Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIa/Q73

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Q72 Q74



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Iª-IIae q. 73 pr. Deinde considerandum est de comparatione peccatorum ad invicem. Et circa hoc quaeruntur decem. Primo, utrum omnia peccata et vitia sint connexa. Secundo, utrum omnia sint paria. Tertio, utrum gravitas peccatorum attendatur secundum obiecta. Quarto, utrum secundum dignitatem virtutum quibus peccata opponuntur. Quinto, utrum peccata carnalia sint graviora quam spiritualia. Sexto, utrum secundum causas peccatorum attendatur gravitas peccatorum. Septimo, utrum secundum circumstantias. Octavo, utrum secundum quantitatem nocumenti. Nono, utrum secundum conditionem personae in quam peccatur. Decimo, utrum propter magnitudinem personae peccantis aggravetur peccatum. Question 73. The comparison of one sin with another Are all sins and vices connected with one another? Are all equal? Does the gravity of sin depend on its object? Does it depend on the excellence of the virtue to which it is opposed? Are carnal sins more grievous than spiritual sins? Does the gravity of sins depend on their causes? Does it depend on their circumstances? Does it depend on how much harm ensues? Does it depend on the position of the person sinned against? Is sin aggravated by reason of the excellence of the person sinning?
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod omnia peccata sint connexa. Dicitur enim Iac. II, quicumque totam legem servaverit, offendat autem in uno, factus est omnium reus. Sed idem est esse reum omnium mandatorum legis, quod habere omnia peccata, quia, sicut Ambrosius dicit, peccatum est transgressio legis divinae, et caelestium inobedientia mandatorum. Ergo quicumque peccat uno peccato, subiicitur omnibus peccatis. Objection 1. It would seem that all sins are connected. For it is written (James 2:10): "Whosoever shall keep the whole Law, but offend in one point, is become guilty of all." Now to be guilty of transgressing all the precepts of Law, is the same as to commit all sins, because, as Ambrose says (De Parad. viii), "sin is a transgression of the Divine law, and disobedience of the heavenly commandments." Therefore whoever commits one sin is guilty of all.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, quodlibet peccatum excludit virtutem sibi oppositam. Sed qui caret una virtute, caret omnibus, ut patet ex supradictis. Ergo qui peccat uno peccato, privatur omnibus virtutibus. Sed qui caret virtute, habet vitium sibi oppositum. Ergo qui habet unum peccatum, habet omnia peccata. Objection 2. Further, each sin banishes its opposite virtue. Now whoever lacks one virtue lacks them all, as was shown above (Question 65, Article 1). Therefore whoever commits one sin, is deprived of all the virtues. Therefore whoever commits one sin, is guilty of all sins.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, virtutes omnes sunt connexae quae conveniunt in uno principio, ut supra habitum est. Sed sicut virtutes conveniunt in uno principio, ita et peccata, quia sicut amor Dei, qui facit civitatem Dei, est principium et radix omnium virtutum, ita amor sui, qui facit civitatem Babylonis, est radix omnium peccatorum; ut patet per Augustinum, XIV de Civ. Dei. Ergo etiam omnia vitia et peccata sunt connexa, ita ut qui unum habet, habeat omnia. Objection 3. Further, all virtues are connected, because they have a principle in common, as stated above (65, A1,2). Now as the virtues have a common principle, so have sins, because, as the love of God, which builds the city of God, is the beginning and root of all the virtues, so self-love, which builds the city of Babylon, is the root of all sins, as Augustine declares (De Civ. Dei xiv, 28). Therefore all vices and sins are also connected so that whoever has one, has them all.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra, quaedam vitia sunt sibi invicem contraria, ut patet per philosophum, in II Ethic. Sed impossibile est contraria simul inesse eidem. Ergo impossibile est omnia peccata et vitia esse sibi invicem connexa. On the contrary, Some vices are contrary to one another, as the Philosopher states (Ethic. ii, 8). But contraries cannot be together in the same subject. Therefore it is impossible for all sins and vices to be connected with one another.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod aliter se habet intentio agentis secundum virtutem ad sequendum rationem, et aliter intentio peccantis ad divertendum a ratione. Cuiuslibet enim agentis secundum virtutem intentio est ut rationis regulam sequatur, et ideo omnium virtutum intentio in idem tendit. Et propter hoc omnes virtutes habent connexionem ad invicem in ratione recta agibilium, quae est prudentia, sicut supra dictum est. Sed intentio peccantis non est ad hoc quod recedat ab eo quod est secundum rationem, sed potius ut tendat in aliquod bonum appetibile, a quo speciem sortitur. Huiusmodi autem bona in quae tendit intentio peccantis a ratione recedens, sunt diversa, nullam connexionem habentia ad invicem, immo etiam interdum sunt contraria. Cum igitur vitia et peccata speciem habeant secundum illud ad quod convertuntur, manifestum est quod, secundum illud quod perficit speciem peccatorum, nullam connexionem habent peccata ad invicem. Non enim peccatum committitur in accedendo a multitudine ad unitatem, sicut accidit in virtutibus quae sunt connexae, sed potius in recedendo ab unitate ad multitudinem. I answer that, The intention of the man who acts according to virtue in pursuance of his reason, is different from the intention of the sinner in straying from the path of reason. For the intention of every man acting according to virtue is to follow the rule of reason, wherefore the intention of all the virtues is directed to the same end, so that all the virtues are connected together in the right reason of things to be done, viz. prudence, as stated above (Question 65, Article 1). But the intention of the sinner is not directed to the point of straying from the path of reason; rather is it directed to tend to some appetible good whence it derives its species. Now these goods, to which the sinner's intention is directed when departing from reason, are of various kinds, having no mutual connection; in fact they are sometimes contrary to one another. Since, therefore, vices and sins take their species from that to which they turn, it is evident that, in respect of that which completes a sin's species, sins are not connected with one another. For sin does not consist in passing from the many to the one, as is the case with virtues, which are connected, but rather in forsaking the one for the many.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Iacobus loquitur de peccato non ex parte conversionis, secundum quod peccata distinguuntur, sicut dictum est, sed loquitur de eis ex parte aversionis, inquantum scilicet homo peccando recedit a legis mandato. Omnia autem legis mandata sunt ab uno et eodem, ut ipse ibidem dicit, et ideo idem Deus contemnitur in omni peccato. Et ex hac parte dicit quod qui offendit in uno, factus est omnium reus, quia scilicet uno peccato peccando, incurrit poenae reatum ex hoc quod contemnit Deum, ex cuius contemptu provenit omnium peccatorum reatus. Reply to Objection 1. James is speaking of sin, not as regards the thing to which it turns and which causes the distinction of sins, as stated above (72, 1), but as regards that from which sin turns away, in as much as man, by sinning, departs from a commandment of the law. Now all the commandments of the law are from one and the same, as he also says in the same passage, so that the same God is despised in every sin; and in this sense he says that whoever "offends in one point, is become guilty of all," for as much as, by committing one sin, he incurs the debt of punishment through his contempt of God, which is the origin of all sins.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, non per quemlibet actum peccati tollitur virtus opposita, nam peccatum veniale virtutem non tollit; peccatum autem mortale tollit virtutem infusam, inquantum avertit a Deo; sed unus actus peccati etiam mortalis, non tollit habitum virtutis acquisitae. Sed si multiplicentur actus intantum quod generetur contrarius habitus, excluditur habitus virtutis acquisitae. Qua exclusa, excluditur prudentia, quia cum homo agit contra quamcumque virtutem, agit contra prudentiam. Sine prudentia autem nulla virtus moralis esse potest, ut supra habitum est. Et ideo per consequens excluduntur omnes virtutes morales, quantum ad perfectum et formale esse virtutis, quod habent secundum quod participant prudentiam, remanent tamen inclinationes ad actus virtutum, non habentes rationem virtutis. Sed non sequitur quod propter hoc homo incurrat omnia vitia vel peccata. Primo quidem, quia uni virtuti plura vitia opponuntur, ita quod virtus potest privari per unum eorum, etsi alterum non adsit. Secundo, quia peccatum directe opponitur virtuti quantum ad inclinationem virtutis ad actum, ut supra dictum est, unde, remanentibus aliquibus inclinationibus virtuosis, non potest dici quod homo habeat vitia vel peccata opposita. Reply to Objection 2. As stated above (Question 71, Article 4), the opposite virtue is not banished by every act of sin; because venial sin does not destroy virtue; while mortal sin destroys infused virtue, by turning man away from God. Yet one act, even of mortal sin, does not destroy the habit of acquired virtue; though if such acts be repeated so as to engender a contrary habit, the habit of acquired virtue is destroyed, the destruction of which entails the loss of prudence, since when man acts against any virtue whatever, he acts against prudence, without which no moral virtue is possible, as stated above (58, 4; 65, 1). Consequently all the moral virtues are destroyed as to the perfect and formal being of virtue, which they have in so far as they partake of prudence, yet there remain the inclinations to virtuous acts, which inclinations, however, are not virtues. Nevertheless it does not follow that for this reason man contracts all vices of sins--first, because several vices are opposed to one virtue, so that a virtue can be destroyed by one of them, without the others being present; secondly, because sin is directly opposed to virtue, as regards the virtue's inclination to act, as stated above (Question 71, Article 1). Wherefore, as long as any virtuous inclinations remain, it cannot be said that man has the opposite vices or sins.