Ad primum ergo dicendum quod furtum dicitur non esse grandis culpae duplici ratione. Primo quidem, propter necessitatem inducentem ad furandum, quae diminuit vel totaliter tollit culpam, ut infra patebit. Unde subdit, furatur enim ut esurientem impleat animam. Alio modo dicitur furtum non esse grandis culpae per comparationem ad reatum adulterii, quod punitur morte. Unde subditur de fure quod deprehensus reddet septuplum, qui autem adulter est, perdet animam suam.
Reply Obj. 1: The statement that theft is not a great fault is in view of two cases. First, when a person is led to thieve through necessity. This necessity diminishes or entirely removes sin, as we shall show further on (A. 7). Hence the text continues: For he stealeth to fill his hungry soul. Second, theft is stated not to be a great fault in comparison with the guilt of adultery, which is punished with death. Hence the text goes on to say of the thief that if he be taken, he shall restore sevenfold . . . but he that is an adulterer . . . shall destroy his own soul.
Ad secundum dicendum quod poenae praesentis vitae magis sunt medicinales quam retributivae, retributio enim reservatur divino iudicio, quod est secundum veritatem in peccantes. Et ideo secundum iudicium praesentis vitae non pro quolibet peccato mortali infligitur poena mortis, sed solum pro illis quae inferunt irreparabile nocumentum, vel etiam pro illis quae habent aliquam horribilem deformitatem. Et ideo pro furto, quod reparabile damnum infert, non infligitur secundum praesens iudicium poena mortis, nisi furtum aggravetur per aliquam gravem circumstantiam, sicut patet de sacrilegio, quod est furtum rei sacrae, et de peculatu, quod est furtum rei communis, ut patet per Augustinum, super Ioan.; et de plagio, quod est furtum hominis, pro quo quis morte punitur, ut patet Exod. XXI.
Reply Obj. 2: The punishments of this life are medicinal rather than retributive. For retribution is reserved to the Divine judgment which is pronounced against sinners according to truth (Rom 2:2). Wherefore, according to the judgment of the present life the death punishment is inflicted, not for every mortal sin, but only for such as inflict an irreparable harm, or again for such as contain some horrible deformity. Hence according to the present judgment the pain of death is not inflicted for theft which does not inflict an irreparable harm, except when it is aggravated by some grave circumstance, as in the case of sacrilege which is the theft of a sacred thing, of peculation, which is theft of common property, as Augustine states (Tract. 1, Super Joan.), and of kidnaping which is stealing a man, for which the pain of death is inflicted (Exod 21:16).
Ad tertium dicendum quod illud quod modicum est ratio apprehendit quasi nihil. Et ideo in his quae minima sunt homo non reputat sibi nocumentum inferri, et ille qui accipit potest praesumere hoc non esse contra voluntatem eius cuius est res. Et pro tanto si quis furtive huiusmodi res minimas accipiat, potest excusari a peccato mortali. Si tamen habeat animum furandi et inferendi nocumentum proximo, etiam in talibus minimis potest esse peccatum mortale, sicut et in solo cogitatu per consensum.
Reply Obj. 3: Reason accounts as nothing that which is little: so that a man does not consider himself injured in very little matters: and the person who takes such things can presume that this is not against the will of the owner. And if a person take such like very little things, he may be proportionately excused from mortal sin. Yet if his intention is to rob and injure his neighbor, there may be a mortal sin even in these very little things, even as there may be through consent in a mere thought.
Utrum liceat alicui furari propter necessitatem
Whether it is lawful to steal through stress of need?
Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod non liceat alicui furari propter necessitatem. Non enim imponitur poenitentia nisi peccanti. Sed extra, de furtis, dicitur, si quis per necessitatem famis aut nuditatis furatus fuerit cibaria, vestem vel pecus, poeniteat hebdomadas tres. Ergo non licet furari propter necessitatem.
