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Author Topic: Bishop Aquila receives Pope's praise for reordering sacraments  (Read 1514 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: March 09, 2012, 08:34:08 AM »

Quote
Rome, Italy, Mar 8, 2012 / 03:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo [North Dakota] said he is delighted to have first-hand papal approval for changing the order by which children in his diocese receive the sacraments.

“I was very surprised in what the Pope said to me, in terms of how happy he was that the sacraments of initiation have been restored to their proper order of baptism, confirmation then first Eucharist,” said Bishop Aquila, after meeting Pope Benedict on March 8.
....
Over the past seven years the Diocese of Fargo has changed the typical order of the sacraments of initiation. Instead of confirmation coming third and at an older age, it is now conferred on children at a younger age and prior to First Communion.
 
Bishop Aquila said he made the changes because “it really puts the emphasis on the Eucharist as being what completes the sacraments of initiation” and on confirmation as “sealing and completing baptism.”
....
In response, he said, the Pope asked if he had “begun to speak to other bishops about this.” He told the pontiff that he had and that “certainly bishops within the Dakotas are now really looking towards the implementation in the restoration in the ordering of the sacraments.”
Why doesn't the good bishop just become Orthodox and get it over with? Cool
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 08:35:59 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 11:03:17 AM »

Quote
Rome, Italy, Mar 8, 2012 / 03:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo [North Dakota] said he is delighted to have first-hand papal approval for changing the order by which children in his diocese receive the sacraments.

“I was very surprised in what the Pope said to me, in terms of how happy he was that the sacraments of initiation have been restored to their proper order of baptism, confirmation then first Eucharist,” said Bishop Aquila, after meeting Pope Benedict on March 8.
....
Over the past seven years the Diocese of Fargo has changed the typical order of the sacraments of initiation. Instead of confirmation coming third and at an older age, it is now conferred on children at a younger age and prior to First Communion.
 
Bishop Aquila said he made the changes because “it really puts the emphasis on the Eucharist as being what completes the sacraments of initiation” and on confirmation as “sealing and completing baptism.”
....
In response, he said, the Pope asked if he had “begun to speak to other bishops about this.” He told the pontiff that he had and that “certainly bishops within the Dakotas are now really looking towards the implementation in the restoration in the ordering of the sacraments.”
Why doesn't the good bishop just become Orthodox and get it over with? Cool

You could ask him yourself  Cool!

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila
Office of the Bishop
5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A
Fargo, ND 58104-7605
Phone: 701-356-7944
FAX: 701-356-7999

Suzanne Nelson
Assistant to the Bishop
Phone: 701-356-7944

(But *will* you??)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 11:22:36 AM by J Michael » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 11:57:14 AM »

He is orthodox. Just not with a capital "O". LOL
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 12:06:03 PM »

Quote
Rome, Italy, Mar 8, 2012 / 03:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo [North Dakota] said he is delighted to have first-hand papal approval for changing the order by which children in his diocese receive the sacraments.

“I was very surprised in what the Pope said to me, in terms of how happy he was that the sacraments of initiation have been restored to their proper order of baptism, confirmation then first Eucharist,” said Bishop Aquila, after meeting Pope Benedict on March 8.
....
Over the past seven years the Diocese of Fargo has changed the typical order of the sacraments of initiation. Instead of confirmation coming third and at an older age, it is now conferred on children at a younger age and prior to First Communion.
 
Bishop Aquila said he made the changes because “it really puts the emphasis on the Eucharist as being what completes the sacraments of initiation” and on confirmation as “sealing and completing baptism.”
....
In response, he said, the Pope asked if he had “begun to speak to other bishops about this.” He told the pontiff that he had and that “certainly bishops within the Dakotas are now really looking towards the implementation in the restoration in the ordering of the sacraments.”
Why doesn't the good bishop just become Orthodox and get it over with? Cool

You could ask him yourself  Cool!

