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 Una cum & Communicatio in sacris 
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New post De Lugo irrelevant, Mr Daly
As far as I can see, reading carefully Cardinal De Lugo's text as presented by Mr Daly, there is nothing in it that permits one to draw a conclusion about what the esteemed theologian would have said about attendance at una cum Masses.

Being permitted to receive the sacraments from an undeclared heretic does *not* permit one to conclude that one may receive the sacraments from a priest who names the head of a heretical sect in the canon, moreover when such a sect pretends to be the Catholic Church and regularly takes sincere people into the path of damnation.

I fail to see the logic that leads from anything De Lugo says in the passage quoted above to Mr Daly's implied conclusion that one may attend an una cum Mass.

Moreover, contrary to Mr Daly's professed intent to follow (for a reason not explained, since we are not in a General Council!) the disputational methods of the Council of Trent, his own final sentence is somewhat against the spirit he wishes to follow:

'Anyone care to disagree yet? Anyone think that de Lugo would have thought it in all circumstances sinful to go to an “una cum” Mass?'

Am I the only one to find this rhetorical flourish rather pompous, intimidating, and against the spirit of fraternal and charitable debate?

Regnum


Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:38 am
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Dear Regnum,

First on tone. The quotation from the Council of Trent is a succinct summary of the principles governing the tone admitted in discussion on this forum. If you don't like those rules you can find another forum where they are not imposed. Here, they are.

Moreover the Holy See has made numerous equivalent statements about how controversy between Catholics should be conducted. I expect you are familiar with them. The Gospel and the spiritual writers and the saints say the same. That's why it is the rule here.

Here again is that beautiful statement, so rich in wisdom, from the Council of Trent:

Quote:
In stating their views…no one must use strident and excessive language or stir up trouble or contend in false, vain or obstinate disputes; on the contrary, whatever is said should be so tempered by mild expression as neither to give offence to those who listen nor to disturb the peace of mind needed for sound judgment to be exercised.


You notice that the Council even gives one major reason for this rule: in reflecting on where truth lies, it is important for one's mind to be at peace and undisturbed by passions which are so easily stirred up by strident language and contentiousness. A little reflection will show you that this is not only the case in general councils.

Here for comparison is a statement from Pope Leo XIII:

Quote:
A discussion in which are concerned the sacred rights of the Church and the doctrines of the Catholic religion should not be acrimonious, but calm and temperate; it is weight of reasoning, and not violence and bitterness of language, which must win victory for the Catholic
writer.

Pope Leo XIII, Cum Multa (1882)

Observe that the pope is giving expression to a general rule and not to the internal rule of a particular general council.

I am sorry you found my closing rhetorical questons to be pompous and intimidating. I cannot see the problem myself but in any event I congratulate you on having so courageously overcome the intimidation you experienced.

Now for de Lugo. You do not think his text allows any inferences, even merely probable ones, concerning whether he would think it lawful to assist at "una cum" Masses. I find this surprising. Here are three reasons:

First, you agree, I think, that Benedict XVI is an uncondemned heretic and that de Lugo thinks it "per se" lawful to go to the Mass of an uncondemned heretic. Thus if Benedict XVI consented to say a Tridentine Mass de Lugo would consider it "per se" lawful to assist. However it seems to me that a Mass in which Benedict is merely named is clearly less objectionable than one of which he is the celebrant.

Secondly, de Lugo's argument is based on the absence of any clear and certain positive law, divine or human, forbidding Catholics to assist at the Masses of uncondemned heretics. However no clear and certain positive law, divine or human, can be shown to exist forbidding Catholics to assist at Masses in which an uncondemned heretic is named as pope. Ergo.

Thirdly, as I pointed out (but you don't seem to have noticed), uncondemned heretics quite commonly mention other heretics in the Canon of the Mass, but de Lugo does not seem to think that this makes any difference.

JD


Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:56 am
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New post Re: De Lugo irrelevant, Mr Daly
regnum7 wrote:
As far as I can see, reading carefully Cardinal De Lugo's text as presented by Mr Daly, there is nothing in it that permits one to draw a conclusion about what the esteemed theologian would have said about attendance at una cum Masses.


Since the term "una cum Mass" is a novelty invented by certain moderns to describe something which has occured on numerous occasions in history but regarding which none of the theologians and canonists give the desired answer, you can draw your own conclusion.

Or, perhaps, you could find an authority for your own position, which nobody has yet done. Frankly, and in the spirit of charity towards all, including Bishop Sanborn and co. but even more towards the simple fellow in the pew who is being accused of engaging in a horrible crime, it is my opinion that the rest of the sedevacantist world is really being very tolerant and understanding in entertaining these arguments against assisting at Holy Mass offered by Catholic priests. Mr. Shea speaks of sedevacantists "justifying what they do." Actually, it is the fellow who omits to fulfil his Sunday obligation when he could easily do so who must justify what he does. And I am far from arguing that he cannot justify himself - after all, any moderately grave inconvenience excuses. But let's be clear which opinion in the controversy has indisputable law on its side.

Mr. Daly has condescended to provide some text from a theologian dealing with a related matter. What do you have?

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:02 am
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New post Reply to Mr Lane
"Mr. Daly has condescended to provide some text from a theologian dealing with a related matter. What do you have?"

I do not have an authority. In fact, I doubt whether one will find an authority to support the case either way, hence the doubt I cast upon Mr Daly's application of De Lugo to such a different situation.

In such circumstances, the best one can do is rely on logic and common sense, not on what one would desire to be true or on authorities of dubious relevance.


Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:08 am
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New post Reply to Mr Daly
"Observe that the pope is giving expression to a general rule and not to the internal rule of a particular general council.

I am sorry you found my closing rhetorical questons to be pompous and intimidating. I cannot see the problem myself but in any event I congratulate you on having so courageously overcome the intimidation you experienced."

I have no quarrel with the rules. I just think you might have explained in your message what was not obvious, namely why the rules of a general council might be applied to a discussion among unqualified laymen. Moreover, although I personally was not intimidated, I said your tone was intimidating, by which I meant that *others* might be put off.

"First, you agree, I think, that Benedict XVI is an uncondemned heretic and that de Lugo thinks it "per se" lawful to go to the Mass of an uncondemned heretic. Thus if Benedict XVI consented to say a Tridentine Mass de Lugo would consider it "per se" lawful to assist. However it seems to me that a Mass in which Benedict is merely named is clearly less objectionable than one of which he is the celebrant."

I do not find this obvious at all. It is not clear that De Lugo had in mind a Mass by an uncondemned heretic pretending to be the successor of St Peter and hence a grave risk to the souls of millions of sincere Catholics or would-be Catholics, which a simple uncondemned heretic might not be. The circumstances, I contend, are sufficiently different to render the analogy weak, or at least not proven.

For example: do you think De Lugo's view implies that he would have not thought it sinful per se to have attended a Mass by Martin Luther at the height of the Reformation, when millions were being led astray? I do not think this implication sufficiently clear to enable one to act upon De Lugo's view with a clear conscience. There is nothing wrong with De Lugo's view. I just do not think one can draw conclusions from it about the present situation.



"Secondly, de Lugo's argument is based on the absence of any clear and certain positive law, divine or human, forbidding Catholics to assist at the Masses of uncondemned heretics. However no clear and certain positive law, divine or human, can be shown to exist forbidding Catholics to assist at Masses in which an uncondemned heretic is named as pope. Ergo."

"Since De Lugo does not in my view apply to the present situation, I deny your Ergo."

"Thirdly, as I pointed out (but you don't seem to have noticed), uncondemned heretics quite commonly mention other heretics in the Canon of the Mass, but de Lugo does not seem to think that this makes any difference."

Ratzinger is not simply a heretic, but a heretic posing as a pope. I think this make a material difference in terms of such things as scandal and risk to the faithful. If a person attending an una cum Mass knows that the priest is una cum, it is quite clear, if he wants to be guided by the Catholic rule of faith and communion, that there is a grave risk he will be seduced by the priest into thinking that maybe Raztinger is pope after all, or at least that something like the SSPX position is acceptable after all - 'He's a pope, but I can ignore him, just as Father X does.'

Now perhaps a convinced sedevacantist with a decent education in the present situation runs no such risk, but many sedevacantists are uncertain and/or not suitably educated in the current crisis not to be led astray. Moreover, a convinced and educated sedevacantist might not ipso facto be sinning in attending such a Mass, but it might also be contended that he does sin in the circumstances by giving further support to Father X's behaviour. Uneducated folk might think: 'Father X thinks Ratzinger is pope, and clever Mr Y goes to his Masses, so maybe Ratzinger is pope after all, or maybe I should at least look into the matter further, or maybe I can adopt an SSPX line and go to any trad Mass I like, and hold the trad line, and oppose Pope Benedict at every turn.' And so on.


Regnum


Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:27 am
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New post Further re. Canon 2261
Regarding 2261, although one may ask for the sacraments from an excommuniate for a just cause, I thought the moral theologians taught that as far as *heretics and schismatics* are concerned, one may only request the sacraments *in proximate danger of death*.

