or foresight ofwhat human agents would choose to do with the help of a merely 'sufficient' grace vouchsafed to them in advance of every future contingency. The result was another ungracious set-to over grace, ending in a standoff between Jesuits on behalf of Molina and Dominicans defending the theology of Thomas Aquinas - and also a stillborn bull against Molina drafted under Paul IV that his successor Paul V declined to promulgate. But by the turn of the century when this controversy called de auxilliis took place, it would have already been hard for the papacy to change course. For meanwhile the Holy See had taken the Jesuits' side against Baius, condemning sixty and some of his propositions with one qualification or another.

So when, in 1640, yet another book by a former University of Louvain professor appeared directed against the Jesuits' 'Pelagianism' and claiming to sum up Augustine's theology of grace - Augustinus, it was entitled - it fell on nothing if not well-prepared ground. Its author, Cornelius Jansen, or Jansenius, had died two years earlier as Bishop of Ypres, remaining safely beyond the fray. But the Jesuits and their allies lost no time in falling on it and on its partisans in France, where Jansen's lifelong friend and fellow would-be reformer Jean Du Vergier de Hauranne, abbe de Saint-Cyran, had won adepts for the new Augustinian spirituality through his connections to the tentacular Arnauld family and as spiritual director to the reformed Cistercian convent of Port-Royal. As translated into penitential theology by Saint-Cyran and the Sorbonne theologian Antoine Arnauld, Jansen's ruthless reduction ofthe world of human volition to only two possible 'delectations' (one 'concupiscent' or self-interested and the other 'charitable' and directed towards God) entailed a deferral of absolution in the sacrament of penance until signs of a true turnaround motivated by charity had become evident.

Although in this doctrinal system - and in contrast to Calvinism - 'good works' rather than faith alone were necessary for salvation, the 'charitable' disposition that made them possible could be conferred by grace alone. And although the rarity of the Jansenist distribution of charity would seem to have confined the movement to a small elite, that elite was able to exploit the territorial resentments of groups adversely affected by the growing power and influence of the Society of Jesus in higher education and the confessional. By the time the great Blaise Pascal wrote his Provincial Letters in defence of Antoine Arnauld in the Sorbonne and memoranda for Parisian priests appalled by the Jesuits' 'lax' confessional conduct, Jansenism had found considerable support in both the academic and non-monastic clerical communities to say nothing of the lay judicial and lower office-owning milieu from which both Arnauld and Pascal himself had come.

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