PODCAzT 52: CDF on valid Baptisms, Michael Davies on valid post-conciliar Orders

In this installment , we first hear about the recent pronouncement by the CDF about the validity of baptism using non-Trinitarian formulas.

Then I respond to a listener’s question via voicemail about the validity of Holy Orders when the post-Conciliar rites are used. 

To help us with that question we welcome the late Mr. Michael Davies, who talks to us about the substance of sacraments in his book The Order of Melchisedech

In case you are wondering, I add plenty of my own thoughts on the matter.


 
http://www.wdtprs.com/podcazt/08_03_06.mp3

 

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18 Responses to PODCAzT 52: CDF on valid Baptisms, Michael Davies on valid post-conciliar Orders

  1. John Collorafi says:

    Fascinating subject, Father. Let me speak as a veteran traditional Catholic for four decades, with much personal experience with the different “groups.”

    Few outside the sedevacantist ranks consider the new rites invalid, and they should be challenged on dogmatic grounds. If the new rites are not valid, then formal apostolic succession has stopped and we would be limited to a few traditionalist bishops consecrated in hotel rooms. The succession at Rome will have stopped, contrary to the dogmatic definition of Vatican I that Blessed Peter has perpetual successors at Rome. There would be no hierarchy per se, contrary to the definitions of Trent.

  2. Fr. Anselm says:

    I hope to have time to listen father. Michael Davis’ book ‘The order of Melchisedech’is probably his best book.

  3. Really wonderful music! Thanks for digging those up!

    Some years ago I witnessed the ordination of a bishop, who then was named as Archbishop, the Apostolic Nuncio to – - – - – - – - . This was done by Cardinal – - – - – - , and, if I remember correctly, another two cardinals, and another fifteen bishops.

    The laying on of hands during the prayer consisted of holding the hands high over the candidate, but not touching his head. Was this valid? I brought this to the attention of – - – - – - – - – , the then Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for – - – - – - – - – . He was quite upset. The bishops, after the prayer, however, lined up, as they do, for the laying on of hands. I suppose that was ‘enough’?

    [ N.b., The numbers of dashes are not significant. ]

  4. Shane says:

    This link provides a very powerful and rebuttal to some of the specific the arguments of Fr. Cekada’s that were not adressed in the podcast:

    http://www.lumengentleman.com/content.asp?id=153

  5. John Collorafi says:

    The case cited by Fr Renzo is pretty scary indeed, but “moral contact” suffices according to Pius XII’s Sacramentum Ordinis.

  6. John Collorafi says:

    Fr Cekada was a priest at my trad ‘parish’ thirty years ago, and he is a savvy, seasoned polemicist.

    The only way to defeat his arguments definitively, as far as the new rite for ordaining bishops is concerned, is to prove that the magisterium before Vatican II considered the form from the “Apostolic Tradition” valid. I think it can be done.

    During the examination of Anglican Orders under Leo XIII, the Edwardine ordinal was compared to the known valid forms from East and West– the Roman, Byzantine, Coptic, Syrian and so on. I believe that the form from Hippolytus was considered one of the certainly valid forms against which the Edwardine ordinal was compared. That could be shown from the Vatican archives.

  7. Thanks for that, John Collorafi.

    ==========
    On another matter which I brought up in December last, but wasn’t taken up:

    As far as I can count those minor changes [desired by the Council Fathers]… there may only be two, and both are in the [pre-Counciliar] rite for the ordination of a preist.

    1. The priest is anointed, not with chrism, but with the oil of catechumens. This is not good.

    2. The priest, who concelebrates his own ordination Mass, does not receive the Precious Blood. This is not good.

    These things, I am told, but cannot now verify, may have come about, ad hoc, after Trent, by way of an overy expedient Papal Master of Ceremonies.

  8. Shane says:

    The only way to defeat his arguments definitively, as far as the new rite for ordaining bishops is concerned, is to prove that the magisterium before Vatican II considered the form from the “Apostolic Tradition” valid. I think it can be done.

    This may be so if he has other arguments than those which I have seen, but as for those, the (traditionalist) fellow at the link I posted makes them look silly, in my opinion.

  9. Fr. Renzo: I am not entirely sure that “moral contact” suffices. However, this is another reason why there are co-consecrators for bishops.

  10. Fr. Renzo:  As far as I can count those minor changes [desired by the Council Fathers]… there may only be two, and both are in the [pre-Counciliar] rite for the ordination of a preist.

    1. The priest is anointed, not with chrism, but with the oil of catechumens. This is not good.  [It is also not true.  In the new rite for ordination the priest's hands are anointed with Holy Chrism.]

    2. The priest, who concelebrates his own ordination Mass, does not receive the Precious Blood. This is not good. [It is also not true.  Priests receive under both kinds.]

    If you are talking about some individual ordination, that is another matter, but what you described is not in the rite for ordination. 

  11. Serafino says:

    I have read Davies’ book, and found it very helpful. He certainly believes that the ordinations forms are valid in Latin due to the indefectability of the Church.

    While stating he believes the forms to be valid in English, he maintains that indefectability is assured only for the Latin forms for ordination. (I disagree, any sacramental form approved by the Pope in Latin or in the vernacular is valid.)

    In judging an ordination form to be valid, the Church has always insisted that the essential form contain either the specific order being conferred, Bishop, Priest or Deacon with its Catholic signification, or describe the power of the order being conferred.

