Rorate Caeli

Subtle

In the Evensong service with Anglicans at Westminster Abbey, Pope Benedict XVI wore a stole first worn and which first belonged to Pope Leo XIII.



[Tip: Cantuale Antonianum, via Le Forum Catholique]

50 comments:

Bryan said...

The Holy Father wears a stole first worn by the author of Apostolicae Curae on the Nullity of Anglican orders on the first visit of a Pope to Westminster Abbey.

But did the Holy Father's words in the Abbey match those of his predecessor of happy memory Pope Leo XIII?

Some believe the comedy vicar, gay vicar, radical vicar etc characterisations of Anglican ministers have led to the apathy towards religion here in England.

Mr. Ortiz said...

What a humble, noble servant of the servants of God.

Long may he reign!

New Catholic said...

He also created Blessed Newman Cardinal - Pope Leo XIII obviously loved England.

Pascendi said...

The Holy Father is a man of symbolism. God bless Pope Benedict -- what a grace filled pilgrimage!

m_hyland said...

I love the vestments, but has anybody else noticed the absolutely lovable expression on the Holy Father's face? God bless him! Ad multos annos!

Anonymous said...

What am I missing here? That was a slap in the face of Pope Leo XIII. A sort of thumbing the nose. Good grief!

Pablo said...

They fit him big.

*

Fratellino said...

"What am I missing here? That was a slap in the face of Pope Leo XIII. A sort of thumbing the nose. Good grief!"

Yes, I'm afraid you are rather missing the point. The clue is in the fact that (much to the ire of Anglicans who already commemorate Newman on the anniversary of his death), the Catholics are going to celebrate Bl. Newman's feast on the date of his conversion, the conversion of a former Anglican, who was re-ordained into true orders (even before they were declared null and void). It will be an ongoing reminder to them that the man they commemorate is not who they think he is; that he is ours and not theirs; and that - however good a thing is it to be nice to each other and even to pray together, and it is good - what is "of them" and what is "of us" are two very different things, thanks to Pope Leo XIII. I'm quite sure the meaning of that stole was not lost on any Anglican hierarch with two grey cells to put together. So sure, in a sense it's a slap, but it's a slap on the back!!

Anonymous said...

So what?

Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

The symbolism is

"Thank you for having me here, you are very kind, by the way your orders are still null and void."

That is what I got from it.

Fratellino said...

This was a moment of greatness, and of both spiritual humility and bravery. Only a man as truly humble, a man at the service of Peter's patrimony, a man truly resigned to suffering the slings and arrows of capricious fortune, could have pulled it off and left everyone broadened, softened, instructed, gratified, and smiling. We have witnessed papal bravery in the face of all odds. Who knows to what future success this intrepid pope's work will redound.

And here's an interesting and highly ironic kicker: we all have Gordon Brown's voracious political ambition to thank for it. This would all have happened very differently, if at all, were it not that Brown in his desire to cultivate the Catholic vote issued this writ for a State Visit. That meant that the Queen had to be visited in a certain way; that the assembled Government had to be involved in a certain way; and the established religion had to be involved in an appropriate setting. That is how we got the events at Westminster Hall and Westminster Abby. The builders did not know the uses to which their work would descend. Truly, He works in mysterious ways!

Anonymous said...

Subtle? Yes indeed. Too subtle, perhaps, for the man in the pew. What the... layman will remember is that it is ok to share services with Anglicans.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

It's a little distraction from his undermining Apostolicae Curae by participating in a service presided over by a mitred heretic whose episcopal orders the Bull declared invalid.

Even though I reached my conclusions on the "question of the pope" decades ago, events like this still shock me. Outrageous…

Henry said...

Anonymous @ 20 September, 2010 10:42 --

Subtle? Yes indeed. Too subtle, perhaps, for the man in the pew.

And for you also, it would appear. (Since even after multiple explanations, you still don't get it.)

LeonG said...

The best gloss we may place on this event, as with so many others of its genre, is that it is certainly very ambiguous. Its symbolism? Could we possibly find unanimity? Evidently not. However, it synchronises perfectly with post-conciliar ecumenical models while representing an affront to pre-conciliar ecumenism with which there is absolutely no continuity.

