30 October 2009

Full communion?

My previous post on the Te igitur leaves a big question: how does its conclusion fit in with a situation in which Christendom is divided? Does it mean that only those in full canonical communion with the See of Rome should use the Canon Romanus?

I think this does not necessarily follow. The solution, I feel, may be offered by the CDF document Communionis notio of 1993 (para 14). A valid Mass offered in a community which lacks full communion with the See of Peter, by its very nature as a Eucharist of the Whole Church, "objectively calls for" the "universal communion with Peter". I feel that therefore those in this sort of anomalous situation do appropriately name the Successsor of Peter since their Mass "objectively" calls for full communion. And this is even truer, a fortiori , when the celebrant subjectively longs for such full communion and has no desire to adhere to any schism.

This is a good opportunity to repeat that Communionis notio, like its successor Dominus Iesus, was a document unfairly attacked by bigots as "unecumenical". Both are quite the opposite. They provide an impetus for properly based ecumenism by their teaching that a Particular Church, which has a Bishop and valid sacraments, is a true Particular Church and ipso facto a local manifestation of the Church Catholic even if it is not in full canonical communion with the See of Rome. Disunity will wound it because it lacks the Ministry of Peter which is organically internal to a properly constituted Church but this does not deprive it of its status as a true particular church. The CDF went on to balance this by saying that the Roman Communion is also itself wounded by the disunity because it is deprived to a degree of universality.

I have not finished with this topic. I'll return to it in two or three days.

4 comments:

BillyD said...

"The solution, I feel, may be offered by the CDF document Communionis notio of 1993 (para 14). A valid Mass offered in a community which lacks full communion with the See of Peter..."

Doesn't it seem a little odd to appeal to this, when the See of Peter denies that what you are offering *is* a valid Mass?

Michael McDonough said...

Ah, Communionis notio.

Some real meat and potatos! Lead on, Fr. H!

P.S. Though lacking any ecclesiastical authority whatsoever, I see no reason why a priest such as yourself should have any hesitancy about praying the Canon Romanus. Would that more Roman Catholic priests, who cannot possibly have any legitimate scruples about doing so, were in the habit of using it frequently and, at least sometimes, in Latin!

Michael McDonough said...

Fr. H. asks, "how does its conclusion fit in with a situation in which Christendom is divided? Does it mean that only those in full canonical communion with the See of Rome should use the Canon Romanus?"

I live in a diocese of the USA where our bishop is what I call a "stealth bishop". Never says anything, never does anything, no boats rocked, etc. I pray every day for "the bishop of the diocese and his intentions". One day I asked myself, "Why the hell am I praying for this guy, who seems to be AWOL in the midst of all these crises; maybe I should be praying for his successor?"

Then the thought occured to me, and I attribute it to St. Joan of Arc, "No. If he is not in communion with the Holy Father, then let this prayer count as a prayer that he be so; if he is, let it be a prayer that he remain so".

I think that's communion with the Pope.

Canon Jerome Lloyd OSJV said...

I for one welcome your analysis Father of these texts! Bravo!

I, of course, mention the Holy Father both in the Canon and when the 3rd Collect is "ad libitum" pray for him deliberately too. All for the reasons that you have intimated and no doubt will "break open" for us very soon.

In joyful anticipation!