Sunday, May 31, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Appalachian "Christ is Risen"

Friday, May 29, 2020

St. Simplician in Milan


A Display of "Ecumenical Spirit"

Ο Θεός ήλθοσαν έθνη

Patrick Viscuso Reviews Kevin Schembri's Oikonomia

Journal of Orthodox Christian Studies (temporary free access)

The reviewer is a priest and canonist for GOARCH:
The Reverend Dr. Patrick Viscuso is a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and a canonist specializing in marriage and gender issues. His doctorate in historical theology from The Catholic University of American concentrated on Byzantine and Oriental canon law, patristic studies, and church history. He also holds a Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Fr. Viscuso is the author of a large number of scholarly publications in the field of Late Byzantine Canon Law and is a specialist in marriage legislation and theology. His most recent writings focus on the relationship of marriage to ordination, purity issues, divorce, and women's superstitions in late Byzantium.

Perhaps he has written something on the Byzantine canons on marriage and divorce.

In his review of Oikonomia: Divorce and Remarriage in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, he notes

Another point repeatedly made is that the "Orthodox tradition" invests the indissolubility of marriage with an eternal character and consequently views remarriage as a concession or expression of ecclesial oikonomia. The absence of the Eucharist and crowning during late Byzantine celebration of second and third marriages is said to imply that Orthodoxy regarded or still regards these unions as less than sacramental in some way.

However, the author fails to show any articulation of marriage as an eternal bond in Orthodox canonical or theological literature prior to the twentieth century, when this theological opinion came to be expressed at the Institut de Théologie Orthodoxe Saint-Serge. In fact, there are substantial Byzantine texts that articulate a contrary view affirming that marriage is ended by death, an example being the Scriptural commentaries of Theophylaktos, archbishop of Ohrid (b. ca. 1055-d. after 1126), specifically on Luke 20:34–36.

The assertions regarding the non-sacramental nature of second and third unions within Orthodoxy do not adequately address the facts. For instance, there was no uniform practice regarding crowning of a second or third marriage in Byzantium. Second unions were definitely crowned according to the usage of the Great Church; the presence or absence of crowning did not mean that a sacerdotal blessing of the marriage did not take place; and, since the Eucharist was not a constitutive element in the establishment of the marriage, the canonical restriction of the second and third married from the Eucharist during a period of penance did not mean that the union, as established by sacerdotal blessing, was not regarded as sacramental and incapable of sanctification.

Furthermore, in considering such questions, the absence of the Eucharist from the marriage service is completely irrelevant to its sacramental nature. As is obvious to those who have ever attended a contemporary ceremony, Orthodox marriages today are considered blessed and sacramental without the reception of the Eucharist during their celebration, even the so-called mixed marriages of Roman Catholics and Orthodox. Also, the author's emphasis on the penitential nature of second and third unions does not adequately address contemporary practice, where such penances are no longer imposed.

A dominant theologoumenon is not the same as dogma... and the opinion that marriage is eternal may not even be dominant in the various Byzantine ecclesial traditions.

So second and third "marriages" may be deemed "sacramental"? And yet a period of penance might be required. Is there a authoritative work discussing penances in the canons and their rationale?

I will have to eventually get a Byzantine textbook on marriage but probably at least one that covers a range of opinions among the various ecclesial traditions, or several textbooks. I don't think I would rely on a Greek one alone.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Greek Orthodox - The Ascension of the Lord

Adam DeVille on John Paul II

CWR: John Paul II: Diagnostician of Divisions, Doctor of Ecumenism by Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille
In the encyclical Ut Unim Sint, given twenty five years ago, the late pope wrote about “the necessary purification of past memories,” a consistent and urgent theme of his pontificate.

Deville uses both Taft and John Paul II for a discussion of the healing of memories. That certainly is a necessary part of reconciliation.
Nevertheless, there are more recent and more hopeful signs. These have increased with Constantinople’s granting of autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church last year. With Russia thereby losing control over much of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in 2019, the latter remains free to deepen the healing in its already amicable and often co-operative relationship with Ukrainian Catholics.

Whether what is going on in Ukraine is a helpful development or not remains to be seen. The jockeying between Moscow and Constantinople needs to end (and recognition of Roman primacy is not the quick solution that Latin polemicists would make it to be); this may require further humbling of both historic sees by God. There needs to be ecclesial reform happening in many churches, but not the changes that liberal progressives want.

Adding Insult to Injury...

An Endorsement of Participation in God

Baryonic Matter

Anscombe, "Modern Moral Philosophy"

Pentin Interview with Seewald


You mention that relations between Benedict and Pope Francis are good, but there are some Catholics who wish that Benedict had not resigned, who contend that he would never agree with some of the decisions of this pontificate. What do you say to this view?

