On May 1, 1913, editor in chief de Grandmaison wrote in his annual report to the "Patronage Committee of Etudes," among others, about a letter he had recently received from his superior general, Franz-Xavier Wernz: "[He] wished to assure me that no one had called attention to anything in [our] journals that might have given rise to suspicions of laxism
Most famously, Blaise Pascal, in his 1660 Provincial Letters, viciously assaulted what he saw as Jesuit laxism
in faith and morals by ridiculing casuistry.
constructs a narrative of the polemic and its various stages up to the condemnation of laxism
in 1700 by the General Assembly of the French Clergy.
First, he traces the diversity of moral thought from laxism
to rigorism (tutiorism), and especially the "moderate probabalist" position of Alphonsus Liguori.
11) Julia Fleming is less bothered by contemporary debates and offers wise counsel: "Anyone nonplussed by the recent 'method wars' can take comfort in the fact that moral dispute was not a twentieth-century invention, as the exchanges concerning Jansenism, laxism
, probabilism, and probabiliorism copiously demonstrate.
106) In this way, the casuist's art steers the often narrow middle course between the minimalist tendencies of laxism
and the legalistic tendencies of rigorism.