Denzinger EN 541

DONUS 676-678

ST. AGATHO 678-681


The Hypostatic Union *

[From the dogmatic epistle of Agatho and the Roman Synod "Omnium bonorum spes" to the Emperors *]

548 Dz 288
We acknowledge (indeed) that one and the same our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, from two and in two substances subsists, unconfusedly without change, indivisibly, inseparably [see n.148], never the difference of natures destroyed on account of the union, but rather the property of each nature preserved and concurring in one person and in one subsistence; not shared or divided in a duality of persons, nor fused into one composite nature; but we acknowledge, even after the subsistential union, one and the same only begotten Son, the Word God, our Lord Jesus Christ [see n. 148], neither each in a different way, nor the one and the other, but the very same in two natures, that is, in the Godhead and in the humanity, because neither has the Word been changed into the nature of the flesh, nor has the flesh been transformed into the nature of the Word; for each remains what by nature it was; indeed in contemplation alone do we discern a difference of the united natures in that from which unfusedly, inseparably, and incommutably it was composed; for one from both and each through one, because at the same time there arc present both the dignity of the Godhead and the humility of the flesh, each nature, even after the union, preserving without defect its own property, "and each form doing with the mutual participation of the other what it holds as its own (work); the Word doing what is of the Word, and the flesh accomplishing what is of the flesh, the one of which shines forth in miracles, the other subnuts to injuries." * Thus, it follows that as we truly confess that He has two natures or substances, that is, the Godhead and the humanity, unfusedly, indivisibly, incommutably, so also He has both two natural wills and two natural operations, since the rule of piety instructs us that perfect God and perfect man is one and the same Lord Jesus Christ [see n. 254-274], because it is shown that the apostolic and evangelical tradition and the teaching of the holy Fathers, whom the holy, apostolic, and Catholic Church and the venerable Synods accept, have taught us this.

COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE III 680-681 - Ecumenical VI (against the Monothelites)

Definition of the Two Wills of Christ *

553 Dz 289 This present holy and universal Synod faithfully receiving and willingly accepting such a suggestion which was made by the most holy and most blessed Agatho, Pope of ancient Rome, to Constantine, our very good and most faithful ruler, which (decree) by name has excommunicated those who have taught or have preached, as has been said above, that there is one will and one operation in the dispensation of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God [see n. 288], likewise has accepted another Synodal decree, which was sent by the Sacred Council which, under the same most holy Pope, is made up of one hundred and twenty-five bishops * pleasing to God, in accordance with a tranquillity established by God, in so far as they are in agreement with the holy Council of Chalcedon, and the [see n. 148] letter of this most holy and most blessed Pope Leo of ancient Rome which was directed to holy Flavian [see n. 143], and which (letter) the Synod has called a monument of this kind of orthodox faith.

554 Dz 290 Besides both in Synodical letters which were written by blessed Cyril against the impious Nestorius and to the oriental bishops, following also the five holy ecumenical councils and the holy and trusted Fathers, and defining harmoniously with them it confesses that our Lord Jesus Christ, our true God, one of the holy and consubstantial Trinity and giving forth the origin of life, perfect in Godhead and the same perfect in humanity, truly God and truly man, Himself of a rational soul and body; it confesses the same consubstantial with the Father according to Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to humanity, through all things like to us except in sin (He 4,15),

555 before ages, indeed, begotten of the Father according to Godhead, in the last days, however, the same for us and for our salvation of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary properly and truly the mother of God according to humanity, one and the same Christ, the only begotten Lord God in two natures recognized unfusedly, unchangeably, inseparably, indivisibly, never the difference of these natures destroyed on account of union, but rather the property of each nature saved and in one person and in one substance concurring, not into two persons portioned or divided but one and the same only be, (Totten Son of God the Word. our Lord Jesus Christ, just as formerly the prophets taught us about Him, and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us [Conc. Chal., see n. 148].

