Chapter 42

Student: The cited authorities must be understood as applying only to judges or to prelates who have authority over others, but they do not apply to those who have no authority over the perpetrators of harm. It seems that this can be proved in many ways. And the authority of blessed Augustine, which is recorded in 23 q. 4 c. Forte, shows this first of all. He says this: "perhaps among the people of God there stands next to you a greedy miser, a robber, who lusts after what belongs to others, and you know his character, and he happens to be a believer, or rather he is so called. You cannot throw him out of church, you have no possibility of changing him through rebuke or correction, and he will be marching with you to the altar. Fear not". [col. 902] And further on: "of course if you are a judge, if you have received the authority to adjudicate, if he is accused before you, if he is convicted by legitimate examples and witnesses, use the rule of the church to coerce him, to correct him, to excommunicate him, to lower his status". [col. 902] One gathers from these words that the correction of delinquents pertains not to partners but to prelates, and consequently that it pertains not to partners but to prelates to defend those who have suffered harm, since the same instance which must defend him who suffers harm has the duty to prevent the harm and thus to punish the perpetrator thereof.

Here is a second proof of the same point. If a partner is bound to defend a partner, then a person who sees someone battering a clerk and does not defend the latter would incur a sentence of excommunication according to the authority of Innocent III, which was cited above. [1 Dial. 6.41] But this is inconvenient, as the contextual gloss proves [col. 1919] by the following reasoning: "no one is excommunicated by the deed of another unless he participates by comment, by verbal incitement, or in the criminal act itself, see above, same question, c. Nuper; [col. 900] or unless he has issued the order or granted the authority for the commission of the deed, see above, same question, c. Mulieres". [col. 891] But in the issue at hand no one is participating in this way, therefore no one is excommunicated, and consequently a partner is not obligated to defend a partner.

A third proof of the same point stems from the reason implied by the gloss just cited (the identical argument is touched upon by the gloss [col. 1294] to 23 q. 3 c. Non inferenda) and may be constructed as follows. No one is obligated to do something for which he may be remunerated by contract, because that to which someone is necessarily obligated independently of any contract he must perform without payment. But a partner lawfully receives money for the defense of a partner, nor is he bound to return the money received. Therefore a partner is not necessarily bound to defend a partner independently of a contract.

Here is a fourth demonstration of the same point. A partner does not have a greater obligation to defend a partner than a doctor would be obligated to cure without payment someone who was dangerously ill. But a doctor is not obligated to cure the ill for nothing, because no one is obligated to grant favours from what belongs to them (10 q. 2 Precarie). [col. 621] Therefore neither is a partner obligated to defend a partner for nothing.

Here is the fifth proof. The defense of a partner is a type of military service or something that resembles this. But no one is bound to perform military service at his own expense, witness the Apostle who states in 1 Corinthians 9: "who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges?",[1 Corinthians 9:7] as if he were saying "no one". Therefore nobody is obligated to defend another without payment. Here is the sixth proof. To defend a partner is to confer a benefit. But no one is bound to confer a benefit upon someone for no remuneration, since the laws force no one to confer benefits, but only prevents wrongdoing, witness Augustine against Petilianus (and this is recorded in 23 q. 5 Ad fidem).[col. 939] Therefore no one is obligated to defend a partner for nothing. These are the reasons, which appear to prove that a partner is not obligated to defend a partner gratis, from which it follows that all catholics are not obligated to defend the opponents of a heretic pope.

Furthermore, since I reckon that brother M. and his supporters consider those who do not defend them against the supreme pontiff to be blameworthy, and think that not only individuals who suffer for the cause of faith but also others who experience persecutions and injuries for the sake of less serious causes must be strongly defended, not just by prelates but also by partners and others, I ask that you attempt to bolster the aforesaid assertion, namely that a partner is obligated to defend a partner, with the strongest possible arguments, and that you undertake to show how brother M. and his friends respond to the objections which I outlined. Indeed such an approach will allow me to understand more profoundly the aggressive theories with which the aforementioned brother M. and his friends are trying to oppose the Lord supreme pontiff and his adherents, and I shall grasp more evidently how these theories must be rebuked and rejected.