Sunday, February 16, 2020

Ed Peters Responds to Adam DeVille

Ignoring law is not remedied by ignoring it even more

The crux:
According to canon law, the Roman Pontiff (nb: a human being) “possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.” 1983 CIC 331. Surely some indication from DeVille that he is aware of this law, and of the doctrinal values behind it, is owed lest he seem to imply that, in establishing Peter as the one Rock, Our Lord invited disaster upon his Church.

Further according to canon law, the College of Bishops (nb: a small group of people) “is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church.” 1983 CIC 336. Again, no indication is given that DeVille sees how Our Lord’s vesting supreme and full power in this tiny group of believers passes muster under DeVille’s supposedly foundational maxim.

But these claims that I have underlined are theological or ecclesial, particular to the patriarchate of Rome, and not "canonical" and certainly not reflecting the canons of the Church Universal.

But the solution to unenforced canon and civil law is not the further and complete ignoring of those laws and the fashioning of new, institutionally unsound procedures resting on fantastical histories and flimsy logic. The solution is the enforcement of laws by Church and State officials and the visitation of harsh penalties on the perpetrators of wicked crimes.

New laws may be necessary. Is the logic flimsy? I don't think so -- more likely than not, they are logically sound with respect to DeVille's ecclesiological principles. One can debate whether those principles are sanctioned by Tradition, but the ecclesiological principles as held by the patriarchate of Rome may be dear to Rome but they are not universally accepted.

Friday, February 14, 2020

It Would Be in Opposition to Scripture

but I am curious if there is a theological argument to be made that a baptism that is not immediately completed by chrismation is not a complete baptism and therefore not valid. It is unlikely that this is the justification used by some Chalcedonian Orthodox to rebaptize Latins who decide to become Orthodox, but could they make such an argument? (I say it would be in opposition to Scripture because the New Testament records that many were baptized and received the gift of the Holy Spirit only later through the laying on of hands by the Apostles but they did not have to repeat Baptism.


Perhaps it is just incomplete, then, even if the consequences of this cannot be immediately elucidated.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

An Interesting Reference

Here:
There is no evidence for the alleged apostolic obligation of perpetual continence until the third century, and that is contradicted by contemporary patristic evidence, e.g., Clement of Alexandria.

Furthermore, as Vogels notes, ‘… present-day canon law teaching has to regard the fourth century law as void, since the Codex Iuris Canonici regards “the conjugal act which by itself is apt to produce offspring” (conjugalis actus per se aptus ad prolis generationem), as belonging to the enduring “essence of marriage” (ad quem natura sua ordinatur matrimonium), which is guaranteed by “divine law” and i co sewuence, cannot be removed by tbe ecclesiastical lawgiver (canons 1061 s 1; 1057 s 2; 1059 CIC/1983)’ Vogels, Celibacy – Gift or Law?, Kansas City, 1993, p. 42.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"Ordinary Magisterium"

If the synod is not a real synod but a rigged one, then of what value is it, and of what value is the opinion of the pope on the synod, when he has no infallibility with respect to the judgment of particulars? The defenders of Rome's claims may go as far as to say that the pope's judgment about what is a legitimate synod and what is not falls under his authority and may even be "infallible" but is that true?

Vatican officials: ‘Querida Amazonia’ is magisterium, Amazon synod’s final doc is not

The text of the Post-Apostolic Exhortation.



CWR: Pope Francis’ Amazon exhortation calls for holiness, not married priests
Querida Amazonia, Pope Francis’s much-anticipated post-synodal apostolic exhortation, presents the pope’s “four great dreams” for the Pan-Amazonian region’s ecological preservation and “Amazonian holiness.”

5 things to know about ‘Querida Amazonia’
America Magazine: Five Takeaways





Even Benedict XVI Is Not Above Criticism

The Ratzingerian Constants and the Maintenance of Harmony in the Church

Bishop Barron: "A similarly illuminating remark was made by Pope Benedict XVI concerning the work of the Church, and I would like to spend a little time exploring it. Papa Ratzinger said that the Church performs three basic tasks: it worships God, it evangelizes, and it serves the poor. The religious activities of over a billion Catholics around the globe, he maintained, can be reduced finally to these three fundamental moves."

