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Biography for
Cardinal Sebastian (Character)
from The Celestine Prophecy (2006)

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Some, who think themselves naturally gifted, do not wish to touch either philosophy or logic; nay more, they do not wish to learn natural science. They demand bare faith alone, as if they wished, without bestowing any care on the vine, straightway to gather clusters from the first. Now the Lord is figuratively described as the vine, from which, with pains and the art of husbandry, according to the word, the fruit is to be gathered.

We must lop, dig, bind, and perform the other operations. The pruning-knife, I should think, and the pick-axe, and the other agricultural implements, are necessary for the culture of the vine, so that it may produce eatable fruit. And as in husbandry, so also in medicine: he has learned to purpose, who has practiced the various lessons, so as to be able to cultivate and to heal. So also here, I call him truly learned who brings everything to bear on the truth; so that, from geometry, and music, and grammar, and philosophy itself, culling what is useful, he guards the faith against assault. (1, Ch 9 Human Knowledge Necessary for the Understanding of the Scriptures)

[Wants the beginning] . . . . . . . . . . that you may read them under your hand, and may be able to preserve them. Whether written compositions are not to be left behind at all; or if they are, by whom? And if the former, what need there is for written compositions? And if the latter, is the composition of them to be assigned to earnest men, or the opposite? It were certainly ridiculous for one to disapprove of the writing of earnest men, and approve of those, who are not such, engaging in the work of composition. Theopompus and Timus, who composed fables and slanders, and Epicurus the leader of atheism, and Hipponax and Archilochus, are to be allowed to write in their own shameful manner. But he who proclaims the truth is to be prevented from leaving behind him what is to benefit posterity. It is a good thing, I reckon, to leave to posterity good children. This is the case with children of our bodies. But words are the progeny of the soul. Hence we call those who have instructed us, fathers. Wisdom is a communicative and philanthropic thing. Accordingly, Solomon says, My son, if you receive the saying of my commandment, and hide it with you, your ear shall hear wisdom. Proverbs 2:1-2 He points out that the word that is sown is hidden in the soul of the learner, as in the earth, and this is spiritual planting. Wherefore also he adds, And you shall apply your heart to understanding, and apply it for the admonition of your son. For soul, methinks, joined with soul, and spirit with spirit, in the sowing of the word, will make that which is sown grow and germinate. And every one who is instructed, is in respect of subjection the son of his instructor. Son, says he, forget not my laws. Proverbs 3:1 (1)

A dignitary of the Roman Church and counsellor of the pope. By the term cardinal (Cardinalis) was originally understood every priest permanently attached to a church, every clericus, either intitulatus or incardinatus. [C. 3 (Gelasius I, 492-496), D. XXIV. C 35 (Gregory I, 595), D. LXXXI. C. 6 (Gregory I, 603), D. LXXIV. C. 42 (Gregory I, 592), C. VIII, q. 1.] It became the usual designation of every priest belonging to a central or episcopal church, an ecclesiastical cardo (Lat. for hinge). Cf. Hincmar of Reims, "De jure metropolitani", c. 20 (Opp. ed. Sirmond, II, 731); C. 2, 6 (Pseudo-Isidore), D. XXII. Lastly it was equivalent to principalis, i.e., excellent, superior, and is so used by St. Augustine (De baptismo, I, 6; ed. Bened. IX, 56).

It is the duty of the cardinals to assist the pope at the chief liturgical services known as capell papales, to distinguish them from the capell cardinalici, at which the pope is not present; also to counsel him and aid in the government of the Church (c. 17 in VIto de electione, I, 6; Council of Trent, Sess. XXIV, de ref., c. 1, and Sess. XXV, de ref., c. 1). Hence the cardinals are obliged to reside at Rome and cannot leave the Papal States without permission of the pope. The violation of this law entails grave penalties, even the loss of the cardinalitial dignity (C. 2, X, de clerico non residente, III, 4; Leo X, "Supern", 5 May, 1514, 28, in "Bullar. Rom.", V, 604 sqq.; Innocent X, "Cum juxta", 19 Feb., 1646, in "Bullar. Rom.", XV, 441 sqq.).

To the many duties of the cardinals correspond very extensive rights. They enjoy, in a very special manner, the privilegium fori, or right to ecclesiastical court and judges; the pope is their only judge, and alone can depose them (C. 2, X, de clerico non residente, III, 4). The provision that for the condemnation of an ecclesiastic seventy-two, forty-four, or twenty-seven witnesses were needed, according as he was bishop, priest, or deacon, is no longer recognized (C. un. in VIto de schismaticis, V, 3; Paul IV, "Cum sepius", 9 Jan., 1556 in "Bullar. Rom.", VI, 507 sq.). (2)

1.) Translated by William Wilson. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.

2.) MLA citation. Sgmller, Johannes Baptist. "Cardinal." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 17 Jan. 2010 <>.

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