Did the famous Papal Legate, Cardinal Cajetan reject the catholic view of deuterocanonical books?

“Here we close our commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament. For the rest (that is, Judith, Tobit, and the books of Maccabees) are counted by St Jerome out of the canonical books, and are placed amongst the Apocrypha, along with Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, as is plain from the Prologus Galeatus. Nor be thou disturbed, like a raw scholar, if thou shouldest find anywhere, either in the sacred councils or the sacred doctors, these books reckoned as canonical. For the words as well of councils as of doctors are to be reduced to the correction of Jerome. Now, according to his judgment, in the epistle to the bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, these books (and any other like books in the canon of the Bible) are not canonical, that is, not in the nature of a rule for confirming matters of faith. Yet, they may be called canonical, that is, in the nature of a rule for the edification of the faithful, as being received and authorised in the canon of the Bible for that purpose. By the help of this distinction thou mayest see thy way clearly through that which Augustine says, and what is written in the provincial council of Carthage.”

~ Commentary on All the Authentic Historical Books of the Old Testament (dedicated to Pope Clement VII )

  • What makes you think he rejected the canon as defined in the 4th session of the Council of Trent? Are you asking if he opposed that definition in the conciliar deliberations?
    – Geremia
    Commented Jan 28, 2023 at 20:32
  • I am asking what the Cajetan's view on the canon(Mainly deuterocanonicals) was
    – Wenura
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 6:49

1 Answer 1


Concilium Tridentinum (t. 5): Actorum pars altera: Acta post sessionem tertiam usque ad Concilium Bononiam translatum p. 5n1:

What is said here about Cardinal Thomas Caietano is not to be taken so strictly, since the most famous theologian in cutting out of the canon the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament (Judith, Tobias, Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus) very openly follows St. Jerome, although those same books he admits for the edification of the faithful. See the same commentary in all the authentic Old Testament historical books (Rome 1535) at the end after the book Esther, p. 397. On the other hand, it is clear that Cajetan's exegetical works offended in many ways and were fiercely attacked by several writers of no small name. Hurter, Nomenclator I, 1018, Conc. Trid. I, 32 addn. I.]

Quæ hic de Thoma Caietano cardinale dicuntur, non ita stricte sumenda sunt, cum celeberrimus alioquin theologus in resecandis e canone libris deuterocanonicis veteris testamenti (Iudith, Tobiæ, Machabæorum, Sapientiæ, Ecclesiastici) apertissime S. Hieronymum sequatur licet eosdem libros ad aedificationem fidelium admittat. Vide eiusdem commentarium in omnes authenticos vet. test. historiales libros (Romæ 1535) in fine post librum Esther f 397. De cetero constat, opera exegetica Caietam in multis offendisse et a compluribus scriptoribus non parvi nominis acriter oppugnata esse. Hurter, Nomenclator I, 1018, Conc. Trid. I, 32 adn. I.

Cdl. Cajetan also opposed the Pauline authorship of the Letter to the Hebrews; cf. ¶¶5-6 of § "4. The Theologian of the Council of Trent" of the introduction to Against All Heresies by Alfonso de Castro, O.F.M., the theologian tasked with refuting Cdl. Cajetan.

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