If this is an accurate representation of Ratzinger's thought, he is guilty of a simplistic reductionism in his enumeration the tasks of the church. These three tasks flow from the Great Commandment, but they are not the only ones, and the other tasks of the Church, especially of the Christian "laity," are not reducible to these three. Ratzinger leaves no room for explicating the ordinary path to holiness or the lay vocation. This would be bad moral theology or bad catechesis.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Apophaticism and Mysticism

Church Life: Prayer and the Darkness of God by Denys Turner

And Weigel Thinks...

That this isn't a respectable Roman Catholic outlet. Who among the respectable is reporting on this?

LSN: EXCLUSIVE: Vatican bishop defends giving Communion to pro-abortion Argentine president and mistress
It’s a ‘problem’ only for U.S. Catholics and Cardinal Raymond Burke, Bishop Sorondo said.


(via Fr. Z)

He Shouldn't, But...

LSN: Bishop Schneider: ‘The Pope cannot be silent as he watches the wolves devour the flock’
Bishop Athanasius Schneider speaks out against the German bishops’ ‘synodal path.’

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Edward Pentin Interviews Cardinal Sarah

NCReg: Cardinal Sarah: The Priesthood Today ‘Is in Mortal Danger’
In an exclusive English-language interview, the African cardinal discusses his new book, the status of the Catholic priesthood, and addresses those who say he opposes Pope Francis.
Edward Pentin

(via Fr. Z)

But what about exceptions to the law of celibacy that already exist, for example in the Eastern Catholic rites or the Anglican Ordinariate?

An exception is transitory by definition and constitutes a parenthesis in the normal and natural state of things. This was the case of Anglican pastors returning to full communion. But the lack of a priest is not an exception. It is the normal state of any nascent Church, as in the Amazon, or dying Churches, as in the West. Jesus warned us: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” The ordination of married men in young Christian communities would prohibit the raising of vocations of unmarried priests. The exception would become a permanent state. A weakening of the principle of celibacy, even if limited to one region, would not be an exception, but a breach, a wound in the internal coherence of the priesthood. On the other hand, the dignity and greatness of marriage is increasingly better understood. As Benedict XVI points out in this book, these two states are not compatible because they both demand an absolute and total gift.

In the East, some churches have married clergy. I do not in any way question the personal holiness of these priests. But such a situation is only livable because of the massive presence of monks. Moreover, from the point of view of the sign given to the whole Church by the priesthood, there is a risk of confusion. If a priest is married, then he has a private life, a conjugal and family life. He must make time for his wife and children. He is unable to show, by his whole life, that he is totally and absolutely given to God and the Church. St. John Paul II stated it very clearly: The Church wants to be loved by her priests with the very love with which Jesus loved her, that is to say, with an exclusive spouse’s love. It is important, the saintly Polish pope said, that priests understand the theological motivation of their celibacy. He said: “Priestly celibacy should not be considered just as a legal norm or as a totally external condition for admission to ordination, but rather as a value that is profoundly connected with ordination, whereby a man takes on the likeness of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd and Spouse of the Church” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 50). This is what we wanted to recall with Benedict XVI. The true foundation of celibacy is not juridical, disciplinary or practical; it is theocentric. On this subject I refer you to the extraordinary speech of Benedict XVI to the Roman Curia on Dec. 22, 2006. Celibacy for God is an absurdity in the eyes of the secularized and atheistic world. Celibacy is a scandal for the contemporary mind. It shows that God is a reality. If the life of priests does not concretely show that God is enough to make us happy and to give meaning to our existence, then who will proclaim him? More than ever our societies need celibacy because they need God.

Friday, February 07, 2020

What Will It Say Regarding Clerical Celibacy?

CWR Dispatch: Pope’s exhortation on Amazon synod to come out next week
Sources say something similar to the process for ordaining married Anglican clergy coming into communion with Rome is being suggested in the case of the Amazon.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

A Secular Endorsement Worth Having?

NCReg: UNESCO Recognizes Byzantine Chant as Part of World’s Treasured Heritage
Byzantine chant takes its place among 42 other traditions and practices recognized by the United Nations as part of the shared intangible patrimony of humanity.
Peter Jesserer Smith

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Part 2 of Echeverria's Critique of Francis

CWR: Making sense of Pope Francis on faith, evangelization, and proselytizing (Part II) by Eduardo Echeverria

Does Francis recognize that the Church makes determinate truth claims, and hence that the central truth claims of Christianity conflict with the truth claims of other religions about God?

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Keeping Museum Pieces?

