Confirmation: Cause For Concern?

ConfirmationSSPX

One of our regular bloggers, Petrus, submitted the  article below for discussion, following the news that Confirmation will be administered at the SSPX chapel in Edinburgh in the near future.  

The fact that some adults (one that I know of personally) may ask  for conditional Confirmation provides food for thought. Why would they?   Petrus explains…

Is Confirmation the most underrated Sacrament in the modern Catholic Church?

The New Rite of Confirmation differs significantly from the Traditional Rite.

In many dioceses, the age for the reception of Confirmation has been lowered and the liturgy significantly stripped of ceremony. By lowering the age and lessening the ceremonies, the importance and value of Confirmation seems to have been lost on many Catholics. It is the only Sacrament of Initiation that the Society of St. Pius X routinely offer to confer conditionally.

What does the Church teach about Confirmation and why does the Society of St. Pius X have grave concerns concerning the new rite of Confirmation?

Holy Scripture tells us that Our Lord promised that He would send the Holy Ghost, a paraclete, or “helper”, to His disciples for the purpose of strengthening them in profession of Faith. Our Lord tells His disciples, “The Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you must say” (Luke chapter 12 verses 11-12).

In John’s Gospel chapter 14 Our Lord says, “And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you for ever.” In the Acts of the Apostles, Philip the Deacon converted Samaria and baptised the converts. However, it was the Apostles, the first bishops of the Church, who went to administer Confirmation. It is clear that the imparting of the Holy Ghost was to be the normal part of the Christian life. Thus, we can say with confidence that Confirmation is a Sacrament of the Church, instituted by Our Lord, administered by the bishop and through which we receive the Holy Ghost. The Church teaches that Confirmation is the Sacrament by which we receive the Holy Ghost in order to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Christ. We receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost and the fruits associated with these gifts.

The ordinary minister of Confirmation is a bishop, as we can see from the Acts of the Apostles, detailed above. However, in danger of death any priest can administer the Sacrament in extremis. The bishop administers Confirmation by praying that the Holy Ghost may come down upon those being confirmed, while laying his hands on them and making the Sign of the Cross on their forehead with the oil of Chrism. The use of the oil of Chrism is extremely important. When the great flood documented in the book of Geneses subsided, the dove released by Noah returned with an olive branch, the symbol of peace and plenty. Therefore, the oil of Chrism has olive oil as its base. Olive oil has long been used as a symbol of strengthening. It is said that Roman soldiers were anointed with olive oil prior to going into battle. Olive oil strengthens our souls and prepares us for spiritual warfare. Added to this olive oil is balsam, sweet smelling fragrance. This balsam heals and preserves our souls.

The primary effect of Confirmation is an increase of the divine life of grace in the soul and a more intimate union with Christ, through reception of the Holy Ghost. The sacramental grace has a strengthening effect which we receive directly from the Holy Ghost, just like the Apostles received on Pentecost Sunday. This increases the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which we originally received at Baptism. The Holy Ghost makes us soldiers of Christ, able to defend and promote our Faith and overcome difficulties of the world, the flesh and the devil.

For the Church, Confirmation is the perpetuation of Pentecost. It is the means through which She keeps alive the power of the Holy Ghost. Why, then, has the importance of Confirmation been downgraded in the modern Church? It is interesting that St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) predicted that towards the end of time Confirmation would fall into disuse and that those who were not confirmed would succumb to believing in and obeying the Antichrist.

The Rite of Confirmation changed significantly in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council. The bishops of the Society of St. Pius X now routinely offer Conditional Confirmation to those who were Confirmed in the New Rite of Confirmation. Why is there doubts regarding the validity of the New Rite? To understand this, we must consider what ensures the validity of the Sacraments. A valid Sacrament consists of valid matter and correct form. This is because a Sacrament is an outward sign (of an inward grace) – an external action. The rite consists of the performing of an action and the saying of words. Thus in Confirmation, the laying on of hands and anointing on the forehead with Chrism is the valid matter and the words spoken by the bishop while those actions are being performed make up the form.  

It must be repeated that the ordinary minister of Confirmation is the bishop and this can normally only be delegated to a priest in extraordinary circumstances, usually danger of death. Since the Second Vatican Council, parish priests routinely administer the Sacrament of Confirmation in many parishes. As I have stated above, valid matter in the case of Confirmation is the laying on of hands and the anointing with Chrism. In the Traditional Rite of Confirmation, the bishop lays his hands on each individual person being confirmed. In the modern Rite, the bishop, or more usually the priest, stands and extends his hands over all the Confirmandi. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the oil of Chrism has olive oil as its base ingredient since the use of other types of oil has been sanctioned by the Vatican. In the Traditional Rite, the correct form that ensures the validity of the Sacrament is, “I sign thee with the Sign of the Cross, and I confirm thee with the chrism of salvation in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” In 1971, these words were changed to “Be sealed with gift of the Holy Spirit.” This change in the correct form is quite dramatic. Coupled with the routine use of priests to administer the Sacrament and doubts regarding the use of olive oil based chrism, this is surely enough to establish doubts regarding the validity of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the new rite.

Confirmation can only be administered once. When a Society of St. Pius X bishop administers Conditional Confirmation, similar to when Conditional Baptism is administered, the words, If you are not Confirmed…” are added to the beginning of the correct form. It is important to stress that the Society of Saint Pius X makes no definitive judgement regarding the validity of the new rite. The existence of doubt should be enough for any Catholic who has been confirmed in the New Rite to seek Conditional Confirmation from a Traditional bishop and any Catholic who has still to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation should ensure they receive it in the Traditional Rite by a Traditional bishop.

Comments invited…

225 responses

  1. I must say I agonise over my confirmation in 1975 as I too am worried about it. I would like conditional confirmation but no idea how to go about it.

    • DominieMary,

      Come to Scotland when the Bishop is here! We’d love to meet you!

      And if that’s not possible, I’m sure he will be in England as well for Confirmations there. Might be worth checking the SSPX UK website and if that doesn’t work, we’ll find out some details for you. I remember from our Bishop Conry discussions that you are in that neck of the woods, so there is bound to be some way for you to get to one of the chapels in the south.

    • Dominie

      It was always a worry for me. I was “confirmed” in 1992 and even before I started attending the SSPX it always niggled away at me.

      I received Conditional Confirmation from Bishop De Galeretta in 2009.

      • Petrus,

        That’s a fantastic article, extremely well written and I couldn’t stop once I started reading it. It explains matter and form absolutely perfectly. I think it might even make the priests I know who are giving the sacrament think again.

        I’m very glad I was confirmed well before Vatican II and the changes to the sacraments came in. If I hadn’t been, your article would absolutely have me asking for conditional confirmation.

        • I couldn’t agree more – fab article and I am also glad I was confirmed before the changes. I can’t imagine being confirmed by my priest.

  2. I received conditional confirmation from Bishop Tissier in 2014. I’m glad I did. It bothered me so much what happened in the new rite of “confirmation” that I went through in 2004.

  3. I am being conditionally confirmed in May by Bishop De Galarreta in either Liverpool or Preston. I was baptised as an Anglican and confirmed as a Catholic, as my PP (Novus Ordo) said the Anglican was valid. The good people on this blog (Petrus, Athanasius, Ed) pointed out that the vicar may have had a defective intention, and recommended a conditional Baptism, which was done in Manchester by the Prior of Preston. I do not believe the Novus Ordo confirmation is invalid, as the form, ‘be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’, is basically the same as the older Eastern rite form, ‘the seal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit’, which is said as the Priests anoints our forehead, ears, eyes, nose and lips (I think) with olive oil. the SSPX superior in London said the new form was sufficient, whilst a young Irish Father said there was ‘absolutely nothing wrong with it’. The issue is olive oil. It is often not used. It’s symbolism is integral to the Sacrament, as Petrus outlined re the Romans, Noe and so on. It also, when pressed, I was told by the Irish Priest, represents the sufferings and tortures of Christ. My PP did assure me that he used olive oil. The only reason I am being confirmed is due to the faults with my Baptism. Needless to say, as Petrus said, the ceremonies have been ‘dumbed down’, with no ‘Veni Creator Spiritus’ being sung, no sermon on the importance of confirmation and everyone being rushed through on Holy Saturday. In short, the Sacrament in the new form, whilst not necessarily invalid, is deficient and does not confer the same graces as the old rite due to these deficiencies, and will not strengthen the soul and increase sanctifying grace in the same way. I too would recommend conditional confirmation if you want the graces, the correct matter and certainty.

    • Thank you for that excellent comment, Catholic Convert. I meant to say in the article that the new form of the Sacrament is similar to the Eastern Rite of Confirmation.

      However, I dislike this mixing of rites. It don’t think it is right and I don’t think it is allowed. This innovation in the Sacraments is not at all to be encouraged. We are Western, or Latin Rite, Catholics and should receive the Latin Rite unless there’s a good reason. There was no good reason to change the Latin Rite of Confirmation.

      I also wonder if the fact that the bishop doesn’t lay his hands on each individual affects the validity. In the older Rite, you kneel before the bishop and he lays his hands individually. In the New Rite, he extends his hands over the entire group.

      I remember choosing Confirmation names. I chose “Christopher” initially but because a boy in my class called Christopher had chosen “Peter” (my baptismal name) I was urged to chose something else. I think this shows a “dumbing down” of the Sacrament too as I should have had the freedom to choose whatever I wanted. I chose “Paul” because I couldn’t think of anything else. We weren’t encouraged to research the saints we chose. It was shambolic. Anyway, at my Conditional Confirmation I chose something different, “Dominic”, as I didn’t have the complete freedom first time round.

      I don’t know if your Confirmation was valid or not. I don’t know if my first Confirmation was valid of not. In any case, it’s not for us to say. Suffice to say there’s doubts. Conditional Confirmation is administered because of these doubts.

      • I totally agree with you about mixing rites. It is the Eastern rites, as with their married Priests, who are the exception, as they desired to be admitted to the True Sheepfold from the schismatic Orthodox. The Latin rite is distinct to the Western Church, which in fact covers most of the earth.

        Regarding your questioning of the validity of the Sacrament when it comes to the laying on of hands, or lack of it. If this does not happen the validity is question, and I would err on the side of invalidity, and seek a repetition of the Sacrament. This is part of the matter of the Sacrament. When I was ‘done’ with just one other person (St. Nicolas du Chardonnet had 130 done in one go last year!!) we had hands laid upon us at the same time by two Priests, although I though nothing of it at the time, as I was not aware of matter and form until I came here. That made my confirmation doubtful. My confirmation was also doubtful due to the fact that I was never baptised as a Catholic. Apparently Anglican baptisms are considered to be ‘valid’ across the board! I hate ambiguity, that’s why I came to the Society. If you want certainty in your spiritual life, get thee to a Society chapel!

        For my Novus Ordo ‘confirmation’, I chose the name Joseph, which I am also thinking of doing for my conditional confirmation. I was thinking of adopting the patron of the missions, St. Francis Xavier, but I might adopt that name if I enter the religious life.

  4. Petrus,

    I agree with others that your article is exceptionally well written. I was particularly pleased to read the concluding observation that the SSPX does not hold all Novus Ordo Confirmations to be automatically invalid: That should limit the number of trolls who would otherwise have flooded the thread with feigned indignation.

    Three members of my own family were conditionally confirmed by SSPX bishops, all having been initially confirmed with the New Rite. I was lucky in that I was confirmed in 1969, one week after my First Holy Communion.

    This business of priests confirming the faithful seems to be quite widespread today. As you pointed out, though, except for the most serious reasons, any bishop who sends priests to administer this Sacrament in his place is guilty of a grave dereliction of duty.

  5. I was interested when I heard that the SSPX were allowing conditional Confirmations for those who had some doubt about their own post Vat 2 reception of Confirmation.
    Luckily mine was done ” ” years before then!
    However I have had some worries about my families sacramental validity. I will try to help them think about this and possible receive conditional Confirmation.
    Thank you Petrus for your very clear explanation of the sacrament although you forgot about the little tap on the face! A sign that we are soldiers of Christ in the Church militant.

  6. To celebrate any Sacrament conditionally, and it is primarily baptism that would be done in this way, except where former Anglicans have been ordained conditionally, is because there is usually no documentary evidence of it taking place, or serious reason to doubt the validity of the Minister, who celebrated it.

    To routinely celebrate The Sacrament of Confirmation conditionally, especially when it is normally done by A Bishop, and recorded in Baptismal and Confirmation registers, suggests that someone, somewhere, is being a little arrogant, and dismissive, of The Catholic Church, and her Ministers, who are clearly in Communion with Rome.

    • CS,

      I think you will find that it is now routinely administered by parish priests. Or so quite a few parish priests tell me.

      Read Petrus’s article carefully – he gives excellent reasons why the new rite is a cause for concern.

      I’ve just been reading an article in the Catholic Times by one of “her Ministers clearly in Communion with Rome.” He’s moved on from promoting same-sex marriage to promoting transgenderism.

      “Ministers in communion with Rome/good standing”? Laugh? I thought I’d never start.

      • The Bishop can delegate a Priest to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation, and the reason for the delegation is down to the judgement of The Ordinary. It may be his judgement on when to delegate is suspect , in some case, but that, however, would not alter the lawfulness of the delegation, and thus the celebration of the sacrament would be licit and valid.

        I believe, Rome approved, in at least two English Diocese, Diocesan wide, celebrations of the Sacrament of Confirmation by priests on Pentecost Sunday.

        Having an Ordinary Minister for something does not mean that extraordinary ministers cannot be provided for.

        • Why is a comment pointing out that a Bishop, any Bishop, has to have a Papal Mandate to be ordained deleted. That teaching has been constant, and was in the 1917, Code, and is in the 1983. Without that mandate, no action they undertake is licit or valid.