The former and the current pope have different temperaments, different charismas, and they each have their own way of exercising the office. We see from the popes of previous centuries that a more intellectual pontiff is usually followed by a more emotional one. That was never a disadvantage. Undoubtedly, there can be different views between Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. But that does not matter. The pope is the pope.

Ratzinger promised obedience to his successor before he even knew who would follow in his footsteps, and he has been scrupulously careful all these years to first of all ensure that no accusation of interference could arise. Many of the later questions I asked him, for example, he refused to answer. One answer, he said, would “inevitably constitute interference in the work of the present Pope. Anything that goes in that direction I must, and wish to, avoid.” Moreover, in my book he literally says: “The personal friendship with Pope Francis has not only remained, but has grown.”

Understandably, besides his loyalty and obedience, Ratzinger would never openly rebuke or question Bergoglio because of the confusion and scandal that would result.

The problem, though, is not this actually happening, but the ultramontanist monarchical conceptions of the papacy that would make such an act scandalous.

What's the Patriarch of Rome Going to Do About It?

Two on the Mass

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Warranted Claim?


The second misconception is the idea that viruses themselves cannot be transmitted via the administration of Holy Communion, which is scientifically incorrect.

The moral and scientific considerations presented by the essay are fine, but where are the studies giving evidence to this claim? Making a definitive claim like this requires actual science, not guesswork. So where are the comparative studies, not with viruses in general but COVID-19 specifically? Otherwise this seems like overstating one's case in order to yield a desirable conclusion.

One can draw a probable conclusion or precept based on possibilities and our ignorance and the law of charity - those are sufficient.

Doctor of... the Patriarchate of Rome

Naming "Doctors of the Church" is part of Rome's pretensions which should be dropped for the sake of ecumenism and reconciliation.

Pope Francis may say he is impatient, but he doesn't have the theological skill to advance the dialogue with the other Apostolic Churches, nor does he have a plan for Protestants, especially those who are more traditional. Is he willing to explicitly set limits to what constitutes "legitimate diversity"? I doubt it.

A Development at Bose

Sandro Magister: “Rigid, Cold, Misguided.” That’s How the Monastery of Bose Thanks Its Founder

Derya Little Interviews Dr. Alan Fimister and Fr. Thomas Crean, O.P on Their Book Integralism

Her podcast.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


1 Corinthians 11


Will listen to see if he hedges, especially on 1 Corinthians 11:17.

Dr. Jeannie Constantinou on Church Canons

May be questionable...

St. Philip Neri

The Ascension and Glorification of Christ Are Important for Us

But is there anything else to soteriology and eschatology?

Houston, We Have a Problem

CNA/CWR: Record numbers leave Church in Munich archdiocese
10,744 Catholics formally withdrew from the Church in the German Archdiocese of Munich and Freising in 2019, the first time that annual departures had surpassed the 10,000 mark since records began.

Derya Little Reviews Integralism

CWR Dispatch: New book presents scholarly, but accessible, presentation of Integralism by Derya M. Little
A review of Integralism: A Manual of Political Philosophy by Fr. Thomas Crean O.P. and Dr. Alan Fimister.

Editiones Scholasticae

Monday, May 25, 2020

An Athos Monk on Iconography

Fr. Edmund Waldstein on Laudato Si'

Catholic Herald: Freedom and Connection: A reflection on Laudato si' by Fr Edmund Waldstein

My comment: not every vice needs an -ism, nor is every disorder rooted first in an error of the intellect. But intellectuals love genealogy as history, and this is true of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.


Friday, May 22, 2020

A Dutch Renaissance Rood-Screen

The rood screen is in a museum instead of in its native environment of a temple (or in this case, the Cathedral of St John in ’s-Hertogenbosch). There is a summary of its history in the NLM post below.

NLM: A Dutch Renaissance Rood-Screen by Gregory DiPippo

Part 1 of Gregory DiPippo's Series on the New Prefaces of the EF Mass

NLM: The New Prefaces of the EF Mass, Part 1: The Preface of the Angels by Gregory DiPippo

Locke and the American Founding

Aquinas 101: Grace

Newly Re-released

Individual Communion Spoons

Public Orthodoxy: “Remember, O Lord…”: Liturgy, History, and Communion Spoons in a Time of Pandemic by Daniel Galadza

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Spooky Neutrinos

ScienceAlert: Here's The Real Truth Behind That Viral 'NASA Finds Parallel Universe' Story by Signe Dean
Forbes: Has NASA Found A Parallel Universe ‘Where Time Flows Backwards?’ The Truth Behind The Headlines by Jamie Carter

Elder Damaskinos

Documentary on Elder Joseph the Hesychast


Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension, May 21, 2020

Holy Ascension

Catholic Culture Podcasts Ep. 75

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Eastern Christian Publications: Catching up with the Armenians

Eastern Christian Publications: Catching up with the Armenians

Lit Verlag: Monastic Life in the Armenian Church: Glorious Past - Ecumenical Reconsideration edited by Jasmine Dum-Tragut and Dietmar W. Winkler (Lit Verlag, 2020), 224pp.

