Are there sacred rites that only the Pope is able to perform?


#1

I have read from (es.)Catholic.net (maybe I have not read well) that the duties of the Pope are two: to teach and to shepherd…

well, further than a Teacher and a Shepherd - Isn’t the Pope the High Priest of the Church? (after Our Lord Jesus Christ)

All bishops are able to teach. All priests are able to shepherd the sheeps. Should not be the priesthood the charisma of the Pope? If it is so (all this is an hypothesis) why He doesn’t have any special priestly duty?

Just for talk about this
Be blessed all you :slight_smile:


#2

Interesting question! The Pope gets to name Cardinals and new Bishops and assign people to Vatican offices. But I don't think that is what you are referring to as "sacred rites."

The Pope is still a bishop - he is first among equals is how they put it. He still has his own bishopric (is that the right term/) as Bishop of Rome. This is significant. I noticed in his final remarks as Pope he indicated his affection and prayers for his home diocese of Rome just as any bishop would upon leaving.

Looking forward to hearing what others have to say.


#3

Make solemn statements of the Extraordinary Magisterium.


#4

Not really a sacred rite, is it?


#5

Not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but there are certain sins that only the Holy Father can absolve…


#6

To Add to the question, because i am also curious, can the Pope, since he is head of the WHOLE Catholic Church, celebrate an Eastern Rite?


#7

[quote="Digitonomy, post:4, topic:316832"]
Not really a sacred rite, is it?

[/quote]

I'd say it is, yes. The definition of a dogma is quite sacred.


#8

All of the examples given above are administrative...matters of jurisdiction, not, strictly speaking, sacramental acts of his priestly office. Sacred Tradition is clear - the episcopate (office of bishop) confers the fullness of the priesthood...it is a share in the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ. Ontologically, there is no higher state that a man can reach on this earth than the episcopate. The Pope is not a superbishop - he does not receive a fourth degree of holy orders, for the third degree, the episcopate is it...you can't get any better than that ;).

That being said, Jesus conferred a special office of jurisdiction upon St. Peter and his successors, to ensure that the Church would have a rock of unity and orthodoxy. All of the bishops share in the governance of the Church, but the Pope of Rome, as their head, ensures their unity as a single body.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

893 The bishop is "the steward of the grace of the supreme priesthood,"423 especially in the Eucharist which he offers personally or whose offering he assures through the priests, his co-workers. The Eucharist is the center of the life of the particular Church. The bishop and priests sanctify the Church by their prayer and work, by their ministry of the word and of the sacraments. They sanctify her by their example, "not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock."Thus, "together with the flock entrusted to them, they may attain to eternal life."

894 "The bishops, as vicars and legates of Christ, govern the particular Churches assigned to them by their counsels, exhortations, and example, but over and above that also by the authority and sacred power" which indeed they ought to exercise so as to edify, in the spirit of service which is that of their Master.

895 "The power which they exercise personally in the name of Christ, is proper, ordinary, and immediate, although its exercise is ultimately controlled by the supreme authority of the Church."But the bishops should not be thought of as vicars of the Pope. His ordinary and immediate authority over the whole Church does not annul, but on the contrary confirms and defends that of the bishops. Their authority must be exercised in communion with the whole Church under the guidance of the Pope.


#9

Wouldn’t he have to be trained in that rite?


#10

Yes, the pope may celebrate Mass, or Divine Liturgy, in any rite.
Of course he would have to learn how to do it in that rite.


#11

There are two things that are exclusively the papacy's purview...

  1. promulgation of infalible statements (which is rare).
  2. accepting the communion with the patriarchal churches in communion with Rome.

#12

[quote="Bballer32, post:6, topic:316832"]
To Add to the question, because i am also curious, can the Pope, since he is head of the WHOLE Catholic Church, celebrate an Eastern Rite?

[/quote]

The Pope can celebrate any valid rite within the Catholic Church.