    The current form of Ordination for Bishop no longer contains the word “Bishop, and the description of the office may not be as complete as it should be. Was the changing of the form prudent? Some would say no. Is it valid? Yes, because the Church says it is valid.

    Some have also question the validity of the priestly orders in English, which in Latin should be rendered: “Give to these yours servants, Lord the dignity of the priesthood, renew in them the Spirit of Holiness, MAY THEY HOLD FROM YOU THE SECOND IN RANK IN YOUR SERVICE, and be unto others an example of right conduct”

    The ICEL translation…..AS CO-WORKERS WITH THE ORDER OF BISHOP, MAY THEY BE FAITHFUL THE MINISTRY THEY HAVE RECEIVED FROM YOU, LORD GOD…

    Vernacular translations of sacramental forms do not have to be a word for word translation of the Latin form, as long as it does not substantially differ from the Latin. “Co-worker with order of Bishop…” does not substantially differ from the Latin, “Second in rank in your Ministry,” and therefore is a valid form. In any case, once the Pope approves it, no person who calls himself a Catholic should have any doubts as to validity.

  12. Mike Williams says:

    This is indeed an interesting topic, especially in light of an article from last year which I assume was partly in response to the Motu Proprio. Davies’ work is freely cited here as well, although not always in a way that reflects his conclusions.

    http://sspx.org/miscellaneous/conditional_ordination.pdf

    Note the last paragraphs, which refer to the “illegitimate” new rites, and which demand conditional re-ordination for priests ordained with them.

  13. Fr Z,

    That’s my awful syntax getting in the way of clarity. What I meant to say is that the two things I complained about were that way before the Council. Both these matters were, in fact, cleared up in the post-Conciliar ordination rite: oil of catechumens and Communion under one species only before the Council, but chrism and Communion under both species after the Council.

    At least what I complained about was true for the ordination I attended. A pre-Conciliar ordination rite was used. I don’t know the exact date of the edition. The two complaints I mentioned above, were, in fact, the topic of an extended discussion which the ordaining bishop had with a number of us priests the evening before the ordination itself, though really excellent wine, and then, cognac and cigar smoke everywhere may have cut down on clear thinking. (I don’t have that excuse now!)

    For the priestly ordination, this is the way it was, at least there and in that case, with that pre-Conciliar edition. Yet, in the same edition, for episcopal ordination, all was as you describe it.

    If I’m able to return to the same place, I’ll try to take some pictures of the red and black of the pertinent pages of this pre-conciliar priestly ordination, yet, I think you just misunderstood me because of my lack of clarity.

    If there is any gravitational pull to go on with the Extraordinary Form, these two things, if they are universal in the pre-conciliar ordination rite, would be on the very top on the list for me.

    You are right about the 1962/2008 edition being something that is ‘living’ in the best sense of that term. There are many excellent changes such as these two in the Novus Ordo which can inspire similar changes in the 1962/2008 edition.

    God bless.

  14. John Collorafi says:

    I really think Fr Renzo should describe what he witnessed at that episcopal ordination and submit the case to the SCDF. Regarding “moral contact,” I would like to quote Pius XII’s Sacramentum Ordinis, no. 6:

    ” 6. In order that there may be no occasion for doubt, We command that in conferring each Order the imposition of hands be done by physically touching the head of the person to be ordained, although a moral contact also is sufficient for the valid conferring of the Sacrament.

    ” Finally, what We have above declared and provided is by no means to be understood in the sense that it be permitted even in the slightest detail to neglect or omit the other rites which are prescribed in the Roman Pontifical; on the contrary We order that all the prescriptions laid down in the said Roman Pontifical be religiously observed and performed.

    “The provisions of this Our Constitution have not retroactive force; in case any doubt arises, it is be submitted to this Apostolic See.”

  15. Well, that quotation, plus the fact there were so many co-consecrators who did, in fact, lay hands physically on the head of the candidate (as Fr Z points out), plus the fact that I did register all this as a complaint, shall we say, to various personages having competence for this in the Roman Curia, solves the issue for me. Also, the principle consecrator is now out of commission.

    Thanks, John. This has always bothered me.

    It’s good to have these reminders. I know of one priest who told me of a priestly ordination at which the candidate, kneeling, grabbed the hands of the bishop to bring them down on his head! I have seen, I think, at least two other ordinations when the Master of Ceremonies had to remind the bishop to put his hands on the candidates head.

  16. John Collorafi says:

    “I know of one priest who told me of a priestly ordination at which the candidate, kneeling, grabbed the hands of the bishop to bring them down on his head!”

    Again, Father, was this a case where the bishop stretched out his hands over the candidate? If so, that could be moral contact.

    On the other hand, if the bishop completely forgot to impose hands at all I would have problems with that, because he must impose hands “with the intention of doing what the Church does.” That might not be the case if the ordinand grabs the bishops hands and pulls them over his (the ordinand’s) head.

  17. Holding hands on ordinands heads shouldn’t be an elective class in the “How to be a bishop” course which all new bishops have to take over in Rome.

    On another note, anyone got an old Pontifical handy… and could you look up the rite of the ordination of a priest?

  18. Jerry O says:

    I have a friend who is not computer literate and does not have internet access. I would like to capture this podcast (and perhaps others) to put on an audio CD so he can listen to them. Would someone kindly push me in the right direction to make this happen. I clicked on subscribe using Itunes and registered, but was unable to figure out how to capture this podcast, even though the message said capture this podcast and future podcasts. TIA.

    Jerry