Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Papal Prudence

The ordinary Ordinary
The debate over the concept of obedience and papal encyclicals continues to rage over at Magisterium. I would encourage you all to go over and read J.'s latest offerings. 

I would also like to expand upon J.'s adumbration of the lines from Pastor Aeternus about "ordinary jurisdiction." This does not mean papal rule over a diocese is in any way to be considered normal. What is does mean is that when the pope intervenes in a diocese, he possesses the same power as the local ordinary bishop. An "ordinary" is the cleric in charge of a community, not necessarily even a bishop. Msgr. Keither Newton is just a priest and presides over the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (please do not call it the "Anglican Ordinariate"). The same is true of Msgr. Steenson in America. In large dioceses and archdioceses, there are often multiple bishops, the ordinary and the auxiliaries—whose function is sacramental. The pope has the same power as the local ordinary when he exercises it, but the ordinary rule of a diocese belongs to the ordinary. Get it?

It seems that in both cases of papal intervention and in exercises of ex cathedra teaching, the pope is bound by prudence and respect for the bishops of the rest of the church who possess ordinary ruling and teaching power in their local churches. Were a Roman dicastry to begin issuing directives, programs, daily schedules, and making decisions for each diocese in the world, the pope would be abusing his power severely. Similarly, infallibility must know limits beyond the conditions laid down in Pastor Aeternus. Were the pope to define that 2+3 equals 5, he would do so infallibly, but pointlessly. I for one always wondered what the point was behind Pius XII's non-definition of the Assumption of Our Lady, given that the Assumption was never disputed within the Church. The sinlessness and the conception of Our Lady were in question for quite some time until a lid was put on it during the Renaissance and Pius IX closed the issue definitively. 

It may all be a moot point now. The Roman part of the Catholic Church is in a malaise created, in part, by a wild papacy, but that is no longer the problem. Bad bishops and an overgrown bureaucracy reign now. The pope is a luminary and high profile figure, but less of an active figure in Vatican activities than say Pius XII or Pius X. One could say that the Church was once like a great orchestra, wherein all the talented players were obscured by a strong willed conductor. Now we are more like a rock band: big name, high publicity players mismanaged by an ever growing machine, each gear looking to get greased.


  1. I strongly suggest everybody read the first page of this thread: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=833565

    It clears up a lot of misconceptions created by 19th/20th century hyper-ultramontanists.

  2. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats continue to prop up the bygone myth of the almighty pontiff to deflect attention from themselves. The bishops, generally, are sniveling little yes-men who are less concerned with running a diocese than currying favor with right people. The general welfare of the sheep is neglected for the tiniest drippings of the latest papal sneeze.

    For instance, as a Catholic in Dallas I'm interested in the welfare of the city's diocese and the neighboring diocese of Fort Worth. I would also like to hear from the neighboring dioceses like Oklahoma City, Lubbock, Galveston, Houston, Little Rock, San Antonio, etc...

    I am not interested in what Papa Frankie had for lunch today or who he ate said lunch with.

    If my hypothetical Pope Formosus II ever takes power the Vatican curia, bureaucrats, and canon lawyers shall all be forgiven...

    But not before they are hanged.

    1. You had better hope your Formosus is not succeeded by a Stephen or a Sergius!

      Part of the difficulty is in the taxonomy of authority. We reached nothing approaching a conclusion about encyclicals in the comments on the Magisterium post. Could not the same apply to papal sermons? Some will say John XXII's heterodox views were not attempted teaching because those views were made known in sermons given to the Curia. What is the difference between then and now? TV cameras and nothing else. The same people will often say Francis is heterodox precisely because of his [all too] voluminous sermons in St Martha's chapel.

      I agree with Fortescue: the pope should hide in the Vatican, disappear unless he wishes to make a formal definition. That said, we cannot ignore that the papacy is a reality. The problem is no longer the over grown papacy, but the self-perpetuating bureaucracy that it has created. As we learned with Benedict, the pope's wishes can be quite irrelevant even in the Vatican now. The pope is restricted by the Vatican machine just as bishops are crippled by episcopal conferences. I would like the pope to be the pope and the local ordinaries to act like ordinaries without all the other nonsense in the middle.

  3. What are we to make of the magisterium when we learn that the Council of Florence and Pius XII are at odds over the matter of the sacrament of Orders or when we learn that the words of consecration aren't necessary to validly confect the Eucharist (e.g. Anaphora of Addai and Mari)? What are we to make of something like Ordinatio sacerdotalis which, for all intents and purposes, looks like an ex cathedra statement, but isn't in fact when judged by the head of the CDF? As The Rad Trad has pointed out numerous times, what is the point of Munificentissimus Deus, which defines (puts theological limits to) something about which there was no doubt or controversy? There seems to be so much tautologous thinking in Roman dogmatics and practice: For example, the authority "level" of the pope's teaching is clarified by the CDF (or some Roman congregation) which has authority because it "is presided over by the Supreme Pontiff" (Paul VI, Integrae servandae).

