by Michael Davies
1979 AND 1993
The Revised Ordinal of 1989
Taken from THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDECH
On 29 June 1989 the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments promulgated, with the approval and the authority of Pope John Paul II a revised edition of the 1968 Ordinal (Editio Typica Altera). Only the rite for the ordination of priests will be examined in this appendix. The first point that must be made is that the "native character and spirit" of the 1968 rite remain, and that the 1989 rite is manifestly inferior to the traditional rite as a liturgical expression of Catholic teaching on the priesthood, even if somewhat less inferior than that of 1968. Anglicans would be unlikely to modify to any great extent the enthusiastic welcome with which they greeted the 1968 Ordinal because it was "an 'ecumenical' ordinal in the best sense, in that it avoids much questionable terminology and is clearly expressive of the theological aggiomamento of Vatican II" (see Chapter VIII). By questionable terminology Anglicans mean, of course, prayers in the traditional rite which make explicit the fact that a priest is ordained primarily to offer sacrifice. The Anglican Church Times specified prayers in the traditional rite of which it disapproved, the suppression of which it claimed, with every justification, signified "a distinct movement away from medieval and Counter-Reformation theology" (Ibid.). It stated with considerable satisfaction that:
For instance, that prayer has gone which spoke of the power of a priest to "transform bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ by an immaculate blessing". The former words at the delivery of paten and chalice have also disappeared: "Receive the power to offer sacrifice to God and to celebrate Masses (sic) for the living and the dead."
The official teaching of the Church of England in Article XXXI of its Thirty-Nine Articles, to which every Anglican minister must subscribe in their strictest literal interpretation, is that the Mass is a "blasphemous fable and a dangerous deceit". Cardinal Newman insisted, having tried to evade the literal meaning of the article himself in his Oxford Movement days, that this means the Mass itself is "in all its daily celebration from year's end to year's end, toto orbe terrarum, a blasphemous fable." 1
The prayer containing the form of the Sacrament of Order is referred to either as the Oratio Consecrationis Presbyterorum or the Prex Ordinationis Presbyterorum. For the sake of consistency the latter term only will be used, abbreviated to Prex. The traditional Prex is one of the most venerable texts in the liturgy of the Roman Rite. It can be found with only minor differences in the Leonine Sacramentary of the early seventh century. 2 This Sacramentary has been attributed to Pope Leo I, who died in 461, but his authorship is far from certain, although he may well have composed some of its prayers. It is, however, certain that the prayers it contains were already of great antiquity when included in the collection, some of them dating back in all probability to the fifth century and beyond. The manuscript itself is housed in the Chapter Library at Verona, and is hence referred to frequently as the Veronese Sacramentary.
The Prex itself in both the traditional and 1968 ordinals is, like the actual form of ordination which it contains, indeterminate. The form does indeed state that the ordinands are to be raised to the priesthood, but so does the form in the Anglican Ordinal. The traditional Prex is, the essential form apart, primarily of a narrative character. It describes the growth of the Old Testament hierarchy in which men of lesser degree and lower rank were chosen to be associates and helpers of the high priests. Reference is made to the fact that the priestly ministry of the Old Testament did not lack the means to offer sacrifices for the people's welfare and perform sacred rites, which could be taken as implying that the men about to be ordained would fulfill the same function, but this is not stated specifically. It could be argued quite reasonably that this passage in the Prex does no more than state what happened before the advent of Our Lord, whose Apostles are cited only as having teachers of the faith (doctores fidei) to assist them in their work of spreading the good tidings (praedicationibus impleverunt) the world over. No mention is made of any sacrifice being offered by the Apostles or by their teaching companions who are not actually designated as priests within the text of the Prex. After the form which ordains the new priests has been pronounced there follows in the traditional rite a prayer expressing the hope that they will be "prudent helpers of their bishops", and in the 1968 rite, in the only significant change made to the Prex itself, this prayer has been replaced by one that the new priests may be fellow-workers of the bishops "so that the words of the Gospel may reach to the farthest parts of the earth", echoing the reference to those who helped the Apostles with their preaching (doctores fidei) in the prayer that preceded the form.
