Click a green square to see the 7Latin text. Click a red square to see a textual note.    







N a recently published book, the Most Serene James, of Great Britain king, has, to the communion of his own religion, as if with friendly trumpet call, summoned Catholic kings and princes, so that those whom the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Christ, has for the defense of the Roman Church, which he purchased with his own blood, armed with supreme power, he might incite, with the communication of his counsel, to an attack on it. With vain attempt, however, has the most serene King exercised his pen. For neither shall the gates of hell prevail against her nor could they, founded on the Roman rock, whom Christ, the corner stone, ties together with the most firm bond of true piety, be driven therefrom by the frigid gale of the North Wind. Would that he were, having followed in the footsteps of his ancestors, the most unconquered kings, to conspire rather with you to adorn the majesty of the Catholic Church, so that to those, with whom he is in power and empire equal, he might not be inferior in zeal for piety, and should wish rather to be numbered among those kings whom divine authority constituted as its nurses, than among those whom the rage of his impiety has, against the Lord and against Christ, inflamed.
spacer 2. Since, therefore, when he published the index of his own religion, he made war, neither with the royal majesty, wherewith he shines, nor with the noise of arms and with power (which the priest of Christ and a man of religion cannot stand against), but with the sharpness only of his human genius and his pen, against the Catholic Church, I considered it proper to my office and instruction to go forth into the battle line, not so as to check the name and splendor of so great a King, which I am neither able nor wish to do, but so that the fogs exhaled by the stinking pits of the innovators, whereby he strives to obscure the Catholic truth, might, having been dispelled by the rays of true wisdom, disappear into air and vapor; which, so that I may complete, I have from God the father of lights strenuously prayed for that light, the knowledge of sincere truth, which, handed on by Christ the Lord through the apostles and expounded in the waking vigils of the holy Fathers, he who desires to hold the true way of living and believing ought to seek. May the undertaking be inspired by that sacred influence in whose hand are the hearts of kings. And you, kings and princes of the Catholic globe, who desire the most serene James with brotherly affection to be such as you are, receive under your patronage this work of ours, such as it is, to be defended by your authority; for yours is that saying and decree, “We make our own that to which we impart our authority;” your work it is, therefore, so that, defended and adorned with the royal brilliance of your patronage, it might go forth secure to the public, and might appear to the world illustrious and not be deemed unworthy of royal eyes. For not otherwise than under your name can this our work, in which we uphold the cause of God, oppose the book of the most serene King. For this one thought has impelled me, that I might dedicate this our labor with dutiful submission of mind to you who, heirs of the empire and piety of your ancestors, have religiously taken up and constantly attend the protection of the Catholic Church. For others as antidote can this our labor serve; you have no need of the antidote (which is the supreme piety of God) against the rage of the Innovators, whose poisons, drawn from the stygian streams, cannot do harm to you, who, subject and fastened, in the unity of the true and Catholic Faith, to Christ the Lord and to his Roman Vicar on earth and Supreme Pontiff, as most beautiful members of his body to the head, are preserved in the virtue of God. In whom, as long as your supreme power is made firm, may it increase to greater glory of empire and advance to eternal felicity.




1. Intention of the author spacer 2. Collection of the things asserted by the most serene James. spacer3. The order in which these are to be attacked. spacer4. The method to be observed.

spacerWOULD prefer, as in a not dissimilar cause Ambrose said, blue "to undertake the burden of exhorting to the faith than to undertake the burden of disputing about the faith." But since the very right itself of nature requires, and all laws as well divine as human demand, that the son for the parent, the priest for the Church, the theologian for religion, the religious for things sacred, and lastly the member, however lowly, for the head, fight in defense, as far as possible, against every injury, therefore I am compelled not to belittle this new kind of writing. For James, the most serene king of Great Britain, in his Apology and his monitory Preface to all Christian princes of the world, tries to inflict violence on all the above when he imposes on his sect the name of Catholic and primitive faith but on our religion the dishonor of defector; and when he arrogates to himself the name of Defender of the Catholic Faith, but the Pontiff, the highest Pastor of all the faithful and, under Christ, the supreme head, he brands with the mark of tyranny and Antichristian apostasy; and when he attacks as many as possible of the other mysteries and sacraments of our faith and shakes with his attack the hearts of the pious. And me, after other most learned men, although in erudition and eloquence very unequal, he has induced to advance on this work and compelled to descend into a wrestling school to me unaccustomed. Nor does the majesty of the royal dignity frighten me, but rather does the truth thereby impugned the more greatly excite me, lest perhaps the splendor of so great a name confuse the eyes of the more weak. Mostly because he seems in this cause to have put off the royal splendor when, acting the part of doctor rather than of king, he strives to defend in ecclesiastical things the supreme authority he has usurped to himself. In Ambrose I remember to have read, blue "Nor belongs it to an emperor to deny freedom of speaking, nor to a priest to refrain from saying what he thinks. Nothing in kings is as lovable as to love freedom even in those who are in obedience subject to them, nothing in a priest as dangerous with God, as base with men, as not to proclaim freely what he thinks. Since it is written blue ‘I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.’" Much moved, then, by these divine and sacred words, though diffident of my own genius, yet confident in the cause and supported by the truth, I do not fear to speak for it freely. Those things only, however, will I try to bring forward which could not offend the high spirit of the king, unless the light itself should, by showing the truth, offend eyes badly affected. For I have decreed to elucidate and guard Catholic truth; not to dispute with his Majesty but rather to serve him, as is my wish, in showing the true and Catholic faith.
spacer 2. With the breath, then, of divine favor, I will advance to show, in respect of some chief things touched on by the most serene James, the truth of the faith taught by Christ the Lord, handed on by the Apostles, and preserved integrally and unwaveringly by the holy Fathers. But, so that a more open way may be laid out for what needs to be said and that everything may more easily be perceived, I will put before the eye the aim and intention, in the first place, of the king, and then the order we must follow in making response. For, upon examining attentively and carefully the royal work, I considered easily that the author was directing it chiefly toward upholding with all his efforts the oath of fidelity which he has very recently instructed his subjects to swear to him. And for that reason he has tried to attack as well the Pontifical rescripts as the letters of the most illustrious Cardinal Bellarmine to the Archpriest. But afterwards, when he had on all these things received a reply, the king, being provoked, joined to his Apology a Preface to all the princes of the Christian world, wherein he strives to stir them up against the Supreme Pontiff, as if against a common enemy and usurper of royal right and power, and to move them to general defection from the Roman Church, both by enticing them with hope of greater liberty and more excellent power, and also by instilling in them the fear lest, while they allow, with (as he says) overmuch and indulgent mildness, the Pontifical dignity to grow immense, the royal splendor might either be altogether destroyed or at any rate more obscured than is right. And lest it be thought that he is moving this war against the Vicar of Christ, he has progressed to the point of laboring to give persuasion that the Pontiff is not the defender of Christ but the Antichrist himself. Moreover next, lest the sons of the true Church, astonished at the striking novelty, should hold it in detestation, he names and professes himself Defender of the Catholic Faith itself, so that the sect which he defends may, for this reason, not seem to be heresy but only a disagreement with the Roman Pontiff. He adds further an extended confession of his faith, whereby he strives to prove that he adheres to the primitive and ancient faith and that he denies only (as he says) the novel and recent articles of the faith invented by the Roman Church.
spacer 3. So as to proceed, then, in the due order of doctrine that may be of service for both the clarity and the utility that we intend in this work, we will divide it into six parts, which to the said points, though in changed order, will respond. For in the first place I will show that the schism, which the king himself does not repudiate in his book, can in no way be excused from heresy and from an infidelity absolutely opposed to the faith truly Catholic, and, thereupon, that the title of Defender of the Catholic Faith usurped by the most serene king is not only assumed without foundation but is also plainly contrary to the thing he professes. We have from this title taken our beginning of discussion, not only because, being affixed to the frontispiece of the royal work, it immediately seizes the admiration, but also because it will provide us a handle for establishing certain principles from which it may easily be concluded that the Anglican sect does not have the foundations of the true faith of Christ; and to this we will devote the first Book. In the second, however, we will prove that all the articles of the Roman faith, which the king attacks, are ancient and Catholic and that their opposites cannot be defended without open heresy. The third Book will next follow so as to uphold, according to our strength, the right and primacy of the Supreme Pontiff. Not that I judge everything, which could be said of his excellent dignity, should be defended (for thus would the book grow immense), but only to show that the Roman Pontiff has not usurped the power of temporal kings, but that he has vindicated "only the dignity of the supreme priest on which (as Jerome says) blue he salvation of the Church depends," and has preserved his right, against which the gates of hell have never prevailed nor ever shall prevail. Since the king also in his Preface very greatly complains about the exemption of clerics from temporal power and from lay jurisdiction, and laments that a third part (as he says) of subjects has been taken away from temporal kings, therefore we will add a fourth Book in which we will demonstrate the right to immunity of ecclesiastical persons. Next, in the fifth Book, we will try irresistibly to prove, not only that all the conjectures brought forward about the Antichrist are very flimsy, but also that the Antichrist will labor very greatly at the destruction of the Apostolic See, and that thus the name agrees rather with those who in this way painstakingly forestall the office of the Antichrist. For, as Jerome said to Damasus, epist.5, "Whoever does not collect with you, scatters, that is, he who is not of Christ is of Antichrist, &c." and as Bernard says, epist. 124 to Hildebert, Bishop of Tours, speaking of Pope Innocent, "Those who are of God are gladly joined to him, but he who stands in opposition is either Antichrist or of Antichrist." Lastly, in the sixth Book, we will show briefly about the oath of fidelity what there is of injustice and injury in the king’s demand against the Apostolic See, and we will diligently explain what there is of perjury and infidelity involved in the subjects who swear it.
spacer 4. Lastly, in manner of proceeding and disputing, I will not lay aside the style and scholastic method that are familiar to me and, by very custom, made as if connatural, even if to men who dissent from us in the faith it be wont to be less pleasing, perhaps because it is most apt for bringing the truth out of darkness and most effective in attacking errors. For that reason too, although the testimonies of the divine Scriptures, of the Councils, and of the Fathers must chiefly be used by us, we will nevertheless measure the weight of reasons and we will, as much as in us, urge their force and effectiveness, and will collect them, not only from the aforesaid foundations of the faith, but also from the light of nature itself, as far as occasion may require. Not that the mysteries of our sacrosanct religion need them for their defense, but because by them can be not obscurely shown how far from all prudence, and from reason itself, they withdraw who from the Church Catholic and Roman do not fear, in matters pertaining to the faith, to dissent and to separate themselves therefrom.































Aim of the author and twofold manner of showing the error of Anglicanism.

spacerHAVE proposed to show that the title of Defender of the Catholic Faith, which the most serene James arrogates to himself, is contrary to the deeds of the same. For I thought this necessary, both because of the Catholic men who dwell under his sway lest it perhaps happen that they be deceived by that fair-seeming title, and because of the rest who are of the same opinion along with him, so that they may of that heresy, wherein they manifestly dwell, be warned and, if it may be, convinced. For this is the aim of our work, which if we can, with God’s help, attain, the fact that this title is surely vain, and that the head and protector of this schism is an adversary to the Catholic Faith and no Defender, will become clear. But we can in a twofold way demonstrate the error of that sect; first generally by showing that there is not in it the foundation of the true Faith and a certain and infallible rule of belief, then by pointing out with the clearest arguments its individual errors, which the king himself professes, and by refuting them with the most certain testimonies. In this book, then, we will initiate the first way, wherein we cannot take a more apt beginning than by at once putting before the eyes of the English the happy state of the true and Catholic Faith which, before the schism arose, they enjoyed. And for that reason I thought it worthwhile, in the first chapter of this book, to premise a few things about the progress of the kingdom of England in the Christian Religion from the time when it received the light of it up to the present day.
spacer 2. For, just as in moral matters, knowledge of the fact (as the jurists say) is, for passing judgment on the right, wont in the first place to be necessary, so, in the present cause, knowledge of the more ancient faith is, we judge, necessary both for understanding the cause and origin of error and also for observing its repugnance and opposition to the Catholic Faith. For indeed, taking Cyprian to witness, blue this reason is among plain and religious minds the quick one for setting aside error and finding and teaching the truth, "For if to the head and origin of the divine tradition we make return, human error ceases and, once the reason of the heavenly sacraments has been seen, whatever was, under the gloom and cloud of darkness, lying hid is laid open to the light of truth. If the channel conducting the water, which was before flowing copiously and in abundance, suddenly fail, surely to the fount is process made so that from there the reason for the failure may be known, if, the veins withering, the stream has dried up in the head, or if, flowing thence complete and full, it has come to a stop in mid journey?" Which advice of Cyprian is very much praised by Augustine, blue and he concludes, "best it is and without doubt to be done." Treading, therefore, in the steps of such great Fathers, let us commence on the thing.




1. The Catholic Faith began in England from the birth of the Gospel.. spacer 2. The history of that people. spacer3. The Catholic Faith increased at the time of Pope Eleutherius. At the time of Gregory it was again restored. spacer4. It endured up to the time of Henry. spacer5. Fall of Henry VIII. spacer6. Under Edward the Zwinglian sect is introduced. spacer7. Under Mary the Faith is restored. spacer8. Elizabeth imports the Calvinist sect into the kingdom. spacer9. The state of England under James.

ILDAS, surnamed the Wise, De Excidio Britanniae (whom Polydore Virgil, Bede, and others follow), testifies that Britain had already, right from the beginning of the birth of the Gospel, received the Christian Religion; blue which matter Polydore, Historiae Anglicanae II, describes as having happened in this manner, “When that Joseph, who, on the evidence of the Evangelist Matthew, was by origin from the city of Arimathea and who buried the body of Christ, came, whether by chance or design, God so wishing, with no small company to Britain, when both he and his colleagues were there preaching about the Gospel and carefully teaching the dogma of Christ, many were by it drawn over to the truth of piety and were with saving fruit baptized.”
spacer 2. The same island was afterwards confirmed, or again first returned to the faith by the Roman Pontiff Eleutherius, twelfth from Peter, on the evidence of Bede I.4, “Lucius king of the Britons sent him a letter beseeching to be made by his mandate a Christian, and soon he obtained the effect of his pious petition, and they kept inviolate the faith they had received up the times of prince Diocletian.” For then (on the evidence of Gildas and from that of Polydore above), blue “because of the brutality of the persecution, the religion grew so cold that it was almost extinguished.”
spacer 3. At length, however (by the inspiration of divine grace), in the year of Christ our Lord 590, in the second year of the emperor Maurice, Pope Gregory the First sent Augustine and Melitus to Britain, and Ethelbert king of Kent, being converted by their preaching and cleansed in the saving font of baptism, brought the same island, which was in the service of idols, back to Christ. Of this last conversion, originating from the Roman See, the cause, manner, order, and progress are expansively pursued by Gregory himself, Book V, epistles 10, 58, and 50; Book VII, epistle 112, indict.2; by Bede, above chapter 23; by John the Deacon, in his Vita Gregorii, II,34; by Baronius, for the year of Christ 596, nos 9 - 14; and by others, although there is some discordance in the calculation of years which, for the present purpose, is of no relevance.
spacer 4. ut from that aforesaid time up to the year of our Lord 1534, and about the 25th year of King Henry, of that name, for around one thousand years, as is proven by the annals of the English, no other religion flourished among them besides that which up to the present day they commonly call “ancient,” “Catholicm” I say, and “Roman.” Add that even Henry VIII himself up to this time was so devoted to the Apostolic See that in its defense and in defense of the Roman Faith he composed against Luther, then raving against the See of Peter, a just book, which he sent to Leo X, then Vicar of Christ on earth (as is contained in the very Constititution 45 of the same Pontiff to the same king Henry), for examination and approval by Apostolic authority. Where, while asserting the seven sacraments (article 2), he endeavors to do battle in defense of the authority of the Roman See thus: “Luther cannot deny that the holy Roman See is recognized and venerated as mother and primate by every church of the faithful, at least all those that are neither by distance of places nor intervening dangers prohibited of access; although, if they say true who come hither also from India, even the Indians themselves, being separated by the expanses of so many lands, so many seas, so many wastes, yet submit themselves to the Roman Pontiff. Therefore, if so great and so widely diffused a power has been neither by the command of God nor by the will of men acquired by the Pontiff , but he has claimed it for himself by his own force, when, would Luther please say, did he burst forth into possession of so great sway? For the beginning of such immense power cannot be obscure, especially if its birth was within the memory of men.”
spacer 5. These things wrote the king at the time he was most attached to the Roman Church. But afterwards, burning with too great love for Anne Boleyn, and not obtaining from the Apostolic See the license he had often sought, and repudiating his legitimate wife, Catherine, daughter of the Catholic kings of Spain, he took the said Anne, while all right cried in protest, to be his wife. And, so that he might (as it thereupon seemed) act with more impunity, he, constituting himself head of the Anglican Church and decreeing all to hold and call him so, denied authority to the true Vicar of Christ on earth. This is the basis, this the foundation and origin of the new Gospel that was born in England. Nor do the Protestants themselves disavow or blush at the fact, as it is well-known in the histories of that time. blue
spacer 6. But to the head, sprung from the basest principles, of a church of such sort, there succeeded, in the year of the Lord’s Incarnation 1546, another head no less firm and apt for ecclesiastical governance (a boy, I mean, of nine years, Edward), to rule both bodies, the spiritual and the temporal, although he himself needed another’s governance. Who, albeit his father had ordered him to be educated in the Catholic Faith (the single title of primacy of the Church being removed), yet, the mandate of King Henry being spurned, embraced the Zwinglian sect, to Henry the most hateful of all, and exercised pontifical authority, by reason that (as is read in one of his rescripts) “all authority for decreeing justice and even jurisdiction of every kind, as well the one called ecclesiastical as the secular, flows from the royal power as if from the supreme head.” Although, therefore, many innovations were made over almost seven years, at last the royal youth, on the eve of the Nones of July, in the 16th year of his age, but the 7th of his reign, departed the living, and with his extinction was the Zwinglian sect likewise almost extinguished in England.
spacer 7. For there followed thereupon that most happy reign of Mary, the most choice as equally the most religious woman of all, who, having won a victory by heavenly aid unexpected of her enemies, spat out, prompted by her piety and religion alone, the title of primate usurped by her father and brother and deleted it from the royal style, and the ancient Catholic Religion, which she had always professed, she restored, with the marvelous cooperation of the divine power and the interposition of the authority of the Pontiff, through her whole kingdom. But, on account of her father’s or her subjects’ sins, was England, by the death after five years and four months of this most illustrious queen, deprived of this so great good of the public profession of the Roman Faith.
spacer 8. To Mary succeeded Elizabeth in the kingdom, the third offspring of Henry, but not in piety and religion. For in place of the Catholic Religion she at once introduced a form of the Calvinist sect into the kingdom. And although it did not seem, in her first Parliament, that she would be called head of the Church, because that name in her father had displeased Calvin, nevertheless the name of supreme governess of the Anglican Church (which comes to the same) she to herself assumed, and compelled her subjects by solemn oath to confirm it, and, by many laws published in various assemblies, she wished, decreed, and declared power of every sort in spiritual things to be attached to the royal scepter. And in this state and profession of religion, as long as she lived, England persisted.
spacer 9. But upon her death, the most serene James, son of Mary Queen of Scotland and heir to her kingdom, obtained also the scepter of the English kingdom and, not contented with this right, together with it usurped the primacy and supreme spiritual power over the whole of Britain, yet he professes either the Calvinist sect or one a little diverse from it, and with all his efforts studies to have it by his subjects accepted and observed. And nevertheless, he professes himself to be not only Catholic but even Defender and promoter of the Faith truly Christian, Catholic, and Apostolic. But how much this title departs from the truth, and how much his deeds are contrary to his words, remains to be seen.



1. - 2. An efficacious dilemma is posed. The first part of the dilemma is shown. spacer3, He who denies anything of the faith subverts the whole faith. spacer 4. Confirmation of the second part of the dilemma. A very stupid statement by the heretic.spacer 5. By the testimony of Henry VIII it is shown that before him England retained the Catholic Faith. spacer 6. - 7. A second proof of the same part. spacer 8. King James seems to think the faith preached in England by Augustine was not Catholic. When Augustine began to preach there. spacer 9. The faith preached by Eleutherius was true. spacer 10. - 13. The same conclusion is drawn about the faith preached by Augustine, first from authority. Second from comparison of both. spacer 14. - 15. Third from the sanctity and miracles of Augustine and his colleagues. spacer 16. Finally from reason.

HIS assertion, put forward in the previous chapter by evident consequence from the narrative of things and the change in them, I assemble in this way. For I ask, was the faith, which England, through Augustine and other ministers of the word of God sent by Gregory, received and up to Henry VIII retained, true or not? For whichever of these be chosen, we will, as I reckon, easily prove that what the King of England now professes is not truly the Christian Faith. This argument, it seems to me, comes from Augustine, I Contra Epistol. Gaudentii, II.7, when he thus presses the Donatist, “Tell me, did the Church, at the time when, according to you, it was receiving culprits of every crime, perish from contact with the wicked, or not perish?" And later, “Reply, has the Church perished or not perished? Choose the one you think; if it had then already perished, which Church gave birth to Donatus? But if, when so many without baptism (namely second baptism) were therein included, it could not perish, reply, I ask, what madness persuaded the party of Donatus, by keeping clear of communion with the wicked, to separate itself therefrom?” For in like manner we raise the question, had the Church perished at the time of Gregory or had it not perished? If it had perished what church begat the Anglican Church? If it had not perished, what madness persuaded England to separate itself from it under Henry, or how can that church be Catholic which perseveres in the separation effected by Henry? For, to begin with, if the ancient faith was true, defection from it is repugnant and contrary to the true faith, whereas the sect, on the other hand, which now England professes, is nothing other than a certain defection from or rebellion against that faith; how then can it be called or accounted the true faith? “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” blue For it cannot happen that contraries come together in the same thing; but defection from the true faith is contrary to the Christian Faith itself, therefore a sect introduced by defection from the Christian Faith cannot usurp the name of the same, still less the truth. For divine faith, such as the Christian is, cannot change nor suffer inconstancy; for God, on whose truth it rests, cannot deny himself, or (which is the same) retract what he has once said; therefore a sect which was introduced by defection from the divine and Catholic Faith cannot be divine faith, but is a human invention and a vain opinion.
spacer 2. And this discourse is strikingly confirmed by Paul’s rebuke, which no less fits the English than the Galatians, blue “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another Gospel; which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ,” that is (by the exposition of Chrysostom), “there are some that trouble the gaze of your mind with their opinions, and wish to subvert the Gospel of Christ, which is single, and beside it there can be no other.” Therefore all doctrines which fail of that single Gospel are human opinion and a sect contrary to divine truth. For by the name of ‘Gospel,’ as Augustine expounds. Cont. Liter. Petil., III.6, Paul comprehends the whole Catholic doctrine, about which he subjoins, v.8, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Which again he immediately repeats, “so that,” as Jerome says, “he might magnify the firmness and stability of the Catholic Faith. Because if it might happen that Apostles and Angels change, yet there should be no withdrawing from that which has been once received.” And more extensively by St. Vincent of Lerins, in the whole of his chapter 12, where among other things he says, “Terrible strictness: to assert the tenacity of the first faith, he spared neither himself nor the rest of his fellow apostles. It is too little, even if an angel &c.” Therefore if the first doctrine preached to the English and by them faithfully accepted was divine, defection from it could not be transfer to another true faith, but is rather perversion and troubling of the faith.
spacer 3. Also does Jerome elegantly note (which is most to be considered for the doctrine following) that these things were said by Paul about those who believed in the same God and had the same Scriptures, yet were interpreting them by their own spirit and so were trying to introduce a new Gospel, or to change it, reject it, and convert it to another one. “But they were not able,” says Jerome, “because if was of the sort of nature that it could not be other than the true one.” And he subjoins, “Everyone who interprets the Gospel in another spirit and mind than has been written troubles the believes and converts the Gospel of Christ so that what is in front is behind and that what is behind is in front.” Finally Chrysostom, moved by a spirit, as appears, indeed divine, gazing at the cause of schism and state of the Anglican Church as if present, bids us take note, saying, “Let them hear what Paul says, namely that they subverted the Church who brought in some little of things. For, to show that something trifling wrongly admixed corrupts the whole, he said that the Gospel was subverted. For as he who has from a royal coin cut off a little of the imprinted image has adulterated the coin, so whoever subverts even the smallest part of sound faith is corrupted in the whole of it, proceeding always from this beginning to what is worse. Where, then, are those who condemn us as contentious because we have quarrel with heretics, and keep on saying that there is no difference between us and them, and that the discord proceeds from ambition for principality?” Thus, therefore, the most serene King of England, or others who profess his schism and sect; lest they say that the Catholic Faith, which was flourishing before in the kingdom, has fallen away in small things, or few things, or in very little things, or lest they plead in excuse that it is a human discord about ambition for principality. For through whatever cause they have parted from the doctrine of the faith, in however small a thing, they have troubled and lost the whole Catholic Faith. Most of all by the fact that not in few things, nor in very little things, but in the greatest foundations of the Faith, as will soon be made clear, they have deviated. Let it therefore be a thing fixed and manifest that, if the English Faith up to the defection of Henry VIII was Catholic, the sect which from that time it professes is not the true faith but is a troubling and corruption of the Catholic Faith. And these things seem to be enough for the first member [sc. of the dilemma], for the thing is both per se sufficiently clear and evident and, as far as I can conjecture from the words of the king, both he and other Protestants think the other part is to be preferred.
spacer 4. They plead, then, this striking reason in excuse of their defection. Before the king’s times, that is Henry’s, eigth of that name, England had lost the Catholic Faith, and hence it did not, on account of the change made by Henry, err at all in the Faith but rather then returned to it, and Henry’s offense was the salvation of the English, because through it, or on occasion of it, they were enlightened and rescued from the darkness in which they were dwelling. For neither was one of those false prophets lacking who in this way exclaimed, blue “O true marriage, union gained not without divine approval, and heavenly birth and offspring, by which the fatherland was from a slavery and gloom worse than the Egyptian rescued and freed, and to the true cult of Christ recalled.” For so great is the infirmity of the human mind that, once abandoned by God and handed over to its own desires, it calls darkness light and light darkness and persuades itself that the light of Gospel truth shone forth among the basest pleasures, and (what is most absurd) attributes an unspeakable marriage to a peculiar divine providence. For all these errors are contained in those words. And besides, one may from the same things conjecture that already at that time there had been introduced among many in England this opinion about their ancient Faith, that it was false and not Catholic.
spacer 5. However this error can be refuted in the first place by the testimony of the same Henry VIII, which testimony must possess authority with the King of England if he wishes to speak consistently and defend with any authority the primacy which he is usurping. For Henry himself, when already dying, wanted and commanded his son Edward, whom he left as his heir, to be educated in the Catholic Faith, with the one exception of the article about the primacy. blue But by the Catholic Faith he without doubt understood that faith which he himself and his kingdom had, along with the Roman Church, before professed. For he always called this Catholic, nor could his words be referred to another faith. That king, therefore, declared, and confirmed by his own confession, that the faith which in former times England professed was the Catholic one. Why then does the King of England in the article about primacy so freely and stubbornly follow his predecessor, and in the remaining articles, in which Henry confessed Catholic truth, refuse to imitate the same? But if perhaps he reply that he received his sect from his educators from the cradle, at least let him confess that it must be new and recent; from which is also easily concluded that it cannot be Catholic but is rather a defection from the Catholic Faith. However, we will pursue this place in what follows more at large; now let it suffice to have shown that they have without foundation and inconsistently adopted their opinions who give their trust to Henry in the article about the primacy but detest and refuse his confession of the Catholic Faith.
spacerspacer 6. But let us see further in what sense they fashion the idea that the English Faith before Henry VIII was not Catholic. For it can be thought of in two ways. One is that indeed at the beginning the Catholic Faith was preached in England and received at the time of Gregory also, but that it was afterwards corrupted and lost; the other way, however, if anyone thinks it, will be that in very preaching of the faith done by Augustine a doctrine of the faith was delivered to the English that was already corrupted and far different from the Catholic and Apostolic Faith; but we will show that each of this ways is incredible. And, to begin with, if England was Catholic before in the time of Gregory, he who says that it was changed before Henry must show at what time the change took place, under which king, and which Roman Pontiff, or under what English prelates; and again in what things or articles change was made; but nothing of this has hitherto with any mark of truth or probability been shown, or can be shown; therefore, by this very fact, such an assertion must be rejected as willful and rash and injurious to the kingdom.
spacer7. Next, if that be attentively considered which Bede and other English histories relate, no schism or heresy will be found which, after Gregory, seized on the whole race. Nay, no change or variety is read of in all those things which now the new heretics detest. For, as will be clear from what is to be said, there was the same religion of sacraments, the same faith and veneration of the sacred Eucharist, the same cult of the Saints and use of sacred images, and, what is chief, the same obedience and subjection to the Apostolic See; what defection, therefore, from the Catholic Faith can be contrived which through all that time existed in England? Lastly, since England from that time had always professed the same faith as the Roman Church (for no one can deny this who has read the ecclesiastical histories), the same island could not have lost the Catholic Faith without the Roman Church also having lost it; for each had the same faith. But we will show a little later that the Roman Church did not defect after Gregory from the Catholic Faith, nay it could not at all defect from it; therefore neither was there in the English Church a change made at that time in the Catholic Faith.
spacer 8. It remains for them to say, then, that although England did not change the faith from the time of Gregory up to Henry VIII nevertheless it was not at that time Catholic, because the faith preached by Augustine and other ministers of Gregory was not Catholic. Whence it happens that, before Henry VIII, the Catholic Faith was never in England, at least in that part of Britain which did not, until Gregory, receive the light of the Gospel. Which indeed, as far as I can conjecture, is not abhorrent from the faith, or opinion, of King James, for he lays down in the Preface principles and foundations with which this opinion seems to be very much consonant. For there the whole doctrine of the faith, which the Roman Church embraced after the five hundredth year from Christ, he thinks and tries to persuade others was uncertain and suspect. For, on page 43, he says, “Whatever in the four hundred years after Christ the Fathers, by unanimous consent, established as necessary for eternal salvation, I either think thus along with them or at any rate I hold, with modest silence, my peace; certainly I do not dare to reprehend.” In which words, while on the Fathers of the first four hundred years only does he bestow something of authority, the whole more recent doctrine he holds as suspect, and (which is something to be wondered at) even to those most ancient Fathers speaking with unanimous consent he does not accommodate his faith but only dares not to reprehend; all the others, therefore, who flourished in later centuries, even if they with unanimous consent establish something about a matter necessary for salvation, he will dare to reprehend, not to say doubt their faith. Then, on page 47, he adds that not everything the Roman Church taught before the five hundredth year from Christ as to be de fide believed is to be held for the faith. Hence, therefore, arises a strong conjecture that James will not admit as difficult that the faith sown by Augustine in England was not pure and Catholic, but that it was with some deformities, nay things which he calls recent and new, admixed. For since he himself thinks that from the five hundredth year from Christ the Roman Faith began to be defective and mingled together with false dogmas, and since the preaching of Augustine in England began in the five hundredth and eighty second year after Christ, according to Bede, bk.1 of his History, ch. 23, what wonder if he concede or reply that the faith preached by Augustine was neither pure nor altogether Catholic?
spacer 9. But how many and how pernicious are the dogmas contained in this manner of response or evasion we will, from higher principles of faith, try to demonstrate in what follows, but now, continuing the discourse begun, we must show that that response is alien to all reason, and contrary to the most received histories, and shameful and injurious to the English people themselves, and finally a most grave imposture against Gregory and Augustine. But first, let us suppose that the aforesaid faith in the other part of Britain was, long before the times of Gregory, altogether true, pure, and Catholic, and that it persevered therein for many years. Which I do not think either the King of England or any of his ministers will deny. Because from the time of Eleutherius [175 -89 A. D.] and up the four hundredth or five hundredth year of Christ even the king himself thinks that in the Roman Church the true faith of Christ was preserved pure and unwavering. Since, therefore, that part of Britain received the faith through Eleutherius, and communicated always therein with the Roman Church and resisted the heresies that rose up against it, especially the Arian and Pelagian, as the same Bede relates in several chapters, it is most evident that the British faith in that part and at that time was Catholic. And of this truth we have, besides Gildas, Bede, and other historiographers, very ancient witnesses: Tertullian, close in time to Eleutherius, who in his Contra Iudaeos vii, places among the provinces of the Catholic Church and kingdoms professing the true faith of Christ “the places of the Britons not reached by the Romans but subject to Christ, and Chrysostom, who in vol. V In Demonstratione Contra Gentiles, ’Quod Christus sit Deus’, column 14, when he too is describing the extent of the Catholic Church, says, “For the British Isles too, situated beyond this sea [sc. the Mediterranean] and which are in Ocean itself, have felt the virtue of the word, for even there churches are founded and altars erected,” and vol. 3, in his sermon for Pentecost, Hodie Nobis likewise, describing the sanctity of the Catholic Church, he numbers Britain among other provinces and says, “But before this in Britain they as often feasted on human flesh, now they mortify their soul with fasting.”
spacer 10. On this basis, therefore, I conclude: the faith preached in England under Gregory was neither contrary to nor diverse from that which was preached to the British under Eleutherius; just as the first, then, was Catholic, so also the later, because in truth it was not in itself first or later but and one and the same, which more quickly or more slowly came to occupy the diverse parts of that island. Of which thing the fullest witness is Bede, in the said, Hist. Anglicanae, I.22, when, referring to the corrupt morals of the British faithful, he says among other things, “Moreover, among other deeds of unmentionable crimes which their historian Gildas describes in his tearful sermon, he also adds this, that they never committed to preaching the word of faith to the race of Saxons or Angles inhabiting Britain along with them. But the divine piety, however, did not desert his people whom he foreknew, but rather he arranged for the mentioned race more worthy heralds of the truth through whom it might believe.” And immediately thereafter, ch. 23, he begins to narrate the providence of Gregory in sending Augustine with his colleagues to preach the faith to the Angles, and in ch. 26 asserts that those preachers not only taught the Apostolic doctrine but also imitated their life. “They began,” he says, “to imitate the life of the primitive Church, namely by serving with constant prayers, vigils, and fastings, and by preaching the word of life to whom they could, and by spurning all things of this world as though alien, &c.” And later, “Many believed and were baptized, marveling at the simplicity of innocent life and the sweetness of heavenly doctrine.” And later he subjoins that many began daily to flock together to hear the word and, abandoning their gentile rites, “joined themselves by believing to the unity of the holy Church of Christ.” From this narration of Bede, therefore, it ought to be confessed that the same Catholic Faith was preached to the Angles as had been first delivered to the British, and that thus that island was, in the unity of faith, joined both with itself and with other Christian peoples to the unity of the Church.
spacer 11. Besides, from things about the manner of Christian religion in each race, place, and time, that are related in the same histories or are per se manifest, it is plain that there was between both preachings no diversity of doctrine. For, in the first place, it is held as proved that the dogmas of the faith, which the Protestants themselves and with them the King of England call ancient, which were both contained in the three symbols and were explained and defined in the four first Councils, were preached with complete faith and truth by Augustine and his companions, since at the same time Gregory decreed that the four General Councils were, just like the four books of the Gospels, to be received and held in veneration, to which Councils he also adds the Fifth, in Epistolae I.24. Nor do the English Protestants themselves, who glory in this ancient faith and profess that they retain it (which, how true it be, we shall afterwards see), possess it from anywhere else than from Gregory and his minister Augustine, through the tradition and continuous succession of their faithful predecessors; so about these dogmas there is, as far as concerns the present, no controversy.
spacer 12. But the other dogmas, which they themselves now blame in the Roman Catholic Church, as are the sacrifice of the Mass, altars, churches build in honor of the Saints, veneration of relics, invocation of the Saints, use of holy images, obedience and subjection to the Roman Church, just as we gladly admit that they were believed and observed in England from the times of Gregory, so they themselves cannot deny that the same were believed and observed in Britain from the times of Eleutherius; therefore either let them deny that the faith originally preached in England was Catholic, or let them cease to accuse or repudiate as less Catholic the faith introduced by Augustine. The equivalence proposed is proved for, in the first place, Bede, in the said chapter 26, reports that there was a church in England built in honor of St. Martin in ancient times while the Romans were still inhabiting Britain, namely before the preaching of Augustine, and after that he subjoins, “In this church, therefore, they themselves first began to meet, sing psalms, pray, have masses, preach, and baptize until, when the king had been converted to the faith, they received a greater license for preaching everywhere and for building and restoring churches.” And ch. 33 he relates that Augustine dedicated and consecrated a certain church built before there by the efforts of the ancient Roman faithful, and that, on the encouragement of the same, a church was built to the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, which his successor Laurentius consecrated.
spacer 13. Now Gildas seems in like manner to have described the ancient faith and Christian religion of Britain in his history and his little work De Excidio Britanniae, where in column 4, speaking of the time after the death of Diocletian, he thus speaks:They renew churches that had been destroyed to the ground, they found, construct, and complete basilicas to the holy martyrs and stake them out everywhere as if signs of victory, they celebrate feast days, they offer sacrifices with pure heart and lips, they all exult, sons, in the common bosom of the Church as if of a mother.” And later, column 8, speaking of the time of a certain persecution, he says, “So that all the colonies by massed battering rams and all the inhabitants, along with the chiefs of the Church and the people,…were strewn on the ground.” And later, ”And the sacred altars seemed to be bits of corpses covered in scabs of purple blood as if mixed in a certain horrible wine press.” And a little later he again makes mention of the “sacred altar” which he calls “the seat of the heavenly sacrifice.” And he deplores later that at the time of the persecution there were not heard the praises of God, “the songs of the novices of Christ with sweetly singing voice, nor the church melodies;”and a little later, column 13, he makes mention of marriages, which he calls “illicit”because they were “made after monastic vow.” And finally at the end of that book he numbers in the ecclesiastical order "bishops, priests, and other clerics." Whom indeed in another work, about the correction of ecclesiastics, he gravely rebukes for their morals, although he very greatly honors their state; and among the rebukes he puts, “rarely sacrificing, and rarely with pure heart standing at the altars.” And later he distinguishes various ecclesiastical grades, especially of bishops and priests, and gravely rebukes them, “who do not from the apostles or the successors of the apostles have their priesthood but buy it from tyrants.” To all which are the words consonant which I referred to above from Chrysostom, wherewith he hands down that in his time there were in Britain churches founded and altars erected. All of this makes manifest how consonant the faith and religion of that time were with the one that existed at the time of Gregory and which now we observe in the Roman Church; and, conversely, how discrepant from it is the religion which now exists in England, not a reformed religion (as they themselves say), but in truth deformed rather, which does not have the heavenly sacrifice or does not receive it in faith, destroys altars, detests priests, and does not admit of temples dedicated in honor of the Saints. Therefore this religion is new and a human invention; but the faith preached in England as well under Gregory as under Eleutherius was true and Catholic, and always persisted up to the aforesaid fall of King Henry.
spacer 14. We can, besides, confirm this from the way in which that faith was delivered and made convincing to England by Augustine and his companions. For, in the first place, the life of those preachers was as much like the Apostolic life as it was different from the new sectaries and their morals; for they followed a religious life which these detest; they celebrated masses and sacrifices, these flee them as a demonic pretense; they served with constant vigils and fastings and spurned all things of this world, as Bede says, but these, given over to the pleasures of the body, seek nothing other than human honor. Then Bede says, “They came endowed not with demonic but with divine virtue, bearing a silver cross for banner before them, an image of the Lord Savior painted on a panel, singing litanies for their own eternal salvation and for that of those to whom they came, making supplication unto the Lord.” And with these divine arms, rather than with human ones, they in a brief time brought the king together with his kingdom to the unity of the Church and the obedience of the Apostolic See.
spacer 15. Next adds Bede that this was not perfected without many miracles; for thus he says in ch. 26, “And when the king was delighted with the most pure life of the saints and with their most sweet promises, which they confirmed to be true with the display also of many miracles, he believed and was baptized…” And in ch. 31 he relates that so many and so great signs were done by Augustine, “that the Pontiff Gregory, lest through their abundance Augustine run into the danger of pride, exhorted him by a special letter sent to him.” This letter is 58, bk. IX, indict.4, where among other things Gregory adds these, which make very much to our purpose, “I know that Almighty God has shown among the people, whom he wished to be chosen, great miracles through your love, hence may you in the same divine gift rejoice in fear and fear in rejoicing.” Again, Bede II.2 relates that Augustine, in confirmation of the faith restored sight to a blind man, and later. ch. 7, about Melitus, third archbishop of Canterbury after Augustine, added the remarkable miracle of extinguishing a furious fire; and Polydore, Book IV, records about the same (whom he calls Miletus) that, “when he had well displayed many miracles, he passed, after he had begun to be archbishop for the fourth year, from this life to heaven.” Into whose thinking, then, could it come that a faith approved by the sanctity of an Apostolic life, and approved by remarkable and not a few miracles, and preached with so much fruit and efficacy of speech, was not Catholic? Or who would dare think, much less say, that all Christians, religious and Apostolic men, and even kings, who were sometimes famed for miracles (as about Edward II Polydore relates (Book VIII, not far from the end), who, I say, could believe that all these lacked the Catholic Faith and thence did not attain eternal salvation? Because without true faith is entry to eternal glory opened to no one; but a faith is not true which is not Catholic. Or who might prudently presume to place the sect invented by Luther, Calvin, and similar men, confirmed by no signs or miracles nor graced by probity of life, before the ancient faith and, by comparison with it, call it Catholic? Let King James, therefore, see what reason he will give for his faith when it is strictly examined, whether he is a Defender of the Catholic Faith or rather an attacker of it?
spacer 16. Lastly in the final place I will not omit another reason whereby I will confirm the same and show that the faith introduced in England by the preaching of Augustine was true and Catholic. For if it was not Catholic, there was surely at that time no Catholic Faith in the world, or at least there was not then a faith about which one could be certain whether it was Catholic or not. Hence it turns out as a result that there was not then in the world a doctrine which men who wished to be saved could with full certitude of mind and with firm deliberation choose, embrace, and retain as divine and as delivered entire by Christ the Lord. But all these assertions have the ring of such impiety and bear before them such absurdity that, if they be admitted, the doctrine from which such dogmas follow needs no other assault; for in these it sufficiently betrays its error and impiety. There remains, therefore, for us to prove the consequence, which will not be difficult for one who considers that there was not then in the world any doctrine of faith in which as many testimonies and signs of truth, antiquity, and perpetual succession from the preaching of the apostles concurred as in that which Augustine preached in England. For it was not other than the Roman Faith which was announced in the whole world and, having been received in it, was then still enduring; therefore if that was not Catholic, there was assuredly no Catholic Faith in the world. And lastly, this very fact is proved directly from the confession of the king himself, because in his sect he glories as if in the Catholic Faith. For he must consequently confess that no other faith, diverse from his sect, is Catholic, because the true and Catholic Faith is only one, as Paul testifies, Ephesians, ch. 4. Therefore the faith which was before Henry VIII cannot be deemed Catholic by the sectaries, because at that time the present sect of England, which they proclaim to be Catholic and hence true and sole, was not in the world. But this very weighty reason, indeed, brings into play the foundation of our faith; but because it is mocked in two ways especially by the adversaries, therefore it had to be extensively made firm and fortified against the subterfuges of heretics.



1. - 2. The error is put forward of heretics who assert that the faith can fail in the whole Church spacer3. This error was familiar to the old heretics. Lucifer in the work of Jerome. The Donatists on the evidence of Augustine. spacer4. From the testimonies of Sacred Scripture it is proved that the faith will never be lacking in the Church. It is first supposed that the Church is one. spacer5. That the unity of the Church will endure perpetually is established. spacer6. First testimony from Matthew 16, and the expositions of the Fathers. spacer7. In Sacred Scripture the presence of God imports help. spacer8. - 9. Distinction between the coming of Christ and of the Holy Spirit. spacer10. The proposed truth is concluded. The Church would cease to exist were the faith lost. spacer11. Double objection of heretics. The response of St. Augustine. spacer12. That the faith did not fail in the whole Synagogue is demonstrated, and satisfaction made to the first objection. spacer13. That the faith will at the time of Antichrist remain in the Church is shown, and satisfaction is made to the second objection.

N In the previous chapter we reached, by course of reasoning, the result that either the Anglican sect is not the Catholic Faith but a defection from it, or conversely that before that sect arose the Catholic Faith must necessarily be agreed to have failed in the world; and hence that King James is compelled to give up the title of Defender of the Catholic Faith or to affirm that from the five hundredth year of Christ, or some other similar year, up to the rise of Luther, Calvin, or someone or other of that sort, the world lacked the Catholic Faith. The authors of the new dogmas, therefore, seeing the force of the aforesaid discourse, have not been afraid to say that before themselves the true and pure faith did fail in the Universal Church of God, and that they were in an extraordinary way sent by God to restore the destroyed faith. So is it related by Luther in his Latina Colloquia, vol. II, ch. on the Fathers, and Calvin, Instit., IV.2 and 3, Melancthon, Bullinger, and others.
spacer 2. And, so far as I can gather from the book of King James, he is himself not averse to this opinion, and puts his faith in those innovators, or some of them, or certainly in himself as a new evangelist. For in his Preface, p. 33, before he relates some private facts about certain of his predecessors, he begins with these words: “So that it may hence be clear to all that even in those centuries, when a grosser and blinder ignorance brooded over the world, the kings of England not only did not bear the ambitioned and swelling tyranny of the Pontiffs but also mightily resisted it.” Which words, as far as they have regard to the question of the Primacy, will be expounded in the third book; now only that part will I consider wherein he professes that, before his new gospel, the world was blind in knowledge of the truth. From which principle he later, page 47, infers that the doctors of the Roman Church (for about them he is undoubtedly speaking) “corrupted theology with a new rationale of disputing and philosophizing.” But in another place of the same Preface, addressing Christian princes, he subjoins, “With Paul I wish that you all become in this one thing such as I also am, in the first place that you should wish to peruse the Scriptures, to seek from them the norm of faith, and to position, not on the uncertain opinions of others, but on your own sure knowledge of them, the foundations of faith.” In which words he establishes his very self plainly as the living rule of his own faith; for although he attributes something to the body, so to say, of Scripture or to its letter, yet the sense, which is its soul, he reserves to himself and to his private intelligence, which he calls sure knowledge. And therefore I said that he puts his faith in himself as a new evangelist, holding in contempt and repudiating as false the doctrine of the Roman Church.
spacer 3. It is not, to be sure, a new thing for men who defect from the Catholic Faith to wish to cover or excuse their lapse with accusation against the Universal Church. St. Jerome in his dialogue against the Luciferians reports that Lucifer asserted “the whole world is the devil’s”and that it was a familiar thing with him to say that “a brothel has been made of the Church.” Augustine too, in epist. 48 and his book De Unit. Eccles., chs. 12 and 13 and very often, reprehends this in the Donatists, more generally in heretics, on Psalm 101, sermon 2, saying, “But there exist those who say, ‘This has already happened,’ the Church in all the nations replies to him, ‘all nations have believed in it.’ ‘But that Church, which was of all nations, no longer exists, it has perished.’ This do those assert,” says Augustine, “who are not in it. O impudent voice: it exists not because you are not in it! Look lest for that reason you not exist, for it will exist even if you do not. This abominable and detestable voice, full of presumption and falsity, supported on no truth, illuminated by no wisdom, flavored with no salt, vain, rash, hasty, pernicious, was foreseen by the Spirit of God, and as it were against them, when he announced their unity in coming together, peoples and kingdoms in one, to serve the Lord, &c.” In like manner Tertullian, in his book De Praescriptionibus Adversus Haereticos, ch. 7, notes this pretext of heretics too, and attacks it, and among other things thus laughs at it, ch. 29: “Whatever be the error, as long as heresy does not err so long certainly will error reign. Truth, needing to be set free, was waiting for some Marcionists and Valentinians (Lutherans, I add, or Calvinists); meanwhile the Gospel was preached wrongly, it was believed wrongly, so many thousands of thousands were baptized wrongly, so many works of faith were administered wrongly, so many virtues, so many charisms, were performed wrongly, so many priesthoods, so many ministries, were fulfilled wrongly, so many martyrdoms, finally, were crowned wrongly?” Nothing surely for confounding the preachers of the new Gospel could be more aptly said; yet it will not suffice, unless they be refuted also by the divine word.
spacer 4. In order, therefore, to refute this error from Sacred Scripture, as it was understood by the ancient Fathers, we suppose, to begin with, that the discussion is about the Universal Church of Christ, which he himself promised to found in a special way, and much more excellently than was the Church before his coming, Matthew 16:ogether little by little and afterwards acquiring it by his blood, Acts 20.28, and at last commending it to Peter in these words, “Feed my sheep,” John 21.15-17, and giving command to the apostles that they should gather it together from all nations, saying, “Teach all nations, baptizing them &c.” Matthew 28:19. But this Church is only one; for only one was promised by Christ, when he said “my Church,” because although the sheep are many, yet the flock is one, and one is the fold, and one the pastor, namely Christ in heaven and Peter and his See on earth, to whom Christ commended all his sheep, although he have many bishops as co-helpers, “whom the Holy Spirit has placed for ruling [alt. feeding] the Church,” namely the one Church, Acts 20:28. And therefore is this unity commended by the Apostle, Ephesians 4:3, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” And later he says that all the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and doctors of the Church have been given, v. 12, “for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Which is no other than the Church, as the same Paul expounds in chapter 1 of the same epistle, saying v. 22, “and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is his body;” and Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the Church.” And later, v. 24, “for his body’s sake, which is the Church,” and in 1 Corinthians 12 he most elegantly describes this body’s composition from its various members, and finally concludes, v. 27, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members from member,” that is, members connected together and ordered, just as in one body one member is adapted to another, as the Latins expound it, or as the Greeks read, “members in particular,” that is, you are not a complete body (for he was speaking to a particular church), and for that reason you are not all the members, but in particular or in part. Hence most rightly does Augustine, De Unit. Ecclesiae, ch. 2, write, “The Church is one, which our ancestors named Catholic, so as to display it from its very name, because it is throughout the whole.” And later, “The whole, which is pronounced of Christ, is head and body; the head is himself, the only-begotten Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, his body is the Church, of which it is said [Ephesians 5:27] ‘that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, &c.’” Jerome too, against the Luciferians, makes this unity of the Church plain through Noah’s Ark, which was a type of the Church, as is taken from 1 Peter. Nor on this point, as I reckon, do we have any controversy with the sectaries, and therefore we believe that, for making this supposition, what has been said is sufficient, as far as is needed for the things that follow; for an exact explication of this unity and of all the members of the Church, in which explication the heretics are wont do disagree with Catholics, demands a longer treatment, but it is not necessary for the present intention.
spacer 5. I lay down, second, that this Church will in its unity endure perpetually up to the Day of Judgment. For we are speaking of the Church Militant, for of the Church Triumphant no place for doubt or controversy remains. And this assertion could easily be proved of the Church as it was from the beginning of the world up to Moses, and of the Synagogue as it was from Moses up to Christ; but these things are not necessary for our intention, and therefore the things that are said about the duration of the Synagogue, as also the testimonies of the Old Testament, we pass over. I am speaking, therefore, of the Church of Christ as I have declared it was founded by him in the New Testament. And thus it remains, from the promises made by the same Christ in the New Testament, to prove this property of the Church.
spacer 6. Now there are chiefly three promises of this sort. The first is Matthew 16:18, “Upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” For in these words Christ promised to his Church stability and firmness, against which neither tyrants, nor heretics, nor any other enemies of Christ could prevail. For these are all understood by the Fathers in ‘the gates of hell’. But Jerome in particular on that place, “Vices and sins, and the doctrines of heretics he understood by those ‘gates’;” the same also on Isaiah 26, and almost the same is said by Ambrose, in his book De Bono Mortis, ch. 12, “It is given to Peter that the gates of hell will not prevail against him; those gates of hell are earthly gates;” and later, “They are the gates of crimes.” But Epiphanius, in Anchoratus, whom Eutymius follows on Matthew, understands the blasphemies of heretics and their persecutions against the Church; Chrysostom, on Isaiah ch. 2, and homil. 4, on ch. 6, and homil. De Expulsione Sua, and in the other one cited above, De Festo Pentecostes, and In Demonstratione, ‘Quod Christus sit Deus,’ always expounds if of tyrants and infidel emperors attacking the Church through their power. But the same, on Psalm 147, at the end, rightly explains it of the whole power of hell, and of all ministers which the devil uses to attack the Church. And it is without doubt the truest sense, because the words are absolute, and as if by metonymy is comprehended under ‘gates’ whatever hell contains. Hence very well does Damascene say in orat. De Transfigur. Domini, “Against it the gates of hell, the mouths of heretics, the instruments of demons, will indeed launch attack, but they will not prevail.” And later, “For that it will never happen that it should be overthrown, we are completely confident, since Christ affirmed it.” And to the same opinion, Eusebius, De Praeparat. Evangelica I.3, says, “The Church, endowed with this name by Christ, planted roots, and, glorified to the stars by the prayers of saints, shines with the light and brightness of the orthodox faith, nor does it turn its back to enemies, nor does it yield to the doors themselves of death, because of those few words which he pronounced, ‘Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” In a like way Ambrose, in orat. Unum esse, Christum, having put forward the cited words of Christ, says, “Faithful is the speech, the promise unfailing, the Church a thing unconquered, even if hell itself be stirred up, and if those who are in hell make the princes of the world a tumult of darkness.” Lastly Augustine, De Symbolo I.6, explaining the article ‘holy Church’ says that the Church is the temple of God, of which the Apostle says, 1 Corinthians 3:17, “For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are,” and he subjoins, “It is the holy Church, the one Church, the true Church, the Catholic Church fighting against all heresies. It is able to fight, it is not able to be defeated. All heresies die out of it as useless twigs from a pruned vine; but it remains in its root, in its vine, in its charity. The gates of hell will not overcome it.” Nay, adds Hilary, canon.16 on Matthew, by these words not only is it promised to the Church that it cannot be conquered, but also “that it should destroy the infernal laws, and the gates of tartarus, and all the bars of death;” so that the gates of hell not only cannot stand against the Church so as to defeat it, but they are not even sufficient to stand against it. For as the same Fathers frequently note, the Church is by the persecutions of tyrants enlarged in number of persons and in merit of sanctity, and by the contradiction of heretics it increases in knowledge, and is more enlightened in recognition of truths.
spacer 7. The second promise of Christ the Lord was Matthew 28:20, “And lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” About which Jerome rightly noted, “He who unto the end of the world promises his presence also shows that they will always be victorious and that he will never depart from believers.” It is clear, therefore, that the promise was not made only to the apostles present, or to the disciples, but to the perpetually enduring temple of the Church, of which Paul said, “which temple ye are.” Hence wisely did Augustine say, De Gen. ad Litteram VI.8, “To all those he spoke whom he saw would be his own, ‘Lo, I am with you.’” Therefore in those words perpetuity for the Church is either supposed or also promised. For, in order that we might be secure, Christ promised his presence, that is, his help and protection, as Jerome also expounds on Isaiah 41 and Zechariah 2; and Augustine, tract. 50 on John, says, “According to his majesty, according to his providence, according to his ineffable and invisible grace, is fulfilled what was by him said, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’” And Pope Leo, epist. 31, “Divine protection will not leave his Church, says the Lord: ‘Lo, I am with you, &c.,’” and epist.92 at the beginning: “Confirming the preachers of the Gospel and the ministers of the sacraments, he says: ‘Lo, I am with you.’” And in the same way was this place understood by Chrysostom, homil.91 on Matthew, by Bede, and by other expositors on that place, and by Prosper, De Vocatione Gentium II.2. And it is a customary locution in the Scriptures that by the presence of God is signified protection and singular help, Acts 7.9: “And God was with him,” alluding to that verse of Wisdom 10:14: “He descended with him into the pit;” and of Jeremiah 1.8: “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee.”
spacer 8. Finally the third promise is like the preceding, for as there he promised his peculiar favor, even according to his humanity, so in John 14 he promises the peculiar presence of the Holy Spirit and of the Father along with his own, saying, vv. 16 - 17: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth.” In which words this among other things is much to be noted, that the promise was not made only to the apostles. For although it could be understood also that the Holy Spirit remained perpetually in the persons of the apostles after they had received him, yet Christ does not there promise this only, but also that the Holy Spirit was to be sent to console, teach, and protect the faithful, so that he would not depart anymore from the Church for ever, that is, as long as the world will last (for this is in Scripture the usual significance of that word). Hence he tacitly points to a difference between his advent and the advent of the Holy Spirit, because he came to found the Church, which he was with his blood going to acquire, being after his death to depart from it; but the Holy Spirit was given to the Church so as to remain always in it. Which fact seems to be noted by Chrysostom, homil. 74, on John, when he says: “This signifies that neither does he depart after death.” And so was this promise understood by Cyril, On John, IX.45, when he says: “Although the Lord ascended to the heavens after he rose from the dead, so as, according to Paul, to be present to God for us, yet he promises always through his Spirit to be present to the faithful.” And Tertullian in the same way, in Praescriptionibus, ch. 38.
spacer 9. Nay, that thus was the gift of the Holy Spirit fulfilled is openly taught by Paul, Ephesians 4, where he first says, v. 8, that Christ, ascending on high, gave gifts to me, but afterwards adds, vv. 11 - 13: “And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” In which testimony are accurately expounded those words, “till we all come.” For in them Paul openly teaches that the Church is built into the body of Christ and is governed by various ministries and graces of the Holy Spirit, and is to remain up to the general resurrection and the perfecting of the saints. On account of these testimonies all the ancient Fathers agree in this dogma of the faith, as is clearly proved by those mentioned, to whom can be added Martialis, epist. Ad Burdegal., ch. 11, and Cyprian, epist.55, Ad Cornel. Athanasius says in orat. Quod unus sit Christus: “The Church is a thing unconquered, even if hell itself be stirred up.” Lastly, Augustine, expounding of the Church the words of Psalm 47 [48]:8. “God will establish it for ever,” says: “But perhaps that city which holds the world will sometime be overthrown. God forbid. God has established it for ever. If therefore God has established it for ever, what do you fear, lest the firm foundation fall?”
spacer  10. From these last words of Augustine we can advance to conclude, from the stated foundations, the chief assertion and to demonstrate the intended truth, namely that the Catholic and Universal Church cannot defect from the true and divine faith. For the firm foundation and, as it were, the form that joins together the members of this Church, both among themselves and with Christ, is the faith; if therefore God has established the Church for ever, who may fear that its faith could in the whole of it fail? For if the whole Church lose the faith, by that very fact it would cease to be the Church, and would begin to be the Synagogue of Satan. Just as the gentiles are outside the Church, because they did not accept the faith, heretics too cease to be in the Church, by the very fact that they lose the faith, and for that reason are they in this respect compared to the gentiles by Jerome, Dial. contra Lucferian., at the beginning. Lastly this truth is sufficiently confirmed by the symbols of the Apostles and of Nicea, in which the king of England professes to put his faith. For they teach that the Church must be believed to be one, holy, and Catholic; but it cannot be one without unity of faith, nor holy without true and divine faith, without which it is impossible to please God, nor Catholic without universal faith, because it embraces all true dogmas. Since therefore the Church cannot cease to exist as long as the world will last, and since it cannot exist without at the same time being faithful and holy, neither can it happen that it defect from the true faith.
spacer 11. But adversaries are wont to object many things against the stability of the Catholic Church in the faith, and to take in review various lapses or defections of the Church, both because at the time of the Old Law the whole Church defected from the faith, when the Synagogue adored the calf, Exodus 32; and also because when the persecution of Antichrist is waxing strong it will be utterly overthrown, as Paul says, 2 Thessalonians, 2:3: “Except there come a falling away first &c.,” and Christ, Luke 18:8: “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” From which they wish to collect that it could then fail, because then the Antichrist has come. To whom we will with Augustine respond in one word: “I believe those things that are read in the Sacred Scriptures; I do not believe those things that are said by vain heretics.” For so he responded to the Donatists in his book De Unitate Ecclesiae, ch. 13, who were saying that in their time the whole world was apostate, and that in them alone did the true faith remain; and they used various examples twisted from Scripture which Augustine meets by saying that he believes those things that are read in the Scriptures, not those things that heretics try to prove by their contentions, and he concludes: “They, therefore, acting either without skill or deceitfully, collect such things from the Scriptures as they find said either about the bad who are up to the end mixed in with the good or about the devastation of the earlier people of the Jews, and they wish to turn them against the Church of God, so that it may seem as if it has failed and perished from the whole world.”
spacer 12. Of this sort certainly are the things that the sectaries of the present day object. For the sin of the Jewish people pertains to the corrupt morals and hardness of that people, not to the defection of the Church; both because the Synagogue was not the Church of Christ of which we are treating; and also because what was then in the world was not the Universal Church, for in the uncircumcision there could also then be some faithful and just; and most of all because it is false that everyone of that people then lost the faith. For in the first place Moses and Joshua were altogether free of that guilt, next though Aaron gravely sinned by cooperating with the people in the sin of idolatry, yet it is by far more likely that in the faith he did not err. For never did Moses rebuke him for this sin but only of another, as is clear from the words, Exodus 32:21: “What did this people unto thee, that thou has brought so great a sin upon them?” And the same is openly supposed by Augustine, !uestion 141 on Exodus, saying: “The fact that Aaron bids them take off the earrings from the ears of their wives and daughters whence he would make gods for them, is not absurdly taken to mean that he wished to prescribe difficult things so that in this way he might call them back from that intention.” For, if this is so, it is made plain that Aaron did not sin from infidelity, but because he did not bravely resist the people and, from too much human fear, yielded to them. Finally, that many of the people persisted in the faith is clear from the words of Moses, verse 26: “Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me;” for only he is on the Lord’s side who believes in him; but there were many found of this sort, who came to Moses to vindicate the injury done to God.
spacer13. Likewise, it is plainly a thing false and full of error that the Church will at some point perish or altogether defect at the time of Antichrist. For although then there will be the great tribulation predicted by Christ, Matthew 24, which will trouble many and throw them from the faith of Christ, which defection Paul pre-signified with the word “falling away”, nevertheless the Church of Christ will not be altogether destroyed, nor will all its members lose the faith, as Christ sufficiently indicates in Matthew 24:22, when he says: “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” And later, pressing the point more fully, he adds, verse 24: “Insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” There will, therefore, always be some elect and faithful in whom the Church may remain, nay at that time there will be most illustrious martyrs and most brave confessors of the Catholic Faith. As to what is further touched on at the end of that objection, that now the Antichrist has come, the adversaries object it because of the primacy of the Pontiff; but how false this is, nay ridiculous too, we will see in Book Five. The other difficulty, lastly, which lies beneath this objection and response, namely how the Catholic Church could persevere in a few believers and take refuge as it were in a corner, will be declared in chapter 6.



