February 19, 2019, 05:07:31 PM

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Dogma & Doctrine / Re: Can an unborn infant be ma...
Last post by Geremia - February 09, 2019, 02:35:42 PM
De Sacramento Baptismi p. 166, first full ¶:
Quote from: St. Robert BellarmineSome [who argue martyrdom alone cannot justify] respond that the Innocents were circumcised, hence justified before martyrdom. But this is not so. For it is uncertain whether they were all circumcised; nay, it is very probable and almost certain not all were circumcised. For Herod killed all the children who were in Bethlehem and its environs; he did not command only the children of Jews but utterly all be killed: and perhaps not a few Gentiles were among them. Moreover, he ordered that all infants two years and younger be killed, hence even those who were not yet 8 days old, who alone can be circumcised. Still, it is not de fide that circumcision justifies, and yet the Church certainly believes that absolutely all those infants are saved. Further, the Church not only believes the Innocents are saved but even honors them as martyrs; therefore, suffering for Christ conveys something to them ex opere operato. Nor is Scotus's argument that this is a privilege of children count: for it is asserted without any grounds. For if martyrdom profits infants ex opere operato, why not adults? Certainly the martyrdom of adults is no less powerful and efficacious than of infants; rather, it is more powerful, more noble, and more efficacious.
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Anti-Modernism / Mixed Marriages & Ecumenism
Last post by Geremia - February 08, 2019, 10:49:29 AM
One striking difference between the Vatican II Preparatory Commission's schemas and the final Vatican II documents is what On chastity, marriage, the family, and virginity has to say about mixed marriages:
Quote from: Vatican II Preparatory Commission document «De castitate et al.»21. Mixed Marriages Where a marriage between two Catholics can be contracted without extraordinary difficulties, the good of religion for the most part requires that Catholic men and women avoid so-called mixed marriages, especially with unbelievers. But the faithful also have the duty, in accordance with the dictates of prudence and the other virtues, to avoid marriage with those who are opposed to God or religion or with those who are Catholics in name but not in life. Although the Church, using her power, may permit mixed marriages, nevertheless the Catholic party, as divine law dictates, must in the conceded mixed marriage avoid dangers to the faith and indifferentism, must always carefully see to the Catholic education of the children, and lovingly and prudently try to bring the spouse to the Catholic truth. Pastors should take special care for those who are joined in a mixed marriage. The Sacred Synod knows that in some places mixed marriages cannot be avoided, but from the fact that this can happen in some places false principles or dangerous inducements should not be deduced.

... It also rebukes those who say, and indeed under the pretext of benefitting the Church, that mixed marriages are generally and in themselves to be fostered rather than tolerated. That position is also mistaken which maintains that a marriage can be declared invalid or dissolved solely because of a failure of love. ...
Quote from: fn 34Pius VII, Brief Etsi fraternitatis, October 8, 1803 (CIC Fontes, II, p. 718):
Quote from: Pius VII, Brief, «Etsi fraternitatis», October 8, 1803And the first of these is that the Catholic Church has always forbidden and rejected as illicit, pernicious and detestable the marriages of Catholics with heretics, as we could demonstrate from innumerable decrees of Councils and of Supreme Pontiffs.... And although in some areas because of difficulties of time and place, such marriages may be tolerated, this should be considered to be an equanimity which in no way implies approval or consent but mere patience, necessary but not voluntary, in order to avoid greater evils...;
collate this with many other documents, especially those listed in the note to D 1499 and in the note to CIC c. 1060. With regard to canons 10 and 31 of the Council of Laodicea (Mansi II, 565 and 570), it should be noted that they are to be interpreted in the light of the whole teaching of the Council, which did not even permit the faithful to pray with heretics and schismatics.
Vatican II threw this teaching out due to Vatican II's promotion of the heresy of ecumenism.