As was explained in Chapter VII, the traditional Ordinal contained numerous prayers which gave explicit sacerdotal signification to the indeterminate Prex, and every one of these prayers was removed during the composition of the 1968 rite. This meant that although the 1968 Ordinal still retained the Prex from the traditional rite virtually unchanged, the Prex no longer received a sacrificial connotation from the actual rite in which it was situated, but, as Dr. Francis Clark is cited as accepting in the introduction to this book, from a determinatio ex adiunctis external to the rite itself. He explains that this supplies "due meaning which is no longer explicit in the ritual forms". The allegation that I made in the first edition of this book that the indeterminate Prex of the traditional rite no longer received a sacrificial signification from other prayers of the 1968 Ordinal, an allegation confirmed by Dr. Clark, was also conceded in a very dramatic manner in an explanation of the rationale behind the revision given by a spokesman for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWS), written in Spanish, and published in the February 1990 issue of Notitiae, Number 283. The commentary was signed Pere Tena, and will be referred to throughout this appendix as the CDWS commentary. What I have termed a dramatic confirmation of the thesis of this book occurs in the following passage:
Until the year 1968, the theology of the Roman Prex was made explicit and otherwise corroborated by other elements occurring in the rite . . . With the reform of 1968 these elements which I have just mentioned disappeared in the First Editio Typica. . . . The theology of the Prex of the Veronese Sacramentary became isolated within the rite unconfirmed by euchological and ritual explanations, in order to express the identity of the priestly ministry in a more concrete fashion.
The CDWS also conceded that:
It must be admitted that the reception given to the text of the Prex ordinationis since the time of the First Editio Typica (1968) has not been totally positive. It has, in fact, aroused frequent criticism from both bishops and priests as well as the ordinands themselves.
Archbishop Bugnini, the principal architect of the 1968 rite, also conceded that the reception given to it was "not totally positive". He claimed that "the reformed rites of ordination were generally accepted as satisfactory", 3 but admitted that: "Some were of the opinion that the rite had been impoverished and was now less solemn and impressive. There were requests that the suppressed actions be restored, at least in some form". 4 As was explained in Chapter VII, among those who protested was Cardinal John Heenan, the Archbishop of Westminster, England. He expressed publicly his outrage that the bishops of the world had not been consulted during the reform of the Ordinal, and that it had arrived on their desks as a fait accompli. He protested that this was the kind of thing that broke the bishops' hearts, and insisted that the new form was far less attractive than the old (Chapter VII).
An English bishop who wrote to congratulate me on my book remarked:
Many of the omissions in the New Ordination Rite, e.g. "Receive the power to offer sacrifice to God and to celebrate Mass both for the living and the dead in the name of the Lord", and the reference to the forgiveness of sins at the end of the Mass are an impoverishment indeed. The Episcopal Conference of England and Wales was very upset about them. Cardinal Heenan wrote to ask if they could be retained. The reply received was an emphatic "No".
The most evident manner of overcoming the isolation of the Prex within a rite from which the CDWS admits the prayers imbuing it, with a sacrificial connotation had been removed in the First Editio Typica, would have been to restore at least some of these prayers' whose disappearance had so distressed the Bishops of England and Wales, while giving such satisfaction to the Editor of the Anglican Church Times. The restoration of the Accipe potestatem alone would have removed the ambiguity of the new rite by the inclusion of one unequivocally sacrificial prayer within the ordination rite itself. But, alas, the ecumenical ethos which evidently pervades the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments made such a simple and effective remedy unthinkable. The Fathers of this Congregation decided, incredible as it may seem, to attempt to remedy the deficiencies of the 1968 rite by making drastic changes in the only appreciable portion of it preserved intact from the traditional Ordinal-----the Prex itself. In its commentary upon the 1989 rite, the CDWS accepts the necessity for this Second Editio Typica to make "the actual celebration of the priestly Ordinal a sufficiently eloquent presentation of the mystery and identity of the priests, who, through the ministry of the Bishop, Christ the Lord makes participants in His priesthood through the power of the Holy Spirit." In other words, the 1989 rite of ordination itself should make clear the nature of the priesthood without the need to resort to the kind of external ex adiunctis factors cited by Dr. Clark as imparting a Catholic determination to the indeterminate rite of 1968. The CDWS claims that the 1989 revision has achieved this aim, and it will now be examined in detail to discover the extent to which its claim is justified.
The Bishop's Charge
It is explained in Chapter VII that the Bishop's Charge in the 1968 rite makes specific the intention of ordaining a sacrificing priest, although in muted tones when set beside the prayers of the traditional rite which have been abolished. No Evangelical Protestant could possibly use the Bishop's Charge with a good conscience. But, as is made clear in that Chapter, the words printed in the ordinal
constitute no more than a model homily, and the ordaining bishop is free to substitute his own homily for it. It is not mandatory as was the Bishop's Charge in the Traditional Ordinal. Nonetheless, even though not mandatory, the inclusion of this specific affirmation of the sacrificial nature of the priesthood within the New Ordinal must be considered as imparting a sacrificial signification to the rite as a whole. The 1968 Bishop's Charge remains unchanged in the 1989 rite except for two variations which are both insignificant. They occur in the opening paragraph and in the seventh paragraph beginning: Munere item sanctificandi. The changes are printed in italic. Wherever texts from the 1968 and 1989 rites are set in parallel columns the new material will be indicated in this way.
