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Comments on Mike Duddy’s Article on the
Eucharistic Form of the Consecration of the Wine

By Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

In a recent article posted on the web site of Dr. Robert Sungenis, Mr. Mike Duddy presented a defense for the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae based upon his extensive parsing of the Latin text of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. Mr. Duddy concludes that the only words necessary to consecrate the wine at Holy Mass are the words “This is My Blood,” and therefore the change of the words “for many” to “for all” would not invalidate the consecration. He claims that “the matter was ultimately, authoritatively settled by an authority higher than Thomas.”

“When, therefore, you shall see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place: he that readeth, let him understand...” (Matt. 24:15)
 

Now if this were true, one should surely find conclusive evidence among the theologians (post publication of Catechism of the Council of Trent) that “This is My Blood” is all that is required to validly consecrate the wine. Surely one should find in the teachings of theologians that the matter had been settled authoritatively and that none of them would therefore question this matter further. However, herein lies the precise problem with Mr. Duddy’s article. Many theologians who taught well after the publication of the Catechism of the Council of Trent do not teach what Mr. Duddy concludes — that the matter has been ultimately and authoritatively settled. There are a number of theologians who teach that the entire form as is found in the Canon of the Mass is required for validity. And there are also other theologians who speculatively teach that the short form is sufficient; however, these theologians make it perfectly clear that IN PRACTICE, a priest would sin mortally were he to use only the short form (This is My Blood) and that he would be required to repeat the entire form conditionally.

What Have Theologians Taught?

The Administration of the Sacraments (1962) by Fr. Nicholas Halligan, O.P., alumnus of the Angelicum of Rome, where he received his doctorate in Sacred Theology, and a professor in the Pontifical Theological Faculty of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.:

“The form of consecration of the bread is: “Hoc est enim corpus meum,” of the wine: “Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti, mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.” The word “enim” does not pertain to validity and its omission is a venial sin. The words which precede these formulas, viz., “Qui pridie... Simili modo...” in no way pertain to the form. It is commonly taught today that the essential words of the form of the Eucharist—and their omission would invalidate the form—are: “Hoc est corpus meum,” “Hic est calix sanguinis mei” (or “Hic ast sanguis meus”). Some hold that the remaining words “novi et...” are essential. In practice it is gravely prescribed to pronounce the entire form; if any of the words from “novi et...” on are omitted, the whole form is to be repeated conditionally.”

Why would Fr. Halligan, O.P., require the whole form to be repeated conditionally if, as Mr. Duddy states, the short form is sufficient and that the matter has been authoritatively settled?

Furthermore, in this same book, Fr. Halligan translated the De Defectibus decree which is found in all Roman Missals since the time of Pope St. Pius V. In this decree under “Defects in the Form,” it is stated:

“Defects on the part of the form can happen when something is lacking which is required for the integrity of the words in the consecration itself. Thus the words of Consecration, which are the form of this Sacrament, are the following: Hoc est enim Corpus meum. And: Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Thus if anyone should shorten anything, or should change anything in the form of consecration of the Body and Blood, and if, by the change, the words do not signify the same thing, he would not confect the Sacrament. If in fact anyone should add or subtract anything, which would not change the meaning, he would indeed confect it, but would sin most gravely.”

It is indeed interesting that this De Defectibus decree had been printed in all Roman Missals for over four centuries and well after the publication of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. Special notice should be made that this De Defectibus decree explicitly stated the form of the consecration of the bread and wine:

“Thus the words of Consecration, which are the form of this Sacrament, are the following: Hoc est enim Corpus meum. And: Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.”

If Mr. Duddy’s interpretation of the words of the Catechism of the Council of Trent (that only the short form, “This is My Blood,” is sufficient), were correct, why was this section of the De Defectibus not edited to be reconciled with the Catechism? Is it to be supposed that over this long period of time there has been a discrepancy between the Roman Missal and the Catechism of the Council of Trent?

Moral and Pastoral Theology (1957) by Fr. Henry Davis, S.J.:

“The form of the consecration of the wine is: Hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti, mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.