If so, presumably one may *not* request the sacraments from an uncondemned heretic unless one is in that situation. Nothing Mr Daly has quoted from De Lugo suggests otherwise, does it?

Regnum


Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:16 pm
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New post Re: Reply to Mr Lane
regnum7 wrote:
I do not have an authority. In fact, I doubt whether one will find an authority to support the case either way, hence the doubt I cast upon Mr Daly's application of De Lugo to such a different situation.


Dear Sir,

Actually, I think this is quite sufficient to settle your conscience for good.

Let us be clear. There is no penalty for assisting at a Mass in which a heretic or indeed any excommunicate is named. And whatever reasons you have imagined which may form a good foundation for future penal law, or which may have been imposed if God had deigned to grant us a lawmaker in the present crisis, you may rest easy that these avail nothing in practice. In other words, you are free to enjoy the sacraments the Good Lord has offered you through these flawed ministers, because what is not forbidden is permitted.

Canon 6, 2, states: "Penal laws, even though not contrary to the Code, are revoked unless they are mentioned in the Code itself." Thus whatever ancient laws may have been in place (and I do not grant any particular claims by this comment), these were abrogated finally by Canon 6, in 1917.

St. Thomas states the general principle to be applied in relation to penal laws. “Hence the jurist [Justin] says: By no reason of law, or favor of equity, is it allowable for us to interpret harshly, and render burdensome, those useful measures which have been enacted for the welfare of man.” Likewise, the principle governing the interpretation of penal laws is that they are to be restricted, not expanded.

Further, Bouscaren and Ellis explain how we are to interpret penal laws (cf. c. 19). “To interpret a law strictly here means to interpret it narrowly; that is, so as to narrow rather than enlarge its application. The rule is stated for three classes of laws:

“a. Laws establishing a penalty. "In poenis, benignior interpretatio" [In penalties, the more benign interpretation applies] (c. 2219, 5 1). "Odiosa restringuntur.'

“b. Laws limiting the free exercise of rights. This is another liberal principle, easily understood. The exercise of rights is in accord with God-given liberty, and is for the common good.”

The same canonists, commenting on Canon 20, which supplies norms of action in those cases upon which the Code is silent, make the following point, “Where there is question of applying penalties, no supplementary norm of action is needed; for if the law is silent, no penalty exists. (cf. c. 6, 5°).”

regnum7 wrote:
In such circumstances, the best one can do is rely on logic and common sense, not on what one would desire to be true or on authorities of dubious relevance.


Sir, it is far from clear that our side in this dispute is acting in accord with desire more than reason; but it is abundantly clear that you (and others who have commented in the past) are under the illusion that we are motivated by an inordinate desire for the sacraments, either for ourselves or for others. I can only say that I don't understand the problem. Catholics who take Our Lord Jesus Christ seriously have what can only be described as a fierce desire for the sacraments, and most especially for Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. This desire is a grace for which we are thankful. And we know that we can be at peace in it, and not subject ourselves to the kind of scruples which you suggest, precisely because what is not forbidden is permitted.

You may argue that you think it the better course to refrain, for the reasons that you enunciate above - good for you. I hope that Our Lord rewards you for good intentions, despite them being, in my opinion, erroneously directed. But you could not, on any Catholic principle, seek to impose such a view on others, and for that I thank you and God, who gives you the clarity of mind to see that far.

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:34 pm
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New post To Mr Lane
Dear Mr Lane,

No amount of citation of general principles governing legal interpretation will suffice to establish your point, since *all* such principles have to be applied to the particular situation at hand.

There will *always* be limits on how the law may be applied, and I submit that grave danger of scandal creates at least a prima facie case against attendance at una cum Masses.

I do not seek to 'impose' my view on anyone, any more than I suppose you wish to impose yours on me or others. I am simply offering an opinion like everyone else, and recommending it to your consideration.

I would, though, be grateful for your view on the proper interpretation of Canon 2261, as per my previous email.

Sincerely,
Regnum


Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:01 pm
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New post Re: Further re. Canon 2261
regnum7 wrote:
Regarding 2261, although one may ask for the sacraments from an excommuniate for a just cause, I thought the moral theologians taught that as far as *heretics and schismatics* are concerned, one may only request the sacraments *in proximate danger of death*.

If so, presumably one may *not* request the sacraments from an uncondemned heretic unless one is in that situation. Nothing Mr Daly has quoted from De Lugo suggests otherwise, does it?

Regnum


Dear Regnum,

Everything in the de Lugo quote "suggests otherwise". De Lugo is saying that in his view and the view of many other theologians it is "per se" permissible to receive the sacraments from an uncondemned heretic. He thinks it is the fact of condemnation that puts him in the state of those from whom the Church forbids us to receive the sacraments. Where there is no condemnation he admits that there may be extrinsic grounds for not doing so (e.g. to avoid scandal) but he considers that to be accidental to the main principle at issue.

No doubt you're quite right it would be scandalous to go to a Mass said by Ratzo, and none of us would do so: that's why I keep using the qualification "per se".

Here is de Lugo's text with a little more context:

Quote:
Thirdly however an object of greater doubt is whether Catholics may receive the sacraments from heretics who have not been declared to be such. This is denied by Azor. […], though he is scarcely consistent as to his grounds, for in the first place he says that this is due not only to the excommunication, but also to the heresy; but in the second place he says that it is not on account of the heresy but of the excommunication, insofar as every excommunicate, even occult, lacks jurisdiction. Soto agrees with him […], though on different grounds, since he thinks that all heretics and schismatics are deemed to have been excommunicated by name and to be vitandi.

But the opposite view is generally held [communis] and is the true one, unless it should be illicit in a given case for some other reason such as scandal or implicit denial of the faith, or because charity obliges one to impede the sin of the heretical minister administering unworthily where necessity does not urge. This is the teaching of Navarro and Sanchez […], Suarez […], Hurtado […] and is what I have said in speaking of the sacrament of penance […] and of matrimony and the other sacraments […]. It is also certain by virtue of the said litterae extravagantes [3] in which communication with excommunicati tolerati is conceded to the faithful in the reception and administration of the sacraments.

So as these heretics are not declared excommunicates or notoriously guilty of striking a cleric, there is no reason why we should be prevented from receiving the sacraments from them because of their excommunication, although on other grounds it may often be illicit to do so unless necessity should excuse as I have explained in the said places.



BTW those from whom the Church's law against "communicatio in sacris" forbids us to receive the sacraments may not be approached even in danger of death except for the sacrament of penance.

Please bear in mind also that de Lugo is not the last word by a long chalk. I am intending in due course to present such important documents of the Holy See as Response No 804 in Vol IV of the Fontes, which was addressed by the Holy Office to a missionary in the Peloponnese 10th May 1753. (The same text is found in the Collectanea S. C. de Prop Fide vol 1, n. 389.) It is very interesting in that the reigning pope, Benedict XIV ordered to be annexed to the reply an extract from his own writings (as a private theologian) and then, after the publication of the response, he altered in the next edition the very text that he had ordered to be attached, precisely on the question of "communicatio in sacris" with uncondemned heretics.

Note also the distinction between those who, though personally uncondemned, belong to condemned sects and those who are niether condemned in person nor belong to any condemned sect.

My intention in this thread was not to present a complete case, but to make a progressive presentation of relevant documents from approved authorities and see where it leads.

JD


Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:10 pm
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New post I forgot...
One other observation I meant to make, Regnum, is that scandal is a relative factor in moral decisions. It is not always sinful to give scandal. There may be sufficiently grave grounds for doing something not sinful in itself but scandalous to other insufficiently instructed persons. It would be wrong to give that scandal without proportionate motive, but proportionate motives sometimes exist.

That's why it is important to distinguish between what is forbidden by divine law, what is forbiddden by ecclesiastical law and what is forbidden by the natural law the forbids us to give scandal without proportionate reason...

JD


Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:15 pm
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New post Thank you
Dear John D. and John L.,

I just wanted to thank you both sincerely for the time and effort that you have gone to over the past few days to post such valuable information and in letting this forum benefit from your studies and knowledge. I am sure your time is valuable and in much demand and wish to let you know that your words, and more to the point, the words of the authorities you have quoted have not fallen on deaf ears all round. :)

I know that I do not speak for myself when I say that you have both certainly made MUCH clear on the various threads you have extensively posted on recently and have made reading them an intellectually stimulating, edifying and truly profitable experience. I do hope that others can learn from your example of the necessity in quoting authorities to support their positions, especially should they wish others to give credence to their arguments.

May God bless you,
Z.


Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:47 pm
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New post To Mr Daly
Dear Mr Daly,

I understand and appreciate that there may be proportionate reasons for allowing scandal, but it seems to me that the potential for scandal is very great, and only 'extreme need', in the words of McHugh and Callan (vol. 2, p.666), suffices. I would like to see some authorities that interpret extreme need in such a way as to include a mere desire for the sacraments coupled with the difficulty of finding other suitable clergy.