This change does nothing to clarify the nature
of the priesthood.
Munere item sanctificandi in Christo fungemini. Ministerio enim tuo
sacrificium spirituale fidelium perficietur, Christi sacrificio
coniunctum, quod per manus tuas super altare incruenter in
celebratione mysteriorum offeretur.
Munere item sanctificandi in Christo fungemini. Ministerio enim tuo
sacrificium spirituale fidelium perficietur, Christi sacrificio
coniunctum, quod una cum
iis per manus tuas super
altare incruenter in celebratione mysteriorum offeretur.
This change also does nothing to clarify the nature of the priesthood,
but, if anything, could appear ito endorse an error condemned by Pope Pius
Mediator Dei, that is to say
that the sacrificial immolation of the Mass is not performed by the priest
alone acting in persona Christi, but
acting as the representative of the faithful:
To avoid any mistake in this very important matter we must clearly define the exact meaning of the word "offer". The unbloody immolation, by which after the words of consecration have been pronounced, Christ is rendered present on the altar in the state of victim, is performed by the priest alone, and by the priest in so far as he acts in the name of Christ, not in so far as he represents the faithful.
Pope Pius went on to explain that there is a perfectly orthodox sense in which the faithful can be said to offer with the priest:
But when the people are said to offer with the priest, this does not mean that all the members of the Church, like the priest himself, perform the visible liturgical rite; this is done only by the minister Divinely appointed for the purpose. No, they are said to offer with him inasmuch as they unite their sentiments of praise, entreaty, expiation, and thanksgiving with the sentiments or intention of the priest, indeed with those of the High Priest Himself, in order that in the very oblation of the victim, those sentiments may be presented to God the Father also by the priest's external rite. The external rite of sacrifice must of its very nature be a sign of internal worship; and what is signified by the Sacrifice of the New Law is that supreme homage by which Christ, the principal offerer, and with Him and through Him all His mystical members, pay due honour and veneration to God.
As the 1989 Ordinal has been approved by the Pope, our presumption must be that the words "in union with them" mean that the faithful offer with the priest in this orthodox second sense, but this does not alter the fact that the addition does nothing whatsoever to clarify the nature of the priesthood.
The Bishop's Charge must, then, be accepted as imparting a Catholic signification to the entire rite, but it cannot be considered as making "the actual celebration of the priestly Ordinal a sufficiently eloquent presentation of the mystery and identity of the priests", which the CDWS claims is now the case. Some equally clear affirmation of the sacrificial ethos of the priesthood within the mandatory section of the ordination rite itself would be necessary to achieve this.
The Examination of the Candidate
The questions put to the candidates contain very few changes from the 1968 Ordinal. There is one completely new question which does nothing whatsoever to clarify the specifically sacrificial role of the priest, which makes one wonder why it was added. It does, however, echo part of the explanation of the duties of a priest given by the bishop in the Anglican Series III Ordinal (see Chapter IX): "He is to lead his people in prayer and worship, to intercede for them, to bless them in the name of the Lord, and to teach and encourage by word and example."
One of the promises has had words added which do refer specifically to
the priestly vocation of offering sacrifice and absolving the faithful from
their sins. The additional words are indicated in italic.
Vis mysteria Christi ad laudem Dei et sanctificationem populi
christiani, secundum Ecclesiae traditionem, pie et fideliter
Vis mysteria Christi ad laudem Dei et sanctificationem populi
christiani, secundum Ecclesiae traditionem,
praesertim in Eucharistiae
sacrificio et sacramento reconciliationis, pie et fideliter
It is said that even here the compilers could not bring themselves to use the term "sacrifice of the Mass", but it would be unreasonable to conclude that anything else could be meant by the term "Eucharistic Sacrifice" in a rite approved by the Pope in which the nature of this sacrifice had been made clear in the Bishop's Charge, but this involves once more looking outside the actual rite of ordination to clarify one of its texts, whereas had the term "Sacrifice of the Mass" been used it would have removed the least trace of ambiguity. It is equally sad that the term "Sacrament of Reconciliation" is used rather than the traditional term "Sacrament of Penance" which had been used hitherto in official documents such as the Code of Canon Law. The term "reconciliation" is far more compatible with the Anglican concept of absolution as either a prayer to God or a statement about God, which was explained in Chapter VI. This is, as far as I can discover, the first time that the term "Sacrament of Reconciliation" has been used in a document of the Magisterium or in the editio typica of a liturgical text.
