“Consubstantial” – Who do people REALLY say that He is?

St. AthanasiusThe new translation contains an alarming new threat.

"Consubstantial"

By clinging to the inaccurate rendering of "consubstantialem Patri" in the Creed as "one in being with the Father", liberals obfuscate the dogma of the Church that Jesus is God, that He is "consubstantial" with the Father. 

Ashtrays are "one in being" with the Father, or they wouldn’t exist.

Jesus isn’t just human.  Jesus is God.

The Son was ever God.  There was never a time when He was not.  Jesus, the Incarnate Son, was God from the instant of His conception.

"Consubstantial" will impress on people the fact that Jesus is God.

Let’s consider the claim of the liturgical left that people started finally to understand Mass when it was in the vernacular, and then their crystal-ball-gazing claim that "Joe and Mary Catholic" won’t be able to understand "consubstantial".  

We must ask, with a little shudder, "What do they understand now?"  If you ask them what they understand about who Jesus is, what answer will they give? 

Can liberals offer a prediction?

It is worth thinking about this.  

Do people really believe that Jesus is God?

The shift from the vague "one in being" language to the more accurate "consubstantial" will serve as an opportunity to verify the faith of those in the pews (not to mention at the altar).

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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114 Responses to “Consubstantial” – Who do people REALLY say that He is?

  1. TNCath says:

    In a previous translation of the Mass, the term “consubstantialem Patri” was translated as “of one substance with the Father,” which, I believe, was an attempt to define “consubstantial.” Might this have been a viable option to consider?

  2. Phil says:

    Dr. Peter Kreeft and I recently had this conversation about the philosophical/metaphysical accuracy of “one in being” vs. “consubstantial.” I think we both agree on the fact that in God, His Being is His essence (substance) and so, for God and for God alone, the two phrases are identical. Yet, we also both agree that–as Fr.Z states–everything is “one in being” with God insofar as they exist at all [snippets on Spinoza come to mind here]. And Fr. Z makes the excellent point that “consubstantial” more clearly makes the point that Jesus is of the same “substance” (or essence, and not merely in His existence) with the Father and this point is blurred somewhat by the phrase “one in being.”

  3. An American Mother says:

    Even the old-time Anglicans understood this.

    The old BCP renders the phrase as “being of one substance with” – which is much longer, a little awkward, but perhaps better Englished (as less Latinate) than “consubstantial”.

  4. Since we rendered the Mass into the vernacular, we seem to understand it less than ever.

  5. An American Mother says:

    TNCath – GMTA.

    I would have liked to see a return to that older version.

    But then I am a big fan of Cranmer’s Prayer Book – with suitable amendments where Edward VI’s bigoted advisers got out of hand.

  6. Franciscanmd says:

    This is going to be a flash point in regards to Catholic identity. The loss of the identity either begins with the denial of Christ as God/Christ present in the Eucharist or ends at that point. Either way, the denial of Christ as consubstantial with the Father allows for the re-emergence of the heresies fought in the first millennium, and to the denial of the Authority of the Church. A watered down understanding of Christ does not demand complete and total fidelity and obedience to his teaching. It fails to inspire in us the awesomeness of who Christ is, and thus the ‘faithful’ drift away from Him. In drifting away from Christ as God, there is no true sense of obedience to the Church that He established. Moreover, if you are willing to water that teaching down, what do the others really matter?

    Simply using the word consubstantial, will, in my mind (and with proper preaching/catechesis), awaken in the hearts and minds of those in the pew the glory of Christ as God and the power of his teachings. It may take a couple of generations, but it will happen.

    http://www.catholicmedstudent.blogspot.com

  7. mpm says:

    TNCath,

    I think that translation is as accurate as “consubtantial”. I think the ancient term was retained because it is how the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Rites have translated the Creed. I think Archbishop Vigneron brought this up at one of the bishops’ meetings when they were discussing the translation of the Creed.

  8. TNCath says:

    MPM,

    Indeed. I’m not against “consubstantial, but I do think “of one substance” might have been just as effective.

    In the “pro multis” debate, “many” won out over “the many.” While I have no trouble with “many,” using “the many” may have produced the same results as well.

  9. The more I learn about how confoundedly inaccurate the current translation is, the more horrified I am. It seems so much a diabolical attack on the people of God. An attack to darken the Church and her people… and to keep them in the dark, so that they stray farther and farther off the narrow path, usually without even realizing it. Pretty clever of the old devil.

    I think “one in being” is a particularly confounding phrase. What exactly does it mean? It probably depends on who you ask. I’ve found it disturbing in that I feel it has an airy, shadowy, New Agey vibe. “Consubstantial” is a much more precise and solemn declaration of Christ’s divinity. I’m not a Latin scholar or a philosophy scholar, but “consubstatial” makes sense as a way to convey that Christ is God, just as the Father is God, that He is, as the Creed says, “begotten” of the Father. In short, that He is not just a human or another creature.

    What is the point of being Christian, much less Catholic, if we don’t know and believe and declare that Christ is God?

  10. mpm says:

    Personally, I think this specific question, “of one substance with the Father” (pre-ICEL English translation) vs. “one in being with the Father” (ICEL, 1973) illustrates how “modernism” has worked to undermine the faith of Catholics.

    It was apparent to many of us at the time that the new language admitted of a number of interpretations, only one of which was what the Council of Nicaea intended, whereas the old language said what that first Ecumenical Council had taught. If we raised that issue, we were slapped down that we were too intellectual, too elitist, not pastoral in our thinking. The problem with the non-intellectual, pastoral approach is that we are still waiting for the promised catechesis on the true sense of the phrase.

  11. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    The problem with the “one in being” translation is not theological – the expression, at least, is theologically unproblematic and even properly, indeed, precisely orthodox: it renders perfectly the Greek homoousios (does this support Greek fonts?). “Of one (the same) being [with]“.

    The reason to prefer consubstantialis in the liturgical translation is that consubstantialis is the Latin word in the Latin liturgical text, which has an authority (the Italian autorevolezza would be helpful here) all its own.

    The translators are translating the Latin liturgical texts, and the liturgical text says, consubstantialis for which “consubstantial” is not only the closest translation morphologically; it is the direct English derivative.

    While it is true that Libersals have done and said wacky things with the English trnaslation, they are not intellectually credible.

    The intellectual question behind “one in being” are at once more subtle and more serious.

    Also, and if I may: :-)

    Allow me one ontological quibble: ashtrays are not “one in being” with the Father.

    The Father causes all being, and draws all created being to Himself as final cause.

    There is a difference between created being and uncreated being, as wide ontologically as the gulf that separates a principle or cause from its effect.

    Best,
    C.

  12. Wow, apparently I think AND proofread more quickly and more poorly than I think. Apologies.

  13. type and proofread…

    er…

    going away now…

    need a nap, or a cup of tea.

  14. mpm says:

    HeatherBarrett,

    An excellent post.

    When you say

    I think “one in being” is a particularly confounding phrase. What exactly does it mean? It probably depends on who you ask. I’ve found it disturbing in that I feel it has an airy, shadowy, New Agey vibe. “Consubstantial” is a much more precise and solemn declaration of Christ’s divinity.

    and then say you are not a Latin or philosophy scholar, you attest to the fact that it shouldn’t take a scholar to be able to grasp and profess the Creed. Even Catechumens are supposed to be able to do that!

    “One in being” was SUPPOSED to have a univocal meaning, “consubstantialem Patri”, “consubstantial to the Father”. Who says so? The Council of Nicaea says so. The fact that it was allowed to be rendered so that it could be understood equivocally (a number of possible meanings) DOES lend itself to what today we call “New Agey” pseudo-thinking, or Gnosis.

    Well done.

  15. The-Monk says:

    I am not of the opinion that the word “consubstantial” will prove problematic for most of the people “in the pews.” I am of the opinion that the word “many” (pro multus) will prove extremely problematic for most of those people. because change of this particular word (from “all” to “many”) contradicts the basic impulse of many in the USA that God’s beneficence extends to all which, of couse, means that there can be no such thing as the “true” Church, only the one, holy, and catholic Church. It is that word (“many”) and its meaning that requires evangelizing the people in the pews. And, yes, over the decades, it will triumph.

  16. But Fr Z, Consubstantial is going to be too hard for us laity, what oh what will we poor uneducated laity do? (sarcasm off)

    Consubstantial is a much more precise word, I love it, it will be something that can be taught. Consubstantial raises the teaching factor.

  17. Patrick J. says:

    Dear Father Z (and others):

    Some food for thought.

    I would suggest (for a number of reasons) that it might serve the purposes of advancing the cause of a re-establishment of tradition if the political left v. right paradigm descriptions, (though certainly these have some connection with what is really going on) be avoided. The labels of liturgical left, liberals, etc. only set us up for more confused and polarizing rhetoric. [Oh dear!] Maybe we could substitute anti-traditionalists, the liturgical modernists, “spirit of Vatican II adherents,” etc. (please, feel free to improve on these) anything but liberal v. conservative, left v. right. Just is not helpful, though again, the lining up of ideologies many times is, many times, indeed very much there vis-a-vis the politically motivated, with the liturgical progressive camp as well as on the other side, i.e., those advocating a return to tradition. But, just as in the political arena, the labels are then, by each sides advocates, tied to stereotypes and questionable motives and other incendiary devices to bludgeon and obfuscate and so those are transferred, like it or not, into these discussions about the Church, and it is overall. not helpful. [So... it is alright to use divisive rhetoric so long as it is not political rhetoric.]

