Pope Francis meets new President of Argentina
PROOF THAT PERTINACITY IS REQUIRED
Student If there are still other authorities or reasons to prove that no one who errs should be considered a heretic unless he is pertinacious I will willingly listen to them.
Master Some further arguments are brought forward, and the first of them is this. Those who should not be rejected by catholics should not be counted among the heretics. But errants who are not pertinacious should not be rejected by catholics. Therefore, those who are not pertinacious should not be counted among the heretics. The major [premise] could be proved clearly by the sacred canons because all heretics are bound by a sentence of excommunication. The minor [premise] is also proved clearly, because those who err but seek the truth should not be rejected by catholics, as Pope Pelagius attests who, speaking about those fully persuaded in their own mind and consequently about those who are in error, as we find in 24, q. 1, c. Schisma [col.979], says, "If they too, though fully persuaded in their own mind, were seeking the truth while yet placed in the maternal womb it would not have been necessary for us to reject them." We are given to understand by these words that even if errants are fully persuaded in their own mind, as long as they are seeking the truth and showing themselves willing to be corrected if they discover the truth, they should not be rejected by catholics. And consequently those who are not pertinacious should not be rejected by catholics because whoever is not pertinacious is seeking the truth in [the appropriate] place and time from those from whom he is bound to seek it. For otherwise he ought to be considered pertinacious.
A second argument is this. Whoever is ready to be corrected should not be considered a heretic. But whoever is not pertinacious is ready to be corrected. Therefore whoever is not pertinacious should not be considered a heretic. The minor [premise] is self-evident. The major [premise] is proved by the gloss on 24, q. 3, c. Dixit apostolus [col.1429] which says, "Therefore even if someone holds things against the faith, he should not be held to be a heretic as long as he is ready to be corrected." And the gloss on the same causa q. 1, c. A recta [actually c.14, Haec est fides, col.1388] says, "Even if someone errs he is not a heretic if he is prepared to be corrected."
A third argument is this. He who firmly believes that everything which the universal church teaches is catholic, sound and true and who clings pertinaciously to no error should be regarded as catholic. And consequently he should not be held to be a heretic. But he who errs and is not pertinacious believes firmly that everything which the universal church teaches is catholic, true and sound and he does not cling pertinaciously to any error. Therefore such a person should not be adjudged a heretic.
A fourth argument is this. There is no better reason why any one person not erring pertinaciously against the faith should be a heretic than any other person, because there is a similar judgement about similar things. But many people have erred against the faith who have nevertheless not been regarded as heretics because they did not err pertinaciously. Neither should anyone erring against the faith, therefore, be counted among the heretics if he is not pertinacious. The major [premise] is obvious; the minor is proved by many examples. For Augustine erred in many ways that he later retracted and by this clearly showed that he was not pertinacious; and therefore he was not adjudged heretical. The same is clear about Jerome and about blessed Cyprian about whom it was clear that they were by no means pertinacious; and for this reason although they erred they were not held to be heretical.