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Role of the Catholic Church

Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

Role of the Catholic Church - 02/27/13 05:18 AM

As many of you know, I am quite active on the various Orthodox discussion groups, ranging from metanoia to hard core polemical sites. In perusing the boards today, I came across this comment from one of the more frequent posters on that particular board:

" The Roman Church has been the bulwark against evil in the world. We Orthodox are (or should be) the bulwark for Rome. I don’t think we Orthodox realize how much our Latin brothers look to us for steadiness. Our liturgical integrity is a big part that."

My question is, is this true?
Posted By: Roman Interloper

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 02/27/13 09:25 PM

Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
As many of you know, I am quite active on the various Orthodox discussion groups, ranging from metanoia to hard core polemical sites. In perusing the boards today, I came across this comment from one of the more frequent posters on that particular board:

" The Roman Church has been the bulwark against evil in the world. We Orthodox are (or should be) the bulwark for Rome. I don’t think we Orthodox realize how much our Latin brothers look to us for steadiness. Our liturgical integrity is a big part that."

My question is, is this true?



I think the first idea--that the Catholic Church stands as a bulwark against evil in the modern world--is true (not that many of its members aren't contributing to that evil from time to time).

As to the assertion that Roman Catholics look to the Orthodox to keep them straight, I don't think so. I think the vast majority of Catholics (at least Latin Rite Catholics) rarely, if ever, consider the Orthodox Church at all, much less do they look to her for guidance and strength.

Should we? Yes, I think Roman Catholics should be much, much more aware of our Orthodox sister Churches; there is a great deal we can learn from them, to be sure. But do Catholics, by and large, look to the Orthodox as an example? No, I don't think so.

That having been said, are there sensitive, educated, and informed Catholics and Catholic prelates who are keenly aware of Orthodoxy's capacity to positively influence Catholicism? Yes, certainly. There can be no denying that.

Posted By: Booth

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 02/27/13 11:06 PM

At least around here, Latins are unfortunately not very aware of Orthodoxy (or Eastern Catholicism).

Low-church Protestantism is viewed as either the primary competition, or as the primary model on how to "be American."

Sometimes intra-Latin Catholic polemics will cite the experience of Eastern Christianity ... either dishonestly cherry-picked by modernists, or more accurately cherry-picked by traditionalists.

In fairness, the relationship between Orthodoxy and Catholicism is much more complicated than between Protestantism and Catholicism - and it appears much more foreign (even though it's not) - so it's likely just too much of a head-scratcher for your average busy Mass-goer with a job and family.

Same with Eastern Catholicism. I know some people (Latin Catholic and Protestant) who can't wrap their heads around the idea that my parish is Catholic.
Posted By: Administrator

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 02/27/13 11:19 PM

I would say it depends on who you ask.

I agree with RI that the average Roman Catholic layman in North America is only vaguely aware of the existance of the Orthodox Church.

I would say that one needs to discern a bit more deeply. Those in Rome who sometimes feel as if the Catholic Church stands alone against evil in the world do see the Orthodox Church as a powerful ally in the fight against evil.

As to liturgical integrity being the steadfastness of Orthodoxy, I would agree. But I'm not sure that many in Rome would have considered this.
Posted By: theophan

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 02/28/13 12:28 AM

[quote]"The Roman Church has been the bulwark against evil in the world. We Orthodox are (or should be) the bulwark for Rome. I don’t think we Orthodox realize how much our Latin brothers look to us for steadiness. Our liturgical integrity is a big part that."

My question is, is this true? [/quote]

Alexandr:

I have to agree with the posters who mention the average Mass-goer, the average RC in the pew. However, I've had the opportunity to talk with many clergy over the course of my career and I have to say that they have a great appreciation for our brothers in the Orthodox Church and for the reasons cited. For those who have taken the time to think about the situation they find themselves in, the witness and the fact of Orthodoxy seems to be something that they appreciate even when they don't really know how a practical way to common witness would work. Our younger clergy seem to have a greater appreciation of this--in my limited experience--and the seminary professors I've known have at least a greater understanding of how the ecumenical atmosphere has opened us to consider things in more than the usual Reformation/Counter Reformation categories that dominated the thinking until a few years ago. I think with the current celebration of the 50 years of the Vatican Council we are getting a greater understanding of what this meeting actually said and the fact that much of Western Protestantism is becoming something that can never be reconciled with the Apostolic Faith is making an examination of the Christian East a greater priority. But things, as always, are glacially slow to percolate down to the pews.

Then there are the hard-core who are still talking aobut bringing everyone "under the Pope" and I get ready to throw up my hands and give up.

Bob
Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 02/28/13 05:17 AM

From my dealings here on ByzCath, I know many here understand this and would agree with the quote posted. But from what I have observed, it seems that most RC bishops, (and a few EC bishops!) are still products of the "hippie" school of liturgical thought, and feel, as one Jesuit priest put it so succinctly to me, that the Orthodox Church is "trapped in superstition, weeping icons and blind ritual" Other than Pope Benedict, a few conservative bishops and those from Eastern Europe, I can't see where any of the RC bishops, especially in America, so much as give us a second thought.
Posted By: 8IronBob

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 02/28/13 09:57 PM

Well. If one is fortunate enough to live in a diverse area of the United States where there are just as many Eastern Rite Catholic parishes and Orthodox Churches as there are RC parishes, etc... like I do, then that's when curiosity of the other Rite and other Churches starts to kick in. I felt this curiosity when I was younger, to be sure. Wondering what the Eastern Rite did differently, and what the differences in sacramental traditions were between the Latin and Eastern Church. I only wish that others would have this curiosity. It would certainly keep the Catholic Church as a whole alive. Wish I could have tried harder to get other brethren to follow my lead, but hey...
Posted By: melkite

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/01/13 04:37 AM

Parma has as many eastern parishes as western ones? Is there anywhere else in they country where we are so well represented?
Posted By: Roman Interloper

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/01/13 05:23 PM

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"Our liturgical integrity is a big part of that."


Focusing on only that much of the remark, I would like to say that I wish that were the case. I wish that the Roman Catholic Church, currently faced with the issue of straightening out decades of liturgical deformity, would look Eastward for guidance in that regard, rather than backwards to her own practices just before the Council, as if all was well before the 1960s hit.

The truth of the matter is that the Latin Rite was quite deformed back then, too, only in rather different ways. Unfortunately, however, when considering the matter of the so-called "reform of the reform" of the liturgy of the Roman Rite, we only seem able to look behind us, in the manner of the "traditionalists", as if all that is old-fashioned or previous is good. And so many have decided that what is older is better, even when it clearly isn't, simply because it's older (which is largely on account of the fact that RC "traditionalists" don't know liturgy from a lampshade).

So you have on the one hand the "traditionalists" who think reform lies in simply turning back the clock. On the other hand there are the "progressivists" who seem to be under the impression that endless innovation is the only way to keep the liturgy vital (clearly they're unable to see how boring their "vitality" is to the rest of us).

If the Roman Catholic Church were to look, neither to the past, nor to the Left for guidance in "reforming the reform" and instead looked Eastward, she would find plenty of inspiration for a better way of revitalizing her liturgy while at the same time maintaining tradition and sacrality.

And let me state for the record that I don't suggest an "Easternization" of Western liturgy, as if we ought to begin erecting iconostases in front of our sanctuaries and putting bells on our thuribles. That isn't what I mean. I simply mean to suggest that in the ancient liturgies preserved by the Eastern Church there are maintained timeless and universal liturgical structures and traditions that would be instructive as regards liturgical reform in the West. The Eastern liturgies are magnificent, not because they are Eastern, but because they are integral, traditional, and universal in character. This is what the Western Church needs to recapture with respect to her own liturgy.

Is the liturgical integrity of the Orthodox Church currently a guide for the Latin Church? Alas, no, not presently. The better question to ask is should she be, and it seems to me the answer is a most enthusiastic "yes."
Posted By: RussianCath

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/02/13 05:54 PM

Slavipodvizhnik,
yes, I would agree with you that most Roman bishops are in the "hippie" school of thought with regards to Liturgy, but, thankfully, Pope Benedict has begun a trend away from this.

Also, Brother in Christ, Roman Interloper, please do not presume to speak for traditionalist Catholics when you criticize them all for being no-nothings-I know for a fact that this is not true, knowing many myself. Some unfortunately, are like that, but NOT all. (If the Roman hierarchs would have actually taken the time to teach the faithful what is and what is not acceptable liturgical reform according to the tradition of the Church, and done what was really necessary, slowly, instead of the wholesale sacking of a holy & venerable rite of Western Liturgy, they WOULD have been trusted by the trad.faithful, and we wouldn't have half the problems of today).

If you wish to criticize both the Roman Traditionalists and the old Roman Liturgy for its "deformity", the Divine Liturgy of St. Peter, please be fair and criticize the Russian Old Believers as well, who are also devoted to their old, "deformed" liturgy-and in some places even kept alive the use of the "deformed" Roman Canon in the Russian Old Rite-or, criticize the Armenians, who love the additions that came to their Liturgy from the Roman practice.

The Roman Canon is ancient, the prayers surrounding it are beautiful and raise one to God, no matter how "recent" they are in Church history compared to some prayers in the Eastern Liturgies. The Roman Mass has been instumental in "making" saints by the droves in the Western Church for centuries-it is holy, grace filled, and gives glory to God. It is pleasing to God and has helped souls to him-it does not have to be eastern to be acceptable, it is the fruit of western holiness.

If the old Roman Rite needs to change some things to help the faithful-all I can really think of is going to some vernacular, elimination of private devotions during Mass, elimination of silent low masses to said "dialogue" Masses (as, even parts of the East had-Manjava Skete in Ukraine & among the Coptic Desert Fathers) & sung Masses-then great, but the essence of the Roman Liturgy has no need of reform as, it is not "deformed" as you assert.

