La Non-violence selon l'Ecriture et la Tradition



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J. Leipoldt, eds., Der koptische Text der Kirchenordnung Hip­polyts, TU, 58 (Berlin, 1954).

28. Prier, "Les'127 Canons des ApBtres.' "

29. H. Duensing, Der aethiopische Text der Kirchenerdnung des Hippolyt (GBttingen, 1946).

30. E. Hauler, Dtdascaliae apostolorum fragments Veronensia latina (Leipzig, 1900).




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31. A. Wilmart, "Le texte Latin de la Paradosis de Saint Hipolyte," RSR, 9 ( 1919), 62-71.

32. This point can be demonstrated by a comparison with other surviving ver­sions of the same text, which also guarantees that the translator has not tried to "slant" his text.

33. Butte, La Tradition apostoloque, SCH, XI, 12-13.

34. Butte, La Tradition apostolique (1963 ed. ), 36, canon 16. H. F. Davis ("Early Christian Attitude," 478-479) vigorously asserted that it was because the Christians were not allowed to kill that "it became the official custom in Rome in the latter half of the second century to forbid . . . [them] to volunteer for certain positions." He also declared that even in the fourth century, after the empire had officially become Chris­tian and the numbers of Christians in the army had multiplied, the Church rnntinued to maintain a certain scruple about baptizing soldiers. But at the same time he contended that the Apostolic Tradition could not have applied to the case of war, be­cause (he remarked rather naively) "it would be difficult to understand how they [the Christians] could continue in service at all . . . if the prohibition to execute included killing men in battle." If we were to follow this interpretation, we should arrive at a pecular paradox: a law based on the principle of respect for human life which did not allow the believer to take the slightest responsibility;in the execution of common-law criminals but which found it normal for believers to!slaughter soldiers whom only the hazard of war had made into enemies.

35. Canon 41,(Till and Leipoldt, Der kopttschk Text, 10-11 ).

36. Canons 27 (end) and 28 (Prier, "Les `127 Canons des Ap&tres,' " 527).

37. Canons 27 (end) and 28 (Duensing, Der aethiopische Text, 44-45). In other MSS, these canons are numbered 28 and 29, or even 31 and 32.

38. Here, as later, I have italicized the words which differ from other texts of the same family, and have placed between brackets words not in the original text which I have added for clarity in translation.

39. The exact words are: "and if he has not left off, he will be rejected." These are the identical words that we encounter in the following canon. One might justi­fiably understand these words to mean that "if he does not refuse to carry out that order, he shall then not be admitted as a catechumen." But for one thing, was not the only solution for the soldier and others in the same category to give up their job before taking part in homicidal action? Furthermore, since these passages refer to someone who had already been entangled in the contradiction between the use of the sword and Christian morality, it seems that the only person to whom this could have applied was someone who at an earlier date had formally become a believer and who was dis­missed when he failed to draw the logical consequences of his Christian profession. I am therefore convinced that my translation is in fact the only possible one.

40. This is why Butte, who in his 1946 edition of the Apostolic Tradition (p. 45 n. ) had rejected the words "let him not be permitted to take the oath," restored them in his 1963 edition (pp. 36-36 n. ).

41. D'Ahs, Th~ologie, 415 n. The eighth book of the Constitutions is the one which interests us here, for it is a systematic exploitation of the Apostolic Tradition. The Constitutions especially in their first six books, depend otherwise and just as closely on the Didascalia. Since the original Greek version of the Didascalia-like that of the Tradition-has disappeared, it is extremely difficult to judge whether the two works, which were almost contemporary with each other even though they came from the opposite ends of the world of that time, were completely independent of each other. In any case, the two texts are closely linked in their common canonical descent and F. X. Funk (Didascalia et Constitutiones Apostolorum [Paderborn, 1905]) has

provided an edition of them in parallel.

42. Constitutions, VIII, 32, 10: "If a soldier comes, let him be taught to'do no injustice, to accuse no man falsely, and to be content with his allotted wages:' if he submit to those rules, let him be received; but if he refuse them, let him be rejected."

43. Ibid., II, 14, 12; see below, p. 307.

44. Butte (1963 ed.) rightly regrouped these three versions along with the Bo­hairic under the common name of "Alexandrine versions." This canonical collection from Alexandria also contains translations of the Apostolic Canons (not to be confused with those of Hippolytus), of the Apostolic Tradition, and of the Epitome of the eighth book of the Constitutions. A similar compilation is to be found in Verona MS. Bibl. cap. LV (53) published by Hauler (Didascaliae). Only the English translation of the three versions by G. Homer (The Statutes of the Apostles or Canones ecclesiastics [ London, 1904] ) and the edition of the Arabic version by J. and A. Perier (" Les ' 127 Canons des ApBtres' ") have supplied the entire texts of these three compilations, whereas Duensing as well as Till and Leipoldt (see above, nn. 27 and 29) published only those parts which interested them. The arrangement of materials in the various versions is as follows: Sahadic (Canons nos. 1-30; Tradition nos. 31-62; Epitome nos. 63-78); Arabic (Canons nos. 1-21; Tradition nos. 21-47; Epitome nos. 49-72). The canon that we are studying here is Sahidic 75, Arabic 62, and English 63 (respectively Homer, 351; Prier, 646; Horner, 208).

