147 – Amoris Laetitia… Does Francis have affinity with the Jovinian heresy?

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Francis

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Teachings of the Magisterium

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ContentsI – Virginity and celibacy have their foundation in an acceptance for the sake of the Kingdom of HeavenII – The Jovinian heresy established equality between matrimony and virginityIII - Virginity and celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven are states of life superior to that of matrimonyIV – In its perfect equilibrium, Catholic truth rejects two errors: putting matrimony on a par with continence, and condemning matrimony as sinfulV – The praises of virginityVI – Celibacy and its link with sacred ordination explains why the priest is configured with Jesus Christ Head and Spouse of the Church
I – Virginity and celibacy have their foundation in an acceptance for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven
II – The Jovinian heresy established equality between matrimony and virginity
III – Virginity and celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven are states of life superior to that of matrimony
IV – In its perfect equilibrium, Catholic truth rejects two errors: putting matrimony on a par with continence, and condemning matrimony as sinful
V – The praises of virginity
VI – Celibacy and its link with sacred ordination explains why the priest is configured with Jesus Christ Head and Spouse of the Church

I – Virginity and celibacy have their foundation in an acceptance for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven


Sacred Scripture

Some have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven
The promise of eternal life for those who have given up everything

John Paul II

By counseling “continence” for “the sake of the kingdom of heaven” and renouncing marriage Jesus provoked a “revolution” in a certain sense, of the entire tradition of the Old Testament
Jesus wished to tell the Apostles that continence can also be voluntary and chosen by man for the kingdom of heaven
When Jesus spoke to his disciples for the first time about continence for the kingdom of heaven, his words determined a decisive turning point in respect to the Old Testament tradition

II – The Jovinian heresy established equality between matrimony and virginity


Saint Thomas Aquinas

The error of Jovinian consisted in holding virginity not to be preferable to marriage
The Jovinian heresy declared that marriage was equal in merit to virginity

Saint Jerome

The question between myself and Jovinian is that he puts marriage on a level with virginity, while I make it inferior
Jovinian was condemned because he dared to set matrimony on an equality with perpetual chastity

III – Virginity and celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven are states of life superior to that of matrimony


Sacred Scripture

An unmarried person is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord: The married are anxious about the things of the world and how to please their spouse
The one who marries does well; the one who does not marry will do better

Council of Trent

If anyone says that the marriage state is to be placed above the state of virginity, let him be anathema

Saint Jerome

Gold is more precious than silver, virginity more than marriage
In a proportion of fruit, matrimony represents 30%, widowhood 70% and virginity 100%
I speak of marriage as silver and do not condemn it, but call virginity gold
Marriage and virginity is a gift of God, but there is a great difference between gift and gift
The difference between marriage and virginity is that between what is good and what is still better
Virgins are the first fruits unto God, then widows and wives who live in continence
I praise marriage, but it is because they give virgins to espouse the Lord
Whether you like it or not, the Church subordinates marriage to virginity
Virginity is described by Saint Ambrose as a means of recommending continence, marriage as a remedy for incontinence

Saint Ambrose

One sins not if she marries: if she marries not, it is for eternity
For those for whom it is licit to choose a spouse, would it not be licit to prefer God?

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Chastity of continence is better than marriage chastity
The greater sanctity of the unmarried than of the married
The virgin is with good reason set before a married woman
Chastity of married life must yield to virginal chastity and freedom through pious continence: the portion of Angels
Those who follow perpetual continence and holy virginity choose greater gifts while not condemning the lesser - This is the doctrine of the Lord and of the Apostles

Pius XII

Some so exalt marriage as to rank it ahead of virginity and thus depreciate chastity consecrated to God and clerical celibacy
Holy virginity surpasses marriage in excellence
It must be clearly stated that virginity should be esteemed as something more perfect than marriage
A dangerous error: Those who maintain that the grace of the sacrament of marriage is so holy as to be a fitter instrument than virginity for uniting souls with God

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

The surpassing excellence of virginity consecrated to Christ, above marriage

Cornelius a Lapide

It is indisputable that virginity and celibacy are much are excellent than matrimony

IV – In its perfect equilibrium, Catholic truth rejects two errors: putting matrimony on a par with continence, and condemning matrimony as sinful


