Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part IIb/Q87

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Q86 Q88



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IIª-IIae q. 87 pr. Deinde considerandum est de decimis. Et circa hoc quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, utrum homines teneantur ad solvendas decimas ex necessitate praecepti. Secundo, de quibus rebus sint decimae dandae. Tertio, quibus debeant dari. Quarto, quibus competat eas dare. Question 87. Tithes 1. Are men bound by precept to pay tithes? 2. Of what things ought tithes to be paid? 3. To whom ought they to be paid? 4. Who ought to pay tithes?
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod homines non teneantur dare decimas ex necessitate praecepti. Praeceptum enim de solutione decimarum in lege veteri datur, ut patet Levit. XXVII, omnes decimae terrae, sive de frugibus sive de pomis arborum, domini sunt; et infra, omnium decimarum ovis et bovis et caprae, quae sub pastoris virga transeunt, quidquid decimum venerit, sanctificabitur domino. Non autem potest computari hoc inter praecepta moralia, quia ratio naturalis non magis dictat quod decima pars debeat magis dari quam nona vel undecima. Ergo vel est praeceptum iudiciale, vel caeremoniale. Sed sicut supra habitum est, tempore gratiae non obligantur homines neque ad praecepta caeremonialia neque ad iudicialia veteris legis. Ergo homines nunc non obligantur ad solutionem decimarum. Objection 1. It would seem that men are not bound by precept to pay tithes. The commandment to pay tithes is contained in the Old Law (Leviticus 27:30), "All tithes of the land, whether of corn or of the fruits of trees, are the Lord's," and further on (Leviticus 27:32): "Of all the tithes of oxen and sheep and goats, that pass under the shepherd's rod, every tenth that cometh shall be sanctified to the Lord." This cannot be reckoned among the moral precepts, because natural reason does not dictate that one ought to give a tenth part, rather than a ninth or eleventh. Therefore it is either a judicial or a ceremonial precept. Now, as stated above (I-II, 103, 3; I-II, 104, 3), during the time of grace men are bound neither to the ceremonial nor to the judicial precepts of the Old Law. Therefore men are not bound now to pay tithes.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, illa sola homines observare tenentur tempore gratiae quae a Christo per apostolos sunt mandata, secundum illud Matth. ult., docentes eos servare omnia quaecumque mandavi vobis; et Paulus dicit, Act. XX, non enim subterfugi quominus annuntiarem vobis omne consilium Dei. Sed neque in doctrina Christi neque in doctrina apostolorum aliquid continetur de solutione decimarum, nam quod dominus de decimis dicit, Matth. XXIII, haec oportuit facere, ad tempus praeteritum legalis observantiae referendum videtur; ut dicit Hilarius, super Matth., decimatio illa olerum, quae in praefigurationem futurorum erat utilis, non debebat omitti. Ergo homines tempore gratiae non tenentur ad decimarum solutionem. Objection 2. Further, during the time of grace men are bound only to those things which were commanded by Christ through the Apostles, according to Matthew 28:20, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you"; and Paul says (Acts 20:27): "I have not spared to declare unto you all the counsel of God." Now neither in the teaching of Christ nor in that of the apostles is there any mention of the paying of tithes: for the saying of our Lord about tithes (Matthew 23:23), "These things you ought to have done" seems to refer to the past time of legal observance: thus Hilary says (Super Matth. can. xxiv): "The tithing of herbs, which was useful in foreshadowing the future, was not to be omitted." Therefore during the time of grace men are not bound to pay tithes.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, homines tempore gratiae non magis tenentur ad observantiam legalium quam ante legem. Sed ante legem non dabantur decimae ex praecepto, sed solum ex voto, legitur enim Gen. XXVIII quod Iacob vovit votum dicens, si fuerit Deus mecum et custodierit me in via qua ambulo, etc., cunctorum quae dederis mihi decimas offeram tibi. Ergo etiam neque tempore gratiae tenentur homines ad decimarum solutionem. Objection 3. Further, during the time of grace, men are not more bound to the legal observances than before the Law. But before the Law tithes were given, by reason not of a precept but of a vow. For we read (Genesis 28:20-22) that Jacob "made a vow" saying: "If God shall be with me, and shall keep me in the way by which I walk . . . of all the things that Thou shalt give to me, I will offer tithes to Thee." Neither, therefore, during the time of grace are men bound to pay tithes.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 arg. 4 Praeterea, in veteri lege tenebantur homines ad triplices decimas solvendas. Quarum quasdam solvebant Levitis, dicitur enim Num. XVIII, Levitae decimarum oblatione contenti erunt, quas in usus eorum et necessaria separavi. Erant quoque et aliae decimae, de quibus legitur Deut. XIV, decimam partem separabis de cunctis fructibus tuis qui nascuntur in terra per annos singulos, et comedes in conspectu domini Dei tui in loco quem elegerit Deus. Erant quoque et aliae decimae, de quibus ibidem subditur, anno tertio separabis aliam decimam ex omnibus quae nascuntur tibi eo tempore, et repones intra ianuas tuas, venietque Levites, qui aliam non habet partem neque possessionem tecum, et peregrinus ac pupillus et vidua qui intra portas tuas sunt, et comedent et saturabuntur. Sed ad secundas et tertias decimas homines non tenentur tempore gratiae. Ergo neque ad primas. Objection 4. Further, in the Old Law men were bound to pay three kinds of tithe. For it is written (Numbers 18:23-24): "The sons of Levi . . . shall . . . be content with the oblation of tithes, which I have separated for their uses and necessities." Again, there were other tithes of which we read (Deuteronomy 14:22-23): "Every year thou shalt set aside the tithes of all thy fruits, that the earth bringeth forth year by year; and thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall choose." And there were yet other tithes, of which it is written (Deuteronomy 14:28): "The third year thou shalt separate another tithe of all things that grow to thee at that time, and shalt lay it up within thy gates. And the Levite that hath no other part nor possession with thee, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates, shall . . . eat and be filled." Now during the time of grace men are not bound to pay the second and third tithes. Neither therefore are they bound to pay the first.