ONCE MORE: PRECISE QUESTIONS TO ECÔNE
(transl. by Gladys Resch)
Preliminary notice: We published in EINSICHT IX (2) 49 the "Precise Questions to Ecône", asked by Prof. Reinhard Lauth. Franz Schmidberger did not answer the "Precise Questions" in spite of asking in his periodical of "Community of Priests and Brothers of Pius X for German speaking countries" (Nr .7, pge. 3) for "a spiritual discussion instead of a propaganda." As no answer can as well be an answer, one can come to the conclusion, that Mgr. Lefèbvre and his fraternity want to avoid a clear point of view.
In the meantime followers of Mgr. Lefèbvre have written to the editorial office and to Prof. Lauth personally and have tried to answer the "Questions" in such a way as would be most probably the viewpoint of Mgr. Lefèbvre, and they did this with the intention to make him avoid to give an explicit answer.
As, in the present important situation, it is essential for us to get a clear answer to the problems in view, contained in "the Questions", we publish the letter of Mr. Berghammer, Salzburg - known to our readers of EINSICHT - with the answer of Mr. Lauth.
First we repeat the "Precise Questions to Ecône:
1. Can the sacramental words, pronounced by Christ at the Last Supper, alone bring about the holy Consecration? Yes or no?
2. Are the words "For All" said at the consecration of the wine those transferred to us by the Church, that means those, of which Scripture says that they have been used and ordered by the Lord? Yes or no?
3. Are the words "For All" a falsification of the words of consecration pronounced by Christ? Yes or no?
4. Is it your opinion, that the holy Consecration can validly take place in spite of the falsified sacramental word? Yes or no?
5. Can a Pope use these falsified words at the consecration withour falling into heresy? Yes or no?
6. Can a Pope, for large parts of the Church, command and order to practice falsified words of consecration, as the only allowed words, without falling into heresy? Yes or no?
7. Have the Popes Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II used these words "for all" at the Holy Mass? Yes or no?
BERGHAMMER TO LAUTH
Salzburg, 20th July,1979
Dear Professor Lauth!
It seems to me that it has become the main object of EINSICHT to deepen and to cement the division between the Traditionalists. I seem to discover in the editorial remarks some kind of enmity.
Professor, I cannot but let you know how I would answer the Questions of EINSICHT. Please, do not mind if I am honest with you, - a way of acting also preferred by Father Aßmayr. A true friendship of mind will not be broken by it. I am only an ordinary lay person, and you can neglect my opinion.
To 1. Christ used the language of His country. The sacramental word had to be translated one by one and they are not thine anymore. So it is the contents that matters.
To 2. You, Professor, will remember, the strong opinion that Dr. Katzer (†) took at our meeting in Salzburg. He said: The "opinion of the Church", not mine. In spite of all your efforts you never succeeded in making him say that the "NON" of the new "Mass" is totally invalid. Now you try to catch Lefèbvre by this question. He too will have to make a difference if he - like Katzer - will stand on the traditional decisions of the Chruch.
Therefore question 3 cannot be answered by yes or no. The same applies to the questions 4 to 6.
I do understand that you refuse and fight the compromise between our faith and the apostasy or the half-faith. Well done! You are by no means alone. I too find this co-existence impossible. But I think you have only broken some china by asking these questions. One would have expected from you a more solid way of procedure.
The same applies to Mgr. Lefèbvre. He therefore will not and can not answer, all your questions simply with yes or no, e.g. in your forced way, what makes the door of the trap, you have put up for him, fall. But this does not help us at all.
(...) After the criminal interrogation of Lefèbvre by the Sépers commision in Rome and the heavy warnings of the Traditionalists to Lefèbvre, there is no possible compromise to be expected, as Lefèbvre is not as stupid as that.
With kind regards
LAUTH TO BERGHAMMER
Munich, August 30th, 1979
Dear Mr. Berghammer!
Please forgive me for answering so late your letter of July 20th. My mail was forwarded to me to a wrong place during my holidays, which explains the delay.
Of course, I do not mind at all your open answer.