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod amor Dei est congregativus, inquantum affectum hominis a multis ducit in unum, et ideo virtutes, quae ex amore Dei causantur, connexionem habent. Sed amor sui disgregat affectum hominis in diversa, prout scilicet homo se amat appetendo sibi bona temporalia, quae sunt varia et diversa, et ideo vitia et peccata, quae causantur ex amore sui, non sunt connexa. Reply to Objection 3. The love of God is unitive, in as much as it draws man's affections from the many to the one; so that the virtues, which flow from the love of God, are connected together. But self-love disunites man's affections among different things, in so far as man loves himself, by desiring for himself temporal goods, which are various and of many kinds: hence vices and sins, which arise from self-love, are not connected together.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod omnia peccata sint paria. Hoc enim est peccare, facere quod non licet. Sed facere quod non licet, uno et eodem modo in omnibus reprehenditur. Ergo peccare uno et eodem modo reprehenditur. Non ergo unum peccatum est alio gravius. Objection 1. It would seem that all sins are equal. Because sin is to do what is unlawful. Now to do what is unlawful is reproved in one and the same way in all things. Therefore sin is reproved in one and the same way. Therefore one sin is not graver than another.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, omne peccatum consistit in hoc quod homo transgreditur regulam rationis, quae ita se habet ad actus humanos, sicut regula linearis in corporalibus rebus. Ergo peccare simile est ei quod est lineas transilire. Sed lineas transilire est aequaliter et uno modo, etiam si aliquis longius recedat vel propinquius stet, quia privationes non recipiunt magis et minus. Ergo omnia peccata sunt aequalia. Objection 2. Further, every sin is a transgression of the rule of reason, which is to human acts what a linear rule is in corporeal things. Therefore to sin is the same as to pass over a line. But passing over a line occurs equally and in the same way, even if one go a long way from it or stay near it, since privations do not admit of more or less. Therefore all sins are equal.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, peccata virtutibus opponuntur. Sed omnes virtutes aequales sunt, ut Tullius dicit, in paradoxis. Ergo omnia peccata sunt paria. Objection 3. Further, sins are opposed to virtues. But all virtues are equal, as Cicero states (Paradox. iii). Therefore all sins are equal.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dominus dicit ad Pilatum, Ioan. XIX, qui tradidit me tibi, maius peccatum habet. Et tamen constat quod Pilatus aliquod peccatum habuit. Ergo unum peccatum est maius alio. On the contrary, Our Lord said to Pilate (John 19:11): "He that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin," and yet it is evident that Pilate was guilty of some sin. Therefore one sin is greater than another.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod opinio Stoicorum fuit, quam Tullius prosequitur in paradoxis, quod omnia peccata sunt paria. Et ex hoc etiam derivatus est quorundam haereticorum error, qui, ponentes omnia peccata esse paria, dicunt etiam omnes poenas Inferni esse pares. Et quantum ex verbis Tullii perspici potest, Stoici movebantur ex hoc quod considerabant peccatum ex parte privationis tantum, prout scilicet est recessus a ratione, unde simpliciter aestimantes quod nulla privatio susciperet magis et minus, posuerunt omnia peccata esse paria. Sed si quis diligenter consideret, inveniet duplex privationum genus. Est enim quaedam simplex et pura privatio, quae consistit quasi in corruptum esse, sicut mors est privatio vitae, et tenebra est privatio luminis. Et tales privationes non recipiunt magis et minus, quia nihil residuum est de habitu opposito. Unde non minus est mortuus aliquis primo die mortis, et tertio vel quarto, quam post annum, quando iam cadaver fuerit resolutum. Et similiter non est magis tenebrosa domus, si lucerna sit operta pluribus velaminibus, quam si sit operta uno solo velamine totum lumen intercludente. Est autem alia privatio non simplex, sed aliquid retinens de habitu opposito; quae quidem privatio magis consistit in corrumpi, quam in corruptum esse, sicut aegritudo, quae privat debitam commensurationem humorum, ita tamen quod aliquid eius remanet, alioquin non remaneret animal vivum; et simile est de turpitudine, et aliis huiusmodi. Huiusmodi autem privationes recipiunt magis et minus ex parte eius quod remanet de habitu contrario, multum enim refert ad aegritudinem vel turpitudinem, utrum plus vel minus a debita commensuratione humorum vel membrorum recedatur. Et similiter dicendum est de vitiis et peccatis, sic enim in eis privatur debita commensuratio rationis, ut non totaliter ordo rationis tollatur; alioquin malum, si sit integrum, destruit seipsum, ut dicitur in IV Ethic.; non enim posset remanere substantia actus, vel affectio agentis, nisi aliquid remaneret de ordine rationis. Et ideo multum interest ad gravitatem peccati, utrum plus vel minus recedatur a rectitudine rationis. Et secundum hoc dicendum est quod non omnia peccata sunt paria. I answer that, The opinion of the Stoics, which Cicero adopts in the book on Paradoxes (Paradox. iii), was that all sins are equal: from which opinion arose the error of certain heretics, who not only hold all sins to be equal, but also maintain that all the pains of hell are equal. So far as can be gathered from the words of Cicero the Stoics arrived at their conclusion through looking at sin on the side of the privation only, in so far, to wit, as it is a departure from reason; wherefore considering simply that no privation admits of more or less, they held that all sins are equal. Yet, if we consider the matter carefully, we shall see that there are two kinds of privation. For there is a simple and pure privation, which consists, so to speak, in "being" corrupted; thus death is privation of life, and darkness is privation of light. Such like privations do not admit of more or less, because nothing remains of the opposite habit; hence a man is not less dead on the first day after his death, or on the third or fourth days, than after a year, when his corpse is already dissolved; and, in like manner, a house is no darker if the light be covered with several shades, than if it were covered by a single shade shutting out all the light. There is, however, another privation which is not simple, but retains something of the opposite habit; it consists in "becoming" corrupted rather than in "being" corrupted, like sickness which is a privation of the due commensuration of the humors, yet so that something remains of that commensuration, else the animal would cease to live: and the same applies to deformity and the like. Such privations admit of more or less on the part of what remains or the contrary habit. For it matters much in sickness or deformity, whether one departs more or less from the due commensuration of humors or members. The same applies to vices and sins: because in them the privation of the due commensuration of reason is such as not to destroy the order of reason altogether; else evil, if total, destroys itself, as stated in Ethic. iv, 5. For the substance of the act, or the affection of the agent could not remain, unless something remained of the order of reason. Therefore it matters much to the gravity of a sin whether one departs more or less from the rectitude of reason: and accordingly we must say that sins are not all equal.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod peccata committere non licet, propter aliquam deordinationem quam habent. Unde illa quae maiorem deordinationem continent, sunt magis illicita; et per consequens graviora peccata. Reply to Objection 1. To commit sin is lawful on account of some inordinateness therein: wherefore those which contain a greater inordinateness are more unlawful, and consequently graver sins.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de peccato, ac si esset privatio pura. Reply to Objection 2. This argument looks upon sin as though it were a pure privation.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod virtutes sunt aequales proportionaliter in uno et eodem, tamen una virtus praecedit aliam dignitate secundum suam speciem; et unus etiam homo est alio virtuosior in eadem specie virtutis, ut supra habitum est. Et tamen si virtutes essent pares, non sequeretur vitia esse paria, quia virtutes habent connexionem, non autem vitia seu peccata. Reply to Objection 3. Virtues are proportionately equal in one and the same subject: yet one virtue surpasses another in excellence according to its species; and again, one man is more virtuous than another, in the same species of virtue, as stated above (66, A1,2). Moreover, even if virtues were equal, it would not follow that vices are equal, since virtues are connected, and vices or sins are not.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatorum gravitas non varietur secundum obiecta. Gravitas enim peccati pertinet ad modum vel qualitatem ipsius peccati. Sed obiectum est materia ipsius peccati. Ergo secundum diversa obiecta, peccatorum gravitas non variatur. Objection 1. It would seem that the gravity of sins does not vary according to their objects. Because the gravity of a sin pertains to its mode or quality: whereas the object is the matter of the sin. Therefore the gravity of sins does not vary according to their various objects.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, gravitas peccati est intensio malitiae ipsius. Peccatum autem non habet rationem malitiae ex parte conversionis ad proprium obiectum, quod est quoddam bonum appetibile; sed magis ex parte aversionis. Ergo gravitas peccatorum non variatur secundum diversa obiecta. Objection 2. Further, the gravity of a sin is the intensity of its malice. Now sin does not derive its malice from its proper object to which it turns, and which is some appetible good, but rather from that which it turns away from. Therefore the gravity of sins does not vary according to their various objects.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, peccata quae habent diversa obiecta, sunt diversorum generum. Sed ea quae sunt diversorum generum, non sunt comparabilia, ut probatur in VII Physic. Ergo unum peccatum non est gravius altero secundum diversitatem obiectorum. Objection 3. Further, sins that have different objects are of different kinds. But things of different kinds cannot be compared with one another, as is proved in Phys. vii, text. 30, seqq. Therefore one sin is not graver than another by reason of the difference of objects.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra, peccata recipiunt speciem ex obiectis, ut ex supradictis patet. Sed aliquorum peccatorum unum est gravius altero secundum suam speciem, sicut homicidium furto. Ergo gravitas peccatorum differt secundum obiecta. On the contrary, Sins take their species from their objects, as was shown above (Question 72, Article 1). But some sins are graver than others in respect of their species, as murder is graver than theft. Therefore the gravity of sins varies according to their objects.