ORGAN OF THE ROMAN THEOLOGICAL FORUM
|Editor: Msgr. John F. McCarthy, J.C.D., S.T.D.||Distributed several times a year to interested members.|
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Living Tradition, Oblates of Wisdom, P.O. Box 13230, St. Louis, MO 63157, USA
|No. 89||Roman Theological Forum | Article Index | Study Program||September 2000|
by John F. McCarthy
1. The scope of this presentation. Since arguments against the validity of the transubstantiation of the wine when using the words "for you and for all" (or "for you and for all men") in the formula of consecration continue to circulate, I intend to give a presentation of the principal arguments used to deny its validity and some answers to these arguments. The importance of this discussion for the English-speaking parts of the Church, which constitute the focus of this paper, is enhanced by the fact that over the years the same translation of "for you and for all (men)" has been adopted for Masses in several other vernacular languages, including the Spanish and the Italian. I do wish to emphasize that the scope of this article is limited solely to the validity of Masses celebrated with the words "for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven," as translated by the ICEL (International Committee on English in the Liturgy) and does not take up the question of the correctness of this vernacular rendition.
2. The words of consecration of the wine. Four formulae of consecration are relevant here:
a) The traditional Latin form: HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI, NOVI ET AETERNI TESTAMENTI: MYSTERIUM FIDEI: QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM.
b) A traditional English translation of this traditional Latin form: FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING TESTAMENT: THE MYSTERY OF FAITH: WHICH SHALL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY UNTO THE REMISSION OF SINS.
c) The Latin form of the Novus Ordo Missae: HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI NOVI ET ETERNI TESTAMENTI, QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM.
d) The ICEL translation of the Novus Ordo form: THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT. IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL (MEN) SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN.
EFFICACY, NOT SUFFICIENCY
3. The Roman Catechism. The first argument raised against the validity of the ICEL translation of the form of consecration of the wine in the Mass is that "for all" changes the meaning of the consecration from one of efficacy to a meaning of mere sufficiency of the grace of Christ. That is to say that the Latin "pro multis" means "for many" (while "for all" would have been "pro omnibus" or "pro universis"), and to translate it as "for all" alters the force of the consecration from an effective participation in the sanctifying grace of Our Lord on the part of the elect to an ineffective non-participation in the sanctifying grace of Our Lord on the part of those who will receive only sufficient grace to be freed of their sins but who will in effect never receive the sanctifying grace of Jesus. It is thus contended that the ICEL translators have destroyed the essential sense of the proper form, and have gone against the purpose for which Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is to effect the unity of his Mystical Body. This criticism stresses the distinction between redemption and salvation: Jesus died for all men, and, in this sense, his expiatory sacrifice on Mount Calvary was universal in extent, but salvation is not universal, for only many are saved and not all men. Although by the grace of Christ all men could be forgiven, in fact only those many are forgiven who receive the efficacious grace of contrition for their sins. To support this argument appeal is made to authorities of the past, among which is the Roman Catechism, published by order of Pope St. Pius V: "The additional words for you and for many are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of his Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed his blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race. When, therefore, Our Lord said for you, he meant either those who were present, or those chosen among the Jewish people, such as were, with the exception of Judas, the disciples with whom He was speaking. When He added and for many, he wished to be understood to mean the remainder of the elect from among the Jews or Gentiles. With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of and to the elect only did his Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle (Heb 9:28) when he says: "Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many," and also the words of Our Lord in John: "I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine" (Jn 17:9)."1
4. Examination of this text of the Roman Catechism. In the above-quoted text the Roman Catechism, also known as the Catechism of the Council of Trent, teaches that "with reason" the words "for all" were not used in the form for the consecration of the wine, since "to the elect only" did the Passion of Christ bring "the fruit of salvation." But "with reason" does not equate to "for validity." And it is to be noted that in the Novus Ordo Missae to the form for the consecration of the bread have been added the words QUOD PRO VOBIS TRADETUR" (in the ICEL translation: WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU), wherein a context of efficacy for the elect has been added to the traditional form for the consecration of the bread both in the Latin and in the English. I understand the ICEL translations to mean either "for you" (the elect efficaciously) and "for all (men)" (sufficiently), or better (in keeping with a declaration of the Holy See in 1974 stating that the meaning of an approved translation "is to be understood in accord with the mind of the Church as expressed by the original Latin text"2) for you" (here present who are united with Me in a bond of charity) and "for all (men)" (absent who are united with Me in a bond of charity).
