Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q13

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Q12 Q14



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IIª-IIae q. 13 pr. Deinde considerandum est de peccato blasphemiae, quod opponitur confessioni fidei. Et primo, de blasphemia in generali; secundo, de blasphemia quae dicitur peccatum in spiritum sanctum. Circa primum quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, utrum blasphemia opponatur confessioni fidei. Secundo, utrum blasphemia semper sit peccatum mortale. Tertio, utrum blasphemia sit maximum peccatorum. Quarto, utrum blasphemia sit in damnatis. Question 13. The sin of blasphemy, in general Is blasphemy opposed to the confession of faith? Is blasphemy always a mortal sin? Is blasphemy the most grievous sin? Is blasphemy in the damned?
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod blasphemia non opponatur confessioni fidei. Nam blasphemare est contumeliam vel aliquod convicium inferre in iniuriam creatoris. Sed hoc magis pertinet ad malevolentiam contra Deum quam ad infidelitatem. Ergo blasphemia non opponitur confessioni fidei. Objection 1. It would seem that blasphemy is not opposed to the confession of faith. Because to blaspheme is to utter an affront or insult against the Creator. Now this pertains to ill-will against God rather than to unbelief. Therefore blasphemy is not opposed to the confession of faith.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, ad Ephes. IV, super illud, blasphemia tollatur a vobis, dicit Glossa, quae fit in Deum vel in sanctos. Sed confessio fidei non videtur esse nisi de his quae pertinent ad Deum, qui est fidei obiectum. Ergo blasphemia non semper opponitur confessioni fidei. Objection 2. Further, on Ephesians 4:31, "Let blasphemy . . . be put away from you," a gloss says, "that which is committed against God or the saints." But confession of faith, seemingly, is not about other things than those pertaining to God, Who is the object of faith. Therefore blasphemy is not always opposed to the confession of faith.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, a quibusdam dicitur quod sunt tres blasphemiae species, quarum una est cum attribuitur Deo quod ei non convenit; secunda est cum ab eo removetur quod ei convenit; tertia est cum attribuitur creaturae quod Deo appropriatur. Et sic videtur quod blasphemia non solum sit circa Deum, sed etiam circa creaturas. Fides autem habet Deum pro obiecto. Ergo blasphemia non opponitur confessioni fidei. Objection 3. Further, according to some, there are three kinds of blasphemy. The first of these is when something unfitting is affirmed of God; the second is when something fitting is denied of Him; and the third, when something proper to God is ascribed to a creature, so that, seemingly, blasphemy is not only about God, but also about His creatures. Now the object of faith is God. Therefore blasphemy is not opposed to confession of faith.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod apostolus dicit, I ad Tim. I, prius fui blasphemus et persecutor; et postea subdit, ignorans feci in incredulitate. Ex quo videtur quod blasphemia ad infidelitatem pertineat. On the contrary, The Apostle says (1 Timothy 1:12-13): "I . . . before was a blasphemer and a persecutor," and afterwards, "I did it ignorantly in" my "unbelief." Hence it seems that blasphemy pertains to unbelief.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod nomen blasphemiae importare videtur quandam derogationem alicuius excellentis bonitatis, et praecipue divinae. Deus autem, ut Dionysius dicit, I cap. de Div. Nom., est ipsa essentia bonitatis. Unde quidquid Deo convenit pertinet ad bonitatem ipsius; et quidquid ad ipsum non pertinet longe est a ratione perfectae bonitatis, quae est eius essentia. Quicumque igitur vel negat aliquid de Deo quod ei convenit, vel asserit de eo quod ei non convenit, derogat divinae bonitati. Quod quidem potest contingere dupliciter, uno quidem modo, secundum solam opinionem intellectus; alio modo, coniuncta quadam affectus detestatione, sicut e contrario fides Dei per dilectionem perficitur ipsius. Huiusmodi igitur derogatio divinae bonitatis est vel secundum intellectum tantum; vel etiam secundum affectum. Si consistat tantum in corde, est cordis blasphemia. Si autem exterius prodeat per locutionem, est oris blasphemia. Et secundum hoc blasphemia confessioni opponitur. I answer that, The word blasphemy seems to denote the disparagement of some surpassing goodness, especially that of God. Now God, as Dionysius says (Div. Nom. i), is the very essence of true goodness. Hence whatever befits God, pertains to His goodness, and whatever does not befit Him, is far removed from the perfection of goodness which is His Essence. Consequently whoever either denies anything befitting God, or affirms anything unbefitting Him, disparages the Divine goodness. Now this may happen in two ways. On the first way it may happen merely in respect of the opinion in the intellect; in the second way this opinion is united to a certain detestation in the affections, even as, on the other hand, faith in God is perfected by love of Him. Accordingly this disparagement of the Divine goodness is either in the intellect alone, or in the affections also. If it is in thought only, it is blasphemy of the heart, whereas if it betrays itself outwardly in speech it is blasphemy is opposed to confession of faith.