Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eucharistic Sacrifice in Anglicanism

From time to time it is asked what Anglicans mean by Eucharistic Sacrifice. To begin this essay, I will quote an older essay of mine:

"Writing in 1624, speaking for the Anglican position, a Church of England priest named William Bedell wrote about Eucharistic Sacrifice:

'[If by it you mean] a memory and representation of the true Sacrifice and holy immolation made on the altar of the cross...we do offer the sacrifice for the quick and the dead, by which all their sins are meritoriously expiated, and desiring that by the same, we and all the Church may obtain remission of sins, and all other benefits of Christ's Passion.'"

"The Eucharistic sacrifice is the complete sacrifice. It takes us to Calvary. It is our bounden duty and service, the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and of ourselves as living sacrifices (following Romans 12:1,2); as the English Mass also says: 'And here wee offre and present unto thee (O Lorde) oure selfe, oure soules, and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee...' Nothing is omitted, nothing neglected, in this highest act of Christian worship.

"The second thing they wanted to teach is that the people were supposed to receive the sacrament. For this reason they came up with yet another name for this ancient service, one taken directly from St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians: Holy Communion. It was not enough to 'hear the Mass' of a priest. This offering of the whole Church (led by a priest) made the sacrament available so that each Christian could feed on the bread of life. 'Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.'(John 6:54, 55)"

The question of Anglican Orders (again)

On Virtue Online a poster attempted to debate with me about the Anglican position with a series of hypothetical questions, such questions as we have dealt with many times over many years in friendly debates. I have answered him there in appropriate terms. It is worthwhile to answer these questions here for the edification of our readers . The subject matter is relevant to the current news about Anglicanorum Coetibus, but also able to move us back into teaching mode, sticking to our first and best priority.

The comment contained these words:

"I have indeed read Saepius Officio, and had come, a while ago, to a conclusion not very different from yours as explained in The Continuum blog. Not very different, but not altogether identical.

"I agree [not with me] that the real argument that could remain to support Apostolicae Curae is the doubt on the intent. To make it short, the deliberate omission of all reference of a sacrificing power in the Ordinals (for bishops and priests) does raise some doubts. Therefore, the fundamental question that remains is: Why such an omission?"

- For Leo XIII, this deliberate omission meant to deny an important element of the priesthood.
- For Bicknell refuting Apostolicae Curae, this deliberate omission was a mere wish to return to the primitive Church practice. Far from being a denial of sacrificing power, it was meant to “re-balance” the functions of a priest between sacrifice and the ministry of the Word.

"Will you agree with me that much depends on which answer is the correct one?"

"Had such an omission been decided at any time other than the Reformation, Bicknell’s position could easily be supported. But the very circumstances of this omission (associated with protestant reformation) are, at best, suspect." (Addition of links - mine)

I agree with this man that much does depend on which answer is correct, and say that after we establish that point, the commenter has it all wrong. It is precisely because the omission was during the Reformation period that we can be sure of the correct Intention of the Church of England, and therefore of Bicknell's interpetation. 1

And, even if it seems to make my immediate task appear more difficult, I will quote Article XXXI. "Of the one oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.

The offering of Christ once made is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the priests did offer Christ for the quick and the dead to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits."

Here are certain facts that we need to have in mind, or we will not have a true focus.

1. The Reformation period was a time in which illiteracy and ignorance had prevailed for centuries.

2. This created in the popular mind superstitions and false doctrines that were in conflict with true religion.

3. The need for correct teaching and reformation of abuses was a pastoral need, and the English bishops rose to the challenge.

4. Public ceremonies needed to have more than sacramental validity. These ceremonies had to teach also the true faith so as not to confuse, but rather aid the people along the right path to salvation through faith in Christ.

Now that the ceremonies were in "a tongue understanded by the people," it was all the more necessary to send a clear message. Evangelism within the very Church itself, and therefore true teaching in line with the salvation of souls as the highest priority, required reformation of ceremonies themselves. Therefore, if the emphasis of past generations had become so warped as to hide the truth of the Gospel, or to obscure it, then it was best to clean up all such abuses in order to restore right doctrine, and to do so with the edification and salvation of the common people in mind.

The English Reformers were very much aware of the common misunderstanding of their own era, and of the need for a pastoral and teaching role that did not separate preaching from liturgy, so as to avoid confusion and further ignorance. The ceremonies must, themselves, be both valid and instructive. The people must receive true sacramental grace and hear the truth of the Gospel without unnecessary conflicts that would appear to indicate internal contradiction. They had restored the truth that we are saved by grace through faith, and that the grace that operates through faith includes, in the life of the average believer who lives within the Church, the very same sacramental grace that comes through those two sacraments, Baptism and Lord's Supper, that are "generally necessary to salvation."

Therefore, the Ordinal placed exactly the right amount of emphasis on the priest as "a faithful Dispenser of the Word of God, and of his holy Sacraments." To give the impression that a man is ordained to the priesthood almost exclusively in order to make sacrifices for the living and the dead would perpetuate two errors that the English Reformers knew they had to correct. The first is the mistaken idea of Eucharistic Sacrifice itself, as opposed to its true meaning; the second is that the presbyter has only a sacerdotal role, and is not responsible to be a pastor and teacher to God's family, the Church. But, the emphasis on sacrifice was sufficiently stated in the service of Holy Communion itself, and needed no greater reference than what we see in the Ordinal.

The nature of sacrifice

Let us look again at Article XXXI, and ask if these words are not the only correct interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews, of the Suffering Servant passage in Isaiah, and of I John 2:2, that "He [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Here again is that opening line of the Article: "The offering of Christ once made is the perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is none other satisfaction for sin but that alone." We live in a time when the Church of Rome, even in its current Catechism, affirms this truth of the Gospel, that was restored by the Reformation, in short this Catholic truth restored by Protestant-Catholics, i.e. the English Reformers.

Let us look also at the rest of the Article, and pay careful attention to what it really says: "Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the priests did offer Christ for the quick and the dead to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." Let us notice that this Article has said nothing, per say, about the Church of Rome, but about a commonly held error.

Notice too, the carefully placed double plural: The "sacrifices of Masses." Polemicists who attack Anglicanism invariably, and perhaps deliberately, quote this wrong, saying that the English Church rejected the "sacrifice of the Mass." Indeed, just the opposite. They restored its true meaning. They did not allow the pressure of Puritans at home, or of other Reformed churches on the continent, to make them move the pulpit to the central place and reduce the altar to a little table 2 trotted out occasionally. They took to heart the words of the Epistle to the Hebrews: "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle." (13:10)

As E.J. Bicknell wrote:

"The sacrifice of the Eucharist is not something additional; it is the Eucharist itself in one of its chief aspects. Whatever it means, it is included in our Lord's words of institution. Hence, in conferring authority to minister the Sacraments, she [the Church] confers authority to offer the Eucharistic sacrifice." 3

Indeed, whatever one may think when reading carelessly the Book of Common Prayer service of Holy Communion, it is not possible to be in church with a priest at the altar, the Words of Institution spoken by him reverently while the people worship, without realizing the sacrificial nature of what has just happened.

In the service of Holy Communion itself, Christ's sacrifice correctly gives the Eucharistic Sacrifice its only true context and meaning.

"God, our heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy didst give thine only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel command us to continue, a perpetual memory of that his precious death, until his coming again."

The service takes us to the cross, the time and place of the "once for all" (Heb. 10:10) sacrifice of Christ.