          Ed: Wrong – which is why it was deleted… we have given you the answer over and over again and you can’t grasp it. Bishops in China were consecrated without papal mandate and nobody complained, and if they had they would have come to realise that Canon Law allows for such consecrations in a state of emergency. No further discussion on this -we’re sick of explaining it to you. If you don’t get it, forget it and move on.

          • In China, The Government seek to control The Church, and The Bishops were ordained without the necessary mandate because it could not be issued. That has not applied in any Western country, and The Church, in general, outside of such totalitarian states, has not experienced such a crisis that requires “Catholics” to act independently of the lawful authority in The Church, The Successor of St Peter, now reigning gloriously, Pope Francis,

            Editor: thank you for admitting the principle, which is cause of necessity. In China it is government control/oppression and in the case of the changes following Vatican II it was the crisis in the Church – reference Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor # 5.

            • The men appointed by Archbishop Lefebvre were all from Western Europe, and he was in contact with Rome. To compare what he did, without a mandate, to what the persecuted Church In China did, when they could not receive such a mandate, is unfair to those who risked their lives in China to keep the flame of faith alive. They are not even remotely comparable.

              Editor: you see, you are unable to sustain an argument because you don’t pay attention. The situation between the two was different, but the principle is accepted by you that there are occasions when Canon Law can be “disobeyed” – the principle being, in cases of necessity. You obviously disagree that there was any necessity in the case of Archbishop Lefebvre but anyone looking around at the decline in the Church and being honest about it, begs to disagree. We’ve don’t this to death so any reply to this will be deleted – unless, of course, you say “Ah, I understand now…”!
              .

  7. Dominimary, Bishop De Galarreta of the SSPX is administering Confirmations on May 10th in Edinburgh at the Church of St. Margaret’s and St. Leonard. Some of my family are having Conditional Confirmation at the same time.

    • Crofterlady,

      Dominie Mary – I got it wrong, Crofterlady is right. The Confirmations are being administered in Edinburgh this time, not Glasgow. And, Crofterlady, some of the “little people” members of MY own family are being Confirmed on that day, so see you there!

  8. Better late than never….

    I’ve just discovered that today is Petrus’s birthday!

    Happy birthday Petrus – and many happy returns!

    😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

      • Many thanks to Editor, Margaret Mary and Athanasius. I’ve had a great day and I’m now a very Holy age! How’s that for a cryptic clue?

        • Petrus,

          Well, 40 is a biblical number, for a generation, I believe, so I’m guessing you were 40 today?

          Happy birthday – there’s only about twenty minutes left of it so enjoy it while you can!

          • That’ll be it! 40! Why didn’t I think of that!

            Happy birthday again, Petrus – on what I am almost sure is the stroke of midnight!

            Wrong! 3 minutes past! Ach well… You’re now 40 years old and 3 mins… Or is my arithmetic all over the place… again?!

  9. Petrus,

    Happy birthday from me, as well. I have no idea what is a “holy age” so please tell us just in case I’ve reached it, too and didn’t even know, LOL!

    • Not quite, Athanasius. I’m a good few centuries younger than you remember. I do recall your 969th. …It was a blast!

  10. On what basis do the bloggers on this blog state their claims to know if a sacrament is valid or not? Do the bloggers here all actually have formal theological and academic degrees, diplomas, or even ‘o levels in religious education. Do they have official permission, ie, imprimatur from a Bishop Or are various thoughts and opinions simply that; personal thoughts on how commentators would like things to be. Which university’s, ecclesiastical or secular where such academic qualifications obtained from. Perhaps it is time that the pundits at least allowed others to know where all this supposed truth comes from, other than small minded prejudice. Are any of the bloggers actually seriously published. I don’t mean a rant in ct newsletter but serious academic study of their subject matter which has been subject to the rigour of academic discipline. [Ed: I think you’re confusing scientific method with religious writings] I suspicion is that no such academic background actually exists ? Though of course I could be wrong. Please publish your academic cv’s. Mine is of course very poor but others appear to be very informed. I wonder!!!

    Ed: at one time, nobody needed to do a theology degree to know that the correct matter and form is required for a sacrament to be valid. That was taught at school – primary school in fact. How times have changed!

    Note: Domchas, you tried to bypass the moderation system by signing in with a different username. Didn’t work, as you can see. Honesty is always the best policy…

    • Editor,

      It is noted that the answer to my question has as usual been ignored. Therefore I can only assume that those who claim to know better than others about these thing are actually very ignorant of their subject in fact, making it up as they go along.

      Ed: I don’t know what question you asked that has gone unanswered but I guess it’s gone unanswered because it has been answered a million times before and you just can’t understand the answers. Or you want to annoy us. Mission accomplished.

  11. Petrus, if you were confirmed in 1992 that must make you around 33 years old. Any roads, you don’t look a day older than 25…….

  12. Can anybody enlighten me as to the form and matter in the other sacraments such as Confession and Holy Communion? Put my ignorance down to my youth!!

    • The valid matter for Confession is your sins and the form is the prayer of absolution. The matter for Holy Communion is the bread and wine (unleavened bread and wine from the grape) and the form is the prayer of Consecration.

      • Any qualified Theologian/Liturgist will, rightly, tell you that the whole of The Eucharistic Prayer is part of/essential to The Consecration, and it is a mistake to limit it to what, I believe, are more properly called The Words of Institution.

        Editor: just as well you weren’t alive at the time of the Reformation when priests – with soldiers hot on their heels – often had to cut to the words of Consecration and then rush to hide. Are you saying those Catholics didn’t hear Mass?

        • Catholics don’t “hear” Mass they celebrate it.

          Editor: I know, and how. There’s a letter in one of this week’s “Catholic” papers complaining about the problem of singing Happy Birthday during Mass, with loud applause. They sure know how to celebrate.

          As with the words of absolution, necessity may require alternative action. However, what I have written is correct. The whole of The Eucharistic Prayer is a consecratory prayer, and the words directly from Jesus are properly called the words of institution.

        • CS

          Could you provide a source to show that the entire Eucharistic Prayer is required? That would be useful.

          • Without going into detail, just look, for example, at The Epiclesis, the invocation of The Holy Spirit, which in the Eucharist Prayer may be implicit or explicit, but is common to the celebration of all the sacraments, the words are not part of The Words of Institution, but that they need to be spoken, is absolute.

            • Sorry, but “detail” is what you must provide. Imagine if we said “without going into detail, the SSPX is not in schism”. Your hollow laugh would be heard for miles around.

              Think, Think, Think, CS, and when you’ve done that, think again.

              • Actually, may I provide a different example, which presents the issue in a different way. Under Pope John Paul permission was given, in 2001, for Chaldean Catholics to participate in The Assyrian Eucharist, and receive Holy Communion, when their Eucharistic Prayer does not include an explicit Institutional Narrative.

                The Eastern Church has always put emphasis on The Epiclesis rather than the Institutional Narrative. Modern thinking hold this thinking in tension, so to speak, and emphasises the whole of The Prayer is necessary.

                The latest edition of The G.I.R.M. thus states:

                “79. The chief elements making up the Eucharistic Prayer may be distinguished in this way:

                a.Thanksgiving (expressed especially in the Preface): In which the priest, in the name of the entire holy people, glorifies God the Father and gives thanks for the whole work of salvation or for some special aspect of it that corresponds to the day, festivity, or season.

                b.Acclamation: In which the whole congregation, joining with the heavenly powers, sings the Sanctus. This acclamation, which is part of the Eucharistic Prayer itself, is sung or said by all the people with the priest.

                c.Epiclesis: In which, by means of particular invocations, the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ’s Body and Blood, and that the spotless Victim to be received in Communion be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.

                d.Institution narrative and consecration: In which, by means of words and actions of Christ, the Sacrifice is carried out which Christ himself instituted at the Last Supper, when he offered his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine, gave them to his Apostles to eat and drink, and left them the command to perpetuate this same mystery.

                e.Anamnesis: In which the Church, fulfilling the command that she received from Christ the Lord through the Apostles, keeps the memorial of Christ, recalling especially his blessed Passion, glorious Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven.

                f.Offering: By which, in this very memorial, the Churchand in particular the Church here and now gatheredoffers in the Holy Spirit the spotless Victim to the Father. The Church’s intention, however, is that the faithful not only offer this spotless Victim but also learn to offer themselves,[71] and so day by day to be consummated, through Christ the Mediator, into unity with God and with each other, so that at last God may be all in all.[72]

                g.Intercessions: By which expression is given to the fact that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the entire Church, of heaven as well as of earth, and that the offering is made for her and for all her members, living and dead, who have been called to participate in the redemption and the salvation purchased by Christ’s Body and Blood.

                h.Final doxology: By which the glorification of God is expressed and which is confirmed and concluded by the people’s acclamation, Amen

                • This is all very well and good but doesn’t seem to address the issue of validity. What is the essential words that confect transubstantiation?

                    • As I said, I believe The Church says that the Eucharistic Prayer is a whole, A gift from The Father, The Prayer of Jesus Christ, and a work of The Holy Spirit. All Sacraments, of necessity, have a Trinitarian Formula.

                    • Where does the Church say that the whole Eucharistic Prayer is required to ensure validity?

                      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

                    • In extreme circumstances every rite, for every sacrament, can be shortened. That is not the issue. You are raising a non issue, as in ordinary circumstances the whole rite would be used.

                    • The original question was what is the matter and form to ensure validity.  It was NOT whether or not the whole rite should be used. This does not impinge on validity.  What you are talking about is licitness.  Keep up.

                      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

                • CS,

                  I quote from your comments above a paragraph with the most erroneous and dangerous part highlighted.

                  “f.Offering: By which, in this very memorial, the Churchand in particular the Church here and now gatheredoffers in the Holy Spirit the spotless Victim to the Father. The Church’s intention, however, is that the faithful not only offer this spotless Victim but also learn to offer themselves,[71] and so day by day to be consummated, through Christ the Mediator, into unity with God and with each other, so that at last God may be all in all.[72]”

                  This is a deliberate (Protestant) muddying of the distinction between the ordained priesthood and the “priesthood of the people”.

                  It is the priest alone (In Persona Christi), that is, the priest in the Person of Christ the High Priest, who offers Christ the Victim to the Father.

                  The role of the laity (called the Church in the paragraph you quote) is to unite itself with the priest (effectively with Christ) who makes the offering to the Father on their behalf.

                  Just thought I should clarify that very important point. There are other errors in the quotations you make, things that appear to contradict what the Church has previously taught regarding the Holy Mass, but the one mentioned is by far the most serious and the most likely to introduce the Protestant spirit into Catholic souls.

                  • The Priesthood of All The Faithful, uinites with Christ The High Priest, present In Persona Christi in the Priest, in the offering to The Father.

                    You try to make a distinction that doesn’t exist. The Holy Mass is The Prayer of Christ, the Head, united with His, Body, The Church, of which the faithful are clearly part.

                    Editor: the fact that you don’t see any distinction between the priesthood of the people and the ministerial priesthood, shows your utter confusion. If you read the Vatican Instructions on the Laity – beginning with the 1997 Instruction – you will see that it is Catholics like you who fail to comprehend this distinction that were a cause for concern for Popes JP II and Benedict XVI who published their Instructions in an attempt to correct this error.

                    • CS,

                      “The Holy Mass is The Prayer of Christ…”

                      No, the Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of Christ, perpetuated on our Catholic altars by ordained priests acting in His Person.

                      What you’re coming away with is Protestant teaching.

                    • Editor

                      Nothing I have written contradicts The 1997 Instruction on The Laity. It is a Document that contains great truths.

                      Editor: try this one for size: not even a packed church is reason to use extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (article 8). How many Scots bishops, priests and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion obey that one? Self-evidently, a rhetorical question.

                      Whenever we pray, we pray with Christ, as our Head, as members of his body, and we never, ever, pray alone. Without a priest, acting In Persona Christi, we could not have The Holy Mass.

                      Editor: but we DO have “Eucharistic services” which are lay-led.

                      To quote Sacrosantum Concilium, a profound Document, steeped in Tradition:

                      “7. To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, “the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross” [20], but especially under the Eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes [21]. He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. He is present, lastly, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20) .

                      Christ indeed always associates the Church with Himself in this great work wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified. The Church is His beloved Bride who calls to her Lord, and through Him offers worship to the Eternal Father.

                      Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of the man is signified by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with each of these signs; in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and His members.

                      From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of His Body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others; no other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree.”

                      Editor: you forgot this bit: …no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority. SC, General Norms #3 Again, widely Disobeyed, as evidenced in parishes throughout Scotland and just about everywhere else.

                    • Editor

                      1. The number of conditional ordinations, worldwide, can probably be counted on one hand. Normally, former Anglicans are ordained.

                      2. The need for a conditional celebration of a Sacrament, which cannot be repeated, would be mandated by The Church due to lack of documentary evidence, or if The Church, not an individual, established there were legitimate questions about validity. Those celebrated according to The Rites of Holy Mother Church, and properly documented, at any time in our history would not be repeated.

                      The article above is erroneous and misleading, and a slur on the majority of Catholic Clergy, and laity, worldwide who celebrate the Sacraments according to the prescribed Ritual, and in Full, unconditional, Communion with The Pope, The reigning Successor of St Peter.

                  • The Church gathers, and prays, and offers, The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass, Pure Pauline theology. Straight from scripture, The Body prays, and offers to the Father, with Christ its head.

                    • CS,

                      Never mind the Modernist 1997 Instruction on the laity, look at the Traditional teaching of 2000 years.

                      If what you recite is true, which it isn’t, then how is it that a priest can offer Holy Mass on his own? If it was about the laity and the priest offering a prayer to God the Father, as you very ignorantly suggest, then it would be impossible for a priest to offer Mass by himself.

                      I say again, the Mass is the renewal of the Sacrifice of Our Lord on Calvary, offered by the ordained priest in Persona Christi to the Father.

