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I've heard that there were two points of Catholic doctrine in Aquinas' Summa Theologica that were later successfully defended to the contrary. One, I think is the Immaculate Conception of Mary (although I don't know where that is in the Summa) and I'm not sure what the other one is.

Excluding things that might not exactly measure up to modern science. What are the points of doctrine in the Summa that don't line up with Eternal Law?

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Much of what made it the final documents of the Council of Trent comes directly from St. Thomas and his Summa. The Holy Scriptures and the Summa were placed together on the altar at that council for a reason! ☺ – Geremia Nov 24 '14 at 15:45

There are two types of errors in the Summa. The first are of the type caused by a Medieval understanding of science and biology. The second are actual theological dead ends.

The most famous of both has the first causing the second. Thomas believed that the entirety of the body was in the man's "seed". Because of this he argued that the Virgin Mary was purified from sin in the womb. The current Catholic teaching, of course, is that the purification was at conception.

After that it really does become difficult to say that there are "points of doctrine in the Summa that don't line up with Eternal Law". There are competing perspectives which have been proposed, but that does not mean that that Thomas was wrong, simply that there are other, valid views and vocabulary which have been used to express the same thought.

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OK, maybe I misheard the guy on the radio, it was a year or so ago. Maybe he meant there are two types of errors (if you event want to call them errors), not just exactly two errors. In any event, I'll stop thinking that unless I find out more. – Peter Turner Oct 26 '12 at 15:09
@PeterTurner I've been looking to find more than that. If you can find something, please post it. It would be great to read about it. – Ignatius Theophorus Oct 26 '12 at 19:14

Well, to say that Thomas Aquinas was wrong presupposes that the person making this judgement knows the truth.

Well, maybe you mean, What did Aquinas say that the Catholic Church later rejected?

I'm a Baptist, which means I've come to different conclusions than Aquinas did on a number of points. (I've only read scattered fragments of the Summa, so I can't claim to know even a fraction of what Aquinas says.) But I think anyone who reads the Summa with an open mind must agree that Aquinas was a brilliant man with many valuable insights.

On a forum like this, the idea is to ask, What does this or that group believe and why? and limit debates about who is right. In that context, perhaps the better question would be, How does Aquinas differ from X? Or pick a specific conclusion from Aquinas and ask what the arguments for and against it are.

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Fair enough, I'm asking from a specifically Catholic standpoint, I'd hope eventually a Thomist or, more likely, a Franciscan will swing by here and answer. – Peter Turner Oct 24 '12 at 3:05
This question was tagged catholicism and is asked in reference to terms such as Eternal Law and other RC specific terminology. I think it goes without saying that the only proper way to answer this question is to compare Aquinas to modern Roman Catholic doctrine and dogma, with the latter being the standard. With that established, your answer says almost nothing in relation to the actual question. – Caleb Oct 24 '12 at 5:20
Well, if I misunderstood the question, fine, I don't want to argue about it. Is "Eternal Law" a term used by Catholics to refer to a specific collection of doctrinal assertions? I was reading the question as referring to "eternal law" as it is defined in the Summa Theologica: "Accordingly the eternal law is nothing else than the type of Divine Wisdom, as directing all actions and movements." (Part 2.1, Q 93) i.e. as a general concept. Also note my second paragraph above. – Jay Oct 26 '12 at 17:40

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