Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

October AD 2012
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

Q&A Archives
Pius XI on Christ the King
Reception Under Both Forms?
Müller on Transubstantiation
Moving the Book?

Our Lady of the Rosary

Words from the Fathers, Doctors, Popes and Saints
Pope Pius XI on the Kingship of Christ

     17. It would be a grave error ... to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs, since, by virtue of the absolute empire over all creatures committed to him by the Father, all things are in his power. Nevertheless, during his life on earth he refrained from the exercise of such authority, and although he himself disdained to possess or to care for earthly goods, he did not, nor does he today, interfere with those who possess them. Non eripit mortalia qui regna dat caelestia. [He takes no earthly realms away who gives the crown that lasts for aye. (Hymn at Vespers of the Epiphany)]

    18. Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ." [Encyclical Annum Sacrum, May 25, 1899]  Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved." [Acts iv, 12]  He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?" [Saint Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, ad Macedonium, c. iii.] If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation." [Encyclical Ubi Arcano][1]



Reception Under Both Forms?
Our Lady of the Rosary

    Question:  I was meditating on this and would like your opinion.  I think both the Traditional Church and the Novus Ordo are not following one important command of Jesus.  Let me explain:  Neither of the churches are following the command of “drink this cup.”  In the traditional church the words of the consecration are exact, but with the excuse of saying that the whole Body and Blood of Jesus is in the host, both the Traditional church and the Novus Ordo take for granted that Jesus did not care if the faithful actually drank the cup of His Blood in His memory.  In my opinion, it is not enough to be very careful to follow the words of the consecration.  To be totally obedient to the Lord in such an important sacrament, it is necessary in my opinion to also give the Cup of His Blood along with the Host during Communion.  We are all disobeying Him in this command.  What is your opinion?  (L.M., Miami)

    Answer:  At the Last Supper, the Apostles did more than attend Mass.  They were also made priests; given the power to renew the Sacrifice of the Cross by doing what Jesus did at the Supper.  The commands to "take and eat" and "take and drink" are commands to priests who are renewing the Sacrifice.  Theologians speak of the Sacrifice being accomplished by the separate consecration of the Host and Chalice, followed by the reception of both—sometimes called a “mystical sword,” an outward sign of the separation of our Lord's lifeblood from His body.  This “outward sign” produces the effect which it signifies, as do all of the sacramental outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace.

    For those who attend Mass but who are not Its principal celebrant, it is adequate to receive Communion under either form, Host or Chalice, for they are receiving the body and blood of the living Christ, which cannot be separated and still be living.  This is much like the case of the loan shark in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, who is foiled by the judge's ruling that he must take his pound of flesh only if he can do so without taking a drop of blood, which of course he cannot do with a living body.

    Even the con-celebrating priests—apart from the principal celebrant—can receive under one form.  They have truly offered the Sacrifice by participating in the separate consecration of Host and Chalice, and the principal celebrant will “complete the Sacrifice” by consuming the contents of the chalice which together they consecrated.

    One still might ask, “what reason is there for the communicants not to receive both forms?”  There are several answers:

    a) If the Blessed Sacrament is to be reserved for the veneration of the faithful, for the Communion of the sick, or for benediction, it is far easier and more prudent to reserve and carry the consecrated Host alone.  The danger of spilling the Precious Blood on a sick call should make any priest shudder.  Intincting the Hosts with a drop of consecrated wine would probably turn them to mush or mold in a short period of time.

    b) Even within the church, some danger of spilling the Precious Blood remains, together with the possibility that someone might sneeze or slobber into the chalice.  In modern times we have become aware that germs can be passed on the chalice, and know that the alcoholic appearances of the Precious Blood are inadequate to kill those germs.

    c) As Catholics we know that the Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is real, extending to every fragment and drop of the two forms.  Unlike the Protestant, to whom the symbolism of bread and wine as representing our Lord's Body and Blood is the only reality of the Holy Eucharist, the Catholic knows he can and should treat the Blessed Sacrament with all possible reverence, even if the symbolic value is slightly diminished.