    In the same way that you, Fr. Z, rightly have called for the dubbing of BXVI the “Pope of Christian unity” (the proactive control of the message via the labeling) I would think a move generated here to lift the conversation above the usual political paradigms and that labeling system would go a long way into gaining more adherents to the cause, and keeping church issues somewhat on another, less mundane, plane.

    Just some thoughts.

  18. An American Mother says:

    Didn’t someone at one point translate “pro multis” as “for multitudes”?

    An Aramaic-speaking Maronite priest once told me that the original meant “for many-many-many” i.e. for multitudes.

    The old BCP translated it as “for many”.

  19. An American Mother, the French translation is “pour les multitudes” (For the multitudes)

  20. Rob Cartusciello says:

    I am frequently gobsmacked by the number of Catholics who do not understand that Jesus is God. To the point that some people have approached priests after Mass to express their confusion as to why he was referring to Jesus as God in the homily.

    Don’t get me started about belief in the Real Presence. I had one member of a Confirmation class call is “the cookie thing”.

    All it makes me do is catechize harder with as much clarity and charm as possible.

  21. wanda says:

    ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.’ John 1, Ch 1, v 1-2.

    Nothing tooo haard about that.

  22. rinkevichjm says:

    Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary
    con-substant??lis , e,
    I. adj., of like essence, nature, or substance, consubstantial (eccl. Lat.),
    ——————————————————————————————————

    Whitaker’s Words
    consubstantial.em ADJ 3 2 ACC S C POS
    consubstantialis, consubstantialis, consubstantiale ADJ [DEXES] Late uncommon
    of like nature/essence/quality;
    ==========================================================================
    Dictionary.com Unabridged
    Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010
    con?sub?stan?tial??/?k?ns?b?stæn??l/ [kon-suhb-stan-shuhl]
    –adjective
    of one and the same substance, essence, or nature.
    Origin: 1350–1400; ME < LL consubstanti?lis, equiv. to con- con- + substanti(a) substance + -?lis -al
    ———–
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.
    Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    con·sub·stan·tial (k?n’s?b-st?n’sh?l)
    adj. Of the same substance, nature, or essence.
    [Middle English consubstancial, from Late Latin c?nsubstanti?lis : Latin com-, com- + Late Latin substanti?lis, substantial; see substantial.]
    ————————————————-
    consubstantial. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.
    con·sub·stan·tial Pronunciation: \?kän(t)-s?b-?stan(t)-sh?l\
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Late Latin consubstantialis, from Latin com- + substantia substance
    Date: 14th century
    : of the same substance
    ====================================================================================
    Discussion on “consubstantialem Patri”
    None of the Latin prepositions meaning “with” (com,cum, quum, quom) are used in the expression. Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and College notes that “The Dative is used after Adjectives or Adverbs, to denote that to which the given quality is directed, for which it exists, or towards which it tends. The dative with certain adjectives is in origin a Dative of Purpose or End.” This implies the maening that the Father has the quality of having the same substance e.g. equivalent to “of the Father’s same substance” or “of the same substance as the Father”.
    ====================================================================================
    Conclusion
    The expression “consubstantial with the Father” is isn’t the best translation. The “with” is a poor choice for replacing “as” in this expression as the “with” doesn’t properly connote the reference to Father’s substance, particulaarly when it is post-positioned. “The Father’s consubstantial” and “with the Father consubstantial” are reflect the refernce to the Father’s substance better. I think “the Father’s consubstantial” or “of the same substance as the Father” are the most suitable translations.

    [DON'T just cut and paste material with lots of special characters into my combox, please. EDIT. Thanks!

  23. Fr Martin Fox says:

    Re: “consubstantial” v. “one in being”…consubstantial is better, if for no other reason than it’s non-use anywhere else enables us to say, “consubstantial means ___” and that should work, over time. Using common words for uncommon things is risky. [Very well said. You, Father, were paying attention! That's why I referred to ashtrays.]

    That said, “substance” is a tricky term here too. But what is the alternative? I cannot think of any alternate wording that wouldn’t replace “consubstantialem” with a sentence or more.

    Fr. Z asked, do Catholics believe Jesus is God? Given many weaknesses, in the translation, and in a lot of sloppy talk about Scripture, it must be preached and emphasized in all our language choices. We must simply say it, “Jesus is God.” Over and over. Docetism does not seem to be the wolf at the door at present, perhaps in another 100 years, we will have to deal with it.

  24. eulogos says:

    How about using ‘essence’ instead of ‘substance?’ The whole use of substantia to translate ousia is problematic in the first place. I know, it is the tradition Latin theological vocabulary, but it caused a lot of confusion between East and West.

    And these days, when everyone takes basic chemistry and learns about “substances” like sodium chloride, there is an additional layer of confusion added to the word.

    The eastern rites tend to use “of one essence” or “one in essence” with the Father, which has the advantage of being cognate with “ousia”, the actual language of Nicea.

    Comments?
    Susan Peterson

  25. albizzi says:

    omoousion vs omoiousion . A single and small iota sparked a schism.
    I clearly heard our parish priest a few weeks ago saying “consubstantiel” while reciting the Creed
    This pleased me much.
    But is he allowed to say so?

  26. Prof. Basto says:

    Chris Altieri wrote: Allow me one ontological quibble: ashtrays are not “one in being” with the Father

    Indeed. I found this strange too. I don’t know what Father meant to say here, but ashtrays, as creatures, are certainly not one in being with the Father.

    See: FIRST VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, third session. Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, promulgated by Pope Pius IX on April 24th, 1870. First chapter of canons (canons “on God, the Creator of all things”), canons 3 and 4:

    “3. If anyone says that the substance or essence of God and that of all things are one and the same: let him be anathema.

    4. If anyone says that finite things, both corporal and spiritual, or at any rate, spiritual, emanated from the divine substance; or that the divine essence, by the manifestation and evolution of itself becomes all things or, finally, that God is a universal or indefinite being which by self determination establishes the totality of things distinct in genera, species and individuals: let him be anathema.”

    I also agree with the rest of Mr. Altieri’s observations. Although I’m not a native speaker of English, “one in being” seems as theologically sound as consubstantial, but consubstantial is the direct derivative of the Latin original of the liturgical text. The translator is not translating the Greek acts of an Ecumenical Council, but a Latin liturgical text. Latin is the original.

  27. An American Mother says:

    Merci, Joe. I knew I read it somewhere.

  28. Supertradmom says:

    We must be careful not to confuse language in these translations. The philosophical meanings of things in English is not the same as it Latin. I am very glad Prof. Bastro quoted Pius IX. One of the reasons why it is very important to be as exact as possible is because such words as substance and essence mean different things in Greek, Latin, English and so on. The Church has taken great pains to define such terms as “consubstantial” particularly to avoid heresy or at least confusion. Latin words may be less specific than English, which is why it is difficult to translate Latin into English. Essence is not substance, for example, and the confusion may lead to heresy.

    One of the huge problems in America is the lack of Latin in the high schools and colleges. I had three years of Latin in high school, which helped my English understanding greatly. The laity do have trouble with Latin words, as they have a bias against what to them seems simple. In RCIA, for example, we frequently end up taking two sessions on Transubstantiation alone, and sometimes two sessions on the Creed, which of course does not exhaust those doctrines and dogmas included by any stretch of the imagination.

    It is up to the priests and catechists to explain “being”, as the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-not being qua existence, but being qua the particular unity in the Trinity. One in “is-ness” is not the same as “one in being”, which has always been a bad translation, in our language. “Consubstantial” allows for discussion and teaching, which we must assume must take place. Teaching about this can only be a good thing.

  29. Supertradmom says:

    We must be careful not to confuse language in these translations. The philosophical meanings of things in English is not the same as it Latin. I am very glad Prof. Bastro quoted Pius IX. One of the reasons why it is very important to be as exact as possible is because such words as substance and essence mean different things in Greek, Latin, English and so on. The Church has taken great pains to define such terms as “consubstantial” particularly to avoid heresy or at least confusion. Latin words may be less specific than English, which is why it is difficult to translate Latin into English. Essence is not substance, for example, and the confusion may lead to heresy.

    One of the huge problems in America is the lack of Latin in the high schools and colleges. I had three years of Latin in high school, which helped my English understanding greatly. The laity do have trouble with Latin words, as they have a bias against what to them seems complex, and indeed, is. In RCIA, for example, we frequently end up taking two sessions on Transubstantiation alone, and sometimes two sessions on the Creed, which of course does not exhaust those doctrines and dogmas included by any stretch of the imagination.

    It is up to the priests and catechists to explain “being”, as the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-not being qua existence, but being qua the particular unity in the Trinity. One in “is-ness” is not the same as “one in being”, which has always been a bad translation, in our language. “Consubstantial” allows for discussion and teaching, which we must assume must take place. Teaching about this can only be a good thing.

  30. Supertradmom says:

    May I add that we are talking about the Creed in the context of the Liturgy. Should not the liturgy teach us as well as study the meanings of the words, such as consubstantial? In the Holy Mass, the child learns by watching and participating first, and then by study. So too, the words used in the Mass, reveal the spiritual truths at least over a period of time, unless one has infused knowledge.

  31. Ioannes Andreades says:

    1483 CAXTON The Golden Legende 25/3 Jhesu cryst..in essence consubstantial by generacion.

    According to the OED, the word consubstantial has been part of the English lexicon since 1483. What implication would be be creating by NOT using it?

  32. Supertradmom says:

    Great point on the English usage of the word. Important date as well…

  33. Supertradmom says:

    By the way, Father Thomas M. Kocik’s The Reform of the Reform? is an interesting read. Ignatius Press, 2003.

