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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[185] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THINGS PERTAINING TO THE EPISCOPAL STATE (EIGHT ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THINGS PERTAINING TO THE EPISCOPAL STATE (EIGHT ARTICLES)

We must now consider things pertaining to the episcopal state. Under
this head there are eight points of inquiry:

(1) Whether it is lawful to desire the office of a bishop?

(2) Whether it is lawful to refuse the office of bishop definitively?

(3) Whether the better man should be chosen for the episcopal office?

(4) Whether a bishop may pass over to the religious state?

(5) Whether he may lawfully abandon his subjects in a bodily manner?

(6) Whether he can have anything of his own?

(7) Whether he sins mortally by not distributing ecclesiastical goods
to the poor?

(8) Whether religious who are appointed to the episcopal office are
bound to religious observances?


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it is lawful to desire the office of a bishop?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that it is lawful to desire the office of a bishop.
For the Apostle says (1 Tim. 3:1): "He that desires [Vulg.: 'If a man
desire'] the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." Now it is
lawful and praiseworthy to desire a good work. Therefore it is even
praiseworthy to desire the office of a bishop.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the episcopal state is more perfect than the religious,
as we have said above (Q[184], A[7]). But it is praiseworthy to desire to
enter the religious state. Therefore it is also praiseworthy to desire
promotion to the episcopal state.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, it is written (Prov. 11:26): "He that hideth up corn
shall be cursed among the people; but a blessing upon the head of them
that sell." Now a man who is apt, both in manner of life and by
knowledge, for the episcopal office, would seem to hide up the spiritual
corn, if he shun the episcopal state, whereas by accepting the episcopal
office he enters the state of a dispenser of spiritual corn. Therefore it
would seem praiseworthy to desire the office of a bishop, and blameworthy
to refuse it.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1
OBJ 4: Further, the deeds of the saints related in Holy Writ are set
before us as an example, according to Rm. 15:4, "What things soever were
written, were written for our learning." Now we read (Is. 6:8) that
Isaias offered himself for the office of preacher, which belongs chiefly
to bishops. Therefore it would seem praiseworthy to desire the office of
a bishop.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix, 19): "The higher
place, without which the people cannot be ruled, though it be filled
becomingly, is unbecomingly desired."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, Three things may be considered in the episcopal office.
One is principal and final, namely the bishop's work, whereby the good of
our neighbor is intended, according to Jn. 21:17, "Feed My sheep."
Another thing is the height of degree, for a bishop is placed above
others, according to Mt. 24:45, "A faithful and a wise servant, whom his
lord hath appointed over his family." The third is something resulting
from these, namely reverence, honor, and a sufficiency of temporalities,
according to 1 Tim. 5:17, "Let the priests that rule well be esteemed
worthy of double honor." Accordingly, to desire the episcopal office on
account of these incidental goods is manifestly unlawful, and pertains to
covetousness or ambition. Wherefore our Lord said against the Pharisees
(Mt. 23:6,7): "They love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs
in the synagogues, and salutations in the market-place, and to be called
by men, Rabbi." As regards the second, namely the height of degree, it
is presumptuous to desire the episcopal office. Hence our Lord reproved
His disciples for seeking precedence, by saying to them (Mt. 20:25): "You
know that the princes of the gentiles lord it over them." Here Chrysostom
says (Hom. lxv in Matth.) that in these words "He points out that it is
heathenish to seek precedence; and thus by comparing them to the gentiles
He converted their impetuous soul."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] Body Para. 2/3

On the other hand, to desire to do good to one's neighbor is in itself
praiseworthy, and virtuous. Nevertheless, since considered as an
episcopal act it has the height of degree attached to it, it would seem
that, unless there be manifest and urgent reason for it, it would be
presumptuous for any man to desire to be set over others in order to do
them good. Thus Gregory says (Pastor. i, 8) that "it was praiseworthy to
seek the office of a bishop when it was certain to bring one into graver
dangers." Wherefore it was not easy to find a person to accept this
burden, especially seeing that it is through the zeal of charity that one
divinely instigated to do so, according to Gregory, who says (Pastor. i,
7) that "Isaias being desirous of profiting his neighbor, commendably
desired the office of preacher."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] Body Para. 3/3

Nevertheless, anyone may, without presumption, desire to do such like
works if he should happen to be in that office, or to be worthy of doing
them; so that the object of his desire is the good work and not the
precedence in dignity. Hence Chrysostom* says: "It is indeed good to
desire a good work, but to desire the primacy of honor is vanity. For
primacy seeks one that shuns it, and abhors one that desires it." [*The
quotation is from the Opus Imperfectum in Matth. (Hom. xxxv), falsely
ascribed to St. John Chrysostom.]