1. Evasion of the above argument. spacer2. - 3. The Church cannot even err through ignorance. spacer4. The same truth is proved by reason, and an evasion is excluded. spacer5. - 8. Response of heretics. The response is rejected, and the above conclusion is confirmed by the authority of the Fathers.

HE discourse given in the above chapter could by someone ignorant or a heretic be enervated by saying that thereby is it rightly proved that the Church cannot fall into a heresy by which the faith is lost; but this is not enough nor does it prevent the Church being able to exist in many errors, at least through ignorance, which would excuse it of the guilt of heresy so that, although it err in that way, it would not cease to be faithful and holy and hence would not be destroyed. But if this is conceded, the heretics or schismatics will have some excuse for dissenting from the Church in certain things where they contend it is in error. For if they understand it to be by ignorance alone, and without heresy, they do not seem to speak so manifestly against the promise of Christ. But I said that this could be proposed by a Catholic rather than by a heretic, because heretics do not act in so moderate a way with the Church of Christ, but impudently attribute to it lapses and errors contrary to Scripture which cannot be excused of heresy, and therefore some, with the same impudence, plead in excuse of their heresy that the Church has lost the true faith and hence that, contrary to Christ’s promise, it has perished from the world.
2. Wherefore it must further be said that not only can the Church not fall into heresy, but also that it cannot err, whether by ignorance or in any other way, in any dogma wherein, as in a truth revealed by God and to be believed by all the faithful, the Universal Church is united and which it teaches and proposes. For this too is contained in the promises made to the Church, and therefore no Catholic can be in doubt about this true dogma. The fact is made plain, in the first place, by the words of Paul, 1 Timothy 3:15. “That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” For the Church is compared to a column as what by stability and firmness preserves the truth sincere and pure, and secures all the faithful in truth against all oppressors of it whatever. But if it could err, how, I ask, could the faith of believers, or the truth of things to be believed, depend on it? But that this is the opinion and sense of Paul seems so clear from the words that it needs scarcely any exposition, or persuasion, but only the reading of an unperturbed mind. Hence all authors as well ancient as more recent declare that the Church is said to be the pillar of truth on account of being immoveable in the truth. But it is called the ground, either because it has the truth made firm by prodigies and virtues which by no other than by God himself could be done, as Ambrose expounds, or because by it all believers are made firm in the truth, as is rightly taught by St. Thomas, and it is signified by Chrysostom when he says: “The pillar of the world is the Church, which contains the faith for preaching, the truth indeed of the Church is pillar and ground.” And more clearly Theodoret says: “He called the Church the assembly of believers, whom he said were the pillar and ground of the truth, because, founded on Peter, they remain fixed and immoveable; and by the things themselves they preach the truth of the dogmas.” And Jerome also adds on the same place: “The Church is called the pillar, on which now alone the truth stands firm, which alone holds up the building.” Next Augustine, cont. 1 on Psalm 110, treating of the words, “He has founded the earth on its firmness,” interpreting by ‘earth’ the Church, he expounds: “It will not be made to fall for ages of ages, because it is predestined a column and ground of truth.” Therefore, because it cannot decline from the truth in those things which it believes firmly and as revealed by God, for that reason it is pillar and ground.
spacer3. Besides, this truth is confirmed by the promise of Christ above treated of, John 14:16: “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter [Paraclete]…even the Spirit of truth.” For not without cause did he there specially call him the Spirit of truth, sufficiently signifying by this that he is promising the Paraclete as Teacher of truth, as Christ himself seems to make plain, John 16“13: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come he will guide you into all truth.” But we showed above that the promise of the Holy Spirit was made to the Church, that he should remain with it for ever, as Christ himself said; therefore the Church always has the Holy Spirit as guide and teacher, by whom it is specially guided and illumined, and hence it happens that the same Church cannot err about the truth, and therefore Cyril, Bool X, on John, last chapter, said: “When he predicted that the Paraclete would come to them, he named him the Spirit of truth (for he himself is truth), so that the disciples might understand that he would send a virtue not foreign to himself.” And later: “This Spirit of truth therefore will lead to all truth, for he knows the truth exactly, whose Spirit he is, and reveals it not in part but completely. For although we know in part in this life, as Paul says, yet it is not a truth mutilated but complete that shines on in this little knowledge.” Which last words are much to be noted, for from them is understood the necessity of this Spirit of truth in the Church, as I will immediately make plain. Next for the same reason Tertullian, in his book De Preascriptionibus, ch. 28, as if mocking those who attribute to the Universal Church error about the faith, says: “Will the Holy Spirit not have regard for it, he who to lead it into truth was sent for this purpose by Christ, was for this purpose asked from the Father, that he might be Teacher of truth? Will God’s administrator, Christ’s vicar (that is, filling his function and supplying for his absence in the office of teaching), neglect his duty and allow the Church meanwhile to understand otherwise, to believe otherwise, than he himself preached through his apostles?” As if he were to say that this is incredible and alien to the promise of Christ and to the providence and goodness of the Holy Spirit.
spacer 4. Next, besides the promise of Christ and very express testimonies of Scripture, we can prove this truth by reason deduced from the principles of the faith. Because, if the Universal Church could in any way err in the dogmas of the faith, in none of them could it be the pillar and ground of the truth, nay neither could it believe anything as altogether certain which could not have falsity beneath, because it could always doubt and fear whether it was by ignorance deceived. Someone will perhaps reply that the Church could and should firmly believe the things which are contained in Scripture even if it could err in other things. But this does not remove the difficulty; both because the Church could doubt about the books themselves of Scripture, whether it was erring by ignorance in believing that some book was canonical which was not, because the authority of the Church is not greater in approving one book than in approving another; and also because, if it could err in some dogma, it could also err in understanding the Scriptures, therefore it could always doubt whether it was following the true sense of the Spirit, and hence it could believe nothing with certainty from the Scripture; besides too, because the Church ought to be certain, not only about the things contained in the Scripture, but also about other unwritten dogmas, as the most ancient Fathers always taught, a few of whom I will immediately point out; for in the present we are only touching on this by the way. Therefore, in order for the dogmas which the Universal Church believes to be certain, it must be able to err in none of them. Hence rightly did Gregory Nazianzen say, orat.37, near the end: “One thing coheres with another, and from them a certain truly golden and salutary chain is made;” and therefore, if even one is taken away or rendered uncertain, the whole chain will be broken and become useless, as even Ambrose said, on Luke 9, Book VI, at the end: “If you remove one of these, you have removed your salvation, for even the heretics seem to have Christ for themselves; for none denies the name of Christ; but he denies Christ who does not confess everything which is Christ’s.” Thus, therefore, he destroys the whole faith of the Church who imputes error to it in any dogma whatever.
spacer 5. Perhaps, however, adversaries will easily concede all this, nor will think it inconsistent to admit that the Church can, by erring and handing on false dogmas as truths of the faith, come to that state in which it believes nothing by divine and wholly certain faith but everything by its own opinion. But this response, in the first place, returns to the previous error, that the true Church of Christ can perish; for when constituted in that state it would not have true and supernatural faith; therefore it would not be the true Church. And so, as to this first part, this response is sufficiently assailed by the things said in the preceding chapter, and by the foundation and its testimonies which confirmed it. Next, if the Universal Church could reach that state in which it believes nothing by divine faith but only by human opinion, where then will faith be found on the earth? Surely nowhere, because if the true faith is anywhere, it has flowed from the Catholic Church. Therefore if in the Church itself the faith is not certain and supernatural, much less could it be so outside it. Wherefore those who thus respond and so think about the Church, while they make it unfaithful, show that they themselves lack the faith. For whence will they have it if they do not have it through the Church, since God is now teaching men not through himself but through the Church, as is clearly taken from Paul, Romans 10? Finally, those who thus respond, err for this reason that they do not distinguish in the Church between human authority and the authority of the Holy Spirit who rules it, or speaks through it, as often as it as a whole believes dogmas of the faith, or teaches it, according to the promise of Christ recently pointed to, and according to the mind of the apostles when they hand on a dogma of the faith with these words, Acts 15“28: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.”
spacer 6. And in this way did the most ancient Fathers think about the authority of the Church. Irenaeus, Contra Haereses, III.3, says, “There is no need still to seek among others for the truth which it is easy to obtain from the Church, since the apostles most fully brought into it, like a rich man into his store house, everything which is of the truth, so that everyone who wishes may obtain from it the drink of life, for this is the entrance of life, but all the rest are thieves and robbers, wherefore they must indeed be avoided.” Ambrose, Book III, epist.25, Ad Verselenses, says, “No one stands who does not stand in the faith, who does not stand fixed in the opinion of his heart. We also elsewhere read, ‘but you stand here by me;’ both things were said to Moses by the Lord, ‘whereon you stand is holy ground,’ and ‘Here, stand by me,’ that is, you stand with me if you stand in the Church; for he himself is the holy place, the very earth fertile with holiness and rich with the harvests of virtues. Stand therefore in the Church, stand where I have appeared to you, there I am with you. Where the Church is, there is the firm station of your mind, there is the ground of your spirit.” And the same Ambrose, De Fide, III.8, says: “We will keep the precepts of our ancestors, and will not violate the seals of our inheritance with the rashness of a wild daring.”
spacer 7. And Augustine, De Utilitate Credendi, ch. 8, speaking of a man longing and laboring to find the truth: “If you wish,” he says, “to put an end to labors of this sort, follow the way of Catholic discipline, which has from Christ himself through the apostles flowed down to us, and will henceforth flow to our posterity.” For Augustine thought that the faith would never fail, nor come otherwise to posterity than through tradition and succession in the Catholic Church. Hence in ch. 17, after he said that great is the help of the faith that by the common consensus of the peoples is believed and preached, he subjoins: “This was done by divine providence through the predictions of the prophets, by the humanity and doctrine of Christ, by the journeys of the apostles, by the insults, crosses, blood, deaths suffered by the martyrs, by the praiseworthy life of the saints, and, among all these, miracles worthy of such great things and virtues, according to the opportunity of the times. Since therefore we see the so great help of God and so much fruit and progress, shall we doubt to hide ourselves in the bosom of his Church, which, starting from the Apostolic See through the succession of bishops, the heretics barking around in vain and damned partly by the judgment of the people itself, partly by the gravity of Councils, partly even by the majesty of miracles, has obtained, according to the confession of the human race, the peek of authority? Not to wish to give it the first place is surely the mark either of the highest impiety or of precipitous arrogance. For if there is for souls no sure way to wisdom and safety except when faith cherishes them before reason, what else is ingratitude to the divine help and assistance than to want to resist with so much labor the aforesaid authority?” So far Augustine. With these words he has so splendidly and wisely confirmed the discourse we have made that nothing seems capable of being added to it. And therefore the same Augustine defers so much to the authority of the Church that, in his book Contra Epistolam Fundamenti, ch. 5, he did not doubt to affirm: “I would not believe the Gospel unless the authority of the Catholic Church moved me.”
spacer 8. Finally, Jerome Contra Luciferianos, about the middle: “What is it,” he says, “that you carry over into heresy the laws of the Church?” And later: “If Christ does not have the Church that is diffused through the whole world, or if he only has it in Sardinia, he has been made far too poor.” And lastly, after he has brought many things forward about the Church, he thus adds at the end: “I could spend a whole day on this sort of talk and dry up all the streams of your propositions with the one sun of the Church; but because we have already talked much, I will pronounce for you a brief and open opinion of my mind, that one must remain in that Church which, founded by the apostles, endures up to the present day.” And many like things are found in the ancient Fathers which, in the interests of brevity, I dismiss and more gladly say that he who has not listened to these Fathers, even if many are referred to, will not believe, but will always think up vain subterfuges.



1. Distinction made by sectaries between the Roman and the Catholic Church. spacer2. This sort of distinction was invented by the more ancient heretics. spacer3. Foundations of the error. spacerspacer4. - 6. Distinction of the Roman Church into universal and particular. spacer7. - 8. The place in Luke 22 is put to our account. spacer9. First confirmation. spacer10. - 12. Second confirmation.

he things in the previous chapter from the divine Scriptures, adduced to show that the Catholic Church has been immoveable and has had the singular protection of God in preserving and continually retaining the true faith, are so clear and open that not even the enemies of the Church itself dare entirely to fight against the Catholic Church in an open warfare. So they distinguish between the Catholic Church and the Roman Church and do not dare to say openly about the Catholic Church that it has defected from or lost the true faith, which however they are not afraid to assert boldly against the Roman Church. And in this way they seem to escape all the testimonies of Scripture and the promises of Christ, because these were made about the Catholic Church and not the Roman Church. And, to pass over other Protestants, King James does not seem foreign to this opinion or distinction. For although in his book he does not expressly propose it, yet from his words it is not unclearly gathered; for he professes himself a Defender of the Catholic Faith which, he says, is the faith of the old and primitive Church; wherein he indicates that the Catholic and primitive Church has not perished but persists, for where the Catholic Faith is the Catholic Church too cannot fail to be. But afterwards, in his Preface p.40, he did not fear to confess that he neither is nor ever was in our Church, that is, in the Roman Church; and on p. 47 he plainly damns articles of the faith “which,” he says, “were fashioned in the workshop of the Roman Church, unheard of before the five hundredth year of Christ;” and on p. 48, he has these words: “Although they say I am a schismatic and have defected from the Roman Church, certainly I can in no way be a heretic.” Therefore he makes a distinction between defection from the Roman Church and defection from the Catholic Faith, or from the Catholic Church, for it amounts to the same. Again, p.54, after these words, he subjoins many like ones: “We have not yet touched on the citadel of the Roman religion, that is the head of the Church, and the primacy of Peter, for those who deny this article deny, in the opinion of Bellarmine, the Catholic Faith.” With these and the like words, therefore, King James sufficiently insinuates that the faith of the Roman Church has failed, while the Catholic Faith endures and perseveres.
spacer 2. Nor is this error a new one, for Wycliffe in his article 37, condemned at the Council of Constance, session 8, said that the Roman Church is the Synagogue of Satan; which remark I do not find said by him about the Catholic Church, nor perhaps would he say it, lest he should seem to put himself either in the Synagogue of Satan or outside the Catholic Church; which danger, indeed, is common to all heretics. In fact the Paupers of Lyons, otherwise the Waldensians, were before in the same error, who asserted that no one in the faith of the Roman Church, which defected at the time of Sylvester, could be saved, as is related by Antoninus 4, p. ‘Theologali’, tit. II, ch. 7, sect.2, and by Aeneas Silvius, De Origine Bohemorum, ch. 33. But, first, all of them were based on private opinions or their own errors, and since they could not deny that these were contrary to the Roman Faith, they were compelled at length to babble that the Roman Faith was not true and hence that the Roman Church had defected from the Catholic Church.
3. Or, second, certainly what moved them was that they believe nothing excellent or universal about the Roman Church, but they consider it only as a particular church or diocese and its bishop as one among others possessed of no power outside that diocese. From which principle they inferred that, just as other particular churches and their pastors, even if they were primates or patriarchs, could fail in matters of the faith and did in fact often defect, so too could it happen in the Roman Church and has in fact rather often happened. And in this way these two errors are very much conjoined, as Wycliffe above conjoined them, saying: “The Roman Church is the Synagogue of Satan, and the Pope is not the immediate and proximate Vicar of Christ.” And for this reason the king of England seems to have said that the citadel of the Roman Faith is the article about the primacy of Peter, because we believe that it is founded thereon in the way that Christ promised to found his Church on a rock, and therefore the king himself, by denying the primacy, is compelled to deny the Roman Faith, and to persuade himself and his fellows of its failure.
spacer 4. Wherefore, so as from this foundation to begin our attack on this error, a double function or a double pastoral care is to be distinguished in the Roman Bishop: one is particular and proper to the diocese of Rome, of which the Pontiff is the immediate bishop; the other is the universal care of the whole Church of Christ, of which he is universal Pastor, and he is supreme Bishop of all particular churches, although he is not immediate bishop of them individually. And indeed about the first power and office there is no controversy between us and Protestants. But the second universal power and its supreme even universal jurisdiction over the Universal Church are denied by the adversaries, but we now assume it and constantly assert that the article about it pertains to the Catholic Faith; however the proof of it we reserve for book 3, lest we be compelled to overturn our proposed order and confuse the thing we are now treating of. But these two functions, although they can, in the way they are distinct in themselves, be thus divided in the persons as they are separate in other episcopacies, nevertheless, from the fact that they were conjoined in Peter, they are never found to be separate and, by divine ordinance, will never perhaps be separated; which thing we do not now handle because it is not relevant to the present purpose, but in the third book we will touch on it, at least in passing. Hitherto, therefore, the Roman Bishop has always been the same as the Bishop of the Catholic Church, as he is by the ancient Fathers often named.
spacer 5. From which we understand that by the name of the Roman Church two things can be signified, first that particular church which is confined within the limits of its diocese, and has its own merely particular bishop, precisely considered, so that he may exercise immediate jurisdiction over it. And of the Roman Church taken in this sense we are not speaking, because it is clear that it is not the Catholic Church but a member of it. And therefore about it, as so considered, we cannot say that it has Christ’s promise of never defecting from the Catholic Faith, because nowhere is such a promise found, nor is it necessarily included in the promises made to the Universal Church, because the Universal Church could remain in the true faith, in obedience and union with the Supreme Pontiff, as he is Pontiff and Universal Pastor, even if that particular church should defect from the faith and throw off its bishop by violence from itself, which we say for the sake of explaining the thing, though we piously believe that God will never permit it.
spacer 6. But in another way the Church which retains the True Faith of Christ is wont to be called the Roman Church because it obeys the Roman Bishop, although it is not united to him as to a private bishop but as to the Universal Pontiff; and thus too is it said to be the Roman Faith and the Roman Religion which by the Roman Pontiff, as the Vicar of Christ, is preserved, confirmed, defined, or approved. And in this way too the particular Roman Church, as conjoined to its bishop not only as to a particular ruler but also as to the universal Doctor of the whole Church, is placed together with the Catholic Church in the privilege of not erring nor defecting from the faith as long as it remains in that union with its head; for this is also possessed by any other particular church when considered under the same reason and union. And it follows from the general principle, namely that Peter and the Faith of Peter are the immoveable foundation of the Church, in which, as long as a church, although a particular one, be founded, it never errs from the true faith. Nevertheless between the Universal Church and particular churches this difference can be considered, that any particular church can be disjoined from this rock of Peter and fall; but the Universal Church cannot, because about it alone is it written: “The gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
spacer  7. hen the meaning, then, of the words is declared and understood in this way, we say that the faith of the Roman Church is the Catholic Faith, and the Roman Church has not defected and could not defect therefrom, because of the Chair of Peter present in it. This assertion we propose as certain and necessary in the Catholic Faith, and we gather it from the divine Scripture in this way: The faith of Peter was Catholic and could not defect; but the faith of the Roman Church is the faith of Peter; therefore the faith of the Roman Church is the Catholic Faith, from which that See can never defect. The argumentation is legitimate, but the individual propositions assumed in it need to be proved. The first part, then, is known of itself, namely that the faith of Peter was Catholic; for, if it is understood of the person of Peter, it is not brought into doubt even by heretics; for the faith of Peter was what has been preached to whole world from the beginning; and it is most of all Apostolic and primitive. But if it be understood of the See of Peter, even the Protestants themselves confess that for many years the same Catholic Faith endured in the same See of Peter, and Jerome and Augustine sufficiently testify to the fact up to their own times, the former in his epistle to Damasus about the name ‘hypostasis’, and the latter in his book Contra Epistolam Fundamenti, ch. 4, where, among the four things that were most justly keeping him in the bosom of the Catholic Church, he numbers this one: “From the See itself of Peter the apostle, to whom the Lord after his resurrection commended the feeding of his sheep, the succession of priests up to the present bishop.” Where he openly supposes that the Catholic Church was then the one which was conjoint with the See of Peter and which contained the sheep commended to Peter, and hence that the Catholic Faith had persisted in that See up to his time, which will be confirmed in the point following by many testimonies and reasons.
spacer 8. IIt remains, therefore, that we prove the second part assumed in the proposition, namely that this faith could not defect in Peter, not only as to his person but also as to his see, and consequently not only for some definite time but simply as long as the Church of Christ will last. Now the proof is chiefly from the words of Christ, Luke 22:31 - 32: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen they brethren.” For rightly did Tertullian say, bk. De Fuga in Persecut., ch. 22, that Christ had there asked that the devil not be permitted so much that Peter’s faith should be in peril. Which prayer was efficacious and obtained what was asked for, as is sufficiently proved by the excellence of Christ himself, for he was heard for his reverence in those things which he requested absolutely, as is made plain in the present case by the words: “I have prayed for thee;” and it is made more plain, or rather the granting of the prayer and its infallible effect is supposed in those last words: “And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” And therefore does Pope Leo IX well ask: “Will there be anyone of such great madness as to dare to think that his prayer, in whom to will is to be able, is in any respect vain?” So there is in this part almost no controversy or difficulty. But there could be in another point, namely whether that prayer was made only for the person of Peter, and therefore its effect ended with him, or rather was made for the See of Peter in his person, and will thus last as long as the See will last; therefore it remains for us to prove that it must be understood in the second way.
spacer 9. We prove it in the first place from the authority of many Supreme Pontiffs, who, recognizing this prerogative of their dignity and of their See, proved it from these words of Christ, who though they seem to speak in their own cause are nevertheless very worthy of trust, both because they are very old and taught this as by continuous tradition, and also because many of them are saints and martyrs who sealed the true and Catholic Faith with their blood, and finally because the most ancient Fathers bestowed the same honor on the Roman See and Faith. So, the above testimony is used to confirm this truth by Pope Lucius in his epistle to the bishops of Gaul and Spain, near the end, where he says that his See holds unerring the norm of the Apostolic faith as it received it from its own authors, the princes of the apostles of Christ, according to the divine promise of our Savior, and he refers to the words cited. Like things are contained in Pope Marcus’ epistle to Athanasius, which is in vol.1 of the Epistles, although it is not referred to in the volumes of the Councils, and in Felix I’s epistle 3 to Benignus, and in Pope Agatho’s epistle to the emperor Constantine, which was read in act.4 of the Sixth Synod, and was approved in act.8, and in Nicholas I’s epistle to the emperor Michael, after the middle, and in Leo IX’s epistle to Michael, ch. 7, and in Innocent III, ch. ‘Maiores’, De Baptismo. But more fully than by the others is this made plain by Pope Leo, in serm.2, In Natali Petri et Pauli, ch. 3, where, having set down the words of the Gospel, he subjoins: “The danger was common to all the apostles from their trial by fear, and they had equal need of the help of divine protection, since the devil desired to attack them all, to destroy them all; and yet a special care is taken up by Christ for Peter, and he prays in particular for Peter’s faith, as if the state of the others would be surer if the mind of the Prince were not conquered. In Peter, therefore, the courage of all is fortified, and the help of divine grace is so ordered that the firmness which is bestowed through Christ on Peter is through Peter conferred on the apostles. For after his resurrection too, the Lord said to the blessed apostle Peter, after the keys of the kingdom, three times with mystical insinuation to each of the three professions of eternal love: ‘Feed my sheep;’ which even now the pious pastor without doubt does and performs the mandate of the Lord, confirming us with exhortations and not ceasing to pray for us, that we be overcome by no temptation.” Which words are repeated by the same Pontiff in sermon 3 De Assumptione Sua, and he adds: “Justly do we rejoice in the merits and dignity of our leader, giving thanks to the eternal Redeemer King, our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave so much power to him whom he made prince of the whole Church, that if anything even in our times is rightly done through us, it is to be assigned to his work, to his governance, to whom it was said: ‘And when thou art, strengthen they brethren.’”
spacer 10. From these words are other reasons gathered by which this sense is confirmed. One is taken from a change in Christ’s words; for first he spoke to all the apostles, predicting that almost all were to be tempted; but afterwards he says especially to Peter: “I have prayed for thee;” therefore he also obtained something special for him. But personal perseverance was not unique to Peter, for Christ prayed for the others too, saying, John 17:11: “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.” And although at the time, when he prayed for Peter, he had not yet offered that universal prayer, nevertheless there would have been no peculiar favor for Peter unless he had requested some more special privilege for him. But Christ, in that singular way of calling Peter, so that he would pay heed, “Simon, Simon,” (for such is what the Greek has), and of praying for him, wished without doubt to signify a greater prerogative. Nay, if the thing is attentively considered, in each place did Christ the Lord pray for Peter and for all the apostles and for the Universal Church present and future, but yet in a diverse way; for in the writing of John he first expressly prayed for all the apostles, of whom Peter was one and special, and in them was the Church virtually contained, for whose sake was especially made that prayer which a little later Christ completed when he said, v.20-21: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word: That they all may be one,” namely with the unity of the Faith and of the Catholic Church. In the writing of Luke, however, Christ directly and expressly prayed for Peter alone, but indirectly and by a certain consequence he prayed also for the other apostles, as he indicated in the subjoined words: “And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” “So that the firmness which is bestowed through Christ on Peter is through Peter conferred on the apostles,” as we related a little above from Pope Leo. And hence is that prayer extended to the whole Church, which is also comprehended under the name of brothers, as Theophylact indicated on that place, saying: “The sense is plain: Because I have you as Prince of the disciples, when, having denied me, you have wept and come to repentance, confirm the rest. For this befits you, who after me are the rock and foundation of the Church.” Hence Pope Agatho above said: “The Lord promised that Peter’s faith would not fail, and he admonished him to confirm his brothers, which that the Apostolic Pontiffs, predecessors to my littleness, always confidently did, is acknowledged by all.” And Leo IX above indicated the same sense when he said: “From the See of the Prince of the apostles, that is from the Roman Church, as well through Peter himself as through his successors, the inventions of all the heretics have been rebuked, convicted, conquered, and the hearts of the brothers in the faith of Peter, which hitherto has not failed nor will it ever fail, are strengthened.”
spacer 11. Hence, from these last words the sense of the first promise is made more open, and another very fine reason for the aforesaid interpretation is given. For thus is Peter here commanded to confirm his brothers, as he is ordered in John 21 to feed Christ’s sheep; for they who are here called brothers and there sheep are the same; but there they are called sheep on account of the mildness and obedience of subjects, but here they are called brothers so as to show that the duty of an ecclesiastical pastor is not to dominate but to confirm as brothers those who are weaker, “of a ready mind…being ensamples to the flock,” as the same Peter said, 1 Peter 5:2 - 3. Just as, therefore, “feed my sheep,” was said, not to Simon for his person alone but to Peter for the office which was conferred on him, that it might endure in his successors, so when it is said to him, “strengthen thy brethren,” a certain chief part of that office is pre-indicated, which is to strengthen and as it were sustain the brothers and the Church in the true faith; for although this is done principally by divine virtue, yet this virtue uses man as instrument, so that it might govern men in the way that is fitted to men. And although others pastors and doctors of the Church cooperate therein by teaching and preaching, nevertheless to supply it by legitimate and ordinary power, and by an authority that is certain, discriminating the false from the true, condemning heresies, and defining Catholic doctrine, is proper to him to whom it was said: “Strengthen thy brethren.” Hence, just as this office is necessary in the Church for the preservation of the true faith, so those words were said to Peter by reason of a pastoral office that was going to flow perpetually into the Church and to endure there always; therefore too the first promise, “that thy faith fail not,” was made, not merely to the person, but to the office and See of Peter. For that is why Christ specially prayed for him and gained that privilege for him, because the office of strengthening the brethren required that help on the part of God; therefore as the office was going to be perpetual in the See of Peter, so also the privilege. And all this is signified by Leo I in those words: “He prays in particular for Peter’s faith, as if the state of the others would be surer if the mind of the Prince is not conquered,” and in the others whom we referred to above. And more openly Theophylact, after he said: “because I have you as Prince of the disciples…confirm the rest,” he adds: “But one may understand that it was said not only about the apostles, that they were confirmed by Peter, but about all who will up to the end of the age be the faithful.” Which although it seem to be afterwards expounded by him by way of example, because it preceded, in the person of Peter, his weeping for his offense and remains perpetually in the memories of men, yet Christ did not speak of example but of confirmation by the word of faith, and therefore the better understanding is that perpetually through the see of Peter is this done.
spacer 12. And this truth and the interpretation of the promise can, by comparison of this place with the others on which the primacy of Peter is founded, be made more fully firm. Which is also signified by Leo I in the cited words when he compares these words, “Strengthen thy brethren,” with those, “Feed my sheep;” which comparison we have already made plain. Hence although this promise be not so clear, we would, from the sole office of feeding the sheep of Christ in the doctrine of the faith, gather sufficiently that this privilege in the See of Peter is necessary. Because if in that See the faith could waver, it could be in danger in the whole Church of Christ, both because the Church is held to obey Peter and his successors when teaching from his chair (as is gathered from the words of Christ mentioned, because the first and most necessary food of the faithful is the true doctrine of faith), and also because otherwise there would not be in the  Church a sure reason for discriminating true doctrine from false, and thus the faithful could not be confirmed, let alone confirmed unshaken in the Catholic Faith. Which reason we will urge more in what follows. And in like manner this truth is confirmed by the other promise of Christ: “Upon this rock I will build my Church,” for that rock is Peter and his successors, as we will show below. But he is called rock because of his firmness in holding up the building, and therefore, as the building of the Church is going to be perpetual, so the rock too, that it might be suited for holding up the building. Wherefore, just as the Church could not be perpetual unless its faith could not fail, so neither would the rock be suited, nor have the firmness, for holding up the building, if it could fail in the faith. And therefore rightly did Origen say, tract. 1, on Matthew: “Neither against the rock, on which Christ builds his Church, nor against the Church itself, will the gates of hell prevail.” And Cyril in Thesaurus (as cited in the Catena of St. Thomas on Matthew 16) said: “According to this promise of the Lord the Apostolic Church of Peter (that is the Roman Church) remains immaculate from all seduction and heretical trickery, over all leaders, and bishops, and over all primates of the churches and of the peoples, in its Pontiffs, in the fullness of faith and authority of Peter. And although other churches may be put to shame by the error of certain people, it reigns alone unshaken &c.” Which words, though they are not now found in Cyril’s Thesaurus,



1. Testimonies are examined from the ancient fathers asserting that the Faith of the Roman and of the Catholic Church coincide. The first testimony. spacer2. The second from Augustine and Jerome. spacer3. The third from Ambrose. spacer4. The fourth from Cyprian. spacer5. The fifth from Irenaeus. spacer6. The sixth from Athansius and the bishops of Egypt. 7spacer7. The seventh from the bishops of the province of Tarragona. spacer8. - 9. Evasion. Response. spacer10. - 13. Instance. It is refuted. An authority and a conjecture are added. spacer14. The heretics object that some pontiffs have fallen into heresy. spacer15. No Pontiff as head of the Church can lose the Faith. spacer16. No Pontiff can err either in things pertaining to the Universal Church.

ROM what has been said in the preceding chapter the proof remains that the faith of the Roman Church is the faith of Peter and hence is the Catholic Faith, from which that See can never defect. But we can, from the very way things have turned out and from tradition, confirm the same truth and promise. For if the Apostolic See did not have in this matter a special privilege it would at some time have failed in the faith, even when teaching ex cathedra, or it would have approved some heresy, as we see to have happened in other churches, including those begun by the apostles; for such is the human fragility and condition that in so great variety and multitude of persons error may easily happen, unless there be assistance from the Holy Spirit. But that this has never occurred in the Roman Church is, besides the Pontiffs cited, testified by Pope Eusebius, epist.3 to the bishops of Tuscany and Campania, when he says: “Salvation is first to guard the rules of right faith and in no way to deviate from the things established by the Fathers. Nor can the sentence of Jesus Christ our Lord be passed over, when he said: ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church.’ And the things he said are proved by the effect of things, because in the Apostolic See the Catholic Religion has always without stain been preserved.” And Pope Gelasius in his epistle to the Augustus Anastasius: “This,” he says, “is what the Apostolic See most guards against, that, because the glorious confession of the Apostle is the root of the world, it be stained by no crack of depravity, no infection whatever. For if (which may God forbid, because we are confident it cannot happen) any such thing should happen, from where might we dare to resist any error, or from where might we request correction for the erring?”
spacer 2. Nor did the Roman Pontiffs alone have this thinking about the Roman Church or the See of Peter, but the other Fathers did too, as well Latin as Greek. I have already referred to Augustine, Contra Epistolam Fundamenti, ch. 4, where, when he posits as sign of the Catholic Church the succession of the Roman Pontiffs, makes it plain with sufficient clarity that the Catholic Church is not disjoined from the Roman Pontiff, and thus that the Roman and the Catholic Faith are the same. Hence the same Augustine, Bk. II De Gratia Christi et Peccato Originali, ch. 8, says about Pelagius: “He was able not at all to deceive the Roman Church; for the most blessed Pope Zosimus recalled to mind what his predecessor, worthy of imitation, had thought about his doings. He paid attention also to what the faith of the Romans, praiseworthy in the Lord, thought about him, whose harmonious eagerness he saw to be aflame in concord against his error.” And in Bk. II, Contra Duas Epist. Pelagianor., ch. 4, he says: “Since in the letters of the venerable Innocent the antiquity of the Roman Church shone clear, certainly would he be a sinner against the Roman Church who departed from its sentence.” Where (as often elsewhere) he accepts and venerates the faith of the Roman See as the Catholic faith. Second, Jerome’s epist. 57 to Damasus, Quoniam vetusto… has the words: “I am joined in communion to the Chair of Peter; on this rock I know the Church to be built; whoever eats the lamb outside this house is profane.” Where openly he judges the Catholic Church to be the same as the Roman. From which fact also, in Bk. I Apologia contra Ruffinum, col. 3, he draws this conclusion: “Which Faith does he call his own? That with which the Roman Church is strong? Or that which is contained in the volumes of Origen? If he responds ‘the Roman’, then we are Catholics;” where too he eloquently teaches that the same Faith is Catholic and Roman. But that this faith is also immaculate he testifies thus in the third book of the same Apology, a little before the middle: “Know that the Roman Faith, praised by the Apostolic voice, does not receive deceptions of that sort; even if an Angel should preach otherwise than has once been preached.” And in the introduction to his second book on Galatians, he praises the faith and religion of the Romans, and concludes: “Not because the Romans have another faith save this one which all the churches of Christ have, but because in them devotion is greater &c.”
spacer 3. Let the third witness be St. Ambrose, who in his book De Obitu Satyri Fratris towards the end, says, referring to the prudence and caution of his brother: “He called a bishop to himself; and he did not think any grace true save the grace of the true faith; and he asked of him whether he was in union with the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Roman Church.” In which words too he thinks that union with the Roman Church and with the Catholic Church is one and the same. Hence, Bk. I, epist. 4, he writes thus to the emperors: “Your clemency will have to watch not to allow the head of the whole Roman world, the Roman Church and the sacrosanct faith of the apostles, to be disturbed, for from it the rights of reverend communion flow out to all.” And in epist. 7 of the same to Pope Siricius, he writes: “Let the symbol of the apostles be believed, which the Roman Church always guards and preserves undefiled;” and serm. 2 De Sanctis, which is about the Chair of Peter, and serm. 11, which is his second about Peter and Paul, he declares strikingly to our point how the Church is founded on Peter and has therefrom continual firmness of faith.
spacer 4. Let the fourth be Cyprian who in just the same way venerated the Roman Church; but especially in epist. 55 to Cornelius, col.12, he says about certain heretics: “They dare to sail to Peter’s Chair and to the Principal Church, whence springs sacerdotal unity, and do not dare to ponder that those are Romans, whose faith is praised by the preaching of the apostle, to whom faithlessness can have no access.” Hence the same Cyprian, epist.52, at the beginning, says: “You have written to me to transmit a copy of the same letters to Cornelius our colleague, so that, having set all care aside, he may now know that you are in communion with him, that is, with the Catholic Church.” Where he openly thinks that it is the same thing to be in communion with the Roman Church and with the Catholic Church. And epist. 76 to Magnus, he says: “The Church is one, which cannot be one both within and without.” Whence he infers: “If it is with Novatian, it was not with Cornelius; but if it was with Cornelius, who succeeded to Fabian by legitimate ordination, Novatian is not in the Church.” Where too he supposes the Catholic Church to be one with the Roman Church. The same in epist. 40, near the middle: “One Church and one Chair founded on Peter by the voice of the Lord.” And later: “Whoever gathers elsewhere, scatters.” He repeats almost the same in his book De Unit. Eccl., not far from the beginning, and among many other things he says: “He who forsakes the Chair of Peter, on which the Church is founded, has he confidence that he is in the Church?”
spacer 5. The fifth is Irenaeus who, in bk.2 Contra Haereses, ch. 3, says: “Since it is a long thing to count the successions of all the churches, we point to the tradition of the greatest Church, and the most ancient, and the one known to all to have been founded and established by the two most glorious apostles Peter and Paul at Rome, that tradition which it has from the apostles, and the faith announced to men which has come through successions of bishops up to ourselves; and we confound all those who in any way, whether through their evil pleasure, or their vain glory, or their blindness and evil opinion, gather where they ought not. For with this Church, because of its more powerful principality, every church, that is, those who are everywhere the faithful, must agree, wherein has always been preserved by those who are everywhere the tradition which is from the apostles.”
spacer  6. For a sixth we can add Athanasius and the bishops of Egypt in their epistle to Pope Marcus, in which they ask for copies of the Council of Nicea, where they say among other things: “We beg that from the authority of your holy See of the Church, which is mother and head of all churches, we may deserve through the present legates to secure them for the correction and restoration of the orthodox faithful, so that, supported on your authority and strengthened by your prayers, we may both for ourselves escape unharmed from the afore-mentioned rivals of the holy Church of God and be able to pluck from them those who have been committed to us.” In these words he manifestly supposes that the sound and complete faith then existed in the Roman Pontiff, and that there was in him besides authority for correcting heretics and for confirming the faithful in the true faith.
spacer 7. As a seventh, here we can adduce the testimony of the bishops of the province of Tarragona, in epist. 2 to Pope Hilary, where they first recognize the privilege of the Roman Church from the primacy of the Vicar of Christ, then they subjoin: “Thence, to begin with, we adore in you God whom you serve without complaint, and we have recourse to the faith praised by the mouth of the apostle, seeking responses from there whence nothing with error, nothing with presumption, but all with pontifical deliberation is prescribed.” And with these can be counted Ruffinus in his exposition of the Symbol, at the beginning, where he says: “In diverse churches some things are found added to these words, but in the Church of the city of Rome this deed has not been detected, which I think is for this reason, that neither has any heresy taken thence its beginning, and there the ancient custom is preserved.” The words also cited above from Cyril sufficiently confirm this truth, which, in addition to citing St. Thomas, the Archbishop of Constantinople Gennadius also refers to in his defense of the Council of Florence, ch. 5, sect. 12, but in a slightly different way, namely: “We should, as members, follow the head, that is the Roman Pontiff and the Apostolic See, whence we must seek what we should believe and think and hold, because to it alone does it belong to check, refute, confirm, order, loose, and bind.” Next Theodoret is wont to be alleged in his epistle to the Roman priest Renatus, where he says: “That holy See holds the reins of government for ruling the churches of the whole world, both for other reasons and because it has always remained free of heretical foulness.” But because I was not able to see this epistle, I add that its opinion is very much consonant with what the same Theodoret hands on in his epistle to Pope Leo, which is contained in the second volume of the Councils, where he extols the Roman Church with the greatest praises. But especially he says: “Faith conspicuously adorns it, and the witness worthy of faith, the divine apostle, who exclaims ‘your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.’” And about the Roman See itself he says: “To you it is fitting to be first in all things, for your See is of all the greatest and most illustrious, and it presides over the whole earth.” And later: “But it has the tombs also of the common Fathers, the teachers of truth Peter and Paul, which illumine the souls of the faithful.” And later: “But their God has now also made their See illustrious and distinguished, since he has placed Your Holiness therein, who sends out the rays of the orthodox Faith.”
spacer 8. Perhaps someone will say that these things were said by the Fathers, not because of some singular privilege of the Roman Bishop in keeping the faith intact, but only because of the conspicuous piety and sincere faith of the Roman people, which greatly flourished in the beginning of the Church. For this alone is signified by Paul in the words of Romans 1:8: “First I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” Just as too in 1 Thessalonians 1:6 - 7 he praises the faith of the Thessalonians, saying: “Having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe &c.” The reply is that there is no doubt that the apostle in the said words commends the faith of the Roman people, and some words of the holy Fathers recall the same praise; yet, nevertheless, they praise the Roman Church more frequently because it always guarded intact and immaculate the faith once received, as is sufficiently clear from the words alleged.
spacer 9. But the adversaries will instance that these things were said by these Fathers about the Roman Church before the six hundredth year of Christ, during which time they themselves also confess that the true and pure Catholic Faith endured in the Roman Church and See; yet this does not prevent it from thereafter falling slowly little by little and from losing the purity of the faith, as they themselves invent. But, in the first place, this does not weaken the testimony of the said ancient Fathers, because they not only narrate the fact but also show that the right (if I may so say) or foundation of that fact is perpetual, and so they not only teach that the Roman Faith was in their time Catholic but also that it has this by a proper privilege and prerogative that was going to endure continually in that See. This is evident first from those who found this on the promise of Christ: “That thy faith fail not,” as has already been explained. Next, the reason is the same about those who draw this conclusion “because the Church is built on this rock,” as Jerome said. Again from the fact that they place as a sure sign of the Catholic Church union with the Roman Church, as is clear from Jerome and Ambrose, and most of all from Augustine. For when he placed among the signs of the Catholic Church the succession of the Roman Bishops, he without doubt signified principally two things. One is that the series and succession of that episcopacy among so many persecutions, and without human power, and with the same excellence of dignity and power, is not from human providence chiefly but from divine, and from the promise of Christ, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” which always endures, as the same Augustine in his psalm against the party of Donatus openly declares, saying: “It is a grief when we see you thus lying prostrate. Number the priests, even from the See itself of Peter, and see in the order of Fathers who succeeded to whom. It is the rock which the proud gates of hell will not conquer.” The second thing is that the Catholic Church is infallibly conjoined with the See of Peter, and hence that there is the same faith for both of them; for if this be not supposed the sign is of almost no moment. Finally the conclusion is drawn that this was the mind of the said Fathers, because they attribute this privilege to the Apostolic See as being necessary for carrying out the office committed to it, namely to confirm the subjects in the true faith, and to remove the authors of heresies and false doctrine from the Church, and to cut back all the rotting members that have already died off. Which reason indeed many of the cited Pontiffs point to.
spacer 10. But if the English Protestants require, besides these ancient testimonies, newer ones, let them hear, in the first place, their own most grave historian Bede, in Book III of Histor. Anglican., ch. 25 at the end, or therein a certain wise priest by the name of Wilfrid, who, having cited the decrees of the Roman Church for defining a certain controversy about Easter, thus concludes: “If, having heard the decrees of the Apostolic See, nay of the Universal Church, and these confirmed by sacred letters, you disdain to follow them, without all doubt you sin. For even if your fathers were holy, is their single smallness, from a corner of a distant island, to be preferred to the universal Church of Christ which is throughout the world?” To these I add the testimonies of Gregory, who sat on the See to the six hundred and fourth year of Christ, and testifies about the integrity of the faith of his See in Book III of Epistles, indict.12, epist.32, and often elsewhere. And so in epist.41 to Boniface he speaks thus: “I exhort you, while there is still time left in life, that your soul not be found divided from the Church of the same blessed Peter, to whom the keys of the heavenly kingdom were committed, and the power of binding and loosing assigned, lest, if his kindness here is despised, entry into life there will be closed.” And Bk. IV, indict. 13, ch. 77, ep. 3 2, against John the bishop of Constantinople, who had dared to usurp the name of Universal Bishop, he inveighs first of all with the words and promises of Christ. “For to all who know the Gospel,” he says, “it is established that the care of the whole Church was by the holy voice of the Lord and to the apostle Peter, prince of all the apostles, committed; to him indeed is it said, “Feed my sheep;” to him is it said, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen they brethren;” to him is it said, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church.” From which he intends to conclude that only the Roman Bishop is in truth Universal, although because of modesty he is not wont to be called so. But then he adds that the bishop of Constantinople could not be Universal, since many patriarchs therein have been authors of heresies, which God forbid to the Universal Bishop (as he indicates), “because the whole Church collapses when he who is called Universal falls.” In which he clearly thinks that it pertains to the stability of the Church that the supreme and universal See be immutable in the faith. Which he openly confirms in Bk. VI, indict. 5, ch. 201, otherwise ep. 37, saying: “Who does not know that the holy Church is made firm on the solid base of the Prince of the apostles, because he brings firmness of mind in his name, so that he is called Peter from petra (rock), to whom it is said by the voice of truth: ‘I will give thee the keys…,’ to whom it is again said, ‘Strengthen thy brethren.’” To these can be added the opinion of Leo IX, in epist. 1, ch. 7, when he says: “By the See of the Prince of the apostles, that is by the Roman Church, both through Peter himself and through his successors, the lies of all the heretics have been condemned, refuted, and defeated, and the hearts of the brethren have in the faith of Peter, which has not hitherto failed nor will ever fail, been confirmed.” Which things this Pontiff wrote after the one thousand and fiftieth year, and he founded them on the promise of Christ as regard future time, but as to past time he assumes them by evidence of the fact, which is known to the whole world.
spacer 11. Besides, for confirming the same truth we can adduce Isidore in his last epistle to Eugene, bishop of Toledo, where he first says of Peter: “He stands forth above the rest, and he received from the very son of God and of the Virgin first the honor of the pontificate in the Church of Christ;” and he confirms it with the testimonies of Matthew 15 and John 21, and then he subjoins: “Whose dignity of power, although it is transfused to all the bishops of the Catholics, more especially however in the Roman Prelate, by a certain singular privilege, as in the head higher than the rest of the members, it remains for ever. He therefore who does not reverently show him due obedience makes himself, severed from the head, guilty of the schism of the Headless, because, as the holy Church approves the saying of St. Athanasius about the faith of the Holy Trinity, it also guards it as if an article of the Catholic Faith, that unless each faithfully believes and firmly he cannot be saved.” In these words, although he does not expressly assert that the Roman Church cannot defect from the faith, yet he supposes that up to his own times it has not defected, and he sufficiently indicates that it will always be the same when he says that its privilege will remain for ever. The same is handed on by Bernard, who, epist.109 to Innocent, implores his authority against the rising new heresy, saying: “To your Apostleship must be referred all dangers and scandals emerging in the reign of God, those especially which touch on the faith. For I think it fitting that the losses of the faith are most of all made good there where the faith can experience no defect. This surely is the prerogative of this See. For to whom else was it at any time said: ‘I have prayed for thee, Peter, that thy faith fail not?’ Therefore what follows is demanded from Peter’s successor: ‘And when thou art converted, strengthen they brethren.’” In these words he sufficiently proves everything that has been said and the true understanding of the promises of Christ. Hence in Bk. II De Considerat. ad Eugenium, ch. 8, he says that the Roman Pontiff is “the prince of bishops, and in power Peter, and pastor not only of the sheep but also of all pastors,” and many other things by which the same truth is established. And in a sermon about the privileges of St. John the Baptist, he says that the Roman Church is mother and mistress of all the churches, to which is said: “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” Next St. Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, when dedicating his book De Incarnat. to the Pontiff Urban, calls him the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church that is in pilgrimage on earth, and he subjoins in chapter 1: “Since divine providence has chosen Your Holiness, to whom he has committed the guarding of the Christian life and faith and the ruling of the Church, to no other is reference more rightly made if anything against the Catholic Faith arises in the Church, so that by your authority it may be corrected,” and the other things he pursues, whereby he makes sufficiently plain what he thinks about the Roman Church. To these can be added two testimonies which have been given by men who were Greeks. One is from Theodore Studita, in epist. 4 to Naucratius, which is number 6 in Bk. II, where he says about heretics: “I am witness now before God and men that they have torn themselves away from the body of Christ and from the supreme crowning throne whereon Christ placed the keys of the faith, against which have never prevailed, nor will ever prevail up to the end, the gates of hell, that is, the mouths of heretics, as he has promised who does not lie.” And in another work De Cultu Imaginum, a fragment of which is related in Bk. 3 of the holy Library, speaking of the Romans he says: “So great is their faith that there too would the rock of the faith seem to be unbroken, namely, the rock founded on the word of the Lord.” Which testimony is referred to and praised by Gennadius Scholarius, ch. 5, Defensio Concilii Florentini, sect. 12, where he himself says, sect. 17: “If the divine See does not think rightly, Christ lied when he said, ‘Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away;’ for twice he promised the Church, that he would be with it, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.” Where other things too he adduces from the Fathers of the Third and Fourth Synod. And other innumerable things can be reviewed from Catholic theologians, but because it would be prolix and does not seem necessary, I pass them over.
spacer 12. However, perhaps the Protestants, who do not accept the testimonies of the ancient Fathers for their own or for our times, also reject the testimonies of more recent ones, because, according to their invention, they were written after the defection of the Church. But those who fall into so great audacity and temerity are sufficiently refuted by their own proper judgment and choice, that they are being led to destruction and are speaking against all human prudence, since they despise and weaken both every human faith and the credibility of the divine faith itself. Therefore it is enough for us to have shown according to the sacred Scriptures, as they were understood by the holy Fathers and according to the tradition of the same Fathers, that the Roman Church, by reason of the Apostolic See and the Chair of faith, is not other than the Catholic Church, nor has it more defected from the faith, or can defect, than the Catholic Church. We add besides, if notwithstanding all these things the adversaries contend that the Roman Church has defected, they must designate the time and year in which that defection began, and under which Pontiff, and in what matter or article the error occurred; for if they can show none of these, as in fact they cannot, they are certainly unworthy of all faith. And indeed, about the individual times, centuries, years, and Pontiffs it has been shown with the greatest diligence by Cardinal Baronius in his Annals; and therefore at the beginning of the seven hundredth year he very prudently speaks thus to the reader: “Attend in your heart, and inspect in your memory, if you find in the Catholic Church anything diminished of the things which you saw in all the other previous centuries.” And later: “The thing itself is witness, the facts shout out, and the writings of all the saints with remarkable agreement preach that never has the holy Catholic Church of God turned aside from the royal way &c.”
spacer 13. But as to what regards the matter of defection or the particular errors which the heretics attribute to the Roman Church, we will later say a few things, at least about what the King of England touches on, for in this brief work we cannot expressly respond to everything, and the thing has been done, as occasion offered, by other Catholic doctors, and by us according to our capacity in other books of Theology. But I will not omit to add a moral conjecture which Tertullian supplies me in his book De Praescript. Adversus Haeretic., ch. 28, where he says: “How is it likely that so many and so great churches have erred in the one faith? No event among many has a single result. The error of doctrine ought to have varied in the churches. Besides, what is found single among many is not error but tradition. Does anyone dare say, then, that they who handed on the tradition have erred?” The conjecture is surely almost plain, which is made sufficiently convincing by the experience of both old and new heretics; for as soon as they are separated from the Church they are divided into various and different sects. But the Roman Church has always retained the unity of doctrine, the other churches that profess the Catholic Faith agreeing with it; therefore it is an evident sign that that Church has never deviated from the first and original faith. And therefore, as often as some church or some faction of men decline towards another faith, at once is it known to be separate from the Church both Catholic and Roman; but in the Roman Church, or in the See of Peter, never has a like defection or separation from the ancient faith or from other members of the Catholic Church been known; therefore the evasion and imposition of heretics is frivolous and unbelievable.
spacer 14. But heretics are wont to make objection especially of certain lapses and errors of certain Roman Pontiffs, whether in their persons or in doctrine. And in the first place they contend that some really were heretics and had lost the faith. Hence they can infer that the words of Christ, “That thy faith fail not,” are not found to be true in all the Roman Pontiffs, and thus that those words were not pronounced about them, and that thus far they did not obtain the privilege or promise of never erring. Next, they object that some Pontiffs, who although they were not accused of heresy, handed on to the Church a false doctrine through human ignorance. But to these objections, proposed in particular and singly, a copious and erudite satisfaction has been made by the illustrious Bellarmine, Bk. IV De Summo Pontifice, and by Cardinal Osius against Brentius, and by other writers of our time.
spacer 15. Briefly, then, about the first part, a received distinction is open to view about the Pontiff qua believer, as he is a private person, or qua teacher, as he is a Pontiff. For we say that to him taken in the second does the promise of Christ pertain; for in this way he is the rock on whose firmness depends of its kind the firmness of the Church. But in this way no trace of heresy is shown by heretics in the whole succession of Supreme Pontiffs. But considering the person of the Pontiff in the first way, even among Catholics there is controversy whether a Pontiff could be a heretic, and the quarrel is still undecided whether some Pontiff was, not by presumption alone, but really such. But this question does not pertain to the foundations of faith, and therefore we now pass it over. And for the sake of avoiding controversy we easily grant that it is not necessary for the promise of Christ to extend to the person of the Pontiff as he is one of the private believers. But if someone insists that by the same reason the person of Peter as private could have defected from the faith, not withstanding the promise of Christ, we reply first that there is not the same reason about Peter, because to him was the promise immediately made, and therefore it was made not only as to his office but also as to his person; but to the others it only descended by succession, and therefore it was communicated to them as successors of Peter. Next we add that Peter not only had this promise but also the other promises that were common to the apostles, by reason of which all of them had, so to say, personal confirmation, as well in grace as in faith and doctrine.
spacer 16. But to the other part, about the errors that are attributed to the Pontiffs, we say briefly that it is one thing to speak about the decrees of Pontiffs insofar as they define something through them or approve it as to be believed or observed by the Universal Church; it is another thing to speak of the private judgments, opinions, or reasons of Pontiffs. For in the present we are treating of the former decrees, and in them no false dogma is found that they handed down by way of definition and proposed to the Church for belief, as anyone will easily understand who reads the things that the authors cited, and Caetanus in Bk VI De Locis, chs. 1 and 8, pursue more at large. But in private judgments or opinions, or even the reasons which they sometimes use, as it is not necessary that they have the certitude of faith so not that they have infallible truth either, because this is neither necessary for the firmness or purity of the faith of the Universal Church, nor even is it consonant with the mind and intention of the same Pontiffs. For by the very fact that they are speaking under opinion or human valuation, they profess that they are speaking with human reason and wisdom, not with the infallible assistance of the Holy Spirit. But if someone with prudent and pious mind considers even what is handed on in this second way, perhaps he will find nothing which is not handed down wisely and is established on a sufficiently probable foundation.