  34. Maltese says:

    I love it! Although, I guess if we had just stuck with time-tested TLM, instead of inventing a rite by committee in a factory with protestants looking on, we wouldn’t even have to get excited by a small dogmatic bone thrown to us like this!

    Supertradmom: we could either “reform the reform” or just return to the font, the crucible that created, molded, formed and inspired the great Saints: the Traditional Latin Mass!

  35. “Substance” and “essence” both have non-philosophical meanings in English. Substance sounds like it’s talking about matter, and essence sounds like it’s talking about boiling God down. It doesn’t have to; but that’s what first comes to mind.

    “Consubstantial” is obviously a technical term, and doesn’t have any obvious relationship to matter. This alerts people that the normal definition of substance is not what this word is talking about.

  36. Mitchell NY says:

    I must admit I never thought about “one in being” or what it meant. Or even if it had a theological meaning. I just glossed over it as ordinary words but together in some way or another to symbolize something. This was gross ignorance on my part but the fact that it did not stand out in everyday vocabulary, although understandable, means it doesn’t get much mention. [yes] Consubstantional stops the reader dead in his tracks to contemplate, or figure out exactly what this means. [YES!] For this reason alone, words such as these that convey much deeper theological messages need to be what they are. Unusual, and not street language. I look forward to the new Roman Missal and all its’ changes and better choice of words. Those I do not know, which are few from what we have been able to see on the USSBC website, I intend to simply learn. This is my Mass and yours.

  37. Kate says:

    I think Mitchell NY has a great point.

    While many of us “non-intellectual” Catholics aren’t total idiots, we simply don’t take time to contmplate the profound Truth of the Holy Trinity. I think words like “consubstantial” and “many” will put many people in a position that we will have to consider new ideas. (That is, ideas that are new to us.)

    Also, I believe the problem is rooted in our understanding of God; too many of us have lost our way because we have been influenced by cultural ideas about a secularized God and when we come to Mass, we hear “lite” homilies.

    If the new translation is coupled with strong homilies that challenge us to wake up from our slumber of “push button” responses and our “no need to contemplate or adore God, just show up at Mass on Sunday and be nice to others during the week” mentality, then we’ll start to see a change.

    We are in desperate need of rich liturgical language and good homilies.

  38. Robert of Rome says:

    With respect both for Prof. Basto and Chris Altieri, and in relation to Prof. Basto’s comment, “I don’t know what Father meant to say here, but ashtrays, as creatures, are certainly not one in being with the Father,” let’s suppose that Fr. Z knows that. What I took him as saying by the reference to ashtrays is that many (most?) people at Mass who say the words “one in being with the Father” only understand by this phrase that both the Father and the Son have being, i.e., that they both exist. So “one in being with” will be understood by some simply as a statement that two things exist, in the sense that they share the quality of “being”. In this sense, ashtrays also exist.

    Another problem with the phrase “one in being with the Father” is that it could be understood by some in a modalist sense, as if what we were saying is that there is no real distinction between the Father and the Son. They are “one in being” with each other, in the sense that they are identical.

    I admit that the phrase “one in being with the Father” does not per se lead to either of these erroneous conclusions; however, with Fr. Z, I fear that this phrase does not alert people to the truth that the Son is God in the same way and to the same degree that the Father is God.

    The term “consubstantial”, which is the best translation of consubtantialis, gets us beyond both of these interpretative difficulties. Yes, the term requires catechesis, but that’s probably a good thing.

    [You have understood this perfectly. Rem acu tetigisti.]

  39. Dear Robert of Rome,

    I have no doubt that Fr. Zuhlsdorf, “knows that.”

    My intention was most certainly not to doubt Father’s intelligence, nor was it to suggest he lacks erudition.

    I am confident Fr. Zuhlsdorf did not take me to be doing either of those things, or anything else of that sort.

    I took his observation as a throw-away line, hence my care to qualify my observation as a ‘quibble’.

    I should like to add that the Latin term, consubstantialis is not to be prefered on the grounds of greater clarity or ease of understanding. It is a philosophically and theologically rich and complex term, one that takes us to the very limits of language. This is as it should be, since it expresses the central mystery of our faith: God took on human nature.

    Responsible theologians will be the first to say that too much in the way of explanation to the simple Christian faithful is dangerous, just as they will be the first to say that they seek, in their own practice of the sacred sciences, always to cling to and fall back upon the statements of the Magisterium in matters mysterious.

    Said shortly, when we proclaim the Creed, we are speaking a mystery; our thought should be guided, informed and controlled by this.

    Finally, and in the interests of clarity, I favor ‘consubstantial’ for two related reasons:

    1) It is the English word closest to the Latin text of the Creed, which appears in the liturgical texts it is the task of the translators to render in English;

    2) It is the English word that exists precisely and indeed only as the English stand-in for the Latin consubstantialis.

    Best,
    C.

    [You do like to correct people, don't you! o{];¬) Reread what Robert of Rome offered.]

  40. robtbrown says:

    1. My objection to “one in being” is that it possibly includes accidents (cf. the above reference to Modalism). [Thus.]

    2. Being is variously predicated. It can be predicated of everything that exists–God and limited being (and so a certain Oneness can be affirmed, as ashtrays and God). [Thus.]

    On the other hand, it can also refer to a distinct existing thing. Thus God Who exists is distinct (infinitely so) from every limited being. And the being of every limited thing is distinct from every other one, some more so than others (as for example, the distinction between Peter and Paul is not as great as between Peter and a frog).

    And so I’ll take advantage of this opportunity to put in a plug for the analogy of being and St Thomas’ De Ente et Essentia.

    I recommend Gilson’s excellent book Being and Some Philosophers.

  41. Father S. says:

    I, for one, am very excited about this translation as a whole and this term, in particular. I am especially pleased that we get a term that is both theologically rich and not quotidian. We are not speaking of something mundane! It will be a joy to be able to use the new translation as a tool for catechesis. I recently heard a priest say–and could not agree with him more–that we ought to view this translation not as an imposition, but as a gift from Our Holy Father that expresses his paternal solicitude for the Faith in those lands that will receive the new translation. This is a remarkable opportunity. If we cannot see it for that, for a time to let the mystery (that which can be known but not known exhaustively) draw people in, we are not looking hard enough. I feel like a doctor with a sharper scalpel or an astronomer with a more powerful telescope. What a gift!

  42. kolbe1019 says:

    I used to teach middle school religion and I can attest that when I first arrived… Catholic students had no clue that Jesus was God. I asked the first day, “Is Jesus God?”… the common responce was “No, He is the son of God.”. They were basically Arian. They believed Jesus was like some super man, but they had no understanding that God became man so that we could be divinized by the logos… Lord have mercy…

  43. Supertradmom says:

    The fact that so many lay people and some who have expressed the lack of understanding and thought here, regarding the words of the Creed, or the Eucharistic Prayer for that matter, makes me wonder whether they are teaching their children the Faith. One must understand to the best of one’s ability the Mass and the Truths of the Faith in order to pass this onto to the next generation. As a homeschooling Mom, I went through every word of the Mass over a period of many years in order to pass on correct teaching.

    Catholic schools do not necessarily do this, nor CCD classes, which frequently have not enough time and set curriculum.

    If a parent does not teach, the children cannot learn the Mass.

    Secondly, even if an adult does not have children, it is the responsibility of every adult Catholic to learn and know the Faith.

  44. TJerome says:

    The nuns taught us what consubstantial meant when I was in second grade when we were studying the Creed in preparation for First Communion. People must have been much smarter in those days because we we’re studying both the Latin and the English translation of the Latin text. I don’t know how we could have done it without Bishop Trautman and his ilk being around to explain it all for us. Now I know we were really stupid and just waiting for the year 2010 when great lights like Bishop Trautman. I totally agree with the comment that using the term consubstantial would cause a reasonably curious person to try and learn what it means. Tom

  45. Supertradmom says:

    Dear TJerome,

    People were smarter. Educational studies I have seen show that this generation is not as intelligent as the one before, and the same for the one before that. Sadly, some of these studies are not accessible online. The reasons for the lowering of IQs vary according to the studies- include a lowering of educational standards, lack of traditional families (more dysfunctional families), lack of nutrition, which is worse in the lower half of the economic groupings, lack of independent study or reading, and an increase in attention deficit syndromes of all kinds. Some studies include increased television and computer usage as problems. All children are capapble of learning what you learned in second grade. We must have had similar educations, as we learned the term in second grade as well, along with Transubstantiation.

  46. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    I have reread what Robert of Rome wrote, and I do not see that there is any tension, let alone disagreement between our positions. [Well! There it is, then!]

    Since Robert of Rome admits that there is nothing inherently unsound or erroneous in the expression ‘one in being’, I understand that he prefers ‘consubstantial’ on prudential grounds: ‘one in being’ lends itself to the kinds of misunderstanding that might easily bring the one who misunderstands into error and even heresy.

    This is a serious concern.

    I believe with Robert of Rome that ‘consubstantial’ does “get us beyond” the specific difficulties he cites, though I admit I am not sure how far, or how permanently. Let that be a discussion for another time.

    My point is that we can, by a direct application of plain fact and solid principle, successfully argue the merits of ‘consubstantial’ and carry the point without having to engage the question on the thorny and uncertain ground of prudence.

    In short, I agree with you and with Robert of Rome, but I think the best way to argue the case is the one I have presented.

    Best,
    C.

