Rorate Caeli

Declaration on the Anaphora of Addai and Mari
Not an act of the Supreme Magisterium

Considering a recent discussion on this blog, a reader sent us these very interesting excerpts of an article included in the book Die Anaphora von Addai und Mari – Studien zu Eucharistie und Einsetzungsworten (The Anaphora of Addai and Mari - Studies on the Eucharist and the Institution Narrative), organized by Father U.M.Lang.


Historical and Theological Argumentation
in Favour Of Anaphoras without Institution Narrative:

A Critical Appraisal

Ansgar Santogrossi OSB,
Cuernavaca

In 2001 the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity wrote a letter to the Chaldean Catholic bishops expressing its judgment that Chaldean Catholics could, if necessary, receive the Eucharist consecrated by Assyrian Church of the East clergy using the Addai and Mari Anaphora which does not contain the Narrative of the Institution with its words “This is my body, this is my blood”. The Christian Unity Council indicated it had received approval of this judgment from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Pope John Paul II.

The letter has caused some degree of surprise and perplexity among Catholics. In 2004 the Roman journal Divinitas published a collection of articles on the topic, and in 2006 the English-language edition of Nova et Vetera published an article by Peter Kwasniewski defending the validity of Addai and Mari without “This is my body etc.” on the basis of Thomistic sacramental and Eucharistic theology.

The present article will critically evaluate the principal arguments in support of the Christian Unity Council decision, presenting reasons which could motivate a re-examination of the issue by the Holy See. The canonical and magisterial status of the decision will also be examined. The present study is in four parts: I) patristic and historical interpretation of the history of the anaphora, II) the magisterial status of the Pontifical Council’s letter to the Chaldean bishops, III) the rule of faith, IV) St Thomas’s understanding of the Eucharistic consecration and the act of the ordained priest.

For Robert Taft SJ (R. F. Taft, “Messa senza consacrazione? Lo storico accordo sull’Eucaristia tra la Chiesa cattolica e la Chiesa assira d’Oriente promulgato il 26 ottobre 2001”), the Anaphora of Addai and Mari pronounced without Institution Narrative must be accepted as prima facie valid because it is the traditional anaphora of an apostolic Church.

[...]

Referring to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity’s letter to the Chaldean bishops as an epoch-making “decree” and the most important magisterial document since Vatican II, Taft presents himself in the role of the Catholic theologian whose fundamental tasks include that of explaining and justifying the authentic decisions of the supreme magisterium.

Without qualification he presents not only the Unity Council but also the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Pope John Paul II as the authorities who have approved the “audacious accord” between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East. Taft finds the letter to be audacious and courageous because it breaks with centuries of teaching and clichés fostered by the theological manuals. He also reveals that it was prepared by several years of cross-examination from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and consultation with at least twenty-six experts. During the course of his article, Fr Taft mentions papal judgments of the past which seem to contradict the recent decision, and so he offers suggestions for how to “interpret” them, since, he says, an authentic magisterium cannot contradict itself.

In the case of the decision that the Anaphora of Addai and Mari can be considered valid, Fr Taft presents no distinctions or nuances in his use of the phrase “supreme magisterium”. And yet it is a little unusual, especially in theological circles, for the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to be called “supreme magisterium”. It is the bishop of Rome himself or the universal episcopate in its unanimity which is normally considered to be supreme magisterium, and it is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has been given the faculty to teach and judge Catholic doctrine as an instrument of the Pope’s magisterium.

The 2001 letter to the Chaldean bishops from the Unity Council, which has never been published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, was an official act of the Unity Council, not of the Pope or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Even though the CDF and the Pope gave their approval to the letter as the culmination of inter-dicasterial consultation, this approval has never been published as an act of magisterium to the universal Church. And whereas “supreme magisterium” is usually associated with acts promulgated to the universal Church, the Unity Council’s letter of 2001 was specifically addressed to a single sui iuris particular Church and not to the universal Church.

Cesare Giraudo (C. Giraudo, “L’anafora degli apostoli Addai e Mari: la ‘gemma orientale’ della Lex orandi”) points out that the clearest papal declarations favouring the words of the Lord as the sole form of the Eucharist are found in letters addressed only to a portion of the Church; although this allows him to qualify their status as minor, he fails to point out that the Unity Council’s 2001 letter was likewise addressed only to a restricted portion of the Church, and is canonically not an act of the Pope himself.

For these reasons it seems difficult to affirm that the 2001 letter is an act of authentic magisterium requiring the assent of all the baptized. And putting aside for a moment the issue of the non-universal scope of the letter’s addressee, the Chaldean Catholic Church, one can ask what part of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus gives the Unity Council authority to make authentic interpretations of Catholic doctrine, for to say that the words of Christ validly consecrate the Eucharist when they are found only in “a dispersed and euchological way” is to give a further interpretation of the Catholic doctrine that the words of Christ at the Last Supper consecrate the Eucharist.

In summary: if in the future the Pope or the CDF were to declare to the universal Church that pronouncing the words “This is my body etc.” is the necessary form of the Eucharist, theologians would be able to point out that the 2001 letter of the Unity Council was not an act of the Pope or the CDF and that is was not promulgated to the universal Church.

43 comments:

Jordan Potter said...

Thanks for posting this. It explains things better than I could.

Now, if only I still had copies of my comments I'd posted previously regarding the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. It would be too difficult to try and reconstruct them. Oh well . . . .

New Catholic said...

Just e-mail me, Mr. Potter.

schoolman said...

It seems pretty clear that this was no authentic "act of the magisterium". The commission was outside of its competence and it would not seem sufficient to merely run the text past the CDF or the Pope for their verbal "ok". There is nothing in the text to suggest that the competent authorities were even consulted let alone giving approval. For example, this is how the CDF closes in one of its recent instructions:

==========================
"The Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XVI, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect on 6 October 2007, approved the present Doctrinal Note, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation, and ordered its publication."

schoolman said...

Actually, my mistake. The document does reference the 2001 approval of the CDF and the Pope. I would like to see the full study of the CDF on this if it were ever published.

bedwere said...

I tried to find the CDF approval on vatican.va but couldn't find it.

Anonymous said...

It's about time someone started questioning the conclusions of Fr. Taft's scholarship. Aside from this issue, his critique of Baumstark's liturgical laws is also particularly flawed.

bedwere said...

