19 April 2020

ARCIC and Coronavirus and S John Henry Newman

                         "REAL PRESENCE": ARCIC SORTED IT OUT

The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, from its beginnings until 1994, dealt withn the Eucharist. It concluded, in 1994, with a statement by "the appropriate dicasteries of the Holy See" [which must include the CDF] to the effect that "The agreement reached on Eucharist and Ministry by ARCIC-1 is thus greatly strengthened and no further study would seem to be required at this stage".

It was no secret that, on the Vatican side, there had been unease about the reality of this agreement. In some quarters, there was a suspicion that the doctrinal formulae of agreement were abstract verbal confections which papered over a real and persisting disagreement. It centred upon the question of the Eucharistic Presence, particularly with regard to the Reserved Sacrament. Given this unease, there was a very sensible desire to investigate Anglican praxis ... what people did with the Eucharistic Elements; how they were physically treated. This was on the ground that praxis would reveal whether the fancy verbal agreements actually meant anything.

So the question was insistently put: Do the Anglicans adore It? [Apparently: YES!]

                                   THE EUCHARISTIC SACRIFICE: PRAXIS

But there is another equally important aspect of Eucharistic doctrine that needed to sorted out by ARCIC: the question of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. ARCIC had indeed arrived at some formulae of agreement; but it was not easy to see how the test question, the litmus test,  How about praxis? Does praxis confirm the agreement? could be made to operate in this field.

But now ... 2020 ... a question of praxis ... yippee!! ... has finally presented itself.

The Anglican hierarchy, during the Coronavirus lockdown, forbade clergy to celebrate the Eucharist even on their own in locked churches; even when the clergy-house was so adjacent to the church that the priest could get into it without "going outside". I believe there was even a suggestion that clergy discipline regulations might be made to apply if a priest disobeyed this behest (yes; I know that Anglican bishops are lovely and smiley on TV but many of them are unpleasant bullies in real life).

On the other hand: Archbishop Nichols explained on the BBC that Catholics don't talk much about "Going to Church"; what matters for us is the Mass.

The Mass is a Sacrifice, impetratory, propitiatory.

With the country in turmoil and people dying by the thousand, here and throughout the world, any priest would naturally wish, above all else, to offer to God the Father the Sacrifice of His only-begotten Son. Not less often, but very greatly more often. Even if, exceptionally, he had to offer the Sacrifice without lay presence.

Nichols explained that, despite the coronavirus, every Catholic priest would be offering Mass daily. He did so, alone, in his own darkened and empty Cathedral, and did it online.

The reality of Anglican belief concerning the Eucharistic Sacrifice has been made abundantly and practically clear.

Those who control the C of E do not believe in it. And as for praxis: they are prepared to enforce their disbelief by sending their ecclesiastical  police in. This policy, it seems, is being enforced even by Anglican bishops who claim to be "Catholic" ... who wear skull caps and waggle incense around and who think that sort of stuff makes them "Catholic".

                                           S JOHN HENRY NEWMAN
said that he welcomed the existence of the C of E as a bulwark agaist unbelief, but recognised that the time was likely when it would be more of an obstacle to Truth than a help. In his Second Spring sermon he envisions the C of E as a corpse which corrupts the air which once it refreshed, and cumbers the ground which once it beautified.

Perhaps the next ARCIC agenda should concentrate on what to do with corpses ... ecclesial corpses.


William Tighe said...

Compare this Lutheran congregation in the United States:


"In my own parish of 300 or so per week ... We have a chapel at one end and a large nave half a building away. The chapel seats 80 and the nave 375. It is not credible to suggest that we are putting our people at risk by having services of 10 simultaneously, separated by a several hundred feet in spaces where it is easy to maintain appropriate distance. We have plenty of hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial soap, and follow the CDC guidelines. So we have 12 or 14 services in one day. I will admit that it is physically exhausting but it I believe it is faithful."


"My own parish (with two pastors) has had 18 Divine Services a week for several weeks, each with nine lay and a pastor with an abbreviated Divine Service (confession, absolution, collect, Gospel, hymn, homily, creed, prayer, preface, Sanctus, Eucharistic prayer, Agnus Dei, Distribution with social distancing, and benediction -- it takes about 40 minutes at most!)."