    What is the "meta-dogma, i.e. What is the dogma about dogmas and what makes something dogma? What are the sources of classifying "theological notes"?

    An ex cathedra, infallible pronouncement from the pope presupposes that the Bishop of Rome has the authority to teach the entire Church. Fine. Where is it found that the Bishop of Rome has universal teaching authority? What are the sources? The Bishop of Rome can, should, and does have a universal sollicitudo omnium ecclesiarum, but does this extend to the ability to teach the whole Church? I'm not so sure.

    1. "Besides, every one knows that the Roman Church has always held as valid Ordinations conferred according to the Greek rite without the traditio instrumentorum; so that in the very Council of Florence, in which was effected the union of the Greeks with the Roman Church, the Greeks were not required to change their rite of Ordination or to add to it the traditio instrumentorum: and it was the will of the Church that in Rome itself the Greeks should be ordained according to their own rite. It follows that, even according to the mind of the Council of Florence itself, the traditio instrumentorum is not required for the substance and validity of this Sacrament by the will of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. If it was at one time necessary even for validity by the will and command of the Church, every one knows that the Church has the power to change and abrogate what she herself has established." Sacramentum Ordinis #3

      no contradiction.

    2. @Marko: A good point, sir, but still I don't see how Eugene IV and Pius XII aren't at odds. Eugene was wrong, I believe, and Pacelli was right (shocking, I know) about the minimal facts, but I think Pius was right for the wrong reason. The handing of the instruments was a [good] medieval embellishment to the existing and universal practice of laying of hands and singing a prayer of ordination. Pius XII does not seem so concerned with this in contradicting his predecessor, but instead says, more of less, that he has the authority to change what part of the rite is the form. It may not be contradiction, but it is certainly circumvention. Interestingly, the same year as Sacramentum Ordinis, Pacelli changed the rite of episcopal consecration a bit.

      @dmw: From many examples in the early days, before the popes entered politics, we can find examples of the popes exercising a universal teaching and judging authority, but only when asked to do so. For a large number of examples, see Adrian Fortescue's book on the Papacy until 451AD: http://theradtrad.blogspot.com/2013/05/book-review-early-papacy-by-adrian.html The more recent problem is with the use of that authority. Previous popes did not intervene in matters of law or teaching without being asked (Clement's intervention in Corinth may well have been invited by members of a dysfunctional church). One line of thought, to which I am sympathetic, is that when the popes lost their temporal power they began to overuse and abuse their spiritual authority as a substitute. I would recommend the Fortescue book, both to understand the historical grounds for the pope's authority and to see good, genuine examples of how early Bishops of Rome used it.

      One last thing that people should note is that papal infallibility is not a Sacrament or a direct link to the Almighty. Kallistos Ware, an Greek Orthodox bishop, at an ecumenical dialogue once asked, "What is papal infallibility? Is it like a Sacrament? Is it as efficacious as a Sacrament? More efficacious? Less efficacious?" A bit cheeky, but it unerlines a deeper confusion. Unlike with a Sacrament—which is quite easy to confect if one has matter, follows a given form, and differs to the Church's intentions as best he understands it—the pope must follow God to speak with His protection. There is an active level of cooperation involved.

    3. Issuing an encyclical or decree as a cover or distraction for a rite change... it seems Pius XII did that a bit.

      I think that as long as he wrote encyclicals, the conservative ultramontanists didn't notice changes to the mass or to feasts. Heck, the reason the entire Holy Week upheaval went through was probably because it din't get in the way of Stations of the Cross (source: every Trad church I've been to treats the Stations as the "main event" of Good Friday instead of the 1955 communion service; if this is the way the Mass of the Presanctified was treated in the day, then that seems to explain everything).

      A side note. What does it say about Catholics back then that HOLY WEEK could be completely rewritten and only receive protestations from a handful of academic types (Waugh, Tolkien, Siri, and Spellman) while the removal of the prayer for the Jews a few years later is still treated like the most controversial thing ever?

    4. Rad Trad: Which was the document by which Pacelli changed ordination rites? Besides, I agree with your views of use of papal authority.

      Lord of Bollocks: What does it say about Catholics &c.? My answers:
      1) An obsession with Jews.
      2) An absolute lack of love for Liturgy and Traditon.
      3) An intellectual highness (on matters of Tradition) near to the phreatic level (with some notable exceptions, of course!).