1917 CIC c. 1060 says:
Quote from: Canon 1060Most severely does the Church prohibit everywhere that marriage be entered into by two baptized persons, one of whom is Catholic, and the other belonging to a heretical or schismatic sect; indeed, if there is a danger of perversion to the Catholic spouse and children, that marriage is forbidden even by divine law.
The 1983 Code on mixed marriages is much, much more lenient.
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Dogma & Doctrine / Can an unborn infant be martyr...
Last post by Geremia - February 07, 2019, 02:30:23 PM
Pope Benedict XIV Doctrina de servorum Dei beatificatione et beatorum canonizatione lib. 3 cap. 15 "De requisitis in martyre necessariis ante martyrium":
QuoteMartyrium dicitur baptismus sanguinis Marc. 10. In adultis est actus fortitudinis, et caritatis : quoad infantes, sufficit occisos fuisse ex odio in Christum, ut martyrium suppleat vices baptismi aquæ, deleatque ex opere operato peccatum originale quoad culpam, et poenam, ut docet S. Thomas (2, 2, qu. 124, art. 1 ad 1)
However, he denies it:
QuoteImmo id ipsum extendunt ad infantes in uteris maternis occisos.
because someone never born once cannot be reborn in Christ (Jn. 3:3).

What constitutes killing out of hatred of Christ (ex odio in Christum) is not as restrictive as some may think. As Cdl. Billot, S.J. (De ecclesiæ sacramentis t. 1 p. 242) mentions, a "formal hatred of Christ and His religion" is not necessary, as some emperors who martyred did so only out of motives of ignorance of Christianity, upholding civil law, or public opinion; however, they did target Christians specifically.

Cdl. Cajetan, O.P., in his commentary on III q. 68 a. 11 ("Whether a child can be baptized while yet in its mother's womb?") is even more explicit, saying that even in utero infants can be martyrs like the Holy Innocents:
QuoteSi enim propter Christum infans in utero occideretur, martyr esset, non minus quam Innocentes.
The context is that "parvulos in maternis uteris periclitantes posse salvari" ("children in peril in the mother's womb can be saved"):
QuotePosse autem salvari dico per sacramentum baptismi, non in re, sed in voto parentum susceptum, cum aliqua benedictione prolis seu oblatione ipsius ad Deum, cum invocatione Trinitatis.
[I say the child can be saved by the sacrament of baptism, not in re, but received in voto of the parents, with some blessing of the child or offering him to God, invoking the Trinity.]
(1917 Code of Canon law cans. 746-748 is along the same spirit.)
In support of this, he gives two arguments:
  • God's mercy provides for man in any state he may be in, and
  • since they can be martyred (baptized by blood), it is reasonable that the parents' will can also bring them to the same end.

cf. these other sources indirectly related to this question: Pope St. Gregory the Great, St. Robert Bellarmine, and Vatican II preparatory commission
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General Discussion / felix festum desponsationis B....
Last post by Geremia - January 22, 2019, 05:38:26 PM
the text of the missa desponsationis B.V.M., which, although never a universal feast, was celebrated (mostly) on 23 January:

Introitus. Lætare filia Ierusalem et exulta: lætare in die desponsationis tuæ: et in die lætitiæ cordis tui. ps. Quam pulchri sunt gressus tui filia principis? quam pulchra es: et quam decora carissima in deliciis? ℣. Gloria Patri, et Filio.
Oratio. Deus, qui beatissimam filii tui genitricem Mariam: ut virginalis partus eius, viri honestaretur consortio: Ioseph iusto desponsari voluisti: da nobis quæsemus: et tanti coniugii mysterium digne celebrare in terris: et de Christi et Ecclesiæ unione: in matrimonii fœdere figurata: perpetuo gaudere in cælis. Per eundem Christum.
Lectio Esaiæ prophete. [lxii. 1-6.]
Graduale Missus est Gabriel angelus a Deo in civitatem Galilaee: cui nomen Nazareth: ad virginem desponsatam viro: cui nomen era Ioseph: de domo David. ℣. Et nomen virginis Maria: et ingressus Angelus ad eam, dixit: Ave gratia plena: Dominus tecum. Alleluia, alleluia. ℣. Tota pulchra es amica nostra: et macula non est in te: Veni de Libano sponsa: veni de Libano: veni, coronaberis: alleluia.
Tractus. Gaude Maria virgo: sponsa Dei altissimi. ℣. Quæ pro tutamine partus tui sanctissimi. ℣. Iuncta connubio Ioseph: viri iustissimi. ℣. Fuisti exemplum thalami purissimi. ℣. Dei genitrix intercede pro nobis.
Sequentia sancti evangelii secundum Mattheum. ca. 2. [i. 18-22.]
Offertorium. Exurgens autem Ioseph a somno: fecit sicut præceperat ei angelus: et accepit Mariam coniugem suam.
Secreta. Sacrificii huius oblationem et hostiam tibi quæsemus omnipotens Deus: beatæ Mariæ virginis, filii tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi genitricis, precatio sancta conciliet: ut sacrum munus, quod altari tuo sancto, pro salute nostra offerri præcepisti: tam pie matris favore intercedente: tue sit placitum maiestati. Per eundem Dominum nostrum Iesum christum filium tuum.
Communio. Hortus conclusus sponsa et semper virgo Maria: hortus conclusus: fons signatus: fons: hortorum: puteus aquarum viventium: quæ fluunt impetu de Libano.
Postcommunio. Multiplicata Domine Iesu Christe misericordiam tuam super nos: et sacrosanctum hæc sacrificium: ad laudem, et honorem beatissimæ genetricis tuæ: suppliciter tibi oblatum: benigno favore prosequere, ut per idipsum animas nostras in regno cælestis perpetuum in holocaustum tibi offerre, et sacrificare valeamus. Qui vivis et regnas.