On the other hand, it was easy to find Fr. Robert Taft's paper:

https://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=2959

Anonymous said...

ALL OF THIS IS FROM THE DEVIL!

Anonymous said...

What a sophistry!!!!!!!!!
Take a look at the actual Anaphora for yourself!!http://www.cired.org/liturgy/apostles.html
I cannot see any actual consecration... just a very beautiful litany of prayers and petitions..... but no actual moment when the act of consecration occurs.
Rome is wrong on this. I am sorry...there has to be reason or a line of reasoning behind this..
There is none and this contradicts scripture and tradition.
Just telling us does NOT WORK sorry. I say it is so it is so works.

Joe B said...

So they're worshipping bread as God but are ignorant of their error. Is that the same as Paganism?

dcs said...

The Latin Mass had a good essay on this topic. The author gave evidence that the original anaphora had been corrupted and that is why it is missing the Institution narrative.

The fact that the Rite uses other anaphorae with the Institution narrative speaks volumes.

Jordan Potter said...

no actual moment when the act of consecration occurs.

Actually that's not the really important issue here. I don't think the Church has authoritatively said when the "actual moment" of consecration is. But she has been pretty clear that the Institution Narrative is essential for valid confection of the Eucharist. Father Taft does not clearly distinguish between these two issues. Regardless of when the consecration actually happens, it wouldn't happen without valid form, valid matter, and valid intent -- and the Church has maintained pretty consistently that an anaphora that lacks an Institution Narrative is invalid form. I'm unconvinced by Father Taft's historical arguments and reinterpretation of past magisterial, theological, and patristic statements on the subject -- and as I've said before, the 2001 decision on the Addai and Mari Anaphora is authoritative but not infallible or irreversible.

Anonymous said...

Jordan, I would beg to differ that we don't know when the consecration takes place in the Mass. It MUST occur prior to the time the priest elevates the Host and the Chalice, otherwise the liturgical law of the Church invites us to idolatry at that time. Either Christ is really and substantially present at that time, as signified by the threefold acts of adoration of the priest, or He's not, and we are committing idolatry. Which also puts this whole nonsense about the anaphorae in greater perspective. At what point in this liturgy is the Host considered divine, and are we are that It actually is such at any time, or does no one really care if we commit idolatry as long as Christ at some point becomes present? What total nonsense.

schoolman said...

Clearly the "decision" involves matters of theology and doctrine -- yet it seems to have its center of gravity in the practical prudential order. Furthermore, the "decision" is clearly not intended to be universal -- but only for a very particular application. As such, I think we can be fairly confident that this is not something irrevocable -- especially since there seems to be a deficiency of historical evidence and proofs one way or the other as admitted within the document. This could be another "Galileo" scenario where the decision may be said to have been justified at the time and given the circumstances -- yet ultimately not irrevocable in light of new circumstances and/or authentic development.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the document.
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20011025_chiesa-caldea-assira_en.html
It actually encourages the insertion of the words consecration and it is mutually recommended by all party Churches.

beng said...

The Latin Mass had a good essay on this topic. The author gave evidence that the original anaphora had been corrupted and that is why it is missing the Institution narrative.

dcs, is the essay online?

poeta said...

dcs,

I think I remember that article. Did that have something to do with the old custom of not committing the words of consecration to writing in order to prevent them from being profaned by pagans?

Anonymous said...

The essential form of the Sacrament is not the words per se, but a sacred sign signifying the transubstantiation of the bread and wine. The Apostolic Tradition is that this sign is expressed in words. But there is no essential theological necessity that the signification be by means of a verbal expression. See Lombard and the Scholastics on signum & sacramentum. The purpose of words, let us remember, is to signify and to convey meaning, because words are verbal signs.


The Anaphora of the Church of the East appears to contain this necessary signification in the Gehantha which follows the commemoration of the dead, wherein the priest invokes the Holy Ghost, saying:

"And may there come, O my Lord,
your Holy Spirit, and may he rest upon this oblation of your servants. May he bless it and hallow it, and may it be for us, O my Lord, for the pardon of debts, the forgiveness of sins, the great hope of resurrection from the dead, and for new life in the kingdom of heaven with all who have been well-pleasing before you. And for all this great and marvelous dispensation towards us we will give thanks to you and praise you without ceasing in your church, which is saved by the precious blood of your Christ - with unclosed mouth and open face,"

Which is prefaced by an explicit mention that the priest is about to enact the consecration:

"We too, my Lord, your feeble, unworthy, and miserable servants who are gathered in your name and stand before you at this hour, and have received by tradition the example which is from you, while rejoicing, glorifying, exalting, and commemorating, perform this great, fearful, holy, life-giving, and divine Mystery of the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

Anonymous said...

Consecration! When and where? Yes it goes on and on but as for when I am mystified!!!

Jordan Potter said...

It MUST occur prior to the time the priest elevates the Host and the Chalice, otherwise the liturgical law of the Church invites us to idolatry at that time. Either Christ is really and substantially present at that time, as signified by the threefold acts of adoration of the priest, or He's not, and we are committing idolatry.

I don't disagree, and given the timing and placement of the acts of adoration during Mass, it would follow that Christ is undoubtedly there at the elevation. However, in different rites there are different liturgical signs in different places. For example, I understand that at least some Eastern Churches, the moment of consecration is understand to be when the priest covers the oblation with a cloth, not when he says the words, "This is My Body," "This is My Blood." However, they still hold that those words are necessary for consecration. That's why we have to remember the distinction between the necessary words for a valid consecration and the actual moment of consecration.

The essential form of the Sacrament is not the words per se, but a sacred sign signifying the transubstantiation of the bread and wine. The Apostolic Tradition is that this sign is expressed in words.

In other words, there is no valid sacrament without a verbal expression, which contradicts your statement that "there is no essential theological necessity that the signification be by means of a verbal expression." If certain words are lacking, or are accidentally or deliberately left out, the sacrament is not valid. As for the Eucharist, it has long been held that the essential form of the sacrament is the Institution Narrative.

The Anaphora of the Church of the East appears to contain this necessary signification in the Gehantha which follows the commemoration of the dead, wherein the priest invokes the Holy Ghost, saying . . . . Which is prefaced by an explicit mention that the priest is about to enact the consecration

Yes, I find it interesting that the Anaphora indicates the priest is about to do something, and then he goes on in his prayer, referring to something as having happened. To me that suggests that an Institution Narrative was once included somewhere in between.

