St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province


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Deinde considerandum est de iniuriis verborum quae inferuntur extra iudicium.
  • Et primo, de contumelia;
  • secundo, de detractione;
  • tertio, de susurratione;
  • quarto, de derisione;
  • quinto, de maledictione.
   We must now consider injuries inflicted by words uttered extrajudicially. We shall consider
  • (1) reviling,
  • (2) backbiting,
  • (3) tale bearing,
  • (4) derision,
  • (5) cursing.
Circa primum quaeruntur quatuor.    Under the first head there are four points of inquiry:
Primo, quid sit contumelia.     (1) What is reviling?
Secundo, utrum omnis contumelia sit peccatum mortale.     (2) Whether every reviling is a mortal sin?
Tertio, utrum oporteat contumeliosos reprimere.     (3) Whether one ought to check revilers?
Quarto, de origine contumeliae.     (4) Of the origin of reviling.


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Whether reviling consists in words?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod contumelia non consistat in verbis. Contumelia enim importat quoddam nocumentum proximo illatum, cum pertineat ad iniustitiam. Sed verba nullum nocumentum videntur inferre proximo, nec in rebus nec in persona. Ergo contumelia non consistit in verbis.   Objection 1: It would seem that reviling does not consist in words. Reviling implies some injury inflicted on one's neighbor, since it is a kind of injustice. But words seem to inflict no injury on one's neighbor, either in his person, or in his belongings. Therefore reviling does not consist in words.
Praeterea, contumelia videtur ad quandam dehonorationem pertinere. Sed magis aliquis potest inhonorari seu vituperari factis quam verbis. Ergo videtur quod contumelia non consistit in verbis, sed magis in factis.   Objection 2: Further, reviling seems to imply dishonor. But a man can be dishonored or slighted by deeds more than by words. Therefore it seems that reviling consists, not in words but in deeds.
Praeterea, dehonoratio quae fit in verbis dicitur convicium vel improperium. Sed contumelia videtur differre a convicio et improperio. Ergo contumelia non consistit in verbis.   Objection 3: Further, a dishonor inflicted by words is called a railing or a taunt. But reviling seems to differ from railing or taunt. Therefore reviling does not consist in words.
Sed contra, nihil auditu percipitur nisi verbum. Sed contumelia auditu percipitur, secundum illud Ierem. XX, audivi contumelias in circuitu. Ergo contumelia est in verbis.   On the contrary, Nothing, save words, is perceived by the hearing. Now reviling is perceived by the hearing according to Jer. 20:10, "I heard reviling [Douay: 'contumelies'] on every side." Therefore reviling consists in words.
Respondeo dicendum quod contumelia importat dehonorationem alicuius. Quod quidem contingit dupliciter. Cum enim honor aliquam excellentiam consequatur, uno modo aliquis alium dehonorat cum privat eum excellentia propter quam habebat honorem. Quod quidem fit per peccata factorum, de quibus supra dictum est. Alio modo, cum aliquis id quod est contra honorem alicuius deducit in notitiam eius et aliorum. Et hoc proprie pertinet ad contumeliam. Quod quidem fit per aliqua signa. Sed sicut Augustinus dicit, in II de Doct. Christ., omnia signa, verbis comparata, paucissima sunt, verba enim inter homines obtinuerunt principatum significandi quaecumque animo concipiuntur. Et ideo contumelia, proprie loquendo, in verbis consistit. Unde Isidorus dicit, in libro Etymol., quod contumeliosus dicitur aliquis quia velox est et tumet verbis iniuriae. Quia tamen etiam per facta aliqua significatur aliquid, quae in hoc quod significant habent vim verborum significantium; inde est quod contumelia, extenso nomine, etiam in factis dicitur. Unde Rom. I, super illud, contumeliosos, superbos, dicit Glossa quod contumeliosi sunt qui dictis vel factis contumelias et turpia inferunt.   I answer that, Reviling denotes the dishonoring of a person, and this happens in two ways: for since honor results from excellence, one person dishonors another, first, by depriving him of the excellence for which he is honored. This is done by sins of deed, whereof we have spoken above (Question [64], seqq.). Secondly, when a man publishes something against another's honor, thus bringing it to the knowledge of the latter and of other men. This reviling properly so called, and is done I some kind of signs. Now, according to Augustine (De Doctr. Christ. ii, 3), "compared with words all other signs are very few, for words have obtained the chief place among men for the purpose of expressing whatever the mind conceives." Hence reviling, properly speaking consists in words: wherefore, Isidore says (Etym. x) that a reviler [contumeliosus] "is hasty and bursts out [tumet] in injurious words." Since, however, things are also signified by deeds, which on this account have the same significance as words, it follows that reviling in a wider sense extends also to deeds. Wherefore a gloss on Rm. 1:30, "contumelious, proud," says: "The contumelious are those who by word or deed revile and shame others."