Friday, 1 July 2011

Sacred hearts, sacred toenails etc...

Sacred this, the most holy that...what next? The most holy Roast beef?

Today, if you're Roman Catholic, is the feast of the ''sacred heart'' of Jesus. I never liked this feast, or the devotion. Even as a child, on trips to my grandparents' house, I always shied away from their majestic portrait of the Sacred Heart over the mantelpiece - I was intimidated by it. I don't know if it was the eyes, staring widely up to the Father, or the fact that it was awfully tacky, but I hated it. I much preferred their large Spanish crucifix (salvaged from a church in Spain in the early '70s - my grandfather said that the priest was about to throw it into a skip...), which to scare away Jehovah's Witnesses, they hung up in their hallway - in full view of the porch doors. I spent hours staring at it.

Anyway, I think there is something very queer about devotion to the Sacred Heart - it detracts somewhat from the one worship of Christ's one Person. It is clearly a ''pious devotion'' that has got rather out of hand. Devotion to the Sacred Heart, like Corpus Christi, is relatively modern. The Catholic Encyclopedia says that it was familiar by about the 12th century and, like Low Mass, it spread rapidly throughout Christendom. It wasn't until the 17th century that the devotion, which quite rightly had hitherto remained strictly private, was celebrated as an actual ''feast'' with its own Office. To her credit, 18th century Rome refused to grant indulgence for a universal institution of the ''feast'' (to celebrate what exactly?!), but under pressure from the French bishops she eventually caved in, and in 1856 Pope Pius IX made it a Greater Double, and in 1889 Leo XIII made it a Double of the First Class. I think the devotion is tacky, tasteless and pernicious. It is noteworthy that the ugliest church in France is dedicated to the Sacred Heart...

Hideous beyond belief...what period is it? Late Wedding Cake?

As I have said, devotion to the ''Sacred Heart'' detracts from the one and inseparable worship due to God the Son, according to both the Divinity and Humanity, since both are inseparably united in the one Hypostasis of the Word. Canon IX of Constantinople II (an Ecumenical Council, and therefore binding on all Christians) says: If anyone shall take the expression, Christ ought to be worshipped in his two natures, in the sense that he wishes to introduce thus two adorations, the one in special relation to God the Word and the other as pertaining to the man; or if anyone to get rid of the flesh, [that is of the humanity of Christ,] or to mix together the divinity and the humanity, shall speak monstrously of one only nature or essence of the united (natures), and so worship Christ, and does not venerate, by one adoration, God the Word made man, together with his flesh, as the Holy Church has taught from the beginning: let him be anathema.

In the light of this canon of Constantinople II, does not the cult of the ''Sacred Heart'' seem out of harmony with the Tradition of the Church? Clearly the devotion was a Medieval ''enthusiasm'' - like the strange practice of going to Mass purely to see the Elevation of the Sacred Host (held aloft sometimes for minutes on end - I'm gonna lift it, lift it higher!), or the notorious practice of throwing about pieces of unconsecrated bread on the feast of Corpus Christi. To me, devotion to the Sacred Heart is just as worthwhile as devotion to the most holy bowel-movements of Christ. Liturgy should direct pious devotions, not the other way round. The foundation of the Church's life, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, ought to be celebration of the Sacred Liturgy by the Bishop with the assistance of his Priests and Deacons, not ill-informed popular pieties, which are heretical.

I speak with the authority of the Church (I won't elaborate that) when I say that devotion to the ''sacred heart'' is heretical, pernicious and aliturgical. It should have been condemned, or at least left to die out like devotion to the Holy Face...

Much better. This Icon is full of symbolism; the perfectly round head, cruciform halo etc. Notice also that the hand with which Our Lord is imparting blessing is making use of the traditional Sign of the Cross.


  1. I must admit, I'm not a devotee of the Sacred Heart (the painting of which is, indeed, horribly tacky), but I have always taken it to refer to Christ's love, rather than the physical heart of Jesus.

    Hence the abstract "heart-shaped" heart, the and the significance of the fire, the crucifix, and the crown of thorns surrounding it.

    Of course, tacky paintings are not necessarily a reason to trash a devotion. The Divine Mercy has one ofhte most hideously sickly paintings attached to it, but it's a wonderful devotion.

