Friday, 3 September 2010

The ''development'' of doctrine...

...and devotions, if you like. Those of you looking for a thorough treatise on the subject will be profoundly disappointed. I only ask questions on this blog; I am not the infallible Fr Z after all.

Fr Hunwicke has a very well-thought-out post about Papal Infallibility and the inerrancy of the Church on his blog, which I encourage readers to have a look at. I can't say that I agree with much that he says, but he's the sort of chap that in spite of all that one still loves to hear (or read) it. He says that the Roman Church subsists negatively, clinging to old traditions and remaining a strong bastion against novelty...I wonder...this is the exact opposite of what I have thought recently (that the modern Roman Church is a church of half-remembered traditions mingled with novelties and centralized bureaucracy), but I used to think along similar lines. The fond notion of the ''development of doctrine'' (and devotions) comes up here I think. For it seems to me that post-Schism developments in doctrine and devotion in the West have been one long series of reactions against things. The Elevation of the Sacrament during the Canon, for example, was a reaction against a heresy about the Real Presence. Devotion to the Sacred Heart can be said to be compensatory in the minds of simple people for meditation upon the mystery of Christ's whole Person. A priest once told me that in these developments he discerned the working of the Holy Ghost. I have reservations about some of them, and I would ask whether negative reactions and developments have any intrinsic worth because of their reaction and negativity?

I have never been quite able to understand the theory about the ''development'' of doctrine. It seems to me to be dangerously close to the very thing Traditionalist Catholics froth at the mouth about - Modernism and heresy. I have had the concept explained to me before - development in insights, the Church discovering new ways of explaining [away] doctrines etc, but perhaps this rustic Hobbit living too close to the Old Forest has missed something. My view (which was also the view of the Fathers) is that nothing can be both new and true, and I personally see no better way of casting odium on the Tradition of the Church than by fondly supposing that you, in modern times, see things more clearly than the Fathers, or the medieval theologians. Did St Bede, who experienced no Great Elevation during Mass, believe in the Real Presence less than me? Would any saint from the Early Church, given a time machine, walk into a modern Catholic church and recognize anything? Statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lady of Lourdes clutching beads, side Altars a plenty...not to mention the Sacred Liturgy. They might, if they went to the Old Roman Rite, recognize many aspects of the Faith, but not so if the Mass were celebrated in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, or the Chalice were denied to the congregation...

Was the consistent denial of the Chalice to the congregation for a thousand years a positive development, in spite of seeming fair motives? Such developments the Second Vatican Council sought to correct, but how pear-shaped it all went!


  1. It went awry because it had the same historical hubris that past liturgical "reformers" had, that they actually knew what liturgy was like in the Early Church and, by God, they're going to drag everyone back there kicking and screaming if need be.

    The funny thing is though, I doubt that if they jumped into a time machine to see some liturgies of the Early Church they'd recognize anything themselves, blinded as they are by their own preconceived notions.

  2. Let's learn from our anglican friends ! Holy Communion under both kinds may be fine for the laity, but, I am told by anglican clergy-friends that having to consume what remains after fifty or a hundred people have drunk, slurped, spat into a chalice can be a nauseating experience and there are some and I'm not talking of what E.L.Mascal called in his poem THE ULTRA-CATHOLICS, but ordinary types.["...shall immediately after the Blessing reverently eat and drink the same." Please don't say that the alcohol content of the species of wine kills all known germs,unlike Domestos, it doesn't and there are anglican clergy who get parish infections which they blame on the common cup. Alan Robinson

  3. Thank you both for your comments.

    Patrick Robinson, the Traditionalists might learn a thing or two from some of the more Catholic Anglicans (although these might well do to shake off their Romanism).

    J.B O'Connell provides for the ''nauseating experiences'' you mention in The Celebration of Mass - contamination of the Sacred Species etc, if in cold climates the Chalice freezes over etc. Despite his tedium he is an invaluable resource.

  4. That comes from De Defectibus in the begining of the Missale Romanum. Of course, it is in the context of what the priest alone is supposed to do if, say a fly falls into the chalice. It says nothing about the "common cup" because there is no such thing in O'Connell's time.

    The danger of profanation with the "common cup" is such that it was a travesty that they allowed such a usage. There is no practical way to make the Precious Blood available to the people aside from the Eastern way and that simply will not work in the West. Also, people shouldn't be grubbing chalices and ciboria with their unconsecrated hands anyway. We are not Utraquists, there is absolutely no point to communion under both species for the laity.

  5. Andrew, denial of the Chalice to the laity is flying in the face of a clear Divine ordinance, and sincere concern for profanation is not a valid excuse in my view. However, I would be interested to know the ancient Western custom of the administration of the Chalice to the lay people. ''Intinction'' was criticised by Cardinal Humbert in the 11th century.