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila
Office of the Bishop
5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A
Fargo, ND 58104-7605
Phone: 701-356-7944
FAX: 701-356-7999

Suzanne Nelson
Assistant to the Bishop
Phone: 701-356-7944

(But *will* you??)


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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2012, 12:09:36 PM »

He is orthodox. Just not with a capital "O". LOL

 laugh laugh
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« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 12:29:28 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
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« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 12:56:08 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 12:56:19 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Because the reality of the Pope is different from the polemics.

That being said. Publicly approving the practice does say something to the rest of the bishops.
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 01:03:24 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 01:04:53 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2012, 01:07:15 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?

But the Sacraments of Initiation are not the same as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2012, 01:07:33 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".
Are you saying that the Pope necessarily is required to consult with the bishops and the faithful on this issue?
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2012, 01:33:47 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".
Are you saying that the Pope necessarily is required to consult with the bishops and the faithful on this issue?

Did he say that?
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2012, 01:36:25 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".
Are you saying that the Pope necessarily is required to consult with the bishops and the faithful on this issue?

Did he say that?
That's the question.
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If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
J Michael
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 01:43:43 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".
Are you saying that the Pope necessarily is required to consult with the bishops and the faithful on this issue?

Did he say that?
That's the question.

Well, I re-read his post and didn't see it there.  Did you?
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2012, 01:46:38 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Dude, Popes have been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for well over a century.
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2012, 03:13:50 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".
Are you saying that the Pope necessarily is required to consult with the bishops and the faithful on this issue?
Not necessarily saying that. I'm just pointing out how the authority of the Pope has been exercised over the past hundred years or so.
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« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2012, 06:41:04 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Dude, Popes have been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for well over a century.

wow..maybe time for an ex cathedra? Wink
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« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2012, 07:07:54 PM »

Perhaps there isn't an official papal statement on how they infer the first three of their sacraments, hence why the pope was like, dude, no worries.  As in, it's a trend not a mandate.
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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2012, 08:25:13 PM »

it's nice to see Rome slowly rediscovering it's Orthodox roots... angel
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« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2012, 11:06:59 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

This is proof positive that very few people really know what the dickens papal primacy means. 

The pope is NOT a CEO.

Bishops in synod/conference do what they believe is best for their flocks.  Sometimes they agree and the practices are uniform and sometimes they do not agree and the practices are not uniform.

From the discussions I've seen here about Orthodox practices, this should be somewhat familiar.
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« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2012, 03:09:25 AM »

Quote
Rome, Italy, Mar 8, 2012 / 03:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo [North Dakota] said he is delighted to have first-hand papal approval for changing the order by which children in his diocese receive the sacraments.

“I was very surprised in what the Pope said to me, in terms of how happy he was that the sacraments of initiation have been restored to their proper order of baptism, confirmation then first Eucharist,” said Bishop Aquila, after meeting Pope Benedict on March 8.
....
Over the past seven years the Diocese of Fargo has changed the typical order of the sacraments of initiation. Instead of confirmation coming third and at an older age, it is now conferred on children at a younger age and prior to First Communion.
 
Bishop Aquila said he made the changes because “it really puts the emphasis on the Eucharist as being what completes the sacraments of initiation” and on confirmation as “sealing and completing baptism.”
....
In response, he said, the Pope asked if he had “begun to speak to other bishops about this.” He told the pontiff that he had and that “certainly bishops within the Dakotas are now really looking towards the implementation in the restoration in the ordering of the sacraments.”
Why doesn't the good bishop just become Orthodox and get it over with? Cool

You could ask him yourself  Cool!

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila
Office of the Bishop
5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A
Fargo, ND 58104-7605
Phone: 701-356-7944
FAX: 701-356-7999

Suzanne Nelson
Assistant to the Bishop
Phone: 701-356-7944

(But *will* you??)
The good bishop is currently in Rome, but I did get an emailed reply from his office:

Quote
Bishop Aquila is currently in Rome for meetings with the Holy Father and the Roman Curia, so I will respond on his behalf.
 
