sin, or resign his office whereby he was bound to the exercise of his order.

Reply to Objection 2: The natural law allows of no dispensation; and it is of natural law that man handle holy things holily. Therefore no one can dispense from this.

Reply to Objection 3: So long as a minister of the Church who is in mortal sin is recognized by the Church, his subject must receive the sacraments from him, since this is the purpose for which he is bound to him. Nevertheless, outside the case of necessity, it would not be safe to induce him to an execution of his Order, as long as he is conscious of being in mortal sin, which conscience, however, he can lay aside since a man is repaired in an instant by Divine grace.

Reply to Objection 4: When any man performs an action as a minister of the Church while in a state of mortal sin, he sins mortally, and as often as he performs that action, since, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. i), "it is wrong for the unclean even to touch the symbols," i.e. the sacramental signs. Hence when they touch sacred things in the exercise of their office they sin mortally. It would be otherwise if they were to touch some sacred thing or perform some sacred duty in a case of necessity, when it would be allowable even to a layman, for instance if they were to baptize in a case of urgency, or gather up the Lord's body should it be cast to the ground.


OF THE DISTINCTION OF ORDERS, OF THEIR ACTS, AND THE IMPRINTING OF THE CHARACTER (FIVE ARTICLES)

In the next place we must consider the distinction of the orders and their acts, and the imprinting of the character. Under this head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether Order should be divided into several kinds?

(2) How many are there?

(3) Whether they ought to be divided into those that are sacred and those that are not?

(4) Whether the acts of the Orders are rightly assigned in the text?

(5) When are the characters of the Orders imprinted?


Whether we ought to distinguish several Orders?

Objection 1: It would seem that we ought not to distinguish several Orders. For the greater a power is, the less is it multiplied. Now this sacrament ranks above the others in so far as it places its recipients in a degree above other persons. Since then the other sacraments are not divided into several of which the whole is predicated, neither ought this sacrament to be divided into several Orders.

Objection 2: Further, if it be divided, the parts of the division are either integral or subjective. But they are not integral, for then the whole would not be predicated of them. Therefore it is a division into subjective parts. Now subjective parts can have the remote genus predicated of them in the plural in the same way as the proximate genus; thus man and ass are several animals, and are several animated bodies. Therefore also priesthood and diaconate, as they are several Orders, even so are several sacraments, since sacrament is the genus, so to speak, in respect of Orders.

Objection 3: Further, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 10) the form of authority in which one alone governs is a better government of the common weal than aristocracy, where different persons occupy different offices. But the government of the Church should be the best of all. Therefore in the Church there should be no distinction of Orders for different acts, but the whole power should reside in one person; and consequently there ought to be only one Order.

On the contrary, The Church is Christ's mystical body, like to our natural body, according to the Apostle (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12, 27; Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1:24). Now in the natural body there are various offices of the members. Therefore in the Church also there should be various Orders. Further, the ministry of the New Testament is superior to that of the Old Testament (2 Cor. 3). Now in the Old Testament not only the priests, but also their ministers, the Levites, were consecrated. Therefore likewise in the New Testament not only the priests but also their ministers should be consecrated by the sacrament of Order; and consequently there ought to be several Orders.

I answer that, Multiplicity of Orders was introduced into the Church for three reasons. First to show forth the wisdom of God, which is reflected in the orderly distinction of things both natural and spiritual. This is signified in the statement of 3 Kings 10:4,5 that "when the queen of Saba saw . . . the order of" Solomon's "servants . . . she had no longer any spirit in her," for she was breathless from admiration of his wisdom. Secondly, in order to succor human weakness, because it would be impossible for one man, without his being heavily burdened, to fulfill all things pertaining to the Divine mysteries; and so various orders are severally appointed to the various offices; and this is shown by the Lord giving Moses seventy ancients to assist him. Thirdly, that men may be given a broader way for advancing (to perfection), seeing that the various duties are divided among many men, so that all become the co-operators of God; than which nothing is more God-like, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iii).

Reply to Objection 1: The other sacraments are given that certain effects may be received; but this sacrament is given chiefly that certain acts may be performed. Hence it behooves the sacrament of Order to be differentiated according to the diversity of acts, even as powers are differentiated by their acts.

Reply to Objection 2: The division of Order is not that of an integral whole into its parts, nor of a universal whole, but of a potential whole, the nature of which is that the notion of the whole is found to be complete in one part, but in the others by some participation thereof. Thus it is here: for the entire fulness of the sacrament is in one Order, namely the priesthood, while in the other sacraments there is a participation of Order. And this is signified by the Lord saying

(Num. 11:17): "I will take of thy spirit and give to them, that they may bear with thee the burden of the people." Therefore all the Orders are one sacrament.

Reply to Objection 3: In a kingdom, although the entire fulness of power resides in the king, this does not exclude the ministers having a power which is a participation of the kingly power. It is the same in Order. In the aristocratic form of government, on the contrary, the fulness of power resides in no one, but in all.


Whether there are seven Orders?

Objection 1: It would seem that there are not seven Orders. For the Orders of the Church are directed to the hierarchical acts. But there are only three hierarchical acts, namely "to cleanse, to enlighten, and to perfect," for which reason Dionysius distinguishes three Orders

(Eccl. Hier. v). Therefore there are not seven.

Objection 2: Further, all the sacraments derive their efficacy and authenticity from their institution by Christ, or at least by His apostles. But no mention except of priests and deacons is made in the teaching of Christ and His apostles. Therefore seemingly there are no other Orders.

Objection 3: Further, by the sacrament of Order a man is appointed to dispense the other sacraments. But there are only six other sacraments. Therefore there should be only six Orders.

Objection 4: On the other hand, It would seem that there ought to be more. For the higher a power is, the less is it subject to multiplication. Now the hierarchical power is in the angels in a higher way than in us, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. i). Since then there are nine Orders in the angelic hierarchy, there should be as many, or more, in the Church.

Objection 5: Further, the prophecy of the Psalms is the most noble of all the prophecies. Now there is one Order, namely of readers, for reading the other prophecies in the Church. Therefore there ought to be another Order for reading the Psalms, especially since (Decretals, Dist. xxi, cap. Cleros) the "psalmist" is reckoned as the second Order after the doorkeeper.

I answer that, Some show the sufficiency of the orders from their correspondence with the gratuitous graces which are indicated 1 Cor. 12. For they say that the "word of wisdom" belongs to the bishop, because he is the ordainer of others, which pertains to wisdom; the "word of knowledge" to the priest, for he ought to have the key of knowledge; "faith" to the deacon, for he preaches the Gospel; the "working of miracles" to the subdeacon, who sets himself to do deeds of perfection by the vow of continency; "interpretation of speeches" to the acolyte, this being signified by the light which he bears; the "grace of healing" to the exorcist; "diverse kinds of tongues" to the psalmist; "prophecy" to the reader; and the "discerning of spirits" to the doorkeeper, for he excludes some and admits others. But this is of no account, for the gratuitous graces are not given, as the Orders are, to one same man. For it is written (1 Cor. 12:4): "There are distributions [Douay: 'diversities'] of graces." Moreover the episcopate [*Cf.[4908] Q[40], A[5]] and the office of psalmist are included, which are not Orders. Wherefore others account for the Orders by likening them to the heavenly hierarchy, where the Orders are distinguished in reference to cleansing, enlightening, and perfecting. Thus they say that the doorkeeper cleanses outwardly, by separating even in the body the good from the wicked; that the acolyte cleanses inwardly, because by the light which he bears, he signifies that he dispels inward darkness; and that the exorcist cleanses both ways, for he casts out the devil who disturbs a man both ways. But enlightening, which is effected by teaching, is done by readers as regards prophetic doctrine; by subdeacons as to apostolic doctrine; and by deacons as to the gospel doctrine; while ordinary perfection, such as the perfection of Penance, Baptism, and so forth is the work of the priest; excellent perfection, such as the consecration of priests and virgins, is the work of the bishop; while the most excellent perfection is the work of the Sovereign Pontiff in whom resides the fulness of authority. But this again is of no account; both because the orders of the heavenly hierarchy are not distinguished by the aforesaid hierarchical actions, since each of them is applicable to every Order; and because, according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v), perfecting belongs to the bishops alone, enlightening to the priests, and cleansing to all the ministers. Wherefore others suit the orders to the seven gifts, so that the priesthood corresponds to the gift of wisdom, which feeds us with the bread of life and understanding, even as the priest refreshes us with the heavenly bread; fear to the doorkeeper, for he separates us from the wicked; and thus the intermediate Orders to the intermediate gifts. But this again is of no account, since the sevenfold grace is given in each one of the Orders. Consequently we must answer differently by saying that the sacrament of Order is directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the sacrament of sacraments, as Dionysius says

(Eccl. Hier. iii). For just as temple, altar, vessels, and vestments need to be consecrated, so do the ministers who are ordained for the Eucharist; and this consecration is the sacrament of Order. Hence the distinction of Orders is derived from their relation to the Eucharist. For the power of Order is directed either to the consecration of the Eucharist itself, or to some ministry in connection with this sacrament of the Eucharist. If in the former way, then it is the Order of priests; hence when they are ordained, they receive the chalice with wine, and the paten with the bread, because they are receiving the power to consecrate the body and blood of Christ. The co-operation of the ministers is directed either to the sacrament itself, or to the recipients. If the former, this happens in three ways. For in the first place, there is the ministry whereby the minister co-operates with the priest in the sacrament itself, by dispensing, but not by consecrating, for this is done by the priest alone; and this belongs to the deacon. Hence in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24) it is said that it belongs to the deacon to minister to the priests in whatever is done in Christ's sacraments, wherefore he dispenses Christ's blood. Secondly, there is the ministry directed to the disposal of the sacramental matter in the sacred vessels of the sacrament. and this belongs to subdeacons. Wherefore it is stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24) that they carry the vessels of our Lord's body and blood, and place the oblation on the altar; hence, when they are ordained, they receive the chalice, empty however, from the bishop's hands. Thirdly, there is the ministry directed to the proffering of the sacramental matter, and this belongs to the acolyte. For he, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24), prepares the cruet with wine and water; wherefore he receives an empty cruet. The ministry directed to the preparation of the recipients can be exercised only over the unclean, since those who are clean are already apt for receiving the sacraments. Now the unclean are of three kinds, according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. iii). For some are absolute unbelievers and unwilling to believe; and these must be altogether debarred from beholding Divine things and from the assembly of the faithful; this belongs to the doorkeepers. Some, however, are willing to believe, but are not as yet instructed, namely catechumens, and to the instruction of such persons the Order of readers is directed, who are therefore entrusted with the reading of the first rudiments of the doctrine of faith, namely the Old Testament. But some are believers and instructed, yet lie under an impediment through the power of the devil, namely those who are possessed: and to this ministry the order of exorcists is directed. Thus the reason and number of the degrees of Orders is made clear.

Reply to Objection 1: Dionysius is speaking of the orders not as sacraments, but as directed to hierarchical actions. Wherefore he distinguishes three Orders corresponding to those actions. The first of these Orders, namely the bishop, has all three actions; the second, namely the priest, has two; while the third has one, namely to cleanse; this is the deacon who is called a minister: and under this last all the lower Orders are comprised. But the Orders derive their sacramental nature from their relation to the greatest of the sacraments, and consequently the number of Orders depends on this.

Reply to Objection 2: In the early Church, on account of the fewness of ministers, all the lower ministries were entrusted to the deacons, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iii), where he says: "Some of the ministers stand at the closed door of the Church, others are otherwise occupied in the exercise of their own order; others place the sacred bread and the chalice of benediction on the altar and offer them to the priests." Nevertheless all the power to do all these things was included in the one power of the deacon, though implicitly. But afterwards the Divine worship developed, and the Church committed expressly to several persons that which had hitherto been committed implicitly in one Order. This is what the Master means, when He says in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24) that the Church instituted other Orders.

Reply to Objection 3: The orders are directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist chiefly, and to the other sacraments consequently, for even the other sacraments flow from that which is contained in that sacrament. Hence it does not follow that the orders ought to be distinguished according to the sacraments.

Reply to Objection 4: The angels differ specifically [*Cf. [4909]FP, Q[50], A[4]]: for this reason it is possible for them to have various modes of receiving Divine things, and hence also they are divided into various hierarchies. But in men there is only one hierarchy, because they have only one mode of receiving Divine things, which results from the human species, namely through the images of sensible objects. Consequently the distinction of orders in the angels cannot bear any relation to a sacrament as it is with us, but only a relation to the hierarchical actions which among them each Order exercises on the Orders below. In this respect our Orders correspond to theirs; since in our hierarchy there are three Orders, distinguished according to the three hierarchical actions, even as in each angelic hierarchy.

Reply to Objection 5: The office of psalmist is not an Order, but an office annexed to an Order. For the psalmist is also styled precentor because the psalms are recited with chant. Now precentor is not the name of a special Order, both because it belongs to the whole choir to sing, and because he has no special relation to the sacrament of the Eucharist. Since, however, it is a particular office, it is sometimes reckoned among the Orders, taking these in a broad sense.


Whether the Order should be divided into those that are sacred and those that are not?

Objection 1: It would seem that the Orders ought not to be divided into those that are sacred and those that are not. For all the Orders are sacraments, and all the sacraments are sacred. Therefore all the Orders are sacred.

Objection 2: Further, by the Orders of the Church a man is not appointed to any other than Divine offices. Now all these are sacred. Therefore all the Orders also are sacred.

On the contrary, The sacred Orders are an impediment to the contracting of marriage and annul the marriage that is already contracted. But the four lower orders neither impede the contracting nor annul the contract. Therefore these are not sacred Orders.

I answer that, An Order is said to be sacred in two ways. First, in itself, and thus every order is sacred, since it is a sacrament. Secondly, by reason of the matter about which it exercises an act, and thus an Order is called sacred, if it exercises an act about some consecrated thing. In this sense there are only three sacred Orders, namely the priesthood and diaconate, which exercise an act about the consecrated body and blood of Christ, and the subdiaconate, which exercises an act about the consecrated vessels. Wherefore continency is enjoined them, that they who handle holy things may themselves be holy and clean. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


Whether the acts of the Orders are rightly assigned in the text?

Objection 1: It would seem that the acts of the Orders are not rightly assigned in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24). Because a person is prepared by absolution to receive Christ's body. Now the preparation of the recipients of a sacrament belongs to the lower Orders. Therefore absolution from sins is unfittingly reckoned among the acts of a priest.

Objection 2: Further, man is made like to God immediately in Baptism, by receiving the character which causes this likeness. But prayer and the offering of oblations are acts directed immediately to God. Therefore every baptized person can perform these acts, and not priests alone.

Objection 3: Further, different Orders have different acts. But it belongs to the subdeacon to place the oblations on the altar, and to read the epistle; and subdeacons carry the cross before the Pope. Therefore these acts should not be assigned to the deacon.

Objection 4: Further, the same truth is contained in the Old and in the New Testament. But it belongs to the readers to read the Old Testament. Therefore it should belong to them likewise, and not to deacons, to read the New Testament.

Objection 5: Further, the apostles preached naught else but the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:15). But the teaching of the apostles is entrusted to subdeacons to be read by them. Therefore the Gospel teaching should be also.

Objection 6: Further, according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v) that which belongs to a higher Order should not be applicable to a lower Order. But it is an act of subdeacons to minister with the cruets. Therefore it should not be assigned to acolytes.

Objection 7: Further, spiritual actions should rank above bodily actions. But the acolyte's act is merely corporeal. Therefore the exorcist has not the spiritual act of casting out devils, since he is of inferior rank.

Objection 8: Further, things that have most in common should be placed beside one another. Now the reading of the Old Testament must needs have most in common with the reading of the New Testament, which latter belongs to the higher ministers. Therefore the reading of the Old Testament should be reckoned the act, not of the reader, but rather of the acolyte; especially since the bodily light which the acolytes carry signifies the light of spiritual doctrine.

Objection 9: Further, in every act of a special Order, there should be some special power, which the person ordained has to the exclusion of other persons. But in opening and shutting doors the doorkeeper has no special power that other men have not. Therefore this should not be reckoned their act.

I answer that, Since the consecration conferred in the sacrament of orders is directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist, as stated above [4910](A[2]), the principal act of each order is that whereby it is most nearly directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist. In this respect, too, one order ranks above another, in so far as one act is more nearly directed to that same sacrament. But because many things are directed to the Eucharist, as being the most exalted of the sacraments, it follows not unfittingly that one Order has many acts besides its principal act, and all the more, as it ranks higher, since a power extends to the more things, the higher it is.

Reply to Objection 1: The preparation of the recipients of a sacrament is twofold. One is remote and is effected by the ministers: another is proximate, whereby they are rendered apt at once for receiving the sacraments. This latter belongs to priests, since even in natural things matter receives from one and the same agent both the ultimate disposition to the form, and the form itself. And since a person acquires the proximate disposition to the Eucharist by being cleansed from sin, it follows that the priest is the proper minister of all those sacraments which are chiefly instituted for the cleansing of sins, namely Baptism, Penance, and Extreme Unction.

Reply to Objection 2: Acts are directed immediately to God in two ways; in one way on the part of one person only, for instance the prayers of individuals, vows, and so forth: such acts befit any baptized person. In another way on the part of the whole Church, and thus the priest alone exercises acts immediately directed to God; because to impersonate the whole Church belongs to him alone who consecrates the Eucharist, which is the sacrament of the universal Church.

Reply to Objection 3: The offerings made by the people are offered through the priest. Hence a twofold ministry is necessary with regard to offerings. One on the part of the people: and this belongs to the subdeacon who receives the offerings from the people and places them on the altar or offers them to the deacon. the other is on the part of the priest, and belongs to the deacon, who hands the offerings to the priest. This is the principal act of both Orders, and for this reason the deacon's Order is the higher. But to read the epistle does not belong to a deacon, except as the acts of lower Orders are ascribed to the higher; and in like manner to carry the cross. Moreover, this depends on the customs of Churches, because in secondary acts it is not unfitting for customs to vary.

Reply to Objection 4: Doctrine is a remote preparation for the reception of a sacrament; wherefore the announcement of doctrine is entrusted to the ministers. But the doctrine of the Old Testament is more remote than that of the New Testament, since it contains no instruction about this sacrament except in figures. Hence announcing of the New Testament is entrusted to the higher ministers, and that of the Old Testament to the lower ministers. Moreover the doctrine of the New Testament is more perfect as delivered by our Lord Himself, than as made known by His apostles. Wherefore the Gospel is committed to deacons and the Epistle to subdeacons. This suffices for the Reply to the Fifth Objection.

Reply to Objection 6: Acolytes exercise an act over the cruet alone, and not over the contents of the cruet; whereas the subdeacon exercises an act over the contents of the cruet, because he handles the water and wine to the end that they be put into the chalice,* and again he pours the water over the hands of the priest; and the deacon, like the subdeacon, exercises an act over the chalice only, not over its contents, whereas the priest exercises an act over the contents. [*The wording of St. Thomas is sufficiently vague to refer either to the Roman rite, where the priest pours the wine and water into the chalice, or to the Dominican rite, where this is done by the subdeacon.] Wherefore as the subdeacon at his ordination receives an empty chalice, while the priest receives a full chalice, so the acolyte receives an empty cruet, but the subdeacon a full one. Thus there is a certain connection among the Orders.

Reply to Objection 7: The bodily acts of the acolyte are more intimately connected with the act of Holy orders than the act of the exorcist, although the latter is, in a fashion, spiritual. For the acolytes exercise a ministry over the vessels in which the sacramental matter is contained, as regards the wine, which needs a vessel to hold it on account of its humidity. Hence of all the minor orders the Order of acolytes is the highest.

Reply to Objection 8: The act of the acolyte is more closely connected with the principal acts of the higher ministers, than the acts of the other minor Orders, as is self-evident; and again as regards the secondary acts whereby they prepare the people by doctrine. For the acolyte by bearing a light represents the doctrine of the New Testament in a visible manner, while the reader by his recital represents it differently, wherefore the acolyte is of higher rank. It is the same with the exorcist, for as the act of the reader is compared with the secondary act of the deacon and subdeacon, so is the act of the exorcist compared with the secondary act of the priest, namely to bind and to loose, by which man is wholly freed from the slavery of the devil. This, too, shows the degrees of Order to be most orderly. since only the three higher Orders co-operate with the priest in his principal act which is to consecrate the body of Christ, while both the higher and lower Orders co-operate with him in his secondary act, which is to loose and bind.

Reply to Objection 9: Some say that in receiving the Order the doorkeeper is given a Divine power to debar others from entering the Church, even as Christ had, when He cast out the sellers from the Temple. But this belongs to a gratuitous grace rather than to a sacramental grace. Wherefore we should reply that he receives the power to do this by virtue of his office, although others may do so, but not officially. It is the case in all the acts of the minor Orders, that they can be lawfully exercised by others, even though these have no office to that effect: just as Mass may be said in an unconsecrated building, although the consecration of a church is directed to the purpose that Mass be said there.


Whether the character is imprinted on a priest when the chalice is handed to him?

Objection 1: It would seem that the character is not imprinted on the priest at the moment when the chalice is handed to him. For the consecration of a priest is done by anointing as in Confirmation. Now in Confirmation the character is imprinted at the moment of anointing; and therefore in the priesthood also and not at the handing of the chalice.

Objection 2: Further, our Lord gave His disciples the priestly power when He said (Jn. 20:22,23): "Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive," etc. Now the Holy Ghost is given by the imposition of hands. Therefore the character of order is given at the moment of the imposition of hands.

Objection 3: Further, as the ministers are consecrated, even so are the ministers' vestments. Now the blessing alone consecrates the vestments. Therefore the consecration of the priest also is effected by the mere blessing of the bishop.

Objection 4: Further, as a chalice is handed to the priest, even so is the priestly vestment. Therefore if a character is imprinted at the giving of the chalice, so likewise is there at the giving of the chasuble, and thus a priest would have two characters: but this is false.

Objection 5: Further, the deacon's order is more closely allied to the priest's Order than is the subdeacon's. But if a character is imprinted on the priest at the moment of the handing of the chalice, the subdeacon would be more closely allied to the priest than the deacon; because the subdeacon receives the character at the handing of the chalice and not the deacon. Therefore the priestly character is not imprinted at the handing of the chalice.

Objection 6: Further, the Order of acolytes approaches nearer to the priestly act by exercising an act over the cruet than by exercising an act over the torch. Yet the character is imprinted on the acolytes when they receive the torch rather than when they receive the cruet, because the name of acolyte signifies candle-bearer. Therefore the character is not imprinted on the priest when he receives the chalice.

On the contrary, The principal act of the priest's Order is to consecrate Christ's body. Now he receives the power to this effect at the handing of the chalice. Therefore the character is imprinted on him then.

I answer that, As stated above (A[4], ad 1), to cause the form and to give the matter its proximate preparation for the form belong to the same agent. Wherefore the bishop in conferring orders does two things; for he prepares the candidates for the reception of orders, and delivers to them the power of order. He prepares them, both by instructing them in their respective offices and by doing something to them, so that they may be adapted to receive the power. This preparation consists of three things, namely blessing, imposition of hands, and anointing. By the blessing they are enlisted in the Divine service, wherefore the blessing is given to all. By the imposition of hands the fulness of grace is given, whereby they are qualified for exalted duties, wherefore only deacons and priests receive the imposition of hands, because they are competent to dispense the sacraments, although the latter as principal dispensers, the former as ministers. But by the anointing they are consecrated for the purpose of handling the sacrament, wherefore the anointing is done to the priests alone who touch the body of Christ with their own hands; even as a chalice is anointed because it holds the blood, and the paten because it holds the body. The conferring of power is effected by giving them something pertaining to their proper act. And since the principal act of a priest is to consecrate the body and blood of Christ, the priestly character is imprinted at the very giving of the chalice under the prescribed form of words.

Reply to Objection 1: In Confirmation there is not given the office of exercising an act on an exterior matter, wherefore the character is not imprinted in that sacrament at the handing of some particular thing, but at the mere imposition of hands and anointing. But it is otherwise in the priestly Order, and consequently the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 2: Our Lord gave His disciples the priestly power, as regards the principal act, before His passion at the supper when He said: "Take ye and eat" (Mat. 26:26), wherefore He added: "Do this for a commemoration of Me" (Lk. 22:19). After the resurrection, however, He gave them the priestly power, as to its secondary act, which is to bind and loose.

Reply to Objection 3: Vestments require no other consecration except to be set aside for the Divine worship, wherefore the blessing suffices for their consecration. But it is different with those who are ordained, as explained above.

Reply to Objection 4: The priestly vestment signifies, not the power given to the priest, but the aptitude required of him for exercising the act of that power. Wherefore a character is imprinted neither on the priest nor on anyone else at the giving of a vestment.

Reply to Objection 5: The deacon's power is midway between the subdeacon's and the priest's. For the priest exercises a power directly on Christ's body, the subdeacon on the vessels only, and the deacon on Christ's body contained in a vessel. Hence it is not for him to touch Christ's body, but to carry the body on the paten, and to dispense the blood with the chalice. Consequently his power, as to the principal act, could not be expressed, either by the giving of the vessel only, or by the giving of the matter; and his power is expressed as to the secondary act alone, by his receiving the book of the Gospels, and this power is understood to contain the other; wherefore the character is impressed at the handing of the book.

Reply to Objection 6: The act of the acolyte whereby he serves with the cruet ranks before his act of carrying the torch; although he takes his name from the secondary act, because it is better known and more proper to him. Hence the acolyte receives the character when he is given the cruet, by virtue of the words uttered by the bishop.


OF THOSE WHO CONFER THIS SACRAMENT (TWO ARTICLES)

We must now consider those who confer this sacrament. Under this head there are two points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a bishop alone can confer this sacrament?

(2) Whether a heretic or any other person cut off from the Church can confer this sacrament?


Whether a bishop alone confers the sacrament of Order?

Objection 1: It would seem that not only a bishop confers the sacrament of Order. For the imposition of hands has something to do with the consecration. Now not only the bishop but also the assisting priests lay hands on the priests who are being ordained. Therefore not only a bishop confers the sacrament of Order.

Objection 2: Further, a man receives the power of Order, when that which pertains to the act of his Order is handed to him. Now the cruet with water, bowl* and towel, are given to the subdeacon by the archdeacon; as also the candlestick with candle, and the empty cruet to the acolyte. [*"Bacili." The rubric has "aquamanili." Some texts of the Summa have "mantili" ("maniple"), but the archdeacon does not give the maniple to the subdeacon.] Therefore not only the bishop confers the sacrament of Order.

Objection 3: Further, that which belongs to an Order cannot be entrusted to one who has not the Order. Now the conferring of minor Orders is entrusted to certain persons who are not bishops, for instance to Cardinal priests. Therefore the conferring of Orders does not belong to the episcopal Order.

Objection 4: Further, whoever is entrusted with the principal is entrusted with the accessory also. Now the sacrament of Order is directed to the Eucharist, as accessory to principal. Since then a priest consecrates the Eucharist, he can also confer Orders.

Objection 5: Further, there is a greater distinction between a priest and a deacon than between bishop and bishop. But a bishop can consecrate a bishop. Therefore a priest can ordain a deacon.

On the contrary, Ministers are applied by their Orders to the Divine worship in a more noble way than the sacred vessels. But the consecration of the vessels belongs to a bishop only. Much more therefore does the consecration of ministers. Further, the sacrament of Order ranks higher than the sacrament of Confirmation. Now a bishop alone confirms. Much more therefore does a bishop alone confer the sacrament of Order. Further, virgins are not placed in a degree of spiritual power by their consecration, as the ordained are. Yet a bishop alone can consecrate a virgin. Therefore much more can he alone ordain.

I answer that, The episcopal power stands in the same relation to the power of the lower Orders, as political science, which seeks the common good, to the lower acts and virtues which seek some special good, as appears from what was said above ([4911]Q[37], A[1]). Now political science, as stated in Ethic. i, 2, lays down the law to lower sciences, namely what science each one ought to cultivate, and how far he should pursue it and in what way. Wherefore it belongs to a bishop to assign others to places in all the Divine services. Hence he alone confirms, because those who are confirmed receive the office, as it were, of confessing the faith; again he alone blesses virgins who are images of the Church, Christ's spouse, the care of which is entrusted chiefly to him; and he it is who consecrates the candidates for ordination to the ministry of Orders, and, by his consecration, appoints the vessels that they are to use; even as secular offices in various cities are allotted by him who holds the highest power, for instance by the king.

Reply to Objection 1: As stated above ([4912]Q[37], A[5]), at the imposition of hands there is given, not the character of the priestly Order, but grace which makes a man fit to exercise his Order. And since those who are raised to the priesthood need most copious grace, the priests together with the bishop lay hands on them, but the bishop alone lays hands on deacons.

Reply to Objection 2: Since the archdeacon is as it were minister-in-chief, all things pertaining to the ministry are handed by him, for instance the candle with which the acolyte serves the deacon by carrying it before him at the Gospel, and the cruet with which he serves the subdeacon; and in like manner he gives the subdeacon the things with which the latter serves the higher Orders. And yet the principal act of the subdeacon does not consist in these things, but in his co-operation as regards the matter of the sacrament; wherefore he receives the character through the chalice being handed to him by the bishop. On the other hand, the acolyte receives the character by virtue of the words of the bishop when the aforesaid things — the cruet rather than the candlestick — are handed to him by the archdeacon. Hence it does not follow that the archdeacon ordains.

Reply to Objection 3: The Pope, who has the fulness of episcopal power, can entrust one who is not a bishop with things pertaining to the episcopal dignity, provided they bear no immediate relation to the true body of Christ. Hence by virtue of his commission a simple priest can confer the minor Orders and confirm; but not one who is not a priest. Nor can a priest confer the higher Orders which bear an immediate relation to Christ's body, over the consecration of which the Pope's power is no greater than that of a simple priest.

Reply to Objection 4: Although the Eucharist is in itself the greatest of the sacraments, it does not place a man in an office as does the sacrament of Order. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 5: In order to bestow what one has on another, it is necessary not only to be near him but also to have fulness of power. And since a priest has not fulness of power in the hierarchical offices, as a bishop has, it does not follow that he can raise others to the diaconate, although the latter Order is near to his.


Whether heretics and those who are cut off from the Church can confer Orders? [*Cf. TP, Q[64], AA[5],9]

Objection 1: It would seem that heretics and those who are cut off from the Church cannot confer Orders. For to confer Orders is a greater thing than to loose or bind anyone. But a heretic cannot loose or bind. Neither therefore can he ordain.

Objection 2: Further, a priest that is separated from the Church can consecrate, because the character whence he derives this power remains in him indelibly. But a bishop receives no character when he is raised to the episcopate. Therefore he does not necessarily retain the episcopal power after his separation from the Church.

Objection 3: Further, in no community can one who is expelled therefrom dispose of the offices of the community. Now Orders are offices of the Church. Therefore one who is outside the Church cannot confer Orders.

Objection 4: Further, the sacraments derive their efficacy from Christ's passion. Now a heretic is not united to Christ's passion; neither by his own faith, since he is an unbeliever, nor by the faith of the Church, since he is severed from the Church. Therefore he cannot confer the sacrament of Orders.

Objection 5: Further, a blessing is necessary in the conferring of Orders. But a heretic cannot bless; in fact his blessing is turned into a curse, as appears from the authorities quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 25). Therefore he cannot ordain.

On the contrary, When a bishop who has fallen into heresy is reconciled he is not reconsecrated. Therefore he did not lose the power which he had of conferring Orders. Further, the power to ordain is greater than the power of Orders. But the power of Orders is not forfeited on account of heresy and the like. Neither therefore is the power to ordain. Further, as the one who baptizes exercises a merely outward ministry, so does one who ordains, while God works inwardly. But one who is cut off from the Church by no means loses the power to baptize. Neither therefore does he lose the power to ordain.

I answer that, on this question four opinions are mentioned in the text

(Sent. iv, D, 25). For some said that heretics, so long as they are tolerated by the Church, retain the power to ordain, but not after they have been cut off from the Church; as neither do those who have been degraded and the like. This is the first opinion. Yet this is impossible, because, happen what may, no power that is given with a consecration can be taken away so long as the thing itself remains, any more than the consecration itself can be annulled, for even an altar or chrism once consecrated remains consecrated for ever. Wherefore, since the episcopal power is conferred by consecration, it must needs endure for ever, however much a man may sin or be cut off from the Church. For this reason others said that those who are cut off from the Church after having episcopal power in the Church, retain the power to ordain and raise others, but that those who are raised by them have not this power. This is the fourth opinion. But this again is impossible, for if those who were ordained in the Church retain the power they received, it is clear that by exercising their power they consecrate validly, and therefore they validly confer whatever power is given with that consecration, and thus those who receive ordination or promotion from them have the same power as they. Wherefore others said that even those who are cut off from the Church can confer Orders and the other sacraments, provided they observe the due form and intention, both as to the first effect, which is the conferring of the sacrament, and as to the ultimate effect which is the conferring of grace. This is the second opinion. But this again is inadmissible, since by the very fact that a person communicates in the sacraments with a heretic who is cut off from the Church, he sins, and thus approaches the sacrament insincerely and cannot obtain grace, except perhaps in Baptism in a case of necessity. Hence others say that they confer the sacraments validly, but do not confer grace with them, not that the sacraments are lacking in efficacy, but on account of the sins of those who receive the sacraments from such persons despite the prohibition of the Church. This is the third and the true opinion.

Reply to Objection 1: The effect of absolution is nothing else but the forgiveness of sins which results from grace, and consequently a heretic cannot absolve, as neither can he confer grace in the sacraments. Moreover in order to give absolution it is necessary to have jurisdiction, which one who is cut off from the Church has not.

Reply to Objection 2: When a man is raised to the episcopate he receives a power which he retains for ever. This, however, cannot be called a character, because a man is not thereby placed in direct relation to God, but to Christ's mystical body. Nevertheless it remains indelibly even as the character, because it is given by consecration.

Reply to Objection 3: Those who are ordained by heretics, although they receive an Order, do not receive the exercise thereof, so as to minister lawfully in their Orders, for the very reason indicated in the Objection.

Reply to Objection 4: They are united to the passion of Christ by the faith of the Church, for although in themselves they are severed from it, they are united to it as regards the form of the Church which they observe.

Reply to Objection 5: This refers to the ultimate effect of the sacraments, as the third opinion maintains.


OF THE IMPEDIMENTS TO THIS SACRAMENT (SIX ARTICLES)

We must next consider the impediments to this sacrament. Under this head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the female sex is an impediment to receiving this sacrament?

(2) Whether lack of the use of reason is?

(3) Whether the state of slavery is?

(4) Whether homicide is?

(5) Whether illegitimate birth is?

(6) Whether lack of members is?


Whether the female sex is an impediment to receiving Orders?

Objection 1: It would seem that the female sex is no impediment to receiving Orders. For the office of prophet is greater than the office of priest, since a prophet stands midway between God and priests, just as the priest does between God and people. Now the office of prophet was sometimes granted to women, as may be gathered from 4 Kings 22:14. Therefore the office of priest also may be competent to them.

Objection 2: Further, just as Order pertains to a kind of pre-eminence, so does a position of authority as well as martyrdom and the religious state. Now authority is entrusted to women in the New Testament, as in the case of abbesses, and in the Old Testament, as in the case of Debbora, who judged Israel (Judges 2). Moreover martyrdom and the religious life are also befitting to them. Therefore the Orders of the Church are also competent to them.

Objection 3: Further, the power of orders is founded in the soul. But sex is not in the soul. Therefore difference in sex makes no difference to the reception of Orders.

On the contrary, It is said (1 Tim. 2:12): "I suffer not a woman to teach (in the Church),* nor to use authority over the man." [*The words in parenthesis are from 1 Cor. 14:34, "Let women keep silence in the churches."] Further, the crown is required previous to receiving Orders, albeit not for the validity of the sacrament. But the crown or tonsure is not befitting to women according to 1 Cor. 11. Neither therefore is the receiving of Orders.

I answer that, Certain things are required in the recipient of a sacrament as being requisite for the validity of the sacrament, and if such things be lacking, one can receive neither the sacrament nor the reality of the sacrament. Other things, however, are required, not for the validity of the sacrament, but for its lawfulness, as being congruous to the sacrament; and without these one receives the sacrament, but not the reality of the sacrament. Accordingly we must say that the male sex is required for receiving Orders not only in the second, but also in the first way. Wherefore even though a woman were made the object of all that is done in conferring Orders, she would not receive Orders, for since a sacrament is a sign, not only the thing, but the signification of the thing, is required in all sacramental actions; thus it was stated above ([4913]Q[32], A[2]) that in Extreme Unction it is necessary to have a sick man, in order to signify the need of healing. Accordingly, since it is not possible in the female sex to signify eminence of degree, for a woman is in the state of subjection, it follows that she cannot receive the sacrament of Order. Some, however, have asserted that the male sex is necessary for the lawfulness and not for the validity of the sacrament, because even in the Decretals (cap. Mulieres dist. 32; cap. Diaconissam, 27, qu. i) mention is made of deaconesses and priestesses. But deaconess there denotes a woman who shares in some act of a deacon, namely who reads the homilies in the Church; and priestess [presbytera] means a widow, for the word "presbyter" means elder.

Reply to Objection 1: Prophecy is not a sacrament but a gift of God. Wherefore there it is not the signification, but only the thing which is necessary. And since in matters pertaining to the soul woman does not differ from man as to the thing (for sometimes a woman is found to be better than many men as regards the soul), it follows that she can receive the gift of prophecy and the like, but not the sacrament of Orders. And thereby appears the Reply to the Second and Third Objections. However, as to abbesses, it is said that they have not ordinary authority, but delegated as it were, on account of the danger of men and women living together. But Debbora exercised authority in temporal, not in priestly matters, even as now woman may have temporal power.


Whether boys and those who lack the use of reason can receive Orders?

Objection 1: It would seem that boys and those who lack the use of reason cannot receive Orders. For, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 25), the sacred canons have appointed a certain fixed age in those who receive Orders. But this would not be if boys could receive the sacrament of Orders. Therefore, etc.

Objection 2: Further, the sacrament of Orders ranks above the sacrament of matrimony. Now children and those who lack the use of reason cannot contract matrimony. Neither therefore can they receive Orders.

Objection 3: Further, act and power are in the same subject, according to the Philosopher (De Somn. et Vigil. i). Now the act of Orders requires the use of reason. Therefore the power of Orders does also.

On the contrary, one who is raised to Orders before the age of discretion is sometimes allowed to exercise them without being reordained, as appears from Extra., De Cler. per salt. prom. But this would not be the case if he had not received Orders. Therefore a boy can receive Orders. Further, boys can receive other sacraments in which a character is imprinted, namely Baptism and Confirmation. Therefore in like manner they can receive Orders.

I answer that, Boyhood and other defects which remove the use of reason occasion an impediment to act. Wherefore the like are unfit to receive all those sacraments which require an act on the part of the recipient of the sacrament, such as Penance, Matrimony, and so forth. But since infused powers like natural powers precede acts — although acquired powers follow acts — and the removal of that which comes after does not entail the removal of what comes first, it follows that children and those who lack the use of reason can receive all the sacraments in which an act on the part of the recipient is not required for the validity of the sacrament, but some spiritual power is conferred from above; with this difference, however, that in the minor orders the age of discretion is required out of respect for the dignity of the sacrament, but not for its lawfulness, nor for its validity. Hence some can without sin be raised to the minor orders before the years of discretion, if there be an urgent reason for it and hope of their proficiency. and they are validly ordained; for although at the time they are not qualified for the offices entrusted to them, they will become qualified by being habituated thereto. For the higher Orders, however, the use of reason is required both out of respect for, and for the lawfulness of the sacrament, not only on account of the vow of continency annexed thereto, but also because the handling of the sacraments is entrusted to them [*See Acts of the Council of Trent: De Reform., Sess. xxii, cap. 4,11,12]. But for the episcopate whereby a man receives power also over the mystical body, the act of accepting the pastoral care of souls is required; wherefore the use of reason is necessary for the validity of episcopal consecration. Some, however, maintain that the use of reason is necessary for the validity of the sacrament in all the Orders. but this statement is not confirmed either by authority or by reason.

Reply to Objection 1: As stated in the Article, not all that is necessary for the lawfulness of a sacrament is required for its validity.

Reply to Objection 2: The cause of matrimony is consent, which cannot be without the use of reason. Whereas in the reception of Orders no act is required on the part of the recipients since no act on their part is expressed in their consecration. Hence there is no comparison.

Reply to Objection 3: Act and power are in the same subject; yet sometimes a power, such as the free-will, precedes its act; and thus it is in the case in point.


Whether the state of slavery is an impediment to receiving Orders?

Objection 1: It would seem that the state of slavery is not an impediment to receiving Orders. For corporal subjection is not incompatible with spiritual authority. But in a slave there is corporal subjection. Therefore he is not hindered from receiving the spiritual authority which is given in orders.

Objection 2: Further, that which is an occasion for humility should not be an impediment to the reception of a sacrament. Now such is slavery, for the Apostle counsels a man, if possible, rather to remain in slavery (1 Cor. 7:21). Therefore it should not hinder him from being raised to Orders.

Objection 3: Further, it is more disgraceful for a cleric to become a slave than for a slave to be made a cleric. Yet a cleric may lawfully be sold as a slave; for a bishop of Nola, Paulinus, to wit, sold himself as a slave as related by Gregory (Dial. iii). Much more therefore can a slave be made a cleric.

Objection 4: On the contrary, It would seem that it is an impediment to the validity of the sacrament. For a woman, on account of her subjection, cannot receive the sacrament of Orders. But greater still is the subjection in a slave; since woman was not given to man as his handmaid (for which reason she was not made from his feet). Therefore neither can a slave receive this sacrament.

Objection 5: Further, a man, from the fact that he receives an Order, is bound to minister in that Order. But he cannot at the same time serve his carnal master and exercise his spiritual ministry. Therefore it would seem that he cannot receive Orders, since the master must be indemnified.

I answer that, By receiving Orders a man pledges himself to the Divine offices. And since no man can give what is not his, a slave who has not the disposal of himself, cannot be raised to Orders. If, however, he be raised, he receives the Order, because freedom is not required for the validity of the sacrament, although it is requisite for its lawfulness, since it hinders not the power, but the act only. The same reason applies to all who are under an obligation to others, such as those who are in debt and like persons.

Reply to Objection 1: The reception of spiritual power involves also an obligation to certain bodily actions, and consequently it is hindered by bodily subjection.

Reply to Objection 2: A man may take an occasion for humility from many other things which do not prove a hindrance to the exercise of Orders.

Reply to Objection 3: The blessed Paulinus did this out of the abundance of his charity, being led by the spirit of God; as was proved by the result of his action, since by his becoming a slave, many of his flock were freed from slavery. Hence we must not draw a conclusion from this particular instance, since "where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Cor. 3:17).

