Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q102

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Q101 Q103



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IIª-IIae q. 102 pr. Deinde considerandum est de observantia, et partibus eius. Per quae de oppositis vitiis erit manifestum. Circa observantiam autem quaeruntur tria. Primo, utrum observantia sit specialis virtus ab aliis distincta. Secundo, quid observantia exhibeat. Tertio, de comparatione eius ad pietatem. Question 102. Observance, considered in itself, and its parts 1. Is observance a special virtue, distinct from other virtues? 2. What does observance offer? 3. Its comparison with piety
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod observantia non sit specialis virtus ab aliis distincta. Virtutes enim distinguuntur secundum obiecta. Sed obiectum observantiae non distinguitur ab obiecto pietatis. Dicit enim Tullius, in sua rhetorica, quod observantia est per quam homines aliqua dignitate antecedentes quodam cultu et honore dignantur. Sed cultum et honorem etiam pietas exhibet parentibus, qui dignitate antecedunt. Ergo observantia non est virtus distincta a pietate. Objection 1. It seems that observance is not a special virtue, distinct from other virtues. For virtues are distinguished by their objects. But the object of observance is not distinct from the object of piety: for Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that "it is by observance that we pay worship and honor to those who excel in some kind of dignity." But worship and honor are paid also by piety to our parents, who excel in dignity. Therefore observance is not a distinct virtue from piety.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, sicut hominibus in dignitate constitutis debetur honor et cultus, ita etiam eis qui excellunt in scientia et virtute. Sed non est aliqua specialis virtus per quam honorem et cultum exibeamus hominibus qui scientiae vel virtutis excellentiam habent. Ergo etiam observantia, per quam cultum et honorem exhibemus his qui nos in dignitate antecedunt, non est specialis virtus ab aliis distincta. Objection 2. Further, just as honor and worship are due to those that are in a position of dignity, so also are they due to those who excel in science and virtue. But there is no special virtue whereby we pay honor and worship to those who excel in science and virtue. Therefore observance, whereby we pay worship and honor to those who excel in dignity, is not a special virtue distinct from other virtues.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, hominibus in dignitate constitutis multa debentur ad quae solvenda lex cogit, secundum illud Rom. XIII, reddite omnibus debita, cui tributum, tributum, et cetera. Ea vero ad quae per legem compellimur, pertinent ad iustitiam legalem, seu etiam ad iustitiam specialem. Ergo observantia non est per se specialis virtus ab aliis distincta. Objection 3. Further, we have many duties towards those who are in a position of dignity, the fulfilment of which is required by law, according to Romans 13:7, "Render . . . to all men their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due," etc. Now the fulfilment of the requirements of the law belongs to legal justice, or even to special justice. Therefore observance is not by itself a special virtue distinct from other virtues.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Tullius condividit observantiam aliis iustitiae partibus, quae sunt speciales virtutes. On the contrary, Tully (De Invent. Rhet. ii) reckons observance along with the other parts of justice, which are special virtues.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut ex dictis patet, necesse est ut eo modo per quendam ordinatum descensum distinguantur virtutes, sicut et excellentia personarum quibus est aliquid reddendum. Sicut autem carnalis pater particulariter participat rationem principii, quae universaliter invenitur in Deo; ita etiam persona quae quantum ad aliquid providentiam circa nos gerit, particulariter participat proprietatem patris, quia pater est principium et generationis et educationis et disciplinae, et omnium quae ad perfectionem humanae vitae pertinent. Persona autem in dignitate constituta est sicut principium gubernationis respectu aliquarum rerum, sicut princeps civitatis in rebus civilibus, dux autem exercitus in rebus bellicis, magister autem in disciplinis, et simile est in aliis. Et inde est quod omnes tales personae patres appellantur, propter similitudinem curae, sicut IV Reg. V, servi Naaman dixerunt ad eum, pater, etsi rem grandem dixisset tibi propheta, et cetera. Et ideo sicut sub religione, per quam cultus tribuitur Deo, quodam ordine invenitur pietas, per quam coluntur parentes; ita sub pietate invenitur observantia, per quam cultus et honor exhibetur personis in dignitate constitutis. I answer that, As explained above (101, 1 and 3; 80), according to the various excellences of those persons to whom something is due, there must needs be a corresponding distinction of virtues in a descending order. Now just as a carnal father partakes of the character of principle in a particular way, which character is found in God in a universal way, so too a person who, in some way, exercises providence in one respect, partakes of the character of father in a particular way, since a father is the principle of generation, of education, of learning and of whatever pertains to the perfection of human life: while a person who is in a position of dignity is as a principle of government with regard to certain things: for instance, the governor of a state in civil matters, the commander of an army in matters of warfare, a professor in matters of learning, and so forth. Hence it is that all such persons are designated as "fathers," on account of their being charged with like cares: thus the servants of Naaman said to him (2 Kings 5:13): "Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing," etc. Therefore, just as, in a manner, religion, whereby worship is given to find piety, whereby we worship our so under piety we find observance, whereby worship and honor are paid to persons in positions of dignity.