Tag Archives: Eucharist

Interview 036—Fr. Chad Ripperger: Responses to Critics on wives staying at home, binding prayers, generational spirits, a refutation of Thomistic Evolution and Other Matters

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We are joined today by Fr. Chad Ripperger, PhD, to answer objections to his teachings on the obligations of women to work at home, binding prayers, generational spirits, canon law on his book, etc. We also address objections in favor evolution stemming from modern Thomists, that St. Thomas teaches creation was accomplished with primary causes, as well as the sedi-privationalist argument of infallible security which stems into Amoris Laetitia. We also cover clerical celibacy and the consequences of changing this discipline. Join us for another intellectually stimulating hour.

Pre-order St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Moral Theology vol. 2, save 8 dollars between price-point and our 10% off sale.
Fr. Ripperger’s website
Fr. Ripperger’s press

Episode Notes

Feminism, Women & the Natural Order
Prümmer on the obligation of wives to remain at home:
“1. Vir et mulier pares sunt quantum ad substantiam naturae humanae, quantum ad animam, quantum ad substantiam naturae humanae, quantum ad animam, quantum ad gratiam et gloriam obtinendam; idcirco S. Paulus dicit: ‘[In Christo enim] non est masculus, neque femina.’ (Gal. 3:28) Quamobrem Ecclesia Catholica numquam desiit docere, mulierem non esse ancillam, sed sociam viri.
2. Quamvis ordinarie mulier sit debilior viro quantum ad vires corporis et intellectus, tamen haud paucae existunt mulieres vlaentes eadem opera (saltem faciliora) peragere, quae viri praestant. Per se igitur nihil obstat, quominus mulieribus capacibus haec opera et munia committantur. Hinc e.g. nihil obstat, ne mulieribus aptis committatur munus medici, advocati, magistri, etc.
3. Principalis scopus naturalis, propter quem Deus creavit mulierem, est, ut illa sit in adiutorium viri (Gen. 2:18). Ideo Deus prius creavit Adam et deinde Evam, quam fecit ex costa Adae; non autem prius fecit Evam, neque desumpsit Adam ex substantia Evae. Quae quidem videntur esse signa manifesta, mulierem debere subdi viro. Accedit quod Deus tum in Vetere tum in Novo Testamento exclusit mulieres ab officio sacerdotali; quod iterum satis clare demonstrat, Deum nolle concedere mulieri omnimodam aequalitatem cum viro in omnibus muneribus. Ergo emancipatio radicalis mulierum et omnimoda aequiparatio inter virum et mulierem videtur esse contra intentionem Creatoris.
4. Officium principale mulieris est procurare bonum familiae domesticae. Familia enim est fundamentum totius societatis humanae. Iamvero sine efficaci adiutorio mulieris bonum familiae vix est possible. Ergo talis emancipatio mulierum, qualis illas e sinu familiae nimis evellit, aut viris vitam familialem valde difficilem reddit, est moraliter mala, et etiam pro bono sociali nociva. (my emphasis)
Manuale Theologiae Moralis, vol. II; n. 593; translation in the audio.
Donum Vitæ – Children have a right to be raised by both parents
Pope Francis: Children have a right to both parents
CDF document on Exorcism (1995, not ’94)
Manuale Exorcismorum (Mechlen, 1618)
Conference on Generational Spirits part 1 2 3
The 6th Generation
Scripture verses defending binding even by laity:
Revelation 20:2; Tobit 3:17; Mark 3:27; 2 Peter
Gabriel Amorth: An Exorcist tells his story
Deliverance Prayers
Canon 873 §3: Books of prayers for the public or private use of the faithful are not to be published without the permission of the local ordinary.
Minor Exorcisms (which does have an imprimatur)
The Metaphysics of Evolution
Fabian Revol, Le Temps de la Création. Les Éditions du Cerf. Paris. 2015

St. Thomas teaches creation happened by primary sources: De Potentia. q, 3, a. 4. See also ST I, 45, 5; 65, 3; 90, 3; SCg II, 20 & 21; II Sent d.1, q. 1, a3; De Veritate 5, 9.
St. Thomas treated days of creation as 24 hours; I, Q 74 ad 7: The words “one day” are used when day is first instituted, to denote that one day is made up of twenty-four hours. Hence, by mentioning “one,” the measure of a natural day is fixed. Another reason may be to signify that a day is completed by the return of the sun to the point from which it commenced its course. And yet another, because at the completion of a week of seven days, the first day returns which is one with the eighth day.
Lateran IV on period of time of creation:
Deus…creator omnium visibilium et invisibilium, spiritualium et corporalium: qui sua omnipotenti virtute simul ab initio temporis utramque de nihilo condidit creaturam, spiritualem et corporalem, angelicam videlicet et mundanam: ac deinde humanam, quasi communem ex spiritu et corpore constitutam.
God…creator of all visible and invisible things, of the spiritual and of the corporal; who by His own omnipotent power at once from the beginning of time created each creature from nothing, spiritual and corporal, namely, angelic and mundane, and finally the human, constituted as it were, alike of the spirit and the body (D.428).
Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique (DTC) (sous la direction de A.Vacant et E. Mangenot, Paris, Letouzey, 1903, Art. Ange, col 1269,1270): “It seems clear that the text [of Lateran IV] affirms the simultaneity of the two creations—[those of the spiritual and corporeal creatures]—and most theologians interpret it that way.  Indeed, many of them, like Suarez in De Angelis and also it would seem Cardinal Mazzella in De Deo Creante regard those who contest this simultaneity of creation as ‘temerarious’. ”
Pontifical Biblical Commission’s 1909 response on the literal sense of Genesis (I misspoke during the interview and had said 1911. That is the year one of the best handguns ever made was manufactured and I confused that venerable date)
Amoris Lætitia
German Bishops on giving communion to the divorce and remarried
Statement of the Bishops of Kazakhstan against Amoris Lætitia
Maltese Bishops promoting communion for the divorced and remarried
Cardinal Franzelin
De Divina Tradition in English (Franzelin)
Monsignor Clifford Fenton
Vatican II on Obsequium Religiosum: Lumen Gentium 25
The Binding Force of Tradition
Magisterial Authority
Letter to the Argentine Bishops’ Conference by Pope Francis confirming communion for the Divorced and Remarried
Protestant clergy abusing children
Rabbis that have abused children
Islamic clergy abusing children
NB: Pointing this out is not to attack Protestants, Jews and Muslims, but to show the problem is not celibacy, but rather that we have a sick culture and sick people get into positions of authority, no only in the Catholic Church, not only in protestant churches, but also in other religions, not to mention government and that you are 14x more likely to be sexually abused by a government worker in a school or hospital, in foster care or in some other government facility than you are either by a Catholic priest or a minister of any religion.

