Pope Gregory X on original sin and hell?


#1

I found this quote on a Catholic website that I don’t trust completely and on some anti-Catholic sites:

[font=Courier New]Pope Gregory X who chaired the Council of Lyons II in 1274 declared ex-cathedra that: “The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments.’ (Denzinger, Sources of Catholic Dogma, 30th Edition, # 464, p. 184)”

I believe this quote is being used without the explanation for which it begs. Does someone know the explanation?

[/font]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1261, says there is hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. And then there are baptism of desire and baptism of blood.

I’m thinking there has been a development in understanding because I know doctrine, which = truth, doesn’t change.


#2

the explanation is that God may rid the infant of orignal sin, even though they are not baptized, so they would die without original sin… in vatican II, i beleive its the constitution on the church in the modern world, the council says that God gives everyone an opportunity to accept the truth… so some argue that even infants get the chance and if they have the chance they will accept God’s truth…so baptism is normatively necessary but not absolutley necessary


#3

[quote=marineboy]the explanation is that God may rid the infant of orignal sin, even though they are not baptized, so they would die without original sin… in vatican II, i beleive its the constitution on the church in the modern world, the council says that God gives everyone an opportunity to accept the truth… so some argue that even infants get the chance and if they have the chance they will accept God’s truth…so baptism is normatively necessary but not absolutley necessary
[/quote]

That makes sense to me. I have often wondered if God tests everyone, if everyone must choose God before gaining entrance into heaven, and if babies who die without having been baptized are given a choice for or against God.

Does anyone know the exact Church document for this explanation? I haven’t been able to find it, and I like to be able to back up everything with sources.


#4

I found no reference to the quote in the Second Council of Lyons. Until some actual primary source document is found, I’d be very skeptical of such a quote divorced from its context.

– Mark L. Chance.


#5

[quote=mlchance]I found no reference to the quote in the Second Council of Lyons. Until some actual primary source document is found, I’d be very skeptical of such a quote divorced from its context.

– Mark L. Chance.
[/quote]

Thank you for your advice. I will remain skeptical without documentation.


#6

I have seen and heard the statement quoted by many good theologians and Catholic sites. In fact, I am all but sure it is true, as I have done all but read it out of the original manuscript. The definition was also made at Florence. Both Florence and Lyons II infallibly declared that those who die in Original Sin descend immediately into Hell. We know for a fact that an infant cannot be forgiven Original Sin without Baptism. This has been proved invincibly by the Fathers and the Councils of the Church. The Catechism of the Council of Trent says it very clearly:

“If then through the transgression of Adam, children inherit original sin, with still stronger reason can they attain through Christ our Lord grace and justice that they may reign in life. This however, cannot be effected otherwise than through baptism. Pastors therefore should inculate the absolute necessity of administering baptism to infants, and of gradually forming their minds to piety by education in the Christian religion… The faithful are earnestly to be exhorted to take care that their children be brought to the Church , as soon as it can be done with safety, to receive solemn baptism. Since infant children have no other means of salvation except baptism, we may easily understand how grievously those persons sin who permit them to remain without the grace of the sacrament longer than necessity may require, particularly at an age so tender as to be exposed to numberless dangers of death.”

Moreover, the quote is listed THREE times in Denzinger: 464, 493a, and 693. I will type them here right from my own Denzinger book:

GREGORY X 1271-1272
COUNCIL OF LYONS II 1274
Ecumenical XIV (concerning the union of the Greeks)