Sacred Scripture

A counsel: Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation. Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife. If you marry, however, you do not sin
A widow is more blessed if she remains as she is; but she is free to be married provided that it be in the Lord

Saint Jerome

Virginity must be freely embraced, lest it seem that wedlock is condemned

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Two errors: making marriage equal to perpetual virginity or altogether condemning it
They discourage rather than exhort holy virgins, those who compel them to continue so by passing sentence on marriage
Marriage is no sin, and yet set its good below virginal continence

John Paul II

The Apostle Paul, just as the Gospel, emphasizes with that virginity or voluntary continence, derives exclusively from a counsel and not from a commandment
Saint Paul shows that with respect to matrimony and continence, it is not a question of the difference between good and evil, but only between good and better
Continence, even if consciously chosen or personally decided upon, does not come within the scope of the statement of Christ without a supernatural finality

V – The praises of virginity


Sacred Scripture

The virgins are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes

Saint Cyprian

The virgins are the more illustrious portion of Christ’s flock

Saint Jerome

Tertullian, Saint Cyprian, Pope Saint Damasus and Saint Ambrose wrote with eloquence regarding virginity

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Holy virginity is itself honored not because it is virginity, but because it has been dedicated to God

Pius XII

Christian virgins gave their lives forever to the service of Jesus Christ and to his Church
Holy virginity consecrated to the service of God is among the most precious treasures left in heritage by the Founder of the Church
The Fathers of the Church, the Doctors and others, have sung the praises of virginity
May what the Fathers of the Church have preached about the glory and merit of virginity be an invitation to persevere with constancy

John XXIII

Virginity is the virtue that dilates your heart for the most authentic, the greatest, and the most universal love that can be had on earth

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Perfect continence out of desire for the kingdom of heaven, has always been held in particular honor in the Church

John Paul II

Many young women are encouraged to respond generously to God’s call embracing the ideal of virginity through Mary’s virginal example, as a sign of God’s primacy over all reality and as a prophetic anticipation of the life to come
In the course of the Church’s history Mary’s virginity would spur many women to the way of virginal consecration
This decision to opt for celibacy or virginity is the choice of greater values, rather than the renunciation of human values
The face of Christ’s Mother, reflected in the many virgins who strive to follow the divine Master, is the sign of God’s mercy and tenderness for humanity
Mary’s ideal of virginity would, in the course of the Church’s history spur many women to the way of virginal consecration

Benedict XVI

Consecrated virginity had its first extraordinary fulfillment in the Virgin of Nazareth
The whole of the Christian mystery shines out in the Gospel invitation: ‘He who is able to receive this, let him receive it’ (Mt 19:12), and St Paul’s recommendations of virginity for the Kingdom (1Cor 7:25-35)

VI – Celibacy and its link with sacred ordination explains why the priest is configured with Jesus Christ Head and Spouse of the Church


Benedict XV

The Apostolic See will never mitigate, limit nor abolish the law of ecclesiastical celibacy

Pius XII

The Church has established the law of celibacy making it ever more manifest to all peoples that the priest is a minister of God and the father of souls

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Chastity frees the heart of man so that it may be more inflamed with love for God and for all men
Through virginity or celibacy observed for the Kingdom of Heaven priests are consecrated to Christ by an exceptional reason, adhering to him with an undivided heart

Paul VI

Celibacy: an even more perfect consecration to the kingdom of heaven and response to the divine call

John Paul II

The Church, as the spouse of Jesus Christ, wishes to be loved by the priest in the total and exclusive manner, as Jesus Christ her Head and Spouse loved her

Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler

Could the Church one day decide to modify the obligation of celibacy or even abolish it all together when it is based on the immutable mystery of the Church and of Christ himself?

Cardinal Claudio Hummes (Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy)

Legislators of the fourth and fifth centuries affirmed that the canonical enactment of celibacy was based on an Apostolic Tradition
There is no other possible interpretation of ecclesiastical celibacy than unreserved dedication to the Lord
The Christological, ecclesiological and eschatological reasons for celibacy, all rooted in the Jesus’ words to Peter: ‘Do you love me more than these?’ (Jn 21:15)
Celibacy is a path states that not all are able to understand “but only those to whom it is given” (Mt 19:11)
Celibacy is the example that Christ himself left us