Document 04 - Official Relatio of Vatican I

Official Relatio of Bishop Vincent Ferrer Gasser delivered at the First Vatican Council
 
11 July 1870
 
 
 
 

001.    Most eminent presidents, eminent and reverend fathers.  I get up to speak today with great sadness and even greater fear.   With great sadness, since the treatment of the center of ecclesiastical unity has become the occasion of discord among the reverend fathers, such discord that we are able to say with the prophet:  "Seeing this, they will cry out in the streets, and the messengers of peace will weep bitterly" (Is. 33:7).  I rise to speak with even greater fear, lest a great cause be ruined by its advocate.  Nevertheless, I proceed, counting on divine grace and your good will.

 

002.    In order that we may pass judgment on each one of the suggestions proposed by the reverend fathers and do so surely and swiftly, it is entirely necessary, first of all, to offer a type of general presentation and then pass on to a particular consideration of each suggested correction.  In the general presentation certain principles are to be set up which, once established, will then be of help in passing judgment on the suggested corrections.

 

003.     As far as the general presentation goes, it consists of two parts as does the Draft which we are discussing.  In the first part of this draft we present the arguments for the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff as those arguments are drawn from the public documents [of the Church]; in the second part or paragraph of the Draft we have the definition of infallibility itself.  First of all, therefore, we must deal with the arguments presented for the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.

 

004.    Since this infallibility is a revealed truth, it should be proved from the fonts of revelation, that is, from Sacred Scripture and tradition.  This matter has been abundantly discussed in the general meetings; nevertheless, certain things remain to be said, at least in passing, so that certain difficulties, raised by some of the fathers, may be removed.  Thus, in the first place, let us consider the arguments from Sacred Scripture.

 

005.     The argument is to be set forth in the following thesis:  Christ the Lord granted to St. Peter the prerogative of infallibility in His Church at the same time as He granted him the primacy; this infallibility has passed on - indeed was meant to pass on - to all the successors of St. Peter and heirs of his primacy.  Thus, the first part of the thesis is:  Christ granted the prerogative of infallibility to St. Peter at the same time He gave him primacy in the universal Church.  The places in Sacred Scripture which demonstrate this thesis are very well-known and have been excellently explained by many of the reverend fathers.  Enough said on that point.  The second part of the thesis is:  this prerogative of infallibility has passed, together with the primacy, to the successors of St. Peter and heirs of his primacy.  Since many of the reverend fathers have had different opinions on this point, let me offer my opinion briefly.  The infallibility granted to St. Peter has passed to all the successors of Peter.  The reason for this is the following:  the prerogative of infallibility belonged ordinarily to Peter and was inseparably connected with his primacy; hence, it passed with the fullness, of his apostolic power into the Apostolic See, and to his successors in this See.  The same conclusion follows from the famous words of Christ.  For as the  words of Christ, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt. 16:16), are not bounded by time but will have authority until the end of the world, so the foundation of the Church on Peter and his successors ought always remain unshaken against the proud gates of those who belong to the nether world, that is against heresies and the builders of heresy, as St. Epiphianius says.

 

006.     The case was different with the infallibility of the other Apostles; each of them individually was infallible:  but this infallibility was extraordinary, granted to them in an extraordinary mode and for an extraordinary purpose, as appears from the words of Christ when He took leave of them before ascending into heaven, saying: "You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit who will come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).  This promise of the coming Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, and, clothed by the Holy Spirit as by power from on high, they began to bear witness to the word of life and to preach in the name of Jesus, "the Lord cooperating with them and confirming their preaching by the signs which accompanied them" (Mk. 16:20).

 

007.     The office of the Apostles consisted in this: they would be the authentic ocular and auricular witnesses to the word of God, witnesses preordained by God and sent by Christ to all nations: and to this office, proper to the Apostles, there was added the corresponding gift of personal infallibility.  The bishops succeeded the Apostles not as succeeding to a universal apostolate but rather to an episcopate as rulers of individual churches.  And thus it happened that the prerogative of personal infallibility, joined in an extraordinary mode to the apostolate, would not pass on to the bishops.  The bishops by power of their office are guardians of the deposit which the Apostles - as witnesses preordained by God - committed to them.  It is as Paul says to Timothy:  "Hold to the form of sound teaching, which you heard from me in faith and in the love of Christ Jesus.  Through the Holy Spirit who dwells in you guard the worthy deposit" (2 Tm. 1:13-14).  This same thing is said to all the bishops.  In this duty of guarding, communicating and defending the deposit as a treasure of divine truth, the bishops also are helped by the Holy Spirit.  But this infallible aid of the Holy Spirit is not present in each of the bishops but rather in the bishops taken together and joined with [their] head, for it was said to all generally and not each individually: "Behold, I am with you all days until the end of time" (Mt. 28:20).

 

008.     This prerogative granted to St. Peter by the Lord Jesus Christ was supposed to pass to all Peter's successors because the chair of Peter is the center of unity in the Church.  But if the Pontiff should fall into an error of faith, the Church would dissolve, deprived of the bond of unity.  The bishop of Meaux speaks very well on this point, saying:  "If this Roman See could fall and be no longer the See of truth but of error and pestilence, then the Catholic Church herself would not have the bond of a society and would be schismatic and scattered - which in fact is impossible." [1]

 

009.     Let no one say:  "Yes, the See of Peter is the center of unity, but from that there only follows the office which the Roman pastor has of confirming and of preserving his brothers in the faith.  But the office is one thing, the authority, especially an infallible authority, is something else."  I reply: how would the Roman Pontiff be able to fulfill this office which was divinely and especially given to him if he did not have a special authority which all others - even the bishops whether dispersed throughout the world or gathered together - should recognize as unassailable?

 

010.     Let no one say:  "Indeed, in order that the Roman Pontiff be able to fulfill his office he should have authority over all the bishops, but there is no necessity that this authority be in itself infallible.  It is sufficient that it be infallible along with the other bishops."  But I respond:  as is true in the case of the center of unity in the heavenly bodies, so too the center of unity in the Church of Christ under the heavens should act with a continual and permanent unchallengeable authority.  If the authority of the Pope were not unchallengeable in itself but only [when exercised] together with the bishops, then, by divine law, the Pope should have delegates of the entire episcopate to assist him – delegates who would represent that episcopate by divine law.  But Christ instituted nothing of this sort; rather He placed Peter and his successor as an immobile bulwark of faith, as the heir of a confirmed faith and as the one who confirms his brothers, and, finally, is the pastor of the whole flock of the Lord, ruling it in such a way that it lacks nothing and leading it to good pastures.  That the infallibility granted to Peter was to have passed to his successors is also proved - to use the words of Cardinal Cajetan - from the fact that when the Pope makes a judicial and definitive decision determining that something is heresy and that it must be held as such by the Church then it is clear that we are all bound to accept his decision and that whoever pertinaciously clings to the opposite view is considered a heretic.  Therefore the whole Church is able to err, following the decision of a Pope, if the Pope in such a definition is able to err.  Therefore it must be believed that the promise of Christ made to the Church, viz., "The Holy Spirit will teach you all truth" (Jn. 16:18), is fulfilled through one with no more difficulty than through a multitude, thus preserving the divine order which governs the lower through the higher and the higher through the uppermost.  Thus Cajetan. [2]  And Melchior Cano dares to add: "Whoever would deny that the power of binding and loosing which Christ is believed to have given to St. Peter is now present in the Bishop of Rome, such a person (i.e., one who would deny this power) is lawfully and rightly held to be a heretic.  Whoever would deny to those who have succeeded Peter the strength of Peter for confirming his brothers must be judged to be heretical." [3]  We now come to the arguments from tradition, and this is the argument from the public documents of the councils which can be found in the proposed Draft itself.  However, before I make a few reflections on these documents, let me say a little bit in a general way about the argument from tradition as it is brought forth to prove the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.  Generally speaking the argument comes from tradition but it can be construed in different ways.  Let me say it as I will (for now I will omit things for the sake of time); let me say how I would construct this argument from tradition and the way I was led to use this method.

 

011.     One day when I was praying on my knees at the "confessio" of St. Peter's, I lifted up my eyes and saw the words inscribed there which say: "From this place one faith shines on the world."  At these words I recalled all those things which, from the earliest ages of the Christian religion down to our own day, the holy Apostolic See has done and suffered in order to preserve the authority of the faith in the Church of Christ and to repair that authority where it has been harmed.  While I was thinking about this, the deep conviction held me that the Holy See would not have been able to fight so strenuously, so constantly and so successfully for the truth unless it had always been persuaded of the gift of inerrancy, promised, in the person of Peter, to Peter's successors, and unless the Church had offered its assent to this conviction of the Holy See.  Thus, most reverend and eminent fathers, the traditional argument which I want to present to you.  As I have already said, I now abstain from proposing it.  In order to strengthen the first part of this argument, I read again and again the genuine epistles of the Roman Pontiffs as edited by Coustantio and by Andrea Thiel, his recent continuator.  As often as I read them and the more I considered them, the more did I become convinced that the Roman Pontiffs, as they descended into the arena as witnesses, doctors and judges of the universal Church to fight for the Christian truth, were incapable of erring, through the power of a divine promise.  Don't let anyone say that the Roman Pontiffs, commending the dignity of their own See, speaking, that is, on their own behalf, should not be believed.  For if the testimony of the Roman Pontiffs is weakened for that reason [viz., because they speak on their own behalf, then indeed the entire ecclesiastical hierarchy is called into question: the authority of the teaching Church is not able to be proved except through the teaching Church.

 

012.    As far as the second part of the traditional argument is concerned, viz., the assent of the Church which is offered to the faith of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the gift of inerrancy of their See, the Church has well manifested this assent indirectly (i.e., by reason of its mode of acting) as well as directly and by explicit words.  Passing over in silence the explicit testimonies by which the holy Fathers and the councils have manifested their assent, I ought to spend a little time on the indirect testimony which is drawn from the Church's mode of acting, since doing so will offer me the opportunity of removing some of the difficulties which have been raised by some of the reverend fathers.  This indirect testimony rises from the rule of faith which the most ancient Fathers have handed down.