Poeta said: I think I remember that article. Did that have something to do with the old custom of not committing the words of consecration to writing in order to prevent them from being profaned by pagans?

I'd be interested in seeing that article too. When I first heard about the dispute regarding the Anaphora of Addai and Mari a few years ago, one thing that occurred to me is that the ancient practice of the Disciplina Arcana could have played a role in an accidental deletion of an Institution Narrative.

Finally, New Catholic has been kind enough to retrieve my previous comments that I posted in the earlier discussion. I think some of them are relevant to the present discussion, so I will re-post them here.

Jordan Potter said...

Here's one of my previous comments:

Their Anaphora is
the opposite of the Roman Canon: it doesn't have the Words of
Institution but only the Epliclesis of the Holy Spirit.


As DCS said, the Assyrians have more than one Anaphora. You're thinking of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, which usually lacks an Institution Narrative -- although there are some old texts of the Anaphora that have an Institution Narrative, I think it is argued that it is interpolated in those texts. I don't know enough about these things to have a firm opinion, but I've encountered the argument, which I find unconvincing, that originally the Eucharistic liturgy had no Institution Narrative, and later on it began to be inserted into the various ancient liturgies. It is argued that, for some reason, the Anaphora of Addai and Mari ended up being the only ancient liturgy that escaped the trend of adding the Institution Narrative. But since this anaphora is the odd man out, could it not be that it once included an Institution Narrative which dropped out in the passage of time after the Assyrians adopted the Nestorian heresy and broke away from the Church? After all, the Nestorian Schism happened in the days of the disciplina arcana, when the words of the liturgy were a guarded secret, not to be published. Might not the Anaphora of Addai and Mari been deformed somewhat in the passage of time and the centuries of Mohammedan persecution and depredation?

Jordan Potter said...

Here's another of my previous comments:

the Assyrian Eucharist is valid as established by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

That document does not address "the Assyrian Eucharist," merely the question of whether or not the Anaphora of Addai and Mari is valid form for confecting the Eucharist even though the words "This is My Body" and "This is My Blood" cannot be found anywhere in it. According to that document, the lack of an Institution Narrative does not
invalidate the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. Needless to say, that is a very controversial conclusion, since the Church had previously held that the words of Institution are essential to valid confection of the Eucharist.

First, the Anaphora of Addai and Mari dates back to the early Church.

True, though it's not clear that the anaphora minus an Institution Narrative is the earliest form.

Secondly, the Church of the East has otherwise preserved the orthodox faith in regard to the Eucharist and Holy Orders.

And of course there is a difference between, on the one hand, preserving the orthodox faith regarding the Eucharist and Holy Orders, and, on the other hand, using an anaphora that is valid form for confecting the Eucharist. I don't think the Church has ever doubted the validity of Nestorian Orders. Also, for the longest time the Church assumed the Anaphora of Addai and Mari had an Institution
Narrative. (Indeed, even Father Taft, who defends the validity of this anaphora, admits that the ancient and medieval historical record is completely silent about any awareness of so important a difference between this anaphora and the other ancient Eastern anaphorae, which could indicate that the Anaphora of Addai and Mari included an Institution Narrative in those days.) Only more recently in history, when it was discovered that the Nestorians usually prayed the Anaphora without an Institution Narrative, did this question arise.

And finally, though the Words of Institution do not appear in a coherent way, they are present in a dispersed way through prayers of praise, thanksgiving and intercession.

In other words, the specific Words of Institution are not present at all. There are references to a belief in the Real Presence (e.g. "may I and they be deemed worthy of the pardon of debts and the forgiveness of sins through this holy Body which in true faith we receive through the grace which is from you," or, "And for all this great and marvelous dispensation towards us we shall give thanks to you and praise you without ceasing in Thy Church, which is saved by the precious blood of your Christ with unclosed mouth and open face"), but nothing that explicitly pronounces the Eucharist elements to be Christ's Body and Blood.

There is no doubt that the decision that the anaphora is valid form despite the lack of an Institution Narrative is binding and authoritative. The decision is, however, not dogmatic or irreversible, but is primarily a disciplinary matter. The historical, doctrinal, and
theological bases for the decision are disputable, and it is conceivable that it may later be reversed. And in any case, there is no communion between the Nestorians and other churches, so it would be rare indeed for a Catholic to find himself assisting at a Nestorian liturgy of dubious validity. My opinion, which isn't worth much if anything, is that this decision strikes me as much too eager to smooth over real differences rather than acknowledge them honestly -- compromising the faith in pursuit of an illusory, spurious unity.

Jordan Potter said...

Here's the last re-post of my previous comments:

For those interested in learning more about this dispute, here is a
link to a paper by Father Robert Taft, SJ, which defends to 2001
decision on the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. I'm not at all convinced
by Father Taft's arguments and interpretations of the evidence.

http://www.prounione.urbe.it/pdf/
f_prounione_bulletin_n63_spring2003.pdf

(I have inserted a carriage return after "pdf/" so the end of the URL won't be cut off by the formatting.)

Looking at Father Taft's historical evidence for ancient anaphorae that lack Institution Narratives, I am decidedly unimpressed. The best he can do is compile a list of incomplete or partial quotes from prayers, or fragments of prayers, that are eucharistic in appearance or that might or might not be parts of anaphorae. I remain unconvinced that there are, or were, any ancient anaphorae that lack an Institution Narrative, apart from the Anaphora of Addai and Mari --

Father Taft writes, "Had the Institution Narrative once been part of the text only to be excised at a later date, it is unlikely that there would be not one single manuscript witness to the earlier redaction, nor any other reminiscence of the matter in the liturgy of the tradition. That silence would hardly have been possible in the light of the importance the classical East-Syrian liturgical commentators give to the Institution Narrative in their eucharistic theology."

But that is in fact an excellent argument in favor of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari including an Institution Narrative, for if the Institution Narrative was really held to be so important, it surely would have been mentioned if the Anaphora of Addai and Mari lacked one.