5. St. Thomas Aquinas. A second authority cited in criticism of the "for you and for all" translation is St. Thomas Aquinas. In his Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas addresses the following objection: "Christ's Passion sufficed for all, while in its efficacy it was profitable for many. Therefore, it ought to be said: Which shall be poured out for all, or else for many, without adding for you."3 To this objection St. Thomas replies: "The blood of Christ's Passion has its efficacy, not merely in the elect among the Jews, to whom the blood of the Old Testament was exhibited, but also in the Gentiles; not only in priests who consecrate this sacrament and in those who partake of it; but likewise in those for whom it is offered. And, therefore, He says expressly for you, the Jews, and for many, namely, the Gentiles; or for you who eat of it, and for many, for whom it is offered."4
6. Examination of this text of St. Thomas. It is to be granted that St. Thomas saw the words "for you and for many" in the sense of efficacy for the elect and that he explained them accordingly. However, he does not seem either to say or to imply that to change the words to "for you and for all" would invalidate the Mass. He explains why "for you" may be prefixed, but he does not deny that "for all" could have been used. And he had brought up this matter earlier in his Commentary on the Four Books of Sentences of Peter the Lombard, where he formulates and answers the following objection: "In addition, the expression pro vobis et pro multis effundetur is taken concerning the shedding as regards sufficiency or as regards efficacy. If, as regards sufficiency, thus it was shed for all, not only for many; but if as regards the efficacy which it has only in the elect, it does not seem that there should be a distinction between the Apostles and the others."5 And St. Thomas replies as follows: "To the seventh objection it is to be said that the Blood of Christ was poured out for all as regards sufficiency, but for the elect only as regards efficacy; and, lest it should be thought to have been poured out only for the elect Jews, to whom the promise had been made, therefore He says for you who (are) of the Jews, and for many, that is, for the multitude of the Gentiles, or through the Apostles He designates priests, by whose mediation through the administration of the sacraments the effect of the sacrament reaches others, who also pray for themselves and for others."6 In this other reply, St. Thomas does not deny that "pro vobis et pro multis" could be taken either as regards sufficiency or as regards efficacy, but develops only the side of efficacy. Certainly, he teaches that the side of efficacy was stressed, but he avoids excluding an interpretation of sufficiency or declaring that to say pro vobis et pro omnibus would invalidate the Mass. There is also a certain ambiguity in St. Thomas's interpretation of this phrase, inasmuch as he says that pro vobis could mean "for you Jews," or "for you Apostles," or "for you priests," and pro multis could mean correspondingly "for the Gentiles," or "for the non-Apostles," or "for the non-priests." And elsewhere he implies that words or signs signifying the unity of the Mystical Body are not necessary for the validity of the Mass where he says: "The adding of water to the wine is for the purpose of signifying the sharing of this sacrament by the faithful, in this respect that by the mixing of the water with the wine is signified the union of the people with Christ, as stated (in art. 6). Moreover, the flowing of water from the side of Christ hanging on the Cross refers to the same, because by the water is denoted the cleansing from sins, which was the effect of Christ's Passion. Now, it was observed above (III, q. 73, art. 1, ad 3) that this sacrament is completed in the consecration of the matter, while the usage of the faithful is not of necessity to the sacrament."7
7. The efficacy of the necessary form. Since, as St. Thomas says in the preceding quotation, "the union of the people with Christ" is not of necessity to the sacrament, because "this sacrament is completed in the consecration of the matter, while the usage of the faithful is not of necessity to the sacrament," it is incorrect to maintain that the unity of the Mystical Body of Christ is the very effect of the form for the consecration of the wine, and, therefore, must be verbally expressed in this form.8 Such criticism fails to distinguish between the finis operis ( purpose of the work) and the finis operantis (purpose of the worker) of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The purpose of the consecration in itself is to effect the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine and as an unbloody repetition of the Sacrifice of Calvary, while the purpose of the Worker (who is Christ, acting through the priest) is to provide by means of the consecration special graces for others. St. Thomas affirms this where he says: "The difference between the Eucharist and the other sacraments having sensible matter is that, whereas the Eucharist contains something which is sacred absolutely, namely, Christ's own Body, the baptismal water contains something which is sacred in relation to something else, namely, the sanctifying power: and the same holds good for chrism and the like. Consequently the sacrament of the Eucharist is completed in the very consecration of the matter, whereas the other sacraments are completed in the application of the matter for the sanctifying of the individual. And from this follows another difference. For, in the sacrament of the Eucharist what is both real effect and sacrament (res et sacramentum) is in the matter itself; but what is real effect only (res tantum), namely, the grace bestowed, is in the recipient; whereas in Baptism both are in the recipient, namely, the character, which is both real effect and sacrament (res et sacramentum) and the grace of pardon of sins, which is the real effect only (res tantum). And the same holds good of the other sacraments."9 What St. Thomas is saying here is that, in the case of Baptism and other sacraments having sensible matter, if there is no effect in the recipients, there is no sacrament; but in the case of the Holy Eucharist, even if there is no effect in the recipients, there is still produced a valid sacrament, because the sacrament is completed in the very consecration of the matter.
8. The "special grace" of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Regarding the very effect of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, St. Thomas teaches, In III, q. 79, art. 1, corp., as follows: "The effect of this sacrament ought to be considered, first of all and principally, from what is contained in this sacrament, which is Christ, who ... by coming sacramentally into man, causes the life of grace .... Secondly, it is considered on the part of what is represented by this sacrament, which is Christ's Passion .... Thirdly, ... this sacrament does for the spiritual life all that material food does for the bodily life, namely, by sustaining, giving increase, restoring, and giving delight. ... Fourthly, the effect of this sacrament is considered from the species under which it is given. Hence, Augustine says (Tract 26, in Joan.): Our Lord betokened his Body and Blood in things which out of many units are made into some one whole .... And therefore he observes elsewhere (ibid.): O sacrament of piety, O sign of unity, O bond of charity!" From this citation we see that, in the teaching of St. Thomas, the first and principal effect of this sacrament "is Christ, who ... by coming sacramentally into man, causes the life of grace." But a sacrament is a sensible sign instituted by Christ to give grace, and the "grace" intended in this definition is sanctifying grace.10 On this ground the following text of Pope Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae is brought forward: "All know that the sacraments of the New Law, as sensible and efficient signs of invisible grace, must both signify the grace which they effect and effect the grace which they signify. ... That form consequently cannot be apt and sufficient for the sacrament which does not express what it ought properly to signify."11 Hence, it is contended, the form for the consecration of the wine, in order to be apt and sufficient, must express the "special grace" of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which, they say, is, according to the teaching of St. Thomas, "the unity of the Mystical Body." Now we have seen (no. 6 above) that what St. Thomas actually says is that "the union of the people with Christ" is "not of necessity to the sacrament." And St. Thomas teaches also that the res sacramenti, the effect of the sacrament in the recipients, is "charity,"12 inasmuch as "by uniting man with Christ through grace, it strengthens his spiritual life ...."13 Pope Leo XIII, in the preceding citation, teaches that the sacraments "must signify the grace which they effect," and must do so in the form of the sacrament, but he does not say there that the res sacramenti must always be explicitly expressed in the words of the form of every sacrament. The contrary is evident in the case of Baptism. The res sacramenti of the Sacrament of Baptism is the remission of sins together with the infusion of sanctifying grace, neither of which is verbally expressed in the liturgical form for Baptism but is only implied in the washing and in the expression "I baptize you." St. Thomas addresses this question in the following objection: "But in the form of Baptism no mention is made of signing the character, nor again of the Cross of Christ, though in Baptism man dies with Christ, as the Apostle says (Rom 6:3-8), nor of the effect, which is salvation, though Baptism is necessary for salvation." And his answer is as follows: "But in the very word baptize, which signifies to cleanse, we can understand both the matter, which is the cleansing water, and the effect, which is salvation."14 Similarly, not even in the wording of the traditional Latin form for the consecration of the wine is there any explicit mention of the strengthening of the spiritual life through the bond of charity, which St. Thomas assigns as the res sacramenti, the effect of sanctifying grace. But where St. Thomas says that "the Blood consecrated apart expressly represents Christ's Passion,"15 are not the fruits of the Passion equally implied in this? And, furthermore, the clause "which is given up for you" in the Novus Ordo form for the consecration of the Body of Christ seems to me expressly to represent (while only implicitly to state) the strengthening of that bond of supernatural charity, that increase of sanctifying grace which is brought by the Sacrifice of the Mass.