In fact, given the extraordinary times we live in, I would say that the danger of scandal is far greater than it would have been, say, at the height of the Reformation when the question arose as to whether one could receive the sacraments from Luther (prior to his condemnation). For then everyone knew or should have known where the true Church was; but identifying it now is far more difficult, as you appreciate. Hence attending even an una cum Mass, let alone one by an uncondemned heretic, has a very good chance of leading stray sincere souls who are trying to find out where the Church is, and who may be misled by the other person's behaviour (let alone the celebrant's) into supposing that perhaps Ratzinger was pope after all.

Also, as far as 2261 is concerned, my reading of Noldin (vol. 3, p.42) is that a person in danger of death may ask of a vitandus not only absolution but *also* the other sacraments, if no other minister is available. So is not your statement wrong: "BTW those from whom the Church's law against "communicatio in sacris" forbids us to receive the sacraments may not be approached even in danger of death except for the sacrament of penance. "?

I look forward to the other authorities you bring forward, and I hope you will also provide, where appropriate, weighty authorities *against* your position, including the best of the theologians with whom De Lugo disagrees.

Regnum


Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:52 pm
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Dear Regnum,

With regard to your first paragraph you are surely right that only an exceedingly grave reason like danger of death could justify receiving any sacrament, even once, from those covered by the Church's grave prohibition in Canon 1258. But the question is whether, in the case of heretics who are known to be such only by virtue of a private judgment (since they are uncondmened and do not belong to a condemned sect) it is Canon 1258's prohibition or Canon 2261's authorisation that applies. Canon 2261 being the current formulation of Ad Evitanda Scandala, de Lugo can be quoted in favour of the latter view. In favour of the harsher view I know no one who comments explicitly, but I'll be putting forward the best authorities I can find.

We have accidentally opened an interesting sideline on “communicatio in sacris”: which sacraments may be received by a dying Catholic from a validly ordained non-Catholic minister?

I said only Penance and you rightly point out that Noldin, a respected moralist extends this to the other sacraments. However I believe that on this point Noldin’s doctrine is idiosyncratic. The only statement of the Holy See authorising a dying Catholic to approach a non-Catholic minister relates exclusively to Penance. It is a reply of the Holy Office of June-July 1864 and allows reception of penance from a schismatic priest by a dying Catholic on four conditions:

1. no scandal given
2. no Catholic priest available
3. no danger of perversion
4. probability that the schismatic priest will use the rite of the Church.

Canon Mahoney in Priests’ Problems thinks this permission cannot be extended to what is not necessary for salvation. Hence he would allow Viaticum only if consecrated by a Catholic priest and Extreme Unction only for those prevented by unconsciousness from receiving Penance.

It is also interesting that an earlier reply of the Holy See (17 Feb. 1761) in fact forbad reception of any sacrament from a schismatic even in danger of death. And Noldin himself opines that as a rule it is preferable to make an act of perfect contrition.

Needless to say the Roman replies and the theologians’ comments envisage the case of priests who are members of condemned sects, chiefly Eastern “Orthodox” schismatics.

Yes I have every intention of bringing forward the fullest range of data I can and not to censor anything in the interests of any private agenda.

My own view is considerably sterner than de Lugo’s on some points. De Lugo’s main interest lies in the fact that the Holy See has not condemned his doctrines and that he distinguishes between condemned and uncondemned heretics.

What we have to bear in mind all the time is that when past authors discussed the reception of the sacraments from heretics and schismatics they automatically envisaged the case of members of sects, men whom everyone knew not to be members of the Catholic Church..

Part of today’s confusion arises from supposing that they would have taken the same view of heretics who were not condemned and concerning whom Catholics continued to disagree as to whether they are or are not heretics at all.

I have not discovered any author who says that it is illegal to receive the sacraments from one whose status as a heretic is known only by a private judgment. Ad Evitanda Scandala favours legality, but even so I would not recommend such a course. On the other hand when it comes to persons concerning whom even learned Catholics disagree as to whether they are in fact guilty of heresy or schism at all, we have the express teaching of St Thomas Aquinas that we not only may but must treat them as Catholics pending an official judgment.

JD


Sat Jun 10, 2006 5:23 pm
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New post Thanks for that
Thank you for that explanation, Mr Daly. I await further authorities on the question, though I maintain my position that De Lugo's view does not imply anything about the current crisis, and that the grave potential for scandal precludes Catholics from attending una cum Masses.

Regnum


Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:03 pm
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Pax Christi !

From John Daly;
Quote:
I have not discovered any author who says that it is illegal to receive the sacraments from one whose status as a heretic is known only by a private judgment


This ( in my humble view) appears to be the key here. All other applications of "common sense" and " personal" views fail.

In Christ our King,
Vincent


Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:07 pm
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New post Mr Daly - a correction
Dear Mr Daly,

Just a correction of something you said earlier.

I said:

"Also, as far as 2261 is concerned, my reading of Noldin (vol. 3, p.42) is that a person in danger of death may ask of a vitandus not only absolution but *also* the other sacraments, if no other minister is available. So is not your statement wrong: "BTW those from whom the Church's law against "communicatio in sacris" forbids us to receive the sacraments may not be approached even in danger of death except for the sacrament of penance. "?"

You replied:

"I said only Penance and you rightly point out that Noldin, a respected moralist extends this to the other sacraments. However I believe that on this point Noldin’s doctrine is idiosyncratic. The only statement of the Holy See authorising a dying Catholic to approach a non-Catholic minister relates exclusively to Penance."

I did not say anything about a validly ordained non-Catholic minister. If you read my words, you will see I said a vitandus.

And Noldin simply echoes in respect of vitandi exactly what 2261:3 says, namely that a person in danger of death may indeed request all of the sacraments from a vitandus if other priests are not available.

So I hope you don't mind my making this correction.

Regnum


Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:41 pm
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New post Re: Mr Daly - a correction
regnum7 wrote:
I did not say anything about a validly ordained non-Catholic minister. If you read my words, you will see I said a vitandus.


Dear Regnum,

I am missing something. You would obviously not approach a non-Catholic minister for sacraments if he was not validly ordained, because if that were true he could not give them to you. And the authorities all agree, I believe, that a vitandus is a non-Catholic. So that the case the law describes is that of a non-Catholic with valid orders.

What am I missing? Is this a distinction without a difference, as it appears, or if there is a difference, what exactly is it please?

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Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:43 pm
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New post Re: To Mr Lane
regnum7 wrote:
No amount of citation of general principles governing legal interpretation will suffice to establish your point, since *all* such principles have to be applied to the particular situation at hand.


Let's be sure that we understand each other. It isn't my position which needs establishing, because mine is covered by explicit law. Yours is the one looking for a foundation, because you wish to show why a Catholic must avoid a tridentine Mass offered by a Catholic priest.

regnum7 wrote:
There will *always* be limits on how the law may be applied, and I submit that grave danger of scandal creates at least a prima facie case against attendance at una cum Masses.


There is no law against assisting at such Masses. As for the attempt to construct a particular moral case on the basis of scandal, I do not grant that you have even a prima facie case. I wonder sometimes if people who argue such things live in a vacuum, unable to witness what actually occurs in the real world. I do not mean to be rude, but it needs to be said, and bluntly, I think.

You are concerned that people will not know where the Church really is. Sir, for thirty years sedevacantists generally did exactly what you are saying would disguise the location of the true Church. Where was it really during all that period, please? And where is it today? Your case depends essentially on a clear statement of that much.

The truth is that it is precisely the "anti-una cum" position which endangers any clear view of where the Church is, because it argues that Catholics ought not to receive the sacraments from and with other Catholics. And that is a scandal of the first order. Look up any theology book and see for yourself.

Further, the SSPX has traditionally been tolerant of "sedevacantism" whilst it has no nasty practical effects - such as home papal elections creating schisms, or evil advice that people stay home alone without the sacraments - but the minute such things begin happening the SSPX reacts, and drives people away from the truth that the See of Rome is vacant. The actual scandal is created precisely by people with your position. Against this manifest fact, any suggestion of potential scandal is difficult to take seriously.

regnum7 wrote:
I do not seek to 'impose' my view on anyone, any more than I suppose you wish to impose yours on me or others. I am simply offering an opinion like everyone else, and recommending it to your consideration.


I think you misunderstood me. I meant by "impose" the claim that your position is not just laudatory, but compulsory. That is, it is clear that you think that those who assist at Masses in which the priest names Benedict as pope are doing the wrong thing. But you are struggling to say why. One minute you are arguing on the basis of scandal, and the next you are promoting Bishop Sanborn's article, in which scandal is a non-issue. Are the aruments flexible, but the conclusion fixed?

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Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:24 am
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New post Vitandus
Dear Mr Lane,

A vitandus and a heretic/schismatic are different categories - you can be a vitandus but not a heretic/schismatic, and vice versa, since heretics and schismatics are not in the strict sense vitandi.

