Puebla: Por Diego Fernández de Léon, 1684.
Quarto: 19.6 x 14.5 cm. , 80,  lvs. [¶]4, ¶¶-¶¶¶¶4 [leaf ¶¶¶¶3 signed "A"], B-S4, X-Z2, Aa-Cc2, Dd4, [chi]1
Bound in contemporary vellum with remnants of the original ties (text a little loose at front, vellum of lower cover nibbled at fore-edge.) The text is in fine, crisp condition with just a few light marginal stains and a single, short worm track to leaves G1-2. Marca de fuego (unidentified) on the upper edge of the text block. With a full-page armorial woodcut on the second leaf.
First edition of this text explaining the substance of a bull issued by Pope Innocent XI in 1679 that condemned 65 propositions attributed to the Jesuits and other "laxists", whose approach to moral theology led to extreme positions. The commentary, written by the discalced Franciscan friar Mathías Rodríguez, "of the Province of San Diego in New Spain", includes the full text of the original bull, in Latin. Rodríguez then gives us the text (in Spanish) of the heretical propositions of the Laxists, followed by his explicaciónes, which are also in Spanish.
In the bull, laxists were alleged to hold that it is not sinful for a man to kill his adulterous wife, that one may marry for pleasure alone, that one can satisfy the precept of loving one's neighbor by means of external actions alone, that it is not sinful to have sex with a married woman if her husband agrees to it, that one may wish for the death of one's father if it is with a view towards self-enrichment and not the suffering of the victim, and other heretical opinions.
Among the 65 propositions are two that related to abortion. Innocent XI first condemned proposition 34 (“It is lawful to procure abortion before ensoulment of the fetus lest a girl, detected as pregnant, be killed or defamed.”) and countered that it was unlawful to procure abortion. He also condemned proposition 35 (“It seems probable that the fetus (as long as it is in the uterus) lacks a rational soul and begins first to have one when it is born; and consequently it must be said that no abortion is a homicide.”) and stated that the fetus does indeed contain a soul and that to abort was murder. The denunciation of these propositions clarified the Church’s doctrine regarding abortion as homicide, and distanced the Church from claims that the value of the fetus depended on the moment at which it became ensouled.
"Laxism came into existence as an abuse of both casuistry and probabilism, which were two closely related realities. Laxists chipped away at the meaning of probabilism and tended to reduce it as much as possible. Thus, for example, one could follow a less probable opinion or a tenuously probable opinion. The individual condemned propositions illustrate the abuse of casuistry, which ostensibly attempted to save the ordinary Christian from the imposition of too burdensome obligations. The abuse of casuistry arose by going from one acceptable case to others that exceeded the bounds of acceptability… The condemned propositions show the dangers that arise when cases are considered only in themselves without seeing them in the total context of living a Christian life."(Curran).
Palau y Dulcet (2. ed.), 273231-II; Medina, J.T. Puebla de los Angeles, 88; Hispanic Society. Printed books, 1468-1700, p. 476; Beristáin de Souza, J.M. Biblioteca hispano americana septentrional (3. ed.), IV, p. 249; Sabin 72528; University of California, Berkeley. Library. Spain and Spanish America in the libraries of the University of California, II, p. 500