JMC : Catholic Moral Teaching / by Joseph Mausbach

Chapter IV: Particular Topics of Casuistry

Misunderstandings and Exaggerations


THE charge most familiar and almost invariably brought against casuists, and especially against Jesuit moralists, concerns the maxim The end justifies the means. In its true sense, in which it is accepted by almost all moralists, it means that a good and holy purpose bestows a higher moral value upon means that are in themselves either good or indifferent.

But the Jesuits are accused of declaring even sinful actions to be permissible or to be morally good, if only they tend to the attainment of some good and holy object. In 1852, and several times subsequently, P. Rok offered a reward of one thousand forms to any one who could show that this principle was stated in any book written by a Jesuit. The reward has never been claimed, nor were others, offered in later years. O. Zöckler{1} explains this fact as follows: "The theory that the end justifies the means is taught by the Jesuits not explicitly but implicitly, in the form of certain equivalents." But P. Roh had stated that he would be satisfied even with such "equivalents." Also Pascal's formula of the directio intentionis, of including good intentions in sinful actions, has, as Zöckler admits, never yet been found clearly expressed in the works of any Jesuit, but "a fuller knowledge of the Jesuit writers on casuistry will probably reveal it"! Instead of obtaining this fuller knowledge, the opponents of the Jesuits since Pascal's time have only brought forward a number of passages that they either completely distorted or else interpreted in a way not justifled by their context.

For a long time they quoted an expression occurring in the works of Busenbaum, a Jesuit, who died in 1668. In discussing a debated point he actually uses the words: Cum finis est licitus, etiam media sunt licita.{2}

In 1895 P. Grünberg, a Protestant writer, examined the context of this sentence and found to his astonishment, as he says, "that it here has none of the objectionable meaning imputed to it by controversialists. Apart from the fact that the means are said to be sanctioned, not justified or sanctified, Busenbaum, in using these words, had no intention at all of laying down a new or even a moral principle, but he employed them as a universally recognized logical rule, or as stating an obvious fact."{3}

The sentence means: When an end is permissible, the (natural) means for attaining that end are also permissible, as there must be means of attaining it." In the instance chosen for discussion, the question is whether a prisoner, trying to escape from execution or lifelong confinement, may deceive his warders, without using violence, and break his fetters. Busenbaum argues that if it is not a sin to attempt flight, the preparations for it cannot be forbidden as immoral. It would be absurd to say to a prisoner: "You may run away, but you must not break a lock or chain." Grünberg remarks (p. 437, etc.): "The meaning is, strictly speaking, not that a morally good or permissible end is enough to render bad actions good, -- note in the first place the clause praecisa vi et injuria, -- but that, where the completion of an action is allowable . . . the attempt to perform it must also be allowed, just as the beginning or any part of the action is allowed." {4}

It would have been easy to arrive at the same conclusion from Catholic works, but it was Grünberg's explanation that had the effect of making Tschackert speak only of an "instinctive" recognition or a "transparent" attestation of the principle.{5} In articles contributed to the "Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte" and in an excellent historical monograph on the subject, a Jesuit, M. Reichmann, has replied to both Tschackert and Zöckler, bringing forward historical arguments to prove the injustice of the accusation.{6}

Again, on March 31, 1903, Dasbach, a member of the House of Deputies, offered two thousand forms to any one able to show that the Jesuits really maintained the principle with which Protestant writers of controversy charged them. The money was promised to any one who could prove that they taught that any sort of means are permissible provided the end is good. P. von Hoensbroech professed his readiness to do so, and attempted to furnish the required proof in an article published first in the "Deutschland" for July, 1903, and afterwards printed separately under the title "Der Zweck heiligt die Mittel," Berlin, 1903. A court of arbitration could not be formed, as Protestant professors refused to have anything to do with it, so v. Hoenebroech went to law to claim payment of the sum offered. One admission that he made is of peculiar interest: "Criticism has refuted all the evidence adduced from the time of Pascal to the present day in favour of the occurrence of this notorious principle in the works of Jesuit writers. . . . The evidence now brought forward is new."{7}

