Table of Contents | Words: Alphabetical - Frequency - Inverse - Length - Statistics | Help | IntraText Library
St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

IntraText CT - Text

  • 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[111] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF DISSIMULATION AND HYPOCRISY (FOUR ARTICLES)
Previous - Next

Click here to hide the links to concordance


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF DISSIMULATION AND HYPOCRISY (FOUR ARTICLES)

In due sequence we must consider dissimulation and hypocrisy. Under this
head there are four points of inquiry:

(1) Whether all dissimulation is a sin?

(2) Whether hypocrisy is dissimulation?

(3) Whether it is opposed to truth?

(4) Whether it is a mortal sin?


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether all dissimulation is a sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that not all dissimulation is a sin. For it is written
(Lk. 24:28) that our Lord "pretended [Douay: 'made as though'] he would
go farther"; and Ambrose in his book on the Patriarchs (De Abraham i)
says of Abraham that he "spoke craftily to his servants, when he said"
(Gn. 22:5): "I and the boy will go with speed as far as yonder, and
after we have worshipped, will return to you." Now to pretend and to
speak craftily savor of dissimulation: and yet it is not to be said that
there was sin in Christ or Abraham. Therefore not all dissimulation is a
sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, no sin is profitable. But according to Jerome, in his
commentary on Gal. 2:11, "When Peter [Vulg.: 'Cephas'] was come to
Antioch: - The example of Jehu, king of Israel, who slew the priest of
Baal, pretending that he desired to worship idols, should teach us that
dissimulation is useful and sometimes to be employed"; and David "changed
his countenance before" Achis, king of Geth (1 Kgs. 21:13). Therefore not
all dissimulation is a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, good is contrary to evil. Therefore if it is evil to
simulate good, it is good to simulate evil.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, it is written in condemnation of certain people (Is.
3:9): "They have proclaimed abroad their sin as Sodom, and they have not
hid it." Now it pertains to dissimulation to hide one's sin. Therefore it
is reprehensible sometimes not to simulate. But it is never reprehensible
to avoid sin. Therefore dissimulation is not a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, A gloss on Is. 16:14, "In three years," etc., says: "Of
the two evils it is less to sin openly than to simulate holiness." But to
sin openly is always a sin. Therefore dissimulation is always a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, As stated above (Q[109], A[3]; Q[110], A[1]), it belongs
to the virtue of truth to show oneself outwardly by outward signs to be
such as one is. Now outward signs are not only words, but also deeds.
Accordingly just as it is contrary to truth to signify by words something
different from that which is in one's mind, so also is it contrary to
truth to employ signs of deeds or things to signify the contrary of what
is in oneself, and this is what is properly denoted by dissimulation.
Consequently dissimulation is properly a lie told by the signs of outward
deeds. Now it matters not whether one lie in word or in any other way, as
stated above (Q[110], A[1], OBJ[2]). Wherefore, since every lie is a sin,
as stated above (Q[110], A[3]), it follows that also all dissimulation is
a sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: As Augustine says (De QQ. Evang. ii), "To pretend is not
always a lie: but only when the pretense has no signification, then it is
a lie. When, however, our pretense refers to some signification, there is
no lie, but a representation of the truth." And he cites figures of
speech as an example, where a thing is "pretended," for we do not mean it
to be taken literally but as a figure of something else that we wish to
say. In this way our Lord "pretended He would go farther," because He
acted as if wishing to go farther; in order to signify something
figuratively either because He was far from their faith, according to
Gregory (Hom. xxiii in Ev.); or, as Augustine says (De QQ. Evang. ii),
because, "as He was about to go farther away from them by ascending into
heaven, He was, so to speak, held back on earth by their hospitality."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

