PIUS VI 1775-1799

Errors of the Synod of Pistoia*

[Condemned in the Constitution, “Auctorem fidei,” Aug. 28, 1794]

  • Errors About the Church

 

Obscuring of Truths in the Church

 

[From the Decree de Grat., sec. I]

 

1501 1. The proposition, which asserts “that in these later times there has been spread a general obscuring of the more important truths pertaining to religion, which are the basis of faith and of the moral teachings of Jesus Christ,”–heretical.

 

The Power Attributed to the Community of the Church, in Order That by This the Power May Be Communicated to the Pastors [Episcopal Convocation]

 

1502 2. The proposition which states “that power has been given by God to the Church, that it might be communicated to the pastors who are its ministers for the salvation of souls”; if thus understood that the power of ecclesiastical ministry and of rule is derived from the COMMUNITY of the faithful to the pastors,–heretical.

 

The Name Ministerial Head Attributed to the Roman Pontiff

[ Decree de fide( on faith), sec. 8]

 

1503 3. In addition, the proposition which states “that the Roman Pontiff is the ministerial head,” if it is so explained that the Roman Pontiff does not receive from Christ in the person of blessed Peter, but from the Church, the power of ministry, which as successor of Peter, true vicar of Christ and head of the whole Church he possesses in the universal Church,–heretical. *

 

The Power of the Church for the Establishing and the Sanctioning of Exterior Discipline

[ Decree de fide, sees. 13, 14 ]

 

1504 4. The proposition affirming, “that it would be a misuse of the authority of the Church, when she transfers that authority beyond the limits of doctrine and of morals, and extends it to exterior matters, and demands by force that which depends on persuasion and love”; and then also, “that it pertains to it much less, to demand by force exterior obedience to its decrees”; in so far as by those undefined words, “extends to exterior matters,” the proposition censures as an abuse of the authority of the Church the use of its power received from God, which the apostles themselves used in establishing and sanctioning exterior discipline–heretical.

 

1505 5. In that part in which the proposition insinuates that the Church “does not have authority to demand obedience to its decrees otherwise than by means which depend on persuasion; in so far as it intends that the Church has not conferred on it by God the power, not only of directing by counsel and persuasion, but also of ordering by laws, and of constraining and forcing the inconstant and stubborn by exterior judgment and salutary punishments” [from Benedict XIV in the Brief, “Ad assiduas,” of the year 1755, to the Primate, Archbishops, and Bishops of the Kingdom of Poland ],–leading toward a system condemned elsewhere as heretical.

 

Rights Attributed to Bishops Beyond What is Lawful

[ Decree de ord., sec. 25 ]

 

1506 6. The doctrine of the synod by which it professes that “it is convinced that a bishop has received from Christ all necessary rights for the good government of his diocese,” just as if for the good government of each diocese higher ordinances dealing either with faith and morals, or with general discipline, are not necessary, the right of which belongs to the supreme Pontiffs and the General Councils for the universal Church,–schismatic, at least erroneous.

 

1507 7. Likewise, in this, that it encourages a bishop “to pursue zealously a more perfect constitution of ecclesiastical discipline,” and this “against all contrary customs, exemptions, reservations which are opposed to the good order of the diocese, for the greater glory of God and for the greater edification of the faithful”; in that it supposes that a bishop has the right by his own judgment and will to decree and decide contrary to customs, exemptions, reservations, whether they prevail in the universal Church or even in each province, without the consent or the intervention of a higher hierarchic power, by which these customs, etc., have been introduced or approved and have the force of law,–leading to schism and subversion of hierarchic rule, erroneous.

 

1508 8. Likewise, in that it says it is convinced that “the rights of a bishop received from Jesus Christ for the government of the Church cannot be altered nor hindered, and, when it has happened that the exercise of these rights has been interrupted for any reason whatsoever, a bishop can always and should return to his original rights, as often as the greater good of his church demands it”; in the fact that it intimates that the exercise of episcopal rights can be hindered and coerced by no higher power, whenever a bishop shall judge that it does not further the greater good of his church,–leading to schism, and to subversion of hierarchic government, erroneous.

 

The Right Incorrectly Attributed to Priests of Inferior Rank in Decrees of Faith and Discipline

[Episcopal Convocation]

 

1509 9. The doctrine which states, that “the reformation of abuses in regard to ecclesiastical discipline ought equally to depend upon and be established by the bishop and the parish priests in diocesan synods, and that without the freedom of decision, obedience would not be due to the suggestions and orders of the bishops,” * –false, rash, harmful to episcopal authority, subversive of hierarchic government, favoring the heresy of Aerius, which was renewed by Calvin [cf. Benedict XIV De Syn. dioc.(concerning diocesan synods), 13. 1].

 

[From the Episcopal Convocation. From the Epistle to the Vic. For. From the Oration to the Synod, sec. 8. From session 3.]

 

1510 10. Likewise, the doctrine by which parish priests and other priests gathered in a synod are declared judges of faith together with the bishop, and at the same time it is intimated that they are qualified for judgment in matters of faith by their own right and have indeed received it by ordination,–false, rash, subversive of hierarchic order, detracting from the strength of dogmatic definitions or judgments of the Church, at least erroneous.

 

Oration to the Synod, sec. 8 ]

 

1511 11. The opinion enunciating that by the long-standing practice of our ancestors, handed down even from apostolic times, preserved through the better ages of the Church, it has been accepted that “decrees, or definitions, or opinions even of the greater sees should not be accepted, unless they had been recognized and approved by the diocesan synod,”– false, rash, derogatory, in proportion to its generality, to the obedience due to the apostolic constitutions, and also to the opinions emanating from the legitimate, superior, hierarchic power, fostering schism and heresy.

 

Calumnies Against Some Decisions in the Matter of Faith Which Have Come Down from Several Centuries

 

[Faith, sec.12]

 

1512 12. The assertions of the synod, accepted as a whole concerning decisions in the matter of faith which have come down from several centuries, which it represents as decrees originating from one particular church or from a few pastors, unsupported by sufficient authority, formulated for the corruption of the purity of faith and for causing disturbance, introduced by violence, from which wounds, still too recent, have been inflicted,–false, deceitful, rash, scandalous, injurious to the Roman Pontiffs and the Church, derogatory to the obedience due to the Apostolic Constitutions, schismatic, dangerous, at least erroneous.

 

 

 

The So-called Peace of Clement IX

 

[Oration to the Synod, sec. 2 in the note ]

 

1513 13. The proposition reported among the acts of the synod, which intimates that Clement IX restored peace to the Church by the approval of the distinction of right and deed in the subscription to the formulary written by Alexander VII (see n. 1099 ),–false, rash, injurious to Clement IX.

 

1514 14. In so far as it approves that distinction by extolling its supporters with praise and by berating their opponents,–rash, pernicious, injurious to the Supreme Pontiffs, fostering schism and heresy.

 

The Composition of the Body of the Church

 

[ Appendix n.28]

1515 15. The doctrine which proposes that the Church “must be considered as one mystical body composed of Christ, the head, and the faithful, who are its members through an ineffable union, by which in a marvelous way we become with Him one sole priest, one sole victim, one sole perfect adorer of God the Father, in spirit and in truth,” understood in this sense, that no one belongs to the body of the Church except the faithful, who are perfect adorers in spirit and in truth,–heretical.

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