1. A third evasion of heretics is proposed about the invisible Church. spacer2 - 5. Foundation of the aforesaid error. spacer6 - 9. Visibility of the Church from Isaiah 2. Twofold exposition. spacer10 - 11. Properties of the visible Church.spacer12. A response on behalf of the opinion of the heretics is refuted. spacer13. The visibility of the Church will endure perpetually. spacer14. Confirmation from the office of teaching. spacer15 - 16. Confirmation from the visible succession of Pontiffs. spacer17. The Church always perseveres by reason of visible succession. spacer18. Confirmation lastly from Ephesians ch. 4

N the book of the most serene King of England we find nothing expressly said about this evasion, or about the invisible Church, but we cannot pass it over without confronting it, both so that we might make reply to most of the heretics of this age, for we desires to satisfy all and persuade them of the truth, and also so that we may make the discourse we have begun more fully perfect and so that all vain subterfuges may be blocked. Although many of the heretics, then, because of the open testimonies of the Scriptures, do not deny that the Church of Christ or the Catholic Church will endure and remain perpetually in the true faith, yet, so that they may somehow escape the force of reason and the light of truth, they distinguish a double Church, one true and firm, the other only apparent; they say the first is invisible, the second invisible, to bodily eyes. With this distinction supposed, they reply that the invisible Church is the true and Catholic Church of Christ to which the promise was made that it would never fail nor the gates of hell prevail against it. But they say that the other apparent and visible Church, although it may persevere in this external appearance, can fail in the faith, and consequently in the subsistence of the true Church, and has already failed in the Roman Church, whose form and appearance they thus depict.
spacer 2. Now the foundation of this opinion, insofar as it supposes the true Church to be invisible (for this only is the focus of the present disputation), is that the form constituting the true Church is invisible in itself and is not made by any sign so manifestly visible that it could be seen therein. Such form therefore is simply invisible. For whatever is visible can be seen either in itself or at least in another as in a sign. If therefore the form constituting the Church can be seen in neither of these ways, surely it is altogether invisible. Therefore the true Church too, as it is such, is invisible, because although the persons, from whom it is constituted, may be seen as if materially with respect to their bodies or their external human actions, yet as far as they constitute the Church they cannot be seen. Just as if the soul of man, which in itself is invisible, could not be seen through external working, surely man qua man would be invisible; and if the human body exercised no movement of life which could be sensed, surely it would qua living be invisible, even if the body itself was materially seen.
spacer 3. But it remains to prove that the form of the Church is invisible in both ways posited above. And, to begin with, in every opinion, including ours, it seems necessary to say that the form is in itself invisible, whether it be predestination (as some of the heretics have said), which is sufficiently invisible, or whether (as others have said) it be charity, or whether faith, as Catholics too teach, because not only charity but faith too is a spiritual form as regards its internal quality and so it is in itself invisible. But if there be also added the sacrament of faith, which is baptism, this too is not visible as it is a sacrament, and consequently the spiritual character, which is also according to the opinion of Catholics necessary for constituting a member of the Church, is not seen. But again, that this form of the Church cannot be seen in signs or through visible signs is proved because there are for charity or faith no external signs which cannot without interior faith be made falsely, whether these be external works of divine cult, or obedience to the prelates of the Church, or acts of governance on the part of prelates themselves, or works of confession and of profession of faith. Next, even the very works of miracles too; for these also can be corrupted and exteriorly fabricated in such a way that they are not necessary signs of the true faith; therefore nothing visible is left whereby the true form of the Church may be visible. But merely external signs or works do not suffice for constituting the true Church; for just as a particular person, if he does not interiorly believe although he feigns outwardly to be faithful, is not a true member of the Church, especially if he does not have the character of baptism, so any congregation or multitude of men, even if it congregate through external works of religion and faith, would not, if it did not have internal faith, be the true Church; therefore since this faith is always invisible, both in itself and in another, the true Church is also invisible. Which foundation very much has place in the opinion of Protestants, who reduce the faith of each into private spirit or a revelation made proper to each, for that private spirit is without doubt invisible.
spacer 4. And this discourse seems principally to touch both on the point of controversy and on the motive of heretics. But the other things which are wont to be adduced by them against external cult, so as to prove that in the Church there ought only to be a spiritual and hence invisible cult, are not accepted by all the heretics of this time but there is division between them on this matter, nor do they have any importance for the present cause. Because although the law of grace comes to be principally in the spirit, it does not exclude works, which proceed from internal charity; and likewise, although the Church’s adoration happens in spirit and truth, it does not exclude an external cult proceeding from the interior one, as has been shown in the proper places about the law of grace, about religion, about the sacraments, and about sacrifice. The other things too that are wont here to be added about the Church sometimes lying hid because of the force of persecution, so that it cannot be seen, do not pertain to this place but to another to be treated below about the universality of the Church. But besides the said foundation, heretics add some testimonies to which response must be made. For first they object from Scripture the verse of Luke 17:20 - 21: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, Lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you,” for by the kingdom of God there the Church is understood, which elsewhere is called, I Peter 2:5, “a spiritual house” and, Hebrews 12:22, “the city of the living God,” where the Church of Christ seems to be distinguished in this property from the visible Synagogue. Secondly, they bring forward the words of the symbol, “I believe in one holy Church,” for if it were visible it would not be an object of belief; if therefore the Church is to be believed by faith, it cannot be seen. Lastly they add the place of Augustine, De Civitate Dei, XX.8, where he divides the Church into the predestinate and the non-predestinate.
spacer 5. Nevertheless it must be said that the true Church, which Christ founded on the rock and to which he promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against it, is visible; and consequently that the adversaries’ evasion is futile, because if this Church is visible and cannot defect from the true faith, and if they themselves have defected from it, as is evident of itself and they themselves do not deny the fact, it is manifest that they have, not the true faith, but heresy. But the proposed foundation, which we believe to be a dogma of the faith, must first simply be proved from Scripture and the Fathers. Then the thing itself (that is, in what this visibility of the Church consists) must be so explained that, once the ambiguity of words and tergiversation have been removed, it can be proved by reason from the principles of the faith.
spacer 6. First, therefore, that the Church is visible is proved from the verse of Isaiah 2.2-3: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.” In which place many of the Fathers by “the mountain of the Lord” understand Christ who, in Daniel 2:34 - 35, is said to be “a stone cut out without hands…[which] became a great mountain,” as is clear from Augustine, tract.1 on 1 John, and oration Contra Iudaeos, chs. 7 and 8, and from St. Jerome on Isaiah 2, Micah 2, Daniel 2, and from Tertullian, Contra Iudaeos, ch. 3. But others seem to understand by ‘mountain’ the Church, as Augustine, Contra Crescon., IV.58, and Chrysostom on Isaiah 2, and Cyril, Book I on Isaiah 2. However, they do not disagree in the thing, for in that place the talk is about Christ and the Church as about body and head, and, according to the rule of Augustine, what is said about the body can also be understood of the head, and conversely. Hence in another place, Daniel 2, about the stone cut out that became a great mountain, it is said, v. 35, “and it filled the whole earth,” namely, Christ did through his Church. But since in the place from Isaiah a mountain and a house of the Lord are distinctly posited, rightly do we understand through ‘mountain’ Christ and through ‘house’ the Church. Hence it is said that “the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established,” that is, of the Church with Christ its head. Therefore it is there predicted that, as Christ came visibly into the world and by his preaching, signs, and miracles was made known and illustrious to all, so the Church of Christ was going to be visible and to be so made known in the world that it could be recognized by everyone. Which is made sufficiently clear by the following words, which are of all the gentiles saying: “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob.” For men are not invited to come save to a house which can be by them known and seen.
spacer 7. And so is it explained by Chrysostom more copiously than by the rest, when he says: “This thing is so clear that it needs hereafter no interpretation in speech; the very native quality of things has in that way sounded out with a voice resounding more clearly than any trumpet, showing to all the glory to be gazed at and the splendor of the Church, for the sun is not resplendent with as much brightness, nor again does the light gleaming from it pour out a radiance as brilliant as the things done by the Church. For the house of the Lord is set on the highest mountains.” And later: “The power of the Church reaches up to the very skies, and as a house placed on the top of the mountains it shows itself conspicuously to all, so much so that it has become more famous yet than all else.” A like opinion is advanced by Augustine, Book III Contra Epist. Parmeniani, where he says that the just are “throughout the whole city which cannot be hid, because it is founded on a mountain. The mountain I say of Daniel, wherein grew the stone cut out without hands and filled the whole earth.” And in the said tract. 1 on 1 John, near the end, he says: “Is not that stone, which is cut out of the mountain without hands, Christ from the kingdom of the Jews without the work of a husband?” And a little later: “Do we point to that mountain with a finger?” And later: “Do we thus point to the Church, my brothers? Is it not open? Is it not manifest?” And after a few intervening remarks: “And when it is said to them (namely heretics), ‘ascend,’ they say, ‘it is not a mountain,’ and more easily do they thrust their face at it than seek there a habitation.” And later, having put forward the place from Isaiah, he asks: “What is as manifest as a mountain?” And immediately he objects: “But there are also unknown mountains, as Olympus &c.” He replies; “Those mountains exist in parts, but this mountain does not so, because it filled the whole earth; who gets lost in this mountain?” And later about heretics he says: “They do not see the mountain. Do not wonder, because they walk in darkness and do not have eyes, but the darkness has blinded them.”
spacer 8. And in the same sense do many Fathers interpret the words of Christ, Matthew 5:14: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” For that this city is the Church is taught by Augustine in the said tract.1, where he says: “Behold the city of which it is said: ‘This is the city set on a hill.’” The same in Contra Parmenian. III.5, and Contra Literas Petiliani II.32, after the verse, Psalm 19:4, “Their line is gone out through all the earth.” Later he says that hence it happens that “the true Church is hidden from no one, whence that which the Evangelist said, ‘A city set on a hill cannot be hid,’ and therefore in the same psalm the connection is made, v. 4, ‘He hath set his tabernacle in the sun,’” which he himself on the same psalm expounds, that is, “in manifest light has he placed his Church, which may not be hid.” And later: “Why, O heretic, do you fly into the darkness?” And many like things he has in his book De Unitat. Ecclesiae, and Contra FaustumIV.13, where, for a sure sign of the Church of Christ, he puts that “it stands out and is apparent to all, because it is the seat of his glory, Jeremiah 17, and the holy temple of God, 1 Corinthians 3:17, and afterward he puts forward the place from Matthew. The same in the sixth Book, ch. 17, and in Contra Cresconium Grammaticum II.36, where he has these notable words: “The whole Church stands out and is conspicuous, a city obviously which cannot be hid, being set on a mountain, through which Christ dominates from sea to sea and from the river to the uttermost parts of the earth.”
spacer 9. In the same way is that place expounded by Jerome, Book VI on Jeremiah 30 where too he applies the words of Jeremiah, v. 18, to the Church, “the city shall be builded on her own height and the temple shall be founded in its order.” Says Jerome: “More fully and more perfectly in the Lord our Savior and in the apostles is this fulfilled, when the city is builded on its height, of which it is said that a city placed on a mountain cannot be hid, and the temple is founded in its order and its ceremonies, so that whatever is fulfilled carnally in the earlier people is fulfilled spiritually in the Church.” And the words of Amos 1:2: “The Lord will roar from Zion,” he expounds of the watch tower of the Church, “because set on a hill (says Matthew 5.14) it cannot be hid, wherefrom when the Lord has given forth his voice through the Old and New Instruments and through the teachers of the Church and has sounded as a clear trumpet, then the doctrine of the heretics and of the circumcision will be dried up.” And very elegantly Chrysostom, incomplete homil. 10 on Matthew, asks: “What is this city?” and replies: “It is the Church of the saints of which the Prophet said ‘Glorious things of thee are spoken, city of God;’ blue but the citizens of it are all the faithful of whom the Apostle says, ‘you are the citizens of the saints and the servants of God &c.’” blueAnd later: “This city therefore is set on a hill, that is, on Christ &c.” And then joining together the other words, v. 15, “Neither do men light a candle,” he says: “Through a second comparison he wishes to show how Christ himself makes his saints manifest and does not wish them to be hid.” And later he asks: “What is the candlestick?” And he replies: “The Church, which carries the word of life.” And he adduces the verse of Paul Philippians 2:15 - 16: “Among whom ye shine as lights in the world: Holding forth the word of life.” Next on the same sentence did Rupert rightly there say: blue “How great, how spacious a city!” And later: “It cannot be hid; the order or reason of judgment or of divine counsel does not allow it to be hid and unknown, which for this was built and for this there hang from it a thousand shields, the whole armor of the strong, so that all who face danger among adversaries, who compete among Jews, pagans, and heretics for the faith, may know to have recourse to this city and to be fortified together within it.”
spacer 10. Hence we can, third, prove the same proof by reason taken from the properties which Scripture and the Fathers attribute to the Church. The first condition of the Church of Christ is that it is founded on Peter, Matthew 16; from which foundation it cannot be removed, as was shown above, and as we will say more at large in book three; but this foundation is visible, for it is set in place for governing men; therefore the Church itself too must be visible. And for that reason one of the most powerful signs for recognizing the true Church is the succession of bishops in the pontificate of Peter, as we noted above from Augustine, and from Irenaeus III.1; and the same is taken from Cyprian, epist.76 to Magnus; but if the true Church were not visible it would not need a visible head nor could it be founded thereon. The second property is akin to this one, that Christ built a Church of such sort that it could be ruled through men, according to that verse of Acts 20:28: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed [alt. rule] the Church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.” Where without doubt the talk is of the true Church founded by Christ; for it alone did he acquire by his own blood and provided it with a fitting governance, which he committed to men and bishops; therefore such a Church must be visible, so that its rulers may look upon and know it.
spacer 11. The third condition is that the Church can see perceptible actions and hear the human voice, according to the word of Christ, Matthew 18:17: “Tell it unto the Church.” For how may someone speak to a Church which he cannot see, or how will the Church hear the word of man if it is itself not visible? And for that reason too Paul says, 1 Corinthians 10.32: “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.” Therefore we can see the Church and take care not to offend it, according to that verse of Paul 1 Timothy 3:15: “That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God;” for how could Timothy know this if he did not know the true Church? And there are infinite like locutions which suppose a certain definite knowledge of a visible Church, as is that in 1 Corinthians 15.9: “I persecuted the Church of God,” and Acts 5:11: “And great fear came upon all the Church.” And like things can be seen in chs, 8, 9, 11, and through almost the whole book, and sometimes the talk is about the whole Church, sometimes about a part of it, or about a particular visible church; but there is the same reason about the parts as about the whole; for if the parts are visible, much more will the whole body that consists of them be visible.
spacer 12. Perhaps, however, the heretics, convicted by these testimonies, will confess that the primitive Church, which existed at the time of the apostles and a little thereafter, was visible, but afterwards with the passage of time the visible Church failed and an invisible one was made. From which response we gladly take the first part. And from it, in the first place, we prove against the heretics that the true Church can be visible, since at some time it was such. From it too is shown incidentally that the reasons of heretics to prove that the Church is invisible are futile; for if they were worth anything they would show there to be some repugnance in the visibility of the Church, when, however, that fact itself proves there to be none. Next, just as we have shown from the Scriptures that the Church in its origin, so to say, was visible, so must they themselves show from the Scriptures that there exists an invisible Church, or that therein is preached that at some point such a Church will exist in the future. A similar argument is urged against the Donatists by Augustine, De Unit. Eccles., ch. 17, when he says: “Let them read this to us from the Sacred Scriptures and we will believe; let them, I say, read this to us from the canon of the divine books, that so many cities, which have up to the present day kept the baptism consigned to them by the apostles, have perished from the faith.” Which argument he pursues in ch. 18, taking as supposition at the beginning that the Church is known manifestly in the Sacred Scriptures; and afterwards in ch. 19 he again insists: “Setting aside the snares of delays, let him show that the Church has been retained in Africa alone when so many nations have been lost, or that it is from Africa to be repaired and filled in all nations, and let him show it in such a way that he not say, ‘It is true because I say so’ &c.” For he enumerates at large all the things which heretics are wont to make up, and he adds: “Let those figments of lying men or the portents of deceiving spirits be removed;” and afterwards he concludes: “But whether they possess the Church let them show it no otherwise than from the canonical books of the divine Scriptures.” This argument is all the stronger against the heretics of the present time in that they themselves preach that nothing is to be believed except what is read in the Scriptures. Since therefore we have from the Scriptures that the Church is visible and nothing is read about its change into an invisible one, nor can any trace thereof be found in the Scriptures, then certainly Protestants are speaking neither consistently nor with any foundation.
spacer 13. But we prove further from the same Scriptures and the Fathers that the second part of that response is false; for the locutions of Scripture, which prove that the Church was visible at the time of the apostles, prove the same about the true and Apostolic Church at any time. First because the promise of not failing was made to the visible Church, insofar as Christ founded it on the rock, as is clear from the words: “Upon this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it;” for the word ‘it’ refers to the same visible Church. Again from Paul, 1 Timothy 3:15, after he said the words: “That thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God,” he subjoins: “which is the pillar and ground of the truth;” but we showed that the first words are understood of the visible Church wherein someone behaves; but the word ‘which’ refers to the same Church; therefore the visible Church is pillar and ground of the truth, and hence it is perpetual, because, as I showed above, this property can never be separated from the Church. Add that it can never agree with it if it is at some time to be invisible; for it is the pillar and ground of the truth by always and without fail teaching the truth and correcting errors; but it could not do this with authority and efficaciously if it was invisible, for there could always be doubt whether it was the true Church speaking. Next, many of the locutions adduced from Scripture were advanced for any time at all; therefore they prove about all time that the Church is visible. The assumption is clear, for Christ, when he admonished Matthew 18:17: “Tell it unto the Church; but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican,” was instructing not only the men who were listening to him, nor the primitive Church only, but his whole Church, as enduring perpetually into the future. Therefore he was supposing that his Church was always going to be visible, so that it could be heard and could hear. And the same argument can be taken from the words of Paul just cited; for the counsel to behave in a fitting way in the Church, or of acting without offending it, is extended to all time and is to be kept at every time; therefore the Church is always such as to be able to be seen.
spacer 14. There is besides another striking property of the true Church, which continually requires this visibility, namely that outside it salvation cannot be preserved or found; as it is a certain truth of faith which is handed down by Cyprian, epist. 74, where he has the sentence: “No one can have God as Father who does not the Church as mother.” Which he repeats in his book De Unit. Ecclesiae not far from the beginning, where among other things he compares he Church to Noah’s Ark, saying: “If anyone was able to escape who was outside Noah’s Ark, he too who is outside the Church will escape.” And he speaks openly of the Church founded on the chair of Peter; and he hands on the same doctrine in many other places. Again Augustine, in De Unitat. Ecclesiae, chs. 2 and 19, teaches the same thing, and he confirms it because “no one comes to salvation and eternal life except he who has Christ the head; but no one could have Christ the head except he who was in his body, which is the Church.” Wherefore from this property it is rightly gathered that the true Church ought at every time to be visible, because at every time it is the body of Christ, to which all must be united who wish to obtain salvation; and it is the city of refuge, to which they must have recourse who wish to be protected and defended from enemies. But it would be contrary to right order, and we have already related from Rupert, that a Church instituted to this end be placed in shadow and darkness; therefore since it is preserved perpetually for the same end, it must also be perpetually conspicuous, clear, and visible. And therefore very appositely did Irenaeus say, Contra Haereses I.2: “The Church disseminated in the whole world diligently guards this faith, as if inhabiting one house; and similarly it believes those things as having one soul and one heart, and agreeably preaches, teaches, and hands them on, as possessing one mouth.” And later he subjoins: “As the sun, the creation of God, is one and the same in the whole world, so also the light, the preaching of the truth, shines everywhere and illumines all who wish to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Which comparison is also imitated by Cyprian, . De Unit. Eccles., when he says: “The Church is one, which is more broadly into a multitude extended by the increase of fertility; as the rays of the sun are many but the light is one, so take the ray of the sun from the body, its unity does not admit of division of the light.” Which place is cited by Augustine, Contra Crescon., I.36, when he says: “This (namely the city of the Church) blessed Cyprian commends in such way that he says, bathed in the light of the Lord, it stretches out its rays through the whole earth, &c.” And thus too Origen, tract. 3, on Matthew: “The Church is full of brightness from the East to the West, and it is full of true light, which Church is the pillar and ground of the truth.” And it is signified by Augustine and others who, as we said above, adapt to it the verse of the psalm: “he has placed his tabernacle in the sun,” and the verse of Jeremiah: “it itself is the seat of his glory, which stands out and is apparent to all.” And therefore it is also compared by other Fathers to the candlestick that holds the candle. “So as to shine,” says Chrysostom, “that is, to appear and illumine those who are either in the house of the Church or in the house of all the pure.” Next, for this cause, the same Chrysostom says, hom. 4, on Isaiah 6, “it is easier for the sun to be extinguished than for the Church to be obscured.”
spacer 15. Again in another way we can refute the aforesaid evasion of the heretics, and confirm Catholic truth, by taking the same principle conceded by the adversaries, that the Church of Christ in its origin was visible and most known, as is sufficiently proved from Scripture, and it is especially shown by the words of Christ and of The Acts of the Apostles. For this Church is propagated and preserved in the way it was founded; therefore as it was visible at the beginning, so is it perpetually preserved. And indeed the minor premise as regards propagation is clear from the same Acts. For it first put down roots in Jerusalem, afterwards it increased through Judea, then extended to Samaria, and at length spread through all nations and the whole globe, and always in all places it was visible. And, in this way, particular churches are as it were made known and manifest both in the said sacred history and in the Apostolic letters, and they are put forward and named in the book of the Apocalypse. But as for what concerns preservation or duration, it is clear too that in a sensible way, so to say, the Church has persevered through a continuous and visible succession of Pontiffs, bishops, doctors and other faithful and members of the Church; and thence too can be collected that it will in the same way persevere as long as the world will last, because the same reason holds for any time whatever.
spacer 16. In which discourse there only remains to prove that the duration of the Church was always in a visible state by reason of succession; but that can be proved in the first place from the doctrine of the Fathers. For Tertullian, De Praescript., ch.20, thus describes the continuous duration of the Church: “The apostles, once faith in Jesus Christ had first been witnessed to in Judea and churches established, traveled thence over the world and preached the same doctrine of the same faith among the nations, and founded churches from which other churches borrowed and daily borrow the vine-graft of the faith, so that churches should come to be and thereby themselves be esteemed Apostolic; as offspring of the Apostolic churches every kind must be counted to its origin.” And so he concludes that from all the churches a single one coalesces. Which is true of the Church not only as it exists together at the same time but also as it persists successively through the communication and union of the present with the past and through legitimate succession; which he explains more in ch.32, saying that the churches which profess themselves Apostolic must show the order of their bishops, by taking it back to the apostles.
spacer 17. The same doctrine is handed on at large by Cyprian,De Unit. Eccles., and epist.76, where among other things he says: “Nor can he be counted a bishop who, having despised the evangelical and Apostolic tradition, succeeds to no one and has sprung from himself,” and so he posits as a note of the Church the succession of Pontiffs. And in epist. 69 he says that: “The bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop, and if anyone is not with a bishop, he is not in the Church, and in vain do they flatter themselves who, not having peace with the priests, sneak up and secretly believe themselves to be with some in communion, although the Church, which is a single Catholic one, is not cut nor divided but is certainly connected and joined by the bond of priests who are in harmony with each other.” In the same way is this continuous unity of the Church declared by Irenaeus, Contra Haereses II.2 and 3. And Augustine thinks the same in Contra Epistolam Fundamenti, and in the other places cited, and Vincent of Lerins, and the others above mentioned. Among whom there is a common sense that the Church has persevered through continuous succession in the same hierarchical order in which it was founded, and hence in the same visible state in which it was known and manifest; since otherwise there could not be agreement about continuous succession and tradition.
spacer 18. And this discourse can deservedly be founded on Paul, Ephesians 4:11 - 13: “And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” For from these words it is clear that this Church, which grows together from several members after the fashion of a single body and is preserved through their mutual work and the flowing of them into each other (as the same apostle taught, 1 Corinthians 12), will have the same form “till we all come together to the perfect man.” And hence teachers and pastors are to endure in it through continuous succession and to rule it in a perceptible way and teach it; which can in no way be made sense of unless the true Church should persevere always visible and touchable (so to explain it) in a human way, for the head cannot be visible and the body invisible, as Augustine rightly said, ep. 48 to Vincentius, near the middle.



1. Final evasion on behalf of the opinion of the heretics, that the Church is an object of belief for the intellect but is not known to the senses. spacer2. How the true Church is to be believed.spacer 3. Proof of the first part. spacer4 - 5. Confirmation of the second part. spacer6. How the Church is visible to sense. spacer7. Response of the heretics. spacer8. That the Church is visible to sense through signs is shown. spacer9 - 10. Signs of the Catholic Church. spacer11. Another sign received from the Fathers: the antiquity and firmness of the Church. spacer12. This sign squares with none of the conventicles of the heretics. spacer13. First evasion of the heretics; refutation. spacer14. Second evasion; response. spacer15. Solution of the arguments. spacer16. Explanation from the Fathers. spacer17 - 19. Explanation of the author.

N these ways, then, as I think, sufficient demonstration has been given from the principles of the faith and from the testimonies of Sacred Scripture that the true Church ought to be cognizable or known. Someone could, however, say that the conclusion is not thence sufficiently drawn that it is visible or apparent to the external senses, but at most that it is believable, as it is proposed for belief in the Creed; and that in this way it is known to the intellect but not to sense. Hence the heretics could elude everything we have adduced by saying that their own church, which they say is invisible, is sufficiently known to those who have true faith. And the Protestant Anglicans especially (with whom there is said to endure a form of ecclesiastical hierarchy and a shadow of the episcopacy and of ministry) could say that among them the Church perseveres in that external and sensible form which it had in the times of the apostles. And yet, they say, there can be no discerning by sense that it is the true Church any more than that the Roman is, nor conversely, and therefore they call it invisible; but it is not unknowable, because they hold it to be by their own faith sufficiently known.
spacer 2. This is the final objection and evasion which I could think of on the part of the heretics, and I have not judged it should be omitted because, through the solution of it, will be taken away every tergiversation of the Protestants, and the efficacy of the testimonies and the reasons which we have adduced will be more understood, and the remaining objections too, that were set down at the beginning [chapter 7 §2], will the more easily be dissolved. To make an attack, then, on the thing we first take what seems to be conceded in this objection, that the true Church is known or knowable, at least by faith, as everything we have hitherto adduced sufficiently testifies. And on this point we add two things. One is that this is to be understood not of the Church as it is grasped confusedly or universally, by abstracting from this or that congregation of men existing in the world that could attribute this name to itself, but it is to be understood of the Church taken definitely and in particular, as it is in a congregation of such men professing the faith of Christ. The other is that this Church is to be in particular believed in, not by any probable or human faith, but by most certain and infallible divine faith.
spacer 3. Both of these things can be proved from the Creed of the apostles, wherein we profess that we believe the holy Catholic Church. For this is to be understood of a definite and of a singular Church. For since the true Catholic Church is only one individual and particular, that locution, which seems indefinite, is equivalent to a singular one; just as he who says he sees the sun is understood at once to be speaking of that single sun which is in the world. And in this way does Augustine expound it De Fide et Symbolo, ch. 10, and Ruffinus in his exposition of the Creed, and everyone. For by the force of that faith we are held to believe that it is the true Church in which we are and whose faith we profess, and consequently we are held to believe that the conventicles of the heretics are not the true Church but the synagogue of Satan, Apocalypse 2, or as Ruffinus says the Church of the wicked; therefore, so that we may be able through the faith to discern the true Church from the false, it must concern such a congregation in particular. Next, from the reason given above about the necessity for this knowledge, the conclusion evidently follows that this faith should be about an individual such Church because we must seek a Church either in which we may be sanctified, or which we may believe, or in which we may be able to receive the true sacraments with fruit and persevere to the end and finally be saved. But no one can seek a Church in general or abstractly conceived, because this search is not a speculative but a practical one, necessary for the chief operations of this life; but such searching or joining must be concerned with a particular Church, because actions, as the Philosopher said, concern singulars; therefore too we can and must know a singular and individual Church, holy and Apostolic.
spacer 4.
Hence is easily also proved the second thing we proposed, namely, that we must believe this Church not only with human faith and opinion, but most of all with divine and Christian faith. First, because whatever is contained in the Creed we must with this certain and divine faith believe, but one of the things proposed for belief in the Creed is this particular and individual Church, as I have made plain; therefore it is to be believed with infused and altogether certain faith. Second, this is very much confirmed by Augustine, epist. 28, where he says that this faith is no less founded on Scripture itself than is faith in the man Jesus Christ. “For how,” he says, “are we confident that from the divine writings we have received an evident Christ but not an evident Church?” Hence he often objects there against the Donatists: “You are uncertain where the Church is;” and chiefly to this he tries to draw them, as to a great absurdity. “But we,” he concludes, “are for this reason certain that no one could justly separate himself from the communion of all the nations, that none of us seeks the Church in his own justice but in the divine Scriptures, and observes it to be given as it was promised.”
spacer 5. Third, the same is proved from the necessity declared above of knowing the true Church; for faith in the true Church is, in its order and according to God, the foundation for the rest of what is believed and for all the actions necessary for salvation; since we receive from it the Sacred Scripture, according to that widely publicized opinion of Augustine: “I would not believe the Gospel if the authority of the Church did not move me,” Contra Epistolam Fundamenti, ch. 5. From the same Church we receive the true sense of the Scriptures, as we will touch on in the next chapter; we receive the creeds, the sacraments, the precepts, the counsels, and everything that pertains to salvation; therefore if faith about the Church itself were only human opinion, all the rest would be held only by opinion; so divine faith would perish. And, conversely, there would be no congregation of heretics that did not believe that it was holy and Catholic with sufficient faith, because each heretic believes his church to be holy and Apostolic, but he believes with human faith, which is capable of being false; but in this respect he differs from a Catholic; therefore the faith which the Catholic conceives about the true Church is far higher, and therewith altogether infallible and divine.
spacer 6. Moreover, we can from these gather and add, third, what is of the greatest service to our intention, namely, in which true sense this Church is said to be visible. For by a twofold reason it is reckoned to be of this sort. First, because the Church which we believe by faith to be true is a certain object which can be seen by sight, heard by the ears, and in some way dealt with by the hands. For this is wont to be enough for some believed object to be said to be sensible, even if we believe about it some invisible mystery; thus the sacraments are called sensible although the formal reason of the sacrament or its truth are not perceived. Nay even Christ the Lord was a visible object when he walked on earth, and yet by divine faith he is believed as true Messiah by many who could rightly say that they see the Messiah whom they were hoping for and whom they believed to be present, according to that verse of Matthew 13:17: “Many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see.” And after his resurrection the same Christ the Lord said to Thomas, John 20:29: “Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed.” Which Gregory made plain when he said: “He saw one, he believed the other;” yet about him whom he saw he believed what he did not see, and thus that faith had a sensible object. So therefore can we say about the Church, for about it, which we see in these persons and these places, we believe that it is holy and Apostolic, which fact we do not see with bodily eyes.
spacer 7. Finally the Protestants will lay as obstacle that their own church too is in this way visible, because their congregation, which they see, they believe to be the true Church. We reply, to begin with, that on this point we have with them no contention, because we do not hesitate at all over whether their congregation is visible or not; but it was they who invented the term of the invisible Church. Yet this difference always intervenes, that they falsely believe the congregation they see to be the true Church, but we believe with certain and infallible faith that the Catholic or Roman Church, which we also see, is the true Church. Next there is another difference; for the adversaries cannot avoid saying that their own congregation, or the association of their opinion, at some time did not exist or was invisible, namely before they existed, because then it was seen by none, or it was not known as the object about which they were to believe that it was the true Church of Christ. Nay, on account of the time when they themselves did not exist, they thought up that way of speaking about the invisible Church, so that they might in some way be able to say that the true Church had never ceased to be in the world, although for many years, as for example from Pope Gregory up to Luther or Wycliffe or someone similar, it was invisible. Which they also lay down only according to their own brain and without foundation; for if the true Church was altogether unknown and invisible for all that time, whence can they show that it existed somewhere, or who revealed it to them? For if they only gather it from the promises and predictions about the perpetuity of the Church, they must confess that it always continued visible, that is, cognized and known in particular, because such was what was predicted and promised, as has been shown, and because it was always so believed by the Christian world, as the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds have always endured in the world from the time they were made, and have always in the true Church been believed.
spacer 8. A second reason on account of which rightly can the true Church be said to be visible not only as to the material congregation of men but also as to the internal form and reason of the Church, although not in itself but in another, as the Scholastics are wont to say, is that it has been allotted visible or sensible signs and effects whereby it may be seen. Just as the soul of a horse or also of a man can be said to be visible, though otherwise than the body is; for the body is seen in itself and the soul not in itself but in its acts or its operations. Hence the body can be said to be visible in an animal way, that is merely sensitively; but the soul in a rational way, that is, with the aid of reason, by joining discourse to sense. As Paul said, Romans 1:20: “For the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made;” or as Christ the Lord, when asked by John through his disciples, Matthew 11“3, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” replied, vv. 4 - 5, “Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk &c.” As if he were to say: in the signs which I do you can see that I am the Messiah, because I exhibit those things that were predicted in the prophets, Isaiah 35, 36. And for this reason the same Lord said, John 15:24: “If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin,” because, that is, by these was it made manifest that they were obliged to have faith in him.
spacer 9. We say, then, that in this way is the Church visible, that it has always exhibited the signs and as it were the visible rays of its truth, so that in them, or through them, it could and ought to be seen. Which, in the first place, I take from all the testimonies of the holy Fathers whereby I have proved above the visibility of the Church, for all of them explain it by its visible effects which have made it openly visible to the world. Also especially from the words of Augustine just cited: “each of us seeks the Church…in the divine Scriptures and observes it to be given as it was promised.” For a Church was promised having the sort of properties and signs in the completion of which it could be seen. This is made plain from the words of Christ, Mark 16:15: “Go into the whole world, and preach the Gospel,” as if he were to say: Plant the Church by sowing the word of the Gospel and by baptizing; for from baptized believers it is to be gathered. And at once he subjoins, v. 17: “And these signs shall follow them that believe,” and he sets down five sensible signs as sure indications of his Church, which are read afterwards in Acts to have been fulfilled; for these were not given for recognizing the faith of individual believers but or recognizing the congregation of the faithful who truly believe in Christ, which is the true Church.
spacer 10. And in this way through these signs, understood as to the letter, and through other works of holiness that were signified through them (as Gregory wished to interpret, homil.29 on the Gospels, and Bernard, serm. 1 De Ascensione), the Church was made visible at once from its beginning, and has afterwards persevered in the same way, as we showed above. Not through the duration and continuation as it were of all those signs, but through a continuous succession which is also in its way visible and evident to men; and in this way in those signs is seen the Church which now is, because it is the same as that which was then, and its unity is from the very succession sufficiently recognized. Hence Augustine appositely enough says, De Utilitate Credendi, ch. 26: “Those things were done most opportunely so that, when by them a multitude of believers had been gathered and propagated, their useful authority would be converted into morals themselves.” It is added, “because those signs,” although they are not as frequent, “lest they should become worthless by repetition,” as in the same place the same Augustine further adds, “or lest the mind should always seek visible things,” as the same says in De Vera Relig. I.25, have nevertheless not altogether ceased in the true Church of Christ, but they happen at opportune times according to the disposition of divine providence, as Augustine also noted above, and De Civit. Dei XXII.8.
spacer 11. Additionally, besides those transitory signs, as it were, which were more necessary at the beginning of the nascent Church, other signs were given which can be called permanent and, as it were, intrinsic, because they are so required in the Church itself that they last always along with it. Which things are by Catholics said to be the Notes of the true Church, which have by many of them been very extensively handed on, but we are not now taking up that province; for with a view to the present purpose some of those signs are enough, and we have touched on them. One sign, and most commended by the Fathers, is antiquity, which we have declared by the name of succession and origin, and our discussion in chapter 8 will return to this same sign. A second sign is that the Church remains founded on the same rock on which Christ founded it, and that it perseveres unmoved and faithful, and on this are sufficient the things said in chapters 3 and 4, and which we will add in book three. Another sign, which in De Unit. Eccles. and in many others is much commended by Augustine against the Donatists, is spatial extent, or (so to say) the ubiquity of the Catholic Church diffused through the whole world, and about this we will add some things in chapter 10. These, then, are all the visible signs, and through them is the Church made visible, not in an animal but in a rational way, and a way proper to faith, because, on the supposition of the promise and prediction of such signs of the true Church of Christ, by seeing those signs in some congregation the true Church is seen to be credible, at least in terms of general reason, according to the way of speaking of St. Thomas, IIa IIae, quaest. 1, art. 4, ad. 2 and ad. 3, and art. 5 ad. 1, that is, by these signs any prudent man sees that about this sort of congregation, but not about another, one should believe that it is the true Church.
spacer 12. Moreover, with the visibility of the Church explained in this way, no follower of the new dogmas, or defender of the Anglican sect, can at all say that his congregation is the visible and true Church; and the same I think is to be decided about any conventicle of heretics. The proof is that they do not exhibit the signs or have the notes by which the truth of the Church of Christ may so appear there that it would be believable according to prudent reason that it is the true Church which Christ established and which he promised would endure perpetually. For the congregation under that sect does not have antiquity, as is clear from the fact above referred to. Nor does it have an origin worthy of the Church of Christ, for as Tertullian said in a likeness (with a change of names), De Preascript. ch. 30: “Where then is Luther? Where then Calvin? For it is clear that they did not exist so long ago, and that in the Roman Church belief was first in the Catholic faith until, under the pontificate of Leo X, they, because of ambition and restless affection of mind, disseminated the poison of their doctrines.” On which matter we will say more below in chapter 12. Next, that association does not have the foundation of the rock on which Christ founded his Church and on which he promised it would endure, as has been shown, but rather they directly profess defection from that foundation, nay they attack it with vehement hatred. In addition to these things, it is not widely extended but lies hidden in a certain corner of the earth, and it does not even occupy the whole of that, nor does it have there agreement in doctrine but an almost infinite variety and division. I pass over the fact that it has no signs of supernatural virtue, nor of divine light or true sanctity, since it so easily abandons the ancient lights of the Catholic Church, the saints, I mean, the Fathers and the doctors, and as it were contemns them, and it laughs petulantly at the path of exceptional sanctity and perfection. What prudent man, therefore, when he has attentively considered all these things, could think, let alone confidently believe, that there is the true Church of Christ?
spacer 13. Perhaps some of the heretics will say that they do have sufficient signs of the true Church, because they have the true Scriptures, and the legitimate sense of them, and the sacraments of Christ, and a life good and honorable and in conformity with the precepts of Christ. But these are in part common both to all heretics and to the true Church of Christ, as to have Scripture, and some of the sacraments of Christ, and a show of virtue or religion, at least in appearance, and therefore from these alone the true Church cannot be made visible in the aforesaid sense. But some are false, as we believe, and in themselves obscure, and must rather be believed than seen, and therefore they are ineptly brought forward as signs of the visible Church. Such is what they say about the true sense of Scripture; for this sense is often hidden and needs rather by the true Church to be defined. And it is similar with what is said about the number, truth, and legitimate use of the sacraments. But as for what regards sanctity of life, although in individual persons it is hidden and uncertain, yet in the profession and state of its perfection the Anglican sect has nothing to commend it nor wherein to be compared with the sanctity of the Catholic Church. Wherefore the adversaries will more rightly say that in this sense their church is invisible, but they should as a consequence confess that it is not the true church; for the true Church of Christ is visible, not only because there is definite knowledge where it is and in what visible persons, but also because it exhibits itself to the senses as evidently credible as the true Church of Christ, as has been sufficiently declared and proved.
spacer 14. I know there will not be lacking those who say that although in their sect are lacking all those signs of a visible and evidently credible Church, yet they themselves are rendered certain within by a peculiar spirit or revelation of God that the true Church is with them. But this evasion is more to be laughed at than attacked; for, as Augustine rightly said, De Unit. Eccles., ch. 2: “When there is a question between us and heretics where the Church is, what are we to do? Are we to make enquiry in our words or in the words of Christ? I think in the words of Christ who is truth and very well knows his own body.” Which he pursues at large, excluding not only private spirit but also the interpretation of Scripture according to the sense of heretics. Hence this evasion of a private spirit is common to all and each dogma of that sect, and therefore, as to this part, we will in the following chapter more fully bring this disputation to completion.
spacer 15. Now there only remains for us to make satisfaction to the reason for doubting and to the objections posed at the beginning, which will indeed, from what has already been said, be a very easy business. The chief foundation, therefore, on which the adversaries rest for support, only proves that the interior form of the Church, which is true faith with baptismal character, is not in itself visible or sensible. It does not however prove that there is not a visible and mystical human body about which it is with certainty clear that such form exists in it. Again, it does not prove that that form is not visible in something else, or in signs, by which it is sufficiently made manifest. Because, although by these signs faith or sanctity may not be sufficiently shown in the individual members of the Church because of the pretense that could exist in any determinate person, nevertheless they do sufficiently show that in this body there exists the true faith of Christ and true sanctity, because the true Church of Christ cannot exist without these. But I say ‘sufficiently show’, not because these make the gifts evidently manifest, for they are supernatural and hidden and are believed through faith, but because these at least make the thing evidently credible in the sense in which we said that the Church, as regard this part, is visible in its notes and signs.
spacer 16. As for the testimony of Luke 17, the reply is that it is wont often to be objected in this matter by the Fathers against the heretics who assert that the Church is hidden or secret. Thus Augustine, Contra Faustum, XIII.13, expounding the similar place in Matthew 24:23 - 26, says: “The Lord, seeing ahead, says that a city set on a hill cannot be hid &c., so that they may not be listened to who bring divisions into religion, saying, Lo here is Christ, lo there &c.” And later: “Nor are they to be listened to who under the name as it were of a secret and apocryphal truth and fewness of men say, Lo in secret chambers, lo in the desert.” And at Quaestionum Evangelicarum, I q.38, by the lightning, which cometh out of the East and reacheth even unto the West, he understands the Church, which quickly captured the whole world, and he connects it together: “After the authority, therefore, of the Church is clear and manifest through the world, he consequently admonishes the disciples and all the faithful, and those who wished to believe in him, not to believe in schismatics and heretics. For each schism and each heresy either has its place in the world, holding some part of it, or in dark and secret conventicles deceives the curiosity of men.” And in this sense he explains the whole of Christ’s sermon, and therefore he says that he warned them beforehand, “Do not believe” those who say “Lo here, lo there is Christ.” And Origen thinks the same, tract. 30 on Matthew, when he says: “They do not point to him in the Church, which is full of lightning, which is full of true light.” And the same opinion is insinuated by Jerome on Matthew 24, at the words, v. 26: “If they shall say to you…,” where he says, “or in the inner chambers of heretics, who promise the secrets of God, do not believe.” And this opinion is very true and is contained virtually in the words of Christ, although it be not there principally intended.
spacer 17. So in the place, then, from Luke 17, there are two parts or two opinions of Christ to be distinguished. The first, which is referred to in the objection, is where Christ speaks of the kingdom of God where ‘kingdom of God’ without doubt does not signify the Church but Christ himself or his coming. For the Pharisees asked Christ, v. 20, “when the kingdom of God should come,” that is, when it will come. Because they were not asking about the Church, but about the kingdom which they were hoping to obtain through the Messiah, and they were calling that the kingdom of God, not because they thought something heavenly or spiritual about it, but because they were hoping for it from a special gift of God through the virtue and power of the Messiah, or because they had heard Christ himself often speaking about the kingdom of God, but they themselves did not think anything about the kingdom of the Messiah save what was temporal and of exterior power and majesty. And that is why Christ responded to them, vv. 20- 2 1: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there!” Where he is not speaking of heretics but is excluding an expectation of the Messiah by way of the coming of a temporal king, who is wont to be expected with definite observation of time and with other signs preceding, from which it is wont to be conjectured where he is or when he will come. And in order to take away the false thought about a future advent of the kingdom of God, as if it had not yet come, Christ adds, v.21: “For behold, the kingdom of God is within you,” because the Messiah, whom they were hoping for, they already had dwelling among them, although without the royal trappings that they were thinking of. It is also probable that the Jews had asked about the kingdom of God, which Christ was preaching, although they did not understand of what sort it was. But Christ replied that the kingdom, as far as it can in this life be obtained, is spiritual, and therefore is not something that can be hoped for at a certain time or place, because it is both within man and in the power of each to have it within himself, if he wish to receive Christ through faith and love.
spacer 18. The second part of the opinion of Christ is very distinct from the first, so that some think that the words were not spoken consecutively or at the same time, and at any rate it is certain from the Gospel that in the first part Christ spoke to the Pharisees by replying to them; but in the second part he spoke to his disciples and in them to all the faithful, by forestalling them and saying, vv. 22 - 23: “The days will come…And they shall say to you, See here: or, see there.” And this part without doubt pertains to the second coming of Christ, and it contains the prediction of many who are to be transformed into false Christs and especially antichrists; against whose perfections and deceptions Christ, giving warning in advance to the faithful, fortified them beforehand not to give their trust to those who point and say, “Lo here, or lo there is Christ.” And so from that place nothing is gathered that is relevant to the present cause; for rather this second part is adapted very well against heretics, as I noted above. But the first part, understood about the first coming of Christ, clearly pertains in no way to the question about the Church. Nay too those words do not at all exclude the first coming of Christ from being sensible and visible, so that he may be looked for in some definite place and pointed to, as the Magi inquired “where the Christ was to be born,” and rightly was the response given to them, “in Bethlehem of Judea.” Namely, through the sign of the prophet, for such signs given by the prophets were rightly being observed for the expectation and knowledge of the Messiah, nay through such signs he himself sometimes made himself manifest. Therefore in those words he is excluding human thinking, lest he be thought to be inquired after or expected through signs and human observations and with the trappings of a royal king &c. But if the response of Christ be understood of the spiritual kingdom of the soul, it is clear that it is spiritual and internal, and that for this reason it is not visible and is not bound to a definite place and time, insofar as such kingdom is found in individual persons. And in this way too the whole Church can be called the kingdom of God, and the city of the living God, and the spiritual house, and invisible in itself as concerns sanctity and spiritual gifts, and yet visible as to the persons in which it exists, but not through human reasonings, nor here or there, but through certain indications given by Christ and the prophets, and in any place and at any time, because it is perpetual and universal, as Augustine observed.
spacer 19. As to the words of the Creed it has been made sufficiently plain how the holy and Apostolic Church can be seen and believed; for it is seen as to the persons from which it is made up, but it is believed as to true faith, sanctity, and the other divine gifts by which it is joined to Christ as his mystical body. Again it is seen through visible signs, but it is believed by reason of truth and supernatural object. To the place from Augustine I reply that Augustine never distinguished the Church of the predestinate and the reprobate as two Churches, nay not even as two parts of the same Church. For only at the beginning De Civitate Dei XX.8, speaking of the Antichrist, he says: “Never will by him be seduced the Church predestinate and elect before the foundation of the world,” where he does not distinguish the Church but names it from its more important part, just as in ch. 9 he says that sometimes a whole is denominated from its part. For Augustine was showing in the said chapter that the Church was not to be seduced by antichrist, namely in its totality nor as to its chief part, and for that reason he called it predestinate, not because there is some invisible church made up only of the predestinate, but to signify, as regard the chief part of it, which exists in the elect and predestinate, that it cannot be deceived, as is signified in the words of Christ, Matthew 24:24: “Insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”



1 - 2. Faith signifies both the matter and the act of belief. spacer3. The King of England does not accept the integral Christian Faith. spacer4 - 6. Foundation of the faith of the King of England. spacer7 - 8. The sacred books of both the first and the second order are canonical. Scripture alone is not the integral and proximate foundation of faith. The unwritten word of God is to be received with the same faith as the written.spacer9. The traditions are confirmed by reason. spacer10 - 11. The evasion of heretics is refuted. spacer12 - 13. From the words of the king himself the same truth is established. spacer14. An authority to which the Holy Spirit gives his special assistance is necessary in the Church. spacer15. The Church pays attention to the unwritten word of God with the same certainty as to the written. spacer16- 18. By the authority of the Fathers are the traditions made firm. spacer19. The truth is confirmed lastly with examples. spacer20 - 22. Certain of the Fathers, who seem not much to favor the traditions, are explained.

O far a demonstration has been given in general that the true faith is not in the Anglican sect, because it was introduced by defection from the true faith. And, taking this as occasion, we digressed by showing that the faith from which it earlier defected (which was not other than the faith of the Catholic Church, Roman and visible) had always been, and was always indubitably going to be, the true faith; so that therefore it is very certainly clear that in the Anglican schism the true faith cannot exist. And although it shine therefrom even on the blind that the king of England, who professes himself head and protector of that schism, is not the Defender of the true Faith, yet, because he adorns himself with three illustrious titles and extols the faith which he defends, since he calls himself Defender “of the truly Christian, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith,” therefore I have thought it worthwhile to run singly through these three prerogatives of the faith, and show from the individual reasons of them that a title of that sort cannot agree with him who defends the Anglican schism.
2. Approaching the thing, therefore, from the viewpoint of the truly Christian faith, I note that in two ways can the faith be denominated truly Christian, namely from the matter believed and from the reason for believing. For even the name itself of faith sometimes signifies the things believed, or the doctrine itself of the faith, as Athanasius said in his Creed: “This is the Catholic Faith, which unless each will have believed faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” Sometimes, however, it designates the act or virtue of believing, as it does in Paul Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In the former way, to be sure, the faith will be called truly Christian which was truly delivered by Christ or by the apostles in his name. But, in the latter way, assent to the same doctrine, when not conceived by human opinion or reason but by one entirely divine and with so much certainty and firmness that no place is left for fear or doubt, will be labeled true faith, according to that verse of Paul, 2 Timothy 1.:2: “For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him.” Which words, although they indicate confidence, or sure hope, yet is that hope founded on the certitude of faith, and thereof the apostle speaks about it literally when he says that he is certain of the omnipotence of God, for this is the object, not of confidence, but of assent. But more evident are the words in Galatians 1:8: “Though we, or an angel from heaven &c.” Hence too is that statement of Athanasius in his Creed: “which unless each will have believed faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” And that of Basil, homil. De Vera ac Pia Fide: “Faith is of things that have been said, an approval giving assent without any hesitation, with complete persuasion of mind about the truth of that which has been preached by the office of God.” And that of Bernard, epist. 190: “If faith is tossed about, is not our hope vain? Our martyrs were foolish, then, when they sustained such bitter things on account of things uncertain, and when they did not doubt for a doubtful prize of reward to enter through a harsh death into eternal exile; but God forbid that we should think that anything in our faith or hope hangs on a doubtful judgment.”
3. About faith, then, taken as the matter or the doctrine of faith, the King of England contends that he retains the truly Christian faith, because he embraces Scripture, the creeds of the Church, and the four first General Councils, and has faith in them. But although these things are necessary for any truly Christian man, they are yet not sufficient for integral Christian faith, for it is necessary to believe these things and not to omit others; for he who offends in one becomes guilty of all. But in two things does the King of England most offend: first, because he attacks too fiercely many Catholic dogmas, and, as is proved from his Preface, he professes errors contrary to the Christian faith. But because, to demonstrate this fact, it will be necessary to bring the individual errors forward and show their falsity, therefore, lest we digress from the proposed controversy, we will defer the matter to the next book where we will prove what we now suppose, that the Anglican sect can, in respect of dogmas, not be said to be the truly Christian faith. Because although it agree therewith in many things which it has taken from it, yet in the understanding of the same dogmas and in the confession of them it dissents a great deal; but a faith is not said to be truly Christian unless it is with the doctrine of the true Church, which is the same as the doctrine of Christ, in no matter however small discrepant.
spacer 4. Passing over for the present, then, the matter of faith, we will deal now with the manner and foundation of believing insofar as it is necessary for truly Christian faith. For King James in his Preface to Christian princes says near the end: “With Paul I wish you all to be such, in this one thing, as I also am: in the first place that you should wish to peruse the Scriptures, from which you should wish to seek the norm of believing. and not place the foundations of faith on the uncertain opinions of others, but on your own sure knowledge.” In which words the king makes plain the foundation of his own faith, and he establishes it solely on the Scriptures understood by a certain sure science of his own. From these words, then, we will take two chief foundations, so as to show that his faith is not truly Christian, and hence that he does not have wherewith he might be able to glory in the title of Defender of the Faith. Our first argument will be taken from the defect of integrity of faith; for a faith which is not integral cannot be the true faith; but in those words the king shows that he does not have an integral faith; and this argument we will urge in this chapter. But the other foundation we take from that particular science on which he has thrown the foundations of his faith; this sort of faith indeed can neither be divine nor certain nor Catholic, as we will describe in detail in the next chapter.
spacer 5. As for what concerns the first point, then, although the king in the aforesaid words does not add a phrase excluding other foundations of faith, yet when his whole discourse is attentively considered and his various words in the said Preface, we plainly gather that this was the mind of the king. For, in the first place, a little before those words on p.156, at the beginning, he mocks traditions and says: “Not paying attention to the empty, shifting, and perverse traditions of men.” For although he seem to be speaking of human traditions, yet he thinks that every unwritten tradition is human, empty, shifting, or perverse; both because he never makes mention of unwritten divine tradition, and also because a little before he indicates that the word of God is only found in Scripture. For he prays “that God might instill in us a mind to think what, for the planting and spreading of the Gospel, we are bound in conscience, according to the prescription of the divine word, to supply, being submissive to our true and only pastor’s command and voice which we hear in the Scriptures.” Where that phrase “which we hear in the Scriptures” is to be pondered, for it is set down to indicate that we are not bound to be submissive to the voice of God that is not contained in Scripture. And as for what he says of the “only pastor”, although it might have a true sense, yet I am afraid it was set down to exclude the voice of any other pastor, even if he have been by the prince of pastors placed over his flock. And in this sense above on p. 47, he laughs at “the office of the Roman Church,” and p. 57 he completely denies that “there is any earthly monarch of the Church who by the infallibility of his spirit can never err in his opinions.” Which he repeats on pp. 61 and 62, and in this way he overturns every other rule and foundation of faith besides Scripture.
spacer 6. And although on pp. 42 - 44 he seem to join together with the Scriptures the three Creeds and the first four General Councils and the unanimous consent of the Fathers who flourished in the first four hundred years after Christ, yet never does he say (which is a thing to be noted) that he believes or has faith except in the Scriptures. For about the Creeds he says that he “swears on them,” and about the Councils that he “venerates them and receives them as Catholic and orthodox” or that he “adheres to them,” as he says on p. 62. He signifies, therefore, that he does not rest on these as on foundations of faith, but he accepts them, because he feels and judges that they do not contain error or have taught nothing pertaining to the fait that is not in Scripture. He therefore adheres to them rather (so to say) by judging the Council and the Creeds by his own sure science, which he has from the Scriptures, than by using them as rule and norm of his judgment. Which he makes more plain about the unanimous sense of the Fathers, for he sometimes says that “he thinks along with them, or if he does not so think, he keeps silent because he does not dare to reprehend;” to his own judgment, then, does he subject the unanimous consent of the ancient Fathers even in things that “they lay down as necessary for salvation,” for thus he expressly speaks. Scripture alone, therefore, does he posit as the proximate rule of faith, and that not in its completeness, nor as regard all its parts, the way the Church Roman and Catholic embraces it, but he excludes from the canon the books which he calls of the second reading or order, for all those books he places among the apocryphal ones which Bellarmine (whom he cites), blue reckoned were to be placed in the second order.
spacer 7. This foundation of faith, therefore, thus received and understood, can neither be sufficient nor firm. To prove which I lay down that wherein there is agreement between us, that the books of Scripture which are called of first order are canonical, and that also whatever is in them is the true word of God, and hence is of itself, if that is they are believed in the due way, the most firm foundation of the faith. But we add, to begin with, that not only these books but also those called of second order, which have already been approved by the Church and are received in the canon, are the foundation of the faith, and that, in this respect, the foundation, as it is received by the king, is mutilated and insufficient. But, to prove it, sufficient for us now is the authority of the Council of Trent, which is an infallible authority of the Catholic Church, as was shown in chapters 3 and 4, and we will in the following point confirm this too. We add next that Scripture alone, as it includes also all these books, is of the Christian faith not the integral foundation proximate and (so to say) formal and express. For although, in a certain sense, whatever the Christian faith believes can be said to be founded on Scripture, whether proximately, because it is therein formally contained, or remotely, because an authority is approved in Scripture on which some truths are founded, whether this authority be tradition or the Church, according to the way of speaking of Augustine, Contra Cresconium I.32 and 33, and of other Fathers, whom we will introduce at the end of this chapter. Nevertheless, according to the true and Catholic Faith, it cannot be denied that beside Scripture there is given in the Church of Christ the word of God not written in the canonical books, which is to be accepted by the same faith as the written word is. Which assertion, if it were to be dealt with of set intention, would require a prolix disputation about divine and human traditions; but because it does not regard the present intention but we are only touching on it by the by so as to tease out the thing we do intend, therefore we will briefly, by authority and reason alone, through a side window confirm it.
spacer 8. The first proof, then, is that Scripture itself distinctly establishes this, for in it we are commanded to hold not only the written word of God but also the word handed on by speech and voice alone, which we call the divine unwritten tradition. Wherefore they are indeed seriously hallucinating who condemn or despise or think uncertain all tradition as being human. For although every tradition is guarded by men and reaches from those who are earlier, by the vicissitude of times, to those who are later, nevertheless the word itself that was preached from the beginning, although it was not written down, can, when preserved in the Church through tradition, be divine or contain divine teaching. The assumption is proved from that verse of 2 Thessalonians 2:15: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” In which words two things are most to be noted, which Theophylact briefly and learnedly touched on, saying: “Indeed hence it is also perspicuous that many things were handed on even by speech without writings, that is, viva voce, not by letter only.” There is the first. The other is: “But both these and those are in like manner worthy of faith. Therefore too we reckon the tradition of the Church worthy of faith. It is the tradition. Seek no further.” Which he took from Chrysostom, orat. 4 on the same epistle. And almost the same is contained in Theodoret on the same place, and in the rest of the expositors, nay almost all Catholic writers use this most powerful testimony to prove from sacred Scripture the unwritten traditions. But beside this one there are other testimonies of Scripture in which we are bidden by the apostles to believe and hold the things handed down, as 2 Thessalonians 3.6: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition he received of us.” And 1 Corinthians 11:23: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you,” namely by word, for he had not yet written about that mystery; and at the end he concludes, v. 34: “And the rest will I set in order when I come.” And at the beginning he says, v. 2: “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them unto you.”
spacer 9. From these and the like places, which for the sake of brevity I pass over, we can draw out this reason, that the word of God is the same and of the same authority whether it is written or only handed down by word of mouth; therefore, if it has been retained and preserved in the Church of Christ, it is to be received by the same faith. The antecedent is not only certain but even per se evident; for the material sign (so to say) does not increase or diminish the truth of the speaker. And that is why Paul said equally: “whether by word, or our epistle.” Nay (which is a fact to be attentively considered), Christ did not command his apostles to write but to preach the Gospel to every creature, Mark 16:15; and he adds, v.16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned;” therefore the word only preached and not written is truly the word of God. Hence Paul 1 Thessalonians 2:13: “When ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.” Now it is clear that “the word of God which ye heard of us” is properly and strictly the word of the voice, although it not be written. This word, then, was the Gospel preached at the beginning and was confirmed by sings and miracles, according to that which in the same place is subjoined by Mark, v 20: “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” Moreover from this word of speech was the written word rather in large part derived, as Luke at the beginning of his Gospel testifies, saying vv. 1 - 3: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also &c.” Very certain it is, then, that the unwritten word is as equally divine and hence as infallible as the written, and is to be received by the same faith.
spacer 10. They will perhaps reply that this does indeed have place if it were clear that some unwritten word of God had remained in the Church, but as it is there is none which is not written. For the word of speech, which at the beginning of the preaching of the Gospel was sufficient for the faith of the hearers and was to be preserved for future believers – divine providence so disposing things – this word has been written down and nothing necessary for salvation or for full faith is left that has not been written, and therefore now Scripture alone is the rule of faith. But, so as to make this response of some moment, the heretics must prove to us what they have put in the last place, namely that no preached word of God has been left unwritten. Nay, in order to speak consistently, they must prove it from the Scriptures, because they themselves say that nothing is to be believed except what is contained in the Scriptures. And certainly, if Scripture were necessary for belief, it would be desired most for this article, on which in large part the integrity and firmness of the faith depends and because of which all those things are with so much confidence rejected which the Catholic Church believes to be unwritten. But, assuredly, the adversaries are unable, I will not say from the Scriptures, but even from any history or testimony worthy of faith, to give proof thereof. But we gather the opposite from the Scriptures, for John, at the end of his Gospel, says, 21:25: “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” And Paul, 1 Corinthians 11:34: “And the rest will I set in order when I come,” which, however, are not read as having been written. And in Acts 20 Paul alleges a saying of Christ when he says, v.35, “ye ought…to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive,” which is not read as written anywhere. And in this way too could many other things have been omitted. Hence the most ancient Fathers recognize, besides written dogmas, also unwritten ones. For, to pass over Dionysius De Ecclesiast. Hierarch., ch. 1, Origen at the beginning of Peri Archon and in tract. 29 on Matthew, Tertullian in his books De Praescript. and i De Corona Militum, and Clement in his epistles, the most substantial witnesses are Irenaeus, Contra  Haereses, II.2 and 3, Basi De Spiritu Sancto, ch. 27, and Contra Eunomium, Epiphanius, Haeresis 61, near the end, Jerome, Contra Luciferianos, Augustine, epist. 118 & 119 to Januarius and 86 to Casulanus, and Cyprian, De Cardinalibus Christi Operibus, in his chapter on the washing of feet, or the author of that book.
spacer 11. But the adversaries could press further by saying that, although the unwritten word of God regarded in itself may be very potent for faith, yet because it is transitory and held to be in its nature flowing and passing away – for it can be preserved only in the memory of men, which easily fails – therefore, unless it be written down, it cannot be preserved intact and pure and cannot, in this respect, suffice for founding the faith. But this response subverts the authority of the Church too, as it supposes that the Church does not have the assistance of the Holy Spirit for preserving the unwritten word of God in its purity, and consequently it takes divine authority away even from the written word, and reduces everything to human conjecture. And, to demonstrate each point, permit me to ask the king of England whether he believes that those books, which he receives as canonical, are canonical and contain the true and pure word of God, and believes this with divine and infallible faith, or only with human faith on account of the repute these books have carried everywhere and the common opinion of men? If he say the latter, he is placing all this faith in human authority, which without doubt is liable to error, unless divine authority intervene at the same time; for it cannot be that he believes the things which are written in those books with greater faith than he believes that those books are canonical, that is, are the word of God, since the very word of God is the reason for believing the rest. But if he believes with sure and indubitable divine faith that in those books is the pure word of God, or that those books are canonical, we ask further why he believes it; for he cannot believe it because it is written in them, both because it will scarcely anywhere therein be found expressed with complete clarity, and also because, even if it did occur, we would ask about this word itself why he believes it to be divine, or written at the direction and with the inspiration of God. Therefore, he must confess that the rule and foundation of believing this particular truth at least, namely that those books are the divine Scripture, is not Scripture itself, and hence that there is a word of God that is not written in the canonical books, which is what we are now calling tradition.
spacer 12. Nay, from the words of the same king in his Preface, if he is pleased to speak consistently, he will be compelled to make this concession. For on p. 44 he first says that he has that faith in the Scriptures which a Christian man ought to have, and at once he subjoins: “The apocryphal books themselves too I hold in the place which antiquity attributes to them.” From which words I gather that tradition could, by the words of the king, have given those books the authority which in his opinion they have been allotted; for what is antiquity but a sort of tradition? Therefore, by similar reason, he cannot deny that the other books, which he thinks have greater authority, obtained that authority also from antiquity, which was, perhaps, in their case greater and more constant. But if by this conjecture alone he is led to receive in the canon these books rather than those, he does not have a sufficiently firm and unshaken foundation for that faith of his which he in this way upholds. First because, although some book, by the received and indubitable repute or judgment of men, may be held to belong to a certain author and may always, beyond human memory, have been without controversy reputed so, nevertheless all this authority does not transcend human faith, and falsehood can strictly lie beneath it; therefore the same will hold of the canonical books, unless their authority receive from elsewhere a greater certainty.
spacer 13. Second, because, although it may be that those books were written at the dictation of the Holy Spirit, antiquity alone cannot infallibly show that they are pure as they were put forward by the Holy Spirit, and that they have not, in the course of time, been corrupted, or have not by chance, or negligence, or lack of skill, or the malice of the enemies of the faith, especially Jews and heretics, been polluted. Third, because from the various translations of the same books the same ambiguity could arise, which could not by antiquity alone and its conjectures be removed with certainty and infallibility, as experience itself sufficiently shows; for so great is the variety in readings and versions, and so great in some even very small things is the controversy whether they were in the original Scripture or not, that one can by faith in antiquity alone scarcely weigh with care what is altogether more likely, much less what is thoroughly certain and indubitable.
spacer 14. From this discussion, therefore, we conclude that there must be in the Church some sure authority, which the Holy Spirit especially assists, so that it can infallibly discriminate the canonical books from the non-canonical; and this authority we say is in the Catholic Church, which although it should necessarily use for this discrimination the rule of tradition, as the prior discussion sufficiently proves, yet, because tradition itself can be ambiguous and because it has proximately and immediately through the hands of men descended to us, therefore the same Holy Spirit must be present to the Church, both for faithfully guarding the deposit of the Scriptures that has been committed to it, and also for approving, with the same certitude, that tradition which suffices to procure sure faith in certain books and to discriminate this faith from other faith less constant and less certain. Either, therefore, the King of England admits that this infallible spirit is in some man or congregation of men, or he denies this sort of power altogether. If he choose the latter, he reduces everything to each one’s private judgment, and he violates the firmness of the faith and the unity of Church, as I will show in the final point of this chapter. But if he choose the former part, assuredly, unless he wishes to contradict Scripture itself and all prudent reasoning, he can only to the Catholic Church, or to its head, concede this assistance of the Holy Spirit, both because it was promised to that Church alone, as we showed in chapters 3 and 4, and also because this assistance ought not to be through a private spirit but through a public one, and one given for the common utility, as we shall articulate more lavishly a little later.
spacer 15. To the Church, therefore, has been committed the keeping of the Scriptures, and to it has been divinely given the preserving of them faithfully, purely, and sincerely, and the discriminating of the true from the false, the certain from the uncertain, the complete from the mutilated, and therefore Augustine, Contra Epist. Fundamenti, ch. 5, is not afraid to say: “I would not believe the Gospel if the authority of the Church did not move me.” From which principle we further conclude what was proposed, namely that the Church can with no less authority and fidelity preserve the unwritten word of God than the Scriptures themselves. Both because the promise made to the Church was not limited to the word of Scripture but the announcement was made simply that the Church is “the pillar and ground of the truth,” and because Christ promised simply the Holy Spirit to teach us all truth, namely all truth necessary and fitting for the Church. And also, because the conjecture about the transitory and permanent word is of little moment, once the assistance and virtue of the Holy Spirit is in place. Nay, the difference is almost nil, because although the unwritten word, when once or twice pronounced, is transitory, yet when often repeated it is easily preserved, and so does it happen in the body of the Church, through the frequent confession and celebration of the mysteries of the faith. Hence this word can be said not only to be retained in memory but also to be preserved in the oft repeated words, and deeds, and external signs of the faithful; nay too, although this word not be written down in the canonical books, it always remains traced out either in the decrees of the Pontiffs and the Councils or in the memorials of the Fathers. But there would, on the other hand, have been no less difficulty and contingency in preserving the written word in its purity if it were to be done by human industry and diligence alone, because, as we said, written words can easily be corrupted or mutilated or altered too much on account of translations into various languages or the transcriptions of exemplars. Therefore, in the case of both words, the assistance of the Holy Spirit is necessary and sufficient, and hence, for confirming the faith, the unwritten word of God is no less efficacious than the written, provided each is sufficiently proposed by the Church.
spacer 16. And there are for this truth very grave witnesses. To begin with Ireneaus, Contra Haereses, III.4, concludes thus from the things he has said about traditions: “One should not look still among others for the truth that is easy to take up from the Church, since the apostles have, as if into a rich depository, very fully brought into it everything that belongs to the truth, so that all who wish may take from it the potion of life. For this is the doorway into life, but all others are thieves and robbers.” And, declaring more fully the sufficiency of the unwritten word, he asks in this manner: “What, then, if not even the apostles had left us Scriptures? Ought we not to follow the order of tradition which they handed on to those to whom they committed the churches?” And he introduces as example the many nations of peoples who received the faith of Christ before it was written down, and who for many years retained it by tradition alone before they received the Scriptures.
spacer 17. With this agrees Augustine who, in the said ch. 5 of Contra Epist. Fundamenti, after the cited words, at once very prudently asks: “Those I have submitted to when they say: ‘Believe the Gospel,’ why would I not submit to them when they say to me: ‘Do not believe Mani’?” Which now, with change of name, we can say: Do not believe Luther or Calvin. And then he continues: “Choose what you wish. If you say to me: ‘Believe the Catholics,’ they themselves warn me to put no faith in you. Wherefore, believing them, I cannot help disbelieving in you. If you say: ‘Do not believe the Catholics,’ you will not do well to force me to the faith of Mani, because I have believed the Gospel itself thanks to the teaching of the Catholics.” By which argument Augustine convicts all sectaries and their followers that either they should not believe the Gospel, namely that it is the Gospel, or they should believe the rest of what the Catholic Church teaches, because they cannot deny that they have the Gospel from the Church, and they have no reason to attribute authority to it in taking up the Gospel but not the other things that it teaches. Hence the same Augustine subjoins: “If you say, ‘you have rightly believed those who praise the Gospel but not rightly believed those who blame Mani’ (or, which is the same, Calvin), do you think me so stupid that, without any reason given, I should believe what you wish and not believe what you do not wish?” Which point he afterwards pursues at large and elegantly. And he has a like discourse in De Utilit. Credendi, ch. 14.
spacer 18. There is also a striking place in the same Augustine, Contra Cresconium, I.32 and 33, where, by his own authority and with an evident example, he confirms the same truth. For he deals there with there being no need to baptize those who have been duly baptized by heretics, and he teaches that it is a dogma of the faith, as indeed it is, and he says first: “We certainly follow in this matter the most certain authority even of the canonical Scriptures.” And afterwards he subjoins: “Although no example of this thing be certainly proffered from the canonical Scriptures, yet the truth of the same Scriptures, even in this matter, is held by us when we do this, because it has now pleased the Universal Church, which the authority of the Scriptures themselves commends, that, since the Sacred Scripture cannot deceive, let whoever fears to be deceived by the obscurity of this question consult thereon the same Church, which the Sacred Scripture without any doubt points to.” In which words, to begin with, Augustine confirms, as I said above, that not every truth to be believed of the faith is proximately and (so to say) formally contained in Scripture, although remotely any truth could be founded on Scripture insofar as Scripture commends the authority of tradition and of the Church. Next Augustine is witness here that the Church is judge of controversies which might arise about things of faith, and that it can by its own authority confirm and make certain the tradition about which before there was doubt. Hence, incidentally, I gather how inconsistently they are behaving who receive some books as canonical and reject others from the canon that are equally approved by the Church, on the ground that there was once doubt about them. Hence even the Hing of England, who speaks in this way in his Preface, is either involved in the same inconsistency or certainly he is convicted of being led by no certain and indubitable rule but by mere human conjecture in admitting these books and rejecting those from the canon, and consequently he has of neither, nor of their contents, certain and truly Christian faith, but only human conjecture and opinion.
spacer 19. Next, from the said words of Augustine, we have by a very good example the posited truth confirmed. For that a person once duly baptized is not to be baptized again, although the first baptism was given by a heretic, is a truth to be held by Christian faith, although it is not express in sacred Scripture. We can adduce a like example which, as I reckon, not even the Protestant Anglicans reject: namely, that infants are, with respect to validity, rightly and fittingly baptized, which, since it is not found written in the canonical books, is received from tradition approved by the Church, as Augustine thinks, epist. 28, and De Baptism., IV.24, De Genesi ad Literam, X. 23, and De Peccat. Mer., III.6, with Cyprian, epist. 59, and Origen, hom. 8 on Levit., and hom. 14 on Luke. There is another example too about the perpetual virginity of the God-bearer, which although many of the new heretics or Protestants perhaps do not admit, yet the king does not seem to spurn it, since on p. 45 of his Preface he calls her the Blessed Virgin. And, whatever others think, it is enough for us that the dogma has been handed down with unanimous consent from the Fathers. “Whom,” as Augustine said, Contra Iulian., II.1 and 10, “Christian peoples ought to prefer to your profane novelties, and should choose to adhere to them rather than to you.” For, as he adds later: “what they have found in the Church they have held on to; what they have learnt they have taught; what they have received from the Fathers they have handed on to the sons.” Than which nothing more fitting could be said either for commending the authority of traditions by their origin, or for making plain how the common consent of the Fathers is conjoined with tradition. The same can also be seen in Augustine, Contra Iulian I.2, Jerome, epist. 50, to Pammachius on behalf of the book Contra Iovinian., and in Contra Helvid. And these things seem, on this point, enough to prove that Scripture, although it be in its order a great foundation of faith, is yet not sufficient for us of itself without the support of tradition and of the Church, which will be made more manifest in the next chapter.
spacer 20. Against this truth from the Scriptures I find nothing from reason that needs responding to. But from the Fathers there are some things to note and expound. For Basil, homil. De Vera ac Pia Fide, says it is a very certain sign of pride “to reject any of the things that have been written, or to introduce any of the things that have not been written.” But either he is speaking of addition in Scripture itself, by adding something apocryphal to it, for he says later, that the apostle prohibited “taking away anything of what is contained in the divine letters or, which God forbid, adding anything;” or he understands some introduction that is private and done without the authority approved in Scripture itself. For it is otherwise clear that Basil himself greatly commends unwritten tradition, De Spiritu Sancto, II.27 and 29. And to the same sense must be referred what he says in Morali, rule 26: “Whatever we say or do ought to be confirmed by the testimony of Scripture,” namely proximately or remotely, as he himself eloquently declares in rule 1, from the summaries.
spacer 21. Thus too is to be understood Augustine, Contra Litt. Petil. III.6, when he expounds that verse of Paul, Galatians 1:8: “Though we or an angel from heaven…” and adds: “Besides what you have received in the legal and evangelical Sciptures,” that is, proximately or remotely; for he himself elsewhere expounded that what is against the Church is against the Scripture. Thus too he says, Book II of De Peccatorum Merit., last chapter, that in an obscure matter one should hazard nothing when the sure and clear instructions of Scripture give no help. For whatever the Church teaches has the help of the sure instructions of Scripture. Besides, Augustine is treating of very obscure things that are not to be defined by human presumption; but things that are received by approved tradition cannot be said to be very obscure or to be introduced by human presumption.
spacer 22. In addition, Jerome on Matthew 23 is wont to be cited because he says of a certain opinion: “Because it does not have authority from Scripture it is contemned with the same ease as it is approved.” But there he is speaking of a certain history, namely, of the killing of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, between the temple and the altar, which does not pertain to tradition or the definition of the Church. The heretics are also wont to cite Jerome on Haggai 1, where he says: “The word of the Lord pierces what is said without the authority and testimony of Scripture.” But Jerome is handling that verse, 1:11: “And I called for a drought &c.” against the heretics, who, without the authority of the Scriptures, “of their own accord,” he says, “find and fabricate certain things as if by Apostolic tradition,” where rather he tacitly admits Apostolic tradition along with Scripture but blames those who fabricate it of their own accord and without foundation.



