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Seeing the need of the moment, Cajetan, though one of the world's truly great metaphysicians and a most devoted champion of Scholasticism's masterpiece, the Summa , became in a matter of two or three years a skilled exponent of the new critical exegesis. It is regrettable that most Catholic theologians, believing that only the Vulgate could serve as a basis for Catholic exegesis, refused to follow his lead, for the confusion and petty bickering among the Church's controversialist theologians prior to Trent greatly weakened the Catho- lic caus e

A Renaissance man, was largely successful
in initiating a fusion of Thomism with the New Learning-a process
which was to find perhaps its most complete expression in the Spanish
Thomist scbool. 2
It is of incalculable importance that Cajetan wrote the first sys-
tematic commentary on the Smnma of St. Thomas. But there are other
qualities about this commentary which are too often overlooked. 3 De-
termined that his commentary would not be a futile rehash of other
authors or a mere roll-call of citations from authority-the sort of
sham scholarship that had alienated the humanists-he strove above
all for originality and sound argumentation. 4 In his Prologue to the
Pars Cajetan had stated his lofty code in unequivocal terms :
I say here and in all places is circumscribed by the testimony
of reason." It was a promise he kept. Those who too readily complain
that Cajetan did not imitate the limpid simplicity of Aquinas should
evaluate the commentary in the light of Cajetan's own intention. That
we still find the commentary so helpful is a tribute to Cajetan's genius
as a thinker and a pedagogue, but it is only fair to remember that he
was writing with the needs and the tastes of a particular class of
readers in mind. That he was not entirely unsuccessful in his efforts
to woo the humanists can be seen from a letter (ca. 1521) of lavish
praise sent by Erasmus to Cajetan after he had read his opuscula on
the Eucharist, Confession and the invocation of the saints. One can
only speculate what might have been the benefits to Christendom if
Erasmus, who was all sail and no rudder, had fallen under Qijetan's
influence at an earlier time. Prior to 1517 no voice spoke with greater
authority in Europe than the voice of Erasmus.o
In the same Prologue to his commentary on the Prima Pars
Cajetan indicates yet another goal. Scotus with his subtleties and
pseudo-logic has attempted to undermine nearly every word in St.
Thomas' Prima Pars and he must be answered. Here again, unin-
formed critics have accused Cajetan of obfuscating rather than clarify-
ing St. Thomas' text. In certain instances this may well be true, but
Cajetan was, after all, defending St. Thomas from the attacks of
the Doctor Sttbt t: tis. Nor should we forget Cajetan's own acute ob-
servation that St. Thomas' Summa is suited to beginners not because
it is easy to learn, but because it is free of superfluities and repetitions,
and employs "a most beautiful order."
Though Cajetan did not devote himself to his famous Scripture
commentaries until the last ten years of his life, they form a unity

358 Dominicana
with his lifetime program of effecting a reconciliation of Scholasti-
cism and the New Learning. 6 By 1524 when Cajetan completed his
first Scriptural work, the 1 entacula, a commentary on certain basic
texts from the New Testament, the Protestant Revolt had made a
study of the Bible according to the critical apparatus of the humanists
an absolute necessity. Cajetan had the vision and wisdom to see that
the theological polemics were to center around the interpretation of
key Scripture texts. A recent Protestant study of Luther, The Revolt
of Martin Luther (1957), by the late Dr . Fife of Columbia University,
states categorically (p. 302) that it was Scholasticism more than
Church abuses which Luther wished to sweep away. Positive theol-
ogy was the new weapon being used with devastating effect by the
Reformers. Seeing the need of the moment, Cajetan, though one of
the world's truly great metaphysicians and a most devoted champion
of Scholasticism's masterpiece, the Summa , became in a matter of
two or three years a skilled exponent of the new critical exegesis. It
is regrettable that most Catholic theologians, believing that only the
Vulgate could serve as a basis for Catholic exegesis, refused to follow
his lead, for the confusion and petty bickering among the Church's
