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48
INTERCONNECTIONS JOURNAL OF CATHOLIC SEMINARY STUDIES Volume 2, Number 1 Winter 2016

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INTERCONNECTIONSJOURNAL OF CATHOLIC SEMINARY STUDIES

Volume 2 Number 1 Winter 2016

2

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

InterconnectionsJournal of Catholic Seminary Studies

usmleduinterconnections

EDITOR Stephen Lilly

ASSOCIATE EDITORS Michael Brungardt Louis Cunningham Christopher Landfried Michael Lewis Griffin McHaffie Ryan McMillin Daniel Orris Robinson Ortiz Arturo Vigueras Jerome Westenberg OFM Conv Luke Zanoni

LAYOUT EDITOR Michael Lewis

FACULTY ADVISOR Rev Raymond Webb

Interconnections Journal of Catholic Seminary Studies is an online student-edited journal based at the University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary By providing a common forum for Catholic seminarians in various formation programs this journal encourages a dynamic exchange of insights on common areas of study in Catholic theology and in other studies allied with priestly formation May it help lead seminarians more deeply into the mysteries of salvation The editors welcome papers that address topics in Catholic theology Scripture studies philosophy Church history pastoral practice and the humanities Homilies will also be accepted Submissions are limited to Catholic seminarians For more information about guidelines for submission please visit usmleduinterconnections Views expressed in the articles are those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the editors or the University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

The journal is published biannually in the Winter and Spring To receive notifications of a newly published issue please sign up for our mailing list at usmleduinterconnections

ISSN 1944-088X

copy 2016 University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

3

Contents Volume 2 Number 1 middot Winter 2016

4 Editorrsquos note Stephen Lilly

5 When Ontology Meets Angelology Perfection Prime Matter and How They Relate to

Angels in the Metaphysical System of Thomas Aquinas Ryan McMillin

19 A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009 Patrick Ryan Sherrard

33 Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism

to Theories of Biblical Inspiration Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv

On the cover The Annunciation by Gerard David (Netherlandish ca 1455ndash1523) 1506 oil on wood (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness 1950 wwwmetmuseumorg) This panel faced one of the Blessed Virgin Mary Together they were part of a spectacular multi-storied polyptych commissioned by Vincenzo Sauli a wealthy Italian banker and diplomat with connections to Bruges for the high altar of the Benedictine abbey church of San Gerolamo della Cervara near Genoa

4

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Editorrsquos Note fter a nearly seven-year hiatus since its inaugural issue was published I would like to present to you this revived version of Interconnections Journal of Catholic Seminary Studies Originally

published under the leadership of Andrew Liaugminas now a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago Interconnections was intended to be a forum for Catholic seminarians from different formation programs across the country and potentially the world to exchange insights on common areas of study It was hoped that the journal would foster a deeper reflection on Sacred Scripture the teachings of the Church and the Catholic worldview among those men soon to be entrusted with sharing these with others These aims are equally pertinent today and we therefore intend to continue this journal with its original intent

Therefore I ask for your support as we endeavor to fulfill these aims of Interconnections Please support us with your readership and your referral to others Seminarians please support us by submitting your work for consideration for publishing And most importantly please support us with your prayers

STEPHEN LILLY University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

A

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology Perfection Prime Matter and How They Relate to Angels in the Metaphysical System of Thomas Aquinas

RYAN McMILLIN University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

or medieval philosophy being is ordered This is nowhere more evident than in the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas the exemplar of high scholasticism whose metaphysical system is inextricably

tied to a presumption of a principle of order and perfection inherited from Neoplatonic sources and modified thereafter This paper attempts first to outline briefly this order from the perspective of act and potency concentrating especially on the paradox of prime matter to which Thomas ascribes the characteristic of pure potency It will be shown that pure potency must be unique in Thomasrsquos system and that as a consequence the identity of prime matter and pure potency that Thomas posits has negative implications for his own angelology The three proofs for the existence of angels that Thomas offers in De spiritualibus creaturis will be considered and critiqued before concluding that if angels are to have any potency at all it must find its source in prime matter I Thomasrsquos Ordered System From Pure Act to Pure Potency

The source of being in Thomasrsquos metaphysical system is pure act self-subsisting beingmdashthe perfect first and uncreated act of to be itself in whose being all other beings participate analogously The perfection of a being depends on its proportion of act to potency the more actuality a thing possessesmdashthat is the greater the degree to which it participates

F

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

6 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

in pure actmdashthe more perfect it is on the scale of being1 It follows that in the hierarchy of real existents pure act stands in direct opposition to pure potency2 Between pure act and pure potency are the many finite beings composed of both potency and act

The manifestation of act and potency in finite beings is a topic that stirred great debate among thirteenth-century philosophers The traditional viewpoint originating with the Jewish Avicebron and later finding a place in the work of Alexander of Hales and his pupil Bonaventure was that matter is identical to potency and form to act3 According to this view whose perceived strength for the Christian philosophers is that it clearly recognizes the distinction between God (Pure Act) and finite beings (composites) matter is the passive principle that represents indetermination and form is the active principle that gives determination4 Logically consequent upon this is the notion of universal hylomorphismmdashthat all finite beings because they are composed of potency and act are likewise composed of matter and form corporeal beings have matter in the traditional sense (that is matter with extension in space) whereas spiritual beings have spiritual matter one that does not necessarily have extension or the same properties that physical non-spiritual matter has5 Thomas however firmly rejects the doctrine of universal hylomorphism in his assertion that matter is only one type of potency Any attribution of matter to spiritual substances he

1 See among others Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

2 John Wippel The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being (Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000) 315 Thomas Aquinas Summa contra gentiles trans Anton C Pegis (New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957) I c 17 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishContraGentileshtm It should be noted that to Thomas pure potentiality is not absolute nothingness which is not in the hierarchy of being precisely because it is not a being For this reason it is pure potentiality that occupies the lowest rung on the ladder of existence

3 James Collins The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels (Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947) 42ndash74 David Keck Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages (New York Oxford 1998) 94 Keck indicates that there is some debate as to whether Avicebron is the true originator of the exact correspondence between matter (form) and potency (act) Augustine may have affirmed the existence of spiritual matter in some of his texts but it is generally accepted that he did so less clearly than Avicebron in Fons Vitae

4 Keck 96

5 Tobias Hoffman A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy ed Tobias Hoffman (Boston Brill 2012) 6

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 7

argues is an equivocation and an unnecessary addition to the landscape of the metaphysical universe6

Thomasrsquos rejection of the identity of matter and potency may help to understand his views on pure potency the lowest possible form of being The concept of pure potency is one that is more difficult to describe than those of pure act or act-potency composition because it has a rather paradoxical existence Thomas attempts to escape the Parmenidean dilemma in his assertion that pure potency is not absolute non-being (sheer nothingness) but rather relative non-beingmdashsomething that has being but never manifests its being except in other beings7 Curiously Thomas seems to accept the existence of more than one kind of pure potency The pure potency to which he devotes considerable attention is prime matter which he defines succinctly as ldquothat which is in potency to substantial existencerdquo8 and elsewhere more completely as ldquosomething which is in the genus of substance as a kind of potency which is understood as excluding every species and form and even as excluding privation and yet is a potency capable of receiving both forms and privationsrdquo9 Another potency that he distinguishes from prime matter or pure potency is the potency to receive an intelligible form He contends that the distinction between prime matter and this type of potency is necessary because an intelligible form is unable to undergo contraction and the very function of prime matter is to receive a form by contracting it to a particular being10 Whether this position is

6 Collins 68 Of course Thomas escapes attributing matter to spiritual substances because he relies on a separate distinction essence-existence Spiritual substances are individuated by their different essences which makes them matter-less and therefore simple Another factor in Thomasrsquos rejection of universal hylomorphism could be its inconsistency with the view put forth by Pseudo-Dionysius whose positions he viewed to be authoritative ones Pseudo-Dionysius asserted that angels are incorporeal in every way and so they could not be said to have matter (Keck Angels and Angelology 94)

7 Wippel 317

8 Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae trans R A Kocourek (St Paul North Central 1948) c 1 n 3 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

9 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis trans Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth (Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949) a 1 ans accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishQDdeSpirCreathtm

10 Ibid ldquo[A]ll spiritual substances are intellectual Now the potency of each individual thing is such as its perfection is found to be for a proper act requires its own proper potency Now the perfection of any intellectual substance insofar as it is intellectual is intelligible because it is in the intellect The sort of potency then that we must seek in spiritual substances is one that is proportionate to the reception of an intelligible form Now the potency of prime matter is not of

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

8 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

consistent with his contention that prime matter is pure potency will be discussed later but for now it suffices to say that Thomas views prime matter as the basic capacity to receive a substantial form

Throughout his writings Thomas makes an important distinction between two types of prime matter that in the order of nature and that in the order of time Prime matter in the order of nature is completely formless and functions more as a metaphysically constructed boundary or limit for existence Thomas views this type of prime matter as that which would be the result of removing all form from a natural being11 This type is to be contrasted with prime matter in the order of time which serves as a building block for more complex physical things Thomas acknowledges this type of prime matter in part because of his uncertainty regarding the eternity of the world he reasons that if the world is not eternal there must have been some point in time when the most primitive of materialmdasheven more primitive than the elementsmdashwas not yet formed into distinct entities Prime matter in the order of time therefore serves as the unique source for physical existents and it follows that if the world is eternal so is prime matter12 However if prime matter is to be considered as such it must have some form as Thomas concedes13 Insofar as prime matter exists in the physical world it does not constitute a capacity to receive any and all forms the very fact that it exists in the temporal order means that it is already constrained to a particular order a particular way of being The prime matter in water for instance has no capacity to be changed

this sort for prime matter receives form by contracting it to the individual being But an intelligible form is in the intellect without any such contraction for thus the intellect understands each intelligible as its form is in it Now the intellect understands the intelligible chiefly according to a common and universal nature and so the intelligible form is in the intellect according to its universality (secundum rationem suae communitatis) Therefore an intellectual substance is not made receptive of form by reason of prime matter but rather through a character which is in a way the opposite Hence it becomes obvious that in the case of spiritual substances the kind of prime matter which of itself is void of all species cannot be part of that substancerdquo

11 Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis II dist 12 a 4 r ldquoInsofar as it indicates the order of nature prime matter is that into which all natural bodies are ultimately reduced and must be without any formrdquo

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

2

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

InterconnectionsJournal of Catholic Seminary Studies

usmleduinterconnections

EDITOR Stephen Lilly

ASSOCIATE EDITORS Michael Brungardt Louis Cunningham Christopher Landfried Michael Lewis Griffin McHaffie Ryan McMillin Daniel Orris Robinson Ortiz Arturo Vigueras Jerome Westenberg OFM Conv Luke Zanoni

LAYOUT EDITOR Michael Lewis

FACULTY ADVISOR Rev Raymond Webb

Interconnections Journal of Catholic Seminary Studies is an online student-edited journal based at the University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary By providing a common forum for Catholic seminarians in various formation programs this journal encourages a dynamic exchange of insights on common areas of study in Catholic theology and in other studies allied with priestly formation May it help lead seminarians more deeply into the mysteries of salvation The editors welcome papers that address topics in Catholic theology Scripture studies philosophy Church history pastoral practice and the humanities Homilies will also be accepted Submissions are limited to Catholic seminarians For more information about guidelines for submission please visit usmleduinterconnections Views expressed in the articles are those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the editors or the University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

The journal is published biannually in the Winter and Spring To receive notifications of a newly published issue please sign up for our mailing list at usmleduinterconnections

ISSN 1944-088X

copy 2016 University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

3

Contents Volume 2 Number 1 middot Winter 2016

4 Editorrsquos note Stephen Lilly

5 When Ontology Meets Angelology Perfection Prime Matter and How They Relate to

Angels in the Metaphysical System of Thomas Aquinas Ryan McMillin

19 A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009 Patrick Ryan Sherrard

33 Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism

to Theories of Biblical Inspiration Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv

On the cover The Annunciation by Gerard David (Netherlandish ca 1455ndash1523) 1506 oil on wood (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness 1950 wwwmetmuseumorg) This panel faced one of the Blessed Virgin Mary Together they were part of a spectacular multi-storied polyptych commissioned by Vincenzo Sauli a wealthy Italian banker and diplomat with connections to Bruges for the high altar of the Benedictine abbey church of San Gerolamo della Cervara near Genoa

4

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Editorrsquos Note fter a nearly seven-year hiatus since its inaugural issue was published I would like to present to you this revived version of Interconnections Journal of Catholic Seminary Studies Originally

published under the leadership of Andrew Liaugminas now a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago Interconnections was intended to be a forum for Catholic seminarians from different formation programs across the country and potentially the world to exchange insights on common areas of study It was hoped that the journal would foster a deeper reflection on Sacred Scripture the teachings of the Church and the Catholic worldview among those men soon to be entrusted with sharing these with others These aims are equally pertinent today and we therefore intend to continue this journal with its original intent

Therefore I ask for your support as we endeavor to fulfill these aims of Interconnections Please support us with your readership and your referral to others Seminarians please support us by submitting your work for consideration for publishing And most importantly please support us with your prayers

STEPHEN LILLY University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

A

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology Perfection Prime Matter and How They Relate to Angels in the Metaphysical System of Thomas Aquinas

RYAN McMILLIN University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

or medieval philosophy being is ordered This is nowhere more evident than in the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas the exemplar of high scholasticism whose metaphysical system is inextricably

tied to a presumption of a principle of order and perfection inherited from Neoplatonic sources and modified thereafter This paper attempts first to outline briefly this order from the perspective of act and potency concentrating especially on the paradox of prime matter to which Thomas ascribes the characteristic of pure potency It will be shown that pure potency must be unique in Thomasrsquos system and that as a consequence the identity of prime matter and pure potency that Thomas posits has negative implications for his own angelology The three proofs for the existence of angels that Thomas offers in De spiritualibus creaturis will be considered and critiqued before concluding that if angels are to have any potency at all it must find its source in prime matter I Thomasrsquos Ordered System From Pure Act to Pure Potency

The source of being in Thomasrsquos metaphysical system is pure act self-subsisting beingmdashthe perfect first and uncreated act of to be itself in whose being all other beings participate analogously The perfection of a being depends on its proportion of act to potency the more actuality a thing possessesmdashthat is the greater the degree to which it participates

F

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

6 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

in pure actmdashthe more perfect it is on the scale of being1 It follows that in the hierarchy of real existents pure act stands in direct opposition to pure potency2 Between pure act and pure potency are the many finite beings composed of both potency and act

The manifestation of act and potency in finite beings is a topic that stirred great debate among thirteenth-century philosophers The traditional viewpoint originating with the Jewish Avicebron and later finding a place in the work of Alexander of Hales and his pupil Bonaventure was that matter is identical to potency and form to act3 According to this view whose perceived strength for the Christian philosophers is that it clearly recognizes the distinction between God (Pure Act) and finite beings (composites) matter is the passive principle that represents indetermination and form is the active principle that gives determination4 Logically consequent upon this is the notion of universal hylomorphismmdashthat all finite beings because they are composed of potency and act are likewise composed of matter and form corporeal beings have matter in the traditional sense (that is matter with extension in space) whereas spiritual beings have spiritual matter one that does not necessarily have extension or the same properties that physical non-spiritual matter has5 Thomas however firmly rejects the doctrine of universal hylomorphism in his assertion that matter is only one type of potency Any attribution of matter to spiritual substances he