THE NECESSARY FORM
9. The Roman Catechism. A second argument raised against the validity of the ICEL translation of the words of consecration of the wine at Mass is that the expression "for you and for many"pertains to the necessary form for any valid consecration. To support this argument appeal is again made to authorities of the past, among which is the Roman Catechism where it says: "In our sacraments, on the contrary, the form is so definite that any, even a casual deviation from it, renders the sacrament null. Hence, the form is expressed in the clearest terms, such as to exclude the possibility of doubt."16 And, regarding the form of consecration of the wine the following text is also cited from the Roman Catechism: "We are, then, firmly to believe that it consists of the following words: This is the chalice of my Blood, of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins." ... Concerning this form no one can doubt, if he here also attend to what has already been said about the form used in the consecration of the bread. The form to be used (in the consecration) of this element, evidently consists of those words which signify that the substance of the wine is changed into the Blood of Our Lord. Since, therefore, the words already cited clearly declare this, it is plain that no other words constitute the form. They moreover express certain admirable fruits of the Blood shed in the Passion of Our Lord, fruits which pertain in a most special manner to this Sacrament. Of these, one is access to the eternal inheritance which has come to us by right of the new and everlasting testament. Another is access to righteousness by the mystery of faith; for God hath set forth Jesus to be a propitiator through faith in His Blood, that He Himself may be just, and the justifier of him who is of the faith of Jesus Christ. A third effect is the remission of sins."17 It is contended that the translation "for all" together with other unwarranted changes, such as dropping the mysterium fidei from the form, and mistranslating in remissionem peccatorum alters the clear and definite form of the consecration of the wine, and thus renders the Mass invalid, because they are clear and manifest deviations from the true form of the consecration as stated by the Roman Catechism in the second of these two quotations.
10. Interpretation of these two texts of the Roman Catechism. While the first of these two citations from the Roman Catechism states that any deviation, "even a casual one," from the form of a sacrament "renders the sacrament null," and while the Catechism states the entire liturgical form of the consecration of the wine in the second citation, it is by no means evident that one can logically conclude from the teaching of the Roman Catechism that the ICEL translation of this form is null. In order to understand this it is necessary to realize the difference between the necessary and sufficient form on the one hand and a proper liturgical form on the other. This distinction is taught elsewhere in the Roman Catechism. Thus, under the title of "The Form of Baptism," the Catechism distinguishes as follows between the essential and the non-essential words of the liturgical form of Baptism according to the Roman Rite: "It is, however, to be observed that of the words in this form, which we have shown to be the complete and perfect one, some are absolutely necessary, so that the omission of them renders the valid administration of the sacrament impossible; while others, on the contrary, are not so essential as to affect its validity. Of the latter kind is the word ego ["I"], the force of which is included in the word baptizo [I baptize]. Nay more, the Greek Church, adopting a different manner of expressing the form, and being of the opinion that it is unnecessary to make mention of the minister, omits the pronoun altogether. The form universally used in the Greek Church is: Let this servant of Christ be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. It appears, however, from the decision and definition of the Council of Florence, that those who use this form administer this sacrament validly, because the words sufficiently express what is essential to the validity of Baptism, that is, the ablution which takes place."18 Similarly, in the form of consecration of the wine, as presented by the Roman Catechism in the above quotation, it behooves to distinguish the words which are "absolutely necessary" from those which "are not so essential as to affect its validity." Thus, the Roman Catechism, where it speaks about the consecration of the bread at Mass, teaches as follows: "We are then taught by the Holy Evangelists Matthew and Luke, and also by the Apostle, that the form consists of these words: This is my Body. ... The form is that which signifies what is accomplished in this sacrament; but as the preceding words signify and declare what takes place in the Eucharist, that is, the conversion of the bread into the true Body of Our Lord, it therefore follows that these very words constitute the form."19 With these words the Roman Catechism seems to be teaching that it is the transubstantiation that is the immediate effect of the necessary and sufficient form of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. And if we compare this teaching with what the same Roman Catechism says about the consecration of the wine, we shall find the same truth expressed: "Concerning this form no one can doubt, if he here also attend to what has already been said about the form used in the consecration of the bread. The form to be used (in the consecration) of this element evidently consists of these words which signify that the substance of the wine is changed into the Blood of Our Lord. Since, therefore, the words already cited clearly declare this, it is plain that no other words constitute the form."20 We, therefore, read the second quotation from the Roman Catechism in number 9 above to mean that those words of the consecration of the wine "which signify that the substance of the wine is changed into the Blood of Our Lord," namely, "This is (the chalice of) my Blood," are absolutely necessary for the validity of the sacrament, while the following words "moreover express certain admirable fruits of the Blood shed in the Passion of Our Lord, fruits which pertain in a most special manner to this sacrament," but, at least word-for-word, "are not so essential as to affect its validity." It is true that "the words already cited" are the entire Latin-rite form for the consecration of the wine, but a division is also explicitly made between "these words which signify that the substance of the wine is changed into the Blood of Our Lord" and those words which moreover "express certain admirable fruits of the Blood shed in the Passion of Our Lord.21