Reply to Objection 4: The sacramental signs signify by reason of their natural likeness. Now a woman is a subject by her nature, whereas a slave is not. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 5: If he be ordained, his master knowing and not dissenting, by this very fact he becomes a freedman. But if his master be in ignorance, the bishop and he who presented him are bound to pay the master double the slave's value, if they knew him to be a slave. Otherwise if the slave has possessions of his own, he is bound to buy his freedom, else he would have to return to the bondage of his master, notwithstanding the impossibility of his exercising his Order.


Whether a man should be debarred from receiving Orders on account of homicide?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man ought not to be debarred from receiving Orders on account of homicide. Because our Orders originated with the office of the Levites, as stated in the previous Distinction

(Sent. iv, D, 24). But the Levites consecrated their hands by shedding the blood of their brethren (Ex. 32:29). Therefore neither should anyone in the New Testament be debarred from receiving Orders on account of the shedding of blood.

Objection 2: Further, no one should be debarred from a sacrament on account of an act of virtue. Now blood is sometimes shed for justice' sake, for instance by a judge; and he who has the office would sin if he did not shed it. Therefore he is not hindered on that account from receiving Orders.

Objection 3: Further, punishment is not due save for a fault. Now sometimes a person commits homicide without fault, for instance by defending himself, or again by mishap. Therefore he ought not to incur the punishment of irregularity.

On the contrary, Against this there are many canonical statutes [*Cap. Miror; cap. Clericum; cap. De his Cler., dist. 1; cap. Continebatur, De homic. volunt.], as also the custom of the Church.

I answer that, All the Orders bear a relation to the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the sacrament of the peace vouchsafed to us by the shedding of Christ's blood. And since homicide is most opposed to peace, and those who slay are conformed to Christ's slayers rather than to Christ slain, to whom all the ministers of the aforesaid sacrament ought to be conformed, it follows that it is unlawful, although not invalid, for homicides to be raised to Orders.

Reply to Objection 1: The Old Law inflicted the punishment of blood, whereas the New Law does not. Hence the comparison fails between the ministers of the Old Testament and those of the New, which is a sweet yoke and a light burden (Mat. 11:30).

Reply to Objection 2: Irregularity is incurred not only on account of sin, but chiefly on account of a person being unfit to administer the sacrament of the Eucharist. Hence the judge and all who take part with him in a cause of blood, are irregular, because the shedding of blood is unbecoming to the ministers of that sacrament.

Reply to Objection 3: No one does a thing without being the cause thereof, and in man this is something voluntary. Hence he who by mishap slays a man without knowing that it is a man, is not called a homicide, nor does he incur irregularity (unless he was occupying himself in some unlawful manner, or failed to take sufficient care, since in this case the slaying becomes somewhat voluntary). But this is not because he is not in fault, since irregularity is incurred even without fault. Wherefore even he who in a particular case slays a man in self-defense without committing a sin, is none the less irregular [*St. Thomas is speaking according to the canon law of his time. This is no longer the case now.].


Whether those of illegitimate birth should be debarred from receiving Orders?

Objection 1: It would seem that those who are of illegitimate birth should not be debarred from receiving Orders. For the son should not bear the iniquity of the father (Ezech. 18:20); and yet he would if this were an impediment to his receiving Orders. Therefore, etc.

Objection 2: Further, one's own fault is a greater impediment than the fault of another. Now unlawful intercourse does not always debar a man from receiving Orders. Therefore neither should he be debarred by the unlawful intercourse of his father.

On the contrary, It is written (Dt. 23:2): "A mamzer, that is to say, one born of a prostitute, shall not enter into the Church of the Lord until the tenth generation." Much less therefore should he be ordained.

I answer that, Those who are ordained are placed in a position of dignity over others. Hence by a kind of propriety it is requisite that they should be without reproach, not for the validity but for the lawfulness of the sacrament, namely that they should be of good repute, bedecked with a virtuous life, and not publicly penitent. And since a man's good name is bedimmed by a sinful origin, therefore those also who are born of an unlawful union are debarred from receiving orders, unless they receive a dispensation; and this is the more difficult to obtain, according as their origin is more discreditable.

Reply to Objection 1: Irregularity is not a punishment due for sin. Hence it is clear that those who are of illegitimate birth do not bear the iniquity of their father through being irregular.

Reply to Objection 2: What a man does by his own act can be removed by repentance and by a contrary act; not so the things which are from nature. Hence the comparison fails between sinful act and sinful origin.


Whether lack of members should be an impediment?

Objection 1: It would seem that a man ought not to be debarred from receiving Orders on account of a lack of members. For one who is afflicted should not receive additional affliction. Therefore a man ought not to be deprived of the degree of Orders on account of his suffering a bodily defect.

Objection 2: Further, integrity of discretion is more necessary for the act of orders than integrity of body. But some can be ordained before the years of discretion. Therefore they can also be ordained though deficient in body.

On the contrary, The like were debarred from the ministry of the Old Law (Lev. 21:18, seqq.). Much more therefore should they be debarred in the New Law. We shall speak of bigamy in the treatise on Matrimony ([4914]Q[66]).

I answer that, As appears from what we have said above

([4915]AA[3],4,5), a man is disqualified from receiving Orders, either on account of an impediment to the act, or on account of an impediment affecting his personal comeliness. Hence he who suffers from a lack of members is debarred from receiving Orders, if the defect be such as to cause a notable blemish, whereby a man's comeliness is bedimmed (for instance if his nose be cut off) or the exercise of his Order imperilled; otherwise he is not debarred. This integrity, however, is necessary for the lawfulness and not for the validity of the sacrament. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


OF THE THINGS ANNEXED TO THE SACRAMENT OF ORDER (SEVEN ARTICLES)

We must now consider the things that are annexed to the sacrament of Order. Under this head there are seven points of inquiry:

(1) Whether those who are ordained ought to be shaven and tonsured in the form of a crown?

(2) Whether the tonsure is an Order?

(3) Whether by receiving the tonsure one renounces temporal goods?

(4) Whether above the priestly Order there should be an episcopal power?

(5) Whether the episcopate is an Order?

(6) Whether in the Church there can be any power above the episcopate?

(7) Whether the vestments of the ministers are fittingly instituted by the Church?


Whether those who are ordained ought to wear the tonsure?

Objection 1: It would seem that those who are ordained ought not to wear the tonsure in the shape of a crown. For the Lord threatened captivity and dispersion to those who were shaven in this way: "Of the captivity of the bare head of the enemies" (Dt. 32:42), and: "I will scatter into every wind them that have their hair cut round" (Jer. 49:32). Now the ministers of Christ should not be captives, but free. Therefore shaving and tonsure in the shape of a crown does not become them.

Objection 2: Further, the truth should correspond to the figure. Now the crown was prefigured in the Old Law by the tonsure of the Nazarenes, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24). Therefore since the Nazarenes were not ordained to the Divine ministry, it would seem that the ministers of the Church should not receive the tonsure or shave the head in the form of a crown. The same would seem to follow from the fact that lay brothers, who are not ministers of the Church, receive a tonsure in the religious Orders.

Objection 3: Further, the hair signifies superabundance, because it grows from that which is superabundant. But the ministers of the Church should cast off all superabundance. Therefore they should shave the head completely and not in the shape of a crown.

On the contrary, According to Gregory, "to serve God is to reign"

(Super Ps. 101:23). Now a crown is the sign of royalty. Therefore a crown is becoming to those who are devoted to the Divine ministry. Further, according to 1 Cor. 11:15, hair is given us "for a covering." But the ministers of the altar should have the mind uncovered. Therefore the tonsure is becoming to them.

I answer that, It is becoming for those who apply themselves to the Divine ministry to be shaven or tonsured in the form of a crown by reason of the shape. Because a crown is the sign of royalty; and of perfection, since it is circular; and those who are appointed to the Divine service acquire a royal dignity and ought to be perfect in virtue. It is also becoming to them as it involves the hair being taken both from the higher part of the head by shaving, lest their mind be hindered by temporal occupations from contemplating Divine things, and from the lower part by clipping, lest their senses be entangled in temporal things.

Reply to Objection 1: The Lord threatens those who did this for the worship of demons.

Reply to Objection 2: The things that were done in the Old Testament represent imperfectly the things of the New Testament. Hence things pertaining to the ministers of the New Testament were signified not only by the offices of the Levites, but also by all those persons who professed some degree of perfection. Now the Nazarenes professed a certain perfection by having their hair cut off, thus signifying their contempt of temporal things, although they did not have it cut in the shape of a crown, but cut it off completely, for as yet it was not the time of the royal and perfect priesthood. In like manner lay brothers have their hair cut because they renounce temporalities. but they do not shave the head, because they are not occupied in the Divine ministry, so as to have to contemplate Divine things with the mind.

Reply to Objection 3: Not only the renunciation of temporalities, but also the royal dignity has to be signified by the form of a crown; wherefore the hair should not be cut off entirely. Another reason is that this would be unbecoming.


Whether the tonsure is an Order?

Objection 1: It would seem that the tonsure is an Order. For in the acts of the Church the spiritual corresponds to the corporal. Now the tonsure is a corporal sign employed by the Church. Therefore seemingly there is some interior signification corresponding thereto; so that a person receives a character when he receives the tonsure, and consequently the latter is an Order.

Objection 2: Further, just as Confirmation and the other Orders are given by a bishop alone, so is the tonsure. Now a character is imprinted in Confirmation, and the other Orders. Therefore one is imprinted likewise in receiving the tonsure. Therefore the same conclusion follows.

Objection 3: Further, Order denotes a degree of dignity. Now a cleric by the very fact of being a cleric is placed on a degree above the people. Therefore the tonsure by which he is made a cleric is an Order.

On the contrary, No Order is given except during the celebration of Mass. But the tonsure is given even outside the office of the Mass. Therefore it is not an Order. Further, in the conferring of every Order mention is made of some power granted, but not in the conferring of the tonsure. Therefore it is not an Order.

I answer that, The ministers of the Church are severed from the people in order that they may give themselves entirely to the Divine worship. Now in the Divine worship are certain actions that have to be exercised by virtue of certain definite powers, and for this purpose the spiritual power of order is given; while other actions are performed by the whole body of ministers in common, for instance the recital of the Divine praises. For such things it is not necessary to have the power of Order, but only to be deputed to such an office; and this is done by the tonsure. Consequently it is not an Order but a preamble to Orders.

Reply to Objection 1: The tonsure has some spiritual thing inwardly corresponding to it, as signate corresponds to sign; but this is not a spiritual power. Wherefore a character is not imprinted in the tonsure as in an Order.

Reply to Objection 2: Although a man does not receive a character in the tonsure, nevertheless he is appointed to the Divine worship. Hence this appointment should be made by the supreme minister, namely the bishop, who moreover blesses the vestments and vessels and whatsoever else is employed in the Divine worship.

Reply to Objection 3: A man through being a cleric is in a higher state than a layman; but as regards power he has not the higher degree that is required for Orders.


Whether by receiving the tonsure a man renounces temporal goods?

Objection 1: It would seem that men renounce temporal goods by receiving the tonsure, for when they are tonsured they say: "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance." But as Jerome says (Ep. ad Nepot.), "the Lord disdains to be made a portion together with these temporal things." Therefore he renounces temporalities.

Objection 2: Further, the justice of the ministers of the New Testament ought to abound more than that of the ministers of the Old Testament

(Mat. 5:20). But the ministers of the Old Testament, namely the Levites, did not receive a portion of inheritance with their brethren

(Dt. 10; Dt. 18). Therefore neither should the ministers of the New Testament.

Objection 3: Further, Hugh says (De Sacram. ii) that "after a man is made a cleric, he must from thenceforward live on the pay of the Church." But this would not be so were he to retain his patrimony. Therefore he would seem to renounce it by becoming a cleric.

On the contrary, Jeremias was of the priestly order (Jer. 1:1). Yet he retained possession of his inheritance (Jer. 32:8). Therefore clerics can retain their patrimony. Further, if this were not so there would seem to be no difference between religious and the secular clergy.

I answer that, Clerics by receiving the tonsure, do not renounce their patrimony or other temporalities; since the possession of earthly things is not contrary to the Divine worship to which clerics are appointed, although excessive care for such things is; for as Gregory says (Moral. x, 30), "it is not wealth but the love of wealth that is sinful."

Reply to Objection 11: The Lord disdains to be a portion as being loved equally with other things, so that a man place his end in God and the things of the world. He does not, however, disdain to be the portion of those who so possess the things of the world as not to be withdrawn thereby from the Divine worship.

Reply to Objection 2: In the Old Testament the Levites had a right to their paternal inheritance; and the reason why they did not receive a portion with the other tribes was because they were scattered throughout all the tribes, which would have been impossible if, like the other tribes, they had received one fixed portion of the soil.

Reply to Objection 3: Clerics promoted to holy orders, if they be poor, must be provided for by the bishop who ordained them; otherwise he is not so bound. And they are bound to minister to the Church in the Order they have received. The words of Hugh refer to those who have no means of livelihood.


Whether above the priestly Order there ought to be an episcopal power?

Objection 1: It would seem that there ought not to be an episcopal power above the priestly Order. For as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24) "the priestly Order originated from Aaron." Now in the Old Law there was no one above Aaron. Therefore neither in the New Law ought there to be any power above that of the priests.

Objection 2: Further, powers rank according to acts. Now no sacred act can be greater than to consecrate the body of Christ, whereunto the priestly power is directed. Therefore there should not be an episcopal above the priestly power.

Objection 3: Further, the priest, in offering, represents Christ in the Church, Who offered Himself for us to the Father. Now no one is above Christ in the Church, since He is the Head of the Church. Therefore there should not be an episcopal above the priestly power.

On the contrary, A power is so much the higher according as it extends to more things. Now the priestly power, according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v), extends only to cleansing and enlightening, whereas the episcopal power extends both to this and to perfecting. Therefore the episcopal should be above the priestly power. Further, the Divine ministries should be more orderly than human ministries. Now the order of human ministries requires that in each office there should be one person to preside, just as a general is placed over soldiers. Therefore there should also be appointed over priests one who is the chief priest, and this is the bishop. Therefore the episcopal should be above the priestly power.

I answer that, A priest has two acts: one is the principal, namely to consecrate the body of Christ. the other is secondary, namely to prepare God's people for the reception of this sacrament, as stated above ([4916]Q[37], AA[2],4). As regards the first act, the priest's power does not depend on a higher power save God's; but as to the second, it depends on a higher and that a human power. For every power that cannot exercise its act without certain ordinances, depends on the power that makes those ordinances. Now a priest cannot loose and bind, except we presuppose him to have the jurisdiction of authority, whereby those whom he absolves are subject to him. But he can consecrate any matter determined by Christ, nor is anything else required for the validity of the sacrament; although, on account of a certain congruousness, the act of the bishop is pre-required in the consecration of the altar, vestments, and so forth. Hence it is clear that it behooves the episcopal to be above the priestly power, as regards the priest's secondary act, but not as regards his primary act.

Reply to Objection 1: Aaron was both priest and pontiff, that is chief priest. Accordingly the priestly power originated from him, in so far as he was a priest offering sacrifices, which was lawful even to the lesser priests; but it does not originate from him as pontiff, by which power he was able to do certain things; for instance, to enter once a year the Holy of Holies, which it was unlawful for the other priests to do.

Reply to Objection 2: There is no higher power with regard to this act, but with regard to another, as stated above.

Reply to Objection 3: Just as the perfections of all natural things pre-exist in God as their exemplar, so was Christ the exemplar of all ecclesiastical offices. Wherefore each minister of the Church is, in some respect, a copy of Christ, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24). Yet he is the higher who represents Christ according to a greater perfection. Now a priest represents Christ in that He fulfilled a certain ministry by Himself, whereas a bishop represents Him in that He instituted other ministers and founded the Church. Hence it belongs to a bishop to dedicate a thing to the Divine offices, as establishing the Divine worship after the manner of Christ. For this reason also a bishop is especially called the bridegroom of the Church even as Christ is.


Whether the episcopate is an Order?

Objection 1: It would seem that the episcopate is an Order. First of all, because Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. v) assigns these three orders to the ecclesiastical hierarchy, the bishop, the priest, and the minister. In the text also (Sent. iv, D, 24) it is stated that the episcopal Order is fourfold.

Objection 2: Further, Order is nothing else but a degree of power in the dispensing of spiritual things. Now bishops can dispense certain sacraments which priests cannot dispense, namely Confirmation and Order. Therefore the episcopate is an Order.

Objection 3: Further, in the Church there is no spiritual power other than of Order or jurisdiction. But things pertaining to the episcopal power are not matters of jurisdiction, else they might be committed to one who is not a bishop, which is false. Therefore they belong to the power of Order. Therefore the bishop has an Order which a simple priest has not; and thus the episcopate is an Order.

On the contrary, One Order does not depend on a preceding order as regards the validity of the sacrament. But the episcopal power depends on the priestly power, since no one can receive the episcopal power unless he have previously the priestly power. Therefore the episcopate is not an Order. Further, the greater Orders are not conferred except on Saturdays [*The four Ember Saturdays]. But the episcopal power is bestowed on Sundays [*Dist. lxxv, can. Ordinationes]. Therefore it is not an Order.

I answer that, Order may be understood in two ways. In one way as a sacrament, and thus, as already stated ([4917]Q[37], AA[2],4), every Order is directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist. Wherefore since the bishop has not a higher power than the priest, in this respect the episcopate is not an Order. In another way Order may be considered as an office in relation to certain sacred actions: and thus since in hierarchical actions a bishop has in relation to the mystical body a higher power than the priest, the episcopate is an Order. It is in this sense that the authorities quoted speak. Hence the Reply to the First Objection is clear.

Reply to Objection 2: Order considered as a sacrament which imprints a character is specially directed to the sacrament of the Eucharist, in which Christ Himself is contained, because by a character we are made like to Christ Himself [*Cf. [4918]TP, Q[63], A[3]]. Hence although at his promotion a bishop receives a spiritual power in respect of certain sacraments, this power nevertheless has not the nature of a character. For this reason the episcopate is not an Order, in the sense in which an Order is a sacrament.

Reply to Objection 3: The episcopal power is one not only of jurisdiction but also of Order, as stated above, taking Order in the sense in which it is generally understood.


Whether in the Church there can be anyone above the bishops?

Objection 1: It would seem that there cannot be anyone in the Church higher than the bishops. For all the bishops are the successors of the apostles. Now the power so given to one of the apostles, namely Peter

(Mat. 16:19), was given to all the apostles (Jn. 20:23). Therefore all bishops are equal, and one is not above another.

Objection 2: Further, the rite of the Church ought to be more conformed to the Jewish rite than to that of the Gentiles. Now the distinction of the episcopal dignity and the appointment of one over another, were introduced by the Gentiles. as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24); and there was no such thing in the Old Law. Therefore neither in the Church should one bishop be above another.

Objection 3: Further, a higher power cannot be conferred by a lower, nor equal by equal, because "without all contradiction that which is less is blessed by the greater [Vulg.: 'better']"; hence a priest does not consecrate a bishop or a priest, but a bishop consecrates a priest. But a bishop can consecrate any bishop, since even the bishop of Ostia consecrates the Pope. Therefore the episcopal dignity is equal in all matters, and consequently one bishop should not be subject to another, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 24).

On the contrary, We read in the council of Constantinople: "In accordance with the Scriptures and the statutes and definitions of the canons, we venerate the most holy bishop of ancient Rome the first and greatest of bishops, and after him the bishop of Constantinople." Therefore one bishop is above another. Further, the blessed Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, says: "That we may remain members of our apostolic head, the throne of the Roman Pontiffs, of whom it is our duty to seek what we are to believe and what we are to hold, venerating him, beseeching him above others; for his it is to reprove, to correct, to appoint, to loose, and to bind in place of Him Who set up that very throne, and Who gave the fulness of His own to no other, but to him alone, to whom by divine right all bow the head, and the primates of the world are obedient as to our Lord Jesus Christ Himself." Therefore bishops are subject to someone even by divine right.

I answer that, Wherever there are several authorities directed to one purpose, there must needs be one universal authority over the particular authorities, because in all virtues and acts the order is according to the order of their ends (Ethic. i, 1,2). Now the common good is more Godlike than the particular good. Wherefore above the governing power which aims at a particular good there must be a universal governing power in respect of the common good, otherwise there would be no cohesion towards the one object. Hence since the whole Church is one body, it behooves, if this oneness is to be preserved, that there be a governing power in respect of the whole Church, above the episcopal power whereby each particular Church is governed, and this is the power of the Pope. Consequently those who deny this power are called schismatics as causing a division in the unity of the Church. Again, between a simple bishop and the Pope there are other degrees of rank corresponding to the degrees of union, in respect of which one congregation or community includes another; thus the community of a province includes the community of a city, and the community of a kingdom includes the community of one province, and the community of the whole world includes the community of one kingdom.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the power of binding and loosing was given to all the apostles in common, nevertheless in order to indicate some order in this power, it was given first of all to Peter alone, to show that this power must come down from him to the others. For this reason He said to him in the singular: "Confirm thy brethren" (Lk. 22:32), and: "Feed My sheep" (Jn. 21:17), i.e. according to Chrysostom: "Be thou the president and head of thy brethren in My stead, that they, putting thee in My place, may preach and confirm thee throughout the world whilst thou sittest on thy throne."

Reply to Objection 2: The Jewish rite was not spread abroad in various kingdoms and provinces, but was confined to one nation; hence there was no need to distinguish various pontiffs under the one who had the chief power. But the rite of the Church, like that of the Gentiles, is spread abroad through various nations; and consequently in this respect it is necessary for the constitution of the Church to be like the rite of the Gentiles rather than that of the Jews.

Reply to Objection 3: The priestly power is surpassed by the episcopal power, as by a power of a different kind; but the episcopal is surpassed by the papal power as by a power of the same kind. Hence a bishop can perform every hierarchical act that the Pope can; whereas a priest cannot perform every act that a bishop can in conferring the sacraments. Wherefore as regards matters pertaining to the episcopal Order, all bishops are equal, and for this reason any bishop can consecrate another bishop.


Whether the vestments of the ministers are fittingly instituted in the Church?

Objection 1: It would seem that the vestments of the ministers are not fittingly instituted in the Church. For the ministers of the New Testament are more bound to chastity than were the ministers of the Old Testament. Now among the vestments of the Old Testament there were the breeches as a sign of chastity. Much more therefore should they have a place among the vestments of the Church's ministers.

Objection 2: Further, the priesthood of the New Testament is more worthy than the priesthood of the Old. But the priests of the Old Testament had mitres, which are a sign of dignity. Therefore the priests of the New Testament should also have them.

Objection 3: Further, the priest is nearer than the episcopal Order to the Orders of ministers. Now the bishop uses the vestments of the ministers, namely the dalmatic, which is the deacon's vestment, and the tunic, which is the subdeacon's. Much more therefore should simple priests use them.

Objection 4: Further, in the Old Law the pontiff wore the ephod [*Superhumerale, i.e. over-the-shoulders], which signified the burden of the Gospel, as Bede observes (De Tabernac. iii). Now this is especially incumbent on our pontiffs. Therefore they ought to wear the ephod.

Objection 5: Further, "Doctrine and Truth" were inscribed on the "rational" which the pontiffs of the Old Testament wore. Now truth was made known especially in the New Law. Therefore it is becoming to the pontiffs of the New Law.

Objection 6: Further, the golden plate on which was written the most admirable name of God, was the most admirable of the adornments of the Old Law. Therefore it should especially have been transferred to the New Law.

Objection 7: Further, the things which the ministers of the Church wear outwardly are signs of inward power. Now the archbishop has no other kind of power than a bishop, as stated above [4919](A[6]). Therefore he should not have the pallium which other bishops have not.

Objection 8: Further, the fulness of power resides in the Roman Pontiff. But he has not a crozier. Therefore other bishops should not have one.

I answer that, The vestments of the ministers denote the qualifications required of them for handling Divine things. And since certain things are required of all, and some are required of the higher, that are not so exacted of the lower ministers, therefore certain vestments are common to all the ministers, while some pertain to the higher ministers only. Accordingly it is becoming to all the ministers to wear the "amice" which covers the shoulders, thereby signifying courage in the exercise of the Divine offices to which they are deputed; and the "alb," which signifies a pure life, and the "girdle," which signifies restraint of the flesh. But the subdeacon wears in addition the "maniple" on the left arm; this signifies the wiping away of the least stains, since a maniple is a kind of handkerchief for wiping the face; for they are the first to be admitted to the handling of sacred things. They also have the "narrow tunic," signifying the doctrine of Christ; wherefore in the Old Law little bells hung therefrom, and subdeacons are the first admitted to announce the doctrine of the New Law. The deacon has in addition the "stole" over the left shoulder, as a sign that he is deputed to a ministry in the sacraments themselves, and the "dalmatic" (which is a full vestment, so called because it first came into use in Dalmatia), to signify that he is the first to be appointed to dispense the sacraments: for he dispenses the blood, and in dispensing one should be generous. But in the case of the priest the "stole" hangs from both shoulders, to show that he has received full power to dispense the sacraments, and not as the minister of another man, for which reason the stole reaches right down. He also wears the "chasuble," which signifies charity, because he it is who consecrates the sacrament of charity, namely the Eucharist. Bishops have nine ornaments besides those which the priest has; these are the "stockings, sandals, succinctory, tunic, dalmatic, mitre, gloves, ring, and crozier," because there are nine things which they can, but priests cannot, do, namely ordain clerics, bless virgins, consecrate bishops, impose hands, dedicate churches, depose clerics, celebrate synods, consecrate chrism, bless vestments and vessels. We may also say that the "stockings" signify his upright walk; the "sandals" which cover the feet, his contempt of earthly things; the "succinctory" which girds the stole with the alb, his love of probity; the "tunic," perseverance, for Joseph is said (Gn. 37:23) to have had a long tunic — "talaric," because it reached down to the ankles [talos], which denote the end of life; the "dalmatic," generosity in works of mercy; the "gloves," prudence in action; the "mitre," knowledge of both Testaments, for which reason it has two crests; the "crozier," his pastoral care, whereby he has to gather together the wayward (this is denoted by the curve at the head of the crozier), to uphold the weak

(this is denoted by the stem of the crozier), and to spur on the laggards (this is denoted by the point at the foot of the crozier). Hence the line: "Gather, uphold, spur on The wayward, the weak, and the laggard." The "ring" signifies the sacraments of that faith whereby the Church is espoused to Christ. For bishops are espoused to the Church in the place of Christ. Furthermore archbishops have the "pallium" in sign of their privileged power, for it signifies the golden chain which those who fought rightfully were wont to receive.

Reply to Objection 1: The priests of the Old Law were enjoined continency only for the time of their attendance for the purpose of their ministry. Wherefore as a sign of the chastity which they had then to observe, they wore the breeches while offering sacrifices. But the ministers of the New Testament are enjoined perpetual continency; and so the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 2: The mitre was not a sign of dignity, for it was a kind of hat, as Jerome says (Ep. ad Fabiol.). But the diadem which was a sign of dignity was given to the pontiffs alone, as the mitre is now.

Reply to Objection 3: The power of the ministers resides in the bishop as their source, but not in the priest, for he does not confer those Orders. Wherefore the bishop, rather than the priest, wears those vestments.

Reply to Objection 4: Instead of the ephod, they wear the stole, which is intended for the same signification as the ephod.

Reply to Objection 5: The pallium takes the place of the "rational."

Reply to Objection 6: Instead of that plate our pontiff wears the cross, as Innocent III says (De Myst. Miss. i), just as the breeches are replaced by the sandals, the linen garment by the alb, the belt by the girdle, the long or talaric garment by the tunic, the ephod by the amice, the "rational" by the pallium, the diadem by the mitre.

Reply to Objection 7: Although he has not another kind of power he has the same power more fully. and so in order to designate this perfection, he receives the pallium which surrounds him on all sides.

Reply to Objection 8: The Roman Pontiff does not use a pastoral staff because Peter sent his to restore to life a certain disciple who afterwards became bishop of Treves. Hence in the diocese of Treves the Pope carries a crozier but not elsewhere; or else it is a sign of his not having a restricted power denoted by the curve of the staff.


MATRIMONY (QQ[41]-67) OF THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY AS DIRECTED TO AN OFFICE OF NATURE (FOUR ARTICLES)

In the next place we must consider matrimony. We must treat of it (1) as directed to an office of nature; (2) as a sacrament; (3) as considered absolutely and in itself. Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether it is of natural law?

(2) Whether it is a matter of precept?

(3) Whether its act is lawful?

(4) Whether its act can be meritorious?


Whether matrimony is of natural law?

Objection 1: It would seem that matrimony is not natural. Because "the natural law is what nature has taught all animals" [*Digest. I, i, de justitia et jure, 1]. But in other animals the sexes are united without matrimony. Therefore matrimony is not of natural law.

Objection 1: Further, that which is of natural law is found in all men with regard to their every state. But matrimony was not in every state of man, for as Tully says (De Inv. Rhet.), "at the beginning men were savages and then no man knew his own children, nor was he bound by any marriage tie," wherein matrimony consists. Therefore it is not natural.

Objection 3: Further, natural things are the same among all. But matrimony is not in the same way among all, since its practice varies according to the various laws. Therefore it is not natural.

Objection 4: Further, those things without which the intention of nature can be maintained would seem not to be natural. But nature intends the preservation of the species by generation which is possible without matrimony, as in the case of fornicators. Therefore matrimony is not natural.

On the contrary, At the commencement of the Digests it is stated: "The union of male and female, which we call matrimony, is of natural law." Further, the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 12) says that "man is an animal more inclined by nature to connubial than political society." But "man is naturally a political and gregarious animal," as the same author asserts (Polit. i, 2). Therefore he is naturally inclined to connubial union, and thus the conjugal union or matrimony is natural.

I answer that, A thing is said to be natural in two ways. First, as resulting of necessity from the principles of nature; thus upward movement is natural to fire. In this way matrimony is not natural, nor are any of those things that come to pass at the intervention or motion of the free-will. Secondly, that is said to be natural to which nature inclines although it comes to pass through the intervention of the free-will; thus acts of virtue and the virtues themselves are called natural; and in this way matrimony is natural, because natural reason inclines thereto in two ways. First, in relation to the principal end of matrimony, namely the good of the offspring. For nature intends not only the begetting of offspring, but also its education and development until it reach the perfect state of man as man, and that is the state of virtue. Hence, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 11,12), we derive three things from our parents, namely "existence," "nourishment," and "education." Now a child cannot be brought up and instructed unless it have certain and definite parents, and this would not be the case unless there were a tie between the man and a definite woman and it is in this that matrimony consists. Secondly, in relation to the secondary end of matrimony, which is the mutual services which married persons render one another in household matters. For just as natural reason dictates that men should live together, since one is not self-sufficient in all things concerning life, for which reason man is described as being naturally inclined to political society, so too among those works that are necessary for human life some are becoming to men, others to women. Wherefore nature inculcates that society of man and woman which consists in matrimony. These two reasons are given by the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 11,12).

Reply to Objection 1: Man's nature inclines to a thing in two ways. In one way, because that thing is becoming to the generic nature, and this is common to all animals; in another way because it is becoming to the nature of the difference, whereby the human species in so far as it is rational overflows the genus; such is an act of prudence or temperance. And just as the generic nature, though one in all animals, yet is not in all in the same way, so neither does it incline in the same way in all, but in a way befitting each one. Accordingly man's nature inclines to matrimony on the part of the difference, as regards the second reason given above; wherefore the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 11,12; Polit. i) gives this reason in men over other animals; but as regards the first reason it inclines on the part of the genus; wherefore he says that the begetting of offspring is common to all animals. Yet nature does not incline thereto in the same way in all animals; since there are animals whose offspring are able to seek food immediately after birth, or are sufficiently fed by their mother; and in these there is no tie between male and female; whereas in those whose offspring needs the support of both parents, although for a short time, there is a certain tie, as may be seen in certain birds. In man, however, since the child needs the parents' care for a long time, there is a very great tie between male and female, to which tie even the generic nature inclines.

Reply to Objection 2: The assertion of Tully may be true of some particular nation, provided we understand it as referring to the proximate beginning of that nation when it became a nation distinct from others; for that to which natural reason inclines is not realized in all things, and this statement is not universally true, since Holy Writ states that there has been matrimony from the beginning of the human race.

Reply to Objection 3: According to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii) "human nature is not unchangeable as the Divine nature is." Hence things that are of natural law vary according to the various states and conditions of men; although those which naturally pertain to things Divine nowise vary.

Reply to Objection 4: Nature intends not only being in the offspring, but also perfect being, for which matrimony is necessary, as shown above.


Whether matrimony still comes under a precept?

Objection 1: It would seem that matrimony still comes under a precept. For a precept is binding so long as it is not recalled. But the primary institution of matrimony came under a precept, as stated in the text

(Sent. iv, D, 26); nor do we read anywhere that this precept was recalled, but rather that it was confirmed (Mat. 19:6): "What . . . God hath joined together let no man put asunder." Therefore matrimony still comes under a precept.

Objection 2: Further, the precepts of natural law are binding in respect of all time. Now matrimony is of natural law, as stated above [4920](A[1]). Therefore, etc.

Objection 3: Further, the good of the species is better than the good of the individual, "for the good of the State is more Godlike than the good of one man" (Ethic. i, 2). Now the precept given to the first man concerning the preservation of the good of the individual by the act of the nutritive power is still in force. Much more therefore does the precept concerning matrimony still hold, since it refers to the preservation of the species.

Objection 4: Further, where the reason of an obligation remains the same, the obligation must remain the same. Now the reason why men were bound to marry in olden times was lest the human race should cease to multiply. Since then the result would be the same, if each one were free to abstain from marriage, it would seem that matrimony comes under a precept.

On the contrary, It is written (1 Cor. 7:38): "He that giveth not his virgin in marriage doth better [*Vulg.: 'He that giveth his virgin in marriage doth well, and he that giveth her not doth better']," namely than he that giveth her in marriage. Therefore the contract of marriage is not now a matter of precept. Further, no one deserves a reward for breaking a precept. Now a special reward, namely the aureole, is due to virgins [*Cf.[4921] Q[96], A[5]]. Therefore matrimony does not come under a precept.

I answer that, Nature inclines to a thing in two ways. In one way as to that which is necessary for the perfection of the individual, and such an obligation is binding on each one, since natural perfections are common to all. In another way it inclines to that which is necessary for the perfection of the community; and since there are many things of this kind, one of which hinders another, such an inclination does not bind each man by way of precept; else each man would be bound to husbandry and building and to such offices as are necessary to the human community; but the inclination of nature is satisfied by the accomplishment of those various offices by various individuals. Accordingly, since the perfection of the human community requires that some should devote themselves to the contemplative life to which marriage is a very great obstacle, the natural inclination to marriage is not binding by way of precept even according to the philosophers. Hence Theophrastus proves that it is not advisable for a wise man to marry, as Jerome relates (Contra Jovin. i).

Reply to Objection 1: This precept has not been recalled, and yet it is not binding on each individual, for the reason given above, except at that time when the paucity of men required each one to betake himself to the begetting of children. The Replies to objections 2 and 3 are clear from what has been said.

Reply to Objection 4: Human nature has a general inclination to various offices and acts, as already stated. But since it is variously in various subjects, as individualized in this or that one, it inclines one subject more to one of those offices, and another subject more to another, according to the difference of temperament of various individuals. And it is owing to this difference, as well as to Divine providence which governs all, that one person chooses one office such as husbandry, and another person another. And so it is too that some choose the married life and some the contemplative. Wherefore no danger threatens.


Whether the marriage act is always sinful?

Objection 1: It would seem that the marriage act is always sinful. For it is written (1 Cor. 7:29): "That they . . . who have wives, be as if they had none." But those who are not married do not perform the marriage act. Therefore even those who are married sin in that act.

Objection 2: Further, "Your iniquities have divided between you and your God." Now the marriage act divides man from God wherefore the people who were to see God (Ex. 19:11) were commanded not to go near their wives (Ex. 19:20); and Jerome says (Ep. ad Ageruch.: Contra Jovini, 18) that in the marriage act "the Holy Ghost touches not the hearts of the prophets." Therefore it is sinful.

Objection 3: Further, that which is shameful in itself can by no means be well done. Now the marriage act is always connected with concupiscence, which is always shameful. Therefore it is always sinful.

Objection 4: Further, nothing is the object of excuse save sin. Now the marriage act needs to be excused by the marriage blessings, as the Master says (Sent. iv, D, 26). Therefore it is a sin.

Objection 5: Further, things alike in species are judged alike. But marriage intercourse is of the same species as the act of adultery, since its end is the same, namely the human species. Therefore since the act of adultery is a sin, the marriage act is likewise.

Objection 6: Further, excess in the passions corrupts virtue. Now there is always excess of pleasure in the marriage act, so much so that it absorbs the reason which is man's principal good, wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 11) that "in that act it is impossible to understand anything." Therefore the marriage act is always a sin.

On the contrary, It is written (1 Cor. 7:28): "If a virgin marry she hath not sinned," and (1 Tim. 5:14): "I will . . . that the younger should marry," and "bear children." But there can be no bearing of children without carnal union. Therefore the marriage act is not a sin; else the Apostle would not have approved of it. Further, no sin is a matter of precept. But the marriage act is a matter of precept (1 Cor. 7:3): "Let the husband render the debt to his life." Therefore it is not a sin.

I answer that, If we suppose the corporeal nature to be created by the good God we cannot hold that those things which pertain to the preservation of the corporeal nature and to which nature inclines, are altogether evil; wherefore, since the inclination to beget an offspring whereby the specific nature is preserved is from nature, it is impossible to maintain that the act of begetting children is altogether unlawful, so that it be impossible to find the mean of virtue therein; unless we suppose, as some are mad enough to assert, that corruptible things were created by an evil god, whence perhaps the opinion mentioned in the text is derived (Sent. iv, D, 26); wherefore this is a most wicked heresy.

Reply to Objection 1: By these words the Apostle did not forbid the marriage act, as neither did he forbid the possession of things when he said (1 Cor. 7:31): "They that use this world" (let them be) "as if they used it not." In each case he forbade enjoyment [*"Fruitionem," i.e. enjoyment of a thing sought as one's last end]; which is clear from the way in which he expresses himself; for he did not say "let them not use it," or "let them not have them," but let them be "as if they used it not" and "as if they had none."

Reply to Objection 2: We are united to God by the habit of grace and by the act of contemplation and love. Therefore whatever severs the former of these unions is always a sin, but not always that which severs the latter, since a lawful occupation about lower things distracts the mind so that it is not fit for actual union with God; and this is especially the case in carnal intercourse wherein the mind is withheld by the intensity of pleasure. For this reason those who have to contemplate Divine things or handle sacred things are enjoined not to have to do with their wives for that particular time; and it is in this sense that the Holy Ghost, as regards the actual revelation of hidden things, did not touch the hearts of the prophets at the time of the marriage act.

Reply to Objection 3: The shamefulness of concupiscence that always accompanies the marriage act is a shamefulness not of guilt, but of punishment inflicted for the first sin, inasmuch as the lower powers and the members do not obey reason. Hence the argument does not prove.

Reply to Objection 4: Properly speaking, a thing is said to be excused when it has some appearance of evil, and yet is not evil, or not as evil as it seems, because some things excuse wholly, others in part. And since the marriage act, by reason of the corruption of concupiscence, has the appearance of an inordinate act, it is wholly excused by the marriage blessing, so as not to be a sin.

Reply to Objection 5: Although they are the same as to their natural species, they differ as to their moral species, which differs in respect of one circumstance, namely intercourse with one's wife and with another than one's wife; just as to kill a man by assault or by justice differentiates the moral species, although the natural species is the same; and yet the one is lawful and the other unlawful.

Reply to Objection 6: The excess of passions that corrupts virtue not only hinders the act of reason, but also destroys the order of reason. The intensity of pleasure in the marriage act does not do this, since, although for the moment man is not being directed, he was previously directed by his reason.


Whether the marriage act is meritorious?

Objection 1: It would seem that the marriage act is not meritorious. For Chrysostom [*Hom. i in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says in his commentary on Matthew: "Although marriage brings no punishment to those who use it, it affords them no meed." Now merit bears a relation to meed. Therefore the marriage act is not meritorious.

Objection 2: Further, to refrain from what is meritorious deserves not praise. Yet virginity whereby one refrains from marriage is praiseworthy. Therefore the marriage act is not meritorious.

Objection 3: Further, he who avails himself of an indulgence granted him, avails himself of a favor received. But a man does not merit by receiving a favor. Therefore the marriage act is not meritorious.

Objection 4: Further, merit like virtue, consists in difficulty. But the marriage act affords not difficulty but pleasure. Therefore it is not meritorious.

Objection 5: Further, that which cannot be done without venial sin is never meritorious, for a man cannot both merit and demerit at the same time. Now there is always a venial sin in the marriage act, since even the first movement in such like pleasures is a venial sin. Therefore the aforesaid act cannot be meritorious.

On the contrary, Every act whereby a precept is fulfilled is meritorious if it be done from charity. Now such is the marriage act, for it is said (1 Cor. 7:3): "Let the husband render the debt to his wife." Therefore, etc. Further, every act of virtue is meritorious. Now the aforesaid act is an act of justice, for it is called the rendering of a debt. Therefore it is meritorious.

I answer that, Since no act proceeding from a deliberate will is indifferent, as stated in the Second Book (Sent. ii, D, 40, Q[1], A[3]; [4922]FS, Q[18], A[9]), the marriage act is always either sinful or meritorious in one who is in a state of grace. For if the motive for the marriage act be a virtue, whether of justice that they may render the debt, or of religion, that they may beget children for the worship of God, it is meritorious. But if the motive be lust, yet not excluding the marriage blessings, namely that he would by no means be willing to go to another woman, it is a venial sin; while if he exclude the marriage blessings, so as to be disposed to act in like manner with any woman, it is a mortal sin. And nature cannot move without being either directed by reason, and thus it will be an act of virtue, or not so directed, and then it will be an act of lust.

Reply to Objection 1: The root of merit, as regards the essential reward, is charity itself; but as regards an accidental reward, the reason for merit consists in the difficulty of an act; and thus the marriage act is not meritorious except in the first way.

Reply to Objection 2: The difficulty required for merit of the accidental reward is a difficulty of labor, but the difficulty required for the essential reward is the difficulty of observing the mean, and this is the difficulty in the marriage act.

Reply to Objection 3: First movements in so far as they are venial sins are movements of the appetite to some inordinate object of pleasure. This is not the case in the marriage act, and consequently the argument does not prove.


OF MATRIMONY AS A SACRAMENT (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must next consider matrimony as a sacrament. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether matrimony is a sacrament?

(2) Whether it ought to have been instituted before sin was committed?

(3) Whether it confers grace?

(4) Whether carnal intercourse belongs to the integrity of matrimony?


Whether matrimony is a sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that matrimony is not a sacrament. For every sacrament of the New Law has a form that is essential to the sacrament. But the blessing given by the priest at a wedding is not essential to matrimony. Therefore it is not a sacrament.