Up to this point, the only improvement in the mandatory text of "the actual celebration of the priestly Ordinal" has been the addition of the words praesertim in Eucharistiae sacrificio et sacramento reconciliationis, to a question in the Examination of the Candidates, and, as has been explained, despite the refusal to use the term "Sacrifice of the Mass", the term "Eucharistic Sacrifice" in this context is one which it could be imagined that Anglicans would find difficult to use in good conscience, but is, in fact, a term which they could reconcile with their belief that in their own Eucharistic celebration their "priests" join with the people in offering spiritual sacrifices to God. The "form" for the Ordination of a Priest in the Anglican Series III Ordinal makes clear how easily this could be done:
The Bishop and priests lay their hands on the head of each candidate and the Bishop says:
Send down the Holy Spirit upon your servant N for the office and work of a priest in your Church.
When the Bishop has laid hands on all of them, he continues:
Almighty Father, give to these your servants grace and power to fulfill their ministry among those committed to their charge; to watch over them and care for them; to absolve and bless them in your name; and to proclaim the gospel of your salvation. Set them among your people to offer with them spiritual sacrifices acceptable in your sight and to minister the sacraments of the New Covenant. As you have called them to your service, make them worthy of their calling. Give them wisdom and discipline to work faithfully, with all their fellow servants in Christ, that the world may come to know your glory and your love. Accept our prayers, most merciful Father, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and your Holy Spirit belong glory and honour, worship and praise, now and for ever.
The people say: Amen.
These words provide a very salutary reminder of the need for sacramental rites which are totally unambiguous, and which enshrine the principle lex orandi, lex credendi. Reading the Series III Anglican "form" it could easily be imagined that it was intended to ordain a priest in the Catholic sense of the word, i.e. one who differs not simply in degree but in essence from those who are not ordained, but nothing could be further from the truth. In a commentary upon the Series III Ordinal, the Reverend Michael Sansom, Tutor at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, stresses the importance of the use of the term "president" rather than "celebrant" in the Series III Communion Service which has very close parallels with the new Catholic Rite of Mass when it is celebrated with Eucharistic Prayer II:
It is more than a mere question of terminology, since the switch from "celebrant" to "president" underlines the priest's function as one of the whole celebrating congregation. Strictly speaking, it is the whole congregation that concelebrates; the priest is a member of the congregation performing a presidential function. [See Special Note 2.] 5
This explanation makes it clear that Mr. Sansom would certainly welcome the addition of the words una cum iis (in union with them) to the paragraph beginning Munere item in the Bishop's Charge of the 1989 Catholic Ordinal (see above):
If the essence of the Catholic priesthood, as enshrined in the traditional formula Accipe potestatem, has not been manifested without ambiguity up to this point, the question of the revised Prex now emerges. The CDWS assures us that the revisions made to the 1968 Prex are in themselves sufficient to make the 1989 Ordinal "a sufficiently eloquent presentation of the mystery and identity of the priests who, through the ministry of the Bishop, Christ the Lord makes participants in His priesthood through the power of the Holy Spirit."
In its commentary upon the revision of the Prex, the CDWS explains that: "The first line of revision in the Prex needed to address the problem of the lack of explanation of the functions of the priestly ministry." The complete text of the new Prex will be examined to discover how successfully this objective has been achieved, bearing in mind what has already been stated, that the function of a priest could have been made clear by replacing some (or all) of the prayers which were removed in 1968. In the translations of the Prex for the 1968 and 1989 rites the singular is used, i.e. it is presumed that only one priest is being ordained.
Henri Fesquet, the liberal Catholic journalist, author, and commentator upon Vatican II was, according to Michael Novak, the writer who "set the mark against which other journalists of the world in reporting the Council measured themselves." 6 Fesquet was jubilant at the result of the final vote of the Council Fathers for Dignitatis humanae, the Declaration on Religious Liberty. He concluded that the affirmative vote for the Declaration represented the acceptance by the Council of the glorious motto of the French Revolution: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity". 7 Was Fesquet
It is, of course, incompatible with the French Revolutionary ethos for any person to possess honours and dignities not shared by all. Titles were abolished and the common designation "citizen" shared by those of every social class, although, as George Orwell has made clear in Animal Farm, after any revolution some citizens very quickly become more equal than others. Needless to say, the Church did not adopt the Revolutionary motto as its watchword in any official document, but a democratic ethos, in which honours, titles, and special marks of respect are an embarrassment, is certainly part of the all-pervasive "spirit of the Council"-----witness the abandonment of the papal tiara and the sedia gestatoria. There is no more effective manner of embarrassing a bishop today than by kneeling to kiss his ring. It is, therefore, not in accord with the "spirit of Vatican II" to refer to the priesthood as an honour or a dignity. The priesthood is now seen as a service performed by one equal member of the Christian community for other equal members of the community.
