Traditional Sacraments

First let me make this clear that I am not intending this thread to become new form vs. old form, nor should there be any insinuation that the new form is anyhow invalid. I believe that whatever is in the Church is valid regardless of form (if you look across Rites including the East, there are many forms. So validity should not be limited to one form alone).

Anyway, my question is, have there been any change to Sacramental theology in the Latin Church pre- and post- Vatican II? For example, was it always taught that anyone can perform baptisms in cases of necessity and not just, say, baptized persons?

How about the other Sacraments, did anything change in terms of theology? (again, this is not to say that the change leads to invalidity. I believe that the Church has the authority to say what makes a Sacrament valid or not).

As far as I know, no. There is more emphasis on the communal aspects of the Eucharist, but the theology has not changed. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is a bit more open now and people no longer wait until they are dying to be anointed, but that is not a change in theology, as from the Bible we see that it is a healing sacrament given to the sick.
Of course there has been some changes in form and wording of the sacraments, but the basic theology seems to be the same. I am on the RCIA team at my parish, and when the priests teach about the sacraments, they teach the same thing as I learned in grade school, with the exception of some of the form (how to take Communion, face-to-face Confessions if one wishes, etc.)

I am sure some will disagree with me, but I don’t see any real changes in the theology. People need not to mix up the theology with the form and wording and expanded emphasis on certain things.

Last evening, we had a talk by a theologian from our seminary on the Sacred Liturgy document from Vatican II as part of our Vatican II lecture series.

He made it very clear that that the theology has NOT changed, form and emphasis may change, but the theology never does. It is our salvation history.

Maybe “theology” is a bit too heavy a word. But aside from the rites, are there any essential change in the belief around the Sacraments? Like my example, did we always teach that even the non-baptized can baptize in cases of emergency?

So far we have one, that is the broader application (or use) of Anointing of the Sick which doesn’t limit it to the dying. What else?

I believe that, yes, Latin lay Catholics were always taught to baptize in cases of emergency.

I think the title of this thread is unfortunate. Regardless of the OP’s stated intention, the title implies a difference between sacraments in the EF setting versus in the OF setting. A better title would, perhaps, have been something like “Changes in Sacramental Theology?”

And yes, I am old enough to remember what the good sisters taught us in the 50’s, and they certainly did teach that in an emergency anyone could baptize in the face of the danger of death.

Are you referring to the title “Traditional Sacraments” or was the title changed by the moderator?

If it wasn’t changed, I don’t see the OP speaking about the EF versus the OF.

Regarding Baptism, I don’t think anything changed. Look at this section from the Catechism of Trent (Roman Catechism).

The Ministers of Baptism

Ministers of Baptism - From Trent Catechism

In the next place, it appears not only expedient, but necessary to say who are ministers of this Sacrament; both in order that those to whom this office is specially confided may study to perform its functions religiously and holily; and that no one, outstepping, as it were, his proper limits, may unseasonably take possession of, or arrogantly assume, what belongs to another; for, as the Apostle teaches, order is to be observed in all things.

Bishops And Priests The Ordinary Ministers

The faithful, therefore, are to be informed that of those (who administer Baptism) there are three gradations. Bishops and priests hold the first place. To them belongs the administration of this Sacrament, not by any extraordinary concession of power, but by right of office; for to them, in the persons of the Apostles, was addressed the command of our Lord: Go, baptise. Bishops, it is true, in order not to neglect the more weighty charge of instructing the faithful, have generally left its administration to priests. But the authority of the Fathers and the usage of the Church prove that priests exercise this function by their own right, so much so that they may baptise even in the presence of the Bishop. Ordained to consecrate the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of peace and unity, it was fitting that they be invested with power to administer all those things which are required to enable others to participate in that peace and unity. If, therefore, the Fathers have at any time said that without the leave of the Bishop the priest has not the right to baptise, they are to be understood to speak of that Baptism only which was administered on certain days of the year with solemn ceremonies.

Deacons Extraordinary Ministers Of Baptism

Next among the ministers are deacons, for whom, as numerous decrees of the holy Fathers attest it is not lawful without the permission of the Bishop or priest to administer this Sacrament.
Ministers In Case Of Necessity**

Those who may administer Baptism in case of necessity, but without its solemn ceremonies, hold the last place; and in this class are included all, even the laity, men and women, to whatever sect they may belong. This office extends in case of necessity, even to Jews, infidels and heretics, provided, however, they intend to do what the Catholic Church does in that act of her ministry. These things were established by many decrees of the ancient Fathers and Councils; and the holy Council of Trent denounces anathema against those who dare to say, that Baptism, even when administered by heretics, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the Church does, is not true Baptism.

And here indeed let us admire the supreme goodness and wisdom of our Lord. Seeing the necessity of this Sacrament for all, He not only instituted water, than which nothing can be more common, as its matter, but also placed its administration within the power of all. In its administration, however, as we have already observed, all are not allowed to use the solemn ceremonies; not that rites and ceremonies are of higher dignity, but because they are less necessary than the Sacrament.

Let not the faithful, however, imagine that this office is given promiscuously to all, so as to do away with the propriety of observing a certain precedence among those who are its ministers. When a man is present a woman should not baptise; an ecclesiastic takes precedence over a layman, and a priest over a simple ecclesiastic. Midwives, however, when accustomed to its administration, are not to be found fault with if sometimes, when a man is present who is unacquainted with the manner of its administration, they perform what may otherwise appear to belong more properly to men.

