Ex Quo : On the Euchologion Pope Benedict XIV - 1756

Admin

Administrator
Ex Quo
On the Euchologion
Pope Benedict XIV - 1756​

To the Archbishops, Bishops and Other Clerics, Secular and Regular, of the Greek Rite Who Enjoy Favor and Communion with the Apostolic See.
Venerable Brothers and Beloved Sons, We Give You Greeting and Our Apostolic Blessing.

Ever since We first became Pope, We have proven Our fatherly love in embracing in Christ Our beloved eastern clergy and people, the Uniates as they are called, who are in agreement with Us and are free from the stain of schism. We have made every attempt to induce the schismatics to abandon their errors and join Us in Catholic unity. We do not intend to recall here all the measures We took for this purpose since the records of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith are filled with Our decrees on this subject and everyone can refer to Our apostolic letters and constitutions on eastern affairs in the volumes of Our Bullarium. Our present purpose is to inform you that the work of correcting the Greek Euchologion is now completed. It has already been printed by the press of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith following a lengthy scrutiny of every detail and most careful correction.

Consequently We exhort you to set aside previous editions which have been found to contain too many different errors, and to use this edition in sacred rites. The errors of former editions, however, are not to be wonderered at, for errors are readily made whenever the same work goes through many editions and the editors do not exert the strictest care. Such care is necessary to prevent the repeated insertion or addition of matters which are not found in the earliest and most faithful editions, whether through deceit or ignorance. Then since these errors have to be excised or somehow restrained, corrections and new editions more faithful to the original eventually are necessary. This has obviously occurred in the Western Church too, even though it is not as subject to these errors as the Eastern Church. Accordingly the Roman Pontiffs have often had to see to it that Missals, Rituals, Breviaries, and Martyrologies were newly issued in improved editions after appropriate corrections.
In regard to the corrections of your Euchologion (which, as you well know, is no more than the collection of prayers and blessings of the Church and so with Goarius We can appropriately term it the Ritual, Manual, Sacerdotal, or Pontifical of your Church), We propose to address two subjects in particular in this letter: namely, to set down first, the history of the new corrected edition which has just been completed, and then to expound in greater detail certain admonitions which have been suitably placed at the beginning of the Euchologion. We have postponed making known to you several other matters relating to the Euchologion itself. These could not properly be included in the present letter since they would make it immoderately long and would impose excessive toil on Us quite unsuited to Our age and not easily included with the other important concerns which particularly engage Us at present in Our Apostolic ministry and cannot now be laid aside.

Correction of the Euchologion
2. Philip IV, Catholic King of the Spains, towards the beginning of 1631, had recourse to the Apostolic See. He revealed that he had been informed by Greek Uniate inhabitants of this realm that a Euchologion containing many errors had been published by the Greek schismatics; he asked at that time for the application of appropriate remedies to this source of foolish confusion. At once Urban VIII formed a special Congregation for the correction of the Euchologion and personally appointed to it certain Cardinals, Prelates of the Roman Curia, and renowned theologians. At that time, he summoned to Rome others with a worldwide reputation for ecclesiastical learning, intending to appoint them also to this Congregation. Among those summoned was Dionysius Petavius, a priest of the Society of Jesus living in France; however, he understandably excused himself from so long a journey because of his advanced age. Jean Morin, a priest of the Gallican oratory, was also called to Rome; he attended many sessions and made many noteworthy proposals which aided the organization and direction of the undertaking. These We will discuss in another place.

3. The members of this Congregation conscientiously undertook the work entrusted to them; their careful work was approved by Leo Allatius who wrote in a discussion of the Greek Euchologion: “I could relate and investigate many matters about the book, but since it is submitted to the censure and judgment of keen scholars, I wait for a true statement and an infallible verdict concerning it.” They met indeed for eighty-two sessions, as was long ago affirmed by Cardinal Franciscus Barberinus the elder at the meeting of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. Pope Innocent X attended this meeting on January 23, 1645, shortly after the death of his predecessor Urban, the uncle of this cardinal. Yet the correction of the Euchologion was not finished, and the new edition could not be brought to completion.
New Congregation on the Euchologion

