4 November 2009

S Thomas on Concelebration

S Thomas Aquinas, as his custom was, covers pretty well most of the problems of late C20 Christianity ... Ordination of women; Concelebration ... and does so in a neat formulaic way. First, he crisply formulates an erroneous opinion; then disposes of it with Respondeo Dicendum Quod ...

So first he states a rather propositio sometimes advanced in neo-traditionalist circles: That many priests cannot consecrate one and the same Host. He disposes of this - he was a good Catholic - by pointing to what the Church does. "According to the custom of a number of Churches the newly ordained concelebrate". The problem of rogue concelebrants Jumping The Gun he disposes of in exactly the same way as Pope Innocent III (see previous post) had done: "And it is not true that by this the consecration over the same Host is doubled; since, as Innocent III says, the intention of all must be referred (ferri) to the same instant of Consecration".

Having disposed of that little technical difficulty, he justifies the practice in itself: "Since a priest does not consecrate except in the persona of Christ, and the many are one in Christ, therefore it does not matter whether this Sacrament is consecrated through one or through many".

May I repeat the gist of the long series on Concelebration that I did some months ago? There is no doubt that the practice of Concelebration has become unseemly since the Council. Those of us who are hermeneutic-of-continuity traditionalists will do well to rethink the way we use Concelebration, as I tried to rethink it in those posts. But the fashion in some circles of ridiculing all use of Concelebration, and of denying that what the newly ordained do with their Bishop really is true Concelebration, is ill-informed and gives 'traditionalism' a bad name. We must avoid the temptations, as we struggle to set Tradition back upon her pedestal, to make it all up ourselves; and to forget that the lady has many things new and old in her treasury.

Innocent III was a Pope, and a learned one, and as Bishop of Rome was entitled authoritatively to interpret the practice of his own Church. And S Thomas Aquinas was no mean Doctor. Not that the story ends with them.


Albert said...

Excellent, many thanks for filling in the details.

Not that the story ends with them.

Indeed not, but as the gist of your post implies - what Pope Innocent and St Thomas give us is more than good enough to be going on with!

Fr Ted said...

St. Thomas puts it very clearly as was his normal wont.

Unfortunately for me my then diocesan bishop was fairly incensed when he discovered I held somewhat Thomist views on the ordination of women!