In its commentary on the Prex, the CDWS admits, without the least trace of embarrassment, that one object of the revisions is to "place the ministry within its ecclesiological context". It goes on to explain that: "The words honor and dignitas have been suppressed, because they are not acceptable in this context, in spite of their historical value." God is changed from the source (or author) of all "honours" to the source of "human dignity"; and from the bestower of all "dignities" to the bestower of all "graces" (or gifts) which, of course, He is, and the reference given is 1 Cor. 12:4. But, as Dr. Clark has observed with regard to Cranmer's ordination rite, "It was not what was expressed but what was suppressed that gave significance to the whole . . ." (see Chapter VIII). It is interesting to note that the CDWS actually used the word "suppressed" to describe the removal of the terms "honour" and "dignity" ("Se han suprimido los palabras honor y dignitas, que en la actualidad son dificilmente aceptadas en este contexto, a pesar de su valor historico.") The dignity of the priesthood is, in fact, referred to explicitly in the form for this sacrament later in the Prex. We must be thankful that the revisers stopped short of making changes here.
The suppression of "honours" to be replaced by "human dignity" constitutes the mutilation of a venerable liturgical text, and is a change that almost defies credibility. A footnote is provided in the official Notitiae commentary confirming that it is a direct quotation from Dignitatis humanae, the Declaration on Religious Liberty of the Second Vatican Council, and its most controversial document. The footnote cites the first paragraph of the Declaration as the source for the innovation. One must wonder what degree if any of a true sensus catholicus is possessed by those who do not hesitate to mutilate an ancient rite by inserting into it a new phrase with no relevance to the ordination of a priest simply to impart credibility to a controversial document by using it as a liturgical source.
The changes in the prayers from the per quem to the Sic in filios cannot be said to clarify the nature of the Catholic priesthood which the CDWS accepted is absent from the text of the 1968 rite. The nearest that it comes to doing so is the allusion to Hebrews 10:1 and Colossians 2:17-----quae umbra erant futurorum bonorum ("a shadow of good things to come") which could be interpreted as a reference to the Sacrifice of the Mass, but not necessarily, and would be perfectly acceptable to Anglicans as it is scriptural and, they would reason, must be in accord with their own doctrines.
[See Special Note 3.]
The prayer is entirely new, replacing the traditional Haec providentia. The new material in the Novissime vero is adapted from the Liturgy Constitution of Vatican II (n. 6) but does not specify that the essential function of a Catholic priest is to offer the propitiatory sacrifice of the Mass as did, for example, the Accipe potestatem. It refers to Our Lord as Apostle and Priest, states that His Apostles participated in His mission, and that God gave them companions for preaching and effecting the work of salvation. This is all true and admirable, but there is not a word here that is not perfectly compatible with Protestantism. Catholics, of course, believe that participating in the mission of Christ, and effecting this work of salvation, includes pre-eminently making the Sacrifice of Calvary present daily upon the altars of the Church, but Protestants deny this, believing that their ministers participate in the mission of Christ and effect His work of salvation by dispensing faithfully His word and His (two) holy Sacraments. The CDWS lays great stress on the fact that the adaptation of the conciliar text "excludes any dichotomy between evangelization and liturgical celebration, and on the other hand stresses the intimate connection between the two aspects as part of a single mission in which what is proclaimed through the word is communicated through the sacrament." It is significant that the CDWS does not claim that the adaptation of the text made clear that what is proclaimed through the word is communicated through sacrifice and Sacrament. It could have done this easily by quoting from the very text of Vatican II that it cites. No. 6 of the Liturgy Constitution teaches with admirable clarity that:
Accordingly, just as Christ was sent by the Father so also He sent the Apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit. This He did so that they might preach the Gospel to every creature, and proclaim that the Son of God by His death and resurrection had freed us from the power of Satan and from death, and brought us into the Kingdom of His Father. But He also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and Sacraments, around which the entire liturgical life revolves (my emphasis).
How sad that ecumenical considerations prompted those who composed the prayer Novissime vera to censor even a text of the Council rather than include an unambiguous reference to the fact that the Eucharist is a sacrifice as well as a Sacrament.