The Exorcism of Arezzo – Giotto

Giotto_St.Francis009Today we turn away from the world’s troublesome events, and call our attention to the patrimony of culture in the Western Tradition. In past art posts I have focused mostly on the Baroque. Today, however, we go back to the very beginning of the Renaissance, to the great painter Giotto.

One of the things that is normally said about Giotto, is that he threw out the Byzantine tradition, in order to invigorate art with more realism and thus kicked off the “Renaissance” in art. This narrative begins in Georgio Versari’s Vite Degli Artisti, where he makes this claim. Continue reading

Vermeer: Christ in the House of Martha and Mary

Jan Vermeer, Self Portrait

Jan Vermeer, Self Portrait

I have mostly covered art in Italy, and for good reason, Italy is seemingly unbeatable. Yet, there is another art tradition, whose Renaissance predates Italy’s, that might be the sole rival in classic European oil painting, and that is the Netherlands.

Previously, I talked a little about Rubens (here), but today we are going a little more north. While Rembrandt was trying to retrench himself in Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter, another artist was making his mark on Dutch history.

Jan Vermeer is a curious artist. Dutch, but Catholic, of moderate impact in the art market, yet remembered for his characterizations of Dutch life. In the case of Rubens we could say he is distinct from Rembrandt by his southern Flemish style, or his adherence to the Catholic faith, his vibrant colors, as opposed to Rembrandt van Rijn’s darker views, personal rather than mythological subjects, etc. But ultimately the difference between Rubens and Rembrandt is that Rubens gave the clients what they wanted, Rembrandt painted what he saw, the light of truth without the social graces to touch it up, and increasingly he displeased clients, most famously in his revolt of Claudius Silvius, originally destined for Amsterdam’s town hall. That same difference can be placed between Rembrandt and Vermeer. Vermeer knew how to paint to please his clients.

Interestingly, if we look back to what we said about artists previously, we noted that:
a) artists were craftsmen, who sometimes arose to a more noble bearing working for royalty, particularly in the 17th century
b) other artists where highly charged with political or philosophical ideas and made social and political commentary, as well as ending up in court frequently and are thus celebrated by modern art, albeit only in so much as they start the road to the collage of insanity that sells for millions in London, Paris and New York.

Therefore more has been written on Rembrandt than perhaps any other artist, even more than some who have made big come-backs recently such as Caravaggio or Tiziano. So while Vermeer’s art doesn’t hit the top, it is still fascinating for the techniques he uses with his brushes to capture the idea of what he is getting across. Obscure after his death (there were bigger things to worry about for a while, as we shall see), he was rediscovered in the 19th century and ranked among the masters of the Dutch Golden Age.


Lapis L'Azuli This stone, coming from Afghanistan, would be hammered down and purified into a blue pigment, and provides for the rich color blue in western art from the 14th century onwards.

Lapis L’Azuli
This stone, coming from Afghanistan, would be hammered down and purified into a blue pigment, and provides for the rich color blue in western art from the 14th century onwards.

It is not known precisely when Vermeer was born, but we do know he was baptized in the year 1632, into the Dutch Reformed Church in the city of Delft. This suggests he was already a few years old, between 8-10 by the Calvinist practices of the time. His father was part of the St. Luke’s guild and operated an art dealing business. It is certain that Vermeer was schooled in art, for, though there is no record of his having been abroad, nevertheless in later life he was one of two men in Delft who was considered an authority to identify Italian paintings. It is not known, however, at what point he took up active painting, but he appreciated bright colors, expensive pigments like lapis lazuli, and as a member of the St. Luke’s guild himself, he was influenced by the Antwerp school of art (Rubens, Caravaggio, etc.). It is perhaps Rubens’ influence that accounts for Vermeer’s use of bright colors, and the influence of Caravaggio’s works that accounts for Vermeer’s use of light and shadow. Yet, like Rubens, Vermeer takes what he found useful from other artists without becoming slavishly devoted to that style, like the networks of Caravaggisti. What Vermeer does well is the sacredness of ordinary things, which is fully within the Dutch spirit.

Holland’s art market at that time was an anomaly when considered in the context of the west of Europe. Normally painting was the provenance of the wealthy, and the trend was for artists to be increasingly noble, or at least seek knighthoods and honors. Baglione, the great rival of Caravaggio, was awarded a golden chain for his talents and was highly respected in his time (except of course, by Caravaggio). Bernini was made a Papal Knight, while his rival Borromini was made a knight of the Holy Cross. Valesquez was knighted by Philip IV of Spain, as was Rubens, who was also knighted by Charles I of England. Rubens’ pupil and later colleague, Van Dyck, was knighted by Charles I, and Jan Breughal, the son of Peter Breughal, received a title of nobility. The trend was nobility, the clients of artists were nobility, the Church, and though there was great competition for artwork, the majority of works were meant for the public to see in a set place, like a Church, to be the focal point of the community, centered around religion.