Objection 1: It would seem unlawful to steal through stress of need. For penance is not imposed except on one who has sinned. Now it is stated (Extra, De furtis, Cap. Si quis): If anyone, through stress of hunger or nakedness, steal food, clothing or beast, he shall do penance for three weeks. Therefore it is not lawful to steal through stress of need.
Praeterea, philosophus dicit, in II Ethic., quod quaedam confestim nominata convoluta sunt cum malitia, inter quae ponit furtum. Sed illud quod est secundum se malum non potest propter aliquem bonum finem bonum fieri. Ergo non potest aliquis licite furari ut necessitati suae subveniat.
Obj. 2: Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ii, 6) that there are some actions whose very name implies wickedness, and among these he reckons theft. Now that which is wicked in itself may not be done for a good end. Therefore a man cannot lawfully steal in order to remedy a need.
Praeterea, homo debet diligere proximum sicut seipsum. Sed non licet furari ad hoc quod aliquis per eleemosynam proximo subveniat; ut Augustinus dicit, in libro contra mendacium. Ergo etiam non licet furari ad subveniendum propriae necessitati.
Obj. 3: Further, a man should love his neighbor as himself. Now, according to Augustine (Contra Mendac. vii), it is unlawful to steal in order to succor one’s neighbor by giving him an alms. Therefore neither is it lawful to steal in order to remedy one’s own needs.
Sed contra est quod in necessitate sunt omnia communia. Et ita non videtur esse peccatum si aliquis rem alterius accipiat, propter necessitatem sibi factam communem.
On the contrary, In cases of need all things are common property, so that there would seem to be no sin in taking another’s property, for need has made it common.
Respondeo dicendum quod ea quae sunt iuris humani non possunt derogare iuri naturali vel iuri divino. Secundum autem naturalem ordinem ex divina providentia institutum, res inferiores sunt ordinatae ad hoc quod ex his subveniatur hominum necessitati. Et ideo per rerum divisionem et appropriationem, de iure humano procedentem, non impeditur quin hominis necessitati sit subveniendum ex huiusmodi rebus. Et ideo res quas aliqui superabundanter habent, ex naturali iure debentur pauperum sustentationi. Unde Ambrosius dicit, et habetur in decretis, dist. XLVII, esurientium panis est quem tu detines; nudorum indumentum est quod tu recludis; miserorum redemptio et absolutio est pecunia quam tu in terram defodis.
I answer that, Things which are of human right cannot derogate from natural right or Divine right. Now according to the natural order established by Divine Providence, inferior things are ordained for the purpose of succoring man’s needs by their means. Wherefore the division and appropriation of things which are based on human law, do not preclude the fact that man’s needs have to be remedied by means of these very things. Hence whatever certain people have in superabundance is due, by natural law, to the purpose of succoring the poor. For this reason Ambrose says, and his words are embodied in the Decretals (Dist. xlvii, can. Sicut ii): It is the hungry man’s bread that you withhold, the naked man’s cloak that you store away, the money that you bury in the earth is the price of the poor man’s ransom and freedom.
Sed quia multi sunt necessitatem patientes, et non potest ex eadem re omnibus subveniri, committitur arbitrio uniuscuiusque dispensatio propriarum rerum, ut ex eis subveniat necessitatem patientibus. Si tamen adeo sit urgens et evidens necessitas ut manifestum sit instanti necessitati de rebus occurrentibus esse subveniendum, puta cum imminet personae periculum et aliter subveniri non potest; tunc licite potest aliquis ex rebus alienis suae necessitati subvenire, sive manifeste sive occulte sublatis. Nec hoc proprie habet rationem furti vel rapinae.
Since, however, there are many who are in need, while it is impossible for all to be succored by means of the same thing, each one is entrusted with the stewardship of his own things, so that out of them he may come to the aid of those who are in need. Nevertheless, if the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand (for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy), then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another’s property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod decretalis illa loquitur in casu in quo non est urgens necessitas.
Reply Obj. 1: This decretal considers cases where there is no urgent need.