  47. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    I never thaought there was any tension or disagreement.

    I was only at pains to make clear that my quibble was just that.

    Permit me to ask whether you think the issue can be satisfactorily resolved by appealing to the fact that the text being translated is a Latin liturgical text in which the word to be rendered is the accuastive singular of consubstantialis, to the fact that ‘consubstantial’ Englishes [Englishes?] the Latin term perfectly (I mean perfect in the strict, technical and etymological sense), and to the principle of translation according to which the language into which a text is translated ought to be as close as possible to the language of the original? [Let's cut through this: Consubstantial is the better choice because it is more precise and it is more interesting.]

    Best,
    C.

  48. lux_perpetua says:

    i’m sorry to play devil’s advocate here, but i sort of find it hard to believe that many Catholics will “stop and think” when they come across the word consubstantial. as a poorly catecized Catholic, i certainly didn’t “stop and think” about anything that i didn’t understand. do you think most Catholics without a solid faith foundation understand the reference to the bloodless sacrifice of melchezidek? or what precisely “with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father” means? or how about even “hallowed be thy name”. no, most simply recite it as a script. “oh, this is when we say the Our Father”. i once had a non-Catholic friend come to Mass and asked another Catholic about the order of things and finally this person said “OK and then we sing the Holy, Holy, Holy”. when the non-Catholic asked why, the answer was, “i don’t know, that’s just when we do it.” similar responses to why the bells, why the incense, etc. why stand for the Gospel? i really don’t think that simply changing the language is going to get people to stop and contemplate without explicit urging from their shepherds. in fact, i would imagine that most people who are Mass-going regulars who are confused on the issue would simply think “oh, consubstantial means ‘one in being’”. i’m not saying we’re incapable, i’m just saying that i don’t think the typical person who isn’t grounded in the faith is going to step up and investigate without good solid homilies and catechesis.

  49. Supertradmom says:

    Dear lux,

    This is our duty, responsibility, and happy role as adults to make the Faith our own through prayer, study, and meditation. Sorry, there are no excuses. I know adult Catholics who can tell me every detail and meaning of various economic or sports terms which seem arcane to me. Same with those involved in computer games-time and energy are matters of focus. Learning the Faith is just a matter of commitment. Going to Mass is not going out to dinner or a movie. Mass is the center of our life and the way to salvation, with the other sacraments. As to the Creed, can we not spend the rest of our short lives studying the words therein? What a blessing…and thanks to Father Z, we can spend time encouraging each other to be adult Catholics.

  50. Father S. says:

    And that, lux_perpetua, is what many priests, religious, parents and catechists will have to answer for on the Last Day.

  51. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z’s comment in his original post that an ashtray is “one in being” with the Father is precisely correct because both an ashtray and the Father are entities that exist–ie are in a state of being at the same time. In like manner, the phrase “one in being” to describe the relationship between Christ and the Father would properly be taken to mean that they both exist, along with all the ashtrays in the world and everything else (cars, bicycles, turnips, safety pins, etc etc etc)

    Sometimes it has been said that the phrase “one in being” has the meaning that “they both partake of being in one same way” but of course the reference to that way is not defined–is it?? Making it the same way ashtrays are in being… Or not. It doesn’t say.

    *Moreover* “one in being” says nothing about the cause-&-effect relationship between the ashtray and the Father, or for that matter the relationship in the Trinity between Christ and the Father.

    Nor does it say anything about the character of being that any of the entities involved might have (speaking, for example, of ashtrays and God), because–there are different ways a thing can be within the category “existing.” [...that is unless you believe that everything is the exactly the same thing--which would make you probably the most drastic monist in the world, and make it darned hard for you to eat your sandwiches without consuming your fingers by mistake.] I can confidently inform you: ashtrays are not God, and fingers are not food.

    “One in being” is a philosophical, theological and linguistic quagmire. People who come up with these catch-phrases like *one in being* may be well-meaning but they are philosophically illiterate, ill-educated and usually run-of-the-mill-ignorant if not downright stupid. Catholics need to get their crap together and start really thinking about this stuff for a change instead of just parroting what they hear. *There is nothing wrong with thought.* St. Thomas Aquinas engaged in it. It’s NOT a sin.

  52. QMJ says:

    While “being” may be synonymous with “nature,” the two words are not the same. The word “being” carries heavy connotations of “exist.” This is a problem because of its modalistic tendencies as has been pointed out earlier. The Father exists as Father and the Son as Son. When the holy fathers of the Council of Niceae proclaimed that the Son is homoousius with the Father they were saying He was one in/of the same nature/essence, not existence, as the Father. “One in being” severely muddles what was proclaimed at Niceae I and while being theologically sound it is still very very messy. “Consubstantial” is the closest one word equivalent to homoousius in English and as such is most in line with what is professed in the Creed. In addition it is a much clearer and precise word theologically which makes it far more suitable for catechesis.

    In Christ through Mary

  53. robtbrown says:

    “One in being” severely muddles what was proclaimed at Niceae I and while being theologically sound it is still very very messy.
    Comment by QMJ

    I don’t see how one in being can be theologically sound while it is very messy. That’s like saying that 2+2=something is aritmetically sound.

    I think most Catholics, except some liberals, actually want to hear words like consubstantial because it gives them a sense of the transcendent.

  54. spock says:

    A little while back, perhaps a few years ago, EWTN was re-broadcasting a Bishop’s conference. The Bishops were discussing potential changes to the Ordinary Form. His Eminence Cardinal George, at one point, made a comment referencing the “one in being” and said that we, “get around it by capitalizing the ‘B’.” So the question to ask (as I understand it from his words) is not the correctness of “One in being” but of “One in Being.” A little too scholarly for my current level of abilities but I remember his words quite clearly. Perhaps we’re not asking the exact question that should be asked.

    Carpe Diem!

  55. catholicmidwest says:

    robtbrown,

    “2+2= something” is mathematically correct for something = 4 in the predominant number system.
    It’s just sloppy and completely unnecessary to use that format without necessary and sufficient reason.

  56. catholicmidwest says:

    Besides, for the casual observer it might be the case that it *looks* theologically sound. *However*, since the technical tools used for theology include those drawn from philosophy (and logic), and since the language of reference used is in the province of philosophy and logic, there are philosophical and logical criteria to be met before the argument can be deemed acceptable. Those criteria are not met because terms of reference are used which do not mean, and have never meant, what amateurs think they mean in this context. Therefore, no matter how acceptable this phrase might appear to the casual observer (or the ideologically carried-away berserk liturgist), it’s not acceptable.

    The term “being” refers to the act of existing. “One in being” refers to the fact that both entities exist. Big deal. Lots of things exist unless you’re a complete solipsist (in which case this is surely not your biggest problem, in case you haven’t noticed lately).

    Therefore, “one in being” is not only not at all informative, but it likens God to the claptrap in your closet and the trunk of your car; the junk in your February coat pocket and the lint in your wallet. Is that right? Do you really think that??

    The word you really *DO* want is precisely consubstantial, which is exactly why the Latin version of the word is in the latin creed. Consubstantial means of the same exact substance. It’s the closest way there is to describe the fact that Christ is God, whereas the Father is God, and there is only one God but the Father and Christ still have substance.

  57. catholicmidwest says:

    Spock,
    The capital B thing:
    a) is ridiculous from a historical and traditional point of view, since it’s never been used in the face of much more meaningful and elegant tools. Would you dig the foundation of your house with a teaspoon? NO, you’d use something bigger? Then why use baby talk to do the big language job of talking truthfully & intelligently about God?
    b) sounds like an after-the-fact feeble attempt to imply that there is being and then there is BEING. Oh, let’s not be such ignorant little mice, okay? Use the real words!!! There’s “being” for paper clips, ladybugs & hamburgers–and then there’s “consubstantial” for Christ & the Father. Those are the real words if you want the vocabulary of an adult who hopes to say something which can only be theological and philosophical by its very nature.

    It’s an interesting thing: Part of being Catholic is assenting to some theological and philosophical claims, yet there’s a lot of shirking going on when it comes to using the correct language, even at the level of assent. This has to be fixed, by education probably, or we’re going to keep having problems in the church.

  58. robtbrown says:

    “2+2= something” is mathematically correct for something = 4 in the predominant number system.
    It’s just sloppy and completely unnecessary to use that format without necessary and sufficient reason.
    Comment by catholicmidwest

    I never said it was incorrect. I said it wasn’t arithmetically sound. It is a non arithmetic answer to an arithmetic problem.

    107,000 X 8,876,433 = a whole lot isn’t incorrect, but it’s not arithmetically sound.

  59. QMJ says:

    robtbrown,

    “Sound” was a reference to a previous comment and I took it in the broadest way possible to mean “not heretical.” I did this because, though I greatly disagree with its use, I like to give the Church the benefit of the doubt. It may have come from dumbing-down liturgists, but it is in the current translation with Rome’s approval. Regardless of whether it is sound or unsound the point of my post was to show that it is very very messy or, as someone else more eloquently put it, a quagmire.