45. J. And A. Prier (" Les ' 127 Canons des ApBtres,' " 555) assumed that the findings of Dom R. H. Connolly (The So-called Egyptian Church Order and Derived Documents, Texts and Studies, VIII, iv [Cambridge, 1916]) were the indisputable basis for further work on these texts.

46. Dom G. Dix, ed., The Treatise on the Apostolic Tradition of St. Hippolytus of Rome, rev. Henry Chadwick (London, 1968), lxiii, lxv. See also A. G. Martimort, "La Tradition Apostolique d'Hippolyte et le rituel baptismal antique," BLE, 60 ( 1959 ), 57-62.

47. A. Salles, ed., Trois anttques rttuels de bapt~me, SCH, LIX (Paris, 1958), 7 n., 35 n. This Judaizing tendency was retained for a long time. Coquin (Les Canons, 52-53, 320-321 ) found it again in the Canons of Hippolytus (which I shall be discuss­ing) in connection with the rule which is of especial interest to us-that concerning the "sin of blood."

48. Butte's review (BTAM, 8 [ 1958], 174-176) of Salles' work was scathing. Mar­timort s assessment (see n. 46 above), which although more moderate was still highly critical, had the merit of providing the reader with a short r~sum~ of the hypothesis upon which Salles was working. Neither of these reviewers referred to the most ob­vious weakness in Salles' theory-the Ethiopic text's transparent dependence upon an earlier Arabic one-no doubt because both imagined that it was common knowledge.

49. Butte ( 1963 ed. ), 36 n.

50. Testament of Our Gord, II, 2 (ed. Cooper and Maclean, 118; ed. Rahmani, 114; ed. Nau, 62-63).

51. The Arabic translation, which was made from the Sahidic Coptic and which is all we possess, dates from as late as the thirteenth century. But a Greek original must be postulated which would date from the period indicated in the text. The sur­viving MSS of this Arabic translation are divided into three groups: the Arabic Berlin 10181 (="R"); the Nomocanon of Michael of Damiette (="d"); and the Macaire Collection ( ="m" ) of which there are numerous copies.

52. This is the reading of "R". "m" reads: "let him not be received in any case." 53. "m" simply omits the entire text between n. 52 and this.




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54. Once again, ' `m" reads, "let him not be received in any case," and thereby it refuses admission into the Church even to the "nonviolent" soldier.

55. At an early stage of his research, Coquin, arguing from the parallel text in the Constitutions (VIII, 32, 10, quoted n. 42 above), speculated that this clause might denote acting as an informer. This reference might then apply to the present canon, for the informer kills by his words as certainly as the soldier by his weapon and the magistrate by his sentence. By the time that he published his findings, however, Co­quin had returned to the explanation which Botte had given to justify the retention in the text of the Tradition of the words "he shall not take the oath," even though they are attested only by the Sahidic. As Botte (1963 ed., 37 n. ) argued, "The prohibition of the military oath (Sahidic text) must have appeared impossible in the era in which the empire had become Christian. Hence its omission [in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions]. The reading [of the Sahidic text] seems confirmed by [the Canons of Hip­polytus]: he will not utter evil words. Between the prohibition of killing and that of wearing crowns, it could not have been a question of evil conversations, but rather of words which had an idolatrous meaning." This argument is unconvincing. Although the prohibition of the oath might have seemed impossible after the empire had espoused Christianity, the words which immediately preceded these-which stated bluntly that the soldier must not obey certain of the orders of his lawful superior­must have seemed even more impossible to admit.

56. All~mat. This word can mean either a rank, a decoration, or a sum of money which is presented at a donativum. The "F" MS (a late copy which dates from the fourteenth century) repeats the word "crown": "Let those who have received a crown as a token not put the crown on their head." But this addition, which is attested by only one MS, looks too much like a clumsy explanatory interpolation for it to be retained.

57. "d" replaces these words with: "nor let him be a chief having the sword."

58. Partly because of the "d" variant quoted in n. 57 above, Coquin (Les Canons, 368 n.-369 n. ) indicated that others had speculated that the original text had been: "The Christian must not become a soldier, unless he is constrained. Let the chief having the sword not take on himself the sin of blood." See, for example, the German translation of W. Riedel (Die Kirchenrechtsquellen des Patriarchats Alexan­drien [Leipzig, 1900], 207). But Coquin remarked rightly that the translator's task is to render the text as it is not to produce a text adulterated by the translator s assump­tions of what may have been behind it.

59. Coquin, Les Canons, 367 (99)-369 (101).

60. A. Bayet, who was generally overimaginative in his interpretations of our subject, at least had the merit of seeing that "these Canons of Hippolytus, which at first we find so severe, are in reality only a softening of an older law" (Pacifisme, 77). This process becomes even clearer when we turn from the Canons to the Tradition. Of course, Hippolytus himself did not claim to be producing an original work. So probably the Ethiopian versions of the Tradition, like the "m" reading of the Canons, are an echo of the historical starting point of this development.

61. Coquin, Ges Canons, 322 (54). , 62. Cooper and Maclean, The Testament of Our Lord, 209.

63. Cadoux (Early Christian Attitude, 238) remarked that "the silence of the Synod of Illiberis [Elvira] on the legitimacy of military service is significant." But I do not grasp what he thought the significance to be. Cf. J. Gaudemet, "E1vire," DHGE, XV (1963), cols. 317-348.