      I did not live those days, but that is what my experience with Spanish traddies makes me feel.

      K. e.

    5. Another point. Am I the only one who thinks that abolishing the Missa Praesanctificatorum and putting instead a mere communion service is even more Protestant than IGMR (ed. 1969) n. 7?

    6. TRT.
      Church can establish that for the, lets say, some sacrament of the Roman Rite, some other rite besides substantial form and matter is required for the validity. Like She has done with marriage - She has established that it is required for the validity of marriage for the witness of the Church to be present at the wedding.
      That's what he's talking about. Things that the Church has established later, not received from Apostles, She can as well abrogate.

    7. Justinian:
      I wasn't alive at that time either and I have reached the same conclusions.

      It seems Spanish Traddies and American Traddies have much in common. However, I hear the American and Irish ones have the worst "Low-Mass culture". Unlike Spain, America never had a Catholic era so the Trads here clutch onto the 1940's and 1950's for dear life (it was a time when the size and population percentage of the American church was at an all time high... though next decade revealed that the quality was lacking in the bloated quantity). The culture among American Trads is abysmal... old-time protestant culture with trappings of an Americanist ultramontanist illusion. High Mass at my childhood $$PX church was a special once a month event. The rest of the month, we were stucck with the "Four Hymn Sandwich" or "Two Hymn Sandwich" with such "uplifting" tunes like 'Holy God We Praise Thy Name'.

      I've never been to Spain, but I assume that your country still has some remnants of your Catholic history.

    8. Marko:

      So, the ancient and venerated liturgy of the holy saints Addai and Mari should not be controversial in any way whatsoever.


    9. I understand what you are saying Marko, but I still cannot see how it applies to the case in question, Pius XII's contradiction or ignorance of Eugene IV's teaching on the same subject. This is not the creation of a new rite, but a new teaching regarding an existing one. There are different forms for each Sacrament in every rite (although not use) of the Church, but each has its own self-contained and sensible theology. In Sacramentum Ordinis, Papa Pacelli gave a new teaching on the matter in opposition to the older one. Personally, I think it was to set up for a potential piecemeal change in rites that eventuated during his protege's years, but that is irrelevant. It would be as though we were told "Ego te absolvo" was the form of absolution, but now it is the formerly introductory "Misereatur tui omnipotens etc." As Bishop of Rome, the pope, within reason, has power over his rite, but can he arbitrarily change its accepted meaning?

    10. "This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking" (LG 25).

      Are we, all of us who comment on this blog, are we all doomed?!

      "Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ's doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held" (ibid.).

      How is this not just like me saying without error, "Two plus two equals four!"?

    11. "In virtue of our Apostolic authority, we hereby declare, define, and decree that two and two, whether by multiplication or addition, equal four!" -Pope Sixtus VI (me)

      I would not be the least surprised if that paragraph was aimed at people who would be asking questions about sections 12 and 16. If we readers are doomed, we will be seeing St Catherine of Sienna, St Norbert, and the Dominicans who opposed John XXII in the afterlife instead of some popes!

    12. Lord of Bollocks is truly Lord of Bollocks...again.

      The Apostolic, substantial and therefore unchangeable tradition are the words of Institution. The aforementioned liturgy, according to latest research (Uwe Michael Lang has written on that), had the words of institution, but through time lost it.

      I really don't know what you're talking about. Pius XII already gave the answer and the interpretation of the doctrine.

    13. I have never seen evidence of that. If the "Nestorian Heretics" removed the all important "words of institution", then why do the later Anaphoras of Theodore and... Nestorius possess them? There is no connection.

      You can't apply 12th century scholastic concepts (that every serious scholar has admitted only apply to the Roman rite) to a 3rd century liturgy, one of the oldest in Catholicism.

      Even in the other liturgies that possess these words, the other churches put more emphasis on the epiclesis.

    14. Marko,

      Eugene IV on priestly ordination: "The sixth sacrament is ordination. The material for the priesthood is the cup with the wine and the paten with the bread; for the deaconate, the books of the Gospel; for the subdeaconate, an empty cup placed upon an empty Paten; and in like manner, other offices are conferred by giving to the candidates those things which pertain to their secular ministrations. The form for priests is this: "Receive the power to offer sacrifice in the Church for the living and the dead, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." And so for each order the proper form shall be used, as fully stated in the Roman pontifical. The regular minister of this sacrament is a bishop; benefit, growth in grace, to the end that whosoever is ordained may be a worthy minister." (Denzinger 1326, quoting the decree for the Armenians)