    In Christ through Mary

  60. mfg says:

    TJerome and Supertradmon: I am amazed at those commenters who write that people (Catholics) don’t know that Jesus is God. I learned that Jesus Christ is God the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true man, equal to the Father and to the Holy Ghost, and is the redeemer of mankind. I learned this in the first grade in 1936 from a very holy and beautiful nun, Sister Gemma, who couldn’t have been over twenty years old. She was indefatigable with her chalk and blackboard and all kinds of diagrams to prove this: triangles, shamrocks, etc. My children learned the same from their nuns until 1970 or so when they suddenly reverted to baby talk. A comment on who’s smarter: We had Dick and Jane readers in 1936–not very smart. My mother showed me her own primary reader (1912-1915ish) called the McGuffey Reader–a world of difference! 1912 kids definitely smarter! Long before I graduated from the 8th grade I understood consubstantialem Patri and what transubstantiation meant. In fact I learned more about my faith from the Baltimore catechism in grades 1-8 than I ever learned in Catholic high school or Catholic college. I think getting rid of the Baltimore Catechism was the worst mistake of the (spirit of) Vatican II.

  61. sejoga says:

    I’m new to commenting here at WDTPRS, and I’m late to this conversation, so maybe what I’m about to say will go unnoticed, but when I first started looking at these new translations on the USCCB site, I was initially very skeptical about translating consubstantialis as “consubstantial”, but I’ve come to realize how utterly appropriate it is.

    Just think how many words with religious significance we’ve borrowed wholesale from other languages, precisely because they have religious significance and there’s no better way to express them in the secondary language: Amen, Alleluia, Hosanna, Hypostatic, Transubstantiation, Epiclesis, Assumption, even Resurrection!

    Take for instance the word “Amen”. It comes from the Hebrew root, ‘mn, which expresses a conclusion of belief. The basic semantic concept expressed by this Hebrew root is actually the word ‘ground’, according to Ratzinger’s “Introduction to Christianity”, which I’m reading at the moment. ‘Belief’, to the Hebrews, was ‘grounded’ in God, who is our sure ‘foothold’ on which we ‘stand’. All of these ideas that I’ve set aside in quote marks could be expressed by morphological mutations of the basic root template ‘mn. There was no way to express that range of ideas in Greek, or Latin, or English, or any of the multitude of languages that the Christian message has been adapted for. So Christians simply retained the original phrasing. Why shouldn’t we do the same with consubstantialis?

    Of course, it’s not merely a case of wanting to retain original meaning, either. In the case of “consubstantial”, the new translation is deliberately committing the Creed’s reciters to a specific interpretation of the Faith.

    Take, as another example, the word “Transubstantiation”. We could, for alleged “pastoral” or “ecumenical” reasons, translate this dynamicallyas the “Doctrine of Consecrated Change” or something silly like that. And then naturally anytime we Catholics would enter into dialogue with Protestants we would say something like, “Regarding Communion, we believe in the Doctrine of Consecrated Change.” And then we would be primed to think of the Eucharist in terms merely of “consecration” and “change”. We would be inclined to say things like: “You see, when the priest consecrates the bread and wine, we believe it changes into the body of Christ and the blood of Christ.” And because we’ve used these fairly generic English-y terms (“consecration” is fairly specific, but not terribly so, especially for Protestants), our Protestant interlocutors would say,

    “Well, that’s what we believe! Yes, that’s what we believe too, but – ” (isn’t it funny how it’s always “we believe that too, but…”?) “but we think the change that happens at the consecration is just spiritual. Christ is AT the table, not ON the table, you know!” And to an uninformed Catholic who had never heard a more thorough explanation of transubstantiation, that would sound perfectly reasonable.

    But when you have well catechized Catholics who know their technical terminology, these sorts of mishaps don’t happen at all. It’s easy to rally around ideas like “change taking place”. But the second you tell a non-Catholic, “I believe in transubstantiation,” there’s no pretending like we’re “talking the same language” as they say. Tell a Protestant, “I believe in transubstantiation” and they don’t even have to say anything, you can just read it on their face: “I don’t know what that is, but I’m pretty sure I don’t believe it.” As well they shouldn’t, because it doesn’t happen in their churches.

    “Consubstantial” is in some ways even more important then, because the idea it expresses is even vaguer when expressed as “one in being with”. I could say that I think Jesus is “one in being with the Father” and even Hindus and Wiccans might agree with me. They might even be enthusiastic about it. “Well of course he is! And so is Buddha! And so is Gandhi! And so am I! And so are you! And so is this ashtray!” But saying, “I believe Jesus is consubstantial with the Father” and it only invites an explanation. And the explanation has to focus on the nature of the belief as a Mystery, because it can’t be summed up in a neat little expression like “one in being” to anyone’s satisfaction. If you use a whole separate word for it, even Hindus and Wiccans know that it must be more complicated than that!

    We have such a grand tradition of being precise about our beliefs, as Catholics. It’s a shame that that tradition has been thrown aside in favor of “ease of understanding”. If it were easy to understand the mysteries of our faith, why was Jesus crucified for teaching them? If ease is the measure of our salvation, why bother with the Church at all? If I were looking for ease, I certainly wouldn’t be Catholic. And frankly I think that’s exactly the conclusion many who are opposed to the new translations want people in the pews to draw: “Wait a second… salvation isn’t about the Church! It’s not about Jesus! It’s about me!”

    Like Chesterton said: “Christianity hasn’t been tried and found wanting, it’s been found difficult and left untried.”

  62. Patrick J. says:

    @mfg, re: getting rid of the Baltimore Catechism as a mistake.

    Well, only a mistake if the intent was to educate children effectively as to the basics (basics in the best sense of the word) of the underlying truths of the Catholic faith. At that point in time which you bring up,(1970)I am not sure that was indeed still the inte
    nt.

  63. Mark of the Vine says:

    I was unaware that “consubstantial” was not in the English version of the Creed. In Continental Portuguese it is always said in the Creed.

  64. Dear Catholicmidwest, robtbrown, et al.,

    “One in being” is a meaningless fragment of language.

    The expression, “One in being with the Father,” on the other hand, is theologically correct.

    It is, as a matter of fact, a most excellent translation of the original Greek creed promulgated at Nicea.

    This last, by the way, is the reason to reject it as a translation of the Latin liturgical text. I mean to say that “one in being with the father” is not nearly as good an English translation for the Latin consubstantialem Patri as it is for the Greek homoousion to Patri – and the text being translated is a LATIN text, which says, consubstantialem Patri.

    Once you have seen this, then the rest of the discussion becomes a parlor exercise.

    Alright, I’ll play.

    Sure, “One in being with the Father” is subject to misunderstanding, but so is “consubstantial”.

    Minds untrained in the sacred sciences are easily confused by the former, and baffled by the latter, while theologians are at perpetual risk of saying too much, too little, or that which is just plain wrong, about what the claim behind both terms actually means.

    Bafflement is preferable to confusion. A blank slate is better than a bad map.

    But, what happens when priests try to fill in the blanks for their flocks?

    Consubstantial does not overcome the dangers of theological error and even heresy attendant upon the expression ‘one in being with the Father’.

    Consubstantial is to be preferred as a translation for the Latin term because it is directly derived from the Latin term, itself; indeed, consubstantial exists in English only as an anglicised form of the Latin word from which it is directly derived.

    Consubstantial, like its Latin original, is differently, though no less theologically dangerous than the alternative currently in use. [Not sure who you are channeling here, but,... no.]

    When simple faithful ask – even before they ask – the thing to say is, “Consubstantial is a word that expresses the constant understanding of the whole Church about Our Lord: Our Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. This is the central mystery of our faith – that God became one of us so as to draw us into His eternal life of perfect love with the Father and the Holy Spirit.”

    That’s it – and that’s all of it.

    Best to all,
    C.

  65. TJerome says:

    What I find so frustrating here is that if there is a word you don’t understand, ask! Consubstantial is just one of many, many words in the liturgy who’s
    meaning is not apparent to the uneducated. That’s why I’m curious why folks like Bishop Trautman focused on consubstantial and not words like incarnate. Now
    that’s a word we all use in everyday speech. But again, the good sisters in grade school took the time to tell us what words like incarnate meant. Also
    it’s a proven fact that young children are like spounges when it comes to learning a foreign language (and big, mean words in their mother tongue). So the
    whole debate has gotten silly. I am thrilled the new translations will be with us soon (not soon enough). Again, it will be the snooty, condescending
    liberals who will be hyperventilating and feigning concern for the canaille when this is really all about them and making the Sacred Liturgy over into
    their “image and likeness.” Tom

  66. ALL: I found on the blog Scelata a great anecdote relevant to our discussion here.

    Be sure to go there and read it!

  67. jaykay says:

    The version we used to use over here in Ireland and the UK ran: “one in substance with the Father”. Maybe it didn’t quite get across the theological shading that consubstantial does, but imho it sure as heck had a better “stop and think quotient” than the very pedestrian “one in being”. The mind just sort of runs over and around that, as others have commented. To me it’s just another hum-drum phrase, like the sort of traffic roundabouts we’re so fond of over here on these islands, that you just waltz around with a minimum of attention. “Consubstantial”, on the other hand, is more like a set of traffic lights. It’s arresting.

  68. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    I am not channeling anyone.

    I am not sure what your observation means.

    Had it come from someone else, then in all frankness I would have thought it wanting in moderation, at least, if not lacking in charity, for it seems to suggest that my assertion bears the marks of occult origin.

    While I am sure you offer the remark in the best and friendliest of spirits, I am at a loss when I attempt to parse it, and would be very glad to have it clarified, should it be essential; otherwise, let us let it pass.

    In any case, allow me to offer the following in defense of the assertion with which you have taken issue:

    The term expresses a mystery, which, I do not need to tell you, is a truth that surpasses human understanding. So does the expression, ‘One in being with the Father’ (I am assuming you recognize the expression as a perfectly adequate translation of the Greek homoousion to patri).

    Theologians have been misunderstanding, poorly expressing, and inadequately articulating this central and mysterious truth of our faith for centuries, both in Latin and in Greek.