64. Hefel~, I, i, 252. [Because of the authoritative character of Leclereq's French edition, we have preferred it to the English translation of W. R. Clark, et al. (A His­

tort' of the Christian Councils, 5 vols. [ Edinburgh, 1871-1896] ). ]

65. A. W. W. Dale, The Synod of Elvira and Christian Life in the Fourth Century (London, 1882), 234. r '

66. Basil of Caesarea, Homilies on the Psalms, 61, 4. , .

67. Obviously this admission by Basil may seem to reinforce the thesis against which I am arguing-that conscientious 0bjection was a late development. But for the proponents of this thesis, "late" means the end of the third century, not the latter }lalf of the fourth century; and in any case, I have elsewhere demonstrated that those who argue in this way are wrong. The testimony of St. Basil, who incorrectly believed that he was contradicting the traditional position, and who nevertheless took his stance be­cause of faithfulness to the gospel, thereby becomes all the more authoritative.

68. Basil, Ep., 188 (canonica prima), 13. Earlier in the letter Basil had prepared the ground for this conclusion by discussing various cases of murder which, he stressed, were obviously more serious when intentional than when unintentional. He continued: "He who makes use of a sword or any other such weapon has no excuse.

. . And again entirely voluntary and admitting of no doubt are, for instance, the acts ~f robbers and the attacks of soldiers. For the former kill for the sake of money and to avoid exposure, and men in warfare proceed to slaughter openly, proposing neither to terrify nor to chastise but to kill their opponents" (Ibid., 8). In this penetrating criticism of the "direction of intention," Basil, reversing the usual argument, placed the soldier-killer even lower in the hierarchy of murder than bandits and perpetrators of crimes of passion.

69. Balsamon, Commentary on the Canons, canon 13, II, 65.

70. Ibid., 70.,See G. Fritz, "Service militaire," DTC, XIV (1941), col. 1980. The Greek text of these different passages from Basil and Balsamon is reproduced by Giet, Ges Ides, 167-169. L. Arpee (A History of Armenian Christianity [New York, 1946], 189), after noting the wary attitude of the Church toward soldiers, remarked that this was not the case with the Armenian Church-which, in fact, canonized all those who fell in the tragic defeat of Avarair in 451. But Arpee also cited a canon of St. Isaac which refused communion to soldiers as well as to drunkards and other disreputables. This provision is unique in the corpus of Armenian religious literature; but its extremely late date (426) makes it noteworthy.

71. Quoted in Hefel~, I, i, 591. See also E. Vacandard, "La Question du Service militaire," 159 n.: "[This canon] deals only with soldiers who had been expelled for their Christian feelings and who had then betrayed their faith by returning into the service under Licinius." Nevertheless, later in the fourth century Popes Damasus and Siricius understood the canon in exactly the same way as Fritz has done recently (see pp. 152, 190). It is hard to comprehend how Jean Gaudemet (L'Eglise Bans 1' Empire romain (IV e-V'' si~cles], Histoire du Droit et des Institutions de 1'Eglise d'Occident, III [ Paris, 1958], 141 n. ) can have failed to reach a similar understanding of it.



72. DTC, XIV, col. 1978: "The canon did not forbid the Christian to be a soldier. It recalled the ancient rule which forbade him to be one voluntarily." See also Lorson, Defense, 35.

73. Hefele, I, i, 592. Bayet (Pacifisme, 189) offered a different explanation. Ac­cording to him, this canon was directed at those who had consistently refused to serve under Licinius but who w0uld have liked to serve again under a Christian emperor­Constantine. Thus interpreted, canon 12 would imply an indirect but genuine anti­militarism. Although it admittedly conceded the right of soldiers to remain in the army, it condemned those who, having left the service under special circumstances, wanted to return to it once these circumstances had changed. It is true that this in­terpretation is the one which flows most naturally from the verbal construction of the




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sentence. But it does not fit properly with the canon's psychological context. And in any case, Bayet misunderstood Hefele', citing him as the authority for his interpreta­tion despite the fact that Hefel~'s position was diametrically opposed to Bayet's.

74. [J. Gaudemet (Conciles Caulois du IV a Si~cle SCH, CCXLI [Paris, 1977], 48-49) gives the text, with a new French translation, of the Canons of Arles, with com­ment. ]

75. L. Sturzo (Church and State [Notre Dame, 1962], 33), having recalled Constantine's essential role in this synod, wrote: "This Council, acting on his inspira­tion, blamed the anti-militarism of Christians as prejudicial to the empire."

76. G. Bardy, "Arles (Conciles d')," Catholicisme, I (1948), col. 838. For similar interpretations see Babut, L'Adoration, 20; Bayet, Pacifisme, 124; Harnack, Militia Christi, 88; Delaruelle, Latreille, and Palanque, Histoire du Catholicisme, I, 43. All of these, however, detected in the canon a departure from former teaching which the author of the passage in Catholtclsme failed to recognize.

77. E.g., Paris, Bibliotheque rationale, cod. lat. 12097 and 1452, as well as in the MSS of Cologne and Albi. All four of these MSS have many other omissions as well. 78. E.g., Toulouse Biblioth~que municipale, cod. 364, which dates from before

666, has bellum as a correction in its margin.

79. Cardinal C. J. von Hefel~, in the first German edition of his Concilienge­schichte ([Freiburg/Breisgau, 1855], I, 186), and Bigelmair (Beteiligung, 182) were not adverse to this interpretation, which was also favored by Cooper and Maclean (Testament of Our Lord, 209) and defended vigorously by De Jong (Dtenstweigering, 55). Bayet (Pacifisme, 8-9), on the other hand, mentions it only to ridicule it. The second German edition of Hefel~'s Conciliengeschichte (I, 206), as well as the French translation by H. Leclercq ([Paris, 1907], I, i, 283), follow the interpretation which I shall discuss below, according to which canon 3 did indeed refer to possible desertions and condemned them because of the advent of peace between Church and state.