  6. To say that the "denial of the Chalice to the laity is flying in the face of a clear Divine ordinance" smacks of Utraquism and stands against the clear teaching of the Council of Trent (cf. Sess. XXI). To hold such an opinion obstinately would also seem to render one anathematized per Canon II of the same Council and Session.

    If profanation isn't a valid reason, I don't see what could be. Protecting the Eucharist from profanation and/or sacrilege is much of the reason for the rubrics surrounding the Consecration and Communion.

    Actually, what is one solid reason that layman should receive under both species especially in light of the clear teaching that he who receives the Host receives the whole Christ, Precious Blood and all?

  7. Does the Ritus Servandus (R.S. X,6) of the Traditional Missal perhaps give a clue?

    Minister autem dextera manu tenens vas cum vino et aqua, sinistra vero mappulam, aliquanto post Sacerdotem eis porrigit purificationem, et mappulam ad os abstergendum.

    I know some writers have suggested that this purification of those who have communicated is a vestige of the distribution of the Precious Blood but I suspect the former was highly likely to have been administered by a deacon and the purification followed.

  8. Andrew,

    The reason why the entirety of the people of God should receive the Chalice is that it is a more perfect sign of what is being received. If the clear teaching of a 16th Century document is to be regarded as the touchstone of liturgical practice, one might wonder why the hierarchy receives the Precious Blood as well. After all, between the possibility of knocking the Chalice over, losing one's grip on it, or having the slip between the cup and the lip, could be seen as an unacceptable risk of profanation, especially given the practice of daily Mass (it is like driving a car--risk of accident increases by being on the road longer and more frequently no matter how careful one is), and therefore, in light of Tridentine declarations, there is no reason for the celebrant to communicate from the Chalice either.

    That our Lord, God and Saviour IC XC instituted the mystery using both bread and wine is not simply clear teaching, it is Gospel truth, the reasons for it are obvious, and we really ought to prefer the commands of Christ over a second millennium document explaining that in this particular sacrament, despite the lack of an outward sign, the hidden grace is nevertheless conferred.

  9. I agree with Han. The Church's teaching should conform to and complement the Scriptures, not deviate from them. Concern for profanation of the Sacrament is legitimate, and I daresay praiseworthy, but I would say that even to procure the Sacrament under the form of bread entails grave dangers. What if the Celebrant trips over his alb and drops the Ciborium? What if he sneezes on the corporal just after the Consecration? Etc, etc...

    Concern for profanation has to stop somewhere or there would be no Sacrament anywhere...not very well argued, but it's the end of a long day.

  10. Patricius: This probably will NOT help, but I'm going to offer it anyway:
    as to "development of doctrine" acorn is the same thing as a sapling, the same tree as an old's the "same" while looking "different";
    that's how I understand the "development of doctrine": it doesn't change its "essence" or "identity", it is transformed or looks different in different times and places.
    Okay, retch if you must.
    Just sayin'!

  11. The Council of Trent is not just some 16th Century document-it is arguably the greatest Ecumenical Council in the history of the Church. It also is just a repetition of what the Council of Constance taught about Communion under both species. The Council of Trent further interprets the Gospels for us in this case and says that Christ did not enjoin Communion under both species in the pertinent passages. Since the Church alone is the authoritative interpreter of Scripture, what She solemnly teaches goes, not your own private reading thereof.

    As to profanation, yes of course there has to be some limit so as not to descend into scrupulosity et al., but it seems that the Tridentine (and earlier) rubrics and practices concerning the actual saying of Mass and the administration of Communion is a perfect marriage of practicality and reverent concern for the Sacrament. Of course accidents can always happen, even with the Host but obviously the accidents of wine are much easier to profane given the nature of liquid. This is especially true in the present NO sloppy way its done with armies of laymen (who shouldn't be touching consecrated vessels anyway).

    About the only way to communicate the faithful under both species is the Eastern Catholic (Byzantine) way but this is not possible in the West given our use of unleavened bread. Also, it would seem it would be very unpractical for large groups but I could see ways it could be done.

    The priest must at least receive the Precious Blood so as to complete the Sacrifice. Presumably, he should also be better trained and in a better place so as to receive the Precious Blood in such a way that the risk of profanation is greatly reduced. There is absolutely no need for the laity to receive the Precious Blood, the way things have been done in the Latin Church for the past 1,000 or so years is just fine.

    Further, why should have we resurrected some defunct practice that has been long dead and basically declared inferior by Church Councils and now favoring the misguided notions of heretics? Well, like Communion in the hand, it was lobbied for by antiquarian progressives with their misguided ecumenicalism wanting to divest Catholicism of anything that might be "offensive" to the previously mentioned heretics.