I've attended old Roman "High Mass" many times in my life and was nothing short of impressed by the attentiveness, devotion, and ACTIVE participation of the faithful, all singing the Liturgy together-it was just like the faithful singing the Liturgy together in a fervent eastern church. I said to myself, no wonder there was such stubborn opposition to the supression of this rite when the Novus Ordo came out.

I often hear critisism after critisism of tradtional Catholics for their ignorance, lack of liturgical spirit, etc...and nothing but praise for Eastern Catholics & Orthodox-yet, having done the Church rounds myself, I OFTEN find what everyone is criticizing the trad. Romans for, the Easterners are doing as well and worse. I've seen everthing from faithful totally ignoring what was going on in the Liturgy due to having to light 5 million candles(I'm exaggerating of course) and venerating EVERY icon in the Church, to standing or sitting absolutely silent and not muttering the slightest response to anything the priest has sung, letting the choir do EVERYTHING, to sitting down in a corner of the Church for a "chat" about how life is treating you right as the priest is about to distribute the Holy Mysteries-this last was in a ROCOR church too, I couldn't believe it!

So, please, don't be so quick to criticise-we ALL need reform in some ways, and perhaps some more beautiful prayers can be added to the Roman Liturgy in the future (I wish the Monogenes Hymn would be added!), but the Roman Liturgy is still after all these centuries nourishing the Roman faithful-don't fix what ain't broke.
Posted By: Otsheylnik

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/03/13 02:03 AM

The main "deformity" of the "traditional" Roman rite is it's lack of an explicit epiclesis. This has affected the traditional rite in many and profound ways, because it shifted the emphasis from the Holy Spirit to the priest - in short, it put the emphasis on a man. This emphasis on a man in place of the Persons of the Trinity is uniquely western and is the emphasis from which most of its more problematic areas come. Communion under both kinds for priest only, the priest assuming the role of deacon, lack of concelebration etc. All the problematic areas of the "traditional" Roman rite come from the exaltation of the minister in the place of He whose minister he is.
Posted By: Booth

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/03/13 12:34 PM

Quote
I've attended old Roman "High Mass" many times in my life and was nothing short of impressed by the attentiveness, devotion, and ACTIVE participation of the faithful, all singing the Liturgy together-it was just like the faithful singing the Liturgy together in a fervent eastern church.


In my unlearned opinion, if there is one thing that the Latin Church should take from the East it is sung liturgy. One presumes it was more common in the earlier ages.

Not only does it make the experience more powerful than spoken liturgy, but it imbues reverence, and also makes it much tougher to monkey with the liturgy.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/03/13 01:44 PM

Quote
The main "deformity" of the "traditional" Roman rite is it's lack of an explicit epiclesis. This has affected the traditional rite in many and profound ways, because it shifted the emphasis from the Holy Spirit to the priest - in short, it put the emphasis on a man.


This is a load of manure. If the Latins slandered the Orthodox by insisting the latter had removed the Filioque from the Creed, then the Orthodox continually slander the Latins over the alleged "lack" of an explicit descending Epiclesis. In fact, the Roman Canon never had an Epiclesis, for the simple reason it predates the pneumatological controversies that made inclusion of one essential in the Christian East. Even then, the Assyrian Church, whose Liturgy of Addai and Mari predates both the Old Roman and the Byzantine rite, not only lacks an explicit Epiclesis but also an institution narrative.

As Archimandrite Robert Taft and other liturgical historians have demonstrated, this is not a "deficiency", merely a reflection of the development of liturgy in each particular Tradition. Moreover, the more ancient liturgies reflect the patristic view that the entire Anaphora--indeed, the whole Eucharistic Liturgy--is a single, unfolding consecratory act, in which invocation of the Spirit may be either explicit (a concise formula) or distributed throughout the Anaphora. This is in fact the case with the Roman Canon, in which the Holy Spirit is indeed invoked in a distributed manner, just as the words of institution are invoked in a similar manner in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari.

The claim that this lack of Epiclesis "shifted" the emphasis in the Roman rite to the celebrant is also hogwash. That was much more a development of the medieval clericalization of the liturgy (through the development of "private Mass" then of the "low Mass") than of any pneumatological deficiency of the Roman Canon. That, and the retention of Latin as the exclusive liturgical language long after it ceased to be the lingua vulgaris in the West, are what reduced the people to passive spectators at the Mass.

Let's not forget that the Byzantine Churches were not immune from similar influences. The silent recitation of the public prayers of the Anaphora, and above all, the introduction of composed choral music into the Slavic Churches under Russian influence in the 17th-18th centuries, as well as the retention of Church Slavonic and liturgical Greek, have similarly alienated the people from the Liturgy in many Orthodox Churches, rendering them just as much passive observers as were the people at the Tridentine Mass of the 1950s.
Posted By: Lawrence

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/03/13 01:47 PM


I'm going to make an extremely controversial statement here, and for that reason I will invite posters to do their own online research or else pm me for additional information, because I wouldn't want to see this get out of control, but in the last 10 years or less I've noticed a phenomenon within Traditionalist Catholic circles in America, and that is a growing minority that is increasingly Pro-Russian. To keep it simple, the belief is that Russia is becoming more Christian while most of the world's developed nations are becoming intensely anti-Christian. While it's true there are also Traditionalists who consider Russia anti-Catholic. The group I referred to see's Orthodox Russia as definitely headed in the right direction.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/03/13 06:01 PM

Actually, Russia is becoming more "traditionalist", in the sense of nostalgically longing for a vanished (and generally non-existent) past; this appeals to the sensibility of Latin traditionalists, who likewise long for a vanished (and generally non-existent) past; this allows them to overlook the reality of life in Russia today, which is generally the antithesis of Christian.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/03/13 08:03 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
The main "deformity" of the "traditional" Roman rite is it's lack of an explicit epiclesis. This has affected the traditional rite in many and profound ways, because it shifted the emphasis from the Holy Spirit to the priest - in short, it put the emphasis on a man.


This is a load of manure. If the Latins slandered the Orthodox by insisting the latter had removed the Filioque from the Creed, then the Orthodox continually slander the Latins over the alleged "lack" of an explicit descending Epiclesis.

We know that the filioque wasn't in the Creed when the Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council-the one which dealt with all those "pneumatological controversies"-set their seal on it.

Originally Posted by StuartK

In fact, the Roman Canon never had an Epiclesis

An assertion, and not a dispositive one at that.
Originally Posted by StuartK

for the simple reason it predates the pneumatological controversies that made inclusion of one essential in the Christian East. Even then, the Assyrian Church, whose Liturgy of Addai and Mari predates both the Old Roman and the Byzantine rite, not only lacks an explicit Epiclesis but also an institution narrative.

They have a history of revering texts by not saying them, to the point that they drop out (sort of like the Jews and YHWH)

Originally Posted by StuartK

As Archimandrite Robert Taft and other liturgical historians have demonstrated

whistle
Originally Posted by StuartK

this is not a "deficiency", merely a reflection of the development of liturgy in each particular Tradition. Moreover, the more ancient liturgies reflect the patristic view that the entire Anaphora--indeed, the whole Eucharistic Liturgy--is a single, unfolding consecratory act, in which invocation of the Spirit may be either explicit (a concise formula) or distributed throughout the Anaphora. This is in fact the case with the Roman Canon, in which the Holy Spirit is indeed invoked in a distributed manner, just as the words of institution are invoked in a similar manner in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari.

The claim that this lack of Epiclesis "shifted" the emphasis in the Roman rite to the celebrant is also hogwash. That was much more a development of the medieval clericalization of the liturgy (through the development of "private Mass" then of the "low Mass") than of any pneumatological deficiency of the Roman Canon. That, and the retention of Latin as the exclusive liturgical language long after it ceased to be the lingua vulgaris in the West, are what reduced the people to passive spectators at the Mass.

Let's not forget that the Byzantine Churches were not immune from similar influences. The silent recitation of the public prayers of the Anaphora, and above all, the introduction of composed choral music into the Slavic Churches under Russian influence in the 17th-18th centuries, as well as the retention of Church Slavonic and liturgical Greek, have similarly alienated the people from the Liturgy in many Orthodox Churches, rendering them just as much passive observers as were the people at the Tridentine Mass of the 1950s.

Much of this last part if unfortunately true enough.
Posted By: Otsheylnik

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/03/13 09:56 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK

This is a load of manure. If the Latins slandered the Orthodox by insisting the latter had removed the Filioque from the Creed, then the Orthodox continually slander the Latins over the alleged "lack" of an explicit descending Epiclesis. In fact, the Roman Canon never had an Epiclesis, for the simple reason it predates the pneumatological controversies that made inclusion of one essential in the Christian East.


This version of events disagrees with my understanding. Even the old Catholic Encyclopedia admits that the epiclesis was removed, as do Fortescue, etc.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05502a.htm

Quote
Even then, the Assyrian Church, whose Liturgy of Addai and Mari predates both the Old Roman and the Byzantine rite, not only lacks an explicit Epiclesis but also an institution narrative.


1. The lack of institution narrative is neither here nor there, since the East regards the epiclesis as more important.
2. The Chalcedonian Churches are not in communion with the Assyrians either.
3. Adai and Mari does have an epiclesis.
"And may there come, o my Lord, thine Holy Spirit and rest upon this offering of thy servants and bless it and hallow it that it be to us, o my Lord, for the pardon of offences and the remission of sins and for the great hope of resurrection from the dead and for new life in the kingdom of heaven with all those who have been wellpleasing in thy sight."