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 arg. 5 Praeterea, quod sine determinatione temporis debetur, nisi statim solvatur, obligat ad peccatum. Si ergo homines tempore gratiae obligarentur ex necessitate praecepti ad decimas solvendas, in terris in quibus decimae non solvuntur omnes essent in peccato mortali, et per consequens etiam ministri Ecclesiae dissimulando, quod videtur inconveniens. Non ergo homines tempore gratiae ex necessitate tenentur ad solutionem decimarum. Objection 5. Further, a debt that is due without any time being fixed for its payment, must be paid at once under pain of sin. Accordingly if during the time of grace men are bound, under necessity of precept, to pay tithes in those countries where tithes are not paid, they would all be in a state of mortal sin, and so would also be the ministers of the Church for dissembling. But this seems unreasonable. Therefore during the time of grace men are not bound under necessity of precept to pay tithes.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod Augustinus dicit, et habetur XVI, qu. I, decimae ex debito requiruntur, et qui eas dare noluerint, res alienas invadunt. On the contrary, Augustine [Append. Serm. cclxxcii], whose words are quoted 16, qu. i [Can. Decimae], says: "It is a duty to pay tithes, and whoever refuses to pay them takes what belongs to another."
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod decimae in veteri lege dabantur ad sustentationem ministrorum Dei, unde dicitur Malach. III, inferte omnem decimationem in horreum meum, ut sit cibus in domo mea. Unde praeceptum de solutione decimarum partim quidem erat morale, inditum naturali rationi, partim autem erat iudiciale, ex divina institutione robur habens. Quod enim eis qui divino cultui ministrabant ad salutem populi totius, populus necessaria victus ministraret, ratio naturalis dictat, sicut et his qui communi utilitati invigilant, scilicet principibus et militibus et aliis huiusmodi, stipendia victus debentur a populo. Unde et apostolus hoc probat, I ad Cor. IX, per humanas consuetudines, dicens, quis militat suis stipendiis unquam? Quis plantat vineam et de fructibus eius non edit? Sed determinatio certae partis exhibendae ministris divini cultus non est de iure naturali, sed est introducta institutione divina secundum conditionem illius populi cui lex dabatur; qui cum in duodecim tribus esset divisus, duodecima tribus, scilicet levitica, quae tota erat divinis ministeriis mancipata, possessiones non habebat, unde convenienter institutum est ut reliquae undecim tribus decimam partem suorum proventuum Levitis darent, ut honorabilius viverent, et quia etiam aliqui per negligentiam erant transgressores futuri unde quantum ad determinationem decimae partis, erat iudiciale, sicut et alia multa specialiter in illo populo instituta erant ad aequalitatem inter homines ad invicem conservandam secundum populi illius conditionem, quae iudicialia praecepta dicuntur; licet ex consequenti aliquid significarent in futurum, sicut et omnia eorum facta, secundum illud I ad Cor. X, omnia in figuram contingebant illis; in quo conveniebant cum caeremonialibus praeceptis, quae principaliter instituta erant ad significandum aliquid futurum. Unde et praeceptum de decimis persolvendis hic significat aliquid in futurum, qui enim decimam dat, quae est perfectionis signum (eo quod denarius est quodammodo numerus perfectus, quasi primus limes numerorum, ultra quem numerum non procedunt, sed reiterantur ab uno), novem sibi partibus reservatis, protestatur quasi in quodam signo ad se pertinere imperfectionem, perfectionem vero, quae erat futura per Christum, esse expectandam a Deo. Nec tamen propter hoc est caeremoniale praeceptum, sed iudiciale, ut dictum est. Est autem haec differentia inter caeremonialia et iudicialia legis praecepta, ut supra diximus, quod caeremonialia illicitum est observare tempore legis novae, iudicialia vero, etsi non obligent tempore gratiae, tamen possunt observari absque peccato, et ad eorum observantiam aliqui obligantur si statuatur auctoritate eorum quorum est condere legem. Sicut praeceptum iudiciale veteris legis est quod qui furatus fuerit ovem, reddat quatuor oves, ut legitur Exod. XXII, quod, si ab aliquo rege statuatur, tenentur eius subditi observare. Ita etiam determinatio decimae partis solvendae est auctoritate Ecclesiae tempore novae legis instituta secundum quandam humanitatem, ut scilicet non minus populus novae legis ministris novi testamenti exhiberet quam populus veteris legis ministris veteris testamenti exhibebat; cum tamen populus novae legis ad maiora obligetur, secundum illud Matth. V, nisi abundaverit iustitia vestra plus quam Scribarum et Pharisaeorum, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum; et cum ministri novi testamenti sint maioris dignitatis quam ministri veteris testamenti, ut probat apostolus, II ad Cor. III. Sic ergo patet quod ad solutionem decimarum homines tenentur, partim quidem ex iure naturali, partim etiam ex institutione Ecclesiae, quae tamen, pensatis opportunitatibus temporum et personarum, posset aliam partem determinare solvendam. I answer that, In the Old Law tithes were paid for the sustenance of the ministers of God. Hence it is written (Malachi 3:10): "Bring all the tithes into My [Vulgate: 'the'] store-house that there may be meat in My house." Hence the precept about the paying of tithes was partly moral and instilled in the natural reason; and partly judicial, deriving its force from its divine institution. Because natural reason dictates that the people should administer the