  12. Regarding the Council of Trent:
    If by "greatest" one simply seeks to make a statement of fact about the significance of that council, then that might be true, on the other hand, if that word is intended to suggest some sort of normative value, then it is absolutely false. The Council of Trent marked the point where the West was lost to the Church for good, because the Council of Trent conclusively transformed Roman Catholicism from a way of life into a philosophical system.

    Liturgically, Trent marked the birth of the idea that the Pope was the master of the liturgy rather than the steward of the Latin liturgical tradition. Consider that it was Trent that swept away centuries of local custom and organically developed local usages, replacing it all with the Roman Missal and the Roman Breviary. Was it any surprise, then that before the century was out, you had Pope Urban commissioning the Jesuits to re-write Fortunatus' hymn of the Cross (Vexilla Regis) to better fit in with the contemporary fashion for pagan poetic forms? Gone was the Catholic imagination--that spiritual piety that could produce the Golden Legend, that could create a pilgrim road from Walsingham to Santiago de Compostella, that could cause the greatest scholar of his age to declare that everything he wrote was grass and ask to hear the Song of Songs, of all books, sung as he died. Spirituality was replaced by psychology in the form of the Spiritual Exercises, the Divine Office ceased to be liturgy and became a private devotion for clerics, and the hierarchy got into the business of "approving" miracles, presumably because the People of God, born again in baptism and sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, were now incapable of mysticism without the approbation of the Roman Curia. In short, Trent was an attempt by the Roman Church to out protestant the Protestants. If Protestantism is the mother of secularism because it is the apotheosis of religious rationalism, then Trent was a protestant council, wherein the Latins renounced the Catholic and Apostolic faith for a rationalist philosophical construct with some ritual and a fetish for power.

    As for the denial of the Chalice to the laity, I previously wrote that it is a better sign of what is being consumed. Actually, it is not merely a sign, it is a symbol--it doesn't simply depict the object of the sign, but rather through the sign, one participates in that which is depicted. Anyway, the importance of symbol should be obvious to anyone who believes in sacraments. Why should Baptism be performed with water, or Chrismation with oil? Why not something else. It must either be because these sacraments are not really sacraments but magic wherein the efficacy of the spell is determined by the proper mix of arbitrarily chosen ingredients, or because sacraments have symbolic value. God uses symbols to engage our entire beings. We are not computing machines such that grace is like data, and it matters not if it is installed via the medium of a DVD or via the medium of a flash drive. Rather, because bodily existence is a reality, and not the illusion of or prison of our being, God deals with us by way of matter. Moreover, he deals with us by way of material that engages our bodies and minds in harmony. "Drink of it, all of you," He says, but can one drink bread? Removing the Chalice from the laity, replaced living, breathing sacraments with Buddhism. Rather than the bread and the wine being the sign, the symbol and the reality of the Body and Blood of Christ, what you got was a a wafer, the material form of which was an illusion that simultaneously disguised and carried the reality, but the reality no longer participates in the material. In lived experience, the host could have been made out of anything. The symbolic value of the Sacrament being discarded, a breath mint could have done just as well for the host.

  13. My tuppence for what its worth...

    Re the "common cup" I would be more than happy to perfect my ars celebrandi (re trying to consume the co-mixture without profaning the precious Blood, dropping the chalice or spilling it all down my chin whilst trying to avoid poking the Sacrament with a finger so to arrange the co-mixture for easier slurping) to accomodate communion of the Faithful via the cup, if they in return would be happy to increase their offerings to cover the increased cost of the wine. As a small missionary Mass centre with few resources, yet a daily Mass, cost considerations are a big factor in any such decision.

    Otherwise I quite agree with Patricius about the "development of doctrine" despite 'nazereth priest's' most useful analogy. I'm quite with the Orthodox re the notion that our understanding of the 'single deposit of Faith' may increase over time but that the Truth is eternal and thus can never produce anything "new". Fundamentally this is the problem with the "development of doctrine" and recent dogmatic pronouncements, they are "new" doctrine - erroneus to Scripture, the teaching of the Fathers and the Tradition of the Church - however much they may have been "popular" devotions... One suspects that, as with the Pharisaic Law, these devotions originally meant to teach a right understanding of the mystery they represented, but in time became the focus not the pointer!

    If there's one thing Catholicism has always failed on, it is proper catechesis of the Faithful - instead allowing things to become "cultural praxis" and thus "folklore" by not bothering to correct the ignorant nor properly enlighten them as to the true meaning of things, both in art as well as in liturgy. The Counter-Reformation should've altered this, but didn't, because the Clergy on the ground were not sufficiently formed and trained, because the nobility in the heirarchy didn't want their serfs educated etc... The reactionism of Pius IX et al to the “enlightenment” is proof enough! This is true right up to the beginning of the last Century and if anything up to VCII too. The trouble after VCII though, was that an already ignorant laity were now fed "new" teachings that sought deliberately to distort traditional teaching by the fashionista's et al, who were largely ingnorant themselves of the Truth.