Here's the officium desponsationis beatae Virginis Mariae cvm Sancto Joseph.
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General Discussion / Happy feast of St. Cecilia!
Last post by Geremia - November 22, 2018, 05:57:03 AM
Happy feast of St. Cecilia (and Valerian), the first incorruptible, the only married virgin martyr Fr. Cornelius à Lapide, S.J., lists in his commentary on 1 Cor. 7:5, and the patroness of sacred music (cf. Philharmonia Baroque's Scarlatti Cecilian Vespers, esp. the antiphon Cantantibus organis, which she sung in her heart while marrying Valerian)!

QuoteCantántibus organis, Cæcília virgo in corde suo soli Dómino decantábat, dicens: Fiat, Dómine, cor meum et corpus meum immaculátum, ut non confúndar.
Also from matins today, lectio 4:
QuoteCæcília, Virgo Romana, nobili genere nata, a prima ætate christianæ fidei præceptis instituta, virginitátem suam Deo vovit. Sed, cum póstea, contra suam voluntátem, data esset in matrimónium Valeriáno, prima nuptiárum nocte hunc cum eo sermónem hábuit: Ego, Valeriane, in Angeli tutela sum, qui virginitátem meam custódit; quare ne quid in me committas, quo ira Dei in te concitétur. Quibus verbis commótus Valerianus, illam attingere non est ausus; quin étiam addidit se in Christum crediturum, si eum Angelum vidéret. Cui Cæcília cum sine baptismo negaret id fíeri posse, incénsus cupiditate vidéndi Angelum, se baptizari velle respóndit. Quare hortatu Vírginis ad Urbanum Papam, qui propter persecutiónem in Mártyrum sepúlcris via Appia latebat, veniens, ab eo baptizátur.
 

See also Dom Guéranger's biography of her and Maderno's beautiful sculpture Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia:


Sancta Cæcilia, ora pro nobis!
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Anti-Modernism / Novus Ordo's eviscerated offic...
Last post by Geremia - October 27, 2018, 03:35:26 PM
QuoteThe Breviary Office of Christ the King

The hymn Te saeculorum Principem of First Vespers has had the following verses omitted:

                    The wicked mob screams out.
                    "We don't want Christ as king,"
                    While we, with shouts of joy, hail
                    Thee as the world's supreme King.
                    May the rulers of the world publicly
                    honour and extol Thee;
                    May teachers and judges reverence Thee;
                    May the laws express Thine order
                    And the arts reflect Thy beauty.
                    May kings find renown in their submission
                    and dedication to Thee.
                    Bring under Thy gentle rule our
                    country and our homes.
                    Glory be to Thee, Jesus, supreme over
                    All secular authorities;
                    And glory be to the Father and
                    The loving Spirit through endless ages.

The hymn Aeterna Imago Altissimi has been transferred from Matins to Lauds, and the following changes made. The last two lines of the second verse stated that the Father had entrusted to Christ, as His right, "absolute dominion over the peoples" (Cui iure sceptrum gentium Pater supremum credidit). This has been replaced by an admonition that we, as individuals, should willingly submit ourselves to Christ (tibi volentes subdimur qui iure cunctis imperas).

The following verses have, not surprisingly, been omitted completely:

                    To Thee, Who by right claim rule over all men,
                    We willingly submit ourselves;
                    To be subject to Thy laws
                    Means happiness for a state and its peoples.
                    Glory be to Thee, Jesus,
                    Supreme over all secular authorities;
                    And glory be to the Father and
                    The loving Spirit through endless ages.