necessaries of life to those who minister the divine worship for the welfare of the whole people even as it is the people's duty to provide a livelihood for their rulers and soldiers and so forth. Hence the Apostle proves this from human custom, saying (1 Corinthians 9:7): "Who serveth as a soldier at any time at his own charge? Who planteth a vineyard and eateth not of the fruit thereof?" But the fixing of the proportion to be offered to the ministers of divine worship does not belong to the natural law, but was determined by divine institution, in accordance with the condition of that people to whom the law was being given. For they were divided into twelve tribes, and the twelfth tribe, namely that of Levi, was engaged exclusively in the divine ministry and had no possessions whence to derive a livelihood: and so it was becomingly ordained that the remaining eleven tribes should give one-tenth part of their revenues to the Levites [Numbers 18:21 that the latter might live respectably; and also because some, through negligence, would disregard this precept. Hence, so far as the tenth part was fixed, the precept was judicial, since all institutions established among this people for the special purpose of preserving equality among men, in accordance with this people's condition, are called "judicial precepts." Nevertheless by way of consequence these institutions foreshadowed something in the future, even as everything else connected with them, according to 1 Corinthians 12, "All these things happened to them in figure." On this respect they had something in common with the "ceremonial precepts," which were instituted chiefly that they might be signs of the future. Hence the precept about paying tithes foreshadowed something in the future. For ten is, in a way, the perfect number (being the first numerical limit, since the figures do not go beyond ten but begin over again from one), and therefore he that gave a tenth, which is the sign of perfection, reserving the nine other parts for himself, acknowledged by a sign that imperfection was his part, and that the perfection which was to come through Christ was to be hoped for from God. Yet this proves it to be, not a ceremonial but a judicial precept, as stated above. There is this difference between the ceremonial and judicial precepts of the Law, as we stated above (I-II, 104, 3), that it is unlawful to observe the ceremonial precepts at the time of the New Law, whereas there is no sin in keeping the judicial precepts during the time of grace although they are not binding. Indeed they are bound to be observed by some, if they be ordained by the authority of those who have power to make laws. Thus it was a judicial precept of the Old Law that he who stole a sheep should restore four sheep (Exodus 22:1), and if any king were to order this to be done his subjects would be bound to obey. On like manner during the time of the New Law the authority of the Church has established the payment of tithe; thus showing a certain kindliness, lest the people of the New Law should give less to the ministers of the New Testament than did the people of the Old Law to the ministers of the Old Testament; for the people of the New Law are under greater obligations, according to Matthew 5:20, "Unless your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven," and, moreover, the ministers of the New Testament are of greater dignity than the ministers of the Old Testament, as the Apostle shows (2 Corinthians 3:7-8). Accordingly it is evident that man's obligation to pay tithes arises partly from natural law, partly from the institution of the Church; who, nevertheless, in consideration of the requirements of time and persons might ordain the payment of some other proportion.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 ad 1 Et per hoc patet responsio ad primum. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod praeceptum de solutione decimarum, quantum ad id quod erat morale, datum est in Evangelio a domino ubi dicit, Matth. X, dignus est operarius mercede sua; et etiam ab apostolo, ut patet I ad Cor. IX. Sed determinatio certae partis est reservata ordinationi Ecclesiae. Reply to Objection 2. The precept about paying tithes, in so far as it was a moral precept, was given in the Gospel by our Lord when He said (Matthew 10:10) [The words as quoted are from Luke 10:7: Matthew has 'meat' instead of 'hire']: "The workman is worthy of his hire," and the Apostle says the same (1 Corinthians 9:4 seqq.). But the fixing of the particular proportion is left to the ordinance of the Church.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ante tempus veteris legis non erant determinati ministri divini cultus, sed dicitur quod primogeniti erant sacerdotes, qui duplicem portionem accipiebant. Et ideo etiam non erat determinata aliqua pars exhibenda ministris divini cultus, sed ubi aliquis occurrebat, unusquisque dabat ei propria sponte quod sibi videbatur. Sicut Abraham quodam prophetico instinctu dedit decimas Melchisedech, sacerdoti Dei summi, ut dicitur Gen. XIV. Et similiter etiam Iacob decimas vovit se daturum, quamvis non videatur decimas vovisse quasi aliquibus ministris exhibendas, sed in divinum cultum, puta ad sacrificiorum consummationem; unde signanter dicit, decimas offeram tibi. Reply to Objection 3. Before the time of the Old Law the ministry of the divine worship was not entrusted to any particular person; although it is stated that the first-born were priests, and that they received a double portion. For this very reason no particular portion was directed to be given to the ministers of the divine worship: but when they met with one, each man of his own accord gave him what he deemed right. Thus Abraham by a kind of prophetic instinct gave tithes to Melchisedech, the priest of the Most High God, according to Genesis 14:20, and again Jacob made a vow to give tithes [Genesis 28:20, although he appears to have vowed to do so, not by paying them to ministers, but for the purpose of the divine worship, for instance for the fulfilling of sacrifices, hence he said significantly: "I will offer tithes to Thee."
