From Rome





by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

There are a lot of issues all mixed up into one discourse. First, to understand it, I suggest you watch the show AJ Baalman and I did over at OMC Radio TV, about Michael Voris (Here — Google and DuckDuckGo have removed it from their search results), to understand his ties to the Brazilian Bank which backed the Mafia of St. Gallen.

Second, one must consider two things in any ordination of a priest or consecration of a bishop: the Sacrament and the Ritual.

The Sacrament was instituted by Christ, and its form cannot change.

The Rituals was instituted by the Apostles or their successors, and during history they have changed.

The Sacrament in the present case of ordinations or episcopal consecrations, is the sacred sign signifying the conferral of grace. It is composed of two things: the formula of words which signifies the form of the sacrament, and the actions of the bishop ordaining or consecrating, which constitute the matter.

The form and matter is instituted by Christ and cannot change. But the formula and the actions can vary from age to age.

Let’s take the case of the Consecration of a Bishop. The matter is the laying on of hands. But whether this is done with the anointing of oil on the top of the head, or forehead, in a sign of a cross, or a triple sign of the cross, has varied from place to place and age to age. But there has always been the laying on of hands.

The form is constituted by the formula of words uttered by the Bishop(s) consecrating a bishop. This formula differs in different rites of the Church and even in the Roman Church it has varied in ages past and after Vatican II. What the formula signifies, however, is the same, the confer of the highest grace of the priesthood, to govern the people of God.

Sedevacantists usually deny this Sacramental Theology, and insist that the Church has always held a different sacramental theology. They are liars, of course, but it will be useful to uncover their lie.

Sedevacantists hold that the formula and actions have always been the same and have never changed, and that the formula and action before the reign of Pope Pius XII were the only valid ones to confer the Sacrament of episcopal consecration. They are led by their absurdity to deny the episcopate to all of the other 23 rites of the Church and most of Christendom during most of its history, not to mention all the Bishops consecrated in the new rite since Vatican II.

For Sedevacantists, if there was one too many signs of the cross, or if the hands touched the wrong part of the head, then the consecration was invalid. Also, if there was any variation at all in the formula, the consecration was invalid.

The Sedevacantists hold this position, because they need a theology which makes them appear to be the only saviors of the Church so that they can justify their violation of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in nearly everything they do.

The Catholic Position

But the Catholic position is not a single one, in these matters. Because while the Catholic position holds that the same form and matter must be retained, we do admit that the formula of the words and the elaboration of the ritual actions, does and can add to the sanctity of the ritual and confer more habitual and accidental graces upon the Bishop or priest consecrated. This is because while both Bishops, one consecrated in one rite, and another consecrated in another, are equally valid, because they have received the same one Sacrament instituted by Christ, they can have different quantities and qualities of graces by reason of the more efficacious or less efficacious prayers said during the ceremony.

This is because, Christ said, “Ask and you shall receive”, from which it follows, that if you omit to ask for it, you will not get it.

Medieval Bishops fasted and made vigil for days before consecrating  priest or bishop, and those to be ordained or consecrated did likewise. The ceremony lasted for hours, and was celebrated with the most elaborate rituals. Thus it is not for nothing that most Saint Bishops lived in ages pasts, and except for Martyrs, there are practically no saint bishops today, or if they are, they never worked any noticeable miracles.

However, many others hold the opinion that the Sacrament itself contains all the graces conferred and that the additional rituals confer nothing extra, special or unique. I think that is an untenable and indefensible position, however. But those who hold it fail to distinguish between the essence of the sacrament and the proper or improper accidents of it.

Thus, it is perfectly legitimate for a Catholic priest who was ordained in the New Rite, to want to receive greater and better graces by having those prayers and rituals which were not included in the New Rite, prayed over them by a Bishop.

The error, however, into which many can fall, is this: that if a Bishop has been validly consecrated, he has the root of all the power of the Sacrament of Episcopal Orders, and thus, even if he was not himself consecrated in the Old Rite, he can consecrate in the Old Rite and confer all the same graces.

And thus, Voris is wrong to imply that the actions he reports in his video necessarily signify schism from the Church or the belief that the New Rites do not validly confer the Sacrament.

As for where such a ceremony of completion be performed: since it is not the conferral of a Sacrament, but a private ritual, it can be held anywhere. There is no canon or liturgical law against it. So to fault any bishop for offering such prayers at Mel Gibson’s chapel is pushing scrupulosity to the limits.

Voris has a degree in Theology, and so, I do not think there is an excuse for him making such errors. And I hope he accepts the correction, I give him here publicly.

We should avoid harsh condemnations of others, and seek to know the matter clearly before doing so. Yes, Sedevacantism is a grave error, but it is more a psychological excuse for acting outside the law. And yes, Voris is correct in pointing out that many are driven to such a position after years of unbridled abuse by Bishops and Popes. With him on that, I am in total agreement.

Finally, I think we should show respect for the clergy. For just as a couple may want to renew their marriage vows in the Old Rite, without casting doubt on the validity of their vows in the New, what is wrong for Bishops and priests and deacons to want to do something similar? It shows love and devotion for the Sacraments and a very high conscientiousness for their sacred status.

And that should be praised, not subjected to suspicion.

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  1. tomhi br – 3 – 6 months ? next pandemic?Dr. Pete Chambers joins us to discuss intel coming through the pipeline from multiple sources that a new pandemic or attack is coming in the next 3-6 months
  2. Non PraevalebuntLet us forget about Voris. Let us praise and imitate those among us who are still reasonable, just and good. White horses, pink rifles, etc. belong in the insane asylum.REPLY
  3. Loose Ends Tied“… Thus it is not for nothing that most Saint Bishops lived in ages pasts, and except for Martyrs, there are practically no saint bishops today, or if they are, they never worked any noticeable miracles.”If a bishop is not a saint or is not canonized, he must be presumed to be in Hell. Jesus is very strict with his shepherds, as they hold the souls.REPLY
  4. Ronald LechSoon all this crazy ness will stop , Mary will triumph and few will save there souls , then God will stop being treated as a dead object !

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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