Monday, March 31, 2008

Holy Orders: a problem

Valle Adurni has an interesting post about Holy Orders, the relationship between bishop and priest and the incompatability, or difficulty, in reconciling Trent and Vatican II. At the seminary I was told, simply, Trent was wrong!
In these more intellectually enlightened days this is an issue which should be discussed more widely


Volpius Leonius said...

Trent was wrong!?!?!?! I would have up and left the seminary there and then, Trent saved the Church and is surely the work of the Holy Spirit.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Fr Blake ~ do you ever feel that you were cheated at seminary? It seems to me that the priests of your and subsequent generations have been taught distortions of the truth.

As Patrick Burke concluded, there has been too much Rahner in the post-V2 Church.

On the side of the angels said...

I have a similar problem with RCIA and its contravention of Trent regarding the adjudication of the catechumen - Trent says we're expressly forbidden from judging the worth or the past indiscretions/misdemeanours of the candidate - RCIA even has the Bishop involved in a pseudo- 'trans- scrutiny' which has significantly more to do with the character of the person rather than their fullness of understanding of their instruction, their profession of faith and acknowledging/repenting of sins with a firm desire of amendment.

Have asked many people regarding this but nobody seems to have bothered responding....

Anonymous said...

A bit complicated for the average pew-person! however fascinated and a bit horrified to hear that you were told in the seminary that 'Trent was wrong.' Thinking about this further do you think there is a possibility that one day future priests will be told 'Vatican II was wrong?'

Another thing which surprised me was learning that Fr Finnegan read 'The Tablet'!

Fr Ray Blake said...

I do feel cheated by my seminary formation, it was third rate and ill prepared men for priesthood.

Fr Ray Blake said...

The scrutinies occur before baptism, I can't see a problem.

Anagnostis said...

Good Morning Father

I would say the problem begins with the "paradigm" represented by the pre-Conciliar picture at the head of you piece. It's back-to-front. It ought to show The Lord laying hands on the Bishop first, and then the Bishop's ministry extending through his presbyters, deacons, acolytes and so on. The foundational principle of the orders - Christ's ministry in the person of the Bishop - is completely absent here.

"Where the bishop is, there is the Catholic Church"

Fr Ray Blake said...

Moretben, the phrase is, "Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia", it concludes, "et ubi ecclesia vita eterna.

You could be right but that was not "ubi et ibi", not even in apoistolic times, we can't edit history and ignore oligarchical episcope. In the NT there is generally no distinction between bishop and elder.

Physiocrat said...

I thought priests were "ordained" and bishops were "consecrated". Is that incorrect? And ordination is one of the seven sacraments. So far as I know, but I am no expert on this, there is nothing in the Catechism about ordination as a bishop being another sacrament or there being different levels of ordination. Bishop just means over-seer, so what is all this about?

Anagnostis said...


Different phrase. I'm quoting Ignatius of Antioch, and the point I'm trying to make is that representing the "ascent" through the minor and major orders in this way - from tonsured larva to presbyteral dragonfly - is ecclesiologically absurd; and it leads precisely to the kind of confusion over the nature of the episcopate that seems to have emerged.

Our Lord did not institute acolytes first, then raise them to the subdiaconate, and finally the fullness of the priesthood. The foundational principle of all the orders is the Apostolic office of the bishop, in which the others "participate".

Anagnostis said...

To quote St Ignatius further, "let nothing be done without the Bishop". That should apply even, I suggest, to diagrams!

On the side of the angels said...

sorry Father, don't think you see what I'm saying ; the scrutinies inherant within catholicism for millennia for the catechumenate are NOT the same as the RCIA form in either consideration or terminology - it's consistently implying that adjudication has been made on the character of the individual and their 'deserving' baptism - NOT merely the mandatory scrutiny that they are informed in the faith , believe , repent and desire baptism - according to Trent that is all we are to do ; nothing more - it is categorically NOT our place to judge worth.

As for seminaries ?
I could compile a list of fundamental dogmatic and moral teachings which were diammetrically opposed via our seminary lectures , our recommended reading lists , our liturgies [especially the sermons] - even our prayers !!!
You wouldn't believe the things we had to endure - no miracles, no divinity within Jesus until he 'became christ' no bodily resurrection, no real presence in the eucharist , contraception, masturbation etc was ok, abortion was permissible as an aspect of the double effect!!!!, we were even told that dropping the two bombs on Japan were not just acceptable but a moral imperative of the informed conscience in order to save more lives !!!!???? [Yes we all had to be utilitarians and consequentialists - moral relativism, situationism and pragmatism was seen as axiomatic ]

Let down by seminary ?
Some of the seminary lecturers [and I say this when we were graced enough to have more than a few orthodox devout genius lecturers amidst the dross] not only crossed the line ; they threw up on it !

Sadie Vacantist said...

pelerin ~ Vatican II defined no doctrine and was not a dogmatic council. It can not be wrong in one sense because it defined no new or hitherto unknown truths. Correct me if I am wrong.

What I find baffling is that the Pope continues to use his 'conservative' instincts to defend or "conserve" what has been a complete shambles from start to finish. For it is frightening to learn that Fr Blake has been taught not only nonsense but 3rd rate nonsense by a future member of the hierarchy. If this were a business, heads would roll.

I predict that this mess will continue for another 30 years as a generation of well meaning but deluded (c)onservatives continue to defend a council that is badly in need of decontruction: the "reform of the reform" brigade. Where is a good a modernist deconstructor when you need one?

By the end of 30 years, those of us who brought about this crisis will be dead and people will be free, once again, to rediscover the truths of the Faith.

That's life and best of luck to those of you who are 25 years younger than me!

Yours enviously


Volpius Leonius said...

Is the Priest not also a alter Christus moretben?

You are looking at it from the wrong angle, this diagram is meant to show the traditional path to the Priesthood, and that is what it does.

It is not meant to show and does not claim to show what you are criticising it for not showing, but that does not make it wrong.

Volpius Leonius said...

Incidently the reason the Bishop is not shown is likely due to the fact that not all who take Holy Orders become Bishops, they are all traditionally however meant to become Priests at some point.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Moretben, See the new entry on Valle Adurni.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...