556 Dz 291 And so we proclaim two natural wills in Him, and two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, unfusedly according to the doctrine of the holy Father, and two natural wills not contrary, God forbid, according as impious heretics have asserted, but the human will following and not resisting or hesitating, but rather even submitting to His divine and omnipotent will. For, it is necessary that the will of the flesh act, but that it be subject to the divine will according to the most wise Athanasius. * For, as His flesh is called and is the flesh of the Word of God, soalso the natural will of His flesh is called and is the proper will of the Word of God as He Himself says: "Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of my Father who sent me), (cf. Jn 6,38), calling the will of the flesh His own. For the body became His own. For as His most holy and immaculate animated flesh deified has not been destroyed but in its own status and plan remained, so also His human will deified has not been destroyed, but on the contrary it has been saved according to the theologian Gregory who says: * "For to wish of that one an entire deification, which is understood in the Savior, is not contrary to God."

557 Dz 292
But we glorify two natural operations indivisibly, inconvertibly, unfusedly, inseparably in our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, our true God, that is, the divine operation and the human operation, according to Leo the divine preacher who very clearly asserts: "For each form does what is proper to itself with the mutual participation of the other, that is, the Word doing what is of the Word and the flesh accomplishing what is of the flesh" [see n. 144]. For at no time shall we grant one natural operation to God and to the creature, so that neither what was created, we raise into divine essence, nor what is especially of divine nature, we cast down to a place begetting creatures. For of one and the same we recognize the miracles and the sufferings according to the one and the other of these natures from which He is and in which He has to be as the admirable Cyril says.

558 Therefore we, maintaining completely an unconfused and undivided (opinion), In a brief statement set forth all: that we, believing that He is one of the Holy Trinity, our Lord Jesus Christ our true God, and after the incarnation assert that His two natures radiate in His one substance, in which His miracles and His sufferings through all His ordained life, not through phantasy but truly He has shown, on account of the natural difference which is recognized in the same single substance, while with the mutual participation of the other, each nature indivisibly and without confusion willed and performed its own works; according to this plan we confess two natural wills and operations concurring mutually in Him for the salvation of the human race.

559 Dz 293 These things, therefore, having been determined by us with all caution and diligence, we declare that no one is permitted to introduce, or to describe, or to compare, or to study, or otherwise to teach another faith. But whoever presumes to compare or to introduce or to teach or to pass on another creed to those wishing to turn from the belief of the Gentiles or of the Jews or from any heresy whatsoever to the acknowledgement of truth, or who (presumes) to introduce a novel doctrine or an invention of discourse to the subversion of those things which now have been determined by us, (we declare) these, whether they are bishops or clerics, to be excommunicated, bishops indeed from the bishopric, but priests from the priesthood; but if they are monks or laymen, to be anathematized.

ST. LEO II 682-683 *

JOHN V 685-686

ST. BENEDICT II 684-685 CONON 686-687

(ST. SERGIUS I 687-701)


Protestation concerning the Trinity and the Incarnation *

[From "Liber responsionis" or the "Apologia" of Julian, Archbishop of Toledo]

566 Dz 294 . . . We have found that in that book of response to our faith, which we had sent to the Roman Church through Peter the regent, it had seemed to the Pope already mentioned (Benedict) that we had carelessly written that first chapter where we said according to divine essence: "Will begot will, as also wisdom, wisdom," because that man in a hurried reading thought that we had used these very names according to a relative sense, or according to a comparison of the human mind; and so in his reply he commanded us to give warning saying: "In the natural order we recognize that the word takes its origin from the mind, just as reason and will, and they cannot be changed, so that it may be said that, as the word and the will proceed from the mind, so also the mind from the word or the will, and from this comparison it seemed to the Roman Pontiff that the will cannot be said to be from the will." We, however, not according to this comparison of the human mind, nor according to a relative sense, but according to essence have said: Will from will, as also wisdom from wisdom. For this being is to God as willing: this willing as understanding. But this we cannot say concerning man. For it is one thing for man not to will that which is, and another thing to will even without understanding. In God, however, it is not so, because so perfect is His nature, that this being is to Him as willing, as understanding. . . .

567 Dz 295 Passing also to a re-examination of the second chapter in which the same Pope thought that we had uncautiously said that three substances are professed in Christ, the Son of God, as we will not be ashamed to defend the things that are true, so perchance others will be ashamed to be ignorant of the things that are true. For who does not know that every man consists of two substances, namely of the soul and of the body? . . . Therefore when the divine nature has been joined to the human nature, they can be called both three personal and two personal substances. . . .