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod verba secundum suam essentiam, idest inquantum sunt quidam soni audibiles, nullum nocumentum alteri inferunt, nisi forte gravando auditum, puta cum aliquis nimis alte loquitur. Inquantum vero sunt signa repraesentantia aliquid in notitiam aliorum, sic possunt multa damna inferre. Inter quae unum est quod homo damnificatur quantum ad detrimentum honoris sui vel reverentiae sibi ab aliis exhibendae. Et ideo maior est contumelia si aliquis alicui defectum suum dicat coram multis. Et tamen si sibi soli dicat, potest esse contumelia, inquantum ipse qui loquitur contra audientis reverentiam agit.   Reply to Objection 1: Our words, if we consider them in their essence, i.e. as audible sound injure no man, except perhaps by jarring of the ear, as when a person speaks too loud. But, considered as signs conveying something to the knowledge of others, they may do many kinds of harm. Such is the harm done to a man to the detriment of his honor, or of the respect due to him from others. Hence the reviling is greater if one man reproach another in the presence of many: and yet there may still be reviling if he reproach him by himself. in so far as the speaker acts unjustly against the respect due to the hearer.
Ad secundum dicendum quod intantum aliquis aliquem factis dehonorat inquantum illa facta vel faciunt vel significant illud quod est contra honorem alicuius. Quorum primum non pertinet ad contumeliam, sed ad alias iniustitiae species, de quibus supra dictum est. Secundum vero pertinet ad contumeliam inquantum facta habent vim verborum in significando.   Reply to Objection 2: One man slights another by deeds in so far as such deeds cause or signify that which is against that other man's honor. In the former case it is not a matter of reviling but of some other kind of injustice, of which we have spoken above (Questions [64],65,66): where as in the latter case there is reviling, in so far as deeds have the significant force of words.
Ad tertium dicendum quod convicium et improperium consistunt in verbis, sicut et contumelia, quia per omnia haec repraesentatur aliquis defectus alicuius in detrimentum honoris ipsius. Huiusmodi autem defectus est triplex. Scilicet defectus culpae, qui repraesentatur per verba contumeliosa. Et defectus generaliter culpae et poenae, qui repraesentatur per convitium, quia vitium consuevit dici non solum animae, sed etiam corporis. Unde si quis alicui iniuriose dicat eum esse caecum, convicium quidem dicit, sed non contumeliam, si quis autem dicat alteri quod sit fur, non solum convicium, sed etiam contumeliam infert. Quandoque vero repraesentat aliquis alicui defectum minorationis sive indigentiae, qui etiam derogat honori consequenti quamcumque excellentiam. Et hoc fit per verbum improperii, quod proprie est quando aliquis iniuriose alteri ad memoriam reducit auxilium quod contulit ei necessitatem patienti. Unde dicitur Eccli. XX, exigua dabit, et multa improperabit. Quandoque tamen unum istorum pro alio ponitur.   Reply to Objection 3: Railing and taunts consist in words, even as reviling, because by all of them a man's faults are exposed to the detriment of his honor. Such faults are of three kinds. First, there is the fault of guilt, which is exposed by "reviling" words. Secondly, there is the fault of both guilt and punishment, which is exposed by "taunts" [convicium], because "vice" is commonly spoken of in connection with not only the soul but also the body. Hence if one man says spitefully to another that he is blind, he taunts but does not revile him: whereas if one man calls another a thief, he not only taunts but also reviles him. Thirdly, a man reproaches another for his inferiority or indigence, so as to lessen the honor due to him for any kind of excellence. This is done by "upbraiding" words, and properly speaking, occurs when one spitefully reminds a man that one has succored him when he was in need. Hence it is written (Ecclus. 20:15): "He will give a few things and upbraid much." Nevertheless these terms are sometimes employed one for the other.