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex supradictis patet, gravitas peccatorum differt eo modo quo una aegritudo est alia gravior, sicut enim bonum sanitatis consistit in quadam commensuratione humorum per convenientiam ad naturam animalis, ita bonum virtutis consistit in quadam commensuratione humani actus secundum convenientiam ad regulam rationis. Manifestum est autem quod tanto est gravior aegritudo, quanto tollitur debita humorum commensuratio per commensurationem prioris principii, sicut aegritudo quae provenit in corpore humano ex corde, quod est principium vitae, vel ex aliquo quod appropinquat cordi, periculosior est. Unde oportet etiam quod peccatum sit tanto gravius, quanto deordinatio contingit circa aliquod principium quod est prius in ordine rationis. Ratio autem ordinat omnia in agibilibus ex fine. Et ideo quanto peccatum contingit in actibus humanis ex altiori fine, tanto peccatum est gravius. Obiecta autem actuum sunt fines eorum, ut ex supradictis patet. Et ideo secundum diversitatem obiectorum attenditur diversitas gravitatis in peccatis. Sicut patet quod res exteriores ordinantur ad hominem sicut ad finem; homo autem ordinatur ulterius in Deum sicut in finem. Unde peccatum quod est circa ipsam substantiam hominis, sicut homicidium est gravius peccato quod est circa res exteriores, sicut furtum; et adhuc est gravius peccatum quod immediate contra Deum committitur, sicut infidelitas, blasphemia et huiusmodi. Et in ordine quorumlibet horum peccatorum unum peccatum est gravius altero, secundum quod est circa aliquid principalius vel minus principale. Et quia peccata habent speciem ex obiectis, differentia gravitatis quae attenditur penes obiecta, est prima et principalis, quasi consequens speciem. I answer that, As is clear from what has been said (71, 5), the gravity of sins varies in the same way as one sickness is graver than another: for just as the good of health consists in a certain commensuration of the humors, in keeping with an animal's nature, so the good of virtue consists in a certain commensuration of the human act in accord with the rule of reason. Now it is evident that the higher the principle the disorder of which causes the disorder in the humors, the graver is the sickness: thus a sickness which comes on the human body from the heart, which is the principle of life, or from some neighboring part, is more dangerous. Wherefore a sin must needs be so much the graver, as the disorder occurs in a principle which is higher in the order of reason. Now in matters of action the reason directs all things in view of the end: wherefore the higher the end which attaches to sins in human acts, the graver the sin. Now the object of an act is its end, as stated above (72, 3, ad 2); and consequently the difference of gravity in sins depends on their objects. Thus it is clear that external things are directed to man as their end, while man is further directed to God as his end. Wherefore a sin which is about the very substance of man, e.g. murder, is graver than a sin which is about external things, e.g. theft; and graver still is a sin committed directly against God, e.g. unbelief, blasphemy, and the like: and in each of these grades of sin, one sin will be graver than another according as it is about a higher or lower principle. And forasmuch as sins take their species from their objects, the difference of gravity which is derived from the objects is first and foremost, as resulting from the species.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod obiectum, etsi sit materia circa quam terminatur actus, habet tamen rationem finis, secundum quod intentio agentis fertur in ipsum, ut supra dictum est. Forma autem actus moralis dependet ex fine, ut ex superioribus patet. Reply to Objection 1. Although the object is the matter about which an act is concerned, yet it has the character of an end, in so far as the intention of the agent is fixed on it, as stated above (72, 3, ad 2). Now the form of a moral act depends on the end, as was shown above (72, 6; 18, 6).
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ex ipsa indebita conversione ad aliquod bonum commutabile, sequitur aversio ab incommutabili bono, in qua perficitur ratio mali. Et ideo oportet quod secundum diversitatem eorum quae pertinent ad conversionem, sequatur diversa gravitas malitiae in peccatis. Reply to Objection 2. From the very fact that man turns unduly to some mutable good, it follows that he turns away from the immutable Good, which aversion completes the nature of evil. Hence the various degrees of malice in sins must needs follow the diversity of those things to which man turns.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod omnia obiecta humanorum actuum habent ordinem ad invicem, et ideo omnes actus humani quodammodo conveniunt in uno genere, secundum quod ordinantur ad ultimum finem. Et ideo nihil prohibet omnia peccata esse comparabilia. Reply to Objection 3. All the objects of human acts are related to one another, wherefore all human acts are somewhat of one kind, in so far as they are directed to the last end. Therefore nothing prevents all sins from being compared with one another.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod gravitas peccatorum non differat secundum dignitatem virtutum quibus peccata opponuntur, ut scilicet maiori virtuti gravius peccatum opponatur. Quia ut dicitur Prov. XV, in abundanti iustitia virtus maxima est. Sed sicut dicit dominus, Matth. V, abundans iustitia cohibet iram; quae est minus peccatum quam homicidium, quod cohibet minor iustitia. Ergo maximae virtuti opponitur minimum peccatum. Objection 1. It would seem that the gravity of sins does not vary according to the excellence of the virtues to which they are opposed, so that, to wit, the graver the sin is opposed to the greater virtue. For, according to Proverbs 15:5, "In abundant justice there is the greatest strength." Now, as Our Lord says (Matthew 5:20, seqq.) abundant justice restrains anger, which is a less grievous sin than murder, which less abundant justice restrains. Therefore the least grievous sin is opposed to the greatest virtue.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, in II Ethic. dicitur quod virtus est circa difficile et bonum, ex quo videtur quod maior virtus sit circa magis difficile. Sed minus est peccatum si homo deficiat in magis difficili, quam si deficiat in minus difficili. Ergo maiori virtuti minus peccatum opponitur. Objection 2. Further, it is stated in Ethic. ii, 3 that "virtue is about the difficult and the good": whence it seems to follow that the greater virtue is about what is more difficult. But it is a less grievous sin to fail in what is more difficult, than in what is less difficult. Therefore the less grievous sin is opposed to the greater virtue.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, caritas est maior virtus quam fides et spes, ut dicitur I ad Cor. XIII. Odium autem, quod opponitur caritati, est minus peccatum quam infidelitas vel desperatio, quae opponuntur fidei et spei. Ergo maiori virtuti opponitur minus peccatum. Objection 3. Further, charity is a greater virtue than faith or hope (1 Corinthians 13:13). Now hatred which is opposed to charity is a less grievous sin than unbelief or despair which are opposed to faith and hope. Therefore the less grievous sin is opposed to the greater virtue.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod philosophus dicit, in VIII Ethic., quod pessimum optimo contrarium est. Optimum autem in moralibus est maxima virtus; pessimum autem, gravissimum peccatum. Ergo maximae virtuti opponitur gravissimum peccatum. On the contrary, The Philosopher says (Ethic. 8:10) that the "worst is opposed to the best." Now in morals the best is the greatest virtue; and the worst is the most grievous sin. Therefore the most grievous sin is opposed to the greatest virtue.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod virtuti opponitur aliquod peccatum, uno quidem modo principaliter et directe, quod scilicet est circa idem obiectum, nam contraria circa idem sunt. Et hoc modo oportet quod maiori virtuti opponatur gravius peccatum. Sicut enim ex parte obiecti attenditur maior gravitas peccati, ita etiam maior dignitas virtutis, utrumque enim ex obiecto speciem sortitur, ut ex supradictis patet. Unde oportet quod maximae virtuti directe contrarietur maximum peccatum, quasi maxime ab eo distans in eodem genere. Alio modo potest considerari oppositio virtutis ad peccatum, secundum quandam extensionem virtutis cohibentis peccatum, quanto enim fuerit virtus maior, tanto magis elongat hominem a peccato sibi contrario, ita quod non solum ipsum peccatum, sed etiam inducentia ad peccatum cohibet. Et sic manifestum est quod quanto aliqua virtus fuerit maior, tanto etiam minora peccata cohibet, sicut etiam sanitas, quanto fuerit maior, tanto etiam minores distemperantias excludit. Et per hunc modum maiori virtuti minus peccatum opponitur ex parte effectus. I answer that, A sin is opposed to a virtue in two ways: first, principally and directly; that sin, to with, which is about the same object: because contraries are about the same thing. In this way, the more grievous sin must needs be opposed to the greater virtue: because, just as the degrees of gravity in a sin depend on the object, so also does the greatness of a virtue, since both sin and virtue take their species from the object, as shown above (60, 5; 72, 1). Wherefore the greatest sin must needs be directly opposed to the greatest virtue, as being furthest removed from it in the same genus. Secondly, the opposition of virtue to sin may be considered in respect of a certain extension of the virtue in checking sin. For the greater a virtue is, the further it removes man from the contrary sin, so that it withdraws man not only from that sin, but also from whatever leads to it. And thus it is evident that the greater a virtue is, the more it withdraws man also from less grievous sins: even as the more perfect health is, the more does it ward off even minor ailments. And in this way the less grievous sin is opposed to the greater virtue, on the part of the latter's effect.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de oppositione quae attenditur secundum cohibitionem peccati, sic enim abundans iustitia etiam minora peccata cohibet. Reply to Objection 1. This argument considers the opposition which consists in restraining from sin; for thus abundant justice checks even minor sins.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod maiori virtuti, quae est circa bonum magis difficile, contrariatur directe peccatum quod est circa malum magis difficile. Utrobique enim invenitur quaedam eminentia, ex hoc quod ostenditur voluntas proclivior in bonum vel in malum, ex hoc quod difficultate non vincitur. Reply to Objection 2. The greater virtue that is about a more difficult good is opposed directly to the sin which is about a more difficult evil. For in each case there is a certain superiority, in that the will is shown to be more intent on good or evil, through not being overcome by the difficulty.