Horror of fornication
5:1 Omnino auditur inter vos fornicatio, et talis fornicatio, qualis nec inter gentes, ita ut uxorem patris sui aliquis habeat. [n. 228]
5:1 It is absolutely heard that there is fornication among you and such fornication as the like is not among the heathens: that one should have his father’s wife. [n. 228]
5:2 Et vos inflati estis: et non magis luctum habuistis ut tollatur de medio vestrum qui hoc opus fecit. [n. 231]
5:2 And you are puffed up and have not rather mourned: that he might be taken away from among you that has done this thing. [n. 231]
5:3 Ego quidem absens corpore, praesens autem spiritu, jam judicavi ut praesens eum, qui sic operatus est, [n. 233]
5:3 I indeed, absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged, as though I were present, him that has so done, [n. 233]
5:4 in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi, congregatis vobis et meo spiritu, cum virtute Domini nostri Jesu, [n. 235]
5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus: [n. 235]
5:5 tradere hujusmodi Satanae in interitum carnis, ut spiritus salvus sit in die Domini nostri Jesu Christi. [n. 236]
5:5 To deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. [n. 236]
228. Postquam Apostolus prosecutus est ea, quae pertinent ad baptismi sacramentum, hic incipit prosequi ea quae pertinent ad matrimonium. Et
228. After discussing matters which pertain to the sacrament of baptism, the Apostle begins to consider matters which pertain to matrimony.
primo arguit peccatum contrarium matrimonio, scilicet fornicationem;
First, he attacks a sin contrary to matrimony, namely, fornication;
secundo agit de ipso matrimonio, c. VII, ibi de quibus autem scripsistis, et cetera.
second, he discusses matrimony itself, at now concerning the things (1 Cor 7:1).
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things.
Primo ponit culpam;
First, he mentions the crime;
secundo redarguit eam, ibi non est bona gloriatio, et cetera.
second, he censures it, at your glorying is not good (1 Cor 5:6).
Circa primum duo facit.
As to the first he does two things.
Primo ponit culpam cuiusdam fornicarii;
First, he mentions the crime of a certain fornicator;
secundo culpam aliorum, qui peccatum fornicarii tolerabant, ibi et vos inflati estis, et cetera.
second, the crime of those who condoned this sin, at and you are puffed up.
229. Circa primum, primo ponit tria, quae pertinent ad culpae gravitatem.
229. In regard to the first he mentions three things which pertain to the gravity of the crime.
Primo namque ostendit peccatum esse notorium, dicens: non sine causa quaesivi, an velitis quod in virga veniam ad vos. Est enim in vobis aliquid dignum virga disciplinae, quia fornicatio auditur inter vos omnino, secundum publicam formam; contra quod dicitur Eph. V, 3: fornicatio autem nec nominetur in vobis; Is. III, 9: peccatum suum quasi Sodoma praedicaverunt, nec absconderunt.
First, he shows that the sin is notorious, saying: it was not without reason that I asked whether you wish me to come to you with the rod. For there is one among you deserving the rod of discipline, because it is absolutely heard, i.e., publicly known, that there is fornication among you, against which it is said: fornication must not even be named among you (Eph 5:3); they proclaim their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it (Isa 3:9).
230. Secundo aggravat peccatum ex comparatione, cum dicit et talis fornicatio, qualis nec inter gentes licita reputatur vel invenitur. Apud gentiles enim simplex fornicatio non reputabatur peccatum. Unde apostoli Act. XV, 20, ad hunc errorem excludendum, gentilibus ad fidem conversis imposuerant, quod abstineant se a fornicatione.
230. Second, he amplifies the sin by a comparison when he says, and such fornication as the like is not among the heathens. For example, fornication was not considered a sin among the pagans; hence to rid them of this error the apostles (Acts 15:29) imposed on pagans converted to the faith the obligation to abstain from fornication.
