Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q66

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Q65 Q67



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IIª-IIae q. 66 pr. Deinde considerandum est de peccatis iustitiae oppositis per quae infertur nocumentum proximo in rebus, scilicet de furto et rapina. Et circa hoc quaeruntur novem. Primo, utrum naturalis sit homini possessio exteriorum rerum. Secundo, utrum licitum sit quod aliquis rem aliquam possideat quasi propriam. Tertio, utrum furtum sit occulta acceptio rei alienae. Quarto, utrum rapina sit peccatum specie differens a furto. Quinto, utrum omne furtum sit peccatum. Sexto, utrum furtum sit peccatum mortale. Septimo, utrum liceat furari in necessitate. Octavo, utrum omnis rapina sit peccatum mortale. Nono, utrum rapina sit gravius peccatum quam furtum. Question 66. Theft and robbery 1. Is it natural to man to possess external things? 2. Is it lawful for a man to possess something as his own? 3. Is theft the secret taking of another's property? 4. Is robbery a species of sin distinct from theft? 5. Is every theft a sin? 6. Is theft a mortal sin? 7. Is it lawful to thieve in a case of necessity? 8. Is every robbery a mortal sin? 9. Is robbery a more grievous sin than theft?
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit naturalis homini possessio exteriorum rerum. Nullus enim debet sibi attribuere quod Dei est. Sed dominium omnium creaturarum est proprie Dei, secundum illud Psalm., domini est terra et cetera. Ergo non est naturalis homini rerum possessio. Objection 1. It would seem that it is not natural for man to possess external things. For no man should ascribe to himself that which is God's. Now the dominion over all creatures is proper to God, according to Psalm 23:1, "The earth is the Lord's," etc. Therefore it is not natural for man to possess external things.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, Basilius, exponens verbum divitis dicentis, Luc. XII, congregabo omnia quae nata sunt mihi et bona mea, dicit, dic mihi, quae tua? Unde ea sumens in vitam tulisti? Sed illa quae homo possidet naturaliter, potest aliquis convenienter dicere esse sua. Ergo homo non possidet naturaliter exteriora bona. Objection 2. Further, Basil in expounding the words of the rich man (Luke 12:18), "I will gather all things that are grown to me, and my goods," says [Hom. in Luc. xii, 18]: "Tell me: which are thine? where did you take them from and bring them into being?" Now whatever man possesses naturally, he can fittingly call his own. Therefore man does not naturally possess external things.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, sicut Ambrosius dicit, in libro de Trin., dominus nomen est potestatis. Sed homo non habet potestatem super res exteriores, nihil enim potest circa earum naturam immutare. Ergo possessio exteriorum rerum non est homini naturalis. Objection 3. Further, according to Ambrose (De Trin. i [De Fide, ad Gratianum, i, 1) "dominion denotes power." But man has no power over external things, since he can work no change in their nature. Therefore the possession of external things is not natural to man.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur in Psalm., omnia subiecisti sub pedibus eius, scilicet hominis. On the contrary, It is written (Psalm 8:8): "Thou hast subjected all things under his feet."
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod res exterior potest dupliciter considerari. Uno modo, quantum ad eius naturam, quae non subiacet humanae potestati, sed solum divinae, cui omnia ad nutum obediunt. Alio modo, quantum ad usum ipsius rei. Et sic habet homo naturale dominium exteriorum rerum, quia per rationem et voluntatem potest uti rebus exterioribus ad suam utilitatem, quasi propter se factis; semper enim imperfectiora sunt propter perfectiora, ut supra habitum est. Et ex hac ratione philosophus probat, in I Polit., quod possessio rerum exteriorum est homini naturalis. Hoc autem naturale dominium super ceteras creaturas, quod competit homini secundum rationem, in qua imago Dei consistit, manifestatur in ipsa hominis creatione, Gen. I, ubi dicitur, faciamus hominem ad similitudinem et imaginem nostram, et praesit piscibus maris, et cetera. I answer that, External things can be considered in two ways. First, as regards their nature, and this is not subject to the power of man, but only to the power of God Whose mere will all things obey. Secondly, as regards their use, and in this way, man has a natural dominion over external things, because, by his reason and will, he is able to use them for his own profit, as they were made on his account: for the imperfect is always for the sake of the perfect, as stated above (Question 64, Article 1). It is by this argument that the Philosopher proves (Polit. i, 3) that the possession of external things is natural to man. Moreover, this natural dominion of man over other creatures, which is competent to man in respect of his reason wherein God's image resides, is shown forth in man's creation (Genesis 1:26) by the words: "Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea," etc.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod Deus habet principale dominium omnium rerum. Et ipse secundum suam providentiam ordinavit res quasdam ad corporalem hominis sustentationem. Et propter hoc homo habet naturale rerum dominium quantum ad potestatem utendi ipsis. Reply to Objection 1. God has sovereign dominion over all things: and He, according to His providence, directed certain things to the sustenance of man's body. For this reason man has a natural dominion over things, as regards the power to make use of them.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod dives ille reprehenditur ex hoc quod putabat exteriora bona esse principaliter sua, quasi non accepisset ea ab alio, scilicet a Deo. Reply to Objection 2. The rich man is reproved for deeming external things to belong to him principally, as though he had not received them from another, namely from God.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ratio illa procedit de dominio exteriorum rerum quantum ad naturas ipsarum, quod quidem dominium soli Deo convenit, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 3. This argument considers the dominion over external things as regards their nature. Such a dominion belongs to God alone, as stated above.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non liceat alicui rem aliquam quasi propriam possidere. Omne enim quod est contra ius naturale est illicitum. Sed secundum ius naturale omnia sunt communia, cui quidem communitati contrariatur possessionum proprietas. Ergo illicitum est cuilibet homini appropriare sibi aliquam rem exteriorem. Objection 1. It would seem unlawful for a man to possess a thing as his own. For whatever is contrary to the natural law is unlawful. Now according to the natural law all things are common property: and the possession of property is contrary to this community of goods. Therefore it is unlawful for any man to appropriate any external thing to himself.