Furthermore, this service summarizes the entire meaning of sacrifice and offering, words that speak clearly of our Atonement wrought by Christ alone, and no other than the One Man who is truly Priest and Sacrifice, and also of the offerings and sacrifices of worship, praise and thanksgiving that we are thus able to make only because we are now reconciled to God through His Son. By way of the cross, therefore (and only by way of the cross) our service speaks of the "sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving," and says also "here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto thee." (from Romans 12:1,2). Through Christ's full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice of himself on the cross we offer true Eucharistic Sacrifice on many levels, the offering made by all Christian people for all time. We are reminded of the words of St. Paul: "That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up (Greek: προσφορά, prosphora) of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost." (Rom. 15:16)

Conclusion

In a time of ecumenical gains, it is a shame that instead of appreciation for the restoration of Eucharistic Sacrifice as understood by the Fathers of the ancient Church, in line with Scripture, the Anglican expression of this truth should continue to suffer distortion in an attempt to deny the validity of our church and its sacraments. The Church of Rome has much to thank the English Reformers for, inasmuch as their teaching has undergone a certain amount of like reformation due to the Anglican influence. Nonetheless, I suppose this is a thing they cannot admit; and considering the state of affairs in the such venues as the Episcopal Church or the Church of England, who would blame them for being wary of making any positive gestures or remarks? As a priest in the Anglican Catholic Church, however, I remain very happy to carry on the teaching and practice of authentic Anglican Christianity. We have never claimed to be perfect or to be the One True Church. But, we do know how to offer Eucharistic Sacrifice, and that is because of Biblical truth in the Book of Common Prayer.
__________
1 He is mistaken also as to the one argument that Rome continues to make about "defect of Intention." The real reason they give is very weak indeed, and was answered in a past essay of mine:

"Even though the Rites in the Ordinal make very clear which office it is that a man is ordained to, Rome has clung to its position that the Imperative lines have failed to identify the Orders of bishop and priest (whereas the word "deacon" is in the Imperative of that Rite) until the 1662 revision. That is not true. The use of the Scriptures that were quoted most certainly (and clearly to those who know Scripture) identified the episcopate with the words from II Timothy 1:6, and the priesthood with words from John 20: 22, 23. This was not only commonly understood, but also it was already traditional, translated out of a Latin Ordinal that had been used for centuries. Simply put, there was no defect in Intention, and the whole argument by Rome in 1896 was completely bogus."

In effect, Rome, having reduced its argument to this one last point, has lost the debate in any honest way of thinking.

2. In places the BCP rubrics call the altar the "holy table." This is in keeping with Old Testament use of the word "table" for the altar of sacrifice, such as Malachi 1:7-12.

3. Bicknell, E.J. A Theological Introduction to The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, 1919, 1955, London

40 comments:

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr. Hart wrote: [W]e can be sure of the correct Intention of the Church of England

One reason why Roman and Anglican Catholics often talk past each other on this subject is that we mean different things by intention. Anglicans generally (and the Archbishops specifically, in Saepius Officio) refer to the intention of the Church; whereas Roman Catholics refer to the intention of the minister in the strict theological (Thomistic) sense.

He is mistaken also as to the one argument that Rome continues to make about "defect of Intention." The real reason they give is very weak indeed, and was answered in a past essay of mine

It seems you have confused the arguments regarding intention and form in that essay. Here you are speaking more to the argument regarding the form.

Rome has clung to its position that the Imperative lines have failed to identify the Orders of bishop and priest... until the 1662 revision. That is not true.

Strictly speaking, Pope Leo was referring to the forms proper: i.e., "RECEIVE the holy goste," etc.; and he argued that these forms "do not in the least definitely express the sacred Order of Priesthood (sacerdotium) or its grace and power..." (n. 25). Please note the "or" (vel), because it is of no small significance.

"Simply put, there was no defect in Intention, and the whole argument by Rome in 1896 was completely bogus." In effect, Rome, having reduced its argument to this one last point, has lost the debate in any honest way of thinking.

I believe you have overstated your case, to put it mildly. The very fact that you appear to have mistaken the arguments regarding intention and form would suggest that there is still room for some honest discussion on these points.

Incidentally, I still await a link to that essay so that I may read it in full.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Joe Oliveri:

Anglicans generally (and the Archbishops specifically, in Saepius Officio) refer to the intention of the Church; whereas Roman Catholics refer to the intention of the minister in the strict theological (Thomistic) sense.

In that case, we are in far better step with the ancient Universal Church than Roman Catholics are. However, the Church of Rome teaches the same thing we do, that it is the Intention of the Church that counts-otherwise we could have no certainty about any sacraments ever, unless we were all priests offering them up each one for himself. However, I believe you misunderstand Thomas Aquinas too. No one could ever suggest that each sacrament depends on the celebrant's secret intention of the heart-what a horrible and frightening idea.

It seems you have confused the arguments regarding intention and form in that essay. Here you are speaking more to the argument regarding the form.

The arguments about Intention all are based on the Form-for that is where they allege an observable defect of Intention. They claim that something essential is missing from the Form. In fact, there is no other way to make the argument. They can't draw their argument from our Preface, inasmuch as that Preface shoots down their whole objection.

Strictly speaking, Pope Leo was referring to the forms proper: i.e., "RECEIVE the holy goste," etc.; and he argued that these forms "do not in the least definitely express the sacred Order of Priesthood (sacerdotium) or its grace and power..." (n. 25). Please note the "or" (vel), because it is of no small significance.

To which I have responded. The argument of Rome in 1896 makes Leo XIII come across as a Scriptural Illiterate. That he may well have been; for a man who knows his Bible sees that the Form does, in fact, definitely express the very thing said to be lacking (as was accepted by Rome in the older Latin original of the Rite).

I believe you have overstated your case, to put it mildly. The very fact that you appear to have mistaken the arguments regarding intention and form would suggest that there is still room for some honest discussion on these points.

I hope that you are now disabused of that inexplicable notion.

The link to that essay is below, but most of that particular essay is not about this subject. We have lots of stuff defending our Orders in out archives, and it does not make Leo XIII look particularly savvy about theology. I understand he may have been more competent in other matters. Frankly, (and not to offend you, but to be very clear) we consider the 1896 Bull worthy only of scorn and derision as one of the most idiotic things ever written, if that helps to clarify the subject.

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2009/10/thanks-but-no-thanks.html

Dominic:

If your comment was too long for the combox, try a condensed version. If you leave my comment in place, then I will post the link. Otherwise, I will not; for we have no lack of response.

Ioannes said...

Fr Hart,

Thanks for replying to my comments posted on Virtue On Line. Your case is well argumented, and I would like to be in a position to accept it. Contrary to waht you implied, I have not, within our short debate, actually denied the validity of all Anglican Holy Orders.

Far from it, actually. But, doubts, I do have : when a Church (or in this case, a Communion) accepts to confer her Orders to women without altering her doctrine on the significance of these Orders, there must be a problem somewhere. What does it signify for those who, for that very reason, left tha Communion, I know not. Hence my questions on collective intention, individual intention, or ... the intention of breakaway groups who are direct heirs to a Church that has defiled her Orders.

You see, Fr Hart, I face a great difficulty : as a RC, I cannot just ignore Apostolicae Curae. Hence my question to you on your mentionning a certain Mr Briggs who would have reported Pope Pius X view that AC was not infaillible.

Let me finish on a more united note. In a French Traditionalist RC Forum, I have stated, to the horror of most posters, that Mass was not a sacrifice. Quickly to add, that Mass was The sacrifice. Is this not so very similar to your differentiating between Mass and Masses in your essay ?

Blessing to you

Ioannes
(Versailles, France)

Dominic said...

Father, all comments stand on my site. The only exceptions are those which relate to obscene material or contain links to online casinos, viagra, or porn. Yours is safe.

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr Hart wrote: [T]he Church of Rome teaches the same thing we do, that it is the Intention of the Church that counts -

I am keen to know the source of this startling bit of information. Just a reminder, however, that professional ecumenists are not exactly authoritative (although they'd certainly like us to think so).

I believe you misunderstand Thomas Aquinas too. No one could ever suggest that each sacrament depends on the celebrant's secret intention of the heart-what a horrible and frightening idea.

A positive act of the will "to do what the Church does" (facere quod facit ecclesia), so far from "horrifying," is absolutely essential. And -- as Pope Leo observes (AC, n. 33) -- it is always presumed to be present, unless a contrary or incompatible intention is manifested externally. And in such cases, the Church, being guardian of the Sacraments, is bounden to act.

The Angelic Doctor treats of this ministerial intention in Part III, Q. 64, #8: "An inanimate instrument has no intention regarding the effect; but instead of the intention there is the motion whereby it is moved by the principal agent. But an animate instrument, such as a minister, is not only moved, but in a sense moves itself, in so far as by his will he moves his bodily members to act. Consequently, his intention is required, whereby he subjects himself to the principal agent; that is, it is necessary that he intend to do that which Christ and the Church do."

