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 Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass? 
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New post Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
John,

I was wondering if you have seen this. You probably have. To me it seems like it clearly refutes Bishop Sanborn position on una cum mass where Bishop Sanborn states that by naming the pope in the Canon of the Mass the pope becomes the principle offerer. To me this passage clearly states that Christ is the principle offerer and the actions are His, so in a strict logical sense the pope cannot be the principle offerer.

A Manual of Catholic Theology, Based on Scheeben's “Dogmatik”
Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D.
With a Preface By Cardinal Manning

"Sect. 248. --The Minister of the Sacraments.

I. We have seen in a preceding section (§ 232) that the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, exercises in His name imperial, magisterial, and ministerial functions. To these last belongs the administration of the sacraments. Christ, our Lord, being no longer present on earth in His bodily form, makes use of the agency of men for the performance of those acts which He has raised to the dignity of sacraments. These acts are morally His, and they derive their supernatural value entirely from His merits; the persons who perform the acts being simply His agents acting in His behalf."

Contrary to Bishop Sanborn:

"Similarly the pope, since he is the Vicar of Christ, is the principal offerer of the Mass, since the pope has the plenitude of jurisdiction over the whole Church. This means that all of the Church's liturgical actions are under his domain, and that the action of the simple priest in saying Mass is merely the extension of the act of the pope."

Now perhaps the case could be made that the pope is the principle representative acting in the place of Christ at mass. I don't know. But to me this still would not affect the principle offerer of the Mass, who is Christ, so in a true sense the action is Christ's, not a pope's. I am just wondering is this is a proper conclusion from the passage?


Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:50 pm
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New post Re: Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
James, I don't know if I ever considered that passage in this context, but you are right I believe. There's an old theological controversy between those who held that Christ is the principal offerer of the mass (the Thomists), and those who held that the Church is the principal offerer of the mass (the Scotists). Bishop Sanborn is essentially taking the Scotist line, I think, although his entire procedure is novel, so it's hard to tell.

If you've read my Objections to "Vatican II, The Pope, and The Mass" you might recall this section (the italics are Sanborn, the Comments are my answers):

Quote:
25. Why is it so bad to mention the name of John Paul II in the canon?
It is to say that the offering of the Mass is the act of a public heretic. For we know that Christ is the principal offerer of every Mass.

Comment: This juxtaposition of sentences is plainly tendentious. It produces a gut reaction by paralleling the words "public heretic" and "Christ."

Similarly the pope, since he is the Vicar of Christ, is the principal offerer of the Mass, since the pope has the plenitude of jurisdiction over the whole Church. This means that all of the Church's liturgical actions are under his domain, and that the action of the simple priest in saying Mass is merely the extension of the act of the pope.

Comment: Denied. Too many distinctions are glossed over here. How can "THE principal offerer" be the pope, and also Christ? Either the Church is the principal offerer, or Christ is. To say that "the pope" is, and then say that "Christ" is, is merely to hash the whole difficult and disputed matter. In private correspondence Fr. Sanborn said that the pope and Christ are "one hierarchical person," but that too is a novelty, I think. Certainly he made no attempt to prove it. The pope says "We" when acting officially because there are two persons speaking. He is Christ's Vicar, not Christ. A priest acts in the person of Christ when confecting sacraments, but so does a Jew who baptises, in the sense that it is Christ who really acts. Fr. Sanborn's assertion must simply be wrong, as far as I can tell. Certainly the pope is not an "alter Christus" by virtue of being pope, and he does not form "one person" with the pope. This is not logic. This is a series of assertions, with carefully placed adjectives, mixed with logical terms. And it is utterly without the quotations from theologians which are needed to justify such statements.

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Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:40 pm
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New post Re: Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
Looking on my hard drive for some comments on the controversy over the principal offerer of the mass I came across this unpublished text from March, 2001, which you might find interesting. It's an analysis of two texts, chiefly the Summa, but also a piece of De La Taille touching on the meaning of the Te igitur.

Quote:
St. Thomas on the Te igitur and surrounding prayers.