 

013.     As you know, St. Irenaeus, who established the rule of faith as being the consensus of those Churches which were founded by Apostles, simultaneously established a more compendious and more secure rule, viz., the tradition of the Roman Church, with which, because of its more powerful primacy in the Church, all the faithful throughout the world should agree and in which the apostolic tradition is preserved by all the faithful from everywhere, as they live in communion with the Roman Church as the center of unity.  Therefore, according to St. Irenaeus, the faith of the Roman Church is, because of the dignity of its primacy, normative for all the other Churches, and, because of its dignity as center, the principle of preservation for the other Churches.

 

014.     St. Augustine proposes the same rule of faith in the following words: "If indeed one considers the order of episcopal succession, what more certain and salvific than the one listed as coming from Peter himself, to whom, as bearing the figure of the whole Church, the Lord said: `On this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not conquer it.'  Linus succeeded Peter ... and so down to the present Pontiff.  In this line of succession no Donatist was bishop." [4]  For Augustine this was enough to damn the Donatist heresy, that fact that no bishop of the Romans was a Donatist; and this rule, because of the authority of Peter, Augustine calls more secure and salvific.  This same  assent to the faith of the Roman Pontiffs in their own inerrancy has been sufficiently manifested by the Church in that it has always held communion with the Holy See as completely and absolutely necessary.  Communion with the chair of Peter was, and was considered to be, communion with the Church and with Peter himself, and indeed was even compared with the truth revealed by Christ.  "I do not know Vitalis," writes Jerome, "Melitus I reject, Paulinus I ignore.  Whoever does not gather with you (that is, with Pope Damasus) scatters; that is, whoever does not belong to Christ belongs to the antichrist" [5]  Furthermore, because the testimony which the Church offered to the faith of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the inerrancy of their own See is certain, the holy Fathers held it as certain and obvious that Peter, constituted the foundation of the Church, could not be separated from the Church itself and that the Church could not be separated from Christ and that Christ could not be separated from the truth.  Because of this, St. Ambrose says very beautifully: "Peter is he to whom the Lord said: `You are Peter, and on this rock I will build the Church.'  Therefore where Peter is, there is the Church; where the Church is, there is no death but only eternal life.  And therefore Christ added: `And the gates of hell shall not prevail, and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.'" [6]

 

015.     This assent to the faith of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the inerrancy of their own See has also been offered by the Church inasmuch as every doctrine, when it has first been damned as alien to the Faith and profane by the Roman Pontiff, is also rejected by all who are truly faithful.  "How will Italy receive," says Jerome, "what Rome has  condemned?  How will the bishops receive what the Apostolic See has damned?" [7] Finally we are able to prove the same assent to the faith of the Roman Pontiffs concerning the inerrancy of their own See from the fact that, in all cases involving matters of Faith, recourse was had to the Apostolic See - recourse, indeed, as if to the authority of Peter and Paul - and also from the fact that an appeal against the Roman See and the dogmatic definitions of this See was never licit.

 

016.     I will refrain from bringing forth what pertains to direct testimony or to explicit words of the Holy Fathers.  But I should respond to some objections which are very frequently made against these testimonies.

 

017.     It has been stated that the texts of tradition which are brought forth by the defenders of infallibility are mutilated, falsified, interpolated or spurious or prove nothing more than the primacy.  Harsh words those!  But let this be said:  what is proved thereby?  Can it really be denied that there exist testimonies by which the special gift of the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is proved or that these testimonies are completely certain, either by looking at the immediate force of the words or at the context and purpose of the work in question?

 

018.     It has been said by some of the very reverend speakers that an infallibility of the Roman Pontiff which is personal, separate and absolute is not proved by these  testimonies.  Whatever is to be said concerning these qualifiers – about which I shall presently speak - let me say this: it has often been said, but as far as I can see, never been proved, that according to the mind of the Holy Fathers, the efficient cause of the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is something other than the protection of Christ and the assistance of the Holy Spirit as promised to Peter for all ages, or that the consent of the Church is a condition "de jure" without which the dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff could not be infallible.  Can it really be said that the Fathers at Chalcedon, before they hailed the Tome of St. Leo to Flavian as having come from the mouth of Peter, anxiously inquired as to whether this Tome adhered to the advice of the bishops?  Even more, can it really be said that history, which tells us so many wonderful things about the origin of this Tome, makes mention of the consent of the bishops which preceded this dogmatic definition of the Roman Pontiff?

 

019.     Now I come to the arguments of tradition which are set forth in the proposed chapter itself, come, that is, to the documents adduced from three councils.  As far as these arguments are concerned, they are drawn, as you know, from the ecumenical councils in which - after there had, unfortunately, been schisms between the Eastern and  Western Church – the East and West came together to remove this schism.  Since many objections have been brought forward in the general congregations with the purpose of weakening the probative force which is contained in these testimonies, it is necessary to review a few things.

 

020.     As far as the Council of Constantinople IV is concerned, the words adduced in the proposed chapter are almost identical with the formula of Pope Hormisdas, by which the Acacian schism was resolved, and which was approved not only by the Church of the West but also by a very large part of the Eastern Church.  It was said that this formula contains nothing more than the confidence that there would never happen to the Chair of Peter what had already regretfully happened to so many other Apostolic Sees, and that the successors of the Prince of the Apostles would function until the end of the world in the task of protecting the Faith and of confirming their brothers.

 

021.     But this interpretation does not agree with either the literal or the historical meaning of the document in question.  It does not agree with the letter because the words of this formula of Pope Hormisdas, which were received almost verbatim by the Council of Constantinople IV, say, as you know, the following: "The first thing required for salvation is to keep the norm of correct faith and to deviate in no way from what the Fathers have established, because it is not possible to lay aside the words of our Lord Jesus Christ who said, `You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church.'  These words are proved true by their effects because, in the Apostolic See, the Catholic religion has always been preserved immaculate.  Desiring in no way to be separated from this hope and faith and following in all things what has been established by the Fathers, we anathematize all heretics, etc."  And at the end it is said: "Therefore, as we have said before, following the Apostolic See in all things and preaching all things determined by it, I hope that I may merit to be in one communion with you (i.e., with Pope Hormisdas) and with what the Apostolic See preaches, in which See [resides] the integral and true solidity of the Christian religion."  These are the words of Hormisdas' formula.

 

022.     As far as the meaning of this formula is concerned, the manifest sense of these words is the following: in order that the East, which has been cut off from the Apostolic See, might again receive communion with that same Apostolic See and with the Catholic Church, the bishops should issue a solemn profession of faith concerning the  prerogative of the Apostolic See; they should, that is, guard the rule of right faith, if in hope and faith we firmly hold that the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Peter is not able to be laid aside, something indeed proved from the course of events themselves, in the fact, namely, that the true religion has always been preserved unblemished in the Apostolic See.  Against the testimony drawn from the Council of Lyons it was said that this testimony was neither used nor approved by the Council.  So that I will not end up repeating what the relator of chapter three has already said on this matter, I will make only a few points on one item, the one, namely, which attempts to show that this formula of faith was not used by the Council of Lyons because the formula itself was never discussed in the Council.  The fact that it was not discussed is indeed true but that fact doesn't prove anything against the authority of this document:  on the contrary the authority of the document is further strengthened.  The reason for the lack of discussion of this profession of faith by the Council of Lyons was none other than the fact that, in this case, they were not treating something new nor something never spoken of, but rather something, insofar as it referred to the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, already long since approved in the Council of Constantinople IV for the universal Church at the time of Pope Hormisdas, and something about which there was no doubt among the Latins.

 

023.     That this was the reason for omitting the discussion is clear from the letter which Pope Clement IV sent to the Emperor Michael Palaeologus and with which he transmitted the same formula which would afterwards be read in the Second Council of Lyons.  For, when the Emperor communicated to Clement IV his plan of convoking a council in the East in order to decide the dispute in that manner, the Pope responded with these words: "Indeed the prescribed truth of the orthodox faith is pure, certain and solid and consonant with the teaching of the Gospel and it has been affirmed by the Holy Fathers and by the definition of the Roman Pontiffs in their synods.  Since it is not fitting, we do not want to submit this matter to new discussion or definition as if, by such discussion, we were calling into doubt this truth in any way, thereby going against what is right and permitted.  And therefore, although in what you have written (i.e., in the letter of the Emperor) you treat of the convocation of a council and although you (i.e., the Emperor), through said letters, ask that a council be convoked in your land, we, nevertheless, have no intention of calling a council for a discussion or definition of this type.  This decision does not mean that we fear any man nor that we fear that the Roman Church will be overcome by the prudence of the Greeks, but because it would be completely unfitting - what is more, even non-necessary and illegal - to call into doubt the prescribed purity of the true faith, affirmed by so many authorities on Scripture, fortified by the opinions of so many holy men and by the firm definition of the Roman Pontiffs.  For the defense of this truth, if it were necessary, we ought to be ready to undergo martyrdom and even give our body to be exposed to death." [8]  Thus Clement.  And so it is not to be wondered at that Gregory X also did not permit a discussion of this formula at the Council of Lyons.  The third document is taken from the Council of Florence.  It has been said that, of those things which are brought forth in our proposed chapter from the Council of Florence, there is nothing in them which a sober interpreter can use to establish the doctrine of infallibility.  But it is clear that the mind of the fathers at Florence was far different and this can be seen from the commentary which Bro. John made before Pope Eugene IV and the Emperor John Palaeologus in order that the Emperor might know what the meaning of the formula was which treated of the Roman Pontiff.  And so, treating each part of the formula individually, he explained the part of the formula which reads, "The Roman Pontiff stands as head of the whole Church and the father and teacher of all Christians," by saying:  "Since all Christians agree and should agree with one another in the faith, he (the Roman Pontiff is placed as the teacher of unblemished faith because of the privilege granted to Peter."  Explaining the part which reads, "To that same See and to the Roman Pontiff there was given in the Blessed Prince of the Apostles the full power of feeding, ruling and governing the universal Church," Bro. John drew upon the letter of Pope St. Agatho to the Emperor Constantine IV in respect to the third Council of Constantinople, and from that letter drew the following conclusion:  "In this authority (i.e., Agatho), these following three things are clearly asserted.  First, that the feeding of all the flock is committed to Peter and to his successors.  Second, that the Apostolic See has never fallen into any part of error, but has always remained unblemished in faith.  Third, that so great is the authority of the Apostolic See that the Church Universal and the general councils have always faithfully followed its apostolic teaching, and the Catholic Fathers have always accepted that same doctrine, and that the words ("that your faith may not fail") are understood of the Apostolic See to mean that it is immune from error and that the confirmation of all the brothers who are wavering in faith pertains to the same See and to the Roman Pontiff." [9]  Thus was this matter explained in the very Council of Florence itself, and this must be held as its authentic meaning since it was deliberately proposed this way by the order of the Roman Pontiff so that the Emperor might understand the meaning of the formula.