The problem of the nascent Dutch Republic is that it had no public religion. The great Churches were defaced, and they did not want art in their Churches, because that was to them idolatry. But, of every day things? Thus the Dutch began a celebration of their culture, which was at its height as a world power, and whose navy easily outnumbered Spain, France and England’s navy combined. The order of the day was to celebrate Dutch culture, but the problem was the number of artists far exceeded the demand, so figures like Frans Hals, or Rembrandt had their boom moments when people could not get enough of them, and their bust moments when people had seen enough. So what about Vermeer?

The Jesuit Church on Oude Langendiijk, Delft

The Jesuit Church on Oude Langendiijk, Delft

Vermeer married a Catholic girl in Delft named Catarina Bolnes in 1653. Her mother Maria Thins required of Vermeer that he become Catholic in order to marry her, and he did so. It is not entirely clear if at first he converted out of conviction or for the girl, but what is certainly clear is that once he had done so he became quite serious, and his art shows this in many ways. His new mother-in law was also considerably wealthier than Vermeer, allowing him the freedom to paint in exchange for a little work in her business. It is often thought that Vermeer painted for the schuilkerk, or secret Church, which was not far from his home in Delft and was run by the Jesuits. Much is made of the Dutch Republic’s famous ‘religious toleration”, but in point of fact it was a sporadic and uneven, depending upon the province. So while Haarlem offered full religious toleration, Amsterdam and Delft were more restrictive. The Mass was illegal in Amsterdam, for example, until the 19th century, but tolerated since a majority of the city’s population was Catholic well into the 17th century. Thus one famous schuilkerk was the Ons’ Lieve Herr op Solder (Our Lord in the attic), which served Catholics for 200 years. Delft was no different.

The Painting

Jan_Vermeer_Christ_in_the_House_of_Martha_and_MaryChrist in the House of Martha and Mary was painted in 1655-56, shortly after he was married. It is one of the earliest works to survive, and it is his only painting that is overtly on a religious theme. (In the future we’ll look at some other ones that recall biblical themes). The circumstances of the painting are not known, but it is thought to have been commissioned for a Church, possibly the schuilkerk in Delft. It is now in the National Gallery in Edinburg, Scotland.


Christ in the house of Martha and Mary -TintorettoThe thrust here shows Martha rebuking Mary, as opposed to Vermeer’s image of the two working together.

One of the things we see is the placement of the characters. We have the conforming of the biblical narrative, with Christ seated and Mary Magdalene at his feet, but what is unique about this piece is Martha’s placement. Older images of this scene show Martha a pace or two back, calling out for Mary Magdalene to do something. This takes a different approach, and Vermeer shows off his theological sophistication.

Martha is not here voicing her complaint about Mary’s seeming inaction, when in fact she is in contemplation of Christ. Instead Martha is assisting and contributing to Mary’s action. The placement of Martha next to Mary and Our Lord is meant to show the unity of Faith and Works, with Mary representing the former and Margaret the latter. The reason older artists treating this scene, particularly in the Italian renaissance, would not have considered it important to include Martha and Mary together was that the reformation hadn’t happened, or else wasn’t an issue (or you took the other view, such as in anti-papal Venice). Tintoretto’s Martha rebukes Mary, while Vermeer, a Catholic living in a country where Catholicism is against the law, and the official view of the majority of those in government, as well as in Delft, a Calvinist town has the false notion of faith and works to contend with. The Dutch cultural scene emphasizes work, but outside of its context of faith. Vermeer draws a complete union between the two, as culminating in the blessed Sacrament.

Jan_Vermeer_Christ_in_the_House_of_Martha_and_Mary_detailLook at that loaf of bread. This is not just the fruit of windmills grinding flour, this is a symbol of the Eucharist, as the fruit of faith and works. Notice the lines of symmetry, a technique from Italian baroque painting that Vermeer employs several times. If we follow diagonally from the bottom left, we arrive at Christ’s hand, which is in many ways the key to the painting, since it occupies the central place if we draw a diagonal line from any side. Yet here should begin from the left, for in doing so we come not merely to Christ’s hand, but even more to his index finger and thumb. Immediately above the these two fingers we find the bread. These are also a priest’s consecration fingers, and so the Eucharistic symbolism could not be more clear.  By faith and good works we live a life by which we can partake of the Eucharist, which is the fruit of a work, united to faith, effected by Christ acting in the person of the priest.

While our Lord is depicted in traditional Holy Land attire, Martha and Mary are dressed like Dutch maidens, one who could be expected to embroider in the parlor, and the other working in the kitchen. It is a device to merge the ancient with the modern into one fabric, that Christ is relevant today, or, we might say contrary to certain churchman, the Gospel is relevant today. It might also be a criticism of others who name their home “St. Martha’s” to emphasize works over faith, as certain people today do, though we won’t name them. Thus, a commentary on faith and works is set perfectly in the context of Dutch art of the golden age.


Vermeer had limited success and seems to have been happy to work for a limited number of clients. In 1672 he went mad, and his life went down hill, until he at last died in 1675, leaving his wife and children with debts. Immediately he was more or less forgotten, until the 19th century when he was rediscovered. Part of the reason for this, and why he went mad in 1672, is because that year was the catastrophic year for the Dutch Republic, which was a world-wide empire. The French and English signed the treaty of Dover (although it was secret in England), by which Charles II promised to help Louis XIV at sea, and convert to Catholicism, while Louis supplied him a subsidy and invaded the Dutch Provinces. William of Orange ordered all of the dykes and levies broken, so that the ocean would flood the countryside and halt the advance of the Dutch troops. It did that, but at a cost. Fortunes and livelihoods were ruined, Vermeer’s savings were wiped out, and even his mother-in-law was going down financially, as were many people all over the country. Thus in the aftermath in 1675, the Dutch had forgotten about many more recent painters, as they were trying to survive the tragedy.