    In some respects, and which probably explains the hankering after the "Golden Age" of the 50's by some Traddies... arguably between the reigns of Pius X and Pius XII were the only time regular uniform catechism of the Faithful occurred... bar a few Saints in the preceding centuries, there was little proper catechesis parochially or in schools. Much of the Faith was taught people "at their mother's knee" so whether mother's understanding was based upon doctrine, cultural convention or popular devotion, largely affected what one was taught!

  14. Bravo, Han - "Liturgy" as another arena for scholastic reductionism, merely; a decorous, legal rigmarole for getting to the magic words, in which symbolism, properly understood, finds no place; a Eucharistic theology from which even eucharistia is entirely absent. Andrew, like most Traddies, is blinkered to the extent that Trent and the Counter-reformation canonise the principles from which a reduced, attenuated, disincarnational understanding of "tradition" inevitably gains ascendancy.


    I hate always to be disagreeing with you - please don't take it personally! The oak/acorn thing is a familiar analogy, and one which, IMO, pulls irresistably in the direction of something quite false - that we are today in possession of something Bigger and Better and Stronger and Deeper, more "realised" than the Faith of the Apostles and the Fathers.

    Yes, the word "grows" - but it is the same Word "delivered in the beginning", in which there are no as-yet-invisible limbs and branches, only undiscovered problems in articulating that which was delivered "once and for all" - to which, from an Orthodox perspective, the Roman Church has clearly added things. This idea of "doctrinal development" is from our perspective simply the midwife of Modernism - itself "developed" under the necessity to maintain that such additions were always there "in potential".

  15. Han, I agree with everything you say, and I congratulate you on so lucid and intelligent an observation. Naturally the Roman Tradition, which is ancient and venerable, died a death at the Council of Trent - where it seems the Catholic Church exchanged the Word of God for a lie, that is to put it one way.

    What the Council of Trent did with the Sacred Liturgy was almost as appalling as what went on under the two 20th century Piuses. Imagine, imposing the much-reformed rite of the Liturgy according to the use of the Papal court upon the Universal Church, replacing, as Han rightly says, organically developed local rites and uses in many places for something entirely foreign. Eventually the old uses and rites died away, even those with a claim of over 200 years use, only to be swallowed by the ''Tridentine'' rite. Now it is seen as false liturgical archaism to try and ''resurrect'' those uses, for legitimate purposes, and those who try are viewed as nutcases anyway. I suppose that archaism does have its drawbacks, even if we might romantically imagine the restoration of a lost kind of Catholicism, alive to the Use of old Sarum, for example, but I don't know. I think that if Sarum were on offer within 50 miles of here I'd abandon the Roman Rite like lightning.

    I'm just left to try and discern and live according to a Catholicism long since abandoned by the Catholic Church. I wonder, if I met St Bede, would we have much in common?

  16. Moretben: No offense taken! I have rather tough skin...really.
    Okay then. I can understand the point you are making;
    but I just don't see the problem if something is "expressed" differently, as opposed to "being" different.
    I'm no modernist (at least I don't think so!)...
    Maybe it's the philosophical difference between East and West that gets in the way here?
    Just a ponder.

  17. Han,

    Well, since you do not sound Catholic, Trent will not have the same weight with you. Yes, we don't follow your "Everything is a mystery" theology, and things are all the better for it because we can see things like the claim that communicating the laity under one species is "Buddhism" or smacks of it is just asinine. We supposedly "renounced" the Faith for "rationalism" at Trent but if you are E. Orthodox you had already been out since 1054 or earlier depending on which schism you follow.

    As to Trent and liturgy, you cannot blame Trent for the "loss" of local rites. There were a lot of factors, but you do realize that what went on liturgically could hardly have been dictated minutely by Rome. Note the later proliferation of the neo-Gallican rites and Rome's almost non-response to it. Also, you seem to forget the influence that culture and politics have. What destroyed medieval piety was not Trent-it was already gone by then.

    Various dioceses and local regions lost their local rite because they decided to ditch or downplay them one way or another. It was not some overbearing imposition from Rome. Note what happened to the old Gallican Rite, the Mozarabic Rite, the Lyonese Rite, etc. etc.

    As to symbolism, I will say one thing-do Easterners drink from the chalice? Last time I checked, "drinking" doesn't involved having a saturated piece of bread placed on one's tongue with a spoon at the hand of another. Thus, your whole symbolic authenticity spiel looses its force. You can take that symbolism nonsense to its illogical conclusion just as one can take a concern for protecting the Sacrament from profanation to an illogical conclusion.

