Lumen Scholasticum

Elucubrations, translations, and commentary from a Scholastic and Catholic integralist perspective

Cardinal Cajetan on correction of prelates

Today, keeping in mind recent events within the Church, we offer a somewhat brief text from Cardinal Cajetan’s celebrated commentary on the Summa theologiæ of St. Thomas, IIaIIæ, q. 33, a. 4, Whether a man is bound to correct his prelate? Cajetan mostly comments on St. Thomas’ response to the second objection, which has to do with St. Paul withstanding St. Peter to the face in Galatians 2:11. We shall give the text of objection 2 and St. Thomas’ response, followed by the comment of Cajetan.


Obj. 2: Further, a gloss on Gal. 2:11, “I withstood him to the face,” adds: “as an equal.” Therefore, since a subject is not equal to his prelate, he ought not to correct him.

Ad 2: To withstand anyone in public exceeds the mode of fraternal correction, and so Paul would not have withstood Peter then, unless he were in some way his equal as regards the defense of the faith. But one who is not an equal can reprove privately and respectfully. Hence the Apostle in writing to the Colossians (4:17) tells them to admonish their prelate: “Say to Archippus: Fulfil thy ministry [*Vulg.: ‘Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.’ Cf. 2 Tim. 4:5].” It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter’s subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Gal. 2:11, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects.”

Commentary of Cardinal Cajetan

I. In the fourth article, in response to the second objection, there is a great doubt: how Paul was equal to Peter as regards the defense of the faith, since Peter was the sole universal pastor, being superior to all as the head to the members because of the office of the papacy, even as regards the defense of the faith.

To this, it is said that, regarding the defense of the faith, Paul was equal to Peter executively. Wherefore also in the text of St. Thomas, it is said in some way: as if to say, that not simply in the defense of the faith, but in some way in this was he equal. But this parity signifies the universal care in both, of defending the faith had from the Lord Jesus Christ. The supreme authority is consistent with this equality, because the office is in Peter alone of defending the faith. Just as if the Pope were to commit episcopal authority in some diocese to an archpriest, the archpriest would be equal to a bishop on account of the delegated power for executing [duties], but not from an office.

II. In the same response to the second objection, note that, since the apostolic teaching is proposed to the Church not by word alone, but by deed; from the deed of Paul, we are taught that, where there is danger to the faith (not lifeless faith but living faith) in some church—and there is hope of assisting in this danger not through secret admonition, but only through this—the prelates should be charged publicly by the subjects, as the prelates err publicly. Indeed, the deed of Peter was not so great that it would have the nature even of active scandal; as the Author says below in the question on scandal.[1] And danger to charity is danger to life: because faith without works is dead.[2] And again, the Church’s whole study is to bring forth, nourish, and protect[3] living faith: and the part which remains is to be bound into bundles to burn.[4] For this reason, Paul, charging Peter because of the danger to the salvation of those believing, and not suffering so small a sin (yet scandalous still), taught others how bold they ought to show themselves in accusing the sins (yet with words) of their prelates who are scandalizing the Church and drawing others to damnation by their example. And to this are held princes both of the Church and of the world, when the Pope scandalizes the Church and, reverently reminded of his office, comes not to his senses. For and in fact, it is probable that he will respect princes who accuse in public, although he scorns the good of the subjects; and if he does not become good, he will at least not scandalize others. For those who are able to provide help are much more obliged to this than to destroying those who are led to corporeal death. For they ought to set up a wall for the house of Israel.[5] He who shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him?[6]

[1] ST IIaIIæ, q. 43, a. 6, ad 2.

[2] James 2:26.

[3] Cf. Augustine, De Trinitate, lib. XIV, cap. 1.

[4] Matthew 13:30.

[5] Ezechiel 13:5.

[6] 1 John 3:17.

Manualist Monday: Louis Cardinal Billot on subjection to non-infallible decrees of the Magisterium

We take our text today from Louis Cardinal Billot, SJ, Tractatus de Ecclesia Christi vol. I (3rd ed., 1909), q. 10, th. XIX, pp. 434-439. It is certainly a relevant topic today, given the prevalence of that sophism advanced again and again by many modern dissenters from either the left or the right, that the obligation by which Catholic teachers and writers are altogether bound is confined to those things only which are proposed by the infallible judgment of the Church as dogmas of faith to be believed by all (cf. Syllabus errorum, condemned prop. 22; cf. also the epistle Tuas libenter, from which prop. 22 is drawn). Relevant also is the 1998 CDF commentary on the Professio fidei, nn. 10-11, and Lumen gentium §25.