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod sicut supra dictum est quod religio per quandam supereminentiam pietas dicitur, et tamen pietas proprie dicta a religione distinguitur; ita etiam pietas per quandam excellentiam potest dici observantia, et tamen observantia proprie dicta a pietate distinguitur. Reply to Objection 1. As stated above (101, 3, ad 2), religion goes by the name of piety by way of supereminence, although piety properly so called is distinct from religion; and in the same way piety can be called observance by way of excellence, although observance properly speaking is distinct from piety.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod aliquis ex hoc quod est in dignitate constitutus, non solum quandam status excellentiam habet, sed etiam quandam potestatem gubernandi subditos. Unde competit sibi ratio principii, prout est aliorum gubernator. Ex hoc autem quod aliquis habet perfectionem scientiae vel virtutis, non sortitur rationem principii quantum ad alios, sed solum quandam excellentiam in seipso. Et ideo specialiter quaedam virtus determinatur ad exhibendum honorem et cultum his qui sunt in dignitate constituti. Verum quia per scientiam et virtutem, et omnia alia huiusmodi, aliquis idoneus redditur ad dignitatis statum, reverentia quae propter quamcumque excellentiam aliquibus exhibetur, ad eandem virtutem pertinet. Reply to Objection 2. By the very fact of being in a position of dignity a man not only excels as regards his position, but also has a certain power of governing subjects, wherefore it is fitting that he should be considered as a principle inasmuch as he is the governor of others. On the other hand, the fact that a man has perfection of science and virtue does not give him the character of a principle in relation to others, but merely a certain excellence in himself. Wherefore a special virtue is appointed for the payment of worship and honor to persons in positions of dignity. Yet, forasmuch as science, virtue and all like things render a man fit for positions of dignity, the respect which is paid to anyone on account of any excellence whatever belongs to the same virtue.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ad iustitiam specialem proprie sumptam pertinet reddere aequale ei cui aliquid debetur. Quod quidem non potest fieri ad virtuosos, et ad eos qui bene statu dignitatis utuntur, sicut nec ad Deum, nec ad parentes. Et ideo ad quandam virtutem adiunctam hoc pertinet, non autem ad iustitiam specialem, quae est principalis virtus. Iustitia vero legalis se extendit ad actus omnium virtutum, ut supra dictum est. Reply to Objection 3. It belongs to special justice, properly speaking, to pay the equivalent to those to whom we owe anything. Now this cannot be done to the virtuous, and to those who make good use of their position of dignity, as neither can it be done to God, nor to our parents. Consequently these matters belong to an annexed virtue, and not to special justice, which is a principal virtue. Legal justice extends to the acts of all the virtues, as stated above (Question 58, Article 6).
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod ad observantiam non pertinet exhibere cultum et honorem his qui sunt in dignitate constituti. Quia ut Augustinus dicit, in X de Civ. Dei, colere dicimur illas personas quas in quodam honore habemus, et sic idem videtur esse cultus quod honor. Inconvenienter igitur determinatur quod observantia exhibet in dignitate constitutis cultum et honorem. Objection 1. It seems that it does not belong to observance to pay worship and honor to persons in positions of dignity. For according to Augustine (De Civ. Dei x), we are said to worship those persons whom we hold in honor, so that worship and honor would seem to be the same. Therefore it is unfitting to define observance as paying worship and honor to persons in positions of dignity.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, ad iustitiam pertinet reddere debitum. Unde et ad observantiam, quae ponitur iustitiae pars. Sed cultum et honorem non debemus omnibus in dignitate constitutis, sed solum his qui super nos praelationem habent. Ergo inconvenienter determinatur quod eis observantia exhibet cultum et honorem. Objection 2. Further, it belongs to justice that we pay what we owe: wherefore this belongs to observance also, since it is a part of justice. Now we do not owe worship and honor to all persons in positions of dignity, but only to those who are placed over us. Therefore observance is unfittingly defined as giving worship and honor to all.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, superioribus nostris in dignitate constitutis non solum debemus honorem, sed etiam timorem, et aliquam munerum largitionem, secundum illud ad Rom. XIII, reddite omnibus debita, et cui tributum, tributum; cui vectigal, vectigal; cui timorem, timorem; cui honorem, honorem. Debemus etiam eis reverentiam et subiectionem, secundum illud Heb. XIII, obedite praepositis vestris, et subiacete eis. Non ergo convenienter determinatur quod observantia exhibet cultum et honorem. Objection 3. Further, not only do we owe honor to persons of dignity who are placed over us; we owe them also fear and a certain payment of remuneration, according to Romans 13:7, "Render . . . to all men their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." Moreover, we owe them reverence and subjection, according to Hebrews 13:17, "Obey your prelates, and be subject to them." Therefore observance is not fittingly defined as paying worship and honor.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod Tullius dicit, quod observantia est per quam homines aliqua dignitate antecedentes quodam cultu et honore dignantur. On the contrary, Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii) that "it is by observance that we pay worship and honor to those who excel in some kind of dignity."