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, Basilius dicit, exponens praedictum verbum divitis, sicut qui, praeveniens ad spectacula, prohiberet advenientes, sibi appropriando quod ad communem usum ordinatur; similes sunt divites qui communia, quae praeoccupaverunt, aestimant sua esse. Sed illicitum esset praecludere viam aliis ad potiendum communibus bonis. Ergo illicitum est appropriare sibi aliquam rem communem. Objection 2. Further, Basil in expounding the words of the rich man quoted above (1, Objection 2), says: "The rich who deem as their own property the common goods they have seized upon, are like to those who by going beforehand to the play prevent others from coming, and appropriate to themselves what is intended for common use." Now it would be unlawful to prevent others from obtaining possession of common goods. Therefore it is unlawful to appropriate to oneself what belongs to the community.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, Ambrosius dicit, et habetur in decretis, dist. XLVII, Can. sicut hi, proprium nemo dicat quod est commune. Appellat autem communes res exteriores, sicut patet ex his quae praemittit. Ergo videtur illicitum esse quod aliquis appropriet sibi aliquam rem exteriorem. Objection 3. Further, Ambrose says [Serm. lxiv, de temp.], and his words are quoted in the Decretals [Dist. xlvii., Can. Sicut hi.]: "Let no man call his own that which is common property": and by "common" he means external things, as is clear from the context. Therefore it seems unlawful for a man to appropriate an external thing to himself.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, in libro de Haeres., apostolici dicuntur qui se hoc nomine arrogantissime vocaverunt, eo quod in suam communionem non acciperent utentes coniugibus, et res proprias possidentes, quales habet Catholica Ecclesia et monachos et clericos plurimos. Sed ideo isti haeretici sunt quoniam, se ab Ecclesia separantes, nullam spem putant eos habere qui utuntur his rebus, quibus ipsi carent. Est ergo erroneum dicere quod non liceat homini propria possidere. On the contrary, Augustine says (De Haeres., haer. 40): "The 'Apostolici' are those who with extreme arrogance have given themselves that name, because they do not admit into their communion persons who are married or possess anything of their own, such as both monks and clerics who in considerable number are to be found in the Catholic Church." Now the reason why these people are heretics was because severing themselves from the Church, they think that those who enjoy the use of the above things, which they themselves lack, have no hope of salvation. Therefore it is erroneous to maintain that it is unlawful for a man to possess property.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod circa rem exteriorem duo competunt homini. Quorum unum est potestas procurandi et dispensandi. Et quantum ad hoc licitum est quod homo propria possideat. Et est etiam necessarium ad humanam vitam, propter tria. Primo quidem, quia magis sollicitus est unusquisque ad procurandum aliquid quod sibi soli competit quam aliquid quod est commune omnium vel multorum, quia unusquisque, laborem fugiens, relinquit alteri id quod pertinet ad commune; sicut accidit in multitudine ministrorum. Alio modo, quia ordinatius res humanae tractantur si singulis immineat propria cura alicuius rei procurandae, esset autem confusio si quilibet indistincte quaelibet procuraret. Tertio, quia per hoc magis pacificus status hominum conservatur, dum unusquisque re sua contentus est. Unde videmus quod inter eos qui communiter et ex indiviso aliquid possident, frequentius iurgia oriuntur. Aliud vero quod competit homini circa res exteriores est usus ipsarum. Et quantum ad hoc non debet homo habere res exteriores ut proprias, sed ut communes, ut scilicet de facili aliquis ea communicet in necessitates aliorum. Unde apostolus dicit, I ad Tim. ult., divitibus huius saeculi praecipe facile tribuere, communicare. I answer that, Two things are competent to man in respect of exterior things. One is the power to procure and dispense them, and in this regard it is lawful for man to possess property. Moreover this is necessary to human life for three reasons. First because every man is more careful to procure what is for himself alone than that which is common to many or to all: since each one would shirk the labor and leave to another that which concerns the community, as happens where there is a great number of servants. Secondly, because human affairs are conducted in more orderly fashion if each man is charged with taking care of some particular thing himself, whereas there would be confusion if everyone had to look after any one thing indeterminately. Thirdly, because a more peaceful state is ensured to man if each one is contented with his own. Hence it is to be observed that quarrels arise more frequently where there is no division of the things possessed. The second thing that is competent to man with regard to external things is their use. On this respect man ought to possess external things, not as his own, but as common, so that, to wit, he is ready to communicate them to others in their need. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 6:17-18): "Charge the rich of this world . . . to give easily, to communicate to others," etc.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod communitas rerum attribuitur iuri naturali, non quia ius naturale dictet omnia esse possidenda communiter et nihil esse quasi proprium possidendum, sed quia secundum ius naturale non est distinctio possessionum, sed magis secundum humanum condictum, quod pertinet ad ius positivum, ut supra dictum est. Unde proprietas possessionum non est contra ius naturale; sed iuri naturali superadditur per adinventionem rationis humanae. Reply to Objection 1. Community of goods is ascribed to the natural law, not that the natural law dictates that all things should be possessed in common and that nothing should be possessed as one's own: but because the division of possessions is not according to the natural law, but rather arose from human agreement which belongs to positive law, as stated above (57, 2,3). Hence the ownership of possessions is not contrary to the natural law, but an addition thereto devised by human reason.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod ille qui, praeveniens ad spectacula, praepararet aliis viam, non illicite ageret, sed ex hoc illicite agit quod alios prohibet. Et similiter dives non illicite agit si, praeoccupans possessionem rei quae a principio erat communis, aliis communicat, peccat autem si alios ab usu illius rei indiscrete prohibeat. Unde Basilius ibidem dicit, cur tu abundas, ille vero mendicat, nisi ut tu bonae dispensationis merita consequaris, ille vero patientiae praemiis coronetur? Reply to Objection 2. A man would not act unlawfully if by going beforehand to the play he prepared the way for others: but he acts unlawfully if by so doing he hinders others from going. On like manner a rich man does not act unlawfully if he anticipates someone in taking possession of something which at first was common property, and gives others a share: but he sins if he excludes others indiscriminately from using it. Hence Basil says (Hom. in Luc. xii, 18): "Why are you rich while another is poor, unless it be that you may have the merit of a good stewardship, and he the reward of patience?"
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod cum dicit Ambrosius, nemo proprium dicat quod est commune, loquitur de proprietate quantum ad usum. Unde subdit, plus quam sufficeret sumptui, violenter obtentum est. Reply to Objection 3. When Ambrose says: "Let no man call his own that which is common," he is speaking of ownership as regards use, wherefore he adds: "He who spends too much is a robber."
