Spring 1971

Page 1




Editor George J. Dyer Business Managm¡

Associate Editor John F. Dedek

Richard J. Wojcik

Production Manager

Executive Assistant

Edmund J. Siedlecki

Marjorie M. Lukas

Editorial Advisors Joseph A. Bracken, S.J. Gerard T. Broccolo James P. Doyle John F. Fahey William 0. Goedert John R. Gorman Vincent C. Horrigan, S.J. Willard F. Jabusch George J. Kane Edward H. Konerman, S.J.

William P. LeSaint, S.J. Thomas B. McDonough George K. Malone Charles R. Meyer Gerald T. O'Brien Joseph J. O'Brien Robert A. Reicher Richard F. Schroeder Edward J. Stokes, S.J. Thomas F. Sullivan

CHICAGO STUDIES is edited by the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary and the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago for the continuing education of the clergy. The editors welcome articles and letters likely to be of interest to our readers. All communications regarding articles and editorial policy should be addressed to the editors. Subscriptions should be sent to CHICAGO STUDIES, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Subscription rates: $5.00 a year, $9.00 for two years, $16.00 for four years; to students, $4.00 a year. Foreign subscribers: add 50c per year. CHICAGO STUDIES is published three times a year with ecclesiastical permission and copyright, 1971, by Civitas Dei Foundation, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Third Class postage paid at St. Meinrad, Ind. Views expressed in the articles are those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the editors or editorial board. Indexed in The Catholic Periodical Index and New Testament Abstracts. Microfilms of current and backfile volumes of CHICAGO STUDIES are now available from University 1\Iicrofilms, Inc., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by self addressed stamped envelope.




SPRING, 1971









John A. Coleman, S.J.



John F. Dedek



Thomas N. Munson



Ernest Lussier, S.S.S.



Raymond F'. Collins



Edouard Pousset, S.J.



Willard F. Jabusch


Willard F. Jabusch

The Rise and Fall of the Pulpit

Changing pulpit design through the ages shows how we lost the New Testament view of preaching.

Probably no one would deny that Jesus Christ, at least on occasion, gave speeches.. Although the New Testament scholars argue about just how much of the Sermon on the Mount, as we now have it recorded, was actually given at one time and one particular place, there seems to be little doubt that Christ did get up (on a rock or ledge, perhaps) and speak to a large number of people. Another vivid scene from the New Testament shows us Christ making Peter's boat into an improvised "pulpit" in order to speak to the many people who were pressing down to the very edge of the water to hear him. He asked Peter to push out a bit from the shore, and then, from the fishing boat, he gave a speech to the crowds on the beach. 3



Although there were no loudspeakers to amplify his voice in the open air, the magnetism of Christ as a speaker drew five thousand people out into the desert. The Gospel makes it clear that Christ's audiences could be very large even when the place where he would speak was outside the towns and the speaking conditions were far. from ideal. But it has been wrong to assume that these famous "speeches" of Christ before massed audiences were typical of his method of communication. Most of the time he was presenting his Gospel of salvation-always in that same concrete and personal Semitic style--to smaller groups of people. In fact, it would seem that Christ did not ordinarily look for large crowds. They, instead, simply came to him after hearing of his reputation as a wonder-worker and controversial young rabbi. When they came, without previous instruction in his message, he would speak to them; but the New Testament indicates that Christ was much more ready to get away from large audiences than to seek them out. How then did Christ preach? We know well enough that he taught through examples and parables, and "without parables he did not teach them." It is important to keep in mind that many of these parables were told around a supper table or during a walk through the fields or along the lake. Christ "preached" among a group of friends in the comfortable home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus at Bethany, in the dusty road before the gate of Jericho, while walking in the evening with Nicodemus, or while sitting by Jacob's well near the town of Sichem. The gospel was "proclaimed" not so much through oratory, even Semitic oratory, as through discussion, questions, answers, homely examples, and friendly conversation. THE WORDS OF A POET

The mystery of the Kingdom of God was not presented in an ordered and logical way in the preaching of Christ, with the deductions of the philosopher or the relentless drive of the lawyer, the precision of the engineer or the clarity of the scientist; the words of Christ were the warm and colorful words of the artist. There were, of course, strong words as well as gentle words; and they were often full of a special urgency and ¡force-



fulness, but they respected the freedom of the listeners. Contention, debate, dialectic, philosophic inquiry-these were the weapons of his enemies. Christ was silent before Herod, who longed for argument. And it was Pilate who indulged in absh¡act speculation when he asked "What is truth?" The question was, of course, a legitimate one; but for Christ the answer was much too precious for a debater's game. Christ wanted to reveal something of the mystery of his Father, and he chose the language of poetry rather than the language of abstraction as the best means of doing this. He ignored the prevalent Graeco-Roman rhetoric in favor of the stories, parables, and symbols of the Old Testament tradition. He was inductive and concrete in the oriental fashion. In the same way, he ¡preferred the discussion, the conversation, the dialogue to the oration or lecture. Christ, the great teacher, clearly favored the small seminar in an intimate setting over the lecture method in an aula maona. Our difficulty is, of course, that "proclaiming the Good News" has taken on a restrictive meaning which it did not have in the New Testament. "Preaching" has come to mean a sort of sacred oration or lecture, a monologue from a rather clear and structured text, given customarily before a silent audience. But for Christ and the men of the New Testament who were active "in the ministry of the Word" (Acts 6, 4), this would have been far too narrow a concept. Karl Hermann Schelkle reminds us in his book, Discipleship and P1'iesthood: "For its description of preachi;,g and proclamation the New Testament employs thirty different expressions: say, speak, expound, declare, teach, announce ... proclaim, admonish, censure, preach, testify, confess, persuade, convince--among others. lf our modern language is much less richly endowed, then this is not only a decline in language, but a sign that we have lost much of the actuality as well. The abundance of expressions echoes the abundance of overflowing vitality in the ancient church." The preaching of Christ and of his disciples, then, was wider and more encompassing than the "pulpit preaching" of later times. The "proclamation of the Good News" was such a rich and expansive concept that it would not be limited in rhetoric



nor in manner of presentation. Nevertheless, even in the New Testament, preaching assumed certain general fotnJS which varied according to whom the message was directed. We can recognize them today. NEW TESTAMENT FORMS OF PREACHING

There are, first of all, the people who have not yet heard the Gospel or have heard it only in a very inadequate way. They are in need of missionary preaching which could lead them to an acceptance of the Faith. This first phase of preaching is evangelization. An audience is introduced to Christ for the first time. The preaching of the Good News is centered around the Lord Jesus himself; the story of Christ is told, from Old Testament prophecies through the Resurrection and the promise of his return. As Domenico Grasso says: "The most important place among the facts of salvation history is occupied by the Death and Resurrection of Christ, especially by the Resurrection, which is the center of all salvation history. The presentation of Christ canied out in evangelization is not so much theological or apologetic as kerygmatic. The Apostles are so full of Christ, so transported by their contact with him, that they seek their listeners' adherence to Christ through sheer, contagious enthusiasm. Christ is the Lord to whom we must give ourselves, because he has loved us first and loved us unto death." The purpose of this first type of preaching is the conversion of the listeners, a general and overall acceptance of the person of Christ as their Savior. Only later will come greater detail about who Christ is and what his salvation means. At this point, the hearer accepts the word of God with gladness and makes a total dedication of himself to God, turning away from whatever would prevent his moving toward this happiness which has now been announced to him. Evangelization is a preaching of the "core message" which, of course, can be announced in different ways by Christ himself, Peter, Paul, Augustine, the missioners in pagan lands, and those who must preach in the big, de-Christianized cities of Europe or America. Some listeners will be better prepared than others; there will be adaptation to particular situations in



Africa, in Japan, or in the United States. There has even been a great deal of interest in the important question of "pre-evangelization," in which the minds and hearts of the listeners might be properly prepared to hear the news of salvation with openness and joy. But always this preaching is directed to people who are, in fact, hearing about Christ effectively for the first time. This first encounter with Christ through preaching and this first attraction to him is followed by a second phase of preaching. It is a preaching of initiation and aims to impart a knowledge of the Faith in all its doctrinal and moral implications. The friendship with Christ, the dedication to God which the well-disposed listener made, must now be deepened. It is the time for instruction, for catechesis, for the formation of a Christian mentality and conscience. It must be, of course, more than the systematic exposition of Christian doctrine; it must introduce the convert to those great biblical and liturgical signs which can mold his whole personality. In the early Church, the whole of Lent formed a time for catechetical preaching, preparing the converts for their Easter Baptism. Now the normal place for catechesis is the school or the adult instruction class. The Apostles' Creed is one of the oldest examples of catechesis, the recent Dutch Catechism is one of the newest. Between them we can find the De Catechizandis Rudibus of St. Augustine, the catechism of the Council of Trent, those of Peter Canisius and Robert Bellarmine, and the famous Baltimore catechisms in the United States. With or without the traditional questions and answers, this type of preaching is aimed at the intellect of the convert, helping him to know Christ better through more or less systematic instruction. It is the doctrinal initiation of the catechumens and of all of those who may have received baptism but have remained uninstructed in Christian teachings. THE HOMILY AND COMMUNITY

The third form of preaching is that of formation in Christian life; the homily is for those who are already Christian. As Grasso remarks, it is "a liturgical preaching which tries to give life to the Faith already accepted and understood." The



homily is preached in the liturgy and it is directed to the Christian community. More than that, "the one clear function of a homily is that it must achieve the up-building of community, the very making of the Church." It may be said that the whole liturgy works to build community. But the preaching in the Mass has a special importance: "The homily's central importance consists in the fact it is undisputably, and in a certain sense uniquely among the elements of the eucharistic action, Christ now. The rite, the prayers, the symbolism of food, even and in some sense especially the scripture readings, may fail to convey the reality of Christ's presence to certain worshippers. But a man of their time who lives close to their lives is able to be and say Christ to them-and they to him-as no form or sigu, verbal or nonverbal, can do" (Living Worship, April, 1967). The Christian, who turned to Christ in his conversion after the preaching of evangelization, and who slowly came to understand what the conversion meant after catechetical instruction, now enters into the mystery of the Christian life in this world with greater enthusiasm and hope because of the homily which he hears in the liturgy. "Homiletic preaching stimulates the will to accept harmoniously the duties assumed in baptism and outlined in depth in the catechism" (Grasso, p. 224). All three kinds of Christian preaching, evangelization, catechesis, and homily, have Christ, suffering and glorious, at their center. Elements of kerygma, those basic teachings of Christianity,' are expanded and explained in catechesis. The homily is sometimes forced into a missionary role and must return constantly to the "core message" of kerygmatic preaching, of evangelization and conversion, since many of the assembly may still stand in need of it. It must depend on the catechetical background of the listeners, on the ordered instruction whlch they received in doctrine and morality; and, in a more informal way, it also continues to teach and inform. However, the primary purpose of the homily is not to effect the conversion of the pagan through a suitable persuasive rhetoric which would lead to a commitment of living faith, not to instruct the ignorant catechumen, child or adult, through skillful teaching methods which would form a biblical culture, but rather it is to form a Eucharistic community. In a special



way, it is to effect a communion with Christ, in his brothers and sisters among whom we live as well as in his Eucharistic presence. The purpose of the homily is the very purpose of the Eucharist itself: communion with a Person. This Person is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, but he is discovered and served in the "least of his brothers and sisters." Communion with Chl"ist is achieved first of all through communion with the persons aJ"Ound us. The homily aims to establish such a personal bond. Communication has come to mean the transmission of a message, a message which can be measured and divided with mathematical precision. It can be analyzed and packaged for theoretically perfect delivery; but the homily, like the poem, eludes such scientific accuracy. Its purpose is not the communication of knowledge but an understanding in depth of a Person, a "communion." While it does not exclude the moving of men to action, it is more concerned with allowing them to experience the presence of Christ and to create a community of love and service around him. The homily, therefore, more than any other form of preaching, has close affinities with poetry. It is not bound to be didactic any more than poetry must always teach. To share in the vision and gospel of Christ, a preaching of meditation and prayer is as necessary as the earlier evangelization and catechetical instruction. For the Bible and for the preacher of the homily, only the language of poetry seems adequate to the ¡ mystery of love and union. From its position in the liturgy and from the example of the great Last Supper discourse of Jesus in St. John's Gospel, the model fo1¡ homilies both in theme and spirit, the bonds of homiletic preaching with the Holy Eucharist should have been clear and remained strong. But, in fact, liturgical preaching has had a checkered history. At times, it would seem that the purpose and nature of the homily were forgotten. PULPITS AND THE DECLINE OF THE HOMILY


I ( I

The designs of pulpits through the ages can tell us much about the kind of sermon which was heard from those pulpits. The first centuries of Christianity produced no pulpits at all,



just as they produced neither churches nor altars. As Dr. Schillebeeckx has pointed out, secular worship was the novelty of the New Testament. The early Christians rejected the idea of worship as something separate from secular life and they saw no difference between the seculat¡ and the sacred. They were proud of the fact that they had no sacred buildings or special altars. This, of course, astonished the pagans. The Eucharist was celebrated in the homes of the faithful rather than in a church building; and the homily was probably preached near the supper table, which served as an altat¡, to those standing around ( circumstantes). After Constantine, churches were built, usually modeled after the basilica or Roman public law com-t, which had been specially designed for public assembly, often with a semi-circular dais at one end on which the judge could be seated. This place of the judge became that of the bishop, who delivered his homily seated on the episcopal cathedm. When Archbishop Maximian preached in the presence of the Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora at the consecration of San Vitale in Ravenna on April 19, 547, he probably did so from his ivory throne which was placed behind the altar table. The rough stone cathedra of Pope St. Gregory is still preserved in San Stefano Rotondo and it is not difficult to picture him seated there preaching one of his famous homilies, with the people gathered quite close around the altar and the seat of the bishop of Rome. The beautiful medieval pulpits of Pisa, Siena, and Aachen indicate that preaching was moving away from the altar and from the Eucharist. The churches were larger, the people more numerous, and so pulpits were built-sometimes works of art -in order that the preachers might be better seen and heard. But they also tended to isolate the speaker, to lift him up above the people, and to take him and the words he spoke ever further away from the Eucharist. Instead of the preacher speaking from behind the altar-table or from a chair nearby, he must now walk to a different area of the church, climb steps, and stand alone in an elevated position, looking down on the rest of the Christian people. It would, perhaps, be interesting to consider the psychological changes and the different attitudes



toward preaching the Gospel which were caused by the building of pulpits. THE DECLINE OF THE PARISH SERMON

The Swedish historian, Yngve Briloth, says of this period, "Instead of being a regularly recurring element of the Mass, the sermon increasingly was reserved for special days of penance and seasons of fasting, especially the Lenten season, when spiritual oratory flowed in rich measure, at least in the cities" (A Brief History of Preaching, Philadelphia, 1965, p. 87). It was not that there was a complete lack of preaching; the Franciscans and the Dominicans, who were founded in the Middle Ages for this very purpose, put increasing emphasis on preaching and built large churches to accommodate the crowds. But as the pulpits were moved further and further down the nave of the church and away from the altar, the diocesan clergy, both priests and bishops, seem to have preached less and less. Preaching was no longer closely bound to the liturgy nor the task of the parish priests. The speakers who are remembered from this era are the specialists like the Franciscan, John of Capistran, or the famous Dominican, Savonarola. Briloth tells us, "The pulpit became a usual fixture even though the very early pulpits were usually movable. Pews began to be customary. The friars, however, preached in many other places besides the sanctuary. Preaching to large crowds was conducive to open-air preaching even as during later periods of revival. Special preaching crosses, often magnificently ornamented, which perhaps called back memories of preaching during the Crusades, were raised in the church-yards and in public places. A story relates how Berthold of Ratison (Regensburg), a great and popular Franciscan preacher in thirteenthcentury Germany, found the direction of the wind with a feather and then let the people settle down on the leeward side while he spoke from an improvised pulpit." There is no doubt that much of this kind of preaching was powerful and beneficial, but its relationship to the Eucharist must have been more and more difficult to appreciate. "Situations when a sermon could be presented were manifold, but among these the parish sermon in the regu Jar Sunday Mass began to fade into the background."



Renaissance and Baroque pulpits were still higher and more ornate. In many of the Gothic churches of Europe, a Baroque pulpit was installed half way down the church. A good example is the fantastic pulpit of Lou vain with its carved wooden animals and trees, quite out of place in a much older Gothic church. It provided a new focus for the eyes and ears of the people and quite frankly competed with the altar as the center of interest. The parochial Sunday sermon to a great extent became only a pious hope. The representatives of the religious orders were given the responsibility of meeting the demands for strong religious emotion by means of violent rhetorical assaults. Baroque churches in Austria or Italy or Spain provided theatrical settings for dramatic attacks on the current enemies of the Church, with biblical texts used as weapons. "Many of the weaknesses of the medieval sermon, its fondess for anecdotes, its display of learning and rhetorical bombast, its sometimes burlesque folksiness, appear again in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries" (Briloth, p. 144). You have only to examine the famous pulpit that stands in one of the smaller churches of Cuzco, Peru, with its vanquished heretics carved beneath the figures of loyal doctors of the Church, to imagine the type of sermon which was preached there. The neo-classic pulpits of France reflect in wood, stone, and gilt the ecclesiastical oratory which sought its standards in antiquity. The Jesuit, Louis de Bourdaloue (1632-1704), ignored the emotions in his effort to appeal only to intellect and will. His words are severe, cold, and clear. The Bishop of Clermont, Jean-Baptiste Massillon (1663-1742), gave ethical sermons which won the praise of Voltaire, who placer! him alongside Confucius and other ethical teachers. The Lenten series, given at court, in which he recited the duties of the king to the eighty-year-old Louis XIV, is far removed from the spirit of the Eucharistic homily. Eighteenth and nineteenth century pulpits, just as most eighteenth and nineteenth century sermons, are rather dull copies of what has gone before. There were, of course, some innovations (like the hydraulic pulpit in a certain parish in Joliet, lllinois-the ptiest walks into it at floor level, presses a



button, and slowly rises above the heads of the congregation!) but in general the quality of sermons, estranged from the liturgy, was not improved. In fact, from the building of the Jesuit churches of the Gesu and San Ignacio in Rome, thousands of churches have been built as magnificent lecture halls for doctrinal instruction and moralistic discourse. Yet the Catholic churches had to be more than lecture and concert halls. There was still a liturgy, often very splendid, and therefore the need for the church building to serve as a theater in which to watch a distant ceremonial presented before the back-drop of a towering, golden high altar. But the bond between sermon and sacrificial banquet had been forgotten. In many cases, the ethical exhortations, the panegyrical oraisons funebres, and the polemic orations which have come from pulpits since the Counter-Reformation have been the work of "homiletical strategists" who rolled out citations from Scripture as from an arsenal of heavy artillery, but who had little further interest in the Bible or the liturgy. THE CONTEMPORARY PULPIT

But what of the pulpit today? The design of the modern pulpit is also instructive since it indicates a new attitude toward the sermon and. its place in the church. Today's pulpit, as found in the churches built in the last few years, is usually closer to the altar, much smaller, and far less ornate. It is often nothing more than a lectern or ambo on which the Gospel book may be placed. In older churches, the classic pulpit has sometimes been abandoned and the priest speaks from a simple reading stand close to the altar. This change is partially due, of course, to the fact that the pulpit canopy is no longer needed as a sounding-board to project the voice of the speaker. Then too, the altar-table itself has been moved much closer to the people and the priest stands facing them in a new relationship. (At St. Severin in Paris, the priest stands in his place behind the altar-table to give his homily.) But the preference for a new location for the act of preaching is the result of more than the installation of microphones. It shows a new appreciation of the link between liturgy and preaching. It is really a return to the tradition of the house churches of the early centuries. The elevated pulpit is abandoned not because of a loss of re-



spect for preaching but because of a new understanding of its relationship with the Eucharist. The union of the Bread of the Eucharist and the Bread of God's Word, which goes back to the sixth chapter of St. John's Gospel, is being understood in the latter half of the twentieth century as it was in the early church. St. Jerome wrote: "Furthermore, because the flesh of the Lord is true food, and his blood is true drink, according to the 'anagogical sense,' we have this good thing in the present age, if we're nourished on his flesh and if we slake our thirst with his blood, not only in the Eucharistic mystery, but also in the reading of Scripture." Caesarius of Aries (d. 542) expressed the convictions of the early church in this matter: "I ask you brothers and sisters, tell me which seems the greater-the body of Christ or the word of Christ? If you wish to answer accurately, you must say this: the word of God is not less than the body of Christ. Therefore as the solicitude which we observe when the body of Christ is ministered to us is such that not a particle of it falls from our hands to the earth, so too with as much care should we see to it that the word of God, which is his gift to us, does not perish from our heart, while we're thinking or talking about something else. Because we will be no less guilty." Augustine also recognized the union of Eucharist and Word. In fact, he defined the priest as "qui populo ministrat sacramentum et verbum Dei," i.e., the one who ministers the sacrament and the word of God to the people. St. Bernard offered the testimony of a later era: "He himself feeds us by his deeds and his words, and even by the flesh of his own Son, which is truly food .... Therefore we who are about to receive, through his kindness, even the spotless sacrament of the Lord's body during the holy banquet at the altar, have to be fed now by his deeds and his words." THE REFORMERS AND THE SERMON

Certainly the reformers of the sixteenth century left little doubt about the importance of the sermon. Luther in his usual definitive manner stated "The word alone is the vehicle of grace." Luther, himself an active and eloquent preacher, knew




only too well the general neglect of preaching in the parish churches. His reaction was strong when he thought of the many pastors who would not or could not preach to their pe<>ple. "Consequently the one who does not preach the word, called as he is in this very office by the Church, is by no means a priest, and the sacrament of orders cannot be anything other than a rite for selecting preachers in the Church." But Luther never went as far as Fare!, the French Swiss reformer, who said all is but poison except the heavenly bread which is the word of God. Calvin, in his commentary on John 20, 23, said that the preaching of the gospel of reconciliation remits sin. And for Calvin, the remission of sins was entirely confined to preaching. It would seem that the reformers basically admitted only one means of grace: the word. The unfortunate reaction was, of course, an almost exclusive emphasis among Catholic writers on the importance of the sacraments. It would be too much to say that preaching the word was looked upon as a necessary evil, but the fact is that it was considered an activity far inferior to the "confection" of the sacraments. It is only rarely that we can discover someone like Bossuet saying in his sermon of March 13, 1661 that the priest enters the pulpit to celebrate the mystery of the word just as he goes to the altar to celebrate the mystery of the Eucharist. And the Dominican, Lacordaire, one of the greatest Catholic preachers of the nineteenth century, cannot be considered typical of Catholic sentiment at that time when he said in his Panegyrique de Pierre Fownie-r in 1853, "There are two caskets in the hands of the priest, the book of Scriptures and the tabernacle of the altar; both contain, under inanimate signs, eternal life; both are waiting to be opened to the multitude, starving for the b>¡ead of the word and the bread of life." It would not be realistic to expect many men with the verbal genius of Bossuet or Lacordaire to appear in the history of preaching. But it has been nothing less than tragic that so few in modern times have had their unde1-standing of the dignity of preaching, a dignity which they did not hesitate to equate with that of the Eucharistic celebration. We must remember that it was only in 1958 that H. Schlier, in his Wort Gottes, Eine Neutestamentliche Besinnung (Wurzburg, 1958), pointed out that the crisis of preaching had not come about



through external or personal difficulties, or through insufficient methodology, but mostly because no one is aware any longer of what happens in preaching. He indicated the Jack of a theology of the word of salvation, and of the word in general, which was making itself felt more and more. Protestants who have been primarily concerned with the theology of preaching rather than with its mechanics are not numerous. Some names come to mind: Fa1mer, Wingren, Von Allmen, Ritschl, Ebeling, Thielicke, Barth, and Sittler. Catholic names are even more sparse: Schmaus, the brothers Rahner, Grasso, Semmelroth. Recently there have been books like Franz Kamphaus' Von Der Exegese Zur Pred-iyt ( Matthias-Grunewald Verlag, Mainz, 1968) and Bruno Dreher's Bib Iisch Predigen: Ein Homiletisches Werkbuch (Verlag Katholisches Bibelwerk, Stuttgart, 1968) which reflect a new Catholic interest in a pt¡eaching which is more firmly rooted in the biblical text. But, to say the least, the field has not been overworked. A. M. Roguet could write in La Maison Dieu in 1965: "One of the most striking characteristics of the conciliar constitution on the liturgy is the primordial place which it gives to the Word of God. It is one of the points on which it appears that the Council has overcome every anti-protestant complex, creating in the meeting this astonishing ecumenical atmosphere which has favorably surprised the 'observers.' " It is to be hoped that one of the fruits of Vatican II and its "astonishing ecumenical atmosphere" will be a growing interest in Catholic and Protestant theologies of preaching and a continued concern for the close and rich relationship between Word and Eucharist.