Variant Readings

464 "We believe that the true Church is holy, Catholic, apostolic, and one, in which is given one holy baptism and true remission of all sins. We believe also in true resurrection of this flesh, which now we bear, and in eternal life. We believe also that the one author of the New and the Old Testament, of the Law, and of the Prophets and the Apostles is the omnipotent God and Lord. This is the true Catholic Faith, and this in the above mentioned articles the most holy Roman Church holds and teaches. But because of diverse errors introdcued by some through ignorance and by others from evil, it (the Church) says and teaches that those who after baptism slip inot sin must not be rebaptized, but by true penance obtain forgiveness of their sins. Because if they die truly repentant in charity before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for (sins) comitted and omitted, their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorical or purifying punishments, as Brother John (footnote 1) has explained to us. And to relieve punishments of this kind, the offerings of the living faithful are of advantage to these, namely, the sacrifices of Masses, prayers, alms, and other duties of piety, which have customarily been performed by the faithful for the other faithful according to the regulations of the Church. However, the souls of those who after having received holy baptism have incurred no stain of sin whatever, also those souls who, after contracting the stain of sin, either while remaining in their bodies or being divested of them, have been cleansed, as we have said above, are received immediately into heaven. The souls of those who die in mortal or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments. The same most holy Roman Church firmly believes and firmly declares that nevertheless on the day of judgment “all” men will be brought together with their bodies “before the tribunal of Christ” “to render an account” of their own deed [Rom. 14:10].

(footnote 1) Brother John Parastron, O.F.M.

I have not added anything whatsoever to the above quotation except the bolding of the matter in question.

The teaching appears again, 493a:

“It (The Roman Church) teaches . . . that the souls . . . of those who die in mortal sin, or with only original sin descend immediately into hell; however, to be punished with different penalties and in different places.”

I have added nothing to this, either. It is from: “Hell and Limbo (?) (footnote 1) [From the letter “Nequaquam sine dolore” to the Armenians, Nov. 21, 1321]”

(footnote 1) Bar(Th) approximately the year 1321, n. II. Cf. Zeitschr. f. kath. Theologie 52 (1928): 79 ff. (A Straub); Estudios ecclesiásticos 5 (1926): 438 ff. (F. Segarra).

Finally, this teaching is seen in 693 (see next post)


#7

EUGENIUS IV 1431-1447
COUNCIL OF FLORENCE 1438-1445
Ecumenical XVII (Union with the Greeks, Armeniams, Jacobites)
Decree for the Greeks [omitting footnote 1, which does not address the topic at hand]
[From the Bull “Laetentur coeli,” July 6 , 1439]

693 De novissimis] (footnote 2) It has likewise defined, that, if those truly penitent have departedin the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for sins of commission and omission, the souls of these are cleansed after death by purgatorical punishments; and so that they may be released from punishments of this kind, the suffrages of the living faithful are of advantage to them, namely, the sacrifices of Masses, prayers, and almsgiving, and other works of piety, which are customarily performed by the faithful for other faithful according to the institutions of the Church. And that the souls of those, who after the reception of baptism have incurred no stain of sin at all, and also those, who after the contraction of the stain of sin whether in their bodies, or when released from the same bodies, as we have said before, are purged, are immediately received into heaven, and see clearly the one and triune God Himself, just as He is, yet according to the diversity of merits, one more perfectly than another. Moreover, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin or in original sin only, descend immediately into hell but to undergo punishments of different kinds [see n. 464].

(footnote 2) On the origin of this definition, cf. “Gregorianum” 18 (1937) 337 ff. [G. Hofmann, S.J.].

This teaching has been defined by two ecumenical councils and is infallible. Denzinger also puts a letter in that teaches the same as a “source of Catholic dogma”.

Anything you read in the CCC to the contrary is either a mis-reading by the person or an error in the CCC. It cannot contradict infallible Church authority.


#8

“the explanation is that God may rid the infant of orignal sin, even though they are not baptized, so they would die without original sin… in vatican II, i beleive its the constitution on the church in the modern world, the council says that God gives everyone an opportunity to accept the truth… so some argue that even infants get the chance and if they have the chance they will accept God’s truth…so baptism is normatively necessary but not absolutley necessary”

Marineboy,

The Catechism of the Council of Trent says that infants cannot come to a forgiveness of original sin without the Sacrament of Baptism. See my above posts.


#9

The language makes for some interesting theology, in that Original Sin is the sin of our parents (Adam and Eve), not ours, and to be punished for what we did not do makes no sense theologically.

I also don’t recall anything which would hold that a foot note was an infallible statement; it is a foot note, at best, to an infallible statement.

As best I can recall, for all the arguements to the contrary, the Church has only acknowledged two infallible statements, and this was neither of thosetwo statements.