The Court of Appeals at Cologne declared, on March 30, 1905, that the required evidence had not been supplied. The verdict was based upon the following considerations: "All the passages quoted by the complainant from the writings of Jesuits refer exclusively to definite, individual actions, and the authors answer the question whether, assuming certain definite things to be the case, these actions are permissible. In a particular case the question is discussed whether it is permissible to advise a man to commit a lesser sin, who is fully determined to commit a greater one, there being no other means of deterring him. We must not lose sight of the fact that the point is always whether it is permissible to advise a man to commit a slight sin, never whether slight sins are permissible, so that the whole question turns upon a very definite action, viz., the giving of scandal. . . . If it be regarded as permissible to give such advice, the supporters of this opinion take pains to show that the action does not become permissible ex fine, but is good ex objecto, and they explain in very various ways that the object of the action or advice is not the perpetration of a sin, but the diminution of a greater, or the choice of a lesser sin, and that this is a good object."

The court stated that while it was possible to challenge this argument, it was impossible to discover in it the required principle. Furthermore, that the same remark may be made with regard to another class of casus, which turns upon the question whether under certain circumstances it is permissible to offer a possibility or occasion of sin; e.g., in order to detect or convert a thief.

The judicial decision was on all essential points correct and convincing. Liberal-minded men like K. Jentsch and V. Naumann had rightly ridiculed the hypocritical severity which doubted the right to advise a vindictive ruffian, on the point of shooting a man who had offended him, to give him a flogging instead; whilst it raised no protest against the far more disastrous dominion of unscrupulous utilitarianism in modern life. According to the principles of Catholic morals, we are always bound, in discussing such a question, to lay emphasis upon the fact -- and the more prominent works of casuists do this -- that one may never advise a man offhand to commit a smaller sin, but the advice must either expressly or unmistakably contain the condition or presumption that one or other of the two sins will certainly and in any case be committed.

Speaking generally, we may point out that even a moralist has "the right" to make a mistake in his solution of a difficult casus without thereby at once incurring a charge of holding an immoral principle. Every mistake, every sin, is a denial of some theoretical or practical principle, but only a fanatical desire to discover heresy, or a pedantic narrow-mindedness, can find in such inconsistencies any evidence of maxims hostile to faith and morals. Otherwise we should eventually arrive at the point of considering every one who used an illogical argument or a contradictory line of thought fit for a lunatic asylum. A Catholic moralist, above all, cannot give to the maxim under discussion the meaning that it is charged to have, because in his fundamental studies the contrary is too clearly laid down as an axiom. St. Augustine says emphatically that, however great a bearing the end to be attained may have upon the moral value of an action, nothing in itself wrong may ever be done for the sake of attaining a good end.{8}

St. Thomas Aquinas quotes and confirms this principle: "Ea, quae secundum se mala, nullo fine bene fieri possunt,"{9} and distinguishes precisely the moral quality, that a human action has in virtue of its immediate object, from the further determination given it by the ultimate end in view; and he lays it down, as absolutely indispensable to the goodness of an action, that both its nature and its end must be good. "Evil proceeds from various defects, but goodness only from perfection and completeness. Hence the will is always bad, if it desires anything bad in itself from the point of view of good, or good from that of evil. For its goodness, however, it is necessary that it should desire the good as good; i.e., that it seeks what is good for the sake of what is good."{10}

This principle recurs in a stereotype form in handbooks of ethics and serves as a guiding star in special casuistic investigations. Laymann, for instance, says: Circumstantia finis boni nihil confert actui ex obiecto malo, sed relinquit simpliciter et undequaque malum. He bases his statement not only upon St. Augustine, St. Dionysius, and St. Thomas, but also upon St. Paul, who in Romans iii. 8 denounces as a principle worthy of all condemnation: Faciamus mala, ut eveniant bona.{11} In the same way St. Alphonsus declares that, "if the object is immoral and inconsistent with what is naturally reasonable, the action is rendered essentially immoral."{12}

