12 March 2017

Deliberate Ambiguity - Just Imagine That!

Browsing through Abbot Gasquet's Edward VI and the Book of Common Prayer I came across a short paragraph and footnote, in a section about the 1548 Order of Communion, which reminded me that some things never change when people try to manipulate our Faith.

"Thus although the new order of communion must certainly have been a startling introduction to a people accustomed to the old and simple rite, it need not have presented the same insuperable difficulties as it would to those now accustomed to a form long unvaried. Whilst it is impossible not to feel with a certain sense of disquiet the innovating spirit which runs through the whole, or to overlook the definite manifestation of uncatholic intent which here and there betrays itself, it may be said that the prayers, like the address, contain little to which definite objection can be taken (1).

(1) The unnecesary use of the word "spiritually"; the expressions "minister the bread" "minister the wine"; the consecration, or, if necessary, repeated consecrations of the chalice alone, point to innovation. On the other hand, the insertion of the words "which was given for thee" - " which was shed for thee" in the formula for communion, and the monition that "men must not think less to be received in part (of the consecrated host) than in the whole, but in each of them the whole body of our Saviour Jesus Christ", emphasize the ancient doctrine. It would almost seem that the action of two minds working with different intentions is to be traced in the composition of this 'Order of Communion'."

I bet Cranmer would have loved the footnote solution used in Amoris Laetitia.

1 comment:

Mike Cliffson said...

Rightly or wrongly my exspikey dad (and ex all-over-the placee-at-different stages mum) always used to tell me that all I needed to know about Cranmer was that he was a lawyer.

There's one born every minute.

When I was a litle older , and very into scific, added: legal draughtsmanship sets forth prose to clearly and narrowly define meanings as concisely and Englishly as possible; this talent was put into reverse so that churchgoers of a trad and resisting catholic bent could understand Our lord's real presence with the same form of words the various heretics in the next pew believed applied to their particular heresies, impanation, show bread, hovis, or national wholemeal, whatevs.