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod non sit de ratione furti occulte accipere rem alienam. Illud enim quod diminuit peccatum non videtur ad rationem peccati pertinere. Sed in occulto peccare pertinet ad diminutionem peccati, sicut e contrario ad exaggerandum peccatum quorundam dicitur Isaiae III, peccatum suum quasi Sodoma praedicaverunt, nec absconderunt. Ergo non est de ratione furti occulta acceptio rei alienae. Objection 1. It would seem that it is not essential to theft to take another's thing secretly. For that which diminishes a sin, does not, apparently, belong to the essence of a sin. Now to sin secretly tends to diminish a sin, just as, on the contrary, it is written as indicating an aggravating circumstance of the sin of some (Isaiah 3:9): "They have proclaimed abroad their sin as Sodom, and they have not hid it." Therefore it is not essential to theft that it should consist in taking another's thing secretly.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, Ambrosius dicit, et habetur in decretis, dist. XLVII, neque minus est criminis habenti tollere quam, cum possis et abundas, indigentibus denegare. Ergo sicut furtum consistit in acceptione rei alienae, ita et in detentione ipsius. Objection 2. Further, Ambrose says [Serm. lxiv, de temp., 2, Objection 3, Can. Sicut hi.]: and his words are embodied in the Decretals [Dist. xlvii]: "It is no less a crime to take from him that has, than to refuse to succor the needy when you can and are well off." Therefore just as theft consists in taking another's thing, so does it consist in keeping it back.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, homo potest furtim ab alio accipere etiam quod suum est puta rem quam apud alium deposuit, vel quae est ab eo iniuste ablata. Non est ergo de ratione furti quod sit occulta acceptio rei alienae. Objection 3. Further, a man may take by stealth from another, even that which is his own, for instance a thing that he has deposited with another, or that has been taken away from him unjustly. Therefore it is not essential to theft that it should consist in taking another's thing secretly.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod Isidorus dicit, in libro Etymol., fur a furvo dictus est, idest a fusco, nam noctis utitur tempore. On the contrary, Isidore says (Etym. x): "'Fur' [thief] is derived from 'furvus' and so from 'fuscus' [dark], because he takes advantage of the night."
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod ad rationem furti tria concurrunt. Quorum primum convenit sibi secundum quod contrariatur iustitiae, quae unicuique tribuit quod suum est. Et ex hoc competit ei quod usurpat alienum. Secundum vero pertinet ad rationem furti prout distinguitur a peccatis quae sunt contra personam, sicut ab homicidio et adulterio. Et secundum hoc competit furto quod sit circa rem possessam. Si quis enim accipiat id quod est alterius non quasi possessio, sed quasi pars, sicut si amputet membrum; vel sicut persona coniuncta, ut si auferat filiam vel uxorem, non habet proprie rationem furti. Tertia differentia est quae complet furti rationem, ut scilicet occulte usurpetur alienum. Et secundum hoc propria ratio furti est ut sit occulta acceptio rei alienae. I answer that, Three things combine together to constitute theft. The first belongs to theft as being contrary to justice, which gives to each one that which is his, so that it belongs to theft to take possession of what is another's. The second thing belongs to theft as distinct from those sins which are committed against the person, such as murder and adultery, and in this respect it belongs to theft to be about a thing possessed: for if a man takes what is another's not as a possession but as a part (for instance, if he amputates a limb), or as a person connected with him (for instance, if he carry off his daughter or his wife), it is not strictly speaking a case of theft. The third difference is that which completes the nature of theft, and consists in a thing being taken secretly: and in this respect it belongs properly to theft that it consists in "taking another's thing secretly."
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod occultatio quandoque quidem est causa peccati, puta cum quis utitur occultatione ad peccandum, sicut accidit in fraude et dolo. Et hoc modo non diminuit, sed constituit speciem peccati. Et ita est in furto. Alio modo occultatio est simplex circumstantia peccati. Et sic diminuit peccatum, tum quia est signum verecundiae; tum quia tollit scandalum. Reply to Objection 1. Secrecy is sometimes a cause of sin, as when a man employs secrecy in order to commit a sin, for instance in fraud and guile. On this way it does not diminish sin, but constitutes a species of sin: and thus it is in theft. On another way secrecy is merely a circumstance of sin, and thus it diminishes sin, both because it is a sign of shame, and because it removes scandal.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod detinere id quod alteri debetur eandem rationem nocumenti habet cum acceptione. Et ideo sub iniusta acceptione intelligitur etiam iniusta detentio. Reply to Objection 2. To keep back what is due to another, inflicts the same kind of injury as taking a thing unjustly: wherefore an unjust detention is included in an unjust taking.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod nihil prohibet id quod est simpliciter unius, secundum quid esse alterius. Sicut res deposita est simpliciter quidem deponentis, sed est eius apud quem deponitur quantum ad custodiam. Et id quod est per rapinam ablatum est rapientis, non simpliciter, sed quantum ad detentionem. Reply to Objection 3. Nothing prevents that which belongs to one person simply, from belonging to another in some respect: thus a deposit belongs simply to the depositor, but with regard to its custody it is the depositary's, and the thing stolen is the thief's, not simply, but as regards its custody.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod furtum et rapina non sint peccata differentia specie. Furtum enim et rapina differunt secundum occultum et manifestum, furtum enim importat occultam acceptionem, rapina vero violentam et manifestam. Sed in aliis generibus peccatorum occultum et manifestum non diversificant speciem. Ergo furtum et rapina non sunt peccata specie diversa. Objection 1. It would seem that theft and robbery are not sins of different species. For theft and robbery differ as "secret" and "manifest": because theft is taking something secretly, while robbery is to take something violently and openly. Now in the other kinds of sins, the secret and the manifest do not differ specifically. Therefore theft and robbery are not different species of sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, moralia recipiunt speciem a fine, ut supra dictum est. Sed furtum et rapina ordinantur ad eundem finem, scilicet ad habendum aliena. Ergo non differunt specie. Objection 2. Further, moral actions take their species from the end, as stated above (I-II, 01, 3; 18, 6). Now theft and robbery are directed to the same end, viz. the possession of another's property. Therefore they do not differ specifically.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, sicut rapitur aliquid ad possidendum, ita rapitur mulier ad delectandum, unde et Isidorus dicit, in libro Etymol., quod raptor dicitur corruptor, et rapta corrupta. Sed raptus dicitur sive mulier auferatur publice, sive occulte. Ergo et res possessa rapi dicitur sive occulte, sive publice rapiatur. Ergo non differunt furtum et rapina. Objection 3. Further, just as a thing is taken by force for the sake of possession, so is a woman taken by force for pleasure: wherefore Isidore says (Etym. x) that "he who commits a rape is called a corrupter, and the victim of the rape is said to be corrupted." Now it is a case of rape whether the woman be carried off publicly or secretly. Therefore the thing appropriated is said to be taken by force, whether it be done secretly or publicly. Therefore theft and robbery do not differ.