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: As Gregory says (Pastor. i, 8), "when the Apostle said this
he who was set over the people was the first to be dragged to the
torments of martyrdom," so that there was nothing to be desired in the
episcopal office, save the good work. Wherefore Augustine says (De Civ.
Dei xix, 19) that when the Apostle said, "'Whoever desireth the office of
bishop, desireth a good work,' he wished to explain what the episcopacy
is: for it denotes work and not honor: since {skopos} signifies
'watching.' Wherefore if we like we may render {episkopein} by the Latin
'superintendere' [to watch over]: thus a man may know himself to be no
bishop if he loves to precede rather than to profit others." For, as he
observed shortly before, "in our actions we should seek, not honor nor
power in this life, since all things beneath the sun are vanity, but the
work itself which that honor or power enables us to do." Nevertheless, as
Gregory says (Pastor. i, 8), "while praising the desire" (namely of the
good work) "he forthwith turns this object of praise into one of fear,
when he adds: It behooveth . . . a bishop to be blameless," as though to
say: "I praise what you seek, but learn first what it is you seek."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: There is no parity between the religious and the episcopal
state, for two reasons. First, because perfection of life is a
prerequisite of the episcopal state, as appears from our Lord asking
Peter if he loved Him more than the others, before committing the
pastoral office to him, whereas perfection is not a prerequisite of the
religious state, since the latter is the way to perfection. Hence our
Lord did not say (Mt. 19:21): "If thou art perfect, go, sell all [Vulg.:
'what'] thou hast," but "If thou wilt be perfect." The reason for this
difference is because, according to Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. vi),
perfection pertains actively to the bishop, as the "perfecter," but to
the monk passively as one who is "perfected": and one needs to be perfect
in order to bring others to perfection, but not in order to be brought to
perfection. Now it is presumptuous to think oneself perfect, but it is
not presumptuous to tend to perfection. Secondly, because he who enters
the religious state subjects himself to others for the sake of a
spiritual profit, and anyone may lawfully do this. Wherefore Augustine
says (De Civ. Dei xix, 19): "No man is debarred from striving for the
knowledge of truth, since this pertains to a praiseworthy ease." On the
other hand, he who enters the episcopal state is raised up in order to
watch over others, and no man should seek to be raised thus, according to
Heb. 5:4, "Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is
called by God": and Chrysostom says: "To desire supremacy in the Church
is neither just nor useful. For what wise man seeks of his own accord to
submit to such servitude and peril, as to have to render an account of
the whole Church? None save him who fears not God's judgment, and makes a
secular abuse of his ecclesiastical authority, by turning it to secular
uses."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The dispensing of spiritual corn is not to be carried on in
an arbitrary fashion, but chiefly according to the appointment and
disposition of God, and in the second place according to the appointment
of the higher prelates, in whose person it is said (1 Cor. 4:1): "Let a
man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of
the mysteries of God." Wherefore a man is not deemed to hide spiritual
corn if he avoids governing or correcting others, and is not competent to
do so, neither in virtue of his office nor of his superior's command;
thus alone is he deemed to hide it, when he neglects to dispense it while
under obligation to do so in virtue of his office, or obstinately refuses
to accept the office when it is imposed on him. Hence Augustine says (De
Civ. Dei xix, 19): "The love of truth seeks a holy leisure, the demands
of charity undertake an honest labor. If no one imposes this burden upon
us, we must devote ourselves to the research and contemplation of truth,
but if it be imposed on us, we must bear it because charity demands it of
us."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[1] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: As Gregory says (Pastor. i, 7), "Isaias, who wishing to be
sent, knew himself to be already cleansed by the live coal taken from the
altar, shows us that no one should dare uncleansed to approach the sacred
ministry. Since, then, it is very difficult for anyone to be able to know
that he is cleansed, it is safer to decline the office of preacher."


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it is lawful for a man to refuse absolutely an appointment to
the episcopate?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that it is lawful to refuse absolutely an
appointment to the episcopate. For as Gregory says (Pastor. i, 7),
"Isaias wishing to be of profit to his neighbor by means of the active
life, desired the office of preaching, whereas Jeremias who was fain to
hold fast to the love of his Creator by contemplation exclaimed against
being sent to preach." Now no man sins by being unwilling to forgo better
things in order to adhere to things that are not so good. Since then the
love of God surpasses the love of our neighbor, and the contemplative
life is preferable to the active, as shown above (Q[25], A[1]; Q[26],
A[2]; Q[182], A[1]) it would seem that a man sins not if he refuse
absolutely the episcopal office.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, as Gregory says (Pastor. i, 7), "it is very difficult
for anyone to be able to know that he is cleansed: nor should anyone
uncleansed approach the sacred ministry." Therefore if a man perceives
that he is not cleansed, however urgently the episcopal office be
enjoined him, he ought not to accept it.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Jerome (Prologue, super Marc.) says that "it is related
of the Blessed Mark* that after receiving the faith he cut off his thumb
that he might be excluded from the priesthood." [*This prologue was
falsely ascribed to St. Jerome, and the passage quoted refers, not to St.
Mark the Evangelist, but to a hermit of that name. (Cf. Baronius, Anno
Christi, 45, num. XLIV)] Likewise some take a vow never to accept a
bishopric. Now to place an obstacle to a thing amounts to the same as
refusing it altogether. Therefore it would seem that one may, without
sin, refuse the episcopal office absolutely.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Augustine says (Ep. xlviii ad Eudox.): "If Mother
Church requires your service, neither accept with greedy conceit, nor
refuse with fawning indolence"; and afterwards he adds: "Nor prefer your
ease to the needs of the Church: for if no good men were willing to
assist her in her labor, you would seek in vain how we could be born of
her."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, Two things have to be considered in the acceptance of the
episcopal office: first, what a man may fittingly desire according to his
own will; secondly, what it behooves a man to do according to the will of
another. As regards his own will it becomes a man to look chiefly to his
own spiritual welfare, whereas that he look to the spiritual welfare of
others becomes a man according to the appointment of another having
authority, as stated above (A[1], ad 3). Hence just as it is a mark of an
inordinate will that a man of his own choice incline to be appointed to
the government of others, so too it indicates an inordinate will if a man
definitively refuse the aforesaid office of government in direct
opposition to the appointment of his superior: and this for two reasons.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] Body Para. 2/2

