Monday, April 22, 2013

An Underhanded Accusation



Without a pope, Traditionalists must forge on by holding onto the Faith as it was passed down to us. We have an obligation to fight the Counterfeit Catholicism of the Vatican II sect and expose their antipopes. Unfortunately, instead of sticking to these essentials, many would rather fight amongst themselves. Claiming that the strife is motivated by doctrinal correctness, more often than not it's really the result of clashing egos, which war of words ends in the confusion of the faithful and does damage to their Faith. One example is the Society of St. Pius V refusing to acknowledge the validity of the Orders derived through Archbishop Thuc, despite the overwhelming evidence based on Dogmatic Theology that they are valid. Another example would be those who claim that Archbishop Lefebvre's Orders are invalid due to a supposed "Masonic connection."

 I recently came across a blog entitled "Pistrina Liturgica" dedicated to attacking Fr. Anthony Cekada and Bishop Daniel Dolan. It alleges to be "exposing" the lack of erudition and training they should possess. The blog is further supposed to be written by a group (whether layman, clergy or both is unknown). Most posts seem moderated by an individual known as "the Reader." The blog consistently refers to Bishop Dolan as "One Hand Dan." The reason? It is alleged that when Bishop Dolan was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Lefevre in the 1970's, he only imposed one hand on his head instead of two. Fr. Dolan was one of the nine priests who broke away from the Society of St. Pius X to found the Society of St Pius V in 1983. After Fr. Dolan left the SSPV in 1989 over the issue of the Thuc consecrations, the remaining clergy in the SSPV sent a letter to him asking him to refrain from all further priestly functions because the Archbishop's use of only one hand instead of two made his ordination "dubious." (Interestingly, they never brought this point up when he was with them, only after he left!). Fr Cekada published a refutation of the idea that ordination with one hand was dubious in his article entitled "The Validity of Ordination Conferred with One Hand." It can be found at www.traditionalmass.org.

 I posted a comment on "Pistorina" writing, "With the Vatican II sect destroying souls by the millions, you have nothing better to do than attack the work of an erudite priest (Fr Cekada) and a good bishop (Bp. Dolan)? If ordination with one hand is "dubious" or "invalid" would you please direct me to a solid refutation of Fr. Cekada's article "The Validity of Ordination Conferred With One Hand"? It should be able to refute, point by point, the arguments raised by Fr Cekada and have relevant citations. Otherwise you're just blowing hot air." The Reader replied:

 "We have refuted a major portion of the Blunder's (this is his epithet for Fr Cekada--Introibo Ad Altare Dei) article on our page entitled "Lost in Translation." (BTW, he is definitely not erudite: just read our critiques of his error-filled "Work of Human Hands," beginning July 2010.) The Blunderer based much of his argument on his faulty translation of Pius XII's apostolic constitution. You may find our analysis on our home page, at the top. If you read it carefully, you'll see our point: the Blunderer completely overread the Latin, and therefore his point is null.

As to his citations of authors in support of one-handed ordinations, we simply say that they are theological opinions and do not have the endorsement of the Church. (The anecdote about the Holy Office is actually nothing but hearsay testimony.)

"Sacramentum ordinis" is really quite explicit: for a deacon, the matter is the "impositio manus" but for a priest, it's "impositio manuum," Together with the text of the Pontificale Romanum ("Pontifex...imponit simul utramque manum"), there's no easy getting around the fact that both hands were stipulated for the matter.

Until the Church can decide, positive doubt remains."

 I read the article "Lost in Translation" and it does not do what the Reader claims, i.e. refute Fr. Cekada's conclusion that ordination conferred with one hand IS valid. I will set out the reasons below.