 

024.     From all that has been said it is manifestly clear that when we bring forth the definition of Florence in order to establish the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff we are, in no way, supposing an alien sense for the words, but are truly interpreting them according to the mind of the fathers at Florence.  It is clear as well that the word "hence" which connects the first part of the chapter with the second by way of drawing a conclusion and which has been criticized by many speakers nonetheless occupies its rightful place.

 

025.     Before I conclude the relatio concerning this first part of our proposed chapter, i.e., about the arguments for pontifical infallibility, let me offer my opinion about the very grave objection which has frequently been brought forth in these general congregations, viz., that having once promulgated the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff the divine constitution of the Church would have been changed.  Why?

 

026.     It has been said that henceforth general councils would no longer be necessary.  I answer: they will be necessary in the future as they were necessary in the past.  They were never absolutely necessary if what you are talking of is only a matter of Christians of good will knowing the truth with certitude.  For they were able to know the truth through the ordinary magisterium of the Church, that is, through the bishops having communion with the Apostolic See: for where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God is, there is truth.  Every grace is from the Spirit and the Spirit is truth, says St. Irenaeus.  They were able to know the truth from the solemn dogmatic definitions of the Roman Pontiff.  Augustine said to Julian, "Why do you still seek to examine that which has already been decided by the Apostolic See?" [10] clearly indicating by these words that, once a decision of the Apostolic See has been given, there is already present a certain and unshakeable witness to the truth, as long as there is present the good will to submit oneself to it.  Therefore general councils were not necessary in order to know the truth, but in order to repress errors.  Since errors were flourishing in such a way that the Christian commonwealth was in a certain way endangered, the Catholic Church opposed to them its most solemn judgment through a general council.  But the most solemn judgment of the Church in matters of faith and morals is and always will be the judgment of an ecumenical council, in which the Pope passes judgment together with the bishops of the Catholic world who meet and judge together with him.  But some go on to say that general councils in the future will not be free; the bishops will no longer be true judges.  I reply:  they will be free as they were free in past times.  For even future councils will be held in such a way that, as far as the things to be treated in the council are concerned, there will either have been no previous dogmatic definition of the Roman Pontiff or there will have been a previous dogmatic definition.  In the first case, if the Pope leaves to the council all the propositions to be fully treated, the council will be able to use its full liberty in the Lord; in the second case, the council will do all that which past general councils have done in a similar situation.  Let Constantinople III, in its manner of dealing with the dogmatic epistle of Pope Agatho, serve as an example.  The first seven sessions of this council were concerned with certain preambles, that is, with the reading of the documents which concerned the Council.  At the end of the seven sessions the legates of the Roman Pontiff requested that the conciliar fathers declare whether they agreed with the suggestion or epistle of Agatho.  This declaration was set before the next session.  And thus in the eighth session the conciliar fathers declared, "Just as the suggestions of the most holy Pope of Ancient Rome hold, so, O Lord (saying this as they faced the Emperor), do I profess and believe." [11]  Therefore this declaration was certainly nothing other than a judgment of true and faithful adherence.  Indeed, when Macarius of Antioch, who afterwards pertinaciously contradicted the definitions of the Council, did not acquiesce in those definitions, the conciliar fathers, in order to satisfy all doubts, permitted him and his followers to defend their opinion by bringing forth the testimonies of the Fathers.  These testimonies, subjected to an examination and judgment, were found to be partly spurious and partly mutilated and were then rejected by the Council.  To them were opposed the testimony of Sacred Scripture and of the Fathers which were appended to the epistle of Pope Agatho.  These also were submitted to a study with all the best codices [of the Fathers].  When all these appeared in clear light as being integral, authentic and probative, the Council arrived at its synodal definition concerning the twofold will and operation of Christ.  In this definition, as the holy synod expressly states, the epistle of Pope Agatho is again set before their eyes as the living norm.  In this way, therefore, the holy synod, in a solemn judgment, reconciled the obedience due the Roman Pontiff with its own liberty "so that (as the words of Leo concerning the Council of Chalcedon say) what was first formulated by the First See, the judgment of the entire Christian world might receive as having come forth from them, so that, in this also, the members might be in harmony with the head." [12]  In this harmony of the members with the head there clearly shines forth the assistance of the Holy Spirit as promised to the Church.  Thus did the sixth holy synod act, and all the others have acted in the same way.

 

027.     I now come to the second part of our proposed chapter, that is, to the definition of papal infallibility itself.  This is contained in the second part of chapter four.  In the general relatio on this second part, it seems to me that two things are necessary:

         

            (01)   to determine accurately the state of the question, and,

 

            (02)   to illustrate the formula of the definition by a brief commentary.  First of all, therefore, the state of the question.

 

028.     When we attempt a more accurate determination of the state of the question, we first come upon the words which have already so many times been ordered into exile from this hall, but which have not yet gone into exile.  Those words are:  infallibility which is personal, separate, and absolute.  In reality the question hinges on these words.  Let us see, therefore, as briefly as possible, what the sense of these words is.

 

029.     (01)   In what sense can the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff be said to be personal?  It is said to be personal in order to exclude in this way a distinction
             between the Roman Pontiff and the Roman Church.  Indeed, infallibility is said to be personal in order thereby to exclude a distinction between the See 
             and the one who holds the See.  Since this distinction did not acquire any patrons in the general congregations, I shall refrain from saying anything
             about it.  Therefore, having rejected the distinction between the Roman Church and the Roman Pontiff, between the See and the possessor of the See,
             that is, between the universal series and the individual Roman Pontiffs succeeding each other in this series, we defend the personal infallibility of the
             Roman Pontiff inasmuch as this prerogative belongs, by the promise of Christ, to each and every legitimate successor of Peter in his chair.

 

             Having said this, the notion of papal infallibility is not yet sufficiently defined.  The personal infallibility of the Pope must be more accurately defined in
             itself in the following way:  it does not belong to the Roman Pontiff inasmuch as he is a private person, nor even inasmuch as he is a private teacher,
             since, as such, he is equal with all other private teachers and, as Cajetan wisely noted, equal does not have power over equal, not such power as the
             Roman Pontiff exercises over the Church Universal.   Hence we do not speak about personal infallibility, although we do defend the infallibility of the
             person of the Roman Pontiff, not as an individual person but as the person of the Roman Pontiff or a public person, that is, as head of the Church in his
             relation to the Church Universal.  Indeed it should not be said that the Pontiff is infallible simply because of the authority of the papacy but rather
             inasmuch as he is certainly and undoubtedly subject to the direction of divine assistance.  By the authority of the papacy, the Pontiff is always the
             supreme judge in matters of faith and morals, and the father and teacher of all Christians.  But the divine assistance promised to him, by which he
             cannot err, he only enjoys as such when he really and actually exercises his duty as supreme judge and universal teacher of the Church in disputes
             about the Faith.  Thus, the sentence "The Roman Pontiff is infallible" should not be treated as false, since Christ promised that infallibility to the person
             of Peter and his successors, but it is incomplete since the Pope is only infallible when, by a solemn judgment, he defines a matter of faith and morals for
             the Church universal.

 

             (02)   In what sense can the infallibility of the Pope be said to be "separate"?  It is able to be called "separate," or rather distinct because it rests on a
             special promise of Christ and therefore on a special assistance of the Holy Spirit, which assistance is not one and the same with that which the whole
             body of the teaching Church enjoys when united with its head.  For since Peter and his successor are the center of ecclesiastical unity, whose task it is to
             preserve the Church in a unity of faith and charity and to repair the Church when disturbed, his condition and his relation to the Church are completely
             special; and to this special and distinct condition corresponds a special and distinct privilege.  Therefore, in this sense there belongs to the Roman Pontiff
             a separate infallibility.  But in saying this we do not separate the Pontiff from his ordained union with the Church.  For the Pope is only infallible when,
             exercising his function as teacher of all Christians and therefore representing the whole Church, he judges and defines what must be believed or rejected
             by all.  He is no more able to be separated from the universal Church than the foundation from the building it is destined to support.  Indeed we do not
             separate the Pope, defining, from the cooperation and consent of the Church, at least in the sense that we do not exclude this cooperation and this
             consent of the Church.  This is clear from the purpose for which this prerogative has been divinely granted.

 

             The purpose of this prerogative is the preservation of truth in the Church.  The special exercise of this prerogative occurs when there arise somewhere in
             the Church scandals against the faith, i.e., dissensions and heresies which the bishops of the individual churches or even gathered together in provincial
             council are unable to repress so that they are forced to appeal to the Apostolic See regarding the case, or when the bishops themselves are infected by
             the sad stain of error.  And thereby we do not exclude the cooperation of the Church because the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff does not come to him
             in the manner of inspiration or of revelation but through a divine assistance.  Therefore the Pope, by reason of his office and the gravity of the matter, is
             held to use the means suitable for properly discerning and aptly enunciating the truth.  These means are councils, or the advice of the bishops,
             cardinals, theologians, etc.  Indeed, the means are diverse according to the diversity of situations, and we should piously believe that, in the divine
             assistance promised to Peter and his successors by Christ, there is simultaneously contained a promise about the means which are necessary and
             suitable to make an infallible pontifical judgment.

 

             Finally we do not separate the Pope, even minimally, from the consent of the Church, as long as that consent is not laid down as a condition which is
             either antecedent or consequent.  We are not able to separate the Pope from the consent of the Church because this consent is never able to be lacking to
             him.  Indeed, since we believe that the Pope is infallible through the divine assistance, by that very fact we also believe that the assent of the Church
             will not be lacking to his definitions since it is not able to happen that the body of bishops be separated from its head, and since the Church  universal is
             not able to fail.  For it is impossible that general obscurity be spread in respect to the more important truths which touch upon religion, as the Synod of
             Pistoia held.