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod caritas non est quicumque amor, sed amor Dei. Unde non opponitur ei quodcumque odium directe, sed odium Dei, quod est gravissimum peccatorum. Reply to Objection 3. Charity is not any kind of love, but the love of God: hence not any kind of hatred is opposed to it directly, but the hatred of God, which is the most grievous of all sins.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccata carnalia non sint minoris culpae quam peccata spiritualia. Adulterium enim gravius peccatum est quam furtum, dicitur enim Prov. VI, non grandis est culpae cum quis furatus fuerit. Qui autem adulter est, propter cordis inopiam perdet animam suam. Sed furtum pertinet ad avaritiam, quae est peccatum spirituale; adulterium autem ad luxuriam, quae est peccatum carnale. Ergo peccata carnalia sunt maioris culpae. Objection 1. It would seem that carnal sins are not of less guilt than spiritual sins. Because adultery is a more grievous sin than theft: for it is written (Proverbs 6:30-32): "The fault is not so great when a man has stolen . . . but he that is an adulterer, for the folly of his heart shall destroy his own soul." Now theft belongs to covetousness, which is a spiritual sin; while adultery pertains to lust, which is a carnal sin. Therefore carnal sins are of greater guilt than spiritual sins.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, Augustinus dicit, super Levit., quod Diabolus maxime gaudet de peccato luxuriae et idololatriae. Sed de maiori culpa magis gaudet. Ergo, cum luxuria sit peccatum carnale, videtur quod peccata carnalia sint maximae culpae. Objection 2. Further, Augustine says in his commentary on Leviticus [The quotation is from De Civ. Dei ii, 4 and iv, 31.] that "the devil rejoices chiefly in lust and idolatry." But he rejoices more in the greater sin. Therefore, since lust is a carnal sin, it seems that the carnal sins are of most guilt.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, philosophus probat, in VII Ethic., quod incontinens concupiscentiae est turpior quam incontinens irae. Sed ira est peccatum spirituale, secundum Gregorium, XXXI Moral.; concupiscentia autem pertinet ad peccata carnalia. Ergo peccatum carnale est gravius quam peccatum spirituale. Objection 3. Further, the Philosopher proves (Ethic. vii, 6) that "it is more shameful to be incontinent in lust than in anger." But anger is a spiritual sin, according to Gregory (Moral. xxxi, 17); while lust pertains to carnal sins. Therefore carnal sin is more grievous than spiritual sin.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra est quod Gregorius dicit, quod peccata carnalia sunt minoris culpae, et maioris infamiae. On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. xxxiii, 11) that carnal sins are of less guilt, but of more shame than spiritual sins.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod peccata spiritualia sunt maioris culpae quam peccata carnalia. Quod non est sic intelligendum quasi quodlibet peccatum spirituale sit maioris culpae quolibet peccato carnali, sed quia, considerata hac sola differentia spiritualitatis et carnalitatis, graviora sunt quam cetera peccata, ceteris paribus. Cuius ratio triplex potest assignari. Prima quidem ex parte subiecti. Nam peccata spiritualia pertinent ad spiritum, cuius est converti ad Deum et ab eo averti, peccata vero carnalia consummantur in delectatione carnalis appetitus, ad quem principaliter pertinet ad bonum corporale converti. Et ideo peccatum carnale, inquantum huiusmodi, plus habet de conversione, propter quod etiam est maioris adhaesionis, sed peccatum spirituale habet plus de aversione, ex qua procedit ratio culpae. Et ideo peccatum spirituale, inquantum huiusmodi, est maioris culpae. Secunda ratio potest sumi ex parte eius in quem peccatur. Nam peccatum carnale, inquantum huiusmodi, est in corpus proprium; quod est minus diligendum, secundum ordinem caritatis, quam Deus et proximus, in quos peccatur per peccata spiritualia. Et ideo peccata spiritualia, inquantum huiusmodi, sunt maioris culpae. Tertia ratio potest sumi ex parte motivi. Quia quanto est gravius impulsivum ad peccandum, tanto homo minus peccat, ut infra dicetur. Peccata autem carnalia habent vehementius impulsivum, idest ipsam concupiscentiam carnis nobis innatam. Et ideo peccata spiritualia, inquantum huiusmodi, sunt maioris culpae. I answer that, Spiritual sins are of greater guilt than carnal sins: yet this does not mean that each spiritual sin is of greater guilt than each carnal sin; but that, considering the sole difference between spiritual and carnal, spiritual sins are more grievous than carnal sins, other things being equal. Three reasons may be assigned for this. The first is on the part of the subject: because spiritual sins belong to the spirit, to which it is proper to turn to God, and to turn away from Him; whereas carnal sins are consummated in the carnal pleasure of the appetite, to which it chiefly belongs to turn to goods of the body; so that carnal sin, as such, denotes more a "turning to" something, and for that reason, implies a closer cleaving; whereas spiritual sin denotes more a "turning from" something, whence the notion of guilt arises; and for this reason it involves greater guilt. A second reason may be taken on the part of the person against whom sin is committed: because carnal sin, as such, is against the sinner's own body, which he ought to love less, in the order of charity, than God and his neighbor, against whom he commits spiritual sins, and consequently spiritual sins, as such, are of greater guilt. A third reason may be taken from the motive, since the stronger the impulse to sin, the less grievous the sin, as we shall state further on (6). Now carnal sins have a stronger impulse, viz. our innate concupiscence of the flesh. Therefore spiritual sins, as such, are of greater guilt.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod adulterium non solum pertinet ad peccatum luxuriae, sed etiam pertinet ad peccatum iniustitiae. Et quantum ad hoc, potest ad avaritiam reduci; ut Glossa dicit, ad Ephes., super illud, omnis fornicator, aut immundus, aut avarus. Et tunc gravius est adulterium quam furtum, quanto homini carior est uxor quam res possessa. Reply to Objection 1. Adultery belongs not only to the sin of lust, but also to the sin of injustice, and in this respect may be brought under the head of covetousness, as a gloss observes on Ephesians 5:5. "No fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person," etc.; so that adultery is so much more grievous than theft, as a man loves his wife more than his chattels.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod Diabolus dicitur maxime gaudere de peccato luxuriae, quia est maximae adhaerentiae, et difficile ab eo homo potest eripi, insatiabilis est enim delectabilis appetitus ut philosophus dicit, in III Ethic. Reply to Objection 2. The devil is said to rejoice chiefly in the sin of lust, because it is of the greatest adhesion, and man can with difficulty be withdrawn from it. "For the desire of pleasure is insatiable," as the Philosopher states (Ethic. iii, 12).
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod philosophus dicit, turpiorem esse incontinentem concupiscentiae quam incontinentem irae, quia minus participat de ratione. Et secundum hoc etiam dicit, in III Ethic., quod peccata intemperantiae sunt maxime exprobrabilia, quia sunt circa illas delectationes quae sunt communes nobis et brutis, unde quodammodo per ista peccata homo brutalis redditur. Et inde est quod, sicut Gregorius dicit, sunt maioris infamiae. Reply to Objection 3. As the Philosopher himself says (Ethic. vii, 6), the reason why it is more shameful to be incontinent in lust than in anger, is that lust partakes less of reason; and in the same sense he says (Ethic. iii, 10) that "sins of intemperance are most worthy of reproach, because they are about those pleasures which are common to us and irrational minds": hence, by these sins man is, so to speak, brutalized; for which same reason Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 17) that they are more shameful.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod gravitas peccatorum non attendatur secundum causam peccati. Quanto enim peccati causa fuerit maior, tanto vehementius movet ad peccandum, et ita difficilius potest ei resisti. Sed peccatum diminuitur ex hoc quod ei difficilius resistitur, hoc enim pertinet ad infirmitatem peccantis, ut non facile resistat peccato; peccatum autem quod est ex infirmitate, levius iudicatur. Non ergo peccatum habet gravitatem ex parte suae causae. Objection 1. It would seem that the gravity of a sin does not depend on its cause. Because the greater a sin's cause, the more forcibly it moves to sin, and so the more difficult is it to resist. But sin is lessened by the fact that it is difficult to resist; for it denotes weakness in the sinner, if he cannot easily resist sin; and a sin that is due to weakness is deemed less grievous. Therefore sin does not derive its gravity from its cause.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, concupiscentia est generalis quaedam causa peccati, unde dicit Glossa, super illud Rom. VII, nam concupiscentiam nesciebam etc., bona est lex, quae, dum concupiscentiam prohibet, omne malum prohibet. Sed quanto homo fuerit victus maiori concupiscentia, tanto est minus peccatum. Gravitas ergo peccati diminuitur ex magnitudine causae. Objection 2. Further, concupiscence is a general cause of sin; wherefore a gloss on Romans 7:7, "For I had not known concupiscence," says: "The law is good, since by forbidding concupiscence, it forbids all evils." Now the greater the concupiscence by which man is overcome, the less grievous his sin. Therefore the gravity of a sin is diminished by the greatness of its cause.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, sicut rectitudo rationis est causa virtuosi actus, ita defectus rationis videtur esse causa peccati. Sed defectus rationis, quanto fuerit maior, tanto est minus peccatum, intantum quod qui carent usu rationis, omnino excusentur a peccato; et qui ex ignorantia peccat, levius peccat. Ergo gravitas peccati non augetur ex magnitudine causae. Objection 3. Further, as rectitude of the reason is the cause of a virtuous act, so defect in the reason seems to be the cause of sin. Now the greater the defect in the reason, the less grievous the sin: so much so that he who lacks the use of reason, is altogether excused from sin, and he who sins through ignorance, sins less grievously. Therefore the gravity of a sin is not increased by the greatness of its cause.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra, multiplicata causa, multiplicatur effectus. Ergo, si causa peccati maior fuerit, peccatum erit gravius. On the contrary, If the cause be increased, the effect is increased. Therefore the greater the cause of sin, the more grievous the sin.