Pope Francis Receives Blessing From A Heretic 
 (Head Of The Anglican Church, Justin Welby) 

Chapter 43

Master: You will in no wise be deceived if you reckon that brother M. and his associates consider some Christians to be highly blameworthy, and not to be excused from mortal sin by their failure to defend them against the Lord J. Brother M. and his associates contend that anyone, if he can, is obligated (by using a method both appropriate and personally possible) to defend a partner who suffers harm and to liberate him from danger. From this they attempt to deduce that since they are suffering the most serious of persecutions for the sake of justice and the catholic faith, they must be defended by catholics and liberated from dangers.

It indeed appears possible to demonstrate by authorities, reasons, and examples that a partner, if he can and in a way both appropriate and possible to him, is obligated to defend without payment a partner who is suffering harm. For as was argued earlier, [1 Dial. 6.37] this is what Ambrose appears to assert both by words and in substance when he states; "for he who does not, if he can, prevent a partner from being harmed, is just as guilty as the one who commits the misdeed". [col. 898] One gathers from these words that he who does not defend a partner commits a sin, because to prevent harm from being done should be considered identical to providing a defense.

Student: The contextual gloss states [col. 1294] in reply to this: "if he can, that is to say, if he wields an authoritative office". One gathers from these words of the gloss that Ambrose is referring to prelates.

Master: The gloss does not assert this explanation but merely recites it, and appears to reject it at the end of the commentary when it says: "but they", namely those who assert the aforementioned explanation, "are contradicted below, in the last chapter [c. Non inferenda col. 898] of the same question". One obviously gathers from the last chapter just referred to that the Jewish crowd, which did not defend Christ against the leaders who wanted to kill him, was not exempted from the crime. From which it follows that not only the prelates but also the ordinary people were obligated to defend Christ against their leaders, and thus a partner is likewise obligated to defend a partner. It is also quite clear that this explanation misinterprets the text, which speaks expressly of someone who fails to protect a partner from harm.

Student: Present further authorities to the same effect.

Master: It has been indicated earlier [1 Dial. 6.37] that Ambrose asserts the same point because he states [col. 897] that "full of justice" is the protection "of one's partners from bandits". And everyone is obligated to perform a work of justice. Therefore justice necessarily demonstrates that partners are to be defended.

Again, the same Ambrose (this is recorded in dis. 86 c. Non satis) speaking of someone who is obligated to provide works of mercy to his neighbour (not only a characteristic of rulers but also of subjects), states: "at a time of danger, when someone is violently dragged off to death, it is no light transgression if money weighs more with you than the life of the one about to die". [col. 301] These words lead to the conclusion that a partner must be rescued from death and thus, for the same reason, must be defended if this is possible.

Again, according to blessed Jerome in his prologue, [Hieronymus, Prologus in Bibliam, in Biblia Latina cum Glossa Ordinaria (facsimile reprint of the A. Risch /1480/1 Strassburg editio princeps), Brepols-Turnhout, 1992, vol. II, p. 653b] this appears to be the judgement of Solomon in the Proverbs who, teaching a youngster, and therefore directing his speech not to a ruler but to someone other than a ruler, states: "forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain". [Proverbs 24:11] One gathers from these words that not only prelates but also others are obligated to defend those who suffer injuries and persecutions.

Student: For the moment the authorities advanced in support of the assertion being discussed should be sufficient. Therefore proceed to a presentation of the supporting reasons.

Master: The first reason is this. Those who owe each other the provision of mutual assistance, counsel, and benefit, also owe each other mutual defense. But all catholics owe to each other the provision of mutual assistance, counsel, and benefit, because all catholics are members of one body, and members are mutually concerned for each other (1 Corinthians 12). [1 Corinthians 12:25] This also holds because bishops of which one is not the ruler of the other must provide mutual assistance to each other, witness Innocent II who states, as recorded in dis. 90 c. Precipimus: "we command that bishops, focusing on God alone and on the salvation of the people, putting aside all lack of enthusiasm, should provide to each other mutual counsel and assistance for the firm maintenance of peace, nor forego this for the love or hate of another. Should someone be found to be lukewarm in this work of God, he will incur the loss of his own office". [col. 315] Pope Alexander also agrees with this, and states, as we read [col. 506] in 3 q. 1 c. Nulli: "but he who is of your society yet withdraws from your assistance, will be demonstrably more schismatic than priest. The prophet says 'behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity'. [Psalms 132:1] But they do not dwell together in unity who withdraw themselves from the consolation of brethren". These words make us understand that bishops and priests, even those among them who are not subject to another, must provide each other with mutual assistance, and consequently must provide each other with the appropriate mutual defense. From which it follows that a partner must defend a partner.

