Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On Ordination

Now HERE'S something that will cause some chin-pulling.

Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the rite of Episcopal Consecration in the Western Church had reached a fair degree of complexity. At its heart lay the ancient Consecratory Prayer of the Roman Church. Into this had been interpolated a paragraph from the Missale Francorum. Where in all this was the 'form' of the Sacrament, essential according to the scholastic analysis of sacramental efficacy, to accompany the 'matter', the Imposition of Hands?

Fr. H. describes a bit more of the history and some 'splanations thereof....and then:

I know what you're wondering. Faced with this complexity and these questions, what deft, sensitive, 'organic' simplifications did Bugnini - the first of my two Meddlers - perform? Here is the answer: he dumped into his trash-can all three of the formulae I have mentioned; the authentic 0ld Roman Prayer (which contained the words Pius XII had declared to be the 'form'), the possibly French interpolation, and the medieval Imperative formula (which had previously been regarded as the 'form'). Into the place of all three he shipped a prayer of dubious ('Hippolytan'?) origin which had been used in the distant Christian East by groups out of communion with Rome whose Chalcedonian orthodoxy was questionable.

Well, "Bugsy" Bugnini was quite a card, you know. But dumping the Frog Interpolation? A good thing.

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