1 See among others Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

2 John Wippel The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being (Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000) 315 Thomas Aquinas Summa contra gentiles trans Anton C Pegis (New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957) I c 17 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishContraGentileshtm It should be noted that to Thomas pure potentiality is not absolute nothingness which is not in the hierarchy of being precisely because it is not a being For this reason it is pure potentiality that occupies the lowest rung on the ladder of existence

3 James Collins The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels (Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947) 42ndash74 David Keck Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages (New York Oxford 1998) 94 Keck indicates that there is some debate as to whether Avicebron is the true originator of the exact correspondence between matter (form) and potency (act) Augustine may have affirmed the existence of spiritual matter in some of his texts but it is generally accepted that he did so less clearly than Avicebron in Fons Vitae

4 Keck 96

5 Tobias Hoffman A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy ed Tobias Hoffman (Boston Brill 2012) 6

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 7

argues is an equivocation and an unnecessary addition to the landscape of the metaphysical universe6

Thomasrsquos rejection of the identity of matter and potency may help to understand his views on pure potency the lowest possible form of being The concept of pure potency is one that is more difficult to describe than those of pure act or act-potency composition because it has a rather paradoxical existence Thomas attempts to escape the Parmenidean dilemma in his assertion that pure potency is not absolute non-being (sheer nothingness) but rather relative non-beingmdashsomething that has being but never manifests its being except in other beings7 Curiously Thomas seems to accept the existence of more than one kind of pure potency The pure potency to which he devotes considerable attention is prime matter which he defines succinctly as ldquothat which is in potency to substantial existencerdquo8 and elsewhere more completely as ldquosomething which is in the genus of substance as a kind of potency which is understood as excluding every species and form and even as excluding privation and yet is a potency capable of receiving both forms and privationsrdquo9 Another potency that he distinguishes from prime matter or pure potency is the potency to receive an intelligible form He contends that the distinction between prime matter and this type of potency is necessary because an intelligible form is unable to undergo contraction and the very function of prime matter is to receive a form by contracting it to a particular being10 Whether this position is

6 Collins 68 Of course Thomas escapes attributing matter to spiritual substances because he relies on a separate distinction essence-existence Spiritual substances are individuated by their different essences which makes them matter-less and therefore simple Another factor in Thomasrsquos rejection of universal hylomorphism could be its inconsistency with the view put forth by Pseudo-Dionysius whose positions he viewed to be authoritative ones Pseudo-Dionysius asserted that angels are incorporeal in every way and so they could not be said to have matter (Keck Angels and Angelology 94)

7 Wippel 317

8 Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae trans R A Kocourek (St Paul North Central 1948) c 1 n 3 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

9 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis trans Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth (Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949) a 1 ans accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishQDdeSpirCreathtm

10 Ibid ldquo[A]ll spiritual substances are intellectual Now the potency of each individual thing is such as its perfection is found to be for a proper act requires its own proper potency Now the perfection of any intellectual substance insofar as it is intellectual is intelligible because it is in the intellect The sort of potency then that we must seek in spiritual substances is one that is proportionate to the reception of an intelligible form Now the potency of prime matter is not of

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

8 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

consistent with his contention that prime matter is pure potency will be discussed later but for now it suffices to say that Thomas views prime matter as the basic capacity to receive a substantial form

Throughout his writings Thomas makes an important distinction between two types of prime matter that in the order of nature and that in the order of time Prime matter in the order of nature is completely formless and functions more as a metaphysically constructed boundary or limit for existence Thomas views this type of prime matter as that which would be the result of removing all form from a natural being11 This type is to be contrasted with prime matter in the order of time which serves as a building block for more complex physical things Thomas acknowledges this type of prime matter in part because of his uncertainty regarding the eternity of the world he reasons that if the world is not eternal there must have been some point in time when the most primitive of materialmdasheven more primitive than the elementsmdashwas not yet formed into distinct entities Prime matter in the order of time therefore serves as the unique source for physical existents and it follows that if the world is eternal so is prime matter12 However if prime matter is to be considered as such it must have some form as Thomas concedes13 Insofar as prime matter exists in the physical world it does not constitute a capacity to receive any and all forms the very fact that it exists in the temporal order means that it is already constrained to a particular order a particular way of being The prime matter in water for instance has no capacity to be changed

this sort for prime matter receives form by contracting it to the individual being But an intelligible form is in the intellect without any such contraction for thus the intellect understands each intelligible as its form is in it Now the intellect understands the intelligible chiefly according to a common and universal nature and so the intelligible form is in the intellect according to its universality (secundum rationem suae communitatis) Therefore an intellectual substance is not made receptive of form by reason of prime matter but rather through a character which is in a way the opposite Hence it becomes obvious that in the case of spiritual substances the kind of prime matter which of itself is void of all species cannot be part of that substancerdquo

11 Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis II dist 12 a 4 r ldquoInsofar as it indicates the order of nature prime matter is that into which all natural bodies are ultimately reduced and must be without any formrdquo

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

3

Contents Volume 2 Number 1 middot Winter 2016

4 Editorrsquos note Stephen Lilly

5 When Ontology Meets Angelology Perfection Prime Matter and How They Relate to

Angels in the Metaphysical System of Thomas Aquinas Ryan McMillin

19 A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009 Patrick Ryan Sherrard

33 Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism

to Theories of Biblical Inspiration Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv

On the cover The Annunciation by Gerard David (Netherlandish ca 1455ndash1523) 1506 oil on wood (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bequest of Mary Stillman Harkness 1950 wwwmetmuseumorg) This panel faced one of the Blessed Virgin Mary Together they were part of a spectacular multi-storied polyptych commissioned by Vincenzo Sauli a wealthy Italian banker and diplomat with connections to Bruges for the high altar of the Benedictine abbey church of San Gerolamo della Cervara near Genoa

4

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Editorrsquos Note fter a nearly seven-year hiatus since its inaugural issue was published I would like to present to you this revived version of Interconnections Journal of Catholic Seminary Studies Originally

published under the leadership of Andrew Liaugminas now a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago Interconnections was intended to be a forum for Catholic seminarians from different formation programs across the country and potentially the world to exchange insights on common areas of study It was hoped that the journal would foster a deeper reflection on Sacred Scripture the teachings of the Church and the Catholic worldview among those men soon to be entrusted with sharing these with others These aims are equally pertinent today and we therefore intend to continue this journal with its original intent

Therefore I ask for your support as we endeavor to fulfill these aims of Interconnections Please support us with your readership and your referral to others Seminarians please support us by submitting your work for consideration for publishing And most importantly please support us with your prayers

STEPHEN LILLY University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

A

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology Perfection Prime Matter and How They Relate to Angels in the Metaphysical System of Thomas Aquinas

RYAN McMILLIN University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

or medieval philosophy being is ordered This is nowhere more evident than in the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas the exemplar of high scholasticism whose metaphysical system is inextricably

tied to a presumption of a principle of order and perfection inherited from Neoplatonic sources and modified thereafter This paper attempts first to outline briefly this order from the perspective of act and potency concentrating especially on the paradox of prime matter to which Thomas ascribes the characteristic of pure potency It will be shown that pure potency must be unique in Thomasrsquos system and that as a consequence the identity of prime matter and pure potency that Thomas posits has negative implications for his own angelology The three proofs for the existence of angels that Thomas offers in De spiritualibus creaturis will be considered and critiqued before concluding that if angels are to have any potency at all it must find its source in prime matter I Thomasrsquos Ordered System From Pure Act to Pure Potency

The source of being in Thomasrsquos metaphysical system is pure act self-subsisting beingmdashthe perfect first and uncreated act of to be itself in whose being all other beings participate analogously The perfection of a being depends on its proportion of act to potency the more actuality a thing possessesmdashthat is the greater the degree to which it participates

F

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

6 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

in pure actmdashthe more perfect it is on the scale of being1 It follows that in the hierarchy of real existents pure act stands in direct opposition to pure potency2 Between pure act and pure potency are the many finite beings composed of both potency and act

The manifestation of act and potency in finite beings is a topic that stirred great debate among thirteenth-century philosophers The traditional viewpoint originating with the Jewish Avicebron and later finding a place in the work of Alexander of Hales and his pupil Bonaventure was that matter is identical to potency and form to act3 According to this view whose perceived strength for the Christian philosophers is that it clearly recognizes the distinction between God (Pure Act) and finite beings (composites) matter is the passive principle that represents indetermination and form is the active principle that gives determination4 Logically consequent upon this is the notion of universal hylomorphismmdashthat all finite beings because they are composed of potency and act are likewise composed of matter and form corporeal beings have matter in the traditional sense (that is matter with extension in space) whereas spiritual beings have spiritual matter one that does not necessarily have extension or the same properties that physical non-spiritual matter has5 Thomas however firmly rejects the doctrine of universal hylomorphism in his assertion that matter is only one type of potency Any attribution of matter to spiritual substances he

1 See among others Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

2 John Wippel The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being (Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000) 315 Thomas Aquinas Summa contra gentiles trans Anton C Pegis (New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957) I c 17 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishContraGentileshtm It should be noted that to Thomas pure potentiality is not absolute nothingness which is not in the hierarchy of being precisely because it is not a being For this reason it is pure potentiality that occupies the lowest rung on the ladder of existence

3 James Collins The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels (Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947) 42ndash74 David Keck Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages (New York Oxford 1998) 94 Keck indicates that there is some debate as to whether Avicebron is the true originator of the exact correspondence between matter (form) and potency (act) Augustine may have affirmed the existence of spiritual matter in some of his texts but it is generally accepted that he did so less clearly than Avicebron in Fons Vitae

4 Keck 96

5 Tobias Hoffman A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy ed Tobias Hoffman (Boston Brill 2012) 6

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 7

argues is an equivocation and an unnecessary addition to the landscape of the metaphysical universe6

Thomasrsquos rejection of the identity of matter and potency may help to understand his views on pure potency the lowest possible form of being The concept of pure potency is one that is more difficult to describe than those of pure act or act-potency composition because it has a rather paradoxical existence Thomas attempts to escape the Parmenidean dilemma in his assertion that pure potency is not absolute non-being (sheer nothingness) but rather relative non-beingmdashsomething that has being but never manifests its being except in other beings7 Curiously Thomas seems to accept the existence of more than one kind of pure potency The pure potency to which he devotes considerable attention is prime matter which he defines succinctly as ldquothat which is in potency to substantial existencerdquo8 and elsewhere more completely as ldquosomething which is in the genus of substance as a kind of potency which is understood as excluding every species and form and even as excluding privation and yet is a potency capable of receiving both forms and privationsrdquo9 Another potency that he distinguishes from prime matter or pure potency is the potency to receive an intelligible form He contends that the distinction between prime matter and this type of potency is necessary because an intelligible form is unable to undergo contraction and the very function of prime matter is to receive a form by contracting it to a particular being10 Whether this position is

6 Collins 68 Of course Thomas escapes attributing matter to spiritual substances because he relies on a separate distinction essence-existence Spiritual substances are individuated by their different essences which makes them matter-less and therefore simple Another factor in Thomasrsquos rejection of universal hylomorphism could be its inconsistency with the view put forth by Pseudo-Dionysius whose positions he viewed to be authoritative ones Pseudo-Dionysius asserted that angels are incorporeal in every way and so they could not be said to have matter (Keck Angels and Angelology 94)

7 Wippel 317

8 Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae trans R A Kocourek (St Paul North Central 1948) c 1 n 3 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

9 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis trans Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth (Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949) a 1 ans accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishQDdeSpirCreathtm

10 Ibid ldquo[A]ll spiritual substances are intellectual Now the potency of each individual thing is such as its perfection is found to be for a proper act requires its own proper potency Now the perfection of any intellectual substance insofar as it is intellectual is intelligible because it is in the intellect The sort of potency then that we must seek in spiritual substances is one that is proportionate to the reception of an intelligible form Now the potency of prime matter is not of

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

8 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

consistent with his contention that prime matter is pure potency will be discussed later but for now it suffices to say that Thomas views prime matter as the basic capacity to receive a substantial form

Throughout his writings Thomas makes an important distinction between two types of prime matter that in the order of nature and that in the order of time Prime matter in the order of nature is completely formless and functions more as a metaphysically constructed boundary or limit for existence Thomas views this type of prime matter as that which would be the result of removing all form from a natural being11 This type is to be contrasted with prime matter in the order of time which serves as a building block for more complex physical things Thomas acknowledges this type of prime matter in part because of his uncertainty regarding the eternity of the world he reasons that if the world is not eternal there must have been some point in time when the most primitive of materialmdasheven more primitive than the elementsmdashwas not yet formed into distinct entities Prime matter in the order of time therefore serves as the unique source for physical existents and it follows that if the world is eternal so is prime matter12 However if prime matter is to be considered as such it must have some form as Thomas concedes13 Insofar as prime matter exists in the physical world it does not constitute a capacity to receive any and all forms the very fact that it exists in the temporal order means that it is already constrained to a particular order a particular way of being The prime matter in water for instance has no capacity to be changed

this sort for prime matter receives form by contracting it to the individual being But an intelligible form is in the intellect without any such contraction for thus the intellect understands each intelligible as its form is in it Now the intellect understands the intelligible chiefly according to a common and universal nature and so the intelligible form is in the intellect according to its universality (secundum rationem suae communitatis) Therefore an intellectual substance is not made receptive of form by reason of prime matter but rather through a character which is in a way the opposite Hence it becomes obvious that in the case of spiritual substances the kind of prime matter which of itself is void of all species cannot be part of that substancerdquo

11 Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis II dist 12 a 4 r ldquoInsofar as it indicates the order of nature prime matter is that into which all natural bodies are ultimately reduced and must be without any formrdquo

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

4

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Editorrsquos Note fter a nearly seven-year hiatus since its inaugural issue was published I would like to present to you this revived version of Interconnections Journal of Catholic Seminary Studies Originally

published under the leadership of Andrew Liaugminas now a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago Interconnections was intended to be a forum for Catholic seminarians from different formation programs across the country and potentially the world to exchange insights on common areas of study It was hoped that the journal would foster a deeper reflection on Sacred Scripture the teachings of the Church and the Catholic worldview among those men soon to be entrusted with sharing these with others These aims are equally pertinent today and we therefore intend to continue this journal with its original intent

Therefore I ask for your support as we endeavor to fulfill these aims of Interconnections Please support us with your readership and your referral to others Seminarians please support us by submitting your work for consideration for publishing And most importantly please support us with your prayers

STEPHEN LILLY University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

A

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology Perfection Prime Matter and How They Relate to Angels in the Metaphysical System of Thomas Aquinas

RYAN McMILLIN University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

or medieval philosophy being is ordered This is nowhere more evident than in the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas the exemplar of high scholasticism whose metaphysical system is inextricably

tied to a presumption of a principle of order and perfection inherited from Neoplatonic sources and modified thereafter This paper attempts first to outline briefly this order from the perspective of act and potency concentrating especially on the paradox of prime matter to which Thomas ascribes the characteristic of pure potency It will be shown that pure potency must be unique in Thomasrsquos system and that as a consequence the identity of prime matter and pure potency that Thomas posits has negative implications for his own angelology The three proofs for the existence of angels that Thomas offers in De spiritualibus creaturis will be considered and critiqued before concluding that if angels are to have any potency at all it must find its source in prime matter I Thomasrsquos Ordered System From Pure Act to Pure Potency