We will look more at Vermeer in the future.

What is the 2nd Confiteor?

The 2nd Confiteor

The 2nd Confiteor

In Traditional circles there is a lot of debate that swirls around the so-called “2nd confiteor”, which is said immediately after the priest receives communion in the missals preceding 1962. It was removed with the 2nd revising of the rubrics in 1961 (published in 1962), which became what we call today as the “1962 Missal”. There have been a lot of debates over whether it should be done since it is part of the “perennial tradition”, (which actually its not, but we’ll get to that), while others say it is not in the rubrics, so it shouldn’t be done.

Amongst Traditionalist groups, the SSPX has always maintained it, so far as I know. The FSSP actually has permission to use it, on the basis of using the earlier publication of rubrics in 1961, which in consequence would not allow them to use the second revision, which inserted St. Joseph into the Canon. Except for special permission which they possess. I’ve been told that the Institute of Christ the king uses both, but I’ve never been to their Masses and I don’t know their situation. Diocesan clergy who say the Traditional Mass, so far as I know, vary in terms of who does it and who doesn’t, but strictly on the level of permissions they can do the second confiteor, or they can use St. Joseph in the canon, but not both. On the level of tradition they should, and we shall see why.

Some argue that the second confiteor should be removed because it is redundant. We already said it after all, we’re sorry! Really! On the other hand, those who argue it should be said, say that it is used to remit any venial sins one might have committed during the Mass, as well as imperfections. This is true, but only to a point.

The reality is, that at most Masses throughout the year, prior to the time of St. Pius X, would not have had a second confiteor at all. The historic practice of the Latin church was always to administer communion outside of Mass. This means that after the priest received communion, the deacon and subdeacon would prepare the ablutions and move the missal and chalice veil, just as a server does at a private low Mass where he does not receive communion. This had a number of advantages. If you felt you were not in a state to receive communion, you could duck out with a number of other people, and you didn’t have the specter of the old ladies staring you down, wondering “What did you do!”, so there wasn’t a perceived “pressure” to receive. In terms of the smoothness of Mass itself there are some benefits. After Mass, the priest would come out in a surplice with a stole, and distribute Holy Communion from the tabernacle, beginning with the confiteor, misereatur, and indulgentiam, and then the Ecce Agnus Dei, then as normal. Thus, the rite the Church used for the reception of Communion outside of Mass included the confiteor, both as a testament to true devotion and sorrow for sins in the communicant, and to make reparation for their venial sins. On two days of the year, however, the communion rite took place during Mass, namely Maundy Thursday and Corpus Christi. On those days, communion would take place just as it does at solemn Masses today.

What St. Pius X directed, was for communion to take place during Mass as a definitive practice, and the older practice an exception to the rule. This brought into being the practices that Catholics are familiar with today, of the second confiteor, being sung by the deacon, or said by the server outside of Solemn Mass. The reason is, no one left Mass early, and if Communion took place during Mass on a regular basis, it would aid the people in exercising the practice of more frequent Communion.

The problem today then, is not the second confiteor, far too much attention goes to that subject, it is people receiving communion who do not first go to confession, even in Traditionalist circles. We have, largely, the opposite problem that St. Pius X tried to address, which was Jansenism, we have instead, the problem of a false concept of mercy, by which men imagine God will forgive them, and they’re good people, so why not receive communion. While St. Pius X’s goals were laudable, at the same time, they were for a different culture. Today we have the scandalous problem of sacrilegious communions. Thus, what should be considered, is whether or not to move communion once again outside of Mass, combined with increasing confessions and preaching Missions, or conferences, or whatever you like on good preparation for the reception of Holy Communion. This would seem a more fitting discussion on rubrical fights over whether the second confiteor should or should not be said.

Update: I had to correct the earlier article after being advised by a priest in the know that the FSSP actually does have permission to do both, where formerly I had written they do not.

Garrigou Lagrange, O.P, on the argument of for all vs. for many

This is redundant now, given the change in the Novus Ordo liturgy from “for all” to “for many”, nevertheless it is good to have for archival purposes.

De Eucharistia



  1. 3- Whether this is the fitting form of the consecration of the wine “This is the chalice of my blood, etc.”

State of the question: It is asked whether these words alone: “this is the chalice of my blood,” without other words adjoined are of the substance of this very form. So reckoned Alexander of Hales, St. Bonaventure, and Peter of Tarentasia.

St. Thomas however with many others responds: the following words as well are of the substance of the form, as pertaining to it’s integrity, up to, exclusively, “As many times as you do these things…”

The reason is that the last words are determinations of the predicate, namely, the blood of Christ, that is, “they pertain to the integrity of the same locution,” and in the same rite and manner are brought forth, while the priest holds the chalice in his hands.

For so is designated the power of the blood poured forth, by saying “This is the chalice of my blood, of the new and eternal testament: the mystery of faith, which for you and for many will be shed unto the remission of sins.”

That is the pouring out of the blood of Christ: 1. to attain eternal life; so is said “of the new and eternal testament”; 2. for the justice of grace which is through faith, so is said the mystery of faith ; 3. for the remission of sins.

With regards to the accidental variations in diverse orthodox liturgies, cf. Corbelet, Histoire du Sacrement de l’Eucharistie,t. I, p. 263 sq.

Question: With regards to the body of this very article, as Cajetan notes (in article 1um of this very question) there is a difficulty, namely, Whether St. Thomas wished to say that these words alone “This is the chalice of my blood,” do not suffice for validity?