11. St. Thomas Aquinas. Those who affirm that "for all (men)" invalidates the consecration and the Mass rely also on the teaching of St. Thomas in the Summa Theologiae, part III, question 78, article 3 , wherein St. Thomas asks whether the entire wording of the traditional Latin form is "a proper form" (or "the proper form")22 for the consecration of the wine at Mass, and he replies: "I answer that there is a twofold opinion regarding this form. Some have maintained that the words This is the chalice of my Blood alone belong to the substance of this form, but not those words which follow. Now this seems incorrect, because the words which follow them are determinations of the predicate, that is, of Christ's Blood; consequently they belong to the integrity of the expression. And on this account others say more accurately that all of the words which follow are of the substance of the form down to the words, As often as you shall do these things, which belong to the use of this sacrament and consequently do not belong to the substance of the form. Hence it is that the priest pronounces all these words under the same rite and manner, namely, holding the chalice in his hands. ... Consequently, it must be said that all the aforesaid words belong to the substance of the form; but that by the first words, This is the chalice of my Blood, the change of the wine into blood is denoted, as explained above [Article 2] in the form for the consecration of the bread; but by the words which come after is shown the power of the Blood shed in the Passion, which power works in this sacrament and is ordained for three purposes."23 In this quotation St. Thomas holds as the more accurate opinion that all of the words from This is the chalice of my Blood to unto the remission of sins "belong to the substance of the form" for the confection of the Holy Eucharist. The Salmanticenses and de la Taille maintain that in other places additional to III, q. 78, art. 3, corp., St. Thomas teaches that the mere words This is the chalice of my Blood are not sufficient for the validity of the consecration. Emmanuel Doronzo argues for the Salmanticenses24 that it does not help to object that, for St. Thomas, the following words are not of the essence of the form, but only of the substance of the form, and in this way only "pertain to the integrity of the same statement," because, in III, q. 60, art. 8, corp., St. Thomas, speaking about the sacraments in general, says: "It is clear that, if anything is subtracted of those things which are of the substance of the sacramental form (de substantia formae sacramentalis), the required sense of the words is taken away and, consequently, the sacrament is not accomplished." And again, in III, q. 78, art. 1, ad 2, St. Thomas says: "In these words, Take and eat, the use of the consecrated matter is indicated, which is not of the necessity (de necessitate) of this sacrament, as explained above (III, q. 74, art. 7). And, therefore, neither are these words of the substance of the form (de substantia formae)." Thirdly, in his Commentary on 1 Corinthians at 1 Cor 11:25, St. Thomas says that limiting what is necessary for the form (de necessitate formae) to "This is the chalice of my Blood" is not properly (convenienter) said, because "the whole pertains to the effective force of the form .... And, therefore, in the consecration of the Blood, it behooved (oportuit) to express the power of the Passion of Christ." However, "not properly said" is not equivalent to "evidently false," and, in this passage, St. Thomas does not deny that there can be variant liturgical expressions of this form. Certainly, the effective force of the first words carries over into the following words, but they do not have the same effective force, not only because they do not declare the transubstantiation, but also because they are in the future tense ("which will be poured out"), and the future tense as such does not produce or participate in an immediate effect.25 And the main point that St. Thomas seems to be making here is that the power of the Passion of Our Lord is more properly expressed in the transubstantiation of the wine than in the transubstantiation of the bread. Fourthly, in the Commentary on the Sentences, St. Thomas says that it is "more likely" that the following words are part of the form, "since all of this that is added is not a statement on its own (locutio per se), but is a determination of the predicate."26 And, in his answer to one of the objections,27 he explains: "But the Blood of Christ would not be consecrated apart from his Body, as neither would other parts of Him, unless on account of this that It was poured out in the Passion. And, therefore, those words which follow are essential to the Blood according as It is consecrated in this sacrament, and, therefore, it is behooving (oportet) that they be of the substance of the form."
12. Some needed distinctions regarding the essence and the substance of Eucharistic forms. In order to examine adequately the expressions "substance of the form" and "necessity of the form" certain distinctions must be kept in mind. First of all, St. Thomas is sometimes speaking of the "essential form" of a sacrament in the sense of what is conceptually necessary and sufficient in order to produce the sacrament, and is at other times speaking of the "substance" of a given liturgical form of a sacrament, which must contain in some way the "essential form" in order to be valid. St. Thomas does not distinguish explicitly between the "necessary form" and a given "liturgical form" of a sacrament, but he implies this distinction, for instance, where he opposes the position that it is not lawful "to add or subtract anything from the words in which the form of the sacraments consists." The Angelic Doctor says: "But against this is that in the forms of the sacraments certain things are inserted by some that are not inserted by others: just as the Latins baptize under this form, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, while the Greeks (baptize) under this other (form), The servant of Christ, (name) is baptized in the name of the Father, etc. And, nevertheless, both (rites) confer the true sacrament. Therefore, in the forms of the sacraments, it is permitted to add or take away something."28 Now, it is obvious that St. Thomas is not saying that it is permitted to take away something from the necessary form, that is, from the form that is necessary in order that the sacrament be produced. What he means is that both the Latin and the Greek liturgical forms confer the true sacrament, but he does not use the expression "liturgical form," and so this meaning must be discerned from the context of what he says. Secondly, with regard to the necessary form, a distinction must be made between what is necessary by the necessity of means and what is necessary by the necessity of precept. St. Thomas, in the preceding quotation, is not saying that it is permitted to the individual priest to add or subtract anything from the liturgical form that he is using, since it is obvious that the priest is obliged to read the form as it is written. What St. Thomas means is that those with the proper authority and in the proper circumstances may be permitted within limits to determine variances in liturgical forms that do not take away anything from the meaning of the form that is necessary by the necessity of means.