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod in genere peccati, sicut et in quolibet alio genere, potest accipi duplex causa. Una quae est propria et per se causa peccati, quae est ipsa voluntas peccandi, comparatur enim ad actum peccati sicut arbor ad fructum, ut dicitur in Glossa, super illud Matth. VII, non potest arbor bona fructus malos facere. Et huiusmodi causa quanto fuerit maior, tanto peccatum erit gravius, quanto enim voluntas fuerit maior ad peccandum, tanto homo gravius peccat. Aliae vero causae peccati accipiuntur quasi extrinsecae et remotae, ex quibus scilicet voluntas inclinatur ad peccandum. Et in his causis est distinguendum. Quaedam enim harum inducunt voluntatem ad peccandum, secundum ipsam naturam voluntatis, sicut finis, quod est proprium obiectum voluntatis. Et ex tali causa augetur peccatum, gravius enim peccat cuius voluntas ex intentione peioris finis inclinatur ad peccandum. Aliae vero causae sunt quae inclinant voluntatem ad peccandum, praeter naturam et ordinem ipsius voluntatis, quae nata est moveri libere ex seipsa secundum iudicium rationis. Unde causae quae diminuunt iudicium rationis, sicut ignorantia; vel quae diminuunt liberum motum voluntatis, sicut infirmitas vel violentia aut metus, aut aliquid huiusmodi, diminuunt peccatum, sicut et diminuunt voluntarium, intantum quod si actus sit omnino involuntarius, non habet rationem peccati. I answer that, In the genus of sin, as in every other genus, two causes may be observed. The first is the direct and proper cause of sin, and is the will to sin: for it is compared to the sinful act, as a tree to its fruit, as a gloss observes on Matthew 7:18, "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit": and the greater this cause is, the more grievous will the sin be, since the greater the will to sin, the more grievously does man sin. The other causes of sin are extrinsic and remote, as it were, being those whereby the will is inclined to sin. Among these causes we must make a distinction; for some of them induce the will to sin in accord with the very nature of the will: such is the end, which is the proper object of the will; and by a such like cause sin is made more grievous, because a man sins more grievously if his will is induced to sin by the intention of a more evil end. Other causes incline the will to sin, against the nature and order of the will, whose natural inclination is to be moved freely of itself in accord with the judgment of reason. Wherefore those causes which weaken the judgment of reason (e.g. ignorance), or which weaken the free movement of the will, (e.g. weakness, violence, fear, or the like), diminish the gravity of sin, even as they diminish its voluntariness; and so much so, that if the act be altogether involuntary, it is no longer sinful.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod obiectio illa procedit de causa movente extrinseca, quae diminuit voluntarium, cuius quidem causae augmentum diminuit peccatum, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 1. This argument considers the extrinsic moving cause, which diminishes voluntariness. The increase of such a cause diminishes the sin, as stated.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod si sub concupiscentia includatur etiam ipse motus voluntatis, sic ubi est maior concupiscentia, est maius peccatum. Si vero concupiscentia dicatur passio quaedam, quae est motus vis concupiscibilis, sic maior concupiscentia praecedens iudicium rationis et motum voluntatis, diminuit peccatum, quia qui maiori concupiscentia stimulatus peccat, cadit ex graviori tentatione; unde minus ei imputatur. Si vero concupiscentia sic sumpta sequatur iudicium rationis et motum voluntatis, sic ubi est maior concupiscentia, est maius peccatum, insurgit enim interdum maior concupiscentiae motus ex hoc quod voluntas ineffrenate tendit in suum obiectum. Reply to Objection 2. If concupiscence be understood to include the movement of the will, then, where there is greater concupiscence, there is a greater sin. But if by concupiscence we understand a passion, which is a movement of the concupiscible power, then a greater concupiscence, forestalling the judgment of reason and the movement of the will, diminishes the sin, because the man who sins, being stimulated by a greater concupiscence, falls through a more grievous temptation, wherefore he is less to be blamed. On the other hand, if concupiscence be taken in this sense follows the judgment of reason, and the movement of the will, then the greater concupiscence, the graver the sin: because sometimes the movement of concupiscence is redoubled by the will tending unrestrainedly to its object.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de causa quae causat involuntarium, et haec diminuit peccatum, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 3. This argument considers the cause which renders the act involuntary, and such a cause diminishes the gravity of sin, as stated.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 7 arg. 1 Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod circumstantia non aggravet peccatum. Peccatum enim habet gravitatem ex sua specie. Circumstantia autem non dat speciem peccato, cum sit quoddam accidens eius. Ergo gravitas peccati non consideratur ex circumstantia. Objection 1. It would seem that a circumstance does not aggravate a sin. Because sin takes its gravity from its species. Now a circumstance does not specify a sin, for it is an accident thereof. Therefore the gravity of a sin is not taken from a circumstance.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 7 arg. 2 Praeterea, aut circumstantia est mala, aut non. Si circumstantia mala est, ipsa per se causat quandam speciem mali, si vero non sit mala, non habet unde augeat malum. Ergo circumstantia nullo modo auget peccatum. Objection 2. Further, a circumstance is either evil or not: if it is evil, it causes, of itself, a species of evil; and if it is not evil, it cannot make a thing worse. Therefore a circumstance nowise aggravates a sin.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 7 arg. 3 Praeterea, malitia peccati est ex parte aversionis. Sed circumstantiae consequuntur peccatum ex parte conversionis. Ergo non augent malitiam peccati. Objection 3. Further, the malice of a sin is derived from its turning away (from God). But circumstances affect sin on the part of the object to which it turns. Therefore they do not add to the sin's malice.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 7 s. c. Sed contra est quod ignorantia circumstantiae diminuit peccatum, qui enim peccat ex ignorantia circumstantiae, meretur veniam, ut dicitur in III Ethic. Hoc autem non esset, nisi circumstantia aggravaret peccatum. Ergo circumstantia peccatum aggravat. On the contrary, Ignorance of a circumstance diminishes sin: for he who sins through ignorance of a circumstance, deserves to be forgiven (Ethic. iii, 1). Now this would not be the case unless a circumstance aggravated a sin. Therefore a circumstance makes a sin more grievous.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 7 co. Respondeo dicendum quod unumquodque ex eodem natum est augeri, ex quo causatur; sicut philosophus dicit de habitu virtutis, in II Ethic. Manifestum est autem quod peccatum causatur ex defectu alicuius circumstantiae, ex hoc enim receditur ab ordine rationis, quod aliquis in operando non observat debitas circumstantias. Unde manifestum est quod peccatum natum est aggravari per circumstantiam. Sed hoc quidem contingit tripliciter. Uno quidem modo, inquantum circumstantia transfert in aliud genus peccati. Sicut peccatum fornicationis consistit in hoc quod homo accedit ad non suam, si autem addatur haec circumstantia, ut illa ad quam accedit sit alterius uxor, transfertur iam in aliud genus peccati, scilicet in iniustitiam, inquantum homo usurpat rem alterius. Et secundum hoc, adulterium est gravius peccatum quam fornicatio. Aliquando vero circumstantia non aggravat peccatum quasi trahens in aliud genus peccati, sed solum quia multiplicat rationem peccati. Sicut si prodigus det quando non debet, et cui non debet, multiplicius peccat eodem genere peccati, quam si solum det cui non debet. Et ex hoc ipso peccatum fit gravius, sicut etiam aegritudo est gravior quae plures partes corporis inficit. Unde et Tullius dicit, in paradoxis, quod in patris vita violanda, multa peccantur, violatur enim is qui procreavit, qui aluit, qui erudivit, qui in sede ac domo, atque in republica collocavit. Tertio modo circumstantia aggravat peccatum ex eo quod auget deformitatem provenientem ex alia circumstantia. Sicut accipere alienum constituit peccatum furti, si autem addatur haec circumstantia, ut multum accipiat de alieno, est peccatum gravius; quamvis accipere multum vel parum, de se non dicat rationem boni vel mali. I answer that, As the Philosopher says in speaking of habits of virtue (Ethic. ii, 1,2), "it is natural for a thing to be increased by that which causes it." Now it is evident that a sin is caused by a defect in some circumstance: because the fact that a man departs from the order of reason is due to his not observing the due circumstances in his action. Wherefore it is evident that it is natural for a sin to be aggravated by reason of its circumstances. This happens in three ways. First, in so far as a circumstance draws a sin from one kind to another: thus fornication is the intercourse of a man with one who is not his wife: but if to this be added the circumstance that the latter is the wife of another, the sin is drawn to another kind of sin, viz. injustice, in so far as he usurps another's property; and in this respect adultery is a more grievous sin than fornication. Secondly, a circumstance aggravates a sin, not by drawing it into another genus, but only by multiplying the ratio of sin: thus if a wasteful man gives both when he ought not, and to whom he ought not to give, he commits the same kind of sin in more ways than if he were to merely to give to whom he ought not, and for that very reason his sin is more grievous; even as that sickness is the graver which affects more parts of the body. Hence Cicero says (Paradox. iii) that "in taking his father's life a man commits many sins; for he outrages one who begot him, who fed him, who educated him, to whom he owes his lands, his house, his position in the republic." Thirdly, a circumstance aggravates a sin by adding to the deformity which the sin derives from another circumstance: thus, taking another's property constitutes the sin of theft; but if to this be added the circumstance that much is taken of another's property, the sin will be more grievous; although in itself, to take more or less has not the character of a good or of an evil act.