Jacques Maritain Center : On the Church of Christ



{1} Cf. Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. I, Sections 3 and 5: Christ "inaugurated the kingdom of heaven on earth and revealed to us the mystery of the Father. By His obedience He brought about redemption. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly in the world through the power of God."

"In Christ's word, in His works, and in His presence this kingdom reveals itself to men. . . . The miracles of Jesus also confirm that the kingdom has already arrived on earth: 'If I cast out devils by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you' (Lk. 11:20; cf. Mt. 12:28). . . . The Church consequently, equipped with the gifts of her Founder and faithfully guarding His precepts of charity, humility, and self-sacrifice, receives the mission to proclaim and to establish among all peoples the kingdom of Christ and of God." (Walter M. Abbott, S. J., ed.: The Documents of Vatican II, New York: Herder and Herder; Association Press, 1966, pp. 16, 17-18.)

{2} "Kai edôken kephalên huper panta tê ekklêsia." The Vulgate translates: "Et ipsum dedit caput supra omnem Ecciesiam." Head over all the Church.

{3} Cardinal Journet translates: . . . . l'Église, qui est son Corps, l'achèvement de Celui qui s'achève de toutes manières en toutes choses." And he adds: "En sorte que saint Jean Chrysostome peut écrire que le plérôme (c'est-à-dire l'achèvement, la plénitude) de la Tête est le Corps, et le plérôme du Corps, la Tête." (L'Église du Verbe Incarné, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1951, t. II, p. 53.) This difference in translation comes from the fact that one gives to the last word plérouménou the sense either of a passive participle or of a middle participle. Cf. A. Feuillet (Le Christe Sagesse de Dieu, pp. 277-292), who opts for the passive and translates: "l'Eglise est la plénitude, la totalité des richesses de Celui qui est rempli de toutes manières [le Christ, rempli par Dieu]."

{4} Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. I, Sect. 7.

{5} Gen. 2, 24.

{6} Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. I, Sect. 7: "Having become the model of a man loving his wife as his own body, Christ loves the Church as His bride."

{7} Indefectibiliter sancta. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. V, Sect. 39. -- Cf. Ch. I, Sect. 6.

{8} stulos kai edraiôma. The word edraiôma signifies "that which renders unshakeably firm." This is why the Vulgate translates it by firmamentum.

{9} Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. II, Sect. 9, where this text of St. Peter is cited. See also further on, Ch. IX, pp. 133 et seq.

Summarizing this chapter of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Cardinal Journet points out that the Council took up again there "apropos of laymen that which had been affirmed in general of the whole Christian people. 'Laymen,' it is said there, 'are members of the people of God in which there is no inequality in regard to race or to nation, to social condition or to sex, they are brothers of Christ who came in order to serve not to be served. They share in the salvific mission of the Church, in her prophetic mission, in her royal service.' The innovation here -- it is evident in the Constitution De Ecclesia as well as in the general orientation of the Council -- is the no longer secret and painful, but imperious, 'growth-in-awareness,' -- not certainly of an inadequateness to the world of her essential and structural catholicity, -- but of the immensity of the effort to be accomplished, two thousand years after the coming of Christ, in order to rejoin the ever-increasing mass of humanity. . . . The Church turns toward her lay children with the concern less to preserve them from evil than to send them into the midst of the dangers with God in their heart, in order to bear witness to the Gospel." (Charles Journet, "Le Mystère de l'Eglise selon le IIe Concile du Vatican," Revue Thomiste, 1965, pp. 34-35.)


{1} One is no longer a member of the Church if one has not kept the faith. (Cf. Ch. Journet, L'Eglise du Verbe Incarné, t. II, pp. 1056-1081.) Whoever has lost grace and charity is a "dead" member, and his faith is "dead" also (as to eternal life). In itself it is however always a gift of the supernatural order, so that such members "receive still from Christ a certain act of life, which is to believe" (Sum. theol., III, q. 8, a. 3, ad 2).

{2} "The saint does not place himself in the perspective of an ideal of perfection proposed to his effort, in order to measure afterwards whether he has come near to it or even whether he has accepted it. The misery with which he groans and which is revealed to him in the light in which he perceives -- however confusedly this may be -- the divine transcendence, is not that of his virtue, nor even of his intention. More profoundly and more absolutely it is the misery of his being, not by way of abstract or metaphysical knowledge, but by way of vital reaction before the Presence of the divine Being." (Dom Pierre Doyère, Introduction to Héraut de l'Amour divin, t. 2 of Oeuvres Spirituelles of St. Gertrude, Paris, éd. du Cerf, 1968, pp. 39-40.)

{3} I add however that for the aversion today evident toward the use of the laughably sinister piece of furniture called 'Confessional' there is an altogether different reason. I believe that those who -- very justly -- held frequent Confession to be a normal custom in the spiritual life felt more and more painfully the discordance between the idea that the sin of the world caused God to die on the Cross and the weekly drawing up of a list of current faults, always identical, to be confessed without forgetting anything, which resembles a little too much a list of provisions to be bought at the market. Would it not be desirable that all these sins always the same become the object of a formula of confession periodically recited by the community, and followed by a public absolution, -- private Confession being reserved for the sins which really torment the soul of the penitent?

{4} Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. V, Sect. 39.

{5} One will note that in the Oriental form of the Apostles' Creed (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) the same preposition eis is employed for the Church as for God. (Cf. Denz.-Schön., 41.)

If one does not give to "croire en" the eminent sense of manifesting adoration, but the current sense in French of adhering fully without seeing (to the truths revealed by God), I think that the Greek use is preferable, and that it is better to say "je crois en" all through the Credo. This is moreover what one does now in the missals in French.

In his beautiful book La Foi Chrétienne (Paris, Aubier, 1969) Father de Lubac brings strongly to light the difference between "credere in" and "credere" followed only by the accusative. But in order to justify the use, in the French language, of "je crois en Dieu," one can argue from the remarkable chapter (Ch. VIII) of the same work, where the author shows that the radical novelty of the Christian message has obliged one to do violence to the Latin language, to the point of cramping exceedingly the Ciceronianism of St. Jerome and of St. Augustine. Introduced forcibly by the Christian faith in the three divine Persons, "credere in" is a solecism in Latin. But this is in nowise the case for "croire en" in our language. We say "je crois en la dignité de l'homme" as we say "je crois en Dieu." "Croire en" is not an unusual grammatical form, introduced forcibly into French in order to connote the idea of adoration. Where one expresses oneself in French, there is no reason not to say "je crois en l'Eglise."

{6} Cf. above all his great treatise L'Église du Verbe Incarné (Paris, Desclée De Brouwer).

{7} Cf. I Cor. 3, 16; 6, 19.

{8} Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. I, Sect. 4.

{9} Ibid., Sect. 7. -- Cf. Leo XIII, encycl. Divinum illud, and Pius XII, encycl. Mystici Corporis.

The Holy Spirit is the Soul of the Church because He is the first principle of her life, dwells in the depth of the hearts of her "living" members, inspires and directs -- He, the Spirit of Christ -- the behavior of this great Body through human history. But it is in a hyperbolical sense that He is thus the uncreated soul of the Church. It is clear, indeed, that He cannot inform the body of the Church in the manner, however analogical it may be, in which the soul informs the body, or be a part of the ontological structure of anything merely created. (In the hypostatic union, in which the Person of the Word has assumed a human nature, Christ is not purus homo. And the Church is not God, as Christ is.)

This is why we must recognize in the Church, as Cardinal Journet does, a soul which is created as she is, and which informs her body in the manner -- analogical -- in which the soul of a living being informs the body of the latter. Considered in its nucleus, this created soul of the Church is, Charles Journet tells us (L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. II, p. 613). "the capital grace of Christ unifying in it the triple privilege of His priesthood, of His holiness, of His kingship"; considered in its blossoming forth in the Church, it is (ibid., p. 646) "charity insofar as related to worship, sacramental and orientated."

But desiring (without succeeding always) to employ in this book the least technical language possible, I think it preferable to say simply that the created soul of the Church is the grace of Christ; for grace is a divine gift (created) which perfects our soul and invests it with a new nature, and it is from it that charity proceeds, which perfects our will and our action, so that one can regard it as the very life of the Church. These two notions of grace and of charity are so closely related that it is normal to join them by saying that grace and charity are the soul and the life of the Church.

{10} Cf. Charles Journet, Théologie de l'Eglise, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1958, pp. 193-213.

{11} Grace is given by God directly to whoever receives it, in a relation of Person to person. But the. grace received by each is one of the constituent parts of that pleroma of all graces which is the soul of the Church, so that whoever lives by the grace of Christ lives, by that very fact, by the soul of the Church. (Cf. further on, Ch. X, pp. 102-103, 104-106 and note 27).

{12} Théologie de l'Eglise, p. 244. "It is true," the author continues, "that Apostolic men could complain loudly to the bad Christians that they were staining the Church. We think however that their intention was less at that time to defend the theological thesis of the Church stained by the stains of her members, than to cause Christians to understand that they belong de jure wholly to the Church (which is true), that the world will hold her responsible for their lapses (this also is true but it is an injustice) and that in this sense they stain her in staining themselves."

{13} Charles Journet, Nova et Vetera, 1963, p. 302 (cf. same review, 1958, p. 30).

{14} Théologie de l'Église, p. 236.


{1} "Id quo," in the Aristotelian vocabulary.

{2} "Id quod," in the Aristotelian vocabulary.

{3} For a technical discussion of the notion of subsistence, cf. The Degrees of Knowledge, Appendix IV. It is the second draft of this Appendix (new translation, pp. 434-444) which expresses on this point my definitive thought, and it is it which I have briefly summarized here.

{4} I mean by this an actuation by which a creatable is freed from the order of essentiality: as a picture once painted (nature) is freed from the easel, or from the order of factibility, when it is framed (subsistence) in order to be hung on the wall (existence). Imagery inevitably limping, for it has inevitably to do with things of sensible experience, which are all already existing.

{5} Whether it is a question of pure spirits or of men, composed of a spiritual and immortal soul and of a body which subsists with the subsistence of the soul.

Deprived of their body, without which human nature is not complete, the separated souls are not, ontologically, persons. But they keep their moral personality.

{6} Ephes. 5, 25-2 7.

{7} Ibid., 29-30.

{8} Adv. Haer., Bk. I, c. 10, 2. (Quoted by Father Humbert Clérissac, Le Mystère de l'Église, p. 49.)

{9} Sum. theol., II-II, q. 83, a. 16, ad 3.

{10} The personality of each is elevated in it in dignity by grace. Cf. the encyclical Mystici Corporis, p. 33; and Jean-Herv~ Nicolas, Les profondeurs de la grâce, Paris, Beauchesne, 1969, p. 310.

{11} I Cor. 12, 28. -- Cf. Rom. 12, 4-7.

{12} Ephes. 4, 15-16.

{13} II Cor. 5, 17.

{14} Col. 3, 10.

{15} I Cor. 15, 47-49.

{16} Rom. 8, 29.

{17} II Cor. 3, 18.

{18} Humbert Clérissac, Le Mystère de l'Église , 5th ed., Paris, Le Cerf, 1918, p. 43.

{19} Apoc. 12, 1-6; 21, 9.


{1} Cf. further on, Ch. XI.

{2} Cf. my article "Faisons-lui une aide semblable à lui," Nova et Vetera, Oct.-Dec. 1967.

{3} "Concerning the Fall itself, the Council is content with recalling that it consisted in the transgression of a precept given by God. Nothing is said about the nature of this precept, except that it was accompanied by the threat of being subject to death. One refers clearly to the story of Genesis, as the incidental clause "in Paradise" also shows, but nothing more is specified. Exegetes and theologians retain all liberty to scrutinize the sacred text and to interpret it according to their lights, while safeguarding always 'the analogy of faith.' " M. M. Labourdette, Le Péché originel et les origines de l'homme, Paris, Alsatia, 1953, p. 36.

{4} There is a multitude of assertions which are, in themselves, reformable: not only the hypothetical or probable assertions, but also the assertions themselves with which explanatory theory (I do not speak of that which is mere verification of a fact) constructs itself in the sciences of phenomena, which are a knowledge of the observable as such, and refrain from piercing the crust of the observable. However far indeed one may extend it the observation remains inevitably limited, it is impossible to extend it infinitely far: so that, in itself, every system of rational interpretation of phenomena on the plane itself of phenomena can have to give way to a different system, occasioned by new observations and more fully comprehensive. No scientific theory is irreformable or absolutely true; it is true only relatively to the state of science at the different stages of its progress. In the rationalization of the observable effected by the sciences of phenomena, truth is the adequation of the intelligence with that which falls under an observation as complete as possible at a given time of human history.

It is altogether different with knowledges such as philosophy and theology. Philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of nature, moral philosophy. . .) is capable of emitting irreformable assertions, in other words absolute truths, because it bears on intelligible being itself, or the real attained purely and simply (and not only as to the observable as such). When it says the true, and to the extent that it says the true, that which it says is absolutely true, and true for always. This is that to which the primary and most deep-seated élan of the intelligence tends, and that for which it is most fundamentally thirsty.

When we say that truth is the adequation of the intelligence and of that which is, this is understood therefore primarily and above all of the adequation of the intelligence with "that which is" purely and simply, as it is the case for philosophy and theology. And it is understood secondarily (by extension to a type of knowledge enclosed completely in that which appears to the senses) of the adequation of the intelligence with "that which is" under a certain relation only (under the relation of observability), as it is the case for the sciences of phenomena.

Philosophy, which bears on the intimate intelligible structure of that which is, absolutely speaking, and theology, which bears on the intimate superintelligible mystery of Him Who is, absolutely speaking, are types of knowledge exceptionally lofty and universal, and exceptionally difficult in themselves. This is why man has so often erred in them.

In science, knowledge less elevated and more narrow, which is a late fruit of human thought (it began only in the sixteenth century to disengage itself in its proper nature), and which bears on the rational interpretation and the rational organization (above all, there where it is possible, mathematization) of that only which appears to the senses, man errs also but does not cease to correct his errors with an inviolable regularity, because the retracing of the work of the intelligence imposed by such a type of knowledge requires particularly rigorous methods and specializations; but the truth with which we have then to do is truth only secundum quid, approximate truth.

The Scientists know this; the noninitiated do not know it. Let us turn, in a last remark, to the side of the human community. If the idea that no higher knowledge, neither philosophy, nor theology, is capable of absolute truth became generally accepted, the result would be that the world of culture would find itself, -- not through the fault of science, -- mystified by science. For it is the assertions of science, haloed with its dazzling applications, which a multitude of people who are not scientists would take then for "the truth" (absolute) of which by virtue of the very nature of the intelligence they experience unconsciously the need; whereas the scientists would continue to know, and better and better, that, however precious the progresses of science may be, irreformable assertions and absolute truths are not of the domain of the latter.

{5} John 16, 29.

{6} John 8, 32.

{7} Ephes. 5, 29.

{8} Ephes. 5, 27. -- Cf. Apoc. 19, 7; 21, 2 and 9; 22, 17. She is "the Bride of the Lamb."

{9} Ephes. 1, 23.

{10} Col. 1, 18; Ephes. 1, 23; 4, 15.16.

{11} Ephes. 5, 25; 5, 29-30.

{12} I Tim. 3, 15.

{13} John 16, 13. Cum autem venerit ille Spiritus Veritatis, docebit vos omnem veritatem, hodêgêsei humas eis tên alêtheian pasan, he will guide you to all truth. Cf. 14, 26.

{14} Cf. I Cor. 3, 16; 6, 19; and Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. I, n. 4.

{15} Matt. 28, 20.

{16} M. M. Labourdette, Le Péché originel et les origines de l'homme, Paris, Alsatia, 1953, p. 57.

{17} John 8, 40: "Nunc autem quaeritis me interficere, hominem, qui veritatem vobis locutus sum, quam audivi a Deo. Me, a man who has told you the truth which I have heard from God, tên alêtheian ên echousa para tou theou."

{18} A prudential judgment is more or less prudent. A doctrinal proposition is true or false. One can speak of perfect or sovereign prudence (it was surely the case of that of Christ). The expression "prudential infallibility," employed by theologians who are dear to me, is for me devoid of sense.

It is fitting therefore, in my opinion, to distinguish between the truths which constitute the doctrina de moribus (cf. further on, Ch. VII, pp. 53-54), -- they correspond analogically, it seems to me, to what moral philosophy is in the natural order, and the Church teaches them to us infallibly, -- and the particular applications by which she directs us, at a given epoch and in given cases, with a prudence of a higher order.

I shall say, for example, that the indissolubility of marriage is a truth which relates to the doctrinal infallibility of the Church, whereas the prohibition of the crossbow in tournaments, of which I speak in the present section, relates to her prudence, and that in the Conciliar decrees concerning usury, of which I speak also in this section, prudence (as to the diverse means prescribed in order to struggle against usury) mingles with doctrinal infallibility (as to the true role of money, -- to use the latter as if it was made in order to engender more money by itself is contrary to the natural law; it brings a legitimate gain only by means of the value of a thing which it has aided one to obtain or to produce).

It is curious, let us add, to note that as regards prudential decisions, even if made by the supreme authority, grave failures in prudence have been able to occur in very important matters (cf. Chapter XIII, concerning the institution of the Inquisition); whereas the higher prudence of the person of the Church passed in very secondary matters (like the use of the crossbow in tournaments). Everything depends there on the liberty which the high personnel of the Church leaves in its mind to the instrumental motion issuing from the person of the latter, or on the obstacles which it opposes to it under the pressure of very heavy human solicitudes (caused most often, in former times, by the Christian leaders of State).