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ille qui contra Deum loquitur convicium inferre intendens, derogat divinae bonitati non solum secundum veritatem intellectus, sed etiam secundum pravitatem voluntatis detestantis et impedientis pro posse divinum honorem. Quod est blasphemia perfecta. Reply to Objection 1. He that speaks against God, with the intention of reviling Him, disparages the Divine goodness, not only in respect of the falsehood in his intellect, but also by reason of the wickedness of his will, whereby he detests and strives to hinder the honor due to God, and this is perfect blasphemy.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod sicut Deus in sanctis suis laudatur, inquantum laudantur opera quae Deus in sanctis efficit; ita et blasphemia quae fit in sanctos ex consequenti in Deum redundat. Reply to Objection 2. Even as God is praised in His saints, in so far as praise is given to the works which God does in His saints, so does blasphemy against the saints, redound, as a consequence, against God.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod secundum illa tria non possunt, proprie loquendo, distingui diversae species peccati blasphemiae. Attribuere enim Deo quod ei non convenit, vel removere ab eo quod ei convenit, non differt nisi secundum affirmationem et negationem. Quae quidem diversitas habitus speciem non distinguit, quia per eandem scientiam innotescit falsitas affirmationum et negationum, et per eandem ignorantiam utroque modo erratur, cum negatio probetur per affirmationem, ut habetur I Poster. Quod autem ea quae sunt Dei propria creaturis attribuantur, ad hoc pertinere videtur quod aliquid ei attribuatur quod ei non conveniat. Quidquid enim est Deo proprium est ipse Deus, attribuere ergo id quod Dei proprium est alicui creaturae est ipsum Deum dicere idem creaturae. Reply to Objection 3. Properly speaking, the sin of blasphemy is not in this way divided into three species: since to affirm unfitting things, or to deny fitting things of God, differ merely as affirmation and negation. For this diversity does not cause distinct species of habits, since the falsehood of affirmations and negations is made known by the same knowledge, and it is the same ignorance which errs in either way, since negatives are proved by affirmatives, according to Poster. i, 25. Again to ascribe to creatures things that are proper to God, seems to amount to the same as affirming something unfitting of Him, since whatever is proper to God is God Himself: and to ascribe to a creature, that which is proper to God, is to assert that God is the same as a creature.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod blasphemia non semper sit peccatum mortale. Quia super illud ad Col. III, nunc autem deponite vos etc., dicit Glossa, post maiora prohibet minora. Et tamen subdit de blasphemia. Ergo blasphemia inter peccata minora computatur, quae sunt peccata venialia. Objection 1. It would seem that blasphemy is not always a mortal sin. Because a gloss on the words, "Now lay you also all away," etc. (Colossians 3:8) says: "After prohibiting greater crimes he forbids lesser sins": and yet among the latter he includes blasphemy. Therefore blasphemy is comprised among the lesser, i.e. venial, sins.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, omne peccatum mortale opponitur alicui praecepto Decalogi. Sed blasphemia non videtur alicui eorum opponi. Ergo blasphemia non est peccatum mortale. Objection 2. Further, every mortal sin is opposed to one of the precepts of the decalogue. But, seemingly, blasphemy is not contrary to any of them. Therefore blasphemy is not a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, peccata quae absque deliberatione committuntur non sunt mortalia, propter quod primi motus non sunt peccata mortalia, quia deliberationem rationis praecedunt, ut ex supradictis patet. Sed blasphemia quandoque absque deliberatione procedit. Ergo non semper est peccatum mortale. Objection 3. Further, sins committed without deliberation, are not mortal: hence first movements are not mortal sins, because they precede the deliberation of the reason, as was shown above (I-II, 74, 3,10). Now blasphemy sometimes occurs without deliberation of the reason. Therefore it is not always a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Levit. XXIV, qui blasphemaverit nomen domini, morte moriatur. Sed poena mortis non infertur nisi pro peccato mortali. Ergo blasphemia est peccatum mortale. On the contrary, It is written (Leviticus 24:16): "He that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, dying let him die." Now the death punishment is not inflicted except for a mortal sin. Therefore blasphemy is a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, peccatum mortale est per quod homo separatur a primo principio spiritualis vitae, quod est caritas Dei. Unde quaecumque caritati repugnant, ex suo genere sunt peccata mortalia. Blasphemia autem secundum genus suum repugnat caritati divinae, quia derogat divinae bonitati, ut dictum est, quae est obiectum caritatis. Et ideo blasphemia est peccatum mortale ex suo genere. I answer that, As stated above (I-II, 72, 5), a mortal sin is one whereby a man is severed from the first principle of spiritual life, which principle is the charity of God. Therefore whatever things are contrary to charity, are mortal sins in respect of their genus. Now blasphemy, as to its genus, is opposed to Divine charity, because, as stated above (Article 1), it disparages the Divine goodness, which is the object of charity. Consequently blasphemy is a mortal sin, by reason of its genus.