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 Aquinas and "Subsists in" 
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 1:54 am
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New post Aquinas and "Subsists in"
Didn't Aquinas say that God "subsists in" Himself? I'm still looking for the exact reference but I could've sworn he did, maybe not. But if he did, then how is saying that the "Church subsists in the Roman Catholic Church"(referring to statement from Lumen Gentium) necessarily a bad thing?

I am Sedevacantist, but just was wondering about this specific point.


Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:14 am
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Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 8:51 pm
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New post Re: Aquinas and "Subsists in"
5 June AD 2006 – Pentecost Monday

Colin Fry wrote:
Didn't Aquinas say that God "subsists in" Himself? I'm still looking for the exact reference but I could've sworn he did, maybe not. But if he did, then how is saying that the "Church subsists in the Roman Catholic Church"(referring to statement from Lumen Gentium) necessarily a bad thing?

I think you are looking for Summa Theologica I Q4 a2. The following is from the second part of Saint Thomas’ “I answer that....” http://www.newadvent.org/summa/100402.htm There is a slightly different translation at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/nature ... iv.ii.html (a Protestant site, but generally honest in it presentation of Catholic material).

Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote:
Secondly, from what has been already proved, God is existence itself, of itself subsistent (3, 4). Consequently, He must contain within Himself the whole perfection of being. For it is clear that if some hot thing has not the whole perfection of heat, this is because heat is not participated in its full perfection; but if this heat were self-subsisting, nothing of the virtue of heat would be wanting to it. Since therefore God is subsisting being itself, nothing of the perfection of being can be wanting to Him. Now all created perfections are included in the perfection of being; for things are perfect, precisely so far as they have being after some fashion. It follows therefore that the perfection of no one thing is wanting to God. This line of argument, too, is implied by Dionysius (Div. Nom. v), when he says that, "God exists not in any single mode, but embraces all being within Himself, absolutely, without limitation, uniformly;" and afterwards he adds that, "He is the very existence to subsisting things."

The idea of the “Church of God subsisting in the Catholic Church” is somewhat different, in that in human affairs subsistence may be a temporary phenomenon, or it may take place in multiple locations. For example a strain of bacteria might subsist in a petri dish. There would be a beginning and (presumably) an end to this subsistence. Or the bacteria strain might exist in a number of petri dishes, perhaps simultaneously.

The difficulty with saying that the “Church of God subsists in the Catholic Church” is that the statement implies the possibility of a future time when It no longer subsists there, or the possibility that It subsists in a number of “Churches.” The definition was proposed by one of the Protestant observers at Vatican II.

God, of course will always exist. He is existence, eternally subsistent in Himself and nowhere else.

in XTO,
M_Eulogius


Tue Jun 06, 2006 1:59 am
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