Thursday, April 12, 2012


This took place in Austria many years ago:
This is from the "ultra right" Rorate Caeli Blog:

Austria, Ireland... His Holiness is moving.

Following the Holy Father's strong words during Chrism Mass against the rebel priests of the Pfarrer-Initiative in Austria (words that have been accompanied by strong secret letters ordering the Austrian episcopate and its leader, the incredible Cardinal of Vienna, to take real charge of the matter), now the most outspoken and influential rebel-priest in Ireland is also on the receiving end of Roman orders. Not only is he under investigation, as we first reported on April 7, he has in effect been silenced during this same investigation:

Just days before Easter, Flannery, a prolific and longtime columnist for the Redemptorist Order’s monthly magazine, Reality, was told he can no longer write on any of the church-doctrine issues. ... Reality editor Gerard Moloney has also been reprimanded for allowing Flannery’s prose to make it into print. Future editions of the magazine will now have to be reviewed by a Vatican-approved theologian. In the meantime, Flannery has reportedly been sent to a monastery for six weeks of prayer and contemplation.

My comments:

Is one of the requirements of the SSPX to accept the Pope's offer of reconciliation that the Pope begin the get dissident Catholics back in line too? Time will tell.


Gene said...

I'm loving it! Of course, I won't be happy until stakes are erected in Church yards. But, we'll take what we can get...

Bill said...

Certainly, if the SSPX are to be called to obedience, then no less should be expected of our plentiful dissidents, and even of the less offensive liturgical ad libbers.

Next hope: An enforced requirement for the use of the CCC in all levels of Catholic education.

Anonymous said...

"Is one of the requirements of the SSPX to accept the Pope's offer of reconciliation that the Pope begin the get dissident Catholics back in line too?

This is why I suspect Pope Benedict has a high regard for the SSPX, and even appreciates their holding his feet to the fire on pulling the Church out of the post-Conciliar ditch that he realizes it's in.

Because he faces many enemies of right and good within the Church, and sorely needs such support that strengthens his hand in attempting to deal with dissent.

Anonymous said...

Man, I will need to contact my moles in our archdiocese and see how must of the splatter reaches them. Are you watching, Carol?? LOL!!!


Elizabeth Dianne said...

What is a lay Catholic to think when they read the following in their diocesan newspaper? Granted this priest is trying to cover 2,000 years of history but clarity must never be sacrificed by the sake of brevity. This paper is meant for the simple "folk" sitting in the pews. On the face of it, this statement is outrageous as well as perplexing. How can any mere mortal give too much emphasis to Christ's physical presence in Eucharist?

Medieval Period (700-1517)
“The laity rarely receive communion. There is an over emphasis on Christ’s physical presence in the Eucharist.”

History: Evolution of the Mass over Millennia- Rev. Michael Bechard, Pastor, Christ the King University Parish and Chaplain, King’s University- Newspaper of the Diocese of London, winter 2011, pg.2

Available online if anyone wants to verify the veracity of this quotation.

Pater Ignotus said...

I would not use the term "physical" but "real" or "sacramental." He is "really" present, or He is "sacramentally" present.

"Physical" is too fungible.

Gene said...

Alright, Ignotus. Fair enough. I'm not sure what you mean by fungible, other than to say that Christ is physically present is to treat Him like a commodity (the meaning of fungible).

So, then, Christ is "really" or "Sacramentally" present in the Eucharist. The Catechism and many theologians use the phrase "substantially present" But, why not physically, as well? It is difficult to capture the Mystery in words but, if something is substantially present, is it not physically present, as well? Certainly, for the simple (and for the not-so-simple who are sick of word games and logic chopping),"physically present" conveys a powerful and immediate message.

Now, to say that Christ is sacramentally present is fine, but that can still be vague and non-specific. In Flannery O'Connor's stories Christ is sacramentally present in a bull, a water mark, a tattoo, a bunch of hogs, and a cloud, among other things. These things become sacramentals for the people experiencing them...but this excludes others who do not experience them the same way. So, there is a certain reflexiveness in "sacramental," an anthropological predicate, if you want to get theological. I much prefer to say He is substantially (or physically) present. That this is sacramental then goes without saying. You know, protestants often say, after communion, "I "really" felt His presence, "felt" being the key word here.

"Really" present...vague. Sort of like Billy Bob when he saw the bright lights in the sky, "It wuz a UFO! That thang wuz real. It "really" scared me." I distinguish "Real Presence" from really present. There is a difference. Once again, "really" present has a subjective determinant that I do not trust.

I suppose the next question is, Ignotus, how do you understand "bodily Resurrection" and "physical appearances?" Were these things merely sacramental, too? Did the disciples go plaintively to others and say, "He was really there, honest, we promise, we were not drunk." They did not have sacramentals yet....

