Tag: Doubt

New Ordinations – I

New Ordinations – I posted in Eleison Comments on May 10, 2014

Should priests ordained with the new rite of Ordination of 1972 be conditionally re-ordained with the old and certainly valid rite of Ordination? Catholic doctrine on the validity of sacraments is clear, but the sacramental rites of the Newchurch seem to have been designed to lead gradually to invalidity (see EC 121 of Oct 31, 2009). The « gradually » is the problem. How far along was that gradual process in any given case? Perhaps God alone knows for sure. But let us begin with the clear doctrine.

One can say a Catholic sacrament involves five elements: Minister, Intention, Matter and Form are essential for validity, the Rite surrounding the Form can be important for validity by its sudden or gradual bearing on the Minister’s Intention. For priestly Orders, the Minister has to be a validly consecrated bishop; the Intention is his sacramental (not moral) intention, in ordaining, to do what the Church does; theMatter is his laying of both hands on the head of the man to be ordained (women cannot be validly ordained to the priesthood of Christ); the Form is the crucial formula or series of words in the rite which express the conferring of the priesthood; the Rite is all the other words surrounding that Form, and prescribed in the ceremonial rite of Ordination.

In a new rite Ordination, if both hands are laid on the head, the Matter is no problem. The new Form in Latin is, if anything, stronger for validity than the old Form in Latin (by the « et » instead of an « ut »), but vernacular translations need to be checked to make sure that they clearly express the grace of the priesthood to be conferred. Most of them surely do. Where real problems of validity arise is with the Minister and the Intention, because of the gradual erosion of Catholic Intention by the uncatholic new Rites.

For, as to the Intention, any bishop today ordaining a priest surely intends to do what today’s Church does, well and good, but what is that in his mind? What is a priest in the Newchurch? Is not yesteryear’s renewer of the Sacrifice of Calvary by the Real Presence being slowly but steadily replaced by today’s co-ordinator of eucharistic picnics? How far along is this process in any given diocese of the world? Did this or that bishop have in mind a sacrificer or a picnicker as being what the Church does? The ordaining bishop’s outward behaviour will indicate his Intention, but God alone may know for sure. Certainly many new Rites of Mass incline towards the picnicker, and the new Rite of Ordination surrounding the Form can only help by its severely diminished catholic content to undermine gradually the sacramental Intention of an ordaining bishop.

And as to the Minister, if the ordaining bishop was himself consecrated bishop with the new rite of consecration, let us assume that the ambiguity of the new Form of consecration is lifted by the words immediately following, nevertheless doubts like those above as to the Intention of the bishop consecrating must arise: did he consider, and therefore have as his Intention, that today’s Church consecrates makers of the Sacrifice, or of picnics? Such questions can often lack clear answers.

In brief, were I Pope, I think I might require that all priests or bishops ordained or consecrated with the « renewed » rites should be conditionally re-ordained or re-consecrated, not because I would believe that none of them were true priests or bishops, on the contrary, but because when it comes to the sacraments all serious doubts must be removed, and that would be the simplest way of removing all possible doubts. Newchurch rot of the sacraments could not be left hanging around.

Kyrie eleison.

Church Godless

Church Godless posted in Eleison Comments on February 14, 2009

An interesting portrait of the pre-Conciliar Catholic Church is drawn in a recent film, called “Doubt.” The film contains no nudity, bad language or violence, except verbal in a few heated conversations, and it earned for the famous lead actress, Meryl Streep, a prestigious award for her playing of the part of Mother Superior of a Brooklyn convent in the New York of 1964.

The film centres around the clash between herself and the local parish priest. Both are directly concerned in the running of the parish school, where Mother Superior discovers that Father may be molesting one of the boys. She sets out to track him down, and arrives at the conviction that he is guilty. However, the result of her inquest is merely that the priest is promoted by his bishop to a rather better parish in the diocese. The film ends with the woman of iron breaking down in tears.

At first sight the clash is between a nun of the old Church and a priest of the Conciliar Church. She is shown as a strict disciplinarian with an old-fashioned knowledge of human nature and of children, using a time-honored bag of methods and tricks to keep them under control, and to keep the priest in line.

He, on the contrary, is shown doubting the old certainties – hence the film’s title – and treating the children and Sisters with a much more modern emphasis on love, spelt luv!

Now for sure and certain the priest in trouble, and the hierarchy that covers up for him to get out of trouble, belong to the Conciliar Church, and foreshadow a scene all too familiar. But when we see Mother Superior in tears because he has been promoted, we have to ask ourselves, why is she crumbling? – she is not shown then pulling herself together. Does she believe in God or in her bishop?

If she believed in God, how could she let herself be so shaken? If she is so shaken, she must have believed all too humanly in the human hierarchy, which sure enough has let her down. Thus while the merely human drama is between two people, the real drama for Catholics with eyes to see is a whole Church collapsing for lack of God.

Mother Superior clings humanly to a decent discipline, but nothing in Meryl Streep’s performance suggests that that discipline is anchored in God. Still less anchored in God is the priest making merely human love float on top of doubt.

The Church of 1964, as here portrayed to the life, was doomed.

Kyrie eleison.