13. St. Alphonsus Liguori. In his great work of moral theology St. Alphonsus says: "What is the form of the consecration of the Eucharist? ... Although the truer and more common opinion is that of St. Bonaventure, Suarez, Bellarmine, and others that the essential (words) are only these: This is the chalice of my Blood (or) This is my Blood (or words equivalent to these); nevertheless, whoever left out or changed any of the remaining words would sin gravely. ... The consecration is valid but illicit: 1) if the one consecrating says: This food, this drink, this chalice, or this thing, or what is contained under these appearances, is my Body or my Blood; 2) if he says: This chalice is the New Testament in my Blood (Lk 22); 3) This is my Body, which I took from the Virgin - This is my Blood of infinite value; 4) This is my Body - This is my Blood [changing Corpus meum to meum Corpus or changing calix Sanguinis Mei to meus Sanguis] or This is my Blood [with an ungrammatical demonstrative: Hoc est sanguis meus]. The reason why these are valid is that the same sense remains and there is no substantial change [of meaning]."29
"In the consecration of the chalice, are only the words This is the chalice of my Blood of the essence (de essentia)? One opinion denies this. It is held by Gonet and by the Salmanticenses with St. Antoninus, Silvester, Paludano, Hurtado, Arauxo, Richard, and others, who say that all the following words, of the new and eternal Testament, etc., pertain to the essence. And St. Thomas seems to be of this opinion where he says: and so those (words) which follow are essential to the Blood, as It is consecrated in this sacrament; and, therefore, it is behooving that they be of the substance of the form. Hence, says Gonet, if those words are essential to the Blood, they are also essential to the form.30 ... But the other more common opinion, which is held by Scotus, Petrocoren, Holzman, Juenin, Tornely, Lugo, with Bellarmine and Sporer, with St. Bonaventure and Suarez and many Thomists, such as Sotus, Contenson, Wigandt, and Cocina, says that only the words This is the chalice of my Blood are essential to the form. They prove this first from the words of St. Paul (1 Cor 11): This chalice is the New Testament in my Blood. Whence they say that it is not credible that the Apostle would have omitted something essential to the form. They prove this secondly from reason: because these words alone signify the presence of the Blood of Christ under the appearance of wine, while the other words pertain, yes, to the integrity of the form, but not to its essence. And that this was the view of St. Thomas those Thomists claim who are of this opinion: When the holy Doctor [St. Thomas] is talking about the first words, he says that they regard the essence; but when he is talking about the following words, he says that they regard the substance of the form. Now, whether this explanation is truly according to the mind of St. Thomas is not very clear, and so, as Petrocoren well puts it, on this question the opinion of the Angelic Doctor is highly dubious. In any case, in the abstract both opinions have some reason behind them."31
14. Emmanuel Doronzo, in an extended study of the question as to whether the four words This is my Blood are sufficient for the validity of the Sacrament, concludes that both the affirmative and the negative opinions regarding the teaching of St. Thomas have equal weight behind them: "The authority of the Catechism of the Council of Trent and of St. Thomas would strongly impel us to judge the negative opinion as the more probable. Nevertheless, since in the judgment of so many and so great theologians, especially Thomists, the mind of St. Thomas, which the authors of the Catechism plainly intend to follow, is not clearly established (non clare constet), we do not dare to adhere to one opinion rather than to the other, but we accord equal probability to each."32 Doronzo notes that the affirmative opinion is taught (generally as the more likely) by fewer theologians before the Council of Trent but by the majority of theologians since that Council and almost exclusively by modern theologians.33 And even the negative opinion, which is upheld mainly by the Salmanticenses and by Maurice de la Taille,34 does not maintain that the following words of the liturgical form must for validity be spoken exactly as they are written in the traditional text of the Roman Rite, but rather that the "formal sense" of the full sentence must be preserved "with words expressly signifying the Passion of Christ" (the Salmanticenses), or that "the action or deed (opus) be designated as propitiatory: to wit, that it be understood that the Body bleeds for us, that the death has value before God unto the remission of sins, or something else of this kind" (de la Taille).35 Hence, even this negative opinion differs greatly from the view that even a casual deviation from the entire wording of the Latin-rite liturgical form would render the sacrament null.