It is important to notice that, according to all these writers, the standard which determines the moral relations of a man to the various objects and aims of his actions is to be found not in vague and changeable feelings, but in reason, which judges according to general principles and reflects the eternal laws of God. Many actions are sinful because of their inward and essential irregularity, and are forbidden by a natural law of morality, so that God Himself could not make them good and lawful.{13}

Luther, by his whole disposition and theological tendency, was in far greater danger of infringing upon the absolute character of moral prohibitions. As a nominalistic theologian and a man of strong emotions he was inclined to put pious feelings before reason, and to prefer the positive law of God to the lex aeterna and subjective suggestions to objective rules. If, according to Luther, faith is able to make an inwardly sinful man appear just and holy by the imputation to him of a justice not his own, this same faith must also make it possible to sanctify a sinful action by means of a pious intention. With regard to the Hessian marriage question, Luther, it is well known, said: "What harm would there be if a man, to accomplish better things, and for the sake of the Christian Church, did tell a good thumping lie?" In sanctioning the Landgraf's double marriage, Luther undoubtedly took into account the protection that Philip could extend to the Reformation movement.{14}

The liberal ethical teaching of modern times openly acknowledges, that to a great extent, the end justifies the means; not indeed every end, but the end of human life -- i.e., the earthly welfare of the individual or of society. By regarding this ideal of prosperity as the result of worldly factors, it naturally makes it dependent upon changeable empirical relations, not upon unchanging spiritual rules. In many cases modern ethics actually concede that the moral laws vary essentially according to nations, times, and individuals; and when once this concession is made, the way is plainly opened to most disastrous interpretations and applications of the proposition which we have been discussing.{15}


Harnack in various places{16} draws attention to a statement quoted by Döllinger from the works of Innocent IV, to the effect that it is enough for laymen to believe in a God who will reward us according to our actions, and in all other matters of dogma and morality to believe merely implicite; i.e., to think and say: "I believe what the Church believes." He states that from the time of Nominalism onwards, this view has received a more general acceptance, and faith has been regarded as an act of blind obedience, the laity having been bound to the Church merely by a convenient and empty fides implicita. This system is said to have attained its fullest development in Probabilism, and we are told that the theory, according to which a man in a state of culpable ignorance regarding the mysteries of faith, even such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, could nevertheless receive absolution, was accepted in a general way by all the Popes, although it was formally condemned by Innocent XI. Hoensbroech quotes from Laymann, a Jesuit, the following statement: "Explicit faith in the mysteries of the Incarnation and the Trinity is not essential to salvation." In making this quotation, Hoensbroech relies upon Guimenius (de Moya, 1657), who sums up Laymann's excellent and thorough examination of the subject in this altogether erroneous way.{17} Whoever studies the history of the matter will, I am convinced, discover in its development a pleasing feature, quite in agreement with modern feeling on Christianity and morals.{18}

According to Holy Scripture and the uniform conviction of Christendom, faith is the religious adherence to the historical Redeemer and to His truth and grace, and it is in this sense that faith is declared to be necessary to salvation. But ever since the earliest ages of Christianity another line of thought can he traced, apparently not in harmony with the one just mentioned, according to which an ardent desire and love of God, and confidence in Him, can secure the salvation of those who are not followers of Christ. Ever since the twelfth century the question in its more precise form -- viz., whether explicit faith in the Trinity and Incarnation was necessitate medii, indispensable to salvation -- has been frequently discussed by theologians.