80. Dale, Synod of Elvira, 238 ff., 281.

81. Harnack, Militia Christi, 88. Kaufmann (Handbuch, 114) was of the same opinion. Le Blant (Manuel d'Epigraphte, 15n.) indicated that, despite the fact that he had at first supported this position, he had been led by a close comparison of this canon with Roman juridical texts to recognize that "the Council of Arles speaks of desertions in time of peace as opposed to those which might take place in wartime."

82. H. F. Secr~tan, "Le Christianisme des Premiers Si~cles et le Service militaire," RTP, 2 (1914), 364.

83. Ibtd., 360. Fritz ("Service militaire," col. 1977) vigorously upheld this in­terpretation; but he acknowledged that "this attitude of the Council of Arles can be characterized as bizarre." He was keenly aware of the unity of the movement which extended from Tertullian to St. Basil, and which passed without interruption through the Apostolic Tradition, the soldier saints, and the Arles decision. See also Rordorf, "Tertullians Beurteilung," 121.

84. Vanderpol, La Doctrine scolastique, 116.

85. This attitude, alas, still lives on. For example, M. Villey, in his review of the French edition of the present book (RHDF, 40 [ 1962], 268), after reciting my explana­tion of the words in pace, commented: "M. Hornus would conclude a contrario Erom this that desertion in time of war was authorized. Such an interpretation seems to me to defy sense: what would be the use of military service in time of peace, if it were to be followed by refusal to take part in war?" Such a position would indeed be useless to the state, and I am not personally advocating it as a sound ethical stance. But this has been-and still is-the solution that "reasonable people" within the Church keep urging upon young men who hear the inner call to refuse to participate in bloodshed.

In this way endless "disagreements" can allegedly be avoided without violating anyone's ethical principles.

My interpretation of the meaning of the Arles wording in pace was also that of von Campenhausen ("Christians and Military Service," 168 n. ), who summed up the position of the Christians of the last years of the third century as follows: "Soldiers who are Christians never actually enter the field of battle, even if the emperor de­mands it" (Ibid., 165). Gerest ("Les premiers chr~tiens," 16 n.) also wrote: "It is perhaps necessary to introduce a distinction between the fact of serving and the fact of fighting (see the canons of Hippolytus and of the Council of Arles). Such a distinc­tion would not have been absurd; during the third century one could remain in the army without taking part in fighting." Cf. the pungent comment of Ramsay Mac­Mullen, "Many a recruit need never have struck a blow in anger, outside of a tavern" (Soldier and Civilian in the Later Roman Empire [Cambridge, Mass., 1963], v).

86. Cooper and Maclean (Testament of Our Lord, 208) provided an illustration of concessions which invariably lead to still other concessions once one has started to make them: "The Constitution of the Egyptian Church [i.e., the Apostolic Tradition] has almost the same rule as the Testament [of our Lord), one which seems impossible to put in practice, that Christians are not to become soldiers. And yet the Constitu­tions of the Egyptian Church probably represents a code actually in existence. The Canons of Hippolytus rule is hardly less impracticable. For how can a soldier help kill­ing an enemy in war?"

87. Augustine, Discourse on the Psalms, 124, 7.

88. Tertullian himself suggested this argument (Apol., 37, 5): "For what war should we not have been fit and ready even if unequal in forces-we who are so glad to be butchered-were it not, of course, that in our doctrine we are given ampler liberty to be killed than to kill?"

89. See Chap. 4 above, pp. 155-157.

90. We should not forget that Lactantius, although he at times was quite as much of a "concordat man" as Eusebius, was also capable of courageous affirmations (Dlo. Institutiones, VI, 20, 10, which I quoted on p. 116 above). With reference to these passages, D,AI~s (Th~ologie, 416) wrote: "One may regard as exceptional the opinion of Lactantius, who also proscribed for the Christian the profession of arms." We now know that initially all the Church Fathers shared this "exceptional opinion."

91. Eusebius, HE, IX, 8, 2 and 4. 92. Ibid., IX, 9, 1.

93. Ibid., IX, 9, 2; see also IX, 11, 9. 94. Ibid., IX, 11, 2-7.

95. Ibid., IX, 11, 5. 96. Ibid., IX, 10, 13.

97. Eusebius, Vita, II, 16.

98. Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., 46. In his edition of this text, J. Moreau (SCH, XXXIX, ii, 450) showed that this prayer, which Eusebius afterwards attributed to Constantine, has a distinctly Christian coloration, even though it remained am­biguous enough also to be acceptable to pagan soldiers. Moreau also quoted, text of a similar nature from the Martyrdom of St. Basil of Amasea: "Licinius, therefore, up­held by the almighty hand of our Lord Jesus Christ, gained the victory over Ma­ximinius."

99. See above, p. 171., Cf. Harnack, Militia Christi, 91, and Cadoux, Early Christian Attitude, 260.

100. Bavaud, " Les premiers chr~tiens."

101. Courcelle, Histoire, 13. Some of Courcelle's reservations to this statement


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are, however, astonishing (see 13 n. ).

