Monday, November 12, 2018

What would Malachi Martin say?

Sandro Magister: From Martini To Bergoglio. Toward a Vatican Council III

Stuff for St. Martin of Tours

What Are the Consequences of This Bad Latin Pastoral Practice?

Namely, delaying Confirmation until after First Communion...

What are the consequences of administering Confirmation to non-adults after they have already received "First Eucharist" years earlier and have been receiving Eucharist regularly up to the point of receiving Confirmation? There were bishops who were aware of this problem and raised the alarm in the 19th ce according to Maxwell Johnson, but it seems little has been done to address this problem.

First, it does seem incongruous for Christians who have not completed Christian initiation to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit if they have already been receiving the Holy Spirit through the Eucharist (assuming that it is correct to characterize one of the effects of the sacrament thusly). Moreover, that also assumes that it is possible for those who have not received Confirmation to nonetheless derive the full benefit from receiving from the Eucharist. But is there any evidence that God "compensates" for what is lacking in the Catholic Christian who has not been fully initiated, so that the Eucharist is fully efficacious for the Christian? Or is the reception of Eucharist for a Catholic Christian who has not been fully-initiated fruitless, as it would be for someone in the state of mortal sin or a non-believer? Is it the case that the Church does not actually have the authority to admit a Christian who has not been fully initiated to (the reception of) the Eucharist? That is to say, that not only is it sacramentally not possible for someone not fully initiated to receive the Eucharist, but there is actually a Divine Law that only one who has been fully initiated cannot receive the Eucharist? Or is this merely a Ecclesial Law (of Apostolic origin)? Or if a Divine Law, is it possible for it to be mitigated or abrogated by the (actions of the) Church? Does God Himself dispense from the necessity of the first two sacraments of initiation to make the reception of the Eucharist fruitful? (If He does, has he revealed this to the Church?)

Let's bring up another concrete example from Latin pastoral practice: Would a dying non-Christian be allowed to receive the Eucharist by a Latin priest before being baptized? I don't think so; if there is only sufficient time for one sacrament, I would think that the preference would be given to Baptism rather than the Eucharist. Couldn't the dying non-Christian just be given the Eucharist if it simply conveys the same grace (e.g. life in Christ) of Baptism? (That they convey the same grace but in different modalities or instantiations or moments of salvation history is is an assumption with which Latin theologians would disagree.) It would seem from Latin pastoral practice that no, a dying non-Christian would not receive the Eucharist unless he had been first baptized. If that is the case, then why should Confirmation be skipped over, except because of Latin custom? The question is whether this is legitimte or not.