Revs. Denny and Lacey devote several pages of their (excellent) De Hierarchia Anglicana to a discussion [d]e personali Intentione Ministri (cf. para. 133 et seq). They treat the subject quite seriously and marshal their own arguments to answer the Roman objection. My point is that they do not dismiss it out of hand as some horrifying papistical concept.

(cont'd)

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr Hart wrote: The arguments about Intention all are based on the Form-for that is where they allege an observable defect of Intention. They claim that something essential is missing from the Form. In fact, there is no other way to make the argument.

Correction: Some of the arguments bandied about in the schools, prior to Apostolicae Curae, made the defect of intention ancillary to the defect of form. Francis Clark, SJ, enumerates them in Anglican Orders and Defect of Intention (1956.) Such arguments often led to circular reasoning: to wit, the defect of intention is established by the use of a defective form; and we know the form is defective because of the minister's (or Church's) defect of intention! Many apologists, both Anglican and Roman Catholic, recognized this.

The defectus intentionis noted by Pope Leo, however, is distinct from the defectus formae. A careful reading of n. 33, and a general familiarity with the development of sacramental theology, make this perfectly clear. Salvatore Brandi, SJ -- admittedly, a polemicist, and not someone I quote often -- writing in 1908, summarized it well:

"So too the defect of due intention in the Anglican minister is not deduced from the simple fact that he makes use of an invalid form when ordaining; but rather, as we have repeatedly pointed out, from the fact that this minister, seriously following the provisions of his Ordinal, makes use of a form which he knows to have been changed ex industria, and deliberately substituted for the form of the Catholic Pontifical, ad inducendum novum ritum; that is, a rite different from and opposed, in its real meaning, to the rite in use not only in the Roman Church, but also in all the Churches of East and West, from the most remote antiquity to our own times." (Quoted in Clark, p. 109. See also Brandi's work, A Final Word on Anglican Ordinations, 1897, pp. 104-6.)

Now, a word regarding historical context: Remember that the Roman Church would have been (and in fact, was) primarily concerned with Matthew Parker's consecration in 1559, as he was the font of the Anglican hierarchy. The debate over ministerial intention, then, focused on his consecrators: particularly Barlow and Hodgkins. Despite Fr. Brandi and other RC polemicists, it was neither necessary nor very helpful to allege a defect of intention in every case.

(Cont'd)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Ioannes:

Asa Roman Catholic you should obey if only for the sake of your conscience. I agree. but, you are free to question as it is not a dogmatic teaching. Furthermore, your answer on The Sacrifice (as opposed to a sacrifice) is common ground that Roman Catholics and Anglicans have really had all along; the correction in our Article XXXI was aimed at popular perception, and never mentioned the see of Rome, nor accused it of teaching the "sacrifices of masses."

Dominic attacked my essay on his own blog (http://contemplatatradere.xanga.com/716749993/anglican-difficulties/). To be polite, I have been answering him there, even though I really do not have time. I will let his link appear here, but not as an endorsement of his views. I believe his understanding of Anglicanism is the canned polemical type I have grown weary of refuting only because I am tired of the repetition.

Therefore, I recommend to Dominic that if he wants to understand the foundation that has been laid here for the last few years, that he select titles from my essays (links to the right on the main page, "Fr. Hart's essays on Classic Anglicanism), and see the most relevant titles.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Joe Oliveri:

Correction: Some of the arguments bandied about in the schools, prior to Apostolicae Curae, made the defect of intention ancillary to the defect of form. Francis Clark, SJ, enumerates them in Anglican Orders and Defect of Intention (1956.)

Yes, we know how poorly Clark understood the Anglican Formularies. Nothing new there either. In fact Fr.John J. Hughes, himself a RC priest, shot down Clark's work 12 years later in Absolutely Null and Utterly Void.

Once again, the main evidence that Leo XIII's "scholars" presented was from their concept of the Form, as you yourself quoted: "from the simple fact that he makes use of an invalid form, when ordaining...seriously following the provisions of his Ordinal, makes use of a form which he knows to have been changed ex industria, and deliberately substituted for the form of the Catholic Pontifical, ad inducendum novum ritum; that is, a rite different from and opposed, in its real meaning, to the rite in use not only in the Roman Church, but also in all the Churches of East and West, from the most remote antiquity to our own times."

Of course, the charge itself was absurd, and was answered in Saepius Officio (1897) by the Archbishops of England. The form was changed not to be different from or opposed to (to quote from your other bit) "the will 'to do what the Church does' (facere quod facit ecclesia)." The very idea that they would have decided to do something different from and opposed to what the Church does, to deliberately create a religion that contradicted their own beliefs, is too absurd for any serious consideration.

I am not going to waste any time going over details in this matter. The Form was not changed to deny Catholic faith, but to restore a fuller meaning of the priesthood according to Catholic Faith. Remember, we are the true Catholics because our faith is both Scriptural and affirmed by the Universal Consensus of the Church in Antiquity.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucgbmxd/saepius.htm

Now, a word regarding historical context: Remember that the Roman Church would have been (and in fact, was) primarily concerned with Matthew Parker's consecration in 1559, as he was the font of the Anglican hierarchy. The debate over ministerial intention, then, focused on his consecrators: particularly Barlow and Hodgkins.

Gee really!? Is you a joshin' me? Who'd a thunk it? Golly gee whiz. (Excuse the sarcasm, but really, come on-are you for real?.)

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2008/12/ej-bicknell-on-anglican-orders-first.html

(By the way, you ought to look up the consecration of Abp. Wm. Laud. It also makes Leo look silly.)

Joe Oliveri said...

On another thread, Fr. Hart wrote, in defense of re-Confirming those from TEC: [T]he '79 Confirmation Rite ... was deliberately meant to "change the theology of the Church" according to one of its designers (boasting to my brother at Trinity seminary circa 1984). It is not the traditional Anglican Rite, but some new thing altogether that has no Form declaring Sacramental intention. The 1979 Confirmation Rite is not valid, lacking necessary Form to state Intention. We cannot recognize it. And, why should we? That new book has no authority, and was introduced two years after we had formed.

Is this argument really so different from the historical Roman approach to Anglican Orders? Please look at those words (above) again, and tell me why Rome's defense of Holy Orders is so repugnant to reason and charity, while the Anglican Catholic Church's defense of Confirmation is so laudable and godly.

Doesn't the '79 Rite use a Collect, as well as Lessons, specifically noted for use "At Confirmation"? Wouldn't these supply the necessary signification to the rite for the, as you say, "Scripturally literate"?

The argument of Rome in 1896 makes Leo XIII come across as a Scriptural Illiterate. That he may well have been; for a man who knows his Bible sees that the Form does, in fact, definitely express the very thing said to be lacking

Leo XIII was recognized as a brilliant man even by many secular contemporaries. Lacey himself spoke highly of him. As for his familiarity with Scripture, Leo did write Providentissimus Deus (1893), on the study of Holy Scripture. So your gross insult to this gentle pope's memory is completely bewildering.

[W]e consider the 1896 Bull worthy only of scorn and derision as one of the most idiotic things ever written, if that helps to clarify the subject.

It does help clarify that some Anglican Catholics seem more interested in vilifying Leo XIII than in actually trying to understand him. I confes it is troubling that you must resort to hyperbolic insults to make your point. I hope you realize that you often come across as a very bitter, angry man, Father.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Is this argument really so different from the historical Roman approach to Anglican Orders?

Yes, it is very different. In the case of our rejection of the '79 Confirmation Rite we see no statement of Intention in the Form, and we see a "church" that has renounced Holy Orders in favor of Women's Ordination. Frankly, it isn't just apples and oranges; it's apples and hog snouts-no comparison.

Doesn't the '79 Rite use a Collect, as well as Lessons, specifically noted for use "At Confirmation"? Wouldn't these supply the necessary signification to the rite for the, as you say, "Scripturally literate"?

No, it does not. In fact, it removed the only Lesson.

Leo XIII was recognized as a brilliant man even by many secular contemporaries. Lacey himself spoke highly of him.

