LEO XIII 1878-1903

Errors of Antonius de Rosmini-Serbati*


[Condemned in a Decree of the Holy Office, 14th of Dec., 1887]


1891 1. In the order of created things there is immediately manifested to the human intellect something of the divine in its very self, namely, such as pertains to divine nature.


1892 2. When we speak of the divine in nature, we do not use that word divine to signify a nondivine effect of a divine cause; nor, is it our mind to speak of a certain thing as divine because it is such through participation.


1893 3. In the nature of the universe then, that is in the intelligences that are in it, there is something to which the term of divine not in a figurative but in a real sense is fitting.–The actuality is not distinct from the rest of divine actuality.


1894 4. Indeterminate being, which without doubt is known to all intelligences, is that divine thing which is manifest to man in nature.


1895 5. Being, which man observes, must be something of the necessary and eternal being, the creating cause, the determining and final cause of all contingent beings; and this is God.


1896 6. In the being which prescinds from creatures and from God, which is indeterminate being, and in God, not indeterminate but absolute being, the essence is the same.


1897 7. The indeterminate being of intuition, initial being, is something of the Word, which the mind of the Father distinguishes, not really, but according to reason from the Word.


1898 8. Finite beings, of which the world is composed, result from two elements, that is, from the real finite terminus and from the initial being’ which contributes the form of being to the same terminus.


1899 9. Being, the object of intuition, is the initial act of all beings. Initial being is the beginning both of the knowable and the subsisting; it is likewise the beginning of God, according as He is conceived by us, and of creatures.


1900 10. Virtual and limitless being is the first and most simple of all entities, so that any other entity is composite, and among its components is always and necessarily virtual being.–It is the essential part of absolutely all entities, according as they are divided by reason.


1901 11. The quiddity (that which a thing is) of a finite being does not consist of that which it has of the positive, but of its limits. The quiddity of an infinite being consists of its entity, and is positive; but the quiddity of a finite being consists of the limits of its entity, and is negative.


1902 12. There is no finite reality, but God causes it to exist by adding limitation to infinite reality.–Initial being becomes the essence of every real being.–Being which actuates finite natures, and is joined with them, is cut off by God.


1903 13. The difference between absolute being and relative being is not that which intervenes between substance and substance, but something much greater; for one is being absolutely, the other nonbeing absolutely, and this other is being relatively. But when relative being is posited, being absolutely is not multiplied; hence, absolute and relative (being) absolutely are not one substance, but one being; and in this sense no diversity is being, rather oneness is held as being.


1904 14. By divine abstraction initial being is produced, the first element of finite beings; but by divine imagination the finite real (being) or all realities are produced, of which the world consists.


1905 15. The third operation of absolute being creating the world is divine synthesis, that is the union of two elements, which are initial being, the common beginning of all finite beings, and finite reality, or rather different finite realities, the different ends of the same initial being. By this union finite beings are created.


1906 16. Initial being through divine synthesis referred by intelligence, not as an intelligible but merely as essence, to the real finite ends, causes the finite beings to exist subjectively and really.


1907 17. This alone God effects by creating, that He posits the entire act wholly as the being of creatures; this act then is properly not made but posited.


1908 18. The love, by which God loves Himself even in creatures, and which is the reason why He determines Himself to create, constitutes a moral necessity, which in the most perfect being always induces the effect; for such necessity in many imperfect beings only leaves the whole freedom bilateral.


1909 19 The Word is that unseen material, from which, as it is said in Wisdom 11:18, all things of the universe were created.


1910 20. It is not inconsistent that the human soul, in order that it may be multiplied by human generation, may thus be conceived, proceed from the imperfect, namely from the sensitive grade, to the perfect, namely to the intellectual grade.


1911 21. When being is capable of being intued by the sensitive principle, by this influence alone, by this union with itself, only sensing this first, but now, at the same time understanding, it is brought to a more noble state, it changes its nature, and becomes understanding, subsisting, and immortal.


1912 22. It is not impossible to think that it can become a divine power, so that the intellectual soul is separated from the animate body, and it itself (being) still remains soulful; surely there would remain in it, as the basis of the purely soulful, the soulful principle, which before was in it as an appendage.


1913 23. The soul of the deceased exists in a natural state, as if it did not exist; since it cannot exercise any reflection upon itself, or have any consciousness of itself, its condition can be said to be like the state of the perpetual shades and eternal sleep.


1914 24. The substantial form of the body is rather the effect of the soul and the interior terminus of the operation itself; therefore, the substantial form of the body is not the soul itself.–The union of the soul and the body properly consists in immanent perception, by which the subject viewing the idea, affirms the sensible, after it has viewed its essence in this (idea).