                      The part of the laity in the Mass is to unite themselves with the Sacrifice (with Christ crucified) being offered up by the priest.

                      What you suggest is more in line with the Protestant meal service than the Catholic Sacrifice of the Mass. Once again you show great ignorance of Church teaching in this matter.

                    • Athanasius

                      Whenever we pray as members of The Church, the body of Christ, united with The Saints, and we always pray through Christ our Head, to the Father,

                      If a person is incorporated into the Body of Christ, or to use another image, part of the vine, they are never alone, and never pray alone.

                      A priest celebrating Mass on his own is permissible, but discouraged.

                      Editor: it’s discouraged in the New Mass because the emphasise is all wrong – all about “community” with God thrown into appease the “hermeneutic of continuity” brigade.

                    • “A priest celebrating Mass on his own is permissible, but discouraged.”

                      This proves without doubt that they either do not understand what the Mass is or they do understand it’s value and have thought up ways to restrict it.

                      Where once a hundred priests gathered together would offer a hundred Masses, they would now concelebrate just the one Mass. Hence, the grace of 100 Masses has been strangled down to just one. Work it out!

                    • Athanasius

                      We were not talking about concelebration but whether The Community offers the Mass.

                      Editor: I have never, in my entire life, said I was going to “offer” Mass. Have you?

                      A 100 priests concelebrating means, in one sense, an 100 Masses are offered, as all offer Mass, but with Christ The Head. Each priest can, and most probably will, have their own intention.

                      Editor: ask any priest and they will tell you that one of the ways to “cut down” on the number of Masses offered, is to “concelebrate”.

                    • Editor

                      I do not know of any priest who concelebrates to cut down on the number of Masses.

                      More usually a priest will offer Mass in their own Parish either before going, or after going, to a major (Diocesan/Deanery type) celebration of Mass elsewhere. In other words The Concelebrated Mass is most often in addition to a Parish Mass.

                      However. a priest still offers his “own” Mass in a concelebrating. The numbers of Masses offered in a concelebration is multiplied by the number of priest concelebrating. Outwardly one Mass is celebrated, but each priest within a concelebration is offering Mass.

                    • Editor

                      In my post of February 19th you objected to the notion The Church as a whole offers Mass. You said it is not language you use, or is used.

                      May I quote the current Text of Eucharistic Prayer 1, although the term is used in many other places:

                      “Remember, Lord, your servants N. and N. and all gathered here, whose faith and devotion are known to you. For them, we offer you this sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all who are dear to them, for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health and well-being, and paying their homage to you, the eternal God, living and true.”

        • CS,

          What you state is manifestly false, and can be shown to be false.

          The only requirement for a Valid Mass are the words of Consecration, not “Institution,” as you rather bizarrely call them. The entire Eucharistic prayer is not absolutely essential for validity, which is quite obvious from the fact that one of the most common Eucharistic prayers used today was borrowed from the Anglican service by Mgr. Bugnini.

          Anyway, as editor hinted, it would have been pretty hard during times of persecution for hunted priests to fulfill the requirements you’ve made up in your mind.

          I remember, for example, Cardinal Mindszenty speaking of his time in a Communist prison where, occasionally, a sympathetic visitor would secret a little wine and unleavened bread to him with which he was subsequently able to celebrate Mass very briefly using just the words of Consecration.

          So you see, you’re wrong again!

          • I assume you mean The Second Eucharistic Prayer, which is based on the words of St Justin as 2nd second Martyr, you allege was a Protestant, and read his scriptures in Latin.

            • CS,

              Your attempt to suggest that Eucharistic Prayer II is Catholic, not Protestant fails miserably in light of the fact that this particular prayer, most commonly used today by both Catholics and Anglicans, replaces the 1600 year-old Eucharistic Prayer still used in the Tridentine Rite of Mass.

              The Protestant element of Eucharistic Prayer II is that it excludes intercessions for the (Roman) Church and the faithful departed. I think you really need to be more honest.

              • To quote The Prayer:

                On The (Roman) Church:

                “Remember, Lord, your Church,
                spread throughout the world,
                and bring her to the fullness of charity,
                together with N. our Pope and N. our Bishop*
                and all the clergy.

                On The Dead:

                ” In Masses for the Dead, the following may be added:

                Remember your servant N.,
                whom you have called (today)
                from this world to yourself.
                Grant that he (she) who was united with your Son
                in a death like his,
                may also be one with him in his Resurrection.

                Remember also our brothers and sisters
                who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection,
                and all who have died in your mercy:
                welcome them into the light of your face.
                Have mercy on us all, we pray,
                that with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
                and Blessed Joseph, her spouse.

                • CS,

                  From the Traditional Eucharistic Prayer

                  “We therefore, humbly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, through Jesus Christ; Thy Son, Our Lord, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to accept and bless these presents, these holy unspotted Sacrifices, which in the first place we offer Thee for Thy holy Catholic Church to which vouchsafe to grant peace, as also to preserve, unite and govern it throughout the world, together with Thy servant N., our Pope, and N., our Bishop, and all orthodox believers and professors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

                  …Remember also, O Lord, Thy servants and handmaids N. and N., who are gone before us with the sign of faith, and rest in the sleep of peace. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light and peace; Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen…”

                  The new Eucharistic Prayer II

                  “Therefore, as we celebrate the memorial of his Death and Resurrection, we offer you, Lord,
                  the Bread of life and the chalice of salvation,
                  giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you. humbly we pray
                  that, partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, we may be gathered into one by the holy spirit. Remember, Lord, your Church, spread throughout the world, and bring her to the fullness of charity,
                  together with N. our Pope and N. our Bishop* and all the clergy…”

                  The option of prayers for the dead that you mentioned above are rarely if ever used. They should not be options anyway!

                  Note that while the Pope and local bishop are mentioned, there is not a single reference to the Catholic Church as the true Apostolic Church. Rather, the entire prayer is constructed around a more generalised notion of “Church” which incorporates non-Catholics. A blind man could see what was in the mind of the man who replaced the original Eucharistic prayer of the Church with this fake version.

                  • The only option, in relation to the deceased, is to pray for a particular deceased person, a named individual, and then all the deceased, OR just all the deceased. Every time The Prayer is used the dead are prayed for, and the only difference is to name a specific individual (say at their funeral).

                    With regards praying for The Church you are merely nit picking as to the language. Every Mass is offered for the whole Church, in Communion with The Pope, and is the prayer of the whole Church.

                    Editor: yet again you totally fail to address the key points made by Athanasius. I hope Laguna is following this because your bad faith is crystal clear.

          • Athanasius

            Are you the same writer who, wrongly, rejects Eucharistic Prayer 2 because it does not have intercessions for The (Roman) Church, and for The Dead? Make up your mind!

            I have in more than one place said every Rite can be shortened in extreme circumstances. In discussing the issue of The Holy Mass I have rarely, if at all, mentioned the words “valid” and “licit”.

            In every Ritual, for whatever Sacrament, any abbreviated form is given. Please let us know what editions of The Roman Missal have a Rite for Holy Mass with the words of Consecration alone.

            Editor: again twisting things. Nobody said it was the norm to say only the words of Consecration.

            • Editor

              Re-read [the post from] Athanasius, he has maintained consistently, as have others here , that those are the only essential words, and they cite examples of that practice. Correct him, not me.

              Editor: you are twisting again. And worse, making it up as you go along. I really am seriously considering now, blacklisting you. I know we have that facility but I’ve never used it. However, casual followers of our blog might well be mislead by your comments. On the other hand I can promise you this; YOU will get fed up with this battle before I do.

    • Helen,

      Petrus is absolutely right about the matter and form for Confession and Holy Communion, but I’ll expand just a little on the subject of Confession.

      Once you’ve confessed your sins to the priest you should always hear him say “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Whatever else he may add before or after, these words are absolutely essential for valid absolution.

      I have to say that I have never personally known a priest to deviate from the proper form of absolution, but I have heard stories of people who have confessed to some rank liberal who makes up his own form. It’s very rare but worth watching out for.

      The other thing you have to watch for is getting bad advice from a priest in confession. There are a number of Novus Ordo priests out there who, while using the valid form of absolution (so the Sacrament is definitely valid), will perhaps advise you to read the spiritual works of someone who is not a Catholic, or recommend a prayer written by a non-Catholic. Be on the watch for this. If it happens to you then know that your absolution from the priest is valid but not his heterodox advice, which must be completely ignored.

      • The Psalms, and various Canticles. and other prayers commonly in use, were written by a non-Catholic, and of course, it is not who wrote the Spiritual Reading but its content. One of the best books on The Rosary was written by a Methodist!

        • CS,

          The Psalms and Canticles were written by those who belonged to the true faith of the time, namely the Jewish faith, whose sacred authors eagerly anticipated the coming of the promised Messiah. In fine, they were Catholic in spirit and in waiting.

          There is a huge difference between what these faithful of God wrote by divine inspiration and the writings of heretics whose inspiration is certainly not from above.

          While I am pleased to hear that a Methodist wrote a great book on the Rosary (I’ll have to take your word for that), I’m somewhat surprised that you would choose that book to read above any number of books written on the subject by the Church’s great saints, such as St. Louis de Montfort, St. Alphonsus Ligouri, St. Maximilian Kolbe, etc. Why would you prefer the work of a Protestant to all these saints?

          The religion of the author of any spiritual work is of paramount importance. That’s why the Church has always insisted on Imprimaturs and Nihil Obstats for any such works that the Catholic faithful will be exposed to, and why she has repeatedly placed works on the Index of forbidden publications. You obviously don’t know how clever the devil can be with seemingly good spiritual writings. The Church does and that’s why she forbids Catholics to read the spiritual works of non-Catholics.

      • Athanasius

        Correct. Also beware of priests claiming that certain sins aren’t really sins at all!

        It’s also worth reiterating that “I absolve you” is all that is required for validity. However, all priests should be saying the entire prayer of absolution, without any additions or omissions.

  13. I have just read this about Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, USA:, and the article quotes him extensively:

    Finally, the cardinal remembers “the critiques, challenges, disapproval and dissent that faced so much of what Pope Benedict XVI taught and published during his pontificate … Hardly then should we expect that Pope Francis would be immune from what appears to be something that “comes with the territory.” One of the things I have learned though over all of these years since those early naïve days in 1961 is that on closer examination there is a common thread that runs through all of these dissenters. They disagree with the Pope because he does not agree with them and therefore follow their position. Dissent is perhaps something we will always have, lamentable as it is, but we will also always have Peter and his successor as the rock and touchstone of both our faith and our unity.”

    It provides food for thought for any loyal, Traditional, Catholic, of which I am proud to be one.

    Editor: what really provides food for thought is the fact that you don’t give the link to the article where it is clear that Cardinal Wuerl (“liberal” par excellence) is referring to the “dissenters” at the synod! Here it is, folks(note: Vatican Insider is NOT a “traditional” publication)

    • He is referring to all dissent, especially since 1961, and Pope Benedict, who he specifically cites, was not at the Synod either as he had resigned long before it took place.

      Ed: given that he is a dissenter himself, that’s rich. See link posted by Jobstears. And there’s plenty more where that came from, I have no doubt. Wuerl is a well known “liberal”

    • CS,

      Trying to be devious, eh? Well, you’ve been caught out again.

      Editor,

      Thanks for posting the link to the Cardinal Wuerl interview where we can read that statement in its proper context.

      • It context was provided for in the paragraph I have quoted. Historically, people who dissent from clear Papal and Conciliar Teaching, and as The Cardinal concludes “that on closer examination there is a common thread that runs through all of these dissenters. They disagree with the Pope because he does not agree with them and therefore follow their position.”

        Ed: he does not identify the teachings from which the “dissenters” dissent. So, who is he talking about? Seems clear that he thinks Cardinal Burke and other bishops who object to the attack on Christ’s teaching on adultery, are dissenters because they disagree with Pope Francis and the rest of the Kasper Camp that Our Lord got it wrong.

        • I think The Pope is not in any camp -other than that of Jesus – and that, as yet, he has done no more than let a pastoral synod discuss pastoral responses to a number of pastoral problems.

          Editor: “pastoral problems” not noticed, apparently, by Popes JP II and Benedict, when they reinforced traditional Catholic teaching on marriage and Canon Law on the prohibition on Communion for those living in adultery.

          • On the contrary any, and every Pope, has recognised these problems since divorce became commonplace. The synod is the first serious, universal, attempt to provide a pastoral response.

            It is foolish to pre-judge the outcome of a synod that has not yet met. Gerragrip!

            Editor: no other pope has indicated that the rule book (including Gospel) has to be torn up and we start again.

            • This Pope hasn’t either. He has, rightly, asked a synod to reflect on a suitable pastoral response to such people.

              For example, many divorced people, who remain single, wrongly believe they are excommunicated, and many others, who perhaps contemplate or enter into other relationships, that may or may not be sexual, mistakenly believe they cannot attend Mass. Both errors have to be responded to. No sin, or failing, excludes people from praying with The Church, or joining in Parish Life in general.

              Editor: not at all what he is saying. He is saying to “think outside the spiritual box” – see new thread. Kasper doesn’t believe the “remarried” are adulterers. You really have not been following the reports or the facts have passed you by, somehow.

              • In 2005 The Catholic News Service reported this:

                Pope Benedict said that Catholics must keep two things in mind: First, that even if divorced and civilly remarried Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist, they are part of the church and are loved by Christ; and second, that suffering out of love for God and for the church is “a noble suffering.”

                While participating at Mass without receiving Communion is not optimal, he said, “it is not nothing; it is involvement in the mystery of the cross and resurrection of Christ.”

                “Given that it is the sacrament of the passion of Christ, the suffering Christ embraces these persons in a special way and communicates with them in a different way,” he said. “They can feel embraced by the crucified Lord who falls to the earth and dies and suffers for them and with them.”