I don’t believe that the Chruch itself has made an ifallible statement as to what happens to children under the age of reason who have not been baptized. One needs to be prudent in making an assertion that such and so has been declared infallibly and not simply pick something out of a document as a final statement of the Church’s belief. While it is true that the Church doesw not declare something to be infallibly stated, and then reverse itself or make a stement later that directly contradicts the first statement and is also declared infallible, it does, after much time and meditation, make nuances in the prior infallible statement that some take to be contradictory; they usually do because they take a simplistic approach to doctrine.


#10

Otm, you, my friend, are a Pelagian or at least a Semi-Pelagian. That is, you claim that man can be saved by merely natural means and that Original Sin is either non-existent, or is practically non-existent insofar as it exists but does not result in any punishment. You are a Pelagian if you believe both of those propositions (that man can be saved without grace by natural means and that Original Sin does not damn us), and you are a Semi-Pelagian if you only believe the second proposition, that Original Sin does not damn. In any event, if Original Sin damning a soul to Hell seems confused in your theology, then the problem is your theology and nothing else. I would venture to say that your theology is not Thomism, for Saint Thomas Aquinas believed that Original Sin does (of course) damn a soul to Hell, but he believed there was a possibility for those souls who die with Original Sin only and not actual sin to go to Limbo (from the Latin limbus, meaning outer layer), which is still a part of Hell, in which they would only suffer the Pain of Loss (not being with God) and would not suffer the Pain of Sense (Hell fire). This is good theology, but the Church does not teach even the doctrine of Limbo infallibly, much less the Pelagian proposition that those who die with Original Sin are not damned. The previous posts are sufficient to prove that Original Sin damns a soul to Hell and that those who believe otherwise are heretics.


#11

[quote=otm]I also don’t recall anything which would hold that a foot note was an infallible statement; it is a foot note, at best, to an infallible statement.
[/quote]

How exactly is that a footnote? Both in Lyons II and Florence it was a part of the actual writings… not a footnote. I am sorry if I confused when I put (footnote 1) by that I meant, this is where the elevated “1” is denoting a footnote. If you go to the bottom of the page, that is where “1” is written with the actual footnote. If you go back and read what I put, the first part is the actual document, and where I put (footnote 1) is simply where the footnote should be referenced. At the end of the text I included what the actual footnote says.

As best I can recall, for all the arguements to the contrary, the Church has only acknowledged two infallible statements, and this was neither of thosetwo statements.

Who told you that? The Church has defined thousands of things infallibly, not just 2. Every Canon of an Ecumenical Council of infallible. Trent itself probably defined over 1000 different things infallibly (albeit, repeating some things that had already been defined before).


#12

The following from my Denzinger source, plus Footnotes 1 and 1 (on consecutive pages) that I have re-named “1” and “2”:

Profession of Faith of Michael Palaeologus 1]

464 We believe that the true Church is holy, Catholic, apostolic, and one, in which is given one holy baptism and true remission of all sins. We believe also in the true resurrection of this flesh, which now we bear, and in eternal life. We believe also that the one author of the New and the Old Testament, of the Law, and of the Prophets and the Apostles is the omnipotent God and Lord. This is the true Catholic Faith, and this in the above mentioned articles the most holy Roman Church holds and teaches. But because of diverse errors introduced by some through ignorance and by others from evil, it (the Church) says and teaches that those who after baptism slip into sin must not be rebaptized, but by true penance attain forgiveness of their sins. Because if they die truly repentant in charity before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for (sins) committed and omitted, their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorical or purifying punishments, as Brother John 2] has explained to us. And to relieve punishments of this kind, the offerings of the living faithful are of advantage to these, namely, the sacrifices of Masses, prayers, alms, and other duties of piety, which have customarily been performed by the faithful for the other faithful according to the regulations of the Church. However, the souls of those who after having received holy baptism have incurred no stain of sin whatever, also those souls who, after contracting the stain of sin, either while remaining in their bodies or being divested of them, have been cleansed,
as we have said above, are received immediately into heaven. The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments. The same most holy Roman Church firmly believes and firmly declares that nevertheless on the day of judgment “all” men will be brought together with their bodies “before the tribunal of Christ” "to render an account” of their own deeds. [Rom. 14:10].