{19} As early as the Council of Nicaea and Pope St. Leo, but above all in the Middle Ages, from Alexander III to Gregory IX.

{20} Cf. Beatrice Sabran, L'Église et la sexualité, Paris, Ed. du Club de la Culture Française, 1969. Mme Sabran, who is a psychologist, was the pupil of Roland Dalbiez and worked with him. I hope that this remarkable book will have a second edition in which the too numerous typographical mistakes of the first will be corrected.


{1} Ephes. I, 23. -- " . . . the fullness of him who fills the universe in all its parts." Cf. Ch. I, p. 3 and note 3.

{2} Ibid. -- "Et ipsum dedit caput supra omnem Ecclesiam, quae est Corpus ejus, et Plenitudo ejus."

{3} Ephes. 4, 11-13.

{4} Ibid., 3, 19.

{5} Cf. my book On the Grace and Humanity of Jesus, New York, Herder and Herder, 1969, pp. 47-87.

{6} Apoc. 21, 1 sq. -- Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, I, 6. This image of the Apocalypse applies already to the Church in pilgrimage, according as her personality is of the supernatural order.

{7} Ephes. I, 23. -- Let us follow here the Vulgate; it is St. Jerome who has most faithfully translated this passage.

{8} Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. II, Sect. 12.

{9} The Council of Tyre, which in 335 condemned and deposed St. Athanasius, and the Council of Rimini (359), which under imperial pressure finally accepted an unacceptable formula of compromise and of conciliation with the Arians, were assemblies without ecumenical value or authentic authority, which drowned the voice of the Church instead of causing it to be heard. It is to a Council expressing the thought of the whole episcopate and endowed with an authentic authority, to an ecumenical Council (in the sense in which the notion has been lived and practiced from the very beginning and defined later) that the wholly gratuitous hypothesis advanced here alludes.


{1} Song of Songs 2, 10.

{2} Ephes. 5, 27. p

{3} The Peasant of the Garonne, p. 185.

{4} II Cor. 5, 21.

{5} "La Couronne d'épines," in Poèmes de Râissa.

{6} Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. I, Sect. 8.

{7} Charles Journet, Théologie de l'Église, p. 239.

{8} Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. V, Sect. 39.

{9} Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. I, Sect. 8: "at the same time holy and always in need of being purified."

{10} Cf. Luke 15, 24.


{1} Cf. Ch. Journet, op. cit., t. II, p. 1174; and t. III, pp. 187-200: "It is the doctrine of St. Augustine and of St. Thomas Aquinas, of St. Bernard and of St. John of the Cross."

{2} If it is a question of the glorified body of the Lord and of that of Mary, they must, being bodies, exist, since the Ascension and the Assumption, in some physical place. Since the scientists tell me that the universe is expanding, therefore limited, I think quite simply that these two glorified bodies exist outside of the universe. One can conceive, it seems to me, that they themselves delimit in mathematical space (in itself, purely ideal) a place which their own existence renders real and which is coextensive with them.

However it may be concerning this last point, if, as I think, they are outside of and beyond our whole universe (does not St. Thomas, III, 57, 4, teach, after St. Paul, Ephes. 4, 10, that Christ ascended "high above the heavens," super omnes coelos?), it is still in the symbolical sense indicated above that we say that they are "in Heaven." Wherever they are corporally (and it is certainly not the heaven of the astronomers), Christ and His Mother are spiritually nearer to God than any other being, and share in the glory of God to a supreme degree.

{3} In this repentance I believe with St. Irenaeus (cf. Ch. Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. III, p. 549). -- On graces by anticipation, cf. ibid., p. 350.

{4} Cf. Benedict XII, Const. Benedictus Deus, Denz.-Schön., 1000. -- The souls of the just before the time of Christ, and who awaited His coming, found themselves -- since they were in grace, participation in the divine life, -- in a profound happiness, but, -- since they had not yet the Beatific Vision, -- in desire still: happiness and desire much greater, certainly, than those of children who die without Baptism or without a rite capable of taking the place of it, and before having been able to make their first moral option, and who will never see the divine essence. (They experience however no affliction either internal or external, -- cf. St. Thomas, De Malo, q. 5, a. 3, -- and enjoy all the felicity which nature alone can give, -- cf. Journet, op. cit., II, pp. 773-779. -- The case of children who die without Baptism has a quite special interest for the philosopher, for it testifies to the fact that all the degrees of being will be finally fulfilled, including that of the purely natural expansion of the animal endowed with reason, who bears in himself, but, in the case considered, without suffering from the aberrations into which wounded reason throws us in seeking substitutes in order to satisfy it, the natural desire to see the Cause of being.)

Why this long wait of the just who died before the coming of Christ? Apropos of Abraham (verses 8 to 19) and of Moses (verses 23 to 29), and of many others "of whom the world was not worthy," St. Paul tells us, in Chapter 11 of the Epistle to the Hebrews (39-40): "Yet despite the fact that all of these were approved because of their faith, they did not obtain what had been promised. God had made a better plan, a plan which included us. Without us, ,they were not to be made perfect." (Cf. SPICQ, in Études bibliques, L'Épitre aux Hébreux, t. II, p. 368.)

The descent of Christ into Hades is an article of faith. The holy Doctors are in disagreement concerning secondary points relating to what He did there (cf. Journet, op. cit., III, pp. 551-552). But on the point that the just retained in waiting saw God only after Jesus had liberated them from it by appearing to them, the apostolic tradition has unanimously transmitted itself from age to age, and I think therefore (a little regretfully, I confess) that the point in question is not a mere conjecture of the Fathers apropos of the descent into Hades, but must be considered as engaging also the faith. There is here a particularly significant example of the fact that theological faith does not bear only on that which has been the object of a Conciliar definition or of a definition ex cathedra; not only has the deposit of faith been entrusted also to the teaching of the ordinary magisterium, but further it is immanent in that which I have called (Ch. V, p. 38) the universality of grace of the Church (cf. p. 53, apropos of the sensus fidei of the universal Church).

In order to return to the descent into Hades, but this time with regard to that which on its subject is only matter of opinion, St. Thomas, with many others, thinks (Sum. theol., III, q. 52) that Christ not only visited there the just in order to infuse into them the light of eternal glory, but that He also spoke to the damned (in what terms, no one knows, not even St. Thomas). In opposition to the opinion of the latter (52, 8), I like to think that, by an act of royal amnesty, Christ also delivered from Purgatory those whom He wished, even if they had not yet completed in suffering their time of purification.

{5} This is what Cardinal Journet calls the third age of the Church. See further on, Ch. VIII, n. 3 and Ch. IX, n. 7.

{6} Here on earth Christ, Whose person was divine, found Himself in His human nature at once under the state of glory in the higher part of His soul, because He had there the Beatific Vision, and under the state of way in the lower part of His soul, because He progressed there in grace and charity. (Cf. my book On the Grace and Humanity of Jesus.)

The person of the Church, who is a person wholly human (collective person supernaturally one and individuated by virtue of the perfect unity of the image of Christ imprinted in her), finds herself at once under the state of glory and under the state of way by the members who compose her, and who are different in the two cases, -- blessed souls (and holy angels) in one case, men en route toward their final end in the other case.

{7} It is the Church thus considered in her integrality that St. Augustine invites us to consider. "The correct order of the Creed demanded that to the Trinity should be subjoined the Church, as one might say, to the Inhabitant His own house, to God His own temple, to the Founder His own city. And the Church must here be understood in its fullness -- not only of that part which is in exile on earth, from the rising of the sun unto its going down praising the Name of the Lord (cf. Ps. 113, 3), and after the end of its ancient captivity singing a new song (cf. Ps. 33, 3), but also of that part which always since its foundation has in heaven adhered to God nor has experienced any fall to do it injury." Enchiridion, c. 15, n. 56 [English translation from Saint Augustine's Enchiridion or Manual to Laurentius Concerning Faith, Hope, and Charity. Translated from the Benedictine Text with an Introduction and Notes by Ernest Evans. London: S.P.C.K., 1953, pp. 49- 50 -- Tr.].

{8} Luke 18, 8.

{9} Cf. I Thess. 4, 14-17.

{10} Concerning this wholly immaterial communication of thought (the "locution" of the angels), as also concerning the angelic illumination, and the manner in which it descends, in sheets of intelligible light, from the highest angels and the nearest to God to the less high angels, the first dividing their more universal conceptions in order to adapt them to the capacity of the second ones, and to make handsome presents to them of all that which they know, see my article "Le tenant-lieu de théologie chez les simples," Nova et Vetera, April-June, 1969, pp. 90-93.

{11} The Greco-Slavonic Orthodox Church (to which I shall return in Chapter X) has stopped, in dogmatic matters, at that which it professed and taught at the time of the separation from Rome. Not advancing in the explicitation of the apostolic faith, I shall say that it is immobile rather than infallible.

{12} Denz.-Schdn., 3074.

{13} Cf. first Council of the Vatican, Denz.-Schön., 3074: "Definimus: Romanum Pontificem, cum ex cathedra loquitur, id est, cum omnium Christanorum pastoris et doctoris munere fungens pro suprema sua Apostolica auctoritate doctrinam de fide vel moribus ab universa Ecclesia tenendam definit, per assistentiam divinam ipsi in beato Petro promissam, ea infallibilitate pollere, qua divinus Redemptor Ecclesiam suam in definienda doctrina de fide vel moribus instructam esse voluit; ideoque ejusmodi Romani Pontificis definitiones ex sese, non autem ex consensu Ecclesiae, irreformabiles esse."

I do not claim at all that the views which I present are contained in this text, but I think that they accord fully with it.

{14} "Together with its head, the Roman Pontiff, and never without this head, the episcopal order is the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church." Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. III, Sect. 22. Cf. further on, Ch. IX, pp. 77.78.

{15} "Divine faith is not to be restricted to matters expressly defined by ecumenical Councils, or the Roman Pontiffs, or the Apostolic See: but extends also to matters set forth as divinely revealed by the ordinary magisterium of the whole Church dispersed throughout the world." Pius IX, Ep. "Tuas libenter" (Denz.-Schön., 2879). Cf. Charles Journet, The Church of the Incarnate Word, Vol I, London and New York, Sheed and Ward, 1955, pp. 414-415.

It is a question here of the ordinary magisterium in the entirely strict sense, or according as, proposing to us as object of faith "that which, as St. Vincent of Lerins says, has been believed everywhere, always and by all" (cf. Journet, op. cit., p. 416), it implies complete universality, not only with regard to the extension over the surface of the earth (all the bishops of the world), but also with regard to the duration in time (all the bishops who have succeeded each other since the apostolic age). I shall say that then the instrumental causality (by reason of which it is the person of the Church who speaks through the episcopate) has an absolute primacy over the proper causality, which, moreover, in the case of the ordinary magisterium as in that even of the extraordinary magisterium, intervenes always in some manner (at least as to the connotations, variable from one epoch to the other, of the words which one employs), but without ever for all that, when it is a question, as here, of the magisterium strictly understood, altering in any way the infallible and irreformable character of that which is formally taught.

Considered in a broad sense, the ordinary magisterium can include at one and the same time infallibility in certain respects and fallibility in others, in other words a mixture of instrumental causality (in which it is the person of the Church who speaks through it) and of proper causality (as such liable to error, however wise it may be, -- I think for example of the Papal encyclicals, cf. further on, pp. 148-149).

(On the other hand, and in order not to omit the worst, it can happen that a bishop, or a few bishops, as at the time of Luther, or a great many, as at the time of Arianism, betray by a grave error the magisterium entrusted to the episcopate and fall into heresy.)

Finally the ordinary magisterium, when, considered in a still broader sense, it does not bear on the universal doctrine of faith and of morals, but on a particular and contingent matter, can, without falling into the slightest error against the faith, be itself fallible (just as then this can be also the case even of Conciliar prescriptions entirely regular, -- I think for example of the medieval legislation concerning the Jews, which, in the perspective of the mentality of the epoch and in relation to the empirical adjustment to the situations created by history, presented itself to the hierarchy of that time as prudentially required, but which, in itself, was simply iniquitous).


{1} Cf. Ch. Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. II, p. 163, note 1, apropos of Karl Barth. At the end of this particularly important note, Cardinal Journet writes: "The distinction which Scripture makes between that which we call the 'Christian spiritual' and the 'Christian temporal,' and which Barth notes, without being able to interpret fully the bearing of it, results from the distinction between, on the one hand, natural reason, which exists more or less impaired in the conscience of peoples, and, on the other hand, the order of the evangelical revelation, of which one of the tasks is to specify, to correct, to ratify, to purify the data of the natural order. As it sanctions the primary data of reason concerning the existence of God, because they are normally praeambula fidei christianae, Christianity sanctions likewise the data of reason concerning the order of cultural life, because they are normally praeambula vitae christianae."

{2} Cf. the beautiful book of Pè e Irénée Vallery-Radot, Le Prophète de l'Occident, Paris, Descl~e, 1969.

{3} I mean by this the Church of Christ come, founded and built by Him. She was preceded by thousands of centuries of human history. The Adamic state, which theologians call "the age of the Father," and which lasted from the creation of man to the Fall, was an age anterior to the Church. The latter began to sketch herself (as Church of Christ to come) only after the Fall; from that moment, indeed, and to begin by our first parents, man had to be redeemed by the grace of Christ, received at first, and during what an immense duration, by anticipation. From the point of view of the history of salvation, there have therefore been "the age of the awaited Son," with "the economy of the law of nature," followed by "the economy of the Mosaic Law," then "the age (very short in duration, but of an unparalleled importance) of the temporal presence of Christ," and finally "the age of the Holy Spirit," with the Church in her definitive status, or that which I call the Church of Christ come, which alone occupies me here. (Cf. Charles Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. III.)

{4} Paul VI, Address to the General Audience of July 9, 1969 (Docum. Cath., August 1, 1969, p. 707).

{5} Matt. 16, 15-19. Heaven will declare bound or loosed that which Peter will have bound or loosed on earth. Cf. the Jerusalem Bible, note to this verse.

{6} Like every living organism. Cf. Ephes. 4, 15-16: "Through him the whole body grows, and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament, builds itself up in love."

{7} Cyprian, Epist. 73, c. 11 (quoted by H. de Lubac, La Foi chrétienne, 2nd ed., Paris, Aubier-Montaigne, 1970, p. 223).

{8} It is indeed clear that in this text of Matthew, as in the "feed my sheep" of John 21, 15-17, the words of Jesus aim not only at Peter but also at his successors, since it is a question of the Church of Christ whom the latter will build in the course of time, and in whom all along the course of the centuries that which will be bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in Heaven, just as all along the course of the centuries Peter, in his successors, will feed in her the lambs and the sheep of the Lord.

{9} "Ego autem rogavi pro te ut non deficiat fides tua: et tu aliquando conversus confirma fratres tuos." Luke 22, 32.

{10} Let us quote here a text of St. Augustine to which Father de Lubac (op. cit., p. 224) refers apropos of the confession of Peter. It is taken from De Civitate Dei, 1. 8, c. 54, n. 1: "We therefore, who are Christians and whom one designates by this name, we do not believe in Peter, but in Him in whom Peter believed, and we are thus 'constructed' by the words of Peter announcing Christ." [Bibliothèque augustinienne t. 36, pp. 686-688 -- Tr.]

{11} Others translate: "you are an obstacle to me."

{12} Matt. 16, 21-23.

{13} Letter 185.

{14} One reads in the Vulgate: " . . . et filii Zebedaei, et alii ex discipulis ejus." Cf. M. J. Lagrange, L'Évangile de Jésus-Christ, Paris, J. Gabalda et Cie, 1948, p. 597, n. 1: "We think that 'the two other disciples,' at first unnamed, according to the discreet manner of John, were rightly explained as the sons of Zebedee in a gloss which afterwards passed into the text."

{15} John 21, 15-17.

{16} Op. cit., p. 600.

{17} John 21, 20.

{18} Cf. the Tractatus in Joannem.

{19} To Peter he had said: "I tell you solemnly: as a young man you fastened your belt and went about as you pleased; but when you are older you will stretch out your hands, and another will tie you fast and carry you off against your will" (John 21, 18). Of John he had said: "Suppose I want him to stay until I come, how does that concern you?" (John 21, 22. Which it is necessary to understand: until I come to take his soul with Me, when he will die in My love.).

{20} During the first course, which preceded the Pascal meal properly so called. Cf. Jerusalem Bible, Matt. 26, 21, note c.

{21} John 13, 4-7; 13, 12-15.

{22} Matt. 11, 11-15.

{23} Luke 17, 21.

{24} Journal de Râissa, pp. 365-366; 367-368; 369; 370: "Le Vrai Visage de Dieu ou l'Amour et la Loi." This text is reproduced in extenso at the end of The Peasant of the Garonne.


{1} Cf. Andre Feuillet, "La personnalité de Jesus entrevue à partir de sa soumission au rite de repentance du Précurseur," Revue Biblique, LXXVII, 1970.

{2} "It is entirely fitting, therefore, that one of those who was of our company while the Lord Jesus moved among us, from the baptism of John until the day he was taken up from us, should be named as witness with us to his resurrection.