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod ad eos qui sunt in dignitate constituti pertinet gubernare subditos. Gubernare autem est movere aliquos in debitum finem, sicut nauta gubernat navem ducendo eam ad portum. Omne autem movens habet excellentiam quandam et virtutem supra id quod movetur. Unde oportet quod in eo qui est in dignitate constitutus, primo consideretur excellentia status, cum quadam potestate in subditos; secundo, ipsum gubernationis officium. Ratione igitur excellentiae, debetur eis honor, qui est quaedam recognitio excellentiae alicuius. Ratione autem officii gubernationis, debetur eis cultus, qui in quodam obsequio consistit dum scilicet aliquis eorum obedit imperio, et vicem beneficiis eorum pro suo modo rependit. I answer that, It belongs to persons in positions of dignity to govern subjects. Now to govern is to move certain ones to their due end: thus a sailor governs his ship by steering it to port. But every mover has a certain excellence and power over that which is moved. Wherefore, a person in a position of dignity is an object of twofold consideration: first, in so far as he obtains excellence of position, together with a certain power over subjects: secondly, as regards the exercise of his government. On respect of his excellence there is due to him honor, which is the recognition of some kind of excellence; and in respect of the exercise of his government, there is due to him worship, consisting in rendering him service, by obeying his commands, and by repaying him, according to one's faculty, for the benefits we received from him.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod in cultu non solum intelligitur honor, sed etiam quaecumque alia pertinent ad decentes actus quibus homo ad alium ordinatur. Reply to Objection 1. Worship includes not only honor, but also whatever other suitable actions are connected with the relations between man and man.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, duplex est debitum. Unum quidem legale, ad quod reddendum homo lege compellitur. Et sic debet homo honorem et cultum his qui sunt in dignitate constituti praelationem super ipsum habentes. Aliud autem est debitum morale, quod ex quadam honestate debetur. Et hoc modo debemus cultum et honorem his qui sunt in dignitate constituti, etiam si non simus eis subiecti. Reply to Objection 2. As stated above (Article 80), debt is twofold. One is legal debt, to pay which man is compelled by law; and thus man owes honor and worship to those persons in positions of dignity who are placed over him. The other is moral debt, which is due by reason of a certain honesty: it is in this way that we owe worship and honor to persons in positions of dignity even though we be not their subjects.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod excellentiae eorum qui sunt in dignitate constituti debetur honor ratione sublimioris gradus; timor autem ratione potestatis quam habent ad coercendum. Officio vero gubernationis ipsorum debetur obedientia, per quam subditi moventur ad imperium praesidentium; et tributa, quae sunt quaedam stipendia laboris ipsorum. Reply to Objection 3. Honor is due to the excellence of persons in positions of dignity, on account of their higher rank: while fear is due to them on account of their power to use compulsion: and to the exercise of their government there is due both obedience, whereby subjects are moved at the command of their superiors, and tributes, which are a repayment of their labor.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod observantia sit potior virtus quam pietas. Princeps enim, cui cultus per observantiam exhibetur, comparatur ad patrem, qui pietate colitur, sicut universalis gubernator ad particularem, nam familia, quam pater gubernat, est pars civitatis, quae gubernatur a principe. Sed universalis virtus potior est, et magis ei inferiora subduntur. Ergo observantia est potior virtus quam pietas. Objection 1. It seems that observance is a greater virtue than piety. For the prince to whom worship is paid by observance is compared to a father who is worshiped by piety, as a universal to a particular governor; because the household which a father governs is part of the state which is governed by the prince. Now a universal power is greater, and inferiors are more subject thereto. Therefore observance is a greater virtue than piety.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, illi qui sunt in dignitate constituti curam gerunt boni communis. Consanguinei autem pertinent ad bonum privatum, quod est propter bonum commune contemnendum, unde laudabiliter aliqui seipsos pro bono communi periculis mortis exponunt. Ergo observantia, per quam exhibetur cultus his qui sunt in dignitate constituti, est potior virtus quam pietas, quae exhibet cultum personis sanguine coniunctis. Objection 2. Further, persons in positions of dignity take care of the common good. Now our kindred pertain to the private good, which we ought to set aside for the common good: wherefore it is praiseworthy to expose oneself to the danger of death for the sake of the common good. Therefore observance, whereby worship is paid to persons in positions of dignity, is a greater virtue than piety, which pays worship to one's kindred.