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod philosophus, in V Ethic., distinguit furtum a rapina, ponens furtum occultum, rapinam vero violentam. On the contrary, The Philosopher (Ethic. v, 2) distinguishes theft from robbery, and states that theft is done in secret, but that robbery is done openly.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod furtum et rapina sunt vitia iustitiae opposita, inquantum aliquis alter facit iniustum. Nullus autem patitur iniustum volens, ut probatur in V Ethic. Et ideo furtum et rapina ex hoc habent rationem peccati quod acceptio est involuntaria ex parte eius cui aliquid subtrahitur. Involuntarium autem dupliciter dicitur, scilicet per ignorantiam, et violentiam, ut habetur in III Ethic. Et ideo aliam rationem peccati habet rapina, et aliam furtum. Et propter hoc differunt specie. I answer that, Theft and robbery are vices contrary to justice, in as much as one man does another an injustice. Now "no man suffers an injustice willingly," as stated in Ethic. v, 9. Wherefore theft and robbery derive their sinful nature, through the taking being involuntary on the part of the person from whom something is taken. Now the involuntary is twofold, namely, through violence and through ignorance, as stated in Ethic. iii, 1. Therefore the sinful aspect of robbery differs from that of theft: and consequently they differ specifically.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod in aliis generibus peccatorum non attenditur ratio peccati ex aliquo involuntario, sicut attenditur in peccatis oppositis iustitiae. Et ideo ubi occurrit diversa ratio involuntarii, est diversa species peccati. Reply to Objection 1. In the other kinds of sin the sinful nature is not derived from something involuntary, as in the sins opposed to justice: and so where there is a different kind of involuntary, there is a different species of sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod finis remotus est idem rapinae et furti, sed hoc non sufficit ad identitatem speciei, quia est diversitas in finibus proximis. Raptor enim vult per propriam potestatem obtinere, fur vero per astutiam. Reply to Objection 2. The remote end of robbery and theft is the same. But this is not enough for identity of species, because there is a difference of proximate ends, since the robber wishes to take a thing by his own power, but the thief, by cunning.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod raptus mulieris non potest esse occultus ex parte mulieris quae rapitur. Et ideo etiam si sit occultus ex parte aliorum, quibus rapitur, adhuc remanet ratio rapinae ex parte mulieris, cui violentia infertur. Reply to Objection 3. The robbery of a woman cannot be secret on the part of the woman who is taken: wherefore even if it be secret as regards the others from whom she is taken, the nature of robbery remains on the part of the woman to whom violence is done.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 5 arg. 1 Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod furtum non semper sit peccatum. Nullum enim peccatum cadit sub praecepto divino, dicitur enim Eccli. XV, nemini mandavit impie agere. Sed Deus invenitur praecepisse furtum, dicitur enim Exod. XII, fecerunt filii Israel sicut praeceperat dominus Moysi, et expoliaverunt Aegyptios. Ergo furtum non semper est peccatum. Objection 1. It would seem that theft is not always a sin. For no sin is commanded by God, since it is written (Sirach 15:21): "He hath commanded no man to do wickedly." Yet we find that God commanded theft, for it is written (Exodus 12:35-36): "And the children of Israel did as the Lord had commanded Moses [Vulgate: 'as Moses had commanded']. . . and they stripped the Egyptians." Therefore theft is not always a sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 5 arg. 2 Praeterea, ille qui invenit rem non suam, si eam accipiat, videtur furtum committere, quia accipit rem alienam. Sed hoc videtur esse licitum secundum naturalem aequitatem; ut iuristae dicunt. Ergo videtur quod furtum non semper sit peccatum. Objection 2. Further, if a man finds a thing that is not his and takes it, he seems to commit a theft, for he takes another's property. Yet this seems lawful according to natural equity, as the jurists hold. [See loc. cit. in Reply.] Therefore it seems that theft is not always a sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 5 arg. 3 Praeterea, ille qui accipit rem suam non videtur peccare, cum non agat contra iustitiam, cuius aequalitatem non tollit. Sed furtum committitur etiam si aliquis rem suam occulte accipiat ab altero detentam vel custoditam. Ergo videtur quod furtum non semper sit peccatum. Objection 3. Further, he that takes what is his own does not seem to sin, because he does not act against justice, since he does not destroy its equality. Yet a man commits a theft even if he secretly take his own property that is detained by or in the safe-keeping of another. Therefore it seems that theft is not always a sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 5 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Exod. XX, non furtum facies. On the contrary, It is written (Exodus 20:15): "Thou shalt not steal."
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 5 co. Respondeo dicendum quod si quis consideret furti rationem, duas rationes peccati in eo inveniet. Primo quidem, propter contrarietatem ad iustitiam, quae reddit unicuique quod suum est. Et sic furtum iustitiae opponitur, inquantum furtum est acceptio rei alienae. Secundo, ratione doli seu fraudis, quam fur committit occulte et quasi ex insidiis rem alienam usurpando. Unde manifestum est quod omne furtum est peccatum. I answer that, If anyone consider what is meant by theft, he will find that it is sinful on two counts. First, because of its opposition to justice, which gives to each one what is his, so that for this reason theft is contrary to justice, through being a taking of what belongs to another. Secondly, because of the guile or fraud committed by the thief, by laying hands on another's property secretly and cunningly. Wherefore it is evident that every theft is a sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 5 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod accipere rem alienam vel occulte vel manifeste auctoritate iudicis hoc decernentis, non est furtum, quia iam fit sibi debitum per hoc quod sententialiter sibi est adiudicatum. Unde multo minus furtum fuit quod filii Israel tulerunt spolia Aegyptiorum de praecepto domini hoc decernentis pro afflictionibus quibus Aegyptii eos sine causa afflixerant. Et ideo signanter dicitur Sap. X, iusti tulerunt spolia impiorum. Reply to Objection 1. It is no theft for a man to take another's property either secretly or openly by order of a judge who has commanded him to do so, because it becomes his due by the very fact that it is adjudicated to him by the sentence of the court. Hence still less was it a theft for the Israelites to take away the spoils of the Egyptians at the command of the Lord, Who ordered this to be done on account of the ill-treatment accorded to them by the Egyptians without any cause: wherefore it is written significantly (Wisdom 10:19): "The just took the spoils of the wicked."