Finally, it pertains to the power of the Magisterium to censure doctrines with censures of the practical order, as doctrines which are safely able to be held and taught, or not safely. And although decisions of this sort may not be, from the nature of the thing, irreformable, nor from the supreme doctrinal authority, but proceed for the most part from the Pontifical Congregations, yet Catholics are placed under obligation from conscience, such that they must subject themselves to them.

All those things which have been considered to this point regard the definitions declared by the supreme and infallible magisterium of the Church, and that from the whole plenitude of its power. Now the matter is concerning the other decrees equally pertaining to doctrine, which yet are not from the supreme power proffering a definitive judgment from the plenitude of its power, and hence do not contain in the speculative order an infallible proposition of truth. Things of this sort are, in the first place, the doctrinal decrees of the Sacred Congregations, concerning which Pius IX declared in his apostolic letter Tuas libenter to the archbishop of Munich, that if it is a question of that subjection by which all those Catholics are obliged in conscience, who devote themselves to the contemplation of the sciences, that they might produce for the Church new things of use, it is necessary that they subject themselves also to the decisions pertaining to doctrine which are given by the Pontifical Congregations.[1] Concerning this genus of decrees, Cardinal Franzelin splendidly treats of it in his De divina Traditione et Scriptura, Thes. XII, schol. 1.

«The Holy Apostolic See, to which has been committed custody of the deposit of faith, and upon which has been enjoined the duty and office of feeding the entire Church unto the salvation of souls, is able either to prescribe as to be followed, or to proscribe as not to be followed, theological opinions insofar as they are connected with theological matters—not solely from the intention of deciding truth infallibly by a definitive sentence, but even without that, from the necessity and intention, either simply or for determinate circumstances, of providing for the security of Catholic doctrine. In declarations of this sort, although there be not an infallible truth of doctrine—because ex hypothesi there is no intention of deciding this—yet is there an infallible security, insofar as it is safe for all to embrace it, and it is not safe, nor can it happen without violation of the due submission toward the divinely constituted Magisterium, that the faithful should refuse to embrace it. — The authority of the Magisterium instituted by Christ in the Church, therefore, with respect to the matter about which we now speak, ought to be considered in a twofold manner. Firstly, as in individual acts it is under the assistance of the Holy Ghost for the infallible definition of truth, or as it the authority of infallibility. Secondly, it is considered as it were extensively, as the same Magisterium acts with the authority divinely committed to it, of feeding the sheep, yet not in its full intension—if it is permissible to speak in this way—nor ultimately defining truth, but so much as seems necessary or opportune and sufficient for the security of doctrine; which authority we might perhaps call the authority of doctrinal providence. — The authority of infallibility is not able to be communicated by the Pontiff to others, as if to his ministers as acting in his name. But the inferior authority of doctrinal providence, as we have called it, is not indeed independent of the Pontiff, but is communicable by the Pontiff with dependence, and is communicated by the Pontiff himself in greater or lesser extension to certain Sacred Congregations of Cardinals…But we opine that judgments of this sort, even without regard to definition ex cathedra, are so able to be disposed, that they require obedience which includes a submission of the mind: not indeed so that there be believed a teaching infallibly true or false, but so that it might be judged that the teaching contained in such a judgment is secure, and to be embraced by us with submission of the mind from the motive of sacred authority—the indubitable office of which it is to provide for the security of doctrine—and the contrary is to be rejected.» Read the rest of this entry »

Denis the Carthusian on rulers: Commentary on Wisdom 6:1-12

In keeping with the theme of the recent election, we today present part of Denis the Carthusian’s Enarratio on the sixth chapter of the book of Wisdom, wherein the sacred author exhorts princes to wisdom. An unexpected but lovely tidbit is Denis’ brief reference to Gelasian dyarchy, on which the good Pater Edmund Waldstein’s essay is highly recommended.

Wisdom is better than strength, and a wise man is better than a strong man. Hear therefore, ye kings, and understand: learn, ye that are judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear, you that rule the people, and that please yourselves in multitudes of nations: For power is given you by the Lord, and strength by the most High, who will examine your works, and search out your thoughts: Because being ministers of his kingdom, you have not judged rightly, nor kept the law of justice, nor walked according to the will of God. Horribly and speedily will he appear to you: for a most severe judgment shall be for them that bear rule. For to him that is little, mercy is granted: but the mighty shall be mightily tormented. For God will not except any man’s person, neither will he stand in awe of any man’s greatness: for he made the little and the great, and he hath equally care of all. But a greater punishment is ready for the more mighty. To you, therefore, O kings, are these my words, that you may learn wisdom, and not fall from it. For they that have kept just things justly, shall be justified: and they that have learned these things, shall find what to answer. Covet ye therefore my words, and love them, and you shall have instruction.