                • Common S,

                  If you are quoting accurately, then Pope Benedict also thought nothing much wrong with the divorced and remarried receiving Communion. I believe he used to agree with Kasper on that and then supposedly changed his mind but since leopards don’t change their spots, I have always doubted the claims that Pope Benedict was no longer the liberal he was in his early days of priesthood. You have confirmed my feeling.

                  Although it is obviously true that everyone is loved by Christ, no matter what their sins, that doesn’t mean that Christ doesn’t want them turning away from those sins. That quote sounds as if God really doesn’t care. To say that their “suffering” (i.e. not being able to go to Communion because of their adulterous union) is “noble” doesn’t sound right. Would it be the same for a serial killer who was unrepentant but knew he ought not to go to Communion? Surely his absence from Communion wouldn’t be a “noble suffering” ?

                  I am wondering what the Pope thinks is the point of Holy Communion. He seems to think it is a right. I never think of it that way.

                  • My understanding is the young Joseph Ratzinger contemplated the possibility of divorced, and remarried, people receiving Holy Communion, but he changed his view. The article from The Catholic News Service is wholly consistent with his latter, changed, view. What he is saying a pastoral Church engages with, and welcomes, those who, for whatever reason, cannot receive Holy Communion. I do not believe Pope Francis, himself, is saying more than that.

                    • May I add Joseph Ratzinger was a peritus/expert at The Second Vatican Council, and this blogs holds the views of the peritus at The Council in high regard. I am sure that applies across the board, and that people don’t pick and choose their experts, or discount one or became Pope.

                    • The young Joseph Ratzinger was also on the Holy Office list of those suspected of heresy!

                      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

                    • Petrus

                      Being “suspected” of something can often say more about the mind-set of those who judge than those thought to be suspect.

                      Editor: we must pass this observation on to the cops. Ignore the signs and hope for the best!

                      I think history, and God, appear to be on the side of Joseph Ratzinger.

                      Editor: any evidence for this statement?

                    • Editor

                      Joseph Ratzinger was a professor, Bishop, Head of The C.D.F., and was elected Pope. History, and God, do appear to be on his side, and those of his critics on the wrong side.

              • Cardinal Kasper is one man. One asked some questions The Pope merely replies “I am Catholic”. Don’t prejudge a Synod that has not yet met.

                Editor: Cardinal Kasper is a dissenter who publicly said that Jesus got it wrong when he called adulterers, adulterers. Pope Francis put him in charge, effectively, of the Synod and is already preparing the way for the Kasper Camp to win out at Part Two of the synod. If you want to ignore the facts, feel free. We prefer to use our God given intelligence to warn our fellow Catholics of the dangers ahead, and help us all to recognise the signs. Talk of thinking outside our “spiritual boxes” is a clue. No mention of clinging to Tradition, just casting it aside if that is what is inside our “spiritual box”.

              • [Pope Francis] has not stated exactly what his reference to “the spiritual box” means, but you have chosen to impose an interpretation on it. That is your problem, not his. (In every case, thus far, when he has expanded on his views they are those of a traditional Catholic.)

                Editor: by “expanding his view” I take it you mean the corrections which are rushed out after his just about every statement, to make them tune in with Catholic teaching. By then the damage has been done.

                • CS,

                  Can we have a little intellectual honesty here, please? You say Pope Francis has not stated exactly what his reference to the ‘spiritual box’ means”. There is a general understanding that when people use words, those words mean something, so when somebody, uses the term ‘thinking outside the box’ it means one thing, to –“Think creatively, unimpeded by orthodox or conventional constraints “.http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/think-outside-the-box.html.

                  So, how does one think outside the spiritual box? By thinking -outside what the Church teaches?

                  • He has not been clear about specifics, and so to try to box him in is uncharitable.

                    Editor: who’s trying to “box him in”? He used a phrase “thinking outside the box” which is used widely in society to mean throw out all your previous ideas and beliefs about this or that and think as if there were no “rules” – nothing before. If a Pope adds the adjective “spiritual” to “box” then you’d have to be pretty stupid not to take the hint. However, as you say, he was not clear about specifics, he didn’t actually SAY “chuck out every dogma and moral teaching and start again” so what do YOU think he might have meant?

                    Note: if you don’t answer the above question, your post will not get through. We want to know what YOU think he MIGHT have meant.

                    • I genuinely don’t believe he is saying abandon Church Teaching, but he is saying we need to re-evaluate pastoral practice. However, as yet he has not telephoned me, and it is foolish to waste time on idle speculation.

                    • Let us know when he phones!

                      Pastoral practice should always reflect the truths of the Faith, should it not? If it doesn’t,  then it’s surely not pastoral!

                      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

                    • CS,

                      The Pope is definitely not saying openly that we should abandon Church teaching; that would be far too obvious and the Holy Spirit wouldn’t permit it.

                      No, what His Holiness is doing is giving the nod and wink to his bishops to change things by praxis. It’s back door change, if you like, using the illicit method that saw such heathen gymnastics as Communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion enter the Church and spread like the “smoke of Satan”.

                      What was it St. Paul called it? Oh yes, “using liberty as a cloak for malice”.

                • Petrus

                  Everyone who sins, in some very real sense, cuts themselves off from The Church, but most sinners can be reconciled to Full Communion through The Sacrament of Reconciliation, and, for example, fornicators can get married. The Divorced, and, say, Gay people cannot remedy their relationships, or lack of them, in the same way, and the Church must make them welcome, and embrace them. Exactly how that will happen is being discussed in Synod. Let The Synod speak before you do!

                  • CS,

                    Fornicators, the divorced, gays, etc., all know the moral teaching of the Church, which is the teaching of Our Lord Himself. These must resist sinful inclinations and refrain from sinful habits, confessing past sins if necessary and resolving to live by God’s grace in future, which, as St. Paul says, is sufficient for us all.

                    There is no need, then, for a Synod just to repeat this unchangeable truth.

                    There would be need for a Synod, however, if someone clever enough thought that perhaps he could alter or obscure Magisterial teaching by praxis. This is what was attempted during Synod part one in October last year. We all know what’s going on right now, except you apparently.

                    • That’s very true, Athanasius.  I’ve always thought that the penalties associated with various irregular lifestyles were to highlight,  in charity, the severity of the sin.  It is surely a sin against charity, and completely non-pastoral, to “play down” the severity of sins under the guise of being “non-judgemental” and “welcoming”?

                      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

                    • May I remind you that “Divorced” people can, and do, obtain annulments, but many such be divorced people do not want to subject their earlier relationship to the scrutiny of that process and live conflicted lives.

                      Any sinner has to work to overcome sin, and, at different times in their lives, most people will be “in sin” and should still be welcome at Mass, and be seen to be part of The Community.

                      Are the Gospels wrong about who Jesus wined and dined with?

                      Are you without sin? Does everyone many to get to confession before they next celebrate Mass with the Parish Community?

                      Is the fact of regularly sinning – in a particular way – necessarily a sign of an unrepentant reckless sinner? I have often heard fellow Catholics, and priests in their preaching, say their list in Confession in often a repetition of practically every previous confession. Habitual sin is not just a specialism for sexual sinners.

                    • So what you are saying is that many people choose to be their own judge and refuse to submit to the authority of the Church?

                      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I agree with you completely. There is no need for a Synod to repeat “unchangeable truth“.

                      To call this Synod, someone must be convinced that Our Lord did not really count on things reaching this deplorable state and now that they have, they know the mind of God better than the Church He instituted! They know for sure that, He never intended His Way to impose such ‘intolerable burdens’ on humanity, so they feel obliged to interpret these hard teachings 😀

                    • Petrus & Jobstears,

                      I think we would all agree that St. Paul got it absolutely spot on when he warned of those who use their liberty as a cloak for malice.

                      To dance around divine truths in the name of compassion is not charity, it’s human respect which is greatly detrimental to the salvation of souls. I think of it as the Judas kiss of death.

                      There is no question that the Iscariot spirit was present and active at that Synod last October.

                    • CS,

                      No one is discussing habitual sinners who nevertheless make frequent use of the Sacrament of Confession and try to amend their lives.

                      No, we speak here of habitual sinners who insist that it’s the Church which has to repent of wrong doing. These are people with dead consciences who want to continue to enjoy their sinful pleasures with the Church’s consent, albeit consent by silence.

                      You will note throughout the Gospels that Our Lord frequently reminded those He healed that they should “go and sin no more”. This was a prerequisite for their absolution. In fact, there is one occasion where Our Lord heals a leper and then admonishes him not to sin again “lest some worse thing befall you.”

                      Then there’s the story Our Lord tells of the man who was cleansed of a demonic spirit, which spirit wandered through arid places before deciding to return to the house (soul) from which it had been driven. On finding that house swept and garnished, it went away and returned with seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and entering in the last state of that soul was worse than the first. In other words, there are certain sins which, if not repented of and resisted in future, can lead to a catastrophic state of soul.

                      In fine, you’re wrong to suggest that Our Lord ate and drank with sinners in a hippie kind of way. He ate and drank with them in order to win them back to grace and truth, and He did it with direct speech, not double talk.

                    • Petrus

                      Truer would be that people are not failing to judge themselves, but you are, wrongly, standing in judgement of them.

                      Central to our understanding of The Sacrament of Confession, and pastoral action, is the use of the internal forum, of which you cannot possibly have any insight in so far as it related to others.

                      Are you saying you have missed Mass if you have not been able to Confess prior to Mass taking place?

                    • I do not believe I have judged anyone.  What you fail to understand is the difference between speaking generally and speaking about an individual soul.  There’s a key difference that you are missing.  

                      As for the rest of your post – I find it generally incoherent. 

                      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

        • CS,

          You and Cardinal Wuerl are slaves to Pope Francis. We here on this blog are free children of the Church loyal to the Papacy. Since the former appears to be placing himself in opposition to the latter, it is quite clear where the duty of faithful Catholics lies.

          But just in case you can’t grasp it, our duty lies with the authentic magisterial teaching of the Church, that is, with what the Popes have taught with authority throughout the ages. If Pope Francis speaks in line with that then he has our perfect obedience. If he speaks contrary to it, however, or acts to undermine it, then he MUST be resisted. His efforts to undermine the moral teaching of the Church re the divorced and remarried and homosexuality is a case in hand. No one with an ounce of the Catholic Faith and the slightest understanding of true obedience can attempt to justify what this Pope is trying to pull off by pastoral praxis.

          • You have said on here a Scholar serving on a Pontifical Council has publicly questioned your scholarship/conclusions. You are not The Pope, and what Cardinal Weurl says may apply to you. I do not know.

            Editor: you are not the pope either, although, to be fair, I think you’d probably be a better one than Papa Francis. Yip, things are that bad 😀

          • CS

            “Any sinner has to work to overcome sin, and, at different times in their lives, most people will be “in sin” and should still be welcome at Mass, and be seen to be part of The Community.”

            Aren’t you confusing attending Mass with reception of Holy Communion? If one is in a state of mortal sin one should still attend Mass, but should not receive Holy Communion. Why do you assume that they will not be welcome at Mass?

            “Are the Gospels wrong about who Jesus wined and dined with?”

            No. What’s that got to do with it? You aren’t wining and dining with Our Lord when you receive Holy Communion.

            “Does everyone many to get to confession before they next celebrate Mass with the Parish Community?”

            A doot it! There aren’t many queues for confession these days. Again, what’s your point? No-one is suggesting that only the sinless should attend Mass. The Church, however, DOES insist that if one is in a state of mortal sin one should not, under pain of committing a sacrilege, receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Of course these days hardly anyone seems to know what a mortal sin is, and it seems that some don’t want them to know.

      • Jobstears,

        Many thanks for posting that link to the arch-liberal Wuerl. Much appreciated. It’s hilarious that he is denouncing dissenters when he’s one himself, with bells on!

    • Editor P.S. I don’t provide links solely because I.T. is not something that interests me, but I know that people can, just by googling the name, or part of the article, find it themselves. Anyone who uses the internet can do that, as you speedily.

      Editor: nonsense. It is totally UN-academic to present quotes without sources. Internet sources are easily linked. I could write that Pope Francis said “as from June 1st 2015 all parishes must provide a Traditional Latin Mass and begin to phase out the novus ordo” but without a link to source, it is meaningless.

      However, no-one can see posts deleted by you that are factually correct, but that take a viewpoint contrary to yours. That perhaps, is a more important issue, in terms of which of us debates/discusses things openly and honestly whilst respecting the other person holds a viewpoint, which in good faith, differs from yours.

      Editor: on the contrary – there’s been nothing in your deleted posts that is not covered in my Notice at the top of the home page. Make sure you read it. I’ve actually been a bit more lenient that I should be (and as others have indicated they want me to be – they are sick of your nonsense) so good try but not true. Your deleted posts contained nasty criticism of this blog and of the SSPX. Nothing like that will get through so get it into your (insert adjective) head and if you don’t like it, please PLEASE go away.

  14. Common

    Most folk like to win at least some of the time but I am beginning to think that in some abnormal way you actually enjoy coming in second best all of the time.

    In fact, I, in some abnormal way, am beginning to enjoy it.

  15. How can a person who is attentive to Holy Scripture, and Tradition, and is in Communion with The Pope, and faithful to The Magisterium, and all The Councils of The Church possibly come “second best” in expounding, and adhering to, Church Teaching?

    • Common

      You tell me.

      It is only you who can answer that one since you are the one coming in second all the time.

      Maybe you are not as infallible as you think you are. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

      • If we were discussing things with a member of The Magisterium/Hierarchy, and more especially with The Pope, I think he/they would judge me to be correct, then I am happy to be said to be coming second, just as some judged Jesus, and The Apostles, to have failed in their mission too. (I am not comparing myself to them, but just pointing out that those who didn’t except the teaching they handed on judged them to have “failed” too.