It is disputed also amongst Thomists, for in the body of the article, St. Thomas says indeed, rejecting the prior opinion, that the following words are of the substance of the form; but a little later he says, they pertain to the integrity (but integrity is distinguished from essence).[1] And in article 1 in the body and to the 4th he says simply: “These words ‘This is the chalice of my blood,” are the form of the sacrament.”

According to Billuart and many others, more probably, only the words, this is the chalice of my blood, or this is my blood, suffice for validity.

It is proved in the first place from the Fathers especially St. Justin, Apolog. 2,[i] and Damascene bk. 4, Concerning the Orthodox Faith, c. 14,[ii] who say that the consecration is brought about in these words: this is my body and this is my blood.

Likewise the author Concerning the Lords Supper in St. Cyprian, and Innocent III in bk. 4 de Missa, c. 6.

Secondly, it is proved from the liturgies of the Greeks. The Greeks preserve the essential form, for they validly consecrate, as all confess. But they do not mention the words: of the new and eternal testament, etc.

Thirdly, it is proved by theological reason: Those words alone are essential which signify the real presence of the blood of Christ. But the aforesaid words independently from those following signify this real presence, no less than “this is my body,” in dependently from the following, that is handed over for you. Therefore the last words of the consecration of the wine are not for it’s essence, but for it’s integrity.

Gonet responds: this would suffice indeed for the Eucharist as sacrament but not as sacrifice, in which the pouring out of blood ought to be signified. But this does not seem certain, for from the very fact that the second consecration produces, by the power of the words the presence of the blood only, so that the body of Christ is not there save concomitantly, the sacramental pouring out of blood is already expressed, because the mass is sacramental and unbloody sacrifice.

Lastly, St. Thomas himself, in our question, a. 1 c. et ad 4 says, “if the priest would mention only the aforesaid words (this is my body and this is my blood, with the intention of confecting the sacrament, this sacrament would be accomplished.”

Indeed, in our article 3, St. Thomas says “through the first words ‘this is the chalice of my blood’ the very conversion into blood is signified. But through the words following, the power of the blood poured out in the passion is designated.” Therefore through the last words the very conversion is not signified, which was already effected by the prior words which signify it.

Moreover, as we have noted, a little while before, St. Thomas said: these words following pertain to the integrity of the form, and he generally distinguishes the integrity of a thing from its essence; e.g. the foot and hand pertain to the integrity of man, not to his essence.

Therefore probably St. Thomas would not deny, especially if he would have considered the liturgies of the Greeks, the position which is now considered more probable. Nevertheless, he holds that the subsequent words are not merely accidental, but pertain to the integrity of the formula.

Objection: St. Pius V commanded that the dissertation in which Cajetan said, “Even if the intention of St. Thomas would be contrary, it does not matter” to be taken out of the Commetaries on the Summa of St. Thomas.

It is responded: The Supreme Pontiff commanded this dissertation to be expunged not as false in this part, but because Cajetan, did not speak reverently enough concerning St. Thomas. Cf. other things concerning this affair in Billuart in the same place.

Against the 8th: Why is for you and for many said? For you, namely the Jews, and for many others, namely for the gentiles.

It signifies likewise: “for you eating, and for the many for whom it is offered.”

For the many, also signifies, for all sufficiently, as is explained in the treatise concerning the one God, where there is treated concerning the universal salvific will, c.f. 1a q. 19, a. 6 ad 1,[2] c.f. 1 Tim. 11:5: “Christ gave himself a ransom for all.” That is, for all sufficiently, for many efficaciously as St. Thomas explains in the Commentary on the Epistle to Timothy in the same place. Likewise St. Paul 2. Cor. 5:15, “Christdied for all;” Romans 5:18 “As by the sin of one it is all men unto condemnation, so also through the justice of one is is to all men unto justification of life.”

Against the 9th, It is said that the words “mystery of faith” are had from the oral tradition of the Lord, but it is not necessary that Christ himself pronounced these words.

[1] It is indeed true that some integral part is necessary, as the head and the trunk of one’s body in man.

[2] We treated of this at length in the book the One God, Paris, Desclee, 1938, p. 415-434.

Sacreligious Communion: The death of civilization


The Victory of Eucharistic Truth over heresy. -Peter Paul Rubens

Originally published 3 June 2010

I have been told, that several years ago there was a Catholic conference in which a member of the Heritage foundation gave a talk and said the problem with Catholicism today is the Mass. According to most figures, 95% of Catholics contracept (I’m not sure what the margin of error is, but regardless we all know it is pretty high), yet the same people receive communion every Sunday. Whatever one makes of those figures, it is not far wrong to reckon a majority of people are in a state of mortal sin yet receive communion. For a society this has disastrous results.

During the Synod of the Eucharist in 2005, (not that a whole lot has changed) then prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Arinze made the same observation:

“The problem we have discussed is that many people don’t go to Mass, and those that come don’t understand — they go to Communion but not to confession, as if they were immaculate.” (source)

Arinze as we know is not a fan of the Traditional Mass. Yet he sees the problem very clearly, and apparently he was not the only one. It is also not the first time the Church has dealt with this problem. To reflect we should look at certain witnesses on the need to be in a state of Grace when receiving Holy Communion.

