Love God, serve God: everything is in that. --St. Clare of Assisi
QuoteDe qualificatione theologica sententiæ condemnatoriæ abusus matrimonii in encyclica "Casti Connubii": utrum sit solemnis definitio ex cathedra quod onanismus sit semper peccatum mortale. Quidam affirmabant esse dogma quia Pontifex adhibet verba satis solemnia. Certe ad solemnem definitionem requiruntur hæc elementa: quod loquatur ut supremus pastor et doctor, et quod velit adhibere supremam suam auctoritatem in pleno gradu. Quod hic loquatur ut supremus pastor et doctor patet; inquirendum restat utrum voluerit uti sua suprema auctoritate, ferendo sententiam definitivam. Sed, admisso quod non sit dogma fidei, tamen doctrina ab ea promulgata certe est infallibiliter vera ex hoc capite: quod Papa verbis solemnibus authentice significet doctrinam ex antiquis temporibus ab ordinario et universali magisterio constanter propositam ut tenendam et observandam.
Regarding the theological qualification of the condemnations against the abuses of matrimony in the encyclical Casti Connubii: whether contraception is always a mortal sin is a solemn ex cathedra definition. Some affirm it to be dogma because the Pontiff uses very solemn words. For a solemn definition, these elements are required: that he speak as supreme pastor and teacher, and that he wants to use his supreme authority in its full degree. It is clear that he speaks as supreme teacher and pastor in this encyclical; it remains to inquire whether he wanted to use his supreme authority, giving a definitive pronouncement. But, even if it is not a dogma of the faith, the doctrine he promulgated certainly is infallibly true because the Pope authoritatively and with solemn words expresses a moral doctrine that from ancient times the ordinary and universal magisterium has constantly proposed must be be held and observed.
[my translation with comparison to p. 18 of the Italian]
QuoteTHE SECOND STORY
Day the First
ABRAHAM THE JEW, AT THE INSTIGATION OF JEHANNOT DE CHEVIGNÉ, GOETH TO THE COURT OF ROME AND SEEING THE DEPRAVITY OF THE CLERGY, RETURNETH TO PARIS AND THERE BECOMETH A CHRISTIAN
Pamfilo's story was in part laughed at and altogether commended by the ladies, and it being come to its end, after being diligently hearkened, the queen bade Neifile, who sat next him, ensue the ordinance of the commenced diversion by telling one of her fashion. Neifile, who was distinguished no less by courteous manners than by beauty, answered blithely that she would well and began on this wise: "Pamfilo hath shown us in his story that God's benignness regardeth not our errors, when they proceed from that which is beyond our ken; and I, in mine, purpose to show you how this same benignness,--patiently suffering the defaults of those who, being especially bounden both with words and deeds to bear true witness thereof yet practise the contrary,--exhibiteth unto us an infallible proof of itself, to the intent that we may, with the more constancy of mind, ensue that which we believe.
As I have heard tell, gracious ladies, there was once in Paris a great merchant and a very loyal and upright man, whose name was Jehannot de Chevigné and who was of great traffic in silks and stuffs. He had particular friendship for a very rich Jew called Abraham, who was also a merchant and a very honest and trusty man, and seeing the latter's worth and loyalty, it began to irk him sore that the soul of so worthy and discreet and good a man should go to perdition for default of faith; wherefore he fell to beseeching him on friendly wise leave the errors of the Jewish faith and turn to the Christian verity, which he might see still wax and prosper, as being holy and good, whereas his own faith, on the contrary, was manifestly on the wane and dwindling to nought. The Jew made answer that he held no faith holy or good save only the Jewish, that in this latter he was born and therein meant to live and die, nor should aught ever make him remove therefrom.
Jehannot for all that desisted not from him, but some days after returned to the attack with similar words, showing him, on rude enough wise (for that merchants for the most part can no better), for what reasons our religion is better than the Jewish; and albeit the Jew was a past master in their law, nevertheless, whether it was the great friendship he bore Jehannot that moved him or peradventure words wrought it that the Holy Ghost put into the good simple man's mouth, the latter's arguments began greatly to please him; but yet, persisting in his own belief, he would not suffer himself to be converted. Like as he abode obstinate, even so Jehannot never gave over importuning him, till at last the Jew, overcome by such continual insistence, said, 'Look you, Jehannot, thou wouldst have me become a Christian and I am disposed to do it; insomuch, indeed, that I mean, in the first place, to go to Rome and there see him who, thou sayest, is God's Vicar upon earth and consider his manners and fashions and likewise those of his chief brethren. If these appear to me such that I may, by them, as well as by your words, apprehend that your faith is better than mine, even as thou hast studied to show me, I will do as I have said; and if it be not so, I will remain a Jew as I am.'
