Ex Omnibus Afflictionibus

views updated


A bull of pius v dated Oct. 1, 1567, that condemned the propositions attributed to Michel de Bay, or baius (15131589), professor of the university Faculty of Theology at Louvain, Belgium, and to his followers. These propositions had not been numbered at the beginning, with the result that the authors divided them according to circumstances into 76, 79, 80, the division into 76 being the oldest and probably the best. The first 60 were taken, but not always literally, from the writings of Baius. The others must have come from his followers, but no reference is indicated and nowhere is Baius mentioned.

The rejection of these propositions was a rejection of the extreme formulas at which Baius had arrived by holding strictly to the vocabulary and the ideas of the Fathers, especially to those of St. Augustine, and by rejecting in a block all doctrinal development coming from scholastic theology. Thus, he was led to dangerous ambiguities particularly in the notions of natural and super-natural. For example, the condemnation of propositions 21 to 24 maintains the free and supernatural character of man's calling to the beatific vision, and that of propositions five and six proscribes the idea that before the Fall man could naturally attain to eternal life. Also condemned were various formulas in which Baius seemed to reduce liberty to the simple absence of constraint, and others in which Baius expressed his exaggerated pessimism in regard to the consequences of original sin, maintaining that all the actions of unbelievers are sins and their virtues in reality vices, and also that free will, left to itself, can only sin. On the whole, these propositions treat difficult problems, and their exact interpretation raises complex questions that for a long time were violently debated among theologians. Moreover, the final clause, in which the propositions are qualified in block and in which the meaning changes considerably according to the position of the comma, provoked the famous controversy of the comma pianum. Contrary to common usage, this bull was not printed, but merely transmitted to the Faculty of Theology at Louvain. In 1569 Baius sent to Rome several apologies in which he acknowledged as his own only about 30 of the condemned propositions, which he furthermore claimed to be in accord with the doctrine of the Fathers; and in fact he did not really accept the censure. It was only in 1570 that he somewhat unwillingly signed a disavowal. In view of the cloudy situation, Gregory XIII thought it his duty to renew the condemnation issued by his predecessor. Hence, he reproved the same propositions in the bull, Provisionis nostrae, of Jan. 25, 1580, to which Baius submitted the following March 24. Later the bull, Ex omnibus, was renewed in the bull, In eminenti, of Urban VIII against Jansen in 1642 (date of signing).

See Also: elevation of man; destiny, supernatural; grace, articles on; jansenism.

Bibliography: h. denzinger, Enchiridion symbolorum, ed. a. schÖenmetzer (32d ed. Freiburg 1963) 190180. h. de lubac, Surnaturel: Études historiques (Paris 1946); Augustinisme et théologie moderne (Paris 1965).

[l. j. cognet]