I think Bishop Aquila's motivation for restoring the order of the sacraments was theological, with some history.  The West and the East both shared the same order for many centuries.  It really wasn't until Piux X lowered the first communion age in the early 20th century that the order was interrupted.
 
Bishop Aquila has no Orthodox or Eastern Christian heritage, but would have a vision similar to Blessed Pope John Paul II in his letter 'Light of the East'.
 
For more on confirmation age, please see a recent talk of Bishop Aquila, please see:
 
http://www.fargodiocese.org/bishop/HillenbrandLectureOnConfirmation.pdf
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 03:09:46 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2012, 02:06:48 PM »

nice... Cool
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« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2012, 02:42:48 PM »

Quote
Rome, Italy, Mar 8, 2012 / 03:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo [North Dakota] said he is delighted to have first-hand papal approval for changing the order by which children in his diocese receive the sacraments.

“I was very surprised in what the Pope said to me, in terms of how happy he was that the sacraments of initiation have been restored to their proper order of baptism, confirmation then first Eucharist,” said Bishop Aquila, after meeting Pope Benedict on March 8.
....
Over the past seven years the Diocese of Fargo has changed the typical order of the sacraments of initiation. Instead of confirmation coming third and at an older age, it is now conferred on children at a younger age and prior to First Communion.
 
Bishop Aquila said he made the changes because “it really puts the emphasis on the Eucharist as being what completes the sacraments of initiation” and on confirmation as “sealing and completing baptism.”
....
In response, he said, the Pope asked if he had “begun to speak to other bishops about this.” He told the pontiff that he had and that “certainly bishops within the Dakotas are now really looking towards the implementation in the restoration in the ordering of the sacraments.”
Why doesn't the good bishop just become Orthodox and get it over with? Cool

You could ask him yourself  Cool!

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila
Office of the Bishop
5201 Bishops Blvd., Suite A
Fargo, ND 58104-7605
Phone: 701-356-7944
FAX: 701-356-7999

Suzanne Nelson
Assistant to the Bishop
Phone: 701-356-7944

(But *will* you??)
The good bishop is currently in Rome, but I did get an emailed reply from his office:

Quote
Bishop Aquila is currently in Rome for meetings with the Holy Father and the Roman Curia, so I will respond on his behalf.
 
I think Bishop Aquila's motivation for restoring the order of the sacraments was theological, with some history.  The West and the East both shared the same order for many centuries.  It really wasn't until Piux X lowered the first communion age in the early 20th century that the order was interrupted.
 
Bishop Aquila has no Orthodox or Eastern Christian heritage, but would have a vision similar to Blessed Pope John Paul II in his letter 'Light of the East'.
 
For more on confirmation age, please see a recent talk of Bishop Aquila, please see:
 
http://www.fargodiocese.org/bishop/HillenbrandLectureOnConfirmation.pdf

Well done!  Now we know.
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« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2012, 03:16:43 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

This is proof positive that very few people really know what the dickens papal primacy means. 

The pope is NOT a CEO.

Bishops in synod/conference do what they believe is best for their flocks.  Sometimes they agree and the practices are uniform and sometimes they do not agree and the practices are not uniform.

From the discussions I've seen here about Orthodox practices, this should be somewhat familiar.

In reply to a post I wrote on a different thread, someone posted a cartoon of Don Quixote famously tilting at an ogre-like windmill.  I think they were trying to say that my efforts at whatever we were discussing (which I've since forgotten) were futile.  I think the same just may apply here with regards to your repeated efforts, valiant and faithful to the Catholic Church though they are, to try to convince the Orthodox windmill that our Pope is not a CEO.  He is not.  But many here would dearly love him to be so and won't be convinced otherwise.

I suppose one could turn the analogy around slightly and say that it is the Orthodox as Don Quixote who wrongly see the Pope (the windmill) to be an ogre-like giant (CEO) instead of the what he really is, the Vicar of Christ.  Those same folks will endlessly tilt at the Pope in an effort to bring him down, but it is *their* efforts, in this analogy (and in reality), that are delusional and futile.  I know it isn't a perfect analogy, but interesting to ponder nonetheless. 