4. With succeeding popes, although the work was never completely abandoned, it proceeded slowly while, as often happens, its final conclusion was held up by the emergence of new and later business. But when God raised Us to the supreme pontificate, among Our first concerns was the correction of the books of the Oriental Church, particularly of the Euchologion of the Greeks. So We soon gave the following orders and were careful to have them carried out so that We might finally reach Our desired goal. First, the transactions of the Congregations which met in the reign of Urban VIII and his successors were collected and put in order to ascertain the form of those resolutions which had been adopted but not reinforced by papal confirmation: for apparently the popes had not condemned these resolutions but had deferred their consideration, possibly for good reasons, to more suitable times. Next, after the deaths of all who served on the Congregation, We assigned other Cardinals and Consultors to press on with the important task. Among the Cardinals who died were Antonio Xaverio Gentili, Philippo Monti, Gioachimo Besozzi, and Aloysio Lucini, in that order. As Prefect of the Congregation, We established the presbyter cardinal Fortunato Tamburini, who is still living. As Consultors We designated Brother Giuseppi Agustino Orsi of the Order of Preachers, the master of Our Apostolic palace; Leonardus Siderer, a priest of the Society of Jesus; Domenico Vitali, a monk of the Order of St. Basil; Thomas Sergius, a priest of the Pious Workers; and Domenico Teoli, a Roman priest. Some of these are still living. Finally We appointed as Secretary of this Congregation Master Niccolo Antonelli, Our domestic prelate. All of these men were obliged to deal with the matters submitted to their judgment. This they did diligently for an entire ten years.

At the start a dispute arose as to the method to be followed in the investigating-some judging that the forms of the Sacraments should be examined first, while others urged that matters relating to the duty of simple priests should be dealt with separately from those pertaining to bishops. We removed this problem by commanding that the revision and correction of the Euchologion should proceed in stages from the first page to the following pages in the order in which the Euchologion itself is arranged and printed. Finally We required the Secretary of the Congregation to produce an agenda before every session, for timely delivery not only to each of the Cardinals and Consultors who were to meet but also to Us, since We wanted to know of every matter to be discussed in the Congregation. In this agenda he was to list the headings of the questions to be brought forward, and to add notes on the considerations adduced and conclusions arrived at on these matters in the Congregations of previous popes insofar as they had been dealt with in former Congregations, followed by opinions on these questions from theological authors and ecclesiastical records.

Secretary of the Congregation
5. It was unnecessary, as one would expect, to advise the Secretary on the subject of examining and comparing old Euchologia. He is expert in the Greek language, outstanding in sacred learning and teaching, and ready to undertake any great labor in obedience to and for the benefit of the Apostolic See; he has often shown this on other occasions when affairs demanded it, and also by zealously publishing books.

Everyone is aware that Father Jacobus Goarius of the Order of Preachers, a Frenchman by race, spent eight years in eastern parts examining all matters closely, and then came to Rome about 1640. There he conferred at length with outstanding scholars and experts in Greek affairs; with Leo Allatius, a Prelate of the Roman Curia; Basilio Falasca, Procurator General of the Order of St. Basil; Giorgio Coresio; and Pantaleone Ligaridio. Fr. Echardus records this in De scriptoribus Ordinis Praedicatorum (vol. 2, p. 574). Finally he returned to France and published the Greek Euchologion together with a Latin translation. The excellence of this work is enhanced by the careful learning with which the author examined and evaluated many manuscript codices and printed books, and criticized them in his Preface to the Reader. He added variant readings everywhere and occasionally inserted appropriate and learned notes. He first published that work at Paris in the year of the Lord 1647. It was reprinted at Venice in 1739.

Importance of Extant Manuscripts of Old
6. Men of learning are also aware that several manuscript examples of the Greek Euchologion are preserved in the Vatican library, and that the Library of the Barberini has the famous Euchologium Barberinum S. Marci, so called because it was brought there long ago from the monastery of St. Mark at Florence. They know that this is more than ten centuries old, since Leo Allatius testified that already in his day it was considered to be more than nine hundred years old by the greatest experts of his time: “The Barberini codex surpasses all the others in point of antiquity. It is a most accurate copy in square letters on parchment and was written more than nine hundred years ago in the opinion of those who are considered foremost in judging these matters.” Learned men must also know of the precious codex preserved in the archive of the monastery of Grottaferrata which is called the Euchologium Patriarchale. It was left to the monks of that abbey by the will of the great Cardinal Besscion, who was the first Commendatory Abbot of that monastery. He always regarded it very highly since he had received it as a gift from Cardinal Giuliano Cesarino, who had in turn been given it at the Council of Florence by the Cretan priest Georgius Varj, as Arcudius testifies. All these copies of the Euchologion have been examined and critically compared as a guide to accuracy and soundness in the new edition of the Euchologion. This work was done both by the prelate who is Secretary and by other members of the Congregation who are skilled in Greek usage. Moreover there was no need for Us to advise this measure, since they themselves of their own accord undertook this trouble and performed it with great care.

