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Pro Multis:

From the Invalidity Thesis of Patrick Omlor


To an Authentic Understanding of the Eucharistic Word.

Dedication:
To my mother, Eugenie Kuss
April 11, 1920-March 20 , 2015
And to Father Lawrence Brey, her brother
July 12, 1927-November 27, 2006

Mira profunditas eloquiorum tuorum, quorum ecce ante nos superficies


blandiens parvulis: sed mira profunditas, deus meus, mira profunditas! horror
est intendere in eam, horror honoris et tremor amoris. Odi hostes eius
vehementer: o si occidas eos de gladio bis acuto, et non sint hostes eius! sic
enim amo eos occidi sibi, ut vivant tibi.
(Wonderful is the depth of Thy words, whose surface lies before us, inviting the little ones. But
their depth is wonderful, O my God, wonderful is their depth. Entering into this depth is aweinspiring; an awesome honour, and an awesome love. I hate its enemies vehemently! Oh, if
Thou wouldest slay them with Thy two-edged sword, that they be not its enemies ! For thus
do I love, that they should be slain unto themselves that they may live unto Thee.)
St Augustine, Confessions XII,14

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part I:
Introduction: On a Personal Note

Part II:
Omlor and his Authorities.

2.
3.
4.
5.

1. St. Thomas, and especially the Summa Theologiae


a) Omlor, St. Thomas and the doctrine of grace: the distinction of sufficiency and efficacy
b) S.T. III q. 78 a3 ad 8
c) Other texts from St. Thomas
The interpreters of St. Thomas
The Roman Catechism
Pope Benedict XIV
St. Alphonsus

Part III:
Is Omlors reading of pro multis founded on Biblical Evidence?

1. The clue given by philology: a Semitism by which many has an inclusive sense
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)
i)
j)
k)
l)

The explanation given by Max Zerwick, S.J. in Notitiae


Omlor responds to the Biblical argument: his critique of Joachim Jeremias.
Franz Prosinger and the more recent critique of Joachim Jeremias
Many as a Biblical expression, whose hermeneutic has a philological foundation
Examples of the usage of rabiim in the Old Testament cited by Joachim Jeremias
Examples from the OT of the substantive use of rabiim with the article
Texts using rabiim from the fourth Song of the Servant of God
A selection of texts cited by Jeremias as examples of the inclusive many in the
New Testament
Adjectival use of many in the New Testament
Various authors speak of a Semitism
From the entry polloi in Theologisches Wrterbuch zum Neuen Testament written
by Joachim Jeremias
Pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 2

2. The Theology of many as a Biblical Semitism


a) Creation
b) Abraham
c) Moses
d) Isaiah, the Figure of the Suffering Servant, and its repercussion in the New
Testament, and in the Redemptive/Eucharistic consciousness of Jesus

e) St. Paul
f) John and the theology of the elect

Part IV:
The Theology behind the Invalidity Thesis is examined
1. The form of the sacrament
a) Is the sacramental form long or short?
b) An erroneous translation of the Council of Trent
c) Literalist fundamentalism
d) Two contradictory explanations
e) The ecclesiological foundation of the distinction between sacraments instituted
in genere and those instituted in specie. Its relation withe Councils phrase
Subsistit in.
f) The history of the liturgy and of the sacramental formulae
g) The Maronites
h) Was St. Thomas a proponent of the necessity of the long form as Omlor
maintains?
i) Polisemy
j) Following the Pope blindly?
k) The Res sacramenti should not be present in the form merely as one
element among others.
l) How the res sacramenti is expressed
2. For whom did Christ die and for whom is the Eucharist offered: the relation
Church-world.
a) The simple violation of the words of Christ
b) For whom did Christ die?
c) Omlor maintains that the Res Sacramenti, which must be expressed in the form
the Sacrament, is not expressed in the controverted forumula.
d) Is the res sacramenti in some relation to all men?
e) The Church and mankind
f) For whom is the Eucharist?
g) For whom the sacrifice of the mass offered?
h) The mass is offered for the members of the Church
i) The mass is offered for the members of the Church, but since all men are in
some way associated with the Church, therefore the mass is offered for all men.
j) The argument for the validity of masses using the formulae in question

3. The later Omlor: the final shape and consequences of his thought. His
misunderstanding of the efficacy of the sacrament His inattention to the abundance
expressed expressed by many.
a) Long-formism, its mitigation, and its resurgence in the multiple long-formism
attributed to Capisuccus
b) A Thought Experiment
c) Omlors disagreement with the Roman Catechism
d) Res Sacramenti: the unity of the Church
e) Omlors hidden Pelagianism, and the corresponding perverse image of God
f) Dare we hope for the salvation of all?

g) The relation between many and all: many is more, not less than all
h) Many (greater than all) signifies the Church as a living reality, vivified by the
Spirit of God.
i) Omlor is on to something and yet does not escape from the
literalist/fundamentalist/magical understanding of the sacramental form.
j) The Sacrament of the Eucharist is only efficacious in those united to it by faith
and charity: St. Thomas compared with Omlor.
k) Omlor atomizes the Sacrament. Omlors discussion with McCarthy regarding
St. Thomas.
l) Analyzing Omlors Criticism of McCarthy
Part V:
The Value of the Churchs confirmation of a liturgical text.
1. The confirmation of the translations is a decisive fact.
2. Conversely, the approval of an invalid form would indeed argue for sedevacantism.
Part VI:
The Church has asked that these translations be changed.
Part VII
Reprise and Summary
1. A Semitism expressing the Essential Self-consciousness of the People of God
2. Omlor and St. Thomas: Sufficency and Efficacy
3. The Eucharist is Work of the Holy Spirit.
4. The words of Jesus are the form of the Eucharist.
Part VIII:
Traditionalism, Absolute Truth and the Prophetic Spirit

(In 1997 Omlor's collected works were published in book-form: The Robber Church, which I
will abbreviate as TRC. (Currently available for download in .pdf format at
http://www.huttongibson.com/PDFs/huttongibson_robberchurch_book.pdf)

Introduction:
On a Personal Note
In 1968 my uncle, Fr. Lawrence Brey, Catholic priest in the Diocese of Milwaukee Wisconsin
wrote the foreword to the book of Patrick Omlor Questioning the Validity of the Mass using
the New All-English Canon. Its grave theme is announced and reflected in Father Breys
foreword:
Was October 22, 1967 the most ominous and frightening day in the two-thousand
year history of the Catholic Church, and certainly in the history of the Church in
the United States of America? Did that day see a legalized contradiction of
hitherto inviolate decrees and norms guarding the Canon of the Mass? Did it
possibly even bring a new era of darkness into the world, the extinguishing of the

true sacrificial and sacramental Eucharistic Christ from the majority of our
churches?
TRC, p.7
Omlor's thesis in a nutshell is this: that the rendering of the latin pro vobis et pro multis in
remissionem peccatorum as for you and for all men so that sins may be forgiven renders the
mass invalid inasmuch as this translation substantially violates the sacramental form
instituted by Our Lord.
My own family was (and is) influenced by this thesis. I was personally aware from a young
age of the arguments of Omlor and that they were the reasons why we did not attend mass in
our parish church but rather in a Ukrainian Catholic Church in San Diego. I remember when
Fr. Brey came to visit us and explained his thought to us and how my parents after
considering the matter decided to withdraw from our Parish and to attend in the Eastern Rite
for the sake of a valid mass.
These decisions led to a particular way of living the Catholic Faith, a particularly intense
consciousness of the value of the mass, and a particular vision of the state of the Catholic
Church.
In studying Omlor's arguments, however, I began to feel that I was not in agreement with
them. I understood that this would be an important matter for me, and would impinge on the
direction my life was going to take.
In 1979 when I was 19, during a semester of study in Rome in my sophomore year at the
University of Dallas, assisted by Father James Lehrberger, O. Cist., the light by which I came
to understand the falsehood of Omlors invalidity argument became the form of an
experience of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a joyful experience, experience which I identify with
my priestly vocation.
Experience of the Gospel of the love of God the Father, the Gospel that: Jesus Christ died for
the salvation of the world, for the salvation of all men, and among them me, a sinner.
"Ah, what is man that you should spare a thouight for him, the son of man that you should
care for him?" (Psalm 8)

The key moment came in Fatima Portugal in the Bascilica of Our Lady of Fatima, whern I,
attending Holy Mass, received Holy Communion . That step, I attribute to Gods grace,
which also includes my rational reflection and my free will.

I was accompanied at that moment by Margaret Donoghue, who would become a Carmelite
nun in Spain , and from whom I would first hear about the Legionaries of Christ, the order in
which I have followed the priestly vocation, and by Julie Erkens, two fellow students at the
University of Dallas.
Another important figure at this juncture of my life was the new Pope Saint John Paul II who
I saw for the first time in January, at the moment of his return from his first trip to Mexico
entering St. Peters Bascilica in January 1979, and greeting a human mass of which I was
part. In later years, especially by the study of his writings, John Paul II would find his
significance in my life and in this story.

Fr. Brey was the priest who baptized me. It was also from him that I had my first youthful
impressions of the priesthood, by which I felt attracted to the priesthood . And I think that
from that time off I believe I carried the germ of the idea of the priesthood with me.
The closing word's of Fr. Brey's introduction to Omlor's Questioning the Validity are
impressive.
While considering the author's request that I write and sign this Foreward I
wavered and prayed and made no immediate decision. What finally decided the
matter for me was my recollection of Our Lord's words: Everyone therefore that
shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Fathere who is in
heaven. But he that sahll deny me before men, I will also deny him before my
Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10,32-3) For the mass and its integrity and
particularly the Consecration and the Most Hloy Sacirfice and Sacrament of the
Body and Blood of the Lord form the very heart and center of my priesthood and
of the Faith I swore to profess, guard and defend "to the last breath of my life."
TRC, p. 13
In the penultimate paragraph Father Brey expresses what for him was the status quaestionis:
I have written this Foreward, but what, exactly, is my position? It is not a position
of unqualified and precipitous endorsement of Mr Patrick Omlor's arguments's
and conclusioms. Rather it is a call to intense mutual study of his thesis, and a
serious examination of the very real mutilations introduced in the form of
consecration and theri bearing on the validity of the Mass. If Mr. Omlor is wrong
in his thesis and arguments, let him be refuted beyond the shadow of a doubt! If
he is correct may effective measures be taken immediately to restore the Mass,
and place it back into the hands of the Magisterium. Or may God himself
intervene! If the matter remains in doubt, unsolved, then th only course of action
is to take the pars tutior, indeed the "medium certum"
TRC, p. 13
I hope to have responded to this call for to study Omlor's thesis, which something especially
important for those who have been led by it to doubt the validity of masses celebrated in the
greater part of the Catholic Church.
I wanted to center on the question of pro multis, but it should also be noted that Omlor also
specifically rejects the teaching of the Council regarding ecumenism and relgious liberty, and
his arguments in regard to the change regarding the word mysterium fidei led him to conclude
that Paul VI could not have been a real Pope: expanding upon his arguments on the question
of pro multis.
It is clear to me that the elements which Omlor rejects form a coherent whole; one cannot
pick them apart. Omlor calls that whole The Robber Church. In rejecting the Robber Church
Omlor is forced to outline what his own ecclesiology is. In this work we will try to show the
critical defects of that ecclesiology.
This work contains a refutation of Omlors invalidity thesis, demonstrating that this thesis is
based on sophistical reasoning, and compromises essential Catholic doctrine.

But beyond the invalidity thesis there is a distinct question which one must consider: is for
all men a good translation, the right translation of pro multis? The question is weighty; the
Church has spoken regarding this issue, and the Church has deemed the question to be
weighty. The Church returns to a faithful rendering of the Lords Eucharistic word.
The issue has been clarified not so much by an abstract argument as by the unfolding of
history, of a story, of the story which is the story of the Church. This entails that the refutation
of Omlors thesis is not mine. It is something that happened, something that I nevertheless
was involved in, and that I testify to. Something in which Gods grace had the chief role.
Here we reflect on the content and meaning of that story, recognizing the hand of Gods
grace, looking towards the meaning of the story.

Part I:
Omlor and his authorities: Does the tradition of the Church support him?
My order of argumentation will be based on the internal logic of Omlors argumentation. He
bases his argument regarding on principally on authorities (principally the Catechism of the
Council of Trent and St. Thomas) whom he believes teach authoritatively that pro multis
means the elect only, not all, and that the translation for all thus suppresses a necessary
element of the form of the sacrament inasmuch as the Church (the elect, not all) is no longer
specifically mentioned (or, to say the same thing in other words, the aspect of efficacy is no
longer specifically mentioned but merely the aspect of sufficiency) and that therefore the res
sacramenti of the Eucharist, the unity of the Church is no longer signified in the sacramental
form as it must be, with as consequence that the sacrament is no longer confected, because
what is not signified cannot be realized.
I believe that Omlor substantially misunderstands his authorities, which leads to, and is
related to a misunderstanding the nature of the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, of the
Eucharistic sacrifice, and of the Church which takes her origin from Christ on the Cross and
from the Eucharist.
The readings of Omlor evince a literalist\fundamentalist hermeneutics. We will analyse how
this hermeneutics is practiced, from there we can begin to analyze its causes and
consequences.
2. St.Thomas and in particular the Summa Theologiae
One could say that Omlors interpretation of the expression pro multis began with his reading
of the text from th Roman Catechism; yet in another sense it could be said to begin with St.
Thomas.
The Eucharistic doctrine of Trent is grounded on the doctrine of St. Thomas. The Summa was
placed on the altar at Trent. And it was the Eucharistic Theology of St. Thomas that was
precisely necessary at Trent in order to confront the Protestant errors regarding the sacrifice of
the mass. If the entire philosophical and theological structure of St. Thomass thought is held
in the greatest honor in the Catholic Church, his sacramental and Eucharistic theology has
within that structure a special place of honor. Vatican II can also be considered to represent a
renewed and deepened reflection on the sacramental theology of St. Thomas.
The Summa represents the peak of the Eucharistic theology of St.Thomas, as Fr. Brey points
out, and it is shortly after finishing the part of the Summa dealing with the Eucharist that St.

Thomas undergoes his wonderful mystical experience in which he hears the words Bene
scripsisti de me, Thoma!

It would be indeed strange if the Roman Catechism did not respect and reflect the Eucharistic
theology of St. Thomas.
But an important point here is that the Church holds St.Thomas in high regard precisely
because of the value of his thought. His authority comes from the value of his thought, not the
other way around.
This may seem so trivially true as hardly to be worth saying. Yet it takes us to the heart of the
mistakes that Omlor makes reading St. Thomas.
For Omlor St. Thomas is above all authority. We must accept what he says because he is St.
Thomas. But St. Thomas never says this. He never says believe what I am saying because I
am Thomas. He pleads with us to read his arguments and evaluate them.

b) S.T. III q. 78 a3 ad 8
S.T. III q. 78 a3 ad 8 is the fundamental text behind Omlors argument that pro multis
expresses the aspect of efficacy as opposed to the aspect of sufficiency, the truth of efficacy as
opposed to the truth of sufficiency, as if these aspects or truths were simply distinct and
disconnected.
My examination of the arguments in QTV began with an examination of S.T. III q. 78 a3 ad8.
From the beginning it occurred to me that Omlors interpretation of this passage was curious,
one-sided, tendentious, arbitrary.
Here is the text of objection and response

AG8
Praeterea, passio christi, ut supra habitum est, ad sufficientiam profuit omnibus,
quantum vero ad efficaciam profuit multis. Debuit ergo dici quod effundetur pro
omnibus, aut pro multis, sine hoc quod adderetur pro vobis.

RA8
Ad octavum dicendum quod sanguis passionis christi non solum habet efficaciam
in Iudaeis electis, quibus exhibitus est sanguis veteris testamenti, sed etiam in
gentilibus; nec solum in sacerdotibus, qui hoc efficiunt sacramentum, vel aliis qui
sumunt, sed etiam in illis pro quibus offertur. Et ideo signanter dicit, pro vobis
Iudaeis, et pro multis, scilicet gentilibus, vel, pro vobis manducantibus, et pro
multis pro quibus offertur.
S.T. III q. 78 a.3
St. Thomas in the Summa does not address the question of whether for many or for all
should be used, but rather the question of why for you is added to for many instead of using
more simply with for many or for all. The context is a question about the form of the
sacrament and an article in which the proposition is defended that Hic est Calix sanguinis
mei, etc is conveniens forma consecrationis.

Omlor speaks of a error in the objection (Questioning the Validity, no.75, The Robber
Church) which St. Thomas exposes. But which error is it? And how does St. Thomas refute
it? For Omlor the subtle error is that either sufficiency or efficacy could be spoken of in the
words of consecration Q.T.V. n. 76 whereas Thomas will affirm that only the aspect of
efficacy belongs in the sacramental form, and that this makes it impossible that sufficiency
could be present.
74. For clarity's sake, let us examine this "objection" by rephrasing it. It may
be reworded thus: The proper form for the consecration should treat of Christ's
Passion from either the standpoint of sufficiency, or the standpoint of efficacy.
Now to treat of it from the standpoint of sufficiency demands the form, which shall
be shed for all. But if the standpoint of efficacy is what is meant, then the form
should be simply: for many, without adding for you (which is redundant).
75. The subtle error in this "objection" is thus exposed and refuted by St.
Thomas: "Reply Obj. 8. The blood of Christ's Passion has its efficacy not merely
in the elect among the Jews, to whom the blood of the Old Testament was
exhibited, but also in the Gentiles...And therefore He says expressly, for you, the
Jews, and for many, namely the Gentiles..."
76. Beginning his reply, "The blood of Christ's passion has
its efficacy," St. Thomas totally ignores the aspect of sufficiency, and thus he
implies that it goes without saying that the proper sense of Christ's words here is
that of efficacy. Moreover, his reply speaks only of "the elect." Thus, for you
means not only the Apostles to whom Christ was speaking - and, in fact, Judas,
though present, was not included in for you - , but it means all the elect among
the Jews. Not all the Jews, but only "the elect" among the Jews. And this
phraseology, needless to say, denotes only the aspect of efficacy. And the
phrase and for many encompasses the Gentiles; again it is understood, of
course, that St. Thomas is referring only to the elect among the Gentiles.
TRC, p. 25
But notice the words totally ignoresgoes without saying. For Omlor the argument for
efficacy belonging here is no argument, it simply goes without saying. St. Thomas simply
raises his voice here and says this goes without saying.
Omlor not only affirms that the translation in for all is defective (something that Pope
Benedict XVI has also affirmed) but that it directly contradicts the sense of the words used by
Our Lord, and the sense of the Eucharistic form.
This is not the same thing.
If Omlor is right in his interpretation, St. Thomas gives here no reason for his affirmation of
the efficacy aspect
The only thing we can do is to accept the purported affirmation, on the authority of St.
Thomas.
But if there is something that characterizes St. Thomas it is that he nevers asks us to accept
things simply on his authority: he reasons.

The only subtle error in the objection is that the objection posits that the words of
consecration could refer to either sufficiency or efficacy. Omlor is telling us that tha Thomas
resolves this error by saying that the word only refers to efficacy.
It is true that the response of St. Thomas only speaks of efficacy. Why does he do so?
Omlor holds that the translation in for all falsifies the meaning of Christ. Not only is it a bad
translation, but that it expresses the direct opposite of what Christ meant, that it contradicts
what He meant.
To substantiate his opinion Omlor must explain it, he must tell us what Christ meant here, and
how it is contradicted by for all. The burden is on him. Omlor must spell out clearly what
he means by efficacy and sufficiency. He does not do this.
But the logic of his invalidity thesis shows that his understanding of the distinction
sufficiency/efficacy is not orthodox.
St. Thomas tells us that the form of the sacrament must speak of both sufficiency and
efficacy, because those two truths are connected, because Mass and Calvary are not two
sacrifices but one, and because the Eucharist is not merely sacrament, but sacrament and
sacrifice. Thus one is not dealing with an ipse dixit, but an argument. That is how St. Thomas
does things.
The objection is verbalistic, but the response of St. Thomas is metaphysical, affirming the
ontological identity of the sacrifice of Calvary and the mass. The response is centered on the
blood of Christs passion, sanguis passionis Christi, and the efficacy thereof. That is why it is
not simply an answer, but a deep answer. Such answers are characteristic of St. Thomas.
c) Other texts from St. Thomas
St.Thomas does not say everything about efficacy and sufficiency in these few words. Where
are the other passages in which he speaks of the words of consecration and on the use of many
in the Bible? Let us start with a passage parallel to the passage parallel to that of the Summa
from the early work of St. Thomas Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard

AG7
Praeterea, quod dicitur: pro vobis et pro multis effundetur, aut accipitur de
effusione quantum ad sufficientiam, aut quantum ad efficaciam.
Si quantum ad sufficientiam, sic pro omnibus effusus est, non solum pro multis; si
autem quantum ad efficaciam, quam habet solum in electis, non videtur
distinguendum fuisse inter apostolos et alios.

RA7
Ad septimum dicendum, quod sanguis christi effusus est pro omnibus quo ad
sufficientiam, sed pro electis tantum quo ad efficaciam; et ne putaretur effusus pro
Judaeis tantum electis, quibus promissio facta fuerat, ideo dicit, vobis, qui ex
Judaeis, et multis, scilicet multitudine gentium. Vel per apostolos sacerdotes
designat, quibus mediantibus ad alios effectus passionis per dispensationem
sacramentorum pervenit, qui etiam pro seipsis et pro aliis orant.

In IV Sententiarum, Dist. 8 Quaestio 2, art

The argument remains basically the same here. It is an argument for the co-presence of the
aspects of efficiency and efficacy as expressive of the deep identity of cross and mass.
To these two passages specifically mentioned by Benedict XIV one can add two more. The
first is from the commentary of St. Thomas on the Gospel of Matthew:
In hac autem forma est aliquid simile cum veteri, aliquid dissimile.
Simile in hoc, sicut habetur Ex. XXIV, 8, quod cum legisset Moyses legem,
immolavit vitulos, et obtulit sanguinem, et dixit: hic est sanguis foederis domini.
Sic iste sanguis oblatus est pro salute populi. Ad Hebr. IX, 7 dicitur, quod semel
in anno pontifex solus introibat non sine sanguine, quem offert pro sua et populi
ignorantia.
Ostenditur autem differentia quantum ad quatuor. Primo in hoc quod sanguis ille
est vitulorum, iste christi; ideo iste est efficax ad remittendum; ad Hebraeos IX,
13: si enim sanguis hircorum et taurorum, et cinis vitulae conspersus inquinatos
sanctificat ad emundationem carnis, quanto magis sanguis christi emundabit
conscientiam nostram ab operibus mortuis ad serviendum deo viventi? item ille
dicebatur sanguis testamenti, sed iste dicitur testamentum. Item accipitur
testamentum communiter et proprie. Communiter pro quocumque facto, quia ita
solebat esse quod in omni facto adducebantur testes. Proprie dicitur testamentum
quando aliquid legatur in morte, secundum quod dicit apostolus, quod
testamentum in morte testatoris firmatur.
Utroque modo competit hic, quia pactio fuit ibi; et fiebat sanguine, quia in
confoederatione pacis antiquitus ostendebant sanguinem, ideo dicebatur sanguis
foederis. Item secundum quod ad mortuos dicitur, sic erat quoddam pactum inter
deum et homines in veteri et in nova lege, sed differenter; quia primo de
temporalibus, scilicet veteris legis, sicut patet quod promisit eis terram
Amorrhaeorum, ideo fuit vetus, quia non innovabantur homines, sed magis
inveterabantur; istud autem testamentum est de caelestibus et de supernis. Ideo
supra IV, 17: agite poenitentiam, appropinquabit enim regnum caelorum.
Ideo dicit novi testamenti; ibi vero dicebatur: hic est sanguis foederis quod pepigit
dominus vobiscum super cunctis sermonibus his etc.. Ier. XXXI, 31: feriam
domui Israel et domui Iuda foedus novum.
Unde hic est enim sanguis meus novi testamenti, idest dedicatus ad novum
testamentum, in quo debemus habere fiduciam; ad Hebr. X, 19: habemus fiduciam
per sanguinem christi. Item pro morte competit; quia per mortem christi
confirmata est repromissio.
Item alia differentia, quia ista addit novi et aeterni testamenti, quod potest referri
vel ad haereditatem aeternam, vel ad christum, qui aeternus Est.
Alia differentia est, quia in illa habetur: quod pepigit vobiscum; unde ad illos
solum restrictum est illud testamentum; sed istud etiam ad gentes, is.
C. LII, 15: ipse asperget, scilicet sanguine suo, gentes multas. Pro multis, et pro
omnibus, quia si consideretur sufficientia, ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris;
non pro nostris autem tantum, sed et pro totius mundi. Sed si consideremus
effectum, non habet effectum nisi in his qui salvantur, et hoc ex culpa hominum.
Sed ecclesia addit, pro vobis, idest apostolis, quia ipsi ministri sunt huius
sanguinis, et per istos derivatur ad gentes.

