CONDEMNATION OF THE ERRORS OF PASCHASIUS QUESNEL
UNIGENITUS (Section 3)
Dogmatic Constitution issued by Pope Clement XI on Sept. 8, 1713.
(Sec. 3) 1. What else remains for the soul
that has lost God and His grace except sin and the consequences of sin,
a proud poverty and a slothful indigence, that is, a general impotence
for labor, for prayer, and for every good work?
2. The grace of Jesus Christ, which is the
efficacious principle of every kind of good, is necessary for every good
work; without it, not only is nothing done, but nothing can be done.
3. In vain, O Lord, do You command, if You
do not give what you command.
4. Thus, O Lord, all things are possible to
him for whom You make all things possible by effecting those same things
5. When God does not soften a heart by the
interior unction of His grace, exterior exhortations and graces are of
no service except to harden it the more.
6. The difference between the Judaic
dispensation and the Christian is this, that in the former God demanded
flight from sin and a fulfillment of the Law by the sinner, leaving him
in his own weakness; but in the latter. God gives the sinner what He
commands, by purifying him with His grace.
7. What advantage was there for a man in
the old covenant, in which God left him to his own weakness, by imposing
on him His law? But what happiness is it not to be admitted to a
covenant in which God gives us what He asks of us?
8. But we do not belong to the new
covenant, except in so far as we are participators in that new grace
which works in us that which God commands us.
9. The grace of Christ is a supreme grace,
without which we can never confess Christ, and with which we never deny
10. Grace is the working of the omnipotent
hand of God, which nothing can hinder or retard.
11. Grace is nothing else than the
omnipotent Will of God, ordering and doing what He orders.
12. When God wishes to save a soul, at
whatever time and at whatever place, the undoubted effect follows the
Will of God.
13. When God wishes to save a soul and
touches it with the interior hand of His grace, no human will resists
14. Howsoever remote from salvation an
obstinate sinner is, when Jesus presents Himself to be seen by him in
the salutary light of His grace, the sinner is forced to surrender
himself, to have recourse to Him, and to humble himself, and to adore
15. When God accompanies His commandment
and His eternal exhortation by the unction of His Spirit and by the
interior force of His grace, He works that obedience in the heart that
He is seeking.
16. There are no attractions which do not
yield to the attractions of grace, because nothing resists the Almighty.
17. Grace is that voice of the Father which
teaches men interiorly and makes them come to Jesus Christ; whoever does
not come to Him, after he has heard the exterior voice of the Son, is in
no wise taught by the Father.
18. The seed of the word, which the hand of
God nourishes, always brings forth its fruit.
19. The grace of God is nothing else than
His omnipotent Will; this is the idea which God Himself gives us in all
20. The true idea of grace is that God
wishes Himself to be obeyed by us and He is obeyed; He commands, and all
things are done; He speaks as the Lord, and all things are obedient to
21. The grace of Jesus Christ is a strong,
powerful, supreme, invincible grace, that is, the operation of the
omnipotent Will, the consequence and imitation of the operation of God
causing the incarnation and the resurrection of His Son.
22. The harmony of the all powerful
operation of God in the heart of man with the free consent of mans will
is demonstrated, therefore, to us in the Incarnation, as in the fount
and archetype of all other operations of mercy and grace, all of which
are as gratuitous and as dependent on God as the original operation
23. God Himself has taught us the idea of
the omnipotent working of His grace, signifying it by that operation
which produces creatures from nothing and which restores life to the
24. The right idea which the centurion had
about the omnipotence of God and of Jesus Christ in healing bodies by a
single act of His will, [Matt. 8:8] is an image of the idea we should
have about the omnipotence of His grace in healing souls from cupidity.
25. God illumines the soul, and heals it,
as well as the body, by His will only; He gives orders and He is obeyed.
26. No graces are granted except through
27. Faith is the first grace and the source
of all others.
28. The first grace which God grants to the
sinner is the remission of sin.
29. Outside of the Church, no grace is
30. All whom God wishes to save through
Christ are infallibly saved.