    In our Mass, the symbol of eating and drinking is still right there at the priest's communion but it is (like in the case of anti-profanation) a more perfect marriage of being realistic while still maintaining every proper bit of symbolism and reverence.

  18. Why were these local uses "swallowed up" by the "Tridentine Rite"? Roman hegemony? Nope, though that might sound like fun to those who blame Rome for everything. More likely, it was simple inertia. The Franciscans spread the Curial Missal all over Europe and people picked up on it. Some things were imposed by rulers, some were destroyed in the neo-Gallican "reform". The religious orders, however, mostly kept their rites past Trent and even today after Vatican II fans tried to "reform" them we see more and more use of the old Carmelite and Dominican Rites.

    To blame Trent for the "loss" of these rites is silly, and to claim the Church traded the Word of God for a lie is not something a Catholic would or should say.

    Yes, it is improper archaism when the reason to try to "resurrect" these old rites and usages is out of some silly romanticist pining for Never-Never Land. I'm all for a greater use of traditional rites and usages, for instance, I think it would be great if these potential former Anglican Ordinariates would use the Sarum Use Mass. I also applaud the effort to keep the traditional Ambrosian Rite alive as well as those of the religious orders.

    However, all that said, when the hierarchy was restored in England, Rome suggested the adoption of the old Sarum Rite but who shot that down? The English bishops themselves! So much for centralizing Roman hegemony.

  19. Andrew,

    I suppose you are technically correct about Trent not being solely responsible for the Roman Missal being imposed on the West; for that, I it must be confessed, the bull Quo Primum must also share in the blame. I assume that you have read the document and are therefore familiar with all the parts where the Pope commands, orders and decrees that his newly-promulgated Roman Missal, and it alone, is to be used, declaring all others to be forever unlawful? Did you notice the part where the printing of any non-compliant missal was subject to a 100 ducat fine within the Papal States and excommunication latae sententiae elsewhere? Think about that for a minute: The penalty for printing, not even using--merely printing, a non-compliant missal is the same as for violating the seal of confession. There is a standing penalty of automatic excommunication for printing something other than the Roman Missal, this in an era where the Pope just drew a line on the map to divide up the colonizable world between two of the most powerful states in Europe, and we are to believe that everyone abandoned the customs and usages of their fathers for reasons other than the exercise of Roman power. This is really the equivalent of Charlemagne sending his boys to Rome to bring Roman Chant back to Aachern? Why not just call it the Book of Common Prayer and be done with it?

    The very fact that Quo Primum could be written illustrates the very point that Patricus has been trying to make on this blog. That it is considered unremarkable by Catholics that a Pope has the authority to overturn generations of liturgical tradition by fiat demonstrates what a joke "tradition" has become. Tradition, it seems, is no longer that which has, is, and will be handed down in and through the Church from the Apostles until the generation of the final Parousia, but rather whatever the Pope says it is. This is afar cry from the days of St. Gregory Dialogos, who begged that the title Ecumenical Patriarch be not applied to himself for fear that it would imply some sort of power, and rather wished to be known as the Servant of the Servants of God to imply service. Ask oneself about Quo Primum--does Pope Pius see his office as one of service and himself as the conservator of a tradition, or has he anticipated Louis XIV by a century in essentially declaring "Ecclesia est me". If one can laud the abuses of ecclesial authority evident in Quo Primum, I can see no reason to be upset by changing the Canon of the Mass, abandoning the Kalendar for a weird 3-year/2-year cycle or adding the "Luminous Mysteries" to the Rosary, other than on the ground of personal preference for a particular temporal snapshot of Catholicism.

    To be continued.

  20. Continued from previous post.

    Regarding Buddhism and symbolism, the term was not chosen flippantly. All of Buddhism is based upon the quintessential premise that what we experience is an illusion. There is a hidden reality, which is the dharma--the law of reincarnation in which we are all trapped because we fail to understand that existence is not real, but an illusion resulting in suffering. Again, consider communion of one specie. We are told, nay enjoined to believe with theological faith, that after proper confection by the priest, this unleavened wafer is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. That the Soul and Divinity of Christ are present in His Body need not be argued, having been dealt with at the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. So what we are discussing here is the Body AND Blood aspect of it. It there is certainly no symbolic experience of blood, because there is no liquid. This absence is made all the more striking because there is a Chalice of red wine right there on the Altar, and the priest just drank from it. Thus, one does not experience the Blood of Christ, one has to mentally adhere to the idea. The host becomes an illusion--there is no connection between the reality (blood) and what is experienced (a dry wafer).