Profession of Faith concerning the Trinity *

573 Dz 296
Let the designation of this "holy will"-although through a comparative similitude of the Trinity, where it is called memory, intelligence, and will-refer to the person of the Holy Spirit; according to this, however, what applies to itself, is predicated substantially. For the will is the Father, the will is the Son, the will is the Holy Spirit; just as God is the Father, God is the Son, God is the Holy Spirit and many other similar things, which according to substance those who live as protectors of the Catholic faith do not for any reason hesitate to say. And just as it is Catholic to say: God from God, light from light, life from life, so it is a proved assertion of true faith to say the will from the will; just as wisdom from wisdom, essence from essence, and as God the Father begot God the Son, so the Will, the Father, begot the Son, the Will. Thus, although according to essence the Father is will, the Son is will and the Holy Spirit is will, we must not however believe that there is unity according to a relative sense, since one is the Father who refers to the Son, another the Son, who refers to the Father, another the Holy Spirit who, because He proceeds from the Father and the Son, refers to the Father and the Son; not the same but one in one way, one in another, because to whom there is one being in the nature of deity, to these there is a special property in the distinction of persons.

John VI 701-705

Sisinnius 708

John VII 705-707

Constantine I 708-715

ST. GREGORY II 715-731

The Form and Minister of Baptism *

[From the epistle "Desiderabilem mihi" to St. Boniface, Nov. 22, 726]

580 296a You have said that some without the profession of the Creed were baptized by adulterous and unworthy priests. In these cases may your love hold to the ancient custom of the Church: that, whoever has been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, may in no case be rebaptized; for not in the name of the one baptizing, but in the name of the Trinity has one received the gift of this grace. And let that which the Apostle says be observed: One God, one faith, one baptism (Ep 4,51). But we recommend that to such you teach more zealously the spiritual doctrine.


Baptism and Confirmation *

[From the epistle "Doctoris omnium" to St. Boniface, Oct. 29, 739]

296b However, because they were baptized in the name of the Trinity, it is necessary that those indeed who were baptized through a diversity and a variation of the relationship of languages, be strengthened through the hands of imposition [another version: imposition] and of the holy chrism.


The Form and Minister of Baptism *

[From the epistle "Virgilius et Sedonius" to St. Boniface, July I, 746 (?)]

588 Dz 297
For they have reported that there was a priest in that province, who was so completely ignorant of the Latin language that when he was baptizing, because of his ignorance of the Latin speech, breaking up the language, said: "Baptizo te in nomine Patria et Filia et Spiritus Sancti." And on account of this your honored brotherhood has considered rebaptizing. But . . . if that one who baptized, not introducing an error or a heresy, but through mere ignorance of the Roman speech by breaking up the language, baptizing he said, as we mentioned above, we do not agree that they should be baptized a second time.

[From the epistle (10 resp. 11) "Sacris liminibus" to St. Boniface, May 1, 748 (?)]

589 297a In that (synod of the Angles) it is distinctly recognized that such a decree and judgment is very firmly commanded and diligently demonstrated, so that whoever had been washed without the invocation of the Trinity, he has not been perfected, unless he shall have been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


ST. PAUL I 757-767


* STEPHEN IV 768-772

HADRIAN I 772-795

The Primacy of the Roman Pontiff *

[From the epistle "Pastoralibus Curis" to the Patriarch Tarasius in the year 785]

Dz 298
. . . Let that false assembly, which without the Apostolic See . . . was held contrary to the traditions of the venerable fathers against the divine images, be declared anathema in the presence of our delegates, and let the word of our Lord Jesus Christ be fulfilled, that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against her" (Mt 16,18); and again: "Thou art Peter . . ." (Mt 16,18-19), whose throne holding the first place in all the world shines forth and holds its place as the head of the whole Church of God.

The Errors of the Adoptionists *

[From the epistle "Institutio universalis" to the bishops of Spain, in the year 785]

595 Dz 299
. . . And then from your country a plaintive chapter came to us that certain bishops living there, namely Eliphandus and Ascaricus with others agreeing with them, do not blush to confess the Son of God adopted, although no heretical leader, however great, has dared to utter such blasphemy, except that perfidious Nestorius who has declared that the Son of God is pure man . . . .