1. The King of England lays as foundation for belief his own opinion. spacer2 - 3. It is temerity to arrogate this intelligence to oneself. spacer4- 6. The sacred page cannot be genuinely expounded without a teacher.spacer7 - 9. An effective dilemma against sure science assumed by the king. How dangerous it is to locate the foundation of faith in private spirit.

O be treated of in this chapter is the other part of the foundation for faith of the King of England, who, when he desires other Christian princes to be as he himself is, namely locating the foundation of faith in certain knowledge, which they will receive from the Scriptures by reading them over, shows that it is certain he lays for foundation of his faith the knowledge of Scripture acquired by himself. From this foundation, then, and reason for belief in the Scriptures, I collect that he does not hold, much less defend, the truly Christian faith. And to begin with he is confronted at once by the admonition of Paul to Timothy, 1 Timothy 6:20 - 21: “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust (that is, the deposit of faith and doctrine, as the Apostle himself declared in his second epistle to him), avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.” For, from the aforesaid words of the king, when compared with the words of Paul, it is at once apparent that that has happened to the king which Paul predicted, namely that through “science falsely so called,” which he professes, he is straying away from the true faith. For, as Chrysostom there rightly said: “When something is brought forth by one’s own thoughts (especially in divine mysteries and things concerning the faith), it is not knowledge;” deservedly, then, is it named “science falsely so called,” and an occasion for all errors, because of the great presumption which it is wont to denote. And for that reason Augustine said about those who promise sure knowledge, when explaining the same words of the Apostle in tract. 97 on John, near the end: “Nothing do they so love than to promise knowledge and to deride as ignorance the faith of true things that little children are bidden to believe. Hence beware (he most prudently premises in the same tract., near the beginning), especially you who are little children and still need milk for food, lest you give your ears to men deceived and deceiving, so as to know things unknown, since you have weak minds for discriminating things true and false.” And later he compares the vanity of those who, though they are ignorant of the truth, promise knowledge of the truth to the woman foolish and clamorous and knowing altogether nothing of whom Solomon said, Proverbs 9:13 - 16: “For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passers by…Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither &c.” and he pursues the comparison at length.
spacer 2. Besides, one may ask what the king understands by “certain knowledge.” For it is not likely that he is speaking of that certain knowledge in the manner of the philosophers so as to signify a clear and evident cognition of things, since it is per se plain to everyone that, from the reading of the Scriptures, evident knowledge is not obtained of the things or mysteries which are related in the same Scripture, and therefore the same Scripture itself requires faith and not vision of its truth. Nay it itself teaches that faith is of things that do not appear, Hebrews 11; and for that reason Peter, in his second letter, 1:19: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” Therefore a proper, that is, evident science cannot be promised or demanded, which might be the foundation of faith. Nor also could the king understand by certain knowledge the very faith itself, which is both certain and, insofar as it a certain excellent cognition, sometimes wont to be called by the name of knowledge (taken in a certain general meaning), as 2 Corinthians 5:1, “For we know that if our earthly house &c.” The king could not, I say, be speaking in this sense; for he says that on this certain knowledge the foundation of faith must be placed; one thing, then, is the faith, another the foundation on which it is founded. So by certain knowledge he seems to mean a certain and indubitable sense of Scripture. For two things are accurately distinguished by Augustine, Confessions, XII.23, when he says: “I see that two kinds of disagreements can arise when something is by truthful messengers announced through signs, one about the truth of the things, another about the intention of him who does the announcing;” and ch. 24 he posits an example in Moses’ words: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” when he says that he is confident in saying that God created in his word things visible and invisible, but not so confident in saying that Moses intended this by those words. But the King of England conversely signifies that he has by certain knowledge arrived at what Moses or any canonical writer wished to write, and that on this knowledge he founds certain faith of the things that are contained in such Scripture. And, what is more marvelous, he invites all Christian princes to this manner of faith, and tacitly promises them a like knowledge if they read over the divine letters.
spacer 3. But let him listen to Augustine in the said Book 12, ch. 25, saying to God: “Send the rains of softening into my heart so that I may bear patiently such as tell me this, not because they are divine and have seen what they say in the heart of your servant (that is, Moses), but because they are proud and do not know the thought of Moses but love their own, not because it is true but because it is theirs.” And later: “That temerity is not of knowledge but of daring, nor did sight but disease give it birth.” And Vincent of Lerins, ch. 14, after he had with many words depicted the heretics who say: “On our authority, on our rule, on our exposition condemn the things you used to hold and abandon the ancient faith &c.” he subjoins: “I dread to speak, for the things are so arrogant they seem incapable even of being refuted without impiety.” Therefore sufficient for us to object against this knowledge the words of Paul when he says, Romans 12:3: “Not to think more highly than one ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Treating of which place, Irenaeus, Contra Haeres., V.20, reads, “but to think prudently,” and he judges that contained there is an admonition and a warning against heretics, of whom he says: “They confess that they themselves have knowledge of good and evil, and they cast above God, who made them, their own impious sense. They think, therefore, above the measure of their sensing.” Therefore, to think prudently, he says, is to beware of them. “Lest by eating their knowledge,” he says, “which tastes of more than it ought, we be cast forth from the paradise of life,” by which he understands the Church, of which he had said earlier: “We ought to flee to the Church and be educated in her bosom and nourished on the Scripture of the Lord, for the paradise of the Church has been planted in this world; therefore, from every tree of paradise you will eat the fruit, says the Spirit of God, that is, eat from all the divine Scriptures, but you may not eat with an over-exalted sense nor may you touch the universal quarrels of heretics.” But who has a more exalted sense than he who presumes to have acquired with sure knowledge a sense of Sacred Scripture merely by reading it over?
spacer 4. For I ask further of the king, by which doctor, by which leader, has he acquired this certain knowledge of Scripture and offers it to others for obtaining? He will reply, as I opine, what someone else did in Augustine: blue “When I read it by myself I know it myself,” for this the king signifies when he says: “Not to place the foundations of faith on the uncertain opinions of others but on your own sure knowledge.” But what of Augustine? He continues and says: “Is it so? Imbued with no knowledge of poetry you would dare without a master to attain to Terence Maurus?... Then you rush upon those books, which, whatever they are, yet they are holy and, by the confession of almost the whole human race, famed to be full of divine things, and you dare without a preceptor to pronounce judgment on them.” Therefore is this presumption alien to the spirit of the holy Fathers and, on the testimony of Augustine, in the same book ch. 17, has pride for mother. His words are: “If each and every discipline, however low and easy, requires, so as to be capable of being learnt, a teacher and master, what is more full of rash pride than not to wish to come to know from their interpreters the books of the divine sacraments, or to want to condemn then unknown?” Next, it is against the ordinary prudence of the Holy Spirit. For why has the Holy Spirit provided the Church with pastors and doctors if the sense of the Scriptures is not to be gained from doctors but by one’s own genius and industry? Or how can each of the faithful, with the prudence or modesty which Paul requires, prefer not only himself to the doctors of the Church in understanding Scripture, but count even his own senses alone as certain knowledge, and leave behind whatever diverges from it as the uncertain opinion of men?
spacer 5. Far otherwise, indeed, did Augustine think of himself who at Confessions III.5, speaks thus: “I decided to apply my mind to the Sacred Scriptures to see of what sort they were; and behold I see a thing not discovered to the proud, nor open to the view of children, but humble of entry, high in ascent, and veiled in mysteries; and I was not such that I could enter into it or lower my head to go inside.” Hence St. Basil in Regulae Breviores, no.235, asks: “Is it necessary to learn much from the Scriptures?” And in sum he replies that bishops, pastors, or doctors of the Church ought to have great care for it; but about the rest he says: “Let each be mindful of the words of the Apostle, not to be wiser than he ought to be, but to think soberly, and, according as God hath dealt measure to every man, to learn carefully and pursue what belongs to his office, nor curiously to inquire anything further.” And in the same way are the words of the Apostle expounded by Ambrose, who, among other things, says: “Not even if someone is of good life ought he from that to claim for himself prudence of doctrine.” And indeed, when all authority is lacking, natural reason itself and experience teach that it is vain for all the faithful, including the unlettered and uneducated and those involved in secular business, to promise certain knowledge of the Scriptures merely through the simple, albeit frequent, reading of them.
spacer 6. More correctly, indeed, does Jerome say, epist. 103 to Paulina, that Scripture is a book sealed with seven seals “which even the learned cannot open unless he unlock it who has the key of David.” And therefore he much praises the modesty of the Eunuch, Acts 8:30 - 31, when, upon Philip asking: “Understandest thou what thou readest?” he replied: “How can I, except some man should guide me?” And at once Jerome says with great humility of himself: “I am not holier than that eunuch, nor a more eager student.” And later he thus concludes: “These I have briefly touched on so that you might understand that you cannot enter on the Sacred Scriptures without someone going before and showing you the way.” And afterwards he greatly deplores the fact that in every art, even a very low one, none can be what he desires without a teacher. “Only the art of the Scriptures,” he says, “is one that everyone everywhere claims to himself; the talkative old woman, the silly old man, the wordy sophist presume to it, mangle it, teach it before learning it.” With which words he would seem to be depicting the sectaries of our time, but in them it is more ominous, more dangerous, because they demand of the individual faithful that certain knowledge for the foundation of their faith. For it necessarily thence happens that for some people faith is impossible, who are not only unable to acquire that certain knowledge but are not even capable of a probable understanding of the Scriptures; but to others, who have less sharpness, occasion is given for ruining themselves and confusing others. And therefore very wisely does Augustine warn, De Utilitat. Credendi, ch. 10, that it is necessary for faith to precede knowledge. So that “those too who are able to fly, lest it be a dangerous inducement to them, be compelled to advance a little way, which is also safe for the rest. This is the providence of true religion, this the divine command, this you have received from our ancestors, this has been up to us preserved; to wish to disturb this and overturn it, is nothing other than to seek a way to true religion that is sacrilegious. Those who do this, even if what they want is conceded to them, cannot reach where they intend; for let them exceed in any sort of talent you please, unless God be present, they crawl on the ground.”
spacer 7. To make an advance in understanding the private spirit which the king points to, I ask about this same knowledge which is said to be certain, of what sort its certitude is; that is, whether it be human and, by the sole force and sharpness of intelligence, acquired from reading Scripture and from the signification of the words, or whether divine, given by the Holy Spirit through special grace and donation? Whichever of these is said, it is repugnant to certitude and unity of faith and contains very serious disadvantages; therefore such certain knowledge cannot be the foundation of truly Christian Faith. The first part can easily be shown. To begin with, because if that knowledge only has certitude from human discourse and conjecture, and it is the foundation of faith, faith cannot be more certain, since the building cannot be firmer than the foundation. Next, now not Sacred Scripture but human sense will be the foundation of faith; for as Jerome rightly warned, on Galatians 1: “The Gospel must not be thought to be in the words of the Scriptures but in the sense; not on the surface but in the marrow; not in the pages of words, but in the root of reason.” Hence he infers: “Scripture is useful then for hearers when it is not spoken without Christ, when it is not put forward without Peter, when he who preaches it does not present it without the Spirit, otherwise the devil too, who speaks of the Scriptures, and all the heresies, according to Ezechiel (13:18), therefrom ‘sew pillows and make kerchiefs on the head of every stature’.” And finally he concludes: “There is great danger to speaking in the Church, lest perchance by a perverse interpretation there be made from the Gospel of Christ a Gospel of men or, what is worse, of the devil.” The danger is much greater, therefore, if each believer place the foundation of his faith in his own interpretation and in his own human sense, for thus not only will the Gospel of God become a Gospel of men, but there will be as many Gospels of Scripture as there heads of men. Which is thus elegantly explained by the same Jerome against the Luciferians at the end of his Dialogue, where he says: “Let them not flatter themselves if they seem to themselves to be confirming what they say from chapters of the Scriptures, since the devil too spoke certain things from the Scriptures, and since the Scriptures do not consist in reading but in understanding, otherwise, if we follow the letter, we ourselves too can also make up a new dogma for ourselves, so as to assert that they should not be accepted into the Church who wear shoes or have two tunics.”
spacer 8. Finally, the thing itself considered in itself appears even impossible; for how can it come about that by human discourse and conjecture alone someone, by reading Scripture, might attain very certainly the sense intended by the Holy Spirit? For this certitude, since it does not come from divine faith, as is supposed in this member [of the dilemma], must be founded in some evidence; otherwise there will not be certitude according to reason but by pertinacity and stubbornness of will. But in such matter there can not be evidence; both because the mind and intention of the Holy Spirit is very hidden and capable of being multiple; and also because there can in the signification of the words themselves be ambiguity; and finally because of innumerable other difficulties which occur in the interpretation of divine Scripture. Therefore that certain science, explained in this way, is nothing than a certain voluntary pertinacity taken for judgment, whereby each wishes that which pleases him more to be certain, as Augustine acutely discusses and proves, Contra FaustumXI.2. There he speaks of heretics who admit, according to their judgment, some part of Scripture which is on their side, and another part, which is against them, for that reason spit out and deny is canonical; and in this way they make themselves the rule of truth. But it can be applied in the same way to judgment about the true sense of Scripture, in which, as I said along with Jerome, true Scripture consists.
spacer 9. It remains to discuss the second part of the proposed dilemma. For the sectaries seem most to intend it when they say that judgment about the true sense of Scripture is not to be taken from the Church but from each one’s proper spirit, not human but divine, moving each one to attain certainly and infallibly the sense intended by the Holy Spirit; and this spirit which they call private, they wish to be the rule of faith. But the error here too, understood in this sense, is evidently opposed not only to divine Scripture and the Fathers but also to right reason, which must in the next chapter be directly shown.



1. That in controversies of faith the rule of the Church is to be held is proved from Scripture. spacer2 - 3. That in things of faith private spirit is to be avoided is shown by Scripture. A genuine interpretation of the words of the Apostle. spacer 4. That private spirit is not the rule of faith is shown from the Fathers. spacer5. First reason, whereby the same truth is established. spacer 6. Second reason. spacer 7. The infallible assistance of the Holy Spirit has not been promised to individual believers. spacer8. How the Holy Spirit teaches everyone. spacer9. The Holy Spirit sometimes assists some by special privilege. spacer10. Third reason. spacer 11 - 12. Fourth reason. Private spirit is the root of heresies. spacer 13 - 14. Fifth reason. spacer 15 - 17. Sixth reason.spacer 18. The King of England, when he lays down the aforesaid rule of faith, is in conflict with himself. The exhortation of the same king to the sectaries about unity of faith involves inconsistency. spacer 19 - 20. Objections to the opposite opinion. spacer 21. Twofold interpretation of Scripture, one authentic and one doctrinal. spacer22. Authentic interpretation cannot issue from a private spirit.

HIS truth can be demonstrated by authority and at the same time by reason. For first divine Scripture everywhere gives two warnings. One is that in controversies of faith we should consult the rule of the Church; the other is that we should fear private spirit, especially if it disagrees with the common rule. The first is clear, even in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 17:8: “If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment…then shalt thou arise and get thee up into the place &c.” And about the priest it is said, Malachi 2:7: “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law (of God) at his mouth.” And Christ the Lord said, Matthew 23:2 - 3: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do,” which without doubt he said much more for his Church, and for the Seat which he was going to set up in his Church, according to what was said above in chapter 4. And thus we see it observed by the apostles, Acts 15, where a certain question that had arisen about legal matters they entrusted for decision not to a private but to the common spirit, saying, v. 28: “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us.” Thus Paul too, although he was not in doubt that he had the infallible direction of the Holy Spirit, went up to Jerusalem so as to communicate his Gospel with the other apostles, and especially with Peter, Galatians 2:2: “lest by any means I should run or had run in vain,” that is, so that his doctrine might be approved by the whole Church through a universal rule, as Jerome noted on that very place, and epist. 87, which is also 11 among the epistles of Augustine, and Tertullian, Contra Marcionem, IV.2.
spacer 2. The second is also clear from the words of 1 John 4:1: “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.” This testimony the heretics abuse to prove that each Christian should be judge of doctrine and Scripture. Which is a sufficient example to demonstrate how much there is of danger and error in this private spirit and in usurping one’s own judgment about the certain sense of Scripture; since it is so easy with a perverse spirit to interpret the same words against the intention of the Holy Spirit, as is made clear in this place. For the apostle John in those words warns the faithful against easily believing private movements, impulses, or thoughts without much testing and discretion. But this proof should not be through the same private spirit, for the same danger would exist in such testing; it ought therefore to be through another more known and more certain rule. And, setting aside the spirit that moves practically to work (on which account is the discerning of spirits most of all given, about which Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 12:10), and speaking of the testing of the spirit in the matter of doctrine, that alone is sufficient which is through the rule of the Church, of which sort is definition by the same Church. And therefore, when the private sense of Scripture is against the doctrine defined by the Church, there is it certain that it is not from the good spirit but from the bad; but when it is not against the doctrine of the Church, it will, until it is proved by the Church, not have been examined as to what sort it is, but it must be proved by other conjectures, and especially by its greater or less agreement with the doctrine of the Church. And in this way did the holy Fathers understand this place when they said that John is forearming us in these words against all the private spirits of the heretics and against doctrines contrary to the Church, as is pursued at large by Augustine, collecting it from the subsequent words of John, in serm. 30 & 31, De Verb. Apost. The same is urged by Pope Anacletus, epist.1, where he joins with these words others of the same epistle, 2:24: “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning;” and later, v. 27: “and even as it has taught you (that is, through the apostles and the Catholic Church), ye shall abide in him.” The same is very well handed on by Athanasius, orat.1 against the Arians, near the beginning, where, treating of this place among others, he says that: “the demon, father of all heresies, professes the name of the Savior, and he is clothed with the sayings of the Scriptures and indeed proposes their words, but the true meaning he steals away from them, and then, after darkening with deceits the meaning that he himself has fabricated, he makes himself the murderer of those who err.”
spacer 3. Hence too, Paul says, 2 Thessalonians 2:1 - 2: “We beseech you…that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word &c.” Where he forestalls two deceivers, the spirit, that is, and the word of false prophets, about which he says, 2 Corinthians 11:13 - 15: “For such are false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness.” Hence all things that are adduced in the Scriptures about avoiding false prophets, as Ezechiel 3, Deuteronomy 13, 2 Peter 2 &c., can be reckoned not undeservedly as advanced about this private spirit. For he is wont to be the same as he who speaks in false prophets when they teach or prophesy against doctrine previously revealed, whom, that they are by this rule to be rejected, is handed down in the place from Deuteronomy 13. Next, the same is the intention of Paul, Galatians 1:8: “Though an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached, let him be accursed.” By which exaggeration Paul wished to signify that the private spirit, whether teaching new things or expounding Scripture against the Catholic doctrine previously received in the Church, cannot be a spirit from heaven, but is either human or diabolic or impure, according to the distinction of Bernard, serm. De Sex vel Septem Spiritibus; which place was so understood also by the Fathers, as I related above in chapter 2.
spacer 4. Private spirit cannot, therefore, be the rule of Catholic Faith, but rather by this rule is this spirit itself to be discerned, as the Fathers everywhere teach, especially Augustine, De Unitat. Eccles., chs. 11 and 9, and very well in the preface to De Doctr. Christ., where he says that to expect this spirit is “to tempt God” and that such thoughts are to be avoided “as most proud and dangerous.” The same is taught by Vincent of Lerins, ch. 14 at large. Next, this very thing is what Jerome gestures to, epist. 152 to Minerius and Alexander, near the end, in these words, which he says are the Savior’s: “Be money changers who are tried, since whatever coin is adulterated and does not have the image of Caesar nor is marked by the public mint, will be rejected; but the coin that brings to the light the face of Christ will be placed in the purse of our heart.” But only the Catholic Church is discerned in clear light, as I showed above, and it alone has the public mark for signifying true Scripture and its true sense. And the same opinion is followed by Damascene, De Fide, IV.18, where, after commendation of sacred Scripture, he subjoins, “Let this be our care, that we may be honest money changers, namely accumulating true and pure gold and repudiating the adulterated.” From these, then, is it sufficiently clear how this private spirit, as it is extolled by the sectaries, is alien to the spirit and sense of the holy Fathers; and the same point will also now, from the things that we will adduce in the reasons that follow, more evidently emerge.
spacer 5. The first reason, then, against the aforesaid error can be taken from what has just been said. For faith truly Christian is common and public; therefore the foundation of it also ought to be public and common. The antecedent is known of itself, because the Catholic Faith is proposed to all for belief, and unity and agreement in this faith are prescribed to all; it is therefore common and public. Hence rightly does Augustine say, Confessions XI.25, “Your truth is not mine, nor his or his, but belongs to all of us whom you publicly call to communion in it, admonishing us terribly not to want privately to have it, lest we deprived of it; for whoever claims as proper to himself what you propose to be enjoyed by all, and wants that to be his own which belongs to all, is driven off from what is common to what is his own, that is, from truth to falsehood. For he who speaks falsehood speaks from what is his own.” blue Hence the first consequent is easily proved; both because (to speak in the manner of philosophers) the measure and the thing measured need to be homogeneous; but the foundation of the faith is the rule and measure of the faith, nor can it be adequate and commensurate to the faith if it is particular and private though faith is public and common; and also because it is not consonant with divine providence to direct and govern men through a private spirit to choosing a faith that ought to be common.
spacer 6. This fact is made more explicit in the second reason, because, for this foundation of faith to be firm and infallible, there is need of the assistance of the Holy Spirit, or of his special direction and illumination in distinguishing the true sense of Scripture; but this assistance has not been promised to the individual faithful when perusing Scripture and privately judging its sense, but it has been promised to the Church or to its pastors, above all in matters that are necessary to the faith; therefore the foundation of the faith ought to be, not private judgment, but the public judgment of the Church. The major is sufficiently proved by what has been said, because, once the public assistance of the Holy Spirit has been taken away, there is left a purely human spirit which is frequently mistaken, and therefore it cannot be the foundation of certain faith. In addition it is also proved by the words of Peter in the cited second epistle, where after he had said, 1:19: “We have a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed,” he subjoins, v. 20: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation,” that is, of one’s own intelligence; which holds most true of interpretation that is certain, because it cannot be contrary to the true sense of the Holy Spirit. The reason for this truth is subjoined by Peter when he says, v. 21: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” As if he were to say that Scripture is to be interpreted by the same spirit as that by which it was made. “For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:10-11.
spacer 7. But the minor proposition, as to its first part about the assistance of the Holy Spirit that has been promised to the Church and its head, it has been proved by us in chapters 3 and 4, because in the promise of faith being perpetual and unfailing in the Church this promise is contained. Besides the fact that Christ too promised both his own assistance and the Holy Spirit to teach the Church all truth, namely all truth necessary and opportune for any time, to which most of all has regard the true and certain understanding of Scripture in necessary matters. But the second part, wherein we deny that this promise was made to the individual faithful, we prove it to begin with by requiring some place of Scripture in which the promise was made, which request we can deservedly make of those who deny that anything is to be believed which is not written; but there is no place, not even an apparent one, that they can bring forward. For although it is said in 1 John 2:27: “The same anointing teacheth you of all things,” and in John 6:45: “It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God,” these and the like things are understood according to the manner and order that is consonant with divine providence and that is signified in the sacred Scriptures. For Paul teaches, 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4, that there are various gifts of the Spirit in the Church, among which are put the gift of prophecy, the interpretation of speech, the discerning of spirits; and it is added that the acts and ministry of these gifts do not belong to all, because, Romans 12.4, “all members have not the same office,” for, 1 Corinthians 12:17, “if the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing?” And likewise we can say: if all were knowers, where were the disciples? What are teachers for?
spacer 8. The Holy Spirit teaches everyone then in an ordered way, namely the common people through teachers, and the teachers themselves through Councils, and especially through the Vicar of Christ. And in this too is preserved order and manner. See Augustine, Introduction to De Doctrina Christiana. For the Holy Spirit immediately provides everyone in some way with help for receiving or handing on supernatural doctrine, according to the office or need of each. And so he helps all the faithful and illuminates them interiorly for believing what he teaches through his preachers; for, as Paul says, Romans 10:17, “faith cometh by hearing,” because God by a common law does not teach men save through men. For that is why Paul asks there, v. 14: “How shall they believe…without a preacher?” Yet because, 1 Corinthians 3:7, “neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God…;” therefore the interior grace of the Holy Spirit is necessary for conceiving faith, and in this way are “all taught of God,” as Augustine both there and everywhere expounds against the Pelagians. But pastors and doctors of the Church are by more special helps and gifts taught by the Holy Spirit, as far as is expedient for the common good of the Church; and therefore, for the most part, it is not done through express revelations, nor through infallible judgment, but to the extent necessary and as much as the status and duties of each require. But the Great Pontiff and legitimate Councils, when they define, teach through a singular assistance such that they cannot err, lest they lead the whole Church into error.
spacer 9. Nor do we deny that sometimes the Holy Spirit teaches some privately about the mysteries of faith, or about the sense of Scripture in such a way as to render them certain about the truth of the doctrine or about the revealed sense. Yet this is a special grace which cannot be generally attributed to all the faithful, and therefore Paul, above mentioned, said about these gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:11: “The Spirit dividing to every man severally as he will;” and 1 Peter 4:10: “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another.” And besides, such private doctrine or revelation must first be proved, according to that verse of 1 Thessalonians 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” But the first and chief proof is that it not be against the ancient and received doctrine of the Church, because God cannot be contrary to himself. And next, that it be consonant with good morals and be worthy of so great a Teacher. And then, if such private revelation not be sufficiently proposed to the Church through any certain signs, it could be useful to the recipient, but it could not be valid for creating certain faith among the other faithful, as Innocent III wisely taught, because otherwise the faithful might very often be exposed to manifest danger of error. Since, therefore, the heretics cannot either from the Scriptures point to that private knowledge which, as they imagine, is certain for themselves from the infallible assistance of the Holy Spirit, nor can they even point to it by any signs or virtues, why should they be believed, especially since the opinions they form through such knowledge are contrary to the Holy Spirit speaking through the Church? And it is surely a remarkable thing that they should wish to sell us a private infallible spirit and persuade us of it without any evidence or testimony of the Holy Spirit, when they themselves dare altogether to deny to the Church’s public judgment about the doctrine of the faith the sure assistance of the Holy Spirit, which has manifestly been promised.
spacer 10. A third reason can be added, that the infallible assistance of the Holy Spirit is no less necessary and sufficient for judging the virtue of Scripture itself, that is, which books in it are canonical, by discriminating them from those that are not canonical, than for giving sure judgment about the true sense of Scripture, as was seen above. But the assistance of the Holy Spirit for first judging about the legitimate books is not given to the individual faithful; nor do I reckon that hitherto there has been a heretical man so proud as to arrogate to himself a private spirit for discerning the canonical from the non-canonical books, nor so dull or rash as to say that this judgment is to be committed or permitted to individual believers for each one’s decision, or dreamy spirit. Therefore that assistance is to be referred, as regard this judgment, to the Church, or to him who bears the office of Christ. Therefore the same is to be said about the spirit for infallible attainment of the true sense of Scripture; for the same reason and necessity are the same. And this reason is touched on by Augustine, Contra Epistolam Fundamenti, ch. 5, and De Utilit. Credendi, ch. 14, whose opinions I already related above, and in sum they contain: “Him whom we obey and believe when he says that this book is the Gospel, the same we should believe when he says that this is the sense of the Gospel;” because neither of these is made certain except by the same spirit, because (as I have often said from Jerome) the Gospel consists more in the sense than in the parchments. Hence the providence of God for his Church would have been greatly diminished if he had given it a spirit for being about the sacred books certain but not about their sense, since the sacred books are of little use for certitude of faith unless a like certitude is had about their sense as well. Rightly then did Irenaeus say, Contra HaeresesIV.25: “Where the charisms of God are placed, there ought one to learn the truth – from those with whom from the apostles is the succession of the Church, and with whom is evident that which is sound and irreproachable in conversation of life, and unadulterated and incorruptible in speech. For these both guard our faith and expound the Scriptures to us without danger.”
spacer 11. From these things too is taken a fourth reason, a moral one indeed, very effective, and much commended by the Fathers. For this private spirit not only cannot be the foundation of faith, but rather is it the root of heresies and a great occasion for schisms. For, as I said, this private spirit is not made proof by others, nor is it sufficiently shown or proposed to them; therefore this knowledge which is private in each one is not useful for generating faith in others; therefore, by the force of such knowledge, the faithful cannot come together in one faith; therefore occasion is given to men for each of them to sell his own dreams and imaginations for sure faith, and thence arise heresies and schisms. This reason is wisely touched on by Tertullian, De Preascriptionibus, ch. 15 and following, where he teaches that one should not dispute with heretics about the Scriptures, and he subjoins a reason, ch. 17, because “such heresy,” he says himself, “receives not some among the Scriptures; and if it receive any, it overturns them by additions and subtractions to the disposition of its own teaching; and if it does receive them it does not receive them whole; and if it receives them whole up to a point, nevertheless, by thinking up diverse expositions, it overturns them,” that is, perverts them; and therefore he adds: “an adulterated sense disturbs the truth as much as does a corrupting pen. Their several presumptions necessarily have no wish to acknowledge what abandons them; they rest for support on what they have falsely composed, and what took from ambiguity its beginning.” Hence he adds, ch. 19: “Before coming to dispute over the Scriptures, settlement must first be made about whose the Scriptures are, from whom and by whom and when and to whom the discipline was delivered by which they became Christians, for where the truth of the faith and of Christian discipline appeared there will be the truth of the Scriptures, of the expositions, and of all the Christian traditions.”
spacer 12. In the same sense the same Tertullian said, De Resurrectione Carnis: “There could not be heresies if the Scriptures too could not be badly understood.” And he returns to the same as Augustine said on John: “Heresies have not come to birth except when good Scriptures are not understood well, and when what in them is not understood well is also asserted rashly and boldly;” that is, as certain and infallible and dictated to them specifically by the Holy Spirit. And therefore he adds later: “Far from me too, most beloved, be vain presumption, if I want to behave sanely in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth,” where he prefers this rule tacitly to every private spirit. So too did Cyprian speak, epist.55: “Heresies do not elsewhere arise, nor are schisms elsewhere born, than from here that the Priest of God is not obeyed, and that the one priest in the Church at the time, and the judge in the place of Christ at the time, is not thought on.” Which he repeats in epist.96, and De Unitate Ecclesiae, and often elsewhere. But all heresies that fabricate a private spirit do so to escape the judgment of the Church and to make each one himself the rule of his own faith, as Augustine indicated, Contra Faustum XI.2.
spacer 13. There follows in addition from this a fifth and very pressing reason, that otherwise there could be no end to controversies in questions which arise about the faith; for each heretic affirms that he has been illuminated by God and that the others are deluded. Therefore, unless someone be judge also over all private judgment, who have authority from God for discriminating infallibly the false from the true, it is impossible to settle quarrels of the faith or to preserve in the Church one infallible faith. The proof is that if one must believe private spirit, since it pronounces contrary things through different heretics, they cannot each be true but one of them is saying what is false. And there is no greater reason to believe that the spirit of God is in one than in another, because none of them displays any certain sign of their divine spirit; and human conjectures, albeit they can sometimes be diverse, do not suffice for certain faith. Therefore faith is in flux and is plainly split apart if the private spirit of each one is established for the foundation of faith. And therefore rightly did Clement, 1 Epistol. 5, fiercely inveigh against those who wish to define controversies of the faith by their own judgment.
spacer 14. Jerome was correct too against the Luciferians: “If there be not in the Church one supreme power, there will be as many schisms as there are priests;” and Augustine, Contra Faustum XXII.36, when speaking to the heretics says: “You see that you are doing it to remove divine authority out of the way, and to make each one’s mind the author of what in each one thing he should accept or reject.” And bk.11, ch.2, he pursues at large nearly the same discourse about the particular controversy whether this book, or this part of it, is canonical or not. For if one person says it is and another that it is not, neither should be believed because of his testimony alone. And although one of them try to bring for his side many witnesses and conjectures, “Even if he try to do this,” says Augustine, “he will achieve nothing,” and he adds: “And see in this matter what is achieved by the authority of the Catholic Church &c” But to dispute about the true sense of Scripture is the same as to dispute about the truth of Scripture, because, as I have from Jerome often said, Scripture consists in the sense more than in the letters. Nay, the same reason serves for any other controversy of faith as serves for this particular one. And therefore did the same Augustine generally say, De Baptismo VII.35: “Safe for us is it not to go forward with any temerity of opinion in things that have not been initiated in any regional Catholic Council or defined by any plenary Council.” And he concludes that whatever has been strengthened by the consent of the Universal Church is secure. And contrariwise he says in epist. 18: “To dispute against that which the Universal Church thinks, is a mark of the most insolent pride.” And lastly, De Trinitate IV.6, he says with sufficient elegance: “No sober man thinks contrary to reason, no Christian contrary to Scripture, no peacemaker contrary to the Church.”
spacer 15. Finally connected to these is a sixth reason; for if private spirit were the rule of one’s own faith, there would be no heresy or heretic, or at least no one could be judged or condemned by men as a heretic or compelled to hold some common faith; all which things are very absurd and contrary not only to Scripture and the Fathers and reason, but also to the words and deeds of the King of England himself; therefore &c. The consequent is proved: for there is no heretic except he who is in conflict with the rule of faith; but if private spirit is the rule of the faith, no one who says he believes in Christ or the Gospel or Scripture is in conflict with the rule of faith, because no one is in conflict with this own judgment and private spirit, as is manifest of itself. And hence it openly follows that there is no heresy properly speaking, because there is no rule for doctrine itself considered as such, but it has its rule in each man, and there is no certain evidence which private spirit is the true rule; therefore no doctrine taken in itself can be judged heretical, at least by men. Hence the consequence a fortiori is that no man can be condemned as a  heretic, both because no one departs from the rule which he is held to follow, as has been shown, and because about no one’s doctrine can it be evident that it is heretical, as was also proved. Also lastly an inference a fortiori is drawn that no one can be compelled to another faith besides the one which, by reading the Scriptures, he says he is following by his own certain knowledge and his own private spirit. The inference is proved, because if that is the foundation of faith, no one can be compelled to part from it; neither therefore to follow another faith.
spacer 16. Perhaps there will not be lacking heretics who concede all these things easily. For, as is reported, some have already said that each can be saved by that faith which either the Holy Spirit truly tells him interiorly, or which he himself in some certain way considers to be dictated to him by the Holy Spirit. From which principle the things we have said, as well as others no less absurd, are inferred, as that someone can without true faith be saved, contrary to clear Scriptures. The inference is manifest because the instinct, which is thought to be from the Holy Spirit and is not, leads to error; therefore it is not true faith; therefore if that opinion suffices for salvation, error also suffices, and true faith is not necessary. Hence it further follows that there is salvation outside the Church, which is also contrary to Scripture and contrary to all the Fathers, as I said above and as can be seen in Cyprian, De Unit. Eccles., and in Augustine in his similar book, in almost the whole of it, and De Fide et Symbolo III.11, and IV.10; and in Fulgentius, De Fide ad Petrum, chs. 37 and 39; and in Pacianus, epist. 2 to Sempronius. The consequent is patent, because where true faith is not, neither can the true Church be, as neither, on the testimony of Paul, can the Church subsist without unity of faith; therefore if one can be saved without true faith, one can also have salvation outside the Church. Next, those who so think are speaking not only against Scripture and the Fathers but against all right reason; for they both take away certitude of faith from all believers and bestow free license on all heretics and schismatics, and lay out the broadest way for every dissension, which things are contrary to the right order of the most wise providence of God. For he would not then have prescribed unity, agreement, and safety in the certitude of his faith, but would have left the Church without a way or manner of keeping this faith certain and preserving its unity.
spacer 17. It cannot, therefore, be denied that the things we have inferred in this sixth reason are very absurd, such as that either there is no heresy or that no heretic is damnable; for each is contrary to Paul, for in Galatians 5:19 - 21 he numbers among the works of the flesh dissensions and sects, by which the Fathers have understood heresies most of all. And Titus 3.10-11: “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” Hence it is clear that individual spirit not only does not excuse from heresy but rather individual spirit is heresy’s root; for what is individual spirit, or that certain knowledge of each one, but individual judgment? Thus rightly does Tertullian remark, De Praescriptionbus, ch. 6: “Therefore did Paul say that a heretic is condemned of himself, because he also chooses for himself that in which he is condemned. However, it is licit for us to introduce nothing by our own decision, but neither to choose what another has introduced by his own decision. We have the apostles of God for authors, who did not even themselves choose anything that they introduced by their own decision, but faithfully passed on with reasons the doctrine they received from Christ. Therefore even if an angel from heaven preach another Gospel, let him by us be called accursed.” And in ch. 7 he adds that the doctrines introduced by individual judgment “are doctrines of men, and born from the genius of the wisdom of the age by the itching ears of demons.” And in the same way Augustine, epist.85, otherwise 222, and De Nuptiis, II.31, and other Fathers commonly say that all heresies either are born from, or are founded in, the fact that their authors either from their own passion twist the Scriptures to their own senses or from their own judgment and pride err in expounding them; therefore private spirit cannot exclude heresy; nay, to the extent it is individual, it is most apt for heresy, because heresy is introduced by one’s own choice and judgment. And consequently neither is it apt for founding the faith, because most of all, although it is a spirit, it has no token of the gift of the Holy Spirit, who rests on the humble.
spacer 18. Next, the King of England too himself, when he lays down such foundation for faith as is repugnant to the condemnation of heresy and heretics, is clearly fighting against himself. Both because he himself, in his Preface p.43, condemns all heretics whom the ancient Fathers condemned, and therefore he most contends in that place that he exempts himself from the number of heretics and purges himself for the mark of them; and on p.55 he confesses that he has labored to destroy the anarchy of the Puritans, and (as is matter of public repute) has in various ways forced his subjects into Calvinism. This thing, therefore, is in plane conflict with his foundation about sure knowledge obtained by individual judgment and spirit. For if he himself judges that this is the firm foundation of his faith, and he exhorts all Christian princes to be like himself, why does he not concede to his subjects the same liberty of faith? Is a temporal king in this of better condition than his subjects? Certainly he must show that the infallible assistance of the Holy Spirit, which he denies to the Supreme Pontiff, is present to himself or has been promised to be. Or if he has in this no greater privilege than the rest, by what right can he compel others to follow his own faith, or judge others more to be heretics than himself, since he himself points to no greater sign of the Holy Spirit than others do? Hence too I notice, by the by, that the same king is laboring in vain, since in his Preface p. 157 he exhorts all sectaries or all Protestants to preserve unity of true faith among themselves and to retain the communion of the spirit in the bond of peace. For to the foundation of faith, which he proposes to himself and others, such unity and concord are plainly repugnant, as has been shown, and the very experience of things makes the fact sufficiently clear. Hence very well does Tertullian say, De Praescriptione, ch. 42: “I lie if they do not waver among themselves from their own rules, when each modulates by his own decision the things he has received just as he who handed them on composed them by his own decision. The progress of the thing realizes its own nature and the character of its own origin. The same thing was permitted to Valentinians as to Valentinus; the same to Marcionites as to Marcion: to make by their own decision innovations in the faith. Next, all heresies, when thoroughly examined, are discovered in many things to disagree with their authors. Most do not even have churches; without mother, without see, their faith an orphan, as if exiled from themselves, they wander far and wide.”
spacer 19. It remains to give satisfaction to certain testimonies which Protestants twist to their own error about their besieged foundation of faith; some of these, which seemed to be the chief, we got out of the way above in passing. But they add others wherein we are commanded to search the Scriptures, John 5:39, as the Thessalonians did, Acts 17:2 - 3. And they add that the Scriptures, especially in matters of faith and morals necessary for salvation, are clear and can be understood by everyone, as is taken from Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana II.9, where he says that: “In those things that are put openly in Scripture are inculcated everything that contains faith and morals for living.” The same thought is in Chrysostom, hom. 3 on 2 Thessalonians, near the end, where he says: “All things are lucid and right which are in the divine Scriptures; manifest are all things that are necessary.” And similar things are contained in hom. 13 on 2 Corinthians, at the end, and hom. 33 on Acts, toward the end, and hom. 3 De Lazaro et Divite. Ambrose too indicates the same on Pslam 118 [119] octave 14, about those words (v. 105): “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet.” Thence do the Protestants therefore conclude that, since Scripture is clear, no other rule is necessary but only that Scripture be attentively read and understood. Especially so because to him who does what is in him and asks, intelligence and wisdom will be given, James 1:5-6; and he who wishes to do the will of God will know the teaching of Christ, as he himself promises, John 7 [v.17: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”]. Lastly they add what Christ said of himself, John 5:34: “I receive not testimony from man &c.”
spacer 20. However, these are thoroughly empty and futile, because if the circumstances of the particular places are attended to, they were said on occasions far different and with a far other mind and intention. For, first, who denies that the Scriptures are to be searched and read through? Or where is this done with greater diligence and fruit than in the Church Catholic and Roman? This study, then, is necessary, but it requires mode and selection and prudence. Next, no one negates either that the doctors and the wise men of the Church can by their individual industry and genius think out something for the investigation of the meaning of the Scriptures, and can interpret them by human wisdom. For this all the Fathers did, not by special privilege, but by an ordinary law very consonant with the Scriptures themselves and with the natural condition of man; and so is this observed now too by Catholic doctors.
spacer 21. But a twofold interpretation of Scripture must be distinguished, one we can call authentic, the other common or private. Which distinction the adversaries seem to conceal or to ignore, although however a similar one is very frequent among jurists in the interpretation of their laws. For one is authentic, that is, has the force of law, about which the laws themselves say that to him it belongs to interpret the law to whom it belongs to make the law; the other is doctrinal only which, although it not have that authority, yet it has its own utility for human governance. In this way, then, some authentic interpretation of Scripture is necessary; and not less in things which pertain to faith and morals than in others, nay the more so the more that in them sure and indubitable sense is necessary. Nor is it significant that they are wont to be clearer, because they can from the variety of significations or senses always have ambiguities, and chiefly because they are all wont to be perverted by heretics, as Augustine testifies, Bk. II De Nuptiis, where he thus speaks: “It is no wonder if the Pelagians try to twist our sayings into the senses they want, since they are accustomed, after the habit too of other heretics, to do it even in the case of the Sacred Scriptures, not where something is obscurely said, but where the testimonies are clear and open.” For these reasons, therefore, an authentic interpretation is necessary. But besides this one a doctrinal interpretation is also necessary. for the edification and utility of the Church and for resisting heretics, because: “All scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,” as Paul said, 2 Timothy 3:16 - 17.
spacer 22. The first interpretation, then, cannot be done by a private spirit, and about this everything we have said proceeds; for this interpretation is what pertains to the foundation of faith, and therefore only by him can it be done to whom Christ specifically promised the key of knowledge; and then is testimony received, not from man, but from God through man. For Christ himself promised to his Church both his own assistance and the magisterium of the Holy Spirit. But the second interpretation of Scripture, since it does not of itself have infallible authority, can be human and be done by private authority, provided it not be done rashly and at will, but in such a way that it not be repugnant either to other places of Scripture, or to definitions of the Church, or to the common sense of the Fathers. Nor, however, is even this sort of interpretation permitted to everyone, but to the doctors of the Church who have been called to this office; but to others, although the reading of Scripture can sometimes be useful according to the capacity of the reader, yet not for interpreting it, but for understanding it simply, in the way it is expounded commonly in the Church. Also it is not to be read either for examining the faith by one’s own knowledge, but rather is it to be read by faith for drawing out of it other advantages and fruits; and in this sense do the Fathers speak in the places cited, and Basil too can be looked at, in serm. De Vera et Pia Fide, and in Regulae Breviores, interrogat. 95, where he teaches this very well, albeit briefly.



1 - 2. The name of “Catholic” is applied to the Faith and to the Church. spacer3. England affects to the name of Catholic. spacer4 - 5. This name has been introduced for the Church to distinguish it from heretical conventicles. spacer6 - 7. It is concluded that the true Church is that which truly deserves this name.spacer 8. What it is for the Church to deserve the name of Catholicism. spacer9. The inference is drawn that the name ‘Catholic’ is owed to the Roman Church. spacer10. First proof of the assertion. spacer11. Second proof of the assertion. spacer12. Finally from the words of King James the proposed assertion is confirmed.spacer 13 - 15. The conclusion is drawn that the name cannot be applied to the Anglican sect. First reason. Second reason. spacer16 - 18. Third reason. A sect that has its proper name from its master is not Catholic. spacer19. Why each heresy is named from its inventor. spacer20. Not only the ancient heretics but the new as well are named from their heresiarchs.

