Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q105

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Q104 Q106



Latin English
IIª-IIae q. 105 pr. Deinde considerandum est de inobedientia. Et circa hoc quaeruntur duo. Primo, utrum sit peccatum mortale. Secundo, utrum sit gravissimum peccatorum. Question 105. Disobedience 1. Is it a mortal sin? 2. Is it the most grievous of sins?
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inobedientia non sit peccatum mortale. Omne enim peccatum est inobedientia, ut patet per definitionem Ambrosii superius positam. Si ergo inobedientia esset peccatum mortale, omne peccatum esset mortale. Objection 1. It seems that disobedience is not a mortal sin. For every sin is a disobedience, as appears from Ambrose's definition given above (104, 2, Objection 1). Therefore if disobedience were a mortal sin, every sin would be mortal.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, Gregorius dicit, XXXI Moral., quod inobedientia oritur ex inani gloria. Sed inanis gloria non est peccatum mortale. Ergo nec inobedientia. Objection 2. Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxxi) that disobedience is born of vainglory. But vainglory is not a mortal sin. Neither therefore is disobedience.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, tunc dicitur aliquis esse inobediens quando superioris praeceptum non implet. Sed superiores multoties praecepta multiplicant, quae vix aut nunquam omnia possunt observari. Si ergo inobedientia esset peccatum mortale, sequeretur quod homo non posset vitare mortale peccatum, quod est inconveniens. Non ergo inobedientia est peccatum mortale. Objection 3. Further, a person is said to be disobedient when he does not fulfil a superior's command. But superiors often issue so many commands that it is seldom, if ever, possible to fulfil them. Therefore if disobedience were a mortal sin, it would follow that man cannot avoid mortal sin, which is absurd. Wherefore disobedience is not a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Rom. I, et II ad Tim. III, inter alia peccata mortalia computatur, parentibus non obedientes. On the contrary, The sin of disobedience to parents is reckoned (Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2) among other mortal sins.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, peccatum mortale est quod contrariatur caritati, per quam est spiritualis vita. Caritate autem diligitur Deus et proximus. Exigit autem caritas Dei ut eius mandatis obediatur, sicut supra dictum est. Et ideo inobedientem esse divinis praeceptis peccatum mortale est, quasi divinae dilectioni contrarium. In praeceptis autem divinis continetur quod etiam superioribus obediatur. Et ideo etiam inobedientia qua quis inobediens est praeceptis superiorum, est peccatum mortale, quasi divinae dilectioni contrarium, secundum illud Rom. XIII, qui potestati resistit, Dei ordinationi resistit. Contrariatur insuper dilectioni proximi, inquantum superiori proximo subtrahit obedientiam quam ei debet. I answer that, As stated above (24, 12; I-II, 72, 5; I-II, 88, 1), a mortal sin is one that is contrary to charity which is the cause of spiritual life. Now by charity we love God and our neighbor. The charity of God requires that we obey His commandments, as stated above (Question 24, Article 12). Therefore to be disobedient to the commandments of God is a mortal sin, because it is contrary to the love of God. Again, the commandments of God contain the precept of obedience to superiors. Wherefore also disobedience to the commands of a superior is a mortal sin, as being contrary to the love of God, according to Romans 13:2, "He that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God." It is also contrary to the love of our neighbor, as it withdraws from the superior who is our neighbor the obedience that is his due.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illa definitio Ambrosii datur de peccato mortali, quod habet perfectam peccati rationem. Peccatum enim veniale non est inobedientia, quia non est contra praeceptum, sed praeter praeceptum. Nec etiam omne peccatum mortale est inobedientia, proprie et per se loquendo, sed solum sicut quando aliquis praeceptum contemnit. Quia ex fine morales actus speciem habent. Cum autem facit aliquid contra praeceptum non propter praecepti contemptum, sed propter aliquid aliud, est inobedientia materialiter tantum, sed pertinet formaliter ad aliam speciem peccati. Reply to Objection 1. The definition given by Ambrose refers to mortal sin, which has the character of perfect sin. Venial sin is not disobedience, because it is not contrary to a precept, but beside it. Nor again is every mortal sin disobedience, properly and essentially, but only when one contemns a precept, since moral acts take their species from the end. And when a thing is done contrary to a precept, not in contempt of the precept, but with some other purpose, it is not a sin of disobedience except materially, and belongs formally to another species of sin.