(I suppose now we could have yet another "discussion" about the role of the Pope and what his authority is and what papal primacy is, etc., etc.,  but I reckon all that's been hashed and rehashed and rehashed again here, and there are ample materials available online and in books which cover this quite thoroughly.) 
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« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2012, 06:25:20 PM »

I think the same just may apply here with regards to your repeated efforts, valiant and faithful to the Catholic Church though they are, to try to convince the Orthodox windmill that our Pope is not a CEO.  He is not.  But many here would dearly love him to be so and won't be convinced otherwise.

Possibly, but I'm not convinced that people on this forum think of the pope as a CEO to begin with (in which case the effort to convince them otherwise is definitely in vain  Cheesy).
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« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2012, 09:10:34 PM »

I think the same just may apply here with regards to your repeated efforts, valiant and faithful to the Catholic Church though they are, to try to convince the Orthodox windmill that our Pope is not a CEO.  He is not.  But many here would dearly love him to be so and won't be convinced otherwise.

Possibly, but I'm not convinced that people on this forum think of the pope as a CEO to begin with (in which case the effort to convince them otherwise is definitely in vain  Cheesy).

You could be right about that  Wink, and then it would indeed be in vain to try to convince them.  Well, it probably is *anyway*  laugh.  So, whether they consider him to be a CEO, a windmill, a giant, an ogre, or anything else they think he is that he isn't, trying to convince them otherwise is.........tilting at windmills.  laugh
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« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2012, 04:05:41 AM »

I think the same just may apply here with regards to your repeated efforts, valiant and faithful to the Catholic Church though they are, to try to convince the Orthodox windmill that our Pope is not a CEO.  He is not.  But many here would dearly love him to be so and won't be convinced otherwise.

Possibly, but I'm not convinced that people on this forum think of the pope as a CEO to begin with (in which case the effort to convince them otherwise is definitely in vain  Cheesy).

Thank you Peter. From my perspective, the futility/recurrance of this debate comes largely from the fact that the two sides are actually having separate discussions. The RCs want to discuss 'how' the Pope exercises his authority (i.e., 'not like a CEO', 'in/after consultation with his bishops', etc). Orthodox are not concerned about 'how' he exercises his authority but in 'what' authority he has, and after that 'why' he exercises what he has in any particular way.

In other words, it's a Roman concern whether the Pope exercises his power 'like a CEO', 'like a king', 'like a good shepherd', 'like a dictator', 'as the vicar of Christ', etc--you assume the authority and so only find how it is or should be expressed to be interesting. For Orthodox, on the other hand, that question is entirely marginal to *does* he have the authority.

Thus the question on this thread--does the Pope have the authority to put out a formal bull stating 'first communion should always follow confirmation'? Or to put it another way, if the Pope did put out such a bull, would RC's consider it as authoritative (i.e., something they *had* to follow or be in rebellion against the Church)? If the answer is 'yes'  (as I believe Papist has implied it is), then simply saying 'the Pope is not a CEO' doesn't answer the question of why he chooses not to use it.
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« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2012, 07:26:25 AM »

The sad thing in this is that there's something exceptational in that bishop's order. The traditional order of the sacraments should be self-evident.

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".

But theoretically speaking, could popes do it by themselves without consulting anyone if they wanted to?
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« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2012, 08:06:01 AM »

Quote
this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".

But theoretically speaking, could popes do it by themselves without consulting anyone if they wanted to?

Well, theoretically speaking, there's no reason a repeat of the Reformation couldn't happen.
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« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2012, 08:10:41 AM »

LOL. I understand that point of view but that doesn't really answer my question.
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« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2012, 12:06:59 PM »

I think the same just may apply here with regards to your repeated efforts, valiant and faithful to the Catholic Church though they are, to try to convince the Orthodox windmill that our Pope is not a CEO.  He is not.  But many here would dearly love him to be so and won't be convinced otherwise.