St. Paul dealt with this question in his time. Writing to the Corinthians, he said:

ἕκαστος γὰρ τὸ ἴδιον δεῖπνον προλαμβάνει ἐν τῷ φαγεῖν, καὶ ὃς μὲν πεινᾷ, ὃς δὲ μεθύει. μὴ γὰρ οἰκίας οὐκ ἔχετε εἰς τὸ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν; τῆς ἐκκλησίας τοῦ θεοῦ καταφρονεῖτε, καὶ καταισχύνετε τοὺς μὴ ἔχοντας; τί εἴπω ὑμῖν; ἐπαινέσω ὑμᾶς; ἐν τούτῳ οὐκ ἐπαινῶ. Ἐγὼ γὰρ παρέλαβον ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου, καὶ παρέδωκα ὑμῖν, ὅτι κύριος Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ νυκτὶ παρεδίδετο ἔλαβεν ἄρτον καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ εἶπεν, Τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ σῶμα τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν: τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. ὡσαύτως καὶ τὸ ποτήριον μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, λέγων, Τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον καινὴ διαθήκη ἐστὶν ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ αἵματι: τοῦτο ποιεῖτε, ὁσάκις ἐὰν πίνητε, εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. ὁσάκις γὰρ ἐὰν ἐσθίητε τὸν ἄρτον τοῦτον καὶ τὸ ποτήριον πίνητε, τὸν θάνατον τοῦ κυρίου καταγγέλλετε, ἄχρις οὗ ἔλθῃ. Ὥστε ὃς ἂν ἐσθίῃ τὸν ἄρτον πίνῃ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ κυρίου ἀναξίως, ἔνοχος ἔσται τοῦ σώματος καὶ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ κυρίου.

For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. (I Cor. XI:21-27)

What does St. Paul mean? The issue at hand was primarily what liturgical scholars call the “Agape” meal, which was the conducting of liturgical rites in the context of a meal such as men normally eat. Due to the fact that eating and drinking was involved, and some became drunk, men were approaching the sacrament unworthily. There is also the question of time and place, which St. Paul addresses when he says “μὴ γὰρ οἰκίας οὐκ ἔχετε εἰς τὸ ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν”, Do you not have houses in which you should be eating and drinking? Thus St. Paul is more or less condemning a liturgical abuse which was introduced by the Church of Corinth. The Corinthians are not respecting time and place, and they have departed from the Tradition. How do we see this? St. Paul says, as the Vulgate renders it: accepi a Domino quod et tradidi vobis, what I received from the Lord I have handed down (tradere) to you. The Greek uses the same word, παρέδωκα, which comes from παραδίδωμι, which like tradere refers to handing something over in order that it might be guarded, or taken care of. Thus when St. Paul instituted the Mass in Corinth, he gave them clearly what he received (accepi) yet they did not follow it, and committed sacrilege. Due to this some of them have died (I Cor. XI:30). Why did they die? St. John Chrysostom tells us:

Here he no longer brings his examples from others as he did in the case of the idol-sacrifices, relating the ancient histories and the chastisements in the wilderness, but from the Corinthians themselves; which also made the discourse apt to strike them more keenly. For whereas he was saying, he eats judgment to himself, and, he is guilty; that he might not seem to speak mere words, he points to deeds also and calls themselves to witness; a kind of thing which comes home to men more than threatening, by showing that the threat has issued in some real fact. He was not however content with these things alone, but from these he also introduced and confirmed the argument concerning hell-fire, terrifying them in both ways; and solving an inquiry which is handled everywhere. I mean, since many question one with another, whence arise the untimely deaths, whence the long diseases of men; he tells them that these unexpected events are many of them conditional upon certain sins. What then? They who are in continual health, say you, and come to a green old age, do they not sin? Nay, who dared say this? How then, say you, do they not suffer punishment? Because there they shall suffer a severer one. But we, if we would, neither here nor there need suffer it. (Homily 28 on 1 Corinthians)

In Homily 27, Chrysostom actually compares the one who receives communion unworthily to the Jews who slew Our Lord on the Cross with malice:

Why so? Because he poured it out, and makes the thing appear a slaughter and no longer a sacrifice. Much therefore as they who then pierced Him, pierced Him not that they might drink but that they might shed His blood: so likewise does he that comes for it unworthily and reaps no profit thereby. Do you see how fearful he makes his discourse, and inveighs against them very exceedingly, signifying that if they are thus to drink, they partake unworthily of the elements ? (source)

St. Thomas asks the question, Would the sinner (i.e. one in mortal sin) sin when receiving Christ’s body sacramentally?

In hoc sacramento, sicut in aliis, id quod est sacramentum est signum eius quod est res sacramenti. Duplex autem est res huius sacramenti, sicut supra dictum est, una quidem quae est significata et contenta, scilicet ipse Christus; alia autem est significata et non contenta, scilicet corpus Christi mysticum, quod est societas sanctorum. Quicumque ergo hoc sacramentum sumit, ex hoc ipso significat se esse Christo unitum et membris eius incorporatum. Quod quidem fit per fidem formatam, quam nullus habet cum peccato mortali. Et ideo manifestum est quod quicumque cum peccato mortali hoc sacramentum sumit, falsitatem in hoc sacramento committit. Et ideo incurrit sacrilegium, tanquam sacramenti violator. Et propter hoc mortaliter peccat.

In this sacrament, as in the others, that which is a sacrament is a sign of that which is the matter of the sacrament. There is however a double reality of this sacrament, as has been said above, there is a certain one which is signified and contained, namely, Christ Himself; yet the other is signified and not contained, to be sure the mystical body of Christ, which is the fellowship of the saints. Whoever therefore receives this [sacrament], he signifies himself to be one with Christ and incorporated with his members. This is done by living faith, which no one has when in mortal sin. And therefore it is manifest that whosoever receives this sacrament while in mortal sin, commits falsity in this sacrament. Therefore he incurs [the crime] of sacrilege, because he is a violator of the sacrament as it were and on this account he sins mortally. (III:qLXXX, a4)

St. Thomas also treats an objection which is quite relevant to our modern context, does someone who is ignorant of his sin, commit a sin when receiving communion? St. Thomas says yes:

Ad quintum dicendum quod hoc quod non habet aliquis conscientiam sui peccati, potest contingere dupliciter. Uno modo, per culpam suam, vel quia per ignorantiam iuris, quae non excusat, reputat non esse peccatum quod est peccatum, puta si aliquis fornicator reputaret simplicem fornicationem non esse peccatum mortale; vel quia negligens est in examinatione sui ipsius, contra id quod apostolus dicit, I Cor. XI, probet autem seipsum homo, et sic de pane illo edat et de calice bibat. Et sic nihilominus peccat peccator sumens corpus Christi, licet non habeat conscientiam peccati, quia ipsa ignorantia est ei peccatum.
Alio modo potest contingere sine culpa ipsius, puta, cum doluit de peccato, sed non est sufficienter contritus. Et in tali casu non peccat sumendo corpus Christi, quia homo per certitudinem scire non potest utrum sit vere contritus. Sufficit tamen si in se signa contritionis inveniat, puta ut doleat de praeteritis et proponat cavere de futuris. Si vero ignorat hoc quod fecit esse actum peccati propter ignorantiam facti, quae excusat, puta si accessit ad non suam quam credebat esse suam, non est ex hoc dicendus peccator. Similiter etiam, si totaliter est peccatum oblitus, sufficit ad eius deletionem generalis contritio, ut infra dicetur. Unde iam non est dicendus peccator.

To the fifth: The fact of a man being unconscious of his sin is able to come about in two ways. In the first manner, through his fault, whether because through ignorance of the law, for which ignorance does not excuse him, he reckons something not to be sinful which is a sin, say if one guilty of fornication were to deem simple fornication not to be a mortal sin; or because he neglects to examine his conscience, which is opposed to what the Apostle says (1 Corinthians 11:28): “Let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice.” So nevertheless the sinner sins receiving Christ’s body, although he is not conscious of sin, because the very ignorance is a sin on his part.

In another case, it may happen without his own fault, say, when he has had grief over his sin, but is not sufficiently contrite: and in such a case he does not sin [by] taking the body of Christ, for a man cannot know with certitude whether he is truly contrite. It suffices, however, if he find in himself the marks of contrition, say, if he “grieves over past sins,” and “propose to avoid them in the future”. Yet if he be ignorant that what he did was a sinful act, through ignorance of the fact, which excuses, for instance, if a man approach a woman whom he believed to be his wife whereas she was not, he is not to be called a sinner on that account; in the same way if he has utterly forgotten his sin, general contrition suffices for blotting it out, as will be said hereafter hence he is no longer to be called a sinner. (Ibid, reply to obj. 5)Thus we see a two-fold issue: receiving communion without right belief (perceiving the body and blood of our Lord in the sacrament), and being worthy of the sacrament. In this, ignorance is not enough to excuse one, because it is a question of the moral law which we should know. Moreover who in the modern context, both with media exposure and the access to technology can not know that contraception is a sin? Let alone the many other things for which Catholics are guilty yet go to communion weekly, some even daily! We speak not of complicated issues of bio-ethics, rather of the pill and prophylactics.

There are other considerations to take into account when we speak of sacrilegious communions. St. Paul says that some of the Corinthians had died. There is a story of King Lothaire, the son of Charlemagne, who was the duke of Lorraine. He had become attracted to a woman in his court, and put away his wife in order to take up with this younger woman. He was ordered by the Pope to cease or face an excommunication, and he made thousands of false promises of what he would do. Again, he asked to be absolved in Rome and to receive Holy Communion from the Pope. The Pope found that nothing had changed and he had no real intention of putting her off. Then he celebrated Mass for the King and his nobles. When communion was given, the King went to the altar and the Pope said to him in a distinct voice “O king, if you are truly resolved to quit this woman and take back your lawful wife, then receive this Holy Sacrament unto life everlasting; but if you are not sincerely resolved, then do not dare to profane the sacred Body of Jesus Christ and eat your own damnation.” Lothaire turned pale and trembled, but he had already made a sacrilegious Confession, and now he sealed his doom by adding a sacrilegious Communion. The King and his court left Rome. They arrived in Lucca (not far away) and were attacked with a fever, could not speak and their nails, hair and skin fell off, whereas the members of his court who did not join him in Communion were spared.
St. Cyprian of Carthage tells of a certain young woman who, after an unworthy Communion, was instantly possessed by the devil. She became quite furious and in her rage bit her tongue to pieces and endeavored to kill herself. At last she died in horrible agony.
The lives of the saints are full of examples of those who profaned the sacrament suffering consequences. There is but one more thing, a great quote from St. John Eudes, that “the presence of wayward clergy is the surest sign of God’s displeasure with his people.”

Forgetting all the illness, murders, crimes, drugs, accidents and rapes in our society, the base abuse of women and so many other things, consider alone the destruction of our children’s lives by molestation and rape. Not only of priests, as it has often been pointed out, there are more molesters by percentage among teachers, doctors and social workers than among priests. Nevertheless that the priest, one who is called apart in a way that the former are not would do these evils merits the indignation even of those who think most of these evils are okay. Sacrilegious communions by those living in sin and receiving communion (even Traditionalists, don’t think they are exempt!), are the cause par excellence of the sex abuse crisis. Yes the Bishops let them in, then hid them. Yes those who held sway under the last Pope protected them. Yes more could have been done. Those are not the reasons God allowed these evils, they are simply the material considerations. God allowed these evils because His people have gravely offended Him, in a way as direct as blasphemy.

You get the leaders you deserve, and the bad lives of Catholic faithful, before and after the Council, have brought the crisis we deal with today. Not only do Catholics not pray enough, they are not Holy enough. Heretofore, I have considered only those who live in mortal sin but receive communion weekly, and in some instances daily. There is however one more way in which the remaining 5% fail to please God, though it does not offend Him as the other 95% (give or take) do. It is in the failure to offer rightly the priesthood of the laity.