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 5 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod circa res inventas est distinguendum. Quaedam enim sunt quae nunquam fuerunt in bonis alicuius, sicut lapilli et gemmae quae inveniuntur in littore maris, et talia occupanti conceduntur. Et eadem ratio est de thesauris antiquo tempore sub terra occultatis, quorum non est aliquis possessor, nisi quod secundum leges civiles tenetur inventor medietatem dare domino agri, si in alieno agro invenerit; propter quod in parabola Evangelii dicitur, Matth. XIII, de inventore thesauri absconditi in agro, quod emit agrum, quasi ut haberet ius possidendi totum thesaurum. Quaedam vero res inventae fuerunt de propinquo in alicuius bonis. Et tunc, si quis eas accipiat non animo retinendi, sed animo restituendi domino, qui eas pro derelictis non habet, non committit furtum. Et similiter si pro derelictis habeantur, et hoc credat inventor, licet sibi retineat, non committit furtum. Alias autem committitur peccatum furti. Unde Augustinus dicit, in quadam homilia, et habetur XIV, qu. V, si quid invenisti et non reddidisti, rapuisti. Reply to Objection 2. With regard to treasure-trove a distinction must be made. For some there are that were never in anyone's possession, for instance precious stones and jewels, found on the seashore, and such the finder is allowed to keep [Dig. I, viii, De divis. rerum: Inst. II, i, De rerum divis.]. The same applies to treasure hidden underground long since and belonging to no man, except that according to civil law the finder is bound to give half to the owner of the land, if the treasure trove be in the land of another person [Inst. II, i, 39: Cod. X, xv, De Thesauris]. Hence in the parable of the Gospel (Matthew 13:44) it is said of the finder of the treasure hidden in a field that he bought the field, as though he purposed thus to acquire the right of possessing the whole treasure. On the other Land the treasure-trove may be nearly in someone's possession: and then if anyone take it with the intention, not of keeping it but of returning it to the owner who does not look upon such things as unappropriated, he is not guilty of theft. On like manner if the thing found appears to be unappropriated, and if the finder believes it to be so, although he keep it, he does not commit a theft [Inst. II, i, 47]. In any other case the sin of theft is committed [Dig. XLI, i, De acquirend, rerum dominio, 9: Inst. II, i, 48]: wherefore Augustine says in a homily (Serm. clxxviii; De Verb. Apost.): "If thou hast found a thing and not returned it, thou hast stolen it" (Dig. xiv, 5, can. Si quid invenisti).
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 5 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ille qui furtim accipit rem suam apud alium depositam, gravat depositarium, quia tenetur ad restituendum, vel ad ostendendum se esse innoxium. Unde manifestum est quod peccat, et tenetur ad relevandum gravamen depositarii. Qui vero furtim accipit rem suam apud alium iniuste detentam, peccat quidem, non quia gravet eum qui detinet, et ideo non tenetur ad restituendum aliquid vel ad recompensandum, sed peccat contra communem iustitiam, dum ipse sibi usurpat suae rei iudicium, iuris ordine praetermisso. Et ideo tenetur Deo satisfacere, et dare operam ut scandalum proximorum, si inde exortum fuerit, sedetur. Reply to Objection 3. He who by stealth takes his own property which is deposited with another man burdens the depositary, who is bound either to restitution, or to prove himself innocent. Hence he is clearly guilty of sin, and is bound to ease the depositary of his burden. On the other hand he who, by stealth, takes his own property, if this be unjustly detained by another, he sins indeed; yet not because he burdens the retainer, and so he is not bound to restitution or compensation: but he sins against general justice by disregarding the order of justice and usurping judgment concerning his own property. Hence he must make satisfaction to God and endeavor to allay whatever scandal he may have given his neighbor by acting this way.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 6 arg. 1 Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod furtum non sit peccatum mortale. Dicitur enim Prov. VI, non grandis est culpae cum quis furatus fuerit. Sed omne peccatum mortale est grandis culpae. Ergo furtum non est peccatum mortale. Objection 1. It would seem that theft is not a mortal sin. For it is written (Proverbs 6:30): "The fault is not so great when a man hath stolen." But every mortal sin is a great fault. Therefore theft is not a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 6 arg. 2 Praeterea, peccato mortali mortis poena debetur. Sed pro furto non infligitur in lege poena mortis, sed solum poena damni, secundum illud Exod. XXII, si quis furatus fuerit bovem aut ovem, quinque boves pro uno bove restituet, et quatuor oves pro una ove. Ergo furtum non est peccatum mortale. Objection 2. Further, mortal sin deserves to be punished with death. But in the Law theft is punished not by death but by indemnity, according to Exodus 22:1, "If any man steal an ox or a sheep . . . he shall restore five oxen for one ox, and four sheep for one sheep." Therefore theft is not a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 6 arg. 3 Praeterea, furtum potest committi in parvis rebus, sicut et in magnis. Sed inconveniens videtur quod pro furto alicuius parvae rei, puta unius acus vel unius pennae, aliquis puniatur morte aeterna. Ergo furtum non est peccatum mortale. Objection 3. Further, theft can be committed in small even as in great things. But it seems unreasonable for a man to be punished with eternal death for the theft of a small thing such as a needle or a quill. Therefore theft is not a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 6 s. c. Sed contra est quod nullus damnatur secundum divinum iudicium nisi pro peccato mortali. Condemnatur autem aliquis pro furto, secundum illud Zach. V, haec est maledictio quae egreditur super faciem omnis terrae, quia omnis fur sicut ibi scriptum est condemnatur. Ergo furtum est peccatum mortale. On the contrary, No man is condemned by the Divine judgment save for a mortal sin. Yet a man is condemned for theft, according to Zechariah 5:3, "This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the earth; for every thief shall be judged as is there written." Therefore theft is a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 6 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra habitum est, peccatum mortale est quod contrariatur caritati, secundum quam est spiritualis animae vita. Caritas autem consistit quidem principaliter in dilectione Dei, secundario vero in dilectione proximi, ad quam pertinet ut proximo bonum velimus et operemur. Per furtum autem homo infert nocumentum proximo in suis rebus, et si passim homines sibi invicem furarentur, periret humana societas. Unde furtum, tanquam contrarium caritati, est peccatum mortale. I answer that, As stated above, (Question 59, Article 4 and Prima Secundae Partis, Question 72, Article 5), a mortal sin is one that is contrary to charity as the spiritual life of the soul. Now charity consists principally in the love of God, and secondarily in the love of our neighbor, which is shown in our wishing and doing him well. But theft is a means of doing harm to our neighbor in his belongings; and if men were to rob one another habitually, human society would be undone. Therefore theft, as being opposed to charity, is a mortal sin.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 6 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod furtum dicitur non esse grandis culpae duplici ratione. Primo quidem, propter necessitatem inducentem ad furandum, quae diminuit vel totaliter tollit culpam, ut infra patebit. Unde subdit, furatur enim ut esurientem impleat animam. Alio modo dicitur furtum non esse grandis culpae per comparationem ad reatum adulterii, quod punitur morte. Unde subditur de fure quod deprehensus reddet septuplum, qui autem adulter est, perdet animam suam. Reply to Objection 1. The statement that theft is not a great fault is in view of two cases. First, when a person is led to thieve through necessity. This necessity diminishes or entirely removes sin, as we shall show further on (Question 66, Article 7). Hence the text continues: "For he stealeth to fill his hungry soul." Secondly, theft is stated not to be a great fault in comparison with the guilt of adultery, which is punished with death. Hence the text goes on to say of the thief that "if he be taken, he shall restore sevenfold . . . but he that is an adulterer . . . shall destroy his own soul."