Quote
As Archimandrite Robert Taft and other liturgical historians have demonstrated, this is not a "deficiency", merely a reflection of the development of liturgy in each particular Tradition. Moreover, the more ancient liturgies reflect the patristic view that the entire Anaphora--indeed, the whole Eucharistic Liturgy--is a single, unfolding consecratory act, in which invocation of the Spirit may be either explicit (a concise formula) or distributed throughout the Anaphora. This is in fact the case with the Roman Canon, in which the Holy Spirit is indeed invoked in a distributed manner, just as the words of institution are invoked in a similar manner in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari.


I've heard that argument before. I don't know if I buy it, it seems a little too much of one of the semantic debates Rome gets into to defend the indefensible.

Quote
Let's not forget that the Byzantine Churches were not immune from similar influences. The silent recitation of the public prayers of the Anaphora, and above all, the introduction of composed choral music into the Slavic Churches under Russian influence in the 17th-18th centuries, as well as the retention of Church Slavonic and liturgical Greek, have similarly alienated the people from the Liturgy in many Orthodox Churches, rendering them just as much passive observers as were the people at the Tridentine Mass of the 1950s.


I don't agree with any of this. Firstly, Churches that use traditional languages like Slavonic and latin have far better attendance records, particularly amongst youth, than those that use English. Secondly, your assertion that the anaphora was meant to be done aloud is tenuous - in the Coptic rite as well as Byzantine the priest's prayers are explicitly secret prayers. Thirdly, the assumption that you have to be doing something physically to be participating is crazy (prayer, anyone?).
Posted By: JBenedict

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/03/13 11:08 PM

Even the old Catholic Encyclopedia admits that the epiclesis was removed, as do Fortescue, etc.

That encyclopedia article is BY Fortescue, so you've only cited one author.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/04/13 04:18 AM

Quote
This version of events disagrees with my understanding.


Time to get up to date. It is unfortunate that some Orthodox fail to give "ecumenical scholarship its due, but instead persist in tired old polemics.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/04/13 04:20 AM

To my myriad critics:

In liturgy, as in most other things, it would seem it isn't what you don't know that gets you in trouble, it's what you do know that isn't true.
Posted By: Otsheylnik

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/04/13 10:42 AM

I did know the encyclopedia article was written by Fortescue but thought it not neccessary to go into detail about something which is just simply fact. However, since papal references to the epiclesis of the early Roman rite appear to be insufficient proof (of what exactly? The scandalous accusation that things change over time?), Congar, Dix, Parsch are some scholars who think the ROman rite did have one.

The sole argument of those modern scholars who think it never did seems to be that it is unfair to assume that the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus constitutes the prototype of the Roman rite since there is a gap in documentary evidence between that and the Canon sans epiclesis. Arguing that an absence of evidence constitutes a positive argument in their favour, particularly in the context of evidence that would seem to contradict it (Gelasius I's Quomodo etc.) is a peculiarly Roman kind of argument I find unconvincing.

Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/04/13 09:49 PM

Archimandrite Robert Taft on the Epiclesis Question, from Liturgy in the Life of the Church (1999)

Quote
The Epiclesis Question

First, the Epiclesis question. The Eastern anaphoras follow the Words of Institution (“this is my body, this is my blood”) with an explicitly consecratory petition to the Holy Spirit. As early as the 3rd/4th centuries, the Holy Spirit epiclesis, in its most explicitly consecratory sense as a petition to change the gifts, had evolved peacefully in the Eucharistic theology of the Christian East in the classic patristic period, long before any East-West dispute over the question.

[Footnote: The earliest 3rd/4th century witness to the explicitly consecratory Spirit epiclesis are Cyril/John II of Jerusalem, Catechesis 5.7; Theodore of Mopsuetia, Homily 16: the Apostolic Constitutions VIII, and the oldest Eastern anaphoras still in use today.]

What do these texts mean? They mean what they say. It is axiomatic in contemporary liturgical theology to distinguish between theologia prima and theologia secunda. Theologia prima, first-level theology, is the faith in the life of the Church antecedent to speculative questioning of its theoretical implications, prior to its systematization in the dogmatic propositions of theologia secunda or systematic reflection on the lived mystery of the Church. Liturgical language, the language of theologia prima, is typological, metaphorical, more redolent of Bible and prayer than of school and thesis, more patristic than scholastic, more impressionistic than systematic, more suggestive than probative. In a word, it is symbolic and evocative, not philosophical and ontological. Now, although it is perfectly obvious, indeed necessary, that doctrine will acquire theological refinements, especially in the heat of dogmatic controversy, it should be equally obvious that such refinements cannot be read back into texts composed long before the problems arose that led to those precisions. And since one must reject any attempt to press the texts beyond what they can bear, the most one can say is that of themselves, the anaphoral texts surrounding the institution and epiclesis in the Eastern anaphoras or in the Roman Canon neither confirm nor exclude any particular theological thesis about when or by what particular part of the anaphoral prayer the consecration is effected.

If we look to Orthodox theologia secunda on the Eucharistic consecration as reflected in the most representative of the Eastern Father and theologians, we see what one would expect: a theology, which in unbroken continuity from the fourth century, is perfectly consistent with the obvious meaning of the Eastern Eucharistic prayers. From Chrysostom onward, saints venerated in the East and West have held the doctrine most clearly formulated in the 8th century by St. John Damascene, “last of the Greek Fathers” (ca. 675-753-54), in his De fide orthodoxa: “God said, ‘This is My Body’ and ‘This is My Blood’, and ‘Do this in remembrance of Me’. And by his all-powerful command it is done until He comes. For that is what He said, until He should come, and the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit becomes, through the invocation [i.e., the epiclesis], the rain of this new tillage”.

This is the classic Orthodox teaching: the power of the consecration comes from the words of Christ, the divine mandate which guarantees the Eucharistic conversion for all time. But the epiclesis of the Holy Spirit is the decisive liturgical moment, for the Damascene commentary continues, “. . .the bread of the prothesis, the wine and the water, are converted supernaturally into the body of Christ and the blood, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit”.

The pristine Latin theologia prima as expressed in the ancient Roman Canon Missae has a different but not totally dissimilar movement. The Roman Canon does not first recite the Institution Narrative then formulate its meaning in an epiclesis. Rather, it imbeds the Verba Domini in a series of discrete prayers for the sanctification and acceptance of the oblation (which, theologically, are of course the same thing). Now some of these prayers even before the Words of Institution speak of the bread and wine in terms that can only refer to the Body and Blood of Christ; and conversely, after the Words of Institution refer to them in a way that could seem to imply the gifts are not yet consecrated.

Only the wooden-headed literalist totally innocent of the proleptic and reflexive nature of liturgical discourse could find anything surprising about this. Such seeming contradictions—and similar appearing contradictions can be found in the Fathers of the Church who comment on the Eucharistic prayer—result from the fact that before the Middle Ages, nobody tried to identify a “moment of consecration” apart from the anaphoral prayer over the gifts in its entirety. No less an authority on the Roman Eucharist than Joseph-Andreass Jungmann, SJ, sums up the original common tradition of the undivided Church as follows: “In general,, Christian antiquity, even until way into the Middle Ages, manifested no particular interest regarding the determination of the precise moment of the consecration. Often reference was made to the entire Eucharistic prayer”.

This is the true ancient tradition of the Latin Fathers and theologians. In his De officiis eccelesiae, I, 15, Isidore of Seville (ca. 560-636), says that the consecration occurs in the Canon by the power of the Holy Spirit. Isidore is commonly considered the “last of the Latin Fathers”, so right through to the end of the patristic period, the view was current in Latin as well Greek theology, 1) that the Eucharistic consecration was the work of the Holy Spirit, and 2) that the prayer which affected it was the canon or anaphora, without further specifying one of its component parts as the “form” of the sacrament or the “moment of consecration”. Fulgentius of Ruspe (533) and numerous other early Latin authors teach the same doctrine. Nor is this view different from that of medieval Latin commentators, as we see in Peter Lombard (ca. 1095-1160), John Teutonicus (after 1215), and the Glossa ordinaria ad Decretum Gratiani, which includes the latter text in its anthology, showing how commonly accepted this teaching was.

Note, please, that all these authoritative medival Latin commentators explain the Supplices prayer, which is said after the Words of Institution in the Roman Canon, as a petition to consecrate. In modern times a Catholic classic on the Eucharist, Maurice de la Taille’s Mysterium fidei, also recognizes the Supplices prayer as “a Roman epiclesis that corresponds both in the place it occupies and in its meaning—though not in its external form—to the Eastern epiclesis. This is precisely what the classic 14th century Orthodox Eucharistic commentator Nicholas Kabasilas himself recognized in Chapter 30 of his Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, when he cites the Supplices prayer following the Institution in the Roman Canon as saying basically the same thing as the Byzantine epiclesis.

The later Western narrowing of perspective, ultimately doctrinalized in the scholastic hylomorphic matter-and-form (materia/forma) theory of Eucharistic consecration, contrasts sharply with the theologia prima of the Roman Canon and its earlier Latin interpreters, which views, in turn, were fully cosonant with traditional Orthodox doctrine.

*******

Can the two traditions be reconciled? Much has been made of the fact that, long before the dispute began, John Chrysostom attributes consecratory efficacy both to the Words of Institution and to the Epiclesis. Chrysostom states in at least seven different homilies that what happens in the Eucharist happens by the power of the Holy Spirit, a teaching common to both the Latin and Greek Churches. In at least one instance it is clear that Chrysostom is talking of the epiclesis. But in his Homily on the Betrayal of Judas (De proditione Judae hom), he attributes the consecration to Christ in the Words of Institution.