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Whether reviling or railing is a mortal sin?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod contumelia, vel convicium, non sit peccatum mortale. Nullum enim peccatum mortale est actus alicuius virtutis. Sed conviciari est actus alicuius virtutis, scilicet eutrapeliae, ad quam pertinet bene conviciari, secundum philosophum, in IV Ethic. Ergo convicium, sive contumelia, non est peccatum mortale.   Objection 1: It would seem that reviling or railing is not a mortal sin. For no mortal sin is an act of virtue. Now railing is the act of a virtue, viz. of wittiness {eutrapelia} [*Cf. FS, Question [60], Article [5]] to which it pertains to rail well, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iv, 8). Therefore railing or reviling is not a mortal sin.
Praeterea, peccatum mortale non invenitur in viris perfectis. Qui tamen aliquando convicia vel contumelias dicunt, sicut patet de apostolo, qui, ad Gal. III, dixit, o insensati Galatae. Et dominus dicit, Luc. ult., o stulti, et tardi corde ad credendum. Ergo convicium, sive contumelia, non est peccatum mortale.   Objection 2: Further, mortal sin is not to be found in perfect men; and yet these sometimes give utterance to railing or reviling. Thus the Apostle says (Gal. 3:1): "O senseless Galatians!," and our Lord said (Lk. 24:25): "O foolish and slow of heart to believe!" Therefore railing or reviling is not a mortal sin.
Praeterea, quamvis id quod est peccatum veniale ex genere possit fieri mortale, non tamen peccatum quod ex genere est mortale potest esse veniale, ut supra habitum est. Si ergo dicere convicium vel contumeliam esset peccatum mortale ex genere suo, sequeretur quod semper esset peccatum mortale. Quod videtur esse falsum, ut patet in eo qui leviter et ex subreptione, vel ex levi ira dicit aliquod verbum contumeliosum. Non ergo contumelia vel convicium ex genere suo est peccatum mortale.   Objection 3: Further, although that which is a venial sin by reason of its genus may become mortal, that which is mortal by reason of its genus cannot become venial, as stated above (FS, Question [88], Articles [4],6). Hence if by reason of its genus it were a mortal sin to give utterance to railing or reviling, it would follow that it is always a mortal sin. But this is apparently untrue, as may be seen in the case of one who utters a reviling word indeliberately or through slight anger. Therefore reviling or railing is not a mortal sin, by reason of its genus.
