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Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: StuartK] #340503 01/02/10 11:44 AM
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Fr Serge Keleher Offline
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The Bishop is the "ordinary minister" of everything, but over the centuries most of the services have passed to the presbyters. The Latin Bishops have clung to Confirmation, since it's almost all they have left. Nowadays, even that is passing to the presbyters. That will leave ordinations, for which a bishop is indispensable. [There are some slight bits of evidence of the Popes authorizing ordinations by a presbyter in cases when a bishop absolutely could not be obtained. Some theologians insist that in giving such an authorization, a pope would exceed his authority.]

Fr. Serge

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: Fr Serge Keleher] #340504 01/02/10 11:52 AM
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StuartK Offline
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Once Latin bishops have authorized presbyters to administer the rite of confirmation, there is no excuse for not restoring all three of the sacraments of initiation to their original order; neither is there any excuse for not restoring infant communion, other than fear of the wrath of innumerable mothers, grandmothers and aunties who dearly love to dress up the little ones and take pictures--that, and the ignorance of too many priests and bishops who do not know the development of their own Tradition.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: Dr. Eric] #340518 01/02/10 04:48 PM
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The big issue is routinely administering the sacraments in the wrong order and the confusion in theology conveyed by the practice.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: CRW] #340521 01/02/10 06:54 PM
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Precisely. And the Orthodox are correct in being concerned, though I do not see it as a "deal breaker", insofar as the Latin Church is aware of the issue and is working to correct it. After all, it's not as if the Orthodox have stuck to their guns regarding all of the sacraments, particularly marriage (i.e., the widespread belief that second marriages are, or even can be, considered sacramental; and the removal of marriage from its proper Eucharistic context). Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: StuartK] #340522 01/02/10 07:28 PM
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Fortunately, in the diocese of Portland, Maine, Bishop Richard Malone has delegated this role to the officiating priest at the Paschal Vigil Liturgy. Adults, having been prepared, are baptized, chrismated, and receive the Eucharist at this Liturgy every year. In the west, there is so much maudlin sentimentality surrounding these rites for children that I think it will take years before the laity will accept readily any changes, but they will come. Whenever I attend a Latin rite Mass I go to receive communion with my hands crossed in the eastern manner. Truth be told. Recently I observed the first communicants at this parish approach the Eucharist with their little hands crossed! I smiled and nudged my eastern Catholic wife. On the otherhand, I think it is important not to develop a religiously correct (call that RC) Phariseeism. Have patience, the west may eventually get it right. Fr. Aidan is correct. They really do need the east. Many just don't know it yet.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: Utroque] #340523 01/02/10 07:40 PM
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aramis Offline
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Utroque:
the OF Sacramentary approved by Rome specifies all pastors have the faculty to confirm individuals received into the church at the Easter Vigil, by virtue of being pastor. Only outside this is a specific faculty required. It's not Bishop Malone's doing. It's simply the Latin Way...

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: aramis] #340525 01/02/10 08:09 PM
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Sure. The Pope baptizes, confirms and communicates adults immediately at Easter. It is usually transmitted on TV.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: PeterPeter] #340526 01/02/10 08:47 PM
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Yet the ancient sacramentaries make no distinction between adult and infant catechumens. Up to the 12th century, all received the three sacraments at one time.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: StuartK] #340527 01/02/10 08:51 PM
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Apart from being "ancient custom" - why is it so important?

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: PeterPeter] #340529 01/02/10 09:35 PM
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Because Christ himself said that unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. In short, reception of the Eucharist is essential for salvation, and the Fathers of both the East and West said as much. Beyond that, the Eucharist is the seal of all the sacraments, and is in fact the sacrament of the Church by which it demonstrates its earthly unity and its unity with Christ. Those who have not received the Eucharist are not full members of the Body of Christ.

Moreover, the Fathers were also clear, as was the practice of the Church, that both baptism (symbolizing death to the world and new life in Christ) and Chrismation (reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit) were essential preconditions for reception of the Eucharist, which is the culmination of the rites of initiation. If you think about it, the Latin Church has no right to deny the Eucharist to our infant children, who have received all the sacraments of initiation, while we routinely extend the Chalice to their children and adolescents, who have not yet been confirmed.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: StuartK] #340532 01/02/10 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
Because Christ himself said that unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. In short, reception of the Eucharist is essential for salvation, and the Fathers of both the East and West said as much. Beyond that, the Eucharist is the seal of all the sacraments, and is in fact the sacrament of the Church by which it demonstrates its earthly unity and its unity with Christ. Those who have not received the Eucharist are not full members of the Body of Christ.


It is possible to be saved without receiving Holy Communion, as it is the case of baptized infants. You're "member enough" to be saved. The concept of being "not a full member" is new to me.

Originally Posted by StuartK
Moreover, the Fathers were also clear, as was the practice of the Church, that both baptism (symbolizing death to the world and new life in Christ) and Chrismation (reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit) were essential preconditions for reception of the Eucharist, which is the culmination of the rites of initiation.


