2 April 2009

More Leo

What was done in the one Temple of Judaea with obumbratis significationibus (note the rumbling bs) , overclouded makings-of-signs, is now celebrated by all the nations pleno et aperto sacramento, in a full and open mystic rite. The Great Leo, the greatest Latinist ever, goes on to apply this to the Ministry: since the Cross is the fons of all graces, real substance, if I may paraphrase, has been pumped from it into the insubstantial ministries of the Temple so that now the order of Levites (deacons) is clarior, the dignity of Elders (priests) is amplior, the anointing of Priests (Bishops) is sacratior. Perhaps Leo would have felt that the inauguration of the Christian Ministry should be celebrated on what he would have called the Pascha, Good Friday, rather than on Maundy Thursday.

It's bad homiletics to tumble from such heights into terminal bathos, but I do rather wonder what S Leo would have thought of the post-Vatican II discarding of the ancient Roman Prayer for Consecrating Bishops, which expresses just this theology, in favour of some Eastern formula. What price the right of the Roman Rite to have its integrity protected! It almost makes one wonder if post-Conciliar Orders are invalid ... no, of course, I don't really mean that. In fact, I don't mean it in any way at all. But the sedevacantists who use Leo XIII's bull Apostolicae curae, which condemned Anglican Orders, to call in question the adequacy of the Bugnini Pontifical, do have some disturbingly good rhetoric on their side. And even some logic.

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