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 7 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod aliqua circumstantia dat speciem actui morali, ut supra habitum est. Et tamen circumstantia quae non dat speciem, potest aggravare peccatum. Quia sicut bonitas rei non solum pensatur ex sua specie, sed etiam ex aliquo accidente; ita malitia actus non solum pensatur ex specie actus, sed etiam ex circumstantia. Reply to Objection 1. Some circumstances do specify a moral act, as stated above (Question 18, Article 10). Nevertheless a circumstance which does not give the species, may aggravate a sin; because, even as the goodness of a thing is weighed, not only in reference to its species, but also in reference to an accident, so the malice of an act is measured, not only according to the species of that act, but also according to a circumstance.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 7 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod utroque modo circumstantia potest aggravare peccatum. Si enim sit mala, non tamen propter hoc oportet quod semper constituat speciem peccati, potest enim addere rationem malitiae in eadem specie, ut dictum est. Si autem non sit mala, potest aggravare peccatum in ordine ad malitiam alterius circumstantiae. Reply to Objection 2. A circumstance may aggravate a sin either way. For if it is evil, it does not follow that it constitutes the sin's species; because it may multiply the ratio of evil within the same species, as stated above. And if it be not evil, it may aggravate a sin in relation to the malice of another circumstance.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 7 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio debet ordinare actum non solum quantum ad obiectum, sed etiam quantum ad omnes circumstantias. Et ideo aversio quaedam a regula rationis attenditur secundum corruptionem cuiuslibet circumstantiae, puta si aliquis operetur quando non debet, vel ubi non debet. Et huiusmodi aversio sufficit ad rationem mali. Hanc autem aversionem a regula rationis, sequitur aversio a Deo, cui debet homo per rectam rationem coniungi. Reply to Objection 3. Reason should direct the action not only as regards the object, but also as regards every circumstance. Therefore one may turn aside from the rule of reason through corruption of any single circumstance; for instance, by doing something when one ought not or where one ought not; and to depart thus from the rule of reason suffices to make the act evil. This turning aside from the rule of reason results from man's turning away from God, to Whom man ought to be united by right reason.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 8 arg. 1 Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod gravitas peccati non augeatur secundum maius nocumentum. Nocumentum enim est quidam eventus consequens actum peccati. Sed eventus sequens non addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus, ut supra dictum est. Ergo peccatum non aggravatur propter maius nocumentum. Objection 1. It would seem that a sin is not aggravated by reason of its causing more harm. Because the harm done is an issue consequent to the sinful act. But the issue of an act does not add to its goodness or malice, as stated above (Question 20, Article 5). Therefore a sin is not aggravated on account of its causing more harm.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 8 arg. 2 Praeterea, nocumentum maxime invenitur in peccatis quae sunt contra proximum, quia sibi ipsi nemo vult nocere; Deo autem nemo potest nocere, secundum illud Iob XXXV, si multiplicatae fuerint iniquitates tuae, quid facies contra illum? Homini, qui similis tibi est, nocebit impietas tua. Si ergo peccatum aggravaretur propter maius nocumentum, sequeretur quod peccatum quo quis peccat in proximum, esset gravius peccato quo quis peccat in Deum vel in seipsum. Objection 2. Further, harm is inflicted by sins against our neighbor. Because no one wishes to harm himself: and no one can harm God, according to Job 35:6-8: "If thy iniquities be multiplied, what shalt thou do against Him? . . . Thy wickedness may hurt a man that is like thee." If, therefore, sins were aggravated through causing more harm, it would follow that sins against our neighbor are more grievous than sins against God or oneself.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 8 arg. 3 Praeterea, maius nocumentum infertur alicui cum privatur vita gratiae, quam cum privatur vita naturae, quia vita gratiae est melior quam vita naturae, intantum quod homo debet vitam naturae contemnere ne amittat vitam gratiae. Sed ille qui inducit aliquam mulierem ad fornicandum, quantum est de se, privat eam vita gratiae, inducens eam ad peccatum mortale. Si ergo peccatum esset gravius propter maius nocumentum, sequeretur quod simplex fornicator gravius peccaret quam homicida, quod est manifeste falsum. Non ergo peccatum est gravius propter maius nocumentum. Objection 3. Further, greater harm is inflicted on a man by depriving him of the life of grace, than by taking away his natural life; because the life of grace is better than the life of nature, so far that man ought to despise his natural life lest he lose the life of grace. Now, speaking absolutely, a man who leads a woman to commit fornication deprives her of the life of grace by leading her into mortal sin. If therefore a sin were more grievous on account of its causing a greater harm, it would follow that fornication, absolutely speaking, is a more grievous sin than murder, which is evidently untrue. Therefore a sin is not more grievous on account of its causing a greater harm.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 8 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in III de Lib. Arb., quia vitium naturae adversatur, tantum additur malitiae vitiorum, quantum integritati naturarum minuitur. Sed diminutio integritatis naturae est nocumentum. Ergo tanto gravius est peccatum, quanto maius est nocumentum. On the contrary, Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. iii, 14): "Since vice is contrary to nature, a vice is the more grievous according as it diminishes the integrity of nature." Now the diminution of the integrity of nature is a harm. Therefore a sin is graver according as it does more harm.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 8 co. Respondeo dicendum quod nocumentum tripliciter se habere potest ad peccatum. Quandoque enim nocumentum quod provenit ex peccato, est praevisum et intentum, sicut cum aliquis aliquid operatur animo nocendi alteri, ut homicida vel fur. Et tunc directe quantitas nocumenti adauget gravitatem peccati, quia tunc nocumentum est per se obiectum peccati. Quandoque autem nocumentum est praevisum, sed non intentum, sicut cum aliquis transiens per agrum ut compendiosius vadat ad fornicandum, infert nocumentum his quae sunt seminata in agro, scienter, licet non animo nocendi. Et sic etiam quantitas nocumenti aggravat peccatum, sed indirecte, inquantum scilicet ex voluntate multum inclinata ad peccandum, procedit quod aliquis non praetermittat facere damnum sibi vel alii, quod simpliciter non vellet. Quandoque autem nocumentum nec est praevisum nec intentum. Et tunc si per accidens se habeat ad peccatum, non aggravat peccatum directe, sed propter negligentiam considerandi nocumenta quae consequi possent, imputantur homini ad poenam mala quae eveniunt praeter eius intentionem, si dabat operam rei illicitae. Si vero nocumentum per se sequatur ex actu peccati, licet non sit intentum nec praevisum, directe peccatum aggravat, quia quaecumque per se consequuntur ad peccatum, pertinent quodammodo ad ipsam peccati speciem. Puta si aliquis publice fornicetur, sequitur scandalum plurimorum, quod quamvis ipse non intendat, nec forte praevideat, directe per hoc aggravatur peccatum. Aliter tamen videtur se habere circa nocumentum poenale, quod incurrit ipse qui peccat. Huiusmodi enim nocumentum, si per accidens se habeat ad actum peccati, et non sit praevisum nec intentum, non aggravat peccatum, neque sequitur maiorem gravitatem peccati, sicut si aliquis currens ad occidendum, impingat et laedat sibi pedem. Si vero tale nocumentum per se consequatur ad actum peccati, licet forte nec sit praevisum nec intentum, tunc maius nocumentum non facit gravius peccatum; sed e converso gravius peccatum inducit gravius nocumentum. Sicut aliquis infidelis, qui nihil audivit de poenis Inferni, graviorem poenam in Inferno patietur pro peccato homicidii quam pro peccato furti, quia enim hoc nec intendit nec praevidet, non aggravatur ex hoc peccatum (sicut contingit circa fidelem, qui ex hoc ipso videtur peccare gravius, quod maiores poenas contemnit ut impleat voluntatem peccati), sed gravitas huiusmodi nocumenti solum causatur ex gravitate peccati. I answer that, Harm may bear a threefold relation to sin. Because sometimes the harm resulting from a sin is foreseen and intended, as when a man does something with a mind to harm another, e.g. a murderer or a thief. In this case the quantity of harm aggravates the sin directly, because then the harm is the direct object of the sin. Sometimes the harm is foreseen, but not intended; for instance, when a man takes a short cut through a field, the result being that he knowingly injures the growing crops, although his intention is not to do this harm, but to commit fornication. In this case again the quantity of the harm done aggravates the sin; indirectly, however, in so far, to wit, as it is owing to his will being strongly inclined to sin, that a man does not forbear from doing, to himself or to another, a harm which he would not wish simply. Sometimes, however, the harm is neither foreseen nor intended: and then if this harm is connected with the sin accidentally, it does not aggravate the sin directly; but, on account of his neglecting to consider the harm that might ensue, a man is deemed punishable for the evil results of his action if it be unlawful. If, on the other hand, the harm follow directly from the sinful act, although it be neither foreseen nor intended, it aggravates the sin directly, because whatever is directly consequent to a sin, belongs, in a manner, to the very species of that sin: for instance, if a man is a notorious fornicator, the result is that many are scandalized; and although such was not his intention, nor was it perhaps foreseen by him, yet it aggravates his sin directly. But this does not seem to apply to penal harm, which the sinner himself incurs. Such like harm, if accidentally connected with the sinful act, and if neither foreseen nor intended, does not aggravate a sin, nor does it correspond with the gravity of the sin: for instance, if a man in running to slay, slips and hurts his foot. If, on the other hand, this harm is directly consequent to the sinful act, although perhaps it be neither foreseen nor intended, then greater harm does not make greater sin, but, on the contrary, a graver sin calls for the infliction of a greater harm. Thus, an unbeliever who has heard nothing about the pains of hell, would suffer greater pain in hell for a sin of murder than for a sin of theft: but his sin is not aggravated on account of his neither intending nor foreseeing this, as it would be in the case of a believer, who, seemingly, sins more grievously in the very fact that he despises a greater punishment, that he may satisfy his desire to sin; but the gravity of this harm is caused by the sole gravity of sin.