Stanford University Press: Brokers of Faith, Brokers of Empire: Armenians and the Politics of Reform in the Ottoman Empire by Richard E. Antaramian

Cornell University Press: Russia's Entangled Embrace: The Tsarist Empire and the Armenians, 1801-1914 by Stephen Badalyan Riegg

The Authority to Punish Heresy and Apostasy

Integralism as Christian Default by Kevin Vallier

Religious coercion has some limits, but it can be used to punish heresy and apostasy, and to ensure that Catholicism is the religion of the state.

Nowhere in the Kerygma or Tradition is political authority vested with the authority to punish heresy and apostasy. So why should we accept the claim that the political authority

It is not up to critics of integralism to show this claim is wrong when it is not a principle but a conclusion that must be given a demonstration/proof/derivation by its defenders. Repeating Aquinas or Augustine on this point could be one response, but Latin integralists must acknowledge the possibility that their arguments are flawed.
Act-consequentialism and integralism are plainly quite different normative theories. They are elegant approaches to ethics and political theory respectively because they make the good the sole normative master conception in a straightforward way. So much so, that one might even think that they’re the default normative theories.

I think that work on act-consequentialism has shown why it is axiologically mistaken. But I don’t think we yet have an account of why integralist axiology is mistaken if we take the truth of Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, for granted.

Latin integralism can hardly be said to be the "default" even for Roman Catholics when it doesn't have a place on the hierarchy of truths. I don't know how Vallier is able to make this claim, as if it were somehow self-evident.

The Constantinian Legacy

See the thread.

Wolfe Disk Galaxy

NRAO news

TBT for the Patriarchate of Rome

A Development in Sacramental Practice Due to COVID-19

I didn't know of the OCA decision until yesterday. How is it viewed by other jurisdictions? Will it lead to the judgment that such a practice is valid but normally illicit?

5. Confession:

Taking into consideration the spiritual and mental healing that comes through the Sacrament of Confession, the Holy Synod blesses, for all priests and communities in the Orthodox Church in America, that for this period:

The Sacrament of Confession may not be held in person during this period, except for those who are among the limited “crew” of servers and singers in a parish or mission that is holding Divine Services. If thus done in person, six (6) feet of social distance must be maintained, as well as must be all other civil and public health measures applicable in the locality.
The Sacrament of Confession may be held over the telephone or by live video communication.
If Confession is heard over the telephone or by live video, the priest must read the Prayer of Absolution before ending the phone call or video communication, in the hearing of the penitent.
If anyone of the faithful is uncomfortable with Confession over the phone, then he or she is not bound to confess, but may wait until a time when in-person Confessions will be possible again.

Ven. Fulton Sheen as Byzantine

David Bradshaw and Jared Goff Discuss the Essence and Energies Distinction

Reason and Theology file)

Fr. Michael Lee on an Encounter with the Risen Christ

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Ecclesial Symphonia

Symphonia is the name of a certain Byzantine understanding of how the political authority and the ecclesial authority work together, collaborate, for the glory of God. But I think maybe symphonia can be used to name a model of how the Christian faithful and their clergy act together, not with respect to evangelization or the sacramental life or witnessing to the world, but to ensure mutual accountability. We don't have to take it as far as the German synod seems to want to go, but enough that respects the sensus fidelium of the laity so that they can defend orthodoxy in their communities.

Ultimately, using symphonia to describe the life of the Church, especially with regards to the interaction between the Christian faithful with their presbyters and bishops, may ultimately be no longer necessary. Perhaps some day we will understand that this is what κοινωνία, communio entails in this world. Then again, maybe there is a better word for mutual accountability than symphonia.