    While we know L.M. to be orthodox in her beliefs, the following definition by the Council of Constance in 1545 should be mentioned.  After explaining why reception under both forms is unnecessary, the Council went on to write:

Therefore, to say that to observe this custom or law is a sacrilege or illicit must be considered erroneous, and those pertinaciously asserting the opposite of the above mentioned must be avoided as heretics and should be severely punished, either by the local diocesan officials or by the inquisitors of heretical depravity.[2]

Suggested reading:

    Summa Theologica III Q76 a.2


Our Lady of the Rosary

    Continued from last month:  The month before last  we mentioned the newly appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, and the strange notions he has expressed in print:

·                Acceptance of so-called “liberation theology.”

·                Denial of the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Mother.

·                Denial of transubstantiation.

·                Acceptance of at least some Protestants as members in full Communion with the Catholic Church.

    We have discussed the Marxist leanings of “liberation theology,” and the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It is time to examine the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence.


    As part of the magnificent office written for the feast of Corpus Christi around 1264, Saint Thomas gave us the Sequence Lauda Sion, containing the following verses, indicative of the Church’s belief:

In faith thus strong the Christian hears:

Christ's very Flesh as bread appears,

And as wine His precious Blood,

Though we feel it not, nor see it,

Living faith does so decree it,

All defects of sense makes good.


Yes, beneath the species dual

(Signs not things), is hid a jewel

Far beyond creation's reach!

Though as food His Flesh He hides,

Beneath the wine His Blood abides--

Undivided under each.

    Contrast Saint Thomas’ (and the Church’s) understanding with that of the new Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

    The essential definition of bread and wine has to be conceived in an anthropological way. The natural essence of these offerings [bread and wine] as the fruit of the earth and the work of human hands, as the unity of natural and cultural products consists in clarifying the nourishment and sustenance of man and the communion of the people in the sign of a common meal [...]. This natural essence of bread and wine is transfigured by God in the sense that the essence of bread and wine is made to consist exclusively in showing and realizing the salvific communion with God.[3]


    In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality.  Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine.[4]

    It is difficult to impossible to reconcile this talk of anthropology, culture, “sign of a common meal,” “showing” and transfiguration of essence with the real Presence as defined by the Council of Trent against the Protestant “reformers”:

    If anyone says that the Body and Blood together with His whole Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore the whole Christ, is truly, really and substantially contained in the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist, but says that Christ is present in the Sacrament only as in a sign or figure or by His power, let him be anathema."[5]

    It is, perhaps, even more disturbing to find a similar anti-Tridentine explanation of the Eucharistic presence of Christ advanced by an earlier Prefect of the same Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

    But this is not a statement of physics. It has never been asserted that, so to say, nature in a physical sense is being changed. The transformation reaches down to a more profound level.  Tradition has it that this is a metaphysical process. Christ lays hold upon what is, from a purely physical viewpoint, bread and wine, in its inmost being, so that it is changed from within and Christ truly gives himself in them.[6]


    The transformation happens, which affects the gifts we bring by taking them up into a higher order and changes them, even if we cannot measure what happens. When material things are taken into our body as nourishment, or for that matter whenever any material becomes part of a living organism, it remains the same, and yet as part of a new whole it is itself changed. Something similar happens here. The Lord takes possession of the bread and the wine; he lifts them up, as it were, out of the setting of their normal existence into a new order; even if, from a purely physical point of view, they remain the same , they have become profoundly different.[7]

    No change “in a physical sense”?  “From a purely physical point of view, they remain the same”?  Amazing!  It would seem that the Holy See is trying desperately to make Itself irrelevant to the Catholic Faith!