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Glossa illa non est sic intelligenda quasi omnia quae subduntur sint peccata minora. Sed quia, cum supra non expressisset nisi maiora, postmodum etiam quaedam minora subdit, inter quae etiam quaedam de maioribus ponit. Reply to Objection 1. This gloss is not to be understood as meaning that all the sins which follow, are mortal, but that whereas all those mentioned previously are more grievous sins, some of those mentioned afterwards are less grievous; and yet among the latter some more grievous sins are included.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, cum blasphemia opponatur confessioni fidei, ut dictum est, eius prohibitio reducitur ad prohibitionem infidelitatis, quae intelligitur in eo quod dicitur, ego sum dominus Deus tuus et cetera. Vel prohibetur per id quod dicitur, non assumes nomen Dei tui in vanum. Magis enim in vanum assumit nomen Dei qui aliquod falsum de Deo asserit quam qui per nomen Dei aliquod falsum confirmat. Reply to Objection 2. Since, as stated above (Article 1), blasphemy is contrary to the confession of faith, its prohibition is comprised under the prohibition of unbelief, expressed by the words: "I am the Lord thy God," etc. (Exodus 20:1). Or else, it is forbidden by the words: "Thou shalt not take the name of . . . God in vain" (Exodus 20:7). Because he who asserts something false about God, takes His name in vain even more than he who uses the name of God in confirmation of a falsehood.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod blasphemia potest absque deliberatione ex subreptione procedere dupliciter. Uno modo, quod aliquis non advertat hoc quod dicit esse blasphemiam. Quod potest contingere cum aliquis subito ex aliqua passione in verba imaginata prorumpit, quorum significationem non considerat. Et tunc est peccatum veniale, et non habet proprie rationem blasphemiae. Alio modo, quando advertit hoc esse blasphemiam, considerans significata verborum. Et tunc non excusatur a peccato mortali, sicut nec ille qui ex subito motu irae aliquem occidit iuxta se sedentem. Reply to Objection 3. There are two ways in which blasphemy may occur unawares and without deliberation. On the first way, by a man failing to advert to the blasphemous nature of his words, and this may happen through his being moved suddenly by passion so as to break out into words suggested by his imagination, without heeding to the meaning of those words: this is a venial sin, and is not a blasphemy properly so called. On the second way, by adverting to the meaning of his words, and to their blasphemous nature: in which case he is not excused from mortal sin, even as neither is he who, in a sudden movement of anger, kills one who is sitting beside him.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod peccatum blasphemiae non sit maximum peccatum. Malum enim dicitur quod nocet, secundum Augustinum, in Enchirid. Sed magis nocet peccatum homicidii, quod perimit vitam hominis, quam peccatum blasphemiae, quod Deo nullum nocumentum potest inferre. Ergo peccatum homicidii est gravius peccato blasphemiae. Objection 1. It would seem that the sin of blasphemy is not the greatest sin. For, according to Augustine (Enchiridion xii), a thing is said to be evil because it does harm. Now the sin of murder, since it destroys a man's life, does more harm than the sin of blasphemy, which can do no harm to God. Therefore the sin of murder is more grievous than that of blasphemy.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, quicumque peierat inducit Deum testem falsitati, et ita videtur eum asserere esse falsum. Sed non quilibet blasphemus usque ad hoc procedit ut Deum asserat esse falsum. Ergo periurium est gravius peccatum quam blasphemia. Objection 2. Further, a perjurer calls upon God to witness to a falsehood, and thus seems to assert that God is false. But not every blasphemer goes so far as to say that God is false. Therefore perjury is a more grievous sin than blasphemy.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, super illud Psalm., nolite extollere in altum cornu vestrum, dicit Glossa, maximum est vitium excusationis peccati. Non ergo blasphemia est maximum peccatum. Objection 3. Further, on Psalm 74:6, "Lift not up your horn on high," a gloss says: "To excuse oneself for sin is the greatest sin of all." Therefore blasphemy is not the greatest sin.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod Isaiae XVIII, super illud, ad populum terribilem etc., dicit Glossa, omne peccatum, blasphemiae comparatum, levius est. On the contrary, On Isaiah 18:2, "To a terrible people," etc. a gloss says: "In comparison with blasphemy, every sin is slight."