Abraham also spoke figuratively. Wherefore Ambrose (De Abraham i) says
that Abraham "foretold what he knew not": for he intended to return alone
after sacrificing his son: but by his mouth the Lord expressed what He
was about to do. It is evident therefore that neither dissembled.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Jerome employs the term "simulation" in a broad sense for
any kind of pretense. David's change of countenance was a figurative
pretense, as a gloss observes in commenting on the title of Ps. 33, "I
will bless the Lord at all times." There is no need to excuse Jehu's
dissimulation from sin or lie, because he was a wicked man, since he
departed not from the idolatry of Jeroboam (4 Kgs. 10:29,31). And yet he
is praised withal and received an earthly reward from God, not for his
dissimulation, but for his zeal in destroying the worship of Baal.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Some say that no one may pretend to be wicked, because no
one pretends to be wicked by doing good deeds, and if he do evil deeds,
he is evil. But this argument proves nothing. Because a man might pretend
to be evil, by doing what is not evil in itself but has some appearance
of evil: and nevertheless this dissimulation is evil, both because it is
a lie, and because it gives scandal; and although he is wicked on this
account, yet his wickedness is not the wickedness he simulates. And
because dissimulation is evil in itself, its sinfulness is not derived
from the thing simulated, whether this be good or evil.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[1] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Just as a man lies when he signifies by word that which he
is not, yet lies not when he refrains from saying what he is, for this is
sometimes lawful; so also does a man dissemble, when by outward signs of
deeds or things he signifies that which he is not, yet he dissembles not
if he omits to signify what he is. Hence one may hide one's sin without
being guilty of dissimulation. It is thus that we must understand the
saying of Jerome on the words of Isaias 3:9, that the "second remedy
after shipwreck is to hide one's sin," lest, to wit, others be
scandalized thereby.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether hypocrisy is the same as dissimulation?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that hypocrisy is not the same as dissimulation. For
dissimulation consists in lying by deeds. But there may be hypocrisy in
showing outwardly what one does inwardly, according to Mt. 6:2, "When
thou dost an alms-deed sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites
do." Therefore hypocrisy is not the same as dissimulation.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 7): "Some there are who wear
the habit of holiness, yet are unable to attain the merit of perfection.
We must by no means deem these to have joined the ranks of the
hypocrites, since it is one thing to sin from weakness, and another to
sin from malice." Now those who wear the habit of holiness, without
attaining the merit of perfection, are dissemblers, since the outward
habit signifies works of perfection. Therefore dissimulation is not the
same as hypocrisy.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, hypocrisy consists in the mere intention. For our Lord
says of hypocrites (Mt. 23:5) that "all their works they do for to be
seen of men": and Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 7) that "they never consider
what it is that they do, but how by their every action they may please
men." But dissimulation consists, not in the mere intention, but in the
outward action: wherefore a gloss on Job 36:13, "Dissemblers and crafty
men prove the wrath of God," says that "the dissembler simulates one
thing and does another: he pretends chastity, and delights in lewdness,
he makes a show of poverty and fills his purse." Therefore hypocrisy is
not the same as dissimulation.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Isidore says (Etym. x): "'Hypocrite' is a Greek word
corresponding to the Latin 'simulator,' for whereas he is evil within,"
he "shows himself outwardly as being good; {hypo} denoting falsehood, and
{krisis}, judgment."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As Isidore says (Etym. x), "the word hypocrite is derived
from the appearance of those who come on to the stage with a disguised
face, by changing the color of their complexion, so as to imitate the
complexion of the person they simulate, at one time under the guise of a
man, at another under the guise of a woman, so as to deceive the people
in their acting." Hence Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. ii) that "just as
hypocrites by simulating other persons act the parts of those they are
not (since he that acts the part of Agamemnon is not that man himself but
pretends to be), so too in the Church and in every department of human
life, whoever wishes to seem what he is not is a hypocrite: for he
pretends to be just without being so in reality."
Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] Body Para. 2/2