"St. Joseph the Hesychast and the Jesus Prayer"

Latins Should Rediscover Their Iconographic Traditions

NLM: The Roman Basilica of St Pudentiana by Gregory DiPippo

A commentor notes that the title "episcopa" is given to Pope St Paschal I's mother in one of the mosaics. The pope's sisters are also depicted in the mosaic, but they must have already passed away when the mosaic was made. Was the mosaic commissioned by the pope? This is evidence of female ordination, when there are no historical documents to back up the claim? More likely than not, someone, perhaps the pope, was exercising filial piety towards his mother, though some may think he went too far and put her on a pedestal. Or it may have been a joke.

The author of the post writes in the combox:
[T]he names of the orders with the feminine termination (“episcopa”, “presbytera”) were and still are used as honorifics for the female relatives of clergymen. I have a number of friends who are married Greek-Catholic priests, and their wives are often called “presbytera.” At the time this mosaic was made, it was the custom that if the Pope’s mother were alive, she would have a special seat in the place where the women of the nobilty sat at the solemn Masses on certain feast days, and preside, so to speak, over the women’s court.

Adam DeVille

Monday, May 18, 2020

Andrei Rublev

Assyrian Ecclesiology?

More on John Paul II/Karol Wojtyła

They are making a big deal out of the 100th anniversary of his birth because of the agenda to canonize him and to protect the "legacy" of Vatican II after the rather disastrous pontificate of Paul VI and the inconsequential pontificate of John Paul I. John Paul II seems larger than life as his pontificate was concurrent with the fall of the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc, and some, like Weigel, were eager to attribute being a cause who brought about the fall of Communist states to John Paul II. The conservative ultramontanists who think that John Paul II was traditional and liked him will defend his reputation, regardless of what evidence a more neutral historian might evaluate differently. Unfortunately for the patriarchate of Rome, he was canonized too quickly, and a fair and impartial assessment of his legacy may never be written at this point, unless the patriachate of Rome and its reputation were to suffer such a reversal in the future that all of its actions are called into question.

John Paul the Forgotten? by Richard A. Spinello

While Francis seems to be ignoring or revising the "theological legacy" of John Paul II (his encyclicals), what long-term effects will Francis's papacy have, besides confirming divisions among Latin Catholics and maybe even bringing about more muddle-headedness for those who have not been catechized well?

There are at least two other things at work here:
1. John Paul II's encyclicals can be difficult to read. This is a clear contrast with the encyclicals of Benedict XVI. While seminarians and young priests of the "John Paul II generation" may admire John Paul II, how many of them have the theological education to properly evaluate his writings, or the desire really to engage with them properly?
2. Top-down, centralized teaching of theology is a disservice to theology, which requires a personal relationship between the teacher and the student. It should be no surprise if the transmission of theology by the patriarch of Rome is incomplete and ineffective.

How many of today's current Roman Catholic seminarians were influenced by Pope Francis, rather than Benedict XVI? There are many priests, especially Jesuits, who are vocal Francis adherents, and progressives who see Francis as embodying their interpretation of Vatican II. Whether they will have any long-lasting influence on the patriarchate of Rome remains to be seen, as most of them are older and have limited influence among those who have different opinions about theology and liturgy.

There will be a lot of commentary about his pontificate this week, but it is unlikely that I will do a greater search of links to post them. Maybe Phil Lawler will have an interesting take on the man and his pontificate.

CWR: Wojtyla’s Athenian catechesis: An antidote to the culture of veriphobia by Eduardo Echeverria
A review of Archbishop Karol Wojtyla’s newly discovered and published 1965 reflections on St. Paul’s discourse at the Areopagus, titled Teachings for an Unbelieving World.

Remembering the lens and the life of Pope St. John Paul II by Joanna Bogle
He was an innovator soaked in the rich traditions of the Church, a man of physical courage who found his strength in spiritual truth, and a mystic with a robust and cheerful style which endeared him to non-believers and even to cynics.

First Things:
A Protestant Appreciation of Pope John Paul II by Bruce Riley Ashford
Pope on the World Stage by Peter J. Leithart
My Pope by Julia Yost

Wojtyła's The Catholic Social Ethic

CLJ: Everything You Know About John Paul II's Early Lectures on CST Is Wrong by Paweł Rojek

Ultramontanists will differ on the authority of the text depending on whether they agree with it or not. That's the folly of being an ultramontanist -- his lectures should be evaluated as moral theology, one theologian's private opinions, and nothing more than that.


Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Sacraments of Initiation and the Eucharist

A point linked to participatio actuosa, but I decided to put this as a separate post.

Fr. Robert Skeris writes:

Membership in the Church, which is brought about by valid baptism, makes one a part of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Priest, to whose priesthood one is interiorly conformed1 through the baptismal character.