    Also, Corpus Christi modern? Is that why Thomas Aquinas composed hymns to the Blessed Sacrament? Or do you mean by "modern", "approximately 13th Century"? In which case, what does that make the All Souls?

    And I must disagree with you about Sacre-Coeur. It's hardly my favourite church, but it's far from the ugliest. If you think it is, I can only think you have been blessed by never having gone to Clifton Cathedral. Or, indeed, many other fine examples of ecclesiastical car-park design.

  2. Patricius: To me, devotion to the Sacred Heart is just as worthwhile as devotion to the most holy bowel-movements of Christ.

    The Sacred Heart devotion helped to destroy Jansenism in France. The devotion does not deny the dual nature of Jesus Christ. Rather, it emphasizes the humanity of Christ. This emphasis was meant to counteract the Jansenists' near denial of Christ's humanity.

    Your posts make me want to retch.

    Keep the interesting posts coming.

    sortacatholic (how can you compare one of the most politically and socially important religious devotions in western Christian history to humanure?)

  3. Who cares about Jansenism? That heresy was simply a heresy within a greater heresy - the Counter Reformation Roman Church, with its codified set of rubrics for ''low'' Mass, Communion universally adminstered under one kind, and its crowned despot bishop (in reality the only bishop) living in Rome.

  4. Note that doctrine, the distinguishing mark of heresy in the Church semper, et ubique, et ab omnibus, never enters into Patricius' thinking on these matters. The Pope is a heretic because he used a green rather than a blue enamel spoon on the feast of St Erkenwald.

  5. Indeed! The Spanish bishops may have introduced the filioque to counter Arianism but that doesn't make the teaching of the double-procession of the Holy Spirit any less heretical. Introducing one departure from Holy Tradition to counter another makes absolutely no sense. It's like the old lady who swallowed a fly.

  6. None of the above are doctrinal heresies. Jansenism clearly denied a whole set of orthodox theological tenets held from the earliest church fathers. At no time has the apostolic Church, in its eastern and western traditions, affirmed TULIP. Even though Jansenius was sort of halfway on board with P, he was clearly opposed to the apostolic faith. The church has always taught that ὑπὲρ πολλῶν of Mk. 14:24, for example, has always referred to all human beings. The notion that graces are reserved for the "elect", and that "election" is independent of grace, is contrary to the bedrock of the apostolic tradition.

    The worst aspect of Jansenism was its cultivation of a false piety, especially through practices such as "eucharistic fasting" (not receiving Holy Communion as a penance for absolved grave sin). The rationalism of the Mass which the Pistoian Jansenists advocated for was not the same as Low Mass, as Jansenist liturgical rationalism sought to destroy or minimize the liturgical practices which emphasized doctrines disagreeable to Jansenism. Tridentine Low Mass might be unduly simplified in ceremony, but it is indubitably orthodox.

    While I respect your concern about the above issues, the orthodox faith survived even the grave corruption of the Renaissance and Counter-Reformation papacies. Without devotions such as the Sacred Heart and Jesuit preaching, much of Catholic Europe could have been lost to a pseudo-Calvinism. That would have been exponentially worse than a string of pervert Popes.

    Even after the near extinction of formal Jansenism, its effects lingered among the Irish and Quebecois, for example. After having lived in Quebec for some time, I have come to suspect that the militant secularism of the postmodern Quebecois is derived in part from a joyless and grim penitentialism that displaced a love of the Sacrament. A early 20th century clerical dictatorship did not help either. Even the traces of Jansenism has destroyed the faith of whole societies. That's really crappy, if you ask me.


  7. Sortacatholic, I appreciate and concur with your brief analysis of jansenism / pseudo-calvinism, and its long-lasting, devastating effects upon the practice of authentic catholicsm, indeed upon whole peoples.

  8. sortacatholic, you are absolutely wrong in your assertion that Jansenism 'lingered among the Irish' (I don't know about the Québécois).

