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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • SECOND PART
    • Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] Out. Para. 1/4 - SECOND PART OF THE SECOND PART (SS) (QQ[1]-189)
      • Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] Out. Para. 2/4
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Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] Out. Para. 2/4

The treatise on Faith will be fourfold: (1) Of faith itself; (2) Of the
corresponding gifts, knowledge and understanding; (3) Of the opposite
vices; (4) Of the precepts pertaining to this virtue.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] Out. Para. 3/4

About faith itself we shall consider: (1) its object; (2) its act; (3)
the habit of faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] Out. Para. 4/4

Under the first head there are ten points of inquiry:

(1) Whether the object of faith is the First Truth?

(2) Whether the object of faith is something complex or incomplex, i.e.
whether it is a thing or a proposition?

(3) Whether anything false can come under faith?

(4) Whether the object of faith can be anything seen?

(5) Whether it can be anything known?

(6) Whether the things to be believed should be divided into a certain
number of articles?

(7) Whether the same articles are of faith for all times?

(8) Of the number of articles;

(9) Of the manner of embodying the articles in a symbol;

(10) Who has the right to propose a symbol of faith?


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the object of faith is the First Truth?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the object of faith is not the First Truth.
For it seems that the object of faith is that which is proposed to us to
be believed. Now not only things pertaining to the Godhead, i.e. the
First Truth, are proposed to us to be believed, but also things
concerning Christ's human nature, and the sacraments of the Church, and
the condition of creatures. Therefore the object of faith is not only the
First Truth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, faith and unbelief have the same object since they are
opposed to one another. Now unbelief can be about all things contained in
Holy Writ, for whichever one of them a man denies, he is considered an
unbeliever. Therefore faith also is about all things contained in Holy
Writ. But there are many things therein, concerning man and other
creatures. Therefore the object of faith is not only the First Truth, but
also created truth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, faith is condivided with charity, as stated above (FS,
Q[62], A[3]). Now by charity we love not only God, who is the sovereign
Good, but also our neighbor. Therefore the object of Faith is not only
the First Truth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. vii) that "faith is about the
simple and everlasting truth." Now this is the First Truth. Therefore the
object of faith is the First Truth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, The object of every cognitive habit includes two things:
first, that which is known materially, and is the material object, so to
speak, and, secondly, that whereby it is known, which is the formal
aspect of the object. Thus in the science of geometry, the conclusions
are what is known materially, while the formal aspect of the science is
the mean of demonstration, through which the conclusions are known.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] Body Para. 2/2

Accordingly if we consider, in faith, the formal aspect of the object,
it is nothing else than the First Truth. For the faith of which we are
speaking, does not assent to anything, except because it is revealed by
God. Hence the mean on which faith is based is the Divine Truth. If,
however, we consider materially the things to which faith assents, they
include not only God, but also many other things, which, nevertheless, do
not come under the assent of faith, except as bearing some relation to
God, in as much as, to wit, through certain effects of the Divine
operation, man is helped on his journey towards the enjoyment of God.
Consequently from this point of view also the object of faith is, in a
way, the First Truth, in as much as nothing comes under faith except in
relation to God, even as the object of the medical art is health, for it
considers nothing save in relation to health.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: Things concerning Christ's human nature, and the sacraments
of the Church, or any creatures whatever, come under faith, in so far as
by them we are directed to God, and in as much as we assent to them on
account of the Divine Truth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

The same answer applies to the Second Objection, as regards all things
contained in Holy Writ.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Charity also loves our neighbor on account of God, so that
its object, properly speaking, is God, as we shall show further on (Q[25]
, A[1]).


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the object of faith is something complex, by way of a proposition?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the object of faith is not something complex
by way of a proposition. For the object of faith is the First Truth, as
stated above (A[1]). Now the First Truth is something simple. Therefore
the object of faith is not something complex.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the exposition of faith is contained in the symbol. Now
the symbol does not contain propositions, but things: for it is not
stated therein that God is almighty, but: "I believe in God . . .
almighty." Therefore the object of faith is not a proposition but a thing.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, faith is succeeded by vision, according to 1 Cor. 13:12:
"We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now
I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known." But the object
of the heavenly vision is something simple, for it is the Divine Essence.
Therefore the faith of the wayfarer is also.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Faith is a mean between science and opinion. Now the
mean is in the same genus as the extremes. Since, then, science and
opinion are about propositions, it seems that faith is likewise about
propositions; so that its object is something complex.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, The thing known is in the knower according to the mode of
the knower. Now the mode proper to the human intellect is to know the
truth by synthesis and analysis, as stated in the FP, Q[85], A[5]. Hence
things that are simple in themselves, are known by the intellect with a
certain amount of complexity, just as on the other hand, the Divine
intellect knows, without any complexity, things that are complex in
themselves.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] Body Para. 2/3