Elucidation of the sixth Chapter: Hear therefore, ye kings, and understand.

The author here admonishes to the desire and love of wisdom: and because this is most of all necessary for those who rule, he addresses them first. Hear therefore, ye kings, and understand: that is, since so horrendous a condemnation threatens the wicked, wisdom is also better than corporeal power; therefore hear with the ears of the body, and understand what is heard with the ears of the mind; learn the things which I shall say, ye that are judges of the ends of the earth, that is, of men dwelling everywhere on the earth, that you might be able to teach others also. For each man is held to know, and most diligently ought to learn those things which pertain to his state and position: so far as according to the exigence of his vocation, he may walk worthily for God; and he who is constituted in some office, let him carry that out in a satisfactory manner. Give ear, that is, of the heart and the body, through diligent listening, you that rule [continetis], that is, you who hold subjects to yourselves, and preserve them in one polity, law, or observance, or restrain them from transgressions, multitudes of men. Indeed, those who are subjected to the same superior, by comparison to it are one body, one collection, one community, and they are compared to it as members to head. And you that please yourselves in multitudes of nations, that is, you who have pleasure in your primacy or presidency over the crowds of subjects. But to be thus pleased is something of elation, ambition, insipience, and vainglory, since Gregory says: “Howsoever many times any ruler is pleased to be placed over men, so many times does he fall into the sin of apostasy.” And indeed, such a one thinks his office to be of the highest rank, and the dignity and elevation of himself, and not as a burden and a servitude: neither does he ponder the severity of the divine judgment, nor his own insufficiency. But to be delighted in the fruit of the office, or the worthy execution thereof, or in the office on account of fruits of this sort, and this only in the Lord, reckoning every good to Him with humble thanks, is not illicit.

Finally, in these words, by “kings,” “judges,” and “princes,” are to be understood the primates of both laws; namely, governors so much spiritual as secular; indeed, and chiefly those who are spiritual, whose dignity is much greater, and who are obliged to greater perfection. These two laws, are the two swords, and two eyes, and two great luminaries in the very body of the Church; but as the sun is greater and more brilliant than the moon, so the more excellent and luminous is the spiritual power than the secular. And just as the sun illuminates the moon, so the spiritual has to teach and direct the secular, as the soul does the body. Read the rest of this entry »

Dominic Prümmer, OP on the duties of rulers and subjects

As something of an Election Day special, and in order to fill in the gap of yesterday’s missed Manualist Monday, we have a text from the esteemed pre-conciliar moral theologian and canonist Dominic Prümmer, OP, on the duties of rulers and subjects in civil society.

Dominicus Prümmer, Manuale theologiæ moralis vol. II, tract. XI, q. 2, art. 6 (13th ed., 1958), pp. 471-475


On the obligations of rulers and subjects.

Preliminary note. Here we speak only of civil leaders and superiors and subjects; for it is the custom to treat of the obligations of ecclesiastic superiors in canon law. The obligations of the faithful toward ecclesiastic superiors are love, reverence, and obedience in spiritual matters. In addition, the faithful ought to supply a subsidy for the suitable sustentation of the ministers of the Church, as has been said above in n. 499 concerning tithes and offerings.

Not only are emperors, kings, dukes, etc. called civil leaders here, but all those to whom falls the management of public affairs. Therefore in this sense, the House of Deputies is a civil leader.

599. a) The obligations of civil governors. All who have been charged with some civil community are held, under pain of grave sin, to procure the temporal common good, yet in such a way that the spiritual good is not endangered. This is clear in itself. Hence they are held, according to their powers, to avert all temporal evils, of which sort are wars, seditions, famines, contagious diseases of both men and animals, etc. They ought in addition to foster true religion, and not only to not impede the true Church in her actions, but rather to protect her against all the attacks of her enemies. They should furthermore strenuously enforce justice, both distributive and vindictive: distributive, namely, insomuch as they distribute offices and burdens in equity; and vindictive, in respect of malefactors, insomuch as they inflict just punishments for crimes committed, without any preference of persons. Read the rest of this entry »

Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. on Church and State

Translated from Garrigou-Lagrange’s manual De revelatione per Ecclesiam Catholicam proposita, vol. II, concl., cap. XV, a. 4.

Article 4.


