Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION CXI.: OF SIMULATION AND HYPOCRISY. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
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QUESTION CXI.: OF SIMULATION AND HYPOCRISY. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2) 
Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas. A Translation of the Principal Portions of the Second part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Burns and Oates, 1892).
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OF SIMULATION AND HYPOCRISY.
Article I.—Is all simulation sinful?
R. It belongs to the virtue of truthfulness that one should show himself exteriorly by outward signs to be such as he really is. Now outward signs are not only words but also deeds. And therefore, as it is opposed to truth for any one to signify by outward words anything different from what he has in his heart, so also is it opposed to truth for any one by any signs consisting in actions or outward things to signify that which is not in him; and such a proceeding is properly called simulation. Hence simulation is properly a lie enacted in certain signs, consisting of outward actions; and it makes no difference whether one lies in word or in action. Hence as all lying is sinful, so also is all simulation.
§ 4. As one lies in word when he signifies that which is not, but not when he is silent over what is,—which is sometimes lawful; so it is simulation when by outward signs, consisting of actions or things, any one signifies that which is not, but not when one omits to signify that which is: hence without any simulation a person may conceal his own sin.1
Article II.—Is hypocrisy the same as simulation?
R. Augustine says: “As actors [hypocritae, ὑποκριταί] pretend to other characters than their own, and act the part of that which they are not; so in the churches and in all human life, whoever wishes to seem what he is not, is a hypocrite, or actor: for he pretends to be just without rendering himself such.” So then hypocrisy is simulation, not however any and every simulation, but only that by which a person pretends to a character not his own, as when a sinner pretends to the character of a just man.
§ 2. The habit or garment of holiness, religious or clerical, signifies a state wherein one is bound to works of perfection. And therefore, when one takes the holy habit intending to betake himself to a state of perfection, if afterwards he fails by weakness, he is not a pretender or hypocrite, because he is not bound to declare his sin by laying the holy habit aside. But if he were to take the holy habit in order to figure as a just man, he would be a hypocrite and pretender.
Article IV.—Is hypocrisy always a mortal sin?
R. There are two things in hypocrisy, the want of holiness and the simulation of possessing it. If therefore by hypocrite we are to understand one whose intention is carried to both these points, so that he cares not to have holiness but only to appear holy—as the word is usually taken in Holy Scripture—in that understanding it is clearly a mortal sin: for no one is totally deprived of holiness otherwise than by mortal sin. But if by hypocrite is meant one who intends to counterfeit the holiness which mortal sin makes him fall short of, then though he is in mortal sin, and is thereby deprived of holiness, still the mere pretence on his part is not always a mortal sin, but is sometimes only venial. To tell when it is venial and when mortal, we must observe the end in view. If that end be inconsistent with the love of God and of one’s neighbour, it will be a mortal sin, as when one pretends to holiness in order to disseminate false doctrine,1 or to gain some ecclesiastical dignity of which he is unworthy, or any other temporal goods, placing his last end in them. But if the end intended be not inconsistent with charity, it will be a venial sin, as when one finds pleasure and satisfaction in the mere assumption of a character that does not belong to him: of such a one it is said that “there is more vanity than malice in him.”
[1 ]Understand, when he is not interrogated by any one who has the right to hear it of him. (Trl.)
[1 ]Like Father Clement in the Fair Maid of Perth. (Trl.)