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 6 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod poenae praesentis vitae magis sunt medicinales quam retributivae, retributio enim reservatur divino iudicio, quod est secundum veritatem in peccantes. Et ideo secundum iudicium praesentis vitae non pro quolibet peccato mortali infligitur poena mortis, sed solum pro illis quae inferunt irreparabile nocumentum, vel etiam pro illis quae habent aliquam horribilem deformitatem. Et ideo pro furto, quod reparabile damnum infert, non infligitur secundum praesens iudicium poena mortis, nisi furtum aggravetur per aliquam gravem circumstantiam, sicut patet de sacrilegio, quod est furtum rei sacrae, et de peculatu, quod est furtum rei communis, ut patet per Augustinum, super Ioan.; et de plagio, quod est furtum hominis, pro quo quis morte punitur, ut patet Exod. XXI. Reply to Objection 2. The punishments of this life are medicinal rather than retributive. For retribution is reserved to the Divine judgment which is pronounced against sinners "according to the truth" (Rom. ii, 2). Wherefore, according to the judgment of the present life the death punishment is inflicted, not for every mortal sin, but only for such as inflict an irreparable harm, or again for such as contain some horrible deformity. Hence according to the present judgment the pain of death is not inflicted for theft which does not inflict an irreparable harm, except when it is aggravated by some grave circumstance, as in the case of sacrilege which is the theft of a sacred thing, of peculation, which is theft of common property, as Augustine states (Tract. 1, super Joan.), and of kidnaping which is stealing a man, for which the pain of death is inflicted (Exodus 21:16).
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 6 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod illud quod modicum est ratio apprehendit quasi nihil. Et ideo in his quae minima sunt homo non reputat sibi nocumentum inferri, et ille qui accipit potest praesumere hoc non esse contra voluntatem eius cuius est res. Et pro tanto si quis furtive huiusmodi res minimas accipiat, potest excusari a peccato mortali. Si tamen habeat animum furandi et inferendi nocumentum proximo, etiam in talibus minimis potest esse peccatum mortale, sicut et in solo cogitatu per consensum. Reply to Objection 3. Reason accounts as nothing that which is little: so that a man does not consider himself injured in very little matters: and the person who takes such things can presume that this is not against the will of the owner. And if a person take such like very little things, he may be proportionately excused from mortal sin. Yet if his intention is to rob and injure his neighbor, there may be a mortal sin even in these very little things, even as there may be through consent in a mere thought.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 7 arg. 1 Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non liceat alicui furari propter necessitatem. Non enim imponitur poenitentia nisi peccanti. Sed extra, de furtis, dicitur, si quis per necessitatem famis aut nuditatis furatus fuerit cibaria, vestem vel pecus, poeniteat hebdomadas tres. Ergo non licet furari propter necessitatem. Objection 1. It would seem unlawful to steal through stress of need. For penance is not imposed except on one who has sinned. Now it is stated (Extra, De furtis, Cap. Si quis): "If anyone, through stress of hunger or nakedness, steal food, clothing or beast, he shall do penance for three weeks." Therefore it is not lawful to steal through stress of need.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 7 arg. 2 Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., quod quaedam confestim nominata convoluta sunt cum malitia, inter quae ponit furtum. Sed illud quod est secundum se malum non potest propter aliquem bonum finem bonum fieri. Ergo non potest aliquis licite furari ut necessitati suae subveniat. Objection 2. Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that "there are some actions whose very name implies wickedness," and among these he reckons theft. Now that which is wicked in itself may not be done for a good end. Therefore a man cannot lawfully steal in order to remedy a need.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 7 arg. 3 Praeterea, homo debet diligere proximum sicut seipsum. Sed non licet furari ad hoc quod aliquis per eleemosynam proximo subveniat; ut Augustinus dicit, in libro contra mendacium. Ergo etiam non licet furari ad subveniendum propriae necessitati. Objection 3. Further, a man should love his neighbor as himself. Now, according to Augustine (Contra Mendac. vii), it is unlawful to steal in order to succor one's neighbor by giving him an alms. Therefore neither is it lawful to steal in order to remedy one's own needs.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 7 s. c. Sed contra est quod in necessitate sunt omnia communia. Et ita non videtur esse peccatum si aliquis rem alterius accipiat, propter necessitatem sibi factam communem. On the contrary, In cases of need all things are common property, so that there would seem to be no sin in taking another's property, for need has made it common.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 7 co. Respondeo dicendum quod ea quae sunt iuris humani non possunt derogare iuri naturali vel iuri divino. Secundum autem naturalem ordinem ex divina providentia institutum, res inferiores sunt ordinatae ad hoc quod ex his subveniatur hominum necessitati. Et ideo per rerum divisionem et appropriationem, de iure humano procedentem, non impeditur quin hominis necessitati sit subveniendum ex huiusmodi rebus. Et ideo res quas aliqui superabundanter habent, ex naturali iure debentur pauperum sustentationi. Unde Ambrosius dicit, et habetur in decretis, dist. XLVII, esurientium panis est quem tu detines; nudorum indumentum est quod tu recludis; miserorum redemptio et absolutio est pecunia quam tu in terram defodis. Sed quia multi sunt necessitatem patientes, et non potest ex eadem re omnibus subveniri, committitur arbitrio uniuscuiusque dispensatio propriarum rerum, ut ex eis subveniat necessitatem patientibus. Si tamen adeo sit urgens et evidens necessitas ut manifestum sit instanti necessitati de rebus occurrentibus esse subveniendum, puta cum imminet personae periculum et aliter subveniri non potest; tunc licite potest aliquis ex rebus alienis suae necessitati subvenire, sive manifeste sive occulte sublatis. Nec hoc proprie habet rationem furti vel rapinae. I answer that, Things which are of human right cannot derogate from natural right or Divine right. Now according to the natural order established by Divine Providence, inferior things are ordained for the purpose of succoring man's needs by their means. Wherefore the division and appropriation of things which are based on human law, do not preclude the fact that man's needs have to be remedied by means of these very things. Hence whatever certain people have in superabundance is due, by natural law, to the purpose of succoring the poor. For this reason Ambrose [Loc. cit., 2, Objection 3] says, and his words are embodied in the Decretals (Dist. xlvii, can. Sicut ii): "It is the hungry man's bread that you withhold, the naked man's cloak that you store away, the money that you bury in the earth is the price of the poor man's ransom and freedom." Since, however, there are many who are in need, while it is impossible for all to be succored by means of the same thing, each one is entrusted with the stewardship of his own things, so that out of them he may come to the aid of those who are in need. Nevertheless, if the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand (for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy), then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another's property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 7 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod decretalis illa loquitur in casu in quo non est urgens necessitas. Reply to Objection 1. This decretal considers cases where there is no urgent need.