5 - 7 minutes readALEXANDER VII 1655-1667: Various Errors on Moral Matters

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Various Errors on Moral Matters *


[Condemned in decrees of Sept. 24, 1665, and of March 18.1666]


  1. On the 24th Day of September, 1665


1101 1. A man is not bound at any time at all in his life to utter an act of faith, hope, and charity by the force of the divine precepts pertaining tothese virtues.


1102 2. A man belonging to the orders of Knights when challenged to a duel can accept this, lest he incur the mark of cowardice among others.


1103 3. That opinion which asserts that the Bull “Coenae” prohibits absolution of heresy and other crimes only when they are public and that this does not diminish the power of Trent, in which there is a discussion of secret crimes, in the year1629,July 18th, in the Consistory of the Sacred Congregation of the Most Eminent Cardinals, was seen and sustained.


1104 4. Regular prelates can in the court of conscience absolve any seculars at all of hidden heresy and of excommunication incurred by it.


1105 5. Although it is evidently established by you that Peter is a heretic, you are not bound to denounce [him], if you cannot prove it.


1106 6. A confessor who in sacramental confession gives the penitent a paper to be read afterwards, in which he incites to lust, is not considered to have solicited in the confessional, and therefore is not to be denounced.


1107 7. A way to avoid the obligation of denouncing solicitation exists if the one solicited confesses with the solicitor; the latter can absolve that one without the burden of denouncing.


1108 8. A priest can lawfully accept a twofold stipend for the same Mass by applying to the petitioner even the most special part of the proceeds appropriated to the celebrant himself, and this after the decree of Urban VIII. *


1109 9. After the decree of Urban, * a priest, to whom Masses are given to be celebrated, can give satisfaction through another, by paying a smaller stipend to him and retaining the other part of the stipend for himself.


1110   10. It is not contrary to justice to accept a stipend for several sacrifices and to offer one sacrifice. Nor, is it contrary to fidelity if I promise, with a promise confirmed also by an oath, to him who gives a stipend, what I offer for no one else.


1111 11 We are not bound to express in a subsequent confession sins omitted in confession or forgotten because of the imminent danger of death or for some other reason.


1112 12. Mendicants can absolve from cases reserved for bishops, when the faculty of the bishop was not obtained for this.


1113 13. He satisfies the precept of an annual confession, who confesses to a regular, presented to a bishop, but unjustly reproved by him.


1114 14. He who makes no confession voluntarily, satisfies the precept of the Church.


1115 15. A penitent by his own authority can substitute another for himself, to fulfill the penance in his place.


1116 16. Those who have provided a benefice can select as confessor for themselves a simple priest not approved by the ordinary.


1117 17. It is permitted a religious or a cleric to kill a calumniator who threatens to spread grave crimes about him or his order, when no other means of defense is at hand; as it seems not to be, if a calumniator be ready to spread the aforesaid about the religious himself or his order publicly or among people of importance, unless he be killed.


1118 18. It is permitted to kill a false accuser, false witnesses, and even a judge, from whom an unjust sentence threatens with certainty, if the innocent can avoid harm in no other way.


1119 19. A husband does not sin by killing on his own authority a wife caught in adultery.


1120 20. The restitution imposed by Pius V* upon those who have received benefits but not reciting [the Divine Office in fulfillment of their obligation] is not due in conscience before the declaratory sentence of the judge, because it is a penalty.


1121 21. He who has a collective chaplaincy, or any other ecclesiastical benefit, if he is busy with the study of letters, satisfies his obligation, if he recites the office through another.


1122 22. It is not contrary to justice not to confer ecclesiastical benefits gratuitously, because the contributor who contributes those ecclesiastical benefits with money intervening does not exact that money for the contribution of the benefit, but for a temporal profit, which he was not bound to contribute to you.


1123 23. He who breaks a fast of the Church to which he is bound, does not sin mortally, unless he does this out of contempt and disobedience, e.g., because he does not wish to subject himself to a precept.


1124 24. Voluptuousness, sodomy, and bestiality are sins of the same ultimate species, and so it is enough to say in confession that one has procured a pollution.


1125   25. He who has had intercourse with an unmarried woman satisfies the precept of confession by saying: “I committed a grievous sin against chastity with an unmarried woman,” without mentioning the intercourse.


1126 26. When litigants have equally probable opinions in their defense, the judge can accept money to bring a sentence in favor of one over the other.


1127 27. If a book is published by a younger or modern person, its opinion should be considered as probable, since it is not established that it has been rejected by the Holy See as improbable.


1128 28. A nation does not sin, even if without any cause it does not accept a law promulgated by the ruler.


  1. On the 18th day of March, 1666


1129 29. On a day of fasting, he who eats a moderate amount frequently, even if in the end he has eaten a considerable quantity, does not break the fast.


1130 30. All officials who labor physically in the state are excused from the obligation of fasting, and need not make certain whether the labor is compatible with fasting.


1131 31. All those are entirely excused from fasting, who make a journey by riding, under whatever circumstances they make the journey, even if it is not necessary and even if they make a journey of a single day.


1132 32. It is not evident that the custom of not eating eggs and cheese in Lent is binding.


1133 33. Restitution of income because of the omission of stipends can be supplied through any alms that a beneficiary has previously made from the income of his service.


1134 34. By reciting the paschal office on the day of Palms one satisfies the precept.


1135 35. By a single office anyone can satisfy a twofold precept, for the present day and tomorrow.


1136 36. Regulars can in the forum of conscience use their privileges which were expressly revoked by the Council of Trent.


1137 37. Indulgences conceded to regulars and revoked by Paul V are today revalidated.


1138 38. The mandate of the Council of Trent, made for the priest who of necessity performs the Sacrifice while in mortal sin, to confess as soon as possible [see note 880], is a recommendation, not a precept.


1139 39. The expression “quamprimum” is understood to be when the priest will confess in his own time.


1140 40. It is a probable opinion which states that a kiss is only venial when performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible * delight which arises from the kiss, if danger of further consent and pollution is excluded.


1141 41. One living in concubinage is not bound to dismiss the concubine, if she is very useful for the pleasure of him so living (in the vernacular, “regalo”)provided that if she [another reading: he] were missing, he would carry on life with very great difficulty, and other food would affect him living in concubinage with great loathing, and another maid servant would be found with very great difficulty.


1142 42. It is permitted one who borrows money to exact something beyond the principal, if he obligates himself not to seek the principal until a certain time.


1143 43. An annual legacy left for the soul does not bind for more than ten years.


1144 44. So far as the forum of conscience is concerned, when the guilty has been corrected and the contumacy ceases, the censures cease.


1145 45. Books prohibited “until they are expurgated” can be retained until they are corrected by the application of diligence.


All these are condemned and prohibited, at least as scandalous.

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