7. Likewise We did not need to remind the learned Cardinals and Consultors in the Congrgation of those wise remarks of the renowned Joannes Morinus in the preface to his work De Sacris Ordinibus, of Lukas Holstein in his in Dissertatione 1, de Sacramento Confirmationis, and finally of the author of the Vindiciarum P. le Brunwhere he writes on the form of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. These remarks should be certainly kept in mind if one desires to judge the Greek rites correctly. For it would of course be unjust, mistaken, and opposed to the peace and unity of the Church to make judgments concerning the Greek Rites solely on the basis of a knowledge of the Latin Rituals and what is reported by some of our writers. Even though they are expert in our practices, they are uninstructed in Greek customs, and do not know how the Apostolic See has always regarded them. So they unhesitatingly condemn everything in the sacred Greek rites which they discover to be dissimilar and not in agreement with the Latin rite.

As We say, there was no need to remind the Cardinals and Consultors selected for the correction of the Euchologion of these matters, since they had already themselves decided on this method of action and judgment and had thoroughly followed it. We acknowledge that this was also done by the cardinals and prelates who gave their opinion in the Congregations which met on this subject under Urban VIII. All the measures which We insisted on, as mentioned above, were fully implemented and the unceasing care and effort expended by all the members of the Congregation in completing the work cannot be sufficiently emphasized. Not only did the Secretary show Us the agenda before each of their sessions, but also after each session he carefully reported to Us the statements and resolutions of the Congregation. We read them all attentively and after due consideration approved and confirmed them insofar as it seemed expedient to do so. By keeping to this method the correction of the Euchologion was completed and the new edition of it was printed in 1754, at the press of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. We were desirous of bringing these matters to your attention to acquaint you with the great zeal, toil, and care which were devoted to the publication of the corrected edition of your Euchologion.

Four Admonitions
8. At the beginning of this most recent edition four admonitions are to be found. We want to explain briefly to you in this letter the reasons for the presence of these remarks.

First Admonition-Commemoration of Pontiff in the Mass
9. The first admonition is thus expressed: “It must be known that the priests who will use the Euchologion should be acquainted with the ecclesiastical canons of the holy Fathers and the Constitutions of the Catholic Church in order that they may avoid obvious mistakes in administering the divine Sacraments and performing their other duties. Therefore where commemorations are customarily made in the sacred liturgy, the Roman Pontiff should be first commemorated, then one’s own bishop and patriarch, provided they are Catholic. But if either or both of them are schismatic or heretic they should by no means be commemorated.” Certainly this is in full agreement with the decrees passed at the meeting of the Congregation on May 1, 1746, which We approved and confirmed. The following question was raised at that meeting: “whether the name of the supreme pontiff should be put into the prayers said by priest and deacon at the Offertory as well as in the other prayers, that is, For the supreme pontiff N.” This response was given to that question: “In the instruction which is to be added at the start of the Euchologion, Greek priests should be advised to make a commemoration of the supreme pontiff and of their bishop or archbishop if he is in union with the Roman Catholic Church, and moreover a rubric should be put in the margin of the Liturgy referring them to the instruction.” For it seemed best to add in this manner such matter as was missed in the text of the Euchologion itself.

This Practice is Long-Standing
10. We have Ourselves dealt with the commemoration of the Roman pontiff in the sacrifice of the Mass, and with the antiquity of this practice in Our treatise De Sacrificio Missae, sect. I, n. 219. But since the publication of this book, the same subject has been treated with many extraordinary observations by Dominicus Georgius (who in his lifetime was Our dear sacristan) in his De Liturgia Romani Pontificis, vol. 3, chap. 3, no. 14, where he writes: “It has ever been customary in the Catholic Church to recite the name of the Roman pontiff during the sacred mysteries.” In no. 22 he adds: “All the ancient testimonies and the oldest copies of the sacred canon agree concerning the name of the supreme pontiff.” Indeed, that such a commemoration had been made in the Mass is shown by the Ambrosian Liturgy, the Mozarabic Mass, and the Latin Mass which the Lutheran Flaccus Illyricus copied from one ancient manuscript and published. So also does the most ancient Liturgy which is found in the old manuscript on the Sacraments of the Roman Church which was published by Venerable Cardinal Thomasius. Finally, this is also shown in all the sacred canons of the Mass, whether printed or written by hand, as the prelate Niccolo Antonelli amply shows in the long and learned dissertation which he wrote as a necessary part of his duty as Secretary of the Congregation for the Correction of the Euchologion; he had it printed when a dispute on this subject arose among the Cardinals and Consultors. A reprint of this can also be I found in the Appendix to the old Lateran Monastic Missal in the Collectio Liturgica, vol. 1, made by Fr. Emanuele de Azevedo.