Nicholas Kabasilas (ca. 1350) and numerous orthodox theologians after him have argued, rightly, that Chrysostom assigns consecratory power not to the priest’s liturgical repetition of Jesus’ words, but to the historical institution itself, i.e., to the original utterance of Jesus whose force extends to all subsequent Eucharistic celebrations. But this is no different from the position of the Latins, who obviously attribute the efficacy of Jesus’ words not to the prayer of the priest, as Kabasilas accuses them, but to the indefectible effectiveness of the Word of God, as is made perfectly clear in Ambrose, De sacramentis, IV:

Quote
13. to produce the venerable sacrament, the priest does not use his own words, but the words of Christ, so it is the word of Christ which produces this sacrament. 15. Which word of Christ? The one by which all things were made. The Lord commanded and the heavens were made, the Lord commanded and the earth was made, the Lord commanded and the seas were made, the Lord commanded and all creatures were brought into being. You see, then, how effective the word of Christ is. If then, there is such power in the word of the Lord Jesus that things which were not began to be, how much more effective must they be in changing that which already exists into something else!. . . 17. Hear, then, how the word of Christ is accustomed to change all creatures, and to change, when it will, the laws of nature. . .


This is exactly what Chrysostom says: the same Jesus accomplishes the same Eucharist, the same marvels, in the liturgy as in the Last Supper.

So the classic Eastern Orthodox theology of consecration does not attribute the sanctification of the gifts to the Holy Spirit epiclesis alone; i.e., sensu negante, in deliberate exclusion of Jesus and his words. For Nicholas Kabasilas, as for Saints John Chrysostom and John Damascene, therefore, neither epiclesis nor Institution Narrative stands alone: they are interdependent in the context of the anaphora, as we would say today.

Catholic theologians with a modicum of historical knowledge and common sense have long since adopted the same balanced, non-polemical, ironical view. As early as the 17th century, the famous Bossuet (1627-1704) raised his voice in favor of sanity. He says, “without inquiring about precise moments” in this issue,

Quote
The intent of liturgies, and in general, of consecratory prayers, is not to focus our attention on precise moments, but to have us attend to the action in its entirety, and to its complete effect. . . It is to render more vivid what is being done that the Church speaks at each moment as though it were accomplishing the entire action then and there, without asking whether the action as been accomplished, or perhaps is still to be accomplished.


Dom Charles Chardon, OSB, in his Histoire des sacraments (Paris, 1745), expressed a similarly balanced view of the situation:

Quote
Despite this diversity [over the form or moment of the consecration] there was formerly no dispute over this subject. The Greeks and the Latins were convinced that the species [of bread and wine] were changed into the body and blood of our Savior in virtue of the words of the Canon of the Mass, without examining the precise moment at which this change occurred, nor just which of the words [of the anaphora] effected it as over against other [words]. One side said the change was effected by the prayer and invocation of the priest; the others that it was the words of our Lord when he instituted this august sacrament. And they in no way believed that these different ways of expressing themselves were opposed to each other (and indeed they were not, as would be easy to show). But we shall leave that to theologians to treat. . .


Since that time, a steady stream of Catholic theologians have moved toward the view that the formula of eucharistic consecration comprises the prayer over the gifts in its entirety. I do not have the space to list these theologians here—those interested can find their teaching in Vincentian Father John McKenna’s thorough review of the question [Eucharist and the Holy Spirit]. The most recent study by Dom Burkhard Neunheuser, OSB, monk of Maria Lasch, and professor emeritus of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome, furnishes not only the most explicit and emphatic justification of the return to the original tradition of the undivided Church, but also does so with full respect for the traditional Catholic teaching on the centrality of the Words of Institution within the anaphoral context.

As Neunheuser is careful to point out, this renewal is already found reflected in official Catholic magisterial texts in the aftermath of Vatican II. Paragraph 54 of the November 18, 1969 Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, the reformed Roman Missal, says of the Eucharistic Prayer, “Now begins the summit and center of the whole celebration, namely the Eucharistic Prayer itself, that is, the prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. . .” “Sanctification”, of course, means in this context “eucharistic consecration”. The May 25, 1967 Instruction Eucharisticum mysterium reflects the same return to tradition. And Pope Paul VI in his June 18, 1968 Apostolic Constitution Pontificalis Romanni recognitio, does so, too, when he affirms that the “form” of the sacrament is the entire ordination prayer and not some isolated formula within it: “The form. . . consists in the words of the very prayer of consecration”.

This renewal found ecumenical agreement in Part I, Section 6 of the July 1982 Munich Statement of the Orthodox-Catholic Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue: “. . .the Eucharistic mystery is accomplished in the prayer which joins together the words by which the Word made flesh instituted the sacrament and the epiclesis in which the Church, moved by faith, entreats the Father, through the Son, to send the Spirit. . . “ This is reflected most recently in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church (Sec. 1352), which refers to the entire anaphora or eucharistic prayer as “. . . the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration (. . .prex nempe actionis gratiae et consecrationis)”, and says that the consecration is effected “by the force of the words and actions of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit (vis verborum et actionis Christi, et Spiritus Sancti potentia)”.

So the whole undivided Church of East and West held that the Eucharistic gifts were consecrated in the Eucharistic Prayer, even if the theologia prima in the Eucharistic prayers of the East and West expressed this differently as early as the 4th century. The theologia secunda or theological reflection of these prayers in the East and West was also different. The West stressed the Verba Domini, the East stressed the epiclesis while not denying the necessity of the Words of Institution. Problems arose only in the Late Middle Ages when the Latin West unilaterally shifted the perspective by dogmatizing its hylomorphic theology. These points are not theory but demonstrable historical facts. It is now recognized that this Western innovation narrows the early teaching of the undivided Church, and Catholic teaching has for over a century been moving towards recovery of the view that what an earlier theology was pleased to call the “form” of a sacrament is the central prayer of the ritual, and not some single isolated formula. This prayer can be understood and interpreted only within its liturgical context. The Words of Institution are not some magical formula but part of a prayer of the Church operative only within its worship context. In the East and the West, this context was and is and will remain diverse within the parameters of our common faith that Jesus, through the ministers of his Church, nourishes us with the mystery of his Body and Blood.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/04/13 09:52 PM

Just in case this got lost in the shuffle:

Quote
The pristine Latin theologia prima as expressed in the ancient Roman Canon Missae has a different but not totally dissimilar movement. The Roman Canon does not first recite the Institution Narrative then formulate its meaning in an epiclesis. Rather, it imbeds the Verba Domini in a series of discrete prayers for the sanctification and acceptance of the oblation (which, theologically, are of course the same thing). Now some of these prayers even before the Words of Institution speak of the bread and wine in terms that can only refer to the Body and Blood of Christ; and conversely, after the Words of Institution refer to them in a way that could seem to imply the gifts are not yet consecrated.


And, as Taft notes in inimitable fashion,

Quote
Only the wooden-headed literalist totally innocent of the proleptic and reflexive nature of liturgical discourse could find anything surprising about this. Such seeming contradictions—and similar appearing contradictions can be found in the Fathers of the Church who comment on the Eucharistic prayer—result from the fact that before the Middle Ages, nobody tried to identify a “moment of consecration” apart from the anaphoral prayer over the gifts in its entirety.
Posted By: Otsheylnik

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/05/13 01:48 AM

Stuart, the question is not whether Taft believes that the Roman canon has an epicletic character. I know full well that is his position, I know the debates around this, you don't have to present them to me. What you haven't addressed is my central assertion that the Roman rite once had an explicit epiclesis. You have every right to argue that it did and then it took it out and it didn't matter, but you seem to want to deny that this is what happened. I don't understand this - it seems to me to be a done deal.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/05/13 02:13 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
This version of events disagrees with my understanding.


Time to get up to date. It is unfortunate that some Orthodox fail to give "ecumenical scholarship its due, but instead persist in tired old polemics.
most of us have no gusto for revisionism, nor the latest fad and theory.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/05/13 04:32 AM

Most of us apparently prefer pious myth to the truth, but chacun a son gout.
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/05/13 04:36 AM

Quote
You have every right to argue that it did and then it took it out and it didn't matter, but you seem to want to deny that this is what happened.


My argument--and that of every reputable liturgical historian, Orthodox and Catholic--is the Old Roman Rite (the source of the Canon Missae, later carried down into the Romano-Frankish rite and thence to the Tridentine rite) never had an explicit descending epiclesis. So there never was one to remove.

The argument that lack of this or that, or the presence of something else, makes one rite better than another also puts me in mind of Taft's analogy of rite to language: some languages have articles, others don't. Removing articles from those that have them, or adding them to those that don't, doesn't improve anything, but simply causes that language to cease to be itself.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/05/13 05:11 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Most of us apparently prefer pious myth to the truth, but chacun a son gout.

bon appetit! 'though you seemed to go for academic speculation rather than pious myth.

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
You have every right to argue that it did and then it took it out and it didn't matter, but you seem to want to deny that this is what happened.


My argument--and that of every reputable liturgical historian, Orthodox and Catholic--is the Old Roman Rite (the source of the Canon Missae, later carried down into the Romano-Frankish rite and thence to the Tridentine rite) never had an explicit descending epiclesis. So there never was one to remove.