  16. Thanks, Petrus the Young and Athanasius the Elder.

    I once remember attending a Mass in Dublin whilst on holiday and the priest changed the words of the Consecration! I think I must have been the only person to spot it as everybody else trotted up to Holy Communion without batting an eyelid!

  17. Petrus,

    Thank you for the informative article. I didn’t realize priests administered the sacrament (sorry, I mean celebrated the sacrament) in the UK, too!

    • They do so in many instances, and not just in danger of death. An adult who is received in Full Communion with The Catholic Church, or is baptised, can, and will be ordinarily, be confirmed by the same priest, and in a number of Diocese – two I think – priests were/are annually confirming people from their own Parish on Pentecost Sunday. (I have not witnessed the latter, as I have not lived in those Diocese.)

  18. Common Sense, I dip in and out of this blog from time to time and have greatly appreciated your contribution and the spirit in which you make it. For the most part your posts and well thought out and food for thought.

    Editor, your latest edict about criticism of CT or those who blog here is understandable, but misplaced. In fact, I would suggest that the progress this blog has made – and it has made progress – has happened precisely because you have dealt with criticism as and when it comes along.

    Your new approach, of deleting posts that are critical of CT or bloggers, smacks of censorship which is unbecoming of a blog that prides itself on Truth. Remember, no amount of abuse adds up to a good argument and people who blog here, or simply dip in and out as I do, are perfectly able to tell the difference between constructive engagement and meddling. I accept it gets tedious when the latter happens, but that’s part and parcel of running a blog!

    It is, or course, your train set and you can do as you please, but I would suggest deleting posts is rather counter productive and will ultimately do more harm than good.

    • Laguna2002,

      Your comment is interesting on a number of counts, not least your praise for the contribution of CS to this blog, by – in your opinion – “well thought out” comments which are “food for thought”. Any comments which are a genuine contribution to our debates, get through and always have done. My first reaction on seeing CS on the sidebar, before moderation kicked in, was NOT “Oh here we’ll have a well thought out contribution that will be food for thought” but “Oh no! What now!”

      We are not afraid of criticism and – indeed – welcome it. No other publication that I can think of, publishes – as a matter of policy – letters of criticism before letters of support. That’s always been our policy, if for no other reason than that it shows the nature of the crisis when a publication containing nothing contrary to Catholic teaching can be attacked and criticised for nothing more “serious” than its tone and style, while letters upholding the Faith and correcting heresy and error by priests and people engaged as columnists in the Catholic press are suppressed.

      So, we are not afraid of criticism. What we have had to put an end to, is the hijacking of topics by people who hate our organisation, and seek to disrupt the discussions. If you think that is unreasonable and amounts to censorship in the pejorative sense, then that is a pity. A passing criticism, well meant, would always have been accepted in the spirit it was given. That’s not what we have been dealing with here. Not remotely. There has been manifest malice in the criticisms levelled against us and I – after consulting with the rest of the team – felt compelled to put an end to it. I did so, take note, after checking out a number of the well known Catholic blogs. Not one of them contained posts attacking “the blog” or its administrator. Heated exchanges between individuals can be found, certainly, but nobody minds that, it’s part and parcel of debate, but I couldn’t find any blog where there were personal attacks on those running the blog, nor charges that it is “un-Catholic” etc. Not one. Not in England or the USA. Nowhere did I find an example of the kind of savagery we experience from our critics here.

      The constant nit picking and harping about me personally and the other bloggers (do they have academic qualifications? that sort of nonsense) wears people down and has put off bloggers. Not so long ago one person told me that she refrained from signing up for our blog because she knew she wouldn’t be able to keep her cool with some of the “nuts” who disrupt.

      We are about educating in the Faith. Anyone who wishes to help with that will always be published here, including even those who dissent, as long as they take on board the corrections and do not descend into the abuse which you acknowledge is a feature of these troll-like individuals.

      The last post I deleted began with the words “Editor, your stupidity grows daily…” (not from Common Sense but from another troll).

      That is calculated to draw a hostile response, if not from me, then from the other bloggers and the atmosphere is thus no longer conducive to learning, which is what we are all here to do. However, if you can see any benefit to publishing that insult, do let me know. I’d be interested to hear your rationale, beyond the fact that – as you rightly say – visitors can distinguish between abuse and argument.

      PS – the sheer volume of the comments being submitted by these trolls speaks for itself. I have just found another six in the moderation queue and have released a couple and deleted one. I’m not looking at the others until later in the day. These people are – it seems – determined to disrupt our blog and they are not going to succeed. Why on EARTH do they persist in blogging here when they think we’re schismatics? I smell troublemakers.

      • Editor

        By any measure, I am not a troll, and I know those who know me but would attest I am a sincere, dedicated, loyal Catholic, who has practiced my faith my whole life.

        It may be you have a different understanding of Church Teaching, but that does not invalidate my viewpoint which, any independent person, would recognise as orthodox, mainstream, Catholicism. I would say on every issue I have true to the faith, and that proposed by The Magisterium.

      • Comment deleted.

        Before submitting any more comments, please read the About Us section of our blog (contains in-house rules) and also the recent Notice From Editor at top of the blog homepage.

        Thank you.

        • Comment deleted.

          NOTHING which is off topic will be allowed through and EVERYTHING which is personal and nasty will be deleted. Get that into your (insert adjective) head.

    • LAGUNA2002

      An interesting post, and one with which I can mostly concur.

      Deleting posts that offer an alternative point of view is hardly a pointer to truth. Most “experts” have to withstand peer review, and welcome serious, genuine, comments from others.

      To offer an alternative view, especially one sincerely held, and which the person genuinely believes is authentic Church teaching is not a criticism!

      Editor: so, why do you keep posting here, if we are so un-academic and so wrong blah blah? Why?

      And why do you keep using the scientific method as an analogy when no scientist today who persisted in putting forward any theory opposed to the accepted science in, say, the theory of evolution, would be permitted free rein. In any case, we are dealing with objective, absolute Truth, much more important than any theory of science. You keep pushing errors and we keep correcting them. Then you continue as if no correction had been made. That’s not discussing, that’s brainwashing. Not acceptable here, but try other Catholic blogs – they’re ALL moderated, as far as I know; every comment is pre-screened before being released, if it is released, at the discretion of the administrator. Still, worth a try. Don’t let us keep you…

      • No I am not using scientific analysis. I am saying you all claim to be experts, and yet you want let others challenge your alleged expertise. You talk about discussion but you engage in congratulating each other on your superior knowledge of the truth.

        Editor: this is an example of which Laguna ought to take note. He has perhaps not noticed that you repeatedly question whether what we write has been “peer reviewed” (a scientific concept). I’ve never known of any encyclical to have been “peer reviewed” before it being deemed acceptable by Catholics. This is the sort of nonsense, frankly, that I’m surprised has passed Laguna by.

        • I have not spoken about matters of faith/Tradition being peer reviewed. I have however said the “scholarship” of some here, including you, should be peer reviewed, and, for example, Professor Haldane has challenged the views of some here. You quote Archbishop Lefebvre as an expert on everything, and dismiss Joseph Ratzinger, for example.

          Editor: perhaps you ought to check with Professor Haldane before citing him here – he has spoken very kindly of Catholic Truth, not only in private correspondence with me, but to those with rather more standing within the Archdiocese of Glasgow who were kind enough to pass on his (very high) praise. And Archbishop Lefebvre has NEVER held dissident views, has never challenged Jesus’s teaching on adultery. “Joseph Ratzinger” (as you refer to the then Fr Ratzinger, later Cardinal Ratzinger and later again Pope Benedict) IS on the public record with such views. And others, by the way. So, he really doesn’t compare favourably to Archbishop Lefebvre at all. Not at all.

          • CS,

            Joseph Ratzinger was one of the most liberal periti during Vatican II, a collar and tie priest alongside his friends of the time, Karl Rahner and the infamous Hans Kung. So please, do not quote Joseph Ratzinger as a theologian in the class of Archbishop Lefebvre.

            Archbishop Lefebvre was praised by Pius XII as “The best of my Apostolic Delegates” The same Pope had Joseph Ratzinger’s name placed on the Holy Index list of “those suspect of heresy”.

            Now I have to say in all fairness that Joseph Ratzinger did mellow a little with age, becoming more conservative in certain areas to the great chagrin of Hans Kung. Nevertheless, and make no mistake about this, Joseph Ratzinger is a highly suspect theologian.

            In fact, if I’m not mistaken, he is a proponent of the heterodox doctrine of separation of Church and State.

            CS, you really need to do some revision!

            • In may countries, especially now within Europe, clerical garb is not always worn. That has been true for decades.

              Editor: that’s correct – in fact, Canon Law has been flouted for decades, all over the world, not just in Europe.

              • A priest who is ashamed to wear the uniform of his sacred office is unworthy of that office. This is a man who is not dead to the world, as all priests should be. The black cassock and/or suit of the priest symbolises their death in Christ to the world and the flesh.

              • Holy Scripture, Tradition, Canon Law and a host of other teachings, both moral and ethical, would bring into question the loyalty of many regulars who post here. On a scale of things, not wearing a clerical collar is nothing compared to rejecting the teaching of The Magisterium, and Conciliar Teaching.

                Editor: another generalised attack on the bloggers here, without a single example from “Holy Scripture, Tradition, Canon Law and a host of other teachings, both moral and ethical” to substantiate your claim.

                Taking note, Laguna?

          • Professor Haldane may indeed praise some of your work, but he also challenges much of the stance you take.

            Praising the good – even if there is little – can sometimes lead them to overcome the bad. It is called encouragement. It is not an endorsement of every act a person, or group, ever does.

            Editor: I suggest you contact him to ask him, not me. Thanks. Nothing further will be posted on the subject of Professor Haldane.

            • I note your most recent post on this topic. Professor Haldane appears to say something very akin to what I wrote above, namely:

              “Praising the good – even if there is little – can sometimes lead them to overcome the bad. It is called encouragement. It is not an endorsement of every act a person, or group, ever does.”

              The Professor himself writes:

              “I would prefer not to write publicly but perhaps you would be good enough either to delete the comments mentioning me or else note that I have said they do not give a full picture of my view of CT.”

              I hope that, in fairness to me, you do not edit or delete this post.

              • CS,

                Praising the good-even if there is little- can sometimes lead them to overcome the bad.

                Anyone and everyone who has ever tried to teach another human being knows, without a doubt, that there is a time for praise, there is a time for withholding that praise, and there is most definitely a time for applying penalties if the objectionable behavior continues.

                Our Lord, Mercy Itself, did not tell the woman caught in adultery to go away and be happy she was not stoned, she was told to sin no more. If every priest followed Our Lord’s example and said the very same thing, go and sin no more, and then praised/affirmed the good in the person/persons, to the limit, that, would be encouragement. To keep quiet about the sinful behavior/lifestyle all the while encouraging them, amounts to giving them enough rope with which to hang themselves.

                • Jobstears

                  The comment was written in the context of a claim of a ringing endorsement for CT by Professor Haldane. Based on what the Professor has since written it proved to be correct.

                  Editor: I have never claimed that Professor Haldane gave a “ringing endorsement” of CT. Never. Following your statement that “Professor Haldane has challenged the views of some here” I replied: “Perhaps you ought to check with Professor Haldane before citing him here – he has spoken very kindly of Catholic Truth, not only in private correspondence with me, but to those with rather more standing within the Archdiocese of Glasgow who were kind enough to pass on his (very high) praise. All of that is true but there is nothing in that comment to suggest that John Haldane agrees with our promotion of traditional Catholic teaching. I know that he holds unorthodox beliefs (for example about the nature of the Church, which he considers to be a “work in progress” – whereas, of course, the Church is the Spotless Bride of Christ), so nobody would be more surprised the I, if he were to give a ringing endorsement of CT.

                  It was not written about sinners!

                  However, I do know from working with others who have failed, and are perhaps weighed down by failure, you do have to help them realise even the little progress they make, in the hope of encouraging further progress.

                  Indeed, more than one parable told by Jesus addresses the issue of those who have the courage to change, because they realise they can aim higher if they commit themselves to doing so.

                  Editor: I don’t recall Our Lord “addressing issues” – He usually instructed/commanded: (“Go you and do likewise”… “Repent!”…)

                  The story of the woman caught in adultery also has a teaching that says “let the one who has not sinned cast the first stone”. I assume that you did not know that.

                  Editor: and you must know that Jesus also said to the adulterous woman: “Go and sin no more.”

    • Laguna,

      I think your post is well intentioned but patronising.

      Native Americans have a saying, ” Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins ” . And by your own admission, you just dip in and out, not enough time to know why Editor was obliged to delete posts.

      Intelligent folks, those genuinely interested in learning or contributing to the debate, will do just that- they offer something they think worthwhile, if and when they realize they are ‘check-mated’ 💡 they either acknowledge the truth (and learn something), or they move on!

      To tolerate abusive language and rude comments directed at the administrator (in lieu of proper arguments) is not a mark of an open-mind, it is foolishness.

      In the end, CT has gained the reputation it has, due to Editor’s wise handling. She does not ‘censor’, and has never blocked even the most troublesome bloggers (that they show up routinely, is proof!), however, she reserves the right to block abusive comments, and comments that deliberately take the discussion off-topic.

  19. Ed

    I agree with everything you say.

    Why not, though, just let them all blether away and completely ignore them? They could all join a wee group within a group and we could sit back and eavesdrop.

    On the other hand, is there not a friendly NO group out there where they could all meet and pray?

    Sorry, that should have said play.

  20. Editor

    I agree with you entirely. The points you make to Laguna2002 are absolutely on the ball. My challenge to this person is to scroll through the very many posts placed here recently by these trolls and demonstrate to us, with a list of dates and times of comments, where any of them have made what a rational and objective Catholic might call “well thought out” contributions that give “food for thought”. Let’s see now if Laguna2002 takes the challenge.