Perhaps traditionalists monastic communities will continue to grow and there will be a use for side altars. But what about diocesan temples? What will prevent the further contraction of the size of Latin local churches?



NLM

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Pope Francis Is No Theologian

But he does theology nonetheless.

CWR: Making sense of Pope Francis on faith, evangelization, and proselytizing by Eduardo Echeverria

Pope Francis diminishes the significance of the fides quae creditur, the beliefs which one holds to be true, affirms, and asserts, in the initial evangelical encounter. However, there is no such thing as a non-doctrinal encounter.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Machinations in Germany

NCReg: German ‘Synodal Path’ Aims to Shape Vatican Decisions, Says Plan’s Architect by Edward Pentin
‘We believe it is unacceptable that all issues decided in Rome, now and in the future, should be taken largely without the participation of the ...

CWR Dispatch: Analysis: Pope Francis and the Germans by Ed Condon for CNA

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Timothy Noone on the Semiotics of Augustine

TAC Lecture: Dr. Timothy B. Noone: “Augustine on Words, Signs, Thought, and Things in De Magistro”

Ecclesiology Has Consequences

Never mind that the Roman Code does not apply to any church outside of the patriarchate of Rome.

Latin ecclesiology shapes/informs Latin canon law. (As Latin canon law is particular to the patriarchate of Rome alone, it cannot be used as a source of Tradition, as it is not derived from or accepted by the Church Universal.)

"The first see is judged by no one." (Canon 1556 of the 1917 Code, canon 104 of the new code.)

Ed Peters: A canonical primer on popes and heresy

In sum, it needs to be said clearly that a [publicly] heretical Roman Pontiff loses his power upon the very fact. Meanwhile a declaratory criminal sentence, although it is merely declaratory, should not be disregarded, for it brings it about, not that a pope is “judged” to be a heretic, but rather, that he is shown to have been found heretical, that is, a general council declares the fact of the crime by which a pope has separated himself from the Church and has lost his rank.

How does this solve the problem? A general council can make a statement that the pope has committed heresy but it cannot judge (that is, it does not have the legal authority to judge him guilty of a crime and give a punishment)? How is the former at all binding?

Related:
The heresy letter is intelligent, but doesn’t quite convince

Monday, January 27, 2020

Cardinal Sarah Responds to His Critics

NCReg: Cardinal Sarah Calls For End to ‘Sterile Controversy’ Over Celibacy Book by Edward Pentin
The Vatican cardinal urges the faithful to cease discussing ‘ridiculous side issues’ over the book and to read the ‘essential question’ it covers instead.

Related: Looking East: Book on celibacy barely acknowledges Eastern tradition

David Bentley Hart's Objection to the Existence of Hell

Al Kimel summarizes in Apprehending Apokatastasis: The Incoherence of Everlasting Perdition:

1) The doctrine of creatio ex nihilo asserts the absolute liberty of the Creator in all of his acts. As the infinite plenitude of Being, God did not need to create the cosmos to fill some­thing that was lacking in his life (remember—no passive potency) and having created it he does not find that his happiness and bliss have been increased. Moreover, not only does God enjoy absolute freedom to create, or not create, the cosmos; but he also enjoys absolute freedom in what kind of cosmos to create. He is not subject to constraints outside himself.

Nothing remarkable so far. This is just the classical doctrine of divine aseity which Hart has so ably presented in The Experience of God.

2) God eternally wills himself as the Good, and his willing of the cosmos is encompassed within this eternal self-willing. The purpose, telos, goal, consummation, and end of the divine act of creation is the Good; or to put it in the language of Aristotle, God is the final cause of creation. The cosmos is created by Love out of Love toward consummation in Love.

In the background we hear the voices of St Gregory of Nyssa and St Maximus the Confessor, as well as Dionysius the Areopagite and St Thomas Aquinas.

3) God does not create evil. Only goodness flows from God. For this reason the classical theologians of the Christian tradition have understood evil as a privation of being, a defect, lack, surd, nothingness. The presence of evil within God’s good creation urgently raises the question of theodicy. The question cannot be banished with a mere wave of a philosoph­ical wand. Evil will always be the greatest challenge to faith, both intellectually and existen­tially. It’s one thing to acknowledge, and suffer, evil’s presence in the temporal order; it’s quite another thing to assert its eschatological perdurance.