Anyway I believe the earliest texts of that anaphora are medieval copies, not ancient copies. Father Taft fudges that fact by claiming that modern scholarship "has no patience with theories based on suppositions of what must or must not have been," even though the claim that the Anaphora of Addai and Mari never had an Institution Narrative, and has not undergone significant changes over the centuries, are precisely suppositions of what must or must not have been. I find it troubling that a decision of such importance would be formulated based on debatable points of unsettled (and probably unsettle-able) liturgical and theological scholarship, without, it seems to me, due acknowledgement of what the Church has formally taught and believed about the essential nature of the Institution Narrative (and I think Father Taft does not accurately interpret what the Church and the Fathers have taught on that subject, but engages in a bit of straw man arguments). So, Father Taft says an anaphora is valid form if it at least vaguely alludes to Christ's institution of the Eucharist. (Well, actually he thinks the terminology of "matter" and "form" are, so he says, "outdated.") But can we say the same thing of Baptism? If we are to adopt Father Taft's sort of sacramental theology, we could conclude that a baptism need not include the words, "I baptise thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," but needs only an oblique "euchological" reference to Christ's command to baptise in God's name.

Jeff said...

I don't have a firm opinion on this one way or another.

But it strikes me that the conclusions of the Unity Council on the Anaphora do not necessarily conflict with Trent or other Catholic teaching on consecration.

That the words of consecration taken from the Last Supper effect transubstantiation when the Roman Canon is considered seem to be what is being addressed.

But the question of whether it might be possible to have a consecration without those words is neither asked nor answered. It does not even seem to have been contemplated.

So, it certainly seems relevant to ask if the anaphora in question represents either a genuine apostolic tradition or a defective tradition influenced by the particularly Nestorian character of the Chaldean Church.

Joseph Ratzinger and CDF apparently examined the question and decided in favor of the latter interpretation. That may not be binding, but it does make you stop and think.

And since this post follows hot on the heels of one celebrating the approach of the Chaldean Church to Catholic Unity, it behooves us to ask: Would this have been possible without recognition of the Anaphora? And isn't it likely that the Anaphora as it stands will soon become a fully recognized one within Catholic unity?

Jeff said...

I mean "the former interpretation", not "the latter".

Jordan Potter said...

And since this post follows hot on the heels of one celebrating the approach of the Chaldean Church to Catholic Unity,

The Chaldean Church is already unity with the Catholic Church. It's the "Assyrian Catholic Apostolic Diocese," whoever they are, that has resolved to "enter full communion with the Catholic Church" and "resume Church unity
with the Chaldean Catholic Church." But that's tangential to the topic at hand. If reunion comes, though, it would be only be good if it were solidly based in truth.

As I understand it, many Assyrians insert an Institution Narrative into the Anaphora of Addai and Mari.

dcs said...

I understand that at least some Eastern Churches, the moment of consecration is understand to be when the priest covers the oblation with a cloth, not when he says the words, "This is My Body," "This is My Blood."

They might "understand" it that way but they are wrong. The consecration happens when the Words of Institution are prayed over the offerings.

Thanks for your fisking of Fr. Taft's article, by the way. His arguments are not based on evidence but on a lack of evidence.

schoolman said...

The document does in fact encourage the use of the already existing option to insert the words of institution into the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. It states:

============================
"When Chaldean faithful are participating in an Assyrian celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the minister of the Assyrian Church is warmly invited to insert the words of the Institution in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. This possibility already exists in the Assyrian Church of the East. Indeed, the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East, assembled in 1978 in Baghdad, offered ministers in the Assyrian Church the option of reciting the words of the Institution in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari. Although this option does not affect the validity of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, it might have a particular relevance from a liturgical, as well as an ecumenical viewpoint. From a liturgical viewpoint, this might be an appropriate means to bring the present use of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari into line with the general usage in every Eucharistic Prayer both in the Christian East and in the Christian West. From an ecumenical viewpoint, it might be an appropriate expression of fraternal respect for members of other Churches who receive Holy Communion in the Assyrian Church of the East and who are used, according to the theological and canonical tradition of their proper Church, to hear the recitation of the words of the Institution in every Eucharistic Prayer."

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to read that these Assyrians themselves are willing to insert the institution narrative themselves.

And to Potter's last comment, one hopes that the union is not simply founded on the needs of Iraqi Catholics to occasionally receive communion from Assyrian ex-Nestorian-cum Catholics because they can't get to a Chaldean Catholic priest on Sunday, but on actual dogmatic assent to the indivisible and unalterable Catholic Faith.

Has anyone heard of any dogmatic discussions related to this group of Assyrians?

Anonymous said...

I wrote:

The essential form of the Sacrament is not the words per se, but a sacred sign signifying the transubstantiation of the bread and wine. The Apostolic Tradition is that this sign is expressed in words.

J. Potter wrote:

In other words, there is no valid sacrament without a verbal expression, which contradicts your statement that "there is no essential theological necessity that the signification be by means of a verbal expression." If certain words are lacking, or are accidentally or deliberately left out, the sacrament is not valid. As for the Eucharist, it has long been held that the essential form of the sacrament is the Institution Narrative.

Dear J. Potter, if you don't know the distinction between theological necessity and Apostolic Tradition, then don't assume I am saying what you think I am, because I am not.

The correct inference is not "there is no valid consecration without a verbal expression", but rather "there is not valid consecration without an intentional signification of transubstantiation"

To say "to express words" is sloppy: one expresses signification through words, one pronounces, says, or writes words.

The form of the sacrament is expressed in words, but it is not the words by their signification. Otherwise there would be as many forms of the Sacrament as there are formulae for the words.

Sacramental Theology 101.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

Brother Ansgar speaks of a possible future scenario in which "the Pope or the CDF were to declare to the universal Church that pronouncing the words 'This is my body etc.'is the necessary form of the Eucharist."

This is unlikely on the face of it because it would also be a declaration that all Masses (liturgies) previously celebrated using the Anaphora of Addai and Marai were INVALID — they didn't employ the "necessary form."

My prediction: the original declaration will be left as it stands. It allows conservatives like Br. Ansgar to hope it is not "definitive," and allows modernists like Fr. Taft to promote their ecumenical agenda of sacraments without forms.

Perfect for accommodating contradictory positions in the "big tent"!

schoolman said...

"This is unlikely on the face of it because it would also be a declaration that all Masses (liturgies) previously celebrated using the Anaphora of Addai and Marai were INVALID..."
========================

This would have the same practical effect of reversing a decision relative to the validity of orders for particular priests. Yet I think there are some historical examples of such cases.

schoolman said...