controversialist theologians prior to Trent greatly weakened the Catho-
lic caus e:
some four hundred years technical theology had been sy nonymous with
scholasticism, that is, the use in the study of dogma of the dialectical method
evolved in the twelfth century. Now the turn of the fifteenth century wit-
nessed the rise by its side, or rather in conflict with it, of positive theology
based on the study of the Scriptures, the Fathers and th e Councils in th e
original tex-ts. The old was still in conflict with the new, for no satisfactory
compromise had been reached at the moment when the innovators began to
point new weapons at traditional scholasticism as well as at the ancient
Church. While still in process of transformation theology saw itself com-
pelled to defend not only its own existence and its methods but likewise the
faith of which it had the guardianship. This accounts for the hesitation as to
whether, and to what extent, one might tactically meet the opponents in the
method of argumentation as well as for the contrast between the "modern"
and the "conservative" theologians which gave to the Catholic de fence a cer-
tain air of incoherence.7
The true scholar, in a very real sense, never leaves his childhood
behind. The quest for discovery and joy in discovering are a part of
his very self. Critical exegesis' near infinite potentialities had not
been fully tried before, and the needs of the Church made the attempt
in1perative. If God gave him the years and the strength, Cajetan the
scholar would explore the entire Bible with his new compass n(}t out
of a love of simple novelty but for the sake of . new truths to be
Cardinal Cajetan Renaissance Man 359
placed at Holy Mother Church's disposal. Mark was commented on
in twenty days; Luke in less than two months; John, on which he
lavished the most exacting care, within four months. Luke was com-
pleted on the 25th of January; Jolm was begun the very same day!
The haste and the enthusiasm are obvious, and the enthusiasm never
flagged until Isaias., chapter III, verse 8, despite crushing burdens
and ever worsening health. The needs of the Church required it, and
the spell of fascination remained unbroken.
Cajetan became, then, a most enthusiastic convert to critico-
scientific exegesis-a method entirely congenial to his scholarly nature.
Aware of the new exegetical treasure that now lay open to the
examination of Scripture scholars and which had been denied to the
Fathers of the Church, he confides to his readers his regrets that the
Fathers were restricted to commenting on the arbitrary creations of
mere translators, rather than the original texts. Cajetan saw himself
as one beginning the process of scriptural exposition afresh. He did
not, to be sure, reject out of hand the spiritual and allegorical in-
terpretations of the Fathers, but, in an age less impressed with argu-
ments from authority, it seemed best to him first to find with all
possible exactness what the Scriptures said and to build from there.
Cajetan was only too keenly aware how the recent intemperate ex-
ploitation of the allegorical and spiritual senses of Scripture had
placed Catholic exegesis in ill-repute. This alone, not to mention his
natural preferences as a skilled metaphysician, is sufficient to explain
why he handled the commentaries of the Fathers, which abounded
in allegorical and moral accommodations, a bit gingerly. In his own
words :
If we come across some fresh interpretation which, though new, yet squares
with the text under discussion, with the rest of the Bible and with the
Church's teachings, though differing from the torrent of the Fathers, we,
as critics, must in fairness be prepared to render to every one his due. Holy
alone is so authoritative that when its authors say a thing is so, we
believe them. "When I read other writers," says St. Augustine, "I do not
accept what they say simply because they say it-no matter how holy or
learned they may be." Let no one, then, reject some fresh interpretation
merely on the grounds that it does not square with what the early Fathers
have held. Let him rather e.."Xamine the passage in question, bearing in mind,
too, its context. If he then finds that the fresh interpretation harm011izes with
it, let him give thanks to God who has not limited interpretation of the Bible
to the early Fathers but has left Scripture to interpret Scripture, yet always
the interpretation of the Catholic Church.