4) The eschaton, therefore, necessarily and definitively reveals the character and identity of the Creator. The conclusion of the story can neither surprise nor disappoint him, for the conclusion is willed in the initial act of creation. Hence the presence of evil in the eschaton is quite impossible. In Hart’s words: “He could not be the creator of anything substantially evil without evil also being part of the definition of who he essentially is.” Here is the cru­cial Hartian claim: if everlasting perdition belongs to the climax of the cosmic narrative, then it was so intended by God from the beginning. Every free act is teleologically directed and therefore defined by its final cause. The inference cannot be avoided. After all, nothing compelled God to create this particular universe with this particular eschaton, and the omnipo­tence–omniscience combo precludes divine failure. If hell was intended, then it is good and inheres in the Good; if hell is intended, then hell becomes God.

To summarize: in his goodness the triune God creates the cosmos for consummation in his infinite goodness. All comes from Love and returns to Love. The Creator is both material cause and final cause. The eschaton, therefore, is not simply the climax of a story. It is the final revelation of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the fullness of their lordship and glory. In the words of the Apostle:
And, when all things have been subordinated to him, then will the Son himself also be subordinated to the one who has subordinated all things to him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Cor 15:28)
God will be all in all. This is the eschatological promise. How then hell everlasting?

The above reasoning leads Hart to the conclu­sion that a pernicious incoherence lies deep within the theological tradition. For the past 1500 years the Church has asserted three claims:
  • God freely created the cosmos ex nihilo.
  • God is the Good and wills only the good.
  • God will condemn a portion of his rational creatures to everlasting torment.
Two of these propositions may be rationally held without contradiction, argues Hart, but not all three simultaneously.





And Apprehending Apokatastasis: Revealing the God Behind the Curtain

Interview with Fr. Cajetan Cuddy, O.P.

CWR: The fundamental crisis of contemporary culture and the wisdom of St. Thomas
“The division between the mind and reality,” says Fr. Cajetan Cuddy, O.P., “and the project of self-creation, has sparked the disunity between us and all others.”

CWR: How would you define “Thomism”?
Fr. Cajetan: I recently had the honor of answering a form of this question in a video interview (“Thomism and Intellectual Monasticism”) conducted by iAquinas. Several additional points, however, come to mind.

The person of Thomas Aquinas: Thomism is more than the repetition of Thomas’s words and phrases or the imitation of his literary style. Thomas did not posit himself as the goal of Christian thought. Although he gave intellectual shape to the tradition that bears his name, the object of his teaching resides outside of Thomas’s person. In his writings, Thomas largely ignored himself because he found reality to be far more interesting. Were he to speak to us today, he would undoubtedly discourage students from embarking on something like a “Quest for the Historical Thomas” if this were to distract them from taking up Thomas’s own project: the quest for truth. A Thomistic gaze is not so much oriented to Thomas himself as it is to what Thomas knew (and whom he loved). Therefore, Thomism is a way of thinking that searches with Thomas for the truth about reality (and, ultimately, the truth about God).

Wisdom: Consequently, Thomas Aquinas hands on (“traditions”) to his students something much more precious than a collection of erudite books. Thomas’s true gift—and the essence of Thomism—is a way of wise thinking governed by first principles. And it is here that we distinguish wisdom from the memorization of facts. Wisdom and native intelligence are not the same thing. Smart people can formulate stimulating ideas in their minds. Wise people allow their minds to be formed by the most fundamental truths. Wisdom enables us to recognize—and to promote—order. The contemporary world is dominated by an overwhelming amount of information. Not all information is created equal, however. And, as a wise teacher, Thomas identifies the most important truths – the “first truths” (or “first principles”) that configure all knowledge in all contexts. Chief among the first truths is this: being and nothingness are really distinct. Thomas recognized that all other truths proceed from this foundational principle. His graced genius enabled him to see profound depths in – and to recognize the universal implications of – the nature of being. Therefore, Thomism approaches all of reality in light of the “first truths” that underlie everything that exists – everything from a blade of grass, to the squirrel, to the newborn baby, to marriage, to the Church, to God. “Thomism” receives its name from Thomas because he is the one who identified which principles are absolutely primordial. And “Thomists” see how these first truths permeate all aspects of thought and life.