Sed contra, nihil meretur poenam aeternam Inferni nisi peccatum mortale. Sed convicium vel contumelia meretur poenam Inferni, secundum illud Matth. V, qui dixerit fratri suo, fatue, reus erit Gehennae ignis. Ergo convicium vel contumelia est peccatum mortale.   On the contrary, Nothing but mortal sin deserves the eternal punishment of hell. Now railing or reviling deserves the punishment of hell, according to Mt. 5:22, "Whosoever shall say to his brother . . . Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." Therefore railing or reviling is a mortal sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, verba inquantum sunt soni quidam, non sunt in nocumentum aliorum, sed inquantum significant aliquid. Quae quidem significatio ex interiori affectu procedit. Et ideo in peccatis verborum maxime considerandum videtur ex quo affectu aliquis verba proferat. Cum igitur convicium, seu contumelia, de sui ratione importet quandam dehonorationem, si intentio proferentis ad hoc feratur ut aliquis per verba quae profert honorem alterius auferat, hoc proprie et per se est dicere convicium vel contumeliam. Et hoc est peccatum mortale, non minus quam furtum vel rapina, non enim homo minus amat suum honorem quam rem possessam. Si vero aliquis verbum convicii vel contumeliae alteri dixerit, non tamen animo dehonorandi, sed forte propter correctionem vel propter aliquid huiusmodi, non dicit convicium vel contumeliam formaliter et per se, sed per accidens et materialiter, inquantum scilicet dicit id quod potest esse convicium, vel contumelia. Unde hoc potest esse quandoque peccatum veniale; quandoque autem absque omni peccato. In quo tamen necessaria est discretio, ut moderate homo talibus verbis utatur. Quia posset esse ita grave convicium quod, per incautelam prolatum, auferret honorem eius contra quem proferretur. Et tunc posset homo peccare mortaliter etiam si non intenderet dehonorationem alterius. Sicut etiam si aliquis, incaute alium ex ludo percutiens, graviter laedat, culpa non caret.   I answer that, As stated above (Article [1]), words are injurious to other persons, not as sounds, but as signs, and this signification depends on the speaker's inward intention. Hence, in sins of word, it seems that we ought to consider with what intention the words are uttered. Since then railing or reviling essentially denotes a dishonoring, if the intention of the utterer is to dishonor the other man, this is properly and essentially to give utterance to railing or reviling: and this is a mortal sin no less than theft or robbery, since a man loves his honor no less than his possessions. If, on the other hand, a man says to another a railing or reviling word, yet with the intention, not of dishonoring him, but rather perhaps of correcting him or with some like purpose, he utters a railing or reviling not formally and essentially, but accidentally and materially, in so far to wit as he says that which might be a railing or reviling. Hence this may be sometimes a venial sin, and sometimes without any sin at all. Nevertheless there is need of discretion in such matters, and one should use such words with moderation, because the railing might be so grave that being uttered inconsiderately it might dishonor the person against whom it is uttered. In such a case a man might commit a mortal sin, even though he did not intend to dishonor the other man: just as were a man incautiously to injure grievously another by striking him in fun, he would not be without blame.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod ad eutrapelum pertinet dicere aliquod leve convicium, non ad dehonorationem vel ad contristationem eius in quem dicitur, sed magis causa delectationis et ioci. Et hoc potest esse sine peccato, si debitae circumstantiae observantur. Si vero aliquis non reformidet contristare eum in quem profertur huiusmodi iocosum convicium, dummodo aliis risum excitet, hoc est vitiosum, ut ibidem dicitur.   Reply to Objection 1: It belongs to wittiness to utter some slight mockery, not with intent to dishonor or pain the person who is the object of the mockery, but rather with intent to please and amuse: and this may be without sin, if the due circumstances be observed. on the other hand if a man does not shrink from inflicting pain on the object of his witty mockery, so long as he makes others laugh, this is sinful, as stated in the passage quoted.
Ad secundum dicendum quod sicut licitum est aliquem verberare vel in rebus damnificare causa disciplinae, ita etiam et causa disciplinae potest aliquis alteri, quem debet corrigere, verbum aliquod conviciosum dicere. Et hoc modo dominus discipulos vocavit stultos, et apostolus Galatas insensatos. Tamen, sicut dicit Augustinus, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte, raro, et ex magna necessitate obiurgationes sunt adhibendae, in quibus non nobis, sed ut domino serviatur, instemus.   Reply to Objection 2: Just as it is lawful to strike a person, or damnify him in his belongings for the purpose of correction, so too, for the purpose of correction, may one say a mocking word to a person whom one has to correct. It is thus that our Lord called the disciples "foolish," and the Apostle called the Galatians "senseless." Yet, as Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte ii, 19), "seldom and only when it is very necessary should we have recourse to invectives, and then so as to urge God's service, not our own."