What is meant by necessitate medii? It means: "Is the knowledge of these dogmas so indispensable that this positive subject of faith, like the interior willingness to have faith, can under no circumstances ever be absent, even in a heathen, if he is to be saved? Many theologians have taken this strict view and have consequently, in order to reconcile it with the doctrine that God desires the salvation of all men, been forced to believe that God is accustomed to intervene in some extraordinary way in the usual course of salvation. Others -- and the majority of recent writers belong to this class -- maintain that the kind of faith mentioned in Hebrews xi. 6 is the absolute minimum conceivable for salvation. This view, necessitating belief that God is the Supreme Being and a rewarder to those that seek Him, makes it easier to account for the origin of faith under circumstances of outward abandonment. But these theologians all require, besides faith in God, confidence in Him, contrition for sin, and purpose of amendment. They are unanimous in insisting upon a necessitas praecepti; i.e., an obligation to accept all the truths of faith made known to men by means of sermons, instructions, and festivals of the Church; they say that the minimum of Christian knowledge comprises the Apostles' Creed, the Paternoster, the Seven Sacraments, and the Ten Commandments.{19} Ignorance of these fundamental truths of Christianity is a sin; but it may be due to external impediments, and excusable for that reason; hence it is not invariably an absolute obstacle to salvation. As we have seen, the first question refers to exceptional cases, outside the usual means of salvation; and within the Church it can only affect persons who have never been under religious influence, and are, when finally attended by a priest incapable of instruction, owing to imminent danger of death or to mental deficiency. In this context the theory condemned by Innocent XI becomes intelligible, although for several reasons it was too lax.{20}

To sum up. According to the more lenient opinion, casuistic morals in exceptional cases limit the knowledge of faith indispensable to salvation to the Alpha and Omega of the scheme of salvation; viz., to faith in God as our Creator and Saviour. But all Christians are required to know something of our Redeemer, His life, doctrines, and commandments, and this knowledge is accessible to all in the Catechism. Moreover, it is necessary to salvation that the will should turn to God in hope, love, and the spirit of penance. How can all this appear as "blind obedience" rather than faith, in the eyes of one who on his part has abandoned most of the articles of faith and "absurdly small sacrifices" when his own doctrine of justification really requires nothing but to confide in the God who forgives sin.{21}

The statement that "God, the Judge, is also our Father and Redeemer" is practically the only dogma that many of our freethinking theologians deduce from the teaching of Christ. Why, then, should they be indignant at Innocent IV and Catholic moralists, who even in the ages of faith realized it as a possibility that some one might be reduced to so miserable a shred of Christianity, and did not exclude him for that reason from all hope of salvation?{22}


"Attritionism" is regarded as a similar symptom, in still worse repute, of the evil in casuistic morals. According to Harnack, it is the "assumption that under certain circumstances the fear of hell, or some still more worthless disposition, is enough to secure forgiveness of sins in the sacrament of penance; true contrition being therefore unnecessary."{23} "This doctrine of attritio, which dominates the whole of Christianity," is "the fundamentally weak spot in the Catholic system."{24}

One would suppose that much care would be devoted to discussing the weak spot of the Catholic system, but this is by no means the case. In this accusation, as in similar ones elsewhere, there is a distorted account of attritio. That Protestant theologians rely upon Döllinger and Reusch{25} only partially excuses them, for the hostility shown to the Jesuits by these so-called Old-Catholic writers should deter any one from expecting them to deal with this difficult scholastic problem in an unbiassed spirit.

The later scholastics distinguish perfect and imperfect contrition by tracing the former back to love and the latter to some other supernatural motive, above all to fear. At first sight, contrition based on fear might really seem not to correspond to the exalted dignity of the Christian ideal. But fear of this kind is nothing immoral. All these theologians describe it as a disposition of mind that cuts a man off from sin, not only outwardly, but also inwardly. They reject as inadequate that slavish kind of fear (timor serviliter servilis) in which a secret desire to sin continues. Hence it is not so much the fear, that they regard as sufficient for conversion, as the contrition aroused by the fear; and this contrition must be directed against sin as an act of rebellion against God. In the sacrament of penance the sinner must practice the virtue of contrition, and this is defined by all theologians in the words of St. Thomas as "Detestatia ac dolor animi de peccato, quatenus est offensa et injuria Dei, cum intentione eam abolendi et compensandi."{26}

This context, in which there is a place for attrition, is almost always overlooked by our opponents. It reveals the penitent sinner to us in another light, not merely as quaking before the prospect of physical pain, but dreading the anger of the God of holiness, who sends souls to hell as the just punishment of sin. In one of his exhortations to confessors, St. Alphonsus is careful to point out that "no act of attrition is made if a man says he is sorry for his sins because he has deserved to go to hell; he must say that he is sorry to have offended God" (non fieri actum attritionis, si quis diceret, se poenitere peccati commissi, quia meruit infernum, sed opus habet, ut dicat se poenitere offendisse Deum).{27} Later advocates of the doctrine of attrition have felt no doubt at all on this subject.{28}