When Jehannot heard this, he was beyond measure chagrined and said in himself, 'I have lost my pains, which meseemed I had right well bestowed, thinking to have converted this man; for that, an he go to the court of Rome and see the lewd and wicked life of the clergy, not only will he never become a Christian, but, were he already a Christian, he would infallibly turn Jew again.' Then, turning to Abraham, he said to him, 'Alack, my friend, why wilt thou undertake this travail and so great a charge as it will be to thee to go from here to Rome? More by token that, both by sea and by land, the road is full of perils for a rich man such as thou art. Thinkest thou not to find here who shall give thee baptism? Or, if peradventure thou have any doubts concerning the faith which I have propounded to thee, where are there greater doctors and men more learned in the matter than are here or better able to resolve thee of that which thou wilt know or ask? Wherefore, to my thinking, this thy going is superfluous. Bethink thee that the prelates there are even such as those thou mayst have seen here, and indeed so much the better as they are nearer unto the Chief Pastor. Wherefore, an thou wilt be counselled by me, thou wilt reserve this travail unto another time against some jubilee or other, whereunto it may be I will bear thee company.' To this the Jew made answer, 'I doubt not, Jehannot, but it is as thou tellest me; but, to sum up many words in one, I am altogether determined, an thou wouldst have me do that whereof thou hast so instantly besought me, to go thither; else will I never do aught thereof.' Jehannot, seeing his determination, said, 'Go and good luck go with thee!' And inwardly assured that he would never become a Christian, when once he should have seen the court of Rome, but availing nothing in the matter, he desisted.
The Jew mounted to horse and as quickliest he might betook himself to the court of Rome, he was honourably entertained of his brethren, and there abiding, without telling any the reason of his coming, he began diligently to enquire into the manners and fashions of the Pope and Cardinals and other prelates and of all the members of his court, and what with that which he himself noted, being a mighty quick-witted man, and that which he gathered from others, he found all, from the highest to the lowest, most shamefully given to the sin of lust, and that not only in the way of nature, but after the Sodomitical fashion, without any restraint of remorse or shamefastness, insomuch that the interest of courtezans and catamites was of no small avail there in obtaining any considerable thing.
Moreover, he manifestly perceived them to be universally gluttons, wine-bibbers, drunkards and slaves to their bellies, brute-beast fashion, more than to aught else after lust. And looking farther, he saw them all covetous and greedy after money, insomuch that human, nay, Christian blood, no less than things sacred, whatsoever they might be, whether pertaining to the sacrifices of the altar or to the benefices of the church, they sold and bought indifferently for a price, making a greater traffic and having more brokers thereof than folk at Paris of silks and stuffs or what not else. Manifest simony they had christened 'procuration' and gluttony 'sustentation,' as if God apprehended not,--let be the meaning of words but,--the intention of depraved minds and would suffer Himself, after the fashion of men, to be duped by the names of things. All this, together with much else which must be left unsaid, was supremely displeasing to the Jew, who was a sober and modest man, and himseeming he had seen enough, he determined to return to Paris and did so.
As soon as Jehannot knew of his return, he betook himself to him, hoping nothing less than that he should become a Christian, and they greeted each other with the utmost joy. Then, after Abraham had rested some days, Jehannot asked him how himseemed of the Holy Father and of the cardinals and others of his court. Whereto the Jew promptly answered, 'Meseemeth, God give them ill one and all! And I say this for that, if I was able to observe aright, no piety, no devoutness, no good work or example of life or otherwhat did I see there in any who was a churchman; nay, but lust, covetise, gluttony and the like and worse (if worse can be) meseemed to be there in such favour with all that I hold it for a forgingplace of things diabolical rather than divine. And as far as I can judge, meseemeth your chief pastor and consequently all the others endeavour with all diligence and all their wit and every art to bring to nought and banish from the world the Christian religion, whereas they should be its foundation and support. And for that I see that this whereafter they strive cometh not to pass, but that your religion continually increaseth and waxeth still brighter and more glorious, meseemeth I manifestly discern that the Holy Spirit is verily the foundation and support thereof, as of that which is true and holy over any other. Wherefore, whereas, aforetime I abode obdurate and insensible to thine exhortations and would not be persuaded to embrace thy faith, I now tell thee frankly that for nothing in the world would I forbear to become a Christian. Let us, then, to church and there have me baptized, according to the rite and ordinance of your holy faith.'