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, honor et reverentia maxime debetur virtuosis, post Deum. Sed virtuosis exhibetur honor et reverentia per observantiae virtutem, ut dictum est. Ergo observantia est praecipua post religionem. Objection 3. Further honor and reverence are due to the virtuous in the first place after God. Now honor and reverence are paid to the virtuous by the virtue of observance, as stated above (1, ad 3). Therefore observance takes the first place after religion.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod praecepta legis dantur de actibus virtutum. Immediate autem post praecepta religionis, quae pertinent ad primam tabulam, subditur praeceptum de honoratione parentum, quod pertinet ad pietatem. Ergo pietas immediate sequitur religionem ordine dignitatis. On the contrary, The precepts of the Law prescribe acts of virtue. Now, immediately after the precepts of religion, which belong to the first table, follows the precept of honoring our parents which refers to piety. Therefore piety follows immediately after religion in the order of excellence.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod personis in dignitate constitutis potest aliquid exhiberi dupliciter. Uno modo, in ordine ad bonum commune, puta cum aliquis ei servit in administratione reipublicae. Et hoc iam non pertinet ad observantiam, sed ad pietatem, quae cultum exhibet non solum patri, sed etiam patriae. Alio modo exhibetur aliquid personis in dignitate constitutis pertinens specialiter ad personalem eorum utilitatem vel gloriam. Et hoc proprie pertinet ad observantiam secundum quod a pietate distinguitur. Et ideo comparatio observantiae ad pietatem necesse est quod attendatur secundum diversas habitudines diversarum personarum ad nos, quas respicit utraque virtus. Manifestum est autem quod personae parentum, et eorum qui sunt nobis sanguine iuncti, substantialius nobis coniunguntur quam personae quae sunt in dignitate constitutae, magis enim ad substantiam pertinet generatio et educatio, cuius principium est pater, quam exterior gubernatio, cuius principium sunt illi qui in dignitate constituuntur. Et secundum hoc, pietas observantiae praeeminet, inquantum cultum reddit personis magis coniunctis, quibus magis obligamur. I answer that, Something may be paid to persons in positions of dignity in two ways. First, in relation to the common good, as when one serves them in the administration of the affairs of the state. This no longer belongs to observance, but to piety, which pays worship not only to one's father but also to one's fatherland. Secondly, that which is paid to persons in positions of dignity refers specially to their personal usefulness or renown, and this belongs properly to observance, as distinct from piety. Therefore in comparing observance with piety we must needs take into consideration the different relations in which other persons stand to ourselves, which relations both virtues regard. Now it is evident that the persons of our parents and of our kindred are more substantially akin to us than persons in positions of dignity, since birth and education, which originate in the father, belong more to one's substance than external government, the principle of which is seated in those who are in positions of dignity. For this reason piety takes precedence of observance, inasmuch as it pays worship to persons more akin to us, and to whom we are more strictly bound.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod princeps comparatur ad patrem sicut universalis virtus ad particularem, quantum ad exteriorem gubernationem, non autem quantum ad hoc quod pater est principium generationis. Sic enim comparatur ad ipsum virtus divina, quae est omnium productiva in esse. Reply to Objection 1. The prince is compared to the father as a universal to a particular power, as regards external government, but not as regards the father being a principle of generation: for in this way the father should be compared with the divine power from which all things derive their being.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ex ea parte qua personae in dignitate constitutae ordinantur ad bonum commune, non pertinet earum cultus ad observantiam, sed ad pietatem, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 2. In so far as persons in positions of dignity are related to the common good, their worship does not pertain to observance, but to piety, as stated above.
IIª-IIae q. 102 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod exhibitio honoris vel cultus non solum est proportionanda personae cui exhibetur secundum se consideratae, sed etiam secundum quod ad exhibentes comparatur. Quamvis ergo virtuosi, secundum se considerati, sint magis digni honore quam personae parentum, tamen filii magis obligantur, propter beneficia suscepta et coniunctionem naturalem, ad exhibendum cultum et honorem parentibus quam extraneis virtuosis. Reply to Objection 3. The rendering of honor or worship should be proportionate to the person to whom it is paid not only as considered in himself, but also as compared to those who pay them. Wherefore, though virtuous persons, considered in themselves, are more worthy of honor than the persons of one's parents, yet children are under a greater obligation, on account of the benefits they have received from their parents and their natural kinship with them, to pay worship and honor to their parents than to virtuous persons who are not of their kindred.

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