A version of the Vexilla Regis has been abolished completely. Originally found in Lauds, some of its verses read:

                    Christ triumphantly unfurls His
                    Glorious banners everywhere;
                    Come nations of the world, and
                    On bended knee acclaim the King of kings.
                    How great is the happiness of a country
                    That rightly owns the rule of Christ and
                    Zealously carries out the commands God gave to men.
                    The plighted word keeps marriage unbroken,
                    The children grow up with virtue intact and
                    Homes where purity is found
                    Abound also in the other virtues of home life.
                    Beloved King, may the light from Thee
                    That we desire, shine on us in all its glory;
                    May the world receive the gift of peace,
                    Be subject to Thee and adore Thee.

A number of readings from Quas primas itself were included in the Office, and they explained the traditional teaching on Church and State with great clarity. They have all been removed, showing how blatantly the compilers of the new Breviary went about their task of eliminating liturgical references to the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The removal of these readings from Quas primas must certainly be seen as an affront to the memory and the teaching of Pope Pius XI, at whose behest the Office had been composed only forty years earlier, with the specific aim of reminding rulers that they are bound to give public honour and obedience to Our Lord. Could this great Pope possibly have imagined that within four decades he would have a successor who would totally mutilate the Office that he had approved so recently, and that this mutilation would have the objective of removing any suggestion that rulers are bound to give honour and obedience to Our Lord? Pope Paul VI stated explicitly to the rulers of the world that the Church asked no more of them than freedom to pursue its mission.

The thoroughness with which Archbishop Bugnini's Consilium expunged every specific expression of Our Lord's Social Kingship from the liturgy can hardly be denied. Its members did not even miss a reference to Our Lord's Social Kingship in the Good Friday liturgy. The first of the Solemn Collects, the one for the Church, read:
QuoteLet us pray, dearly beloved, for the holy Church of God: that our God and Lord may be pleased to give it peace, keep its unity and preserve it throughout the world: subjecting to it principalities and powers, and may He grant us, while we live in peace and tranquillity, grace to glorify God the Father almighty.

This prayer has been replaced by the following:
QuoteLet us pray, dear friends, for the holy Church of God throughout the World,
that God, the almighty Father guide it, and gather it together
so that we may worship him in peace and tranquillity.