I think it is important to note that the document from the Pontifical Council does not discount the necessity of the institution narrative in connection with valid form. In this case, however, the institution narrative is not presented "in a coherent way and ad litteram, but rather in a dispersed euchological way, that is, integrated in prayers of thanksgiving, praise and intercession. All these elements constitute a “quasi-narrative” of the Eucharistic Institution." So the question really hinges on the necessity (or not) for an "ad litteram" form of the institution narrative. Does a "euchological" and "quasi-narrative" form suffice for validity?
==========================

Finally, it must be observed that the eastern and western Eucharistic Anaphoras, while expressing the same mystery, have different theological, ritual and linguistic traditions. The words of the Eucharistic Institution are indeed present in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, not in a coherent way and ad litteram, but rather in a dispersed euchological way, that is, integrated in prayers of thanksgiving, praise and intercession. All these elements constitute a “quasi-narrative” of the Eucharistic Institution. In the central part of the Anaphora, together with the Epiclesis, explicit references are made to the eucharistic Body and Blood of Jesus Christ (“O my Lord, in thy manifold and ineffable mercies, make a good and gracious remembrance for all the upright and just fathers who were pleasing before thee, in the commemoration of the body and blood of thy Christ, which we offer to thee upon the pure and holy altar, as thou hast taught us”), to the life-giving mystery of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection, which is actually commemorated and celebrated (“that all the inhabitants of the world may know thee ... and we also, O my Lord, thy unworthy, frail and miserable servants who are gathered and stand before thee, and have received by tradition the example which is from thee, rejoicing and glorifying and exalting and commemorating and celebrating this great and awesome mystery of the passion and death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ”), to the eucharistic offering for the forgiveness of the sins, to the eschatological dimension of the eucharistic celebration and to the Lord’s command to 'do this in memory of me' (“And let thy Holy Spirit come, O my Lord, and rest upon this offering of thy servants, and bless it and sanctify it that it my be to us, O my Lord, for the pardon of sins, and for the forgiveness of shortcomings, and for the great hope of the resurrection from the dead, and for new life in the kingdom of heaven with all who have been pleasing before thee”). So the words of the Institution are not absent in the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, but explicitly mentioned in a dispersed way, from the beginning to the end, in the most important passages of the Anaphora. It is also clear that the passages cited above express the full conviction of commemorating the Lord’s paschal mystery, in the strong sense of making it present; that is, the intention to carry out in practice precisely what Christ established by his words and actions in instituting the Eucharist.

father anthony Cekada said...

Schoolman's analogy would not hold, I think.

Previous declarations about ordinations concerned OMISSIONS of what was prescribed from a rite that ALREADY contained what was necessary and sufficient to confer a sacrament.

In Brother Ansgar's scenario, an integral RITE (prayers and ceremonies) would be declared not to have contained what was necessary and sufficient to confer a sacrament — and this after a Vatican declaration that said the opposite.

And as an aside. having tangled with Br. Ansgar over the Paul VI form for episcopal consecration, I can't figure out why he would even worry about the Addai and Marai pronouncement, because his defense for the former was "signification from context."

Go figure…

schoolman said...

"Schoolman's analogy would not hold, I think."
====================

Father Cekada, I don't intend to draw an analogy except to say the the practical consequences are the same -- declaring INVALIDITY after the fact. But let's put this aside for the moment and consider the hisorical argument in favor of the "quasi-narrative" interpretation. There would seem to be a lack of historical evidence that Rome has ever insisted on "ad litteram" institution narrative and and certainly the anaphora in question would have been condemned or at least questioned. According the the document, Rome has never raised such an objection. How do we account for that?

Anonymous said...

I live in Belgium and wish to give my opinion about this problem:
The fact mentioned in the 2001 Act that the Pope has approved the conclusion of the Congregation of the doctrine of the faith (and even the statement of this Congregation that the Anaphora is valid) does not mean the Anaphora without the Words of the Institution (whatever would say Robert Taft and Card. Kasper), but only the Anaphora like it was in the first times, that is with the Words of the Institution clearly expressed and pronounced, but not written (because of the disciplina arcani, or because they were known by heart by every priest).
Indeed, Robert Taft is a strong opponent of the traditional thomistic and catholic view of the doctrine of the Sacrament: he calls the doctrine approved by the Councils of Florence and Trent about the form and matter of the Sacraments a "medieval theology of magical words" (see David Berger, on http://www.forumromanum.de/member/forum/forum.php?action=ubb_show&entryid=1095888265&mainid=1095888265&USER=user_312946&threadid=1122825825).
Cardinal Kasper is not better: in his commun declarations with heretics he says what they want to hear: for example, in the declaration with anglicans about the holy Virgin, he calls the Tridentine cult of the Holy Maiden "an exaggeration", term that can be interpretated in different meanings.
Robert Taft wish to reinterpretate the words of the past Pontiffs in a meaning that they had not, that even they wanted to condemn. Why can I not interpretate the 2001 Act like it must be?

More over, I have read the Anaphora to find where the Words of the consecration are expressed "in a dispersed way", but I never found any clue to this.
After all the historical arguments mentioned in the 2001 act are all false: for example, it is stated: "its validity was never officially contested, neither in the Christian East nor in the Christian West", which is absolutely false, if you consider that all Popes have obliged Catholic Chaldeans to insert the Words of the Institution in this anaphora.

"Cesare Giraudo (C. Giraudo, “L’anafora degli apostoli Addai e Mari: la ‘gemma orientale’ della Lex orandi”) points out that the clearest papal declarations favouring the words of the Lord as the sole form of the Eucharist are found in letters addressed only to a portion of the Church"
-- The fact that the Council of Florence, who says "Forma huius sacramenti sunt verba Salvatoris, quibus hoc confecit sacramentum" (The Form of this Sacrament are the words of the Saviour, by which he realized the Sacrament) has been published in all the catholic world, proves that it is the doctrine of all the Church. More over, the Catechismus Romanus (and the new one also) clearly affirms that the Words of the Institution are the form of the Consecration.