11. So far the testimonies mentioned relate to the Latin Church. As regards the Greek Church, Cardinal Bona says that it is not known whether in the early centuries it recalled the Roman pontiff in the sacrifice of the Mass: “But whether in the first centuries Orthodox Greece commemorated the Roman pontiff is unclear” (Rer. Liturgicar, bk. 2, chap. 11, no. 3). Moreover Isaac Habertus admits that among the records of the early age, he has found none to establish that it was customary in the Oriental Church to commemorate the Roman pontiff during the celebration of Mass: “I could wish it was done and if it had been done I would approve of it, but even so I do not read that it was done.” But he says that the name of the Roman Pontiff had been added to that of the Patriarch in the time of Pope Nicholas I, that is about 858, since the following words are found in several ancient copies of the Holy Liturgy of John Chrysostom: “Long be the days of most holy Nicholas the universal pope” (Observationes ad Pontificale Graecorum, pt. 8, observ. 12).

But Antonelli, whom We have praised, argues in his dissertation that it was customary in the Greek Church to commemorate the Roman Pontiff during Mass long before the period assigned by Habertus. He proves his point especially by the fact reported by Nicephorus in his in Historia Ecclesiast., bk. 16, chap. 17, where he depends on the testimony of a more ancient and serious historian, Basilius Cilix. Acacius, bishop of Constantinople, a supporter of the Eutychian heresy, prevailed on the emperor Zeno to publish his ill-fated edict, the Henoticon, which rendered void the definition of the holy Council of Chalcedon which opposed the heresy of Eutyches. When Pope Felix III could not ignore this and therefore deprived Acacius of communion, he had the audacity in the year of the Lord 484 to erase the name of the Roman pontiff Felix from the sacred diptychs in a new and hitherto unheard-of excess of rashness. For this reason the memory of Acacius was then condemned. The Greek church accepted this condemnation in the time of Pope Hormisdas and Emperor Justin, although the two predecessors of Hormisdas, Anastasius 11 and Symmachus, had failed to win this acceptance. So in the great church of Constantinople (whose example was doubtless followed by the other lesser churches of the east) the name of the Roman pontiff was in the sacred diptychs; therefore it must be asserted that he was prayed for by name during the celebration of Masses. Acacius is described as the first to erase this name and his deed was on this account particularly punished since, without any precedent, he committed a new sort of outrage till then unheard of, even though in former times there had been no lack of offense and disagreements between the Roman pontiffs and the bishops of the imperial city. It is thus abundantly proved that long before the time of Acacius and so in the early centuries, the name of the Roman pontiff was written in the sacred diptychs of the Greeks and thus it was customary to pray for him during the celebration of Mass.

But however it may be with this disputed point of ecclesiastical learning, it suffices Us to be able to state that a commemoration of the supreme pontiff and prayers offered for him during the sacrifice of the Mass is considered, and really is, an affirmative indication which recognizes him as the head of the Church, the vicar of Christ, and the successor of blessed Peter, and is the profession of a mind and will which firmly espouses Catholic unity. This was rightly noticed by Christianus Lupus in his work on the Councils: “This commemoration is the chief and most glorious form of communion” (tome 4, p. 422, Brussels edition). This view is not merely approved by the authority of Ivo of Flaviniaca who writes: “Whosoever does not pronounce the name of the Apostolic one in the canon for whatever reason should realize that he is separated from the communion of the whole world” (Chronicle, p. 228); or by the authority of the famous Alcuin: “It is generally agreed that those who do not for any reason recall the memory of the Apostolic pontiff in the course of the sacred mysteries according to custom are, as the blessed Pelagius teaches, separated from the communion of the entire world” (de Divinis Officiis, bk. 1, chap. 12).

Pope Pelagius II who held the Apostolic See in the sixth century of the Church gives this weightier statement on Our present subject in his letter: “I am greatly astonished at your separation from the rest of the Church and I cannot equably endure it. For Augustine, mindful that the Lord established the foundation of the Church on the Apostolic sees, says that whosoever removes himself from the authority and communion of the prelates of those sees is in schism. He states plainly that there is no church apart from one which is firmly established on the pontifical bases of the Apostolic sees. Thus how can you believe that you are not separated from the communion of the whole world if you do not commemorate my name during the sacred mysteries, according to custom? For you see that the strength of the Apostolic See resides in me, despite my unworthiness, through episcopal succession at the present time” (Labbe, Conciliorum Collectione, vol. 5, col. 794f and 810). This letter of Pelagius has also been used by St. Agobard, the great archbishop of Lyons, in his treatise De comparatione utriusque regiminis. This is printed in the in Magna Bibliotheca Patrum (vol. 14, p. 315, no. 21, Lyons) and was reissued by Balutius with other writings of this saint (col. 2, p. 49).