The traditional Quapropter prayer asks for the bishop to be given help to support his weakness, and the new Nunc etiam asks for him to be given helpers, which amounts to precisely the same request. The change does nothing to clarify the nature of the Catholic priesthood.
The form of the Sacrament is identical to that in the 1968 rite.
All that the new material in the Sint probi does is to emphasize the preaching function of the the priest, which could hardly be more in accord with Anglican doctrine. In its commentary the CDWS states that the amplification of this prayer "describes the collaboration of the priestly ministry with that of the bishop in evangelization, the celebration of the sacraments, and prayer for the people." Its explanation, like the prayer itself, could hardly be in more perfect accord with Anglican doctrine.
The new material in the Sint nobiscum would not simply be acceptable to but welcomed enthusiastically by Anglicans with its echoes of words from the "form" for ordaining a priest in Cranmer's ordinals of 1550 and 1552: "Be thou a faithful dispenser of the word of God and of his holy sacraments." Nor would the word "altar" cause problems for Anglicans as it is included in the 1549 Communion Service.
There is not one word in the rest of these amended prayers that would not be totally acceptable to Anglicans. The drastic changes made to the Prex, the only substantial portion of the traditional rite retained in the 1968 version, are both unnecessary and unjustified. The new Prex does indeed refer to the priesthood of Christ, a point which the CDWS stresses as of great importance in its commentary, but no Anglican, Cranmer included, ever denied the priesthood of Our Lord. How could any Protestant do so in view of the unequivocal teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews? What the new Prex nowhere makes clear is that Our Lord makes present the same sacrifice which He offered once and for all upon Calvary each time a validly ordained priest offers the Sacrifice of the Mass in His person (in persona Christi). It is nothing less than scandalous that the Prex from the Leonine Sacramentary has been sacrificed to compensate for what the CDWS accepted was "the lack of explanation of the functions of the priestly ministry" in the 1968 ordination rite, when there is not a word in the revised Prex that either clarifies this function or is not totally compatible with Protestantism.
Determination ex adiunctis
In order not to overlook any possible evidence that can be adduced in favour of the 1989 rite the full ex adiunctis case will be presented here. These arguments all deal with elements external to the rite and in no way concede the CDWS' claim that the revised Prex constitutes a sufficiently eloquent presentation of the nature of the priesthood. Dr. Francis Clark listed the most important of these factors in his review of the first edition of this book, which is cited at length in the introduction.
There is not the slightest doubt that the supreme authority that sanctioned the changes, the Holy See, was determined to maintain intact the full Catholic doctrine of the Mass and the priesthood. The new forms, liturgically impoverished though they are, are nevertheless still vested with the sacred significance which the supreme authority of the Catholic Church attaches to its Sacraments, ministry, and rites. The documents of the Second Vatican Council and the teaching of Pope Paul VI are the contemporary overall context which objectively supplies the due meaning which is no longer explicit in the ritual forms.
While stressing Dr. Clark's agreement with me that the nature of the priesthood "is no longer explicit in the ritual forms", I accept that the ex adiunctis case that he puts here cannot be contested. (It should be noted that his acceptance of the inadequacy of the ritual forms is based only on the 1968 rite and not the revised ordinal of 1989.) Other ex adiunctis factors in favour of the New Ordinal are the fact that in 1968 it was celebrated within the context of the Tridentine Mass. There are also prayers in the rite of Mass for ordinations found in the new Ordinal that must be accepted as imparting a Catholic ex adiunctis setting to the rite, above all the presence of the Roman Canon. The modifications made to it in the 1970 Missal do not detract from its explicitly sacrificial terminology. Even if the Roman Canon is not used for an ordination Mass, that Mass will be celebrated with an Ordinal which includes it.
The decisive factor where the validity of any sacramental rite is concerned is the approval given to it by the Pope. As Appendix XI makes clear, no Pope could impose or authorize for universal use any sacramental rite that was either invalid or intrinsically harmful to the faith. In Anglican Orders and Defect of Intention, the most authoritative examination of Anglican Orders written since Apostolicae Curae, Dr. Francis Clark explains that:
The ultimate test of the validity of sacramental rites is not to be found in scholarship and liturgical research alone. When the sufficiency or insufficiency of a rite is in question, the decisive norm is the acceptance or rejection of it by the Catholic Church. So it can be argued that when the head of the Church officially rejects a rite as incapable of mediating sacramental efficacy, as he did in the constitution Apostolicae Curae, he is not only judging authoritatively about a past dogmatic fact, but is also exercising in the present what may be called "practical infallibility". Even by itself, prescinding from anything that had gone before, this solemn act of the Holy See was sufficient to disown the Anglican rite as not a sacramental rite of the Catholic Church. Thus there has been since 1896 an added source of certainty about the invalidity of the Anglican rite-----a certainty based on the "practical infallibility" of the Church's determining decrees, which in the sacramental sphere effectively guarantee what they decree (my emphasis). 8
Needless to say, the authority of the Church is as decisive in affirming the validity of a sacramental rite as in affirming its invalidity. The papal approbation given to the Latin Typical Editions of all the post-conciliar sacramental rites places their validity beyond dispute.