In the practical sphere there may not be much difference as far as the sacraments are concerned: in danger of death you can approach both for *all* sacraments, if no other ministers are present. Noldin's view is not 'idiosyncratic', as Mr Daly says: it simply reflects what is in 2261, and is shared by Woywod (p.487), so maybe he is 'idiosyncratic' as well. :-)

The main practical difference would be as to the danger to one's faith. A vitandus may not be either a heretic or a schismatic, but vitandus for some other reason (e.g. striking a cleric), and there would be no danger to one's faith in approaching him for the sacraments in danger of death. Not so as regards approaching an Anglican minister, say.

I hope that clarification helps you.

Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:24 am
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New post To Mr Lane
"Let's be sure that we understand each other. It isn't my position which needs establishing, because mine is covered by explicit law. Yours is the one looking for a foundation, because you wish to show why a Catholic must avoid a tridentine Mass offered by a Catholic priest."

With respect, the above assertion is nonsense.

(1) Your position is not covered by explicit law. If it is, quote it for me please.

(2) My position has a foundation, in that although I have no explicit authority, logic and common sense, which are also important in legal argumentation, and must take first place when direct authorities are absent, says that the danger of scandal is sufficiently great to make attendance at una cum Masses at the very least highly doubtfully legal except in perhaps very rare cases. I have given my reasons for thinking this in previous messages.

(3) I fully accept that there is a presumption that one may go to a Tridentine Mass offered by a Catholic priest, but that presumption is defeasible. Imagine the situation in England in the 1530s, when a layman discovers that his local curate has suddenly stopped naming the Pope in his Mass, even though everything else remains the same. Suppose this layman is very knowledgeable, and aware that not naming the Pope is illegal and sinful under Catholic law. What is he to do? The curate might believe every single dogma of the Faith. Can the layman still go? The risk of scandal to other, less knowledgeable parishioners would be so great that surely he would be bound in conscience to desist from attendance, however regular everything else appeared to be. Leave aside the serious question of just who the curate thought he was in communion with, and whether he was acting schismatically. The point is that he would be omitting the name of the Pope, where he was obliged to include it, in the official, public prayer of the Church. Suppose he started naming Henry VIII instead of the Pope. The risk of scandal would be immense.

I appreciate the situation is not wholly analogous to our time, but the fact is that the Conciliar pretenders are manifest heretics. And traditionalist priests either do know it, or ought to know it, when they name them in their Masses. Many of them know it but insist on naming them anyway! Sure, maybe some of them are uncertain about the question of whether a heretic can remain pope until condemned. The risk of scandal and perversion is still great because simple layfolk may not appreciate that this is the issue worrying their priest, and come to the conclusion that the pretender isn't a heretic at all. But SSPX priests generally won't even get to first base, i.e. they won't even admit that the pretender is a heretic. Hence they lead their faithful down a perverted path and into grave error. That's why common sense and logic tell me that attendance at their Masses is at best highly doubtful in law and morality, and at worst positively sinful.



"There is no law against assisting at such Masses. As for the attempt to construct a particular moral case on the basis of scandal, I do not grant that you have even a prima facie case. I wonder sometimes if people who argue such things live in a vacuum, unable to witness what actually occurs in the real world. I do not mean to be rude, but it needs to be said, and bluntly, I think."

You may say it, and I do not take offense, but it is not an argument, only a piece of ad hominem rhetoric of no probative force. What goes on in the real world is that Catholic families are desperate for the sacraments, and who can blame them? I long for them and can only get them once in a blue moon. But I am happy to wait that long because I have to wait that long.

"You are concerned that people will not know where the Church really is. Sir, for thirty years sedevacantists generally did exactly what you are saying would disguise the location of the true Church. Where was it really during all that period, please? And where is it today? Your case depends essentially on a clear statement of that much."

One might as well say that for thirty years pious Englishmen went to Masses under Henry VIII as the self-proclaimed head of the Catholic Church in England. I can understand why they did, but it was not right and St Thomas More's and St John Fisher's witness proved it ab initio. Would that we had such saints today. The Church was and is where it has always been, wherever there are baptised men who profess the Catholic Faith in its integrity and are not excommunicated. A traditionalist priest who fulfils these criteria and is una cum in his Masses might be a Catholic, but it does not ipso facto imply one may attend his Masses in good conscience.

"The truth is that it is precisely the "anti-una cum" position which endangers any clear view of where the Church is, because it argues that Catholics ought not to receive the sacraments from and with other Catholics. And that is a scandal of the first order. Look up any theology book and see for yourself."

But the Church has always held that one may not, for reasons of prudence, morality, danger to faith, etc., approach certain Catholic priests for the sacraments, even though they may confer validly. I don't have specific examples to hand, and am happy to be corrected, but I presume this would have applied precisely to the upstanding curate who started naming Henry VIII in his Mass.

"Further, the SSPX has traditionally been tolerant of "sedevacantism" whilst it has no nasty practical effects - such as home papal elections creating schisms, or evil advice that people stay home alone without the sacraments - but the minute such things begin happening the SSPX reacts, and drives people away from the truth that the See of Rome is vacant. The actual scandal is created precisely by people with your position. Against this manifest fact, any suggestion of potential scandal is difficult to take seriously."


I don't condone rogue papal elections, let me hasten to add! But surely you minimize what the SSPX does! Even if a sedevacantist so much as starts trying to convince other SSPX faithful that the See is vacant, that one should not pray for the anti-pope, starts circulating sedevacantist material, etc., he is out on his ear! I know this from experience. Maybe not all SSPX chapels are like that, I grant. But anyway, why not see for yourself? Have you tried publicly distributing sedevacantist material at your local SSPX chapel? If so, what happened? If not, give it a try and please report back.



"I think you misunderstood me. I meant by "impose" the claim that your position is not just laudatory, but compulsory. That is, it is clear that you think that those who assist at Masses in which the priest names Benedict as pope are doing the wrong thing. But you are struggling to say why. One minute you are arguing on the basis of scandal, and the next you are promoting Bishop Sanborn's article, in which scandal is a non-issue. Are the aruments flexible, but the conclusion fixed?"

Fr Sanborn does not say it is a 'non-issue'. He does not mention it, which may or may not imply that he thinks it is a non-issue. Please be precise with your language.

What I am saying is that, in my view, attendance at Una Cum Masses is wrong, at least in the circumstances, and possibly per se. My main reason is scandal, but I also find Fr Sanborn's theological arguments very strong.

Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:22 am
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New post Re: Vitandus
regnum7 wrote:
A vitandus and a heretic/schismatic are different categories - you can be a vitandus but not a heretic/schismatic, and vice versa, since heretics and schismatics are not in the strict sense vitandi.


Yes, well that's all news. :)

I was asking why you introduced the term "non-Catholic" when we were discussing the law relating to heretics and the law relating to vitandi. It seemed to me a starnge thing to do and wondered what difference it made in the context. I have now just re-read the various posts and it wasn't you who introduced the term - it was John Daly. :) So now I am wondering what he was driving at. It seems at first blush that he must have been referring exclusively to public heretics and schismatics.

regnum7 wrote:
In the practical sphere there may not be much difference as far as the sacraments are concerned: in danger of death you can approach both for *all* sacraments, if no other ministers are present. Noldin's view is not 'idiosyncratic', as Mr Daly says: it simply reflects what is in 2261, and is shared by Woywod (p.487), so maybe he is 'idiosyncratic' as well. :-)


Maybe. But I can't find where Woywod says this or anything like it on p. 487 of Vol. II of my 1945 edition. What is the paragraph number? (He does of course give the text of c. 2261 - on p. 440 - and I agree with your reading and always have, and in light of the confusion over terms I suggest that JSD does also, and was referring to other than vitandi in his comments about "non-Catholics.)

But in any case, wouldn't you agree that the status "heretic" adds the very danger of perversion and potential for scandal that you were previously highlighting? In which case, wouldn't you be arguing that whatever Noldin says about c. 2261 (which deals only with excommunicates), the case of a public heretic (even if uncondemned) is substantially different?

Or, to put it another way, wouldn't you be invoking c. 1258 as the relevant canon in relation to uncondemned heretics?

regnum7 wrote:
The main practical difference would be as to the danger to one's faith. A vitandus may not be either a heretic or a schismatic, but vitandus for some other reason (e.g. striking a cleric), and there would be no danger to one's faith in approaching him for the sacraments in danger of death. Not so as regards approaching an Anglican minister, say.


Yes, exactly. So, you're focussed on c. 1258, correct? Or are you disagreeing with Noldin and Woywod concernign 2261?

Do you have an authority who deals with the case of uncondemned heretics? By which I mean heretics who have not joined a condemned sect and have not been condemned by name themselves, so that there are grounds for legitimate dispute amongst Catholics concerning his status.

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Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:29 am
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New post St. Thomas More
regnum7 wrote:
(1) Your position is not covered by explicit law. If it is, quote it for me please.


Look in your catechism. We must assist at Holy Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days.

regnum7 wrote:
One might as well say that for thirty years pious Englishmen went to Masses under Henry VIII as the self-proclaimed head of the Catholic Church in England. I can understand why they did, but it was not right and St Thomas More's and St John Fisher's witness proved it ab initio. Would that we had such saints today.


Yes, saints who would not refuse available sacraments on specious grounds?

