Non commisceri cum peccatoribus
Relinquish company of sinners
5:9 Scripsi in epistola: Ne commisceamini fornicariis: [n. 250]
5:9 I wrote to you in an epistle not to keep company with fornicators. [n. 250]
5:10 non utique fornicariis hujus mundi, aut avaris, aut rapacibus, aut idolis servientibus: alioquin debueratis de hoc mundo exiisse. [n. 252]
5:10 I do not mean with the fornicators of this world or with the covetous or the extortioners or the servers of idols: otherwise you would need to go out of this world. [n. 252]
5:11 Nunc autem scripsi vobis non commisceri: si is qui frater nominatur, est fornicator, aut avarus, aut idolis serviens, aut maledicus, aut ebriosus, aut rapax, cum ejusmodi nec cibum sumere. [n. 255]
5:11 But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fornicator or covetous or a server of idols or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. [n. 255]
5:12 Quid enim mihi de iis qui foris sunt, judicare? nonne de iis qui intus sunt, vos judicatis? [n. 259]
5:12 For what is it to me to judge them that are without? Do you not judge them that are within? [n. 259]
5:13 nam eos qui foris sunt, Deus judicabit. Auferte malum ex vobis ipsis. [n. 261]
5:13 For them that are without, God will judge. Put away the evil one from among yourselves. [n. 261]
250. Induxerat supra Apostolus Corinthios ad hoc, quod a seipsis peccatorem separarent, quod quidem praetermiserant propter falsum intellectum cuiusdam verbi, quod continebatur in epistola quadam, quam eis prius miserat. Et ideo pravum sensum, quem ex verbis conceperant, nunc excludit.
250. Above the Apostle had advised the Corinthians to remove a sinner from their midst. But they postponed doing this, because they gave a false interpretation to something he had written in a previous epistle. And therefore he now excludes the incorrect sense, which they had devised from his words.
Unde circa hoc tria facit.
Hence, he does three things.
Primo resumit verbum prioris epistolae;
First, he repeats what he had said in the previous epistle;
secundo excludit falsum intellectum, ibi: non utique fornicariis;
second, he corrects the false interpretation, at I mean not with the fornicators;
tertio exponit verum intellectum, ibi: nunc autem scripsi vobis.
third, he gives the true interpretation, at but now I have written to you.
251. Dicit ergo primo: dixi vobis in epistola quadam alia, quae in canone non habetur, ne commisceamini fornicariis, id est, non habeatis cum eis societatem, vel communionem, secundum illud Prov. I, 15: fili mi, ne ambules cum eis, prohibe pedem tuum a semitis eorum; Eccli. IX, 6: non des fornicariis animam tuam in ullo.
251. First, therefore, he says: I said to you in an epistle, which is not in the canon, not to keep company with fornicators, i.e., not have any fellowship or communion with them: my son, walk not with them, restrain your feet from their paths (Prov 1:15); give not your soul to harlots in any point (Sir 9:6).
252. Deinde, cum dicit non utique fornicariis, excludit falsum intellectum praedicti verbi. Et
252. Then when he says, I do not mean, he corrects the false interpretation of the above words.
primo proponit quod intendit;
First, he states what he does mean;
secundo concludit propositum, ibi alioquin debueratis, et cetera.
second, he draws a conclusion, at otherwise you would need.
253. Circa primum considerandum est, quod in praedicto verbo apostoli dupliciter falsum intellectum conceperant Corinthii. Primo quantum ad hoc, quod intelligebant illud esse dictum de fornicariis infidelibus. Sed illud excludit apostolus, dicens non utique intendo dicere quod non commisceamini fornicariis huius mundi. Vocat autem infideles nomine mundi, secundum quod dicitur Io. I, 10: mundus eum non cognovit; supra c. I, 21: non cognovit mundus per sapientiam Deum.
253. In regard to the first it should be noted that the Corinthians had given two false interpretations to his statement. First, they supposed that he was referring to fornicators who are unbelievers. He corrects this when he says: I do not mean that you shall avoid communicating with the fornicators of this world. He refers to unbelievers by the name ‘world’: the world has not know him (John 1:21); the world, by wisdom, knew not God (1 Cor 1:21).
Secundo conceperant falsum intellectum quantum ad hoc, quod putabant prohibuisse Apostolum solum de fornicariis, non autem de aliis peccatoribus. Et ideo ad hoc excludendum subdit aut avaris, qui scilicet iniuste detinent aliena. Eph. V, 5: avaritia, quae est idolorum servitus, non habet haereditatem in regno Christi et Dei. Aut rapacibus, qui scilicet violenter diripiunt aliena. Infra eodem: neque rapaces regnum Dei possidebunt. Aut idolis servientibus, contra quos dicitur Sap. XIV, 27: nefandorum enim idolorum cultura omnis malitiae causa est, initium et finis. Et est sensus: non solum vobis prohibui societatem fornicatorum, sed etiam omnium aliorum peccatorum.
