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witty disputation on matrimony & priestly celibacy @ Council of Trent ☺

Started by Geremia, May 03, 2020, 05:27:56 PM

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I knew that the Council of Trent fathers engaged in mock debates to help themselves sharpen their dogmatic definitions, but I'd never read one until now:

Juan de Ludeña, O.P., Spaniard:
Ioannis Ludegnani de matrimonio et sacerdotum cœlibatu disputatio. 16. martii 1563.
[pp. 445-58 // PDF pp. 477-90 of Görres-Gesellschaft & Stephanus Ehses's Concilium Tridentinum (t. 9): Actorum pars sexta complectens acta post sessionem sextam (XXII) usque ad finem concilii (17 Sept. 1562 - 4 Dec. 1563), PDF courtesy my brother-in-law; please keep him, Esteban, in your prayers, that God reward his generosity!]

He wittily, humorously, and cogently defends Catholic teaching against an "iron-man" (not straw-man!) Calvin, even employing Hieronymian insults! (Fr. Cekada would've fit right in at Trent. ☺)
[ Ludegna.] O cæci insensatique Lutherani, quis fascinavit oculos vestros, si quidem fidem Dei evacuari docetis propter quorundam hominum infidelitatem? Dicite mihi, vertiginosi spiritus, si cœlibatum propter male servantes damnatis, cur matrimonium non damnatis propter infinitos coniuges adulteros, qui mutuo data fide sub matrimonio abutuntur? [...] [446.47:] Cur obmutescis, Calvine, cur non respondes?
Non obmutesco, ait Calvinus, [...]

{O blind and insensate Lutherans, what fascinates your eyes, if assuredly you teach to evacuate the faith of God because of the infidelity of some men? Tell me, you giddy souls, if you condemn celibacy because of those who poorly observe it, why do you not condemn matrimony because of adulterous marrieds, who mutually pledge in the faith to misuse matrimony? [...] Why do you remain silent, Calvin; why do you not respond?
I don't remain mute, Calvin said...}

So Cervantesque or Shakespearean! (Shakespeare referenced Trent in Hamlet II, 2: "Out, out, thou strumpet Fortune! / All you gods [council fathers], In general synod take away her power". Amen!)
De Ludeña, O.P., outlines 5 propositions he will prove:

Sit  primus articulus: Matrimonium fidelium est donum Dei supernaturale, gratiæ promissionem habens.
Secundus: Cœlibatus iure divino est anteponendus matrimonio, et abundantiorem gratiam tribuit Deus vitam cœlibem profitentibus quam coniugibus.
Tertius: Si nullæ leges ecclesiasticæ aut nulla essent vota monastica, liceret quidem sacerdotibus et monachis contrahere; numquam tamen expediret nisi forte in casu magnæ necessitatis.
Quartus: Pauci continent, quia pauci volunt continere.
Quintus: Lex de cœlibatu sacerdotum valde multum honorat nuptias, tantum abest ut damnet, sicut Lutherani impie dicunt.

{The first article is: Matrimony among the faithful is a supernatural gift of God, having the promise of grace.
Second: Celibacy is by divine law to be placed before matrimony, and God grants more abundant grace to those professing the celibate than conjugal life.
Third: If there were no ecclesiastical laws or monastic vows, it would be lawful for some priests or monks to contract [matrimony]: but it would not be expedient, except in in cases of great necessity.
Fourth: Few are continent because few want to be continent.
Fifth: The law of priestly celibacy very much honors marriage, far from condemning it, as the Lutherans impiously say.}

cf. Council of Trent, sess. 24, can. 10