"Omnis enim res quæ dando non deficit, dum habetur et non datur, nondum habetur quomodo habenda est." ("For a possession which is not diminished by being shared with others, if it is possessed and not shared, is not yet possessed as it ought to be possessed.") —St. Augustine, De doctrina Christiana lib. 1 cap. 1

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Does the Devil have rights?

Started by Geremia, June 01, 2020, 06:24:02 PM

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Re: the ransom theory of atonement:
Rivière, Le Dogme de la Rédemption, vol. 2 pp. 111:
QuoteThe question arose as follows: God and Satan are as it were two masters who contend for the possession of mankind. Hence men by departing from God fell under Satan's power, by whom they are now kept in bondage. As, moreover, men had fallen into his power, not unwillingly, but of their own choice, may we not say that the Devil has over them a real right, a right of property and a right of conquest? Hence, when God decided to free Satan's captives, was He not bound in justice to recognize and take into consideration the Devil's rights? Many of the Fathers [e.g., St. Irenæus, Origen, and St. Gregory of Nyssa] answered this question affirmatively.
"Error has no rights," as Abp. Lefebvre said; so why should the Devil?

St. Augustine makes much more sense (quoted in Pohle vol. 5):
QuoteIt pleased God that in order to the rescuing of man from the power of the Devil, the Devil should be conquered, not by might, but by righteousness.... What, then, is the righteousness by which the Devil was conquered? What, except the righteousness of Christ? In this redemption the blood of Christ was given, as it were, as a price for us, by accepting which the Devil was not enriched, but bound, that we might be loosed from his bonds.


Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Diuturnum on the origin of civil power says the "authority" is "null" for those whose will "is opposed to the will and the laws of God":
Quote15. The one only reason which men have for not obeying is when anything is demanded of them which is openly repugnant to the natural or the divine law, for it is equally unlawful to command to do anything in which the law of nature or the will of God is violated. If, therefore, it should happen to any one to be compelled to prefer one or the other, viz., to disregard either the commands of God or those of rulers, he must obey Jesus Christ, who commands us to "give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's,"(Matt. 22:21) and must reply courageously after the example of the Apostles: "We ought to obey God rather than men."(Acts 5:29) And yet there is no reason why those who so behave themselves should be accused of refusing obedience; for, if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, they themselves exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice; nor can their authority then be valid, which, when there is no justice, is null.
Thus, the Devil, who opposes the will of God, has no authority.
Or can it be said the Devil (partially) does God's will?