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 7 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod uti re aliena occulte accepta in casu necessitatis extremae non habet rationem furti, proprie loquendo. Quia per talem necessitatem efficitur suum illud quod quis accipit ad sustentandam propriam vitam. Reply to Objection 2. It is not theft, properly speaking, to take secretly and use another's property in a case of extreme need: because that which he takes for the support of his life becomes his own property by reason of that need.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 7 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod in casu similis necessitatis etiam potest aliquis occulte rem alienam accipere ut subveniat proximo sic indigenti. Reply to Objection 3. In a case of a like need a man may also take secretly another's property in order to succor his neighbor in need.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 8 arg. 1 Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod rapina possit fieri sine peccato. Praeda enim per violentiam accipitur; quod videtur ad rationem rapinae pertinere, secundum praedicta. Sed praedam accipere ab hostibus licitum est, dicit enim Ambrosius, in libro de patriarchis, cum praeda fuerit in potestate victoris, decet militarem disciplinam ut regi serventur omnia, scilicet ad distribuendum. Ergo rapina in aliquo casu est licita. Objection 1. It would seem that robbery may be committed without sin. For spoils are taken by violence, and this seems to belong to the essence of robbery, according to what has been said (4). Now it is lawful to take spoils from the enemy; for Ambrose says (De Patriarch. 4 [De Abraham i, 3): "When the conqueror has taken possession of the spoils, military discipline demands that all should be reserved for the sovereign," in order, to wit, that he may distribute them. Therefore in certain cases robbery is lawful.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 8 arg. 2 Praeterea, licitum est auferre ab aliquo id quod non est eius. Sed res quas infideles habent non sunt eorum, dicit enim Augustinus, in epistola ad Vinc. Donatist., res falso appellatis vestras, quas nec iuste possidetis, et secundum leges terrenorum regum amittere iussi estis. Ergo videtur quod ab infidelibus aliquis licite rapere posset. Objection 2. Further, it is lawful to take from a man what is not his. Now the things which unbelievers have are not theirs, for Augustine says (Ep. ad Vincent. Donat. xciii.): "You falsely call things your own, for you do not possess them justly, and according to the laws of earthly kings you are commanded to forfeit them." Therefore it seems that one may lawfully rob unbelievers.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 8 arg. 3 Praeterea, terrarum principes multa a suis subditis violenter extorquent; quod videtur ad rationem rapinae pertinere. Grave autem videtur dicere quod in hoc peccent, quia sic fere omnes principes damnarentur. Ergo rapina in aliquo casu est licita. Objection 3. Further, earthly princes violently extort many things from their subjects: and this seems to savor of robbery. Now it would seem a grievous matter to say that they sin in acting thus, for in that case nearly every prince would be damned. Therefore in some cases robbery is lawful.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 8 s. c. Sed contra est quod de quolibet licite accepto potest fieri Deo sacrificium vel oblatio. Non autem potest fieri de rapina, secundum illud Isaiae LXI, ego dominus diligens iudicium, et odio habens rapinam in holocaustum. Ergo per rapinam aliquid accipere non est licitum. On the contrary, Whatever is taken lawfully may be offered to God in sacrifice and oblation. Now this cannot be done with the proceeds of robbery, according to Isaiah 61:8, "I am the Lord that love judgment, and hate robbery in a holocaust." Therefore it is not lawful to take anything by robbery.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 8 co. Respondeo dicendum quod rapina quandam violentiam et coactionem importat per quam, contra iustitiam, alicui aufertur quod suum est. In societate autem hominum nullus habet coactionem nisi per publicam potestatem. Et ideo quicumque per violentiam aliquid alteri aufert, si sit privata persona non utens publica potestate, illicite agit et rapinam committit, sicut patet in latronibus. Principibus vero publica potestas committitur ad hoc quod sint iustitiae custodes. Et ideo non licet eis violentia et coactione uti nisi secundum iustitiae tenorem, et hoc vel contra hostes pugnando, vel contra cives malefactores puniendo. Et quod per talem violentiam aufertur non habet rationem rapinae, cum non sit contra iustitiam. Si vero contra iustitiam aliqui per publicam potestatem violenter abstulerint res aliorum, illicite agunt et rapinam committunt, et ad restitutionem tenentur. I answer that, Robbery implies a certain violence and coercion employed in taking unjustly from a man that which is his. Now in human society no man can exercise coercion except through public authority: and, consequently, if a private individual not having public authority takes another's property by violence, he acts unlawfully and commits a robbery, as burglars do. As regards princes, the public power is entrusted to them that they may be the guardians of justice: hence it is unlawful for them to use violence or coercion, save within the bounds of justice--either by fighting against the enemy, or against the citizens, by punishing evil-doers: and whatever is taken by violence of this kind is not the spoils of robbery, since it is not contrary to justice. On the other hand to take other people's property violently and against justice, in the exercise of public authority, is to act unlawfully and to be guilty of robbery; and whoever does so is bound to restitution.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 8 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod circa praedam distinguendum est. Quia si illi qui depraedantur hostes habeant bellum iustum, ea quae per violentiam in bello acquirunt eorum efficiuntur. Et hoc non habet rationem rapinae, unde nec ad restitutionem tenentur. Quamvis possint in acceptione praedae iustum bellum habentes peccare per cupiditatem ex prava intentione, si scilicet non propter iustitiam, sed propter praedam principaliter pugnent, dicit enim Augustinus, in libro de Verb. Dom., quod propter praedam militare peccatum est. Si vero illi qui praedam accipiunt habeant bellum iniustum, rapinam committunt, et ad restitutionem tenentur. Reply to Objection 1. A distinction must be made in the matter of spoils. For if they who take spoils from the enemy, are waging a just war, such things as they seize in the war become their own property. This is no robbery, so that they are not bound to restitution. Nevertheless even they who are engaged in a just war may sin in taking spoils through cupidity arising from an evil intention, if, to wit, they fight chiefly not for justice but for spoil. For Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. xix; Serm. lxxxii) that "it is a sin to fight for booty." If, however, those who take the spoil, are waging an unjust war, they are guilty of robbery, and are bound to restitution.