St. Thomas More continued to regard the London clergy as fellow Catholics, even though they all took the Oath which St. Thomas More was to die rather than take himself. In fact on the very day he was summoned to take the Oath, he received the sacraments from a priest who had himself sworn to it. St. John Fisher's attitude appears to have been identical. It is worth noting that in the Sarum rite, then in general use in England, the King is named in the Canon, so that St. Thomas More not only received the Holy Eucharist from a priest who had sworn the Oath, but assisted at Mass in which Henry was actually named in the Te igitur. People who prefer to use the novelty, "una cum Mass" would describe such a Mass, asisted at by St. Thomas More, as "a Mass celebrated una cum Henry VIII." Which would be very prejudicial on a rhetorical level, or as Mr. Daly has said, "impressionistically." But it wouldn't change the historical fact.

regnum7 wrote:
I don't have specific examples to hand, and am happy to be corrected, but I presume this would have applied precisely to the upstanding curate who started naming Henry VIII in his Mass.


Which is why "logic and common sense" won't suffice. Particularly in the absence of authorities.

For fulness, please note the following facts:

Henry VIII had publicly severed himself from the Pope and appointed himself as the Supreme Head of the Church in England.

Henry VIII was an undeclared heretic and schismatic at the time.

St Thomas More fully knew that Henry VIII was a heretic and schismatic.

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Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:50 am
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New post Woywod
"I was asking why you introduced the term "non-Catholic" when we were discussing the law relating to heretics and the law relating to vitandi. It seemed to me a starnge thing to do and wondered what difference it made in the context. I have now just re-read the various posts and it wasn't you who introduced the term - it was John Daly. Smile So now I am wondering what he was driving at. It seems at first blush that he must have been referring exclusively to public heretics and schismatics."

I'll leave that to you and Mr Daly.

"regnum7 wrote:
In the practical sphere there may not be much difference as far as the sacraments are concerned: in danger of death you can approach both for *all* sacraments, if no other ministers are present. Noldin's view is not 'idiosyncratic', as Mr Daly says: it simply reflects what is in 2261, and is shared by Woywod (p.487), so maybe he is 'idiosyncratic' as well. Smile


Maybe. But I can't find where Woywod says this or anything like it on p. 487 of Vol. II of my 1945 edition. What is the paragraph number? (He does of course give the text of c. 2261 - on p. 440 - and I agree with your reading and always have, and in light of the confusion over terms I suggest that JSD does also, and was referring to other than vitandi in his comments about "non-Catholics.)"

I'm referring to the 1957 edition, para. 2103, re. canon 2261:3. A person may approach a vitandus, in danger of death, for *all* the sacraments when no other minister is available.

"But in any case, wouldn't you agree that the status "heretic" adds the very danger of perversion and potential for scandal that you were previously highlighting? In which case, wouldn't you be arguing that whatever Noldin says about c. 2261 (which deals only with excommunicates), the case of a public heretic (even if uncondemned) is substantially different?

Or, to put it another way, wouldn't you be invoking c. 1258 as the relevant canon in relation to uncondemned heretics?"

Yes, except in danger of death; and in the case of heretics, only when there is imminent danger of death, as glossed by Noldin.


"So, you're focussed on c. 1258, correct?"

Yes. But note that I am not invoking an authority other than the law itself and the manuals. In the case of uncondemned heretics, I agree that De Lugo is a weighty authority in favour permission to request the sacraments, but I have denied all along that one can draw a clear lesson from this as to the current crisis.

Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:15 am
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New post Re: Woywod
regnum7 wrote:
I'll leave that to you and Mr Daly.


I don't think that will assist. It seems to me that it was your confusion. Here it is:

regnum7 wrote:
Also, as far as 2261 is concerned, my reading of Noldin (vol. 3, p.42) is that a person in danger of death may ask of a vitandus not only absolution but *also* the other sacraments, if no other minister is available. So is not your statement wrong: "BTW those from whom the Church's law against "communicatio in sacris" forbids us to receive the sacraments may not be approached even in danger of death except for the sacrament of penance."?


Unfortunately, you took John Daly to be referring to c. 2261 when he wrote, "those from whom the Church's law against 'communicatio in sacris' forbids us to receive the sacraments..." Which in the context could only be a reference to c. 1258.

Mr. Daly, in his moderation, instead of picking you up on it, answered as follows:

John Daly wrote:
We have accidentally opened an interesting sideline on “communicatio in sacris”: which sacraments may be received by a dying Catholic from a validly ordained non-Catholic minister?

I said only Penance and you rightly point out that Noldin, a respected moralist extends this to the other sacraments. However I believe that on this point Noldin’s doctrine is idiosyncratic. The only statement of the Holy See authorising a dying Catholic to approach a non-Catholic minister relates exclusively to Penance.


Now, you continue to insist that c. 2261 applies. Which it could not possibly do, if we are concerned, as John Daly said, with the Church's prohibition of "communicatio in sacris" with non-Catholics. Because vitandi (as you have subsequently pointed out) are only one category of non-Catholics.

Making sense now?

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Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:28 am
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New post Just a confirmation...
When Regnum referred to the sacraments which a dying Catholic can receive from "vitandi" excommunicates I assumed he was taking it for granted that the same rule applies to heretics and schismatics, because we were talking about receiving the sacraments from heretics and schismatics - hence my reply centred on heretics and schismatics.

Canon 2261§3 and all authorities confirm that in proximate danger of death a Catholic may receive Penance from a "vitandus" and the other sacraments too if no other priest is available. Noldin's position on that is the same as everyone else's.

But Noldin goes on to draw a parallel between "vitandi" excommunicates and heretics and schismatics (n. 43, 3. b - it is better to quote paragraph numbers than page numbers which may change in different editions). It is in apparently extending Canon 2261§3 to allow approaching heretics and schismatics for the other sacraments that Noldin's position is idiosyncratic.

I'd very much like to paste in here Canon Mahoney's treatment of this topic from Priests' Problems, and I intend to do so when this thread is allowed to recover its true identity. But for the present I shall refrain from doing so as I do not want to distract attention from the most important revelation that has just occurred.

Regnum has just reduced to total rubble the credibility of his own selected arguments for thinking it a sin to go to Mass in which an uncondemned heretic/schismatic is named "una cum" the Church.

Quite spontaneously he has selected as the closest historical parallel he can think of the period of the early English Reformation in which the English clergy were required to subscribe to a schismatic oath recognising as sole head of the Church in England King Henry VIII - who was named in the "una cum" clause of the Mass.

Having done so he applauds the witness of St Thomas More and St John Fisher for refusing to go to such Masses.

But they did not refuse to go to such Masses or refuse to receive the sacraments from such priests. They did precisely the opposite.

They refused the oath, but emphasised that they continued to recognise as their fellow Catholics those who took the oath and illustrated this fact by having no hesitation in receiving the sacraments from priests who had taken it. Nor did they ever warn their fellow-Catholics against frequenting such clergy.

Their conduct was what saints have always practised in analogous cases: follow their own judgment in refusing the act they see to be schismatic but not consider as non-Catholics those who have failed to see what the Holy See has not pronounced, and above all not even dream that other Catholics should abstain from receiving the sacraments from the latter. To reach that conclusion two interventions of the Holy See are necessary: the first to judge officially that the oath is schismatic, the second to judge officially that those who have taken it are schismatics. Applying Canon Law as though those two judgments had been made is utterly without justification and is a total departure from the example of the saints.

JSD


Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:23 am
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New post Continued
"regnum7 wrote:
(1) Your position is not covered by explicit law. If it is, quote it for me please.

Look in your catechism. We must assist at Holy Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days."

That is not what I meant, as should have been obvious. I meant a law governing attendance at una cum Masses.

"St. Thomas More continued to regard the London clergy as fellow Catholics, even though they all took the Oath which St. Thomas More was to die rather than take himself. In fact on the very day he was summoned to take the Oath, he received the sacraments from a priest who had himself sworn to it. St. John Fisher's attitude appears to have been identical."

Yes, Mr Lane - they were in imminent danger of death, weren't they? And they knew it: take the oath or you will probably die.

"It is worth noting that in the Sarum rite, then in general use in England, the King is named in the Canon, so that St. Thomas More not only received the Holy Eucharist from a priest who had sworn the Oath, but assisted at Mass in which Henry was actually named in the Te igitur."

Which Mass are you talking about? His regular Sunday Mass? Once it was publicly known that Henry had named himself head of the Church, and all the faithful were aware there was a problem, and More himself had reached a final determination on the matter? Can you please direct me to a reference that shows St Thomas More did indeed do this?

Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:08 pm
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New post No confusion on my part, sorry
"Unfortunately, you took John Daly to be referring to c. 2261 when he wrote, "those from whom the Church's law against 'communicatio in sacris' forbids us to receive the sacraments..." Which in the context could only be a reference to c. 1258.

Mr. Daly, in his moderation, instead of picking you up on it, answered as follows:

John Daly wrote:
We have accidentally opened an interesting sideline on “communicatio in sacris”: which sacraments may be received by a dying Catholic from a validly ordained non-Catholic minister?"

