Thursday, August 6, 2015

FORBIDDING THE USE OF THE TERM "PRESBYTER" AND "FIGURE IT OUT"

"This is my Body" - But no one kneels.
"In Christianity there is no altar", which is " why we can celebrate the Eucharist on a suitable table and we can celebrate in a square, in the countryside or wherever it is suitable. We don't have a particular place where exclusively we should celebrate our worship." - Kiko Arguello. Volume 1, 3rd day, Catechetical Directory

We have all become aware of the odd insistence of the use of the word "presbyter" instead of "priest" by the Neocatechumenal Way.

I have argued elsewhere on this blog that this "insistence" is no mere "either/or" occurrence, but a key strategy in Kiko's agenda to subvert the element of "sacrifice" in the "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." Since Kiko eschews the sacrificial nature of the Mass, he must also - like Luther before him - rid the use of the word "priest" which universally refers to "one who offers sacrifice."

Kiko isn't the first to try to rid our church of the word "priest." As mentioned many times on this blog, Kiko is doing nothing more than taking to the next level what we ourselves have permitted and even instigated over the years .

Before we get back to the presbyter vs priest issue, here are some other ways in which we have permitted the destruction of the notion of sacrifice in the sacred liturgy:

Sacrifice vs Celebration: We seldom hear the Mass referred to as "The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass," instead we refer to it as "the Eucharist", or "the Eucharistic celebration", or just "liturgy". The Mass is all those things but it is first and foremost "Christ offering himself to his Father" as the perfect "sacrifice." By diminishing and even discarding the reference "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass," we have paved the way for the likes of Kiko to discard the notion of sacrifice altogether.

Presider vs Celebrant: We often hear, as Mass is about to begin: "Our presider at today's liturgy will be Father ____." "Presider" gives the notion that the priest is going to sit and watch, or at most, direct the action. It further gives the notion that someone else will be the "actor". While the celebrant does in fact "preside", the presider is NOT always the celebrant. The GIRM notes this in paragraph 112:
"At a Mass celebrated by the Bishop or at which he presides without celebrating the Eucharist, the norms found in the Caeremoniale Episcoporum (Ceremonial of Bishops) should be observed."
The term "priest-celebrant", or even just "celebrant" tells us who the "actor" is. Advocates of "presider" will reference how the term was used in the early church and in the writings of the Fathers, but like everything else, there was a reason the Church developed its language over time to distinguish, teach, and signify. And it is quite obvious that as we have replaced the use of "priest" with "presider", so too has the notion of "holy" and "sacrifice" diminished...paving the way for Kiko's ultimate coup to replace "priest" - and its full sacrificial meaning - altogether.

There are many other things we have permitted to diminish the notions of sacrality and sacrifice in the Mass which have made way for Kiko's theology. Removing the communion rail also diminished the idea of a special sacred space called "the sanctuary". Taking communion in the hand removed the whole reason why the church instituted communion on the tongue to begin with - the practice being permitted by Pope Paul VI with serious misgivings:
"A change in a matter of such moment, based on a most ancient and venerable tradition, does not merely affect discipline. It carries certain dangers with it which may arise from the new manner of administering Holy Communion: the danger of a loss of reverence for the august sacrament of the altar, of profanation, of adulterating the true doctrine..."MEMORIALE DOMINI
Anyone who has attended a Neocatechumenal "service" can easily see how Paul VI"s fear of "a loss of reverence for the august sacrament of the altar," is manifested in Kiko's rewrite of the sacred liturgy.

We could go on. Someday soon we will revisit how our own adulteration of the music in the liturgy, a far cry from what the Church mandated in the post-conciliar document Musicam Sacram, is hardly different, and perhaps much worse than Kiko's "new aesthetic" flea-market boleros.

But let us get on to priest vs presbyter. We have already seen that there has been a long and sad trek to destroy the sacrificial nature of the Mass, a sad trek that the Vatican itself permitted by way of "exceptions" (which we see clearly in Memoriale Domini)

However, the Vatican finally said enough is enough in 1997 when the U.S. bishops officially tried to replace the word "priest" with "presbyter" in the English translation of the new ordination rite.

Copied below is the relevant excerpt of a letter from the Archbishop Pro-Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship  to Bishop Pilla, then President of the National Council of Catholic Bishops, FORBIDDING the use of the term "presbyter", and a thorough explanation for the prohibition:

Prominent among the problems is the decision of the translators to break with common Catholic usage and translate the Latin "presbyteri" into English not with "priests" but with "presbyters". This cannot meet with the Holy See's consent since it risks being misunderstood by the people and represents an unacceptable theological tendency. In particular it constitutes a retreat from a term that carries a sense of sacrality, that carries with it the history of the development of the faith in favor of a term which does not.

The full letter can be read here.
The anti-neo "we want our church back" crowd will not doubt yell "hurray," but there should be no "hurrays." As demonstrated above, we ourselves have been incrementally destroying the sacrificial nature of the Mass and the sacrificing aspect of the priesthood for decades. And in doing so, we have eviscerated - gutted - the only thing that separates our faith from others. 

This is why there was already a long exodus from the Catholic Church even before Kiko came to ravage it. As "sacrifice" has disappeared from our lips and sacrality has disappeared from our ritual, not to mention our worship spaces and the art and music which often profane them, so too have Catholics disappeared from the pews in our churches and filled up the pews in others. 

Getting rid of Kiko will not get rid of the cancer upon which his sychophants feed and breed. For it wasn't Kiko who drove your sons and daughters away from our Church. Kiko's theology is only the latest "abomination" to enter the temple.

Figure it out, folks. Or this is all for naught.



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