Accordingly the object of faith may be considered in two ways. First, as
regards the thing itself which is believed, and thus the object of faith
is something simple, namely the thing itself about which we have faith.
Secondly, on the part of the believer, and in this respect the object of
faith is something complex by way of a proposition.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] Body Para. 3/3
Hence in the past both opinions have been held with a certain amount of
truth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: This argument considers the object of faith on the part of
the thing believed.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The symbol mentions the things about which faith is, in so
far as the act of the believer is terminated in them, as is evident from
the manner of speaking about them. Now the act of the believer does not
terminate in a proposition, but in a thing. For as in science we do not
form propositions, except in order to have knowledge about things through
their means, so is it in faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The object of the heavenly vision will be the First Truth
seen in itself, according to 1 Jn. 3:2: "We know that when He shall
appear, we shall be like to Him: because we shall see Him as He is":
hence that vision will not be by way of a proposition but by way of a
simple understanding. On the other hand, by faith, we do not apprehend
the First Truth as it is in itself. Hence the comparison fails.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether anything false can come under faith?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that something false can come under faith. For
faith is condivided with hope and charity. Now something false can come
under hope, since many hope to have eternal life, who will not obtain it.
The same may be said of charity, for many are loved as being good, who,
nevertheless, are not good. Therefore something false can be the object
of faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Abraham believed that Christ would be born, according to
Jn. 8:56: "Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see My day: he saw
it, and was glad." But after the time of Abraham, God might not have
taken flesh, for it was merely because He willed that He did, so that
what Abraham believed about Christ would have been false. Therefore the
object of faith can be something false.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the ancients believed in the future birth of Christ, and
many continued so to believe, until they heard the preaching of the
Gospel. Now, when once Christ was born, even before He began to preach,
it was false that Christ was yet to be born. Therefore something false
can come under faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, it is a matter of faith, that one should believe that
the true Body of Christ is contained in the Sacrament of the altar. But
it might happen that the bread was not rightly consecrated, and that
there was not Christ's true Body there, but only bread. Therefore
something false can come under faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, No virtue that perfects the intellect is related to the
false, considered as the evil of the intellect, as the Philosopher
declares (Ethic. vi, 2). Now faith is a virtue that perfects the
intellect, as we shall show further on (Q[4], AA[2],5). Therefore nothing
false can come under it.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Nothing comes under any power, habit or act, except by
means of the formal aspect of the object: thus color cannot be seen
except by means of light, and a conclusion cannot be known save through
the mean of demonstration. Now it has been stated (A[1]) that the formal
aspect of the object of faith is the First Truth; so that nothing can
come under faith, save in so far as it stands under the First Truth,
under which nothing false can stand, as neither can non-being stand under
being, nor evil under goodness. It follows therefore that nothing false
can come under faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/3

Reply OBJ 1: Since the true is the good of the intellect, but not of the
appetitive power, it follows that all virtues which perfect the
intellect, exclude the false altogether, because it belongs to the nature
of a virtue to bear relation to the good alone. On the other hand those
virtues which perfect the appetitive faculty, do not entirely exclude the
false, for it is possible to act in accordance with justice or
temperance, while having a false opinion about what one is doing.
Therefore, as faith perfects the intellect, whereas hope and charity
perfect the appetitive part, the comparison between them fails.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 2/3

Nevertheless neither can anything false come under hope, for a man hopes
to obtain eternal life, not by his own power (since this would be an act
of presumption), but with the help of grace; and if he perseveres therein
he will obtain eternal life surely and infallibly.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 3/3

In like manner it belongs to charity to love God, wherever He may be; so
that it matters not to charity, whether God be in the individual whom we
love for God's sake.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: That "God would not take flesh," considered in itself was
possible even after Abraham's time, but in so far as it stands in God's
foreknowledge, it has a certain necessity of infallibility, as explained
in the FP, Q[14], AA[13],15: and it is thus that it comes under faith.
Hence in so far as it comes under faith, it cannot be false.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: After Christ's birth, to believe in Him, was to believe in
Christ's birth at some time or other. The fixing of the time, wherein
some were deceived was not due to their faith, but to a human conjecture.
For it is possible for a believer to have a false opinion through a human
conjecture, but it is quite impossible for a false opinion to be the
outcome of faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[3] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The faith of the believer is not directed to such and such
accidents of bread, but to the fact that the true body of Christ is under
the appearances of sensible bread, when it is rightly consecrated. Hence
if it be not rightly consecrated, it does not follow that anything false
comes under faith.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the object of faith can be something seen?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the object of faith is something seen. For Our
Lord said to Thomas (Jn. 20:29): "Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou
hast believed." Therefore vision and faith regard the same object.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the Apostle, while speaking of the knowledge of faith,
says (1 Cor. 13:12): "We see now through a glass in a dark manner."
Therefore what is believed is seen.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, faith is a spiritual light. Now something is seen under
every light. Therefore faith is of things seen.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, "Every sense is a kind of sight," as Augustine states
(De Verb. Domini, Serm. xxxiii). But faith is of things heard, according
to Rm. 10:17: "Faith . . . cometh by hearing." Therefore faith is of
things seen.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Apostle says (Heb. 11:1) that "faith is the
evidence of things that appear not."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Faith implies assent of the intellect to that which is
believed. Now the intellect assents to a thing in two ways. First,
through being moved to assent by its very object, which is known either
by itself (as in the case of first principles, which are held by the
habit of understanding), or through something else already known (as in
the case of conclusions which are held by the habit of science). Secondly
the intellect assents to something, not through being sufficiently moved
to this assent by its proper object, but through an act of choice,
whereby it turns voluntarily to one side rather than to the other: and if
this be accompanied by doubt or fear of the opposite side, there will be
opinion, while, if there be certainty and no fear of the other side,
there will be faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] Body Para. 2/2

