Thursday, August 20, 2020

A Discussion on the Eucharist



victim (n.)

late 15c., "living creature killed and offered as a sacrifice to a deity or supernatural power, or in the performance of a religious rite;" from Latin victima "sacrificial animal; person or animal killed as a sacrifice," a word of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to vicis "turn, occasion" (as in vicarious), if the notion is an "exchange" with the gods. Perhaps distantly connected to Old English wig "idol," Gothic weihs "holy," German weihen "consecrate" (compare Weihnachten "Christmas") on notion of "a consecrated animal."
Sense of "person who is hurt, tortured, or killed by another" is recorded from 1650s; meaning "person oppressed by some power or situation, person ruined or greatly injured or made to suffer in the pursuit of an object, or for the gratification of a passion or infatuation, or from disease or disaster" is from 1718. Weaker sense of "person taken advantage of, one who is cheated or duped" is recorded from 1781.

U. Pitt Keywords Project:

Keyword: Victim

Victim is an important word because it links often traumatic personal or group experiences in contemporary societies to frameworks that understand such experiences and respond to them through public policy, political advocacy, and in wider public debate. The etymology of victim is straightforward: the word comes from Latin victima. Its first sense is that of a sacrificial offering, and this strong sense is made stronger by the identification of the sacrificial offering and thus the victim as Christ. By C17, however, it has developed the more general meaning “a person who is put to death or subjected to torture by another; one who suffers severely in body or property through cruel or oppressive treatment.” These strong meanings developed into a general sense of a passive recipient of misfortune. While in earlier uses such misfortune has been regarded as individual or random, there has been a concerted attempt in recent years to use the word as a route to political empowerment as the status of victim becomes structural. Governments have also chosen to endow victims with an active role in addressing their misfortune; this is most evident in some criminal justice systems, where the issue then arises of whether such victims have been given a power to override not only the rights of offenders but also the ability of the state itself to administer justice.

A New Book on Karl Barth

Klöpfer & Meyer Verlag: Zu dritt. Karl Barth, Nelly Barth, Charlotte von Kirschbaum

The Nominalist Bogeyman?

CWR: Negotiating grace, nature, freedom, autonomy: A conversation with Douglas Farrow
“The faith is handed down to us by the Church. We don’t get to invent it,” says the author of Theological Negotiations: Proposals in Soteriology and Anthropology. “But we do share in the task and responsibility of trying to understand it.”

Dr. Farrow: It takes me next to two very basic areas of dispute: the relation between justification and sanctification, in which Luther becomes my chief interlocutor, and the relation between “satisfaction” and punishment, a subsidiary but crucial topic that if anything is even more misunderstood today. Both of these have very significant implications for pastoral theology, as for systematic theology.

Those two chapters are followed by a pair on doxology. The first of these treats what I call “doxological Pelagianism”; that is, the tendency to rely on nature to perfect itself even in the act of worship, where the grace of God in Jesus Christ should be most evident. It will be among the most controversial chapters in the book, since it takes its cue from Protestant thinkers while contending that the problem is more exaggerated in Protestantism than in Catholicism, where it is also present.

The second is a detailed treatment of the problem of transubstantiation. Here I return to Aquinas, and to the task of rethinking some of his ideas by way of a more adequate eschatology. I expect this chapter to be controversial as well, even inside Catholicism. But both Catholics and Protestants, if they read it patiently, will perhaps find that the whole stubborn business—the very serious business—of transubstantiation appears in a fresh light.

I'd need more historical evidence before accepting his claims about nominalism:

CWR: In the Introduction, you write, “Nominalism is Western civilization’s wounded side, from which is flowing, not water and blood, but blood and fire.” Can you provide some background and context to that strong statement?

Dr. Farrow: That is said with respect to modernity’s doomed attempt to re-found Western civilization on the basis that “God” is merely a concept in the world, a way of speaking about emergent order in the world, rather than the living God, the God of the Bible who through the incarnation suffers and dies with man, who as man actually conquers death for the sake of life eternal. It was through nominalism that we learned to regard the latter as myth, as an empty vessel that could be filled with fresh content as required. But the fresh content we have poured into it has not brought progress towards perpetual peace, as the fathers of modernity hoped. It has brought moral confusion, incited hubris of every kind, and led to the sickness unto death; that is, despair. Western civilization is crumbling before our eyes, and being torn down by our own hands. We’ve decided that there’s little or nothing there worth salvaging, not even the statuary, as it turns out.

Weigel on Eucharistic Offering (or Sacrifice)

CWR Dispatch: Rediscovering Eucharistic Amazement by George Weigel
If Christ is not the principal actor in the celebration of the Eucharist, then the Mass is a social ritual, the community’s celebration of itself.

This caught my attention at first glance:
How many Catholics understand that we are called to the weekly celebration of the Eucharist so that, in union with Christ the Head of the Body, we might offer ourselves to the Father along with the eucharistic Christ who is offered?

But his reporting of the recent Vatican response on the proper form for Baptism in the Roman rite is of interest too:

The question the Congregation had to answer was whether Baptism is validly conferred by saying “In the name of the father and mother, the godfather and godmother, the family, the friends, and in the name of the community, we baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The answer was “No.” Why? Because the ancient formula, “I baptize you….” expresses the bedrock truth the Second Vatican Council inscribed in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: “When anyone baptizes, it is Christ himself who baptizes.” To speak of “we” baptizing is to suggest that the Church invents the sacraments rather than her being created by the sacraments. And that, to cite an image from Father Robert Imbelli, is to decapitate the Body of Christ.

Christ is the principal actor in the sacramental drama of Baptism. Christ acts through the baptizer, to be sure. But it really is Christ who acts. Otherwise, Baptism would be merely a welcoming rite rather than the radical reconfiguration of a person to Christ as a member of his Mystical Body, the Church.

Rome's Claim Put Into Canon Law

1983 Code of Canon Law

Can. 331 The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.

(cf Canon 218 in the 1917 Code.)