26 April 2019

The latest liturgical innovation

The Blessing Urbi et Orbi by the Bishop Of Rome, this year, took the following (gracious, merciful and humble) form:

Benedictio Dei Omnipotentis, Patris, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus, descendat super vos et maneat semper.

Listen to it on Vatican TV if you don't believe me. And he had an enormous white book held open in front of him by some poor sweating flunkey.

For five years, PF's cronies have been assuring us that his every word and deed is by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Is he now claiming the infallible and Magisterial right to change, not only the Catechism of the Catholic Church, not only Denziger, but even Kennedy's Latin Primer?

Or does this highly sophisticated form of blessing somehow mysteriously imply tritheism?

Does a public manifestation of Trinitarian heterodoxy mean that he has finally lost the munus Petrinum?

Father Ceckada will know. I'll ask him next time we get together for a pint and a giggle at the King's Arms.

Mormons are tritheists. Is PF a Mormon? Who are we to judge?

Episcopus nunc vocandus Civitatis prope Lacum Salinarum? Dierum Ultimorum Sanctus?

Scio bene quid vos omnes utpote qui curiosiores sitis cognoscere cupiatis: quot habet uxores?


Colin Spinks said...

As you have astutely explained in the past Father, for something to properly heretical it needs to propounded in precise formal terms. (eg "Credo in multos deos"); simply getting grammar wrong and speaking gobbledegook can't qualify. Obviously it needs to be put right, but surely as long he *intended* to bless the city and the world then it is blessed. Similarly pronouncing a mistyped consecration (eg. hoc est corporis meum) wouldn't invalidate the Mass. I remember getting rather wound up at a baptism a few years ago when the priest baptised "in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit". As he seemed unaware of the subtle difference in meaning of this formula from the correct one, there was clearly no doubt that his intention was to baptise the child in the same way the Church always has, and that the child was, and indeed is, baptised.

bedwere said...

This is the kind of Latin you find on Reddit from people who want a tattoo. Maybe that is what the Holy Father is planning, to be closer to the young. Yet the people or Reddit are asking for corrections, which doesn't seem the case with His Holiness. Quis sum ego ut judicem?

John F. Kennedy said...


If you are correct then the words have no meaning or purpose, ONLY the INTENT is important. Surely they DO have meaning and ARE important. There are many instances where the intent and the actual action conflict. "My intention was to LAND the plane, not crash it." Etc. The correct words AND the intent are required.

The formula you cited references three gods not one God with three persons. I also have to question WHY the Priest change it? He no doubt heard it correctly 1000's of times.

Unknown said...

Nonne his diebus ultimis melius est interrogare quot habeat maritos? Matrimonium apud Sanctos Dierum Ultimorum mihi iam videtur ‘Christianius’ quam apud nostros episcopos sacerdotesque semicaelibes. Illi feminas saltem in matrimonium ducunt, hi saepius pueros vel iuvenes.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Perhaps the Bishop of Rome was confused about where he was and what he was doing. Maybe he thought he was in Nashville, Tennessee at the NFL Draft and that he was selecting three Deacons from Wake Forest University.

Leo Bass said...

Mormons are not tritheists - they are henotheists. The three gods they worship are only three among the uncountable numbers of gods that they believe to exist.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

... erm .... I meant this piece to be manifestly, er, frivolous .... erm ....

Colin Spinks said...

John F Kennedy: You are right that words have meaning and are important, but there is a difference, is there not, between deliberately saying in formal correct language something heretical, and simply making a slip in delivering an established formula? Whatever our misgivings about the current Pope, surely we must give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was intending to bless us in the same way he and his predecessors have always done? The baptism formula I cited I was more uneasy with, but I know that the priest in question does not believe in 3 Gods. Any doubt (and there is definitely doubt) must surely be to the benefit of orthodoxy? On a lighter (but possibly more scandalous) note, I once attended a wedding where the priest in ascertaining all was in order actually said "If any of you know of any just cause or impediment....HAVE A QUIET WORD WITH ME AFTERWARDS" Now that really WAS dodgy not least because the couple, who subsequently separated, could have sought an annulment on these grounds rather than the scandal of divorce.

John Vasc said...

Fr H,
At least he included all three persons, let's be thankful for small mercies.

Tee Pee Gee Eff said...

@John F. Kennedy. There is a difference between sacramental intention and the intention or meaning of a text. You can change the text, even to alter the meaning, without affecting sacramental intention.

DS 588 Letter Virgilius et Sedonius (1 July ?745/746) of Pope Zachary to St Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz. A priest in ignorance was baptizing with the formula "Baptizo te in nomine Patria et Filia et Spiritus Sancti. The Pope ruled that if the change was made "not in order to introduce an error or heresy, but through mere ignorance of the Roman speech" then rebaptism was forbidden.

armyarty said...

I had a "D" grade in Latin, mostly because I was bored out of my mind about the pagan subject matter the teacher used. Yet I go to the Latin Mass every week, and I have picked up quite a bit in 25 years or so. Mostly, I can spot when something is wrong (though it is never wrong at the traditional mass,) and can tell a friend what the priest is saying translated into English. So, I am no Latin scholar. In any way.

I have noticed, however, that there is a kind of priest, one who thinks of himself as a traditionalist, but who rejects the traditional form of mass, who loves to sprinkle his Novus Ordo mass with Latin, because he does not understand tradition, or WHY people love the old mass, but he does like things to be fancy. Fancy schmancy. The "corn" that can accumulate at a novus ordo mass is simply astounding. Holding books over head, chanting everything to a Broadway tune, eschewing the use of a pulpit, demanding "can I get an amen" as if we are at a tent meeting of the most primitive kind of Protestants.

In such a case, Father's Latin is a good deal worse than mine, and he is always saying things that amount to heresy, or sometimes gibberish, simply because he has no idea what he is saying.

Which is how I learned that my late Mother could speak Latin. One Sunday, after a certain priest did his best job at being fancy, my mother, a great respecter of the clergy and religious, told Fr., outside the church, That he had been spouting a lot of nonsense, and that he should stick to English until he learned how to speak Latin correctly.

Mom could also speak Spanish, but comically, because she was taught by nuns who spoke the proper Castilian dialect, never heard in New York.

My point is that perhaps Francis and his cronies have NO IDEA how to speak Latin properly, and that the big book the cleric was holding was just a prop to hide a sheet of paper with a hastily written blessing in it? Written by someone with even less knowledge of Latin than myself?