Anita Moore said...

If there’s one thing this pandemic has done, it is that it has exposed us to ourselves: who we are, what we are about and where our true priorities lie. It’s not a pretty sight.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. The CoE could recruit new members at The Saint Vincent DePaul Seminary in the spiritually dead diocese of Palm Beach County, Florida.

Mission Statement

St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary shares in the mission of Jesus Christ “to bring the good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18) in the training of future leaders.

The seminary’s primary mission is to foster the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation of candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood so that as ordained ministers they share the joy of the Gospel with all.

Acknowledging the cultural makeup of Catholics in the United States, the seminary distinguishes itself in offering a comprehensive bilingual formation program, preparing future priests for ministry in both English and Spanish while cultivating a rich and diverse multicultural community.

The secondary mission of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary is to provide graduate theological education for permanent deacon candidates, clergy, religious, and laity as well as to offer ongoing clergy formation programs so that the evangelizing mission of the Church may continue and broaden its reach.


SVDP, producing preachers since...well, for quite a while now..

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. From the Saint Thmas Aquinas Seminary in Virginia:

An Instrument Used by God for the Salvation of Souls

Catholic priests serve primarily as mediators between God and man.

The two offices—the offices of saying Mass and forgiving sins—are the most exalted among the many powers and privileges God grants His priests. The faithful, therefore, for these and many other reasons, owe the greatest respect and devotion to God’s chosen ministers.

Offering the Mass, and thus renewing Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, constitutes the priest’s chief dignity. While engaged in the sacred liturgy, the priest assumes the role of the Son of God, lovingly offering himself to the Father on behalf of all mankind. When the priest says the words of consecration, he reenacts Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, himself separating the Lord’s precious blood from His holy body. The priest then literally takes hold of God and raises Him up high so that the people can adore their Savior.

The priest, in addition to being the specific instrument God uses to manifest Himself daily to the Church, also distributes divine grace when he gives Communion to the faithful. The people thus receive God directly from the hands of the priest.

The priest’s dignity, however, is not limited to the Mass alone; he also shares another divine prerogative when he pardons sin through the sacrament of Penance. Christ, when He told His apostles that whose sins they forgive are forgiven and whose sins they retain are retained, clearly willed that the normal means of returning to God’s good grace should be through priestly absolution. Thus, the ordinary way a soul passes from the death of sin to the life of grace is through the Catholic priesthood. Only souls in the state of grace can enter paradise; therefore, God has entrusted the very keys of Heaven to his priests.

The primary goals of a Traditional Catholic Seminary and the primary goals of the N.O. seminary in So Flo. summaries the difference between the New Theology and The Traditional Theology.

At Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary there remains a real continuity of faith and praxis while the continuity slogan for the seminary in So, Flo, could be Everything is different, nothing has changed

The CoE will never find any recruits at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary

William said...

The Anglican Archbishops’ ruling was certainly unnecessary and unwise, as well as ultra vires; but I don’t believe it can bear the weight you place upon it. The facts given here are only half the story; and the other half, in my opinion, is at least as interesting. For while the clergy have been (illicitly) barred from celebrating the Eucharist in church, they have nevertheless been urged to continue offering the Eucharist in their own homes, even in the absence of any laity. Has this ever before been known in the C of E? Moreover the Archbishops explicitly encouraged a daily Eucharist “if it is your practice”. Far from a lessening of the centrality of the Eucharist, both of these things seem to me to indicate greater weight being placed upon it; and in particular it being seen not merely as a means of providing Holy Communion to the people, but rather the Offering being of value in its own right. (No doubt the theology involved will take a little while to catch up with the practice, but this is hardly unknown in Church history.)

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear William

I had not seen reported the advice you cite ... I take your word for it. And your conclusion is a fair one

Unknown said...

Is an English-only speaking Deacon-wannabe w/poor 2nd language proclivities considered a veritable non-starter during this current American epoch?