13. Moreover it suffices Us to be able to affirm without peril that at whatever time the practice of praying by name for the Roman pontiff at Mass was finally accepted by the Greek Church, this practice was definitely in force in Greek churches many centuries before schism broke out, and was only broken off after the fatal separation. A letter dated 1053 of Peter, patriarch of Antioch, to Michael Cerularius, the well-known reviver of the Photian schism, survives. This letter is published in Greek and Latin by Joannes Baptista Cotelerius in the second volume of his Monument. Eccles. Graec. Michael had said that he was surprised that Peter of Antioch himself as well as the bishops of Alexandria and Jerusalem mentioned the Roman pontiff in the sacred diptychs (p. 140 of the abovementioned volume). But Peter most sharply rebuked the rashness of the maddened man in showing that both at Antioch and at Constantinople, the commemoration of the Roman pontiff had never been omitted up to his time: “Of these matters I too am an unexceptionable witness, as are the many others who with me hold high office in the Church, that in the time of Lord John (patriarch of Antioch), the Pope at Rome, also called John, was included in the sacred diptychs. Furthermore, when I came to Constantinople forty-five years ago I found that under Patriarch Sergius the Pope was mentioned at holy Mass along with the other Patriarchs.”

It is said in addition that no discussions on restoring unity were ever begun without the acceptance of the prior condition that the commemoration of the Roman pontiff should be included in the sacred liturgy, nor was a union which had been agreed on regarded as complete until the previous condition had actually been put into effect. The clear result of all this is that the Latin and Greek churches agree in recognizing and affirming that the commemoration implies a profession of due subjection to the Roman pontiff as head of the Church, and of a willingness to remain in the unity of the Church. On the other hand the omission of this commemoration signifies the intention of steadfastly espousing schism.

14. When Michael Palaeologus, Emperor of Constantinople, in 1263 and thereafter, affirmed his desire to return in company with his Greek subjects to unity and concord with the Roman Church, Urban IV aptly proposed the condition “that in sacred ceremonies from the diptychs, the name of the Pope should be commemorated together with the four patriarchs” (Nicetas, bk. 5, chap. 2). And when thereafter the negotiation of this union was again undertaken by Emperor Michael and Patriarch Giovanni Vecco and was seriously debated at the General Council of Lyons held in the year of the Lord 1274, the Pope, Blessed Gregory X, with the agreement of the assembled council fathers, first proposed several indispensable conditions for the effective negotiation of union. The first of these was “that the Pope be included in the diptych with the other four patriarchs and commemorated during the holy services” (Nicetas, as above). And Pachymeres (bk. 5, chap. 22) testifies that this condition was accepted by the Greeks and carried out in practice: “There were two immediate results of this arrival of the ambassadors who brought back word that peace had been made on the strength of the previous agreements: the deposition of the Patriarch and the public commemoration of the Pope in holy services.” 15. His son Andronicus succeeded Michael Palaeologus as emperor, and was so extreme a supporter of the schism which had been condemned that he allowed his father’s body to be buried beyond the sacred precinct because he had attempted to establish a union of the Greek Church with the Latin. Because the emperor could hardly hope for success in his intended revival of the schism while the Catholic patriarch, Giovanni Vecco, was leader of the church at Constantinople, he imposed as patriarch a certain Joseph who was tainted with the stain of heresy. As a result affairs began to deteriorate and a sincere reconciliation of the churches was no longer possible. Finally, at the meeting of the General Council of Ferrara, later transferred to Florence, in the year 1434, after proper deliberations of the issues by the Greek and Latin fathers, the wall of division was cast down which had for so long kept the one church apart from the other. To attest to everyone the reality of the enacted union John Palaeologus, emperor of the Greeks, gave orders that the name of the Pope be replaced in the sacred diptychs, as is testified even by the schismatic author Sylvester Sguropolus in his Historia Concilii Flor., sess. 10. chap. 2. Afterwards when the decree of established union had been brought to Philotheus, patriarch of Alexandria, he was careful to state in his answer to Pope Eugenius IV that he had also decided that the commemoration of the Roman pontiff in the sacrifice of the Mass should be placed before that of the other patriarchs: “Hence in company with our Egyptian bishops and other clergy, we decided that everywhere in all of Christ’s churches during the sacrifice of the Mass, we should commemorate Your Blessedness before the other Patriarchs, as is provided for in the sacred canons.” This passage may be found in the collection of the transactions of the Council of Florence made by Cardinal Justinianus (pt. 2, collect. 22, p. 323).