First, because this is contrary to the love of our neighbor, for whose
good a man should offer himself according as place and time demand:
hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix, 19) that "the demands of charity
undertake an honest labor." Secondly, because this is contrary to
humility, whereby a man submits to his superior's commands: hence Gregory
says (Pastor. i, 6): "In God's sight humility is genuine when it does not
obstinately refuse to submit to what is usefully prescribed."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 1: Although simply and absolutely speaking the contemplative
life is more excellent than the active, and the love of God better than
the love of our neighbor, yet, on the other hand, the good of the many
should be preferred to the good of the individual. Wherefore Augustine
says in the passage quoted above: "Nor prefer your own ease to the needs
of the Church," and all the more since it belongs to the love of God that
a man undertake the pastoral care of Christ's sheep. Hence Augustine,
commenting on Jn. 21:17, "Feed My sheep," says (Tract. cxxiii in Joan.):
"Be it the task of love to feed the Lord's flock, even as it was the mark
of fear to deny the Shepherd."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 2/2

Moreover prelates are not transferred to the active life, so as to
forsake the contemplative; wherefore Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xix, 19)
that "if the burden of the pastoral office be imposed, we must not
abandon the delights of truth," which are derived from contemplation.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: No one is bound to obey his superior by doing what is
unlawful, as appears from what was said above concerning obedience
(Q[104], A[5]). Accordingly it may happen that he who is appointed to the
office of prelate perceive something in himself on account of which it is
unlawful for him to accept a prelacy. But this obstacle may sometimes be
removed by the very person who is appointed to the pastoral cure - for
instance, if he have a purpose to sin, he may abandon it - and for this
reason he is not excused from being bound to obey definitely the superior
who has appointed him. Sometimes, however, he is unable himself to remove
the impediment that makes the pastoral office unlawful to him, yet the
prelate who appoints him can do so - for instance, if he be irregular or
excommunicate. In such a case he ought to make known his defect to the
prelate who has appointed him; and if the latter be willing to remove the
impediment, he is bound humbly to obey. Hence when Moses had said (Ex.
4:10): "I beseech thee, Lord, I am not eloquent from yesterday, and the
day before," the Lord answered (Ex. 4:12): "I will be in thy mouth, and I
will teach thee what thou shalt speak." At other times the impediment
cannot be removed, neither by the person appointing nor by the one
appointed - for instance, if an archbishop be unable to dispense from an
irregularity; wherefore a subject, if irregular, would not be bound to
obey him by accepting the episcopate or even sacred orders.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: It is not in itself necessary for salvation to accept the
episcopal office, but it becomes necessary by reason of the superior's
command. Now one may lawfully place an obstacle to things thus necessary
for salvation, before the command is given; else it would not be lawful
to marry a second time, lest one should thus incur an impediment to the
episcopate or holy orders. But this would not be lawful in things
necessary for salvation. Hence the Blessed Mark did not act against a
precept by cutting off his finger, although it is credible that he did
this by the instigation of the Holy Ghost, without which it would be
unlawful for anyone to lay hands on himself. If a man take a vow not to
accept the bishop's office, and by this intend to bind himself not even
to accept it in obedience to his superior prelate, his vow is unlawful;
but if he intend to bind himself, so far as it lies with him, not to seek
the episcopal office, nor to accept it except under urgent necessity, his
vow is lawful, because he vows to do what it becomes a man to do.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether he that is appointed to the episcopate ought to be better than
others?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that one who is appointed to the episcopate ought
to be better than others. For our Lord, when about to commit the pastoral
office to Peter, asked him if he loved Him more than the others. Now a
man is the better through loving God the more. Therefore it would seem
that one ought not to be appointed to the episcopal office except he be
better than others.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, Pope Symmachus says (can. Vilissimus I, qu. 1): "A man
is of very little worth who though excelling in dignity, excels not in
knowledge and holiness." Now he who excels in knowledge and holiness is
better. Therefore a man ought not to be appointed to the episcopate
unless he be better than others.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, in every genus the lesser are governed by the greater,
as corporeal things are governed by things spiritual, and the lower
bodies by the higher, as Augustine says (De Trin. iii, 3). Now a bishop
is appointed to govern others. Therefore he should be better than others.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, The Decretal [*Can. Cum dilectus, de Electione] says
that "it suffices to choose a good man, nor is it necessary to choose the
better man."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, In designating a man for the episcopal office, something
has to be considered on the part of the person designate, and something
on the part of the designator. For on the part of the designator, whether
by election or by appointment, it is required that he choose such a one
as will dispense the divine mysteries faithfully. These should be
dispensed for the good of the Church, according to 1 Cor. 14:12, "Seek to
abound unto the edifying of the Church"; and the divine mysteries are not
committed to men for their own meed, which they should await in the life
to come. Consequently he who has to choose or appoint one for a bishop is
not bound to take one who is best simply, i.e. according to charity, but
one who is best for governing the Church, one namely who is able to
instruct, defend, and govern the Church peacefully. Hence Jerome,
commenting on Titus 1:5, says against certain persons that "some seek to
erect as pillars of the Church, not those whom they know to be more
useful to the Church, but those whom they love more, or those by whose
obsequiousness they have been cajoled or undone, or for whom some person
in authority has spoken, and, not to say worse than this, have succeeded
by means of gifts in being made clerics."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] Body Para. 2/3

Now this pertains to the respect of persons, which in such matters is a
grave sin. Wherefore a gloss of Augustine [*Ep. clxvii ad Hieron.] on
James 2:1, "Brethren, have not . . . with respect of persons," says: "If
this distinction of sitting and standing be referred to ecclesiastical
honors, we must not deem it a slight sin to 'have the faith of the Lord
of glory with respect of persons.' For who would suffer a rich man to be
chosen for the Church's seat of honor, in despite of a poor man who is
better instructed and holier?"