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 8 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod intantum aliqui infideles iniuste res suas possident, inquantum eas secundum leges terrenorum principum amittere iussi sunt. Et ideo ab eis possunt per violentiam subtrahi, non privata auctoritate, sed publica. Reply to Objection 2. Unbelievers possess their goods unjustly in so far as they are ordered by the laws of earthly princes to forfeit those goods. Hence these may be taken violently from them, not by private but by public authority.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 8 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod si principes a subditis exigant quod eis secundum iustitiam debetur propter bonum commune conservandum, etiam si violentia adhibeatur, non est rapina. Si vero aliquid principes indebite extorqueant per violentiam, rapina est, sicut et latrocinium. Unde dicit Augustinus, in IV de Civ. Dei, remota iustitia, quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia? Quia et latrocinia quid sunt nisi parva regna? Et Ezech. XXII dicitur, principes eius in medio eius quasi lupi rapientes praedam. Unde et ad restitutionem tenentur, sicut et latrones. Et tanto gravius peccant quam latrones, quanto periculosius et communius contra publicam iustitiam agunt, cuius custodes sunt positi. Reply to Objection 3. It is no robbery if princes exact from their subjects that which is due to them for the safe-guarding of the common good, even if they use violence in so doing: but if they extort something unduly by means of violence, it is robbery even as burglary is. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei iv, 4): "If justice be disregarded, what is a king but a mighty robber? since what is a robber but a little king?" And it is written (Ezekiel 22:27): "Her princes in the midst of her, are like wolves ravening the prey." Wherefore they are bound to restitution, just as robbers are, and by so much do they sin more grievously than robbers, as their actions are fraught with greater and more universal danger to public justice whose wardens they are.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 9 arg. 1 Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod furtum sit gravius peccatum quam rapina. Furtum enim, super acceptionem rei alienae, habet adiunctam fraudem et dolum, quod non est in rapina. Sed fraus et dolus de se habent rationem peccati, ut supra habitum est. Ergo furtum videtur esse gravius peccatum quam rapina. Objection 1. It would seem that theft is a more grievous sin than robbery. For theft adds fraud and guile to the taking of another's property: and these things are not found in robbery. Now fraud and guile are sinful in themselves, as stated above (55, 4,5). Therefore theft is a more grievous sin than robbery.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 9 arg. 2 Praeterea, verecundia est timor de turpi actu, ut dicitur in IV Ethic. Sed magis verecundantur homines de furto quam de rapina. Ergo furtum est turpius quam rapina. Objection 2. Further, shame is fear about a wicked deed, as stated in Ethic. iv, 9. Now men are more ashamed of theft than of robbery. Therefore theft is more wicked than robbery.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 9 arg. 3 Praeterea, quanto aliquod peccatum pluribus nocet, tanto gravius esse videtur. Sed per furtum potest nocumentum inferri et magnis et parvis, per rapinam autem solum impotentibus, quibus potest violentia inferri. Ergo gravius videtur esse peccatum furti quam rapinae. Objection 3. Further, the more persons a sin injures the more grievous it would seem to be. Now the great and the lowly may be injured by theft: whereas only the weak can be injured by robbery, since it is possible to use violence towards them. Therefore the sin of theft seems to be more grievous than the sin of robbery.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 9 s. c. Sed contra est quod secundum leges gravius punitur rapina quam furtum. On the contrary, According to the laws robbery is more severely punished than theft.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 9 co. Respondeo dicendum quod rapina et furtum habent rationem peccati, sicut supra dictum est, propter involuntarium quod est ex parte eius cui aliquid aufertur; ita tamen quod in furto est involuntarium per ignorantiam, in rapina autem involuntarium per violentiam. Magis est autem aliquid involuntarium per violentiam quam per ignorantiam, quia violentia directius opponitur voluntati quam ignorantia. Et ideo rapina est gravius peccatum quam furtum. Est et alia ratio. Quia per rapinam non solum infertur alicui damnum in rebus, sed etiam vergit in quandam personae ignominiam sive iniuriam. Et hoc praeponderat fraudi vel dolo, quae pertinent ad furtum. I answer that, Robbery and theft are sinful, as stated above (A4,6), on account of the involuntariness on the part of the person from whom something is taken: yet so that in theft the involuntariness is due to ignorance, whereas in robbery it is due to violence. Now a thing is more involuntary through violence than through ignorance, because violence is more directly opposed to the will than ignorance. Therefore robbery is a more grievous sin than theft. There is also another reason, since robbery not only inflicts a loss on a person in his things, but also conduces to the ignominy and injury of his person, and this is of graver import than fraud or guile which belong to theft.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 9 ad 1 Unde patet responsio ad primum. Hence the Reply to the First Objection is evident.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 9 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod homines sensibilibus inhaerentes magis gloriantur de virtute exteriori, quae manifestatur in rapina, quam de virtute interiori, quae tollitur per peccatum. Et ideo minus verecundantur de rapina quam de furto. Reply to Objection 2. Men who adhere to sensible things think more of external strength which is evidenced in robbery, than of internal virtue which is forfeit through sin: wherefore they are less ashamed of robbery than of theft.
IIª-IIae q. 66 a. 9 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod licet pluribus possit noceri per furtum quam per rapinam, tamen graviora nocumenta possunt inferri per rapinam quam per furtum. Unde ex hoc etiam rapina est detestabilior. Reply to Objection 3. Although more persons may be injured by theft than by robbery, yet more grievous injuries may be inflicted by robbery than by theft: for which reason also robbery is more odious.

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