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Chapter IV.—Adultery and Fornication Synonymous.

Having defined the distinction (between the kinds) of repentance, we are by this time, then, able to return to the assessment of the sins—whether they be such as can obtain pardon at the hand of men.  In the first place, (as for the fact) that we call adultery likewise fornication, usage requires (us so to do).  “Faith,” withal, has a familiar acquaintance with sundry appellations.  So, in every one of our little works, we carefully guard usage.  Besides, if I shall say “adulterium,” and if “stuprum,” the indictment of contamination of the flesh will be one and the same.  For it makes no difference whether a man assault another’s bride or widow, provided it be not his own “female;” just as there is no difference made by places—whether it be in chambers or in towers that modesty is massacred.  Every homicide, even outside a wood, is banditry.  So, too, whoever enjoys any other than nuptial intercourse, in whatever place, and in the person of whatever woman, makes himself guilty of adultery and fornication.  Accordingly, among us, secret connections as well—connections, that is, not first professed in presence of the Church—run risk of being judged akin to adultery and fornication; nor must we let them, if thereafter woven together by the covering of marriage, elude the charge.  But all the other frenzies of passions—impious both toward the bodies and toward the sexes—beyond the laws of nature, we banish not only from the threshold, but from all shelter of the Church, because they are not sins, but monstrosities.

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