Summa, S. Th. III, Q. 83, Art. 4, Resp.:

Sic igitur populo praeparato et instructo, acceditur ad celebrationem mysterii. Quod quidem et offertur ut sacrificium, et consecratur et sumitur ut sacramentum, primo enim peragitur oblatio; secundo, consecratio materiae oblatae; tertio, perceptio eiusdem. Circa oblationem vero duo aguntur, scilicet laus populi, in cantu offertorii, per quod significatur laetitia offerentium; et oratio sacerdotis, qui petit ut oblatio populi sit Deo accepta. Unde, I Paralip., dixit David, ego in simplicitate cordis mei obtuli universa haec, et populum tuum qui hic repertus est, vidi cum ingenti gaudio tibi offerre donaria, et postea orat, dicens, domine Deus, custodi hanc voluntatem. Deinde, circa consecrationem, quae supernaturali virtute agitur, primo excitatur populus ad devotionem in praefatione, unde et monetur sursum corda habere ad dominum. Et ideo, finita praefatione, populus cum devotione laudat divinitatem Christi cum Angelis, dicens, sanctus, sanctus, sanctus; et humanitatem cum pueris, dicens, benedictus qui venit. Deinde sacerdos secreto commemorat, primo quidem, illos pro quibus hoc sacrificium offertur, scilicet pro universali Ecclesia, et pro his qui in sublimitate sunt constituti, I Tim. II; et specialiter quosdam qui offerunt vel pro quibus offertur. Secundo, commemorat sanctos, quorum patrocinia implorat pro praedictis, cum dicit, communicantes et memoriam venerantes, et cetera. Tertio, petitionem concludit, cum dicit, hanc igitur oblationem etc. ut fiat oblatio pro quibus offertur salutaris. Deinde accedit ad ipsam consecrationem.

Translation by the English Dominican Fathers. Bolding added.

“So then, after the people have been prepared and instructed, the next step is to proceed to the celebration of the mystery, which is both offered as a sacrifice, and consecrated and received as a sacrament: since first we have the oblation; then the consecration of the matter offered; and thirdly, its reception.

In regard to the oblation, two things are done, namely, the people's praise in singing the ‘offertory,’ expressing the joy of the offerers, and the priest's prayer asking for the people's oblation to be made acceptable to God. Hence David said (1 Para 29:17): ‘In the simplicity of my heart, I have . . . offered all these things: and I have seen with great joy Thy people which are here present, offer Thee their offerings’: and then he makes the following prayer: ‘O Lord God . . . keep . . . this will.’

Then, regarding the consecration, performed by supernatural power, the people are first of all excited to devotion in the ‘Preface,’ hence they are admonished ‘to lift up their hearts to the Lord,’ and therefore when the ‘Preface’ is ended the people devoutly praise Christ's Godhead, saying with the angels: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’; and His humanity, saying with the children: ‘Blessed is he that cometh.’ In the next place the priest makes a ‘commemoration,’ first of those for whom this sacrifice is offered, namely, for the whole Church, and ‘for those set in high places’ (1 Tim. 2:2), and, in a special manner, of them ‘who offer, or for whom the mass is offered.’ Secondly, he commemorates the saints, invoking their patronage for those mentioned above, when he says: ‘Communicating with, and honoring the memory,’ etc. Thirdly, he concludes the petition when he says: ‘Wherefore that this oblation,’ etc., in order that the oblation may be salutary to them for whom it is offered.

“Then he comes to the consecration itself…”

So, St. Thomas explains the prayers which are essentially oblatory, and then turns to consider what is related to the consecration. In the latter section he discusses the Te Igitur. If it was oblatory he would treat it under that head. Instead he introduces the relevant section with the words, “Then, regarding the consecration…” References to “oblation” do not necessarily constitute an oblation. An oblation is constituted by an act of offering. Hence St. Thomas refers to the Offertory as oblatory, but the Te Igitur as part of a “petition” relating to the consecration. It seems to me that these prayers (or this prayer) relate to the fruits of the sacrifice, not to its offering per se. And the fact that a reference to “oblation” does not necessarily constitute an oblatory prayer is made even clearer by the Angelic Doctor in his explanation of the consecration itself, in which he says, “Here he asks first of all for the effect of the consecration, when he says: ‘Which oblation do Thou, O God,’ etc.”