I. It is proved from the law of God.

II. It is proved from the end of civil society.

III.In what manner the civil authority ought to fulfull this duty.

IV. The objections are resolved.

Cf. above the article of this chapter on Liberalism and the opposite doctrine of the Church (Denz. 1777-1780).

§I. It is proved from the law of God, author of civil society.

To God, as creator, Lord, benefactor, and uncreated truth, there is owed, by the law of nature, the cult of natural religion and the obedience of faith, if He should manifestly reveal something supernaturally. – But God is no less the creator, Lord, and benefactor of society and civil authority than of any man whatsoever. – Therefore society and civil authority, by the law of nature, owe to God a social cult and obedience of faith, if He should manifestly reveal something supernaturally. Read the rest of this entry »

An update

So far, as may have been noticed by those who have been paying any mind to us, we have posted little on the matter of Church and State, though we said in our inaugural post that this topic holds especial interest for us. We are pleased to say that this will be remedied in the next day or two: we shall be posting our translation of a text from the distinguished Dominican Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, on the duty of civil authority and society of accepting divine Revelation.

Bonaventure, Sermon III for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

This is a rather late posting; the sermon itself was quite a bit longer than we had first realized, and we also encountered difficulties with the text of the Vivès Opera omnia: there were some troublesome typos which tripped us up for an embarrassing measure of time. But happily, this experience has taught us that we ought to make use of the more recent and more critical Quaracchi edition of Bonaventure’s works rather than the Vivès.

Another interesting lesson is that, at least according to the Quaracchi, the previous two sermons which we have translated are likely not even Bonaventure’s! There are several sermons which he gave for Dominica XXIII post Pentecosten which have similar expositions, but the text is quite different: this sermon here translated is, it would seem, the only one in the Vivès for that Sunday which is genuinely his. We will keep these differences of text (and the authority thereof) in mind when next we undertake to translate his sermons.

Sermon the Third.

Be of good heart, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.[1] Because it is the custom of a good physician, for the comfort of the one ill, to praise the efficacy of the medicine received by extolling it in multiple ways, hence it is that our Lord Jesus Christ, the physician of bodies and souls, for the comfort of this infirm woman desiring to be saved by him, condescended to show usefully beforehand the efficacy of the spiritual medicine, that is, of the faith which heals every feebleness, when he says in the words given: Be of good heart, daughter, etc. Here there is first of all noted the divine honor of gratuitous adoption, when he says: Daughter; secondly, the tender compassion of virtuous animation, when he says also: Be of good heart; thirdly, the necessary instruction of his healing, when it is subjoined: Thy faith hath made thee whole. Read the rest of this entry »

A blessed Feast of Christ the King

We unhappily did not have anything prepared especially for today’s feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (If we can wangle it, we might be able to present something for you later in the week.) Yet given our interest in the question of Church/State relations, and given the reason that Pius XI gave us this great feast, it is only right that we, at the very least, exhort our readers to read through his luculent 1925 encyclical Quas primas, and drink deeply of the wisdom contained therein regarding the place that Our Lord must by right hold within the hearts of individuals and within public society itself. The English text is here at the Vatican website, and the Latin (which version we always encourage if the reader is able) is here. (Or, if you, like us, prefer the relatively calming surety of a scanned book to the dangers which inevitably come with an OCR job, the Latin may also be found in this 1926 volume of La Civiltà Cattolica, p. 97ff.)

We also recommend giving a read to Professor Kwasniewski’s 2014 article at Rorate Cæli on the difference between the traditional feast of Christ the King and the new feast post-Consilium. It gives a good account of this variation, and hints at the causes behind the reform of this feast.

The Collect and Postcommunion for today’s Mass:

Almighty and eternal God, Who willed to restore all things in Your beloved Son, the King of the Universe, graciously grant that the peoples of the earth torn asunder by the wound of sin, may submit to His most gentle rule. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

We have received the food of eternal life, and we beseech You, O Lord, that we who are proud to serve under the flag of Christ the King may forever reign with Him in the Kingdom of heaven. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

The hymn at Vespers for today’s feast, according to the traditional Breviarium Romanum:

Te sæculórum Príncipem,
Te, Christe, Regem Géntium,
Te méntium, te córdium
Unum fatémur árbitrum.

Scelésta turba clámitat:
Regnáre Christum nólumus:
Te nos ovántes ómnium
Regem suprémum dícimus.

O Christe, Princeps Pácifer,
Mentes rebélles súbiice:
Tuóque amóre dévios,
Ovíle in unum cóngrega.