 

             (03)   Note well.  It is asked in what sense the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is "absolute."  I reply and openly admit:  in no sense is pontifical
             infallibility absolute, because absolute infallibility belongs to God alone, who is the first and essential truth and who is never able to deceive or be
             deceived.  All other infallibility, as communicated for a specific purpose, has its limits and its conditions under which it is considered to be present.  The
             same is valid in reference to the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.  For this infallibility is bound by certain limits and conditions.  What those conditions
             may be should be deduced not "a priori" but from the very promise or manifestation of the will of Christ.  Now what follows from the promise of Christ,
             made to Peter and his successors, as far as these conditions are concerned?  He promised Peter the gift of inerrancy in Peter's relation to the Universal
             Church: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it ..." (Mt. 16:18).  "Feed my lambs, feed
             my sheep" (Jn. 21:13-17).  Peter, placed outside this relation to the universal Church, does not enjoy in his successors this charism of truth which comes
             from that certain promise of Christ.  Therefore, in reality, the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff is restricted by reason "of the subject," that is when the
             Pope, constituted in the chair of Peter, the center of the Church, speaks as universal teacher and supreme judge: it is restricted by reason of the "object,"
             i.e., when treating of matters of faith and morals; and by reason of the "act" itself, i.e., when the Pope defines what must be believed or rejected by all
             the faithful.  Nevertheless, some of the most reverend fathers, not content with these conditions, go farther and even want to put into this constitution
             conditions which are found in different ways in different theological treatises and which concern the good faith and diligence of the Pontiff in searching
             out and enunciating the truth.  However, these things, since they concern the conscience of the Pontiff rather than his relation [to the Church], must be
             considered as touching on the moral order rather than the dogmatic order.  For with great care our Lord Jesus Christ willed that the charism of truth
             depend not on the conscience of the Pontiff, which is private - even most private - to each person, and known to God alone, but rather on the public
             relation of the Pontiff to the universal Church.  If it were otherwise, this gift of infallibility would not be an effective means for preserving and repairing
             the unity of the Church.  But in no way, therefore, should it be feared that the universal Church could be led into error about faith through the bad faith
             and negligence of the Pontiff.  For the protection of Christ and the divine assistance promised to the successors of Peter is a cause so efficacious that the
             judgment of the supreme Pontiff would be impeded if it were to be erroneous and destructive of the Church; or, if in fact the Pontiff really arrives at a
             definition, it will truly stand infallibly.

 

030.     But some will persist and say: there remains, therefore, the duty of the Pontiff - indeed most grave in its kind – of adhering to the means apt for discerning the truth, and, although this matter is not strictly dogmatic, it is, nevertheless, intimately connected with dogma.  For we define:  the dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff are infallible.  Therefore let us also define the form to be used by the Pontiff in such a judgment.  It seems to me that this was the mind of some of the most reverend fathers as they spoke from this podium.  But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here.  Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?

 

031.     Perhaps someone will say: if we don't have a law, let us make one.  But let us not do this lest we run up against that already condemned law which said that the council was above the Pope.  Furthermore, of what use would be such a law?  Would it not be completely useless, since it would never be able to be verified by the faithful and the bishops scattered throughout the world?  Even more, it would be a very dangerous thing since it would offer the opportunity for innumerable foolish objections and anxieties.  Therefore, let Peter gird himself according to the word of our Lord Jesus Christ, since Peter does not grow old while the world grows old but rather renews his powers like the eagle.

 

032.     But someone may still persist and say:  but what about the human means, the aid of the Church, the assent of the Church, say, that is, that the witness and advice of the bishops is not only unable to be excluded from the definition of infallibility but should be put in the definition as being among the conditions which are a matter of faith.  Therefore this condition is said to be a matter of faith, and just how is that assertion proved?  Is it contained in the promise of Christ?  It seems to me that not only is it not contained in that promise, but rather that in that promise the contrary is contained.  Indeed it cannot be denied that, in the relation of Peter to the Church, to which Christ willed that the infallibility of Peter be joined, there is contained a special relation of Peter to the Apostles and therefore also to the bishops, since Christ said to Peter: "I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail, and you, once turned, confirm your brothers" (Lk. 22:32).  This, therefore, is the relation of the Pontiff to the bishops which is contained in the promise of Christ.  If these words of Christ are to have their necessary force, then it seems to me that one should conclude that the brothers, that is, the bishops, in order that they be firm in the faith, need the aid and advice of Peter and his successors, and not vice versa.  Thus it happens that those who favor this opinion do not call upon Sacred Scripture but upon certain axioms which to them seem completely conclusive.  What are these axioms?

 

033.     First axiom: the members should be joined to the head and the head to the members.  From this axiom they deduce that it is necessary for the Pope, in defining dogmas of faith, to do nothing without the advice and consent of his brothers.  Before I reply to this objection, it will be helpful to remember that, in this opinion of the adversaries, we are dealing with a strict and absolute necessity of episcopal advice and help in every dogmatic judgment of the Roman Pontiff, so much so that it must have its place in the very definition of our dogmatic constitution.  It is in this strict and absolute necessity that the whole difference between us consists.  The difference does not consist in the opportuneness or some relative necessity which must be completely left to the judgment of the Roman Pontiff as he determines according to the circumstances.  As such, this type of necessity cannot have a place in the definition of a dogmatic constitution.

 

034.     That said, I return to the axiom about head and members and make my response.  A figure of speech is not an argument, or, as is commonly said, every analogy limps.  And that this comparison, applied in this way, really limps, can be shown by the following reason.  Are not the laity, among whom there are very many who are outstanding in knowledge and piety, and, even more, are not the priests who exercise the duty of teaching their parishioners, are not they all members of the Church?  Who would doubt it?  Therefore, should these also help the Pope by their advice and aid when he makes dogmatic judgments?  By no means.  And why not?  Is it not because they do not belong to the Church teaching?  All right, but at the same time it is evident that the analogy about the head and members limps.  But now it is asked whether the bishops also - although they are constituted by God as witnesses, teachers and judges of the Christian faith - do not relate to the Pope as disciples to teacher, when he is defining for the whole Church and exercising his duty as universal teacher.  Such is the case.  For this is what the words of Christ and the words "supreme judge," "universal doctor," and "pastor of the whole flock of Christ" signify.  So, on that point, too, the adduced comparison limps, and the consequence about the necessity of the advice of the bishops falls.

 

035.     I now push on to the end; we are almost there.  But again there are some who insist and say: what you have said about a solemn definition of the Pope is true "post factum," for then not only the laity but even priests and bishops are held to submit to the infallible authority of the Pope.  But this is not true before the definition is made:  in order to issue such a definition there should be the concurrence of the bishops. For (and this is the second axiom), just as the bishops are not able to do anything in determining dogmas without the Pope, so the Pope is not able to do anything without the bishops.  Now let us look at this axiom from each side.  The bishops are not able to do anything without the Pope in establishing dogmas of the Faith.  This is true since even decrees about faith put forth by a general council are not infallible and firm unless they have been confirmed by the Pope.

 

036.     The reason for this is not that which - I am sorry to say - has been several times indicated from this platform, namely the reason which says that all infallibility of the Church is situated in the Pope alone and from the Pope is derived and communicated to the Church.  Indeed, according to a very celebrated theological system, this is able to be said about jurisdiction since the nature of jurisdiction is such that it is able to be, even should be, communicated to others.  However, how is infallibility to be communicated?  This I don't understand.  The true reason why the bishops, even gathered in a general council, are not infallible in matters of faith and morals without the Pope is to be found in the fact that Christ promised this infallibility to the whole magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Apostles together with Peter.  He did this when He said: "I am with you until the consummation of the world" (Mt. 28:20).  Therefore the bishops are not able to do anything in this regard without the Pope.  But is the other case true, viz., that the Pope is not able to do anything in this regard without the bishops?  This other part has no value, since Christ said to Peter alone: "You are Peter (Mt. 16:18) ...  I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" (Lk. 22:32).

 

037.     But the issue is pressed by saying (and this is the third axiom): the consent of the Churches is a rule of faith which even the Pope ought to follow, and therefore he should consult those who rule the Churches before he makes a definition in order that he may be certain about the consent of the Churches.  I reply.  The matter has come to its extreme point and we must accurately distinguish between true and false lest we suffer shipwreck in port.  It is true that the Pope in his definitions "ex cathedra" has the same sources ("fontes") which the Church has, viz., Scripture and tradition.  It is true that the consent of the present preaching of the whole magisterium of the Church, united with its head, is a rule of faith even for pontifical definitions.  But from all that it can in no way be deduced that there is a strict and absolute necessity of seeking that consent from the rulers of the Churches or from the bishops.  I say this because this consent is very frequently able to be deduced from the clear and manifest testimonies of Sacred Scripture, from the consent of antiquity, that is, of the Holy Fathers, from the opinion of theologians and from other private means, all of which suffice for full information about the fact of the Church's consent.

 

038.     Finally it must never be overlooked that there is present to the Pope the Tradition of the Church of Rome, that is, of that Church to which faithlessness has no access and with which, because of its more powerful primacy, every Church must agree.  Therefore that strict necessity [i.e., of consulting the bishops], such as is required for a dogmatic constitution, can in no way be demonstrated.  It can happen that there be so difficult a case that the Pope thinks it necessary, for his own information, to ask the bishops, as an ordinary means, what the sense of the Churches is, as he did, for example, in the case of the Immaculate Conception.  Such a case, however, is not able to be established as a rule.

 

039.     Furthermore - and this is to be noted well – everyone knows that this rule about the consent of the Churches in their present preaching is valid only in its positive sense and, by no means, in its negative sense.  This means that everything which the Universal Church, consenting to, receives and venerates in its present preaching as revealed is certainly true and Catholic [doctrine].  But, what happens if disagreements arise among the particular churches and are followed by controversies about the faith?  Then, according to Vincent of Lerins, one must recur to the consent of antiquity, that is, to Scripture and the holy Fathers; and, from the consent of antiquity, differences in present preaching are to be resolved.