Well then, he has no excuse. If he had looked at the portion I referred to carefully, and perhaps the Latin original, he might have realized-Mama Mia!-that the Bible quotations signified each office respectively in terms quite sufficient to state Intention.

It does help clarify that some Anglican Catholics seem more interested in vilifying Leo XIII than in actually trying to understand him.

Oh, we understand Leo XIII just fine. We understand better than you would like us to.

I confes it is troubling that you must resort to hyperbolic insults to make your point.

Oh, it's not simply hyperbole and insult. We really do consider the 1896 Bull worthy only of scorn and derision. If it was not tragic it would be an absolute scream.

I hope you realize that you often come across as a very bitter, angry man, Father.

Really? I am the one having fun here. We don't condemn your orders, but you can't blame us for not taking the RC line as seriously as you would like. If I did not answer very directly after so many years of dealing with this one ridiculous subject (I do mean the Bull itself), the sheer repetition would drive me bananas.

We have answered Leo's Bull, and all the bull that came before it, so very thoroughly and carefully, that continued arguments directed at orthodox Anglicans area waste of time. We know Leo was wrong. We have proved it over and over, and over and over and...and that's how you RCs are trying to win. Methinks you hope to tire us out completely from sheer repetition.

Read Saepius Officio. Just sit down and read it.

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr. Hart wrote: Fr.John J. Hughes, himself a RC priest, shot down Clark's work 12 years later in Absolutely Null and Utterly Void.

Yes, I'm familiar with Hughes. And you're thinking of Stewards of the Lord (1970). Hughes devotes only a few pages to Clark in Absolutely Null and Utterly Void (1968), towards the end of the book; and at least he manages to take issue with Clark's arguments without calling the man an ignoramus (or worse).

You could learn a few things from John J. Hughes (and T.A. Lacey, and Dom Gregory Dix, and Felix Cirlot, and Paul Bradshaw...)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I have-quite a lot. Paul Bradshaw's conclusion, however, was so weak as to be disappointing. He appeared not to have read his own book when writing the last bit. He had made a strong case for Anglican Orders, and seemed not to be aware of the obvious conclusion (of course, he was dealing not with the subject of validity, but with the Ordinal as a Rite against an ideal Form as he imagined it should be-a Form as Plato's concept of the Ideal).

I did not call Clark an ignoramus either-but neither am I impressed by his grasp of our Formularies. It was poor.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Joe,

Allow me to address your points.

One reason why Roman and Anglican Catholics often talk past each other on this subject is that we mean different things by intention. Anglicans generally (and the Archbishops specifically, in Saepius Officio) refer to the intention of the Church; whereas Roman Catholics refer to the intention of the minister in the strict theological (Thomistic) sense.

That is a vast oversimplification. Many Anglicans have noted the technical difference between these, as they have between so-called external and internal concepts of intention and so on. The point you seem to be missing is that, since Pope Leo XIII himself said that we can only judge ministerial intention "in so far as it is manifested externally", then wherever the minister faithfully uses the rite authorised by his particular Church, we are obliged to judge ministerial intention (intention in the strict and proper sense) as equivalent to the Church's corporate "intent". And the latter must be judged by that Church's sacramental rite in the context of its official teaching. So, your distinction is valid but changes nothing in practice.

Rather than being unaware of this distinction, I have acknowledged and used it myself on this very weblog, in a discussion on the orders of the Reformed Episcopal Church. Permit to quote one section talking about the Church of England under Elizabeth I.

"In addition, what was left in the ordination rite itself was more than sufficient to provide a valid form, and there was no statement in or immediately associated with the rite which declared a positive and explicit intent NOT to do something: namely, ordain priests who would offer Eucharistic Sacrifice. It is the latter that would be necessary to provide a genuine "anti-intent" sufficient to cancel out an admitted general intent to ordain, "to do what the Church does and has always done". (Misunderstandings or errors which happen to be held about the effects of a sacrament by a church or individual are universally acknowledged as not affecting the validity of that sacrament.) The reason for this should be clear -- once a proper general intent is established, only something definite and manifest which clearly "informs" the act being considered would be enough to undermine the general intent. The absence of certain statements, especially statements in themselves not intrinsically necessary, obviously cannot "inform" a rite or the acts of will by its users/ministers. Intention and "anti-intention" must both subsist in real human acts of conscious will, whether individual or corporate, and thus need some positive cognitive content, albeit minimal. So, to claim "ambiguity" could provide an "anti-intent" is simply wrong. And the Preface to the Ordinal is in fact completely unambiguous when it comes to the intention to continue the Church's traditional threefold ministry, even using the words "intent" and "continue"! Thus, we have an incontestable and explicitly expressed intention to do what the Church does and always has done, and nothing explicitly expressed to reject the Church's traditional ministry in any way in the context of ordination."

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Strictly speaking, Pope Leo was referring to the forms proper: i.e., "RECEIVE the holy goste," etc.; and he argued that these forms "do not in the least definitely express the sacred Order of Priesthood (sacerdotium) or its grace and power..." (n. 25). Please note the "or" (vel), because it is of no small significance.

But it was the forms themselves that contained the very scriptural quotations to which Fr Hart was referring, immediately after the words "Receive the Holy Ghost", so as to explicate the end to which the Holy Spirit was to act! Since the contemporaneous biblical scholarship identified each verse with the same Order (or grace of the Order) the Anglican Ordinal did, it was simply a false assertion by the Pope. What made it worse was that one of the Tridentine Canons he cited to back up his argument, specified absolution of sins as an essential characteristic of priesthood, just as our Ordinal did in the Form! More importantly, since the Church of England never claimed only that part of the Rite was essential or constituted the Form in isolation, and since the RCC has since admitted the Form and Matter were separated in their own old Rite and that therefore such rites must be interpreted broadly in their "moral unity", the explicit and repeated use of the words "priest", "priesthood", etc., becomes determinative and conclusive. By the way, the "or" you draw special attention to does not merit such close attention, given that the rite, as I have just shown, specifies both the name and grace of the relevant Orders.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

A positive act of the will "to do what the Church does" (facere quod facit ecclesia), so far from "horrifying," is absolutely essential. And -- as Pope Leo observes (AC, n. 33) -- it is always presumed to be present, unless a contrary or incompatible intention is manifested externally. And in such cases, the Church, being guardian of the Sacraments, is bounden to act.

I believe you and Fr Hart are not actually disagreeing. He is denying something different than you are affirming. Neither of you wants to make the surety of the sacraments rest on what is a hidden, private intent or conception of the minister as to the precise nature of what is happening. Both of you believe that intent should be judged by external actions and presumed to be "to do what the Church does". And I think both of you would thus deny, with Cardinal Bellarmine, that the minister needs to "intend to do what the Church intends" as an effect of the Sacrament. In other words, even a heterodox priest, disbelieving utterly in the Real Presence, who intends to perform the Eucharistic rite, consecrates truly and validly.

As for how the deliberate use of the English Ordinal rather than the Latin Pontifical, this act of will, which is often seen as the key to a purportedly "positive and contrary" intent, did not "inform" the ministerial intention in the way claimed. This is shown by the argument I have quoted above, and is spelt out further in one of my previous essays (see latter part of C9 under "Fr Kirby's Apologetics": link at right of blog) and in the last paragraph of section VIII of Saepius Officio.

By the way, to understand why we get frustrated with this issue you need to read and digest carefully "Necessary Admissions" (see C7 of "Fr Kirby's Apologetics") and then compare what you have said with the following equally assured comment by a Roman Catholic apologist defending Apostolicae Curae as infallible:

In particular, AC does not argue that the subjective intentions of the authors of the Edwardine ordinal, or of those ordaining using it, are relevant

The goalposts have been moved far too often for us to take the game seriously anymore.

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr. Kirby: First, once again, I want to thank you (and Fr. Hart as well) for the time and effort you have put into these discussions -- not only here in the comment boxes, but in previous blog posts. I should clarify that I did indeed print out a number of your Apologetics posts last week (those touching the Orders controversy), with a view to eventually responding to them fully elsewhere, outside of the limited scope provided by the combox.