Objection 2: Further, a sacrament according to Hugh (De Sacram. i) is "a material element." But matrimony has not a material element for its matter. Therefore it is not a sacrament.

Objection 3: Further, the sacraments derive their efficacy from Christ's Passion. But matrimony, since it has pleasure annexed to it, does not conform man to Christ's Passion, which was painful. Therefore it is not a sacrament.

Objection 4: Further, every sacrament of the New Law causes that which it signifies. Yet matrimony does not cause the union of Christ with the Church, which union it signifies. Therefore matrimony is not a sacrament.

Objection 5: Further, in the other sacraments there is something which is reality and sacrament. But this is not to be found in matrimony, since it does not imprint a character, else it would not be repeated. Therefore it is not a sacrament.

On the contrary, It is written (Eph. 5:32): "This is a great sacrament." Therefore, etc. Further, a sacrament is the sign of a sacred thing. But such is Matrimony. Therefore, etc.

I answer that, A sacrament denotes a sanctifying remedy against sin offered to man under sensible signs [*Cf. [4923]TP, Q[61], A[1]; [4924]TP, Q[65], A[1]]. Wherefore since this is the case in matrimony, it is reckoned among the sacraments.

Reply to Objection 1: The words whereby the marriage consent is expressed are the form of this sacrament, and not the priest's blessing, which is a sacramental.

Reply to Objection 2: The sacrament of Matrimony, like that of Penance, is perfected by the act of the recipient. Wherefore just as Penance has no other matter than the sensible acts themselves, which take the place of the material element, so it is in Matrimony.

Reply to Objection 3: Although Matrimony is not conformed to Christ's Passion as regards pain, it is as regards charity, whereby He suffered for the Church who was to be united to Him as His spouse.

Reply to Objection 4: The union of Christ with the Church is not the reality contained in this sacrament, but is the reality signified and not contained — and no sacrament causes a reality of that kind — but it has another both contained and signified which it causes, as we shall state further on (ad 5). The Master, however (Sent. iv, D, 26), asserts that it is a non-contained reality, because he was of opinion that Matrimony has no reality contained therein.

Reply to Objection 5: In this sacrament also those three things [*Cf. [4925]TP, Q[66], A[1]] are to be found, for the acts externally apparent are the sacrament only; the bond between husband and wife resulting from those acts is reality and sacrament; and the ultimate reality contained is the effect of this sacrament, while the non-contained reality is that which the Master assigns (Sent. iv, D, 26).


Whether this sacrament ought to have been instituted before sin was committed?

Objection 1: It would seem that Matrimony ought not to have been instituted before sin. Because that which is of natural law needs not to be instituted. Now such is Matrimony, as stated above ([4926]Q[41], A[1]). Therefore it ought not to have been instituted.

Objection 2: Further, sacraments are medicines against the disease of sin. But a medicine is not made ready except for an actual disease. Therefore it should not have been instituted before sin.

Objection 3: Further, one institution suffices for one thing. Now Matrimony was instituted also after sin, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 26). Therefore it was not instituted before sin.

Objection 4: Further, the institution of a sacrament must come from God. Now before sin, the words relating to Matrimony were not definitely said by God but by Adam; the words which God uttered (Gn. 1:22), "Increase and multiply," were addressed also to the brute creation where there is no marriage. Therefore Matrimony was not instituted before sin.

Objection 5: Further, Matrimony is a sacrament of the New Law. But the sacraments of the New Law took their origin from Christ. Therefore it ought not to have been instituted before sin.

On the contrary, It is said (Mat. 19:4): "Have ye not read that He Who made man from the beginning 'made them male and female'"? Further, Matrimony was instituted for the begetting of children. But the begetting of children was necessary to man before sin. Therefore it behooved Matrimony to be instituted before sin.

I answer that, Nature inclines to marriage with a certain good in view, which good varies according to the different states of man, wherefore it was necessary for matrimony to be variously instituted in the various states of man in reference to that good. Consequently matrimony as directed to the begetting of children, which was necessary even when there was no sin, was instituted before sin; according as it affords a remedy for the wound of sin, it was instituted after sin at the time of the natural law; its institution belongs to the Mosaic Law as regards personal disqualifications; and it was instituted in the New Law in so far as it represents the mystery of Christ's union with the Church, and in this respect it is a sacrament of the New Law. As regards other advantages resulting from matrimony, such as the friendship and mutual services which husband and wife render one another, its institution belongs to the civil law. Since, however, a sacrament is essentially a sign and a remedy, it follows that the nature of sacrament applies to matrimony as regards the intermediate institution; that it is fittingly intended to fulfill an office of nature as regards the first institution; and. as regards the last-mentioned institution, that it is directed to fulfill an office of society.

Reply to Objection 1: Things which are of natural law in a general way, need to be instituted as regards their determination which is subject to variation according to various states; just as it is of natural law that evil-doers be punished, but that such and such a punishment be appointed for such and such a crime is determined by positive law.

Reply to Objection 2: Matrimony is not only for a remedy against sin, but is chiefly for an office of nature; and thus it was instituted before sin, not as intended for a remedy.

I have not yet encountered mention of a reason for marriage other than that of begetting children and avoiding sin. Sadly, the Church still seems to have these two as the purpose for marriage. Even though they mention unity between the two partners, they don't follow this through to its logical conclusions but revert back to the two reasons I first mentioned.

Reply to Objection 3: There is no reason why matrimony should not have had several institutions corresponding to the various things that had to be determined in connection with marriage. Hence these various institutions are not of the same thing in the same respect.

Reply to Objection 4: Before sin matrimony was instituted by God, when He fashioned a helpmate for man out of his rib, and said to them: "Increase and multiply." And although this was said also to the other animals, it was not to be fulfilled by them in the same way as by men. As to Adam's words, he uttered them inspired by God to understand that the institution of marriage was from God.

Reply to Objection 5: As was clearly stated, matrimony was not instituted before Christ as a sacrament of the New Law.


Whether matrimony confers grace?

Objection 1: It would seem that matrimony does not confer grace. For, according to Hugh (De Sacram. i) "the sacraments, by virtue of their sanctification, confer an invisible grace." But matrimony has no sanctification essential to it. Therefore grace is not conferred therein.

Objection 2: Further, every sacrament that confers grace confers it by virtue of its matter and form. Now the acts which are the matter in this sacrament are not the cause of grace (for it would be the heresy of Pelagius to assert that our acts cause grace); and the words expressive of consent are not the cause of grace, since no sanctification results from them. Therefore grace is by no means given in matrimony.

Objection 3: Further, the grace that is directed against the wound of sin is necessary to all who have that wound. Now the wound of concupiscence is to be found in all. Therefore if grace were given in matrimony against the wound of concupiscence, all men ought to contract marriage, and it would be very stupid to refrain from matrimony.

Objection 4: Further, sickness does not seek a remedy where it finds aggravation. Now concupiscence is aggravated by concupiscence, because, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 12), "the desire of concupiscence is insatiable, and is increased by congenial actions." Therefore it would seem that grace is not conferred in matrimony, as a remedy for concupiscence.

On the contrary, Definition and thing defined should be convertible. Now causality of grace is included in the definition of a sacrament. Since, then, matrimony is a sacrament, it is a cause of grace. Further, Augustine says (De Bono Viduit. viii; Gen. ad lit. ix, 7) that "matrimony affords a remedy to the sick." But it is not a remedy except in so far as it has some efficacy. Therefore it has some efficacy for the repression of concupiscence. Now concupiscence is not repressed except by grace. Therefore grace is conferred therein.

If marriage is needed to repress concupiscence, why is it not needed for priests also?

I answer that, There have been three opinions on this point. For some [*Peter Lombard, Sent. iv, D, 2] said that matrimony is nowise the cause of grace, but only a sign thereof. But this cannot be maintained, for in that case it would in no respect surpass the sacraments of the Old Law. Wherefore there would be no reason for reckoning it among the sacraments of the New Law; since even in the Old Law by the very nature of the act it was able to afford a remedy to concupiscence lest the latter run riot when held in too strict restraint. Hence others [*St. Albert Magnus, Sent. iv, D, 26] said that grace is conferred therein as regards the withdrawal from evil, because the act is excused from sin, for it would be a sin apart from matrimony. But this would be too little, since it had this also in the Old Law. And so they say that it makes man withdraw from evil, by restraining the concupiscence lest it tend to something outside the marriage blessings, but that this grace does not enable a man to do good works. But this cannot be maintained, since the same grace hinders sin and inclines to good, just as the same heat expels cold and gives heat. Hence others [*St. Bonaventure, Sent. iv, D, 26] say that matrimony, inasmuch as it is contracted in the faith of Christ, is able to confer the grace which enables us to do those works which are required in matrimony. and this is more probable, since wherever God gives the faculty to do a thing, He gives also the helps whereby man is enabled to make becoming use of that faculty; thus it is clear that to all the soul's powers there correspond bodily members by which they can proceed to act. Therefore, since in matrimony man receives by Divine institution the faculty to use his wife for the begetting of children, he also receives the grace without which he cannot becomingly do so; just as we have said of the sacrament of orders ([4927]Q[35], A[1]). And thus this grace which is given is the last thing contained in this sacrament.

A man uses his wife to beget children? Doesn't a woman also use the husband to beget children? Yet there is no mention of this. This is evidence of discrimination of women in the Church.

Reply to Objection 1: Just as the baptismal water by virtue of its contact with Christ's body [*Cf. [4928]TP, Q[66], A[3], ad 4] is able to "touch the body and cleanse the heart" [*St. Augustine, Tract. lxxx in Joan.], so is matrimony able to do so through Christ having represented it by His Passion, and not principally through any blessing of the priest.

Reply to Objection 2: Just as the water of Baptism together with the form of words results immediately not in the infusion of grace, but in the imprinting of the character, so the outward acts and the words expressive of consent directly effect a certain tie which is the sacrament of matrimony; and this tie by virtue of its Divine institution works dispositively [*Cf.[4929] Q[18], A[1], where St. Thomas uses the same expression; and Editor's notes at the beginning of the Supplement and on that Article] to the infusion of grace.

Reply to Objection 3: This argument would hold if no more efficacious remedy could be employed against the disease of concupiscence; but a yet more powerful remedy is found in spiritual works and mortification of the flesh by those who make no use of matrimony.

Reply to Objection 4: A remedy can be employed against concupiscence in two ways. First, on the part of concupiscence by repressing it in its root, and thus matrimony affords a remedy by the grace given therein. Secondly, on the part of its act, and this in two ways: first, by depriving the act to which concupiscence inclines of its outward shamefulness, and this is done by the marriage blessings which justify carnal concupiscence; secondly, by hindering the shameful act, which is done by the very nature of the act. because concupiscence, being satisfied by the conjugal act, does not incline so much to other wickedness. For this reason the Apostle says (1 Cor. 7:9): "It is better to marry than to burn." For though the works congenial to concupiscence are in themselves of a nature to increase concupiscence, yet in so far as they are directed according to reason they repress concupiscence, because like acts result in like dispositions and habits.


Whether carnal intercourse is an integral part of this sacrament?

Objection 1: It would seem that carnal intercourse is an integral part of marriage. For at the very institution of marriage it was declared

(Gn. 2:24): "They shall be two in one flesh." Now this is not brought about save by carnal intercourse. Therefore it is an integral part of marriage.

Objection 2: Further, that which belongs to the signification of a sacrament is necessary for the sacrament, as we have stated above [4930](A[2]; Q[9], A[1] ). Now carnal intercourse belongs to the signification of matrimony, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 26). Therefore it is an integral part of the sacrament.

Objection 3: Further, this sacrament is directed to the preservation of the species. But the species cannot be preserved without carnal intercourse. Therefore it is an integral part of the sacrament.

Objection 4: Further, Matrimony is a sacrament inasmuch as it affords a remedy against concupiscence; according to the Apostle's saying (1 Cor. 7:9): "It is better to marry than to burn." But it does not afford this remedy to those who have no carnal intercourse. Therefore the same conclusion follows as before.

On the contrary, There was matrimony in Paradise, and yet there was no carnal intercourse. Therefore carnal intercourse is not an integral part of matrimony. Further, a sacrament by its very name denotes a sanctification. But matrimony is holier without carnal intercourse, according to the text

(Sent. D, 26). Therefore carnal intercourse is not necessary for the sacrament.

I answer that, Integrity is twofold. One regards the primal perfection consisting in the very essence of a thing; the other regards the secondary perfection consisting in operation. Since then carnal intercourse is an operation or use of marriage which gives the faculty for that intercourse, it follows, that carnal intercourse belongs to the latter, and not to the former integrity of marriage [*Cf. [4931]TP, Q[29], A[2] ].

Reply to Objection 1: Adam expressed the integrity of marriage in regard to both perfections, because a thing is known by its operation.

Reply to Objection 2: Signification of the thing contained is necessary for the sacrament. Carnal intercourse belongs not to this signification, but to the thing not contained, as appears from what was said above (A[1], ad 4,5).

Reply to Objection 3: A thing does not reach its end except by its own act. Wherefore, from the fact that the end of matrimony is not attained without carnal intercourse, it follows that it belongs to the second and not to the first integrity.

Reply to Objection 4: Before carnal intercourse marriage is a remedy by virtue of the grace given therein, although not by virtue of the act, which belongs to the second integrity.


OF MATRIMONY WITH REGARD TO THE BETROTHAL (THREE ARTICLES)

In the next place we must consider matrimony absolutely; and here we must treat (1) of the betrothal; (2) of the nature of matrimony; (3) of its efficient cause, namely the consent; (4) of its blessings; (5) of the impediments thereto; (6) of second marriages; (7) of certain things annexed to marriage. Under the first head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) What is the betrothal?

(2) Who can contract a betrothal?

(3) Whether a betrothal can be canceled?


Whether a betrothal is a promise of future marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that a betrothal is not rightly defined "a promise of future marriage," as expressed in the words of Pope Nicholas I (Resp. ad Consul. Bulgar., iii). For as Isidore says (Etym. iv), "a man is betrothed not by a mere promise, but by giving his troth [spondet] and providing sureties [sponsores]". Now a person is said to be betrothed by reason of his betrothal. Therefore it is wrongly described as a promise.

Objection 2: Further, whoever promises a thing must be compelled to fulfill his promise. But those who have contracted a betrothal are not compelled by the Church to fulfill the marriage. Therefore a betrothal is not a promise.

Objection 3: Further, sometimes a betrothal does not consist of a mere promise, but an oath is added, as also certain pledges. Therefore seemingly it should not be defined as a mere promise.

Objection 4: Further, marriage should be free and absolute. But a betrothal is sometimes expressed under a condition even of money to be received. Therefore it is not fittingly described as a promise of marriage.

Objection 5: Further, promising about the future is blamed in James 4:13, seqq. But there should be nothing blameworthy about the sacraments. Therefore one ought not to make a promise of future marriage.

Objection 6: Further, no man is called a spouse except on account of his espousals. But a man is said to be a spouse on account of actual marriage, according to the text (Sent. iv, D, 27). Therefore espousals are not always a promise of future marriage.

I answer that, Consent to conjugal union if expressed in words of the future does not make a marriage, but a promise of marriage; and this promise is called "a betrothal from plighting one's troth," as Isidore says (Etym. iv). For before the use of writing-tablets, they used to give pledges of marriage, by which they plighted their mutual consent under the marriage code, and they provided guarantors. This promise is made in two ways, namely absolutely, or conditionally. Absolutely, in four ways: firstly, a mere promise, by saying: "I will take thee for my wife," and conversely; secondly, by giving betrothal pledges, such as money and the like; thirdly, by giving an engagement ring; fourthly, by the addition of an oath. If, however, this promise be made conditionally, we must draw a distinction; for it is either an honorable condition, for instance if we say: "I will take thee, if thy parents consent," and then the promise holds if the condition is fulfilled, and does not hold if the condition is not fulfilled; or else the condition is dishonorable, and this in two ways: for either it is contrary to the marriage blessings, as if we were to say: "I will take thee if thou promise means of sterility," and then no betrothal is contracted; or else it is not contrary to the marriage blessings, as were one to say: "I will take thee if thou consent to my thefts," and then the promise holds, but the condition should be removed.

Reply to Objection 1: The betrothal itself and giving of sureties are a ratification of the promise, wherefore it is denominated from these as from that which is more perfect.

Reply to Objection 2: By this promise one party is bound to the other in respect of contracting marriage; and he who fulfills not his promise sins mortally, unless a lawful impediment arise; and the Church uses compulsion in the sense that she enjoins a penance for the sin. But he is not compelled by sentence of the court, because compulsory marriages are wont to have evil results; unless the parties be bound by oath, for then he ought to be compelled, in the opinion of some, although others think differently on account of the reason given above, especially if there be fear of one taking the other's life.

Reply to Objection 3: Such things are added only in confirmation of the promise, and consequently they are not distinct from it.

Reply to Objection 4: The condition that is appended does not destroy the liberty of marriage; for if it be unlawful, it should be renounced; and if it be lawful, it is either about things that are good simply, as were one to say, "I will take thee, if thy parents consent," and such a condition does not destroy the liberty of the betrothal, but gives it an increase of rectitude. or else it is about things that are useful, as were one to say: "I will marry thee if thou pay me a hundred pounds," and then this condition is appended, not as asking a price for the consent of marriage, but as referring to the promise of a dowry; so that the marriage does not lose its liberty. Sometimes, however, the condition appended is the payment of a sum of money by way of penalty, and then, since marriage should be free, such a condition does not hold, nor can such a penalty be exacted from a person who is unwilling to fulfill the promise of marriage.

Reply to Objection 5: James does not intend to forbid altogether the making of promises about the future, but the making of promises as though one were certain of one's life; hence he teaches that we ought to add the condition. "If the Lord will," which, though it be not expressed in words, ought nevertheless to be impressed on the heart.

Reply to Objection 6: In marriage we may consider both the marriage union and the marriage act; and on account of his promise of the first as future a man is called a "spouse" from his having contracted his espousals by words expressive of the future; but from the promise of the second a man is called a "spouse," even when the marriage has been contracted by words expressive of the present, because by this very fact he promises [spondet] the marriage act. However, properly speaking, espousals are so called from the promise [sponsione] in the first sense, because espousals are a kind of sacramental annexed to matrimony, as exorcism to baptism.


Whether seven years is fittingly assigned as the age for betrothal?

Objection 1: It would seem that seven years is not fittingly assigned as the age for betrothal. For a contract that can be formed by others does not require discretion in those whom it concerns. Now a betrothal can be arranged by the parents without the knowledge of either of the persons betrothed. Therefore a betrothal can be arranged before the age of seven years as well as after.

Objection 2: Further, just as some use of reason is necessary for the contract of betrothal, so is there for the consent to mortal sin. Now, as Gregory says (Dial. iv), a boy of five years of age was carried off by the devil on account of the sin of blasphemy. Therefore a betrothal can take place before the age of seven years.

Objection 3: Further, a betrothal is directed to marriage. But for marriage the same age is not assigned to boy and girl.

Objection 4: Further, one can become betrothed as soon as future marriage can be agreeable to one. Now signs of this agreeableness are often apparent in boys before the age of seven. Therefore they can become betrothed before that age.

Objection 5: Further, if persons become betrothed before they are seven years old, and subsequently after the age of seven and before the age of maturity renew their promise in words expressive of the present, they are reckoned to be betrothed. Now this is not by virtue of the second contract, since they intend to contract not betrothal but marriage. Therefore it is by the virtue of the first; and thus espousals can be contracted before the age of seven.

Objection 6: Further, when a thing is done by many persons in common, if one fails he is supplied by another, as in the case of those who row a boat. Now the contract of betrothal is an action common to the contracting parties. Therefore if one be of mature age, he can contract a betrothal with a girl who is not seven years old, since the lack of age in one is more than counterbalanced in the other.

Objection 7: Further, those who at about the age of puberty, but before it, enter into the marriage contract by words expressive of the present are reputed to be married. Therefore in like manner if they contract marriage by words expressive of the future, before yet close on the age of puberty, they are to be reputed as betrothed.

I answer that, The age of seven years is fixed reasonably enough by law for the contracting of betrothals, for since a betrothal is a promise of the future, as already stated [4932](A[1]), it follows that they are within the competency of those who can make a promise in some way, and this is only for those who can have some foresight of the future, and this requires the use of reason, of which three degrees are to be observed, according to the Philosopher [Aristotle] (Ethic. i, 4). The first is when a person neither understands by himself nor is able to learn from another; the second stage is when a man can learn from another but is incapable by himself of consideration and understanding; the third degree is when a man is both able to learn from another and to consider by himself. And since reason develops in man by little and little, in proportion as the movement and fluctuation of the humors is calmed, man reaches the first stage of reason before his seventh year; and consequently during that period he is unfit for any contract, and therefore for betrothal. But he begins to reach the second stage at the end of his first seven years, wherefore children at that age are sent to school. But man begins to reach the third stage at the end of his second seven years, as regards things concerning his person, when his natural reason develops; but as regards things outside his person, at the end of his third seven years. Hence before his first seven years a man is not fit to make any contract, but at the end of that period he begins to be fit to make certain promises for the future, especially about those things to which natural reason inclines us more, though he is not fit to bind himself by a perpetual obligation, because as yet he has not a firm will. Hence at that age betrothals can be contracted. But at the end of the second seven years he can already bind himself in matters concerning his person, either to religion or to wedlock. And after the third seven years he can bind himself in other matters also; and according to the laws he is given the power of disposing of his property after his twenty-second year.

Reply to Objection 1: If the parties are betrothed by another person before they reach the age of puberty, either of them or both can demur; wherefore in that case the betrothal does not take effect, so that neither does any affinity result therefrom. Hence a betrothal made between certain persons by some other takes effect, in so far as those between whom the betrothal is arranged do not demur when they reach the proper age, whence they are understood to consent to what others have done.

Reply to Objection 2: Some say that the boy of whom Gregory tells this story was not lost, and that he did not sin mortally; and that this vision was for the purpose of making the father sorrowful, for he had sinned in the boy through failing to correct him. But this is contrary to the express intention of Gregory, who says (Dial. iv) that "the boy's father having neglected the soul of his little son, fostered no little sinner for the flames of hell." Consequently it must be said that for a mortal sin it is sufficient to give consent to something present, whereas in a betrothal the consent is to something future; and greater discretion of reason is required for looking to the future than for consenting to one present act. Wherefore a man can sin mortally before he can bind himself to a future obligation.

Reply to Objection 3: Regarding the age for the marriage contract a disposition is required not only on the part of the use of reason, but also on the part of the body, in that it is necessary to be of an age adapted to procreation. And since a girl becomes apt for the act of procreation in her twelfth year, and a boy at the end of his second seven years, as the Philosopher says (De Hist. Anim. vii), whereas the age is the same in both for attaining the use of reason which is the sole condition for betrothal, hence it is that the one age is assigned for both as regards betrothal, but not as regards marriage.

Reply to Objection 4: This agreeableness in regard to boys under the age of seven does not result from the perfect use of reason, since they are not as yet possessed of complete self-control; it results rather from the movement of nature than from any process of reason. Consequently, this agreeableness does not suffice for contracting a betrothal.

Reply to Objection 5: In this case, although the second contract does not amount to marriage, nevertheless the parties show that they ratify their former promise; wherefore the first contract is confirmed by the second.

Reply to Objection 6: Those who row a boat act by way of one cause, and consequently what is lacking in one can be supplied by another. But those who make a contract of betrothal act as distinct persons, since a betrothal can only be between two parties; wherefore it is necessary for each to be qualified to contract, and thus the defect of one is an obstacle to their betrothal, nor can it be supplied by the other.

Reply to Objection 7: It is true that in the matter of betrothal if the contracting parties are close upon the age of seven, the contract of betrothal is valid, since, according to the Philosopher (Phys. ii, 56), "when little is lacking it seems as though nothing were lacking." Some fix the margin at six months. but it is better to determine it according to the condition of the contracting parties, since the use of reason comes sooner to some than to others.


Whether a betrothal can be dissolved?

Objection 1: It would seem that a betrothal cannot be dissolved if one of the parties enter religion. For if I have promised a thing to someone I cannot lawfully pledge it to someone else. Now he who betroths himself promises his body to the woman. Therefore he cannot make a further offering of himself to God in religion.

Objection 2: Again, seemingly it should not be dissolved when one of the parties leaves for a distant country, because in doubtful matters one should always choose the safer course. Now the safer course would be to wait for him. Therefore she is bound to wait for him.

Objection 3: Again, neither seemingly is it dissolved by sickness contracted after betrothal, for no man should be punished for being under a penalty. Now the man who contracts an infirmity would be punished if he were to lose his right to the woman betrothed to him. Therefore a betrothal should not be dissolved on account of a bodily infirmity.

Objection 4: Again, neither seemingly should a betrothal be dissolved on account of a supervening affinity, for instance if the spouse were to commit fornication with a kinswoman of his betrothed; for in that case the affianced bride would be penalized for the sin of her affianced spouse, which is unreasonable.

Objection 5: Again, seemingly they cannot set one another free; for it would be a proof of greatest fickleness if they contracted together and then set one another free; and such conduct ought not to be tolerated by the Church. Therefore, etc.

Objection 6: Again, neither seemingly ought a betrothal to be dissolved on account of the fornication of one of the parties. For a betrothal does not yet give the one power over the body of the other; wherefore it would seem that they nowise sin against one another if meanwhile they commit fornication. Consequently a betrothal should not be dissolved on that account.

Objection 7: Again, neither seemingly on account of his contracting with another woman by words expressive of the present. For a subsequent sale does not void a previous sale. Therefore neither should a second contract void a previous one.

Objection 8: Again, neither seemingly should it be dissolved on account of deficient age; since what is not cannot be dissolved. Now a betrothal is null before the requisite age. Therefore it cannot be dissolved.

I answer that, In all the cases mentioned above the betrothal that has been contracted is dissolved, but in different ways. For in two of them — namely when a party enters religion, and when either of the affianced spouses contracts with another party by words expressive of the present — the betrothal is dissolved by law, whereas in the other cases it has to be dissolved according to the judgment of the Church.

Reply to Objection 1: The like promise is dissolved by spiritual death, for that promise is purely spiritual, as we shall state further on ([4933]Q[61], A[2]).

Reply to Objection 2: This doubt is solved by either party not putting in an appearance at the time fixed for completing the marriage. Wherefore if it was no fault of that party that the marriage was not completed, he or she can lawfully marry without any sin. But if he or she was responsible for the non-completion of the marriage, this responsibility involves the obligation of doing penance for the broken promise — or oath if the promise was confirmed by oath — and he or she can contract with another if they wish it, subject to the judgment of the Church.

Reply to Objection 3: If either of the betrothed parties incur an infirmity which notably weakens the subject (as epilepsy or paralysis), or causes a deformity (as loss of the nose or eyes, and the like), or is contrary to the good of the offspring (as leprosy, which is wont to be transmitted to the children), the betrothal can be dissolved, lest the betrothed be displeasing to one another, and the marriage thus contracted have an evil result. Nor is one punished for being under a penalty, although one incurs a loss from one's penalty, and this is not unreasonable.

Reply to Objection 4: If the affianced bridegroom has carnal knowledge of a kinswoman of his spouse, or "vice versa," the betrothal must be dissolved; and for proof it is sufficient that the fact be the common talk, in order to avoid scandal; for causes whose effects mature in the future are voided of their effects, not only by what actually is, but also by what happens subsequently. Hence just as affinity, had it existed at the time of the betrothal, would have prevented that contract, so, if it supervene before marriage, which is an effect of the betrothal, the previous contract is voided of its effect. Nor does the other party suffer in consequence, indeed he or she gains, being set free from one who has become hateful to God by committing fornication.

Reply to Objection 5: Some do not admit this case. Yet they have against them the Decretal (cap. Praeterea, De spons. et matr.) which says expressly: "Just as those who enter into a contract of fellowship by pledging their faith to one another and afterwards give it back, so it may be patiently tolerated that those who are betrothed to one another should set one another free." Yet to this they say that the Church allows this lest worse happen rather than because it is according to strict law. But this does not seem to agree with the example quoted by the Decretal. Accordingly we must reply that it is not always a proof of fickleness to rescind an agreement, since "our counsels are uncertain" (Wis. 9:14).

Reply to Objection 6: Although when they become betrothed they have not yet given one another power over one another's body, yet if this [*Referring to the contention of the Objection] were to happen it would make them suspicious of one another's fidelity; and so one can ensure himself against the other by breaking off the engagement.

Reply to Objection 7: This argument would hold if each contract were of the same kind; whereas the second contract of marriage has greater force than the first, and consequently dissolves it.

Reply to Objection 8: Although it was not a true betrothal, there was a betrothal of a kind; and consequently, lest approval should seem to be given when they come to the lawful age, they should seek a dissolution of the betrothal by the judgment of the Church, for the sake of a good example.


OF THE DEFINITION OF MATRIMONY (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the nature of matrimony. Under this head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) Whether matrimony is a kind of joining?

(2) Whether it is fittingly named?

(3) Whether it is fittingly defined?


Whether matrimony is a kind of joining?

Objection 1: It would seem that matrimony is not a kind of joining. Because the bond whereby things are tied together differs from their joining, as cause from effect. Now matrimony is the bond whereby those who are joined in matrimony are tied together. Therefore it is not a kind of joining.

Objection 2: Further, every sacrament is a sensible sign. But no relation is a sensible accident. Therefore since matrimony is a sacrament, it is not a kind of relation, and consequently neither is it a kind of joining.

Objection 3: Further, a joining is a relation of equiparance as well as of equality. Now according to Avicenna the relation of equality is not identically the same in each extreme. Neither therefore is there an identically same joining; and consequently if matrimony is a kind of joining, there is not only one matrimony between man and wife.

On the contrary, It is by relation that things are related to one another. Now by matrimony certain things are related to one another; for the husband is the wife's husband, and the wife is the husband's wife. Therefore matrimony is a kind of relation, nor is it other than a joining. Further, the union of two things into one can result only from their being joined. Now such is the effect of matrimony (Gn. 2:24): "They shall be two in one flesh." Therefore matrimony is a kind of joining.

I answer that, A joining denotes a kind of uniting, and so wherever things are united there must be a joining. Now things directed to one purpose are said to be united in their direction thereto, thus many men are united in following one military calling or in pursuing one business, in relation to which they are called fellow-soldiers or business partners. Hence, since by marriage certain persons are directed to one begetting and upbringing of children, and again to one family life, it is clear that in matrimony there is a joining in respect of which we speak of husband and wife; and this joining, through being directed to some one thing, is matrimony; while the joining together of bodies and minds is a result of matrimony.

Reply to Objection 1: Matrimony is the bond by which they are tied formally, not effectively, and so it need not be distinct from the joining.

Reply to Objection 2: Although relation is not itself a sensible accident, its causes may be sensible. Nor is it necessary in a sacrament for that which is both reality and sacrament [*Cf. [4934]TP, Q[66], A[1]] to be sensible (for such is the relation of the aforesaid joining to this sacrament), whereas the words expressive of consent, which are sacrament only and are the cause of that same joining, are sensible.

Reply to Objection 3: A relation is founded on something as its cause — for instance likeness is founded on quality — and on something as its subject — for instance in the things themselves that are like; and on either hand we may find unity and diversity of relation. Since then it is not the same identical quality that conduces to likeness, but the same specific quality in each of the like subjects, and since, moreover, the subjects of likeness are two in number, and the same applies to equality, it follows that both equality and likeness are in every way numerically distinct in either of the like or equal subjects. But the relations of matrimony, on the one hand, have unity in both extremes, namely on the part of the cause, since it is directed to the one identical begetting; whereas on the part of the subject there is numerical diversity. The fact of this relation having a diversity of subjects is signified by the terms "husband" and "wife," while its unity is denoted by its being called matrimony.


Whether matrimony is fittingly named?

Objection 1: It would seem that matrimony is unfittingly named. Because a thing should be named after that which ranks higher. But the father ranks above the mother. Therefore the union of father and mother should rather be named after the father.

Objection 2: Further, a thing should be named from that which is essential to it, since a "definition expresses the nature signified by a name" (Metaph. iv, 28). Now nuptials are not essential to matrimony. Therefore matrimony should not be called nuptials.

Objection 3: Further, a species cannot take its proper name from that which belongs to the genus. Now a joining [conjunctio] is the genus of matrimony. Therefore it should not be called a conjugal union.

On the contrary, stands the common use of speech.

I answer that, Three things may be considered in matrimony. First, its essence, which is a joining together, and in reference to this it is called the "conjugal union"; secondly, its cause, which is the wedding, and in reference to this it is called the "nuptial union" from "nubo" [*The original meaning of 'nubo' is 'to veil'], because at the wedding ceremony, whereby the marriage is completed, the heads of those who are wedded are covered with a veil [*This is still done in some countries]; thirdly, the effect, which is the offspring, and in reference to this it is called "matrimony," as Augustine says (Contra Faust. xix, 26), because "a woman's sole purpose in marrying should be motherhood." Matrimony may also be resolved into "matris munium" [*i.e. munus], i.e. a mother's duty, since the duty of bringing up the children chiefly devolves on the women; or into "matrem muniens," because it provides the mother with a protector and support in the person of her husband; or into "matrem monens," as admonishing her not to leave her husband and take up with another man; or into "materia unius," because it is a joining together for the purpose of providing the matter of one offspring as though it were derived from {monos} and "materia"; or into "matre" and "nato," as Isidore says (Etym. ix), because it makes a woman the mother of a child.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the father ranks above the mother, the mother has more to do with the offspring than the father has. or we may say that woman was made chiefly in order to be man's helpmate in relation to the offspring, whereas the man was not made for this purpose. Wherefore the mother has a closer relation to the nature of marriage than the father has.

Reply to Objection 2: Sometimes essentials are known by accidentals, wherefore some things can be named even after their accidentals, since a name is given to a thing for the purpose that it may become known.

Reply to Objection 3: Sometimes a species is named after something pertaining to the genus on account of an imperfection in the species, when namely it has the generic nature completely, yet adds nothing pertaining to dignity; thus the accidental property retains the name of property, which is common to it and to the definition. Sometimes, however, it is on account of a perfection, when we find the generic nature completely in one species and not in another; thus animal is named from soul [anima], and this belongs to an animate body, which is the genus of animal; yet animation is not found perfectly in those animate beings that are not animals. It is thus with the case in point. for the joining of husband and wife by matrimony is the greatest of all joinings, since it is a joining of soul and body, wherefore it is called a "conjugal" union.


Whether matrimony is fittingly defined in the text?

Objection 1: It would seem that matrimony is unfittingly defined in the text* (Sent. iv, D, 27). [*The definition alluded to is as follows: "Marriage is the marital union of man and woman involving living together in undivided partnership."] For it is necessary to mention matrimony in defining a husband, since it is the husband who is joined to the woman in matrimony. Now "marital union" is put in the definition of matrimony. Therefore in these definitions there would seem to be a vicious circle.

Objection 2: Further, matrimony makes the woman the man's wife no less than it makes the man the woman's husband. Therefore it should not be described as a "marital union" rather than an uxorial union.

Objection 3: Further, habit [consuetudo] pertains to morals. Yet it often happens that married persons differ very much in habit. Therefore the words "involving their living together [consuetudinem] in undivided partnership" should have no place in the definition of matrimony.

Objection 4: Further, we find other definitions given of matrimony, for according to Hugh (Sum. Sent. vii, 6), "matrimony is the lawful consent of two apt persons to be joined together." Also, according to some, "matrimony is the fellowship of a common life and a community regulated by Divine and human law"; and we ask how these definitions differ.

I answer that, As stated above [4935](A[2]), three things are to be considered in matrimony, namely its cause, its essence, and its effect; and accordingly we find three definitions given of matrimony. For the definition of Hugh indicates the cause, namely the consent, and this definition is self-evident. The definition given in the text indicates the essence of matrimony, namely the "union," and adds determinate subjects by the words "between lawful persons." It also points to the difference of the contracting parties in reference to the species, by the word "marital," for since matrimony is a joining together for the purpose of some one thing, this joining together is specified by the purpose to which it is directed, and this is what pertains to the husband [maritum]. It also indicates the force of this joining — for it is indissoluble — by the words "involving," etc. The remaining definition indicates the effect to which matrimony is directed, namely the common life in family matters. And since every community is regulated by some law, the code according to which this community is directed, namely Divine and human law, finds a place in this definition. while other communities, such as those of traders or soldiers, are established by human law alone.

Reply to Objection 1: Sometimes the prior things from which a definition ought to be given are not known to us, and consequently certain things are defined from things that are posterior simply, but prior to us; thus in the definition of quality the Philosopher employs the word "such" [quale] when he says (Cap. De Qualitate) that "quality is that whereby we are said to be such." Thus, too, in defining matrimony we say that it is a "marital union," by which we mean that matrimony is a union for the purpose of those things required by the marital office, all of which could not be expressed in one word.

Reply to Objection 2: As stated [4936](A[2]), this difference indicates the end of the union. And since, according to the Apostle (1 Cor. 11:9), the "man is not [Vulg.: 'was not created'] for the woman, but the woman for the man," it follows that this difference should be indicated in reference to the man rather than the woman.

Reply to Objection 3: Just as the civic life denotes not the individual act of this or that one, but the things that concern the common action of the citizens, so the conjugal life is nothing else than a particular kind of companionship pertaining to that common action. wherefore as regards this same life the partnership of married persons is always indivisible, although it is divisible as regards the act belonging to each party. The Reply to the Fourth Objection is clear from what has been said above.


OF THE MARRIAGE CONSENT CONSIDERED IN ITSELF (FIVE ARTICLES)

In the next place we have to consider the consent; and the first point to discuss is the consent considered in itself; the second is the consent confirmed by oath or by carnal intercourse; the third is compulsory consent and conditional consent; and the fourth is the object of the consent. Under the first head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the consent is the efficient cause of matrimony?

(2) Whether the consent needs to be expressed in words?

(3) Whether consent given in words expressive of the future makes a marriage?

(4) Whether consent given in words expressive of the present, without inward consent, makes a true marriage outwardly?

(5) Whether consent given secretly in words expressive of the present makes a marriage?


Whether consent is the efficient cause of matrimony?

Objection 1: It would seem that consent is not the efficient cause of matrimony. For the sacraments depend not on the human will but on the Divine institution, as shown above (Sent. iv, D, 2; [4937]TP, Q[64], A[2]). But consent belongs to the human will. Therefore it is no more the cause of matrimony than of the other sacraments.

Objection 2: Further, nothing is its own cause. But seemingly matrimony is nothing else than the consent, since it is the consent which signifies the union of Christ with the Church.

Objection 3: Further, of one thing there should be one cause. Now there is one marriage between two persons, as stated above ([4938]Q[44], A[1]); whereas the consents of the two parties are distinct, for they are given by different persons and to different things, since on the one hand there is consent to take a husband, and on the other hand consent to take a wife. Therefore mutual consent is not the cause of matrimony.

On the contrary, Chrysostom [*Hom. xxxii in the Opus Imperfectum, falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says: "It is not coition [the sex act] but consent that makes a marriage." Further, one person does not receive power over that which is at the free disposal of another, without the latter's consent. Now by marriage each of the married parties receives power over the other's body (1 Cor. 7:4), whereas hitherto each had free power over his own body. Therefore consent makes a marriage.

I've often wondered whether people who have sex are actually marrying each other. Apparently they are if they are both willingly engaging in sex.

I answer that, In every sacrament there is a spiritual operation by means of a material operation which signifies it; thus in Baptism the inward spiritual cleansing is effected by a bodily cleansing. Wherefore, since in matrimony there is a kind of spiritual joining together, in so far as matrimony is a sacrament, and a certain material joining together, in so far as it is directed to an office of nature and of civil life, it follows that the spiritual joining is the effect of the Divine power by means of the material joining. Therefore seeing that the joinings of material contracts are effected by mutual consent, it follows that the joining together of marriage is effected in the same way.

Reply to Objection 1: The first cause of the sacraments is the Divine power which works in them the welfare of the soul; but the second or instrumental causes are material operations deriving their efficacy from the Divine institution, and thus consent is the cause in matrimony.

Reply to Objection 2: Matrimony is not the consent itself, but the union of persons directed to one purpose, as stated above ([4939]Q[44], A[1]), and this union is the effect of the consent. Moreover, the consent, properly speaking, signifies not the union of Christ with the Church, but His will whereby His union with the Church was brought about.

Reply to Objection 3: Just as marriage is one on the part of the object to which the union is directed, whereas it is more than one on the part of the persons united, so too the consent is one on the part of the thing consented to, namely the aforesaid union, whereas it is more than one on the part of the persons consenting. Nor is the direct object of consent a husband but union with a husband on the part of the wife, even as it is union with a wife on the part of the husband.


Whether the consent needs to be expressed in words?

Objection 1: It would seem that there is no need for the consent to be expressed in words. For a man is brought under another's power by a vow just as he is by matrimony. Now a vow is binding in God's sight, even though it be not expressed in words. Therefore consent also makes a marriage binding even without being expressed in words.

Objection 2: Further, there can be marriage between persons who are unable to express their mutual consent in words, through being dumb or of different languages. Therefore expression of the consent by words is not required for matrimony.

Objection 3: Further, if that which is essential to a sacrament be omitted for any reason whatever, there is no sacrament. Now there is a case of marriage without the expression of words if the maid is silent through bashfulness when her parents give her away to the bridegroom. Therefore the expression of words is not essential to matrimony.

On the contrary, Matrimony is a sacrament. Now a sensible sign is required in every sacrament. Therefore it is also required in matrimony, and consequently there must needs be at least words by which the consent is made perceptible to the senses. Further, in matrimony there is a contract between husband and wife. Now in every contract there must be expression of the words by which men bind themselves mutually to one another. Therefore in matrimony also the consent must be expressed in words.

Marriage is only a sacrament for baptized Christians.

I answer that, As stated above [4940](A[1]), the marriage union is effected in the same way as the bond in material contracts. And since material contracts are not feasible unless the contracting parties express their will to one another in words, it follows that the consent which makes a marriage must also be expressed in words, so that the expression of words is to marriage what the outward washing is to Baptism.

Reply to Objection 1: In a vow there is not a sacramental but only a spiritual bond, wherefore there is no need for it to be done in the same way as material contracts, in order that it be binding, as in the case of matrimony.

Reply to Objection 2: Although the like cannot plight themselves to one another in words, they can do so by signs, and such signs count for words.

Reply to Objection 3: According to Hugh of S. Victor (Tract. vii, Sum. Sent.), persons who are being married should give their consent by accepting one another freely. and this is judged to be the case if they show no dissent when they are being wedded. Wherefore in such a case the words of the parents are taken as being the maid's, for the fact that she does not contradict them is a sign that they are her words.


Whether consent given in words expressive of the future makes a marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that consent given in words expressive of the future makes a marriage. For as present is to present, so is future to future. But consent given in words expressive of the present makes a marriage in the present. Therefore consent given in words expressive of the future makes a marriage in the future.