John A. Coleman, S.J.

Body Ltieral-- Body Symbolic: The Body of Christ

The great problem facing U3 today as men is the problem of our bodies, coming in touch with them and with the body of mankind.

I am not particularly a pious or sentimental person. I generally find it awkward and myself hesitant when I am asked to point to or picture some vivid feeling or experience which I define as religious. Recently I was pushed to describe some experience which captured for me the reality of Christian life. Here is the experience I pointed to. On several occasions when I have been celebrant at a Catholic eucharist, at that point in the mass when communion is being distributed and lines of hundreds and hundreds of faces and bodily shapes approach like unbroken waves of humanity, I find myself caught in a kind of rhythm of my body, my arm 17



lifted and lowered over and over again in the gesture of putting the wafer on tongues, synchronized with an almost chant-like repetition by my voice of the words "The Body of Christ, The Body of Christ, The Body of Christ." On several occasions I have had to fight back tears and struggle against a lump in my throat as I am confronted at communion by an image and a memory. The image is the wave after wave of human bodies approaching my communion stand: old and gnarled ladies in fancy fur coats and the young in modish mini-skirts; little girls with braces on their teeth and old toothless men. The image includes -indeed, highlights-the improbable ones such as those whose tongues, by texture and color, proclaim their drinking of creme de menthe the night before. The blacks, chicanos and spastic children wheeled to the communion ststion are resonant of Paul's remark that it is precisely the parts of the body that seem to be weakest or most contemptible which are the indispensable ones. Juxtaposed to this image of a sea of humanity is the memory of Saint Augustine's description of this same scene in the fourth century and his homily reminding the communicants, "When you say 'amen' to the words of the priest, 'The Body of Christ' you are saying amen to your own being, you are proclaiming and affirming your own reality and being: The Body of Christ." The Christian symbol of the Body of Christ is central to any understanding of Christianity. It is at the core of the understanding of the man Jesus' bodily history which we know as the incarnation and the transformation of that body in the resurrection. Our own self-understanding as Christians is penetrated by this symbol of the body of Christ. Similarly, our worship at the eucharist must make serious use of the symbol of the bread as Christ's body. I am going to contrast two divergent traditions for understanding the Christian symbol of the body of Christ. As far as I can see these two traditions are not clearly denominational since Catholics and Protestants can be found on both sides. I call the two traditions, for want of better terms, the theological tradition of the body literal vs. the tradition of the body symbolk. I caution against equating literal with renl or symbolic



with unreal. In my own use, the symbolic understanding of body is the most real. THE BODY LITERAL

In the first tradition-the body literal-there is a dismemberment of the one body of Christ into three bodies. This theological position sees three very different bodies of the Lord: 1) the physical body of the risen Jesus, 2) the elements in the eucharist as the body of Christ, 3) the Church. Often these three bodies are seen as unrelated or, if related, very tenuously so. Sometimes one of these bodies is seen as "real" and the others are metaphors. At other times all are seen as metaphors. Finally, all three can be viewed as "real." What unites these diverse views, however, is their concern with a kind of location of the body of the Lord, a description in terms of spacejtime parameters of the clear boundaries, division and end-points of the body of Christ. There is a serious effort to say "Lo He is here, not there." It is this predilection for the problem of location and boundaries which prompts me to name this tradition, "The Body Literal." How does this concern dominate the theology of the three "bodies" of Christ? The body literal view sees the resurrection of Jesus as a restoration of the physical body of the man Jesus. It insists that the physical risen Jesus is describable in equations of height, weight, color and shape. Jesus lives again means literally Jesus lives again just as he was. This risen Jesus can be located somewhere in the space/time dimensions of the universe. While no one is exactly sure where he is located (perhaps "at the right hand of the Father," whatever that is) people in this theological tradition, who perhaps overemphasize the gospel tradition of the empty tomb, are sure that the risen Jesus is, in principle, locatable. Even when we do not articulate our theology at this level, it is clear that this view of the literal restoration of the physical body of Jesus at the resurrection dominates much of our popular Christian imagery of the risen Jesus. In the same way, one whole Christian tradition-this one more alive in my own Catholic history in places and times than in the Protestant one-views the eucharist in almost literal,



physicalist ways. Here the concern is with clearly locating Jesus, placing him, within the boundaries of the bread and wine. One caricature of this view is found in the medieval pseudo-miracles and visions which recounted seeing the smiling face of Jesus or his crowned head within the confines of the wafer at communion. A more sophisticated view-nonetheless sometimes tinged with the body literal emphasis--is available in certain versions of the scholastic and reformation emphases on transubstantiation or consubstantiation - terms whose meaning and history we have difficulty relating to today. These reformation disputes focused on placing the mystery in the bread, somehow trusting to delineate the clear boundaries or location of the presence of the risen Jesus in the eucharist. When applied to the Church, the theology of the Church as body literal tends to emphasize the setting of clear empirical boundaries to the people of God. Somehow, in this structure, in this body or formulation of beliefs, in this statistical sample of people, we can locate the empirical parameters of the body of the Lord. This theology of the Church as body literal is similar to blue-prints for church buildings. One expects to see on a map-description where the walls will be constructed, what are the clearly marked divisions between nave and apse, where are the entrance ways and exits, so that one can declare about the church "This is in; that is out." What is essentially wrong with the body literal emphasis on the symbol of the body of Christ is that it does not work religiously. It is devoid of any power to lead us to worship or action, awe or wonder. It leaves our feelings and convictions quite cold. A literal view of the body robs this central symbol of its power and mystery to lead us either to mystic contemplation or mor¡al action. THE BODY SYMBOLIC

The second tradition for understanding the body of Christ -the body symbolic-is richer and more diverse. It has power to lead to worship because the symbol points to something which is more than me1"e metaphor. The symbolic understanding of the body of Christ is existentially real for believers precisely because the symbolic body of Christ is real. The first and



insistent stress of this tradition is that there are not three bodies of the Lord-physical risen body, the eucharist, the Church-but only one body. The insistence on the one body of the risen Lord is rooted in the primitive creedal formulas of the Church encapsuled for us in several epistles of Paul: Jesus is Lord; Jesus is alive; "Jesus is alive and well and living in ... ; Jesus is alive and well and living in his body which is the universe, the world." The body symbolic tradition addresses itself to the peculiar qualities of the physical risen Jesus as they are described for us in the synoptic tradition and John. On the one hand he fully shares his presence and fellowship with the disciples to the point of sharing meals with them. He is real enough for Thomas to touch his hands and sides and feel the wounds. On the other hand, there are some unusual characteristics to this body of the risen Lord. St. John points to one of these peculiar physical or bodily characteristics. After Jesus has entered into dialogue with the disciples and directed their attention to a catch of fish, after even he has cooked breakfast, sharing bread with them, John reminds us, in a cryptic fashion, "None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, "Who are you?"; they knew quite well it was the Lord" (Jn. 21 :12). This theme of a physical incongruity about Jesus which might at least raise questions about his identity is found again and again in the scripture tradition. Thus, Magdelene mistakes him for a gardener until he addresses her in a personal way. The disciples at Emmaus can walk and talk with him, all the while their eyes remaining closed to his identity. Paul can boast that he is an apostle because he has seen the risen bodily Lord. Nevertheless, at his famous vision the by-standers neither see nor understand what has transpired. At the ascension, some disbelieve and do not see. Jesus appears, disappears at will, even at times when the doors "were closed for fear of the Jews" (Jn. 20 :19). The tradition of the body symbolic tries to understand the risen physical body of Jesus by taking serious heed to Paul's admonition in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 15:35 ff.). Someone may ask, "How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come back?" They are stupid questions. What you sow in the ground has to die before it is



given new life and the thing you sow is not what is going to come. It is the same with the resurrection of the dead: the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious, when it is sown it embodies the soul; when it is raised it embodies the spirit." Paul who so insists on the bodily reality of the risen Jesus also cautions us from taking a too literal view of this body in a reductionist, physical view as if we could locate its parameters, shape, height, weight, or place its location in the world. With what sort of body was the dead Jesus raised? This is a stupid question if we look for a literal answer (I do not here say we should not look for a material reality). A body is not a thing or substance, something simply given, an object in space, objectifiable. A body is essentially a continuous creation by which many bits of matter become the vehicle and embodiment of spirit, presence, and person. Our bodies are the instruments or embodiments of our personal style, reality and presence to one another. It is through our bodies that we communicate to ourselves (Body Images are core elements of self-images) and to one another in bodily gestures and discourse. Jesus, at the resurrection, is body but in a new way. JESUS THE LORD

Jesus at the resurrection is declared to be Lord, Lord of the entire universe. He is alive and well and living in the worldthe material universe we know-because now all of the world, all of matter, all of the universe can become his body. Jesus is Lord because he is sovereignly free in relation to the entire universe so that any part of this universe--from our vantage point made up of unglorified bits of matter-can be and become the perfect instrument of his presence, person and spirit. Our bodies are never perfect instruments of our spirit. They betray us, as when our hands tremble against our will because of a hang-over, a fever or old age. Our bodies betray us, as when a blush shows forth the embarrassment we would rather hide. But Jesus in the resurrection is sovereignly free in relation to any bit of unglorified matter so that it can become and be the



embodiment of his presence, person and spirit. As such, any part of the universe can become and be "his body." Teilhard de Chardin caught this understanding of the risen body of Jesus when he found himself alone in the vast desert of China, brooding over the fact that the day was Sunday and he-in the normal course of events-as priest and Christian, should be celebrating with the body of believers (the Body of Christ) around the worship of the eucharist (the Body of Christ). As Teilhard meditated in awe at the stark beauty and awesome expanses of his lonely desert he began to realize that he was not missing out on anything because he was caught alone without eucharist or faithful. At the heart of the universe:-as at the heart of the eucharist-was the one reality of the Risen Jesus. Jesus was in the world, alive, because it was his bo::ly. Without lapsing into pantheism, Teilhard worshiped the risen Jesus as he contemplated the wonders of the universe which is his body. There is only one body of the Lord, not three. Therefore, the eucharist is not some different body of the risen Jesus. The mystery of the eucharist is not well located in searching the parameters or location of the bread and the wine. The mystery of the eucharist lies in the sovereign freedom of Jesus in relation to all matter, his ability to make any part of the material world the perfect instrument of his presence and person. If the risen Jesus can take any bit of unglorified matter into the one reality of his presence, he can do this also with bread and wine. They become simply other faces of the one body of the risen Jesus, his symbolic or sacramental gesture conditioned by his historical and present intent of making available his presence to the body of believers. In a similar way, the Church, like the bread and wine, is composed of unglorified bits of matter. We know the unglorified condition of the Church only too well. We are his broken body. Who can overlook the shallow character of much of the church's ritual, the brittleness of its formulations of belief, the hypocrisy of many of its institutions, the sinfulness of all of its members? Nevertheless, as the creedal fmmulas have it, Jesus is alive, Jesus is Lord. Jesus is sovereignly free as Lord to use these unglorified bits of matter who are the body of believers to be the supple instrument of his person and presence,



his body. It is not in the empirical boundaries or statistical samples of those who call themselves Christian that we should locate the theological mystery of the Body of the Lord which is the Church. We see the risen body of the Lord, the Church, in Jesus' freedom to make himself present to the community as a source of radical freedom, unity and love beyond our empirical expectations and hopes. PUSHING THE TRADITION FURTHER

The tradition of the body symbolic is closer to scripture than a literal view. It is also invested with more existential religious power to move us to mystical contemplation and moral power. It is necessary, however, to take this theology and self-understanding of the body of Christ even further. We need to use this symbol not just for our understanding of the centrality of the man Jesus or for our self-understanding of what it is to be a Christian. We need to use this symbol for an understanding of what it is for us to be a man, our essential humanity, in this point in history. More than any other theologian-and I use this title with choice and judgment-Norman 0. Brown in his book, Love's Body, captures this extended and non-parochial understanding of our symbol of the Body of Christ. As Brown sees it, the great problem facing us today as men is the problem of our bodies, coming deeply in touch with our own bodies and the body of mankind. The one, true political problem which tests our mettle in a world of increasing conflict, division, confrontation, polarization, literalness, is the problem of unification. As he states it: The true form of unification-which can be found either in Christianity or psychoanalysis, in Freud or Pope John or Rarl Marx-is "we are all members of one body." "We are all members of one body" means that we have to create a new and powerful symbolic consciousness, a consciousness which finds ways of breaking old boundaries. We can no longer afford the luxury of a theology based on the body literal which demands to see literal bodies located in space and time as the only ¡image of the body of Christ. There are two clear moral implications to this extension by


I .


Brown of the Christian tradition of the body symbolic. If the one body of the risen Jesus is the whole universe inasmuch as this material world can be and become the embodiment of his presence and power, so we are promised that this body will become ours, too, at the resurrection of our bodies. Even though we have not yet entered into the glorification or transfotmation of our literal-and often, confining-bodies, we are called to anticipate the resun-ection by viewing the entire universe as we now know it as extensions or members of our body. We are called to become--starting right now-what Jesus already is; related to the whole of the material world as our body. Paul's stricture in the first lesson comes back to haunt us. "One part cannot say to the other, I have no need for you." We need to lick our environmental wounds and make whole the parts that are scatTed and whose tissue is near death. This is our body too. The ecological implications of this view of the risen body are obvious. Obvious, too, is that this is a more healthy approach to the Christian's relation to the material world than an over-emphasis on the separation of man and nature or too great stress on a doctrine of stewardship. Secondly, if the Church is the body of believers not because of its empirical boundaries but because of its empirical boundaries, because of the sovereign freedom of the Lord to use any bit of unglorified matter as the vehicle of his presence, then we need to be careful of older, exclusive emphases on boundaries or divisions in our definition of the parameters of the body of Christ in the Church. Another image might clarify this point, related to the one with which I began, but, I think, more powerful and true to the view that there is but one body of the risen Jesus. I am a student at Berkeley. In the last two years in which I have lived there I have often been delighted, confused, in wonder or fright at elements who live together in that community. I wander into campus almost every day. Often it seems like a circus or another world-indeed, several other worlds-as if, miraculously, like Alice I awoke in some new wonderland. Some of the elements of this circus are very congenial to me: the hip student in outlandish costume, dogs, music everywhere. Some are less appealing and I tend to exclude them from my vision and the boundaries of my world.



I am especially frightened of armed soldiery when it appears and of the staring, drugged eyes of the speed freaks along one block of Telegraph. I want to set clear divisions between myself and those who break windows in riots or, for other reasons, mainly because they embarrass my religious sensibilities, from many of the fundamentalist preachers who dot the campus. BoDY OF CHRIST

Just the other day I was on campus at mid-day. The sun was bright. On one corner of the campus was Hubert, the fundamentalist, evangelical preacher. His one tooth missing and his neck literally proclaiming he is a "redneck," Hubert was consigning to the perdition he felt was his to mete out all the young hip students who shouted obscenities about him. Next to Hubert was an emaciated young man who calls himself, "Isaac the Satanist," a disciple of the bizarre Anton LeVey in San Francisco. Within arms length of Hubert the Hare Krishna people were chanting their sacred, if repetitious, chant. In the body of Sproul Plaza there was a rock group serenading the barebacked sunbathers while on the steps of Sproul hall an old man reminded us with his puppets and poetry that the spirit of old style socialism of the Norman Thomas variety has not yet died. As I stood there trying to take in all of this wonder, a crowd of hundreds of students came spilling across Sproul Plaza from Sather Gate chanting slogans against R.O.T.C., crying that they would tear down the university if they did not win acceptance for their demands, shouting obscenities about the war-machines and the implication of all in the university with its demonic power. They called by-standers to join their ranks so that a clear division or boundary might stand between the saved and those whose hands would bear the blood of the war machine. I must confess to some ambiguity in reaction to their pt"Otest, so similar in style and tone to the demonstrations which have rocked our own Stanford campus this past week. I endorse their high moral purpose. I agree with their condemnation of a war machine. On the other hand, they seemed the new literalists as they tried to erect new and rigid boundaries, to tear down the university and dismember its body. I wanted to make clear my division from them as well as from



Hubert, a different sort of fundamentalist. In the midst of this moral ambiguity and struggle to set up my own boundaries I heard as if a whisper which grew louder and louder from each of these diverse elements on campus a rhythm as unmistakable and as moving as the one I described at the communion time at mass "The Body of Christ, The Body of Clu¡ist, The Body of Christ." I found myself constrained to say "Amen." I do not have any clear program-neither do you, probably-for keeping the diverse and polarized elements of our society together. But I know that it is only by affirming "Amen" to each part of that body, finding some way to keep it from being dismembered or grafting back the limbs which have been torn asunder, that I can truly be affirming and saying "Amen" to my own best being, to what I am only in relation to all of the Partseven the least honored or contemptible ones-to my own deepest human reality: "The Body of Christ, The Body of Christ, The Body of Christ"-"Amen."

John F. Dedek MORAL SURVEY Ill

Maslurbation What do we say to the adolescent with a deeply rooted habit of masturbation?