Super Evangelium Matthaei, cap. 26, lectio 4


And the following passage from his commentary on the First Letter to the Corinthians:

Dicunt ergo quidam, quod quaecumque formae horum verborum proferantur, quae
sunt scripta in canone sufficere ad consecrationem. Probabilius autem dici videtur
quod illis solis verbis perficitur consecratio, quibus ecclesia utitur ex traditione
apostolorum structa.
Evangelistae enim verba domini recitare intenderunt quantum pertinet ad rationem
historiae, non autem secundum quod ordinantur ad consecrationem
sacramentorum, quas in occulto habebant in primitiva ecclesia, propter infideles.
Unde dionysius dicit in ultimo cap. Ecclesiasticae hierarchiae: perfectivas
invocationes non est fas in Scripturis exponere, neque mysticum ipsarum ante
factas in ipsis ex deo virtutes ex occulto in communi adducere.
Sed circa ista verba quibus ecclesia utitur in consecratione sanguinis, quidam
opinantur quod non omnia sint de necessitate formae sed solum quod dicitur hic
est calix sanguinis mei, non autem residuum quod sequitur: novi et aeterni
testamenti, mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem
peccatorum.
Sed hoc non videtur convenienter dici.
Nam totum illud quod sequitur est quaedam determinatio praedicati. Unde et ad
eiusdem locutionis sententiam seu significationem pertinet. Et quia, ut saepe
dictum est, formae sacramentorum significando efficiunt, totum pertinet ad vim
effectivam formae.
Nec obstat ratio quam inducunt, quia in consecratione corporis sufficit quod
dicitur hoc est corpus meum, quia sanguis seorsum consecratus, specialiter
repraesentat passionem christi, per quam eius sanguis separatus est a corpore.
Et ideo in consecratione sanguinis oportuit exprimere christi passionis virtutem,
quae attenditur, primo quidem, respectu nostrae culpae quam christi passio abolet,
secundum illud Apoc. I, 5: lavit nos a peccatis nostris in sanguine suo, et,
quantum ad hoc, dicit qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem
peccatorum.
Effusus est siquidem sanguis in remissionem peccatorum, non solum pro multis,
sed etiam pro omnibus, secundum illud I Io. II, 2: ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis
nostris, non pro nostris autem tantum, sed etiam pro totius mundi. Sed quia
quidam se reddunt indignos ad recipiendum talem effectum, quantum ad
efficaciam dicitur esse effusus pro multis, in quibus habet effectum passio christi.
Dicit autem signanter pro vobis et pro multis, quia hoc sacramentum valet in
remissionem peccatorum sumentibus per modum sacramenti, quod notatur
signanter, cum dicitur pro vobis, quibus dixerat accipite. Valet etiam per modum
sacrificii multis non sumentibus, pro quibus offertur; quod significatur cum
dicitur: et pro multis.
Super I ad Cor. 11

There is indeed a tradition of interpretation of pro multis in reference the aspect of efficacy.
This is witnessed to in St. Thomas in his interpretation of the "many" passages of the Bible.
St. Thomas, referring to the different "many" passages of the New Testament regularly
appeals to the distinction "efficacy with respect to many, sufficiency with respect to all" in
order to explain them. In his Catena Aurea St. Thomas also includes citations of Church
Fathers who speak in this way. Here we present a collection of fragments of St. Thomas with
this sense:

1.
Et ipse peccatum multorum, efficienter, quamvis omnium sufficienter, tulit,
abstulit, et pro transgressoribus oravit.
In Isaiam, cap. 53
[Reference to Is 53:12 ipse peccatum multorum tulit]

2.
unde venit ministrare, et dare animam suam, idest vitam corporalem, redemptionem
pro multis. Non dicit pro omnibus, quia quantum ad sufficientiam, pro omnibus;
quantum vero ad efficientiam, pro multis, scilicet pro electis.
Super Evangelium Matthaei, cap. 20, lectio 2
[Reference to Mt. 20:28 dare animam suam redemptionem pro multis]

3.
Nec dicit omnium, quia mors christi, etsi sit sufficiens pro omnibus, non tamen
habet efficaciam, nisi quantum ad salvandos. Non enim omnes subiiciuntur ei per
fidem et bona opera.
Super ad Hebraeos, capitulus 9
[Reference to Hb 9:28 Christus semel oblatus ad multorum exhaurienda peccatum]

4.
hic est sanguis novi testamenti, qui pro multis effundetur, scilicet efficaciter.
Super ad Hebraeos, capitulus 10, lectio 3
[Reference to Mt 26:28 Hic est enim sanguis meus novi testamenti, qui pro multis
effundetur in remissionem peccatorum]
5.
Beda.
Non autem dixit animam suam redemptionem dare pro omnibus, sed pro multis,
idest qui credere voluerint.
Catena aureum in marcum, cap. 10, lec 7
[Reference to Mk 10:45 daret animam suam redemptionem pro multis]

6.
Sequitur qui pro multis effundetur.
Hieronymus.
Non enim omnes emundat.
Catena aureum in marcum, cap. 14, lec 6
[Reference to Mk 14:24 Hic est sanguis mei novi testamenti, qui pro multis
effundetur]
7.
Origenes in Matth.
et daret animam suam redemptionem pro multis, scilicet qui crediderunt in eum:
Catena aureum in Mattheum, cap 20, lec. 4
[Reference to Mt 20:28 dare animam suam redemptionem pro multis]
St. Thomas in these passages ascribes to "many" (Isaiah 53:12, Mt. 20:28, Mk 10:45,
Hebrews 9:28, and also in direct reference to the scriptural words of institution Mt 26:28, Mk
14:24) a a meaning not in apparent disaccord with Omlor's thesis. Yet on the other hand, the
aspect of sufficiency is mentioned in three of the four comments of St. Thomas. Only (if we
do not count the Patristic citations from the Catena Aurea) in his comment on Mt. 26:28,
tucked into his commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews does he say simply: qui pro multis
effundetur, scilicet efficaciter.
There is furthermore one place in St. Thomas where he refers multis in the form of
consecration to a group of the elect limited by human non-cooperation with grace.
Sed quia quidam se reddunt indignos ad recipiendum talem effectum, quantum ad
efficaciam dicitur esse effusus pro multis, in quibus habet effectum passio christi.
Super I ad Cor. 11
I think that the correct interpretation of the explanation of these passages of St. Thomas is the
simple one. Many and all are conceptually different. (They are not, however, contradictory. If
I affirm that something is true in many cases this does not exclude that it may be true in all
cases.) That is for me why St. Thomas offers an explanation: many will be saved
efficaciously, yet Christ died for all and his grace is sufficient for the salvation of all. St.
Thomas does not confront, and certainly of course does not deny what exegetes will later say
about the presence of a Semitism and the related literary reference to the OT. It would be
anachronistic to expect this. His explanation is more doctrinal than exegetical. Though it must
be said that St.Thomas intuits in a remarkable way where the exegesis eventually will lead.
(Later when Cardinal Arinze explains the thinking of Pope Benedict XVI about this question
he will say that the translation in for all men is rather a catechetical explanation ot the
Biblical/liturgical word than a translation.) It seems to me that St. Thomas and the Roman
Catechism, in these passages, are not so much proposing a scriptural exegesis of many as
taking advantage of the scriptural word in order to propound the doctrinal distinction of
sufficiency and efficacy.
It is important to note that this way of dealing with this Biblical many is uniform throughout
these passages. There is no sense of a dissociation between a redemption of all on the cross,
and a salvation of many through Eucharistic application; there is no implication that the Bible
reserves many for the Eucharist. On the contrary there is the sense that both sufficiency and

efficacy are somehow co-present in the expression many. He associates many with efficacy,
but he shows himself prepared to add but for all with regard to sufficiency.
Similarly, when in Notitiae the Vatican responds officially to the question of the translation of
pro multis as for all (making specific reference to the teaching of the Catechism of the
Council of Trent in this regard) it affirms that the teaching of the Catechism is not to be
regarded as rejected. Which teaching? The teaching about the sufficiency and efficacy of
Christ's passion.
(question)

An doctrina tradita circa hanc rem in "Catechismo Romano" ex Decreto Concilii


Tridentini iussu S. Pii V edito" habenda sit ut superata?
(answer)
Nullo modo habenda est ut superata doctrina "Catechismi Romani": distinctio circa
mortem Christi sufficientem pro omnibus, efficacem solum pro multis, valorem suum
retinet.
Notitiae 6 (1970), nr. 50
Here is an official interpretation of precisely what is the teaching of the Roman Catechism in
regard to this question and the affirmation that this teaching has not been superseded.
Passages such as these from St. Thomas and the text from the Roman Catechism make it
possible to understand how Omlor comes to his mistaken position. But we have also seen how
in the longer passages referring to the words of consecration, even in the further develpment
of the passage given above from his commentary on First Corinthians, St. Thomas interprets
the expression pro vobis et pro multis in the universal sense, allowing for an inclusive
interpretation of multis which would justify a translation in the sense of for all. And in the
passages in St. Thomas which speaks directly with regard to the form of consecration, Pro
vobis refers to the Apostles or to the Jews or to the priests , or to those present, or to those
who receive the sacrament: to the aspect of efficiency, to the elect, in various analogical
senses of the term; pro multis refers to the others to whom the apostles are sent with their
mission of sanctification, or to the Gentiles (who Biblically represent the universality of God's
plan of salvation), or to those for whom priests offer the Eucharistic sacrifice (who are more
than those who are present or receive the sacrament, who are [all] others, who are those for
whom the Eucharistic sacrifice is offered, who are the terminus a quo of the total unifying
action of the Eucharist: "When I am lifted up from the earth I will attract all men [or things, in
the Vulgate] to myself" [Jn 12:32]).

How is this apparent inconsistency possible? For St. Thomas scriptural interpretation can
work at different levels. He explains the medieval notion of the four levels of meaning (S.T. I
q. 1, a. 10 Ut sacra Scriputa sub una littera habeat plures sensus). I believe that for the mind
of St. Thomas there is nothing contradictory about affirming a certain polisemy (plurality of
senses) regarding multis. He does in fact affirm different senses (it refers, for example, to the
gentiles or those for whom the Eucharist is offered).
He bases his exegesis on the Latin Vulgate. He forms a part of a tradition of exegesis based
on the Vulgate, which the Church approves, but without denying that there is much to learn
from the deeper study of original texts. The Latin expression multis does not have the nuance
of inclusiveness which the Semitic expression (underlying the Greek polloi) has. St. Thomas's
exegesis of multis is theologically sound but does not exclude a philologically deeper

explanation. It is anachronistic to expect St. Thomasto deal with science that in his time did
not exist or was not available to him.
St. Thomas is erudite. And thus we can find the following words of St. Thomas (or perhaps of
the final author of the Supplement at the end of the Summa Theologiae) showing his
knowledge of Augustine and of Scripture.
2. Praeterea, Dan. XII dicitur multi de his qui dormiunt in pulvere evigilabunt. Sed haec
locutio quondam particulationem importat. Ergo non omnes resurgent.
With the response:
Dicendum quod Augustinus exponit multi idest omnes. Et hic modus loquendi frequenter
invenitur in sacra Scriptura.
S.T. Suppl. q. 75 a. 2
Without knowing the full philological background, St. Thomas, seems thus to be aware that
there is a way of speaking (modus loquendi) found in Scripture according to which many
should be taken to mean all. Augustine in The City of God (20, 23) simply says that in
Scripture many sometimes means all. The Summa goes a step further, telling thus that it
frequently means all. This all helps us to understand that there is indeed something special
about Biblical many. This modus loquendi will be further investigated by scholars in the
future.
Without the philological background it might appear logical that many is to be distinguished
from all as is normal in a non-Biblical, non-Semitic context. (Although it must be noted that
even in languages like English many and all are not contradictory concepts). It is not difficult
to explain with a certain reflection on the history of exegesis and a common sense reading of
the Latin how St Thomas and the Roman Catechism relate multis to the elect, but this does not
nullify everything which leads us to conclude that that multis may be legitimately (if
imperfectly) translated as all. St. Thomas realized that without a firm study of the literal sense
of scripture, the construction of other levels of meaning has no solid basis and everything can
fall into ambiguity and confusion. He would have approved thus of deeper studies of
scripture. He would not have rejected them a priori.
The inclusive nuance present in the Semitic expression for many not only does not contradict
our understanding of the concept of many, but helps to illuminate it. One is dealing not only
with a philological question but with a Biblical question which will be addressed in Part II of
this monograph. The Biblical theology of many will finally illuminate this question in a
decisive way.

5. Others
There are other weighty authors, I believe many, who not only affirm the universal/inclusive
sense of pro multis in the words of consecration but who count St. Thomas in the Summa as
support or confirmation. Among them, the secure Ad. Tanquerey:
Qui vobis et pro multis effundeturquibus verbis significatur sanguinem Christi
effundi non solum pro Apostolis aut sacerdotibus, sed etiam pro omnibus aliis qui
certo multi sunt. S Th III, q. 78 a. 3.
Ad. Tanquerey

Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae (specialis)


ad mentem St. Thomae Aquinatis Hodiernis moribus accomodata
Tomus secundus, p. 388
The reference to the Summa is from Tanquerey himself.
Omlor also cites an article of James A. McInerney, O.P. published in The Wanderer
December 18 1969 (TRC 117,131). I believe that this priest also uses the texts from the
Summa in the same sense in that article.
Omlor also uses Innocent III as another papal witness to his interpretation of pro multis, but
in the passage which Omlor cites Innocent III simply says:
Qui pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Pro solis praedestinatis effusus
est, quantum ad efficientiam. Sed pro cunctis hominibus est effusus quantum ad
sufficientiam.
De Sacro Altaris Mysterio, Book IV, ch XLI
(cfr TRC p. 102 note p. 105; p 241, note p. 265)
Here is no more support for Omlor than by St. Alphonsus. The distinction sufficiency/efficacy
is simply affirmed here.
Which authors then share Omlor's interpretation of St. Thomas regarding the words of
consecration? It is quite clear that the Catechism of Trent, St. Alphonsus and Benedict XIV
are all following St. Thomas, and the only reasonable conclusion is that none of these
authorities can be held to be in support of Omlors theses.

2. The Roman Catechism


Now let us have a look at the text of the Roman Catechism which Omlor regards really as
the cornerstone.

Sed verba illa quae adducuntur: Pro Vobis & Pro Multis a Matthaeo, & Luca,
singula singulis sumpta sunt, quae tamen sancta Ecclesia Spiritus Dei instructa
simul coniunxit: pertinet autem ad passionis fructum, atque utilitatem declarandam.
Nam si eius virtutem inspiciamus, pro omnium salute sanguinem a Salvatore effusum
esse fatendum erit: si vero fructum, quem homines ex eo perceperint, cogitemus, non
ad omnes, sed ad multos tantum eam utilitatem pervenire, facile intelligemus.
Cum igitur Pro vobis, dixit: eos, qui aderant, vel delectos ex Iudaeorum populo,
quales erant discipuli, excepto Iuda, quibuscum loquebatur, significat.
Cum autem addidit, Pro multis, reliquos electos ex Judaeis aut gentibus intellegi
voluit.
Recte ergo factum est, ut, pro universis non diceretur, cum hoc loco tantummodo de
fructibus passionis sermo esset, quae salutis fructu delectis solum attulit.

Atque huc spectant verba illa Apostoli:


Christus semel oblatus est, ad multorum exhaureinda peccata.
Et quod Domiunus apud Ioanne inquit:
Ego pro eis rogo, non pro mundo rogo, sed pro his, quos didisti mihi, quia tui sunt.
Plurima alia in huius consecrationis verbis latent mysteria; quae Pastores assidua
rerum divinarum meditatione, & studio, ipsi per iuvante Domino facile affrequentur.
Catechismus Ex Decreto Sacrosancti Concilii Tridenti, iussu Pii V Pont.
Taken in isolation, the words: Recte ergo factum est, ut, pro universis non diceretur, cum hoc
loco tantummodo de fructibus passionis sermo esset, quae salutis fructu delectis solum attulit.
seem to serve Omlor nicely. "Rightly was it done, so that the words for all would not be used,
because in this place there is only mention of the fruits of the passion."
The clause, ut, pro universis non diceretur, rightly construed, is a clause of result not a clause
of purpose. (There is a third option by which one might read it as occupying the middle
position of being neither a clause of result nor a clause, in such wise that it simply says that
not using pro universis was rightly done.) The difference between these might not seem
important at the first reading, but there is a real difference.
I consider the richest, deepest, most beautiful and significant reading to be the following:
Rightly was it done, with as a result that for all was not used. To understand the sense of this
one needs to ask: What was done rightly? And the answer is that the joining together of the
words pro vobis en pro multis was done rightly. It refers back to the Sed verba illa quae
adducuntur: Pro Vobis & Pro Multis a Matthaeo, & Luca, singula singulis sumpta sunt, quae
tamen sancta Ecclesia Spiritus Dei instructa simul coniunxit. That conjoining of twords was
rightly done by the Church.
But this conjoining of words should not be thought of as the Church fiddling around in order
to come up with a usable (valid) sacramental formula. The central idea here is not the
sacramental formula but the sacramental form.
Accordingly, the conjoining of words is the celebration of the Eucharist, which is work of
the Holy Spirit and therefore the words quae tamen sancta Ecclesia Spiritus Dei instructa
simul coniunxit have their logical place, and the Catechism is not introducing the Holy Spirit
here as a God of the Gaps who one inserts to shore things up when necessary.
What the text is saying is that the Church celebrates rightly (validly) conjoining these words:
Recte ergo factum est. It is saying that the distinction efficacy/sufficiency belongs here, and
belongs to the the essence of the sacramental form. If the many speaks of efficacy, it belongs
to a structure which speaks of both efficacy and sufficiency, by expressing their distinction.
The conjoining of the words produces the sacrament, and therefore it is the form of the
sacrament, and the efficacy of the sacrament results from that conjoining.
Fructum and utilitatem in the first paragraph of my citation of the Catechism are not
synonymns.
The authors of the catechism, like St. Thomas, are sufficient masters of the art of writing to
have realized that words ought not to be multiplied without reason: fructum and utilitatem
express the distinction of efficacy (fructum) and sufficiency (utilitatem), and this means the
co-presence of the aspects of sufficiency and efficacy in the words of consecration. The

Catechism here echoes the doctrine of St. Thomas (S.T. III, q. 79 a. 7) which distinguishes
between the efficacy of Christs passion in many (efficacy corresponding to fructum in the
Cathechism) from a benefit of Christs passion for all (corresponding to the Catechisms
utilitatem.)
Qui aderant refers to the apostles, thus Judas also. St. Thomas affirms that Jesus gave his
body to Judas (ST III q. 81 a. 2 The apostles represent the Church, but they also represent
mankind (12 apostles, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve sons of Israel, who are the children of the
Promise, which is universal: Gen 17:5 quia patrem multarum gentium constitui te
(multarum=all, cfr. St. Augustine, The City of God, Book XX, ch. 23. Cfr. Gen 22:18
benedicentur in semine tuo omnes gentes terrae).
The Biblical doctrine of election and the Biblical doctrine of the universality of salvation do
not contradict each other. Our Lord as he addressed his apostles at the Last Supper addressed
Judas also: Judas, whom Our Lord knew would betray him. The Gospels emphasize that Judas
was one of the twelve.
If Judas is included in what our Lord meant with vobis, how can it be denied that sufficiency
was part of his discourse?
The Catechism does go on to say: cum hoc loco tantummodo de fructibus passionis sermo
esset, quae salutis fructu delectis solum attulit. Bu what is meant by hoc loco?
Omlor ignores this crucial question.
He assumes that hoc loco, in this place, is to be taken as meaning in the form of the
sacrament: the place spoken of is the form of the sacrament.
He assumes therefore that the Catechism means to say that the aspect of sufficiency has no
place in the form of the sacrament. But is this assumption legitimate?
Specifically, hoc loco refers to the expression pro multis. Therefore pro multis means the
elect, and even the elect only.
In locating a place, however, one needs two things: 1. the frame of reference and 2. the
coordinates
We have the coordinates. The coordinates determine that one is speaking about the expression
pro multis; but which frame of reference do they correspond to?
The frame of reference is the context. Context is necessary to determine the sense of an
expression. But if it is to determine the sense of an expression context itself must be welldetermined.
The formal context determining the sense of a word or expression is the sentence in which the
word or expression is used.
This is so because a sentence is that which expresses a complete thought, and it is in the
whole that the parts find their well-determined sense.
This does not of course mean that one might need to look to the discourse as a whole in order
to find the sense of a sentence.

Therefore, I contend that the frame of reference which the Roman Catechism is referring to
with this hoc loco is not the form of the sacrament, but rather the formula of the consecration
of wine.
The formula of consecration of the wine is a sentence, and a sentence is the verbal
expression of a complete thought. And a sentence, by expressing a complete thought, gives
the formal frame of reference within which the words with which a sentence is composed
have a determined meaning.
The Roman Catechism, moreover, is speaking here precisely of the formula of the wineconsecration, and not of the form of the sacrament.
Let us examine the contrast between the formula of the consecration of the wine or bread
taken singularly with the form of the sacrament.
If the form of the sacrament consists of the consecratory words of the Lord spoken over bread
and wine, it consists essentially of two sentences, not one.
When one has two sentences one has discourse; and one has entered the realm of the
discursive.
Which discourse is this? One can therefore speak in more general, and not less accurate, terms
of the Lords discourse at the Last Supper: Which discourse is this? What was this discourse
about?
The words of Our Lord constituting the Eucharistic form constitute the nucleus or essence of
the discourse of the Lord at the Last Supper.
Similarly, the words of consecration constitute the nucleus or essence of the Eucharistic
Prayers to which they belong.
This explains why liturgists often advise us not to obsess about the words of consecration, but
to think also in terms of the whole of the Eucharistic prayer. The words of consecration give
the essence of the thing, but the Eucharistic Prayer gives the full context.
Not obsessing about the words of consecration is not the same as not caring about them.
In the Last Supper discourse. the Lord celebrates Passover. This Passover-discourse cannot be
reduced to the Passover of the Jews, but the reason it cannot be reduced to the Passover of the
Jews is because it is the Passover of the Lord.
Similarly, and for essentially the same reason, the Passover Discourse of the Lord, must be
held to be extra-Biblical.
Why is that? Does not John give us at length, the discourse of the Lord at the Last Supper? Do
the synoptic Gospels not give us, on the other hand, the Institution of the Eucharist?
Nevertheless, we must affirm that the Passover Discourse of the Lord transcends the letter of
the Bible.
A Discourse is a verbal thing somehow; but we cannot place a limit on the depth of the
mystery of the Word. The Word is more than the letter. The Passover Discourse of the Lord is
Spirit Discourse: it passes beyond the letter because the Spirit passes beyond the letter.

Passover means Remembrance and Thanksgiving.


Omlor concludes that if in this place (hoc loco) pro multis refers to the elect only, and thus to
efficacy only, the aspect of sufficiency cannot be co-present in the form of the sacrament.
What we are discovering here is something more subtle than simply the consigning of the
aspect of efficacy exclusively to the consecration of the wine and the aspect of sufficiency
exclusively to the consecration of the bread. One can say that the efficacy of the Passion is to
its sufficiency as the consecration of the wine is to the consecration of the bread, but this
distinction, represented by the whole, is also represented in the parts.
What one discovers here is what mathematicians call fractal structure: the underlying
structure of the whole is already present in the part.
If one denies this, one can never express distinctions, because things can only be expressed
one at a time.
But what does this only exclude? It does not exclude that those elect who are meant do not
mean in turn something else and namely all men. The interpretation of the sacramental form
as including both sufficiency and efficacy entails that there must be this two-tiered structure.
Otherwise it would be ambiguous as Omlor says.
St. Thomas gives a beautiful explanation of such structures at the beginning of the Summa
when he speaks of the different levels of scripture.
Let us examine these words in hoc loco tantummodo de fructibus passionis sermo esset. What
is excluded by these words? Do these words mean that there can be no mentioning of
sufficiency anywhere in the words of consecration directly or indirectly because only the
aspect of efficacy belongs there? This is what Omlor reads, but it is not justified.
It is important to recall here that the Catechism is dealing with the wine-consecration form
now, not the bread-consecration. But both consecrations form together the form of the
sacrament: the double consecration.
One might think that if sufficiency doesnt belong in the wine-consecration, then certainly it
doesnt belong to the bread-consecration. The wine-consecration, on one hand, speaks more
vividly of the Passion (as St. Thomas tells us), and it is clear, on the other hand, that the
Eucharistic Body of the Lord is only to be received by the living members of Christ.
But the bread-consecration signifies most clearly the real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist,
and therefore it signifies the aspect of sufficiency, because Jesus Christ, being God contains
power to forgive all sins, all the sins of all men, and this power is what sufficiency signifies:
not simply the power of God abstractly but a power that is really present to us because Jesus
Christ is really present in the Church, and therefore in the world through his Eucharistic
coming.
The expression hoc loco refers to the expression many, or more generally, one can say that it
speaks of the consecratory formula of the wine. It speaks of efficacy. But the form of the
Sacrament does not consist solely of the consecratory formula of the wine, but includes also
the consecration of the bread, which speaks of sufficiency.
Does this allow us to say that the many does not refer in any way to sufficiency, to all men?
No, because efficacy represents an expansion beyond sufficiency, not a contraction (which
woud entail a contradiction, the denial of the truth of sufficiency). It is an expansion which is

limited by human non-collaboration with grace. Nevertheless, it is an expansion. Being an


expansion, it includes within itself the notion of sufficiency.
The Roman Catechism speaks of the joining of words. This joining constitutes the essence of
the celebration of Holy Mass, the form of the sacrament, the double consecration. This
joining (united with the matter) realizes the sacrifice of the mass. This joining joins the
aspects of sufficiency and efficacy, sacrament and sacrifice in a unique whole.
Objection: hoc loco tantummodo de fructibus passionis sermo esset, quae salutis fructu
delectis solum attulit
Response: Hoc loco refers to the part, the words of consecration of the wine, not to the whole
form of the sacrament.
A second objection: How can one then go on saying that the many somehow refers to all?
Arent you saying that many is, in any case, the efficacy part.
Here we can benefit from a concept developed in contemporary mathematics, that of fractal
structure, the structure of self-similarity. In the form of the Eucharist the part reflects the
whole. The determining character of the whole is present locally in the part. Thus the
consecration of the wine is the efficacy part, yet nevertheless both sufficiency and efficacy are
expressed therein, because efficacy in surpassing sufficiency affirms (and therefore does not
cancel) what it surpasses
The Eucharist extends the Incarnation, but it must not be thought of as something outside of
the Incarnation. The Incarnation is Eucharistic in its very structure.

Here I would like to present the full text of the official response of the Vatican in Notitiae to
the question of the translation of pro multis, with specific reference to the text of the Roman
Catechism and its correct interpretation:
In quibusdam versionibus popularibus formulae consecrastionis vini in Missa, verba
"pro multis" sic vertuntur: anglice for all men; hispanice por todos; italice per tutti.
Quaeritur:
a) an adsit ed quaenam sit ratio sufficiens pro hac variatione inducenda?
b) ad doctrina tradita circa hanc rem in "Catechismo Romano ex Decreto
Concilii Tridentini iussu S. Pii V edito" habenda sit ut superata?
c) an etiam minus aptae tenendae sint omnes versiones huius supradicti biblici
textus?
d) an re vera in approbationes danda huic vernaculari variationi in textu
aliquid minus rectum irresperit, quod correctionem seu emendationem expostulet?

Resp: Variatio de qua supra plene iustificatur:


a) secundum exegetas verbum aramaicum, quod lingua latina versum est "pro
multis", significationem habet "pro omnibus": multitudo pro qua Christus mortuus
est, sine ulla limitatione est, quod idem valet ac dicere: Christus pro omnibus

mortuus est. Illud S. Augustini meminisse iuvabit: " Videte quid dederit, et invenietis
quid emerit. Sanguis Christi pretium est. Tanti quid valet? Quid nisi totus orbis?
Quid, nisi omnes gentes? Valde ingrati sunt pretio suo, aut multum superbi sunt qui
dicunt, aut illud tam parum esse ut solum Afros emerit, aut se tam magnos esse pro
quibus solis illud sit datum" (Enarr. in Ps, n. 5).
b) nullo modo habenda est ut superata doctrina "Catechismi Romani": distinctio circa
mortem Christi sufficientem pro omnibus, efficacem solum pro multis, valorem
suum retinet.
c) in adprobatione data huic vernaculari variationi in textu liturgico nihil minus
rectum irrepsit, quod correctionem seu emendationem expostulet.

The questions are well formulated and the answers are clear. The Church has the right to
interpret its own pronouncements and this is what it is doing here with respect to the
Catechism. This is necessary for the interpretation of points which seem difficult.

