Category Archives: Translations

Now is the hour to rise from sleep

I will salvage something from the Advent and Christmas sermons of St. Robert Bellarmine, which I announced just the other day will not be out this year, due to focusing on his other works. What follows is his sermon from the first Sunday of Advent, posted today to give place to the celebration of St. Andrew yesterday (as well as that I would rather not post on Sunday). NB: When he says briefly in the first line, that is to be taken in a 16th century sense of “brief”.

Sermon on the Epistle for the First Sunday of Advent
Given at the university of Louvain, 1571 (to the students)
Concio II (Opera Omnia)
St. Robert Bellarmine,
Doctor of the Church
Translated by Ryan Grant (see creative commons license for all questions about copying and citing)

Now is the hour we rise from sleep: now indeed, our salvation is nearer than when we believed. -Rom. XIII.

St.Robert-Bellarmine-2We will briefly explicate this beginning of today’s Epistle, by the Lord’s help: that which, in fact, is lead into one end according to the sense of the Apostle, but is adduced to another end by the Church; to be sure it has been proposed and also fittingly established. But what was proposed by Bl. Paul when he wrote, “Now is the hour we rise from sleep: now indeed, our salvation is nearer than when we believed”? The blessed Apostle wrote to the Romans, and also wished to wake them from the sleep of sin and from negligence, but he uses two arguments to carry this out, the second of which is from a due season; the other was taken up from the proximity of the end. How, indeed, if we should wish to wake someone, wouldn’t we say to him, “Hey you! Wake up!, it is time. For the dawn appears.” But what if he should be such a man from that lot which does not care much whether dawn should appear, but rather gladly sleeps until noon, then wouldn’t we say to him: “Hey you! Get up! The time is at hand to carry out a great business – namely lunch.” The Apostle Paul first exhorts the Romans in the same manner, that they should rise, because it is the hour of rising, for “Night has passed, and moreover, day approaches.” Therefore, because the time of that great meal, which is made in heaven, is near,: “Now indeed, is our salvation nearer, than when we believed.

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St. Thomas on what to do if a member of the magisterium errs

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Bene scripsisti de me, Thoma

“Because, as a man ought to obey a lower power in those things only which are not opposed to the higher power; so even a man ought to adapt himself to the rule in all things according to its mode; on the other hand, a man ought to adapt himself to the secondary rule in those things which are not at variance with the primary rule: because in those matters in which it is at variance, it is not a rule:

On that account, one is not to give assent to the preaching of a prelate which is contrary to the faith since in this it is discordant with the primary rule. Nor through ignorance is a subject excused from the whole: since the habit of faith causes an inclination to the contrary, since it teaches necessarily of all things that pertain to salvation.”1

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Preface to De Romano Pontifice

In case anyone is wondering why I am not posting more regularly, it is because I have been hard at work on translating De Romano Pontifice. Today I am sharing an update, which I already placed on the go-fund me site, which is the full preface to the work.

It is still a work in progress, and the punctuation will be off, since when translating its natural to render the punctuation as you see it, then go back later and fix it. This isn’t so much to establish that I can do it for anyone I’m hoping will donate, as to give a preview of the work for those who have already donated (although if someone is on the fence about donating, I hope this convinces him of the former). You can read the preface here.

Aude Sapere 007 – The Bellarmine Project

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Today we talk about new publications I’m working on for Mediatrix Press, as well as the importance of the Bellarmine Project. Continue reading

St. Robert Bellarmine on judging a Pope

There are a lot of comments going about the internet attacking Cardinal Burke for his criticism of Pope Francis. Now in reality, Cardinal Burke’s criticisms have been mild, always minimizing Francis’ damage. Some have gone so far as to call Cardinal Burke Schismatic.

I wonder what they would have said about St. Robert Bellarmine, saint and Doctor of the Church, who said the following (to my knowledge, this has never been rendered into English before.

St. Robert Bellarmine makes an interesting comment in the famous chapter of De Romano Pontifice where he discusses the question of the loss of Papal office. It is in the article immediately before the one sedevacantists frequently use, namely in De Romano Pontifice, Bk II, Chapter 30:

“The third opinion is on another extreme, certainly, that a Pope cannot be deposed either through secret heresy, or through manifest heresy. This recalls and refutes Bishop Turrecremata (loc cit) [Bellarmine is noting in the previous point, citing this Bishop, where he rejects that a secret heretic can be judged] and certainly is an improbable opinion. Firstly, that a heretical Pope can be judged, is expressly held in Can. Si Papa dist. 40, and with Innocent III (serm. 2 de consec. pontif.) And what is more, in the 8th Council, (act. 7) the acts of the Roman Council under Pope Hadrian are recited, and therein contained, that Pope Honorius appears to be justly anathematized, because he had been convicted of heresy, which is the only reason permitted for inferiors to judge superiors. It must be noted, that although it is probable that Honorius was not a heretic, and that Pope Hadrian II was deceived from corrupt examples of the VI Council, and Honorius was reckoned falsely to be a heretic, nevertheless we cannot deny, in fact Hadrian with the Roman Council, nay more the whole 8th general council had sensed, in the case of heresy a Roman Pontiff can be judged. Add, what would be the most miserable condition of the Church, if she would be compelled to acknowledge a manifestly prowling wolf for a shepherd.”

St. Robert Bellarmine Translation project

StRobertBellarmineI am currently raising money to translate St. Robert Bellarmine’s works into English (works which have never been in English). This is a daunting task and requires my full time energy. It also means acquiring the funds to pay for bills and food while doing this. So this is why I have decided to raise the money to maintain myself translating. The formal site is here.

Bellarmine is one of the most important theologians since the Council of Trent, and in the manuals on nearly any discipline Bellarmine is the most frequently cited (except in morals where St. Alphonsus is more commonly cited). Bellarmine lays down principles in theology, solves problems, and heavily quoted the objections of the contemporary Protestants. He was hugely fundamental to the work of Vatican I, and an opponent of absolutist monarchy. It is one of the tragedy’s of the loss of Latin in our educated culture that Bellarmine is not accessible to most, even to bright individuals. The goal of the project is to change that.

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