Ad tertium dicendum quod, cum peccatum convicii vel contumeliae ex animo dicentis dependeat, potest contingere quod sit peccatum veniale, si sit leve convicium, non multum hominem dehonestans, et proferatur ex aliqua animi levitate, vel ex levi ira, absque firmo proposito aliquem dehonestandi, puta cum aliquis intendit aliquem per huiusmodi verbum leviter contristare.   Reply to Objection 3: Since the sin of railing or reviling depends on the intention of the utterer, it may happen to be a venial sin, if it be a slight railing that does not inflict much dishonor on a man, and be uttered through lightness of heart or some slight anger, without the fixed purpose of dishonoring him, for instance when one intends by such a word to give but little pain.


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Whether one ought to suffer oneself to be reviled?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod aliquis non debeat contumelias sibi illatas sustinere. Qui enim sustinet contumeliam sibi illatam, audaciam nutrit conviciantis. Sed hoc non est faciendum. Ergo homo non debet sustinere contumeliam sibi illatam, sed magis convicianti respondere.   Objection 1: It would seem that one ought not to suffer oneself to be reviled. For he that suffers himself to be reviled, encourages the reviler. But one ought not to do this. Therefore one ought not to suffer oneself to be reviled, but rather reply to the reviler.
Praeterea, homo debet plus se diligere quam alium. Sed aliquis non debet sustinere quod alteri convicium inferatur, unde dicitur Prov. XXVI, qui imponit stulto silentium, iras mitigat. Ergo etiam aliquis non debet sustinere contumelias illatas sibi.   Objection 2: Further, one ought to love oneself more than another. Now one ought not to suffer another to be reviled, wherefore it is written (Prov. 26:10): "He that putteth a fool to silence appeaseth anger." Therefore neither should one suffer oneself to be reviled.
Praeterea, non licet alicui vindicare seipsum, secundum illud, mihi vindictam, et ego retribuam. Sed aliquis non resistendo contumeliae se vindicat, secundum illud Chrysostomi, si vindicare vis, sile, et funestam ei dedisti plagam. Ergo aliquis non debet, silendo, sustinere verba contumeliosa, sed magis respondere.   Objection 3: Further, a man is not allowed to revenge himself, for it is said: "Vengeance belongeth to Me, I will repay" [*Heb. 10:30]. Now by submitting to be reviled a man revenges himself, according to Chrysostom (Hom. xxii, in Ep. ad Rom.): "If thou wilt be revenged, be silent; thou hast dealt him a fatal blow." Therefore one ought not by silence to submit to reviling words, but rather answer back.
Sed contra est quod dicitur in Psalm., qui inquirebant mala mihi, locuti sunt vanitates; et postea subdit, ego autem tanquam surdus non audiebam, et sicut mutus non aperiens os suum.   On the contrary, It is written (Ps. 37:13): "They that sought evils to me spoke vain things," and afterwards (Ps. 37:14) he says: "But I as a deaf man, heard not; and as a dumb man not opening his mouth."