3. Pope Benedict XIV


Another authority whom Omlor cites is Pope Benedict XIV who follows St. Thomas and
supposedly gives Omlor a basis for his conclusions:
Expicantur illa verba, Hic est Calix Sanguinis &c. ex D. Thoma.
Illud etiam ad verborum sensum pertinet & intelligentiam, quaerere, quid haec
verba siginificent: Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis mei novi & eterni testamenti;
itemque illa: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.
Divus Thomas 3. part . quaest. 78. art. 3. ad primum docet, cum dicitur, hic est
Calix Sanguinis mei, esse locutionem figuratam per metonymiam, qua ponitur
continens pro contento, ut fit sensus: Hic est Snguis meus contentus in Calice, de
quo fit mentio; quia Sanguis Christi in ho Sacramento consecratur; & ibidem in
responsione ad tertium docet, dici Sanguinem novi Testamenti, quod non per
figuram, ut in veteri Testamento, sed revera effusus sit: Dicitur, Hic Sanguis novi
Testamenti, quia iam non in figura sed in veritate exhibetur; unde subditur: qui
pro vobis effundetur; docet porro dici Sanguinem aeterni Testamenti, tam ratione
aeternae Dei praeordinationis, quam ratione eternae haereditatis, quae per hoc
Sacramentum disponitur: ipsa etiam persona Christi, cuius Saanguine
Testamentum disponitur, est aeterna cit. art. 3. in respponsione ad 4. Ac eumdem
Angelicum Doctorem sequuti ita explicamus verba illa pro multis, ut vox multi
juxta modum loquendi sacrarum Scripturarum significet omnes.
Sicut enim per inobedientiam unius hominis peccatores constituti sunt multi: ita &
per unius obeditionem justi constituentur multi: sunt verba D. Pauli ad Roman. 5.
ubi sine dubitatione vox multi omnes significat, ut luculentissime apparet ex
superioribus verbis: Igitur sicut per unius delictum in omnes homines in
justificationem vitae. Itaque dicimus Christi Sanguinem fusum esse pro omnibus:
Ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris; no pro nobis autem tantum, sed etiam pro
totius mundi; sunt verba D. Joannis: fusum autem pro omnibus quoad
sufficientiam, & pro solis electis quoad efficaciam, ut bene explicat D. Thomas in
4. Sentent. dist. 8. quaest. 2 art. 2 quaestiunc. 3 ad septimum: habere porro

efficaciam non solum (ait idem D. Thomas 3. part. quaest. 78. art. 3. ad octavum)
in Judaeis electis, quibus exhibitus est sanguis veteris Testamenti, sed etiam in
Gentilibus, nec solum in Sacerdotibus, qui hoc conficiunt Sacramentum, vel aliis,
qui sumunt, sed etiam in illis pro quibus offertur. Et ideo signanter dicit: pro
vobis Judaeis, & pro multis, scilicet Gentilibus; vel pro vobis manducantibus, &
pro multis, pro quibus offertur.
Comentarius de Sacrosancto Missae Sacrificio
Benedictus XIV, Tomus I, CCLVI
Ex Typographia Academica
MDCCLXII
Now we will give Omlors interpretation of Benedict XIV
But, it may still be argued, even so this Catechism, extraordinary though it is, is
still not the Holy See Itself speaking. Very well then, let us see what was taught
by The Holy Father Himself regarding the proper interpretation of these words for
many, as found in the sacramental form for the consecration of the wine.
Pope Benedict XIV, adhering to St. Thomas Aquinas and the Catechism of the
Council of Trent, officially and authoritatively interpreted the words pro multis ("for
many") in Book II, Chapter XV, par. 11 of his work entitled "De Sacrosancto
Missae Sacrificio". In order to understand his explanation clearly, beyond the
shadow of a doubt, let us first recall that St. Thomas originally gave an
explanation of these words for many (his explanation was discussed at length
earlier in this monograph in pars. 73-77) in which he (Thomas) explicitly refuted
the argument that the words "for all men" ought to be used instead of "for many."
Commenting on this, Pope Benedict XIV says.- "And so, having agreed with the
same Angelic Doctor, We explain those words for many accordingly, though it is
granted that [sometimes] the word many, after a manner of speaking in the Holy
Scriptures, may signify all." To illustrate his point the Pontiff next cites a certain
example (from Romans 5) where without a doubt the word many does indeed
signify all. (Ubi sine dubitatione vox multi omnes significat.)
Returning to the words for many in the passage in question (from Matt. 26, 28),
the Pontiff explains: "Therefore We say that the Blood of Christ was shed for all,
shed for all however as regards sufficiency (Benedict's emphasis: quoad
sufficientiam), and for the elect only as regards efficacy (again Benedict's
emphasis: quoad efficaciam), as the Doctor Thomas explains correctly: 'The
blood of Christ's Passion has its efficacy not merely in the elect among the Jews,
... but also in the Gentiles ... And therefore He says expressly, for you, the Jews,
and for many, namely the Gentiles [End of quotation from Pope Benedict XIV.]
The above passage from St. Thomas, which I quoted earlier in this monograph
(par. 75) and which Pope Benedict XIV quotes, saying that Thomas "explains
correctly" (bene explicat) the words "for many" in the words of consecration used
at Holy Mass, is taken from Thomas' Summa Theologica, III, Q. 78, Art. 3, Reply
to Objection 8. It is important to observe that what Thomas is "explaining
correctly" here is his rebuttal of the claim that the words 'for all' ought to be used!
Thus we see that the Sovereign Pontiff Benedict XIV, the Vicar of Christ on earth
and the ultimate authority on the interpretation of Holy Scripture, has quoted the
Angelic Doctor in order to teach us authoritatively that the word "many" in this
particular instance is not to be taken as meaning "all men."
(Note: It was St. Alphonsus de Liguori who directed me to this passage from
Benedict XIV. The following paragraph is taken from his treatise on "The Holy

Eucharist". It may be found on p. 44 of the edition published by the Redemptorist


Fathers, 1934, translated by Rev. Eugene Grimm, C.SS.R.)
"The words Pro vobis et pro multis ('For you and for many') are
used to distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits; for
the blood of our Saviour is of sufficient value to save all men, but its
fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to all, and this
is their own fault. Or, as the theologians say, this precious blood is
(in itself) sufficiently (sufficienter) able to save all men, but (on our
part) effectually (efficaciter) it does not save all - it saves only those
who co-operate with grace. This is the explanation of St. Thomas,
as quoted by Benedict XIV."
Q.T.V. in the Robber Church
A careful reader begins to put many pieces together here.
Omlor believes that he has St. Thomas, The Roman Catechism, Benedict XIV, and St.
Alphonsus all lined up and on his side. We have seen how this presupposition has crumbled.
In the case of Benedict XIV we are facing a clear case of poor scholarship from Omlor,
because he is mistranslating his text. His mistranslation may have its origin in a felt need to
make Pope Benedict harmonize with the rest. We can excuse him in this. We can respect his
motives. But the translation remains poor, wrong.
Let us have a look at this sentence of Benedict XIV:
Ac eumdem Angelicum Doctorem sequuti ita explicamus verba illa pro multis, ut
vox multi juxta modum loquendi sacrarum Scripturarum significet omnes.
Omlor maintains that the sense is concessive: "And so, having agreed with the dame Angelic
Doctor, we explain those words for many accordingly, though it is granted that [sometimes]
the word many, after a manner of speaking in the Holy Scriptures, may signify all []"
(QTV, p. 62 in The Robber Church)? There is a concessive use of ut, though it is not
common. In a Dutch Latin Dictionary, Beknopt Latijns-Nederlands Woordenboekn, Wolters
Noordhoff, 1970, there are given several examples of concessive ut: ut desint vires, tamen est
laudanda voluntas and ut quaeras omnia, non reperies. In these examples the subjunctive is
used is the concessive clause introduced by ut. That it is concessive must be seen in the
context. But in the text in question there is nothing in the context that indicates concession,.
The sometimes which Omlor adds in brackets is his own addition, not found in the text.
Likewise is the may his own addition. If one understands concession one should translate
"And having followed the same Angelic doctor we explain those words accordingly, though
the word many, according to the way of speaking of sacred scripture, means all." Omlor
certainly does not want to concede this much regarding the use of many in scripture. A further
difficulty of the tranlation which Omlor attempts is the ita in the preceding clause. We have
thus an ita...ut construction which Omlor is forced not to observe. In his taped response to me
he has recourse to the comma following verba illa pro multis, Omlor himself admits that this
is not decisive.
Furhtermore, if Omlor's translation were correct it would be difficult to explain the following
words of Benedict XIV: sine dubitationeluculentissime. If Benedict were saying that
sometimes many has the sense of all but not in this case, why would he give such emphasis to
this evidence which would seem to go against the idea that many does not mean all in the
words of institution? He gives no counter-examples of cases in which many means a restricted
group of the elect. Then he says "Itaque dicimus christi sanguinem fusum esse pro

omnibus" Itaque means "therefore." Is it not more logical to see itaque referring to what
goes immediately before it and not way back to "Ac eumdem Angelicum Doctorem sequuti
sumus"?
Omlor's interpretation of Benedict XIV is thus untenable.
I would also like to cite Michael Duddys analysis of this very passage and in his response to
Omlors interpretation:
Pope Benedict XIVs De Sacrosancto Missae Sacrificio
and the Words for many
In the Consecration of the Wine
Since St. Alphonsus tells us that his own exposition of the phrase shed for you and for many
is virtually a recapitulation of the exposition of Pope Benedict XIV, and that Benedict also, in
actuality, is basically just quoting the explanation formulated by St. Thomas in both the
Sentences and in the Summa, it behooves us to look into and see what Benedict actually says
about this matter.
In the context of explaining the meaning of the words of the consecration formula for the wine,
Pope Benedict XIV, in his monumental theological Tome De Sacrosancto Missae Sacrificio
explains:
Ac eundem Angelicum Doctorem sequuiti ita explicamus verba illa pro multis, ut vox multi
juxta modum loquendi Scripturarum sacrarum significet omnes. Sicut enim per inobedientiam
unius hominis peccatores constituti sunt multi; ita et per unius obeditionem justi constituantur
multi: sunt verba D. Pauli ad Roman.5. ubi sine dubitatione vox multi omnes significant, ut
luculentissime apparet ex superioribus verbis: Igitur sicut per unius delictum in omnes
homines in condemnationem, sic per unius justitium in omnes homines in justificationem
vitae. Itaque dicimus Sanguinem Christi fusum esse pro omnibus; Ipse est propitiatio pro
peccatis nostris; non pro nostris autem tantum, sed etiam pro totius mundi; sunt verba D.
Joannis: fusum autem pro omnibus quoad sufficientiam, et (fusum) pro solis electis quoad
efficaciam, ut bene explicat D.Thomas in 4 sentent. dist. 8. quaest. 2. art. 2. quaest. 3. ad
septimum: habere porro efficaciam non solum (ait idem D. Thomas 3. par. Quaest. 78. art.3. ad
octavum) in Judacis electis, quibus exhibitus est Sanguis veteris Testamenti, sed etiam in
Gentilibus, nec solum in Sacerdotibus, qui hoc conficiunt Sacramentum, vel aliis, qui sumunt,
sed etiam in illis, pro quibus offeretur. Et ideo signanter dicit: pro vobis Judaeis, et pro multis,
scilicet Gentilibus; vel pro vobis manducantibus, et pro multis, pro quibus offeretur.
And so, following the same Angelic Doctor, we explain those words for many as follows, that
the word many according to the manner of speaking of the Holy Scriptures may signify all.
For as through the disobedience of the one man many were constituted sinners; and so
through the obedience of one man many were constituted just: The words are of St Paul to the
Romans 5. where without doubt the word many does signify all men, as is most clearly evident
from the following words written above it: Therefore as through the sin of one man unto all
men the result was condemnation, so through the justice of one man unto all men the result
was justification. Therefore we say that the Blood of Christ has been shed for all men: This
same (Blood) is the propitiation for our sins; not, however, for our sins only, but also for the
sins of the whole world; The words are of St. John: shed however for all men according to
sufficiency, and (shed) for the elect only according to efficacy, as Thomas well explains in 4
Sentences: dist. 8. quaest. 2. art. 2. quaest. 3. ad septimum: next (we say) that (the Blood) has
efficacy not only (Thomas affirms the same thing in the Summa part III, Question 78, art.3 to
the 8th objection.) in the Jewish elect, to whom the Blood of the old Testament was exhibited,
but also in the Gentiles, not only in the Priests who confect this Sacrament and also in those
who receive it, but also in those for whom it is offered. And thus he significantly says: for you,

the Jews, and for many, namely the Gentiles; or for you who partake of it, and for many for
whom it is offered
The above translation is my own, but it will differ substantially in only one very critical
sentence the first sentence - from the translation made by Mr. Omlor on page 62 of The
Robber Church. Omlor translates this critical sentence as follows:
And so, having agreed with the same Angelic Doctor, we explain those words for many
accordingly, though it is granted that (sometimes) the word many, after a manner of speaking
in Holy Scriptures, may signify all.
I will repeat my translation here for purpose of comparison:
And so, following the same Angelic Doctor, we explain those words for many as follows, that
the word many according to the manner of speaking of the Holy Scriptures may signify all.
At first sight it might not seem to some that there is any real difference between the two
translations; but the difference revolves around the meaning of the phrase ita explicamus
verba illa pro multis, ut vox multi significet omnes. Omlor attempts to translate the ut
significet omnes clause as a Concessive Clause: We explain accordingly, though it is
granted that (sometimes) the word many may signify all. and I translate it as a Result
Clause: We explainas follows, (with the result) that the word many may signify all. So
then, who is right?
Here I must digress for a moment and go back to the year 1971. One day, when visiting Mr.
Omlor at his house, he gave me a copy of the above Latin text from Benedicts writings. He
had underlined the ut significet omnes clause and then proceeded to explain to me his reason
for insisting that it had to be translated as a Concessive, rather than as a Result Clause. (I wrote
his explanation on the bottom area of the photocopies he had given me, and which I still
possess.) Unless this passage is translated as a Concessive Clause he said, Benedict would
then have to be understood as necessarily contradicting Thomas on this point. Since Omlor
had previously already formulated the conclusion that Thomas actually rejected the viability
of the for all men translation, his tendentious eagerness to render this clause as concessive is
understandable.
But apart from Omlors preconceived assumption about Thomas position on this matter, his
translation is untenable for several reasons.
1. A Concessive Clause, by definition, is one which introduces a statement conceded or
granted for the sake of argument. But, when an ut clause, followed by the use of the
subjunctive mood, is to be rendered as a concessive clause, it is accompanied in the main
clause by the correlative word tamen. Such a correlative, however, is missing in the case
here. Therefore a concessive clause is highly improbable.

2. A Result Clause, on the other hand, is one which expresses the result of the action of the
main verb. But when an ut clause, also followed by the subjunctive mood, is to be
rendered as a result clause, it is accompanied in the main clause by a correlative word
such as ita, tam, sic, tantus, tot, etc. In the case at hand, ut significet is introduced by the
correlative ita: ... ita explicamus verba illa, ut vox multi significet omnes.
Therefore a result clause is virtually certain.
3. But also, in Omlors translation of ut as a concessive clause, the idea which the sentence
supposedly intends to convey remains incomplete; the sentence never goes on to explain
the fundamental issue of what accordingly means: We explain those words for many
accordingly, though it is granted that While the pope immediately goes on to give an
example from Scripture in order to demonstrate the truth of the alleged concession, i.e.,
the use of many as sometimes meaning all, he doesnt immediately go on to make an
explicit point about many meaning literally many, nor does he give (as one would expect)
any corresponding example from Scripture which would demonstrate the literal sense of
many as many. However, immediately after citing this example which proves that many

can mean all (Rom 5:5-15), the pope in the next sentence does complete the idea of
accordingly: And so we say that the blood of Christ was shed for all; Thus (leaving
out the example from Scripture) the essential flow of the popes thought is as follows:
We explain those words accordingly. And so we say that the blood of Christ was shed
for all. Here we clearly see that accordingly is equivalent to And so we say that the
blood of Christ was shed for all. And to emphasize the point again, Benedict
immediately goes on to give a second example from Scripture which also verifies that
Christ shed his blood for all (1Jn.2:2); but again, no example from Scripture is given for
many, as literally many. To summarize: If the pope had merely wished to acknowledge
the occasional possibility (the idea here conceded for the sake of argument) that many
does sometimes mean all, he would not make such a concerted effort to emphasize with
two examples the exception to rather than the rule itself, and then not go on to say
anything explicitly about the rule, namely, the fact that many usually and many
specifically in this particular place means many.
4. Itaque dicimus Sanguinem Christi fusum esse pro omnibus; fusum autem pro omnibus
quoad sufficientem, et (fusum) solis pro electis quoad efficaciam, ut bene explicat
D.Thomas: porro habere efficaciam non solum in Judacis electis sed etiam in
Gentilibusetc.

And so we say that the Blood of Christ has been shed for all; shed for all, however,
according to sufficiency, and (shed) for the elect only according to efficacy, as the Doctor
Thomas explained well: next (it) has efficacy not only in the elect from the Jewsbut also
in the Gentiles Here Pope Benedict states two things: First, that the word shed as
expressed in the words of consecration refers to two concepts: the concept of
sufficiency and the concept of efficacy. He thus indicates that this phrase in the words of
consecration is ambiguous, and therefore refers simultaneously to two theologically
related ideas: sufficiency and efficacy. And second, that this notion of dual signification
comes from St. Thomas himself: Ut bene explicat D. Thomas As the Doctor Thomas
explains correctly. What Thomas explains correctly, first of all, is the twofold
distinction between sufficiency and efficacy in these very words of the consecration.
Remember again the words from St. Alphonsus: This is the explanation of St. Thomas, as
quoted by Benedict XIV.
Duddys conclusions regarding the passage of Benedict XIV, which I came upon much later
than the writing of the rest of this manuscript, are in essence the same as mine.

Let us see if others interpret St.Thomas as Omlor does: for instance an author whom Omlor
cites, Rev. John O'Brien. Omlor himself cites him in QTV:

Seventh Objection
181. Objection 7: Your whole thesis is based on a fundamental
misunderstanding. Don't you know that in the language of Holy Scripture the
word "many" is often to be taken as meaning "ALL"? "According to the best
authorities, and Pope Benedict XIV among others," says Rev. John O'Brien, "the
word 'many' is here to be taken as meaning all, a mode of expression by no
means uncommon in the Holy Scripture. St. Thomas Aquinas also interprets it in
this way. If taken in any other sense it would hardly be possible to keep free of
the Calvinistic error that our Lord died only for a certain class of persons."
(O'Brien, op. cit, p. 331).

Reply to Seventh Objection


182. Reply Obj. 7: This TOTALLY erroneous paragraph penned by Father
John O'Brien is disturbing enough. Even more disturbing is the fact that the book
wherein it appears was published in 1881 and bears the Imprimatur of John
Cardinal McCloskey. Now, in the first place, Father O'Brien's claim would make
a mockery of Saint Pius V and his CATECHISM by Decree of THE HOLY
COUNCIL OF TRENT. The reader will recall that earlier in this monograph we
quoted a passage from this CATECHISM which begins thus: "With reason,
therefore, were the words for all not used." (!) Or wasn't this saintly Pope aware
that the word many "is here to be taken as meaning all."??
183. That Father O'Brien would actually use Benedict XIV and St. Thomas as
authorities to prove his point is incredible! Because they both held exactly the
opposite of what Father O'Brien is trying to "prove." This quotation of St.
Alphonsus (who has never been suspected of being a Calvinist) needs repeating
here: "The words Pro vobis et pro multis ('For you and for many') are used to
distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits; for the blood of our
Saviour is of sufficient value to save all men, but its fruits are applicable only to a
certain number and not to all, and this is their own fault. ... This is the explanation
of St. Thomas, as quoted by Benedict XIV." (Emphasis added).
The mistake that Omlor makes in his translation of Benedict XIV resulting in this critique of
OBrien is excusable, as all human mistakes are. Yet it is not a pleasure to here him continue
in the same strain in a footnote to TNS, published years later in 1991, in which time it has not
occurred to him to check his translation of Benedict XIV.
108 John O'Brien, A.M., A History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies in the
Eastern and Western Church, 1881, p. 333. O'Brien further displays brilliantly his
total ignorance on p. 331, where he writes: "According to the best authorities,
and Pope Benedict XIV [who teaches exactly the opposite of what O'Brien
claims] among others, the word 'many' is here [in the wine-consecration] to be
taken as meaning all, a mode of expression by no means uncommon in the
Holy Scripture. St. Thomas Aquinas also interprets it in this way." This last
obtuse remark only proves that O'Brien did not actually read St. Thomas, who
clearly teaches the opposite, just as he apparently never laid eyes on Benedict XIV's De
Sacrosancto Missae Sacrificio.
Omlor responded once (politely but unconvincingly) on a tape which was sent to my to my
mother to my objections regarding his translation of Benedict XIV, arguing that there are ut
clauses that sometimes have a concessive value, and that this was clearly one of those cases.
To me it sounded like voluntarism: with ones will one can bend things around to what one
wants.
4. St. Alphonsus
Then he cites the passage from St. Alphonsus, who together with Benedict XIV, St. Thomas
and the Catechism of the Council of Trent are affirmed as the most important corroborators
of his thesis.
The words Pro vobis et pro multis ("For you and for many") are used to distinguish the
virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits; for the blood of our Savior is of sufficient
value to save all men but its fruits are applicable only to a certian number and not to
all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians say, this precious blood is (in
itself) suffiiently (sufficienter) able to save all men, but (on our part) effectually

(efficaciter) it does not save all it save only those who co-operate with grace. This is
the explanation os St. Thomas, as quoted by Benedict XIV.
St. Alphonsus de Liguori. Treatise on THE HOLY EUCHARIST
I will also include here the original Italian version of this text of St. Alphonsus:

Del sacrificio di Ges Cristo


PARTE IV -Del Canone sino al Pater noster
476-477
-Si dice: pro vobis et pro multis, per distinguere la virt del sangue dal frutto del
sangue, poich il sangue vale a salvar tutti, ma in quanto al frutto si salvano
molti, ma non tutti, per loro difetto; o pure, come dicono i Teologi, questo
sangue sufficienter basta a salvar tutti, ma efficaciter non salva tutti, ma quei soli
che cooperano alla grazia, come spiega S. Tommaso36 presso Lamb. (Cap. XV,
3).37
36 Sanguis Passionis Christi non solum habet efficaciam in Iudaeis electis, qiubus
exhibitus est sanguis veteris Testamenti, sed etiam in gentilibus; nec solum in sacerdotibus
qui hoc efficiunt sacramentum vel aliis qi sumunt, sed etiam in illis pro quibus offertur. Et
ideo signanter dicit: pro vobis Iudaeis et pro multis scilicet gentilibus: vel pro vobis
manducantibus et pro multis pro quibus offertur. S. THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theol.,
pars III, quaestio 78, art. 3, ad octavum. - Sanguis Christi effusus est pro omnibus quoad
sufficientiam, sed pro electis tantum quoad efficaciam; et ne putaretur effusus pro Iudeis
tantum electis, quibus promissio facta fuerit, ideo dicit: Vobis, qui ex Iudaeis: et Multis
scilicet multitudine gentium. Vel per Apostolos, sacerdotes signat, quibus mediantibus ad
alios effectus passionis per dispensationem sacramentorum pervenit, qui etiam pro seipsis
et pro aliis orant. IDEM, In quartum librum Sententiarum distinctio VIII, quaestio II,
articulus II, ad tertiam quaestionem ad septimum.
37 LAMBERTINUS, De Sacrosancto Missae sacrificio, lib. II, cap. 15, n. 11.

In this passage St. Alphonsus affirms that the distinction sufficiency/efficacy is affirmed in
the words pro vobis et pro multis. It does not affirm that the aspect of efficacy is the only
aspect which is spoken of and ought to be spoken of in the words of consecration, as Omlor
maintains. If this distinction is communicated in these words it follows that both terms of the
distinction must be present and not only the one.
This passage can be counted as one that goes rather against the thesis of Omlor rather than as
one that argues for it.
I will cite Duddy again now with respect to Alphonsus, once again as a source that I found
many years after arriving at (essentially) the same conclusion independently:
St. Alphonsus Exegesis of Shed for You and for Many
Let us now read again what St. Alphonsus actually says: The words pro vobis et pro multis
are used to distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits.
First, let us analyze the parts of speech which make up this sentence. The subject of the
sentence is the words and is in apposition to (=) the phrase pro vobis et pro multis. The

verb form, are used, indicates to us what the words (for you and for many) are
conveying, i.e. they are being used by their author to signify something. Next, the phrase to
distinguish (something) from (something) is a purpose clause and denotes the orientation of
the verbs action, that is we are being instructed to distinguish one use or meaning from
another use or meaning; to distinguish between concept A and concept B. Finally, the order
in which we are being instructed to make this distinction is important: to distinguish A from
B, not to distinguish B from A; thus the object of the preposition from is B, not A. It
certainly makes a difference if I tell someone that I want them primarily to distinguish the
essence of a thing from its mere appearance, as opposed to telling someone to distinguish
primarily appearances from essence.
Now let us read that sentence again, this time slowly and attentively; and in doing so please
keep in mind that the word virtue is synonymous with the word power, i.e. with the
theological concept of sufficiency, and that the word fruits is synonymous with the word
results, i.e. with the theological concept of efficacy. Begin: The words pro vobis et pro
multis are used (1) to distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ (2) from its fruits.
Now again, this time with the above referenced synonymous substitutions: The words.are
used (1) to distinguish the power (2) from the results. And again: The words are used
to distinguish (1) sufficiency from (2) efficacy. That certainly sounds to me like St.
Alphonsus is saying that the concept of sufficiency not efficacy is (1) the first and
foremost idea, that sufficiency not efficacy is the immediate subject matter that the
words pro vobis et pro multis are meant to convey, and that (2) efficacy, by implication, is
merely of secondary relevance. Thus if we now take our synonym-substitution process to its
ultimate example, we shall have to say: The words.are used to distinguish the concept that
Christ shed His blood for all men so that sins may be forgiven. from the concept that Christ
shed His blood for many unto the actual remission of their sins.
In point of fact, notice how St. Alphonsus continues his explanation by alternating between
(1) the foremost idea of sufficiency and (2) the secondary idea of efficacy: ; for the blood of
our Saviour is (1) of sufficient value to save all men, but (2) its fruits are applicable only to
a certain number and not to all and Or, as the theologians say, this precious blood (1) is
(in itself) sufficiently (sufficienter) able to save all men, but (on our part) (2) effectually
(efficaciter) it does not save all
Now because the dynamics of the tendentious mindset (especially one held for so long) tend to
paralyze ones predisposition against objectivity, it therefore takes time, repetition, and
multiple examples to deprogram such an inclination. Therefore, at the risk of being considered
redundant, I will reinforce the above data concerning St. Alphonsus statements by offering
one more example. Let us first substitute the acronym VPS for virtue, power, and sufficiency,
and the acronym FRE for fruits, result, and efficacy. Therefore, when St. Alphonsus says that
The words pro vobis et pro multis are used to distinguish the VPS of the blood of Christ
from its FRE, we see that the idea of sufficiency and not efficacy is first and foremost in
his mind. If, on the other hand, St. Alphonsus were to say that The words pro vobis et pro
multis are used to distinguish the FRE of the blood of Christ from its VPS, we would see that
the idea of efficacy and not sufficiency is first and foremost in his mind. But St. Alphonsus
said the former not the latter; therefore, he stressed the idea of sufficiency over efficacy. The
quintessence, therefore, of the saints statement is: These words distinguish sufficiency from
efficacy: These words distinguish the idea that Christ died for all men so that sins may be
forgiven. from the idea that Christ died for many men unto the efficacious remission of their
sins. He did not say, as the bishop would have us believe, that These words distinguish
efficacy from sufficiency: These words distinguish the idea that Christ died for many men
unto the efficacious remission of their sins. from the idea that Christ died for all men so that
sins may be forgiven. To put it as succinctly as possible, let us say that A = sufficiency, and Z
= efficacy. These words distinguish A from Z; not Z from A.
Let me add here, however, that I am not saying that just because the idea of sufficiency (A) is
the first and foremost idea expressed by the words pro vobis et pro multis, it is therefore the
exclusive idea that is being expressed. The idea of efficacy (Z) is also expressed, but it is of

secondary consideration. The same thought would be true even if St. Alphonsus had said
The wordsdistinguish the efficacy from the sufficiency. Here, then, efficacy would have
been the first and foremost idea and sufficiency would have been the secondary consideration.
Finally, in connection with this last point, there is a concept in Philosophy known as connex or
co-relative ideas. These are ideas that are inextricably related to each other. To think of one is
to necessarily imply the other. (good - evil; teacher - student; creator - creature; potency - act;
etc.) Also, just as every cause implies its effect, so every effect implies its cause. Thus, the
doctrines of the sufficiency of Christs passion and the efficacy of the passion are connex and
co-relative theological concepts, and bear to each other the relationship of cause and effect: As
a result, it is not theologically possible to conceptually disassociate the idea that Christ died
for all so that sins may be forgiven (the cause) from the idea that Christ died for many unto
the remission of sins (the effect). This will be discussed further in the section regarding St.
Thomas and his teaching regarding the multiplicity of the Literal Sense of Scripture. It also
explains why St. Alphonsus, Pope Benedict XIV, and St. Thomas all include both ideas in
their explanation of the meaning of these words.

Duddy is right when he says that liberation from the tendentious web of Omlors arguments is
no easy thing. One must work with care. (In his essays I feel that Duddy himself has not
fully freed himself sufficiently from Omlorian presuppositions with regard to the shortform/long form question.)

______________________________________________________________
Section Three.
The Biblical Question
1. The clue given by philology: a Semitism by which many has an inclusive sense
a) An explanation given by Max Zerwick, S.J. in Notitiae
The Biblical argument has a prominent place in the defense of the vernacular translations
employing "for all men". Following the response of the Holy See given in Notitiae in 1970
came an article later in the same year in the same publication, defending at greater length the
legitimacy of the translation "for all", largely on the basis of the Biblical argument.