INCE the appellation ‘Catholic’ has always distinguished the Church of Christ from the Synagogue of Satan, and the true faith from heresy, as the symbols of the faith sufficiently prove as well as the tradition of the Fathers (some of whom we have referred to and we will refer to more in this chapter), for that reason the King of England, desiring to avoid the note of heresy, as he showed in his Preface, assumes the title of Defender of the Catholic Faith, whereby he professes to believe and to hold the Catholic Faith. But since it has been ascertained that he is Defender and champion of the particular Anglican sect, if we show that it is not the Catholic Faith, we will also prove that he is not Defender of the Catholic Faith; and he will be such at that time when, with piety and sincerity, after coming to know the truth, he has returned to the bosom and obedience of the Catholic Church (which may God accomplish). But although, from what has been said so far, it has been made sufficiently clear that that sect, which does not have a firm foundation for faith, can in no way be the true Church or profess the Catholic Faith, nevertheless, to make the fact more evidently clear, it has seemed worthwhile to show the same thing through the most ancient tradition of the Church by open deduction of the very appellation of ‘the Catholic Faith’. But in this attribute two things can be considered, namely both the name itself, or the denominations taken from it, and the things, or the property signified by the name, wherefrom diverse arguments are wont to be taken up by the Fathers for recognizing the true faith or Church; and therefore we will speak first about the name and afterwards about the reason for the name.
spacer 2. Now we suppose first of all that this name ‘Catholic’ is wont to be attributed both to the Church and to the Faith; for in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds we confess one Catholic Church, and in the Athanasian Creed it is said about the very collection of the articles of the faith: “This is the Catholic Faith, which unless each faithfully and firmly believe, he cannot be saved.” But on which of these, namely the Church or the Faith, this name was first imposed I confess I have not discovered; for the Church could be called Catholic because it professes the Catholic Faith, and contrariwise the Faith could be called Catholic because it is held and handed on by the Catholic Church, or to be sure this name could to each considered in itself be attributed, because the reason for it, or every property which is indicated by it, is found per se both in the true Church and in the true Faith, as we will make clear in the following chapter. But one thing is certain, namely that those two are so connected that they cannot be separated, because neither can the Catholic Faith exist outside the true Church, nor the Catholic Church exist without the true Faith; for where the Catholic Church is, there also will the Catholic Faith be, and contrariwise, and therefore we will speak always about them indifferently.
spacer 3. Secondly, it needs to be established that this name is very ancient, although there were not lacking even ancient heretics who dared to murmur against it, as is reported of Sympronianus Novitianus by Pacianus, epist. 1 & 2 Contra Parmen. And perhaps there may not be lacking some of the innovators of this time who spurn it because of its not being found written in the canonical books. However, as far as I conjecture from the words of the King of England, the Anglican sect does not reject it, nay it affects the name of ‘Catholicism’ as the name of the true faith, religion, and Church, and desires to attribute it to itself, as in the very title of Defender of the Catholic Faith the king himself sufficiently shows. Except that this term is found approved in the cited Creeds, such that under this denomination we are commanded to recognize and confess one Catholic Church and Faith; therefore the King of England, who professes to admit the said Creeds, cannot deny the name or the thing signified by the name. Next, reverend antiquity and the agreement of the Fathers from all ages shows that this name has not been without the divine will introduced in the Church. “It has,” says Pacianus in the said epistle 1, “certainly not been borrowed from man, which has for so many centuries not failed: the term ‘Catholic’ does not bespeak Marcion, or Apelles, or Montanus, or heretical authors. Many things have been taught us by the Holy Spirit, whom God sent from heaven as Paraclete and master for the apostles. Much by reason, as Paul says, and by dignity and (as he says) by nature itself. What? Does the authority of Apostolic men, of the first priests, run little among us?” And later: “Come, if those authors were not adequate to usurp this name, will we be adequate to deny it? And will the Fathers rather follow our authority, and the antiquity of the Saints give way as needing emendation, and the times now rotting with vices scrape away the white hairs of Apostolic antiquity?” Which things this very grave Father wrote one thousand and three hundred years ago, testifying then that this name was very ancient, and deservedly so. For it is clear from the Apostles’ Creed that it was approved by them, for in it we profess “the holy and Catholic Church”. These words are in that Creed not less ancient than the rest, and thus are they read and explained by all the ancients, by Cyril, Ruffinus, Augustine. Therefore the Church from the time of the apostles has always preserved, along with the Creed itself, the name also of ‘Catholic’. Hence Pacianus too wonders at the name, “because for so long time it had not failed?” Therefore worthy of much greater wonder is what has up to our own times been preserved and has to the same Church been attributed. So now is it with more evidence shown that this name was not given nor preserved without the special providence of God, and that always it has truly indicated, and does indicate, that which it signifies and because of which it was imposed.
spacer 4. Third, then, must be supposed that this name has been attributed to the Church and Faith of Christ to distinguish it from the doctrines and conventicles of heretics. The same Pacianus in the same epistle 1 is witness: “Since, after the apostles, heresies had appeared and were with diverse names struggling to mangle and tear apart God’s dove and queen, was not the Apostolic populace demanding its own name whereby to mark out the unity of the uncorrupted people, lest the undefiled Virgin of God should, by the error of some, be mangled in its members? Was it not fitting for the principal head to be sealed with its own name?” Which necessity he makes plain using an example, when he says: “If perhaps I have entered a populous city and found Marcionists, Novatians, and the rest of that sort who call themselves Christians, by what name might I recognize the congregation of my own populace except it be called Catholic?” Hence he later concludes; “Christian is my name, but Catholic my surname; the former names me, the latter shows me; by this I am proved, by that I am pointed out.” The same cause and necessity for this name is established and acutely, as is his habit, explained by Augustine, Contra Epistol. Fundamenti, ch. 1, where among the bonds that hold him in the Church he numbers “the name itself of Catholic, which not without cause has the Church alone thus obtained among so many heresies, in order that, although all heretics wish to be called Catholics, yet when some stranger asks where to visit the Catholic Church, none of the heretics would dare to point to his own hall or house.” He teaches the same in his book De Vera Relig., ch. 7, whose words I will afterward refer to.
spacer 5. The same reason for this term is handed on to us by Cyril of Jerusalem, Cateches. 48. For because the name of ‘Church’, absolutely taken, can signify both the ancient synagogue and any congregation, even of the malicious too, that is, the heretics, “For that reason,” he says, “now the confirming faith has handed down that you should say ‘and in one, holy, Catholic Church’, so that you may flee the filthy conventicles of those men indeed, and persevere in the Catholic Church wherein you have been reborn.” Where he calls confirming faith the Creed which he expounds. And at once he warns not to seek where the Church is but where the Catholic Church is. “For this,” he says, “is the proper name of this holy Church and mother of us all, who is the spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of God.” And the same reason is gestured toward by Hilary, canon 10 on Matthew, for when explaining the words of Christ, 10:11: “And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide &c.” he interprets worthy house as the Church which, he says, “is called Catholic.” Because there were going to be many of the Jews who, although they believed in Christ, yet lingered in the works of the law; others who would by pretense pass from the law to the Gospel; but many who would be brought over into heresy and tell the lie that Catholic truth was with them. “Therefore he admonishes them,” he says, “that they must look for someone worthy to dwell with; that is, the Church which is called Catholic they must use carefully and diligently. And hence the usage also of the Church and of all the Fathers has secured that the true faithful are distinguished from heretics by this name of Catholics, as we read everywhere in the Fathers and see approved by use; and we have experienced it not only among Catholics but also among heretics themselves, as will become more fully evident from what needs to be said.
spacer 6. Fourth, we infer from this and establish as certain that that Church is true, and in it is the true and Catholic Faith, which rightly and deservedly, that is, according to the primitive imposition of this name, is called Catholic. This manifestly follows from what has been said, because it has been shown that this name has been imposed by the Apostles’ Creed to denote that Church of Christ which they founded; therefore it is held as a thing tested in the faith that then, by that name, the true Church was signified, and consequently that the Church founded by the apostles had the properties which are required in the true Church and which are indicated by that name, as will be more clearly evident in the things to be put forward below. For it is clear that the apostles were not ignorant of the true Church and of its properties, and that they had authority for imposing on it a name adapted to truth and the use thereof. And hence further it happens that the Church founded by the apostles, insofar as it has always endured through true succession (as we saw above), always also deserved the name of ‘Catholic’, nor has it ever lost it. The proof is, first, that it is always one and the same, not by likeness of kind alone, but also by numerical moral identity (to speak with the philosophers), on account of continuous legitimate succession; therefore truth and the property signified by that name always belong to it; therefore the name itself also belongs. Second, that this Church has always professed the faith of that Creed in which it is itself called Catholic, although however it cannot err in the faith, as remains already proved with sufficient clarity above. Third, that it has not lost the name through change in the thing, because it would have lost the property signified by the term; for, if it had lost it, it would not, as is supposed, be the same Church; nor either has it lost it by removal or change of the name alone, because the Church itself has not deprived itself of that name or changed the name’s signification, as from use and the symbol of the faith is sufficiently clear. Nor is there outside it on earth a power that could deprive it of such name, neither in right, because it does not have a superior, nor in fact, because the gates of hell cannot prevail against it in this either, as we will prove more at large below.
spacer 7. Hence, finally, the conclusion is drawn that the Church on which rightly and deservedly this name is bestowed is the true Church of Christ and preserves in itself the Catholic Faith, and that as a result no congregation, even one brought together under the name and confession of Christ, which is divided and separated from the Church, can in any way make to this name rightful claim for itself. Each part is clear from what has been said. The first part, indeed, because such Church is the same numerically with that which from the beginning and always had that name; the second part, however, for the contrary reason, that the true Church is only one and that this name is attributed to a single and true Church only. Every church, therefore, which is not the one and true Church, or a part of it, cannot be called Catholic. A clear confirmation of the same comes from the reason for imposing such name. For it was invented to distinguish continually the true Church from false ones, and therefore it was not imposed as a common name, but as a proper and singular one, for signifying this individual mystical body to which have been allotted such properties; therefore this body will everywhere and wherever it is rightly be called by that name, but it is otherwise with any other made up body divided from it.
spacer 8. Hence it is clear too, by the by, what it is to deserve such name, and clear that it claims it for itself as by its own right; for this is nothing other than to have true and indubitable succession from that primitive Church to which the name was first presented; for since, through that succession, claim is made to all the ancient goods and rights (so to say) of the Church, the proper name too in the same way is thought necessarily to go along with them. And a declaration can be given by an example from human things, for thus each family’s name, whereby its nobility and antiquity are pointed out, does not by force of first imposition pass to someone otherwise than by force of origin and succession; and then it is shown who deservedly and as by his own right makes claim to that name, when he demonstrates direct and legitimate succession from such root. Thus therefore must one hold, and in a much higher way and with more certitude, about the Church as regard the appellation ‘Catholic.’ In a more excellent way, indeed, because the succession of the Church, although it be by multiplication of diverse natural persons (so to say), is nevertheless by preservation of numerically the same mystical body, of which all the persons succeeding each other in turn are members. And thence too follows greater certitude, because that name is not per se first imposed on the individual members or persons, but on the whole body, which, since it is always the same, retains and perpetually keeps with more tenacity and firmness the name of its own dignity. Most of all, finally, is this certitude taken from the continual profession of faith whereby the Church itself always confesses that it is Catholic. For since falsehood cannot lie beneath this faith, very certain is it altogether that the true Church of Christ rightly claims this name to itself, which no heretic even, if he give faith to the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, can deny, at any rate in a general way, about the true Church of Christ, insofar as we have hitherto been speaking.
spacer 9. Next we add, fifth, that the Church which now obeys the Roman Pontiff (which, to speak distinctly, we now call Roman) rightly and deservedly claims to itself the name of Catholic, and its faith, for the same reason, is to be judged and called Catholic. This assertion follows evidently from what has just been said, with the addition of what was treated of in chapter 4. But there we drew attention to the fact that the name of Roman Church is sometimes received for the Universal Church, which obeys the Roman Pontiff as the universal Vicar of Christ, and sometimes for a particular diocese, which is also subject to the same Pontiff as to a particular and proximate bishop. In the present, indeed, we are speaking about the Roman Church in the former way, because the name of Catholic is imposed primarily on the Universal Church. Also, although particular churches are wont to be called Catholic, as is clear from the way of speaking of Augustine, Pacianus, and Cyril above, and from common use, just as any one of the faithful is called Catholic, either by profession of the  Catholic Faith or because he is part of the Catholic Church, so can any particular church possessed of both reasons much more be called Catholic, and thus too the particular Roman Church is most of all Catholic, which will be clear a fortiori if it is proved of the universal. blue
spacer 10. First, then, the assertion can be proved in the same way as the ancient Fathers, cited above, proved that the Church that existed at their time was Catholic, because it was the one that the apostles founded and on which they had imposed this name; and from the same Fathers and from others it is clear that they were also speaking of the Church which we now call Roman, because they were speaking of a Church united to the Roman Pontiff as to its head and to the Vicar of Christ; as is clear from Augustine, who for this reason conjoins the succession of Roman Pontiffs together with the name ‘Catholic’ among the signs of the true Church, and from Cyril, who says that: “the holy Christian Church is the one of which the Savior said to Peter: ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’” Pacianus finally, although he does not declare it with such lucidity, yet uses the authority of Cyril for establishing his opinion about the Catholic Church; but Cyprian himself, certainly in epistle 75 to Cornelius, calls the Roman Church the root and matrix of the Catholic Church; each of them understood, then, by the Catholic Church the one that was serving under the Roman Pontiff. Many other things from the same Cyprian, Irenaeus, Jerome, and Ambrose we related above in chapters 3 and 4; and other things can be read in Augustine, epist.165, and everywhere in his books against the Donatists, and in Optatus, Book II of Contra Parmenianum, where he says that a Church is shown to be Catholic from union with the chair of Peter. Finally, Tertullian, in Praescriptionibus, ch. 30, says that: “Catholic doctrine is in the Roman Church;” which is the same as to say that that Church is Catholic. But it was shown by us above that the Roman Church is the same now as it was in early times; therefore to this Church alone does the name ‘Catholic’ by right pertain.
spacer 11. In addition, now too has place the proof which the same Fathers are wont to take from the agreement of the whole world. For just as in the time of Augustine, for example, so also now, and in all the years between, all men, as well faithful as infidels, when using the phrase ‘Catholic Church’ and speaking simply and without special affection or malice, understand and signify by that term the Church which is now in communion with the Roman Pontiff; therefore here is a sign that this Church alone is the one to which by proper right this name is due. Thus does Augustine argue, De Vera Religione, ch. 7, when he says: “The Christian religion is to be held by us, and communion with that Church which is Catholic and is named Catholic, not only by its own members, but also by all its enemies. For heretics themselves too, and the alumni of schisms, whether they will or no, when they are speaking, not with their own members, but with strangers, call nothing else Catholic than the Catholic Church. For they cannot be understood unless they distinguish it by this name, by which it is by all the world called.” And the proof is the same as the one Cyril says, that where there is a diversity of sects mixed in the same place with the true Church, one must not ask, lest one be deceived in the inquiry, for the Church alone, but for the Catholic Church; for by that name everyone understands the one which retains the ancient faith. And that this fact persists up to present times in the same way is clear from evident experience, as I noted above; for everywhere he who wishes to show he professes the Roman Faith names himself Catholic; and so also the heretics themselves, when they speak sincerely and in the common way, are wont to designate and mark the same faithful with the glorious title of Catholics. Therefore &c.
spacer 12. Moreover the King of England has confirmed this for us by his royal authority; for in his Apology, guided as it were by custom and not adverting to the contradiction in his words, he calls those whom he very fiercely pursues and attacks over and over again Catholics, although he is bound to defend them if he is to call himself, by a true and not fictive title, Defender of the Catholic Faith. From the same title there also occurs another argument (which they call ad hominem), whereby the king of England can be convinced that the Roman Church must be by himself admitted to be Catholic; for he himself wishes to rejoice as by hereditary right in the title of Defender of the Catholic Faith, which was by the very great Pontiff Leo X conceded to his predecessor, Henry VIII; therefore he tacitly admits and approves both the concession and the title in the sense in which it was given by the Pontiff; therefore, whether he will or no, he confesses that the Roman Church and its faith at the time of Leo X, and when Henry VIII defended it against Luther by a book written on the Sacraments, was by true and legitimate right called Catholic, and that beside it no other could rightly be named Catholic, save insofar as it is conjoined with it; because the integral Catholic Church, so to say, cannot be but one. Yet certainly the Roman Catholic Church did not cease to be because King Henry separated himself from it, but he rather ceased to be Catholic; for heretics or schismatics, when they go out of the Church, divide and change themselves, but they cause no other change in the Church beyond a certain diminution or division of a member; therefore this Church always by right retains the name of ‘Catholic’, for no change in faith has been made in it; nay that no change can be made was shown above.
spacer 13. Sixth and last among all these I conclude what was proposed, namely that the Anglican sect or congregation, or whatever church at all which that sect professes, cannot by right be called, and thus cannot either be, Catholic.
spacer 14. The proof is first that this name is not due, nor can by right be attributed, save to one Church, and to that which is the true Church of Christ; for thus do we all confess in the Creed that there is one Church true and holy and Catholic; but it has been shown that the Roman Church is Catholic; therefore the Anglican is not Catholic. The proof of the consequence is that the Anglican Church is neither Roman nor united to it but altogether divided from it, both in faith and dogmas and also in obedience and the bond of charity.
spacer 15. Secondly, the same can easily be shown from deficiency of succession and of origin from that primitive Church which was the first to be called Catholic. For the Anglican Church does not have this succession; therefore neither can it secure the name of ‘Catholic’ by hereditary right, as they say. The consequence is evident from what has been said. But the antecedent has been proved at large in the whole discourse of the first and second chapters, and it will again necessarily occur in the next chapter; and here is a brief declaration. Because the Anglican sect, as to what is most proper to it and is as it were the difference that distinguishes it, not only from the Catholic Church, but also from every church of the wicked, namely, as to its recognition of the temporal king in respect of supreme head in matters ecclesiastical and spiritual, began from Henry VIII seventy four or seventy five years ago, and no mention was before made of it in the world; nor does that kind of republic or of spiritual head derive its origin from the primitive Church, because it has no foundation in Scripture or in the preaching of the apostles, as we will show at large in book 3; therefore it lacks, as to this part, the said succession. But as to the second part, which can be viewed in the other dogmas wherein it departs from the Roman Church, it had its beginning from Calvin, and in part too from Luther, who assuredly does not have succession in doctrine from the apostles or the Catholic Church. For if it were from it, it would have remained in it; but it has gone out from it, because it has thought up new errors contrary to Apostolic doctrine, as has very often been proved by other Catholic authors and is clearer than the noonday light; therefore, as to this part too, the Anglican sect lacks succession. This fact will also become more evident in Book II, when expounding the confession of faith of the King of England; therefore that sect has no true or apparent title by which it could be labeled Catholic.
spacer 16. Third, we can use an argument or sign which the most ancient Fathers used for recognizing a congregation or sect that was not Catholic, and for distinguishing it from the Catholic. For, as often as some sect has a proper name from the master or teacher of such doctrine, and his followers take their name from the same teacher, it is a sign that neither the doctrine nor the persons nor their congregation are Catholic. Which sign is explained at large by Athanasius, orat. 2, Contra Arianos, near the beginning, when he says: “Never has the Christian people received its name from its bishops, but from the Lord in whom it has believed, nor from the apostles, nor from the teachers and ministers of the Gospel… But they who trace the origin of their faith from elsewhere, deservedly bear before them the name of their authors.” And then he shows the fact by running through all the heretics up to the Arians, saying: “When blessed Alexander was throwing out Arius, those who adhered to Alexander remained Christians; those who went away together with Arius, abandoning the name of our Savior to Alexander and those with him, were from then on called Arians.” And he adds that from then on even after the death of Arius the same name was kept; and he says among other things: “All who were of the same opinion with Arius, having from him his notes and marks, are called Arians; which in truth is a great and outstanding argument. For those who come from the nations into the Church do not transfer to themselves the name of those who catechize them or hand on the rudiments of the faith, but the name of the Savior, and begin to be before the gentiles called Christians. But they who from this class go off to those fellows, and make transition from the Church to heresy, abandon the name of Christ and take on the title of Arians, as being they who retain no more the faith of Christ but are considered to be comrades of the Arian madness.” Which he pursues at large, concluding therefrom that those who are so named are not only not of the number of the Catholic Church, but are also not even Christians, because they have already deserted the Apostolic faith.
spacer 17. Next Chrysostom, homil. 33, on Acts, near the end, when he poses the question of a gentile who wants to become a Christian and who finds, among those who profess this name, divisions in dogmas, and is therefore in doubt which party to choose; and among other pieces of instruction which he posits for discerning the true and Catholic Faith or Church, one is: “They (that is, the heretics) have certain people from whom they are named, for as the name of heresiarch is, so also is the sect called; but to us our name was given by no man but by the faith itself,” signifying by this last term that from the Catholic Faith are the Catholic faithful, or also the very Catholic Church, called. And thus he concludes the same question: “Are we cut off from the Church, do we have heresiarchs, do we have our names from men, do we have some leader as he has Marcion, he Mani, he Arius? Yet if we have been allotted someone’s appellation, yet not as from princes of heresies, but as from those who are set over us and govern the Church. We do not have teachers on earth; God forbid; we have one in the heavens. And as for them,” he says, “they have made the same pretext. But their name is present to accuse them &c.”
spacerspacer 18. The same sign is handed on by Lactantius, in Book IV of De Vera Sapientia, last chapter, where he says that many have fallen away from the doctrine of God by believing false prophets and leaving the true tradition, and he subjoins: “But they, entangled in demonic frauds which they should have foreseen and avoided, have lost through imprudence the divine name and cult; for since the others are named Marcionites, Arians (add, Lutherans, Calvinists), or whatever, they have ceased to be Christians, who, having lost the name of Christ, have put on human and external titles; only that Church then is Catholic which retains the true cult; here is the fount of truth &c.” With this doctrine St. Jerome also agrees in his Dialogus Contra Luciferanos, ch. 9, otherwise last column, where he hands on this rule: “If anywhere you see those are said to be Christians named not from the Lord Jesus Christ but from someone else, as Marcionites, Valentinians &c., know that it is not the Church of Christ but the Synagogue of Antichrist; for from this very fact, that they were established afterwards, they indicate that they are who the Apostle warned in advance would exist.” Thus too Optatus, Book III Contra Parmenian., column 4, greatly reproves Donatus with this argument, saying: “When, before his own pride, all who believed in Christ were called Christians, he has dared to divide up the people with God, so that those who follow him are not now called Christians but Donatists.” Which he pursues at large. Next the same is taken from Augustine, the cited book, Contra Epist. Fundamenti, ch. 4, and the book, Contra Serm. Arianorum, ch. 36, where he says: “The antiquity of Catholic truth is such that all heretics impose diverse names on it, although they themselves, in the way everyone labels them, obtain each their own name.”
spacer 19. But the cause and reason for this sign can be given from the nature of the thing, because every heresy thinks up some novelty against the ancient faith, but, when new things exist, new names are necessary for signifying them and for discriminating them from others. For this reason, then, as the schools of the philosophers have received their name from their authors or first teachers, so also the sects of the heretics have received their names from their masters too, by whom they are distinguished. And so did Irenaeus say, I.20, near the end, on the sectaries of Simon: “They also have both a title and a name, being from Simon, the prince of their most impious opinion, called Simonians,” and Justin Martyr, in his Dialogus cum Tryphone, page 26, said in general about heretics: “From novelties they spring up with the appellation of the men from whom each teaching and opinion had its origin.” And later: “And some of them indeed are called Marcians, others Valentinians, others by another name; each one is named from the prince of their opinion and teaching, just as also of those who think something for themselves to philosophize each thinks that he should from the parent of his teaching impose for himself a name of the philosophy he studies.” Thus, then, has it been observed in heresies, as if by a moral necessity and by consequence upon the nature of things. But yet the Catholic Church always observes antiquity and admits no novelty contrary to prior faith, and therefore it does not need a new name but always retains the ancient one, as it also retains the religion originally instituted by Christ.
spacer 20. But we see this very thing, which the ancient Fathers taught about the ancient heretics, also to be observed in the new ones; for, when Luther rose up, his followers were from him called Lutherans, from Calvin Calvinists, from Zwingli Zwinglians, and thus about the others, as is made plain from the common habit of speaking of the whole Christian world and of all the writers of this time. Nay, about the sectaries of Luther it is clear that he himself called them Lutherans in the Augsburg Confession, not far from the beginning. So reports Stapleton, Book I, Controv. 4. Since, therefore, the Anglican sect is in fact not other than the Calvinist sect, it no less shares the same name and by that mark is what it is pointed out, that is, not Catholic but rather defecting from the Catholic. Which, if perhaps it is not so called by most people, because Calvin did not approve of its primary foundation, it can certainly be called Henrician, because, since King Henry was the first author of that error, his followers can receive their name no less from him than other heretics have from their leaders borne away theirs. Perhaps, however, this name is not in use received, either because Henry, although he introduced the above dogma, wished the Catholic religion in other things to be preserved in his kingdom, as we noted above; or certainly because not by his own authority alone but by celebrated act of his Parliament was it established that the king should be adopted as supreme head of his Church. So Maurice Canneus, chapter 9 above. But this does not prevent the sect being especially from this too titled Anglican, because by special choice of the kingdom or Parliament not only has that article been defined but also a mode of religion is to be observed that is mixed up with various new errors; therefore, however things may be, the sect always needed a new name, so that it might be known and discerned, and it shares in that name from its proximate inventor or founder; therefore the said indication has place in it too, and consequently, from the testimony of all the Fathers who gave the sign, it is not Catholic.



1. First objection. Catholics used to be called Homoousians, now Papists &c. Second objection. spacer2. Solution to the first part of the objection.spacer 3. The names which heretics impose on the Catholics do not indicate novelty of doctrine. spacer4. Solution to the second part of the objection.

GAINST the discussion given in the previous chapter the Protestants can make two objections. One is that even Catholics are wont to be called by new names when controversies about doctrine arise, and so either the title is no indication or from it should even be inferred that the faithful are not Catholics. The assumption is plain because, at the time of Arius, those who dissented from him and defended the Council of Nicea were called ‘Homoousians’. Nay, at that time the faithful were called Romans, as is taken from Victor of Utica, Book I of De Persecutione Vandalica, near the end, where he relates that when Theodoric had ordered the faithful Armogastes to have his head cut off, the priest Iocundus advised that he rather be killed by different afflictions. “For if you kill him with the sword,” he said, “the Romans will begin to proclaim him martyr.” Which remark Gregory of Tours expounds in De Gloria Martyrum, I.25 and says: “For they call Romans men of our religion.” Next, now as well those whom we call Catholics the king in his Preface calls Pontificians and the crowd calls Papists, and likewise the Church that we call Catholic the king calls the Roman religion. A second objection is that just as we claim to ourselves the name of Catholics, so too do the heretics contend that their religion is Catholic, and consequently they even call themselves Catholics. And if other names imposed by others do not harm us, so too may they themselves say that from the other names imposed on them no presumption of false sect is taken against them, but rather is by those names indicated the reformed religion, as the king too says, or the pure and true Gospel, as the Puritans and Evangelicals contend.
spacer 2. To the first part, to begin with, I say in general with Augustine in his book Contra Sermon. Arianor., ch. 36, that the antiquity of Catholic truth is disposed in such way “that all heretics impose diverse names on it, although they themselves acquire their own individual names as they are by everyone called.” By which words he indicates the difference, that, as often as such names are imposed on Catholics, they are only imposed by heretics and are not received by others, because they are not necessary with respect to others but the heretics themselves invent them, either to the injury and dishonor of Catholics or so as to sell themselves as Catholics. On the contrary, however, the peculiar names of heretical sects are, as by the nature of the thing, born along with them, as I said, and so they immediately come into use with everyone, even the sectaries themselves, who call themselves by the same names. And in this way, Augustine, in the said ch. 36, Contra Serm. Arianor., says about the name of ‘Homoousians’: “Arians and Eunomians, not other heretics, call us Homousians, because by the Greek word ‘Homoousion’ we defend against their error the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Never, therefore, was that the name of Catholics but it was invented by heretics, and not by all but by those to whom the name ‘Homoosion’ was dangerous, because by it their error was uncovered and their tergiversations evaded. And the same can be observed in the heretics of this time; for because the Vicar of Christ, whom we call Pope and Supreme Pontiff and Roman bishop, is attacked by them with hatred, therefore, to the ignominy of those who obey that See and to inflame envy of the same See, they call Catholics Papists, Pontificians, and Romanists. But just as the Arians could not introduce against the Church the name they invented, but they alone abused it, so also these names invented by the heretics circulate only among them, but Catholics neither use them nor are they worried by them, because they can do them no harm.
spacer 3. In which fact is also very much to be noted that these names which heretics impose on Catholics are such that they do not even indicate any separation from the Catholic Church, nor any novelty or singularity in doctrine. Which also about the name of Homoousians was indicated above by Augustine when he says that by that very name they are shown by the heretics to be defenders of the true Trinity, because there could not be true Father and Son unless these were of the same nature. Hence he rightly concludes: “Behold those who, as if by the stain of a new name, call us Homoosians, and who do not consider that they themselves, when they think that stuff, are insane.” This very thing has also happened to the new heretics; for when they call us Papists or Pontificians they do not bestow on us anything new but what was common at all times to all Catholics, and so, whether they will or no, they are calling us by the same names Catholics. For the names both of Romans and Romanists we showed a little before already once signified Catholics; just as we also showed above from Jerome, Ambrose, and others, that the Catholic Church was once called Roman or was reputed for the same. That, therefore, our faith be called by the King of England the Roman religion can be heard without offense, if it is said with a right mind, because the Roman religion is neither new nor private but is the same as the Catholic, and both names are a mark of antiquity, not of novelty. Thus also can be accepted what Chrysostom, in the said hom.33 on Acts propounded, that “it is not unfitting for the faithful sometimes to accept a name from those who preside over and govern the Church,” namely, when by such names nothing else is signified but due order and the ancient institution of ecclesiastical hierarchy and monarchy. But we see the opposite happening in the case of the proper names of heretics, for all of them denote either new invention of doctrine, especially those that are taken from the names of heresiarchs, or division and separation, as is in general the name of ‘sectaries’, or in particular the name of ‘Anglican sect,’ or another like one.
spacer 4. To the second part of the objection I respond that it is no new thing that “heretics tell the lie that with them is Catholic truth;” for Hilary already once noted it about the Arians too, canon.1 0 on Matthew; and Augustine, Contra Faustum, XV.3, said: “The impudence is remarkable when the sacrilegious and impure society of the Manichees doubts not to boast it is the chaste bride of Christ; wherein what does it accomplish against the chaste members of the holy, true, Catholic Church? &c.” And later: “Do not (he says to the Church) be deceived by the name of truth; this alone you have in your milk and in your bread; but in that (namely the congregation of the Manichees) there is only the name of it (namely the usurped name of truth), not it itself.” About the Donatists too Augustine often reports the same, and specifically does Optatus, bk.1, Contra Parmenian., near the end. There is no marvel, then, that today too the Protestants usurp the name of Catholics, so that they may not be seen at once to be confessing their own heretical doctrine, just as Satan too transfigures himself into an angel of light so that he can hide and deceive. But so great is the force of truth that even the heretics themselves have not dared, except timidly and with blushing, to arrogate to themselves the name of Catholics, as in bk. II of De Schismate Anglicano Sander noted about Edward VI. Hence it happens that, although some do so force themselves, they are not thus named by others and by the world as a whole, nor are they known by that name. Which is observed to be far otherwise in true Catholics; for they do not assume to themselves the name of Catholics, but receive it, as if by hereditary right, from the ancient faith itself that they profess; and so they are everywhere called by that name, and through it they are as to what religion they are of, namely the Roman and Apostolic, known by all; and by the heretics too themselves they are so called, when these are speaking frankly without disguise and in the common way. The fact, then, that the same heretics in some peculiar way abuse that name in no way prevents the attribute being absolutely, and when considered in itself, a certain sign of the true and orthodox faith.



1. ‘Catholic’ in Greek is the same as ‘universal’.spacer 2 - 3. The faith is said, first, to be universal by reason of matter.spacer 4. It is said, second, to be universal from the universal or common rule of believing.spacer 5. The Anglican sect lacks the universal rule of believing that is most necessary for true faith.spacer 6. The faith is said, third, to be universal as to all ranks of persons. spacer7. The Church is universal as to ranks and duties. spacer8. The aforesaid conditions of the Church are shown to be lacking in the Anglican sect. spacer9. An evasion is met.spacer 10. England retains not an ecclesiastical but a political hierarchy.

N the preceding chapter we distinguished two things in this name of Catholic, to wit, the denomination or designation that the word itself takes, and the reason for the name, or the property signified by it; since, therefore, we have shown that the first appellation points to the true Faith and Church, the fact will now become more evident as we explain the reason for the word. We will show, then, that the properties signified by this word are not found in the Anglican schism, and that therefore the Catholic Faith or Church cannot exist in a schism of this sort. But for proof of this we suppose that the word ‘Catholic,‘ according to the etymology taken from the Greek, signifies the same as universal or common, as all the Fathers immediately to be cited in this matter suppose, and it is so common and accepted that there can be no controversy on the point. The whole controversy, then, can be located in the explanation of which universality by the force of that name is required in the Church or the Faith. For there can in the faith (for with the faith we are now principally dealing, although it be almost the same as dealing with the Church because of the likeness of reason and the connection, as I said above) – there can, I say, in the Catholic Faith be considered a multiple universality. And although, as Augustine in this matter adverts, epist. 48, col.10, there should be no dispute about the name, nevertheless it cannot be doubted but that the faith, which is universal according to every reason consonant with the Scriptures and the Fathers, is most and properly the Catholic.
spacer 2. First, then, the Faith can be said to be universal on the part of the matter, because, namely, it embraces all the dogmas pertaining to the true faith of God without diminution or division. Which etymology seems to have been indicated by the Donatists, who, as Augustine above relates, did not wish “the name of Catholic to be understood from communion with the whole world, but from observation of all the divine precepts and sacraments.” Whose opinion, although Augustine reprehends it as to its first negative part, as we will see a little later, he only says of the second derivation of the word that “if it be perhaps from this called Catholic, that it truthfully keeps the whole, of whose truth some bits are found even in the diverse heresies,” nothing stands in the way of it, nay it even redounds to the favor of the Catholic Church, because it is the only Church that retains the truth intact, and preserves all the divine sacraments instituted by Christ, and teaches and believes in accord with his spirit. It can also be said to observe all the divine commands, both in order to the faith, because those things too are numbered among the dogmas of the faith that are revealed by the faith; and also in order to obedience and charity, because since the true Church is said and believed in the Apostles’ Creed to be holy, and since there cannot be true holiness without observation of the commands, the Catholic Church cannot exist without observation of all the commands. For true holiness is not possible without charity, 1 Corinthians 13, Galatians 5, Romans 5; and charity brings with it observation of all the commands, John 14 and 15. Therefore, just like holiness, so universal observation of the precepts too is necessary in the body itself of the Catholic Church, although in its individual persons, so that they may be called and truly be Catholics, this observing of all the commands is not necessary as far as concerns the will, because they can retain without it an integral faith even about the precepts themselves; which fact must be shown elsewhere, for to the present business it seems to contribute little.
spacer 3. If, therefore, we wish, from this property, to name the faith Catholic, it is surely manifest that in the Anglican sect the Catholic Faith is not found, because it does not have integral truth. But this must be shown later in Book II by demonstration and designation of the errors in which it is involved, and by refutation of them, as far as the brevity of this work will permit. But we can prove it now in general from the discussion given at the beginning of this book, because that sect began through defection from the true faith; therefore, although it admit some part of the doctrine of the faith, it does not retain it intact and inviolate; therefore its faith, that is, the matter of its faith (for this is what we are now calling faith), is not universal and hence not Catholic either, according to the said etymology. Next, the Roman Faith also in this sense is Catholic, as what was said in chapters 4 and 5, where we showed that the Roman See could not defect from the true faith, continues sufficiently to prove. But the Anglican sect is in many things pertaining to the faith, and chiefly in the point about the Primacy (which that it has regard to the faith, I will show below in Book III), at variance with the Roman Church; therefore as to universality of matter it is not Catholic.
spacer 4. Secondly, there is required in the true faith universality or community on the part of the reason for believing, and on the part of the rule by which it may be distinguished with certainty from the false; hence, on this head too, the Christian faith could be called Catholic. For although the Fathers do not expressly touch on this etymology of the word, yet it is not to be disapproved of, because it is not contrary to the other properties or universalities that they consider in that word, nay it is virtually contained therein; for the faith cannot be universal either as to matter, persons, places, and times unless it also be allotted a reason and rule of believing that is universal and common and public. Hence, whatever may hold of the etymology of the word, about the thing itself there can be no doubt that the Christian faith requires, first of all, such reason for believing as is universal and the same in every matter proposed for belief. Which reason, as the theologians say, is divine truth itself, or (which is the same) the word of God wherewith he himself gives testimony of the truth, according to the verse of Paul, 1 Thessalonians 2:13: “For this cause thank we GodÉbecause, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God,” and that of 1 John 5:9: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.” This testimony, therefore, should be the same in all matters for belief, and thus there is said to be a universal reason with respect to Christian faith, otherwise it would not be equally certain in all of them, nay there could not either be certain faith in anything, if it should in any way disagree with that universal reason. Some rule also is necessary which may infallibly propose to us as revealed by God the things to be believed, which in chapter 6 was shown had to be public and general; because there could not be faith that is uniform, so to say, or the same in all the faithful, unless all agree in the same common rule of belief; therefore, so that the faith can be Catholic, there is need that it be universal also in rule and reason for believing.
spacer 5. Now it can easily be seen from what has been said that in the Anglican sect this property cannot be found; therefore on this head too that sect cannot be reputed the Catholic Faith. The assumption is plain, first, because that sect admits some of the truths revealed by God, and in its own way believes them, but it denies others, as we will from the very confession of the king show below. For although he does not concede that what he denies has been revealed by God, yet he shows by that very fact that he has, not divine testimony, but his own decision and conjecture for ultimate and primary reason of belief; for if he were really to rely on divine testimony in believing, he would believe everything equally that has been confirmed by the same divine testimony. But this defect in reason for believing comes from defect of a universal rule, which might with certitude and infallibly propose what has, and what has not, been revealed by God. For in that sect there is no universal and public rule of this sort, but each is a rule to himself, as we saw above; therefore such faith cannot be Catholic, or (to explain the thing more clearly) such a way of believing cannot be Catholic, that is, suitable for Catholic Faith. Nay, the fact that many of those who believe in this way agree in some matter of faith does not come from reason, or from a rule of belief, but either from some human custom, or from human fear, or from some other like reason. Hence also it happens that, in order for there to be agreement in any way in that sect, the greater part of the men who adhere to it must abandon the rule of belief proper to the sect, which is each one’s proper judgment as it seems certain to him, and follow the judgment of others, whether the king, or Parliament, or the ministers. For how otherwise could the crowd believe? Therefore such faith, by the force of its rule and its reason for belief, is not only not Catholic but is also not even in any way universal, that is, one and common to many; and, so as to become in some way common, it becomes a faith purely human, that is, founded on the private judgment of some man or some particular human community; therefore it is, by this reason especially, very far distant from the property of Catholic Faith.
spacer 6. Third, faith or the Church can be said to be Catholic because it is universal as to all ranks and orders of persons, which Cyril of Jerusalem taught us in these words, Catechesis 18: “The Church was before sterile, but now it is the parent of many children. For after the first one was extinguished, God, as Paul said, placed in this second Catholic Church first indeed apostles, next prophets, third doctors, next virtues, then graces of cures, helps, governments, and every kind of virtue, I mean wisdom, and intellect, temperance, and humanity, and irreproachable patience in persecutions, which through the arms, triumphing and opposing, of justice, through glory and ignominy, first indeed in persecutions and tribulations crowned martyrs and Saints with diverse and much flourishing crowns of patience, by which the Church itself is adorned, but now, in times of peace, by the grace of Christ, it has due honor from kings, and the great, and every class of men.” In these words he indicates the various ways by which the Church can be said to be Catholic, because it embraces every class and rank of persons. One of these ways, both more known and easier, is that it is useful to all men of whatever nation, province, tongue, quality, or condition, nay necessary to them for salvation as well, and therefore it calls all to itself, whether Jews or gentiles &c., according to that verse of Paul Colossians 3:11: “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Bbarbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” This way is also indicated by Augustine, on the words of Psalm 65 [66]:1: “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands,” where he says: “Not only the land of Judea, then. You see, brothers, how the universality of the Church, diffused through the whole world, is commended, and do not grieve only for the Jews, who envy the gentiles this grace, but lament more for the heretics; for if they are to be grieved for who have not been gathered, how much more those who, having been gathered, are separated off?” However, this universality, explained in this way, differs little (as is proved by these words of Augustine) from universality of place, and it will immediately be more explained along therewith.
spacer 7. A second way is indicated by Cyril, that the Catholic Church ought to consist of all the members and ranks, graces and gifts, with which the Apostle Paul depicts it. Hence Augustine says, De Doctrina Christiana I.16: “The Catholic Church is the body of Christ, as the Apostolic doctrine commends, and it is even called his spouse. His body, therefore, with its many members bearing diverse offices, he ties together with the bond of unity and charity as if with the bond of health.” So, since the Church is Christ’s bride which he presented to himself, Ephesians 5:27, “a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish,” that is, abounding in all kinds of virtues and graces, to its beauty pertains that it be whole and consist of every variety of members and of all graces, ministries, operations, and virtues of which Christ wished to make it consist. About which Optatus writes thus in Book II of Contra Parmenian., not far from the beginning: “The Church has its own definite members, bishops, priests, deacons, ministers, and the multitude of the faithful.” But of the variety of these members, and of the duties of each, and of how they are always necessary to the Church, is not here the place to say, for it requires a whole work about the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Let it therefore be enough for us that in the mystical body of Christ, from the opinion of Paul, the said variety of members is required, which is going to endure in it up to the consummation of the saints. And so, according to the opinion of Cyril, the Church could, from this universality of members and variety of gifts, rightly be called Catholic. And, as I have already said, whatever may hold of the imposition of the name, there can in the very thing be no denying that this integrity and variety has regard to the splendor and majesty of the Catholic Church, and is not only useful but also necessary for its preservation and perfection; and therefore a Church cannot be reputed Catholic which is destitute of this excellence and integrity.
spacer 8. Now it is not difficult to show that this perfection of the Church is not found in the Anglican schism. First, indeed, and chiefly, because it does not have a pastor and bishop to whom to adhere, which, according to the teaching of Christ, is most necessary for the truth of the Church, as from Matthew 16 and John 21 is not obscurely gathered. Therefore Cyprian too, epistle 69, thus defines the Church: “The Church is a people united to its priest, and a flock adhering to its pastor.” But the Anglican congregation is united, not to the priest, but to the king, nor does it adhere to its pastor, for there is no pastor of the flock of Christ save him whom he constituted, and he did not constitute the king so but Peter and his successors. “Hence,” says Cyprian, “you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church and the Church is in the bishop, and if anyone is not with the bishop he is not in the Church, and that he flatters in vain those who, not having part with the bishops of God, sneak up and with some in secret believe themselves in communion, although the Church, which is One Catholic Church, is not split nor divided but certainly is connected and joined with the glue of the priests who with each other together cohere.” With these words he graphically depicts all the conventicles of the heretics, and especially the Anglican conventicle, which (taken in a universal way especially) is not in the bishop, nor the bishop in it, nor does it have priests with whose glue to be joined, unless perhaps they say that the ministers are priests or the king a bishop, which would be ridiculous enough. They do not even say it themselves, because they do not believe there are priests in the Church, just as they also deny there is a sacrifice, nor can the thing even be thought about those ministers, since they have not been legitimately ordained.
spacer 9. But if perhaps the ministers contend that England does not lack its bishops to which individual groups of people adhere, we reply, in the first place, with the same Cyprian, epist. 76, that they are not true bishops but only in name. Because “he cannot be counted a bishop who, despising the evangelical and Apostolic tradition, is successor to no one and has sprung up from himself,” nor he either who has not been ordained according to the legitimate rite of the Church. Next, I reply that Cyprian spoke not only about particular individual churches, but also about the Universal Catholic Church, for he teaches that is one in such a way that it ought also to be conjoined to one common bishop. For thus, epist.76, he said that the Church is one “which was with Cornelius, who succeeded by legitimate ordination to Fabian.” And epist. 55, to the same Cornelius, “Not from elsewhere,” he says, “have heresies arisen, or schisms been born, than from here, that the priest of God was not obeyed, and that it was not thought on that there is one priest at a time in the Church and one judge at a time in the place of Christ, whom if, according to the divine teachings, the universal brotherhood obeyed, no one would move anything against the college of priests.” Where he openly speaks of one bishop supreme, and calls him, as by antonomasia, “priest of God” and “judge in the place of Christ” and “one priest whom the whole brotherhood obeys.” And in his book De Unit. Eccles.,he at large teaches the same, and in his epistles he thus expounds time and time again the unity of the Catholic Church. Therefore, a congregation of men which does not adhere to one bishop but to one temporal king, and does not have either true bishops or true priests, bears before it no appearance, much less the truth, of the Catholic Church.
spacer 10. Nor is there any advantage for King James that in his Preface he often repeats that he has restored the ecclesiastical hierarchy everywhere in his kingdom, and that he has defended it against the Puritans; for he has not retained and defended the true ecclesiastical hierarchy, which Christ instituted, but a human and political one, which he himself, led by a certain evident conjecture, wished to be imitated. For this is what he himself frankly confesses when, on page 54, he says: “And the eagerness with which I have always applied myself to the defense of the bishops and of the ecclesiastical hierarchy (for the sake only of political order), with that same eagerness I have attacked the confused anarchy and equality of the Puritans.” And again, on page 56, he repeats that he allows of some difference between bishops and the institution of patriarchs, but he adds, “for the sake of order and differentiation,” and, a little after page 57, he inculcates the same a third time, adding: “For it is thus that I wish to be understood.” Far different, therefore, is that shadow of a hierarchy from the truth instituted by Christ and handed down by the Fathers.  
spacer 11. For Christ did not place bishops in the Church merely because of political order, but, Acts 20:28, “to rule [alt. feed] the Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood,” and to carry the care of it, not only an external and political care, but most of all one that is spiritual and procures the salvation of souls, according to Hebrews 13:17: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account.” For which reason Cyprian, epist. 55, calls the power of bishops for governing the Church “sublime and divine.” And deservedly, indeed, because it was given by Christ, God and man, and with admirable power for remitting and retaining sins, and for loosing and binding on earth what is to be held ratified in heaven. For the Church of Christ is not a merely political body, but a mystical one, and in a way divine, and therefore it needs a hierarchy, not for political order only, but for a spiritual end, “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,” as Paul said, Ephesians 4:12. And therefore, a diversity of these members and ranks does not consist in external endowments or temporal goods, but in diverse gifts “differing according to the grace that is given to us,” as Paul pursues in Romans 12 [v.6] and 1 Corinthians 12. In these gifts and graces the Catholic Church has always abounded, and up to the present day we see the same excellence and variety of gifts in the Roman Church. But how far from this perfection and splendor of grace are the conventicles of the Protestants is rather to be deplored than described, and too well known by the whole world to need our proof, especially because sufficient proof of the thing can be taken from the very confession of the king. For, from what we have noted in his Preface, we gather two things. One is that in things that concern the faith his own private spirit is the rule. Hence let it be a consequence, since interior conscience depends on faith, that there is no other rule both for doctrine and for conscience necessary in the Church than each one’s private spirit. The other is that the difference of ministries, if there is any in the Church which he himself is building up, has only for external policy and order been constituted; for which end no one doubts that a certain human prudence is sufficient; therefore all reason for diverse gifts and graces of the divine Spirit there ceases. Nor is it wonderful, since the faith too, which is the foundation of all graces, is there lacking, which happens necessarily to those who, as Cyprian says in bk. De Unitat. Ecclesiae, “having despised the tradition of God, seek after strange doctrines, and introduce magistracies of human institution,” as remains testified elsewhere by Cyprian.



1 - 4. Etymology of the word “Catholic.” spacer5. The Anglican sect is concluded not to have the true faith.spacer6. Evasion. It is refuted. Extent of place does not of itself constitute a Church as Catholic.spacer 7 - 12. The response of the king is in another way rejected.

HE chief and most received etymology of the word “Catholic” is the one taken from universality of places, which the Fathers frequently use against heretics, especially Augustine when disputing in many places against the Donatists, and expressly in the whole book De Unit. Ecclesiae, where he runs through almost the whole Scripture proving that the Church of Christ is the one that is diffused over the whole world, and supposing that it is thence called Catholic; and at Contra Epistol. Gaudentii, II.2, since Gaudentius had dared to affirm, and on the testimony of Cyprian, De Unit. Eccl., to confirm, that the party of Donatus was the Catholic Church, he says against him: “Attend to which Church he [Cyprian] said was Catholic. The Church, he said, bathed in the light of the Lord spreads its rays through the whole world, extends its branches with abundance of fertility upon the whole earth. Yet there is one head and one origin and one mother, abundant in successions of fertility. Come, therefore; you are deceiving even yourselves, and you wish to deceive others with your impudent lies; if your Church by the testimony of this martyr is Catholic, show it spreading its rays through the whole world, show it extending its branches with abundance of fertility over the whole earth; for from this is it even by the Greek word named Catholic.” He pursues the same at large in epist. 48 and 170, and on Book II of Contra Literas Petiliani.
spacer 2. The same etymology is handed on by Optatus of Milevis, Book I, Contra Parmenian., where at the end he relates that two bishops were sent to Africa to proclaim in Carthage where the Catholic Church was. ÒAnd the latest opinion of the bishops Eunomius and Olympius is said to be of the sort that they said the Catholic Church was the one which was diffused over the whole world, and the opinion of nineteen bishops already given a little while ago “could not be dissolved;” and Book II, at the beginning, arguing against the Donatists, he says: “The property of the Catholic name, because it is rendered ‘reasonable’and ‘everywhere diffused,’ where then will it be?” Also about this truth is the whole third chapter in Vincent of Lerins: “In the Catholic Church itself we must take the greatest care to hold thus what has been by all believed, for this is truly and properly Catholic (which the very force and reason of the name, that comprehends truly everything universally, makes plain); but this only so happens if we follow universality, antiquity, agreement.” Of which words, antiquity pertains to perpetuity of time, about which we will speak in the next chapter, but agreement can pertain to other reasons and etymologies fetched from Augustine and Cyril, although these two words, as they are made plain by Vincent, seem to be referred by him to antiquity and agreement of traditions. Universality, therefore, as concerns the present, is what he himself expounds: “But we will in this way follow universality if we confess this one faith to be true, which the whole Church through all the world confesses.” Next, Cyril of Jerusalem, teasing out the same word in the said Catechesis 8, concludes thus: “The power of kings indeed has at certain places and nations its bounds, but the power of the Catholic Church is without borders through the whole world.” And Pope Felix I, epist. 1, at the beginning, elegantly made the contribution that the Church was built on the four sides of the world.
spacer 3. In this way too do the rest of the ancient Fathers speak about the extent of the Catholic Church, although they do not always explain the word “Catholic,” as Jerome on Isaiah 54, on the verse, v. 3, “and thy seed shall the Gentiles inherit,” says that the seed is what Christ went out to sow, Matthew 13. “Which seed will also ‘make the desolate cities to be inhabited,’ so that the Churches of the nations may rise up in the whole world.” And later: “This is about the greatness of the Churches, which, instead of the one place of Judea, and it a very narrow one, will broaden out their boundaries over the whole world.” The same on Isaiah 60: “The Church,” he says, “which was first congregated from the people of the circumcision, marvels that the multitude of the nations in the whole earth flies toward it.” And on Psalm 66 [67], at the beginning, he says that the dove (on which Song of Songs 6:9) is the Church diffused in the whole world. The same on Matthew 26, on the words, v. 13, “this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world.” Likewise Ambrose, on Psalm 39 [40], treating of the words, v. 9: “I have preached righteousness in the great congregation,” says, “Why is it that he added ‘great,’ except because before it was not great? What is great except that which is congregated from the parts of the whole globe of the earth, when from East and West, from North and South, the peoples of the nations are called?” And in the same place about the same Church he understands that verse of Psalm 34 [35]:18: “I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among a grave [alt. much] people,” and he adds: “There is the Church great, then, where the people are grave, that is, not a restless and fickle people who sit down to eat and drink and get up to play. A people is grave who keep faith in their God and who are not moved by any levity, nor waver or fluctuate,” and there he pursues copiously the other properties of the Church. In the same way is the same “great Church” expounded by Chrysostom on the said Psalm 39 [40], where he says: “Blessed David promises that he will to the great Church, collected in the whole earth by divine grace, preach the justice of God and the truth of his prophecy, both his greatly expected salvation and his immense mercy.” Also on Psalm 106 [107], he says that through the words, v.2: “Let the redeemed of the Lord say, the voice of the gentiles is declared who are from every region of the earth collected by the Savior and snatched from the jaws of the devil into his holy Church,” so too does he expound what follows in the same psalm, v. 3: “And he gathered them out of the lands, from the East, and from the West, from the North, and from the South,” and says: “We accept that this has indeed happened to the Jews in this way (for they too live spread over the whole world); but yet he himself has summoned and gathered the gentile Church in all parts of the globe, both Eastern and Western, both Southern and Northern. Moreover one may see assemblies of this sort in all parts of land and sea.”
spacer 4. Lastly Tertullian, Contra Judaeos, ch. 7, adducing the prophecies and promises about the kingdom of Christ, and especially that of Isaiah 45:1: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden,” he adds: “Which very thing we see fulfilled. For whose right hand does God the Father hold save Christ’s his Son’s? Whom all the nations heard, that is, whom all the nations believed in, whose preachers too, the apostles, are displayed in the psalms of David; into the whole earth, he says, Psalm 18 [19]:4, their sound has gone out, and their words to the ends of the earth. For in whom else have all the nations believed if not in Christ, who has already come? For in him did also other nations believe, Parthians, Medes &c.,” and he continues by enumerating the innumerable provinces of the Church in which Christ reigns, and then he therewith joins: “For who could rule over all if not Christ the Son of God, who was announced to be ruler of all the gentiles for ever?” And reviewing afterwards the very many kingdoms of the world, each one of which in any part of the globe was always contained within fixed boundaries, he finally concludes: “But the kingdom of Christ and his name is spread everywhere, is everywhere believed, cultivated by all the nations above enumerated, &c.” Where, although Tertullian does not speak of it under the name of the Catholic Church, yet he was not ignorant that it was the kingdom of Christ; what, therefore, he says of the kingdom of Christ, he understands of the Catholic Church. In this way too do the Fathers, especially Augustine, interpret all the similar prophecies about the kingdom or inheritance of Christ, as in Psalm 2:8: “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession,” and the like.
spacer 5. It is clear, then, from the Sacred Scriptures as thus understood by the ancient Fathers, that it is a property of the Church of Christ that it be diffused through the whole world; and from the confession of the same Fathers it is plain that this property is signified by the name “Catholic.” From which principle is rightly collected that the sect which is not only contained with the limits of one kingdom, and not diffused through the whole world, but even condemns the Church that is diffused through the whole world and is therefrom separated, cannot be Catholic. But the Anglican sect does not pass beyond the limits of Britain (“which,” as Tertullian above said, “is enclosed within the circuit of Ocean”), and it condemns the Roman Church, from which it has separated itself, as is from the fact narrated earlier known to all; therefore it cannot be the Catholic Church nor can it retain the Catholic Faith. With this argument the Fathers always attacked the heretics; and with it the African bishops, chiefly Augustine, harassed and conquered the Donatists; but it is no less effective against all the Protestants, since the cause is very much similar, and since it was shown that the Church Roman and Catholic is the same now as the one that flourished in the time of the aforesaid Fathers.
spacer 6. But this reason King James seems to have wanted tacitly to resist when at the end of his Preface, p. 156, he said: “We are, by the kindness of God, not so despised either in number or dignity that we cannot by good example surpass our neighbors; since of the Christian world and of all the orders in it, from kings and free princes down to men of the lowest condition, nearly a half part has now come to agreement in our religion.” However, although this be true to the extent it is asserted by the king, it does not suffice for such a sect existing in all that multitude of men to be capable of being called Catholic; for all that multitude has defected from the true and Catholic Church, as I will a little later explain with the employment of examples. But the reason is that, although amplitude and multitude of peoples be one of the properties of the Catholic Church, yet it is not sufficient for constituting it Catholic; for none of the Fathers said this, and some of them openly thought that it was constituted Catholic not only from mere universality of places but from the other properties too which are conjoined with it. For Vincent of Lerins says that he is Catholic “if he follow universality, antiquity, agreement.” Optatus proclaimed that the property of the name Catholic is that it be “reasonable and everywhere diffused.” Cyprian, with whom Augustine agreed, requires in addition to multitude “one head, and one origin, and one mother suffused with divine light,” the rays of whose light are spread over the whole globe. Cyril again comprehends many other things under the name Catholic, as we saw. I add Bede, on Song of Songs 6, where he says that the Church is called Catholic “because through all parts of the world it is built up in one peace and one fear of the Lord.”
spacer 7.
But we give now another response to the king, since it is one thing to agree in religion, another to agree in a common reason for schism and withdrawal from the Catholic Church, as is evident of itself; for from the one way many turn aside, who for some reason, conceived rather in the mind than subsisting in the thing, agree in turning aside and in erring from the way, but do not agree in one way, nor in one end toward which they tend. Thus therefore must we distinguish in the present case. Perhaps in fact it is true (though I do not affirm it) that, when all the sects of schismatics and heretics are considered who have defected from the Roman Church and are now over the whole globe as well to the East as to the West dispersed, a multitude is made up of all them that is nearly a half part of the whole Christian world. But that multitude is not one body politic, as is clear of itself, nor mystical nor ecclesiastical, because they do not agree either in the same faith, or in the same ecclesiastical governance, or in the same rule of believing; therefore neither can that whole multitude of peoples or of sects be called the Catholic Church, since it is not one Church, nor can any particular sect among them be called Catholic, since it neither is part of anything of the Catholic Church nor does it by itself alone suffice to constitute the Catholic Church, as the principal reason given proves.
spacer 8. There is need, then, for the king to speak of agreement in one religion, that is, in one way of salvation, and in one faith; but in this sense we do not believe that the Anglican sect has occupied, not merely a half part of the Christian globe, but also not even perhaps a third part of the British kingdom. The first part we prove from the words of the same king. For, when speaking to schismatic princes and schismatic, he inserts these words: “Although among you there is not yet a good agreement on some details or other I know not what.”Therefore he thinks that they have not yet agreed in doctrine, and so a little later he exhorts them to unity and concord. And although, veiling that discord, he says it is in certain details, or in matters “indifferent,” as he says a little later and often says elsewhere, yet in truth of fact there is disagreement in the gravest matters, having the greatest regard both to the substance of the faith and the salvation of the faithful, such as in the doctrine of the Sacraments and especially in the truth and real presence of Christ the Lord in the most holy Eucharist, and in the manner of man’s justification by faith, and in the necessity of works, and in obedience to the commandments, and in many other things which must later be weighed in the balance each one; in which things the Calvinists do not agree with the Lutherans, nor the Zwinglians and others similar with these.
spacer 9. Add that paying obedience to the Church is so necessary for salvation that Christ said, Matthew 18:17: “If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican,” and, nevertheless, those sectaries, when explaining the governance of the Church on which this obedience depends, are at variance no less among themselves than with us; the disagreement, then, is not in matters indifferent but in things most necessary; nor does it concern details only, which are wont to be placed by jurists in subtle points that serve principally for speculation, but in things that are held in our hands and are necessary for right living. And, as to what most touches the present cause, there is so much disagreement even in the article about the royal primacy that only the Anglican sect approves it and seems to uphold it. From which head alone, and viewed in itself, a sufficient reason is taken that the Anglican congregation cannot be esteemed the Catholic Church. Because the opinion about the primacy limits and restricts that sect to the bounds of that temporal kingdom, and, as far as it itself goes, divides the Church of Christ into as many parts as there are temporal kingdoms in the world; nor is there left to it the true unity of the one fold that Christ wished there to be in his Church, but at most a sort of concord or likeness, so to say, which King James longs for. But it could never obtain even that, as I said above, because since all agree in following their own judgment, they must disagree in reason of opinion and government.
spacer 10.Moreover, from here easily we give account of the second part, wherein we conjecture that the Anglican sect has not seized even a third part of the island of Britain. For, to pass over the fact that in all parts of that island there are very many faithful who do not subject faith to his judgment but bring their understanding to the obedience of Christ and are not separated from the Roman Church in spirit and mind at least, even among those who have defected from it there is no agreement in religion and faith. For as the king himself supposes in his Preface, there are many Puritans under his sway, whom he himself persecutes, and thus the whole kingdom has at a minimum been divided into three parts, namely, Catholics, Puritans, and semi Calvinists; and if trust is to be given to report, many even among these are Lutherans, others Zwinglians, or belonging to other sects. Nay, among the very semi Calvinists too there is believed to be no agreement in faith, however it may be with the external form of religion. Therefore, speaking in the sense that makes for the present cause, in no way can what the king says stand, that nearly a half part of the Christian globe has agreed in his religion.
spacer 11.Wherefore, Luther, Calvin, and the other heresiarchs of the present time freely, not to say impudently, respond that often what is good is approved by rather few, and thus that it is not a note of the true Church or Faith that it be in a multitude of nations and in an approved agreement of peoples, for thus Luther is said to have written in his bk. De Notis Eccles. that the devil has, next to the Church, built a far bigger and ampler shrine; and Calvin in the Preface to his Institutes excused in this way the paucity of his congregation, because scarcely ever have human things been so well disposed that more people should be pleased by what is better. Like things are held too by the Magdeburgians, Centuriae 1. However (which in all the controversies of this is a thing most to be considered) those new heretics in all their sayings and replies imitate the ancient heretics, which is a great sign of their error; hence I think they should be met in no other way than by the words of the Fathers who confuted the ancient heretics. Augustine, in his book De Unit. Eccles., ch. 2, has the following: “Between us and the heretics the question is where the Church is; what therefore are we to do? Are we to seek for it in our words or in the words of its head, our Lord Jesus Christ? I think we should seek for it in his words, who is truth and very well knows his own body.” And in ch. 3: “Let us not hear: ‘I say this, you say that;’ but lest us hear, the Lord says this; books of our Lord certainly exist, there let us seek for the Church, there let us plead our cause.” As if he were to say that in the divine Scripture the Church of Christ diffused through the whole globe is preached, and therefore the blasphemies of the heretics are to be despised who dare to call it the Church of the demon. And in ch. 9 he relates that the Donatists said they were convinced that the Church of Christ was in the whole world at the beginning, but afterwards it perished because of the free and corrupt wills of men. To whom Augustine responds: “But as if the Spirit of God did not know the future wills of men, which utter madman said this? Why then did he not rather proclaim that this would be the case, because he knew the future about the wills of men? &c.” And in ch. 13 he thus writes: “They say, ‘we believe those things and we confess they were completed, but afterwards the whole world apostatized and only the communion of the Donatists was left’ (or, with change of name, only the Anglican or Calvinist sect). Let them read these things to us,” says Augustine, “and we will in no way resist. But if they do not read them in the Sacred Scriptures but try to prove them by their own contentions, I believe the things that are read in the Scriptures, not that stuff which is said by vain heretics.” And in ch. 15 he refutes in similar words “the cunning of heretics wanting to turn the words of God from the truth in which the words are to the perversity in which they themselves are.” And next he responds to certain Scriptures which the heretics were making to fit their own conventicles. Also finally, in ch. 19, he concludes: “Setting aside the snares of delay, let him show that the Church has been retained in Africa alone when so many nations have been lost, or that it is from Africa to be repaired and filled in all nations, and let him show it in such a way that he not say, ‘It is true because I say so,’ or because that colleague of mind said it, or they did, &.”
spacer 12.The same reply will we give to Luther when he says that the Church exists in his sectaries, that he show it to us; for we do not believe him, nor is it in any way credible that God has built a Church against the Church which he founded and to which he promised perpetual protection, especially since indication not of the divine Spirit but of human ambition and liberty has appeared in the author of that synagogue. From Calvin too we require proof of the things he vainly says, and we add besides that he sufficiently shows his pride when he rashly dares to prefer his own judgment to the multitude and authority of so many Fathers illustrious for wisdom and sanctity. Hence, finally, we say that, although, by the crowd’s comparison, sometimes the better things are approved by the fewer people, nevertheless those things that are approved as better by the many wise are by any prudent man to be judged such and the contrary rejected. Which judgment is far more certain when such approval is not only made firm by human authority but also by divine. Yet in Sacred Scripture in this way and by the holy Fathers has the Catholic Church been approved that is diffused throughout the whole globe, from which the conventicles of the heretics are very far distant; and therefore they cannot be nor be named Catholic.



1. Reason for doubt. spacer2. Confirmation. spacer3. Response to the reason for doubt. spacer 4. In two ways can the Church be diffused through the whole globe. spacer 5. The Church is said to be universal with the universality of right and of fact. spacer6 - 7. The extent of the Church through the world can undergo various vicissitudes. spacer8. The promises about the preaching of the Gospel through the world have not yet been integrally fulfilled. spacer9 - 10. A universality sufficient for Catholicism was long ago attained by the Church. spacer11. The Church probably began to have the aforesaid universality from the time of Constantine. spacer12 - 13. For the Catholicism of the Church there is no need that it exceed the other sects in universality. spacer14. Satisfaction to the last part of the objection. spacer15 - 18. The Catholic Church even in the middle of persecutions has retained its splendor. spacer19. No sect can be so diffused through the world that it be judged likely Catholic. spacer20. First reason. spacer21. Second reason. spacer22. Third reason. spacer23. Heretics do not have the spirit of propagating the faith. spacer24 - 25.  A concern to restore heretics is necessary to the Church. A certain objection is dissolved.

