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Cologne, School of


Prior to the Council of Trent a group of Catholic theologians known as the school of Cologne developed a theory of double justice designed to bridge the gap between the reformers and the Church. A. pigge, J. Gropper, and G. seripando had much in common in their presentation of this unorthodox doctrine. Although Gasparo contarini came into contact with the school merely by attempting to clarify the issues raised by it, he nonetheless came under its influence.

Pigge distorted the traditional teaching on original sin and treated justification in a corresponding way by ascribing to man the vicarious justice of Christ. Gropper, putting Pigge's statements into a systematized framework, placed them before the Ratisbon Conference of 1541, convinced that the members would recognize in them a suitable basis for discussion with the Protestants. When Gropper's document was rejected, the Augustinian Seripando defended both men from accusations of heresy.

Then Seripando formulated their thought for the Council of Trent. Because he failed to distinguish concupiscence from original sin, while he admitted the intrinsic character of sanctifying grace, he yet maintained that only when God applies exteriorly to the soul the merits of Jesus can a man become truly a child of God. In his turn, Contarini spoke indiscriminately of "iustitia nobis donata et imputata," inclining subtilely toward a doctrine of double perfection by attributing the efficient causality of justification to the Holy Spirit.

Despite the sincerity of the efforts of these theologians, they missed their mark by projecting an Ockamism channeled to them through the voluntarism of Biel. The lengthy investigation of their views at Trent, however, indicates the esteem in which they were held by their peers. The Tridentine declaration that sanctifying grace is the only formal cause of man's justice put an end to the theory of double justice.

See Also: imputation of justice and merit; justice, double; justice of men; justification; grace, articles on.

Bibliography: j. riviÈre, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 8.2:218284. b. heurtebize, ibid. 3.2:161516. a. humbert ibid. 6.2:188085. È. amann, ibid. 12.2:20942104. j. mercier, ibid. 14.2:192340. h. rondet, Gratia Christi (Paris 1948) 244258, 261, 263. r. w. gleason, Grace (New York 1962) 9495, 213218.

[k. hargrove]

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