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In  the Summa, St. Thomas says...

"At the same time a sense of decency forbids Communion on two accounts. The first of these is always verified, viz. the bodily defilement, with which, out of reverence for the sacrament, it is unbecoming to approach the altar (and hence those who wish to touch any sacred object, wash their hands): except perchance such uncleanness be perpetual or of long standing, such as leprosy or issue of blood, or anything else of the kind. The other reason is the mental distraction which follows after the aforesaid movements, especially when they take place with unclean imaginings. Now this obstacle, which arises from a sense of decency, can be set aside owing to any necessity, as Gregory says (Regist. xi): "As when perchance either a festival day calls for it, or necessity compels one to exercise the ministry because there is no other priest at hand."

I don't understand the reasoning behind this.  Aquinas says in the same section that one isn't barred from receiving Communion if the wet dream doesn't "proceed from mortal sin", which makes sense.  But then he goes on to say that a sense of decency still forbids it, and is "always verified".  Is it always wrong to receive after a wet dream, or should this conclusion just be dismissed as an oddity?
(06-04-2009, 07:44 AM)StabatMater Wrote: [ -> ]In  the Summa, St. Thomas says...

"At the same time a sense of decency forbids Communion on two accounts. The first of these is always verified, viz. the bodily defilement, with which, out of reverence for the sacrament, it is unbecoming to approach the altar (and hence those who wish to touch any sacred object, wash their hands): except perchance such uncleanness be perpetual or of long standing, such as leprosy or issue of blood, or anything else of the kind. The other reason is the mental distraction which follows after the aforesaid movements, especially when they take place with unclean imaginings. Now this obstacle, which arises from a sense of decency, can be set aside owing to any necessity, as Gregory says (Regist. xi): "As when perchance either a festival day calls for it, or necessity compels one to exercise the ministry because there is no other priest at hand."

I don't understand the reasoning behind this.  Aquinas says in the same section that one isn't barred from receiving Communion if the wet dream doesn't "proceed from mortal sin", which makes sense.  But then he goes on to say that a sense of decency still forbids it, and is "always verified".  Is it always wrong to receive after a wet dream, or should this conclusion just be dismissed as an oddity?

Perhaps it is more of a cleanliness issue. Like, would it be proper to receive if one was all sweaty and dirty from hard work but had little chance to prepare for mass? Perhaps not, unless one was not in a better situation otherwise to receive. They didn't have the same bathing facilities at that time, so perhaps it was more of a personal cleanliness issue, than a moral one. If a person with leprosy or issue of blood can receive according to the advice, but a person who is temporily "dirty" (physically) should not, it is clearly not a prohibition.
Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.
(06-04-2009, 08:31 AM)didishroom Wrote: [ -> ]Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.

"Code of Canon Law (1917)" Wrote:"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.
(06-04-2009, 07:44 AM)StabatMater Wrote: [ -> ]In  the Summa, St. Thomas says...

"At the same time a sense of decency forbids Communion on two accounts. The first of these is always verified, viz. the bodily defilement, with which, out of reverence for the sacrament, it is unbecoming to approach the altar (and hence those who wish to touch any sacred object, wash their hands): except perchance such uncleanness be perpetual or of long standing, such as leprosy or issue of blood, or anything else of the kind. The other reason is the mental distraction which follows after the aforesaid movements, especially when they take place with unclean imaginings. Now this obstacle, which arises from a sense of decency, can be set aside owing to any necessity, as Gregory says (Regist. xi): "As when perchance either a festival day calls for it, or necessity compels one to exercise the ministry because there is no other priest at hand."

I don't understand the reasoning behind this.  Aquinas says in the same section that one isn't barred from receiving Communion if the wet dream doesn't "proceed from mortal sin", which makes sense.  But then he goes on to say that a sense of decency still forbids it, and is "always verified".  Is it always wrong to receive after a wet dream, or should this conclusion just be dismissed as an oddity?

Sorry, but is Aquinas talking about wet dreams in this extract? He makes reference just to "leprosy or issue of blood'' that are more medical conditions than anything else. I think there was recommendation not to receive communion for example if one had the habit of often vomiting blood or things of this sort - because the Host might not yet have evaporated (i.e.: cease to have the appearance of bread) when the vomiting occurs.

Anyway, assuming he is talking of wet dreams, Aquinas does not seem to say there is anything inherently wrong with receiving communion after one. Only that perhaps it may be somewhat inappropriate or ill-fitting.

Remember, there hasn't been - until recent times - a universal consensus as to when it is appropriate to receive holy communion. Everyone has always accepted that being in a state of grace for example is absolutely necessary. But still, some inclined to a position that one should truly make it a 'special occasion' only after intensified preparation - which was perceived to be mitigated if it was 'commonly' received whenever the opportunity arose. This approach of spiritual guidance was forcefully dropped by St Pius X - state of grace is all that is necessary; other factors should not prevent reception of communion (which is after all, not a reward for holiness; but a means towards it).
(06-04-2009, 09:01 AM)lamentabili sane Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-04-2009, 08:31 AM)didishroom Wrote: [ -> ]Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.

"Code of Canon Law (1917)" Wrote:"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.

Was it Trent or First Vatican that placed the Summa alongside Holy Scripture on the Altar during their sessions?
Trent...but obviously not everything Aquinas wrote is doctrine or must be held.
(06-04-2009, 09:05 AM)didishroom Wrote: [ -> ]Trent...but obviously not everything Aquinas wrote is doctrine or must be held.

"Code of Canon Law (1917)" Wrote:"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.
(06-04-2009, 09:01 AM)lamentabili sane Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-04-2009, 08:31 AM)didishroom Wrote: [ -> ]Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.

"Code of Canon Law (1917)" Wrote:"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.

That doesn't mean every single opinion or conclusion drawn by Saint Thomas *must* be accepted. E.g.: His views on ensoulment were based on faulty scientific knowledge. It just means means that his method must be given prominence in the seminaries - I'd say it calls for the holding of the more fundamental aspects of his theology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomism#Distinctive_ideas) , not the more remote conclusions, e.g.: Aquinas argues that the Incarnation would never have occured had there not been Original Sin - other schools of thought hold otherwise; the relationship between free-will and grace, again, differing viewpoints in the Church.
(06-04-2009, 09:12 AM)Lagrange Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-04-2009, 09:01 AM)lamentabili sane Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-04-2009, 08:31 AM)didishroom Wrote: [ -> ]Those are good points, as the Church has only forbidden us to receive Communion if we are in a state of sin or not mentally prepared to receive. This thing about wet dreams could be just his opinion, as much of his Summa is-I think people put too much into Aquinas.

"Code of Canon Law (1917)" Wrote:"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.

That doesn't mean every single opinion or conclusion drawn by Saint Thomas *must* be accepted. E.g.: His views on ensoulment were based on faulty scientific knowledge. It just means means that his method must be given prominence in the seminaries - I'd say it calls for the holding of the more fundamental aspects of his theology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomism#Distinctive_ideas) , not the more remote conclusions, e.g.: Aquinas argues that the Incarnation would never have occured had there not been Original Sin - other schools of thought hold otherwise; the relationship between free-will and grace, again, differing viewpoints in the Church.

This is a far cry from saying, "I think people put too much into Aquinas"...

"1917 CIC" Wrote:"The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by Professors (in seminaries etc.) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of St. Thomas which they are inviolately to hold." CIC 1366, 2.
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