I understand your sense of frustration and can sympathize. Any apologist could. And it often does seem like we're running over old ground. Even in his day, Cardinal Newman referred to the Anglican Orders controversy as dreary and tedious. In 1970, Fr. George Tavard (a liberal RC ecumenist -- I'm sure you've heard of him or read him) quipped, only half-jokingly, that anyone who writes more than 10 pages on Apostolicae Curae should be excommunicated. That almost seems fair.

One more note before I respond to a couple of the points you raise: Please do not think I am posting here to be a troll. I can be, and often am obnoxious on my own time; but my posts here are offered in good faith, or else I wouldn't bother typing them. Neither am I here to challenge the validity of anyone's orders. Calumnious and false accusations that Leo XIII was "Scripturally illiterate," a lazy non-scholar, etc., cannot go without at least one reply in all justice; but such opinions will always be held by some disciple of William Poole no matter what evidence to the contrary.

I've been a lurker at this blog for some time, and occasionally will post because these discussions are often rewarding. Each time I have to look up a reference, or re-read an Anglican source, I learn something new. For example, lately I've been reading about the controversy over the Confirmation rite (such as it is) in the 1979 BCP. Things like this make posting worth the investment of time.

With these prefatory remarks out of the way, I do want to respond to a few of the points you've raised above, and will do so shortly...

(Cont'd)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Actually, no one said that Pope Leo XIII wrote Apostolicae Curae; but, he is responsible for issuing it with his imprimatur. Therefore, he is to blame for authorizing shoddy scholarship; and, if he was capable of better, all the worse. It raises his responsibility to culpability.

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr. Kirby wrote: Pope Leo XIII himself said that we can only judge ministerial intention "in so far as it is manifested externally", then wherever the minister faithfully uses the rite authorised by his particular Church, we are obliged to judge ministerial intention (intention in the strict and proper sense) as equivalent to the Church's corporate "intent". (Emphasis mine.)

I am delighted, first of all, that we are in agreement on the necessary intentio ministri. I was almost prepared to break out my copy of Francis Hall's volume on Dogmatic Theology; so you've saved me some trouble here. At last, some common ground. Deo gratias!

Now, as to the emphasis: Here is a perfect example of what I mean by Anglican and Roman Catholics speaking past each other. Pope Leo, in fact, did not refer to "the rite authorised by [the minister's] particular Church"; rather, he refers to "the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church" (AC n. 33, emphasis mine), by which he -- or indeed, any RC theologian writing at that time -- could have only been referring to the Church Universal or the Church of Rome.

To be sure, some theologians -- preeminently, Le Courayer, in his Dissertation sur la validité des ordinations des Anglais (1723) -- had speculated that particular Churches had the authority to drastically modify rites of ordination without impacting validity; but this position was soundly rejected, and in fact Le Courayer himself took refuge in England rather than face canonical censure for obstinance in his heterodox views.

[T]o claim "ambiguity" could provide an "anti-intent" is simply wrong.

I agree that it probably would be wrong, prescinding from the historical context of the Reformation in England.

Here we get into what Pope Leo referred to as the "native character and spirit" (nativa indoles ac spiritus) of the Ordinal (AC nn. 30-31). Sacerdotal signification is not simply missing from the rite; such signification was removed or suppressed de industria by Cranmer, the chief compiler of the rite, whose vehemently anti-sacerdotal views were well known.

Was Rome saying, then (for here Leo was only upholding the consistent practice of the Church of Rome) that Cranmer's intention mattered? No. But neither could the Church ignore the immediate historical context that framed and informed the Ordinal.

Let me pose a hypothetical question that may illustrate the principle a little more clearly: If you were a member of TEC, and a priestess or bishopess crafted a new rite of ordination which was subsequently imposed on your jurisdiction, would you use that rite -- even if it was patient of an orthodox interpretation?

(Cont'd.)

Veriword: panko (yum!)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...by which he -- or indeed, any RC theologian writing at that time -- could have only been referring to the Church Universal or the Church of Rome.

That won't wash. The English were well versed in ancient Church studies even back then, and were already well aware that the See of Rome did not have jurisdiction over the Universal Church. The churches of the east were their witnesses.

To be sure, some theologians -- preeminently, Le Courayer, in his Dissertation sur la validité des ordinations des Anglais (1723) -- had speculated that particular Churches had the authority to drastically modify rites of ordination without impacting validity; but this position was soundly rejected, etc.


Of course it was rejected, because Rome pretended then as now to be teaching and practicing something unchanged from the beginning. But, we know how false that claim was.

Here we get into what Pope Leo referred to as the "native character and spirit" (nativa indoles ac spiritus) of the Ordinal (AC nn. 30-31). Sacerdotal signification is not simply missing from the rite; such signification was removed or suppressed de industria by Cranmer...

That argument will not hold water. Obviously, the entire Rite is a sacrament in and of itself. The words and actions of the Rite cannot be anything other than a sacrament.

And, "Sacerdotal signification" is only relevant, in this sense, in the ordination of priests. That the argument is completely wrong is obvious from the Accipe Spirituum Sanctum which goes on to quoter Christ's words identifying the office by way of a sacrament. The words conclude with "and be thou a faithful despensor of the word of god, and of his holy Sacramentes. In the name of the father, and of the sonne, and of the holy gost. Amen." That is enough in itself, especially in a church that was, rightly, emphasizing baptism and the Lord's Supper above all other sacraments.

...Cranmer, the chief compiler of the rite, whose vehemently anti-sacerdotal views were well known.

read in the proper context, both the literary and historical context, the only thing approaching "anti-sacerdotal views" was nothing more or less than rejection of the popular misconception that Christ was offered again and again in (double plural) "the sacrifices of masses." In the final analysis that was the only issue that generated written arguments against any notion of sacrifice-a perfectly sound restoration of Biblical/Patristic teaching.

If you were a member of TEC, and a priestess or bishopess crafted a new rite of ordination which was subsequently imposed on your jurisdiction, would you use that rite -- even if it was patient of an orthodox interpretation?

The question is irrelevant inasmuch as the charges against the English Ordinal simply do not add up.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I should add, by the way, that the ancient Ordinals of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, in rites for the priesthood, said nothing that could be interpreted in a sacerdotal way. That alone should indicate whether or not Cranmer was restoring a more full understanding of the priestly office. By ancient universal standards, he was too sacerdotal.

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2009/01/pastoral-priesthood.html

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Joe,

It is not true and not RC doctrine that the intention needs to be "to do what the Roman Church does", as Bellarmine and others have consistently taught. The intention to do what the Church does, as one understands the Church of Christ to be, is sufficient. Since the relevant consecrators obviously believed themselves to be using a rite of one part of the Catholic Church, their intent in using the rite is informed by that belief, and is sufficient. Whether, as a matter of fact, their Church was in the Catholic Church, is irrelevant. The fact that their rite had not received approval either from Rome, the Church Universal, or from any other particular Church is also irrelevant, since none other of the multi-various ordination rites of particular Churches ever sought such a thing.

I never said that Leo XIII said the words you quote. I said that he said intention must be judged by external actions and words, effectively. And then I made the point that ministers should be assumed to mean by their use of the approved rite of their jurisdiction, which is the relevant external action in this case, what the jurisdiction in question says the rite means and what the rite says for itself! Otherwise we are back to transferring the private intentions or beliefs of authors of the rite to the later users, no matter what the rite actually used says or what the Church authorising the users says, which is illegitimate, and which no theologian defends. If a conscious and deliberate intent to reject all trace of sacerdotal ministry (and so not "pass it on") is imputed (as a certainty) to the consecrators of Parker in the act itself, then it has to come from somewhere and be imposed inescapably on these men. You admit we can't get it straight from Cranmer's head into theirs. You admit the rite does not contain any such denials, and is capable of orthodox interpretation. The choice of the rite, as against the more sacerdotal Latin one, is all you are left with. But, given the desire of the time to re-establish vernacular liturgy and more scriptural and "primitive" emphases, this is not anywhere near enough to prove that all the consecrators had a specifically anti-sacerdotal animus as a natural part of their participation in the rite itself. Especially since the BCP had already noted in the 1549 Preface that not all liturgical and ceremonial omissions by the C of E were of things heretical or rejected as such, but were often omitted as surplus to requirements or abused.