No other form of sexual activity has been more frequently discussed, more roundly condemned, and more universally practiced than masturbation. Even infra-human animals have been caught in the act. Zoologists inform us that masturbation. sometimes to the point of orgasm, has been observed among the male and occasionally the female members of the following species: the rat, chincilla, rabbit, porcupine, squirrel, horse, cow, elephant, dog, baboon, monkey, and chimpanzee. According to Kinsey, 95% of American men and 70% of American women have masturbated. The estimates for adolescent boys vary between 60% and 100%. The most recurrent figure seems to be around 85%. Unfortunately, these figures give us no way of knowing whether the masturbation reported is habitual, frequent, occasional or seldom. 29



Apparently two month old babies sometimes manipulate their genitals. Among three year olds the practice is more common and sometimes is accompanied by an erection, although this activity is not specifically a sexual one. Masturbators of six or seven have more pronounced sensual feelings, without of course experiencing orgasm. At the age of puberty masturbation with orgasm is possible and is initiated by a large number of children. This practice sometimes perdures after marriage and is especially likely during the temporary absence or after the death of the spouse. The ordinary method of masturbating among males is to grip the penis in the hand and move the hand back and forth along the penile shaft at the suitable pressure and speed. Orgasm is generally reached within two or three minutes, sometimes within thirty seconds, or if there is a desire to prolong the pleasurable experience orgasm is sometimes delayed for as long as thirty minutes. For women the ordinary technique is to stimulate the clitoris by rubbing the vulva with the hand or fingers. According to the studies of Masters and Johnson, the most effective way is by friction on the side of the clitoris rather than directly on it. There are also other less usual methods. Some men, for instance, rub their penis against some object, like the bed. Some even engage in self-fellation, although for most men this is an anatomical impossibility. Self-fellation is a common means of masturbation among some monkeys, chimpanzees and other primates. Hence Kinsey remarks that in his psychic drive the human animal occasionally seems to be more mammalian than even his anatomy allows him to be. Women sometimes use dildoes or rub their thighs together in a rhythmical way. McCary reports that in the nineteenth century French doctors were particularly worried about an occupational hazard of seamstresses: as they treadled theit¡ sewing machines the up and down movement of their legs sometimes caused orgasms, and in at least one establishment a matron was appointed to circulate among the seamstresses to watch for runaway machines. In the past medical men have attributed countless physical and mental disorders to masturbation. Today there are many psychiatrists and psychologists who consider masturbation de-



sirable and presume that anyone who does not mastm路bate is abnormal. The truth seems to be, from the evidence we have today, that in itself masturbation is not harmful either physi路 cally or psychologically. Sometimes one hears that while occa路 sional masturbation is harmless, excessive masturbation is not. But it is not easy to understand what is meant by excessive masturbation. The average adolescent is easily capable of three or four ejaculations per week, and some are capable of seven to fourteen. And when one reaches the limits of his physiologi路 cal endurance, the organism is no longer responsive to the erotic stimuli until it is adequately rested. However, although masturbation in itself appears to be harmless both physically and psychologically, to speak of masturbation in itself is not sufficient. Masturbation, like most things, can be judged and evaluated only in its existential context, and the existential context in which it occurs is a religious, social, cultuml and personal one. In some personalities, especially introverted and conscientious ones, masturbation often results in some psychic disturbances like worry, conscious or unconscious guilt, and anxiety. Half of the female masturbators sampled by Kinsey suffered some such psychic rlisturbances. It is not surprising that many people are considerably disturbed when they masturbate, since masturbation has been condemned as sinful in our JuclaeoChristian culture. What is more, Freud and many psychoanalysts have contributed to the source of worry and anxiety, since they classify masturbation as infantile, immature and a personality defect which often deserves psychiatric attention when practiced by an adult. Also, masturbation causes some people to worry about being sexually inept with the opposite sex or about not being in control of their own behavior. And since masturbation is not an adequate heterosexual experience, one that is psychically as well as physically satisfying, it often leaves the masturbator with a feeling of inadequacy, inferiority, diffidence, and depression. What is more, the causality here appears to be reciprocal, since masturbation is sometimes the result or symptom of a psychic disturbance. A number of psychologists today conclude that there would be no problem with masturbation if it were not for the misinformation, myths and religious taboos that surround it.

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Hence, they advise us to educate young people to an understanding that there is nothing wrong with masturbation and so relieve them of unnecessary fears and feelings of guilt. This argument, however, proceeds too quickly. It rests on the assumption that masturbation is in fact morally good or indifferent. Empirical science, of course, has no way to verify this assumption. It is true that masturbation is statistically normal. But it does not necessarily follow that it is therefore ethically normal and morally neutral. Scripture tells us that all men are liars (Ps. 116, 11), but it does not follow that lying is morally neutral. It is also t1¡ue that masturbation does not cause physical or mental illness. But that does not tell us much about its human significance, its human meaning. Physical and mental health are not the only values in life. It is easy to see, therefore, that a Christian moral evaluation of masturbation still remains to be made, and it must be made according to its own n01ms and principles. SACRED SCRIPTURE

The Old Testament contains no moral prohibition of masturbation. We read in Leviticus 15, 16, "When a man has a seminal discharge, he must wash his whole body with water and shall be unclean until evening," and in Deuteronomy 23, 9-11, "If any man among you is unclean by reason of a nocturnal emission, he must go out of the camp and not come into it again ; toward evening he must wash himself, and he may return to the camp at sunset." But the reasons underlying this legislation are hygenic and cultic rather than moral. In the New Testament there are three passages that are usually urged against masturbation: 1 Thessalonians 4, 3-4; Romans 1, 24; and 1 Corinthians 6, 10. 1 Thessalonians 4, 3-4 reads: "What God wants is for you all to be holy. He wants you to keep away from fornication, and each of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honorable, not giving way to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God." Exegetes are divided on the correct translation of this text. To scheitos litterally means "vessel" and is often used to designate the body which is, as it were, the vessel or instrument of the soul. But it can also be used to designate one's wife, as it is in 1 Peter 3,



7. If it means wife here, then of course there is no question of¡ masturbation. But if it is correctly translated here as meaning one's own body, as is more likely the case, one still cannot conclude that a condemnation of masturbation is necessarily implied. What is condemned is using one's body in an unholy and dishonorable way, giving in to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God. What Paul certainly had in mind here was the sexual licentiousness and promiscuity which was considered perfectly normal in the pagan society of his time. That a specific condemnation of masturbation is also implied is certainly possible, but there is no way that one can be sure. One can read such a specific condemnation into the text if he already assumes that masturbation is an unholy and dishonorable use of the body. But if one is looking for proof, he does not find it here. In Romans 1, 24, describing God's anger against the pagans, Paul writes: "That is why God left them to their filthy enjoyments and the practices with which they dishonor their own bodies .... " Again there is nothing conclusive in this text against masturbation, since it is most likely from the context that Paul is referring specifically to the sin of sodomy. In 1 Corinthians 6, 10, however, Paul conrlemns the manako'i who are expressly distinguished from sodomites (arsenokoitai). Manakoi litterally means the soft or effeminate, and in this context it most likely signifies not masturbators but catamites, i.e. small boys kept for the purpose of pederasty. Other New Testament texts are sometimes adduced, but they are even less successful in demonstrating the immorality of masturbation. THE MAGISTERIUM

Condemnations of masturbation by the Church's official magisterium have been plentiful. The fit¡st official teaching against masturbation appears to be .in a letter of Pope Leo IX, "Ad Splendidum Mentis," sent to St. Peter Damian in 1054, in which the pope said that masturbators should not be admitted to sacred orders. It is interesting to note that this same official policy continues in our day. An instruction from the Sacred Congregation of Religious, dated February 2, 1961, says: " ... any candidate who has a habit of solitary sins and who has not given well-founded hope that he can break this habit



within a period of time to be determined prudently, is not to be admitted to the novitiate.... A much stricter policy must be followed in admission to perpetual profession and advancement to Sacred Orders. No one should be admitted to perpetual vows or promoted to Sacred Orders unless he has acquired a firm habit of continency and has given in every case consistent proof of habitual chastity over a period of at least one year. If within this year ... donbt should arise because of new falls, the candidate is to be barred from ... Sacred Orders." In 1666 Alexander VII condemned as at least scandalous the opinion that masturbation, sodomy 2.nd bestiality are sins of the same specific malice and therefore it is sufficient to confess that one procurred pollution. And in 1679 Pope Innocent XI condemned as at least scandalous and dangerous in practice the opinion of Caramuel that "masturbation is not forbidden by the law of nature; therefore if God had not forbidden it, it ¡ would often be good and sometimes gravely obligatory." On September 2, 1904 the Sacred Penitentiary declared that the complete masturbatory acts of a woman during the absence of her husband are gravely illicit and that any confessor who approves this practice should be denounced to the Holy See. And on August 2, 1929 the Holy Office was asked: "Whether direct masturbation is permitted for the purpose of obtaining semen for the scientific detection of the contagious disease 'blenorragia' and its cure." The answer was HJn the negative." The reply was approved by Pope Pius XI and ordered published. In more recent times Pope Pius XII said in his addt¡ess on the education of the Christian conscience: "With the selfsame authority we declare to educators and to young people also: the divine commandment of purity of soul and body still holds without any diminution for the youth of today. They have also the moral obligation and, with the help of grace, the possibility of preserving themselves pure. We reject, therefore, as en¡oneous the affirmation of those who regard lapses as inevitable in the adolescent years, and therefore as not worthy of being taken into consideration, as if they were not grave faults, because, they add, as a general rule passion destroys the liberty requisite if an act is to be morally imputable." This statement of Pius XII has as its substantive content the



assertion that the divine commandment of purity still holds without any diminution for the youth of today. It does not say anything specifically about masturbation. But one can hardly doubt that the pope did not have this in mind. The statement was made at the time of the famous "Oraison affair," and can best be understood in that context. In 1952 Marc Oraison, a physician, psychiatrist, and priest, published his doctoral dissertation entitled Vie ch,.,ltienne et pt·oblemes de Ia sexualite. His conclusion is summarized by Ford and Kelly as follows: "Almost all mankind is so sexually immature, and so much dominated consciously or unconsciously by passion, that in practice and as a general rule we must presume that sexual sins are only materially grave, that is, the person who commits them is not subjectively guilty of mortal sin. Sins of masturbation, homosexuality, fornication and adultery, and conjugal oananism must be presumed in the vast majority of cases to be only mate•·ial mortal sins. Those who confess them should be properly instructed as to their grave malice, and gradually educated to that (mre) state of sexual maturity where they will no longer occur. But while they continue to occur, the sacraments are not to be refused, and the victims of this pathology should be instructed that it is permissible to receive Holy Communion after these things happen without first confessing them." Omison's book was placed nmninatim on the Index early in 1953, and this fact was published in January 1955. Oraison immediately submitted to the decision of the Holy Office and withdrew his opinion. This whole mattet·, it should be noted, is still extremely delicate. As recently as July 15, 1961 the following M onitmn was issued by the Holy Office: "Since many dangerous opinions are being published and spread regarding the sins incurred by violation of the Sixth Commandment and l"egarding the impul<"lbility of human actions, the Sacred Congregation of the Holy office establishes the following norms for public knowledge: Bishops, presidents of faculties of theology. rectors of seminaries and schools for Religious must require that those whose duty it is to teach moral theology and similar disciplines comply exactly with the traditional teaching of the Church. Ecclesiastical censors must use great caution in censoring and passing judgment on books and publications which deal with the sixth precept of the Decalogue.



There is no historical study of the theological opinion on masturbation which is comparable to Noonan's study on contraception. But it seems that it can be safely said that the theological opinion asserting that all directly willed pollution is gravely illicit is ancient and practically unanimous. Clear and explicit statements begin to appear around the sixth century. And although St. Alphonsus cites eleven authors who hold that masturbation admits of parvity of matter, from about the tenth century the stricter opinion became express and practically unanimous. The theological arguments, however, have been less than satisfactory. One argument was b.ased on the frustration of the human seed that occurs in masturbation. But the fact is that it has been relatively rare in the history of human seed that it has not been frustrated. Most human seed has been and always will be wa-,ted. It is without issue not only in nocturnal pollutions and in the copula of the sterile (e.g. with women menopause or with fertile women during most of the month) but also in fertile intercourse where one sperm is successful and hundreds of thousands perish. Besides, this argument does not explain why female masturbation is judged equally wrong. Another argument has been that if masturbation was not gravely fot¡bidden, the good of the species would suffer, since many people would not marry. But aside from the questionable assumption that many people would find masturbation an adequate substitute for heterosexual intercourse, this argument does not conclude to any intrinsic malice in masturbation. It is not surprising therefore that both of these arguments have been abandoned. The contemporary argument against masturbation is expressed succinctly by Josef Fuchs: Union with a partner of the opposite sex is required for sexual actuation in order that the mode of actuation might be of itself generative and at the same time an intimate expression of love. A solitary act would be a perversion of the act which of its nature is social not individual. In 1968 Richard McCormick explicated this analysis. He said: "My own tentative analysis would build as follows.



(1) The objective meaning of sexual acts is to be an expression of a special kind of love relationship (totally self-giving and procreative in character). Sex acts get human meaning from being expressions of such a relationship. (2) Sexual acts which do not express this relationship are withdrawals from the values and foods of this relationship, hence the use of sex without human meaning, hence the misuse of a symbol. Thus the basic malice of any deordinate sex act is its failure to be an expression of this special relation, to be human. (3) All deordinate sex acts represent this removal from relationship and its values. Their specificity consists in their degree of withdrawal from and rejection of this relationship and the values embedded in it. ( 4) The values of this special relationship (the stable, personal, loving union of man and woman and the perfection this leads to; generous and responsible fecundity) are built upon and reflect the more basic lines 'of the meaning of our sexuality: intersubjectivity a>~d hetm·osexuality. Hence all deordinate sexual acts are variously a t·ejection of, a refusal to grow in our own intersubjectivity and heterosexuality. And since I am my body, my sexuality, deordinate acts are acts of the person in ,·ejection of his own m·owth. (5) The malice of masturbation, then, is as follows: (a) Generically, it is, with all deordinate sex acts, a withdrawal from the relationship whose goods give human meaning to sex expression; and therefore, with all sex acts, it represents a rejection of one's intersubjectivity and heterosexuality; (b) Specifically, masturbation is a rather total withdrawal from this relationship, and is a rather total rejection of one's radical intersubjectivity and heterosexuality. (Parenthetically, such a rejection is obviously harmful to an individual. And thus ironically, self-petting, self-caressing shows up ultimately as self-hating.)" McCormick points out that contemporary literature increasingly finds the significance of masturbation in an understanding of sexuality similar to the one he presented. For instance, in Love and Mm·riage Gibert writes: "In order to correctly guage the significance of this elementary sexual act of masturbation, one must use as a point of reference the real and true notion of human sexuality, which cannot be conceived outside the mutual love and faithfulness of a man and woman intimately joined in the unity of body, mind and emotions, and per-



forming a creative act that involves the total gift of one's self to the other. The act of masturbation is not just a single but a double shifting of the sexual act away from its purposeful end, first because it presupposes the absence of all emotional contact and responsible pledge, and secondly because it utterly nullifies the procreative intent of human love." In a talk to the Catholic Theological Society of America in 1966 Charles Curran argued for a reevaluation of traditional teaching on the gravity of matter in masturbation. He merely initiated what he called an "exploratory discussion" among professional theologians. He argued that a single masturbatory act does not create a presumption for a fundamental option and therefore is not grave matter. Most of his arguments against the traditional teaching were directed against theological analyses which are already outdated and abandoned. But one of the questions he raised can be directed against the contemporary analysis of Fuchs and McCormick as well. "It does not seem," he said, "that a single masturbatory action can constitute a substantial inversion of an order of very great importance. Perhaps in the past theologians have illegitimately transferred to the individual act the importance that belongs to the sexual faculty. I am not saying that individual actions are never important; but in the total consideration of masturbation, individual actions do not always constitute a substantial inversion of human sexuality." This, however, is precisely the conclusion which the analysis of Fuchs and McCormick tries to come to, namely that an individual masturbatory action is a substantial inversion of human sexuality. The question now under consideration has nothing to do with subjective imputability but rather with objective morality. There are, of course, a host of reasons why the objectively immoral may not be subjectively imputable, and we will discuss that question below. The point at issue now is the objective morality of masturbation, and the question is whether a single act is grave matter. It seems to me that the analysis of Fuchs and McCormick rightly concludes only to the serious immorality of habitual masturbation over a long period of time. To stunt one's growth intersubjectively and heterosexually is a serious matter. And to pervert the natural human meaning of sexuality in a sub-



stantive way would appear to be a grave deordination. But it is not clear how a single act of masturbation or a short series of these acts is a substantial inversion of growth or a substantive withdrawal from the human meaning of sexuality as unitive and procreative. If someone were to ask, when does this prolonged series become grave matter? I would have to answer that the applica-

tion of the general principle to individuals, whether young, old, single, married, etc., would be so diverse that any further casuistry beyond the principle would be practically useless. All that can be said is that masturbation is objectively immoral to the extent. that it in fact impedes intersubjective and heterosexual growth and to the extent that it is an inversion of the human meaning of sexuality. If it does this in a substantial way, it is grave matter; if it does it in a slight way, it is light matter. Therefore, an individual would presumably be formally culpable of grave sin only if he deliberately chose or did not seriously endeavor to break the kind of habit which would qualify, in acconl with our principle, as gravely deordinate for him. Perhaps it can be legitimately argued against my analysis and in defense of the analysis of Fuchs and McCo>mick that 1) a single act of masturbation is a substantial inversion of heterosexual and interpersonal growth objectively speaking, since objectively speaking it is in itself narcissistic (even though the subjective affect of narcissism might as a matter of fact be missing), and that 2) a single act is a substantial perversion of the objective meaning of human sexuality, since it is in itself a negation of its total significance and finality, interpersonal union and procreation. These, in fact, are the assertions of Fuchs and McCormick, but convincing proof is missing. At least we must say that the whole question of the objective immorality of masturbation deserves more study, reflection, and discussion among theologians. PRACTICAL CONCLUSIONS

When they spoke of pastoral practice the moralists of the past always aclj us ted or tempered the hard line they took when discussing the objective morality of masturbation in the ab-



stract. They conceded that subjective culpability was often diminished or removed by various factors like ignorance, overpowering passion, inveterate habit, compulsive urges, and so forth. This was the same tact taken by Marc Oraison : he admitted the objectively grave malice of masturbation but found excuse in subjective conditions. But it seems fair to say that he did go too far in this approach, since underlying his practical conclusions was the assumption that the vast majority of men are the victims of sexual pathology. If Marc Oraison went too far in minimizing subjective responsibility, the older authors did not go far enough. The)' went as far as their knqwledge of the human act would allow them. But what was lacking to them and is available to us is a better theological understanding of the nature of mortal sin. When talking about the difference between mortal and venial sin one must inevitably face the question that bothered St. Augustine: if every sin is a violation of God's will, why is not every sin against the love of God and therefore grave? The nominalists and Baius answered that the difference is simply due to the decree of God who freely decides that some sins are mortal and some venial. Unsatisfied with such an extrinsic explanation many theologians argued that the difference is real and rooted in the matter of the sins: grave sins are substantially opposed to the order willed by God, whereas venial sins are not. A growing number of theologians today, like Josef Fuchs and Piet Schoonenberg, are not entirely satisfied with this explanation. They prefer to say that the gravity of a sin does not depend primarily on the gravity of the matter but rather on a man's disposition of himself in relation to God his last end. A sin is therefore grave or mortal if the opposition to God which is present in every sin is penetrated by a man in the deepest center of his person, so that he freely and consciously, though not reflexly, denies love to God above all things else. According to this explanation, therefore, a man's relation to God is determined by his fundamental option. For it is by his fundamental option that a man totally disposes of himself either for or against his last end. The fundamental option normally is not present explicitly or in the reflex consciousness.



It is rather implicitly involved in a moral act concerning some particular object, and it takes place consciously and freely but in a way that is not reflex or thematic. Therefore it is possible to commit a mortal sin in slight mat. ter, not only because of an erroneous conscience, but because in the sinful act a man so penetrates its evil and opposition to God that he determines his fundamental option away from God as his ultimate end. It is also possible to commit a venial sin in grave matter, again not only because of an erroneous conscience, but because of a lack of personal penetration of the act. For even though one has conceptual knowledge and advertance to the material malice of an act plus the free consent of the will with reflex consciousness, he may not have a sufficiently deep and intense perception of the moral value involved or at least implicitly and non-reflexly of the relation of this act to his last end. The most that can be said about the matter of the act is that it establishes a presumption; if the matter is grave the sin is ordinarily mortal; if the matter is light the sin is ordinarily venial. A man cannot normally perceive in the depths of this soul the relation of his person to his ultimate end in an act • which is concerned with light matter. Hence thls act will not normally be a true total disposition of himself in relation to God. And ordinarily a man has evaluative knowledge and an implicit and non-reflex apprehension of the relation of a grave act to his last end. So this act ordinarily will represent a determination of his fundamental option. Now if we apply this conception of mortal sin to masturbation, I think that it is very unlikely that anyone changes his fundamental option two or three times a week. Hence one can presume that the ordinary adolescent who has a fairly deeply rooted habit of masturbation is not guilty of mortal sin in every act. Each case, of course, must be judged in its own circumstances, but I think that this presumption is valid and can be acted upon in almost all cases. This, of course, does not mean that there is no culpability and no sin but only that it is not mortal. Therefore, the adolescent should be told this plainly. It should be explained to him that every act is not a mortal sin for him because of his habit and that he may receive the Eucharist without confessing it. Secondly, he should be told that



although his acts of masturbation are not mortally sinful, they are a serious challenge to his growth and so demand in response a serious effort on his part to rid himself of them. It is here that he will in all likelihood be faced with the occasion of making a genuine fundamental option: a serious determination to grow out of the habit will indicate one fundamental option, whereas a decision to make no serious effort to break it will indicate another. Although confession is not necessary before receiving the Eucharist, frequently confession or talks with a priest outside of confession will often be useful to help overcome the habit, to avoid discouragement, and to understand and get at any underlying problem of which masturbation is only a symptom. In cases other than the habitual adolescent masturbator, such as the occasional masturbator, the ma1Tied man who masturbates, etc., a less generalized judgment will have to be made. The factors influencing this behavior will be varied and often complex. A prudent judgment will have to be made in the light of the same principles and in accord with the particular circumstances of the situation.

Thomas N. Munson


Guill a Role in Religion? Guilt and sin can

become 1¡ep1¡essive forces 1vhen divorced from the wve of God.