  9. [offtopic]
    Patricius, here is a book you should add to your Amazon Wish List

  10. Shane,
    I (Albertus) - looked at the link to which you refer. I suppose that these two quotes found there explain the situation as you see it:
    ''The frequent claim that Irish Catholicism was Jansenist-influenced springs from the tendency to confuse Jansenism with mere moral rigorism.” ''The frequent claim that Irish Catholicism was Jansenist-influenced springs from the tendency to confuse Jansenism with mere moral rigorism.”
    THus, the Irish Catholics suffer from moral rigourism and Victorian prudishness, rather than Jansenism. I shall accept that as fact. But what should one make of the Low-Mass mentality of the Irish Catholic Church? That seems to reflect the Council-of-Pistoia-brand of anti-liturgical Jansenism (Josephism, and Rationalism), akin to Calvinism, which is itself anti-liturgical. The Low-Mass mentality does not seem to me to have come from the English Church, as the Anglican Church in general never ceased to celebrate a Sung Liturgy, and, depending on place and occasion, with the pomp an ceremony inherited from pre-Reformation Catholicism. In Ireland, on the other hand, the Catholic religion became reduced to the Low Mass, except - curiously - the Funeral Mass. If this was due to long persecution, why did the Lirurgical and devotional life of the Catholic Church in Ireland recover after the resoration of the hierarchy?

  11. A little bit of color and some minor alterations would make that church look better.

    A quick photoshop:

  12. I am going to agree with Evagrius Ponticus in that the devotion of the Sacred Heart is a symbolic representation of the Divine Love. One might question some of its iconographic representations, but I do not think that should be the guiding principal in understanding the devotion.

    Patrick, are you reading a bunch of right-wing, western bashing Byzantine commentaries? Your comparison of this symbolic feast with holy toenails is something that I have only heard of from such disrespectful sources. One could just as easily condemn, using the same reasoning, the icon of the Holy Face as well as a devotion to body parts. And their molemben to the Most Sweetest Jesus tends to live next door to the worst possible popular dreck imaginable in regards to the Sacred Heart.

    JM, I was very interested in reading your interpretation concerning Quebec and the rather baneful influence of Jansenism on that Province. This makes much sense and does explain the almost overnight fall of the Roman Catholic Faith and Tradition there...very interesting. I would also posit that the very political influence of the Church was also detrimental as well. Especially when one considers that once the Hierarchy got what they wanted from the English, they were quite happy to support English occupation.

    Regarding Ireland, I tend to be more in agreement with Albertus.

  13. Albertus, the Irish hierarchy was never 'restored'. The defining event of the Irish Church in the 19th century was the Synod of Thurles* (the first national synod since the 12th century). It dealt with reforming Church discipline and liturgy, including music. For instance, Decree No. 38 of the Synod prescribes that "no singing is to be carried out in the churches unless it is solemn and Ecclesiastical in nature. The Rectors in seminaries must ensure as a primary responsibity that their students are well instructed in chant so that they may properly learn the sacred ceremonies." Decree No 39 specifies that only Latin is to be sung in Solemn Masses and "neither is anything to be found outside of Mass in churches unless it is contained in the approved Ecclesiastical books".

    Your comments on Irish Catholicism are similar to those of Thomas Day in Why Catholics can't Sing, a book which has enjoyed extensive and undeserved influence, particularly in the blogosphere. (Incidentally it's always baffled me why anyone would esteem the "head of the music department at Salve Regina College in Rhode Island" as some sort of authority on any aspect of Irish ecclesiastical history.)

    Church Music throughout Europe was at a low ebb generally at the beginning of the 19th century but the Liturgical Movement of Dom Guéranger was far from having passed Ireland by. The Maynooth historian Prof. James MacCaffrey identified some significant factors in the reform of Church Music in Ireland: the foundation of the Irish Society of St Cecilia and its monthly journal Lyra Ecclesiastica (1878), the endowment of a choir at the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin to be trained in plain chant and classical polyphony, and also the work by the Commissioners of National Education in promoting Sacred Music in the primary and secondary schools. I would highly recommend Keiran Daly's scholarly book on Catholic Church Music in Ireland, 1878-1903 published by Four Courts Press. Maynooth Seminary (which has had a special chair of Sacred Music since 1888) always maintained a high standard in music (and still does, albeit to a much lesser extent). Up until the 60s children in Ireland were regularly taught Gregorian Chant in schools, often with competitions to make it fun. See for instance:

    * Click this link to read the Freeman's Journal's account of the Opening Procession of the Synod:

    Irish newspapers in the 19th century are rich with such reports of elaborate ceremonial. The same site also quotes the MC, Laurence Forde, reporting that "the mass was celebrated by the Primate himself with full solemnity —-- all the arrangements were modelled as far as possible on the plan of the Papal Chapels, the music too was Ecclesiastical, the Mass was the old Irish College Mass in four parts quite in the Palestrina style."