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod secundae decimae, quae reservabantur ad sacrificia offerenda, locum in nova lege non habent, cessantibus legalibus victimis. Tertiae vero decimae, quas cum pauperibus comedere debebant, in nova lege augentur, per hoc quod dominus non solum decimam partem, sed omnia superflua pauperibus iubet exhiberi, secundum illud Luc. XI, quod superest, date eleemosynam. Ipsae etiam decimae quae ministris Ecclesiae dantur, per eos debent in usus pauperum dispensari. Reply to Objection 4. The second kind of tithe, which was reserved for the offering of sacrifices, has no place in the New Law, since the legal victims had ceased. But the third kind of tithe which they had to eat with the poor, is increased in the New Law, for our Lord commanded us to give to the poor not merely the tenth part, but all our surplus, according to Luke 11:41: "That which remaineth, give alms." Moreover the tithes that are given to the ministers of the Church should be dispensed by them for the use of the poor.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 1 ad 5 Ad quintum dicendum quod ministri Ecclesiae maiorem curam debent habere spiritualium bonorum in populo promovendorum quam temporalium colligendorum. Et ideo apostolus noluit uti potestate sibi a domino tradita, ut scilicet acciperet stipendia victus ab his quibus Evangelium praedicabat, ne daretur aliquod impedimentum Evangelio Christi. Nec tamen peccabant illi qui ei non subveniebant, alioquin apostolus eos corrigere non omisisset. Et similiter laudabiliter ministri Ecclesiae decimas Ecclesiae non requirunt, ubi sine scandalo requiri non possent, propter dissuetudinem vel propter aliquam aliam causam. Nec tamen sunt in statu damnationis qui non solvunt, in locis illis in quibus Ecclesia non petit, nisi forte propter obstinationem animi, habentes voluntatem non solvendi etiam si ab eis peterentur. Reply to Objection 5. The ministers of the Church ought to be more solicitous for the increase of spiritual goods in the people, than for the amassing of temporal goods: and hence the Apostle was unwilling to make use of the right given him by the Lord of receiving his livelihood from those to whom he preached the Gospel, lest he should occasion a hindrance to the Gospel of Christ [1 Corinthians 9:12. Nor did they sin who did not contribute to his upkeep, else the Apostle would not have omitted to reprove them. In like manner the ministers of the Church rightly refrain from demanding the Church's tithes, when they could not demand them without scandal, on account of their having fallen into desuetude, or for some other reason. Nevertheless those who do not give tithes in places where the Church does not demand them are not in a state of damnation, unless they be obstinate, and unwilling to pay even if tithes were demanded of them.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non de omnibus teneantur homines decimas dare. Solutio enim decimarum videtur esse ex veteri lege introducta. Sed in veteri lege nullum praeceptum datur de personalibus decimis, quae scilicet solvuntur de his quae aliquis acquirit ex proprio actu, puta de mercationibus vel de militia. Ergo de talibus decimas solvere nullus tenetur. Objection 1. It would seem that men are not bound to give tithes of all things. The paying of tithes seems to be an institution of the Old Law. Now the Old Law contains no precept about personal tithes, viz. those that are payable on property acquired by one's own act, for instance by commerce or soldiering. Therefore no man is bound to pay tithes on such things.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, de male acquisitis non debet fieri oblatio, ut supra dictum est. Sed oblationes, quae immediate Deo exhibentur, videntur magis pertinere ad divinum cultum quam decimae, quae exhibentur ministris. Ergo etiam nec decimae de male acquisitis sunt solvendae. Objection 2. Further, it is not right to make oblations of that which is ill-gotten, as stated above (Question 86, Article 3). Now oblations, being offered to God immediately, seem to be more closely connected with the divine worship than tithes which are offered to the ministers. Therefore neither should tithes be paid on ill-gotten goods.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, Levit. ult. non mandatur solvi decima nisi de frugibus et pomis arborum, et animalibus quae transeunt sub virga pastoris. Sed praeter haec sunt quaedam alia minuta quae homini proveniunt, sicut herbae quae nascuntur in horto, et alia huiusmodi. Ergo nec de illis homo decimas dare tenetur. Objection 3. Further, in the last chapter of Leviticus (30,32) the precept of paying tithes refers only to "corn, fruits of trees" and animals "that pass under the shepherd's rod." But man derives a revenue from other smaller things, such as the herbs that grow in his garden and so forth. Therefore neither on these things is a man bound to pay tithes.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 arg. 4 Praeterea, homo non potest solvere nisi id quod est in eius potestate. Sed non omnia quae proveniunt homini de fructibus agrorum aut animalium remanent in eius potestate, quia quaedam aliquando subtrahuntur per furtum vel rapinam; quaedam vero quandoque in alium transferuntur per venditionem; quaedam etiam aliis debentur, sicut principibus debentur tributa et operariis debentur mercedes. Ergo de his non tenetur aliquis decimas dare. Objection 4. Further, man cannot pay except what is in his power. Now a man does not always remain in possession of all his profit from land and stock, since sometimes he loses them by theft or robbery; sometimes they are transferred to another person by sale; sometimes they are due to some other person, thus taxes are due to princes, and wages due to workmen. Therefore one ought not to pay tithes on such like things.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Gen. XXVIII, cunctorum quae dederis mihi decimas offeram tibi. Sed omnia quae homo habet sunt ei data divinitus. Ergo de omnibus debet decimas dare. On the contrary, It is written (Genesis 28:22): "Of all things that Thou shalt give to me, I will offer tithes to Thee."
