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.
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Three Problems in Calvinism
W. H. Marshner
Suppose God pulls me up by my armpits to make me stand. If my legs stay jelly, does He succeed in making me stand? No. My muscles and sinews must become such that, in real terms, I am standing on them. The same is true when we take ‘stand’ more broadly to refer to our being alive and upright before God spiritually. God lifts me up by His grace to make me alive and upright. If my inner faculties remain dead as doornails, does He succeed in making me alive? If they remain utterly prostrate in sin, does He succeed in making me stand? No. My mind and will must be-come such that, in real terms, I am living-for-God in them. This point Calvinism recognizes (against Luther) and rightly so: in those whom He is saving, God accomplishes a real work of sanctification.
Mary: Redemption and Preservation
WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
FAITH AND REASON
Vol. VII, No. 2
The following analysis of Mary’s redemption attempts to clarify the Catholic understanding of how it can be said that a person conceived without original sin can be said to be redeemed at all. The importance of William Marshner’s technical treatment of this traditionally vexing question, including his use of modal logic, will be apparent to those who regard it as a chief function of theologians to defend and advance the Faith by precisely answering as many potentially devastating questions as possible. Thus, Marshner proceeds to eliminate false understanding of Mary’s redemption so that a proper understanding might leave the central doctrines of the Church less open to attack.
Prof. William H. Marshner
Prof. J. M. Alonso
Ex «Ephemerides Mariologicae» Matriti – 1977
Catholic theologians are agreed that the Mother of God, considered as «universal principle of intercession», plays a rôle in the subjective redemption (or redemption in actu secundo) of all those who in fact enter into this redemption. The question which divides counsels is her role in the objective redemption (or redemption in actu primo). Is she a factor in this redemption primarily or even exclusively because her fiat was a condition sine qua non for the Incarnation, or because her actions enter into the constitution of the objective redemption itself, being acceptable to God the Father not alongside the actions of her Divine Son but together with them per modum unius?
Albany Diocese Proclaims A New “Right”
By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
February 14, 1974
We Americans live in a country where new and unheard-of things are being discovered all the time. This is nowhere more true than in the field of human rights. Thomas Jefferson discovered more rights than most people can remember. In our own century, F. D. Roosevelt discovered the right to be “free from fear.” Then came the Supreme Court, which only a year ago discovered that women have a right, a Constitutional right, to procure abortions. Continue reading “Albany Diocese Proclaims A New “Right””
By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
December 7, 1972
(Special to the Wanderer)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Six medical students at Georgetown University wrote a 46-page booklet called Human Sexual Response- Ability for the benefit of their fellow students. They were guided by a faculty advisor named Fr. Robert C. Baumiller, S.J., who is an associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Fr. Baumiller has already made the pages of the Wanderer (12-2-71) on this little book on sex. They claimed that the booklet was “purely informational” but that line did not wash with their Bishop, Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle. He read the thing and called it “potentially dangerous to spiritual welfare.” He got on the back of the Georgetown administration to have the booklet withdrawn as incompatible with the Catholic character of the University. The only response, however, was from school president, Fr. Robert J. Henle, who said the administration was not responsible. It was a student project and hence, not “official” he said. Nobody here but us chickens.