Second, they falsely supposed that the Apostle’s prohibition referred only to fornicators and not to other sinners. To correct this he now adds, or with the covetous, who unjustly retain what belongs to others: no one who is covetous (which is serving of idols) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph 5:5), or extortioners, who violently plunder the property of others; nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:10); or the servers of idols, against whom it is written: the worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and the end of all evil (Wis 14:27). Consequently, the Apostle is prohibiting fellowship not only with fornicators but with all other sinners.
Et est advertendum, quod per fornicationem quis peccat contra seipsum, per avaritiam autem et rapacitatem contra proximum, per idolorum autem culturam contra Deum; et in his, quae ponit, omne peccati genus intelligitur.
It should be noted that by fornication a person sins against himself; by greed and robbery against his neighbor, and by the worship of idols he sins against God. Consequently, in mentioning these he includes every type of sin.
254. Deinde cum dicit alioquin, etc., assignat rationem propositi, dicens alioquin, si scilicet sit intelligendum verbum praedictum de fornicariis huius mundi, debueratis de hoc mundo exisse, quia scilicet totus mundus talibus plenus est. Unde non possetis tales fornicarios vitare, nisi de hoc mundo exeundo. Dicitur enim I Io. V, 19: totus mundus in maligno positus est.
254. Then when he says, otherwise, he gives the reason for this clarification, saying, otherwise, i.e., if he had meant the fornicators of this world, you would need to go out of the world, for the whole world is filled with them; hence you could not avoid them except by going out of this world: the whole world is in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19).
Vel aliter: debueratis de hoc mundo exisse, quasi dicat: a tempore conversionis vestrae debueratis ab infidelibus mundi separari. Unde non oportet vos super hoc moneri; dicitur enim Io. XV, 16: ego elegi vos de mundo.
Or, you would need to go out of the world, could mean: since you should have been separated from the sinners of this world from the time of your conversion, there is no need to advise you further about this: I chose you out of the world (John 15:19).
Vel aliter: debueratis de hoc mundo exisse, scilicet per mortem. Melius est enim hominibus mori, quam peccatoribus in peccatis consentire. Unde dicitur infra IX, 15: melius est enim mihi mori, quam ut gloriam meam quis evacuet.
Or again: you would need to go out of the world, i.e., by dying, for it is better for man to die than consent to sinners in sin; hence it says below: for it is good for me to die rather than that any man should make my glory void (1 Cor 9:15).
255. Deinde, cum dicit nunc autem scripsi vobis, exponit eis verum intellectum et
255. Then when he says, but now I have written to you, he presents the true interpretation.
primo proponit quod intendit;
First, he states his intention;
secundo rationem assignat, ibi: quid enim mihi est?;
second, he assigns a reason, at for what is it to me;
Tertio infert conclusionem intentam, ibi auferte malum, et cetera.
third, he draws the intended conclusion, at put away the evil one.
256. Dicit ergo primo: nunc autem sic expono, quod olim scripsi vobis: non commisceamini, scilicet fornicariis et aliis peccatoribus. Si is qui, inter vos, frater nominatur, eo modo quo Dominus dicit, Matth. c. XXIII, 8: omnes vos fratres estis. Non tamen dicit: si is qui frater est, sed: si is, qui frater nominatur, quia per peccatum mortale aliquis a caritate recedit, quae est spiritualis fraternitatis causa. Unde Hebr. ult. dicitur caritas fraternitatis maneat in vobis. Nominatur ergo frater propter fidei veritatem, non autem est vere frater, propter caritatis defectum, qui est ex peccato. Unde subditur aut fornicator, aut avarus, aut idolis serviens, aut maledicus, aut rapax, aut ebriosus, cum huiusmodi nec cibum sumere, scilicet debetis, secundum illud Io. II Canon.: si quis venit ad vos, et hanc doctrinam non affert, nolite eum recipere in domo vestra, nec ave dixeritis ei; quasi dicat: per hoc quod dixi non debere vos misceri peccatoribus, intellexi de fidelibus qui nominantur fratres, et sunt inter vos.
256. First, therefore, he says: but now I shall explain what I have written to you earlier, not to keep company with fornicators and other sinners, if any man, among you, is named a brother in the sense in which the Lord speaks: you are all brothers (Matt 23:8). The Apostle does not say if any man is a brother, but if any man is called a brother, because by mortal sin a man departs from charity, which is the cause of spiritual brotherhood. Hence: let brotherly love continue (Heb 13:1). Therefore a man is called a brother on account of the true faith, even though he is not really a brother, if he lacks charity as a result of sin. Hence he adds, be a fornicator or covetous or a server of idols or a reviler or a drunkard or an extorioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting (2 John 1:10). In other words: when I said that you should not keep company with sinners, I meant with believers who are called brothers and live among you.