Footnotes:

1] Msi XXIV 70 A f.; Hrd VII 694 C ff.; Hfl VI 139 nota; cf. Bar(Th) ad 1274 n. 19 (22, 329a). – This profession of faith was proposed in the year 1267 by Clement IV to Michael Palaeologus [Bar(Th) ad ann. 1267, n. 72-81], and by him offered at the Council of Lyons to Gregory X, and was also proposed again by Urban VI on Aug. l, 1385, to the orthodox Greeks returning to the Church. Up to the words: “Haec est vera fides” it is the same profession which with a few changes in words is even now put forth by questions and responses at the consecrations of bishops according to “the ancient statutes of the Church” (which once were falsely considered as “the decrees of the Fourth Council of Carthage”; cf. n. 150 ff.; n. 353 ff.; ML 56, 879 B f.).— Cf. the profession of faith of John Veccus [Bar(Th) in the year 1277, n. 34-39] and the letter of Gregory X, October 24, 1272 [Msi XX 47].

2] Brother John Parastron, O.F.M.

From: “The Sources of Catholic Dogma”, Translated by Roy J. Deferrari from the Thirtieth Edition of Henry Denzinger’s Enchiridion Symbolorum, Loreto Publications, Imprimatur April 25, 1955.

Note #1. The Latin word “limbus” means “fringe.” It was the word “used in the middle ages for that place on the fringe or outskirts of hell in which the just who died before Christ were detained till our Lord’s resurrection from the dead. It likewise signifies a place … inhabited by infants who die in Original Sin.” (“Catholic Dictionary”, Addis and Arnold, 1885.)

Note #2. “to be punished with different punishments” – The concept of Limbo is that unbaptized children below the age of reason are “punished” by the perpetual deprivation of the vision of God. Nevertheless, they are in a state of happiness. The “Limbus puerorum” (Limbo of the children) can be equated also with Paradise.

Note #3. The “descent into hell” spoken of in the Creed is consistent with this “different punishments” concept; Jesus descended to “Paradise” otherwise known as the “Limbus patrum” (the Limbo of the Fathers).


#13

The “Limbus puerorum” (Limbo of the children) can be equated also with Paradise.

That is not true. They do not experience God in any way whatsoever. They are completely separated from Him for all eternity. That is quite the opposite of Heaven.

Limbo has not been defined. For all we know, these souls go to the Hell of the damned with those who die in mortal sin (as has been said: they descend to hell, to be punished with different punishments). It does not seem that they are going to a different place. It is the same place (at best you can say Limbo is the outskirts of hell, as it were). Therefore, these souls do not have anything in common with Paradise. They suffer not the pain of sense (if you ascribe to the Limbo theory), but they still are deprived of God.


#14

Quote:
The “Limbus puerorum” (Limbo of the children) can be equated also with Paradise.

That is not true. They do not experience God in any way whatsoever. They are completely separated from Him for all eternity. That is quite the opposite of Heaven.

How do you know that it is not true?

How do you know that the punishment they experience is not the knowledge that they will never will see God? If that is so - then, of necessity, they would experoence God in “some” way: the sense of deprivation!

Who said that Paradise IS the same as Heaven? No me! However, I contend that when Our Lord said to the good thief “This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise” He was NOT saying “This day thou shalt be with Me in Heaven”!

On the other hand, if Paradise is one of the “parking spots” somewhere between Heaven and Hell (which may be one of the Limbos - which I agree has not been defined) - then that place (Paradise) is where Christ went to tell the good news to the justified inhabitants of the opening of the Gates to Heaven.

If you have any other opinion which can be verified, I will be happy to hear it.


#15

[quote=marineboy]the explanation is that God may rid the infant of orignal sin, even though they are not baptized, so they would die without original sin… in vatican II, i beleive its the constitution on the church in the modern world, the council says that God gives everyone an opportunity to accept the truth… so some argue that even infants get the chance and if they have the chance they will accept God’s truth…so baptism is normatively necessary but not absolutley necessary
[/quote]

yes, Jesus descended into Hades.