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] Body Para. 3/3

On the part of the person appointed, it is not required that he esteem
himself better than others, for this would be proud and presumptuous; but
it suffices that he perceive nothing in himself which would make it
unlawful for him to take up the office of prelate. Hence although Peter
was asked by our Lord if he loved Him more than the others, he did not,
in his reply, set himself before the others, but answered simply that he
loved Christ.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Our Lord knew that, by His own bestowal, Peter was in other
respects fitted to govern the Church: wherefore He questioned him about
his greater love, to show that when we find a man otherwise fitted for
the government of the Church, we must look chiefly to his pre-eminence in
the love of God.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: This statement refers to the pursuits of the man who is
placed in authority. For he should aim at showing himself to be more
excellent than others in both knowledge and holiness. Wherefore Gregory
says (Pastor. ii, 1) "the occupations of a prelate ought to excel those
of the people, as much as the shepherd's life excels that of his flock."
But he is not to be blamed and looked upon as worthless if he excelled
not before being raised to the prelacy.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: According to 1 Cor. 12:4 seqq., "there are diversities of
graces . . . and . . . of ministries . . . and . . . of operations."
Hence nothing hinders one from being more fitted for the office of
governing, who does not excel in the grace of holiness. It is otherwise
in the government of the natural order, where that which is higher in the
natural order is for that very reason more fitted to dispose of those
that are lower.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether a bishop may lawfully forsake the episcopal cure, in order to
enter religion?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It seems that a bishop cannot lawfully forsake his episcopal cure
in order to enter religion. For no one can lawfully pass from a more
perfect to a less perfect state; since this is "to look back," which is
condemned by the words of our Lord (Lk. 9:62), "No man putting his hand
to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Now the
episcopal state is more perfect than the religious, as shown above
(Q[184], A[7]). Therefore just as it is unlawful to return to the world
from the religious state, so is it unlawful to pass from the episcopal to
the religious state.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the order of grace is more congruous than the order of
nature. Now according to nature a thing is not moved in contrary
directions; thus if a stone be naturally moved downwards, it cannot
naturally return upwards from below. But according to the order of grace
it is lawful to pass from the religious to the episcopal state. Therefore
it is not lawful to pass contrariwise from the episcopal to the religious
state.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, in the works of grace nothing should be inoperative. Now
when once a man is consecrated bishop he retains in perpetuity the
spiritual power of giving orders and doing like things that pertain to
the episcopal office: and this power would seemingly remain inoperative
in one who gives up the episcopal cure. Therefore it would seem that a
bishop may not forsake the episcopal cure and enter religion.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, No man is compelled to do what is in itself unlawful.
Now those who seek to resign their episcopal cure are compelled to resign
(Extra, de Renunt. cap. Quidam). Therefore apparently it is not unlawful
to give up the episcopal cure.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] Body Para. 1/3

I answer that, The perfection of the episcopal state consists in this
that for love of God a man binds himself to work for the salvation of his
neighbor, wherefore he is bound to retain the pastoral cure so long as he
is able to procure the spiritual welfare of the subjects entrusted to his
care: a matter which he must not neglect - neither for the sake of the
quiet of divine contemplation, since the Apostle, on account of the needs
of his subjects, suffered patiently to be delayed even from the
contemplation of the life to come, according to Phil. 1:22-25, "What I
shall choose I know not, but I am straitened between two, having a desire
to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, a thing by far better. But to
abide still in the flesh is needful for you. And having this confidence,
I know that I shall abide"; nor for the sake of avoiding any hardships or
of acquiring any gain whatsoever, because as it is written (Jn. 10:11),
"the good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] Body Para. 2/3

At times, however, it happens in several ways that a bishop is hindered
from procuring the spiritual welfare of his subjects. Sometimes on
account of his own defect, either of conscience (for instance if he be
guilty of murder or simony), or of body (for example if he be old or
infirm), or of irregularity arising, for instance, from bigamy. Sometimes
he is hindered through some defect in his subjects, whom he is unable to
profit. Hence Gregory says (Dial. ii, 3): "The wicked must be borne
patiently, when there are some good who can be succored, but when there
is no profit at all for the good, it is sometimes useless to labor for
the wicked. Wherefore the perfect when they find that they labor in vain
are often minded to go elsewhere in order to labor with fruit." Sometimes
again this hindrance arises on the part of others, as when scandal
results from a certain person being in authority: for the Apostle says (1
Cor. 8:13): "If meat scandalize my brother, I will never eat flesh":
provided, however, the scandal is not caused by the wickedness of persons
desirous of subverting the faith or the righteousness of the Church;
because the pastoral cure is not to be laid aside on account of scandal
of this kind, according to Mt. 15:14, "Let them alone," those namely who
were scandalized at the truth of Christ's teaching, "they are blind, and
leaders of the blind."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] Body Para. 3/3