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod de unaquaque re praecipue est iudicandum secundum eius radicem. Radix autem solutionis decimarum est debitum quo seminantibus spiritualia debentur carnalia, secundum illud apostoli, I ad Cor. IX, si nos vobis spiritualia seminavimus, magnum est si carnalia vestra metamus? Super hoc enim debitum fundavit Ecclesia determinationem solutionis decimarum. Omnia autem quaecumque homo possidet sub carnalibus continentur. Et ideo de omnibus possessis decimae sunt solvendae. I answer that, In judging about a thing we should look to its principle. Now the principle of the payment of tithes is the debt whereby carnal things are due to those who sow spiritual things, according to the saying of the Apostle (1 Corinthians 9:11), "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we reap your carnal things?" [thus implying that on the contrary "it is no great matter if we reap your carnal things"] [The phrase in the brackets is omitted in the Leonine edition]. For this debt is the principle on which is based the commandment of the Church about the payment of tithes. Now whatever man possesses comes under the designation of carnal things. Therefore tithes must be paid on whatever one possesses.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod specialis ratio fuit quare in veteri lege non fuit datum praeceptum de personalibus decimis, secundum conditionem populi illius, quia omnes aliae tribus certas possessiones habebant, de quibus poterant sufficienter providere Levitis, qui carebant possessionibus; non autem interdicebatur eis quin de aliis operibus honestis lucrarentur, sicut et alii Iudaei. Sed populus novae legis est ubique per mundum diffusus, quorum plurimi possessiones non habent, sed de aliquibus negotiis vivunt, qui nihil conferrent ad subsidium ministrorum Dei, si de eorum negotiis decimas non solverent. Ministris etiam novae legis arctius interdicitur ne se ingerant negotiis lucrativis, secundum illud II ad Tim. II, nemo militans Deo implicat se saecularibus negotiis. Et ideo in nova lege tenentur homines ad decimas personales, secundum consuetudinem patriae et indigentiam ministrorum. Unde Augustinus dicit, et habetur XVI qu. I, cap. decimae, de militia, de negotio et de artificio redde decimas. Reply to Objection 1. In accordance with the condition of that people there was a special reason why the Old Law did not include a precept about personal tithes; because, to wit, all the other tribes had certain possessions wherewith they were able to provide a sufficient livelihood for the Levites who had no possessions, but were not forbidden to make a profit out of other lawful occupations as the other Jews did. On the other hand the people of the New Law are spread abroad throughout the world, and many of them have no possessions, but live by trade, and these would contribute nothing to the support of God's ministers if they did not pay tithes on their trade profits. Moreover the ministers of the New Law are more strictly forbidden to occupy themselves in money-making trades, according to 2 Timothy 2:4, "No man being a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular business." Wherefore in the New Law men are bound to pay personal tithes, according to the custom of their country and the needs of the ministers: hence Augustine, whose words are quoted 16, qu. 1, cap. Decimae, says [Append. Serm. cclxxvii]: "Tithes must be paid on the profits of soldiering, trade or craft."
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod aliqua male acquiruntur dupliciter. Uno modo, quia ipsa acquisitio est iniusta, puta quae acquiruntur per rapinam aut usuram, quae homo tenetur restituere, non autem de eis decimas dare. Tamen si ager aliquis sit emptus de usura, de fructu eius tenetur usurarius decimas dare, quia fructus illi non sunt ex usura, sed ex Dei munere. Quaedam vero dicuntur male acquisita quia acquiruntur ex turpi causa, sicut de meretricio, de histrionatu, et aliis huiusmodi, quae non tenentur restituere. Unde de talibus tenentur decimas dare secundum modum aliarum personalium decimarum. Tamen Ecclesia non debet eas recipere quandiu sunt in peccato, ne videatur eorum peccatis communicare, sed postquam poenituerint, possunt ab eis de his recipi decimae. Reply to Objection 2. Things are ill-gotten in two ways. First, because the getting itself was unjust: such, for instance, are things gotten by robbery, theft or usury: and these a man is bound to restore, and not to pay tithes on them. If, however, a field be bought with the profits of usury, the usurer is bound to pay tithes on the produce, because the latter is not gotten usuriously but given by God. On the other hand certain things are said to be ill-gotten, because they are gotten of a shameful cause, for instance of whoredom or stage-playing, and the like. Such things a man is not bound to restore, and consequently he is bound to pay tithes on them in the same way as other personal tithes. Nevertheless the Church must not accept the tithe so long as those persons remain in sin, lest she appear to have a share in their sins: but when they have done penance, tithes may be accepted from them on these things.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod ea quae ordinantur in finem sunt iudicanda secundum quod competunt fini. Decimarum autem solutio est debita non propter se, sed propter ministros, quorum honestati non convenit ut etiam minima exacta diligentia requirant, hoc enim in vitium computatur, ut patet per philosophum, in IV Ethic. Et ideo lex vetus non determinavit ut de huiusmodi minutis rebus decimae dentur, sed relinquit hoc arbitrio dare volentium, quia minima quasi nihil computantur. Unde Pharisaei, quasi perfectam legis iustitiam sibi adscribentes, etiam de his minutis decimas solvebant. Nec de hoc reprehenduntur a domino, sed solum de hoc quod maiora, idest spiritualia praecepta, contemnebant. Magis autem de hoc eos secundum se commendabiles esse ostendit, dicens, haec oportuit facere, scilicet tempore legis, ut Chrysostomus exponit. Quod etiam videtur magis in quandam decentiam sonare quam in obligationem. Unde et nunc de huiusmodi minutis non tenentur homines decimas dare, nisi forte propter consuetudinem patriae. Reply to Objection 3. Things directed to an end must be judged according to their fittingness to the end. Now the payment of tithes is due not for its own sake, but for the sake of the ministers, to whose dignity it is unbecoming that they should demand minute things with careful exactitude, for this is reckoned sinful according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 2). Hence the Old Law did not order the payment of tithes on such like minute things, but left it to the judgment of those who are willing to pay, because minute things are counted as nothing. Wherefore the Pharisees who claimed for themselves the perfect justice of the Law, paid tithes even on these minute things: nor are they reproved by our Lord on that account, but only because they despised greater, i.e. spiritual, precepts; and rather did He show them to be deserving of praise in this particular, when He said (Matthew 23:23): "These things you ought to have done," i.e. during the time of the Law, according to Chrysostom's [Hom. xliv in the Opus Imperfectum falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] commentary. This also seems to denote fittingness rather than obligation. Therefore now too men are not bound to pay tithes on such minute things, except perhaps by reason of the custom of one's country.