16. Constantine was the Greek emperor after John Palaeologus. When he sent ambassadors to Nicholas V to beseech help for his faltering fortunes, he was careful to profess that he would make every effort to implement as fully as could be desired the harmony which was agreed on at Florence, and that consequently he would see to it that the name of the Roman pontiff was restored to the sacred diptychs. This is attested by Ducas in his Historia Byzantina: The emperor had already sent to Rome to request reinforcements with the additional purpose of strengthening the harmony achieved at Florence and of having the Pope’s name proclaimed from the sacred diptychs during the liturgies of the great church.” The Pope showed himself ready to give him as much aid as he could and continued at the same time to exhort him to promulgate the decree of the union which had been agreed on at the Council of Florence. He urged him to see to it that the name of the Roman pontiff “was proclaimed in the diptychs and that the whole Greek church prayed for him expressly and by name, as was the former practice of men who were pleasing to God, both patriarchs of Constantinople and emperors” (Raynaldus, Annales, 1451 A.D., no. 2).

17. This is all We want to say on the first part of the first Admonition which deals with the obligation of celebrants to pray for the pope in the sacrifice of the Mass. Nothing further is to be added except that even before this Admonition, Catholic Greek Oriental bishops were careful to decree this very measure in their synods. We Ourselves did not neglect the publication of such suitable decrees for Italian Greeks. In 1720, a provincial synod was held at Zamoscia on the order of Pope Clement XI, under the presidency of Hieronymus Grimaldus. He was then the archbishop of Edessa and nuncio of the Apostolic See in the kingdom of Poland; later, he was raised to the honor of the Cardinalate by Pope Clement XII. In the decrees of this synod, which were confirmed after proper investigation by Pope Benedict XIII, the following words are found under the heading de fide Catholica: “For the same reason”-that is, to remove all suspicion of schism-“and to show a sincere union of the members with their head, it has decided and commanded under penalties to be applied at the judgment of the Ordinary that wherever a Roman pontiff is to be commemorated, especially at the Offertory of the Mass, it should be made in clear and definite words which can signify none other than the universal Bishop of Rome.”

In agreement with this view are the fathers of the Synod of Lebanon which occurred in 1736 under the presidency of Joseph Simonius Assemanus, a prelate of the Roman curia and an Apostolic envoy. In the decrees of this council too, under the heading de Symbolo Fidei, ejusque professione, no. 12, these words are found: “Let us not neglect to repeat the commemoration of the most holy Roman pontiff, both in Masses and in the divine services, before the name of the most reverend lord patriarch, as has hitherto been our custom.” After the strictest investigation, We confirmed this council with Apostolic authority, as may be seen in Our constitution Singularis (Bullarium, vol. I, no. 31). Peter Arcudius in his work de Concordia Ecclesiae Occidentalis et Orientalis, bk. 2, chap. 39, offers an admonition for Latin bishops with Greeks living in their dioceses to zealously impel them to commemorate the Roman pontiff in the Mass, to banish the last shade of suspicion of any inclination to schism: “The Latin bishops should see to it that the Greek priests subject to them are in Catholic unity and recognize the Supreme Pastor, and according to the ancient custom solemnly pray for him” in the sacrifice of the Mass-the subject under discussion in this passage. In agreement with this most just admonition, the following provision was made in Our constitution issued for the Italian Greeks, Etsi Pastoralis (Bullarium, vol. 1, 57, sect. 9, no. 4): “Next a commemoration should be made of the Supreme Roman Pontiff and of the Local Ordinary in Masses and divine services.”

First Admonition-Commemoration of Bishop and Patriarch

18. Now follows the second part of this first admonition which, as was mentioned above, obliges the Greek priest during Mass, after praying for the Roman pontiff, to pray for his own bishop and his patriarch if they are Catholic. For if either is or both are schismatic or heretic, a commemoration should not be made.

19. In the Latin Church there is usually no difficulty in commemorating the bishop in whose diocese the priest celebrates Mass. We Ourselves have dealt with this subject in Our work de Sacrificio Missae(sect. 1, no. 220 in the Latin edition) and have shown that the priest who celebrates Mass in any diocese should commemorate the bishop of that diocese rather than the bishop in whose diocese he was ordained or the one to whose Ordinary jurisdiction he is subject. We added that it was not permissible for regular clergy to commemorate their Superior General or for other priests to commemorate during Mass any lesser prelate of a separate territory to whom they are subject. For this honor is to be conferred only on the superior or prelate who possesses the episcopal authority and order. In that work We adduced the writings of the men who transmit to us all these matters and establish them by their testimony. So at this point We will add no more except to quote the remarks of the above-mentioned Dominicus Georgius in his treatise De Liturgia Romani Pontificis in which he studied many ancient manuscripts, which has appeared since the publication of Our work: “Nearly all the most ancient copies of the sacred canon of the Mass note the name of the bishop after the Roman Pontiff as is attested by Florus and the more ancient writers on the Mass whom We give in an appendix” (Op. cit., vol. 3, chap. 3, no. 23, p. 52).