Respondeo dicendum quod sicut patientia necessaria est in his quae contra nos fiunt, ita etiam in his quae contra nos dicuntur. Praecepta autem patientiae in his quae contra nos fiunt, sunt in praeparatione animae habenda, sicut Augustinus, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte, exponit illud praeceptum domini, si quis percusserit te in una maxilla, praebe ei et aliam, ut scilicet homo sit paratus hoc facere, si opus fuerit; non tamen hoc semper tenetur facere actu, quia nec ipse dominus hoc fecit, sed, cum suscepisset alapam, dixit, quid me caedis? Ut habetur Ioan. XVIII. Et ideo etiam circa verba contumeliosa quae contra nos dicuntur, est idem intelligendum. Tenemur enim habere animum paratum ad contumelias tolerandas si expediens fuerit. Quandoque tamen oportet ut contumeliam illatam repellamus, maxime propter duo. Primo quidem, propter bonum eius qui contumeliam infert, ut videlicet eius audacia reprimatur, et de cetero talia non attentet; secundum illud Prov. XXVI, responde stulto iuxta stultitiam suam, ne sibi sapiens videatur. Alio modo, propter bonum multorum, quorum profectus impeditur per contumelias nobis illatas. Unde Gregorius dicit, super Ezech., Homil. IX, hi quorum vita in exemplo imitationis est posita, debent, si possunt, detrahentium sibi verba compescere, ne eorum praedicationem non audiant qui audire poterant, et in pravis moribus remanentes, bene vivere contemnant.   I answer that, Just as we need patience in things done against us, so do we need it in those said against us. Now the precepts of patience in those things done against us refer to the preparedness of the mind, according to Augustine's (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 19) exposition on our Lord's precept, "If one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other" [*The words as quoted by St. Thomas are a blending of Mt. 5:39 and Lk. 6:29]: that is to say, a man ought to be prepared to do so if necessary. But he is not always bound to do this actually: since not even did our Lord do so, for when He received a blow, He said: "Why strikest thou Me?" (Jn. 18:23). Consequently the same applies to the reviling words that are said against us. For we are bound to hold our minds prepared to submit to be reviled, if it should be expedient. Nevertheless it sometimes behooves us to withstand against being reviled, and this chiefly for two reasons. First, for the good of the reviler; namely, that his daring may be checked, and that he may not repeat the attempt, according to Prov. 26:5, "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he imagine himself to be wise." Secondly, for the good of many who would be prevented from progressing in virtue on account of our being reviled. Hence Gregory says (Hom. ix, Super Ezech.): "Those who are so placed that their life should be an example to others, ought, if possible, to silence their detractors, lest their preaching be not heard by those who could have heard it, and they continue their evil conduct through contempt of a good life."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod audaciam conviciantis contumeliosi debet aliquis moderate reprimere, scilicet propter officium caritatis, non propter cupiditatem privati honoris. Unde dicitur Prov. XXVI, ne respondeas stulto iuxta stultitiam suam, ne ei similis efficiaris.   Reply to Objection 1: The daring of the railing reviler should be checked with moderation, i.e. as a duty of charity, and not through lust for one's own honor. Hence it is written (Prov. 26:4): "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou be like him."
Ad secundum dicendum quod in hoc quod aliquis alienas contumelias reprimit, non ita timetur cupiditas privati honoris sicut cum aliquis repellit contumelias proprias, magis autem videtur hoc provenire ex caritatis affectu.   Reply to Objection 2: When one man prevents another from being reviled there is not the danger of lust for one's own honor as there is when a man defends himself from being reviled: indeed rather would it seem to proceed from a sense of charity.
Ad tertium dicendum quod si aliquis hoc animo taceret ut tacendo contumeliantem ad iracundiam provocaret, pertineret hoc ad vindictam. Sed si aliquis taceat volens dare locum irae, hoc est laudabile. Unde dicitur Eccli. VIII, non litiges cum homine linguato, et non struas in ignem illius ligna.   Reply to Objection 3: It would be an act of revenge to keep silence with the intention of provoking the reviler to anger, but it would be praiseworthy to be silent, in order to give place to anger. Hence it is written (Ecclus. 8:4): "Strive not with a man that is full of tongue, and heap not wood upon his fire."