We must conclude, therefore, that hypocrisy is dissimulation, not,
however, any form of dissimulation, but only when one person simulates
another, as when a sinner simulates the person of a just man.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The outward deed is a natural sign of the intention.
Accordingly when a man does good works pertaining by their genus to the
service of God, and seeks by their means to please, not God but man, he
simulates a right intention which he has not. Wherefore Gregory says
(Moral.) that "hypocrites make God's interests subservient to worldly
purposes, since by making a show of saintly conduct they seek, not to
turn men to God, but to draw to themselves the applause of their
approval:" and so they make a lying pretense of having a good intention,
which they have not, although they do not pretend to do a good deed
without doing it.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The habit of holiness, for instance the religious or the
clerical habit, signifies a state whereby one is bound to perform works
of perfection. And so when a man puts on the habit of holiness, with the
intention of entering the state of perfection, if he fail through
weakness, he is not a dissembler or a hypocrite, because he is not bound
to disclose his sin by laying aside the habit of holiness. If, however,
he were to put on the habit of holiness in order to make a show of
righteousness, he would be a hypocrite and a dissembler.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: In dissimulation, as in a lie, there are two things: one by
way of sign, the other by way of thing signified. Accordingly the evil
intention in hypocrisy is considered as a thing signified, which does not
tally with the sign: and the outward words, or deeds, or any sensible
objects are considered in every dissimulation and lie as a sign.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether hypocrisy is contrary to the virtue of truth?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that hypocrisy is not contrary to the virtue of truth.
For in dissimulation or hypocrisy there is a sign and a thing signified.
Now with regard to neither of these does it seem to be opposed to any
special virtue: for a hypocrite simulates any virtue, and by means of any
virtuous deeds, such as fasting, prayer and alms deeds, as stated in Mt.
6:1-18. Therefore hypocrisy is not specially opposed to the virtue of
truth.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, all dissimulation seems to proceed from guile, wherefore
it is opposed to simplicity. Now guile is opposed to prudence as above
stated (Q[55], A[4]). Therefore, hypocrisy which is dissimulation is not
opposed to truth, but rather to prudence or simplicity.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, the species of moral acts is taken from their end. Now
the end of hypocrisy is the acquisition of gain or vainglory: wherefore a
gloss on Job 27:8, "What is the hope of the hypocrite, if through
covetousness he take by violence," says: "A hypocrite or, as the Latin
has it, a dissimulator, is a covetous thief: for through desire of being
honored for holiness, though guilty of wickedness, he steals praise for a
life which is not his." [*The quotation is from St. Gregory's Moralia, Bk
XVIII.] Therefore since covetousness or vainglory is not directly opposed
to truth, it seems that neither is hypocrisy or dissimulation.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, All dissimulation is a lie, as stated above (A[1]). Now
a lie is directly opposed to truth. Therefore dissimulation or hypocrisy
is also.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, According to the Philosopher (Metaph. text. 13, 24, x),
"contrariety is opposition as regards form," i.e. the specific form.
Accordingly we must reply that dissimulation or hypocrisy may be opposed
to a virtue in two ways, in one way directly, in another way indirectly.
Its direct opposition or contrariety is to be considered with regard to
the very species of the act, and this species depends on that act's
proper object. Wherefore since hypocrisy is a kind of dissimulation,
whereby a man simulates a character which is not his, as stated in the
preceding article, it follows that it is directly opposed to truth
whereby a man shows himself in life and speech to be what he is, as
stated in Ethic. iv, 7.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] Body Para. 2/2

The indirect opposition or contrariety of hypocrisy may be considered in
relation to any accident, for instance a remote end, or an instrument of
action, or anything else of that kind.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The hypocrite in simulating a virtue regards it as his end,
not in respect of its existence, as though he wished to have it, but in
respect of appearance, since he wishes to seem to have it. Hence his
hypocrisy is not opposed to that virtue, but to truth, inasmuch as he
wishes to deceive men with regard to that virtue. And he performs acts of
that virtue, not as intending them for their own sake, but
instrumentally, as signs of that virtue, wherefore his hypocrisy has not,
on that account, a direct opposition to that virtue.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: As stated above (Q[55], AA[3],4,5), the vice directly
opposed to prudence is cunning, to which it belongs to discover ways of
achieving a purpose, that are apparent and not real: while it
accomplishes that purpose, by guile in words, and by fraud in deeds: and
it stands in relation to prudence, as guile and fraud to simplicity. Now
guile and fraud are directed chiefly to deception, and sometimes
secondarily to injury. Wherefore it belongs directly to simplicity to
guard oneself from deception, and in this way the virtue of simplicity is
the same as the virtue of truth as stated above (Q[109], A[2], ad 4).
There is, however, a mere logical difference between them, because by
truth we mean the concordance between sign and thing signified, while
simplicity indicates that one does not tend to different things, by
intending one thing inwardly, and pretending another outwardly.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Gain or glory is the remote end of the dissembler as also
of the liar. Hence it does not take its species from this end, but from
the proximate end, which is to show oneself other than one is. Wherefore
it sometimes happens to a man to pretend great things of himself, for no
further purpose than the mere lust of hypocrisy, as the Philosopher says
(Ethic. iv, 7), and as also we have said above with regard to lying
(Q[110], A[2]).


