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St. Thomas Aquinas
Summa Theologica

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  • Aquin.: SMT XP Q[1] Out. Para. 1/2 SUPPLEMENT (XP): TO THE THIRD PART OF THE SUMMA THEOLOGICA OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS GATHERED FROM HIS COMMENTARY ON BOOK IV OF THE SENTENCES (QQ[1] -99) OF THE PARTS OF PENANCE, IN PARTICULAR, AND FIRST OF CONTRITION (THREE ARTICLES)
      • Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE IMPEDIMENT OF SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP (FIVE ARTICLES)
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Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] Out. Para. 1/1 - OF THE IMPEDIMENT OF SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP (FIVE ARTICLES)

We must now consider the impediment of spiritual relationship: under
which head there are five points of inquiry:

(1) Whether spiritual relationship is an impediment to marriage?

(2) From what cause is it contracted?

(3) Between whom?

(4) Whether it passes from husband to wife?

(5) Whether it passes to the father's carnal children?


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether spiritual relationship is an impediment to marriage?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship is not an impediment to
marriage. For nothing is an impediment to marriage save what is contrary
to a marriage good. Now spiritual relationship is not contrary to a
marriage good. Therefore it is not an impediment to marriage.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a perpetual impediment to marriage cannot stand together
with marriage. But spiritual relationship sometimes stands together with
marriage, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 42), as when a man in a
case of necessity baptizes his own child, for then he contracts a
spiritual relationship with his wife, and yet the marriage is not
dissolved. Therefore spiritual relationship is not an impediment to
marriage.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, union of the spirit does not pass to the flesh. But
marriage is a union of the flesh. Therefore since spiritual relationship
is a union of the spirit, it cannot become an impediment to marriage.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, contraries have not the same effects. Now spiritual
relationship is apparently contrary to disparity of worship, since
spiritual relationship is a kinship resulting from the giving of a
sacrament or the intention of so doing [*See next Article, ad 3]: whereas
disparity of worship consists in the lack of a sacrament, as stated above
(Q[50], A[1]). Since then disparity of worship is an impediment to
matrimony, it would seem that spiritual relationship has not this effect.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] OTC Para. 1/2

On the contrary, The holier the bond, the more is it to be safeguarded.
Now a spiritual bond is holier than a bodily tie: and since the tie of
bodily kinship is an impediment to marriage, it follows that spiritual
relationship should also be an impediment.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] OTC Para. 2/2

Further, in marriage the union of souls ranks higher than union of
bodies, for it precedes it. Therefore with much more reason can a
spiritual relationship hinder marriage than bodily relationship does.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Just as by carnal procreation man receives natural being,
so by the sacraments he receives the spiritual being of grace. Wherefore
just as the tie that is contracted by carnal procreation is natural to
man, inasmuch as he is a natural being, so the tie that is contracted
from the reception of the sacraments is after a fashion natural to man,
inasmuch as he is a member of the Church. Therefore as carnal
relationship hinders marriage, even so does spiritual relationship by
command of the Church. We must however draw a distinction in reference
to spiritual relationship, since either it precedes or follows marriage.
If it precedes, it hinders the contracting of marriage and voids the
contract. If it follows, it does not dissolve the marriage bond: but we
must draw a further distinction in reference to the marriage act. For
either the spiritual relationship is contracted in a case of necessity,
as when a father baptizes his child who is at the point of death - and
then it is not an obstacle to the marriage act on either side - or it is
contracted without any necessity and through ignorance, in which case if
the person whose action has occasioned the relationship acted with due
caution, it is the same with him as in the former case - or it is
contracted purposely and without any necessity, and then the person whose
action has occasioned the relationship, loses the right to ask for the
debt; but is bound to pay if asked, because the fault of the one party
should not be prejudicial to the other.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Although spiritual relationship does not hinder any of the
chief marriage goods, it hinders one of the secondary goods, namely the
extension of friendship, because spiritual relationship is by itself a
sufficient reason for friendship: wherefore intimacy and friendship with
other persons need to be sought by means of marriage.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: Marriage is a lasting bond, wherefore no supervening
impediment can sever it. Hence it happens sometimes that marriage and an
impediment to marriage stand together, but not if the impediment precedes.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: In marriage there is not only a bodily but also a spiritual
union: and consequently kinship of spirit proves an impediment thereto,
without spiritual kinship having to pass into a bodily relationship.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[1] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: There is nothing unreasonable in two things that are
contrary to one another being contrary to the same thing, as great and
small are contrary to equal. Thus disparity of worship and spiritual
relationship are opposed to marriage, because in one the distance is
greater, and in the other less, than required by marriage. Hence there is
an impediment to marriage in either case.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether spiritual relationship is contracted by baptism only?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship is contracted by
Baptism only. For as bodily kinship is to bodily birth, so is spiritual
kinship to spiritual birth. Now Baptism alone is called spiritual birth.
Therefore spiritual kinship is contracted by Baptism only, even as only
by carnal birth is carnal kinship contracted.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, a character is imprinted in order as in Confirmation.
But spiritual relationship does not result from receiving orders.
Therefore it does not result from Confirmation but only from Baptism.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, sacraments are more excellent than sacramentals. Now
spiritual relationship does not result from certain sacraments, for
instance from Extreme Unction. Much less therefore does it result from
catechizing, as some maintain.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, many other sacramentals are attached to Baptism besides
catechizing. Therefore spiritual relationship is not contracted from
catechism any more than from the others.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 5 Para. 1/1