102. Ambrose of Milan, De Off., II, 15, 71; II, 28, 136; III, 13, 14.

103. Ibid., I, 27, 129. See also Chenu, "L'Evolution," 84-86, which lays particular stress on Augustine's feeling of "Romanity" (romanitas).

104. Sturzo, Church and State, 46.

105. M. Villey (RHDF, 40 [1962], 268) noted, "I find it hard to conceive of a breach as complete as M. Hornus supposes between Augustine's doctrine of war and the preceding Christian tradition." But on this very point G. S. Windass (Christianity Versus Violence [London, 1964], 80) has indicated clearly that "St. Augustine's thought about war . . . was in a state of tension. On the one hand, he felt bound to concede, with the world, that it was possible to fight in war and yet to be a Christian; but on the other hand, he was always aware that the early Christian tradition was an important part of himself, and the teaching and example of Christ in the Scriptures, pulled in another direction." See also ibid., 88, in which Windass reminds the reader of St. Augustine's classical denial of the right of "legitimate self-defence."

106. Both robberies and kingdoms, Augustine explained, have their leaders, their agreements, and their laws. This is a disconcerting idea for those who make the "maintenance of order" to be the supreme virtue of the state. For although there can be a good order, there is also an "order" which is nothing more than a well-organized brigandage.

107. Augustine, City of God, 4, 4. See also ibid., 4, 3, which contains a parallel passage glorifying the rule of the good.

108. Ibtd., 4, 6.

109. Idem, Contra Faustum, 22, 70. See also ibid., 22, 74.

110. Idem, City of God, 19, 12; Ep., 189, 6. In Ep., 47, 5, Augustine developed the distinction between public and private murder, to which St. Leo the Great also pointed (Ep., 167, 12 and 14). Similarly, St. Makimus of Turin (Homily, 114, 1) argued that, although civil or military service should not be allowed to serve as a pretext for crimes, the fact of serving was not in itself morally objectionable: "Non enim rnilitare delictum est, sed propter praedam militare peccatum."

111. Augustine, On the Free Will, I, 4, 9; I, 5, 12. The same ideas recur in almost identical language in the City of God, I, 21 and 26. Seven centuries after Augustine bishop Rufinus wrote that "one should not be at peace [with the wicked], but one must rather make war on them. For no sensible person is unaware that this gives us a clear advance toward the good of peace itself. . . . It is only in order that the good should remain intact in all things that we must make war and use weapons. It is also for this reason that the laws order tortures" (De Bono Pacis, II, 14). Already in the ninth century Pope Nicholas I was contending that "man would tempt God" if he did not prepare arms for the defense of himself and his country (Responsa, 46).

112. G. Combs, La Doctrine politique de Saint Augustin (Paris, 1927), 284-285; R. Ragout, La Doctrine de la Guerre juste de Saint Augustin d nos fours (Paris, 1935), 39-44; P. Monceaux, "Saint Augustin et la Guerre," in P. Batiffol, et al., L'Eglise et la Guerre (Paris, 1913).

113. Combs, La Doctrine politique, 289 and esp. 290, on which he quoted many literally "scandalous" texts from St. Augustine. Before leaving Augustine, I would like to mention a question which at present divides the interpreters of his thought. Between the heavenly city and the earthly city, the latter of which is often pictured as diabolical, is there room for a third city-one which would still be human but would be good because of its subjection to God? C. Journet has written a confused article on this ("Les Trois Cites [de Dieu, de 1'Homme et du Diable]," Nova vetera, 33 [1958], 25-48). H. I. Marrow ("Civitas Dei, Civitas terrena: num tertium quid?"

SP, 2 [Berlin, 1957], 342-350) seems to me to have been correct when he observed that in Augustine's thought the two cities existed as clearly differentiated abstract ideas; concrete reality, on the other hand, far from being a representation of the third idea, is simply a degraded expression of an intricate intertwining of the first two ideas.

114. Ambrose seems to us to have lived in an earlier period than Augustine: he died at a relatively young age-over thirty years before Augustine-and had played an important part in the latte>'s conversion. In fact, there was a difference of less than fifteen years between the two men. For this reason I have taken the liberty of not fully respecting chronology, in order to be able to consider the thinker (Augustine) before the man of action (Ambrose). For Ambrose's activity is a striking illustration of Augustine's style of thinking.

115. See A. de Brogue, Saint Ambroise (Paris, 1891 ), and R. Thamin, Saint Am­broise et la Morale chr~tienne au IV a SiQcle (Paris, 1895), which discuss at length this aspect of Ambrose's activity. For an authoritative treatment of the whole question, see A. Paredi, S. Ambroglio a la sua Eta, 2nd ed. (Milan, 1960), which clearly demonstrates Ambrose's contribution to the crystallization of the new ideology.

116. DHGE, II, cols. 1091 ff.

117. For example, Ambrose pleaded for and obtained a pardon from Theodosius for the partisans of Eugenius (Ep. 62).

118. See F. van Ortroy, "Saint Ambroise et 1'Empereur Th~odose," AB, 23 (1904), 418 ff., and P. de Labriolle, Saint Ambroise (Paris, 1908).