Predestination and the Various Abuses of the Spaniards*

[From the same epistle to the bishops of Spain]

596 Dz 300
As for that, however, which some of these say, that predestination to life or to death is in the power of God and not in ours; they say: "Why do we try to live, because it is in the power of God?"; again others say: "Why do we ask God, that we may not be overcome by temptation, since it is in our power, as in the freedom of will?" For truly they are able to render or to accept no plan, being ignorant . . . [of the words] of blessed Fulgentius * [against a certain Pelagius]: "Therefore, God in the eternity of His changelessness has prepared works of mercy and justice . . . but for men who are to be justified He has prepared merits; He has prepared rewards for those who are to be glorified; but for the wicked He has not prepared evil wills or evil works, but He has prepared for them just and eternal punishments. This is the eternal predestination of the future works of God, which as we have always acknowledged to be taught to us by apostolic doctrine, so also faithfully we proclaim. . . ."

Dz 301
Dearly beloved ones, in regard to those diverse chapters, which we have heard from those parts, namely, that many saying that they are Catholics, living a life common with the Jews and non baptized pagans, as in food so in drink or in diverse errors, say that they are not being harmed; and that which has been practised, for although it is not permitted for anyone to marry an infidel, they bless their daughters with one, and so they are entrusted to a pagan people; and that without examination these aforesaid priests are ordained in order that they may preside; and also another great deadly error has grown strong, that although the husband is living, these false priests choose women for themselves in marriage; and at the same time we have heard from these parts about the liberty of the will, and many other things which are too numerous to mention . . . .

COUNCIL OF NICEA II 787 - Ecumenical VII (against the Iconoclasts)

Definition of the Sacred Images and Tradition *


600 Dz 302 (I. Definition) . . . We, continuing in the regal path, and following the divinely inspired teaching of our Holy Fathers, and the tradition of the Catholic Church, for we know that this is of the Holy Spirit who certainly dwells in it, define in all certitude and diligence that as the figure of the honored and life-giving Cross, so the venerable and holy images, the ones from tinted materials and from marble as those from other material, must be suitably placed in the holy churches of God, both on sacred vessels and vestments, and on the walls and on the altars, at home and on the streets, namely such images of our Lord Jesus Christ, God and Savior, and of our undefiled lady, or holy Mother of God, and of the honorable angels, and, at the same time, of all the saints and of holy men.

601 For, how much more frequently through the imaginal formation they are seen, so much more quickly are those who contemplate these, raised to the memory and desire of the originals of these, to kiss and to render honorable adoration to them, not however, to grant true Iatria according to our faith, which is proper to divine nature alone; but just as to the figure of the revered and life-giving Cross and to the holy gospels, and to the other sacred monuments, let an oblation of incense and lights be made to give honor to these as was the pious custom with the ancients. "For the honor of the image passes to the original"; * and he who shows reverence to the image, shows reverence to the substance of Him depicted in it.

602 Dz 303 (II. Proof) For thus the doctrine of our Holy Fathers, that is, the tradition of the Catholic Church which has received the Gospel from and even to the end of the world is strengthened. Thus we follow Paul, who spoke in Christ (2Co 2,17), and all the divine apostolic group and the paternal sanctity keeping the traditions (2Th 2,14) which we have received. Thus prophetically we sing the triumphal hymns for the Church: Rejoice exceedingly, O daughter of Zion, sing forth, O daughter of Jerusalem: be joyful and be happy with all your heart. The Lord has taken from you the injustices of those adverse to you: He has redeemed you from the power of your enemies. The Lord is king in your midst: You will not see more evils (Sg 3,14 f.: LXX) and peace to you unto time eternal.

603 Dz 304 (III. Declaration) Those, therefore, who dare to think or to teach otherwise or to spurn according to wretched heretics the ecclesiastical traditions and to invent anything novel, or to reject anything from these things which have been consecrated by the Church: either the Gospel or the figure of the Cross, or the imaginal picture, or the sacred relics of the martyr; or to invent perversely and cunningly for the overthrow of anyone of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church; or even, as it were, to use the sacred vessels or the venerable monasteries as common things; if indeed they are bishops or clerics, we order (them) to be deposed; monks, however, or laymen, to be excommunicated.