31. The desires of Christ always have their
effect; He brings peace to the depth of hearts when He desires it for
32. Jesus Christ surrendered Himself to
death to free forever from the hand of the exterminating angel, by His
blood, the first born, that is, the elect.
33. Ah, how much one ought to renounce
earthly goods and himself for this, that he may have the confidence of
appropriating, so to speak, Christ Jesus to himself, His love, death,
and mysteries, as St. Paul does, when he says: "He who loved me, and
delivered Himself for me" [Gal. 2:20].
34. The grace of Adam produced nothing
except human merit.
35. The grace of Adam is a consequence of
creation and was due to his whole and sound nature.
36. The essential difference between the
grace of Adam and of his state of innocence and Christian grace, is that
each one would have received the first in his own person, but the second
is not received except in the person of the risen Jesus Christ to whom
we are united.
37. The grace of Adam by sanctifying him in
himself was proportionate to him; Christian grace, by sanctifying us in
Jesus Christ, is omnipotent, and worthy of the Son of God.
38. Without the grace of the Liberator, the
sinner is not free except to do evil.
39. The will, which grace does not
anticipate, has no light except for straying, no eagerness except to put
itself in danger, no strength except to wound itself, and is capable of
all evil and incapable of all good.
40. Without grace we can love nothing
except to our own condemnation.
41. All knowledge of God, even natural
knowledge, even in the pagan philosophers, cannot come except from God;
and without grace knowledge produces nothing but presumption, vanity,
and opposition to God Himself, instead of the affections of adoration,
gratitude, and love.
42. The grace of Christ alone renders a man
fit for the sacrifice of faith; without this there is nothing but
impurity, nothing but unworthiness.
43. The first effect of baptismal grace is
to make us die to sin so that our spirit, heart, and senses have no more
life for sin than a dead man has for the things of the world.
44. There are but two loves, from which all
our volitions and actions arise: love of God, which does all things
because of God and which God rewards; and the love with which we love
ourselves and the world, which does not refer to God what ought to be
referred to Him, and therefore becomes evil.
45 When love of God no longer reigns in the
heart of sinners, it needs must be that carnal desire reign in it and
corrupt all of its actions.
46. Cupidity or charity makes the use of
the senses good or evil.
47. Obedience to the law ought to flow from
the source, and this source is charity. When the love of God is the
interior principle of obedience and the glory of God is its end, then
that is pure which appears externally; otherwise, it is but hypocrisy
and false justice.
48. What else can we be except darkness,
except aberration, and except sin, without the light of faith, without
Christ, and without charity?
49. As there is no sin without love of
ourselves, so there is no good work without love of God.
50. In vain we cry out to God: My Father,
if it is not the spirit of charity which cries out.
51. Faith justifies when it operates, but
it does not operate except through charity.
52. All other means of salvation are
contained in faith as in their own germ and seed; but this faith does
not exist apart from love and confidence.
53. Only charity in the Christian way makes
(Christian actions) through a relation to God and to Jesus Christ.
54. It is charity alone that speaks to God;
it alone that God hears.
55. God crowns nothing except charity; he
who runs through any other incentive or any other motive, runs in vain.
56. God rewards nothing but charity; for
charity alone honors God.
57. All fails a sinner, when hope fails
him; and there is no hope in God, when there is no love of God.
58. Neither God nor religion exists where
there is no charity.
59. The prayer of the impious is a new sin;
and what God grants to them is a new judgment against them.
60. If fear of punishment alone animates
penance, the more intense this is, the more it leads to despair.
61. Fear restrains nothing but the hand,
but the heart is addicted to the sin as long as it is not guided by a
love of justice.
62. He who does not refrain from evil
except through fear of punishment, commits that evil in his heart, and
is already guilty before God.
63. A baptized person is still under the
law as a Jew, if he does not fulfill the law, or if he fulfills it from
64. Good is never done under the
condemnation of the law, because one sins either by doing evil or by
avoiding it only through fear.
65. Moses, the prophets, priests, and
doctors of the Law died without having given any son to God, since they
produced only slaves through fear.