119. Ambrose, De Obitu Theodosii, 48. 120. Ambrose, Exp. in luc., II, 77.

121. Ambrose, De Off., I, 27, 129.

122. Ambrose, De Fide, II, 16. R. Roques (review of EL, RHR, 164 [ 1964], 242) was offended here-as in my quotations (n. 183 below) from Eusebius (HE, X, 7) and the Cod. Theod. (XVI, 2)-by my use of the adjective "Catholic." In all three instances, however, the word occurs in the quoted texts themselves. Obviously, it is not in opposition to"Protestant," as he assumes that I am hinting, but to the heresies of that era-Arianism and Donatism. See my comments below (p. 307) concerning my solidarity as a Protestant theologian with many of the ideas of the "Old Catholicism."

123. Jerome, Commentary on Ezekiel, 11; idem, Book of Questions on Genesis, 10, 2.

124. Athanasius was attempting to prove that the "wet dreams" to which monks may be prone were not a sin.

125. Athanasius, Letter (48) to Amun.

126. Cod. Theod., XVI, 10, 2l,,quoted by Ryan, "Rejection," 27.

127. When from time to time the Christian conscience has spoken out against violence, it has been a voice "crying in the wilderness," even though it has generally been tolerated because of its rarity. Efforts have invariably been made to neutralize it, and the sensitive conscience has been informed that it has taken the wrong road, and that only the monastic life can satisfy its desire for purity and the absolute. At the end of this chapter I shall demonstrate that monachism was one of the primary forces that were responsible for the watering down of the Christian ethic.

128. Parker, Christianity and the State, 41, 42; Stauffer, Christ and the Caesars, 244, 301. As Hobhouse has rightly stressed (Church and the World, 77, 91), by the end of the third century the Christians-in spite of the relative setbacks about which he had written a few pages earlier-had come to be the most dynamic element, al­though not yet a majority, within the empire. It was therefore to them that the future belonged, and mere political prudence dictated that one should try to rally them to one's side.


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129. Hobhouse, Church and the World, 66-67.

130. Ibid., 112-114, which are three pages of great force and conviction.

131. Combes, La Doctrine politique, 260. Such an admission was significant, for Combes did not conceal his personal adherence to the theory of the just war and his approval of necessary violence. Durry (Cohortes pr~toriennes, 330-331) similarly believed that by the end of the third century the Christians had already come to be numerous-perhaps a majority-within the Roman army, in spite of the efforts of the state to prevent this. (Durry did not consider what efforts the Church might have been making, in one direction or another. )

132. Monceaux, Histoire, 274. G. F. Hershberger (The Way of the Cross in Human Relations [Scottdale, Pa., 1958], 24, 59) has delineated the interrelationship between Constantine's pseudo-conversion, the invasion of the Church by superficial initiates, and the identification (which he deplored) between Christianity, Chris­tendom, the social order and the empire.

133. A. Puech, Saint Jean Chrysostome et les Moeurs de son temps (Paris, 1891 ), 303.

134. John Chrysostom, Homilies on St. Matthew, 61, 2. 135. Idem, Homilies on St. John, 82, 4.

136. S. L. Greenslade, Church and State from Constantine to Theodosius (London, 1954), passim.

137. Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 408. Bayet (Pacifisme, 186) has also shown that from Claudius to Constantine the imperial government pursued exactly the same religious policy. Bayet even claimed, with some exaggeration (ibid., 173, 175), that the emperors finally opted for Christianity because it was more exclusive than the other cults and thus was more congruent with their desire for totalitarian uni­formity. F. J. Foakes-Jackson (Eusebius Pamphili [Cambridge, 1933], 48) did not go as far as this; but he nevertheless commented, "Constantine . . . was the real suc­cessor of Diocletian, and though one sanctioned a cruel persecution, and the other loaded the Church with benefits, the ultimate object of both was the same, namely, to make religion the handmaid of the empire." See also Gage, "La Victoire," 400, and the excellent little book by O. Heggelbaeher, Vom RSmischen zum Christlichen Recht (Freiburg/Breisgau, 1959). Basing his argument on references to laws and insti­tutions in the Ambrosiaster, Heggelbacher has demonstrated that the first Christian empire took its stand on Romans 13 in order to reemploy Roman law and natural right for its own benefit.

138. Cerfaux and Tondriau, Concurrent, 409.

139. Setton, Christian Attitude, 24-25; Gags, "La Victoire," 393-394.

140. Optatus of Milevis, De Schismate Donatistarum, III, 3..It was only at the beginning of the eighth century that what F. Dvornik has called "the idea of a single universal Church in a single universal empire" began to be questioned in the West, or rather that the submission of the Roman religious power to the Byzantine political power began to fade away, only to be replaced by another synthesis. Dvornik, who has examined all of these developments (Byzance et la Prlmaut~ romaine [Paris, 1964], 77-87), has stressed that in the exchange of letters between emperor Leo III and Pope Gregory II, the pope did not yet challenge the priestly character claimed by the em­peror as a part of his imperial function. But the pope reminded him that his imperial/ priestly role "did not permit him to oversee the Church and to judge the clergy, nor to consecrate and distribute the holy sacramental signs."

141. Sekto~t,-Christian Attitude, 28. 142. See above, pp. 25-26.

143. Hobhouse (Church and the World, 68-69) has analyzed with clarity the

relationship between the deteriorating ethical standards of the Church, the Montanist reaction, and clerical specialization.

144. SCH, XXXIII, 167.

145. Marrou himself has shown (see n. 144 above), however, that observers as early as Origen and Clement of Alexandria described the cleavage between the dif­ferent categories of Christians.