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod inanis gloria appetit manifestationem alicuius excellentiae, et quia videtur ad quandam excellentiam pertinere quod homo praeceptis alterius non subdatur, inde est quod inobedientia ex inani gloria oritur. Nihil autem prohibet ex peccato veniali oriri mortale, cum veniale sit dispositio ad mortale. Reply to Objection 2. Vainglory desires display of excellence. And since it seems to point to a certain excellence that one be not subject to another's command, it follows that disobedience arises from vainglory. But there is nothing to hinder mortal sin from arising out of venial sin, since venial sin is a disposition to mortal.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod nullus obligatur ad impossibile. Et ideo si tot praecepta aliquis praelatus ingerat quod subditus ea implere non possit, excusatur a peccato. Et ideo praelati abstinere debent a multitudine praeceptorum. Reply to Objection 3. No one is bound to do the impossible: wherefore if a superior makes a heap of precepts and lays them upon his subjects, so that they are unable to fulfil them, they are excused from sin. Wherefore superiors should refrain from making a multitude of precepts.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inobedientia sit gravissimum peccatum. Dicitur enim I Reg. XV, et quasi scelus idololatriae nolle acquiescere. Sed idolatria est gravissimum peccatum, ut supra habitum est. Ergo inobedientia est gravissimum peccatum. Objection 1. It seems that disobedience is the most grievous of sins. For it is written (1 Samuel 15:23): "It is like the sin of witchcraft to rebel, and like the crime of idolatry to refuse to obey." But idolatry is the most grievous of sins, as stated above (Question 94, Article 3). Therefore disobedience is the most grievous of sins.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, illud peccatum dicitur esse in spiritum sanctum per quod tolluntur impedimenta peccati, ut supra dictum est. Sed per inobedientiam contemnit homo praeceptum, quod maxime retrahit hominem a peccando. Ergo inobedientia est peccatum in spiritum sanctum. Et ita est gravissimum peccatum. Objection 2. Further, the sin against the Holy Ghost is one that removes the obstacles of sin, as stated above (Question 14, Article 2). Now disobedience makes a man contemn a precept which, more than anything, prevents a man from sinning. Therefore disobedience is a sin against the Holy Ghost, and consequently is the most grievous of sins.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, apostolus dicit, Rom. V, quod per unius inobedientiam peccatores constituti sunt multi. Sed causa videtur esse potior effectu. Ergo inobedientia videtur esse gravius peccatum quam alia quae ex ea causantur. Objection 3. Further, the Apostle says (Romans 5:19) that "by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners." Now the cause is seemingly greater than its effect. Therefore disobedience seems to be a more grievous sin than the others that are caused thereby.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod gravius est contemnere praecipientem quam praeceptum. Sed quaedam peccata sunt contra ipsam personam praecipientis, sicut patet de blasphemia et homicidio. Ergo inobedientia non est gravissimum peccatum. On the contrary, Contempt of the commander is a more grievous sin than contempt of his command. Now some sins are against the very person of the commander, such as blasphemy and murder. Therefore disobedience is not the most grievous of sins.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod non omnis inobedientia est aequale peccatum. Potest enim una inobedientia esse gravior altera dupliciter. Uno modo, ex parte praecipientis. Quamvis enim omnem curam homo apponere debeat ad hoc quod cuilibet superiori obediat, tamen magis est debitum quod homo obediat superiori quam inferiori potestati. Cuius signum est quod praeceptum inferioris praetermittitur si sit praecepto superioris contrarium unde consequens est quod quanto superior est ille qui praecipit, tanto ei inobedientem esse sit gravius. Et sic inobedientem esse Deo est gravius quam inobedientem esse homini. Secundo, ex parte praeceptorum. Non enim praecipiens aequaliter vult impleri omnia quae mandat, magis enim unusquisque vult finem, et id quod est fini propinquius. Et ideo tanto est inobedientia gravior, quanto praeceptum quod quis praeterit magis est de intentione illius qui praecipit. Et in praeceptis quidem Dei, manifestum est quod quanto praeceptum datur de meliori, tanto est eius inobedientia gravior. Quia cum voluntas Dei per se feratur ad bonum, quanto aliquid est melius, tanto Deus vult illud magis impleri. Unde qui inobediens est praecepto de dilectione Dei, gravius peccat quam qui inobediens est praecepto de dilectione proximi. Voluntas autem hominis non semper magis fertur in melius. Et ideo, ubi obligamur ex solo hominis praecepto, non est gravius peccatum ex eo quod maius bonum praeteritur, sed ex eo quod praeteritur quod est magis de intentione praecipientis. Sic ergo oportet diversos inobedientiae gradus diversis peccatorum gradibus comparare. Nam inobedientia qua contemnitur Dei praeceptum, ex ipsa ratione inobedientiae gravius est peccatum quam peccatum quo peccatur in hominem, si secerneretur inobedientia Dei (et hoc dico, quia qui contra proximum