Now those things are said to be seen which, of themselves, move the
intellect or the senses to knowledge of them. Wherefore it is evident
that neither faith nor opinion can be of things seen either by the senses
or by the intellect.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Thomas "saw one thing, and believed another" [*St. Gregory:
Hom. xxvi in Evang.]: he saw the Man, and believing Him to be God, he
made profession of his faith, saying: "My Lord and my God."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Those things which come under faith can be considered in
two ways. First, in particular; and thus they cannot be seen and believed
at the same time, as shown above. Secondly, in general, that is, under
the common aspect of credibility; and in this way they are seen by the
believer. For he would not believe unless, on the evidence of signs, or
of something similar, he saw that they ought to be believed.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The light of faith makes us see what we believe. For just
as, by the habits of the other virtues, man sees what is becoming to him
in respect of that habit, so, by the habit of faith, the human mind is
directed to assent to such things as are becoming to a right faith, and
not to assent to others.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[4] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Hearing is of words signifying what is of faith, but not of
the things themselves that are believed; hence it does not follow that
these things are seen.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether those things that are of faith can be an object of science
[*Science is certain knowledge of a demonstrated conclusion through its
demonstration]?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that those things that are of faith can be an
object of science. For where science is lacking there is ignorance, since
ignorance is the opposite of science. Now we are not in ignorance of
those things we have to believe, since ignorance of such things savors of
unbelief, according to 1 Tim. 1:13: "I did it ignorantly in unbelief."
Therefore things that are of faith can be an object of science.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, science is acquired by reasons. Now sacred writers
employ reasons to inculcate things that are of faith. Therefore such
things can be an object of science.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, things which are demonstrated are an object of science,
since a "demonstration is a syllogism that produces science." Now certain
matters of faith have been demonstrated by the philosophers, such as the
Existence and Unity of God, and so forth. Therefore things that are of
faith can be an object of science.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, opinion is further from science than faith is, since
faith is said to stand between opinion and science. Now opinion and
science can, in a way, be about the same object, as stated in Poster. i.
Therefore faith and science can be about the same object also.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory says (Hom. xxvi in Evang.) that "when a thing
is manifest, it is the object, not of faith, but of perception."
Therefore things that are of faith are not the object of perception,
whereas what is an object of science is the object of perception.
Therefore there can be no faith about things which are an object of
science.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, All science is derived from self-evident and therefore
"seen" principles; wherefore all objects of science must needs be, in a
fashion, seen.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] Body Para. 2/3

Now as stated above (A[4]), it is impossible that one and the same thing
should be believed and seen by the same person. Hence it is equally
impossible for one and the same thing to be an object of science and of
belief for the same person. It may happen, however, that a thing which is
an object of vision or science for one, is believed by another: since we
hope to see some day what we now believe about the Trinity, according to
1 Cor. 13:12: "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face
to face": which vision the angels possess already; so that what we
believe, they see. In like manner it may happen that what is an object of
vision or scientific knowledge for one man, even in the state of a
wayfarer, is, for another man, an object of faith, because he does not
know it by demonstration.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] Body Para. 3/3