The Latin Typical Edition of the 1989 Ordinal includes (page 216) a proper preface for the ordination of a priest which, after the traditional opening which states our duty of offering praise to the Father almighty, includes the following:
Who, by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, appointed Thine only Son as the High Priest of the new and everlasting covenant, and by a wonderful design, saw fit to ordain that His one priesthood be preserved in the Church.
For He not only adorns the people He has won with His Royal Priesthood, but He has also out of fraternal kindness, chosen men to share in His sacred ministry by the laying on of hands.
They are to renew, in His name, the sacrifice of man's redemption, by making present the Paschal Feast for Thy children, and to lead Thy holy people in charity, to nourish them with the Word, and refresh them with the Sacraments.
Offering their lives for Thy sake and for the salvation of the brethren, they are to endeavour to conform themselves to the image of Christ Himself, and steadily manifest to Thee their faith and love.
This preface has been included as an ex adiunctis factor testifying to the orthodoxy of the new ordinal as it states that ordination gives men a share in Christ's ministry by the laying on of hands, thus distinguishing the ministerial priesthood from the universal priesthood of all the faithful. It also refers to the fact that the ordained priest renews the sacrifice of man's redemption, which is good, but then claims that this is done by making present the Last Supper (paschale convivium), which is a depressing reminder of the extent to which the spirit of Archbishop Bugnini permeates the Congregation created in 1975 when Pope Paul VI suppressed the Congregation for Divine Worship of which he was secretary. 9 The promulgation of the New Order of Mass in 1969, prefaced by the General Instruction to the new Roman Missal (which was not published until the following year), caused great scandal. The General Instruction was so severely criticised for statements of dubious orthodoxy, and its entirely unCatholic ethos, that extensive and important revisions needed to be made to the version that prefaced the actual Missal in 1970. (A detailed examination of the original Instruction and the subsequent amendments is provided in Chapter XIII of my book Pope Paul's New Mass.) One of the most serious deficiencies in the original version was Article 48 which stated that it is the Last Supper that is made present whenever Mass is celebrated. The 1970 version of Article 48 corrected this by stating that "the sacrifice of the Cross is continually made present in the Church", whenever Mass is celebrated. It is, of course, in the original German Instruction, and not in the conciliar Liturgy Constitution, which it claimed to interpret, that the theological rationale of the New Mass can be found. It is deplorable that the preface in the 1989 Ordinal, composed specifically for use in the ordination of priests, conforms to the uncorrected Article 48 by claiming that it is the Last Supper that is made present in the Mass where priests "renew, in His name, the sacrifice of man's redemption, by making present the Paschal Feast (paschale convivium) for Thy children."
The proper postcommunion for the Mass of priestly ordination, found on page 207 of the Latin Ordinal, states with admirable clarity that the Divine Victim is offered in the Mass, and employs the word hostia for victim. The use of the word sacerdotes for priests is also welcome:
Sacerdotes tuos, Domine, et omnes
famulos tuos vivificet divina, quam obtulimus et sumpsimus, hostia,
ut, perpetua tibi caritate coniuncti, digne famulari tuae mereantur
O Lord, may the Divine Victim which we have offered and consumed, bring new life to Thy priests and all Thy servants that, united with Thee in unceasing charity, they may merit worthily to serve Thy Divine majesty.
The Profession of Faith
A final ex adiunctis factor is the Profession of Faith taken prior to ordination to the diaconate. The ordinand places his hand upon the Book of the Gospels while making the profession which begins with the recitation of the Creed, which is followed by these words:
Furthermore, I embrace and uphold each and every doctrine concerning faith and morals which the Church has taught and declared in solemn definition or by ordinary teaching authority and in the sense in which the Church has proposed such doctrine especially the teaching concerning the mystery of the Holy Church of Christ, the Sacraments, the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.
Deacons must logically presume that the rite used to ordain them to the priesthood is intended to make them priests who will offer the Sacrifice of the Mass in the sense defined by the Church.