The argument that lack of this or that, or the presence of something else, makes one rite better than another also puts me in mind of Taft's analogy of rite to language: some languages have articles, others don't. Removing articles from those that have them, or adding them to those that don't, doesn't improve anything, but simply causes that language to cease to be itself.

reputable-isn't that a weasal word?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word

Btw, I can't remember which Latin grammarian said Latin didn't need an article. He was proved wrong, of course, in that Late Latin adapted one, and all the Romance languages have them: Romanian in fact has several.
Posted By: ajk

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/05/13 06:38 AM

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
Stuart,... What you haven't addressed is my central assertion that the Roman rite once had an explicit epiclesis. You have every right to argue that it did and then it took it out and it didn't matter, but you seem to want to deny that this is what happened. I don't understand this - it seems to me to be a done deal.
Stuart, to make it clear, you "have every right to argue" Otsheylnik's basic position but not your own because, as Otsheylnik says, it's "a done deal." The real defect, however, lies in the presentation of the premise, the "central assertion" in that it is, simply, an assertion with a list of the undemonstrated woes that are said to follow:
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
The main "deformity" of the "traditional" Roman rite is it's lack of an explicit epiclesis. This has affected the traditional rite ... All the problematic areas of the "traditional" Roman rite come from the exaltation of the minister in the place of He whose minister he is.
I don't expect a disinterested inquiry to result. Consider for instance actual evidence offered for the "done deal" and the opportunity for a (below-the-belt) jab at a "Roman kind of argument":
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
... Arguing that an absence of evidence constitutes a positive argument in their favour, particularly in the context of evidence that would seem to contradict it (Gelasius I's Quomodo etc.) is a peculiarly Roman kind of argument I find unconvincing.
There is of course:
Quote
Gelasius (d. 496) has left a letter to Bishop Elpidius of Volterra in which he poses the question "For how can the heavenly Spirit come who is invoked for the consecration of the divine mystery, if the priest, who calls upon him to be present, stands condemned because he is filled with wicked deeds?"8' This quotation has raised some discussion among scholars. Suffice it to note here that Jungmann82 follows Botte83 in holding that Gelasius does not clearly witness to a Spirit epiclesis. The text of his letter does not postulate anything more explicit than the Quam oblationem of the Roman Canon.84
The Eucharistic Epiclesis: A Detai...o the Modern Era by John McKenna (2008)

This does not look to me like the pronounced "done deal." At best, scholars don't know, and those who do know disagree.
Posted By: ajk

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/05/13 07:02 AM

Originally Posted by IAlmisry
reputable-isn't that a weasal word?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word
Searched the link and "reputable" is not found, not listed as a weasal word.
Originally Posted by IAlmisry
Btw, I can't remember which Latin grammarian said Latin didn't need an article. He was proved wrong, of course, in that Late Latin adapted one, and all the Romance languages have them

In that link, however, generalizations and non sequitur statements are listed as weasal words.

But back to "reputable" -- an article What Are Weasel Words? does not list it either and even concludes:
Quote
For writers, review your own writing and try to remove weasel words wherever you can or back them up with solid, useful, quantifiable information. Not only will your writing be stronger, but it's easier to brand yourself as a reputable source of information for which your readership will return.
[emphasis added]
Posted By: Otsheylnik

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/05/13 11:28 PM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
You have every right to argue that it did and then it took it out and it didn't matter, but you seem to want to deny that this is what happened.


My argument--and that of every reputable liturgical historian, Orthodox and Catholic--is the Old Roman Rite (the source of the Canon Missae, later carried down into the Romano-Frankish rite and thence to the Tridentine rite) never had an explicit descending epiclesis. So there never was one to remove.

The argument that lack of this or that, or the presence of something else, makes one rite better than another also puts me in mind of Taft's analogy of rite to language: some languages have articles, others don't. Removing articles from those that have them, or adding them to those that don't, doesn't improve anything, but simply causes that language to cease to be itself.


Who is reputable? Taft and Vassa Larin, and anyone else who shows up at Orientale Lumen, but not Fortescue, Congar, etc?

The problem is where the Old Roman Rite begins...it is the explicitly eastern rites obviously used in Justin Martyr's period in Rome? Is it Hippolytus's? Is it only the later version re sans explicit epiclesis? The basic problem is that you seem to want to define the Roman rite as beginning from about the sixth century, whereas I take Roman rite to be whatever rite was used in Rome at whatever time; and pre-sixth century, these appear to have had an explicit epiclesis.
Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 01:05 AM

Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
The main "deformity" of the "traditional" Roman rite is it's lack of an explicit epiclesis.


How about main "difference"? What if a Latin liturgical scholar said the main "deformity" of the Byzantine rite is it's lack of an implicit epiclesis?

Whatever the earlier Roman rite had, and we cannot be sure hat it had, the Roman Canon was good enough for St. Gregory the Great and St Nicholas Cabasilas it should be good enough for modern Orthodox.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 01:47 AM

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by IAlmisry
reputable-isn't that a weasal word?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word
Searched the link and "reputable" is not found, not listed as a weasal word.
Originally Posted by IAlmisry
Btw, I can't remember which Latin grammarian said Latin didn't need an article. He was proved wrong, of course, in that Late Latin adapted one, and all the Romance languages have them

In that link, however, generalizations and non sequitur statements are listed as weasal words.

But back to "reputable" -- an article What Are Weasel Words? does not list it either and even concludes:
Quote
For writers, review your own writing and try to remove weasel words wherever you can or back them up with solid, useful, quantifiable information. Not only will your writing be stronger, but it's easier to brand yourself as a reputable source of information for which your readership will return.
[emphasis added]

If it matters so much:
Originally Posted by IAlmisry
Originally Posted by StuartK

The argument that lack of this or that, or the presence of something else, makes one rite better than another also puts me in mind of Taft's analogy of rite to language: some languages have articles, others don't. Removing articles from those that have them, or adding them to those that don't, doesn't improve anything, but simply causes that language to cease to be itself.


Quote
Nostra lingua articulum non desiderat Our language does not require an article
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c. 35 – c. 100), Institutio Oratoria "Institutes of Oratory", Bk I Chap. 4. Sect. 19

When Quintilianus wrote this already the frequency of ille had moved it from strict demonstrative use, used by all the literary languages that grew out of Latin for their article. Ironically, a more literary use in Latin, "ipse", which continued in Medieval Latin, survives only in dialect like Sardinian. Likewise all adopted unum as the indefinite article. Thus it follows, sequitur, that Latin speakers belied Quintilianus boast, and didn't agree with Fr. Taft's generalization. Especially as Romanian, one of the more Latin of the Romance languages, adapted several articles.
Posted By: Roman Interloper

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 02:03 AM

Originally Posted by RussianCath
Also, Brother in Christ, Roman Interloper, please do not presume to speak for traditionalist Catholics when you criticize them all for being no-nothings-I know for a fact that this is not true, knowing many myself. Some unfortunately, are like that, but NOT all.


I'm not presuming to speak for them for two reasons:

1. I used to be one. There is no question of presumption; I've seen it all first hand and I've participated in it. I don't say that they're "know-nothings", however, merely that they are liturgically ignorant (and for the most part blissfully so).

2. To make an observation of a faction's characteristics is not to presume to speak for it.

The simple fact of the matter is that most traditionalist Roman Catholics are woefully ignorant of liturgical history and development, and in that observation I include those who presume to try to teach others how the development of the Roman Rite unfolded. They heavily rely upon disinformative tracts, pamphlets, and other shallow polemical works, not to mention misinformation related to one another ad nauseam via word-of-mouth.

Quote
If you wish to criticize both the Roman Traditionalists and the old Roman Liturgy for its "deformity", the Divine Liturgy of St. Peter, please be fair and criticize the Russian Old Believers as well, who are also devoted to their old, "deformed" liturgy-and in some places even kept alive the use of the "deformed" Roman Canon in the Russian Old Rite-or, criticize the Armenians, who love the additions that came to their Liturgy from the Roman practice.

The Roman Canon is ancient, the prayers surrounding it are beautiful and raise one to God, no matter how "recent" they are in Church history compared to some prayers in the Eastern Liturgies.


I'm not talking about the Roman Canon or the "old" Roman Rite. I thought that was clear. I was talking about the previous form of the Roman Rite, contained in the Missal of 1962, but more broadly about the so-called "Tridentine" form of the Roman Rite. That is hardly the same thing as the ancient Roman Rite. The Tridentine form of the Roman Rite was the canonization of a Rite whose beauty was lost beneath ages of Gallican barnacles and penitential excesses. The "Old" Roman Rite disappeared a long time ago.

I can't speak to the liturgy of Russian Orthodox "Old Believers"; I haven't the slightest idea who they are or what that involves.

Quote
I've attended old Roman "High Mass" many times in my life and was nothing short of impressed by the attentiveness, devotion, and ACTIVE participation of the faithful, all singing the Liturgy together-it was just like the faithful singing the Liturgy together in a fervent eastern church. I said to myself, no wonder there was such stubborn opposition to the supression of this rite when the Novus Ordo came out.


I've seen the same on very rare occasions, the exception to the rule. But that's neither here nor there, in any event.

Quote
I often hear critisism after critisism of tradtional Catholics for their ignorance, lack of liturgical spirit, etc...and nothing but praise for Eastern Catholics & Orthodox-yet, having done the Church rounds myself, I OFTEN find what everyone is criticizing the trad. Romans for, the Easterners are doing as well and worse. I've seen everthing from faithful totally ignoring what was going on in the Liturgy due to having to light 5 million candles(I'm exaggerating of course) and venerating EVERY icon in the Church, to standing or sitting absolutely silent and not muttering the slightest response to anything the priest has sung, letting the choir do EVERYTHING, to sitting down in a corner of the Church for a "chat" about how life is treating you right as the priest is about to distribute the Holy Mysteries-this last was in a ROCOR church too, I couldn't believe it!


But you seem to be criticizing the practices of worshippers in attendance at the liturgy as opposed to the liturgy, itself. I don't fault liturgies for the way people behave at them. In any event, I'm not sure lack of uniformity of worshipful behaviour is necessarily a bad thing.

Quote
So, please, don't be so quick to criticise-we ALL need reform in some ways, and perhaps some more beautiful prayers can be added to the Roman Liturgy in the future (I wish the Monogenes Hymn would be added!), but the Roman Liturgy is still after all these centuries nourishing the Roman faithful-don't fix what ain't broke.