To Nr.1) The Church has always taught, as dogmatic binding, that only the words of Christ could bring about the consecration. Compare, for instance Denzinger-Schönmetzer Nr.2718, Breve: Adorabile Eucharistiae Pius VII.: formam, qua vivificum hoc sacramentum perficitur, in solis Jesu Christi verbis consistere (1) Or: Florentinum, Decr. pro Armeniis, Denzinger Nr. 698:.Forma huius sacramenti sunt verba Salvatoris, quibus hoc confecit sacramentum. (...) Nam ipsorum verborum virtute substantia panis in corpus Christi, et substantia vini in sanguinem convertuntur. (2) This determination would be senseless if, at the same time, we would be ignorant of the words of Jesus at the Institution of the Eucharist. Therefore it is not just the meaning of the words that is important when the priest consecrates but the exact words he uses. That is why these words of the reliable Tradition have been newly reaffirmed at the Florentinum in the decree pro Jacobitis, Denzinger Nr. 715 which are the following words, according to the (reliable) Tradition: Verum quia in suprascripto decreto Armenorum non est explicata forma verborum quibus in consecratione corporis et sanguinis Domini sacrosancta Romana Ecclesia, Apostolorum doctrina et auctoritate firmata semper uti consueverat illam praesentibus duximus inserendam. In consecratione corporis hac utitur forma verborum: 'Hoc est enim corpus meum'; sanguinis vero: 'Hic est enim calix sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti, mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum'.(3)
Please notice that they are definitions of the Florentinum, that means of a Universal Catholic Council. This means also that the Greeks too have confirmed these words. (Let me tell you, in brackets, that I have put the question to a group of orthodox theologians, amongst them an archbishop, asking if, in their opinion, the word 'pro omnibus' could be valid and I got a clear "No" as an answer.)
Of course we do not know in which language Jesus did the consecration but His words were certainly clear and their respective translation has always been accepted and been used by the whole Catholic Church of the Greek, Latin, Aramaic/ Syrian world. (Even the Protestants have used only the translation "for many".) This formula is the important thing. This was also defined especially at the Tnidentinum. Compare Denz.-Schönmetzer 1637: (Christus) se suum ipsius corpus praebere ac suum sanguinem disertis ac perspicuis verbis testatus est: guae verba ... cum propriam illam et apertissimam significationem prae se ferant secundum quam a Patribus intellecta sunt indignissimum sane flagitium est, ea ... contra universum Ecclesiae sensum detorqueri. (4)
Question 3 can therefore be answered clearly: the words 'for all' used at the consecration for the blood are a falsification. To say it with the words of the Tridentinum: ab impiis hominibus excogitata commenta satanica. (Denz.-Schönm. 1637) (5)
It is exactly - as you asked for it remembering the words of Dr. Katzer - the opinion of the Church, and not my personal opinion. And if you want to object you cannot just refer blindly to the authority of Dr. Katzer or of anybody else, but you will have to prove that these decisions are not those of the Church.
The Question 4 too is clearly answered: No consecration can take place when falsified words are used because the necessary formula of the consecration is not given. The answer to the Question 6 follows automatically. The Pope, as the highest authority in teaching must be, expressed in the words of the Tridentinum: doctrina et auctoritate firmus, that means he can not excuse his doings with anything when he uses himself the falsified words of consecration, or allows them to be used in the largest parts of the Church. He then is an heretic. And, in addition, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II have given evidence, in front of Television e.g. the whole world, that, what is an essential part of a manifested heresy, the public declaration. They are then heretics and by that removed from their papal dignity (depositi) and must be declared as such by a judicial, ecclesiastical collection of evidence (deponendi).
Mgr. Lefèbvre can and must answer these Questions clearly. I object that I intended to put a trap to Mgr. Lefèbvre, as you mention. You will admit that this is a bad imputation on your part. The Questions put up here are far too important as to intend putting traps. We want the open truth. I have never doubted of the intelligence of Mgr. Lefèbvre. The point is only for what does he use his intelligence? So far his intelligence has only harmed us tremendously morally, us, the orthodox Catholics.
With courteous greeting
1) The forme, in which this Sacrament is brought about in a protected way, consists in the sole words of Jesus-Christ.
2) The form of this Sacrament are the words of the Saviour, with which He instituted this Sacrament - (...) as, by the power of these words only the substance of the bread is changed into the Body of Christ and the substance of the wine into His Blood.
3) As in the decree of the Armenics, mentioned above, the formula of the words have not been prescribed, this has been affirmed by the Roman Catholique Church, by the teaching and the power of the Apostles Peter an Paul, who always used them at the consecration of the Body and Blood of Our Lord, so we have decided to add the actual words. At the Consecration of the Body of Our Lord one should pronounce these words: "For this is my Body." and at the Consecration of the real Blood: "For this is the Chalice of my Blood of the New and eternal Covenant; the Mystery of Faith; which shall be shed for you and for many unto the forgiveness of sins."
4) Christ pronounced with clear and transparent words that He would give them His own Body and Blood. These words ... contain clearly this important and public meaning by which they were understood by the Fathers. So it is truly an unworthy disgrace when they are being disdained in contrast to the whole Church.
5) This invention, imagined by godless people, is diabolic.
(October 1979, pag. 139-141)