Intellectual Monasticism”: Interestingly, amidst the noise and chaos of contemporary life, there has been a renewed interest in monasticism and contemplation. (See, for example, Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Optionand Cardinal Robert Sarah’s The Power of Silence.) Everyone pines for “peace of mind.” This is unsurprising. Tranquility and thought are essential parts of human experience. All of the most important elements of our lives involve rational reflection—the kind of career we pursue, whom we choose to marry, how we raise our children, what our political affiliations will be, etc. Thomas Aquinas offers an ordered way of thinking that shapes the intellect just as a monastic rule shapes the rhythms of human living. I like to describe Thomism as an intellectual monasticism. Monasticism orders all aspects of human life around God—time, work, recreation, and even the very architecture of the monastery are God-directed. Thomism orders all aspects of human thought around the highest truths. Each of Thomas’s “first truths” serve as the “building blocks” upon which the “intellectual monastery” is constructed in the soul of the Thomist.

To summarize: Thomism is a wise – ordered – way of thought that reflects Thomas’s consecration to the truth. The truth alone enables one to find abiding peace, authentic freedom, and real happiness. And only the truth has grace.

Roberto de Mattei on Acies Ordinate

Rorate Caeli: “La Verità” Newspaper interviews Professor Roberto de Mattei

Fr. Dominic Legge on Rights

SCL 2020



NLM

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Latin Pomp

A remnant of court ritual from the Baroque? Is this sort of stiff performance necessary for altar servers? Latin traditionalists and not-so-traditionalists will hold on to rubrics for servers for the sake of "tradition," even if that tradition isn't that old and of questionable value. Is there a tie between this and other manifestations of "legalism" in the Latin mindset?




CWR

DeVille Reacts to That New Book on Clerical Celibacy

Catholic Colonialism and Its Subaltern Celibates by A. A. J. DeVille

Pronouncing Saints' Names in English

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Fluff Piece

NCReg: Developments in the Church’s Sacred Liturgy: Highlights of the Last Decade
DECADE IN REVIEW: Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have provided the Church with guiding documents on the Latin liturgy in the last 10 years.Joseph O’Brien

As if the legislation on the liturgy under Benedict XVI and Francis could be said to be in continuity.

French Seminarians on the Voice France

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Paving the way for the Antichrist?

Not indifferentism exactly, but there is heresy here, and the Rabbi is representing the pope's intention accurately or misrepresenting him, or he has been misled by the pope.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Thursday, January 16, 2020

EWTN Theology Round Table - The Sacraments of the East

Mediator Dei on Sacrifice

James Chastek: Translation of Mediator Dei

Not interested in the use of the word "symbol" here but on other aspects --

[A]ccording to the plan of divine wisdom, the sacrifice of our Redeemer is shown forth in an admirable manner by external signs which are the symbols of His death. For by the “transubstantiation” of bread into the body of Christ and of wine into His blood, His body and blood are both really present: now the eucharistic species under which He is present symbolize the actual separation of His body and blood. Thus the commemorative representation of His death, which actually took place on Calvary, is repeated in every sacrifice of the altar, seeing that Jesus Christ is symbolically shown by separate symbols to be in a state of victimhood.

Sacrifice here is linked to death, or involve death. But is that always the case for the sacrifices of the Israelites? And if death is a component, how is it a component?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

This Will Upset Traditional Eastern Catholics

Cardinal Sarah, fFrom Sandro Magister's post:

We must listen to the testimonies that emanate from the Eastern Catholic Churches. Several members of these Churches have clearly emphasized that the priestly state enters into tension with the conjugal state. […] The Eastern married clergy is in crisis. The divorce of priests has become an area of ​​ecumenical tension among Orthodox patriarchies. […] Why does the Catholic Church accept the presence of a married clergy in some united Eastern Churches? In the light of the affirmation of the recent magisterium on the ontological link between the priesthood and celibacy, I think that this acceptance has the aim of promoting a gradual evolution towards the practice of celibacy, which would take place not by disciplinary means but for properly spiritual and pastoral reasons.

I appreciate Cardinal Sarah as a voice for traditional Latin Christianity, but this is just Latin chauvinism, even if Cardinal Sarah thinks that it is well-grounded in (Latin) theology and the papal magisterium. His mistake, which is a consequence of Latin ecclesiology, is to attribute to these theologoumena a greater weight than they warrant, simply because they are opinions that have been held and repeated by men who have been bishops of Rome.