Sorry Mr Lane, there was no confusion on my part. If you track back through my exchange with Mr Daly, you will see that I was talking explicitly about 2261 all along. It was he who chose to confuse the issue by referring to communicatio in sacris. Hence if I ended up talking about reception of sacraments in reference to something to which he was not referring, the fault was not mine.

"Now, you continue to insist that c. 2261 applies. Which it could not possibly do, if we are concerned, as John Daly said, with the Church's prohibition of "communicatio in sacris" with non-Catholics. Because vitandi (as you have subsequently pointed out) are only one category of non-Catholics.

Making sense now?"

Mr Lane, it made sense all along - at least on my part. Please do not patronise me. The only reason I brought up 2261 of my own accord was to query what constituted a 'just cause'. I was not trying to build a case on it, I was raising a query, which subsequently got confused, but not by me, into a discussion about 1258 and 2261, as per Mr Daly's post on De Lugo. I was, and continue to be, focused on the question of scandal, and hence derivatively on the question of whether 'just cause' will not apply if there is a danger of scandal outweighing the grounds for requesting the sacraments.


Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:32 pm
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New post 
Bravo, Mr. Daly and Mr. Lane. The case of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher is a perfect example of why it is perfectly acceptable to attend a mass and receive Holy Communion at a mass from a priest that is celebrating it "una cum Ratzinger." This example made a lasting impression on me when I first examined the issue nearly 6 years ago. This historical parallel is irrefutable proof that a Catholic, whether a sedevacantist or not, may attend an "una cum Ratzinger" mass without any scruple of conscious. BTW: I haven't attended an "una cum" mass in well over a year now for different reasons altogether.

JMJ,

Lance


Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:48 pm
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New post Henry VIII
Mr Daly,

Would you be kind enough to post a reliable historical text which demonstrates that:

1) St Thomas More or St John Fisher had formed a certain judgment that Henry VIII act committed an act of schism;
2) Prior to being put on alert that they were in danger of death if they did not accept this act, they
3) Continued to receive the sacraments from priests they knew for certain were naming Henry instead of the Pope in their Masses.

Thank you,
Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 12:56 pm
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New post 
Dear Regnum7,

You state:

Imagine the situation in England in the 1530s, when a layman discovers that his local curate has suddenly stopped naming the Pope in his Mass, even though everything else remains the same. Suppose this layman is very knowledgeable, and aware that not naming the Pope is illegal and sinful under Catholic law. What is he to do? The curate might believe every single dogma of the Faith. Can the layman still go? The risk of scandal to other, less knowledgeable parishioners would be so great that surely he would be bound in conscience to desist from attendance, however regular everything else appeared to be. Leave aside the serious question of just who the curate thought he was in communion with, and whether he was acting schismatically. The point is that he would be omitting the name of the Pope, where he was obliged to include it, in the official, public prayer of the Church. Suppose he started naming Henry VIII instead of the Pope. The risk of scandal would be immense.

May I ask a few questions? How would there be any risk of scandal since the "less knowledgeable parishioners" wouldn't be knowledgeable enough to know that it was "illegal and sinful?" You lost me, am I missing something? Wouldn't the "less knowledgeable parishioners" be ignorant of what was going on?

JMJ,
Lance Tardugno


Last edited by Recusant on Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:07 pm
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New post More on St Thomas More
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Oath of Supremacy was imposed in March 1534. More immediately refused to swear it, and was sent to the Tower in April 1534. From that time on he knew he was in danger of death, of of course could receive the sacraments from oath-taking priests.

In the few weeks in between the passing of the Act of Supremacy, and More's committal to the Tower, did he continue to receive the sacraments from priests who were una cum Henry, and if so can we know that he did *not*, during that time, believe himself to be in danger of death?

I would very much like Mr Daly to post a reliable historical text that answers these questions. Until then, Mr Tardugno, the 'historical parallel' is anything *but* 'irrefutable', at least as far as your/Mr Lane's/Mr Daly's case goes.

Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:08 pm
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New post Sorry if I lost you, Mr Tardugno
The less knowledgeable parishioners may not have been so ignorant as to have been unaware that there was a crisis in the Church, and that Henry had declared himself its head, in place of the Pope.

They would have obviously looked for an example of what to do from the likes of More and Fisher. Hence it is imperative to know exactly *what* the saints did, and *when*.

Maybe my historical example is completely wrong. Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick altogether. If so, I apologise unreservedly. If the More/Fisher case is on all fours with your una cum case, then obviously I have to rethink the issue ab initio.

Hence I await the historical evidence, ready to go wherever the truth leads me.

Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:13 pm
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New post 
Dear Regnum,

You have asked me to post evidence of various facts which you doubt.

However, you are the one who spontaneously made statements about what More and Fisher did or didn't do and invoked their example as evidence of your claims:

Quote:
One might as well say that for thirty years pious Englishmen went to Masses under Henry VIII as the self-proclaimed head of the Catholic Church in England. I can understand why they did, but it was not right and St Thomas More's and St John Fisher's witness proved it ab initio. Would that we had such saints today.


That seems clearly to mean that, unlike other Catholics, More and Fisher refused "ab initio" (your hand-chosen expression) to go to "Masses under Henry VIII as the self-proclaimed head of the Catholic Church in England".

Since you are the one who is out to prove something and you are the one who started making allegations about More and Fisher, I suggest you should first tell us what facts you had in mind, derived from what source, when you made the above claim.

JSD


Sun Jun 11, 2006 1:40 pm
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New post More
Dear Mr Daly,

Let me clarify what I meant about the witness of More and Fisher. I was not making a specific claim about what they did, but the general claim that their martyrdom, in my view, bore witness (among other things) to the evil of schism, no matter how innocent it may look at first.

Specifically, I am merely making a supposition. Please tell me if it is unfounded. Leave aside the danger of death that More and Fisher were under once they refused the oath, and that I assume hung over many other people. (I want to check whether there was a general threat of death against anyone who refused the oath or to go to Masses said by oath-taking clergy.)

Leaving aside the physical threat, would More and Fisher have consented to the layfolk attending Masses by oath-taking priests, even if there were no other clergy available? My guess is - not a chance. That's what I think their martyrdom shows. Once the Act of Supremacy was passed, not much changed initially apart from the fact that the clergy started naming Henry instead of the Pope in their Masses. No dogmas were officially changed, so to the vast majority of people the Faith remained intact. Non-oath-taking clergy became harder and harder to find, and it got to the point where, if the people wanted the sacraments, they had to go to a priest who had taken the Oath.

Leaving aside the physical danger levelled at thow who did not comply, would More and Fisher have said: 'Well, the people need the sacraments, and the sacraments offered by all these oath-taking clergy are valid, and nothing of the Faith has been changed. So let them attend.'? I contend - not a chance.

That's all I meant by raising these events.

Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:22 pm
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New post Sts John Fisher and Thomas More
Dear Regnum,

Your guesswork as to the views of St Thomas More and St John Fisher is completely wrong. They demonstrated in a thousand ways that their attitude was exactly the opposite of what you suppose.

I really think that a careful reading of their lives, particularly the events of March-April 1534, would cause you to revise many of your convictions.

For St Thomas More the main sources include Constant, Bridgett, Chambers, Scarisbrick. For St John Fisher I cannot but point to the sterling work, very recent, of Professor Richard Rex who was an undergraduate friend of mine.

In Jesus and Mary,

JSD


Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:06 pm
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New post More and Fisher
Dear Mr Daly,

I have read Constant, and Sanders, and of course Roper, and some articles - but not the other works you mention. I want to learn more.

Hence my request to you earlier to post a text that demonstrates how my argument is turned to 'rubble', as you charge. Your text should meet the criteria I set out in my earlier post.

According to Roper's chronology, More was warned by the Duke of Norfolk that disobedience to the king would lead to his death even *before* he was asked to take the Oath.

Hence he knew he was in danger of death even before the priests went 'una cum' Henry, and so it was perfectly legitimate for him to receive the sacraments from them. But it proves nothing about his attitude to attendance at such services per se, or to the possibility of scandal. Danger of death was the issue.

Maybe my reference to More and Fisher does not support my case against una cum in our times, when there is no danger of death. But as far as I can see it certainly does not prove yours, let alone reduce mine to 'rubble'.

In the Saviour,
Regnum


Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:09 pm
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Dear Regnum,

Oh dear.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

You have read the books you mention and you still claim to believe that More and Fisher thought it was per se mortally sinful to go to the Mass of priests who had signed the oath recognising Henry as head of the Church and only did so themselves on account of fear of death.

Alas, I can only conclude that you are beyond human help.

The cumulative effect of a thousand details makes this idea completely absurd, but is certainnly not the sort of thing that is susceptible to physical-type proofs.

Try your case on one of the numerous living experts on St Thomas and listen to him chuckle.

John Daly


Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:34 pm
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New post How patronising - and wrong
How patronising, Mr Daly -- and how obvious that you haven't even bothered to read my words.

Did I *say* that More and Fisher thought it was per se mortally sinful to go to the Masses of oath-taking priests?