Melchior Cano said...

I guess I'm at a loss to understand the point of this post; and no, I don't need to "re-read" the commenters' explanations. The reality is that the Holy Father's wearing of Leo XIII's stole may have been a subtle reminder that the Church knows their orders to be invalid. But, the presence of the Holy Father in an inter-faith Vespers with the arch-layman of Canterbury, the promotion of inter-faith dialogue, etc. lend themselves to the view opposite Leo XIII's.

Anonymous said...

Henry, I do get it, thank you. What is clear is that this is a cause of scandal (in the Biblical sense of the word).

sjgmore said...

I like the Holy Father's subtlety, but Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion's recent unambiguous slap-down of the Anglicans still resonates more strongly with me.

Points to Benedict for tact, points to Hilarion for ballsiness.

Giovanni A. Cattaneo said...

@sjgmore

True, however one must remember that as a Father one talks different to a child than say a teacher would.

And when it is all said and done the protestants are our children. Meaning they are our responsibility.

The only way to tell somebody that they were wrong then, are wrong now and continue to be wrong for the foreseeable future is by going to them and telling them face to face. Which is what the Pope did.

Brian said...

Would Pope Leo XII have worn that stole to an evensong service with Anglicans at Westminster Abbey?

Anonymous said...

/Would Pope Leo XII have worn that stole to an evensong service with Anglicans at Westminster Abbey??

Leo XIII like his predecessors would not have set a foot in a a-catholic cult site.

John McFarland said...

My interpretation is that it is one more example of the hermeneutic of reform and continuity.

In the old days, Pope Leo (very much against his personal inclinations) declared Anglican orders invalid. In older days, man and women were drawn and quartered, crushed, etc., for the Faith. Nowadays, we consort with the Anglicans at the same time that we celebrate the martyrs that their forefathers drew and quartered.

It's all to be understood as part of the string of about-faces and contradictions that, because presided over by the Holy Spirit, is a holy string of holy about-faces and contradictions.

This may help understand why Father Cekada, who has been a sedevacantist longer than some of you have been alive, is still capable of being scandalized by this sort of thing.

Picard said...

Subtle? Yes indeed. Too subtle, perhaps, for the man in the pew.

And for you also, it would appear. (Since even after multiple explanations, you still don't get it.)


No, it seems now You, Henry, did not get the point.

Yes, perhaps some subtle way of Orthodoxy -- whilst behaving in an unorthodox manner, say: "un-orthoprax".

Communicatio in sacris with non-Catholics and bishoply dressed lay-persons. - The man in the pew really will only grasp this impression of the Pope being/taking part in an a-Catholic service.

Jordanes said...

It was a vespers prayer service, Picard. There was no communicatio in sacris, because no sacraments (whether valid or invalid, licit or illicit) were celebrated.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

It's my impression that communicatio in sacris includes public worship in general. I recall that as regards the events of 1996 at Assisi, there was much hair-splitting to the effect that the Catholics weren't really praying WITH (e.g.) the worshippers of The Great Thumb because they were each doing their own thing prayer-wise. If your definition were right, this sort of contemptible doubletalk would not have been necessary.

Jordanes said...

It's my impression that communicatio in sacris includes public worship in general.

That is not how Ad Totam Ecclesiam defines it. It includes participation in another church's or ecclesial community's ordinary liturgical worship. But planning an extraordinary prayer service for a particular occasion would be communicatio in spiritualibus, not communicatio in sacris.

If your definition were right, this sort of contemptible doubletalk would not have been necessary.

No, that does not follow at all. Even if my definition were correct (which it is), the word-mincing and the safeguards at the scandalous and fruitless Assisi I and II gatherings would still have been necessary.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

Ad totam ecclesiasm is a post-V2 document of ecumenical purpose, whose premise is that Christian churches are all already somehow in communion.

How can such a document be expected to give it to you straight on communio in sacris?

More generally: why strain at Assisi I and II, but swallow ATE? They are all of a piece; and I if I were you, I wouldn't bet much money that I could justify A II and II on the principles of ATE.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

Erratum: should be "couldn't justify".