Objection 2: Further, in other civil contracts, just as in matrimony, a certain obligation results from the words expressing consent. Now in other contracts it matters not whether the obligation is effected by words of the present or of the future tense. Therefore neither does it make any difference in matrimony.

Objection 3: Further, by the religious vow man contracts a spiritual marriage with God. Now the religious vow is expressed in words of the future tense, and is binding. Therefore carnal marriage also can be effected by words of the future tense.

On the contrary, A man who consents in words of the future tense to take a particular woman as his wife, and after, by words of the present tense, consents to take another, according to law must take the second for his wife (cap. Sicut ex Litteris, De spons. et matr.). But this would not be the case if consent given in words of the future tense made a marriage, since from the very fact that his marriage with the one is valid, he cannot, as long as she lives, marry another. Therefore consent given in words of the future tense does not make a marriage. Further, he who promises to do a certain thing does it not yet. Now he who consents in words of the future tense, promises to marry a certain woman. Therefore he does not marry her yet.

I answer that, The sacramental causes produce their effect by signifying it; hence they effect what they signify. Since therefore when a man expresses his consent by words of the future tense, he does not signify that he is marrying, but promises that he will marry, it follows that a consent expressed in this manner does not make a marriage, but a promise [sponsionem] of marriage, and this promise is known as a betrothal [sponsalia].

Reply to Objection 1: When consent is expressed in words of the present tense, not only are the words actually present, but consent is directed to the present, so that they coincide in point of time; but when consent is given in words of the future tense, although the words are actually present, the consent is directed to a future time, and hence they do not coincide in point of time. For this reason the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 2: Even in other contracts, a man who uses words referring to the future, does not transfer the power over his property to another person — for instance if he were to say "I will give thee" — but only when he uses words indicative of the present.

Reply to Objection 3: In the vow of religious profession it is not the spiritual marriage itself that is expressed in words which refer to the future, but an act of the spiritual marriage, namely obedience or observance of the rule. If, however, a man vow spiritual marriage in the future, it is not a spiritual marriage, for a man does not become a monk by taking such a vow, but promises to become one.


Whether, in the absence of inward consent, a marriage is made by consent given in words of the present?

Objection 1: It would seem that even in the absence of inward consent a marriage is made by consent expressed in words of the present. For "fraud and deceit should benefit no man," according to the law (cap. Ex Tenore, De Rescrip., cap. Si Vir, De cognat. spir.). Now he who gives consent in words without consenting in heart commits a fraud. Therefore he should not benefit by it, through being released of the bond of marriage.

Objection 2: Further, the mental consent of one person cannot be known to another, except in so far as it is expressed in words. If then the expression of the words is not enough, and inward consent is required in both parties, neither of them will be able to know that he is truly married to the other; and consequently whenever he uses marriage he will commit fornication.

Objection 3: Further, if a man is proved to have consented to take a certain woman to wife in words of the present tense, he is compelled under pain of excommunication to take her as his wife, even though he should say that he was wanting in mental consent, notwithstanding that afterwards he may have contracted marriage with another woman by words expressive of consent in the present. But this would not be the case if mental consent were requisite for marriage. Therefore it is not required.

On the contrary, Innocent III says in a Decretal (cap. Tua Nos, De Spons. et matr.) in reference to this case: "Other things cannot complete the marriage bond in the absence of consent." Further, intention is necessary in all the sacraments. Now he who consents not in his heart has no intention of contracting marriage; and therefore he does not contract a marriage.

I answer that, The outward cleansing stands in the same relation to baptism as the expression of words to this sacrament, as stated above [4941](A[2]). Wherefore just as were a person to receive the outward cleansing, with the intention, not of receiving the sacrament, but of acting in jest or deceit, he would not be baptized; so, too, expression of words without inward consent makes no marriage.

Reply to Objection 1: There are two things here, namely the lack of consent — which benefits him in the tribunal of his conscience so that he is not bound by the marriage tie, albeit not in the tribunal of the Church where judgment is pronounced according to the evidence — and the deceit in the words, which does not benefit him, neither in the tribunal of his conscience nor in the tribunal of the Church, since in both he is punished for this.

Reply to Objection 2: If mental consent is lacking in one of the parties, on neither side is there marriage, since marriage consists in a mutual joining together, as stated above ([4942]Q[44], A[1]). However one may believe that in all probability there is no fraud unless there be evident signs thereof; because we must presume good of everyone, unless there be proof of the contrary. Consequently the party in whom there is no fraud is excused from sin on account of ignorance.

Reply to Objection 3: In such a case the Church compels him to hold to his first wife, because the Church judges according to outward appearances; nor is she deceived in justice or right, although she is deceived in the facts of the case. Yet such a man ought to bear the excommunication rather than return to his first wife; or else he should go far away into another country.


Whether consent given secretly in words of the present makes a marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that consent given secretly in words of the present does not make a marriage. For a thing that is in one person's power is not transferred to the power of another without the consent of the person in whose power it was. Now the maid is in her father's power. Therefore she cannot by marriage be transferred to a husband's power without her father's consent. Wherefore if consent be given secretly, even though it should be expressed in words of the present, there will be no marriage.

Objection 2: Further, in penance, just as in matrimony, our act is as it were essential to the sacrament. But the sacrament of penance is not made complete except by means of the ministers of the Church, who are the dispensers of the sacraments. Therefore neither can marriage be perfected without the priest's blessing.

Objection 3: Further, the Church does not forbid baptism to be given secretly, since one may baptize either privately or publicly. But the Church does forbid the celebration of clandestine marriages (cap. Cum inhibitio, De clandest. despons.). Therefore they cannot be done secretly.

Objection 4: Further, marriage cannot be contracted by those who are related in the second degree, because the Church has forbidden it. But the Church has also forbidden clandestine marriages. Therefore they cannot be valid marriages.

On the contrary, Given the cause the effect follows. Now the sufficient cause of matrimony is consent expressed in words of the present. Therefore whether this be done in public or in private the result is a marriage. Further, wherever there is the due matter and the due form of a sacrament there is the sacrament. Now in a secret marriage there is the due matter, since there are persons who are able lawfully to contract — and the due form, since there are the words of the present expressive of consent. Therefore there is a true marriage.

A public ceremony is not required for sacramental marriage, yet the Church demands it (because it is a sin to omit those things necessary for the solemnization of the sacrament).

I answer that, Just as in the other sacraments certain things are essential to the sacrament, and if they are omitted there is no sacrament, while certain things belong to the solemnization of the sacrament, and if these be omitted the sacrament is nevertheless validly performed, although it is a sin to omit them; so, too, consent expressed in words of the present between persons lawfully qualified to contract makes a marriage, because these two conditions are essential to the sacrament; while all else belongs to the solemnization of the sacrament, as being done in order that the marriage may be more fittingly performed. Hence if these be omitted it is a true marriage, although the contracting parties sin, unless they have a lawful motive for being excused. [*Clandestine marriages have since been declared invalid by the Council of Trent (sess. xxiv). It must be borne in mind that throughout the treatise on marriage St. Thomas gives the Canon Law of his time.]

Notice that if Canon Lawchanges, then what we can and cannot do without sinning changes.

Reply to Objection 1: The maid is in her father's power, not as a female slave without power over her own body, but as a daughter, for the purpose of education. Hence, in so far as she is free, she can give herself into another's power without her father's consent, even as a son or daughter, since they are free, may enter religion without their parent's consent.

Reply to Objection 2: In penance our act, although essential to the sacrament, does not suffice for producing the proximate effect of the sacrament, namely forgiveness of sins, and consequently it is necessary that the act of the priest intervene in order that the sacrament be perfected. But in matrimony our acts are the sufficient cause for the production of the proximate effect, which is the marriage bond, because whoever has the right to dispose of himself can bind himself to another. Consequently the priest's blessing is not required for matrimony as being essential to the sacrament.

Reply to Objection 3: It is also forbidden to receive baptism otherwise than from a priest, except in a case of necessity. But matrimony is not a necessary sacrament: and consequently the comparison fails. However, clandestine marriages are forbidden on account of the evil results to which they are liable, since it often happens that one of the parties is guilty of fraud in such marriages; frequently, too, they have recourse to other nuptials when they repent of having married in haste; and many other evils result therefrom, besides which there is something disgraceful about them.

Reply to Objection 4: Clandestine marriages are not forbidden as though they were contrary to the essentials of marriage, in the same way as the marriages of unlawful persons, who are undue matter for this sacrament; and hence there is no comparison.


OF THE CONSENT TO WHICH AN OATH OR CARNAL INTERCOURSE IS APPENDED (TWO ARTICLES)

We must now consider the consent to which an oath or carnal intercourse is appended. Under this head there are two points of inquiry:

(1) Whether an oath added to the consent that is expressed in words of the future tense makes a marriage?

(2) Whether carnal intercourse supervening to such a consent makes a marriage?


Whether an oath added to the consent that is expressed in words of the future tense makes a marriage?

In other words, promising to get married in the future if you have sex today means you are married today.

Objection 1: It would seem that if an oath be added to a consent that is expressed in words of the future tense it makes a marriage. For no one can bind himself to act against the Divine Law. But the fulfilling of an oath is of Divine law according to Mat. 5:33, "Thou shalt perform thy oaths to the Lord." Consequently no subsequent obligation can relieve a man of the obligation to keep an oath previously taken. If, therefore, after consenting to marry a woman by words expressive of the future and confirming that consent with an oath, a man binds himself to another woman by words expressive of the present, it would seem that none the less he is bound to keep his former oath. But this would not be the case unless that oath made the marriage complete. Therefore an oath affixed to a consent expressed in words of the future tense makes a marriage.

Objection 2: Further, Divine truth is stronger than human truth. Now an oath confirms a thing with the Divine truth. Since then words expressive of consent in the present in which there is mere human truth complete a marriage, it would seem that much more is this the case with words of the future confirmed by an oath.

Objection 3: Further, according to the Apostle (Heb. 6:16), "An oath for confirmation is the end of all . . . controversy"; wherefore in a court of justice at any rate one must stand by an oath rather than by a mere affirmation. Therefore if a man consent to marry a woman by a simple affirmation expressed in words of the present, after having consented to marry another in words of the future confirmed by oath, it would seem that in the judgment of the Church he should be compelled to take the first and not the second as his wife.

Objection 4: Further, the simple uttering of words relating to the future makes a betrothal. But the addition of an oath must have some effect. Therefore it makes something more than a betrothal. Now beyond a betrothal there is nothing but marriage. Therefore it makes a marriage.

On the contrary, What is future is not yet. Now the addition of an oath does not make words of the future tense signify anything else than consent to something future. Therefore it is not a marriage yet. Further, after a marriage is complete, no further consent is required for the marriage. But after the oath there is yet another consent which makes the marriage, else it would be useless to swear to a future marriage. Therefore it does not make a marriage.

I answer that, An oath is employed in confirmation of one's words; wherefore it confirms that only which is signified by the words, nor does it change their signification. Consequently, since it belongs to words of the future tense, by their very signification, not to make a marriage, since what is promised in the future is not done yet, even though an oath be added to the promise, the marriage is not made yet, as the Master says in the text (Sent. iv, D, 28).

Reply to Objection 1: The fulfilling of a lawful oath is of Divine law, but not the fulfilling of an unlawful oath. Wherefore if a subsequent obligation makes that oath unlawful, whereas it was lawful before, he who does not keep the oath he took previously does not disobey the Divine law. And so it is in the case in point; since he swears unlawfully who promises unlawfully; and a promise about another's property is unlawful. Consequently the subsequent consent by words of the present, whereby a man transfers the power over his body to another woman, makes the previous oath unlawful which was lawful before.

Reply to Objection 2: The Divine truth is most efficacious in confirming that to which it is applied. Hence the Reply to the Third Objection is clear.

Reply to Objection 4: The oath has some effect, not by causing a new obligation, but confirming that which is already made, and thus he who violates it sins more grievously.


Whether carnal intercourse after consent expressed in words of the future makes a marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that carnal intercourse after consent expressed in words of the future makes a marriage. For consent by deed is greater than consent by word. But he who has carnal intercourse consents by deed to the promise he has previously made. Therefore it would seem that much more does this make a marriage than if he were to consent to mere words referring to the present.

Objection 2: Further, not only explicit but also interpretive consent makes a marriage. Now there can be no better interpretation of consent than carnal intercourse. Therefore marriage is completed thereby.

Objection 3: Further, all carnal union outside marriage is a sin. But the woman, seemingly, does not sin by admitting her betrothed to carnal intercourse. Therefore it makes a marriage.

Objection 4: Further, "Sin is not forgiven unless restitution be made," as Augustine says (Ep. cliii ad Macedon.). Now a man cannot reinstate a woman whom he has violated under the pretense of marriage unless he marry her. Therefore it would seem that even if, after his carnal intercourse, he happen to contract with another by words of the present tense, he is bound to return to the first; and this would not be the case unless he were married to her. Therefore carnal intercourse after consent referring to the future makes a marriage.

On the contrary, Pope Nicholas I says (Resp. ad Consult. Bulg. iii; Cap. Tuas dudum, De clandest. despons.), "Without the consent to marriage, other things, including coition, are of no effect." Further, that which follows a thing does not make it. But carnal intercourse follows the actual marriage, as effect follows cause. Therefore it cannot make a marriage.

I answer that, We may speak of marriage in two ways. First, in reference to the tribunal of conscience, and thus in very truth carnal intercourse cannot complete a marriage the promise of which has previously been made in words expressive of the future, if inward consent is lacking, since words, even though expressive of the present, would not make a marriage in the absence of mental consent, as stated above ([4943]Q[45], A[4]). Secondly, in reference to the judgment of the Church; and since in the external tribunal judgment is given in accordance with external evidence, and since nothing is more expressly significant of consent than carnal intercourse, it follows that in the judgment of the Church carnal intercourse following on betrothal is declared to make a marriage, unless there appear clear signs of deceit or fraud [*According to the pre-Tridentine legislation] (De sponsal. et matrim., cap. Is qui fidem).

Reply to Objection 1: In reality he who has carnal intercourse consents by deed to the act of sexual union, and does not merely for this reason consent to marriage except according to the interpretation of the law.

Reply to Objection 2: This interpretation does not alter the truth of the matter, but changes the judgment which is about external things.

Reply to Objection 3: If the woman admit her betrothed, thinking that he wishes to consummate the marriage, she is excused from the sin, unless there be clear signs of fraud; for instance if they differ considerably in birth or fortune, or some other evident sign appear. Nevertheless the affianced husband is guilty of fornication, and should be punished for this fraud he has committed.

Reply to Objection 4: In a case of this kind the affianced husband, before his marriage with the other woman, is bound to marry the one to whom he was betrothed, if she be his equal or superior in rank. But if he has married another woman, he is no longer able to fulfill his obligation, wherefore it suffices if he provide for her marriage. Nor is he bound even to do this, according to some, if her affianced husband is of much higher rank than she, or if there be some evident sign of fraud, because it may be presumed that in all probability she was not deceived but pretended to be.


OF COMPULSORY AND CONDITIONAL CONSENT (SIX ARTICLES)

We must now consider compulsory and conditional consent. Under this head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether compulsory consent is possible?

(2) Whether a constant man can be compelled by fear?

(3) Whether compulsory consent invalidates marriage?

(4) Whether compulsory consent makes a marriage as regards the party using compulsion?

(5) Whether conditional consent makes a marriage?

(6) Whether one can be compelled by one's father to marry?


Whether a compulsory consent is possible?

Objection 1: It would seem that no consent can be compulsory. For, as stated above (Sent. ii, D, 25 [*[4944]FS, Q[6], A[4]]) the free-will cannot be compelled. Now consent is an act of the free-will. Therefore it cannot be compulsory.

Objection 2: Further, violent is the same as compulsory. Now, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 1), "a violent action is one the principle of which is without, the patient concurring not at all." But the principle of consent is always within. Therefore no consent can be compulsory.

Objection 3: Further, every sin is perfected by consent. But that which perfects a sin cannot be compulsory, for, according to Augustine (De Lib. Arb. iii, 18), "no one sins in what he cannot avoid." Since then violence is defined by jurists (i, ff. de eo quod vi metusve) as the "force of a stronger being that cannot be repulsed," it would seem that consent cannot be compulsory or violent.

Objection 4: Further, power is opposed to liberty. But compulsion is allied to power, as appears from a definition of Tully's in which he says that "compulsion is the force of one who exercises his power to detain a thing outside its proper bounds." Therefore the free-will cannot be compelled, and consequently neither can consent which is an act thereof.

On the contrary, That which cannot be, cannot be an impediment. But compulsory consent is an impediment to matrimony, as stated in the text

(Sent. iv, D, 29). Therefore consent can be compelled. Further, in marriage there is a contract. Now the will can be compelled in the matter of contracts; for which reason the law adjudges that restitution should be made of the whole, for it does not ratify "that which was done under compulsion or fear" (Sent. iv, D[29]). Therefore in marriage also it is possible for the consent to be compulsory.

I answer that, Compulsion or violence is twofold. One is the cause of absolute necessity, and violence of this kind the Philosopher calls

(Ethic. iii, 1) "violent simply," as when by bodily strength one forces a person to move; the other causes conditional necessity, and the Philosopher calls this a "mixed violence," as when a person throws his merchandise overboard in order to save himself. In the latter kind of violence, although the thing done is not voluntary in itself, yet taking into consideration the circumstances of place and time it is voluntary. And since actions are about particulars, it follows that it is voluntary simply, and involuntary in a certain respect (Cf. [4945]FS, Q[6], A[6]). Wherefore this latter violence or compulsion is consistent with consent, but not the former. And since this compulsion results from one's fear of a threatening danger, it follows that this violence coincides with fear which, in a manner, compels the will, whereas the former violence has to do with bodily actions. Moreover, since the law considers not merely internal actions, but rather external actions, consequently it takes violence to mean absolute compulsion, for which reason it draws a distinction between violence and fear. Here, however, it is a question of internal consent which cannot be influenced by compulsion or violence as distinct from fear. Therefore as to the question at issue compulsion and fear are the same. Now, according to lawyers fear is "the agitation of the mind occasioned by danger imminent or future" (Ethic. iii, 1). This suffices for the Replies to the Objections; for the first set of arguments consider the first kind of compulsion, and the second set of arguments consider the second.


Whether a constant man can be compelled by fear?

Objection 1: It would seem that "a constant man" [*Cap. Ad audientiam, De his quae vi.] cannot be compelled by fear. Because the nature of a constant man is not to be agitated in the midst of dangers. Since then fear is "agitation of the mind occasioned by imminent danger," it would seem that he is not compelled by fear.

Objection 2: Further, "Of all fearsome things death is the limit," according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 6), as though it were the most perfect of all things that inspire fear. But the constant man is not compelled by death, since the brave face even mortal dangers. Therefore no fear influences a constant man.

Objection 3: Further, of all dangers a good man fears most that which affects his good name. But the fear of disgrace is not reckoned to influence a constant man, because, according to the law (vii, ff, de eo quod metus, etc.), "fear of disgrace is not included under the ordinance, 'That which is done through fear'" [*Dig. iv, 2, Quod metus causa]. Therefore neither does any other kind of fear influence a constant man.

Objection 4: Further, in him who is compelled by fear, fear leaves a sin, for it makes him promise what he is unwilling to fulfill, and thus it makes him lie. But a constant man does not commit a sin, not even a very slight one, for fear. Therefore no fear influences a constant man.

On the contrary, Abraham and Isaac were constant. Yet they were influenced by fear, since on account of fear each said that his wife was his sister (Gn. 12:12; 26:7). Further, wherever there is mixed violence, it is fear that compels. But however constant a man may be he may suffer violence of that kind, for if he be on the sea, he will throw his merchandise overboard if menaced with shipwreck. Therefore fear can influence a constant man.

I answer that, By fear influencing a man we mean his being compelled by fear. A man is compelled by fear when he does that which otherwise he would not wish to do, in order to avoid that which he fears. Now the constant differs from the inconstant man in two respects. First, in respect of the quality of the danger feared, because the constant man follows right reason, whereby he knows whether to omit this rather than that, and whether to do this rather than that. Now the lesser evil or the greater good is always to be chosen in preference; and therefore the constant man is compelled to bear with the lesser evil through fear of the greater evil, but he is not compelled to bear with the greater evil in order to avoid the lesser. But the inconstant man is compelled to bear with the greater evil through fear of a lesser evil, namely to commit sin through fear of bodily suffering; whereas on the contrary the obstinate man cannot be compelled even to permit or to do a lesser evil, in order to avoid a greater. Hence the constant man is a mean between the inconstant and the obstinate. Secondly, they differ as to their estimate of the threatening evil, for a constant man is not compelled unless for grave and probable reasons, while the inconstant man is compelled by trifling motives: "The wicked man seeth when no man pursueth" (Prov. 28:1).

Reply to Objection 1: The constant man, like the brave man, is fearless, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. iii, 4), not that he is altogether without fear, but because he fears not what he ought not to fear, or where, or when he ought not to fear.

Reply to Objection 2: Sin is the greatest of evils, and consequently a constant man can nowise be compelled to sin; indeed a man should die rather than suffer the like, as again the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 6,9). Yet certain bodily injuries are less grievous than certain others; and chief among them are those which relate to the person, such as death, blows, the stain resulting from rape, and slavery. Wherefore the like compel a constant man to suffer other bodily injuries. They are contained in the verse: "Rape, status, blows, and death." Nor does it matter whether they refer to his own person, or to the person of his wife or children, or the like.

Reply to Objection 3: Although disgrace is a greater injury it is easy to remedy it. Hence fear of disgrace is not reckoned to influence a constant man according to law.

Reply to Objection 4: The constant man is not compelled to lie, because at the time he wishes to give; yet afterwards he wishes to ask for restitution, or at least to appeal to the judge, if he promised not to ask for restitution. But he cannot promise not to appeal, for since this is contrary to the good of justice, he cannot be compelled thereto, namely to act against justice.


Whether compulsory consent invalidates a marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that compulsory consent does not invalidate a marriage. For just as consent is necessary for matrimony, so is intention necessary for Baptism. Now one who is compelled by fear to receive Baptism, receives the sacrament. Therefore one who is compelled by fear to consent is bound by his marriage.

Objection 2: Further, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 1), that which is done on account of mixed violence is more voluntary than involuntary. Now consent cannot be compelled except by mixed violence. Therefore it is not entirely involuntary, and consequently the marriage is valid.

Objection 3: Further, seemingly he who has consented to marriage under compulsion ought to be counseled to stand to that marriage; because to promise and not to fulfill has an "appearance of evil," and the Apostle wishes us to refrain from all such things (1 Thess 5:22). But that would not be the case if compulsory consent invalidated a marriage altogether. Therefore, etc.

On the contrary, A Decretal says (cap. Cum locum, De sponsal. et matrim.): "Since there is no room for consent where fear or compulsion enters in, it follows that where a person's consent is required, every pretext for compulsion must be set aside." Now mutual contract is necessary in marriage. Therefore, etc. Further, Matrimony signifies the union of Christ with the Church, which union is according to the liberty of love. Therefore it cannot be the result of compulsory consent.

I answer that, The marriage bond is everlasting. Hence whatever is inconsistent with its perpetuity invalidates marriage. Now the fear which compels a constant man deprives the contract of its perpetuity, since its complete rescission can be demanded. Wherefore this compulsion by fear which influences a constant man, invalidates marriage, but not the other compulsion. Now a constant man is reckoned a virtuous man who, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 4), is a measure in all human actions. However, some say that if there be consent although compulsory, the marriage is valid in conscience and in God's sight, but not in the eyes of the Church, who presumes that there was no inward consent on account of the fear. But this is of no account, because the Church should not presume a person to sin until it be proved; and he sinned if he said that he consented whereas he did not consent. Wherefore the Church presumes that he did consent, but judges this compulsory consent to be insufficient for a valid marriage.

Reply to Objection 1: The intention is not the efficient cause of the sacrament in baptism, it is merely the cause that elicits the action of the agent; whereas the consent is the efficient cause in matrimony. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 2: Not any kind of voluntariness suffices for marriage: it must be completely voluntary, because it has to be perpetual; and consequently it is invalidated by violence of a mixed nature.

Reply to Objection 3: He ought not always to be advised to stand to that marriage, but only when evil results are feared from its dissolution. Nor does he sin if he does otherwise, because there is no appearance of evil in not fulfilling a promise that one has made unwillingly.


Whether compulsory consent makes a marriage as regards the party who uses compulsion?

Objection 1: It would seem that compulsory consent makes a marriage, at least as regards the party who uses compulsion. For matrimony is a sign of a spiritual union. But spiritual union which is by charity may be with one who has not charity. Therefore marriage is possible with one who wills it not.

Objection 2: Further, if she who was compelled consents afterwards, it will be a true marriage. But he who compelled her before is not bound by her consent. Therefore he was married to her by virtue of the consent he gave before.

On the contrary, Matrimony is an equiparant relation. Now a relation of that kind is equally in both terms. Therefore if there is an impediment on the part of one, there will be no marriage on the part of the other.

I answer that, Since marriage is a kind of relation, and a relation cannot arise in one of the terms without arising in the other, it follows that whatever is an impediment to matrimony in the one, is an impediment to matrimony in the other; since it is impossible for a man to be the husband of one who is not his wife, or for a woman to be a wife without a husband, just as it is impossible to be a mother without having a child. Hence it is a common saying that "marriage is not lame."

Reply to Objection 1: Although the act of the lover can be directed to one who loves not, there can be no union between them, unless love be mutual. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 2) that friendship which consists in a kind of union requires a return of love.

Reply to Objection 2: Marriage does not result from the consent of her who was compelled before, except in so far as the other party's previous consent remains in force; wherefore if he were to withdraw his consent there would be no marriage.


Whether conditional consent makes a marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that not even a conditional consent makes a marriage, because a statement is not made simply if it is made subject to a condition. But in marriage the words expressive of consent must be uttered simply. Therefore a conditional consent makes no marriage.

Objection 2: Further, marriage should be certain. But where a statement is made under a condition it is rendered doubtful. Therefore a like consent makes no marriage.

On the contrary, In other contracts an obligation is undertaken conditionally, and holds so long as the condition holds. Therefore since marriage is a contract, it would seem that it can be made by a conditional consent.

I answer that, The condition made is either of the present or of the future. If it is of the present and is not contrary to marriage,

Whether it be moral or immoral, the marriage holds if the condition is verified, and is invalid if the condition is not verified. If, however, it be contrary to the marriage blessings, the marriage is invalid, as we have also said in reference to betrothals ([4946]Q[43], A[1]). But if the condition refer to the future, it is either necessary, as that the sun will rise tomorrow — and then the marriage is valid, because such future things are present in their causes — or else it is contingent, as the payment of a sum of money, or the consent of the parents, and then the judgment about a consent of this kind is the same as about a consent expressed in words of the future tense; wherefore it makes no marriage. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


Whether one can be compelled by one's father's command to marry?

Objection 1: It would seem that one can be compelled by one's father's command to marry. For it is written (Col. 3:20): "Children, obey your parents in all things." Therefore they are bound to obey them in this also.

Objection 2: Further, Isaac charged Jacob (Gn. 28:1) not to take a wife from the daughters of Chanaan. But he would not have charged him thus unless he had the right to command it. Therefore a son is bound to obey his father in this.

Objection 3: Further, no one should promise, especially with an oath, for one whom he cannot compel to keep the promise. Now parents promise future marriages for their children, and even confirm their promise by oath. Therefore they can compel their children to keep that promise.

Objection 4: Further, our spiritual father, the Pope to wit, can by his command compel a man to a spiritual marriage, namely to accept a bishopric. Therefore a carnal father can compel his son to marriage.

On the contrary, A son may lawfully enter religion though his father command him to marry. Therefore he is not bound to obey him in this. Further, if he were bound to obey, a betrothal contracted by the parents would hold good without their children's consent. But this is against the law (cap. Ex litteris, De despon. impub.). Therefore, etc.

I answer that, Since in marriage there is a kind of perpetual service, as it were, a father cannot by his command compel his son to marry, since the latter is of free condition: but he may induce him for a reasonable cause; and thus the son will be affected by his father's command in the same way as he is affected by that cause, so that if the cause be compelling as indicating either obligation or fitness, his father's command will compel him in the same measure: otherwise he may not compel him.

Reply to Objection 1: The words of the Apostle do not refer to those matters in which a man is his own master as the father is. Such is marriage by which the son also becomes a father.

Reply to Objection 2: There were other motives why Jacob was bound to do what Isaac commanded him, both on account of the wickedness of those women, and because the seed of Chanaan was to be cast forth from the land which was promised to the seed of the patriarchs. Hence Isaac could command this.

Reply to Objection 3: They do not swear except with the implied condition "if it please them"; and they are bound to induce them in good faith.

Reply to Objection 4: Some say that the Pope cannot command a man to accept a bishopric, because consent should be free. But if this be granted there would be an end of ecclesiastical order, for unless a man can be compelled to accept the government of a church, the Church could not be preserved, since sometimes those who are qualified for the purpose are unwilling to accept unless they be compelled. Therefore we must reply that the two cases are not parallel; for there is no bodily service in a spiritual marriage as there is in the bodily marriage; because the spiritual marriage is a kind of office for dispensing the public weal: "Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God" (1 Cor. 4:1).


OF THE OBJECT OF THE CONSENT (TWO ARTICLES)

We must now consider the object of the consent. Under this head there are two points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the consent that makes a marriage is a consent to carnal intercourse?

(2) Whether consent to marry a person for an immoral motive makes a marriage?


Whether the consent that makes a marriage is a consent to carnal intercourse?

Objection 1: It would seem that the consent which makes a marriage is a consent to carnal intercourse. For Jerome [*The words quoted are found implicitly in St. Augustine (De Bono Viduit ix)] says that "for those who have vowed virginity it is wicked, not only to marry, but even to wish to marry." But it would not be wicked unless it were contrary to virginity, and marriage is not contrary to virginity except by reason of carnal intercourse. Therefore the will's consent in marriage is a consent to carnal intercourse.

Objection 2: Further, whatever there is in marriage between husband and wife is lawful between brother and sister except carnal intercourse. But there cannot lawfully be a consent to marriage between them. Therefore the marriage consent is a consent to carnal intercourse.

Objection 3: Further, if the woman say to the man: "I consent to take thee provided however that you know me not," it is not a marriage consent, because it contains something against the essence of that consent. Yet this would not be the case unless the marriage consent were a consent to carnal intercourse. Therefore, etc.

Objection 4: Further, in everything the beginning corresponds to the consummation. Now marriage is consummated by carnal intercourse. Therefore, since it begins by the consent, it would seem that the consent is to carnal intercourse.

On the contrary, No one that consents to carnal intercourse is a virgin in mind and body. Yet Blessed John the evangelist after consenting to marriage was a virgin both in mind and body. Therefore he did not consent to carnal intercourse. Further, the effect corresponds to its cause. Now consent is the cause of marriage. Since then carnal intercourse is not essential to marriage, seemingly neither is the consent which causes marriage a consent to carnal intercourse.

This seems to violate the teaching of Natural Lawthat marriage is for the purpose of having children.

I answer that, The consent that makes a marriage is a consent to marriage, because the proper effect of the will is the thing willed. Wherefore, according as carnal intercourse stands in relation to marriage, so far is the consent that causes marriage a consent to carnal intercourse. Now, as stated above ([4947]Q[44], A[1];[4948] Q[45], AA[1],2), marriage is not essentially the carnal union itself, but a certain joining together of husband and wife ordained to carnal intercourse, and a further consequent union between husband and wife, in so far as they each receive power over the other in reference to carnal intercourse, which joining together is called the nuptial bond. Hence it is evident that they said well who asserted that to consent to marriage is to consent to carnal intercourse implicitly and not explicitly. For carnal intercourse is not to be understood, except as an effect is implicitly contained in its cause, for the power to have carnal intercourse, which power is the object of the consent, is the cause of carnal intercourse, just as the power to use one's own property is the cause of the use.

Reply to Objection 1: The reason why consent to marriage after taking the vow of virginity is sinful, is because that consent gives a power to do what is unlawful: even so would a man sin if he gave another man the power to receive that which he has in deposit, and not only by actually delivering it to him. With regard to the consent of the Blessed Virgin, we have spoken about it above (Sent. iv, D, 3; [4949]TP, Q[29], A[2]).

Reply to Objection 2: Between brother and sister there can be no power of one over the other in relation to carnal intercourse, even as neither can there be lawfully carnal intercourse itself. Consequently the argument does not prove.

Reply to Objection 3: Such an explicit condition is contrary not only to the act but also to the power of carnal intercourse, and therefore it is contrary to marriage.

Reply to Objection 4: Marriage begun corresponds to marriage consummated, as habit or power corresponds to the act which is operation. The arguments on the contrary side show that consent is not given explicitly to carnal intercourse; and this is true.


Whether marriage can result from one person's consent to take another for a base motive?

Objection 1: It would seem that marriage cannot result from one person's consent to take another for a base motive. For there is but one reason for one thing. Now marriage is one sacrament. Therefore it cannot result from the intention of any other end than that for which it was instituted by God; namely the begetting of children.

Objection 2: Further, the marriage union is from God, according to Mat. 19:6, "What . . . God hath joined together let no man put asunder." But a union that is made for immoral motives is not from God. Therefore it is not a marriage.

Objection 3: Further, in the other sacraments, if the intention of the Church be not observed, the sacrament is invalid. Now the intention of the Church in the sacrament of matrimony is not directed to a base purpose. Therefore, if a marriage be contracted for a base purpose, it will not be a valid marriage.

Objection 4: Further, according to Boethius (De Diff., Topic. ii) "a thing is good if its end be good." But matrimony is always good. Therefore it is not matrimony if it is done for an evil end.

Objection 5: Further, matrimony signifies the union of Christ with the Church; and in this there can be nothing base. Neither therefore can marriage be contracted for a base motive.

On the contrary, He who baptizes another for the sake of gain baptizes validly. Therefore if a man marries a woman for the purpose of gain it is a valid marriage. Further, the same conclusion is proved by the examples and authorities quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 30).

I answer that, The final cause of marriage may be taken as twofold, namely essential and accidental. The essential cause of marriage is the end to which it is by its very nature ordained, and this is always good, namely the begetting of children and the avoiding of fornication. But the accidental final cause thereof is that which the contracting parties intend as the result of marriage. And since that which is intended as the result of marriage is consequent upon marriage, and since that which comes first is not altered by what comes after, but conversely; marriage does not become good or evil by reason of that cause, but the contracting parties to whom this cause is the essential end. And since accidental causes are infinite in number, it follows that there can be an infinite number of such causes in matrimony, some of which are good and some bad.

Reply to Objection 1: This is true of the essential and principal cause; but that which has one essential and principal end may have several secondary essential ends, and an infinite number of accidental ends.

Reply to Objection 2: The joining together can be taken for the relation itself which is marriage, and that is always from God, and is good, whatever be its cause; or for the act of those who are being joined together, and thus it is sometimes evil and is not from God simply. Nor is it unreasonable that an effect be from God, the cause of which is evil, such as a child born of adultery; for it is not from that cause as evil, but as having some good in so far as it is from God, although it is not from God simply.

Reply to Objection 3: The intention of the Church whereby she intends to confer a sacrament is essential to each sacrament, so that if it be not observed, all sacraments are null. But the intention of the Church whereby she intends an advantage resulting from the sacrament belongs to the well-being and not to the essence of a sacrament; wherefore, if it be not observed, the sacrament is none the less valid. Yet he who omits this intention sins; for instance if in baptism one intend not the healing of the mind which the Church intends. In like manner he who intends to marry, although he fail to direct it to the end which the Church intends, nevertheless contracts a valid marriage.

Reply to Objection 4: This evil which is intended is the end not of marriage, but of the contracting parties.

Reply to Objection 5: The union itself, and not the action of those who are united, is the sign of the union of Christ with the Church: wherefore the conclusion does not follow.


OF THE MARRIAGE GOODS* (SIX ARTICLES) [*"Bona matrimonii," variously rendered marriage goods, marriage blessings, and advantages of marriage.]

In the next place we must consider the marriage goods. Under this head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether certain goods are necessary in order to excuse marriage?

(2) Whether those assigned are sufficient?

(3) Whether the sacrament is the principal among the goods?

(4) Whether the marriage act is excused from sin by the aforesaid goods?

(5) Whether it can ever be excused from sin without them?

(6) Whether in their absence it is always a mortal sin?


Whether certain blessings are necessary in order to excuse marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that certain blessings are not necessary in order to excuse marriage. For just as the preservation of the individual which is effected by the nutritive power is intended by nature, so too is the preservation of the species which is effected by marriage; and indeed so much the more as the good of the species is better and more exalted than the good of the individual. But no goods are necessary to excuse the act of the nutritive power. Neither therefore are they necessary to excuse marriage.

Objection 2: Further, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 12) the friendship between husband and wife is natural, and includes the virtuous, the useful, and the pleasant. But that which is virtuous in itself needs no excuse. Therefore neither should any goods be assigned for the excuse of matrimony.

Objection 3: Further, matrimony was instituted as a remedy and as an office, as stated above ([4950]Q[42], A[2]). Now it needs no excuse in so far as it is instituted as an office, since then it would also have needed an excuse in paradise, which is false, for there, as Augustine says, "marriage would have been without reproach and the marriage-bed without stain" (Gen. ad lit. ix). In like manner neither does it need an excuse in so far as it is intended as a remedy, any more than the other sacraments which were instituted as remedies for sin. Therefore matrimony does not need these excuses.

Objection 4: Further, the virtues are directed to whatever can be done aright. If then marriage can be righted by certain goods, it needs nothing else to right it besides the virtues of the soul; and consequently there is no need to assign to matrimony any goods whereby it is righted, any more than to other things in which the virtues direct us.

On the contrary, Wherever there is indulgence, there must needs be some reason for excuse. Now marriage is allowed in the state of infirmity "by indulgence" (1 Cor. 7:6). Therefore it needs to be excused by certain goods. Further, the intercourse of fornication and that of marriage are of the same species as regards the species of nature. But the intercourse of fornication is wrong in itself. Therefore, in order that the marriage intercourse be not wrong, something must be added to it to make it right, and draw it to another moral species.

I answer that, No wise man should allow himself to lose a thing except for some compensation in the shape of an equal or better good. Wherefore for a thing that has a loss attached to it to be eligible, it needs to have some good connected with it, which by compensating for that loss makes that thing ordinate and right. Now there is a loss of reason incidental to the union of man and woman, both because the reason is carried away entirely on account of the vehemence of the pleasure, so that it is unable to understand anything at the same time, as the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 11); and again because of the tribulation of the flesh which such persons have to suffer from solicitude for temporal things (1 Cor. 7:28). Consequently the choice of this union cannot be made ordinate except by certain compensations whereby that same union is righted. and these are the goods which excuse marriage and make it right.

Reply to Objection 1: In the act of eating there is not such an intense pleasure overpowering the reason as in the aforesaid action, both because the generative power, whereby original sin is transmitted, is infected and corrupt, whereas the nutritive power, by which original sin is not transmitted, is neither corrupt nor infected; and again because each one feels in himself a defect of the individual more than a defect of the species. Hence, in order to entice a man to take food which supplies a defect of the individual, it is enough that he feel this defect; but in order to entice him to the act whereby a defect of the species is remedied, Divine providence attached pleasure to that act, which moves even irrational animals in which there is not the stain of original sin. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 2: These goods which justify marriage belong to the nature of marriage, which consequently needs them, not as extrinsic causes of its rectitude, but as causing in it that rectitude which belongs to it by nature.

Reply to Objection 3: From the very fact that marriage is intended as an office or as a remedy it has the aspect of something useful and right; nevertheless both aspects belong to it from the fact that it has these goods by which it fulfills the office and affords a remedy to concupiscence.

Reply to Objection 4: An act of virtue may derive its rectitude both from the virtue as its elicitive principle, and from its circumstances as its formal principles; and the goods of marriage are related to marriage as circumstances to an act of virtue which owes it to those circumstances that it can be an act of virtue.


Whether the goods of marriage are sufficiently enumerated?

Objection 1: It would seem that the goods of marriage are insufficiently enumerated by the Master (Sent. iv, D, 31), namely "faith, offspring, and sacrament." For the object of marriage among men is not only the begetting and feeding of children, but also the partnership of a common life, whereby each one contributes his share of work to the common stock, as stated in Ethic. viii, 12. Therefore as the offspring is reckoned a good of matrimony, so also should the communication of works.

Objection 2: Further, the union of Christ with the Church, signified by matrimony, is the effect of charity. Therefore charity rather than faith should be reckoned among the goods of matrimony.

Objection 3: Further, in matrimony, just as it is required that neither party have intercourse with another, so is it required that the one pay the marriage debt to the other. Now the former pertains to faith according to the Master (Sent. iv, D, 31). Therefore justice should also be reckoned among the goods of marriage on account of the payment of the debt.

Objection 4: Further, in matrimony as signifying the union of Christ with the Church, just as indivisibility is required, so also is unity, whereby one man has one wife. But the sacrament which is reckoned among the three marriage goods pertains to indivisibility. Therefore there should be something else pertaining to unity.

Objection 5: On the other hand, it would seem that they are too many. For one virtue suffices to make one act right. Now faith is one virtue. Therefore it was not necessary to add two other goods to make marriage right.

Objection 6: Further, the same cause does not make a thing both useful and virtuous, since the useful and the virtuous are opposite divisions of the good. Now marriage derives its character of useful from the offspring. Therefore the offspring should not be reckoned among the goods that make marriage virtuous.

Objection 7: Further, nothing should be reckoned as a property or condition of itself. Now these goods are reckoned to be conditions of marriage. Therefore since matrimony is a sacrament, the sacrament should not be reckoned a condition of matrimony.

I answer that, Matrimony is instituted both as an office of nature and as a sacrament of the Church. As an office of nature it is directed by two things, like every other virtuous act. one of these is required on the part of the agent and is the intention of the due end, and thus the "offspring" is accounted a good of matrimony; the other is required on the part of the act, which is good generically through being about a due matter; and thus we have "faith," whereby a man has intercourse with his wife and with no other woman. Besides this it has a certain goodness as a sacrament, and this is signified by the very word "sacrament."

Reply to Objection 1: Offspring signifies not only the begetting of children, but also their education, to which as its end is directed the entire communion of works that exists between man and wife as united in marriage, since parents naturally "lay up" for their "children" (2 Cor. 12:14); so that the offspring like a principal end includes another, as it were, secondary end.

Reply to Objection 2: Faith is not taken here as a theological virtue, but as part of justice, in so far as faith [fides] signifies the suiting of deed to word [fiant dicta] by keeping one's promises; for since marriage is a contract it contains a promise whereby this man is assigned to this woman.

Reply to Objection 3: Just as the marriage promise means that neither party is to have intercourse with a third party, so does it require that they should mutually pay the marriage debt. The latter is indeed the chief of the two, since it follows from the power which each receives over the other. Consequently both these things pertain to faith, although the Book of Sentences mentions that which is the less manifest.

