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HISTORICAL NOTES CONCERNING TEN OF THE THIRTY-ONE RIGORISTIC PROPOSITIONS CONDEMNED BY ALEXANDER VIII (1690) INTRODUCTION The decree of the Holy Office of December 7, 1690 condemning 31 rigoristic propositions,1 is closely linked with that of March 4, 167g,2 which condemned 65 lax propositions, although the two decrees are eleven years apart. While the ealier one represents the victory of the jansenists, the later is the fruit of intense anti-jansenistic activity. Since the external history of these two decrees has already been amply treated, we will give only a few necessary remarks of information.3 The University of Louvain, which was considered a center of Jansenism , in April, 1677 sent to Rome a delegation composed of three members in order to defend »the ,doctrine of the University against accusations of Jansenism, and to attack its adversaries.4 This delegation, 1 DENZINGER, Enchiridion symbolorum, n. 1291—1321. 2 Ibidem, ?. 1151—1216. 3 Cfr. L. CEYSSENS, Van de veroordeling der 65 lakse proposities in i6yg naar de veroordeling van de 31 rigoristische proposities in logo, in Miscellanea moralia in honorem Eximii Domini Arthur Janssen, vol. I, Louvain 1948, p. 77—109; IDEM, P. Patrice Duffy, O.F.M. et sa mission antijans éniste, in Catholic Survey, ? (1951—52) 76—112; 228—266; F. CLAEYS BOUUAERT, Autour de deux décrets du Saint-Office: celui du 2 mars 16yg condamnant 65 propositions de morale relâchée, et celui du 7 décembre logo, condamnant 31 propositions rigoristes, in Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses, 29 (1953) 419—-444. For particular studies of the decree of 1690 see, F. DEININGER , Johannes Sinnich, Der Kampf der Löwener Universität gegen den Laxismus, Düsseldorf ig28, especially p. 59, 171, 196—198; L. RENWART, Intention du Ministre et validité des sacrements, la position de Fr. Farvacques, O.E.S.A. et sa condamnation, in Nouvelle Revue Théologique, 77 (1955) 800—821; 1075—-1077; H. BOUSSE, Intention du ministre et validité des sacrements, in Nouvelle Revue Théologique, 77 (1955) 1067—-1077; B. LEEMING , Presumption of Intention, m Irish Theological Quarterly 23 (1956) 325—349; C. DAVIS, Notes on recent works, dogmatic theology, in The Clergy Review, 42 (1957) 163 ff. ; G. RAMBALDI, La proposizione 27 di Alessandro VIII ed U potere delta Chiesa sui Sacramenti, in Gregorianum, 31 (1950) 114—124; L. CEYSSENS, La vingt-quatrième des trente-et-une propositions jansénistes condamnées en logo, in Antonianum, 32 (1957) 47—7°4 Those appointed for this task were : Francis Van Vianen, Christian Lupus and Martin Steyaert. See, L. CEYSSENS, De Leuvense deputatie te Rome (i6yy—i6yg), in Historisch Tijdschrift, 19 (1940) 252—-312; 20 (1941) 2·19 20S. PERA which had been favorably received by Innocent XI, was endeavoring to obtain the condemnation of lax propositions attributed to the antijansenists . While the delegation was successfully accomplishing its mission in Rome, the anti-jansenists did not remain idle. They organized into a "secret society" which embraced members of the three religious orders, namely, Jesuits, Franciscans and discalced Carmelites.6 The society was placed under the nominal head of the secular Nicholas Du Bois, a zealous anti-jansenist.6 In the beginning of 1679 the "society" sent to its agent at Rome, Fr. Francis Porter of the Irish Franciscan Province, a list of 238 jansenistic propositions. It was the duty of this Irish Friar to work for the condemnation of these jansenistic propositions. Several months later, however, the decree censuring 65 lax propositions was published on May 2, 167g. Porter's list of 238, which in the meantime had been reduced to 105, was presented to the Holy Office on July 12, 167g. The source of each proposition and a brief commentary were presented in marginal notes.7 The became very impatient in not obtaining immediate results. Thus, to further its cause by winning the support of the King of Spain, this anti-jansenistic group commissioned another Irish Franciscan, Patrick Duffy.8 For almost a year, that is, from June 12, 1680 till May 3/4, 1681, Duffy remained at the royal Court in Madrid and together with the Spanish theologians prepared a list of jansenistic 99—136; also in Jansenística...


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