The Sacred Elections *


604 Dz 305 Can. 3. Let every election of a bishop or of a presbyter or of a deacon made by the leaders remain invalid according to the canon (Apostolic Canon 30), which says: If any bishop, using secular powers, obtains a church by means of these, let him be deposed and let all be segregated who join with him. For, it is necessary that he who is going to enter upon the office of bishop, be elected by bishops, as it has been defined by the Holy Fathers who met at Nicea, in the canon (Canon 4) which says: Indeed it is especially fitting that a bishop be ordained by all the bishops who are in the province. If, however, this is difficult either because of pressing necessity or because of the length of the journey, nevertheless, in any case with three meeting together for this very thing, and the absent ones in agreement and joining by letter, then the consecration may be held. The authority, however, over what is done in each province is granted to the metropolitan bishop.

Images, the Humanity of Christ, Tradition *


605 Dz 306 We admit that images should be venerated. Those of us who are not so minded we subject to anathema. . . .

606 Dz 307 If anyone does not confess that Christ, our Lord, has been described according to His humanity . . . let him be anathema.

609 Dz 308 If anyone rejects all ecclesiastical tradition either written or not written . . . let him be anathema.

The Errors of the Adoptionists*

[From the epistle of Hadrian "Si tamen licet" to the bishops of Gaul and of Spain, 793]

610 Dz 309 On that occasion selections of perfidious words from a disordered pen were read; among other things which must be rejected, was the matter arranged with false arguments giving rise, however, to perfidy concerning the adoption of Jesus Christ, the Son of God according to the flesh. This the Catholic Church has never believed, has never taught, has never given assent to those believing wickedly.

Dz 310 . . . O, you impious, and you who are ungrateful for so many benefits, do you not fear to whisper with a poisonous mouth that He, our liberator, is an adopted Son, as it were, a mere man subject to human misfortune, and what is a disgrace to say, that He is a servant. . . . Why are you not afraid, O, querulous detractors, O, men odious to God, to call Him servant, who has freed you from the servitude of the devil? . . . For, although in the imperfect representation of the prophet He was called servant (cf.
Jb 1,8 ff.) because of the condition of servile form which He assumed from the Virgin . . . we understand that this was said both historically of holy Job and allegorically of Christ.


Christ, the Natural, not the Adopted Son of God *

[From the synodical epistle of the bishops of France to the Spaniards]

612 Dz 311 . . . For in the beginning of your little book we have found written what you have laid down: "We confess and we believe that God, the Son of God before all ages without beginning, was begotten from the Father, co-eternal and consubstantial, not by adoption but by birth." Likewise after a few words in the same place we read: "We confess and we believe that He was made from a woman, made under the law (cf. Gal. Ga 4,4), that not by birth is He the Son of God but by adoption; not by nature but by grace." Behold the serpent hiding among the fruit bearing trees of Paradise, that he may deceive every unwary one. . . .

613 Dz 312 That also which you, added in the following [cf.n. 295] we have not found expressed in the profession of the Nicene Creed, that in Christ there are two natures and three substances [cf.n. 295] and "man deified and God made human." What is the nature of man, but soul and body? or what is the difference between nature and substance, that it is necessary for us to say three substances, and not rather simply, as the Holy Fathers have said, that they confess our Lord Jesus Christ true God and true man in one person? Certainly the person of the Son remained in the Holy Trinity, to which person human nature was joined so that it was one person, God and man, not man deified and God made human, but God man and man God, on account of the unity of the person one Son of God, and the same Son of man, perfect God, perfect man . . . Ecclesiastical custom is wont to name two substances in Christ, namely of God and of man. . . .

614 Dz 313 If, therefore, He is true God, who was born of the Virgin, how then can He be adopted or a servant? For by no means do you dare to confess God a servant or one adopted; and if the prophet called Him servant, it is not, however, from the condition of servitude, but from the obedience of humility, by which He was made obedient to the Father even unto death (Ph 2,8).

[From "Capitulari"]
615 Dz 314 (I). . . In the beginning of the chapters there arose the question concerning the impious and abominable heresy of Elephandus, Bishop of the see of Toledo, and of Felix of Orgellitana, and of their followers, who, thinking wrongly, asserted adoption in the Son of God; the most Holy Fathers, who previously rejected all these, have unanimously protested against this and they have determined that this heresy must be thoroughly eradicated from the Holy Church.