Therefore, given that not all, and possibly none of the consecrators, were involved in the composition of the Ordinal, that we do not even know exactly who participated in its composition apart from Cranmer (though evidence indicates it included both "protestant" and "traditionalist"-leaning men), that no rite ever takes on private authorial intentions but only those of the corporate body authorising the rite anyway, and given that the rite contained a preface explicitly avowing Catholic continuity of intent, what Cranmer did and why he did it are irrelevant, as long as the essentials were maintained. The intent with which the rite and its "historical context" would inform the ministers is that expressed in the rite itself and that assumed by the Church behind the sacramental action. Ecclesial approval of prior deletions of non-essential elements in a rite do not show such deletion was approved for the same reasons as the deletion was made. In fact all approval of such a rite shows is that the Church thought it orthodox in and of itself. In other words, the "native spirit" of the Ordinal cannot be judged by Cranmer's motivations but only by its contents and the corporate statements of the Church authorising it, such as the Preface.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

You say "Sacerdotal signification is not simply missing from the rite", before going on to say the rest. But that is precisely what is most untenable. Arguments about intention are always complicated, which is why Rome has always accepted the most liberal definition of intention possible, except when dealing with Anglicans. But arguments about the Form, and the prayers that surround it as a moral unity, are more clear-cut. And the sacerdotal signification is there in the repeated use of the word "priest" in the surrounding material and in the reference to absolution in the central Form, since, as I noted above, it is Trent that specifically connected the ministry of absolution with the priesthood. So, sacerdotal words and functions were not entirely removed from the rite. And, as Fr Hart notes, even sacerdotalism regarding the Eucharist itself was not simply absent, just qualified.

The problem with your defence of A.C. is that it is far more nuanced than the Bull itself. The Bull nowhere admits any general intent to do what the Church does which is then cancelled out by a contrary intent, as in the interpretation of Clarke et al. (Indeed, there is not the slightest evidence of awareness of or attempt to deal with the Preface and its clear proof of the general intention.) Instead, it denies outright any such intent. The Bull doesn't just say that sacerdotal references have been removed, it says there is no mention of the priesthood, and no mention of the graces particular to each order.

Finally, I do thank you for your friendship to Anglicans and acknowledge you discus these issues in good faith. However, if you have read "Necessary Admissions", you know what I believe is essential to further discussion. Unless you make those admissions or "stipulations" as to the historical facts as a start, further discussion is in vain. Otherwise you are asking us to give up valuable time to deal with what we see as a denial of our identity and godly heritage that has already been answered on every front many, many times, with no evidence of progress.

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr. Kirby wrote: [T]he Preface to the Ordinal is in fact completely unambiguous when it comes to the intention to continue the Church's traditional threefold ministry, even using the words "intent" and "continue"!

Certainly the Preface lends credence to the Church of England's "corporate intention" to do what the Church does when She ordains. But the Preface, understood in the context of the Reformation, included in a Prayer Book studiously purged of sacerdotal language (esp. in 1552 and 1559), and part of an Ordinal that was closely modeled on a Lutheran rite provided by Bucer... All the Preface can attest to with any reasonable certainty from a RC perspective is the Church of England's wish to continue a threefold ministry. Whether such a wish could have been successfully implemented under a man like Cranmer, who sought the counsel of Continental Reformers, among a ruin of images, missals, priestly vestments, altars, and all suchlike "popery" -- this, for us, was the question.

[T]he forms themselves that contained the very scriptural quotations to which Fr Hart was referring, immediately after the words "Receive the Holy Ghost", so as to explicate the end to which the Holy Spirit was to act!

In The Reformation, the Mass, and the Priesthood (1936), E. C. Messenger carefully goes through each of the three rites in the Ordinal; and he responds to that same argument above on pages 477-8 (priests) and 487-8 (bishops) of Vol. I. For the sake of brevity, I'll only note three points he makes regarding the priestly ordination rite: (1) When Our Lord said these words, the Apostles had already been given the essential power of the priesthood, i.e., the power to celebrate the Eucharist, and so they were already ordained; (2) Although these words were found in the Latin ordination rite, they were not at any time meant to convey the essential power of the priesthood, i.e., the power to offer sacrifice; and (3) Although some theologians regarded this final imposition of hands as part of the form, none had ever maintained that this commission, taken by itself, would constitute an adequate form.

Regarding the phrase, "[B]e thou a faithful despensor of the word of God, and of his holy Sacramentes," Messenger cogently notes (p. 478) that a "Ministry of the Word and Sacraments" was precisely how the Continental Reformers had consistently described the Evangelical concept of a Christian Ministry as opposed to the Catholic (sacrificing) Priesthood.

(Cont'd)

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr. Kirby wrote: Since the contemporaneous biblical scholarship identified each verse with the same Order (or grace of the Order) the Anglican Ordinal did, it was simply a false assertion by the Pope.

As a Classical Anglican, by contemporaneous biblical scholarship you can't be referring to Romans; so that leaves the English Reformers, who certainly would not have associated any Scriptural lesson or verse with a sacrificing prieshood; or you are referring to the Continental Reformers -- in other words, to scholars whose views on doing away with a threefold ministry were too radical even for Cranmer. That the English and Contintental Reformers found agreement on Scriptural references to Ministry is hardly surprising; but why this should have impressed Pope Leo passes comprehension.

What made it worse was that one of the Tridentine Canons he cited to back up his argument, specified absolution of sins as an essential characteristic of priesthood, just as our Ordinal did in the Form!

Leo noted that the grace and power of the priesthood is preeminently (praecipue) that of "'consecrating and of offering the true Body and Blood of the Lord'" (Council of Trent, Sess. XXIII, de Sacr. Ord., Canon 1) in that sacrifice which is no 'bare commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the Cross' (ibid, Sess. XXII., de Sacrif. Missae, Canon 3)" (AC, n. 25). It would have been all the more troubling, then, that a priestly rite of ordination should mention the power to forgive sins but purposely avoid any reference to consecrating, offering or administering the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

[S]ince the RCC has since admitted the Form and Matter were separated in their own old Rite and that therefore such rites must be interpreted broadly in their "moral unity", the explicit and repeated use of the words "priest", "priesthood", etc., becomes determinative and conclusive.

Again, there is no question that the stated purpose of the rite was to ordain a priest; the question before Popes and Roman theologians has ever been: Does the Anglican Ordinal, given its historical context, adequately signify the Catholic priesthood (sacerdotium) in its essential forms, or even in its prayers as a moral unity?

I think both of you would thus deny, with Cardinal Bellarmine, that the minister needs to "intend to do what the Church intends" as an effect of the Sacrament.

You are correct -- I would deny that (famous) proposition. So we are in agreement on two points, then!

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Fr. Robert Hart said...

What a waste of time! Saepius Officio answered this esoteric "theological" clap trap in 1897.

Here is a link to the whole text-once again.
http://anglicanhistory.org/orders/saepius.pdf

However, I suppose we should answer this anyway (but, I insist that it pause on Sunday).

But the Preface, understood in the context of the Reformation, included in a Prayer Book studiously purged of sacerdotal language...

And, what is the context of the Reformation? Historically it is what I said it was, in the essay at this link (and see no reason to repeat it in the comment box):

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2008/09/eating-and-drinking-salvation.html

As for "seriously purged of sacerdotal language," apparently you have not read the essay that is at the top of this thread. Rearranged, cleansed of anti-evangelical distractions, reworded Biblically, yes. Purged, as in erased? Not at all.

But, since you keep bringing this up, perhaps you could define exactly what Eucharistic Sacrifice is. My guess is that you will end up with a very Anglican definition, since that has become standard RC teaching. Probably, something like the quotation at the beginning of my essay.

...and part of an Ordinal that was closely modeled on a Lutheran rite provided by Bucer...

If you read Bradshaw, you should appreciate that it is not the Form, but only the format that is so much like that of Bucer. The use of the format, but with a different content, ought to highlight the differences as highly significant. I made that point somewhere in our Archives too.

All the Preface can attest to with any reasonable certainty from a RC perspective is the Church of England's wish to continue a threefold ministry.

No-wrong. Not A threefold ministry,but "these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church; Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Which Offices were evermore had in such reverend Estimation."