257. Non autem per hoc intelligendum est, sicut dicit Augustinus in libro Contra Parmenianum, et habetur in Glossa hic, quod aliquis extraordinario iudicio debeat a communione aliorum separari, quia frequenter posset errare, sed potius hoc debet fieri secundum ordinem Ecclesiae, quando aliquis a communione repellitur, ut convictus, vel sponte confessus. Et ideo signanter dicit si is qui nominatur, ut eam nominationem intelligamus, quae fit per sententiam Ecclesiae ordine iudiciario contra aliquem prolatam. Illi autem qui sic a communione pelluntur, sunt vitandi quantum ad mensam, sicut hic dicitur, et quantum ad salutationem, ut dicitur in praedicta auctoritate Ioannis, et ulterius quantum ad sacram communionem. Unde in versu dicitur: os, orare, vale, communio, mensa negatur, scilicet excommunicato.
257. However, by this it should not be understood, as Augustine says in Contra Parmenianum, and as it says here in the Gloss, that someone by an extraordinary judgment should be separated from communion with others, because often one can be mistaken, but rather this ought to be done according to the order of the Church, when someone is expelled from communion as convicted or freely confessed. And this he says clearly, if any man that is named, so that we understand that designation which is made through the sentence of the Church by a judicial order against someone brought forward. But those who are expelled from communion are to be shunned as to the table, as it says here, and as to greeting, as it says in what is preached by the authority of John, and further, as to sacred communion. Hence it is said in verse: the mouth, to pray, farewell communion, the table is denied, that is, he is excommunicated.
258. Sed notandum quod Apostolus supra non numeravit nisi peccata mortalia, in signum, quod pro solo peccato mortali debet aliquis excommunicari. Et de aliis quidem quae ponit manifestum est; sed de ebrietate potest esse dubium, quae non semper videtur esse peccatum mortale. Dicit enim Augustinus in sermone de purgatorio, quod ebrietas, nisi sit frequens, non est peccatum mortale. Quod credo ideo esse, quia ebrietas ex suo genere est peccatum mortale. Quod enim aliquis propter delectationem vini velit perdere usum rationis, exponens se periculo multa alia peccata perpetrandi, videtur esse contrarius caritati. Contingit tamen per accidens ebrietatem non esse peccatum mortale propter ignorantiam vini fortitudinis, vel debilitatis proprii capitis, quae tamen excusatio tollitur per frequentem experientiam: et ideo Apostolus signanter non dicit ebrius sed ebriosus.
258. It should be noted that the Apostle mentions only mortal sins to show that a man should not be excommunicated except for mortal sin. However, there seems to be some question about one of these sins, namely, drunkenness, which does not always seem to be a mortal sin. For Augustine says in a sermon on purgatory that drunkenness, unless it is frequent, is not a mortal sin. I believe the reason for this is that drunkenness is a mortal sin in general. For it seems to be contrary to charity that for the pleasure of wine a man is willing to lose the use of reason and expose himself to the danger of committing many other sins. Yet it might happen that drunkenness is not a mortal sin, because the strength of the wine or one’s own physical weakness were not known. However, this excuse loses its validity, when drunkenness is frequent. Hence it is significant that the Apostle does not say a drinker but a drunkard.
Addit autem duo peccata his quae supra posuerat, scilicet ebriosum et maledicum. Refertur autem ebrietas ad genus peccati quod committitur contra seipsum, sub quo continetur non solum luxuria, sed etiam gula; maledicus autem refertur ad genus peccati quod committitur contra proximum, cui nocet aliquis non solum facto, sed etiam verbo, mala imprecando, vel male diffamando: quod pertinet ad detractionem, vel mala in faciem dicendo: quod pertinet ad contumeliam, et hoc totum pertinet ad rationem maledici, ut supra dictum est.
It is noteworthy that to the list given earlier he added two sins, namely, the reviler and the drunkard. Drunkenness is among the class of sins committed against oneself, which includes not only lust but gluttony as well. Reviling is among the sins committed against one’s neighbor, whom a man can harm not only by deed but also by word, by calling down evil upon him or by defaming him, which pertains to detraction, or by speaking evil to his face, which pertains to contumely. All this is included under the notion of reviler, as has been stated.
259. Deinde, cum dicit quid enim mihi est, etc., assignat rationem eius quod dixerat. Et circa hoc tria facit. Primo assignat rationem, dicens: dixi hoc esse intelligendum de fratribus, et non de infidelibus. Quid enim mihi est, id est, quid ad me pertinet, iudicare, id est, sententiam condemnationis ferre, de his qui foris sunt? Id est, de infidelibus, qui sunt omnino extra Ecclesiam? Praelati enim Ecclesiarum accipiunt spiritualem potestatem super eos tantum, qui se fidei subdiderunt, secundum illud II Cor. X, 6: in promptu habentes ulcisci omnem inobedientiam, cum impleta fuerit vestra obedientia. Indirecte tamen praelati Ecclesiarum habent potestatem super eos qui foris sunt, inquantum propter eorum culpam prohibent fideles, ne illis communicent.