“The words: Hic est calix Sanguinis mei, or Hic est Sanguis meus, are certainly essential; possibly the rest of the form is essential, but all are agreed that if any of the subsequent words are omitted a grievous sin is committed, and the whole form must be repeated conditionally.”

Once again, why does Fr. Davis, S.J., require the whole form to be repeated conditionally if, as Mike Duddy states, the subsequent words are not necessary?

De Sacramentis (1932), Fr. Felix M. Cappello, S.J., professor of the Gregorian Pontifical Institute:

“The form for the consecration of the wine is this: Hic est enim calix Sanguinis Mei, novi et aeterni testamenti, mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. The words: Hic est (enim) calix Sanguinis Mei, are certainly essential.

“Certain authors agree that the other words: novi et aeterni testamenti, etc., also pertain to the essential form. St. Thomas himself seems to follow this opinion, although some theologians and other authors think that the Angelic Doctor felt quite otherwise. Whatever is thought of the opinion of the Sacred Doctor and of other theologians, the opposite view is the common opinion and is thus morally certain. In practice, he would certainly sin gravely who would omit these words, and if he had said the first words only, he ought to repeat the entire form conditionally.”

So even Fr. Cappello, S.J., who considered the opinion of the short form as the common opinion among theologians, taught that in practice the entire form must be said. These quotes from eminent theologians demonstrate that the matter has not been ultimately and authoritatively settled. If it were a settled matter, then these theologians would not require the words of consecration to be repeated, for the Sacrament would have already been confected.

Moral Theology, Book 4, Tract 3 by St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church (who wrote 200 years after the publication of the Catechism of the Council of Trent):

“In practice, it is certain that a priest would sin gravely if he did not pronounce all the words which are had in the consecration of the chalice; and if perhaps he had said the first words only (For this is the Chalice of My Blood), he is bound at least to repeat the entire form conditionally....”

Among the theologians who have extensively treated this theological issue, there stands out Fr. Maurice de la Taille, S.J., of the Gregorian Pontifical Institute, in his theological treatise Mysterium Fidei (1931). Fr. de la Taille addressed the two opinions regarding the essential words for the consecration of the wine. After reading the following excerpt from his work, one will clearly see that Mike Duddy’s conclusion in regard to the short form (This is My Blood) is erroneous and that the matter has not been authoritatively settled.

Mysterium Fidei (1931), Fr. Maurice de la Taille, S.J.:

“It is quite certain, as all admit, that the words: This is My Body, This is the chalice of My Blood (or other equivalent words), by which is demonstrated the presence of the Body and the Blood of Christ under the appearance of the bread and the wine, are essential to the form of consecration. But a further question arises: whether, in addition to this indication of the Body and the Blood of Christ, there is necessary, as a part of the form, and as an essential part of it, a determination of the propitiatory end in view, as, for example, by words which indicate that what is enacted in symbol is done for us, unto the remission of sins.

“St. Thomas, after Innocent III (whose words are quoted below), in 3 S. 78,3, and more positively still in I Cor., II, lect 6, together with all his early disciples, whom the Salmanticenses quote with approval, maintains that such words are essential (De Euchar. Sacram., disp. 9, dub. E, para. 2, n. 22). Modern theologians for the most part, following St. Bonaventure (4 D. 8,2,1,2), deny that such words are essential.

“Two main arguments are given for this denial: one resting on intrinsic principles; the other drawn from positive dogmatic sources.

“The first line of reasoning is as follows: the conversion of the bread into the Body and the wine into the Blood is quite sufficiently signified without any further determination of the kind mentioned: therefore it is effected without this further determination; because in the Sacraments the words effect what they signify.

“The second reason is this: neither the Scripture narratives nor the liturgies agree as to the precise tenor of these determinative words. Therefore they are outside the ambit of the form.

“However, neither of these reasons seems convincing.