15. Regarding the traditional Roman-rite liturgical form. The Salmanticenses argue that Our Lord Jesus Christ used the words of the now traditional Latin form for the consecration of the wine in his institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, and that the Church has always, therefore, used all of these words in the form of the consecration. However, Jesus also said in his institution of the Holy Eucharist This is my Body which is given up for you (Luke 22:19), and the Latin Church has traditionally celebrated a valid Mass without, as the Eastern-rite liturgies do, including these or similar words in its traditional form of consecration of the bread. Furthermore, the Roman Church has always acknowledged the validity of certain traditional Eastern-rite forms for the consecration of the wine which omit the words the mystery of faith together with the words and eternal [testament].36 Following the example of the traditional Eastern-rite liturgical forms, all of which contain following words from St. Luke or St. Paul,37 in the liturgical form of the Novus Ordo Missae of Pope Paul VI the expression which shall be delivered up for you has been added to the words of consecration of the bread, thus adding a sacrificial character to the form. Is this a novel innovation for the Roman Rite? How early in the history of the Roman Rite were the fruits of the Passion of Our Lord fixed in the consecration of the wine? St. Thomas defends the entire form written in the traditional Roman Missal on the ground that "The Church, instructed by the Apostles, uses this form."38 And he says that, if a priest were to pronounce only these words of consecration of the bread and of the wine while leaving out the rest of the Canon (and all the other words of the liturgy), the Mass would still be valid, for the reason that "the Canon of the Mass is not the same in all places or times, but various portions have been introduced by various people."39 The implication from these two statements is that the liturgical forms for consecration expressed in the traditional Roman Rite have been the same in all places and at all times. But this is obviously not exact with regard to the valid forms of the Eastern Rites, and there are indications that even the Roman-rite forms of consecration have not always been exactly the same. In an historical study of the Canon of the Latin Mass, V. L. Kennedy presents what he identifies as the Roman Canon in use at the end of the fourth century, as it is recorded in the De Sacramentis: "In all probability, it is the work of St. Ambrose of Milan (died 397), and, as the author tells us he follows Rome in all things, we have the Roman Canon of that period."40 Again he says: "We have in the De sacramentis a text that was certainly in use at Rome at the end of the fourth century."41 According to Joseph Jungmann, "this work of Ambrose is a stenographic report of his preaching, which was not restricted by the laws of the arcana, in marked contrast to the De Mysteriis, and could thus give us such precious accounts."42 In the text of the De Sacramentis, the form for the consecration of the bread is this: "Hoc est enim corpus meum, quod pro multis confringetur" ("For this is my Body, which will be broken for many"). And the form for the consecration of the wine is as follows: "Hic est enim sanguis meus" ("For this is my Blood).43 If the text of the De sacramentis presents the standard forms in use in Rome at that time, the now traditional forms for the consecration of the Sacred Species, as presented in the Missale Romanum of Pope St. Pius V, probably date back no further than the fifth century, before which time their wording was notably different. According to the De Sacramentis, the expression which will be broken for many was included in the form for the consecration of the bread, and the words chalice of and those expressing the fruits of the Passion were not in the form for the consecration of the wine. Going back further, we now have the Anaphora of Hippolytus, which, according to Pius Parsch, is "the text of the oldest Roman Canon," dating to about the year 218 and perhaps even earlier, "since Hippolytus accused his opponent of making innovations, whereas he was maintaining the ancient traditions."44 The forms of the consecration in the text of Hippolytus are as follows: "Take and eat: This is my Body, which shall be broken for you. In like manner, He took the chalice and said: This is my Blood, which shall be poured out for you."45
16. Conveniens forma. When St. Thomas took up III, q. 78 on the form of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, he was aware of other valid forms of the consecrations. In fact, the very authority which he quotes for the sed contra of article 1 is precisely the De Sacramentis of St. Ambrose, according to which document the form for the consecration over the bread in the late fourth century was "For this is my Body, which will be broken for many," and the form for the consecration over the wine was simply "For this is my Blood." And this long form for the consecration over the bread corresponded to similar forms in all of the Eastern Rites. Thus a question that St. Thomas faced, even though he does not refer explicitly to it, was whether the short form of the then current Latin Rite was even valid, seeing that it omits all reference to the sacrificial character of the act. In fact, the words This is my Body, taken alone, indicate only the presence of the Body of Our Lord and nothing more.46 Now, the answer of St. Thomas, in the body of Article 1, is that "the form of this sacrament implies merely the consecration of the matter, which consists in transubstantiation, as when it is said, This is my Body, or, This is the chalice of my Blood." And by this answer he establishes that no expression of the sacrificial character of the act is necessarily required for the validity of the forms of consecration, at least taken individually. But when, in article 3, he came to treat of the form for the consecration of the Blood of Our Lord, he faced another problem, namely, could the Sacrament be valid with no reference at all to its sacrificial character in either form? And this is how he replies. After citing as "a proper" or "the proper" form (conveniens forma) for the consecration of the Precious Blood the entire wording of the then traditional Latin-rite form (no. 2 above), he first concludes "that all the aforesaid words belong to the substance of the form; but that by the first words, This is the chalice of my Blood, the change of the wine into blood is denoted, as explained above [Article 2] in the form for the consecration of the bread; but by the words which come after is shown the power of the Blood shed in the Passion, which power works in this sacrament and is ordained for three purposes" (no. 11 above). Then he comes to this specific question in his answer to objection 2 of article 3 . The objection is that, if This is my Body is a complete consecration of the bread, why is not This is the chalice of my Blood a complete consecration of the wine, so that "the words which follow do not appear to be of the substance of the form, especially since they refer to the properties of this sacrament?" His answer is: "... the Blood consecrated apart expressly represents Christ's Passion, and, therefore, mention is made of the fruits of the Passion in the consecration of the Blood rather than in that of the Body, since the Body is the subject of the Passion. This is also pointed out in Our Lord's saying which shall be delivered up for you, as if to say, which shall undergo the Passion for you. Some interpreters have understood this answer to mean that at least some expression of the following words is necessary for the validity of the transubstantiation, while other interpreters have read it to mean that only the first words are necessary for the validity of the transubstantiation and at least some expression of the following words is necessary for the integrity of the form in its sacramental significance (no. 13 above).
17. A background opinion. I see reason in this second interpretation. St. Thomas says elsewhere that the first and principal effect of this sacrament is Christ Himself, who "by coming sacramentally into man, causes the life of grace" (no. 8 above). In this sense the sanctifying grace of the sacrament is implied somehow even in the Latin-rite short form of transubstantiation of the Sacred Body of Christ, but this short form alone does not signify the sacrificial character of the Sacrament. In III, q. 78, art. 3 ad 2, St. Thomas points out that "the Blood consecrated apart [in the chalice] expressly represents Christ's Passion" and thus provides a sacrificial character to the short form over the wine. But in the long form over the wine "mention is made of the fruits of the Passion," and, in this way, the Sacrament is completed in its sacrificial significance. He does not say so expressly, but in this answer St. Thomas seems to be arguing for the suitability that words mentioning the fruits of the Passion be attached to the consecration of the wine rather than to the consecration of the bread, while at the same time acknowledging that the fruits of the Passion could be attached to the consecration of the bread where he says that "this is also pointed out in Our Lord's saying which shall be delivered up for you." It seems likely (although not obvious) to me that, in these three articles of question 78, St. Thomas has first defended the validity of the short form of consecration over the bread and then shown the fittingness of expressing the mystery of the Passion in the form for the consecration of the wine, while, at the same time, allowing that the sacrificial character and the fruits of the Passion could be expressed rather in a long form for the consecration of the bread, and thus not excluding the validity of the short form of consecration of the wine reported in his initial authority, the De Sacramentis of St. Ambrose. At any rate, to come back to the original question of my article, what I see in the ICEL translation of the forms of consecration in the Novus Ordo Missae is that the sacrificial character unto efficacious graces for the elect is established in the added words over the bread, "which will be given up for you," and the long form for the consecration of the wine continues to express the fruits of the Passion of Our Lord for the elect with an added flourish of seeming sufficiency in its "for all (men)" that may actually be more efficacious than it looks (no. 4 above).