It seems to me that the question of whether the Te Igitur and the Memento are actually one prayer or two is moot. Gihr says that they, together with the Communicantes, form one long prayer. De la Taille clearly holds that the Te Igitur and the Memento are two distinct prayers (p. 317).

St. Thomas seems to imply that the Hanc Igitur is part of the same prayer (by referring to “the petition”), thus disagreeing with both of the aforementioned. My altar missal presents these various paragraphs as distinct prayers. The laymen’s missals appear to follow the format of this altar missal exactly. Not that any of this matters – it seems to me in light of the history of the Canon that such distinctions are somewhat arbitrary, given that the “Great Intercession,” as it is called, once included the Memento of the Dead also. What matters is what is being said in each part of the prayer, and each part certainly carries its own distinct meaning, as St. Thomas explains. The question, then, is whether what is done in the Te Igitur and the Memento (of the Living) is intercessory or oblatory. Referring to “offerers” of the Mass is not in itself oblatory – and in fact in this case it is intercessory, and very clearly so, I think. St. Thomas, as has been said, teaches this by referring to a “petition” for others. A petition for others is an intercession.

No translator of laymen’s missals seems to make the commemoration of the pope a form of co-offering; nor was this discovered by any of the authors whom I have consulted on the meaning of the Te Igitur (e.g. Cochem, Kearney, Fortescue, O’Callaghan, Lallou, Martindale); nor by St. Robert Bellarmine or Pope Benedict XIV; nor by any of the manifold ancient authors quoted by Benedict, Fortescue, and some of the others. Not one of them says that the Te Igitur is oblatory – on the contrary, they all refer to it as intercessory. That is, as part of the “Great Intercession.”

De la Taille is not explaining the meaning of the Te Igitur; he is discussing the question of to whom the fruits of the Mass may be applied. It is true that he brings in the question of oblation, but this is because his thesis is that today only those who may be considered co-offerers are to be mentioned in the Canon. He simply cannot think that the Te Igitur means what anti-una-cumists think it means, for if he did then he would be saying that when the Roman Emperors were commemorated in that prayer then they were being referred to as co-offerers, which is absurd. De la Taille’s point is that the law of the Church has changed; hence his views are incompatible with any argument that the Te Igitur is constructed grammatically in the way which anti-una-cumists assert, for the Te Igitur was written when infidels were still commemorated in it.

I presume that nobody would argue that in this prayer there is an oblation, followed by an intercessory interpolation, which then gives way to a continuation of the oblation (which in turn was followed by an intercession for the secular ruler), and that then the prayer ends with a reference to all who have been mentioned, excluding the secular ruler, as co-offerers of the Mass!

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Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:51 pm
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New post Re: Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
Thanks John.

Both passages seem to reinforce the understanding that the Te Igitur is a petition of graces for the Pope, not invoking him as co-offerer of the mass. Thanks for the posting them.


Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:07 am
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New post Re: Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
I just thought it worth mentioning the teaching of the Council of Trent (Session XXII, Chapter I) that in the new Pasch which Our Lord instituted He is "Himself to be immolated by the Church through the priests".

Quote:
novum instituit Pascha se ipsum ab Ecclesia per sacerdotes sub signis visibilibus immolandum … Et hæc quidem illa munda oblatio est, quæ nulla indignitate aut malitia offerentium inquinari potest


The following sentence emphasizes that this "pure oblation" "cannot be defiled by any indignity or malice of the offerers".

These "offerers" can only be the priests, of course.

Bishop Sanborn's notion of the pope as "principal offerer" may be someone's marginal theological theory (though I don't know whose), but it is certainly not Catholic doctrine and therefore cannot form the basis of any argument against the lawfulness of assisting at a Mass in which the wrong "pope" is named.