O as also to make satisfaction especially to Catholics themselves, another objection is not to be omitted here, which Augustine touched on in epist.48, that the Catholic or Roman Christian world is a moderate part of the whole world; how then can this Church be named Catholic from the fact that it occupies the universal world? The assumption can very easily be demonstrated; for a little above we thought it necessary to concede that the multitude of schismatics and heretics occupies nearly a half part of the Christian world; but, in addition to these, there are in the world Mohammedans who alone perhaps possess as many areas of the world as those who profess faith, whether false or true, under the name of Christ. Next the gentiles too and the idolaters occupy many and great provinces of the world; the Jews as well are wandering over innumerable other parts of the world; therefore there can be no doubt but that, with respect to the whole world, the extent of the Church of Christ is very limited and restricted; therefore it cannot by the title of universality be named Catholic.
spacer 2. The difficulty is also increased because it is not against the truth of the Church that it be so oppressed by persecutions and schisms that the true faith will at some time persist in a lesser part of those who confess Christ. A suitable example is from the time when the Church was so afflicted by the Arian heresy that Arianism had truly occupied the universal Christian globe, as is clear from Hilary in his book Contra Auxentium, and from Jerome in his book Contra Luciferianos, where, in column 13, he says: “Then was the word ousia abolished, then was the condemnation of the Nicene faith shouted aloud. The whole world groaned and marveled to see itself Arian.” Hence Gregory Nazianzen, orat. 25 to the Arians, who were glorying of their multitude, spoke thus: “Where finally are those who reproach us with our poverty, and insolently boast of their own might, who define the Church by multitude and scorn the little flock?” In which words he seems both to concede that there was at that time a small number of faithful facing a multitude of heretics agreeing even in the same error, and consequently he seems to deny that multitude pertains to the notes of the Church, as Billi also there notes. Nay he seems to allude to the words of Christ, Luke 12:32: “Fear not, little flock;” and from those words to collect that a small flock suffices for the true Church, which the heretics of this time gladly accept, so that they may glory of their fewness, adding that verse of Matthew 7:13: “Enter ye in at the strait gate”; and later: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
spacer 3.
To the former part can be replied, first, that the name of “Catholic” has not been imposed on the Church to distinguish it from gentileism or paganism or Judaism, for it is sufficiently distinguished from all these under the name of Christians or the Christian Church; but this name was imposed on it to discriminate it from the sects of the heretics. For although heretics are not Christians as to truth of faith, yet, because they do not altogether deny Christ but worship and confess him in their own way, for that reason they have under the Christian name their own mode of infidelity, and so (as we have noted from the Fathers) there has been added to the truly Christian faith the cognomen of Catholic, whereby it is distinguished from the sects of the heretics. Moreover, thence it comes about that, from the force of such name and its reason, there is no necessity that the extent of the Church surpass the multitude of all the faithful, but enough that it be in its own way dispersed through the universal globe and that therein it exceed any sect of heretics whatever.
spacer 4. Next, to explain this further, we note that in two ways can the Church of Christ be understood as needing to be diffused through the whole globe, namely, either by right and by institution and power, or by fact and, so to say, actual possession. In the first way it is manifest that the Church of Christ, from when it was instituted, was Catholic and Universal; both because it was instituted for the whole world and not, like the Synagogue, for a certain nation; and also because from then on it received the right to preach the faith of Christ through the whole world, according to the verse of Mark 16:15: “Preach the Gospel to every creature;” and Acts 1:8: “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.” Next too, because it has power on earth for governing the whole globe in those things that have regard to the salvation of the soul, or that are referred to it, according to Matthew 18:17: “If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican;” and John 21:16: “Feed my sheep.” This universality of the Church then, which we can call of right or of sufficiency, could be enough for it to be called truly Catholic. Nay, Augustine, Contra Petilianum II.38, since Petilianus had objected: “If you say you have the Catholic Church, ‘Catholic’ is that which in Greek means singular or whole. Behold, you are not in the whole who have yielded in a part.” Augustine replied that “Catholic” signifies the same as “according to the whole,” hence, “it received the name of ‘Catholic’ when the Lord himself said, ‘Ye shall be witnesses unto me &c.’” and he concludes: “Behold whence it is called Catholic.” Wherefore it seems that the Church received this name from the apostles before the faith had been effectively disseminated through the whole world, for the apostles constructed their Creed before they were distributed through diverse parts of the world.
spacer 5. Nevertheless, not only on account of right, but also on account of fact and possession, so to say, did the Church receive that name. For the apostles knew that the promise of Christ was infallible and was to be fulfilled not long afterwards; and therefore they made establishment of it in such way as if had already in fact occupied the world, because in morals what is little distant seems to be nothing distant, and especially among those who by faith were reckoning a future thing to be already done. But, after their preaching, the extent of the Catholic Church began in very reality to be such that it could be seen as it were with the eyes. Hence Augustine in the place just cited, after the words, “Behold whence it is called Catholic,” subjoins “But, having closed your eyes, you are bumping into the mountain which, according to the prophet Daniel, grew from a little stone and filled the whole earth.” Augustine, therefore, thinks, and the other Fathers above mentioned think, that the prophecies about the Church of Christ going to be diffused through the universal globe, and the promises made by Christ about founding and making firm the same Church, have already long ago been fulfilled. But at what time that began to be so, and by what certitude one can be certain of it, is not easy to explain.

spacer 6. Therefore we must further note that this diffusion of the Catholic Church through the universal globe can, as to greater or lesser increase, be allotted various states in amplitude of the Church; and that it is not certain among the holy Fathers and expositors of Scripture whether the prophecy and promises about this universality of the Church have already been in every respect fulfilled, or whether something remains to be fulfilled, which may to the end of the world, or near to it, be left to be consummated. For as to what Christ the Lord said, Matthew 24:14: “This Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come,” Jerome and Bede understand them of the consummation of the world, and they signify that that preaching has not yet been fulfilled. Nay, Jerome indicates that the completion of it will be a sign of the approaching judgment, and accordingly that an increase to such a degree in the extent of the Church is not to be fulfilled until the end of the world, or the time close to it.
spacer 7. Toward which opinion Augustine too inclines, De Unit. Eccles., ch. 17, where, treating of the same words of Christ, he says: “The faith itself of all nations has not yet been fulfilled,” and later, adapting the parable of the “man which sowed good seed in his field,” Matthew 13:24, connects with it: “This field is the world, in which the word of God bears fruit and increases,” as is said in Colossians 1:10, “up to the harvest, that is, up to the end of the world.” But the same Augustine, epist.7 8 to Hesychius, interprets the above words of Christ in a negative way alone, namely, “and then the end shall come,” that is, Òbefore the Gospel is preached in the whole world, it will not come.” But how long after the completion of preaching the Gospel in the whole world, “is,” he says, “uncertain.” Hence it is uncertain too at what time is integrally to be fulfilled the promise about the diffusion of the Gospel, and of the faith or the Church, through the whole world. But Augustine in the same place holds it for certain that, at his own time, the promise has not yet been fulfilled, when he says: “If therefore the servants of God take up this labor so that, having traveled the whole earth as much as they could, they collect what remains of the nations where the Gospel has not yet been preached, we might hence be able somehow or other to note how far this time is from the end of the world.” Which also he confirms more at large in epist. 80, near the end, because in his own time, :there were,” he says, “innumerable nations to whom the Gospel had not yet been preached.”
spacer 8. This argument also proves that up till now those promises have not been integrally completed, because in our age the new world, as they say, and very large provinces, where the Gospel was not preached, have been found, for converting which to the faith we see inaccessible places being traveled by the servants of God and churches established in them anew. Hence, therefore, rightly is it concluded that the Catholic Church is not said to be diffused through the whole globe for the reason that that diffusion of the Church has already in the whole universe and in all provinces been reached. Nay, Augustine adds in the said epist. 80: “Although in all the nations where the Church is not yet it needs must sometime be; yet there is not need that all who are there should believe, because all nations are promised, not all men of all nations, for the faith is not of everyone.” From all these things, therefore, it is left very uncertain when the Church began to have in fact, and not only in hope, the universality which the name of Catholic denotes. Again, it is uncertain how much extension of the Church and multiplication of churches in the various provinces of the world will be necessary for the same effect. Finally, it is much more uncertain how numerous a multitude of men the same property requires for it to exist in very fact.
spacer 9. Nevertheless, it should be certain from the common sense of all the Fathers who so understand the Scriptures, that the Catholic Church has obtained, not only in our times, but also in many centuries into the past, a state (so to say) of sufficient universality that it may be said to be diffused through the whole globe. For, besides the predictions of the prophets and the promises of Christ, Paul already in his time said of the preaching of the apostles, Romans 10:18: “Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.” Which although Augustine interpret to be a prophecy about the future that is put forward, on account of its certainly, by a verb in the past tense, yet Jerome understands that it has now been in some way fulfilled, and he is agreeable to Paul’s context in the same place and in others; for, in Colossians 1.6, Paul says about the Gospel: “Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you.” Next, it is certain that the Church so increased up to the times of Augustine and other Fathers that it could simply be said to be diffused through the whole globe, as they themselves say; therefore, at least at that time it already had the said state, as they themselves preach. But it also retained it, or rather increased in it up to Gregory, as is collected from what was said above and from the epistles of the same Gregory to the bishops of the East and of the various provinces of the West. Now from that time up to our own age it has not lost the same state, but rather we see that it has increased over more and new provinces, although in certain others it has diminished; therefore it is simply true and certain that the Catholic Church is diffused through the whole globe. And although we may not be able to designate with certitude the time in which it began to have this state of universality complete, it matters not; for enough that there be certain clarity that it was from the beginning established for this end, and that within a few years it sufficiently obtained it, as according to the order of divine providence was expedient.
spacer 10. For the same reason too, although the limits of this extent cannot be designated with certainty, nevertheless we can say that, after sufficient preaching of the Gospel, there was need for the Catholic Church to have in the world a certain universal splendor, whereby its dignity and majesty could be recognized and discriminated from the crowds of heretics. For this pertained, to begin with, to the excellence of the kingdom of Christ, which was promised not only in heaven but also on earth, although on the earth itself it will not be an earthly or temporal kingdom but a heavenly and spiritual one. Next, because the Church was instituted by Christ for the salvation of men, so that much more universally and abundantly than before it might be communicated to both Jews and gentiles; and so there was need for the Church to grow at once, such that within a brief time it should be established in the aforesaid state, wherein, as far as it can, it could be to the advantage of all the regions of the world, or at any rate to the greater and more principal part of them. But for this end there was need that it should at once, or as soon as was morally possible, become known to the whole world. For as Augustine, epist. 48, column 10, urges: “How are we confident from the divine letters that we have received a manifest Christ if we have not thence received also a manifest Church?” so also do we assert that Christ could not reign in the world unless the faith of believers was diffused through the whole world.
spacer 11.
Now it can be said with great probability that the Church began to have this state at least from the time of the emperor Constantine, when, after public peace had been conceded to the Church, even temples and churches began to be publicly built, and the Apostolic See began to have befitting honor and splendor, and General Councils could be convened, and the Church began in all other things that have regard to the majesty of the Church of Christ to be publicly recognized by the universal globe that was then known, so that one mystical body and one spiritual republic was instituted for the universal care and salvation of souls. Moreover, this conjecture of ours seems to have been insinuated by Augustine, serm. 2, on Psalm 103 [104], where, expounding the words, v. 6: “The waters stood above the mountains,” he interprets them of the flood of persecutions of the nascent Church and says: “ÒFor there was, before too long, a time when the land of God, the Church of God, was covered over with the waters of persecutions; and they so covered it that not even the great ones themselves, who are the mountains, appeared. For when they were in flight everywhere, how did they not appear less?” And later: “The waters covered them and stood above them, and they said, ‘Press down, press down,’ and they were prevailing over the martyrs, and Christians were fleeing everywhere, and by a sort of flight the apostles were concealed.” But afterwards he asks: “But for how long?” He replies: “Hear what follows, v. 7, ‘At thy rebuke they fled,’ and this was done, brothers; from the rebuke of God the waters fled, that is, from the pressure of the mountains they receded. Now the mountains themselves are visible, Peter and Paul. How do they stand out? Those who before were pressed down by persecutors are venerated now by emperors. For the waters fled at the rebuke of God, because the heart of kings in the hand of God turns whither he wished, he commanded that through them peace be given to Christians, he shone forth, and the Apostolic authority stood out. When the waters were above them, did the greatness of the mountains cease? But yet, so that all may see the eminence of the mountains, by which mountains there was salvation to the human race (because I lifted up my eyes to the mountains, whence cometh my help), at the rebuke of God the waters fled, from the voice of his thunder they will fear, who is now not afraid of the voice of God? Through the apostles, through the Scriptures, through his clouds, the sea was still, the waters feared, the mountains are bare, the emperor has given command. But would he have given command if God had not thundered? Because God wished, they commanded, and it was done.” These are the very elegant and wise words of Augustine, by which he sufficiently makes plain at what time the Catholic Church began to have the state agreeable to its name. And it should, by the by, be noted that he does not attribute this state of the Church to the emperor as to the author of it, but only as to the remover of the impediments, and as attributing peace; nay, that neither does he number the emperor among the mountains of the Church, but the apostles, that is, in their successors, and he says specifically, “Peter and Paul are visible,” through which two he without doubt understands the Apostolic See, and to the same See pertains the question: “How do they stand out?” because on that See the Church is founded, which then began, as he said, to have the state agreeable to its name.
spacer 12. Further, satisfaction is hence made to the first part of the objection; for we concede that it does not pertain to the universality of the Church explained by the name “Catholic” that in it there should be a greater multitude of men than in the false sects, for this was nowhere promised to it and depends on the most high counsel of God in his predestination. And, as far as we can collect from the Scriptures, by the divine counsel is it rather permitted that there are more bad in the world than good, infidels than faithful, nay perhaps even within the Church itself there are more sinners than just. Hence Augustine in the said epistle 48, columns 13 and 14, says in a similar difficulty: “The Church is that of whose fewness it is said: ‘narrow is the way which leadeth unto life;’ and few there are that walk therein, and again it is that about whose multitude it is said, ‘Thus will your seed be as the stars of heaven,’ namely the same holy faithful and the good, and in comparison with the many bad they are few, and in themselves they are many, who come from East and from the West &c.” And later: “Therefore is the whole world placed in the evil one because of the tares which are in the whole world, and Christ is the propitiator of our sins and those of the whole world, because of the wheat which is in the whole world.” And later he declares it with the comparison of the threshing floor, where the grain is little in comparison with the chaff; yet they are many in themselves, and are gathered “from the four winds, from the summits of the heavens to the ends thereof &c.” (Matthew 24:31, Mark 13:27). He delivers the same at Contra Faustum III.16, and very well in bk.20, whose last words are these: “That fewness is to be acknowledged which the Lord chiefly commends in the huge and innumerable multitude diffused in the world; which fewness is called fewness as of the grains in comparison with the multitude of the chaff, but he makes it in itself so great a mass of grain that it surpasses by an incomparable multitude all your good and bad whom the truth condemns equally.” For he compares the Church with one particular sect of heretics, and says that not only is the Church more extensive, but that even the just alone of the Church surpass incomparably all the heretics of such a sect; which to me is a thing very probable when with any heresy a similar comparison is made, although it not be necessary for the present cause.
spacer 13. Therefore it does not matter that there are fewer faithful in the Church than there are infidels in all the sects of the gentiles, pagans, Jews, and heretics; because about this comparison nothing has been revealed or promised, nor does it pertain to the universality of the Catholic Church that it should in number either of persons or peoples, provinces or kingdoms, exceed the infidels, but only that it should in itself be most ample and diffused through the whole globe. Hence Augustine against Petilianus, who wanted the fewness of the Donatists to suffice for a Catholic Church, responds, in Book II against him. ch. 45: “You were afraid of the multitude of the world when compared to your multitude, and you yourself wished to compare yourself to the praise of the fewness that walks along the narrow way. Would that you had compared yourself not to the praise of the way but to the way itself! Surely you would have seen that the same fewness is in the Church of all the nations, but few are called just in comparison to the many wicked, just as in comparison with the chaff a few grains can be said to be a very rich crop, which grains yet by themselves, when reduced to a mass, fill the storehouse.” And in almost a like way in epist. 48, column 9, when Vincentius says that in comparison with the whole world the amount of Christians is small, he replies to him: “You do not wish to notice, or you make pretence of knowing, how many barbarous nations in so short a time the Gospel has already come to &c.”
spacer 14. From what has been said it is also easy to reply to the second part of the objection made, for now it has with Augustine been made plain what fewness is commended in the flock of Christ. Although by other titles and reasons too the flock of Christ could be called tiny by comparison with the infidels — either if, that is, the talk be of the predestinate compared with the reprobate, or because of the “devotion of humility,”, as Bede said, Book IV on Luke, ch. 54, or because of the abjectness of condition of the disciples, who listened then to Christ because they were poor or of the lowest condition, or because of voluntary poverty or of denial of the world’s glory – the servants of Christ in the world are reputed worthless. Still it is clear that the narrow and strait way is not repugnant to the extent of the Church, because Christ proposed that strait way to the whole world, and thus his Church, although it be diffused through the whole globe, strives to enter through that narrow gate, and although there be few who try to enter in comparison with the infidels, yet are they simply many, called from the diverse provinces of the whole world; and similarly, although they be fewer who enter than who try to enter, yet even those fewer are sufficiently many, and are called from the whole globe. Besides, too, not of them only does the Church of Christ consist, which has in it not only the predestinate but also the rejected, not only the good but also the bad.
spacer 15. Next, it is also clear from what has been said that it is not unfitting for the Catholic Church to be sometimes much repressed, or even diminished, because of insurgent heresies and other persecutions. Because not only is it not repugnant to the predictions or promises made to the Church of Christ, but rather was that very thing often predicted by Christ, and it pertains to the narrow way that leads to life. Hence Bede, expounding that verse of Mark 6:47: “the ship was in the midst of the sea &c.,” says that by that ship the labors of the holy Church are designated, “because sometimes the Church is not only afflicted but polluted by so great pressures from the gentiles that, were it possible, its redeemer would seem to have for a time deserted it.” But one must add that, from when the Catholic Church began to be diffused through the whole world, never has it, because of persecutions or insurgent heresies, so lost its splendor and as it were possession that it ceased to be sufficiently illustrious and diffused through the whole earth. This was signified by Augustine, epist. 48, column 12, when he said: “It is sometimes obscured and as it were clouded over with a multitude of scandals, when sinners bend the bow to shoot arrows under a darkened moon at the righteous of heart, but still then it stands out in the firmest of its own.” And this could easily be shown from the promises of Christ, and from the perpetual tradition and succession of the Church Catholic and Roman, if it had not been sufficiently demonstrated in chapter 5 about the visible Church.
spacer 16. Moreover, on this foundation Augustine responds to the example adduced of the time of the Arian heresy, when he says: “For then was the time of which Hilary wrote &c.” And later: “For who does not know that at that time many of little sense were deluded by obscure words, while others yielded to fear and agreed under pretence?” And later: “Although they too, who then were most firm and could understand the insidious words of the heretics, were few indeed in comparison with the rest, but yet even they themselves went some boldly into exile, some lay low over the whole globe. And thus the Church, which grows in all nations, is preserved by the instruments of the Lord, and it will be preserved up to the end, until it altogether holds all the nations, even the barbarous ones.”In which words Augustine seems to concede that the faithful were at that time in a smaller number than were the Arian heretics, and that nevertheless the Church was preserved in its universality through the whole world. Which, from the hypothesis, is very true because of all that has been said above, and because also now the Catholic Church remains founded most firm on the rock, and possessed of universal power and of Catholics subject to it dispersed through the whole globe; for it matters not that they be sometimes fewer, especially for a brief time. Most especially so because the Church has always retained the authority of the Nicene Council and continuity with the ancient Church, whose splendor, as being the same with it, it participates.
spacer 17.
This same response also has place in the time of the persecution of Antichrist, nay at that time it seems more necessary, because all that hiding and lessening of the Church seems to be predicted by Christ the Lord. But of the time of the Arian heresy I judge it more likely that the heretics never, even in numbers, surpassed the Catholics. For although in the little council of Rimini a greater part of the bishops were deceived by the Arians, and therefore Jerome said that the whole earth groaned and marveled that it was Arian, nevertheless that error was not with heretical spirit, as the same Jerome and Augustine signify, and Ambrose, Book III, De Fide, last chapter. And so almost all, when they understood the fraud, at once began to profess and clearly teach the true faith. Next, although perhaps in the East the multitude of heretics was greater, yet it was not in the West, nor simply in the whole world. For Basil openly testifies to the fact, epist.72 to the Evaisenenses, when he writes: ÒStand in the faith, look at the world itself, and see how small is that portion which labors with this sickness, but the rest of the Church, which has from one end of the world to the other received the Gospel, follows this sane and right doctrine.Ó Athanasius too, in the Synodical epistle to the emperor Jovinian, which Theodoret reports in Histories IV.3, speaking of the faith defined at the Council of Nicea, says: “To this all churches everywhere have assented, as the Spanish, the British, the Gallic, the Italian, of the whole &c.” And after enumerating many others he adds: “the Churches finally of the East, a few excepted that favor the Arian sect; for of all of them we have in very truth a known tested judgment, and we have received letters from them, and, most holy Augustus, we know it for certain; but no prejudice thence can arise against the whole earth.” For that reason too Hilary above calls blessed and glorious the bishops of Gaul and Britain, who retained perfectly the Apostolic faith, and by their example brought many Eastern bishops back to a saner mind. Hence at that time too the true faithful retained the name of “Catholics.”
spacer 18. Moreover, in this way can be understood what Nazianzen says about heretics wanting to measure the Catholic Faith by the multitude of believers; for perhaps in his own city or bishopric there were more Arians than Catholics, and from that multitude clearly the Catholic Faith was not be collected, just as, though perhaps now there are in England more heretics than Catholics, no sign thence of Catholic Faith may be taken; especially because, although it might happen that a heresy is much diffused, it would, because of defect of other conditions, never have the sign of the Catholic Church, as I said above and as there Billi notes.
spacer 19. Hence I conclude lastly that never could any heresy be so diffused through the universe, or so under such circumstances increase in number of followers, that thence one could likely judge that it was the Catholic Faith; but rather always the opposite can with sufficient certainly be evident, from the defect of mode of universality promised to the Catholic Faith. This might be sufficiently proved by the examples of all the heresies that there have hitherto been, for what happened to all the sects of heretics in past times will, it must be believed, happen in other times; for the same reason of limitation, so to say, or of determination to a limited place, or nation, or paucity of followers, is found in them all.
spacer 20. Now the first reason is that every heresy is introduced through defection from the Catholic Faith, and consequently it deviates from the certain rule of believing, and therefore never can it be made universally persuasive as the true and indubitable faith. This is elegantly indicated by Augustine in his book, De Pastoribus, ch. 8, where, after he had said that there are various heresies in various provinces which do not recognize each other, but that the Catholic Church is everywhere with them all and knows them all, because it is diffused over all, he subjoins: “It (that is, the Catholic Church), increasing like a vine, is everywhere diffused; they are like useless twigs cut off by the scythe of the farmer as desert for their sterility, so that the vine may be deemed vine and not cut. So those twigs, where they are cut off, there they remain, but the vine, increasing through all parts, knows its own twigs, those that have remained in it, and, next to it, those that have been cut off from it; yet from there it calls back the erring.” These words are very much to be noted; for they rightly make plain both the difference between the Catholic Faith and any particular sect whatever, and the reason proposed. The same reason is contained in almost the same words in Augustine’s Contra Crescon., IV.60, where he refers to CyprianÕs book De Unitate Eccles., saying that the Church extends its branches through the whole world. But about heresies Cyprian adds: “ÒWe did not leave them, but they left us; and when heresies and schisms have afterward been born, while they are establishing diverse conventicles for themselves, they have left the head and origin of truth.” Hence he rightly collects that they cannot be assembled in the name of Christ, or come together in universal fraternity.
spacer 21. Hence too arises a second reason, which in the same place Cyprian touches on, saying: “Heresies are made, and come to be, when a perverse mind does not keep peace, when a discordant faithlessness does not keep unity.” For hence it happens that those who abandon concord with the Church are not in concord with themselves; which also, as I said above, proceeds from defect of foundation, because, since they do not in their believing rely on the rule handed down by God, but on their judgment and opinion, they must, if they endure a little while or are multiplied, split up at once into various sects; “since the visions of their heart frustrate them,” as the same Cyprian said in the same place; and therefore they do not persevere nor are extended with that unanimity which the Catholic Faith requires. Which is very well declared by Augustine, De Pastoribus, ch. 8, where he adapts to heretics the words of Ezekiel, 34:6: “My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth;” and he adds: “Not, all the heretics upon all the face of the earth; but yet there are heretics upon all the face of the earth, some here, some there, yet nowhere are they lacking. They do not know themselves. One sect in Africa, one heresy in the East, one in Egypt, one in Mesopotamia, for example. In diverse places they are diverse, but one mother, pride, has given birth to them all, just as one mother, our Catholic mother, has given birth to all the faithful Christians diffused in the whole globe. No wonder, then, if pride bring forth dissension, charity union.” Hence the same Augustine, epist.48, adapts to heresy also that verse of Song of Songs 1:8: “If thou know notÉgo thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock[s], and feed thy kids,” and he thus expounds: “If you do not know yourself, go you out; I do not eject you, but go out, so that it may be said of you: they went out from us but they were not of us; go you out by the footsteps of the flocks, and not of one flock, but of diverse flocks, and wandering flocks. And feed thy kids, not as Peter does, to whom it was said, ‘Feed my sheep,’ but ‘feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents,’ not in the tent of the shepherd, where there is one flock and one shepherd.”
spacer 22. We can add next a third reason, that in the sect of heretics there is not found a spirit of propagation, so to say, of the faith, without which the Catholic Faith itself would never have grown nor have been diffused through the whole world, “because faith is from hearing, but hearing through the word of Christ” [Romans 10:17]. And therefore in the Church of Christ, so that it might be Catholic, there was necessary first a universal power of preaching the Gospel through the whole globe, which Christ gave to it together with the precept to preach his faith in the whole world, Matthew 28, Mark 16, Acts 1. And in this way does Paul assert, Galatians 1, that the Gospel of the uncircumcision had been entrusted to him as of the circumcision to Peter, and 2 Corinthians 5:19 - 20: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himselfÉand hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us.” There was necessary next a spirit of propagating the faith conformed to this power, both for effectiveness of preaching, and for conceiving an affection and care for drawing men to Christ, and therefore the Lord himself commanded the apostles to stay in the city until they should be endued with virtue from on high, Luke 24, Acts 1. Which spirit Paul shows very much in his epistles, and he describes his various gifts given for this goal of the Church, Ephesians 4, and 1 Corinthians 12.
spacer 23. Now, that the heretics do not have this spirit can be made plain in this way. Because two things chiefly pertain to this propagation of the Church. One is to convert to Christ the heathen who do not in any way believe in him; the other is to call those who err in the profession of the faith of Christ, and have gone out from his Church, back to him and to illuminate them in the true faith. But neither of these duties have any heretics anywhere exercised, not even the Protestant Anglicans, however much they boast of it and contend for it. For, as to the first, never have heretics been seen preaching the faith to new nations, or converting the heathen to the faith. The witness is Tertullian, De Preascrip. I.42, saying: “About the administration of the word, what should I say? Since their business is not to convert the heathen but to overturn our own.” And the reason is that in them there is not the true word of God, and therefore neither can they have the efficacy of the word. Again, they are not led by the spirit of Christ, but by their own, and so “they rather cause the ruin of standing buildings than the building of fallen ruins,” as Tertullian said in the same place. Finally, since they are outside the Church, they cannot have the power of preaching the faith of Christ, because this power, as I said, was given to the Church in the apostles, and it has remained in their successors, and from them should preachers of the true Gospel be sent, according to that verse, Romans 10:15: “How shall they preach, except they be sent?” And thus is it observed in the ecclesiastical histories that the Church has not been diffused among the nations except by Catholic preachers sent by the apostles or by the Apostolic See, which also about the English themselves was shown above.
spacer 24. But besides this care of propagating the faith among the heathen, there is necessary in the Catholic Church a care for preserving it and of bringing back to it all who, while not altogether denying Christ, deviate from the Church. For this is very much necessary for its pastoral care and universal propagation. Hence Augustine, in the said ch. 8, De Pastorib., says: “Our Catholic mother, and the pastor within her, everywhere seeks the erring, comforts the infirm, cures the weak, binds up the broken, some broken by these (namely by these heretics), some by those, who do not have knowledge of each other.” But how could this care be found in an heretical sect? For since it has spread by defection from the true faith and stamped thereon with its foot, how could it bring other wanderers back to the way of salvation? You will say, it will at any rate have care to snatch other believers in Christ into its own opinion, and in this way at least it could grow. I reply, even if this should happen, God permitting it because of menÕs sins, yet in no way thence could it be prejudicial to the splendor and extent of the Catholic Church, because the gates of hell will not prevail against it, as I have already declared. I add that, considering the nature and condition of heresy, morally it cannot be nor can it ordinarily be feared; both because, since heresy is repugnant to God and the truth and is a merely human business, it cannot prevail against the light of the Church wholly and for very long; and because, as I said, the heretics themselves disagree easily with each other, and so they lose their force when spreading the same sect over various regions; and because, for the most part, they do not fall into a sect of this sort unless led by a spirit of pride, or ambition, or liberty; and, therefore, they care for the propagation of their sect no more than is of service to this end or to some human contention.
spacer 25. Of which thing the reader will not make a light conjecture if he reread the words of the King of England at the end of his Preface, where, speaking generally to Christian princes, he shows himself solicitous of propagating the faith, and prays “That God instill into himself and into other princes a mind of seriously thinking what they are held to supply for the planting and propagation of the Gospel.” Whereby he tacitly tries to persuade temporal princes to arrogate to themselves and to usurp the pastoral office that was, as we saw, committed to the apostles alone and to their successors; but at once he shows by what spirit he is being carried when he says: “Next, so that we may maturely and prudently consult for the security of our scepters, and not suffer the Babylonian monarch to snake about more widely.” And other things there are which he purses and which I now omit, because they are to be treated of in the third book. But, through the ones I have indicated, he makes sufficiently plain that his only study is “to conjoin spiritual liberty with temporal, and to obtain temporal quiet and security” in his own schism, for these more or less are his words. From everything that has been said, then, the conclusion is sufficiently drawn that nothing Catholic or nothing universal is discovered in the Anglican sect.



1. The faith is said to be Apostolic from the Apostles. spacer2 - 3. What is required for a doctrine to be called Apostolic. spacer4 - 5. The best rule for recognizing the Faith. spacer6. From the aforesaid conditions it is gathered that the Anglican faith is not Apostolic. spacer7 - 8. The things that the Anglican sect has in common with the Roman Church pertain to the Apostolic Faith.spacer 9. The doctrine of the Creeds, as far as the king interprets it, cannot contain the certitude of the Apostolic Faith.spacer 10. The same is proved by examples.spacer 11. Apostolic writings without the Apostolic sense do not suffice for faith.spacer 12 - 14. The Anglican sect according to its own dogmas seems repugnant to theApostolic Faith. spacer15. The response of the king is attacked from his deeds.

T is a thing tried among all those who treat of sacred doctrine that that is the true and Catholic Faith, namely doctrine to be believed by faith, which the apostles handed down; and that is why it is called the Apostolic Faith, just as the Universal Church is also called Apostolic in the Nicene Creed. For this cause, therefore, the king of England profess that he is not only defender of the Catholic but also of the Apostolic Faith, and as a consequence he wants the Anglican sect, which alone he really guards, to be the Apostolic faith.  But although from his words one can easily be understand that a sect which is not Catholic cannot be Apostolic, and that what is new and recent is cannot arrogate to itself the antiquity of Apostolic doctrine, nevertheless, so as more openly and distinctly to demonstrate the thing, and make satisfaction to everything that could arise, it has seemed worthwhile to refute specifically this attribute too of the royal title.
spacer 2. But first of all must be laid down that two things are necessary for faith or doctrine to be Apostolic; one is that it have taken its origin in some way from the preaching of the apostles and from their words or writings; the other is that it have come to us through legitimate tradition or succession. The first is indicated by Paul, Ephesians 2:19 - 20, when he says: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.” Which Augustine touches on, and about these foundations he understands that verse of Psalm 86 [87]:1: “His foundation is in the holy mountains,” and he asks: “Why the foundations of the apostles and prophets?”He replies: ’Because their authority carries our infirmity,” that is, because on the prediction of the prophets and the preaching of the apostles we in believing most closely rely. For the apostles preached what the prophets predicted; and, says Ambrose on Ephesians 2, “the prophets disposed the foundations, the apostles laid them,” which foundations are nothing but the dogmas and doctrine by them predicted. Hence very gravely does Irenaeus say, III.1: “We do not recognize the disposition of our salvation through others than through them through whom the Gospel came to us; which indeed they then preached, but which afterwards, by the will of God, they handed on to us in the Scriptures, the future ground and pillar of our faith.” The reason is that a faith or doctrine is not denominated Apostolic except because it was handed down by the apostles, in the way in which a doctrine or law is wont to be denominated from its author; with this difference observed, however, that other human doctrines are wont to take their own fitting names for themselves from men as from the principal authors, but the faith did not thus receive its name from the apostles; but just as the Old Law is said to be Mosaic from Moses, not as author, but as promulgator, so the Christian faith is said to be Apostolic from the apostles, not as authors, and as it first preachers and promulgators. And therefore, after Paul said in the cited place, “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,” he added, vv. 20 - 21: “Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” For he himself is the principal foundation, and basis of all foundations which are built on him, and we ought to look unto him as “the author and finisher of our faith,” Hebrews 12:2.
spacer 3. The second thing, which I proposed about legitimate succession, is very frequent in the Fathers, whom in great part I referred to in chapters 3 and 6; but it is especially made plain by Irenaeus, III.3, when he says: “To examine the tradition of the apostles is present to hand in every Church, whoever wishes to hear the truth, and we are able to count those who by the apostles were instituted bishops in the churches, and their successors up to ourselves.” And IV.43: “One ought to obey the priests who are in the church, those who have succession from the apostles, who together with the succession of the episcopacy have received the sure charism of the truth according to the pleasure of the Father.”Ó The same condition for discerning Apostolic from foreign doctrine is extensively handed on by Tertullian, De Praescriptionibus, where, among other things, he has these, that all Apostolic churches exhibit some Apostle constituted bishop there, or an Apostolic man ordained there by one of the apostles, from succession of which Apostolic seed he has the transplanted shoots. But he calls Apostolic men those who conversed with the very apostles, and received doctrine from them and ordination and power, as Titus, Polycarp, Clement, and the like. But since many churches were instituted after those ancient times, he adds about these: “however, they conspire in the same faith and are deputed, for consanguinity of doctrine, no less Apostolic.” They conspire, then, in the same doctrine also by legitimate succession, because, although such churches were taught neither by the apostles, nor by Apostolic men, that is, men sent or ordained immediately by the apostles, they did at least have a beginning through someone sent by another who had power, to whom came, along with it, the doctrine of the apostles, as the English church began through men sent by Gregory, the German by bishop Boniface sent by Gregory II, and thus about others. For those who do not enter through this door are without doubt thieves and robbers. “To whom (as Tertullian elegantly says) blue it is deservedly said: Who are you? When and whence did you come? What are you doing in me who are not mine? (he speaks in the name of the Church). Mine is the possession, I have firm origins from the apostles themselves, whose the thing was, I am heir to the apostles; as they stipulated in their testament, as they committed to faith, as they swore on oath, so I hold.”
spacer 4. The same foundation is used by other Fathers for the same end of separating true doctrine from false errors, as Vincent of Lerins does extensively in his book against the profane novelties of heretics, and Optatus uses it in Book II of Contra Parmenian, and Jerome, Contra Luciferianos, at the end, where he says one must adhere to that Church “which, founded by the Apostles, endures to this day,” and he indicates the same in epist.65 to Pammachius and Oceanus, where he urges even the new comers of our time, as also the old ones of his age, with this question: “Why do you bring forward what Peter and Paul refused to present?” Again Ambrose, on 1 Corinthians 4, at the beginning, says that someone is known to be a false prophet when he hands on something that is discordant with Apostolic tradition. Thus too did Augustine speak of the Church, De Symbolo ad Catechumen., I.6: “All heresies have come from it as useless twigs from a pruned vine, but it itself remains in its root, in its vine,” that is, in the same origin that it had from the beginning. But as to how it remains in that root, the same Augustine makes plain, Contra FaustumXXVIII.2, when he says: “Brought down by certain succession from the sees of the apostles up to the present bishops;” and later he adds that that Gospel is to be believed which from the time of the Apostles “with an uninterrupted series of times the Church by sure succession of connection has brought down to our times.” He has like things at Contra Adversarium Legis, et Prophetarum, I.20, and De Utilitate Credendi, ch. 17. Lastly a very good rule is handed on by Origen in the Preface to his book, Peri Archon: “Since there are many who suppose themselves to think what is Christ’s, and some of them think things diverse from prior ones, let the ecclesiastical preaching be preserved that is handed on by order of succession from the apostles and remains in the churches up to the present; that truth alone is to be believed which is discordant in nothing with ecclesiastical tradition.”
spacer 5. Again we can by reason easily make this plain, because the Apostolic faith is that only which was preached or written by the apostles; but we did not hear the apostles preaching nor see them writing; therefore we cannot know for certain that any doctrine was preached or written by the apostles except by the hands and mouths of those who either heard or saw them, or who received the same doctrine, through more or fewer successions according to the antiquity of times, from those who heard the apostles; therefore, so as to make it certainly clear that such doctrine endures altogether pure and the same, it is necessary that that succession be continuous and uninterrupted. Nay, as I said above in chapter 6, the singular protection of God is necessary in order that, in so long a repeated succession of times and generations, the doctrine may be kept intact and unfailing and with the highest authority; but this divine protection was not promised except to the Church which, through legitimate succession of Pontiffs and the faithful, has always remained the same; therefore without such a series and succession no faith could be judged Apostolic.
spacer 6. From this necessary foundation, then, we conclude thus: that faith now is to be deemed Apostolic which, having been preached by the apostles, has been derived through legitimate succession down to us; but the Anglican sect was neither preached by the apostles nor has from their doctrine or tradition been legitimately derived; therefore it is not the Apostolic faith. About the first proposition enough has been said; the second remains to be declared and proved, for the King of England will strongly deny it. Since for this cause, perhaps, in his Preface pp. 42 - 44, in order to show himself Catholico-christian (as he himself says), he professes to believe, admit, or venerate the Scriptures as to the books of first order, the three symbols of the faith, and first four General Councils, thinking that the Apostolic faith is sufficiently contained in these sources. But what he says about himself, we think is said about the whole Anglican sect or congregation, which recognizes the primacy of the king himself. Thus therefore he will reply, to the reason given by us, that the Apostolic doctrine has, through the said books of Scripture, the Creeds, and the Councils, sufficiently come down to him and his, and that there can be no more certain or more legitimate way of receiving the Apostolic faith by, as it were, hereditary succession than through the Scriptures, Creeds, and the said Councils, and that every other doctrine, which is not contained in these, he holds suspect and refutes as if recent, or at any rate he does not accept it in the canon of the faith.
spacer 7. But this halved confession of faith does not undo the force of the reason given, as now briefly in general, but more extensively in Book II in particular, I will show. Therefore in the Anglican sect, or (which we repute now to be the same) in this profession of the king, a distinction must be made between what it has in common with the Catholic and Roman Faith and what is proper to it or diverse. For England retains many things from what it before believed as Catholic, and these we must say it has in common with the Apostolic faith; but there are others wherein it has defected from the Roman Church, which we call proper to it. As to what concerns the former, then, we concede that that part pertains to the Apostolic faith, but that yet, not from the Anglican congregation, or credulity, but from the Roman Church has it testimony for this antiquity. For whence did England have those books which prevail in authority with the king save from the Roman Church? Or how could they obtain that degree of authority unless they had through legitimate tradition reached the Catholic Church and had been approved by the same? What am I to say about the true and sure sense of such books? Certainly only from the same origin, tradition, and approval could it be clear what was the mind and opinion of the apostles in such writings; never could the Apostolic faith be dug out with certainty, much less proved, from the same books, because the doctrine does not consist in the words or the books but in the meaning, as in a similar case I demonstrated above from Jerome. Which point is to be understood not only about the books of Scripture, but also about the Creeds and Councils, since the same reason holds of them all, as appears manifest of itself.
spacer 8. Wherefore, although the doctrine of such books, considered in itself, is the Catholic Faith, or rather part of it, as I will now say, nevertheless, as it is retained by the sectaries, it is either not Apostolic or cannot be believed with certainly to be such. The first indeed, because the sectaries cannot be certain that those books of Scripture, which they admit, are Apostolic, since it is by their own decision that they admit some, and deny others, and admit some as to some of their parts and not as to others. For, by this liberty of discriminating between the books of Scripture, their whole doctrine, as far as they are concerned, is rendered uncertain and as if human, because it could only be believed by human opinion or faith and not by divine. Which reason could also be applied to the Councils, because by no certain authority or reason do they admit some of them, reject others, although these have the same weight of authority, or in them is seen the gravity of the judges, or the assistance of the Holy Spirit. Besides, too, there is another reason both about the Creeds and about the Councils; for the doctrine in them is not admitted by these sectaries for the reason that there it is handed down or defined, but that it is in their judgment contained in Scripture, and in this way the Creeds or Councils are not for them a foundation for certitude that the doctrine is Apostolic, but only their own judgment is, as I deduced extensively in chapters 6 and 7. Thence is taken a second general reason, because doctrine does not consist in the letter but in the sense; thus, for a doctrine to be Apostolic, there is need that not only the books but that their sense have an origin and certain descent from the apostles themselves; but for the sectaries the sense does not have this, because they are led by their own decision, or the private spirit that they invent; therefore, either their doctrine is, even in the thing itself, not Apostolic, because they err in the sense of Scripture; or, although by chance it happen that it is in itself Apostolic, it does not with them have that sort of certitude, because they measure it by the same measure.
spacer 9. Wherefore it helps not that King James, on page 42, says that he “interprets the three Creeds in that sense which the Fathers wanted for them and the Councils by which they were made and described.“ For I ask, whence does he know this will of the Fathers and the Councils? He will say, perhaps, that he knows it from their words. But what if the words have from varying signification or the interpretation of men various senses? Whence does he discern that the will of the Fathers and Councils was that this sense was in those words and not another? He will say, I believe, that “by his own certain knowledge” he knows it and believes it. For since he says that about the Scriptures, he will more easily affirm it about the Creeds and the Councils. But that certain science is altogether null, as I showed in chapter 7 from the Scriptures, the Fathers, and manifest reason; therefore the king cannot prove to us that he is interpreting the Creeds in the sense which the Fathers wanted for them, but by chance will it happen that sometimes it is so, and often it will not be so, and therefore such a doctrine thus believed cannot have the certitude of Apostolic doctrine.
spacer 10. We may prove this further by examples. One of the articles of the Apostles’ Creed is “He descended into hell,” which words are not further explained by Athanasius. But the Church, taught by the Fathers, understands those words properly of a true, and real, and local descent of Christ, in his soul separated from the body, to the subterranean places of hell. But Calvin and others understand it of the pains of hell, which they imagine that Christ suffered in the garden and on the cross. If the king, therefore, believes those words of he Creed accepted in this second sense (which we presume of the king, since he professes the sect of Calvin), let him show to us who revealed to him that that sense was intended by the apostles, especially since it is outside the proper and ordinary signification of the words, and is against the understanding of all the old Fathers when in any way interpreting the Scriptures about that article, as has been shown by us elsewhere; therefore he does not in this retain the Apostolic doctrine, however much he  may boast that he accepts the Creeds. And the same argument can be made in other articles of the Creed, as in that wherein we confess that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, or that he will come to judge the living and the dead by their deeds, as we confess in the Creed of Athanasius, or wherein we profess one Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the remission of sins. For all these things are understood in far different sense by the Protestants than was handed down by the apostles or Councils, as could easily be shown if the brevity of this work would permit. Therefore in vain does the king, who protects Protestants, say that he interprets the creeds in the sense which the authors wanted; for he cannot show from them a sense of this sort, and therefore that doctrine cannot be shown to be Apostolic, and consequently, as concerns him and his followers, there is nothing in the Creeds that could with certainly be reputed Apostolic doctrine.
spacer 11. We conclude then that it is not enough to retain the Apostolic words or writings, unless “they also be understood Apostolically,” as Gregory Nazianzen says, orat. 52, elsewhere epist. 2 to Cledonius. But what it is to be understood Apostolically or not Apostolically he makes plain when he says: “Because the same words, if rightly understood, are conjoined with piety; if badly expounded, do not lack impiety.” And before he had said it is the practice of heretics “that when they see themselves refuted and overwhelmed by the common opinions that the Scriptures exhibit, they confess indeed the pious words and build around them a lying sense.” But he signifies that an indication of non-Apostolic understanding of this sort is novelty contrary to the ancient tradition of the Church, saying: “O huge absurdity! They announce to us a wisdom hidden since Christ; a thing that is surely worthy of tears. For if the faith had its beginning no more than thirty years ago, although almost four hundred years have already flowed by from when Christ was manifested, vain to be sure was the Gospel for so long time, vain also our faith, in vain did the martyrs perform their martyrdoms and in vain did such and so many priests have charge of the people.” Therefore to the Apostolic doctrine must be joined the Apostolic sense; but the sense will be Apostolic if it has taken its origin from the apostles, which the perpetual agreement and preaching of the Church makes manifest. Since, therefore, the King of England, although he receive the Apostles’ Creed and the rest, yet does not retain unfailing their Apostolic sense, he cannot be said, even as to this part, to profess the Apostolic faith.
spacer 12. I come to the second part of the aforesaid doctrine proper to the Protestants, and to almost all the sectaries of this time, which the king too along with them accepts and prefers to the faith of the Roman Church. About this part, then, we can show in two ways that it is not Apostolic. First in general from the principles hitherto discussed; for all the things that are proper to that sect are contrary to the ancient faith of the Universal Church, because they were introduced through defection from it, as was shown in chapters 2 and 3; therefore they cannot be from Apostolic doctrine, but from the empty novelty of men thought up in their own brain. The consequence is proved from the foundation posited, that the beginning of Apostolic doctrine is to be traced back through a sure series to the times of the apostles and their preaching; therefore those dogmas, which began a few years ago, and whose beginning is known to have been by defection from the ancient faith, cannot be Apostolic doctrine or faith. For this argument is implicitly used by Gregory Nazianzen in the place just cited, and the same is used by Athanasius in Theodoret, Histor. IV.3, when he says to the emperor Jovinian about faith in the divinity of the Divine Word: “May you know for certain, Augustus, that this same thing has from all memory of the ages been preached.” This rule is also used by the emperor Theodosius in Sozomen, , Histor. VII.12, for getting rid of the insurgent heretics, namely, by making examination of doctrine through that which holy and Apostolic men always handed on, so that what was in agreement with it was received as Apostolic, but what in disagreement was repulsed; and other Fathers frequently use the same rule of antiquity, and it is greatly commended by Vincent of Lerins in his golden book against profane novelties of words.
spacer 13. A second way of showing that the Anglican sect, as to the things that are proper to it, or in which it adheres to Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, or other Protestants, is not the Apostolic faith, can be by descending to individual dogmas, and showing their novelty and degree of error. But because we are not taking up the province of disputing about all the dogmas which have in these times been brought into controversy by the heretics, and because it would be overly long and laborious, we will not at present pursue this mode of proof. But we will in the following book not omit to weigh individual points foreign to the Roman Faith which King James touches on in his own confession of faith, and we will reply to him with the utmost brevity according to opportunity of space.
spacer 14. We think it now enough, for the sake of example, to propose the article about the primacy, which seems to be most proper to the Anglican sect. For the Anglican sect proposes this article to its sectaries for belief, namely, that the temporal king is in his kingdom the supreme head in spiritual matters, whom all bishops and priests, or (as the sectaries say) ministers, are held to obey. We ask, therefore, which of the apostles taught this, or left it written in the Church of Christ, or how could a dogma be derived from the apostles which before Henry VIII was not heard in the Church of Christ? But that this be so, we do prove now in no other way than that we never read in the Gospel that the Church was committed to kings, but to Peter, the apostles, and bishops, Matthew 16, 18, 28, John 21, Acts 20; nor do we read in the Apostolic letters that the faithful were commanded to give obedience to kings in things that pertain to the salvation of the soul, but to overseers who will give account of the souls committed to them, Hebrews 13; nor do we read in the histories that any Christian and Catholic king arrogated such power to himself or exercised it in the Church. All which things we will expressly deal with in book 3, and therefore it suffices now to have insinuated them, so that we may therefrom conclude that the sect which took its beginning from this dogma and is in some way founded on it (for on its account chiefly has it separated itself from the Roman Church), can in no way be reputed the Apostolic faith.
spacer 15. Perhaps the king may say that the article is not counted by himself, or by his ministers, among those that are to be held by Catholic Faith. For he seems to have used this correction on page 62 of his Preface, when he said: “But I frankly pledge that as often as any chapter of the religion which I profess is shown not to be ancient, Catholic, and Apostolic but new and recent (in things, that is, that have regard to faith), I will at once depart therefrom.” However, if under that limitation or correction he comprehends his own article about the primacy, and does not number it among the things that have regard to the faith, certainly he is very unjustly compelling his subjects to acknowledge such power of dignity in himself. For how could they justly be compelled if they themselves are not held in conscience to acknowledge such dignity in a temporal king? Or how can they be held to acknowledge it if they are not held to believe it? Or by what right can they be held to believe that article if it is not to be believed according to the Catholic Faith? A reply could be that it is to be believed by political faith, so to say, or royal faith, that is, founded in the authority, precept, of testimony of the king or his council. But this is very absurd, and alien to all reason even human, because the dignity and power of governing the Church in spiritual things is not a thing found out by human reason, but ought to be given by Christ, according to that verse of Paul, 2 Corinthians 10:8: “For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction;” and therefore Christ himself said, Luke 10:16: “He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me;” therefore as to that dignity and power which is in the king, it cannot stand by mere natural reason, nor could the king, if it has not been given to him, by his own will usurp it. Therefore, if this has not been revealed, as it in fact has not been, and therefore the English are not held to believe this article by faith (as is supposed in the said response), then certainly there is no human authority which could justly compel them to believe it, since it is about a thing which surpasses human power and knowledge, which is not had through revelation – to omit the fact that it is contrary to the things that have been revealed, as I will afterwards show. Therefore if the king wishes to speak consistently with the things he is doing, he must place among the articles of his faith this one about his primacy, and so, from that alone, we conclude that his faith is not Apostolic.



1. An objection of the heretics. What is rejected by the King of England as new.spacer 2. The king tries to preclude the way to a Catholic response. spacer3. The Roman Church can receive no dogma contrary to the apostles; but the Anglican sect receives many that are contrary to them. spacer4. The Church can propose some things distinctly to be believed that were not thus believed before.spacer 5. What novelty is repugnant to antiquity of faith. spacer6. The first way of declaring dogmas of the faith. spacer7. Second way.spacer 8. In things pertaining to morals, not only addition but also change can be made. spacer9. Through additions made by the Church the apostolic doctrine is not changed but made more plain. spacer10. Satisfaction is made to the examples given at the beginning.

GAINST the discussion of the previous chapter the adversaries could object to us that the Roman Pontiffs too propose many things to be believed de fide that neither were preached by the apostles nor are so ancient that they could be derived through a continued series from the apostles; therefore the Roman Faith too cannot be, or be called, Catholic. This inference has a foundation in the things which we have just brought forward against the adversaries. For, so that a doctrine may be apostolic, it is not enough that some part of it was preached by or derived from the apostles, for even the Anglican sect has this, nay and any heretical sect, which always mixes true with false. If therefore the Roman Church too has new things mixed with old, its doctrine cannot be judged simply apostolic, especially as regards things wherein it is at variance with other sects of men professing Christ, because in these dogmas too it is new just as are the other sects introduced under the name of Christ. The assumed proposition can be proved, to begin with, by the examples which the king in his Preface relates and calls novel and recent, as the invocation of the Blessed Virgin and other saints, and the cult of relics, and the veneration and adoration of images, and other things that we will run through later.
spacer 2. Nor will we satisfy him by saying that these cannot be called new since they may be shown to have been observed by the Church a thousand and more years ago; for he himself recognizes only as sufficiently ancient what “the whole Catholic Church already thence from the times of the apostles without intermission for many centuries afterwards constantly taught and believed,“ as he says on page 72 and as he confirms with the testimony of Vincent of Lerins. And dogmas that may be found of this sort (so as to show himself a follower of apostolic doctrine) he confirms that he will never refuse, although he wishes this too to be understood of a dogma of the faith not simply but with a limitation, “as far as it be necessary for salvation.” Next we can add examples of certain things which the Roman Church now believes de fide, which are confessedly held not to have been taught by the apostles, as that the Blessed Virgin never committed venial sin, that the Books of Maccabees are canonical, and such like, which for the sake of brevity I set aside.
spacer 3. To this objection we say, in the first place, that it is one thing to believe something repugnant to the dogmas and doctrines preached by the apostles, but another thing to believe something by way of addition to doctrine preached by the apostles that may not have been by them expressly declared, or that at any rate may not be clear that it was. The first kind of credulity or doctrine is repugnant to apostolic doctrine, because this doctrine is altogether immutable, as God and his word are immutable, as Paul signified, Galatians 1:8 by the exaggeration: “Though an angel from heaven,” and therefore he said, 2:18: “If I should build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor;” and 2 Corinthians 1:18 - 19: “But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay — but in him was yea.” And so it is an evident sign of non-apostolic but rather apostate doctrine to hand on even the least thing contrary to the words or writings of the apostles; for that is sufficient, not only for showing the falsity of such dogma, but also for overturning the faith of such doctrine as regard certainty, as I have already explained. But in the doctrine of the Roman Church no dogma of this sort is or can be found, according to the promises of Christ treated above, and we will easily show it by responding later to all the examples which the king adduces. However, in the sect of the King of England are numbered many things which are plainly repugnant to the doctrine of the apostles, even doctrine written down by them, as is: to deny the unwritten traditions, to resist in dogmas the Universal Church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth. Again: to deny every rule of faith besides private spirit, or at any rate so to establish it that everything is necessarily called into doubt; again: to preach that a temporal king is free and permitted not to obey any bishop or pastor of the Church, even the supreme one, and other like things that are connected with these, to pass over other more special ones that are born from these general ones, as: to deny the truth of the body and blood of the Lord in the Eucharist, and the other things that we will afterwards treat of.
spacer 4. But truly it is not repugnant to apostolic doctrine that, according to passage of time, some things which were preached before may be more distinctly and expressly handed on; yea rather, in this way can some things be added for belief in one time that were before not expressly and, so to say, formally preached, provided they are not repugnant to more ancient ones and are proposed by legitimate power, that is, are defined by the Church. The objection made proves this, as well as the custom of the Catholic Church, which has arisen by a certain necessity of the human condition and has so manifest and cogent a reason that it is not likely God left his Church without this sort of power, or without sufficient providence and help for using it without danger of departing from apostolic doctrine. The proof and declaration is that the custom of the Holy Spirit was always not to teach the Church at once about everything that pertains to supernatural doctrine, but by the opportunity of times according to his most hidden providence. One may see this in ancient times; for, to pass over the times of natural law, in the Synagogue itself sacred doctrine grew in the course of time, as God at various times sent prophets. Next, because, notwithstanding Scripture, doubtful or ambiguous things could sometimes arise, God established a priestly place and tribunal through which that people could be more and more illumined in things. Besides too, in the primitive Church itself the Holy Spirit did not teach the apostles everything at the same time, but about the calling of the gentiles Peter was instructed afterwards, Acts 10, and about the cessation of the legal prescriptions the Church was in the apostolic Council made more certain than it was before. Thus, therefore, after the times of the apostles the Church could be illumined in many things that could in a later time be necessary but not before, either because of doubts newly arisen, especially when heretics rose up or other rash men perversely expounding obscure things of the faith, or also because this is the natural condition of man, that he should advance in knowledge little by little, which even God wished to be observed in his Church, according to that verse of Proverbs 4:18: “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
spacer 5. Therefore Paul too, 1 Timothy 6:20, said that not only novelties but “profane and vain babblings” should be avoided, because, as St. Thomas there notes, not all novelty is to reprehended, since the Lord said, John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you,” but profane novelty, that is, contrary to divine and sacred things. Which was the opinion of Augustine before in tract. 97 on John, near the end, and almost the same is contained in Vincent of Lerins, ch. 37, when he says: “What is meant by ‘profane things?’ Things that have nothing of the sacred, nothing of the religious, that have things altogether estranged from the inner chambers of the Church, which is the temple of God. Profane babblings, he says, that is, novelties of dogmas, things, opinions, which are contrary to age, to antiquity.” Wherefore things that are not contrary, but serve rather for better understanding the things that are ancient, cannot be called profane novelties; nay, nor altogether novelties, because they are contained in the more ancient things, were virtually or, as they say, implicitly believed, and therefore, when they are afterwards more explicitly handed on, they are called not so much new things as old things newly proposed. Which, that it is most useful in the Church and often necessary, is clear of itself, and is very well taught by the same Lerins ch. 27, and Chrysostom, hom. 71, on John, giving exposition that the command of mutual love is called new, although it be ancient, because of the manner.
spacer 6. We can also declare this more fully by distinguishing in the matter of the faith what pertains only to knowledge of the truth, and what has regard to morals and observances and ceremonies, for in both some addition or explication can be made, but not in the same way. For, in things that have regard to knowledge, it happens in two ways. First, by defining no truth newly, but by retaining an ancient truth and, where there is need, newly explaining it, as in the Council of Nicea the divinity of the Word was defined, and in the Council of Ephesus the substantial union of two natures in the person of Christ, and in the Lateran Councils and the Councils of Florence and of Trent the real presence of Christ the Lord in the Eucharist. And sometimes it happens in declarations of mysteries of this sort that new words are thought up by the Church, by which the truth defined is more explained and the calumnies and tergiversations of heretics avoided and uncovered; and there is in these words not profane novelty, but prudent and faithful necessity. So the word homoousion, or “consubstantial,” which the Arians, because it uncovered their errors, were reprehending as new, was always approved by the Fathers defenders of the faith, as is plain from Ambrose, Book I, and Book III De Fide, last chapter, and from Athanasius often in his orations against the Arians, and from Augustine, tract. 97, on John, where he says: “The Fathers constructed against the impiety of the Arians the new word homoousion, but they did not signify a new thing by such a name, for that is called homoousion which is ‘I and the Father are one,’ namely of one and the same substance.” Similarly, because of Nestorius, who denied that the Virgin was Mother of God, the Council of Ephesus decreed that she should be called Theotokos, in Latin Deipara (“God-bearerÕ); speaking of which word Cyril, epist. 1 to Presbyter. &c., says: “I marvel if there are any who doubt whether the Blessed Virgin is or is not called God-bearer anywhere; for if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how is the Virgin, who bore him, not God-bearer? This faith the divine disciples handed on to us, and although they made no mention of this word, we are taught by the holy Fathers that so they thought.” And the same holds, proportionally, about the word ‘transubstantiation’ for explaining the sacrosanct mystery of the Eucharist. And the same of like words, about which Augustine said generally in the said tract. 97, that “there are some novelties of words that are fitting to the doctrine of religion.”
spacer 7. In a second way, new explication of the faith can be made through the Church by adding and defining a new proposition or truth to be believed de fide, because this is often necessary when new controversies or heresies arise. An example is found in the truth defined in the sixth synod against the Monothelites about the two natural wills of Christ, which under those terms was not before handed down as de fide. Another and clearer one is about not re-baptizing those rightly baptized by heretics. For this truth before was so doubtful that Cyprian along with many bishops thought the contrary, and nevertheless afterwards, in the Council of Carthage and others, it was defined by the Church, which without doubt sufficed for certitude of faith, as Augustine rightly taught, bk.1, Contra Crescon., ch. 32. But although these seem to be new, nevertheless the doctrine is apostolic, because it is virtually contained in it, and by the apostles themselves was not ignored. For they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, who expounded everything to them, as Epiphanius said, Haeres., 66, and more extensively Tertullian in Praescriptionibus. Which, however, is not to be understood of the day of Pentecost alone, for also afterwards at opportune times they could be more taught or illumined about certain things. Yet it was not possible, or certainly not necessary, that the whole theological doctrine, so to say, which the apostles were taught by the Holy Spirit, they should in the same way hand on to the Church, or teach others, but what was for that time most fitting; and so it was not necessary that all truths or conclusions be distinctly handed on or declared. Or, perhaps, many of the things that pertain to the greater explanation or more subtle knowledge of the articles of faith were taught verbally, which afterwards were called into doubt, either because of some heresy, or sometimes because of ignorance, as is in fact clear from Cyprian’s epistle 74 and others. Which ignorance notwithstanding, the truth about not repeating baptism pertains to apostolic tradition, as Augustine asserted when treating the same place of Cyprian, De Baptismo, V.26.
spacer 8. On the other hand, however, in things that have regard to morals and the practice of the Church, not only is addition but also change easier. Because, as Epiphanius said, Contra Aerium Haeres., 75, near the beginning: “The apostles could not at once establish everything, but the Church received a fullness of dispensation for occasion of places and times; for individual things do not have everything from the beginning, but by progress of time those things required for perfection were supplied.” Which point he pursues at large. The reason too is clear, because things that pertain to external morals, and especially what depends on human institution, are of themselves more subject to variation, and the same things do not agree to all times, and therefore cannot for every time be immutably fixed. Neither too could everything be determined by the apostles, because the Church did not at that time have the same state which it afterwards acquired, or which now it has obtained. Nay, even in their own time not everything was disposed all at once by the apostles; for Paul, 1 Corinthians 11 recalls that he had before handed on to the Corinthians the use of the divine sacrament, and yet afterward there he taught many of the things that were to be watched over in it, and at the end he subjoins, v. 34: “And the rest will I set in order when I come;” and in ch. 14, and often in other epistles he handed on other practical lessons little by little. And, conversely, Acts 15, the apostles handed on some precepts opportune for that time which they knew were not to be kept perpetually in the Church, as about abstaining from things strangled and from blood.
spacer 9. But in all these additions, or changes, it is to be observed that the doctrine is always the same and consonant with apostolic doctrine. For, to begin with, nothing is introduced in this sort of thing which is repugnant to divine positive or natural right, because the Universal Church cannot err in faith or morals, as was shown above. Next, whatever there may be in this class, it is derived from the legitimate power given by Christ to his vicars and to the pastors of the Church for governing it, about which we will speak in Book III. Therefore, although in things that pertain to morals or external cult, there is sometimes variety, there is no reprehensible novelty, nor does it introduce change or variation in the doctrine of the faith, nay nor addition of anything which was not virtually contained in evangelical and apostolic doctrine. Finally, to this whole illustration of the Church can rightly be applied the elegant sentence of Vincent of Lerins, who in ch. 28 thus objects: “Perhaps someone will say: Will there then be no progress of religion in the Church of Christ? Plainly there may be, and a great deal. For who is that man so envious of men or so hating God who would try to prevent it? Yet in such way that it truly be progress, not change, of faith. Accordingly, it pertains to progress that each thing should be increased in itself; but it pertains to change that something is transformed from one thing into another. There must, then, be growth and much and strong progress, by degrees of age and of centuries, in the intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom both of individuals and of all, both of one man and of the whole Church; but only of that kind, namely in the same dogma, the same sense, and the same judgment.”
spacer 10.
From these, then, abundant satisfaction is made to the difficulty posed; and as to the examples which the king objects, we will make response in particular in Book II. Now in general, both to these examples and to those we add, we easily, from what has been said, make reply that they all have a foundation either in Scripture, or in apostolic tradition, or in other principles of faith. And because they were either not sufficiently declared, or obscured by passage of time, or called into doubt, they could be declared by the Church and defined anew; for the Church has power for this, and has at the same time along with it the assistance of the Holy Spirit promised by Christ; and thus always has it been observed in the Church of Christ when necessity required. And therefore the Catholic Church is not in these things to be compared with the synagogues of the heretics, whose novelties are contrary to the ancient dogmas and are therefore profane; but the new definitions of the Church not only do not conflict with the ancient ones but rather are derived from them through legitimate power, and therefore, if new things need to be said, they are not profane but holy; or certainly they are not dogmas simply new but ancient and apostolic, whether they have been declared or defined many years ago or fewer years ago. And it matters little that the King of England requires a certain time of antiquity, and a certain mode of necessity, for believing or not rejecting something. For by this is proved that the Catholic Faith, whose pillar and ground is the Catholic Church, does not confess that in believing it has no certain and universal rule of faith handed on by the apostles, or that therefore it does not profess the apostolic faith or cannot defend it.



