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I have been making my way through Harold Berman's "Law and Revolution: the formation of the western legal tradition" as part of my research I have to do for my PhD. It's a great history, but the author gives quite an unflattering portrayal of the Gregorian Reform of the Catholic Church of the 11th and 12th century. He gives the impression that what we regard as Catholic Orthodoxy today, in terms of the priesthood, the sacraments and the authority of the Pope was basically the product of Pope Gregory VII's reforms - and the author seems quite sympathetic to an Eastern Orthodox version of Christian history of this period. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good orthodox Catholic history of the Gregorian reform so that I can put Berman's thesis into perspective. (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Law-Revolution-For...0674517768)

Cheers!
(03-15-2014, 10:23 AM)Pacman Wrote: [ -> ]I have been making my way through Harold Berman's "Law and Revolution: the formation of the western legal tradition" as part of my research I have to do for my PhD. It's a great history, but the author gives quite an unflattering portrayal of the Gregorian Reform of the Catholic Church of the 11th and 12th century. He gives the impression that what we regard as Catholic Orthodoxy today, in terms of the priesthood, the sacraments and the authority of the Pope was basically the product of Pope Gregory VII's reforms - and the author seems quite sympathetic to an Eastern Orthodox version of Christian history of this period. Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good orthodox Catholic history of the Gregorian reform so that I can put Berman's thesis into perspective. (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Law-Revolution-For...0674517768)

Cheers!

Could you maybe quote or paraphrase some specific allegations? Maybe we can find rebuttals online or in books on our shelves for you...

Okay, here is the passage I really have trouble with. The author implies that transubstantiation was an innovation by Lanfranc in the 11th century:

"In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the commemoration of the eucharist or last supper was also rigorously defined and systematized; at the same time it was raised in importance to become the primary Christian sacrament, the principle symbol of membership in the Church.
The question of the meaning of the eucharist began to be hotly debated in the 1050s and 1060s, when Lanfranc, then head of the Abbey of Bec in Normandy, and later Archbishop of Canterbury under William the Conqueror, challenged the interpretation offered by the head of a rival monastic school, Berengar of Tours. Berengar's fame is based chiefly on his persistence in defending his views for some thirty years, not only against Lanfranc but against the whole papal party, including Pope Gregory VII. Berengar argued that the effectiveness of the sacrament, it's grace-giving power, does not depend on the transformation of the bread; the bread he argued, remains bread, but it is also the "figure" and "likeness" of Christ when it is offered and received in the proper manner. Lanfranc, using the Aristotelian categories of substance and accidents, persuaded the First Lateran Council to denounce Berengar's views and to affirm that in the sacrament the substance of the bread is miraculously transformed into the "true" body of Christ at the time it is consecrated. Theoretically, no one needs to participate but the priest. In the next century Lanfranc's theory - later called "transubstantiation" - was expressed liturgically by the introduction of the ritual elevation of the host: before the bread if lifted up, the ceremonial words, 'This is my body" effectuate the transformation...
It was also in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that the celebration of the eucharist in the West became highly ritualized. In addition, the number of sacraments, which hitherto had been unlimited, was reduced to seven, and each was subjected to its own liturgical rules. The sacraments were not valid unless performed correctly, and their performance  usually required the expert offices of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. (Marriage was an exception until the sixteenth century.) Thus a sacrament was said to be effective ex proprio vigore ("by its own force") it if was correctly performed by an authorized person. Thus in the case of the eucharist, Christ's presence, the source of grace, was considered to be effected by the words and acts of consecration, rather than by invocation of the Holy Spirit, as in the Eastern Church then and today."

(pp.173-4, my emphasis) 
Not sure if this is helpful, but this is my own take on the bias and prejudice inherent in the text:

Transubstantiation is as much an "innovation" for us, as the Uncreated Light (or Tabor Light) is for the Orthodox. For the former: there are hints of the weight of the Real Presence in the Eucharist all throughout the scriptures and tradition before Lateran IV. To use the term Transubstantiation is merely a codifying of what was held in shadow or in lesser understanding. For the Essence-Energy distinction, there are hints of it in the theology of Gregory of Nyssa - among others - long before Gregory Palamas codified it in the 1300s. It is what we call development of doctrine, and the Orthodox have it just as well. Perhaps they expressed it later than we did (1300s-1400s rather than 1100s-1200s), but it is still there. Whether this book does indeed posit a more "Orthodox" Catholicism, pre-Gregorian Reform, there's still the fact that the Orthodox themselves have undergone major reforms - cf. the Nikonian Reform of the 1600s, which totally changed the Byzantine Rite in Russia and created a schism with the Old Believers.