    Catholic people in general, priests and laity have been misunderstanding, inadequately grasping and poorly explaining this particular article of the Creed for centuries, during the whole time of which we had consubstantial in English and prayed consubstantialem patri in the Creed – or rather, the priest prayed the Creed for and in the name of all the faithful – though that was no guarantee against material heresy.

    Merely changing the term (and please, please remember that I favor consubstantial as the superior translation) will not obviate the need for catechesis – it will only remand confusion to another level. This is because, while “one in being” might suggest to the untrained mind a meaning that is erroneous, “consubstantial” will mean nothing to the uninitiated – and the utter bafflement will either lead the simple Catholic to supply whatever understanding he had of the phrase formerly in use, or ask for clarification. If he does the former, it is a crap shoot. If he does the latter, it is a crap shoot, all the same: either Father tells him, ““Consubstantial is a word that expresses the central mystery of our faith and the constant understanding of the whole Church about Our Lord: Our Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man,” or Father instead tries to explain by more or less bizarre and inadeqate example what it means, or he says, “it means ‘one in being’”.

    Consubstantial has all the baggage of the philosophical struggles to understand substance, at first without the benefit of the original Greek texts in which the problems were first articulated, and later with the added difficulty of having to understand those texts on their own terms and merits as they became available – and then to find the right balance and measure between the autonomous Latin tradition and the recovered Greek learning. The intellectual endeavor is enormous, and indeed unfinished.

    Add to this the extra baggage of philosophical modernism and post-modernism for which the heritage of the Latin West is dead wood, at best, and realize that this is the intellectual lens through which much of the history of thought is viewed and taught to students, quite by default. The increase of “learning” among the lay faithful will at this point appear to you a hindrance to grasping the meaning of substance, and so to understanding the philosophical bases and roots of the technical theological term.

    Consubstantial is differently, though no less theologically dangerous than “one in being with the father”. [Nope.]

    Best,
    C.

  69. Ginkgo100 says:

    I don’t believe in dumbing down the liturgy or underestimating the minds of the faithful, but “consubstantial” is a big Latin word that isn’t on high school (or even most university) vocabulary lists, and they don’t teach Latin in schools anymore. But obviously, as you pointed out, “one in being” is too vague and weak. I think in most cases the Latin can be translated in a way that is true to the text but understandable in standard English, and in this case, I think “of one substance with the Father” would do nicely.

  70. robtbrown says:

    QMJ,

    IMHO, the “one in being” phrase is ambiguous, which is not uncommon in Vat II and post Vat II. By ambiguous, I mean permitting interpretations that can be mutually contradictory. Another example is “spiritual drink” (potus spiritalis) in the Offertory.

  71. Dear robtbrown,

    Granted, “One in being” does, on its own, permit interpretations that can be contradictory.

    It is not, however, plausibly attributable to an immediately post-conciliar preference for “ambiguity”.

    It is a direct translation of the Greek text of the Nicene creed, and we know what that Creed means: Jesus is fully God and fully human. So it is not to be read, “on its own.”

    The translators made heroic blunders, to be sure, but the “one in being” blunder is rather more banal in its roots. They said, “Well, the Greek is older, let’s use that,” and ignored the plain and simple fact that they were charged with tranlating, not a part of the Greek acts of the Council of Nicea, but the Latin text of the Nicene Creed as it is proclaimed in the sacred liturgy.

    Best,
    C.

  72. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    Do you disagree with the arguments I have adduced in defense of the assertion?

    Is it rather that you do not think the arguments support the assertion when it is offered as a conclusion to them?

    Best,
    C.

  73. Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,

    Perhaps the assertion would be more agreeable to you if I reformulated it positively, to wit:

    Both expressions, “One in being with the Father” and “Consubstantial with the Father” are theologically correct, though neither is without its potential pitfalls if untethered from Magisterial interpretation and taken as mere theological speculation.

    Best,
    C.

  74. I am going to jump in just for fun, because I don’t have a dog in this fight. Like most Catholics, I will say what Mother Church tells me to say. As has been stated, “one in being” is a direct translation of the Greek. It cannot be taken on its own, without its context, any more than we can read “only begotten Son” out of context, which could lead to monarchism, modalism, polytheism, and other heresies. Consubstantial, I have been told, is the better translation of the Latin. Great! But I am going to give the original translators the benefit of the doubt. “One in being” allows the listener an opportunity to approach the mystery of the Trinity on his own. Consubstantial does not – he will reach for a dictionary (one which might tell him it means “one in being”, or might not tell him anything). More likely, he will just believe whatever his priest tells him consubstantial means.

    In other words, on its own, for the average Catholic “one in being” means something, albeit not everything, and allows them to begin to approach the mystery of the Trinity on their own, as it were. Consubstantial means absolutely nothing – and requires reference to something else (either a good dictionary or a good priest), and allowing him, with this effort, to hopefully get a better understanding of the Trinity that way. Both methods have their good points and their bad points.

    But I will remind people of another theological term which was not “watered down”: atonement. Never was it changed into something, let’s say “a reckoning” or “a settling of accounts”: Both of which describe, albeit not well enough, the concept of atonement. But never was the word replaced in that manner. Instead, what we got, and continue to get all over the English-speaking world, are religious instructors saying atonement means “at one-ment”, and pushing some weird New Age mumbo jumbo definitions on the world.

    After figuring out the battle is won, what will these people do with Consubstantial? “Con” means with, and “substantial” means having great worth, after all. So Jesus just had “great worth” with the Father. He was His favourite! This is the kind of silliness which will come about.

    At least with something like “one in being”, it means something to the listener. It can be twisted one way or the other, but its underlying definition can never be changed. Consubstantial means nothing to the listener, and like the similarly undefined word atonement, can be utterly changed by those who would like to do that sort of thing, which, sadly, is a significant proportion of the religious education community.

  75. TJerome says:

    Gingo100, so you are in the Bishop Trautman “we’re too dumb” school of thought? What about the words “incarnate”,
    “ineffable, etc” should we find synonyms for them too? Tom

  76. Father S. says:

    Interestingly enough, in Spanish, the text is “de la misma naturaleza del Padre,” meaning “of the same nature as the Father.” In a given week, I offer Holy Mass in Latin, English and Spanish and am amazed at how varied the translations can be. This is most noticeable in the Creed and in the words of the Consecration, wherein the priest says, “por vosotros y por todos los hombres,” meaning, “for you and for all men.” This is closer to the previous English translation. In the greetings, however, Spanish maintains “y con tu espiritu,” or, “and with your spirit.” I am looking forward to being a bit closer to saying the same thing in three different languages. (All the time, of course, bearing in mind the adage of “truduttore, traditore”…)

  77. TJerome says:

    Father S, thanks for the interesting information. I guess the Spanish are a bit more “macho” than the rest of us. Tom

  78. robtbrown says:

    Chris Altieri,

    It is anything but a parlor game. And it’s one thing to say that a phrase is not theologically incorrect, and quite another to say it’s correct.

    The problem with homoousion vs consubstantialem is not merely one of translation, but rather that the Eastern and Western Churches approach the Trinity differently. When the Easterns speak of God, it is God the Father, then the question becomes whether the really distinct Son is the same as the Father. The use of homoousion, therefore, indicates that everything attributed to the God the Father (including existence) is also attributed to God the Son.

    The Western approach is different. We begin with the One God, and all Trinitarian considerations are done within the concept of His Oneness. That is why God is referred to as Triune.

    For the East the problem is establishing the Oneness of the three really distinct persons. For the West, the problem is establishing the real distinctiveness of the Three within God’s Oneness.

  79. Father S. says:

    RE: TJerome

    Actually, in Spanish, “hombre” is gender inclusive.

  80. robtbrown,

    Insofar as the new English translation will have “consubstantial” (something that makes all of us happy, I hope), then debating the best reason(s) for prefering “consubstantial” in a combox on a blog is about as close to the dictionary definition of a parlor game that one can get in cyberspace. [ o{]>:¬( Noooo…. ]

    That said, the Nciene definition in the Creed was given in response to a specific Christological heresy, which was, like all of the primary Christological heresies, a Greek problem.

    I have no beef with what you say about the difference in approach between East and West, but I do not see how it is immediately relevant; when we are talking about homoousion to patri, we are talking Christology, not comparing approaches to speculative Trinitarian theology.

    Best,
    C.

  81. robtbrown says:

    Insofar as the new English translation will have “consubstantial” (something that makes all of us happy, I hope), then debating the best reason(s) for prefering “consubstantial” in a combox on a blog is about as close to the dictionary definition of a parlor game that one can get in cyberspace.

    Then why did you write so many responses?

    You have done this before: You make comments, then when people challenge them, you say it’s really inappropriate to talk about such things here.

    I have no beef with what you say about the difference in approach between East and West, but I do not see how it is immediately relevant;

    Too bad. If you did, you would understand the problem.

    when we are talking about homoousion to patri, we are talking Christology, not comparing approaches to speculative Trinitarian theology.
    Comment by Chris Altieri

    What is your background in theology?

  82. TJerome says:

    Father S, just like “homines” in Latin. Doesn’t Bishop Trautman understand that simple concept? Tom

  83. Then why did you write so many responses?

    Sheer delight to give you trouble, it might be…

    You have done this before: You make comments, then when people challenge them, you say it’s really inappropriate to talk about such things here.