"At that they nominated two, Joseph (called Barsabbas, also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed: 'O Lord, you read the hearts of men. Make known to us which of these two you choose for this apostolic ministry, replacing Judas, who deserted the cause and went the way he was destined to go.' They then drew lots between the two men. The choice fell to Matthias, who was added to the eleven Apostles." Acts 1, 2 1-26.

{3} Cf. pp. 84-86.

{4} Cf. Matt. 28, 19.

{5} Cf. Ephes. 4, 15-16.

{6} Cf. Luke 10, 1-20.

{7} Or rather, in a universal sense encompassing the whole sequence of time during which the Church will continue to develop, -- since the completion of the sacred trajectory Passion-Resurrection-Ascension-Pentecost.

The graces received by men since the Incarnation were graces of Christ come in this sense that He was there, and that they passed through His humanity, through "a word, a glance, a touch of Him" (Journet, op. cit., t. III, p. 576). But it is since Pentecost that they have been graces of Christ come in this sense that His passage among us had fully ended, and that after having accomplished on the Cross His redemptive mission, and after His Resurrection and His Ascension, He had sent the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles in order to build His Church.

It is in this second sense that in the preceding chapters I have employed the expression "of Christ come."

{8} In other words, by someone, priest or layman, and even if he not be a member of the Church, who desires "to do that which the Church wishes" in giving this Sacrament. It is however a wise custom to rebaptize conditionally, -- si non es baptizatus, -- those who have been baptized by someone of whom one is not sure that he has desired "to do that which the Church wishes."

In order for an adult to enter into participation in the life of God and to be a living member of the Una, Sancta, Catholica, he must receive validly and fruitfully Baptism (or be fruitfully regenerated by its substitute, "Baptism of desire"). When a child receives validly (even in a dissident religious family) Baptism, which is always the Baptism of the Church of Jesus, he is ipso facto incorporated sacramentaliter et mentaliter in the Una, Sancta, Catholica, in the Church of whom Peter is the leader here on earth.

{9} I Peter 2, 9-10. -- It is a question here, the Council says, of "that new and perfect covenant which was to be ratified in Christ, and of that more luminous revelation which was to be given through God's very Word made flesh." "Christ instituted this new covenant, that is to say, the new testament, in His blood (cf. I Cor. 11:25), by calling together a people made of Jew and Gentile, making them one, not according to the flesh but in the Spirit."

"The heritage of this people are the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in His temple. Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us (cf. John 13:34). Its goal is the kingdom of God, which has been begun by God Himself on earth, and which is to be further extended until it is brought to perfection by Him at the end of time. Then Christ our life (cf. Col. 3:4), will appear. . . .

"The baptized," the Council says further, "by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated into a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. Thus through all those works befitting Christian men they can offer spiritual sacrifices and proclaim the power of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvellous light (cf. I Peter, 2:4-10)." Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. 2, Sections 9 and 10.

{10} Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. 2, Sect. 10.

{11} Ibid.

{12} Michel Labourdette, Le sacerdoce et la Mission Ouvrière, Paris, éd. Bonne Presse, 1959, p. 54.

{13} Acts 6, 1-6.

{14} I speak of the primacy of Peter and of his successors, which remains immutably. As to the mode according to which it is exercised, who will be astonished that it varies with the ages, and that one sees for it forms altogether different at the time of Peter himself, at the time of Gregory VII, and at the present time?

{15} "La Collégialité," Nova et Vetera, July-September, 1969.

{16} An interview concerning the present difficulties of the episcopate which Cardinal Suenens granted to Henri Fesquet (cf. Le Monde, May 12, 1970), and which is not lacking in a certain ambiguity, permits me to state once more that consultative organs are often itched by the temptation to become organs of government, or to take themselves to be such. It is important to remark on this subject that the bishops, as I have said in the text, are free to decide, in the episcopal conferences, that which they desire on the plane of the local churches, (I add that private meetings, between themselves -- and with their priests -- aiding each to form a personal opinion on the points which preoccupy them, are also very advantageous); but that, as soon as it is a question of the universal Church, the Pope is always free not to submit, if he judges that this would be inopportune, such or such question either to an ecumenical Council (the words "in union with the leader of the Church" imply that he possesses this liberty), or, with greater reason, to an episcopal Synod.

Nothing requires in any case, as Henri Fesquet supposes, "an extension of the notion of collegiality and a deepening of the theology of the local Churches." And let us hope that the new theology of which one is thinking is not a theology for which a dialogue is "free" only if the higher authority to which one is speaking is not free to refuse it on any point; a theology which would hold that the episcopal synods are organs of government, and that it belongs to the local Churches to exercise by their delegates the supreme power in the Church with the Pope, so that the latter (this is the grand idea) is only a mere primus inter pares: all theses which, if they were, not furtively insinuated into public opinion, but expressly submitted to an ecumenical Council, would not fail to incur a condemnation.

{17} It is a duty of the magisterium to point out to the faithful that which in such or such a doctrine is in itself absolutely incompatible with the faith. In doing this, it limits doubtless in a measure (feeble measure if it does not take any sanctions against the authors) the liberty of research, but it aids also, and greatly, the liberty and the progress of theological research: for to point out some theme incompatible with the faith to persons dedicated to an intellectual discipline whose object is to elucidate the data of faith, is to let them see that it would be absurd to employ this doctrinal theme in their research, -- which is so much gained for the latter (the absurd is certainly unhealthy for research, its liberty of invention, and its progress). This remark is valid also, for analogous reasons, with regard to Christian philosophy (insofar precisely as it is Christian).


{1} The formula "No salvation outside the Church" is an abridgment in current language of a declaration of the Council of Florence (1438-1445), Denz.-Schö n., 1351: "Firmiter credit, profitetur et praedicat, nullos intra catholicam Ecclesiam non exsistentes, non solum paganos, sed nec Judaeos aut haereticos atque schismaticos, aeternae vitae fieri posse participes." What matters here is the declaration itself, not the manner in which one understood it in that epoch. That in actual fact the Fathers of the Council of Florence themselves understood it, -- according to the mentality of the epoch, and without having been conscious of its ambiguity, -- of a visible belonging to the Church, this seems evident to me. The fact remains that the declaration itself does not at all say it.

It is with time that the ambiguity in question appeared, -- and at the same stroke the true sense in which the declaration must be taken. There has therefore been mutation, not with regard to the declaration itself, but with regard to the manner in which those who formulated it understood it. The declaration itself is infallibly true (provided it is rightly understood). The assistance of the Holy Spirit is a thing from above, it bears on things infallibly true to be caused to be declared, not on the personal mentality of those who declare them.

{2} I apologize for these summary statements in the view of scholarly specialists, whose microscopes I have left aside. But did I not warn in my preface that this book was written by an ignorant one for ignorant ones like himself.

{3} Mikaël Penn, Les Hommes en jaune, Paris, Calmann-Lévy, 1967, p. 60.

{4} "Brahmanism is the majority religion of India. It comprises, today, more than three hundred million followers. It begins, for the historian, with those texts written in archaic Sanskrit which bear the name of Veda: accordingly the designation Vedism is reserved for ancient Brahmanism, whereas one calls Hinduism the post-Vedic phases of its evolution." (Olivier Lacombe, "Le Brahmanisme," in the collective work La Mystique et les Mystiques, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1965, p. 731.)

This well noted, I shall employ here indifferently the words "Brahmanism" or "Hinduism."

{5} Be it adulterated as in Islam by a debatable prophet.

{6} Cf. my book Quatre Essais sur l'Esprit dans sa condition charnelle, nouvelle édition revue et augmentée, Paris, Alsatia, 1956, p. 134.

{7} Cf. my book Les Degrés du Savoir, Ch. VI (in which it is shown that a mystical experience of the depths of God can only be supernatural. As to natural mystical experience as experience of the esse of the self, the idea came to me only later; the first edition of Quatre Essais appeared in 1939, that of Les Degrés du Savoir in 1932.).

{8} Cf. Quatre Essais, pp. 148-149.

{9} Cf. ibid., pp. 150-151.

{10} "From the very fact that the experience we are discussing is a (negative) purely existential experience, and from the fact that existence is transcendent and polyvalent, and is limited only by the essence which receives it, and of which precisely in this case one knows nothing, it is comprehensible that this negative experience, in attaining the existential esse of the soul, should at one and the same time attain this proper existence of the soul, existence in its metaphysical amplitude, and the sources of existence, according as the existence of the soul, taken concretely and to the extent that it is the exercise of effectuation extra nihil, is something emanating from and suffused by an influx wherefrom it attains its all. This influx is not experienced in itself, of course, but rather the effect which it produces is experienced in itself, and the influx in and through this effect. This is why the experience in question answers indeed in a certain fashion -- and to the extent that this is possible in the natural order -- to the desire of every thing to rejoin its sources and the principle of its being. It is the sources of being in his soul that man thus attains, thanks to the techniques through which nature reascends toward the spirit against the grain of nature and in a certain way disjoints its own proper metaphysical texture. The Hindu experience does appear, therefore, to be a mystical experience in the natural order, a fruitive experience of the absolute, of that absolute which is the substantial esse of the soul and, in it and through it, of the divine absolute (as cause of being, not as giving Himself as object of fruition)." (Quatre Essais, pp. 153-154.)

{11} On the bhakti, cf. Quatre Essais, pp. 162-163. -- For the bhakti, and for Ramanoudja, "the salutary way par excellence is that of the knowledge of love adhering to God as person and correlative of grace." Olivier Lacombe, L'absolu selon le Védânta, pp. 5-6.

{12} On this metaphysics, see in particular the book of Olivier Lacombe, L'absolu selon le Védânta, les notions de Brahman et d'Atman dans le système de Çankara et Râmânoudja, Paris, Guethner, 1937; and René Grousset, Les philosophies indiennes, Paris, 1931.

{13} "Is Buddhism a religion? In the etymological sense of the word, yes: res-ligiosa, 'the thing which binds'; the followers are bound by analogous convictions. But in the present sense of the word Theravada Orthodox Buddhism which denies the soul and God is not a religion. . ." Mikaël Penn, Les Hommes en jaune, Paris, Calmann-Lévy, 1967, p. 19.

"Buddhism is essentially atheistic, and the multitude of the faithful expects from Buddha all that which one hopes from God (. . .) So much and so completely that one would believe oneself finally obliged to hold together two apparently contradictory propositions: 'Buddhism is not a religion, but it is a philosophy.' -- 'There is no thought more profoundly religious than the doctrine of Buddha.'" And again: "Atheism. Such is indeed, it seems to me, if one wishes to keep for the word 'God' its strict sense of absolutely transcendent Being, the judgment which it is necessary to bear on the religious literature of the Hinayana. Does the Mahayana contradict this atheism? (. . .) The pure essence of Buddheity, the Tathata, admits the multiplicity of the Buddhas who express it and who identify themselves with it ( . . . ) Behold therefore the Great Vehicle rejoins the Small Vehicle, in a pluralist conception of Beings who, from mortal, have become imperishable; who have become this by their merits, by their works. . . ." Fr. Taymans d'Eypernon, Les paradoxes du Bouddhisme, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1947, pp. 239-240, 245-246, 248.

{14} Cf. Mikaël Penn, op. cit., p. 168.

{15} op. cit., p. 309; cf. pp. 295-324. -- "What is Zen?" writes Dr. D. T. Suzuki. "It is one of the questions to which it is most difficult to reply; to reply, I mean, to the satisfaction of the questioners; for Zen resists even an attempt at any sort of definition or of description. The best way to understand it will clearly be to study it and to practice it at least a few years in the Meditation Hall . . . .) It is in the very nature of Zen to escape all definition and explanation; in other words, it can never be converted into ideas or described in logical terms." Essais sur le Bouddhisme Zen, Paris, éd. Adrien Maisonneuve, 1944, 4 vol., II, p. 65.

Is a somewhat blase philosopher surprised that the ineffability of Zen has not prevented Dr. Suzuki from writing a lot of learned volumes on it?

{16} "It is a question of discouraging the initiate from all rational research, and by this Zen is in the authentic tradition of Buddhism." Mikaël Perrin, op. cit., p. 295. Cf. Suzuki, op. cit., p. 89: "As long as the masters delight in the negations, the denials, the contradictions or the paradoxes, the task of intellectual speculation is not completely effaced in them. Of course, Zen is not opposed to speculation, since the latter is one of the functions of the mind. But it has followed a very different path ( . . . ) Language is therefore, for the masters of Zen, a kind of cry or of exclamation directly sprung from their interior spiritual experience." (p. 99.)

On Zen, see also what Arthur Koestler writes about it in his book The Lotus and the Robot, New York, The Macmillan Company, 1961. -- It is not surprising that for some centuries (until the end of the seventeenth) there was in Japan an admirable Zen art. A spontaneous explosion of pure irrationality can open the doors to the poetry hidden in the supraconscious of the spirit. But when pure spontaneity becomes itself the object of a discipline which wishes to attain it by automatism, poetry vanishes. (Cf. Koestler, p. 264.)

{17} This is what the Council suggests when it says that the Moslems, "professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God. . . ." (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. II, Sect. 16). The faith of Abraham was very certainly a supernatural faith.

Still it is necessary to note that as much as it is permitted to judge of such things, the Moslem faith seems to go (except in the great Sufis) to the testimony concerning God, to the enuntiabile, more than to the res itself, to the superintelligible depths of the divine Being.

{18} Louis Gardet, L'Islam, Religion et Communauté, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1967, p. 71 et seq. -- On the particular connotations of the words "religion" and "faith" in Islam, cf. ibid., pp. 29-38.

{19} Cf. Louis Gardet, op. cit., p. 55. Cf. also pp. 64 and 232.

{20} Cf. Louis Massignon, Al Hallaj, martyr mystique de l'Islam, Paris, Guethner, 1922; in course of republication. -- On Moslem Sufism, cf. Louis Gardet, op. cit., pp. 229-242.

{21} Cf. the beautiful book of Henri Hartung, Ces Princes du Management, Paris, Fayard, 1970.

{22} In treating of atheism in other writings (Raison et Raisons, Chs. VI and VII; and La Signification de l'athéisme contemporain ), I made a distinction which I believe well founded, but which I think now badly formulated, between what I called "pseudoatheism" on the one hand and "absolute atheism" or "true atheism" on the other hand. It would be necessary to say in the first case atheism by conviction of the mind (it is not at all pseudoatheism, but authentic atheism); and, in the second case, atheism by option of the heart. It is not of this second kind of atheism that it is a question here.

{23} See on this point my essay "La dialectique immanente du premier acte de liberté," in Raison et Raisons, collection of articles of an earlier date, Preface by Charles Journet, Fribourg, Egloff, and Paris, L. U. F., 1947. [English version of this essay appears in The Range of Reason, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1952, pp. 66-85. -- Tr.] -- When I wrote this essay, I had not yet disengaged the notion of supraconscious, so that the essay requires to be completed and corrected in this respect. It is in two other books (Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry and On the Grace and Humanity of Jesus) that I have insisted on the essential importance of the supraconscious of the spirit, that kind of unconscious which, unlike the Freudian unconscious, is not below but above conscious thought.

{24} One will find in Raison et Raisons (pp. 146-157) a more complete discussion on this subject. Does one desire an example in an altogether different domain? "Newman had long given up 'choosing his way' and was content to be led by the divine light" -- and in the supraconscious of the spirit had already implicit faith in the Church -- "yet still the Church of Rome seemed to him to be allied with Antichrist. There are more things in a man's heart than are dreamt of in his philosophy; or even, often enough, in his theology." (Charles Journet, The Church of the Incarnate Word, pp. 39-40.)

{25} Cf. further on, pp. 104-106.

{26} "Through him [Christ] the whole body grows, and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament, builds itself up in love." Ephes. 4, 15-16.

{27} On this whole question of the soul of the Church I employ, in order to simplify things, another language than Cardinal Journet, but while following his thought and, I hope, while summarizing it faithfully. For a complete and detailed theological elucidation, I send the reader to the admirably thorough analyses of Tome II of L'Église du Verbe Incarné (Chapter VI, Section I).

There is however a point on which I would take a somewhat different position. With regard to the non-Christians who, having received the grace of Christ, belong invisibly to the Church, is it necessary to think, -- it is not my opinion, -- that the grace received does not in any way cause them to participate in the coredemptive mission of the Church? (Cf. op. cit., II, p. 236: text completed and nuanced by the remarks of p. 406 to which I can only give my complete agreement.)

On the other hand, I do not think that there is reason to seek differences in the more or less perfect or imperfect degree of this invisible belonging. All (and it is this which matters for their salvation) have before God, more or less lofty and abundant, the grace of Christ, as also, in the supraconscious of the spirit, the light of faith, at least as to the essential data mentioned by St. Paul. And in all of them likewise the mode is imperfect under which the grace of Christ, to however lofty a degree in itself such or such a one may have it, finds itself in them with respect to that which the grace of Christ requires in itself as to belonging to the Church.

I would like to note, after this, that, as Cardinal Journet writes (op. cit., II, p. 662), "there is real identity and distinction of reason between the Church and the Communion of Saints." It is the same reality envisaged from two different points of view. I shall say that the idea of "the Church" connotes the soul of the Church above all as informing the whole complex visible organism which is the body of the latter: so that a baptized person in state of grace, if he has kept the Catholic faith, remains visibly and formally a member of the body of the Church, whereas a Moslem or a Buddhist in state of grace is only invisibly, and virtually or initially, a member of this body. And I shall say that the idea of "the Communion of Saints" connotes the soul of the Church above all as sanctifying the individual persons in whom it resides: so that a Buddhist or a Moslem in state of grace is formally -- before God -- a member of the communion of saints, whereas a Catholic in state of sin and who has kept the faith is -- before God -- only virtually and initially a member of the communion of saints.