Nevertheless just as a man takes upon himself the charge of authority at
the appointment of a higher superior, so too it behooves him to be
subject to the latter's authority in laying aside the accepted charge for
the reasons given above. Hence Innocent III says (Extra, de Renunt., cap.
Nisi cum pridem): "Though thou hast wings wherewith thou art anxious to
fly away into solitude, they are so tied by the bonds of authority, that
thou art not free to fly without our permission." For the Pope alone can
dispense from the perpetual vow, by which a man binds himself to the care
of his subjects, when he took upon himself the episcopal office.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The perfection of religious and that of bishops are
regarded from different standpoints. For it belongs to the perfection of
a religious to occupy oneself in working out one's own salvation, whereas
it belongs to the perfection of a bishop to occupy oneself in working for
the salvation of others. Hence so long as a man can be useful to the
salvation of his neighbor, he would be going back, if he wished to pass
to the religious state, to busy himself only with his own salvation,
since he has bound himself to work not only for his own but also for
others' salvation. Wherefore Innocent III says in the Decretal quoted
above that "it is more easily allowable for a monk to ascend to the
episcopacy, than for a bishop to descend to the monastic life. If,
however, he be unable to procure the salvation of others it is meet he
should seek his own."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: On account of no obstacle should a man forego the work of
his own salvation, which pertains to the religious state. But there may
be an obstacle to the procuring of another's salvation; wherefore a monk
may be raised to the episcopal state wherein he is able also to work out
his own salvation. And a bishop, if he be hindered from procuring the
salvation of others, may enter the religious life, and may return to his
bishopric should the obstacle cease, for instance by the correction of
his subjects, cessation of the scandal, healing of his infirmity, removal
of his ignorance by sufficient instruction. Again, if he owed his
promotion to simony of which he was in ignorance, and resigning his
episcopate entered the religious life, he can be reappointed to another
bishopric [*Cap. Post translat., de Renunt.]. On the other hand, if a man
be deposed from the episcopal office for some sin, and confined in a
monastery that he may do penance, he cannot be reappointed to a
bishopric. Hence it is stated (VII, qu. i, can. Hoc nequaquam): "The holy
synod orders that any man who has been degraded from the episcopal
dignity to the monastic life and a place of repentance, should by no
means rise again to the episcopate."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Even in natural things power remains inactive on account of
a supervening obstacle, for instance the act of sight ceases through an
affliction of the eye. So neither is it unreasonable if, through the
occurrence of some obstacle from without, the episcopal power remain
without the exercise of its act.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it is lawful for a bishop on account of bodily persecution to
abandon the flock committed to his care?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that it is unlawful for a bishop, on account of
some temporal persecution, to withdraw his bodily presence from the flock
committed to his care. For our Lord said (Jn. 10:12) that he is a
hireling and no true shepherd, who "seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth
the sheep and flieth": and Gregory says (Hom. xiv in Ev.) that "the wolf
comes upon the sheep when any man by his injustice and robbery oppresses
the faithful and the humble." Therefore if, on account of the persecution
of a tyrant, a bishop withdraws his bodily presence from the flock
entrusted to his care, it would seem that he is a hireling and not a
shepherd.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, it is written (Prov. 6:1): "My son, if thou be surety
for thy friend, thou hast engaged fast thy hand to a stranger," and
afterwards (Prov. 6:3): "Run about, make haste, stir up thy friend."
Gregory expounds these words and says (Pastor. iii, 4): "To be surety for
a friend, is to vouch for his good conduct by engaging oneself to a
stranger. And whoever is put forward as an example to the lives of
others, is warned not only to watch but even to rouse his friend." Now he
cannot do this if he withdraw his bodily presence from his flock.
Therefore it would seem that a bishop should not on account of
persecution withdraw his bodily presence from his flock.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, it belongs to the perfection of the bishop's state that
he devote himself to the care of his neighbor. Now it is unlawful for one
who has professed the state of perfection to forsake altogether the
things that pertain to perfection. Therefore it would seem unlawful for a
bishop to withdraw his bodily presence from the execution of his office,
except perhaps for the purpose of devoting himself to works of perfection
in a monastery.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, our Lord commanded the apostles, whose successors
bishops are (Mt. 10:23): "When they shall persecute you in this city,
flee into another."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, In any obligation the chief thing to be considered is the
end of the obligation. Now bishops bind themselves to fulfil the pastoral
office for the sake of the salvation of their subjects. Consequently when
the salvation of his subjects demands the personal presence of the
pastor, the pastor should not withdraw his personal presence from his
flock, neither for the sake of some temporal advantage, nor even on
account of some impending danger to his person, since the good shepherd
is bound to lay down his life for his sheep.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] Body Para. 2/2