But it is broken, and the Vatican has advanced an effort to repair the damage. My concern is that the approach of the "trads" is not, perhaps, the best way to do it. In the sense of recapturing a sense of reverence, okay...not that I'm convinced that the "reverence" of the do-wop, hula-hoop era is the sort of reverence we want to restore, but rather a more profound reverence that restores in the minds and hearts of the people the essential notion that the liturgy is truly the work of the people. That goes far beyond "shushing" in church and wearing your best hat and making a perfect sign of the Cross upon genuflecting as holy water droplets fall on your perfectly-polished loafers.

Once again, I haven't suggested that Catholics mimick the Orthodox, only that there is much in Eastern liturgy that can be instructive as we attempt to repair our Roman Rite. Much more than can even be found in our pre-Vatican II past.
Posted By: Roman Interloper

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 02:12 AM

Originally Posted by StuartK
Actually, Russia is becoming more "traditionalist", in the sense of nostalgically longing for a vanished (and generally non-existent) past; this appeals to the sensibility of Latin traditionalists, who likewise long for a vanished (and generally non-existent) past; this allows them to overlook the reality of life in Russia today, which is generally the antithesis of Christian.


You got it. Well said.
Posted By: Otsheylnik

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 02:20 AM

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
The main "deformity" of the "traditional" Roman rite is it's lack of an explicit epiclesis.


How about main "difference"? What if a Latin liturgical scholar said the main "deformity" of the Byzantine rite is it's lack of an implicit epiclesis?


By removing or deemphasising the epiclectic character of the anaphora, the Roman rite represents a western tendency towards a shallow pneumatology. That's the problem. As one Roman catechist described it to me, you could catechise on the Mass without ever mentioning the Holy Spirit. In this the Liturgy's representation and role in Trinitarian union is neglected and obscured.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 02:22 AM

Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Otsheylnik
The main "deformity" of the "traditional" Roman rite is it's lack of an explicit epiclesis.


How about main "difference"? What if a Latin liturgical scholar said the main "deformity" of the Byzantine rite is it's lack of an implicit epiclesis?

Whatever the earlier Roman rite had, and we cannot be sure hat it had, the Roman Canon was good enough for St. Gregory the Great and St Nicholas Cabasilas it should be good enough for modern Orthodox.

That's like saying we should swallow Ex Quo
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Ben14/b14exquo.htm
and Pastor Aeternus because we previously could humor the more extravagant claims of Rome before its archbishop crossed the line to become supreme pontiff.

Since the "supreme pontiffs" haven't seen fit to leave well enough alone:
Quote
That in the Liturgy the Invocation should occur after the words of Institution is only one more case of many which show that people were not much concerned about the exact instant at which all the essence of the sacrament was complete. They looked upon the whole Consecration-prayer as one simple thing. In it the words of Institution always occur (with the doubtful exception of the Nestorian Rite); they believed that Christ would, according to His promise, do the rest. But they did not ask at which exact moment the change takes place. Besides the words of Institution there are many other blessings, prayers, and signs of the cross, some of which came before and some after the words, and all, including the words themselves, combine to make up the one Canon of which the effect is Transubstantiation. So also in our baptism and ordination services, part of the forms and prayers whose effect is the sacramental grace comes, in order of time, after the essential words. It was not till Scholastic times that theologians began to discuss the minimum of form required for the essence of each sacrament.
The Catholic Church has decided the question by making us kneel and adore the Holy Eucharist immediately after the words of Institution, and by letting her old Invocation practically disappear.
Nihil Obstat. May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05502a.htm
and has made an issue of it/neglected its liturgics, well, we're not dealing with the situation of the days of St. Gregory the Great. I'm inclined to go with St. Nicholas' minimum approach, but those who approved the WRO DL have found otherwise, so I'll defer to their authority and judgement.
Posted By: JDC

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 03:39 AM

Originally Posted by Roman Interloper
merely that they are liturgically ignorant (and for the most part blissfully so).


And that it stopped at ignorance is a fact for which we must persistently thank God. Surely there is little more horrible than a church full of liturgical experts. In fact, let us all pray in earnest that this time of ignorance may yet lapse back into a time of indifference, when people may simply pray without fussing endlessly about the possibility that they're doing it wrong.

I am all for liturgical excellence, but the fact that any significant part of the Catholic faithful have moved from obliviousness to ignorance as concerns the liturgy is proof of a massive failing on the part of their shepherds.

Originally Posted by Roman Interloper
But it is broken, and the Vatican has advanced an effort to repair the damage. My concern is that the approach of the "trads" is not, perhaps, the best way to do it.


In fact, going on about this at all is rather like complaining that your taxi driver did a poor job on your appendectomy.
Posted By: Roman Interloper

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 04:12 AM

Touche'.

Posted By: ajk

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 12:14 PM

Originally Posted by IAlmisry
Quote
Nostra lingua articulum non desiderat Our language does not require an article
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c. 35 – c. 100), Institutio Oratoria "Institutes of Oratory", Bk I Chap. 4. Sect. 19

When Quintilianus wrote this already the frequency of ille had moved it from strict demonstrative use, used by all the literary languages that grew out of Latin for their article. Ironically, a more literary use in Latin, "ipse", which continued in Medieval Latin, survives only in dialect like Sardinian. Likewise all adopted unum as the indefinite article. Thus it follows, sequitur, that Latin speakers belied Quintilianus boast, and didn't agree with Fr. Taft's generalization. Especially as Romanian, one of the more Latin of the Romance languages, adapted several articles.
Thanks for the quote and source.

Instead of a backward inference from the derivative (modern) Romance languages to Latin to see how it evolved, let's look at present day usage showing the actual culmination of the alleged adaptation of the articles. Go to the Vatican website and take your pick. For instance The Light of the East :
Quote
1. The light of the East has illumined the universal Church, from the moment when "a rising sun" appeared above us (Lk 1:78): Jesus Christ, our Lord, whom all Christians invoke as the Redeemer of man and the hope of the world

Now, light up the Latin with its corresponding, needed articles, ORIENTALE LUMEN:
Quote
1. Orientale Lumen, quo ex tempore sol nobis comparuit “oriens ex alto” (Luc. 1, 78) nempe Iesus Christus noster Dominus, quem cuncti Christiani invocant hominis Redemptorem spemque orbis, universalem collustravit Ecclesiam.
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus appears to have been prophetic.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/06/13 07:24 PM

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by IAlmisry
Quote
Nostra lingua articulum non desiderat Our language does not require an article
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (c. 35 – c. 100), Institutio Oratoria "Institutes of Oratory", Bk I Chap. 4. Sect. 19

When Quintilianus wrote this already the frequency of ille had moved it from strict demonstrative use, used by all the literary languages that grew out of Latin for their article. Ironically, a more literary use in Latin, "ipse", which continued in Medieval Latin, survives only in dialect like Sardinian. Likewise all adopted unum as the indefinite article. Thus it follows, sequitur, that Latin speakers belied Quintilianus boast, and didn't agree with Fr. Taft's generalization. Especially as Romanian, one of the more Latin of the Romance languages, adapted several articles.
Thanks for the quote and source.

Instead of a backward inference from the derivative (modern) Romance languages to Latin to see how it evolved, let's look at present day usage showing the actual culmination of the alleged adaptation of the articles. Go to the Vatican website and take your pick. For instance The Light of the East :
Quote
1. The light of the East has illumined the universal Church, from the moment when "a rising sun" appeared above us (Lk 1:78): Jesus Christ, our Lord, whom all Christians invoke as the Redeemer of man and the hope of the world

Now, light up the Latin with its corresponding, needed articles, ORIENTALE LUMEN:
Quote
1. Orientale Lumen, quo ex tempore sol nobis comparuit “oriens ex alto” (Luc. 1, 78) nempe Iesus Christus noster Dominus, quem cuncti Christiani invocant hominis Redemptorem spemque orbis, universalem collustravit Ecclesiam.
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus appears to have been prophetic.

LOL. No, the Vatican has just been shown emulative: ever since the "Renaissance" it has adopted the norms of usage dictated by the likes of Marcus Fabius Qunitilianus, an artifice even before his day.

And that's not even pointing out the fact of the Vorlage: the mother tongue of the author of Lumen Orientale, Polish-not a Romance language-doesn't have articles. Quite different from those who learned their Latin from their mothers' tongue.

One need to infer back from the Romance languages: we have the texts in Latin which document the development.
Posted By: ajk

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 03/07/13 12:19 PM

Originally Posted by IAlmisry
LOL. No, the Vatican has just been shown emulative: ever since the "Renaissance" it has adopted the norms of usage dictated by the likes of Marcus Fabius Qunitilianus, an artifice even before his day.

And that's not even pointing out the fact of the Vorlage: the mother tongue of the author of Lumen Orientale, Polish-not a Romance language-doesn't have articles. Quite different from those who learned their Latin from their mothers' tongue.

One need to infer back from the Romance languages: we have the texts in Latin which document the development.


But for all the laughing, the articles weren't present, were they? "emulative" -- How did you learn to speak? "Vorlage...Polish" -- as I see it you're making our (JPII for Polish and me and Quintilianus for Latin) point: "Nostra lingua articulum non desiderat Our language does not require an article." And note, from the website what's missing:

Orientale Lumen (May 2, 1995)
[English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish]

Consider the (Der das des Dem das Die ...) German Luther's
"Disputatio pro Declaratione Virtutis Indulgentiarum."
aliter dictum "95 Theses", in 31 October 1517 article-less Latin.("It was not until January 1518 that friends of Luther translated the 95 Theses from Latin into German...")

There is some evidence of Latin usage developing articles as it evolved into the various Romance languages. That tells me the Romance languages wanted articles. Like branches of the Latin tree they, but how did the trunk and main shoot continue?