#13

[quote="DJJG, post:10, topic:316832"]
Yes, the pope may celebrate Mass, or Divine Liturgy, in any rite.
Of course he would have to learn how to do it in that rite.

[/quote]

I think that I read in one of the documents of Vatican II but possibly elsewhere that yes he is a sort of high priest, in that his Mass is that from which all other forms of the Mass derive their validity.

It's been some time since I read that statement and I don't remember its exact form or context.

Perhaps there was the associated meaning that all other celebrations of the Mass -- the Lord's supper -- have authority only in so far as they are united with his celebration of the mysteries.

Something like this. So, ritually, his Mass is the "ground zero" for all Masses.


#14

[quote="sirach2v4, post:13, topic:316832"]
I think that I read in one of the documents of Vatican II but possibly elsewhere that yes he is a sort of high priest, in that his Mass is that from which all other forms of the Mass derive their validity.

It's been some time since I read that statement and I don't remember its exact form or context.

Perhaps there was the associated meaning that all other celebrations of the Mass -- the Lord's supper -- have authority only in so far as they are united with his celebration of the mysteries.

Something like this. So, ritually, his Mass is the "ground zero" for all Masses.

[/quote]

We might say that, ritually, all Roman Rite Masses are the ritual derivative of his Masses, yes. In other words, it is not that Papal Mass is a fancier form of a simple parish Mass, but that a simple parish Mass is an extremely less solemn form of a solemn Papal Mass.

It seems a two-way street from the larger view, but each way of looking at things has certain implications...


#15

The Pope is not the only one who can definitively proclaim doctrines of the faith. The entire body of bishops together (including the Pope as head) can also do so, both when gathered in Council or when spread throughout the world.

Also, I'm not sure such definitions are not really a "sacred rite," as there is no prescribed ritual or ceremony, etc.


#16

There are lots of things that are sacred in the Church, but that doesn’t make them rites.


#17

[quote="Digitonomy, post:16, topic:316832"]
There are lots of things that are sacred in the Church, but that doesn't make them rites.

[/quote]

But isn't it? Were there not very solemn ceremonies marking the promulgations of Inenffabilis Deus and Munificentissimus Deus? There was something like an entire Marian Year replete with solemn ceremonies/rites for the latter.


#18

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:17, topic:316832"]
Were there not very solemn ceremonies marking the promulgations of Inenffabilis Deus and Munificentissimus Deus?

[/quote]

It wouldn't surprise me, but I'm not aware of any details. Regardless, I would submit that the pope could have assigned anyone to celebrate the masses and perform other ceremonies associated with his ex cathedra statement.


#19

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:7, topic:316832"]
I'd say it is, yes. The definition of a dogma is quite sacred.

[/quote]

But it's not really a rite. I would argue that a "sacred rite" is something that flows from a sacrament. That would mean, limited to the regular ministers of that sacrament and dependent on that ministry. The regular ministers of a sacrament include deacons, priests, bishops and husband and wife. The only sacramental office of the pope is in fact as bishop of Rome.

Exercising authority isn't really a sacred rite is it? Nor is a ceremonial rite necessarily sacred.


#20

[quote="OraLabora, post:19, topic:316832"]
But it's not really a rite. I would argue that a "sacred rite" is something that flows from a sacrament. That would mean, limited to the regular ministers of that sacrament and dependent on that ministry. The regular ministers of a sacrament include deacons, priests, bishops and husband and wife. The only sacramental office of the pope is in fact as bishop of Rome.

Exercising authority isn't really a sacred rite is it? Nor is a ceremonial rite necessarily sacred.

[/quote]

So solemn celebrations of Vespers aren't sacred rites?

If Pope ___ gets up on the loggia wearing choir dress or a mitre and cope and pronounces words of a binding, dogmatic formula, yes, in such a case I'd call it a sacred rite. But if Pope ___ instead just signs a document in private and tells everybody what he did, no, I'd not consider that a sacred rite.


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