Saturday, October 29, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. Wm. James
Pistrina is surprised at how much e-mail traffic a comment under one of our articles about “One-Hand” Dan’s ordination has generated. Remarking about the post “‘Slight’ of Hand”, an earnest commenter admonished the Reader:
…so what if Dolan's priestly ordination was invalid? He was thereafter consecrated a bishop, thereby receiving the fullness of the priesthood. Consecration as a bishop automatically confers all of the powers of the lesser office of priest.
Pistrina's Readers replied that, according to research undertaken a few years ago, a valid priestly ordination was required for the reception of the episcopacy. However, we invited our correspondent to provide written support for his/her assertion. We also promised to publish anything the commenter found.
We aren't sure if our commenter was among the correspondents who wrote, but the Reader received quite a few e-mails both pro and con. Here’s a summary of the best:
Somewhat in favor of the commenter, one writer cited Tanquerey (the Latin moral theology author frequently used in pre-Vatican II U.S. seminaries).
…orders received by a leap are valid, except perhaps the episcopacy…some [theologians] contend that the episcopacy is not an order distinct from the priesthood, but only its complement, and therefore is not validly received unless the priesthood were received beforehand; others, however, hold that the episcopacy is a distinct order, in which the priestly order is eminently contained, and from ancient documents it is well known that sometimes this order was conferred while other orders were skipped (Synopsis Theologiae Moralis et Pastoralis, I. 1149 [b]).
A learned correspondent from abroad sent us a Spanish-language text by the Dominican Royo Marín. The eminent friar considers both positions and offers the following conclusion: the opinion “that requires previous priestly ordination for the validity of Episcopal consecration is very much more probable…” (Teología Moral para Seglares, 2. 412).
A third writer sent this citation from the Dominican Prümmer:
Is the espicopate validly received by one whose priesthood was invalid? The negative opinion seems preferable and is the one to be followed in practice (Handbook of Moral Theology,806.3).
The Dominican B.H. Merkelbach, another correspondent pointed out, refuses to hedge his opinion like others. The great moralist categorically concludes:
The episcopacy or the power of ordaining other priests cannot be conceived without the priesthood, but necessarily supposes and includes it, since no one can communicate to others a power that he does not have. And therefore, a bishop cannot be validly ordained who is not, or at least is not ordained at the same time, a priest (Summa Theologiae Moralis, III. 731.3).
We’re not here to settle the question of the validity of "One-Hand" Dan's orders. As we’ve said, the decision whether to seek a sacrament sub conditione is best left to the individual’s conscience. Our point is simply that no one should use the Blunderer’s unscholarly monograph to decide the question.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
We have have five seminarians left from last year, and have two new ones this year...All tolled, there will be seven...