Nevertheless that which is proposed to be believed equally by all, is
equally unknown by all as an object of science: such are the things which
are of faith simply. Consequently faith and science are not about the
same things.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Unbelievers are in ignorance of things that are of faith,
for neither do they see or know them in themselves, nor do they know them
to be credible. The faithful, on the other hand, know them, not as by
demonstration, but by the light of faith which makes them see that they
ought to believe them, as stated above (A[4], ad 2,3).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The reasons employed by holy men to prove things that are
of faith, are not demonstrations; they are either persuasive arguments
showing that what is proposed to our faith is not impossible, or else
they are proofs drawn from the principles of faith, i.e. from the
authority of Holy Writ, as Dionysius declares (Div. Nom. ii). Whatever is
based on these principles is as well proved in the eyes of the faithful,
as a conclusion drawn from self-evident principles is in the eyes of all.
Hence again, theology is a science, as we stated at the outset of this
work (FP, Q[1], A[2]).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Things which can be proved by demonstration are reckoned
among the articles of faith, not because they are believed simply by all,
but because they are a necessary presupposition to matters of faith, so
that those who do not known them by demonstration must know them first of
all by faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[5] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: As the Philosopher says (Poster. i), "science and opinion
about the same object can certainly be in different men," as we have
stated above about science and faith; yet it is possible for one and the
same man to have science and faith about the same thing relatively, i.e.
in relation to the object, but not in the same respect. For it is
possible for the same person, about one and the same object, to know one
thing and to think another: and, in like manner, one may know by
demonstration the unity of the Godhead, and, by faith, the Trinity. On
the other hand, in one and the same man, about the same object, and in
the same respect, science is incompatible with either opinion or faith,
yet for different reasons. Because science is incompatible with opinion
about the same object simply, for the reason that science demands that
its object should be deemed impossible to be otherwise, whereas it is
essential to opinion, that its object should be deemed possible to be
otherwise. Yet that which is the object of faith, on account of the
certainty of faith, is also deemed impossible to be otherwise; and the
reason why science and faith cannot be about the same object and in the
same respect is because the object of science is something seen whereas
the object of faith is the unseen, as stated above.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether those things that are of faith should be divided into certain
articles?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that those things that are of faith should not be
divided into certain articles. For all things contained in Holy Writ are
matters of faith. But these, by reason of their multitude, cannot be
reduced to a certain number. Therefore it seems superfluous to
distinguish certain articles of faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, material differences can be multiplied indefinitely, and
therefore art should take no notice of them. Now the formal aspect of
the object of faith is one and indivisible, as stated above (A[1]), viz.
the First Truth, so that matters of faith cannot be distinguished in
respect of their formal object. Therefore no notice should be taken of a
material division of matters of faith into articles.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, it has been said by some [*Cf. William of Auxerre, Summa
Aurea] that "an article is an indivisible truth concerning God, exacting
[arctans] our belief." Now belief is a voluntary act, since, as Augustine
says (Tract. xxvi in Joan.), "no man believes against his will."
Therefore it seems that matters of faith should not be divided into
articles.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Isidore says: "An article is a glimpse of Divine truth,
tending thereto." Now we can only get a glimpse of Divine truth by way of
analysis, since things which in God are one, are manifold in our
intellect. Therefore matters of faith should be divided into articles.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, the word "article" is apparently derived from the Greek;
for the Greek {arthron} [*Cf. William of Auxerre, Summa Aurea] which the
Latin renders "articulus," signifies a fitting together of distinct
parts: wherefore the small parts of the body which fit together are
called the articulations of the limbs. Likewise, in the Greek grammar,
articles are parts of speech which are affixed to words to show their
gender, number or case. Again in rhetoric, articles are parts that fit
together in a sentence, for Tully says (Rhet. iv) that an article is
composed of words each pronounced singly and separately, thus: "Your
passion, your voice, your look, have struck terror into your foes."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] Body Para. 2/2

Hence matters of Christian faith are said to contain distinct articles,
in so far as they are divided into parts, and fit together. Now the
object of faith is something unseen in connection with God, as stated
above (A[4]). Consequently any matter that, for a special reason, is
unseen, is a special article; whereas when several matters are known or
not known, under the same aspect, we are not to distinguish various
articles. Thus one encounters one difficulty in seeing that God suffered,
and another in seeing that He rose again from the dead, wherefore the
article of the Resurrection is distinct from the article of the Passion.
But that He suffered, died and was buried, present the same difficulty,
so that if one be accepted, it is not difficult to accept the others;
wherefore all these belong to one article.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Some things are proposed to our belief are in themselves of
faith, while others are of faith, not in themselves but only in relation
to others: even as in sciences certain propositions are put forward on
their own account, while others are put forward in order to manifest
others. Now, since the chief object of faith consists in those things
which we hope to see, according to Heb. 11:2: "Faith is the substance of
things to be hoped for," it follows that those things are in themselves
of faith, which order us directly to eternal life. Such are the Trinity
of Persons in Almighty God [*The Leonine Edition reads: The Three
Persons, the omnipotence of God, etc.], the mystery of Christ's
Incarnation, and the like: and these are distinct articles of faith. On
the other hand certain things in Holy Writ are proposed to our belief,
not chiefly on their own account, but for the manifestation of those
mentioned above: for instance, that Abraham had two sons, that a dead man
rose again at the touch of Eliseus' bones, and the like, which are
related in Holy Writ for the purpose of manifesting the Divine mystery or
the Incarnation of Christ: and such things should not form distinct
articles.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The formal aspect of the object of faith can be taken in
two ways: first, on the part of the thing believed, and thus there is one
formal aspect of all matters of faith, viz. the First Truth: and from
this point of view there is no distinction of articles. Secondly, the
formal aspect of matters of faith, can be considered from our point of
view; and thus the formal aspect of a matter of faith is that it is
something unseen; and from this point of view there are various distinct
articles of faith, as we saw above.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: This definition of an article is taken from an etymology of
the word as derived from the Latin, rather than in accordance with its
real meaning, as derived from the Greek: hence it does not carry much
weight. Yet even then it could be said that although faith is exacted of
no man by a necessity of coercion, since belief is a voluntary act, yet
it is exacted of him by a necessity of end, since "he that cometh to God
must believe that He is," and "without faith it is impossible to please
God," as the Apostle declares (Heb. 11:6).