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether hypocrisy is always a mortal sin?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that hypocrisy is always a mortal sin. For Jerome says
on Is. 16:14: "Of the two evils it is less to sin openly than to simulate
holiness": and a gloss on Job 1:21 [*St. Augustine on Ps. 63:7], "As it
hath pleased the Lord," etc., says that "pretended justice is no justice,
but a twofold sin": and again a gloss on Lam. 4:6, "The iniquity . . . of
my people is made greater than the sin of Sodom," says: "He deplores the
sins of the soul that falls into hypocrisy, which is a greater iniquity
than the sin of Sodom." Now the sins of Sodom are mortal sin. Therefore
hypocrisy is always a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 8) that hypocrites sin out of
malice. But this is most grievous, for it pertains to the sin against the
Holy Ghost. Therefore a hypocrite always sins mortally.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, no one deserves the anger of God and exclusion from
seeing God, save on account of mortal sin. Now the anger of God is
deserved through hypocrisy according to Job 36:13, "Dissemblers and
crafty men prove the wrath of God": and the hypocrite is excluded from
seeing God, according to Job 13:16, "No hypocrite shall come before His
presence." Therefore hypocrisy is always a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] OTC Para. 1/3

On the contrary, Hypocrisy is lying by deed since it is a kind of
dissimulation. But it is not always a mortal sin to lie by deed. Neither
therefore is all hypocrisy a mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] OTC Para. 2/3

Further, the intention of a hypocrite is to appear to be good. But this
is not contrary to charity. Therefore hypocrisy is not of itself a mortal
sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] OTC Para. 3/3

Further, hypocrisy is born of vainglory, as Gregory says (Moral. xxxi,
17). But vainglory is not always a mortal sin. Neither therefore is
hypocrisy.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, There are two things in hypocrisy, lack of holiness, and
simulation thereof. Accordingly if by a hypocrite we mean a person whose
intention is directed to both the above, one, namely, who cares not to be
holy but only to appear so, in which sense Sacred Scripture is wont to
use the term, it is evident that hypocrisy is a mortal sin: for no one is
entirely deprived of holiness save through mortal sin. But if by a
hypocrite we mean one who intends to simulate holiness, which he lacks
through mortal sin, then, although he is in mortal sin, whereby he is
deprived of holiness, yet, in his case, the dissimulation itself is not
always a mortal sin, but sometimes a venial sin. This will depend on the
end in view; for if this be contrary to the love of God or of his
neighbor, it will be a mortal sin: for instance if he were to simulate
holiness in order to disseminate false doctrine, or that he may obtain
ecclesiastical preferment, though unworthy, or that he may obtain any
temporal good in which he fixes his end. If, however, the end intended be
not contrary to charity, it will be a venial sin, as for instance when a
man takes pleasure in the pretense itself: of such a man it is said in
Ethic. iv, 7 that "he would seem to be vain rather than evil"; for the
same applies to simulation as to a lie.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] Body Para. 2/3

It happens also sometimes that a man simulates the perfection of
holiness which is not necessary for spiritual welfare. Simulation of this
kind is neither a mortal sin always, nor is it always associated with
mortal sin.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[111] A[4] Body Para. 3/3

This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.





Previous - Next

Table of Contents | Words: Alphabetical - Frequency - Inverse - Length - Statistics | Help | IntraText Library

Best viewed with any browser at 800x600 or 768x1024 on Tablet PC
IntraText® (V89) - Some rights reserved by Èulogos SpA - 1996-2007. Content in this page is licensed under a Creative Commons License