{28} Luke 12, 47-48. -- "The slave who knew his master's wishes but did not prepare to fulfill them will get a severe beating, whereas the one who did not know them and who nonetheless deserved to be flogged will get off with fewer stripes. When much has been given a man, much will be required of him. More will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted."

{29} Universale salutis sacramentum (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. VII, Sect. 48). Cf. also Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Part I, Ch. IV, Sect. 45.

{30} Chrétiens désunis, Principes d'un "oecuménisme" catholique, Paris, 1937.

{31} Supposing that in a few cases this teaching is the same, then it is not any longer a question of exchange.

{32} I do not speak of theological exchanges, because I do not believe in them. A Catholic theologian has great profit in reading a Protestant theologian, especially if the latter is of high stature, like a Karl Barth; but (let us forget for a moment some charismatic pseudotheologians) he does not read him in order to prepare with condiments received from him a half-Protestant half-Catholic theological sauce; he reads him exactly for the same reason as any other author of value, a Marx or a Freud for example: as awakener of questions which he himself will resolve in his own light. It is thus that St. Thomas profited from the Greek philosophers and from the Arabian philosophers, and from all that which fell under his hand, -- he who would have been able to say, more truly than Mallarmé "and I have read all the books." Theology is a science; it is not a hotchpotch.

{33} Ch. Journet, The Church of the Incarnate Word, p. 42.

{34} Louis Bouyer, La spiritualité orthodoxe et la spiritualité protestante et anglicane, Paris, Aubier, 1965, pp. 14-15.

{35} Cf. Louis Bouyer, op. cit., pp. 121-124.

{36} Cf. the excellent article of Ernest R. Korn, "Aux origines de la pensée moderne," Revue Thomiste, 197 I-II and III. I quote here some lines from it:

"This repulsion, at the limit of blasphemy, which the God Who punishes and damns arouses in Luther, -- is it not rather the very expression of that war which the Reformer conducts against himself? The expression of a combat begun in order to reach a kind of infinity which Luther thinks he has found in the teaching of Tauler and of the Theologia Deutsch ?. . .

"The struggle which Luther conducts against the limitations of human nature, -- it is at the plane of human activity that it establishes itself: it is by a nonfinite and unlimited action that he intends to surmount the limits of the human being.

"The finitude of which he feels an eternal sadness and an infernal grief (and which he identifies with sin and with fault) is the radical finitude of the human being. The Lutheran manner of understanding the Catholic dogma of Original Sin expresses this limitation in terms of 'total corruption of human nature.' Hence this finitude becomes essentially culpable. And how can one be liberated from this culpability, how can one be saved, except by struggling against the human itself, that is to say, as Luther writes, by conducting 'oneself persecution against oneself.' Combat merciless and to the point of total collapse, for in order for salvation to be able to appear, it is necessary that man 'collapse and be annihilated in all his forces, in all his works, in his whole being.' And why? Because 'the nature of God is such,' explains the Reformer, 'that out of nothingness He makes something. This is why, out of him who is not yet nothingness -- out of him God cannot either make anything'. . . .

"Are not the Mass-losigheit and the Form-losigkeit which characterize Luther related to the experience of a total and measureless fluidity which maintains and blends the extreme oppositions: simul peccator et justus?

"Antagonism beyond consciousness? But which fills the soul with bitterness, with horror, with fright and with eternal sadness, with intolerable and inconsolable terror: infernal griefs, but which for Luther become the very door of Paradise."

{37} Decree on Ecumenism, Ch. I, Sect. 3. -- "The elements or endowments," the Council said. I think that the "interior gifts" (such as "the life of grace, faith, hope and charity") are to be classed especially among the "endowments"; whereas among the "elements" are to be classed especially visible things, such as "the written word of God" (and the Sacraments for example, -- Baptism above all, -- and the teaching of the truths of faith). It is by the words visible elements that the text quoted here ends.

{38} Ibid., Ch. I, Sect. 3.

{39} Nova et Vetera, January-March, 1970, "Intercommunion?", p. 3; cf. ibid., p. 7; and also Revue Thomiste, 1965-I, p. 45.

{40} Decree on Ecumenism, Ch. I, Sect. 3.

{41} On the Orthodox Churches and on the Protestant Reformation, from the point of view of the theology of the history of salvation, cf. Charles Journet, Nova et Vetera, 1967, n. 4 and n. 3.

{42} Cf. above, Ch. III, Sect. 5.

{43} Turned in upon themselves, and not without the decorum of superiority, even of arrogance, characteristic of large collectivities as such, they accuse Catholics of errors in faith, and rebaptize persons who have been baptized in the Catholic Church, whereas the latter acts toward them in an altogether opposite manner.

Nowhere more than in the tragic history of the Eastern schism have the weaknesses of which the personnel of the Church is capable when it acts as proper cause been laid bare, in the midst of circumstances -- palace intrigues, political rivalries between the empire of Rome and that of Byzantium, offenses and calumnies -- in which on both sides the human played its sad role. The fact remains that Nicholas I, Hadrian II and John VIII only bore witness to their fidelity to their duty and to their mission, and only acted under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in affirming against winds and tides the primacy of universal jurisdiction of the Papacy over the whole Church.

That such a rent was able to occur in the history of the Church herself, -- this recalls to us that the latter, with her supernatural personality, is composed of poor men, and that many in her personnel are subject in times of crisis to moments of aberration. This shows also that the ways which God has used toward His Son, in delivering Him into the hands of men without ceasing to guard Him by His love are also, in altogether different conditions, the ways which He uses toward His Church (as also, in altogether different conditions, toward His ancient people still loved because of its fathers).

{44} One can distinguish from this point of view three currents in the Anglican Church: the Anglo-Catholics, the 'middle-of-the-road' Anglicans, and the "evangelical" current, in which Protestant influences operate.

The history of the rupture between the Church of England and Rome still remains obscure. With the question of the divorce of Henry VIII (Wolsey had, it seems, found a means of obtaining the divorce without breaking with Rome, but had fallen into disgrace and the king did not listen to him; cf. J. J. Scarisbrick, Henry VIII, London, 1968) there was mingled the question, very complex also, of the ecclesiastical courts: the fear of the severity -- unusual -- which they owed it to themselves to show toward the gentlemen when many of the latter began to read Protestant books raised against them Parliament, not without disquieting also, it seems, certain bishops: all of which contributed perhaps to cause them to give in to force when Henry VIII had passed by Parliament the Act of Supremacy by which the king became the supreme leader of the Church of England. Mrs. Margaret Bowker, of the University of Cambridge, is pursuing historical researches on the subject. Cf. her article that is to appear in the Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 1970 [Vol. 21(1971), pp. 61-77. -- Tr.].

On the other hand, it is interesting to note that there is today in the Church of England an effort of internal readjustment, implying the desire of a greater independence with regard to the Crown in that which concerns the nomination of bishops.

{45} Cf. M. J. Lagrange, Le Messianisme chez les Juifs, Paris, 1909.

{46} Cf. Stuart E. Rosenberg, "Le renouveau contemporain et l'expérience juive," in La Théologie du renouveau, Paris, éd. du Cerf, 1968. -- I quote from the recension of J. J. de Santo Tomas (Revue Thomiste, January-March, 1970, Bulletin d'Histoire de L'Église, p. 136), which continues thus: 1. In seeking by the Halaka the concrete realization of the Torah in Jewish life, the rabbis kept for the Holy Book its character of living Word of God, source of self-renewal of the individual and of the community. 'The Book of the people had changed [the Jewsl into people of the Book, and, with this Book, this people could survive all exile.' 2. The destruction of the Temple put an end only to the influence of the priests; there remained the Synagogue, less place of prayer than group of adorers, congregation in Israel and of Israel, in which one leams to serve God in the study of the Torah, to pray to Him in turning oneself toward Sion, in the expectation of the time of the 'restauration.' 3. For Sion was less a national concept than the symbol of a confidence in the historical intervention of God, like that of Egypt or of the return from Babylon."

{47} "True, authorities of the Jews and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ (cf. Jn. 19:6); still, what happened in His passion cannot be blamed upon all the Jews then living, without distinction, nor upon the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as repudiated or cursed by God, as if such views followed from the holy Scriptures." Vatican II, Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Sect. 4.

{48} On Islam from the point of view of the theology of the history of salvation, cf. Charles Journet, Nova et Vetera, 1967, No. 2.

{49} Cf. Olivier Lacombe, "Le Brahmanisme," in the collective work La mystique et les mystiques, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1965, p. 732.

{50} Ibid., p. 741.

{51} "There is in fact, according to the Buddhist, no self. What is felt to be the 'I', the self residing in the body, is nothing of the kind. There is no soul or self which exists as a separate essence or entity, or which experiences physical and mental happenings. There is only the human complexity, made up of the elements and energy which have flowed together in a particular human form, and which are in a constant state of change. The sense of being a 'self', or of being an individual, is a result of the way in which physical entities and energies have been combined in human form. That is why, instead of talking about a soul or self, which might be supposed to exist (and survive) independently of the body, it is far more realistic to talk of 'not-self', or, in the Buddhist terminology, anatta." John Bowker, Problems of Suffering in Religions of the World, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1970, p. 241.

{52} "Justice as a conception is banished from his system, held up to ridicule; as lived exigency, it is the devouring fire from which his protest springs. . . . . It seems to me that this contradiction between an extraordinarily lucid and impatient moral conscience and the negation of its reality at the plane of philosophical reason confers on Marxism its explosive character and its force of seduction. I am speaking, of course, of Marx himself, for Marxism has not ceased to be torn between a humanist tendency and a tendency to rigid intellectual and political systematization, of which the Garaudy-Althusser debate, is only an episode." G. M. M. Cottier, Horizons de l'athéisme, Paris, Ed. du Cerf, 1969, p. 113.

Cf. also John Bowker, op. cit., pp. 138-140.

{53} From a Hippy hymn, in the musical comedy Hair.

{54} Cf. the interesting article of Emile Bailleux, "L'universel Adam et le péché originel," in the Revue Thomiste, Oct.-Nov., 1969. The exegetico-paleontologic presupposition in the perspective of which this article has been written is far from being established, and I regard it as philosophically debatable. But theologians do well to keep themselves ready for every eventuality.

{55} Cf. Sum. theol., I-II, 5, 7. -- Cf. also my essay "La dialectique immanente du premier acte de liberté" in Raison et Raisons (Paris and Fribourg, Egloff, 1947).

{56} This consubstantial desire is a natural desire which goes beyond the limitations of nature (transnatural desire) by reason of the Adamic grace in which man was created and which he has lost. "From the moment that grace (grace of Adam or grace of Christ) and faith are given to the human species, there we are infinitized, even if later on we lose grace, and even if we lose the faith. Even in a humanity which has lived in the state of innocence and which has lost Adamic grace, even in a humanity which has been Christian and from which faith departs, and with faith the properly supernatural desires, well, in the two cases, the transnatural desires remain stimulated, sharpened." Neuf leçons sur les notions premières de la philosophie morale, Paris, Téqui, 1950, pp. 106-107.

{57} "Chronique d'Ecclésiologie," Revue Thomiste, 1969, No. 2, pp. 301-302.

{58} L'Eglise du Verbe Incarné, II, Paris, 1951, p. 1114.

{59} On this subject see the excellent essay of Father Marie-Joseph Nicolas ("La Co-redemption," Revue Thomiste, 1947-I) from which I have given some quotations in The Peasant of the Garonne (pp. 248 et seq.).

{60} Sermons, t. II, p. 247. -- Cf. Charles Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. II, p. 329.


{1} Cf. my book On the Grace and Humanity of Jesus, pp. 50-87. According to the interpretation which I have proposed there, it is in the higher part or the supraconscious paradise of His soul that on earth the grace of Christ was limitless (grace of Jesus as comprehensor). In the lower part of His soul, or the world of consciousness, this grace was finite (grace of Jesus as viator), and it did not cease to grow until the death on the Cross.

{2} Cf. the beautiful book of Father M. J. Nicolas on the mystery of Mary, Théotokos, Tournai, Desclée, 1965.

{3} As the second Council of the Vatican recalled (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Sect. 60), Christ is the sole Mediator, in the full and rigorous sense of the word. But nothing prevents, says St. Thomas (Sum. theol., III, 26, 1), that others than Christ be termed mediators, in a secondary and "ministerial" sense. And in this sense, the mediation of Mary "is altogether first, altogether unique. If the beings whom God, by His Incarnation, brings closest to Him are also those whom He associates more closely in His action upon others, it is indeed His mother that Christ associates with Himself first and more closely than any other for His work of 'divinization' of the world, of universal extension of the effects of the Incarnation. . . . At each of these three moments: the Incarnation, the Redemption, the glorious Life of Christ, her mediation is the extension to men of her divine maternity." M. J. Nicolas, Théotokos, Desclée, 1965, p. 190.

{4} Quadragesimale de evangelio aeterno, sermo X, cap. 3, Opera omnia, Lyon, 1650, t. II, p. 57. "Nam omnium gratiarum quae humano geners descendunt, sicut quod Deus generalis est dator et Christus generalis mediator, sic per gloriosam Virginem generaliter dispensantur. Nam ipsa est collum Capitis nostri, per quod omnia spiritualia dona Corpori ejus mystico communicantur. Ideo Cant. 7 de ipso dicitur: Collum tuum sicut turns eburnea. (Cant. VII, 5; cf. V, 4)."

{5} The second Council of the Vatican has insisted on the role of model which Mary had with regard to the Church. Cf. Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Ch. 8, Sections 63, 64, 65.

{6} The Church of Christ to come was, since Adam and Eve penitent, the Church in preparation. The Church here on earth was only formally constituted -- with her organic structure in achieved act, and with her personality -- as Church of Christ come, after the flames of Pentecost on the Apostles and on their queen.

I would be inclined to think that the Church of Heaven was formally constituted as such, with her body unified under her eternally living Leader, and with her personality, from the day of the Ascension, -- the Blessed Virgin having thus been here on earth, for a time (as from Pentecost as regards the Church of the earth), the instrument which God used in order to give to the Church her personality in Heaven and on earth.

{7} Except that of the Blessed Virgin, through the instrumentality of which, we have just seen, the Church receives her personality, and which is immanent in this personality.

{8} If they have lost grace and charity, but not the faith.

{9} If they have lost the faith.

{10} This is why the questions which the medieval theologians posed to themselves concerning a Pope who would become heretical seem to me wholly academic. Envisaging the case, by an hypothesis which I consider to be gratuitous, it is necessary to say, with Cardinal Journet and the theologians in question, that the Council would not at all have to depose this heretical Pope (as if the Council was superior to the Pope), but only to state the fact of heresy, the fact that he himself, having ceased, by his heresy, to be a member of the Church, has divested himself of his primacy in the Church; in short the Council would only have to "take cognizance of an accomplished fact." (Cf. Ch. Journet, "Le Pape et l'Eglise," in the newspaper La Croix, October 3, 1969.)

{11} Each of them shows us some aspect of her face, no one of them shows it to us entirely; for no one is as holy as she. In each appears the perfection of charity, -- according to his own mode, -- but his individual limitations and those of his environment and of his time reveal themselves also.

{12} Cf. Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sect. 84: "By tradition going back to early Christian times, the divine Office is arranged so that the whole course of the day and night is made holy by the praises of God. Therefore, when this wonderful song of praise is worthily rendered by priests and others who are deputed for this purpose by Church ordinance, or by the faithful praying together with the priest in an approved form, then it is truly the voice of the bride addressing her bridegroom; it is the very prayer which Christ Himself, together with His body, addresses to the Father."

Ibid., Sect. 99: . . . . . The divine Office is the voice of the Church, that is, of the whole mystical body publicly praising God."

{13} I am not forgetting that the fomenters of schism and the great heresiarchs were also, at first, members, and often very noteworthy members, of the personnel of the Church; but they broke with the latter, and find themselves therefore outside the field of my present reflections.

{14} Cf. my book God and the Permission of Evil. -- If this first initiative of nothingness does not take place, the divine motion, received first as shatterable, is then rendered unshatterable.

{15} He accomplishes it freely, for he could have, supposing his will had been previously perverted, rendered himself inapt, having already opted for evil, to receive this instrumental divine motion (which is given at once as unshatterable). He can also mingle in that which he is instrumentally moved to do elements of his own invention which can not be righteous.

{16} Cf. Sum. theol., III, 64, 1.

{17} In the broad sense of the word, according as God uses her in order to move the minister of the Sacrament, as I indicate here, and according as it is Christ Himself Who offers to God the Sacrifice of the Mass through the instrumentality of the Church. -- Cf. note 21.

{18} Sum. theol., III, 64, 8, c and ad 1, ad 2.

{19} III, 64, 1, ad 2.

{20} It would be futile to think that the expression has a merely juridical sense and that "to act in the person of the Church" is only to act as representative of the latter: for then, if the intention of the Church is not in the priest, the words pronounced by this "representative" belong to appearances and to fiction. It is necessary that the intention of the Church be really there, even if the priest is distracted and inattentive. (If the representative of a country says to a country at war "my country is sending you a thousand airplanes in order to help you," and if these airplanes are not really sent, the assurances given by this representative are only appearance and fiction.)