More on "THE Book"

Edward Pentin: Unpacking the Benedict XVI-Cardinal Sarah Book Fiasco
The book’s rollout caused a backlash against Benedict appearing as co-author of the book, even though it appears the Pope Emeritus had given at least tacit prior approval for the full manuscript.
Edward Pentin

Fr. Z: Summary of FACTS about the controversial new book by BOTH Card. Sarah and Benedict XVI
Rorate Caeli: Socci: The Backstory: here is what went on behind the scenes. The rage of the despot against the Catholic Pope
Sandro Magister: More From the Bombshell Book of Ratzinger and Sarah. A Little Anthology on Celibacy
First Things: Sex, Celibacy, and the Latest Curiosity From Rome by Francis X. Maier

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Chicago Manual of Style

Ignatius Press to keep Benedict XVI listed as coauthor of new celibacy book

Related: What does Benedict XVI actually say in new book on priestly celibacy? by Michelle La Rosa

Synodality at Work!

Rorate Caeli: Vatican - Bishops, Get Ready: The Amazon Fake-Synod Bomb is Coming Up! (Confidential Letter)

An Oddity of Latin Ecclesiology

Ignatius Press to keep Benedict XVI listed as coauthor of new celibacy book

On Jan. 13, Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Vatican’s communications office, praised the book.
“Ratzinger and Sarah — who describe themselves as two Bishops ‘in filial obedience to Pope Francis’ who ‘are seeking the truth’ in ‘a spirit of love for the unity of the Church’ — defend the discipline of celibacy and put forth the reasons that they feel counsel against changing it,” Tornielli wrote.

Would any other ecclesial tradition say this about a retired bishop with reference to his successor?

Clerical Continence

From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy, and the Crisis of the Catholic Church by

Pope Emeritus Benedict, Cardinal Sarah author new book on priesthood, celibacy
“The priesthood is going through a dark time,” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah say in their new book. “Wounded by the revelation of so many scandals, disconcerted by the constant questioning of their consecrated celibacy, many priests are tempted by the thought of giving up and abandoning everything.”

Vatican: Pope Francis not in favor of optional priestly celibacy
The statement by Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni was issued Jan. 13 and was said to be in response to questions from journalists “regarding a recent editorial initiative.”

Ignoring the controversy generated by the "progressive" Roman Catholics in response to the announcement of the book. There needs to be some pushback against these people, though.
America: Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah coauthor book on celibacy, opposing the ordination of married men

Fr. Z: Lib reactions to the new book from Card. Sarah and Benedict XVI – ORDER SOON
Fr. Z: FIRST REMARKS about the new book by Card. Sarah and Benedict XVI
Analysis: On celibacy, what Benedict cannot say and Francis mustn’t hear


I'm going to focus on the sacramental theology instead.

Ignatius Press: Claim that Benedict XVI did not co-author book on celibacy is false

Some sort of ontology in which the priest is "another Christ" or acts "in persona Christi" -- can this be consistent if the sacraments of initiation, namely Baptism/Confirmation, makes us other Christs as well? Can a woman become another Christ, or act in persona Christi? Yes to the former question, and arguably yes to the latter, though it may be possible that some Latin has elaborated "in persona Christi" to show how that is different from merely being another Christ. (For example, those in Holy Orders somehow participate to a greater degree in Christ and His life, and this is linked to the mission of the Holy Spirit, as well.)
In the book, Benedict examines the history of the priesthood in the Old and New Testaments, saying that a proper understanding of the nature of the priesthood is crucial in answering contemporary questions about the priesthood.

“At the foundation of the serious situation in which the priesthood finds itself today, we find a methodological flaw in the reception of Scripture as Word of God,” Benedict said.

Abandoning a Christological interpretation of the Old Testament has led to a “deficient theology of worship” among many modern scholars, who fail to recognize that Jesus fulfilled the worship owed to God, rather than abolishing it, he continued.

Looking at the history of the priesthood in the Old Testament, Benedict said that “the relation between sexual abstinence and divine worship was absolutely clear in the common awareness of Israel.”

He noted that the priests of Israel were required to observe sexual abstinence during their time that they spend leading worship, when they were “in contact with the divine mystery.”

“Given that the priests of the Old Testament had to dedicate themselves to worship only during set times, marriage and the priesthood were compatible,” he said. “But because of the regular and often even daily celebration of the Eucharist, the situation of the priests of the Church of Jesus Christ has changed radically.”

But does the Levitical priesthood really correspond to the New Testament presbyterate? Or to the priesthood of Christ, which is shared by the Christian faithful?
Since the entire life of the priest in the New Covenant is “in contact with the divine mystery,” he said, it demands “exclusivity with regard to God” and becomes incompatible with marriage, which also requires one’s whole life.