    In the meantime, I post this extremely good article for said trolls and their defenders. This is really “well thought out” (not to mention well researched) commentary that should give even the most ardent papolatrist “food for thought”.

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/02/is-papacy-in-turmoil-call-in-outsiders.html#more

  21. Ooops!

    Looks like I need to ask the Society to conditonally Confirm me .. mine was in about 1972 with the ecumaniac-in-chief Alan Clarke of East Anglia. I’ll ask tonight at Holy Hour.

  22. Editor

    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to reply to my post; it was meant to be constructive and from your comments I think that you understood that. As you know I have ‘dipped in and out’ of this blog for some time and have, from time to time, made contributions which I hope have been helpful. In fact, my last interaction here was asking for help finding a publication that could assist with the pronunciation of Latin at Mass and I’m pleased to say that I have made progress in that regard. I have slowly managed to make headway, not just with the pronunciation but also attendance at the EF (as some call it) of the Mass. It is all very much ‘work in progress’ but I am getting there.

    I will not attempt to rise to the challenge that Athanasius sets; that is not my reason for being here, and others are more than able to look and judge for themselves. And nor will I attempt to be critical of your assessment, Editor, of ‘trolls’ – if you sincerely believe that disruption is their game then you are right to tackle it. Jobstears points out that CT has a lot to thank you for – and I acknowledged the progress made while being honest enough to admit the post I was submitting was done on the basis of dipping in and out.

    Having said that, I must say that Common Sense posts with what I would judge to be sincerity and conviction and I have not seen anything that would immediately have me shouting at my computer screen. I most certainly wouldn’t use the description of ‘troll’. Whilst you might not convince the contributor you may convince ten other readers. As I said before, simply deleting is, in my opinion, counter productive.

    Finally, it does no harm for bloggers to look inwards from time to time. No sooner had I appeared here than Frankier pounces and insinuating that CS and I are one and the same, without even a word about my post. That is shallow and insulting. Those of you who helped with my Latin request some time ago will, I hope, recognise me from then but I have no intention of justifying myself to every Tom, Dick and Frankier that comes along.

    • Laguna, I do, indeed, remember your previous (very good) contributions and I am delighted that you have pursued the Latin and seek a Traditional Latin Mass. There is nothing “extraordinary” about it, except that it refuses to be killed off!

      Now, I take on board your comments about Common Sense but I doubt if you have followed the blog closely throughout his time here because it became very obvious that he is a papolatrist – whatever the pope says or does is fine by him – and those of us who argue the Catholic attitude to pontiffs and the papacy are regarded by him as schismatic. The SSPX ditto.

      Despite giving him loads of sources to read to demonstrate that the Church has never advocated treating any pope as a cult leader, he took us round in circles repeating errors already corrected and at times was quite personal in his remarks.

      Imagine you are discussing the weather this week with someone who denies that it has been raining most of the time. They argue that it’s been sunny in Glasgow and that you are mistaken. You provide links to the weather reports for the week and another link to show the rise in sales of umbrellas in Glasgow compared to the rest of Scotland (!) Dopey returns to the blog to say he knows for a fact that it’s been sunny all week and gives no evidence, just repeats the error. Gets to be frustrating, Laguna, and while you might say “but that is an obvious and very simple example you provide” that is quite deliberate and designed to show that the errors to which CS clings about the Faith are basic errors and yet he refuses to accept the corrections, no doubt in the mistaken view of the papolatrist that to admit that a pope can err in any matter of Faith and Morals, is to undermine the indefectibility of the Church. They just don’t get it. And they won’t listen.

      Any Catholic who does not recognise the gravity of what is going on re. the Synod on the Family – and who in fact defends what is going on in the name of allowing free speech to seek “pastoral solutions” to the immorality which Cardinal Kasper seeks to legitimise – is not a Catholic who should be allowed out late at night without his mother.

      CS was given due warning of possible moderation – something that never happens on other blogs most of which are permanently moderated anyway, but try annoying Fr Z, for example, and you are simply blacklisted, no warning. I know, it happened to me for pointing out that he was being a tad contradictory by presenting his argument as “traditional” while at the same time defending the use of lay people to distribute Holy Communion. Athanasius, too, was blacklisted by him. So, we have been more than fair to CS, and even after moderation his posts have been allowed through. In fact, I had to post this notice after receiving queries by email:

      NOTICE…

      Someone asked me today why posts from Common Sense are still being published when he is in moderation and I said his posts would be routinely deleted. To clarify, when someone is in moderation, their posts are read in advance by me and if they are on topic and making a genuine point for discussion, they will be allowed through. Common Sense’s posts since moderation have been in that category. If he “goes circular” on us again, e.g. about the role of the pope, then his posts won’t get through. Simple. END.

      I hope this clarifies our position.

      God bless.

      PS Frankier has lots of Irish blood in his veins (as I do myself) which can make him hot-headed, but he’s one of the best, really, and would be the last person to mean to offend you. Honest!

      Frankier – behave! 😀

    • Laguna2002,

      I too remember you from previous visits and so I never considered you to be anything other than a genuine contributor. Your comments are extremely charitable and objective.

      As editor has pointed out, however, this has not been the method of CS and a few others who came onto the blog around the same time. These had one goal in common, which was to disrupt discussions with insulting remarks and arguments based on circular reasoning. At one point in time it was becoming almost intolerable, which I assume was the intention.

      Now, you say you won’t take me up on my challenge because others can read the comments of CS for themselves and make up their own minds. Ok, I’ll accept that response. This is the kind of exchange all Catholics who are of genuine intent should have.

      When CS and his pals entered the scene making the most outrageous claims and accusations they were provided with irrefutable evidence from the Magisterium, etc., for their correction. In certain cases they were asked to provide contrary evidence that bore any kind of ecclesiastic weight to prove their claims. All they did was ignore everything and carry on regardless with the same, and new false claims. How on earth can rational human beings be expected to continue in debate with such people? It’s not possible.

      I hope this helps to shed a little more light on the situation.

      By the way, I’m pleased to hear that your Latin is coming along.

    • Laguna

      I have just read your post but I was only joking. It is obvious that you are not one and the same. So, SORRY!

      I can`t speak for Tom or Dick though.

  23. I have come to this thread late, and I have not managed to digest all of the comments (so, sorry if this question has been asked already):

    I understand that, with some sacraments (notably confession) that if something is awry which might make the sacrament invalid – but its not the fault of the lay person involved – then the Church “makes good” the sacrament so that the lay person doesn’t lose out due to the incompetence or invention of the priest. (is this right?)

    Why then does this not seem to be the case with confirmations, if the SSPX is moved to offer conditional confirmation?

    My own confirmation was carried out by Bishop Joseph Devine, then Bishop of Motherwell, in St Augustines Church, Coatbridge. I cant remember exactly which year it was, but definitely the 1980s.

    As per the rest of my so-called “formation”, I feel in retrospect that my peers and I went through confirmation in a rather glib and blase fashion. (From what I remember, the preparation at school was more about what time to arrive, where to sit etc, than it was ‘what does this event mean’.)

    Shamefully, I cannot even remember what my confirmation name is, which I think is a good indicator as to how seriously the event was taken by all involved. I remember it was between Michael or Andrew, but I cannot remember which I settled on.

    I recall in the run up to the occasion, that mischief-makers would tell you that the Bishop “slaps” you to confirm you. In the event he simply touched the side of your head / cheek with the palm of his hand.

    My main memory of the event is walking up the aisle with my sponsor, who had his hand on my shoulder. When we got to the sanctuary, the Bishop was seated there, facing the candidates as they arrived. He touched the side of our heads in turn, and I am pretty sure he anointed us too.

    I remember having my photo taken with Bishop Devine outside the Church afterwards.

    So, looking back, it seems that everything was in place as regards how the sacrament was administered, even if I was not very well instructed as to what all this actually meant. However, can my lack of concrete instruction and / or poor recollection of the event affect its validity?

    Any thoughts / comments welcome!

    • Gabriel 

      Your question about “ecclesia supplet” and validity with regarding to Confirmation is a good one.  I don’t think this principle applies to all the Sacraments.   For example, if the priest doesn’t use the correct matter or form in Holy Communion transubstantiation doesn’t take place.  I don’t think “ecclesia supplet” would allow a lay person to receive Holy Communion under these circumstances. 

      As far as I am aware, this principle only applies to Confession.  The lay person supplies the valid matter, the confessed sins, so if the priest doesn’t use the correct form, provided the lay person doesnt know that the form used isn’t correct, the Church supplies.  However, if the lay person does know something is awry, this principle doesn’t apply. 

      Remember, “Ecclesia Supplet” applies when a priest deviates.  The entire New Rite of Confirmation has sufficient doubt, even on paper.

      I would recommend you receive Conditional Confirmation because the valid matter is olive oil.  Given the amount of innovation in the New Rite, I would say there’s enough doubt to merit a Conditional Confirmation. There’s also no way you could ever know if olive oil was used.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

      • “For example, if the priest doesn’t use the correct matter or form in Holy Communion transubstantiation doesn’t take place”.

        What happens then, if a Priest does use the correct matter or form in Holy Communion but the Priest himself is in a state of sin? Does transubstantiation take place? For example, I am thinking of the many Masses offered by Cardinal O’Brien.

        • I don’t think the sins of the minister has any impact on the validity of the Sacraments. 

          Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

          • I find that very difficult to accept. If a Priest doesn’t use the correct matter or form in Holy Communion transubstantiation doesn’t take place, but a Priest can be in a state of sin and yet transubstantiation takes place just because he uses the correct matter or form? What an insult to Out Lord.

            • Santiago,

              You confuse the priest with the man. A priest celebrating Mass acts in the Person of Christ by reason of his ordination. This means that despite personal mortal sin he is still endowed with the power to consecrate. The priest doesn’t lose his priestly power by reason of mortal sin.

              You’re right about one thing though, it is a great insult to Our Lord for a priest to offer Holy Mass while in a state of unrepented mortal sin. It’s not something any of us can contemplate.

              • Athanasius,

                You are right, of course, and upon reflection, I realise that.

                I guess with all the scandal we have endured I’m just a disillusioned Catholic. I’ll try to give up being disillusioned for Lent!!

                • Santiago,

                  Never allow yourself to become disillusioned. Our Lord is still in Charge of His Church and He will end this crisis when the time is right.

                  In the meantime, get apostolic, not disillusioned. Our Lord is testing the faithful through this crisis. Hang on in there, keep to the ancient faith and all will be well – eventually!

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Others may be better informed about Bishop Devine than I, but from the little I know of him I would suspect that his confirmations were likely to be valid. Let me add to this the positive note that at least Bishop Devine discharged his duty as a bishop by administering confirmations personally. He didn’t punt the task off to a local priest, as some of his confreres have done.

      The difficulty in your case, as in so many others, is that even if the bishop did administer the Sacrament himself, and even if we think he may have used the correct matter and form, we can never be absolutely certain of the fact. Post-1972 leaves a lot of doubt in the minds of many of the faithful and that’s why they take advantage of conditional Confirmation. Let’s put it this way: it wouldn’t do you any harm to make certain through conditional Confirmation.

      This brings me to your question about possibly dodgy absolution from a priest in Confession, and what to do about it.

      The first thing to note is that when a person commits a mortal sin but then repents of it in his heart before God with genuine sorrow, he is already forgiven. However, a condition of this forgiveness is that the person go to Confession at the first possible opportunity and confess the sin before a priest in order to receive Sacramental absolution and a penance. Access to Holy Communion is barred until this condition is fulfilled. If the person fails to go to Confession at the earliest opportunity, then it may be said that his sorrow was not genuine and his sin remains.

      This being the teaching of the Church, it seems fair to conclude that if a penitent does all that God requires of him, yet is failed by a priest who does not use the correct matter and form for a valid Sacramental absolution, then yes, that person is forgiven and is free to receive Holy Communion. In other words, the Church supplies for the failure of the priest.

      However, willful ignorance on the part of a lay person as to the words a priest must use to absolve validly changes everything. If, for example, a penitent knows that the priest has not said the words correctly, yet says nothing about it, he need not think he has been absolved on the grounds that the Church supplies. No, the Church only supplies in the case of genuine ignorance on the part of the penitent, i.e., invincible ignorance.

      Confirmation is different. Like Transubstantiation, if there is deficiency in regard to matter, form and/or intention then the Sacrament is not confected, simple as that.

      Let me try to explain with an example. We know that it is impossible for Anglican bishops to impart valid Confirmation or for Anglican clergy to confect the Blessed Sacrament, even if proper matter, form and intention are present. The reason for this is that they are not ordained bishops and priests of the Church, the apostolic succession having been broken at the time of the Reformation. Hence, even with the best will in the world, it is impossible for Anglican clergy to bring about supernatural realities reserved to the ordained.

      The same may be said of Anglican Confessions, but with one very crucial difference.

      God being merciful, if an Anglican in invincible ignorance truly repents in his heart of having offended God by mortal sin, then his sin is forgiven by God despite the invalidity of Anglican confessions. This is what is meant by souls being saved in their false religions but not by their false religions.

      Mortal sin is so deadly to the soul that God in His mercy holds out to the invincibly ignorant the possibility, albeit remote, of salvation; if only they are faithful to His law, written in the hearts of all men. Quite how many can go through a long life without the grace of the Sacraments and keep this law has to be weighed in small numbers.

      I know I’ve gone on a bit here, but I hope this attempted explanation makes sense to you.

  24. i had an interesting short talk with an SSPX priest today on this subject. The Society’s worries about this Sacrament in its Vatican II-ised clothes is not so much the form (the new wording, though a radical departure from Western practice, is traditional in the Eastern Catholic Churches) but the matter – the absence of olive oil from the chrism.

    • That’s true. The use of olive oil is the main issue.  However, it goes back to the old argument, “Is validity enough?”  Absolutely not!