On the other hand, if the salvation of his subjects can be sufficiently
provided for by another person in the absence of the pastor, it is lawful
for the pastor to withdraw his bodily presence from his flock, either for
the sake of some advantage to the Church, or on account of some danger to
his person. Hence Augustine says (Ep. ccxxviii ad Honorat.): "Christ's
servants may flee from one city to another, when one of them is specially
sought out by persecutors: in order that the Church be not abandoned by
others who are not so sought for. When, however, the same danger
threatens all, those who stand in need of others must not be abandoned by
those whom they need." For "if it is dangerous for the helmsman to leave
the ship when the sea is calm, how much more so when it is stormy," as
Pope Nicholas I says (cf. VII, qu. i, can. Sciscitaris).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: To flee as a hireling is to prefer temporal advantage or
one's bodily welfare to the spiritual welfare of one's neighbor. Hence
Gregory says (Hom. xiv in Ev.): "A man cannot endanger himself for the
sake of his sheep, if he uses his authority over them not through love of
them but for the sake of earthly gain: wherefore he fears to stand in the
way of danger lest he lose what he loves." But he who, in order to avoid
danger, leaves the flock without endangering the flock, does not flee as
a hireling.
Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: If he who is surety for another be unable to fulfil his
engagement, it suffices that he fulfil it through another. Hence if a
superior is hindered from attending personally to the care of his
subjects, he fulfils his obligation if he do so through another.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[5] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: When a man is appointed to a bishopric, he embraces the
state of perfection as regards one kind of perfection; and if he be
hindered from the practice thereof, he is not bound to another kind of
perfection, so as to be obliged to enter the religious state. Yet he is
under the obligation of retaining the intention of devoting himself to
his neighbor's salvation, should an opportunity offer, and necessity
require it of him.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether it is lawful for a bishop to have property of his own?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that it is not lawful for a bishop to have
property of his own. For our Lord said (Mt. 19:21): "If thou wilt be
perfect, go sell all [Vulg.: 'what] thou hast, and give to the poor . . .
and come, follow Me"; whence it would seem to follow that voluntary
poverty is requisite for perfection. Now bishops are in the state of
perfection. Therefore it would seem unlawful for them to possess anything
as their own.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, bishops take the place of the apostles in the Church,
according to a gloss on Lk. 10:1. Now our Lord commanded the apostles to
possess nothing of their own, according to Mt. 10:9, "Do not possess
gold, nor silver, nor money in your purses"; wherefore Peter said for
himself and the other apostles (Mt. 19:27): "Behold we have left all
things and have followed Thee." Therefore it would seem that bishops are
bound to keep this command, and to possess nothing of their own.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, Jerome says (Ep. lii ad Nepotian.): "The Greek {kleros}
denotes the Latin 'sors.' Hence clerics are so called either because they
are of the Lord's estate, or because the Lord Himself is the estate, i.e.
portion of clerics. Now he that possesses the Lord, can have nothing
besides God; and if he have gold and silver, possessions, and chattels of
all kinds, with such a portion the Lord does not vouchsafe to be his
portion also." Therefore it would seem that not only bishops but even
clerics should have nothing of their own.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is stated (XII, qu. i, can. Episcopi de rebus):
"Bishops, if they wish, may bequeath to their heirs their personal or
acquired property, and whatever belongs to them personally."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, No one is bound to works of supererogation, unless he
binds himself specially thereto by vow. Hence Augustine says (Ep. cxxvii
ad Paulin. et Arment.): "Since you have taken the vow, you have already
bound yourself, you can no longer do otherwise. Before you were bound by
the vow, you were free to submit." Now it is evident that to live without
possessing anything is a work of supererogation, for it is a matter not
of precept but of counsel. Wherefore our Lord after saying to the young
man: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments," said
afterwards by way of addition: "If thou wilt be perfect go sell" all
"that thou hast, and give to the poor" (Mt. 19:17,21). Bishops, however,
do not bind themselves at their ordination to live without possessions of
their own; nor indeed does the pastoral office, to which they bind
themselves, make it necessary for them to live without anything of their
own. Therefore bishops are not bound to live without possessions of their
own.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: As stated above (Q[184], A[3], ad 1) the perfection of the
Christian life does not essentially consist in voluntary poverty, but
voluntary poverty conduces instrumentally to the perfection of life.
Hence it does not follow that where there is greater poverty there is
greater perfection; indeed the highest perfection is compatible with
great wealth, since Abraham, to whom it was said (Gn. 17:1): "Walk
before Me and be perfect," is stated to have been rich (Gn. 13:2).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 1/3

Reply OBJ 2: This saying of our Lord can be understood in three ways.
First, mystically, that we should possess neither gold nor silver means
that the preacher should not rely chiefly on temporal wisdom and
eloquence; thus Jerome expounds the passage.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 2/3

Secondly, according to Augustine's explanation (De Consens. Ev. ii, 30),
we are to understand that our Lord said this not in command but in
permission. For he permitted them to go preaching without gold or silver
or other means, since they were to receive the means of livelihood from
those to whom they preached; wherefore He added: "For the workman is
worthy of his meat." And yet if anyone were to use his own means in
preaching the Gospel, this would be a work of supererogation, as Paul
says in reference to himself (1 Cor. 9:12,15).

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] R.O. 2 Para. 3/3

Thirdly, according to the exposition of Chrysostom [*Hom. ii in Rom.
xvi, 3], we are to understand that our Lord laid these commands on His
disciples in reference to the mission on which they were sent to preach
to the Jews, so that they might be encouraged to trust in His power,
seeing that He provided for their wants without their having means of
their own. But it does not follow from this that they, or their
successors, were obliged to preach the Gospel without having means of
their own: since we read of Paul (2 Cor. 11:8) that he "received wages"
of other churches for preaching to the Corinthians, wherefore it is clear
that he possessed something sent to him by others. And it seems foolish
to say that so many holy bishops as Athanasius, Ambrose, and Augustine
would have disobeyed these commandments if they believed themselves bound
to observe them.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[6] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: Every part is less than the whole. Accordingly a man has
other portions together with God, if he becomes less intent on things
pertaining to God by occupying himself with things of the world. Now
neither bishops nor clerics ought thus to possess means of their own,
that while busy with their own they neglect those that concern the
worship of God.


