Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Alexander VIII
Decree of the Holy Office, Dec. 7, 1690
Errors of the Jansenists

Source: Denzinger The Sources of Catholic Dogma 1957
Dz. 1291-1321

1. In the state of fallen nature, for mortal [Viva: formale] sin and for demerit that liberty is sufficient by which the mortal sin or demerit was voluntary and free in its cause, namely, in original sin and in the will of Adam sinning.

2. Although there is such a thing as invincible ignorance of the law of nature, this, in the state of fallen nature, does not excuse from formal sin anyone acting out of ignorance.

3. It is not permitted to follow a (probable) opinion or among the probables the most probable.

4. Christ gave Himself for us as an oblation to God, not for the elect only, but for all the faithful only.

5. Pagans, Jews, heretics, and others of this kind do not receive in any way any influence from Jesus Christ, and so you will rightly infer from this that in them there is a bare and weak will without any sufficient grace.

6. Grace sufficient for our state is not so much useful as pernicious, so that we can justly pray: From sufficient grace deliver us, 0 Lord.

7. Every human act is a deliberate choice of God or of the world; if of God, it is love of the Father; if of the world, it is concupiscence of the flesh, that is, it is evil.

8. Of necessity, an infidel sins in every act.

9. In truth he sins who hates sin merely because of its vileness and its inconsistency with nature, without any reference to the offense to God.

10. The intention with which anyone detests evil and follows after good, merely that he may obtain heavenly glory, is not right nor pleasing to God.

11. Everything which is not in accordance with supernatural Christian faith, which works through charity, is a sin.

12. When in great sinners all love is lacking, faith also is lacking; and even if they seem to believe, their faith is not divine but human.

13. Whoever serves God even in view of an eternal reward, if he lacks charity, is not free from fault, as often as he acts even in view of his eternal reward.

14. Fear of hell is not supernatural.

15. Attrition, which is conceived through a fear of hell and punishments, with a love of benevolence for God in Himself, is not a good and supernatural motive.

16. Neither the policy nor institution of the Church has introduced the order of placing satisfaction before absolution, but the law and prescription of Christ, since the nature of the thing in a way demands that very order.

17. By that practice of absolving first the order of penance is inverted.

18. The modern custom as regards the administration of the sacrament of penance, even if the authority of many men sustains it and long duration confirms it, is nevertheless not considered by the Church as a usage but as an abuse.

19. Man ought to do penance during his whole life for original sin.

20. Confessions made to religious are generally either sacrilegious or invalid.

21. The parish priest can suspect mendicants who live on common alms, of imposing too light and unsuitable a penance or satisfaction because of the advantage or gain of some temporal aid.

22. They are to be judged sacrilegious who claim the right to receive Communion before they have done worthy penance for their sins.

23. Similarly, they must be prevented from Holy Communion, who have not yet a pure love of God, without any admixture.

24. The oblation in the Temple, which was made by the Blessed Virgin Mary on the day of her purification by means of two turtle doves, one for a holocaust and the other for sins, sufficiently testifies that she was in need of purification, and that her Son (who was being offered) was also stained with the stain of His mother, according to the words of the law.

25. It is unlawful to place in a Christian temple an image of God the Father [Viva: sedentis, sitting].

26. Praise which is offered to Mary, as Mary, is vain.

27. Sometimes baptism is valid when conferred under this form: “In the name of the Father, etc. . . ,” omitting these words: “I baptize thee.”

28. Baptism is valid when conferred by a minister who observes all the external rite and form of baptizing, but within his heart resolves, I do not intend what the Church does.

29. Futile and many times refuted is the assertion about the authority of the Roman Pontiff being superior to that of an ecumenical Council and about his infallibility in deciding questions of faith.

30. When anyone finds a doctrine clearly established in Augustine, he can absolutely hold and teach it, disregarding any bull of the pope.

31. The Bull of Urban VIII, “In Eminenti,” is false.

Condemned and prohibited as rash, scandalous, evil-sounding, injurious, close to heresy, smacking of heresy, erroneous, schismatic, and heretical respectively.


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