But even if I granted your point (in pretense for argument's sake), your own words with a quotation, "A positive act of the will 'to do what the Church does' (facere quod facit ecclesia)," obviously would apply. Only a blithering idiot would believe that they deliberately meant not to do what the Church does. So, this is getting circular (as it always does) and tiresome.

a man like Cranmer, who sought the counsel of Continental Reformers, among a ruin of images, missals, priestly vestments, altars, and all suchlike "popery" -- this, for us, was the question.

We are all aware of what Thomas Cromwell (grandfather of the great blasphemer and regicidal maniac himself) and his thugs did; and it was the typical kind of thing done by European kings here and there in history when they were sore with the pope, and with a church that was taking up huge grants of land for a man perceived to be a foreign prince. Blaming these things on Cranmer (who even had to keep his marriage secret from the king, inasmuch as Henry VIII required the continuance of clerical celibacy throughout his whole lifetime) is unjust. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury, not the king of England.

(to be continued)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

(1) When Our Lord said these words, the Apostles had already been given the essential power of the priesthood, i.e., the power to celebrate the Eucharist, and so they were already ordained;

How completely wrong. Such error is the result of arbitrary pronouncements. The Apostles had yet to receive the Holy Ghost in the fully charismatic manner (see Acts 2), and therefore the sacraments as such were not yet instituted fully. The Bible and the ancient voice of the Universal Church do not recognize any other theological viewpoint at all, So, your man's argument is very, very wrong, in fact worthy of an F- i theology. I am shocked at how bad it is.

(2) Although these words were found in the Latin ordination rite, they were not at any time meant to convey the essential power of the priesthood, i.e., the power to offer sacrifice

Irrelevant. The point is that they identify the office that a man had to be ordained to in order to celebrate at the altar. Remember, this is from a Form that includes the entire sacramental rite of ordination, which "convey[s] the essential power of the priesthood."

(to be continued)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

i.e., the power to offer sacrifice...

The most we may glean from Scripture and from the Universal consensus of Antiquity is that this is one of the essential powers (and here my Anglo-Catholic brethren may disagree). So is granting absolution, so is a specially authoritative ministry of the Word of God, and so is the charism of ruling well as an elder. All of the ancient Ordinals, by the way, only mention these last things,and say nothing about sacrifice. Therefore, as the Archbishops of Canterbury and York argued in 1897, Leo's Bull of the previous year actually must bring us to the logical conclusion that all orders everywhere have been invalid for almost two thousand years-all validity was lost almost from the start. That is, unless Leo and Rome before him, the 16th century, had a problem of over-emphasis and neglect, the most common cause of heresy and error.

(3) Although some theologians regarded this final imposition of hands as part of the form, none had ever maintained that this commission, taken by itself, would constitute an adequate form.

Uh...how can I say this without being insulting?...(O Lord give me grace). Gee, neither did the Church of England. You might notice that the whole Rite is full of prayers uttered with actual words that constitute an actual Form. And, saying the prayer before the laying on of hands was the old Roman way that had been practiced for centuries (by the way, anyone who may determine how much time may elapse between the utterance of a necessary prayer and the imposition of hands, may likewise have the special wisdom needed to know exactly how many angels may dance on the head of a pin. It requires the same kind of special "wisdom").

Regarding the phrase, "[B]e thou a faithful despensor of the word of God, and of his holy Sacramentes," Messenger cogently notes (p. 478) that a "Ministry of the Word and Sacraments" was precisely how the Continental Reformers had consistently described the Evangelical concept of a Christian Ministry as opposed to the Catholic (sacrificing) Priesthood.

It was also in the old Latin original of the Accipe, used for centuries with Rome's approval; so I guess the See of Rome invalidated its orders by Proto-Protestant heresy.

Obviously, the C of E alone retained the Three Orders (actually restored the Three Orders-I will explain if you are very nice and ask), and was the only Reformation Church (i.e. non-papal western) to say anything about the "intent to continue the three orders as they had been since the beginning.

What you are overlooking is this: About Eucharistic Sacrifice, the only thing that Cranmer et al rejected was a concept of offering Christ over and over again in the sacrifices of masses (double plural),contradicting the Epsitle to the Hebrews and the Lord's own words: "It is finished.". Later, at Trent, so did Rome. We all reject it, for the idea hides the Gospel from sight, and denies it.

Try to understand it: "Writing in 1624, speaking for the Anglican position, a Church of England priest named William Bedell wrote about Eucharistic Sacrifice:

'[If by it you mean] a memory and representation of the true Sacrifice and holy immolation made on the altar of the cross...we do offer the sacrifice for the quick and the dead, by which all their sins are meritoriously expiated, and desiring that by the same, we and all the Church may obtain remission of sins, and all other benefits of Christ's Passion.'"

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr. Kirby wrote: [I]f you have read "Necessary Admissions", you know what I believe is essential to further discussion.

You are absolutely right, Father; and I am grateful for your willingness (and Fr. Hart's) to post my thoughts and take the time to reply.

You and/or Fr. Hart should have the final word in this particular thread, as you have both been very generous with your time -- and this is, after all, an Anglican blog.

Regarding the necessary admissions, I will answer them offline in an email to you. Thank you again.

Joe Oliveri

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Another comment appeared in the box while I was writing, which comment is above my three. I see no reason to say more than I have said, because while Joe Oliveri was writing it, my three comments (directly above) already refuted what he was writing. And now, here is another comment where he appears to be signing off.

Joe Oliveri, forgive me if I have seemed impatient at times. You have been a worthy opponent in friendly debate, and I am sure you are motivated by charity. And, I appreciate that you address things like a man, that is very directly. I wish everyone stuck to genuine debate when they disagreed.

A few years ago it would have been fun; but, for the sake of others, this was all probably worth it.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

As a Classical Anglican, by contemporaneous biblical scholarship you can't be referring to Romans; so that leaves the English Reformers, who certainly would not have associated any Scriptural lesson or verse with a sacrificing prieshood; or you are referring to the Continental Reformers -- in other words, to scholars whose views on doing away with a threefold ministry were too radical even for Cranmer. That the English and Contintental Reformers found agreement on Scriptural references to Ministry is hardly surprising; but why this should have impressed Pope Leo passes comprehension.

You seem to have forgotten we have covered this exact point a while back, in part of the material you have printed off. Erasmus was the man I was thinking of specifically, in a work that was commended by the C of E for use not long before the Ordinal was composed. And he was not following an innovative exegesis, by the way, but a traditional one. I can have been referring to "Romans", and I was.

Leo noted that the grace and power of the priesthood is preeminently (praecipue) that of "'consecrating and of offering the true Body and Blood of the Lord'" (Council of Trent, Sess. XXIII, de Sacr. Ord., Canon 1) in that sacrifice which is no 'bare commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the Cross' (ibid, Sess. XXII., de Sacrif. Missae, Canon 3)" (AC, n. 25). It would have been all the more troubling, then, that a priestly rite of ordination should mention the power to forgive sins but purposely avoid any reference to consecrating, offering or administering the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

Yes, but the Council of Trent did not say that aspect was pre-eminent, but placed the two on the same footing. Not even the Pope said every power specific to the Order needed to be mentioned, and in fact denied any had. And we know from prior rites that mention of the sacrificial power has been absent before, so is not essential in itself. That is the point you are studiously avoiding. Your defence of the Pope is to go well beyond his arguments because his arguments contain errors of fact and are not "subtle" enough to carry the day.

As for no reference to "administering the Body and Blood", you seem to have forgotten the very section we have quoted to you from the Ordinal concerning ministering the Sacraments.

You are also forgetting that I answered various arguments of Messenger long ago when you last brought them up. See the comments at http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2006/01/anglican-origins-and-historical.html

Finally, and enough really is enough now, I must reply to "All the Preface can attest to with any reasonable certainty from a RC perspective is the Church of England's wish to continue a threefold ministry" (emphasis added). Yes Fr Hart has already done so, but, really Joe, given that the Preface explicitly states they will continue the Orders as have always existed from the beginning of the Church, this comment communicates to us that the RC determination (and it is that) to discredit the Anglican heritage extends to giving themselves permission to interpret our documents as not meaning what they manifestly say. Another reason why further discussion is without value.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Fr Hart,

While I did not think the phrase regarding ministering/dispenising Word and Sacrament was in the Sarum rite at that point (after the reference to absolution), I am not sure and would welcome further information. However, given that the phrase "ministry of the word" is how the apostles describe their own ministry in Acts 6, I think we can safely assume its Catholic orthodoxy! Unless they too were proto-Protestant heretics.