The source of being in Thomasrsquos metaphysical system is pure act self-subsisting beingmdashthe perfect first and uncreated act of to be itself in whose being all other beings participate analogously The perfection of a being depends on its proportion of act to potency the more actuality a thing possessesmdashthat is the greater the degree to which it participates

F

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

6 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

in pure actmdashthe more perfect it is on the scale of being1 It follows that in the hierarchy of real existents pure act stands in direct opposition to pure potency2 Between pure act and pure potency are the many finite beings composed of both potency and act

The manifestation of act and potency in finite beings is a topic that stirred great debate among thirteenth-century philosophers The traditional viewpoint originating with the Jewish Avicebron and later finding a place in the work of Alexander of Hales and his pupil Bonaventure was that matter is identical to potency and form to act3 According to this view whose perceived strength for the Christian philosophers is that it clearly recognizes the distinction between God (Pure Act) and finite beings (composites) matter is the passive principle that represents indetermination and form is the active principle that gives determination4 Logically consequent upon this is the notion of universal hylomorphismmdashthat all finite beings because they are composed of potency and act are likewise composed of matter and form corporeal beings have matter in the traditional sense (that is matter with extension in space) whereas spiritual beings have spiritual matter one that does not necessarily have extension or the same properties that physical non-spiritual matter has5 Thomas however firmly rejects the doctrine of universal hylomorphism in his assertion that matter is only one type of potency Any attribution of matter to spiritual substances he

1 See among others Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

2 John Wippel The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being (Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000) 315 Thomas Aquinas Summa contra gentiles trans Anton C Pegis (New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957) I c 17 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishContraGentileshtm It should be noted that to Thomas pure potentiality is not absolute nothingness which is not in the hierarchy of being precisely because it is not a being For this reason it is pure potentiality that occupies the lowest rung on the ladder of existence

3 James Collins The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels (Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947) 42ndash74 David Keck Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages (New York Oxford 1998) 94 Keck indicates that there is some debate as to whether Avicebron is the true originator of the exact correspondence between matter (form) and potency (act) Augustine may have affirmed the existence of spiritual matter in some of his texts but it is generally accepted that he did so less clearly than Avicebron in Fons Vitae

4 Keck 96

5 Tobias Hoffman A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy ed Tobias Hoffman (Boston Brill 2012) 6

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 7

argues is an equivocation and an unnecessary addition to the landscape of the metaphysical universe6

Thomasrsquos rejection of the identity of matter and potency may help to understand his views on pure potency the lowest possible form of being The concept of pure potency is one that is more difficult to describe than those of pure act or act-potency composition because it has a rather paradoxical existence Thomas attempts to escape the Parmenidean dilemma in his assertion that pure potency is not absolute non-being (sheer nothingness) but rather relative non-beingmdashsomething that has being but never manifests its being except in other beings7 Curiously Thomas seems to accept the existence of more than one kind of pure potency The pure potency to which he devotes considerable attention is prime matter which he defines succinctly as ldquothat which is in potency to substantial existencerdquo8 and elsewhere more completely as ldquosomething which is in the genus of substance as a kind of potency which is understood as excluding every species and form and even as excluding privation and yet is a potency capable of receiving both forms and privationsrdquo9 Another potency that he distinguishes from prime matter or pure potency is the potency to receive an intelligible form He contends that the distinction between prime matter and this type of potency is necessary because an intelligible form is unable to undergo contraction and the very function of prime matter is to receive a form by contracting it to a particular being10 Whether this position is

6 Collins 68 Of course Thomas escapes attributing matter to spiritual substances because he relies on a separate distinction essence-existence Spiritual substances are individuated by their different essences which makes them matter-less and therefore simple Another factor in Thomasrsquos rejection of universal hylomorphism could be its inconsistency with the view put forth by Pseudo-Dionysius whose positions he viewed to be authoritative ones Pseudo-Dionysius asserted that angels are incorporeal in every way and so they could not be said to have matter (Keck Angels and Angelology 94)

7 Wippel 317

8 Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae trans R A Kocourek (St Paul North Central 1948) c 1 n 3 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

9 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis trans Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth (Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949) a 1 ans accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishQDdeSpirCreathtm

10 Ibid ldquo[A]ll spiritual substances are intellectual Now the potency of each individual thing is such as its perfection is found to be for a proper act requires its own proper potency Now the perfection of any intellectual substance insofar as it is intellectual is intelligible because it is in the intellect The sort of potency then that we must seek in spiritual substances is one that is proportionate to the reception of an intelligible form Now the potency of prime matter is not of

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

8 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

consistent with his contention that prime matter is pure potency will be discussed later but for now it suffices to say that Thomas views prime matter as the basic capacity to receive a substantial form

Throughout his writings Thomas makes an important distinction between two types of prime matter that in the order of nature and that in the order of time Prime matter in the order of nature is completely formless and functions more as a metaphysically constructed boundary or limit for existence Thomas views this type of prime matter as that which would be the result of removing all form from a natural being11 This type is to be contrasted with prime matter in the order of time which serves as a building block for more complex physical things Thomas acknowledges this type of prime matter in part because of his uncertainty regarding the eternity of the world he reasons that if the world is not eternal there must have been some point in time when the most primitive of materialmdasheven more primitive than the elementsmdashwas not yet formed into distinct entities Prime matter in the order of time therefore serves as the unique source for physical existents and it follows that if the world is eternal so is prime matter12 However if prime matter is to be considered as such it must have some form as Thomas concedes13 Insofar as prime matter exists in the physical world it does not constitute a capacity to receive any and all forms the very fact that it exists in the temporal order means that it is already constrained to a particular order a particular way of being The prime matter in water for instance has no capacity to be changed

this sort for prime matter receives form by contracting it to the individual being But an intelligible form is in the intellect without any such contraction for thus the intellect understands each intelligible as its form is in it Now the intellect understands the intelligible chiefly according to a common and universal nature and so the intelligible form is in the intellect according to its universality (secundum rationem suae communitatis) Therefore an intellectual substance is not made receptive of form by reason of prime matter but rather through a character which is in a way the opposite Hence it becomes obvious that in the case of spiritual substances the kind of prime matter which of itself is void of all species cannot be part of that substancerdquo

11 Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis II dist 12 a 4 r ldquoInsofar as it indicates the order of nature prime matter is that into which all natural bodies are ultimately reduced and must be without any formrdquo

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology Perfection Prime Matter and How They Relate to Angels in the Metaphysical System of Thomas Aquinas

RYAN McMILLIN University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

or medieval philosophy being is ordered This is nowhere more evident than in the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas the exemplar of high scholasticism whose metaphysical system is inextricably

tied to a presumption of a principle of order and perfection inherited from Neoplatonic sources and modified thereafter This paper attempts first to outline briefly this order from the perspective of act and potency concentrating especially on the paradox of prime matter to which Thomas ascribes the characteristic of pure potency It will be shown that pure potency must be unique in Thomasrsquos system and that as a consequence the identity of prime matter and pure potency that Thomas posits has negative implications for his own angelology The three proofs for the existence of angels that Thomas offers in De spiritualibus creaturis will be considered and critiqued before concluding that if angels are to have any potency at all it must find its source in prime matter I Thomasrsquos Ordered System From Pure Act to Pure Potency

The source of being in Thomasrsquos metaphysical system is pure act self-subsisting beingmdashthe perfect first and uncreated act of to be itself in whose being all other beings participate analogously The perfection of a being depends on its proportion of act to potency the more actuality a thing possessesmdashthat is the greater the degree to which it participates

F

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

6 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

in pure actmdashthe more perfect it is on the scale of being1 It follows that in the hierarchy of real existents pure act stands in direct opposition to pure potency2 Between pure act and pure potency are the many finite beings composed of both potency and act

The manifestation of act and potency in finite beings is a topic that stirred great debate among thirteenth-century philosophers The traditional viewpoint originating with the Jewish Avicebron and later finding a place in the work of Alexander of Hales and his pupil Bonaventure was that matter is identical to potency and form to act3 According to this view whose perceived strength for the Christian philosophers is that it clearly recognizes the distinction between God (Pure Act) and finite beings (composites) matter is the passive principle that represents indetermination and form is the active principle that gives determination4 Logically consequent upon this is the notion of universal hylomorphismmdashthat all finite beings because they are composed of potency and act are likewise composed of matter and form corporeal beings have matter in the traditional sense (that is matter with extension in space) whereas spiritual beings have spiritual matter one that does not necessarily have extension or the same properties that physical non-spiritual matter has5 Thomas however firmly rejects the doctrine of universal hylomorphism in his assertion that matter is only one type of potency Any attribution of matter to spiritual substances he

1 See among others Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

2 John Wippel The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being (Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000) 315 Thomas Aquinas Summa contra gentiles trans Anton C Pegis (New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957) I c 17 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishContraGentileshtm It should be noted that to Thomas pure potentiality is not absolute nothingness which is not in the hierarchy of being precisely because it is not a being For this reason it is pure potentiality that occupies the lowest rung on the ladder of existence

3 James Collins The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels (Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947) 42ndash74 David Keck Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages (New York Oxford 1998) 94 Keck indicates that there is some debate as to whether Avicebron is the true originator of the exact correspondence between matter (form) and potency (act) Augustine may have affirmed the existence of spiritual matter in some of his texts but it is generally accepted that he did so less clearly than Avicebron in Fons Vitae

4 Keck 96

5 Tobias Hoffman A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy ed Tobias Hoffman (Boston Brill 2012) 6

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 7

argues is an equivocation and an unnecessary addition to the landscape of the metaphysical universe6

Thomasrsquos rejection of the identity of matter and potency may help to understand his views on pure potency the lowest possible form of being The concept of pure potency is one that is more difficult to describe than those of pure act or act-potency composition because it has a rather paradoxical existence Thomas attempts to escape the Parmenidean dilemma in his assertion that pure potency is not absolute non-being (sheer nothingness) but rather relative non-beingmdashsomething that has being but never manifests its being except in other beings7 Curiously Thomas seems to accept the existence of more than one kind of pure potency The pure potency to which he devotes considerable attention is prime matter which he defines succinctly as ldquothat which is in potency to substantial existencerdquo8 and elsewhere more completely as ldquosomething which is in the genus of substance as a kind of potency which is understood as excluding every species and form and even as excluding privation and yet is a potency capable of receiving both forms and privationsrdquo9 Another potency that he distinguishes from prime matter or pure potency is the potency to receive an intelligible form He contends that the distinction between prime matter and this type of potency is necessary because an intelligible form is unable to undergo contraction and the very function of prime matter is to receive a form by contracting it to a particular being10 Whether this position is

6 Collins 68 Of course Thomas escapes attributing matter to spiritual substances because he relies on a separate distinction essence-existence Spiritual substances are individuated by their different essences which makes them matter-less and therefore simple Another factor in Thomasrsquos rejection of universal hylomorphism could be its inconsistency with the view put forth by Pseudo-Dionysius whose positions he viewed to be authoritative ones Pseudo-Dionysius asserted that angels are incorporeal in every way and so they could not be said to have matter (Keck Angels and Angelology 94)

7 Wippel 317

8 Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae trans R A Kocourek (St Paul North Central 1948) c 1 n 3 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

9 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis trans Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth (Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949) a 1 ans accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishQDdeSpirCreathtm

10 Ibid ldquo[A]ll spiritual substances are intellectual Now the potency of each individual thing is such as its perfection is found to be for a proper act requires its own proper potency Now the perfection of any intellectual substance insofar as it is intellectual is intelligible because it is in the intellect The sort of potency then that we must seek in spiritual substances is one that is proportionate to the reception of an intelligible form Now the potency of prime matter is not of

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

8 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

consistent with his contention that prime matter is pure potency will be discussed later but for now it suffices to say that Thomas views prime matter as the basic capacity to receive a substantial form

Throughout his writings Thomas makes an important distinction between two types of prime matter that in the order of nature and that in the order of time Prime matter in the order of nature is completely formless and functions more as a metaphysically constructed boundary or limit for existence Thomas views this type of prime matter as that which would be the result of removing all form from a natural being11 This type is to be contrasted with prime matter in the order of time which serves as a building block for more complex physical things Thomas acknowledges this type of prime matter in part because of his uncertainty regarding the eternity of the world he reasons that if the world is not eternal there must have been some point in time when the most primitive of materialmdasheven more primitive than the elementsmdashwas not yet formed into distinct entities Prime matter in the order of time therefore serves as the unique source for physical existents and it follows that if the world is eternal so is prime matter12 However if prime matter is to be considered as such it must have some form as Thomas concedes13 Insofar as prime matter exists in the physical world it does not constitute a capacity to receive any and all forms the very fact that it exists in the temporal order means that it is already constrained to a particular order a particular way of being The prime matter in water for instance has no capacity to be changed

this sort for prime matter receives form by contracting it to the individual being But an intelligible form is in the intellect without any such contraction for thus the intellect understands each intelligible as its form is in it Now the intellect understands the intelligible chiefly according to a common and universal nature and so the intelligible form is in the intellect according to its universality (secundum rationem suae communitatis) Therefore an intellectual substance is not made receptive of form by reason of prime matter but rather through a character which is in a way the opposite Hence it becomes obvious that in the case of spiritual substances the kind of prime matter which of itself is void of all species cannot be part of that substancerdquo

11 Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis II dist 12 a 4 r ldquoInsofar as it indicates the order of nature prime matter is that into which all natural bodies are ultimately reduced and must be without any formrdquo

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

6 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

in pure actmdashthe more perfect it is on the scale of being1 It follows that in the hierarchy of real existents pure act stands in direct opposition to pure potency2 Between pure act and pure potency are the many finite beings composed of both potency and act

The manifestation of act and potency in finite beings is a topic that stirred great debate among thirteenth-century philosophers The traditional viewpoint originating with the Jewish Avicebron and later finding a place in the work of Alexander of Hales and his pupil Bonaventure was that matter is identical to potency and form to act3 According to this view whose perceived strength for the Christian philosophers is that it clearly recognizes the distinction between God (Pure Act) and finite beings (composites) matter is the passive principle that represents indetermination and form is the active principle that gives determination4 Logically consequent upon this is the notion of universal hylomorphismmdashthat all finite beings because they are composed of potency and act are likewise composed of matter and form corporeal beings have matter in the traditional sense (that is matter with extension in space) whereas spiritual beings have spiritual matter one that does not necessarily have extension or the same properties that physical non-spiritual matter has5 Thomas however firmly rejects the doctrine of universal hylomorphism in his assertion that matter is only one type of potency Any attribution of matter to spiritual substances he

1 See among others Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

2 John Wippel The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being (Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000) 315 Thomas Aquinas Summa contra gentiles trans Anton C Pegis (New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957) I c 17 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishContraGentileshtm It should be noted that to Thomas pure potentiality is not absolute nothingness which is not in the hierarchy of being precisely because it is not a being For this reason it is pure potentiality that occupies the lowest rung on the ladder of existence