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the articles of faith have increased in course of time?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the articles of faith have not increased in
course of time. Because, as the Apostle says (Heb. 11:1), "faith is the
substance of things to be hoped for." Now the same things are to be hoped
for at all times. Therefore, at all times, the same things are to be
believed.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, development has taken place, in sciences devised by man,
on account of the lack of knowledge in those who discovered them, as the
Philosopher observes (Metaph. ii). Now the doctrine of faith was not
devised by man, but was delivered to us by God, as stated in Eph. 2:8:
"It is the gift of God." Since then there can be no lack of knowledge in
God, it seems that knowledge of matters of faith was perfect from the
beginning and did not increase as time went on.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the operation of grace proceeds in orderly fashion no
less than the operation of nature. Now nature always makes a beginning
with perfect things, as Boethius states (De Consol. iii). Therefore it
seems that the operation of grace also began with perfect things, so that
those who were the first to deliver the faith, knew it most perfectly.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, just as the faith of Christ was delivered to us through
the apostles, so too, in the Old Testament, the knowledge of faith was
delivered by the early fathers to those who came later, according to Dt.
32:7: "Ask thy father, and he will declare to thee." Now the apostles
were most fully instructed about the mysteries, for "they received them
more fully than others, even as they received them earlier," as a gloss
says on Rm. 8:23: "Ourselves also who have the first fruits of the
Spirit." Therefore it seems that knowledge of matters of faith has not
increased as time went on.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Gregory says (Hom. xvi in Ezech.) that "the knowledge
of the holy fathers increased as time went on . . . and the nearer they
were to Our Savior's coming, the more fully did they received the
mysteries of salvation."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, The articles of faith stand in the same relation to the
doctrine of faith, as self-evident principles to a teaching based on
natural reason. Among these principles there is a certain order, so that
some are contained implicitly in others; thus all principles are reduced,
as to their first principle, to this one: "The same thing cannot be
affirmed and denied at the same time," as the Philosopher states (Metaph.
iv, text. 9). In like manner all the articles are contained implicitly in
certain primary matters of faith, such as God's existence, and His
providence over the salvation of man, according to Heb. 11: "He that
cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that
seek Him." For the existence of God includes all that we believe to exist
in God eternally, and in these our happiness consists; while belief in
His providence includes all those things which God dispenses in time, for
man's salvation, and which are the way to that happiness: and in this
way, again, some of those articles which follow from these are contained
in others: thus faith in the Redemption of mankind includes belief in the
Incarnation of Christ, His Passion and so forth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] Body Para. 2/2

Accordingly we must conclude that, as regards the substance of the
articles of faith, they have not received any increase as time went on:
since whatever those who lived later have believed, was contained, albeit
implicitly, in the faith of those Fathers who preceded them. But there
was an increase in the number of articles believed explicitly, since to
those who lived in later times some were known explicitly which were not
known explicitly by those who lived before them. Hence the Lord said to
Moses (Ex. 6:2,3): "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of
Jacob [*Vulg.: 'I am the Lord that appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to
Jacob'] . . . and My name Adonai I did not show them": David also said
(Ps. 118:100): "I have had understanding above ancients": and the Apostle
says (Eph. 3:5) that the mystery of Christ, "in other generations was not
known, as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Among men the same things were always to be hoped for from
Christ. But as they did not acquire this hope save through Christ, the
further they were removed from Christ in point of time, the further they
were from obtaining what they hoped for. Hence the Apostle says (Heb.
11:13): "All these died according to faith, not having received the
promises, but beholding them afar off." Now the further off a thing is
the less distinctly is it seen; wherefore those who were nigh to Christ's
advent had a more distinct knowledge of the good things to be hoped for.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Progress in knowledge occurs in two ways. First, on the
part of the teacher, be he one or many, who makes progress in knowledge
as time goes on: and this is the kind of progress that takes place in
sciences devised by man. Secondly, on the part of the learner; thus the
master, who has perfect knowledge of the art, does not deliver it all at
once to his disciple from the very outset, for he would not be able to
take it all in, but he condescends to the disciple's capacity and
instructs him little by little. It is in this way that men made progress
in the knowledge of faith as time went on. Hence the Apostle (Gal. 3:24)
compares the state of the Old Testament to childhood.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Two causes are requisite before actual generation can take
place, an agent, namely, and matter. In the order of the active cause,
the more perfect is naturally first; and in this way nature makes a
beginning with perfect things, since the imperfect is not brought to
perfection, except by something perfect already in existence. On the
other hand, in the order of the material cause, the imperfect comes
first, and in this way nature proceeds from the imperfect to the perfect.
Now in the manifestation of faith, God is the active cause, having
perfect knowledge from all eternity; while man is likened to matter in
receiving the influx of God's action. Hence, among men, the knowledge of
faith had to proceed from imperfection to perfection; and, although some
men have been after the manner of active causes, through being doctors of
faith, nevertheless the manifestation of the Spirit is given to such men
for the common good, according to 1 Cor. 12:7; so that the knowledge of
faith was imparted to the Fathers who were instructors in the faith, so
far as was necessary at the time for the instruction of the people,
either openly or in figures.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[7] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The ultimate consummation of grace was effected by Christ,
wherefore the time of His coming is called the "time of fulness [*Vulg.:
'fulness of time']" (Gal. 4:4). Hence those who were nearest to Christ,
wherefore before, like John the Baptist, or after, like the apostles, had
a fuller knowledge of the mysteries of faith; for even with regard to
man's state we find that the perfection of manhood comes in youth, and
that a man's state is all the more perfect, whether before or after, the
nearer it is to the time of his youth.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether the articles of faith are suitably formulated?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that the articles of faith are unsuitably
formulated. For those things, which can be known by demonstration, do not
belong to faith as to an object of belief for all, as stated above (A[5]
). Now it can be known by demonstration that there is one God; hence the
Philosopher proves this (Metaph. xii, text. 52) and many other
philosophers demonstrated the same truth. Therefore that "there is one
God" should not be set down as an article of faith.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, just as it is necessary to faith that we should believe
God to be almighty, so is it too that we should believe Him to be
"all-knowing" and "provident for all," about both of which points some
have erred. Therefore, among the articles of faith, mention should have
been made of God's wisdom and providence, even as of His omnipotence.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, to know the Father is the same things as to know the
Son, according to Jn. 14:9: "He that seeth Me, seeth the Father also."
Therefore there ought to be but one article about the Father and Son,
and, for the same reason, about the Holy Ghost.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, the Person of the Father is no less than the Person of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Now there are several articles about the
Person of the Holy Ghost, and likewise about the Person of the Son.
Therefore there should be several articles about the Person of the Father.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, just as certain things are said by appropriation, of the
Person of the Father and of the Person of the Holy Ghost, so too is
something appropriated to the Person of the Son, in respect of His
Godhead. Now, among the articles of faith, a place is given to a work
appropriated to the Father, viz. the creation, and likewise, a work
appropriated to the Holy Ghost, viz. that "He spoke by the prophets."
Therefore the articles of faith should contain some work appropriated to
the Son in respect of His Godhead.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Obj. 6 Para. 1/1