66. He who wishes to approach to God,
should not come to Him with brutal passions, nor be led to Him by
natural instinct, or through fear as animals, but through faith and
love, as sons.
67. Servile fear does not represent God to
itself except as a stern imperious, unjust, unyielding master.
68. The goodness of God has shortened the
road to salvation, by enclosing all in faith and in prayers.
69. Faith, practice of it increase, and
reward of faith, all are a gift of the pure liberality of God.
70. Never does God afflict the innocent;
and afflictions always serve either to punish the sin or to purify the
71. For the preservation of himself man can
dispense himself from that law which God established for his use.
72. A mark of the Christian Church is that
it is catholic, embracing all the angels of heaven, all the elect and
the just on earth, and of all times
73. What is the Church except an assembly
of the sons of God abiding in His bosom, adopted in Christ, subsisting
in His person, redeemed by His blood, living in His spirit, acting
through His grace, and awaiting the grace of the future life?
74. The Church or the whole Christ has the
Incarnate Word as head but all the saints as members.
75. The Church is one single man composed
of many members, of which Christ is the head, the life, the subsistence
and the person- it is one single Christ composed of many saints, of whom
He is the sanctifier
76. There is nothing more spacious than the
Church of God; because all the elect and the just of all ages comprise
77. He who does not lead a life worthy of a
son of God and a member of Christ, ceases interiorly to have God as a
Father and Christ as a head.
78. One is separated from the chosen
people, whose figure was the Jewish people, and whose head is Jesus
Christ, both by not living according to the Gospel and by not believing
in the Gospel.
79. It is useful and necessary at all
times, in all places, and for every kind of person, to study and to know
the spirit, the piety, and the mysteries of Sacred Scripture.
80. The reading of Sacred Scripture is for
81. The sacred obscurity of the Word of God
is no reason for the laity to dispense themselves from reading it.
82. The Lord's Day ought to be sanctified
by Christians with readings of pious works and above all of the Holy
Scriptures. It is harmful for a Christian to wish to withdraw from this
83. It is an illusion to persuade oneself
that knowledge of the mysteries of religion should not be communicated
to women by the reading of Sacred Scriptures. Not from the simplicity of
women, but from the proud knowledge of men has arisen the abuse of the
Scriptures and have heresies been born.
84. To snatch away from the hands of
Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by
taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for
them the mouth of Christ.
85. To forbid Christians to read Sacred
Scripture, especially the Gospels, is to forbid the use of light to the
sons of light, and to cause them to suffer a kind of excommunication.
86. To snatch from the simple people this
consolation of joining their voice to the voice of the whole Church is a
custom contrary to the apostolic practice and to the intention of God.
87. A method full of wisdom light, and
charity is to give souls time for bearing with humility. and for
experiencing their state of sin, for seeking the spirit of penance and
contrition, and for beginning at least to satisfy the justice of God,
before they are reconciled.
88. We are ignorant of what sin is and of
what true penance is, when we wish to be restored at once to the
possession of the goods of which sin has despoiled us, and when we
refuse to endure the confusion of that separation.
89. The fourteenth step in the conversion
of a sinner is that, after he has already been reconciled, he has the
right of assisting at the Sacrifice of the Church.
90. The Church has the authority to
excommunicate, so that it may exercise it through the first pastors with
the consent, at least presumed, of the whole body.
91. The fear of an unjust excommunication
should never hinder us from fulfilling our duty; never are we separated
from the Church, even when by the wickedness of men we seem to be
expelled from it, as long as we are attached to God, to Jesus Christ,
and to the Church herself by charity.
92. To suffer in peace an excommunication
and an unjust anathema rather than betray truth, is to imitate St. Paul;
far be it from rebelling against authority or of destroying unity.
93 Jesus sometimes heals the wounds which
the precipitous haste of the first pastors inflicted without His
command. Jesus restored what they, within considered zeal, cut off.
94. Nothing engenders a worse opinion of
the Church among her enemies than to see exercised there an absolute
rule over the faith of the faithful, and to see divisions fostered
because of matters which do not violate faith or morals.