STUDIA
"PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR"
Difficultati, quae in verbis consecrationis movetur circa interpretationes populares
pro omnibus loco pro multis, iam responum est in Notitiae, n. 50 (ianuario 1970),
pp. 39-40. Cum tamen persistere videatur aliqua inquietudo, visum est rem paulo
fusius resumere et quidem ex parte exegeseos.
in illo responso legitur: "Secundum exegetas verbum aramaicum quod lingua
latina versum est 'pro multis', significationem habet 'pro omnibus'". Hoc assertum
paulo cautius videtur exprimendum esse. Ita fere: in lingua hebraica (aramaica)
alio quidem et alio vocabulo sinificantur "omnes" et "multi". Vox "multi" igitur
stricte loquendo non significat "omnes". At quia vox "multi" aliter ac in linguis
nostris occidentalibus, totalitatem non excludit, eam connotare potest et de facto

connotat, ubi contextus vel materia subiecta hoc suggerit vel exigit. Non facile est
huius phaenomeni exempla certa affere. En aliqua:
In 4 Esdrae 8,3 legimus "Multi quidem creati sunt, pauci autem salvabuntur".
Patet omnes esse creatos. Sed hic interrest non de hac totalitate, sed de
oppositione ad "pauci". Hinc dicitur "multi", quamvis revera sint "omnes".
In texto Qumranico, Hodayot IV, 28,29 ambo vocabula, "multi" et "omnes"",
inveniuntur in paralleismo synonymico (duo stichi paralleli quibus idem bis
enuntiatur):
"Mirabiliter egisti coram multis propter gloriam tuam et ut nota faceres omnibus
magnalia tua".
Ceterum in Qumran "multi" (cum et sine articulo) evasit terminus technicus (quasi
nomen) pro communitate omnium membrorum pleni iuris, et ita in sola "regula"
sectae circa 30 in locis occurrit.
Veniamus ad textus NTi qui propius ad rem nostram accedunt: Rom. 5,12.15. Hic
argumentatio comparativa a minori ad maius instituitur inter universalitem gratiae
Christi:" "Sicut per unum hominem peccatum in hunc mundum intravit et cum
peccato mors et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit quaia omnes
peccaverunt" (insertum vv 13.14, dein resumitur comparatio cum altera sua
parte) "Sed non sicut delictum ita donum. Si enim unius delicto multi mortui sunt,
multo magis gratia unius hominis Iesu Christi in multos abundavit". Notamus: illi
"omnes" prioris partis evadunt "multi" (cum articulo) in altera parte. Sicut
peccatum omnes afficicit ita, vel potius multo magis, etiam gratia omnibus est
destinata.
Mc 10,45=Mt 20,28 habet cictum Iesu: "Filius hominis ventitut daret animam
suam redemptionem pro multis". Istud "pro multis", pe se ambiguum, de facto
intelligendum esse "pro omnibus", probatur eo quod 1Tim 2,6 idem legitur ita:
"Christus Iesus qui dedit redemptionem semetipsum pro omnibus".
At, etiam si hanc auctoritativam interpretationem non haberemus, illud "pro
multis" tamen certo intelligendum esset "pro omnibus", quia explicite agitur de
finalitate adventus Iesu ("venit ut daret") quae abundanter monstrari potest
obiectum habere mundum, i.e. genus humanum ut totum.
Io 1,29 "Ecce Agnus Dei qui tollit peccatum (singulare!) mundi";
Io 3,16.17 "Sic enim Deus dilexit mundum ut Filium suum unigenitum daret, ut
omnis qui credit in eumhabeat vitam aeternamMisit Deus Filium suum in
mundum ut salvetur mundus per ipsum" (cf. 12,47).
I Io 2,2: "ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris, non pro nostris autem tantum
sed etiam pro totius mundi (peccatis)";
I Io 4,14: "testificamur quoniam Pater misit Filium suum Salvatorem mundi".
1 Io 4,10: "speramus in Deum vivum qui est Salvator omnium hominum,
maxime fidelium" (et cf. 2,3).
Ipsam autem Eucharistiam spectant textus hi:

Io 6,33: "panis enim Dei est qui de caelo descendit et dat vitam mundo";
Io 6,51: "et panis quem ego dabo caro mea est pro mundi vita".
Quae cum ita sint, iure quaeri potest, non quidem, quid in verbis consecrationis
significet "pro multis" (Mc 14,24 Mt 26,28), sed cur in tanta rei evidentia non
explicite dicatur "pro omnibus".
Respondendum videtur: 1) In Ecclesia primitiva palaestinensi, considerata una ex
parte soteriologia eius, altera ex parte mente eius semitica, nulla omnino erat
aequivocatio quae evitanda fuerit adhibita formula "pro multis". Libere potuerunt
retinere traditum illud "pro multis" idque eo magis quia illi christiani censendi
sunt adhuc sensisse et magni fecisse colorem originis illius formulae "pro multis";
etenim 2) illud "pro multis" ab ipso Iesu ideo videtur adhibitum esse, quia,
memoriam evocans capituli 53 Isaieae de Servo Iahve se sacrificante, suggerebat
Iesum adimplendum esse quod de Servo Iahve praedictum erat. Textus principalis
est Is 53, 11b-12: "Iustificabit ipse Iustus, Servus meus, multos et iniquitatem
eorum ipse portabit. Ideo dispertiam ei multos et innumeros sortietur pro spoliis
pro eo quod tradidit in mortem animam suamet ipse peccata multorum tulit et
pro transgressoribus roagavit".
Formula igitur "pro multis' loco 'pro omnibus" in nostris textibus (Mc 10,45 = Mt
26,28) videtur deberi volitae allusioni ad Servum Jahve cuius opus Jesus morte
sua impleturus erat.
Eo magis videtur nunc urgeri quaestio: cur igitur in nostra versione liturgica hoc
venerabile originale "pro multis" cedere debuit phrasi "pro omnibus"? Respondeo:
propter eius accidentalem quidam sed veram inconvententiam: phrasis "pro
multis"ut dictum estmenti nostrae (non praemonitae) excludit illam
universalitatem operis redemptivi quae pro mente semitica in illa phrasi connotari
potuit et propter contextum theologicum certe connotabatur. Allusio autem ad
theologiam Servi Iahve, antiquis illis admdodum eloquens, inter nos solis expertis
censedum videtur.
Ceterum mutatio facta non est neque unica neque prima quam verba
consecrationis subierunt. Nam textus latinus traditionalis iam combinat textum
lucanum "pro vobis" cum phrasi Marci et Matthaei "pro multis". Et imprimis non
est prima mutatio. Nam iam liturgia Ecclesiae primitivae (Mc-Mt) dictum super
calicem conformasse videtur cum formula super panem pronuntiata. Originaliter
enim illa (formula calicis) secundum Paulum (I Cor 11,25) et Lucam (22,20) erat:
"Hic calix novum tetestamentum est in meo sanguine"formula igitur quae
fortasse profunditate, profecto non claritate excelluit.
Apparet quomodo ne in verbis consecrationis quidem, a Jesu certe semel tantum
prolatis, Ecclesiae Apostolorum interfuerit ipsissimam vocem Domini conservare.
Romae, Pont. Institutum Biblicum, 1 martii 1970
Max Zerwick, S.J.
Notitiae 6 (1970), nr. 53
Here a translation:

In the May,1970 issue of Notitiae, the official periodical of the Congregation for
Worship, the following 1970 article was published, in order to defend the
appropriateness of the several vernacular translations of pro multis that had been
approved by bishops conferences. The earlier reply of the Congregation was being
contested at the time; see above, What about pro multis? by the Congregation for
Worship. The English text that follows is our own, a translation of the original in Latin.
In vernacular translations of the words of consecration of the wine, pro omnnibus (for
all) was used instead of pro multis (for the many). For some people, this was a
problem. A response was already given in Notitiae (January, 1970), pp. 39-40. Since,
however, some uneasiness seems to persist, perhaps the topic needs to be revisited a
little more extensively, from an exegetical perspective.
In the response mentioned, it is said, According to biblical exegetes, the Aramaic word
(translated into Latin as pro multis) means pro omnibus, for all. That statement should
be expressed a little more cautiously. In the Hebrew (Aramaic) language, to be exact,
there is one word for omnes (all) and another word for multi (many). Strictly
speaking, then, the word multi does not mean omnes.
In contrast with Western languages, the Aramaic expression for many does not exclude
the whole. This is why that word can and in fact does connote the whole, where the
context or subject matter suggests it or requires it. It is not easy to offer examples of this
phenomenon. Here, however, are a few examples:

In 3 Ezra 8:3, we read: Many indeed have been created, but few shall be saved. It is
clear that all have been created. But here the interest is not in the whole but in the
opposite of few. Hence, many is used, when that word really means all.
In Qumram text Hodayot IV, 28, 29, both words (many and all) are found in
synonymous parallel, two parallel verses in which the same thing is said twice: You
have worked wonders among the many on account of your glory that you might make
known to all your great works.
Moreover, in Qumram many (with or without the article) came to be a technical
term, almost a name, for the community of all the full-fledged members. So, just in the
rule of the sect, the word occurs in about thirty instances.
We come, now to the texts of the New Testament with which we are especially
concerned: Romans 5:12, 15. Here, the comparative argumentation from the minor
premise to the major is set up, between the universality of Adams sin and the
universality of the grace of Christ:
Therefore, just as through one person sin entered the world and through sin, death, and
thus death thus came to all in-as-much as all sinned...(After the insertion of vss. 13 and
14, the comparison continues.) But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by that
transgression the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of
the one person, Jesus Christ, overflow for the many.
Let us take note that all those of the first part of this citation becomes the many
(with the article) in the second part. Just as sin affects all, (or rather much more), so also
grace is destined for all.

In Mark 10:45 (Matthew 20:28), Jesus says, the Son of Man came to give his life as a
ransom for many. Ambiguous in itself, that for many is in fact to be understood as
for all. This is clear from 1 Timothy 2:6: Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom
for all.

However, even if we didnt have that authoritative interpretation in 1 Timothy, the


expression for many nonetheless should certainly be understood as for all. This is
so because the coming of Jesus (He came in order to give . . . ) is explicitly carried
out for the purpose which can abundantly be shown to have as its object the whole
world, that is, the human race as a whole.

John 1:29: Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin (singular!) of the
world!
John 3:16,17: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone
who believes in him . . . might have eternal life. Indeed, God sent his Son into the world
in order that the world might be saved through him.
1 John 2:2: He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and not for ours only but also for
(the sins) of the whole world.
1 John 4:14: We have seen and testify because the Father has sent his Son as the
Savior o.f the world.
1 Timothy 4:10: . . .We have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all
men, especially of the faithful. The following texts, ihowet, have the Eucharist in
mind:
John 6:33: The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to
the world.
John 6:51: The bread that I will give for the life of. the world is my flesh. Given all
this data, one can rightly ask, not so much what the words pro multis in the consecration
mean, but rather-given all this evidence-why pro omnibus is not explicitly said. Here is
the answer to that question:
1) In the primitive Palestinian Church, considering both their soteriology and their
Semitic mind-set, there was no misunderstanding what-so-ever that had to be avoided
by using pro omnibus. People could readily keep the traditional pro multis because
those Christians understood the beauty of that original wording; they cherished the
beauty of that phrase, for the many.
2) Pro multis seems to have been used by Jesus himself. This is so because calling to
mind the Suffering Servant who sacrifices himself, as in Isaiah, it is suggested that Jesus
himself would fulfill what was foretold about that Servant of the Lord.
The principal text in question here is Isaiah 53:llb-l2:
Through his suffering, my servant shall justify many, and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore, I will give him his portion among the great; and he shall divide the spoil with
the mighty, because he surrendered himself to death...And he shall take away the sins of
many, and win pardon for their offenses.
Therefore the formula pro multis instead of pro omnibus in our texts (Mark
l0:45=Matthew 20:28; Mark 14:24 Matthew 26:28) seems to be due to the intended
allusion to the Suffering Servant whose work Jesus carried out by his death.
Now, this brings us to another question. As a result of these facts, why in our liturgical
translations is the venerable pro multis replaced by pro omnibus? Here is my answer.
This is appropriate because of an inconvenient fact, accidental but true. The phrase for
many (it is said) in our minds today is understood without reflection to exclude the
universality of Christs redemptive work. The Semitic mind of the Bible could see that
universality connoted in the phrase for many. In fact that connotation was certainly
there, because of the theological context. However eloquent it was for ancient peoples,
today that allusion to the Suffering Servant of Isaiah is clear only to experts.

One could also object to the phrase "for all" by saying that for some people the phrase
might suggest that all actually will be saved. But that misunderstanding hardly exists
amoung Catholics, it seems.
Furthermore, this is neither the first nor the only time that the words of the conscration
have changed. The traditional Latin text already combines the pro vobis ("for you")
from the Gospel of Luke with the pro multis phrase of Mark and Matthew. And that is
not the first alteration of the text, to be sure.
The liturgy of the early Church (as in Mark and Mattew) seems to have adjusted the
words over the chalice, to conform to the words said over the bread. According to Paul
and Luke (1 Corinthians: 11:25; Luke; 22:20) the original words said over the chalice
were. "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood." That is a
wording that perhaps in depth of meaning was excellent; it is not, however, excellent in
clarity.
It is clear that the Church of the apostles was not interested in preserving the words of
Christ themselves, even in the words of the consecration, even when those words are
quoted in the Gospel and attributed to Christ himself.
(The author of this article, Father Max Zerwick, S.J., is a respected scholar, author of the reference work
Philological Analysis of the Greek New Testament.

b) Omlor responds to the Biblical argument: his critique of Joachim Jeremias.


Omlor comments on Zerwicks article in the following way:
In Issue No. 53 (April 1970) of Notitiae, the official organ of Mafia Liturgica, under the
Godfather Bugnini, there appeared an article written by Professor Max Zerwick, S.J. Its
subject matter was the "for all men" controversy which by then was receiving
considerable international attention. Zerwick concluded that "for many" must yield to
"for all men" for the following reason: "because of the accidental but real unsuitableness
of the words, 'for many."' (Page 140, Notitiae, No. 53).
No doubt the reader will recall that in 1961 Max Zerwick was removed from his
professorship at the Biblical Institute on the grounds of "suspicion of teaching heresy."
But that fact has no bearing on the value of his opinion I just quoted, which from the
viewpoint of the conspirators is quite correct, because the words "for many" are utterly
unsuitable for their purposes, as will now be shown.
One notices the attack ad hominem. There is no indication of the evident logic that if the Holy
See would allow someone to present a Biblical defense of the translation of these most
important words, that this person would most likely be a highly respected Biblical scholar.
Omlor simply fulminates with expressions like Mafia Liturgica and suspicion of teaching
heresy (Documentation?)
A similar argument to that of Zerwick is presented in the follwoing document of the ICEL:

These pages are reproduced from TRC, pp. 331-333. Omlor's documentation, usually very
good, is defective here. Where and when did this article of the ICEL (International
Committee on English in the Liturgy) appear? It is at any rate
very helpful that Omlor presents this article in its entirety. His response to the ICEL consists
of an article entitled "The Charlatans" (1993) included also in TRC. I would like to present a
citation from this response.
In the first paragraph of the NoC (see appendix)[The appendix is the ICEL
document reproduced above, the Note of Clarification] mention is made of
"extensive notes and explanations" offered originally by the ICEL, in defense of
its all-English Canon. This refers to the document entitled the Roman Canon in
English Translation, by The International Committee on English in the Liturgy,
published by Geoffrey Chapman Ltd., of London, Dublin and Melbourne,
copyright 1967. Therein the brief commentary on Pro Multis on pp. 34-35, and it
reads as follows:
"Neither Hebrew nor Aramaic possess [sic] a word for 'all'. The word rabbim or
'multitude' thus served also in the inclusive sense for 'the whole', even though the
corresponding Greek and Latin appeaar to have an exclusive sense, i.e., 'the many'
rather than 'the all.' Cf. J. Jeremias, The Eucharistic words of Jesus (New York,
1966), pp. 179-182, 229.
The gist of this argument is that in the Aramaic language that Our Lord spoke at
the Last Supper there was no word meaning "all" or "all men"; and thus therefore
He used a word that literally means "many""For this is my Bloodshed for
many unto the remission of sins" (Matt. 26,28)but He really meant to say "shed
for all men." The same "Aramaic argument" was in substance repeated in the Jan.
1970 issue of Notitiae, a journal of the International Liturgy Gang, whose
secretary at the time was a priest, later made and archbishop, (who since 1963 had
been a Freemason), Annibale Bugnini.
The following month in Issue #2 of Interdum (Feb. 24, 1970), entitled "The
Ventriloquists," I exposed this "Hebrew and Aramaic" business, showing that it
was a colossal deception. In doing so it was necessary to bring out some facts
about Dr. Joachim Jeremias, the heterodox, non-Catholic expert upon hom the
ICEL relies so heavily. It is therefore surprising that the NoC ventures even to
allude to that thorughly discredited argument. One would think that they would
prefer to keep that skeleton heidden in the closet. Two months atfer "The
Ventriloquists" had appeared, the april 1970 issue of Notitiae carried an article by
Father Maximilian Zewick, S.J. That article, by the way, is the one cited in in
footnote 4 of the NoC.
TRC 334-335

Omlor resorts here, tellingly, to the argument ad hominem.. What does the rest of his
argumentation consist of? He refers to his article "The Ventriloquists" written twenty-three
years earlier where he "exposed this 'Hebrew and Aramaic' business, showing that it was a
colossal deceptiona skeleton in their closet." In "The Ventriloquists" Omlor believes that he
has thouroughly discredited the arguments of the ICEL because he has shown that there
certainly are ways to say "all men" in Hebrew and Aramaic. He cites triumphantly this text:

Porta Linguarum Orientalium


Otto Harassowitz, vol 5
But the arguments which establish the semitic character of the expression "for many" and its
inclusive sense do not demand that there be no other way of conveying the notion of all in
Hebrew and Aramaic. If Our Lord used the Aramaic word for many, saggi'a (and the whole
upshot of these arguments in favor of the semitic character of the expression is that Our Lord
did probably use just this word) the question is what did he mean by it, and how it
legitimately and accurately can be translated. Our Lord did not use the English word many,
and it is not automatic that the English word has the same nuances as the Aramaic word.

Furthermore there is solid evidence that Omlor has not studied the arguments of Joachim
Jeremias very thoroughly, because precisely when Jeremias in his scholarly article in the
Theologisches Wrterbuch zum neuen Testament , the work cited by the ICEL,
affirms that there is no word for "all" in Hebrew or Aramaic, he immediately adds a footnote
explaining and qualifying his affirmation.

...Dieser inkludierende Sprachgebrauch is eine Folge davon, dass das Hebrische und das
Aramische kein Wort fr "alle" besitzen4

It is true that Hebrew kol and Aramaic kolla signify the whole, but they do not
correspond to our"all" inasmuch as kol/kolla forms no plural, since the totality is
seen as such, as "already totality ". The word "all" expresses not only totality but
also summation. Hebrew and Aramaic do not combine both of these aspects of
"all" in one expression: They must express either the totaliy (through kol/kolla)
or the sum (through rabiim/sagg'ia). See Joon 125.
[My translation]
Theologisches Wrterbuch zum neuen Testament,
Bd. VI (G. Kittel), Stuttgart 1959, p. 536
Article by Joachim Jeremias

Thus Joachim Jeremias had very clear ideas about the existence and nature of Kol/Kolla
in 1959, and there is very little left of Omlor's complaining about discredited arguments
and so forth. I do not understand how Omlor can, after 23 years, go on pretending that
he had discredited not only Jeremias but also all those who have affirmed the Semitism
present in the eucharistic many by demonstrating the existence of a way to say "all" in
Hebrew and Aramaic.
A second point which Omlor does not grasp here is that the Semitic expression for all which
Omlor finds in the book of Harassowitz is a noun, a substantive (like the Semitic expression

for many). Some of its usages are translated into English with other parts of speechnamely
with an predicate adjective, but this does not make it in itself an adjective. Jeremias is not
saying that there is no way to say all in the Semitic languages, but rather that the way to say
all (and many) is different than in modern languages like English: namely that one uses a
substantive, and that the substantives used convey a different nuance: that kol speaks of a
totality (highlighting the terminus ad quem of unification) whereas rabiim speaks of the
terminus a quo of unification/justification (It is a plural, a substantive plural.)
A possible objection: Rabiim may be a substantive plural, but that does not give it the aspect
of inclusion which is what all these writers claim when they speak of it as a Semitism.
The fact that rabiim is substantive constitutes the nuance of totality. One is dealing here not
with what rabiim means in every caseit can mean different things, according to context, and
thus does not always mean all mankind and may refer to a group. That is not the point. The
point is whether or not there is a nuance ot totality, which is connected to the vehicle
expressing the concept of many. The concept of many should be the same in all languages,
but the linguistic vehicle in the Semitic language is marked by something that indeed has
influence on how we are to understand many in passages such as Isaiah 53:12.

c) Franz Prosinger and the more recent critique of Joachim Jeremias


Frans Prosinger has arisen as a major critic of Jeremias regarding the translation/interpretation
of many at Mk 14:24. His work is referred to when Pope Benedict XVI affirms that the
consensus which has justified the translation in all, on the basis of the arguments of Jeremias,
has crumbled.
But Prosinger admits that he initially did not have many allies in his criticisms of Jeremias.
One of his few allies is W. Pigulla, and yet Prosinger himself tells us that
Auch W. Pigulla stellt sich schlielich die Frage, ob in der aufwendigen
Beweisfhrung des Artikels von J. Jeremias nicht doch ein richtiger Aspekt
gesehen ist101. Er gibt zu, da das semitische viele den positiven, ja imponierenden
Aspekt durchweg betont, whrend das viele unserer indogermanischen
Sprachen auch abwertend sein kann (viele, aber nicht genug) zumindest
habe er im AT keine Gegenbeispiele gefunden.
Frans Prosinger, Das Blut des Bundes: Vergossen fr Viele?, Verlag Franz Schmitt, Sieburg
2007, p. 45
Pigulla does not tells us that Semitic many means all, but he does see something special in it
(positieve, ja imponierenden Aspekt), something opposed to a restrictive reading, in other
words he sees the same reality which so many attentive readers have seen .
On one hand, Prosingers arguments against Jeremias resemble Omlors, though with
Prosinger they are expressed with much greater rigor. On the other hand Prosinger does not
conclude with the invalidity of the mass using for all; the rigorous use of exegetical
principles leads him to maintain a many which is open to interpretation in terms of sufficiency
or efficacy, to a relation with all men or with the elect only.This is legitimate according to the
methodology of strict Biblical science.
But he also concludes that there is no Semitism here.
But the crucial question is: What do we mean by a Semitism?

Prosinger sees himself as the defender of the balanced approach, which will be free of
ideological commitments which color ones reading of the text perjudicating the sobriety
necessary to treat a text objectively.
But is Prosinger correct in his denial of the Semitism? The Semitism, as we have seen, is not
simply an invention of Jeremias. That there is (sometimes) something special in this Biblical
many was observed by St. Augustine, and by Pope Benedict XIV. A careful analysis of St.
Thomas and of the Roman Catechism shows that there also there is an awareness of this
special something, awareness of the problem. And there are many other authors who observe
this problem, this reality, and it is thus not all traceable to an invention of Jeremias.
It seems to me that Prosinger is simply looking at this reality from a different angle. He tells
us at one point that he finds the Semitism in the Semitic expressions for all rather
in the expressions for many. This means that all may not means exactly what we would think
without taking such a Semitism into account, that it is thus linked to a many.1
But to say this, simply fills out the picture which we have before us, a picture in which
Semitic many and Semitic all are both Semitisms in an interconnected way. But Jeremias has
already told us that: there is indeed a word for all, but it does not work in exactly the same
way as in our more advanced languages.
The Biblical structure according to which both many and all need to be read in the light of
their Semitic/Biblical mode of expression is directly related to their ecclesiological meaning:
that both many and all refer primarily to the People of God.
The Bible as a whole tells the story of the People of God.
Yet Prosinger wants to do away with the Semitism (in many). He even provides us with an
argument that the purported Semitism is not simply lacking in evidence but is logically
absurd:
Da die angefhrten zahlreichen Beispiele schon als zahllos empfunden werden
knnen, soll die zweite Behauptung von J. Jeremias vornehmlich durch
eine allgemeine berlegung und nur wenige Bespiele widerlegt werden. Die
Vorstellung der Gesamtheit wird auf dem Wege ber die Anschauung, da sie
aus vielen einzelnen besteht, erreicht (536, Anm.3). Das ist unsinnig.
Gesamtheit ist ein Begriff des Verstandes, der nicht durch die Anschauung
induktiv erreicht wird, sondern zur Bewltigung der Anschauung immer schon
notwendig ist. Kein noch so primitives Denken ist darauf angewiesen, sich der
Gesamtheit einer Sache approximativ zu nhern entweder gibt es einen einheitlichen
Gesichtspunkt, der eine Synthese des Vielen erlaubt oder es bleibt
bei der unbestimmten Vielheit. Der Begriff alle mu aber immer beides ausdrcken:
Totalitt und Vielheit - auch im Hebrischen kann diese einfache
Synthesis nicht aufgehoben sein (gegen 536, Anm.4).
Ibid, p. 46
.
Prosinger appeals philosophical reason. I would like to respond also appealing to
philosophical reason, incorporating certain notions of Georg Cantor, a German whose
mathematics of the infinite achieves its meaning when understood as a point of intersection
with philosophy (metamathematics).

See below the deep insight of Leo Scheffcyk that sufficiency and efficacy are principles which can be
expressed distinctly but not thought separately.

Cantor posits a hierarchy of infinities, such that the infinity of all is surpassed by the infinity
of many, such that having grasped the many, the all follows from it as its consequence, is
included within it. (Cantor finds roots in St. Augustine, and had a vivid interest in what
contemporary Scholastic philosophy would have to say about his ideas. 2 Cantor takes the step
of regarding infinities as a kind of number, and from there a mathematics of the infinite
follows.
The spiritual imagination, present in primitive culture, and present a fortiori in the primitive
language serving as material of Biblical Revelation, perceives this unique and wonderful
many, more numerous than the stars of heaven or the grains of sand on the seashore, and that
means more numerous than all.
Strange, but not absurd, that modern mathematics should in some way begin to regain
consciousness of what was given to primitive (Biblical) culture.
Prosinger rightfully rejects the idea that the rational concept of all can be obtained by
induction from many, but here it is obtained by deduction, not induction.
Such a deduction is the basis of the response of St. Thomas to the eighth objection at S.T. III,
q. 78 a.3: efficacy includes sufficiency.
Prosinger tells us that the inductive production of all from many is absurd. But this assumes
the merely partitive understanding of many. Prosinger allows that many may mean all, but he
seems to consdider this possibility as only an accidental thing: it could mean all. One is still
maintaining a merely partitive understanding of many, adding to it, trivially, that the part may
be in certain cases equal to the whole.
Prosinger assumes in effect what he would like to prove: that the partitive understanding of
many is the only possible one.
But this leaves aside the possibility of a many which means all, that is, which means all in an
essential way, an archetypal many which means all by surpassing all, that is by surpassing all
in an essential way, the possibility that Biblical many, the number of the Church, the number
of the elect, is this many, that it means all in an essential way (and not therefore not in a sense
that can be taken as meaning that God somehow reveals all will be saved, that God
communicates to us this information (information which would imply the denial of our free
will, our human condition, and the seriousness of life. 3)
If this possibility corresponds to the truth, then there can be a Semitism in Biblical many, but
not a Semitism which is simply a defect of primitive language (They had no other way to say
all) but rather represents a theological insight present at this primitive level.

See JOSEH DAUBEN, Georg Cantor: His Mathematics and Philosophy of the Infinite, Princeton University
Press, 1979.

