Rorate Caeli

The control of holy things belongs to the clergy,
under Peter and his successors

To Peter the Prince of the Apostles, the divine Founder of the Church allotted the gifts of inerrancy in matters of faith and of union with God. This relationship is similar to that of a "Choir Director of the Choir of the Apostles." He is the common teacher and rector of all, so that he might feed the flock of Him who established His Church on the authority of Peter himself and his successors. And on this mystical rock the foundation of the entire ecclesiastical structure stands firm as on a hinge. From it rises the unity of Christian charity as well as our Christian faith. ...

The ancient Fathers, especially those who held the more illustrious chairs of the East, since they accepted these privileges as proper to the pontifical authority, took refuge in the Apostolic See whenever heresy or internal strife troubled them. For it alone promised safety in extreme crises. Basil the Great did so, as did the renowned defender of the Nicene Creed, Athanasius, as well as John Chrysostom. For these inspired Fathers of the orthodox faith appealed from the councils of bishops to the supreme judgement of the Roman Pontiffs according to the prescriptions of the ecclesiastical Canons. Who can say that they were wanting in conformity to the command which they had from Christ? Indeed, lest they should prove faithless in their duty, some went fearlessly into exile, as did Liberius and Silverius and Martinus. ...

However We, who embrace the Eastern Church with no less solicitude and charity than our predecessors, truly rejoice, now that the frightful war is ended. We rejoice that many in the Eastern community have achieved liberty and wrested their holy things from the control of the laity.
Benedict XV
October 5, 1920


  1. M. A.1:43 PM

    has a couple of postings on the traditional teaching on the proper exercise of the priesthood of the laity.

  2. Anonymous3:29 PM

    Wrested control of sacred things from the laity.....HaHaHa, today they will assume your stealing their property.

  3. Anonymous5:51 PM

    The title says it all. That is Catholic.


  4. Anonymous9:17 PM

    As the old cigarette ad said, they've come a long way, baby. Following are some excerpts from the Byzantine Melkite Catholic patriarch's 2002 speech at Holy Apostle Seminary in Connecticut:

    "But we must not forget that the official theological position of Rome does not represent the position of all Western Catholics. As it was recently underlined by
    Archbishop John Raphael Quinn, there are Roman Catholic theologians who do not completely and fully accept the ecclesiology of the First and Second Vatican Councils. This is why our firm decision to achieve our initiative will let us get into the arena of
    the international ecumenical movement and work."

    "We must explain and clarify the topics that are obstacles to our full communion [with the Eastern Orthodox]: Primacy of the Pope of Rome, Western Councils [e.g. Florence, Trent, First Vatican]which cannot be recognized as
    Ecumenical Councils (as it has been admitted by highly qualified Western theologians since Pope Paul VI), theological dogmas formulated in Western vocabulary and concepts (Immaculate Conception and Assumption of the Theotokos, infallibility of the
    Pope of Rome)."

    "In 2000, the Council of the Catholic Eastern Patriarchs issued a statement in which a more real autonomy is required for our Eastern Churches, together with an
    urgent revision of the recently promulgated Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches,and also a new modality of mutual relations (of the Eastern Churches with Rome, and
    of Rome with the Eastern Churches), not based upon authority, but characterized by,
    consent and reciprocal consultations."

  5. Anonymous2:38 AM

    So why are there old ladies in purple stretch pants cleaning up after a NO Communion service?

  6. Anonymous5:28 AM

    You would never know it in most Parishes. Lay people think and often do control far more than they are allowed or entitled too which in turn allows them to neglect the roles and things that are in need of new members. Singing and Choir anyone?


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!