Jordanes said...

Ad totam ecclesiasm is a post-V2 document of ecumenical purpose, whose premise is that Christian churches are all already somehow in communion. How can such a document be expected to give it to you straight on communio in sacris?

It's one of the Church's documents, and it explains what the Church currently means by "communicatio in sacris." Is there any reason to believe the Church in fact holds to a different understanding of "communicatio in sacris" than that presented in Ad Totam Ecclesiam?

More generally: why strain at Assisi I and II, but swallow ATE? They are all of a piece; and I if I were you, I wouldn't bet much money that I couldn't justify A II and II on the principles of ATE.

I haven't rendered any opinion on the overall merits or validity of the principles expressed in Ad Totam Ecclesiam, but have referred to it here only because it expresses what the Catholic Church means by "communicatio in sacris" and "communicatio in spiritualibus." Whether or not the Holy Father's participation in that vespers service was right or prudent, it wasn't a case of "communicatio in sacris."

John L said...

'It's all to be understood as part of the string of about-faces and contradictions that, because presided over by the Holy Spirit, is a holy string of holy about-faces and contradictions.'

Mr. McFarland, you seem to have a point here. One might nickname the standpoint of some post-Vatican II papal teaching as 'magisterial modernism'; previous Catholic teachings can be ignored or contradicted, but only by the people in charge of exercising the teaching office of the Church - no-one else has that prerogative.

John McFarland said...

John L,

Indeed.

You might think of it this way:

1. The Church does and must change with the times, including in doctrine.

2. Those changes adopted by those in authority must be accepted.

3. The Holy Ghost is presiding over the whole process, so everything is fine as long as the faithful obey (2).

The problem is that this line of thought is flatly contradictory of the scriptures and the teaching of the Church until V2.

The Holy Father never formulates the matter quite as clearly as in (1) - (3). But it is clear enough, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

But of course, the only ones who need pay any attention to this odd neo-authoritarianism are the minority who in fact consider themselves obliged to obey. Authority is for the conservative and soft traditionalist suckers; everyone else does as he pleases.

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

Do you think that the conciliar Vatican would hesitate to change the meaning of communio in sacris?

But even if you are right, you have only proven that we need to talk about two kinds of abominations, rather than only one kind.

LeonG said...

"The decree on Ecumenism insists in a number of places that it is the business of the Apostolic See and the bishops, with due regard for the rights of patriarchs and their synods, to decide ecumenical policy after taking all circumstances into account (cf. n. 4, n. 8, n. 9). Proper care must be taken in these matters so that the ecumenical movement itself is not impeded and the faithful do not suffer harm due to the danger of false irenicism or indifferentism. This is a pastoral care..." (Ad Totam Ecclesiam: 1967)
While this document deals with ecumenism rather than dialogue with other world religions, the principle still applies. Clearly, this principle is ignored in post-conciliar ecumenical policies, as it is in inter-religious affairs. For example, JP II (RIP) prayed with animists at Lake Togo and found it a striking occasion. Thus, it is difficult to understand how papal participation at events with an Anglican priestess or with a schismatic and heretical non-archbishop of Canterbury does not propagate indifferentism among the faithful, particularly those whose faith is already in doubt and malformed. It also validates false ideologies in the estimation of those who live in error.
Worse still, the Directory for the Application of the Principles and Norms of Ecumenism, authorized by John Paul II’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, directs the following:
#23 encourages Episcopal Conferences to take "special measures" to avoid the "danger of proselytism."
#50c encourages Catholic religious to organize meetings among Protestants of various churches for liturgical prayer, recollection, and spiritual exercises.
#79 mandates that ecumenism "permeate" all theological formation, and the "need for better knowledge of Eastern theology and spirituality."
#85 says "it is useful" to encourage exchanges between Catholic monasteries and those of other religions.
#112 allows Catholics and non-Catholics to share their churches with one another for liturgical services.
#119 says Catholics are allowed to attend non-Catholic churches and are encouraged to take part in the psalms, responses, hymns and common actions of the Church in which they are guests, and may read a lesson or preach. It also says that In a Catholic liturgical celebration, ministers of other Churches or ecclesial Communities may have the place and liturgical honors proper to their rank and their role.
#138 says that "shared ownership or use of church premises over an extended period of time may become a matter of practical interest."
#187 recommends that Catholics and non-Catholics work together in drawing up texts of common Creeds, psalms, scriptural readings, and hymn books to be used when they pray and witness together.
#191 encourages common study and research between Catholics and non-Catholics on theological matters to "give due preference to the profound harmony of faith and understanding..."
#194 says "Catholic students may attend special course given at institutes, including seminaries, of Christians and other Churches and ecclesial Communities..."
In stark contrast, the 1917 Code of Canon Law states: "It is not permitted at all for the Faithful to assist in any active manner, or to have any part in the worship of non-Catholics". Therefore, to imply that somehow popes and bishops can do as they please provided they do not transgress by definition is straining out gnats & swallowing camels. Interesting also that the Council of Carthage forbade praying and singing with heretics and that participation in schismatic and heretic worship is "universally prohibited by natural and divine law...[about which] no one has the power to dispense...[and with respect to this participation] nothing excuses."