OBJ 5: Further, prayer is no less efficacious than instruction of
catechism for advancement in good. But spiritual relationship does not
result from prayer. Therefore it does not result from catechism.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 6 Para. 1/1

OBJ 6: Further, the instruction given to the baptized by preaching to
them avails no less than preaching to those who are not yet baptized. But
no spiritual relationship results from preaching. Neither therefore does
it result from catechism.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 7 Para. 1/1

OBJ 7: On the other hand, It is written (1 Cor. 4:15): "In Christ Jesus
by the gospel I have begotten you." Now spiritual birth causes spiritual
relationship. Therefore spiritual relationship results from the preaching
of the gospel and instruction, and not only from Baptism.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 8 Para. 1/1

OBJ 8: Further, as original sin is taken away by Baptism, so is actual
sin taken away by Penance. Therefore just as Baptism causes spiritual
relationship, so also does Penance.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Obj. 9 Para. 1/1

OBJ 9: Further, "father" denotes relationship. Now a man is called
another's spiritual father in respect of Penance, teaching, pastoral care
and many other like things. Therefore spiritual relationship is
contracted from many other sources besides Baptism and Confirmation.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, There are three opinions on this question. Some say that
as spiritual regeneration is bestowed by the sevenfold grace of the Holy
Ghost, it is caused by means of seven things, beginning with the first
taste of blessed salt and ending with Confirmation given by the bishop:
and they say that spiritual relationship is contracted by each of these
seven things. But this does not seem reasonable, for carnal relationship
is not contracted except by a perfect act of generation. Wherefore
affinity is not contracted except there be mingling of seeds, from which
it is possible for carnal generation to follow. Now spiritual generation
is not perfected except by a sacrament: wherefore it does not seem
fitting for spiritual relationship to be contracted otherwise than
through a sacrament. Hence others say that spiritual relationship is only
contracted through three sacraments, namely catechism, Baptism and
Confirmation, but these do not apparently know the meaning of what they
say, since catechism is not a sacrament but a sacramental. Wherefore
others say that it is contracted through two sacraments only, namely
Confirmation and Baptism, and this is the more common opinion. Some
however of these say that catechism is a weak impediment, since it
hinders the contracting of marriage but does not void the contract.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Carnal birth is twofold. The first is in the womb, wherein
that which is born is a weakling and cannot come forth without danger:
and to this birth regeneration by Baptism is likened; wherein a man is
regenerated as though yet needing to be fostered in the womb of the
Church. The second is birth from out of the womb, when that which was
born in the womb is so far strengthened that it can without danger face
the outer world which has a natural corruptive tendency. To this is
likened Confirmation, whereby man being strengthened goes forth abroad to
confess the name of Christ. Hence spiritual relationship is fittingly
contracted through both these sacraments.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: The effect of the sacrament of order is not regeneration
but the bestowal of power, for which reason it is not conferred on women,
and consequently no impediment to marriage can arise therefrom. Hence
this kind of relationship does not count.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: In catechism one makes a profession of future Baptism, just
as in betrothal one enters an engagement of future marriage. Wherefore
just as in betrothal a certain kind of propinquity is contracted, so is
there in catechism, whereby marriage is rendered at least unlawful, as
some say; but not in the other sacraments.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] R.O. 4 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 4: There is not made a profession of faith in the other
sacramentals of Baptism, as in catechism: wherefore the comparison fails.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] R.O. 4 Para. 2/2