Here are my words again:

"But it proves nothing about his attitude to attendance at such services per se, or to the possibility of scandal."

Please tell me, Mr Daly, by what principle of interpretation you get from 'it proves nothing' to 'More and Fisher thought that it was per se mortally sinful'? Is it a novel kind of syllogism?

I begin to wonder whether you are capable of reasoning logically about this, I'm afraid.

My claim, *again*, is that you cannot rely on More and Fisher to support your case because nothing can be inferred from what we know (as far as I can tell) about their attitude, theologically, to attendance at Masses by oath-taking priests. What we *can* know for certain is that since they were in danger of death, and knew it, they would have known they were free to attend any such sacraments.

BTW - for the benefit of Mr Tardugno as well, who seems to have been somewhat misled by your statement of the case - it should be borne in mind that priests were refusing to expunge the name of the Pope from their missals, and - one must presume - continuing to name the Pope in their canons, until well after More's execution.

Is there historical evidence that the sacraments More attended, during March and April of 1534, were ever by priests who did *not* name the Pope in their Masses?

I look forward to your anwser...and to the answer to my previous request for historical evidence.

Regnum


Last edited by regnum7 on Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:54 pm
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Dear Regnum7,

Quote:
BTW - for the benefit of Mr Tardugno as well, who seems to have been somewhat misled by your statement of the case - it should be borne in mind that priests were refusing to expunge the name of the Pope from their missals, and - one must presume - continuing to name the Pope in their canons, until well after More's execution.


What on earth would make you or anyone else, for that matter, think that I was somehow misled? Are you suggesting that Mr. Daly was intentionally misleading his readers including me?

Quote:
One might as well say that for thirty years pious Englishmen went to Masses under Henry VIII as the self-proclaimed head of the Catholic Church in England. I can understand why they did, but it was not right and St Thomas More's and St John Fisher's witness proved it ab initio. Would that we had such saints today.



Please submit your proof that these two great saints avoided going to "una cum Henry VIII" masses right from the get go. Please give us "what facts you had in mind, derived from what source, when you made the above claim," as Mr. Daly has asked you.


Sun Jun 11, 2006 10:58 pm
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New post Re: De Lugo irrelevant, Mr Daly
John Lane wrote:
Mr. Shea speaks of sedevacantists "justifying what they do."


John,

If I may ask a favor...Please refrain from mentioning my name in threads which are 'off limits' to me for posting purposes. I have - with this exception, for obvious reasons - abided by your request(s). I ask the same in return.

Eamon

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:17 am
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New post Champion of Catholic Unity
regnum7 wrote:
My claim, *again*, is that you cannot rely on More and Fisher to support your case because nothing can be inferred from what we know (as far as I can tell) about their attitude, theologically, to attendance at Masses by oath-taking priests. What we *can* know for certain is that since they were in danger of death, and knew it, they would have known they were free to attend any such sacraments.


Dear Regnum,

I don't understand why you are focussing on the fact that these priests had taken the Oath. All English priests used the Sarum Rite, which included the name of the King of England after the name of the Pope in the Te igitur. That is, Oath-takers and those who refused to take the Oath.

Constant states that during Henry's reign the only change to the liturgy was the removal of the name of the pope. (cf. G. Constant, The Reformation in England, Vol. I, Sheed & Ward, London, 1939., p. 431, see particularly footnote 122.) Henry VIII's name was certainly mentioned by all priests, Oath-taking and non.

You have focussed our interest on a relatively short period, the beginning of which was when the English Schism was consummated by Henry VIII, at the very latest in March 1534 when the Oath to the Bill of Succession (with its anti-Papal preamble) was passed. The end of the period of interest is whenever St. Thomas More assisted at his last Mass.

We do know that he went to Mass at least on Sundays and Holy Days, and we also know from his son-in-law Roper, that our saint was in the habit of going to Mass before any important matter. Here is Constant:

"On Low Sunday (April 12th, 1534), as he [St. Thomas More] was coming away from Vespers, he was warned to appear at Lambeth on the morrow in order to take the oath to the Bill of Succession which implied the denial of papal authority. As was his wont in all serious matters, he went to Confession, heard Mass, and received Holy Communion, and then, without bidding his wife or children farewell, went by boat with Roper and four servants to Lambeth." (Constant, op. cit., Chapter V, "The Champions of Catholic Unity," p. 241)

Now, the above day (April 12th) was weeks after the Schism was completely consummated, which weeks included Easter Sunday. Do you have any shred of evidence to suggest that St. Thomas More refused to fulfil his obligations, or changed his "wont," during that period? Do you have any evidence, specifically, to show that St. Thomas More had a problem assisting at a Mass in which a notorious schismatic (and heretic) was named in the "una cum" clause of the Te igitur?

No, of course not. There is no speck of evidence that any priest dropped King Henry VIII's name from the Canon; nor is there any sign of any authority ever to suggest that St. Thomas More or any other Catholic at the time, refused to go to a Mass in which the notorious schismatic was named. Refusing communicatio in sacris with Oath-taking priests is an entirely different matter, of course. I'm sure you see that.

For some reason you are introducing "danger of death" as though it were relevant. Let's get clear what our relative positions are.

You and others say that it is intrinsically wrong to asssist at a Mass in which a notorious undeclared heretic (or schismatic) is named in the Canon. You say that various arguments support this assertion, including those of Bishop Sanborn but also that assistance at such Masses implies that the Church is somewhere that she isn't (although you would not say specifically where she is, only generically, which casts doubt on your claim to know where she is yourself).

You say that it is permissible to receive the sacraments from heretics and schismatics, but only in danger of death.

You appear now to be adding that you think that danger of death would create circumstances in which it were not only permissible to receive Extreme Unction, Penance, and Holy Viaticum, but also to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which a notorious enemy of the Church is named in the Te igitur.

Do you have an authority for this latest assertion? It is impossible to reconcile with Bishop Sanborn's arguments. And it seems very unlikely that you will succeed in showing that such an act is compatible with your own rather unusual (I grant) notion of scandal.

In summary, since the great martyr of Catholic Unity and the rights of the Popes, St. Thomas More, assisted at Holy Mass in which a notorious schismatic was named in the Te igitur, then what authority or example does anybody have to show that we sinners may not do likewise?

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:03 am
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New post Re: De Lugo irrelevant, Mr Daly
Eamon Shea wrote:
John,

If I may ask a favor...Please refrain from mentioning my name in threads which are 'off limits' to me for posting purposes. I have - with this exception, for obvious reasons - abided by your request(s). I ask the same in return.

Eamon


Absolutely. Fair point and my apology.

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:04 am
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New post You have no evidence
Dear Mr Lane,

Please track back through my exchange with Mr Daly where I explain why I brought up St Thomas More.

Mr Daly says I have been hoist by my own petard, in that by even raising the case of More, my own case has been 'reduced to rubble'.

This is utterly false. And I have pointed out why. It is you, Mr Lane, who have not a shred of evidence that More attended Mass una cum Henry in the belief that this was wholly permissible whether or not he was in danger of death.

I merely *supposed* that had there *not* been danger of death, thus making the situation a little more analogous to our own, there is no way the saint would have approved of anyone's heading off to valid, una cum Henry Masses on the ground that it was very hard to find a non-schismatic priest, and that at least the schismatic ones offered valid sacraments.

Granted it was just a supposition, but it strikes me as a very plausible one.

But as to whether my case is 'reduced to rubble', as Mr Daly claims, this is wrong. Since the *una cum* crowd are the ones who think the St Thomas More case triumphantly makes their point (an 'irrefutable historical parallel', according to Mr Tardugno), it is *you* who are bound to show from the historical evidence that More did as I mention above. You haven't done so yet.

But first, why don't we first eliminate the other possibility I raised - that More *went to no una cum Henry Masses at all*. Nothing you quote from Constant suggests he did, and nothing in Roper suggests he did, only that he was in the habit of going to Mass before important events.

Now, if you read Duffy's *The Stripping of the Altars*, you will find copious evidence of priests all over the country, in the 1530s, refusing to expunge the name of the pope from their liturgical books.

Given what More believed, and given what these priests refused to do, wouldn't you say the evidence was on my side that St Thomas More never even *attended* an una cum Henry Mass, since he didn't have to?

But -- I stand readily to be corrected on this point. So fire away.

Regnum.


Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:06 am
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Dear Regnum,

You spontaneously introduced the name of St Thomas More with trumpet and fanfare as a witness to your position.

When it is pointed out that every known word and deed of his tends in the opposite direction, you hypothesise that he might have disapproved of "una cum Henrico" Masses and "communicatio in sacris" with priests who had sworn an oath that the King was head of their church, but might have considered himself excused from acting in accordance with this opinion which he might have had because he might also have had the opinion that he was canonically in danger of death and he might have thought (wrongly) that in danger of death we are allowed voluntarily to assist daily at Masses that it would normally be mortally sinful to assist at.

I confess to finding that an unusual sort of witness and one that is unlikely to intimidate me very much in continuing not to be convinced by your entirely non-existent case.