Erat tamen quaedam fornicationis species, quae et apud gentiles illicita habebatur. Et ideo dicit ita ut uxorem patris aliquis habeat, sicut dicitur Gen. XLIX, 4: effusus es sicut aqua, non crescas, quia ascendisti cubile patris tui, et maculasti stratum eius. Hoc autem erat horribile etiam apud gentiles, utpote contrarium naturali rationi existens. Per naturalem enim reverentiam filii ad parentes secundum omnem statum et legem pater et mater a matrimonio excluditur. Ut sic etiam possit intelligi, quod habetur Gen. II, 24: propter hoc relinquet homo patrem et matrem, scilicet in contractu matrimonii, et adhaerebit uxori suae. Sicut autem ibi subditur: vir et mulier erunt duo in carne una. Et ideo uxor patris repellitur a matrimonio: sicut persona patris vel matris, secundum illud Lev. XVIII, 8: turpitudinem uxoris patris tui ne discooperias, turpitudo enim patris tui est.
Yet it was a form of fornication regarded as unlawful even among pagans; hence he says, that one should have his father’s wife: unstable as water, you shall not have pre-eminence because you went up to your father’s bed and defiled his couch (Gen 49:4). This was monstrous even among the pagans, being contrary to natural reason. For the laws of every civilization dictated that the natural reverence owed to parents prevents sons and daughters from marrying their father or mother. This is even implied in Genesis: wherefore a man shall leave father and mother (in contracting matrimony) and shall cleave to his wife (Gen 2:24). Furthermore, since it goes on to say that the man and woman will be two in one flesh, the wife of the father is excluded from marrying; just as the person of the father or mother: you shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; for it is the nakedness of the father (Lev 18:8).
231. Deinde, cum dicit vos inflati estis, ponit culpam eorum qui hoc peccatum tolerabant. Et
231. Then when he says, you are puffed up, he mentions the guilt of those who condoned this sin.
primo reprehendit eorum tolerantiam;
First, he condemns them for condoning it;
secundo supplet quod illi negligebant ibi ego quidem, et cetera.
second, he supplies what they failed to supply, at I indeed, absent in body.
232. Circa primum notat in eis tria vitia.
232. In regard to the first he detects three vices.
Primo superbiam, cum dicit et vos inflati estis, scilicet vento superbiae, reputantes vos innocentes ex comparatione peccatoris, sicut, Lc. XVIII, 11, Pharisaeus dicebat: non sum sicut caeteri hominum, velut etiam hic publicanus. Sap. IV, 19: disrumpam illos inflatos sine voce.
First, pride, when he says, and you are puffed up, namely, with the wind of pride, for considering yourselves innocent as compared with the sinner, just as the Pharisee who said: I am not as the rest of men, or even as this tax collector (Luke 18:11); he will dash them puffed up and speechless to the ground (Wis 4:19).
Secundo tangit eorum iniustitiam, cum dicit et non magis luctum habuistis, scilicet patiendo causam peccatoris, sicut Ier. IX, 1 dicitur: quis dabit capiti meo aquam, et oculis meis fontem lacrymarum, ut plorem die ac nocte interfectos filiae populi mei? Vera enim iustitia, ut dicit Gregorius, compassionem habet, non dedignationem.
Second, he touches on their injustice, when he says, and have not rather mourned, namely, by suffering for the benefit of the sinner: O that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughters of my people! (Jer 9:1) For true justice, as Gregory says in On the Gospel, homily 34, shows compassion, not disdain.
Tertio tangit eorum iudicii negligentiam ut tollatur de medio vestrum qui hoc opus fecit. Talis enim compassio viri iusti ad peccatorem vulnerat et liberat, secundum illud Prov. XXIII, 14: tu virga percutis eum, et animam eius de inferno liberabis. Per hoc etiam alii corriguntur, secundum illud Prov. c. XIX, 25: pestilente flagellato, stultus sapientior erit. Unde Eccle. VIII, 11: quia non profertur cito contra malos sententia, absque ullo timore filii hominum perpetrant mala. Debet autem ad correctionem aliorum interdum peccator separari, ubi de contagione timetur, secundum illud Prov. XXII, 10: eiice derisorem, et exibit cum eo iurgium, cessabuntque causae et contumeliae.