{21} In order to sum up everything, I shall say that in the sacramental order there are three persons to be considered:

God omnipotent, Who uses the humanity of Christ, conjoined instrument of His divinity, and Who is the principal Agent, supreme and absolutely first;

the holy and indeficient person of the Church, the Offerer here on earth of worship and of sacrifice, and the Effector of the Sacraments, who is at one and the same time second principal agent and, in the broad sense of the word, instrumental agent of God;

the minister of the Sacrament, who is instrumental agent in the strict sense, the instrumentality of whom the person of the Church uses according as he is human subject through whom she acts, and the instrumentality of whom God uses in giving efficacy to the words which he pronounces and to the gestures which he accomplishes when he confers the Sacraments and when he offers the Sacrifice.

{22} Canon of the Mass.

{23} Pius IX, Denz.-Schön., 2879. -- Cf. Charles Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. II, p. 534.

{24} Cf. above, Ch. VII, pp. 55-56.

{25} It is in regard to this essential intention that I understand the assertion of Pius XII when he says (encycl. Humani Generis) that the teaching of the encyclicals belongs to the, ordinary magisterium.

{26} Cf. Charles Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. II, p. 568, note 1. (My language is very different, but what it enables me to say is, I believe, very much in accord with this very illuminating note.) -- Cf. also Georges M. M. Cottier, Régulation des naissances et développement démographique, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1969, Introd., p. 9.

{27} I could give examples, which have come to me from fervent Christians of whom I am honored to be the friend.

{28} Cf. Ch. IX, pp. 84-85 and note 15.

{29} If it is true that, as we have seen in Ch. III, God gives to the Church her supernatural personality by reason of the image of Christ which she bears in her, one must conclude that it was only as Church of Christ come that she began to receive this personality. Formerly, at the different stages in which the Church still in sketch gradually took shape, the grace of Christ to come undoubtedly caused such a "moral person" to aspire to become person in the primary and ontological sense of the word. But it was once Christ come that such was the case, and that thus the mystery of the Church was brought to its consummation.

{Cf} above, note 6 to Chapter XI.

{30} With regard to the Pope, it is fitting to add that the choice made of him, -- whatever the mode of election may be, -- implies a certain acceptance or ratification on the side of the person herself of the Church, in this sense that then, as principal agent using the electoral college as an instrumental cause, she diverts it from designating anyone who would be incapable of guiding the bark and of preserving intact the transmission of the faith. Without such an acceptance or ratification, which makes of the bishop of Rome the leader of the Church of the earth, the members of the whole hierarchy constituted under his auspices and in communion with him cannot be held to be the "personnel of the Church."

The choice in question has moreover nothing to do with the private merits of the man thus designated (so much the better if he is a saint, so much the worse in the contrary case). It is a question of bringing to the Sovereign Pontificate, in given (and sometimes unfortunate) historical circumstances, someone who is sufficiently qualified for the government of the Christian people in all that which concerns the faith and the deposit of the revealed truth. One has remarked that "customs and politics placed aside," the government of a drunk-with-pride and debauched simoniac such as Alexander VI "was generally profitable to the Church. This Pope proved to be always a vigilant guardian of doctrine: he gave several Bulls concerning questions of dogma and of worship. He worked for the propagation of the faith, especially in the New World, which had been discovered at the beginning of his Pontificate" (J. Paquier, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, t. 1, pp. 726-727).


{1} Julian Green, Journal, II, p. 979.

{2} Before him, Gregory VII had dreamed of an expedition into the Holy Land which he wished to lead himself, but the War of the Investitures prevented him from realizing this project. The call to the crusade came from the Papacy of the Middle Ages. It was from the hands of the Pope or from his legates that those who made a vow to participate in the enterprise received the Cross.

{3} Which delighted exceedingly Humbert of Romans. Cf. Gesta Francorum, p. 202, quoted by Norman Daniel, Islam and the West , Edinburgh, 1960, p. 113. This massacre, adds the author, was in fact "the worst medieval profanation of the Holy Land known to us" (ibid., p. 349, n. 12).

{4} Cf. his article Croisades (Dictionnaire d'Apologétique, p. 823), which is a very good summary of his work L'Église et l'Orient au moyen âge, Les croisades, Paris, 1907.

{5} "Going out, one evening of defeat at Damietta, from the camp of the Crusades, St. Francis came to the Moslem camp to offer himself to the ordeal by fire, for the love of a single Moslem soul, the Ayyubite sultan Mohammadiba-Abi Bakr al Malik al-Kainil. Driven back far from the glimpsed martyrdom, he knew, by a vision, that on his return to Italy, he would obtain another death of love: it was his stigmatization at Alverno, the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. His compassion for Islam, this true spiritual crusade, the first, the one which Louis IX will imitate at Carthage, had merited for him to become the first compassionate visibly configured with the Crucified, 'who rises from the East, bearing the sign of the living God.' Thus opened, seven centuries ago, the long procession of the vexillaries of the Passion." Louis Massignon, Les trois prières d'Abraham, Seconde Prière, Avrault, Tours, hors commerce, p. 56. Cf. p. 25.

{6} Saint François d'Assise, Paris, Perrin, 1954, p. 307.

{7} Norman Daniel, op. cit., p. 113. {8} Luke 9, 54-56. -- Cf. John 18, 36.

{9} Cf. the beautiful book of Robert Vallery-Radot, Le Prophète de l'Occident (1130-1153), Paris, Descleé, 1969.

{10} Allusion to the capture of Edessa by the "atabeks" of Mosul (1144). And it is indeed true that "although the Crusades had at first the appearance of a bold offensive, they were in reality, from the outset, wars of defense." (Louis Bréhier, loc. cit., col. 837.) The first Moslem aggression was that of the Fatimite calif Hakem who, in 1099, had destroyed the Holy Sepulchre, putting an end thus to the free protectorate which the calif Haroun-al-Raschid had conferred on Charlemagne in the year 800. Came then, oppressing the Christians and threatening Byzantium, the invasions of the Seljukian Turks.

{11} St. Bernard did not suspect that they echoed the Islamic conception of the shuhadas: those who die "on the way of God" go straight to Heaven. (And the "way of God" included war, even offensive, for the extension of Islam.) It was indeed the idea of the holy war, although the Moslem jihad does not at all evoke in itself an idea of execration and of extermination.

{12} Norman Daniel, op. cit., p. 112.

{13} Cf. my preface to the book of Alfredo Mendizabel, Aux Origines d'une Tragédie, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1937 [Engl. transl.: The Martyrdom of Spain, London, Geoffrey Bles, 1938. -- Tr.]. The major part af this preface had appeared as an article in the Nouvelle Revue Française.

{14} Bishop Diaz Gomara, bishop of Carthagena.

{15} That is to say: object of repulsion for my beloved.

{16} As the Jerusalem Bible notes here very rightly (note a), "Israel, though unbelieving, 10:2 1, is still a chosen people, 11:2." That which is clearly confirmed by 11,16 and 18; and 11,29.

{17} One cannot translate apobolê by the word "rejection," since St. Paul has expressly affirmed (11, 1 and 2) that God has not rejected his people. The words "mise à l'écart" ["being set aside"] employed by the Jerusalem Bible render sufficiently well the sense. The Vulgate translates: amissio, which one could perhaps render also by the word "defection" in order to signify that as long as they remain in incredulity the Jewish people (still chosen) are deficient in their own predestined "olive-tree," and in the root of the latter, and that they have been amputated from the Body dedicated to the redemptive work, all these members whom the Body has thus lost (amisit) until they are again grafted in.

Apropos of 11, 14: Even unbelieving, the chosen people remains a "holy" people, not certainly by their actual conduct with regard to the Gospel (in this respect they have become "enemies," 11, 28), but by their election, which is irrevocable, 11, 29. This is why the "root" (11, 18) continues to "support" the faithful branches, even those which have been grafted in with Gentiles, and the unbelieving Jews are still beloved because of the patriarchs (11,28).

{18} Rom. 9-11.

{19} I know well that the "anger" and the "vengeance" of God, and even His "hatred" ("He blessed Jacob and hated Esau") hold a large place in the Bible: manners of speaking proper to Semitic semantics, which puts in the positive (as willed by God) that which He permits only (He "blinds," He "hardens" whom He wishes. . .). Translated into Latin or into our vernaculars, these expressions have not a little contributed to lead astray unreflecting or passionate minds.

{20} A furious mob stoned St. Stephen (and the young Saul was in agreement). In 62, another mob threw from the top of the Temple and stoned James the Less, who was then bishop of Jerusalem, while observing so well the Law of Moses that the Jewish common people venerated him (it was the Sanhedrin which had instigated the affair and provoked the riot).

{21} It was a question in particular of struggling against the tendency to fast the same days as the Jews and to keep like them the Sabbath Day. In the sixth century St. Gregory the Great will have still to busy himself with the question.

{22} "There where the courtesan is, the place [that is to say the Synagogue as assembly of worship] is called a brothel. What am I saying? Not brothel only and theatre, the Synagogue is also cavern of brigands and lair of wild beasts. . . ." The same homily continues: "Living for their stomach, their mouths always open, they do not conduct themselves better than the pigs and the billy goats, in their lewd grossness and the excess of their gluttony. They can do only one thing: stuff themselves with food and get drunk. . . Adversus Judaeos Orationes, Hom. I, P. G. XLVIII, col. 847-848.

{23} "Si expedit odisse homines et gentem aliquam detestari, miro odio aversor circumcisionem, usque hodie enim persequuntur Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum in synagogis Satanae." (Apropos of Psalm 138, 22: Perfecto odio oderam illos.)

{24} As it will be explicitly codified later by Canon Law. In 1179, the 26th canon of the third ecumenical Lateran Council will declare: Judaeos subjacere christianis oportet et ab eis pro sola humanitate foveri. While maintaining the principle of their religious liberty, the fourth Lateran Council (1215) will shackle their life by numerous restrictions destined to protect Christians against their influence.

Let us not forget that if, as I have said, the ecumenical Councils are the voice of the Church, this must clearly be understood of that which concerns the revealed teaching concerning faith and morals. In disciplinary measures in wholly contingent matter like those to which I allude here, or like the prescription of a crusade by the fourth Lateran Council, the Fathers of a Council act as "proper causes" to whom obedience is due, but not as organs causing instrumentally to be heard the voice of the Church of Heaven and of earth, in other words of the person of the Church.

{25} When at the same time he did not deem it wrong that one offer material advantages to the Jews in order that they become converted, "he was not at all taken in by the sincerity of the faith thus obtained. 'But,' he said, 'if the men thus gained do not promise to be very good Christians, there is hope that their children will be.' " (op. cit., p. 115.) Calculation very debatable in itself, but which was not lacking in practical accuracy, if one remembers that one of the grandfathers of St. Theresa of Avila was a Marrano.

{26} Cf. Bernhard Blumenkranz, Juifs et Chrétiens dans le Monde Occidental (430-1096), Paris, 1960, p. 380. See also Foreword, p. xix: During the whole Carolingian period no permanent anti-Judaism.

{27} In the important work which I have just cited.

{28} op. cit., Foreword, p. xiv.

{29} Not without using on both sides the means of pressure or of seduction at one's disposal. (This is why one forbade the Jews to have Christian slaves.) On the Christian side, one obliged the Jews to assist at sermons which sometimes were delivered in the synagogues.

{30} Neither good temperament nor humor were lacking in that time. Witness the fine story about Charlemagne and a bishop over fond of expensive curiosities told by the monk of Saint-Gaul. Charlemagne asks a Jewish shopkeeper to perfume a mouse and to offer it as an Eastern rarity to the bishop in question, who buys it at a high price; all of which enables the Emperor to laugh at his expense and to shame him in a synod (op. cit., p. 16).

{31} When at the end of the tenth century the Jews will retreat into the cities, they will group themselves there in districts of their choice. It is at the end of the following century, in 1084, that the bishop of Spires, Rudiger, has the Jewish district surrounded by a wall, "in order to avoid," he says, "the insolent populace's attacking them." Wall which tomorrow will enclose them, will double itself with an invisible wall of resentment, and will designate them to the assaults of the persecutors. (Cf. op. cit., p. 39.)

Reserved districts had existed for three centuries in the Moslem countries, whose theocratic body politic showed itself at first quite benevolent with regard to its Jewish and Christian guests. As distinctive sign the Jews wore there a small wheel of yellow color, the Christians a small wheel of blue color.

{32} Philip the Fair pursued there no religious aim; he had in view only to despoil the Jews (as moreover the Lombards or the Templars).

{33} Imported from Islam in the twelfth century (1179, third Lateran Council), absolutely imposed in the sixteenth century (1555, Paul IV), become out-of-date after the emancipation, officially expunged from Canon Law by Pius IX.

{34} Imported also from Islam in the thirteenth century (1215, fourth Lateran Council), absolutely imposed at the same time as the ghetto (1555), fallen into disuse (except for the jurists of the Holy Office) in the eighteenth century, abolished in the Papal States after the emancipation.

{35} One knows that St. Thomas (II-II, 1 ad 2) condemned loan at interest, which he considered to be usury. In actual fact, the princes appropriated the greater part of the interests which the Jews collected from the poor people, and of which the rate was thereby rendered necessarily excessive.

"The financial role of the Jewish element in the world," writes Louis Massignon ("L'influence de l'Islam sur la fondation des banques juives," in Opera minora, t. I, p. 247), "is an accidental role which was imposed on it only tardily: by the Moslem State. We do not see indeed in antiquity, even in the Byzantine epoch, that the preponderance, among the bankers, ever belonged to the Jewish element. At the outset of Islam it was not yet the case; in the beginning of the ninth century, Jahiz does not consider the Jews as specialized in banking; this profession is then exercised by Christians. But one knows that since Islamic canon law forbade Moslems the commerce of money, and tolerated in Moslem countries no other communities than those of Christians and those of Jews, the Moslem States had necessarily to attribute the monopoly of the commerce of money either to Christians or to Jews; and the Christian financiers were clearly more suspect in their eyes, as possible spies in the service of the Christian emperors of Byzantium. . . . It was therefore the Moslem State which, at the end of the ninth century, specialized the Jewish element in the commerce of money, stigmatizing it thus with a characteristic social stamp, a kind of psychological equivalent of the small wheel."

{36} B. Blumenkranz, op. cit., p. 380.

{37} The reason invoked by the liturgists was that the Jews had bent the knee before Christ in order to ridicule him (historical error, moreover: it was the Roman soldiers who did this). But in the rubric in question the people saw only a mark of sacred aversion toward them in the very moment that one was praying for them. It seems even, if we believe the sacramentary of Saint-Vast, that the real cause of this rubric was to avoid the reactions of hate of the Christian people: Hic nostrum nullus debet modo flectere corpus, ob populi noxiam ac pariter rabiem.

{38} Toll sheet of Malemort.

{39} In his recension (Revue Thomiste, January-March, 1970, p. 144) of the book of B. Blumenkranz, Le Juif médiéval au miroir de l'art chrétien, Paris, Etudes Augustiniennes, 1966.

{40} Ibid.

{41} Ibid.

{42} Ibid.

{43} B. Blumenkranz, op. cit., p. 135.

{44} J. J. De Santo Thomas, article cited, p. 144.

{45} Hilary of Poitiers, Ambrose.

{46} Cyril of Alexandria: "They have shown themselves deicide," he writes in his Commentary on Isaiah. I do not believe that the expression deicide people is found formally in him.

St, Augustine does not use the word, but insists on the collective responsibility of the Jews. Cf. D. Judant, Judaisme et Christianisme , Paris, Ed. du Cèdre, 1969, Ch. V.

{47} Let us hope that a philosopher worthy of the name will give us some day a good psychoanalysis of history. From the point of view of a concrete psychology, I think that what we call an idea finds itself under two entirely different states according as it is of the merely intellectual order (a concept used by the reason) or according as it affects vitally the whole human subject. In the first case I shall call it "light-idea" when it is true and "word-idea" or "paper-idea" when it is false. In the second case I shall call it "sun-idea" when it is in the service of truth, and radiates ineffably in the supraconscious of the spirit in order to gain from there the intellect and to invade the whole soul; and I shall call it "vampire-idea" when it is in the service of falsehood and rises from the animal unconscious in order to take possession of the human subject.

{48} From a letter from one of my Catholic friends, who during his stay in Israel wished to learn Hebrew and had as teacher a "true average Israelian girl, native of central Europe, Esther," I extract the following lines: "With an altogether Israelian frankness and simplicity, she did not scruple to speak out before the whole class (in which I was clearly the only Christian, in the midst of Jewish comrades originally from about fifteen countries of Europe and of Asia, of Africa and of the two Americas) concerning the heavy Judeo-Christian past. And I am profoundly grateful to her for it. All this, it is true, I knew, at least roughly, very roughly, and in the abstract if I may say; but I had not realized, felt, lived from the interior, from the side of the victims, in their skin, all that which an accumulation of such aberrations throughout twenty centuries could awaken of suffering, of rancor, of scandal. I had before me there, living and sorrowful, the image which a normally constituted Jew or Jewess can form of Christianity, such as they have seen it at work, such as they have experienced it, suffered it, in the quick of their flesh, of their human dignity and of their faith, in the course of history. . . .