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 2 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod de his quae furto vel rapina tolluntur ille a quo auferuntur decimas solvere non tenetur antequam recuperet, nisi forte propter culpam vel negligentiam suam damnum incurrerit; quia ex hoc Ecclesia non debet damnificari. Si vero vendat triticum non decimatum, potest Ecclesia decimas exigere et ab emptore, quia habet rem Ecclesiae debitam; et a venditore, qui, quantum est de se, fraudavit Ecclesiam. Uno tamen solvente, alius non tenetur. Debentur autem decimae de fructibus terrae inquantum proveniunt ex divino munere. Et ideo decimae non cadunt sub tributo, nec etiam sunt obnoxiae mercedi operariorum. Et ideo non debent prius deduci tributa et pretium operariorum quam solvantur decimae, sed ante omnia debent decimae solvi ex integris fructibus. Reply to Objection 4. A man is not bound to pay tithes on what he has lost by theft or robbery, before he recovers his property: unless he has incurred the loss through his own fault or neglect, because the Church ought not to be the loser on that account. If he sell wheat that has not been tithed, the Church can command the tithes due to her, both from the buyer who has a thing due to the Church, and from the seller, because so far as he is concerned he has defrauded the Church: yet if one pays, the other is not bound. Tithes are due on the fruits of the earth, in so far as these fruits are the gift of God. Wherefore tithes do not come under a tax, nor are they subject to workmen's wages. Hence it is not right to deduct one's taxes and the wages paid to workmen, before paying tithes: but tithes must be paid before anything else on one's entire produce.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod decimae non sint clericis dandae. Levitis enim in veteri testamento decimae dabantur quia non habebant aliquam partem in possessionibus populi, ut habetur Num. XVIII. Sed clerici in novo testamento habent possessiones, et patrimoniales interdum, et ecclesiasticas. Recipiunt insuper primitias, et oblationes pro vivis et mortuis. Superfluum igitur est quod eis decimae dentur. Objection 1. It would seem that tithes should not be paid to the clergy. Tithes were paid to the Levites in the Old Testament, because they had no portion in the people's possessions, according to Numbers 18:23-24. But in the New Testament the clergy have possessions not only ecclesiastical, but sometimes also patrimonial: moreover they receive first-fruits, and oblations for the living and the dead. Therefore it is unnecessary to pay tithes to them.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, contingit quandoque quod aliquis habet domicilium in una parochia, et colit agros in alia; vel aliquis pastor ducit gregem per unam partem anni in terminis unius parochiae, et alia parte anni in terminis alterius; vel habet ovile in una parochia, et pascit oves in alia, in quibus et similibus casibus non videtur posse distingui quibus clericis sint decimae solvendae. Ergo non videtur quod aliquibus clericis determinate sint solvendae decimae. Objection 2. Further, it sometimes happens that a man dwells in one parish, and farms in another; or a shepherd may take his flock within the bounds of one parish during one part of the year, and within the bounds of one parish during one part of the year, and within the bounds of another parish during the other part of the year; or he may have his sheepfold in one parish, and graze the sheep in another. Now in all these and similar cases it seems impossible to decide to which clergy the tithes ought to be paid. Therefore it would seem that no fixed tithe ought to be paid to the clergy.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, generalis consuetudo habet in quibusdam terris quod milites decimas ab Ecclesia in feudum tenent. Religiosi etiam quidam decimas accipiunt. Non ergo videtur quod solum clericis curam animarum habentibus decimae debentur. Objection 3. Further, it is the general custom in certain countries for the soldiers to hold the tithes from the Church in fee; and certain religious receive tithes. Therefore seemingly tithes are not due only to those of the clergy who have care of souls.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 3 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Num. XVIII, filiis levi dedi omnes decimas Israel in possessionem, pro ministerio quo serviunt mihi in tabernaculo. Sed filiis levi succedunt clerici in novo testamento. Ergo solis clericis decimae debentur. On the contrary, It is written (Numbers 18:21): "I have given to the sons of Levi all the tithes of Israel for a possession, for the ministry wherewith they serve Me in the Tabernacle." Now the clergy are the successors of the sons of Levi in the New Testament. Therefore tithes are due to the clergy alone.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod circa decimas duo sunt consideranda, scilicet ipsum ius accipiendi decimas; et ipsae res quae nomine decimae dantur. Ius autem accipiendi decimas spirituale est, consequitur enim illud debitum quo ministris altaris debentur sumptus de ministerio, et quo seminantibus spiritualia debentur temporalia; quod ad solos clericos pertinet habentes curam animarum. Et ideo eis solum competit hoc ius habere. Res autem quae nomine decimarum dantur, corporales sunt. Unde possunt in usum quorumlibet cedere. Et sic possunt etiam ad laicos pervenire. I answer that, Two things have to be considered with regard to tithes: namely, the right to receive tithes, and the things given in the name of tithes. The right to receive tithes is a spiritual thing, for it arises from the debt in virtue of which the ministers of the altar have a right to the expenses of their ministry, and temporal things are due to those who sow spiritual things. This debt concerns none but the clergy who have care of souls, and so they alone are competent to have this right. On the other hand the things given in the name of tithes are material, wherefore they may come to be used by anyone, and thus it is that they fall into the hands of the laity.