146. Good theology should never be unbalanced. Perhaps it is therefore necessary to specify here that a monachism freed from the idea of supererogatory merits, such as our brethren in the community of Taiz~ are apparently realizing, would not be subject to this criticism. It is the same in the case of the "old Catholi­cism," with which I share a dual concern-for responsibility toward the civil com­munity, and for order within the Christian community.

147. Goguel, Birth, 550, in which passage he also paid tribute to Dibelius for having shown clearly that this tendency had existed from the early days.

148. Ibid., 434-435. D. E. Hall ("La Conversi6n del Emperador Constantino," Pensiamento Cristiano, 6 [1958], 149-169), whose article was otherwise mediocre, made a valuable contribution by emphasizing the connection between the eccle­siastical and the political evolutions within early Christianity. As Roger Mehl com­mented ("Christianisme primitif"), "It is one of J.-M. Hornus's important contribu­tions that he noted the subtle but real link between the evolution of the Church's political attitude and a particular conception of monasticism."

149. Constitutions, II, 14, 12. The text of Didascalta, VI, 14, 10 and 12 (sd. Nau, 51-52; ed. Connolly, 44-45) is substantially identical. In Constitutions, VIII, 12, 42 there is also a prayer for the king, the power-holders, and the entire army, "So that all which is ours may remain in peace." But Dtdascalia, XVIII, 6, 4 (ed. Nau, 142; ed. Connolly, 158) blamed the bishops who, in order to feed orphans and widows, ac­cepted impure offerings coming from "soldiers who act lawlessly; or from murderers; or from spies who procure condemnations; or from any Roman officials, who are de­filed with wars and have shed innocent blood without trial."~ The text of Constitu­tions, IV, 6, 5, which Funk cited in his edition (p. 225) as a parallel, is really quite dif­ferent.

150. Prier, "Les'127 Canons des Apatres,' " II, 55. This double clause also oc­curs in canons 83-84 of the series of Apostolic Canons in Greek or in Latin, published by Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, 2nd ed., 285-286. Leclercq's French translation of Hefele (Histoire, I, ii, 1203-1204) did not reproduce their text, but dated them in about the fifth century and commented on their wide geographical diffusion. On these Greek and Latin canons, see also F. Nau, DTC, II (1905), cols. 1605-1611, and G. Bardy, DDC, II, cols. 1288-1295.

151. A. H. M. Jones, The Gater Roman Empire (Oxford, 1964), I, 566; Mac­Mullen, Soldier and Civilian, 48 n.

152. Gaudemet, G'Eglise, 143. See also Fontaine ("V~rit~ et fiction,~~ 211), who rightly noted that even if, as was long thought, soldiers could not be the only people to whom this law alluded, they were still included in a more general reprobation.

153. MacMullen, Soldier and Civilian, chap. 3.

154. Letter of the bishops of IIlyria to the Eastern bishops, Mansi, III, Col. 388, which Theodoret of Cyrus included in full in his Ecclesiastical History (IV, 8). Hefel~ (Ilistoire, I, ii, 982) dated the Council in 375; Mansi (III, Col. 388) put it even earlier. I have retained the date given by J. 7.eiller (Origines chrestiennes Bans les prol;inces danubiennes [ Paris, 1918], 326-327 ), although Zeiller discerned in this text an op­posite meaning-to the effect that only irreproachable people were to be chosen as priests, euen if they had come from the magistracy or the army. If that reading were




308

correct, the significance of the decision would certainly be different from the one I have seen in it. But it would still provide evidence of a general attitude of reserve on the part of the Church toward the professions which it mentioned.

155. Hefel~, Histoire, II, i, 136.

156. E.g., PG, XIII, cols. 1181 ff., in which it was presented as the tenth letter of Siricius.

157. H. C. Babut, Ga plus ancienne d~cr~tale (Paris, 1904), 69-87, in which the best edition of the text, which is called the Canones ad Gallos, is to be found. [Al­though Fontaine ("Verity et fiction," 212 n.) and Gaudemet (L'Eglise, 220) have re­vived the former attribution, Pietri (Roma Christiana, I, 764-772) has reverted to Babut's position. ]

158. Canon 7. The same attitude can be seen in canon 13, where it is mixed with a more general condemnation of the various civil offices which entailed participation in coercive power.

159. Hefele, Histoire, II, i. 6'9; P. Jaff~, Regesta Pontificum Ronranorum ab con­dita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natuim 1198 (Leipzig, 1885), l, 41; Siricius, Letter (no. 5) cant in unum, 2 (PG, XIII, col. 1158; PG, L.VI, col. 727). This letter, which Siricius addressed to the episcopate of Africa, was substantially repeated with further explanations in Siricius's ecumenical Letter (no. 6) cogitantibus uobis, 1, 3 (PL, XIII, col. 1165; Fontaine, "Verity et fiction," 211-213). ­

160. Hefele, Histoire, II, i. 123: "Si yuis post baptismurn militaverit et chlamydem sumpserit aut cingulum, etiamsi graviora non admiserit, si ad clerum ad­missus fait, diaconti non accipiat dignitatem" (Mansi, III, col. 1000).

161. Mansi, III, col. 1064.

162. Ibid., III, col. 1069; Innocent I, Letter (no. 3) Saepe me (PG, XX, col. 492a); Jaff~, Regesta, I, 45. This canon, like Letter 6 of Siricius which I have quoted above, borrows from Damasus Canones ad Gallos in yet another erroneous attempt (ef. nn. 71-72 above) to claim the Council of Nicaea's authority for their antimilitarist position.