"How many times did I hear her evoke the lot of this eternally wandering people, chased from one Christian country, then from another, then again from another. People unceasingly subjected in Christendom to popular scorn and to laws of exception, of segregation, deprived most often of all possibilities of ordinary work, carefully kept in the background, far before they are penned up and packed together in their ghettos; subjected frequently to the infamous wearing of insignia or distinctive hats. People periodically massacred, from the hundreds or so massacres perpetrated in Germany, in the Middle Ages, to the more recent pogroms of Eastern Europe, without forgetting the Crusades, in which the champions of the Cross acquired the knack on the Jewish communities of Europe before going to kill Sarrazin and to burn alive in their synagogues of Jerusalem and other holy places, so many Jews of Palestine. . . .

"Hundreds and hundreds of synagogues burned, bonfires with their holy books (including sometimes the Bible). Incessant and tragic accusations of "ritual murder," or profanation of hosts or of poisoning of the wells at the moment of the epidemics of plague, all this ending clearly in blood baths. In a general manner, antisemitism more or less virulent in the Christian countries and milieus, in the measure ordinarily in which they called themselves and believed themselves Christians, the ordinary teaching of the sermons or of the catechisms (deicide people, accursed people, etc.) having all that which was necessary in order to stir up this antisemitism, which culminated each year at the moment of Holy Week, during which the Jews of the Middle Ages had only to barricade themselves well in their homes if they did not wish to be massacred 'for the love of the crucified Savior.'

"This long history of blood ending in our day in the horrors of the Nazi camps, of their gas chambers and of their crematoriums. . . . Of course Esther and the Israelians distinguish between Nazis and authentic Christians (many of whom risked their life in order to save some of them); but the fact remains that the Nazis were almost all baptized persons, therefore officially Christians, and that their monstrosities were able to surge up only on a terrain already well prepared by the traditional Christian antisemitism.

"I spare you astonished and grieved commentaries on recent Vatican 'politics' and its obstinate refusal to recognize the existence of the State of Israel. . . .

"I shall terminate this sad subject on this phrase of Esther which I shall never forget: 'It is necessary that you understand well that the cross is for us the accursed symbol of all our misfortunes, of all our persecutions, of all our massacres.' And, in actual fact, in Israel, not only has the Red Cross become the Red Star of David, but even the sign '+' of addition in mathematics has been modified also because it evokes the accursed sign. . . . This is frightfully heavy with signification.

"If it is true that a handful of Jews were able to contribute one day, by badly enlightened religious zeal, to the crucifixion of the Savior, 'accomplishing thus the Scriptures,' the Christian people, by a zeal just as unseemly, has persisted in return in crucifying the whole Jewish people, throughout its sorrowful history, resembling strangely a mysterious way of the Cross. And I tell myself sometimes that in the Council Document on Judaism, a small phrase of humble avowal of culpability and of asking for pardon, would perhaps not have been a useless luxury." (September 13, 1969)

{49} This edict concerned the Jews of the Papal States. -- Prohibition to possess, to write, to translate any impious book, such as a Talmudist or Cabalist one; prohibition to place near their sepulchres any stone bearing an inscription; prohibition to practice their rites outside of their synagogues, for example to sing psalms or to carry torches while transporting to the cemetery the body of their deceased; prohibition to approach nearer the House of Catechumens than the space of thirty canes; prohibition, under pain of the galley and of the confiscation of goods, to dissuade anyone from becoming converted to the holy Catholic faith; obligation to wear the mark of yellow color, which distinguishes them from other people; prohibition to sell or to give to Christians the meat of any animal which they would have killed themselves; prohibition to have shops outside of ghettos; prohibition to have recourse to Christian midwives and Christian nurses, to have Christian menservants or Christian maidservants, etc.

{50} The decree of civil emancipation of the Jews was voted two years later by the Constituent Assembly (September 27, 1791).

{51} Let us quote here these lines from an author, Mr. Cecil Roth, who is not suspected of sympathy for Christianity: "The Pope, whatever might be his desire to prevent that Christian orthodoxy should be contaminated by contact with them, adhered always to the principle of formal tolerance; in spite of the tendencies of ecclesiastical politics, he never approved the anti-Jewish violences, or atrocities such as the accusation of ritual murder or forced conversion. Each time, he declared himself for reason and moderation in these domains (and even Innocent III, who inspired the most reactionary legislation of the Middle Ages, was no exception). A protecting Bull of Calixtus II, Sicut Judaeis, which condemned severely the attacks against the person of Jews and their baptism under constraint, was confirmed at least twenty-two times, from its promulgation in 1120 to the middle of the fifteenth century. From 1130 to 1138, one of the pretenders to the throne of St. Peter was a man of whom the Jewish origins were quite close -- Anacletus II (Piero Pierleoni). The Jews of the States of the Pope were almost the only ones in Europe to never experience the massacres and expulsion in all their horror; and small colonies from Rome swarmed into the surrounding territory." (Histoire du Peuple juif, Paris, Editions de la Terre Retouvée, 1963, pp. 221-222.) -- There were nevertheless two attempts at expulsion (edict of Pius V in 1569, broken by Sixtus V in 1586; edict of Clement VIII in 1593, revoked by the same Pope a few months later).

{52} Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Sections 4 and 5.

{53} Le Mystère d'Israël, Paris, Desclée De Brouwer, 1965.

{54} Nor was I denying the rights of the Arabs of Palestine. I shall speak below of these rights; I note immediately that they are by no means, as a certain anti-Israelian political propaganda sometimes seems to suggest, the unjustly injured rights of a nation which would have been conquered and despoiled by the force of arms.

A bit of history here: Jewish agricultural colonies were founded, at the end of the nineteenth century, and thanks to purchases of lands, by the Zionist pioneers with a view to preparing for the Jews of the Diaspora the creation of a national home on the Promised Land (which, up until the defeat of Turkey in the First World War, and the mandate received by Great Britain, was under Ottoman rule). Following negociations between Chaim Weizmann and the English government, the Balfour Declaration (November 2, 1917) confirmed the right of the Jewish people to this creation. In 1922 Palestine, by virtue of a decision of the United Nations, passed under British mandate. In November, 1947, another decision of the United Nations, prescribing the division of the Holy Land into an Arab State and a Jewish State, and the internationalization of Jerusalem, was rejected by the Arabs, -- all of which launched the armed struggle between the Arab League and the Israelians. And on the eve of the expiration (May 15) of the British mandate, Ben Gourion, President of the Executive Committee of the Jews of Palestine, proclaimed (May 14, 1948) the independence of the State of Israel, soon recognized by the principal world powers. The State of Israel was not born of any aggression and invasion of which one knows not what Arab national State in Palestine would have been the victim. It was born of an immigration of rapid growth (not without friction) organizing itself (in conformity with the principle laid down in 1947 by the United Nations Organization) into an independent political unity in a territory under British mandate, -- an immigration and an independent political unity both sanctioned by international law.

The rights of the Palestinians are, firstly, those of the human person in each of us, wherever he may be, and which the State of Israel only asks to respect in the Arab population of its territory; and, secondly, their right (whether they have remained in Israel or whether they have gone into Jordan or into other countries) to a compensation which makes up as much as possible for the losses involved for them, not certainly from the fact of an unjust aggression, but from the fact of the legitimate installation of a new national and political unity in a part of a territory which up until then they were the only ones to populate. It was incumbent neither on the Arab countries nor on the State of Israel, but rather on the great powers, to give this compensation. Devoured by national egoism and by their economic and military rivalries, they have failed up till now (I write these lines in April of 1970) in this duty. It is still incumbent on them. It would take energy, intelligence, and generosity, -- which is to ask much, but is to ask the indispensable.

I do not like to touch on political questions which are situated on an altogether different plane than the one which is proper to the subject of this book. I have nevertheless been obliged to do so in this note in order to explain clearly my thought. Two remarks remain to be made in this order.

In the first place, to desire, as certain ones do (cf. Témoignage chrétien, December 11, 1969), "the creation of a secular Palestine, open to all, Arabs and Jews, Moslems, Christians, Israelites and atheists," is, by innuendo, and not without slanderous insinuations with regard to the State of Israel, to desire the disappearance of this State, in other words to desire that which I hold to be an iniquity.

In the second place, to be persuaded, as I am, that the existence of the State of Israel is a just and necessary thing, and to have at heart the love of those who are gathered together in it, as also of the work to which they are called, does not imply at all that one regards without anxiety the nationalist extremism of some among them, nor that one is ready to approve in every circumstance the politics of this State itself. The State of Israel is no more infallible than the others. The fact remains that it is alone in the midst of a hostile world, and is doing what it believes good in order to defend itself; and that with regard to the situation in the Middle East the great powers carry a terribly heavy responsibility. France, alas, has been far from cutting a good figure in the events. It seems that only the American people has kept at the bottom of its soul a sense of human solidarity sufficiently strong that, to the calculations touching national interest which prevail in its politicians as in those of the whole world, there is joined in the anonymous mass a sincere and real friendship for the State of Israel, as for the Jewish people recently persecuted in such a tragic and unforgettable manner.

{55} Gen. 13, 5; 15, 18; 17, 8.

{56} Gen. 28, 13.

{57} Exodus 3, 8; 6, 8.

{58} Ez. 37, 12 and 14 and 25.

{59} "Anti-Israelism" is the exact word. One prefers to say today "anti-Zionism." It is always easy (the imagination and passion are there for that, it suffices to cease to control them, and also to rely on the idle gossip of some extremists, who are never lacking) to create a myth such as that "Zionism" which one pictures to oneself as an organized movement tending to put the Jews of the whole world in the service of the State of Israel, and which one reproaches (Témoignage chrétien, number cited in note 54) "its racial character, its expansionist will, the confusion which it maintains between the sacred and the temporal, its materialist interpretation of the Bible and the utilization of the Holy Books in a political purpose." In this fantastic enumeration, it is the accusation of theocracy ("confusion of the sacred and of the temporal") which appears the most ridiculous, when one knows that in Israel the least well disposed ones toward their State are the more religious Jews, and that on the other hand it is in Islam that the State is conceived as sacral. As to "the materialist interpretation of the Bible," it consists undoubtedly in believing that which is written in it? And when one speaks of "racial character," does one wish to reduce to "race" the moral community and the immense historical heritage which explain that there is a Jewish people? Finally, is it for the State of Israel "expansionist will" to defend its threatened existence and its right to be there?

The Christians who declare themselves anti-Zionists can declare at the same time, in all good faith, that they are not anti-Semites, and that they have moreover given proof of this during the occupation. They do not see that myths like the "Zionism" in question are the ways through which antisemitism penetrates most insidiously into the imagination and the heart of people. The anti-Zionist propaganda at work today, and of which the political origins are easily discernible, is in actual fact a well-orchestrated anti-Semite propaganda.

It is perhaps not profitless to quote here some lines drawn from Le Mystère d'Israël (pp. 245-246). "On account of the formation of the Israelian State," I wrote in 1964, "the condition of Israel in the world has entered into an entirely new phase. Henceforth this condition is, if I may say, bipolar: it implies at one and the same time the diaspora among the Gentiles, which has not ceased and which is required by the very vocation of Israel, -- and the political unity of the Israelian people in such and such a given point of the globe, through which we see decidedly ended the vestiges of the regime of the ghetto, and decidedly begun the first foundations of a realization in time of the hope of Israel. Thus it is no longer only the long tragic tension between Israel and the world which the philosopher of history has henceforth to consider. It is also, in the bosom of Israel itself, a fraternal tension between the Jewish State of the Holy Land and the Jewish population of the Dispersion, which relate, so to speak, to two different centers of gravitation, and of which the needs, the purposes and the destinies are distinct, but which in a no less important measure remain nevertheless essentially linked and interdependent, in the material order and in the spiritual order."

{60} Rom. 11, 15. It is to this whole chapter that I refer here. -- The persons who, like Mme Judant, take as mythical the belief in the conversion of the Jewish people in a distant future, display, I do not contest it, an erudition as vast as it is tendentious, but it seems doubtful that they have read closely the Epistle to the Romans. "If you were cut off from the natural wild olive and, contrary to nature, were grafted into the cultivated olive, so much the more will they who belong to it by nature be grafted into their own olive tree. Brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery lest you be conceited (Pr. 3, 7): blindness has come upon part of Israel until the full number of Gentiles enter in, and then all Israel will be saved." (11,24-26.)

{61} Rom. 11, 1-2.

{62} Rom. 11, 28.


{1} On the sacral regime cf. Charles Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. 1, pp. 280-425 ("Régime de la Chrétienté sacrale"); and my book Integral Humanism, pp. 143-153.

{2} In Cant., serm. 64.

"Drive the heretics out of the Church: but do not kill them; for they are made like you in the image of God," wrote St. Hildegarde.

{3} Letter to the Archbishop of Rheims, Henri, brother of King Louis VII the Younger.

Let us quote also the letter written in 1043 by the Bishop of Liege, Wazon, to the Bishop of Châlons, Roger, who had consulted him: "God does not wish the death of the sinner but his conversion. Did not Christ give us the example of gentleness toward the heretics, whereas, omnipotent, He endured the opprobriums, the insults, the cruelties of the Jews and finally the torment on the Cross? And when, in His parable, He advised to let the cockle grow with the good grain until the harvest, did He not teach us that the wicked must live with the righteous until the Judgment of God Who alone will separate them? . . . Those whom the world considers today as cockle, can be, when the harvest will come, gathered into His barn by God along with the wheat. . . . Those whom we regard as the enemies of God, can be put by Him above us in Heaven."

However true and noble they may be, these lines, like those of Alexander III quoted in my text, furnish us a testimony of the gentleness of heart and of the elevation of thought of the one who wrote them, more than a clear principle of discernment in order to solve a practical problem. The kings and their counsellors saw in them only a testimony of weakness.

{4} These Bulls thus caused rigorously to pass into practice the prescriptions enacted by the third Lateran Council in 1179 and the Council of Verona in 1184, and repeated by Innocent III at the fourth Lateran Council in 1215.

The functions of inquisitors had first been exercised by the Cistercian legates. Gregory IX entrusted the Dominicans with them. The first general Inquisitor of the kingdom of France was Robert le Bougre (himself a converted Catharian, -- one said commonly "bulgare" or "bougre" for "cathare"). He acted both in the name of the Pope and in the name of the king.

For a detailed historical account of that which I have summed up in this paragraph, cf. Jean Guiraud, article Inquisition, in the Dictionnaire d'Apologétique, col. 823 to 853.

The Inquisition prosecuted the Catharians, the Waldenses (cf. Jean Marx, L'Inquisition en Dauphiné), the Beguin disciples of Joachim of Flora and of Jean d'Olive; and also, in the fifteenth century, the sorcerers; and even the persons guilty of certain misdemeanors of common law.

{5} Cf. Jean Guiraud, op. cit., col. 868 et seq.; and Ch. Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. 1, p. 378, note 1.

{6} Very little: The accused were not confronted with the witnesses who accused them, and they did not know their names; at the time when one granted them lawyers, these had as their role only to advise them in their defense or to urge them to confess, and they never appeared in court; a system of informing which violated natural law forced the father and the mother to accuse their children, the husband to accuse his wife, and reciprocally. Cf. E. Vacandard, Dict. de théol., col. 2038-2041.

The Bull Cum adversus, of Innocent IV, 31st October 1243, approved "the constitution Commissi Nobis of Frederick II, in which it is said that the sons of heretics shall escape the punishments provided by the law even against them -- deprivation of goods, refusal of public offices and honours -- if they denounce the secret heresy of their own father." Later a Bull of Pius V (Bullarium romanum, Turin, 1862, t. VII, p. 430) forbade "physicians to go on visiting the sick who should not have confessed themselves within three days or were not in a position to present a certificate of confession." Ch. Journet, The Church of the Incarnate Word, Vol. I, p. 297, n. 2.

{7} What I call here the teaching authority of the Church consists above all in her "declaratory power," which makes known that which God has revealed (and which we believe on the word of God), but also in her "canonical power," when it makes known to us, in order to assure through the centuries the preservation of the revealed deposit in its integrity, that which is to be believed on the word of the Church. Cf. further on, Ch. XIV, pp. 203-206.

{8} St. Bernard, in the De Consideratione, speaks also of the two swords, but by the second sword he understands the material sword which is "in the hand of the soldier," and which can be drawn at the order of Peter, but not by his hand, tuo forsitan nutu, etsi non tua manu (IV, cap. 3, a. 7). St. Thomas takes up again the same views in in IV Sent., dist. 37. On the contrary, the second sword, such as I understand it, that of the coercive authority possessed by the Church, is normally drawn by the hand of Peter (and, in the case of the sacral regime, drawn also on his order by the hand of the prince).

If the Church possesses thus the sword of the coercive authority, as that of the teaching authority, it is because she is a society complete and master of herself (societas perfecta, in the jargon of the philosophers), and composed of human beings who are not pure spirits. The ecclesiastical authority -- in its own domain and without having recourse to the civil power -- can therefore, by reason of an immediate end of the spiritual order, impose on one of her members, especially on one of the members of her personnel, a penalty intrinsically and in itself temporal, such as "fine, restriction of liberty, privation of an office or of a benefit, etc." (Ch. Journet, L'Église du Verbe Incarné, t. I, p. 333, note 1). A priest, in the Confessional, can in certain circumstances prescribe to a penitent the payment of a fine.

With regard to the vocabulary employed by us: the coercive authority implies also legislative authority and judiciary authority (cf. Charles Journet, The Church of the Incarnate Word, Vol. I, pp. 184-185), but it is by the coercion that it finally completes itself and that it discharges decidedly the office of sword. It is therefore indeed by the words "constraining or coercive authority" that I had to designate it here.