1. IS THE USE OF ONE HAND PROVEN?
   Fr. Cekada talks about the "supposed" use of one hand by Archbishop Lefebvre. It is not admitted that this actually happened. Is there a video or pictures of the ordination? Eyewitness testimony by those who were there taken under oath? Why are not the other dozen or so priests referred to as "One Hand"?  Moreover, why would the Archbishop, who was trained, ordained and consecrated all well before Vatican II used only one hand and only that one time? Didn't he know it was "dubious"?  Wouldn't he conditionally re-ordain those affected if it was brought to his attention, as it asserted (without proof) that Fr. Dolan was well known by this moniker since his ordination? The "fact" of using one hand is certainly not proven, and the burden of proof lies with those claiming a defect as a Sacrament is presumed valid whenever a properly trained priest or bishop sets out to confer it. Note well that the Reader says that a citation from a work by the great Regatillo is hearsay,to wit:
" Finally, a certain bishop who in ordaining priests had imposed only one hand, having heard our response that those ordinations were valid and that those who had been ordained that way could be left in complete peace, afterwards during an ad Limina visit, consulted the Holy Office orally. Its response was that a priestly ordination in which the bishop imposed one hand was valid, and that such had been its response many times."Ius Sacramentarium 3rd edition (Santander: Sal Terrae 1960), 873

This comes from a book that has an Imprimatur, declaring it free from all moral and doctrinal error. Yet, the Reader would have us believe this is hearsay, and the ordination of Bp. Dolan with one hand to be taken with apodictic certainty!

2. THE USE OF ONE HAND IN EASTERN RITES
  Forgetting the argument over the correct Latin in Saramentum Ordinis (the Apostolic Constitution of His Holiness Pope Pius XII on the Sacrament of Order), Fr. Cekada demonstrates in his article that the Byzantine Ordination rite has the bishop impose ONLY HIS RIGHT HAND FOR PRIESTLY ORDINATION. The Byzantine Rite is used by no less than ten (10) uniate groups. To quote Fr. Cekada directly:
"Pius XII states that the Roman Church always regarded Eastern Rite ordinations as valid, and indeed insisted that Greeks, even in Rome itself, be ordained according to their own rite.
Since the majority of the Eastern Rites impose only one hand to confer Holy Orders, it is impossible to maintain that an ordination so conferred in the Latin Rite would be “dubious.” Such would imply a substantialdifference between Holy Orders in the West and in the East — that the latter mode of ordination somehow “differs in name and in reality according to common use and estimation from that which Christ established.” In light of the Church’s constant teaching, this would be absurd.
It is evident, therefore, that the difference between the two impositions is nothing more than accidental — like the difference between the Eastern Rites and the Latin Rite in using for Mass, respectively, leavened and unleavened bread. Such a difference can in no way render a sacrament doubtful." This is a most powerful argument that I have not seen addressed.
 
3. UNANIMOUS CONSENT OF THEOLOGIANS
The Reader scoffs at the morally unanimous conclusion of the Church's most learned pre-Vatican II theologians/canonists declaring that ordination with one hand is valid as "theological opinions that do not have the endorsement of the Church." You've got to be kidding. These theologians were the intellectual heavyweights in both orthodoxy and learning whose manuals were approved by the Church for the training of Her priests in the seminary. This follows the illogical position of the Feeneyites who reject the teaching on Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire because they will only heed ex cathedra pronouncements (and then only THEIR understanding of it). According to them, everyone was mistaken except Fr. Feeney.  Analogously, if several medical doctors of great learning told you that an operation was necessary to save your life, who would be foolish enough to dismiss it as "mere medical opinion" and attempt to "treat" yourself?  I challenge The Reader to give one full citation to any pre-Vatican II theologian declaring one handed ordinations dubious (I won't hold my breath).
4. CONCLUSION
Ordination with one hand must be considered as morally certain as Baptism of Blood and Baptism of Desire. To state otherwise is to put fear into the faithful that their Masses and Sacraments are dubious when the evidence---aside from bickering over Latin phrases---has not been refuted that such ordinations (if proven) are nevertheless valid.
So there you have it folks, poor reasoning, bad theology, and malicious name calling worthy of children in kindergarten. There is one response to me from "The Watcher" that is so uncharitable in name-calling and vitriol, I could only shake my head in disbelief. No reasoned argument about one handed ordinations, just more ad hominem claptrap. At the risk of sounding uncharitable myself, I suggest that those responsible for the posts on Pistorina Liturgica start reading  the labels on their lithium and watch more carefully the amount they take.

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