3 James Collins The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels (Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947) 42ndash74 David Keck Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages (New York Oxford 1998) 94 Keck indicates that there is some debate as to whether Avicebron is the true originator of the exact correspondence between matter (form) and potency (act) Augustine may have affirmed the existence of spiritual matter in some of his texts but it is generally accepted that he did so less clearly than Avicebron in Fons Vitae

4 Keck 96

5 Tobias Hoffman A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy ed Tobias Hoffman (Boston Brill 2012) 6

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 7

argues is an equivocation and an unnecessary addition to the landscape of the metaphysical universe6

Thomasrsquos rejection of the identity of matter and potency may help to understand his views on pure potency the lowest possible form of being The concept of pure potency is one that is more difficult to describe than those of pure act or act-potency composition because it has a rather paradoxical existence Thomas attempts to escape the Parmenidean dilemma in his assertion that pure potency is not absolute non-being (sheer nothingness) but rather relative non-beingmdashsomething that has being but never manifests its being except in other beings7 Curiously Thomas seems to accept the existence of more than one kind of pure potency The pure potency to which he devotes considerable attention is prime matter which he defines succinctly as ldquothat which is in potency to substantial existencerdquo8 and elsewhere more completely as ldquosomething which is in the genus of substance as a kind of potency which is understood as excluding every species and form and even as excluding privation and yet is a potency capable of receiving both forms and privationsrdquo9 Another potency that he distinguishes from prime matter or pure potency is the potency to receive an intelligible form He contends that the distinction between prime matter and this type of potency is necessary because an intelligible form is unable to undergo contraction and the very function of prime matter is to receive a form by contracting it to a particular being10 Whether this position is

6 Collins 68 Of course Thomas escapes attributing matter to spiritual substances because he relies on a separate distinction essence-existence Spiritual substances are individuated by their different essences which makes them matter-less and therefore simple Another factor in Thomasrsquos rejection of universal hylomorphism could be its inconsistency with the view put forth by Pseudo-Dionysius whose positions he viewed to be authoritative ones Pseudo-Dionysius asserted that angels are incorporeal in every way and so they could not be said to have matter (Keck Angels and Angelology 94)

7 Wippel 317

8 Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae trans R A Kocourek (St Paul North Central 1948) c 1 n 3 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

9 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis trans Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth (Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949) a 1 ans accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishQDdeSpirCreathtm

10 Ibid ldquo[A]ll spiritual substances are intellectual Now the potency of each individual thing is such as its perfection is found to be for a proper act requires its own proper potency Now the perfection of any intellectual substance insofar as it is intellectual is intelligible because it is in the intellect The sort of potency then that we must seek in spiritual substances is one that is proportionate to the reception of an intelligible form Now the potency of prime matter is not of

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

8 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

consistent with his contention that prime matter is pure potency will be discussed later but for now it suffices to say that Thomas views prime matter as the basic capacity to receive a substantial form

Throughout his writings Thomas makes an important distinction between two types of prime matter that in the order of nature and that in the order of time Prime matter in the order of nature is completely formless and functions more as a metaphysically constructed boundary or limit for existence Thomas views this type of prime matter as that which would be the result of removing all form from a natural being11 This type is to be contrasted with prime matter in the order of time which serves as a building block for more complex physical things Thomas acknowledges this type of prime matter in part because of his uncertainty regarding the eternity of the world he reasons that if the world is not eternal there must have been some point in time when the most primitive of materialmdasheven more primitive than the elementsmdashwas not yet formed into distinct entities Prime matter in the order of time therefore serves as the unique source for physical existents and it follows that if the world is eternal so is prime matter12 However if prime matter is to be considered as such it must have some form as Thomas concedes13 Insofar as prime matter exists in the physical world it does not constitute a capacity to receive any and all forms the very fact that it exists in the temporal order means that it is already constrained to a particular order a particular way of being The prime matter in water for instance has no capacity to be changed

this sort for prime matter receives form by contracting it to the individual being But an intelligible form is in the intellect without any such contraction for thus the intellect understands each intelligible as its form is in it Now the intellect understands the intelligible chiefly according to a common and universal nature and so the intelligible form is in the intellect according to its universality (secundum rationem suae communitatis) Therefore an intellectual substance is not made receptive of form by reason of prime matter but rather through a character which is in a way the opposite Hence it becomes obvious that in the case of spiritual substances the kind of prime matter which of itself is void of all species cannot be part of that substancerdquo

11 Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis II dist 12 a 4 r ldquoInsofar as it indicates the order of nature prime matter is that into which all natural bodies are ultimately reduced and must be without any formrdquo

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 7

argues is an equivocation and an unnecessary addition to the landscape of the metaphysical universe6

Thomasrsquos rejection of the identity of matter and potency may help to understand his views on pure potency the lowest possible form of being The concept of pure potency is one that is more difficult to describe than those of pure act or act-potency composition because it has a rather paradoxical existence Thomas attempts to escape the Parmenidean dilemma in his assertion that pure potency is not absolute non-being (sheer nothingness) but rather relative non-beingmdashsomething that has being but never manifests its being except in other beings7 Curiously Thomas seems to accept the existence of more than one kind of pure potency The pure potency to which he devotes considerable attention is prime matter which he defines succinctly as ldquothat which is in potency to substantial existencerdquo8 and elsewhere more completely as ldquosomething which is in the genus of substance as a kind of potency which is understood as excluding every species and form and even as excluding privation and yet is a potency capable of receiving both forms and privationsrdquo9 Another potency that he distinguishes from prime matter or pure potency is the potency to receive an intelligible form He contends that the distinction between prime matter and this type of potency is necessary because an intelligible form is unable to undergo contraction and the very function of prime matter is to receive a form by contracting it to a particular being10 Whether this position is

6 Collins 68 Of course Thomas escapes attributing matter to spiritual substances because he relies on a separate distinction essence-existence Spiritual substances are individuated by their different essences which makes them matter-less and therefore simple Another factor in Thomasrsquos rejection of universal hylomorphism could be its inconsistency with the view put forth by Pseudo-Dionysius whose positions he viewed to be authoritative ones Pseudo-Dionysius asserted that angels are incorporeal in every way and so they could not be said to have matter (Keck Angels and Angelology 94)

7 Wippel 317

8 Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae trans R A Kocourek (St Paul North Central 1948) c 1 n 3 accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

9 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis trans Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth (Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949) a 1 ans accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishQDdeSpirCreathtm

10 Ibid ldquo[A]ll spiritual substances are intellectual Now the potency of each individual thing is such as its perfection is found to be for a proper act requires its own proper potency Now the perfection of any intellectual substance insofar as it is intellectual is intelligible because it is in the intellect The sort of potency then that we must seek in spiritual substances is one that is proportionate to the reception of an intelligible form Now the potency of prime matter is not of

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

8 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

consistent with his contention that prime matter is pure potency will be discussed later but for now it suffices to say that Thomas views prime matter as the basic capacity to receive a substantial form

Throughout his writings Thomas makes an important distinction between two types of prime matter that in the order of nature and that in the order of time Prime matter in the order of nature is completely formless and functions more as a metaphysically constructed boundary or limit for existence Thomas views this type of prime matter as that which would be the result of removing all form from a natural being11 This type is to be contrasted with prime matter in the order of time which serves as a building block for more complex physical things Thomas acknowledges this type of prime matter in part because of his uncertainty regarding the eternity of the world he reasons that if the world is not eternal there must have been some point in time when the most primitive of materialmdasheven more primitive than the elementsmdashwas not yet formed into distinct entities Prime matter in the order of time therefore serves as the unique source for physical existents and it follows that if the world is eternal so is prime matter12 However if prime matter is to be considered as such it must have some form as Thomas concedes13 Insofar as prime matter exists in the physical world it does not constitute a capacity to receive any and all forms the very fact that it exists in the temporal order means that it is already constrained to a particular order a particular way of being The prime matter in water for instance has no capacity to be changed

this sort for prime matter receives form by contracting it to the individual being But an intelligible form is in the intellect without any such contraction for thus the intellect understands each intelligible as its form is in it Now the intellect understands the intelligible chiefly according to a common and universal nature and so the intelligible form is in the intellect according to its universality (secundum rationem suae communitatis) Therefore an intellectual substance is not made receptive of form by reason of prime matter but rather through a character which is in a way the opposite Hence it becomes obvious that in the case of spiritual substances the kind of prime matter which of itself is void of all species cannot be part of that substancerdquo

11 Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis II dist 12 a 4 r ldquoInsofar as it indicates the order of nature prime matter is that into which all natural bodies are ultimately reduced and must be without any formrdquo

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

8 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

consistent with his contention that prime matter is pure potency will be discussed later but for now it suffices to say that Thomas views prime matter as the basic capacity to receive a substantial form

Throughout his writings Thomas makes an important distinction between two types of prime matter that in the order of nature and that in the order of time Prime matter in the order of nature is completely formless and functions more as a metaphysically constructed boundary or limit for existence Thomas views this type of prime matter as that which would be the result of removing all form from a natural being11 This type is to be contrasted with prime matter in the order of time which serves as a building block for more complex physical things Thomas acknowledges this type of prime matter in part because of his uncertainty regarding the eternity of the world he reasons that if the world is not eternal there must have been some point in time when the most primitive of materialmdasheven more primitive than the elementsmdashwas not yet formed into distinct entities Prime matter in the order of time therefore serves as the unique source for physical existents and it follows that if the world is eternal so is prime matter12 However if prime matter is to be considered as such it must have some form as Thomas concedes13 Insofar as prime matter exists in the physical world it does not constitute a capacity to receive any and all forms the very fact that it exists in the temporal order means that it is already constrained to a particular order a particular way of being The prime matter in water for instance has no capacity to be changed

this sort for prime matter receives form by contracting it to the individual being But an intelligible form is in the intellect without any such contraction for thus the intellect understands each intelligible as its form is in it Now the intellect understands the intelligible chiefly according to a common and universal nature and so the intelligible form is in the intellect according to its universality (secundum rationem suae communitatis) Therefore an intellectual substance is not made receptive of form by reason of prime matter but rather through a character which is in a way the opposite Hence it becomes obvious that in the case of spiritual substances the kind of prime matter which of itself is void of all species cannot be part of that substancerdquo

11 Thomas Aquinas Scriptum super Sententiis II dist 12 a 4 r ldquoInsofar as it indicates the order of nature prime matter is that into which all natural bodies are ultimately reduced and must be without any formrdquo

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 9

immediately into gold (so far as modern physics can tell)14 On the other hand prime matter in the order of nature as it is an entirely metaphysical concept and never actually realized should thus allow for all formal possibilities15 In other words while it is impossible in the order of time to have matter without form it is possible in the order of nature

Because prime matter in the order of time already exhibits some determination it adds little to the discussion of pure potency and will be set aside from this point forward If either of the two types of prime matter is to be equated with pure potency it is prime matter in the order of nature Preserving the distinction between the two types of prime matter it is not difficult to see that the Thomistic corpus provides ample evidence of Thomasrsquos belief that prime matter in the order of nature is being in potency only16 Accepting this equivalence for the moment the question to be raised at this juncture is whether prime matter is the only pure potency in Thomasrsquos system Thomas himself denies this when he claims that spiritual substances possess a potency different than prime matter17 Because prime matter limits a form to a specific individual existence it cannot receive intelligible forms which when received in an intellect are never limited18 This claim suggests that another kind of pure potency exists

But is this position logically tenable Pure potency is characterized as it has been shown above by its lack of any determination or form If that is the case then one kind of pure potency cannot be distinguished from another for to distinguish one entity from another relies on some sort of determination which is absurd since pure potency by definition lacks all determination By this argument it must be the case that there is only one pure potency the source of all potency in any finite being If there is only one pure potency and prime matter is proven to be a pure

14 Mark McGovern ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical

Association 61 no 14 (1987) 224ndash25

15 Rather ironically prime matter in the order of nature is a misnomer because it itself is completely immaterial Perhaps it would be better termed ldquosource of matterrdquo or something that captures its function as origin of matter and not matter itself

16 Wippel 313ff

17 See note 10 above

18 Wippel 305ndash06

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because of its poverty on the scale of being then prime matter cannot be the source of potency for any being at all including material things like rocks plants or human beings Angels are finite and therefore do not transcend potency in any way even their relative proximity to Godmdashshould it actually be the case that they are metaphysically more proximate to Godmdashcannot compensate for the total transcendence of pure and unlimited act over them Even if their distance from pure potency is farther than that for human beings this does not negate the fact that they too rely on it for their own measure of potency Indeed pure potency suggests the ability to become anything to receive any substantial form (or privation) whether of rock plant human being or angel

III Concluding Remarks

This investigation has sought to explore whether through the lens of act and potency Thomasrsquos ordered system is entirely consistent with the angelology that it begets It has been demonstrated that because pure potency must be unique and because Thomas viewed it to be identical to prime matter even the angels require it to be their source for potential being Thomas himself recognized in the loaded term ldquoprime matterrdquo dual traitsmdashone as material building block and the other as utter formlessness which one contemporary Thomist calls ldquoan ocean of indetermination that is indefinitely the samerdquo38 Yet because his system dictated that prime matter was the lowest of beings and angels nearly the highest Thomas never allowed the idea of prime matter (pure potency) to infiltrate the superior level of angelic being This perfectly ordered system beginning with pure act and ending with pure potency cannot serve as the basis for a truly philosophical proof of the existence of angels Any attempt to declare that the perfection of the universe

38 Yves Simon An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge (New York Fordham 1990) 64

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 17

demands the existence of some genus of being is to legislate a subjective order on the objective world to assert by means of inductive argument that what is logically only possible (or even probable) is certain

Bibliography Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of

Gaunilo and Anselm Translated by Thomas Williams Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001

Barron Robert E The Priority of Christ Toward a Postliberal Catholicism Grand Rapids MI Brazos 2007

Bazaacuten Bernardo Carlos ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 (2010)

Collins James The Thomistic Philosophy of the Angels Washington Catholic University of America Press 1947

Doolan Gregory ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo In Hoffman 13ndash44

Hoffman Tobias A Companion to Angels in Medieval Philosophy Edited by Tobias Hoffman Boston Brill 2012

Keck David Angels and Angelology in the Middle Ages New York Oxford 1998

Maritain Jacques Three Reformers Luther Descartes Rousseau London Sheed amp Ward 1950

Marshall George J Angels An Indexed and Partially Annotated Bibliography of Over 4300 Scholarly Books and Articles Since the 7th Century BC London McFarland 1999

McGovern Mark ldquoPrime Matter in Aquinasrdquo Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 61 no 14 (1987)

Pini Giorgio ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo In Hoffman 79ndash115

Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works Translated by Colm Luibheid New York Paulist Press 1987

Simon Yves An Introduction to the Metaphysics of Knowledge New York Fordham 1990

Thomas Aquinas De principiis naturae Translated by R A Kocourek St Paul North Central 1948 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishDePrincNaturaehtm

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

18 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

mdashmdashmdash De spiritualibus creaturis Translated by Mary C Fitzpatrick and John J Wellmuth Milwaukee Marquette University Press 1949 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomas englishQDdeSpirCreathtm

mdashmdashmdash Scriptum super Sententiis Dominican House of Studies Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorgthomasenglishSentenceshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa contra gentiles Translated by Anton C Pegis New York Hanover House 1955ndash1957 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwwwdhsprioryorg thomasenglishContraGentileshtm

mdashmdashmdash Summa theologiae Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province New York Benziger Bros 1947 Accessed February 1 2015 httpwww dhsprioryorgthomasenglishsummaindexhtml

Wippel John The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas From Finite Being to Uncreated Being Washington Catholic University of America Press 2000

Ryan McMillin is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary studying for the Archdiocese of Chicago Prior to his entry into the seminary he received a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and Statistics from Georgetown University and worked as a financial economist in Washington DC He also began working professionally as an organist in 2007 and he continues playing for liturgies at Mundelein Seminary

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis The Phoenix Hospital Medical Procedure of 2009

PATRICK RYAN SHERRARD University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

Introduction

hroughout its history the Catholic Church has steadfastly taught that abortion is an offense against human life and the dignity of the human person Pope John Paul II declared that ldquodirect

abortion that is abortion willed as an end or as a means always constitutes a grave moral disorder since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human beingrdquo1 Furthermore the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that some acts are ldquogravely illicit by reason of their object such as blasphemy and perjury murder and adultery One may not do evil so that good may result from itrdquo2 Certain moral theologians however have questioned what constitutes a ldquodirect abortionrdquo even insisting that such distinctions between direct abortion and indirect abortion (treating a pathology separate from the fetus which unintentionally causes the death of the fetus) are morally irrelevant in some circumstances

In November 2009 St Josephrsquos Hospital in Phoenix Arizona was treating a twenty-seven-year-old pregnant woman who was suffering from pulmonary hypertension The child that she was carrying was eleven weeks into term The doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital concluded that the child would not survive being carried to term and that unless the placenta was removed the mother would not survive the pregnancy The doctors then performed a procedure to remove the placenta in order to preserve the life of the mother The Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted determined that such a procedure constituted a direct abortion

1 John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_ evangelium-vitae_enhtml no 62

2 Catechism of the Catholic Church (New York Doubleday Publishing 1994) par 1756

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

20 middot A Further Analysis

in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and published in 2009 In response to this Bishop Olmsted issued a decree in which he revoked the Catholic status of St Josephrsquos Hospital However several moral theologians have disagreed with Bishop Olmstedrsquos judgment One of the most high-profile defenses of the actions of St Josephrsquos Hospital has been forwarded by M Therese Lysaught a moral theologian at Marquette University who specializes in bioethics Lysaught reviewed the case at the behest of Catholic Healthcare West the hospital system of which St Josephrsquos Hospital is a part She maintains that the procedure was in accord with the Ethical and Religious Directives because it was not a ldquodirect abortionrdquo since the childrsquos life was for all practical purposes already over The relevant directives from the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services are directives forty-five which states that ldquoabortion (that is the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permittedrdquo and number forty-seven which states that ldquooperations treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viablerdquo3 In this paper I will analyze both arguments as to whether or not the procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital constituted a direct abortion and was therefore in violation of the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Bishops Ultimately I will attempt to explain why such a procedure was morally illicit Finally I will conclude by reflecting on some pastoral principles on how to address a similar situation in the future

Case Details

The issue surrounds a twenty-seven-year-old woman who was in her eleventh week of pregnancy and suffered from ldquoa history of moderate but well-controlled pulmonary hypertensionrdquo4 As stated in Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case a consequence of pulmonary hypertension is that

3 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed (Washington DC USCCB 2009) 23

4 M Therese Lysaught ldquoMoral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 21

the heart has to exert a higher amount of pressure than is usual in order to move blood through constricted arteries in the lungs This eventually causes one of the chambers of the heart to fail5 The condition becomes exacerbated in the case of pregnancy as there is an increased volume of blood decreased blood pressure and higher heart output Lysaughtrsquos analysis states that the patient was informed that if she continued with her pregnancy then her mortality rate was ldquonear 100 percentrdquo6 The pathologies that existed in this case were not in the fetus rather they were in the right side of the heart and cardiogenic shock according to Lysaught7 Given the fact that the fetus was only eleven weeks into term and was not viable outside the womb no possibility existed for saving its life The only possibility that existed for saving the motherrsquos life was to reduce the volume of blood needed to maintain the motherrsquos body and thereby decrease the stress on the heart Doctors concluded that the only way that this was possible was by removing the placenta a shared organ between the mother and the child which maintains the pregnancy in the uterus and which was the organ responsible for the increase in blood volume and therefore stress on the heart8 The ethics committee consulting the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services approved the dilation and curettage (removal) of the placenta with the understanding that it did not constitute a ldquodirect abortionrdquo given the circumstances of the case9

Lysaughtrsquos Analysis

Lysaughtrsquos analysis of the case reaches the conclusion that no direct abortion occurred in this procedure The analysis also invokes other moral theologians who maintain that in the circumstances of the case it was morally justifiable to remove the placenta because the distinctions between ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo abortion are essentially meaningless when speaking of a life that has de facto already ended Therefore the

5 Lysaught 538

6 Ibid

7 Ibid

8 Ibid 539

9 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

22 middot A Further Analysis

only morally relevant object is to secure whatever measures are necessary to protect the life of the mother since it is only her life that is at stake

The argument defending the procedure maintains that it was not a direct abortion because the moral object of the act was not abortion but rather preserving the life of the mother Lysaughtrsquos analysis acknowledges that in Veritatis Splendor Pope John Paul II taught that abortion is an intrinsically evil act because it is ldquoincapable of being orderedrdquo to God10 However according to Lysaught ldquothe moral object of an action is determined by the proximate end deliberately chosen by the will (in conformity with reason)rdquo11 Relying on William F Murphy Jrrsquos analysis of the document Lysaught emphasizes that the moral object of an act is disconnected from being considered solely from the perspective of the physical action She acknowledges that the exterior act is ldquonot irrelevantrdquo12 It works in conjunction with the interior act (the intention) in order to determine its moral quality In order to demonstrate what she calls the ldquocomplex interplayrdquo13 of the exterior act and the interior act Lysaught cites several examples that show that the moral quality of certain actions depends on both the intent and the actual act She cites the Catholic teaching on the permissible usages of contraception Aquinasrsquo justification of self-defense and a woman choosing to endure a pregnancy that will result in her death ostensibly for martyrdom but in reality because she suffers from depression In the last case the result will essentially be tantamount to suicide which unlike martyrdom is not morally permissible14 I note these three examples that Lysaught uses because the first two would not unlike abortion be defined by the Church as intrinsically evil acts Suicide would be considered intrinsically evil by the Church however it does not fit well within the scope of Lysaughtrsquos analysis because she is trying to argue that an unjust external act (abortion) can be considered just

10 John Paul II Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 accessed November 7 2013

httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocumentshf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_ veritatis-splendor_enhtml no 80

11 Lysaught 542

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 23

given the proper intent whereas her comparison shows that a just act (martyrdom) can be considered unjust without the proper disposition (suicide) Unjust acts cannot be considered just in certain circumstances simply because there are instances in which just acts become unjust when done without the proper disposition

She also argues that later documents by the Committee on Doctrine give evidence for the fact that the Church considers the moral object of an act dependent upon the intent of the person even within the scope of terminating pregnancies She cites as evidence their language that ldquosurgical removal of the fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo or the ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo are considered by the Committee on Doctrine to be acts ldquobenefiting the health of the motherrdquo and not an abortion15

Lysaught then moves on to discuss the work of Martin Rhonheimer to counteract the argument that the principle of double effect would negate the moral viability of the action because the fetus is being treated as a means to justify the end of saving the life of the mother Rhonheimer specifically discusses the question of whether or not a motherrsquos life can justifiably be saved by abortion in a situation in which the fetus will surely die in any outcome in his text Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Rhonheimer says that ldquothe concept of injustice which is at the foundation of the prohibition of killing is no longer comprehensible in these extreme cases hellip Killing as a morally reprehensible act hellip is not even an issuerdquo16 Abortion in this case ldquodoes not involve a decision against the life of another no one is killed but one is saved and the other is allowed to die without anyone being held responsible for in truth nothing can be donerdquo17 Lysaught uses Rhonheimerrsquos analysis to conclude that if ldquono action can save the life of the child its death effectively falls outside the scope of the moral description of the actionrdquo18 She continues ldquoMoreover since there are not two effects one

15 Lysaught 543

16 Martin Rhonheimer Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregancies (Washington DC The Catholic University of America 2009) 13

17 Ibid 7

18 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

24 middot A Further Analysis

cannot argue that the death of the child is a means to the end of saving the life of the motherrdquo19 Rhonheimer also appeals to Aquinasrsquos justification of self-defense in which a physically evil action can be redeemed with the proper intention

Germain Grisezrsquos work in The Way of the Lord Jesus Living a Christian Life is appealed to as further justification for Lysaughtrsquos position Grisez argues

Sometimes the babyrsquos death may be accepted to save the mother Sometimes four conditions are simultaneously fulfilled (i) some pathology threatens the lives of both a pregnant woman and her child (ii) it is not safe to wait or waiting will surely result in the death of both (iii) there is no way to save the child and (iv) an operation that can save the motherrsquos life will result in the childrsquos death20

Grisez like Rhonheimer gives paramount focus to the intent of the acting person when considering the moral object of the act He argues that one can perform an abortion without intending to kill such as in the case of the treatment of a disease through abortion or giving aid to a rape victim who wants to be freed from the trauma of bringing a child to term Such acts should not be considered abortions according to Grisez but rather the treatment of a disease or an aid to a victim of rape The death of the fetus is the unintended side effect21 Grisez does not insist that these circumstances would necessarily be morally licit Rather he attempts to give the intention of the moral agent the highest value when considering the moral framework Lysaught references the work of Grisez in her conclusion asserting ldquoGrisez would therefore likely hold that the intervention enacted at St Josephrsquos ought not be categorized as a direct killing for the babyrsquos death was not intendedrdquo22

Lysaught concludes by trying to counteract arguments by the National Catholic Bioethics Center In doing so she states that if the principle of double effect is invoked (even though she argues that it should not be under Rhonheimerrsquos logic) then the placenta dilation and

19 Lysaught 543

20 Ibid 545

21 Ibid

22 Ibid

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 25

curettage should be seen as at least morally neutral23 This will be significant later as I will argue that the placenta dilation and curettage cannot be viewed as a morally neutral act because of its relationship with the fetus

In summary Lysaught argues that the traditional dichotomies of ldquodirectrdquo and ldquoindirectrdquo are inadequate when addressing the moral object of the surgical procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital Appealing to Aquinas and Veritatis Splendor Lysaught claims that it is a long-standing principle of Catholic tradition that the moral object of the act is principally determined not by its physical dynamic but by the intention of the acting person She invokes Rhonheimer to explain that the life of the fetus is of no value when considering the moral scope of the action because it ldquowas in the process of endingrdquo24 This also means that the circumstance is immune from consideration within the confines of the principle of double effect because there are not two effects in the action only one namely saving the life of the mother She also invokes Grisez to support her position that the object of the act lies in the intent of the acting person

Against Lysaughtrsquos Position The Moral Problem of the Termination of Pregnancy

Perhaps the most critical component of Lysaughtrsquos position is that the moral object of the act was not the abortion but rather saving the life of the mother She arrives at this position through a particular reading of Veritatis Splendor and Thomistic theology Lysaught cites several passages of Pope John Paul IIrsquos document consecutively attempting to highlight the primacy of the role of intent within the scope of the morality of the act She arrives at the conclusion that ldquothe moral object of the intervention was properly described as lsquosaving the life of the motherrsquordquo25 This I argue is incorrect because it centralizes the moral object of the act completely within the realm of intent and closes it off from any physical analysis whatsoever

23 Lysaught 546

24 Ibid 539

25 Ibid 546

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

26 middot A Further Analysis

Lysaught acknowledges two ideas present in Veritatis Splendor intrinsic evil and the role of the external act within the scope of the moral object However she fails to apply these concepts to her argument in any effective way ldquoSaving the life of the motherrdquo is not an act at all it is an effect of another act rendered In fact ldquosaving the life of the motherrdquo is a secondary effect to the primary effect of easing the pressure on the heart of the mother The act itself is removing the placenta (part of both the fetus and the mother) Lysaught ignores the question of the act rendered and its effect on the morality of the whole situation (the act rendered along with the intent) and she instead chooses to focus solely on intent Veritatis Splendor however disagrees with Lysaughtrsquos approach to understanding the moral object It reads ldquoA good intention is not itself sufficient but a correct choice of actions is also neededrdquo26 The document clearly delineates two elements in determining the morality of an action the intention and the action itself Lysaught seems to understand this when she quotes ldquoA proper description of the moral object then certainly includes the lsquoexterior actrsquomdashsince it is a necessary part of the moral action as a wholemdashbut it derives its properly moral content first and foremost from the proximate end deliberately chosen by the willrdquo27 Nothing in Lysaughtrsquos analysis however respects the role of the action in the moral object This is the critical error in her moral analysis of the procedure

The external action performed in the case is the removal of the placenta for the intended effect of releasing the pressure on the heart and easing the patientrsquos hypertension thereby saving her life One can certainly call the intention of saving the life of the mother good but it would be a mistake to think that that good intention completely dominates its moral object The Church is clear that some acts are incapable of being ordered to God no matter how good their intentions are These acts are called ldquointrinsically evilrdquo because they can never be justified Evangelium Vitae affirms ldquoNo circumstance no purpose no law whatsoever can make licit an act which is intrinsically illicit since it is contrary to the Law of Godrdquo28 Pope John Paul II clearly indicated that

26 Veritatis Splendor no 78

27 Lysaught 542

28 Evangelium Vitae no 62

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 27

ldquodirect abortionrdquo was such an act29 Despite the good intentions of the doctors at St Josephrsquos Hospital the procedure was evil

In order to support her point Lysaught cites several instances in which she says that the Church defines acts not in reference to their physical order but rather their intent She says that these are justified according to the principle of double effect ldquosurgical removal of a fallopian tube containing a fetusrdquo ldquosurgical removal of a cancerous uterus containing a fetusrdquo and ldquoadministration of chemotherapy or other pharmaceuticals required to treat maternal diseases or conditions which may result in fetal deathrdquo30 Lysaught however misses the reason why these instances pass the principle of double effect and why the procedure at St Josephs Hospital fails the principle of double effect In each of these instances the performed external act was an operation on a part of the body belonging solely to the mother which unintentionally but foreseeably resulted in the death of the fetus The acts themselves were morally good they treated a pathology in the womanrsquos body by removing the pathology The effects were that the mother had the pathology removed that her life was saved and that the fetus died There are two effects which passed the test of proportionality

The procedure at St Josephrsquos Hospital fails double effect because the action performed is not at least morally neutral the act performed directly destroys the life of the fetus which in the Catholic tradition equates to murder It was not performed on some environment around the fetus rather it was performed on the placenta which belongs to the fetus itself and is therefore a direct attack on it The National Catholic Bioethics Center says regarding the situation that ldquothe first and immediate action performed by the physician is the destruction of the child by crushing or dismembering it and removing it from the uterusrdquo31 Lysaught contests this point in her analysis wherein she insists that a dilation and curettage is a morally good act because it is a medical intervention However this is not accurate because the placenta is a shared organ between the mother and the fetus If the placenta belonged

