St Thomas Aquinas on Women

Notable comment on Dalrock’s recent post that started quite a ruckus in the comments.

St. Thomas Aquinas on the frailty of women. (Frailty, they name is woman!)

(explanation: he lists the objection then refutes it)

“Objection 5.On the contrary, It would seem in this matter the wife ought to have the preference. For the more frail the sinner the more is his sin deserving of pardon. Now there is greater frailty in women than in men, for which reason Chrysostom [Hom. xl in the Opus Imperfectum falsely ascribed to St. John Chrysostom] says that “lust is a passion proper to women,” and the Philosopher says (Ethic. vii, 7) that “properly speaking women are not said to be continent on account of their being easily inclined to concupiscence,” for neither can dumb animals be continent, because they have nothing to stand in the way of their desires. Therefore women are rather to be spared in the punishment of divorce.

. . . .

“Reply to Objection 5. In adultery there is the same sinful character as in simple fornication, and something more which aggravates it, namely the lesion to marriage. Accordingly if we consider that which is common to adultery and fornication, the sin of the husband and that of the wife are compared the one to the other as that which exceeds to that which is exceeded, for in women the humors are more abundant, wherefore they are more inclined to be led by their concupiscences, whereas in man there is abundance of heat which excites concupiscence. Simply speaking, however, other things being equal, a man sins more grievously in simple fornication than a woman, because he has more of the good of reason, which prevails over all movements of bodily passions. But as regards the lesion to marriage which adultery adds to fornication and for which reason it is an occasion for divorce, the woman sins more grievously than the man, as appears from what we have said above. And since it is more grievous than simple fornication, it follows that, simply speaking, the adulterous wife sins more grievously than the adulterous husband, other things being equal.”

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