LeonG said...

Worse still, the Directory for the Application of the Principles and Norms of Ecumenism, authorized by John Paul II’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, directs the following:
#23 encourages Episcopal Conferences to take "special measures" to avoid the "danger of proselytism."
#50c encourages Catholic religious to organize meetings among Protestants of various churches for liturgical prayer, recollection, and spiritual exercises.
#79 mandates that ecumenism "permeate" all theological formation, and the "need for better knowledge of Eastern theology and spirituality."
#85 says "it is useful" to encourage exchanges between Catholic monasteries and those of other religions.
#112 allows Catholics and non-Catholics to share their churches with one another for liturgical services.
#119 says Catholics are allowed to attend non-Catholic churches and are encouraged to take part in the psalms, responses, hymns and common actions of the Church in which they are guests, and may read a lesson or preach. It also says that In a Catholic liturgical celebration, ministers of other Churches or ecclesial Communities may have the place and liturgical honors proper to their rank and their role.
#138 says that "shared ownership or use of church premises over an extended period of time may become a matter of practical interest."
#187 recommends that Catholics and non-Catholics work together in drawing up texts of common Creeds, psalms, scriptural readings, and hymn books to be used when they pray and witness together.

LeonG said...

conclusion

In stark contrast, the 1917 Code of Canon Law states: "It is not permitted at all for the Faithful to assist in any active manner, or to have any part in the worship of non-Catholics". Therefore, to imply that somehow popes and bishops can do as they please provided they do not transgress by definition is straining out gnats & swallowing camels. Interesting also that the Council of Carthage forbade praying and singing with heretics and that participation in schismatic and heretic worship is "universally prohibited by natural and divine law...[about which] no one has the power to dispense...[and with respect to this participation] nothing excuses."

Jordanes said...

Do you think that the conciliar Vatican would hesitate to change the meaning of communio (sic) in sacris?

Yes, they would hesitate to do that -- but it's the Church, not you or I, who gets to tell us what the Church's words mean. If the Holy See changed the meaning (and I wouldn't be surprised if it did), then it's wrong to accuse someone of violating an older meaning that is no longer valid, anymore than one can be accused of violating a provision of the 1917 Code of Canon Law not found in the current code.

Brian said...

Jordanes wrote (in response to John McFarland):

If the Holy See changed the meaning (and I wouldn't be surprised if it did).

Why would you not be surprised if the Holy See changed the meaning of "communion in sacris"?

If, indeed, the Holy See changed the meaning of "communio in sacris," what do you believe would have been the rationale for doing so?

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

I am no canon lawyer, but it would seem that you change canon law by changing canon law, not by statements laying out the principles for pursuing ecumenical activities.

But whatever changes in the law of the Church are or are not made, that law cannot change an abomination into something other than an abomination, any more than it can legalize sodomy. The law can call it what it will, and forbid it or not forbid it, and provide or not provide penalties; but it is still an abomination.

Jordanes said...

Why would you not be surprised if the Holy See changed the meaning of "communion (sic) in sacris"?