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod in veteri lege, sicut dictum est, speciales quaedam decimae deputabantur subventioni pauperum. Sed in nova lege decimae clericis dantur non solum propter sui sustentationem, sed etiam ut ex eis subveniant pauperibus. Et ideo non superfluunt, sed ad hoc necessariae sunt et possessiones ecclesiasticae et oblationes et primitiae, simul cum decimis. Reply to Objection 1. In the Old Law, as stated above (1, ad 4), special tithes were earmarked for the assistance of the poor. But in the New Law the tithes are given to the clergy, not only for their own support, but also that the clergy may use them in assisting the poor. Hence they are not unnecessary; indeed Church property, oblations and first-fruits as well as tithes are all necessary for this same purpose.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod decimae personales debentur Ecclesiae in cuius parochia homo habitat. Decimae vero praediales rationabiliter magis videntur pertinere ad Ecclesiam in cuius terminis praedia sita sunt. Tamen iura determinant quod in hoc servetur consuetudo diu obtenta. Pastor autem qui diversis temporibus in duabus parochiis gregem pascit, debet proportionaliter utrique Ecclesiae decimas solvere. Et quia ex pascuis fructus gregis proveniunt, magis debetur decima gregis Ecclesiae in cuius territorio grex pascitur, quam illi in cuius territorio ovile locatur. Reply to Objection 2. Personal tithes are due to the church in whose parish a man dwells, while predial tithes seem more reasonably to belong to the church within whose bounds the land is situated. The law, however, prescribes that in this matter a custom that has obtained for a long time must be observed [Cap. Cum sint, and Cap. Ad apostolicae, de Decimis, etc.]. The shepherd who grazes his flock at different seasons in two parishes, should pay tithe proportionately to both churches. And since the fruit of the flock is derived from the pasture, the tithe of the flock is due to the church in whose lands the flock grazes, rather than to the church on whose land the fold is situated.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod sicut res nomine decimae acceptas potest Ecclesia alicui laico tradere, ita etiam potest ei concedere ut dandas decimas ipsi accipiant, iure accipiendi ministris Ecclesiae reservato, sive pro necessitate Ecclesiae, sicut quibusdam militibus decimae dicuntur in feudum per Ecclesiam concessae; sive etiam ad subventionem pauperum, sicut quibusdam religiosis laicis vel non habentibus curam animarum aliquae decimae sunt concessae per modum eleemosynae. Quibusdam tamen religiosis competit accipere decimas ex eo quod habent curam animarum. Reply to Objection 3. Just as the Church can hand over to a layman the things she receives under the title of tithe, so too can she allow him to receive tithes that are yet to be paid, the right of receiving being reserved to the ministers of the Church. The motive may be either the need of the Church, as when tithes are due to certain soldiers through being granted to them in fee by the Church, or it may be the succoring of the poor; thus certain tithes have been granted by way of alms to certain lay religious, or to those that have no care of souls. Some religious, however, are competent to receive tithes, because they have care of souls.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod etiam clerici teneantur decimas dare. Quia de iure communi Ecclesia parochialis debet recipere decimas praediorum quae in territorio eius sunt. Contingit autem quandoque quod clerici habent in territorio alicuius parochialis Ecclesiae aliqua praedia propria. Vel etiam aliqua alia Ecclesia habet ibi possessiones ecclesiasticas. Ergo videtur quod clerici teneantur dare praediales decimas. Objection 1. It would seem that clerics also are bound to pay tithes. By common law [Cap. Cum homines, de Decimis, etc.] the parish church should receive the tithes on the lands which are in its territory. Now it happens sometimes that the clergy have certain lands of their own on the territory of some parish church, or that one church has ecclesiastical property on the territory of another. Therefore it would seem that the clergy are bound to pay predial tithes.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, aliqui religiosi sunt clerici. Qui tamen tenentur dare decimas Ecclesiis ratione praediorum quae etiam manibus propriis excolunt. Ergo videtur quod clerici non sint immunes a solutione decimarum. Objection 2. Further, some religious are clerics; and yet they are bound to pay tithes to churches on account of the lands which they cultivate even with their own hands [Cap. Ex parte, and Cap. Nuper.]. Therefore it would seem that the clergy are not immune from the payment of tithes.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, sicut Num. XVIII praecipitur quod Levitae a populo decimas accipiant, ita etiam praecipitur quod ipsi dent decimas summo sacerdoti. Ergo, qua ratione laici debent dare decimas clericis, eadem ratione clerici debent dare decimas summo pontifici. Objection 3. Further, in the eighteenth chapter of Numbers (26,28), it is prescribed not only that the Levites should receive tithes from the people, but also that they should themselves pay tithes to the high-priest. Therefore the clergy are bound to pay tithes to the Sovereign Pontiff, no less than the laity are bound to pay tithes to the clergy.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 arg. 4 Praeterea, sicut decimae debent cedere in sustentationem clericorum, ita etiam debent cedere in subventionem pauperum. Si ergo clerici excusantur a solutione decimarum, pari ratione excusantur et pauperes. Hoc autem est falsum. Ergo et primum. Objection 4. Further, tithes should serve not only for the support of the clergy, but also for the assistance of the poor. Therefore, if the clergy are exempt from paying tithes, so too are the poor. Yet the latter is not true. Therefore the former is false.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicit decretalis paschalis Papae, novum genus exactionis est ut clerici a clericis decimas exigant. On the contrary, A decretal of Pope Paschal [Paschal II] says: "It is a new form of exaction when the clergy demand tithes from the clergy" [Cap. Novum genus, de Decimis, etc.].