163. H. Warm, Studien and Texte zur Decretalensammlung des Dionysius Exiguus (Bonn 1939), 128, esp. n. 5. Warm quoted the various available authorities, but failed to take a position as to the preferred reading. He also failed to give indica­tion as to the likelihood and date of a Council at Toulouse.

164. Maesi, III, cols. 1038-1041; PG, XX, cols. 495-502. 165. Innocent I Let r

to 2, 2 (4), PL, XX, col. 472 (also in PL, LVI, col. 521, and in Jaff~, Regesta, I, 44). A. Vanderpol attempted (Doctrine scolastique, 191) to evade the obvious meaning of this text (which recurred in a canon of Pope Leo I) by arguing that "remission of sins" meant not baptism but the postbaptismal penance which would have made the penitent sinner into a veritable monk for the rest of his life. PL, XX, col. 471 n. has made clear, however, that the most probable original meaning of this expression was baptism. The other two texts from Innocent I (to which I have referred above) enable one to assess this evasion at its true value.

166. Innocent I, Letter 37, 3 (5)_ PL, XX, col. 63 (JaffE', Regesta, I, 47), which cannot be dated precisely. It is interesting to note that this part of the sentence has been deleted from the later recension of the same letter (PL, LXXXIV, cols. 651-654).

167. E. Hildesheimer, "Les Clercs et 1'exemption du service militaire 31'epoque franque," RHEF, 29 (1943), 17. See also the texts collected by Vanderpol (Doctrine scolastique, 121-122).

168. Chalcedon, Canon 7 Hefel~, Nistoire, II, ii, 788-789.

169. Angers, Canon 7, CCG, GXLVIII, 138: "There is no injustice in the rejec­tion by the Church of the clerics who have abandoned the clergy to mingle with the

secular army and with the laity."

170. Agda, Canon 20, Hefel~, Histoire, II, ii, 973 (mansi, VIII, col. 319), which condemned the clerics who bore arms.

171. Lerida, Canon I, Hefele, Histoire, II, ii. 1063 (Vanderpol, Doctrine scolas­tique, 599), which prescribed that any priest who had shed enemy blood while contributing to the defense of a besieged place was to be excommunicated for two years and excluded from advancement in the ecclesiastical hierarhcy.

172. Macon, Canon 5, MGH, Legum, III, i (Concilta aevi Merovingici), 156, which prohibited clerics from bearing arms.

173. Toledo (Fourth Council), Canon 45"Hefel~, Histoire, III, i, 273. I ~ r-­174. MGH, Legum, III, i, 215.

175. St. Jean de Losne, Canon 2, MGH, Legum, III, i, 218.

176. MGH, Epistolae, III (Epistolae Merovingici et Karolini Aevi, I), 229. 177. Ibid., 303.

178. Germanic Council (742), Canon 2,. MGH, Capitularia Regum Francorum, I, 25: MGH, Gegum, III, ii, 3.

179. MGH, Legum, III, ii, 7.

180. Mainz, Canon 17, MGH, Legum, III, ii, 266. To compensate for their loss of temporal weapons, clerics could at times take up these "spiritual" or intellectual weapons in a very literal sense. Thus in 833, when the troops of Lothair, accompanied by Pope Gregory IV, were advancing against Emperor Louis the Pious, Archbishop Agobard of Lyon wrote to the emperor, whose sincere partisan he was, that the priests should bring their intercessory support and spiritual resources to the laity who would be fighting with temporal arms. Whereas the one order must fight with swords, "the others contend with words so that like may be opposed with like' (MGH, V [Annales, chronica et fiesta aevi Salici], 226). For other examples of the numerous prohibitions of clergy bearing arms, see the Councils of Meaux (845) and of Paris (846) (MGH, Ca­pitularia, II 407) or the Council of Tribur (895) (ibid., 248).

181. MGII, Epistolae, VII (Epistolae Karolini aevi, V ), 311. 182. Hildesheimer, "Les Cleres et 1'exemption," 18.

183. Eusebius, HE, X, 7; Cod. Theod. XVI, 2.

184. Charlemagne, Admonitio generalis, canon 70, MGH, Capitularia, I, 59. 185. Epernay Canon 10,,MGH, Capitularia, II 262.

186. Bainton ("The Early Church and War," 82) rightly called attention to this function of monastic life as an alternative to military service. The radical distinction between two entirely different types of Christians-clerics and monks on the one hand, and laymen on the other-was already present in the Decretum of Gratian (Part II, Causa XII, 9, 1, cvii). It is symptomatic that an entire paragraph of Jerome's letter to the monk Heliodorus (Ep., 14, 2), which has been viewed as a kind of charter of Oc­cidental monasticism, should have limited the Militia Christi to monasticism, which it contrasted in classical fashion to the Militia Mundi.

187. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Ephesians, 6, 4. - ~ ~ · r 188. Idem, Homilies on St. Matthew, 69, 4.

189. Bouyer, Spirituality, 371.

190. Vacandard, "La Question," 168. 191. Augustine, Ep., 189, 4-5.

192. Ibid., 220, 3.

193. See above, pp. 145-146.

194. DDC, I (1935), col. 1047; III (1942), cols. 868-869; L. Viollet, "L'Objection de Conscience," L'Ami du Clergy, 60 (1950), 376; A. de Soras, "Le Probleme de 1'Ob­jection de Conscience," Revue de l'Action populaire, 36 (1950), 241.


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