Because the Church was changing many things at that time, and in plotting out what could and could not be done for the sake of ecumenism, it would be the natural occasion to make such a change -- if the meaning of "communicatio in sacris" was in fact changed, that is.

If, indeed, the Holy See changed the meaning of "communio (sic) in sacris," what do you believe would have been the rationale for doing so?

To allow for extraordinary occasions of common worship while attempting to maintain a commitment to Catholic truth and to avoid indifferentism or participation in evil.

I am no canon lawyer, but it would seem that you change canon law by changing canon law, not by statements laying out the principles for pursuing ecumenical activities.

Canon law has been changed, and quite a lot else too.

But whatever changes in the law of the Church are or are not made, that law cannot change an abomination into something other than an abomination, any more than it can legalize sodomy. The law can call it what it will, and forbid it or not forbid it, and provide or not provide penalties; but it is still an abomination.

All true -- but that begs the question of whether or not what the Holy Father did is an abomination.

Brian said...

Jordanes wrote:
Because the Church was changing many things at that time, and in plotting out what could and could not be done for the sake of ecumenism, it would be the natural occasion to make such a change -- if the meaning of "communicatio in sacris" was in fact changed, that is.

I do not know if the term was changed, but you wrote above that you would not be surprised if it were changed.

Would this mean that what the Church once considered unallowable "communicatio in sacris" is not allowable as "communicatio in spiritualibus"?

So then, is "communicatio in sacris" itself sinful, but the definition of "communicatio in sacris" maleable?

Is worship with non-Catholics sinful in itself or only sinful because the Holy See says that it is sinful?

John McFarland said...

Jordanes,

There is no doubt but that until
V2,the Church always considered worship together with adherents of false religions (schismatics, heretics, etc.) an abomination.

So what you have been saying doesn't deal with the real issue: whether the Vatican purports to change it into something other than an abomination; and if it does so purport, whether it can in fact do so.

I think it quite obvious that it cannot do so. To worship with unbelievers is a grave offense against God.

Jesus taught us that our yes must be yes, and our no no, and that everything else is from the Evil One.

You and I and the Holy Father must all make our yes yes and our no no, and not babblebabblebabble.

Jordanes said...

I do not know if the term was changed, but you wrote above that you would not be surprised if it were changed.

I also don't know if the term's definition has changed, and yes, you have correctly noted for a second time what I wrote above.

Would this mean that what the Church once considered unallowable "communicatio in sacris" is not allowable as "communicatio in spiritualibus"?

"Communicatio in sacris" and "communicatio in spiritualibus" are not the same thing, so no, what the Church may have once considered unallowable "communicatio in sacris" could not be unallowable "communicatio in spiritualibus" -- because "communicatio in spiritualibus" is allowable, whereas "communicatio in sacris" is only allowable under certain strictly defined circumstances.

So then, is "communicatio in sacris" itself sinful, but the definition of "communicatio in sacris" maleable?

No, "communicatio in sacris" is not always sinful. For example, the Church has always permitted Catholics to receive sacraments from schismatic priests in cases of emergency.

Is worship with non-Catholics sinful in itself or only sinful because the Holy See says that it is sinful?

Neither. Sometimes worship with non-Catholics isn't sinful at all. If it were intrinsically evil, something that is always and everywhere an abomination, the early Christians could not have worshipped in the Temple and the Synagogues, and we would never under any circumstances be permitted to receive the sacraments from non-Catholic ministers.

Picard said...

Jordanes,

you have perhaps some (valid) points.

1. Yes, I also think you can not say communicatio in sacris is evil per se - but I am not sure. (Perhaps it is "quasi evil per se"... But I would have to explain what that should mean exactly, yes...)

2. Perhaps the term "communicatio in sacris" has changed -- or I used it wrong. I am again not sure, I have to do some more research/investigation...

I thought "communicatio in sacris" means communic. in every public worship of the non-Catholics and "communicatio in Divinis" means communic. sacramentalis; but, as I said, I am not sure anymore (after reading what you posted).

Brian said...

Jordanes,
I aplogize that I made a typo (typed "not" when I meant to type "now") which made my question almost meaningless. Thank you for kindly attempting to make sense of and answer that confusing question.