18. Conclusion. The ICEL translation "for you and for all (men) so that sins may be forgiven" does not destroy the "essential sense of the proper form" or "go against" the purpose for which Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, so as to "invalidate the Mass." The finis operis of the form for the consecration of the wine is to produce the Real Presence of Our Lord in the context of the Sacrifice of Calvary, and the finis Christi operantis is to provide the fruits of the Sacrament (no. 7 above). Words effective of the unity of the Mystical Body are not essential for the validity of the transubstantiation of the wine (nos. 6-8 above). The ICEL translation retains the essential sense of the proper form for the transubstantiation of the wine and includes in the form for the bread an expression of the sacrificial character and sacramental grace that is absent from the traditional Latin form (no. 4 above). The Roman Catechism (no. 3 above) neither says nor implies that "for you and for all" would invalidate the Mass. What it does say is that "the form to be used evidently (obviously) consists of these words (of the traditional Latin-rite liturgical form) which signify that the substance of the wine is changed into the Blood of Our Lord." The Roman Catechism then goes on to explain that "moreover, they (the words of the traditional Latin-rite liturgical form) express certain admirable fruits of the Blood shed in the Passion of Our Lord, fruits which pertain in a most special manner to this sacrament" (no. 10 above). Some theologians have maintained that, according to the Roman Catechism, at least the sacrificial character of the following words must be expressed, as it is expressed in the ICEL translation (no. 4 above), but the vast majority of theologians since the Council of Trent have understood the validity of the form for the consecration of the wine to rest with the beginning words alone (no. 14 above). St. Alphonsus Liguori, in his treatise on moral theology, defends in detail the opinion that only the beginning words "This is the chalice of my Blood" or "This is my Blood" are necessary for the validity of the Mass (no 13 above). Pope Leo XIII, in Apostolicae Curae, says that the special grace (res sacramenti) must be expressed in some way in the form of every sacrament. The special grace of the Holy Eucharist is expressed in both forms of consecration of the ICEL translation, but (with clarity) only in the second form of the traditional Latin Mass (no. 8 above).
The opinion of St. Thomas Aquinas as to whether the following words are necessary for the validity of the form is, in the expression of St. Alphonsus Liguori, "not very clear." St. Thomas says, in S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 3, ad 1 and equivalently in some other places (no. 11 above) that the following words "are essential to the Blood, as It is consecrated in this sacrament; and, therefore, it is behooving that they be of the substance of the form." But to conclude from this statement that he meant all of the following words with no room for variation would, in my estimation, be uncharacteristic of his method. First, he does not analyze the various phrases in the following words to show why each of them is necessary for the validity of the form. Secondly, contrary to his treatment of Baptism, he would be ignoring completely the variations in the accepted Greek-rite forms for the consecration of the Sacred Species. And in this reading he would also be taking for granted that the liturgical forms have been exactly the same for all valid Latin-rite Masses since the time of the Apostles, even though he knew that they varied considerably in the De Sacramentis of St. Ambrose, which he had before his eyes as he wrote these articles (no. 16 above). For their own reasons, many Thomists have concluded that St. Thomas probably did not hold the opinion that any of the following words are necessary for the validity of the form, while other Thomists, such as the Salmanticenses and Maurice de la Taille, have held the teaching of St. Thomas to be that at least some words "expressly signifying the Passion of Christ" or that the action "be designated as propitiatory" are required for validity (no. 14 above). However, neither of these interpretations of the opinion of St. Thomas contains the implication that the ICEL rendering of "for you and for all" would invalidate the Mass.
1. Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests, issued by order of Pope Pius V and translated into English with notes by John A. McHugh, O.P., and Charles J. Callan, O.P. (Joseph F. Wagner, Inc.: New York, 16th printing, 1962), p. 227.
2. "The Holy See examines the translation of a sacramental form into the vernacular and, when it judges that the translation rightly expresses the meaning intended by the Church, approves and confirms the translation. In so doing the Holy See is stipulating that the meaning of the translation is to be understood in accord with the mind of the Church as expressed by the original Latin text" (Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Instauratio liturgica, 25 January 1974, in AAS 66 , p. 661 - English translation in ICEL: Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979 [The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, Minnesota, 1982], p. 299).
3. Aquinas, S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 3, obj. 8.
4. Aquinas, S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 3 ad 8.
5. Aquinas, In 4 Sent., dist. 8, q. 2, art. 2, obj. C:7.
6. Aquinas, reply to the objection in the preceding note.
7. Aquinas, S. Th., III, q. 74, art. 7, corp.
8. Where statements of mine in this article are somewhat at variance with statements expressed in earlier discussions, the present statements are to be taken as my more mature view.
9. Aquinas, S. Th., III, q. 73, art. 1, ad 3.
10. Cf. Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests (McHugh-Callan edition), pp. 143 and 157.
11. Pope Leo XIII, letter Apostolicae Curae et Caritatis (1896), in ASS 29 (1896-1897), p. 199.
12. S. Th., III, q. 79, art. 4, corp.
13. S. Th., III, q. 79, art. 6, corp.
14. S. Th., III, q. 72, art. 4, obj. 3 and ad 3.
15. S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 3, ad 2.
16. Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests (McHugh-Callan edition), p. 151.