Ad secundum dicendum quod uti re aliena occulte accepta in casu necessitatis extremae non habet rationem furti, proprie loquendo. Quia per talem necessitatem efficitur suum illud quod quis accipit ad sustentandam propriam vitam.
Reply Obj. 2: It is not theft, properly speaking, to take secretly and use another’s property in a case of extreme need: because that which he takes for the support of his life becomes his own property by reason of that need.
Ad tertium dicendum quod in casu similis necessitatis etiam potest aliquis occulte rem alienam accipere ut subveniat proximo sic indigenti.
Reply Obj. 3: In a case of a like need a man may also take secretly another’s property in order to succor his neighbor in need.
Utrum rapina possit fieri sine peccato
Whether robbery may be committed without sin?
Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod rapina possit fieri sine peccato. Praeda enim per violentiam accipitur; quod videtur ad rationem rapinae pertinere, secundum praedicta. Sed praedam accipere ab hostibus licitum est, dicit enim Ambrosius, in libro de patriarchis, cum praeda fuerit in potestate victoris, decet militarem disciplinam ut regi serventur omnia, scilicet ad distribuendum. Ergo rapina in aliquo casu est licita.
Objection 1: It would seem that robbery may be committed without sin. For spoils are taken by violence, and this seems to belong to the essence of robbery, according to what has been said (A. 4). Now it is lawful to take spoils from the enemy; for Ambrose says (De Patriarch. 4 ): When the conqueror has taken possession of the spoils, military discipline demands that all should be reserved for the sovereign, in order, to wit, that he may distribute them. Therefore in certain cases robbery is lawful.
Praeterea, licitum est auferre ab aliquo id quod non est eius. Sed res quas infideles habent non sunt eorum, dicit enim Augustinus, in epistola ad Vinc. Donatist., res falso appellatis vestras, quas nec iuste possidetis, et secundum leges terrenorum regum amittere iussi estis. Ergo videtur quod ab infidelibus aliquis licite rapere posset.
Obj. 2: Further, it is lawful to take from a man what is not his. Now the things which unbelievers have are not theirs, for Augustine says (Ep. ad Vincent. Donat. xciii.): You falsely call things your own, for you do not possess them justly, and according to the laws of earthly kings you are commanded to forfeit them. Therefore it seems that one may lawfully rob unbelievers.
Praeterea, terrarum principes multa a suis subditis violenter extorquent; quod videtur ad rationem rapinae pertinere. Grave autem videtur dicere quod in hoc peccent, quia sic fere omnes principes damnarentur. Ergo rapina in aliquo casu est licita.
Obj. 3: Further, earthly princes violently extort many things from their subjects: and this seems to savor of robbery. Now it would seem a grievous matter to say that they sin in acting thus, for in that case nearly every prince would be damned. Therefore in some cases robbery is lawful.
Sed contra est quod de quolibet licite accepto potest fieri Deo sacrificium vel oblatio. Non autem potest fieri de rapina, secundum illud Isaiae LXI, ego dominus diligens iudicium, et odio habens rapinam in holocaustum. Ergo per rapinam aliquid accipere non est licitum.
On the contrary, Whatever is taken lawfully may be offered to God in sacrifice and oblation. Now this cannot be done with the proceeds of robbery, according to Isa. 61:8, I am the Lord that love judgment, and hate robbery in a holocaust. Therefore it is not lawful to take anything by robbery.
Respondeo dicendum quod rapina quandam violentiam et coactionem importat per quam, contra iustitiam, alicui aufertur quod suum est. In societate autem hominum nullus habet coactionem nisi per publicam potestatem. Et ideo quicumque per violentiam aliquid alteri aufert, si sit privata persona non utens publica potestate, illicite agit et rapinam committit, sicut patet in latronibus. Principibus vero publica potestas committitur ad hoc quod sint iustitiae custodes. Et ideo non licet eis violentia et coactione uti nisi secundum iustitiae tenorem, et hoc vel contra hostes pugnando, vel contra cives malefactores puniendo. Et quod per talem violentiam aufertur non habet rationem rapinae, cum non sit contra iustitiam. Si vero contra iustitiam aliqui per publicam potestatem violenter abstulerint res aliorum, illicite agunt et rapinam committunt, et ad restitutionem tenentur.