OBJ 6: Further, the sacrament of the Eucharist presents a special
difficulty over and above the other articles. Therefore it should have
been mentioned in a special article: and consequently it seems that there
is not a sufficient number of articles.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary stands the authority of the Church who formulates the
articles thus.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, As stated above (AA[4],6), to faith those things in
themselves belong, the sight of which we shall enjoy in eternal life, and
by which we are brought to eternal life. Now two things are proposed to
us to be seen in eternal life: viz. the secret of the Godhead, to see
which is to possess happiness; and the mystery of Christ's Incarnation,
"by Whom we have access" to the glory of the sons of God, according to
Rm. 5:2. Hence it is written (Jn. 17:3): "This is eternal life: that they
may know Thee, the . . . true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent."
Wherefore the first distinction in matters of faith is that some concern
the majesty of the Godhead, while others pertain to the mystery of
Christ's human nature, which is the "mystery of godliness" (1 Tim. 3:16).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Body Para. 2/4

Now with regard to the majesty of the Godhead, three things are proposed
to our belief: first, the unity of the Godhead, to which the first
article refers; secondly, the trinity of the Persons, to which three
articles refer, corresponding to the three Persons; and thirdly, the
works proper to the Godhead, the first of which refers to the order of
nature, in relation to which the article about the creation is proposed
to us; the second refers to the order of grace, in relation to which all
matters concerning the sanctification of man are included in one article;
while the third refers to the order of glory, and in relation to this
another article is proposed to us concerning the resurrection of the dead
and life everlasting. Thus there are seven articles referring to the
Godhead.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Body Para. 3/4

In like manner, with regard to Christ's human nature, there are seven
articles, the first of which refers to Christ's incarnation or
conception; the second, to His virginal birth; the third, to His Passion,
death and burial; the fourth, to His descent into hell; the fifth, to His
resurrection; the sixth, to His ascension; the seventh, to His coming for
the judgment, so that in all there are fourteen articles.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] Body Para. 4/4

Some, however, distinguish twelve articles, six pertaining to the
Godhead, and six to the humanity. For they include in one article the
three about the three Persons; because we have one knowledge of the three
Persons: while they divide the article referring to the work of
glorification into two, viz. the resurrection of the body, and the glory
of the soul. Likewise they unite the conception and nativity into one
article.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: By faith we hold many truths about God, which the
philosophers were unable to discover by natural reason, for instance His
providence and omnipotence, and that He alone is to be worshiped, all of
which are contained in the one article of the unity of God.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The very name of the Godhead implies a kind of watching
over things, as stated in the FP, Q[13], A[8]. Now in beings having an
intellect, power does not work save by the will and knowledge. Hence
God's omnipotence includes, in a way, universal knowledge and providence.
For He would not be able to do all He wills in things here below, unless
He knew them, and exercised His providence over them.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: We have but one knowledge of the Father, Son, and Holy
Ghost, as to the unity of the Essence, to which the first article refers:
but, as to the distinction of the Persons, which is by the relations of
origin, knowledge of the Father does indeed, in a way, include knowledge
of the Son, for He would not be Father, had He not a Son; the bond
whereof being the Holy Ghost. From this point of view, there was a
sufficient motive for those who referred one article to the three
Persons. Since, however, with regard to each Person, certain points have
to be observed, about which some happen to fall into error, looking at it
in this way, we may distinguish three articles about the three Persons.
For Arius believed in the omnipotence and eternity of the Father, but did
not believe the Son to be co-equal and consubstantial with the Father;
hence the need for an article about the Person of the Son in order to
settle this point. In like manner it was necessary to appoint a third
article about the Person of the Holy Ghost, against Macedonius. In the
same way Christ's conception and birth, just as the resurrection and life
everlasting, can from one point of view be united together in one
article, in so far as they are ordained to one end; while, from another
point of view, they can be distinct articles, in as much as each one
separately presents a special difficulty.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: It belongs to the Son and Holy Ghost to be sent to sanctify
the creature; and about this several things have to be believed. Hence it
is that there are more articles about the Persons of the Son and Holy
Ghost than about the Person of the Father, Who is never sent, as we
stated in the FP, Q[43], A[4].