It is now almost a commonplace to contrast Western man

unfavorably with his Eastern counterpart. The latter is portrayed floating idyllically, as it were, on a sea of Nirvana, whereas the former, a prisoner to his inherited dualisms, is a sort of battleground upon which his Hebraic legacy, an irrationally nagging conscience, does battle with an excessively dividing rational mind, his bequest from the Greeks. The serenity of the East, to the degree that it has not as yet been polluted by our effluvia, has not been shattered, therefore, by the thunderings of prophets who have tried to heal us: Nietzsche, Freud, Dr. Timothy Leary, and the preachers of the "new morality." Moreover, because our Western "hang-ups" have been abetted, not to say caused, by our Judaeo-Christian culture--who has not experienced a "spirituality" dictated by moral omniscience and defended with fire and brimstone?we are now faced with the anomaly that our moral taboos and 43



crippling inhibitions and fears have religion, if not God himself, as their author. "Christianity," Nietzsche remarked in The Twilight of the IdolB, "is a metaphysics of the hangman." Proof can be found in "the most pitiful example: the corruption of Pascal, who believed in the corruption of his reason through original sin when it had in fact been corrupted only by his Christianity." (Walter Kaufmann, The Portable Nietzsche, New York: Viking, p. 500. The second citation is taken from "The Antichrist," p. 572). In the face of sentiments like this, even without the rhetoric, who is willing to talk about the traditional Christian concepts of sin, guilt, and evil? Obviously the task of exorcising these demons is not to be accomplished in a short paper. Since Freud, whose contribution to this attitude stems from his contention that society represses the individual and the individual represses himself, guilt has slipped beyond the limits of rationality, transcended the domain of application of the "pleasm-e principle," and become lodged in the instinctive strivings of man. To pursue it there is a therapeutic, not a theological or philosophical enterprise. Notwithstanding, I would think that we have something to learn from an historical reflection. Perhaps a broader perspective can provide an insight into our present situation and, if not prescribe any remedies, at- least- specify ~-certain areas -forfurther concentration. In brief, then, this paper is more an effort at understanding than at solution. It is remarkable that the Hebrew Bible has no precise word for the theological notion of sin. Instead, it has a variety of expressions used both secularly and religiously that convey an understanding of the concept: a "missing of the mark," like the Greek hamartia; "rebellion," as of the child against his parents or of the treacherous subordinate against his lord; a "lie"; a failure to perform one's obligations, and hence something intolerable; or, more subjectively, a burden too heavy to carry. It is against this background that the New Testament authors, patticularly John and Paul, have developed a more precise theological notion of sin, that is, as being simultaneously a single act, a state or condition of life, and a power at work in the world. Significantly, the principal terms they used are the Greek hamartia and hamartema, words that would appear to indicate not merely their Old Testament indebtedness but




also a thought hammet¡ed out against a background of Stoicism. Especially from the writings of Paul, whose converts lived in a Greek-thinking milieu, do we gather the impression that sin is a violation of the natural order of things, a deviation from that cosmic harmony which was the cornerstone of the Stoic Weltanschauung. Hence we can understand why Nietzsche made his frontal attack upon the idea of a moral world-order. "Today, as we have entered into the reverse movement and we immoralists are trying with all our strength to take the concept of guilt and the concept of punishment out of the world again, and to cleanse psychology, history, nature, and social institutions and sanctions of them, there is in our eyes no more radical opposition that that of the theologians, who continue with the concept of a 'moral world-order' to infect the innocence of becoming by means of 'punishment' and 'guilt'" (Ibid., p. 500). For our purpose, the repetition of this charge in The Antich,rist is important for its evidence: "The whole of history is the refutation by experiment of the principle of the so-called 'moral world order' " (Ibid., p, 660). THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

Before addressing ourselves to the evidence of history, we should note the real risk, if not to his converts at least to us and to successive generations of his readers, that Paul ran by utilizing the convenient framework of Stoicism. I say convenient because there was nothing in his background to compel him to call into question a given world order. As we know, for the Jews the world was the theater of God's decisive acts. Simply, the world was his because God created it, and its history was the story of his personal dealings with his people. Consequently, for Paul it was as impossible to think of an ungoverned world as to think of one governed by the inexorable laws of Fate. Consequently, sin for him always remained a personal affront; if it had cosmic consequences, it was only because God had decided to work out his justice in his creation. I wish to emphasize this point because it is essential to my argument; namely, that the New Testament concept of sin is continuous with that of the Old Testament. Any "missing of the mark"-any deviation from order -is such because basically it is an act of turning against God. Hence it is this

, 46


personal dimension that sharply distinguishes the Christian concept of sin and guilt from the deceptively similar-sounding Greek or Stoic notion of sin as simply a violation of the order of things. It would appear to me, then, that much of our Western history represents a confusion on this point. The cosmic repercussions of sin have become so paramount that even pious people look for something harmful to happen to them as a result of their transgressions. If things go wrong it is because God is angry. No wonder that the "problem of evil" has become the stumbling block and (to change my figure) the whipping boy of anti-Christians. If injustices, wars, and natural catastrophes are punishments for sin, then we live our lives obsessed with the fear, and harried by the punishments, of a tyrannical master. Hardly an atmosphere conducive to psychological balance and personal commitment! My contention that Paul could not have embraced the fatalism of the Stoics, mid that it is the element of the personal that saved him from this trap, is fundamental, as we shall see, to an understanding of the role of guilt in religion. For what I am arguing, clearly, is that the genuine Christian concepts of sin and guilt are meaningless except as dialectical counterpa1¡ts to mercy, forgiveness, and love. Hence the evidence of history that Nietzsche offers us is a narrative of the reduction of the personal in which we are invited to witness the transmogrification of Paul the Christian into Paul the Stoic. Guilt, sin, and punishment do become repressive immanent forces when they become unhinged from a transcendent and personal love. This is not to say, of course, that Christians have not been responsible for this transformation. Although unashamedly an amateur in the area, I am inclined to wonder how much of this melancholy Nietzschean history goes back to Saint Augustine. Granted that much of this theology was shaped on the anvil of polemics; still, one might surmise that Manichean patterns of thought had a deeper hold on him than he might have suspected, so that the emphasis on his anti-Pelagian shibboleth -homo simul justus et peccator-was decidedly on the levelling second term. Historically, one can never forget Augustine's almost single-handed construction of the theology of Original Sin, nor the fact that Luther was an Augustinian friar and that the title of Jansenius' celebrated work was Augustinus.



Need we remind ourselves that if Calvin was, in his own way, an "Augustinian," so also were, yet in a quite different sense, Francis de Sales, Marsilio Ficino and Erasmus? The remarkable feature of the medieval Smnmae is their synthetic character. They are literally syn-theses: a holding together in a delicate balance of centrifugal forces that, once they have been neatly distinguished, were bound to disrupt their precarious ha,rmony. To be sure, the Christianity that they held together was composed of dualisms of sin and grace, of body and spirit, of man and God. But like the Christian symbol of the Cross,¡ itself a duality, they were harmonized in the person of Jesus who gave to these pieces of wood their transcendent meaning. Inevitably, however, this carefully put together medieval pattern fell apart, and it would be foolish to attempt to isolate a single factor of decomposition. Yet in keeping with my general thesis, I might suggest that the humanism of the Renaissance was symptomatic of the loss of the reconciler. In general terms we might describe the situation as a change in Western man's sensibility, in which, for instance, the medieval conception of art as revelation was replaced by the more mundane concept of art as incarnation. This is to say, as Wilfrid Melle>'S has remarked, that "the essence of the 'pierced' technique in Gothic architecture--or of the art of medieval illumination, or even of the texture of Gothic polyphony-was that it let light t/vi'Ough ... whereas men of the postRenaissance world were interested in shedding light on the variety of the visible and tactile universe." (Caliban Reborn: Renewal ;n Twentieth-centw¡y Mu.sic, London, Gollancz, 1967, 23). We have switched from a point of view in which man and world are in continuity, for the earth, until the acceptance of the Copernican system, was regarded as God's earth, as the center of a divinely appointed universe in which God (shades of Augustine!) shed the light of intelligibility. When, however, the sun became central to earthly life and the human intellect became "the sun" whence the sciences receive their light, man's relationship to God became more complex: too complex, indeed, to be apprehensible. It seemed easier, then, in Meller's words: "as well as more logical, to dismiss God as a mystical entity; to concentrate instead on man's ability, through his intellect, to explain away the mathematical processes of nature (seeing God



as geometry) and at the same time to rejoice in man's power to appreciate, understand, and therefore control his sensual passions. During the course of the seventeenth century we can observe how man attempted, in his art forms, to discover means of ordering the human passions which Renaissance consciousness had released. If any extra-human sanction was given to them, it was usually by analogy with the mathematical or scientific "laws" of the natural world-the gravitational pulls of Newtonian physics. The important point, however, is the manner in which natural law is used as an analogy for human, social institutions, so that the world power of the GodKing comes to take the place of the divine power of God" (Ibid., pp. 24-25). DESTRUCTIVE GUILT

In this perspective, the whole of history, to paraphrase Nietzsche, is less a refutation than a reversal of the principal of the so-called moral world-order. We still have order, even moral order, but one created by Man, and only secondarily or indirectly, if at all, by God. The result is readily foreseen: the concepts of guilt, sin, and punishment which admittedly become destructive when unleashed from their dialectical counterparts of mercy, love and forgiveness assert their tyrannical independence. An irreconcilable dualism of body and spirit threatens the psychological stability of man. He loses hope when time and eternity fall apart, becomes the prisoner of Time:s endless succession and is caught, in Eliade's more disturbing phrase, in the terror of History. In his despair of being healed by a transcendent Person, he turns within himself, attempting, as Freud would have him do, to discover a primOI¡dial harmony in the deeper layers of unconscious existence. At this stage the only sensible course of action is to get .-id of the leaden chains of sin and guilt that we have "forged for ourselves." I have been fascinated by Mellers' tracing of this development of consciousness in European man's music. Since the viewpoint is rather unusual, I would like to cite him just once more if only because his description of our "change in sensibility" makes our customary philosophical or theological anal-



yses appear less arbitrary or abstract: "The dualities that began to appear in European music at the Renaissance--those between harmony and counterpoint; subject and countersubject, polyphony and homophony, tonic and dominant, content and form, and so on-prove to be musical synonyms for wider and deeper dichotomies between thought and feeling, extroversion and introversion, individual and state, art and science. The separation of the functions-what Blake called the 'spectre of the Reasoning Power in Man ... separated from imagination and enclosing itself as in steel' ---ean reduce us to submission to Macbeth's 'Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow'; and in so far as Cartesian separation-'single vision and Newton's sleep'-may turn knowledge into a mere mode of sequence, nothing can assure us of one instant's being continued into another. Descattes called this the terror of failure in Time. We have seen that it dominates, or threatens to dominate, Beethoven's Seventh Symphony; but it proved to be a prelude to works wherein divisions are healed through a t¡eturn to the springs for the unconscious life.... No later artist could be oblivious of Beethoven's confrontation of modern man's predicament. Wagner may have been wrong in regarding himself as Beethoven's direct successor, and we would not immediately think of him as a religious composer in the sense that Beethoven was in his last years. Nonetheless, Wagner too had to roll back all aspects of experience into the unconscious, obliterating traditional distinctions between the outer and the inner life, and his life's work also culminated in a mystical act. Tristan und Isolde is the end of a phase in human consciousness which began with the Renaissance; it is also, we are often told, the beginning of modern music" (Ibid., pp. 32-33). I have cited this long passage not merely because it confirms the analysis that philosophers since Descartes have given us of what I have called Western man's change in sensibility, but also because it calls to mind some religious themes that Mircea Eliade has highlighted in several of his works. Basically, we are dealing with the falling apart of man's world and consequently of himself. Prior to this time, the dualisms of our experience that had been heightened by Christianity's talk about a war between flesh and spirit had been reconciled in a



higher viewpoint: that, namely, of redemption in which mankind's warring elements are brought into harmony by the action of God through the incarnation and sacrificial life of Jesus. Thus man is healed because he is reunited to God and, as our Christmas liturgy reminds us, the world is once more at peace. All religions, we know, offer man a whole picture of this kind, that is to say, provided him with a totality of meaning so that he finds himself "at home." Here there are no anguished cries of alienation; suffering, though still a mystery, does not gnaw at one's vitals as does mindless guilt; and Time itself is rescued from the inanity of pure succession because it is now the stage upon which this drama of salvation unfolds. Religion's eternal view conquers Time. SALVATION IN THE UNCONSCIOUS

The conscious rejection of religion's holistic scheme by Western man (as many would maintain) has ironically been accompanied by an effort to retrieve a scheme of salvation in the uncon~cious. Mellers refe1·s to this when he states that "Wagner too had to roll back all aspects of experience into the unconscious, obliterating traditional distinctions between the outer and inner life, and his life's work culminated in a mystical act." Freud, of course, comes to mind, as do secular man's mythic patterns of thought which Eliade has argued bear witness to his indebtedness to horno religiosus. Perhaps as significant as anything is the "ne'v primitivism" in contemporary music, expressive of the need for a statement of the identity between human and divine, between flesh and spirit. In less equivocal fashion, the usage of Eastern sonorities and techniques by the Beatles betrays a deliberate rejection of the Western divided consciousness. If we are to overcome the situation in which guilt is divorced from forgiveness, we must take the "Eastern turn" recommended in the lyrics of their song Torno?TOW Never Knows: "Turn off your mind; relax and float downstream; it is not dying. Lay down all thought; surrender to the voice: it is shining. That you may see the meaning of within: it is being." These last words strike a note familiar to the student of contemporary philosophy. For the effort .to· heal the dichotomies of



Cartesian thought--of body and soul, self and world-has, in a thinker like Heidegger, culminated in what many would identify as a mystical contemplation of Being. We are invited in this philosophical endeavor to heal the "ontological guilt" at the root of our psychological and other alienations through an ontolOg)' beyond metaphysics." Man, according to Heidegger, is thrown into a world, with the result that a state of "fallenness" characterizes his being. Fallen among things, he is tempted to become preoccupied with them. Beings so fascinate him that the light of intelligibility, Being, is never contemplated. Cut off from this source or, as the case may be, shunning the light, he is responsible for that state of diremption in which he exists. In a word, he is guilty of being a thing among things, of refusing to face himself by hiding behind a conventional "We," of assuming a stance that is, in ,;eality, a flight from himself and hence one closed to truth and, precisely because it is one of ignorance, apt to spawn conflicts. 44

The important point of this analysis-admittedly I have been cursory, neither conceding to Heidegger the refinements of his nuances nor cavilling with the formalism and sheer bleakness of a meditation upr>n the structures of intelligibility -is that guilt has nothing to do with the past. Heidegger has broken out of the Freudian mold of traumas and complexes in order to free us from the tyranny of an inherited guilt by showing us that it is our guilt that defines us as responsible beings. He exploits a Getman verbal association by developing the notion that the guilt (Schuld) of our fallenness from truth constitutes us ¡as responsible (sclwldig) for seeking truth. It is this suggestion that I wish to recommend as helpful in answering our original question: Has guilt a role in religion? Let us briefly retrace our steps so that we can better appreciate the force of Heidegger's suggestion. Theologically, we know that "the Fall" is an explanation of man's here-and-now situation; its import, notwithstanding some theologians, is less what happened in primordial times than an insight into present meaning. We experience the downward drag, which religion defines in te1ms of evil, sin, and guilt because it affirms that man's life is understood only in terms of his relationship to God. Thus, inspite of St. Paul's affinities to Stoicism, his

I 52


theology of sin cannot be uprooted from Old Testament personalism. At the time of the Renaissance, however, we have noted a change in Western man's sensibilities due to an abrupt shift of focus. Man became an absolute, innocent and pure in his natural state as some utopians declared. Guilt, therefore, and sin were complexes to be eradicated-handmedowns from the old religion that had died with the problem of evil. For if man is essentially good and yet compelled to Jive in a topsyturvy, unjust world, who else is to blame but God? Consequently, when God died in the suffering of innocents, sin as a violation of a moral world order, as Nietzsche would have it, likewise perished. Its psychological counterpart, guilt, was now a noxious cancer, not an explanatory or defining relationship. With Heidegger, however, we appear to have run the full circle, just as we are musically back to those sonorities which Mellers has indicated overcome the dualisms of Renaissance harmony. For Heidegger, man's fallen ness is an ontological condition; it explains to us our situation of intellectual apathy. In like manner our guilt witnesses to our obligation to open ourselves to truth. It defines us as responsible beings, in this case, however, as responsive to truth not as "answering back" to God. Heidegger would consider the religious dimension as an addendum, harmonious with but not demanded by his ontological analysis. Has guilt, then, a role in religion? In the Twilight of the Idols Nietzsche remarked: "Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one's hands ... it has truth only if God is the truth-it stands and falls with faith in God" (The Po,.table Nietzsche, pp. 515-16). This is to say, of course, that we cannot get rirl of guilt because we cannot get rid of God. Our guilt is less a burden, a psychological scar, than an ontological position: our stand before God with out-stretched hands. It defines us as dependent upon his love and mercy to make us whole. Such a definition has obvious links with the past since man is defined in a situation, as caught up in a revealing web of events called History. But its thrust is toward the future since our responsibility dictates obligations to be discharged and tasks to be accomplished.



The gist of my remarks, certainly, is that Nietzsche had a point in attacking Christian moralism. The history of postRenaissance man was before his eyes, and should serve to warn us of the peril of losing God as a person.


Petrine Primacy

A New Testament exegete takes issue with Hans Kung fm路 mim:mizing the PetTine p1路imacy.

It is no secret that today Papal authority is openly questioned and even flatly denied, even by Catholics, in favor of episcopal collegiality or even of an unstructured charismatic Church. It should be clear, moreover, that good theology depends on a careful examination of the biblical data, even though Scriptui路e, is too often bent in the direction of personal theories. The following presentation is based on the conviction that the pertinent gospel texts on this question of Petrine primacy are being minimized in certain quarters, often for Jack of a proper modern exegetical approach, but also as an over-reaction to a fundamentalistic or speculative theological approach. Certain basic considerations will be the focus of attention without any attempt or pretension to complete coverage. For example, since hardly any scholar today and no critical edition question the 55



authenticity of the passages involved (Mk. 8:27-30, Mt. 16:1323, 18:18, Lk. 9:18-21, 22:31-32, Jn. 21 :15-19) it is here taken for granted notwithstanding known difficulties. The actual state of the question is exegetical. It should be pointed out, however, that this evangelical data must go back to the very origins of Christianity, since the epistle to the Galatians and Peter's first epistle suppose them known. This fact is brought out especially by the recent work on 1 Peter, and is of considerable importance even if it has not yet been sufficiently noticed. To put the question simply and clearly: has Christ promised a personal divine assistance to Peter and his successors? A positive answer must be given if one remains faithful to the lettet¡ and the spirit of the gospel tradition, granting that the question of collegiality must still be examined in radice. The name and call of Peter must first be carefully considered. ln the biblical view the name reveals the essence of a being or person; to give a name or to change it, is a sign of intelligence (Gn. 2 :20) or sovereignty (2 Kgs 23 :34). The name Cephas (Peter) which Christ gave to Simon (Mt. 16 :18) means rock .. By the grace of this new name, Simon-Peter participates in the durable solidity and unbreakable faithfulness of Yahweh and his Messiah. The Old Testament constantly underscores two attributes of God, his loving-kindness and his fidelity to his ]ll"Omises (his truth). Thus Peter's given name already points to his exceptional situation, his special vocation. In the Old Testament the figure of the rock or stone is frequently applied to God describing his trustw01thiness and truth. Palestine being rocky ground, the idea of rock presented itself naturally to the Hebrew mind. God is solid and reliable as the rock. Other metaphors, closely related to the idea of rock, emphasize the same meaning: God is a citadel, acropolis, refuge, rampart, strong tower (Ps. 18:2, 31, 31:2-4, 61 :2-3, 144-2). In the New Testament it is Christ who is the rock (1 Cor. 10 :4) or foundation stone (Rom. 9 :33); one who listens to him builds on rock (Mt. 7 :24). And Peter, the rock on whom the Church is founded shares this stability (Mt. 16: 18). The rock theme has also a liturgical connotation. Solomon's temple was built on Mt. Moriah, the rock of Moriah (Gn. 22 :2, 2 Ch. 3:1) where today stands the Mosque of Omar, also known




as the Dome of the Rock. Memorial stones recalled the perpetuity of the Covenant fixed between God and his people (Ex. 24:12, Jos. 4:7, 20-21). And Christ becomes the cornerstone, the keystone of the holy temple that is built upon and with him (Mt. 21 :42, Eph. 2 :20-22) ; the Christians are the living stones that make up this spiritual house (1 Pt. 2 :4-5). The new Jerusalem is constructed of precious stones (Apoc. 21:10-21). Peter was not chosen primarily because of his personality, completely engaging as it might be, or because of some particular worthiness: the opposite of worthiness could be concluded from his denial of the Lord (Mk. 14 :66-72). His election was gratuitous and conferred on him a greatness which results from the mission Christ entrusted to him and which he must fulfill in fidelity and love (Jn. 21 :15-19). This Johannine passage in which Christ concedes his own office of Shepherd to Peter contains perhaps an even clearer mission to govern than Mt. 16:16-18. Simon was one of the first to be called by Jesus to follow him and was introduced by his brother, Andrew (Jn. 1 :35-42). The synoptics (Mk. 1:16-20, Mt. 4:18-22, Lk. 5:111) transpose in time the primacy of Peter making him the first disciple called by Christ. The point of the story in Matthew and Mark is that the four, Peter and Andrew, James and John, followed Jesus immediately. They dropped their fishing nets, left their families, and became disciples. This does not fit in very well with the supposition that there had been a prior call. Three of these first four, Peter, James, and John, formed an inner circle who witnessed incidents not seen by the other disciples (Mk. 5:37, 9:2, 14:33, cf. 1:29, 13 :3). Peter has a preeminent place among the disciples, at the head of the privileged three and of the list of Apostles (Mk. 3:16, Mt. 10:2, Lk. 6 :14, Acts 1 :13). At Capernaum it is at Peter's house that Jesus ordinarily stayed (Mk. 1 :29). Peter alone walks the sea as our Lord did (Mt. 14 :22-23) and he alone is associated with Christ in the payment of the temple tax (Mt. 17 :24-27). In the most solemn moments it is Peter who responds in the name of all (Mk. 9:29, Jn. 6 :68); and the message confided by the angels of the resurrection to the holy women contains a special mention of Peter (Mk. 16 :7). John allows Peter to enter into the tomb first (Jn. 20 :1-10). Finally, the risen Christ ap-



pears to Peter before manifesting himself to the twelve (Lk. 24:34, 1 Cor. 15 :5). Thus everywhere in the New Testament the pre-eminence of Peter is underlined. In recalling the incident at Antioch (Gal. 2 :11-14) where Peter timidly hesitated over the position he should take in a particular case, Paul really cites his confrontation with Peter in order to establish the validity and logic of his own gospel. He made his point with Peter. PETER'S MISSION