  14. The liturgical deforms of the Synod of Pistoia were animated by a spirit of antiquarianism. That is one reason why Louis Bouyer lauded historic Jansenist reforms, as did others in the Liturgical Movement. Jansenism was not so much focused on moral pharisaism or minimalism as on a return to a romanticized primitive church, as supposedly existed in St. Augustine's time. Another obsession of the Jansenists was lay reading of the scriptures and participation in the Liturgy of the Hours, along with lay participation in the liturgy generally. Unigenitus actually CONDEMNS the following Jansenist propositions (which very few Catholics today would reject): "The reading of Sacred Scripture is for all", "To snatch away from the hands of Christians the New Testament, or to hold it closed against them by taking away from them the means of understanding it, is to close for them the mouth of Christ", "To snatch from the simple people this consolation of joining their voice to the voice of the whole Church is a custom contrary to the apostolic practice and to the intention of God."

    These concerns are of course utterly alien to the pre-conciliar Irish Church, for better or worse.

  15. As an aside, the style of the Sacre-Coeur is, apparently, Romano-Byantine. No, I wasn't aware of it (as opposed to Italo-Byzantine), either.

  16. Shane, thank you very much for the time which you took to write such a detailed explanation. I base my impressions of the (pre- and post-conciliar) low Mass mentality of the Church in Ireland upon Irish acquaintances of mine, who have lamented this, both in Ireland and in the Irish emigration. In Ireland itself, attempts to have a Missa cantata or Missa Solemnis seem to run into the opposition of the faithful, who seem not to remember any such Mass, but who knew,and want now to have,only the Low-Mass. These same faithful are indigant when anyone but the Mass server makes the latin responses, or when anyone but the choirsingers sing the Kyriale. They donot wish to adopt the proper positions of standing and kneeling at the appr. times,but wish only to kneel throughout. These acquaintances find it very frustrating when trying to set up a regularly scheduled Sung Mass, when dealing with such a ''low-mass'' mentality. I was also told by these same Irish sources that only the Funeral Mass was ever sung in parish churchs. These stories made me wonder, what the reason behind this could be, and i thought of jansenism, or perhaps the centurieslong persecution of cahtoicsim in Ireland. I must have been wrong, and shall accept what you write as the true picture of Cathoilc worship in Ireland.

  17. Clearly nobody here has actually read the "Augustinus".

  18. Canon Lloyd,

    Actually, I have read parts of a German reprint of the Augustinus (Frankfurt: Minerva, 1964). The work is written in two-point-type and runs for about two bazillion pages. By the time I'd be done with that, my glasses would gain five diopters in strength. Read this reprint along with the collected works of Martin Chemintz, and it's macular degeneration time. Seriously, works such as the Augustinus really need to be retyped into the modern Latin alphabet (replace long S), proofread, mated to a Perseus or TLG style search engine, and distributed by DVD on online. That'd be a great postdoc project -- if only some endowment would sing on to fund something like that. Gregory Crane, do you read Liturgiae Causa?


    You are completely right about how the English occupation also contributed to the death of Catholicism in Quebec. This is OT, but necessary to understand why the Quebecois are now anti-Catholic.

    In a manner similar to the Greek patriarch and bishops during the Ottoman Empire, the Catholic prelates of Quebec became leaders of a cultural millet or cultural ethnarchy, for lack of better terms. The Church rigidly controlled almost every sector of francophone culture for nearly 200 years until a socialist Quebecois regime gained political control of the province. The Church did preserve the French language and Quebecois culture, but at a very steep emotional toll. Hence the nuclear detonation of Catholicism in the mid 1960's.

