"The Preachers chiefly shall take heed that they teach nothing in their preaching, which they would have the people religiously to observe and believe, but that which is agreeable to the Doctrine of the Old Testament and the New, and that which the Catholick Fathers and Ancient Bishops have gathered out of that Doctrine." A proposed canon of Elizabeth I, 1571

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Location: Bedford, Texas, United States

I am a presbyter in the diocese of Fort Worth, Texas (Anglican Church in North America). I serve as Chaplain at St. Vincent's School and as a canon of St. Vincent's Cathedral Church in Bedford, Texas. In addition to my parish duties and teaching Religion classes in the school I am also the Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Dulles, JP II, and the Eucharistic Church

Avery Cardinal Dulles' recent reflections on John Paul of Rome's theology of the "eucharistic Church" are well worth a read. They may be found here .
The image above is from Giotto's "Last Supper" fresco in the Arena Chapel, Padua, 1304-06. Posted by Hello


Blogger Father Nelson said...


This brings to mind a very interesting question. It is a simple fact that WO brings about schism, but not only schism. It is eucharistic unity that is broken. Bishopesses makes this issue even more acute. The question is: what is more important? Doctrinal unity, or eucharistic unity.

I'm gonna go with eucharistic. Reason? Until 1054 the Church had Eucharistic unity, and sustained many doctrinal divisions over original sin, filioque, iconoclasm, etc. It was only when eucharistic unity came to a halt that there was real and official division. The problem is that Anglicans have Eucharistic unity with all the baptized. Yet, I could not receive in a large majority of ECUSA parishes.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The unity is both eucharistic and doctrinal because one needs to doctrinally consent to the communion in which he/she partakes. Maybe I did not understand what Lee meant, but this is my response...

I also have other comments to add regarding the cosmic references in the Introduction of the Holy Father's encyclical, references to Fr. Teihlard de Chardin, SJ which Cardinal Dulles appeases but in which I rest a bit perturbed because such poetic comments should not be in a dogmatic document. If we are talking about doctrine, then we must necessarily be careful about the language we use. Being in the field of Literature myself, I appreciate poetry and its richness, finding in effect a place for it in theology, but dogmatic documents need to have a different language than speculative and literary theological documents.

The general tune of the encyclical shows how Vatican II ecclesiology has changed its focus from the Passion and Resurrection to the Resurrection. After all, Cardinal Dulles, SJ, an ecclesiologist, gives it an ecclesiological reading, and we can see how such a "cosmic" reading of the Eucharist indeed has this Resurrection-directed focus.

We see this focus in the Novus Ordo Missae when we see how the Mysterium Fidei now comes after the consecration of the Precious Blood and expresses, "Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again." At a moment when we are supposed to be most focused on the Sacrifice of the Blood Christ (such is the moment of the second consecration, as opposed to the first consecration of the Eucharist which indicates the birth of the Body of Christ), we are supposed to be thinking about the Passion. In the Old Rite, the Mysterium Fidei was actually inserted right at the second consecration to stress this great mystery of Faith. Now, the new rite directs the focus on the Resurrection.

We see here how "Lex orandi, Lex credendi." It is indeed a matter of doctrine because the Eucharist is slowly understood in its complexity through doctrine, through reflection and, if I may so, "intellectual and spiritual growth."

God bless, Francesco

5:34 PM  

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