Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q42

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Q41 Q43



Latin English
IIª-IIae q. 42 pr. Deinde considerandum est de seditione. Et circa hoc quaeruntur duo primo, utrum sit speciale peccatum. Secundo, utrum sit mortale peccatum. Question 42. Sedition Is it a special sin? Is it a mortal sin?
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod seditio non sit speciale peccatum ab aliis distinctum. Quia ut Isidorus dicit, in libro Etymol., seditiosus est qui dissensionem animorum facit et discordias gignit. Sed ex hoc quod aliquis aliquod peccatum procurat, non peccat alio peccati genere nisi illo quod procurat. Ergo videtur quod seditio non sit speciale peccatum a discordia distinctum. Objection 1. It would seem that sedition is not a special sin distinct from other sins. For, according to Isidore (Etym. x), "a seditious man is one who sows dissent among minds, and begets discord." Now, by provoking the commission of a sin, a man sins by no other kind of sin than that which he provoked. Therefore it seems that sedition is not a special sin distinct from discord.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, seditio divisionem quandam importat. Sed nomen etiam schismatis sumitur a scissura, ut supra dictum est. Ergo peccatum seditionis non videtur esse distinctum a peccato schismatis. Objection 2. Further, sedition denotes a kind of division. Now schism takes its name from scission, as stated above (Question 39, Article 1). Therefore, seemingly, the sin of sedition is not distinct from that of schism.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, omne peccatum speciale ab aliis distinctum vel est vitium capitale, aut ex aliquo vitio capitali oritur. Sed seditio neque computatur inter vitia capitalia, neque inter vitia quae ex capitalibus oriuntur, ut patet in XXXI Moral., ubi utraque vitia numerantur. Ergo seditio non est speciale peccatum ab aliis distinctum. Objection 3. Further, every special sin that is distinct from other sins, is either a capital vice, or arises from some capital vice. Now sedition is reckoned neither among the capital vices, nor among those vices which arise from them, as appears from Moral. xxxi, 45, where both kinds of vice are enumerated. Therefore sedition is not a special sin, distinct from other sins.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod II ad Cor. XII seditiones ab aliis peccatis distinguuntur. On the contrary, Seditions are mentioned as distinct from other sins (2 Corinthians 12:20).
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod seditio est quoddam peccatum speciale, quod quantum ad aliquid convenit cum bello et rixa, quantum autem ad aliquid differt ab eis. Convenit quidem cum eis in hoc quod importat quandam contradictionem. Differt autem ab eis in duobus. Primo quidem, quia bellum et rixa important mutuam impugnationem in actu, sed seditio potest dici sive fiat huiusmodi impugnatio in actu, sive sit praeparatio ad talem impugnationem. Unde Glossa II ad Cor. XII dicit quod seditiones sunt tumultus ad pugnam, cum scilicet aliqui se praeparant et intendunt pugnare. Secundo differunt, quia bellum proprie est contra extraneos et hostes, quasi multitudinis ad multitudinem; rixa autem est unius ad unum, vel paucorum ad paucos; seditio autem proprie est inter partes unius multitudinis inter se dissentientes, puta cum una pars civitatis excitatur in tumultum contra aliam. Et ideo seditio, quia habet speciale bonum cui opponitur, scilicet unitatem et pacem multitudinis, ideo est speciale peccatum. I answer that, Sedition is a special sin, having something in common with war and strife, and differing somewhat from them. It has something in common with them, in so far as it implies a certain antagonism, and it differs from them in two points. First, because war and strife denote actual aggression on either side, whereas sedition may be said to denote either actual aggression, or the preparation for such aggression. Hence a gloss on 2 Corinthians 12:20 says that "seditions are tumults tending to fight," when, to wit, a number of people make preparations with the intention of fighting. Secondly, they differ in that war is, properly speaking, carried on against external foes, being as it were between one people and another, whereas strife is between one individual and another, or between few people on one side and few on the other side, while sedition, in its proper sense, is between mutually dissentient parts of one people, as when one part of the state rises in tumult against another part. Wherefore, since sedition is opposed to a special kind of good, namely the unity and peace of a people, it is a special kind of sin.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod seditiosus dicitur qui seditionem excitat. Et quia seditio quandam discordiam importat, ideo seditiosus est qui discordiam facit non quamcumque, sed inter partes alicuius multitudinis. Peccatum autem seditionis non solum est in eo qui discordiam seminat, sed etiam in eis qui inordinate ab invicem dissentiunt. Reply to Objection 1. A seditious man is one who incites others to sedition, and since sedition denotes a kind of discord, it follows that a seditious man is one who creates discord, not of any kind, but between the parts of a multitude. And the sin of sedition is not only in him who sows discord, but also in those who dissent from one another inordinately.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod seditio differt a schismate in duobus. Primo quidem, quia schisma opponitur spirituali unitati multitudinis, scilicet unitati ecclesiasticae, seditio autem opponitur temporali vel saeculari multitudinis unitati, puta civitatis vel regni. Secundo, quia schisma non importat aliquam praeparationem ad pugnam corporalem, sed solum importat dissensionem spiritualem, seditio autem importat praeparationem ad pugnam corporalem. Reply to Objection 2. Sedition differs from schism in two respects. First, because schism is opposed to the spiritual unity of the multitude, viz. ecclesiastical unity, whereas sedition is contrary to the temporal or secular unity of the multitude, for instance of a city or kingdom. Secondly, schism does not imply any preparation for a material fight as sedition does, but only for a spiritual dissent.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod seditio, sicut et schisma, sub discordia continetur. Utrumque enim est discordia quaedam, non unius ad unum, sed partium multitudinis ad invicem. Reply to Objection 3. Sedition, like schism, is contained under discord, since each is a kind of discord, not between individuals, but between the parts of a multitude.