      Pius XII on the exact same rite: "In the Ordination to the Priesthood, the matter is the first imposition off hands of the Bishop which is done in silence, but not the continuation of the same imposition through the extension of the right hand, nor the last imposition to which are attached the words: "Accipe Spiritum Sanctum: quorum remiseris peccata, etc." And the form consists of the words of the "Preface," of which the following are essential and therefore required for validity:Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty Father, invest this Thy servant with the dignity of the Priesthood; do Thou renew in his heart the spirit of holiness, so that he may persevere in this office, which is next to ours in dignity, since he has received it from Thee, O God. May the example of his life lead others to moral uprightness." (Sacramentum Ordinis 5)

      He either ignored or reversed the judgment of the Council of Florence on the exact same rite. Your quotation from Sacramentum Ordinis 3 earlier suggested to me that you read S.O. as Pacelli making a different part of ordination the form now, as opposed to the handing of instruments.

      I would agree with Pius XII about when the ordination takes place, but his ignorance/reversal of Florene and Eugene IV is a brightly glaring problem.

    15. Marko,

      I don't know what study of Lang's you're referring to, but let me quote Fr. Taft:

      "...not only Addai and Mari but several other early eucharistic prayers do, in fact, lack these words [of the institution narrative]. Those generally listed include: the 1/2nd century Didache 9-10 and the dependent Apostolic Constitutions (ca. 380) VII, 23:1-4; the 2/3rd century apocryphal Acts of John 85-86, 109-110 and Acts of Thomas 27, 49-50, 133, 158; the Martyrdom of Polycarp (t167) 14; the 4/5th century Papyrus Strasbourg Gr. 254; the eucharist prayer on two 7/8th century Coptic Ostraca, British Library Nr. 32 799 and Nr. 33 050; and the Ethiopic Anaphora of the Apostles, as Gabriele Winkler has recently demonstrated. Furthermore, it seems probable that ca. 150, Justin Martyr's eucharistic prayer did not have them either. In addition, Cyrille Vogel lists six eucharistic prayers in the apocrypha without any trace of an Institution Narrative, and at least twenty-one later Syriac anaphoras either lack the Words of Institution completely (8 anaphoras) or partly (4), or give them in a form considered defective (9) - e.g., in indirect discourse."

      Source: Robert F. Taft, SJ, "Mass without the Consecration? The Historic Agreement on the Eucharist between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East Promulgated 26 October 2001," Centro pro Unione Journal (no. 63, Spring 2003), pp. 18-19.

    16. Also, the Anaphora of Pope Sixtus II:

      When he was prepared for the redemptive passion, in the bread which by Him was blessed + + +, broken and divided unto His holy apostles, He gave us His propitiatory Body for life eternal.

      Likewise, also in the cup which by Him was signed, sanctified + + + and and given to His holy apostles, He gave us His propitiatory Blood for life eternal.

      And with these He added this admonition, saying: So often as You partake of these, make remembrance of My death, My burial and My resurrection until I come.

    17. @Lord of Bollocks.

      This would also be an answer to your second post and to dmw.

      Old Carthusian Missals don't have rubrics in them and also don't have some of the first parts of the Mass in them - but we know they said and did something because it is contained somewhere else, in the Ordinarium Cartusiense. So there you go, almost the same praxis was continued even up until 16th century, although for different reasons.

      You're misunderstanding that. Pius didn't replace or reverse Eugene's requirements for validity. Eugene's requirements for validity weren't the only one at his time. They were an addition to the already present requirement of laying on of the hands, because that is the apostolic tradition, and the traditio instrumentorum is not, that's why the latter could be added and later removed. There was no replacement. Only removal of what has been added.

    18. The problem is, that is speculation. The document is a bunch of "ifs" and "maybes" and nothing concrete. It could have been or it could not have been. So what?

      Either way, the idea that the "words of institution" are the magic words that accomplish it is highly flawed. The entirety of the anaphora is what does it (when the "institution" is not explicitly present, it is still implied and that is enough). Why would anyone try to isolate eight specific words unless they intended to cut out the rest?

      Minimalism at its finest.

    19. Marko,
      First, thanks for directing us to the book. So, if the Dominical words are necessary, what are we to make of the 2001 declaration that the Anaphora of Addai and Mari sans Dominical words IS VALID? Nicholas Russo's chapter that you reference seems to leave the question open.

    20. dmw,

      I believe Marko is a mainstream sedevacantist (John XXIII was the first non-pope and that everything up to Pacelli inclusive is to be taken as official Church teaching), so I doubt he puts much stock into Cardinal Ratzinger or the CDF. He is, of course, welcomed to correct me if I have misconstrued his positions.