I answer that, Robbery implies a certain violence and coercion employed in taking unjustly from a man that which is his. Now in human society no man can exercise coercion except through public authority: and, consequently, if a private individual not having public authority takes another’s property by violence, he acts unlawfully and commits a robbery, as burglars do. As regards princes, the public power is entrusted to them that they may be the guardians of justice: hence it is unlawful for them to use violence or coercion, save within the bounds of justice—either by fighting against the enemy, or against the citizens, by punishing evil-doers: and whatever is taken by violence of this kind is not the spoils of robbery, since it is not contrary to justice. On the other hand to take other people’s property violently and against justice, in the exercise of public authority, is to act unlawfully and to be guilty of robbery; and whoever does so is bound to restitution.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod circa praedam distinguendum est. Quia si illi qui depraedantur hostes habeant bellum iustum, ea quae per violentiam in bello acquirunt eorum efficiuntur. Et hoc non habet rationem rapinae, unde nec ad restitutionem tenentur. Quamvis possint in acceptione praedae iustum bellum habentes peccare per cupiditatem ex prava intentione, si scilicet non propter iustitiam, sed propter praedam principaliter pugnent, dicit enim Augustinus, in libro de Verb. Dom., quod propter praedam militare peccatum est. Si vero illi qui praedam accipiunt habeant bellum iniustum, rapinam committunt, et ad restitutionem tenentur.
Reply Obj. 1: A distinction must be made in the matter of spoils. For if they who take spoils from the enemy, are waging a just war, such things as they seize in the war become their own property. This is no robbery, so that they are not bound to restitution. Nevertheless even they who are engaged in a just war may sin in taking spoils through cupidity arising from an evil intention, if, to wit, they fight chiefly not for justice but for spoil. For Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. xix; Serm. lxxxii) that it is a sin to fight for booty. If, however, those who take the spoil, are waging an unjust war, they are guilty of robbery, and are bound to restitution.
Ad secundum dicendum quod intantum aliqui infideles iniuste res suas possident, inquantum eas secundum leges terrenorum principum amittere iussi sunt. Et ideo ab eis possunt per violentiam subtrahi, non privata auctoritate, sed publica.
Reply Obj. 2: Unbelievers possess their goods unjustly insofar as they are ordered by the laws of earthly princes to forfeit those goods. Hence these may be taken violently from them, not by private but by public authority.
Ad tertium dicendum quod si principes a subditis exigant quod eis secundum iustitiam debetur propter bonum commune conservandum, etiam si violentia adhibeatur, non est rapina. Si vero aliquid principes indebite extorqueant per violentiam, rapina est, sicut et latrocinium. Unde dicit Augustinus, in IV de Civ. Dei, remota iustitia, quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia? Quia et latrocinia quid sunt nisi parva regna? Et Ezech. XXII dicitur, principes eius in medio eius quasi lupi rapientes praedam. Unde et ad restitutionem tenentur, sicut et latrones. Et tanto gravius peccant quam latrones, quanto periculosius et communius contra publicam iustitiam agunt, cuius custodes sunt positi.
Reply Obj. 3: It is no robbery if princes exact from their subjects that which is due to them for the safe-guarding of the common good, even if they use violence in so doing: but if they extort something unduly by means of violence, it is robbery even as burglary is. Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei iv, 4): If justice be disregarded, what is a king but a mighty robber? since what is a robber but a little king? And it is written (Ezek 22:27): Her princes in the midst of her, are like wolves ravening the prey. Wherefore they are bound to restitution, just as robbers are, and by so much do they sin more grievously than robbers, as their actions are fraught with greater and more universal danger to public justice whose wardens they are.
Utrum furtum sit gravina peccatum quam rapina
Whether theft is a more grievous sin than robbery?