My question is actually:

Would changing acts that were once "communicatio in sacris" to now being "communicatio in spiritualibus" mean that acts which the Church once defined as sinful "communicatio in sacris" are no longer sinful?

Your answer pointed out that in an extreme situations, such as receiving "sacraments from schismatic priests in cases of emergency," the Church has allowed for "communicatio in sacris."

If I am not mistaken, an analogous situation is that Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote that a starving man can and should steal food to feed his starving children if he has no other way to feed them.

Stealing, which is objectively sinful, is allowable in extreme situations, so too, "communicatio in sacris."

But here, it seems, the situation would be different.

Here, the same act, which in ordinary situations, was a sinful act, would now, in ordinary situations, no longer be a sinful act.

The question then remains, is "communicatio in sacris" objectively sinful or is it only sinful because the Holy See says that it is sinful?

Picard said...

Brian,

although you asked Jordanes please allow me to answer myselfe. Perhaps Jordanes can also give us some opinion and arguments, thanks.

I think the (moral-)theologians in the old days were not sure if communicatio in sacris under normal circumstances is forbidden by Divine law (and therefore evil per se or "quasi" evil per se....) or only by Eccl. law.

Because I remember in the moral-handbook of Jone Jone states that such a communicatio (if the prayer and worship itselfe is not heretical but orthodox) is "at least forbidden by eccl. law"

-- so: "at least". (Jone seems to be not sure resp. is telling us that the theologians held different opinions on that.)

Brian said...

Picard,
Thank you for your response.

Divine law or positive law, that is the question.

Clearly, theologians continue to hold different opinions!

Brian

John McFarland said...

Jordanes, Picard, Brian,

How can it not be evil for any Catholic be present, except as a passive spectator, in the midst of worship that is a violation of the First Commandment -- a species of the most primal offense against the Lord God? When the Pope turns up at a synagogue or a Lutheran temple, he is not a passive spectator. He is effectively giving approbation to an abomination.

Christian presence in the Temple and the synagogues in the early days of the Church are entirely different situations. Jesus and the Apostles were in the synagogues to teach the congregants the New Law. The Temple cult lasted until the destruction of the Temple.

Whatever is to be made of the theological and canonical sources you cite, they cannot trump these elemental considerations.

I have no knowledge of the fine distinctions to which you are appealing. But whether or not you have them right, the only function they serve is to distract attention from the basic fact that a papal visit to a place of false worship is a stench in the nostrils of the Lord God, and every Catholic who understands teh rudiments of Catholic doctrine.

Brian said...

John McFarland,

I do not know about whether theologians have held different opinions in this regard; but Picard says that they do.

Obviously, both positions cannot be correct.

If I were a theologian, I would be among the theologians who would be inclined to agree with your position.
Brian

Picard said...

Brian, Mc F.:

I am also inclined - as Brian put it - to agree with your position, Mr Mc F.

But even if it were not intrinsec malum but only forbidden by (the old) positive law that would not make such a behaviour good, remember this!

Given the concrete circumstances I also condemn this act of promoting indifferentism!

[Yes, the going into synagogues of the very early Christians is a totaly differnt case, as also the theologians teach.]

This publicly active part-taking in an non-Catholic (anglican) public service (by a very official representative of the Church!) is (under this circumstances) clearly against the whole tradition and orthopraxie of the Church.

If you have a rest of "Catholic common sense" - sensus fidelium/fidei - and only a little knowledge of Church-history this becomes/gets(?) fully evident - I agree, Mr Mc F.

No Pope, non Bishop, no Teacher or Father of the Church would have done this since beginning of the Church, all the last 1930 years (till the 60ies of the last century)! They would not even have dreamt to do so!!

Seriously Concerned said...

Pope Presses on in Britain after police arrest 6

Boston Globe Saturday September 18, 2010.

"Aimed at shoring up commonalities, the ecumenical service also underscored differences : The pope shook hands with a female Anglican priest, the first to hold an important position at Westminster Abbey, and bowed his head in a prayer offered by her, and he listened while another woman offered a prayer that referred to God as a woman."