    “Tradition has it that this is a metaphysical process.”  Aha!  Perhaps this is the root of the problem.  Of course it is a metaphysical process, for metaphysics deals with the very question of being and existence.  In this sense, physics, which deals with a certain order of being, is a part of metaphysics.  But as it is, so to speak, a “sword with a sharper edge,” metaphysics is capable of distinguishing between substance and accident.  It doesn’t depend on the microscopic, the molecular, the subatomic, or even the quantum appearances of bread and wine, but looks to a change of substance alone.  Of course It still looks like, smells, like, tastes like, weighs like, measures like, and feels like bread and wine, but those are mere accidents—it is the substance that has been changed.  Bread and wine are nottransformed” as that mindless rendition of Tantum ergo would have us sing—rather the bread and wine are “transubstantiated,” their substance becoming the substance of our Lord’s body and blood, soul and divinity.[8]

    Too many modern people equate metaphysics with magic or the occult—a magic wand with a core of phoenix feather, dragon heartstring, or unicorn hair, capable of making what is not into what is, with utter disregard to reality.  But magic and the occult are a poor substitute for the omnipotence of Almighty God, Who makes the laws of creation, and sets them aside when it is His will.  (We will come back to the question of miracles as actual suspensions of the laws of nature—and not mere delusions of the observers—at a later time.

    As Saint Thomas wrote: “Signis tantum, et non rebus—signs, not things” are what we perceive with the senses.  It is “living faith” ... that “all defects of sense makes good.”  We know that in Holy Communion we receive the body and blood of Christ because He—Truth Himself—told us that He would give it to us, that if we did not receive It we would not have life in us, and then gave It to us at the Last Supper.[9]  God, the Son of God, has so told us. And faith, after all is the “Divine virtue by which we firmly believe the truths which God has revealed.”[10]  Faith would far better be served if the Prefects concerned with its doctrine would refrain from explaining it away.

[To be continued.]

Epistle Side-Gospel Side?
Our Lady of the Rosary

    Question:  Why is the missal moved from one side of the altar to the other, and then back again?  Who determined which side is the “Gospel side,” and which is the “Epistle side.”

    Answer:  The places for reading the Epistle and Gospel are more or less standardized in the Roman Mass since Pope Saint Pius V.  In earlier times there was considerable variation.  The earliest establishment of direction in churches was the placement of the altar at the eastern end of the church, although some earlier churches placed it at the western end.  In many churches an elevated reading desk or podium was provided for the lector and subdeacon to read the Old Testament and non-Gospel passages from the New Testament.  As the Gospel is considered more important, a separate and often more elaborate podium was provided for the deacon to read or sing the it.  The movement of the book at low Mass is in imitation of the shift from one podium to another.

    The placement of the lecterns seems to have depended upon the orientation of the church, and the location of the bishop’s throne within the church.  There was also a measure of symbolism in that the early church flourished in southern latitudes where people often lived in fear of the “barbarians” from the north.  North became associated with evil, and the Gospel was often read while facing in that direction to give the power of the Gospel the greatest opportunity to combat that evil.[11]  In the Mass of Saint Pius the deacon faces north, while the subdeacon holds the book for him in place of a lectern.  At low Mass the priest reads the Gospel on a north-east angle so the book can remain on the altar and not require someone or something at the west end to hold the book.

    The book remains at the Gospel side for the Offertory and Canon of the Mass, both because of the importance of these prayers and to facilitate making the sign of the cross over the offerings with the right hand while being able to turn pages with the left.  After Holy Communion, the Canon is over and the book is returned to the Epistle side.  Only if a proper last Gospel is read is the book moved again to the northern end of the altar.



[1]   Pope Pius XI, Quas primas, 11 December 1925, paragraphs 17 & 18  emphasis added.

[2]   Constance, “Definition of Communion under One Species,” Session XIII, 15 June 1415.  Dz. 626.

[3]   Gerhard Müller, Die Messe - Quelle des christlichen Lebens (St. Ulrich Verlag, Augsburg) translation at

[4]   Ibid.

[5]   Council of Trent, Session 13, canon1

[6]   Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, God and the World (A conversation with Peter Seewald (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2002), page 408.

[7]   Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, The Heart of Life (2003), cited at

[9]   Cf. John vi, Matthew xxvi:26-28, Mark xiv: 22-24, Luke xxii: 19-20

[10]   Baltimore Catechism #2, Q. 107

[11]   Joseph A. Jungmann, SJ, The Mass of the Roman Rite, (New York: Benziger, 1951), page 413-414.


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