Possibly, but I'm not convinced that people on this forum think of the pope as a CEO to begin with (in which case the effort to convince them otherwise is definitely in vain  Cheesy).

Thank you Peter. From my perspective, the futility/recurrance of this debate comes largely from the fact that the two sides are actually having separate discussions. The RCs want to discuss 'how' the Pope exercises his authority (i.e., 'not like a CEO', 'in/after consultation with his bishops', etc). Orthodox are not concerned about 'how' he exercises his authority but in 'what' authority he has, and after that 'why' he exercises what he has in any particular way.

In other words, it's a Roman concern whether the Pope exercises his power 'like a CEO', 'like a king', 'like a good shepherd', 'like a dictator', 'as the vicar of Christ', etc--you assume the authority and so only find how it is or should be expressed to be interesting. For Orthodox, on the other hand, that question is entirely marginal to *does* he have the authority.

Thus the question on this thread--does the Pope have the authority to put out a formal bull stating 'first communion should always follow confirmation'? Or to put it another way, if the Pope did put out such a bull, would RC's consider it as authoritative (i.e., something they *had* to follow or be in rebellion against the Church)? If the answer is 'yes'  (as I believe Papist has implied it is), then simply saying 'the Pope is not a CEO' doesn't answer the question of why he chooses not to use it.

So I guess we're back to Don Quixote tilting at windmills  Wink.  We, Catholics, assume his role by our futile attempts at explaining to and convincing the Orthodox that yes, the Pope does indeed have the authority we claim he has; you, Orthodox, assume Don Quixote's role in your futile attempts to convince us otherwise.  I definitely know the issue will not be settled on this forum.  Perhaps one day our respective Churches will work it out to everybody's satisfaction, but I doubt it'll happen in my lifetime----being the old fuddy-duddy I am, that is   Wink.  But as I've said before, with God anything is possible.

As for why the Pope chooses not to use his authority, I think it really depends on any given situation, and in some cases, the wiser course is to use it; in others the wiser course is not to.  I think one would need to be inside the Pope's mind to always have a clear idea about why he does or doesn't do this, that, or the other. 
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« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2012, 12:31:21 PM »

LOL. I understand that point of view but that doesn't really answer my question.

Well, I guess if you are interested in the theoretical/hypothetical question of whether the Pope could do it (completely disregarding the imprudence of it) -- and I'm not really sure that you should be concerned about such a thing -- then I'm willing to take a shot at answering it.

But first I think we'd need to clarify what's being asked. When we say "Can he or can't he?" we obviously don't mean "Is he physically capable of writing out the decree?" but rather "Would such a degree be binding?" right? (Feel free to suggest a more appropriate word than "binding".)

I don't know the answer to that in principle, but on a practical level I would say yes; he could make it practically binding simply by excommunicating anyone who didn't fall in line.

(Now I think I'll go eat something to get away from all this hypothetical/theoretical thinking.)
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« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2012, 01:57:03 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Dude, Popes have been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for well over a century.

It was Pope St. Pius X who instituted it.
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« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2012, 02:46:51 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Dude, Popes have been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for well over a century.

It was Pope St. Pius X who instituted it.

That's a common misconception.
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« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2012, 03:25:57 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Dude, Popes have been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for well over a century.

It was Pope St. Pius X who instituted it.

That's a common misconception.

Then who did?  Can you cite a source?
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« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2012, 06:31:10 PM »

and I'm not really sure that you should be concerned about such a thing

Of course I'm not concerned about it on a personal level but I have a sort of academic interest in all kinds of religious groups. Complete waste of time maybe but then again people tend to have all kinds of weirdo hobbies. At least I'm not larping. At least not yet...

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"Would such a degree be binding?"

Yes, this is what I was asking. Thank you for the answer. Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2012, 07:08:03 PM »

The sad thing in this is that there's something exceptational in that bishop's order. The traditional order of the sacraments should be self-evident.