Jehannot, who looked for a directly contrary conclusion to this, was the joyfullest man that might be, when he heard him speak thus, and repairing with him to our Lady's Church of Paris, required the clergy there to give Abraham baptism. They, hearing that the Jew himself demanded it, straightway proceeded to baptize him, whilst Jehannot raised him from the sacred font and named him Giovanni. After this, he had him thoroughly lessoned by men of great worth and learning in the tenets of our holy faith, which he speedily apprehended and thenceforward was a good man and a worthy and one of a devout life."
QuoteI suppose that in fury at my own impotence to aid my patients and particularly in anger at the egregious inequity in the availability of abortions, the germination of an idea began: the need to change the laws. There seemed no time for the luxury of contemplating the theoretical morality of abortion or the soundness of freedom of choice. Something simply had to be done.¹⁰
QuoteI was as enthusiastic and as cooperative a confederate as one could wish for in a revolutionary movement as profound as this one. Larry and I and others were to devote hundreds of hours of our free time to the cause in the coming years. I was almost yearning to be radicalized in a cause. This was 1967. The country was being racked by the Vietnam convulsion and challenges to authority seemed the order of the day, particularly in the intellectual breeding-grounds of the Northeast. Though I was forty, I believe that I secretly longed to be a part of the youth movement that was sweeping the country, demanding justice, pledging change, exalting "love." So my indignation, my rebellious nature, and an undeniable urge to "join the kids," combined to move me into the public arena.¹³
Quoteheld forth on that theme through most of the drive home. It was a comprehensive and chilling indictment of the poisonous influence of Catholicism in secular affairs from its inception until the day before yesterday. I was far from an admirer of the church's role in the world chronicle, but his insistent, uncompromising recitation brought to mind the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It passed through my mind that if one had substituted "Jewish" for "Catholic," it would have been the most vicious anti-Semitic tirade imaginable.¹⁸
QuoteIn the public mind Protestant America is America. and had Protestant opposition been organized and vociferous early on, permissive abortion might have been perceived as somehow anti-American, the spawn of a cadre of wild-eyed Jewish radicals in New York City.³⁶
Quotediscreetly ignored the carefully crafted bigotry we were peddling. Many media people were young college-educated liberal Catholics, just the kind we had succeeded in splitting off from the faithful flock, and they were not about to disgrace their newly-won spurs as intelligentsia by embarrassing the liberals with anything as crass as an accusation of prejudice. Prejudice was something evil directed at Jews and blacks. not Catholics. But had our fulminations been anti-Semitic or anti-black there would have been the most powerful keening in the media-strong enough to have destroyed NARAL.⁴⁰
Quote from: Kephapaulos on June 07, 2018, 11:40:17 AM2)Since virginity is more meritorious than married state ..., does that mean a married person can never reach the same highest potential level of merit in heaven itself as the highest potential level of merit in heaven for a celibate person or consecrated virgin?No, they can. See Summa Theologica II-II q. 152 a. 4 ad 2:
QuoteThough virginity is better than conjugal continence, a married person may be better than a virgin for two reasons. First, on the part of chastity itself; if to wit, the married person is more prepared in mind to observe virginity, if it should be expedient, than the one who is actually a virgin. Hence Augustine (De Bono Conjug. xxii) charges the virgin to say: "I am no better than Abraham, although the chastity of celibacy is better than the chastity of marriage." Further on he gives the reason for this: "For what I do now, he would have done better, if it were fitting for him to do it then; and what they did I would even do now if it behooved me now to do it." Secondly, because perhaps the person who is not a virgin has some more excellent virtue. Wherefore Augustine says (De Virgin. xliv): "Whence does a virgin know the things that belong to the Lord, however solicitous she be about them, if perchance on account of some mental fault she be not yet ripe for martyrdom, whereas this woman to whom she delighted in preferring herself is already able to drink the chalice of the Lord?"Our perfection consists chiefly in our degree of charity (cf. Theology of Christian Perfection by Royo Marín, O.P.). Marriage is a means toward this end, and continence/virginity/celibacy is a better, safer, more effective means toward this end.