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 8 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut etiam supra dictum est, cum de bonitate et malitia exteriorum actuum ageretur, eventus sequens, si sit praevisus et intentus, addit ad bonitatem vel malitiam actus. Reply to Objection 1. As we have already stated (20, 5), in treating of the goodness and malice of external actions, the result of an action if foreseen and intended adds to the goodness and malice of an act.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 8 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, quamvis nocumentum aggravet peccatum, non tamen sequitur quod ex solo nocumento peccatum aggravetur, quinimmo peccatum per se est gravius propter inordinationem, ut supra dictum est. Unde et ipsum nocumentum aggravat peccatum, inquantum facit actum esse magis inordinatum. Unde non sequitur quod, si nocumentum maxime habeat locum in peccatis quae sunt contra proximum, quod illa peccata sunt gravissima, quia multo maior inordinatio invenitur in peccatis quae sunt contra Deum, et in quibusdam eorum quae sunt contra seipsum. Et tamen potest dici quod, etsi Deo nullus possit nocere quantum ad eius substantiam, potest tamen nocumentum attentare in his quae Dei sunt, sicut extirpando fidem, violando sacra, quae sunt peccata gravissima. Sibi etiam aliquis quandoque scienter et volenter infert nocumentum, sicut patet in his qui se interimunt, licet finaliter hoc referant ad aliquod bonum apparens, puta ad hoc quod liberentur ab aliqua angustia. Reply to Objection 2. Although the harm done aggravates a sin, it does not follow that this alone renders a sin more grievous: in fact, it is inordinateness which of itself aggravates a sin. Wherefore the harm itself that ensues aggravates a sin, in so far only as it renders the act more inordinate. Hence it does not follow, supposing harm to be inflicted chiefly by sins against our neighbor, that such sins are the most grievous, since a much greater inordinateness is to be found against which man commits against God, and in some which he commits against himself. Moreover we might say that although no man can do God any harm in His substance, yet he can endeavor to do so in things concerning Him, e.g. by destroying faith, by outraging holy things, which are most grievous sins. Again, a man sometimes knowingly and freely inflicts harm on himself, as in the case of suicide, though this be referred finally to some apparent good, for example, delivery from some anxiety.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 8 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod illa ratio non sequitur, propter duo. Primo quidem, quia homicida intendit directe nocumentum proximi, fornicator autem qui provocat mulierem, non intendit nocumentum, sed delectationem. Secundo, quia homicida est per se et sufficiens causa corporalis mortis, spiritualis autem mortis nullus potest esse alteri causa per se et sufficiens; quia nullus spiritualiter moritur nisi propria voluntate peccando. Reply to Objection 3. This argument does not prove, for two reasons: first, because the murderer intends directly to do harm to his neighbors; whereas the fornicator who solicits the woman intends not to harm but pleasure; secondly, because murder is the direct and sufficient cause of bodily death; whereas no man can of himself be the sufficient cause of another's spiritual death, because no man dies spiritually except by sinning of his own will.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 9 arg. 1 Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod propter conditionem personae in quam peccatur, peccatum non aggravetur. Si enim hoc esset, maxime aggravaretur ex hoc quod aliquis peccat contra aliquem virum iustum et sanctum. Sed ex hoc non aggravatur peccatum, minus enim laeditur ex iniuria illata virtuosus, qui aequanimiter tolerat, quam alii, qui etiam interius scandalizati laeduntur. Ergo conditio personae in quam peccatur, non aggravat peccatum. Objection 1. It would seem that sin is not aggravated by reason of the condition of the person against whom it is committed. For if this were the case a sin would be aggravated chiefly by being committed against a just and holy man. But this does not aggravate a sin: because a virtuous man who bears a wrong with equanimity is less harmed by the wrong done him, than others, who, through being scandalized, are also hurt inwardly. Therefore the condition of the person against whom a sin is committed does not aggravate the sin.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 9 arg. 2 Praeterea, si conditio personae aggravaret peccatum, maxime aggravaretur ex propinquitate, quia sicut Tullius dicit in paradoxis, in servo necando semel peccatur, in patris vita violanda multa peccantur. Sed propinquitas personae in quam peccatur, non videtur aggravare peccatum, quia unusquisque sibi ipsi maxime est propinquus; et tamen minus peccat qui aliquod damnum sibi infert, quam si inferret alteri, puta si occideret equum suum, quam si occideret equum alterius, ut patet per philosophum, in V Ethic. Ergo propinquitas personae non aggravat peccatum. Objection 2. Further, if the condition of the person aggravated the sin, this would be still more the case if the person be near of kin, because, as Cicero says (Paradox. iii): "The man who kills his slave sins once: he that takes his father's life sins many times." But the kinship of a person sinned against does not apparently aggravate a sin, because every man is most akin to himself; and yet it is less grievous to harm oneself than another, e.g. to kill one's own, than another's horse, as the Philosopher declares (Ethic. v, 11). Therefore kinship of the person sinned against does not aggravate the sin.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 9 arg. 3 Praeterea, conditio personae peccantis praecipue aggravat peccatum ratione dignitatis vel scientiae, secundum illud Sap. VI, potentes potenter tormenta patientur; et Luc. XII, servus sciens voluntatem domini, et non faciens, plagis vapulabit multis. Ergo, pari ratione, ex parte personae in quam peccatur, magis aggravaret peccatum dignitas aut scientia personae in quam peccatur. Sed non videtur gravius peccare qui facit iniuriam personae ditiori vel potentiori, quam alicui pauperi, quia non est personarum acceptio apud Deum, secundum cuius iudicium gravitas peccati pensatur. Ergo conditio personae in quam peccatur, non aggravat peccatum. Objection 3. Further, the condition of the person who sins aggravates a sin chiefly on account of his position or knowledge, according to Wisdom 6:7: "The mighty shall be mightily tormented," and Luke 12:47: "The servant who knew the will of his lord . . . and did it not . . . shall be beaten with many stripes." Therefore, in like manner, on the part of the person sinned against, the sin is made more grievous by reason of his position and knowledge. But, apparently, it is not a more grievous sin to inflict an injury on a rich and powerful person than on a poor man, since "there is no respect of persons with God" (Colossians 3:25), according to Whose judgment the gravity of a sin is measured. Therefore the condition of the person sinned against does not aggravate the sin.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 9 s. c. Sed contra est quod in sacra Scriptura specialiter vituperatur peccatum quod contra servos Dei committitur, sicut III Reg. XIX, altaria tua destruxerunt, et prophetas tuos occiderunt gladio. Vituperatur etiam specialiter peccatum commissum contra personas propinquas, secundum illud Mich. VII, filius contumeliam facit patri, filia consurgit adversus matrem suam. Vituperatur etiam specialiter peccatum quod committitur contra personas in dignitate constitutas, ut patet Iob XXXIV, qui dicit regi, apostata; qui vocat duces impios. Ergo conditio personae in quam peccatur, aggravat peccatum. On the contrary, Holy Writ censures especially those sins that are committed against the servants of God. Thus it is written (1 Kings 19:14): "They have destroyed Thy altars, they have slain Thy prophets with the sword." Moreover much blame is attached to the sin committed by a man against those who are akin to him, according to Micah 7:6: "the son dishonoreth the father, and the daughter riseth up against her mother." Furthermore sins committed against persons of rank are expressly condemned: thus it is written (Job 34:18): "Who saith to the king: 'Thou art an apostate'; who calleth rulers ungodly." Therefore the condition of the person sinned against aggravates the sin.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 9 co. Respondeo dicendum quod persona in quam peccatur, est quodammodo obiectum peccati. Dictum est autem supra quod prima gravitas peccati attenditur ex parte obiecti. Ex quo quidem tanto attenditur maior gravitas in peccato, quanto obiectum eius est principalior finis. Fines autem principales humanorum actuum sunt Deus, ipse homo, et proximus, quidquid enim facimus, propter aliquod horum facimus; quamvis etiam horum trium unum sub altero ordinetur. Potest igitur ex parte horum trium considerari maior vel minor gravitas in peccato secundum conditionem personae in quam peccatur. Primo quidem, ex parte Dei, cui tanto magis aliquis homo coniungitur, quanto est virtuosior vel Deo sacratior. Et ideo iniuria tali personae illata, magis redundat in Deum, secundum illud Zach. II, qui vos tetigerit, tangit pupillam oculi mei. Unde peccatum fit gravius ex hoc quod peccatur in personam magis Deo coniunctam, vel ratione virtutis vel ratione officii. Ex parte vero sui ipsius, manifestum est quod tanto aliquis gravius peccat, quanto in magis coniunctam personam, seu naturali necessitudine, seu beneficiis, seu quacumque coniunctione, peccaverit, quia videtur in seipsum magis peccare, et pro tanto gravius peccat, secundum illud Eccli. XIV, qui sibi nequam est, cui bonus erit? Ex parte vero proximi, tanto gravius peccatur, quanto peccatum plures tangit. Et ideo peccatum quod fit in personam publicam, puta regem vel principem, qui gerit personam totius multitudinis, est gravius quam peccatum quod committitur contra unam personam privatam, unde specialiter dicitur Exod. XXII, principi populi tui non maledices. Et similiter iniuria quae fit alicui famosae personae, videtur esse gravior, ex hoc quod in scandalum et in turbationem plurimorum redundat. I answer that, The person sinned against is, in a manner, the object of the sin. Now it has been stated above (Article 3) that the primary gravity of a sin is derived from its object; so that a sin is deemed to be so much the more grave, as its object is a more principal end. But the principal ends of human acts are