This primacy of Peter is founded on his mission which is expressed in several gospel passages. Peter's confession at Caesarea Philippi (Mk. 8:27-30, Mt. 16:13-23, Lk. 9:18-21) is the watersherl in Mark's gospel. The climax comes with Peter's profession of faith which marks a turning point in the gospel. This fact is all the more important when one considers the primitive character of Mark's gospel and its general kerygma tic plan. Accorrling to Mark's presentation, the general public received Jesus warmly at first, but people soon lost their enthusiasm when Jesus failerl to manifest any political and nationalistic interest. As a result Jesus left Galilee to devote himself to the instruction of his small group of faithful followers. Peter's profession of faith shows that Jesus had secured from them a substantial if still rlefective allegiance. Mark 8:29, "You are the Christ," has probably preserved Peter's original confession. Luke's "'The Christ of God" (9 :20) and Matthew's "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (16 :Hl) refled the faith of the primitive Church, a belief in the entirely unique relationship of Jesus with the Father but not yet the full Pauline unrlerstanding of divine Sonship (Rom. 9 :5). Mt. 16:17-19 has no parallel in Mark or Luke and may have been inserted here because of Matthew's habit of theological synthesis. Because of Jn. 21:15-19 and Lk. 22:31-32, it has been suggesterl that possibly our Lord spoke these words at the Last Supper or even after the Resurrection. Eusebius and other Fathers thought that modesty may have prevented Peter from stressing this saying, and this supposition should not be dismissed too lightly since the source of Mk. 8 :27-9:29 is probably Petrine. The absence in Mark and Luke must be clue to




the fact that the saying did not appear in their sources, whatever the reason may be. Educated guessing would be that the primacy was lived before being reasoned out or discussed, theoioiogized; the need for proving it with arguments was not yet felt. And even Bultmann agrees that the conferring of a mission usually accompanies a profession of faith as in Jn. 21 :1519. The absence could be due partly to Mark's theological purpose which features the messianic and self-awareness. And in any case, the allusions of 1 Peter (2 :4-5, 5 :2-3) not only to the promise at Caesarea but also to Lk. 22 :31-32 and Jn. 21 :1517, largely compensate for the omission of Mark's gospel, which after all is not more surprising than Mark's omission of the Sermon on the Mount and is no doubt to be explained irt the same way, namely because that particular tradition had not yet received its final and definitive formulation. The point should also be made that Matthew's gospel focuses on the Church in a special way and also on Peter's mission. This appears especially in the narratives in chapters 14-17 which prepare the ecclesial discourse of chapter 18. These chapters contain material that is proper to the Matthean tradition and underlines Peter's pre-eminence in the apostolic group: Peter's walking on the water (14 :28-23), the incident of the temple tax paid by Jesus and Peter (17 :24-27), and especially the saying on the primacy of Peter (16:17-19). Flesh and blood (Mt. 16 :17) is a frequent expression in rabbinical writings for humanity in contrast with God, here divine revelation. Both the Greek petm (feminine) and the Aramaic kepha mean rock (16 :18). The proper name Peter (Petros) unknown in Latin or Greek, before the Christian era, and rare in Aramaic, seems to be a creation of Jesus to symbolize the pat1: Peter was to play in the foundation of the Church. The change had probably been made earlier (Jn. 1 :42). In any case the giving of a new name signified the taking of a new way of life, the conferring and assumption of a new mission or part. Peter's first epistle, by the way, has been described as a theology of the rock. What is Peter's mission? In what sense Peter is the foundation of the Church is not stated explicitly. Clearly his function is not in relation to the birth of the Church but for its consolidation, strengthening, unification. In the context the reason



why Peter is called the rock is the faith that he has shown in his confession. He has made vocal the faith of the disciples and it is upon faith in Jesus that the group Jesus has formed will endure. Peter is the speaker and the example of this faith which for the first time expresses clearly the Messianic role of Jesus. Yet it is Peter's personal faith that is explicitly commended and he personally in the context is given a mission. It seems impossible to interpret the passage impersonally, granting that the Church at large is in immediate view. In the Gospels the word Church (ecclesia) occurs only here (Mt. 16:18) and in 18:17 where it stands for a local community. Here it refers to the universal Church. It is the equivalent of the Hebrew qahal in the Old Testament which means the gathering or congregation of Israel, the people of God. The Christian Church is the new Israel, the Israel of God (Gal. 6:16). Jesus clearly counts on Peter to exercise basic leadership (Lk. 22 :31-32) and the story of the Acts (1-5) shows that Peter did so in the critical first days of the Church. The gates (Mt. 16: 18) are the vulnerable point in the ancient city, and consequently the term is often used of the fortified city itself. Hell (Hades, Sheol) must mean more than mere death, and consequently more is meant than the permanence of the Church. The gates of hell indicate the infernal city, the empire of Satan, every activity of the forces hostile to the cause of good, the kingdom of God to which they are contrasted. This corresponds to John's conflict between darkness and light (Jn. 1 :5). The indefectibility of the Church is stated and its infallibility implied. These, however, are abstract and highly structured concepts with a long theological history that should not be projected back into the primitive revelation. The city of God, like the city of death, has its gates which admit only those who are worthy. Peter has the keys (Mt. 16 :19). His function is to open or close, to admit to God's kingdom or exclude. To bind and loose are technical rabbinical terms which have a primary disciplinary meaning of condemning or absolving from sin or excommunication. They also involve the broader meaning of forbidding or allowing, that is, to render doctrinal and juridical decisions. Among God's servants and at their head, Peter is the major-domo, the head steward of God's house on earth. The keys symbolize the office




of the master of the palace, the highest of the officers of the Israelite court, for example, Sebna in Is. 22 :22. The parable of the conscientious steward (Mt. 24-54-51), even if it does not deal directly with Peter, enlightens our Lord's idea of mission, authority, and responsibility. In the context of our passage it seems legitimate to think that the gates that are in Peter's care are opposed to the gates of hell; that his mission is more than an apostolic witnessing and preaching, or a simple power to pardon. He is given the administration of the community not merely in disciplinary matters which would hardly justify the solemn heavenly ratification; the consolidation, strengthening, and unification of the community will entail also necessary decisions in questions of doctrinal belief and moral conduct. It would probably be excessive, however, and triumphant to include in the translation of Mt. 16:19 such words as lawful and unlawful. Peter's personal mission is clearly meant for the benefit of the Church and must hold good for his successor as well, as the traditional and history of the Church has always understood. Jesus plainly intended to provide for his Church's future by establishing a regime that would not collapse with Peter's death. Hardly anyone today will doubt that Jesus intended to found in the messianic era which he personally inaugurated a community to prolong and realize definitively the assembly of God's holy people, the remnant announced by the prophets. He founded it as the Son of Man, head of the people of the saints of the most High (Dn. 7 :27), as the suffering Servant giving his life to save mankind (Is. 53) and ratify in his blood a new and everlasting Covenant (Jer. 31:31, 1 Cor. 11 :25). To direct _this community, to maintain its unity after his departure, Jesus made Peter his representative, his human major-rlomo, his chief steward. LK. 22 :31-32


21 :15-19

These two texts also deal with Peter's primacy and emphasize that its operation is to be in the domain of faith, and is based on a special prayer made for him personally by our Lord, and is at the service of the whole Church, assuring the unity and integrity of its faith. They also indicate that this makes



Peter the head of the Church not only after the death of Christ but also of the Apostolic group then and there. Notice in passing that form-critics who are so eager to recognize the interpretations and adaptations of the primitive Church are perhaps not eager enough in this question of Peter's primacy. The deep understanding of the Christ event cannot make abstraction of the living tradition of the Church which in this question is crystal clear even in Apostolic times. Whatever exegesis is adopted for the detail of Jn. 21:15-19, the specific meaning of the passage is the primacy of Peter. This witness of the fourth gospel is especially significant, as an independent tradition, all the more so since Jn. 6:68 has an echo of Peter's confession. Simon alone had his name changed (Jn. I :42) and here he also is given the care of the whole flock. Jesus remains the supreme shepherd of the flock (Jn. IO), yet it is committerl in a special way to Peter. And in 2I: 19 Peter's martyrdom is predicted in terms that recall the announcement of our Lord's own Passion (Jn. 12:33, I3 :3I, 36, 17:1). The Johannine tradition sees no rivalry between Peter and the apostle John, the beloved disciple, who seems to represent the charismatic Church, and serves as the exemplar of those who enjoy the intimate friendship of Jesus. The texts of Matthew and Luke consider Peter's primacy in relation to his faith in Christ; in John it is love that comes to the front. Again Peter's first epistle has a striking parallel to our passage when the elders are admonished: "Be the shepherds of the flock of God that is entrusted to you" (I Pt. 5 :2). Such unexpected parallels in 1 Peter to the J ohannine tradition show the value of this tradition notwithstanding its later rerlaction. In Lk. 22:31-32 Jesus announces Peter's denial anrl speaks to him as a weak man who really does not rleserve the name of Pete1¡, hence the use of his old name Simon. Alluding undoubtedly to his name, Jesus is really urging Peter to live up to his vocation of bolstering the faith of his brethren, a mission that is not focused on the moral or mystical since the text underlies the moral defection of Peter's denial. Here again the parallelism of 1 Pt. 5 :8-9 seems a confirmation of evangelical tradition. The Acts show Peter performing this mission. He is at the head of the group gathered together in the Cenacle (Acts 1 :13); he presides at the election of Matthias (I :15);



he judges Ananias and Sapphira (5:1-11); in the name of the Apostles, who are with him, he proclaims to the crowds the Messianic glorification of the risen Christ and announces the gift of the Spirit (2 :14-36) ; he invites all men to baptism (2 :37-41) including the pagans (10 :1-11 :18) and inspects all the Churches (9 :32). In Matthew's Ecclesial discourse (18 :18) the power of binding and loosing is again mentioned. Jesus has in mind the Church ministers to whom the discourse is primarily addressed, and not to the members of the Church at large. Verses 15-17 were addressed in the singular to any Christian; the change to the plural in verse 18 suggests that individual Christians are no longer in view but those in charge of the community's direction. Jesus associates their power with Peter's without pt¡ejudice to Peter's exclusive custodianship of the keys or to his function as the one special foundation (Mt. 16 :17-19). The Apos'olic body with Peter is given wide powers which include that of formal excommunication or reconciliation, powers which, even if they a>¡e not clearly specified here, go beyond merely disciplinary measures. This is supposed also by the Johannine tradition contained in Jn. 20:21-23. In the appearance to the eleven on Easter evening as told by Jn. 20:21-23 the power given to Peter and the Apostles is presented as an insufflation of the Holy Spirit by our Lord, specifically to forgive sins. Catholic tradition ( Denzinger 1710) has rightly seen in this act the origin of the sacrament of Penance, even though it is equally true that the Church's power over sin is also exercised in other ways, as by baptism or the preaching of the redemptive word. The power is given to the Church to continue the judicial character of Christ in the matter of sin. How or by whom, the Johannine tradition does not state. This unspecified passage, however, cannot make abstraction of the more specific traditions, all the more so since the basic difference is probably literary and to be explained by the histo>y of the pa1-ticular tradition that is being recorded: Finally, a word must be said about Apostolic collegiality, which is closely related to Peter's mission as visible head of the Church. The fact that Peter felt he had to justify his conduct at the baptism of Cornelius (Acts 11 :1-18) the developments at the council of Jerusalem, the privileged position of




James in the primitive Christian community (15 :1-35), as well as the relations between Peter and Paul as evidenced in Paul's Epistle to the Galations (1 :18-2 :14), all these facts reveal that the direction of the first communities was somewhat democratic in character. These facts far from being in opposition or creating obstacles to the Petrine primacy and mission rather clarify and focus its true character and profound meaning. Moreover, the relation of the Pope to his bishops is not the same as that of Peter and the other Apostles. They all had extraordinary and intransmissible powers which were given only to the Apostles: they with Christ had the mission of founding the Church (Eph. 2:20, Ap. 21 :18-21). Collectively the Apostles are the foundation (themelios) of the building, Peter is the rock (pet¡m) on which the foundations rest. The parable of the wise man who lays the foundations of his house on rock (Lk. 6 :48) illustrates the point. And also the papal mission is not identical to Peter's even if the Pope is Peter's successor. All these points, however, would demand further study and elaboration. It may be pointed out, however, that the biblical teaching on the nature of the Apostolic office and of the Petrine primacy throws much light on the true nature of the Christian priesthood the sacrament of orders or of priestly leadership. The priestly vocation is an official delegation, a share in Christ's mission as head of the mystical body, and in the mission of the Holy Spirit who is the life and inspiration of Christ's Church body. Leadership in teaching and worship, in service ~nd dedication, in the pursuit of religious truth, briefly, in prayer and generosity and always in a spirit of faith, a spirit enlightened strengthening of the Christian community: such is the Christian ministerial priesthood. SOME MODERN REACTIONS

In his important book, "Peter: disciple, apostle, martyr; a historical and theological study" (original German 1952 trans. Eng. 2nd ed. 1962) Oscar Cullmann agrees that Christ entrusted Peter with a real personal mission of Leadership understood much as was explained above, but Cullmann claims that Peter's mission was limited to the apostle's lifetime and terminated with his death. Jn. 21 :18-19 would unite the prophecy of



Peter's martyrdom with the commission to shepherd the sheep. After directing the J em salem Church for a while, after his arrest and miraculous deliverance (Acts 12) Peter resigned, yielded the leadership of the Jerusalem Church to James and himself undertook the Judaeo-Christian missionary work among the Jews of the Diaspora particularly at Antioch in Syria. This supposed resignation of Peter which is Cullmann's main contention seems unacceptable. The division of missionary labor (Gal. 2 :7-8) can hardly mean that Peter could abandon a charge solemnly conferred on him by his Master. The Church of the first generation developed its organization and structure as time went by. How Peter fulfilled his commission of feeding the flock after he left Jerusalem is not reported in the New Testament. And it should be clear that one should not seek in Peter or in the primitive Church for the developed conception of primacy which appears in the third century. The numerical increase of the Church and its confrontation with seculat¡ power obliged the Church to organize and structure the different exercises of authority, doctrinal, legislative, and disciplinary. It would evidently be anachronistic to look for this development from the very beginning of the Church when it is present only in germ and in an embryonic stage. Two other books have recently dealt with the Petrine question, one taking the dogma of papal infallibility as its theme (Infallibility and the Evidence by Francis Simons, Bishop of Indore, Templegate 1968) the other as part of its presentation (The Chw¡ch by Hans Kting, Sheed and Ward 1968 p. 444480). Bishop Simons claims that there is no Scriptural evidence for the Catholic belief and suggests that it be abandoned. The Biblical texts say only that Christ wanted the Apostles to teach his gospel, and that they had certain, sure knowledge of what to teach. They had such unforgettable memories of all the main events of Jesus' life and of his teaching that they could not err in communicating them to their audiences. Their infallibility was not of the theological but of the natural kind, which is another name for unshakably certain knowledge. , Simons argues that in Mt. 16:18 Jesus was simply singling out Peter as the foremost of the Apostles and was not investing him with a special spiritual charisma in teaching. In any case, if the evidence for ecclesiastical infallibility is not valid, the



case for papal infallibility collapses with it. He concludes that belief in infallibility is an obstacle to the progress and the effectiveness of the gospel, to Cht¡istian unity and the needs of ecumenism. By keeping faithful to the gospel message, the Church will always be able to protect itself against errors that misconstrue the teaching of Jesus. Believing that papal infallibility is an understandable mistake, the bishop has no difficultly in accepting the same for the doctrine of divine biblical inspiration which for him is no more than a primitive way of viewing ancient religious books. As a theological treatise Simons' book is a complete failure. The author's categorical denials are sufficiently met by the study of the texts presented above, especially since he reduces the mission of the Apostles and the inspiration of the Bible to a purely human level. Simons' ignorance of even the fundamentals of the theological method, coupled with his unfamiliarity with the Church doctrine of infallibility make his book a monument of inadequacy. His crude fundamentalism and his complete innocence of any form-critical approach vitiate his approach at its very core. Hans Kiing's approach, on the contrary, is evidently serious but still quite inadequate. In his conviction that authority is in the Church rather than above the Church, Kiing reduces the primacy of Peter, as well as the authority of the hierachical priesthood (episcopate and presbyterate) to a bare minimum. His premise is no doubt exact but his conclusions overreach his input. In particular, for him the Petrine ministry can be correctly and biblically described as a primacy of service, a pastoral ministry, not a primacy of jurisdiction. It is possible that, as Kling suggests, Peter's name was not actually given by Jesus himself but by the primitive community, yet hardly probable in view of the Johannine tradition (Jn. 1 :42). For Kiing it is not clear that Mt. 16:16-18 makes Peter more than the first confessor of Jesus and the first witness of the Resurrection. After minimizing Mt. 16:16-18 Kiing suggests that the more important Jn. 21 :15-17 should be judged in an analogous manner. Kiing's difficulties may lie in his ironclad supposition that a real juridical authority for Peter gives him an absolute personal, monarchical and juridical rule over the Church, and ap-



parently above if not outside the Church. There is probably a middle path, which seems to be suggested by the biblical evidence: namely, a true primacy of jurisdiction that would respect the collegiality especially of the episcopate but also of the presbyterate and of the people of God at large. All the more so since recently the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls has shown that in the Hymns at Qumran the comparison of the community with the Temple holds an important place. It would seem that with this thinking as a background, Jesus chose Simon bar Jona as the foundation stone for the eschatological community, the true temple of God on earth. Overseas critics of Kiing's book have recently been giving it the complete overhauling it sorely needs. E. Cothenet, Es1n"it et Vie 79 :490-496, July 24, 1969; Y. Congar, Revue des Sciences Philoso}>hiques et Theo/oyiques 53:693-706, Oct. 1969; J. Coppens, Epheme¡rides Theologicae Lovanienses 46:121-130, Jan.-March 1970; 1\'L V. Leroy, Revue Thomiste 70:292-310, April-June 1970. English speaking critics of the book have done a comparatively poor job. And, by the way, after presenting an excellent summary of the biblical question of Petrine primacy A. Feuillet has recently promised French readers a complete restudy of the whole question, cf. Esprit et Vie 80 :509-513, 10 Sept. 1970. Two recent articles dealing with the Petrine office have apparently not received much attention and would probably best be left in their limbo of oblivion. The National Catholic Reporte¡r for Oct. 9, 1968 carried a characteristically irreverent essay by Daniel Callahan entitled "Hov\ to get the papal monkey off the Catholic back." According to him the need today is to be a-papal not anti-papal. The article is not biblical but an emotional (sarcastic?) tirade against the evils supposed or real of an absolute exercise of authority which evidently does not necessarily coincide with the biblical notion of Peter's vocation. The second article appeared in The Critic for Dec.-Jan. 1969, p. 8-10, 93, in the regular feature column by John L. McKenzie, S.J., entitled "Q.E.D." This presentation by a well-known biblical scholar would command more attention if it were written from a biblical viewpoint, which is not the case. The approach is rather personal and psychological. In any case,



McKenzie claims that infallibility has no biblical basis and it better not have since the Church historically has not exhibited infallibility. He makes much of the blunders of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Infallibility may mean no more than the assurance that the Church never loses the gospel but the Church can certainly foul up its proclamation because it has done so. When we ask what infallibility does mean, we may find that it means nothing. The Church must offer some spiritual security that other agents do not offer. The doctrine of infallibility is not a good expression of this security. The doctrine of infallibility syndrome is an effo1t to attach divine attributes to the teachng authority, and it seems reasonable to ask that our teachers should not claim to be God. A brief recapitulation of the first part of this atticle may serve as a partial answer to McKensie. What is cia imed is the possession of the keys of the city of God, by Christ's vicar on earth, a sharing in the divine qualities of stability and unbreakable faithfulness. If one were to press for further specifications, a safe assumption would be that this privilege extends strictly only to the essentials of the Church's irlentity as part of the Christ event, the mystery of Christ. The terms infallibility, papal or scriptural, and dogma easily become overloaded terms, iron-fisted, like some of the actual exercise of authority, or for that matter, like some of the shock treatment approach which is part of McKenzie's literary presentation. The words dogma or infallibility suggest absolute, perfect, final, total truth which in relation to the Christianity mystery is not only not available, but not even possible. It might be better to speak simply of the truth of Scripture or of the true Church. In any case, to retum again to Matthew's text (16 :16-19) it appears especially precious in its context. It includes two violently opposed antitheses: Peter, rock of the Church (13-20) is also Peter, stumbling block (21-23). The Petrine missiOn in no way involves impeccability, or does it in any way give any basis to papalatria.

Raymond F. Collins Doctrinal Survey Ill

The "Ex Opere Opera to" Doctrine and the First Reception of the Sacraments An old theological formu/n, and some ne?V pa<Jtoral conclmions on administering the sacraments.

In the past several years the trend to defer the first reception of the sacrament of penance until the age of ten to twelve has been gaining strength throughout the United States. In its earliest stages the reform was prompted by the pastoral realization that hitherto current practices led to a life-long habit of immature and mechanical confessions of sin. In recent years the trend to defer the first reception of this sacrament has been reinforced by a general desire to respond more faithfully to Vatican II's call for more meaningful liturgical celebration. Thus what was once an avant-garde phenomenon found in those few padshes which pulsed with liturgical and catechetical renewal has now become a commonplace phenomenon, urged on by the guidelines of an ever increasing number of dioceses. 69



A similar spirit has led a number of pastoral experts to rethink the wh.ole question of the proper time for the first reception of the sacraments. Particular attention has been directed to the sacrament of confirmation with the result that not a few at-tides advocating deferal of this sacrament until high school age have been published during the past several years. Already some parishes and a few dioceses have decided to admit to the sacrament of confitmation only those candidates who have reached a relative degree of personal maturity. To a lesser extent, the sacraments of baptism and the anointing of the sick have been subject to fm-ther theological and pastoral reflection in order to dete1mine whether our current sacramental practices are best suited to the nature of the sacraments and our pastoral needs.