29 Evangelium Vitae no 62

30 Lysaught 542

31 National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 550

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

28 middot A Further Analysis

solely to the mother like the uterus or the ovaries then the argument would be sound Since it is a shared organ it has to be seen as part of the fetus that has equal right to it Therefore acting on the placenta must be considered as acting on the fetus

In the final section of her analysis Lysaught reveals that she does not grasp the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion She maintains that ldquoin the cases of a cancerous uterus ectopic pregnancy or chemotherapy the intervention does in fact physically directly kill the child although it is understood to be lsquoindirectrsquo on the moral levelrdquo32 These treatments are not considered indirect on the moral level because their aims are treating a mother who is dying as a result of her pregnancy rather they are considered indirect on the moral level because their treatments do not involve a physical act on the fetus They involve a physical act on the mother which directly affects the fetus It is indirect on both a physical and a moral level which the St Josephrsquos procedure was not Therefore against the reasoning of Grisez who according to Lysaughtrsquos analysis held that an abortion can be accepted to save the life of the mother in certain conditions the fetusrsquos death was used as a means toward the end of saving the life of the mother and was not morally licit The National Catholic Bioethics Center confirms this in its commentary on the situation ldquoThe physician intends the death of the child as a means toward the good end of enhancing the womanrsquos healthrdquo33

Despite the fact that Lysaught invokes comparisons to cases which rely on the principle of double effect her analysis citing Rhonheimer reveals that she does not believe such an appeal to be necessary since ldquothere are not two effectsrdquo34 The reason that there are not two effects is because the fetus has basically already died as it is no longer viable This argument is both weak and disturbing for its implications on moral teaching The problem with thinking that the fetus had already died is that the fetus had not already died It was by all accounts available alive at the time of the procedure Had it not been alive the procedure would have been considered a miscarriage and it would not be morally

32 Lysaught 545ndash546

33 National Catholic Bioethics Center Commentary 550

34 Lysaught 543

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 29

questionable since the dead do not have rights like the living What makes this procedure so morally contentious is the very fact that the fetus was alive Using this same logic one can consider a patient who is near death from a terminal illness already dead when it comes to the decision of whether his organs can be used to save the life of a person in need of them Therefore according to this reasoning it would be morally licit to kill this person in order to harvest the much-needed organs since this personrsquos life is like the fetus ldquoin the process of endingrdquo35 This is not morally viable according to the Catholic Church

Pastoral Approaches to the Situation

In this process of analyzing the moral object one must not forget that at stake in the analysis of the question of whether or not to perform the given procedure are two people the mother and the child Critics of the position that removing the placenta would not be morally justifiable in the circumstance might argue that technical language and scrupulous analysis of a simple medical procedure obfuscates the core issue namely that the motherrsquos life can be preserved and the childrsquos life cannot Rhonheimer recognizing the immense difficulty of the situation maintains that allowing the mother to die purely for the purpose of allowing the child to reach a natural death is ldquosimply irrationalrdquo36 Although Rhonheimerrsquos conclusion is incorrect one can certainly understand his reasoning After all if one considers the nearly dead fetus to be of no particular value in the moral scope then allowing the mother to perish for the sake of the child not only seems irrational but possibly even devious After Bishop Olmstead stripped St Josephrsquos Hospital of its Catholic status some questioned whether or not Catholic hospitals were safe for women

I think that it is important first to give the doctors and the ethics committee at St Josephrsquos Hospital the benefit of the doubt that they were acting in good conscience The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that an individual is compelled to follow his conscience when

35 Lysaught 539

36 Rhonheimer 123

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

30 middot A Further Analysis

considering whether or not to perform a certain act37 If the doctors and the ethics committee tried to apply the principles of Catholic moral teaching to the specific circumstance and act in accord with it then they did the right thing even though they reached the wrong conclusion The Church affirms that one must always act in accord with onersquos conscience in order that one might always do what one thinks is right Even though they performed an act which is morally evil since it did not come from a malicious will but rather a poorly formed conscience their moral culpability for the action is severely reduced The Church says that for an act to be gravely sinful full knowledge of the sinful nature of the act must be present Here we should assume such knowledge was not present

So why does it make sense to allow the child to die even though doing so also causes the death of the mother It makes sense because the child has a right to die naturally No human being has the right to be the direct agent of another personrsquos death From the perspective of the hospital respecting the life of the fetus acts in accord with the first ethical directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services ldquo[Institutional health care service] must be animated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guided by the moral tradition of the Churchrdquo38 At its most basic level abortion is a violation of the moral tradition of the Church Also Catholic health care service is governed by the principle of totality that is that every person has a right to ldquophysical psychological social and spiritualrdquo care39 Catholic hospitals care for the total person The principle of totality respects our Lordrsquos words in the Gospel of Matthew ldquoDo not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hellrdquo40 The question of whether or not to perform an abortion is not just a physical question but it is also a spiritual question which has ramifications for the soul of each person involved In order to give due respect to the principal of totality one must be mindful of the spiritual well-being of everyone in the hospital patients doctors and

37 Catechism of the Catholic Church par 1778

38 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 8

39 Ibid 11

40 Matthew 1028 (NRSV)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

A Further Analysis middot 31

administrators Allowing the mother and the child to reach a natural end preserves the spiritual well-being of all involved tragic as it is

In order to care for the mother the hospital must make her as comfortable as possible while giving her as much care as she desires insofar as it also respects the rights of the child The Catholic health care organization has a responsibility to minister to her spiritual needs as well as her psychological and physical needs Special attention and pastoral skill will no doubt be required to explain to her why the surgical procedure cannot be performed

Conclusion

The decision to remove the placenta in order to alleviate the pulmonary hypertension of the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital was morally wrong Although moral theologians such as Lysaught Rhonheimer and Grisez have defended such procedures the act was in violation of the forty-fifth directive of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service The argument that such a procedure is allowed under the forty-seventh directive which allows for pathological treatment of a mother which indirectly causes an abortion is misapplied because the treatment given to the mother at St Josephrsquos Hospital directly acted on the child not on a pathological condition in the maternal environment The argument that the child should not be a morally relevant factor in the equation because its life was so close to ending and not able to be saved is unsound because it dispenses with the sacredness of human life The principle of totality stipulates that all Catholic hospitals (and all Catholic people) are called to observe demands that the whole human person is cared for which includes the body and the spirit Performing this procedure violates the principle of totality because it harms the body of the child and the spirits of those consenting persons involved In this situation the only moral action is to make the mother as comfortable as possible and tend to her physical psychological and spiritual needs while respecting the rights of the child

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

32 middot A Further Analysis

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church New York Doubleday Publishing 1994

John Paul II Evangelium Vitae Vatican Website March 25 1995 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicals documentshf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_enhtml

mdashmdashmdash Veritatis Splendor Vatican Website August 6 1993 Accessed November 7 2013 httpwwwvaticanvaholy_fatherjohn_paul_iiencyclicalsdocuments hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor_enhtml

Lysaught M Therese ldquoA Moral Analysis of Procedure at Phoenix Hospitalrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 537ndash548

National Catholic Bioethics Center ldquoCommentary on the Phoenix Hospital Situationrdquo Origins 40 (2011) 549ndash551

Rhonheimer Martin Vital Conflicts in Medical Ethics A Virtue Approach to Craniotomy and Tubal Pregnancies Washington DC Catholic University of America Press 2009

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services 5th ed Washington DC USCCB 2009

Patrick Ryan Sherrard is a deacon in his forth year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary Studying for the Archdiocese of Seattle he anticipates his priestly ordination in June of 2016 Before his studies at Mundelein Seminary he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Western Washington University and he worked as a secondary education teacher

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration Notes on the Relation of Textual Criticism to Theories of Biblical Inspiration

FRIAR JEROME MARY WESTENBERG OFM Conv University of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

extual criticism has long served Scripture as the Plautine servant to his young master who is in and out of favour but always relying on the servitor in a metaphor more contemporary it has

played the role of political back-room-boys working in darkened rooms to present their choice to the public The one who prays with studies or simply reads Sacred Scripture might do so unaware of these machinations prior to the text but cannot do so without such machinations What relation then that might subsist between textual criticism and the text itself might be assumed to hold an intrinsic interest to any occupying themselves in Scripture and in some modes this relationship has not been ignored the literature concerned with textual criticism and exegesis has been voluminous and frequently fruitful both reflexively for the art of textual criticism and for the understanding of the Scriptures themselves1 This work however has in its entirety been confined to hermeneutical concerns

Such a restriction can be understood flowing as it does from the essence of the art The nineteenth century too intoxicated with higher criticism the antics of which like those of Lucy Tantamount brought an increase of champagne in their wake had little care for the rather pedantic narrative voice the lower criticism which had none of the sparkle which enchanted nobody Yet as narrator to continue the

1 George Kilpatrick ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo in New Testament Textual

Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) See also Eugene A Nida ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo in New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger ed Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee (Oxford Clarendon Press 1981) for a discussion of areas bearing theological weight

T

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

34 middot Entropy and Inspiration

metaphor the story relied on its presence Lucy Tantamount is impossible without Huxley Moving from literary metaphor to the theological implications of this role so expressed it is evident that any theory of inspiration of Sacred Scripture will have to address textual criticism Without attempting to present such a theory this paper will point to some of the issues to be considered by any theory of inspiration through a study of individual textual loci

Inspiration

To one working within the Catholic theological tradition that Sacred Scripture is inspired cannot be open to doubt The pronouncements of the magisterium from the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council supported by the body of the Church Fathers and school men of the mediaeval period cannot be gainsaid2 While affirming the inspiration of Scripture both as a whole and in each part however there have been no definitive pronouncements as to the means by which this works The constitution issuing from Vatican II Dei Verbum comes closest when at no 11 it declares that

The divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in the text of sacred Scripture have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit For Holy Mother Church relying on the faith of the apostolic age accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments whole and entire with all their parts on the grounds that written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself To compose the sacred books God chose certain men as their author who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their faculties so that though he acted in them and by them it was as true authors

2 Newman gives an excellent summation of the history of the Churchrsquos teaching on Scriptural

inspiration to his day John Henry Newman ldquoOn the Inspiration of Scripturerdquo ed J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ (London Geoffrey Chapman 1967) See particularly 107ff in which the idea of Deus auctor is discussed For the Second Vatican Council see the next quotation

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 35

that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written and no more3

Thus certain limits are set Whatever other implications for a theory of inspiration that textual criticism might have it must be accepted that God is author4 and that although in different modes and sense of the word both texts and authors are inspired by the Holy Spirit Furthermore although Scripture is to be interpreted as a whole5 it is also affirmed that it is inspired in its parts This also disallows any theories which propose substantial revision of the text to reinforce an ldquoorthodoxrdquo point of view such as Ehrmannrsquos6

Without extending this history of theories of inspiration it might be noted that the first Vatican Council condemned any theory which saw inspiration as consisting in the Churchrsquos post factum imprimatur or as a negative quality that is that the Holy Spirit merely ensured the sacred books were free of error The discussion of theories of inspiration has of late been quieter and here those of Rahner and Schokel might be mentioned both ldquosocialrdquo theories although with differing perspectives Both agree however that as it was the Church which gave birth to the scriptures as for instance through the use of certain writings in the liturgy the inspiration can be considered as being born from and within the ecclesial community7 While safeguarding the idea of the individual author this emphasises the importance of the Church to the production of Scripture Further it should be noted that theories of inspiration to

3 Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation in Vatican Council II The

Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents ed Austin Flannery OP (Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979)

4 See Newman op cit for a discussion of the weight of this term as used from Trent to his day The Second Vatican Council referring this statement to Vatican I de fida catholica c2 must be presumed to be setting forward the same meaning intended there and hence that which Newman discusses See also the introduction to Newmanrsquos papers

5 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed (Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000) par 102 105ndash8

6 Bart D Ehrmann Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011) A discussion of his thesis is outside of the scope of this paper as its acceptance implies a Tradition which has falsified rather than preserved the readings

7 Rahner emphasises that Scripture is constitutive of what it means for the Church to be the Church and thus allows for inspiration that is not simply somehow spread throughout her members Karl Rahner Inspiration in the Bible trans Charles H Henkey (New York Herder and Herder 1961) Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration (Freiburg Herder 1961)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

36 middot Entropy and Inspiration

date have all addressed the interaction between the divine and the human in the inspired author8

Textual Criticism and Inspiration

It might be asked what place there is for textual criticism within these rubrics whether its practice enters the discussion of inspiration at all If God is author and Scripture is written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit then the only demand is to explain how this process works how the interplay between the divine and human authors might work It will be argued here that such an approach if inspiration is to have any real meaning is too simplistic for the complexities of the manuscript tradition That such significant textual critics and scholars as Marie-Joseph Lagrange have not mentioned these links is an historical accident of the discipline and not an argument against its consideration9 The endeavours of textual critics until the mid-twentieth century were directed towards an hypothetical original text It was not until Pasqualirsquos 1952 Storia della tradizione e critica del testo that the feasibility of this project came into question and as often with new ideas Pasqualirsquos suggestion won no immediate acceptance Indeed Hull notes that this aim of textual criticism is still under discussion10 Further textual critics have been reluctant to step outside the confines of their discipline and theologians to step within it

Before turning to the texts an objection might be made that textual criticism is beside the point of inspiration likening textual transmission and reconstruction to the Apostlesrsquo hearing of Christrsquos spoken word In speaking Christrsquos vocal cords vibrated producing sympathetic motion in the air and through this medium in the ears of the Apostles which

8 See Rahner op cit Luis Alonso Schoumlkel The Inspired Word trans Francis Martin OCSO

(New York Herder and Herder 1966) Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada (Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966) Schoumlkel treats the text more as text including such aspects as its literary expression and intention while Rahner is considering the idea of inspiration as a whole even if applied to Scripture

9 Marie-Joseph Lagrange Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle (Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935) This remains an invaluable treatment of textual criticism in general and as applied to the New Testament Its significance here however is its silence on our topic

10 Robert F Hull Jr The Story of the New Testament Text (Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010) chapters 8ndash9 151ff

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 37

vibrations subsequently interpreted through the proper processes of the brain became the message received by the Apostles Thus textual criticismrsquos problem becomes Crebillon filsrsquo eacutegarements du corps et de lrsquoeacutesprit that is the ordinary working of an organ no more relevant than the failure of Jeremiahrsquos voice if he caught cold This is an attractive recasting of the problem but it is by means of an imprecise metaphor The Apostle if he was not sure he had understood Christ could ask for clarification11 but is not this precisely the task set for the textual critic The true difference is that Christ was physically present to ensure the correct understanding of the Apostles His interaction with the transmission of the Gospels is the problem ensuing from a consideration of the interplay of textual criticism and inspiration the problem this paper considers

This paper then will speak to the question not whether textual criticism will alter our understanding of the Scripture but simply what account of textual criticism a theory of inspiration must give The variations in two loci will be examined Neither bears significant theological import a deliberate choice in order to remove confounding factors

Exodus 516

The first locus of textual corruption to be considered is a simple case of corruption The following are some examples of the verse

