16 February 2015


Would it be possible for there to be a votive Mass In Commemoratione Novorum Martyrum? It would not specify who precisely fell into this category, and thus the regulations concerning whom one can commemorate liturgically as a Saint or Beatus would not be disturbed; but it would fulfill a need which I, for one, feel.

Neoi Martyres is a term used in the Church of Greece for those who suffered under the Islamic occupation for their Christian faith.

S John Paul II remarked that the twentieth century had known more martyrs than any other period of the Church's history; and urged an ecumenical aspect to the commemoration by all Christians of the martyrs. If I were a pp, I would put into my church a photograph of those Egyptian peasants kneeling in the sand, with a candle stand in front of it.

Novi Martyres Coptici, orate pro nobis.


B flat said...

Kyrie eleison.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Amen, amen, amen.

Patricius said...

I'm not saying this to be provocative but there seems to be a discrepancy between Roman Catholics who refuse to commemorate bl. Charles Stuart, who was martyred, or the Romanovs, who were martyred, and those same who see no difficulty in praying for the Copts recently martyred by the barbarous soldiery of so-called "Islamic State." Surely, using the same logic, these people would consign to oblivion, some even to hell fire, the heroic Copts, in exactly the same way that they despise bl. Charles Stuart, just because in both cases the martyrs died in schism with the bishop of Rome. What happened to "outside the church there is no salvation?"

Nevertheless, I join Fr Hunwicke in crying, novi martyres Coptici, orate pro nobis.

Zephyrinus said...


Mark said...

This Anglican asked for the prayers of the 21 Holy Martyrs of Egypt this morning.

The Flying Dutchman said...

A safe solution would be a Votive Mass of All Saints. This is certainly permitted and would by definition include new Martyrs.

By analogy to the Votive Mass of All Saints, you might consider offering a Votive Mass of Holy Martyrs generally, using one of the three commons of many Martyrs outside Eastertide. I don't know if this is specifically permitted, but on the other hand I don't see why it should be prohibited either.

The Flying Dutchman said...

Here are Pope Francis's words about the new Coptic martyrs: "I would now like to turn to my native tongue to express feelings of profound sorrow. Today I read about the execution of those twenty-one or twenty-two Coptic Christians. Their only words were: 'Jesus, help me!' They were killed simply for the fact that they were Christians. You, my brother, in your words referred to what is happening in the land of Jesus. The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ. As we recall these brothers and sisters who died only because they confessed Christ, I ask that we encourage each another to go forward with this ecumenism which is giving us strength, the ecumenism of blood. The martyrs belong to all Christians."

Konstantin said...

It is a Dogma of the Faith that no one who dies outside of the Catholic Church can be saved (btw I'm no feeneyite). If they were Schismatics and not Catholic Copts, this applies to them. I'm certainly not the judge of these men and don't know what happened to them in the last moments of their earthly life, but I'm absolutely sure that no Catholic should EVER pray to a schismatic even if he was killed for believing in Christ.

It is sad to see that even those who hold traditionalist beliefs fall for this new "ecumenism of blood" which is absolutely outrageous and NOT Catholic.

Saint Augustine: "If, remaining separated from the Church, he is persecuted by an enemy of Christ […] and this enemy of Christ says to him who is separated from the Church of Christ: ‘offer up incense to idols, adore my gods’ and kills him because he refuses, he could shed his blood, but not receive the crown[119]."

"No one, no matter how much he has given in alms and even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

(Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, Denzinger n. 714)

For the love of God, really, don't follow this trend.

Michael Leahy said...

Powerful words indeed from Pope Francis. Perhaps he should turn to his native tongue more often?

Patricius said...

Konstantin, well the holy father disagrees with you. Are you more Catholic than the pope!?!

Stephen said...

Konstantin, I stand in awe of your knowledge of the boundaries of the Catholic Church. For centuries, learned bishops, fathers and doctors of the Church could no more than declare where the Church is not with an Anathema. But, that you know where it is...amazing.

Chris Jones said...


no Catholic should EVER pray to a schismatic

St Isaac of Nineveh

Hermianensis said...

