Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Innocent X
From the Constitution “Cum occasione,” May 31, 1653
Errors said to have been extracted from the Augustinus of Cornelius Jansen

Source: Denzinger The Sources of Catholic Dogma 1957
Dz. 1092-1096

1. Some of God’s precepts are impossible to the just, who wish and strive to keep them, according to the present powers which they have; the grace, by which they are made possible, is also wanting.

Declared and condemned as rash, impious, blasphemous, condemned by anathema, and heretical.

2. In the state of fallen nature one never resists interior grace.

Declared and condemned as heretical.

3. In order to merit or demerit in the state of fallen nature, freedom from necessity is not required in man, but freedom from external compulsion is sufficient.

Declared and condemned as heretical.

4. The Semipelagians admitted the necessity of a prevenient interior grace for each act, even for the beginning of faith; and in this they were heretics, because they wished this grace to be such that the human will could either resistor obey.

Declared and condemned as false and heretical.

5. It is Semipelagian to say that Christ died or shed His blood for all men without exception.

Declared and condemned as false, rash, scandalous, and understood in this sense, that Christ died for the salvation of the predestined, impious, blasphemous, contumelious, dishonoring to divine piety, and heretical.


    While the propositions given may be heretical in fact, it is not clear that they were intended by Cornelius Jansen.  Eventually the Jesuits would convince the Pope to require the clergy and religious to sign a formulary, condemning the propositions and agreeing to the claim that they were found in the Augustinus. An Archbishop of Utrecht would request a copy of the Augustinus with the offending passages underlined, but such a thing could not be produced. It is one thing to say that the condemned propositions are heretical—clearly they are—but quite another thing to demand that everyone attribute them to Cornelius Jansen. As Catholics we must accept the declaration of the Pope that some idea must be believed as doctrine, or conversely must be rejected as heretical, but if, on the Pope's authority, we were to claim that the idea in question was held by a particular author we would be committing perjury if we knew it was not. But for Jesuits the situation is far simpler—in his Spiritual Exercises, the Jesuit founder, Saint Ignatius held that “we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it....”1 The Jesuit concept, then, is that words can alter reality if they come from authority! This is Modernism—we will dialogue until white becomes black! Later on, in 1827, John van Santen, the Archbishop of Utrecht, was told by the papal nuncio, Msgr. Capaccini that he must condemn Jansen out of obedience. Capaccini held the absurd notion that the father of a family could oblige his children, under obedience, to believe that a certain green table cloth was red! If fathers of families can order such falsity, certainly so could the Pope!2


1.  Cf. The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, trans. Anthony Mattola (Garden City: Image, 1964), pp. 140-141 (thirteenth rule).

2.  J.M. Neale, M.A., A History of the So-Called Jansenist Church of Holland; with a Sketch of Its Earlier Annals, And some Account of the Brothers of the Common Life (Oxford: John Henry and James Parker, 1858), p. 361-362.



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