Evidence abounds of a present day Latin usage and understanding that does not show, does not require, the article. What is the Late Latin evidence then for the article adaptation and how did it continue thereafter, even to the present? Show the necessity, the need, the requirement, the overwhelming usage that Latin adapt an article to disprove "Nostra lingua articulum non desiderat" and have the non removed from your sequiturs.

Posted By: Robert Pauly

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 06/02/13 12:42 AM

The Popes after Vatican II, especially John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis, realize the Church needs to learn from all aspects including and most especially the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

This is because of isolation and ignorance of the 'Western or Roman Rite' that had cut itself away from its 'Eastern' siblings that caused a rivalry that is ongoing to this day.

If this 'rift' can be healed the problems from the past can be learned from to prevent another 1054 Schism that caused the East and West to be isolated from each other when it was desperately needed, most especially seen during the Crusades when the Muslims took over the Holy Land and needed help protecting the land from invasion.
Posted By: 8IronBob

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 06/02/13 12:52 PM

Well. At least within the last two or three decades, there has been a much larger acceptance between the East and West in terms of each others' traditions and customs. There are some Westerners like me that have found better faith in the Byzantine tradition over time, and I'd say I have a lot in common with Pope Francis when it comes to having this understanding and passion for the East. Heck, I feel that I was able to pick up on Church Slavonic way, way better than I was able to catch on to Latin. Wow, now I'm starting to believe that I was baptized and Confirmed in the wrong Rite if I somehow feel that I'm more in line with Eastern Spirituality. All in all, as I am Catholic as it is, I'm sure that there should be that full union between West and East, and that we find true unity with one another.

As the hymn goes "This new commandement, I give to you, that you love one another as I have so loved you." - We have just become so divided since 1054 to present day, that we need to get back to what made Christianity what it was from the earliest Church. We were taught this during the Feast of the Holy Fathers of the First Nicene Council a few weeks ago, and we should have that reminder of how we were united, and that we would never face this divide and secularism as a result. Where have those teachings gone from modern society? I'll never know.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 06/03/13 11:23 AM

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by IAlmisry
LOL. No, the Vatican has just been shown emulative: ever since the "Renaissance" it has adopted the norms of usage dictated by the likes of Marcus Fabius Qunitilianus, an artifice even before his day.

And that's not even pointing out the fact of the Vorlage: the mother tongue of the author of Lumen Orientale, Polish-not a Romance language-doesn't have articles. Quite different from those who learned their Latin from their mothers' tongue.

One need to infer back from the Romance languages: we have the texts in Latin which document the development.


But for all the laughing, the articles weren't present, were they? "emulative" -- How did you learn to speak? "Vorlage...Polish" -- as I see it you're making our (JPII for Polish and me and Quintilianus for Latin) point: "Nostra lingua articulum non desiderat Our language does not require an article." And note, from the website what's missing:

Orientale Lumen (May 2, 1995)
[English, French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, Spanish]

Consider the (Der das des Dem das Die ...) German Luther's
"Disputatio pro Declaratione Virtutis Indulgentiarum."
aliter dictum "95 Theses", in 31 October 1517 article-less Latin.("It was not until January 1518 that friends of Luther translated the 95 Theses from Latin into German...")

There is some evidence of Latin usage developing articles as it evolved into the various Romance languages. That tells me the Romance languages wanted articles. Like branches of the Latin tree they, but how did the trunk and main shoot continue

With articles-the indefinite article already appears in Cicero, and the definite article (or rather, definite articles-because Cicero didn't consecrate the usage, various devices were made use of) abounds, starting in the Classical Age and increasing until the Renaissance, where such usage was prescribed.

Originally Posted by ajk

Evidence abounds of a present day Latin usage and understanding that does not show, does not require, the article.

Same in English. Read the head lines.

Originally Posted by ajk

What is the Late Latin evidence then for the article adaptation and how did it continue thereafter, even to the present? Show the necessity, the need, the requirement, the overwhelming usage that Latin adapt an article to disprove "Nostra lingua articulum non desiderat" and have the non removed from your sequiturs.

Read pre-Renaissance Latin not done in slavish imitation of normalized Ciceronian usage.
Posted By: IAlmisry

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 06/03/13 11:34 AM

Btw: Harrington "Medieval Latin"
http://books.google.com/books?id=ReCp978iiA8C&pg=PA35&dq=%22the+absence+of+a+definite+article+was+felt+in+Latin%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=UbesUbK4N8izrQGm0IGIDg&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22the%20absence%20of%20a%20definite%20article%20was%20felt%20in%20Latin%22&f=false
Posted By: deaconseraphim

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 06/04/13 09:30 AM

Dear All:
Having originally been from the Roman Rite and having been an MC at a Traditional Latin Mass parish for 14 years before ordination and then switching Rites. I am a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Deacon in Rossford, Ohio now. But I must disagree on the lack of an epiclesis in the Tridentine Mass. When you take a careful look at the Offertory, Preface, Sursum Corda Dialogue and the Roman Canon, the Epiclesis occurs in the Offertory. After the Chalice is prepared and offered and then covered with the pall, the priest bows low, says the psalm verse In spiritu humilitatis, and then straightens up and blesses the bread and the wine, saying: Come O Sanctifier, Almighty and Eternal God and bless + this sacrifice which has been prepared in Thy Holy Name. He then turns for incense or if no incense, goes and purifies his fingers (Lavabo). Surely, this preparation of Holy Gifts with this prayer demonstrates the epiclesis. Hence, in the Canon, which begans "Therefore,..." a continuation of previous prayers, no epiclesis need be at that point, if the whole sequence from Offertory to the "Per ipsum..." is treated as one Consecratory action. What do you all think?
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 06/04/13 09:51 AM

The absence of an explicit descending epiclesis in the Roman Canon is evidence for its antiquity: as it predates the pneumatological controversies that affected the Church from the late fourth century, it never had need of one. The entire question of "when" the gifts are transformed is itself alien to the Patristic Tradition, for the Fathers believed that the entire anaphora--indeed, the entire Eucharistic Liturgy, was a single, unfolding consecratory act. The question of whether the Latin rite "needs" an explicit epiclesis is as nonsensical as asking whether the Anaphora of Addai and Mari needs an institution narrative.

As Taft has written:

Quote
The Epiclesis Question

First, the Epiclesis question. The Eastern anaphoras follow the Words of Institution (“this is my body, this is my blood”) with an explicitly consecratory petition to the Holy Spirit. As early as the 3rd/4th centuries, the Holy Spirit epiclesis, in its most explicitly consecratory sense as a petition to change the gifts, had evolved peacefully in the Eucharistic theology of the Christian East in the classic patristic period, long before any East-West dispute over the question. [Footnote: The earliest 3rd/4th century witness to the explicitly consecratory Spirit epiclesis are Cyril/John II of Jerusalem, Catechesis 5.7; Theodore of Mopsuetia, Homily 16: the Apostolic Constitutions VIII, and the oldest Eastern anaphoras still in use today.]

What do these texts mean? They mean what they say. It is axiomatic in contemporary liturgical theology to distinguish between theologia prima and theologia secunda. Theologia prima, first-level theology, is the faith in the life of the Church antecedent to speculative questioning of its theoretical implications, prior to its systematization in the dogmatic propositions of theologia secunda or systematic reflection on the lived mystery of the Church. Liturgical language, the language of theologia prima, is typological, metaphorical, more redolent of Bible and prayer than of school and thesis, more patristic than scholastic, more impressionistic than systematic, more suggestive than probative. In a word, it is symbolic and evocative, not philosophical and ontological. Now, although it is perfectly obvious, indeed necessary, that doctrine will acquire theological refinements, especially in the heat of dogmatic controversy, it should be equally obvious that such refinements cannot be read back into texts composed long before the problems arose that led to those precisions. And since one must reject any attempt to press the texts beyond what they can bear, the most one can say is that of themselves, the anaphoral texts surrounding the institution and epiclesis in the Eastern anaphoras or in the Roman Canon neither confirm nor exclude any particular theological thesis about when or by what particular part of the anaphoral prayer the consecration is effected.

If we look to Orthodox theologia secunda on the Eucharistic consecration as reflected in the most representative of the Eastern Father and theologians, we see what one would expect: a theology, which in unbroken continuity from the fourth century, is perfectly consistent with the obvious meaning of the Eastern Eucharistic prayers. From Chrysostom onward, saints venerated in the East and West have held the doctrine most clearly formulated in the 8th century by St. John Damascene, “last of the Greek Fathers” (ca. 675-753-54), in his De fide orthodoxa: “God said, ‘This is My Body’ and ‘This is My Blood’, and ‘Do this in remembrance of Me’. And by his all-powerful command it is done until He comes. For that is what He said, until He should come, and the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit becomes, through the invocation [i.e., the epiclesis], the rain of this new tillage”.

This is the classic Orthodox teaching: the power of the consecration comes from the words of Christ, the divine mandate which guarantees the Eucharistic conversion for all time. But the epiclesis of the Holy Spirit is the decisive liturgical mo[/color]ment, for the Damascene commentary continues, “. . .the bread of the prothesis, the wine and the water, are converted supernaturally into the body of Christ and the blood, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit”.

The pristine Latin theologia prima as expressed in the ancient Roman Canon Missae has a different but not totally dissimilar movement. The Roman Canon does not first recite the Institution Narrative then formulate its meaning in an epiclesis. Rather, it imbeds the Verba Domini in a series of discrete prayers for the sanctification and acceptance of the oblation (which, theologically, are of course the same thing). Now some of these prayers even before the Words of Institution speak of the bread and wine in terms that can only refer to the Body and Blood of Christ; and conversely, after the Words of Institution refer to them in a way that could seem to imply the gifts are not yet consecrated.