God, man himself, and his neighbor: for whatever we do, it is on account of one of these that we do it; although one of them is subordinate to the other. Therefore the greater or lesser gravity of a sin, in respect of the person sinned against, may be considered on the part of these three. First, on the part of God, to Whom man is the more closely united, as he is more virtuous or more sacred to God: so that an injury inflicted on such a person redounds on to God according to Zechariah 2:8: "He that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of My eye." Wherefore a sin is the more grievous, according as it is committed against a person more closely united to God by reason of personal sanctity, or official station. On the part of man himself, it is evident that he sins all the more grievously, according as the person against whom he sins, is more united to him, either through natural affinity or kindness received or any other bond; because he seems to sin against himself rather than the other, and, for this very reason, sins all the more grievously, according to Sirach 14:5: "He that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good?" On the part of his neighbor, a man sins the more grievously, according as his sin affects more persons: so that a sin committed against a public personage, e.g. a sovereign prince who stands in the place of the whole people, is more grievous than a sin committed against a private person; hence it is expressly prohibited (Exodus 22:28): "The prince of thy people thou shalt not curse." In like manner it would seem that an injury done to a person of prominence, is all the more grave, on account of the scandal and the disturbance it would cause among many people.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 9 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ille qui infert iniuriam virtuoso, quantum est in se, turbat eum et interius et exterius. Sed quod iste interius non turbetur, contingit ex eius bonitate, quae non diminuit peccatum iniuriantis. Reply to Objection 1. He who inflicts an injury on a virtuous person, so far as he is concerned, disturbs him internally and externally; but that the latter is not disturbed internally is due to his goodness, which does not extenuate the sin of the injurer.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 9 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod nocumentum quod quis sibi ipsi infert in his quae subsunt dominio propriae voluntatis, sicut in rebus possessis, habet minus de peccato quam si alteri inferatur, quia propria voluntate hoc agit. Sed in his quae non subduntur dominio voluntatis, sicut sunt naturalia et spiritualia bona, est gravius peccatum nocumentum sibi ipsi inferre, gravius enim peccat qui occidit seipsum, quam qui occidit alterum. Sed quia res propinquorum nostrorum non subduntur voluntatis nostrae dominio, non procedit ratio quantum ad nocumenta rebus illorum illata, quod circa ea minus peccetur; nisi forte velint, vel ratum habeant. Reply to Objection 2. The injury which a man inflicts on himself in those things which are subject to the dominion of his will, for instance his possessions, is less sinful than if it were inflicted on another, because he does it of his own will; but in those things that are not subject to the dominion of his will, such as natural and spiritual goods, it is a graver sin to inflict an injury on oneself: for it is more grievous for a man to kill himself than another. Since, however, things belonging to our neighbor are not subject to the dominion of our will, the argument fails to prove, in respect of injuries done to such like things, that it is less grievous to sin in their regard, unless indeed our neighbor be willing, or give his approval.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 9 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod non est acceptio personarum si Deus gravius punit peccantem contra excellentiores personas, hoc enim fit propter hoc quod hoc redundat in plurium nocumentum. Reply to Objection 3. There is no respect for persons if God punishes more severely those who sin against a person of higher rank; for this is done because such an injury redounds to the harm of many.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 10 arg. 1 Ad decimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod magnitudo personae peccantis non aggravet peccatum. Homo enim maxime redditur magnus ex hoc quod Deo adhaeret, secundum illud Eccli. XXV, quam magnus est qui invenit sapientiam et scientiam. Sed non est super timentem Deum. Sed quanto aliquis magis Deo adhaeret, tanto minus imputatur ei aliquid ad peccatum, dicitur enim II Paralip. XXX, dominus bonus propitiabitur cunctis qui in toto corde requirunt dominum Deum patrum suorum, et non imputabitur eis quod minus sanctificati sunt. Ergo peccatum non aggravatur ex magnitudine personae peccantis. Objection 1. It would seem that the excellence of the person sinning does not aggravate the sin. For man becomes great chiefly by cleaving to God, according to Sirach 25:13: "How great is he that findeth wisdom and knowledge! but there is none above him that feareth the Lord." Now the more a man cleaves to God, the less is a sin imputed to him: for it is written (2 Chronicles 30:18-19): "The Lord Who is good will show mercy to all them, who with their whole heart seek the Lord the God of their fathers; and will not impute it to them that they are not sanctified." Therefore a sin is not aggravated by the excellence of the person sinning.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 10 arg. 2 Praeterea, non est personarum acceptio apud Deum, ut dicitur Rom. II. Ergo non magis punit pro uno et eodem peccato, unum quam alium. Non ergo aggravatur ex magnitudine personae peccantis. Objection 2. Further, "there is no respect of persons with God" (Romans 2:11). Therefore He does not punish one man more than another, for one and the same sin. Therefore a sin is not aggravated by the excellence of the person sinning.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 10 arg. 3 Praeterea, nullus debet ex bono incommodum reportare. Reportaret autem, si id quod agit, magis ei imputaretur ad culpam. Ergo propter magnitudinem personae peccantis non aggravatur peccatum. Objection 3. Further, no one should reap disadvantage from good. But he would, if his action were the more blameworthy on account of his goodness. Therefore a sin is not aggravated by reason of the excellence of the person sinning.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 10 s. c. Sed contra est quod Isidorus dicit, in II de summo bono, tanto maius cognoscitur peccatum esse, quanto maior qui peccat habetur. On the contrary, Isidore says (De Summo Bono ii, 18): "A sin is deemed so much the more grievous as the sinner is held to be a more excellent person."
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 10 co. Respondeo dicendum quod duplex est peccatum. Quoddam ex subreptione proveniens, propter infirmitatem humanae naturae. Et tale peccatum minus imputatur ei qui est maior in virtute, eo quod minus negligit huiusmodi peccata reprimere, quae tamen omnino subterfugere infirmitas humana non sinit. Alia vero peccata sunt ex deliberatione procedentia. Et ista peccata tanto magis alicui imputantur, quanto maior est. Et hoc potest esse propter quatuor. Primo quidem, quia facilius possunt resistere peccato maiores, puta qui excedunt in scientia et virtute. Unde dominus dicit, Luc. XII, quod servus sciens voluntatem domini sui, et non faciens, plagis vapulabit multis. Secundo, propter ingratitudinem, quia omne bonum quo quis magnificatur, est Dei beneficium, cui homo fit ingratus peccando. Et quantum ad hoc, quaelibet maioritas, etiam in temporalibus bonis peccatum aggravat, secundum illud Sap. VI, potentes potenter tormenta patientur. Tertio, propter specialem repugnantiam actus peccati ad magnitudinem personae, sicut si princeps iustitiam violet, qui ponitur iustitiae custos; et si sacerdos fornicetur, qui castitatem vovit. Quarto, propter exemplum, sive scandalum, quia, ut Gregorius dicit in pastorali, in exemplum culpa vehementer extenditur, quando pro reverentia gradus peccator honoratur. Ad plurium etiam notitiam perveniunt peccata magnorum; et magis homines ea indigne ferunt. I answer that, Sin is twofold. There is a sin which takes us unawares on account of the weakness of human nature: and such like sins are less imputable to one who is more virtuous, because he is less negligent in checking those sins, which nevertheless human weakness does not allow us to escape altogether. But there are other sins which proceed from deliberation: and these sins are all the more imputed to man according as he is more excellent. Four reasons may be assigned for this. First, because a more excellent person, e.g. one who excels in knowledge and virtue, can more easily resist sin; hence Our Lord said (Luke 12:47) that the "servant who knew the will of his lord . . . and did it not . . . shall be beaten with many stripes." Secondly, on account of ingratitude, because every good in which a man excels, is a gift of God, to Whom man is ungrateful when he sins: and in this respect any excellence, even in temporal goods, aggravates a sin, according to Wisdom 6:7: "The mighty shall be mightily tormented." Thirdly, on account of the sinful act being specially inconsistent with the excellence of the person sinning: for instance, if a prince were to violate justice, whereas he is set up as the guardian of justice, or if a priest were to be a fornicator, whereas he has taken the vow of chastity. Fourthly, on account of the example or scandal; because, as Gregory says (Pastor. i, 2): "Sin becomes much more scandalous, when the sinner is honored for his position": and the sins of the great are much more notorious and men are wont to bear them with more indignation.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 10 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod auctoritas illa loquitur de his quae per subreptionem infirmitatis humanae negligenter aguntur. Reply to Objection 1. The passage quoted alludes to those things which are done negligently when we are taken unawares through human weakness.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 10 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod Deus non accipit personas, si maiores plus punit, quia ipsorum maioritas facit ad gravitatem peccati, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 2. God does not respect persons in punishing the great more severely, because their excellence conduces to the gravity of their sin, as stated.
Iª-IIae q. 73 a. 10 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod homo magnus non reportat incommodum ex bono quod habet, sed ex malo usu illius. Reply to Objection 3. The man who excels in anything reaps disadvantage, not from the good which he has, but from his abuse thereof.

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