“From the daily celebration of the Eucharist, which implies a permanent state of service to God, was born spontaneously the impossibility of a matrimonial bond. We can say that the sexual abstinence that was functional was transformed automatically into an ontological abstinence. Thus its motivation and its significance were changed from within and profoundly.”

The pope emeritus rejected the idea that priestly celibacy is based on a contempt for human sexuality within the Church. He noted that this claim was also dismissed by the Church Fathers, and that the Church has always viewed marriage as a gift from God.

“However, the married state involves a man in his totality, and since serving the Lord likewise requires the total gift of a man, it does not seem possible to carry on the two vocations simultaneously,” he said. “Thus, the ability to renounce marriage so as to place oneself totally at the Lord’s disposition became a criterion for priestly ministry.”

Just as the priests from the Tribe of Levi renounced ownership of land, priests in the New Covenant renounce marriage and family, as a sign of their radical commitment to God, he said.

This is seen in the Psalm prayed when a man entered the clergy before the Second Vatican Council, he said: “The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a goodly heritage.”

What does exclusivity with regard to God mean? Can a secular priest take care of his aged parents? If so, how is he being "exclusive"? God does not command that we love only Him, just that we love Him above all others. Does a married priest place his wife or children on the same priority as God? No. The claim is, rather, that a priest should not put his wife and family on the same level as his community, but is there necessarily a conflict between the two in all circumstances? Should those rare circumstances in which there is a conflict be enough to lay down an absolute rule?
Benedict’s theological reflection is followed in the book by a set of pastoral considerations from Sarah.

“My bishop’s heart is worried. I have met with many priests who are disoriented, disturbed and wounded in the very depths of their spiritual life by the violent challenges to the Church’s doctrine,” Sarah said.

“I speak up so that everywhere in the Church, in a spirit of true synodality, a calm, prayerful reflection on the spiritual reality of the sacrament of Holy Orders can commence and be renewed.”

The cardinal called priestly celibacy “the expression of the intention to place oneself at the disposal of the Lord and of men and women,” adding that “Priestly celibacy, far from being merely an ascetical discipline, is necessary to the identity of the Church.”

Ordaining married men would create a “pastoral catastrophe,” risking the Church’s understanding of both the priesthood and itself, Sarah warned. “If we reduce priestly celibacy to a question of discipline, of adaptation to customs and cultures, we isolate the priesthood from its foundation.”

“This total delivering of himself in Christ is the condition for a total gift of self to all men and women,” he said. “He who has not given himself totally to God is not given perfectly to his brethren.”

While some exceptions exist – such as when some married Protestant pastors become Catholic and are able to be ordained priests – the shortage of priests in isolated areas is not such an exception, he said. Ordaining married men in these communities “would prevent them from giving rise to priestly vocations of celibate priests,” which would create “a permanent state detrimental to the correct understanding of the priesthood.”

Is a secular priest required to become a religious, that is to say, to give up all family priorities and duties so that he may be free to minister to others? As for the protest that being a presbyter cannot be reduced to being a mere functionary or "profession" it is ironic that in the Latin churches, presbyters, who are celibate, are treated precisely as such, both by themselves and by the bishops. With the size of the typical American parish numbering more than a thousand families, there is no way a pastor or a parochial vicar can be a spiritual father to all of them. A presbyter becomes merely a rather impersonal minister of the sacraments to a mostly unfamiliar or even anonymous flock. (Is this true of Europe as well? It may be that the relationship between the pastor and his flock is rather loose even there, especially in major urban areas.) On the other hand, with the smaller size of Byzantine parishes, a married priest can become familiar enough with his flock so that he can serve as a spiritual father.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The End of Quantum Reality

CWR Dispatch: Nowhere to go but up: A review of The End of Quantum Reality by Dr. Edmund J. Mazza
Wolfgang Smith’s solution to both Cartesian “schizophrenia” and from a Multiverse which threatens to render individual human existence meaningless is a return to Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics.


A Year of Anniversaries

OCA: The Holy Synod Proclaims 2020 as a Year of Anniversaries for the Orthodox Church in America

Friday, January 10, 2020

Thomas Aquinas and Church Fathers, 2019 - Dominic Legge O.P.