Sorry I don't give any references... it's just the history I know. Let's see what more educated people come up with...
(03-16-2014, 06:49 AM)Pacman Wrote: [ -> ]Okay, here is the passage I really have trouble with. The author implies that transubstantiation was an innovation by Lanfranc in the 11th century:

"In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the commemoration of the eucharist or last supper was also rigorously defined and systematized; at the same time it was raised in importance to become the primary Christian sacrament, the principle symbol of membership in the Church.
The question of the meaning of the eucharist began to be hotly debated in the 1050s and 1060s, when Lanfranc, then head of the Abbey of Bec in Normandy, and later Archbishop of Canterbury under William the Conqueror, challenged the interpretation offered by the head of a rival monastic school, Berengar of Tours. Berengar's fame is based chiefly on his persistence in defending his views for some thirty years, not only against Lanfranc but against the whole papal party, including Pope Gregory VII. Berengar argued that the effectiveness of the sacrament, it's grace-giving power, does not depend on the transformation of the bread; the bread he argued, remains bread, but it is also the "figure" and "likeness" of Christ when it is offered and received in the proper manner. Lanfranc, using the Aristotelian categories of substance and accidents, persuaded the First Lateran Council to denounce Berengar's views and to affirm that in the sacrament the substance of the bread is miraculously transformed into the "true" body of Christ at the time it is consecrated. Theoretically, no one needs to participate but the priest. In the next century Lanfranc's theory - later called "transubstantiation" - was expressed liturgically by the introduction of the ritual elevation of the host: before the bread if lifted up, the ceremonial words, 'This is my body" effectuate the transformation...
It was also in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that the celebration of the eucharist in the West became highly ritualized. In addition, the number of sacraments, which hitherto had been unlimited, was reduced to seven, and each was subjected to its own liturgical rules. The sacraments were not valid unless performed correctly, and their performance  usually required the expert offices of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. (Marriage was an exception until the sixteenth century.) Thus a sacrament was said to be effective ex proprio vigore ("by its own force") it if was correctly performed by an authorized person. Thus in the case of the eucharist, Christ's presence, the source of grace, was considered to be effected by the words and acts of consecration, rather than by invocation of the Holy Spirit, as in the Eastern Church then and today."

(pp.173-4, my emphasis) 

Not sure you could find anybody in the East, Catholic or Orthodox, who wouldn't regard Berengarius as a heretic. I don't know who this Berman person is, but does he really think that the Orthodox don't require a priest for a proper Eucharist? Or that the Orthodox don't have the Seven Mysteries (aka sacraments)? It's true that some theologians, such as Peter Lombard, held that there were more than seven sacraments, but the definition of their number is little different than the Church's decision to clarify the canon of Scripture.

The last sentence there is just weird. Sure, the Orthodox will typically hold that the change takes place at the epiclesis, but they still require that it be done in a certain way and by a certain person. I'm pretty sure that none of the Western liturgies ever had an explicit epiclesis, including before the Cluniac reforms. Is he saying that Catholics don't believe that there is a role for the Holy Spirit in the Eucharist?

In short, this author is either confused about what the Orthodox believe or mistaken/lying about history.
(03-16-2014, 06:49 AM)Pacman Wrote: [ -> ]"It was also in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that the celebration of the eucharist in the West became highly ritualized. In addition, the number of sacraments, which hitherto had been unlimited, was reduced to seven, and each was subjected to its own liturgical rules. The sacraments were not valid unless performed correctly, and their performance  usually required the expert offices of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. (Marriage was an exception until the sixteenth century.) Thus a sacrament was said to be effective ex proprio vigore ("by its own force") it if was correctly performed by an authorized person. Thus in the case of the eucharist, Christ's presence, the source of grace, was considered to be effected by the words and acts of consecration, rather than by invocation of the Holy Spirit, as in the Eastern Church then and today."

(pp.173-4, my emphasis) 

1.  Anybody who thinks that the celebration of the Eucharist was not "highly ritualized" before the 11th Century is mistaken.

2.  As to the confection of the Eucharist by the words of consecration, modern scholarship concludes that (a) the Roman Mass never had an Epiclesis, and that (b) the Epiclesis in the Eastern Churches was originally a preparation for Communion (cf. the Epiclesis in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy of St. Basil) rather than referring to the Consecration (cf. the Epiclesis in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom). 