    The resentments linger today. My current university is literally "Fortress Anglophonia" (my now-secular faculty was originally a Protestant divinity school -- the halls are still lined with replica portraits of Beza, Calvin, Cranmer, Fox, Wycliffe &c.) Even after the secularization of schools many Quebecois resent the presence of any anglophone educational institutions, even to the point of protests outside of anglophone institutions. The dividing lines are no longer religion but language.

    Quebec is a bloody mess. Maybe it's better that the Quebecois no longer believe, as it's one less aggravation in a precarious ethno-cultural struggle. Perhaps the province/autonomous region should be re-evangelized in Latin! :-)


  19. With regard to the “Sacred Heart”, I refer readers to my comment made on this blog on 12th June this year, under the heading “Purpose…” posted by Patricius on Tuesday, 7th June. I am gratified to note that the Canon of the Fifth Œcumenical Council that I referenced there has been quoted, more fully, by Patricius, above.

    If I might add here what I have already posted elsewhere:

    “The representation of the ‘Sacred Heart’ contravenes the Canons of the Seventh Œcumenical Council. To depict the Divine Redeemer with His heart exposed on His chest is idolatrous: He never appeared on earth in such fashion; and such a representation can, therefore, only indicate a worship directed at His bodily organ.

    “We depict the Saviour, the Mother of God, and the rest of the Saints in the Holy Icons. On the other hand, the representation, for instance, of God the Father as an old man belongs to a degenerate iconography rightly condemned by the Church; God the Father never manifested Himself in such a way. There has been debate as to whether it is permissible to represent the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove; it can be argued that it may be allowed because He manifested Himself in such a form at the Theophany.

    “Nevertheless, as the Americans might say, the ‘bottom line’ is that devotion to the ‘Sacred Heart’ was introduced by papists centuries after they had departed from the Church.”

  20. I have seen many Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic depictions of God the Father as an elderly version of God the Son... despite the above-mentioned canon, which must have been be understood in a less restricitve sense. What then is one to think of the EYE of God, which is more prevalent in Eastern Orthodox churches, than in Roman churches? The Heart in the Images of our Lord is not the organ itself, it is not even portrayed as a real human heart, but it is a Symbol of His Love for mankind. Hence, the symbolic - rather than biologically authentic - depiction of the heart, which most of mankind understands as meaning ''Love''. This in no way can be considered Idolatry, anymore than to worship thE Cross of our LORD, is idolotry.

  21. All sorts of un-canonical imagery exist ‘out there’. It is one thing for such things to be tacitly tolerated; it is quite another for them to be actively promoted, given feast days, and have services composed for them. Representations of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross do not depict anything that was not made manifest in the history of our Salvation.

  22. sortacatholic, your comments on Quebec are very interesting. I was in Canada a few years ago with my family on a road trip. I was awestruck by the contrast between Ontario and Quebec. I found Quebec city in particular to be a delightful gem and its religious patrimony was immediately obvious on arrival. There were churches everywhere and most of the streets were named after saints.

    French Canadians actually have a strong Irish heritage and this can be found in the surnames (many of which are Gallicized out of recognition). Irish Catholic immigrants in Canada usually mixed with the French rather than the English. During the Famine, French Canadian families were encouraged by the Church there to adopt babies from Ireland. I got quite a few free drinks!

    Can you recommend any good books on the Quiet Revolution? I find it difficult to understand how the collapse of Catholicism there occurred so rapidly. While the Church in Quebec is criticised for its past alliance with the state, is it not the case that it was acting entirely in accord with public opinion at the time? The Church in Ireland is often criticised for having wielded 'power' over the state and populace, yet there seems to be a reluctance to concede that the reason the Church was powerful was because the people WANTED the Church to be powerful. (Or rather the Church didn't have 'power' in any temporal sense so much as the force of public opinion.) Irish Catholicism was always a profoundly popular religion and therefore institutionalized the values and mores of the society in which it operated. In 1950s Ireland, that meant the Church was paternalistic, self-assured and venerated --- pretty much what people wanted at the time. Could the same not be said of the situation in Quebec?