Now, with more fanfare and trumpets, you challenge me to produce an apodictic proof that your grotesque hypotheses are definitely and certainly false.

Perhaps you would like me to construct a syllogism showing that cats like cream or that civilisation is better than barbarism or that Dr Samuel Johnson would have disliked Heavy Rock music.

No thanks. As long as you are entitled to believe whatever you want to and challenge others to disprove your handpicked hypotheses to standards of proof specified by yourself you are entirely impregnable in your schismatic position.

But you are wasting my time and that of everyone else who actually wants to decide in accordance with evidence.

Hoist with your own petard? Yes. Your handpicked witness fails to support you in any way. That is always bad news for a self-appointed prosecuting counsel. If the best you can offer in your favour is, even on your own very partial estimation, no better than neutral, clearly you must be scraping the barrel.

JSD


Last edited by John Daly on Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:08 am
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Dear Regnum,

There is no "una cum crowd."

The Sarum rite mandated a mention of the King, by name, in the Te igitur. You have omitted to address several salient points.

1. A priest omitting Henry's name was taking definite action, against the rubrics of the Missal. We cannot be expected to prove that nobody took this rather extreme action, as you must know. But it is a fact that you cannot find a single example of any priest who did take that action, which you say is "plausible" (and indeed is plausible - if the Catholic Church is constituted according to the weird ideas expressed by anti-una cum ecclesiology). It remains striking that Eamon Duffy, in The Stripping of the Altars (on my bedside table at present, actually) managed to notice all those priests who declined to omit the pope's name, but he doesn't find an example of what you think was equally important. Now, this probability must be weighed against the probability of the following...

2. Throughout the history of the Church there have numerous occasions when bishops disappeared into heresy. Not only can you find no example of anybody refusing to assist at a Mass in which such a heretic was named in the Canon, prior to the authoritative condemnation of the heretic, but you have the cheek to try and put the onus on us to find an example of a theologian approving such action! Of course, why would a theologian argue that something is legitimate if it has never occurred to anybody to criticise it? And further, you can find no theologian who has raised the issue at all, in any manner whatsoever, despite the fact that the (non) problem has arisen so often.

What is the probability that you are right, and all of the above still occurred? About zero. You're in exactly the position of the Feeneyites. You think the Church tolerated this great evil, and not even one of her theologians, let alone her authorities, protested.

3. All English priests included Henry's name in the Canon. Even those who refused to take the Oath. When you find an example of a priest who omitted Henry's name, let us know. In the mean time, please cease dragging in the "schismatic" clergy as though the taking of the Oath was in any way relevant to the mentioning of the schismatic heretic Henry in the Te igitur. It's an irrelevancy.

4. The London clergy took the Oath, "to a man." So says Stapleton. Now, it is obviously possible that St. Thomas More found a non-London priest who happened to be visiting, and had refused the Oath, and who happened to have decided to omit the name of Henry from the Canon, and went to his Mass so as to avoid the unmentioned-in-the-entire-history-of-the-Catholic-Church "problem" of the "laity and the una cum." But it is rather odd that he did all of this and Roper, who was with him, didn't mention it. As he was emerging from Vespers to receive his summons to take the Oath, do you think he was coming out of a borrowed chapel or private home where this visiting priest was singing his office alone, or do you suppose that St. Thomas More was unworried that the common people might assume that if he went to Vespers in the local church he might also approve of Holy Mass offered there? Please, feel free to construct an entirely imaginary scenario, unsupported by any direct evidence whatsoever, in order to make this saint's actions fit your late-twentieth century ecclesiology. But don't expect me to feel any pressure to believe it.

5. "Danger of death" still seems not to have realised that he died the death at least one post ago. Why does he still appear?

6. Bishop Sanborn's argument is incompatible with any approval of the action of St. Thomas More in assisting at a Mass in which the heretic was named in the Canon. Likewise the argument that all those named are "co-offerers" is incompatible with any approval of the saint's actions. Scandalous, wasn't he?

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:09 am
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John Lane wrote:
There is no "una cum crowd."


Well, OK, two of us did manage accidentally to post only one minute apart... :)

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:12 am
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New post Sorry, gentlemen
...but your last two posts, if I may say so, raise a lot of dust but get no closer to proving that my position is 'reduced to rubble' by the 'irrefutable historical parallel' of St Thomas More. I remain un-bowled-over...

The two questions remain:

1) Did More ever attend a Mass he knew to be una cum Henry?

2) If he did, did he ever attend any Mass una cum Henry when he *knew* that it was such and approved such attendance even had he not been in danger of death (having been warned by Norfolk that he was in such danger even before he was asked to take the Oath)?

I contend that circumstantial evidence as presented int. al. by Duffy makes it at least very plausible that the answer to (1) is 'No'. As Duffy makes clear, priests all over the country refused to expunge the name of the Pope, at least in the 1530s. There is no reason to think London was an exception. Given that it had the highest concentration of priests, it is even *more* likely that More had easy access to non-una-cum priests.

I also contend that there is no evidence that the answer to (2) is 'Yes', otherwise you would have produced it by now, as with evidence for a positive answer to (1). But the evidence might still be out there, so I await it with interest.

Regnum


Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:30 am
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New post BTW, Mr Lane
Lest you think I am unaware that the name of the king was always mentioned in the Sarum rite, it is quite clear that what I am referring to are priests who replaced the name of the pope with that of Henry. Got it?

Regnum


Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:47 am
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New post 
It's not surprising you remain unbowled over by posts you clearly haven't read or are deliberately ignoring.

You're dead, Regnum. So lie down :D


Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:48 am
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New post Re: Sorry, gentlemen
regnum7 wrote:
The two questions remain:


Only in your mind.

regnum7 wrote:
2) If he did, did he ever attend any Mass una cum Henry when he *knew* that it was such and approved such attendance even had he not been in danger of death (having been warned by Norfolk that he was in such danger even before he was asked to take the Oath)?


You seem not to have considered the other possibility, which is that he did what everybody else always did, and nobody noticed was a problem, until Fr. Guerard des Lauriers thought of it in the racy 1970s.

regnum7 wrote:
I contend that circumstantial evidence as presented int. al. by Duffy makes it at least very plausible that the answer to (1) is 'No'. As Duffy makes clear, priests all over the country refused to expunge the name of the Pope, at least in the 1530s. There is no reason to think London was an exception. Given that it has the highest concentration of priests, it is even *more* likely that More had easy access to non-una-cum priests.


This is very strange. It's almost as if you cannot tell the difference between leaving out Henry's name, and insisting on including the pope's name. Let's do this slowly. A priest who insisted on including the pope's name was following the pre-Henrician rubrics, and acting in accord with the teaching of the Catholic Church. A priest who included Henry's name was also acting in accordance with the pre-Henrician rubrics. He was, additionally, acting in accord with the post-Henrician rubrics. You keep equating the the two cases. You've not got an example. Just admit it, please.

I think we're finished here.

Oh, and you never did say where the Church actually is. Which leaves me with the suspicion that you don't even agree that the SSPX clergy are Catholics, or any other man who assists at SSPX chapels, for example. Feel free to correct this impression by saying exactly who constitute the Church, not just in vague principles, but by concrete examples including the various flavours of traditional Catholics and Novus Ordo attendees. I don't particularly care whom you think are Catholics, by the way, but if you are going to argue on the basis of scandal regarding that point, you'd better have a concise and clear explanation handy. Otherwise you are nothing but a charlatan, arguing for no purpose but contention-as-a-sport. I do hope that is not the case, and I await with interest your proof that it isn't.

Where is the Church, Mr. Regnum?

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Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:51 am
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New post Oh dear
I can see this exchange risks degenerating into a slanging match. Forgive me, but I will not rise to the bait.

Since we're not making any progress whatsoever, I propose we leave it there. Some closing remarks on my part - though no doubt you will both want to have the last word (you'll have to toss for it):

1) Here, dear reader, is a textbook case of ad hominem argument, spiced up by a reference to someone who had not until now even entered into the exchange:

"nobody noticed was a problem, until Fr. Guerard des Lauriers thought of it in the racy 1970s"

Beautiful. Seminarians beware lest you learn to do this in your classes on dialectic!

2) "This is very strange. It's almost as if you cannot tell the difference between leaving out Henry's name, and insisting on including the pope's name. Let's do this slowly. A priest who insisted on including the pope's name was following the pre-Henrician rubrics, and acting in accord with the teaching of the Catholic Church. A priest who included Henry's name was also acting in accordance with the pre-Henrician rubrics. He was, additionally, acting in accord with the post-Henrician rubrics. You keep equating the the two cases. You've not got an example. Just admit it, please."

I confess - I admit - that the above passage is incomprehensible from beginning to end.

3) Where is the Catholic Church? For a start, I care as little about where you think it is as you do about where I think it is. Having said that, I will politely desist from entering into a new and equally fruitless exchange. If you decide to start a new thread on 'Where is the Church?', I may contribute if the spirit moves me.

Meantime, I leave you gentlemen to your 'irrefutable historical parallel' that 'reduces my case to rubble'. Would that everything in life was so easy.

Regnum


Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:23 am
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