The second reason is this. A partner is more obligated to defend a partner suffering unjustly who is not his inferior, than ecclesiastical persons are obligated to defend miscreants who are not subject to them. But ecclesiastical persons are bound to defend the wicked and impious that flee to the church for safety, even though they are in no way their subjects. Therefore all the more must a partner defend an innocent partner. The minor premiss is proved by the authority of Gregory who states, as is recorded in 23 q. 5 c. Reos: "the church defends those guilty of shedding blood", [col. 932] where the gloss [cols, 1338-9] explains: "it is obligated to defend all those who flee to the church for safety, as in 17 q. 4 Reum, [col. 817] and this is true whether they are guilty or not".

Student: Gregory says this because ecclesiastical persons are obligated to defend the church, and therefore they are obligated to prevent violence being done to those who flee to the interior of a church.

Master: You assign a different reason than does Gregory as to why the guilty must be defended by the church. Indeed Gregory explains his statement by immediately adding this comment to the words just cited: "so that it not be a participant in the shedding of blood". [col. 932] One gathers from these words that the reason why ecclesiastical persons must defend criminals who flee to the church for safety is so as not to participate in a homicide. For he who does not resist when he can is a consenting party according to the rulings of the holy fathers. Similarly therefore, he who does not when he can defend a partner suffering an injury commits the same crime.

And on this basis one may construct a third reason as follows. Every catholic is bound to what he must do so as not to be a party to some criminal's misdeed. But he who does not when he can defend a partner suffering an injury, participates in the crime of the individual who causes the injury. Therefore a partner is obligated to defend a partner when he can. The major is obvious. The minor premiss appears clearly demonstrated by authorities of the holy fathers. For Pope Eleutherius, as is recorded in 2 q. 7 c. Negligere, says: "to neglect to confound the wicked when you can do this is nothing else than to give them support. Suspicion of involvement in secret conspiracy is not out of place where someone who can, fails to act against an obvious crime". [col. 501] The same judgement, verbally identical, is recorded in dis. 83 c. Error, [col. 293] and in 23 q. 3 c. Qui potest we have it in the following words: "he who can resist and confound the wicked, and fails to do this, does nothing else than to give support to their impiety. Suspicion of involvement in secret conspiracy is not out of place where someone who can fails to act against an obvious crime". [col. 898] One gathers from these words that he who does not resist someone who commits a harmful misdeed is his accomplice in crime and his supporter.

Student: The words that you have presented in argument must only be understood as applying to rulers according to the note of the gloss to 2 q. 7 Negligere.

Master: This response of yours is rejected in two ways. First of all because the gloss does not assert as much, but merely states that this source "appears only to speak of prelates". [col. 709] Secondly, because there are two ways of confounding the wicked. One way is to punish them for their wickedness by an appropriate penalty, and to confound the wicked in this way pertains as a rule only to judges or to prelates. Another way is to resist them by verbal warnings, at least when this is expedient. And this is a method available to all, with the contextual gloss openly insinuating that everyone is obligated to confound "that is, to forbid the doing of evil and to dissuade people from it, and to do so when one conveniently may, otherwise there is no sin in a failure to prohibit in this way", [col. 709] and the gloss adds: "according to this, everyone is obligated to prevent the doing of harm to a neighbour", [col. 709] and consequently he must defend the neighbour at least verbally, if this is possible, even though he is not the neighbour's prelate.