Now let us consider the further connection. A sinner does not only fear God as the guardian of the moral order and the revenger of its transgressions, but he must also hope in God's mercy and in the grace of Christ offered him in the sacraments; he must resolve to renounce all grievous sin and henceforth to subject his own sinful will to God's Will. He makes a humiliating confession of his guilt to God's representative, and declares himself ready to do penance in order to make reparation to God's justice. Are all these "neutral acts from the point of view of religion"? Have they no inward connection with the Christian religion? When taken together do they not amount to the performance of a moral and religious action, going far beyond what is necessary for justification according to Protestant doctrines? It must not be forgotten that these same moralists urge confessors to do their utmost to awaken in their penitents perfect contrition, based on an unselfish love of God.{29} The catechisms and devotional books compiled during the centuries, in which the "immoral" attrition is said to have prevailed, show how this was actually carried into practice.{30}

Careful historical research into the early Christian and mediaeval teaching on the subject of contrition shows that, in the age of attritionism, theologians in general required of penitents more, rather than less, in the way of contrition, than did many earlier teachers. Here as elsewhere the apparent laxity is due to the fact that later thinkers cleared away certain obscurities and inconsistencies left by their predecessors; they distinguished more sharply between what is of precept and what is of counsel, and assigned more precise meanings to important theological terms, such as contritio, charitas, etc. The Jesuits were especially concerned in this investigation of complicated ethical questions, as it appealed to their peculiar desire for lucidity in accordance with reason. We need feel no surprise if here and there opinions were expressed which erred on the side of leniency towards the sinner, or which by their subtlety obscured the plain truth.{31} But on the whole the result was to hit the happy medium; human weakness was taken into account, but the serious purpose of Christian penance was not abandoned.


The necessity of arriving at clear conceptions, that go beyond the sphere of feeling, exists also with regard to sexual matters, and it is on this subject that most charges have been brought against casuistry. It might be supposed that the sense of shame, implanted in man by his Creator, would be a sufficient defence against the lower impulses and supply a trustworthy standard of moral behaviour; but this is not the case. The sense of shame is indeed valuable as a protection against unchastity, but sometimes it has as confusing an effect as the lust that it combats, and designates as immoral the means designed by God for the preservation of the human race. The vagueness and mystery attaching to both lust and modesty, and the intensity and excitability of these two emotions, are apt to lead, on the one hand, to a philosophical or artistic analysis of the sexual instinct that repels us when we encounter it in the morbid erotic writings of both the past and the present; on the other hand, it produces a scrupulosity and delicacy of conscience that is a source of painful and unnecessary anxiety to many people. The right rules can never be reached by the mere conflict of these sensations, but only by reason, that calmly investigates facts and decides in accordance with the purpose in view. Physiology and medicine consider primarily the objects of bodily life, while ethics is chiefly concerned with keeping in view and protecting the social and intellectual aims of man. Ribbing, a famous physician and an enthusiastic advocate of moral purity, calls the sexual question "the beginning and end of every moral teaching." We may think this an exaggeration, but it would certainly show reprehensible prudery and plain neglect of duty if moralists refused to deal with this question on the ground that it was unsuited to them, whereas it is one on which the diabolical force of sin and the most ideal Christian virtue approach one another closely. That serious science and ascetical purity do not forbid us to study these things is apparent from St. Augustine's example, for he explored even these dark regions. If a moderate form of casuistry is permissible and justifiable in discussing other moral questions, it would be absurd and unscientific to refuse, through affectation, to apply it here in the investigation of particular cases.{32}