Douay-Rheims ldquoWe thy servants are beaten with whips and thy people is dealt with unjustly withalrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoTes serviteurs sont mecircme bacirctonneacutes helliprdquo (with footnote g ldquoLe texte massoreacutetique de la fin du v lsquole peacutecheacute de ton peuplersquo ne donne aucune sensrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et iniuste agitur contra populum tuumrdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoen famuli tui flagellis caedimur et populus tuus est in culpardquo

LXX ἀδικήσεις οὖν τὸν λαόν σου

11 As we see happening in the explanations of the parable of the sower

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

38 middot Entropy and Inspiration

BHS 12וחטאתעמך

A comparison of these renderings indicates firstly that the tradition of interpretation has been consistent a result unsurprising with so simply resolved a difficulty Yet at the same time it is equally apparent that the Hebrew text as it has come down to us (ldquothe sin of your peoplerdquo) does not say what the translators make of it The translators with the exception of those responsible for the Jerusalem Bible have all made the choice to read the text in a certain way that is to conjecture from what was given them an original meaning13 Their translations are strictly speaking conjectures giving what is not in the text but what they think either was there originally or what the author intended14

To this conclusion in turn several considerations might be proposed First and most convincingly it might be said with Dei Verbum no 22 that ldquothe Church from the very beginning made her own the ancient translation of the Old Testament called the Septuagintrdquo15 Although it be a stretch this can be interpreted as lending the LXX a certain level of inspiration Yet against this the Pontifical Biblical Commission has declared in The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church that ldquotranslating the Bible is already an act of exegesisrdquo16 When Dei Verbum has explicitly named the LXX a translation this latter statement should certainly cause a theorist to tread carefully in such a strong interpretation of the LXXrsquos authority Further to claim that the Churchrsquos ldquomaking her ownrdquo of the LXX as a form of inspiration is to embrace the enchantress Medea who will save her lover from his scrape with the sheep fleece only to murder his children when it is remembered that the first Vatican Council explicitly rejected such a theory of inspiration

12 Jouumlon although addressing this verse twice in his grammar writes only of the previous

words and does not speak to this aporia

13 It might in this context be urged that the LXX preserves an earlier reading which does make grammatical sense Unfortunately we have not at our disposal the means to confirm or reject such an assertion and so those scholars who follow the LXX reading are acting as if they are accepting a conjecture whether it be so or not

14 It should be noted that these are two separate alternatives each presenting a different methodology in translation and textual criticism

15 DV no 22

16 Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church (Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993) 132

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 39

The second option is to respond that the original which did bear grammatical sense was the inspired reading and it is the object of textual critics to establish such an original text17 This seems to augur well for the present circumstances there can be few who would not agree that the ldquooriginal senserdquo of the passage was something very similar to its interpretation within the tradition This turns out however to be again a false support as it admits the principle of conjecture for textual critics and thus begs the question with which we began what implications does the art have for inspiration theories There are other passages in which no one conjecture wins such consensus18 but once conjecture is allowed here it must be allowed there because howsoever ldquoevidentrdquo in this passage there is no guarantee that it is correct

Thirdly there is the option to admit conjecture by textual critics This can stand methodologically but it is this which brings in further implications for any theory of inspiration If we once admit that critics can guess19 in order to get to the original inspired text what does it mean to say with Dei Verbum that the Holy Spirit has ensured the transmission of Scripture through the ages That the critics are inspired as was the original author if to a lesser degree This in turn makes one wonder how one would know if a critic is inspired The criterion cannot be a subjective ldquomaking senserdquo as that is to make human the divine message20 Nor can it be internal coherence as such would further beg the question of the operation of inspiration in a critic who working one minute at his Euripides another at his Old Testament is acting with the same acumen with the same treatment of the text as object rather than inspired document yet is guided by the Holy Spirit in one instance not

17 Such a claim is troubling in the extreme as will be demonstrated at a later stage

18 Kilpatrick op cit discusses this entire issue

19 Howsoever ldquoeducatedrdquo the guess might be has no bearing education as Christrsquos choice of Apostles indicates is not at all correlated to inspiration

20 Which of course is not to posit a radical separation between the human and the divine merely to point out that the former cannot be made into the rule by which the latter is measured

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

40 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in the other21 Again even if this be accepted it has implications for any theory of inspiration

A fourth option might be to draw the distinction between God the primary author and the human author who brings all his finite powers to the task of writing If this be forced then the incoherence will be attributed to God requiring an explanation of its work within salvation history or to an allowance of incoherence to the human author This last seems attractive without a hint of Thessalian perfume certainly any human author will almost necessarily err as I will have made grammatical and spelling errors in writing this paper However I will proof my writing Ought we to argue that the inspired human author was not to do so Then too although there be little that is problematic in an admission that even an author working under inspiration may make errors of spelling to allow greater errors of incoherence than easily resolved spelling mistakes will be to corrode the very basis of inspiration22 To allow that a nonsensical passage has God as primary author is to move the aporia from the merely contingent modality of the text to that of divine operation

II Corinthians 616 Douay-Rheims ldquoFor you are the temple of the living Godrdquo

Jerusalem Bible ldquoOr crsquoest nous qui le sommes le temple du Dieu vivantrdquo (With footnote c ldquoVar lsquoVous qui lrsquoecirctesrsquordquo)

Clementine Vulgate ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nova Vulgata ldquoVos enim estis templum Dei vivirdquo

Nestle-Aland ἡmicroεῖς γὰρ ναὸς θεοῦ ἐσmicroεν ζῶντος

21 The question too of non-Catholic and non-Christian textual critics and their level of

inspiration is brought to the fore this will be addressed more conveniently in discussing the second passage

22 This is not to ignore other areas of Scripture in which error seems to be inherent in the message as for example in the prophecy of Zerubabelrsquos triumph by Zachariah It is rather to argue that such larger examples of ldquoincoherencerdquo can be brought into order through a legitimately Christological reading a solution which will not assist in these cases of syntactical or orthographic error

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 41

Again the versions show a discrepancy23 The Jerusalem Bible is in accord with the Greek text as established by Nestle and Aland and Merk although with textual variants indicating that the reading of the Byzantine tradition was the same as the Latin

It must first be pointed out that this passage does not require conjectural emendation With the late koine pronunciation of Greek it would have been a simple matter for a scribe to have heard ἡmicroεῖς as ὑmicroεῖς or vice-versa and then changed the verb to reflect this initial hearing The conjecture then is to decide between two alternatives rather than to divine original authorial intention

With the agreement of the Tradition East and West a case might be made that in this instance the textual critics have overstepped their bounds They have established a text which does not reflect the mind of the Church and can therefore be dismissed As noted however this is not a conjecture of the critics (although it is a decision between different readings based on the evidence before them) That is this reading did not spring from their minds fully formed It was in the early and reliable manuscript tradition The refusal of the translators of the Nova Vulgata to agree with the textual critics might be considered an expression of the Churchrsquos mind and the textrsquos privileged position within the Church particularly liturgically does argue for its adoption and thus for some criteria by which to evaluate the relationship between textual criticism and inspiration However in contrast to this the USCCB allows only the New American Bible to be used within a liturgical setting and this Bible uses the ldquowerdquo variation There is thus no clear stand taken by the magisterium on which textual tradition ought to be used in translating and hence which better represents the inspired tradition24

This leads to the question of the relation of those textual critics outside the fold to the question of inspiration That is as demonstrated in the first case there are places in which the Church seems to privilege over the traditional reading (represented by the Vulgate and the

23 Again in accord with the avowed methodology there is no great theological principle riding

on the interpretation this investigation wishing to focus entirely on the question of textual criticism has deliberately eschewed those passages which incorporating other considerations will muddy the waters of divination

24 Again this passage is unimportant but the acceptance of two differing textual traditions is clearly shown

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

42 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Byzantine text) a reading established by scholars who are not in communion with the Catholic Church Even if learning from Aphroditersquos protection of Paris we have hidden the textual critic beneath the mantle of ecclesial inspiration this protection cannot be extended to those outside the pale of ecclesial communion with Zeus we must assent to the death of our favourite allowing it ldquoto be done as it is in the nousrdquo25 Christian critics might be allowed as baptised members of the Church even if separated this argument will not hold for such critics as are not believing Thus inspiration of the textual critic even if differing in quality from that of the inspired author will not answer making inspiration an essentially meaningless concept doled out wherever it is needed as theoretical cement

Textual Criticism and its Limitations

Finally the question proposed earlier that of access to the original text must be posed On the one hand contemporary critical theory will shy from the very idea of defining let alone re-establishing an original text On the other the claims of the Church that all Scripture is inspired demand that there be such a text

The concerns then of the textual critic are both methodological and historical26 Historically speaking what is the original text Is it the manuscript from which our best traditions spring If so this still begs the question of inspiration because that manuscript itself came from somewhere following a tradition we cannot access at all If it is that written by the author what are we to say of for instance the ldquoextendedrdquo ending to the Gospel of St Mark Which for a textual critic is to be the ldquooriginalrdquo

For a Catholic theologian the first definition while it might be theoretically satisfying on a critical level begs the question again of inspiration as we have no means of tracking the tradition from the apostolic autograph to the manuscript from which the other traditions branch and as the second instance demonstrates it cannot be assumed that that manuscript is synonymous with the apostolic autograph The

25 Iliad 22185

26 See Hull for a more full discussion of this point

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 43

easy answer that Tradition safeguards the inspiration will not work here either as Tradition represented by the Apostolic traditions of the East and West has preserved one text and then has apparently in the liturgical use of the New American Bible abandoned it for another

This clarification brings with it a further suggestion that Tradition can safeguard the essential meaning while remaining more Adam Smith towards the text To adopt such a theory is to posit an abstract ldquomeaningrdquo which exists somehow separately from the texts in which it is contained and thus to propose two tiers of revelation and to deny its incarnational quality appearing within a certain temporal and cultural context

Again even if an original manuscript be posited and be accessible to the critic this could only apply to the New Testament and some of the later books of the Old Testament Sirach for example The social and cultural context of the early and middle first millennium Canaan does not support the idea of an author sitting down to write a text nor particularly in the case of the prophets does the state of the text support such a conjecture27 Thus any theory of inspiration even if it manage to avoid the action of textual criticism in the New Testament will be forced to take account of it in the Old

Conclusion

Textual criticism has been and will always be indispensable within our contingent reality in the work of the Holy Spirit to speak to the people of God through Scripture Thus any theory seeking to explain how the Holy Spirit works must take into account the problems specific to the discipline of textual criticism This paper has provided at least some preliminary notes towards these considerations

First a theory must define that which is specially inspired having God as author and that which is safeguarded in the distinction given within Dei Verbum This requires the input of textual criticism to decide what is accessible to humanity as that which cannot be accessed cannot

27 This is not to reject the idea of a single original and inspired work from which our tradition

dates it is merely to point out that the idea of authorship was very different in that time and place and that this will impact our theory of inspiration as related to textual criticism

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

44 middot Entropy and Inspiration

in any real sense be spoken of as an inspired gift of God As Rahner wrote ldquoGod does not write books for himself alonerdquo28

Secondly a theory must address the issue of conjecture Is it to be allowed29 If it is not does it follow that God as author has inspired a nonsensical passage While this might be attributed to the failings of the human using his human faculties it is still to beg the question of inspiration as Scripture is inspired in its whole and parts If it be allowed under what circumstances can it be allowed and how do these conjectures themselves inspired or uninspired relate to the inspired text in which they are embedded

Thirdly those cases in which mutually exclusive readings are both sanctified by Tradition must be explained safeguarding both the inspiration of the text and the validity of the Tradition Again that these be in areas without theological import is to miss the point For in the first place we have no guarantee that even if there be no variation in areas of theological import (an assertion which will not be debated here) such will not appear in future In the second place the principle must still be addressed by any logically coherent theory of inspiration even if concretely it produces little real effect

It must be reaffirmed that the purpose of this paper is not to disallow or to argue against the inspiration of Sacred Scripture This is incontrovertible and ought to be accepted joyfully by every Catholic theologian as an example of Godrsquos care and loving shepherding of his people yet it is no excuse for timid shying away from difficulties If the argument has seemed more destructive than constructive that is proper to its nature as an attempt to set forth some preliminary requirements for any future edifice preface to the founding of Eternal Rome ldquoin whose temples we are never far from Godrdquo

Finally although no theory will be proposed in this paper it seems to the author that fruitful research incorporating these notes might take the practice of the Church Fathers particularly Origen and St

28 Rahner op cit 52

29 Kilpatrick makes a good case for the existence already of 2nd century conjectures within the NT text although simultaneously disallowing most contemporary conjectures

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

Entropy and Inspiration middot 45

Jerome30 together with the statements Dei Verbum that it is the deeds and words of Christ that are Revelation and the Catechism that we are a religion not of the book but of the Word and that that Word is the person Jesus Christ If this be so then every word every gesture of his was expressive of Revelation We have the assurance of the Church that that which was necessary for salvation has come down to us transmitted faithfully perhaps as the very multiplicity of Christrsquos actions allowed for a background from which the most important stood forth so the mass of manuscript readings the conjectures more or less correct are not only a necessary result of the Incarnation but by providing a negative in some areas allow textual critics the knowledge to make judgements in others If one manuscript includes a reading of Paul manifestly false and another does not while including a variation from the first which there is no particular reason to reject then that variation might be hypothesised to be a feature of the style of St Paul and the critic has gained another locus against which to judge other dubious passages Further just as those gestures were symbolic of revelation rather than revelation (which is the person of Christ alone) so these aporia might themselves be read as a symbolic language necessarily entailed by the Incarnation31 The construction of such a grammar is well outside the bounds of this paper which is only to drive Aeneas from Troy May his mother and the Churchrsquos Mary the true Uirgo Dei Genetrix guide him to the eternal hills

Bibliography Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd ed Washington DC Libreria Editrice Vaticana-

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 2000

30 Rousseaursquos paper ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo provides some

excellent material for such a discussion In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium ed Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer (Boston Brill 2015)

31 Although Kilpatrick does not put forth this theory nor would I impute to him support for it it ought to be acknowledged that the germ lay in his discussion of the preservation in every case of the original reading at any point in our manuscript tradition ndash a point which in itself deserves separate discussion

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

46 middot Entropy and Inspiration

Ehrmann Bart D Orthodox Corruption of Scripture The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament New York Oxford University Press 1993 2011

Hull Robert F Jr The Story of the New Testament Text Atlanta The Society of Biblical Literature 2010

Kilpatrick George ldquoConjectural Emendation in the New Testamentrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in Honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Lagrange Marie-Joseph Introduction agrave lrsquoeacutetude du Nouveau Testament deuxieacuteme partie Critique Textuelle Paris Librairie Lecoffre 1935

Newman John Henry On the Inspiration of Scripture Edited by J Derek Holmes and Robert Murray SJ London Geoffrey Chapman 1967

Nida Eugene A ldquoNew Testament Greek Text in the Third Worldrdquo In New Testament Textual Criticism Essays in honour of Bruce M Metzger Edited by Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D Fee Oxford Clarendon Press 1981

Pontifical Biblical Commission The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church Boston MA Pauline Books amp Media 1993