I kinda like "physically present," even if it is a bit "fungible." LOL!

Pater Ignotus said...

Catholics do not believe that the bread and wine physically change during the Eucharist. The change, referred to as transubstantiation, is sacramental and metaphysical, not physical. The "substance" of Christ's body is a reality apart from its "accidents" or specific physical manifestations. It is this substance which is present under the accidents of bread and wine. If "physical" is understood in the sense of "accidents" (or that which is empirically verifiable), then in Roman Catholic dogma, physically speaking, the bread and wine remain bread and wine.

So, Pin, you asked, "It is difficult to capture the Mystery in words but, if something is substantially present, is it not physically present, as well?"

The answer is, "No."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But the "accidents" of bread and wine are no accidents in our sacramental theology for these are the physical manifestations of our Risen Lord that make recieving Him as Food and Drink palatable to human sensibilities. As well, we can say as we do teach that Jesus is Bread for the hungry soul which needs Christ as Food or Bread to nourish and sustain the soul unto life everlasting. Jesus is "Broken" on the Cross for our salvation as Bread is broken. We can also say that our Risen Lord is Wine who heals the wounds of sin and division, who brings joy to the forgiven sinner and who sheds his Blood for us. We also believe that Jesus who is Food and Drink and thus gives us Himself as a Sacred Meal unites us in Himself and makes us One with Him in the Mystical Body of Christ that is the Church. As Food and Drink though, Jesus makes us a part of Himself unlike ordinary food and drink that we partake that become part of us.

Anonymous said...

Sandro Magister: SSPX & Rome

Reports on analysis of points under contention, by respected and canonically mandated Australian theology professor.

Suggests that SSPX accepts 95% of Vatican II, whereas many within Church--including most religious orders--actually reject much more.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin says: "Really present...vague."

The Church says, "In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist 'the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.'" CCC 1374 quoting the Council of Trent (1551): DS 1651.

I am comfortable with the use of "really present" since it is the language the Church uses.

Gene said...

Ignotus, Notice the Church says, "truly, really, and substantially..." "the whole Christ..." "body, blood, soul, and divinity...." That covers it a bit better than the vague (deliberately vague on the part of modernists like yourself) "really present."

There are theological issues with the nature of "physical" presence. They are somewhat esoteric regarding the exact manner in which Our Lord is present in the Eucharist. Although tomes have been written about it, I think if Joe at the gas station or Susie in the beauty shop wants to say that Christ is physically present in the Eucharist, then that is ok. It is even ok if someone theologically educated wants to say it, as well. And, yes, we know that the bread and wine do not change, but "substantially present" means truly and ontologically Present.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin - Joe and Susie can say what they want, but their language, plainly, is theologically uninformed and potentially misleading.

QI don't say Jesus is "physically" present for two reasons. First, I know of no Council or Pope who has defined Jesus as "physically" present. His presence has been defined as real, as substantial, as true. But not, to my knowledge, as physical.

Second, any physical reality can be measured according to its physical properties. From an atom to a solar system, physical things have mass, weight, and at least three dimensions. The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist has none of these and that presence cannot be measured employing physical means.

It is far too imprecise and entirely too misleading (it tends toward the belief that Jesus us "literally" present, which He is not) to be used by those in the know.

Anonymous said...

What is the difference in 'consubstantial' and 'present'?


Gene said...

Ignotus/Kavanaugh, I direct your attention to the following from 'Mysterium Fidei': "Under these appearances (species), the whole and entire Christ is present in His physical reality, indeed, is bodily {corporaliter} present, although not in the way bodies are present in place."

So, I guess Popes can say physically present,too, just like Joe and Susie and other true believers. LOL! So, Ignotus, put your Physics book back on the shelf and pick up a theology book occasionally.

Gene said...

RCG, consubstantial means of the same substance and present means, like, right here...

Gene said...

Now, Kavanaugh/Ignotus (Kavanotus/Ignau), since you like Physics (which has absolutely nothing to do with the Real Presence), I might point out that, at the quantum level, there is evidence that certain sub-atomic particles have a sympathetic effect on other particles at vast distances...for which the Newtonian/Einsteinian concepts of time and space cannot account. Further, when we consider string theory, there is theoretical/mathematical evidence that presence/absence are spatial concepts that are becoming insufficient to account for certain quantum phenomena. In Brian Greene's book, "The Hidden Reality," he believes that we may be reaching the limits of inquiry. Could it be that Physics has a Mysterium Fidei of its own? I wonder if these Mysterium Fidei are the same...if we are reaching the limits of inquiry because we are being given a glimpse of infinity...a teleological tease from God the Father. "...and God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind...."

Carol H. said...