Reply to Objection 4: By sacrament we are to understand not only indivisibility, but all those things that result from marriage being a sign of Christ's union with the Church. We may also reply that the unity to which the objection refers pertains to faith, just as indivisibility belongs to the sacrament.

Reply to Objection 5: Faith here does not denote a virtue, but that condition of virtue which is a part of justice and is called by the name of faith.

Reply to Objection 6: Just as the right use of a useful good derives its rectitude not from the useful but from the reason which causes the right use, so too direction to a useful good may cause the goodness of rectitude by virtue of the reason causing the right direction; and in this way marriage, through being directed to the offspring, is useful, and nevertheless righteous, inasmuch as it is directed aright.

Reply to Objection 7: As the Master says (Sent. iv, D, 31), sacrament here does not mean matrimony itself, but its indissolubility, which is a sign of the same thing as matrimony is. We may also reply that although marriage is a sacrament, marriage as marriage is not the same as marriage as a sacrament, since it was instituted not only as a sign of a sacred thing, but also as an office of nature. Hence the sacramental aspect is a condition added to marriage considered in itself, whence also it derives its rectitude. Hence its sacramentality, if I may use the term, is reckoned among the goods which justify marriage; and accordingly this third good of marriage, the sacrament to wit, denotes not only its indissolubility, but also whatever pertains to its signification.


Whether the sacrament is the chief of the marriage goods?

Objection 1: It would seem that the "sacrament" is not the chief of the marriage goods. For the end is principal in everything. Now the end of marriage is the offspring. Therefore the offspring is the chief marriage good.

Objection 2: Further, in the specific nature the difference is more important than the genus, even as the form is more important than matter in the composition of a natural thing. Now "sacrament" refers to marriage on the part of its genus, while "offspring" and "faith" refer thereto on the part of the difference whereby it is a special kind of sacrament. Therefore these other two are more important than sacrament in reference to marriage.

Objection 3: Further, just as we find marriage without "offspring" and without "faith," so do we find it without indissolubility, as in the case where one of the parties enters religion before the marriage is consummated. Therefore neither from this point of view is "sacrament" the most important marriage good.

Objection 4: Further, an effect cannot be more important than its cause. Now consent, which is the cause of matrimony, is often changed. Therefore the marriage also can be dissolved and consequently inseparability is not always a condition of marriage.

Objection 5: Further, the sacraments which produce an everlasting effect imprint a character. But no character is imprinted in matrimony. Therefore it is not conditioned by a lasting inseparability. Consequently just as there is marriage without "offspring" so is there marriage without "sacrament," and thus the same conclusion follows as above.

On the contrary, That which has a place in the definition of a thing is most essential thereto. Now inseparability, which pertains to sacrament, is placed in the definition of marriage ([4951]Q[44], A[3]), while offspring and faith are not. Therefore among the other goods sacrament is the most essential to matrimony. Further, the Divine power which works in the sacraments is more efficacious than human power. But "offspring" and "faith" pertain to matrimony as directed to an office of human nature, whereas "sacrament" pertains to it as instituted by God. Therefore sacrament takes a more important part in marriage than the other two.

I answer that, This or that may be more important to a thing in two ways, either because it is more essential or because it is more excellent. If the reason is because it is more excellent, then "sacrament" is in every way the most important of the three marriage goods, since it belongs to marriage considered as a sacrament of grace; while the other two belong to it as an office of nature; and a perfection of grace is more excellent than a perfection of nature. If, however, it is said to be more important because it is more essential, we must draw a distinction; for "faith" and "offspring" can be considered in two ways. First, in themselves, and thus they regard the use of matrimony in begetting children and observing the marriage compact; while inseparability, which is denoted by "sacrament," regards the very sacrament considered in itself, since from the very fact that by the marriage compact man and wife give to one another power the one over the other in perpetuity, it follows that they cannot be put asunder. Hence there is no matrimony without inseparability, whereas there is matrimony without "faith" and "offspring," because the existence of a thing does not depend on its use; and in this sense "sacrament" is more essential to matrimony than "faith" and "offspring." Secondly, "faith" and "offspring" may be considered as in their principles, so that "offspring" denote the intention of having children, and "faith" the duty of remaining faithful, and there can be no matrimony without these also, since they are caused in matrimony by the marriage compact itself, so that if anything contrary to these were expressed in the consent which makes a marriage, the marriage would be invalid. Taking "faith" and "offspring" in this sense, it is clear that "offspring" is the most essential thing in marriage, secondly "faith," and thirdly "sacrament"; even as to man it is more essential to be in nature than to be in grace, although it is more excellent to be in grace.

Reply to Objection 1: The end as regards the intention stands first in a thing, but as regards the attainment it stands last. It is the same with "offspring" among the marriage goods; wherefore in a way it is the most important and in another way it is not.

Reply to Objection 2: Sacrament, even as holding the third place among the marriage goods, belongs to matrimony by reason of its difference; for it is called "sacrament" from its signification of that particular sacred thing which matrimony signifies.

Reply to Objection 3: According to Augustine (De Bono Conjug. ix), marriage is a good of mortals, wherefore in the resurrection "they shall neither marry nor be married" (Mat. 22:30). Hence the marriage bond does not last after the life wherein it is contracted, and consequently it is said to be inseparable, because it cannot be sundered in this life, but either by bodily death after carnal union, or by spiritual death after a merely spiritual union.

Reply to Objection 4: Although the consent which makes a marriage is not everlasting materially, i.e. in regard to the substance of the act, since that act ceases and a contrary act may succeed it, nevertheless formally speaking it is everlasting, because it is a consent to an ever lasting bond, else it would not make a marriage, for a consent to take a woman for a time makes no marriage. Hence it is everlasting formally, inasmuch as an act takes its species from its object; and thus it is that matrimony derives its inseparability from the consent.

Reply to Objection 5: In those sacraments wherein a character is imprinted, power is given to perform spiritual actions; but in matrimony, to perform bodily actions. Wherefore matrimony by reason of the power which man and wife receive over one another agrees with the sacraments in which a character is imprinted, and from this it derives its inseparability, as the Master says (Sent. iv, D, 31); yet it differs from them in so far as that power regards bodily acts; hence it does not confer a spiritual character.


Whether the marriage act is excused by the aforesaid goods?

Objection 1: It would seem that the marriage act cannot be altogether excused from sin by the aforesaid goods. For whoever allows himself to lose a greater good for the sake of a lesser good sins because he allows it inordinately. Now the good of reason which is prejudiced in the marriage act is greater than these three marriage goods. Therefore the aforesaid goods do not suffice to excuse marriage intercourse.

Objection 2: Further, if a moral good be added to a moral evil the sum total is evil and not good, since one evil circumstance makes an action evil, whereas one good circumstance does not make it good. Now the marriage act is evil in itself, else it would need no excuse. Therefore the addition of the marriage goods cannot make the act good.

Objection 3: Further, wherever there is immoderate passion there is moral vice. Now the marriage goods cannot prevent the pleasure in that act from being immoderate. Therefore they cannot excuse it from being a sin.

Objection 4: Further, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 15), shame is only caused by a disgraceful deed. Now the marriage goods do not deprive that deed of its shame. Therefore they cannot excuse it from sin.

On the contrary, The marriage act differs not from fornication except by the marriage goods. If therefore these were not sufficient to excuse it marriage would be always unlawful; and this is contrary to what was stated above ([4952]Q[41], A[3]). Further, the marriage goods are related to its act as its due circumstances, as stated above (A[1], ad 4). Now the like circumstances are sufficient to prevent an action from being evil. Therefore these goods can excuse marriage so that it is nowise a sin.

I answer that, An act is said to be excused in two ways. First, on the part of the agent, so that although it be evil it is not imputed as sin to the agent, or at least not as so grave a sin. thus ignorance is said to excuse a sin wholly or partly. Secondly, an act is said to be excused on its part, so that, namely, it is not evil; and it is thus that the aforesaid goods are said to excuse the marriage act. Now it is from the same cause that an act is not morally evil, and that it is good, since there is no such thing as an indifferent act, as was stated in the Second Book (Sent. ii, D, 40; [4953]FS, Q[18], A[9]). Now a human act is said to be good in two ways. In one way by goodness of virtue, and thus an act derives its goodness from those things which place it in the mean. This is what "faith" and "offspring" do in the marriage act, as stated above [4954](A[2]). In another way, by goodness of the "sacrament," in which way an act is said to be not only good, but also holy, and the marriage act derives this goodness from the indissolubility of the union, in respect of which it signifies the union of Christ with the Church. Thus it is clear that the aforesaid goods sufficiently excuse the marriage act.

Reply to Objection 1: By the marriage act man does not incur harm to his reason as to habit, but only as to act. Nor is it unfitting that a certain act which is generically better be sometimes interrupted for some less good act; for it is possible to do this without sin, as in the case of one who ceases from the act of contemplation in order meanwhile to devote himself to action.

Reply to Objection 2: This argument would avail if the evil that is inseparable from carnal intercourse were an evil of sin. But in this case it is an evil not of sin but of punishment alone, consisting in the rebellion of concupiscence against reason; and consequently the conclusion does not follow.

Reply to Objection 3: The excess of passion that amounts to a sin does not refer to the passion's quantitative intensity, but to its proportion to reason; wherefore it is only when a passion goes beyond the bounds of reason that it is reckoned to be immoderate. Now the pleasure attaching to the marriage act, while it is most intense in point of quantity, does not go beyond the bounds previously appointed by reason before the commencement of the act, although reason is unable to regulate them during the pleasure itself.

Reply to Objection 4: The turpitude that always accompanies the marriage act and always causes shame is the turpitude of punishment, not of sin, for man is naturally ashamed of any defect.


Whether the marriage act can be excused without the marriage goods?

Objection 1: It would seem that the marriage act can be excused even without the marriage goods. For he who is moved by nature alone to the marriage act, apparently does not intend any of the marriage goods, since the marriage goods pertain to grace or virtue. Yet when a person is moved to the aforesaid act by the natural appetite alone, seemingly he commits no sin, for nothing natural is an evil, since "evil is contrary to nature and order," as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv). Therefore the marriage act can be excused even without the marriage goods.

Objection 2: Further, he who has intercourse with his wife in order to avoid fornication, does not seemingly intend any of the marriage goods. Yet he does not sin apparently, because marriage was granted to human weakness for the very purpose of avoiding fornication (1 Cor. 7:2, 6). Therefore the marriage act can be excused even without the marriage goods.

Objection 3: Further, he who uses as he will that which is his own does not act against justice, and thus seemingly does not sin. Now marriage makes the wife the husband's own, and "vice versa." Therefore, if they use one another at will through the instigation of lust, it would seem that it is no sin; and thus the same conclusion follows.

Objection 4: Further, that which is good generically does not become evil unless it be done with an evil intention. Now the marriage act whereby a husband knows his wife is generically good. Therefore it cannot be evil unless it be done with an evil intention. Now it can be done with a good intention, even without intending any marriage good, for instance by intending to keep or acquire bodily health. Therefore it seems that this act can be excused even without the marriage goods.

On the contrary, If the cause be removed the effect is removed. Now the marriage goods are the cause of rectitude in the marriage act. Therefore the marriage act cannot be excused without them. Further, the aforesaid act does not differ from the act of fornication except in the aforesaid goods. But the act of fornication is always evil. Therefore the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused by the aforesaid goods.

I answer that, Just as the marriage goods, in so far as they consist in a habit, make a marriage honest and holy, so too, in so far as they are in the actual intention, they make the marriage act honest, as regards those two marriage goods which relate to the marriage act. Hence when married persons come together for the purpose of begetting children, or of paying the debt to one another (which pertains to "faith") they are wholly excused from sin. But the third good does not relate to the use of marriage, but to its excuse, as stated above [4955](A[3]); wherefore it makes marriage itself honest, but not its act, as though its act were wholly excused from sin, through being done on account of some signification. Consequently there are only two ways in which married persons can come together without any sin at all, namely in order to have offspring, and in order to pay the debt. otherwise it is always at least a venial sin.

Reply to Objection 1: The offspring considered as a marriage good includes something besides the offspring as a good intended by nature. For nature intends offspring as safeguarding the good of the species, whereas the offspring as a good of the sacrament of marriage includes besides this the directing of the child to God. Wherefore the intention of nature which intends the offspring must needs be referred either actually or habitually to the intention of having an offspring, as a good of the sacrament: otherwise the intention would go no further than a creature; and this is always a sin. Consequently whenever nature alone moves a person to the marriage act, he is not wholly excused from sin, except in so far as the movement of nature is further directed actually or habitually to the offspring as a good of the sacrament. Nor does it follow that the instigation of nature is evil, but that it is imperfect unless it be further directed to some marriage good.

Reply to Objection 2: If a man intends by the marriage act to prevent fornication in his wife, it is no sin, because this is a kind of payment of the debt that comes under the good of "faith." But if he intends to avoid fornication in himself, then there is a certain superfluity, and accordingly there is a venial sin, nor was the sacrament instituted for that purpose, except by indulgence, which regards venial sins.

Reply to Objection 3: One due circumstance does not suffice to make a good act, and consequently it does not follow that, no matter how one use one's own property, the use is good, but when one uses it as one ought according to all the circumstances.

Reply to Objection 4: Although it is not evil in itself to intend to keep oneself in good health, this intention becomes evil, if one intend health by means of something that is not naturally ordained for that purpose; for instance if one sought only bodily health by the sacrament of baptism, and the same applies to the marriage act in the question at issue.


Whether it is a mortal sin for a man to have knowledge of his wife, with the intention not of a marriage good but merely of pleasure?

Objection 1: It would seem that whenever a man has knowledge of his wife, with the intention not of a marriage good but merely of pleasure, he commits a mortal sin. For according to Jerome (Comment. in Eph. 5:25), as quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 31), "the pleasure taken in the embraces of a wanton is damnable in a husband." Now nothing but mortal sin is said to be damnable. Therefore it is always a mortal sin to have knowledge of one's wife for mere pleasure.

Objection 2: Further, consent to pleasure is a mortal sin, as stated in the Second Book (Sent. ii, D, 24). Now whoever knows his wife for the sake of pleasure consents to the pleasure. Therefore he sins mortally.

Objection 3: Further, whoever fails to refer the use of a creature to God enjoys a creature, and this is a mortal sin. But whoever uses his wife for mere pleasure does not refer that use to God. Therefore he sins mortally.

Objection 4: Further, no one should be excommunicated except for a mortal sin. Now according to the text (Sent. ii, D, 24) a man who knows his wife for mere pleasure is debarred from entering the Church, as though he were excommunicate. Therefore every such man sins mortally.

On the contrary, As stated in the text (Sent. ii, D, 24), according to Augustine (Contra Jul. ii, 10; De Decem Chord. xi; Serm. xli, de Sanct.), carnal intercourse of this kind is one of the daily sins, for which we say the "Our Father." Now these are not mortal sins. Therefore, etc. Further, it is no mortal sin to take food for mere pleasure. Therefore in like manner it is not a mortal sin for a man to use his wife merely to satisfy his desire.

I answer that, Some say that whenever pleasure is the chief motive for the marriage act it is a mortal sin; that when it is an indirect motive it is a venial sin; and that when it spurns the pleasure altogether and is displeasing, it is wholly void of venial sin; so that it would be a mortal sin to seek pleasure in this act, a venial sin to take the pleasure when offered, but that perfection requires one to detest it. But this is impossible, since according to the Philosopher (Ethic. x, 3,4) the same judgment applies to pleasure as to action, because pleasure in a good action is good, and in an evil action, evil; wherefore, as the marriage act is not evil in itself, neither will it be always a mortal sin to seek pleasure therein. Consequently the right answer to this question is that if pleasure be sought in such a way as to exclude the honesty of marriage, so that, to wit, it is not as a wife but as a woman that a man treats his wife, and that he is ready to use her in the same way if she were not his wife, it is a mortal sin; wherefore such a man is said to be too ardent a lover of his wife, because his ardor carries him away from the goods of marriage. If, however, he seek pleasure within the bounds of marriage, so that it would not be sought in another than his wife, it is a venial sin.

Reply to Objection 1: A man seeks wanton pleasure in his wife when he sees no more in her that he would in a wanton.

Reply to Objection 2: Consent to the pleasure of the intercourse that is a mortal sin is itself a mortal sin; but such is not the consent to the marriage act.

Reply to Objection 3: Although he does not actually refer the pleasure to God, he does not place his will's last end therein; otherwise he would seek it anywhere indifferently. Hence it does not follow that he enjoys a creature; but he uses a creature actually for his own sake, and himself habitually, though not actually, for God's sake.

Reply to Objection 4: The reason for this statement is not that man deserves to be excommunicated for this sin, but because he renders himself unfit for spiritual things, since in that act, he becomes flesh and nothing more.


OF THE IMPEDIMENTS OF MARRIAGE, IN GENERAL (ONE ARTICLE) In the next place we must consider the impediments of marriage: (1) In general; (2) In particular.


Whether it is fitting that impediments should be assigned to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem unfitting for impediments to be assigned to marriage. For marriage is a sacrament condivided with the others. But no impediments are assigned to the others. Neither therefore should they be assigned to marriage.

Objection 2: Further, the less perfect a thing is the fewer its obstacles. Now matrimony is the least perfect of the sacraments. Therefore it should have either no impediments or very few.

Objection 3: Further, wherever there is disease, it is necessary to have a remedy for the disease. Now concupiscence, a remedy for which is permitted in matrimony (1 Cor. 7:6), is in all. Therefore there should not be any impediment making it altogether unlawful for a particular person to marry.

Objection 4: Further, unlawful means against the law. Now these impediments that are assigned to matrimony are not against the natural law, because they are not found to be the same in each state of the human race, since more degrees of kindred come under prohibition at one time than at another. Nor, seemingly, can human law set impediments against marriage, since marriage, like the other sacraments, is not of human but of Divine institution. Therefore impediments should not be assigned to marriage, making it unlawful for a person to marry.

Objection 5: Further, lawful and unlawful differ as that which is against the law from that which is not, and between these there is no middle term, since they are opposed according to affirmation and negation. Therefore there cannot be impediments to marriage, placing a person in a middle position between those who are lawful and those who are unlawful subjects of marriage.

Objection 6: Further, union of man and woman is unlawful save in marriage. Now every unlawful union should be dissolved. Therefore if anything prevent a marriage being contracted, it will "de facto" dissolve it after it has been contracted; and thus impediments should not be assigned to marriage, which hinder it from being contracted, and dissolve it after it has been contracted.

Objection 7: Further, no impediment can remove from a thing that which is part of its definition. Now indissolubility is part of the definition of marriage. Therefore there cannot be any impediments which annul a marriage already contracted.

Objection 8: On the other hand, it would seem that there should be an infinite number of impediments to marriage. For marriage is a good. Now good may be lacking in an infinite number of ways, as Dionysius says

(Div. Nom. iii). Therefore there is an infinite number of impediments to marriage.

Objection 9: Further, the impediments to marriage arise from the conditions of individuals. But such like conditions are infinite in number. Therefore the impediments to marriage are also infinite.

I answer that, In marriage, as in other sacraments, there are certain things essential to marriage, and others that belong to its solemnization. And since even without the things that pertain to its solemnization it is still a true sacrament, as also in the case of the other sacraments, it follows that the impediments to those things that pertain to the solemnization of this sacrament do not derogate from the validity of the marriage. These impediments are said to hinder the contracting of marriage, but they do not dissolve the marriage once contracted; such are the veto of the Church, or the holy seasons. Hence the verse: "The veto of the Church and holy tide Forbid the knot, but loose it not if tied." On the other hand, those impediments which regard the essentials of marriage make a marriage invalid, wherefore they are said not only to hinder the contracting of marriage, but to dissolve it if contracted; and they are contained in the following verse: "Error, station, vow, kinship, crime, Difference of worship, force, holy orders, Marriage bond, honesty, affinity, impotence, All these forbid marriage, and annul it though contracted." The reason for this number may be explained as follows: Marriage may be hindered either on the part of the contract or in regard to the contracting parties. If in the first way, since the marriage contract is made by voluntary consent, and this is incompatible with either ignorance or violence, there will be two impediments to marriage, namely "force," i.e. compulsion, and "error" in reference to ignorance. Wherefore the Master pronounced on these two impediments when treating of the cause of matrimony (Sent. iv, DD 29,30). Here, however, he is treating of the impediments as arising from the contracting parties, and these may be differentiated as follows. A person may be hindered from contracting marriage either simply, or with some particular person. If simply, so that he be unable to contract marriage with any woman, this can only be because he is hindered from performing the marriage act. This happens in two ways. First, because he cannot "de facto," either through being altogether unable — and thus we have the impediment of "impotence" — or through being unable to do so freely, and thus we have the impediment of the "condition of slavery." Secondly, because he cannot do it lawfully, and this because he is bound to continence, which happens in two ways, either through his being bound on account of the office he has undertaken to fulfill — and thus we have the impediment of "Order" — or on account of his having taken a vow — and thus "Vow" is an impediment. If, however, a person is hindered from marrying, not simply but in reference to a particular person, this is either because he is bound to another person, and thus he who is married to one cannot marry another, which constitutes the impediment of the "bond of marriage" — or through lack of proportion to the other party, and this for three reasons. First, on account of too great a distance separating them, and thus we have "difference of worship"; secondly, on account of their being too closely related, and thus we have three impediments, namely "kinship," then "affinity," which denotes the close relationship between two persons, in reference to a third united to one of them by marriage, and the "justice of public honesty," where we have a close relationship between two persons arising out of the betrothal of one of them to a third person; thirdly, on account of a previous undue union between him and the woman, and thus the "crime of adultery" previously committed with her is an impediment.

Reply to Objection 1: There may be impediments to the other sacraments also in the omission either of that which is essential, or of that which pertains to the solemnization of the sacrament, as stated above. However, impediments are assigned to matrimony rather than to the other sacraments for three reasons. First, because matrimony consists of two persons, and consequently can be impeded in more ways than the other sacraments which refer to one person taken individually; secondly, because matrimony has its cause in us and in God, while some of the other sacraments have their cause in God alone. Wherefore penance which in a manner has a cause in us, is assigned certain impediments by the Master (Sent. iv, D, 16), such as hypocrisy, the public games, and so forth; thirdly, because other sacraments are objects of command or counsel, as being more perfect goods, whereas marriage is a matter of indulgence, as being a less perfect good (1 Cor. 7:6). Wherefore, in order to afford an opportunity of proficiency towards a greater good, more impediments are assigned to matrimony than to the other sacraments.

Reply to Objection 2: The more perfect things can be hindered in more ways, in so far as more conditions are required for them. And if an imperfect thing requires more conditions, there will be more impediments to it; and thus it is in matrimony.

Reply to Objection 3: This argument would hold, were there no other and more efficacious remedies for the disease of concupiscence; which is false.

Reply to Objection 4: Persons are said to be unlawful subjects for marriage through being contrary to the law whereby marriage is established. Now marriage as fulfilling an office of nature is established by the natural law; as a sacrament, by the Divine law; as fulfilling an office of society, by the civil law. Consequently a person may be rendered an unlawful subject of marriage by any of the aforesaid laws. Nor does the comparison with the other sacraments hold, for they are sacraments only. And since the natural law is particularized in various ways according to the various states of mankind, and since positive law, too, varies according to the various conditions of men, the Master (Sent. iv, D, 34) asserts that at various times various persons have been unlawful subjects of marriage.

Reply to Objection 5: The law may forbid a thing either altogether, or in part and in certain cases. Hence between that which is altogether according to the law and that which is altogether against the law

(which are opposed by contrariety and not according to affirmation and negation), that which is somewhat according to the law and somewhat against the law is a middle term. For this reason certain persons hold a middle place between those who are simply lawful subjects and those who are simply unlawful.

Reply to Objection 6: Those impediments which do not annul a marriage already contracted sometimes hinder a marriage from being contracted, by rendering it not invalid but unlawful. And if it be contracted it is a true marriage although the contracting parties sin; just as by consecrating after breaking one's fast one would sin by disobeying the Church's ordinance, and yet it would be a valid sacrament because it is not essential to the sacrament that the consecrator be fasting.

Reply to Objection 7: When we say that the aforesaid impediments annul marriage already contracted, we do not mean that they dissolve a marriage contracted in due form, but that they dissolve a marriage contracted "de facto" and not "de jure." Wherefore if an impediment supervene after a marriage has been contracted in due form, it cannot dissolve the marriage.

Reply to Objection 8: The impediments that hinder a good accidentally are infinite in number, like all accidental causes. But the causes which of their own nature corrupt a certain good are directed to that effect, and determinate, even as are the causes which produce that good; for the causes by which a thing is destroyed and those by which it is made are either contrary to one another, or the same but taken in a contrary way.

Reply to Objection 9: The conditions of particular persons taken individually are infinite in number, but taken in general, they may be reduced to a certain number; as instanced in medicine and all operative arts, which consider the conditions of particular persons in whom acts are.


OF THE IMPEDIMENT OF ERROR (TWO ARTICLES)

We must now consider the impediments to matrimony in particular, and in the first place the impediment of error. Under this head there are two points of inquiry:

(1) Whether error of its very nature is an impediment to matrimony?

(2) What kind of error?


Whether it is right to reckon error as an impediment to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that error should not be reckoned in itself an impediment to marriage. For consent, which is the efficient cause of marriage, is hindered in the same way as the voluntary. Now the voluntary, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 1), may be hindered by ignorance. But ignorance is not the same as error, because ignorance excludes knowledge altogether, whereas error does not, since "error is to approve the false as though it were true," according to Augustine (De Trin. ix, 11). Therefore ignorance rather than error should have been reckoned here as an impediment to marriage.

Objection 2: Further, that which of its very nature can be an impediment to marriage is in opposition to the good of marriage. But error is not a thing of this kind. Therefore error is not by its very nature an impediment to marriage.

Objection 3: Further, just as consent is required for marriage, so is intention required for baptism. Now if one were to baptize John, thinking to baptize Peter, John would be baptized none the less. Therefore error does not annul matrimony.

Objection 4: Further, there was true marriage between Lia and Jacob, and yet, in this case, there was error. Therefore error does not annul a marriage.

On the contrary, It is said in the Digests (Si per errorem, ff. De jurisdic. omn. judic.): "What is more opposed to consent than error?" Now consent is required for marriage. Therefore error is an impediment to matrimony. Further, consent denotes something voluntary. Now error is an obstacle to the voluntary, since "the voluntary," according to the Philosopher

(Ethic. iii, 1), Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 24), and Gregory of Nyssa [*Nemesius] (De Nat. Hom. xxxii), "is that which has its principle in one who has knowledge of singulars which are the matter of actions." But this does not apply to one who is in error. Therefore error is an impediment to matrimony.

I answer that, Whatever hinders a cause, of its very nature hinders the effect likewise. Now consent is the cause of matrimony, as stated above

([4956]Q[45], A[1]). Hence whatever voids the consent, voids marriage. Now consent is an act of the will, presupposing an act of the intellect; and if the first be lacking, the second must needs be lacking also. Hence, when error hinders knowledge, there follows a defect in the consent also, and consequently in the marriage. Therefore it is possible according to the natural law for error to void marriage.

Reply to Objection 1: Speaking simply, ignorance differs from error, because ignorance does not of its very nature imply an act of knowledge, while error supposes a wrong judgment of reason about something. However, as regards being an impediment to the voluntary, it differs not whether we call it ignorance or error, since no ignorance can be an impediment to the voluntary, unless it have error in conjunction with it, because the will's act presupposes an estimate or judgment about something which is the object of the will. Wherefore if there be ignorance there must needs be error; and for this reason error is set down as being the proximate cause.

Reply to Objection 2: Although error is not of itself contrary to matrimony, it is contrary thereto as regards the cause of marriage.

Reply to Objection 3: The character of baptism is not caused directly by the intention of the baptizer, but by the material element applied outwardly; and the intention is effective only as directing the material element to its effect; whereas the marriage tie is caused by the consent directly. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 4: According to the Master (Sent. iv, D, 30) the marriage between Lia and Jacob was effected not by their coming together, which happened through an error, but by their consent, which followed afterwards. Yet both are clearly to be excused from sin (Sent. iv, D, 30).


Whether every error is an impediment to matrimony?

Objection 1: It would seem that every error is an impediment to matrimony, and not, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 30), only error about the condition or the person. For that which applies to a thing as such applies to it in all its bearings. Now error is of its very nature an impediment to matrimony, as stated above [4957](A[1]). Therefore every error is an impediment to matrimony.

Objection 2: Further, if error, as such, is an impediment to matrimony, the greater the error the greater the impediment. Now the error concerning faith in a heretic who disbelieves in this sacrament is greater than an error concerning the person. Therefore it should be a greater impediment than error about the person.

Objection 3: Further, error does not void marriage except as removing voluntariness. Now ignorance about any circumstance takes away voluntariness (Ethic. iii, 1). Therefore it is not only error about condition or person that is an impediment to matrimony.

Objection 4: Further, just as the condition of slavery is an accident affecting the person, so are bodily or mental qualities. But error regarding the condition is an impediment to matrimony. Therefore error concerning quality or fortune is equally an impediment.

Objection 5: Further, just as slavery or freedom pertains to the condition of person, so do high and low rank, or dignity of position and the lack thereof. Now error regarding the condition of slavery is an impediment to matrimony. Therefore error about the other matters mentioned is also an impediment.

Objection 6: Further, just as the condition of slavery is an impediment, so are difference of worship and impotence, as we shall say further on ([4958]Q[52], A[2];[4959] Q[58], A[1];[4960] Q[59], A[1]). Therefore just as error regarding the condition is an impediment, so also should error about those other matters be reckoned an impediment.

Objection 7: On the other hand, it would seem that not even error about the person is an impediment to marriage. For marriage is a contract even as a sale is. Now in buying and selling the sale is not voided if one coin be given instead of another of equal value. Therefore a marriage is not voided if one woman be taken instead of another.

Objection 8: Further, it is possible for them to remain in this error for many years and to beget between them sons and daughters. But it would be a grave assertion to maintain that they ought to be separated then. Therefore their previous error did not void their marriage.

Objection 9: Further, it might happen that the woman is betrothed to the brother of the man whom she thinks that she is consenting to marry, and that she has had carnal intercourse with him; in which case, seemingly, she cannot go back to the man to whom she thought to give her consent, but should hold on to his brother. Thus error regarding the person is not an impediment to marriage.

I answer that, Just as error, through causing involuntariness, is an excuse from sin, so on the same count is it an impediment to marriage. Now error does not excuse from sin unless it refer to a circumstance the presence or absence of which makes an action lawful or unlawful. For if a man were to strike his father with an iron rod thinking it to be of wood, he is not excused from sin wholly, although perhaps in part; but if a man were to strike his father, thinking to strike his son to correct him, he is wholly excused provided he take due care. Wherefore error, in order to void marriage, must needs be about the essentials of marriage. Now marriage includes two things, namely the two persons who are joined together, and the mutual power over one another wherein marriage consists. The first of these is removed by error concerning the person, the second by error regarding the condition, since a slave cannot freely give power over his body to another, without his master's consent. For this reason these two errors, and no others, are an impediment to matrimony.

Reply to Objection 1: It is not from its generic nature that error is an impediment to marriage, but from the nature of the difference added thereto; namely from its being error about one of the essentials to marriage.

Reply to Objection 2: An error of faith about matrimony is about things consequent upon matrimony, for instance on the question of its being a sacrament, or of its being lawful. Wherefore such error as these is no impediment to marriage, as neither does an error about baptism hinder a man from receiving the character, provided he intend to receive what the Church gives, although he believe it to be nothing.

Reply to Objection 3: It is not any ignorance of a circumstance that causes the involuntariness which is an excuse from sin, as stated above; wherefore the argument does not prove.

Reply to Objection 4: Difference of fortune or of quality does not make a difference in the essentials to matrimony, as the condition of slavery does. Hence the argument does not prove.

Reply to Objection 5: Error about a person's rank, as such, does not void a marriage, for the same reason as neither does error about a personal quality. If, however, the error about a person's rank or position amounts to an error about the person, it is an impediment to matrimony. Hence, if the woman consent directly to this particular person, her error about his rank does not void the marriage; but if she intend directly to consent to marry the king's son, whoever he may be, then, if another man than the king's son be brought to her, there is error about the person, and the marriage will be void.

Reply to Objection 6: Error is an impediment to matrimony, although it be about other impediments to marriage if it concern those things which render a person an unlawful subject of marriage. But (the Master) does not mention error about such things, because they are an impediment to marriage whether there be error about them or not; so that if a woman contract with a subdeacon, whether she know this or not, there is no marriage; whereas the condition of slavery is no impediment if the slavery be known. Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 7: In contracts money is regarded as the measure of other things (Ethic. v, 5), and not as being sought for its own sake. Hence if the coin paid is not what it is thought to be but another of equal value, this does not void the contract. But if there be error about a thing sought for its own sake, the contract is voided, for instance if one were to sell a donkey for a horse; and thus it is in the case in point.

Reply to Objection 8: No matter how long they have cohabited, unless she be willing to consent again, there is no marriage.

Reply to Objection 9: If she did not consent previously to marry his brother, she may hold to the one whom she took in error. Nor can she return to his brother, especially if there has been carnal intercourse between her and the man she took to husband. If, however, she had previously consented to take the first one in words of the present, she cannot have the second while the first lives. But she may either leave the second or return to the first; and ignorance of the fact excuses her from sin, just as she would be excused if after the consummation of the marriage a kinsman of her husband were to know her by fraud since she is not to be blamed for the other's deceit.


OF THE IMPEDIMENT OF THE CONDITION OF SLAVERY (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider the impediment of the condition of slavery. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the condition of slavery is an impediment to matrimony?

(2) Whether a slave can marry without his master's consent?

(3) Whether a man who is already married can make himself a slave without his wife's consent?

(4) Whether the children should follow the condition of their father or of their mother?


Whether the condition of slavery is an impediment to matrimony?

Objection 1: It would seem that the condition of slavery is no impediment to matrimony. For nothing is an impediment to marriage except what is in some way opposed to it. But slavery is in no way opposed to marriage, else there could be no marriage among slaves. Therefore slavery is no impediment to marriage.

Objection 2: Further, that which is contrary to nature cannot be an impediment to that which is according to nature. Now slavery is contrary to nature, for as Gregory says (Pastor. ii, 6), "it is contrary to nature for man to wish to lord it over another man"; and this is also evident from the fact that it was said of man (Gn. 1:26) that he should "have dominion over the fishes of the sea," but not that he should have dominion over man. Therefore it cannot be an impediment to marriage, which is a natural thing.

Objection 3: Further, if it is an impediment, this is either of natural law or of positive law. But it is not of natural law, since according to natural law all men are equal, as Gregory says (Pastor. ii, 6), while it is stated at the beginning of the Digests (Manumissiones, ff. de just. et jure.) that slavery is not of natural law; and positive law springs from the natural law, as Tully says (De Invent. ii). Therefore, according to law, slavery is not an impediment to any marriage.

Objection 4: Further, that which is an impediment to marriage is equally an impediment whether it be known or not, as in the case of consanguinity. Now the slavery of one party, if it be known to the other, is no impediment to their marriage. Therefore slavery, considered in itself, is unable to void a marriage; and consequently it should not be reckoned by itself as a distinct impediment to marriage.

Objection 5: Further, just as one may be in error about slavery, so as to deem a person free who is a slave, so may one be in error about freedom, so as to deem a person a slave whereas he is free. But freedom is not accounted an impediment to matrimony. Therefore neither should slavery be so accounted.

Objection 7: Further, leprosy is a greater burden to the fellowship of marriage and is a greater obstacle to the good of the offspring than slavery is. Yet leprosy is not reckoned an impediment to marriage. Therefore neither should slavery be so reckoned.

On the contrary, A Decretal says (De conjug. servorum, cap. Ad nostram) that "error regarding the condition hinders a marriage from being contracted and voids that which is already contracted." Further, marriage is one of the goods that are sought for their own sake, because it is qualified by honesty; whereas slavery is one of the things to be avoided for their own sake. Therefore marriage and slavery are contrary to one another; and consequently slavery is an impediment to matrimony.

I answer that, In the marriage contract one party is bound to the other in the matter of paying the debt; wherefore if one who thus binds himself is unable to pay the debt, ignorance of this inability, on the side of the party to whom he binds himself, voids the contract. Now just as impotence in respect of coition makes a person unable to pay the debt, so that he is altogether disabled, so slavery makes him unable to pay it freely. Therefore, just as ignorance or impotence in respect of coition is an impediment if not known but not if known, as we shall state further on ([4961]Q[58]), so the condition of slavery is an impediment if not known, but not if it be known.

Impotence is not an impediment to marriage if it is known about by the partner. This seems to violate the teaching of Natural Lawthat marriage is for the purpose of having children.

Reply to Objection 1: Slavery is contrary to marriage as regards the act to which marriage binds one party in relation to the other, because it prevents the free execution of that act; and again as regards the good of the offspring who become subject to the same condition by reason of the parent's slavery. Since, however, it is free to everyone to suffer detriment in that which is his due, if one of the parties knows the other to be a slave, the marriage is none the less valid. Likewise since in marriage there is an equal obligation on either side to pay the debt, neither party can exact of the other a greater obligation than that under which he lies; so that if a slave marry a bondswoman, thinking her to be free, the marriage is not thereby rendered invalid. It is therefore evident that slavery is no impediment to marriage except when it is unknown to the other party, even though the latter be in a condition of freedom; and so nothing prevents marriage between slaves, or even between a freeman and a bondswoman.

Reply to Objection 2: Nothing prevents a thing being against nature as to the first intention of nature, and yet not against nature as to its second intention. Thus, as stated in De Coelo, ii, all corruption, defect, and old age are contrary to nature, because nature intends being and perfection, and yet they are not contrary to the second intention of nature, because nature, through being unable to preserve being in one thing, preserves it in another which is engendered of the other's corruption. And when nature is unable to bring a thing to a greater perfection it brings it to a lesser; thus when it cannot produce a male it produces a female which is "a misbegotten male" (De Gener. Animal. ii, 3). I say then in like manner that slavery is contrary to the first intention of nature. Yet it is not contrary to the second, because natural reason has this inclination, and nature has this desire — that everyone should be good; but from the fact that a person sins, nature has an inclination that he should be punished for his sin, and thus slavery was brought in as a punishment of sin. Nor is it unreasonable for a natural thing to be hindered by that which is unnatural in this way; for thus is marriage hindered by impotence of coition, which impotence is contrary to nature in the way mentioned.

Reply to Objection 3: The natural law requires punishment to be inflicted for guilt, and that no one should be punished who is not guilty; but the appointing of the punishment according to the circumstances of person and guilt belongs to positive law. Hence slavery which is a definite punishment is of positive law, and arises out of natural law, as the determinate from that which is indeterminate. And it arises from the determination of the same positive law that slavery if unknown is an impediment to matrimony, lest one who is not guilty be punished; for it is a punishment to the wife to have a slave for husband, and "vice versa."

Reply to Objection 4: Certain impediments render a marriage unlawful; and since it is not our will that makes a thing lawful or unlawful, but the law to which our will ought to be subject, it follows that the validity or invalidity of a marriage is not affected either by ignorance (such as destroys voluntariness) of the impediment or by knowledge thereof; and such an impediment is affinity or a vow, and others of the same kind. other impediments, however, render a marriage ineffectual as to the payment of the debt; and since it is within the competency of our will to remit a debt that is due to us, it follows that such impediments, if known, do not invalidate a marriage, but only when ignorance of them destroys voluntariness. Such impediments are slavery and impotence of coition. And, because they have of themselves the nature of an impediment, they are reckoned as special impediments besides error; whereas a change of person is not reckoned a special impediment besides error, because the substitution of another person has not the nature of an impediment except by reason of the intention of one of the contracting parties.

Reply to Objection 5: Freedom does not hinder the marriage act, wherefore ignorance of freedom is no impediment to matrimony.

Reply to Objection 6: Leprosy does not hinder marriage as to its first act, since lepers can pay the debt freely; although they lay a burden upon marriage as to its secondary effects; wherefore it is not an impediment to marriage as slavery is.


Whether a slave can marry without his master's consent?

Objection 1: It would seem that a slave cannot marry without his master's consent. For no one can give a person that which is another's without the latter's consent. Now a slave is his master's chattel. Therefore he cannot give his wife power over his body by marrying without his master's consent.

Objection 2: Further, a slave is bound to obey his master. But his master may command him not to consent to marry. Therefore he cannot marry without his consent.

Objection 3: Further, after marriage, a slave is bound even by a precept of the Divine law to pay the debt to his wife. But at the time that his wife asks for the debt his master may demand of him a service which he will be unable to perform if he wish to occupy himself in carnal intercourse. Therefore if a slave can marry without his master's consent, the latter would be deprived of a service due to him without any fault of his; and this ought not to be.

Objection 4: Further, a master may sell his slave into a foreign country, where the latter's wife is unable to follow him, through either bodily weakness, or imminent danger to her faith; for instance if he be sold to unbelievers, or if her master be unwilling, supposing her to be a bondswoman; and thus the marriage will be dissolved, which is unfitting. Therefore a slave cannot marry without his master's consent.

Objection 5: Further, the burden under which a man binds himself to the Divine service is more advantageous than that whereby a man subjects himself to his wife. But a slave cannot enter religion or receive orders without his master's consent. Much less therefore can he be married without his consent.

On the contrary, "In Christ Jesus . . . there is neither bond nor free"

(Gal. 3:26, 28). Therefore both freeman and bondsman enjoy the same liberty to marry in the faith of Christ Jesus. Further, slavery is of positive law; whereas marriage is of natural and Divine law. Since then positive law is not prejudicial to the natural or the Divine law, it would seem that a slave can marry without his master's consent.

I answer that, As stated above (A[1], ad 3), the positive law arises out of the natural law, and consequently slavery, which is of positive law, cannot be prejudicious to those things that are of natural law. Now just as nature seeks the preservation of the individual, so does it seek the preservation of the species by means of procreation; wherefore even as a slave is not so subject to his master as not to be at liberty to eat, sleep, and do such things as pertain to the needs of his body, and without which nature cannot be preserved, so he is not subject to him to the extent of being unable to marry freely, even without his master's knowledge or consent.

Reply to Objection 1: A slave is his master's chattel in matters superadded to nature, but in natural things all are equal. Wherefore, in things pertaining to natural acts, a slave can by marrying give another person power over his body without his master's consent.

Reply to Objection 2: A slave is bound to obey his master in those things which his master can command lawfully; and just as his master cannot lawfully command him not to eat or sleep, so neither can he lawfully command him to refrain from marrying. For it is the concern of the lawgiver how each one uses his own, and consequently if the master command his slave not to marry, the slave is not bound to obey his master.