Rahner Karl Inspiration in the Bible Translated by Charles H Henkey New York Herder and Herder 1961 Originally published as Uber die Schriftinspiration Freiburg Herder 1961

Rousseau Philip ldquoJerome as Priest Exegete and lsquoMan of the Churchrsquordquo In Christians Shaping Identity from the Roman Empire to Byzantium 186-207 Edited by Geoffrey D Dunn and Wendy Mayer Boston Brill 2015

Schoumlkel Luis Alonso The Inspired Word Translated by Francis Martin OCSO New York Herder and Herder 1966 Originally published as La Palabra Inspirada Barcelona Editorial Herder SA 1966

Second Vatican Council ldquoDogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelationrdquo In Vatican Council II The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents Edited by Austin Flannery OP Northport NY Costello Publishing Company 1979

Friar Jerome Mary Westenberg OFM Conv is a member of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and he is currently in his first year of theology studies at Mundelein Seminary A native of Australia he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Classical Languages from the University of New England in Australia before serving as a political advisor to the Minster of Immigration and the Minister for the Aged Care and Disability of the Australian government Additionally he served as an advisor to the Conservative Party in the Greater London Assembly

A publication ofUniversity of Saint Mary of the LakeMundelein Seminary

1000 E Maple Ave Mundelein IL 60060wwwusmledu

ldquoIn order that they may illumine the mysteries of salvation as completely as possible [seminarians] should learn to penetrate them more deeply and to perceive their interconnectionsrdquo

mdash OPTATAM TOTIUS NO 16

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

10 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

potency it must be that the two are indistinguishable and that no other potency in this purest form may exist This will have consequences for Thomasrsquos angelology

II Application to Angelology The Existence and Nature of Angels

Having briefly sketched Thomasrsquos ordered metaphysical system from the perspective of act and potency we can now concentrate on arguably the most intriguing stratum in that system the angels19 First to be considered is how the notion of perfection contributes to his proofs for the existence of angels themselves act-potency composites Following this will be a discussion of the generation of angels in light of our assertion that prime matter is the only pure potency in the system

Thomasrsquos angelology cannot be understood without an appreciation for his highly ordered metaphysics Indeed order and perfection are integral if the existence of separated substances20 is to be proven using only philosophical and not theological means Thomas offers three proofs21 for the existence of angels in his De spiritualibus creaturis each of which is consequent upon the notion of perfection of the metaphysical

19 Although more properly the Intelligences are the subject of philosophical analysis and the

angels of theological analysis I opt here and henceforth following Thomasrsquos own attribution of the identity of the angels and the Intelligences to use only the term ldquoangelrdquo See Doolan ldquoAquinas on the Demonstrability of Angelsrdquo in Hoffman 28 for a discussion of this

20 In using the term separated substance here I am acknowledging the subtle distinction between spiritual substances that do not have bodies (eg angels and disembodied souls) and spiritual substances that do have bodies (ie the embodied human soul)

21 It is worthwhile to note here Bazaacutenrsquos position on whether Thomasrsquos arguments for the existence of angels are philosophical or not Bazaacuten notes that according to Thomasrsquos standards a philosophical demonstration must be either propter quid (a priori) or quia (a posteriori) Bazaacuten claims that there are no propter quid demonstrations for the existence of angels and that the quia demonstrations that Thomas offers are rendered invalid because of their reliance on obsolete cosmology and astronomy (Bernardo Carlos Bazaacuten ldquoOn Angels and Human Beings Did Thomas Aquinas Succeed in Demonstrating the Existence of Angelsrdquo Archives drsquoHistoire Doctrinale et Litteacuteraire du Moyen Age 77 no 1 [2010] 49) On this point Doolan disagrees that Thomas believes the cosmological proofs offered to be demonstrable (Doolan 28ndash29)

Bazaacuten characterizes the arguments from De spiritualibus creaturis as theological arguments (73ndash76) though Doolan raises issue with this Bazaacuten cites Thomasrsquos implicit reference to Genesis 1 in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 as evidence of a theological argument but the case can be made that Thomasrsquos reference here is only supplementary and not essential to the argument Doolan suggests that it is Neoplatonic philosophy that influenced Thomas on this notion of perfection (Doolan 19ndash20 n 17)

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 11

universe22 A metaphysical system in order to be perfect cannot lack any nature that can possibly exist23 This is the first of the three arguments for the existence of spiritual creatures that Thomas advances in the fifth article of this treatise24 The implication as Cajetan indicates is not that the perfection of the world compels creation of this or that species within one of the ontic orders but creation of at least one species in an order25 The second argument is related to the first because the metaphysical universe is perfect it must also be ordered continuously such that there exists some intermediate nature between human beings and God It is here that Thomas argues that this order depends on a certain kind of continuity the two extremesmdashsimplicity of the divinity and multiplicity of the corporealmdashmust be connected via a mean26 Not unrelated is Thomasrsquos third argument for the existence of purely spiritual substances wherein he states that the intellectual faculties of material things are imperfect because they rely on sense perception There must be a more perfect intellectual faculty prior to such imperfect faculties in the order of being in other words there exist intellects that are completely free from corporeity27

Each of these three proofs merits critique As for the first could not the defense Thomas uses against Anselmrsquos ontological argument for the existence of God be employed here as a counterargument to Thomas himself Anselmrsquos argument defines God as that than which nothing

22 Recall that the Latin perficere is ldquoto dordquo or ldquomake throughrdquo so to be perfect to Thomas is not so

much to be ideal as it is to be complete (Doolan 33)

23 Doolan 31

24 Similar proofs may be found in Cont gent but because that work pre-dates the De spir creat I will refer only to the latter unless otherwise noted

25 Doolan 36 An example of an ontic order is the immaterial world it includes all the species and genera that are immaterial

26 Doolan 31 Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ldquoIf in a genus moreover there exists something imperfect then one finds a reality antecedent to it a thing which in the order of nature is perfect in that genus for the perfect is prior in nature to the imperfect Now forms existing in matters are imperfect acts since they have not complete being Hence there are some forms that are complete acts subsisting in themselves and having a complete species But every form that subsists through itself without matter is an intellectual substance since as we have seen immunity from matter confers intelligible being Therefore there are some intellectual substances that are not united to bodies for every body has matterrdquo

27 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

12 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

greater can be thought28 Thomasmdashfollowing Anselmrsquos first critic Gaunilo of Marmoutiersmdashrejects the argument saying that the mere thought of God is not enough to guarantee his actual existence29 If this is the case then it cannot be that the actual existence of angels is guaranteed solely by the idea of a perfect universe Thomas seems to have revised the ontological argument so that the new subject is not God but the angels a perfect universe lacks no possible nature but the nature of angel (pure form) can be thought ergo the perfection of the universe requires the existence of this angelic nature that can be thought Even if the original ontological argument were to prove soundly the existence of God this modified one is presented with even greater difficulties For one why must the universe itself be perfect Surely God (Pure Act) must be perfect and therefore immutable in this system but the perfection of the universe is only possible not required Second as it deals with secondary causes (the angels) and not with an absolute self-subsistent and infinite entity Thomasrsquos ontological argument is at the start even weaker than the original30

Further even if the first proof were found to be philosophically demonstrable it would demonstrate only the existence of one angel Because Thomas rejects the concept of universal hylomorphism he is forced to admit of a distinct non-material principle of individuation for angels Suffice it to say that his theory of real distinction between essence and existence allows him to conclude that essence is what individuates angels An immediate effect of this claim is that each angel constitutes its own species and conversely that no species contains

28 Anselm of Canterbury and Gaunilo of Marmoutiers Proslogion With the Replies of Gaunilo and

Anselm (Indianapolis IN Hackett 2001) 7

29 Thomas Aquinas Summa theologiae I (Prima Pars) q 2 a 1 ad 2 ldquoPerhaps not everyone who hears this word ldquoGodrdquo understands it to signify something than which nothing greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body Yet granted that everyone understands that by this word ldquoGodrdquo is signified something than which nothing greater can be thought nevertheless it does not therefore follow that he understands that what the word signifies exists actually but only that it exists mentally Nor can it be argued that it actually exists unless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not existrdquo

30 See for instance Bazaacuten 50ndash52 73ndash74 Here he notes Thomasrsquos tendency to infer actual existence from possible existence noting that these and other demonstrations for the existence of angels are less philosophical and less rigorous than any of his demonstrations for the existence of God See also Doolan 41 and Collins 39

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 13

more than one angel31 The argument from perfection because it argues for the necessary existence of just one being in each ontic order would certainly not provide anything more than probable support for the existence of multiple angels

Bazaacuten sees in the second proof either an illogical leap or a subtle appeal to the theological authority of Pseudo-Dionysius Aristotlersquos Metaphysics traditionally has been thought to be the source of the doctrine of means between extremes the doctrine to which Thomas appeals in this proof Yet Aristotlersquos Metaphysics and Thomasrsquos Commentary on the Metaphysics discuss extremes as they relate to movement not extremes in a hierarchy of being as this second proof would suggest If this is the true source then Thomas seems to be analogizing invalidly since movement is only possible within the same genus In other words while Aristotlersquos Metaphysics details the continuity between two extremes in a genus Thomasrsquos proof here attempts to apply this intra-genus continuity to the entire metaphysical system which is logically suspect At that even if it were a sound analogy the nature of such an intermediate requires the presence of characteristics of both extremes forcing angels to be both simple and corporeal an absurdity32 Assuming that Thomas understood the appeal

31 Giorgio Pini ldquoThe Individuation of Angels from Bonaventure to Duns Scotusrdquo in Hoffmann

84ff

32 Bazaacuten 74ndash75 In note 74 Bazaacuten isolates Aquinasrsquos argument for the existence of intermediaries found in De spiritualibus creaturis a 5 ans ldquo[T]he same consideration can be arrived at in consequence of the orderly arrangement of things which is found to be such that we cannot go from one extreme to the other except through intermediates thus for instance fire is found immediately beneath ldquoheavenly bodyrdquo and beneath this air and beneath this water and beneath this earth following the sequence of the nobility and subtlety of these bodies Now at the topmost summit of things there is a being which is in every way simple and one namely God It is not possible then for corporeal substance to be located immediately below God for it is altogether composite and divisible but instead one must posit many intermediates through which we must come down from the highest point of the divine simplicity to corporeal multiplicity And among these intermediates some are corporeal substances that are not united to bodies while others on the contrary are incorporeal substances that are united to bodiesrdquo

Bazaacuten then declares Aquinasrsquos argument to be weak because of its misuse of Aristotle ldquoAristotle and Thomas state that [the extremes in the process of movement] and all the intermediaries in the process lsquoare in the same genusrsquo [emphasis original] (cf X 7 1057a20ndash21 1057a29ndash30) because lsquochange from one genus into another is impossiblersquo (1057a27ndash28) Thomas repeats this principle often lsquoOpposita [the extremes] sunt circa idemrsquo or lsquoopposita sunt unius generisrsquo If the principle is based on Aristotlersquos Metaphysics the argument is not conclusive because neither the extremes (God and the corporeal substances) nor the intermediaries (incorporeal substances) are in the same genus and because even if they were the intermediaries between the absolute simple and the corporeal substances would still have to share properties of both according to Aristotle [emphasis original]rdquo

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

14 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

to this part of the Metaphysics to be flawed in the context of the discussion of the existence of angels Bazaacuten hypothesizes that this proof is one that actually appeals to Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos ordered system and therefore lacks any philosophical credence33 To accept Bazaacutenrsquos hypothesis here is to admit that Thomas imposes order on the world based on theological presupposition

On the question of whether Thomasrsquos argument lands on the side of philosophy or theology there might be a more moderate ground that views it as coming from a philosophically theological presupposition It is true of course that Thomas viewed Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos writings to be of (apostolic) authority And it is equally true that Pseudo-Dionysiusrsquos philosophy was decidedly Neoplatonic But to what extent is Pseudo-Dionysian Neoplatonism itself a theology or at least dealing with theological principles It assumes certain premisesmdashnot revealed as those in Christian theologymdashabout the One the source of all being and goodness the God of that system34 To discuss God the ldquoGod of philosophyrdquo is still to theologize even if it occurs outside the context of an organized religion like Christianity One need not agree with Bazaacuten then that to appeal to a Neoplatonic and religious figure like Pseudo-Dionysius constitutes an appeal strictly to theology

One of the (potential) difficulties with the second proof reappears in the third proof wherein Thomas seems to extend what is applicable only to a genusmdashthis time the principle of perfectionmdashbeyond the genus itself Human intellective faculties belong to the genus animal and have as a specific difference rationality and only with a material body could they constitute a perfect human being Therefore human perfection must be essentially different from angelic perfection because it requires a matter-form composite and angelic perfection does not35

The preceding critiques offer additional insight into Thomasrsquos views on the generation of angels a topic to which he devotes relatively little attention Although he affirms the common viewpoint that angels as finite beings must be composed of act and potency he flatly rejects the

33 Bazaacuten 75

34 On the divinity of the One in his philosophy see Pseudo-Dionysius Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works trans Colm Luibheid (New York Paulist Press 1987) 56 127ndash29

35 Bazaacuten 75ndash76

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

When Ontology Meets Angelology middot 15

idea that they receive their potency from prime matter as lower creatures do Again following Pseudo-Dionysius he argues that of all finite beings the angels are closest to God and therefore are more perfect and possess more actuality than lower creatures Invoking the order of the metaphysical system he claims that because prime matter is the most incomplete and lowest of all beings the angelsmdashthe beings that are ldquoon a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquomdashhave no need for prime matter36 Elsewhere he articulates a similar view this time clearly meant to refute Avicebron

[I]t must be said that the more a thing is in act the more perfect it is whereas the more a thing is in potency the less perfect it is Now imperfect beings derive their origin from perfect beings and not conversely And hence it does not have to be the case that every thing which is in potency in any way whatever must get its potentiality from the pure potency which is matter And on this point Avicebron seems to have been deceived in his book Fons Vitae since he believed that every thing which is in potency or is a subject has this character somehow from prime matter37

Not only does the principle of perfection within the universe guarantee the existence of angels but it also demands that nothing relatively imperfect could be responsible for any part of its nature In other words pure potency in this system is far too inferior to contribute anything to a superior substance like an angel

This position is highly problematic though It destroys any possibility of accounting for angelic generation in the metaphysical system Thomas already has established Anything that actually existsmdashexcept perhaps for one thing pure actmdashmust exist as a composite of act and potency and therefore potency cannot be ignored in its determination otherwise it could never exist It has already been demonstrated that pure potency must be unique and thereby that if prime matter is equated with pure potency it must be the source for all potency If angels are composed of act and potency they must receive

36 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ans ldquoTherefore the ordered scheme of things does not in any sense imply that spiritual substances for their own actual being need prime matter which is the most incomplete of all beings but they are on a level that is far above all matter and all material thingsrdquo

37 Thomas Aquinas De spiritualibus creaturis a 1 ad 25

I N T E R C O N N E C T I O N S middot 21 middot Winter 2016

16 middot When Ontology Meets Angelology

their potency from somewhere and the only feasible option is that it comes from prime matter That a substance is material or immaterial is inconsequential both kinds of substances must receive their potential being from that which exists yet lacks all determinationmdashpure potency Moreover if the order of the universe dictates that angels cannot receive their potency from prime matter because o