 A Puritan in Babylon
As a Cardinal (1517-1534) Cajetan again proved a strong ad-
vocate of reform. His frugal living and busy schedule were a rebuke
to those prelates whose presence at the Curia was solely for ornamental
purposes. They felt the sting too, and considered this austere friar
peculiar and arrogant .18 Cajetan is generally regarded as deserving
the major share of the credit for the election of the high-minded
Adrian VI to the chair of Peter. In a memorial to this Pope Cajetan
proposed: (1) that the cardinals at the Curia should resign their ex-
ternal dioceses and should have a fixed income to be derived from
the contributions of the countries of which they were the protectors;
(2) bishops were to be chosen by representatives of the secular clergy;
(3) the age of ordination should be raised to thirty ;19 ( 4) all con-
ventuals, i.e., the relaxed branches of the Mendicant Orders , were to
be suppressed. This could hardly have been pleasant reading for the
more worldly of the cardinals and bishops. So, not long after his
election, Adrian VI was persuaded by the cardinals that Cajetan
should be sent as Papal Legate to Hungary-to help cope with the
latest Turkish threat, they said, but perhaps it was, as some thought,
to isolate the "foreign" Pope from such a warm supporter and re-
sourceful strategist.

364 Dominicana
Cajetan's famous encounter with Martin Luther in an earlier
embassy to Germany (1518) to raise funds for a Crusade against the
Turks, has been told in so many places and in so many ways, that
it does not bear repetition now. Suffice it to say that Cajetan's failure
to bring Luther to submission was due partly to the heresiarch's own
irrational intransigence and partly to powerful political forces beyond
the Legate's control. In his meeting with Luther (we have Luther 's
acknowledgement of it), he showed the greatest courtesy and patience.
The query of the Protestant historian Tawney concerning Luther:
emotion really an adequate substitute for reason and rhetoric for
has, after all, never been satisfactorily answered by the Re-
formation's adherents. He might also have added that Luther and
Cajetan were like pawns in an international game of power politics,
with the Pope and Frederick the Wise both more interested in the
imperial succession than in theology.
Taste for Battle
The facts of Cajetan's busy life give more than one hint that
he found skirmishes and battles a highly exhilarating experience. He
was redoubtable in scholastic disputations, and if we may believe
Flavio, whenever a "match" was announced people flocked to see
the spectacle. He was always very courteous to his opponent but in
complete self-possession and quite devastating in his dialectic. As a
young professor at Padua he led a two-pronged attack against Trom-
betta and the Scotists on the one side, and Pomponazzi and the
Averroists on the other. His metaphysical masterpiece, a commentary
on St. Thomas' De Ente et Essentia, was, in fact, written against the
Franciscan Trombetta. When by the evil inspiration of Louis XII of
France and the Emperor Maximilian, an illegitimate "ecumenical
had been convened at Pisa, Cajetan was not content to begin
writing a skillful tract in defense of papal authority which drove
that stronghold of Conciliarism, the Sorbonne, to impotent rage. 20
He also sent two commissioners to Pisa itself to stiffen the opposition
of the Dominican priory of St. Catherine the Martyr and, as far as
possible, to win back the clergy to the support of Julius II. When
the news reached Cajetan in Rome that his friars, mounted on the
roofs, had beaten back with tiles and rocks the attempt to take the
Dominican church and priory by violence, and by the example of
their military prowess had actually alienated many Pisans from the
Schism, he must have felt the deep satisfaction of the successful
tactician. Yet he always kept his very great skill as a polemicist under
tight control. Thus in his later polemics against the Protestants, and
Cardinal Cajetan Renaissance Man 365
they were relatively few, because, according to Flavio, he thought
Luther should be left to the obscurity of his German forests and
swamps rather than be talked about, he refrained from that scurrility
in which too many of his contemporaries excelled.
Caritas Christi Urget Nos
It has often been maintained that if the Council of Trent had
been held in 1520 rather than 1545 the Protestant defection might
have been stopped in its tracks. Was Cajetan as blind as most of his
contemporaries when he advised both Leo X and Clement VII against
holding a Council? It should be remembered. however, that Alexander,
Cajetan and Campeggio, the Church's best informed advisers, all
concurred in this judgment. They urged drastic reforms, under papal
initiation, as a substitute, because they feared that a Council would
mean Conciliarism and additional Schism. Then, too, none knew
better than they the power of the enemies of reform in the Papal
Curia. They would have to be disposed of first. Absolutely speaking a
Council was to be desired, but in the given circumstances it seemed
the part of prudence to explore other means.
alternate means that appealed especially to Clement VII,
driven to distraction by the spectre of a Council, was to make the most
generous concessions possible to the innovators. Cajetan was com-
missioned to help determine the measurements of this "gift-package."
