30 October 2016

"Intercommunion" in Lund?

Cardinal Burke has recently uttered some very (of course!) wise remarks relating to the sharing of the Sacraments between Catholics and Non-Catholics. See Rorate. But there can be a risk that his words will be misunderstood.

What his Eminence actually talks about is not, formally, the admission of 'Non-Catholics', as such, to the Sacraments. This is because he is well aware that Sacramental Sharing is not merely allowed by the Church's current canonical legislation, but even in some circumstances encouraged. This is most true with regard to those ('Eastern') communities in which the Church recognises the valid existence of her own Sacraments, such as Holy Order and the Eucharist, although outside her own strict canonical unity. Lest, however, there be some who might be tempted to use this fact as a rod with which to beat the 1983 Codex Iuris Canonici, I will again draw the attention of such readers to my pieces on the Church's praxis before 1983 ... in the eighteenth century Aegean and, with the permission of Pope S Pius X himself, in twentieth century Ukraine and Russia.

For obvious reasons, things are much less positive with regard to the ecclesial communities which emerged from the 'reformation'. But, even here, the canonical negative is not absolute.

What Cardinal Burke, with pinpoint accuracy, is concerned to make clear is that, for their own sake, the Eucharist ought not to be offered to those who do not truly believe that the Elements are the Body and Blood of Christ. This is because S Paul made clear that those who so eat and drink, "not discerning the Lord's Body", eat and drink ... nothing less than their own damnation. The current law is very insistent on this point, and properly so.

I will stick my neck out and say that I regard it as very highly improbable that, in Lund, tomorrow, as he visits Swedish Lutherans, the Holy Father will issue any general invitation to Lutherans and Catholics to receive at each other's altars. The most I would regard as within the realms of the remotely possible is some sort of minor move within the limits of what is already permitted by the current law. But even this I strongly doubt. Thirty six hours will show whether I am right! But I do think that some people allow themselves to be upset by unreal fears begotten by simplistic and irresponsible headlines.

Further arguments against any major change include these:
(1) the arrangement could not be made reciprocal, because of the unlikelihood that any Lutheran Orders, even in Sweden, are valid; and
(2) it would understandably profoundly upset those Anglicans who accept the fulness of Catholic Eucharistic teaching if favours were granted to Scandinavian Lutherans (not a few of whom Luther himself would probably not now find it easy to recognise as even Christian) which had not been granted to Catholic Anglicans.

Any slight movement in this area would need to be approached very carefully; it is not the sort of thing that is suitable material for gesturpolitik. Anything that even looked like this would be the height of imprudence.

29 comments:

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Unlikelihood that?

Certainty that not.

ONE Lutheran was consecrated bishop, Laurentius Petri, and he made it very clear both by liturgic changes of drastic type and by writing on topic, that he did NOT conceive of his episcopacy as a means of perpetuating a line of sacrificial priests.

Also, his consecrator was only one bishop acting under duress, due to the tyrant Gustav Wasa.

Wunderbar said...

Imprudence is a virtue now. So we can expect anything. But i agree that things don´t work so directly in these bergoglian days, some words will be used, giving the tone. Then evil will be released, and sacrilege will be the norm by costume.

FJH 3rd said...

I pray that you are correct, Father.

Sixupman said...

Some years ago the iconic Preston church St. Walburge's was an embarrassment to the Lancaster Diocese, which sought to dispose of the same to the local university - which was not taken-up. The diocesan media priest [SJ?] did a deal with Granada Television Manchester to televise religious services there and one from Salford Cathedral. Some of these services were joint Catholic and CofE and even adding Non-Conformist clerics, the congregation covering all the churches. As I recollect, Communion was distributed willy-nilly, causing great scandal and the services ceased. [The then bishop denied St. Walburge's to a Traditionalist order - on the basis of a deleterious effect upon neighbouring parishes. The new bishop granted the church to ICKSP, where it now flourishes.]

Jacobi said...

Reformation churches such as the Church of England and Lutherans have only Baptism and Marriage as valid sacraments.

Deacon John Giglio Jr said...

Roman Catholics cannot receive communion from the a Lutheran service as they do not have the priesthood and cannot confect the Eucharist! Only an ordained priest can celebrate Mass, not a minister!

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Deacon John: I thought I had made exactly that point with total clarity in my piece ...
Wunderbar: I'm totally at sea as to the powerful influence which you attribute to costume.
Mr Lundahl: heresy on the part of the recipient (or the celebrant) does not invalidate a sacrament. Nor is more than one bishop necessary for the validity of episcopal consecration. The English Vicars Apostolic were mostly consecrated by a single bishop assisted by two presbyters.

I deleted contributions which seemed to me to incline to sedevacantism, alteropapalism, etc. etc..