Owing to the repugnance that they feel to what is vulgar, many writers do not mention sexual sins; but this does not do away with the unhappy fact that thousands, especially of young people, fall victims to the seductive power of vice, many of whom might have offered more resistance if they had more clearly understood wherein its sinfulness lay. In discussing the sixth commandment, moralists are far from wishing any unnecessary reference to this subject in the direction of souls; in fact they desire to avert any dangerous dealing with sexual problems by giving a clear and decisive answer as soon as any such question presents itself. It is not misunderstanding, but wicked misinterpretation, to conclude that such matters are discussed in the confessional because some books on morals deal with them in a detailed fashion, that may for other reasons be exaggerated and reprehensible. All books on morals most strictly forbid any unnecessary questions of this kind to be asked, and say that, where there is a doubt as to the necessity of a question, it is better to be guided by consideration for modesty and for the dignity of the sacrament. The confessional exerts great influence in protecting chastity and that virginal purity which is one of the chief ornaments of the Catholic Church. According to Voltaire, confession is "the most powerful curb on secret vice," and it gives the priest an opportunity of speaking strongly against forming and continuing dangerous relations, and of emphasizing the sanctity of marriage and of the duties arising from it and connected with the propagation of the race. No proof is needed of the beneficial results of serious instruction, especially on the last-mentioned subject; it can be given without the least suggestion of indecency by simply laying stress upon the reason for the institution of matrimony. It is certainly no mere accident that Catholic countries, in which the reception of the sacrament of penance is frequent and regular, are free from that evil which is sapping the strength of the population, especially in France (where men have almost abandoned the practice of confession), and is increasing terribly in North America, Germany, and England.{33}

With reference to the earlier works on casuistry, I may point out one fact that will tend to diminish our surprise at the coarse and blunt language employed in them. On this particular point the moral sense of nations in different periods varies very much. The ancients spoke of sexual matters with far less reserve than our taste requires, and to this day the Latin races discuss these things with less embarrassment than the northern nations, without being inferior to them in morality. The Fathers of the Church, St. Methodius, St. Augustine, and others, in letters addressed to virgins dedicated to God, extol the beauty of virginity, but at the same time speak plainly, and without any apparent embarrassment, of the processes of sexual life. We are often struck by the knowledge of such matters displayed by women saints of the Middle Ages, of whom modern taste would require either a real or at least an assumed ignorance regarding this subject. We can form some idea of the coarseness of feeling and expression prevalent among the lower classes in the Middle Ages from the lists of sins given in some of the libri poenitentiales. The connection between these books and the later works on casuistry, and the excessive piety with which casuistic writers preserve that which comes down to them, account for the unreserved outspokenness of many statements at the present day. The most striking instances quoted by Grassmann are taken from the liber poenitentialis of Burchard of Worms (circa 1000 A.D.).{34}

It is impossible to accuse these authors of immorality in thought, because it was plainly their intention to subject what is sensual to the strict discipline of thought. This intention is revealed in the severity of their language and generally also in explicit warnings against frivolous misuse of their words. It is absolute hypocrisy to accuse the casuists of "obscenity," and at the same time to dissect sensual instincts in their most abnormal aberrations and to make them the subject of literary labour, as is done by the adherents of some modern styles of writing. The casuists studied what was ugly in order to combat it and to nip it in the bud; they condemned inward impurity as a grievous sin, whilst modern art revels in the mysteries of sensuality and rejects, as inartistic, any proposal to limit their representation in accordance with the laws of Christian morality.

Still sterner condemnation is deserved by writers who, like von Hoensbroech, profess righteous indignation in their attack upon the moral teaching of Ultramontanism, and yet are not ashamed to spread broadcast, in the vernacular, works dealing with the sixth commandment that were written in Latin for serious and scientific purposes. These works thus get into the hands of the young and of innumerable persons for whom they were never intended.