#16

THIS DAY THOU SHALT BE WITH ME IN PARADISE
St Thomas Aquinas – SUMMA THEOLOGICA
newadvent.org/summa/405204.htm

Whether Christ made any stay in hell?

Objection 1. It would seem that Christ did not make any stay in hell. For Christ went down into hell to deliver men from thence. But He accomplished this deliverance at once by His descent, for, according to Sirach 11:23: “It is easy in the eyes of God on a sudden to make the poor man rich.” Consequently He does not seem to have tarried in hell.

Objection 2. Further, Augustine says in a sermon on the Passion (clx) that “of a sudden at our Lord and Saviour’s bidding all ‘the bars of iron were burst’” (Cf. Is. 45:2). Hence on behalf of the angels accompanying Christ it is written (Ps. 23:7,9): “Lift up your gates, O ye princes.” Now Christ descended thither in order to break the bolts of hell. Therefore He did not make any stay in hell.

Objection 3. Further, it is related (Lk. 23:43) that our Lord while hanging on the cross said to the thief: “This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise”: from which it is evident that Christ was in paradise on that very day. But He was not there with His body. for that was in the grave. Therefore He was there with the soul which had gone down into hell: and consequently it appears that He made no stay in hell.

On the contrary, Peter says (Acts 2:24): “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that He should be held by it.” Therefore it seems that He remained in hell until the hour of the Resurrection.

I answer that, As Christ, in order to take our penalties upon Himself, willed His body to be laid in the tomb, so likewise He willed His soul to descend into hell. But the body lay in the tomb for a day and two nights, so as to demonstrate the truth of His death. Consequently, it is to be believed that His soul was in hell, in order that it might be brought back out of hell simultaneously with His body from the tomb.

Reply to Objection 1. When Christ descended into hell He delivered the saints who were there, not by leading them out at once from the confines of hell, but by enlightening them with the light of glory in hell itself. Nevertheless it was fitting that His soul should abide in hell as long as His body remained in the tomb.

Reply to Objection 2. By the expression “bars of hell” are understood the obstacles which kept the holy Fathers from quitting hell, through the guilt of our first parent’s sin; and these bars Christ burst asunder by the power of His Passion on descending into hell: nevertheless He chose to remain in hell for some time, for the reason stated above.

Reply to Objection 3. Our Lord’s expression is not to be understood of the earthly corporeal paradise, but of a spiritual one, in which all are said to be who enjoy the Divine glory. Accordingly, the thief descended locally into hell with Christ, because it was said to him: “This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise”; still as to reward he was in paradise, because he enjoyed Christ’s Godhead just as the other saints did. ________________________________________________

  1. PARADISE. An old Persian word adopted at an early date by the Hebrews. It only occurs three times in the Old Testament, and always means simply “a park” (Cant. iv, 13 ; Neh. ii. 8; Eccl. ii. 5, pl.). In the LXX (Gen. ii. 8) and Peshito it is used for that particular garden or park in which Adam and Eve were placed; and in the later Jewish theology for that part of Hades which was inhabited by the souls of the just, and which we call “Limbo.” In this sense it occurs in Luc. xxiii. 43. Lastly, in 2 Cor. xii. 4; Apoc, ii. 7, it means “heaven,” or “a part of heaven.” (“A Catholic Dictionary,” William E. Addis and Thomas Arnold, Kegan Paul Trench & Co., 1885.)

  2. PARADISE (From Old Persian pairidaeza, a royal park),

i. A synonym for Heaven, “that spiritual paradise in which all are said to be Who enjoy the glory of God.”

ii. A place or state of bliss short of actual Heaven or the possession of the Beatific Vision. Thus used by our Lord to the penitent thief (Luke xxiii, 43) referring to Limbo (q.v. i; cf., John xx, 17); by St. Paul of his state of ecstasy when he was raised to the third heaven, and in the Old Testament an expression for the Garden o£ Eden or Terrestrial Paradise. (“A Catholic Dictionary,” edited by Donald Attwater, 3rd Edition, The Macmillan Company, 1958.)