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod seditio non semper sit peccatum mortale. Seditio enim importat tumultum ad pugnam; ut patet per Glossam supra inductam. Sed pugna non semper est peccatum mortale, sed quandoque est iusta et licita, ut supra habitum est. Ergo multo magis seditio potest esse sine peccato mortali. Objection 1. It would seem that sedition is not always a mortal sin. For sedition denotes "a tumult tending to fight," according to the gloss quoted above (Article 1). But fighting is not always a mortal sin, indeed it is sometimes just and lawful, as stated above (Question 40, Article 1). Much more, therefore, can sedition be without a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, seditio est discordia quaedam, ut dictum est. Sed discordia potest esse sine peccato mortali, et quandoque etiam sine omni peccato. Ergo etiam seditio. Objection 2. Further, sedition is a kind of discord, as stated above (1, ad 3). Now discord can be without mortal sin, and sometimes without any sin at all. Therefore sedition can be also.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, laudantur qui multitudinem a potestate tyrannica liberant. Sed hoc non de facili potest fieri sine aliqua dissensione multitudinis, dum una pars multitudinis nititur retinere tyrannum, alia vero nititur eum abiicere. Ergo seditio potest fieri sine peccato. Objection 3. Further, it is praiseworthy to deliver a multitude from a tyrannical rule. Yet this cannot easily be done without some dissension in the multitude, if one part of the multitude seeks to retain the tyrant, while the rest strive to dethrone him. Therefore there can be sedition without mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod apostolus, II ad Cor. XII, prohibet seditiones inter alia quae sunt peccata mortalia. Ergo seditio est peccatum mortale. On the contrary, The Apostle forbids seditions together with other things that are mortal sins (2 Corinthians 12:20).
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, seditio opponitur unitati multitudinis, idest populi, civitatis vel regni. Dicit autem Augustinus, II de Civ. Dei, quod populum determinant sapientes non omnem coetum multitudinis, sed coetum iuris consensu et utilitatis communione sociatum. Unde manifestum est unitatem cui opponitur seditio esse unitatem iuris et communis utilitatis. Manifestum est ergo quod seditio opponitur et iustitiae et communi bono. Et ideo ex suo genere est peccatum mortale, et tanto gravius quanto bonum commune, quod impugnatur per seditionem, est maius quam bonum privatum, quod impugnatur per rixam. Peccatum autem seditionis primo quidem et principaliter pertinet ad eos qui seditionem procurant, qui gravissime peccant. Secundo autem, ad eos qui eos sequuntur, perturbantes bonum commune. Illi vero qui bonum commune defendunt, eis resistentes, non sunt dicendi seditiosi, sicut nec illi qui se defendunt dicuntur rixosi, ut supra dictum est. I answer that, As stated above (1, ad 2), sedition is contrary to the unity of the multitude, viz. the people of a city or kingdom. Now Augustine says (De Civ. Dei ii, 21) that "wise men understand the word people to designate not any crowd of persons, but the assembly of those who are united together in fellowship recognized by law and for the common good." Wherefore it is evident that the unity to which sedition is opposed is the unity of law and common good: whence it follows manifestly that sedition is opposed to justice and the common good. Therefore by reason of its genus it is a mortal sin, and its gravity will be all the greater according as the common good which it assails surpasses the private good which is assailed by strife. Accordingly the sin of sedition is first and chiefly in its authors, who sin most grievously; and secondly it is in those who are led by them to disturb the common good. Those, however, who defend the common good, and withstand the seditious party, are not themselves seditious, even as neither is a man to be called quarrelsome because he defends himself, as stated above (Question 41, Article 1).
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod pugna quae est licita fit pro communi utilitate, sicut supra dictum est. Sed seditio fit contra commune bonum multitudinis. Unde semper est peccatum mortale. Reply to Objection 1. It is lawful to fight, provided it be for the common good, as stated above (Question 40, Article 1). But sedition runs counter to the common good of the multitude, so that it is always a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod discordia ab eo quod non est manifeste bonum potest esse sine peccato. Sed discordia ab eo quod est manifeste bonum non potest esse sine peccato. Et talis discordia est seditio, quae opponitur utilitati multitudinis, quae est manifeste bonum. Reply to Objection 2. Discord from what is not evidently good, may be without sin, but discord from what is evidently good, cannot be without sin: and sedition is discord of this kind, for it is contrary to the unity of the multitude, which is a manifest good.
IIª-IIae q. 42 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod regimen tyrannicum non est iustum, quia non ordinatur ad bonum commune, sed ad bonum privatum regentis, ut patet per philosophum, in III Polit. et in VIII Ethic. Et ideo perturbatio huius regiminis non habet rationem seditionis, nisi forte quando sic inordinate perturbatur tyranni regimen quod multitudo subiecta maius detrimentum patitur ex perturbatione consequenti quam ex tyranni regimine. Magis autem tyrannus seditiosus est, qui in populo sibi subiecto discordias et seditiones nutrit, ut tutius dominari possit. Hoc enim tyrannicum est, cum sit ordinatum ad bonum proprium praesidentis cum multitudinis nocumento. Reply to Objection 3. A tyrannical government is not just, because it is directed, not to the common good, but to the private good of the ruler, as the Philosopher states (Polit. iii, 5; Ethic. viii, 10). Consequently there is no sedition in disturbing a government of this kind, unless indeed the tyrant's rule be disturbed so inordinately, that his subjects suffer greater harm from the consequent disturbance than from the tyrant's government. Ondeed it is the tyrant rather that is guilty of sedition, since he encourages discord and sedition among his subjects, that he may lord over them more securely; for this is tyranny, being conducive to the private good of the ruler, and to the injury of the multitude.

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