1. The words of the king are weighed. spacer2. King James asserts that the Anglican faith has been adorned by the blood of the martyrs. spacer3 - 5. The Anglican sect is shown to be attacked by the blood of the martyrs.spacer6. The ancient martyrs greatly extol the Roman Faith. The evasion of heretics is refuted. spacer7. The martyrs confirm the faith for any time. The assertion is understood also of articles recently declared. spacer8. The martyrs were killed for the defense of articles that England disavows. spacer9. Conclusion against the assertion of the King of England. spacer10. A repugnance in the words of the king is shown.spacer 11. An evasion.spacer 12. It is rejected and the conclusion is drawn that the aforesaid martyrs did not err in any dogma of faith. spacer13 - 14. Cyprian is vindicated from calumny.

HE King of England adds in his title of Defender of the Faith two other prerogatives, or praises of the faith, or rather sect, which he defends. One is that it is the faith of the old and primitive Church, about which nothing further needs to be said because that property, rightly understood, is not other than an attribute of the apostolic faith. For the primitive Church is not other than the true and Catholic Church which exists now, but it is the same according to the state it had at the beginning of its planting, which was the time of the preaching of the apostles; and so, for a faith to be of the primitive Church is nothing other than for it to be the one which the apostles handed on to the Church. But when to this term “faith” in that title there is added “of the old and primitive Church,” the virus of error seems to lurk within the words. For the indication is that the faith of the old and primitive Church has failed in the Universal and visible Church, and that it was restored by the innovators and that, as so innovated, it is defended by the king. For although the words do not themselves manifestly assert this, we can, from other principles and doctrines of the Protestants, be not unjustly afraid that the king puts himself forward as protector in this sense of the faith of the old Church. But, whatever the sense be in which the thing was asserted, it is sufficiently attacked by what has been said. For, in the first place, it was shown that that sect is not, in what it has proper to itself, the apostolic faith; therefore neither can it be the faith of the primitive Church, since that was most of all apostolic. Next, although in things as regard which it agrees with the Roman Faith it retains in some part the faith of the primitive Church, however in many it errs from the true sense of the primitive Church, and the true things it retains it preserves rather by chance and human opinion than by the true spirit of the primitive faith. Therefore, as to this part, we think sufficient what we have said about the attribute of apostolic faith.
spacer 2. As second praise and ultimate prerogative of his faith, the King of England posits that “it is illustrious with the blood of several bishops and faithful martyrs,” which I could even rightly omit, first because this praise is proper to true, Catholic, and apostolic faith, as even the king himself in the words of his title seems to think; since, therefore, it has been demonstrated that that sect is neither the true faith nor apostolic or Catholic, there remains sufficient proof that it is not worthy of such praise. Second too, because the testimony of martyrs does not make faith true, but rather true faith makes the martyrdom true that was undertaken for it; for, as Cyprian elegantly says, epist. 23, “martyrs do not make the Gospel, but through the Gospel true martyrs are made.” And therefore too Augustine says, De Verb. Apost., ser. 14: “Martyrs for this reason, because faithful.” Therefore, the blood of martyrs, although it give glory to the true faith, yet does not of itself show it but supposes it. Yet because, as many relate, the Protestants glory much of the testimony of martyrs, and because from the very words and confession of the king we can take up no light argument to repress that presumption and convict the error, therefore about this point too it has seemed good to subjoin a few things.
spacer 3. But I think it necessary first to ask two questions of the most serene king. One is whether he understands that a part of his faith or the whole of it was made illustrious by the blood of the martyrs; the second is which martyrs he is speaking about, whether about the ancient ones who preceded Calvin, Luther, and other heresiarchs of our times, or also about the new ones who were consumed after the rise of the Anglican schism. For it is very important to discriminate these things accurately, so that one may without ambiguity understand which faith was by which blood rendered truly and not fictively illustrious.
spacer 4. We can, therefore, as I have touched on in the previous chapter, speak of the faith of England as to the part of the ancient faith which it retains and has in common with the Roman Church from which it learnt it, or as to the dogmas wherein change and defection have by the new sectaries been made. Speaking, then, about the first part, or about the ancient faith, and consequently also about the ancient martyrs, it is very true that that faith was made very illustrious by the blood of the holy martyrs. But this in no way helps the Anglican cause; nay it plainly condemns it. Because those martyrs gave testimony, not to the Anglican, but to the Catholic and apostolic Faith, and in this way they made it illustrious with their blood. The witnesses are the most ancient Fathers who very often assert that the Church of Christ was by the persecutions of the tyrants who killed the martyrs made more illustrious, and was not only not diminished but rather miraculously increased, according to the celebrated opinion of Pope Leo, serm.1, In Natali Petri et Pauli, “The Church was not diminished by the persecutions but increased; and always the Lord’s field was clothed with richer grain; when grains which are individual fall, they are born multiplied.”
spacer 5. Nor is the opinion of Augustine dissimilar in his book De Catechizandis Rudibus, ch. 24: “That vine, which through the whole earth, as was prophesied about it and announced before by the Lord himself, was spreading fruitful branches, it sent them forth the more fully the richer the blood of the martyrs by which it was watered, to whom, dying innumerable in all lands for the truth of God, even the persecuting kingdoms themselves yielded, were converted to the acknowledgment and veneration of Christ, their neck of pride broken.” Like things he writes in his Preface to Psalm 40 [41], where he says that the Jews killed Christ in himself but the pagans wanted to kill him in his body; and he subjoins: “The martyrs were killed, the outpoured holy blood prevailed to multiply the Church, Christians were more and more multiplied, and what his enemies said is not fulfilled [v. 5], ‘when shall he die and his name perish?’” And elegantly does Tertullian, in Apologeticum Extremum, say to the tyrants: “Inflict torment, torture, for your iniquity is proof of our innocence. We become more as often as we are by you cut down; the blood of Christians is seed.” And many things are contained in his book Ad Martyres, and Justin Martyr, Contra Tryphonem, and Cyprian, epist.11: “O our blessed Church, which the honor of divine esteem thus illumines, which in our times the glorious blood of the martyrs makes illustrious; before she was white with the works of the brothers, now she is made red with the gore of martyrs.” But these Fathers are speaking, as is clear from their writings, of the Universal or Roman Church, or if sometimes they are speaking about some particular church (as Cyprian about the African), it amounts to the same, because he speaks about it as a part of the Catholic Church and as conjoined through the same faith with the Roman See, as from other writings of his mentioned above is manifest. Since, therefore, it has been shown that the Roman and Catholic Church, which now is, is the same as the one that existed in the time of the apostles and the said doctors, clearly the universal glory of the ancient martyrs redounds to this Universal Church which exists now.
spacer 6. Hence can also further be concluded that the whole faith of this Catholic Church is confirmed and made illustrious by the same blood of the ancient martyrs. The proof is that the faith of the primitive Church, and which existed at the time of Cyprian, Augustine, and other Fathers, endures the same through legitimate succession in the present Catholic Church, as was also demonstrated; therefore the blood of the martyrs, which gave testimony to the ancient faith of the Church, provides the same for the faith of the present Church. Therefore it is the Roman faith which was made illustrious by the blood of the said martyrs. They will say, perhaps, that this is true only as to those dogmas of the faith which were believed at that time in the Church, but not as to other new ones which were afterwards, as the Protestants misrepresent, imported in the Church through men. But this is very easily refuted, because the faith of the Church is always one, nor does it vary because of accidental increase or diminution as to the greater or lesser declaration of things, or as to other circumstances which depend on the succession of times. Which fact is so true that Augustine, tract. 45 on John, said also about the Synagogue and the Church of Christ: “Times have changed, not the faith.” Which he affirms also at De Civitate Dei XVIII.47, and Contra Faustum, XIX.14, and it is taken from that verse of 2 Corinthians 4:13: “Having the same spirit of faith.” By which words (as Chrysostom there notes, hom.9) the Apostle shows that, “the same Spirit is he who exercise his power in both Testaments.” With much greater reason, then, since the Church of Christ is at all times ruled by the same Holy Spirit, it always retains the same faith, even if it is, as regard some things, made more plain by the same Church at one time than at another.
spacer 7. Wherefore the martyrs, who at one time made the Catholic Faith illustrious with their blood, confirmed the whole faith and the faith at any time existing equally, and greatly adorned it, because the things which were made plain in a later time were contained virtually in more ancient times, and all things are so connected with each other that one of them could not be made illustrious or confirmed by the testimony of the martyrs without all of them being equally made illustrious. Just as, contrariwise, one of them cannot be denied without all the rest losing their certitude and therefore being virtually denied. I declare the thing with an example: for many martyrs died for confession of the Trinity in the Church before the Church had declared and defined that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, and nevertheless the faith of this article is not less sealed by the blood of those martyrs than the faith of the rest of the articles which were then expressly confessed. By which reason too, he who dies for the faith expressly confessing one article, if he believes it by Catholic Faith, confesses virtually the whole faith of the Catholic Church, and seals it with his blood. Thus, therefore, by the blood of this sort of true martyr, at whatever time it was shed, the whole Catholic Faith, in whatever state of time it be considered, was made illustrious.
spacer 8. Add that many of the ancient and chief martyrs eloquently handed on the same dogmas, which are now by heretics reprehended in the Church, and afterwards sealed them with their blood. This can be seen, to begin with, in the martyr and Pontiff Ignatius, who in his epistles commends the ecclesiastical hierarchy and the due subjection of the laity to the pastors of the Church, and compares the bishop in his office to a king. For in epist.10 to the Smyrnaeans he puts the bishop before priests and deacons and bids them “honor him after God as the prince of the priests, who carries the image of God because of his principality, and of Christ because of his priesthood;” and similarly he commands the king to honor him, “=because in created things none is like him, nor is anything in the Church greater than the bishop.” And to the Antiochians he says: “Be subject to Caesar in those things where there is no danger to the soul.” To the Philadelphians he says: “One Eucharist is to be used because one is the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one his blood which was shed for us, one altar.” And to the Romans he says: “I want the heavenly bread which is the flesh of Christ the Son of God;” and in his epistle to Hero he bids him keep the traditions of the apostles; and in particular, in his letter to the Philippians, “Lent and the Lord’s Day, &c.” And this faith afterwards he made illustrious by a glorious martyrdom. Who therefore would deny that this holy Pontiff and martyr was a witness of the faith which the Roman Church professes, since there can be no doubt either about his sanctity and doctrine or about his letters, as Jerome testifies De Scriptorib. Ecclesiast., and Eusebius, Histor., III.30? This testimony was also confirmed with his blood by Polycarp, who in his epistle to the Philippians first counsels them to beware of false doctrines, so that “we recur to that which was handed on to us from the beginning.” And afterwards he commends the epistles of Ignatius saying: “From all of them much progress will come to you. For they contain faith, patience, and all edification pertaining to our Lord.” We can also add the glorious Irenaeus, both bishop and martyr, who most openly teaches the primacy and ecclesiastical traditions of the Roman Church, Book III Contra Haereses from the beginning over many chapters, and the truth of the body and blood of the Lord in the Eucharist, IV.34, in which principles the whole Roman Faith is virtually contained; this holy martyr, therefore, also gave testimony to it. In the same way we can adduce Justin professing faith in the truth of the Eucharist, and innumerable Roman Pontiffs who most constantly defended the primacy of their See, and with the same constancy confirmed their whole faith with blood.
spacer 9. From which things we finally conclude on this point that, if the King of England strives to commend his faith from the splendor and clarity that the true Christian faith has from the blood of the ancient martyrs, the blood of the same martyrs, whether he will or no to be convinced, condemns his sect as to all those things wherein it has from the Roman Faith defected. The inference is proved. For it has been proved that by that blood was made illustrious the whole Catholic Faith which today persists in the Roman Church, not only as to the things that Protestants have wished to retain from it, but also as to everything that they have chosen should be abandoned, many things indeed which were already then explicitly believed in the Church, but others which were in these, and in the infallible authority of the Church, at least virtually contained. Hence between this title of the king and his confession of faith I consider there to be a repugnance that he himself perhaps has not noticed; for in the title he confesses that the apostolic and primitive faith was made illustrious by the blood of the martyrs, but afterwards, in the confession of his particular faith, he overturns the ancient faith, because he denies many dogmas of the faith, not only novelties, as he himself says, but ones that are equal or prior in antiquity to the martyrs, and he introduces new ones by which the testimony of the martyrs must necessarily be nullified. For in this way the ancient Fathers used to rise up against the innovators of their own times.
spacer 10. In particular there is Nazianzen, epist. 2 to Cledonius, saying: “O huge absurdity! They announce to us a wisdom hidden since Christ; a thing that is surely worthy of tears. For if the faith had its beginning no more than thirty years ago, although almost four hundred years have already flowed by from when Christ was manifested, vain to be sure was the Gospel for so long time, vain also our faith, in vain did the martyrs perform their martyrdoms and such and so many priests have charge of the people; and their grace is that of verses not of faith.” A like opinion is contained in Tertullian, Praescriptiones, ch. 20, where, as if mocking the same heretics, he infers: “Error will surely reign as long as heresies do not err. The truth was waiting for the Marcionites to be liberated (let us say Calvinists), meanwhile it was being wrongly believed.” And much later: “So many martyrdoms, finally, crowned wrongly.” To this too has regard the opinion of St. Ambrose, bk.3, De Fide, ch. 7, where he says, speaking of the Council of Nicea: “Who of us would dare to reopen the priestly book sealed by the confessors and already consecrated by the martyrdom of many? Those who were compelled to reopen it (that is, in the Council of Rimini), afterwards however, when the fraud was condemned, sealed it; those who did not dare to violate it stood out as confessors and martyrs.” Which very grave opinion we rightly apply to all the legitimate Councils and definitions of the faith approved by the Church, since in them was sealed the priestly book written under the governance of the same Holy Spirit. But our intention is especially confirmed by the word that Ambrose subjoins: “How can we deny the faith of those whose victory we preach?”
spacer 11. Perhaps the adversaries will dare to say that the ancient holy Pontiffs and martyrs did not err in the confession of Christ or of the Trinity or of other mysteries for the defense of which they shed their blood; but that they could have erred and did err in other things wherein they oppose the adversaries’ own opinions, nor is it necessary that they confirmed with their blood whatever they believed but only that for which they did not doubt to meet death. For thus the martyr Cyprian made illustrious the faith of Catholics by his death, although he believed through human ignorance that those baptized by heretics should be re-baptized, since he in no way confirmed this opinion with his blood nor died to defend it.
spacer 12. This evasion, however, contains great impiety and temerity. Because, to begin with, it cannot be thought that Ignatius, Polycarp, and the like very holy martyrs erred in dogmas of the faith through heresy or pertinacity, otherwise they would not have been true martyrs, because there cannot be true martyrdom in heresy, as I will immediately infer below, and so they would not have made the Christian Faith illustrious with their blood. But to think this is very impious and contrary to the perpetual and universal tradition of the Church, and is altogether rashly thought up against all the faith of history and without any foundation. Next, neither can error through ignorance be presumed in these Fathers in dogmas of the faith; for if the ignorance was culpable, it would certainly be repugnant to their sanctity; if invincible, it is so contrary to their wisdom and office that it cannot fall under suspicion. Both because many of them received the doctrine of the faith from the apostles themselves, while others did so from apostolic men and disciples of the apostles. And also because the dogmas, about which we are speaking, were very necessary for the common faith of the Church in which they themselves were very grave pastors and doctors, as about the Eucharist, the traditions, the Church, its spiritual power and infallible faith, and the like. And therefore they were teaching these things not as doubtful but as certain, not in a corner but in sight of the whole Church, not with the contradiction of either other bishops or the Roman Church, but with the common consent of all; therefore without any doubt they taught, not from ignorance or opinion, but from certain faith, and accordingly they comprehended in that faith, for which they died, all those things.
spacer 13. Wherefore the case of Cyprian is far different. For to pass over the fact that Augustine blue sometimes insinuates that he retracted that opinion before his death, the matter did not then pertain to dogmas necessary to the faith, nor was it commonly by the Church received, and the Supreme Pontiffs (though not yet by definition) contradicted it, and therefore neither did Cyprian himself so adhere to it that he reputed it among the dogmas of his faith. Nay, I dare rather say that the contrary dogma, which was afterwards defined by the Church, Cyprian always virtually believed. For though he then thought it by private and human opinion, he believed much more firmly that the Church could not err, and he was ready to relinquish his own opinion if the Church defined the contrary; as is taken from Augustine (De Baptismo I.18) in the aforesaid epistle saying about him: “The unity of the whole earth and of all nations he held with his love and defended with his disputation.” And explaining this more later he says: “Either he did not hold altogether what you recite that he thought, or afterwards he corrected it in the rule of truth, or this mole as it were on his most white heart was covered with the breast of his charity, while the unity of the Church, growing in the whole globe, he most copiously defended, and he most perseveringly held the bond of peace.” As if he were to say that whatever Cyprian thought by private opinion, he was always subject in his mind to the rule of the Church; and in this way we say that he himself simply confirmed with his blood the faith of the Christian Church.
spacer 14. In these things, therefore, which the most ancient Pontiffs and holy doctors handed on as of certain faith to the Church without dissension, nay, with the common acceptance of the Church, there cannot be thought to be ignorance, otherwise the whole of their doctrine would waver, and therefore, when they shed their blood for their faith, they made illustrious by the same blood everything that they taught of this kind, or left written. And for this reason did Vincent of Lerins gravely warn in advance that novelties contrary to such antiquity were to be guarded against, ch. 33: “For if,” he said, “these are received, the faith of the blessed Fathers must either wholly or in great part be violated, all the faithful of all ages, all the saints, all the virgins, all the priests, so many thousands of confessors, so great an army of martyrs, so great a crowd and multitude of peoples, the whole body, lastly, in almost the whole word incorporated through the Catholic Faith already in the head of Christ, must be pronounced to have in so long a tract of centuries been ignorant of, erred about, blasphemed, did not know, what they believed.”



1. The sectaries are not truly martyrs. spacer2. Declaration by reason on the part of the one inflicting death. spacer3. An objection is dissolved. The truth of martyrdom is not diagnosed from death alone. spacer4. On the part of the one accepting death. spacer5. Although heretics suffer for defending some truth of the faith, they are not truly martyrs. spacer6. First reason. spacer7. Second reason. spacer8. A heretic who has died even for confession of Christ does not obtain martyrdom, nor does he make the faith illustrious.spacer 9. Many Catholics of this time are shown to have made the apostolic faith illustrious by martyrdom. spacer10. The martyrdom of Catholics is proved from manner of suffering.

spacerCOME to the second part about the new martyrs, who after the rise of the Anglican schism in the Church endured suffering, so that if perhaps the King of England wishes to speak about these, let us defend the Catholic opinion in this part too. For whom, I ask, does he call martyrs? Those who in his sect or for it were killed? Or those rather who for the faith of the Roman Church were killed by the defenders of that sect? But about these latter he cannot speak, for they made illustrious, not the Anglican sect, but the Roman Faith contrary to it, because they died in execration of that sect. Nay, although they were killed by gentiles or pagans only for Christ and for those articles of faith which England receives, their glory redounds to the Catholic and Roman Church and to its faith in which they died, and consequently they condemn all heretical depravity contrary to it. But if the king speak of sectaries punished for their pertinacity, he undeservedly calls them martyrs; for in fact they are not martyrs, but malefactors justly chastised. First, indeed, because, as Cyprian rightly said, in De Unit. Ecclesiae: “That death is not the crown of faith but the punishment of faithlessness.” Second, because “not the punishment but the cause makes the martyr,” as Gregory reports from Cyprian, bk. II, Reg., epist.36, and as Augustine hands on, serm. 50, De Sanctis, which is the sixth about the martyrs, and more extensively in cont. 2, on Psalm 34 [35], explaining the words, v. 23: “Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord,” Augustine says: “Not unto my punishment but unto my cause, not unto that which the thief has in common with me, but unto that which the blessed do, who suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake; for this cause is distinct, while the punishment is alike for the good and the bad. Therefore not the punishment but the cause makes the martyr.” Those, therefore, who are killed because of heresy or schism are not martyrs, otherwise thieves and malefactors should all be called martyrs, as extensively pursues Augustine in the same place, and in epist. 50, and De Baptism. IV.17, and in other places, which we will at once introduce; but specifically in serm. 2, De Sanct. Vincent., blue he gives a reason: “Because they endure pains with stubbornness, not constancy, with vice, not with virtue, with perverse error, nor with right reason, with the devil holding them not pursuing them.” Which reason is also very well pursued by Chrysostom, orat. 1, Contra Iudaeos.
spacer 2. We can in addition prove with a moral reason that this death, undertaken for false error, is not martyrdom, whether it be considered on the part of the cause, or on the part of those inflicting it, or on the part of those accepting it in defense of error. Not indeed on the part of the cause, as was said, because that death is not for Christ. “But that shed blood alone makes a martyr which is shed for the name of Christ,” said Jerome in epsit. to Philemon, at the beginning, and he declares it more generally on Galatians 5, at the end. Nor on the part either of the one punishing, because he who thus punishes the pertinacious does not do it in hatred of the truth, but in defense of it, and not by unjustly persecuting the person but by justly avenging the offense and the stubbornness in him.
spacer 3. You will say that this is what the controversy is between us and the heretics, namely, whether the sectaries, who die for their sect, are dying for error or for truth. We reply that this controversy cannot be defined merely from the fact of suffering of death; for as I just said from Augustine, many died for the defense of error. And it is clear that often two men die for contrary doctrines, one of which must be false, and consequently one suffers for error and one for truth; therefore, by the suffering alone, truth cannot be discerned from error. Hence it is an ancient thing in the Church that heretics glory in their martyrs, as Eusebius reports about the Montanists, Histor. V.18, and Augustine about the Donatists, epist. 50 and 68. Epiphanius too reports that certain heretics were called “martyrians,”because they gloried greatly of the number of their martyrs. Nor heretics only, but heathens too and philosophers obstinately underwent death, either for their false religions or for the republic or for some other human cause, and especially for the glory of men; therefore a death bravely borne does not discriminate the cause, and it is from the cause to be judged. blue And for the same reason, death is not of itself a sign of error or truth. Therefore the controversy must be settled on other principles. But this we did in the preceding chapters; for we showed that the Anglican schism errs from the truth in all those things in which it has defected from the ancient Catholic and Roman Faith; therefore death inflicted for such defection, and pertinacity therein, is not persecution of the truth but correction and just punishment of error.
spacer 4. Besides, if this punishment be considered on the part of those receiving it, never could it be reputed martyrdom. Because either they suffer recognizing their error and confessing their offense, and then are they giving testimony rather to truth than to error, not however through martyrdom but through pious and just confession and penance. Or they die denying the offense and confessing the faith with deceiving mouth, hiding the error which they retain in their heart, and in this way too they are not martyrs for the true faith, which they do not believe, nor do they die for it, nor are they witnesses of the error which with their mouth they do not confess but deny. Or finally they die because of pertinacity in their error, preferring rather to die than to retract it, and this sort of death too cannot be martyrdom, because it does not proceed from the pious and right will which true martyrdom requires. Hence the saints and true martyrs underwent death for their faith with great reason and prudence, because they could, even in a human and moral way, be certain that only that faith was credible according to right reason; but those sectaries, on the other hand, die most imprudently and altogether rashly for their private sects and opinions. For what reason or prudence allows one, in matters the gravest and pertaining to religion, to relinquish, on the persuasion of one or another man, sometimes a vicious and very bad man, the ancient faith received by the consent of the Church, through the whole globe diffused, and reinforced by divine signs and miracles, and made illustrious, finally, by the blood of very wise holy men? Certainly it is morally evident that to undergo death voluntarily for such a cause is very imprudent and plainly rash, and accordingly it is not fortitude of mind, nor does it proceed from affection of divine charity, because charity always operates prudently. It is therefore pertinacity of mind, not martyrdom, because, as right theology teaches, martyrdom is a virtuous and prudent act, proceeding from the charity that bids fortitude. Let Optatus in a like cause be read, Book III, Contra Parmen., towards the end.
spacer 5. Further, there is a demonstration that in men of this sort, separated from the Catholic Church, not only death when undergone for their errors, but also death when undergone for some truth which they retain, is not martyrdom. For the doctrine of Augustine is to be noted, bk. De Patientia, chs. 26 and 27, where he tacitly distinguishes two ways in which a heretic or a schismatic can suffer for his faith, namely, either so as not to deny his error, or so as not to deny Christ or some other thing which he has retained from the Catholic Faith. We have hitherto spoken about the first way of suffering, because the evidence is greater there that it is not only not martyrdom, but also that it is not an act in any way good, but is the most imprudent rashness. But of the second way the same Augustine indeed says that the patience is laudable, because not to deny Christ is less evil, even if the belief in him is not held with perfect faith. Nay, he also adds that the fortitude is a gift from God, although it not be of those gifts which are proper to sons, but of those which are communicated to slaves. Hence, therefore, we say that that death is not martyrdom, because martyrdom is a gift of the just and infallibly leads to glory, according to Matthew 10:32: “Whoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven;” but that death does not lead to glory, “for without faith it is impossible to please God,” Hebrews 11:6. And because he who lacks faith does not have charity; but about that Paul said, 1 Corinthians 13.2: “And though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” Which reason Augustine touched on, De Baptism. IV.7, and Cyprian, De Unit. Eccles., saying that “the taint of heresy is not washed away even by blood;” and again: “An unatoneable guilt is not purged even by suffering.” And epist. 73, towards the end: “Not even the baptism of public confession and of blood can profit a heretic for salvation.” To which opinions of Cyprian Chrysostom seems to allude, homil.11, to the Ephesians, in the moral part at the beginning, saying: ÒBut a certain saint said something which carries great audacity before it but yet he uttered it. What is it then? He said that not even the blood of martyrdom can wipe out this sin,Ó that is, the sin of dividing the Church by schism or heresy. But Chrysostom himself adds in confirmation of the same opinion: “For tell me, for what cause are you a martyr? Is it not for the glory of Christ? You who have given up your life for Christ, why do you ravage his Church, for which Christ poured out his life?”
spacer 6. Again, there is a general reason, that outside the Church there is no salvation, as was said above, and as is a common axiom of the holy Fathers; but martyrdom is not separate from salvation; therefore outside the Church there cannot be true martyrdom. Thus more or less does Fulgentius conclude, De Fide ad Petrum, chs. 37, 38, and 39, and Augustine, epist. 204, saying: “Established away from the Church, and separated from the tie of unity and the bond of charity, you will be punished with eternal suffering, even if you were burnt alive for the name of Christ.” The same is very well said by Pacianus, epist. 2 to Sempronianus, where he compares the passion of Donatus the pseudo-martyr with the martyrdom of Cyprian, in accord with the doctrine of the same Cyprian. And he, speaking in epist. 52, about the middle, of the one who goes over from the Church to heretics and schismatics, says: “And if he is a little later killed for the name (that is, of Christ), after having been established outside the Church and divided from unity and charity, he cannot be crowned with death.” Where he openly speaks of the manner of passion about which we are now treating. And he repeats the same at the end of the epistle, and in epist. 54 where he also rightly says: “He cannot be suited for martyrdom who is not armed by the Church for battle; and the mind fails that is not roused and set on fire by receiving the Eucharist.Ó And in his exposition of the Lord’s Prayer he indicates another reason, saying: ÒNor does God accept the sacrifice of the dissident,” and he adduces that verse of Matthew 5:24: “Go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother;” and later he indicates another with these words: “He cannot be with Christ who preferred to be an imitator of Judas than of Christ.”
spacer 7.
Another reason is introduced by Augustine, De Sermone Domini in Monte I.5. Because Christ did not say absolutely that they are blessed “which are persecuted,” but he added, “for righteousness’ sake,” Matthew 5:10. “Now,” says Augustine, “where sound faith is not, there cannot be justice, because the just man lives by faith.” Which reason proceeds of every heretic, whether he die for error, or in error for some truth. It can also be thus explained. Because he who errs obstinately in one thing, though he believe something, but not as he ought, does not believe with Christian faith; and so his faith does not pertain to justice, and therefore, though he suffer for the truth, as it is believed by him, or rather chosen for him by his own judgment, he does not suffer persecution for righteousness’ sake. This too seems to me to have been signified by Augustine in tract. 6 on John, near the end, where he introduces Donatus boasting: “Behold we suffer many evils;” to whom he responds: “If you were to suffer this for Christ, not for your honor. They suffer troubles, but for Donatus, not for Christ. See how you suffer, for if you suffer for Donatus, you suffer for the proud.” Which words, although they very much agree with the one who suffers for his error, or for the master of his heresy, nevertheless they are also true in whatever way a heretic suffers for his faith; because, although it happen that it be a true and otherwise Catholic dogma for which he suffers, yet, if he is a heretical Calvinist, he suffers not for Christ but for Calvin, for though he believe Christ, he does not believe in Christ, but in Calvin, or certainly in himself, if by his own judgment he chooses what he is to believe.
spacer 8. Moreover I seem to take this also from the same Augustine in sermon 117, De Diversis, where he poses a doubt how that saying, “every man a liar” stands with the sure testimony of the martyrs, who were men. “For martyrs,” he says, “were truthful, because they died for the truth; for that is why they are martyrs, because they suffered for the truth;” therefore if they were truthful, not every man is a liar. He replies that man is a liar when he speaks from what is his own; but the martyrs did not speak from what was their own, but from the Spirit of God, and therefore it was not so much they as the Spirit of God that spoke in them, according to the verse of Matthew 10:20: “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you;” and hence their testimony possesses what makes it certain. To which we can add that, as often as a heretic speaks, although by chance he speak true, he is always speaking from his own, because he is led by his own spirit, and he defends or professes his private opinion, and therefore we say that his testimony is by its nature deceitful, although in one or other dogma it happen to be true. And accordingly although a heretic die for confession of Christ, his testimony neither makes illustrious nor confirms the faith of Christ; so death for such a confession is neither martyrdom nor merits the name of martyrdom. As to what the King of England says, then, that he defends the faith illustrious with the blood of the martyrs, if he be understood of those pseudo-martyrs whom the Protestants call martyrs, it can in no way stand, whether it be referred to the true faith of Christ or to the Anglican sect.
spacer 9. There have been, to be sure, in our age many holy and Catholic men, both in other places and chiefly in England, who contended most constantly for their faith, about whom it is most truly said that they made illustrious the Catholic and apostolic faith with their blood, because far different from the Protestants is their condition, cause, life, and way of dying for Christ. For as they are in all these things very far distant from those men, so they most splendidly imitated the ancient martyrs, and therefore they were true martyrs, and with their blood they made illustrious the Roman Faith. For, in the first place, they always retained the Catholic and apostolic Faith, and they suffered within the Church, to which they were conjoined in peace and obedience. Next, they suffered persecution for the same Church, and for its faith and obedience, and thus far for righteousnessÕ sake. Nor for any other cause (even if the adversaries, to hide the glory of the martyrs, make up other temporal and human ones) did they suffer imprisonments, torments, and the bitterest deaths. Of which thing here is no light sign (which in a similar case Eusebius considered, Histor. III.9), because although they had offended the republic in no other thing, nay rather sometimes they were distinguished for manners and innocence of life, the one confession of the Roman Faith and obedience to the Pope so inflamed the minds of the persecutors that they punished them more violently than others the most criminal. When however (as we have heard from those worthy of faith), if it happen that someone defects in that confession, and consents to his judges in false religion, even if he be worthy of death for other offenses, they easily condone and release him.
spacer 10. Lastly, as to what has regard to manner of suffering, our martyrs cannot be accused of any inconstancy or imprudence, because they are led, not by their own judgment, but by the public judgment of the whole world, and they retain the ancient faith, and they follow the steps of the old saints and martyrs, and many among them are found distinguished in life, sanctity, maturity of judgment, erudition and prudence, and are found ready to give an account of their faith, but since they make no impression on minds obdurate and inflexible against the Catholic Faith, they undergo torments and death with alacrity and patience. These martyrs, then, although new, truly made the ancient faith illustrious, but the new Anglican sect, on the contrary, they refuted and confounded; and therefore not on account of these martyrs either could the King of England propose those words in his title, since he defends, not the ancient faith, but the Anglican sect.



1. King James strives to vindicate himself from the note of heresy.spacer 2. That the Anglican fall was a very grave schism is shown from the etymology of the word. spacer3. Two kinds of schism are handed down: schism and para-synagogue. What they are.spacer 4. By separation from the Church, even without defection from the faith, schism is committed. Heresy necessary includes schism but not vice versa. The churches of the orthodox faithful retain the name “Catholic.” spacer5. The schism of the Donatists. spacer6. Henry VIII is concluded to have been a schismatic. spacer7. From the stain of schism the king little strives to free himself.spacer 8. What Chrysostom thinks about schism. spacer9. King James cannot rightly evade the name of schismatic.

FTER the King of England, at the beginning of his Preface, proposed at large the reason and occasion for his work, and after interposing many things that do not pertain to this place, he tries with all his strength to excuse himself from the stain and note of heresy, either to avoid the infamy of so great a crime or to guard his name as defender of the Catholic Faith. I however, lest I seem to want to contend with the king or to offend his person, will speak of the cause itself, and by treating of it in general I will show, to begin with, that the beginning of the Anglican defection and separation from the Church was the crime of schism in its most proper and gravest sense. But I will show next that, through long duration and pertinacity, it passed over into manifest heresy. From which it will easily be clear that no Christian or baptized man, of whatever condition or state he be, who obstinately adheres to that sect and its errors is incapable not only of obtaining salvation but also of being excused from the crime of heresy. And since the king at the same time complains of the name of apostate, I will also in the following say what should be thought on this point as regard the name and guilt of apostasy.
spacer 2. As for what regards the first point, then, there will not be need of much proof. For he who has considered the fact itself and the beginning of the Anglican fall, as we related it in chapter 1, and is not ignorant of the common doctrine about the guilt of schism, and the difference that, handed on by the Fathers and theologians, it has from heresy, will easily understand that the Anglican lapse began through a very grave schism. For schism in its general signification, according to the etymology of the word, indicates dissension and a certain moral division, but by antonomasia it now properly signifies division of the Catholic Church through voluntary separation from it, by gathering together under the Christian name a particular congregation or conventicle outside the unity, communion, and obedience of the Church. Such more or less is how St. Thomas defines schism, blue and the theologians, nay the jurists as well; it was the opinion too of the ancient Fathers, whom I will immediately report, and it has a foundation in Scripture. For in Scripture schism is wont to signify division of judgments, as John 9:16, where, when some were saying: “This man is not of God,” but others: Ò“How can a man that is a sinner do such things?”it is added: “and there was a division [schism] among them.” But this diversity of judgments is wont to be, as it were, the beginning of schism, which is consummated in the division of minds and of concord. When it is also in matter of religion, then is it most called schism. Thus is the word used by Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:9: “God is faithful,” he says, “by whom ye were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” And immediately, as if exhorting them to keep the unity of this fellowship, he says, v. 10: “Now I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions [schisms] among you.” Which he further made plain about division against the unity of the Church, saying 12:25: “ÒThat there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” Where, although he speak of the natural body of a man, yet he adduces it to declare what is to be preserved in the body of the Church, whereof he concludes, v. 27: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular [or: members of a member].”
spacer 3. There can, however, be distinguished in the Church two classes of schism, according to the doctrine of Basil, epist. 1 to Amphilochus, can.2, who is also followed by Theodore Studites in epist. 4 to Naucration, where they distinguish three members: heresy, schism, para-synagogue. “Heresies,” he says, “are what are completely broken off and alienated from the very faith; schisms are dissensions among those who disagree among themselves over certain ecclesiastical causes and questions that are curable; para-synagogues are congregations that arise from insolent priests, bishops, peoples who refuse to obey.” But, with the first member now set aside, the other two indicate two classes of dissension among members of the Church, one private and the second more public; the first stands on private contentions and enmities, but the second proceeds as far as to make public conventicles and as it were diverse churches. The first dissensions then are called schisms by the Fathers, but the second para-synagogues. Now, however, the first discords have retained the general name of dissensions, and the name of schism is used to signify the other kind of division of the Church through private conventicles, and so is it taken in the present case, the word para-synagogue being set aside because it is not now in use.
spacer 4. Thus, therefore, is it manifest that schism is committed by separation from the unity of the Church, contrary to its charity, even if in dogmas dissension not yet intervene. So Jerome on those word in Titus 3:10: “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject,” said: “Between heresy and schism we think there to be this difference, that heresy has perverse dogma, but schism, because of episcopal dissension, separates equally from the Church, which indeed at the beginning can in some respect be understood as diverse from heresy.” Now as to why he says “at the beginning” we will make plain in the next point. But he says “in some respect” because heresy necessarily involves schism, for it most divides the Church, because when faith is divided, the unity of charity cannot fail to be cut, just as, when faith is lost, charity cannot fail to be lost; but conversely, on the other hand, schism can be separated from heresy, just as charity can be lost without loss of faith. Just as once Meletius was a schismatic and not a heretic; for, as Epiphanius, Secta 68, relates, always “was he of right faith. For his faith did not change at any time from the holy Catholic Church.” But because he made his own congregation against Peter, bishop of Alexandria and his superior, and divided the Church, he was held to be a schismatic. It can also be observed, by the by, that when the Meletians built their own churches and the successors of Peter possessed the old ones, the old churches always retained the name of Catholic Church, but the others were called churches of the martyrs.
spacer 5. It was similar at the beginning of the schism of the Donatists, because of the ordination of Caecilian as bishop in the church of Carthage against the will of Donatus, as is taken from Augustine, De Haeresib., heresy 69. Hence the same Augustine, Contra Cresconium II.7, speaks thus: “Although between schism and heresy I endorse the distinction whereby schism is said to be a recent dissension in a congregation because of some diversity of opinions, for never can a schism happen unless those who make it are following something diverse; while a heresy is an inveterate schism; yet, since your definitions are of help to me, I would more gladly call you schismatics than heretics.” For Cresconius recognized schism but denied heresy, because there was no diversity, as he said, in doctrine, which Augustine easily accepts, though afterwards he also shows that the schism had passed over into heresy. But as to his statement that there is no schism without diversity of opinions, it must be understood in a general way, because dissension of minds is not without diversity of opinions. But it is not to be taken about diverse opinions in dogmas of the Catholic Faith, as is manifest from other places of Augustine. For at De Fide et SymboloI.10, he says: “Heretics and schismatics call their congregations churches, but heretics, by thinking false things about God, violate the faith itself, while schismatics, by unjust divisions, part from fraternal charity, although they believe the things that we believe.” And in, Quaestiones Evangelicae., q. 11 on Matthew, he says: “The question is wont to be posed how schismatics differ from heretics, and this answer is wont to be found, that schismatics are made not by diverse faith but by a break up in society of communion.” And it is treated extensively by Optatus, in Contra Parmenianum.
spacer 6. 6 From this sure principle, then, and from the fact above narrated about the Anglican fall, the conclusion is openly drawn that Henry VIII was a schismatic. For that he was himself a heretic even at the beginning is not clear to us, because it was not on account of deception of mind, but for some other ugly and shameful occasion, that he denied obedience to the Supreme Pontiff and separated both himself and his kingdom, as far as he could, from the unity of the Roman Church. But whether he was also a heretic we will touch on below, for now it is not necessary. For whatever he thought in his mind, it is sufficient that indeed for mere concupiscence he erred in practice and split the Church, so that he became a schismatic, nay author of a very grave schism, in that, by authority and example first, then most by fear and violence, he compelled many others to go along. In this way, then, this vice began to seize on the English nation and was derived in this way from parents to sons, so that it perseveres up to the present day.
spacer 7. Wherefore King James too himself has not studied to purge himself of this crime; nay he seems as it were to despise and hold it for nought, when, on page 58, he says: “Although they say I am a schismatic and have defected from the Roman Church, certainly I can in no way be a heretic.” But we say, conversely, that, although he deny he is a heretic (which point now we are not treating of), he cannot deny that he is a schismatic, since he both confesses in his own Preface that he is baptized and not only preserves knowingly, and with eyes open, the schism that was begun, but studies also with great contention and all the strength of his power to propagate it. But he should consider that in the eyes of God schism is not far distant from heresy, for Augustine, De Sermone Domini in Monte I.5, puts the two on a level, saying: “Many heretics, who deceive souls with the Christian name, suffer many such things but for this reason are they excluded from the reward, because it was not said merely: ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted,’ but it was added, ‘for righteousness’ sake;’” but where sound faith is not, righteousness cannot be. Nor may schismatics promise themselves anything of that reward, because, in like manner, where charity is not, righteousness cannot be. For love of neighbor does not work evil. Which, if they had, they would not shred the body of Christ, which is the Church.” And what is more serious, in De Vera Religione, ch. 6, he numbers schismatics not only with heretics but also with pagans and Jews, saying: “Neither in the confusion of the pagans, nor in the rubbish of the heretics, nor in the languor of the schismatics, nor in the genealogy seeking of the Jews does religion exist, but among those alone who are called Catholic or Orthodox Christians, that is, lovers of integrity and followers of what is right.”
spacer 8.
Let here be added St. John Chrysostom, who so magnifies the offense of schism that he compares it with the sin of the crucifiers of Christ, saying: “Nothing angers God in like degree as that his Church is divided, even if we do innumerable good works; no lesser punishment than those pay who rend his body will we pay who rend the full ecclesiastical assembly.” But he is speaking in the first part about the true body of Christ. Hence he subjoins: “For that indeed was done to the profit of the whole world, although not with that intent; but this has no utility anywhere, but by that very fact it is in loss greatest.” And he adds words that should be considered by the king and his advisers as well as by his subjects, “These things are said, not only to those who wield magistracies, but also to those who are ruled by them.” And afterwards he signifies that this crime is more dangerous than heresy, perhaps because it is wont to be the beginning of heresies, and therefore it is most necessary to beware of it at the beginning, and put the axe to it as to the root. He says therefore: “These things have been said by me about them who give themselves indiscriminately to those who rend the Church, for if they do indeed have contrary dogmas, was it for this very thing especially that it was unfitting to mix with them? But if they think the same, much more so. Why? Because it is the sickness of ambition, and of love of command, and of bearing magistracy.” Next, Optatus of Milevis, in Book I of Contra Parmenianum, calls schism “an enormous outrage;” and later he says: “Schism is the height of evil, and you will be least able to deny it.” He is speaking in fact to the Donatists; but let the Anglicans understand it said also to them, since they can adduce neither a diverse reason nor a likely excuse.
spacer 9. But perhaps King James will deny that he is a schismatic, for also he does not say in these words, “although I am a schismaticm” but, “although they say I am a schismatic,” and that not simply, but with an addition, because he attaches, “and that I have defected from the Roman Church.” But I ask whether, at any rate with this addition, he be truly or falsely said to be a schismatic from the Roman Church. Certainly he cannot affirm that this statement is false, because it has been evidently proved by the public and notorious fact itself. But if he does not dare to deny a thing so clear, let him know that the addition does not lessen the offense but increase it, or, so to say, constitutes it at a higher grade of schism. For if what Jerome said is true, that a schism is constituted through separation from the Church “because of episcopal dissension,” then a schism that is constituted because of dissension from the Supreme Pontiff, the Pastor of all bishops, will deservedly be called not only schism simply but even the greatest of its kind. For, as Bede rightly said in his homily De Sanctis Petro et Paulo: “Blessed Peter, who confessed Christ with true faith, followed him with true love, specifically received the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the principate of judiciary power, so that all believers throughout the world may understand that, whoever from the unity of the faith or from its society in any way separate themselves, such can neither be loosed from the chains of sin nor enter the gate of the heavenly kingdom.” Where, by the name of Peter, he without doubt understands his See, and calls “its society” either the Church or union with the See of Peter; therefore, he judges being separated from this society enough to constitute schism. The same, if he be rightly weighed, is thought by Optatus of Milevis, Contra Parmenian., Book I column 5, where, to prove that Parmenian, not Caecilian, was a schismatic, he thus speaks: “For Caecilian did not depart from Maiorinus your uncle, but Maiorinus from Caecilian; nor did Caecilian withdraw from the See of Peter or of Cyprian, but Maiorinus, in whose chair you sit, which had no origin before Maiorinus.” He supposes him, then, to be a schismatic who withdraws from the See of Peter; but he adds, “or of Cyprian,” because sometimes a schism can happen by separation from the nearest bishop, by introducing a new chair without origin. And he adds (which is of greatest service for the present purpose): “Since it is manifestly clear that these things have been done, it evidently appears that you are heirs of traitors and of schismatics.” Thus, therefore, we evidently conclude, from the Anglican fact, that Henry VIII, who deserted the See of Peter and erected a new one without origin, was a schismatic, and that his heirs continue in imitating him in the same schism.
spacer 10. Besides, it was shown above that the Roman and the Catholic Church are the same, and that by those names only diverse properties or relations of the same Church are signified; for it is called the Catholic Church of Christ insofar as it is universal, but called Roman insofar as it is founded on the See of Peter, with which it is always conjoined; therefore a schism from the Catholic Church is the same as a schism from the Roman Church; therefore, if the king cannot deny that the separation of England is a schism from the Roman Church, he cannot escape its being also a very grave schism from the Catholic Church. And, to be sure, he who has considered the fall of Henry and his division from the Church, and compares him with the schismatic Donatus and other ancient schismatics, he will find in him altogether the same or greater reason of schism from the Catholic Church, nor will he be able to think of a likely reason of difference, except perhaps by imagining, with the heretics, that the Universal Church, which once was Catholic, had already collapsed and was extinct at the time of Henry. But this vain and willful refuge was sufficiently refuted above from the Sacred Scriptures and the common sense of the ancient Fathers. Let the king, then, indubitably know that he is separated from the Catholic Church, since he can with no color deny or hide it, and let him greatly fear the sentence of Augustine saying: “Whoever is separated from this Catholic Church, in however praiseworthy a way he suppose himself to be living, by this wickedness alone, that he is disjoined from the unity of Christ, he will not have life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”



1. That the Anglican sect has broken out into several heresies is shown by the authority of the Fathers. By experience the same truth is strengthened. spacer2. A double reason for the aforesaid fact of experience is assigned. spacer3. Schism is opposed of itself to charity, and by long duration pours darkness on the mind. spacer4 - 5. That the Anglican schism has already arrived at heresy is concluded from what has been said. To defend the schism Henry VIII devised a new heresy for himself. spacer6. It is refuted. No Catholic asserts that the Pontiff can take kingdoms away at pleasure. spacer7. That the Pontiff is usurping to himself a third part of the goods of citizens is fabricated by the heretics against all right and truth of fact. spacer 8 - 9. Many heresies seized on England after Henry VIII. spacer10. From the signs of heresies handed on by the Fathers the Calvinist sect is shown to be a heresy. First and second sign. spacer11. Third sign. spacer12. Fourth sign.spacer 13. Fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth sign. spacer14. Ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth sign.

INCE the King of England seems to abhor the name of heresy rather than that of schism, we must further show that the Anglican schism has at last reached the point that it has broken out not only into one but into several and manifest heresies. We prove this in the first place from a certain most true doctrine of the holy Fathers, who say that long lasting schism passes over into heresy. Thus Jerome, on the said place from Titus 3, said that at the beginning schism could in some respect be understood as diverse from heresy. “Besides,” he adds, “no schism fails to fabricate some heresy for itself, so that it may seem to have rightly withdrawn from the Church.” And therefore Augustine said, Contra Cresconium II.7, “heresy is an inveterate schism,” because, as I said, heretics are wont at the beginning to be separated from the Church as to obedience and union because of some controversy, or indignation, or unfulfilled greed, or unobtained ambition; but afterwards, so as to be able to persevere in schism, they pass over to heresy. Which might easily be shown, with examples begged from the antiquity, as by a sort of induction, the way we read everywhere about Novatus in Cyprian and Augustine, who, in epist. 164 to Emeritus, says to them: “Nor do we make objection against you except the crime of schism, which you have also made into heresy by your evil persistence.” Thus too, about the sect of Meletius, the same Augustine reports, in De Haeres. that it passed over at length to the Arians, although at the beginning it was only a schism; which thing has happened also to the English. For at the beginning, when Henry followed neither Luther nor Calvin, they were made schismatics by him, but after not much time they passed over to the Calvinists.
spacer 2. But a twofold reason for this fact of experience can be given. One, which Jerome touched on, that those who persevere in their schism at once desire (as is natural) to give honor to and defend their deed and audacity, and therefore they descend into a heresy by which to give it honor, whether by praising as good what is corrupt, or (which reduces to the same) by denying that what has been handed on by the Catholic Church is commanded. In all which ways and others heresy is involved. Because although to do evil, which the law of Christ prohibits, is not heresy, yet to think with pertinacity that what the faith teaches to be prohibited is not evil, is plainly to be deemed heretical. The second reason is that, although schism can be in strict rigor distinguished or prescinded from heresy, it is however so akin and near to it that, if it persevere, it is easily transmuted into it. Hence Ambrose, De Obitu Satyri, when narrating that Satyrus, after his shipwreck, looked for a Church in which to give God thanks for his liberation, and called a bishop to him, and asked him “Whether he was in agreement with the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Roman Church,” he later subjoins that, after Satyrus learnt that the bishop was a schismatic, he did not wish to give thanks there nor to communicate with him, because, although the bishop was heir to the Luciferian schism and not an heretical one (as he signifies), nevertheless (he says): ”he did not however think that there was faith in schism. For although they had faith toward God, yet they did not have it toward the Church of God, whose limbs and members, as it were, they were allowing to be lacerated. For since Christ suffered for the Church, and the Church is Christ’s body, they by whom Christ’s passion is nullified, and his body torn apart, do not seem to be showing faith to Christ.” Which I thus interpret, namely that a schismatic at the beginning acts against the faith, which he owes to the Church, in practice or in very deed, or he certainly acts against the faith, that is, the fidelity and obedience that he owes to the Church; but afterwards, so as to persevere in his schism, he also denies to the Church the faith which consists in believing that the Church itself is the unique spouse of Christ, the pillar and ground of the truth. Which transition is very easy; for if Paul wrote to Timothy that those who put away a good conscience have made shipwreck concerning the faith, 1 Timothy 1:19, how much more easily must it be believed to happen in an obstinate schism against the Church of Christ? Therefore Satyrus feared, or did not think, that there was faith in schism.
spacer 3. Add that schism arises proximately from some hatred of oneÕs neighbors. For, although it be wont to arise from some contention, or ambition, or inordinate greed, or envy, as the Fathers hand on and as experience teaches, yet properly and of itself it is opposed to the charity which is owed to the Church of Christ, and so it includes hatred of one’s neighbor; but this hatred is nourished and increased by perseverance in schism, and it easily leads in this way to blindness of mind and to heresy, according to the mind of Augustine on that verse of 1 John 2:11: “He that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” Which words about schismatics are interpreted by Augustine there in tract. 1, when he says that those who are so blinded from hatred of the true Church that they do not see it, also Òknock their head against it more easily than seek there a habitation.” Thus too did Optatus says, Bk. I, Contra Parmenian.: “Schism, with the bond of peace thrown away, feelings destroyed, is born from spite, nourished on rivalry, and strengthened by quarrels; so that, with their Catholic mother abandoned, the impious sons, as they withdraw and separate themselves from the root of mother Church, cut off by the scythes of envy, they depart in their error as rebels.” In which words another reason is also indicated. For schismatics, since they are cut off from the Church and gather together a synagogue outside it, disdain by that very fact to follow the Church, especially when they continue obdurate in schism, and therefore they begin to lack the rule of truth, from which it follows, by a sort of necessity, that they lapse into errors and heresies, either by inventing a new one or by adhering to one already invented, so that they may seem to have something distinct from the Church they have left. For if they were to persevere in the same faith, “they could not do something new, or anything save what they learnt long ago with their mother,” as Optatus above said. For which cause Cyprian often affirms that: “schisms and heresies rise from this, that the priest of God is not obeyed, nor is there thought to be one judge at a time in the place of Christ,” as he says, epist. 55. And in epist. 69 he adds that: “a congregation persevering in schism lacks, within a short time, true bishops and pastors, because true succession and ordination ceases.” Thence, finally, the consequence is that it also lacks true doctrine and holiness; for, so as to conserve the Church in the unity of the faith and in the sanctity of life for the perfecting of the elect, God has given it pastors and doctors, as Paul testifies, Ephesians 4:11 - 12.
spacer 4. Now the reasons proposed evidently hold of the Anglican schism. For clearly it is sufficiently long lasting, for it has endured for seventy years or more, and although it was interrupted for a brief time in the reign of Mary, it immediately went back to it, and it has thereafter endured for more than fifty continuous years. Next, since it began through separation from the Chair of Peter, and by denying obedience to the Supreme Pontiff, although at the beginning the attempt was only in fact, from inordinate love of luxury, afterwards it erred about the right itself, and the doctrine was introduced whereby it began to be preached in England that the Church of Christ does not have one spiritual head, nor is the Roman Pontiff to be recognized as such head, but in each kingdom or republic supreme in temporal matters there is a proper head that is supreme in spiritual matters and that it is none other than the temporal king or prince or senate, respectively. All which doctrine is heretical and contrary to Sacred Scripture and to the perpetual sense of the same Church and to the tradition of the Fathers, as we will expressly show in Book III. In this way, therefore (which touches on the first reason), there was fulfilled in Henry VIII to the letter what Jerome said, for “he constructed this heresy for himself so he might seem rightly to have withdrawn from the Church.” For royal majesty, or rather human presumption, could not so stubbornly persevere in a very grave crime except by falling into another more grave by which to defend the first and contend that it was rightly done. Which error so adhered to Henry’s mind that not only did he not doubt to die in it, but he also confirmed it with a new command about educating his son in the same error, the faith being retained in other matters. Or, certainly, if he did not believe it in his mind, he very greatly showed therein (which has regard to the second reason) how great a hatred he had conceived against the Roman Church; since against his mind and with the eternal death of his soul he wished to die in the same schism and to guard it exteriorly by way of dogma or doctrine and make it perpetually firm in his son and in his kingdom. Since England, therefore, on this point tried to usurp not only the fact but also the right, and to defend the doctrine, it is manifest indeed from this alone that that sect is not only schismatic but also heretical.
spacer 5. Now after the death of Henry the schismatic English kingdom embraced the Calvinist sect, although perhaps not in its purity but mixed with the Lutheran and with others; and in this way too what we said in the second reason, about long lasting schism, we see fulfilled in that sect and from the same causes or roots and with the same effects and heretical signs. For, to begin with, hatred against the Roman See has increased from day to day in a remarkable way, and as it gets stronger every day and gets rooted in the minds of all, the result, by the industry of the demon, is that parents and masters impress from infancy on the minds of their children such a conception or apprehension about the Pope that simple and common men, when they hear the name of the Pope, conceive him a cruel monster, a horrendous idolater, and finally a sort of monster rather than a man. And no wonder if the common people dwell in so great error, since the king himself in his Preface, page 14, dares to affirm: “The Pontiffs have unjustly usurped for themselves by ambitious tyranny authority over the rights of temporal kings.” And again, page 22: “This power over kings unjustly usurped by the Pontiffs.” Again on page 23, that Catholics have also built up an empire for the Pontiff so “huge and unbounded that he can bestow and take away kingdoms at pleasure.” For this he attributes to Cardinal Bellarmine. Again on page 24: “That great pastor can at his whim lead you like sheep to the slaughter.” Page 27: “Although anciently clerics desired nothing beyond the tithes and were content to live on them, now the Pope, head of the clerics, only rests in receiving a third part of citizens and goods and estates in all provinces and kingdoms.” Further, page 61, he numbers among the chief articles of the Catholic Faith “a secular dictatorship of the Pontiff over kings.” He is speaking about Cardinal Bellarmine, and he understands by that secular dictatorship an absolute power of domination. And elsewhere, page 62 in the same sense, among the many things he relates or rather mocks as usurped by the Pontiffs he puts this: “endowed with all power both spiritual and temporal.” And later: “Who worship the Pope as God and hold him such as if he were Scripture speaking.” But afterwards, about the same Catholics, he says, page 128, that: “they attribute to the Pontiff supreme power in temporal things over kings and princes, that is, in the sense declared by myself in other places.
spacer 6. These and the like are the colors wherewith the king depicts the Supreme Pontiff and his governance, in which however there is nothing that is not made up by seducers or badly or rashly interpreted and believed and written by the king through ignorance of the truth; so that it is no wonder that the uncultured people are deceived by these fabulous exaggerations, since the seducers have been able even to trick and deceive the king. For, in the first place, that the Pontiff does not usurp the power of kings is known to the whole world, and the Pontiffs themselves have wished it in their common right to be testified of them. For Alexander III is speaking of the king of the English when he says: “We, paying attention to the fact that it pertains to the king not to the Church to judge of such possessions, lest we should seem to detract from the right of the King of the English, we give command, as to our leaving judgment of possession to the king &c.” And of the king of Gaul Innocent III said: “Let not anyone think that we intend to disturb or lessen the jurisdiction of the illustrious king of the French.” And elsewhere the same Pontiff affirmed that “a king does not recognize a superior in temporal affairs.” It is clear, therefore, that Pontiffs do not usurp the rights of kings. Hence it is by far most certain and most known that none of the Catholic doctors affirmed that the Pontiff “can bestow and take away kingdoms at his pleasure.” For those who do not wish even in one judgment to disturb royal jurisdiction, how will they disturb very kingdoms at their pleasure? But it is much more intolerable to think, much less to write, that this pastor can “at his whim” kill the sheep or exercise a tyranny like that indicated in this exaggeration. Nay rather, to place in him not only the power but even the use is the very grave and impious slander of those who, by deceiving the king, have wished to make him angry. But this fact will be more evidently clear from what we will show about the Pontiff’s legitimate power over Christian kings in Book III, where we will also explain the just use of it; for perhaps the sectaries are making this stuff up not only from malice but also from ignorance and defect of theological doctrine.
spacer 7. Next, as to what is asserted about the Pontiff, that now he “only rests when he receives a third part of citizens and goods and estates in all provinces and kingdoms,” it is contrary to all canon right, as we showed in our work on tithes; nor is it less contrary to use, as is very well known in all Catholic kingdoms and provinces. But if perhaps the talk is about estates and goods voluntarily donated to the Church, the observance in the Church has always been that goods of this sort do not lessen the rights of tithes, nor are they computed among them, but are along with them conserved for pious ecclesiastical uses. Besides that, even with all those counted in, the assertion is made without foundation that it is a third part of the goods of the Catholic world, and the fiction is much more willful that that portion or measure is exacted and that without the least part of it the Pontiff does not rest.
spacer 8. Lastly, as to the king’s remark that Catholics worship the Pontiff as God, and hold his words as sacred Scripture, it is understood easily to have been said by exaggeration to generate, in men who do not know how to distinguish terms, the same reputation we have stated about the Pontiff. For how is it likely that the king believed that some Catholics attribute to the Pontiff the worship due solely to the true God? But if, by the name of God, only he is signified who, in a singular way, either represents God or shares his excellence, according to the phrase of Scripture and the explanation of Christ when he says, John 10:35: “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came;” why are Catholics reprehended because they cultivate and venerate with due honor the Vicar of God? Again, it is not likely that it came into the mind of the king that every word of the Pontiff is reputed by Catholics as Sacred Scripture, since he ought not to be ignorant that the holy theologians deny that even the very definitions of Councils and Pontiffs are Sacred Scripture. Although they as constantly as most truly teach that these are equal in certitude of truth; but not about all the words of the Pontiff, but about those which he defines when teaching the Universal Church ex cathedra. About which point something was touched on above, and in Book III we will make some addition. These things, then, are said by the by, so that it may be understood how stubborn is the hatred and how inveterate the madness against the Roman Pontiff that has, through the long duration of the schism, taken possession of English breasts.
spacer 9. Now from this hatred has followed that blindness of mind which Augustine described, whereby it comes about that the Anglican sect does not see the very high and very clear mountain of the Church but rather knocks its head against it. Hence also has it happened that England, destitute of the rule and direction of the Catholic Church, has turned aside to the synagogues of the heretics. For not even was it necessary to build a new heresy, because at that time innumerable heresies had become to occupy the North and they were spreading like a cancer and omitting no occasion for introducing the enemies of the faith. Moreover, thus was it related in chapter 1 that, after the death of Henry, contrary to his declared will, there prevailed in the kingdom at the time of King Edward the Zwinglian heresy. But afterward, in the time of Elizabeth, Calvinism was introduced, and has continued the same up to the present day, either altogether or in greater part; for perfect stability or conformity cannot last in sects of this sort, as was proved above. But it is undoubted that Calvin was a great heresiarch and that his sect is heresy; therefore there can be no doubt that the Anglican sect, which is Calvinist, whether pure or mixed with other errors, is a heresy, and that all who obstinately follow it are heretics. There remains only the proof that the Calvinist sect is heresy; but this we will show in what follows in two ways, both by responding to what King James in his Preface adduces in excuse for his fall into heresy, and by refuting what he objects in accusation of the Catholic Church; for he proposes as many articles of accusation as there are errors of his sect.
spacer 10. But, first, I have wanted, in the end of this chapter, to show the same by briefly indicating in the universal sect of the Protestants all the signs of heresy which are handed on by the Fathers. The first sign is an origin infected either by pride, “for one mother, pride, has given birth to all heresies,” as Augustine said, .De Pastoribus, ch. 8; or “by envy,” which (as Chrysostom wrote, hom. 7, on Romans, in the moral part) has brought forth all heresies; or “by greed of piling up money” (as Basil said on Isaiah 5); or by other vices, which Paul extensively enumerates 2 Timothy 3:2 - 8, from “Men shall be lovers of their own selves,Ó up to, Òmen of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” For that Luther was such (Echius writes in his Acta Lutheri, Surius in his Compendium, Sander in Visib. Mon., Bk.7 VII, and that by ambition and envy he defected from the faith, is known and can be read in the histories of that time. But that Calvin excelled in similar haughtiness and wickedness of morals, there are many witnesses, blue whom Prateolus, Bk. III, on the word “Calvin,” mentions. The second sign was touched on above about discord and separation from obedience to the Roman See, which Cyprian often notes in his epistles, as I related a little before. And Agustine Contra Litt. Petiliani, II.51 and 72, most reprehends the Donatists because they blasphemed against the Roman and Apostolic Chair, wherein the new sectaries most imitate them and surpass them.
spacer 11.
The third sign is inconstancy and division of doctrine, for nothing is more contrary to certitude and truth of faith. On which matter enough was said above. But now I will adjoin the excellent words of Basil on Isaiah 5 where, when he had said that heretics seem wise to themselves and to be superior to others, he subjoins: “Therefore is everything stuffed with opinions that fight among themselves and with those who hand on dogmas crying out against their own authors; when each individual insists more obstinately on guarding his own dogma, and they violently smash through the things that please the diverse parties, and overthrow and refute them with the most bitter wrangling.” And epist. 82, at the end: “Never do they firmly persist content with the same words.” The same thing is dealt with at large by Athanasius, epist. De Decret. contra Arian. Haeresim, at the beginning, and orat. 1 Contra Arian., near the beginning, where he says among other things: “While they are always writing, themselves changing their own ideas, they display their unsure faith, or rather their sure infidelity and madness.” With which agree the words of Hilary, Bk. III De Trinit., near the beginning: “Heretics come against the Church, but while all the heretics conquer themselves in turn, yet they do not conquer anything for themselves.” Likewise and very well speaks the author of the incomplete homil.20 on Matthew, and Tertullian in Preascriptiones ch.40. And that this inconstancy is found most in Luther, Calvin, and their followers has been often noted by Catholic doctors, especially by Cardinal Bellarmine in his Controversiae, and extensively by Coccius, bringing together very many things, , Thesaurus VIII, art.7, 8, 9, and 10; and Salmer, vol. I, In epist. Pauli, in the Prolegomena, disp. 6, reports that the Duke of Saxony was wont to say that he did indeed know what his people believed in the present year, but what they would believe the next year he did not know. Moreover, it is credible that this mutation is found in the Protestants of England, but, because I have not searched the thing out, I do not affirm it nor is it necessary; for it is enough that they adhere to a doctrine that began with that instability, for in the true faith there is not “yea” and “nay” but there is only “yea,” as Paul said, 2 Corinthians 1:18 - 20.
spacer 12. The fourth sign, and perhaps among Protestants the greatest, is to throw about the word of God, corrupting and mutilating it, about which too we have said much. But the singular boasting of heretics about the word of God is described by Vincent of Lerins, chs. 35 and 37. But their elevation and deception in expounding it is blamed by Basil, just cited, and Athansius, orat. 1 and 2 Contra Arian., and orat. on that verse “All things have been given to me by my father” near the end, Nazianzen orat. 51 or epist. 1 to Cledonius, and again epist. 46 to Nectarius. Again orat. 36, otherwise 2 De Filio, and 4 De Theolog., at the beginning, and next in orat. 37 after the middle, and best in orat. 42 he indicates the way in which heretics are wont to cite the word of God unfaithfully or incompletely, saying: “You proffer indeed the things which you lessen and diminish; but what they express you pass over; you ponder what he suffered, but what he voluntarily did you do not add.” Much is in Augustine, De Genesi ad Litteram, VII.9, and De Unitat. Eccles., chs. 12 and 13, and Contra Litter. Petil. II.61. Hilary is very good, Bk. II De Trinit., at the beginning, and Jerome on Isaiah 4 and Galatians 1. But about the mutilation of the Scriptures Augustine often mocks them, Contra Donatistas, and very well and generally Tertullian, De Praescriptionibus, ch.17.

spacer 13. A fifth sign, most evident of all and involving open heresy, is to despise the Catholic Church and to attribute error to it, denying it is Catholic and attributing that term to oneself. About which can be seen Lerins, ch. 26, and Augustine, De Unit. Eccles.; many things were also said above and it was shown at the same time how this is proper to Protestants and to the Anglican sect. A sixth sign is consequent on it, not to acquiesce in the Councils, from Athanasius, orat. 1, Contra Arianos, a little from the beginning. And it is, I think, the same as to admit of one’s own accord some councils but to reject others, because they do not acquiesce in the Councils but rather discriminate between them and approve or disapprove them by their own decision. A seventh is akin to it, to despise the authority of the Fathers, wherein Calvin was very free, who even dared to compare the Fathers to the Pharisees, as once the Donatists did, in Agustine, Contra Litter. Petil. II.61. An eighth sign is consonant with the preceding ones, to be led by oneÕs own spirit, whether human or the satanic spirit of an angel of darkness transfiguring itself into an angle of light. Hence appositely does Hilary say, Bk. I, De Trinitate, that heretics “are arbiters of religion for themselves, although the work of religion is in the duty of obedience alone;” where he seems to allude to the verse or Paul, 2 Corinthians 10:5: “bringing into captivity every thought &c.” And in Book II at the beginning, he says about the same people: “They interpret the words of God according to the sense of their own will.” And many like things are contained in Book III, a little from the beginning, and often in Tertullian, De Praescriptionibus. We also adduced many things above.
spacer 14.
A ninth sign of heretical rashness is colored eloquence, with precipitation and too much liberty of speaking. About which Nazianzen, orat. 33, at the beginning, speaks thus: “But these men, would that, as they have a tongue fluid and sharp and vehement for attacking the nobler and more approved words, so would they also put at least some or even equal effort into action. Which, if they would do, they would at least be cavilers less, and would not conduct themselves in words as absurdly and insolently as in a game of dice.” But, about their precipitation in speaking, Gregory can be read, Book VII on Job 2. A tenth sign can be novelty, contrary to ancient doctrine, or by defection from the ancient faith; about which we spoke above, and Chrysostom can be seen, hom. 47, on Matthew, Tertullian, De Praescriptionibus, ch. 3, and other Fathers expounding that verse of 1 John 2:19: “They went out from us.” Let the eleventh be loss of the Catholic name and a new denomination from their author, about which and the like things much was said above. But I will add here a twelfth and last sign handed down by Tertullian, De Praescriptionibus, ch. 41, of the behavior of the heretics themselves, which he himself there extensively describes, and he says it is “futile and earthly.” But among other words these are most to be noted: “Their ordinations are rash, light, inconstant; now they put neophytes in place, then those bound to secular life, now our apostates, so as to oblige them with glory because they cannot do so with truth. Never advancing more easily than into the camps of rebels, where the very being there is deserving of merit. Thus today one man is bishop, tomorrow another, today a deacon who was yesterday a lector, today a priest who was yesterday a layman, for they enjoin even on laymen priestly offices.” These signs, therefore, I have briefly reviewed, so that they can be compared with the morals of the Protestants and the state of Anglicanism; for if the comparison be done with prudent consideration, no one could doubt that that sect is open heresy and hence that those who profess it are heretics.