    I cannot believe that I have to actually argue this point, since the point has already been conceded in the statement that it is all good symbolically because the priest drank from the Chalice. This of course raises the issue of clericism. Now, it must be conceded that some degree of clericism is inevitable. Certainly in a Church where there are individuals set apart for ministry, and those individuals are given more advanced training to properly carry out said ministry, it stands to reason that such persons will naturally exercise both power (as in administration) and spiritual authority in the Church. Nevertheless, what is up with sacramental clericism? I suspect that sacramental clericism is a reaction to Luther's claim that "priesthood of all believers" necessarily implies a Church without hierarchy. While Luther was wrong to think that there is no hierarchy, it is equally wrong to believe that there is not a priesthood of all believers. It is right there in St. Peter's first Catholic Epistle where he calls the members of the Church a "holy priesthood" who all "offer up spiritual sacrifices". Removing the Chalice from the congregation fundamentally changes the nature of the Church. Whereas before there is a holy nation of royal priests offering up a spiritual sacrifice to God, under the leadership of, but yet in concert with, a president ordained for that role (and ultimately acting with the true High Priest Jesus Christ), we have truncated the priesthood down to those ordained for service. As a nomenclature issue, this was probably unavoidable, but as an ecclesiological issue, it is a disaster. If only the ordained commune of the Chalice, then only the ordained are part of this Holy Priesthood. But since the Holy Priesthood is co-equal with the People of God, this means that only the ordained are the People of God, which means that only the ordained are in the Church. We therefore are now partying like it is 1199 in Southern France, having created a Church of the Perfecti, and a Church of the Credentes, and putting to rout the Dominicans and overturning the Council of Tours.

    Finally, as for mediaeval piety, I simply submit that it was alive and well in England anyway up through the time of Cranmer, and refer the reader to Eamon Duffy's "The Stripping of the Altars", especially the first ten chapters, for my evidence.

  21. One more thing--
    I will also note that if one chooses to disregard my argument about priesthood of all believers and instead relies on the idea that the priest acts in personam Christi, then the denial of the Chalice to the laity becomes even worse. If the priest typifies Christ when conducting liturgical action, then the people do not commune of the Chalice, it suggests that Christ did not share the cup with his followers in the upper room on Holy Thursday. It would be as if the Eucharist was never instituted.

  22. I wonder if you have read Quo Primum. It clearly states anything older than 200 yrs. is not replaced by the Roman Missal. That's why Milan, Lyon, the various orders, etc. rites continued and in some cases continue to this very day. Much of what it would have replaced would just have been (at the time) modern, busy versions of the Roman Rite, not the "customs and usages of their fathers" as you so melodramatically put it.

    The penalty is for printers not making accurate copies of the Roman Missal in order that it is preserved from sloppy printing and errors. The next two documents found in an old missal (Cum Sanctissimum and Si Quid Est) show that this horrid punishment seems to not have been that terribly enforcible since those two popes had to address the fact that printers were making their own corrupt versions.

    In the East, aside from a few "Old Calendarists" and "Old Believers" who has kept the "customs and usages of their fathers" inviolate?

    Considering the history of the Roman Rite and these other rites/usages and the general history of Europe at the time, I think acting like the reforms of Pope St. Pius V were some grave abuse of power is about as reasonable as torching your church (with you inside it) over not being able to make the sign of the cross with two fingers.

  23. My point exactly. If you read any tome on transubstantiation, the substantial Real Presence, etc. you will clearly see that "Buddhism" has nothing to do with it. That one doesn't "experience" liquid is quite irrelevant as to receiving communion. Does one actually taste flesh or blood when they receive? Nope. Dock points for lack of symbolism. What if the priest uses white wine? Oops, dock more. The Church's philosophy has always been realist and nothing like East Asian religious philosophies. You don't like that there isn't a 1:1 symbolism, but like I said before, neither is there in E. Orthodoxy.

    As to the "priesthood of all believers" receiving communion under one or both species has absolutely nothing to do with it. If the laity do not receive the Precious Blood, that does not take away their "priesthood of all the Faithful". Concerning Mass, there can be 10,000 laymen and no priest and no Mass is said but one priest with no laymen and Mass is said. The priesthood of the laity and the actual Priesthood of Orders do not merely differ in degree but also in essence. You may check any of the official teachings of the Church, both clerics and laity are still part of the Church.

    The English "Reformation" happened before Trent and what did I say? This destruction of medieval piety (of which the English Schism would be one example) happened BEFORE Trent...