    21. Apparently, Pius XII died yesterday in 1958, which would mark 56 popeless years!

      Back to the topic, I do not think appealing to disciplina arcani is a good route. Just because certain facets of the faith were not to be disclosed to the uninitiated, they were not necessarily unwritten. The uninitiated were expelled after the sermon in the ancient days because they could not communicate ("The doors! The doors!"). No uninitiated person ever saw the anaphora, yet it was, in countless places, written down save for a few words? That does not seem compelling.

      Lord of Bollocks: the Roman tradition for a very long time has been that the Institution is the point in the Canon when the change happens, so let us not call those words "magic." They are the climax of the Canon and of the whole Mass, which culminates at that point much as the anaphora of St John Chrysostom climaxes with the epiclesis (anaphora of St Basil is just too long to say it has a culmination....). While I agree with you that minimalism gives people the impression that those words exist in a vacuum and have power aside from their context, I would be a tad more careful in description!

    22. Rad Trad:

      Point taken. Even though the Roman tradition states exactly when the change happens, this only holds true for the Roman tradition. The Byzantine theological outlook states the point when we know for sure it is done, but leaves open the possibility that it could have been consummated any time previous (as God wills). The Oriental Christians just shrug and go, "Christ comes into the bread and wine when he chooses to."

      I'm more reacting to the mentality of some who treat one sentence of any given sacrament as the whole thing or that the one sentence works as a sort of "spell". I remember one confused Catholic wondering whether the Byzantine absolution was valid (!) because it doesn't have "I absolve you" in it.

      Funnily enough, when I showed both the Roman and Byzantine absolution formulas to some ordinary people who hadn't studied this sort of thing, they considered the Byzantine one to state the absolution more clearly.

      Our Lord and God Jesus Christ, Who gave this command to His divine and holy disciples and apostles; to loose and to bind the sins of people, forgives you from on high... etc.

    23. Ah, well if Marko is a sedevacantist, that answers a few questions.

      Regarding the disciplina arcani, we know that its practice was not universal and it oftentimes didn't work the way we might think it did. You can read Augustine's sermons that touch upon John 6, for example, and note that he says basically, "you baptized know what we're talking about here; you catechumens need to wait until baptism!" However, the words are still read to the faithful, and even if John's "sacramental Gospel" did practice the disciplina arcani, the Synoptics didn't, and they were read openly to baptized and pagan alike.

      It was the sensus fidelium, especially amongst the faithful in and around Paris, that pushed for the introduction of the elevation of the consecrated elements immediately after the words of Institution. If, in the Roman Rite, the words themselves didn't effect the mystical change, then we'd have a problem with those pesky genuflections and gazes of adoration and those indulgenced expressions like, "My Lord and My God."

    24. From Taft (SVTQ 57, 1):

      "This prayer can be understood and interpreted only within
      its liturgical context. As the late Edward J. Kilmartin, S.J. (1923–
      1994), my brilliant seminary Professor of Eucharistic Theology
      and later my colleague as Professor of Theology at the Pontifi -
      cal Oriental Institute used to say in response to the old casus conscientiæ
      joke about what to do if a disaffected priest goes into
      a bakery and says, “Th is is my body,” sacrilegiously intending to
      consecrate all the bread in the store, the answer is: “Do nothing,”
      because there was no Consecration. The Words of Institution
      are not some hocus-pocus magical formula but part of a prayer
      of the Church operative only within its worship context."

    25. I'd also like to point again to the Anaphora of Pope Sixtus. It is a Western Anaphora with no "words of institution", though it does contain: "He gave us his body... He gave us his blood..."

      Nevertheless, the explicit words themselves are lacking. It seems the concept ("the spirit of the law is life everlasting") is far more important than the literal words ("for the letter of the law is death").

    26. Lord of Bollocks, I'm in agreement with you. 'Liturgical context' is the key to this.

      And if such context is our launching point, could one make the argument that Apostolicae Curae is not binding, since it's based on a too narrow scholastic understanding of matter and form in sacramental theology?

    27. On the contrary, I think context (of rite) is what upholds Apostolicae Curae. The text of the Edwardine ordinal, particularly in the examination and in the laying of hands, gives one the impression that a bishop is a Bible teacher who lives an exemplary life. The prayer before the ordination asks for "this grace" which made some Apostles, some prophets, some Evangelists, and some Pastors" without stating that the bishop is to succeed the first of this group. If you want to read the text, here it is: http://www.ccel.org/h/herbert/temple/Ordination1552GH.html#Bishops I think even an theologically uninformed Catholic would instinctively know something is substantially lacking. Apostolicae Curae may well be caught up in Leo XIII neo-Scholasticism, but he does cite in paragraphs 7 and 36 that his predecessors acted as though the Edwardine ordinal does nothing, too.