    Nope, never done that. I have refused to argue a case or a point, or to press an issue of which Fr. Zuhlsdorf, our host, has grown tired and/or pronounced a contrary sentence, such that my continuing would be petulant. I have refused to be drawn into such circumstances. I have never refused a challenge, as such.

    Too bad. If you did, you would understand the problem.

    Thanks.

    What is your background in theology?

    I’ve read a few books, talked with some folks.

    Best,
    C.

  84. Father S. says:

    RE: TJerome

    I cannot speak for Bishop Trautman. I will also not speculate on his understanding. I am not sure if there is any virtue in doing either.

    “Hombre” is similiar to “homines” in Latin. It is not, however, exactly identical. I am all for using “man” as a gender inclusive term. I also happen to disagree with those who oppose it on grounds any type of discrimination. That being said, there is a position (again, one with which I disagree, ultimately) that would assert a difference in interpretation. There are those who say that because Latin is no longer vernacular, it has lost all of its vernacular connotation. As such, it is far less likely to be a socially charged language. Spanish, on the other hand, because it is still very much vernacular, is far more likely to be socially charged. As such, while there may well be a grammatical similarity between the terms, (i.e., both “hombre” and “homo” are gender inclusive) the vernacular context is different. Again, I do not think that this is a compelling enough argument to remove “hombre” from the words of Holy Mass. I think that this is a very teachable moment. Nonetheless, the argument still is at least reasonable.

    Further than this, there is the fact that in Spanish, there is no corresponding term for “vir.” Latin has two terms; one is gender inclusive (“homo”) and one is gender exclusive (“vir”). Insofar as Spanish does not share this characteristic of Latin, there is a difference.

  85. TJerome says:

    Father S, Ah, the Vir Ecclesiae, I hadn’t thought about that for some time. Very interesting discussion of the nuances between the Spanish and Latin for
    similar sounding terms I never really could understand all the hub-bub over the term man or mankind in the Liturgy. Sentient speakers of English know these are gender inclusive terms. Nonetheless, many liturgists proceeded to politicize the Liturgy by demanding that the Liturgy be stripped of these, which to my mind,
    impoverished the texts. Tom

  86. mpm says:

    A number of people seem to believe that “one in being” is an exact translation of “homoousios”. Actually, “homoousios”, as a Greek adjective, means “of the same essence“, not “one in being”. What some at the Council of Nicaea want was homoiousios, which meant “of an essence similar to the Father’s”. That the Council turned down.

    The word “substantia” was used by Tertullian and others to translate “ousia” long before the Council of Nicaea was held. Augustine, in the context of the Trinity, often says “substantia vel essentia”, implying that they were synonyms as far as he was concerned. Both “ousia” and “substantia” also had the meaning of substance as in English when we say “a man of substance, property”. They were used nevertheless to designate the “nature” or “whatness” of something in a philosophical context, since the Greek philosophers had used the term in that sense.

    “One in being” admits of being one accidentally, not just substantially; as Cardinal George told the other bishops at their meeting “we are all ‘one in being’ in this room”, but that is not the kind of being that the Creed means. The Council of Nicaea did not want the beingness of the Father and Son to be regarded accidentally, as Arius did — i.e., a kind of moral unity between them. So they went with the Greek term they did; after which the Creed was immediately translated into Latin for the Latin-speaking world, using the word that corresponded to homo-ousios, i.e., con-substantialis.

    It strikes me that whether “consubstantial to the Father” will mean anything to those who hear it is highly dependent on what they already know. But that is why we have catechesis and classes, of course.

  87. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    Please do not think that my parlor game comment was meant to disparage or belittle the considerable time, money and effort that goes into running your operation. I, like everyone else, I hope, am very grateful to you in this regard.

    I meant only to say that the fight is won, and we will have “consubstantial”, so whatever we say here, whatever the outcome, we have no real world issue to influence vis à vis the translation.

    Tempers seemed to be rising, and it seemed opportune to introduce some reminder to myself and my interlocutors that 1) with regard to the translation, we are on the same side, and 2) with regard to “consubstantial” and many other things in the new translation, our side has won.

    Best,
    C.

  88. Father S. says:

    RE: Chris Altieri

    “Tempers seemed to be rising, and it seemed opportune to introduce some reminder to myself and my interlocutors that 1) with regard to the translation, we are on the same side, and 2) with regard to “consubstantial” and many other things in the new translation, our side has won.”

    What, exactly, is the point of speaking of this in terms of victory and loss? Further, what “side,” exactly, are you on? I am happy with the new translation as I think that it is a richer translation than the previous one. That being said, it does not seem that there is a battle with others. Perhaps I am naive or missing something here. When the new translation comes, the job at hand will be to make using it an attractive idea as opposed to reminding others that they did not get what they wanted.

  89. TJerome says:

    Father S,

    Agreed, but we know Bishop “You Know Who” will still be carping about it because he’s the defender of “Joe and Mary Catholic.” Right. Tom

  90. Dear Fr. S.,

    It seems I am damned if I do, damned if I don’t: :-)

    If you read my comments carefully, Fr., you will see that I am saying the same thing you are: there is no battle, no beef, no fight between us, here.

    There was a knock-down, drag-out over the new translation, often fought word-by-word, and it is worse than useless to pretend otherwise – but the fight is over, and the issue settled happily enough.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your understanding of the mission as we go forward to implement the new translation: this is a “teachbale moment” that ought not be lost.

    Best,
    C.

    Since you asked, I am on the side of those who prefer “consubstantial”.

  91. Father S. says:

    RE: Chris Altieri

    I do not think that we agree here. We may agree on the translation, but we certainly disagree about the use of caricature. The new translation is not an issue of doctrine or dogma. [? ... No, the translation is also about doctrine. That is why the new translation had to be done. The bad translation was not just ugly and inaccurate, but it compromised the Church's doctrine. This is why we now will have "consubstantial" and "for many", etc.] It is an issue of translation. If some folks prefer the one we have now, they are welcome to prefer it. It has been used for some time and it has ecclesiastical approbation. Thought here will come a point when they may no longer use it, they are free to maintain their own point of view. This is not a conversation about heresy or articles of the faith. This is not a question of victory and defeat. It is a question of using opposing views to work out a more authentic translation of the Latin editio typica. Bishop Trautman and Cardinal George are not Arius and Athanasius. To the contrary, they are both bishops who were free to disagree and assert their opinions as successors to the Apostles. (Cf., St. Peter and St. Paul)

    This is not “pretend[ing] otherwise.” This is an acknowledgment of legitimate Apostolic authority. Thanks be to God that these men were willing to act on that authority, even if I disagree with some of them.

    Insofar as there is ridicule for those who oppose the translation, there is a failure in virtue. Where is the search for righteousness in ridicule? Further, “our side” did not win anything. All of us have received a gift from the Holy Father that is a richer means of offering Holy Mass.

  92. RuariJM says:

    Supertradmom – “Educational studies I have seen show that this generation is not as intelligent as the one before, and the same for the one before that.”

    Taken to its logical conclusion, those Neanderthals must have been pretty smart, hey?
    :-)

  93. RuariJM says:

    “I am all for using “man” as a gender inclusive term. I also happen to disagree with those who oppose it on grounds any type of discrimination.”

    Me too, Fr S. And I can’t stand ‘humankind’ (in place of ‘mankind’), when we already had a perfectly acceptable word – humanity.

    Great and enlightening discussion everyne – thanks – although I am gobsmacked that there appear to be some (in America, primarily, it would appear) who are unaware of the nature of Jesus as God.

    fwiw, I’m delighted that the somewhat poor English translation is being replaced.

  94. TJerome says:

    RuariJM,

    I don’t know if people are less intelligant today in the sense of inability to learn but they clearly are much more ignorant today on many subjects, i.e.
    the Catholic Faith, history, and government. The left-wing which is in charge of schools suppresses or glosses over many aspects of Western History and
    Culture (nasty old white man syndrome) in favor of such “vital” areas of learning such as gay studies, womens’ studies, black studies, etc.

    Tom

  95. Father S. says:

    RE: TJerome

    “Agreed, but we know Bishop “You Know Who” will still be carping about it because he’s the defender of “Joe and Mary Catholic.” Right.”

    Again, what is the point of speaking this way about another person? The fact of the matter is that we do not know what this or that bishop will have to say. We may not be surprised when we hear them say something, based on past statements, but why write them off? Why not keep from the petty comments and pray for their conversion? What is the point of sarcasm? Perhaps you did not mean the above sarcastically, but it seems to me that you did. How is this helpful? We are to be people who crave holiness and there is no room in holiness for sarcasm.

  96. Dear Fr. S,

    I agree with everything you said in your last post.

    I have never said anything different.

    In fact, I have been faced with criticism from several different quarters on this thread precisely because I have taken the position that, the specific term, “consubstantial” is to be prefered as a better translation, even though there is nothing theologically wrong with the “one in being” language currently in use. [Ummm... you said that "consubtantial" was "dangerous". Right?]

    Some folks seem to want their pound of flesh from the “one in being” language.

    Not I.

    I am concerned to make clear to you that I have never, nor will I ever, God strike me dead, questioned legitimate Apostolic authority.

    I never, ever questioned the validity of the translation currently in use. [Perhaps you should have. The Holy See did.]

    I simply pointed to the fact, verifiable in the record, that there was a long, hard slog first in ICEL, then in the US Bishops’ conference, over the translation.

    The fight was basically and broadly ideological in its moving causes, and its conduct was almost absolute – with those opposed to the mens of the new translation contesting nearly every line, sometimes every word of every line, and even the punctuation.