peccat, etiam contra Dei praeceptum agit). Si tamen in aliquo potiori praeceptum Dei contemneret, adhuc gravius peccatum esset. Inobedientia autem qua contemnitur praeceptum hominis, levior est peccato quo contemnitur ipse praecipiens, quia ex reverentia praecipientis procedere debet reverentia praecepti. Et similiter peccatum quod directe pertinet ad contemptum Dei, sicut blasphemia vel aliquid huiusmodi, gravius est, etiam semota per intellectum inobedientia a peccato, quam peccatum in quo contemnitur solum Dei praeceptum. I answer that, Not every disobedience is equally a sin: for one disobedience may be greater than another, in two ways. First, on the part of the superior commanding, since, although a man should take every care to obey each superior, yet it is a greater duty to obey a higher than a lower authority, in sign of which the command of a lower authority is set aside if it be contrary to the command of a higher authority. Consequently the higher the person who commands, the more grievous is it to disobey him: so that it is more grievous to disobey God than man. Secondly, on the part of the things commanded. For the person commanding does not equally desire the fulfilment of all his commands: since every such person desires above all the end, and that which is nearest to the end. Wherefore disobedience is the more grievous, according as the unfulfilled commandment is more in the intention of the person commanding. As to the commandments of God, it is evident that the greater the good commanded, the more grievous the disobedience of that commandment, because since God's will is essentially directed to the good, the greater the good the more does God wish it to be fulfilled. Consequently he that disobeys the commandment of the love of God sins more grievously than one who disobeys the commandment of the love of our neighbor. On the other hand, man's will is not always directed to the greater good: hence, when we are bound by a mere precept of man, a sin is more grievous, not through setting aside a greater good, but through setting aside that which is more in the intention of the person commanding. Accordingly the various degrees of disobedience must correspond with the various degrees of precepts: because the disobedience in which there is contempt of God's precept, from the very nature of disobedience is more grievous than a sin committed against a man, apart from the latter being a disobedience to God. And I say this because whoever sins against his neighbor acts also against God's commandment. And if the divine precept be contemned in a yet graver matter, the sin is still more grievous. The disobedience that contains contempt of a man's precept is less grievous than the sin which contemns the man who made the precept, because reverence for the person commanding should give rise to reverence for his command. On like manner a sin that directly involves contempt of God, such as blasphemy, or the like, is more grievous (even if we mentally separate the disobedience from the sin) than would be a sin involving contempt of God's commandment alone.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illa comparatio Samuelis non est aequalitatis, sed similitudinis, quia inobedientia redundat in contemptum Dei sicut et idololatria, licet idololatria magis. Reply to Objection 1. This comparison of Samuel is one, not of equality but of likeness, because disobedience redounds to the contempt of God just as idolatry does, though the latter does so more.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod non omnis inobedientia est peccatum in spiritum sanctum, sed solum illa cui obstinatio adhibetur. Non enim contemptus cuiuscumque quod peccatum impedit, constituit peccatum in spiritum sanctum, alioquin cuiuslibet boni contemptus esset peccatum in spiritum sanctum, quia per quodlibet bonum potest homo a peccato impediri. Sed illorum bonorum contemptus facit peccatum in spiritum sanctum quae directe ducunt ad poenitentiam et remissionem peccatorum. Reply to Objection 2. Not every disobedience is sin against the Holy Ghost, but only that which obstinacy is added: for it is not the contempt of any obstacle to sin that constitutes sin against the Holy Ghost, else the contempt of any good would be a sin against the Holy Ghost, since any good may hinder a man from committing sin. The sin against the Holy Ghost consists in the contempt of those goods which lead directly to repentance and the remission of sins.
IIª-IIae q. 105 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod primum peccatum primi parentis, ex quo in omnes peccatum emanavit, non fuit inobedientia, secundum quod est speciale peccatum, sed superbia, ex qua homo ad inobedientiam processit. Unde apostolus in verbis illis videtur accipere inobedientiam secundum quod generaliter se habet ad omne peccatum. Reply to Objection 3. The first sin of our first parent, from which sin was transmitted to a men, was not disobedience considered as a special sin, but pride, from which then man proceeded to disobey. Hence the Apostle in these words seems to take disobedience in its relation to every sin.

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