  24. I am "in over my head" here...really; but several points:
    *the Sacrifice is consummated by the priest consuming the Body and Blood of the Lord; the Last Supper had the future apostles present; when the Lord said what He said, it was directed to them...the faithful receive the fullness of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist either by receiving One Form, or both. No problem here.
    As for Trent and the universality of the "Mass of the Roman Curia"...absolute chaos and deformity of any semblance of Catholic worship was at issue here; not a mere Papal "pronouncement"; let's revisit these times...
    why did Martin Luther have any kind of sway?
    Because things were "outta control"...
    The Missal of Pius V was a "reform" in order to restore order to the public worship of the Catholic Church in the West;
    the acceptance of rites that dated further back 200 years was a pastoral, if you will, concession to the Orders, I'm thinking of the Dominican, Carthusian, Cistercian...
    as well as the other diocesan rites, Milanese,
    anyway...the "living tradition", the "organic development" is something that we need to recognize and understand, as well as acknowledge.
    Maybe the monks in the middle ages wouldn't understand nor perceive the "outward rite" of Eucharistic Adoration; but they would "get it" in its interior reality. And as for the devotions in the West to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary...these both have definite roots and origins in Sacred Scripture.
    We're not supposed to be locked into the sixth century, here...

  25. "and we really ought to prefer the commands of Christ over a second millennium document "

    The Ecumenical Councils ARE the teachings of Christ. The teachings of the Church are the teachings of Christ himself.

  26. "And as for the devotions in the West to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary...these both have definite roots and origins in Sacred Scripture."

    Just out of interest, where exactly?

    I have to agree with the negative opinion of Trent. It also introduced other novelties, such as linking the reception of certain sacraments to the "age of reason".

  27. Andrew,
    As an interesting contrast, in Orthodoxy a priest CANNOT say the Liturgy on his own; at least one other person must be present. I do not know why it is in the West that a priest can say the Mass on his own; but I do wonder if that is an ancient custom, or an innovation. In any event, it certainly creates a separation between the formal clergy and the laity that is not allowed in the east.
    And, which is more ancient, the use of leavened or unleavened bread? And has the use of reception under both species ALWAYS been present in the East, and just bread ALWAYS in the West? Or did they at one time share a common custom?

  28. Stephen,

    My understanding, though I claim to be no expert, is that the common custom was for the laity to receive under both kinds with the deacon being the minister of the chalice.

  29. Stephen--
    A Mass said by the priest alone is an innovation of the early middle ages. There were several things that contributed to its creation. First, was the rise of daily Mass. Whereas pre-Nicene and Nicene era documents demonstrate that the Eucharist was celebrated only on Sundays, by perhaps the 6th Century, the idea of daily Mass started to develop. Secondly, the idea of votive masses began to appear, perhaps around the 8th Century. This is not to suggest that particular persons or intentions were not commemorated at Mass previously, but rather the novelty was the notion that each particular intention would be commemorated at its own Mass, rather than a list of names or intentions being included within a single Liturgy. Thirdly, the idea occurred to some that because each Mass was a propitiatory sacrifice that have definite value to God, two must be better than one, and so forth. Related to this was the practice of each priest saying a Mass daily (otherwise, I suppose, it would be a waste of resources to ordain him). Actually, priests started to say more than one Mass a day, such that by the 13th Century, there were efforts to limit each priest to just one. With so many Masses being said by so many priests, Low Mass was developed to reduce the ceremonial to a bare minimum. Thus, the solitary Mass by a priest alone was probably developed over the course of the 9th through 13th Centuries, and what started as a mediaeval abuse was legitimized by Trent, gradually becoming the norm until 1968, where the distinction between high and low Mass disappeared, everything being replace by low Mass with hymns.

    As for leavened vs unleavened bread, it is difficult to say which is the earlier custom. While unleavened bread was certainly the custom in Rome by the end of the Patristic era, Fortescue believes that the Roman Church originally used leavened bread but switched to unleavened bread to imitate our Lord (based upon the belief that the Last Supper was a Passover seder). The East is not unanimous in its usage either. While the Orthodox all use leavened bread, some of the Oriental Orthodox, such as the Armenians, have used unleavened bread from a very early age, while others, such as the Copts, have always used leavened bread. While symbolic or polemic explanations for the use of leavened bread have been developed (leaven as a sign of the Resurrection is an example of the former, and leaven to distinguish Christians from Jews is an example of the latter), it is likely that the use of leavened bread arose simply because the question was not pertinent early on, and leavened bread was the ordinary bread consumed by people who eat bread, and the question only became a question when bread made specifically for liturgical use became the norm. If this is the case, it is likely that Fortescue is correct in believing that leavened bread was the original custom, even in the West.

  30. Stephen,

    It was never encouraged for Latin priests to say Mass completely on their own, in fact it was discouraged except in cases where this just wasn't possible. It was recognized that if it was a question of saying Mass or not saying it at all, it would be better for the priest to say Mass. After all, the fruits of the Holy Sacrifice are not just available to people who are concretely present and whether a Mass is a totally "private" Mass or a Solemn Papal Mass with thousands present it is still the unbloody re-presentation of the Sacrifice on Calvary, the supreme act of worship.