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod idem non potest esse causa dandi et recipiendi, sicut nec causa agendi et patiendi, contingit autem ex diversis causis, et respectu diversorum, eundem esse dantem et recipientem, sicut agentem et patientem. Clericis autem inquantum sunt ministri altaris spiritualia populo seminantes, decimae a fidelibus debentur. Unde tales clerici, inquantum clerici sunt, idest inquantum possessiones habent ecclesiasticas, decimas solvere non tenentur. Ex alia vero causa, scilicet propter hoc quod possident proprio iure, vel ex successione parentum, vel ex emptione, vel quocumque huiusmodi modo, sunt ad decimas solvendas obligati. I answer that, The cause of giving cannot be the cause of receiving, as neither can the cause of action be the cause of passion; yet it happens that one and the same person is giver and receiver, even as agent and patient, on account of different causes and from different points of view. Now tithes are due to the clergy as being ministers of the altar and sowers of spiritual things among the people. Wherefore those members of the clergy as such, i.e. as having ecclesiastical property, are not bound to pay tithes; whereas from some other cause through holding property in their own right, either by inheriting it from their kindred, or by purchase, or in any other similar manner, they are bound to the payment of tithes.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 ad 1 Unde patet responsio ad primum. Quia clerici de propriis praediis tenentur solvere decimas parochiali Ecclesiae sicut et alii, etiam si ipsi sint eiusdem Ecclesiae clerici, quia aliud est habere aliquid ut proprium, aliud ut commune. Praedia vero Ecclesiae non sunt ad decimas solvendas obligata, etiam si sint infra terminos alterius parochiae. Hence the Reply to the First Objection is clear, because the clergy like anyone else are bound to pay tithes on their own lands to the parish church, even though they be the clergy of that same church, because to possess a thing as one's private property is not the same as possessing it in common. But church lands are not tithable, even though they be within the boundaries of another parish.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod religiosi qui sunt clerici, si habeant curam animarum spiritualia populo dispensantes, non tenentur decimas dare, sed possunt eas recipere. De aliis vero religiosis, etiam si sint clerici, qui non dispensant populo spiritualia, est alia ratio. Ipsi enim tenentur de iure communi decimas dare, habent tamen aliquam immunitatem secundum diversas concessiones eis a sede apostolica factas. Reply to Objection 2. Religious who are clerics, if they have care of souls, and dispense spiritual things to the people, are not bound to pay tithes, but they may receive them. Another reason applies to other religious, who though clerics do not dispense spiritual things to the people; for according to the ordinary law they are bound to pay tithes, but they are somewhat exempt by reason of various concessions granted by the Apostolic See [Cap. Ex multiplici, Ex parte, and Ad audientiam, de Decimis, etc.].
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod in veteri lege primitiae debebantur sacerdotibus, decimae autem Levitis, et quia sub sacerdotibus Levitae erant, dominus mandavit ut ipsi, loco primitiarum, solverent summo sacerdoti decimam decimae. Unde nunc, eadem ratione, tenentur clerici summo pontifici decimam dare, si exigeret. Naturalis enim ratio dictat ut illi qui habet curam de communi multitudinis statu, provideatur unde possit exequi ea quae pertinent ad communem salutem. Reply to Objection 3. In the Old Law first-fruits were due to the priests, and tithes to the Levites; and since the Levites were below the priests, the Lord commanded that the former should pay the high-priest "the tenth part of the tenth" [Numbers 18:26 instead of first-fruits: wherefore for the same reason the clergy are bound now to pay tithes to the Sovereign Pontiff, if he demanded them. For natural reason dictates that he who has charge of the common estate of a multitude should be provided with all goods, so that he may be able to carry out whatever is necessary for the common welfare.
IIª-IIae q. 87 a. 4 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod decimae debent cedere in subventionem pauperum per dispensationem clericorum. Et ideo pauperes non habent causam accipiendi decimas, sed tenentur eas dare. Reply to Objection 4. Tithes should be employed for the assistance of the poor, through the dispensation of the clergy. Hence the poor have no reason for accepting tithes, but they are bound to pay them.

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