Maybe they were, although the Church Fathers are not necessarily infallible. But the custom is now different. This would mean that the Church is engaged in sinful practice concerning essential, sacramental matters, for hundreds of years. For me it seems somehow contrary to the guidance of Holy Spirit.

Originally Posted by StuartK
If you think about it, the Latin Church has no right to deny the Eucharist to our infant children, who have received all the sacraments of initiation, while we routinely extend the Chalice to their children and adolescents, who have not yet been confirmed.


For the sake of not causing scandal at least the Latin practice seems to be justified.

I'm in no position to pass judgement on Church practices but somehow I find the notion that when something was exercised in the first millenium it must be "right" while the practice of second millenium is "wrong" also contrary to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I think the Church was equally stricken by disasters in the first millenium as it is today.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: PeterPeter] #340536 01/02/10 11:10 PM
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It is possible to be saved without receiving Holy Communion, as it is the case of baptized infants. You're "member enough" to be saved. The concept of being "not a full member" is new to me.


Not to the Fathers, though. To be a full member of the Church, one must receive all three sacraments of initiation--that is the Tradition of the undivided Church. The case of infants--or adults--baptized while near death is the exception, not the rule. To elevate the exception to the rule smacks of minimalism.

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Maybe they were, although the Church Fathers are not necessarily infallible.


So, the Fathers were wrong, and so was the Latin Church for its first 1200 years?

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This would mean that the Church is engaged in sinful practice concerning essential, sacramental matters, for hundreds of years. For me it seems somehow contrary to the guidance of Holy Spirit.


Stuff happens. In this matter, you happen to disagree with the Latin Church itself, and with the Second Vatican Council, which called for restoration of the integrity of the sacraments of initiation.

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For the sake of not causing scandal at least the Latin practice seems to be justified.


Who should be more scandalized? Those whose actions prevent the fully initiated from receiving what is theirs by right of adoption? Or those who impose their own innovative usage upon another Church that has not deviated from the original Tradition?

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I'm in no position to pass judgement on Church practices but somehow I find the notion that when something was exercised in the first millenium it must be "right" while the practice of second millenium is "wrong" also contrary to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I think the Church was equally stricken by disasters in the first millenium as it is today.


The Catholic Church--and the Orthodox Church, for that matter--believes that the Church of the first millennium is normative because it was the undivided Church. They may disagree about certain aspects or interpretations, but on the essentials there is full agreement.


Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: PeterPeter] #340538 01/02/10 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: StuartK
Moreover, the Fathers were also clear, as was the practice of the Church, that both baptism (symbolizing death to the world and new life in Christ) and Chrismation (reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit) were essential preconditions for reception of the Eucharist, which is the culmination of the rites of initiation.

Maybe they were, although the Church Fathers are not necessarily infallible. But the custom is now different. This would mean that the Church is engaged in sinful practice concerning essential, sacramental matters, for hundreds of years. For me it seems somehow contrary to the guidance of Holy Spirit.


PeterPeter:

Perhaps you're not aware that the presetn practice of the Latin Church that allows for children to receive Holy Communion before being confirmed is of relatively recent origin. It will only be 100 years this year that Pope St. Pius X granted an indult for this practice to the Latin Church. Prior to that, people did not receive until they were confirmed and that came at about the age of 12 or 13. One of my family members was able to relate that this had been her case in the latter part of the 19th century.

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This would mean that the Church is engaged in sinful practice concerning essential, sacramental matters, for hundreds of years.


Not sinful; not hundreds of years.

BOB

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: theophan] #340539 01/03/10 12:37 AM
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The intention of Pope Pius was, ironically, to return to the patristic practice of frequent communion by allowing children who reached "the age of reason" to receive communion even though confirmation was usually deferred until age 12 or so; he did so by making the "age of reason" the floor at which children became covered by the precept of going to confession and receiving communion at least once per year.

The Latin Church never said that infant communion was not efficacious, only unnecessary. As Father Robert Taft pointed out ("Liturgy in the Life of the Church"), it could not do so without undermining the basis for infant baptism, since the arguments were the same in both cases.

In some parts of the world, infant communion in the Latin Church persisted until quite recently, though I do not know the historical reason for this failure to adopt the practice observed elsewhere.

Re: Paper by Aidan Nichols, O.P. [Re: StuartK] #340563 01/03/10 02:59 PM
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Who should be more scandalized? Those whose actions prevent the fully initiated from receiving what is theirs by right of adoption? Or those who impose their own innovative usage upon another Church that has not deviated from the original Tradition?


When I go to an Eastern Church I don't insist on receiving Holy Communion kneeling. As to the imposition, the Eastern Churches are self-governing. The UGCC clergy tells me "we have our own Church and our own traditions which are not necessarily like the Orthodox".

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It will only be 100 years this year that Pope St. Pius X granted an indult for this practice to the Latin Church. Prior to that, people did not receive until they were confirmed and that came at about the age of 12 or 13.


Actually it has been introduced as a rule, not an indult. I was aware of Quam singulari, but I thought that confirmation was even more delayed before 1910.

But why St. Pius X has not ordered confirmation to take place before the Holy Communion altogether?

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