Other papal acts were PAPAL ACTS (for example EX QUO NONO, addressed by S. Pius X to all the East), whereas the act of the Cardinal Kasper, to whom neither faith nor moral doctrine has been committed, is only and merely a disciplinary act, and an act limited to the Chaldeans. And it even acknowledges that "the Catholic Church considers the words of the Eucharistic Institution a constitutive and therefore indispensable part of the Anaphora".

Jordan Potter said...

Some anonymous person verbally expressed:

Dear J. Potter, if you don't know the distinction between theological necessity and Apostolic Tradition, then don't assume I am saying what you think I am, because I am not.

I know the distinction between theological necessity and Apostolic Tradition, and I know that anything in the Apostolic Tradition is theologically necessary.

Don't assume I don't know these things just because you aren't verbally expressing yourself clearly or accurately.

The correct inference is not "there is no valid consecration without a verbal expression", but rather "there is no valid consecration without an intentional signification of transubstantiation"

Intentional signification requires valid form and valid matter. Thus, there is no valid consecration without words, without verbal expression. The priest can't just stand at the altar and wave his arms over the matter and secretly think intention: he's got to verbally express something too.

To say "to express words" is sloppy: one expresses signification through words, one pronounces, says, or writes words.

A distinction without a difference, as pronouncing, saying, and writing are all forms of verbal expression.

The form of the sacrament is expressed in words, but it is not the words by their signification.

And yet the fact remains that without verbal expression, there is no valid form, and hence no valid sacrament.

Sacramental Theology 101.

Anonymous said...

As Fr. Cekada himself correctly said in his otherwise flawed study of the validity of the new rite of ordination: What determines a valid form is "the words recited actually produce the sacramental effect."

The specific words - "this is my body" - do this. Even though the one uttering the words is not personally Christ, by repeating the words after the commandment of Christ and by the power of ordination to act "in persona Christi," the effect nevertheless takes place. When Fr. Cekada says, "Hoc est corpus meum" the host is not transubstantiated into the body of Fr. Cekada, but into the body of Christ.

The Anaphora of Addai and Mari contains a declaration, the meaning of which is unmistakable: "The body of Christ and his precious blood are on the holy altar."

Does this declaration confect the meaning of the words? Well, that's kind of like asking whether the one uttering the words is a priest or not.

Perhaps I'm confused, but I don't understand the controversy: The anaphora is valid.

"Assyrian Apologist"

Joshua said...

Perhaps the last comment, by Assyrian Apologist, squares the circle:

'The Anaphora of Addai and Mari contains a declaration, the meaning of which is unmistakable: "The body of Christ and his precious blood are on the holy altar."
Does this declaration confect the meaning of the words?'

Here perhaps is the crux of the matter.

All would agree that, of the many valid formulae of consecration, according to the different Anaphorai of the Eastern Rites and the various Western forms, the minimum words needed for validity are "This is my Body/Blood" (whether further words, signifying the sacrifice - e.g. "which will be shed for remission of sins - are necessary is less certain, is that so?).

Is then the double formula "This/These is/are my Body and (this is my) Blood" potentially valid? Possibly indeed.

Is then the formula in the third person valid - "Those are the Body and Blood of Christ"?

Recall the certainly valid Eastern declaratory formula for absolution: not "I absolve thee" but "The servant of God N. is absolved".

Can we draw an analogy between these and see perhaps the Assyrian phrase "The body of Christ and his precious blood are on the holy altar" to be acceptable as a valid form? All hinges on reading "are" as not merely the copula but as a performative verb, effecting what it signifies in the mouth of the priest standing at the altar as alter Christus.

Priestly Pugilist said...

In a three part post some ways down the page, in which I touched on some liturgical matters, I had mentioned one particular experience wherein I had hosted as concelebrant a Roman Catholic priest for a funeral, and how he had struggled to reconcile himself with the uncomfortable fact that the principles upon which his own ritual Church reformed their liturgy do not govern the liturgical life of the universal Catholic Church. It's an easy enough mistake to make, what with the Latin Church sui iuris being the largest of all the Churches in Catholicism, with many -- if not most -- Roman Catholics thinking that the Roman way of doing things is the Catholic way of doing things. Each year, when I make my annual Opus Dei retreat outside Boston, being the only Eastern priest there, I'll invariably get the question, "What rite are you?" My pat answer, albeit a little flippant, is, "The Church to which I belong worships according to the Byzantine Rite; but, since six other Churches in union with Rome also worship according to the Byzantine rite, I'm not sure that answers your question." Then I walk away leaving my interrogator dazed and confused.

Terminology, of course, is only a small part of the problem. When it comes to matters of sacramental theology and jurisdiction, the problem becomes rather far reaching, sometimes having an impact on the lives of innocent people. Take, for example, the situation of a Ruthenian Catholic man who desires to marry a Roman Catholic woman. They want to get married in her parish church by her parish priest. So, Father Guinness O'Stout, pastor of St. Briget of the Shamrock Roman Catholic Church, rings me up to ask for a baptismal certificate for my parishioner. I send it to him, of course, but with a note attached to the effect that, since one of the parties involved is a Catholic of another Church sui iuris, the arrangements for the marriage must be reviewed before the fact by an official of our eparchy. I even include the name, address and phone number of the aforementioned official who will be pleased to do this for him. The reason for this inconvenience is the fact that, should Romeo require any dispensations in his path to marital bliss, they would have to be issued by his own bishop, as the Roman Catholic bishop in this case would have no authority to grant a dispensation to someone of another Church sui iuris. Not wishing to confuse Fr. O'Stout with needless details, I withhold from him the fact that I already know of one dispensation that will be required: the permission for Romeo to marry someone in a parish church other than his own. According to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1990, an Eastern Catholic man licitly marries only in his own parish church, and must seek the permission of his bishop to marry in the church of his bride -- a stipulation not required of Roman Catholics. I withhold this information only because (1) I assume that the eparchial official to whom I have referred him will explain this to him, and (2) I don't want to give him the impression that this is the only dispensation required, since there may be others.