Part of this is due to the fact that the traditional teaching of the laity’s sacerdotal character has been obscured and falsely attributed to the participation in the liturgy (doing the readings, distributing communion and things of that sort). The Church first allowed lay participation in the liturgy when she let young boys serve Mass, and that was the only way (except for in mission territories or the US a layman was given permission to be the subdeacon for a Solemn Mass, observing the same rules as clerics who were not ordained to that order) until Vatican II when they came to be doing almost everything. The Church has the authority to allow lay participation in the right no matter how distasteful, untraditional or theologically ridiculous, yet none of that constitutes the “priesthood of the laity”. All of those things constitute the laity mimicking the functions and behavior of the ordained, with or without approval. Even teaching a 1st communion class, since the Potestas docendi of the Church finds its expression at the local level in the Bishop and the priests and clergy in union with him, this is also properly a role of the priest though lay people can conduct it well.

No, the priesthood of the laity involves the interior actions of the faithful both in Mass and in their daily life. The priestly sacrifice can only be done by a priest no matter how many laymen you stick on an altar. I sometimes joke with my priest that I’ll say Mass for him when he’s gone, and it is a good joke but if I got up in all his vestments and performed every action with absolute perfection and precision, no amount of wishing will accomplish the Sacrifice of Mass. NONE.

St. Thomas teaches in the Summa that
Laicus iustus unitus est Christo unione spirituali per fidem et caritatem, non autem per sacramentalem potestatem. Et ideo habet spirituale sacerdotium ad offerendum spirituales hostias, de quibus dicitur in Psalmo, sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus, et Rom. XII, exhibeatis corpora vestra hostiam viventem. Unde et I Petri II dicitur, sacerdotium sanctum offerre spirituales hostias.

“A devout layman is united with Christ by spiritual union through faith and charity, not however by sacramental power. Therefore he has a spiritual priesthood for offering spiritual offerings, of which it is said (Psalm 1:19): “A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit”; and (Romans 12:1): “Show within your bodies a living sacrifice.” Wherefore, it is also said (1 Peter 2:5): “A holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices.” (III; Q. LXXXII; a1 response to the second objection)

So while absolutely distinct, it is absolutely valid. It is not to be confused with the “priesthood of believers” one finds in Protestant doctrines, which deny any ministerial role to the priest something that is totally contrary to all Catholic teaching. It is also not to be confused as in the liberal mindset with a participation in the ordained priesthood. It is a participation in Christ’s priesthood through Baptism.

The Fathers teach that Baptism is actually a being put to death in our old nature, and rising with Christ in a new nature, a New creation in Christ (II Cor. V:17). This is why baptisteries descend, and when you look in many baptismal fonts they have a deep well, which is supposed to represent a grave. You are put to death and rise again. Now we are enabled to do spiritual works by virtue of Sanctifying grace. Thus we offer sacrifice, but it is the sacrifice of our selves. Baptism conforms us to the death of Christ, with a foretaste of the resurrected life (sanctifying grace in the soul). Now there are three parts of a sacrifice, offering, slaying the victim, and consummation. In order to offer ourselves, either at Mass or in life, we need to make a real offering to God, and then slay the victim which means dying to ourselves, and then the consummation which is charity, love of God. Dying to ourselves means rooting out our vices, it means purging ourselves of venial sin. Most people who fit that category of orthodox Catholics trying to lead a good life and stay out of mortal sin mostly simply do not offer themselves correctly, nor die to themselves. This blocks the grace flowing from the Mass, that is from the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary and blocks the merit we can attain in offering. So those who could be making up for the failings around them are also not doing what they could. Hence our Lord said in the Gospels “Yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)

In all of these ways the Mass is exactly our problem. What however are we to do about it? The first step as always are for those of us to whom Jesus has given the gift of faith (and remember it is a gift He gave us, it is not because we are so smart to see it. Without God we would be tambourine smacking baptists) to be holy and offer ourselves fully with the sacrifice of Christ. The second thing is more practical, what can be done about the sacrilege at Mass?

Most people do not realize that in the Roman Rite communion was rarely given during Mass. After Mass the priest would come out with a ciborium and preform the communion rite. This had a certain utility since those not worthy could easily leave without the social stigma attached to not going to communion. Then in the 20th century St. Pius X changed it so the normative posture is to receive communion during Mass after the clergy. This was done for many reasons, and it was a good change at that time given the circumstances. People needed more grace to fight the onslaught of militant atheism, which caused the most destructive conflicts in human history. Today however, it might be right to reconsider, given the situation in the culture, and the fact that most people simply don’t take the sacrament seriously, to remove it until after Mass (since most people cut out to go shopping after communion anyway, this will cut the numbers receiving communion). This is not something that need be done wholesale but could be done on an ad hoc basis, combined with greater preaching on Eucharistic devotion.

The last thing, is we need another St. Peter Julian Emyard, and we need Eucharistic fraternities such as what existed in those days. You see perpetual adoration, which is good, but there are not enough of those laity who pray and offer up sacrifices and fasts for the spread of Eucharistic devotion. Without more of that all the preaching, catechesis, synods, and papal exhortations in the world will not move modern Catholics out of their sin and into God. Some people simply need someone to merit the gift of faith for them by prayer, fasting and good works. Traditionalists should not imagine that they are immune either, since many a priest who offers the Traditional Mass will tell stories of people who come to the Traditional Mass and are just as worldly as anyone else. Without an end to the sacrilegious communions made by modern Catholics, our society will come to an end. Period. Events in the world should already be telling us, that even if it is not the end times, it is certainly the end times for Western Culture.