The same answer applies to the Fifth and Sixth Objections.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] R.O. 7 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 7: The Apostle had instructed them in the faith by a kind of
catechism; and consequently his instruction was directed to their
spiritual birth.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] R.O. 8 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 8: Properly speaking a spiritual relationship is not
contracted through the sacrament of Penance. Wherefore a priest's son can
marry a woman whose confession the priest has heard, else in the whole
parish he could not find a woman whom he could marry. Nor does it matter
that by Penance actual sin is taken away, for this is not a kind of
birth, but a kind of healing. Nevertheless Penance occasions a kind of
bond between the woman penitent and the priest, that has a resemblance to
spiritual relationship, so that if he have carnal intercourse with her,
he sins as grievously as if she were his spiritual daughter. The reason
of this is that the relations between priest and penitent are most
intimate, and consequently in order to remove the occasion of sin this
prohibition [*Can. Omnes quos, and seqq., Caus. xxx] was made.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[2] R.O. 9 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 9: A spiritual father is so called from his likeness to a
carnal father. Now as the Philosopher says (Ethic. viii, 2) a carnal
father gives his child three things, being nourishment and instruction:
and consequently a person's spiritual father is so called from one of
these three things. Nevertheless he has not, through being his spiritual
father, a spiritual relationship with him, unless he is like a (carnal)
father as to generation which is the way to being. This solution may also
be applied to the foregoing Eighth Objection.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether spiritual relationship is contracted between the person baptized
and the person who raises him from the sacred font?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship is not contracted
between the person baptized and the person who raises him from the sacred
font. For in carnal generation carnal relationship is contracted only on
the part of the person of whose seed the child is born; and not on the
part of the person who receives the child after birth. Therefore neither
is spiritual relationship contracted between the receiver and the
received at the sacred font.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, he who raises a person from the sacred font is called
{anadochos} by Dionysius (Eccl. Hier. ii): and it is part of his office
to instruct the child. But instruction is not a sufficient cause of
spiritual relationship, as stated above (A[2]). Therefore no relationship
is contracted between him and the person whom he raises from the sacred
font.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, it may happen that someone raises a person from the
sacred font before he himself is baptized. Now spiritual relationship is
not contracted in such a case, since one who is not baptized is not
capable of spirituality. Therefore raising a person from the sacred font
is not sufficient to contract a spiritual relationship.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, There is the definition of spiritual relationship
quoted above (A[1]), as also the authorities mentioned in the text (Sent.
iv, D, 42).

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, Just as in carnal generation a person is born of a father
and mother, so in spiritual generation a person is born again a son of
God as Father, and of the Church as Mother. Now while he who confers the
sacrament stands in the place of God, whose instrument and minister he
is, he who raises a baptized person from the sacred font, or holds the
candidate for Confirmation, stands in the place of the Church. Therefore
spiritual relationship is contracted with both.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: Not only the father, of whose seed the child is born, is
related carnally to the child, but also the mother who provides the
matter, and in whose womb the child is begotten. So too the godparent who
in place of the Church offers and raises the candidate for Baptism and
holds the candidate for Confirmation contracts spiritual relationship.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: He contracts spiritual relationship not by reason of the
instruction it is his duty to give, but on account of the spiritual birth
in which he co-operates.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[3] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: A person who is not baptized cannot raise anyone from the
sacred font, since he is not a member of the Church whom the godparent in
Baptism represents: although he can baptize, because he is a creature of
God Whom the baptizer represents. And yet he cannot contract a spiritual
relationship, since he is void of spiritual life to which man is first
born by receiving Baptism.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether spiritual relationship passes from husband to wife?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship does not pass from
husband to wife. For spiritual and bodily union are disparate and differ
generically. Therefore carnal union which is between husband and wife
cannot be the means of contracting a spiritual relationship.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, the godfather and godmother have more in common in the
spiritual birth that is the cause of spiritual relationship, than a
husband, who is godfather, has with his wife. Now godfather and godmother
do not hereby contract spiritual relationship. Therefore neither does a
wife contract a spiritual relationship through her husband being
godfather to someone.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] Obj. 3 Para. 1/1

OBJ 3: Further, it may happen that the husband is baptized, and his wife
not, for instance when he is converted from unbelief without his wife
being converted. Now spiritual relationship cannot be contracted by one
who is not baptized. Therefore it does not always pass from husband to
wife.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] Obj. 4 Para. 1/1