  23. Shane -- The best way to find good books is to read the syllabi of various Canadian university course offerings. Yeah, that's a dodge, but this is how I find new books to read. Political history is not my field, sadly. Whenever I move somewhere new, I just talk to a lot of local people to get their take on things (not an empirical method).

    The Papal States, Quebec, Francoist Spain, maybe Ireland, &c. are examples of why Catholic confessional states do not and will never work. Eventually there will be a communist, socialist, and/or nationalist backlash. We've seen how even in a nominal "democracy" (klepto-oligarchy?) such as the USA, unbridled clerical power results in child abuse, financial corruption, and gross hypocrisy. Nutcase fundie Catholics, like on Fisheaters, say things like we must have a Catholic absolute monarchy!1!1!!1!!, but they have no idea what one is or care to read up on societies that have lived through confessional states. Normal people have a drum circle after hitting the bud. Fisheaters tends more towards the paranoid cultist effect. Where did they go wrong?

    I think Patricius has had enough of this sub-thread. So that's that -- good luck with your research.


  24. Dear lector Orientalis, please permit me this one last observation: Our Lord, Our Lady and the Saints did not walk around on earth with halos or crowns upon the heads either, and yet, both in the East and the West we depict them with light encircling their heads, or crowns upon them. Why? because in Catholic (and Orthodox) iconography our Lord and the Saints are usually depicted NOT as they looked when they lived upon earth, but they are rather depicted as we imagine them to be in heavenly Glory (hence the halo, nimbus or crown). And often with the symbols of their most well-known and distinguishing attribute (such as money bags, physician's instruments, palm branch, a heart in hand... etcetera.) Religious Iconography is, after all, a comination of the realistic and the symbolic, wherefore many things in it can be appreciated and tolerated, which strict dogmatics might not fully allow.

  25. To quote Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky (something I have already done on this blog on 12th June this year)—as translated by Hieromonk Seraphim Rose—, “In connection [sic] with this decree of the Council it may be seen how out of harmony with the spirit and practice of the Church is the cult of the ‘sacred heart of Jesus’ which has been introduced into the Roman Catholic Church [sic]. Although the above-cited decree of the Fifth Ecumenical [sic] Council touches only on the separate worship of the Divinity and the Humanity of the Saviour, it still indirectly tells us that in general the veneration and worship of Christ should be directed to Him as a whole and not to parts of His Being; it must be one. Even if by ‘heart’ we should understand the Saviour’s love itself, still neither in the Old Testament nor in the New was there ever a custom to worship separately the love of God, or His wisdom, His creative or providential power, or His sanctity. All the more must one say this concerning the parts of His bodily nature. There is something unnatural in the separation of the heart from the general bodily nature of the Lord for the purpose of prayer, contrition and worship before Him. Even in the ordinary relationships of life, no matter how much a man might be attached to another—for example, a mother to a child—he would never refer his attachment to the heart of the beloved person, but will refer it to the given person as a whole.”

  26. Shane,

    Off topic but I saw somewhere the liturgical programme for seminarians at Maynooth - I cannot recall the source - and it appears that Maynooth had Mattins in choir right up until the late 1960s (what was left of Mattins by then). It must have been the last seminary, or almost the last, to have done so. Have you the source perchance?

    I have several nineteenth century liturgical commentaries in my collection and the Irish Church was clearly very liturgical at that time, e.g. Daniel O'Loan's book on Pontifical ceremonies which is masterly in its understanding and treatment of detail clearly written by an expert practitioner.

  27. Mr Oriental is not being completely honest with his use of canons; he has not quoted the actual canons, but Greek anti-western 19th century commentaries. If he wants to quote a canon, how about the one forbidding giving communion with a golden spoon!

    As far as Pomazansky is concerned, his main points seem to be on about the same level; which follows that since this is a Latin devotion it must be wrong...and more than wrong...EVIL. He mentions, "Was there ever a custom to worship separately the love of God, or His wisdom" (189). But one is again faced with the ikon of the Holy Face, found in most Russian churches, which is symbolic of the human suffering of Christ. Obviously, according to Pomazansky, one may separate a devotion to the suffering of Christ, but not his love? Seems like simply more anti-western attitudes parading as theology.