1 - 2. The reasons are proposed whereby the king tries to free himself from the note of heresy. The first.spacer 3. Of the various acceptations of heresy two are preferred. Among Christians heresy is always taken in the bad sense. spacer4 - 5. A doctrine contrary to the faith is aptly called an heretical proposition, but the assent to such doctrine is heresy. What an heretical proposition is. spacer6. The true rule of faith is established. spacer7. A proposition which is proposed by the Church as to believed de fide is de fide. spacer8 - 9. Definition of heresy. Explanation. spacer10 - 11. Proper definition of heresy. Proof from Augustine. spacer12 - 13. Proof from the Fathers that one dogma contrary to the faith is sufficient to constitute heresy. Proof by reason.

HAT has been said in the previous chapter can be argued against by the reasons with which the king contends in his Preface that he is purging himself of the crime of heresy; therefore, how much weight these reasons have must be carefully examined. And first at any rate he denies, on pages 39 and 40, that he is an apostate; next he contends that he cannot be called a heretic either; but these claims will be better treated by us in reverse order. That he cannot, then, properly be called a heretic “even by the rules of the Catholics,” he proves in the first place more or less in these words: “Since I had a father and paternal grandfather who thought the same about the faith [sc. as the king thinks now], and since I was never in the Church of the Catholics, I cannot, even by their own rules, properly be called a heretic.” Secondly, he argues in effect in this way: although I was baptized in the rites of the Catholics and although I dissent from them in religion, I cannot be called a heretic because there is between us no quarrel about the substance of baptism, nor any controversy on this head of doctrine, since we are all baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The third and strongest reason, which he himself proposes at large, we collect summarily thus: the King of England puts faith in the Sacred Scriptures, which is due from a Christian man, and “gladly swears to the three symbols of the faith,” and he venerates and receives the first four General Councils as Catholic and orthodox; and, whatever the Fathers have in the four hundred years since Christ established with unanimous consent as necessary for salvation, he does not dare to reprehend but either thinks the same or keeps silent; therefore he cannot rightly be deemed a heretic, except perhaps (he says) by those “who worship the Pope as God and hold him such as if he were Scripture speaking, so that also they do not define heresy otherwise than as any opinion whatever in causes of the faith contrary to papal decision.”
spacer 2. These things are what the king adduces in his defense, and although he places the whole weight of his excuse on the last reason and touches on the others by the by, nevertheless we think none should be passed over, so that we may make satisfaction more fully both to the king himself and to every reader, and so that we may seem to leave nothing untouched. But first, because of the final words of the king, two things need to be made clear. First, what heresy is, or what suffices for constituting it; second, who is properly a heretic and when consent to some error makes a man a heretic. Both of these questions are touched on by Augustine; the first in his epistle ad Quod vult Deum, preamble to his book De Haeresibus, and the second in the preface to the same book, and he says that both are difficult to define and promises to ask in the second part of the work how heretic should be defined; however he did not write that part, and so he left in that work both points undecided. It is necessary from other places of the same doctor, and from the doctrine of other Fathers and theologians, to explain what must be thought and held for certain in this matter, so that the dispute can, without ambiguity of words, rest on some firm foundation.
spacer 3. The name of heresy, therefore, has received various significations, even in the use of theologians, but two in the present context are most to be distinguished, since, because of them, heresy is defined variously by theologians. But the two can be explained by comparison with faith; for heresy is opposed to faith, and therefore, just as sometimes the doctrine revealed by God is called faith but the assent, whereby such doctrine is believed, is more often called faith, so heresy is sometimes said to concern the heretical doctrine itself, sometimes also the assent voluntarily afforded to such doctrine. For these two are without doubt very diverse, no less in false doctrine or faith than in true; and the use of the term makes sufficiently clear that the name of heresy is taken to signify both. For when Paul said, Acts 24:14: “But this I confess unto thee, that after the sect which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers [alt. so worship I my Father and my God],” he was speaking of the doctrine of the Gospel. Hence the Syriac version has “doctrine” for “sect,” and the Greek term signifies “after the way,” which is wont properly to be said of the whole reason of some doctrine, which also the term “sect” very well indicates. But Paul did not wish to call the doctrine of the Gospel heresy (as Theophylact notes very well), because it was not according to menÕs choice, from which is taken the name heresy [Nb. hairesis in Greek means “choice] (as is noted by Tertullian, De Praescriptionibus, ch. 6, Jerome, on Galatians 5 and Titus 3, and Isidore, Etymologiae VIII.3), but according to the will and revelation of God. And therefore, in the Gospel law and among Christians, the name of heresy is taken in a bad sense, and signifies a doctrine which some man chooses for himself that is repugnant to the doctrine of God. And hence, as a result, such choice of doctrine by assent to it is called heresy; for the two are so conjoined that the passage from one to the other is easy. In this way too does Paul in Galatians 5 put, among vices of the flesh, “hheresies,”as Jerome translates and notes according to the Greek term, although the Latin Vulgate translates as “sects”; and in Titus 3 Paul says that a heretic is condemned by his own proper judgment; but it is clear that a heretic is condemned for heresy; Paul indicates, therefore, that that proper judgment is heresy, where also Jerome thinks the same and more clearly Tertullian, in the said ch. 6.
spacer 4. In order more distinctly, then, to define each part, we will call the first an heretical proposition and the second heresy; for it is likely that, by ecclesiastical use and custom, the sin which is committed by choosing a false doctrine so as to believe it or committed by voluntary and free assent to such doctrine, was called heresy, for this is more what is indicated by the true etymology of the word. Therefore an heretical proposition is one that departs from the rule of Catholic truth and opposes it or contradicts it. Thus does Augustine teach, De Vera Religione, chs. 5 and 6, where he calls it “a corrupt doctrine averse from the rule of truth;” and in ch. 7 he says: “It is a corrupt opinion deviating from the rule and communion of the Catholic Church;” and orat. Contra Iudaeos, Paganos, et Arianos ch. 20., he calls it “an error of heretics against the true faith of the Catholic Church.” Likewise Tertullian, De Praescriptionibus ch. 6, says it is “an adulterous doctrine which someone by his own decision and choice introduces or, when introduced by another, embraces.” But when he calls it “adulterous” he means against Christ or the Church, just as, ch. 37, he says that “heretics do not have from Christ what of their own choice they follow.” And in the same sense he says of heretics, ch. 44, that “they have defiled with heretical adultery the Virgin faith handed down by Christ.” Finally, the use of that word is common in the said signification and there is no difference on the point between us and Protestants. But because a proposition is established or defined as heretical by departure from the rule, and because it is opposed, by way of privation, to a proposition or truth of the faith, therefore, to comprehend the formal reason of an heretical proposition, one must set first the rule of believing and explain what is necessary for some proposition to be deemed de fide; for, once this is put in place, it will be easy to see that an assertion contrary to it is heretical.
spacer 5. Moreover, this point is touched on by the king in the last words cited above, and he mocks Catholics who define heresy as “any opinion in causes of the faith that is contrary to papal decision.” But he should, since this definition displeases him, provide another, whereby to explain to us what he understands by heresy, so that he may in this way show that he is free of the stain of heresy. But, without doubt, he can in no way explain it, unless he fall altogether into an inextricable labyrinth by assigning, for rule of faith, Scripture alone, and it as understood by his own and private sure knowledge. Which doctrine, as I showed above, not only spreads out a very broad way for all errors, but also hands down for rule of Catholic Faith what Paul assigned for rule of heresy, that is, the believer’s own judgment. For Paul says about a heretic, Titus 3:11: “He that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment [alt. condemned of himself].” Because “he chooses for himself wherein he is condemned,” as Tertullian adds, :therefore is he also named heretic.” The rule, then, of heresy is one’s own proper judgment, that is, contrary to the judgment of the Church. But those who reduce to their own proper spirit the certitude of faith and the true sense of Scripture establish nothing else for rule of faith than their own proper judgment. For what is proper spirit save proper judgment? Or how is that spirit discerned by those who trust in it save by their own decision? They confound, therefore, the rule of faith with the foundation of heresy; and so it is no wonder that they hold heresy for faith and reject faith as heresy. Besides which, as I was saying above, they can rightly condemn no one as a heretic, since no one is bound to follow in things of faith anotherÕs proper judgment or private spirit; no one, then, will be a heretic, by disagreeing with the rule of faith that they establish.
spacer 6. Solid and Catholic doctrine, therefore, says that Sacred Scripture is the rule of faith, not on its own, nor understood in a private sense, but along with other rules which are commended in it and preserve and discern and interpret it, I mean tradition and the Church itself, which is the living rule, through which the Holy Spirit speaks and which he rules and makes to be the pillar and ground of the truth. And therefore, although Scripture and tradition contain the pure and true word of God, which is the primary rule of faith, nevertheless, because the Church is what infallibly explains and proposes to us the Scriptures, the traditions, and their sense, therefore the Church is wont by the Fathers to be stated as the sufficient rule of faith. Hence Irenaeus, Contra Haereses III.4: “There is no need to seek among others for the truth which is easily received from the Church;” and, ch. 11 at the end, he puts the spirit of the Church before every private spirit, and Book IV chs.43 and 45, he says that in the Church alone is there true tradition and true understanding of Scripture. Cyprian, epist. 73, says that the doctrine of the Church is to be firmly held and taught, and in epist. 76 extensively. Augustine too everywhere uses this sole rule of the Church for confirming truths of the faith, as is clear from the places just mentioned, and from De Haeresibus at the end, where he says that, for some doctrine to be received by none who is faithful, it is enough to know that the thinking of the Church is against it as foreign to the faith. The same very well in Book I of Contra Cresconium. chs.32 and 33, and epist. 48, and in other books against the Donatists; again, epist. 99, and in epist. 118 ch. 5, he says: “to dispute against a doctrine of the Universal Church is a mark of the most insolent madness.” He posits the same for rule of faith and of true doctrine, De Vera Religione chs. 5, 6, amd 7, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae I.30, De Libero Arbitrio III.23, and very gravely in De Utilitate Credendi ch. 17, where he says of the Church: “It has obtained the height of authority, and not to want to give the primacy to it is a mark either of the truly greatest impiety or of precipitate ignorance.” Many other things too we have adduced above, both from the holy and ancient Fathers and from the very Scripture.
spacer 7. From which we briefly infer that that proposition is de fide which the authority of the Catholic Church proposes to us as to be believed de fide; for in this rule is contained everything that has been defined either in Scripture or in the approved Councils. Hence, on the other hand, that proposition is heretical which is contrary to a definition of the Church, or to any proposition defined by the Church in the way explained. But about the Church we have been speaking and about its definitions in order now to abstain from the question of the power of the Roman Pontiff for defining truths of the faith, which power the king seems to have wanted to involve in his words, lest we be diverted from our aim and intention. For although it is very true that the definition of a Pontiff speaking ex cathedra contains infallible truth, and that all the faithful are held to believe it firmly, yet this is not diverse from what we have said; for when a Pontiff defines, the Church is speaking through its head, and the body is not separate from the head nor the head from the body; but because it is more limited, for the Church can in other ways too propose truths of the faith, the Pontiff also approving, as by General Councils and by the universal consent of the Church, and therefore, so as to comprehend everything and avoid controversies, we have spoken in a rather general way. For definitions ought, as far as possible, to be common and beyond controversy. In this way, then, does sufficient explained seem to have been given, according to opportunity of place, about what heresy is as to its matter, or what an heretical proposition is.
spacer 8. Now, from what has been said about an heretical proposition, a definition can easily be given of what, as it is the work or vice of men, heresy is. Heresy, therefore, is deliberate assent to, or credulity in, some heretical proposition. And it reverts to what the scholastics say, that it is false opinion about the things of faith. Therefore, both a doctrine of the faith and a doctrine contrary to it can be said to be the matter that heresy is concerned with, though in a diverse way: a doctrine of the faith by falling away from it or judging it false, but a contrary doctrine by choosing it as true and giving faith to it. Now we say that heresy is voluntary assent, both because heresy according to its name proceeds from a proper and voluntary choice, and also because heresy is taken in the bad sense; such that it involves, not only a false assent of the mind, but also guilt and lapse of the will; and therefore, as we will soon say, although someone may err by assenting to a proposition contrary to the faith, he does not fall into heresy proper, that is, his assent is not deemed heretical or heresy proper unless he recognizes its repugnance to the Catholic Faith and, that fact notwithstanding, chooses and believes such doctrine as true. For this reason, in fact, Paul said, Titus 3:10: “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject.” For although Paul does not hand on the reason or substance of heresy but teaches the way of avoiding heresy, he insinuates nevertheless that heresy is not committed until someone knows, and sufficiently adverts to, what the doctrine is that he is choosing.
spacer 9. This condition, therefore, on the part of the one giving assent is necessary, but on the part of the matter we say in general that heresy is assent about something contrary to the faith. For the matter of faith is multiple, because there are in it dogmas pertaining to God one and three and to his attributes, others to the humanity of Christ and his hypostatic union with the Word, and in general things having regard to the redemption of men, and with these are connected those that have regard to the institution and hierarchy of the Catholic Church, to its sacraments, morals, and ceremonies, also to true remission of sins, and true justice, and the reward and punishment of human deeds; when, therefore, we put indefinitely the matter of faith in the definition of heresy, we are embracing all the aforesaid dogmas. For true and proper heresy is committed in any dogma at all of faith. For if a thing has been revealed by God, it is to be believed with the same certitude of faith, whatever the matter dealt with. Hence also it happens that for true heresy, which destroys the whole faith, voluntary assent contrary to one dogma alone of the faith is sufficient in any matter at all. Because a single lie, even in the least thing pertaining to the faith, would destroy the supreme authority of God, and any false assertion, if it could be found among the dogmas of the faith, would render all the rest uncertain and ambiguous, and accordingly any assent at all contrary to any dogma of the faith at all is heresy, totally destroying the faith. Hence Paul, writing to the Galatians, who wanted to choose an opinion false and contrary to the Gospel about the observance of legal rituals, although they were not erring in other mysteries of the faith, says, 5:4: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law.” And later, v. 7 - 9: “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth [alt. corrupteth] the whole lump.” By these words he indicates that that error (if they were obstinate in it) was enough to make of no effect and to corrupt the whole of their faith. For thus did the schism of the Donatists pass over into heresy, their obstinate mind adhering to one or another error in the matter of baptism or the Church, even if in other things of the faith they were not in error, as I have often related from Cyprian and Augustine, and as I will confirm again in the following point.
spacer 10. Finally, from what has been said is collected who properly and in strictness is called a heretic; for, from Origen on Titus 3:10: “A man that is an heretic &c,” in Pamphilius on the Apologia, he is one “who professes that he believes in Christ and tries to change or subvert some dogma received in the ecclesiastical order.” It is taken in fact from Paul, in the said place of Titus, joined with the exposition of the Fathers, and the common consent of the doctors, and the received use of that term in the Church. For the name of heretic is not attributed to all infidels, but only to those who, while confessing Christ, deny his faith in part, for the other infidels are called rather Jews, pagans, or gentiles. A heretic, then, is he who under the Christian name (for he says he believes Christ) corrupts the truth of the faith of Christ by thinking something against it. But there is need that he do it by his own choice, and with sufficient knowledge and judgment; for if the error happen through ignorance, or lack of knowledge, it does not constitute a heretic, because he is not condemned by his own judgment and he does not commit heresy proper. By this reason too does Augustine distinguish between a heretic and one who believes heretics. For the book De Utilitate Credendi begins thus: “If, O Honoratus, I thought one and the same man to be a heretic and a believer in heretics, I would think that in this cause both my tongue and my pen should rest. But, as it is, there is between these two a very great difference, since a heretic, as my opinion says, is he who, for the sake of some temporal advantage, and especially for his own glory and supremacy, generates and follows false or new opinions (that is, in matter of faith); but he who believes a man of this sort is a man fooled by some image of truth and piety.” For Augustine wished, in the first member, to signify that, in order to constitute a man erring in the faith a heretic properly and simply, he must by his own choice and while seeing that he is dissenting from the Universal Church throw himself into error; and because this does not morally happen save for a human vice or motive, Augustine therefore posited in the definition of a heretic the other particulars, which declare more the occasion or cause of voluntary error than the intrinsic condition of heresy. But in the other member he teachers that error caused by ignorance does not, although it be contrary to faith and the Church, constitute a man a heretic. But the fact will be far more certain if such ignorance is probable (as they say) or invincible; but if it is by grave negligence and too much facility it will not excuse guilt altogether, yet it will excuse that degree and magnitude of guilt which, according to the common usage of the wise and of the whole Church, suffices simply to constitute or denominate a heretic.
spacer 11. The same doctrine is also contained in epist. 16, at the beginning, of the same Augustine, where he says: “They who defend their own opinion, although a false and perverse one, without pertinacity or animosity, especially an opinion which they did not by the audacity of their own presumption give birth to but received from parents who were misled and fell into error, and yet seek the truth with careful solicitude, ready to be corrected when they have found it, these are in no way to be counted among heretics.” On the contrary, however, at De Civitate Dei XVIII.51, he speaks thus: “Those who in the Church of Christ think something unwholesome and corrupt, if, when censured to think what is sane and correct, they stubbornly resist and refuse to emend their pestilential and deadly dogmas but persist in defending them, they are heretics and are to be held, when they go outside, among practiced enemies.” Finally, at De Baptismo IV.16, with the use of an example, he declares both members, saying: “Let us constitute two sorts, one of whom thinks about Christ what Photinus thought, and is baptized in his heresy outside the communion of the Church; while the other thinks the same but is baptized in the Catholic Church thinking that it is the Catholic Faith. This latter I do not yet say is a heretic, unless, once the doctrine of the Catholic Faith has been made manifest to him, he prefers to resist and to choose what he held before; but before this happens, manifestly he who was baptized outside is worse.” Which testimonies I report for this reason, that many things can be noted in them which have great weight in the present cause, as I will also immediately indicate. Therefore, on the evidence of Augustine, there must be pertinacity in heresy for him who chooses it to be held a heretic. And this pertinacity we have signified by the word “choosing,” along with Jerome on Titus 3, and Tertullian in the said in ch. 6 of De Preascriptionibus, who for that reason, in Contra Marcion. I.1, signifies that he is most a heretic who draws back from his earlier faith, “and, the light of his faith extinct, loses the God whom he had found, so that from this already he can be marked out as a heretic, who, having deserted what was before, has afterwards chosen for himself what formerly he was not. For what was introduced afterwards will as much be reckoned heresy as what was handed on formerly and at the beginning will be held so.”
spacer 12. Now, in the description, I spoke in the singular of dogma or assent contrary to the faith, so as to point out that to constitute a heretic it is enough that he voluntarily dissent even in only one thing from the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Which, from what has been said, is sufficiently clear of itself; and it is extensively handed on by Origen, in the cited place on Titus 3, in his review of many special dogmas that pertain in great part to the present cause, when he adds that one of them is sufficient to constitute a man a heretic. Augustine too, in the places mentioned, although he speaks sometimes in the plural of him who generates false or new opinions, more often speaks in the singular about him who defends obstinately a perverse opinion or something unwholesome. Hence, in his book De Haeresibus at the end, he distinguishes two classes of heretics in these words: “There are heretics, it must be confessed, who in a single dogma, or not many more, attack the rule of truth, as the Macedonians or Photinians and whoever else are like this. But others, story-tellers (to call them so), namely those who weave together empty stories, and these long and involved ones, are full of so many false dogmas that even they themselves cannot count them, or only with very great difficulty.” And certainly Luther, Calvin, and the like are to be put in this second order; for they have multiplied so many errors and passed them on in such a confused and inconsistent way in their controversies about the Church, about justifying faith, about the necessity of works, freedom of choice, the sacraments, and the like that they can scarcely number or perceive them. Again, Henry VIII, King of England, if he believed in his mind that he could do in right what in fact he took, will have to be numbered among heretics of the first order, since in one dogma at least he chose to think contrary to the Catholic Church. For the fact that one dogma suffices is readily clear from what has been said. Since a heretic is denominated from heresy, because he embraces it or commits it, but one false dogma, or voluntary assent to it, suffices for heresy, therefore it suffices also for constituting a heretic. Again, one false dogma destroys the whole faith, and voluntary assent to it, even if it be only one and in a single matter, destroys the whole divine faith in such a man; therefore it constitutes him truly a heretic. Lastly, it constitutes him an infidel and not of some other sort, as is clear; therefore it constitutes him a heretic.
spacer 13. From these principles, then, which are very certain, and King James cannot deny them if he wishes to be wise, let him himself pass judgment about himself whether he is by his own self condemned, to speak in the manner of Tertullian and Cyprian. blue For we very greatly desire that the king is not a heretic, and we flee from naming him so, for we know that Augustine, when disputing with the Pelagians, serm. De Verb. Apost, . last chapter, said: “We could perhaps, if we wished, call them heretics, but we do not call them so.” However, he did not, for that reason, omit to show them the truth and summon their conscience and in all ways convince them, so that they might be rebuked and return to a better mind. He also gives a very good reason: “Because, in things not yet made firm by the full authority of the Church, error must be borne, but it must not progress to trying also to shake the foundation itself of the Church. It is not expedient. So far, perhaps, patience is not to be reprehended, but we should be afraid lest there also be blame for negligence.” Since, therefore, we are contending with King James in that cause in which he strives to shake the foundation of the Church, we with like affection too, though with less genius or authority, study to point out his state, not so as to call him heretic, but so that he may come to his senses and see lest he be what he refuses to
be rightly called. For assuredly his excuses will, even to the king, appear of no moment as he carefully weighs them. For no other excuse (without any doubt) can be thought up to escape the reasons and proofs adduced.



1. Twofold excuse in the first reason of the King of England. spacer2. King James was at some time in the Catholic Church. A catechumen rightly baptized by a heretic is truly made a member of the Church. spacer3. Someone can be a heretic even if he was never in the Catholic Church. spacer4. The second reason of the king is refuted.spacer 5. His final reason is dissolved. spacer6. The Creeds, when believed without their Catholic sense, do not suffice for true confession of faith.spacer 7. All the authentic Councils are to be received with equal certitude. spacer8 - 9. A certain evasion of the king is excluded. spacer10 - 11. The reason of the king is shown to be insufficient.

N his first reason, then, the king indicates two heads of excuse: one, that he had a father and paternal grandfather of the same sect as he now professes; the other, that he was never in the Catholic Church. In the previous chapter I deemed it necessary to omit what pertains to the truth of history, because many either deny it or call it into doubt. For since the king never knew his father or his grandfather, whom he lost before the use of reason, and since he was educated by heretics and always dwelt among them, he could have easily been deceived in this matter, so that they might lead him more easily into their own error. Nevertheless, whatever his grandfather or father thought about the faith, their lapse will not excuse his own heresy if, after sufficient warning and instruction, he has not corrected it. Let him, I beseech, re-read the opinion of Augustine cited a little above from epistle 162, where, speaking specifically of those who believe a false and perverse doctrine which they did not by their own audacity give birth to but received from parents who had been seduced and fallen into error, he only then does not assign them among heretics when they do not defend such doctrine with pertinacious mind but are solicitous for the truth and ready to correct their error. But, contrariwise, in other places he condemns without any distinction as a heretic he who is obstinate in error, whether he invented it himself or learnt it from a false doctor or parent. Which fact is also manifestly shown by reason itself, for the error of a parent, when it can now be discerned by the offspring, does not excuse, nay it rather accuses, the offspring’s guilt.
spacer 2.
But as to what the king adds, that he was never in the Church along with the Catholics, it can, in the first place, be from his confession rightly denied, when a true principle of theology is added to it. For he himself confesses that he was baptized in the Catholic rite, since he was still under the care and power of the most serene king and of his Catholic mother; but from these principles is manifestly concluded that he himself was begotten spiritually in the Catholic Church, not in the synagogue of heretics, because baptism too, by which he was reborn, is the Catholic Church’s own proper gift, although it be sometimes possessed and administered by heretics, as Augustine says, De Baptismo I.10; and the king was then under the power of his most serene mother, who was united to the Catholic Church as a member of it by the faith which she professed; therefore he is also a regenerated son of the Church as a member of the same. Nay, even if none of his parents was Catholic, he was by baptism alone, rightly ministered and not unworthily received, made a member of the Catholic Church, because he received through baptism the true justice and faith of Christ along with Christ’s character; therefore he was conjoined to the Church through the sacrament of faith and through the faith of the sacrament, which is altogether enough for him to be a member of it. For just as a catechumen is truly faithful and a Catholic, if he was baptized out of necessity by a heretic, since with true faith and fitting disposition he is fully sanctified and united to Christ as the head and to the Catholic Church as his body, according to the doctrine of Augustine, De Baptismo I.2; therefore the same must be thought about an infant, even if he be baptized by an heretical minister and under heretical parents. Because although the ministers or the parents were in private error, nevertheless he was baptized in the faith of the true Church, and by the same infused faith which he received in baptism he was made a member of it, even if he be detained under the power of those who are foreign and enemy to the Church. Therefore, as long as the King of England did not lose baptismal justice and faith, he was in the Catholic Church; for he was regenerated by it, according to the doctrine of Augustine, De Baptismo I.10, and from the same he had the character and faith which conjoined him to it. For at that age, when he was not capable of an act of faith, the habit suffices for the aforesaid union, since it also suffices for union with Christ; therefore he cannot, under that head, be excused of having defected from the Church when he lost the faith by his own act of heresy.
spacer 3. Also although these things be very true, there can be added besides that one is able to be truly and properly a heretic even if one has never been in the Catholic Church. For if someone was from the beginning instructed by heretics not rightly baptized, and if later, after sufficient censure, he remain obstinately in the error once conceived, he is truly a heretic, because he begins to be an infidel under the Christian name, and yet he was never in the Church, because he had neither baptism nor true faith, whether in habit or in act. And in this way do the Councils and Fathers sometimes teach, that heretics not rightly baptized are, when they come to the Church, to be received through baptism, as the Council of Nicea canon 19 determined about the Paulianists. Therefore they were heretics, although they were never before in the Catholic Church. But the reason is that being rightly baptized does not belong to the idea of heretic, but sufficient is that, although he confess Christ, he obstinately thinks in his own faith against the Catholic Church. Nay rather, although someone not only be not truly baptized but even never a Catholic, he can be a heretic if, recognizing and confessing Christ, he does not profess ChristÕs true faith in its integrity. For this is enough for the infidelity of heresy, even if the person so erring had never before professed the Catholic Faith and afterwards left it; for this is necessary for the circumstance of apostasy but not for the proper stain of heresy, which can be found without that circumstance according to the doctrine of St. Thomas, IIa IIae qq.11 & 12. But we are speaking of the heretic as to guilt, not as to punishments of the Church, because in order to incur those he will need to have the character of baptism, speaking properly, as is more at large treated of in the said place about infidelity. This therefore is now enough to show that the excuse of the king has a foundation neither in what he assumes nor in what he infers.
spacer 4. In his second excuse too the king does not conclude correctly, for although someone be rightly baptized and maintain no error about baptism nor any controversy in that matter with Catholics, nevertheless, because of errors obstinately conceived in other articles of faith, he can be a heretic. Otherwise neither Arius nor Luther nor others like them would have been heretics; for they were rightly baptized and they did not stir up controversies about baptism or its rite, but they became heretics because of other heresies. Therefore it matters little for the present cause that the king was rightly baptized and that he has no controversy with us about baptism, but what must be considered is whether in other matters of the faith he dissents from the Catholic Church. For as Augustine said (dealing with another matter): blue “It is not Christian sacraments that make you a heretic but corrupt dissension.” He is in fact addressing the Donatists, about whom he a little afterwards says: “You are with us in baptism, in the Creed, in the other sacraments of the Lord, but in the spirit of unity and the bound of peace, lastly in the Catholic Church itself, you are not with us.” Any dissension at all, then, from the Catholic Church in a doctrine of the faith makes a heretic of him who professes to believe in Christ although he neither lack baptism nor be in error about baptism.
spacer 5. There remains the final reason wherein the king enumerates the things he believes so as thence to prove himself to be a Catholic. But certainly he does not rightly conclude, because he neither sufficiently believes what he enumerates nor sufficiently enumerates what a Catholic ought to believe. He first says, then, that he puts faith in the Sacred Scriptures; but in which ones? Not in all those that the Catholic Church approves, but he chooses for himself which to believe. Therefore the faith he puts in the Scriptures is not Catholic; for the Catholic Faith is universal, and from nowhere else than from the Catholic Church, as Augustine testifies, does it receive the Scriptures. Next, what sense of the Sacred Scriptures does he with his faith believe? That sense, surely, which he believes he has found by his own sure knowledge. He does not then believe the Scriptures with Catholic Faith; for the Catholic Faith in no way rests for support on private judgment and private spirit, but it holds the rule of the Catholic Church in expounding the Scriptures. But these things were treated of extensively above.
spacer 6. Second, the king enumerates the symbols of the Faith to which he says he swears. But about these, as I also noted above, he must be asked whether in everything he receives the symbols in the sense in which the Catholic Church receives them; for if he does not dare affirm this (because in truth it is not so), the fact that he holds to or swears to the letter of the symbol is not enough to show him a Catholic. There is the sentence of Cyprian, epist. 76 ad Magnum, where, after he has said that schismatics, that is heretics, are equivalent to gentiles, he subjoins: “But if someone opposes this and says that Novatian holds the same law as the Catholic Church holds, baptizes with the same symbol as we also baptize with, recognizes the same God the Father, the same Son, the same Holy Spirit, and that on this account he can usurp the power of baptizing, because he seems not to disagree with us in the baptismal interrogations; let whoever thinks he should make this opposition know that, first, we and the schismatics do not have one law of the symbol, nor the same interrogation. For when they say, ‘Do you believe in the remission of sins and life eternal through the Holy Church?’ there is a lie in their questioning since they do not have the Church, &c.” In this sentence of Cyprian I only consider that to receive the words of the symbol, or to swear to them, is not enough for profession and true confession of faith unless they are believed in the Catholic sense, and that (as Cyprian also subjoins) to confess the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, even in the Catholic sense is not enough if the other articles, about the remission of sins and about one, holy, and Catholic Church, are held in a perverse sense, as it is clear the Protestants understand them. For it is manifestly proven, from what was said above about the Church, how much they all err in the article about the Church, which is sufficient now for us, since here is not the place to dispute about the other articles.
spacer 7. Third, the king enumerates the first four General Councils and says that he venerates them as Catholic and orthodox. Where also a question occurs that must immediately be asked: why does he receive these rather than the fifth, or the sixth, or the other authentic Councils up to the Council of Trent? For if we consider external appearance or solemnity, so to say, there was not less in the later General Councils than in the first four; for they were confirmed and convened by the same pontifical authority, and the convoking was equally universal, and the attendance was equally numerous or sometimes greater; or if it was sometimes less it matters little; the same happened indeed in the first four Councils and it is altogether accidental to the unanimity of the Council; and I say the same proportionally about the wisdom and sanctity of the persons coming to the Councils and celebrating them. But if we consider in the Councils their internal and primary virtue, which is the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and the king believes this and recognizes the fact in the first four Councils, and for that reason venerates them, why does he not believe and recognize the same in later Councils and receive them with equal veneration? Certainly I do not see what he could respond, save either that, after the times of the first four Councils, the Catholic Church had already perished and defected from the true faith and therefore its Councils, however general, were not now true Councils but congregations of the faithless; or that he and his are able, through their own private spirit, to discern between the true and the false Councils, and to approve through it the first four and not the rest. But about these and the like responses, how vain and willful they are, and how incredible in themselves to any prudent man, and lastly how erroneous and contrary, not only to the holy Fathers, but also to the Sacred Scriptures, has been sufficiently demonstrated by us above.
spacer 8. Perhaps the king had another counsel for venerating those Councils rather than others, not because he believes that the assistance of the Holy Spirit was promised to true Councils, nor even because he believed they could not err, but because he judges that in fact they did not err but taught in conformity to the Sacred Scriptures, which he does not judge about the other Councils. But if thus he thinks about the Councils, this is not to believe in a General Council as a rule of faith but to approve or reject a Council by one’s own judgment; but to receive Councils in this way pertains rather to human opinion than to faith. And hence also the result seems to follow that Protestants do not venerate those Councils by receiving them fully and in their totality, but only in that part of doctrine which does not contradict themselves, though not in the other decrees, especially the moral ones, nor in the manner of teaching the truth from the traditions of the Church and the consent of the Fathers, nor in the recognition of the Apostolic Roman See, to which the Councils always granted primacy, as was eruditely noted in his Apologia by the most learned Cardinal Bellarmine, ch. 7, and as we will, according as occasion occur, declare in what follows.
spacer 9. Fourth, finally, the king mentions the unanimous consent of the Fathers, namely of those who existed in the four or five hundred years after Christ. Where the same objection immediately occurs, because he discerns gratuitously and by his own judgment alone between the Fathers of greater and lesser antiquity, since many, unequal in time, were not inferior in either sanctity or wisdom, and (which is chief) they did not, in things pertaining to faith and salvation, depart from the steps of the more ancient ones, as Gregory the Great, Gregory of Tours, Isidore, John Damascene, the Venerable Bede, Remigius, Peter Damian, Anselm, Bernard, Thomas, Bonaventure, Laurentius Justinianus, and others similar. Next, among those ancient Fathers are rightly numbered Dionysius and Ignatius, whom some Protestants not only do not admit but even load down with insults. Next, they defer almost not at all to Leo I and Innocent I and other holy Pontiffs of those times merely because they were Pontiffs, although they wrote with no less wisdom. Next, they readily reject even other Fathers, as often as they begin to perceive them contrary to themselves, whether by denying that the writings are theirs, although these circulate under their names, or by attributing error to them. Hence in this point too the king does not profess that he believes everything that those Fathers taught with unanimous consent, even about things that pertain to salvation, but only that he does not reprehend them, or at least keeps silent, which is little and less for integral confession of faith, because from unanimous consent of this sort in such matter ecclesiastical tradition arises, which, always unbroken in the Catholic Church, suffices for rule of faith, as was proved above.
spacer 10. Wherefore, although we might concede to the king that what he professes in that reason, about the faith which he puts in the Creeds and the four Councils, is simply true, yet his reason does not rightly or sufficiently conclude; otherwise we will have to deny that many of those condemned as heretics by the Church were heretics. For Helividius, and those who by Epiphanius, Haeres. 78, are called Antidicomarianitae, are numbered among the heretics by Augustine, Haeres. 56 amd 84, although they put faith in the Scriptures, the Creeds, and the Councils, because they contended only that the most blessed Mary had by Joseph other sons after Christ; although that is not expressly against Scripture, the Creeds, or the four Councils, yet it is against the ecclesiastical tradition received by all Catholics. Next, we have a very good example in the Donatists, about whom Cyprian above said that, by persevering at the beginning in the same faith and religion and use of the sacraments, they made a schism by splitting the Church and usurping the chair and the primacy. But Augustine adds, De Haeresibus on 69: “When obstinate defense was made firm, they turned a schism into a heresy,” and so they became heretics. But, when explaining how they first became heretics, he adds: “As if the Church of Christ, because of the crimes of Caecilian, whether true or, as appeared more to the judges, false, perished from the whole earth where it was promised it was going to be, and remained in Africa in the party of Donatus, being extinguished in the other parts of the earth as by the contagion of communion.”Ó In which words Augustine not obscurely insinuated that the Donatists were made heretics by thinking badly of the Church, from which by schism they had separated. And yet the Donatists said that they believed the Scriptures and the Apostles’ Creed for the other Creeds and the four General Councils had not yet come about when Donatus began; but afterwards they did hold a definite faith in them (as far as we collect from Cyprian and Augustine), and yet solely for the error by which they began to think badly of the Church they became heretics. But if someone were to consider rightly, he will find the same to have happened with the Protestants, and especially with the Anglican sect, which began through schism and the usurpation of the primacy and, afterwards, proceeded to the point that because of communion with the Roman Pontiff, on whom they have imposed crimes and errors, they pronounce that the visible Universal Church has defected.
spacer 11. Augustine adds besides about the Donatists: “They even dare to re-baptize Catholics, where they have further confirmed themselves to be heretics, although it has pleased the whole Catholic Church not to annul common baptism even in heretics themselves.” But he says that through this is it further confirmed that they are heretics, because they have added a new heresy; which notwithstanding, Donatus might say that he admitted Scripture and the Creed and a single true baptism, which he contended was in his Church. But all this, if not in the same matter of baptism, one may in many other like things see in the Anglican sect. For after it began to think badly about the Church, it received and taught many things against the Church’s universal sense and definition, by which it was further confirmed in heresy, as Augustine said a little above. We can besides bring as example all the heretics who have private and individual errors, and are reputed heretics by the Universal Church, although they say they believe, by badly interpreting them all, the Scriptures, the Creeds, and the four General Councils, or those Councils that had in their times been completed. Thus from these things is collected what is related by Origen (on Titus 3 in Pamphilus on the Apologia) about the various errors whose individual instances are enough to constitute a man a heretic. Again from these things is collected what Augustine, Epiphanius, and others relate about the Pelagians, Anabaptists, Monothelites, Jovinianists, and others, whom it is manifest were heretics; and the Protestants themselves do not doubt so to call many of them. Therefore the excuse is not sufficient when, notwithstanding, many things are believed against the Church, either by interpreting Scripture or the Creeds otherwise than the Church itself thinks or by condemning many things that have been approved and defined by the authority of the same Church. But that such is his faith the King of England not only does not deny, but even expressly affirms, by accusing the Catholic Church of various errors, for he objects to as many errors in it as he concedes he finds heresies in his own sect, and as many times does he teach that the Universal Church can err in faith and morals, which is heretical.



1. The general rule or limit or boundary for belief which the King of England prescribes to his credulity. spacer2. Conjectures whereby the king could have been led to lay down the aforesaid rule of belief. spacer3. Solution to conjectures of this sort. An evasion is met. spacer4. Solution to the second conjecture. spacer5. Evasion of the king. Solution. spacer6 - 7. The third conjecture is dissolved. spacer8. The conclusion is drawn that it is against the faith to attribute false articles to the Roman Church. spacer 9 - 10. Second reason. Nothing can come from the Roman Church without at the same time coming from the Catholic Church. spacer11. The articles reprehended by the king contain the true and Catholic doctrine.

EFOREwe refute the errors of the Anglican schism one by one in the next book, I have thought it worthwhile in the present chapter to propose and diligently examine certain words of the king, by which he prescribes certain boundaries, so to say, to his credulity and his agreement with the Catholic Church. Now the words are of this sort: “But if the workshop of the Roman Church has recentl7y fashioned articles unheard of and unseen before the five hundredth year of Christ, I am not, I believe, to be condemned for a heretic if I do not accede to these novelties and recent inventions.”
spacer 2.
These words certainly contain a sort of general rule for belief, or a certain limit, measure, or boundary which the king prescribes to his credulity, namely, that it not stretch into articles of the faith propositions which were defined in the Church after the five hundredth year of Christ; but he seems to take as supposition that he believes everything which in the first five centuries the Church believed as de fide necessary. Nevertheless, he does not put this second affirmative part as expressly as the other negative one. For although a little later he seem also to profess it, yet the words are changed and more confused and ambiguous, lest perhaps he be constrained by them, as I will consider later by urging and requiring a certain solemn promise of the king’s. Therefore now, about the other part, in which the king runs away from believing anything defined in the Church after the five hundredth year, I judge it necessary to demand of the most serene king a reason for this rule of belief or rather of non-belief. For it is not likely that he himself by his own decision has established the boundary of that time for himself, otherwise his whole faith will not only be merely human but will even lack prudent reason, because how much repugnance it has to the Christian faith is perspicuous to all; for giving a reason for which faith we should be ready, according to the warning of 1 Peter 3:15, which Augustine, epist. 222, explained of giving a reason leading to belief. The king could, therefore, have been moved to thus limiting his faith, either because he decreed that he was to believe nothing except what by his sure knowledge he understands to be written in those canonical books which he admits; or because he believes that the Catholic Church was governed by the Holy Spirit in preserving the faith pure through five hundred years and no more; or because he is not speaking of the Catholic Church but of the Roman Church and says that at that time it erred. But these things are not sufficient to excuse the error of the limitation; nay, each and every one of them proves that the limitation is both against faith and against reason, as will be clear from examining the three said parts.
spacer 3. For the first reason is easily refuted from what was said above. Both because we showed that it is against faith and against reason to admit some books approved by the Church and to repudiate others, since none could possess the faith of the canon except through the authority of the Church, and this authority is the same in all of them, and, accordingly, if it is found false in one it becomes uncertain in all. Also because it would be against the principles of the faith and against natural reason to reduce faith to private spirit and preach it as certain and necessary for everyone. Besides there occurs here a special reason, that that private spirit can even suggest something to be believed about Scripture in a way other than it was believed in the first five centuries; and conversely, someone can approve some sense of Scripture which was also by some private spirit thought out after five hundred years of Christ, although it be contrary to the dogmas received in the five prior centuries; for there is no greater reason about one time than about another, when once someone persuades himself that faith is to be given to this private spirit. But if perhaps the king say that the spirit declares to him that, in the first five centuries, no error was made by the Church in understanding the Scriptures, and that afterwards there was error, certainly he cannot show where he reads this, so that, through his sure knowledge, he understands it to have been authentically and canonically written; and thus it is clear that that discrimination or limitation of times has without foundation been by the king himself prescribed. But if the king be led by human conjectures alone, we will at once show that none of them are of any weight or moment, hence he wrongly puts them before certain and indubitable faith.
spacer 4. I come to the second reason, and I ask in a like way whence it is evident that the Catholic Church was for the first five hundred years governed and preserved in the true and pure faith by the Holy Spirit. Certainly, from nowhere else than the promises of Christ, otherwise the thing is propounded willfully and without foundation. But Christ the Lord, as is proved from the Scriptures, did not make a period of five hundred years the fixed limit of his promise. Without foundation, therefore, in the Christian Faith, is a boundary of this sort made fixed. Nay truly, it is contrary to the foundation of the faith, because the promises of Christ are indefinite and, so to say, unbounded; therefore it is against the faith to prescribe them a boundary. Rather in fact in these promises the Lord often added about the promise of the Spirit, John 14:16, “that he may abide with you for ever,” and about his own protection, Matthew 28:20, “to the end of the world.” Therefore if, from the five hundredth year of Christ, the Church ceased to be protected by Christ and governed by the Holy Spirit, the promise has, for the greater part of the time, been false and faithless, and thus without cause is it believed that it was fulfilled in those earlier times; or conversely, if the faith of the Catholic Church is for this reason believed to be pure in the first five centuries, by the same faith must it be believed that it has lasted pure through the eleven following centuries.
spacer 5.
Perhaps the king will say that in the first five centuries the Church preserved the true faith, not because it could not err, but because in fact it did not err, but it did err afterwards. But if he thus thinks of the primitive and ancient Church up to the five hundredth year, assuredly he does not believe by divine faith that the Church in all that time did not err, because nowhere is this revealed nor is it written in the canonical books, except insofar as the said promises are found in them and the testimony of Paul calling the Church the pillar and ground of the truth; which words are both without limitation of time and, because of the infallible assistance of the Holy Spirit, are pronounced so as never to be in error. If therefore they be not accepted in this sense, the king does have whence to believe by faith that the Catholic Church did not err in the first five centuries, or did not err in the Council of Nicea, or in the other three; nor even can he believe with certain faith the very Creed of the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople, at least as to the additions made in them and especially as to the article about the Catholic Church as it was enduring at those times. Therefore the king is led by human conjectures alone or histories or his own proper judgment in believing that in those centuries the Church did not err; and he could believe the same about the not much dissimilar nor unequal later centuries, if he had not from false teachers imbibed the contrary error from his cradle. Therefore, the limitation and distinction of times shows at once that such faith cannot be Catholic, nor founded on the divine word.
spacer 6. The third reason, indeed, or excuse (if the king really asserts that he is not speaking of the Catholic Church but of the Roman) was more than sufficiently rejected in chapter 5, because neither was the Roman Church ever separated from the Catholic, nor was the Catholic Church, once it had been founded in the Roman, ever divided from it. Besides, if the king is speaking of the Roman Church after the five hundredth year of Christ, he should go on also proclaiming the same things about the same Church for the five previous centuries; both because he only speaks of the “workshop of the Roman ChurchÓ in that whole opinion, and also because his opinion would otherwise not be sufficiently consistent with itself or firm. Therefore, he must concede that in those five hundred years the Roman Church did not err, and that a false article did not proceed from its workshop; for those articles, which he reprehends as novelties and recent, he confesses himself were unheard of in the first five centuries; therefore he confesses that he has nothing to reprehend the Roman Church for in those first five centuries, and that accordingly, at least for the same centuries, it did not err. But, with this posited, we will confirm, by going over, the discussion just completed. For the Roman Church is either believed not to have erred in those first five centuries because, on account of the assistance of the Holy Spirit, it could not err, or because in fact, and as if by chance, it did not err. The first member, though it be very true, I know the king must not admit, lest he attribute so great a prerogative and signal privilege to the Roman Church for even a brief time, especially because, if he wishes to speak consistently and he recognizes it before one time, he can in no way refuse it for another time. Because, for whatever time it be admitted, it must be founded on the promise of Christ, but the words of Christ, “I will pray for thee, &c.,” and these, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” do not have any limitation of time but, being proffered indefinitely, comprehend all future times.
spacer 7. The king will therefore deny, as I believe, that the Roman Church ever had this privilege, and he will the more choose the other member, namely, that by the fact itself it so happened that in those five hundred years the Roman Church did not err, although it did not have the privilege of not erring, and consequently he believes, not with certain faith, but with human conjecture and free opinion, that in those five centuries the Roman Church did not err. Hence, further, it follows that the same must be asserted about the Catholic Church; which, that it is absurd, was already made plain and remains so. But the consequence is plain; because in all those five hundred years the Catholic Church was believing what the Roman Church believed, and those articles which proceeded from the workshop of the Roman Church proceeded from the workshop of the Catholic Church. For its Pontiff was, in the four General Councils of those times (which Councils can most be said to be the workshop of the Catholic Church), head and presider, and from his confirmation and approval they had the strongest firmness, as by the acts of the same Councils is clearly manifest, and as will on a more suitable occasion be said below; therefore, there cannot be a greater certitude about the purity of the faith of the Catholic Church for that time than about the firmness of the faith of the Roman Church. Hence, if this is reduced to human opinion, their whole faith will totter, and the authority of the first four Councils will be merely human, and the Athanasian Creed will have no authority other than human. Because the greatest authority it has it received from the Roman Church, and we inferred above the same about the Nicene and Constantinopolitan Creed. Add, finally, that the Fathers of that time always attributed, not to human industry, but to the assistance of the divine Spirit, the firmness and purity of the faith of the Roman See, and attributed the perpetual succession of its bishops as if to the miracle of divine protection, as we have recently testified from Cyprian, Augustine, and others; and it is very clear from the decrees and epistles of the Pontiffs of the same See and of those times, but about all of these supposition was made in the discussion that they had preserved the faith pure, and among them were many very holy martyrs and very close to the apostles, as Clement, Anacletus, and the like. But others were very wise and holy confessors, as Leo I, Innocent, and others.
spacer 8. From which, finally, we conclude that it is against all faith to attribute to the Roman Church its being, after the five hundredth year of Christ, the workshop of false articles of the faith. First, because it was shown that the purity of the faith, which it had in the first five centuries, was preserved, not by human counsel alone, but by divine privilege; but this privilege was not taken away nor lost in the five hundredth year of Christ; both because this is neither proved nor can be proved, and there is, against the most ancient privilege, granted from the lips of Christ himself, no presumption unless it is be proved; and because most of all the perpetuity of that privilege is sufficiently proved from the Scriptures and from the common tradition of the Fathers, as was done above, and we will perhaps add something in Book III.
spacer 9. Second, because, even after the first five centuries, the workshop of the Roman Church cannot be separated from the workshop of the Catholic Church; but to affirm that from the workshop of the Catholic Church false articles of the faith have ever proceeded is plainly heretical, because it is nothing other than to say that the Church of Christ has lost the Catholic Faith, and hence that it has perished; therefore one no less errs by thinking in this way of the Roman Church. The first proposition will be made clear with one or other example. For the fifth or sixth General Synod was not less the workshop of the Catholic and at the same time Roman Church than was the third or the fourth; therefore if the Roman Church could err, or did err, after those five hundred years, the same can be thought of the whole Catholic Church. From which opinion King James seems to be not far distant, for on account of that cause he does not receive the General Councils celebrated after the five hundredth year of Christ. But far otherwise did Gregory the apostle of England think of the fifth synod, Register I epist. 24 at the end, where, when he had said that he receives and venerates the first four Councils just like the four books of the holy Gospel, he subjoins: “The fifth Council too I venerate equally.” And later he speaks about all five when he says: “All the persons, indeed, whom the aforesaid venerable Councils reject, I reject; whom they venerate, I embrace; because, as long as they were by universal consent established, he destroys himself and not them whoever presumes either to loose what they bind, or to bind what they loose; whoever, therefore, is of other mind, let him be anathema. But whoever receives the faith of those synods, peace be upon him &c.” Let the King of England, then, fear the anathema pronounced by the most holy Gregory, and let him ponder there his reason, “as long as they were by universal consent established;” for Gregory evidently concludes that it is against all reason, where the same cause of sure authority is so manifest in the Councils, to recognize it in some and not in others merely because of the difference of times. Which reason is expounded excellently by Bellarmine when comparing the sixth synod with the third, in the said ch. 7, to which nothing can be added.
spacer 10. And in the same way all following times can be run through, for always the Roman Church and the Catholic were conjoined, or rather were one, and therefore never did anything proceed from the workshop of the Roman Church which did not emanate from the Catholic Church. Neither, then, can anyone attribute the blot of falsity to the workshop of the Roman Church without attributing the same to the Catholic Church, or without saying that for so many centuries there was no Catholic Church in the world, or at any rate without affirming that after the five hundredth year of Christ it lay hidden and was made invisible, which are portents and monstrosities in themselves incredible and contrary, not only to the divine Scriptures, but also to reason, nay to sense too, as was sufficiently discussed above.
spacer 11. But if anyone perhaps feigns that it has, from these things, at most been proved that from the General Councils, and hence from the workshop of the Catholic Church, there have not proceeded false articles, yet others were invented by the Roman Pontiffs without the said Councils, about which the King of England could have been speaking, and that in this way the Roman Church is, in his opinion, separated from the Catholic; let him notice that this response begs another question, namely whether the Pope might define a matter of faith without a General Council, which now we do not need; both because the king without doubt is not speaking in this sense, because he also does not admit the later Councils, and many of the articles which he reprehends were approved in General Councils, as we will see; and also because, though we grant that some of the said articles were not in the beginning introduced by General Councils, nevertheless they were received and approved by the universal assent of the Catholic Church, and so are not separated from the consent of the whole Catholic Church; and finally because, by running through the individual articles that the king touches on, we will show openly that they are reprehended without cause, nay rather that they contain the true faith, whether they were legitimately defined by General Councils or by the authority of the Supreme Pontiffs. Hence it could, on the contrary, rather be shown, by the by and as by a certain induction, that the Roman See, which has hitherto not erred in its definitions, in no way can err, whether the definition be made with a General Council or by the Pontiff alone speaking ex cathedra. About which point we will touch on some things in Book III, although a proper consideration and disputation about it is neither necessary nor, as I said, opportune in this place.



spacercorrect, full, and secure way and reason of finding the truth and the Catholic Faith we have, in our little measure, tried to show and, with signs sure and founded on the Word of God, to make clear; and since neither has the Catholic Faith ever strayed, or can stray, outside the true Church of Christ, nor has this unique spouse of Christ ever strayed, or can stray, from the sincere truth of the faith, to this unique mistress thereof we have, like to the sun shining in the world, pointed as with a finger; and, that it is not other than the one founded on the See of Peter, we have, partly with the written partly with the unwritten word of God, provided proof. Hence it was as a consequence necessary that we should give conviction that the error of the Anglican sect cannot be excused from the note of heresy; which, with the liberty that becomes a Catholic doctor, and with the modesty that is due to the royal majesty, we have not doubted to do, mindful of that most prudent opinion of the Pontiff Gelasius to the emperor Anastasius: “Far be it, I beg, from a Roman, or a Christian, prince that a truth to his senses made evident he should judge an injury.”
spacer 2. It remains for the most serene King James (which I humbly and earnestly ask) not to become obdurate when hearing the word of God, but, all human affection set aside, to perpend, according to the sharpness of his genius wherewith he is endowed, the antiquity of our Catholic Roman Church, but the novelty of the sect which he embraces, the firmness of that, the instability of this, to take up the doctors of that, most wise and for sanctity and antiquity venerable, to dread the obscure and novel impostors of this, for so may it happen, as I desire, that he should upon the truth of that, but the pretense of this, look with a clearness greater than light, and should with Hilary begin to say: “Finally has the age now of this world brought forth for us these most impious doctors; the faith which thou, O God, hast taught had aged masters. Therefore let me, those ones all unheard, so believe in thee that from henceforth I should be always thine.” And thus may it happen, most prudent king, that the title of Defender of the Catholic Faith, in which you rightly glory, may be by you deserved and, with a true and just title, possessed; for our kind Mother the Church does not envy you this name (which you are not ignorant was given by pontifical donation) but longs for it to be unconquered; if, however, to those things, which we have hitherto said, you turn your mind, surely you will understand that, not by resisting the Roman Church, but rather by humbly obeying it, will you obtain that title. For if you persist in attacking the Church you necessarily waste away your strength; for as Chrysostom said: “If you make war on a man, perhaps you will conquer, or perchance you will be conquered; the Church no force can conquer, for heaven and earth will pass away but the words of Christ will not pass away.” ]\But if you begin the sincere faith of the holy Church to embrace, and the glory and purity of it dearly to love, and if you retain it constantly, then you will the true title of Defender of the Catholic Faith obtain eternal. Which, that it may happen, we urgently beseech the divine majesty; and before your majesty we have gladly laid this work of ours, of whatever sort it be, and, drawn on by this hope, the other things, wherein your ministers have imposed on you, we proceed to show.


Go to Book II