    There is no "separation" simply because of a "private" Mass other than that ontological difference between priest and layman that is just a matter of fact. Again, "private" Mass was never considered the norm or the preferred option.

    As to leavened or unleavened bread, there is nothing absolutely definitive about which is the older usage or if they existed side by side or what for sure. However, the Council of Florence did not seem to think this was a huge deal and just acknowledged that the Western and Eastern practices are both legit.

    Communion under both kinds was common in both the East and West but Communion under one species was also practiced as were things like reserving the Eucharist in homes, etc.

    Its always a slippery slope to try to "restore" the oldest practice and act as if the various developments of piety and liturgy are "accretions". This is the tactic of the Protestant and the (especially) Pistoian Jansenist. At best, to the mistaken scholar of good faith, this antiquarianism seems like peeling an onion or on the other hand a veiled means of introducing nonsense or an affected ivory tower interest in aesthetic minutiae.

  31. Andrew, I've spoken with many Latin rite priests who remember lining up altar next to altar so that each could say an individual private mass, and that this was an encouraged practice (concelebration having died out) inasmuch as the norm was for each priest to say at least one Mass each day. Indeed, the Jesuits for example built their churches around the world with multiple side altars for just this purpose.

  32. That is why making distinctions is important. Yes, I know that "private" Masses were common but what is actually forbidden except in cases of necessity is the missa solitaria in which absolutely no one else was present. Even so, the faithful are still "there" in a spiritual sense. One needs to be careful not to fall into the errors of Pistoia or of the Protestants and think that "participation" is somehow necessary for the sacrifice.

    In the De Defectibus, it is considered a defect to not have at least a server and in the 1917 & 1983 CIC it says that a priest should not celebrate Mass w/o at least one other member of the faithful unless there is a "just and reasonable cause for doing so."

    All monastic churches were full of side altars. Seminary chapels often had multiple side altars or multiple small chapels so all the priest-staff could say their private Masses. Again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the missa privata. Why would the Church not want to have that many more (within reason) Masses said?

    Concelebration itself is a questionable practice, at least how it is presently done. Much of what happened in the past was "ceremonial concelebration" not an attempt to have all the priests say one Mass together. I think its good we dropped that and adopted the practice of sitting in choir.

  33. Andrew, the practice of sitting in choir is in fact a kind of ''concelebration'', although not a sacramental one. It is enough that those in choir attend to the Sacrifice, hence the rules against saying Office etc.

  34. Exactly, its the successor to "ceremonial concelebration" but w/o the vestments. However, I don't think (I could be wrong) there are any rules against saying the Office during Mass though it is discouraged.

  35. Andrew,
    I find interesting your continued use of the notion of "sacrifice" as the dominant theme of a Mass, another interesting nuance in differentiation from the Eastern tradition. What I do not get is how any of that is related to participation or Pistoia or Protestatism, of which I no less than nothing. It was always my unlearned understanding that the practice in the East of ALWAYS having another person present during the Mass comes from the Lord's promise "when two or three are gathered in My name", and the Church as the Incarnation, with physical bodies actually needing be there, yadda yadda

  36. If the Mass is not primarily a Sacrifice, then what is it? This is exactly how the Mass is properly defined, the unbloody re-presentation of the Sacrifice at Calvary. Anything else is secondary or tertiary.

    Also if you want to limit the Church to having "physical bodies" actually having to be there then you bar the Church Suffering and the Church Militant, not to mention all the Angelic Host...Way more than two or three are gathered in His Name even at a missa solitaria.

    As to Pistoian errors concerning the participation of the people, we read in Auctorem Fidei of Pope Pius VI-

    "The Partaking of the Victim in the Sacrifice of the Mass

    28. The proposition of the synod in which, after it states that "a par-taking of the victim is an essential part in the sacrifice," it adds, "nevertheless, it does not condemn as illicit those Masses in which those present do not communicate sacramentally, for the reason that they do partake of the victim, although less perfectly, by receiving it spiritually," since it insinuates that there is something lacking to the essence of the sacrifice in that sacrifice which is performed either with no one present, or with those present who partake of the victim neither sacramentally nor spiritually, and as if those Masses should be condemned as illicit, in which, with the priest alone communicating, no one is present who communicates either sacramentally or spiritually,—false, erroneous, suspected of heresy and savoring of it."

    Of course, Eastern Catholics do not hold to such an error and their legitimate customs are venerable. However, if one ignorantly claims that people other than the priest have to be present at a Mass and if they are not then the Mass is somehow defective they fall into the above condemned error.