#17

Well. It seems both of us are incapable of making ourselves clear. I meant to say, it is my understanding that the Church only recognizes two ex-cathedra statements. The original statement in this thread refers to Pope Gregory making an ex-cathedra statement; It was my understanding that the Immacilate Conception and the Assumption are the only two doctrines defined ec-cathedra.


#18

As far as is my understanding, anything infallibly defined by the Church is ex Cathedra.


#19

[quote=Sean O L]How do you know that it is not true?

How do you know that the punishment they experience is not the knowledge that they will never will see God? If that is so - then, of necessity, they would experoence God in “some” way: the sense of deprivation!

Who said that Paradise IS the same as Heaven? No me! However, I contend that when Our Lord said to the good thief “This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise” He was NOT saying “This day thou shalt be with Me in Heaven”!

On the other hand, if Paradise is one of the “parking spots” somewhere between Heaven and Hell (which may be one of the Limbos - which I agree has not been defined) - then that place (Paradise) is where Christ went to tell the good news to the justified inhabitants of the opening of the Gates to Heaven.

If you have any other opinion which can be verified, I will be happy to hear it.
[/quote]

Because the Church has condemned that these infants could be saved, as there is no salvation except to the baptized. Moreover, the Church has condemned that there can be some intermediate place where infants (and it specifically was speaking of infants in the declaration) can have communion with God. Therefore, we conclude that they go to Hell (when was shown above that is what Pope Gregory X and others defined). Since they are in hell, it is either the actual Hell of the damned or Limbo. In hell no one can experience in any way the Beatific Vision. Since Limbo is a part of Hell, the infants could not have any positive experience of God. You contend that they could have pain of loss, yes, according to the Church, they could have pain of loss. In fact, since Limbo is not defined, as far as the Church teaches, they do experience the pain of the damned, but just to a lesser extent (“to be punished with different punishments”–not necessarily in kind but simply in degree). But one can adhere to a belief in Limbo and therefore say they do not have the pain of loss, but if a person does this, he must admit they have no supernatural happiness whatsoever, as they are in Hell and could not have that without the Beatific Vision.


#20

Because the Church has condemned that these infants could be saved, as there is no salvation except to the baptized. Moreover, the Church has condemned that there can be some intermediate place where infants (and it specifically was speaking of infants in the declaration) can have communion with God. Therefore, we conclude that they go to Hell (when was shown above that is what Pope Gregory X and others defined). Since they are in hell, it is either the actual Hell of the damned or Limbo. In hell no one can experience in any way the Beatific Vision. Since Limbo is a part of Hell, the infants could not have any positive experience of God. You contend that they could have pain of loss, yes, according to the Church, they could have pain of loss. In fact, since Limbo is not defined, as far as the Church teaches, they do experience the pain of the damned, but just to a lesser extent (“to be punished with different punishments”–not necessarily in kind but simply in degree). But one can adhere to a belief in Limbo and therefore say they do not have the pain of loss, but if a person does this, he must admit they have no supernatural happiness whatsoever, as they are in Hell and could not have that without the Beatific Vision.

Short answer _ and just as logical as your post:

No - one must NOT “admit they have no supernatural happiness whatsoever”!

I have already pointed out that Paradise/Limbo/Purgatory are states “somewhere South of Heaven and North of Hell.” That means that Limbo CAN be one of the lesser states in the Lower Regions commonly called Hell. Purgatory, of course, will cease altogether after the Final Judgement.

I have also pointed out the 1885 Catholic Dictionary describes Limbo as being a “place on the fringe.” The pre-Ressurection Justified were held in one of those “fringes” - that does not mean that they were condemned to morbidity; nor does the Limbo of the Children mean that either! You try to “prove too much”!

The Augustinians and St Augustine held the OPINION similar to that held by yourself. However, as the above catholic Dictionary points out:

“The great majority of theologians - the Master of the Sentences, St. Bonaventure, St Thomas, Scotus, etc. - teach that infants dying in Original Sin suffer no “pain of sense,” but are simply excluded from heaven. This opinion is no modern invention, for it is found in St gregory Nazianzen (‘Or. in Sanct. Baptism.’, 23)…The happiness obtained in the Limbo of Infants is of wholly different order, being natural instead of supernatural.”


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