ST. LEO III 795-816


Christ, the Natural, not the Adopted * Son of God

[From the Symbol of Faith]
619 314a Neither was the human and temporal nativity absent from the divine and eternal nativity, but in one person of Christ Jesus true Son of God and true Son of man. Not one Son of man and another of God . . . not the supposed Son of God, but true; not adopted, but His own, because never was He alien from the Father because of the human nature which He assumed. And so in each nature we confess that He is the true and not the adopted Son of God, because unconfusedly and inseparably, man having been assumed, one and the same is the Son of God and the Son of man. By nature Son to the mother according to humanity, however, true Son to the Father in both natures. *

STEPHAN V 816-817


ST. PASCHAL I 817-824

GREGORY IV 828-844


SERGIUS II 844-847

ST. LEO IV 847-855


The Sacrament of Extreme Unction *

620 Dz 315 (8) That saving sacrament also which James the Apostle commends saying: If anyone is sick . . .it will be remitted him (Jc 5,14), must be made known to the people by skillful teaching; a truly great mystery and one exceedingly to be sought, through which, if the faithful ask, and their sins are forgiven, it may even follow that health of body is restored. . . . This, however, must be known, that, if he who is sick has not been freed from public penance, he cannot receive the remedy of this mystery, unless first by the prescribed reconciliation he has merited the communion of the body and blood of Christ. He to whom the other sacraments have been restricted, is by no means permitted to use this one.

COUNCIL OF QUIERSY * 853 (Against Gottschalk and the Predestinarians)

Redemption and Grace *

621 Dz 316 Chap. 1. Omnipotent God created man noble without sin with a free will, and he whom He wished to remain in the sanctity of justice, He placed in Paradise. Man using his free will badly sinned and fell, and became the "mass of perdition" of the entire human race. The just and good God, however, chose from this same mass of perdition according to His foreknowledge those whom through grace He predestined to life (Rm 8,29 ff.; Ep 1,11), and He predestined for these eternal life; the others, whom by the judgment of justice he left in the mass of perdition,* however, He knew would perish, but He did not predestine that they would perish, because He is just; however, He predestined eternal punishment for them. And on account of this we speak of only one predestination of God, which pertains either to the gift of grace or to the retribution of justice.

622 Dz 317 Chap. 2. The freedom of will which we lost in the first man, we have received back through Christ our Lord; and we have free will for good, preceded and aided by grace, and we have free will for evil, abandoned by grace. Moreover, because freed by grace and by grace healed from corruption, we have free will.

623 Dz 318 Chap. 3. Omnipotent God wishes all men without exception to be saved (1Tm 2,4) although not all will be saved. However, that certain ones are saved, is the gift of the one who saves; that certain ones perish, however, is the deserved punishment of those who perish.

624 Dz 319 Chap. 4. Christ Jesus our Lord, as no man who is or has been or ever will be whose nature will not have been assumed in Him, so there is, has been, or will be no man, for whom He has not suffered- although not all will be saved by the mystery of His passion. But because all are not redeemed by the mystery of His passion, He does not regard the greatness and the fullness of the price, but He regards the part of the unfaithful ones and those not believing in faith those things which He has worked th rough love (Ga 5,6), because the drink of human safety, which has been prepared by our infirmity and by divine strength, has indeed in itself that it may be beneficial to all; but if it is not drunk, it does not heal.

COUNCIL OF VALENCE * III 855 (Against John Scotus)

Predestination *

625 Dz 320
Can. 1. We have faithfully and obediently heard that Doctor of the Gentiles warning in faith and in truth: "O Timothy, guard that which has been entrusted to you, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions under the false name of knowledge, which some promising concerning faith have destroyed" (
2Tm 6,20 f.); and again: "Shun profane and useless talk; for they contribute much toward ungodliness, and their speech spreadest like an ulcer" (2Tm 2,16 f.); and again: "Avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they beget strifes; but the servant of the Lord must not quarrel" (2Tm 2,23 f.) and again: "Nothing through contention, nothing through vain glory" (Ph 2,3): desiring to be zealous for peace and charity, in so far as God has given, attending the pious counsel of this same apostle: "Solicitous to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace" (Ep 4,3), let us with all zeal avoid novel doctrines and presumptuous talkativeness, whence rather the smoke of contention and of scandal between brothers can be stirred up, than any increase of the fear of God arise. Without hesitation, however, to the doctors piously and correctly discussing the word of truth, and to those very clear expositors of Sacred Scripture, namely, Cyprian, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and others living tranquilly in Catholic piety, we reverently and obediently submit our hearing and our understanding, and to the best of our ability we embrace the things which they have written for our salvation. For concerning the foreknowledge of God, and predestination, and other questions in which the minds of the brethren are proved not a little scandalized, we believe that we must firmly hold that only which we are happy to have drawn from the maternal womb of the Church.