Quote from: Kephapaulos on June 07, 2018, 11:40:17 AM(or the sacrament of Matrimony as such too?)See St. Robert in De Matrimonio p. 788:
Quotealiud est comparare statum cum statu, aliud, statum cum sacramento. Status continentiæ altior est statu Matrimonii et majoris gratiæ et meriti: Qui enim nubit, bene facit: qui non nubit, melius facit, 1. Corinth. 7. Sacramentum tamen semper auget gratiam, in quocumque statu suscipiatur. Quare continens dum Matrimonium contrahit, in gratia crescit sed si idem continens propter Deum nuptias humanas contempsisset, plus gratiæ apud Deum invenisset
it is one thing to compare a state with a state, another to compare a state with a sacrament. The state of continence is higher than the state of Matrimony and of greater grace and merit: For he who marries [i.e., "giveth his virgin in marriage"] does well: he who does not marry [i.e., "giveth her not" "in marriage"] does better, 1 Corinth. 7[:38]. But a sacrament always increases grace, in whatever state it is received. Wherefore when a continent person contracts Marriage, he grows in grace, but if this same continent person had contemned human marriage for God's sake, he would have found more grace with God
QuoteVirginity is good, I acknowledge this. And, furthermore, it is better than matrimony; I also acknowledge this. And if you like, I will add even more to this: Just as the heavens are to the earth, so are the angels to men. And it is necessary to add something further.
After all, the angels, since they do not take wives nor husbands, they are not made up of flesh and blood nor do they live on earth; they do not feel the stimuli of sensuality, they do not need to eat nor drink, they do not experience the attractiveness of sensual music nor the charm of beautiful bodies, nor other similar things. But just as the sky free from clouds shines magnificently at midday, so also the angelic nature, free from all concupiscence, necessarily remains lucid and radiant.
But the human lineage, although inferior to those spirits by nature, puts its own energies into play and strives with effort, as much as it can, to emulate them [the angels]. In what way? The angels do not marry. Neither does the virgin...
You see how excellent virginity is, and how it makes the dwellers of this earth similar to those citizens of heaven. And with the aid of non-material virtues, it does not permit the defeat of those who are clothed with flesh, making even those who are men emulators of the angels.
To you [heretics], the lot of the evil servants awaits you, while the virgins of the Church have reserved for themselves many and great possessions, which no eye as seen nor ear has heard, and no human understanding has grasped.
QuoteX. The detractor of marriage does harm to virginity.
3. Is virginity a good? Yes, I fully agree. But is it better than marriage? I agree with this, too. If you wish, I will illustrate the difference like this: virginity is as much superior to marriage as heaven is to earth, as the angels are to men, and, to use far stronger language, it is more superior still.
For the angels, if they do not marry and are not given in marriage, [cf. Matt 22:30 and Luke 20:36] are not a mixture of flesh and blood. They do not pass time on earth and endure trouble from the passions. They require neither food nor drink. Sweet song cannot appease them, nor can a radiant face win them over, nor any other such thing. Their natures of necessity remain transparent and brilliant, with no passion troubling them, like the heavens at high noon clear and undisturbed by any cloud.
XI. Virginity makes angels out of men who sincerely pursue it.
1. But mankind, inferior in its nature to blessed spirits, strains beyond its capacity and, in so far as it can, vies eagerly to equal the angels. How does it do that? Angels neither marry nor are given in marriage; [Matt. 22:30] this is true of the virgin. [...]
2. Do you grasp the value of virginity? that it makes those who spend time on earth live like the angels dwelling in heaven? It does not allow those endowed with bodies to be inferior to the incorporeal powers and spurs all men to rival the angels.
But this applies in no way to you [heretics], who dishonor so great a virtue, who slander the Lord and call him wicked. The punishment of painful slavery will await you; but the virgins of the Church will meet with many magnificent blessings that will surpass the comprehension of the human eye, ear and thought.