In comparison with the high priesthood of Christ Himself, this priesthood of the baptized is analogous, by an analogy of proper proportionality.2 And since confirmation is related to baptism as growth is related to birth, it is clear that the so-called universal priesthood of all believers is ontologically based upon baptism, and not upon the sacrament of confirmation.3 As St. Jerome aptly phrased it, "Sacerdotium laici, id est baptisma."4
This is a point made by Sacrosanctum Concilium and repeated by many who use that document as a reference for explaining participatio actuosa.
Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.
It should be baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit, whether by imposition of the hands or by the anointing by oil, that together lead to the third sacrament of initiation, the Eucharist. But given the historic separation of the first two sacraments of initiation by the Latins, they are stuck claiming that it is baptism alone. 

If they were to return to the usage of scripture, baptism by water AND the Holy Spirit, with individual sacraments being returned as parts of the same ceremony as the norm, there could be some wiggle room for reinterpreting baptism in Latin documents in this way. But it would be better to admit that a mistake was made in their sacramental theology.

Participatio Actuosa

LSN: Catholics have a ‘right’ to good liturgy in accordance with Church’s ‘tradition and discipline’ by Peter Kwasniewski
The Catholic Church teaches that there is such a thing as a 'right to liturgy.'

[T]he generic concern for “active participation” in the liturgy eclipses the centrality of the specific and infinitely greater good of the Eucharistic sacrifice enacted by the priest on behalf of the people. Just as the right to life is unequivocally and primordially located in the right of each baby human to be born, so too the right to liturgy refers most of all to the right to “offer the holy oblation in peace” (as our Byzantine brethren say), to see and to experience the liturgy as the work of Christ in and for His Church, not as my or anyone else’s product.
There is no worship without people worshipping.
In the Catholic world, the “sign of peace,” the proliferation of lay ministers invading the sanctuary and handling the precious gifts, and execrably bad post-Communion songs, conspire to distract us from the miracle that has just occurred and prevent us from praying most fruitfully in union with Our Lord and with all the other members of His Mystical Body.

Maybe some progressives cite those as being examples of active patricipation, but they're not.It's rather a straw man argument.

We are given our natural life in order to acquire supernatural life, and this we are given for the sake of rising up to God in prayer and divine praise.

This is active participation.

[B]eing pro-liturgy does not mean getting as many lay people involved in as many ministries as possible.
Again, this is not what is generally meant by active participation among the proponents of the Latin liturgical movement of the 20th ce. Kwasniewski should be writing better than this.

This article by a Latin traditionalist is slightly better:
Participatio Activa & Participatio Actuosa by Andy Milam

But whether it's of the readings during the readings service or of the singing by the scholar or choir, listening without comprehension is not listening -- it's hearing. Intelligibility is important for both prayer and listening.Conscious activity that is without comprehension of the prayers or texts may be piety or devotion, but it's not participation in the liturgy. Participation dependent upon a lay missal with a translation into the vernacular may be possible for a few, but it probably isn't possible for all, and it won't be possible once the extra resources that enable the printing and purchase of such missals begins to dwindle.

The above essay does cite Msgr. Richard Schuler as an authority on actuosa participatio, as does Fr. Peter Stravinskas in a guest essay for NLM in 2016 (part 2).

Authorities  like Colman E. O’Neill, O.P. equate participation [in the liturgy] with offering the Sacrifice of the Mass and receiving the Sacrament[s]:
(It is) that form of devout involvement in the liturgical action which, in the present conditions of the Church, best promotes the exercise of the common priesthood of the baptized; that is, their power to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass with Christ and to receive the sacraments. It is clear that, concretely, this requires that the faithful understand the liturgical ceremonial; that they take part in it by bodily movements, standing, kneeling or sitting as the occasion may demand; that they join vocally in the parts which are intended for them. It also requires that they listen to, and understand, the Liturgy of the Word. It requires, too, that there be moments of silence when the impact of the whole ceremonial may be absorbed and deeply personalized.
While O'Neill does say that the laity should join vocally in the parts which are intended for them (but should they understand to what they are responding, and their own responses), and even concedes that they should understand the Liturgy of the Word, he does identify participation with the exercise of the common priesthood of the baptized, and it would be easy on the basis of that identification alone one could say that comprehension is not at all necessary, as some Latin traditionalists may do. Does one need to understand the texts of the Mass in order to offer it and to receive the Sacraments? Not at all. I think O'Neill's equating of the two is problematic for another reason, that he misunderstands what the common priesthood of the faithful is, as it is dependent upon the dominant Latin opinion of what makes the Eucharist a sacrifice. But more on that in another post.

