Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hurtado contra Vetus Testamentum

"In general, it is not permitted to provoke the persecutor."  Indeed, Hurtado's comment on "the famous canon of the Council of Elvira" (c. 306) is that "where Christians have been put to death for having destroyed the idols or temples of pagans, these latter should be presumed to have acted legitimately on the basis of the right to self-defence, and not out of a hatred of the faith [(par légitimate défense et non par haine de la foi)]."

R. Hedde, "Martyre," Dictionnaire de théologie catholique 10.1 (1928), col. 230, italics mine.  The reference is to Thomas Hurtado (1589-1659), Resolutiones orthodoxo-morales, scholasticæ, historicæ de vero, unico et proprio martyrio fidei sanguine sanctorum violenter effuso rubricato . . . (Cologne, 1655).  The canon referred to is no. 60:
If someone has broken idols and on that account was put to death, inasmuch as this is not written in the Gospel nor is it found ever to have been done in the time of the apostles, he shall not be included in the ranks of the martyrs.
Trans. Samuel Laeuchli:  "Appendix:  The canons," Power and sexuality:  the emergence of canon law at the Synod of Elvira (Philadelphia:  Temple University Press, 1972), 133, a better translation than  Latin is
Si quis idola fregerit, & ibidem fuerit occisus quatenus in evangelio scriptum non est, neque invenitur sub apostolis unquam factum, placuit in numero eum non recipi martyrum.
Mansi 2 (1759), col. 15, here:,_Mansi_JD,_Sacrorum_Conciliorum_Nova_Amplissima_Collectio_Vol_002,_LT.pdf.  This differs slightly from, but the true critical edition is La coleccion canonica Hispana, ed. Martinez Diez & Rodriguez, vol. 4 (1984), pp. 233-268.

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