Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Mark Shea Missing the Point

When I get letters like this…
July 8, 2014 By Mark Shea

Anyway, a reader whose email handle is “syllabus.errorum” writes coyly in that “just wondering” way:
Quoting Letter
Mr Shea, Recently Pope Francis bowed and received a blessing from The Archbishop of Canterbury and Cardinal O’Malley received a blessing from a Female minister at a Methodist Temple. What’s going on? Thanks!
Don’t know anything about either story, but Jesus had his feet washed by a prostitute–and she wasn’t ordained at all. Bottom line: They are humble men. That’s the problem?

Er, no. A blessing formally given (not as in "God bless you" but as in using one's hands on the head or above the head of someone) and a service performed are two different things, the one implying superiority (at least occasional one) of giver of the blessing and the other implying rather inferiority and acknowledged such of performer. Isaac did not bless Abraham, nor bow down to Jacob so Jacob could bless him.

If Bergoglio were really Pope, he would definitely be superior in all ways to the Archbishop (improperly so called) of Canterbury. And if the latter wanted to wash the feet with tears, and dry them with his beard, that might be one thing. I really do not think a Pope should resort to accepting so extreme gestures from heretical clergy submitting - the problem being that giving a blessing was hardly a submission. It is the contrary. It is claiming a superiority.

If Bergoglio is not Pope, then he is not superior to the non-Archbishop of Canterbury. Oh, wait, if his sacerdotal ordination is valid, he is. So, if he is neither Pope nor even priest, then he is not superior to the non-priest and non-Archbishop of Canterbury, and in that case he could receive the blessing, if not in confidence at least without doing injury to his own office.

However, since he appears before so many Novus-Ordo Catholics as being a priest, a bishop, and their Pope, he is doing injury to the offices he appears to them as upholding.

However, if Mark Shea's defense of "Pope Francis" is very incomplete, he got one thing right: the woman who washed the feet of Our Lord wasn't ordained at all. And that is at least something. A clear parallel to Anglican "clergy" of either sex.*

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
St Elisabeth of Portugal

*Certainly so if Pope Leo XIII was right about Anglican orders.

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