A last remark much more general: the two "swords" of which it is a question in these pages, as also the diverse powers possessed by the Church (by the person of the Church), designate the foundation by reason of which, in the diverse domains considered, the personnel of the Church has, in the name of God, either authority in order to exercise its activity as proper cause, or role of instrumental cause when it is the person herself of the Church who through Him speaks and acts.

{9} Cf. Code of Canon Law, Can. 2213 S 1; cf. Charles Journet, op. cit., pp. 260-263.

{10} John 18, 10.

{11} Matt. 26, 52.

{12} They had perfectly the right to use the sword of coercive authority, since the Church possesses this sword, and even to use it, that which is normal in a sacral regime, by having recourse to the action of the prince and of the secular arm.

That which was, in itself and objectively speaking, a singularly grave mistake (without doubt historically almost inevitable, but in itself injurious to God) was to have, in creating the institution of the Inquisition, used the sword in question otherwise than the Lord permitted, in a manner which betrayed His spirit and which violated the first prescription of the New Law brought by Him.

{13} Cf. Charles Journet, op. cit., p. 232: "Then were held those Councils of Toledo so remarkable for their dogmatic definitions on the Trinity and the Incarnation, but of which it has been said, in respect of their practical ordinances, that they were 'less Councils than assemblies of the Spanish monarchy, content to do no more, or little more, than register the decrees of their sovereigns.'

{14} I employ this word with reluctance, and at the risk of paining theologians who are dear to me. But magis amica veritas. The hypocrisy (or "legal fiction" as E. Vacandard says) was moreover very careful to conceal itself by the words. One did not "deliver"; one abandoned the guilty person to the secular arm. And in doing this, one pushed even charity as far as to use a pious formula which I have recalled in the text, entreating the secular arm to spare the guilty person mutilation and death. But if a prince refused to burn the heretics whom the Inquisition thus "abandoned" to him, he was excommunicated and exposed to all the penalties reserved to the supporters of heresy. Cf. Vacandard, Dict. de théol., col. 2051 and 2065. -- Likewise one employed torture in order to make the accused confess, but the confessions were assumed free (ibid., col. 2043).

{15} I say "Church tribunal" as I say "personnel of the Church." The institution of the Inquisition relates to the personnel of the Church. It has nothing to do with an institution essential to the person of the Church, like that of the Sacraments for example, and which relates to Christ, caput super Ecclesiam.

{16} St. Raymond of Penafort, St. Peter of Verona (called also St. Peter Martyr), St. Pius V. . . .

{17} Cf. the courageous book of Pierre-Henri Simon, Contra la torture, Paris, ~d. du Seuil, 1957. "The practice of torture is one of the shames of humanity. . . ." However, "with the exception of the Jewish people, the nations of the Mediterranean world, in the centuries in which their most beautiful cultures flourished, knew, accepted, practiced punitive or interrogative torture. . . . Neither Plato, nor Aristotle, nor Cicero, nor Pliny, nor Seneca, protest against the principle, if they happen to deplore the excess of cruelty in the application. . . " (pp. 24-27). In 866 torture was condemned in an absolute manner by Pope Nicholas I. P. H. Simon cites this admirably just text, which did not prevent the Christian Middle Ages, from the moment they rediscovered Roman Law, from returning to the juridical use of torture with a frightful good conscience.

The book of Pierre Henri-Simon is a cry of indignation against the use made of torture by officers and soldiers of the French army during the Algerian War. Let the author be thanked for having borne witness for justice and for having protested for the honor of France.

{18} Cf. Arthur London, L'Aveu, Paris, Gallimard.

{19} With regard to the stake as a means of putting to death, it was more spectacular, but not much more cruel and barbarous than the guillotine or hanging. In my opinion it is only in the case of legitimate defense or of defensive war that the putting to death of a human being is not a sin of homicide, and capital punishment is in itself such a sin committed by society. Cf. the book of Albert Naud, Tu ne tueras point, Paris, Ed. de la Table Ronde. Apropos of this book, Julian Green writes: "Of the sufferings of the executed, we know almost nothing. It seems certain that the head separated from the body continues to live. For how long a time? One does not know. It lives and suffers frightfully, since all suffering is in the brain, and as long as the nerve centers are not destroyed, the extraordinary torture machine continues to function. One knows that hanging is sometimes, by an atrocious accident, a decapitation. The electric chair is doubtless the most ingenious and the slowest method. The Spanish garrot is the fruit of sadistic imaginations. Formerly one turned the garrot more or less quickly according to the enormity of the crime. . . . At the origin of capital punishment, there was this doubtlessly prehistoric idea that the blood of the person condemned to death will alleviate the wrath of the victim. It is as primitive and as stupid as that . . . " (Journal, t. II, Paris, Plon, 1969, p. 1473).

I am not surprised however that a multitude of persons whom I do not at all suspect of barbarism and of cruelty consider, on the faith of opinions commonly received, capital punishment and the guillotine as things normal and necessary: just as in Middle Ages one considered as things normal and necessary the stake, -- and torture.

{20} Except the theologians in order to justify them. In explaining (Sum. theol., II-II, 11, 3) why the heretics must be put to death, St. Thomas showed that the great speculatives, when they pronounce on the concrete, run the risk of being led astray by the regime of civilization and the mentality of their time.

At the time, heresy was so considered to be the supreme crime that the remains or the corpses in putrefaction of those whom the Inquisition condemned for having been heretics were exhumed, dragged in the streets through the crowd, while a town crier blared out the name of the guilty and solemnly burned persons.

{21} "Give me discernment, -- The way of truth I have chosen . . . "(Ps. 119, 34-30).

{22} "Unless your faith is firm you shall not be firm" (Is. 7, 9).

{23} Let us note in passing that it is from the Spanish Inquisition, at the time of the struggle against Protestantism, that the institution came, today outmoded, of an Index of the books whose reading is prohibited. At the request of Charles the Fifth, a partial list was drawn up by the University of Louvain, in 1546. The first general Index was published by the Spanish Holy Office in 1559. "The age of Gutenberg," to speak as Marshall McLuhan, had begun a century before.

{24} This is why John Bowker, in his splendid book Problems of Suffering in Religions of the World (Cambridge, University Press, 1969), makes room for Marxism among the diverse religions which he studies.

{25} That which was new: in the fifteenth century Jean Hus had been burned alive (1415) by condemnation of the Council of Constance; Savonarola was burned alive also in 1498.

{26} In him as in the Popes of the Middle Ages there was not the slightest will or the slightest calculation to adapt themselves to the common mentality of a world conscious of sacred values but still tainted with barbarism and to this extent morally impure (world, moreover, in process of historical development). They had no need to adapt themselves to this common mentality; they were immersed in it themselves and participated in it in all candor (that is the excuse): contrary to many priests of today, they also victims of their time, but in another manner: for in general their good will leaves no doubt, but it is the good will of naive strategists anxious to adapt themselves, with a view to acting on it, to the rotten mentality of a world in full decadence and in full aversion of the sacred, to speak its language and to think like it. The internal process of self-destruction of "bourgeois society" is such that one day perhaps it will seek in Communism its last recourse; so that the intelligent Marxists would be wrong to hurry, they have scarcely but to await their hour (then the steamroller will pass over the rot. And life? It will be for a subterranean time). Would a Christianity faithful to itself have been able -- as by a miracle -- to rectify the course of history and to remedy the decadence in question? It was at least a duty to hope this. A Christianity unfaithful to itself can only contribute to aggravate the decadence of a civilization sprung from the Christian Middle Ages (as distant origin) and from the humanism of the Renaissance (as proximate origin), spoiled afterwards by materialism and by money, and entered now into the antihuman age of technocracy.

{27} In the collective volume Au service de la Parole de Dieu, Mélanges offerts à Mgr. Charue, évêque de Namur, -- Gembloux, 1969. (Cf. Revue Thomiste, April-June, 1970, p. 319.)

Is this to say that the diverse reforms to the possibility of which I have just alluded would suffice in order to resolve the present crisis? I do not think so. In my opinion, one will resolve this crisis only if, in a more or less great number of years, or of decades, the Sovereign Pontiff convokes a new Council, -- doctrinal, this one, -- which, without having need to name or to condemn anyone, would declare solemnly the incompatibility with the Catholic faith of a series (probably long) of philosophical and theological aberrations which merit this qualification.

{28} I think for example of the Gospel for the fourth Sunday of Advent, in which Mary is a young girl who is no longer full of grace but favored-by-God, and is not troubled in her heart but very upset by the word of the Angel, and does not ask him "How can this be since I do not know man?" but "How is this going to come about for I am not married?" and does not say to him at the end "Be it done to me according to thy word," but "Let it be done to me as you say." It is not permitted to change the sacred letter under the pretext of translating it, -- with a carefully sought platitude which betrays the sense and which supposes that the Christian people are stupid people.

{29} "For God has ordained as the sheperds of His flock not Bishops only, but also Angels." Matins of Christmas, 8th lesson.

{30} Luke 12, 32.


IV The Condemnation of Galileo

{1} To which Galileo does not fail to reply: "To say that Copernicus expresses himself by way of hypothesis and not with the conviction that his theory is consonant with reality, is not to have read him."

Let us note here that the word 'hypothesis' (mathematical hypothesis) did not have the same sense for the theologians of that time as for the scientists. For the scientists an hypothesis is a view of the mind which it is a question of verifying, and which one seeks to demonstrate as consonant with reality. For the theologians it was a view of the mind for the pleasure of the mind and which one refrained from seeking to demonstrate as consonant with reality.

It was to believe or not to believe heliocentrism consonant with reality which was the grand concern, and it was in this that in 1633 Galileo was held to be "vehemently suspect of heresy." (It is also the reason why I have translated -- see pages 203 and 207 -- by provable the word probabilis employed in the sentence of condemnation.) On their side the scientists had not yet learned to distinguish between science of phenomena and philosophy of nature. As Santillana remarks (p. 47 of his book), Galileo "repeated always that he had spent more years in the study of philosophy than months in that of mathematics." And when he declared that "the book of Nature is written in mathematical symbols" (ibid., p. 93), what he thus maintained signified, in his eyes as in those of his contemporaries, that mathematical symbols disclose to us that which Nature is absolutely speaking, or in its intelligible essence and its first reality: philosophy of nature which, in an altogether different perspective, Descartes, his masked rival, introduced in his manner on the scene, and which was contrary to all that which one taught in the schools. It is not surprising that his most implacable and most cunning enemies were to be found in the universities and among their professors. It was as philosopher of nature that he was condemned.

In order to summarize this whole story, in which obscurities are not lacking, what seemed to me the safest course was to follow the very objective exposition of Vacandard in the Dictionnaire de théologie, while modifying and completing it by that which Giorgio de Santillana has furnished us in his Procès de Galilée (Paris, Club du meilleur livre, 1955), especially (op. cit., pp. 135-166 and 325-340) with regard to the false official report surreptitiously introduced into the dossier, doubtless as early as 1616 (cf. above, pp. 201-204). Galileo always denied having received in 1616 a formal injunction, and an attestation of Bellarmine (dated May 26, 1616) confirms that there was at that time mere notification. (Deliberate infraction of an injunction of the Holy Office in matters of faith entailed condemnation for heresy.)

{2} It is likewise in something infallibly true that we believe on the word of the Church in the case of the canonization of saints.

At the first Council of the Vatican, a canon had been prepared with a view to defining as of faith the doctrine affirming that the infallibility of the Church is not "restricted simply to what is contained in the divine revelation," but "extends also to other truths necessarily required to ensure the integrity of the revealed deposit." Cf. Ch. Journet, op. cit., p. 343.

It is the formal motive of my theological faith: the first Truth in dicendo (I say of my theological faith in the infallibility of the Church) which causes me to believe in the nonrevealed truths taught by a Pope speaking ex cathedra (like Alexander VII affirming the heretical tenor of the five propositions of Jansen): not, clearly, that in themselves (since they are not revealed) they could invoke this formal motive, but because, insofar as mere intuitively perceived points of application of my faith in the infallibility of the Church, they are this faith itself intuitively particularized.

Another example invoked by the theologians in their discussion of "ecclesiastical faith" (Paul VI, like every legitimately elected Pope, is the vicar of Jesus Christ) belongs to an altogether different category. This is also a truth not directly revealed, which is a mere immediately evident point of application of a revealed truth (and which, by this fact, is therefore also an object of my theological faith); but the revealed truth of which it is a question is not the Una Sancta and her infallibility; it is this truth of divine faith that the legitimate successor of Peter on the episcopal see of Rome is the vicar of Jesus Christ.

If it is a question after this of acts of the magisterium through which the infallible voice of the person of the Church does not pass, but which require however interior assent by reason of the authority (more or less high) from which they emanate, this assent is doubtless "governed" by theological faith, insofar as it assures us that -- in very diverse degrees -- the magisterium is assisted in its office; but the assent this time cannot invoke the formal motive of theological faith, nor therefore be produced by it. And it is itself exactly measured by the degree of authority of the teaching in question.

{3} When the Pope speaks ex cathedra, or when an ecumenical Council declares a decree concerning the doctrine of faith and of morals, one has to do with an infallible decision. -- When, in the same matter, a Roman Congregation expresses itself on its own authority, one has to do with a fallible decision (except if it is approved by the Pope in farina specifica). -- As regards prudential decisions, cf. above, Ch. IV, note 18.

{4} Ch. Journet, op. cit., p. 355.

{5} Cf. above, p. 201. 6. Cf. above, p. 203.

{7} Charles Journet, op. cit., p. 358.

{8} Letter to Bishop Dini, Cf. above, pp. 20 1-202.

{9} Same letter. -- That Galileo did not really demonstrate the movement of the earth is beside the point here. In actual fact, it is only with Newton that heliocentrism imposed itself on all men of science. The proofs invoked by [Galileo] were not demonstrative and were not worth much. But before demonstrating and without being yet able to demonstrate, there is in the mind of the great scientist an intuitive understanding which suffices to give him a conviction of which (rightly or wrongly, that is another affair, and which concerns the progress of science) he has absolutely no doubt. Such was the case for the intuitive genius of Galileo.

{10} Cf. above, pp. 207-208 and note 7.

{11} The religious obedience required of Galileo would have then been normal; and it would have required him (as in the case of the promises made in 1616, -- and badly kept) to recognize interiorly that this interdiction to propagate heliocentrism, -- badly motivated in terms of his conscience of scientist, -- was nevertheless prudent in itself, in this sense for example that it obliged him to seek in silence scientifically better proofs, and that it gave time to the theologians to understand the independence, with regard to Holy Scripture, of the science of phenomena which was entering from that time into full development. In fact, however, the judges of Galileo went infinitely further than the interdiction which I am supposing here. They abused the religious obedience required of Galileo.

Normally, to the decisions of ecclesiastical authority, even fallible and in revocable matter, religious obedience requires interior assent. But, as Jaugey writes (Le procès de Galilée et la théologie, p. 118, quoted by Vacandard, Dict. de Théol., col. 1085), the religious assent in question, "in the case of a provisional doctrinal judgment, is not an absolute adhesion, like that which is required for infallible decisions and which excludes all fear of possible error: it is a provisional adhesion, compatible with the thought that perhaps that which one admits will be one day recognized to be wrong. The required intellectual submission finds itself thus proportionate to the motive on which it rests."

When it acts not as instrument of the person of the Church, but as proper cause, -- therefore fallible, -- the personnel of the Church has its graces of state, from which it slips away in a grave manner only in case of a failure itself grave, like that of the judges of Galileo.

{12} This "absurd in philosophy" seems to us today rather comical. The expression nevertheless merits attention. If the theologians of the Holy Office employed it so ingenuously, it was not only that their reason judged Copernicus absurd in comparison with Ptolemy; it was also and above all. I think, because the idea that the earth turns appeared to them as clearly contrary to the witness of the senses. Do we not see with our eyes the sun rise each morning and set each evening? And I confess that, however unfortunate it was in the case, such a confidence in the testimony of the senses touches me in men who are doctors of the invisible. A confidence itself "absurd" and "senseless" in the testimony of the senses is still better, "in philosophy," than idealism.

{13} op. cit., p. 356. 14. By a mere authorization to print given in 1822 (cf. above, p. 209).

V The Funeral-Pile of Rouen

{1} Olivier Leroy, Sainte Jeanne d'Arc, Les Voix, Paris, Alsatia, 1954, p. 23 (Quicherat I, 51).

{2} St. Michael did not state his name to her. The angels have no need of names or of identity cards like us; they know each other intuitively. It was also in an intuitive manner that Joan knew that it was he; she was "as certain of it as she was of the existence of God." St. Theresa, "speaking of the visions of saints which she had had, remarks that she understood many things which they had expressed without words, beginning with their identity" (Interior Castle, Mansion VI, Ch. V, from O. Leroy, op. cit., p. 35). One can think that a certain absolutely singular quality of emotion, of spiritual joy ineffably experienced by her connaturalized her with the very being of the saints whom she saw; and that for Joan the same held true in respect of him whom she knew already, through the teaching of her mother, as the leader of the angels and the supreme victorious one, and at the name of whom she felt, although in an incomparably weaker degree, the same absolutely singular tonality of emotion as that which was going to penetrate her before the apparition. This is why she applied intuitively this name, with an entire certitude, and under a charismatic inspiration, to the being whom she saw and who spoke to her then. She recognized him.