Defending Their Signatures


WTC 2020 Figel Lecture

Saturday, May 16, 2020

"A Look at the Virtue Tradition"

The "Primacy" of the Patriarch of Constantinople

Crux: ‘Orthodox Social Ethos’ aims to put Eastern Church spin on social issues by Charles C. Camosy

If it's not an official document of Patriarch Bartholomew, then why should it be accorded any weight. And even if it were, then why should it be accorded any weight? As a document of moral theology, it must be evaluated as such -- where was the discussion with bishops and theologians who might have disagreed with the language or the premises?

What Will Be Left of the Patriarchate of Rome in 100 Years?

CWR Dispatch: The next hundred years of St. John Paul II’s legacy by Jonah McKeown for CNA

Will ultramontanism still be around then?

부활 후 제5주일 / 사마리아 여인 주일 - 성찬예배

Friday, May 15, 2020

Eternal Memory

L'Homme Nouveau: Adieu à André Clément, premier doyen de l’IPC: l'héritage de Charles De Koninck maintenu et transmis

Ignatian Humanism by Ronald Modras

Loyola Press

How much of a future for "secular culture" is there? Christians need to live Christ in all their labors, but many are sheltered from seeing that we are in a collapse.

More on the Reform of the Easter Vigil in the Roman Rite

NLM: A Few Notes on the Reform of the Readings of the Easter Vigil by Gregory DiPippo

Benedict XVI on John Paul II

CWR/CNA: Full text: Benedict XVI’s letter marking St. John Paul II’s birth centenary
“Therefore, in essence, an almost impossible task was awaiting the new Pope. Yet, from the first moment on, John Paul II aroused new enthusiasm for Christ and his Church.”

Pageau on Purity Laws

Eastern Christian Books: Byzantine Liturgical Emotions

Eastern Christian Books: Byzantine Liturgical Emotions

Cambridge University Press: Liturgy and the Emotions in Byzantium: Compunction and Hymnody by Andrew Mellas

Interview with Dcn Nicholas Denysenko

Good Guys Wear Black: The People’s Faith - what we learn when we listen to the people

Reason and Theology: First Century Jewish Ecclesiology and Mono-Episcopacy

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Disapora

Gregory DiPippo Responds to Charles Coebergh

NLM: Bad Scholarship on the Easter Vigil
Gregory DiPippo

The Series of Articles on Palm Sunday

Nicholas Denysenko on Possible Adaptations in Response to COVID-19

Pray Tell: COVID-19 and Orthodox Liturgical Reform: What’s Possible?

Denysenko gives 4 alternatives to public Divine Liturgies. The first:

Sunday Matins or Typica (in-church)

One way to have a Sunday gathering while maintaining physical distancing guidelines is to celebrate a non-Eucharistic service without exceeding the maximum number of people for a safe gathering. Sunday Matins (Orthros) is already appointed to the regular weekly cycle. Parishes that normally celebrate Vigil on Saturday evenings are familiar with resurrection Matins, as are communities of the Greek and Arabic traditions, who celebrate Matins on Sunday morning before the Divine Liturgy. Sunday Matins features psalmody, hymnography, the eleven “eothina” resurrection Gospel readings, and the Great Doxology (Gloria). The addition of a homily to Matins would create a Sunday service honoring the Lord’s resurrection of about one hour, an appropriate way to praise his resurrection while receiving nourishment from his word until it is safe to return to the received Divine Liturgy.
The Typica service offers a viable alternative to Matins. This service features psalmody and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and allows for the addition of the appointed Epistle and Gospel readings. Many faithful are already familiar with the Typica, as it is often celebrated by the laity or with a deacon presiding when the priest is absent. Matins and the Typica allow for two non-eucharistic Sunday gatherings that honor the requirements of physical distancing.
Having Matins as a substitute for the Divine Liturgy may be appropriate, but could it be done at home?

The first option is for a Typika service without Communion; the second option that Denysenko gives is  for some form of Communion service that can be based on the Typika, with a deacon presiding, but it seems that this would have to be done in a temple. The third option is distributing Holy Communion to the laity so that they may bring it home to share with others. Here Denysenko does not mention the possibility of Holy Communion being taken home with some sort of prayer service, like the Typika to accompany its reception. I would think that this is a possibility.

Either as a form of Communion service or not, the Typika could be done on Sunday. Would the laity have the necessary liturgical resources to be able to do a Typika service on the other days (without Communion) at home? Would that be a good replacement for daily celebration of the Divine Praises? I have heard it said that it is difficult to the Divine Praises at home, as multiple books required. But I read that a version of the Great Horologion is enough for home use.  

Besides Holy Transfiguration Monastery, their Great Horologion is also carried by SVS Press and Saint Nectarios Press.