      When you combine the olive oil issue, the mixing of Eastern and Western rites, the regular use of priests instead of bishops, one can only conclude that the New Rite of Confirmation is AT BEST illicit and possibly invalid. It’s enough to have any right thinking Catholic avoiding it like the plague.

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

      • Petrus, frankly that’s nonsense. How can a Sacramental form promulgated by the Holy See be “illicit”.

        • Precisely for the reasons I’ve given in the article and again in my post. 

          Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

            • CS,

              A Sacramental Form promulgated personally by a Pope to the detriment of a clearer previous Form promulgated by the Magisterium can most certainly be illicit. The New Mass is the example par excellence. of such Pontifical abuse of authority.

      • I am not at all convinced of your analysis. You have an axe to grind, and grind it you will.

        However, the Rites of East and West are licit, and valid, and essentially from The One Tradition, and the differences are perhaps an early form of inculteration, and both Traditions can, and must, learn from each other, as they have as their root Tradition itself?

        • What about the quotes from eminent scholars, including a future Pope? 

          Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

          • You can argue, on one hand, that people who quote present, past, or future Popes are guilty of Papalatory (?), and even point out one such man was once suspected of heresy, and then cite such people to sustain your poor scholarship and judgement.

            By the way, you worry about mixing East and Western Rites, and presumably theology, but just who was the original Athanasius lauded, possibly indirectly, by some here? A Coptic Christian.

            Consistency, please!

            • You’ve actually touched on something quite important, CS.  The reason we can say that Joseph Ratzinger was suspected of heresy and then use the same man to defend Catholic orthodoxy, is because Ratzinger was, and is, a Modernist. 

              I suggest you read “Pascendi ” by Pope St Pius X.  It explains clearly that a Modernist will defend Catholic Tradition beautifully on one page, only to contradict it on the next. 

              Now, I note your comment about my “poor scholarship”.  A few points to note.  It doesn’t take a scholar to understand the Truths of the Faith.  I have noticed that your recent posts have been well meaning and free from personal attacks.  Please keep them that way in accordance with the house rules.  

              Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

              • You are wrong to suggest have ever engaged in personal attacks. However, when people here speak of others, like me, needing “the men in white coats” etc, then we can see the boot is on the other foot.

                Editor: come on, now, CS, I’m sure it was I who referred to the men in white coats but you should know me well enough by now to know that I was not being serious (well… not really!)

                Further, as you question not only my knowledge, but my faith, it is not unreasonable to question your scholarship especially when things you cite as facts are not so. Can you, for example, one Diocese in The British Isles that does not use Olive Oil for The Sacred Oils? I doubt it, and that is the basis of one of your many erroneous claims.

                Editor: CS, may I suggest that you simply ask for sources without asking for people’s academic or theological qualifications. The great saints had no academic Degrees – it can be a hindrance to the spiritual life to have academic qualifications. I’m sure it was Pope Saint Pius X who said as much in one of his encyclicals, that it is the educated Catholics who often have most difficulty accepting the simple truths of our Faith (I’m paraphrasing but you’ll get my drift – and no time to check source right now, but will do in due course if you don’t believe me.)

                • Editor

                  As you, and many of your regulars, write as if you are experts, and some of you even republish your own articles here, then your qualifications do matter.

                  I claim no authority, but to remind people of the current expression, of The One Truth Faith, promulgated by The Pope, and College of Bishops, and the wider magisterium, and that teaching is available in current editions of Liturgical Books, Canon Law, The Catechism of The Catholic Church, recent encyclicals etc.

                  Handbooks, and newletters, published by various organisations, favoured by some here, or apparitions, and interpretations of past documents, not upheld by The Magisterium, do not count as knowledge or expertise.

                  • I refer to your trolling on the lead thread, Common Sense.   “Further, since olive oil, which hitherto had been prescribed for the valid administration of the sacrament, is unobtainable or difficult to obtain in some parts of the world, we decreed, at the request of numerous bishops, that in the future, according to the circumstances, oil of another sort could also be used, provided it were obtained from plants, inasmuch as this more closely resembles the matter indicated in Holy Scripture.” Sacram Unctione Infirmorum Now, we all know that you will claim that the Church has only allowed this in extreme circumstances, but I say to you that the same thing happened with Extraordinary Ministers.  They should only be used in extreme circumstances but they have become commonplace.   Therefore, I ask you this: how can we be certain that olive oil is being used.  I know priests don’t usually question this and neither do the faithful.  So, let’s take the Archdiocese of Glasgow.  Where does the oil come from and how do we know that it’s olive oil?

                    • Petrus

                      So you argument is that you do not have any evidence that Olive Oil isn’t used, but because, in your view, we have too many Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion it must be true that it isn’t used.

                      On that basis you counsel people to ignore that they were Sacramentalised according the Valid, and Licit, Rites of Holy Mother Church, and seek conditional sacraments from a Bishop who was not licitly appointed?

                      If that is being faithful to Tradition, and Scholarly, I pray that God will bring you, and those who see you as an expert, to their senses.

                      You undermine, and devalue, The Holy Sacraments, and mock, and debase, valid, and licit, celebrations of The Holy Sacraments in order to set yourself up as the Guardian of the Church?

                      How sad is the spectacle, and is your attack on the Church.

                    • Common Sense Now that you have thay illogical rant off your chest, go back and read this whole thread again.  The argument is very simple.  Since Paul VI broke with Tradition and allowed the use of oil that wasn’t based on olives, we cannot be certain of the origin of the oil used in our Confirmations.  Therefore, we cannot be certain of the validity. It really is quite simple and doesn’t require any academic qualifications to grasp.   Your own position is ambiguous, no doubt that’s quite deliberate.  Should olive oil be used? Is it used in our Dioceses? How can we be certain olive oil is used? If it isn’t olive oil, how can we be certain that the use of non-olive oil is justified? You see, there’s a minefield.   You carry on in the wishy washy world of Modernism, No Common Sense.  I prefer to know that the Sacraments I receive are absolutely valid. 

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                    • Please STOP saying that any of us here present ourselves as “experts”. Nobody does that. Nobody needs to be an expert to know that Rome has allowed for other oils to be used instead of olive oil. If that’s a fact, then that’s a fact and any numpty should be able to grasp it. Nor is anybody debasing or mocking anything – except you. You are the one doing exactly that and making me deeply regret my decision to remove you from moderation. I used to have no time for Fr Z due to his ready blacklisting of people who disagreed with him, but I’m beginning to think he has a point. Take the hint.

                    • Petrus

                      I am being entirely logical.

                      Even in the most recent Liturgical Books it stresses Olive Oil is the norm.

                      You cannot provide evidence of even one Diocese that doesn’t use Olive Oil.

                      Rome says priests can validly, and licitly, Confirm, although it does say a Bishop is the Ordinary Minister.

                      So, in spite of the fact priests can confirm, and you have no evidence that Olive Oli is not used, you patronisingly, and wrongly counsel, that people seek Confirmation from people who are not licitly ordained as Bishops, and whose validity has never been tested. How odd.

                      Thankfully I am on the side of Tradition, and Sacraments, licitly, and validly, celebrated in Full Communion with Rome.

                    • Common Sense Hasn’t Rome said non-olive oil can be used? Yet the liturgical books stress the use of olive oil!  Gosh, no wonder you and your Modernist friends are confused! Can you tell us for a fact that the Archdiocese of Glasgow uses olive oil? Which part of the Modern “Magisterium” does the Archdiocese follow? Pope Paul VI or the “Liturgical books”? By the way, you seem to know an awful lot about the “liturgical books”.  Interesting.  

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                    • I don’t know what happens in Glasgow, but I assume as Olive Oil is readily available, and is the norm, that is probably what is used.

                      Anyone vaguely interested in Liturgy can read the books!

                      However, I would suggest anyone published as a “guest”, and posing as an “expert” should check their facts.

                      Likewise, any Traditional Catholic would know a Bishop needs a mandate from Rome before Ordination. If they have not their ordination may be invalid, and definitely, illicit, and therefore any sacraments they celebrate, that are reserved for a Bishop, would be illicit, and possibly invalid.

                      Therefore, it follows, no Catholic, in Communion, with Rome would encourage others to approach them for Sacraments, especially if they have previously, validly, and licitly, celebrated a Sacrament that cannot be repeated.

                    • Now we get to the real reason behind Common Sense ‘ s trolling.  A hatred of the SSPX.  All is rosy in the garden according to the likes of Common Sense.  I think delusional is the word. As for the rest of your diatribe,  too many errors that have been corrected time and time again.  However,  it’s good that you have now shown your true colours.

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                    • CS,

                      “I don’t know what happens in Glasgow…”

                      And neither do the Glasgow clergy. I’ve asked and been told that “someone” donates the oils so the clergy presume all is as it should be. Educated? Qualified? Experts? Eh?

                    • Petrus

                      You advocate that the majority of Catholic have invalidly,and illicitly, received Sacraments not in accord with Universal Norms, but provide no evidence at all to support your claim, and then advocate Conditional reception of Sacraments, that cannot be repeated from a “Bishop” who may not be a Bishop.

                      The question of which Bishop is a Bishop is a sideshow when compared to your own flawed argument, which lacks truth and substance.

                    • Common Sense I make absolutely no judgement on the validity of the new rite of Confirmation.  That’s a red herring, deliberately used to try to deflect the real issues.  As for your nasty comments about which bishop is a bishop, along with your use of inverted commas around bishop, it says far more about your ignorance than anything else.

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                    • Editor

                      You and I frequently see the world differently, but I hope, in Charity, disagree.

                      However, the fact that some individual, or group, or company, donates The Oil for The Sacred Oils cannot logically lead anyone to conclude they haven’t donated Olive Oil.

                      It is like saying that if someone, who is not a priest or Bishop, donates a crucifix then, just possibly, ir might not be a crucifix at all.

                      How do we know it is Olive Oli? Because it comes in bottles, or containers, labelled Olive Oli!!!!,

                    • Petrus/Editor

                      In the article above, Petrus seeks to answer the question “Why is there doubts regarding the validity of the New Rite?” and then advocates conditional confirmation, Arguing, “the existence of doubt should be enough for any Catholic who has been confirmed in the New Rite to seek Conditional Confirmation from a Traditional bishop and any Catholic who has still to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation should ensure they receive it in the Traditional Rite by a Traditional bishop.”. It is disingenuous to the argue he is not claiming to answer the question, or then throwing open needless doubts about the New Rite. In a later comment he writes ” Suffice to say there’s doubts. Conditional Confirmation is administered because of these doubts.”

                      To back track, and claim to be a non expert, when challenged, and fail to provide a single strand of evidence, is surely not the hallmark of an article published under the banner of “Truth”?

                    • CS,

                      Listen. You really do not pay attention – either that or you’re one of two things: deliberately twisting what is written here or downright thick. And before you complain about me making personal remarks blah blah – I’m allowed. Get over it.

                      Now pay close attention because FOR THE LAST TIME I am going to explain to you as clearly as I can what it is that Petrus is saying:

                      1) there MAY be some doubt as to the use of olive oil in Confirmations.

                      2) because of this doubt, it is permissible to have conditional Confirmation. That is not an insult. Anglican vicars have had conditional ordinations and there is a priest in the so called Catholic press who bent over backwards last weekend to demonstrate that this is not an insult. They MAY (he said) be validly ordained but in case not… Ditto Confirmations.

                      3) Nobody is back tracking about any of the above. I was Confirmed prior to Vatican II. Had I been Confirmed afterwards, I WOULD seek conditional Confirmation.

                      That’s all I have time for right now but I suggest that you leave this question of olive oil be for now. It has been a concern for some people, not every Catholic, but, as I’ve pointed out, the Glasgow clergy (like yourself) are taking it for granted that they are being given olive oil, they couldn’t swear in a court of law that this is the case, and thus – in the present crisis climate – it is understandable that some Catholics, those who know the centrality of using the correct form and matter in the Sacraments, wish to ensure the grace of the Sacrament by seeking conditional Confirmation.

                      No need to bang on about it. If you think the above is nonsense, saying nothing and move on.

              • I think you comments on Joseph Ratzinger count as a personal attack, and, unlike you, he is a Priest and Bishop, a renowned scholar, and was The Head of The C.D.F, and elected Pope.

                • There is no personal attack.  I like Cardinal Ratzinger very much and have attended a Mass he celebrated.  He is of Modernist thought.  If you understood Modernism you would agree.  However, you are a Modernist yourself so there are none so blind!

                  Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

          • Petrus

            It is not a Red Herring: to say some words are essential to the celebration of A Sacrament, but the whole Rite is the norm means that an individual priest cannot act on an ad hoc basis even in extremis.

        • I sense you are not understanding the issues, therefore let me ask you a few questions (a good educator asks key questions to help others understand).

          When has the Church, in recent times, ever mixed the Eastern and Western rites?

          What was missing from the Traditional Latin Rite of Confirmation? 

          Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

          • Wiser minds than you have discussed and debated, and finalised, the matter, and they did so in conjunction with The Magisterium, and not as a wrecker from the sidelines.

            Are you saying that Christ prayer we all be one does not apply to those of East and West, and if what one part of that divide does something deemed overall to have substance, and be based on Tradition, why would the other not benefit from that wisdom, and experience.

            You have a strange understanding of Tradition, and what Unity under Christ means. One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism, and One True Church comes to mind. Mixing Rites doesn’t make things wrong, but make a wrong Rite, Right.

            • CS

              I note that you fail to answer my questions.  That’s very revealing.

              Now, you are showing your ignorance, or your disdain for the authority of the Church, by claiming it is permissible to mix rites. Which is it?

              Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

              • An individual cannot mix Rites, but over the time, The Church can, and does, adapt her Rites which may take into account practice, based on Tradition, based on another Rite. It has happened since the beginning, and it will continue for ever.

                What makes a Rite right, is whether a Rite has the rightful approval of the lawful authority.