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?
Because the Pope tries not to be a heavy handed monarch. He is shepherd, not emperor.
But didn't the Pope issue the motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, in 2007, declaring the priests may freely privately celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and that priests should accept laypeople's requests for a priest to celebrate the Extraordinary Form for them?
Yes, after much collaboration with bishops and the faithful. Only then did he make this decision "for the Church".

But theoretically speaking, could popes do it by themselves without consulting anyone if they wanted to?

Not really, no.  Because the authority given to the pope is one of protecting union and truth.  He cannot do that outside of consultation with the bishops. That is explicitly stated in the apostolic constitution. 

 IF on the off chance that every bishop in the Church enters into de facto heresy, then the promise is, that the Holy Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit will be given the insight and ability to lead the faithful in truth and in communion.
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« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2012, 08:29:58 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Dude, Popes have been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for well over a century.

It was Pope St. Pius X who instituted it.

That's a common misconception.

What is the misconception?  Pope St Pius X ordered the First Confession and First Communion to be lowered to the age of seven.  He said nothing of Confirmation.  He and every Pope since have had the opportunity to demand Confirmation be administered before First Communion but have allowed the order of Confession-Communion-Confirmation to continue.
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« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2012, 08:40:39 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Dude, Popes have been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for well over a century.

It was Pope St. Pius X who instituted it.

That's a common misconception.

What is the misconception?  Pope St Pius X ordered the First Confession and First Communion to be lowered to the age of seven.  He said nothing of Confirmation.  He and every Pope since have had the opportunity to demand Confirmation be administered before First Communion but have allowed the order of Confession-Communion-Confirmation to continue.

That's more-or-less correct, but it should be noted that popes had already been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for a couple generations before Quam Singulari. Also, popes continued to push for the traditional order even after Quam Singulari.
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« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2012, 09:20:43 PM »

this kind of confuses me...if the pope approves of this practice, why doesn't he change it himself or at least bring it before the magisterium, instead of telling the bishop to "talk other bishops" about it?

Dude, Popes have been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for well over a century.

It was Pope St. Pius X who instituted it.

That's a common misconception.

What is the misconception?  Pope St Pius X ordered the First Confession and First Communion to be lowered to the age of seven.  He said nothing of Confirmation.  He and every Pope since have had the opportunity to demand Confirmation be administered before First Communion but have allowed the order of Confession-Communion-Confirmation to continue.

That's more-or-less correct, but it should be noted that popes had already been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for a couple generations before Quam Singulari. Also, popes continued to push for the traditional order even after Quam Singulari.

Sorry Peter not buying it.  The Pope could institute the change tomorrow if he wanted and the bishops would have the excuse: "the Pope's making us do it."  The truth is I think the majority of bishops agree with Bishop Aquila theologically speaking.  Practically speaking they know if they do it half the kids (or more) will stop coming to catechism and the Pope knows it as well.
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« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2012, 09:56:41 PM »

Sorry Peter not buying it. 

If this is in regard to my last sentence

That's more-or-less correct, but it should be noted that popes had already been fighting the communion-before-confirmation practice for a couple generations before Quam Singulari. Also, popes continued to push for the traditional order even after Quam Singulari.

then I think I can be of assistance. Even 22 years after Quam singulari the Sacred Congregation on Sacraments issued this statement:

Quote
It is truly opportune and more conformable to the nature and effects of
the sacrament of confirmation, that children should only approach the
sacred table for the first time after the reception of the sacrament of
confirmation, which is, as it were, the complement of baptism and in
which is given the fullness of the Holy Spirit (St. Thomas, III, q. 72, art.
2). However, these same should not be considered prohibited from the
same table before they are admitted, if they had attained the years of
discretion, even though they were not able to receive the sacrament of
confirmation previously.30

thus showing that confirmation-before-communion wasn't a dead issue even in 1932 (although there's no question that Quam singulari did play a very significant role).
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« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2012, 10:25:27 PM »

Half-hearted suggestions are not fighting.   
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