3.  It is true that the Eastern Christians, even today, sometimes use the tern "Sacrament" (or "Mysterion") to refer to additional rituals besides the seven Sacraments (e.g. the Making of a Monk, or the Anointing of the faithful on Holy Wednesday), but this is an instance of imprecise language, and not a serious assertion that there are more than seven Sacraments.  The East does not possess the Scholastic tradition and so the terminology can be different, but this is not a difference in doctrine.
(03-16-2014, 08:13 AM)Heorot Wrote: [ -> ]Whether this book does indeed posit a more "Orthodox" Catholicism, pre-Gregorian Reform, there's still the fact that the Orthodox themselves have undergone major reforms - cf. the Nikonian Reform of the 1600s, which totally changed the Byzantine Rite in Russia and created a schism with the Old Believers.

In no sense can the Nikonian liturgical books be called a "major reform", despite what the Old Believers thought.  The differences are extremely minor--sort of like the difference between the Roman Mass and the Dominican Mass.
(03-16-2014, 03:33 PM)spasiisochrani Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-16-2014, 08:13 AM)Heorot Wrote: [ -> ]Whether this book does indeed posit a more "Orthodox" Catholicism, pre-Gregorian Reform, there's still the fact that the Orthodox themselves have undergone major reforms - cf. the Nikonian Reform of the 1600s, which totally changed the Byzantine Rite in Russia and created a schism with the Old Believers.

In no sense can the Nikonian liturgical books be called a "major reform", despite what the Old Believers thought.  The differences are extremely minor--sort of like the difference between the Roman Mass and the Dominican Mass.

My apologies, then. I don't know as much as I pretend to know.
I recommend Dr. Warren H. Carroll's History of Christendom series for a much better portrayal of Catholic history, Gregorian reforms and otherwise. Dr. Carroll is a devout and loyal Catholic, and doesn't hesitate to criticize genuine abuses and problems as much as he doesn't hesitate to defend the Church and the Faith.

The second volume in the series, The Building of Christendom, deals with the years 324-1100; I don't recall right off just how much space Carroll devotes to the Gregorian Reforms, but there ought to be adequate ammunition with which to refute the accusations of anti-Catholics.
(03-16-2014, 06:49 AM)Pacman Wrote: [ -> ]Okay, here is the passage I really have trouble with. The author implies that transubstantiation was an innovation by Lanfranc in the 11th century:

"In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the commemoration of the eucharist or last supper was also rigorously defined and systematized; at the same time it was raised in importance to become the primary Christian sacrament, the principle symbol of membership in the Church.
The question of the meaning of the eucharist began to be hotly debated in the 1050s and 1060s, when Lanfranc, then head of the Abbey of Bec in Normandy, and later Archbishop of Canterbury under William the Conqueror, challenged the interpretation offered by the head of a rival monastic school, Berengar of Tours. Berengar's fame is based chiefly on his persistence in defending his views for some thirty years, not only against Lanfranc but against the whole papal party, including Pope Gregory VII. Berengar argued that the effectiveness of the sacrament, it's grace-giving power, does not depend on the transformation of the bread; the bread he argued, remains bread, but it is also the "figure" and "likeness" of Christ when it is offered and received in the proper manner. Lanfranc, using the Aristotelian categories of substance and accidents, persuaded the First Lateran Council to denounce Berengar's views and to affirm that in the sacrament the substance of the bread is miraculously transformed into the "true" body of Christ at the time it is consecrated. Theoretically, no one needs to participate but the priest. In the next century Lanfranc's theory - later called "transubstantiation" - was expressed liturgically by the introduction of the ritual elevation of the host: before the bread if lifted up, the ceremonial words, 'This is my body" effectuate the transformation...
It was also in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that the celebration of the eucharist in the West became highly ritualized. In addition, the number of sacraments, which hitherto had been unlimited, was reduced to seven, and each was subjected to its own liturgical rules. The sacraments were not valid unless performed correctly, and their performance  usually required the expert offices of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. (Marriage was an exception until the sixteenth century.) Thus a sacrament was said to be effective ex proprio vigore ("by its own force") it if was correctly performed by an authorized person. Thus in the case of the eucharist, Christ's presence, the source of grace, was considered to be effected by the words and acts of consecration, rather than by invocation of the Holy Spirit, as in the Eastern Church then and today."

(pp.173-4, my emphasis) 

Not an innovation... but  new way of describing what was always understood.

Until Aristotle was re-found and his teachings understood the Church didn't have the words or philosophical  categories to describe what was happening at the consecration. They were struggling with the words, then comes Aristotle and a whole new vocabulary about "substance" and "accidents" and now the Church could more accurately describe what was happening.
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