17 February 2021

No More Adam

I don't know how useful my posts on Genesis, as we made our way through Adam and the Fall; and Noah; and Abram; have been to anybody else; like a lot of things, I did it to clarify the matter in my own mind; and because, as far as I have been able to detect, nobody else has done it. To summarise: in Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima, we prepared for Lent; we read in the Divine Office of the Old Rite the story of Man's first Disobedience; in the propers of Holy Mass we abased ourselves in penitence as we were reminded of the punishment due to our corporate human sinfulness and seek (corporately) the mercy of God's forgiveness.

Just a couple of footnotes. (1) My Byzantine Synekdemos reminds me that, on the Sunday of Cheesefast - the Sunday before Lent begins - Orthodoxy reads, at Evensong (i.e. on the preceding Saturday evening) about the creation of Adam; his Fall when he ate of the forbidden Fruit; and his expulsion from Paradise. In the tradition from which I come, however Papalist we were, we always had a deep-rooted affection for Orthodoxy (example: Fr Henry Fynes Clinton), a profound desire for unity with our Orthodox brethren, and a bit of a feeling that when something is common to both Eastern and Western traditions, its status in some funny sort of way is even more enhanced. So it is, to folks like me, very significant that Byzantium prepares for Lent, as everybody in the West did until the 1960s, with a solemn liturgical recollection of the Fall. And even sadder that in those same 1960s those wretched liturgical tinkerers robbed the main-stream Latin Church of this Ancient Common Tradition.

(2) Almost next to my Synekdemos on my bookshelf is my 1845 (Hanicq) Pontificale Romanum. Idly wasting the lazy moment, I just happen to notice that, on Ash Wednesday, the Pontiff expels the Penitents from Church and warns them not to darken its doors again until Maundy Thursday. The (barefoot) penitents were to be garbed in sackcloth and ashes; the penitential psalms and the Litany were to be sung and then the Pontiff was to say: "Look! You are chucked out today from the thresholds of Holy Mother Church on account of your sins, just as [YES! HERE IT COMES!] ADAM THE FIRST MAN WAS EJECTED FROM PARADISE ON ACCOUNT OF HIS TRANSGRESSION." Then the choir were to sing a couple of very moving anthems: "In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat thy bread ... etc. etc.."

'Nuff said.


Paul in Melbourne, Australia said...

That is so beautiful, Fatherp

Paul in Melbourne, Australia said...


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father.

ASS: Acta Sedis Sanctae; AAS: Acta Apostolicae Sedis; EB: Enchiridion Biblicum; Dz: Denzinger

Pope Pius X, Motu Proprio Praestantia Scripturae, 18 Nov. 1907 (ASS [1907] 724ff; EB nn. 278f; Dz 2113f): “We now declare and expressly enjoin that all Without exception are bound by an obligation of conscience to submit to the decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, whether already issued or to be issued hereafter, exactly as to the decrees of the Sacred Congregations which are on matters of doctrine and approved by the Pope; nor can anyone who by word or writing attacks the said decrees avoid the note both of disobedience and of rashness or be therefore without grave fault.”


Concerning the Historical Character of the First Three Chapters of Genesis

June 30, 1909 (AAS 1 [1909] 567ff; EB 332ff; Dz 2121ff)

I: Do the various exegetical systems excogitated and defended under the guise of science to exclude the literal historical sense of the first three chapters of Genesis rest on a solid foundation?

Answer: In the negative.

II: Notwithstanding the historical character and form of Genesis, the special connection of the first three chapters with one another and with the following chapters, the manifold testimonies of the Scriptures both of the Old and of the New Testaments, the almost unanimous opinion of the holy Fathers and the traditional view which the people of Israel also has handed on and the Church has always held, may it be taught that: the aforesaid three chapters of Genesis Contain not accounts of actual events, accounts, that is, which correspond to objective reality and historical truth, but, either fables derived from the mythologies and cosmogonies of ancient peoples and accommodated by the sacred writer to monotheistic doctrine after the expurgation of any polytheistic error; or allegories and symbols without any foundation in objective reality proposed under the form of history to inculcate religious and philosophical truths; or finally legends in part historical and in part fictitious freely composed with a view to instruction and edification?

Answer: In the negative to both parts.

Zephyrinus said...

Magnificent encapsulation of the Pre-Lent worth, dear Reverend Fr Hunwicke.

One wonders how, and why, and wherefrom came, the 1960s' impetus to wreck and deny such a beautiful and Liturgically-important Gesima-Tide.

The only answer is, of course: it came from a Very Dark Source.

Meanwhile, we carry on employing and loving this beautiful and worthy Tradition.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. As pertains to Adam etc here is The PBC

III: In particular may the literal historical sense be called in doubt in the case of facts narrated in the same chapters which touch the foundations of the Christian religion: as are, among others, the creation of all things by God in the beginning of time; the special creation of man; the formation of the first woman from the first man; the unity of the human race; the original felicity of our first parents in the state of justice, integrity, and immortality; the command given by God to man to test his obedience; the transgression of the divine command at the instigation of the devil under the form of a serpent; the degradation of our first parents from that primeval state of innocence; and the promise of a future Redeemer?

Answer: In the negative.


The Church authorities have failed in their duties to teach and defend the Faith once delivered. The have not only been lax in their duties they have positively contributed to sowing doubt and error.

To cite just one example, Pope Pius XII either invited or allowed one Father Bea to openly dissent from the then binding decisions of The PBC in his La Civilta Cattolica and then after the priest had publicly paraded his modernist/progressive points in the Pope's paper the message was loud and clear.

Dissent was jake. Novelty was then rapidly advanced.

Of course, Father Bea was advanced in the ranks of the Hierarchy - Priest to Bishop to Cardinal - and he was a puissant and progressive prelate at Vatican Two.

And the rest, as they say, is history

keynciontan said...

The quote from the Pontifical brings to mind the Great Canon (of St Andrew), read on the first week of Lent:

"Having rivaled the first-formed Adam by my transgressions, I have found myself stripped naked of God, of the everlasting kingdom and all of its delights, because of my sins. ... Adam was rightly banished from Eden, O Savior, because he disobeyed one of Thy commandments. What then shall I suffer, for constantly rejecting Thy words of life?"