It's safe to say that in seven out of ten situations, Fr. O'Stout ignores my note, though it's not really his fault. It usually happens like this: He's confused and annoyed by my note, since it introduces more paperwork; so he rings up someone at his own diocesan chancery who tells him, "They're both Catholics, they're getting married in one of our churches, so only our rules apply." Then, some months later, I'll get a notice in the mail asking me to record a marriage in Romeo's baptismal record. I ring up Fr. O'Stout and tell him that, in order for me to properly record the marriage, I need to know the protocol numbers of any dispensations received, and the name of the bishop who issued them. Of course, there are none; so I have to send the notice to our own chancery, which discovers that the marriage is, in fact, invalid. The reasons could be many, so let's choose just one possibility: the marriage was witnessed by a deacon. Why is this a problem? Because, while the ministers of the sacrament of matrimony in the Latin Church are the couple, who confer the sacrament upon one another through their exchange of consent (with the priest or deacon serving only as a witness to the act), the minister of the sacrament in the Eastern Catholic Churches is the priest, who confers the sacrament through the act of crowning and the blessing which accompanies it. Hence, a deacon cannot validly perform a marriage involving an Eastern Catholic.

This is a good example of what I'm eventually going to get to (if you stick with it). Contrary to what many Roman Catholics think, what distinguishes the Latin Church from the various Eastern Churches in union with Rome is not simply a matter of style, custom or liturgical traditions. The misunderstanding stems from something they've forgotten in their seminary training: that the Church (or, more precisely, the Churches) have some authority over the form of a sacrament. Every sacrament is composed of matter and form. The matter required for a sacrament is unchangeable because it is instituted by Christ; but the form has always been subject to the authority of the Churches. For example, the matter required for the sacrament of Confirmation is Holy Chrism; before Vatican II the form was the laying on of hands, the anointing and the prayer said by the bishop as he did so. After the Council, Pope Paul VI changed the form, removing the laying on of hands and changing the words of the prayer. The matter for the sacrament of confession is sins confessed to a priest with true contrition and a purpose of the amendment; the form was the words of absolution said by the priest. After the Council, the words were changed. Over the centuries, the Church (or the Churches) have always exercised authority to change the form of a sacrament.

What is often overlooked is the fact that, even though various Churches may be in communion with one another, it is not necessary that they all authorize the same form for the sacraments. The prayer of absolution in our Church is quite different from the one used in the Latin Church. The form of Confirmation (which we call Chrismation) is radically different for us. Likewise, the form of the sacrament of Matrimony is also very different. The matter for this sacrament is a man and woman free of diriment impediments; but the form in our Church is act of Crowning and the blessing of a priest, without which the sacrament is invalid. And when a member of our Church marries, regardless if who he's marrying, who performs the ceremony and where it takes place, the form by which he is required to receive this sacrament is necessary for his marriage to be valid. The fact that his bride may be bound by different obligations regarding form is irrelevant.

That long and tedious diatribe was all just filler and introduction (though, for some, maybe necessary), before getting to the real subject of today's post (doesn't that just annoy you?). The real subject of this post is another article someone sent to me which annoyed me, so I have to destroy it and perform my typical character assassination on the author (you gotta love blogging under a pseudonym -- it's so therapeutic). The article in question is "Historical and Theological Argumentation in Favour Of Anaphoras without Institution Narrative: A Critical Appraisal," found in the book, Die Anaphora von Addai und Mari – Studien zu Eucharistie und Einsetzungsworten (The Anaphora of Addai and Mari - Studies on the Eucharist and the Institution Narrative), organized by Father U. M. Lang. You gotta love those German editors; they love to give everything a ponderously long title, probably in the hope of scaring you away from reading the thing. Unfortunately for Father Ansgar Santogrossi, OSB, my target of the day, I wasn't scared off that easily. I don't have a link to the original article; you'll have to take my word that is exists and that it annoys me. I suppose you could go look for the book . .

. . . though I don't think you'll find it in the bargain bin at Borders.

Fr. Santogrossi is upset, and not just because he's an Italian colluding with a German (they tried that once and ended up losing the war). He's upset because the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, in 2001, in a letter addressed to the Chaldean Catholic bishops, indicated that Chaldean Catholics could, if necessary, receive the Eucharist consecrated by priests of the Assyrian Orthodox Church using the Addai and Mari Anaphora, which does not contain the Narrative of the Institution with its words “This is my body, this is my blood”. The Christian Unity Council indicated it had received approval of this judgment from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (then under Cardinal Ratzinger) and Pope John Paul II. In other words, the Holy See, through this particular office, has indicated that this ancient anphora (Eucharistic prayer) is valid for the consecration of the Eucharist, even though it does not contain the words that most Catholics understand make the Eucharist present.

"The letter has caused some degree of surprise and perplexity among Catholics. [ . . . ] The present article will critically evaluate the principal arguments in support of the Christian Unity Council decision, presenting reasons which could motivate a re-examination of the issue by the Holy See. The canonical and magisterial status of the decision will also be examined. The present study is in four parts: I) patristic and historical interpretation of the history of the anaphora, II) the magisterial status of the Pontifical Council’s letter to the Chaldean bishops, III) the rule of faith, IV) St Thomas’s understanding of the Eucharistic consecration and the act of the ordained priest."

No, don't worry. We're not going to go through all that. But I do find it interesting that Fr. Santogrossi's choice of words, followed up by this candid and thoughtful exposé of his proposed methodology, betrays his ritual prejudices. Has the letter really caused "surprise and perplexity among Catholics," or just surprise and perplexity among some Roman Catholics for whom the form of the sacrament of the Eucharist has always been "This is my Body, this is my Blood"?

With regard to his first salvo, Fr. Santogrossi zeros in on Roman-turned-Byzantine gadfly, Robert Taft, SJ, whom, I admit, is easy to zero in on because he's so annoying in his own right. But in this case, Father Taft is right as far as it goes. He merely points out that "the Anaphora of Addai and Mari pronounced without Institution Narrative must be accepted as prima facie valid because it is the traditional anaphora of an apostolic Church," a point made in the Pontifical Council's letter. But because Fr. S has a Roman ax to grind, he's got to attack Taft not on the basis of Taft's actual argument, but with regard to the non sequitor of "who the hell is Taft?".

Referring to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity’s letter to the Chaldean bishops as an epoch-making “decree” and the most important magisterial document since Vatican II, Taft presents himself in the role of the Catholic theologian whose fundamental tasks include that of explaining and justifying the authentic decisions of the supreme magisterium. [ . . . ] In the case of the decision that the Anaphora of Addai and Mari can be considered valid, Fr Taft presents no distinctions or nuances in his use of the phrase “supreme magisterium”. And yet it is a little unusual, especially in theological circles, for the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to be called “supreme magisterium”. It is the bishop of Rome himself or the universal episcopate in its unanimity which is normally considered to be supreme magisterium, and it is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has been given the faculty to teach and judge Catholic doctrine as an instrument of the Pope’s magisterium.