      Privately, I do wonder if Apostolicae Curae is still relevant. The Anglicans revised their ordination rites a century later and, I believe, have revised them further since then (American Episcopalians certainly have). With the introduction of the "Dutch touch" from the Old Catholics, there *might* be valid Holy Orders among the male clergy of the Anglican Communion, which would be a very interesting issue to say the least!

    28. Well, I certainly agree with your "private" note about AC's current relevance, especially with the Dutch Touch and all.

      I think, however, that one could make the argument that the Edwardian Ordinal is reflecting something in accord with Paul's requirements of a bishop as found in 1 Tim 3:1-17. Add to that the laying on of hands and the "context" that the books say it's an episcopal ordination, and perhaps we have something analogous to a non-Institution Narrative anaphora, i.e. here's some matter (bread and wine) and here's the expectation that it will be transformed (based on context).

      Now, I don't necessarily believe Leo XIII was wrong in AC; I'm merely bringing up a point that perhaps needs to be discussed, especially in light of what we've been talking about vis-a-vis Eugene, Pius, Addai & Mari, etc.

    29. I agree with you generally, but I am afraid I just do not see enough in the Edwardine ordinal to say it means what the Church means when she speaks of "bishop." The A&M rite, while it lacks the Institution words, at least does have the same concept of Eucharist as the Church does. It may all be academic at this point!—to think of the horror: real bishops holding mock "consecrations" and "ordinations" of lesbians in the grand medieval cathedrals of Our Lady's Dowry....

    30. Yeah, it is all academic at this point. I keep wanting to see an Episcopalian ordination of a female "bishop" with three female co-consecrators. Perhaps that will usher in the Second Coming.

      Speaking of female ordination, I think the Church needs to do better in its explanation. The amount of paper that comes out of the Vatican is immense and full of answers to all sorts of questions. But while I agree (of course!) that ordination is limited to viri, I don't think our explanations are all that great. Again, it comes around to that whole "configured to Christ the Bridegroom" idea, which I wrote about somewhere on your blog today.

      I wonder if, especially in light of new turns in bioethics, that the Church is going to have to embrace a new and better philosophical language. Take, for example, the case of "snowflake babies."

      "It has also been proposed, solely in order to allow human beings to be born who are otherwise condemned to destruction, that there could be a form of “prenatal adoption”. This proposal, praiseworthy with regard to the intention of respecting and defending human life, presents however various problems not dissimilar to those mentioned above.

      "All things considered, it needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved. Therefore John Paul II made an “appeal to the conscience of the world’s scientific authorities and in particular to doctors, that the production of human embryos be halted, taking into account that there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of ‘frozen’ embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons”"
      (Dignitas personae, 19).

    31. I had an internet outage so i was unable to respond.

      "It could have been or it could not have been. So what?" You answer your own question.
      Also to think that the epiclesis effects the consecration the Church has deemed an error. DH 1017, 2717, 3556. Also, epiclesis wasn't recorded in the Gospels and Epistles but the words of institution and thus it constitutes the apostolic tradition and essence which cannot be done away with.

      you may think that appealing to the disciplina arcani isn't a good route, while i think it is. you may think that those anaphoras are authentic, but i think some of them are either corrupted or incomplete - which fits with the teaching that words of Our Lord effect the sacrament.

      i am a sede, though not really a mainstream one since i'm in agreement on all doctrinal issues with most holy family monastery. but i would leave that topic aside.

    32. " epiclesis wasn't recorded in the Gospels and Epistles "

      Sola scriptura eh?

      "i'm in agreement on all doctrinal issues with most holy family monastery."

      Don't send them money!

      What is the "DH" you cite? An edition of Denzinger?

    33. No sola scriptura but stressing the importance of some things over the other.

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    1. I am not sure Mysterium Ecclesiae 5 is so bad. What it seems to be saying is that context is key in understanding certain things. Very recently, we English speakers got a new translation of the Mass and Creed that correctly translated one line as "consubstantial to the Father." Understanding that requires a background in Greek philosophy and culture that few outside of academia possess. That does not make the Creed untrue, but it does mean care is required when expounding upon the meaning of that phrase. The document quotes Vatican I in saying "That meaning of sacred dogmas...must always be maintained which Holy Mother Church declared once and for all, nor should one ever depart from that meaning under the guise of or in the name of a more advanced understanding."

      Perhaps it would be best if the Inquisition/Holy Office/CDF were restructured. I never understood how they speak on behalf of the pope, as though they possess the same authority. Yes, the popes have said they do, but the Petrine office is the result of the Sacrament of Holy Orders and occupation of the Roman See's succession, which no theologian/monsignor/bureaucrat can ever have. Marko and I have been talking above about Pius XII's Sacramentum Ordinis, which the Holy Office said was infallible. I would like to know why they have A-the power to say something the pope did not and B-why the popes judgments and interpretations should require another round of judgments of interpretations....