Ad hoc cruénta ab árbore
Pendes apértis bráchiis,
Diráque fossum cúspide
Cor igne flagrans éxhibes.

Ad hoc in aris ábderis
Vini dapísque imágine,
Fundens salútem fíliis
Transverberáto péctore.

Te natiónum Praesides
Honóre tollant público,
Colant magístri, iúdices,
Leges et artes éxprimant.

Submíssa regum fúlgeant
Tibi dicáta insígnia:
Mitíque sceptro pátriam
Domósque subde cívium.

Iesu tibi sit glória,
Qui sceptra mundi témperas,
Cum Patre, et almo Spíritu,
In sempitérna saecula.

St. Bonaventure, Sermons I and II for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

The following are the first two sermons of St. Bonaventure for the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost according to the old lectionary, translated from vol. 13 of the Vivès edition of his Opera omnia. We must apologize for the tardiness of these, as we had original intended to have them up this past Wednesday—but sloth and other projects prevented us. The third and final of the sermons ought to be posted sometime tomorrow.

We hope to make translations such as these a regular Sunday feature on our blog: we have been trying to make a habit of reading the sermons of St. Bonaventure for the lections at Mass each Sunday and have found his words to be fruitful and insightful. In addition, we consult the sermons of Dionysius Cartusianus from time to time, and hope to provide translations of some of his writings as well when the occasion seems opportune (e.g. on feast days which are not found in Bonaventure, and the like).

The readings for last Sunday were Phil 3:17-21, 4:1-3; Matt 9:18-26.

Dominica XXIII post Pentecosten.[1]

Sermon the First.

Lord, my daughter is even now dead; but come, lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. Your daughter is your soul, deceased through guilt, over which the hand of Christ is placed through grace. Now the hand to be placed over, is the grace of His mercy. Christ’s operation does four things in us: it purges guilt, repairs nature, confers grace, and prepares for glory.

Concerning the first, that it purges guilt, this is said: My daughter is even now, etc. The raising of this daughter is the justification of the sinner’s soul, about which three things are here signified, namely, the recognition of one’s guilt, where it is said: My daughter, that is, my soul, and not that of another. For some impose the death of their guilt upon the souls of others, as was signed when one of the harlots says: “My child liveth, and thy child is dead.”[2] Likewise the swift conversion, where it says: Even now: it says not: Last year, but: Even now. “Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day. For his wrath shall come on a sudden, and in the time of vengeance he will destroy thee.”[3] “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven,” etc.[4] Woe to him, therefore, whose soul dies, not presently, but before thirty or forty years, and still he does not ask for it to be raised up. With how many tears and cries of prayers is the soul dead for forty years to be raised up, when Lazarus, dead for four days, is raised by the tears and mourning cries of Christ! Similarly the request for favor, where it says: lay thy hand, etc. O the power and the grace of this hand! “And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will, be thou made clean.”[5] Read the rest of this entry »

Edouard Hugon, O.P. on baptism of children

We begin our (hopefully weekly) feature of Manualist Mondays with an excerpt from Edouard Hugon O.P., a prominent neo-Thomist of the first half of the 20th century. Among other things, he was involved in the drafting of the 24 Thomistic Theses, and wrote a course of Thomistic philosophy (Cursus philosophiæ thomisticæ) and a commentary on the dogmatic portions of the Summa theologiæ (Tractatus dogmatici). The following text is taken from Tractatus dogmatici vol. III (1927, 5th ed.), De sacramentis in communi et in speciali, De baptismo, q. 3, pp. 230-233.



According to art. 9-12 of St. Thomas

I. There are many questions to be resolved concerning this matter. In the first place it may be asked, whether children require baptism, or whether they are able to be saved by some other remedy, and this question we have already given what is required in art. 1, where we have shown [baptism to be necessary by] the necessity of means for all, both children and adults. It is able to be asked, in addition, where children are capable of baptism, and whether it is expedient for them to be baptized, or whether one rather ought to wait until they have matured and desire baptism of themselves. To this there pertain many errors condemned by the Church. Already in the time of St. Cyprian, the bishop Fidus desired that infants ought not to be baptized unless after the eighth day; whose opinion Cyprian and the African bishops rejected. Then, in the Middle Ages, Peter de Bruis and the Waldenses contended that children are not able to receive baptism, because they are not able to believe. The Anabaptists also asserted this. Erasmus equally wished that children, when they should mature, ought to be asked whether they wish to ratify the [baptismal] promises made by their sponsors; and if they should not wish to do so, they ought not to be compelled to Christian life. Read the rest of this entry »