OK, granted: Taft's remark that this is the most important document since Vatican II sounds a bit like Taft needs to discover the virtues of decaf; nevertheless, Taft is a bona fide theologian with a pile of pontifical degrees to prove it, so his job does "include that of explaining and justifying the authentic decisions of the supreme magisterium." More to the point, what Fr. Santogrossi says Taft said is not exactly what Taft said. He did not promote the Pontifical Council to the status of an acting Pope-for-a-day; he did point out that the letter of the Council was released with he approval of the Holy Father following a review by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a point that Santogrossi ignores. Santogrossi then goes on in his second volley to attempt to discredit the Pontifical Council for the Family for not being a body with teaching authority, which it isn't. What he fails to comprehend, however, is that the Council isn't attempting to teach here; it's attempting to do exactly what it was created by the Holy Father to do: transmit to someone concerned an answer to a question they received regarding the practice of receiving Holy Communion by certain Catholics in a church of another Christian community. The Council put the question to the CDF, which conferred with Pope John Paul, then transmitted that answer to those who had asked. The fact that Father Santogrossi doesn't like that answer is not the Pontifical Council's fault -- nor Fr. Taft's, for that matter -- and he needs to take his disappointment up with the Holy Father, not with the Holy Father's messenger boys.

Regarding Santogrossi's third and fourth punches (the rule of faith, and St. Thomas’s understanding of the Eucharistic consecration and the act of the ordained priest), it suffices to say that the Pontifical Council's letter (which, I remind you, was approved by the CDF and Pope John Paul II) simply doesn't gel with what Santogrossi reads in his third grade Baltimore Catechism; namely, that it's the words "This is my Body" and "This is my Blood" that make Jesus present. In other words, he suffers from the "Roman Catholic disease" which causes Roman Catholics to assume that the Roman way of doing everything is the same as the Catholic way of doing everything, confusing the authority his particular Church has over the sacraments as celebrated in his Church, with fundamental Catholic dogma. The words "This is my Body" and "This is my Blood" make Jesus present in the Mass of the Roman Rite because the Latin Church, which has authority over the form of the sacraments as celebrated in the Latin Church, says so. It's as simple as that.

The matter of the sacrament of the Eucharist is, and always will be, bread and wine because that's what Christ used when he instituted the sacrament; but the form pronounced over that matter is and always has been under the authority of the Church (or Churches) to whom Christ entrusted that sacrament. That's why a marriage of a Ruthenian Catholic performed by a deacon in a Roman Catholic Church is invalid, and why the Anphora of Addai and Mari for Chaldean Catholics is valid. And why Fr. Santogrossi needs to broaden his view.

Fr. Santogrossi concludes his article by speculating that, since the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians is not a teaching authority, it will be a simple matter for the Holy See to reverse this decision once they catch on that he's right and they're wrong. Now if only we can convince the rest of the Churches in union with Rome that they also need to be in union with Fr. Santogrossi.

Anonymous said...

"As the Catholic Church considers the words of the Eucharistic Institution a constitutive and therefore indispensable part of the Anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer, a long and careful study was undertaken of the Anaphora of Addai and Mari, from a historical, liturgical and theological perspective, at the end of which the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith on January 17th, 2001 concluded that this Anaphora can be considered valid. H.H. Pope John Paul II has approved this decision." It was not the PCPCU that offered the decree for the Pope's signature, but the CDF, which is specifically an organ of the Magisterium.

And, as per a private correspondence with Dr Richard Gaillardetz, the decree bears the theological note of "authoritative doctrine" and not dogma. It seems that the readers here have forgotten (or never learned) that Catholic belief bears varying levels of theological certitude.

Whoever read too much into "may be considered valid" forgets that the document was composed in Italian: "...Anafora può essere considerata valida..." The Italian text behind "may" offers a stronger definition than what the tentative English "may" conveys.

Finally, as per correspondence with the CDF, the decree is not available for public study. I would not be surprised if the impetus for classifying the decree are would-be theologians who quickly pass over the tertia pars of St Thomas' Summa theologiae as the intellecutally diminutive readers of Rorate Caeli do.

Folks, read St Augustine of Hippo's Tractatus LXXX super Ioannem as well as S.th. IIIa, q. 60, art. 7, ad 1.

Despite being called Traditionalists, most of them display a shocking ignorance of the Fathers and Councils. I doubt very many of them even own a copy of Denzinger!

M. G. Hysell, M.A., M.Th. (Cand.)

Jordanes said...

Finally, as per correspondence with the CDF, the decree is not available for public study.

What a highly unusual claim! The CDF secretly has issued a decree that John Paul II secretly approved but never promulgated in the AAS? That’s another way of saying that either there never was any such papally-approved CDF decree, or else the decree has no doctrinal or juridical force since it was never promulgated publicly. If a decree secretly falls in the forest of the Vatican and is never promulgated in the AAS or made available for anyone to read, does it make a sound? Has it any doctrinal force? No, it has none.

Also, I would advise you, Mr. Hysell, in the future should you comment here, that you please take the condescension and snottiness down a few notches.

Jamie said...

Mr Hysell, ironically you abuse us for lacking intelligence here while your own comment shows the quality of your American theology diplomas to be obviously deficient in the teachings of Catholic theology proper (namely Aquinas).

The section of the Summa that you quote has no relevance to this issue - it is relating to whether varying tongues used in the sacrament matters - he posits "no" - the language doesn't matter because it is merely a sign of the form. HOWEVER, he does not say that the words as defined by the Church can be changed or removed entirely.

In support of what I have just said, if you had bothered to read a little higher up in the same question and article you would see:

"[T]herefore, in the sacraments determinate sensible things are required, which are as sacramental matter, much more is there need in them of a determinate form of words."

Do you see that? He states specifically that a determinate form of words must be used - and they are in all but the one case mentioned above - even the Easterners use the same form.

Clearly it is through historical error that the anaphora of Addai and Mari is sometimes found to (wrongly) exclude the proper form.

Perhaps the "theologians" who came up with this ridiculous assertion studied at the same universities as you.