Congregatio De Auxiliis Divinee Gratiae

Congregatio de auxiliis divinee gratiae is the name given to a commission formed by pope Clement VIII in 1598, to examine Molina's (q.v.) book entitled Concordia liberi arbitrii cum gratia. This work had been the cause of great disputes between the Jesuits and the Dominicans, and it was hoped that the investigations of the commission would settle these difficulties. The congregatio de auxiliis, after three months, decided that the Jesuits were in the wrong in most of the controverted points. Instead of submitting to this decision, that powerful order managed to inveigle the civil authorities, and even kings and emperors, into the quarrel. After colloquies between the most celebrated theologians of the two parties had led to no result, in 1602 the pope ordered the controversy to be discussed in his own presence. These transactions lasted until 1606. The Dominicans still tried to show that the doctrines of Molina were Semipelagian errors, and the Jesuits charged their opponents with Calvinistic views. Pope Clement VIII, who personally sympathized with the views of the Dominicans, resolved to read the book himself, but before he could do so he died (1605). During the conclave following his death, every cardinal had to take an oath that if elected pope he would bring the controversy, as soon as possible, to a close. The new pope, Paul V, consequently dissolved in 1607 the congregation, and in an encyclica, addressed to the generals of the Jesuits and Dominicans, and which the latter had to communicate to all the provincials of the two orders, allowed both parties to retain, teach, and defend their opinions, and forbade them to charge the other party with heresy. This decision was confirmed by a constitution of Oct. 2, 1733. Soon after the dissolution of the congregation, the general of the Jesuits prescribed that in the schools of the order a somewhat modified form of Molina's views should be taught. As some of the Jansenist theologians maintained that Paul V had, really condemned the views of Molina in a special constitution which the Jesuits had subsequently induced him not to publish, pope Innocent X in 1654 declared that such a constitution did not exist. Nevertheless, the accounts of the Dominican and Jesuit writers of the history of this congregation have never been harmonized. — Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2:786.

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