Philosophical consideration of Eucharistic Consecration
#9
(12-28-2016, 06:55 PM)richgr Wrote:
(12-25-2016, 08:36 PM)yablabo Wrote:
(12-13-2016, 03:24 AM)richgr Wrote: I already addressed this in your other post: "I've regularly seen at larger parishes the additional ciboria and chalices well over a foot away from the celebrant during consecration; if this were a significant issue, I think the Holy See would have already addressed it especially considering more significant distance is involved for Papal Masses, for example. As Fr. McNamara says, if the elements are on the altar, there doesn't seem to be a problem."

The very article of Fr. McNamara we both cite from indicates that the common opinion is that if bread and wine are on the altar, transubstantiation will affect all of it insofar as everything else is properly executed. This distance is not of the kind to lead to invalidity.

As Fr. McNamara hints at, the question enters in when the distance is of such a *kind* (not of such a distance per se) that the bread and wine do not have a "direct relationship" to the altar where the Mass is said, but this doesn't necessarily mean they have to be in front or nearby as there are plenty of instances where the elements are not in front or nearby as in Papal Masses or in some large parishes and a valid consecration is presumed to have occurred for all the elements at hand. Therefore, a "direct relationship" must be of the sort that involves immediate participation in the whole liturgical rite itself and not random bread at a random distance that has had no involvement in Mass, whatever else that direct relationship might entail.

Certainly being a few feet off to the side of the priest's direct line of sight would not invalidate consecration... This isn't a new issue.

Thank you for your response.

"The question of distance must also be addressed. As our reader points out, if intention alone is sufficient, what would prevent long-distance consecration? Here the words of consecration themselves should help us. There has to be some meaning to the words 'Take this,' and 'This is my body (blood).' The word 'this' is not the same as 'that' or 'over there.'
"Liturgical norms usually require that all that is to be consecrated be present before the priest on the altar and upon a corporal. On very exceptional circumstances, such as large papal Masses, ciboria with hosts have been held by priests and deacons who are around or immediately behind the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer. Thus some relationship between the altar and the hosts to be consecrated is always maintained even though on some occasions the physical distance might be relatively large. "
This is a direct quotation of Fr. McNamara.  I have no argument with you over any direct relationship between the elements upon the altar when such relationship actually exists.  The proposition that I am making is based upon the premise that there is in fact no such direct relationship between the gifts on the altar due to their differentiation or division into separate places.

When the priest uses the formula "This is my Body, etc." or "This is the chalice of my Blood, etc." it is reasonably understood that he is not referring to anything that by common sense would be called "that" or "over there."

We are not discussion extraordinary circumstances in which explicit exceptions may be made.  We are discussing ordinary circumstances and reasonable men observing these.  My proposition therefore is: while there is a valid Mass and that the priest truly consecrates the elements before him, he does not consecrate the elements removed to the side.  The priest only consecrates what he can reasonably call "this" in front of him, but not what a reasonable man would call "that" over there.

-- Nicole

Re-read my response to you. Everything you just responded with has already been answered in that first post. I already clarified that even disregarding extraordinary circumstances. I'm not sure how you seem to continually miss the argument. If you agree with the words of Fr. McNamara you just quoted and you look at the original circumstances that you posted in your first post, then this issue should already be clearly resolved for you since it is ordinary circumstances and reasonable men observing. The general canonical rule for the validity of sacraments is to *presume* validity unless there are positive reasons to throw that into doubt. If this doesn't resolve the issue, then presuming good will on your part, the only possibility is that you've omitted some important detail that would significantly alter the circumstances as you presented them.

To repeat: If the elements are on the altar, whether or not they are in the same paten/ciborium/chalice is irrelevant, then the words of consecration affect everything on the altar. That is the common opinion that Fr. McNamara repeats. There is no distinction between elements in one vessel and elements in another with respect to their positioning on the altar. As long as they are on the altar, consecration occurs for all of them, for their presence on the altar provides that "direct relationship" needed for "This is My Body/Blood" to apply.

So your proposition is clearly false as it stands.

"That" over there would apply to elements removed from the altar (say on the credence table because extra wine in the cruet is not consecrated) provided there isn't an extraordinary circumstance. Also you are jumping from a grammatical distinction to a strong philosophical one that you haven't clearly articulated. Just because "this" and "that" are clearly grammatically distinct doesn't mean they are so strongly metaphysically distinct as to justify your proposition. If I'm understanding Fr. McNamara correctly, the relationship is secondarily one of location and principally one of intentional participation at the altar. You can't simply hold this distinction out as if it were self-evidently to be understood exactly as you do.

I already addressed the point that if this had actually been an issue, it most certainly would have been addressed by the Holy See long ago. You're not the first one to think about this problem. If you continue to think it's an issue, email Fr. McNamara for his advice.

Dear Sir,

Thank you, once again, for your response.

Out of respect to you, I did go back and re-read your original post.  I think we need to take a few big steps back and view our whole correspondence with an ice-cold eye.
 
Something needs to be addressed:  The words of Fr. McNamara are not, “If the elements are on the altar, whether or not they are in the same paten/ciborium/chalice is irrelevant, then the words of consecration affect everything on the altar.”  But instead Fr. McNamara states, “Liturgical norms usually require that all that is to be consecrated be present before the priest on the altar and upon a corporal.”  The sense Fr. McNamara conveys is very different than the one which you are proposing.  Priests in reality DO differentiate, even upon the altar, between that which they present as valid matter for consecration and that which they do not.  An example of this happens when a negligent child-server leaves a cruet of wine upon the altar: the priest pushes the cruet off to the side of the altar.  It remains atop the altar, but also remains unconsecrated due to its division from the elements to be consecrated.

An authoritative source would be required to posit that the wine is in fact consecrated in the cruet, since natural observation shows us that the priest offering the Mass believes otherwise.

Also, Fr. McNamara shows that the division between “this” and “that” is not merely a grammatical distinction, but rather an actual differentiation which changes the matter presented for consecration either to valid or invalid.  Fr. McNamara’s words are: “Here the words of consecration themselves should help us. There has to be some meaning to the words 'Take this,' and 'This is my body (blood).' The word 'this' is not the same as 'that' or 'over there.'“  This is not a consideration of the priest’s intention in consecrating, but rather validity of matter.  The sense conveyed in the word “this” is a specific here and now as indicated by Fr. McNamara by his statement of what is ordinarily required by liturgical norms: “all that is to be consecrated be present before the priest on the altar and upon a corporal.”  He states, “present before the priest on the altar and upon a corporal.”  In contrast to what is conveyed by the word “this”, the word “that” conveys an opposition or contrary sense to here and now.  We understand by conventional use “that” to be a demonstration of another being in contrast to what we have before us, i.e., something divided and set apart, something not the same.  So, by no leap in interpretation, one could reasonably and rightly understand if it is not before the priest on the altar and upon a corporal, it is not what he calls “this”, it is not valid matter and it is not consecrated when the priest utters the consecration formulae. 

It is your interpretation that the priest presents all that is upon the altar as valid matter, just as it is your interpretation that what is standing upon the credence table or within the sacristy is the dividing point for what is not consecrated.  It could be correct or it could be error.  I don’t see that your interpretation stands in the absence of authoritative teaching or citation of actual liturgical norms.  If we could find some external authoritative source addressing this issue then that would be great.

-- Nicole
Reply


Messages In This Thread
Re: Philosophical consideration of Eucharistic Consecration - by yablabo - 12-31-2016, 03:05 PM



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)