William Tighe said...


I agree with Mr. Lundahl's conclusions, but his facts are a bit muddled, e.g., when he writes "Also, his consecrator was only one bishop acting under duress, due to the tyrant Gustav Wasa," he is confusing the consecration of two or three bishops in 1528 by Bishop Mansson of Vasteras, under duress and without a papal mandate, with the consecration Laurentius Petri, likewise under duress and without a papal mandate, by Bishop Mansson and two or three of the bishops he had consecrated previously in 1531.

I wrote a little piece on the "Swedish succession" for a few friends (including Fr. Hunwicke) in 2003 to demonstrate how preposterous the claim is that the apostolic succession of bishops had been preserved in Sweden at the Reformation. It would be an act of bad manners to post that piece here, as it is about 5 pages in length, but I will gladly e-mail it to anybody to whom it might be of interest.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"heresy on the part of the recipient (or the celebrant) does not invalidate a sacrament."

On part of celebrant, it does if it changes the INTENTION.

The point about only one consecrator is that this particular one was acting under duress. He was the last Catholic bishop left in Sweden, aged, and thought exile (which threatened if he did not comply) was going to kill him.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

"Alteropapalism" is the kind of no no one cannot even discuss?

Was it during the Western Schism?

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mt Lundahl

By Alteropapalism I alluded to the people who claim that one of the gentlemen who claim to be pope ... other than Bergoglio, that is ... really is pope.

You are totally wrong about Intention. I am, sadly, tired of constantly explaining what the Church teaches about this; if, as I think, you are a new reader, I beg you to spare me having to do it yet again, by finding one of my several previous explanations of this; or, alternatively, read S Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, De Sacramentis in genere, Chapter 27, especially part 8. Please!
(Or Lehmkuhl P i L i Tr i de Sac in gen chapter 4:2; or Liebermann or Franzelin or Pope Innocent IV ...)

Francis Arabin said...

The Dean of Barchester would be delighted and grateful to receive an electronic copy of the tractate on Swedish orders from Prof. Dr. Tighe.

mark wauck said...

"heresy on the part of the recipient (or the celebrant) does not invalidate a sacrament."

In the case of Anglican orders wasn't the problem that the change to an ambiguous formula--in Rome's estimate--was made with heretical intent? Same for the Lord's supper? If I recall correctly the Anglican argument was something to the effect that their new forumulas were no vaguer than some accepted by Rome, so that validly ordained Anglicans could really say Mass with the vague formula if they had the right intent. But Rome argued that the heretical intent in composing the vague formula overrode those considerations. If this is the case, could not the same reasoning be applied more broadly?

Or maybe I've misunderstood.

The Bones said...

Doesn't it all depend on whether the humility or the ambition is being exercised in the papal positivist mind on the given day.

Because, you know, there's the humility and then there's the ambition.

William Tighe said...


I will gladly e-mail a copy to the Dean of Barchester, but I need his e-mail address in order to do so.

Thomas said...

It might be an idea to have a permanent set of links in the side panel of the blog called FAQ (frequently asked questions) that point to previous blogs about intention and other topics that regularly come up in the comments. Meanwhile, here is the link to Fr. H's previous explanation of the topic:

http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/intention.html

William Tighe said...


For Fr. Hunwicke's explanations of "intention" there are several postings on that subject on 4 September 2014.

Wunderbar said...

Well, Father, I have learnt two things today. First: "to be at sea", thats a fine expression. Second: The English word for "costumbre" (Spanish) is custom, not costume. And the third is something related to British sense of humor, but i am always at sea when it comes to British sense of humor, so I am not sure.

S. Guinefort said...

The question of apostolic succession is next to irrelevant to the Church of Sw. today, and interest is limited to some overwintered dreamers from the first half of the 20th c. — D:r JackelĂ©n appears to be disinterested, but maybe not for the same reason that bishop Erik Falck was, when he mused in his Dogmatik art. om kyrkio (on which Laurentius Petri later built his Kyrkeordning 1571), that, "the liars have an unholy and false practise of the sacraments, and so they have another head for their church than Christ alone," however much more enjoyable that would be.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Wunderbar: I feel a right cad (another English expression) about my crack. The problem is, that you write English so much like an Englishman, that I assumed you were an Englishman making an amusing mistake. My humblest apologies.

Valdemar said...

I converted to the Catholic faith from Lutheranism. This Pope appears to me to be a Lutheran.

The Pope could have, COULD have made some sort of show with, say, the Missouri Synod Lutherans who at least still preach a code of morality that is recognizable to a Catholic, but no, he did not.

He chose the worst of the worst to support, enable and promote.