 

040.     Likewise it is to be noted that dogmatic judgments of the Roman pontiff are especially concerned with controversies about the faith in which recourse has been had to the Holy See, and the Pontiff should therefore define them, either from the Scriptures, the holy Fathers, or Doctors of the Church, or from the Tradition of the Church of Rome which faithfully and religiously, has preserved what Peter passed down.  Therefore whoever contends that the Pope, either for his information or for an infallible judgment about faith and morals, totally depends on the manifest consent of the bishops or on their aid has nothing left to do than to establish that false principle which says that all dogmatic judgments of the Roman Pontiff are weak and reformable in and of themselves unless the consent of the Church accrues to them.  But such an outlook is either completely arbitrary or subversive of all papal infallibility.  It is arbitrary if it requires the assent of a greater or lesser part of the bishops.  Because, who will decide what number of them is sufficient?  Who will make a choice since, in this respect, the bishops are completely equal among themselves and the assent of some cannot be prejudicial to the assent and judgment of others?  The arbitrary character of this outlook is seen especially when one is dealing with subsequent assent, either tacit or expressed.  History is a witness to what anxieties, commotions and scandals come forth.  But, wait, there is more.  This system or outlook is completely subversive of all papal infallibility if the consent of the whole Church is required by it.  For then there would exist in reality only one infallibility, that which resides in the whole body of the teaching Church.  But in that case, the decrees of the Roman Pontiff can and should be reformed by a general council inasmuch as, in the meantime, the assent of the Church would not be so manifest that it could not be denied.  And lest we fall again into the infallibility of the Pontiff decreeing by himself alone, the Pope would not be able to confirm any but those decrees of a council which were pleasing to a majority of the bishops or rather to the unanimity of the bishops.  But what if the bishops did not agree among themselves?  It would be the end of judgment in the Church, it would be the death knell of the Church which, according to the Apostle, should be the column and foundation of truth.  Now before I end this general relatio, I should respond to the most grave objection which has been made from this podium, viz. that we wish to make the extreme opinion of a certain school of theology a dogma of Catholic faith.  Indeed this is a very grave objection, and, when I heard it from the mouth of an outstanding and most esteemed speaker, I hung my head sadly and pondered well before speaking.  Good God, have you so confused our minds and our tongues that we are misrepresented as promoting the elevation of the extreme opinion of a certain school to the dignity of dogma, and is Bellarmine brought forth as the author of the fourth proposition of the Declaration of the French Clergy?  For, if I may begin from the last point, what is the difference between the assertion which the reverend speaker attributes to Bellarmine, viz., "The Pontiff is not able to define anything infallibly without the other bishops and without the cooperation of the Church," and that well-known 4th article which says: "in questions of faith the judgment of the supreme Pontiff is not irreformable unless the consent of the Church accrues to it"?  In reality there is hardly to be found any difference unless someone wants to call the disagreement of the bishops the cooperation of the Church so that a dogmatic definition would be infallible, even though the bishops dissent, but as long as they had been consulted beforehand.  These things are said about the opinion of Bellarmine.  As far as the doctrine set forth in the Draft goes, the Deputation is unjustly accused of wanting to raise an extreme opinion, viz., that of Albert Pighius, to the dignity of a dogma.  For the opinion of Albert Pighius, which Bellarmine indeed calls pious and probable, was that the Pope, as an individual person or a private teacher, was able to err from a type of ignorance but was never able to fall into heresy or teach heresy.  To say nothing of the other points, let me say that this is clear from the very words of Bellarmine, both in the citation made by the reverend speaker and also from Bellarmine himself who, in book 4, chapter VI, pronounces on the opinion of Pighius in the following words: "It can be believed probably and piously that the supreme Pontiff is not only not able to err as Pontiff but that even as a particular person he is not able to be heretical, by pertinaciously believing something contrary to the faith."  From this, it appears that the doctrine in the proposed chapter is not that of Albert Pighius or the extreme opinion of any school, but rather that it is one and the same which Bellarmine teaches in the place cited by the reverend speaker and which Bellarmine adduces in the fourth place and calls most certain and assured, or rather, correcting himself, the most common and certain opinion.

 

041.     I will now set forth the first of the suggested corrections and then a vote will be able to be had on them, namely on numbers one to twenty inclusive.  After the general relatio, the individual corrections will now be able to be dealt with briefly.

 

042.     The first eight suggested corrections concern the title of the proposed chapter.  The first four want the title to read:  "On the supreme magisterium," or simply, "On the magisterium," or "On the primacy of magisterium."  But the Deputation was not able to approve such a title, because it would appear to be broader than the matter treated in this chapter.  In this chapter we are not dealing in general with the supreme magisterium of the Pope, which is part of his jurisdiction, since the jurisdiction of the Pope has two facets, (lit. keys), that is, of knowledge and of power.  Therefore the Deputation was not able to accept the first, the second (under its parts a, b, c), the third or the fourth suggested corrections.

 

043.     Suggested correction #5 wants the title to read: "On the infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiffs."  This correction the Deputation has accepted with one reservation, viz., that it not be of Roman Pontiffs in the plural, but in the singular, i.e., "On the infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiff."  The reason for the admission of the suggested correction is this: the title "On the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff" when translated into other languages sometimes does not have its proper sense.  For example, in German, this way of putting it is able to be confused with impeccability.  Therefore, so that it may immediately be clear that we are not treating of the impeccability of the Roman Pontiff but of his infallibility in teaching, let the chapter be entitled "On the infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiff."

 

044.     Suggested correction #6 is not admitted because it places a reason in the title, citing the Pope as head of the teaching Church.  But in a title there should not be anything about reasons.

 

045.     Suggested correction #7 is also not admissible.  According to the mind of the one who suggested it, the title should read:  "On the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff in exercising the office of the supreme magisterium," thus immediately circumscribing the infallibility of the Pontiff in a certain way.  But it is not customary to place in the titles the limits of what is to be subsequently treated.

 

046.     Finally, suggested correction #8 is not a title, but rather a whole thesis and therefore is also not able to be accepted.

 

047.     Suggested correction #9.  No vote will be asked on this suggested correction because it only contains a kind of wish that the documents of the councils be omitted and that the divine promise [only] be adduced as an argument for infallibility.

 

048.     Suggested correction #10 begins the proposals which touch upon the first part of the proposed chapter, i.e., on the introduction which is contained in the opening words, and on the documents of the three councils.  Indeed, suggested corrections #10, #11, and #12 propose a new text for the first part of this proposed chapter.  Suggested correction #10 consists of three parts.  The Deputation accepts the first part because the style is more elegant while the sense is identical with the proposed chapter.

 

049.     The second part of proposed correction #10, beginning with the words "With the approbation of the Council of Lyons" up to the words "The Council of Florence defined in solemn decree" will not be submitted to vote, but it is also not accepted because it has already been decided that not only would the Council of Lyons be adduced [as evidence], but that these documents of the three Councils should remain completely intact.  Only certain things which are found in the folio distributed yesterday under the numbers 1-5 should be emended as far as style and a more correct text are concerned, and this because of the fact that the Deputation proposed, that, after the first paragraph which contains the documents of the Councils, there should be inserted a description of the "praxis" of the Apostolic See in respect to dogmatic judgments.  Since that part is historical, as is the first part, which treats of the documents, it should be proposed in an historical form and not in the form of a solemn profession of faith as it is now found in the proposed chapter where one reads "we profess with the council, etc."  But since this matter also touches on style, it too will not be submitted to a vote.

 

050.     As far as a more correct text is concerned, especially worthy of note is the correction under #3 of the folio distributed yesterday.  The learned and reverend bishop of Rottenburg also suggested that the words as found in the present Draft do not completely agree with the correct text of the 4th Council of Constantinople.  Therefore, the third correction is proposed according to this more correct text but is also not submitted to a vote.

 

051.     The third part of this suggested correction #10 begins with the words, "In order that they might satisfy this pastoral obligation."  In place of this third part as it is found in correction #10 itself, we put forth for the vote of the fathers the correction which was printed up and distributed to everyone yesterday.  This correction is strongly recommended in order to satisfy both those who think that the cooperation of the Church is altogether excluded and those, who in their reflections and warnings, wanted to propose to the people different ways to illustrate this doctrine.  Therefore, in this correction, newly adopted by the Deputation, beginning with the words "To satisfy this pastoral office ..." and ending with the words "supreme apostolic office," in this newly adopted correction, I say, the following things are contained.  First there is described the care which the Roman Pontiffs have themselves undertaken in order to preserve and extend Catholic truth and which has been imposed on them by  controversies over the faith which have arisen in various places and times.  Then, beginning with the words, "Moreover the Roman Pontiffs, according to the dictates of times and circumstances ..." there is described the procedure which the Roman Pontiffs have always used and use and will use in the future in respect to dogmatic definitions.  Then, from the words, "to be consonant with Sacred Scripture and apostolic traditions ..." there is described that that which the Roman Pontiffs define rests on Sacred Scripture and Tradition, under the protection of Christ and the assistance of the Holy Spirit, which protection and assistance is not to be confused with revelation.  Then, beginning with the words, "All the venerable Fathers and holy orthodox doctors ..." there is described the manner by which the definitions of the Roman Pontiff have been received, according to the promise of Christ, as conformed to truth and unchangeable, and how, by this very fact, the consent of the Churches dispersed throughout the world with the Roman Church and the Roman Church with them shines forth.  Then, from the words, "Therefore this charism of truth ..." there is described the purpose for which Christ the Lord gave this prerogative of inerrancy to the Apostolic See or to the Roman Pontiff.  For the purpose of this gift is the good of the Church so that she might fulfill her task for the salvation of all, namely the realization of correct doctrine, the unity of faith and charity and the undivided connection between the foundation and edifice of the Church.  Finally, in the last insertion "Since in our times which especially ..." there is first indicated the reason for this solemn definition of pontifical infallibility, and then the nature of this prerogative, viz. that it does not belong to the Pope as a private person but as exercising his office as supreme pastor.  Therefore this correction is recommended to the reverend fathers as suitable for acceptance.

 

052.     Suggested correction #11.  This suggested correction also contains a new text for the first part, i.e., for the first paragraph of our Draft.  The ideas which occur in this suggestion are good enough but nevertheless the Deputation thinks this suggestion should not be accepted, especially because it does not seem that the public documents of the three ecumenical councils should be omitted.

 

053.     Suggested correction #12.  This suggestion also has an entirely new text for the first paragraph of our Draft, and the ideas in the suggestion are likewise very beautiful.  But they are also, it seems to me, somewhat exaggerated.  For this reason, and for the same reason which I cited in the previous suggestion, the Deputation thinks that this suggestion should not be accepted.

 

054.     Suggested corrections #13-20 contain certain suggested corrections of individual parts of the first paragraph of our proposed chapter.  In suggestion #13 there is expressed the wish that the seven first lines of our chapter, i.e., the introduction, be replaced by other words, viz., "That the Roman Pontiff as successor of St. Peter, Prince of the apostles, etc."  But it seems that this suggestion should not be accepted because the reason which the reverend author gives for his suggestion, i.e., that our manner of arguing proves the question by the question, which is to say that we demonstrate infallibility arguing from the primacy, does not in fact exist.  The fact is that from the primacy we deduce the supreme power of teaching, as one would deduce a species from its genus.  From the supreme power of teaching, paying attention to its purpose, namely the preservation of unity in faith, and to the promises of Christ, we deduce infallibility.  Therefore in reality there is not present that form of argumentation called the "vicious circle."