Reply to Objection 3: If a slave has married with his master's consent, he should omit the service commanded by his master and pay the debt to his wife; because the master, by consenting to his slave's marriage, implicitly consented to all that marriage requires. If, however, the marriage was contracted without the master's knowledge or consent, he is not bound to pay the debt, but in preference to obey his master, if the two things are incompatible. Nevertheless in such matters there are many particulars to be considered, as in all human acts, namely the danger to which his wife's chastity is exposed, and the obstacle which the payment of the debt places in the way of the service commanded, and other like considerations, all of which being duly weighed it will be possible to judge which of the two in preference the slave is bound to obey, his master or his wife.

Reply to Objection 4: In such a case it is said that the master should be compelled not to sell the slave in such a way as to increase the weight of the marriage burden, especially since he is able to obtain anywhere a just price for his slave.

Reply to Objection 5: By entering religion or receiving orders a man is bound to the Divine service for all time; whereas a husband is bound to pay the debt to his wife not always, but at a fitting time; hence the comparison fails. Moreover, he who enters religion or receives orders binds himself to works that are superadded to natural works, and in which his master has power over him, but not in natural works to which a man binds himself by marriage. Hence he cannot vow continence without his master's consent.


Whether slavery can supervene to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that slavery cannot supervene to marriage, by the husband selling himself to another as slave. Because what is done by fraud and to another's detriment should not hold. But a husband who sells himself for a slave, does so sometimes to cheat marriage, and at least to the detriment of his wife. Therefore such a sale should not hold as to the effect of slavery.

Objection 2: Further, two favorable things outweigh one that is not favorable. Now marriage and freedom are favorable things and are contrary to slavery, which in law is not a favorable thing. Therefore such a slavery ought to be entirely annulled in marriage.

Objection 3: Further, in marriage husband and wife are on a par with one another. Now the wife cannot surrender herself to be a slave without her husband's consent. Therefore neither can the husband without his wife's consent.

Objection 4: Further, in natural things that which hinders a thing being generated destroys it after it has been generated. Now bondage of the husband, if unknown to the wife, is an impediment to the act of marriage before it is performed. Therefore if it could supervene to marriage it would dissolve it; which is unreasonable.

On the contrary, Everyone can give another that which is his own. Now the husband is his own master since he is free. Therefore he can surrender his right to another. Further, a slave can marry without his master's consent, as stated above [4962](A[2]). Therefore a husband can in like manner subject himself to a master, without his wife's consent.

I answer that, A husband is subject to his wife in those things which pertain to the act of nature; in these things they are equal, and the subjection of slavery does not extend thereto. Wherefore the husband, without his wife's knowledge, can surrender himself to be another's slave. Nor does this result in a dissolution of the marriage, since no impediment supervening to marriage can dissolve it, as stated above

([4963]Q[50], A[1], ad 7).

Reply to Objection 1: The fraud can indeed hurt the person who has acted fraudulently, but it cannot be prejudicial to another person: wherefore if the husband, to cheat his wife, surrender himself to be another's slave, It will be to his own prejudice, through his losing the inestimable good of freedom; whereas this can nowise be prejudicial to the wife, and he is bound to pay her the debt when she asks, and to do all that marriage requires of him for he cannot be taken away from these obligations by his master's command.

Reply to Objection 2: In so far as slavery is opposed to marriage, marriage is prejudicial to slavery, since the slave is bound then to pay the debt to his wife, though his master be unwilling.

Reply to Objection 3: Although husband and wife are considered to be on a par in the marriage act and in things relating to nature, to which the condition of slavery does not extend, nevertheless as regards the management of the household, and other such additional matters the husband is the head of the wife and should correct her, and not "vice versa." Hence the wife cannot surrender herself to be a slave without her husband's consent.

Reply to Objection 4: This argument considers corruptible things; and yet even in these there are many obstacles to generation that are not capable of destroying what is already generated. But in things which have stability it is possible to have an impediment which prevents a certain thing from beginning to be, yet does not cause it to cease to be; as instanced by the rational soul. It is the same with marriage, which is a lasting tie so long as this life lasts.


Whether children should follow the condition of their father?

Objection 1: It would seem that children should follow the condition of their father. Because dominion belongs to those of higher rank. Now in generating the father ranks above the mother. Therefore, etc.

Objection 2: Further, the being of a thing depends on the form more than on the matter. Now in generation the father gives the form, and the mother the matter (De Gener. Animal. ii, 4). Therefore the child should follow the condition of the father rather than of the mother.

Objection 3: Further, a thing should follow that chiefly to which it is most like. Now the son is more like the father than the mother, even as the daughter is more like the mother. Therefore at least the son should follow the father in preference, and the daughter the mother.

Objection 4: Further, in Holy Writ genealogies are not traced through the women but through the men. Therefore the children follow the father rather than the mother.

On the contrary, If a man sows on another's land, the produce belongs to the owner of the land. Now the woman's womb in relation to the seed of man is like the land in relation to the sower. Therefore, etc. Further, we observe that in animals born from different species the offspring follows the mother rather that the father, wherefore mules born of a mare and an ass are more like mares than those born of a she-ass and a horse. Therefore it should be the same with men.

I answer that, According to civil law (XIX, ff. De statu hom. vii, cap. De rei vendit.) the offspring follows the womb: and this is reasonable since the offspring derives its formal complement from the father, but the substance of the body from the mother. Now slavery is a condition of the body, since a slave is to the master a kind of instrument in working; wherefore children follow the mother in freedom and bondage; whereas in matters pertaining to dignity as proceeding from a thing's form, they follow the father, for instance in honors, franchise, inheritance and so forth. The canons are in agreement with this (cap. Liberi, 32, qu. iv, in gloss.: cap. Inducens, De natis ex libero ventre) as also the law of Moses (Ex. 21). In some countries, however, where the civil law does not hold, the offspring follows the inferior condition, so that if the father be a slave the children will be slaves although the mother be free; but not if the father gave himself up as a slave after his marriage and without his wife's consent; and the same applies if the case be reversed. And if both be of servile condition and belong to different masters, the children, if several, are divided among the latter, or if one only, the one master will compensate the other in value and will take the child thus born for his slave. However it is incredible that this custom have as much reason in its favor as the decision of the time-honored deliberations of many wise men. Moreover in natural things it is the rule that what is received is in the recipient according to the mode of the recipient and not according to the mode of the giver; wherefore it is reasonable that the seed received by the mother should be drawn to her condition.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the father is a more noble principle than the mother, nevertheless the mother provides the substance of the body, and it is to this that the condition of slavery attaches.

Reply to Objection 2: As regards things pertaining to the specific nature the son is like the father rather than the mother, but in material conditions should be like the mother rather than the father, since a thing has its specific being from its form, but material conditions from matter.

Reply to Objection 3: The son is like the father in respect of the form which is his, and also the father's, complement. Hence the argument is not to the point.

Reply to Objection 4: It is because the son derives honor from his father rather than from his mother that in the genealogies of Scripture, and according to common custom, children are named after their father rather than from their mother. But in matters relating to slavery they follow the mother by preference.


OF THE IMPEDIMENT OF VOWS AND ORDERS (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must now consider the impediment of vows and orders. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a simple vow is a diriment impediment to matrimony?

(2) Whether a solemn vow is a diriment impediment?

(3) Whether order is an impediment to matrimony?

(4) Whether a man can receive a sacred order after being married?


Whether marriage already contracted should be annulled by the obligation of a simple vow?

Objection 1: It would seem that a marriage already contracted ought to be annulled by the obligation of a simple vow. For the stronger tie takes precedence of the weaker. Now a vow is a stronger tie than marriage, since the latter binds man to man, but the former binds man to God. Therefore the obligation of a vow takes precedence of the marriage tie.

Objection 2: Further, God's commandment is no less binding than the commandment of the Church. Now the commandment of the Church is so binding that a marriage is void if contracted in despite thereof; as instanced in the case of those who marry within the degrees of kindred forbidden by the Church. Therefore, since it is a Divine commandment to keep a vow, it would seem that if a person marry in despite of a vow his marriage should be annulled for that reason.

Objection 3: Further, in marriage a man may have carnal intercourse without sin. Yet he who has taken a simple vow of chastity can never have carnal intercourse with his wife without sin. Therefore a simple vow annuls marriage. The minor is proved as follows. It is clear that it is a mortal sin to marry after taking a simple vow of continence, since according to Jerome [*Cf. St. Augustine, De Bono Viduit, ix] "for those who vow virginity it is damnable not only to marry, but even to wish to marry." Now the marriage contract is not contrary to the vow of continence, except by reason of carnal intercourse: and therefore he sins mortally the first time he has intercourse with his wife, and for the same reason every other time, because a sin committed in the first instance cannot be an excuse for a subsequent sin.

Objection 4: Further, husband and wife should be equal in marriage, especially as regards carnal intercourse. But he who has taken a simple vow of continence can never ask for the debt without a sin, for this is clearly against his vow of continence, since he is bound to continence by vow. Therefore neither can he pay the debt without sin.

On the contrary, Pope Clement [*Alexander III] says (cap. Consuluit, De his qui cler. vel vovent.) that a "simple vow is an impediment to the contract of marriage, but does not annul it after it is contracted."

I answer that, A thing ceases to be in one man's power from the fact that it passes into the power of another. Now the promise of a thing does not transfer it into the power of the person to whom it is promised, wherefore a thing does not cease to be in a person's power for the reason that he has promised it. Since then a simple vow contains merely a simple promise of one's body to the effect of keeping continence for God's sake, a man still retains power over his own body after a simple vow, and consequently can surrender it to another, namely his wife; and in this surrender consists the sacrament of matrimony, which is indissoluble. Therefore although a simple vow is an impediment to the contracting of a marriage, since it is a sin to marry after taking a simple vow of continence, yet since the contract is valid, the marriage cannot be annulled on that account.

Reply to Objection 1: A vow is a stronger tie than matrimony, as regards that to which man is tied, and the obligation under which he lies. because by marriage a man is tied to his wife, with the obligation of paying the debt, whereas by a vow a man is tied to God, with the obligation of remaining continent. But as to the manner in which he is tied marriage is a stronger tie than a simple vow, since by marriage a man surrenders himself actually to the power of his wife, but not by a simple vow as explained above: and the possessor is always in the stronger position. In this respect a simple vow binds in the same way as a betrothal; wherefore a betrothal must be annulled on account of a simple vow.

Reply to Objection 2: The contracting of a marriage between blood relations is annulled by the commandment forbidding such marriages, not precisely because it is a commandment of God or of the Church, but because it makes it impossible for the body of a kinswoman to be transferred into the power of her kinsman: whereas the commandment forbidding marriage after a simple vow has not this effect, as already stated. Hence the argument is void for it assigns as a cause that which is not cause.

Reply to Objection 3: If after taking a simple vow a man contract marriage by words of the present, he cannot know his wife without mortal sin, because until the marriage is consummated he is still in a position to fulfill the vow of continence. But after the marriage has been consummated, thenceforth through his fault it is unlawful for him not to pay the debt when his wife asks: wherefore this is not covered by his obligation to his vow, as explained above (ad 1). Nevertheless he should atone for not keeping continence, by his tears of repentance.

Reply to Objection 4: After contracting marriage he is still bound to keep his vow of continence in those matters wherein he is not rendered unable to do so. Hence if his wife die he is bound to continence altogether. And since the marriage tie does not bind him to ask for the debt, he cannot ask for it without sin, although he can pay the debt without sin on being asked, when once he has incurred this obligation through the carnal intercourse that has already occurred. And this holds whether the wife ask expressly or interpretively, as when she is ashamed and her husband feels that she desires him to pay the debt, for then he may pay it without sin. This is especially the case if he fears to endanger her chastity: nor does it matter that they are equal in the marriage act, since everyone may renounce what is his own. Some say, however, that he may both ask and pay lest the marriage become too burdensome to the wife who has always to ask; but if this be looked into aright, it is the same as asking interpretively.


Whether a solemn vow dissolves a marriage already contracted?

Objection 1: It would seem that not even a solemn vow dissolves a marriage already contracted. For according to a Decretal (cap. Rursus, De his qui cler. vel vovent.) "in God's sight a simple vow is no less binding than a solemn one." Now marriage stands or falls by virtue of the Divine acceptance. Therefore since a simple vow does not dissolve marriage, neither will a solemn vow dissolve it.

Objection 2: Further, a solemn vow does not add the same force to a simple vow as an oath does. Now a simple vow, even though an oath be added thereto, does not dissolve a marriage already contracted. Neither therefore does a solemn vow.

Objection 3: Further, a solemn vow has nothing that a simple vow cannot have. For a simple vow may give rise to scandal since it may be public, even as a solemn vow. Again the Church could and should ordain that a simple vow dissolves a marriage already contracted, so that many sins may be avoided. Therefore for the same reason that a simple vow does not dissolve a marriage already contracted, neither should a solemn vow dissolve it.

On the contrary, He who takes a solemn vow contracts a spiritual marriage with God, which is much more excellent than a material marriage. Now a material marriage already contracted annuls a marriage contracted afterwards. Therefore a solemn vow does also. Further, the same conclusion may be proved by many authorities quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 28).

I answer that, All agree that as a solemn vow is an impediment to the contracting of marriage, so it invalidates the contract. Some assign scandal as the reason. But this is futile, because even a simple vow sometimes leads to scandal since it is at times somewhat public. Moreover the indissolubility of marriage belongs to the truth of life [*Cf. [4964]FP, Q[16], A[4], ad 3; [4965]FP, Q[21], A[2], ad 2; [4966]SS, Q[109], A[3], ad 3], which truth is not to be set aside on account of scandal. Wherefore others say that it is on account of the ordinance of the Church. But this again is insufficient, since in that case the Church might decide the contrary, which is seemingly untrue. Wherefore we must say with others that a solemn vow of its very nature dissolves the marriage contract, inasmuch namely as thereby a man has lost the power over his own body, through surrendering it to God for the purpose of perpetual continence. Wherefore he is unable to surrender it to the power of a wife by contracting marriage. And since the marriage that follows such a vow is void, a vow of this kind is said to annul the marriage contracted.

Reply to Objection 1: A simple vow is said to be no less binding in God's sight than a solemn vow, in matters pertaining to God, for instance the separation from God by mortal sin, because he who breaks a simple vow commits a mortal sin just as one who breaks a solemn vow, although it is more grievous to break a solemn vow, so that the comparison be understood as to the genus and not as to the definite degree of guilt. But as regards marriage, whereby one man is under an obligation to another, there is no need for it to be of equal obligation even in general, since a solemn vow binds to certain things to which a simple vow does not bind.

Reply to Objection 2: An oath is more binding than a vow on the part of the cause of the obligation: but a solemn vow is more binding as to the manner in which it binds, in so far as it is an actual surrender of that which is promised; while an oath does not do this actually. Hence the conclusion does not follow.

Reply to Objection 3: A solemn vow implies the actual surrender of one's body, whereas a simple vow does not, as stated above [4967](A[1]). Hence the argument does not suffice to prove the conclusion.


Whether order is an impediment to matrimony?

Objection 1: It would seem that order is not an impediment to matrimony. For nothing is an impediment to a thing except its contrary. But order is not contrary to matrimony. Therefore it is not an impediment thereto.

Objection 2: Further, orders are the same with us as with the Eastern Church. But they are not an impediment to matrimony in the Eastern Church. Therefore, etc.

Objection 3: Further, matrimony signifies the union of Christ with the Church. Now this is most fittingly signified in those who are Christ's ministers, those namely who are ordained. Therefore order is not an impediment to matrimony.

Objection 4: Further, all the orders are directed to spiritual things. Now order cannot be an impediment to matrimony except by reason of its spirituality. Therefore if order is an impediment to matrimony, every order will be an impediment, and this is untrue.

Objection 5: Further, every ordained person can have ecclesiastical benefices, and can enjoy equally the privilege of clergy. If, therefore, orders are an impediment to marriage, because married persons cannot have an ecclesiastical benefice, nor enjoy the privilege of clergy, as jurists assert (cap. Joannes et seqq., De cler. conjug.), then every order ought to be an impediment. Yet this is false, as shown by the Decretal of Alexander III (De cler. conjug., cap. Si Quis): and consequently it would seem that no order is an impediment to marriage.

On the contrary, the Decretal says (De cler. conjug., cap. Si Quis): "any person whom you shall find to have taken a wife after receiving the subdiaconate or the higher orders, you shall compel to put his wife away." But this would not be so if the marriage were valid. Further, no person who has vowed continence can contract marriage. Now some orders have a vow of continence connected with them, as appears from the text (Sent. iv, D, 37). Therefore in that case order is an impediment to matrimony.

I answer that, By a certain fittingness the very nature of holy order requires that it should be an impediment to marriage: because those who are in holy orders handle the sacred vessels and the sacraments: wherefore it is becoming that they keep their bodies clean by continence [*Cf. Is. 52:11]. But it is owing to the Church's ordinance that it is actually an impediment to marriage. However it is not the same with the Latins as with the Greeks; since with the Greeks it is an impediment to the contracting of marriage, solely by virtue of order; whereas with the Latins it is an impediment by virtue of order, and besides by virtue of the vow of continence which is annexed to the sacred orders; for although this vow is not expressed in words, nevertheless a person is understood to have taken it by the very fact of his being ordained. Hence among the Greeks and other Eastern peoples a sacred order is an impediment to the contracting of matrimony but it does not forbid the use of marriage already contracted: for they can use marriage contracted previously, although they cannot be married again. But in the Western Church it is an impediment both to marriage and to the use of marriage, unless perhaps the husband should receive a sacred order without the knowledge or consent of his wife, because this cannot be prejudicial to her. Of the distinction between sacred and non-sacred orders now and in the early Church we have spoken above ([4968]Q[37], A[3]).

Reply to Objection 1: Although a sacred order is not contrary to matrimony as a sacrament, it has a certain incompatibility with marriage in respect of the latter's act which is an obstacle to spiritual acts.

Reply to Objection 2: The objection is based on a false statement: since order is everywhere an impediment to the contracting of marriage, although it has not everywhere a vow annexed to it.

Reply to Objection 3: Those who are in sacred orders signify Christ by more sublime actions, as appears from what has been said in the treatise on orders ([4969]Q[37], AA[2],4), than those who are married. Consequently the conclusion does not follow.

Reply to Objection 4: Those who are in minor orders are not forbidden to marry by virtue of their order; for although those orders are entrusted with certain spiritualities, they are not admitted to the immediate handling of sacred things, as those are who are in sacred orders. But according to the laws of the Western Church, the use of marriage is an impediment to the exercise of a non-sacred order, for the sake of maintaining a greater honesty in the offices of the Church. And since the holding of an ecclesiastical benefice binds a man to the exercise of his order, and since for this very reason he enjoys the privilege of clergy, it follows that in the Latin Church this privilege is forfeit to a married cleric. This suffices for the Reply to the last Objection.


Whether a sacred order cannot supervene to matrimony?

Objection 1: It would seem that a sacred order cannot supervene to matrimony. For the stronger prejudices the weaker. Now a spiritual obligation is stronger than a bodily tie. Therefore if a married man be ordained, this will prejudice the wife, so that she will be unable to demand the debt, since order is a spiritual, and marriage a bodily bond. Hence it would seem that a man cannot receive a sacred order after consummating marriage.

Objection 2: Further, after consummating the marriage, one of the parties cannot vow continence without the other's consent [*Cf.[4970] Q[61], A[1]]. Now a sacred order has a vow of continence annexed to it. Therefore if the husband be ordained without his wife's consent, she will be bound to remain continent against her will, since she cannot marry another man during her husband's lifetime.

Objection 3: Further, a husband may not even for a time devote himself to prayer without his wife's consent (1 Cor. 7:5). But in the Eastern Church those who are in sacred orders are bound to continence for the time when they exercise their office. Therefore neither may they be ordained without their wife's consent, and much less may the Latins.

Objection 4: Further, husband and wife are on a par with one another. Now a Greek priest cannot marry again after his wife's death. Therefore neither can his wife after her husband's death. But she cannot be deprived by her husband's act of the right to marry after his death. Therefore her husband cannot receive orders after marriage.

Objection 5: Further, order is as much opposed to marriage as marriage to order. Now a previous order is an impediment to a subsequent marriage. Therefore, etc.

On the contrary, Religious are bound to continence [celibacy] like those who are in sacred orders. But a man may enter religion after marriage, if his wife die, or if she consent. Therefore he can also receive orders. Further, a man may become a man's bondsman after marriage. Therefore he can become a bondsman of God by receiving orders.

The key issue here is celibacy. But the Orthodox Church allows for married men to be priests as does the Catholic Church in certain situations (for example, the ordination of a married Anglican priest who converts to Catholicism). Thus, these rules are not absolute and are therefore untrue.

I answer that, Marriage is not an impediment to the receiving of sacred orders, since if a married man receive sacred orders, even though his wife be unwilling, he receives the character of order: but he lacks the exercise of his order. If, however, his wife consent, or if she be dead, he receives both the order and the exercise.

Reply to Objection 1: The bond of orders dissolves the bond of marriage as regards the payment of the debt, in respect of which it is incompatible with marriage, on the part of the person ordained, since he cannot demand the debt, nor is the wife bound to pay it. But it does not dissolve the bond in respect of the other party, since the husband is bound to pay the debt to the wife if he cannot persuade her to observe continence.

Reply to Objection 2: If the husband receive sacred orders with the knowledge and consent of his wife, she is bound to vow perpetual continence, but she is not bound to enter religion, if she has no fear of her chastity being endangered through her husband having taken a solemn vow: it would have been different, however, if he had taken a simple vow. On the other hand, if he be ordained without her consent, she is not bound in this way, because the result is not prejudicial to her in any way.

Reply to Objection 3: It would seem more probable, although some say the contrary, that even a Greek ought not to receive sacred orders without his wife's consent, since at least at the time of his ministry she would be deprived of the payment of the debt, of which she cannot be deprived according to law if the husband should have been ordained without her consent or knowledge.

Reply to Objection 4: As stated, among the Greeks the wife, by the very fact of consenting to her husband's receiving a sacred order, binds herself never to marry another man, because the signification of marriage would not be safeguarded, and this is especially required in the marriage of a priest. If, however, he be ordained without her consent, seemingly she would not be under that obligation.

Reply to Objection 5: Marriage has for its cause our consent: not so order, which has a sacramental cause appointed by God. Hence matrimony may be impeded by a previous order; so as not to be true marriage: whereas order cannot be impeded by marriage, so as not to be true order, because the power of the sacraments is unchangeable, whereas human acts can be impeded.


OF THE IMPEDIMENT OF CONSANGUINITY (FOUR ARTICLES)

We must next consider the impediment of consanguinity. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether consanguinity is rightly defined by some?

(2) Whether it is fittingly distinguished by degrees and lines?

(3) Whether certain degrees are by natural law an impediment to marriage?

(4) Whether the impediment degrees can be fixed by the ordinance of the Church?


Whether consanguinity is rightly defined?

Objection 1: It would seem that consanguinity is unsuitably defined by some as follows: "Consanguinity is the tie contracted between persons descending from the same common ancestor by carnal procreation." For all men descend from the same common ancestor, namely Adam, by carnal procreation. Therefore if the above definition of consanguinity is right, all men would be related by consanguinity: which is false.

Objection 2: Further, a tie is only between things in accord with one another, since a tie unites. Now there is not greater accordance between persons descended from a common ancestor than there is between other men, since they accord in species but differ in number, just as other men do. Therefore consanguinity is not a tie.

Objection 3: Further, carnal procreation, according to the Philosopher

(De Gener. Anim. ii, 19), is effected from the surplus food [*Cf. [4971]FP, Q[119], A[2]]. Now this surplus has more in common with that which is eaten, since it agrees with it in substance, than with him who eats. Since then no tie of consanguinity arises between the person born of semen and that which he eats, neither will there be any tie of kindred between him and the person of whom he is born by carnal procreation.

Objection 4: Further, Laban said to Jacob (Gn. 29:14): "Thou art my bone and my flesh," on account of the relationship between them. Therefore such a kinship should be called flesh-relationship rather than blood-relationship [consanguinitas].

Objection 5: Further, carnal procreation is common to men and animals. But no tie of consanguinity is contracted among animals from carnal procreation. Therefore neither is there among men.

I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 11, 12) "all friendship is based on some kind of fellowship." And since friendship is a knot or union, it follows that the fellowship which is the cause of friendship is called "a tie." Wherefore in respect of any kind of a fellowship certain persons are denominated as though they were tied together: thus we speak of fellow-citizens who are connected by a common political life, of fellow-soldiers who are connected by the common business of soldiering, and in the same way those who are connected by the fellowship of nature are said to be tied by blood [consanguinei]. Hence in the above definition "tie" is included as being the genus of consanguinity; the "persons descending from the same common ancestor," who are thus tied together are the subject of this tie. while "carnal procreation" is mentioned as being its origin.

Reply to Objection 1: An active force is not received into an instrument in the same degree of perfection as it has in the principal agent. And since every moved mover is an instrument, it follows that the power of the first mover in a particular genus when drawn out through many mediate movers fails at length, and reaches something that is moved and not a mover. But the power of a begetter moves not only as to that which belongs to the species, but also as to that which belongs to the individual, by reason of which the child is like the parent even in accidentals and not only in the specific nature. And yet this individual power of the father is not so perfect in the son as it was in the father, and still less so in the grandson, and thus it goes on failing: so that at length it ceases and can go no further. Since then consanguinity results from this power being communicated to many through being conveyed to them from one person by procreation, it destroys itself by little and little, as Isidore says (Etym. ix). Consequently in defining consanguinity we must not take a remote common ancestor but the nearest, whose power still remains in those who are descended from him.

Reply to Objection 2: It is clear from what has been said that blood relations agree not only in the specific nature but also in that power peculiar to the individual which is conveyed from one to many: the result being that sometimes the child is not only like his father, but also his grandfather or his remote ancestors (De Gener. Anim. iv, 3).

Reply to Objection 3: Likeness depends more on form whereby a thing is actually, than on matter whereby a thing is potentially: for instance, charcoal has more in common with fire than with the tree from which the wood was cut. In like manner food already transformed by the nutritive power into the substance of the person fed has more in common with the subject nourished than with that from which the nourishment was taken. The argument however would hold according to the opinion of those who asserted that the whole nature of a thing is from its matter and that all forms are accidents: which is false.

Reply to Objection 4: It is the blood that is proximately changed into the semen, as proved in De Gener. Anim. i, 18. Hence the tie contracted by carnal procreation is more fittingly called blood-relationship than flesh-relationship. That sometimes one relation is called the flesh of another, is because the blood which is transformed into the man's seed or into the menstrual fluid is potentially flesh and bone.

Reply to Objection 5: Some say that the reason why the tie of consanguinity is contracted among men through carnal procreation, and not among other animals, is because whatever belongs to the truth of human nature in all men was in our first parent: which does not apply to other animals. But according to this, matrimonial consanguinity would never come to an end. However the above theory was disproved in the Second Book (Sent. ii, D, 30: [4972]FP, Q[119], A[1]). Wherefore we must reply that the reason for this is that animals are not united together in the union of friendship through the begetting of many from one proximate parent, as is the case with men, as stated above.


Whether consanguinity is fittingly distinguished by degrees and lines?

Objection 1: It would seem that consanguinity is unfittingly distinguished by degrees and lines. For a line of consanguinity is described as "the ordered series of persons related by blood, and descending from a common ancestor in various degrees." Now consanguinity is nothing else but a series of such persons. Therefore a line of consanguinity is the same as consanguinity. Now a thing ought not to be distinguished by itself. Therefore consanguinity is not fittingly distinguished into lines.

Objection 2: Further, that by which a common thing is divided should not be placed in the definition of that common thing. Now descent is placed in the above definition of consanguinity. Therefore consanguinity cannot be divided into ascending, descending and collateral lines.

Objection 3: Further, a line is defined as being between two points. But two points make but one degree. Therefore one line has but one degree, and for this reason it would seem that consanguinity should not be divided into lines and degrees.

Objection 4: Further, a degree is defined as "the relation between distant persons, whereby is known the distance between them." Now since consanguinity is a kind of propinquity, distance between persons is opposed to consanguinity rather than a part thereof.

Objection 5: Further, if consanguinity is distinguished and known by its degrees, those who are in the same degree ought to be equally related. But this is false since a man's great-uncle and great-nephew are in the same degree, and yet they are not equally related according to a Decretal (cap. Porro; cap. Parenteloe, 35, qu. v). Therefore consanguinity is not rightly divided into degrees.

Objection 6: Further, in ordinary things a different degree results from the addition of one thing to another, even as every additional unity makes a different species of number. Yet the addition of one person to another does not always make a different degree of consanguinity, since father and uncle are in the same degree of consanguinity, for they are side by side. Therefore consanguinity is not rightly divided into degrees.

Objection 7: Further, if two persons be akin to one another there is always the same measure of kinship between them, since the distance from one extreme to the other is the same either way. Yet the degrees of consanguinity are not always the same on either side, since sometimes one relative is in the third and the other in the fourth degree. Therefore the measure of consanguinity cannot be sufficiently known by its degrees.

I answer that, Consanguinity as stated [4973](A[1]) is a certain propinquity based on the natural communication by the act of procreation whereby nature is propagated. Wherefore according to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 12) this communication is threefold. one corresponds to the relationship between cause and effect, and this is the consanguinity of father to son, wherefore he says that "parents love their children as being a part of themselves." Another corresponds to the relation of effect to cause, and this is the consanguinity of son to father, wherefore he says that "children love their parents as being themselves something which owes its existence to them." The third corresponds to the mutual relation between things that come from the same cause, as brothers, "who are born of the same parents," as he again says (Ethic. viii, 12). And since the movement of a point makes a line, and since a father by procreation may be said to descend to his son, hence it is that corresponding to these three relationships there are three lines of consanguinity, namely the "descending" line corresponding to the first relationship, the "ascending" line corresponding to the second, and the "collateral" line corresponding to the third. Since however the movement of propagation does not rest in one term but continues beyond, the result is that one can point to the father's father and to the son's son, and so on, and according to the various steps we take we find various degrees in one line. And seeing that the degrees of a thing are parts of that thing, there cannot be degrees of propinquity where there is no propinquity. Consequently identity and too great a distance do away with degrees of consanguinity; since no man is kin to himself any more than he is like himself: for which reason there is no degree of consanguinity where there is but one person, but only when one person is compared to another. Nevertheless there are different ways of counting the degrees in various lines. For the degree of consanguinity in the ascending and descending line is contracted from the fact that one of the parties whose consanguinity is in question, is descended from the other. Wherefore according to the canonical as well as the legal reckoning, the person who occupies the first place, whether in the ascending or in the descending line, is distant from a certain one, say Peter, in the first degree — for instance father and son; while the one who occupies the second place in either direction is distant in the second degree, for instance grandfather, grandson and so on. But the consanguinity that exists between persons who are in collateral lines is contracted not through one being descended from the other, but through both being descended from one: wherefore the degrees of consanguinity in this line must be reckoned in relation to the one principle whence it arises. Here, however, the canonical and legal reckonings differ: for the legal reckoning takes into account the descent from the common stock on both sides, whereas the canonical reckoning takes into account only one, that namely on which the greater number of degrees are found. Hence according to the legal reckoning brother and sister, or two brothers, are related in the second degree, because each is separated from the common stock by one degree; and in like manner the children of two brothers are distant from one another in the fourth degree. But according to the canonical reckoning, two brothers are related in the first degree, since neither is distant more than one degree from the common stock: but the children of one brother are distant in the second degree from the other brother, because they are at that distance from the common stock. Hence, according to the canonical reckoning, by whatever degree a person is distant from some higher degree, by so much and never by less is he distant from each person descending from that degree, because "the cause of a thing being so is yet more so." Wherefore although the other descendants from the common stock be related to some person on account of his being descended from the common stock, these descendants of the other branch cannot be more nearly related to him than he is to the common stock. Sometimes, however, a person is more distantly related to a descendant from the common stock, than he himself is to the common stock, because this other person may be more distantly related to the common stock than he is: and consanguinity must be reckoned according to the more distant degree.

Reply to Objection 1: This objection is based on a false premise: for consanguinity is not the series but a mutual relationship existing between certain persons, the series of whom forms a line of consanguinity.

Reply to Objection 2: Descent taken in a general sense attaches to every line of consanguinity, because carnal procreation whence the tie of consanguinity arises is a kind of descent: but it is a particular kind of descent, namely from the person whose consanguinity is in question, that makes the descending line.

Reply to Objection 3: A line may be taken in two ways. Sometimes it is taken properly for the dimension itself that is the first species of continuous quantity: and thus a straight line contains actually but two points which terminate it, but infinite points potentially, any one of which being actually designated, the line is divided, and becomes two lines. But sometimes a line designates things which are arranged in a line, and thus we have line and figure in numbers, in so far as unity added to unity involves number. Thus every unity added makes a degree in a particular line: and it is the same with the line of consanguinity: wherefore one line contains several degrees.

Reply to Objection 4: Even as there cannot be likeness without a difference, so there is no propinquity without distance. Hence not every distance is opposed to consanguinity, but such as excludes the propinquity of blood-relationship.

Reply to Objection 5: Even as whiteness is said to be greater in two ways, in one way through intensity of the quality itself, in another way through the quantity of the surface, so consanguinity is said to be greater or lesser in two ways. First, intensively by reason of the very nature of consanguinity: secondly, extensively as it were, and thus the degree of consanguinity is measured by the persons between whom there is the propagation of a common blood, and in this way the degrees of consanguinity are distinguished. Wherefore it happens that of two persons related to one person in the same degree of consanguinity, one is more akin to him than the other, if we consider the quantity of consanguinity in the first way: thus a man's father and brother are related to him in the first degree of consanguinity, because in neither case does any person come in between; and yet from the point of view of intensity a man's father is more closely related to him than his brother, since his brother is related to him only because he is of the same father. Hence the nearer a person is to the common ancestor from whom the consanguinity descends, the greater is his consanguinity although he be not in a nearer degree. In this way a man's great-uncle is more closely related to him than his great-nephew, although they are in the same degree.

Reply to Objection 6: Although a man's father and uncle are in the same degree in respect of the root of consanguinity, since both are separated by one degree from the grandfather, nevertheless in respect of the person whose consanguinity is in question, they are not in the same degree, since the father is in the first degree, whereas the uncle cannot be nearer than the second degree, wherein the grandfather stands.

Reply to Objection 7: Two persons are always related in the same degree to one another, although they are not always distant in the same number of degrees from the common ancestor, as explained above.


Whether consanguinity is an impediment to marriage by virtue of the natural law?

Objection 1: It would seem that consanguinity is not by natural law an impediment to marriage. For no woman can be more akin to a man than Eve was to Adam, since of her did he say (Gn. 2:23): "This now is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." Yet Eve was joined in marriage to Adam. Therefore as regards the natural law no consanguinity is an impediment to marriage.

Objection 2: Further, the natural law is the same for all. Now among the uncivilized nations no person is debarred from marriage by reason of consanguinity. Therefore, as regards the law of nature, consanguinity is no impediment to marriage.

Objection 3: Further, the natural law is what "nature has taught all animals," as stated at the beginning of the Digests (i, ff. De just. et jure). Now brute animals copulate even with their mother. Therefore it is not of natural law that certain persons are debarred from marriage on account of consanguinity.

Objection 4: Further, nothing that is not contrary to one of the goods of matrimony is an impediment to marriage. But consanguinity is not contrary to any of the goods of marriage. Therefore it is not an impediment thereto.

Objection 5: Further, things which are more akin and more similar to one another are better and more firmly united together. Now matrimony is a kind of union. Since then consanguinity is a kind of kinship, it does not hinder marriage but rather strengthens the union.

On the contrary, According to the natural law whatever is an obstacle to the good of the offspring is an impediment to marriage. Now consanguinity hinders the good of the offspring, because in the words of Gregory (Regist., epis. xxxi) quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 40): "We have learnt by experience that the children of such a union cannot thrive." Therefore according to the law of nature consanguinity is an impediment to matrimony. Further, that which belongs to human nature when it was first created is of natural law. Now it belonged to human nature from when it was first created that one should be debarred from marrying one's father or mother: in proof of which it was said (Gn. 2:24): "Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother": which cannot be understood of cohabitation, and consequently must refer to the union of marriage. Therefore consanguinity is an impediment to marriage according to the natural law.

I answer that, In relation to marriage a thing is said to be contrary to the natural law if it prevents marriage from reaching the end for which it was instituted. Now the essential and primary end of marriage is the good of the offspring. and this is hindered by a certain consanguinity, namely that which is between father and daughter, or son and mother. It is not that the good of the offspring is utterly destroyed, since a daughter can have a child of her father's semen and with the father rear and teach that child in which things the good of the offspring consists, but that it is not effected in a becoming way. For it is out of order that a daughter be mated to her father in marriage for the purpose of begetting and rearing children, since in all things she ought to be subject to her father as proceeding from him. Hence by natural law a father and mother are debarred from marrying their children; and the mother still more than the father, since it is more derogatory to the reverence due to parents if the son marry his mother than if the father marry his daughter; since the wife should be to a certain extent subject to her husband. The secondary essential end of marriage is the curbing of concupiscence; and this end would be forfeit if a man could marry any blood-relation, since a wide scope would be afforded to concupiscence if those who have to live together in the same house were not forbidden to be mated in the flesh. Wherefore the Divine law debars from marriage not only father and mother, but also other kinsfolk who have to live in close intimacy with one another and ought to safeguard one another's modesty. The Divine law assigns this reason (Lev. 18:10): "Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness" of such and such a one, "because it is thy own nakedness." But the accidental end of marriage is the binding together of mankind and the extension of friendship: for a husband regards his wife's kindred as his own. Hence it would be prejudicial to this extension of friendship if a man could take a woman of his kindred to wife since no new friendship would accrue to anyone from such a marriage. Wherefore, according to human law and the ordinances of the Church, several degrees of consanguinity are debarred from marriage. Accordingly it is clear from what has been said that consanguinity is by natural law an impediment to marriage in regard to certain persons, by Divine law in respect of some, and by human law in respect of others.

Reply to Objection 1: Although Eve was formed from Adam she was not Adam's daughter, because she was not formed from him after the manner in which it is natural for a man to beget his like in species, but by the Divine operation, since from Adam's rib a horse might have been formed in the same way as Eve was. Hence the natural connection between Eve and Adam was not so great as between daughter and father, nor was Adam the natural principle of Eve as a father is of his daughter.

Reply to Objection 2: That certain barbarians are united carnally to their parents does not come from the natural law but from the passion of concupiscence which has clouded the natural law in them.

Reply to Objection 3: Union of male and female is said to be of natural law, because nature has taught this to animals: yet she has taught this union to various animals in various ways according to their various conditions. But carnal copulation with parents is derogatory to the reverence due to them. For just as nature has instilled into parents solicitude in providing for their offspring, so has it instilled into the offspring reverence towards their parents: yet to no kind of animal save man has she instilled a lasting solicitude for his children or reverence for parents; but to other animals more or less, according as the offspring is more or less necessary to its parents, or the parents to their offspring. Hence as the Philosopher attests (De Animal. ix, 47) concerning the camel and the horse, among certain animals the son abhors copulation with its mother as long as he retains knowledge of her and a certain reverence for her. And since all honest customs of animals are united together in man naturally, and more perfectly than in other animals, it follows that man naturally abhors carnal knowledge not only of his mother, but also of his daughter, which is, however, less against nature, as stated above. Moreover consanguinity does not result from carnal procreation in other animals as in man, as stated above (A[1], ad 5). Hence the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 4: It has been shown how consanguinity between married persons is contrary to the goods of marriage. Hence the

Objection proceeds from false premises.

Reply to Objection 5: It is not unreasonable for one of two unions to be hindered by the other, even as where there is identity there is not likeness. In like manner the tie of consanguinity may hinder the union of marriage.


Whether the degrees of consanguinity that are an impediment to marriage could be fixed by the Church?

Objection 1: It would seem that the degrees of consanguinity that are an impediment to marriage could not be fixed by the Church so as to reach to the fourth degree. For it is written (Mat. 19:6): "What God hath joined together let no man put asunder." But God joined those together who are married within the fourth degree of consanguinity, since their union is not forbidden by the Divine law. Therefore they should not be put asunder by a human law.

Objection 2: Further, matrimony is a sacrament as also is baptism. Now no ordinance of the Church could prevent one who is baptized from receiving the baptismal character, if he be capable of receiving it according to the Divine law. Therefore neither can an ordinance of the Church forbid marriage between those who are not forbidden to marry by the Divine law.

Objection 3: Further, positive law can neither void nor extend those things which are natural. Now consanguinity is a natural tie which is in itself of a nature to impede marriage. Therefore the Church cannot by its ordinance permit or forbid certain people to marry, any more than she can make them to be kin or not kin.

Objection 4: Further, an ordinance of positive law should have some reasonable cause, since it is for this reasonable cause that it proceeds from the natural law. But the causes that are assigned for the number of degrees seem altogether unreasonable, since they bear no relation to their effect; for instance, that consanguinity be an impediment as far as the fourth degree on account of the four elements as far as the sixth degree on account of the six ages of the world, as far as the seventh degree on account of the seven days of which all time is comprised. Therefore seemingly this prohibition is of no force.

Objection 5: Further, where the cause is the same there should be the same effect. Now the causes for which consanguinity is an impediment to marriage are the good of the offspring, the curbing of concupiscence, and the extension of friendship, as stated above [4974](A[3]), which are equally necessary for all time. Therefore the degrees of consanguinity should have equally impeded marriage at all times: yet this is not true since consanguinity is now an impediment to marriage as far as the fourth degree, whereas formerly it was an impediment as far as the seventh.

Objection 6: Further, one and the same union cannot be a kind of sacrament and a kind of incest. But this would be the case if the Church had the power of fixing a different number in the degrees which are an impediment to marriage. Thus if certain parties related in the fifth degree were married when that degree was an impediment, their union would be incestuous, and yet this same union would be a marriage afterwards when the Church withdrew her prohibition. And the reverse might happen if certain degrees which were not an impediment were subsequently to be forbidden by the Church. Therefore seemingly the power of the Church does not extend to this.

Objection 7: Further, human law should copy the Divine law. Now according to the Divine law which is contained in the Old Law, the prohibition of degrees does not apply equally in the ascending and descending lines: since in the Old Law a man was forbidden to marry his father's sister but not his brother's daughter. Therefore neither should there remain now a prohibition in respect of nephews and uncles.

On the contrary, Our Lord said to His disciples (Lk. 10:16): "He that heareth you heareth Me." Therefore a commandment of the Church has the same force as a commandment of God. Now the Church sometimes has forbidden and sometimes allowed certain degrees which the Old Law did not forbid. Therefore those degrees are an impediment to marriage. Further, even as of old the marriages of pagans were controlled by the civil law, so now is marriage controlled by the laws of the Church. Now formerly the civil law decided which degrees of consanguinity impede marriage, and which do not. Therefore this can be done now by a commandment of the Church.