20. Still in reference to the Latin practice, We will also note that when a bishop is celebrating Mass, he prays for himself as an “unworthy servant.” This practice is in harmony with the words of the apostolic constitutions where the celebrant, after praying for others, prays for himself in these words: “We now beseech you for a man of no worth, for myself who am offering to You” etc. (Ap. Const., bk. 8, in Cotelerius, Opera Patrum Apostolicorum, vol. 1, p. 407). Moreover it should be known that in Rome commemoration is made only of the Roman Pontiff since he is not only Supreme Pontiff, but also the bishop of the city of Rome in particular. When the Pope himself says Mass, he prays for himself in precisely the same way as any bishop prays for himself during Mass. In reply to the bishop of Orense who enquired how the Pope commemorated himself during the celebration of Mass, Innocent III, in a letter not yet published but preserved in the Vatican archives (bk. 9, no. 33) replied as follows: “You have also asked to be instructed as to the words used by the Roman Pontiff at the place in the canon of the Mass where a priest of lower rank says ‘together with our Pope,’ since the Pope is then obviously praying for himself and is subordinate to no bishop. Our reply to your devotedness is this: at that place We say ‘together with me your unworthy servant.”‘

Finally it must be remarked that Latin priests make no commemoration of an archbishop such as a metropolitan in the canon. This point is also rightly made by P. Merati in his Commentaria ad Gavantum (pt. 2, head. 8, no. 5) and the case is the same even if the episcopal see is vacant: “But if the bishop, who is Ordinary of the place in which Mass is being celebrated, has departed this life, the aforesaid words are omitted”-that is, a commemoration is not made-“but it is to be noticed that the Vicar Capitular cannot be named instead of the bishop, since although while the see is vacant he is Ordinary of that place, he is still not the bishop of that diocese. Moreover, the archbishop or the patriarch of the province which includes the diocese of the dead bishop cannot be named, even though he has a certain jurisdiction over it, since an archbishop or a patriarch is not said to be Ordinary in the dioceses of his suffragans.”

21. Turning now to the Greeks, We consider first the Italian Greeks. These are entirely subject to the jurisdiction of the Latin bishop in whose diocese they live, in accordance with constitution 74, Romanus Pontifex, of Our predecessor, Pope Pius IV. This is to be found in volume two of the Bullar. Rom. and We have discussed it at length in Our treatise De Synodo Dioecesana, bk. 2, chap. 12, of the most recent Roman edition. Therefore these Italian Greek priests, in offering the sacrifice of the Mass, are required to follow the Latin practice and commemorate the Roman Pontiff and the local bishop. They should never commemorate eastern bishops or patriarchs even if they are Catholic, since these possess no jurisdiction in Italy and
e adjacent islands, as has been discussed in Our constitution Etsi Pastoralis (Bullarium, vol. 1, const. 57, sect. 9 no. 4).

Of course in the Dictatus of Pope St. Gregory VII (can. 10) we find the dictum: “That the name of the Pope alone be pronounced in the church.” This Dictatus is included in the collections of the councils (Royal Parisian, vol. 26; Labbe, vol. 6, pt. 1). Still We are well aware that there is a vigorous debate among scholars as to whether this is an authentic work of the holy pontiff or rather a forgery. Indeed Fr. Mabillon in his treatise De Studiis Monasticis has ranked this among the more difficult questions which professors of Church history can engage in solving. But laying aside this problem also-as to whether the Dictatus Papae is an authentic work of St. Gregory VII-the real and pertinent meaning of the Canon quoted is not that in the Latin Church the name of the diocesan bishop be removed from the Canon of the Mass, but that the name of Oriental Patriarchs should not be included there.

The Patriarchs indeed professed their agreement with the condition, that the name of the Roman Pontiff should be replaced in the Liturgy and that prayers should be offered for him in all the churches of the east, if in turn the Pope would consent to their names being pronounced in the Canon of the Mass by Latin priests of the Roman Church and of the other churches in the Patriarchate of Rome. Lupus wisely notes: “Purposing to abandon his schism, Michael (Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople) tried to have his name inscribed on the Roman tablets and he promised to restore the name of the Pope to the tablets of all of his churches. But Leo (Pope Leo IX) would not consent: for the reciprocal pronouncement of the names of Patriarchs was practiced only among the equal sister sees of the eastern patriarchs, but never by the Roman see. For this see is not only sister but also mother and head of the eastern sees and so has never pronounced any other name than the bishops” (ad Concilia, pt. 4, p. 437, Brussels edition). He continues in this way on the following page: “The names of the eastern patriarchs have never been pronounced by the Roman church nor for that matter by any Latin church.”

