One of the two questions submitted to the theologians by the Council of Trent on 15 October 1546 in response to the "vote" cast by the Augustinian Girolomo Seripando on 8 October (Hubert Jedin, A history of the Council of Trent, trans. Dom Ernest Graf, O.S.B. (London: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd, 1961), vol. 2 (The first sessions at Trent, 1545-47), p. 249). This vote "raised a problem the discussion of which was destined to delay the conclusion of the debate for many weeks" (247): "a question had cropped up which would have to be thoroughly examined once more. It was not the case that any serious doubts about the fundamental principles of the Catholic doctrine of justification had arisen in the minds of its members. They all conceived it as an entitative, supernatural elevation, through sanctifying grace and the meritoriousness of good works performed in a state of grace. Ultimately the only question was the formulation of an acknowledged element of Christian piety, namely the relation of the justified to Jesus Christ, his Saviour" (248-249; cf. Seripando's stress on the significance of union with Christ on 26-27 November (286-287)). This distinction between "the fundamental principles of . . . doctrine" and "an acknowledged element of Christian piety" was an important one to some: "For Stephen [of Sestino] this imputation [of 'the perfect justice of Christ'] is a postulate of practical piety: 'Do not let us talk of transcendental matters, let us not attempt to square the circle, but let us speak in the light of our own experience.' Personal experience and the experience of the Saints . . . teach us that when the Christian reflects on the dreadful judgment to come, he has recourse to God's mercy and the merits of Jesus Christ. Another Augustinian Hermit, Gregory of Padua, similarly appealed to the personal experience of Christians. In theory he rejected the doctrine of the insufficiency of inherent justice but in practice he advocated the imputation of the justice of Christ for, he asks, which of us, when he considers his own life, will presume to assert that he has adequately satisfied every one of God's demands?" (254-255, emphasis mine) The Servite Mazochi, for his part, distinguished between speaking "'to scholastics as a scholastic'" and speaking as an "ordinary Christian" (255). Etc.
Ultimately, though, Seripando's "question of a twofold justice" (248), though never formally condemned (Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vol. 14, col. 1934), was answered by the Council in the negative.
Thus, I have yet to put my finger on anything like the "Silentio" I remember David Willis once speaking of. According to Willis if memory serves, Seripando posed a question similar to the one posed by Gregory of Padua above ("Which of us, when he appears before the judgment-seat of Christ, will presume, etc."), and got from the Council Fathers only a stunned (because dumbfounded) "Silentio" in reply. Rather, opposition to "la théorie de la double justice" (Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vol. 14, col. 1933-1934; cf. vol. 8, cols. 2182-2185) seems to have been pretty vigorous from the moment Seripando invoked it. Indeed, at least three of the Fathers "expressed a willingness o be judged on the basis of their works" (McCue, 52-53).
But: I have read only very superficially in this area, and would be more than happy to stand corrected. (I am particularly interested in confirmation of the tale as I remember Dr. Willis telling it.)
Further scholarship that I should probably examine (in progress):
- Anderson, Marvin W. "Luther's sola fide in Italy, 1542-1551." Church history 38, no. 1 (March 1969): 25-42.
- Chadwick, Henry. "Justification by faith: a perspective." One in Christ: a Catholic ecumenical review continuing the Eastern churches quarterly 20, no. 3 (1984): 191-225.
- Concilium Tridentinum: Diariorum, actorum, epistularum, tractatuum nova collectio. Edidit Societas Goerresiana promovendis inter germanos catholicos litterarum studiis. 1901- . See esp. V (Concilii Tridentini acta).2 (Acta post sessionem tertiam usque ad concilium Bononiam translatum). Ed. Stephan Ehses. 1911. Seripando's four addresses took place on 13 July (CT V, 332-336), 23 July (CT V, 371-375, 8 October (CT V, 485-490), and 26-27 November 1546 (CT V, -663-674-). (The searchable version of CT V in The Hathi Trust returns 42 hits on "Silentio," none of them within those page ranges. But without a look at the volume itself, I can't say that that's definitive.) The De iustificatione meditata commentatio, written in preparation for the address on 13 July, is at CT XII, -614-635.
- Grossi, Vittorino. "La giustificazione secondo Girolamo nel contesto dei dibattiti Tridentini." Analecta augustiniana 41 (1978): 5-24. On file.
- Hefner, Joseph. Die Entstehungsgeschichte des Trienter Rechtfertigungsdekretes: ein Beitrag zur Dogmengeschichte des Reformationszeitalters. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 1909.
- Jedin, H. Papal legate at the Council of Trent: Cardinal Seripando. Trans. F. C. Eckhoff. St. Louis: Herder, 1947.
- Loewenich, Walther von. Duplex iustitia: Luthers Stellung zu einer Unionsformel des 16. Jahrhunderts. Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Europäische Geschichte Mainz 68. Wiesbaden: F. Steiner, 1972.
- Maxcey, Carl E. "Double justice, Diego Laynez, and the Council of Trent." Church history 48, no. 3 (September 1979): 269-278.
- √ McCue, James F. "Double justification at the Council of Trent: piety and theology in sixteenth-century Roman Catholicism." In Piety, politics, and ethics: Reformation studies in honor of George Wolfgang Forell, Sixteenth century essays and studies, ed. Carter Lindberg, 39-56. Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1984. Read.
- McGrath, Alister. Iustitia Dei: a history of the Christian doctrine of justification. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
- √ Pas, P. "La doctrine de la double justice au Concile de Trent." Ephemerides theologicae Lovanienses 30 no 2/3 (April/September 1954): 5-53. Superb. Indispensable.
- Rückert, Hanns. Die Rechtfertigungslehre auf dem Tridentinischen Konzil. Bonn, Marcus & Weber: 1925.
- √ Yarnold, Edward. "Duplex iustitia: the sixteenth century and the twentieth." In Christian authority: essays in honour of Henry Chadwick, ed. G. R. Evans, 204-223. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.