When one of Ludwig Wittgenstein's graduate students allowed how much he regretted the
Church's condemnation of Origen's doctrine that God would eventually abolish hell and
redeem the whole world (including the devils), the philosopher shot back: Of course it was
rejected. It would make nonsense of everything else. If what we do now is to make no
difference in the end, then all the seriousness of life is done away with.
Edward T. Oakes, S.J. Balthasar, Hell and Heresy: an Exchange
3

Father Prosinger finds no Semitism in Biblical many, but he does find one (sometimes
present) in Biblical all, according to which Biblical all refers (sometimes) to the community,
the People of God, believers4. But if one has eyes to see this contracted sense of all one
should also have eyes to see the abundant sense of Biblical many. The all-Semitism and the
many-Semitism are correlative, and they form together a Biblical structure which is solidly
evidenced.
The dialectic between the many-Semitism and the all-Semitism is markedly present, for
instance, in the Letter to the Romans.
Jeremias as he tells us that the Semitic languages have no word for all (but explaining in the
footnote exactly what he means by this) shows us that he he is aware of this greater Biblical
structure of Biblical many+Biblical all. Biblical many means the people of God, which is a
mystery and as such is uncountably great (rather than relatively small); Biblical all on the
other hand is not just a synonym for mankind, but means rather all believers: the Bible
concerns believers, the people of God, but at a deeper level one goes on to discover the
universal mission of this same people of God.
Biblical all typically means all believers, but this does not signify a contraction; Biblical
many typically means the people of God, the community, the Church, but this does not mean
that it does not include all men. In fact it does include all men. Father Prosinger contents
himself with affirming that it might include all men, but we just dont know.
The nuance of inclusion constituting the Semitism of Semitic many reflects this mysterious
reality of that which is per se inclusive and therefore means all. The Semitism offers us a
primitive, yet eloquent foreshadowing of the Christological foundation of the Church as Body
of Christ, which St. Paul will later explicitate, speaking the praises of Our Lord:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in
heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or
dominions or rulers or powers--all things have been created through him and for him.He
himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the
body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to
have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20
and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in
heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
(Col. 1:15-20)

Frans Prosinger, Das Blut des Bundes: Vergossen fr Viele?, Verlag Franz Schmitt, Sieburg 2007, p. 48

The concept of a God who arbitrarily shares or does not share his information with us is the
radical contradiction of the God of Revelation, who shares everything with us by a radical act
of grace, and therefore it can be rejected.
This false conception of God is a conception which places God in the same relation with
truth, as the relation which we have. It dethrones God.
d) Many as a Biblical expression, whose hermeneutic has a philological foundation
Pope Benedict XVI, following Saint Augustine, speaks of a Biblical way of speaking, rather
than of a (linguistic) Semitism. But is it not logical that the Biblical way of speaking should
have a certain philological foundation?
Rabiim like multis is used adjectivally, but can be understood as a substantive used
adjectivally and in this sense differs from English many which is an abstract adjective. But
one can find a similar substantival substitute expression in English: for instance by using the
expression gobs : thus instead of for many, for gobs . Concrete modes of expression typify
primitive language. But the border between primitive and secondary (more abstract) language
is not rigid. But this does not remove the distinction.5
In the above article Max Zerwick alludes to a usage of many in the Qumran documents as a
fixed expression for the Community, and this may give us the key to interpreting the many at
Isaiah 53:12 as the community (of Israel). This is in accordance with the figurative-concrete
nature of rabiim.
A possible objection: But if rabiim at Isaiah 53:12 means the Community (of Israel) it does
not mean all men.
Answer: That it means Israel or the Community, does not exclude that it means, after a second
step, or at a second level, all men. But the simple point is here that it cannot mean Israel or the
Community without the aspect of inclusion given by the Semitism.
Omlor could use the Semitism to construct a Biblical argument that many means the Church
or the Elect. But in constructing such an argument he would not prove his incorrect notions
about what the Church is, and about the scope and reality of the Redemption.

I lived twenty-three years in Holland, whose culture, is in many ways an advanced culture. It
struck me how, typically, a Dutch person analyzes economic issues partitively. There is a pie,
which represents a fixed amount of wealth, and all the economic players have their share, a
certain part, of that pie. The reaction to bad times, to scarcity, is accordingly one of frugality.
The pie has gotten smaller, so one must adapt to that. This frame of mind has advantages and
disadvantages. One can see it as rationality, but one can see it as materialism. If one has much
money that is seen as subtracting much from the pie. And that is why Dutch politicians see it
as a much more natural thing to limit the incomes of the rich. Here in Mexico, where I now
live, the wealthy have less shame in displaying their wealth, even though everyone recognizes
the great and terrible fact of poverty, and social injustice. In spite of everything abundance is
seen to be something marvelous. There is a certain simplicity in that, the mark of a more
primitive culture. But I use the word primitive here without meaning something negative by
it. A .Dutch person hearing that Our Lord died for many would tend to think that is not for all
then, but for a piece of the pie. A Mexican might tend to think many! Is that not something
marvelous?The Semitic culture (which is raw material of Biblical revelation) is primitive in
this sense, and this is reflected in the semantics of the use of their expression for many.

Omlor should admit his mistaken affirmations he has made regarding Jeremias. here. Yet he
doesn't; he continues in his 1993 comment on the Note of Clarification
.we come to the paragaraph which begins thus: "The Hebrew and Aramaic
words for 'many' have an inclusive sense because their word for 'all' [Whoa! It
will be recalled that at first they assured us that Hebrew and Aramaic do not even
possess a word for 'all']is limited in this regard. It really means 'totality,' and
considers things in terms of their wholeness but not as a sum of many parts."
Well if anyone can understand what they are talking about, or, failing that,
believes the story anyway, he has forgotten what Father Bede Jarrett said about
being the dupe of every charlatan that comes along. Now the Aramaic word kl
preceding a determined noun in the plural or a collective singular, for example,
"all mankind," does in fact mean "totality." but that is only one facet of the
complex grammatical rules governing kl. Preceding a singular noun without the
article kl means "every," as in "every person," which is the same as "all men""
considered as "a sum of many parts," to use the ICEL's phraseology. Furthermore,
the word kll means "everyone" or "all persons," the Aramaic word found in
Daniel (4,9) and (4,18): "food for all (kll)." These verses from the Book of
Daniel are among the few Aramaic passages occurring in the Old Testament.
The fact is, that many people have arrived at the conclusion that the semitic/Biblical many has
an inclusive sense and they give no sign of being the dupe of every charlatan that comes
along. We could begin with St. Augustine who notices that many sometimes in the Old
Testament means all. We could continue with Pope Benedict XIV who speaks of a Biblical
way of speaking in which many means all. And shortly we will cite other knowledgeable
persons who affirm this without hesitation.
In QTV Omlor writes:
72. Secondly, the words for many are selective in their connotation, as
opposed to for all men, which phrase denotes universality.
TRC, p. 25
Omlor shows that he is capable of understanding the linguistic subtlety of connotation. This
should make him capable of understanding what Jeremias is saying when he says that this
connotation is not present in Semitic many, and that this is what makes the Semitism.
Omlor is perfectly capable of understanding that subtlety of connotation by which the extraSemitic mind interprets the many as meaning less than all; he ought therefore to be capable of
understanding the interesting and important surprise that in the Semitic language world things
are not so: the same word, many, has a different connotation. But no, his mind tires and he
complains of Jeremias and his fellow travellers: Well if anyone can understand what they are
talking about

Primitive language is characterized by being more concrete, and therefore ideas tend to be
expressed figuratively. Primitive language is capable of expressing spiritual content, but it
will express it in the language of the simple, which is concrete: Our Lord opted for this
language of the simple and spoke in parables. Semitic many is marked by this characteristic
of primitive language. Semitic many like Semitic all is fundamentally substantive, not an
adjectival (which doesn't exclude that it can be used in an adjectival way).

When it is said that there is a note of inclusiveness in the Semitic many we do not mean to say
that it always means all men or all absolutely; it is a nuance of meaning, but a very well
established nuance. The substantive expression for many acquires a sort of figurative sense in
Our Lord's expression about the blood shed for many. It means the blood shed for a multitude.
(The ensuing question is naturally which multitude?)
In English we understand many as an adjective, and as an adjective it suggests a partitive
sense: for many (people), many-- part of an understood all.
The idea that all is many corresponds to a primordial sense of wonder before the fecund and
marvellous multiplicity of creation. That primitive man had a sense of wonder before the
creation is expressed in this concrete way of expressing all with many. The sensitivity of
primitive man ought not to be despised by an anti-Semitic (!) prejudice which sterilizes
language with an arrogance that thinks that in can improve the Bible by replacing its many
with our banal all.
The idea a cosmos which is multifarious, multifaceted, composed of many individual beings,
on the one hand, and is one on the other, with a mysterious unity, which is signified by the
very word cosmos. That our contemporary civilization has largely ceased to contemplate this
mystery, and satisfied itself with a merely numerical and quantitative conception of number,
suited for a merely technological, quantitative, and positivistic purposes, does not remove the
fact that the philosophical apprehension and explicitation of this mystery is part of the
spiritual heritage of mankind. The many is unified by some primordial Act. In the process of
describing such an Act, one may speak of the many (rabbim) as its terminus a quo, or of a
totality (kl) as its terminus ad quem. In this context it is readily understood that the word
many refers to all as the terminus a quo of the act of primordial unity.
To understand the Biblical use of many one ought to take into account on one hand how the
expression reflects a primitive Biblical culture, with its capacity for wonder, but on the other
hand how it reflects the eschatological horizon of the elect, the horizon of the marvellous
Church of God whose number will be fulfilled (and become correspondingly all) at the end of
history. A bridge is constituted between the beginning of salvation history and its fulfilment.
When Jeremias wrote that there is no word for all in the Semitic languages (with the footnote
explaining exactly what he meant to say by that), he wrote in German in which alle differs
from English all, which like English many has no declensions and thus has a flavour of
concreteness.
Father Prosinger notices this and remarks that English all in this sense is like kol and thus if
the Prophet had wanted to say all (in the way we say it in English) he could have easily done
so.
But to say this is really to avoid the point that Jeremias is making. Father Prosinger is
imposing his scheme on the text: the text either has to be saying many (which we assume
naively to have a partitive sense and mean something less than all) or all (which we would
take flatly to mean all men). Jeremias enters into the Semitic texture of the whole in which
there is a difference between rabiim and kol, but that difference is not the same as we would
naively think.
Both rabiim and kol have a concrete aspect, a resonance which the ear accustomed to modern
languages does not necessarily or immediately hear. Naturally in both modern and primitive
language the distinction between the abstract and the concrete is made, but in primitive
language the two are not so distant, the concrete is illumined more directly by a spiritual light.

In Dutch there is the word menigte; it is the noun for multitude; this helps us to understand the
etymology of the English word many. A deep etymological reflection thus reveals how the
abstract is rooted in the concrete. But in the primitive langauages the connection is more
immediate, more intuitive.
Father Prosinger is very harsh in his judgement of the scholarship of Jeremias. But if I read
the pages of Jeremias from TWNT regarding rabiim in the last of the Servant Songs in Isaiah
I prefer his analysis to that of Father Prosinger. He is clear when Father Prosinger is merely
complicated.
Jeremias notices how the prophet emphasizes this word in a mysterious way: it is used five
times, but there is a structure in its usage, which slowly emerges: it is used as adjective and it
is used as substantive; it is used with article and without article, and one time it is used in an
idiomatic way which the translators notice, translating it, as the great.
Jeremias connects the usage of rabiim here not only with the Eucharistic huper pollon at Mk
14:24 and the anti pollon of the redeemed at Mk 10:45, but also with with the differentiated
usage of polloi in the fifth chapter of the Letter to the Romans, and with Hebrews 9:28, and
there are solid reasons for doing all of this.
When Jeremias makes a summary of his conclusions regarding all these conclusions sound
simplistic, and Father Prosinger rightfully notices this; but the analysis Jeremias has realized,
which is the meat of the thing, is in fact well-structured and nuanced. He is not saying merely
that Biblical many can and should be substituted by all men in translation. That he was
understood in that way is not (entirely, in any case) his fault. The harsh, far-reaching
criticisms of Father Prosinger are not deserved.
When St. Paul at Rom 5:15 speaks of the justification of the many (polloi with the article)
very much in a parallel fashion to Isaiah speaking of the justification of the many at Isaiah
53:11 (rabiim with article), we may notice two things: that there is a Semitism at work here,
not because of any simplistic rule according to which one would always have to translate
many with all, but because the many does not mean the vulgar mass of people as it might
mean in a pagan context, but it means the (sinful!) people of God. The Servant, who Paul
recognizes in Jesus, dies for the sins of His People.
Still the Bible leads us a long a path in which it is ever more clear for the eyes of faith that the
story of the People of God is our story.

e) Examples of the usage of rabiim in the Old Testament cited by Joachim


Jeremias
(Latin Bible texts are taken from the Nova Vulgata).

(Numbers 1,2 ,6,7 , 10 and12 have a salvific-eschatological sense which would


imply a universal reference to mankind. Numbers 8 and 9 have the same reference
but with respect to a universal defeat of the gentiles)
Adjectival use of rabiim (viele volken)
1. Js 2,2-4 ("lteste beleg")

et fluent ad eum omnes gentes. Et ibunt populi multi et dicent.Et iudicabit


gentes et arguet populos multos
2 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the
highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall
stream to it. 3 Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the
mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us
his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth
instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between
the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into
plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword
against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 5 O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!
[Notice the equivalence of "all the nations" with "many peoples"]
2. Mi 4,1-3 (Parallel with Js 2,2-4)
et fluent ad eum populi et properabunt gentes multaeet iudicabit inter populos
multos
1 In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the
highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall
stream to it, 2 and many nations shall come and say: "Come, let us go up to
the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may
teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go
forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 He shall judge
between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they
shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more;
[parallel with the above passage]
3. Ez 3,6 ff. ("weitere belege")
neque ad populos multos profundi sermonis et ignotae linguae
5 For you are not sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to
the house of Israel-- 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult
language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to them,
they would listen to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they
are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead
and a stubborn heart. 8 See, I have made your face hard against their faces, and
your forehead hard against their foreheads.

4. Ez 27,33 ("weitere belege")


satiasti populos multos
33 When your wares came from the seas, you satisfied many peoples; with
your abundant wealth and merchandise you enriched the kings of the earth.
34 Now you are wrecked by the seas, in the depths of the waters; your

merchandise and all your crew have sunk with you. 35 All the inhabitants of the
coastlands are appalled at you; and their kings are horribly afraid, their faces are
convulsed. 36 The merchants among the peoples hiss at you; you have come to a
dreadful end and shall be no more forever."
5. Ez 31,6 ("weitere belege")
et sub umbra illius habitabat universa multitudo gentium
6 All the birds of the air made their nests in its boughs; under its branches all the
animals of the field gave birth to their young; and in its shade all great nations
lived. 7 It was beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its roots
went down to abundant water. 8 The cedars in the garden of God could not rival
it, nor the fir trees equal its boughs; the plane trees were as nothing compared with
its branches; no tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty.
[English translates many with all]
6. Ez 38,23 ("weitere belege")
in oculis multarum gentium
22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him; and I will
pour down torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur, upon him and his troops
and the many peoples that are with him. 23 So I will display my greatness and my
holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall
know that I am the LORD.
7. Ez 39,27 ("weitere belege")
in oculits gentium plurimarum
25 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob,
and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy
name. 26 They shall forget their shame, and all the treachery they have practiced
against me, when they live securely in their land with no one to make them afraid,
27 when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their
enemies' lands, and through them have displayed my holiness in the sight of
many nations. 28 Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God because I
sent them into exile among the nations, and then gathered them into their own
land.

8. Mi 4,11.13
Nunc autem congregatae sunt super te gentes multaeet comminues populos
multos
11 Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, "Let her be
profaned, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion." 12 But they do not know the
thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them
as sheaves to the threshing floor. 13 Arise and thresh, O daughter Zion, for I will
make your horn iron and your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many

peoples, and shall devote their gain to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of the
whole earth.
Compare: Jl 4,2
congregabo omnes gentes
I am going to gather all the nations and take them down to the valley of
Jehosaphat.
9. Mi 5,7 (parallel with Mi 4,11 with article)
Et erunt reliquiae Jacob in gentibus, in medio populorum multorum
7 Then the remnant of Jacob, surrounded by many peoples, shall be like dew
from the LORD, like showers on the grass, which do not depend upon people
or wait for any mortal. 8 And among the nations the remnant of Jacob,
surrounded by many peoples, shall be like a lion among the animals of the
forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which, when it goes through,
treads down and tears in pieces, with no one to deliver.
10. Zach. 8,22
et venient populi multi et gentes robustae
22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in
Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of the LORD. 23 Thus says the LORD of
hosts: In those days ten men from nations of every language shall take hold of a
Jew, grasping his garment and saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that
God is with you."
11. Ps 89,51 (corrupt, compare Ex 31,6)
Memor esto, Domine, opprobrii servorum tuorum quod continui in sinu meo,
multarum gentium, quo exprobaverunt inimici tui
49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore
to David? 50 Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted; how I bear in my
bosom the insults of the peoples, 51 with which your enemies taunt, O LORD,
with which they taunted the footsteps of your anointed. 52 Blessed be the LORD
forever. Amen and Amen.
12. Ps 97,1
Laetentur insulae multae
1 The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
13. Neh. 13,26 (with article)

Et certe in gentibus multis non erat rex similis ei


26 Did not King Solomon of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the
many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and
God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless, foreign women made even him
to sin.

14. Is 52,15
Sicut obstupuerunt super eum multi
sic deformis erat, quasi non esset hominis species eius,
filiorum hominis aspectus eius,
sic disperget gentes multas
See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very
high. 14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him --so marred was
his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals-15 so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of
him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had
not heard they shall contemplate.
Compare:
Is 42,1
iudicium gentibus proferet
1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I
have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.
and
Is 49,6
lucem gentium
6 he says, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the
tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to
the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
f) Examples from the OT of the substantive use of rabiim with the article
1. I K 18,25
quia vos plures estis
25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose for yourselves one bull
and prepare it first, for you are many; then call on the name of your god, but
put no fire to it." 26 So they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and
called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying, "O Baal, answer us!"

[Recall here that rabiim here is with article, as in all the passages in this section,
and that the subsantive (and thus inclusive) character is thus emphasized.]

2. Js 53, 11c
Iustificabit iustus servus meus multos
11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his
knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he
shall bear their iniquities.
3. Est. 4,3
sacco et cinere multis pro strato tentibus.
In every province, wherever the king's command and his decree came, there was
great mourning among the Jews, with fasting and weeping and lamenting, and
most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4. Dan. 9,27
Confirmabit autem pactum multis hebdomade una et in dimidio hebdomadis
deficiet hostia et sacrificium et erit super alam abominationis vastator
26 After the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have
nothing, and the troops of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the
sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war.
Desolations are decreed. 27 He shall make a strong covenant with many for one
week, and for half of the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease; and in
their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed end is poured
out upon the desolator."
5. Dan 11,33
Et docti in populo docebunt plurimos
33 The wise among the people shall give understanding to many; for some
days, however, they shall fall by sword and flame, and suffer captivity and
plunder.
6. Dan 12,3
Qui autem docti fuerint, fulgebunt quasi splendor firmamenti, et qui ad justitiam
erudierunt multos
2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to
everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are
wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to
righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, keep the words
secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be running back
and forth, and evil shall increase."

Examples from the OT of Substantive use of rabiim without article


1. Is 53,12a
ipse peccatum multorum tulit
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil
with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with
the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the
transgressors.
2 . Ps 109,30
et in medio multorum laudabo eum
30 With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the
midst of the throng. 31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save them
from those who would condemn them to death.
[Compare:

Ps 22,23
in medio ecclesiae
Ps 22,26
in ecclesia magna
Ps 35,18
in ecclesia magna in populo multo laudabo te
Ps 40,10
in ecclesia magna
Ps 26,12
in eclesiis
Ps 107,32
in ecclesia plebis]

3. Ps 71,7 (entsprechend)
Tamquam prodigium factus sum multis
6 Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my
mother's womb. My praise is continually of you. 7 I have been like a portent to
many, but you are my strong refuge.
4. Ex 23,2 (hnlich)
Non sequeris turbam ad faciendum malum
2 You shall not follow a majority in wrongdoing; when you bear witness in a
lawsuit, you shall not side with the majority so as to pervert justice; 3 nor shall
you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.
5. Neh. 7,2 (hnlich)
et timens eum plus ceteris videbatur

1 Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the
gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, 2 I gave my brother
Hanani charge over Jerusalem, along with Hananiah the commander of the
citadel--for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many.
g) Texts using rabiim from the fourth Song of the Servant of God
1. Is 52,14 (without article)
obstupuerunt super eum multi
See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very
high. 14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him --so marred was
his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals
2. Is 52,15 (adjectival)
sic disperget gentes multas
-- 15 so he shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of
him; for that which had not been told them they shall see, and that which they had
not heard they shall contemplate.
3. Is 53,11c (with article)
iusificabit iustus servus meus multos
11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find satisfaction through his
knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous, and he
shall bear their iniquities.
4. Is 53,12a (with article)
Ego dispertiam ei multos
12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil
with the strong; because he poured out himself to death, and was numbered with
the transgressors;
5. Is 53,12e (without article)
ipse peccatum multorum tulit
yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

I would also like to draw attention to the texts mentioned by St. Augustine, City of God, Book
XX, ch. 23
1. Dan 12, 1-3
et multi de his, qui dormiunt in terra pulveris, evigilabunt: aliialii
fulgebuntqui ad iustitiam erudierunt multos, quasi stellae

"At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise.
There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first
came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who
is found written in the book. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth
shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting
contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and
those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
The many at Dan 12:2 is without article, and if we understood it in extra-Semitic/extraBiblical categories we would normally suppose that it is to be understood partitively, with
many of those having the sense of part of those, many but not all of those. Yet both St.
Augustine and St. Thomas (or the redactor of the Supplement to the Summa Theologiae tells
us that many is here to be understood to mean all, according to a way of speaking which
sometimes (Augustine) or frequently (Thomas) appears in Scripture. Is this way of speaking
not fundamentally the same thing as what later at a later moment in the development of
philological science will be deemed a Semitism?
Here there is a point that I have spoken of, but which I would like at some point to discuss
with someone with deep knowledge of Biblical Hebrew. I will launch my hypothesis: Rabiim
at 12:2 is called an adjective, but it seems to me that it is not an abstract adjective like the
English equivalent many. It functions as an adjective, and yet it has the flavor of a
substantive, that is, it is in some way taken as something definite and concrete, something that
the mind grasps intuitively, something that the mind can contemplate as definite reality, and
therefore as a whole. The philological Semitism, as I see it, lies in the substantive-like
character of the adjective
This would rhyme with what Father Antonio Izquierdo has told us about kol, that in Hebrew
there is no specific adjective for all, although kol exists and can be used (as Father Prosinger
tells us) in a way very similar to English all (but unlike German allen).
The fact that it can be used in a way similar to English all is in a sense accidental: English all
does not get inflected; It differs from English all in that it (like rabiim) is understood in a
substantive-like way. This all reflects the concreteness of the Semitic languages.
That is my conjecture. I believe that it reflects the philological essence of what Jeremias says
in TWNT regarding rabiim and kol, and that neither Omlor nor Father Prosinger refute it.
Their response to it is simply that in their opinion language is not like that: their arguments
reveal their presuppositions.
2. Gen 17,5
quia patrem multarum gentium constitui te
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said
to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2 And I will
make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly
numerous." 3 Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4 "As for me,
this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of
nations. 5 No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be
Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6 I will
make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall
come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your
offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be
God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you, and to your

offspring after you, the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan,
for a perpetual holding; and I will be their God."
3. Gen 22,18
benedicentur in semine tuo omnes gentes terrae
"By myself I have sworn, says the LORD: Because you have done this, and have
not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you, and I will make
your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on
the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of their enemies, 18 and
by your offspring shall all the nations of the earth gain blessing for themselves,
because you have obeyed my voice."
I will include in an appendix the German text of Jeremias who constantly refers himself to the
Hebrew texts. In some of the examples above the evidence for the inclusive sense of many
may not be overwhelming if one only considers the translation in isolation. A first step is to
understand that the inclusive sense is not denied (also taking into account that many with an
inclusive sense does not directly and automatically signify all mankind, only a multitude
considered as a whole). Jeremias builds his case up slowly but convincingly.
The texts which speak of "the multitude of the Gentiles" are important in relation to the
Eucharistic many. St. Thomas also speaks of a reference to the multitudo gentium. The
multitude of the Gentiles (or of the nations) is a fundamental Biblical concept.
Abraham receives a promise that he will be the Father of a multitude of nations, and this
promise has a universal dimension, the many is taken as all. But at the same time the promise
is considered to be fulfilled in the children of Abraham, represented by the twelve sons of
Israel, and the associated twelve tribes of Israel. The tribes of Israel in a certain way
represent mankind that wil be blessed in Christ. Later the number of the apostles (twelve) will
also be sent to proclaim the Gospel to the whole world, the Church represented by the
apostles will be the universal sacrament of salvation.
h) A selection of texts cited by Jeremias as examples of the inclusive many in the
New Testament
1. Rom 5:15
multi mortui suntin multos abundavit
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one
man's trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in
the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many.
2. Rom 12:5
in uno corpore multa membra habemusmulti unum corpus sumus
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the
same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually
we are members one of another.
Compare with 1Cor 12,13

For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Jews or Greeks, slaves
or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 Indeed, the body does
not consist of one member but of many.
3. 1Cor 10:17
unum corpus multi sumus
Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of
the one bread.
4. 1Cor 10:33
non quaerens, quod mihi utile est, sed quod multis
Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to
please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of
many, so that they may be saved.
5. Mk 6:2
et multi audientes
On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him
were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this
wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his
hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses
and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense
at him
cfr. Lk 4:22
et omnes testimonium illi dabant
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from
his mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
[In a parallel passage many is replaced with all]
6. Mk 9:26
ita ut multi dicerent: "Mortuus est"
After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a
corpse, so that most of them said, "He is dead." 27 But Jesus took him by the
hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand.
7. Hb 12:15
et per illam inquinentur multi
See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness
springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled.

8. Mk 10:48
et comminabantur ei multi
They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving
Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.
47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say,
"Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 48 Many sternly ordered him to be
quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Compare with:
Mt 20:31
Turba autem increpabat
As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 There were two
blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by,
they shouted, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" 31 The crowd sternly
ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, "Have mercy on
us, Lord, Son of David!"
[Many replaced with the crowd]
9. Mk 6:33
Et videruntet cognoverunt multi
And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many
saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all
the towns and arrived ahead of them.
9. Lk 1:14
multigaudebunt
But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been
heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14
You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he
will be great in the sight of the Lord.
which is in some way parallel with Lk 2:10
quod erit omni populo
Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone
around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be
afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to
you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.
in which joy for all the people is spoken of.

10. Mt 12:15
secuti sunt eum multi
But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. 15
When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and
he cured all of them, 16 and he ordered them not to make him known
Compare with:
Lk 6:19
Et omnis turba quaerebant et sanabat omnes.
They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were
troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all in the crowd were trying to
touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
11. Mk 6:2
et multi audientes admirabantur
On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him
were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this
wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his
hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses
and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?"
Compare with
Lk 4:22
Et omnes testimonium illi dabant
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his
mouth. They said, "Is not this Joseph's son?"
12. Mk 1:34
et curavit multos
That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed
with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34 And he
cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and
he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
12. Mt 8:11
multivenient
When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him,
"Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you,
many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and

Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the heirs of the kingdom will be
thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth."
13. Lk 2:34
in ruinam et resurrectionem multorum in Israel
Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined
for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be
opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed--and a sword
will pierce your own soul too."
[The sense of many must be all.]
14. 2 Cor 1:11
quae ex multis personisper multos gratiae agantur
He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we
have set our hope that he will rescue us again, 11 as you also join in helping us by
your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted
us through the prayers of many.