His proposals (July , 1530) are startling. He recommended for Ger-
many the concession of a married clergy, and Communion in both
kinds. Further, throughout the Church the precepts regarding the
reception of the sacraments, holy days of obligation and fasting were
no longer to bind under pain of serious sin out of deference to the
Protestant attitude towards the ius humanum. He also felt there was
no need for a formal recantation by the Protestant theologians or a
formal profession of faith from the Estates if one and all simply
gave assurance that they believed all that the Church universal be-
lieve s. Cajetan was determined to sin by an excess of charity rather
than of severity. Inflexible in the face of metaphysical aberrations,
he was gentleness itself towards human inadequacy and weakness.
We might discuss Cajetan's contributions to economic theory or
develop Mayer's claim for Cajetan that he was the precursor of mod-
ern moral psychology and of the reform of the penal code, but enough
has been said to indicate something of the man's stature. Even in the
Dominican Order 's period of moral decline she showed her capacity
to produce apostolic men who met the needs of the time. The lesson
should not be lost, however, that Cajetan's Dominican life was nur-
366 Dominicana
tured in houses of reform, in isolation from those friars who were
living neither the letter nor the spirit of the Dominican Constitutions.
approached death in the bewildering and disheartening
time that lay between Wittenberg and Trent.
renewed vitality
the Church displayed in the Counter Reformation and the prolific
achievements of the Catholic Baroque culture were a Promised Land
he could only glimpse dimly from afar, if at all.
his commentary on


yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall
he find, think you, faith on earth?" we see how old-age, sickness and
the dismal scene around him set an almost despondent tone
This passage makes me apprehensive that the falling away of Christian
faith, of which we are the witness-something not in its initial stages but
far advanced-will
not be remedied but will continue to spread. I am not a
Prophet, nor am I the son
a Prophet, but we seem
be traveling head-
long towards the fulfillment of this text. A great part of
the world is cer-
tainly Mohammedan and the small
part left to
Christians is filled with so
many heresies, schisms and abuses that the number of true believers now
seems very small. Now I call true believers those who profess the Christian
faith both in words and deeds.
But Cajetan did not abandon his projects and wait in inactive gloom
for the end.
worked courageously on, knowing that out of the
barrenness of human futility a never-failing Providence had often
wrought in the Church of God the miracle of a Second Spring. 21

1 Philip Hughes, A History
Church, Volume
p. 446.
2 As the historian Philip Hughes expresses it " .
he (Cajetan) is indeed a
second Aquinas, bringing into synthesis humanism and Aristotelianism as the
thirteenth-century doctor had brought together Aristotelianism and the theology
of St. Augustine
Here is the wisdom of St. Thomas given new life, and
speaking to the Renaissance in an idiom it can understand. Here at la
the scholastic theologians was a great thinker, sensitive to all the life of his time,
his work free from all those faults which drew upon his profession the wrath
of Erasmus and the mockery of Rabelais" (ibid., pp. 476 -7).
however, by way of qualification, that Caj etan's acceptance of th
e "new learn-
was not nearly so deliberate and thoroughgoing as we see
in the case of
the Spanish Dominican Francisco Vitoria, founder of the Thomist sc hool atSalamanca. Vitoria was consciously a humanist and he made the Fathers and
Sacred Scripture, though without rejecting his scholastic background, the very
basis of his theological teaching. Vitoria's pupil, Melchior Cano, O.P. , could, in
fact, criticize Cajetan's style for its "innate obscurity" because he found it less
literary than his tastes might have liked. In his letters and the prologues to his
commentaries, etc., Cajetan showed, however, that he could ape Cicero with the
best of them.
was in 1484 that the Dominican Order had directed its Lectors to use
Cardinal Cajetan Renaissance Man 367
the Summa as their basic theological text in place of Peter Lombard's Book of
Sentences. It is of great significance that when Cajetan began his commen-
tary on the Summa he approached it precisely as a textbook rath er than as a
supplementary work; cfr. Copleston, History of Philosophy, Vol. III, p. 344.