1915 25. When the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity has been revealed, its existence can be demonstrated by merely speculative arguments, negative indeed, and indirect; yet such that through them the truth is brought to philosophic studies, and the proposition becomes scientific like the rest; for if it were denied, the theosophic doctrine of pure reason would not only remain incomplete, but would also be annihilated, teeming with absurdities on every side.


1916 26. If the three highest forms of being, namely, subjectivity, objectivity, sanctity; or, reality, ideality, and morality, are transferred to absolute being, they cannot be conceived otherwise than as subsisting and living persons.–The Word, insofar as it is the loved object, and insofar as it is the Word, that is the object subsisting in itself, known by itself, is the person of the Holy Spirit.


1917 27. In the humanity of Christ the human will was so taken up by the Holy Spirit in order to cling to objective Being, that is to the Word, that it (the will) gave over the rule of man wholly to Him, and assumed the Word personally, thus uniting with itself human nature. Hence, the human will ceased to be personal in man, and, although person is in other men, it remained nature in Christ.


1918 28. In Christian doctrine, the Word, the sign and configuration of God, is impressed on the souls of those who receive the baptism of Christ with faith.–The Word, that is the sign, impressed on the soul in Christian doctrine, is real Being (infinite) manifest by itself, which we thereupon recognize to be the second person of the Most Blessed Trinity.


1919 29. We think that the following conjecture is by no means at variance with Catholic doctrine, which alone is truth: In the Eucharistic sacrament the substance of bread and wine becomes the true flesh and true blood of Christ, when Christ makes it the terminus of His sentient principle, and vivifies it with His life; almost in that way by which bread and wine truly are transubstantiated into our flesh and blood, because they become the terminus of our sentient principle.


1920 30. When transubstantiation has been accomplished, it can be understood that to the glorious body of Christ some part is added, incorporated in it, undivided, and equally glorious.


1921 31. In the sacrament of the Eucharist by the power of words the body and blood of Christ are present only in that measure which corresponds (a quel tanto) to the substance of the bread and wine, which are transubstantiated; the rest of the body of Christ is there through concomitance.


1922 32. Since he who does not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink of His blood, does not have life in him [cf. John 6:54], and nevertheless those who die with the baptism of water, of blood, or of desire, certainly attain eternal life, it must be said that these who have not eaten of the body and blood of Christ, are administered this heavenly food in the future life, at the very moment of death.–Hence, also to the saints of the Old Testament Christ was able by descending into hell to communicate Himself under the appearances of bread and wine, in order to make them ready for the vision of God.


1923 33. Since the demons possessed the fruit, they thought that they would enter into man, if he should eat of it; for, when the food was turned into the animated body of man, they themselves were able freely to enter the animality, i.e., into the subjective life of this being, and so to dispose of it as they had proposed.


1924 34. To preserve the Blessed Virgin Mary from the taint of origin, it was enough for the slightest seed in man to remain uncorrupted, neglected perchance by the demon himself, from which uncorrupted seed transfused from generation to generation the Virgin Mary might arise in her time.


1925 35. The more the order of justification in man is considered, the more appropriate appears the Scriptural way of saying that God covers and does not reckon certain sins.–According to the Psalmist [cf. Ps. 31:1] there is a difference between iniquities which are forgiven, and sins which arc covered; the former, as it seems, are actual and willing faults; but the latter are willing sins on the part of those who pertain to the people of God; to whom on this account they bring no harm.


1926 36. The supernatural order is established by the manifestation of being in the fullness of its real form; the effect of this communication or manifestation is a deiform sense, which begun in this life establishes the light of faith and of grace; completed in the other life establishes the light of glory.


1927 37. The first light rendering the soul intelligent is ideal being; the other first light is also being, not merely ideal, but subsisting and living; that concealing its personality shows only its objectivity; but he who sees the other (which is the Word), even through a reflection or in enigma, sees God.


1928 38. God is the object of the beatific vision, insofar as He is the author of works outwardly.


1929 39. The traces of wisdom and goodness which shine out in creatures are necessary for possessors (of God); for they are collected in the eternal exemplar as that part of Him which can be seen by them (creatures), and they furnish material for the praises which the Blessed sing forever to God.


1930 40. Since God cannot, not even by the light of glory, communicate Himself wholly to finite beings, He was not able to reveal and communicate His essence to possessors (of God), except in that way which is accommodated to finite intelligences; that is, God manifests Himself to them, insofar as He has relations with them, as their creator, provider, redeemer, sanctifier.


1930a The judgment: The Holy Office “has decided that these propositions, in the author’s own sense, are to be disproved and proscribed, according as it does disprove, condemn, and proscribe by this general decree. . . . His Holiness has approved, confirmed, and ordered that the decree of the Most Eminent Fathers be observed by all.”

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