                I am still waiting for you, or someone else, to tell me which edition of The Roman Missal has a Eucharistic Prayer which consists solely of The Words of Institution, and is lawful in extreme circumstances? Which Edition, and promulgated by which Pope?

                • I don’t understand your request,  CS.  You know fine well that no missal has such a Canon.  That’s besides the point and we’ll you know it.

                  The point was, only the Words of Consecration are required for validity. Why you are still chipping away at this is beyond me!

                  Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

                  • Petrus

                    You cannot argue The Supreme Pontiff cannot change a Rite, but that an individual priest, a Cardinal or not, can do so, no matter how extreme the circumstances.

                    How can you deny the right of The Church to say ordinarily Olive Oil, but in in specific circumstances any natural plant oil, can be used for The Sacred Oils, but an individual priest can change The Rite of Mass?

                    • Goodness  is it really so difficult to understand? No priest has the authority to change anything in the liturgy.  I would be interested to know if you are so quick to challenge the numerous priests in this country who do this on a regular basis! 1.  The words of Consecration are the essential form that guarantees validity  2. Only in extreme circumstances are these words used on their own.  For example, when bishops in Communist countries were arrested, they used the words of Consecration only in order to receive Our Lord.  Think, think, think!

                      Sent from my Samsung device

                  • Tell me does The Church teach that 1. The essentials for baptism are the use of Water, and The Trinitarian Formula, and that, in an emergency, any one can baptise?

                    Has it not also taught, and required, if an emergency Baptism is performed then, ordinarily, the other ceremonies, of baptism, should be carried out by a proper/lawful Minister as soon as possible. (Or are you going to argue against a practice that has been upheld for centuries?)

                    Apply the same logic, and thinking, to The Mass and your idea that The Words of Institution, alone, are necessary.

                    • Again, another red herring and false dichotomy.  It’s not my idea, CS, it’s fact.  I’m not saying that it should be standard practice, but, in extremis, the words of Consecration are all that is required to ensure validity. 

                      Sent from my Samsung device

            • CS,

              You seem to be of the mistaken belief, common to these confusing times, that the schismatic and/or Protestant religions around the globe are representative of a Church divided, a Church which has failed to keep unity in accordance with the prayer of Our Lord. This is a very, very great error!

              here is the truth as expressed in Pius XI’s Encyclical Mortalium Animos:

              “…These pan-Christians who strive for the union of the churches would appear to pursue the noblest of ideals in promoting charity among all Christians. But how should charity tend to the detriment of faith? Everyone knows that John himself, the Apostle of love, who seems in his Gospel to have revealed the secrets of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and who never ceased to impress upon the memory of his disciples the new commandment “to love one another,” nevertheless strictly forbade any intercourse with those who professed a mutilated and corrupt form of Christ’s teaching: “If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house, nor say to him, God speed you.” (2 John 1:10).

              Therefore, since the foundation of charity is faith pure and inviolate, it is chiefly by the bond of one faith that the disciples of Christ are to be united. A federation of Christians, then, is inconceivable in which each member retains his own opinions and private judgment in matters of faith, even though they differ from the opinions of all the rest. How can men with opposite convictions belong to one and the same federation of the faithful: those who accept sacred Tradition as a source of revelation and those who reject it; those who recognise as divinely constituted the hierarchy of bishops, priests and ministers in the Church, and those who regard it as gradually introduced to suit the conditions of the time; those who adore Christ really present in the Most Holy Eucharist through that wonderful conversion of the bread and wine, Transubstantiation, and those who assert that the body of Christ is there only by faith or by the signification and virtue of the Sacrament; those who in the Eucharist recognise both Sacrament and Sacrifice, and those who say that it is nothing more than the memorial of the Lord’s Supper; those who think it right and useful to pray to the Saints reigning with Christ, especially to Mary the Mother of God, and to venerate their images, and those who refuse such veneration as derogatory to the honour due Jesus Christ, “the one mediator of God and men.” (1 Tim. 2:5).

              How so great a variety of opinions can clear the way for the unity of the Church, We know not. That unity can arise from only one teaching authority, one law of belief and one faith of Christians. But we do know that from such a state of affairs it is but an easy step to the neglect of religion or “indifference,” and to the error of the modernists, who hold that dogmatic truth is not absolute but relative, that is, that it changes according to the varying necessities of time and place and the varying tendencies of the mind; that it is not contained in an immutable tradition, but can be altered to suit the needs of human life…

              …Thus, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics. There is but one way in which the unity of Christians may be fostered, and that is by furthering the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it; for from that one true Church they have in the past fallen away. The one Church of Christ is visible to all, and will remain, according to the will of its Author, exactly the same as He instituted it. The Mystical Spouse of Christ has never in the course of the centuries been contaminated, nor in the future can she ever be, as Cyprian bears witness: “The Bride of Christ cannot become false to her Spouse; she in inviolate and pure. She knows but one dwelling, and chastely and modestly she guards the sanctity of the nuptial chamber.” The same holy martyr marvelled that anyone could believe that “this unity is built upon a divine foundation, knit together by heavenly Sacraments, could ever be rent asunder by the conflict of wills.” For since the Mystical Body of Christ, like His physical body, is one (1 Cor. 12:12), compacted and fitly joined together (Eph. 4:16), it were foolish to say that the Mystical Body is composed of disjointed and scattered members. Whosoever therefore is not united with the body is no member thereof, neither is he in communion with Christ its head…

              …Let Our separated children, therefore, draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, Princes of the Apostles, consecrated with their blood; to the See which is “the root and womb whence issues the Church of God”, and let them come, not with any intention or hope that “the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15) will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but to submit themselves to its teaching and government…”

              • CS,

                I thought I might also add the quotation below from Mirari Vos, the Encyclical of Pope Gregory XVI. It seems most appropriate that these words be applied to what we are discussing, which is the Modernist tampering with the Forms of the Sacraments.

                Here’s what the Pope wrote to the Bishops:

                “…Therefore, united in spirit, let us promote our common cause, or more truly the cause of God; let our vigilance be one and our effort united against the common enemies. Indeed you will accomplish this perfectly if, as the duty of your office demands, you attend to yourselves and to doctrine and meditate on these words: “the universal Church is affected by any and every novelty” and the admonition of Pope Agatho: “Nothing of the things appointed ought to be diminished; nothing changed; nothing added; but they must be preserved both as regards expression and meaning…”

                • Rites have changed throughout the ages, and if they are based on what “has been handed on”, from both East and West than adaptations will take place over time.

                  To repeat a quote from Rorate Caeil of this week: “It is interesting to note that Gregory lived at a time when the Armenian Church, to which he belonged, was not formally in communion with Rome and Constantinople. However, as those interested in the extremely tangled history of Christianity in the first millennium are well aware, one cannot always speak straightforwardly of “schism” and “heresy” when dealing with the theological and ecclesiastical divisions of Christendom in that era.”

                  As I have also noted elsewhere Summorum Pontificum, and the accompanying letter, are clear: the is one Mass and both forms are part of the one Tradition.

                  The SSPX have not been fully reconciled to The Church because they will not accept the truths, and Conciliar Teaching, you seek to deny. I know which of us would be deemed to be attentive to authentic Teaching, and in Full Communion with Rome.

                  • CS,

                    Rites may have changed (organically speaking), but they have never before been butchered, which is what the changes of today represent.

                    As regards Communion with Rome. You should know that Rome itself in the person of the Pope must first maintain full communion with the eternal Rome of his predecessors, which is where our communion lies.

                    Think on this. The SSPX has changed nothing of the ancient faith handed down for nearly 2000 years. How, then, can the SSPX be accused of not being in full communion with Rome?

                    Are you speaking of eternal Rome or of Modernist Conciliar Rome with its destructive innovations and its doctrinal/theological/liturgical obscurations of all that was once so beautifully clear, loved and upheld in our most holy religion?

        • CS,

          Petrus is not grinding axes, he’s stating facts!

          It was always forbidden by the Magisterium of the Church for Eastern and Western rites to be mixed in any way, particularly those of Eastern schismatics. This modernist notion of mixing and learning from each other, as you put it, is sheer heresy.

          • Only this week on Rorate Caeli, in speaking of a new Doctor of The Church, not from an ecclesial formally in Communion with Rome:

            “It is interesting to note that Gregory lived at a time when the Armenian Church, to which he belonged, was not formally in communion with Rome and Constantinople. However, as those interested in the extremely tangled history of Christianity in the first millennium are well aware, one cannot always speak straightforwardly of “schism” and “heresy” when dealing with the theological and ecclesiastical divisions of Christendom in that era.”

            Tut, tut!

  25. bencjcarter,

    Is it possible you’re confusing “illicit” with “invalid”?

    No Pope or bishop has the authority from God to alter either the liturgy or the form of the Sacraments in such a way as to make them less explicit in their intention and therefore open to abuse and possible invalidity.

    This has happened with both the Mass and the Sacrament of Confirmation, and so it is absolutely true to state that both the New Mass and the new form of the Sacrament in question are illicit.

    Validity is a separate issue that must be weighed case by case, as we are doing here in respect to Confirmation and its requirements. Even so, it is not always clear if a particular new rite Confirmation was or was not invalid. Hence, to be on the safe side conditional Confirmation should be sought. It’s one of those terrible dilemmas the faithful face today in respect to changed forms which have completely obscured that which was once so perfectly and explicitly Catholic.

    • Unless I have misunderstood God doesn’t need The Sacraments to do his work. We human beings have a need for them.

      The notion that The Church cannot alter the Rite, Form or language used is nonsense.

      The Church is clear Olive Oil is the norm, but, specific local conditions, may require another oil, from a plant, is used. In most Countries Olive Oil is used, and will continue to be used.

      It is also strange to argue that a priest who in extreme circumstances uses only The Words of Institution, although no Ritual Book would give that abbreviated form is ok, but The Church itself cannot alter a Rite/Ritual is an obvious contradiction too.

      • “The notion that The Church cannot alter the Rite, Form or language used is nonsense.”

        For a start, no one said the Church didn’t have the authority to alter.  This has happened through the years and the vast majority of the time it has been additions.

        What the Church have never done is cook up completely new rites.  It’s equivalent to throwing the baby out with the bath water. 

        Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

        • But the Church has never come up with a completely New Rite. It has changed and adapted existing Rites.

          • Really?  The new rite of Confirmation is completely different from the Traditional Rite.  It even borrows parts of eastern rites!  If that’s not a completely “new rite” then I don’t know want is.

            Now let’s take your assertion and apply it to the Mass.  Fr. Joseph Gélineau S.J., a Council peritus and liberal apologist for the new liturgy, states in his book “Demain la Liturgie” (1976 MD p.77-8): “To tell the truth, it is a different liturgy of theMass. This needs to be said without ambiguity. The Roman rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed… [the former edifice]… appears to-day either as a ruin, or the partial substructure of a different building.”

            Cardinal Ratzinger, in his autobiography “My Life” writes: “The old building was taken down and another was built.”

            Mgr. Gamber’s “Reform of the Roman liturgy” states: “This is not a development of living liturgy, but substitutes this with a fabrication following the pattern of technical production: the ready-made product of the moment.” Mgr. Gamber writes (op. cit.): “instead of a fruitful renovation of the liturgy, the destruction of liturgical forms that had grown up organically over a period of many centuries.”

            Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

            • They are individuals who were then expressing a personal opinion.

              Pope Benedict in Summorum Pontificum, states clearly there is only one Mass, and that The Ordinary Form, and Extraordinary Form, are part of the one unbroken Tradition. It is solely on that basis he lifted what everyone else thought was an abrogation of The Old Rite.

  26. Please note that I have received the following email from Professor John Haldane:

    Dear Patricia,

    It has been brought to my attention that you cite me as endorsing Catholic Truth in a current discussion of Confirmation see https://catholictruthblog.com/2015/02/14/confirmation-cause-for-concern/#comment-25806

    While I think I have commended you for your sincere commitment to the good of the Church and your rigour in argumentation you know well that we have disagree on points and that I have been critical of the tone and the outlook of contributions in print and online Catholic Truth material. I would prefer not to write publicly but perhaps you would be good enough either to delete the comments mentioning me or else note that I have said they do not give a full picture of my view of CT.

    Thank you

    John

    I replied to say that I had not intended to give the impression that Professor Haldane endorsed CT (certainly not in the normal useage of that word) but that I would gladly post his email here to make clear that he does not endorse our work.

    May I add two things: firstly, Professor Haldane DID write publicly about CT, in the dissenting journal Open House. It was following that article that he wrote for publication in CT and I responded at length.

    Secondly,, I not give a “full picture” of John’s view of CT partly because I was making a particular point – essentially that not everyone in some standing within the Church is entirely negative about us! – but also because I did not have time to go into our “full picture” of Professor Haldane’s published beliefs either. I have had quite extensive email correspondence over time with Professor Haldane on certain points of theology and his errors on some matters have been the subject of a lengthy article by me in our newsletter. So, be assured there was no intention to give any wrong impression and I hope that publishing the Professor’s email here will clarify matters for all concerned.

  27. Common Sense

    I note that you say a Church Law allows a priest to Confirm . This is true. However, I direct your attention to Canon Law.

    Can.  884 §1. The diocesan bishop is to administer confirmation personally or is to take care that another bishop administers it. If necessity requires it, he can grant the faculty to one or more specific presbyters, who are to administer this sacrament

    Now, if necessity requires it. I wonder what constitutes as “necessity”. The bishops before Vatican II didn’t seem to have this same “necessity”.

    You say mixing two rites makes a “new rite”. You are right. However, the rites of the Church must be “received” and “approved”. Can you point to a time in history when a “new rite” was concocted without being “received”?

    Now, the fact that I cannot name a diocese that doesn’t use Olive Oil means nothing. You have admitted in several posts on this thread that other oils have been used. That’s enough grounds for doubt.

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