Like all forms of motion, however, this trend has generated not a small amount of heat in the en.vironment in which it occurs. The new pastoral trend is no exception to the general law of reality that friction is inevitable when something happens quickly in a relatively stable milieu. Thus whenever the subject of defering the reception of the sacraments is first introduced the proposal always meets with some resistance and some heated opposition. Among the laity resistance is basically the expression of a desire for stability and a fear of the unknown. Among the clergy, however, the inevitable resistance is expressed in theological categories. Remarks such as "the sacraments give grace ... " and "children shouldn't be deprived or the graces of the sacraments" are heard, in one form or another, in virtually every priests' senate and diocesan liturgical commission which has considered the matte1¡ of the proper age for the reception of the sacraments, particularly by the young. Ultimately the concern voiced in this type of remark stems from a rather common understanding of the "ex opere opera to" doctrine in sacramental theology. It is my concern about this concern which has led great numbers of dedicated priests to oppose the newer pastoral trend, "lest the children be deprived of grace," which has led to the present at-ticle. My intention is not to enter into an in-depth study of the entire "ex opere operato" doctrine. That has already been done by any number



of authors; the names of Iturrioz, Landgraf, Leeming, Michel, Rahner, Scaezler, Schillebeeckx and Semmelroth come quickly to mind. Rather my intention is 1) to try to capture the principal thrust in the development of this doctrine; 2) to reflect on its application in pastoral practice since the Council of Trent; 3) to see its influence on the sacramental doctrine and the principles of pastoral reform embodied in the decrees of Vatican II; and 4) to consider whether the "ex opere operato" efficacy of the sacraments should be considered as a reason for opposing or for promoting the newer trend. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE "EX OPERE OPERA TO" DOCTRINE

In trying to clarify the issues we ought first to determine the principal thrust of the "ex opere operato" doctrine as it has been developed by Westem theology during the past millenium. A quick glance at the history of theology reveals that "opus operans" terminology was not first introduced into theology in an attempt to explicate the manner of sacramental causality. Rather this terminology was introduced into theology because of its utility in the resolution of a soteriological problem. The problem was the paradoxical coexistence of sinfulness in those who perpetrated the death of Jesus and the salvific merit of his Passion. Could it be said that a sinful act was the cause of om路 salvation? In seeking a resolution to this classical problem, Simon of Tournai spoke of the "opus operatum" and the school of Poitiers quickly associated with it the notion of an "opus operatum" 路which was meritorious for our salvation, even though the "opus operans" was sinful. According to this early usage, the "opus operatum" simply designated the act (of putting Jesus to death) as an objective reality. Subsequently the scholastics of Poitiers employed the same distinction in the resolution of another controverted issue, namely the nature of merit. What is the value of good works? Is the resultant grace a reward imparted freely by a loving God or is it the merit of man's actions? And what of the same 路(physical) action performed with less worthy motives? In their attempt to affirm both the gratuity of grace and the meritorious quality of human action, the scholastics 路found the



distinction between the "opus operatum" and the "opus operans" of great value. Once the meaning of the correlative terms have been clarified by the discussion on merit, only one small step remained before the "opus operatum--opus operans" combination was introduced into sacramental theology. The step was taken in the discussion on the value of sacred orders simoniacly conferred. Thereafter the terminology could be used in the presentation of other aspects of sacramental theology and the schoolmen from Poitiers spoke of the "opus operatum--opus operans" with respect to baptism: "Moretur baptizans baptizatione, ut baptizatio dicitur, actio illius qui baptizat, quae est aliud opus quam baptism us, quia est opus operans; sed baptism us est opus operatum, si ita Iiceat loqui" (P.L. CCXI, 1235). At this stage in the development of the "opus operatum" teaching, the formula designated merely the objective reality of the act. Use of the formula enabled the scholastic masters to distinguish between the sacred rite and the guilt of unworthy ministers. At this juncture in history the formula had not yet become a technical epithet to describe sacramental causality, but it had been definitively introduced into sacramental theology. BONAVENTURE AND THOMAS

During the course of the thirteenth century, the use of "opus operatum--opus operans" terminology rapidly gained currency. Innocent III made use of the paired experssion when he wrote that "even though the 'opus operans' is sometimes unclean, the 'opus operatum' is always clean" (De sac1¡atissimo altaris mysterio. I. III, c. V; P.L. CCXVII, 843). Bonaventure employed similar terminology in his Commentary on the Book of Sentences and so did Aquinas. Commenting on the work of Lombard, Thomas wrote that "In a sacrament there are two things to consider, namely, the sacrament itself, which some call the 'opus operatum': the use of the sacrament is the action itself, which some call the 'opus operans'" (In IV Sent., d. I, q. 1, a. 5, q. III). In passages such as these, the great scholastics used the expression "opus operatum" to describe the objective reality of the sacrament itself. They did not, however, restrict their use of the expression to sacramental theology. Thus in his Com-



1nenta;ry on the Book of Sentences, Thomas used -the correlative expressions "opus operatum-opus operans" principally in his treatment of the traditional problem, rather than in the sacramental sections of his work. By this time, however, the school of Poitiers had already begun to use these paired terms in an explanation of sacramental causality. Thus in the Commenta.-y on the Book of Sentences, Thomas also employed the "opus operatum-opus operans" tetminology to explicate other aspects of his sacramental doctrine. It is important to note that the te1ms are employed as a pair of correlative expressions. The use of one of the¡ expressions is to create a contrast with what is implied by the other. Hence, in the first series of texts, Thomas used the "opus operatum" formula to distinguish the value of the sacraments of the new law from merits accruing to faith. Specifically he used this expression to set the Christian sacraments apart from the sacraments of nature and the sacraments of the old law. In his view, the latter were efficacious solely on the basis of the faith of those who received them. In similar fashion, when Thomas wanted to affirm that the efficacy of the Christian sacraments was not based on the merit of the recipients, he restored to "opus operatum" terminology. Thus he wrote: "In baptism as far as the work done ("opus operatum") is concerned, the merit of the baptized person has no effect (In IV Sent ... d. IV, q. II, a. 2, qq. I, II, obj. l). In another series of texts, Thomas used the "opus operatum" fotmula in order to distinguish the sacramental reality itself from the personal piety or religious disposition of the minister who celebrated the sacrament (In IV Sent., d. XIII, q. I, a. I, q. V). He affitmed that sacramental grace does not result from the vi'ttue of the minister of the sacrament but from the very reality ("opus operatum") of the sacrament itself. Finally, in a third series of texts, Thomas employed the fmmula in order to call positive attention to the nature of sacramental efficacy. To say that a sacrament is efficacious "ex opere operato" is to indicate that it is God's work rather than man's. In the period of his theological development represented by



the Conunenta:ry on the Book of Sentences, Thomas' use of "opus operatum-opus operans" terminology was similar to that of the school of Poitiers. Use of the paired expressions was not restricted to sacramental theology. The "opus operatum" fommla represented principally the designation of an act in its objective reality. This meaning of the fonnula was presm-ved when Thomas introduced it into sacramental theology. Since however the connotation of the te1m was distinctionmaking, Thomas found it a useful formula for distinguishing between human merit and the gratuity of sacramental grace. Thus, in the discussion of sacramental efficacy, the "opus operatum" formula could point to the gratuity of sacramental grace, but always as distinct from the product of human endeavor. In the period of his more mature theological development, when he presented his own synthesis of sacramental doctrine, Thomas chose to explicate sacramental efficacy in terms of sign and in te•¡ms of principal and instrumental causality, rather than in the categories of "opus operatum" terminology. At the head of his treatment of the sacraments, the Angelic Doctor declared that "a sacrament belongs to the genus of sign, because it is a sign of a sacred reality." A sacrament is, ho,vever, not a sign of just any sacred reality; it is a sign "of that sacred reality which sanctifies man" (Sumnm Theolooica. I-III, q. 101, a. 4; cf. q. 102, a. 5; III, q. 60, a. 2; q. 64, arts. 2, 5). As such a sign, the sacrament cannot be considered independently of God himself, whose sanctification of men is effected in the Passion and Death of Christ. Thus God himself is to be considered the principal cause of the grace effect of the sacraments; human agents and the objective reality of the sacraments can only be considered as the instrumental causes of sacramental grace (Summa Theologica, III, q. 64, arts. 5, 9; q. 84, a. 5 ad 5). Indeed, it is Christ himself in his human nature, who should be considered as the principal instrumental cause of sacramental grace (Summa Theologica, III, q. 64, arts. 3, 4; q. 60, passim; q. 66, a. 6; q. 84, a. 1, ad 1; a. 7). In short, the scholastic tradition as represented by St. Thomas appreciated the value of "opus operatum" terminology in the presentation of sacramental doctrine. The expression was val-



uable since, designating the sacrament in itself facticity and conjuring up the other element of the binomial ("opus operans"), it served to distinguish the efficacy of the Christian sacraments from that of other religious realities-faith, sacraments of the old law, the piety of the recipients, the virtue of the minister, etc. The great scholastics, however, also appreciated that "opus operatum" terminology was not really adequate to properly and positively describe the efficacy of the sacraments. When this was their concern, the great scholastics had to resort to other forms of explanatory terminology. THE COUNCIL OF TRENT

A similar appreciation of the utility ami limitation of the "opus operatum" expression lies behind the formulation of the canons of the Council of Trent. The purpose of the Tridentine Fathers was not so much to offer a positive theological explanation of sacramental causality, as it was to reject an erroneous presentation, especially that proposed by Luther and Melancthon. To fully understand the import of Trent's statements on sacramental causality, it is, therefore, necessary to appreciate them within the context of the positions adopted by the Reformers. In the Ba.byloninn Captivity Luther wrote that "A great majority (of Catholics) maintain that there is a certain spiritual virtue hidden in the word and the water, which operates in the soul of the recipient by the grace of God. Others, however, contend that there is no virtue in the sacraments themselves, but that grace is given by God alone, who is present by covenant at the sacraments which he has instituted. Yet all agree that the sacraments are effective signs of grace .... Such contentions, however, are lacking in both reverence and faith, they are contrary to faith and to the nature of the sacraments, and therefore should be carefully avoided and shunned. For it is wrong to hold that the sacraments of the New Law differ from those of the Old Law in point of their effective significance. Both have the same meaning." A similar point of view was taken in Melancthon's Defense of the Angsbwra Confession: "Of more importance is the way in which the sacrament, are to be used. And here we condemn the whole group of scholastic



doctors who teach that the sacraments confer grace on those who place no obstacle in the way, in virtue of the rite performed ("ex opere operato") without any good intention on the part of the one using them ("sine bono motu utentis"). To believe that we are¡ justified by a ceremony, without a good disposition of the heart, that is, without faith, is simply a Jewish opinion. And yet this impious and pernicious opinion is taught with great authority in the whole of the pontiff's kingdom." While positively expounding a sola fides position, these passages repudiate what is essentially a caricature of Christian sacraments.


i"i II

In its rejection of the position taken by the Reformers, Trent's response was phrased in the very language used by them. This language was, in turn, the traditional language of the schools. Three canons best illustrate the Tridentine condemnation and the technique employerl: Canon 2, "If anyone shall say that these same sacraments of the New Law differ from the sacraments of the Old Law only in so far as the ceremonies and external rites are different, let him be anathema;" Canon 6, "If anyone shall say that the sacraments of the New Law do not contain the grace which they signify, or do not confer that grace on those who place no obstacle in its way-as though the sacraments were nothing but the external signs of grace or justice received through faith, and certain marks of Christian profession which, among men, distinguish the faithful from unbelievers, let him be anathema;" and Canon 8, "If anyone shall say that these sacraments of the New Law do not confer grace in virtue of the rite performed ("ex opere operato"), but that faith alone in the divine promise is enough to obtain grace, let him be anathemna" (DS 1602, 1606, 1608). The comparison of these canons with the Lutheran documents clearly brings out the intention of the Fathers of Trent. Their pl"incipal intention was to reject the Lutheran position which affilmed that there is no difference between Christian sacraments and sacraments of the Old Law and which maintained that the efficacy of each form of sacrament resided solely in the faith with which it was received. One Tridentine canon, however, takes us a step further. Canon 7 says that "If anyone shall say that these sacraments-so far as God's part is con-




cerned-----<lo not give grace always and to all persons, even though they receive them aright, but only sometimes and to some persons, let him be anathema" (DS 1607). In the background of this canon no longer lies the scholastic distinction between the Christian sacraments and the sacraments of the Old Law, a distinction in which "opus operatum" terminology was employed, but the positive scholastic affirmation of the efficacy of the sacraments of the Church. Yet, given the fact that the Reformers had projected a caricature of the scholastic understanding of sacramental causality, reducing it almost to the magical, the Tridentine canon was so formulated as to avoid even the suspicion of a magical interpretation of sacramental causality. Trent's use of the qualifying phrase "quantum est ex parte Dei" and "rite ea suscipiant" clearly indicates that it is not the merely physical positing of a "sacramental" act which effects sacramental grace. The same sensitivity appears in the Fourteenth Session's fourth canon on the sacrament of penance: "Some falsely accuse Catholic writers, as if they taught that the sacrament of penance confers g1¡ace without any pious endeavor on the part of those who receive it, a thing which the Church of God has never taught or pronounced" (DS 1678). In shol1;, Trent expressly defends the position that the sacraments confer grace "ex opere operato." Its intention was to countermand the erroneous interpretation of sacramental efficacy which had gained currency in Lutheran circles. The Council did not intend to elaborate upon the doctrine of sacramental causality as proposed in the schools. However, it certainly did not intend to imply that the merely physical positing of the "opus" is sufficient to constitute it as a sacramental "opus." Indeed, lest the efficacy of the sacraments be construed in too mechanical or magical fashion, Trent avered that the efficacy of the "opus operatum" is dependent upon two conditions: its correspondence to God's part, and its being rightly t¡eceived. The fulfillment of these conditions is precisely the heart of the matter in the current renewal of pastoral practice. THE POST-TRIDENTINE CHURCH

From the vantage point of the twentieth century, it appears



that Trent, by g1vmg magisterial sanction to the "ex opere operato" formula, not only effectively rejected the Lutheran position, but also provided the occasion for the practical neglect of the notion that the sacraments are in genere signi and confer only the grace which they signify. Moreover, since the Reformation polemic focused upon the sacramental rites themselves, later sacramental doctrine tended to sever these rites from the only context in which they make sense, namely the position of Christ, the supreme act of worship of the Father and source of man's justification. This "separatist" tendency appears in several of the more popular theological manuals. To be sure, the better editions of the manuals cast their treatment of the sacrament against the background of the tract on grace, even to the point of frequent cross-references. Yet some manualists failed to make these references sufficiently explicit and those who read the manuals were all too easily inclined to gloss over the footnoted references, which, at least in this insistance, were of capital importance for a catholic understanding of sacramental efficacy. This is not to deny that the authors of the manuals intended to be faithful to the spirit of Trent. They did indeed want to explicate defined dogma accurately. Often, however, they did not sufficiently place the formulation of doctrine within the historical context in which it developed. Thus in the presentation of the doctrine of sacramental causality, the manualists stressed the "ex opere operata" emphasis of Trent, but did not draw sufficient attention to the fact that Trent employed this terminology in order to reject a Lutheran position. An example of this trend can be seen in the following typical formulation of a thesis on the efficacy of the sacraments: "The sacraments of the New Law confer grace "ex opere operato" upon all who place no obstacle in its way; in other words, they are instrumental causes of grace" (A. Tanquerey, Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae, Paris, 1947, 25, p. 259). The language of this thesis reflects the terminology and the perspectives of Canons 2, 4, and 6 of Trent's Seventh Session. Its reference to the "sacraments of the New Law" hearkens back to the early scholastic usage of "ex opere operato" terminology in sacramental theology. Even the notion that the sacraments




are instrumental causes of grace has a long scholastic history. Yet the formulation of the thesis reflects an important element in the history of sacramental doctrine, which remained as a very significant aspect of the Tridentine formulations. In its canons on the sacraments in general, Trent proclaimed that the sacraments conveyed the grace which they signified ( contine1¡e gratiam . .. quam Bignijicant). Even in the midst of a polemic which tended to reduce the sign value of the sacrament to "merely a sign," the Tridentine theologians were constrained to express the fact that the sacraments convey grace by signifying grace. Our manual thesis, however, merely affirms that the sacraments are instrumental causes of grace. The manualists did not deny that the sacraments convey the grace which they signify. The notion is generally embodied somewhere in the explanation of "instrumental cause." Yet the shift in emphasis did bring about a popularized notion of sacramental causality which does not adequately reflect out¡ conciliar an<l theological tradition. THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH

Despite the fact that some might have considered the merely physical positing of matter and form as sufficient to constitute a sacrament, the normative practice of the Church remained such that no accusation of magical practice could be logically leveled. Indeed, one might even suggest that the Western church has been overly cautious in this respect since the Council of Trent. Generally the Latin church would not administer the Eucharist to children until the age of seven, even though it has long been the practice of the Christian East that infants receive the Eucharist as part of the rite of initiation. Latin-rite Catholics were n01mally prohibited from receiving the Eucharist more than once a day. The Church of the West would not dare to offer the consolation of "extreme unction" to those who were about to face death, unless they were in the condition of "pet¡iculum mortis," a condition whose canonico-theo!ogical description hardly resembled what most men understand by "danger of death." This evidence of a cautious sacramental practice clearly attests that the Church docs not intend that the sacraments be



indiscriminately administered to the fatihful merely because they "give grace." This caution has, however, not given rise to the accusation that the Church has arbitrarily withheld grace from some of its members because she has not admitted them to the sacraments. Nor has the Church been accused of depriving men of grace because she has refused to confer the sacrament of orders upon them until a certain degree of maturity and theological formation has been attained and a canonical mission be appointed for them. In the current controversy over celibacy, no one cries that celibacy is unjust because it deprives clerics of the grace of matrimony. Generally it is not argued that married men and all women are deprived of grace because they are not admitted to the sacrament of orders. It may be that arguments of this type are forthcoming but we should hope not. They would be based on a misconception of the sacraments of the Church. Indeed, very few priests OJ" laity have reacted vehemently to "the practice of First Communion at seven, first confession at the same age, and confirmation at eleven, on the grounds that this practice deprives younger children of sacramental grace. (We ought to note that Canon 788 speaks of "postponing" the sacrament of confirmation till about seven years of age). When, however, it is suggested that pastoral ani! theological reasons dictate another age for the (first) reception of these sacraments, a cry of alarm is frequently heard: its sound, "the sacraments were instituted to give grace." This, of course, is precisely the point. The sacraments do confer grace. But they are not the indifferent distributors of a quantifiable object called grace. They confer only the grace which they signify, and ultimately the grace which they signify is some dimension of the Incarnate grace, the God-man, the primary sacrament. It is for this reason that one must reflect upon the meaning and existence of the sacramental sign before one can logically speak of the grace of the sacraments. The existence of the sacramental sign is crucial to the conferral of sacramental grace. Thus, if some event which superficially appears as a sacrament is, in reality, non-sensical,. there is neither celebration of sacrament nor conferral of sacramental grace. Consequently, the quest for the most appropriate mo-



ment for the (first) reception of the sacraments ought ultimately to be the search for the adequate andjor fullest expression of the sacramental sign. The adequacy of the sign must be judged not only with respect to the individual, but also with respect to the Church of which the sacraments are a function. VATICAN IJ AND SACRAMENTAL CAUSALITY

The traditional importance of the sacramental sign has again been underscored by the Second Vatican Council. In point of fact the two principal loci of Vatican II's sacramentology, Lumen Gentium, 11, and Sacrosanctnm Concilium, 47-82, say comparatively little about the efficacy of the sacraments. This relative silence is in keeping with the pastoral nature of the documents. Nonetheless what the documents do imply is the importance of the sacramental sign. Lumen Gentium represents the Council's most mature presentation of sacramental doctrine. One sentence recalls the· scholastic-Tridentine terminology traditionally used to affirm the efficacy of the sacraments. It reads: "Strengthened anew at the holy table by the Body of Christ, they manifest in a practical way that unity of God's people which is suitably signified and wonderously brought about by this most awesome sacrament (qnae hoc augustissimo sacmmento a.pte siyni.ficatu?· et mirabiliter efficitw·" Lumen Gentium, 11). This passage uses traditional terminology to describe the efficacy of the sacrament--not, however, with respect to individual sanctification (the private reception of grace), but rather with respect to the unity of the Church of which the Eucharist is a sign. This presentation is in keeping with the thrust of the entire paragraph which looks to the sacraments not as "outward signs, instituted by Christ, to give grace" (understood as an individualized grace of justification), but as selfexpressions of the Church by which she acualizes her priesthood and thereby builds up the Body of Christ which she already is in principle, but which she is yet to become fully. (This common definition of the sacraments is somewhat less accurate than Trent's "visible sign of invisible grace instituted for our justification.") Insofar as the sacraments express and build up the Church as Church they effect the sanctification



of the members of the Church who participate in them. It is, however, its function as a self-expression of the Church which gives to each of the seven sacraments a significance such that those who participate in it are sanctified with the very sanctity of the Church, i.e. with the sanctity of Christ now made present in the Church. The entire paragraph (Lwnen Gentium, 11) easily articulates with th.~ new sacramentology and its emphasis on the ecclesial aspects of the sacraments. It may be regretted that the document has not developed more extensively the personal implications of each of the sacraments, but it cannot be said that paragraph eleven denies the personal sanctifying import of the sacraments. The document clearly expresses the sacraments as sanctifying-justifying actualizations of the Church, but lays stress on the specific "grace" signified by each of the sacraments: "incorporated into the Church by baptism ... ; endowed by the Holy Spirit with special strength ... ; taking part in the Eucharistic Sacrifice which is the font and apex of the whole Christian life .... ; obtain pardon of God ... ; that he might lighten their sufferings and save them ... ; consecmted by Holy Orders ... ; signify and partake of the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and his Church. The spouses thereby help each other to attain to holiness .... Fortified by so many and such powerful means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition or state, are called by the Lord, each in his own way, to that perfect holiness whereby the Father himself is perfect" (Lumen Gentiurn, 11). The Council's perspective is personalistic and charismatic. Attention is drawn to the specificity of each of the seven signs since it is in this respect that each of them redounds to the sanctification of those who receive them. THE DEVELOPING THEOLOGICAL MATURITY IN VATICAN


