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


#21

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:17, topic:316832"]
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.

[/quote]

Those ceremonies were ancillary to the actual definitions. There is no definitive formula or procedure for the Pope to follow or speak, so long as he makes known his intention to definitively bind the Church.

This came up at the First Vatican Council, when some bishops wanted to prescribe a ceremony, procedures, and formulas the Pope would have to follow and speak in order to be considered infallible. In the relatio (an official explanatory and interpretive guide given to the voting bishops), the relator, Bishop Gasser, ruled this out saying:

"But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?"

See page 51 of the relatio here.

Unfortunately, the fact that those two Marian definitions had so much extra ceremony had the side effect of distinguishing them in the minds of many Catholics from the more mundane definitive and infallible judgments of Popes in the past and since--so much so, that many Catholics think they are the only two instances! Two is a far cry from the the understanding given to the Fathers at the First Vatican Council that there had been thousands of examples (granted, Gasser was probably using a little hyperbole, but you get the point).


#22

[quote="Genesis315, post:21, topic:316832"]
Those ceremonies were ancillary to the actual definitions. There is no definitive formula or procedure for the Pope to follow or speak, so long as he makes known his intention to definitively bind the Church.

This came up at the First Vatican Council, when some bishops wanted to prescribe a ceremony, procedures, and formulas the Pope would have to follow and speak in order to be considered infallible. In the relatio (an official explanatory and interpretive guide given to the voting bishops), the relator, Bishop Gasser, ruled this out saying:

"But, most eminent and reverend fathers, this proposal simply cannot be accepted because we are not dealing with something new here. Already thousands and thousands of dogmatic judgments have gone forth from the Apostolic See; where is the law which prescribed the form to be observed in such judgments?"

See page 51 of the relatio here.

Unfortunately, the fact that those two Marian definitions had so much extra ceremony had the side effect of distinguishing them in the minds of many Catholics from the more mundane definitive and infallible judgments of Popes in the past and since--so much so, that many Catholics think they are the only two instances! Two is a far cry from the the understanding given to the Fathers at the First Vatican Council that there had been thousands of examples (granted, Gasser was probably using a little hyperbole, but you get the point).

[/quote]

But, could a Pope not say, if he wanted, "We are going to have this dogmatic definition done in this way, at this time, in this place, and We are going to wear cope and mitre over an amice, alb and stole with cincture. These antiphons will be sung _, _, ____."

That, in fact, would be a sacred rite, yes, and that could be done. Not that it has to be: if there is ever a Fifth Marian Dogma promulgated, the formula could be written on a used napkin and signed by the Pope with a quick-start charcoal briquette and it would be valid! =p


#23

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:20, topic:316832"]
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.

[/quote]

Vespers is liturgy. Solemn Vespers is presided by clergy. But it isn't a sacrament is it?

Anyway the discussion is one of splitting hairs on nomenclature. I'm not sure I see it's point.


#24

No, but it’s a “rite,” just like the Rite of Election, totally non sacramental in itself, is a rite.

So if some Pope decides to have a ceremony where he will promulgate a dogma, then it is a rite, a rite which only the Pope himself can preside over, since no one else can promulgate dogma.


#25

It is the Pontiff's function to preside at canonizations and beatifications, though these are sometimes delegated to other officials of the curia.


#26

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:24, topic:316832"]
So if some Pope decides to have a ceremony where he will promulgate a dogma, then it is a rite, a rite which only the Pope himself can preside over, since no one else can promulgate dogma.

[/quote]

On the other hand, if he's feeling under the weather that day, he could delegate the CDF prefect to do the ceremony in his place.:shrug:


#27

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