St. Tikhon's Monastery Press  has their own verison.

Online: The Horologion and Psalter

Then there are alternatives to the Divine Praises that contain some version of the horologion, like Publican's Prayer Book

Participation in God by Andrew Davison

Cambridge University Press

A review by James Clark at FPR: Imagining Divine Participation

Church Times review by David Brown.

The CT review has this bit:

In a rare exception, Moltmann’s idea of God’s making space for the world is declared unchristian, whereas from that perspective it is surely Davison, not Moltmann, who radically diminishes the divine nature in not allowing that God could ever create anything radically different from his own nature. Equally, Moltmann would offer a quite different way of thinking about the inexplicable and evil.

What happened to God's being unable to create a square circle not contradicting his omnipotence?

Again, the doctrine of the Trinity is simply assumed throughout, and no attempt is made to engage with why Platonism might have thought its introduction unnecessarily complicating in the conception of everything as derived from one single source.

If course it is assumed, it's a book about Christian doctrine, and Davison would probably acknowledge that it is something that we cannot know or prove by reason alone but a truth that must be revealed to us by God Himself. One wonders about the author of the review...
Of course, Christianity had an answer in insisting on the introduction of the Trinity as revealed doctrine; but, again, except in his introductory section when discussing creation, Davison entirely fails to engage with the way in which our understanding of scripture has changed. St John’s Gospel is repeatedly quoted as though it gave us the historical mind of Jesus, but does it? And, if not, how easily can Aquinas’s account of the incarnate one survive? But what, even, of participation itself? It would seem odd to make the term foundational of all Christian thought if it is not found reflected somewhere in human experience. Yet Davison fails to discuss what might be meant by such experience.
The reviewer sounds like a liberal Protestant. What sort of Christian life is he living if he does not understand that Christians participate in the life of Christ?

Hans Urs von Balthasar on John Paul II

CWR: A Pontificate under the Banner of Mary: Hans Urs von Balthasar on Pope Saint John Paul II
“You could never really understand the spirituality of our Holy Father, though,” wrote the Swiss theologian in 1988, shortly before his death, “if you left out his relationship to the Mother of the Lord.”

J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., "In God's Time"

First Things

Dr. Paul McPartlan - "The Church: Towards a Common Vision"

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

More with Timothy Patitsas

The Wages of Sin

Not Ethereal But Ghostly/Ghastly

Probably there is better art to accompany the Latin devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.

Rorate Caeli: Bishop Athanasius Schneider: "The devotion to Our Lady of Fatima in times of tribulation"

Eastern Christian Books: Old Believers and the Search for Unity

Eastern Christian Books: Old Believers and the Search for Unity

To be released in November 2020--
Indiana University Press: Unity in Faith?: Edinoverie, Russian Orthodoxy, and Old Belief, 1800–1918 by James White

Patterson Responds to Pinkoski

Law&Liberty: A Strawman and a Scotsman Walk into the Café de Flore by James M. Patterson

Patterson thought it necessary to rebut Pinkoski to show that his brief summary does not implicate him in being historically ignorant of the various movements which he mentioned. Is Patterson accurate in his recounting that part of European history? If he isn't, someone will probably write a response to correct him.

As for the optics of Latin integralists being associated with Franco and thus "fascism," is Patterson really doing integralists (or neo-integralists as he labels them) justice? Or is he just trying to smear them, though not as going as far as a SJW? Did Franco really carry out an integralist program with respect to the promotion of Roman Catholicism in Spain? I am thinking that he didn't go far enough in that respect to satisfy integralists. If there was punishment of apostates and heretics by the Spanish state under Franco, someone please provide a reference.
As to the European anti-Republican tradition, readers of Law & Liberty may need his remediation; unfortunately, I have suffered through the theurgical revenge fantasies of Joseph de Maistre, the dull and repetitious condemnations of Proudhon by Juan Donoso Cortés, the aforementioned bilious and bottomless Jew-hatred of Maurras, and the real genius of Carl Schmitt deranged by his reverence for an anti-Christ. What made these figures anti-republican was their confusion of lack of republican virtue in the nations they studied—France, Spain, and Germany—with the nature of republican government itself. Tocqueville explained this problem in The Ancient Regime, as I mentioned in my original essay.
Should that tradition be styled "anti-Republican" or "anti-liberal" or even "anti-democratic"? If they were anti-Republican, could it be that they didn't think a republican form of government was possible for their countries? Perhaps they approved of republican government in the abstract.