15. Mk 10:31
Multi autem erunt primi
"Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or
mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good
news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age--houses, brothers and
sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions--and in the age to come
eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first. "
See Mt 19:30, and compare with Lk 13:30
et sunt primi
Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."
16. Mt 22:14
Multi autem sunt vocati
Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into
the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 14 For
many are called, but few are chosen.
[The simple and most logical explanation is that many is inclusive. Lumen
Gentium affirms a universal call to sanctity.]

i) Adjectival use of many in the New Testament


1. Rom. 4:17
Patrem multarum gentium
For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and
be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also
to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17 as it is
written, "I have made you the father of many nations")- -in the presence of the
God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the
things that do not exist
2. Heb. 2:10
multos filios in gloriam adduxit
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing
many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through
sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one
Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12
saying, "I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the
congregation I will praise you."
3. Lk 7:47

Remissa sunt peccata eius multa


Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she
has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." 48 Then
he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

Some of the examples cited by Jeremias have perhaps arguable elements. It is not necessary to
show that every New Testament many has this semitic/inclusive aspect, but Jeremias shows
that there is a sort of general presence of the semitic coloring. I find also that there is in the
New Testament the presence of the symbolism of the crowd or of the many even when the
word many is not in question as such, for instance when our Lord has mercy on the crowd
who are "like sheep without a shepherd" before he realizes the first multiplication of loaves.
The crowd symbolizes mankind. Its signification has an inclusive element.
Very important is that the exegesis of many which I am proposing does not exclude that
many can be considered as signifying the Church. But this does not exclude the inclusive or
universal element. It was interesting how Jeremias associated the rabiim of Psalm 109,30 "I
will praise him in the midst of the throng with other passages from the psalms which speak of
the assembly, an expression which is translated into latin and Greek as ecclesia. Many refers

to the assembly or "Church," but with an inclusive sense. The idea of the elect or the number
of the elect has an inclusive sense.
Many is the number of the Church, but this does express the idea of incompletion, but rather
of completion and wholeness.
Many in itself does not express wholeness and completion, but in the light of the Semitism, it
can and it does.
Church, on the other hand, expresses in itself inclusion, completeness, wholeness, catholicity.
At any given stage in history the Church may consist of a relatively small group, and be a
little group, a small flock, but in its structure and essence it is always catholic.
Many is thus the number of the Church.
This is the many spoken of by St. Paul when he speaks of a body of many members. The idea
of "not all" is not present in the expression. This is not a lack of precision but rather a type of
precision. We can also consider this text from the Apocalypse of John:
Then I looked, and there was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion! And with him
were one hundred forty-four thousand who had his name and his Father's name
written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of
many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; the voice I heard was like the
sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they sing a new song before the
throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could
learn that song except the one hundred forty-four thousand who have been
redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with
women, for they are virgins; these follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They have
been redeemed from humankind as first fruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in
their mouth no lie was found; they are blameless.
Apocalypse, Chapter 14
One hundred forty-four thousand with its character of "12 times 12" represents a perfect
number. The work of the Lord is perfect; their virginity is also an expression of this
perfection.

Many in the context of redemption appears not only in Our Lord's words of institution but also
in a number of other places in the NT (cfr. Mk 10:45; Mt 20:28; Heb. 9:28). Some authors
authors speak of this many in terms of efficacy or as a reduced group, not as all men,
following the sense of many in a language like English. St. Thomas treats of these texts in this
way. His treatment of these texts is uniform, there is no indication that many means one thing
in one and another in another. Biblical and philological study has revealed, however, that the
Greek many is a semitism and has an inclusive sense.
j) Various authors speak of a Semitism
Pollon comme x 45 marque la communaute sans excluse personne; lopposition
nest pas entre plusiers et tous (Loisy) mais entre en seul qui meurt, et le grand
nombre que en profite (Holtz).
J.M. Lagrange, commentary on the word pollon at Mk 14:24

"Many" is an Aramaism meaning all, which is maintained in Mt-Mk

John McKenzie (Dictionary of the Bible), refering to words of institution

This is my blood of the covenant, poured out for many.


The blood of the covenant alludes to Exod. 24:8, where Moses seals the covenant
by sprinkling the blood of sacrificial animals on Israel. The "poured out for
many" alludes to Isa. 53:12 (one of the Suffering Servant passages) and gives the
action a sacrificial dimension. The two OT allusions serve to characterize the
death of Jesus as a sacrifice for others. The phrase hyper pollon, "for many," is
based on the Hebr. of Isa. 53:12; it means "for all", not just for one or a few..
The Jerome Biblical Commentary, Mk 14:24

It was after the return to Judea towards the end of the public life that Jesus first
told the apostles that the death he was to die was not simply a yielding to the
violence of his enemies, but had a purpose in relation to men: "I lay down my life
for my sheep" (Jn 10:15).. Calvary was very close when he said "The Son of Man
is not come th have service done him; he came to serve others and to give his life
as a reansom for the lives of many" (Mt 20:28). And at the Last Supper: "This is
my blood of the new testament which shall be shed unto the remission of sins"
(Mt 26:28)The "many" is a Hebraism. Jesus died for all men.
F.J. Sheed, To Know Christ Jesus

Esta expiacion se realiza por los muchos, que por sincdoque significa a todos.
This expiation is realized for the many, which by synecdoche signifies all.
P. 21, on Isaiah. 53:12
Por , hyper.La proposicin hyper es una clara alusin al sentido expiatorio que
Cristo da a su muerte. En la versin de Marcos (hyper pollon) y en la de Matreo
(peri pollon) tenemos una clara alusion al Siervo de Yahveh (Is 53), que habla
tambin de los muchos (rabbim).
El uso de la preposicin hyper y peri es caracterstico de los sacrificios
expiatorios, indicando a favor de quien y por causa de quien se realiza la
expiacin. El sacrificio de expiacion se ofrece a Dios por (hyper, peri) los pecados
de los hombres. Lo vemos tambin en Mc 10:45; Mt 20:28.
Por , hyper.The preposition hyper is a clear allusion to the expiatory sense
which Christ gives to his death. In the version of Mark (hyper pollon) an in that ot
Matthew (peri pollon) we have a clear allusion to the Servant of Yahweh (Isa. 53),
which also talks of the many (rabbim).
The use of the preposition hyper or peri is characteristic of expiatory sacrifices,
indicating on whose behalf and for whom the expiation is realized. The sacrifice

of expaiation is offered to God (hyper, peri) the sins of men. We see this also in
Mk 10:45 and Matthew 20:28.

Antonio Sayes, El Misterio Eucarstico, P. 71

The preposition yper with genitive originally meant above, "on top of, beyond";
yet improperly, above all as determining persons, it has come to mean "in favor
of, benefitting, in place of, on account of someone." Zorell includes within this
last meaning the text of Mk 14:24, which he describes in these terms: de iis quae
Christus pro nobis, ad nostram salutem fecit passusque est atque etiamnum facit.
The use of yper + genitive in the NT is explained in the context of the sacrificial
concepts of the OT. The phrase blood poured out for many responds to a fixed
sacrificial scheme of concepts, used to specify the beneficiaries. There are around
30 texts in the NT in which this scheme appears, but five of them deserve special
attention on account of their close relation with the fourth song of the Servant of
Yahweh, which explicitates and transforms the theme of penitential or expiatory
sacrifice through the fault committed: Mk 14,24 (Isa. 53,11-17: to shedmany); 1
Cor 15, 3-5 (Isa. 53,5,12: through his wounds we are cured); to deliver himself
hyper + genitive in Gal. 2:20 (reflecting the targum of Isa. 53:5,12); Rom. 5:6,8
which relflects various verses of Isa. 53; Rom 8:3 in which the expression peri
hamartias of Isa. 53:10 (LXX) is changed into hyper hamartias.
Pollon. This genitive plural literally is translated with "many". It doesn't mean,
many in opposition to all, but many as equivalent to the totality, since in Hebrew
-we are evidently examining a semitism- there is no specific adjective for all.
One must thus therefore translate Mk 14:24 : poured out in favor of (or for the
salvation of) all, understood universally as all mankind. R. Pesch opposes this
universal efficacy of the blood of Christ in Mk 14:24, limiting many to the totality
of Israel to which Pesch refers Isa. 53:11-12, which serves as the background. But
it is evident that at the beginning of the fourth poem of the Servant of of Yahweh
many refers to the pagan peoples and to the kings (Isa. 52:14-15). Furthermore,
Mark uses pollon in another occasion in relation not only to all of Israel but to all
of humanity (cf. 10:45: to give his life as a ransom for all). And we confront this
same meaning also in 1Tim 2:6: who surrendered himself in order to redeem all.
Zorell makes precise positively that Polloi in the context of the death of Christ
indicates a large number, for which Christ offers himself in expiation, but without
renouncing the total number, without renouncing namely the affirmation that
Christ died for all.
Antonio Izquierdo, L.C., A Legionary professor of New Testament, article in
our theological periodical Alpha-Omega, on the words of institution in Mark.
(My translation)
N.B. The words "There is no specific adjective for all. This is confirmed by
paragraph 96 in Omlor's "The Ventriloquists" where Omlor cites A Grammar of
Biblical Aramaic of Franz Rosenthal prove that there is a word in Aramaic for all.
These words are Kol and kolla. They are both nouns. Rosenthal mentions a quasi-

adverbial use, and also a usage that takes the place of the adjectival in expressions
like "all the inhabitants of the earth" in the book of Daniel 4:32.
In the New Testament (with respect to Jesus self-sacrificial passion), Mark 10:45
uses polln in the inclusive sense to refer to Jesus ransom for many. This
passage refers back to the Suffering Servant song in Isaiah 53:10-12 which is
interpreted in 1Timothy 2:6 by using the Greek word all (pantn) instead of
many (polln). According to Jeremias:
Of especial importance for our passage is Mark 10.45 par., lutron anti polln a
ransom for many. That polloi has here the inclusive meaning all is shown by
the reference in Mark 10.45 to Isa. 53.10-12, as well as by the parallel in I Tim.
2.6: antilutron huper pantn, a ransom for all. Just as Mark 10.45, so also our
passage Mark 14.24 [Jesus eucharistic words] is to be interpreted in the inclusive
sense. Polln is therefore a Semitism. (to ekchunnomenon huper polln
the[blood] poured out for many). The placing of the prepositional phrase at the
end corresponds to Semitic word order. That it is placed between the article and
the participle independently of each other in Matthew as well as in Luke shows
that the position at the end sounds harsh in Greek.
This remarkable parallel which shows the rabbim in Isaiah 53:10-12 to be
translated by both polln (many) and pantn (all) in Mark and 1Timothy,
respectively, and the very uncharacteristically Greek (but characteristically
Semitic) expressions of the eucharistic words in Mark and Matthew offer strong
evidence that Jesus rabbim was meant in an inclusive sense, and therefore, as
all (all human beings).
Once again, the unconditional nature of Jesus love emerges. His sacrificial act is
not for a chosen few, but rather for all humankind. He offers this not only to His
generation, but all future generations. His gift of Himself is total and universal.
His love is unconditional.
Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D
Is God Unconditional Love? The Eucharist
Magis Institute July 2011

Important note: Hebrew "rabbim" means "people", but is often translated


"the many" in English Bibles. A better modern term would be "the masses".
Denotes a whole. So don't buy into the bad Hebrew-language scholarship of
some, claiming that because "rabbim" is used, Christ somehow didn't pay for
all sin. Even logic would tell you this, not to mention, absolute verses like
Isa53:10-11, 1Jn2:2, John 3:16. Sin is an offense to God. ALL of it must be
paid for TO God. Romans 6, 2Cor5:14-21, Eph1 go to some trouble to
explain you that the Propitiation must LIVE forever, so that the payment to
GOD is ongoing. So the payment was From Christ, and is Housed In Christ,
and that Propitiates Father (which Isa53:5-6 literally say). So ALL sin got paid
for; so those who think it didn't, unintentionally blaspheme the Righteousness
of God and the Efficacy of the Cross. Who decides to believe in Him and thus
be saved, of course, is quite another matter.
Isaiah 52:13-54:1, Working, Expanded, and Poetic Translations,

w/Exegetical Notes http://www.brainout.net/Isa53trans.htm


(Eccentric and yet enegetic exegesis of Evangelical Protestant type : I
havent been able to determine the name of the author)

2.-Quando Ges dice: Il Figlio dell'Uomo... non venuto per essere servito, ma
per servire e dare la propria vita in riscatto per molti ( Mc 10,45) riassume in
queste parole l'obiettivo essenziale della sua missione messianica: dare la propria
vita in riscatto. una missione redentrice. Lo per l'umanit intera, perch dire
in riscatto per molti, secondo il modo semitico di esprimere i pensieri, non
esclude nessuno. Alla luce di tale valore redentivo era stata gi vista la missione
del Messia nel libro del profeta Isaia, e particolarmente nei Canti del Servo di
Iahv: Egli si caricato delle nostre sofferenze, si addossato i nostri dolori e
noi lo giudicavamo castigato, percosso da Dio e umiliato. Egli stato trafitto per i
nostri delitti, schiacciato per le nostre iniquit. Il castigo che ci d salvezza si
abbattuto su di lui, per le sue piaghe noi siamo stati guariti ( Is. 53,4-5).
(Translation)
When Jesus says "The Son of Manhas not come to be served but to serve and to
give his life as a ransom for many, he sums up in these words the essential
objective of his messianic mission: the redemptive giving of his life. It is a
redemptive mission. It is redemptive for all of humanity, because saying "as a
ransom for many", in the semitic way of expressing thought, does not exclude
anyone. The mission of the Messiah was already seen in the light of such a
redemptive value in the book of the prohet Isaiah, and particularly in the songs of
the Servant of Yahweh.
Pope John Paul II
Wednsesday audience, 26 October 1988
At te end of the parable of the lost sheep Jesus recalled that God's love excludes
no one: "So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these
little ones should perish. He affirms that he came "to give his life as a ransom for
many"; this term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with
the unique person of the redeemer who hands himself over to save us. The
Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without
exception: "There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being
for whom Chrisst din not suffer."
Catechism of the Catholic Church, number 605

The authors cited in these texts come from different backgrounds and have different points of
view. The point of grand convergence is that the Biblical many (the many which appears in
the words of Institution) has an inclusive sense. (This inclusive sense does not mean that
every passage marked by it ought to be translated with all or all men )
This inclusive sense has a philological background, and in this sense it is described by the
term Semitism. But there is also a theological element which associates this many with Israel,
the People of God, and in the New Testament, the Church. That it can be taken as signifying
Israel or the Church does not mean that the inclusive element is not present.

The argument that Pope Benedict XVI will make in favor of the literal translation does not
essentially contradict the argument made by these authors for understanding many
inclusively; Pope Benedict will tell us that by preserving many one preserves an expression
of the the ecclesiological aspect of the Eucharist. But one must go on to ask in what way does
many express the Church?
The recent studies which have established this point help us to understand the sense of the
Biblical\Liturgical expression many.
There is instead a coherence between Biblical science and Magisterium, which ought not to
be surprizing considering that the Magisterium does not act in independence of Biblical
science and theological science. The Magisterium is the only truly authentic interpreter of
Scripture, but this does not stop us from using our reason to penetrate more deeply into
revelation, under the guidance of this same Magisterium.
k) From the entry polloi in Theologisches Wrterbuch zum Neuen Testament
written by Joachim Jeremias

Theologisches Wrterbuch zum Neuen Testament

l) Pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 2

Joseph Ratzinger
Benedict XVI
Jesus von Nazareth, Herder, 2010
Omlor attacks Jeremias with ad hominem arguments, and with a false affirmation that
Jeremias was unaware of how to say for all with kol/kolla, with the false argument that there
being another way of saying for all with kol/kolla somehow undermines the presence of the
inclusive aspect of rabiim/sagueeia
Benedict XVI simply affirms that the inclusive sense of many in the Hebrew and Aramaic of
the Old Testament, is falsely understood when it is taken as meaning that the Biblical many
should be translated as all, that it in effect is reducible to all; and he affirms that Jeremias
ought not to be used to defend the defective translation for all, in the mass.
He does not reject that there is a Semitism in for many. This Semitism does not represent a
defect of Biblical language that ought to be overcome by translation but rather a richness,

which translation ought to preserve. The many in Isaiah 53 refers to Israel, and in the case of
the words of institution it refers to the elect or the Church, but this does not contradict its
having an inclusive sense which is not reducible to a quirk of language, but belonging to the
things signifiedthe universality of the Churchis reflected in Biblical language.

2.The Theology of many as a Biblical Semitism


(rabiim, polloi)
To this point we have examined above all the philological side of the Biblical argument
allowing an inclusive understanding of the Biblical many instanced in the many of the
Words of Institution.
The philological evidence is neither complete nor in itself completely intelligible without
examining the larger fabric of meaning of which the words in question form part, and
particularly the global theological context of the Bible. Thus we enter this second section
concerning the Biblical Theology of many.
Pope Benedict has now determined that we should return to a faithful translation of pro multis
in the formula of consecration. Insofar as he has affirmed that for all is a bad translation, he is
in agreement with Omlor.
Yet Omlor does not simply maintain that it is a bad translation, he claimis that it constitutes
an essential subversion and annihilation of the sacramental form.
The letter written on behalf of the Pope by Cardinal Arinze affirms on the contrary, that there
is no question of invalidity involved in the use of the
admittedly defective translation.
One may legitimately ask why there is no question of invalidity involved. It is not simply so
that there is no question of validity because the Church says that there is no question.
It is a fact that the Church had on multiple occasions confirmed the translations in for all for
liturgical use. But the Church has also laid down the principle that these translations ought to
be understood according to the sense of the original text.
Omlor argues that if the Church has approved such translations, that Church must be a false
Church.
One cannot therefore settle the issue thus by an appeal to authority; one must address Omlors
invalidity argument in itself. We will do this in the following pages of this essay. (Important
in this respect is the section entitled A Thought Experiment.)
Pope Benedict has affirmed that the consensus of scriputural/liturgical opinion justifying the
disputed translation on the basis of the scriptural analysis of Joachim Jeremias has vanished.

The key author in this development may be Father Franz Prosinger, a Biblical scholar,
supported by the theologian Father Manfred Hauke.
Their rejection of Jeremias resembles Omlors. Prosinger tells us, like Omlor, that it is false to
say that there is no way to say for all in Aramaic and Hebrew. (He does not however attribute
that opinion directly to Jeremias, as Omlor does.)
Like Omlor, Prosinger tells us that there is no essential difference in the meaning of the
expression for many in the Semitic languages, and the meaning of corresponding expressions
in Indo-European languagues such as Greek.
Therefore he questions the notion that the expression for many appearing in the New
Testament ought (regularly, generally) to be read as a Semitism.
He warns us not to generalize. Each passage ought to be read individually. His exegesis is, in
this sense, is centrifugal.6
The translation (and correspondingly, the interpretation) of Semitic-Biblical-New Testament
many as all (or as meaning all) is shown from this vantage point to be and unwarranted both
as translation and as interpretation.
In contrast with what many exegetes (as we have seen) affirm, there is in the final analysis
nothing special about Semitic/Biblical many according to Father Prosinger. There is no tissue
connecting the Biblical use of many, except for the mathematical sense of many, which is
common to all languagues.
If one compares Mk 10:45 with Mk 14:24, however one finds many used in a sense which is
in both cases similar. Father Prosingers centrifugal exegesis would conclude that either both
passages just happen to use many in the same way according to which many does not mean
all and ought not to be interpreted as all (I believe this is his actual interpretation.) or that
many in these two passages means something different which is clarified by context: that at
Mk 10:45 the context is the redemption of sinners (all) whereas at Mk 14:24 many has as its
context the Covenant whichis not of all.
Both the conciliar Decree Ad Gentes and the Catechism of the Catholic Church interpret Mk
10:45 in a universal sense.
Filius Hominis non venit ut sibi ministraretur, set ut ipse ministraret et daret animam
suam redemptionem pro multis, id est pro omnibus14
14 cf. Mc 10,45.
Ad Gentes, n. 3:
At the end of the parable of the lost sheep Jesus recalled that God's love excludes no
one: "So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones
should perish. He affirms that he came "to give his life as a ransom for many"; this
term is not restrictive, but contrasts the whole of humanity with the unique person of
the redeemer who hands himself over to save us. The Church, following the apostles,
teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: "There is not, never has been,
and never will be a single human being for whom Chrisst did not suffer."

66

My sister Karen has in an essay expressed criticism of Joachim Jeremias concerning this issue in a way which
strongly resemples Prosingers writings.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, number 605 (Emphasis added.)

But the dichotomy Father Prosinger presents is a false dichotomy. The usage of many in the
two passages is indeed different, but is related. At Mk 10:45 the primary sense of many is all,
that is sinners, that is the terminus a quo of the Redemption (which can be taken as sinful
Israel, the lost sheep of the house of Israel), but the notion of the terminus ad quem,
eschatological People of God who will be saved is co-present. At Mk 14:24 the reverse is
true. The two passages illuminate each other. In the second volume of Jesus of Nazareth Pope
Benedict tells us that Mk 10:45 must be taken into account when interpreting Mk 14:24. This
does not mean that many has the same sense in both passages, but that they are related,
connected.
Pope Benedict follows Prosinger to a certain point, but Pope Benedict unlike Prosinger does
not deny the Semitism, but rather maintains that the Semitism contains a richness which
translation ought to maintain, and which ecclesial and intra-Biblical hermeneutics will
explicitate.
To this I add the following clarification: Benedict does deny the Semitism, if by the Semitism
one means a purely negative feature of Semitic language that one can remedy in translation by
ignoring the text and substituting all for many.
Prosingers work seems to me to be an incompleted project, with a legitimate pars destruens,
but missing a pars construens (beyond that one major result in the practical order: the
influence that his thesis has had on the Churchs return to a good translation.) The desire to
respectfully maintain the linguistic vehicle (and therefore the literal meaning) gives rise to a
confusion between the linguistic vehicle and its meaning.
The consciousness that one should not mix interpretation with translation is confused with a
positivist/literalist prejudice which sees all interpretation as doubtful. Many means many and
that is it.
Interpretation is not simply removed from translation, but it is also removed from the act of
reading.
In the following pages as we address the theology of Biblical many we will attempt to leave
the cul-de-sac in which Prosinger/Hauke/Omlor leave us by using a more satisfying
hermeneutics.
Prosinger concludes that Eucharistic many (Mk 14:24) is indeterminate, and merely on
account of being indeterminate does it not exclude anyone, and in this sense is open. But this
is too weak. He tells us that the positive content, the mathematical content of many is not few.
But to get at the mathematical (formal) content of many one needs a third term: the sufficient.
Many does not simply mean not few, it means more than sufficient, many goes beyond the
sufficient. If one does not take this into account many becomes a purely subjective
denomination of quantity. But the many of the Eschatological Church is not undetermined for
merely subjective sense, because Jesus wanted to leave us hanging. It is intrinsically
undetermined because it it infinite, because it represents Transcendent Infinity.
It is useful and necessary to appreciate the positive value of this Biblical many. It has a
wonderfully rich content. It is so rich that it allow itself to be interpreted as all, though it is
not identical to all. And this richness argues for its being maintained, which is what the Pope
now has asked for. I would argue that this richness is what Omlor in fact denies.

Perhaps the use of the defective translation for all has served the purpose of elucidating that
the Biblical many indeed has this richness of content.
The Biblical argument goes beyond philology. But one must go step by step. There is also a
theology of the Bible. I would like in this section to indicate certain elements of the Biblical
theology of many. In this one can glimpse in a more powerful way the richness and beauty of
the Biblical many, which pass beyond the narrowness of Omlors ideas.
The arguments of Jeremias show that the many in question is a Semitism, and is philologically
speaking, inclusive. But this many is something more than this: it is a Biblical Expression.
Pope Benedict in several of his writings has insisted that Hellenism (and thus rational
philosophy) influences the Bible internally and not simply externally (as a factor of
corruption). He does this in answer to those who would put the Semitic elements of the Bible
in conflict with Greek elements. (Some might favor the Semitic elements, identifying the
Greek elements with a corruptive rationalism; others might favor the Greek elements,
dissolving the uniqueness of the Bible in Greek rationalism, gnosticism, and so forth.) The
Holy Father insists once more, in the line of St. Thomas on the harmony of faith and reason,
grounding himself also on a correct vision of how the Bible historically came into being.)
In this same line I would like to propose a Biblical Theology of many which illumines our
rational understanding, our mathematics of many, and which is not in any way in conflict with
it.

a) Creation
At the beginning of the Bible we find a God who creates abundantly. Through such a creation
God reveals his goodness. He creates more than He has to. In so doing he reveals graciously
the goodness of His Heart. Abundance is to be found on the earth below and in the heavens
above, and in the countless hosts of angels. In this He reveals himself, his own infinite
splendors. There is a link between earth and heaven, and this link comes from God. It is His
gracious decision. This link we can find in a passage such as the following from the Book of
Deuteronomium:
Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. May
my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distil as the dew, as the gentle rain upon the tender
grass, and as the showers upon the herb. For I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Ascribe greatness to our God! "The Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have dealt corruptly
with him, they are no longer his children because of their blemish; they are a perverse and
crooked generation. Do you thus requite the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is
not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you? Remember the
days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you;
your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High gave to the nations their
inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples
according to the number of the sons of God. For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob
his allotted heritage. "He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the
wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. Like
an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching
them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no foreign
god with him.