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: The sanctification of a creature by grace, and its
consummation by glory, is also effected by the gift of charity, which is
appropriated to the Holy Ghost, and by the gift of wisdom, which is
appropriated to the Son: so that each work belongs by appropriation, but
under different aspects, both to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[8] R.O. 6 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 6: Two things may be considered in the sacrament of the
Eucharist. One is the fact that it is a sacrament, and in this respect it
is like the other effects of sanctifying grace. The other is that
Christ's body is miraculously contained therein and thus it is included
under God's omnipotence, like all other miracles which are ascribed to
God's almighty power.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it is suitable for the articles of faith to be embodied in a
symbol?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that it is unsuitable for the articles of faith to
be embodied in a symbol. Because Holy Writ is the rule of faith, to which
no addition or subtraction can lawfully be made, since it is written (Dt.
4:2): "You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall
you take away from it." Therefore it was unlawful to make a symbol as a
rule of faith, after the Holy Writ had once been published.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, according to the Apostle (Eph. 4:5) there is but "one
faith." Now the symbol is a profession of faith. Therefore it is not
fitting that there should be more than one symbol.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the confession of faith, which is contained in the
symbol, concerns all the faithful. Now the faithful are not all competent
to believe in God, but only those who have living faith. Therefore it is
unfitting for the symbol of faith to be expressed in the words: "I
believe in one God."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, the descent into hell is one of the articles of faith,
as stated above (A[8]). But the descent into hell is not mentioned in the
symbol of the Fathers. Therefore the latter is expressed inadequately.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, Augustine (Tract. xxix in Joan.) expounding the passage,
"You believe in God, believe also in Me" (Jn. 14:1) says: "We believe
Peter or Paul, but we speak only of believing 'in' God." Since then the
Catholic Church is merely a created being, it seems unfitting to say: "In
the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] Obj. 6 Para. 1/1