What is perhaps most astonishing about all this is that whereas the mere choice of an orthodox but less sacerdotal English rite over a more sacerdotal Latin rite is supposed to prove an intent to reject the old Catholic ministry, the choice of and participation by 2 bishops to consecrate Parker whose only consecration was the one they received under the old rite, is not seen as an acknowledgment in action of continuity. The same acts of will that chose the Ordinal and (with respect to the ministers themselves) to use it, chose the consecrators and (again, w.r.t. the ministers) to participate with the other consecrators. To have 4 bishops co-consecrating, 2 "made" from each rite, is a deliberate act or set of acts too, and speaks volumes about the perceived equivalence of these bishops. So much for manifestly rejecting the Catholic ministry and replacing it. When this is compared to the fact that other "reformed" churches often re-ordained Catholic priests, the implication is even clearer. After all, it's not as if all 4 bishops were necessary, as the ancient Canons recognise 2 as sufficient at a pinch, and, anyway, those terrible anti-Catholics arranging it all shouldn't have been worried about things like that anyway, if they wanted to make a clean break.

However, I must admit to being tired of all of this, and being tempted to lose my temper. Should we close this comment thread and refuse to discuss Orders for a while?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

We need not close the thread, if only because I can see it going no further anyway (I don't like closing anything). About the original Accipe Spiritum Sanctum..., the entire imperative section in the Form is a translation from Latin, at least as used in the 14th century when ordinations had to take place ion Sundays (imagine that!).

Somehow I overlooked one little point in Joe Oliveri's argument. he wrote:

Leo noted that the grace and power of the priesthood is preeminently (praecipue) that of "'consecrating and of offering the true Body and Blood of the Lord'" (Council of Trent, Sess. XXIII, de Sacr. Ord., Canon 1) in that sacrifice which is no 'bare commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the Cross' (ibid, Sess. XXII., de Sacrif. Missae, Canon 3)"

The irony here is that "AN HOMILIE OF THE worthy receiuing and reuerend esteeming of the Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ," recommended in Article XXXV, had been written before the Ordinal.

"But thus much we must be sure to hold, that in the Supper of the Lord, there is no vaine Ceremonie, no bare signe, no vntrue figure of a thing absent (Matthew 26.26): But (as the Scripture saith) the Table of the Lord, the Bread and Cup of the Lord, the memorie of Christ, the Annuntiation of his death, yea the Communion of the Body and Blood of the Lord, in a marueilous incorporation, which by the operation of the holy Ghost (the very bond of our coniunction with Christ) is through faith wrought in the soules of the faithfull, whereby not onely their soules liue to eternall life, but they surely trust to win their bodies a resurrection to immortalitie (1 Corinthians 10.16-17). The true vnderstanding of this fruition and vnion, which is betwixt the body & the head betwixt the true beleeuers and Christ, the ancient Catholike Fathers, both perceiuing themselues, and commending to their people, were not afraid to call this Supper, some of them, the salue of immortalitie and soueraigne preseruatiue against death: other, a deificall Communion: other, the sweet dainties of our Sauiour, the pledge of eternall health, the defence of Faith, the hope of the Resurrection: other, the food of immortalitie, the healthfull grace, and the conseruatorie to euerlasting life (Irenaeus, Bk. 4, Chap. 34; Ignatius, Epis. ad Ephes.; Dionysius?; Origen, Optat. Cyp. de Cana Domini; Athanasius, De Pec. in Spir. Sanct.)."

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Hart wrote, "saying the prayer before the laying on of hands was the old Roman way that had been practiced for centuries.... [A]nyone who may determine how much time may elapse between the utterance of a necessary prayer and the imposition of hands, may likewise have the special wisdom needed to know exactly how many angels may dance on the head of a pin...."

So such a person might also be able to figure out, in Roman Catholic ordinations since Paul VI, how much time elapses after the last pre-imposition prayer and the actual imposition of hands which, for this last 40 some years, has been done in silence....

Of course, a real devotee of Leo XIII would probably say that the omission of words of commission at that important moment means that Paul (the Sixth, not the Saint) intended the current Roman "ordinands" to receive nothing at all through his new rite....

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Another hilarious witty remark for me to steal some day.

John A. Hollister said...

I neglected to add that the question is, "Does the Roman Ordinal, given its historical context, adequately signify the Catholic priesthood (sacerdotium) in its essential forms, or even in its prayers as a moral unity?"

And that "historical context", of course, is one of a man like Paul, who sought the counsel of dubious theologians, among a ruin of altars replaced by picnic tables, ripped out communion rails, missing tabernacles, kindergarten vestments, a Missal couched in language near to street slang, and all suchlike Calvinism -- this, for us, is the question.

John A. Hollister+
"dismudsm"

Joe Oliveri said...

Fr. Hollister wrote: And that "historical context", of course, is one of a man like Paul, who sought the counsel of dubious theologians, among a ruin of altars replaced by picnic tables, ripped out communion rails, missing tabernacles, kindergarten vestments, a Missal couched in language near to street slang, and all suchlike Calvinism -- this, for us, is the question.

Touche -- but the question is not entirely moot. Michael Davies (himself a convert from Anglicanism) wrote about this subject often; and he wasn't even a sedevacantist.

Anyone even vaguely familiar with RC traditionalists and the liturgical wars of the last 40 years knows the Ordinal of Paul VI is controversial. And I know that everyone here is more than vaguely aware of this.

In this connection, it is worthwile noting that even now (or at least until recently), RC priests who join the SSPX are reordained sub conditione if they had been ordained using the 1968/1989 Pontifical. And sedevacantist groups like the SSPV reordain absolute.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I have to be honest about that website by Michael Davies: The pretty boys being ordained in the picture, in fact the whole picture itself, is quite a stomach turner.

Joe Oliveri said...

Unfortunately, I have to agree. This sort of effete artwork seems to have become popular in the latter half of the 19th century. You mostly find it on holy cards or in catechetical materials. (Thankfully, hand missals were spared, for the most part.)

Lace surplices that look like something grandma crocheted for the end table also make me cringe. But these are subjects for another day.

My biggest problem with that site is that all the text is centered(??). Anyway, Davies' book is worth a read; and the information on that page in particular was relevant to my point above.

poetreader said...

I fail to see what the (admittedly wretched) appearance of a site or the 'prettiness' of the 'boys' being ordained has to do with the content of that sire, or with the meaning of Eucharistic sacrifice in either Rome or Anglicanism. Though, on second thought, the appearance does alert one that the content MAY be a defense of the 19th C caricature of the very medieval popular piety that was part of the cause of the Reformation.

What does disturb me is the tendentiousness with which these old ideas, barely, if at all, acceptable after the Second Vatican Council, and out of harmony with the Fathers, are insisted upon as absolute immutable standards, as also the contentious assumprtion (which I'm afraid I sometimes see among Anglo-Catholics) that, if Protestants would like an idea, it must therefore be wrong.

Whether the new RC rite is sufficienty 'sacrificial' to please everyone or not, it does indeed remedy a truly serious devaluing of the essential aspects of preaching and teaching in the priestly ministry, which was an obvious lack in the older rites. While the Eucharistic sacrifice is both Scriptural and Patristic, the concept of a Christian ministry that is solely or even pre-eminently sacrificial misses the point of what Christ and especially St. Paul had to say about ministry.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...as also the contentious assumprtion (which I'm afraid I sometimes see among Anglo-Catholics) that, if Protestants would like an idea, it must therefore be wrong.

Amen! Amen! Knee-jerk Anglo-Catholics are just as irritating as knee-jerk "Bible Belt" Fundamentalists.

While the Eucharistic sacrifice is both Scriptural and Patristic, the concept of a Christian ministry that is solely or even pre-eminently sacrificial misses the point of what Christ and especially St. Paul had to say about ministry.

A good summary of E.J.Bicknell's briefly stated, but excellent, argument.