What a change has taken place in the few years that have elapsed since the first edition of the present work appeared! Whilst von Hoensbroech and other adversaries of the Jesuits were expressing their indignation at the initiation of the clergy into sexual matters, the sexual problem was becoming a subject of public interest, not only to men, but also to women; and not exclusively married women, but also unmarried, who spoke, wrote, and gave instruction on a problem that in its effect on education threatens to disturb the peace even of our infant schools. These were the years in which feminism in Germany penetrated to every class of society, and on the one hand drew attention to many melancholy social defects and sins of society, and on the other hand awakened a desire to undertake bold speculations and attempts at reform in sexual matters. With the intention of checking public immorality and its dangers to the young, women now enter spheres of labour from which hitherto female modesty had excluded them, and they now study moral abominations that previously were unknown even to most theologians. Female teachers regard it as a duty to explain to their pupils how human beings come into existence, and claim it to be the right of one's personality to develop all the tendencies of nature, including sexual instincts, without any regard to the limits assigned to these things by law and religion. Some female orators clamour for a new system of ethics, which shall dispense with the restraints of marriage and make it possible for every woman to enjoy "the highest happiness," viz., life-intensifying love, and "the highest good," viz., motherhood.

Modern writers on ethics, such as Paulsen, feel constrained to protest against the proposals "of these reckless women," but they do not realize that they themselves have broken down the strongest barrier against such a tide by attacking the natural law and the rigid morals of the Church. Referring to Luther's views regarding the dissoluble character of marriage, the most influential representative of the new system of ethics writes: "On the question of marriage, as in all other respects, Lutheranism is a compromise, a bridge between two logical views of the universe, -- the Catholic-Christian and the Individualistic-Monist. And bridges are made to go over, not to stand upon."{35} The "Individualistic-Monist" view of marriage and its results, especially the enormous increase of divorce, will perhaps open the eyes of society to the wisdom of the Church's teaching on sexual ethics.{36}

{1} Die Absichtslenkung, oder, Der Zweck heiligt die Mittel, 1902, p. 31.

{2} Medulla, IV, 3, 7, 2.

{3} Ztschr. für Kirchengeschichte, XV, 437.

{4} We may here remind of the present-day opinion on the escape of Karl Schurz and on the flight of prisoners from Siberia.

{5} Ztschr. für Kirchengeschichte, XIX, 368, seq.

{6} M. Beichmann, Der Zweck heiligt die Mittel, 1903.

{7} Ibid., p. 5. Cf. Dasbach, Dasbach gegen Hoensbroeeh, 1904, and the correspondence between Dashach and v. Hoenshroech. Heiner, Des Graf en v. Hoensbroech neuer Beweis des jesuitisehen Grundsatzes, 1904; Duhr, Jesuitenfabeln, p. 542.

{8} Contra mendac., n. 18.

{9} S. theol., I. II, q. 88, a. 6 ad 3.

{10} Ibid. q. 19, a. 7 ad 3. Cf. ibid., q. 18, a. 4 ad 3: Nihil prohibet actioni habenti unam praedictorum bonitatum deesse aliam. Et secundum hoc contingit actionem, quae est bone secundum speciem suam vel secundum circumstantia, ordinari ad finem malum vel e converso. Non tamen est actia bona simpliciter, nisi omnes bonitates concurrant; quia "quilibet singularis defectus causat malum, bonum autem ex integra causa." Dionys. Areop., De div. nom., 4, 80.

{11} Theol. mor., I, 2, 9, 7.

{12} Ibid., (ed. Gaudé), V, tract. praeamb. XXXVII.

{13} Cf. infra, Part II, Chap. I.

{14} Cf. N. Paulus, Literar. Beil. der Köln. Volksztg., 1903, No. 18; 1905, No. 21; Reichmann, p. 55, seq.

{15} A selection of extracts from modern writers, accepting the principle that the end sanctifies the means, is given by W. Koppelmann, Kritik des sittlichen Bewusstseins, 1904, p. 19, etc.

{16} Dogmengesehichte, 4th ed., III, 507, 651, 753.

{17} Hoensbroech, Die ultramontane Moral, p. 217; cf. Pilatus, Quos ego, p. 371.

{18} Cf. Fr. Schmid, Die ausserordentlichen Heilswege für die gef allene Menschheit, Brixen, 1899; also J. Mausbach, Katholik, 1900, pp. 251, seq., 306, seq.