4 Though it is hardly possible to evaluate it here, we can at least indicate
Gilson's provocative appraisal of Cardinal Cajetan:- " The commentary of
Cajetan on the Summa theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas ... is still generally
considered as the standard interpretation of Thomism. In fact, Cajetanism has
largely superseded Thomism in the teaching of the schools; Cajetan's own doc-
trine is much more Aristotelian than th at of Thomas Aquinas" ; History of
Philosophy in the Middle Ages, p. 800. "(The) attempt to purify
Thomism from Thomas Aquinas by replacing the metaphysics of the Angelic
Doctor with that of a mode rate Aristotelianism was headed for a brilliant fu-
ture; its triumph will last as long as that of Cajetan"; ibid., p. 471. In his article
et l'Exirtence," Tijdschrift voor Philosophie, June, 1953 , pp. 267-286,
Gilson says that while Cajetan does not contradict St. Thomas, in his commen-
tary on the Summa he studiously ignores the saint's metaphysical revolution
(esse as act of the form) to devote his real attention to Aristotle's notion of be-
ing. "One would have to see it to believe it." In his In De en te el cssentia Caje-
tan, according to Gilson, recapitulates St. Thomas' metaphysics but in his eluci-
dations substitutes the A ristotelian doctrine for the Thomistic one without
advertising the switch.
... libellos de Eucharistia, de confessione, et de invocatione Divorum,
in quibus mihi vehementer placuit et erudita brevitas, et disputandi sobrietas
.. ." Liber x:-civ, fol. 950 Episto/arum Erasmi. Cajetan, in turn , was strongly in-
fluenced by Erasmus in his reconstruction of the N.T. text, but he showed a
grea ter reverence for the Vulgate than did Erasmus. In a much Jess striking
degree, Cajetan also benefited fr om Lef evre d 'E taples, the French humanist-
Cajetan, in fact, hardly wrote anything at all, his De Ente el Essentia nota-
bly excepted, while a teacher. It was only as Master General and Cardinal, now
aware of the Church's real needs, that the torrent of commentaries and opuswla
really begins. When he was named a Prince of the Church he asserted in his
commentary on the 3"· Pars, then in hand, that he must now study ever more
zealously the mysteries of Christ and the sacraments of the Church; Q. 7, a. 11.
7 Hubert Jedin, A History of the Council of Trent. Vol. I, pp. 392 -3 .
s From Cajetan's Prac f. in Peulatrucl!ea as translated by Father Hugh
O.P., Bladlfr iars, Vol. 26, p. 96, ( 1945). Father Pope omitted or over-
looked the controverted phrase, "though differing from the torrent of the
which we have added. Cajetan's interpretations on the ''Bread of Life
(John VI), the ordination of the first seven deacons (Acts VI, 6),
the anointing of the sick (lam es V, 14 , 15), the materiality of the angels (Eph.
II, 2)-here he "sacrifices" his own teaching in his commentary on the Summa,
Pa7' S. Q. 50 ,-etc., shows how far he was determined to let "Scripture inter-
pret Scripture." Cfr. Voste, O.P., "Cardiualis CaictamtS Sacrae Scripturae In-
Aug eliwm, 1934. Vol. XI, pp. 491-504--"Doctrina theologica." Voste
is more instructive on this point than Alberto Colunga, O.P., " El Ca:rdenal Cay-
etm ro
y los problemas de introducio11 biblica;' Cimcia Tomista, 1918, Vol.
XVIII, pp. 21-32; 168-175, because Colunga does not discuss in detail Cajetan's
N.T. commentaries of which Voste has given a most complete analysis. It is in
the N.T. passages like the ones cited above that we can see in application what
368 Dominicana
Cajetan meant when he said that "God left Scripture to interpret Scripture, yet
always under the interpretation of the Catholic Church." When Cajetan found
that he had to surrender the testimony of the eyes to the thundering voice of tra-
dition he did yield, but not always in a graceful manner! When interpreting
XIX, 9 and I Cor. VII, 15 he expresses his astonishment, even his
stupefaction, that the torrent of the Doctors has not followed the unmistakable
meaning of Christ's own word s. It should be noted finally that while there may
be many implicit citations from the Fathers in Cajetan's commentaries, in the
crucial questions they seem often to exercise, at best, the role of restrainers
rather than of positive guides.
