11 July 2021

Concelebration 1

Apparently, some errors about Concelebration that I dealt with years ago still survive. So here are some of my old pieces. My reason for repeating them is that I fear ...  I terribly fear ... that some Bergoglianite, anti-Tradition, prelates, are going to make Concelebration a kind of Test Question. And that, by using this trick, doing so, they will be able to drive out good priests with splendid missions. I am not concerned to defend the entire modern culture of Concelebration, or to defend such prelates. I am concerned simply to establish, by citing the Magisterium of the Catholic Church before Vatican II, that Concelebration is licit in the Latin Church, and is not contrary to the Rule of the Faith to which we are all subject. 

Conscience does not peremptorily demand that we should refuse ever to concelebrate.

If, sadly, we are to have to face new liturgical battles in the days ahead, we do not, in my vew, have to fight them with our hands tied behind our backs. 

We are not in conscience bound to hand the enemy this advantage.

There will be quite a number of these old posts! But I hope, at least on most days, to publish my usual daily offering!

Having written a rave review of Laurence Hemming's Worship as a Revelation, and repeatedly urged everybody to read it, I think I am entitled to pick up a particular observation and to explain why, in Magisterial terms, it is mistaken, misguided, and misleading. 

And I want to refute his apparent blanket disapproval of Concelebration. 

Having summarised the way, in the old Pontifical, that newly ordained priests, in their Mass of Ordination, said the Eucharistic Prayer with the ordaining bishop, he observes 'This has nothing to do with concelebration - it is a formal demonstration of the way in which each priest's future recitation of the most sacred prayer of the Mass is intrinsically linked to, and in concert with, what the bishop himself does, as the one to whom he is hierarchically tied, and so this action is a formal demonstration of how the priest acquires, and exercises, his right to say this prayer and effect the miracle of transubstantiation'.

I have no problems with any of this except with the opening clause. If Hemming is suggesting that concelebration is a modern fad which misinterprets the ritual he describes, then he is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. The acid test is 'May a priest accept a mass-stipend for what he does at his Ordination Mass? If so, then it is a Mass of which he is a celebrant. And the answer given before there is any suggestion of modern liturgical faddery is: yes he may. The most learned pope before our present Holy Father, Benedict XIV, took this view. So did weighty and reliable authorities such as Gasparri and Cappello. And, in future posts, I shall be taking this back to Innocent III.

When the post-Conciliar Ritus concelebrandi formally made this into law, it was simply repeating what was already the universal judgement of popes, theologians and manual-writers; what was part of the Ordinary teaching of the Western Church.

This is by no means all that I want to say about this subject, but I do feel the need to establish the authenticity of the notion of concelebration within the practice and teaching of historic Western Chistendom.

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