Lest anyone should imagine that an undue significance has been placed upon changes in the Breviary and Missal relating to the doctrine of Christ the King, a comment by Archbishop A. Bugnini, Great Architect of the Liturgical Revolution, should prove very illuminating.
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Catholic Resources / 1939 Dominican travel missal I...
Last post by Geremia - October 09, 2018, 01:52:52 PM
A Dominican friar recently published a reprint of a 1939 Dominican Rite travel missal! Deo gratias!
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General Discussion / Catholic Amendments to US Cons...
Last post by Geremia - October 04, 2018, 07:23:39 AM
Quote from: afterword of Charles Coulombe's «Puritan's Empire»Blanshard declared that American Catholics had a hidden agenda to "subject" this nation to the Church's social teachings. We have seen the great outrage this brought about in U.S. Catholic circles, and the resulting dispute between Frs. John Courtney Murray [author of Vatican II's Dignitatis Humanæ] and Joseph C. Fenton regarding relations between Church and State. But Blanshard had outlined what he believed would become of the vaunted American Democracy, did the Catholics gain political power. This was a list of three amendments to the Constitution. [source] The first he called the "Christian Commonwealth Amendment:"
  • The United States [are] a Catholic Republic, and the Catholic Apostolic and Roman religion is the sole religion of the nation.
  • The authority of the Roman Catholic Church is the most exalted of all authorities; nor can it be looked upon as inferior to the power of the United States government, or in any manner dependent upon it, since the Catholic Church as such is a sovereign power.
  • Priests and members of religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church who violate the law are to be tried by an ecclesiastical court of the Roman Catholic Church, and may, only with the consent of the competent Catholic authority, be tried by the courts of the United States or the states.
  • Apostate priests or those incurring the censure of the Roman Catholic Church incurring the censure of the Roman Catholic Church cannot be employed in any teaching post or any office or employment in which they have immediate contact with the public.
  • Non-Catholic faiths are tolerated, but public ceremonies and manifestations other than those of the Roman Catholic religion will not be permitted.
  • The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
This shocker was to be followed up by the "Christian Education Amendment:"
  • American religious education belongs pre-eminently to the Roman Catholic Church, by means of a double title in the supernatural order, conferred exclusively upon her by God Himself.
  • The Roman Catholic Church has the inalienable right to supervise the entire education of her children in all educational institutions in the United States, public or private, not merely in regard to the religious instruction given in such institutions, but in regard to every other branch of learning and every regulation in so far as religion and morality are concerned.
  • Compulsory education in public schools exclusively shall be unlawful in any state of the union.
  • It shall be unlawful for any neutral or non-Catholic school to enroll any Catholic child without permission of the Church.
  • Since neutral schools are contrary to the fundamental principles of education, public schools in the United States are lawful only when both religious instruction and every other subject taught are permeated with Catholic piety.
  • The governments of the United States and of the States are permitted to operate their own schools for military and civic training without supervision by the Roman Catholic Church, provided they do not injure the rights of said Church, and provided that only the Roman Catholic Church shall have the power to impart religious instruction in such schools.
  • With due regard to special circumstances, co-education shall be unlawful in any educational institution in the United States whose students have attained the age of adolescence.
  • The governments of the United States and of the states shall encourage and assist the Roman Catholic Church by appropriate measures in the exercise of the Church's supreme mission as educator.
Then at last came the "Christian Family Amendment:"
  • The government of the United States, desirous of restoring to the institution of matrimony, which is the basis of the family, that dignity conformable to the traditions of its people, assigns as civil effects of the sacrament of matrimony all that is assigned to it by the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • No matrimonial contract in the United States that involves a Catholic can be valid unless it is in accordance with the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Marriages of non-Catholics are subject to the civil authority of the state, but all civil laws that contradict the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church are hereby declared null and void.
  • All marriages are indissoluble, and the divorce of all persons is prohibited throughout the territory of the United States: provided that nothing herein shall affect the right of annulment and remarriage in accordance with the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Attempted mixed marriages or unions between members of the Roman Catholic Church and non-Catholics are null and void, unless a special dispensation is obtained from the ecclesiastical authority of the Catholic Church.
  • Birth Control, or any act that deliberately frustrates the natural power to generate life, is a crime.
  • Direct abortion is murder of the innocent even when performed through motives of misguided pity when the life of a mother is gravely imperiled.
  • Sterilization of any human being is except as an infliction of grave punishment under the authority of the government for a crime committed.
This supposed "Catholic Master Plan" for America received much criticism from Catholic and non-Catholic critics of Blanshard alike. But Blanshard rightly defended it, declaring (p. 305):
Quote from: BlanshardI remember a verse from Job which is appropriate at this moment: "If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me." That is meant for Catholic liberals whose temperature has been rising while they have been reading these three amendments. As most of my readers have doubtless guessed, there is not a single original word in my entire three Catholic amendments. They are mosaics of official Catholic doctrine. Every concept, almost every line and phrase, has been plagiarized line by line from Catholic documents. The most important phrases are derived from the highest documents [sic!] of Catholicism, the encyclicals of the Popes. The provisions on education come from Pius XI's Christian Education of Youth [Divini Illius Magistri], and those on family life from his Casti Connubii, both of them accepted universally in the Catholic Church as the Bibles of present-day educational and family policy. A few provisions are taken directly from Canon Law, the recent laws of Catholic countries like Spain, and the 1929 Concordat between Mussolini and the Vatican [Lateran Treaty], all of which have been publicly approved by Catholic authorities. Only place-names and enabling clauses have been added to give the Papal principles local application. The sources are listed in the notes.
Get Charles Coulombe's excellent Puritan's Empire: A Catholic Perspective on American History here.
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Dogma & Doctrine / Casti Connubii's condemnation ...
Last post by Geremia - September 19, 2018, 03:47:11 PM
Pope Pius XI's condemnation of onanism (contraception) in his 1930 encyclical Casti Connubii (spec. §59: "...so long as the intrinsic nature of the [marriage] act is preserved.") is a case study of Fr. Cartechini, S.J's 1951 De Valore Notarum Theologicarum p. 20 regarding ex cathedra pronouncements of morals:
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]
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General Discussion / Boccaccio on Church's sanctity...
Last post by Geremia - September 11, 2018, 10:57:43 AM
Boccaccio (fl. 1353)--one of the greatest satirists of Italian literature, although a humanist, but whose "jibes and anecdotes at the expense of clerics did not impair his belief in the teachings of the Church" (J. Dunn)--wrote a story illustrating the sanctity of the Church despite its sinful members in his Decameron day 1, story 2:

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[41] 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[42] 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.[43] 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[44] 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[45] 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."
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