To add to the above example:

- St. Dacius of Milan, confessor under the Emperor Justinian, was a Tricapitoline.
- St. Isidore of Seville rejected the status of Constantinople II as ecumenical and condemned Justinian -- in fact the whole Church in Spain was Tricapitoline and did not accept Constantinople II until (likely) the Reconquista, when Bernard of Agen was brought in from beyond the Pyrenees, first to Sahagun and then to Toledo (how's that for Ultramontanism?)

Konstantin said...

Well, Stephen, does it even matter to be a Catholic, or is the Catholic Church just a very diffuse idea that one cannot properly grasp and not really know anything about?

@Chris Jones:

in my theological lexicon (LTK, German) dated 1937, St. Isaac of Niniveh is not listed as a Catholic saint. Neither is he in the Catholic Encyclopedia.


do you have any source for that? I can hardly find anything about Dacius. And most certainly nothing about the schism of the most illustrious Isidore!

Konstantin said...

Ok, now I found the article about St. Dacius or Datius. But how does it constitute schism if he sided with the Pope in the Three Chapters Controversy?

Hermianensis said...


Re: St. Dacius of Milan, the Pope at the time was Vigilius, who later switched sides on the issue, and then temporized. Incidentally, Roman Africa (except for Justinian's lackey bishops like bribed Primosus of Carthage), northern Italy and Istria broke communion with him due to that, and even St. Columban made fun of him, imploring Pope Boniface (Vigilius' successor) to be vigilant, since the bearer of that name wasn't. Regardless, the Anti-Tricapitoline side won the day at Constantinople II, and Vigilius' name was removed from the diptychs, so by its standards St. Dacius was in the wrong.

Re: St Isidore of Sevile, (regardless of his friendship with Pope St. Gregory): You know someone's theological positions by his heroes-- the saints he acclaims, and the people he condemns.
In his Chronica Majora (397a), he brands Justinian as, at the very least, a heretic symphatizer, and immediately adds that he forced "every bishop in his kingdom to condemn the Three Chapters of the Council of Chalcedon." Furthermore, in his De Viris Illustribus, he contrasts the tyrannical Justinian, persecutor of the orthodox, with his heroes: the Tricapitolines Victor of Tonnena (who he acclaims as a martyr of the Faith) and Facundus of Hermiane, the most staunch defender of the Three Chapters, who defied Justinian, the Pope, and Constantinople II up to the end. So we can safely say that St. Isidore was a Tricapitoline.

Re: The Iberian Church's rejection of Constantinople II: Toledo XIV, after examining the canons of Constantinople III (which condemned Monothelitism), ordered it to be recognized and placed after Nicaea I, Constantinople I, Ephesus and Chalcedon (completely skipping Constantinople II in the list of Ecumenical Councils). I'll post the relevant canon from Toledo XIV and its English translation below.
The council's presiding bishop, St. Julian of Toledo, wrote to Rome in the name of that council, defending the Three Chapters; his stand was reaffirmed and officially adopted by the Church in Spain at Toledo XV. Some historians of the period (a minority, granted) hypothesize that, had the fateful Arab invasion of Hispania not taken place, things would have ended up in a full-blown schism between Rome and Toledo.

My sources for the Hispanic situation is (primarily) J. Herrin, "The Formation of Christendom", and whatever primary sources she names therein that I can scrounge up online, such as St. Isidore's Chronica Majora.

Hermianensis said...

Regarding the authority of Toledo XIV in the Hispanic Church, it was included in the Hispana / Isidoriana collection of canons, which was authoritative in Iberia up to the 13th century (past the turning point of the Reconquista at Las Navas de Tolosa, though a century after Bernard of Agen was made Archbishop of Toledo, and de facto suppressed the Old Hispanic Rite). The relevant canons of that council are V, VI and VII, starting with "Communi proinde iam omnium..."

Tellingly, the said collection omits Constantinople II completely (Wood, "The Politics of Identity in Visigothic Spain", p.216, 2013).

Stephen said...

Konstantin, I think you know that taking the more ancient, more conservative, and more historically used apophatic approach to defining the Catholic Church does in no way diminish its existence or importance of membership. That you would throw up these straw men indicates that you recognize the weakness of a harshly kataphatic approach, which is what I was trying to point out.