 

055.     Suggestion #14 also pertains to the first words of the introduction of our chapter, desiring that they read as follows: "With the divine words shedding their light ... and as the holy witness of the Liturgy testifies."  But these words, particularly the final ones, can hardly be inserted in our chapter, as fine as they may be, since in fact, in our chapter, there is nothing found in the whole teaching which is drawn from the liturgical documents.

 

056.     Suggestion #15 wants to insert after the words "supreme power of teaching" a citation from St. Augustine which reads: "In the words of the Apostolic See the Catholic faith is so ancient, well-founded, certain and clear that it would be criminal for a Christian to doubt them."  But, since these words of St. Augustine are not general but are made in reference to an individual case, they do not seem suitable for insertion in our chapter.

 

057.     Suggestion #16.  The reverend father desires that pontifical infallibility be deduced expressly from the apostolicity and indefectability of the Church.  But in reality the apostolicity and indefectability of the Church are suggested in our chapter, and, anyway, not all the arguments can be or should be brought forth lest, if one be omitted, it seem to be of no importance.  Therefore this suggestion is not proposed as being acceptable.

 

058.     Suggestion #17 concerns style and therefore is not proposed for a vote.

 

059.     Suggestion #18 consists of two parts.  In the first part the author wills that the words of the Council of Florence either be quoted in their entirety or blotted out or only alluded to.  But the words of Florence, it would appear, should not be taken away nor cited in their entirety insofar as they do not pertain to the infallible magisterium of the Pontiff.  Therefore the first part of this suggestion should not be accepted.  Likewise for the second part of the suggestion.  For it is asserted in the second part that the Pontiff is only the guardian and teacher of the faith and not an infallible judge.  Thus it is not suitable that this suggestion be proposed for acceptance by the fathers.

 

060.     Suggestion #19.  The reverend father wants the word "ecumenical" to be added to the reference to the Council of Florence.  But this is surely unnecessary.  Right from the beginning, when these documents are introduced, it is said that only those testimonies are brought forth which come from ecumenical councils.  Therefore, since from the very beginning all three of these councils are called ecumenical, that is what is being affirmed of the Council of Florence.

 

061.     Suggestion #20 is not proposed for a vote.  It wishes to add the following after the words from the Council of Florence:  "Moreover this fullness of power, according to the mind of the same Council, includes the infallible magisterium of the Roman Pontiff."  But this suggestion has been fully provided for by correction #2 which is proposed for insertion between para. 1 and para. 2 of our chapter, or by the correction which is found in the folio distributed yesterday.

 

062.     Suggestion #21 is not submitted for a vote because it contains a censure rather than a suggested correction.  The reverend father wants that nothing be defined as of faith in the matter of infallibility.

 

063.     Suggestion #22.  A vote will also not be asked for this suggestion because the desires of the reverend father have been abundantly provided for in the paragraph which treats of the praxis of the Apostolic See in matters of dogmatic judgments and which has been inserted between the first and second paragraphs.

 

064.     Suggestion #23.  The reverend father wants that, in the proposed chapter, there first be recorded the words of Christ, "Going teach all nations, etc." and then the three well-known citations of Sacred Scripture in favor of the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff.  Inasmuch as the second part of this request would seem to have been abundantly provided for in those things which are found in the documents of the three Councils and in the paragraph which has been newly inserted, this suggestion is not proposed for acceptance.

 

065.     Suggestion #24.  No vote will be asked for this suggestion either, because it contains something which does not seem to pertain to a dogmatic constitution but rather to the mode of acting of the supreme Pontiff in promulgating decrees of the faith.

 

066.     Suggestion #25.  This suggestion is also not able to be accepted by the Deputation because it seems that the author of this suggestion wants to restrict pontifical infallibility to one of confirming decrees of general councils.  There is therefore a total change, i.e., a passage from one thing to another.

 

067.     Suggestion #26.  This suggestion has been provided for both in the documents which are already in the proposed chapter, as well as in the paragraph newly inserted.   Therefore there will be no vote asked.

 

068.     Suggestion #27.  The reverend father wants that the words of Christ, "I have prayed for you, etc.," (Lk, 22:32) be authentically declared by the Council.  But an authentic declaration of this kind cannot be attempted and, if it were attempted, there would surely be disagreement in the council about this matter.  Therefore this suggestion is not proposed for acceptance.

 

069.     Suggestion #28.  This consists of two parts which indeed are not suitable for voting since they contain only the wish of the reverend father.  Also, in my judgment the second of the two parts contains an opinion which cannot be allowed.  It supposed that there is no other infallibility in the Church than that which is communicated to the Church through the Pontiff, as is the case with jurisdiction.

 

070.     Suggestion #29.  The reverend father wishes that there be added to the Roman Pontiff the words, "existing at the time."  But, since this seems to be "per se" superfluous, it will not be submitted to a vote.

 

071.     Suggestion #30.  As far as the first part of the suggestion goes, the reverend father wants that the words "universal pastor" be substituted for the words "universal teacher."  This desire is already satisfied in the new formula of the definition, about which I shall speak soon.  As far as the second part of the suggestion is concerned, since very many fathers have requested that the well-known formula "speaking `ex cathedra'" be retained and since very many schools [of theology] have indeed used this solemn term in theology, the Deputation "de fide" thinks this desire should be satisfied, and therefore the second part of this suggestion is proposed for acceptance.

 

072.     Suggestion #31.  This contains the same request as the previous suggestion, except that in this case cogent reasons are given for the retention of the expression "the Pontiff speaking `ex cathedra.'"  No further vote is necessary, however, since this will be satisfied by accepting suggestion, #30.

 

073.     Suggestion #32.  The request of this reverend father has already been satisfied in the paragraph recently inserted.

 

074.     Suggestion #33.  Now we come to the definition itself.  The first suggestions concern certain preliminary matters, but the latter suggestions concern the formula of the definition itself.  In suggestion #33, the reverend father appears to want that, having suppressed the reality and the word infallibility, the right and duty of the Roman Pontiff be defended as only that of proscribing heresies, ancient errors against the faith, and, should a new heresy arise, the right and duty of prescribing under pain of excommunication what must be held or rejected.  As a result the Deputation is not able to permit this suggestion.

 

075.     Suggestion #34.  This suggestion is also not able to be allowed because it seems to exclude completely or, at least, restrict excessively the papal infallibility, properly so  called.  According to the mind of the reverend father who made the suggestion, the process in matters of our faith is as follows: the Roman Pontiff makes known the mind of the Church; the Church makes known the meaning of the deposit of revelation; revelation makes known the mind of God, whose truthfulness is the formal motive for faith.  Therefore, to define the meaning of a revealed dogma seems to be, according to the mind of the reverend father, something which pertains only and exclusively to a general council or to the Church Universal.

 

076.     Suggestion #35.  The reverend father wants that the doctrine of infallibility be proposed by the council as being "true and Catholic doctrine," but not as being a truth "de fide."  In this way, he says, a leap [in theological development] will be avoided.  But in fact our definition does not occur via any leap, since no part of Catholic doctrine has been so often and so vigorously aired, at least since the end of the seventeenth century, as has this part of our teaching.  Therefore this council is certainly not able to be accused of having acted via any leap.

 

077.     Suggestion #36.  With this suggestion we begin the individual conditions which some of the reverend fathers want to be appended to the definition itself as conditions without which the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff cannot stand secure.  According to the principles which I have already set forth in the general relatio, the Deputation is not able to admit any of these suggestions, which, nonetheless, should be submitted to the vote of the fathers for the sake of the liberty of the Council.  The Deputation "de fide," according to the principles I have set down, should and does exclude the following suggestions.  What is more, those suggestions should all the more be excluded which are frequently very indefinite, so much so that, for that reason, they are more able to give opportunity for disputes than to be verified in reality.  This is true even for that condition which is found in the so-called "formula Antoniniana."  For this formula would be too vague and indefinite for a conciliar definition (I am not speaking of a theological treatise).  Therefore, the Deputation, for its part, simply rejects suggestion #36, although, nevertheless, it will, as I have said, be submitted to a vote.  This suggestion consists of two parts.  As far as the first part goes, the Deputation "de fide" replied negatively; as far as the second part is concerned, no vote will be taken because it does not pertain to a dogmatic constitution since it wants that the council, through an amendment to the dogmatic constitution, seek from the Holy Father the mode of agreement or cooperation of the bishops which must be observed in individual cases for a definition.  Thus the Deputation also rejects suggestions #37, #38, #39 and #40.  Suggestion #41 will not be submitted to a vote because it does not have a suggestion expressed in suitable words.  Suggestion #42 is likewise excluded for the reason just given.  Likewise is suggestion #43 rejected by the Deputation.

 

078.     The first part of Suggestion #44 will not be submitted for a vote because it doesn't have words suitably composed for a correction.  The second part contains conditions very vague and uncertain and thus this suggestion must also be rejected by the Deputation.

 

079.     Suggestion #45 is also rejected.  It has two parts.  The first part seems to contain a certain condition, viz., "After a study prescribed by law, he brings forth [a decision] from the faith of the teaching Church."  This suggestion or proposed correction is also very vague and ambiguous and thus is not able to be accepted.  In the second part of this suggestion the reverend father wishes that the words "matters of faith and morals" be replaced by "the principles of faith and morals." But the Deputation "de fide" also cannot permit this suggestion, partly because this expression would be completely new, whereas the expression "matter of faith and morals" i.e., doctrine of faith and morals, is very well known and every theologian knows what is to be understood by these words.   Furthermore the principles of morals are able to be other merely philosophical principles of natural moral goodness ("naturalis honestatis"), which do not pertain to the deposit of faith in every respect.

 

080.     Suggestion #46 will not be submitted for a vote because the intent of the reverend father seems to be sufficiently provided for in the paragraph recently inserted into the proposed chapter.

 

081.     Suggestion #47 can also not be permitted, not because of proposed conditions [on infallibility] but for another reason.  The reverend father appears to restrict pontifical infallibility only to controversies of faith, whereas the Pontiff is also infallible as universal teacher and as supreme witness of Tradition, the deposit of faith.