In order to return to the name of Mi-ki-El (Quis ut Deus), I note further that it is the most fundamental truth concerning God that it manifests. In order that from a high antiquity it should have been attributed by men, -- those of Israel, -- to the protecting angel of their people, there was needed that an obscure prophetical instinct designate to them the highest of the pure spirits as the witness par excellence of the divine Transcendence. It is this, it seems to me, that Olivier Leroy wished to indicate in pages (pp. 134, 135, 139) which are not the most successful ones of his excellent book.

{3} Up to that time she had deliberated with herself, weighing the meaning of the words heard, and the wisdom with which they were full. "How did you know that it was, as you say, language of an angel? -- I had this will to believe it."

{4} At this point, if one is a little au courant of modern works (and if one judges them without due consideration), one will stop me perhaps and ask: How could Joan of Arc have seen St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Margaret of Antioch, since modern criticism has shown the nonexistence of these latter? It certainly seems indeed that the history of these two saints is legendary. But if one can quite easily show that that which one relates of someone is legendary, it is more difficult to show that this someone has not existed. And supposing that this be the case, one can reasonably think, with Edmond Richer, Sorbonist of the eighteenth century, that it was angels who appeared to Joan under the form and the shape of these two saints, of whom the legend, doubtless familiar to the child, was not without relation with her own destiny. (Virgins and martyrs the two of them, and consigned to the fire after having long discussed, Margaret with the Governor, Catherine with fifty doctors. To the latter St. Michael had said to "speak fearlessly." Cf. Jean Guitton, Problème et Mystère de Jeanne d'Arc, Paris, Fayard, 1961, pp~ 148-150.) It matters little that formerly they did not exist; by the angels who had taken their shape they existed now before Joan and spoke to her.

{St} Thomas teaches that the angels can "assume bodies" (Sum. theol., I, 51, 2) presenting all the appearances (visible, tangible, olfactive, etc.) of a human being. Moreover no saint, -- except the Lord Himself and His Mother, -- is in Heaven with his body. Supposing that St. Catherine and St. Margaret once existed in Alexandria and in Antioch, and that their souls enjoy now the Beatific Vision, these souls would have had also to assume all the appearances of a human being, as also clothes worn by the latter, in order to appear to Joan "really and corporally."

"Whether her two saints are historical or not," writes Olivier Leroy, "Joan had of their life only a valueless knowledge. However, that which she knew of them, that which she honored, venerated in them, had a permanent truth, a truth outside the grasps of past or of future History. In the person of Catherine or of Margaret, she venerated virginity, the love of God, Christian wisdom and the abnegation of martyrdom, and she honored them by imitating them to the point of dying as they. These are not realities which can vanish like an historical fiction." (op. cit., p. 138.)

{5} Cf. Olivier Leroy, op. cit., pp. 132, 133-134.

{6} She disobeyed them only two times. This was the second. The first time was the "leap" from the castle-keep of Beaurevoir. For having signed the memorandum she had great repentance, and her saints reproached her for it as a "betrayal" before giving her their pardon. (They had moreover warned her in advance that she would commit this mistake.)

{7} Cf. J. B. J. Ayroles, La Vraie Jeanne d'Arc, La Pucelle devant l'Eglise de son temps, Paris, Gaume, 1890, pp. 176, 597, 689.

{8} In the interrogatory of the 14th of March, of which there is mention a little below, she repeated that St. Catherine had promised to help her. -- Cf. below, note 11.

{9} Cf. the fragment entitled Information Posthume, and fabricated by Cauchon after the trial. It is a faked and defamatory document which neither the witnesses nor the clerks signed (one of the clerks, Manchon, specified that he had refused to affix his signature to it). Concerning the visit paid to Joan by Cauchon, and concerning the words which he said to her, one cannot doubt. But the reply attributed to Joan (by Jean Toutmouille and by Thomas de Courcelles -- "it seems to me," says the latter, "that Joan added: 'I see indeed that I have been deceived'") is certainly an invention or a falsification. The 30th of May, when she was on the ambo where she was listening to the sermon of Nicolas Midi before being burnt at the stake, she invoked St. Michael and her saints, as she had invoked them at the churchyard of Saint-Ouen. Cf. the testimony of Brother Ladvenu at the trial of rehabilitation: "Says and deposes that always until the end of her life, she maintained and affirmed that her Voices were from God, and that all that which she had done, she had done it on the commandment of God, and that she did not think that she had been deceived by her Voices; and that the revelations which she had had came from God." (Quoted by Olivier Leroy, op. cit., p. 150.) We absolutely do not know that which in her prison she replied to Cauchon, nor if she replied to him.

{10} On the prophecies of Joan, see Olivier Leroy, op. cit., Ch. XII, "Prophésie"; Jean Guitton, op. cit., pp. 163-164; and the article "Jeanne d'Arc" by Ph. Dunand, in the Dictionnaire d'Apologétique.

{11} Olivier Leroy, op. cit., p. 108. Here is the text in which the reply of Joan is recorded: "Respond que saincte Katherine luy a dit qu'elle aurait secours, et qu'elle ne sçait se ce sera à estre délivrée de la prison, ou quant elle seroit au jugement, s'il y viendroit aucun trouble, par quel moien elle pourroit estre délivrée. Et pense que ce soit ou l'un ou l'autre. Et de plus luy dient ses voix qu'elle sera délivrée par grande victoire; et après lui dient ses voix: 'Pran tout en gré, ne te chaille pas de ton martire; tu t'en viendras enfin en royaulme de paradis'. Et ce luy dient ses voix simplement et absoluement, c'est assavoir sans faillir; et appele ce, martire, pour la paine et adversité qu'elle souffre en prison, et ne sçait se plus grand souffrera; mais s'en actend à Nostre Seigneur." (Q.I., p. 155; and 254.)

{12} Cf. M. J. Belon and F. Balme, Jean Bréhal et la Réhabilitation de Jeanne d'Arc, Paris, Lethielleux, 1893, p. 2.

{13} Cf. ibid., p. 5 and pp. 66-69.

{14} Cf. ibid., pp. 157-162.

{15} It is that which appears for example in the case of Blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon, asking in the name of Jesus and finally obtaining the institution of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament; in the case of St. Catherine of Sienna or of St. Bridget, sent to the Leader of the Church in order to transmit to him the wishes of the Divine Majesty; in the case of St. Margaret Mary, messenger of the desires and of the promises of the Sacred Heart. This appears also in an eminent manner in the case of Joan of Arc.

{16} Cf. Olivier Leroy, op. cit., p. 125 (Q. I, 395-396).

It is to this that she also alluded in another reply: "Interrogée s'elle croist que ses voix soient saincte Marguerite et sainte Katherine: respond que ouil, et de Dieu." (Q. I, 457.)

{17} "Interrogée s'elle a commandement de ses voix qu'elle ne se submecte point à l'Église militante, qui est en terre, ne au jugement d'icelle: respond . . . [elles] ne commandent point qu'elle ne obéisse à l'Eglise, nostre Sire premier servi." (Q. I, 326.)

Citing the gloss (of St. Augustine) on the Epistle to the Romans 13, 2 (cf. Sum. theol., II-II, 104, 5), Bréhal writes in his Recollectio: "Et ad hoc recte tendit illud verbum Johannae, ubi dixit quod erat subdita Ecclesiae ac Domino Papae et allis prelatis, Deo primitus servato."

{18} "She says also that she relies upon the Church militant provided that this Church does not command her anything impossible, namely to revoke what she has said and done on behalf of God. She will not revoke it for anything in the world, nor for man who lives. She relies upon Our Lord, Whose commandment she will always follow." Ayroles, op. cit., p. 252.

{19} A good theologian could have explained to her why. It is perhaps what the two Dominicans would have done who wished to give her explanations, clear this time, on the Church militant and the Church triumphant, and whom Cauchon violently rejected.

Another witness said that Joan did not distinguish between the Church militant and the Church triumphant. She distinguished them very well, but she knew that they are a single and same Church.

{20} Testimony of Isambart de la Pierre.

{21} Cf. Ayroles, op. cit., p. 168.

{22} Ibid., p. 689. -- I retain these words scientific doctors (they amuse me and they enlighten me). At that time the science in question was the sophisticated traditional theology of the masters of the University of Paris, and it served them to defend the faith against the infection of heresy of which Joan the apostate and the idolatress was the bearer. Today it is the same intellectual race which we see at work; it has only passed into the opposite camp; the science of our new scientifici doctores is the "human sciences and the philosophies of the day, with which they fabricate a so-called theology (scientific also) entirely turned toward the world, that of the pseudotheologians to whom I alluded in the Preface.

An obscure and powerful instinct persuades them with good reason that theology must proceed to an immense effort of integration and interpretation of the newly acquired knowledges concerning man and concerning the world, but on condition of remaining itself, and of making a no less immense effort of discernment: that which they do not see, because they no longer know what theology is. They think that the human sciences, psychoanalysis, the theory of evolution, ethnology, sociology, etc. are "theological places."

And they think that the essential function of theology is "the criticism of the Church," -- because they do not know what the Church is. Are they not moreover above her, since they constitute now the true magisterium, by virtue of the authority of "Science," whereas the concern of the hierarchy, which attributes to itself still magisterium by virtue of the authority of God, of Christ and of the apostles, is in the eyes of scientifici doctores only administration?

They think also that it is they who made the second Council of the Vatican. This very remarkable illusion leads one to suppose that the considerable -- but purely consultative -- role which the theologians (and certain ones of those who were but lately suspected) played in the preparatorily constituted commissions of specialists has gone to the head of our new Reformers, and has caused them to believe that this role played by "the theologians" was the decisive and capital role. Perhaps they have had the gentle impression that the episcopate was composed in general only of incompetents and semiignorants in theology? Well, even if such a proudly arrogant impression had been somewhat well-founded, they did not have enough faith, and enough authentically theological light, in order to understand that in an ecumenical Council, it is by the episcopate gathered together in union with the Pope, -- by it, in nowise by the theologians in its service, -- that, even in the epochs in which He does not shine in that human science which is theology, divine truth is expressed and made explicit under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Who has been promised to the Church, and Who makes then of it the very voice of the Church.

{23} Belon and Balme, op. cit., p. 104.

{24} Cf. ibid., p. 42, note 7 (Q. I, 392).

{25} Cf. ibid., p. 43, note 3 (Q. I, 205). -- And again (Ayroles, p. 251): "As regards submission to the Church, she says that she would like to bear honor and reverence to the Church militant with all her power; but to trust for her deeds in this Church, it is necessary that I trust in Our Lord Who caused me to do them."

{26} Cf. Julian Green, Journal, t. II, p. 1407: "I find quite troubling the declarations of this saint who makes a distinction between the terrestrial Church and the Church of above 'which alone she claims to obey.'" Julian Green, in the eyes of whom this saint "remains the greatest because she is the most abandoned," spoke of the question to a priest friend of his who replied to him with an unpardonable thoughtlessness.

{27} As Julian Green notes (op. cit., p. 1409) she was ready also to present herself before the Council, but when a Dominican asked her if she would agree to go to the Council of Basel, and when she said yes, Cauchon shouted at the Dominican: "Be silent, by the devil!"

{28} Cf. Belon and Balme, op. cit., p. 41, note 3 (Q. I, 175).

{29} In his Recollectio, Jean Bréhal writes very justly: "Fideliter et pie sensisse apparet de unitate ecclesiae. Nam catholica veritas nullam difficultatem inducit, quin regnancium seu fruencium in celis ac militantium in terris una sit societas et unica ecclesia. Ut autem dicit sanctus Doctor (III, q. 8, a. 3 and 4), multitudo ordinata in unum secundum distinctos actus et officia unum corpus similitudinarie dicitur. Corpus vero misticum ecclesie non solum consistit ex hominibus, sed etiam ex angelis; quoniam ad unum finem, qui est gloria divine fruicionis, ordinantur et homines et angeli. Unde secundum statum dumtaxat accipitur hujusmodi distinctio. Secundum enim statum vie, congregacio fidelium est in qua comprehenduntur omnes homines a principio mundi usque ad finem ejus, cujuscumque condicionis sint, justi vel injusti, fideles et infideles, qui, quamdiu viatores existunt, ad congregacionem ecclesie sive actu sive potentia pertinent. Secundum autem statum patrie, est congregatio comprehendencium et fruencium, que dignior pars est, eo quod illi Deo actu uniuntur. Unde non est mirum, si Johanna, de hils que ex inspiracione et revelacione dixit et gessit, Deo in primis et huic summe congregacioni se potissimum retulit; quoniam ex ea parte procedebant, et ideo illud summum judicatorium maxime exigebant." (Belon and Balme, op. cit., p. 101.)

All this is true, in many words. And Joan in her own manner knew it still better than Bréhal.

{30} I find this phrase in the book, in other respects excellent, of Belon and Balme: "Joan of Arc was truly a new Judith, sent to the people of Israel when it was necessary almost to despair of its salvation" (p. 104). Behold France promoted to the rank of chosen people! This book appeared in 1893.

One has been astonished that the Church waited five centuries before canonizing Joan of Arc. But if this canonization had taken place sooner, it is probable that the misinterpretation committed regarding it by national sentiment would have run the risk of implanting itself definitively.

{31} Cf. Ayroles, op. cit., pp. 5 7-58.

{32} Cf. Jean Guitton, op. cit., pp. 207-214. -- Theresa had "the idea that the task of Joan is not finished." And what is very striking, "it is that Theresa, at several moments of her supreme audacity, in an 'unconscious-supraconscious,' almost identified herself with Joan of Arc, that she at least linked herself with Joan by a mysterious and mystical assimilation.'. . . For Merejkovsky, Joan and Theresa were the two most modern and most revolutionary saints -- and of a revolution which is scarcely beginning, which carries us into a new age."

{33} Cf. ibid., p. 212: "She thinks that at death, one is dubbed a knight in order to begin one's functions as an Angel of God. Just as the coronation of Rheims, which Joan set up and presided over, is an act of knighthood, so also for Theresa the entry into Heaven, place of eminent action where she is finally going to be able to work according to all the dimensions of her vocation. During her mortal and furtive life, she had in love the recapitulation of her divergent vocations, impossible to exercise together on earth, even if she had been a super-Joan. -- Henceforth, liberated from this mantle of flesh which limits all action, she is going to spread her wings. One has perhaps not yet sufficiently shown how much this is paradoxical, original, inspired."

Jean Guitton quotes then these astonishing lines of Theresa: "The thought of heavenly happiness does not cause me any joy, but still I ask myself sometimes how it will be possible for me to be happy without suffering. Jesus without doubt will change my nature, otherwise I would miss suffering and the vale of tears."

{34} The present crisis is a general crisis of civilization which has repercussions upon the Church, and affects in the first place clerics forgetful of the interior reform required above all. The old spirit of clericalism (reversed, but still extant) could persuade these clerics who kneel now before the world that without being directed and brigaded by them Christian laymen cannot accomplish properly that which they have to do for the world. And this would not be good for them or for the world.

I add that in the struggle against the dehumanization of the world by scientific progress, however admirable it may be in itself, and by a civilization enslaved to techocracy, it seems to me that a role of first rank belongs normally to those technicians and technologists who have concern for man and for the spiritual. (Cf. the positions taken by M. Fernand Lapland, Departmental President, in the Bulletin de l'Association Française pour le Développement de l'Enseignement technique, Section du Vaucluse.)


{1} Ph. Dunand, art. "Jeanne d'Arc," Dict. d'Apol., col. 1251.

{2} Charles Journet, The Church of the Incarnate Word, Vol. I, p. 350. Cf. above, Ch. XI, pp. 147-148, and note 15 of Ch. VII.

{3} One hears it said often that in the time of temporal power certain Popes did not hesitate to employ spiritual means such as excommunication in political conflicts or wars with some adversary. I am anxious to note here that if we consider things closely history does not furnish any example of such an error; one observes on the contrary the extreme attention of the Popes to respect always the distinction between the two domains. The primacy accorded to the means of repression caused a great number of interdicts and of excommunications which one is entitled to judge excessive, but which has nothing to do with a diversion of spiritual arms for the benefit of temporal advantages.

On Popes Nicholas I (858-867) and John VIII, who symbolize the apogee of the Papacy in the High Middle Ages, cf. W. Ullemann, The Growth of Papal Government in the Middle Ages, 1962.

{4} Supposing that one will have resolved this pernicious ambiguity, the word "Church" will keep still, under other relations, an ambiguity which Jean Bréhal noted a long time ago, and which entails no disadvantage, for it does not run the risk of leading astray the mind. This word designates above all the universal Church in her proper mystery, which is object of our faith and on which so much insistence is placed in the present book. But it designates also such and such a "Church" (Catholic) of a given rite; and such and such a local "Church," "the Church of Lyons" for example; and such and such a dissident "Church," "the Anglican Church" for example.

In speaking in his own way of the ambiguity of the word "Church," Bréhal supposed even that the simplicity of Joan of Arc ran the risk of causing her to confuse "the Church" to which the judges of Rouen asked her to submit and "the Church" to which one goes every Sunday. But Bréhal nevertheless exaggerated a little.

{5} Curs. theol., II-II, q. 1, a. 7; disp. 2, a. 2, no 10 and 40; t. VII, pp. 233 and 248. Cf. Ch. Journet, op. cit., p. 344.

<< ======= >>