Other than his own personal example of what is parish life, which I have already addressed, if briefly, in my previous post, Patterson relies upon the 20th ce participation of American Catholics in the system (or the state) and in ecclesial and civil organizations as evidence of republican virtue and the training of American Catholics in republican virtue. In that previous essay, he writes:
In the absence of those institutions that had once made America a place of deep faith and committed to liberty, these young men have had recourse to the Internet and attach themselves to the sublime historical experience of sacramental kingship, Iberian Falangism, or straight-up fascism supported by the general ideas purveyed by Vermeule and the like.

If those institutions no longer exist, then how are his opponents to be trained in republican virtue? Parish life isn't enough. And I would argue that the historical institutions which he cites were not sufficient either, as they failed to stop the sort of moral and political decay that the United States has fallen into.Any group or organization that actually inculcated true Republican virtue would be viewed as a threat by the state and stopped, either by the state or its proxies or allies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Creating Culture Deliberately - Benedict and Talia-Maria Sheehan

The Mystical Body of Christ

First Things: A Wafer-Thin Practice by Hans Boersma

De Lubac was troubled by a Eucharistic individualism that he believed had shaped the mindset of many of his Catholic contemporaries. Convinced as they were that the body of Christ in the Eucharist was the true body (corpus verum), all that seemed to matter was to partake. Once the miraculous medicine of immortality had been ingested, one might as well turn back down the aisle and walk out of church, for the one and only reason for going to Mass had now been performed. De Lubac was agitated, rightly I think, with the individualism—yes, the selfish consumerism and greed—in this Eucharistic spirituality.

I don't know if "the selfish consumerism and greed" is de Lubac's own judgment or Boersma's. It seems to go too far -- I think there were poorly catechized Roman Catholics who were taught to be concerned with subjective certitude regarding their salvation and limited salvation to receiving the sacraments, rather than a fuller participation in the Mystery of Christ.
De Lubac countered the gnostic demon at work. He asked his readers to think about what it means to eat the body (the Eucharist) as a body (the church), pointing out the close link between embodiment and community. Turning to 1 Corinthians 10:16–17 (“The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread”), de Lubac pointed out that for Saint Paul, participation (koinōnia, communion) of the body of Christ (the Eucharist) turns us into the body of Christ (the church).

All this talk of the “body of Christ” is no mere metaphor. Saint Augustine, in his famous Sermon 227, writes about the Eucharist: “If you have received worthily, you are what you have received, for the Apostle says: ‘The bread is one; we though many, are one body.’” The African bishop seems to suggest that believers, by partaking of communion, are transubstantiated (well, changed) into the body of Christ. When we eat Christ, we become Christ.
Hence the allusion in the title of this post to de Lubac's Corpus Mysticum.

The Christian tradition has typically treated body and body (Eucharist and church) as mutually dependent. On the one hand, the Eucharist makes the church. This seems to be the Pauline logic of 1 Corinthians 10 and of Augustine in Sermon 227. On the other hand, the church makes the Eucharist: We offer up our gifts—our entire lives—in Christ on the altar. Body and body depend on each other. Neither can go it alone. The reason is simple: The two are one flesh (Eph. 5:31).
The ministers of the church, presbyters and episkopoi, do have an instrumental role in making Christ sacramentally present. But I have doubts as to whether we participate in the sacrifice in that manner, by offering ourselves in union with Christ. But this seems to be the typical Latin view of sacrifice and our participation in the Eucharist.

This essay is written by Boersma in connection with televised Masses during COVID-19 lockdowns. I am reminded of the question I posed in this post, whether it is possible to have a Eucharistic liturgy with pre-sanctified Gifts only. (Not the same as Boersma's thought experiment of having a virtual consecration done by a presbyter through long-distance communication.) If it is possible, would such a Eucharistic service that is done by teleconferencing be contrary to piety or to true liturgical participation? (People would receive the Divine Gifts at home and then have a internet teleconference in which a presbyter would lead them to some sort of communion service, one featuring an act of Thanksgiving.) I would think that it isn't true liturgical participation.

As for the original question I raised - if we take the Act of Thanksgiving in the abstract, it might seem that it is possible to have a Eucharistic liturgy of pre-sanctified Gifts only. But when the Act of Thanksgiving is tied to the Anamnesis of God's saving acts, including the salvation who is Christ, maybe it is not possible to separate the Thanksgiving from the Consecration of the Gifts at the same time.

Or maybe it is. I will have to think about it some more. I don't think that such a "Eucharistic" communion service has any historical precedent.

A Eucharistic Church by Avery Dulles
Eucharistic Ecclesiology of Henri de Lubac  by Fr. Manuel-Alfredo Razo-Canales