One year prior to the promulgation of the Do,qmaNc Constitution on the Church appeared the Constitution on the Sacred Litwr,qy. The teaching which it contains does not reflect the degree of theological maturity found in the later conciliar texts. This can be seen in the passages which treat of sacramental causality. Once again, however, it must be noted that we are



not dealing with ex 11rojesso considerations, but with a placement of emphasis. The very first paragraph of Sacrosanctum Concilhtm's Chapter III, "The Other Sacraments and Sacramentals," urges the faithful to understand the sacramental signs and pmticipate in the sacramental rites because: "The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men (sacramenta onlinantur ad sanctificationem hominmn), to build up the body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct (ut 8igna vero etia1n ad inst路ructionem pertinent). They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it; that is why they are called 'sacraments of faith.' They do impart grace ( gratimn quidem conferunt) but, in addition, the ve1-y act of celebrating them disposes the faithful most effectively to receive this 路grace in a fruitful manner (dil;ponit ad eandem ymtiam fntct?W8e ?"ecipiendam), to worship God duly, and to practice charity" (Sacrasanctum Conciliurn, 59). After a passage on sacramenta Is had been inserted into the conciliar text at the request of Cardinal Ruffini, the chapter continued: "Thus, for well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacJ路amentals sanctifies almost every event in their lives; they are given access to the stream of divine grace which flows from the paschal mystery of the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ, the fountain from which all the sacraments and sacramentals draw their power' (Ibid., 61). These passages offer clear evidence of a sacramentology which places greater emphasis on personal sanctification than that found in the ConsUtution on the Clmrch. Yet, for our purpose, three facts need be noted. First, the council text implicitly affirms that the sacraments are in gener路e signi and that this fact pervades everything which can be said about the sacraments. Secondly, the document is also concerned with a "meaningful" participation of the laity in the sacramental rites; sacramental causality is not the sole or principal concern. Thirdly, our attention is drawn from a rite considered in isolation to the source of the grace of the sacraments, which is Christ, in his paschal mystery. We must also note that an earlier section of the CDn8titution



on the Sacred Liturgy underscored both the importance of liturgy (including sacramental liturgy) as sign and the ecclesial dimension of liturgical action. In particular, paragraphs 21 and 33 draw our attention to the intenelation among sign, community, and grace. Thus, "in this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify (ut sancta, qua significant, cmrius exprimant). Christian people, as far as possible, should be able to understand them with ease and to take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community ... " (Ibid., 21). "And the visible signs used by the liturgy to signify invisible divine things (signa tandem visibilia ... ad res divinas invisibiles significandas) have been chosen by Christ or by the Church. Thus, not only when things are read 'which have been written for. our instruction,' but also when the Church prays or sings or acts, the faith of those taking pa1t is nourished and their minds are raised to God; so that they may offer him the worship which reason requires and more copiously receive his grace ( gratiam Eius abundantius •¡ecipiant )" (Ibid., 33) . These conciliar texts called for a liturgical reform which would render greater intelligibility to the sacramental sign. It must not be thought that the Council fathers were principally concerned with new forms which would be more acceptable to twentieth century men whose taste for the symbolic had generally been replaced by a desire for the functional. Rather the bishops were concerned with the very essence of the sacraments themselves. The fullness of the sacramental reality requires an adequate correspondence between the signifying rite and the signified grace. Thus Grillmeir has commented that "Now the sense and the sign should again fully assume their proper place. The forms should be intelligible. The form and content should be in accord with each other. The form should express what is really meant and the reality should correspond to the form" (A. Grillmeir, o.c., p. 23). Since the sacraments are "ecclesiafacient' and, as such, confer grace, the adequacy of the sacramental sign is, according to divine dispensation, of particular importance in the conferral of grace. Sacrosanctnm Consili!tm, 33, previously cited, clearly indicates that a fuller expression of the sacramental sign is not



only necessary for more authentic prayer, but also in order that the grace of the sacrament be more fully received ( gratiamque Eius abunrktntiam recipiant). We are far removed from the acceptability of a barely adequate sign or a magical understanding of the sacramental causality. Thus it appears that the doctrine and sacramental causality which appears in Sacrosanctum Concilium is not opposed to that of Lumen Gentium. At most the difference between the texts is a difference in emphasis. Beyond this there is a positive relationship between the teaching of the two conciliar texts. The teaching of the Constitution on the Liturgy foreshadows and prepares for the doctrine on sacramental efficacy founded in the dogmatic constitution. Together both documents draw attention to the real importance of the sacramental sign. They highlight, once again, the nature of the sacraments as signs, bringing to the fore a dimension that had receded into the shadowed footnotes of the post-Tridentine, and anti-l¡eformation teaching of the theological manuals. Fortunately the Council has reiterated the importance of the sacramental sign, for it is upon the ability of a sacrament to signify grace that its capacity to confer grace depends. PASTORAL CONSEQUENCES

At this juncture it might be well to reflect that this fact has no small bearing upon the celebration of those sacraments whose opportune administration has prompted this article. The sacrament of confirmation confers grace only to the extent that it signifies a special gift of the Spirit and the fullness of incorporation into the Church. The sacrament of penance confers grace only insofar as it signifies real forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to the Church. Each of these sacraments ought to be administered only when they can have the significance which they ought to embody. It might well be argued that even an infant can be fully a member of the Church-and it is upon this assumption that the practice of the East is ultimately based-but it can hardly be argued that an infant is capable of committing sin. Does the principle enunciated imply that the sacraments of confirmation and penance ought to be administered as soon as



it is possible to minimally constitute the sacramental sign in the hope that sacramental grace will be conferred upon those who receive them? To responrl with a quick "Yes" seems to make an affirmation contrary to the thrust of Vatican ll's sacramentology. It is certainly to overlook two important dimensions of the Church's sacramental practice and theology. First of all, the sacraments constitute the Church in its ecclesial reality and confer grace upon the members of the Church insofar as they are "ecclesiafacient." Hence our pastoral concern ought to be directed to the ability of a sacramental sign to signify something for the Church itself. We ought not think of individual benefits apart from the upbuilding of the Church. Secondly, the seven sacraments do not constitute seven independent channels of grace. It is not as if the Christian who has not received one or another of the sacraments is a deficient Christian. Rather the sufficient Christian is the one who participates in the sacramental life of the Church accm¡ding to his specific state "in the Lord." Indeed, the organic unity of the sacramental system and the ontological unity of the grace (sanctifying grace) mediated through the sacraments must be fully weighed in determining pastoral norms for the most opportune administration of the sacraments. Our attention must be drawn especially to the Eucharist which is, pll!r excellence, the sacrament of the Church and the source of grace for the faithful. This is clearly indicated in Lumen Gentium which affirms that the Eucharist is the "fount and apex of the whole Christian life" (Lumen Gentium, 11), using the same terms which Sae>¡osanctum Concilh<m had used to describe the entire liturgical activity of the Church: "The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the fountain from which all her power flows .... From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the Eucharist, as from a fountain, grace is channeled into us; and the sanctification of men in Christ ~Uld the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their goal, are most powerfully achieved" (Sacrosanctum Conciliwn. 10). Hence without gainsaying the value of any of the other sacraments, it must be acknowledged that it is the Eucharist which most



significantly builds up the Body of Christ and confers grace upon the faithful. Consequently it must be tills sacrament which should be considered as the normal and normative means of Christian growth in the Trinitarian life. Before summarizing the conclusions of this brief study, one further consideration ought to be made. It bears upon the fact that in sacramental theology it is really with the gratuity of God's grace that we are concerned when we consider the efficacy of the sacraments. His gracious benefaction was not fully expressed in the self-gift of his Son and in the self-gift of his Spirit, sent by the Son. It is the act of the Son through the Spirit which is made present in the sacraments. Yet it is not only in the seven sacraments that the power of the Spirit is made present to Christian man; it is not only in the sacraments that the Son acts on man's behalf. The Incarnate Son is the primal sacrament insofar as he is the effective sign of the salvation of God. In this era of salvation, when the Church remains as the effective sign of Christ and the expressed locus of the sanctifying power of the Spirit, the Church must also be considered as, in some sense, a fundamental sacrament. The consequence is simply that whenever the Church is in the process of building herself up as Church she is involved in an activity which is properly sacramental. Whenever the Church actualizes herself, even in ways other than the seven most fundamental modes of self-actualization, we are dealing with a sacramental reality and the conferral of grace upon those involved. In these instances the sacramental communication of grace is no less real even though its certainty is not guaranteed with the note of infallibility which guarantees the grace effecting dimension of the "seven sacraments" by which the Church most characteristically actualizes herself as the Body of Christ. In short, grace, indeed "sacramental" grace, is not limited to the seven sacraments. Thus our pastoral concern must situate the issue of the (first) reception of the sacraments in the broader context of the grace-conferring upbuilding of the Church. CONCLUSION

By way of summary and conclusion, I would offer the following considerations:



1. Historically, the "ex opere operata" formula was prin-

cipally used to distinguish the Christian sacraments from the sacraments of the Old Law and to affirm that the value of these Christian sacraments does not lie in the faith of the recipient nor in the piety of the minister. Positively the formulw affirms the uniqueness of the Christian sacraments and the gratuity of divine grace. 2. Used in reference to the efficacy of the sacraments, the formula implies that the power of Christ and his Spirit is operative in the sacramental activity of the Church. 3. The doctrine that the sacraments confer grace "ex opere operata" in no wise implies that the sacraments confer grace independently of their capacity to signify salvific realities. They confer grace provided that the sign is constituted as a sacramental sign. 4. Historically the sacraments have not been conferred upon Christians principally for the sake of giving grace. The criterion for the Church's pastoral administration of the sacraments has been the realization of the sacred sign, a criterion underscored in our times by the norms on intercommunion. 5. The importance of the sacrament as sign-as sign which constitutes the Church, as sign which sanctifies, and as sign which instructs-has been recalled by the Second Vatican Council, which, however, treats of sacramental causality only in incidental fashion. 6. Given the essentially "esslesiafacient" dimension of the sacramental reality, any event by which the Church actualizes herself as Church should be considered as "sacramental" activity. 7. When youngsters are involved in any activity by which the Church fulfills her own nature and constitutes herself as the Body of Christ, they are involved in "sacramental" activity, by which grace is signified and communicated. 8. Since the Eucharist is the most characteristic form of ecclesial self-actualization, it is full participation in the Eucharist which should be considered as the normative means of receiving sacramental grace.



9. Thus youngsters who do not receive the sacrament of confirmation until their teens and those who do not receive the sacrament of penance until after the age of seven must not be considered as young Christians deprived of sacramental grace. As often as they receive the Eucharist and participate in an activity by which the Church brings itself into fuller being, they are sharers in the grace made present in the Church in its very act of becoming. 10. Finally, the principal pastoral concern in determining the opportune moment for the administration of the sacraments ought not to be the "giving of grace." That is best left up to God. For us the crucial concern should be the constitution of a fully expressive sacramental sign.

Edonard Pousset, S.J. translated路 by John Ashton, S.J.

The Eucharist: Real Presence and Transubstantiation, Part II

Does a conte-mp01路a1路y encharistic theology 1-ule out t1路aditional eucharistic devotions?


To express the truth that it is Christ himself who is present in the form of food, the very same Christ whom men have seen, heard and touched, and who now dwells in glory, the Church uses the term "substance": in the Eucharist Christ is present in his entire substance, the reason being that the substance of bread and wine has been changed into the substance of Christ's body. In the light of the preceding analysis of the notion of presence, it is clear that the term "substance" denotes that aspect of a being (a being also necessarily in relation with others) by which it is "en-soi" and "pour-soi." One can see at once that this way of speaking emphasizes one side of 'pres91



ence,' 路namely that of the "en-soi" which is locally present, at the risk of concealing the other side. Yet, to convince oneself that the risk is not unavoidable, one has only to recall the meaning of the category of substance for scholastic philosophy and its necessary correlation with the category of accident. What precisely does this word "substance" mean, and what light can it shed upon the dogma of the Eucharist? This is the next question that we must attempt to answer. The reply demands a certain preliminary elaboration of the notion of substance: a measure of philosophical reflection is indispensable here if one is to cut oneself free fi路om the absurdities which, at least for the modern mind, encumber both word and concept. The notion of "substance" played on essential role in ancient philosophy. Subsequently, in more modern philosophies, it has been criticized, redefined and even rliscarded. It has been systematically eliminated from the positive sciences, which have no inte>路est in the reality it denotes. Yet for all this the word does denote a permanent reality, one which no philosopher, not even the ordinary thinking man, can altogether dispense with. Everything in the universe, from stones to human beings, comprises two aspects, one relatively stable and enduring, the other shifting and changeable. The former aspect is, roughly speaking, that of the "en-soi," (in itself) the latter that of the "pour-autrui," (for another) for movement and change are always the consequence of influence one thing exerts upon another. Ancient philosophy expressed this double aspect of things in systematic terms by ascribing to each individual thing a single substance and a plurality of accidents. The substance is the principle that gives consistency to the accidents, organizing them into a whole and marshalling them into the unity of the particular thing in question, whether it be a stone or a man. The accidents are the manifold changing manifestations of the substance, or the modifications it undergoes through outside causes. Once philosophical thought relaxes its effort of comprehension, the substance tends to be represented as a sort of substratum that persists underneath o1路 behind its accidents, and the accidents as a shifting surface in perpetual motion. It is this way of representing substance and accidents that has given rise to the criticisms of modern philos-



ophers and scientists. For the scientist, all that. he observes, describes, analyses, measures and (where he can) constructs, is simply a phenomenon or manifestation. Undemeath or behind the first phenomena are other phenomena: in the physical universe one passes from one phenomenon to another and then to another, and so on ad infinitum. So it is that modern scientists cannot, because of the methods they employ, lay hold of the substance of things they examine. At the same time the philosopher, as he reflects upon science, may observe that the sciences suppose, though without specifically concerning themselves with these, centers of unity and of totalization in the phenomena they study. One must pass from phenomena not just to other phenomena but to the whole series of phenomena that manifest one object, one organism, one human psyche, one universe. Such a series belongs to the phenomenal order, but also lies outside it; though always implied by the totality of the phenomena that relate to a given unity, it cannot be detected by the senses or by scientific measurement. Yet it is here that the goal of human knowledge is to be found. Every single thing is at the same time the indefinite series of its phenomenal manifestations and the totalizing unity, the unifying totality of the phenomena, 71er se indefinite, by which it is indicated and even constituted. This unity or totality is not something inert; rathe>¡ it is the active principle that o•¡ganizes, unifies and totalizes the phenomena relating to a particular thing: the thing itself is totally immersed in them and yet at the same time retains an originality in their regard that sets it apart. What precisely is this active principle? Certainly nothing that can be seen, touched or measured. Then is it simply an abstract idea? No. Or rather let us say that it first appears to our understanding as an abstract idea, a something or other, which, after having been sunk in the phenomena, has come to be freed and distinguished from them. For as we have already remarked, the total series of phenomena belongs, and at the same times does not belong, to the phenomenal order. The troublesome element here is the equivocal situation of a principle that is both phenomenally real and conceptually abstract. The equivocation is due to the fact that we have begun an intellectual operation which we have failed to carry



through: we have passed over from the order of perceptible and measurable phenomena to the order of their principle of activity and totalization, but abstractly: as yet we have not recognized the order of reality to which this principle belongs. On this level of abstraction the phenomena and the active principle of their unity and totality are grasped in their mutual opposition, which is the opposition between a reality perceptible by the senses and a general abstract idea. But we cannot stop here: of itself, a general idea can exercise no unifying or totalizing action for within: the active principle that is the source of such an action in a thing is no mere general abstract idea. So we still have to clamber up to the high level of reality to which this principle belongs. This is the level of metaphysics, and at this level the active principle in question is no longet¡ simply represented as a general abstract idea opposed to perceptible reality; rather it is an activity of synthesis, ontologically more real than perceptible, immediate reality and more universal than a general idea: the activity of synthesis at work among the phenomena conceived for what it is. It goes without saying that on the level of this higher activity one must be careful to distinguish between degrees of being and not try to hypostatize this active principle in such a way as to make the number of beings with an absolute existence "en-soi" correspond to the number of centers in the universe which provide a merely relative unity and totalization. The active principle of each particular thing we call its "substance," and one should add that this concept of substance is verified Yery differently according to the degree of being of the thing in question. We shall be returning to this point later. From the foregoing analysis three levels of thought and existence have emerged: 1. The world of phenomena, i.e., the world perceived by the senses. 2. The world of general abstract ideas, defined by their opposition to the phenomenal world and reached by a preliminary effort of the understanding. (Translator's note: The comparatively rare French word "entendement" is equivalent to the Kantian or Hegelian "verstand.") At this level, the active principle from which the phenomena that constitute an object receive their unity and totality is still held abstractly and defined by opposition to the perceptible



reality of the first level: as such it appears to have less reality than this. In fact it is on the verge of exhibiting a higher reality than that of the simple phenomena. If we call this principle "substance," then we must call phenomena that manifest or exhibit it "accidents." No doubt these two categories, considered as a pair (substance/accidents) properly belong to a very different philosophical system from the more modern philosophy that is at the back of the foregoing analysis; but for our purposes we can regard them as equivalent: the differences between scholastic and modern philosophy need not concern us here. 3. The active principle, the substance, in so far as it is conceived in ¡relation to the phenomena it unifies and totalizes. Here it is no longer held in an abstraction whereby it is distinguished from the phenomena and defined by opposition to them. On the contrary, it has turned back to the sensible phenomena so as to prove itself, in conjunction with them, the Real-what one may term the concrete universal, more universal than the general abstract idea, because it is in communication with the whole of reality, and more conc1¡ete than the phenomenal world. Thus substance, the active p1¡inciple responsible for the unity and totalization of the phenomena, and accidents, the phenomena themselves, have a highly complex relationship; they are distinct, and yet closely united. Without accidents, substance is an abstraction; without substance, accidents are an impossibility. This three-way analysis, the third level being the synthesis of the first two, is not without difficulty. An example might help to clarify it-railways, for instance, which comprise: 1. Engines and carriages; 2. Timetables, all sorts of calculations, diagrams, graphs and maps-all with a definite bearing upon the carriages and engines; 3. The connection between these timetables, calculations, graphs etc., with the engines and carriages, which results in an orderly, regular service for people to avail themselves of. Here we enter upon an altogether new level of thought and reality: a sector of the economic life of the country that belongs to the realm of political economy or even social anthropology. It is obvious that this third level is both more concrete than the first and more universal than the abstractions of the sec-



ond, for the first two levels are strictly confined to the sphere of French Railways, whereas the orderly, regular service of the third implies of its very nature direct links with all sectors of the economic and social life of the country. However, none of these levels should be dismissed too quickly: each of the three features a different degree of reality and a different stage of thought. Substance appears as a material substratum only to the thinker who substitutes imagination for thought and comes to represent concepts as material things; it appears as an abstraction only to the thinker who fails to go beyond the second level, that of analysis, where the substantial is thought of simply as opposed to the accidental. But when properly understood in connection with its accidents i.e., in its active function of organizing and unifying them and so giving them being, substance is more concrete than sensible reality and more universal than the general idea. The great advantage of the second level, where substance is understood in its opposition to accidents, is that it helps us to realize that there can be a certain interplay between substance and accidents. Substance cannot exist without accidents, but it is not totally dependent upon a narrowly defined set of accidents which could not be other than what they are. It retains a certain autonomy with regard to its accidents, an autonomy which is greater or smaller according to the nature of the being in question: everything depends, as we shall see, upon what degree of "dying" to the accidents that compose its world the substance can endure without ceasing to be itself; everything depends upon what force of abstraction it can exert upon itself with regard to its accidents without ceasing to be itself. This reflection leads us to a further development which is necessary for a full elucidation of the notion of substance. Substance can be predicated of a stone, a plant, an animal, a man, even of God, according to the degree in which each of these is a fundamentally active principle that unifies and totalizes its own manifestations and the influence to which it is subjected. But they are far from being active principles in the same degree. A stone, despite its compactness and solidity, is scarcely a substance at. all, since it is what it is not so



much in itself as through its relations with the whole physical universe. If substance can be predicated of the mineral world, it is much rather the whole cosmos that can be called a substance than this or that stone, rock, or even mountain. To find in the mineral world a degree of unity or totality worth the attention of a philosopher, one has to go to the cosmos as a whole. Here one must rigorously exclude any imaginative representation. It is not by virtue of its physical mass that the cosmos has a metaphysical reality (in so far as it has one), but by virtue of the totalizing unity within it which enables it to produce life and the various kinds of energy and potential necessary for life. Thus the substance of the cosmos may be defined as the unity of those processes by which the physical cosmos is the physical cosmos with the finality by which it is ordinated towards life. Similarly with the vegetable world. The immanent unity and totality that plants have is certainly much stronger than that of the mineral world, but in the last analysis they can be called substances only in the degree in which the totality of immanent processes by which they are each and every one of them constituted is directed to the superior kind of life of animals and men. Siminarly, animals are ordinated towards mankind. The notion of substance is absolutely verified in man because he is a totalizing unity resulting from all the natural processes by which he is made up and because he is even capable of shaking himself from his immanent finality (that is to say, himself, his own finished perfection) and his transcendent end (namely God, who is both the principle and term of his existence). Yet although man is substance in an absolute sense, .he remains, as a finite being, subject to the duality of substance and accidents; he is not God, so there is no simple and immediate identity between his activity (which is fluctuating) and his permanent being, between the external manifestations of his being in the world and their principle of unity and identity, between his ''en-soi pour-soi" and his ''pour-autrui." We must now attempt an accurate analysis of the interplay between. substance and accidents within a particular entity, according to its degree of being. At the mineral level (of the stone) there is practically no interplay at all: in a stone substance and accidents are blocked together. If a stone is