“Taking the second argument first, we find a sufficient refutation of it in the following fact: in every one of the liturgies, with the exception of a few very corrupt Ethiopian ones (some of which are known aliunde to be invalid), as well as some very degraded productions of the Syrian schismatics, we find invariably conveyed, besides the separate demonstration of the Body and Blood, an indication of the propitiatory intention for which the symbolic separation of Body and Blood, or the blood-shedding designated by it is made. So we have, in every case, an equivalent sense in the formulae; and this, we maintain, is all that is necessary to secure the necessary uniformity of the form, as will be sufficiently proved by what we have to say immediately in refutation of the first objection proposed above, by the development of our own intrinsic argument, derived from the nature of things.

“Coming, then, to the first argument of our adversaries, we think that it is sufficiently refuted by the development of our own argument. But first we must presuppose that there is no question here of what Christ could have done, if He willed, but only of what He did will to do. And it is quite plain that He willed to offer sacrifice. Again the question is not, here, whether the indication of the Body and Blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine would of itself sufficiently signify (and accordingly would avail, if our Lord so instituted, to accomplish effectively) some real presence or not; but the question is: would such an indication signify a real presence in the condition of immolation whereby the sacrifice would be enacted? And this, it seems, we must deny. For the real presence of the Body and Blood of Christ could undoubtedly be realized by the actual effective words without any sacrifice whatever; just as Christ could, without sacrifice, change into His Body and Blood any other kind of material (corporeas) substances, such as stones, water and so on. Certainly just as Christ could have died without His death having the proper character of a sacrifice (as is the case with the martyrs); so, too, He could have left us some symbol of His death in His Body and Blood, even to be partaken of by us at a common banquet by way of food, for instance for the sole purpose of fostering charity amongst us, and all this without dedicating a victim to God, or without any propitiatory action. But Christ did in fact will that this conversion of the bread and wine into His Body and Blood should be a sacrifice; by transubstantiation He willed to offer sacrifice, He willed to offer the transubstantiation, but to make a transubstantiation whence He Himself would issue as God’s Victim or Theothyte.

“This being His will, the mere indication of His Body and Blood would not suffice for His purpose in the line of sacramental form: for it would not express this purpose, as we have said above; it was necessary that a further determination should be added to this demonstration of the Body and Blood, by which it would be plain that what was done was sacrificial, immolative. And for this it would be sufficient if the work done were plainly designated as propitiatory.

“That is to say, it would suffice if it were plainly indicated that for us the Blood was asked from the Body, and that the death so brought about availed for us before God unto the remission of sins, whether this be expressed as in the formula of our Missal (qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum), or by any other equivalent formula, as already explained by us in III (Vol. I)...

“Amicus, S.J., is even more clear and explicit (De Sacram., disp. 24, n. 46): You will urge: at least the words for you, for many are not necessary, seeing that the sacrificial character is sufficiently declared by the words shall be shed. But we deny the consequence. For unless the end to which the blood-shedding is directed be expressed, THE SACRIFICIAL CHARACTER IS NOT EXPRESSED, SINCE THE BLOOD COULD BE SHED, AND STILL NOT BE SHED BY WAY OF SACRIFICE: IF, FOR EXAMPLE, IT WERE SHED NOT AS AN ACT OF WORSHIP ON THE PART OF ANYONE NOR FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANY ONE” [emphasis taken directly from the book].

Fr. Francis J. Wengier, Ph.D., S.T.D., in his book, The Eucharistic Sacrifice (1955) reiterated this same opinion that the words which follow “For this is the chalice of My Blood” are necessary in order to signify that the consecration is sacrificial or propitiatory:

“That is why His consecration or transubstantiation had to be and was sacrificial or propitiatory. And He clearly expressed that propitiatory character of His consecration by the words: “quod pro vobis tradetur” — “which shall be delivered for you” and “qui pro vobis, et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum” —”which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.” Consequently, we, too, must use the same words or their equivalent. We must clearly express the propitiatory or sacrificial character of our consecration, because our Mass is the same Sacrifice as that of Christ renewed by us, as the Council of Trent teaches and as it is clear from the institution itself. A simple formula demonstrating the presence of Christ’s Body and Blood under the species does not tell us whether that which Christ did or what we do is a sacrifice or not. Therefore, besides the demonstrative words, our consecration form needs other words determining the purpose of the Blood’s effusion, which is the destruction of sin. This doctrine of St. Thomas and his followers, Henricus Henriquez, Amicus, and others, is in perfect harmony with the nature of our Mass.