I believe that Christ is physically present in the Eucharist. I also believe that God is capable of changing the appearance of bread and wine into flesh and blood if He so chooses. (He had Moses draw water from a rock, and Jesus turned water into wine).

The fact that God chooses not to change the appearance of the Eucharist is a grace. How many people would receive Holy Communion if the appearance changed as well as the substance? I thank God that He knows our weakness and is willing to make this miraculous allowance on our behalf.

Anonymous said...

If we do look at this 'non-mysteriously' we know that Christ used simile, e.g. 'the mustard seed', in His parables. In fact, he was always quite clear when he was using metaphor, etc. in parables. Why would he omit it here, in the most important lesson to that date unless it was not an omission but a declaration? Secondly, and a point Catholics often must defend, is that this action is sort of off putting when one considers the cannibalistic aspect of it. Cannibalism would certainly have drawn condemnation from the Jews as well as Rome, but it was not listed among the charges. I think there is some aspect of the use of bread and wine that is important, and that yes it is the real presence of Christ. Not Lamb, fish, honey, or even fruit, where the metaphor would have been stronger. These are two foods that nourish and are the combined efforts of God and man that do not exist in any natural form except through mutual effort. What is our Faith, but the combination of God's gift and our efforts? Yet it has no 'substance', only manifestations. All qualifications are deliberately missing from Christ's own words. It would have been easy to give us faith externally as displays of power such as the Hebrews saw, then ignored or forgot. He was moving us beyond Shamanism.

So back to my question: is Christ distinct from His body? If, when He is present in any form, where is God?


Pater Ignotus said...

Pin - Thanks for the heads up on MF. I wonder, though, if a better translation for "corporaliter" might be "bodily"? We'll have to find a Latinist.

The caveat added in MF, "...although not in the way bodies are present in place" seems to indicate that "physical" might not be the best way to describe the mystery.

Newton thought that his generation had arrived at the limits of inquiry, too. I wonder if we are not, then, approaching he Omega Point?

Gene said...

RCG, Uh, I suggest a review of the Doctrine of the Trinity. Augustine has a nice one, "De Trinitate," and of course there is Aquinas. And, if you are not hung up on Calvinist theologians doing standard theology, Karl Barth has a great treatment of the Holy Trinity in his "Church Dogmatics," vols. II,1 and II,2, which does not conflict at all with Catholic theology. Or, you can take the short cut and review the Athanasian Creed...long one of my favorites...LOL!

Gene said...

Ignotus, Thank you for engaging me in a decent dialogue...

"Physical" may not be the best way to describe the Mystery. "Bodily" seems even more problematic to me than "physical" when speaking of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. We can conceive of a physical presence without there necessarily being a bodily presence...although we may be walking the fine line of Modalism. We have to remind ourselves that our language is inadequate to characterize the Mystery, although the Church is called upon to do so for the sake of defending the faith and catechizing the faithful.

You and I differ, it seems to me, in where we place our emphasis. I believe we should use every theological concept and category to insist upon Christ's real, ontological presence and power in the Mass and to insist that "right belief" and "right worship" are inseparably united. Of course, you know that I believe the traditional worship forms and devotions are "right worship." I'm sure you would argue that this is merely impressionistic and subjective; I would argue back that there is a theological basis for my position.
I also believe that if right belief and right worship are in place, they must necessarily lead us to right service...the love of neighbor, ministrations to the poor and outcast, active concern for better relations among all people, and a more selfless concern for others. I do not believe we need the secular/humanist programs and policies that you seem to advocate. These policies decry the Church, employ a cynical use of the poor and underclasses for political purposes, and are de-humanizing by nature and design. A Christian, especially a Catholic Christian, should be among the most selfless and giving of all...but also the most critical and discerning of secular/progressivism masquerading as theology.

Now, about Teilhard and that Omega Point stuff. I read "The Future of Man" and kinda' shrugged my shoulders. As a philosophy major in college, I almost have to have a soft spot for Teilhard. But, it is bad theology, Ignotus, bad theology. Once again, Christ comes to us...freely, in salvation history, in His own time. We do not "evolve" toward Him. That just screams of Pelagianism and Gnosticism to me. We cannot redeem the fallen Creation by ascribing to it some kind of advanced evolution toward some Omega point of sublime complexity. I just can't go there. I believe the church frowned a bit on Teilhard, as well. But, I still must confess a soft spot for him...

Anonymous said...

Try this as a paradox: There have been points in history where people were certain they had pretty much figured everything and out and 'there was nothing new under the sun' only variations on a theme. Yet there were certainly new things that came afterwards. So all that really evolved, in that sense, is that the social group had come to agree on a world view and became, almost instantly, irrelevant to the future.

We are unique individuals, not simple reiterations of previous creatures. We cannot 'know' what our parents knew. So we are segmented and severed while still recapitulating predecessors in our individual opus.