      Perhaps the CDF should be more of a counsel to the pope rather than a secondary or tertiary teaching body.

  5. "Perhaps the CDF should be more of a counsel to the pope rather than a secondary or tertiary teaching body."

    Indeed, the benefit of it shifting to such a role is that the Pope himself would have to personally promulgate whatever doctrinal clarifications that are wanting, thus reducing confusion about how much magisterial weight should be assigned to CDF statements. Think here of the criticisms along those lines by some theologians leveled at Ordinatio sacerdotalis (1994) and its subsequent CDF dubium (1995), Dominus Iesus, etc.

    And since the Pope himself must say the thing, one presumes that the actual volume of such statements will diminish to some extent.

    P.S. I don't have a problem with the shift to "consubstantial" in the new MR3 translation, and I would argue that no one else should either. I freely concede that "consubstantial" is a term that isn't immediately explicable to an uncatechized mind, but that's the whole point: it forcefully invites education and clarification. Whereas "one in being" is so simplified an expression that it readily invites misunderstandings of the nature of the relationship between Father and Son in the Triune Godhead.

    1. I don't have a problem with consubstantial either. I just thought it was an interesting point. The Church must walk a fine line between making its doctrines perpetually comprehensible to the faithful by good teaching and being careful not to obsess over a particular philosophical tradition (I met an Orthodox priest once who was certain nothing good ever came of a line of thought not descended directly from Plato).

  6. For Marko and LoB,

    Here is an excerpt from Robert Taft SJ's essay "Mass without the Consecration?", which you can find online with no trouble:

    "Earlier Catholic scholarship on Addai and Mari tended to argue a priori that since there could be no eucharist without the Words of Institution, the original text of Addai and Mari must perforce have once had those words. The prominent 17th century the French Catholic scholar of eastern liturgies, Eusèbe Renaudot (1613-1679), wrote that an anaphora without the Words of institution was “…totally unheard of in antiquity and contrary to the discipline…of all Churches.”6 In such a climate of opinion, scholarly research and debate concerned just where these Words of Institution must have been, and how they got removed.
    But already half a century ago in Catholic scholarship, rumblings began to be heard against such arguments, which Alphonse Res. S.J. (1896-1983) labeled an “apriorisme” and “insuffisantes.”7 Contemporary scholarship also completely rejects such an approach, and has no patience with theories based on suppositions of what must or must not have been. Today’s scholar starts with what is, and attempts to explain it—not explain it away. So scholarly opinion tends to respect a text as it is, and presumes that to be its pristine form until the contrary is proven.8 This prejudice in favor of the text is reinforced, in the case of Addai and Mari, by the unanimity of the manuscript tradition: not a single witness to this anaphora contains the Institution Account. Had the Institution Narrative once been part of the text only to be excised at a later date, it is unlikely that there would be not one single manuscript witness to the earlier redaction, nor any other reminiscence of the matter in the literature of the tradition. That silence would hardly have been possible in the light of the importance the classical East-Syrian liturgical commentators give to the Institution Narrative in their eucharist¬ic theology.9
    Furthermore, although theories on the origins and evolution of the pristine anaphora remain in flux, one point of growing agreement among representative scholars, Catholic and non, is that the Institution Narrative is a later embolism—i.e., interpolation—into the earliest eucharistic prayers. For pace Renaudot’s mistaken assertion, not only Addai and Mari but several other early eucharist¬ic prayers do, in fact, lack these words.10 Those generally listed include: the 1/2nd century Didache 9-1011 and the dependent Apostolic Constitutions (ca. 380) VII, 25:1-4;12 the 2/3rd century apocryphal Acts of John 85-86, 109-110 and Acts of Thomas 27, 49-50, 133, 158;13 the Martyrdom of Polycarp (†167) 14;14 the 4/5th century Papyrus Strasbourg Gr. 254;15 the eucharistic prayer on two 7/8th century Coptic Ostraca, British Library Nr. 32 799 and Nr. 33 050;16 and the Ethiopic Anaphora of the Apostles, as Gabriele Winkler has recently demonstrated.17 Furthermore, it seems probable that ca. 150, Justin Martyr’s eucharistic prayer did not have them either.18 In addition, Cyrille Vogel lists six eucharist¬ic prayers in the apocrypha without any trace of an Institution Narrative,19 and at least twenty-one later Syriac anaphoras either lack the Words of Institution completely (8 anaphoras) or partly (4), or give them in a form considered defective (9)—e.g., in indirect discourse.20"