9 Cajetan deliberately abandoned the scholastic device of divisions and sub-
divisions found in the Scriptural commentaries of St. Bonaventure, St. Albert
and St. Thomas.
Padre Colunga concentrated on the O.T. commentaries, Voste on those
of the New where most of Cajetan's eyebrow-raising obiter-dicta are to be
11 Catharinus, a professional calumniator, who handed out abuse with a
lavish hand, accused his Dominican brother, Cajetan, of committing almost as
many errors in his Scriptural commentaries as he had spumed words.
12 The most glaring shortcoming in Cajetan's commentary is that he remains
faithful to the medieval tradition of following St. Jerome's authority in deter-
mining the authentic Canon of the Scriptures and other allied questions. Voste
feels Cajetan should have shown a greater readiness to follow the determinations
of the Council of Florence on the Scriptural Canon; Colunga maintains that the
problem was not ad equately settled until Trent. On his own Cajetan confuses
authenticity and canonicity for the O.T. books; insists that in the N.T. inspira-
tion is exclusively attached to an Apostolic office or mandate. Though he some-
times wrote his commentaries with too great swiftness, was unmoved by the
literary grace, poetry or rhetorical power of either the N. or O.T. and (because
of his scholastic background, says Colunga) inferior to Estius and Maldonatus
in his critico-historical exegesis, his commentaries remain rich theological and
exegetical sources, particularly Romans, John, Genesis especially chapters I-III,
the Sermon on the Mount, the Oralio Domi11ica. He used the most exacting care
to reconstruct the original Biblical texts, above all the Psalms.
13 Again, Cajetai1's homely appearance was h ar dly enhanced by his crossed
eyes and large nose, fortemen.t busqne. The Painter of "The Triumph of St.
has made the nose of a neighbor so prominent that it discreetly covers
Cajetan's left eye. It is not out of place to mention here as well, that if Cajetan
seemed aloof in his ordinary personal contacts, he became tran sfo rmed whenever
he played the role of a teacher. Bartholemew of Spina, a contemporary biogra-
pher, speaks of his rare liveliness in teaching. Those who are familiar with his
commentary on the Summa can testify to his friendliness and solicitude for the
14 His first encyclical letter as Master General was to be a mere nine lines.
l5 The Oratio Flavii, ostensibly a funeral oration, th ough there is reason to
believe this is a mere literary device, makes difficult reading with its ostentatious
Ciceronian ism and shower of interjections like: me H ercule, per deos immortales
and Dive Xyste (St. Cajetan !). Yet, it displays a genuine affection and venera-
tion for his master and provides precious personal detail s. Interestingly, Flavio
boasts that in the sack of Rome (1527) Charles V's mercenaries did not dare to
lay a hand on the studious, impeturbable Cajetan, who, says Flavio, retired to the
Cardinal Cajetan Renaissance Man 369
impregnable citadel of his mind. Cajetan soon ran somed himself and withdrew
to Gaeta, now his episcopal see.
16 Vincent Bandelli of th e Congregation of Observance of Lombardy as
Master General patronized this favorite son of the Congregation. Carafa,
Cardinal-Archbishop of Naples, also treated his compatriot as a promising pro-
tege. When at the death of Clen~e in 1507 Carafa made Cajetan Vicar General
he was giving the future vocals a very broad hint.
17 So Mortier in his Histoire des i\loitres Genero.ux, Vol. V, p. 206, (1911).
It also, of course, gave Leo an opportunity to show the prelates that the Pope
would initiate any general changes in Church administration. At this same
Cajetan opined that to hold that ~fary was preserved from Original Sin
was probable; that she had been cleansed, tolerable. He asked Leo X to decide.