626 Dz 321
Can. 2. We faithfully hold that "God foreknows and has foreknown eternally both the good deeds which good men will do, and the evil which evil men will do," because we have that word of Scripture which says: "Eternal God, who are the witness of all things hidden, who knew all things before they are" (
Da 13,42); and it seems right to hold "that the good certainly have known that through His grace they would be good, and that through the same grace they would receive eternal rewards; that the wicked have known that through their own malice they would do evil deeds and that through His justice they would be condemned by eternal punishment";* so that according to the Psalmist: "Because power belongs to God and mercy to the Lord, so that He will render to each man according to his works" (Ps 61,12 f.), and as apostolic doctrine holds: "To them indeed, who according to patience in good works, seek glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life; but to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man doing evil" (Rm 2,7 ff.). In the same sense, this same one says elsewhere: "In the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power, in a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who do not know God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction . . . when He shall come to be glorified in His Saints, and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed (2Th 1,7 ff.).

627 Certainly neither (do we believe) that the foreknowledge of God has placed a necessity on any wicked man, so that he cannot be different, but what that one would be from his own will, as God, who knew all things before they are, He foreknew from His omnipotent and immutable Majesty. "Neither do we believe that anyone is condemned by a previous judgment on the part of God but by reason of his own iniquity." * "Nor (do we believe) that the wicked thus perish because they were not able to be good; but because they were unwilling to be good, they have remained by their own vice in the mass of damnation either by reason of original sin or even by actual sin." *

628 Dz 322
Can. 3. But also it has seemed right concerning predestination and truly it is right according to the apostolic authority which says: "Or has not the potter power over the clay, from the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor, but another unto dishonor?" (
Rm 9,21) where also he immediately adds: "What if God willing to show His wrath and to make known His power, endured with much patience vessels of wrath fitted or prepared for destruction, so that He might show the riches of His grace on the vessels of mercy, which He has prepared unto glory" (Rm 9,22 f.): faithfully we confess the predestination of the elect to life, and the predestination of the impious to death; in the election, moreover, of those who are to be saved, the mercy of God precedes the merited good. In the condemnation, however, of those who are to be lost, the evil which they have deserved precedes the just judgment of God. In predestination, however, (we believe) that God has determined only those things which He Himself either in His gratuitous mercy or in His just judgment would do * according to Scripture which says: "Who has done the things which are to be done" (Is 4 Is 5,11, LXX); in regard to evil men, however, we believe that God foreknew their malice, because it is from them, but that He did not predestine it, because it is not from Him.

629 (We believe) that God, who sees all things, foreknew and predestined that their evil deserved the punishment which followed, because He is just, in whom, as Saint Augustine* says, there is concerning all things everywhere so fixed a decree as a certain predestination. To this indeed he applies the saying of Wisdom: "Judgments are prepared for scorners, and striking hammers for the bodies of fools" (Pr 19,29). Concerning this unchangeableness of the foreknowledge of the predestination of God, through which in Him future things have already taken place, even in Ecclesiastes the saying is well understood: "I know that all the works which God has made continue forever. We cannot add anything, nor take away those things which God has made that He may be feared" (Qo 3,14). "But we do not only not believe the saying that some have been predestined to evil by divine power," namely as if they could not be different, "but even if there are those who wish to believe such malice, with all detestation," as the Synod of Orange, "we say anathema to them" [see n. 200].