Although I don’t know if deacons are considered “extraordinary” ministers these days.

Non-baptized individuals are not lay Catholics though. That is my question, have we always taught that non-Christians can perform valid baptisms when necessary?

Implies what? Did you even read my OP (original post)?

For the Latin Church, prior to Vatican II, it was a matter of open theological speculation whether ordination to the episcopate was a sacrament or not. Vatican II definitively settled the matter, stating that it is a sacrament.

“Always” taught? Not necessarily “always” but for a very long time for sure (hundreds of years)* even non-Christians* have been judged by the Church to be able to validly baptize with the right matter and form and intention (and I mean non -Christians…not those who say where in heresy like the Arians etc)

I say “not necessarily” for in the very early Church there was a controversy about baptism administered by particular heretics…the Church judged they did not need to be re-baptized (though others did). Some questions do not get answered until they are asked in new circumstances.

I]And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.

The fasting part is interesting. Also interesting how it doesn’t mention who can do the baptizing.

Would you include the changing in the order of the sacraments of initiation as a change in sacramental theology? This seems to have spread after Trent to the point where at least in the US ( I can’t speak for anywhere else ) where Chrismation ( Confirmation) almost always comes after first communion. Additionally, does anyone know when first communion was moved to generally “the age of reason”. I do see this as a change from the oldest traditions of the Church as a whole.

But Latin lay Catholics are baptized and he is asking about the rule that even the unbaptized can confer ( ok maybe confer isn’t the right word?) baptism in cases of emergency.

For a very long time for sure (hundreds of years) even non-Christians have been judged by the Church to be able to validly baptize with the right matter and form and intention (and I mean non -Christians…not those who say where in heresy like the Arians etc)

In the very early Church there was a controversy about baptism administered by particular heretics…the Church judged they did not need to be re-baptized (though others did). Some questions do not get answered until they are asked in new circumstances.

Well put.

The emphasis on the Saints, our sins and the great need for our redemption may seem a bit more observable in many of the older forms yet the theology is the same. This may have to do with an inbalance in the understanding of the faith of the lay faithful. And how that imbalance is shown in how the faith is lived.

I think you need to seperate the form from the matter of each sacrament and then evaluate.

You will see some major differences before and after VII in the form of some of the sacraments. The bare essentials water and words for baptism are the same before and after VII, but after VII the externalities surrounding baptism are very different. After VII Baptism looks and feels more like a group initiation than it does the expelling of original sin and all stain of sin before it. Sin is hardly mentioned during the modern rite of baptism. Gone is the gradual procession into Church (the unbaptized entering the church). Gone is the exorcism of the infant. Gone is the blessing and imposition of salt.

There are similar changes to Marraige, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Extreme Unction, Pennance, etc.

EVERY sacrament has had it’s liturgical forms changed. This change has led to a different theology surrounding the sacraments. Whether that was intended or not, it has happened. Look at the older rites and then ask yourself WHY was this prayer or that prayer eliminated. In most cases the eliminated prayers or rituals were “too catholic”. They touched on sin, a unique character imposed or unique power granted (Old holy orders: Receive the power to offer sacrifice to God, etc.), etc.

Excellent points, Moon1234. :thumbsup:

Here is a simple quote that is linked to my comment above regarding Holy Orders:

“Everything is bound up together. By attacking the base of the building it is destroyed entirely. No more Mass, no more priests. The ritual, before it was altered, had the bishop say ‘Receive the power to offer to God the Holy Sacrifice and to celebrate Holy Mass both for the living and for the dead, in the name of the Lord.’ He had previously blessed the hands of the ordinand by pronouncing these words ‘So that all that they bless may be blessed and all that they consecrate may be consecrated and sanctified.’ The power conferred is expressed without ambiguity: ‘That for the salvation of Thy people and by their holy blessing, they may effect the Transubstantiation of the bread and the wine into the Body and Blood of thy Divine Son.’

Nowadays the bishop says, ‘Receive the offering of the holy people to present it to God.’ He makes the new priest an intermediary rather than the holder of the ministerial priesthood and the offerer of a sacrifice. The conception is wholly different.”

The effect of the sacrament is the same, but I would argue that the theology used for the change in the rite (the form) has radically changed. If people think that priests are well schooled and know that changes have occured, they are fooling themselves. Those candidates that know what has happened are seeking out traditional orders. They want the clear and unambigious form that was present before VII.

The pre-VII form those is not ecumenical. Protestant churchs do not have Priests that offer sacrifice. They have presiders that are mostly elected by the people. It is much easier for a protestant to convert to Catholocism in the new forms because he does not see the jarring difference between what a Catholic priest is and what his former protestant minister was.

It takes effort and work on the part of the Catholic to know his faith. So many today know virtually nothing of their faith and so they do not question nor even spend any time learning their faith.

Here is a good example of the externality of the form of the traditional rite that is what I referenced to above. For some reason it always makes me cry with longing. I very much wanted to be a priest when I was younger, but I could not endure the new rite. I am married now with many children and am happy, but this video always tugs at my heart.

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