259. Then when he says, for what is it to me, he gives the reason for what he had said. In regard to this he does three things: first, he gives the reason, saying: I have said that this is to be understood of brothers and not unbelievers, for what is it to me, i.e., what business is it of mine to judge, i.e., pass a sentence of condemnation on them that are without, i.e., on unbelievers who are completely outside the Church? For the hierarchy has spiritual power over those alone who have submitted to the faith: being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete (2 Cor 10:6). Indirectly, however, the hierarchy has power over those who are without, inasmuch as it forbids believers to deal with them on account of their guilt.
260. Secundo adhibet similitudinem, dicens nonne de his qui intus sunt vos iudicatis? Quasi dicat: eadem auctoritate vos iudicatis, qua et ego. Unde nec vos non iudicatis nisi de vestris, ita et ego. Dicitur Eccli. X, 1: iudex sapiens iudicabit populum suum.
260. Second, he uses a simile, saying, do you not judge them that are within? As if to say: you judge with the same authority as I; hence just as you do not judge anyone but your own, so I also: a wise judge shall judge his people (Sir 10:1).
261. Tertio respondet tacitae dubitationi. Posset enim videri, quod infideles essent meliores, qui propter peccata praedicta non condemnantur; sed hoc excludit, dicens: ideo nihil mihi de his qui foris sunt iudicare, nam eos qui foris sunt, id est, infideles, iudicabit Deus, scilicet iudicio condemnationis, non examinationis; quia, ut Gregorius dicit in Moralibus, infideles damnabuntur sine iudicio discussionis et examinationis. Et quantum ad hoc dicitur Io. III, 18: qui non credit, iam iudicatus est, id est, manifestam in se habet causam condemnationis, et hoc gravius reservatur Dei iudicio, secundum illud Hebr. X, 31: horrendum est incidere in manus Dei viventis.
261. Third, he settles a doubt. For some one might conclude that unbelievers are better for not being condemned for the above mentioned sins. But he rejects this when he says that it is not his business to judge those that are without, for them that are without, i.e., unbelievers, God will judge, namely, with the judgment of condemnation, not examination; because as Gregory says in Morals, unbelievers will be condemned without discussion and investigation. This is in line with what is said in John: he who does not believe has already been judged (John 3:18), i.e., has within himself an obvious cause for condemnation, and this more serious case is reserved for the judgment of God: it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31).
262. Deinde, cum dicit auferte malum, etc., infert conclusionem principaliter intentam, dicens: ex quo hoc quod dixi non commisceamini fornicariis, intelligendum est de fidelibus, non de his qui foris sunt. Ergo auferte malum, scilicet hominem, ex vobis ipsis, id est, de vestra societate eiicite, secundum illud Deut. XIII, 5: auferes malum de medio tui.
262. Then when he says, put away the evil one, he draws the main conclusion saying: since my command that you not keep company with fornicators must be understood as referring to believers and not to those who are outside, put away the evil one, i.e., this man, from among yourselves, i.e., expel him from your company: you shall purge the evil from the midst of you (Deut 13:5).
263. Est ergo considerandum ex praemissis Apostoli verbis, quod non prohibemur communicare infidelibus, qui numquam fidem receperunt propter eorum poenam. Est tamen hoc cavendum aliquibus, scilicet infirmis, propter eorum cautelam, ne seducantur. Illi vero qui sunt firmi in fide, possunt eis licite communicare, et dare operam conversioni eorum, ut dicitur infra X, 27: si quis infidelium vocat vos ad caenam et vultis ire, omne quod appositum fuerit manducate.
263. These words of the Apostle do not mean that we are forbidden to associate with unbelievers who have never received the faith, for the sake of their punishment. Yet the weak are cautioned to avoid them, lest they be drawn away. But those strong in the faith can lawfully associate with them and try to convert them, as it says below: if any of them that believes not, invites you, and you are willing to go: eat of any thing that is set before you (1 Cor 10:27).
Infidelibus autem qui aliquando fideles fuerunt, vel sacramentum fidei receperunt, sicut haereticis et apostatantibus a fide, subtrahitur omnino communio fidelium, et hoc in eorum poenam, sicut et caeteris peccatoribus qui adhuc subduntur potestati Ecclesiae.
But unbelievers who once were believers, or received the sacrament of faith, as heretics or apostates from the faith, are excluded from all contact with believers. This is a punishment for them, as it is for other sinners still subject to the power of the Church.