“It is not necessary to express that teleology in both consecrations. Our Latin formula omits the ‘quod pro vobis tradetur’ in the consecration of the bread. It prefers to give to the teleology its formal place, namely, in the consecration of the wine, which being changed into Blood apparently separated (in the species only!) from the Body, formally signifies its death — death which subsequently our formula determines, adding the purpose of this death: ‘pro vobis... pro multis ... in remissionem peccatorum.’

“The transubstantiation, then, is not sufficient by itself for a Mass. It must be a sacrificial transubstantiation, expressing an oblation made to God for sins. This peculiar expression must be verbal (not only mental), because it is an integral part of the form of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, and every sacrifice (in the strict sense) is an external act of worship, signifying the internal dedication.”

Mr. Duddy went to great length to parse the Latin text of the Catechism of the Council of Trent to support his conclusion that the short form alone is sufficient for the consecration of the wine; however, based on the teachings of theologians, his conclusion that this matter has been ultimately, authoritatively settled, does not stand. Therefore, Mr. Duddy’s interpretation of the Catechism of the Council of Trent must be called into question.

In all of this discussion about the words of consecration, it should not be overlooked that regardless of one’s opinion in this matter, the words used in the Novus Ordo Missae, “for you and for all” are theologically erroneous. The Catechism of the Council of Trent clearly taught:

“With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: ‘Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many’; and also of the words of our Lord in John: ‘I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me, because they are Thine.’”

St. Alphonsus Liguori in his book The Holy Eucharist, reiterated the same thing:

“The words Pro vobis et pro multis (“For you and for many”) are used to distinguish the virtue of the Blood of Christ from its fruits; for the Blood of our Savior is of sufficient value to save all men, but its fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians say, this Precious Blood is (in itself) sufficiently (sufficienter) able to save all men, but (on our part) effectually (efficaciter) it does not save all — it saves only those who cooperate with grace. This is the explanation of St. Thomas, as quoted by Benedict XIV.”

It is truly amazing that this theological error has been universally manifested in vernacular translations of the Novus Ordo Missae for over thirty years. How can apologists for the Conciliar Church defend this error in their New Mass based on the theological axiom, “Lex orandi, lex credendi” — “the law of praying is the law of believing?”

One last consideration to demonstrate that the short form of the consecration of the wine has not been authoritatively determined can be found in the teachings of Pope Benedict XIV (papal reign: 1740-1758). In the footnote following the above-quoted teaching of St. Alphonsus Liguori in The Holy Eucharist, it is stated:

“De Miss. Sacr. 1.2, c. 15. — Benedict XIV here observes that St. Thomas (P. 3, q. 18, a. 3) seems to favor the opinion of those who make the essential form of the consecration of the chalice consist in all the words that the priest pronounces as far as Haec quotiescumque; because the words that follow, Hic est enim calix Sanguinis Mei, are determinationes praedicati, (determinations of the predicate) that is to say, Sanguinis Christi (the Blood of Christ), and consequently, belonging ad integritatem ejusdem locutionis (to the integrity of the same words), are de substantia formae (of the substance of the form). St. Pius V caused the contrary opinion to be erased from the commentary of Cajetan.”

The use of the words “for all,” as is the universal practice in the vernacular Novus Ordo Missae, is to declare a theological error at the very moment when transubstantiation is supposed to take place.

Throughout this whole commentary, the focus has been on one single aspect — the words of consecration. Nevertheless, when one considers the Novus Ordo Missae from beginning to end, it will be found that it no longer is a sacrifice to atone for sin. For this reason Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani and Cardinal Antonio Bacci declared this new Mass “a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent” (Letter to Paul VI, September 25, 1969).

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