    I do not believe that Bishop Trautman is a bad man: I think he misunderstands the principles of translation, generally, and the purpose of the new translation of the liturgical texts, specifically, though I have never heard him say anything to make me doubt either his faithfulness or his bona fides. [I think he understands the principles perfectly, and he rejects them.]

    Your insinuation, by way of repudiating an analogy I never offered, is frankly unfair.

    Best,
    C.

  97. Dear MPM,

    The neat distinctions among such lately developed Latin terms as “essence” “substance” “being” “substrate” “subject” “form” “matter” inter alia were not present to the Greek mind or language.

    Philosophical understanding really did advance in the Latin West, and it is inappropriate to read back into the Greek with such facility such distinctions as were centuries of intellectual and spiritual toil in the making.

    Best,
    C.

  98. TJerome says:

    Father S, I really don’t enjoy arguing with you because I believe we are on the same page liturgically. But as someone who suffered through the liturgical
    wars of the 1960s I’ve had quite enough of clerics like the bishop I’m alluding to. Maybe you dont’ follow the public statements of the bishop I’m writing about. He’s snide, nasty, condescending, and disobedient to the Pope. I believe a lot of the Church’s liturgical problems stem from the fact that at the time of the alleged “reform” is that the lay people didn’t fight back and call a spade a spade. We were far too deferential. I think we’ve all discovered that many bishops and priests from that time who are still with us today had personal agendas which didn’t necessarily accord with the will of the Church. If a bishop or priest is acting within the will of the Church, fine. If not, I believe we have an obligation to call them out since many of their agenda items are harmful to souls and the life of the Church.I recall that Sacrementum Caritatis vested the laity with that right. Tom

  99. Father S. says:

    RE: TJerome

    The issue is not that we point out error. The issue is how we point out error. If we our to have integrity in pointing out error, it has to be without condescension, ridicule or sarcasm. As for laity being “vested,” and for that being a “right,” I think that language is a bit strong. Certainly all people have a duty to promote what is right and good. Further, deference and correction are not mutually exclusive. Basic respect, which is the foundation of deference, is cast aside when we resort to anything but charity.

    RE: Chris Altieri

    I did not insinuate anything by analogy. You may have read that into what I wrote, but the comparison was meant to demonstrate that the debate that ensued over the translation was, in fact, legitimate. In other words, the point of the analogy was intended to demonstrate that frontier which exists between debate and battle. It is not a question of victory and defeat, as was the dispute between Arius and Athanasius. It is a question of presenting alternate legitimate opinion and then submitting to the Holy See. I am not unaware of what has been going on. I have followed the discussion with great interest. It simply seems foolhardy to depict what has happened here in terms of who won and who lost.

  100. TJerome says:

    Father S, When that bishop adopts a respectful and deferential tone to the Holy Father, then maybe I’ll consider according him respect and deference.
    But based on my life experience, I’ve found with liberals like the bishop, respect and deference are a one way street. After my uber-liberal pastor lambasted
    the Pope I went up to him and asked him why I should respect him if he doesn’t respect the Pope. He had no response. Tom

  101. Supertradmom says:

    Liberal insult 221,078 does not call for a Traditional insult number 579,444. One of the priests in our diocese calls the neo-conservative priests and the TLM ones, the “sons of Mother Anglica”. I still need to respect this man qua priest, just as you, Tom, need to respect the bishop qua bishop. If you cannot do so, respect the office and pray for him daily. We get the clergy we deserve, just as we get the politicians we deserve. The laity is just as responsible for the liberalization of the Church as is the clergy, if not more so. How many lay people insisted on contraception in the 1970s up to now? How many lay people refuse to study their Faith and remain in ignorance on purpose, because other things are more important? How many lay people chose not to support Catholic education when it was still good, and buy SUVs instead? How many lay people insisted on the “American Dream” rather than a large family? How many put careers before vocations and positively discouraged their sons and daughters from becoming priests and nuns? This still happens and we are responsible as laity for our own actions.

    The bishop is your brother in Christ and his salvation may depend on your personal love and prayers. Yes, love…. When you stand before Christ in judgment, He is not going to bring up the lives of your bishop or parish priest, but your own life.

  102. TJerome says:

    Supertradmom, do you want a left-wing loon bishop running all over you? I don’t. If he doesn’t respect the Pope, I don’t respect him. It’s that simple.
    Christ drove the money-changers out of the temple. Was he wrong? Tom

  103. Supertradmom says:

    Dear TJerome,

    My home diocese had had three such bishops in a row, and we are one of the dioceses bankrupted through the scandals. The present bishop is not changing the liberal atmosphere at all. By the way, I do not think the money-changers were bishops, which makes the metaphor suspect. Christ directly addressed the Pharisees and Sadducees, for the good of their souls. But Christ, as God, “consubstantial”, had purity of heart and such innocence, that his judgments were completely free of rancor or frustration. Most of our rantings are not so pure and innocent.

    Forgive, pray, and pray hard. Many reformers, such as Luther, started with good ideas of reform but went amuck in rancor and self-righteousness. Besides, how do you know that the Lord did not place this man in your life just to assure his and your salvation?

  104. Father S. says:

    RE: TJerome

    What does it matter if respect and deference are a one-way street? Why would St. Paul say, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them”? (Romans 12: 14) Or, why would Our Lord say, “”You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 4: 43-48) We are responsible for our conduct and there is never a time when we may be reduced to sinfulness. As for driving out the moneychangers, show me where there was any disrespect demonstrated to them. Show me where Our Lord used sarcasm, ridicule or condescension. In the end, when people speak this way about those with whom we disagree, it makes us all look bad. Basic respect is always given; it is a recognition of the dignity we all have because we are created by Almighty God.

  105. Supertradmom says:

    Thank you, Father. Maybe TJerome will listen to you rather than an ordinary mom….

  106. ALL: Settle this now or I will start locking people out.

  107. QMJ says:

    robtbrown,

    I completely agree.

    I’m new to this and don’t know all the acronyms. What does “IHMO” mean? Thank you.

    In Christ through Mary

  108. QMJ says:

    Oops, I meant “IMHO.” Told you I was new.

  109. TJerome says:

    Father S and Supertradmom,

    I surrender. I don’t want to fight with good people like you. I know what you’re saying is true but we all have our human frailties.

    That particular bishop has written to me personally in a highly insulting manner when I took him to task over the translation war he is waging. [You know... that is not a matter of discussion for this blog. I am deleting the rest of your comment here and I will consider if you should post more.]

  110. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    Respectfully, what I said was that consubstantial was not less dangerous than “one in being” (though it is a better translation of the Latin liturgical text). The dangers attendant upon it are rather different, or arrived at differently, than those which attend the “one in being” language.

    Each term expresses the central mystery of our Faith; neither is the product of idle theological speculation; both must be controlled by Magisterial interpretation.

    A danger peculiar to “one in being” is that it uses a vocabulary that has different and not entirely or immediately compatible meaning in both colloquial, and technical scientific language.

    Fine.

    A danger – potentially turned to advantage, it is true, but a danger nonetheless – peculiar to “consubstantial” is that it is colloquially meaningless. This might lead untrained faithful to “plug in” their older understanding of the “one in being” language automatically (and that understanding may or may not have been correct), or to ask father for an explanation, etc. etc. and so on and so forth.

    These and other dangers may be avoided, if whatever term is used is properly interpreted, i.e. controlled and limited by the Magisterium.

    Untethered from the Magisterium, and treated as concepts of speculative theology, both terms are dangerous.

    With regard to the translation presently in use, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, I know the Holy See has expressed concern over its inadequacy. If you say the black and do the red as written in the books currently in use, you will have said the Mass. In this sense, they are valid. I do not know of the Holy See ever having questioned the validity of the translation in this narrow sense.

    With regard to Bishop Trautman, I will only say that I think he is wrong, and has been wrong-headed.

    I do not understand why my refusal to question his motives is tantamount in the minds of some contributors to sympathy with his faulty reasoning.

    I am happy to see this be my last post on this thread.

    Best to all, and thanks to Fr. Z.

    C.

  111. robtbrown says:

    Then why did you write so many responses?

    Sheer delight to give you trouble, it might be…

    If that is so, then I would say you have a low opinion of theology. And that would be sad.

    You have done this before: You make comments, then when people challenge them, you say it’s really inappropriate to talk about such things here.

    Nope, never done that. I have refused to argue a case or a point, or to press an issue of which Fr. Zuhlsdorf, our host, has grown tired and/or pronounced a contrary sentence, such that my continuing would be petulant. I have refused to be drawn into such circumstances. I have never refused a challenge, as such.

    Incorrect. You did it before with me. Same situation. You pontificated. I disagreed. Then you said you didn’t want to discuss it anymore.

    Too bad. If you did, you would understand the problem.

    Thanks.

    Prego

    What is your background in theology?

    I’ve read a few books, talked with some folks.
    Comment by Chris Altieri

    Have you ever considered the possibility that some of us here have read more books, and talked with more competent folks?

  112. catholicmidwest says:

    Charley,
    Ever hear of ARistotle?

  113. catholicmidwest says:

    Yikes,

    Reading this thread, I just found the sentence: “The neat distinctions among such lately developed Latin terms as “essence” “substance” “being” “substrate” “subject” “*form*” “matter”
    inter alia were not present to the Greek mind or language.”

    *I’m absolutely astonished. Hasn’t ANYONE in here every heard of PLATO! What are you guys, a bunch of grade school students or something?*

  114. Well… this seems to have gone, like Kansas City, just about as far as it can go.

    Any good contributions to make or do we shut this down?