 

082.     Suggestion #48.  This suggestion, too, cannot be accepted, at least not according to the intention of the one who proposed it, since it says: "When the Pontiff defines, exercising his office as head of the Church which always teaches with him, etc."  These words carry with them an ambiguous sense and because of that ambiguity the suggestion cannot be accepted.

 

083.     Suggestion #49 is also such that it carries an ambiguous sense.  It says: "By his apostolic authority, as head of the Church and always united by divine will with the body of bishops."

 

084.     Suggestion #50.  The reverend father wants that we say only "as head of the Church."  This desire is equivalently fulfilled in those things which are found in the new formula of the definition, since all things said there about the Pope defining are to be equivalently taken as meaning "as head of the Church."

 

085.     Suggestion #51.  This suggestion also appears unsuitable for a vote.  The reverend father wants that there be inserted the words, partly taken front Father Perrone (the mention of whom was omitted in the last insertion by an oversight) and partly from St. Augustine.  But the first citation is not able to be inserted because in reality no place is found for it.  As far as the words of St. Augustine, viz., "that which the ancient, Apostolic See and the Roman Church perseveringly holds along with the other churches," are concerned, they are found in the paragraph recently inserted.  Therefore, although these words do not occur in exactly the same context, the intention of the reverend father seems to have been satisfied, and so no vote will be taken on this suggestion.

 

086.     Suggestion #52 wants the following words: "When he defines "ex cathedra," by his apostolic authority, what is contained in the deposit of tradition about matters of faith and morals, and therefore what must be held by all as a matter of faith or is to be rejected as contrary to faith, he is not able to err because of divine assistance; for he is the head of the Body of Christ, etc."  Although all these words are able to have a correct meaning, they are, nevertheless, ambiguous.  The mind of the reverend father seems to be that the Pope promulgates [doctrine] with the consent of the bishops or of the teaching Church.  Therefore, according to the mind of the Deputation this suggestion should not be accepted.

 

087.     Suggestion #53 will not be submitted to a vote because it only contains the proposal that no conditions be set forth in the definition of papal infallibility itself.  So much for the conditions.

 

088.     The rest of the suggestions concern the ambit or extension of papal infallibility, and at this point there will be set forth for a vote the new formula, recently adopted by the Deputation and found in the folio distributed yesterday.  The formula, as you know, goes as follows: "Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian religion, for the glory of God our Savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the salvation of the Christian people, and with the approval of the holy council, we teach and define that it is a divinely revealed doctrine that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks "ex cathedra," that is, when exercising his office as pastor and teacher of all Christians, by his supreme apostolic authority, [defines] a doctrine of faith - the definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves."

 

089.     This suggested correction is, in a way, in harmony with suggestion #68 which is, therefore, transferred to this place.  It harmonizes with that suggestion, although not completely.  After many discussions which were held in the Deputation "de fide" about this matter, the entire Deputation "de fide" finally agreed unanimously that this suggestion or rather this new formula for the definition of papal infallibility would be submitted to the general congregation.  Since this matter is of such great importance, I will set forth here the meaning of this new formula of definition.

 

090.     In this definition we treat:

 

             (01)   the subject of infallibility, namely the Roman Pontiff as Pontiff, i.e., as a public person in relation to the Universal Church.

 

             (02)   There is contained in the definition the act, or the quality and condition of the act of an infallible pontifical definition, i.e., the Pontiff is said to be
             infallible when he speaks "ex cathedra."  This formula is received in the schools, and the meaning of this formula as it is found in the very body of the
             definition is as follows: when the supreme Pontiff speaks "ex cathedra," not, first of all, when he decrees something as a private teacher, nor only as the
             bishop and ordinary of a particular See and province, but when he teaches as exercising his office as supreme pastor and teacher of all Christians. 
             Secondly, not just any manner of proposing the doctrine is sufficient even when he is exercising his office as supreme pastor and teacher.  Rather, there
             is required the manifest intention of defining doctrine, either of putting an end to a doubt about a certain doctrine or of defining a thing, giving a
             definitive judgment and proposing that doctrine as one which must be held by the Universal Church.  This last point is indeed something intrinsic to
             every dogmatic definition of faith or morals which is taught by the supreme pastor and teacher of the Universal Church and which is to be held by the
             Universal Church.  Indeed this very property and note of a definition, properly so-called, should be expressed, at least in some way, since he is defining
             doctrine to be held by the Universal Church.

 

             (03)   There is found in the definition the principle or efficacious cause of infallibility.  That principle or efficacious cause of infallibility is the protection
             of Christ and the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

 

             (04)   There is contained in the definition the object of infallibility.  Infallibility has been promised in order to guard and unfold the integral deposit of
             faith.  From this it can easily be seen that, in general, the object of infallibility is doctrine about faith and morals.  But not all truths which pertain to the
             doctrine of faith and Christian morals are of the same kind.  Nor are they all necessary in one and the same degree in order to guard the integrity of the
             faith.  Therefore it follows that the errors which are opposed to guarding the deposit of faith are opposed in different degrees, just as the truths
             themselves, to which the errors are opposed, pertain to the same deposit in different degrees.  These different degrees of error are distinguished by
             different notes of censure. 

 

091.     (01)   It is certain that the infallibility promised by God completely includes the same extent of truths whether that infallibility resides in the whole
             Church teaching, when it defines truths in council, or in the supreme Pontiff considered in himself.  This is so since the purpose of infallibility is the
             same in whichever mode it is exercised.

 

             (02)   In the very word of God by which infallibility, whether considered in the Pope "per se" or in the Church teaching, has been promised in order to
             guard the deposit of faith, there is undoubtedly contained the fact that this infallibility extends at least to those things which in themselves constitute
             the deposit of faith, namely, which are necessary for defining the dogmas of the faith and, what comes to the same thing, for condemning heresies. 
             Hence it clearly is believed and must be believed as a matter of faith by all the children of holy Mother Church that the Church, is infallible in proposing
             and defining dogmas of faith.  Now in the same manner, the infallibility of the head of the Church is not able to be revealed and defined unless, by that
             very fact, it is revealed and defined that the Pontiff is infallible in defining dogmas of faith.

 

             (03)   But, together with revealed truths, there are, as I said a little while ago, other truths more or less strictly connected.  These truths, although they
             are not revealed "in se," are nevertheless required in order to guard fully, explain properly and define efficaciously the very deposit of faith.  Truths of
             this type, therefore, to which dogmatic facts pertain "per se," inasmuch as the deposit of faith is not able to be preserved and expounded without them,
             these truths, I say, concern the deposit of faith, not indeed of themselves, but as necessary for guarding that deposit of faith.  All Catholic theologians
             completely agree that the Church, in her authentic proposal and definition of truths of this sort, is infallible, such that to deny this infallibility would, be
             a very grave error.  A diversity of opinion turns only on the question of the degree of certitude, i.e., on whether the infallibility in proposing these truths
             - and therefore in proscribing errors through censures inferior to the note of heresy - should be considered a dogma of faith, so that to deny this
             infallibility to the Church would be heretical, or whether it is a truth not revealed in itself but one deduced from revealed dogma and as such is only
             theologically certain.

 

092.     Now, since what must be said about the infallibility of the Pope in defining truths is completely the same as what must be said about the infallibility of the Church defining, there arises the same question about the extension of pontifical infallibility to those truths not revealed in themselves but which pertain to the guarding of the deposit of the faith.  The question, I say, arises as to whether papal infallibility in defining these truths is not only theologically certain but is a dogma of the faith, exactly the same question as has arisen about the infallibility of the Church.  Now, since it has seemed to members of the Deputation, by unanimous agreement, that this question should not be defined, at least not now, but should be left in the state in which it presently is, it necessarily follows, according to the opinion of the same Deputation, that the decree of faith about the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff should be seen in such a way that there is defined, as far as the object of infallibility in definitions of the Roman Pontiff is concerned, that there must be believed exactly the same thing as is believed in respect to the object of infallibility in definitions of the Church.  Thus, the present definition about the object of infallibility contains two parts which are intimately connected.  The first part enunciates the object of infallibility only generically, namely that it is doctrine of faith and morals.  The second part of the definition distinctly sets forth this object of infallibility, not indeed by individual considerations, but by circumscribing and determining it by comparing it with the infallibility of the Church in defining, so that the very same thing must be confessed about the object of infallibility when the Pope is defining as must be confessed about the object of infallibility when the Church is defining.  These two parts always have to be taken together if the true meaning of our definition is to be grasped.  Therefore not only must it be said that the Pope is infallible in matters of faith and morals, when he defines doctrines about faith and morals, but that this infallibility is that infallibility which the Church enjoys.  Therefore, someone who would simply assert that the Roman Pontiff is infallible when he defines something about faith or morals has by no means comprehended the meaning of our definition.  Nor is the meaning of our formula comprehended by someone who simply asserts that the Roman Pontiff is infallible when he defines something which simply must be held by the Church.  The two things must always be joined so that the meaning of our formula be correct and true.  Moreover, this formula seems most suitable to express both things:  "The Roman Pontiff, when he defines a doctrine of faith and morals to be held by the universal Church, enjoys that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith or morals."

 

093.     Therefore, in this entire definition, the following three things are contained: 1) The Roman Pontiff, through the divine assistance promised to him, is infallible, when, by his supreme authority, he defines a doctrine which must be held by the Universal Church, or, as very many theologians say, when he definitively and conclusively proposes his judgment; 2) the object of these infallible definitions is doctrine about faith or morals; 3) in respect to the object of infallibility, generically proposed in this way, the infallibility of the Pope is neither more nor less extensive than is the infallibility of the Church in her definitions of doctrine of faith and morals.  Therefore just as everyone admits that to deny the infallibility of the Church in defining dogmas of faith is heretical, so the force of this decree of the Vatican Council makes it no less heretical to deny the infallibility of the supreme Pontiff, considered in itself, when he defines dogmas of faith.  However, in respect to those things about which it is theologically certain - but not as, yet certain "de fide" - that the Church is infallible, these things are also not defined by this decree of the sacred Council as having to be believed "de fide" in respect to papal infallibility.  With the theological certitude which is had that these other objects, apart from dogmas of the faith, fall within the extension of the infallibility which the Church enjoys in her definitions, so, with that same theological certitude, must it be held, now and in the future, that the infallibility of definitions issued by the Roman Pontiff extends to these same objects.