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether bishops sin mortally if they distribute not to the poor the
ecclesiastical goods which accrue to them?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that bishops sin mortally if they distribute not to
the poor the ecclesiastical goods which they acquire. For Ambrose
[*Basil, Serm. lxiv, de Temp., among the supposititious works of St.
Jerome] expounding Lk. 12:16, "The land of a certain . . . man brought
forth plenty of fruits," says: "Let no man claim as his own that which he
has taken and obtained by violence from the common property in excess of
his requirements"; and afterwards he adds: "It is not less criminal to
take from him who has, than, when you are able and have plenty to refuse
him who has not." Now it is a mortal sin to take another's property by
violence. Therefore bishops sin mortally if they give not to the poor
that which they have in excess.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a gloss of Jerome on Is. 3:14, "The spoil of the poor is
in your house," says that "ecclesiastical goods belong to the poor." Now
whoever keeps for himself or gives to others that which belongs to
another, sins mortally and is bound to restitution. Therefore if bishops
keep for themselves, or give to their relations or friends, their surplus
of ecclesiastical goods, it would seem that they are bound to restitution.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, much more may one take what is necessary for oneself
from the goods of the Church, than accumulate a surplus therefrom. Yet
Jerome says in a letter to Pope Damasus [*Cf. Can. Clericos, cause. i,
qu. 2; Can. Quoniam; cause. xvi, qu. 1; Regul. Monach. iv, among the
supposititious works of St. Jerome]: "It is right that those clerics who
receive no goods from their parents and relations should be supported
from the funds of the Church. But those who have sufficient income from
their parents and their own possessions, if they take what belongs to the
poor, they commit and incur the guilt of sacrilege." Wherefore the
Apostle says (1 Tim. 5:16): "If any of the faithful have widows, let him
minister to them, and let not the Church be charged, that there may be
sufficient for them that are widows indeed." Much more therefore do
bishops sin mortally if they give not to the poor the surplus of their
ecclesiastical goods.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Many bishops do not give their surplus to the poor, but
would seem commendably to lay it out so as to increase the revenue of the
Church.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] Body Para. 1/4

I answer that, The same is not to be said of their own goods which
bishops may possess, and of ecclesiastical goods. For they have real
dominion over their own goods; wherefore from the very nature of the case
they are not bound to give these things to others, and may either keep
them for themselves or bestow them on others at will. Nevertheless they
may sin in this disposal by inordinate affection, which leads them either
to accumulate more than they should, or not to assist others, in
accordance with the demands of charity; yet they are not bound to
restitution, because such things are entrusted to their ownership.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] Body Para. 2/4

On the other hand, they hold ecclesiastical goods as dispensers or
trustees. For Augustine says (Ep. clxxxv ad Bonif.): "If we possess
privately what is enough for us, other things belong not to us but to the
poor, and we have the dispensing of them; but we can claim ownership of
them only by wicked theft." Now dispensing requires good faith, according
to 1 Cor. 4:2, "Here now it is required among the dispensers that a man
be found faithful." Moreover ecclesiastical goods are to be applied not
only to the good of the poor, but also to the divine worship and the
needs of its ministers. Hence it is said (XII, qu. ii, can. de
reditibus): "Of the Church's revenues or the offerings of the faithful
only one part is to be assigned to the bishop, two parts are to be used
by the priest, under pain of suspension, for the ecclesiastical fabric,
and for the benefit of the poor; the remaining part is to be divided
among the clergy according to their respective merits." Accordingly if
the goods which are assigned to the use of the bishop are distinct from
those which are appointed for the use of the poor, or the ministers, or
for the ecclesiastical worship, and if the bishop keeps back for himself
part of that which should be given to the poor, or to the ministers for
their use, or expended on the divine worship, without doubt he is an
unfaithful dispenser, sins mortally, and is bound to restitution.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] Body Para. 3/4

But as regards those goods which are deputed to his private use, the
same apparently applies as to his own property, namely that he sins
through immoderate attachment thereto or use thereof, if he exceeds
moderation in what he keeps for himself, and fails to assist others
according to the demands of charity.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] Body Para. 4/4

On the other hand, if no distinction is made in the aforesaid goods,
their distribution is entrusted to his good faith; and if he fail or
exceed in a slight degree, this may happen without prejudice to his good
faith, because in such matters a man cannot possibly decide precisely
what ought to be done. On the other hand, if the excess be very great he
cannot be ignorant of the fact; consequently he would seem to be lacking
in good faith, and is guilty of mortal sin. For it is written (Mt.
24:48-51) that "if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord is
long a-coming," which shows contempt of God's judgment, "and shall begin
to strike his fellow-servants," which is a sign of pride, "and shall eat
and drink with drunkards," which proceeds from lust, "the lord of that
servant shall come in a day that he hopeth not . . . and shall separate
him," namely from the fellowship of good men, "and appoint his portion
with hypocrites," namely in hell.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: This saying of Ambrose refers to the administration not
only of ecclesiastical things but also of any goods whatever from which a
man is bound, as a duty of charity, to provide for those who are in need.
But it is not possible to state definitely when this need is such as to
impose an obligation under pain of mortal sin, as is the case in other
points of detail that have to be considered in human acts: for the
decision in such matters is left to human prudence.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: As stated above the goods of the Church have to be employed
not only for the use of the poor, but also for other purposes. Hence if a
bishop or cleric wish to deprive himself of that which is assigned to his
own use, and give it to his relations or others, he sins not so long as
he observes moderation, so, to wit, that they cease to be in want without
becoming the richer thereby. Hence Ambrose says (De Offic. i, 30): "It is
a commendable liberality if you overlook not your kindred when you know
them to be in want; yet not so as to wish to make them rich with what you
can give to the poor."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: The goods of churches should not all be given to the poor,
except in a case of necessity: for then, as Ambrose says (De Offic. ii,
28), even the vessels consecrated to the divine worship are to be sold
for the ransom of prisoners, and other needs of the poor. In such a case
of necessity a cleric would sin if he chose to maintain himself on the
goods of the Church, always supposing him to have a patrimony of his own
on which to support himself.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[7] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: The goods of the churches should be employed for the good
of the poor. Consequently a man is to be commended if, there being no
present necessity for helping the poor, he spends the surplus from the
Church revenue, in buying property, or lays it by for some future use
connected with the Church or the needs of the poor. But if there be a
pressing need for helping the poor, to lay by for the future is a
superfluous and inordinate saving, and is forbidden by our Lord Who said
(Mt. 6:34): "Be . . . not solicitous for the morrow."


Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether religious who are raised to the episcopate are bound to religious
observances?

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that religious who are raised to the episcopate are
not bound to religious observances. For it is said (XVIII, qu. i, can.
Statutum) that a "canonical election loosens a monk from the yoke imposed
by the rule of the monastic profession, and the holy ordination makes of
a monk a bishop." Now the regular observances pertain to the yoke of the
rule. Therefore religious who are appointed bishops are not bound to
religious observances.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, he who ascends from a lower to a higher degree is
seemingly not bound to those things which pertain to the lower degree:
thus it was stated above (Q[88], A[12], ad 1) that a religious is not
bound to keep the vows he made in the world. But a religious who is
appointed to the episcopate ascends to something greater, as stated above
(Q[84], A[7]). Therefore it would seem that a bishop is not bound to
those things whereto he was bound in the state of religion.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, religious would seem to be bound above all to obedience,
and to live without property of their own. But religious who are
appointed bishops, are not bound to obey the superiors of their order,
since they are above them; nor apparently are they bound to poverty,
since according to the decree quoted above (OBJ[1]) "when the holy
ordination has made of a monk a bishop he enjoys the right, as the lawful
heir, of claiming his paternal inheritance." Moreover they are sometimes
allowed to make a will. Much less therefore are they bound to other
regular observances.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, It is said in the Decretals (XVI, qu. i, can. De
Monachis): "With regard to those who after long residence in a monastery
attain to the order of clerics, we bid them not to lay aside their former
purpose."

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] Body Para. 1/2

I answer that, As stated above (A[1], ad 2) the religious state pertains
to perfection, as a way of tending to perfection, while the episcopal
state pertains to perfection, as a professorship of perfection. Hence the
religious state is compared to the episcopal state, as the school to the
professorial chair, and as disposition to perfection. Now the disposition
is not voided at the advent of perfection, except as regards what
perchance is incompatible with perfection, whereas as to that wherein it
is in accord with perfection, it is confirmed the more. Thus when the
scholar has become a professor it no longer becomes him to be a listener,
but it becomes him to read and meditate even more than before.
Accordingly we must assert that if there be among religious observances
any that instead of being an obstacle to the episcopal office, are a
safeguard of perfection, such as continence, poverty, and so forth, a
religious, even after he has been made a bishop, remains bound to observe
these, and consequently to wear the habit of his order, which is a sign
of this obligation.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] Body Para. 2/2

On the other hand, a man is not bound to keep such religious observances
as may be incompatible with the episcopal office, for instance solitude,
silence, and certain severe abstinences or watchings and such as would
render him bodily unable to exercise the episcopal office. For the rest
he may dispense himself from them, according to the needs of his person
or office, and the manner of life of those among whom he dwells, in the
same way as religious superiors dispense themselves in such matters.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: He who from being a monk becomes a bishop is loosened from
the yoke of the monastic profession, not in everything, but in those that
are incompatible with the episcopal office, as stated above.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The vows of those who are living in the world are compared
to the vows of religion as the particular to the universal, as stated above (Q[88], A[12], ad 1). But the vows of religion are compared to the
episcopal dignity as disposition to perfection. Now the particular is
superfluous when one has the universal, whereas the disposition is still
necessary when perfection has been attained.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 1/3

Reply OBJ 3: It is accidental that religious who are bishops are not
bound to obey the superiors of their order, because, to wit, they have
ceased to be their subjects; even as those same religious superiors.
Nevertheless the obligation of the vow remains virtually, so that if any
person be lawfully set above them, they would be bound to obey them,
inasmuch as they are bound to obey both the statutes of their rule in the
way mentioned above, and their superiors if they have any.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 2/3

As to property they can nowise have it. For they claim their paternal
inheritance not as their own, but as due to the Church. Hence it is added
(XVIII, qu. i, can. Statutum) that after he has been ordained bishop at
the altar to which he is consecrated and appointed according to the holy
canons, he must restore whatever he may acquire.

Aquin.: SMT SS Q[185] A[8] R.O. 3 Para. 3/3

Nor can he make any testament at all, because he is entrusted with the
sole administration of things ecclesiastical, and this ends with his
death, after which a testament comes into force according to the Apostle
(Heb. 9:17). If, however, by the Pope's permission he make a will, he is
not to be understood to bequeath property of his own, but we are to
understand that by apostolic authority the power of his administration
has been prolonged so as to remain in force after his death.





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