Lumen Scholasticum

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

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

ARTICLE VI.

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.

ON THE DUTY OF THE CIVIL AUTHORITY AND SOCIETY, OF ACCEPTING DIVINE REVELATION SUFFICIENTLY PROPOSED.

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.
Amen.

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.

ARTICLE THREE

ON CHILDREN

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 »

A note on our blog, and our purposes here

It has long been a cherished but unfulfilled dream of ours, to start a solo blog and post on the things which concern and interest us. There was a point far back in the past when we were involved in a short-lived blog with a dear friend of ours, but until now we have never actually made our own private site, which would be a venue wherein we might post our thoughts.

This blog, then, is our humble attempt at bringing this dream at last to fruition, after much procrastination and the urgings of several of our most esteemed and learned acquaintances and friends. It principally serves, to our mind, the valuable twofold function of a static repository for our amateur thoughts on matters we think to be of moment, so that we might have a public and accessible locus in which to organize and store our musings; and a record, more or less permanent, for our developing thoughts on said matters, so that we might in future be able to as it were track our progress and evolution, if such there be. It functions secondarily as a venue for commentary on and critique of our own thoughts, so that we might grow and mature through fruitful discussion with others more learned than we.

Our focus, at the time of this writing, is mainly Scholastic theology and integralist political philosophy. We have for quite some time now been enthusiastically engaged in exploring and delving deeper into Catholic social teaching and thought as it pertains to the civil order, and most of all concerning the relation to be had between Church and State. This we have set out to do by immersing ourselves in the very many bulls, encyclicals, constitutions, and apostolic letters of the popes concerning the question, and by obtaining and reading the even more numerous manuals and philosophico-canonico-theological treatises of the Church’s theologians, canonists, and Doctors.

Most, if not all, of these works are to be found only in Latin—with the exception of most of the papal encyclicals from Pius IX even to our present age, which generally have been translated and placed up for public reading. It is certainly the case, however, that nearly all of the manuals and tracts from which we have taken our readings are to this day untranslated, and hence are unavailable to the average Catholic (or non-Catholic) who is interested in this topic yet unschooled in Latin. Part of our project here at this blog is to provide translations of excerpts from these works—some more polished than others, admittedly, insofar as some we make with a mind for publication elsewhere, at e.g. The Josias, while others are simply pieces which we have translated in a rougher fashion for interested friends who are not quite so demanding in their standards.

In particular, we have a special predilection for the old Latin manuals of the pre-conciliar Church, which stretch back as far as the Council of Trent and which have most unfortunately been abandoned and forgotten—and often vilified—by most Catholic thinkers ever since the New Springtime of the Second Vatican Council. It is in part from a desire to remedy this grievous privation in modern Catholic theology and political philosophy that we conceived of the idea to host our translations in the first place, for the Scholastic manualists, much more than the typical neo-Catholic theologian of today, understood the importance of attending to the whole corpus of magisterial and canonical thought when writing on matters of Church doctrine, especially concerning a subject which is as fraught with misconceptions and error as is contemporary Catholic thought about the proper relation of Church to State.

Given our love and appreciation for the old manuals, we think it fitting that we should institute what we hope to be a weekly feature here, entitled Manualist Mondays. It will consist mainly in the proffering of a certain manualist text, coupled with a translation and perhaps a bit of commentary on it, as we see fit and depending on whether or not our natural sloth prevents us from being more industrious.

In that vein, the curious and non-Latinate reader may wonder at the fragment of text at the head of the blog. It is taken from one of our favorite tracts on the Church, De Ecclesia Christi vol. 2, by the great and learned French Jesuit Louis Cardinal Billot. It is his concise description of Liberalism, and reads:

Liberalism, according as it denotes an error in the matter of faith and religion, is a multiform doctrine which more or less emancipates man from God, and from His law, and from His revelation, and as a consequence unbinds civil society from any dependence upon religious society—that is, from the Church, which is the guardian, interpreter, and teacher of the divinely revealed law.

Thus we close this our inaugural post. Sit splendor Dómini, Dei nostri, super nos, et ópera mánuum nostrárum dirige super nos, et opus mánuum nostrárum dírige.

Gerardus, die 24 Octobris MMXVI.