Decree of the Holy Office, Dec. 7, 1690
Errors of the Jansenists
Source: Denzinger The Sources of Catholic Dogma 1957
1. In the state of fallen nature, for mortal [Viva: formale] sin and for
demerit that liberty is sufficient by which the mortal sin or demerit was
voluntary and free in its cause, namely, in original sin and in the will of Adam
2. Although there is such a thing as invincible ignorance of the law of
nature, this, in the state of fallen nature, does not excuse from formal sin
anyone acting out of ignorance.
3. It is not permitted to follow a (probable) opinion or among the probables
the most probable.
4. Christ gave Himself for us as an oblation to God, not for the elect only,
but for all the faithful only.
5. Pagans, Jews, heretics, and others of this kind do not receive in any way
any influence from Jesus Christ, and so you will rightly infer from this that in
them there is a bare and weak will without any sufficient grace.
6. Grace sufficient for our state is not so much useful as pernicious, so
that we can justly pray: From sufficient grace deliver us, 0 Lord.
7. Every human act is a deliberate choice of God or of the world; if of God,
it is love of the Father; if of the world, it is concupiscence of the flesh,
that is, it is evil.
8. Of necessity, an infidel sins in every act.
9. In truth he sins who hates sin merely because of its vileness and its
inconsistency with nature, without any reference to the offense to God.
10. The intention with which anyone detests evil and follows after good,
merely that he may obtain heavenly glory, is not right nor pleasing to God.
11. Everything which is not in accordance with supernatural Christian faith,
which works through charity, is a sin.
12. When in great sinners all love is lacking, faith also is lacking; and
even if they seem to believe, their faith is not divine but human.
13. Whoever serves God even in view of an eternal reward, if he lacks
charity, is not free from fault, as often as he acts even in view of his eternal
14. Fear of hell is not supernatural.
15. Attrition, which is conceived through a fear of hell and punishments,
with a love of benevolence for God in Himself, is not a good and supernatural
16. Neither the policy nor institution of the Church has introduced the order
of placing satisfaction before absolution, but the law and prescription of
Christ, since the nature of the thing in a way demands that very order.
17. By that practice of absolving first the order of penance is inverted.
18. The modern custom as regards the administration of the sacrament of
penance, even if the authority of many men sustains it and long duration
confirms it, is nevertheless not considered by the Church as a usage but as an
19. Man ought to do penance during his whole life for original sin.
20. Confessions made to religious are generally either sacrilegious or
21. The parish priest can suspect mendicants who live on common alms, of
imposing too light and unsuitable a penance or satisfaction because of the
advantage or gain of some temporal aid.
22. They are to be judged sacrilegious who claim the right to receive
Communion before they have done worthy penance for their sins.
23. Similarly, they must be prevented from Holy Communion, who have not yet a
pure love of God, without any admixture.
24. The oblation in the Temple, which was made by the Blessed Virgin Mary on
the day of her purification by means of two turtle doves, one for a holocaust
and the other for sins, sufficiently testifies that she was in need of
purification, and that her Son (who was being offered) was also stained with the
stain of His mother, according to the words of the law.
25. It is unlawful to place in a Christian temple an image of God the Father
[Viva: sedentis, sitting].
26. Praise which is offered to Mary, as Mary, is vain.
27. Sometimes baptism is valid when conferred under this form: “In the name
of the Father, etc. . . ,” omitting these words: “I baptize thee.”
28. Baptism is valid when conferred by a minister who observes all the
external rite and form of baptizing, but within his heart resolves, I do not
intend what the Church does.
29. Futile and many times refuted is the assertion about the authority of the
Roman Pontiff being superior to that of an ecumenical Council and about his
infallibility in deciding questions of faith.
30. When anyone finds a doctrine clearly established in Augustine, he can
absolutely hold and teach it, disregarding any bull of the pope.
31. The Bull of Urban VIII, “In Eminenti,” is false.
Condemned and prohibited as rash, scandalous, evil-sounding, injurious, close
to heresy, smacking of heresy, erroneous, schismatic, and heretical