ALEXANDER VII 1655-1667
Perfect and Imperfect Contrition *
[From the decree of the Sacred Office, May 5, 1667]
1146 Concerning the controversy: Whether that attrition, which is inspired by the fear of hell, excluding the will to sin, with the hope of pardon, to obtain grace in the sacrament of penance requires in addition some act of love of God, to some asserting this, and to others denying it, and in turn censuring the opposite opinion: . . . His Holiness . . . orders . . . that if they later write about the matter of the aforementioned attrition, or publish books or writings or teach or preach or in any manner whatever instruct penitents or students and others, let them not dare change either opinion with a note of any theological censure or contumely, whether it be that of denying the necessity of any love of God in the aforementioned attrition inspired by the fear of hell, which seems to be the more common opinion among scholastics today, or whether that of asserting the necessity of this love, until something has been defined by the Holy See concerning this matter.