QuoteOnce this universe was created and disposed as much as possible for our respite and benefit, God shaped man, for whom He had created everything. Once man was formed, he lived in Paradise and while in that place there is no mention of marriage whatsoever. He needed a companion, so woman was given to him. But even so, matrimony still did not seem necessary. It still did not exist and they lived very happily in Paradise as if it were Heaven, without knowing marriage, rejoicing in the familiar treatment with God.
Far from their souls was the ardor of concupiscence, the desire for conception, the pains of birth and any lascivious thought; rather, they lived their lives adorned with virginity as if it were a transparent stream that flowed from a crystalline spring....
However, after that first period, they disobeyed the command of God and were transformed to dust and ashes. They also lost that happy life and the charm of virginity, which left them, abandoning them as God also abandoned them. When they were free from the slavery of the Devil and adored their Lord, they rejoiced in their virginity, which served as a greater adornment than the crowns and gilded robes of kings.
But, after falling captive, stripped of their regal garments and divested of their sacrality, they received as punishment the corruption of death, divine wrath, pain, a life of misery and, together with this, marriage appeared, this vesture of slavery and death. For, as St. Paul says, 'the man who has a woman must concern himself with the things of the world' (1 Cor 7:33) .
Quote3. When the whole world had been completed and all had been readied for our repose and use, God fashioned man for whom he made the world. After being fashioned, man remained in paradise and there was no reason for marriage. Man did need a helper, and she came into being; not even then did marriage seem necessary. It did not yet appear anywhere but they remained as they were without it. They lived in paradise as in heaven and they enjoyed God's company.cf. J. Duchassaing's French translation.
Desire for sexual intercourse, conception, labor, childbirth and every form of corruption had been banished from their souls. As a clear river shooting forth from a pure source, so were they in that place adorned by virginity.
5. [...] Nevertheless, nothing either thwarted or hindered that happy life, which was far better than this. But when they did not obey God and became earth and dust, they destroyed along with that blessed way of life the beauty of virginity, which together with God abandoned them and withdrew.3 As long as they were uncorrupted by the devil and stood in awe of their master, virginity abided with them. It adorned them more than the diadem and golden raiments do kings.
However, when they shed the princely raiment of virginity and laid aside their heavenly attire, they accepted the decay of death, ruin, pain, and a toilsome life. In their wake came marriage: marriage, a garment befitting mortals and slaves.
6. "But the married man is busy with this world's demands." [1 Cor. 7:33]
|Summus autem Pontifex [Gregorius XI] ea visa gavisus est, voluitque coram Cardinalibus, qui tunc aderant, quod verbum faceret exhortationis, potissime propter schisma, quod tunc incipiebat.||The Supreme Pontiff [Gregory XI] was clearly delighted to see her again and asked her to say a few words of encouragement to the Cardinals, especially with regard to the Schism, which had then just begun.|
|Quod et perfecte fecit, animando unumquemque eorum ad fortem constantiam verbis et sententiis plurimis, ac ostendendo divinam providentiam semper adesse cuilibet, sed potissime cum sancta Ecclesia patitur: et concludendo, quod propter inchoatum schisma in nullo trepidare deberent, sed agere quæ Dei sunt, et nullum timere.||[She] urged them with many arguments, which she expressed most felicitously, to be strong in constancy. She showed that divine providence is always with us, above all when the Church has to suffer, and ended by telling them not to be afraid of the schism that had just begun and to do the things of God and to fear no one.|
|[dixit Pontifex:] hæc muliercula nos confundit. Mulierculam autem voco, non in contemptum ejus sed in expressionem sexus feminei, naturaliter fragilis, et ad nostram instructionem.||[The Pope said:] A mere woman puts us to shame. I call her a 'mere woman', not out of disrespect, but with reference to her sex, which in itself is weak, and also for our own instruction.|
Quote5. Immaculatam semperque Virginem Mariam, Dei Genitricem hominumque Matrem*, ab Ecclesia singulariter colendam testificor, eiusque cultu genuino cultum Dei et Iesu Christi, non minui, immo potius augeri declaro.*Interesting he doesn't say "hominumque omnium Matrem" here, but he doesn't exclude it.
Quote3. Ac primum profiteor Deum personalem, rerum omnium principium et finem, naturali rationis lumine, per ea quae facta sunt, tamquam causam per effectus, certo cognosci adeoque demonstrari posse, eundemque ut Dominum supremum non tantum a singulis hominibus,* sed etiam a civili societate esse agnoscendum.***Against today's radical individualism!