    Regarding Ireland, the fact that the Church tried to introduce proper chant and ceremonies, means that there must have been a real problem. I must agree with Albertus on this one; having had a parish that was heavily Irish, simply trying to start a sung mass, with or without incense, was worse than a visit to the dentist...they wanted a low mass, said between server and priest, as quiet as possible; whilst they knelt and prayed, privately, the rosary.

  28. I was not aware that I had quoted ANY Canons here; perhaps Dale might be so go as to point where I have done so?

  29. You stated, and gave the intention of this being one of the canons:

    “The representation of the ‘Sacred Heart’ contravenes the Canons of the Seventh Œcumenical Council. To depict the Divine Redeemer with His heart exposed on His chest is idolatrous: He never appeared on earth in such fashion; and such a representation can, therefore, only indicate a worship directed at His bodily organ."

    Your use of opening and closing quotation marks makes the incorrect inference that this is the canon in question. It is not.

    Also, the Western rite Vicariate has the Devotion to the Sacred Heart as well as the feast day. One must suspect that the whole of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch must be heretical! At least according to you; or in retrospect perhaps they simply have better theologians who do theology and not ethnic/geographical hatred?

  30. Dale, modern Greek praxis (whether this is ''western rite'' or Byzantine) is not indicative of the whole of Orthodoxy. At any rate attempts at Western Rite Orthodoxy have been misguided at best...

  31. I suggest that Dale both consult what the Fowlers have to say about the correct use of single and double inverted commas, and that he read my comments more carefully.

    What I actually posted here was:

    “If I might add here what I have already posted elsewhere:

    ‘The representation of the “Sacred Heart” contravenes the Canons of the Seventh Œcumenical Council. To depict the Divine Redeemer with His heart exposed on His chest is idolatrous…’”

    To anyone who understands English, the phrase “If I might add here what I have already posted elsewhere:” indicates that the author in question is about to quote his OWN words, by implication already stated somewhere else.

  32. I would posit that your own personal interpretations of the canons are just that, personal opinions.

    Please show us exactly where the devotion to the Sacred Heart is condemned by the Seventh Council? If not, please do not mention councils, incorrectly, to support personal bigotry.

    One suspects that the Sacred Heart in the Antiochian Patriarchate is heretical? Since, according to you, this devotion is condemned by an ecumenical council!

  33. It was stated:

    "To depict the Divine Redeemer with His heart exposed on His chest is idolatrous: He never appeared on earth in such fashion; and such a representation can, therefore, only indicate a worship directed at His bodily organ."

    One can only shudder at what this individual thinks of the symbolically representations of the Evangelists! Angel, Lion, Ox, and Eagle!

    Outside of the Angel, I cannot remember anyone worshiping an actual Lion, Ox or Eagle (wings aside!)because of these symbolic representations.

  34. I do not dare to present my own interpretations of the Canons, but rather those of the Church.

    As any moron could establish, the Seventh Œcumenical Council took place centuries before Satan’s lieutenant ever introduced the perverted notion of a devotion to a “Sacred Heart” into this world.

    Dale states “Outside of [sic] the Angel, I cannot remember anyone worshiping [sic] an actual Lion, Ox or Eagle (wings aside!)because of these symbolic representations.”

    I actually have no idea about what Dale might mean by that nonsensical statement.

    As Fortescue says about Dale’s namesake, “it is a pity that someone did not apprize Dale to proceed to observe the customary use of language, in conjunction with people who write English.”

  35. If one may not worship an aspect of God in any of his Persons (like a Sacred Heart, &c.), how is one to account for the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, built in... Constantinople!

    There are serious theological differences between the Western and Eastern churches, and then there's playing silly-buggers for the sake of it.

  36. There is no iconographic representation of God’s Wisdom, nor could there be. It is, precisely, the admissibility, or otherwise, of certain imagery that has been at issue in this discussion.

    There are no “serious theological differences” between any of the Churches. The former Western Patriarchate, since its fall into error and consequent break with the Church, is no longer a Church. Those of its members who consider adherence to the Canons of the Œcumenical Councils as “playing silly-buggers” successfully illustrate that fact.