Moreover, even if it were Catholic doctrine, the argument based on it remains worthless, for since a valid oblation is an essential condition of the Mass's validity, either "una cum" Masses are all invalid (which not even Bishop Sanborn would dare allege) or else the requisite oblation by the true pope (the last one or the next one ? I don't know) extends even to Masses offered by priests who are mistaken on this important point of fact.

In any event, hasn't Bishop Sanborn rather gone cold on this particular phase of his argument's evolution ?


Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:13 pm
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New post Re: Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
John Daly wrote:
I just thought it worth mentioning the teaching of the Council of Trent (Session XXII, Chapter I) that in the new Pasch which Our Lord instituted He is "Himself to be immolated by the Church through the priests".

Quote:
novum instituit Pascha se ipsum ab Ecclesia per sacerdotes sub signis visibilibus immolandum … Et hæc quidem illa munda oblatio est, quæ nulla indignitate aut malitia offerentium inquinari potest


The following sentence emphasizes that this "pure oblation" "cannot be defiled by any indignity or malice of the offerers".

These "offerers" can only be the priests, of course.

Bishop Sanborn's notion of the pope as "principal offerer" may be someone's marginal theological theory (though I don't know whose), but it is certainly not Catholic doctrine and therefore cannot form the basis of any argument against the lawfulness of assisting at a Mass in which the wrong "pope" is named.

Moreover, even if it were Catholic doctrine, the argument based on it remains worthless, for since a valid oblation is an essential condition of the Mass's validity, either "una cum" Masses are all invalid (which not even Bishop Sanborn would dare allege) or else the requisite oblation by the true pope (the last one or the next one ? I don't know) extends even to Masses offered by priests who are mistaken on this important point of fact.

In any event, hasn't Bishop Sanborn rather gone cold on this particular phase of his argument's evolution ?


Maybe he has, but the vice-rector of his seminary and professor of theology and philosophy "tweeted" yesterday:

"One single 'una cum mass' is more offensive to God than all abortions ever performed... just sayin'"

https://twitter.com/FrDesposito/status/ ... 6942981120

Apparently it is a theory best defended by 140 characters or less. Just sayin'.


Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:28 am
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New post Re: Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
My Catholic Faith (1936) teaches that it is a sin against the First Commandment to read, print, lend, give or sell books or periodicals against faith or morals. I am sure it would have included tweets if they had existed back then. :)

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Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:13 pm
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New post Re: Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
Fr. Despósito wrote:
"One single 'una cum mass' is more offensive to God than all abortions ever performed... just sayin'"

https://twitter.com/FrDesposito/status/ ... 6942981120



Truly scandalous words. I guess that includes all the Masses offered by Saint Vicent Ferrer "una cum Papa nostro Benedicto XIII" as well...

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Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:49 pm
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New post Re: Is the pope the principle offerer in the mass?
Cristian Jacobo wrote:
Fr. Despósito wrote:
"One single 'una cum mass' is more offensive to God than all abortions ever performed... just sayin'"

https://twitter.com/FrDesposito/status/ ... 6942981120



Truly scandalous words. I guess that includes all the Masses offered by Saint Vicent Ferrer "una cum Papa nostro Benedicto XIII" as well...


I am at a loss of words... Even they know that no theologian will ever support that position, not any Catholic theologian.

Most good priest I know, never surf the internet. They can hardly turn on a computer, and they are way too focused on the salvation of souls to be able to investigate all of these matters closely enough.

I still believe that the strongest point for Sedevacantism is that it is simplest answer out there. It is the Occam's Razor of today's crisis and even our opponents recognize that. You don't need to be trained in theology to recognize something that has been recognized since day 1, heretics are not members of the Church. I do not need Menzingen to interpret the Conciliar Church statements, to be re-translated whether they are Catholic or not. It is not safe to tell a Catholic that he can occasionally read what the "popes" have written in the past 50 years. All it takes is to believe one of their perverted ideas to be eternally damned.

The only disputed point was particularly on the question of the papacy & heresy. The real difficulty was when such a scenario would happen, how would they kick him out?

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Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:15 am
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