630 Dz 323
Can. 4. Likewise concerning the redemption of the blood of Christ, because of the great error which has arisen from this cause, so that some, as their writings indicate, declare that it has been shed even for those impious ones who from the beginning of the world even up to the passion of our Lord, have died in their wickedness and have been punished by eternal damnation, contrary to that prophet: "O death, I will be Thy death, O hell, I will be thy bite" (
Os 13,14); it seems right that we should simply and faithfully hold and teach according to the evangelical and apostolic truth, because we hold this price to have been paid for those concerning whom our Lord Himself says: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so it is necessary that the Son of man be lifted up, that all, who believe in Him, may not perish, but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son: that all, who believe in Him, may not perish but may have eternal life" (Jn 3,14 ff.), and the Apostle: "Christ," he said, "once has been offered to exhaust the sins of many" (He 9,28).

631 Furthermore, although they are becoming widely spread, we completely remove from the pious hearing of the faithful the chapters (four, which by the council of our brothers have been unwisely accepted, because of the uselessness or even the harmfulness, and the error contrary to truth, and other reasons) absurdly concluded with nineteen syllogisms, and not outstanding in learning, in which the machination of the devil rather than any tenet of faith is found, and that such and similar things may be avoided through all (chapters), we by the authority of the Holy Spirit forbid (them); we believe also that those who introduce these novel doctrines must be punished lest they become too harmful.

632 Dz 324 Can. 5. Likewise we believe that we must hold most firmly that all the multitude of the faithful, regenerated "from the water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3,5), and through this truly incorporated in the Church, and according to the apostolic doctrine baptized in the death of Christ (Rm 6,3), in His blood has been absolved from its sins; that neither for these could there have been true regeneration unless there were true redemption; since in the sacraments of the Church there is nothing false, nothing theatrical, but certainly everything true, dependent upon truth itself and sincerity. Moreover, from this very multitude of the faithful and the redeemed some are preserved in eternal salvation, because through the grace of God they remain faithfully in their redemption, bearing in their hearts the voice of their God Himself: "Who . . . perseveres even unto the end, he will be saved" (Mt 10,22 Mt 24,13); that others, because they were unwilling to remain in the safety of faith, which in the beginning they received, and because they choose by wrong teaching or by a wrong life to make void rather than to preserve the grace of redemption, came in no way to the fullness of salvation and to the reception of eternal beatitude. in both certainly we have the doctrine of the holy Doctor: "We who are baptized in Christ Jesus, are baptized in His death" (Rm 6,3), and: "All you who are baptized in Christ have put on Christ" (Ga 3,27), and again: "Let us approach with a true heart in fullness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with clean water let us hold unwavering the confession of our hope" (He 10,22), and again: "For to us sinning willfully after the accepted knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins" (He 10,26), and again: "He who making void the law of Moses, dies without mercy with two or three witnesses. How much more do you think he deserves worse punishments, who has crushed under foot the son of God, and has considered the blood of the testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and has offered insult to the Spirit of grace?" (He 10,28).

633 Dz 325 Can. 6. Likewise concerning grace, through which those who believe are saved, and without which never has a rational creature lived happily, and concerning free will weakened through sin in our first parents, but reintegrated and healed through the grace of our Lord Jesus for His faithful, we most constant and in complete faith confess the same, which the most Holy Fathers by the authority of the Sacred Scriptures have left for us to hold, which the Synod of Africa and the Synod of Orange [n. 174 ff.] have professed, which the most blessed Pontiffs of the Apostolic See in the Catholic faith have held; but also concerning nature and grace, we presume in no manner to change to another way. We thoroughly refute, however, the foolish questions, and the utterly old wives' tales, the porridge of the Scoti bearing nausea to the purity of faith, which in these most dangerous and grave times, to the summit of cur labors even up to the dividing of charity wretchedly and tearfully have arisen, lest Christian minds henceforth be corrupted and cut off even from the purity of faith, which is in Christ (2Co 11,3) Jesus, and we warn by the love of our Lord Christ that brotherly charity, by being on its guard, protects the hearing from such things. Let the brotherhood recall that it is hard pressed by the very grave evils of the world, by the excessive harvest of iniquity, and that it is most cruelly suffocated by the chaff of light men. Let it have zeal to conquer these things; let it labor to correct these things; and let it not burden the assembly with the inanities of those who grieve and weep piously, but rather in certain and true faith, let that be embraced which has been sufficiently determined by the Holy Fathers concerning these and similar things.

Denzinger EN 541