Third, he touches on their failure to judge: that he might be taken away from among you that has done this thing. For such compassion on the part of a just man bruises the sinner to deliver him: if you beat him with the rod, you will save his life from Sheol (Prov 23:14). This also helps to correct others: the wicked man being scourged, the fool shall be wiser (Prov 19:25). Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the sons of men is fully set to do evil (Eccl 8:11). Indeed, if others are to be corrected, the sinner must sometimes be cast out, when there is fear of his conduct spreading: drive out the scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease (Prov 22:10).
233. Deinde, cum dicit ego quidem absens corpore, etc., supplet eorum negligentiam, sententiam proferens contra peccatorem.
233. Then when he says, I indeed, absent in body, he supplies for their failure by pronouncing sentence against the sinner.
Et circa hoc tria facit.
In regard to this he does three things.
Primo ponit auctoritatem iudicantis;
First, he shows the authority of the judge;
secundo modum iudicandi, ibi congregatis vobis, etc.;
second, the method of judging, at you being gathered;
tertio sententiam iudicis, ibi tradere huiusmodi, et cetera.
third, the sentence of the judge, at to deliver such a one
234. Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponit auctoritatem ministri, scilicet sui ipsius. Videbatur autem contra iudiciarium ordinem, ut condemnaret absentem, secundum illud Act. XXV, 16: non est consuetudo Romanis condemnare aliquem, priusquam is qui accusatur, praesentes habeat accusatores; sed hoc Apostolus excusat, dicens ego quidem absens corpore, praesens autem spiritu, id est, affectu et sollicitudine mentis, secundum illud Col. II, 5: et si corpore absens sum, sed spiritu vobiscum sum, gaudens et videns ordinem vestrum. Vel praesens spiritu, quia per spiritum cognoscebat ea quae apud ipsos agebantur, ac si praesens esset, sicut et Eliseus dixit IV Reg. V, 26: nonne cor meum in praesenti erat, quando reversus est homo de cursu suo? Et quia sum spiritu praesens, iam iudicavi, id est, sententiam condemnationis ordinavi in eum, qui sic operatus est.
234. As to the first he does two things: first, he shows the authority of the minister, i.e., himself. Here he seems to act contrary to proper judicial procedure by condemning an absent person, for it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone, before the accused met the accusers face to face (Acts 25:16). But the Apostle justifies this, saying, I indeed, absent in body but present in spirit, i.e., with love and concern: for though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ (Col 2:5). Or, present in spirit, because by the spirit he knew what was taking place among them as if he were there, as Elisha also says: did I not got with you in spirit when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? (2 Kgs 5:26) Because I am present in spirit, I have already judged, i.e., I have passed a sentence of condemnation on the one who has acted in this manner.
Secundo ponit auctoritatem principalis domini, dicens in nomine Domini nostri Iesu Christi, id est, vice et auctoritate, seu cum virtute et invocatione nominis eius, secundum illud Col. III, 17: omne quodcumque facitis verbo aut opere, in nomine Domini nostri Iesu Christi facite.
Second, he mentions the authority of the principal lord, saying, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., in his place and by his authority, or with the power and invocation of his name: whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Col 3:17).
235. Deinde, cum dicit congregatis vobis in unum, ostendit modum iudicandi, ubi tria tangit: primo fidelium congregationem, cum dicit congregatis vobis. Ea enim, quae gravia sunt, multorum concordi deliberatione punienda sunt. Unde et antiquitus iudices sedebant in portis, ubi populus congregabatur, secundum illud Deut. XVI, 18: iudices constitues in omnibus portis tuis. Unde dicitur in Ps. CX, 1: in consilio iustorum et congregatione magna opera Domini. Et Matth. XVIII, 20: ubi sunt duo vel tres congregati in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio.
235. Then when he says, you being gathered together, he shows the manner of judging, and touches on three things: first, the assembling of the congregation when he says, you being gathered together. For serious offenses should be punished according to the considered agreement of many persons; hence in old times judges sat on the gates where the people were gathered together: you shall appoint judges in all your gates (Deut 16:18); in the company of the upright, in the congregation (Ps 111:1); where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt 18:20).
Secundo adhibet suum assensum, cum dicit et meo spiritu, id est, mea voluntate et auctoritate, secundum illud quod dixerat: praesens autem spiritu.
Second, he indicates his assent when he says, and my spirit, i.e., with my will and authority, according to what he had said, present in spirit.