{19} St. Thomas Aquinas, S. Theol. II, II, q. 2, a. 7; Laymann, Theol. mor., II, 1, 9; St. Alphonsus, Theol. mor., III Cal. II), n. 3; Lehmkuhl, Theol. mor., I, a. 280.

{20} Viva, Damn. theses. Francof., 1711, p. 254 et seq. With regard to the words used by Innocent IV, in expressing what was only his own private opinion, Döllinger and Harnack give no reference, but they obviously allude to a passage, In. I decr. 1, tit. 1, c. 1. There is no mention of ignorance of morality, in fact the context excludes it. The passage has had no influence upon theologians, and moralists have simply rejected it when they seem to refer to it: Erronea est sententia Rosellae et quorundam Canonistarum (Laymann, Theol. mor., 1. 2, tr. 1, c. 9, n. 2). Falsa est opinio quorundam Canonistarum (Busenbaum, Medulla, 1. 2, tr. 1, c. 1, n. 4). This view has by no means been upheld by scholastic or casuistic authors; it is intelligible only from the standpoint of writers on Canon Law, and with them it becomes complicated by the further question of the culpability involved in such ignorance.

{21} Harnack, Dogmengesch., 4th ed., III, 588.

{22} Sell, op. cit., p. 207, says that Protestantism subsequently adopted the theory that, in case of accidental ignorance of the Gospel, "what is indispensable to salvation must consist of a few fundamental points"; but this theory was known at a much earlier period in Catholicism.

{23} Dogmengesch., 4th ed., III, 566. "According to this very widely spread opinion, a man can be saved who is afraid of hell, although he may not have any other inward connection with the Christian religion."

{24} Ibid., p. 594, note. Cf. v. Iloensbroech, p. 539, etc.

{25} Geschichte der Moralstreitigkeiten in der Röm.-Kath. Kirche, 1889.

{26} Laymann, I. c., 1. 5, tr. 6, c. 1, n. 2. Perfect contrition regards sin as an offence against God, our Father and Friend; imperfect regards it as an offence against our supreme Lord, Ruler, and Judge. Cf. De Lugo (Respons. moral., 1. 1, dub. 29) who regards an explicit turning of the mind to God as indispensable to attrition.

{27} Praxis confess., 1, 10.

{28} Palmieri, De poenit. Rom., 1879, p. 24. Chr. Pesch, Prael. dogm., VII, 38.

{29} St. Alphonsus, Theol. mor., VI, 442.

{30} Cf. my article in the "Katholik," 1897, II, 37, etc.: Katholische Katechismen von 1400-1700 über die zum Busssakramente erforderliche Reuc.

{31} See supra, p. 91, note 2.

{32} Paulsen remarks "that a serious director of souls cannot pass over these subjects. If medicine and jurisprudence deal with them, ethics and the confessional must also take them into consideration (System der Ethik., 6th ed., Berlin, 1894, I, 176).

{33} Cf. Wagner, Die Sittlichkeit auf dem Lande, 1896, pp. 94, 105. Though a Protestant clergyman, Wagner acknowledges the beneficial influence of the confessional and the uselessness of purely abstract sermons on morality. S. Ribbing, the physician to whom allusion has already been made, gives in his widely circulated book, "Die sexuelle Hygiene," a serious and detailed account of sexual matters, taking it as a matter of course that theological writers, too, express an opinion with regard to them.

{34} Pilatus, Quos ego, p. 389, refers to the writings and spirit of many humanists in the sixteenth century, whose obscenities forced Catholic moralists to treat sexual sins in greater detail than they had done previously.

{35} Ellen Key, Love and Marriage, p. 12.

{36} In her "Franenbewegung mid Sexualethik" (Heilbronn, 1909), p. 53, Helene Lange writes as follows: "It would be a good thing at the present time if some censor could prohibit all philosophizing about love, and allow discussions on sexual matters only when carried on in strictly scientific language. There would be some hope, if this were the case, that mankind might escape the present chaotic condition of thought and feeling, into which all this erotic excitement has plunged it, and return eventually to its sober senses."

<< ======= >>