Cárdenas, Juan de

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Jesuit moral theologian; b. Seville, 1613; d. there, June 6, 1684. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of 14, and for many years he held various administrative offices, including those of novice master, rector, and provincial. He wrote many short ascetical treatises, but his fame comes chiefly from his work in moral theology. His Crisis theologica bipartita (Lyons 1670) examined many of the moral opinions prevalent at his time, especially those involving laxism and rigorism. This work was strongly attacked by the French Dominican James of St. Dominic, and in the 1680 edition Cárdenas reasserted his position in a supplement that defended moderate probabilism. Although he presented a clear and strong line of argumentation, and although his opinions were moderate and sound, the work was weakened by constant digressions referring to his rigorist adversaries, who included Vincent baron and Jean Baptiste gonet. The Venetian editions of 1694, 1700, and 1710 also contained an explanation of the 65 propositions condemned by Pope Innocent XI in 1679. This part was also published as a separate volume entitled Crisis theologica in qua plures selectae difficultates ex morali theologia ad lydium veritatis lapidem revocantur ex regula morum posita a SS. D.N. Innocentis XI P.M. (Seville 1687). Cárdenas holds an important place in the history of casuistry and of probabilism.

Bibliography: p. bernard, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 190350) 2.2:171314. Nomenclatur literarius theologiae catholicae 2.1:231. c. sommervogel et. al, Bibliotèque de la Compagnie de Jésus (Brussels-Paris 18901932) 2:734737.

[f. c. lehner]