The conglomeration of dis-unified "Lutherans" the Pope has chosen to celebrate the Great Divorce of the Church with in Lund is represented in the USA by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The ELCA has an agreement on "full communion" with the Reformed Church in America, the United Churches of Christ and the Presbyterian Church USA as well as the Episcopal Church in America. All of them preach the foulest of immoral and anti-moral teachings that are absolutely in conflict with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

If the Pope went to Lund to convert the lesbian-led anti-Christian Swedish Lutherans and their buddies that would be great, but this Pope has made clear he is against conversions and proselytizing, no matter how glad we proselytes are of having been proselytized.

Now it is fine well and good to say that the Pope isn't going to make any official change that would allow wholesale opening of the rail {where they still exist} to "Lutherans", but the damage is being done in the standing shoulder to shoulder with these raving sexual deviants.

Communion IS actively being opened to those who reject the faith.

Back to the denominational list above.

Now that the Pope is making it more and more clear he will look the other way when a Lutheran approaches the rail, what we can really see is he is opening the rail to ALL of those groups.

As a convert, I am disgusted with any man, especially a POPE who makes nice with the rogues gallery of moral degenerates that are represented in Sweden with the fake "Church" of Sweden. I am fully appalled by a POPE who condemns evangelization and proselytism as does this Pope.

I am tempted to question whether Apostolic Succession has been tossed aside by some even in the Catholic Church. I suggest that if Catholic prelates cannot be trusted to affirm Catholic doctrine, stand up for morality or even turn over felonious child abusers to the authorities, what possible concern can they have for the proper form of ordinations?

What else explains this Lutheran Pope and his sodomite-friendly positions and friends?

imperialreaction said...

Fr. Hunwicke, at some point many posts ago, you gave an unexpected shout-out to American-born traditionalist Greek Orthodox priest Fr. Peter Heers' recent book, "The Ecclesiological Renovation of Vatican II: An Orthodox Examination of Rome's Ecumenical Theology Regarding Baptism and the Church."

That book seems timelier than ever, because at the crux of the faux-ecumenists' sacramental free-for-all is the recurring assertion (prominent in the Joint Declaration signed today in Lund, and other previous documents) that the whole "journeying together in dialogue and encounter toward [seemingly inevitable] communion" with heretics and schismatics must be based on our common baptism already uniting us in the Body of Christ - compared to which all our differences are trivial.

In this way, they relativize, historicize and subjectivize the deepest dogmatic differences, do some good ol'-fashioned moral equivocation ("Lutherans and Catholics have wounded the visible unity of the Church" [Lund Declaration]), and make statements like "what unites us is greater than what divides us" [Lund Declaration].

I'm very far from being qualified to argue that Fr. Peter's neo-Cyprianite, hard-Orthodox ecclesiology is the right one... but his analysis of the interplay between the development of Roman sacramental theology, "communio" ecclesiology, and the whole ecumenical project, sure is timely.

I really do hope you will dedicate some blog (or even comment) space to your thoughts on that book at some point, Father.

mark wauck said...

@ Valdemar: Thanks for saying all that. It's an open secret--really not even a secret--that in Germany and elsewhere "intercommunion" is widely practiced by "Catholic" clerics. Re your comment, "This Pope appears to me to be a Lutheran," I would only point out that there's probably a reason that he kneels to wash Muslim feet but ostentatiously eschews genuflecting at his liturgies. And all this speaks volumes about the need to purge Cardinal Sarah's Congregation.

Valdemar said...

@mark wauck:

After defending Pope Francis' so-called confusing statements for a year, I was confronted by his replacement of God with man in para 161 of Evangelii Gaudium {itself a sort of restatement of nearly-as-hideous Gaudium et Spes 24} and I was finished.

I now respect him as a man and let him speak and take his words at face value. That he has become "Pope Saladin" to me is based on his religious indifferentism and Luther-like affinity for Islam and his own actions and words involving Muslim colonists. Those of us who have converted from the cesspool of Lutheranism can readily see Martin in the words and actions of this Pope. Luther may have been insane but Pope Francis is decidedly not.

He is a man. He deserves to be treated as a man capable of acting and speaking like a man. He has a will and he exercises it in his words and actions. It is unconscionable that many still play games and treat him like the village idiot, incapable of saying what he means and thus needing their "reinterpretation" of his words or rephrasing to make them sound orthodox. Gerry Muller ought to be ashamed of himself. Ditto the rest of those who do the same. Pope Francis is an educated adult, a man who knows what he is doing. He is not a child and he should not be treated as a child.

Pope Francis understands innuendo and he understands idiom and he understands what his actions mean to those he is trying to reach. And he certainly is trying to reach a certain audience.

He is blatantly denying the ancient and sound teachings found in Mortalium Animos and the entire history of the teaching of the Church {possibly excepting certain interpretations of some debated passages in Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate} on the issue of religious indifferentism and Islam in specific.