In its commentary upon the 1989 revision of the Prex, the CDWS accepts that: "The first line of revision in the Prex needed to address the problem of the lack of explanation of the functions of the priestly ministry." It concludes the commentary by praising the 1989 Prex with words which have already been quoted several times, as "an aid to the understanding of what this Second Editio Typica offers in order to make the actual celebration of the priestly ordinal a sufficiently eloquent presentation of the mystery and identity of the priests who, through the ministry of the Bishop, Christ the Lord makes participants in His priesthood through the power of the Holy Spirit and for the service of the holy people of God."
The reader must judge for himself whether or not the revised Prex does constitute a sufficiently eloquent presentation of the nature of the Catholic priesthood. The full text in Latin and in English is available in this appendix for scrutiny. However carefully one examines it, and with no matter how much good will, the claim that it is a sufficiently eloquent presentation of the mystery and identity of priests cannot be substantiated from the text itself. In order to do this it is necessary to resort to ex adiunctis factors. The nearest that the actual rite of ordination comes to an explicit mandatory affirmation of the nature of the Catholic priesthood is the question put to the ordinand and cited above, asking whether he is resolved to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Sacrament of Reconciliation faithfully and religiously according to the tradition of the Church. Even with considerable good will, and a resolve to interpret liturgical texts approved by the Pope according to the tradition of the Church, it can hardly be considered a sufficiently eloquent presentation of Catholic teaching when set beside the venerable and explicitly sacrificial prayers expunged from the traditional rite by Archbishop Bugnini in 1968 and, alas, not restored in 1989.
If Cardinal Martinez, who was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments when the 1989 Ordinal was published, insists that the actual celebration of the priestly ordinal now constitutes a sufficiently eloquent presentation of the mystery and identity of the priesthood, then perhaps he would be gracious enough to point out to us precisely where and precisely how.
A sacramentary was a liturgical book used in the celebration of Mass until the thirteenth century. It contained the Canon of the Mass and such prayers as the Collects and Prefaces, but not the Epistles and Gospels or such sung parts as the Gradual. It also contained ordination formularies, blessings, and other prayers used by bishops and priests. In order to simplify the celebration of the liturgy, Missals containing all the prayers and readings necessary to celebrate Mass began to appear from the tenth century, and all the ceremonies involving bishops began to be collected into Pontificals, and these two books eventually replaced the sacramentary completely. The sacramentary had been preceded by what were known as Libelli Missarum. They were small books containing the formularies for parts of the Mass for the Church in a particular diocese or locality, but not the Canon which was fixed, the readings, or the sung parts. They provided the intermediary between extempore celebrations and the fixed formularies of the Sacramentary. No actual examples are known to have survived, but the certainty of their existence is known through literary references and above all through the Leonine Sacramentary in Verona which consists of a collection of libelli. The uninterrupted use up to 1968 of a Prex that had come down to us virtually unchanged from a libellum originating in the mists of Christian antiquity provided a priceless link with our fathers in the faith which should have been preserved as a sacred trust to be handed on unchanged to future generations.
I have shown in my book Pope Paul's New Mass that the three new Eucharistic Prayers in the 1970 Missal have all been drafted in a manner that allows precisely such an interpretation, i.e. the priest is no more than a member of the congregation, differing from them in degree but not in essence, who does no more than preside at the Eucharist. Only the Roman Canon makes the necessary distinction between celebrant and congregation. The presence of the Roman Canon, now known as Eucharistic Prayer I, in the 1970 Missal, gives a Catholic signification to the ambiguities of the three new prayers.
The actual reference to Hebrews given in the Notitiae commentary (p. 118 [g]) is 8:5 which does not contain even the least allusion to futurorum bonorum, but the phrase does occur in 9:17 and 10:1; the latter is probably intended as it also refers to a "shadow".
1. Via Media, vol. n (London, 1901), p. 316.
2. Enchiridion Euchologicum Fontium Liturgicorum (CLV. Edizione Liturgiche 00192 Roma. Via Pompeo Magno, 21, 1979, Italy), pp. 633-4.
3. A. Bugnini, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 (Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1990), p. 721.
4. Ibid., p. 70, n. 29.
5. M. Sansom, Liturgy for Ordinations: The Series III Services (Grove Books, Bramcote, Notts, 1978), p. 10.
6. H. Fesquet, The Drama of Vatican II (New York, 1967), p. xviii.
7. Ibid., pp. 814-15.
8. F. Clark, Anglican Orders and Defect of Intention (London, 1956), p. 10.
9. The complete background to the suppression of the Congregation and "the "exile" of Archbishop Bugnini, as he described it himself, can be found in Chapter XXIV of my book Pope Paul's New Mass.