  7. His footnotes for your reference:

    5 N.P. TANNER, ed., Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, 2 vols. (London/Washington, DC: Sheed & Ward/Georgetown University Press, 1990) 2: 695-697.
    6 “...inauditum prorsus antiquitus, & contra omnium Ecclesiarum ... disciplinam”: Liturgiarum orientalium collectio, 2 vols. (Paris 1716) 2:579; (Frankfurt/London: J. Baer, 1847) 2:573.
    7 “Le récit de l’institution eucharistique dans l’anaphore chaldéenne et malabare des Apôtres,” OCP 10 (1944) 216-226, here 220, 225.
    8 For an extensive bibliography of scholarship on Addai and Mari until 1992, see A. GELSTON, The Eucharistic Prayer of Addai and Mari (Oxford/NY: Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press, 1992) 126-30, as well as his discussion, 5-28; to which add the more recent collected studies of B.D. SPINKS, Worship. Prayers from the East (Washington, DC: The Pastoral Press, 1993), hereafter cited Prayers from the East.
    9 The relevant texts are cited and commented by S.Y.H. JAMMO, “Gabriel Qatraya et son commentaire sur la liturgie chaldéenne,” OCP 32 (1966) 39-52; cf. B.D. SPINKS, “Addai and Mari and the Institution Narrative: The Tantalising Evidence of Gabriel Qatraya,” Ephemerides liturgicae 98 (1984) 60-67 = id., Prayers from the East 37-45.
    10 Among innumerable modern studies on this issue, in addition to those cited below apropos of Addai and Mari, see, for example, G.J. CUMING, “The Shape of the Anaphora,” Studia Patristica 20 (1989) 333-345; G. DIX, The Shape of the Liturgy (London : Dacre Press, 1945) 197-98; J.R.K. FENWICK, Fourth Century Anaphoral Construction Techniques, Grove Liturgical Studies, 45 (Bramcote: Grove Books, 1986); C. GIRAUDO, Eucaristia per la Chiesa. Prospettive teologiche sull'eucaristia a partire dalla “lex orandi”, Aloisiana, 22 (Roma/Brescia: Gregorian University Press/Morcellia¬na, 1989) 345ff; E.J. KILMARTIN, “Sacrificium laudis: Content and Function of Early Eucharistic Prayers,” Theological Studies 35 (1974) 268-287, here 277-278, 280; L. LIGIER, “The Origins of the Eucharistic Prayer: From the Last Supper to the Eucharist,” SL 9 (1973) 161-185, esp. 179; and, for a contrary opinion, E. YAR-NOLD, “Anaphoras without Institution Narratives?” Studia Patristica 30 (1997) 395-410.
    11 SC 248:180= PE 66.
    12 SC 336:52-55.
    13 PE 74-79.
    14 F. HALKIN, Bibliotheca hagiographica Graeca, 3rd ed., Subsidia hagiographica, 8a (Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1957) §1556; H. MUSURILLO, ed., The Acts of the Christian Martyrs, Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972) 12-15.
    15 PE 116-119.
    16 H. QUECKE, “Das anaphorische Dankgebet auf den koptischen Ostraka, B.M Nr. 32 799 und 33 050 neu herausgegeben,” OCP 37, 9 (1971) 391-405; cf. K. GAMBER, “Das koptische Ostraka London B.M Nr. 32 799 und 33 050 und seine liturgiegeschichtliche Bedeutung,” OKS 21 (1972) 298-308.
    17 G. WINKLER, Das Sanctus. Über den Ursprung und die Anfänge des Sanctus und sein Fortwirken, OCA 267 (Rome: Pontificio Istituto Orientale, 2002) 162-68, 171-72; cf. also 85-86, 92-93, 96, 128, 143; eadem, “A New Witness to the Missing Institution Narrative,” to appear in M.E. JOHNSON, L.E. PHILLIPS, eds., The Study of Early Liturgy: Essays in Honor of Paul F. Bradshaw (Portland: The Oregon Catholic Press) in press.
    18 Apology I, 65, 67, PE 70.
    19 C. VOGEL, “Anaphores eucharistiques préconstantiniennes. Formes non traditionelles,” Augustinianum 20 (1980) 401-410.
    20 A. RAES, “Les paroles de la consécration dans les anaphores syriens,” OCP 3 (1937) 486-504; C. GIRAUDO, Eucaristia per la Chiesa 350-359.

    I don't like Taft in the least but there is no denying that he is the foremost expert on Eastern liturgical rites in the last 50 years or more, with hundreds upon hundreds of articles.

    1. Oh, what's not to like about surly ol' Bob Taft?!

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