22. The foregoing discussion relates to the Italian Greeks. But as regards the rest of the Greeks and Orientals, the admonition in the preface of the Euchologion, which We are now considering, by no means prevents them from commemorating their metropolitans and patriarchs during the Mass, but merely forbids this if they should be schismatic or heretic. It is beyond dispute that the commemoration of patriarchs in the prayers of the Mass is an ancient custom in the Greek church. Theodorus Balsamon in his de Patriarcharum juribus has written: “It is established that in every church of God, whether on the Euphrates or on the edge of the Ocean, the names of the patriarchs are mentioned together.” Goarius cites this as the established practice that in the Greek liturgy the priest prays for all the bishops and for the metropolitan (in Notis ad Rituale Graecorum, p. 63). Meratus, after establishing the fact that We mentioned earlier, that in the Latin church a commemoration of the archbishop is not made in the Mass even during a vacancy in a suffragan church, adds that: “This however is not the practice of the Greeks and other Orientals. These name the patriarch and the metropolitan” (in notis ad Gavantum, vol. 1, p. 539, Roman edition).

This practice is not absolutely forbidden to them in the admonition in question, but only in the cases when the metropolitan or patriarch is schismatic or heretic. This is in accordance with rules which were established and accepted before the correction of the Euchologion was undertaken. When this practice was dealt with in the Congregation of the Holy Office in 1673, the following decree was published: “At the General Congregation of the Holy Office on June 7, 1673, the question was posed whether a priest in the town of Lebanon during Mass might name the patriarch of the Armenians, who is schismatic, with the purpose of praying for him. The petition for this concession was made with great urgency in order by this means to attract that people to a greater friendship for the Latins. The Sacred Congregation responded that it could not be done and should be utterly forbidden. In the same Congregation on June 20, 1674, there was read a letter of the nuncio at Florence written on April 10, 1674, sent to the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith and forwarded by this Congregation to the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. It was decided that a reply should be sent to the nuncio informing him that on the subject of prayer in the liturgy for the patriarch of the Armenians, the Sacred Congregation abided by its decrees published in 1673, that is, that it could not be done and should be utterly forbidden.”

23. In harmony with this decision is another very similar decree of the Congregation on the corrected edition of the Coptic Missal made in 1732. Among other disputed questions the following was proposed: “Whether, and in what way, the words in which the priest commemorates the patriarch, bishop, etc. are to be corrected.” This was the answer which was given: “A rubric should be placed at the beginning of the missal to advise and inform the priest on points relating to the celebration of Mass. Here should be placed a special rubric on the commemoration of the Roman pontiff as well as of the patriarch and bishop, provided that they are in union with the Roman Church. This rubric should be consulted in its own place.” Moreover heretics and schismatics are subject to the censure of major excommunication by the law of Can. de Ligur. 23, quest. 5, and Can. Nulli, 5, dist. 19. But the sacred canons of the Church forbid public prayer for the excommunicated as can be seen in chap. A nobis, 2, and chap. Sacris on the sentence of excommunication. Though this does not forbid prayer for their conversion, still such prayer must not take the form of proclaiming their names in the solemn prayer during the sacrifice of the Mass. This fully accords with the ancient practice, as may be seen in Estius in 4. Sententiar., dist. 12, sec. 15. For that purpose it is sufficient to beseech to lead back the wanderers to the way of salvation and to the bosom of holy Mother Church, as is expounded by Sylvius, in 3. part. D. Thomae, vol. 4, quest. 83, art. 1, qu. 9.

Here is the teaching of St. Thomas himself in 4. Sent., dist. 18, quest. 2, art. 1, in answer to the first difficulty: “Prayer can be offered for the excommunicated, although this should be done apart from prayers which are offered for members of the Church.” This does not necessarily involve a confusion of the Church’s laws which exclude from the roster of its faithful followers the names of those who have cut themselves off from it. In forbidding public prayers to be offered for them, the Church definitely rules out commemorating them in the celebration of Mass. Very relevant is the view of Ven. Card. Bellarmine: “Someone will ask whether at the present time it is permissible to offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the conversion of heretics or the infidels. The reason for doubt is that the entire liturgy of the Latin church, as it is now performed, relates to the faithful, as is clear from the prayers of the offertory both before and during the canon. I answer that I consider it permissible, provided that no addition is made to the Mass, but the sacrifice is applied to the conversion of the infidels or heretics only by the intention of the priest. For this is the practice of pious and learned men, with whom we cannot disagree, and it is not forbidden by the Church” (Controversarium, vol. 3, bk. 6, de Missae, chap. 6).

continued....

..
 
Top