St. Theophan the Recluse on Prayer

Antimension

Fr. Patrick Reardon

St. Tatiane of Rome

A Necessary Healing

CWR: Abuse, Trauma, and the Body of Christ by Dr. Adam DeVille
Absent an honest and truthful admission of our brokenness, and the telling of the whole story, we can never find freedom and healing—let alone restore the Church’s bella figura.

While I am usually wary about DeVille's posts on psychotherapy, I think there is probably much of value here, though it would still be go if someone could analyze it from "Thomistic" principles, as Conrad Baars did.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Short Video of Benedict XVI in Retirement

Fr. Z: New video documentary about Benedict XVI from German TV - video

Edit.

Theology of Orders

Sandro Magister: The Other Side of the McCarrick Case. The Vatican Supreme Court Against Trials Without Guarantees and Without Theology

Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca has written something on whether a bishop can be removed from the "clerical state": Note sulla dimissione del vescovo dallo stato clericale

From Magister's article
In the meantime, however, a prominent representative of the Vatican supreme court - very close to Benedict XVI but not devoid of criticism toward him - has raised very serious objections against the exclusion from the clerical state of the former cardinal archbishop of Washington, not for the reasons that led to this condemnation - which remain very grave, and this is a matter of sexual abuse committed over decades - but because of the dubious canonical and ecclesiological legitimacy, and in any case of the “overwhelming inadvisability,” of the reduction of a bishop to the lay state.

Raising the objections is the bishop Giuseppe Sciacca (in the photo), secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, in the essay that opens the latest issue of “Jus - On Line,” the scholarly journal of legal studies of the faculty of jurisprudence of the Catholic University of Milan:

The fundamental objection from which Sciacca sets out is that the “clerical state” is strictly connected to the sacred order. While the former is typically used to indicate an essentially juridical condition, of belonging to a group, to a category, the latter is a sacrament which impresses on those who receive it an indelible, ontological character, like baptism and confirmation. So much so that even if a sacred minister were forbidden the exercise of sacramental acts, such as for example the celebration of Mass, such acts would still remain valid even if they were performed in contempt of the ban.

But that’s just it, Sciacca points out, especially for bishops “the discordance between ontological status and legal status induced by this situation is a manifest symptom of a pathology.”

In the Church, the awareness of this “pathology” has grown above all thanks to Vatican Council II, which powerfully brought to light the sacramentality of episcopal ordination - which confers the fullness of the sacrament of orders - and therefore also the theological and sacramental root of the bishop's power of jurisdiction. One indication of this heightened awareness is in the new postconciliar code of canon law, which in canon 290 prescribes that dismissal from the clerical state can be granted “to deacons only for grave reasons” and “to priests only for the gravest of reasons,” without mentioning bishops.

It is the relationship between the order of presbyterate and the order of episcopate that continues to interest me. Are there alternative explanations of the relationship between jurisdiction and sacramental power?


How Should Churches of an Ecclesial Rite Be Organized?

Under the leadership of one "patriarch"? Or should they be organized synodally with one protos? Or a different way entirely, or not at all?

If the Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian (or "Oriental") Orthodox ever reconcile, can the patriarch of Constantinople continue to make this claim about Constantinople being the Mother Church of the Orthodox world? It won't be true if that reconciliation happens.

Asia News: Bartholomew: Constantinople, the Mother Church of the Orthodox world by NAT da Polis

One year ago the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople granted autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Makarios: the division from Moscow stems from the refusal to be subject to the political will of others and of not to being able to serve the Ukrainian people.

Jonathan Pageau on Christian Iconography

via Byz TX



Sunday, January 05, 2020

The Use of Analogy

CWR: Fatima to Vatican II: Mary, ‘Mother of the Church’ and Our Loving Mother by Matthew Tsakanikas, STD
Called to be the God-bearer, Mother to the Head of the Church, Mary was commissioned and called implicitly to be mother of every member born of the virginal womb of the Church in baptism.

Who among the Fathers of the Church called the Theotokos the "Mother of the Church," other than St. Ambrose? If Mary is the Mother of the Church, who is the Father? God the Father, presumably.

Is it better to understand this title primarily as referring to her spiritual maternity of all Christians, rather than anything ontological? The essay and others have attempted to link the two, but would a confusion of the meanings of the word "mother" result? Mother is not used univocally, as it is used of a human mother with reference to her children. And was it prudent or right for Paul VI to declare this title without consulting the separated apostolic churches?

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Friday, January 03, 2020

Wednesday, January 01, 2020