OBJ 6: Further, a symbol is drawn up that it may be a rule of faith. Now
a rule of faith ought to be proposed to all, and that publicly. Therefore
every symbol, besides the symbol of the Fathers, should be sung at Mass.
Therefore it seems unfitting to publish the articles of faith in a symbol.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The universal Church cannot err, since she is governed
by the Holy Ghost, Who is the Spirit of truth: for such was Our Lord's
promise to His disciples (Jn. 16:13): "When He, the Spirit of truth, is
come, He will teach you all truth." Now the symbol is published by the
authority of the universal Church. Therefore it contains nothing
defective.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As the Apostle says (Heb. 11:6), "he that cometh to God,
must believe that He is." Now a man cannot believe, unless the truth be
proposed to him that he may believe it. Hence the need for the truth of
faith to be collected together, so that it might the more easily be
proposed to all, lest anyone might stray from the truth through ignorance
of the faith. It is from its being a collection of maxims of faith that
the symbol [*The Greek {symballein}] takes its name.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The truth of faith is contained in Holy Writ, diffusely,
under various modes of expression, and sometimes obscurely, so that, in
order to gather the truth of faith from Holy Writ, one needs long study
and practice, which are unattainable by all those who require to know the
truth of faith, many of whom have no time for study, being busy with
other affairs. And so it was necessary to gather together a clear summary
from the sayings of Holy Writ, to be proposed to the belief of all. This
indeed was no addition to Holy Writ, but something taken from it.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The same doctrine of faith is taught in all the symbols.
Nevertheless, the people need more careful instruction about the truth of
faith, when errors arise, lest the faith of simple-minded persons be
corrupted by heretics. It was this that gave rise to the necessity of
formulating several symbols, which nowise differ from one another, save
that on account of the obstinacy of heretics, one contains more
explicitly what another contains implicitly.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The confession of faith is drawn up in a symbol in the
person, as it were, of the whole Church, which is united together by
faith. Now the faith of the Church is living faith; since such is the
faith to be found in all those who are of the Church not only outwardly
but also by merit. Hence the confession of faith is expressed in a
symbol, in a manner that is in keeping with living faith, so that even if
some of the faithful lack living faith, they should endeavor to acquire
it.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: No error about the descent into hell had arisen among
heretics, so that there was no need to be more explicit on that point.
For this reason it is not repeated in the symbol of the Fathers, but is
supposed as already settled in the symbol of the Apostles. For a
subsequent symbol does not cancel a preceding one; rather does it expound
it, as stated above (ad 2).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] R.O. 5 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 5: If we say: "'In' the holy Catholic Church," this must be
taken as verified in so far as our faith is directed to the Holy Ghost,
Who sanctifies the Church; so that the sense is: "I believe in the Holy
Ghost sanctifying the Church." But it is better and more in keeping with
the common use, to omit the 'in,' and say simply, "the holy Catholic
Church," as Pope Leo [*Rufinus, Comm. in Sym. Apost.] observes.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[9] R.O. 6 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 6: Since the symbol of the Fathers is an explanation of the
symbol of the Apostles, and was drawn up after the faith was already
spread abroad, and when the Church was already at peace, it is sung
publicly in the Mass. On the other hand the symbol of the Apostles, which
was drawn up at the time of persecution, before the faith was made
public, is said secretly at Prime and Compline, as though it were against
the darkness of past and future errors.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it belongs to the Sovereign Pontiff to draw up a symbol of faith?
Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that it does not belong to the Sovereign Pontiff to
draw up a symbol of faith. For a new edition of the symbol becomes
necessary in order to explain the articles of faith, as stated above
(A[9]). Now, in the Old Testament, the articles of faith were more and
more explained as time went on, by reason of the truth of faith becoming
clearer through greater nearness to Christ, as stated above (A[7]). Since
then this reason ceased with the advent of the New Law, there is no need
for the articles of faith to be more and more explicit. Therefore it does
not seem to belong to the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff to draw up a
new edition of the symbol.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, no man has the power to do what is forbidden under pain
of anathema by the universal Church. Now it was forbidden under pain of
anathema by the universal Church, to make a new edition of the symbol.
For it is stated in the acts of the first* council of Ephesus (P. ii,
Act. 6) that "after the symbol of the Nicene council had been read
through, the holy synod decreed that it was unlawful to utter, write or
draw up any other creed, than that which was defined by the Fathers
assembled at Nicaea together with the Holy Ghost," and this under pain of
anathema. [*St. Thomas wrote 'first' (expunged by Nicolai) to distinguish
it from the other council, A.D. 451, known as the "Latrocinium" and
condemned by the Pope.] The same was repeated in the acts of the council
of Chalcedon (P. ii, Act. 5). Therefore it seems that the Sovereign
Pontiff has no authority to publish a new edition of the symbol.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Athanasius was not the Sovereign Pontiff, but patriarch
of Alexandria, and yet he published a symbol which is sung in the Church.
Therefore it does not seem to belong to the Sovereign Pontiff any more
than to other bishops, to publish a new edition of the symbol.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The symbol was drawn us by a general council. Now such
a council cannot be convoked otherwise than by the authority of the
Sovereign Pontiff, as stated in the Decretals [*Dist. xvii, Can. 4,5].
Therefore it belongs to the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff to draw up
a symbol.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (OBJ 1), a new edition of the symbol
becomes necessary in order to set aside the errors that may arise.
Consequently to publish a new edition of the symbol belongs to that
authority which is empowered to decide matters of faith finally, so that
they may be held by all with unshaken faith. Now this belongs to the
authority of the Sovereign Pontiff, "to whom the more important and more
difficult questions that arise in the Church are referred," as stated in
the Decretals [*Dist. xvii, Can. 5]. Hence our Lord said to Peter whom he
made Sovereign Pontiff (Lk. 22:32): "I have prayed for thee," Peter,
"that thy faith fail not, and thou, being once converted, confirm thy
brethren." The reason of this is that there should be but one faith of
the whole Church, according to 1 Cor. 1:10: "That you all speak the same
thing, and that there be no schisms among you": and this could not be
secured unless any question of faith that may arise be decided by him who
presides over the whole Church, so that the whole Church may hold firmly
to his decision. Consequently it belongs to the sole authority of the
Sovereign Pontiff to publish a new edition of the symbol, as do all other
matters which concern the whole Church, such as to convoke a general
council and so forth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The truth of faith is sufficiently explicit in the teaching
of Christ and the apostles. But since, according to 2 Pt. 3:16, some men
are so evil-minded as to pervert the apostolic teaching and other
doctrines and Scriptures to their own destruction, it was necessary as
time went on to express the faith more explicitly against the errors
which arose.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This prohibition and sentence of the council was intended
for private individuals, who have no business to decide matters of faith:
for this decision of the general council did not take away from a
subsequent council the power of drawing up a new edition of the symbol,
containing not indeed a new faith, but the same faith with greater
explicitness. For every council has taken into account that a subsequent
council would expound matters more fully than the preceding council, if
this became necessary through some heresy arising. Consequently this
belongs to the Sovereign Pontiff, by whose authority the council is
convoked, and its decision confirmed.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[1] A[10] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Athanasius drew up a declaration of faith, not under the
form of a symbol, but rather by way of an exposition of doctrine, as
appears from his way of speaking. But since it contained briefly the
whole truth of faith, it was accepted by the authority of the Sovereign
Pontiff, so as to be considered as a rule of faith.





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