Sunday, August 21, 2011

Voris on Priscillianism, Communion in the Hand, and Spain



W.LindsayWheeler said...

Eastern Orthodoxy, in all of its churches, the communicants recieve the host Standing. The ancient ecumenical councils prohibited kneeling on Sundays. Spain is the farthest from the center of Christianity which is the Greek East. The standard Christian behavior is to stand on Sundays.

This is the universal tradition of the church. For some reason, eccentric Spanish Catholicism has become the norm within Roman Catholicism.

Don Paco said...

It is an error to think that whatever is ancient is traditional. An ancient practice is one what was done a long time ago; a traditional practice is one that has been handed down from generation to generation. For example, the practice of waiting until one's deathbed to be baptized was practiced in the Fourth Century. Yet despite its antiquity, this practice is not traditional: it is not what has been handed down from generation to generation. What was handed down is infant Baptism. To confuse antiquity with tradition is an error which Pope Pius XII calls "false antiquarianism" in his encyclical Mediator Dei.

It may be that the early Church received Holy Communion standing. But this is by no means the traditional way of receiving Holy Communion. From time immemorial, the (traditional) Roman Rite has practiced communion in the tongue and kneeling. This is the practice that we have received, even if there was once a (more ancient) practice of doing otherwise.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

My teacher, Archimandrite Boniface, a liturgical expert, (originally of the Norbertine Order), taught that standing on Sundays was always the Christian practise. It changed around 900 the Latin West. There was much resistance upon this change. The Orthodox, which are ultra conservative too, to this day, take communion standing and do not kneel on Sunday. This is a tradition that is kept alive, passed down from one generation to another. I've been to Greece and Constantinople and attended their services.

Latin Christianity changed quite a few things like the sign of the cross. What you consider tradition and an antiquitarian heresy has changed throughout the centuries.

It was tradition that women are veiled in the Church. All of sudden that is dropped. (I might add in both the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.) Is women wearing veils in church now an antiquitarian heresy?

Don Paco said...

You misunderstand me.

In the Byzantine Rite, the practice of receiving while standing is in fact traditional. I am not talking about the Eastern rites. We must not confuse these distinct liturgical traditions: they are each precious in their own ways, and we must not attempt to impose the practices of one upon the other. I'm sure you agree.

Rather, I am talking about the Western or Latin rites, and the Roman Rite in particular. In the Roman Rite, we have been receiving on our knees for a long while (you cite 900 AD as the turning point, in which case we have been doing it for 1100 years). Hence, you would have to agree that in the West, receiving while standing is not traditional. Rather, the tradition is to receive on our knees.

Moreover, I am not calling you a heretic. The error that Pope Pius XII describes as a "false antiquarianism" is not a heresy. It is a mistake, but not a heresy.

God bless.

W.LindsayWheeler said...

Archimandrite Boniface in the 1950s connected with the Louvain University, laid the groundwork for Vatican II. His thought was about the Unity of the Church, that between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. In that case it was "supposed to be" about restoring lost traditions to the Latin West.

Instead the Council took other turns and sought to reconcile with Protestants.

There has always been a large animus in Rome for the East. Natural, in my opinion. But the notion of standing to recieve communion was in some sense about re-establishing some harmony between East and West. Yes, kneeling is now the Latin tradition but it kind of strikes me strange that the guy in the video is so strident about its provenance as Gospel in the West. Kneeling now holds, I would say, a romantic touch for Catholic traditionalists. I too was that way until I met Archimandrite Boniface.

The original spirit of Vatican II was to move the Latin West closer to the East. It did adopt a few things from the East, like concelebration and the standing, but then it modernized way too much. Sad that the original spirit was supplanted by another spirit.

If the Church is One, shouldn't there be a single Tradition?