OBJ 4: Further, husband and wife together can raise a person from the
sacred font, since no law forbids it. If therefore spiritual relationship
passed from husband to wife, it would follow that each of them is twice
godfather or godmother of the same individual: which is absurd.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, Spiritual goods are more communicable than bodily
goods. But the bodily consanguinity of the husband passes to his wife by
affinity. Much more therefore does spiritual relationship.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, A may become co-parent with B in two ways. First, by the
act of another (B), who baptizes A's child, or raises him in Baptism. In
this way spiritual relationship does not pass from husband to wife,
unless perchance it be his wife's child, for then she contracts spiritual
relationship directly, even as her husband. Secondly, by his own act, for
instance when he raises B's child from the sacred font, and thus
spiritual relationship passes to the wife if he has already had carnal
knowledge of her, but not if the marriage be not yet consummated, since
they are not as yet made one flesh: and this is by way of a kind of
affinity; wherefore it would seem on the same grounds to pass to a woman
of whom he has carnal knowledge, though she be not his wife. Hence the
verse: "I may not marry my own child's godmother, nor the mother of my
godchild: but I may marry the godmother of my wife's child."

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: From the fact that corporal and spiritual union differ
generically we may conclude that the one is not the other, but not that
the one cannot cause the other, since things of different genera
sometimes cause one another either directly or indirectly.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 1/2

Reply OBJ 2: The godfather and godmother of the same person are not
united in that person's spiritual birth save accidentally, since one of
them would be self-sufficient for the purpose. Hence it does not follow
from this that any spiritual relationship results between them whereby
they are hindered from marrying one another. Hence the verse:


"Of two co-parents one is always spiritual, the other carnal: this rule
is infallible."


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] R.O. 2 Para. 2/2

On the other hand, marriage by itself makes husband and wife one flesh:
wherefore the comparison fails.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] R.O. 3 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 3: If the wife be not baptized, the spiritual relationship
will not reach her, because she is not a fit subject, and not because
spiritual relationship cannot pass from husband to wife through marriage.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[4] R.O. 4 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 4: Since no spiritual relationship results between godfather
and godmother, nothing prevents husband and wife from raising together
someone from the sacred font. Nor is it absurd that the wife become twice
godmother of the same person from different causes, just as it is
possible for her to be connected in carnal relationship both by affinity
and consanguinity to the same person.


Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[5] Thes. Para. 1/1

Whether spiritual relationship passes to the godfather's carnal children?

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[5] Obj. 1 Para. 1/1

OBJ 1: It would seem that spiritual relationship does not pass to the
godfather's carnal children. For no degrees are assigned to spiritual
relationship. Yet there would be degrees if it passed from father to son,
since the person begotten involves a change of degree, as stated above
(Q[55], A[5]). Therefore it does not pass to the godfather's carnal sons.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[5] Obj. 2 Para. 1/1

OBJ 2: Further, father and son are related in the same degree as brother
and brother. If therefore spiritual relationship passes from father to
son, it will equally pass from brother to brother: and this is false.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[5] OTC Para. 1/1

On the contrary, This is proved by authority quoted in the text (Sent.
iv, D, 42).

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[5] Body Para. 1/1

I answer that, A son is something of his father and not conversely
(Ethic. viii, 12): wherefore spiritual relationship passes from father to
his carnal son and not conversely. Thus it is clear that there are three
spiritual relationships: one called spiritual fatherhood between
godfather and godchild; another called co-paternity between the godparent
and carnal parent of the same person; and the third is called spiritual
brotherhood, between godchild and the carnal children of the same parent.
Each of these hinders the contracting of marriage and voids the contract.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[5] R.O. 1 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 1: The addition of a person by carnal generation entails a
degree with regard to a person connected by the same kind of
relationship, but not with regard to one connected by another kind of
relationship. Thus a son is connected with his father's wife in the same
degree as his father, but by another kind of relationship. Now spiritual
relationship differs in kind from carnal. Wherefore a godson is not
related to his godfather's carnal son in the same degree as the latter's
father is related to him, through whom the spiritual relationship is
contracted. Consequently it does not follow that spiritual relationship
admits of degrees.

Aquin.: SMT XP Q[56] A[5] R.O. 2 Para. 1/1

Reply OBJ 2: A man is not part of his brother as a son is of his father.
But a wife is part of her husband, since she is made one with him in
body. Consequently the relationship does not pass from brother to
brother, whether the brother be born before or after spiritual
brotherhood.





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