(Deut. 32:1-12)
The bounds of the peoples are fixed according to the number of the sons of God (the angels),
who are many (Deut. 32:9). This is Gods will. At the same time there is the election of Israel:
For the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage (Deut. 32:9). Here we find
the two poles which are present in the sacramental word for you and for many. There is no
stinginess on the part of the Lord. His eternal, infinite love is represented in his concrete love
for Israel, but also in the abundant number ot the nations. We know that the nations fall into
idolatry, but we also know that this is not Gods fault.

b) Abraham
With the calling of Abraham God begins to reveal his Promise, his Plan of Salvation.
Abraham will be the Father of all believers, he will be the father of many nations (which the
Bible carefully identifies with universality: his mission is universal, he will be the father of all
nations, because Gods plan is one, because God is the only God.). The People of God, Israel,
grows, becomes many, in fulfillment of Gods promise, the assembly of the People of God,
the seed of the Church, has a concrete existence, but the many of this little flock, represents
all men, because it represents God and His abundant and graceful love.

c) Moses
Moses seals the Covenant of God with His People the Covenant with blood of bulls, poured
out over the People, over those present. This passage is also of central importance in
understanding the Eucharistic Words of Institution. The whole context given by the Book of
Exodus is central for understanding the Eucharist, as the Paschal Sacrifice which the Old
Testament prefigures. The blood is shown to those who were present. One can see in this two
things: a) Not all men were present, and b) The people of God, represent, somehow all men.
The People of God know that Abraham was promised not only offspring (plural) but an
offspring. This will be Jesus, who will be the Redeemer of all. The New Covenant, foretold in
the Old Testament, will be, in contrast with that of Sinai, universal. Because the Bible not
only shows us the idolatry of the Pagan Nations but also the sins of Israel. The propets will
call Israel back to faithfulness to the Lord.

d) Isaiah, the Figure of the Suffering Servant and its repercussion in the
New Testament, and in the consciousness of Jesus, and in the words of
Institution at the Last Supper
Various of the authors that we have cited in defense of the universal sense of pro multis
affirm the reference of these many texts of the New Testament to the Figure of the Suffering
Servant in Isaiah. What does Omlor have to say about this?
The case they build here is based on pure speculation, and the perceptive reader
will recognize how shaky it is. Notice their cautious words, "the probable allusion
to Isaiah 53:12" and "most probably allude to Isaiah 53:12." In het Notitiae article
mentioned earlier, the one written by Max Zerwick (who in 1961 was expelled by
the Holy Office from the faculty of the Biblical Institute on the grounds of
teaching heresy: just the right credentials for admission to the ICEL team), we
find the same argument based on the Book of Isaias, and Zerwick is equally
cautious: " 'Pro multis' seems to have been [emphasis added] used by Jesus
because calling to mind chapter 53 of Isaiasetc." In his critique of the Zerwick

article the late Fr. George Kathrein, C.Ss.R. remarked: "Here Max becomes the
mind reader of Our Lord at the Last Supper."
TRC, p. 342
When Dr. Jeremias speaks above of "the atoning death of Jesus," on must not
mistakenly think that he means the unique expiatory Sacrifice of the Son of God
according to Catholic teaching. "Every death has atoning power," he explains,
"even that of a criminal if he dies penitent" (E.W.J., p. 231). Any innocent death
"offered to God has vicarious power of atonement for others," and thus Christ's
death "is the vicarious death of the suffering servant" (ibid.)
Referring to Our Lord as "the suffering servant of God" is a favorite theme of
Professor Jeremias. Granted that the word servant is used allegorically in
reference to The Messias in a few places in the Old Testament; for Dr. Jeremias,
however, the use of this term is only one of his many subtle ways of attacking the
divinity of Christ. To rebut this heresy we can do no better here than to repeat the
words of Pope Adrian I
"O you impious, and you who are ungrateful for so many benefits, do you not fear
to whisper with a poisonous mouth that He, our liberator, isa mere man subject
to human misfortune, and what is a disgrace to say that He is a servant?Why are
you not afraid, O querelous detractors, O men odious to God, to call Him servant,
Who has freed you from the servitude of the devil?For, although in the
imperfect representation of the prophet He was called servant (cf. Job1:8ff.)
because of the condition of servile form which he assumend from the Virginwe
understand that this was said both historically of holy Job and allegorically of
Christ" (Emphasis added) [Epistle Si tamen licet, to the bishops of Gaul and
Spain, ad 793, cf. Denz. No. 310, ed. 30]
Omlor, "The Ventriloquists", TRC p. 109
Once again I am struck by the ad hominem argument here applied to Zerwick and Jeremias.
With regard to more substantive matters I am struck by Omlor's total disregard for the normal
ways of exegesis. It is all "pure speculation," "reading Our Lord's mind". Critical, historical
and philological investigation takes time, is not always simple; but the goal towards which it
strives is is the solid establishment of the literal sense of the Biblical text; when this happens
"mind reading" is no longer necessary because one has better and more objectively
understood the intention of Our Lord.
It is striking thus (but in keeping perhaps with this disinterest in exegesis) how Omlor brushes
aside the Biblical theme of the Suffering Servant. He says: "Granted that the word servant is
used allegorically in reference to the Messiah in a few places in the Old Testament; for Dr.
Jeremias, however, the use of this term is only one of his many subtle ways of attacking the
divinity of Christ" Dr. Jeremias was indeed a non-Catholic. I don't know if his ideas
regarding the divinity of Christ are precisely the same as ours. I confess my ignorance of the
question. (I do find it strange, however that Omlor, who is incapable of discovering that
Jeremias is aware of existence and nature of kol/kolla, a fact which strikes to the heart of his
argumentation against Jeremias, should be such an ample knowledge of the same author's
doctrinal errors. I ask this: on what basis does Omlor affirm that Jeremias denies the divinity
of Christ?7
7

Omlor seems to identify non-Catholic Christian with heretic. He feels that this is necessary
if one wants to avoid false ecumennism.And he never seems to give a clear criterion by which

I believe that Pope Adrian I in the text cited by Omlor means to defend the divinity of Christ
and not to deny the presence of the servant theme in the Bible, which consists of far more
than
"a few allegorical references in the Old Testament." Crucial is what the New Testament does
with regard to the Servant theme. When Our Lord refers to his Passion and Death as events
that must occur in fulfillment of the scriptures, he affirms that he is the Messiah promised in
the OT, but the Messiah who must suffer, and this is where the OT theme of the Suffering
Servant acquires its true importance. The idea of a suffering Messiah was, and is, a difficult
one for people to accept. Our Lord says I am that Messiah, the one foretold in the OT, the one
who must suffer. On the cross Jesus authenticates himself as man and as God, in fulfillment of
the prophecies, and the prophecy of the Suffering Messiah, the Suffering Servant has a very
special place among these.
Here is the entry Suffering Servant from the Glossary at the end of the book Jesus of
Nazareth of Pope Benedict XVI
A figure from the Old Testament (Isaiah 42, 49, 50, 52-53) who was chosen by God in
order to save Israel. He must also communicate Israels mission to her and bear witness to
Revelation. The Suffering Servant must pass through suffering and death in order to be
ultimately exalted by God.
He must realize accordingly a vicarious atonement for mankind. The New Testament
sees Jesus as the Suffering Servant.
Under the name of the Songs of the Suffering Servant are four texts fom the Book of
Isaiah brought together which present to us the figure of the Suffering Servant.
(Translation from Jezus van Nazareth, Lannoo, p.348)
Omlor seems to think that Jeremias (and others) in affirming a relation between the Isaiahan
Servant are relevant to Our Lords words of Institution are involved in a project to deny
Christs divinity. Putting Jeremias personal faith and theology aside (a theology which I admit
not to know so well as Omlor claims to), the following citation from the book of Pope
Benedict may be useful in helping us to understand what Christ may have meant by
identifying himself with the Isaiahan servant, and how it harmonizes with the revelation of the

one can distinguish ecumenism from false ecumenism. To me this indicates that he has an
affective prejudice against ecumenism which hinders clear thinking about the subject. He
thinks that ecumenism has always to smell like liberalism, relativism, and abandonment of the
faith. He seems to say whenever I hear the recent Popes speaking of ecumenism I smell these
things, dont you? But suppose that you do not. Then I feel that he should have the courtesy
to explain his state of mind, to offer us criteria of discernment, but he does not. The
insinuation is that one is just not perceptive enough, that one has been taken in, and for this
sort of person one just has to pray. Do pray, but I think that we will pray better when we try to
be fair, when we try to be open, when we try to see beyond our little worlds. We all need to
do this. At one point Omlor cites scornfully a periodical reporting about a General audience in
which of John Paul II spoke about the ecumenical dimension of the Eucharist: the mass joins
all Christians, regardless of their differences. Omlor for some reason does not present the
actual text of the Pope, but the idea seems in line with the Pope's teaching and clear enough,
and in accord with what Omlor himself admitsthat the res sacramenti of the Eucharist is
the unity of the Church; yet Omlor is scandalized by the idea that non-Catholics may in some
way be included in the prayer of the Church.

Divine Person of Christ. He discusses the title Son of Man which Christ so often applies to
Himself:
For also the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve and to give his life in
redemption for many. (Mk 10:45)
Here is a tekst cited from the songs about the suffering Servant of God (Isaiah 53). Thus
there is another strand of Old Testament tradition brought into play in the representation of
the Son of Man. Jesus identifies himself on the one hand with the Coming Judge of the
Last Judgement, but on the other hand also with the Servant of God who suffers and dies,
the figure whom the Prophet envisions. He lets us see that suffering and exaltation form
one reality. To serve is to reign truly. We can intuit in this something of the way that God
Himself exercises his Kingly office. In his suffering and dying the Son of Man lives
entirely for others (pro-existence). He becomes the Redeemer and bringer of salvation
for many: not only for the scattered children of Israel, but for all the scattered children of
God (see John 11:52), for all of mankind. When He dies for many he transcends the
limits of place and time and his mission becomes universal.
(ibid., p. 304, once again my translation)
Christ reveals his Kingship on that throne which is the Cross, a Cross which he accepts in
obedient love with respect to the Father, and with humble redeeming love with respect to
mankind. In this context one can appreciate why he may have wanted to identify himself with
the Isaiahan figure of the Suffering Servant. 8
8

A perhaps significant curiosity is that the one philological scholar that Omlor finds to
support him is Dr. Revilo Oliver. Omlor cites part of a letter from him.
I have in my files a letter, dated 18 July 1970, that I received from Dr. Revilo P.
Oliver, the distinguished scholar, author and lecturer of international repute, who
at that time was in his 25th year as Professor of the Classics at the University of
Illinois. His letter reads in part:
Dear Mr. Omlor:
Thank you for the copy of your excellent booklet, 'The
Ventriloquists.' I was particularly interested in the subject because
several months ago an acquaintance of mine asked me to check
the critical editions of the Greek text of the New Testament to make
certain that there was no variant reading that would authorize the
words 'for all men.' The inquirer evidently did not know of the
impudent claim that you refute.
The sheer impudence of the claim is almost breathtaking, because
everyone who has even the slightest knowledge of linguistics
knows very well that no language used by a people that has
attained even the rudiments of a culture could fail to distinguish
between 'many' and 'all'. Aramaic was for several centuries the
language in which the business and diplomacy of the Near East
(including Indo-European nations) was conducted.
You were dealing, of course, with a specimen of what I regard as
the ultimate dishonesty, calculated lying by persons who have been
trained as scholars and who use their expert knowledge not only to
swindle the uneducated but to destroy the very civilization that
made scholarship possible.
Your booklet is addressed, of course, to members of the Church

that is now committing suicide, but you have also exposed the
cancer that is destroying the civilization of the West.
Sincerely,
/s/ Revilo P. Oliver.
The Robber Church, p. 268
Omlor reminds us that Oliver is a distinguished scholar, author and lecturer of
international repute, something that Joachim Jeremias also was, although Omlor prefers
to reserve other less polite epithets for him. What Omlor does not say, but what can be
established quickly by a visit to the entry on Oliver in the Wikipedia, or by listening to
some of Olivers conferences which are to be found on the internet is that Oliver was not
merely an erudite professor among other erudite professors but also and especially an
outspoken champion of the ideology of White Supremacy, and a rabid critic of
Christianity, that is of Christianity as to be distinguished (when necessary) from Christian
Civilization (= non-Semitic, non-African, and so forth, Civilization) to which Oliver
associated himself, while at the same time rejecting and despising the central Christian
doctrines in themselves. Does Omlor associate himself with such a figure inadvertently?
Maybe. What I would like to suggest is that there is indeed a harmony between the
theological consequences of the invalidity thesis and this way of looking at Christian
Civilization.

Listen to the sneer at the expense of Africa in the following passage concluding his essay
Msgr McCarthy Again! Another Fiasco!

In perusing the pages of Brian Walton's Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, I came across
something quite interesting on p. 137 in Book V, where the text of St. Matthew's
Gospel, Chap. 26, was shown in various languages, with Latin translations alongside.
Until then it had not occurred to me that the Ethiopians also messed around with Holy
Writ. Though I suppose it should have been expected. Well, on this aforesaid page 137,
under the heading, "Versio THIOPICA cum Interpretatione
LATINA," the Latin translation of the Ethiopian text for certain verses from St.
Matthew was given as follows: "Hic panis est corpus meum," and "Hic calix est sanguis
meus" -- the infamous "This bread is my body; This chalice is my blood". (Incidentally,
in this place in St. Matthew there is no mention of "chalice"; that word is from St.
Luke's account!)
I have some good news for Monsignor McCarthy and the ICEL, and I have some bad
news. First the good news! On this same p. 137 ("St. Matthew's" Gospel, Ethiopian
style) we find a precedent for that phrase I have written about so much (QTVMcC pp.
13-19, e.g.) and so heartily loathe, viz., "so that sins may be forgiven." "Qui effunditur
propter multos [they got that much right] ut remittatur peccatum" is the
way it was put by our hopeless, ever-invalidating brethren of olden times on the Dark
Continent. And that, the "kiss of death" precedent, is the very, very bad news.]
There is also the footnote to The Necessary Signification of the Sacramental Form of the
Holy Eucharist where this same sense of humor reveals itself:

I would like to present now briefly some of the evidence for the presence of the Suffering
Servant theme in the New Testament, following the entry "servant" in John McKenzie's
Dictionary of the Bible.

The Four Songs of the Servant of Yahweh, from the Book of Isaiah:
1.
Is 42:1
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul
delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not
cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a
dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4 He will not

There are three classes of liturgies we always automatically suspect apriori as being of
doubtful validity: those of heretics, of schismatics, and of Ethiopians.
TRC, p. 336, fn. 79
A further indication of Omlors way of seeing the question of race may be gleaned from
this review of a book that Omlor wrote in 1966:

Omlor, Patrick Henry. THE HUNDRED YEARS' HOAX: The "Civil


Rights" Movement (1866-1966). Menlo Park, CA: Aladextra Press, (c.1966.)
First Edition

Slim trade paperback. Describes the civil rights movement as the work of the
Communists, Negroes as pawns of those who hope to destroy our country, and the
14th amendment as fraudulently adopted and a 'main bulwark' of the civil rights
hoax. Not exactly an objective - or accurate - book. Uses the example of one Perry
Smaw, an 87 year old black man (a 'respected Southern Negro') who was killed in
1965 purported by 'civil rights barbarians' in retaliation for speaking out against
civil rights, and ignores the brutality aimed not just at those who were civil rights
activists, but all Negoes who stepped out of 'their place.' 51 pp with appendix and
bibliography. Near fine in illustrated wrappers ( slight toning to pages.) .

The Catholic Traditionalist Movement ought to dissociate itself from the tainted ideologies
of anti-Semitism and of racism.
But the point that I seek to make here is not that Omlors heart was tainted by racism.
What I know of him from the testimony of those who knew him was that he was a friendly
and pious man. My point is that there is a logic uniting racism with Omlors invalidity
thesis and its logical presuppositions. There is no substantial difference between
indifference and hate, and Omlors system presents us a God who is effectively indifferent
to the salvation of some (and thus of all) and this will necessarily result in the rupturing of
the principle of brotherhood. Father Spitzer is right in connecting the Eucharist to the
unconditional love of God, before that love all the Pelagian and prideful systems fall. Pro
multis expresses the great, infinite and unconditional love of God to which men respond
only with thankfulness and love.

grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait
for his teaching.
2.
Is 49:1-6
1 Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The LORD called me before I was born, while I was in my mother's womb he named me. 2
He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a
polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. 3 And he said to me, "You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified." 4 But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my
strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the LORD, and my reward with
my God." 5 And now the LORD says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring
Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the sight of
the LORD, and my God has become my strength-- 6 he says, "It is too light a thing that you
should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I
will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
3.
Is 50:4
The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know
how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens-- wakens my ear to
listen as those who are taught. 5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward. 6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those
who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. 7 The Lord GOD
helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I
know that I shall not be put to shame; 8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with
me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. 9 It is the Lord
GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the
moth will eat them up.
4.
Is 52:13
See, my servant shall prosper; he shall be exalted and lifted up, and
shall be very high. 14 Just as there were many who were astonished at him --so marred was
his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals-- 15 so he
shall startle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths because of him; for that which had
not been told them they shall see, and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
Ch 53
1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been
revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we
should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and
acquainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and
we held him of no account. 4 Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet
we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our
transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to
our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and
he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and
like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By a perversion
of justice he was taken away. Who could have imagined his future? For he was cut off from
the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people. 9 They made his grave with
the wicked and his tomb with the rich, although he had done no violence, and there was no
deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. When you
make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through
him the will of the LORD shall prosper. 11 Out of his anguish he shall see light; he shall find
satisfaction through his knowledge. The righteous one, my servant, shall make many
righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will allot him a portion with the

great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession
for the transgressors.
The following citations and information are teken from John McKenzie, Dictionary of the
Bible, under the entry "Servant of the Lord"

NT. In the NT the title Servant is applied to Jesus in


1. AA 3:13
2. AA 3:26;
3. AA 4:27,30
The Servant poems are quoted in
5. Mt 8:17 (loose use of 53:4 with reference to healing)
6. 12:18-21
7. Lk 22:37 (referring to the passion)
8. Lk 2:32
9. Rm 15:21
10.Rm 4:25
It is remarkable that the words of the baptism of Jesus
are an almost exact quotation of Is 42:1
11.
12.
13.

Mt 3:17
Mk 1:1
Lk 3:22

and it is probable as many interpreters sugggest that the original form of this
saying was a quotation of Is 42:1, with the change of servant to son.
J. Jerremias suggests that the title of Servant belonged the early Palestinian
preaching of the Church but was little used in the Gentile churches, where the
title of slave seemed degrading; Gk has no phrase to correspond to the Hb "slave
of the king".

The same scholar thinks that "servant" has been replaced by "lamb" in
14..

Jn 1:29, 36.

The Servant songs are very probably implicit in a number of others passages
which use their words or conceptions:
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.

1 Co 15:3-5 (the passion in the scriptures)


Mt. 26:28
Mk 14:24
Lk 22:20
1 Co 11:23-25 ("for you" and for "many" in the formula of the
Eucharist)
Rm 8:34
Phl 2:6-11 (Jesus took the form of a slave)

22.
23.
24.
25.
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.

Mt. 20:28
Mk 10:45
1 Tm 2:6
Mk 9:12 (it is written that the son of man must suffer)
1 Pt 2:21-25, a chain of phrases from Is 53:5-6,9,12
1 Pt 3:18 (He died for our sins, the righteous for the unrighteous)
1 Jn 2:2
1 Jn 4:10 (expiation for our sins)
1 Jn 3:5
Jn 10:11,15,17 (Jesus lays down his life).

It is obvious that most of these quotations and allusions turn upon the passion. It is
not too much to say that the conception of the atoning and redeeming death in the
NT is development of the idea of the Servant.
This development is not to be regarded as the work of the apostles themselves. the
witness of the Gospels is that this essential feature of the life and mission of Jesus
is one which they, with the mass of Judaism, found most difficult to understand
and accept. The identification of Jesus with the Servant is best attributed to Jesus
himself.
Now I would like to present the texts referred to by McKenzie above:
1. AA 3:13 "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the
God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and
rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him."
2. AA 3:26 "When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you, to bless
you by turning each of you from your wicked ways."
3. AA 4:27 "For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the
Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant
Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had
predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your
servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to
heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant
Jesus."
4- Mt 8:17 "This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah,
"He took our infirmities and bore our diseases."
5. Mt 12:17 "This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
18 "Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is
well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the
Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the
streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he
brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope."
6. Lk 22:37 "For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, 'And he was
counted among the lawless'; and indeed what is written about me is being
fulfilled."
7. Lk 2:32 "a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people
Israel."

8. Rm 15:21 'but as it is written, "Those who have never been told of him shall
see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand."
9. Rm 4:25 "who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for
our justification."
10. Mt 3:17 "And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with
whom I am well pleased."
11. Mk 11:1 "And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved;
with you I am well pleased."
12. Lk 3:22 "and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove.
And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am
well pleased."
13. Jn 1:29 "The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is
the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
Jn 1:36 "and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the
Lamb of God!"
14. 1Co 15:3 "For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had
received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that
he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the
scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve."
15. Mt 26:28 " While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after
blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my
body." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying,
"Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured
out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
16. Mk 14:24 "He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is
poured out for many."
17. Lk 22:20 "And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup
that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood."
18. 1Co 11:23 "For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that
the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and
when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way he took the cup also, after
supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as
you drink it, in remembrance of me."
19. Rm 8:34 "Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was
raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us."
20. Phl 2:6 "who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with
God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a
slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he
humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-- even death on a

cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is
above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven
and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
21. Mt 20:28 "just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to
give his life a ransom for many."
22. Mk 10:45 "For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give
his life a ransom for many."
23. 1 Tim 2:5
"For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God
and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all -this was attested at the right time.
24. Mk 9:12 "He said to them, "Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things.
How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many
sufferings and be treated with contempt?"
25. 1Pt 2:21 "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for
you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. "He
committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When he was abused,
he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted
himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the
cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you
have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have
returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls."
26. 1 Pt 3:18 "For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the
unrighteous, in order to bring you to God."
27. 1 Jn 2:2 "and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but
also for the sins of the whole world."
28. 1 Jn 4:10 "In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent
his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins."
29. 1 Jn 3:5 "You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there
is no sin."
30. Jn 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for
the sheep.
Jn 10:15 "just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my
life for the sheep"
Jn 10:17 "For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in
order to take it up again."

One can always argue about the details but for me there is in this Biblical information broad
support for the idea that many at Mk 14:24, Mt. 26:28 and similarly Mk 10:45 and Mt 20:28
are references to the Fourth Song of the Servant of Yahweh. To isolate the Eucharistic
passages from the rest of these passages would seem to be an arbitrary procedure. Let us take

a look at the words of institution in Luke where the servant theme follows immediately upon
the institution of the Eucharist:
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave
it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in
remembrance of me." 20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying,
"This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 21 But see,
the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. 22 For the Son of
Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is
betrayed!" 23 Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be
who would do this. 24 A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them
was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 But he said to them, "The kings of the
Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors.
26 But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the
youngest, and the leader like one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who
is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among
you as one who serves.
Luke, chapter 22: 19-27
The language is very similar to that of Mk 10 and Mt 20, where Our Lord speaks of coming to
serve and giving his life in redemption for many. In John the narrative of institution is
replaced, as it were, by the narrative of the washing of the feet, where Our Lord solemnly
identifies himself with the figure of the Servant at a moment in which everything is to be seen
in the light of Our Lord's imminent passion death and resurrection, through which he gives
life to the world. In another sense is the Eucharistic discourse in John "replaced" by the
discourse on the Bread of Life
Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you
the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from
heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and
gives life to the world." 34 They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always." 35
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be
hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But I said to you that
you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 Everything that the Father gives me
will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 38 for I
have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who
sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of
all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 This is indeed the will
of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life;
and I will raise them up on the last day." 41 Then the Jews began to complain
about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42
They were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother
we know? How can he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" 43 Jesus
answered them, "Do not complain among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me
unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last
day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'
Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that
anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the
Father. 47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the
bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50
This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not
die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this
bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is

my flesh." 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this
man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in
you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will
raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true
drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.
57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever
eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven,
not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this
bread will live forever." 59 He said these things while he was teaching in the
synagogue at Capernaum. 60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This
teaching is difficult; who can accept it?" 61 But Jesus, being aware that his
disciples were complaining about it, said to them, "Does this offend you? 62 Then
what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is
the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you
are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe." For
Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the
one that would betray him. 65 And he said, "For this reason I have told you that
no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father." 66 Because of this
many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67 So Jesus
asked the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68 Simon Peter answered him,
"Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come
to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." 70 Jesus answered them,
"Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil." 71 He was speaking
of Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to
betray him.
The words "the bread I will give" in the future tense indicate the Eucharistic context and the
words "for the life of the world are parallel with the Eucharistic "for many for the forgiveness
of sins" And one can relate these passages also the expression of John the Baptist in John's
Gospel about the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" with lamb probably
punning on the Aramaic word for servant and the notion of the lamb necessarily bringing
Paschal and Eucharistic associations, which are never distant in John.
Before closing this section I would like to cite the following words of John Paul II, affirming
the connection of the words of consecration with the Servant Song of Isaiah:

2. First of all the sacrifice of Christ becomes present in the Eucharist. Jesus is really present
under the appearances of bread and wine, as he himself assures us: "This is my body ... this
is my blood" (Mt 26: 26, 28). But the Christ present in the Eucharist is the Christ now
glorified, who on Good Friday offered himself on the cross. This is what is emphasized by
the words he spoke over the cup of wine: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is
poured out for many" (Mt 26: 28; cf. Mk14: 24; Lk 22: 20). If these words are examined in
the light of their biblical import, two significant references appear. The first consists of the
expression "blood poured out" which, as the biblical language attests (cf. Gn 9: 6), is
synonymous with violent death. The second is found in the precise statement "for many",
regarding those for whom this blood is poured out. The allusion here takes us back to a
fundamental text for the Christian interpretation of Scripture, the fourth song of Isaiah: by
his sacrifice, the Servant of the Lord "poured out his soul to death", and "bore the sin of
many" (Is53: 12; cf. Heb 9: 28; 1 Pt 2: 24).
3. The same sacrificial and redemptive dimension of the Eucharist is expressed by Jesus'
words over the bread at the Last Supper, as they are traditionally related by Luke and Paul:

"This is my body which is given for you" (Lk 22: 19; cf. 1 Cor 11: 24). Here too there is a
reference to the sacrificial self-giving of the Servant of the Lord according to the passage
from Isaiah already mentioned (53: 12): "He poured out his soul to death...; he bore the sin
of many, and made intercession for the transgressors". "The Eucharist is above all else a
sacrifice. It is the sacrifice of the Redemption and also the sacrifice of the New Covenant,
as we believe and as the Eastern Churches clearly profess: "Today's sacrifice', the Greek
Church stated centuries ago [at the Synod of Constantinople against Sotericus in 1156-57],
"is like that offered once by the Only-begotten Incarnate Word; it is offered by him (now as
then), since it is one and the same sacrifice'"
Apostolic Letter Dominicae Cenae,n. 9.
4. The Eucharist, as the sacrifice of the New Covenant, is the development and fulfilment
of the covenant celebrated on Sinai when Moses poured half the blood of the sacrificial
victims on the altar, the symbol of God, and half on the assembly of the children of Israel
(cf. Ex 24: 5-8). This "blood of the covenant" closely united God and man in a bond of
solidarity. With the Eucharist the intimacy becomes total; the embrace between God and
man reaches its apex. This is the fulfilment of that "new covenant" which Jeremiah had
foretold (cf. 31: 31-34): a pact in the spirit and in the heart, which the Letter to the
Hebrews extols precisely by taking the prophet's oracle and linking it to Christ's one
definitive sacrifice (cf. Heb 10: 14-17).
General Audience October 11, 2000
John Paul II refers on many occasions to this same connection. It is a theological
commonplace.
At the center of that central book of prophecy which is Isaiah one finds the prophecy of the
Suffering Servant. Israel has suffered under an unending series of weak and sinful kings; the
author of the Isaihan prophecy tells us that the Messiah will be another sort of King, a humble
servant, who will give his life out of love for us, one for many, one righteous man, for the
many who are sinners, a many composed of Jews and gentiles, the mass of humanity, all men.
Jesus will identify himself with this Messiah, the true one. Christ, at the Last Supper, want to
make clear what He is doing and what He will be doing on the Cross. He specifies what he
will be doing. Tomorrow I will be dying for you and for many (all). Dying just for you would
and not for many would be to extend the Covenant of Sinai, and not do something essentially
different and superior. Being True God, his actions have to have an infinite irradiation, if he is
not dying for all, one can conclude that he is not truly God. But He is in fact making clear that
He is God.
Can one also find in these words the following: the idea that I, to be included in the multitude
of the saved must respond to this infinite love of God, that if I reject this love I may not be
included in this many, that it is not Christs wish that we feel simply comfortable in hearing
this word? Yes, one can also find this message, but this is not everything. (The letter of
Cardinal Arinze speaks of the positive value of this aspect of the expression many.)
But Omlor wants not only to affirm this aspect of the expression, but to exclude the universal
meaning of this many from the sacramental words. He says this does not belong here: in the
form of the sacrament. But he forgets what he himself recognizes elsewhere (with St.Thomas)
that this sacrament differs from all others in that it also is a sacrifice, and the Sacrifice of
Sacrifices. He is in fact forgetting the difference between the Old Covenant and the New

The God of Love begins to reveal himself in the very beginning of the Biblical Story, and the
Revelation which Christ brings makes the revelation of this God complete. There is no
equivocation, no God loves his creation, but not really, not entirely. Christ identifies
himself with the Isaiahan Servant, and this identification is not something doubtful and
unimportant, but something central and of utmost importance.
It is not merely that the New Testament identifies Christ with the Servant, but it is Christ
himself who identifies Himself with it. Furthermore Christ is not claiming to be Messianic in
a commonplace, clich way, but is affirming something which is at the same time new, and
endowed with a profound background in the Old Testament. John McKenzie in all of his
sober Biblical scholarship affirms that It is not too much to say theat the conception of the
atoning and redeeming death in the NT is a development of the idea of the Servant.
(McKenzie, p. 793) But he adds also this: The identification of Jesus with the Servant is best
attributed to Jesus himself. The title and the conception, as observed, permitted Him to
assume a role which fell into none of the existing categories of charismatic leader and savior.
(McKenzie, p. 794).
The identification of Jesus with the Servant is present throughout the NT because Jesus
applied it to Himself. And he did this very specifically at the Last Supper, and in the very
words of Institution. Otherwise one creates a division between the Sacrament of the Eucharist,
and the Redemptive Sacrifice, which attacks the essence of both.
Then the typical objection is that the mass merely applies the graces won at Calvary, to which
the answer is that it does apply them, but not merely. To believe that I have the urgent mission
of bringing to all men the graces won on Calvary, means that I in the first place must believe
in these graces, and that they are for all men. The mass puts us in connection with Christs
sacrifice.
It is thus established that the many of the Biblical words of Institution has a strong relation
with Is. 53:12, and that the identification of Christ with the Isaiahan figure of the Suffering
Servant, is not a modern invention, that it belongs to the Bible itself, and even more, belongs
to the very self-consciousness of Jesus: Jesus wanted to identify himself with this figure. It is
also established that many represents a Semitism, which has an inclusive sense. It is
established that this inclusive sense is present at Is. 53:12, and that Our Lord uses many in the
same way in the Words of Institution.

e) St. Paul.
St. Paul has also a crucial place in the Biblical Theology of many. Pauls very mission is
centered in the universality of the redemption won by Christ: he is the apostle of the Gentiles,
thus of all men. And his insight in the Universality of the Church arises from the nature of the
grace won by Christ. The grace is universal and it arises through a Covenant established by
Christ through his Incarnation, his life, death and Resurrection. The universal Covenant
established by Jesus Christ is celebrated by the Church in the Eucharist.
A deep study of St. Paul will reveal a deep relation between the Eucharist and the Universal
Covenant in Christ which is the great Key to his magnificent reading of the Old Testament on
one hand and his understanding of his own evangelizing mission to the Gentiles on the other.
One man who believed with great intensity in the graces won on Calvary for all men and in
the necessity of doing something in order to bring them to those for whom they are destined
was St. Paul. For him the grace was not in conflict with the necessity, because they are in
essence the same thing.