That "intercommunion" is a topic of his favor is not only NOT surprising, it is simply to be expected based on his other sayings. That he favors moral degenerates with which to pursue the befoulment of the Sacrament and the name of the Lord Jesus is also to be expected.

He is no longer confusing to me. He is only confusing to those who still try to force him, to jam him into the vestments of an orthodox prelate of the One, Holy Apostolic Catholic Church.

Thomas said...

Gaudium et Spes: 24. God, Who has fatherly concern for everyone, has willed that all men should constitute one family and treat one another in a spirit of brotherhood. For having been created in the image of God, Who "from one man has created the whole human race and made them live all over the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26), all men are called to one and the same goal, namely God Himself.

For this reason, love for God and neighbor is the first and greatest commandment. Sacred Scripture, however, teaches us that the love of God cannot be separated from love of neighbor: "If there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.... Love therefore is the fulfillment of the Law" (Rom. 13:9-10; cf. 1 John 4:20). To men growing daily more dependent on one another, and to a world becoming more unified every day, this truth proves to be of paramount importance.

Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.

@Valdemar, could you point out what exactly is so "hideous" about that.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Fr. Hunwicke, thank you for your quote from St Robert in that post.

He was discussing whether the Baptism is valid where a minister intends to do what the Church of Geneva does.

And he answers in the affirmative.

"There is no need to intend to do what the Roman Church does; but what the true Church does, whichever it is, or what Christ instituted, or what Christians do: for they amount to the same. You ask: What if someone intends to do what some particular or false church does, which he thinks the true one, like that of Geneva, and intends not to do what the Roman church does? I answer: even that is sufficient. For the one who intends to do what the church of Geneva does, intends to do what the universal church does. For he intends to do what such a church does, because he thinks it to be a member of the true universal church: although he is wrong in his discernment of the true church. For the mistake of the minister does not take away the efficacy of the sacrament: only a defectus intentionis does that."

However, in the case of precisely Baptism, Lutherans, Anglicans and Calvinists have the same intention as Catholics. Namely to make someone not a child of God into a child of God. Therefore, this cannot stand comparison with a possibly validly consecrated bishop stating he does NOT intend what the Catholic Church does, but DOES intend something else, that would be a defectus intentionis.

As for the case of Methodists, I am not sure St Robert would agree, since he considered, as far as I know, people baptised ONLY as adults by Anabaptist sects as unbaptised (and therefore not under the Inquisition's jurisdiction any more than Pagans are).

"Heresy or even total Unbelief is, in the traditional Theology of the Western Church, NOT the same as a Defect of Intention. Defect of Intention means a deliberate intention not to confer the Sacrament at all, NOT a mistake about what the Sacrament is or confers."

The reasoning at least of St Thomas Aquinas was such that a heresy specifically against the normal intention of it, i. e. for instance against making priests who can sacrifice the sacrifice of the Mass, when clearly stated, as it was in the Swedish case, and underlined by a change in liturgy, would probably be sufficient to annul the sacrament - unlike a heresy which has nothing to do with the sacrament, as when Nestorians nevertheless validly ordain priests and consecrate bishops. Total unbelief would if anything be less damaging to intention, since it would leave the one conferring the sacrament indifferent as to intention.

De Sacramentis in genere, Chapter 27, especially part 8. ... Could one please have BOTH that part online (this University Library hardly has St Robert, it's a modern one, leftist, leaning to Protestantism) and the part where St Robert explains why Protestants don't validly have Holy Mass or Eucharist?

I'm somewhat suspicious it would even be there in part 9 or chapter 28 ... Ideally, put all of De Sacramentis in genere online.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr Lundahl

I really do not have the leisure to keep trying to explain to you why you are wrong. I see that on my blog, I once gathered all the relevant posts at 4 September 2014. I would particularly draw your attention to the reply of the Holy Office to the question of Methodist missionaries who explicitly denied, during the course of the Baptism service, that Baptism confers new birth. Obviously, those poor Methodists had never been told that their teaching was the same as that of the Catholic Church! Denzinger 3100-3102 gives the Holy Office answer.

This is my final word.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

APPEAL FOR HELP: Could somebody who understands the Internet better than I do provide Mr Lundahl with a link to those paragraphs in Denzinger? Preferably, both the text and an English crib? I would be grateful!

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr Lundahl

I am closing down our correspondence on Intention because it is is clear that I do not have adequate didactic skills to get across to you what the Church teaches on this matter. I put before you a Magisterial decision which you then interpret as meaning the opposite of what it plainly says. Nor will I enable comments from you which imply a possibility that someone other than Bergoglio might be pope. Sorry!