Friday, August 01, 2008

Are Organ Transplants Ever Morally Licit?

A commentary on the address of Pope John Paul II to the XVIII International Congress of the Transplantation Society

By Bishop Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz, Bishop Robert F. Vasa, Walt F. Weaver, Paul A. Byrne, Richard G. Nilges, and Josef Seifert

Thanks to Sarge for bringing this to my attention.

Ordination of deaconesses

From EWTN, author unknown: Women Priests?
A Brief History of the Permanent Diaconate

Then there are these developments:
Church of Greece votes on female diaconate
Female Diaconate restored by Greek Holy Synod
Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation
Introduction to Liturgical Theology
Women in Orthodoxy, Past & Present: A Conference - The Byzantine Forum
A Chronology of the Diaconate
OrthodoxNews: Women
St. Nina Quarterly: "Orthodox Women and Pastoral Praxis"
The Historical Orthodox Deaconess
Orthodox Women's Network

see Canon 15 of the Council of Chalcedon: The Council of Chalcedon - 451 A.D.

So there's a claim that women were actually ordained at the altar, with the imposition of hands, and so on. (Or there are texts with such rituals.) But can there be an ordination without sacramental orders? (What is the word used in Latin and Greek to refer to the Sacrament of Order in the early Chruch? Do the Latins speak of Ordo?)

From Miriam-Webster:
1: to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority

So one can ordain in the sense of giving someone the authority to act in a certain ministerial capacity. But are deacons just ministers, or do they participate in the priesthood of Christ? (There is also a claim that the diaconate is regarded by [some of?] the Eastern churches as being a ministry only, and not a sacramental order. Trent on the Sacrament of Order.) Speaking of women's ordination can be misleading--what we should be focusing on is the Sacrament of Holy Orders instead. (Even if those women who are attempting to become priests and failing understand them to be linked.)

Female diaconate in the early church - Discussion

And some reaction from the Orthodox Information Center:
Women in the Orthodox Church
We also hear the claims that deaconesses carried the Sacrament of Holy Communion to many outside of the temple. Let us also remember that, in the early Church, all of the people took the Body and Blood of our Lord to their homes to commune during the week. The fact that records show deaconesses having a type of "ordination" was specifically to enable them to carry Holy Communion to women who were "shut-ins". Since, as we have made clear, it was forbidden for a male to go into a single womans home, there was an obvious need for this holy service to be done by a woman, hence, the deaconess. The ordination, or blessing, was to allow her to carry Holy Communion to those women who could not attend the Liturgy.
Hmm... Christian Dress and Grooming

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eirenikon has posted two parts of Fr. Lev Gillet's “The Immaculate Conception and the Orthodox Church.” Part 1 and Part 2.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Msgr. William B. Smith on finis operis and finis operantis

Msgr. William B. Smith on finis operis and finis operantis

Monsignor William B. Smith, STD by John Janaro
Université Thomiste

I haven't really explored the website...
Cosmos Liturgy Sex: Not to Beat a Dead Theologian, But…

Fr. Guy Mansini on 5 theses of Henri De Lubac, S.J.

Thesis One: Attention to the order of pure nature, which began in the 16th century, has had a malign impact on the Church both speculatively and practically. This is so because of the way that the doctrine of pure nature has developed historically. Either a) nature was conceived of in such a way that it needed grace (as with the theologian Baius) or b) it was supernaturalized. This latter way of thinking about pure nature postulated a natural intuition of God or a natural friendship with God. This latter position is the cause of “extrinsicist” accounts of grace, for which it is thought that human nature can have perfect contentment in its own order.

Thesis Two: God has never ordained for man anything more than a supernatural end. There is an intrinsic unity to the economy of salvation, and modern theology was not always sufficiently attentive to this fact.

Thesis Three: Human nature is what it is because it is ordered to a supernatural end, and would not be what it is if it were otherwise ordered.

Thesis Four: The fourth thesis, as Mansini presents it, is complex. It is a thesis in three parts. First, the natural desire to see God must be foremost in our attention in speculative theology, otherwise we do not recognize the unity of the economy of salvation, and we get mixed up on the relationship between philosophical anthropology and theological anthropology, between knowledge and faith, and between philosophy and theology. Second, the natural desire to see God is both sign and effect of our being ordered to possession of beatific vision. Third, because the human “natural desire to see God” is inherently of the supernatural order, it must be understood to be a necessary and absolute ordination and not conditioned – yet, we must not deny that grace is truly gratuitous.

Thesis 5: There follows from theses 1-3 a prohibition: it is useless to consider in the speculative order the condition of our nature aside from its supernatural ordination.

“Henri de Lubac, the Natural Desire to See God, and Pure Nature” from the 2002 Gregorianum (vol. 83, 1): 89-109.

See also these other posts at the same blog:
Nova et Vetera Contra Henri De Lubac
An Essential Difference Between Thomism and Augustinianism