I answer that, The degrees within which consanguinity has been an impediment to marriage have varied according to various times. For at the beginning of the human race father and mother alone were debarred from marrying their children, because then mankind were few in number, and then it was necessary for the propagation of the human race to be ensured with very great care, and consequently only such persons were to be debarred as were unfitted for marriage even in respect of its principal end which is the good of the offspring, as stated above [4975](A[3]). Afterwards however, the human race having multiplied, more persons were excluded by the law of Moses, for they already began to curb concupiscence. Wherefore as Rabbi Moses says (Doc. Perp. iii, 49) all those persons were debarred from marrying one another who are wont to live together in one household, because if a lawful carnal intercourse were possible between them, this would prove a very great incentive to lust. Yet the Old Law permitted other degrees of consanguinity, in fact to a certain extent it commanded them; to wit that each man should take a wife from his kindred, in order to avoid confusion of inheritances: because at that time the Divine worship was handed down as the inheritance of the race. But afterwards more degrees were forbidden by the New Law which is the law of the spirit and of love, because the worship of God is no longer handed down and spread abroad by a carnal birth but by a spiritual grace: wherefore it was necessary that men should be yet more withdrawn from carnal things by devoting themselves to things spiritual, and that love should have a yet wider play. Hence in olden times marriage was forbidden even within the more remote degrees of consanguinity, in order that consanguinity and affinity might be the sources of a wider natural friendship; and this was reasonably extended to the seventh degree, both because beyond this it was difficult to have any recollection of the common stock, and because this was in keeping with the sevenfold grace of the Holy Ghost. Afterwards, however, towards these latter times the prohibition of the Church has been restricted to the fourth degree, because it became useless and dangerous to extend the prohibition to more remote degrees of consanguinity. Useless, because charity waxed cold in many hearts so that they had scarcely a greater bond of friendship with their more remote kindred than with strangers: and it was dangerous because through the prevalence of concupiscence and neglect men took no account of so numerous a kindred, and thus the prohibition of the more remote degrees became for many a snare leading to damnation. Moreover there is a certain fittingness in the restriction of the above prohibition to the fourth degree. First because men are wont to live until the fourth generation, so that consanguinity cannot lapse into oblivion, wherefore God threatened (Ex. 20:5) to visit the parent's sins on their children to the third and fourth generation. Secondly, because in each generation the blood, the identity of which causes consanguinity, receives a further addition of new blood, and the more another blood is added the less there is of the old. And because there are four elements, each of which is the more easily mixed with another, according as it is more rarefied it follows that at the first admixture the identity of blood disappears as regards the first element which is most subtle; at the second admixture, as regards the second element; at the third, as to the third element; at the fourth, as to the fourth element. Thus after the fourth generation it is fitting for the carnal union to be repeated.

Reply to Objection 1: Even as God does not join together those who are joined together against the Divine command, so does He not join together those who are joined together against the commandment of the Church, which has the same binding force as a commandment of God.

Reply to Objection 2: Matrimony is not only a sacrament but also fulfills an office; wherefore it is more subject to the control of the Church's ministers than baptism which is a sacrament only: because just as human contracts and offices are controlled by human laws, so are spiritual contracts and offices controlled by the law of the Church.

Reply to Objection 3: Although the tie of consanguinity is natural, it is not natural that consanguinity forbid carnal intercourse, except as regards certain degrees, as stated above [4976](A[3]). Wherefore the Church's commandment does not cause certain people to be kin or not kin, because they remain equally kin at all times: but it makes carnal intercourse to be lawful or unlawful at different times for different degrees of consanguinity.

Reply to Objection 4: The reasons assigned are given as indicating aptness and congruousness rather than causality and necessity.

Reply to Objection 5: The reason for the impediment of consanguinity is not the same at different times: wherefore that which it was useful to allow at one time, it was beneficial to forbid at another.

Reply to Objection 6: A commandment does not affect the past but the future. Wherefore if the fifth degree which is now allowed were to be forbidden at any time, those in the fifth degree who are married would not have to separate, because no impediment supervening to marriage can annul it; and consequently a union which was a marriage from the first would not be made incestuous by a commandment of the Church. In like manner, if a degree which is now forbidden were to be allowed, such a union would not become a marriage on account of the Church's commandment by reason of the former contract, because they could separate if they wished. Nevertheless, they could contract anew, and this would be a new union.

Reply to Objection 7: In prohibiting the degrees of consanguinity the Church considers chiefly the point of view of affection. And since the reason for affection towards one's brother's son is not less but even greater than the reasons for affection towards one's father's brother, inasmuch as the son is more akin to the father than the father to the son (Ethic. viii, 12), therefore did the Church equally prohibit the degrees of consanguinity in uncles and nephews. On the other hand the Old Law in debarring certain persons looked chiefly to the danger of concupiscence arising from cohabitation; and debarred those persons who were in closer intimacy with one another on account of their living together. Now it is more usual for a niece to live with her uncle than an aunt with her nephew: because a daughter is more identified with her father, being part of him, whereas a sister is not in this way identified with her brother, for she is not part of him but is born of the same parent. Hence there was not the same reason for debarring a niece and an aunt.


OF THE IMPEDIMENT OF AFFINITY (ELEVEN ARTICLES)

We must consider next the impediment of affinity. Under this head there are eleven points of inquiry:

(1) Whether affinity results from matrimony?

(2) Whether it remains after the death of husband or wife?

(3) Whether it is caused through unlawful intercourse?

(4) Whether it arises from a betrothal?

(5) Whether affinity is caused through affinity?

(6) Whether affinity is an impediment to marriage?

(7) Whether affinity in itself admits of degrees?

(8) Whether its degrees extend as far as the degrees of consanguinity?

(9) Whether marriages of persons related to one another by consanguinity or affinity should always be dissolved by divorce?

(10) Whether the process for the dissolution of like marriages should always be by way of accusation?

(11) Whether witnesses should be called in such a case?


Whether a person contracts affinity through the marriage of a blood-relation?

Objection 1: It would seem that a person does not contract affinity through the marriage of a blood-relation. For "the cause of a thing being so is yet more so." Now the wife is not connected with her husband's kindred except by reason of the husband. Since then she does not contract affinity with her husband, neither does she contract it with her husband's kindred.

Objection 2: Further, if certain things be separate from one another and something be connected with one of them, it does not follow that it is connected with the other. Now a person's blood relations are separate from one another. Therefore it does not follow, if a certain woman be married to a certain man, that she is therefore connected with all his kindred.

Objection 3: Further, relations result from certain things being united together. Now the kindred of the husband do not become united together by the fact of his taking a wife. Therefore they do not acquire any relationship of affinity.

On the contrary, Husband and wife are made one flesh. Therefore if the husband is related in the flesh to all his kindred, for the same reason his wife will be related to them all. Further, this is proved by the authorities quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 41).

I answer that, A certain natural friendship is founded on natural fellowship. Now natural fellowship, according to the Philosopher

(Ethic. viii, 12), arises in two ways; first, from carnal procreation; secondly, from connection with orderly carnal procreation, wherefore he says (Ethic. viii, 12) that the friendship of a husband towards his wife is natural. Consequently even as a person through being connected with another by carnal procreation is bound to him by a tie of natural friendship, so does one person become connected with another through carnal intercourse. But there is a difference in this, that one who is connected with another through carnal procreation, as a son with his father, shares in the same common stock and blood, so that a son is connected with his father's kindred by the same kind of tie as the father was, the tie, namely of consanguinity, albeit in a different degree on account of his being more distant from the stock: whereas one who is connected with another through carnal intercourse does not share in the same stock, but is as it were an extraneous addition thereto: whence arises another kind of tie known by the name of "affinity." This is expressed in the verse: Marriage makes a new kind of connection, While birth makes a new degree, because, to wit, the person begotten is in the same kind of relationship, but in a different degree, whereas through carnal intercourse he enters into a new kind of relationship.

Reply to Objection 1: Although a cause is more potent than its effect, it does not always follow that the same name is applicable to the cause as to the effect, because sometimes that which is in the effect, is found in the cause not in the same but in a higher way; wherefore it is not applicable to both cause and effect under the same name or under the same aspect, as is the case with all equivocal effective causes. Thus, then, the union of husband and wife is stronger than the union of the wife with her husband's kindred, and yet it ought not to be named affinity, but matrimony which is a kind of unity; even as a man is identical with himself, but not with his kinsman.

Reply to Objection 2: Blood-relations are in a way separate, and in a way connected: and it happens in respect of their connection that a person who is connected with one of them is in some way connected with all of them. But on account of their separation and distance from one another it happens that a person who is connected with one of them in one way is connected with another in another way, either as to the kind of connection or as to the degree.

Reply to Objection 3: Further, a relation results sometimes from a movement in each extreme, for instance fatherhood and sonship, and a relation of this kind is really in both extremes. Sometimes it results from the movement of one only, and this happens in two ways. In one way when a relation results from the movement of one extreme without any movement previous or concomitant of the other extreme; as in the Creator and the creature, the sensible and the sense, knowledge and the knowable object: and then the relation is in one extreme really and in the other logically only. In another way when the relation results from the movement of one extreme without any concomitant movement, but not without a previous movement of the other; thus there results equality between two men by the increase of one, without the other either increasing or decreasing then, although previously he reached his actual quantity by some movement or change, so that this relation is founded really in both extremes. It is the same with consanguinity and affinity, because the relation of brotherhood which results in a grown child on the birth of a boy, is caused without any movement of the former's at the time, but by virtue of that previous movement of his wherein he was begotten; wherefore at the time it happens that there results in him the aforesaid relation through the movement of another. Likewise because this man descends through his own birth from the same stock as the husband, there results in him affinity with the latter's wife, without any new change in him.


Whether affinity remains after the death of husband or wife?

Objection 1: It would seem that affinity does not remain after the death of husband or wife, between the blood-relations of husband and wife or "vice versa." Because if the cause cease the effect ceases. Now the cause of affinity was the marriage, which ceases after the husband's death, since then "the woman . . . is loosed from the law of the husband" (Rom. 7:2). Therefore the aforesaid affinity ceases also.

Objection 2: Further, consanguinity is the cause of affinity. Now the consanguinity of the husband with his blood-relations ceases at his death. Therefore, the wife's affinity with them ceases also.

On the contrary, Affinity is caused by consanguinity. Now consanguinity binds persons together for all time as long as they live. Therefore affinity does so also: and consequently affinity (between two persons) is not dissolved through the dissolution of the marriage by the death of a third person.

I answer that, A relation ceases in two ways: in one way through the corruption of its subject, in another way by the removal of its cause; thus likeness ceases when one of the like subjects dies, or when the quality that caused the likeness is removed. Now there are certain relations which have for their cause an action, or a passion or movement (Metaph. v, 20): and some of these are caused by movement, through something being moved actually; such is the relation between mover and moved: some of them are caused through something being adapted to movement, for instance the relations between the motive power and the movable, or between master and servant; and some of them result from something, having been moved previously, such as the relation between father and son, for the relation between them is caused not by (the con) being begotten now, but by his having been begotten. Now aptitude for movement and for being moved is transitory; whereas the fact of having been moved is everlasting, since what has been never ceases having been. Consequently fatherhood and sonship are never dissolved through the removal of the cause, but only through the corruption of the subject, that is of one of the subjects. The same applies to affinity, for this is caused by certain persons having been joined together not by their being actually joined. Wherefore it is not done away, as long as the persons between whom affinity has been contracted survive, although the person die through whom it was contracted.

Reply to Objection 1: The marriage tie causes affinity not only by reason of actual union, but also by reason of the union having been effected in the past.

Reply to Objection 2: Consanguinity is not the chief cause of affinity, but union with a blood-relation, not only because that union is now, but because it has been. Hence the argument does not prove.


Whether unlawful intercourse causes affinity?

Objection 1: It would seem that unlawful intercourse does not cause affinity. For affinity is an honorable thing. Now honorable things do not result from that which is dishonorable. Therefore affinity cannot be caused by a dishonorable intercourse.

Objection 2: Further, where there is consanguinity there cannot be affinity; since affinity is a relationship between persons that results from carnal intercourse and is altogether void of blood-relationship. Now if unlawful intercourse were a cause of affinity, it would sometimes happen that a man would contract affinity with his blood-relations and with himself: for instance when a man is guilty of incest with a blood-relation. Therefore affinity is not caused by unlawful intercourse.

Objection 3: Further, unlawful intercourse is according to nature or against nature. Now affinity is not caused by unnatural unlawful intercourse as decided by law (can. Extraordinaria, xxxv, qu. 2,3). Therefore it is not caused only by unlawful intercourse according to nature.

On the contrary, He who is joined to a harlot is made one body (1 Cor. 6:16). Now this is the reason why marriage caused affinity. Therefore unlawful intercourse does so for the same reason. Further, carnal intercourse is the cause of affinity, as shown by the definition of affinity, which definition is as follows: Affinity is the relationship of persons which results from carnal intercourse and is altogether void of blood-relationship. But there is carnal copulation even in unlawful intercourse. Therefore unlawful intercourse causes affinity.

I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 12) the union of husband and wife is said to be natural chiefly on account of the procreation of offspring, and secondly on account of the community of works: the former of which belongs to marriage by reason of carnal copulation, and the latter, in so far as marriage is a partnership directed to a common life. Now the former is to be found in every carnal union where there is a mingling of seeds, since such a union may be productive of offspring, but the latter may be wanting. Consequently since marriage caused affinity, in so far as it was a carnal mingling, it follows that also an unlawful intercourse causes affinity in so far as it has something of natural copulation.

Reply to Objection 1: In an unlawful intercourse there is something natural which is common to fornication and marriage, and in this respect it causes affinity. There is also something which is inordinate whereby it differs from marriage, and in this respect it does not cause affinity. Hence affinity remains honorable, although its cause is in a way dishonorable.

Reply to Objection 2: There is no reason why diverse relations should not be in the same subject by reason of different things. Consequently there can be affinity and consanguinity between two persons, not only on account of unlawful but also on account of lawful intercourse: for instance if a blood-relation of mine on my father's side marries a blood-relation of mine on my mother's side. Hence in the above definition the words "which is altogether void of blood-relationship" apply to affinity as such. Nor does it follow that a man by having intercourse with his blood-relation contracts affinity with himself, since affinity, like consanguinity, requires diversity of subjects, as likeness does.

Reply to Objection 3: In unnatural copulation there is no mingling of seeds that makes generation possible: wherefore a like intercourse does not cause affinity.


Whether affinity is caused by betrothal?

Objection 1: It would seem that affinity cannot be caused by betrothal. For affinity is a lasting tie: whereas a betrothal is sometimes broken off. Therefore it cannot cause affinity.

Objection 2: Further if the hymen be penetrated without the deed being consummated, affinity is not contracted. Yet this is much more akin to carnal intercourse than a betrothal. Therefore betrothal does not cause affinity.

Objection 3: Further, betrothal is nothing but a promise of future marriage. Now sometimes there is a promise of future marriage without affinity being contracted, for instance if it take place before the age of seven years; or if a man having a perpetual impediment of impotence promise a woman future marriage; or if a like promise be made between persons to whom marriage is rendered unlawful by a vow; or in any other way whatever. Therefore betrothal cannot cause affinity.

On the contrary, Pope Alexander (cap. Ad audiendem, De spons. et matrim.) forbade a certain woman to marry a certain man, because she had been betrothed to his brother. Now this would not be the case unless affinity were contracted by betrothal. Therefore, etc.

I answer that, Just as a betrothal has not the conditions of a perfect marriage, but is a preparation for marriage, so betrothal causes not affinity as marriage does, but something like affinity. This is called "the justice of public honesty," which is an impediment to marriage even as affinity and consanguinity are, and according to the same degrees, and is defined thus: "The justice of public honesty is a relationship arising out of betrothal, and derives its force from ecclesiastical institution by reason of its honesty." This indicates the reason of its name as well as its cause, namely that this relationship was instituted by the Church on account of its honesty.

Reply to Objection 1: Betrothal, by reason not of itself but of the end to which it is directed, causes this kind of affinity known as "the justice of public honesty": wherefore just as marriage is a lasting tie, so is the aforesaid kind of affinity.

Reply to Objection 2: In carnal intercourse man and woman become one flesh by the mingling of seeds. Wherefore it is not every invasion or penetration of the hymen that causes affinity to be contracted, but only such as is followed by a mingling of seeds. But marriage causes affinity not only on account of carnal intercourse, but also by reason of the conjugal fellowship, in respect of which also marriage is according to nature. Consequently affinity results from the marriage contract itself expressed in words of the present and before its consummation, and in like manner there results from betrothal, which is a promise of conjugal fellowship, something akin to affinity, namely the justice of public honesty.

Reply to Objection 3: All those impediments which void a betrothal prevent affinity being contracted through a promise of marriage. Hence

Whether he who actually promises marriage be lacking in age, or be under a solemn vow of continence or any like impediment, no affinity nor anything akin to it results because the betrothal is void. If however, a minor, laboring under insensibility or malefice, having a perpetual impediment, is betrothed before the age of puberty and after the age of seven years, with a woman who is of age, from such a contract there results the impediment called "justice of public honesty," because at the time the impediment was not actual, since at that age the boy who is insensible is equally impotent in respect of the act in question.


Whether affinity is a cause of affinity?

Objection 1: It would seem that affinity also is a cause of affinity. For Pope Julius I says (cap. Contradicimus 35, qu. iii): "No man may marry his wife's surviving blood-relation": and it is said in the next chapter (cap. Porro duorum) that "the wives of two cousins are forbidden to marry, one after the other, the same husband." But this is only on account of affinity being contracted through union with a person related by affinity. Therefore affinity is a cause of affinity.

Objection 2: Further, carnal intercourse makes persons akin even as carnal procreation, since the degrees of affinity and consanguinity are reckoned equally. But consanguinity causes affinity. Therefore affinity does also.

Objection 3: Further, things that are the same with one and the same are the same with one another. But the wife contracts the same relations with all her husband's kindred. Therefore all her husband's kindred are made one with all who are related by affinity to the wife, and thus affinity is the cause of affinity.

Objection 4: On the contrary, If affinity is caused by affinity a man who has connection with two women can marry neither of them, because then the one would be related to the other by affinity. But this is false. Therefore affinity does not cause affinity.

Objection 5: Further, if affinity arose out of affinity a man by marrying another man's widow would contract affinity with all her first husband's kindred, since she is related to them by affinity. But this cannot be the case because he would become especially related by affinity to her deceased husband. Therefore, etc.

Objection 6: Further, consanguinity is a stronger tie than affinity. But the blood-relations of the wife do not become blood-relations of the husband. Much less, therefore, does affinity to the wife cause affinity to her blood-relations, and thus the same conclusion follows.

I answer that, There are two ways in which one thing proceeds from another: in one way a thing proceeds from another in likeness of species, as a man is begotten of a man: in another way one thing proceeds from another, not in likeness of species; and this process is always towards a lower species, as instanced in all equivocal agents. The first kind of procession, however often it be repeated, the same species always remains: thus if one man be begotten of another by an act of the generative power, of this man also another man will be begotten, and so on. But the second kind of procession, just as in the first instance it produces another species, so it makes another species as often as it is repeated. Thus by movement from a point there proceeds a line and not a point, because a point by being moved makes a line; and from a line moved lineally, there proceeds not a line but a surface, and from a surface a body, and in this way the procession can go no further. Now in the procession of kinship we find two kinds whereby this tie is caused: one is by carnal procreation, and this always produces the same species of relationship; the other is by the marriage union, and this produces a different kind of relationship from the beginning: thus it is clear that a married woman is related to her husband's blood-relations not by blood but by affinity. Wherefore if this kind of process be repeated, the result will be not affinity but another kind of relationship; and consequently a married party contracts with the affines of the other party a relation not of affinity but of some other kind which is called affinity of the second kind. And again if a person through marriage contracts relationship with an affine of the second kind, it will not be affinity of the second kind, but of a third kind, as indicated in the verse quoted above [4977](A[1]). Formerly these two kinds were included in the prohibition, under the head of the justice of public honesty rather than under the head of affinity, because they fall short of true affinity, in the same way as the relationship arising out of betrothal. Now however they have ceased to be included in the prohibition, which now refers only to the first kind of affinity in which true affinity consists.

Reply to Objection 1: A husband contracts affinity of the first kind with his wife's male blood-relation, and affinity of the second kind with the latter's wife: wherefore if the latter man dies the former cannot marry his widow on account of the second kind of affinity. Again if a man A marry a widow B, C, a relation of her former husband being connected with B by the first kind of affinity, contracts affinity of the second kind with her husband A; and D, the wife of this relation C being connected, by affinity of the second kind, with B, this man's wife contracts affinity of the third kind with her husband A. And since the third kind of affinity was included in the prohibition on account of a certain honesty more than by reason of affinity, the canon (cap. Porro duorum 35, qu. iii) says: "The justice of public honesty forbids the wives of two cousins to be married to the same man, the one after the other." But this prohibition is done away with.

Reply to Objection 2: Although carnal intercourse is a cause of people being connected with one another, it is not the same kind of connection.

Reply to Objection 3: The wife contracts the same connection with her husband's relatives as to the degree but not as to the kind of connection. Since however the arguments in the contrary sense would seem to show that no tie is caused by affinity, we must reply to them lest the time-honored prohibition of the Church seem unreasonable.

Reply to Objection 4: As stated above, a woman does not contract affinity of the first kind with the man to whom she is united in the flesh, wherefore she does not contract affinity of the second kind with a woman known by the same man; and consequently if a man marry one of these women, the other does not contract affinity of the third kind with him. And so the laws of bygone times did not forbid the same man to marry successively two women known by one man.

Reply to Objection 5: As a man is not connected with his wife by affinity of the first kind, so he does not contract affinity of the second kind with the second husband of the same wife. Wherefore the argument does not prove.

Reply to Objection 6: One person is not connected with me through another, except they be connected together. Hence through a woman who is affine to me, no person becomes connected with me, except such as is connected with her. Now this cannot be except through carnal procreation from her, or through connection with her by marriage: and according to the olden legislation, I contracted some kind of connection through her in both ways: because her son even by another husband becomes affine to me in the same kind and in a different degree of affinity, as appears from the rule given above: and again her second husband becomes affine to me in the second kind of affinity. But her other blood-relations are not connected with him, but she is connected with them, either as with father or mother, inasmuch as she descends from them, or, as with her brothers, as proceeding from the same principle; wherefore the brother or father of my affine does not become affine to me in any kind of affinity.


Whether affinity is an impediment to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that affinity is not an impediment to marriage. For nothing is an impediment to marriage except what is contrary thereto. But affinity is not contrary to marriage since it is caused by it. Therefore it is not an impediment to marriage.

Objection 2: Further, by marriage the wife becomes a possession of the husband. Now the husband's kindred inherit his possessions after his death. Therefore they can succeed to his wife, although she is affine to them, as shown above [4978](A[5]). Therefore affinity is not an impediment to marriage.

On the contrary, It is written (Lev. 18:8): "Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father's wife." Now she is only affine. Therefore affinity is an impediment to marriage.

I answer that, Affinity that precedes marriage hinders marriage being contracted and voids the contract, for the same reason as consanguinity. For just as there is a certain need for blood-relations to live together, so is there for those who are connected by affinity: and just as there is a tie of friendship between blood-relations, so is there between those who are affine to one another. If, however, affinity supervene to matrimony, it cannot void the marriage, as stated above (Q[50], A[7]).

Reply to Objection 1: Affinity is not contrary to the marriage which causes it, but to a marriage being contracted with an affine, in so far as the latter would hinder the extension of friendship and the curbing of concupiscence, which are sought in marriage.

Reply to Objection 2: The husband's possessions do not become one with him as the wife is made one flesh with him. Wherefore just as consanguinity is an impediment to marriage or union with the husband according to the flesh, so is one forbidden to marry the husband's wife.


Whether affinity in itself admits of degrees?

Objection 1: It would seem that affinity in itself admits of degrees. For any kind of propinquity can itself be the subject of degrees. Now affinity is a kind of propinquity. Therefore it has degrees in itself apart from the degrees of consanguinity by which it is caused.

Objection 2: Further, it is stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 41) that the child of a second marriage could not take a consort from within the degrees of affinity of the first husband. But this would not be the case unless the son of an affine were also affine. Therefore affinity like consanguinity admits itself of degrees.

On the contrary, Affinity is caused by consanguinity. Therefore all the degrees of affinity are caused by the degrees of consanguinity: and so it has no degrees of itself.

I answer that, A thing does not of itself admit of being divided except in reference to something belonging to it by reason of its genus: thus animal is divided into rational and irrational and not into white and black. Now carnal procreation has a direct relation to consanguinity, because the tie of consanguinity is immediately contracted through it; whereas it has no relation to affinity except through consanguinity which is the latter's cause. Wherefore since the degrees of relationship are distinguished in reference to carnal procreation, the distinction of degrees is directly and immediately referable to consanguinity, and to affinity through consanguinity. Hence the general rule in seeking the degrees of affinity is that in whatever degree of consanguinity I am related to the husband, in that same degree of affinity I am related to the wife.

Reply to Objection 1: The degrees in propinquity of relationship can only be taken in reference to ascent and descent of propagation, to which affinity is compared only through consanguinity. Wherefore affinity has no direct degrees, but derives them according to the degrees of consanguinity.

Reply to Objection 2: Formerly it used to be said that the son of my affine by a second marriage was affine to me, not directly but accidentally as it were: wherefore he was forbidden to marry on account of the justice of public honesty rather than affinity. And for this reason this prohibition is now revoked.


Whether the degrees of affinity extend in the same way as the degrees of consanguinity?

Objection 1: It would seem that the degrees of affinity do not extend in the same way as the degrees of consanguinity. For the tie of affinity is less strong than the tie of consanguinity, since affinity arises from consanguinity in diversity of species, as from an equivocal cause. Now the stronger the tie the longer it lasts. Therefore the tie of affinity does not last to the same number of degrees as consanguinity.

Objection 2: Further, human law should imitate Divine law. Now according to the Divine law certain degrees of consanguinity were forbidden, in which degrees affinity was not an impediment to marriage: as instanced in a brother's wife whom a man could marry although he could not marry her sister. Therefore now too the prohibition of affinity and consanguinity should not extend to the same degrees.

On the contrary, A woman is connected with me by affinity from the very fact that she is married to a blood-relation of mine. Therefore in whatever degree her husband is related to me by blood she is related to me in that same degree by affinity: and so the degrees of affinity should be reckoned in the same number as the degrees of consanguinity.

I answer that, Since the degrees of affinity are reckoned according to the degrees of consanguinity, the degrees of affinity must needs be the same in number as those of consanguinity. Nevertheless, affinity being a lesser tie than consanguinity, both formerly and now, a dispensation is more easily granted in the more remote degrees of affinity than in the remote degrees of consanguinity.

Reply to Objection 1: The fact that the tie of affinity is less than the tie of consanguinity causes a difference in the kind of relationship but not in the degrees. Hence this argument is not to the point.

Reply to Objection 2: A man could not take his deceased brother's wife except, in the case when the latter died without issue, in order to raise up seed to his brother. This was requisite at a time when religious worship was propagated by means of the propagation of the flesh, which is not the case now. Hence it is clear that he did not marry her in his own person as it were, but as supplying the place of his brother.


Whether a marriage contracted by persons with the degrees of affinity or consanguinity should always be annulled?

Objection 1: It would seem that a marriage contracted by persons within the degrees of affinity or consanguinity ought not always to be annulled by divorce. For "what God hath joined together let no man put asunder" (Mat. 19:6). Since then it is understood that what the Church does God does, and since the Church sometimes through ignorance joins such persons together, it would seem that if subsequently this came to knowledge they ought not to be separated.

Objection 2: Further, the tie of marriage is less onerous than the tie of ownership. Now after a long time a man may acquire by prescription the ownership of a thing of which he was not the owner. Therefore by length of time a marriage becomes good in law, although it was not so before.

Objection 3: Further, of like things we judge alike. Now if a marriage ought to be annulled on account of consanguinity, in the case when two brothers marry two sisters, if one be separated on account of consanguinity, the other ought to be separated for the same reason. and yet this is not seemly. Therefore a marriage ought not to be annulled on account of affinity or consanguinity.

On the contrary, Consanguinity and affinity forbid the contracting of a marriage and void the contract. Therefore if affinity or consanguinity be proved, the parties should be separated even though they have actually contracted marriage.

I answer that, Since all copulation apart from lawful marriage is a mortal sin, which the Church uses all her endeavors to prevent, it belongs to her to separate those between whom there cannot be valid marriage, especially those related by blood or by affinity, who cannot without incest be united in the flesh.

Reply to Objection 1: Although the Church is upheld by God's gift and authority, yet in so far as she is an assembly of men there results in her acts something of human frailty which is not Divine. Therefore a union effected in the presence of the Church who is ignorant of an impediment is not indissoluble by Divine authority, but is brought about contrary to Divine authority through man's error, which being an error of fact excuses from sin, as long as it remains. Hence when the impediment comes to the knowledge of the Church, she ought to sever the aforesaid union.

Reply to Objection 2: That which cannot be done without sin is not ratified by any prescription, for as Innocent III says (Conc. Later. iv, can. 50: cap. Non debent, De consang. et affinit.), "length of time does not diminish sin but increases it": nor can it in any way legitimize a marriage which could not take place between unlawful persons.

Reply to Objection 3: In contentious suits between two persons the verdict does not prejudice a third party, wherefore although the one brother's marriage with the one sister is annulled on account of consanguinity, the Church does not therefore annul the other marriage against which no action is taken. Yet in the tribunal of the conscience the other brother ought not on this account always to be bound to put away his wife, because such accusations frequently proceed from ill-will, and are proved by false witnesses. Hence he is not bound to form his conscience on what has been done about the other marriage: but seemingly one ought to draw a distinction, because either he has certain knowledge of the impediment of his marriage, or he has an opinion about it, or he has neither. In the first case, he can neither seek nor pay the debt, in the second, he must pay, but not ask, in the third he can both pay and ask.


Whether it is necessary to proceed by way of accusation for the annulment of a marriage contracted by persons related to each other by affinity or consanguinity?

Objection 1: It would seem that one ought not to proceed by way of accusation in order to sever a marriage contracted between persons related by affinity or consanguinity. Because accusation is preceded by inscription* whereby a man binds himself to suffer the punishment of retaliation, if he fail to prove his accusation. [*The accuser was bound by Roman Law to endorse (se inscribere) the writ of accusation; Cf. [4979]SS, Q[33], A[7]]. But this is not required when a matrimonial separation is at issue. Therefore accusation has no place then.

Objection 2: Further, in a matrimonial lawsuit only the relatives are heard, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 41). But in accusations even strangers are heard. Therefore in a suit for matrimonial separation the process is not by way of accusation.

Objection 3: Further, if a marriage ought to be denounced this should be done especially where it is least difficult to sever the tie. Now this is when only the betrothal has been contracted, and then it is not the marriage that is denounced. Therefore accusation should never take place at any other time.

Objection 4: Further, a man is not prevented from accusing by the fact that he does not accuse at once. But this happens in marriage, for if he was silent at first when the marriage was being contracted, he cannot denounce the marriage afterwards without laying himself open to suspicion. Therefore, etc.

On the contrary, Whatever is unlawful can be denounced. But the marriage of relatives by affinity and consanguinity is unlawful. Therefore it can be denounced.

I answer that, Accusation is instituted lest the guilty be tolerated as though they were innocent. Now just as it happens through ignorance of fact that a guilty man is reputed innocent, so it happens through ignorance of a circumstance that a certain fact is deemed lawful whereas it is unlawful. Wherefore just as a man is sometimes accused, so is a fact sometimes an object of accusation. It is in this way that a marriage is denounced, when through ignorance of an impediment it is deemed lawful, whereas it is unlawful.

Reply to Objection 1: The punishment of retaliation takes place when a person is accused of a crime, because then action is taken that he may be punished. But when it is a deed that is accused, action is taken not for the punishment of the doer, but in order to prevent what is unlawful. Hence in a matrimonial suit the accuser does not bind himself to a punishment. Moreover, the accusation may be made either in words or in writing, provided the person who denounces the marriage denounced, and the impediment for which it is denounced, be expressed.

Reply to Objection 2: Strangers cannot know of the consanguinity except from the relatives, since these know with greater probability. Hence when these are silent, a stranger is liable to be suspected of acting from ill-will unless he wish the relatives to prove his assertion. Wherefore a stranger is debarred from accusing when there are relatives who are silent, and by whom he cannot prove his accusation. On the other hand the relatives, however nearly related they be, are not debarred from accusing, when the marriage is denounced on account of a perpetual impediment, which prevents the contracting of the marriage and voids the contract. When, however, the accusation is based on a denial of the contract having taken place, the parents should be debarred from witnessing as being liable to suspicion, except those of the party that is inferior in rank and wealth, for they, one is inclined to think, would be willing for the marriage to stand.

Reply to Objection 3: If the marriage is not yet contracted and there is only a betrothal, there can be no accusation, for what is not, cannot be accused. But the impediment can be denounced lest the marriage be contracted.

Reply to Objection 4: He who is silent at first is sometimes heard afterwards if he wish to denounce the marriage, and sometimes he is repulsed. This is made clear by the Decretal (cap. Cum in tua, De his qui matrim. accus. possunt.) which runs as follows: "If an accuser present himself after the marriage has been contracted, since he did not declare himself when according to custom, the banns were published in church, we may rightly ask whether he should be allowed to voice his accusation. In this matter we deem that a distinction should be made, so that if he who lodges information against persons already married was absent from the diocese at the time of the aforesaid publication, or if for some other reason this could not come to his knowledge, for instance if through exceeding stress of weakness and fever he was not in possession of his faculties, or was of so tender years as to be too young to understand such matters, or if he were hindered by some other lawful cause, his accusation should be heard. otherwise without doubt he should be repulsed as open to suspicion, unless he swear that the information lodged by him came to his knowledge subsequently and that he is not moved by ill-will to make his accusation."


Whether in a suit of this kind one should proceed by hearing witnesses in the same way as in other suits?

Objection 1: It would seem that in such a suit one ought not to proceed by hearing witnesses, in the same way as in other suits where any witnesses may be called provided they be unexceptionable. But here strangers are not admitted, although they be unexceptionable. Therefore, etc.

Objection 2: Further, witnesses who are suspected of private hatred or love are debarred from giving evidence. Now relatives are especially open to suspicion of love for one party, and hatred for the other. Therefore their evidence should not be taken.

Objection 3: Further, marriage is a more favorable suit than those others in which purely corporeal questions are at stake. Now in these the same person cannot be both accuser and witness. Neither therefore can this be in a matrimonial suit; and so it would appear that it is not right to proceed by hearing witnesses in a suit of this kind.

On the contrary, Witnesses are called in a suit in order to give the judge evidence concerning matters of doubt. Now evidence should be afforded the judge in this suit as in other suits, since he must not pronounce a hasty judgment on what is not proven. Therefore here as in other lawsuits witnesses should be called.

I answer that, In this kind of lawsuit as in others, truth must be unveiled by witnesses: yet, as the lawyers say, there are many things peculiar to this suit; namely that "the same person can be accuser and witness; that evidence is not taken 'on oath of calumny,' since it is a quasi-spiritual lawsuit; that relatives are allowed as witnesses; that the juridical order is not perfectly observed, since if the denunciation has been made, and the suit is uncontested, the defendant may be excommunicated if contumacious; that hearsay evidence is admitted; and that witnesses may be called after the publication of the names of the witnesses." All this is in order to prevent the sin that may occur in such a union (cap. Quoties aliqui; cap. Super eo, De test. et attest.; cap. Literas, De juram. calumn.). This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.


OF THE IMPEDIMENT OF SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the impediment of spiritual relationship: under which head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether spiritual relationship is an impediment to marriage?

(2) From what cause is it contracted?

(3) Between whom?

(4) Whether it passes from husband to wife?

(5) Whether it passes to the father's carnal children?


Whether spiritual relationship is an impediment to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship is not an impediment to marriage. For nothing is an impediment to marriage save what is contrary to a marriage good. Now spiritual relationship is not contrary to a marriage good. Therefore it is not an impediment to marriage.

Objection 2: Further, a perpetual impediment to marriage cannot stand together with marriage. But spiritual relationship sometimes stands together with marriage, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 42), as when a man in a case of necessity baptizes his own child, for then he contracts a spiritual relationship with his wife, and yet the marriage is not dissolved. Therefore spiritual relationship is not an impediment to marriage.

Objection 3: Further, union of the spirit does not pass to the flesh. But marriage is a union of the flesh. Therefore since spiritual relationship is a union of the spirit, it cannot become an impediment to marriage.

Objection 4: Further, contraries have not the same effects. Now spiritual relationship is apparently contrary to disparity of worship, since spiritual relationship is a kinship resulting from the giving of a sacrament or the intention of so doing [*See next Article, ad 3]: whereas disparity of worship consists in the lack of a sacrament, as stated above ([4980]Q[50], A[1]). Since then disparity of worship is an impediment to matrimony, it would seem that spiritual relationship has not this effect.

On the contrary, The holier the bond, the more is it to be safeguarded. Now a spiritual bond is holier than a bodily tie: and since the tie of bodily kinship is an impediment to marriage, it follows that spiritual relationship should also be an impediment. Further, in marriage the union of souls ranks higher than union of bodies, for it precedes it. Therefore with much more reason can a spiritual relationship hinder marriage than bodily relationship does.

I answer that, Just as by carnal procreation man receives natural being, so by the sacraments he receives the spiritual being of grace. Wherefore just as the tie that is contracted by carnal procreation is natural to man, inasmuch as he is a natural being, so the tie that is contracted from the reception of the sacraments is after a fashion natural to man, inasmuch as he is a member of the Church. Therefore as carnal relationship hinders marriage, even so does spiritual relationship by command of the Church. We must however draw a distinction in reference to spiritual relationship, since either it precedes or follows marriage. If it precedes, it hinders the contracting of marriage and voids the contract. If it follows, it does not dissolve the marriage bond: but we must draw a further distinction in reference to the marriage act. For either the spiritual relationship is contracted in a case of necessity, as when a father baptizes his child who is at the point of death — and then it is not an obstacle to the marriage act on either side — or it is contracted without any necessity and through ignorance, in which case if the person whose action has occasioned the relationship acted with due caution, it is the same with him as in the former case — or it is contracted purposely and without any necessity, and then the person whose action has occasioned the relationship, loses the right to ask for the debt; but is bound to pay if asked, because the fault of the one party should not be prejudicial to the other.

Reply to Objection 1: Although spiritual relationship does not hinder any of the chief marriage goods, it hinders one of the secondary goods, namely the extension of friendship, because spiritual relationship is by itself a sufficient reason for friendship: wherefore intimacy and friendship with other persons need to be sought by means of marriage.

Reply to Objection 2: Marriage is a lasting bond, wherefore no supervening impediment can sever it. Hence it happens sometimes that marriage and an impediment to marriage stand together, but not if the impediment precedes.

Reply to Objection 3: In marriage there is not only a bodily but also a spiritual union: and consequently kinship of spirit proves an impediment thereto, without spiritual kinship having to pass into a bodily relationship.

Reply to Objection 4: There is nothing unreasonable in two things that are contrary to one another being contrary to the same thing, as great and small are contrary to equal. Thus disparity of worship and spiritual relationship are opposed to marriage, because in one the distance is greater, and in the other less, than required by marriage. Hence there is an impediment to marriage in either case.


Whether spiritual relationship is contracted by baptism only?

Objection 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship is contracted by Baptism only. For as bodily kinship is to bodily birth, so is spiritual kinship to spiritual birth. Now Baptism alone is called spiritual birth. Therefore spiritual kinship is contracted by Baptism only, even as only by carnal birth is carnal kinship contracted.

Objection 2: Further, a character is imprinted in order as in Confirmation. But spiritual relationship does not result from receiving orders. Therefore it does not result from Confirmation but only from Baptism.

Objection 3: Further, sacraments are more excellent than sacramentals. Now spiritual relationship does not result from certain sacraments, for instance from Extreme Unction. Much less therefore does it result from catechizing, as some maintain.

Objection 4: Further, many other sacramentals are attached to Baptism besides catechizing. Therefore spiritual relationship is not contracted from catechism any more than from the others.

Objection 5: Further, prayer is no less efficacious than instruction of catechism for advancement in good. But spiritual relationship does not result from prayer. Therefore it does not result from catechism.

Objection 6: Further, the instruction given to the baptized by preaching to them avails no less than preaching to those who are not yet baptized. But no spiritual relationship results from preaching. Neither therefore does it result from catechism.

Objection 7: On the other hand, It is written (1 Cor. 4:15): "In Christ Jesus by the gospel I have begotten you." Now spiritual birth causes spiritual relationship. Therefore spiritual relationship results from the preaching of the gospel and instruction, and not only from Baptism.

Objection 8: Further, as original sin is taken away by Baptism, so is actual sin taken away by Penance. Therefore just as Baptism causes spiritual relationship, so also does Penance.

Objection 9: Further, "father" denotes relationship. Now a man is called another's spiritual father in respect of Penance, teaching, pastoral care and many other like things. Therefore spiritual relationship is contracted from many other sources besides Baptism and Confirmation.

I answer that, There are three opinions on this question. Some say that as spiritual regeneration is bestowed by the sevenfold grace of the Holy Ghost, it is caused by means of seven things, beginning with the first taste of blessed salt and ending with Confirmation given by the bishop: and they say that spiritual relationship is contracted by each of these seven things. But this does not seem reasonable, for carnal relationship is not contracted except by a perfect act of generation. Wherefore affinity is not contracted except there be mingling of seeds, from which it is possible for carnal generation to follow. Now spiritual generation is not perfected except by a sacrament: wherefore it does not seem fitting for spiritual relationship to be contracted otherwise than through a sacrament. Hence others say that spiritual relationship is only contracted through three sacraments, namely catechism, Baptism and Confirmation, but these do not apparently know the meaning of what they say, since catechism is not a sacrament but a sacramental. Wherefore others say that it is contracted through two sacraments only, namely Confirmation and Baptism, and this is the more common opinion. Some however of these say that catechism is a weak impediment, since it hinders the contracting of marriage but does not void the contract.

Reply to Objection 1: Carnal birth is twofold. The first is in the womb, wherein that which is born is a weakling and cannot come forth without danger: and to this birth regeneration by Baptism is likened; wherein a man is regenerated as though yet needing to be fostered in the womb of the Church. The second is birth from out of the womb, when that which was born in the womb is so far strengthened that it can without danger face the outer world which has a natural corruptive tendency. To this is likened Confirmation, whereby man being strengthened goes forth abroad to confess the name of Christ. Hence spiritual relationship is fittingly contracted through both these sacraments.

Reply to Objection 2: The effect of the sacrament of order is not regeneration but the bestowal of power, for which reason it is not conferred on women, and consequently no impediment to marriage can arise therefrom. Hence this kind of relationship does not count.

Reply to Objection 3: In catechism one makes a profession of future Baptism, just as in betrothal one enters an engagement of future marriage. Wherefore just as in betrothal a certain kind of propinquity is contracted, so is there in catechism, whereby marriage is rendered at least unlawful, as some say; but not in the other sacraments.