"worked," it becomes something else, a statue or two stones or a heap of little stones, but it is no longer what it was. A plant, on the other hand, can exhibit itself in a variety of different forms without ceasing to be what it is because of such accidental changes; an individual tree, for instance, in winter ... and in summer. But man, because he is substance in an absolute sense, has also the most autonomy with regard to his own accidentalit~·. He can exhibit himself throughout an extt·eme variety of forms of existence. lt must not be imagined that man's substantial permanence

is due to the permanence of his bodily form, which is in any case affected by the continuous renewal of all its constituent elements. The substance-accidents relationship must be understood at the very concrete level of man's social existence in a particular world. And the types of human society are virtually numberless. One and the same man (one and the same substance) can be and show himself to be a man in widely divergent types of society, to the degree in which he is capable of withdrawing ft·om one form of accidental existence, of dying to one form of existence so as to be born to another. So one and the same man might live first as a Frenchman, then as a Japanese, and so on. And it is clear that the more a being which is defined in terms of substance and accidents is per se-that is, the more truly substantial it is--in the full sense, capable of dying to one accidentally and being born to another, then the greater and more subtle will be the interplay between substance and accidents mentioned earlier. So much by way of introduction to the mystery of transubstantiation. Elements which are substances only to a feeble extent-bread and wine-cease to be what they are after submitting to a mot·e powerful transforming negation than they are capable of supporting, namely, the action of God changing them into his body. Again, Christ our Lord, who divests himself, by the most thoroughgoing of deaths, of his whole accidental existence in the natural world of men and things, cim accede to a radically new type of accidental existence, that of his existence as food, without ceasing to be himself. No11· that the notion of substance has been analyzed with sufficient thoroughness, it remains to consider in what way it



¡is to be applied to the bread and wine in the Eucharist, and to the body of Christ. THE SUBSTANCE OF BREAD AND THE SUBSTANCE OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

What is it that makes bread and wine substances? It is not their weight or tangibility, nor their physical and chemical constitution, nor their molecular or nuclear structure. All these features belong to the accidental order just as much as do color and shape. No, bread and wine are substances because they are foods. Before becoming a food, bread was a natural substance, ears of wheat waving in the breeze. Through human labor this natural substance has been negated as a natural substance and converted into a food. So the notion of substance is verified of this food only in a relatively impoverished way (as a negated natural substance), whereas its relationship of finality with mankind is strengthened: bt¡ead is more directly and closely onlinated to human welfare than wheat is. Bread, then, considered as a food, is a natural substance negated by human labor. According to a universal law, everything that becomes human food must die to its own natural being. And the death and negation that it undergoes do not affect the natural substance in a superficial or accidental manner: they entail a transformation of the substance into something of which the notion of substance is verified only in a very impoverished sense, with the result that this new substance is incapable of resisting a further change brought about by a second powerful transformative action. This happens when bread is eaten, and also, in a different way, when the incarnate Son of God changes the bread into his own body, and reduces his body to the state of a spiritual food. The active principle behind the human labor that goes into turning wheat into bread is in fact the bread to be made; and it is this same principle that gives a morsel of bread the structure by which it is and is seen to be bread, a structure that ranges from the atoms and molecules open to the observation of a physicist or chemist up to the texture and color of the crust, which can be seen by anyone. Bread is not just a con-



glomeration of atoms and molecules, any of which might go into the composition of bodies without the slightest resemblance to a food. The substance of bread, then, is to be identified, not with these atoms and molecules themselves, but with the active principle that organizes and unifies them in such a way that make up a human food. This active principle is not a physico-chemical entity (which corresponds to the first level of our earlier analysis), nor an idea of food in general (the second level), but both the idea and the physical entity as a single unity: it is what man, by his labor, has added to the natural so as to ordinate it towards his own sustenance; or more precisely, it is the natural transformed by human labor. Thus the concept of food that is made use of in theology does not belong to physics or chemistry or even cookery, but rather to philosophical anthropology, that is to say, the philosophy of man in the world, at grips with nature and with the divine. In this perspective, the substance of food may be defined, briefly and rather formally, as the immanent unity of a causality and a finality: finality, because it is a food [o1¡ men; and causality, because it is the end product of a series of natural processes that go to produce wheat and mechanical processes that transform wheat into bread. And the middle term of this causality and finality is human labor. Without the natural processes and the human labor, the end product would be nothing but an abstract idea; without the end in view there would be no human labor, and the natural processes that cause wheat to grow would lack both sense and purpose. (It has already been argued that the vegetable world finds its being and its significance in being ordinated towards mankind). TRANSFINALIZATION AND TRANSIGNIFICATION

This analysis should help us to understand the inadequacy of terms like "transfinalization" and "transignification" as substitutes for "transubstantiation." For what is changed here is not simply the sense and purpose, but the sense and purpose in so far as they inform both the natural processes and the human labor which go into the making of a substance with this particular sense and purpose. The sense and purpose of the substance in question is that it is a natural human food, and this substance is changed into one with a supernat-


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ural sense and purpose, and is consequently itself supernatural. But the analysis also shows how the tenns "transfinalization" and "transignification" bring out an essential aspect of transubstantiation. They can therefore be employed, subject to certain provisos, though not to replace the term "transubstantiation" entirely. This, I believe, is how we should understand the encyclical Mysterium Fidei, when it warns us that it is not permissible to stop short at what is known as "transignification" and "transfinalization," while at the same time admitting further on that the species of bread and wine "take on a new expressiveness and a new purpose" (para. 46). But it is not just dogma but also philosophy which is opposed to the exclusive use of transfinalization and transignification. For only in the abstract can final and efficient causality be separated, and in our case the terms transfinalization and transignification fail to touch the concrete reality. In the concrete, final and efficient causality are in necessary correlation: things come into being by a process of efficient causality, be it natural, mechanical or spiritual with a, sense that is determined by their final end. Finality is what commands, informs, as it were, the process of efficient causality within each particular being. Lastly, it must be admitted that the concept of transfinalization, making use as it does of the concept of finality, is thereby appealing to a notion which is just as much contested by modern science as is the concept of substance. So it has no obvious advantage for theology. No doubt such a scientific objection, which is justifiable on methodological grounds for sciences whose only object is to discover and define the natural, or rather mechanical processes of efficient causality, collapses completely once one begins to reflect upon the logic of the sciences from a philosophical point of view. But even on the philosophical plane, final causality cannot be fully and critically understood except in its necessary correlation with efficient causality: which brings us back to what we have already said on this point. CHRIST A SUBSTANCE?

Let us now consider how the notion of substance may be



applied to the body of Christ. How is it that Christ himself is also a "substance?" Once again, it is not a question of appearance, tangibility or weight-all of these qualities belong to the accidental order. What makes Christ, or indeed any man, a substance, is the totality of the natural processes which began at his conception and continued with his birth, growth and education. Taken separately, each of these processes belongs to the accidental order, but taken together they are held in a totalizing unity: a body informed by a human soul-a man. By virtue of these processes, Christ is a man living among his fellow-countrymen and entering into communication with them through his senses and his understanding: he speaks and acts as one of them. As such, the substance of Christ's body is tied to a certain natural accidentality, namely, that which is defined by the totality of sensitive and intellectual activity and passivity in a spatia-temporal world. And the only way for him to liberate himself from his accidentality, belonging as it does inherently to human nature, is by dying. But if the will to renounce is sufficiently strong, one form of social existence can be abandoned and another adopted in its stead without any loss of personal identity; and in the same way Christ's death to every sheerly accidental form of existence in the world allows him to adopt a radically different accidentality, always provided that this death be sufficiently thoroughgoing. Now precisely because he is not only man but also God, manGod, Mediator and Saviour, Christ underwent a dying right from the the first moment of his existence. And because this is the death of God (and death was not his due), because he dies to the sins of all mankind and all men die in him, the Mediator, finally because this death marks a transition from abasement to exaltation, his resurrection in glory-because of all this his death is the most thoroughgoing of all possible deaths. As man-God, then, Christ was doomed to death; and on top of the natural processes which made a man of him comes a negating action that proceeds from his divinity and stamps him, from the first moment of his existence, with the seal of death, the death of the Son of God. So he is born in dire



poverty, in his life he is first ignored, then rebuffed and persecuted, and eventually is made to endure his passion and die as a criminal. By this negating action the man-God, as God, takes upon himself the actions of other men towards him in such a way that they affect his own being; in this way he is permeated by death and dies to his natural existence in all its accidental forms, though always with a view to rising to a new form of existence, itself, no doubt, accidental for the man that he is, but radically and definitively affecting the substance of his being: the new form of existence is that of glory, belonging to the essence of the divinity and communicated to the humanity. But between these two states, those of glory on the one hand and of natural life as conditioned by the forms of existence in the spatio-temporal world on the other, Christ is able to adopt a form of intermediary existence, one that serves to mediate for us between the other two. This is his sacramental existence, whereby he gives himself to men to be their food . . He can do this because, by his passion and resurrection, he has entered into possession of his kingdom and assumed dominion over the whole universe and all that is in it, men and things, in so far as it is already identified for him with his own mystical body; also because, though once again seated at the right hand of the Father, he nevertheless remains tied to mankind, to those who still have to live out their existence in the world. Now completely free and sovereign Lord of all things, he is able to rejoin men in their own world and, what is more, to do this by means borrowed from the world to which he was once, as a mortal man, subject, but which he now rules as Lord. He can thus adopt a form ¡of existence which belongs partly to the natural world and partly to the world of glory, even though it is no longer, strictly speaking, natural, and not yet, at least for us, fully glorious. By his death and resurrection, Christ identifies himself with everything that exists; he can, if he so desires, continue his kenosis in and through created things or live his glory in them. When he reduces himself to the state of a spiritual food under the species of a natural food, it is a privileged form of this identification. Just as human labor¡negates the natural substance of wheat and b;ansforms it into a ;human 'food, so Christ works upon his



own being by his sufferings and death and thus negates his ordinary natural existence in the world, releases his substance from this form of accidental existence in such a way as to affect it intrinsically without impairing it, and transforms it into the spiritual food of all mankind. This is achieved en soi (in itself) on the cross, and pou1¡ nous (for us) by the Eucharist, that is to say, when the supernatural labors of the Son of God are superimposed upon the labors of men, and, by assuming and transforming them, produce the spiritual food which is Christ's gift of himself to us all. These last remarks bring us to a further development of the notion of transubstantiation. TRANSUBSTANTIATION AND THE PERMANENCE OF THE ACCIDENTS

There can be no question here of explaining what is, after all a mystery: transubstantiation is a mystery, just like the Incarnation and the Redemption (MysteTium Fidei, pat¡a. 1522, AAS 1965, no. 11, pp. 756-757). All one can (and must) do is to show that this term is an accurate and consistent way of expressing the eucharistic mystery and conveys to the believing Christian, precisely because of this accuracy, a notion of it in which the mystery itself is fully respected. The word transubstantiation is a short way of designating the totality of the mediations by which the mystery of our salvation and divinization by Jesus Christ and his sacraments is achieved. The ensemble of these mediations, or successive steps, can be presented to the mind in such a way as to give it a real knowledge of the mystery while at the same time preserving the ineffable and ultimately incomprehensible simplicity that characterizes all the works of God. In the Eucharist a natural food becomes the spiritual food of the mystical body of Christ, and this food is Christ's own body: the simplicity of God's operations (whose effect is indicated by the words of consecration) escapes us here, and we can no more explain how God operates this change than we can explain how he operates the creation or the Incarnation. But one can point out (and we have in fact already done so) what mediations are necessary on both sides, that of Christ and that of men, to permit this simple (i.e., not involving any



processes) conversion, in which bread is turned into the body of Christ, to take place. It must not be imagined that these mediations are worked within the host; for in fact they belong to the much broader sphere of universal history, natural, human and divine. The host is simply the end-point of a series of processes that constitute the Incarnation, the natural processes that go to produce the substance of the world, the human labor that transforms this substance, and the supernatural labor of the Redemption, which resumes not only the Incarnation but also the natural processes of creation as well as the human labor. And so the simple act of transubstantiation is to be seen in the context of the divinization of the universe, in so far as the universe is destined to become the body of all men and all men, while remaining rooted in the universe, are caller! to become the mystical body. Such is the doctrinal background, as it were, against which the action of transubstantiation is to be analyzed. It is not a question of the destruction of one substance (bread) and its replacement by another (the body of Christ); rather, there is a real conversion: one substance is changed into another. All change involves an aspect of continuity (something which was there before and is still there) and an aspect of discontinuity (something which was not there before appearing within that which was). It is generally asserted that in transubstantiation the accidents (all that shows forth, as it were, the bread and wine) persist, and that the substance is changed : there is no longer the substance of bread and wine but the body and blood of Christ. This way of speaking is unsatisfactory, for it envisages substance and accidents only in so far as they are opposed to and even separated from one another. And this implies a false dichotomy. For although it is true that they are, in a sense, distinct and separable, there is a much more important sense in which they remain closely tied to one another. CONTINUITY, DISCONTINUITY IN TRANSUBSTANTIATION

The formulation I propse, though harder to understand, is ultimately more satisfying intellectually and at the same time more accurate from the point of view of eucharistic dogma. Transubstantiation involves, as we have said, an aspect of con-



tinuity and an aspect of discontinuity. The continuity is found directly on the side of the accidents or signs: from beginning to end there are signs indicating a food, and these signs do not alter: the bread and wine remain unchanged both in appearance and in chemical constitution. The continuity is also found, though indirectly, on the side of the substance, or what¡ is signified by the signs: bread and the eucharistic body of Christ are both foods. The discontinuity, on the other hand, is found directly, as we know through faith, on the side of the substance. There is no longer any natural food, because this has been changed into a spiritual food, the risen body of Christ in the Eucharist. The substance of bread no longer exists: some help towards understanding this disappearance may be sought in our earlier observation that things which are substances only in a relatively impoverished degree tend to lose their self-identity once they are made the object of a transforming action. A stone, for instance, is no longer the same stone once it is carved or broken up. It is not just sheer chance that transubstantiation should affect elements which, because they are negated natural substances (wheat made into bread, grapes made into wine), are thereby substances in a lesser degree. The simple and allpowerful action of God transforms the natural food of bread into the supernatural food of the Eucharist, the body of Christ made our food on the cross. It is impossible to conceive transubstantiation being applied to something with a fuller degree of substantiality, such as a living animal. The discontinuity is found also indirectly on the side of the accidents or signs: the signs indicating a food are no longer present, at Mass, in a natural, everyday context, such as a baker's window or a wine-grower's vats. They are present in a cultic context, less obtrusively, therefore, and more adapted to a sacral order of things, uncle•¡ a form which itself signifies a spiritual reality. A NEW ACCIDENTALITY

From this analysis of transubstantiation it follows that when the substance of bread and wine becomes the body and blood



of Christ the accidents of bread and wine, the ensemble of the signs that show them to be food, are not just left hanging in the air. On the contrary, they denote, quite precisely, that the body and blood of Christ are food and drink: they are therefore intrinsically related to this new substance, to the food which is the body and blood of Christ. They constitute the new accidentality Christ assumes by his death and resurrection in the act of becoming our food. And this sacramental accidentality succeeds to the natural accidentality whereby, as a man in the world, he was in spatia-temporal relationship with things and with mankind. So one can see that the philosophico-theological problem of the accidents remaining sine subjecto after the consecration has been shown to be a pseudo-problem. It should never have been raised, since it has nothing to do with the problem of transubstantiation. Though the accidents of bread and wine (since these no longer exist), they assume and transfigure this natural link of inherence and now have an intrinsic relationship to the food which is the body of Christ. On this point the theology of St. Thomas is unsatisfactory. For him, substance and accidents are completely separated by transubstantiation, the substance of bread disappearing and only the accidents left over. At the same time, although he is well aware of the modal difference between the natural state of Christ's body in the spatia-temporal world and the sacramental state in which it is present for the Church, he fails to grasp that the substance of Christ's body in the sacrament is that of a body which, through its death and resurrection, has become a food. As a result, he has no satisfactory explanation of the permanence of the accidents of bread and wine, nor of their true function, which is to be signs of the body and blood of Cht¡ist as a food. Detached from their natural substance, the accidents are not thought of as intrinsically related to the eucharistic body of Christ, but are left suspended sine .wbfecto. For Thomistic Aristotelianism this is a real scandal, one that St. Thomas, who sees the problem, can only evade by recourse to a miracle. But this is one of those technical miracles invented for the benefit of theologians who have lost control of the concepts they have been manipulating. The truth is that in



transubstantiation substance and accidents, though distinct (which is why Christ can die to one accidentally and rise to another) remain closely linked. The nature of the link changes: the accidents no longer inhere in the natural substance of bread and wine, for this no longer exists; but while ceasing to manifest a natural substance in the natural world, they enter into an intrinsic relationship with the substance of the body and blood of Cluist, which they denote, signify and manifest as a spiritual food in the spiritual world of faith. And this intrinsic relationship is just as real and important as the relation of inherence employed in philosophy to denote the connection between substance and accidents in the natu_ral order. Consequently it is true to say, in the strictest possible sense, that in the Eucharist Christ is seen and touched by the senses of the believer, but clearly only in so far as he is food. In the Eucharist there is no miracle, but a mystery. A miracle is a sign performed by God in the natural world, intended just as much for the unbeliever (who can perceive a sign) as for the believer. A mystery, on the other hand, is a work of God operated in the supernatural world of faith: there is no sign for the unbeliever. (The Resurrection of Christ is both mystery and miracle and comports signs both for believers-the appearance to the apostles-and for unbelievers, the empty tomb and the birth of the Church). CONCLUSION

That is all I have to say concerning transubstantiation and the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The two pillars on which the discussion rests are, in the first place, the dogma of Christ's presence in the Eucharist in the form of food and, in the second place, a philosophical analysis of the substance; accidents relationship. The objections levelled against these categories lose their force once they are properly understood. We have already seen how a failure to think through the concept of substance can lead to its being inadequately and erroneously represented as a substratum, with the result that its necessary relationship with its accidents is lost sight of. But this need not and should not happen. Let us conclude by examining two difficulties, one somewhat



secondary, the other of fundamental importance for the liturgy and the spiritual life. The first difficulty is this. We have stressed that the Eucharist as we know it depends upon the death of Christ: but in fact the Eucharist was instituted before his death. In fact there is no real problem here, since the priority of the Eucharist in this instance is purely temporal. It was instituted in the course of Christ's passion, and this was a single unique act that also comprised his death and resurrection. Between the Last Supper and the Cross there is a mutual priority. The Last Supper presupposes the Cross in so far as it implies the institution of a spiritual food which results from the labors of Christ's. death and resurrection" Conversely, the Cross presupposes the Last Supper in so far as Christ's sacrifice to his Father, which appears in the event itself as the execution of a condemned man, has to bear a meaning for the men on whose behalf it is made. The other difficulty arises from the fact that the basic principle of this reflection upon the sacrament of the Eucharist is Christ's presence in the form of food. Does it follow that in practice only Mass and communion should be actively encom¡aged, to the detriment of all the other traditional Eucharistic devotions--exposition of the host, public adoration of the Blesesd Sacrament outside Mass, processions, benediction, watching, private visits to the Blessed Sacrament, even the actual practice of retaining the eucharistic species of the taberuili! By no means. All these various devotions involving the cult of the Blessed Sacrament outside Mass have their proper place and find their justification in the actual ~logma of the Eucharist. To see this, one has only to remember the opening remarks of this essay concerning the divine plan of union carried through by means of the Incarnation and the Eucharist. To understand this plan, the symbol of the meal is inadequate: we have to have recourse to the symbolism of married love, itself the central symbol of the Bible. Eucharistic communion is the instant of the most intimate union between God and man, and is to be understood in terms of the relationship between husband and wife, who become one another's flesh, not just in terms of the sharing of a fraternal repast. But this conjugal intimacy must not be reduced to the sheerly carnal (a danger

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parallel to that of representing communion as ending up somewhere in the alimentary tract!), and so is prepared, surrounded and prolonged by inter-personal relationships that derive their warmth from these moments of intimacy and endow them in return with a profound spiritual significance. Conjugal intimacy is essentially a person-to-person relationship: the bodily embrace implies a close spiritual union. In the same way, eucharistic communion can be preserved only if it is surrounded by a cult in which these person-to-person relationships are extensively developed; of this cult communion will remain the centre, the nub. But these relationships have to be developed along the lines of already existing ties; they provide the pattern of the dialogue carried on between God and man throughout the history of salvation-the relationship of servant and Lord, man and woman. Within the eucharistic cult the first of these relationships is fostered by the public adoration and worship of the Blessed Sacrament within and without the Mass: the second, which concerns the intimacy or matTied love, will tend to be experienced rather in the closer, more personal forms of private devotion, although even in her public worship the Church occasionally refers to het¡self as the Bride of Christ. The conservation of the eucharistic species outside Mass appears to be indispensable if these relationships are to be developed more broadly. Certainly no one who thinks of Christ as a lover or even as a friend would even dream of questioning it. So nothing and nobody, in particular no advocate of community Mass at the expense of all other forms of eucharistic worship, is ever likely to persuade the Church to stop paying to her Lord in the Blessed Sacrament the honor which is his due--even outside Mass. Nothing and nobody to persuade the Bride of the Canticle to cease passing hours at a time in front of the tabernacle.

AUTHORS IN THIS ISSUE John A. Coleman, S.J., is currently a special career fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. Raymond F. Collins teaches moral theology at Pope John XXIII National Seminary at Weston, Massachusetts. John F. Dedek is a professor of moral theology at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois and associate editor of Chicago Studies. This article is a chapter from his book Contempomry Sexual Morality published by Sheed & Ward. Willard F. Jabusch, Ph.D., is a nationally known composer, and professor of communications at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois. Ernest Lussier, S.S.S., is a professor of Sarced Scripture at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, lllinois. Thomas N. Munson is a professor of philosophy at De Paul University, Chicago, lllinois. He received his doctorate in philosophy from Louvain. Edouard Pousset, S.J., resides at Maison Saint-Louis, Paris, France. His article is a translation from Recherches des Sciences Religieuse.


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