Here is the fourth reason. He is obligated to defend (if he can) a partner suffering harm, who is bound to rebuke and correct the individual inflicting the harm, for in correcting the one wanting to do harm he is defending as much as he can the person who would have experienced the harm. But people other than judges or prelates are obligated to correct (if they can) an individual wanting to inflict harm. Therefore, if they conveniently can, they must defend the person who would be experiencing the harm. The major premiss appears evident. The minor premiss appears capable of being proved in many ways. First, by the authority of blessed Augustine who states in the book 'On the words of the Lord' (as recorded in 23 q. 4 c. 1): "the bad must certainly be tolerated for the sake of peace, and withdrawal from their company must be spiritual, not physical. Spiritual withdrawal consists in doing what is relevant for the correction of bad people, in accordance with everyone's rank in the state, peace being maintained". [c. Tollerandi col. 899] Here the gloss notes [col. 1296] on the words "in accordance with rank": "i.e. in accordance with the status and office of everyone. For prelates must correct delinquents in one way and partners in another. A prelate corrects by violent reproaches and physical blows, as further on in the same question, c. Forte, [c. 902] while a partner issues warnings and verbal rejections of a partner's deed". From these words one is given to understand that not just prelates but others also are obligated to correct delinquents and those who harm others. Augustine himself appears to be of this sentiment, as 23 q. 5 c. Non putes [col. 940] records. For he states: "don't think that a refusal to withdraw from your neighbour is an indication of your love for him", and further on: "or that you are loving your neighbour precisely when you are refraining from correcting him. This is not love but idleness". One concludes from these words that a neighbour is obligated to correct a neighbour, Again, Anacletus states (we have it in 24 q. 3 c. Tam sacerdos): "both the priest and all the rest of the faithful must have the highest concern for those who are dying spiritually". [col. 994] Therefore it is everyone's business to correct those who do harm.

Student: You know that there are many these days who follow the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas. Therefore state his feeling on this issue, namely whether it is the business of everyone to correct delinquents.

Master: He maintains the affirmative. For here is what he says in 2a 2ae q. 33 article 3: "correction is twofold. Indeed there is one which is an act of love, and which is particularly concerned with the amendment of a delinquent brother by way of a simple admonition. And such a correction pertains to anyone who possesses charity, whether he is a subject or a ruler". [Summa Theologie, II-II, 33, 3, Responsio] And in article 4 he says: "fraternal correction, which is an act of love, pertains to anyone with respect to any person towards whom he must have charity, if something is discovered in the latter which requires to be corrected". [Summa Theologie, II-II, 33, 4, Responsio]

Student: Do not present further material for the purpose of proving that all are obligated to correct someone wanting to do harm, but prove once again that a partner is obligated to defend a partner suffering harm.

Master: Here is the fifth reason in support of this assertion. It pertains to the same person to avert evil from his neighbour, if he can, whose business it is to provide good to this neighbour, if possible. But everyone is obligated to provide good to a neighbour, for otherwise one does not demonstrate love towards him. Therefore everyone is bound to avert evil from someone suffering harm. Frequently this cannot be done except by defending the sufferer, therefore everyone is obligated to defend another if he can.

Here is the sixth reason. An individual in peril does not need less defense against someone wanting to harm him than a hungry person needs food and a thirsty person needs drink. But everyone capable of doing so is obligated to feed the hungry and to give drink to the thirsty, if there is no one else available to help. Therefore everyone capable of this is obligated to defend another if no other individual emerges willing and able to do it.

Student: Present examples in favour of the assertion we are discussing.

Master: The first example is that of Abraham. We read in Genesis 14 [:14-16] that although he did not have jurisdiction over the captors of his brother Loth and others, he nevertheless not only defended Loth but also attacked the captors, struck them down, and brought home Loth and Loth's property.

The second example is that of Moses, who defended the Hebrew struck by the Egyptian, and killed the latter as we read in Exodus 2 [:11-12] . Ambrose writes of Moses in 23 q. 3 c. Non inferenda, and states: "when he saw a Hebrew being harmed by an Egyptian he defended him by utterly defeating the latter". [col. 898] And yet at that time Moses possessed no power of jurisdiction over Hebrews or Egyptians. It is also written of Moses in Exodus 2 [:16-17] that he defended the seven daughters of the priest of Madian from nomadic herders, and yet he possessed jurisdiction neither over the girls nor over the herders.

The third example is that of Raab the prostitute. We have it in Joshua 2 [:4] that she defended the spies of the sons of Israel by hiding them.

The fourth example is that of blessed Peter, who attempted to defend Christ even by the use of weapons (Matthew 26 [:51, and cf. John 18:10] ). It does not seem that Christ rebuked him for the original intention, but only because Peter appeared to doubt whether Christ could be defended otherwise than by weapons. This is the reason why Christ strongly chastised Peter by stating: "thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" [Matthew 26:53]

The fifth example is that of the disciples of Damascus who, as we read in Acts 9 [:25] , defended blessed Paul against the plots of the Jews by letting him down by the wall in a basket. There are many other examples clearly recorded in Holy Writ and in other official works, which show that people who were not prelates defended those who were in danger.