I have noticed a version of this question (Does God have free will? ) however I would like to ask it in a slightly different way:

What are the most significant biblical and other (patristic, scholastic) arguments for God's free will from the Catholic perspective?

  • Are you asking what governs his actions. For example, He does not violate his Nature, but has free will within that framework?
    – Marc
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


St. Thomas Aquinas addresses this in his Summa Theologica I q. 19 a. 1 article, "Whether God has free-will?" He answers (c.):

We have free-will with respect to what we will not of necessity or of natural instinct. For our will to be happy does not appertain to free-will, but to natural instinct. Hence other animals, that are moved to act by natural instinct, are not said to be moved by free-will. Since then God necessarily wills His own goodness, but other things not necessarily, as shown above (a. 3), He has free will with respect to what He does not necessarily will.

  • Great reference, thanks. However, does it mean that e.g. the procession of the Holy Spirit in Trinity is not an act of free will? Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 11:26
  • @KarelMacek God's essence is His existence, the Divine Relations in God are His essence, and His existence is absolutely necessary (cf. his "third way" of proving God's existence). Thus, because "He has free will [only] with respect to what He does not will of necessity," He is not free not to be triune (or to be anything that isn't His nature). "I am Who am" (Ex. 3:14); viz., God is God and must be God.
    – Geremia
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 14:42
  • @KarelMacek It's analogous to how it's impossible for the blessed in heaven, although they have freewill, not to love God.
    – Geremia
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 14:45

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