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, blasphemia opponitur confessioni fidei. Et ideo habet in se gravitatem infidelitatis. Et aggravatur peccatum si superveniat detestatio voluntatis; et adhuc magis si prorumpat in verba; sicut et laus fidei augetur per dilectionem et confessionem. Unde, cum infidelitas sit maximum peccatum secundum suum genus, sicut supra dictum est, consequens est quod etiam blasphemia sit peccatum maximum, ad idem genus pertinens et ipsum aggravans. I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), blasphemy is opposed to the confession of faith, so that it contains the gravity of unbelief: while the sin is aggravated if the will's detestation is added thereto, and yet more, if it breaks out into words, even as love and confession add to the praise of faith. Therefore, since, as stated above (Question 10, Article 3), unbelief is the greatest of sins in respect of its genus, it follows that blasphemy also is a very great sin, through belonging to the same genus as unbelief and being an aggravated form of that sin.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod homicidium et blasphemia si comparentur secundum obiecta in quae peccatur, manifestum est quod blasphemia, quae est directe peccatum in Deum, praeponderat homicidio, quod est peccatum in proximum. Si autem comparentur secundum effectum nocendi, sic homicidium praeponderat, plus enim homicidium nocet proximo quam blasphemia Deo. Sed quia in gravitate culpae magis attenditur intentio voluntatis perversae quam effectus operis, ut ex supradictis patet; ideo, cum blasphemus intendat nocumentum inferre honori divino, simpliciter loquendo gravius peccat quam homicida. Homicidium tamen primum locum tenet in peccatis inter peccata in proximum commissa. Reply to Objection 1. If we compare murder and blasphemy as regards the objects of those sins, it is clear that blasphemy, which is a sin committed directly against God, is more grave than murder, which is a sin against one's neighbor. On the other hand, if we compare them in respect of the harm wrought by them, murder is the graver sin, for murder does more harm to one's neighbor, than blasphemy does to God. Since, however, the gravity of a sin depends on the intention of the evil will, rather than on the effect of the deed, as was shown above (I-II, 73, 8), it follows that, as the blasphemer intends to do harm to God's honor, absolutely speaking, he sins more grievously that the murderer. Nevertheless murder takes precedence, as to punishment, among sins committed against our neighbor.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod super illud ad Ephes. IV, blasphemia tollatur a vobis, dicit Glossa peius est blasphemare quam peierare. Qui enim peierat non dicit aut sentit aliquid falsum de Deo, sicut blasphemus, sed Deum adhibet testem falsitati non tanquam aestimans Deum esse falsum testem, sed tanquam sperans quod Deus super hoc non testificetur per aliquod evidens signum. Reply to Objection 2. A gloss on the words, "Let . . . blasphemy be put away from you" (Ephesians 4:31) says: "Blasphemy is worse than perjury." The reason is that the perjurer does not say or think something false about God, as the blasphemer does: but he calls God to witness to a falsehood, not that he deems God a false witness, but in the hope, as it were, that God will not testify to the matter by some evident sign.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod excusatio peccati est quaedam circumstantia aggravans omne peccatum, etiam ipsam blasphemiam. Et pro tanto dicitur esse maximum peccatum, quia quodlibet facit maius. Reply to Objection 3. To excuse oneself for sin is a circumstance that aggravates every sin, even blasphemy itself: and it is called the most grievous sin, for as much as it makes every sin more grievous.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod damnati non blasphement. Detinentur enim nunc aliqui mali a blasphemando propter timorem futurarum poenarum. Sed damnati has poenas experiuntur, unde magis eas abhorrent. Ergo multo magis a blasphemando compescuntur. Objection 1. It would seem that the damned do not blaspheme. Because some wicked men are deterred from blaspheming now, on account of the fear of future punishment. But the damned are undergoing these punishments, so that they abhor them yet more. Therefore, much more are they restrained from blaspheming.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, blasphemia, cum sit gravissimum peccatum, est maxime demeritorium. Sed in futura vita non est status merendi neque demerendi. Ergo nullus erit locus blasphemiae. Objection 2. Further, since blasphemy is a most grievous sin, it is most demeritorious. Now in the life to come there is no state of meriting or demeriting. Therefore there will be no place for blasphemy.