Ad nonum sic proceditur. Videtur quod furtum sit gravius peccatum quam rapina. Furtum enim, super acceptionem rei alienae, habet adiunctam fraudem et dolum, quod non est in rapina. Sed fraus et dolus de se habent rationem peccati, ut supra habitum est. Ergo furtum videtur esse gravius peccatum quam rapina.
Objection 1: It would seem that theft is a more grievous sin than robbery. For theft adds fraud and guile to the taking of another’s property: and these things are not found in robbery. Now fraud and guile are sinful in themselves, as stated above (Q. 55, AA. 4, 5). Therefore theft is a more grievous sin than robbery.
Praeterea, verecundia est timor de turpi actu, ut dicitur in IV Ethic. Sed magis verecundantur homines de furto quam de rapina. Ergo furtum est turpius quam rapina.
Obj. 2: Further, shame is fear about a wicked deed, as stated in Ethic. iv, 9. Now men are more ashamed of theft than of robbery. Therefore theft is more wicked than robbery.
Praeterea, quanto aliquod peccatum pluribus nocet, tanto gravius esse videtur. Sed per furtum potest nocumentum inferri et magnis et parvis, per rapinam autem solum impotentibus, quibus potest violentia inferri. Ergo gravius videtur esse peccatum furti quam rapinae.
Obj. 3: Further, the more persons a sin injures the more grievous it would seem to be. Now the great and the lowly may be injured by theft: whereas only the weak can be injured by robbery, since it is possible to use violence towards them. Therefore the sin of theft seems to be more grievous than the sin of robbery.
Sed contra est quod secundum leges gravius punitur rapina quam furtum.
On the contrary, According to the laws robbery is more severely punished than theft.
Respondeo dicendum quod rapina et furtum habent rationem peccati, sicut supra dictum est, propter involuntarium quod est ex parte eius cui aliquid aufertur; ita tamen quod in furto est involuntarium per ignorantiam, in rapina autem involuntarium per violentiam. Magis est autem aliquid involuntarium per violentiam quam per ignorantiam, quia violentia directius opponitur voluntati quam ignorantia. Et ideo rapina est gravius peccatum quam furtum. Est et alia ratio. Quia per rapinam non solum infertur alicui damnum in rebus, sed etiam vergit in quandam personae ignominiam sive iniuriam. Et hoc praeponderat fraudi vel dolo, quae pertinent ad furtum.
I answer that, Robbery and theft are sinful, as stated above (AA. 4, 6), on account of the involuntariness on the part of the person from whom something is taken: yet so that in theft the involuntariness is due to ignorance, whereas in robbery it is due to violence. Now a thing is more involuntary through violence than through ignorance, because violence is more directly opposed to the will than ignorance. Therefore robbery is a more grievous sin than theft. There is also another reason, since robbery not only inflicts a loss on a person in his things, but also conduces to the ignominy and injury of his person, and this is of graver import than fraud or guile which belong to theft.
Unde patet responsio ad primum.
Hence the Reply to the First Objection is evident.
Ad secundum dicendum quod homines sensibilibus inhaerentes magis gloriantur de virtute exteriori, quae manifestatur in rapina, quam de virtute interiori, quae tollitur per peccatum. Et ideo minus verecundantur de rapina quam de furto.
Reply Obj. 2: Men who adhere to sensible things think more of external strength which is evidenced in robbery, than of internal virtue which is forfeit through sin: wherefore they are less ashamed of robbery than of theft.
Ad tertium dicendum quod licet pluribus possit noceri per furtum quam per rapinam, tamen graviora nocumenta possunt inferri per rapinam quam per furtum. Unde ex hoc etiam rapina est detestabilior.
Reply Obj. 3: Although more persons may be injured by theft than by robbery, yet more grievous injuries may be inflicted by robbery than by theft: for which reason also robbery is more odious.
De iniustitia iudicis in iudicando
The Injustice of a Judge, in Judging