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Article: 4  [<< | >>]

Whether reviling arises from anger?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod contumelia non oriatur ex ira. Quia dicitur Prov. XI, ubi superbia, ibi contumelia. Sed ira est vitium distinctum a superbia. Ergo contumelia non oritur ex ira.   Objection 1: It would seem that reviling does not arise from anger. For it is written (Prov. 11:2): "Where pride is, there shall also be reviling [Douay: 'reproach']." But anger is a vice distinct from pride. Therefore reviling does not arise from anger.
Praeterea, Prov. XX dicitur, omnes stulti miscentur contumeliis. Sed stultitia est vitium oppositum sapientiae, ut supra habitum est, ira autem opponitur mansuetudini. Ergo contumelia non oritur ex ira.   Objection 2: Further, it is written (Prov. 20:3): "All fools are meddling with revilings [Douay: 'reproaches']." Now folly is a vice opposed to wisdom, as stated above (Question [46], Article [1]); whereas anger is opposed to meekness. Therefore reviling does not arise from anger.
Praeterea, nullum peccatum diminuitur ex sua causa. Sed peccatum contumeliae diminuitur si ex ira proferatur, gravius enim peccat qui ex odio contumeliam infert quam qui ex ira. Ergo contumelia non oritur ex ira.   Objection 3: Further, no sin is diminished by its cause. But the sin of reviling is diminished if one gives vent to it through anger: for it is a more grievous sin to revile out of hatred than out of anger. Therefore reviling does not arise from anger.
Sed contra est quod Gregorius dicit, XXXI Moral., quod ex ira oriuntur contumeliae.   On the contrary, Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45) that "anger gives rise to revilings."
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum unum peccatum possit ex diversis oriri, ex illo tamen dicitur principalius habere originem ex quo frequentius procedere consuevit, propter propinquitatem ad finem ipsius. Contumelia autem magnam habet propinquitatem ad finem irae, qui est vindicta, nulla enim vindicta est irato magis in promptu quam inferre contumeliam alteri. Et ideo contumelia maxime oritur ex ira.   I answer that, While one sin may arise from various causes, it is nevertheless said to have its source chiefly in that one from which it is wont to arise most frequently, through being closely connected with its end. Now reviling is closely connected with anger's end, which is revenge: since the easiest way for the angry man to take revenge on another is to revile him. Therefore reviling arises chiefly from anger.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod contumelia non ordinatur ad finem superbiae, qui est celsitudo, et ideo non directe contumelia oritur ex superbia. Disponit tamen superbia ad contumeliam, inquantum illi qui se superiores aestimant, facilius alios contemnunt et iniurias eis irrogant. Facilius etiam irascuntur, utpote reputantes indignum quidquid contra eorum voluntatem agitur.   Reply to Objection 1: Reviling is not directed to the end of pride which is excellency. Hence reviling does not arise directly from pride. Nevertheless pride disposes a man to revile, in so far as those who think themselves to excel, are more prone to despise others and inflict injuries on them, because they are more easily angered, through deeming it an affront to themselves whenever anything is done against their will.
Ad secundum dicendum quod, secundum philosophum, in VII Ethic., ira non perfecte audit rationem, et sic iratus patitur rationis defectum, in quo convenit cum stultitia. Et propter hoc ex stultitia oritur contumelia, secundum affinitatem quam habet cum ira.   Reply to Objection 2: According to the Philosopher (Ethic. vii, 6) "anger listens imperfectly to reason": wherefore an angry man suffers a defect of reason, and in this he is like the foolish man. Hence reviling arises from folly on account of the latter's kinship with anger.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, secundum philosophum, in II Rhet., iratus intendit manifestam offensam, quod non curat odiens. Et ideo contumelia, quae importat manifestam iniuriam, magis pertinet ad iram quam ad odium.   Reply to Objection 3: According to the Philosopher (Rhet. ii, 4) "an angry man seeks an open offense, but he who hates does not worry about this." Hence reviling which denotes a manifest injury belongs to anger rather than to hatred.

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