 

094.     Now, as to what concerns the method for treating this, matter in our voting, most eminent and reverend fathers, you can see for yourselves that everything in our formula is so interconnected that those things which are found in the following suggested corrections - touching upon the object of papal infallibility and on the relation which exists between papal infallibility and the infallibility of the Church – are not able to be joined to our formula, nor can anything be separated from our formula.  Therefore there remains nothing to do except first submit to a vote of the most reverend fathers this formula of the Deputation.  But if this formula is accepted - as, with the help of God, I hope it will be – then no further votes need be sought in respect to the following suggestions, to the extent that they concern the object of papal infallibility and the relation between papal infallibility and the infallibility of the Church.  This is so because, as I have just said, the matter found in these suggestions cannot be taken into our formula while saving its meaning, nor is anything able to be omitted from our formula without ruining its tight connections.  Therefore a vote will first be sought in respect to our formula, and, in case it is accepted by the general congregation, another further relatio about those suggestions concerning the object of infallibility and the relation between papal infallibility and the infallibility of the Church will no longer be necessary.  Therefore I think I can refrain from any further observations about these suggestions and only say something if a particular thing seems to be worthy of note.

 

095.     Suggestion #54 is the first about which a vote will not be sought, presuming that our formula is accepted.

 

096.     Suggestion #55.  Likewise, no vote will be sought for this suggestion because the reverend father wants that the Pope be declared infallible not only in defining but even in seeking the truth.

 

097.     Suggestion #56 will not be voted upon.  The same is true for suggestions #57 and #58.  But the reason for not seeking a vote in these cases is different.  The reverend father agrees with the previous suggestion which wants that "matters of morals" be replaced by "principles of morals." Therefore, since it has already been said that this suggestion could not be accepted and would not be submitted to a vote, so also no vote will be sought in this case.

 

098.     Suggestion #59 agrees with the former, and therefore no vote will be asked.

 

099.     Suggestion #60 wants an addition which does not pertain to a dogmatic constitution, i.e., concerning the promulgation of pontifical definitions through the bishops.  This does not concern a dogmatic constitution and therefore no vote will be sought.

 

100.     Suggestion #61 will not require a vote, presuming our formula is approved.

 

101.     Suggestion #62 deals with offering assent to papal decrees of faith.  The Deputation thinks that this suggestion should also not be accepted by the general congregation.  For this suggestion belongs to a system different from our own, because this suggestion only finds its place if it is supposed that the assent of the Church, whether antecedent or consequent, is necessary.  Since we have already not excluded the cooperation of the Church, we do not exclude the consent of the Church as long as this cooperation and this consent are not set forth as a condition without which the Pontiff is not able to be infallible.  As I have said, in our system this suggestion does not find a place and therefore should not be accepted.

 

102.     Suggestion #63 is also not to be submitted for a vote, presuming the acceptance, etc.

 

103.     Suggestion #64 for like reason will not be submitted to a vote although the proposal is nevertheless satisfied by our new formula, although not in the exact sense of the suggestion.

 

104.     Suggestion #65 will likewise not be submitted for a vote.  The reverend father sets forth many - and certainly not to be spurned - matters of gravity which propose that the Pope is infallible even in those things which he defines and proposes to be rejected with a censure less than heresy.  But the observation which I gave in commenting on the definition is valid in respect to these matters.

 

105.     Suggestion #66.  No vote will be sought because the desire of the reverend father is partly satisfied through the inserted paragraph and partly because it contains certain things about the object of papal infallibility which are not in harmony with our formula.

 

106.     Suggestion #67 will also not be submitted for a vote.

 

107.     Suggestion #68 is, as far as its substance, the same as that which was newly adopted by the Deputation and which we have in our formula.

 

108.     Suggestion #69 will not be presented for a vote, presuming the acceptance, etc.

 

109.     Suggestion #70.  The reverend father wants certain things to be added at the end of the definition, viz., "The obligation remaining firm by which Catholics, etc."  But this definition is not opportune lest we seem to anticipate the judgment of the sacred Council.  Furthermore, in some way it is already provided for in the first dogmatic constitution which treats of the faith.

 

110.     Suggestion #71 will not be submitted for a vote because it wants to extend our definition even to dogmatic facts, and do that not even in the same sense which I set forth in the commentary on our definition.

 

111.     Suggestion #72.  Likewise no vote will be sought for this suggestion as far as its first part.  The same holds true of the second part because it also treats of the object of faith.  Indeed the reverend father wants that it be expressly defined that the infallibility of the Roman Pontiff and the Church are the same.  In what sense this is said by us has already been explained in the commentary on our formula.  Therefore this suggestion will not be put to a vote.

 

112.     There now follow certain things to be added after the definition and before the canons.  As far as all these warnings which have been put forth by very many fathers are concerned, the Deputation "de fide" thinks these warnings have been sufficiently satisfied in the paragraph newly inserted between the first and second paragraphs.  Therefore all these suggestions are rejected by the Deputation, without, however, anticipating the judgment of the general congregation at least as far as some of these suggestions go.

 

113.     Therefore, suggestion #73 is indeed not recommended by the Deputation "de fide," but there will be a vote on it nevertheless.  The reverend father wants that it be said that in the future, councils will not become useless, etc.

 

114.     The same is true of suggestion #74.  For this one no vote will be asked because it does not contain a properly worded suggestion.

 

115.     Suggestion #75.  According to the mind of the Deputation this suggestion is already provided for in the inserted paragraph and thus it can be voted on but the Deputation "de fide" does not recommend it.

 

116.     The same holds true for suggestion #76 which asks that it be expressly stated that the impeccability of the Pope is not included in the definition of infallibility.

 

117.     As far as suggestions #77 and 78 are concerned.  These suggestions or rather these warnings will not be put to a vote because the reverend authors who are members of the Deputation "de fide" agree that their proposals are abundantly provided for in the inserted paragraph.  Therefore there will be no vote on #77 and 78.

 

118.     Now we come to #79 or to the canons.  As far as this last part is concerned, I will deal with it briefly if the reverend fathers permit me.  Much has been disputed and discussed about this matter in the Deputation "de fide," but all are in agreement that no canon found in the following suggestions can be accepted.  And the reason for this, as I will explain briefly, is the following: In a canon the following things are required:

 

             (01)   that the doctrine of the chapter be repeated in the canon as far as its substance and substantial points;

 

             (02)   that a canon be directly opposed to errors raging against this doctrine.  Therefore a canon which should be approved, in order that it may be 
             proposed to the general congregation for approval, should contain those things which I have just indicated.

 

119.     In reality no [suggested] canon contains all these requirements, but rather lacks one or the other.  Even in those which are certainly very good - and especially in two suggestions which much occupied the minds of the Deputation - even there the doctrine is not repeated as far as its full substance, but is, if I may speak thus, essentially changed.  For the doctrine as it was found in the old proposed chapter which was discussed in the general congregations, consisted of two parts.  The first part said that, when the Pope defined a matter of faith, it had to be held that then the Pope was infallible; the second part said that the infallibility of the Pope and Church is the same and that, therefore, the infallibility of the Pope extended to the same object as did the infallibility of the Church.  But no canon integrally refers to this whole doctrine in each of its parts and therefore in its substantial elements.

 

120.     As far as the opposed errors are concerned:  indeed there would be some canons which would proscribe the error which says that papal decrees are reformable.  But this matter has already been treated in our formula and, once the definition is issued as it is set forth in our new proposed chapter or in our new formula, there can be no room for this error.  But indeed another error should be proscribed, namely one that would say that the decrees of the Roman Pontiff are not irreformable and are not to be held if the assent of the Church has not accrued to them or if it is not clear that such assent has accrued.  Therefore, since no canon corresponds to the things which are required if we come down to the singular and special, the Deputation, after long discussion, thought it wise to propose to the general congregation a general canon, that is, the last words of our former proposed chapter now immediately joined in the form of a canon to the doctrine of the newly proposed chapter.  This canon, therefore, reads as follows:  "If anyone should presume to contradict this definition of ours - may God prevent such - let such a one be anathema."

 

121.     Most eminent and reverend fathers, I have had these things to set before you.  As far as the manner of treating them goes, the vote will first be asked about that canon just proposed and which was not printed but which you now have before your eyes.  As far as the other proposed canons go, they will be presented for a vote lest the liberty of the council seem to be prejudiced.  Nevertheless the Deputation "de fide" cannot make any of these proposed canons its own.

 

122.     Having said this, most eminent and reverend fathers, I beg your pardon if I have said anything which is unfavorable or if, by chance, charity has been wounded.  Certainly such was not my intention.  There remains only one thing and I ask it, viz., that finally an end be put to that sad period which began with the great schism of the Western Church in the 16th century and which extends to our own times.  Indeed this period began (all know the causes of this event) with the putting down of the authority of the Roman Pontiff and has arrived at the point that all authority, both sacred and secular, inasmuch as it descends from a divine origin and from the grace of God, is now spurned by many and completely left out of consideration by many more . . .  Let us therefore put an end to this epoch, lifting up once again the authority of the Roman Pontiff to that eminence it had in this regard before it was so greatly disputed.

 

 

 

Footnotes:

 

  [1]  "Defens. declarat. cleri Gallicani" (lib. X), cap. VI.

  [2]  "De auctorit. papae et concilii" cap. IX et XI.

  [3]  "Lib. VI," cap. VII.

  [4]  "Epist." 53 alias 165, #2 (Migne, PL. XXXIII, 196).

  [5]  "Epist. ad Damasum papam" (Migne, PL. XXII, 356).

  [6]  "Enarr. in ps. XL, n. 30" (Migne, PL. XIV, 1082).

  [7]  "Lib. III, adv. Rufinum" cap. XV (Migne, PL. XXIII, 468).

  [8]  "Cozza hist. polem de Graecor. schismate" tom. II, part. IV, cap. XXVIII, n. 1218.

  [9]  Labbe, "Collect. concil.," tom XVIII, col. 1154 et seqq., edit. venet. Coleti.

[10]  "Contr. Iulian.," lib. II, n. CIII (Migne, PL. XLV, 1183).

[11]  Labbe, "Collect. concil.," tom. VII, col. 758, edit. venet. Coleti.

[12]  Inter opp. s. Leonis, tom. I, epist. CXX ad Theodoret. episc. Cyri, pag. 1219, edit. Baller.
 
 
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