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, Eccle. XI dicitur quod in quocumque loco lignum ceciderit, ibi erit, ex quo patet quod post hanc vitam homini non accrescit nec meritum nec peccatum quod non habuit in hac vita. Sed multi damnabuntur qui in hac vita non fuerunt blasphemi. Ergo nec in futura vita blasphemabunt. Objection 3. Further, it is written (Ecclesiastes 11:3) that "the tree . . . in what place soever it shall fall, there shall it be": whence it clearly follows that, after this life, man acquires neither merit nor sin, which he did not already possess in this life. Now many will be damned who were not blasphemous in this life. Neither, therefore, will they blaspheme in the life to come.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Apoc. XVI, aestuaverunt homines aestu magno, et blasphemaverunt nomen domini habentis potestatem super has plagas, ubi dicit Glossa quod in Inferno positi, quamvis sciant se pro merito puniri, dolebunt tamen quod Deus tantam potentiam habeat quod plagas eis inferat. Hoc autem esset blasphemia in praesenti. Ergo et in futuro. On the contrary, It is written (Apocalypse 16:9): "The men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God, Who hath power over these plagues," and a gloss on these words says that "those who are in hell, though aware that they are deservedly punished, will nevertheless complain that God is so powerful as to torture them thus." Now this would be blasphemy in their present state: and consequently it will also be in their future state.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, ad rationem blasphemiae pertinet detestatio divinae bonitatis. Illi autem qui sunt in Inferno retinebunt perversam voluntatem, aversam a Dei iustitia, in hoc quod diligunt ea pro quibus puniuntur, et vellent eis uti si possent, et odiunt poenas quae pro huiusmodi peccatis infliguntur; dolent tamen de peccatis quae commiserunt, non quia ipsa odiant, sed quia pro eis puniuntur. Sic ergo talis detestatio divinae iustitiae est in eis interior cordis blasphemia. Et credibile est quod post resurrectionem erit in eis etiam vocalis blasphemia, sicut in sanctis vocalis laus Dei. I answer that, As stated above (A1,3), detestation of the Divine goodness is a necessary condition of blasphemy. Now those who are in hell retain their wicked will which is turned away from God's justice, since they love the things for which they are punished, would wish to use them if they could, and hate the punishments inflicted on them for those same sins. They regret indeed the sins which they have committed, not because they hate them, but because they are punished for them. Accordingly this detestation of the Divine justice is, in them, the interior blasphemy of the heart: and it is credible that after the resurrection they will blaspheme God with the tongue, even as the saints will praise Him with their voices.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod homines deterrentur in praesenti a blasphemia propter timorem poenarum quas se putant evadere. Sed damnati in Inferno non sperant se posse poenas evadere. Et ideo, tanquam desperati, feruntur ad omne ad quod eis perversa voluntas suggerit. Reply to Objection 1. In the present life men are deterred from blasphemy through fear of punishment which they think they can escape: whereas, in hell, the damned have no hope of escape, so that, in despair, they are borne towards whatever their wicked will suggests to them.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod mereri et demereri pertinent ad statum viae. Unde bona in viatoribus sunt meritoria, mala vero demeritoria. In beatis autem bona non sunt meritoria, sed pertinentia ad eorum beatitudinis praemium. Et similiter mala in damnatis non sunt demeritoria, sed pertinent ad damnationis poenam. Reply to Objection 2. Merit and demerit belong to the state of a wayfarer, wherefore good is meritorious in them, while evil is demeritorious. On the blessed, on the other hand, good is not meritorious, but is part of their blissful reward, and, in like manner, in the damned, evil is not demeritorious, but is part of the punishment of damnation.
IIª-IIae q. 13 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod quilibet in peccato mortali decedens fert secum voluntatem detestantem divinam iustitiam quantum ad aliquid. Et secundum hoc poterit ei inesse blasphemia. Reply to Objection 3. Whoever dies in mortal sin, bears with him a will that detests the Divine justice with regard to a certain thing, and in this respect there can be blasphemy in him.

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