Grace And Sin At The Dawn Of Moral Experience


Grace and Sin at the Dawn of Moral Experience

William H. Marshner


In a notorious article of the Prima Secundae, Aquinas claimed that the first moral decision of an unbaptized child could not result in a venial sin. If the decision was bad, the sin could only be mortal. On the other hand, if the decision was good, the same unbaptized child was freed from original sin. The common doctor’s argument for these claims wove together threads of psychology, moral theology, and eschatology, to fashion a controversial doctrine — elegant, but hard to defend, and in conflict with his own work on faith and justification. This paper will unravel the threads and propose a revised doctrine, less elegant but more plausible, and free of conflict.[1]
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The Immaculate Conception And Recent Ecclesiology



III. Mary, the Church, and Sinlessness


Christendom College
Front Royal, Virginia

How does the grace of the Immaculate Conception illuminate the problems of ecclesiology? How does it clarify the new being to which we are called in the Church of God?

The purpose of this paper is to answer these questions with respect to a specific and crucial issue: the sinlessness of the Catholic Church, which is, as St. Ambrose put it, ex maculis immaculata. In order to address this issue, I must begin again with the original questions and summarize for the reader the pre-requisite clarifications which I have tried to bring to them in previous papers. Continue reading “The Immaculate Conception And Recent Ecclesiology”