There is no basis in fact for the statement found in both Gilson, op. cit., p. 801,
and Copleston, op. cit ., Vol. III, p. 340, that Cajetan opposed the demonstrability
of the imm or tality of the human soul at this Council. The text from l\tfansi,
co llectio 32, col. 843, which Gilson cites but does not quote, actually
says: "A nd the reverend Father, the lord Thomas, general of the Order of
Preachers, said he did not approve of th e second part of the bull commanding
philosophers to teach, by public defense, the truth of the faith." The obvious
sense of this reference is that given by ~:L H. Laur ent, O.P., "Commentaria in
De Anima Aristotelis," Angelicwn, 1938 , pp. xxxvi, xxxvi i, that Cajetan op-
posed a general directive to philosophers to discharge a function proper to theo-
logians. In 1509 , in his commentary on the De Animo, Cajetan went on record
for the last time as convinced of the demonstrability of the human soul's immor-
tality. Not until 1528 did he again broach the question in hi s commentary on
IX, 21-23 where he certainly denies that it is patient of demonstration.
There is simply no objective evidence at all to tell us what his attitude was in
1513, at the time of the Council.
18 The Curia, says Fonseca, one of Cajetan's ea rly biographers, found C'1je-
tan "non sua";s, non comis, non urbanus, sed insip,idus, sed cholericus dictus est,
singularis etiam et arrogans." Yet, by 1534 his great achievements for the Church
had won the admiration of many of the Cardinals. If he had lived longer he
might very well have succeed ed Clement VII as Pope.
19 Cajetan himself had receh·ed a special dispensation to be ordained at the
end of his twenty-second year.
"On 12 October 1511 , Thomas de Vio, the Dominican and futur e Cardi-
nal Cajetan, completed his work entitled De comparatione ouctoritotis papae et
concilii. In this book the author, not content to refute the conciliar theory, also
deals with the arguments with which Decio and th e other juridical advisers of
the minority cardinals had attempted to ju stify their action ... as well as with
the background of that theory, that is, Gerson's attribution to the Church and to
the Council of the right to co ntr ol the Pope's government. It was a momentous
event when, in the person of Cajetan, a theologian-perhaps the greatest theolo-
gian of his time-intervened in the debate and pushed the canonists aside. From
that day the question became an integral part of dogmatic theology. The reply of
Jacques Almain, a young th eologian of Paris, could no longer influence the
course of events, nor· was Cajetan's answer long delayed." Jedin, A History of
Comr cil of Trent, Vol. I , p. 114. The Paris theological faculty was later to
have its revenge, though, when it condemned ce rtain propositions drawn from
Scripture commentaries, thereby helping to prejudice the Catholic
world against Caj etan the e..-xegete for centuries, and at the same time, though
370 Dominicana
unwittingly, giving aid and comfort to the Lutheran enemy, delighted to see the
former Papal Legate to Germany in such "disrepute."
Flavio's assertion that Cajetan suggested to Julius II the holding of a
Council in Rome (Fifth Lateran) to counter the pseudo-Council at Pisa is re-
peated by Mandonnet (cfr. article on Cajetan in D.T.C.) who finds Cajetan's
suggestion most apt. But Von Pastor feels it is extremely unlikely that Cajetan
was the author of the plan.
21 A good Cajetan bibliography may be found in Gilson's History of Chn·s-
Philosophy i1~ the Middle Ages, pp. 800, 801. For the latest treatment of
Cajetan's teaching on usury and allied subjects consult the index of Noonan's
The Scholastic A1zalysis of Usu.ry, 1957. Philip Hughes in his The Refo1·mation
England, Vol. I, p." 169, discusses Cajetan's prescient ( 1517 !) treatment of the
problem of whether Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine was valid and licit:
2.. , Q. 154, a. 9. Seventeen years later it was to be Cajetan who would bring
the vacillating Clement VII to do his duty in declaring the marriage valid. It was
this same Clement of whom Loaysa, then Dominican Master General, wrote
concerning the marriage case: "I have never spoken with anyone whose sayings
were so hard to decipher." Interestingly, it was likewise Cajetan who is credited
with nerving Leo X to issue th e Bull of condemnation against Luther, E:csurge
Cajetan's most important tract written against Luther w


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