Reply to Objection 4: There is not made a profession of faith in the other sacramentals of Baptism, as in catechism: wherefore the comparison fails. The same answer applies to the Fifth and Sixth Objections.

Reply to Objection 7: The Apostle had instructed them in the faith by a kind of catechism; and consequently his instruction was directed to their spiritual birth.

Reply to Objection 8: Properly speaking a spiritual relationship is not contracted through the sacrament of Penance. Wherefore a priest's son can marry a woman whose confession the priest has heard, else in the whole parish he could not find a woman whom he could marry. Nor does it matter that by Penance actual sin is taken away, for this is not a kind of birth, but a kind of healing. Nevertheless Penance occasions a kind of bond between the woman penitent and the priest, that has a resemblance to spiritual relationship, so that if he have carnal intercourse with her, he sins as grievously as if she were his spiritual daughter. The reason of this is that the relations between priest and penitent are most intimate, and consequently in order to remove the occasion of sin this prohibition [*Can. Omnes quos, and seqq., Caus. xxx] was made.

Reply to Objection 9: A spiritual father is so called from his likeness to a carnal father. Now as the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 2) a carnal father gives his child three things, being nourishment and instruction: and consequently a person's spiritual father is so called from one of these three things. Nevertheless he has not, through being his spiritual father, a spiritual relationship with him, unless he is like a (carnal) father as to generation which is the way to being. This solution may also be applied to the foregoing Eighth Objection.


Whether spiritual relationship is contracted between the person baptized and the person who raises him from the sacred font?

Objection 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship is not contracted between the person baptized and the person who raises him from the sacred font. For in carnal generation carnal relationship is contracted only on the part of the person of whose seed the child is born; and not on the part of the person who receives the child after birth. Therefore neither is spiritual relationship contracted between the receiver and the received at the sacred font.

Objection 2: Further, he who raises a person from the sacred font is called {anadochos} by Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. ii): and it is part of his office to instruct the child. But instruction is not a sufficient cause of spiritual relationship, as stated above [4981](A[2]). Therefore no relationship is contracted between him and the person whom he raises from the sacred font.

Objection 3: Further, it may happen that someone raises a person from the sacred font before he himself is baptized. Now spiritual relationship is not contracted in such a case, since one who is not baptized is not capable of spirituality. Therefore raising a person from the sacred font is not sufficient to contract a spiritual relationship.

On the contrary, There is the definition of spiritual relationship quoted above [4982](A[1]), as also the authorities mentioned in the text (Sent. iv, D, 42).

I answer that, Just as in carnal generation a person is born of a father and mother, so in spiritual generation a person is born again a son of God as Father, and of the Church as Mother. Now while he who confers the sacrament stands in the place of God, whose instrument and minister he is, he who raises a baptized person from the sacred font, or holds the candidate for Confirmation, stands in the place of the Church. Therefore spiritual relationship is contracted with both.

Reply to Objection 1: Not only the father, of whose seed the child is born, is related carnally to the child, but also the mother who provides the matter, and in whose womb the child is begotten. So too the godparent who in place of the Church offers and raises the candidate for Baptism and holds the candidate for Confirmation contracts spiritual relationship.

Reply to Objection 2: He contracts spiritual relationship not by reason of the instruction it is his duty to give, but on account of the spiritual birth in which he co-operates.

Reply to Objection 3: A person who is not baptized cannot raise anyone from the sacred font, since he is not a member of the Church whom the godparent in Baptism represents: although he can baptize, because he is a creature of God Whom the baptizer represents. And yet he cannot contract a spiritual relationship, since he is void of spiritual life to which man is first born by receiving Baptism.


Whether spiritual relationship passes from husband to wife?

Objection 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship does not pass from husband to wife. For spiritual and bodily union are disparate and differ generically. Therefore carnal union which is between husband and wife cannot be the means of contracting a spiritual relationship.

Objection 2: Further, the godfather and godmother have more in common in the spiritual birth that is the cause of spiritual relationship, than a husband, who is godfather, has with his wife. Now godfather and godmother do not hereby contract spiritual relationship. Therefore neither does a wife contract a spiritual relationship through her husband being godfather to someone.

Objection 3: Further, it may happen that the husband is baptized, and his wife not, for instance when he is converted from unbelief without his wife being converted. Now spiritual relationship cannot be contracted by one who is not baptized. Therefore it does not always pass from husband to wife.

Objection 4: Further, husband and wife together can raise a person from the sacred font, since no law forbids it. If therefore spiritual relationship passed from husband to wife, it would follow that each of them is twice godfather or godmother of the same individual: which is absurd.

On the contrary, Spiritual goods are more communicable than bodily goods. But the bodily consanguinity of the husband passes to his wife by affinity. Much more therefore does spiritual relationship.

I answer that, A may become co-parent with B in two ways. First, by the act of another (B), who baptizes A's child, or raises him in Baptism. In this way spiritual relationship does not pass from husband to wife, unless perchance it be his wife's child, for then she contracts spiritual relationship directly, even as her husband. Secondly, by his own act, for instance when he raises B's child from the sacred font, and thus spiritual relationship passes to the wife if he has already had carnal knowledge of her, but not if the marriage be not yet consummated, since they are not as yet made one flesh: and this is by way of a kind of affinity; wherefore it would seem on the same grounds to pass to a woman of whom he has carnal knowledge, though she be not his wife. Hence the verse: "I may not marry my own child's godmother, nor the mother of my godchild: but I may marry the godmother of my wife's child."

Reply to Objection 1: From the fact that corporal and spiritual union differ generically we may conclude that the one is not the other, but not that the one cannot cause the other, since things of different genera sometimes cause one another either directly or indirectly.

Reply to Objection 2: The godfather and godmother of the same person are not united in that person's spiritual birth save accidentally, since one of them would be self-sufficient for the purpose. Hence it does not follow from this that any spiritual relationship results between them whereby they are hindered from marrying one another. Hence the verse: "Of two co-parents one is always spiritual, the other carnal: this rule is infallible." On the other hand, marriage by itself makes husband and wife one flesh: wherefore the comparison fails.

Reply to Objection 3: If the wife be not baptized, the spiritual relationship will not reach her, because she is not a fit subject, and not because spiritual relationship cannot pass from husband to wife through marriage.

Reply to Objection 4: Since no spiritual relationship results between godfather and godmother, nothing prevents husband and wife from raising together someone from the sacred font. Nor is it absurd that the wife become twice godmother of the same person from different causes, just as it is possible for her to be connected in carnal relationship both by affinity and consanguinity to the same person.


Whether spiritual relationship passes to the godfather's carnal children?

Objection 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship does not pass to the godfather's carnal children. For no degrees are assigned to spiritual relationship. Yet there would be degrees if it passed from father to son, since the person begotten involves a change of degree, as stated above ([4983]Q[55], A[5]). Therefore it does not pass to the godfather's carnal sons.

Objection 2: Further, father and son are related in the same degree as brother and brother. If therefore spiritual relationship passes from father to son, it will equally pass from brother to brother: and this is false.

On the contrary, This is proved by authority quoted in the text (Sent. iv, D, 42).

I answer that, A son is something of his father and not conversely

(Ethic. viii, 12): wherefore spiritual relationship passes from father to his carnal son and not conversely. Thus it is clear that there are three spiritual relationships: one called spiritual fatherhood between godfather and godchild; another called co-paternity between the godparent and carnal parent of the same person; and the third is called spiritual brotherhood, between godchild and the carnal children of the same parent. Each of these hinders the contracting of marriage and voids the contract.

Reply to Objection 1: The addition of a person by carnal generation entails a degree with regard to a person connected by the same kind of relationship, but not with regard to one connected by another kind of relationship. Thus a son is connected with his father's wife in the same degree as his father, but by another kind of relationship. Now spiritual relationship differs in kind from carnal. Wherefore a godson is not related to his godfather's carnal son in the same degree as the latter's father is related to him, through whom the spiritual relationship is contracted. Consequently it does not follow that spiritual relationship admits of degrees.

Reply to Objection 2: A man is not part of his brother as a son is of his father. But a wife is part of her husband, since she is made one with him in body. Consequently the relationship does not pass from brother to brother, whether the brother be born before or after spiritual brotherhood.


OF LEGAL RELATIONSHIP, WHICH IS BY ADOPTION (THREE ARTICLES)

We must now consider legal relationship which is by adoption. Under this head there are three points of inquiry:

(1) What is adoption?

(2) Whether one contracts through it a tie that is an impediment to marriage?

(3) Between which persons is this tie contracted.


Whether adoption is rightly defined?

Objection 1: It would seem that adoption is not rightly defined: "Adoption is the act by which a person lawfully takes for his child or grandchild and so on one who does not belong to him." For the child should be subject to its father. Now, sometimes the person adopted does not come under the power of the adopter. Therefore adoption is not always the taking of someone as a child.

Objection 2: Further, "Parents should lay up for their children" (2 Cor. 12:14). But the adoptive father does not always necessarily lay up for his adopted child, since sometimes the adopted does not inherit the goods of the adopter. Therefore adoption is not the taking of someone as a child.

Objection 3: Further, adoption, whereby someone is taken as a child, is likened to natural procreation whereby a child is begotten naturally. Therefore whoever is competent to beget a child naturally is competent to adopt. But this is untrue, since neither one who is not his own master, nor one who is not twenty-five years of age, nor a woman can adopt, and yet they can beget a child naturally. Therefore, properly speaking, adoption is not the taking of someone as a child.

Objection 4: Further, to take as one's child one who is not one's own seems necessary in order to supply the lack of children begotten naturally. Now one who is unable to beget, through being a eunuch or impotent, suffers especially from the absence of children of his own begetting. Therefore he is especially competent to adopt someone as his child. But he is not competent to adopt. Therefore adoption is not the taking of someone as one's child.

Objection 5: Further, in spiritual relationship, where someone is taken as a child without carnal procreation, it is of no consequence whether an older person become the father of a younger, or "vice versa," since a youth can baptize an old man and "vice versa." Therefore, if by adoption a person is taken as a child without being carnally begotten, it would make no difference whether an older person adopted a younger, or a younger an older person; which is not true. Therefore the same conclusion follows.

Objection 6: Further, there is no difference of degree between adopted and adopter. Therefore whoever is adopted, is adopted as a child; and consequently it is not right to say that one may be adopted as a grandchild.

Objection 7: Further, adoption is a result of love, wherefore God is said to have adopted us as children through charity. Now we should have greater charity towards those who are connected with us than towards strangers. Therefore adoption should be not of a stranger but of someone connected with us.

I answer that, Art imitates nature and supplies the defect of nature where nature is deficient. Hence just as a man begets by natural procreation, so by positive law which is the art of what is good and just, one person can take to himself another as a child in likeness to one that is his child by nature, in order to take the place of the children he has lost, this being the chief reason why adoption was introduced. And since taking implies a term "wherefrom," for which reason the taker is not the thing taken, it follows that the person taken as a child must be a stranger. Accordingly, just as natural procreation has a term "whereto," namely the form which is the end of generation, and a term "wherefrom," namely the contrary form, so legal generation has a term "whereto," namely a child or grandchild, and a term "wherefrom," namely, a stranger. Consequently the above definition includes the genus of adoption, for it is described as a "lawful taking," and the term "wherefrom," since it is said to be the taking of "a stranger," and the term "whereto," because it says, "as a child or grandchild ."

Reply to Objection 1: The sonship of adoption is an imitation of natural sonship. Wherefore there are two species of adoption, one which imitates natural sonship perfectly, and this is called "arrogatio," whereby the person adopted is placed under the power of the adopter; and one who is thus adopted inherits from his adopted father if the latter die intestate, nor can his father legally deprive him of a fourth part of his inheritance. But no one can adopt in this way except one who is his own master, one namely who has no father or, if he has, is of age. There can be no adoption of this kind without the authority of the sovereign. The other kind of adoption imitates natural sonship imperfectly, and is called "simple adoption," and by this the adopted does not come under the power of the adopter: so that it is a disposition to perfect adoption, rather than perfect adoption itself. In this way even one who is not his own master can adopt, without the consent of the sovereign and with the authority of a magistrate: and one who is thus adopted does not inherit the estate of the adopter, nor is the latter bound to bequeath to him any of his goods in his will, unless he will. This suffices for the Reply to the Second Objection.

Reply to Objection 3: Natural procreation is directed to the production of the species; wherefore anyone in whom the specific nature is not hindered is competent to be able to beget naturally. But adoption is directed to hereditary succession, wherefore those alone are competent to adopt who have the power to dispose of their estate. Consequently one who is not his own master, or who is less than twenty-five years of age, or a woman, cannot adopt anyone, except by special permission of the sovereign.

Reply to Objection 4: An inheritance cannot pass to posterity through one who has a perpetual impediment from begetting: hence for this very reason it ought to pass to those who ought to succeed to him by right of relationship; and consequently he cannot adopt, as neither can he beget. Moreover greater is sorrow for children lost than for children one has never had. Wherefore those who are impeded from begetting need no solace for their lack of children as those who have had and have lost them, or could have had them but have them not by reason of some accidental impediment.

Reply to Objection 5: Spiritual relationship is contracted through a sacrament whereby the faithful are born again in Christ, in Whom there is no difference between male and female, bondman and free, youth and old age (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). Wherefore anyone can indifferently become another's godfather. But adoption aims at hereditary succession and a certain subjection of the adopted to the adopter: and it is not fitting that older persons should be subjected to younger in the care of the household. Consequently a younger person cannot adopt an older; but according to law the adopted person must be so much younger than the adopter, that he might have been the child of his natural begetting.

Reply to Objection 6: One may lose one's grandchildren and so forth even as one may lose one's children. Wherefore since adoption was introduced as a solace for children lost, just as someone may be adopted in place of a child, so may someone be adopted in place of a grandchild and so on.

Reply to Objection 7: A relative ought to succeed by right of relationship; and therefore such a person is not competent to be chosen to succeed by adoption. And if a relative, who is not competent to inherit the estate, be adopted, he is adopted not as a relative, but as a stranger lacking the right of succeeding to the adopter's goods.


Whether a tie that is an impediment to marriage is contracted through adoption?

Objection 1: It would seem that there is not contracted through adoption a tie that is an impediment to marriage. For spiritual care is more excellent than corporeal care. But no tie of relationship is contracted through one's being subjected to another's spiritual care: else all those who dwell in the parish would be related to the parish priest and would be unable to marry his son. Neither therefore can this result from adoption which places the adopted under the care of the adopter.

Objection 2: Further, no tie of relationship results from persons conferring a benefit on another. But adoption is nothing but the conferring of a benefit. Therefore no tie of relationship results from adoption.

Objection 3: Further, a natural father provides for his child chiefly in three things, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. viii, 11,12), namely by giving him being, nourishment and education; and hereditary succession is subsequent to these. Now no tie of relationship is contracted by one's providing for a person's nourishment and education, else a person would be related to his nourishers, tutors and masters, which is false. Therefore neither is any relationship contracted through adoption by which one inherits another's estate.

Objection 4: Further, the sacraments of the Church are not subject to human laws. Now marriage is a sacrament of the Church. Since then adoption was introduced by human law, it would seem that a tie contracted from adoption cannot be an impediment to marriage.

On the contrary, Relationship is an impediment to marriage. Now a kind of relationship results from adoption, namely legal relationship, as evidenced by its definition, for "legal relationship is a connection arising out of adoption." Therefore adoption results in a tie which is an impediment to marriage. Further, the same is proved by the authorities quoted in the text

(Sent. iv, D, 42).

I answer that, The Divine law especially forbids marriage between those persons who have to live together lest, as Rabbi Moses observes (Doc. Perp. iii, 49), if it were lawful for them to have carnal intercourse, there should be more room for concupiscence to the repression of which marriage is directed. And since the adopted child dwells in the house of his adopted father like one that is begotten naturally human laws forbid the contracting of marriage between the like, and this prohibition is approved by the Church. Hence it is that legal adoption is an impediment to marriage. This suffices for the Replies to the first three Objections, because none of those things entails such a cohabitation as might be an incentive to concupiscence. Therefore they do not cause a relationship that is an impediment to marriage.

Reply to Objection 4: The prohibition of a human law would not suffice to make an impediment to marriage, unless the authority of the Church intervenes by issuing the same prohibition.


Whether legal relationship is contracted only between the adopting father and the adopted child?

Objection 1: It would seem that a relationship of this kind is contracted only between the adopting father and the adopted child. For it would seem that it ought above all to be contracted between the adopting father and the natural mother of the adopted, as happens in spiritual relationship. Yet there is no legal relationship between them. Therefore it is not contracted between any other persons besides the adopter and adopted.

Objection 2: Further, the relationship that impedes marriage is a perpetual impediment. But there is not a perpetual impediment between the adopted son and the naturally begotten daughter of the adopted; because when the adoption terminates at the death of the adopter, or when the adopted comes of age, the latter can marry her. Therefore he was not related to her in such a way as to prevent him from marrying her.

Objection 3: Further, spiritual relationship passes to no person incapable of being a god-parent; wherefore it does not pass to one who is not baptized. Now a woman cannot adopt, as stated above (A[1], ad 2). Therefore legal relationship does not pass from husband to wife.

Objection 4: Further, spiritual relationship is stronger than legal. But spiritual relationship does not pass to a grandchild. Neither, therefore, does legal relationship.

On the contrary, Legal relationship is more in agreement with carnal union or procreation than spiritual relationship is. But spiritual relationship passes to another person. Therefore legal relationship does so also. Further, the same is proved by the authorities quoted in the text

(Sent. iv, D, 42).

I answer that, Legal relationship is of three kinds. The first is in the descending order as it were, and is contracted between the adoptive father and the adopted child, the latter's child grandchild and so on; the second is between the adopted child and the naturally begotten child; the third is like a kind of affinity, and is between the adoptive father and the wife of the adopted son, or contrariwise between the adopted son and the wife of the adoptive father. Accordingly the first and third relationships are perpetual impediments to marriage: but the second is not, but only so long as the adopted person remains under the power of the adoptive father, wherefore when the father dies or when the child comes of age, they can be married.

Reply to Objection 1: By spiritual generation the son is not withdrawn from the father's power, as in the case of adoption, so that the godson remains the son of both at the same time, whereas the adopted son does not. Hence no relationship is contracted between the adoptive father and the natural mother or father, as was the case in spiritual relationship.

Reply to Objection 2: Legal relationship is an impediment to marriage on account of the parties dwelling together: hence when the need for dwelling together ceases, it is not unreasonable that the aforesaid tie cease, for instance when he ceases to be under the power of the same father. But the adoptive father and his wife always retain a certain authority over their adopted son and his wife, wherefore the tie between them remains.

Reply to Objection 3: Even a woman can adopt by permission of the sovereign, wherefore legal relationship passes also to her. Moreover the reason why spiritual relationship does not pass to a non-baptized person is not because such a person cannot be a god-parent but because he is not a fit subject of spirituality.

Reply to Objection 4: By spiritual relationship the son is not placed under the power and care of the godfather, as in legal relationship: because it is necessary that whatever is in the son's power pass under the power of the adoptive father. Wherefore if a father be adopted the children and grandchildren who are in the power of the person adopted are adopted also.


OF THE IMPEDIMENTS OF IMPOTENCE, SPELL, FRENZY OR MADNESS, INCEST AND DEFECTIVE AGE (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must now consider five impediments to marriage, namely the impediments of impotence, spell, frenzy or madness, incest, and defective age. Under this head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether impotence is an impediment to marriage?

(2) Whether a spell is?

(3) Whether frenzy or madness is?

(4) Whether incest is?

(5) Whether defective age is?


Whether impotence is an impediment to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that impotence is not an impediment to marriage. For carnal copulation is not essential to marriage, since marriage is more perfect when both parties observe continency by vow. But impotence deprives marriage of nothing save carnal copulation. Therefore it is not a diriment impediment to the marriage contract.

Objection 2: Further, just as impotence prevents carnal copulation so does frigidity. But frigidity is not reckoned an impediment to marriage. Therefore neither should impotence be reckoned as such.

Objection 3: Further, all old people are frigid. Yet old people can marry. Therefore, etc.

Objection 4: Further, if the woman knows the man to be frigid when she marries him, the marriage is valid. Therefore frigidity, considered in itself, is not an impediment to marriage.

Objection 5: Further, calidity may prove a sufficient incentive to carnal copulation with one who is not a virgin, but not with one who is, because it happens to be so weak as to pass away quickly, and is therefore insufficient for the deflowering of a virgin. Or again it may move a man sufficiently in regard to a beautiful woman, but insufficiently in regard to an uncomely one. Therefore it would seem that frigidity, although it be an impediment in regard to one, is not an impediment absolutely.

Objection 6: Further, generally speaking woman is more frigid than man. But women are not debarred from marriage. Neither therefore should men be debarred on account of frigidity.

On the contrary, It is stated (Extra, De Frigidis et Malefic., cap. Quod Sedem): "Just as a boy who is incapable of marital intercourse is unfit to marry, so also those who are impotent are deemed most unfit for the marriage contract." Now persons affected with frigidity are the like. Therefore, etc. Further, no one can bind himself to the impossible. Now in marriage man binds himself to carnal copulation; because it is for this purpose that he gives the other party power over his body. Therefore a frigid person, being incapable of carnal copulation, cannot marry.

I answer that, In marriage there is a contract whereby one is bound to pay the other the marital debt: wherefore just as in other contracts, the bond is unfitting if a person bind himself to what he cannot give or do, so the marriage contract is unfitting, if it be made by one who cannot pay the marital debt. This impediment is called by the general name of impotence as regards coition, and can arise either from an intrinsic and natural cause, or from an extrinsic and accidental cause, for instance spell, of which we shall speak later [4984](A[2]). If it be due to a natural cause, this may happen in two ways. For either it is temporary, and can be remedied by medicine, or by the course of time, and then it does not void a marriage: or it is perpetual and then it voids marriage, so that the party who labors under this impediment remains for ever without hope of marriage, while the other may "marry to whom she will . . . in the Lord" (1 Cor. 7:39). In order to ascertain whether the impediment be perpetual or not, the Church has appointed a fixed time, namely three years, for putting the matter to a practical proof: and if after three years, during which both parties have honestly endeavored to fulfil their marital intercourse, the marriage remain unconsummated, the Church adjudges the marriage to be dissolved. And yet the Church is sometimes mistaken in this, because three years are sometimes insufficient to prove impotence to be perpetual. Wherefore if the Church find that she has been mistaken, seeing that the subject of the impediment has completed carnal copulation with another or with the same person, she reinstates the former marriage and dissolves the subsequent one, although the latter has been contracted with her permission. [*"Nowadays it is seldom necessary to examine too closely into this matter, as all cases arising from it are treated as far as possible under the form of dispensations of non-consummated marriages." Cf. Catholic Encyclopedia, article Canonical Impediments.]

Reply to Objection 1: Although the act of carnal copulation is not essential to marriage, ability to fulfill the act is essential, because marriage gives each of the married parties power over the other's body in relation to marital intercourse.

Reply to Objection 2: Excessive calidity can scarcely be a perpetual impediment. If, however, it were to prove an impediment to marital intercourse for three years it would be adjudged to be perpetual. Nevertheless, since frigidity is a greater and more frequent impediment

(for it not only hinders the mingling of seeds but also weakens the members which co-operate in the union of bodies), it is accounted an impediment rather than calidity, since all natural defects are reduced to frigidity.

Reply to Objection 3: Although old people have not sufficient calidity to procreate, they have sufficient to copulate. Wherefore they are allowed to marry, in so far as marriage is intended as a remedy, although it does not befit them as fulfilling an office of nature.

Reply to Objection 4: In all contracts it is agreed on all hands that anyone who is unable to satisfy an obligation is unfit to make a contract which requires the fulfilling of that obligation. Now this inability is of two kinds. First, because a person is unable to fulfill the obligation "de jure," and such inability renders the contract altogether void, whether the party with whom he contracts knows of this or not. Secondly, because he is unable to fulfill "de facto"; and then if the party with whom he contracts knows of this and, notwithstanding, enters the contract, this shows that the latter seeks some other end from the contract, and the contract stands. But if he does not know of it the contract is void. Consequently frigidity which causes such an impotence that a man cannot "de facto" pay the marriage debt, as also the condition of slavery, whereby a man cannot "de facto" give his service freely, are impediments to marriage, when the one married party does not know that the other is unable to pay the marriage debt. But an impediment whereby a person cannot pay the marriage debt "de jure," for instance consanguinity, voids the marriage contract, whether the other party knows of it or not. For this reason the Master holds (Sent. iv, D, 34) that these two impediments, frigidity and slavery, make it not altogether unlawful for their subjects to marry.

Reply to Objection 5: A man cannot have a perpetual natural impediment in regard to one person and not in regard to another. But if he cannot fulfill the carnal act with a virgin, while he can with one who is not a virgin, the hymeneal membrane may be broken by a medical instrument, and thus he may have connection with her. Nor would this be contrary to nature, for it would be done not for pleasure but for a remedy. Dislike for a woman is not a natural cause, but an accidental extrinsic cause: and therefore we must form the same judgment in its regard as about spells, of which we shall speak further on [4985](A[2]).

Reply to Objection 6: The male is the agent in procreation, and the female is the patient, wherefore greater calidity is required in the male than in the female for the act of procreation. Hence the frigidity which renders the man impotent would not disable the woman. Yet there may be a natural impediment from another cause, namely stricture, and then we must judge of stricture in the woman in the same way as of frigidity in the man.


Whether a spell can be an impediment to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that a spell cannot be an impediment to marriage. For the spells in question are caused by the operation of demons. But the demons have no more power to prevent the marriage act than other bodily actions; and these they cannot prevent, for thus they would upset the whole world if they hindered eating and walking and the like. Therefore they cannot hinder marriage by spells.

Objection 2: Further, God's work is stronger than the devil's. But a spell is the work of the devil. Therefore it cannot hinder marriage which is the work of God.

Objection 3: Further, no impediment, unless it be perpetual, voids the marriage contract. But a spell cannot be a perpetual impediment, for since the devil has no power over others than sinners, the spell will be removed if the sin be cast out, or by another spell, or by the exorcisms of the Church which are employed for the repression of the demon's power. Therefore a spell cannot be an impediment to marriage.

Objection 4: Further, carnal copulation cannot be hindered, unless there be an impediment to the generative power which is its principle. But the generative power of one man is equally related to all women. Therefore a spell cannot be an impediment in respect of one woman without being so also in respect of all.

On the contrary, It is stated in the Decretals (XXXIII, qu. 1, cap. iv): "If by sorcerers or witches . . . ," and further on, "if they be incurable, they must be separated." Further, the demons' power is greater than man's: "There is no power upon earth that can be compared with him who was made to fear no one"

(Job 41:24). Now through the action of man, a person may be rendered incapable of carnal copulation by some power or by castration; and this is an impediment to marriage. Therefore much more can this be done by the power of a demon.

I answer that, Some have asserted that witchcraft is nothing in the world but an imagining of men who ascribed to spells those natural effects the causes of which are hidden. But this is contrary to the authority of holy men who state that the demons have power over men's bodies and imaginations, when God allows them: wherefore by their means wizards can work certain signs. Now this opinion grows from the root of unbelief or incredulity, because they do not believe that demons exist save only in the imagination of the common people, who ascribe to the demon the terrors which a man conjures from his thoughts, and because, owing to a vivid imagination, certain shapes such as he has in his thoughts become apparent to the senses, and then he believes that he sees the demons. But such assertions are rejected by the true faith whereby we believe that angels fell from heaven, and that the demons exist, and that by reason of their subtle nature they are able to do many things which we cannot; and those who induce them to do such things are called wizards. Wherefore others have maintained that witchcraft can set up an impediment to carnal copulation, but that no such impediment is perpetual: hence it does not void the marriage contract, and they say that the laws asserting this have been revoked. But this is contrary to actual facts and to the new legislation which agrees with the old. We must therefore draw a distinction: for the inability to copulate caused by witchcraft is either perpetual and then it voids marriage, or it is not perpetual and then it does not void marriage. And in order to put this to practical proof the Church has fixed the space of three years in the same way as we have stated with regard to frigidity [4986](A[1]). There is, however this difference between a spell and frigidity, that a person who is impotent through frigidity is equally impotent in relation to one as to another, and consequently when the marriage is dissolved, he is not permitted to marry another woman. whereas through witchcraft a man may be rendered impotent in relation to one woman and not to another, and consequently when the Church adjudges the marriage to be dissolved, each party is permitted to seek another partner in marriage.

Reply to Objection 1: The first corruption of sin whereby man became the slave of the devil was transmitted to us by the act of the generative power, and for this reason God allows the devil to exercise his power of witchcraft in this act more than in others. Even so the power of witchcraft is made manifest in serpents more than in other animals according to Gn. 3, since the devil tempted the woman through a serpent.

Reply to Objection 2: God's work may be hindered by the devil's work with God's permission; not that the devil is stronger than God so as to destroy His works by violence.

Reply to Objection 3: Some spells are so perpetual that they can have no human remedy, although God might afford a remedy by coercing the demon, or the demon by desisting. For, as wizards themselves admit, it does not always follow that what was done by one kind of witchcraft can be destroyed by another kind, and even though it were possible to use witchcraft as a remedy, it would nevertheless be reckoned to be perpetual, since nowise ought one to invoke the demon's help by witchcraft. Again, if the devil has been given power over a person on account of sin, it does not follow that his power ceases with the sin, because the punishment sometimes continues after the fault has been removed. And again, the exorcisms of the Church do not always avail to repress the demons in all their molestations of the body, if God will it so, but they always avail against those assaults of the demons against which they are chiefly instituted.

Reply to Objection 4: Witchcraft sometimes causes an impediment in relation to all, sometimes in relation to one only: because the devil is a voluntary cause not acting from natural necessity. Moreover, the impediment resulting from witchcraft may result from an impression made by the demon on a man's imagination, whereby he is deprived of the concupiscence that moves him in regard to a particular woman and not to another.


Whether madness is an impediment to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that madness is not an impediment to marriage. For spiritual marriage which is contracted in Baptism is more excellent than carnal marriage. But mad persons can be baptized. Therefore they can also marry.

Objection 2: Further, frigidity is an impediment to marriage because it impedes carnal copulation, which is not impeded by madness. Therefore neither is marriage impeded thereby.

Objection 3: Further, marriage is not voided save by a perpetual impediment. But one cannot tell whether madness is a perpetual impediment. Therefore it does not void marriage.

Objection 4: Further, the impediments that hinder marriage are sufficiently contained in the verses given above ([4987]Q[50]). But they contain no mention of madness. Therefore, etc.

On the contrary, Madness removes the use of reason more than error does. But error is an impediment to marriage. Therefore madness is also. Further, mad persons are not fit for making contracts. But marriage is a contract. Therefore, etc.

I answer that, The madness is either previous or subsequent to marriage. If subsequent, it nowise voids the marriage, but if it be previous, then the mad person either has lucid intervals, or not. If he has, then although it is not safe for him to marry during that interval, since he would not know how to educate his children, yet if he marries, the marriage is valid. But if he has no lucid intervals, or marries outside a lucid interval, then, since there can be no consent without use of reason, the marriage will be invalid.

Reply to Objection 1: The use of reason is not necessary for Baptism as its cause, in which way it is necessary for matrimony. Hence the comparison fails. We have, however, spoken of the Baptism of mad persons ([4988]TP, Q[68], A[12]).

Reply to Objection 2: Madness impedes marriage on the part of the latter's cause which is the consent, although not on the part of the act as frigidity does. Yet the Master treats of it together with frigidity, because both are defects of nature (Sent. iv, D, 34).

Reply to Objection 3: A passing impediment which hinders the cause of marriage, namely the consent, voids marriage altogether. But an impediment that hinders the act must needs be perpetual in order to void the marriage.

Reply to Objection 4: This impediment is reducible to error, since in either case there is lack of consent on the part of the reason.


Whether marriage is annulled by the husband committing incest with his wife's sister?

Objection 1: It would seem that marriage is not annulled by the husband committing incest with his wife's sister. For the wife should not be punished for her husband's sin. Yet she would be punished if the marriage were annulled. Therefore, etc.

Objection 2: Further, it is a greater sin to know one's own relative, than to know the relative of one's wife. But the former sin is not an impediment to marriage. Therefore neither is the second.

Objection 3: Further, if this is inflicted as a punishment of the sin, it would seem, if the incestuous husband marry even after his wife's death, that they ought to be separated: which is not true.

Objection 4: Further, this impediment is not mentioned among those enumerated above ([4989]Q[50]). Therefore it does not void the marriage contract.

On the contrary, By knowing his wife's sister he contracts affinity, with his wife. But affinity voids the marriage contract. Therefore the aforesaid incest does also. Further, by whatsoever a man sinneth, by the same also is he punished. Now such a man sins against marriage. Therefore he ought to be punished by being deprived of marriage.

I answer that, If a man has connection with the sister or other relative of his wife before contracting marriage, even after his betrothal, the marriage should be broken off on account of the resultant affinity. If, however, the connection take place after the marriage has been contracted and consummated, the marriage must not be altogether dissolved: but the husband loses his right to marital intercourse, nor can he demand it without sin. And yet he must grant it if asked, because the wife should not be punished for her husband's sin. But after the death of his wife he ought to remain without any hope of marriage, unless he receive a dispensation on account of his frailty, through fear of unlawful intercourse. If, however, he marry without a dispensation, he sins by contravening the law of the Church, but his marriage is not for this reason to be annulled. This suffices for the Replies to the Objections, for incest is accounted an impediment to marriage not so much for its being a sin as on account of the affinity which it causes. For this reason it is not mentioned with the other impediments, but is included in the impediment of affinity.


Whether defective age is an impediment to marriage?

Objection 1: It would seem that deficient age is not an impediment to marriage. For according to the laws children are under the care of a guardian until their twenty-fifth year. Therefore it would seem that before that age their reason is not sufficiently mature to give consent, and consequently that ought seemingly to be the age fixed for marrying. Yet marriage can be contracted before that age. Therefore lack of the appointed age is not an impediment to marriage.

Objection 2: Further, just as the tie of religion is perpetual so is the marriage tie. Now according to the new legislation (cap. Non Solum, De regular. et transeunt.) no one can be professed before the fourteenth year of age. Therefore neither could a person marry if defective age were an impediment.

Objection 3: Further, just as consent is necessary for marriage on the part of the man, so is it on the part of the woman. Now a woman can marry before the age of fourteen. Therefore a man can also.

Objection 4: Further, inability to copulate, unless it be perpetual and not known, is not an impediment to marriage. But lack of age is neither perpetual nor unknown. Therefore it is not an impediment to marriage.

Objection 5: Further, it is not included under any of the aforesaid impediments ([4990]Q[50]), and consequently would seem not to be an impediment to marriage.

On the contrary, A Decretal (cap. Quod Sedem, De frigid et malefic.) says that "a boy who is incapable of marriage intercourse is unfit to marry." But in the majority of cases he cannot pay the marriage debt before the age of fourteen (De Animal. vii). Therefore, etc. Further, "There is a fixed limit of size and growth for all things in nature" according to the Philosopher (De Anima ii, 4): and consequently it would seem that, since marriage is natural, it must have a fixed age by defect of which it is impeded.

I answer that, Since marriage is effected by way of a contract, it comes under the ordinance of positive law like other contracts. Consequently according to law (cap. Tua, De sponsal. impub.) it is determined that marriage may not be contracted before the age of discretion when each party is capable of sufficient deliberation about marriage, and of mutual fulfilment of the marriage debt, and that marriages otherwise contracted are void. Now for the most part this age is the fourteenth year in males and the twelfth year in women: but since the ordinances of positive law are consequent upon what happens in the majority of cases, if anyone reach the required perfection before the aforesaid age, so that nature and reason are sufficiently developed to supply the lack of age, the marriage is not annulled. Wherefore if the parties who marry before the age of puberty have marital intercourse before the aforesaid age, their marriage is none the less perpetually indissoluble.

Reply to Objection 1: In matters to which nature inclines there is not required such a development of reason in order to deliberate, as in other matters: and therefore it is possible after deliberation to consent to marriage before one is able to manage one's own affairs in other matters without a guardian.

Reply to Objection 2: The same answer applies, since the religious vow is about matters outside the inclination of nature, and which offer greater difficulty than marriage.

Reply to Objection 3: It is said that woman comes to the age of puberty sooner than man does (De Animal. ix); hence there is no parallel between the two.

Reply to Objection 4: In this case there is an impediment not only as to inability to copulate, but also on account of the defect of the reason, which is not yet qualified to give rightly that consent which is to endure in perpetuity.

Reply to Objection 5: The impediment arising from defective age, like that which arises from madness, is reducible to the impediment of error; because a man has not yet the full use of his free-will.


OF DISPARITY OF WORSHIP AS AN IMPEDIMENT TO MARRIAGE (SIX ARTICLES)

We must now consider disparity of worship as an impediment to marriage. Under this head there are six points of inquiry:

(1) Whether a believer can marry an unbeliever?

(2) Whether there is marriage between unbelievers?

(3) Whether a husband being converted to the faith can remain with his wife if she be unwilling to be converted?

(4) Whether he may leave his unbelieving wife?

(5) Whether after putting her away he may take another wife?

(6) Whether a husband may put aside his wife on account of other sins as he may for unbelief?


Whether a believer can marry an unbeliever?

Objection 1: It would seem that a believer can marry an unbeliever. For Joseph married an Egyptian woman, and Esther married Assuerus: and in both marriages there was disparity of worship, since one was an unbeliever and the other a believer. Therefore disparity of worship previous to marriage is not an impediment thereto.

Objection 2: Further, the Old Law teaches the same faith as the New. But according to the Old Law there could be marriage between a believer and an unbeliever, as evidenced by Dt. 21:10 seqq.: "If thou go out to the fight . . . and seest in the number of the captives a beautiful woman and lovest her, and wilt have her to wife . . . thou shalt go in unto her, and shalt sleep with her, and she shall be thy wife." Therefore it is lawful also under the New Law.

Objection 3: Further, betrothal is directed to marriage. Now there can be a betrothal between a believer and an unbeliever in the case where a condition is made of the latter's future conversion. Therefore under the same condition there can be marriage between them.

Objection 4: Further, every impediment to marriage is in some way contrary to marriage. But unbelief is not contrary to marriage, since marriage fulfills an office of nature whose dictate faith surpasses. Therefore disparity of worship is not an impediment to marriage.

Objection 5: Further, there is sometime disparity of worship even between two persons who are baptized, for instance when, after Baptism, a person falls into heresy. Yet if such a person marry a believer, it is nevertheless a valid marriage. Therefore disparity of worship is not an impediment to marriage.

On the contrary, It is written (2 Cor. 6:14): "What concord hath light with darkness? [*Vulg.: 'What fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial?']" Now there is the greatest concord between husband and wife. Therefore one who is in the light of faith cannot marry one who is in the darkness of unbelief. Further, it is written (Malachi 2:11): "Juda hath profaned the holiness of the Lord, which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god." But such had not been the case if they could have married validly. Therefore disparity of worship is an impediment to marriage.

I answer that, The chief good of marriage is the offspring to be brought up to the worship of God. Now since education is the work of father and mother in common, each of them intends to bring up the child to the worship of God according to their own faith. Consequently if they be of different faith, the intention of the one will be contrary to the intention of the other, and therefore there cannot be a fitting marriage between them. For this reason disparity of faith previous to marriage is an impediment to the marriage contract.

Reply to Objection 1: In the Old Law it was allowable to marry with certain unbelievers, and forbidden with others. It was however especially forbidden with regard to inhabitants of the land of Canaan, both because the Lord had commanded them to be slain on account of their obstinacy, and because it was fraught with a greater danger, lest to wit they should pervert to idolatry those whom they married or their children, since the Israelites were more liable to adopt their rites and customs through dwelling among them. But it was permitted in regard to other unbelievers, especially when there could be no fear of their being drawn into idolatry. And thus Joseph, Moses, and Esther married unbelievers. But under the New Law which is spread throughout the whole world the prohibition extends with equal reason to all unbelievers. Hence disparity of worship previous to marriage is an impediment to its being contracted and voids the contract.

Reply to Objection 2: This law either refers to other nations with whom they could lawfully marry, or to the case when the captive woman was willing to be converted to the faith and worship of God.

Reply to Objection 3: Present is related to present in the same way as future to future. Wherefore just as when marriage is contracted in the present, unity of worship is required in both contracting parties, so in the case of a betrothal, which is a promise of future marriage, it suffices to add the condition of future unity of worship.

Reply to Objection 4: It has been made clear that disparity of worship is contrary to marriage in respect of its chief good, which is the good of the offspring.

Reply to Objection 5: Matrimony is a sacrament: and therefore so far as the sacramental essentials are concerned, it requires purity with regard to the sacrament of faith, namely Baptism, rather than with regard to interior faith. For which reason also this impediment is not called disparity of faith, but disparity of worship which concerns outward service, as stated above (Sent. iii, D, 9[4991], Q[1], A[1], qu. 1). Consequently if a believer marry a baptized heretic, the marriage is valid, although he sins by marrying her if he knows her to be a heretic: even so he would sin were he to marry an excommunicate woman, and yet the marriage would not be void: whereas on the other hand if a catechumen having right faith but not having been baptized were to marry a baptized believer, the marriage would not be valid.


Whether there can be marriage between unbelievers?

Objection 1: It would seem that there can be no marriage between unbelievers. For matrimony is a sacrament of the Church. Now Baptism is the door of the sacraments. Therefore unbelievers, since they are not baptized, cannot marry any more than they can receive other sacraments.

Objection 2: Further, two evils are a greater impediment to good than one. But the unbelief of only one party is an impediment to marriage. Much more, therefore, is the unbelief of both, and consequently there can be no marriage between unbelievers.

Objection 3: Further, just as there is disparity of worship between believer and unbeliever, so can there be between two unbelievers, for instance if one be a heathen and the other a Jew. Now disparity of worship is an impediment to marriage, as stated above [4992](A[1]). Therefore there can be no valid marriage at least between unbelievers of different worship.

Objection 4: Further, in marriage there is real chastity. But according to Augustine (De Adult. Conjug. i, 18) there is no real chastity between an unbeliever and his wife, and these words are quoted in the Decretals (XXVIII, qu. i, can. Sic enim.). Neither therefore is there a true marriage.

Objection 5: Further, true marriage excuses carnal intercourse from sin. But marriage contracted between unbelievers cannot do this, since "the whole life of unbelievers is a sin," as a gloss observes on Rom. 14:23, "All that is not of faith is sin." Therefore there is no true marriage between unbelievers.

On the contrary, It is written (1 Cor. 7:12): "If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she consent to dwell with him, let him not put her away." But she is not called his wife except by reason of marriage. Therefore marriage between unbelievers is a true marriage. Further, the removal of what comes after does not imply the removal of what comes first. Now marriage belongs to an office of nature, which precedes the state of grace, the principle of which is faith. Therefore unbelief does not prevent the existence of marriage between unbelievers.

I answer that, Marriage was instituted chiefly for the good of the offspring, not only as to its begetting&nb