17. Ibid., pp. 225-226.
18. Catechism of the Council of Trent, pp. 167-168.
19. Ibid., p. 224.
20. Ibid., p. 225.
21. Argument has been made that the relative clause "which signify that the substance of the wine is changed into the Blood of Our Lord" is non-restrictive, inasmuch as it is set off by commas in the Latin original, so that it does not limit the statement to the words of the short form but includes all of the cited words of the liturgical form. However, in ecclesiastical Latin, including in the Latin text of the Roman Catechism, both restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses (except for very short ones) are usually set off by commas.
22. The absence of definite and indefinite articles in Latin renders ambiguous the expression conveniens forma.
23. Aquinas, S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 3, ad 1.
24. E. Doronzo, O.M.I., De Eucharistia, vol. 1 (Bruce: Milwaukee, 1947), pp. 155-158.
25. Something expressed in the future tense cannot take effect until the future becomes present. But the transubstantiation is an immediate effect. St. Thomas points this out in S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 6, corp. with respect to the form for the consecration of the bread.
26. Aquinas, In quatuor libros Sent., lib. 4, dist. 8, q. 2, art. 2, corp.
27. Ibid., answer to objection A:3.
28. Aquinas, S. Th., III, q. 60, art. 8, sed contra.
29. Alphonsus Liguori, Theologia Moralis, bk. 6, tract. 3, ch. 1, nos. 220-221.
30. Liguori, loc. cit., no. 223.
31. Liguori, ibid.
32. "His rationibus hinc inde consideratis, CONCLUDIMUS: Auctoritas Catechismi Conc. Trid. et S. Thomae nos vehementer impelleret ad sententiam negativam probabiliorem judicandam; cum tamen de judicio tot ac tantorum theologorum, praesertim thomistarum, non clare constet de mente S. Thomae, quam auctores Catechismi evidenter sequi intendunt, non audemus uni sententiae potius quam alteri adhaerere sed utrique aequalem probabilitatem adjudicamus (Doronzo, op. cit., p. 161).
33. "SENTENTIA AFFIRMATIVA docetur (generatim ut probabilior) a paucioribus ante Conc. Trid., a majori vero parte theologorum post Concilium ac fere exclusive a modernis (Doronzo, op. cit., p. 151). For Felix Cappello, the opinion that the following words are not of the essence of the form is "common and morally certain" ( F. Cappello, S.J., De Sacramentis, vol. 1 [Marietti: Rome, 1938], p. 277).
34. M. de la Taille, S.J., Mysterium Fidei (Paris, 1931), pp. 455 ff. English translation: The Mystery of Faith (Sheed and Ward: New York, 1950).
35. "Ut apte explicant Salmanticenses et De la Taille, haec sententia non ita defenditur ac si explicite et formaliter omnia et singula verba quae mentionem sanguinis subsequuntur sint dicenda ad valorem requisita (quemadmodum verba formae baptismalis necessaria dicuntur), sed ita ut necessaria sint "omnia verba, quae requiruntur, ut servetur sensus formalis istius sententiae," etc. (Doronzo, op. cit., p. 151).
36. "The determinations of the predicate: ‘of the new and eternal testament,’ etc., do not pertain to the essence of the second consecration, because those words, wholly, or certainly in part, are lacking in several Eastern liturgies of whose legitimacy one cannot justifiably doubt" (Louis Billot, S.J., De Ecclesiae Sacramentis, vol. 1 (Gregorian University: Rome, 1924), p. 539.
37. Thus, for example, in the ancient Greek-Alexandrine Anaphora of St. Basil: Take, eat: this is my Body which is broken and distributed for you and for many unto the remission of sins. See the text in C. Vagaggini, Il canone della messa e la riforma liturgica (1966), translated by P. Coughlan (Alba House: Staten Island, 1967), p. 53.
38. Aquinas, S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 3, sed contra.
39. Aquinas, S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 2, ad 4.
40. V. L. Kennedy, The Saints of the Canon of the Mass (Pontificio Istituto di Archaeologia Cristiana: Vatican City, 1938), p. 18.
41. Kennedy, ibid., p. 53.
42. J.A. Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite, translated by F.A. Brunner, (Four Courts Press: Dublin, 1986), vol. 1, p. 52. Cf. F. Amiot, History of the Mass (translated by L. Sheppard: Hawthorn Books: New York, 1959), p. 17.
43. The text of this part of the Canon of the Mass in the De sacramentis of the late fourth century reads as follows: "Qui pridie quam pateretur, in sanctis manibus suis accepit panem, respexit in caelum ad te sancte pater omnipotens aeterne deus gratias agens benedixit fregit fractumque apostolis suis et discipulis suis tradidit dicens: Accipite et edite ex hoc omnes; hoc est enim corpus meum, quod pro multis confringetur. Similiter etiam calicem postquam cenatum est, pridie quam pateretur, accepit, respexit in caelum ad te sancte pater omnipotens aeterne deus gratias agens benedixit, apostolis suis et discipulis suis tradidit dicens: Accipite et bibite ex hoc omnes; hic est enim sanguis meus. Et sacerdos dicit: Ergo memores gloriosissimae eius passionis ...." etc. (text in P.L. XVI, cols. 462-464; in Kennedy, op. cit., pp. 18-19, and in Jungmann, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 52).
44. P. Parsch, The Liturgy of the Mass, translated by F.C. Eckhoff (Herder: St .Louis, Missouri, 1939), pp. 37-38.
45. Cf. Parsch, op. cit., p. 33.; Vagaggini, op. cit., p. 27.
46. This problem may be the origin of the error taught by Peter Cantor and Peter Comestor early in the thirteenth century at the University of Paris that the transubstantiation of the bread takes place only after the words of consecration over the chalice have been said. Cf. F. Amiot, op. cit. p. 93.