13 July 2021

Vandalism in S Peter's, and S Thomas on Concelebration (3)

Some readers may feel that the Church's worship is particularly under threat ... so why am I "defending" concelebration at this particular moment?

I can see the point. "Reliable sources" are convinced that the brutalisation of the Large Church near the Santa Marta is likely to come from PF himself, the Opicus Maximus. That would bring the ban into line with the habitual praxis of this man: failing to take overt responsibility for his own actions. 

As an Englishman and a member of an Anglophone Ordinariate, I also strongly object to to the Italo-imperialism of this action. With the ongoing onslaught upon the liturgical and doctrinal amd Magisterial use of Latin, our proper common language, we are effectively being told by PF and his crowd of gruesome bullies that, if you aren't an Italophone, you're a second-class Catholic. "Better a Second Class Catholic than a Bergoglian Syncretist" might be an appropriate reaction. Should we have "CATTOLICO DI SECUNDA CLASSE" added to our Celebrets?

I recently suggested a S Nicolas-de-Chardonnet response to the Ban ... and now Cardinal Mueller has wisely and helpfully pointed out that the Ban is, quite simply, unlawful; and so nobody is obliged to obey it. I am alive to the dangers of weaponising Liturgy ... but, in times of crisis ... why doesn't somebody just do this? What has happenned to the "Pachamama Out" Action Squad?

And yet ... I am convinced that we must think within the Great Tradition. So I do intend to continue with my series on Concelebration within the Authentic Tradition of the Latin Church. Because, while it has no place in anonymous notices tacked onto Sacristy doors by furtive figures in the middle of the night, concelebration does have an honoured place in the Traditions of the Latin Church.


S Thomas Aquinas, as his custom was, covers pretty well most of the problems of late C20 Christianity, and does so in a neat formulaic way. First, he crisply formulates an erroneous opinion; then disposes of it with Respondeo.

So first he states a propositio sometimes advanced in neo-traditionalist circles: That many priests cannot consecrate one and the same Host. He disposes of this - he was a good Catholic - by pointing to what the Church does. "According to the custom of a number of Churches the newly ordained concelebrate". The problem of rogue concelebrants Jumping The Gun he disposes of in exactly the same way as Pope Innocent III (see previous post) had done: "And it is not true that by this the consecration over the same Host is doubled; since, as Innocent III says, the intention of all must be referred (ferri) to the same instant of Consecration".

Having disposed of that little technical difficulty, he justifies the practice in itself: "Since a priest does not consecrate except in the persona of Christ, and the many are one in Christ, therefore it does not matter whether this Sacrament is consecrated through one or through many".

There is no doubt that the practice of Concelebration has become unseemly since the Council. Those of us who are hermeneutic-of-continuity traditionalists will do well to rethink the way we use Concelebration. But the fashion in some circles of ridiculing all use of Concelebration, and of even denying that what the newly ordained do with their Bishop really is true Concelebration, is ill-informed and gives 'traditionalism' a bad name. We must avoid the temptation (as we defend our Holy Faith against the latest aggressions of Bergoglianism) to propose our own narrow circumscriptions of 'Tradition'.

The the lady has many things new and old in her treasury!

Innocent III was a Pope, and a learned one, and as Bishop of Rome was entitled authoritatively to interpret the practice of his own Church. And S Thomas Aquinas was no mean Doctor. Not that the story ends with them.

Next in this series: Benedict XIV ... probably the most learned pope ever.


PM said...

The concelebrated Masses which the powers that be are promising in place of private Masses (not in evidence so far, to the best of my knowledge) will almost certainly be in Italian, thereby subverting for the 99% plus of the human race who do not speak Italian the ostensible purpose of using the vernacular.

St Thomas is indeed no.mean doctor. Indeed, since the pontificate of the learned and wise Leo XIII the magisterium has proposed St Thomas as the model for the Catholic theologian.

Aaron Sanders said...

I am one who has long accepted that concelebration had some historic place in Latin practice but who has not read widely enough to decide just what that place was and who is also suspicious of various modern instantiations. I have appreciated your posts for sketching out a body of evidence necessary to inform one's judgment, but I would appreciate if you could address one issue in particular regarding concelebration by the ordinati.

The Pontifical states clearly that the newly ordained priests neither recite the pre-Communion Confiteor nor receive the absolution "quia concelebrant Pontifici." So much for the theory that they by no means concelebrate. And yet they do not receive both species. Instead, they receive the host on the tongue from the bishop "Postquam...Pontifex...totum Sanguinem sumpserit" and thereafter receive only an ablution of the mouth from another chalice, "non illum quo Pontifex celebravit, sed alium cum vino." Yet while Mediator Dei (112 and 115) seems to speak only generally of the priest's requirement to receive Communion for the "integrity of the sacrifice," I thought the common opinion was that expressed by the old Catholic Encyclopedia to the end that "the communion, under both kinds, of the celebrating priest belongs at least to the integrity, and, according to some theologians, to the essence, of the sacrificial rite."

I turned to one of the sources you adduced in order to see how this tension in the ordination-concelebration would be resolved, and unfortunately my initial reading reveals no acknowledgment of the tension, let alone an answer. Capello says both that the priest concelebrating his ordination Mass may receive a stipend for it (De Sacramentis vol. 1, n. 638) AND that "ipsum Concilium Trid. [Sess. XXI, cap. 1] innuere videtur, sacerdotes celebrantes obstringi praecepto divino ad Eucharistiam sub utraque specie sumendam" (n. 535). Granted, Capello does not assert this latter as a firm conclusion, and had earlier affirmed (at n. 533) that the celebrant's Communion pertains to the extrinsic rather than essential perfection of the sacrifice. But we still seem to be dealing with a muddle of evidence that suggests the ordination-concelebration as a sort of tertium quid: neither 1) a mere demonstration of the unity of the presbyter's sacerdotium with his ordainer's nor 2) an integral concelebration but 3) an imperfect form of concelebration that should not be considered paradigmatic for other situations, omitting an element of extrinsic perfection in accommodation to a rather specific context.

A simpler resolution would deny the implication of Trent and affirm that nothing compels a celebrating priest to consume both species, but it seems there is at the very least a strong case for fittingness that should not be brushed aside. For what it's worth, modern norms, IIRC, require principal celebrants to receive both species but admit of dispensations for concelebrants incapable of consuming the accidents of bread or wine to receive under only one. I would appreciate your own thoughts on these forms of concelebration that allow (or, in the traditional ordination Mass, require) omission of an element commonly considered integral to celebration.