Only the wooden-headed literalist totally innocent of the proleptic and reflexive nature of liturgical discourse could find anything surprising about this. Such seeming contradictions—and similar appearing contradictions can be found in the Fathers of the Church who comment on the Eucharistic prayer—result from the fact that [color:#FF6666]before the Middle Ages, nobody tried to identify a “moment of consecration” apart from the anaphoral prayer over the gifts in its entirety.
No less an authority on the Roman Eucharist than Joseph-Andreass Jungmann, SJ, sums up the original common tradition of the undivided Church as follows: “In general,, Christian antiquity, even until way into the Middle Ages, manifested no particular interest regarding the determination of the precise moment of the consecration. Often reference was made to the entire Eucharistic prayer”.

This is the true ancient tradition of the Latin Fathers and theologians. In his De officiis eccelesiae, I, 15, Isidore of Seville (ca. 560-636), says that the consecration occurs in the Canon by the power of the Holy Spirit. Isidore is commonly considered the “last of the Latin Fathers”, so right through to the end of the patristic period, the view was current in Latin as well Greek theology, 1) that the Eucharistic consecration was the work of the Holy Spirit, and 2) that the prayer which affected it was the canon or anaphora, without further specifying one of its component parts as the “form” of the sacrament or the “moment of consecration”. Fulgentius of Ruspe (533) and numerous other early Latin authors teach the same doctrine. Nor is this view different from that of medieval Latin commentators, as we see in Peter Lombard (ca. 1095-1160), John Teutonicus (after 1215), and the Glossa ordinaria ad Decretum Gratiani, which includes the latter text in its anthology, showing how commonly accepted this teaching was.

Note, please, that all these authoritative medival Latin commentators explain the Supplices prayer, which is said after the Words of Institution in the Roman Canon, as a petition to consecrate. In modern times a Catholic classic on the Eucharist, Maurice de la Taille’s Mysterium fidei, also recognizes the Supplices prayer as “a Roman epiclesis that corresponds both in the place it occupies and in its meaning—though not in its external form—to the Eastern epiclesis. This is precisely what the classic 14th century Orthodox Eucharistic commentator Nicholas Kabasilas himself recognized in Chapter 30 of his Commentary on the Divine Liturgy, when he cites the Supplices prayer following the Institution in the Roman Canon as saying basically the same thing as the Byzantine epiclesis.

The later Western narrowing of perspective, ultimately doctrinalized in the scholastic hylomorphic matter-and-form (matria/forma) theory of Eucharistic consecration, contrasts sharply with the theologia prima of the Roman Canon and its earlier Latin interpreters, which views, in turn, were fully cosonant with traditional Orthodox doctrine.

*******

Can the two traditions be reconciled? Much has been made of the fact that, long before the dispute began, John Chrysostom attributes consecratory efficacy both to the Words of Institution and to the Epiclesis. Chrysostom states in at least seven different homilies that what happens in the Eucharist happens by the power of the Holy Spirit, a teaching common to both the Latin and Greek Churches. In at least one instance it is clear that Chrysostom is talking of the epiclesis. But in his Homily on the Betrayal of Judas (De proditione Judae hom), he attributes the consecration to Christ in the Words of Institution.

Nicholas Kabasilas (ca. 1350) and numerous orthodox theologians after him have argued, rightly, that Chrysostom assigns consecratory power not to the priest’s liturgical repetition of Jesus’ words, but to the historical institution itself, i.e., to the original utterance of Jesus whose force extends to all subsequent Eucharistic celebrations. But this is no different from the position of the Latins, who obviously attribute the efficacy of Jesus’ words not to the prayer of the priest, as Kabasilas accuses them, but to the indefectible effectiveness of the Word of God, as is made perfectly clear in Ambrose, De sacramentis, IV:

Quote
12. to produce the venerable sacrament, the priest does not use his own words, but the words of Christ, so it is the word of Christ which produces this sacrament. 15. Which word of Christ? The one by which all things were made. The Lord commanded and the heavens were made, the Lord commanded and the earth was made, the Lord commanded and the seas were made, the Lord commanded and all creatures were brought into being. You see, then, how effective the word of Christ is. If then, there is such power in the word of the Lord Jesus that things which were not began to be, how much more effective must they be in changing that which already exists into something else!. . . 17. Hear, then, how the word of Christ is accustomed to change all creatures, and to change, when it will, the laws of nature. . .


This is exactly what Chrysostom says: the same Jesus accomplishes the same Eucharist, the same marvels, in the liturgy as in the Last Supper.

So the classic Eastern Orthodox theology of consecration does not attribute the sanctification of the gifts to the Holy Spirit epiclesis alone; i.e., sensu negante, in deliberate exclusion of Jesus and his words. For Nicholas Kabasilas, as for Saints John Chrysostom and John Damascene, therefore, neither epiclesis nor Institution Narrative stands alone: they are interdependent in the context of the anaphora, as we would say today.

Catholic theologians with a modicum of historical knowledge and common sense have long since adopted the same balanced, non-polemical, ironical view. As early as the 17th century, the famous Bossuet (1627-1704) raised his voice in favor of sanity. He says, “without inquiring about precise moments” in this issue,

The intent of liturgies, and in general, of consecratory prayers, is not to focus our attention on precise moments, but to have us attend to the action in its entirety, and to its complete effect. . . It is to render more vivid what is being done that the Church speaks at each moment as though it were accomplishing the entire action then and there, without asking whether the action as been accomplished, or perhaps is still to be accomplished.

Dom Charles Chardon, OSB, in his Histoire des sacraments (Paris, 1745), expressed a similarly balanced view of the situation:

Quote
Despite this diversity [over the form or moment of the consecration] there was formerly no dispute over this subject. The Greeks and the Latins were convinced that the species [of bread and wine] were changed into the body and blood of our Savior in virtue of the words of the Canon of the Mass, without examining the precise moment at which this change occurred, nor just which of the words [of the anaphora] effected it as over against other [words]. One side said the change was effected by the prayer and invocation of the priest; the others that it was the words of our Lord when he instituted this august sacrament. And they in no way believed that these different ways of expressing themselves were opposed to each other (and indeed they were not, as would be easy to show). But we shall leave that to theologians to treat. . .


Since that time, a steady stream of Catholic theologians have moved toward the view that the formula of eucharistic consecration comprises the prayer over the gifts in its entirety. I do not have the space to list these theologians here—those interested can find their teaching in Vincentian Father John McKenna’s thorough review of the question [Eucharist and the Holy Spirit]. The most recent study by Dom Burkhard Neunheuser, OSB, monk of Maria Lasch, and professor emeritus of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome, furnishes not only the most explicit and emphatic justification of the return to the original tradition of the undivided Church, but also does so with full respect for the traditional Catholic teaching on the centrality of the Words of Institution within the anaphoral context.

As Neunheuser is careful to point out, this renewal is already found reflected in official Catholic magisterial texts in the aftermath of Vatican II. Paragraph 54 of the November 18, 1969 Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, the reformed Roman Missal, says of the Eucharistic Prayer, “Now begins the summit and center of the whole celebration, namely the Eucharistic Prayer itself, that is, the prayer of thanksgiving and sanctification. . .” “Sanctification”, of course, means in this context “eucharistic consecration”. The May 25, 1967 Instruction Eucharisticum mysterium reflects the same return to tradition. And Pope Paul VI in his June 18, 1968 Apostolic Constitution Pontificalis Romanni recognitio, does so, too, when he affirms that the “form” of the sacrament is the entire ordination prayer and not some isolated formula within it: “The form. . . consists in the words of the very prayer of consecration”.

This renewal found ecumenical agreement in Part I, Section 6 of the July 1982 Munich Statement of the Orthodox-Catholic Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue: “. . .the Eucharistic mystery is accomplished in the prayer which joins together the words by which the Word made flesh instituted the sacrament and the epiclesis in which the Church, moved by faith, entreats the Father, through the Son, to send the Spirit. . . “ This is reflected most recently in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church (Sec. 1352), which refers to the entire anaphora or eucharistic prayer as “. . . the prayer of thanksgiving and consecration (. . .prex nempe actionis gratiae et consecrationis)”, and says that the consecration is effected “by the force of the words and actions of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit (vis verborum et actionis Christi, et Spiritus Sancti potentia)”.

So the whole undivided Church of East and West held that the Eucharistic gifts were consecrated in the Eucharistic Prayer, even if the theologia prima in the Eucharistic prayers of the East and West expressed this differently as early as the 4th century. The theologia secunda or theological reflection of these prayers in the East and West was also different. The West stressed the Verba Domini, the East stressed the epiclesis while not denying the necessity of the Words of Institution. Problems arose only in the Late Middle Ages when the Latin West unilaterally shifted the perspective by dogmatizing its hylomorphic theology. These points are not theory but demonstrable historical facts. It is now recognized that this Western innovation narrows the early teaching of the undivided Church, and Catholic teaching has for over a century been moving towards recovery of the view that what an earlier theology was pleased to call the “form” of a sacrament is the central prayer of the ritual, and not some single isolated formula. This prayer can be understood and interpreted only within its liturgical context. The Words of Institution are not some magical formula but part of a prayer of the Church operative only within its worship context. In the East and the West, this context was and is and will remain diverse within the parameters of our common faith that Jesus, through the ministers of his Church, nourishes us with the mystery of his Body and Blood.


Posted By: Orthodox Catholic

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 06/04/13 02:40 PM

Dear Stuart,

Rome should definitely appoint you to any Orthodox-Catholic ecumenical commission they might have to bring about East-West reconciliation!

You would help prevent Rome, in its ecumenical zeal, from adopting Orthodox traditions wholesale while pushing its own equally valid traditions aside.

Just my thought.

Alex
Posted By: StuartK

Re: Role of the Catholic Church - 06/04/13 05:05 PM

There is not much chance of Rome going through a wholesale byzantinization, but thanks for keeping me in mind.
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