95. Truths have descended to this, that
they are, as it were, a foreign tongue to most Christians, and the
manner of preaching them is, as it were, an unknown idiom, so remote is
the manner of preaching from the simplicity of the apostles. and so much
above the common grasp of the faithful; nor is there sufficient
advertence to the fact that this defect is one of the greatest visible
signs of the weakening of the Church and of the wrath of God on His
96. God permits that all powers be opposed
to the preachers of truth, so that its victory cannot be attributed to
anyone except to divine grace.
97. Too often it happens that those
members, who are united to the Church more holily and more strictly, are
looked down upon, and treated as if they were unworthy of being in the
Church, or as if they were separated from Her; but, "the just man liveth
by faith" [Rom. 1:17], and not by the opinion of men.
98. The state of persecution and of
punishment which anyone endures as a disgraceful and impious heretic, is
generally the final trial and is especially meritorious, inasmuch as it
makes a man more conformable to Jesus Christ.
99. Stubbornness, investigation, and
obstinacy in being unwilling either to examine something or to
acknowledge that one has been deceived daily changes into an odor, as it
were, of death, for many people, that which God has placed in His Church
to be an odor of life within it, for instance, good books, instructions,
holy examples, etc.
100. Deplorable is the time in which God is
believed to be honored by persecution of the truth and its disciples!
This time has come.... To be considered and treated by the ministers of
religion as impious and unworthy of all commerce with God, as a putrid
member capable of corrupting everything in the society of saints, is to
pious men a more terrible death than the death of the body. In vain does
anyone flatter himself on the purity of his intentions and on a certain
zeal for religion, when he persecutes honest men with fire and sword, if
he is blinded by his own passion or carried away by that of another on
account of which he does not want to examine anything. We frequently
believe that we arc sacrificing an impious man to God, when we are
sacrificing a servant of God to the devil.
101. Nothing is more opposed to the spirit
of God and to the doctrine of Jesus Christ than to swear common oaths in
Church, because this is to multiply occasions of perjury, to lay snares
for the weak and inexperienced, and to cause the name and truth of God
to serve sometimes the plan of the wicked.
Declared and condemned as false,
captious, evil-sounding, offensive to pious ears, scandalous,
pernicious, rash, injurious to the Church and her practice, insulting
not only to the Church but also the secular powers seditious, impious,
blasphemous, suspected of heresy, and smacking of heresy itself, and,
besides, favoring heretics and heresies, and also schisms, erroneous,
close to heresy, many times condemned, and finally heretical, clearly
renewing many heresies respectively and most especially those which are
contained in the infamous propositions of Jansen, and indeed accepted in
that sense in which these have been condemned.
INNOCENT XIII 1721-1724 BENEDICT XIII
1724-1730 CLEMENT XII 1730-1740
1 DuPl III, II 462 ff.: coll. Viva II I ff.; CIC Rcht II 140 ff.; BR(T)
21, 569 b ff.; MBR 8, 119 a ff. Variant, doubtful, and corrected
readings are according to the first Gallic text which DuPl, l.c.,
presents-Paschasius Quesnel was born on July 14, 1634. After completing
his studies in the Sorbonne in 1657, he entered the Congregation of the
Oratory; but because of his zeal for the heresy of Jansenism, he was
forced to leave the congregation. His book, "Reflections morales," was
condemned, to which the Constitution, "Unigenitus," is related. Shortly
before his death on Dec. 2, 1719, he made a profession of faith publicly
[Hrt, sec. rec. II2 822 ff]. 2 This dogmatic constitution was confirmed
by the same Clement XI in the Bull "Pastoralis Officii" (Aug. 28, 1718)
against the Appellantes, in which he declares that certain Catholics
"who did not accept the Bull "Unigenitus" were clearly outside the bosom
of the Roman Church; by Innocent XIII in a decree published on Jan. 8,
1722; by Benedict XIII and the Roman Synod in 1725; by Benedict XIV in
the encyclical, "Ex omnibus Christiani orbis regionibus" on Oct. 16,
1756; it was accepted by the Gallic clergy in assemblies in 1723, 1726,
1730, by the councils of Avignon 1725 and Ebred, 1727, and by the whole