He understood that we all men have a right to those graces, because Christ gave them to us.
He didnt simply intend to give them, he gave them. And therefore we have the right. And
therefore the apostle faces the necessity to do his work, the duty to do it. He saw therefore the
urgency of his mission.
If one takes Omlor seriously, the mission cannot be as urgent as Paul believed that it was. For
Omlor there is a limit in place for Gods love. Gods love has a sort of limited temperature. It
cannot be so great because its effect was limited; it did not reach all men. The mission is not
really urgent because it is not based on a fact, because it is not based on being.
Omlor says that although all men have to join the Church to be saved, but that is their
problem, not mine, because I am not united with them.
But Pauls conversion hinges on the fact that Christ identifies himself with his Church: on the
doctrine of the Mystical Body, that their problem is indeed his problem.
Omlor makes much of the doctrine of the Mystical Body, but he deforms it. He insists on a
mathematical separation between the Church and all men. The Church has nothing to do with
all men. All men should join the Church, to be saved, that is, that they have to join the Church
to be saved, but that there is definitively nothing of the Church in all men.This amounts to a
denial of the Catholicity of the Church. The Church is not really Catholic. And one is far
removed from the faith of St. Paul.
For Paul the Biblical many must be universal, it means the gentiles, the peoples. The
universality of his mission was one with his faith in Christ and the universality of the
Redemption won on the cross, which is not theoretical, but real. Paul discovered the universal
love of Christ, love for all men, and this love cannot be real if Christ is not to be found in all.
Paul knew also that love can be rejected: this is the eternal challenge ot the Apostle, and it
remains a challenge. But Omlors doctrine is not simply that Love can be rejected; it has to do
with the scope and essence of Love itself.
Omlor says of course I believe in the Catholic doctrine, but does he in fact? If Love can be
rejected it follows that Love exists. Does Omlor believe that Love exists? This is the question.
If one doesnt believe that Love exists one cannot believe in free will, because free will is our
response to Love.
One can in fact, believe in free will without believing in the love revealed in the Incarnation,
but there is a connection between the two and that it is therefore not logical to isolate them.
Omlors doctrine leads to the rejection of the doctrine of the existence of Love and therefor
also to the doctrine of free will. Omlor says I know my Catholicism, I am not a Calvinist, I
am not a Jansenist, but his doctrine moves him in fact in the direction of these errors. Love
becomes something arbitrary, some receive love others are refused it arbitrarily, and thus both
Love and freedom are not allowed to be what they really are. Love is the heart of the doctrine
of Christ.
In the orthodox and Catholic vision of things love of neighbor is based on the fact that Christ
has identified himself really with every human being by his Incarnation and by his Passion
Death and Resurrection. If we follow Omlor there is no sufficient reason for the love of
neighbor, because I do not know if Christ is there or not. In this state of things love of
neighbor becomes impurity and idolatry, because there is nothing that tells me that Christ is

there. This is a point of extreme importance. For the Catholic, love of neighbor is justified and
is demanded because Christ is there.9
Omlor pretends that his position is that of the historical missionaries of the faith, and can
write words such as the following:
9

in the Ecumenists' scheme of things the heresy of universal salvation must be subtly
implanted. The mistranslation of this particular passage is undoubtedly
explained by the Ecumenist with the affirmation that "Christ died for all men."
"Christ died for all men" is the standard reply given to any inquiry why the words,
"for all men" were substituted for "for many" in the Consecration Form.
Misunderstanding "Christ died for all men" as meaning universal salvation is
bound to lead to religious indifferentism. If Christ died for all men, then why
should we be so concerned about the salvation of those outside the Church?
Perhaps this Ecumenist mentality explains the lessening of true Catholic
missionary activity. Earlier eras saw great missionaries, many of them canonized
saints, risking everything to go to strange and distant lands for the sole purpose
of baptizing the pagan, making a Catholic of him. In this ecumenical age most
priests wouldn't make a trip across town to convert a non-Catholic. But they will
make great efforts to "dialogue" with him and find out what he has got to say.
In an ecumenical age such as ours why worry about conversions ? After all,
Christ died for all men! And so we begin to witness a radical drop-off of
conversions to the true Faith. Why are so many Catholic schools closing? This
is partly explained, admittedly, by the disgust with them among traditional
Catholics. But there are not that many informed, traditional Catholics. The truth
is that the "Christ died for all men, after all"-mentality just does not see the
importance of Catholic schools anymore.
If "Christ died for all men" and this means universal salvation, then why have
devotion to the saints? They are not needed as models to be imitated and
patrons to assist us. Assist us for what? We are all saints! We are all equal!
And so the Saints go marching out of the Roman Calendar. Hans Kung, true to
the Ecumenist cause, has declared that "all canonizations must cease." (Catholic
Currents, May 15, 1970).
TRC, pp. 143-144, in The Ecumenism Heresy
But the point here, of course, is not to convince anyone of the need of a missionary faith, but
to convince people of the evil (the heresy!) of Ecumenism. I consider the above passage to be
important, because it expresses a widespread mentality, not only among traditionalists but
also more broadly in the Church (among those who do not consider themselves traditionalist
at all, but have the gut feeling that Omlor is right in this). The missionary spirit is confused
with intellectual arrogance. The faith of the Church is reduced to a mere idea-set, and the
true Catholic becomes the one who has reached the state of perfect possession of an idea-set,
the state in whiche he no longer listens to anyone, having all truth within himself. (Pope
Benedict tells us by contrast that the faith is not so much the possession of the truth as being
possessed by the truth.) The myth is that when Catholics were intellectually arrogant, we
went off and became missionaries, and we converted carloads of people to our faith. Isnt that
obvious! And nowadays when we are ecumenical and try to be charitable and open with
everyone, the Church has gone into retreat. Isnt that obvious? What we need is that old
fashioned arrogance!
We are dealing here of with a diabolical lie, but doesnt it ring a bell?

The Bibical Theology of many was important for Paul, because the Mystical Body was
important for him: one Body composed of many members. In I Tim. 2:1-7 he interprets the
Isaiahan many as all. But in the commonplace of the one body consisting of many
members which he develops in the First Letter to the Corinthians there is a more profound
theological content.
Omlor affirms also that the many of the body of the Church are referred to by the words of
consecration, but he misses the profound underlying truth that the Church could not form a
body if it were not universal, and that, having a Divine Head, it must be universal. If the
Church is not universal, it is defective. Its cannot be the Light of the Nations, if it is not
universal.
f) John and the theology of the elect
So the king said to Joab and the commanders of the army, who were with thim,
Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba and number the
people, that I may know the number of the people.But Davids heart smote
him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, I have
sinned greatly in what I have done. But now O Lord, I pray thee take away the
iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
2 Samuel 24:2.10
Part One: the origins of Omlors doctrine of the elect and St. John
The core of Omlors argument based on ecclesiastical authorities is in St. Thomas. St.
Thomas thus held that many refers to the elect, and the Catechism of the Council of Trent
follows him as do St. Alphonsus, and Pope Benedict XIV. We have analyzed how this whole
series of affirmations breaks down when scrutinized. Underlying Omlors reasonings about
what he believes these authorities to have held there lies an understanding of the elect
which he takes for granted. What is this pre-understanding, and where does it come from?
And is it a correct understanding? Is it Biblical?
The question of what the elect means in the Bible will take us into the theology of the
Johannine books, especially the fourth Gospel and the Book of Revelation.
I have said that Omlors understanding of the elect approaches that of the Jansenists.
I have also observed that Omlor is also aware of the fact that the Church has condemned the
Jansenist denial of Christs having died for all men. Omlor says specifically that there are two

There are many young Catholics (I was one of them) who more or less fell for that lie and
went off and joined the like-minded, and set off to be that kind of arrogant missionary, laden
with a certain kind of empty apologetical training, and went off to discover the sterility of the
enterprise, and that one had in effect no place left for Jesus in ones missionary backpack) or
slowly discovered (as I did through Gods grace) that the Gospel is really something quite
different, and experienced a slow-burning discovery of the love of Jesus for all men,
discovered that humble charity and the missionary spirit are one thing and that this discovery
constituted in one blow true knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, the decisive conversion and
the authentic missionary vocation. And I will shout this from every rooftop.

truths maintained in the Catholic faith 1. That Christ died for all men (aspect of sufficiency)
and that 2. Only some=the elect will be saved.
Omlor says that the logic of the Eucharist demands that Christ only could have spoken of the
second truth at the Last Supper. It would have been absurd for Christ to have spoken of dying
for all men just at that exact moment in which He needed to speak of transmitting efficacious
grace in to the elect in the Eucharist.
It must be said here immediately that this involves an unbiblical scission between the
Institution of the Eucharist and the Sacrificial death on the Cross implying a fatal
misunderstanding of both. It makes the Cross not really count for anything. It creates a
mysterious limitation to the intentionality of the Eucharist. It is only for some, not all. Who?
The elect? Who are they? Those who will finally be saved. How many are these? Less than
all.
The conception of the elect which Omlor employs here may be familiar to some. Some of
those may be convinced that Omlors conception is the genuine traditional authentic Catholic
conception. I propose to show that this is not so.
The Jansenists thought their conception of grace and predestination to be both Biblical and
enlightened. They were aware that it was similar to the Calvinist conception, which the
Calvinists also thought to be Biblical and enlightened. The Jansenists sought to found their
theology in Augustine, the great champion of grace, the great enemy of Pelagianism.
Augustine, following, St. Paul, affirms that our salvation is through Gods grace. An
adequate and strong concept of grace implies an adequate and strong concept of divine
election. Our salvation is rooted in Gods election.
It is the Gospel of John where the theology of the elect reaches its consummation.
St. Johns words have been used to defend this idea of a divided God who loves on the one
hand and is cold and indifferent on the other, who loves his friends and is coldly indifferent to
mankind. But can these ideas really be traced to St. John and thus to the Bible?
My answer is no, and it is supported by two things: 1) a closer reading of St John and 2) a
reading of St. John in relation to the rest of the Bible, because St. John is meant to be read in
the context of the Biblical whole.
Either a humanistic predisposition or basic education in the Catholic Faith tells us, that what
the Bible has to say about election and abour grace does not remove the input of human
freedom into the story of salvation which is the Bible. Yet the merely humanistic resources
of those who are not intimately involved with matters of faith tend to err on the side of
Pelagian naturalism.
Conversely, those who enter into the discourse about predestination and election tend to be
those who are strongly involved in faith issues, and Biblical interpretations.
Yet the fact that not many merely superficial Christians speak about the elect does not mean
that all those who do speak about the elect, are employing the term in an orthodox, Biblically
founded manner.
There seems to me to be a common and dangerous misconception. I would even call it a
diabolic misconception. It is the misconception which robs the Gospel of Grace of all its
beauty. It is of a God who behaves arbitrarily, irrationally and tyrannically, favoring some and

condemning others without reason (condemning those who He condemns in an underhanded


way, by simply withholding his grace.)
Tyrants do not only hate tyranically but also love tyranically.
This conception undermines our central doctrine that God is Love by surreptitiously adding a
footnote: you can just as well call Him Indifference, because his love for the elect is equaled
by his indifference towards another set of persons.
Here one can create a whole school of spirituality in which one imitates the great Catholic
mystics, waxing poetic about Gods love for his chosen souls, but maintaining in an occult
way that other doctrine about Gods indifference toward another set of souls. (One can also
start giving names and descriptions to these souls according to the local politics of hate.)
One has deformed the true face of God.
One attempts to attach this doctrine to the Bible, and not just anywhere, but to the Bible in its
most sublime moments: namely in St. John.
Is it not St. John who speaks of eschatology, and who speaks of the souls who are intimate
friends of Christ? Does he not understand the Church precisely as those intimate friends,
distinguished by their participation in the divine life of grace? Is it not in St. John where one
ought to sneak in that false parallel: that Gods indifference to (the masses of) mankind is as
great as his love for the elect? What a stratagem! What a diabolic stratagem!

Part Two: Who are the elect? How many are the elect?
Elect is grammatically a passive form of the verb of election, choice. The elect are the chosen
ones. This gives us a first indication. Election doesnt have to do with inhuman and arbitrary
forces, it has to do with choice.
Biblically, the passive voice indicates the action of God. The elect are thus those chosen by
God.
Gods love is infinite and will not submit to arbitrary limitations.
In the Bible all the stories of election are found within one unique plan of universal
salvation. Salvation is universal by its own nature. (That some person might reject Gods
grace does not imply that Gods plan was not one of universal salvation, in fact it presupposes
that Gods plan is a plan of universal salvation.)
How many are the elect? It is a number known to God alone.
It is not just that, through an arbitrary act of an arbitrary God, we are kept guessing, (except
with regard to the case Judas Iscariot, whom we know is damned, and the saints whom we
know are saved).
The number of the elect is the number of the Church. In this sense Omlor is right: the elect are
the Church. And because Christ died for the Church, he died for the elect. His death is
efficacious for them.

But here Omlors scission between Cross and Eucharist is shown to be untenable: the Cross is
the Church, and thus for all men; the Eucharitic Sacrifice is for the Church and thus for all
men.
Omlor also seems to create a false distinction between election and whatever grace it is that
the Eucharist is supposed to give us on top of that. Is that the grace of final perseverance
and eternal life? Did Omlor think that the Eucharist was a sort of necessary means between
simply being a member of the elect and finally getting to heaven?
Such an idea robs election of its only possible meaning. It forgets that Gods choice is
efficacious in itself.
The number of the Church is the number of the elect. And that number, according to the Bible
is many. We do not know that number, not simply by some accident of not happening to
know it, or of Gods arbitrarily withholding it from us, but because it is in itself a mystery in
an essential way.
Thus many in the Bible signifies in a simple way the Church.
This is also what Omlor says. But he says something more which is in fact his personal
invention and which spoils the simplicity: he says many means the Church (which is not all
men and which is therefore less than all men).
That addition is his invention, although he tries to attribute his invention to others, and in fact
to traditional doctrine and in such a way that if you disagree you are the heretic.
Omlor did this very concretely in the case of Blessed Pope John Paul II.
The Church has to be less than all men. But is the Church not the Great Project of God? The
Great Project that God will realize because God is all powerful (and also all-good, allbeautiful, all- loving).
Is not Mary, the Immaculate One, the model of the Church.
I choose to believe in the Word of God which speaks of a perfect and beautiful Church in her
eschatological fulfilment, and not to follow Omlor who tells us that the Church is and will
remain imperfect, and defective, being less than all men.
My sense of reality tells me of course that the Church of today is not perfect, that we are not
the perfect incarnation of Gods will, that we are not there yet, that we as humans can fail; but
my faith tells me that God will not fail.
Many does not mean less than all, it does mean more than sufficient, more than just enough:
otherwise many would not be many. If it is a doctrine that Christs death was sufficient for all;
it is also a doctrine that it is efficacious for many and that this many is greater, not less than
that all. Otherwise the Church could be neither perfect nor beautiful.

Section Three:
The Theology behind the invalidity thesis is examined
1. The Form of the Sacrament

a) Is the sacramental form long or short?


Omlor speaks amply and repeatedly of the question of which are the precise words necessary
to effect the consecration. He says that there are basically two positions. One holds that the
necessary words are simply This is my bodyThis is my blood. This is the short-form
position. The other position: that all the words that the priest says over the chalice at the
consecration of the wine (according to the ancient Tridentineand pre-Tridentine formula)
are necessary for the validity of the consecration. Omlor maintains correctly that the Church
has not decided this question.
There is indeed an old question of sacramental casuistics: if a priest in an extreme situation
were to celebrate the mass using the short form would that be a valid mass? The theological
consensus is that it would or could be a valid mass. But the Magisterium has not spoken.
I Will cite two passages from Omlor
Form of The Holy Eucharist
The matter of the Holy Eucharist is twofold, namely, bread and wine; and
similarly the form is twofold. Here we are concerned only with the form of the
latter consecration. "With regard to the consecration of the wine," teaches the
Catechism of the Council of Trent, "it is necessary ... that the priest know and
understand well its form. We are, then, firmly to believe that it consists in the
following words: 'FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD OF THE NEW
AND ETERNAL TESTAMENT, THE MYSTERY OF FAITH, WHICH SHALL BE
SHED FOR YOU AND FOR MANY UNTO THE REMISSION OF SINS.' . . . But
of this form no one can doubt."
A word is in order on the great authority of the Catechism of the Council of Trent,
also known as the Roman Catechism. The Council of Trent in a solemn decree
guaranteed the authenticity of the sacramental forms laid down in this
Catechism: "the form will be prescribed for each of the sacraments by the Holy
Council in a catechism, which the bishops shall have faithfully translated into the
language of the people and explained to the people by all parish priests."
(Session XXIV, Chap. 7). Throughout the four hundred years of this Catechism's
existence its use has been enjoined by numerous popes and councils. A
comparatively recent papal recommendation was that of Pope St. Pius X in his
encyclical Acerbo Nimis, wherein he ordered all the faithful to learn the Roman
Catechism and to follow it.
Likewise a decree of the Council of Florence specifies the same identical form:
"In the consecration of the blood the Church uses this form of words: 'FOR THIS
IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD . . . WHICH SHALL BE SHED FOR YOU AND
FOR MANY UNTO THE REMISSION OF SINS.' "
Many theologians of great authority, including St. Thomas Aquinas, the
Salmanticenses, and all the earlier Thomists unanimously up to Cajetan, held
that all these words (including, of course, the altered words, "for many") are
necessary for validity and hence belong to the "substance of the Sacrament."
Other theologians, however, are of the opinion that not all these aforesaid words
are essential for the validity of the Sacrament, but that the first words, "This is the
Chalice of My Blood," would suffice for validity. St. Bonaventure and Cajetan are
perhaps the outstanding authorities of this school of opinion. But even the
Cajetan Thomists admit that these latter words which are under discussion (viz.,

"which shall be shed for you and for many . . .") do indeed belong to the
substance of the form, even though they deny their necessity for validity. That is
to say, they distinguish between what is of the substance and what is of the
essence, or necessity. Hence they assert that these latter words, while not
essential for the validity of the Sacrament, are nevertheless necessary for the
integrity or completeness of the form and therefore belong to "the substance."
Although this distinction seems contrary to the mind of St. Thomas, nevertheless
the point is made that virtually all theologians admit these disputed words to
belong to the substance of the Sacrament, according to their own interpretation
of "substance."
What has the Church said officially on this matter? It goes without saying that
She has never as yet defined what words are absolutely essential for
consecrating the wine, for otherwise the controversy would have been settled.
Certain clear indications, however, as to what is "the mind of the Church" have
been given to us; for example, the decree of the Council of Florence cited above.
And the mind of the Church is that, in the absence of an actual de fide definition,
the entire form (and not just the words: "This is the Chalice of My Blood") must
be treated as though it is of the substance of the Sacrament.
Indisputable evidence that this is indeed the "mind of the Church" is furnished by
Chapter V of De Defectibus, which is a section of the official rubrics
accompanying St. Pius V's Roman Missal, and this is perhaps the closest thing to
an actual "definition" of the Church on this subject: "The words of consecration,
which are the form of this Sacrament, are these: 'FOR THIS IS MY BODY; FOR
THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL
TESTAMENT, THE MYSTERY OF FAITH, WHICH SHALL BE SHED FOR YOU
AND FOR MANY UNTO THE REMISSION OF SINS.' If anyone omits or
changes anything in the form of the consecration of the Body and Blood, and in
this change of words the words do not mean the same thing, then he does not
effect the Sacrament. If words are added which do not alter the meaning, then
the Sacrament is valid, but the celebrant commits a mortal sin in making such an
addition." Considering that the penalty of mortal sin attaches to making even
minor changes which do not even alter the meaning, who can question that the
Church is certainly treating the entire form as though it is all of the substance of
the Sacrament?
The Robber Church, p. 83
No one could be expected to enumerate explicitly all invalid forms for a
sacrament, since there is an infinitude of invalid forms. There is, however, only
one valid form for any given sacrament. Concerning the form for the Sacrament
of the Holy Eucharist, the CATECHISM by Decree of THE HOLY COUNCIL OF
TRENT is quite explicit and emphatic:
"We are then FIRMLY TO BELIEVE ["certo credendum est" in the Latin text] that
it consists in the following words: This is the chalice of my blood, of the new and
eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many,
to the remission of sins." (P. 225, edition translated by McHugh and Callan,
emphasis added). And two paragraphs later, on the same page, we read:
"Concerning this form no one can doubt." [The original Latin text being: "Verum
de hac forma nemo dubitare poterit"].
On page 151 of the same Catechism, under the heading "The Sacraments in
General," we also read: "In this the Sacraments of the New Law excel those of
the Old that, as far as we know, there was no definite form of administering the

latter, and hence they were very uncertain and obscure. In our sacraments, on
the contrary, the form is so definite that any, even a casual deviation from it
renders the Sacrament NULL. Hence the form is expressed in the clearest
terms, such as exclude the possibility of doubt." (Emphasis added)
The Robber Church, p. 62
b) An Erroneous Translation of the Council of Trent
I would like to draw attention to a considerable
error of scholarship in the second paragraph above where Omlor says:
The Council of Trent in a solemn decree
guaranteed the authenticity of the sacramental forms laid down in this
Catechism: "the form will be prescribed for each of the sacraments by the Holy
Council in a catechism, which the bishops shall have faithfully translated into the
language of the people and explained to the people by all parish priests."
(Session XXIV, Chap. 7).
This is an absolute careless mistranslation of the conciliar text. Here is a responsible
translation in English:
Council of Trent
Decree on the Reform
Session 24, ch. 7

CHAPTER VII.
The virtue of the Sacraments shall, before being administered to the people, be explained by
Bishops and Parish Priests; during the solemnization of mass, the sacred oracles shall be
explained.
In order that the faithful people may approach to the reception of the sacraments with greater
reverence and devotion of mind, the holy Synod enjoins on all bishops, that, not only when
they are themselves about to administer them to the people, they shall first explain, in a
manner suited to the capacity of those who receive them, the efficacy and use of those
sacraments, but shall endeavour that the same be done piously and prudently [Page 214] by
every parish priest; and this even in the vernacular tongue, if need be, and it can be
conveniently done; and in accordance with the form which will be prescribed for each of the
sacraments, by the holy Synod, in a catechism which the bishops shall take care to have
faithfully translated into the vulgar tongue, and to have expounded to the people by all parish
priests; as also that, during the solemnization of mass, or the celebration of the divine offices,
they explain, in the said vulgar tongue, on all festivals, or solemnities, the sacred oracles, and
the maxims of salvation; and that, setting aside all unprofitable questions, they endeavour to
impress them on the hearts of all, and to instruct them in the law of the Lord .
Here is a Spanish translation:

Para que los fieles se presenten a recibir los Sacramentos con mayor reverencia y
devocin, manda el santo Concilio a todos los Obispos, que expliquen segn la capacidad
de los que los reciben, la eficacia y uso de los mismos Sacramentos, no slo cuando los
hayan de administrar por s mismos al pueblo, sino que tambin han de cuidar de que todos
los prrocos observen lo mismo con devocin y prudencia, haciendo dicha explicacin aun

en lengua vulgar, si fuere menester, y cmodamente se pueda, segn la forma que el santo
Concilio ha de prescribir respecto de todos los Sacramentos en su catecismo; el que
cuidarn los Obispos se traduzca fielmente a lengua vulgar, y que todos los prrocos lo
expliquen al pueblo; y adems de esto, que en todos los das festivos o solemnes expongan
en lengua vulgar, en la misa mayor, o mientras se celebran los divinos oficios, la divina
Escritura, as como otras mximas saludables; cuidando de ensearles la ley de Dios, y de
estampar en todos los corazones estas verdades, omitiendo cuestiones intiles.

Here is the Latin:

It is thus clear that the form to be prescribed refers to the form of explanation in the
Catechism and not to the forms of the sacraments
(The Council of Trent can also be said to be making here a preliminary step in the direction
of vernacularization by insisting that the sacraments ought to be explained to the people in the
predication of the priests in the language of the people. The Second Vatican Council will
simply take the principle further.)

Here are some words from a blog of John Lane, Omlors follower and son-in-law critical of
Michael Duddy a former follower of Omlor:
5. Mr. Duddy informs us that the Catechism of the Council of Trent has particular weight
as a source of sacramental theology. He writes, Although the catechisms explanations do
not constitute an infallible definition on this matter, they nevertheless constitute the most
authoritative declaration given to date, a declaration which has stood the test of time for
almost 450 years, and thus must be the Churchs official position on the matter.
"Council of Trent: Session 24, Session 7. De Reformatione:
That the faithful may approach the sacraments with greater reverence and devotion of
mindthe holy council commands all bishops...to explain their efficacy and use in
accordance with the form which will be prescribed for each of the sacraments by the holy
Council in the catechism...
Thus this decree gives a unique authority to those statements in the Catechism which go
out of their way to prove and elucidate what the essential efficacy of a sacramental rite is.
As we shall see, there can be little wonder why, after the time of the Council of Trent, the
overwhelmingly vast majority of theologians abandoned the opinion of St. Thomas that
the long form was necessary for the valid consecration of the wine.
I trust that Mr. Duddy is not suggesting that the word form in that decree of Trent means
sacramental form.
This is humorous because Mr. Lane does not realize that the error he is ironizing in Mr.
Duddy was perpetuated, or perhaps brought into the world, by Omlor himself. This serves
also as an example of how difficult it can be to free oneself from notions that Omlor has
planted in ones mind.
c) Literalist fundamentalism
But beyond such a serious error in scholarship (and regarding a theme of the greatest
seriousness: the validity of the Eucharist) there is in Omlor a uniformly present inability to
deal with the objectively present complexities of certain issues that are of the greatest
importance to his subject matter.
Omlors writing here gives the impression of theological solidity. Omlor recognized that there
are two opinions. But one of the two opinions has a superior weight: the opinion of St.
Thomas, which is backed by the Council of Florence, the Roman Catechism, and
theintroduction to the Tridentine Missal, De Defectibus. But there are problems, and these
problems must be dealt with.
The fundamental problem is that Omlors line of argument continually confuses two concepts
a) the form of the sacrament and b) the sactramental formula. In a first approximation and at
a practical level these two may be synonymously, but they cannot always be used
synonymously. The sacramental formulae have not always been identical, and presently there
are diverse formulae which are in use and their use is approved by the Church. But the form
of the sacrament of the Eucharist (for example) is one. It is the unique form established by
Christ at the moment the Institution.
This unique form is uniquely efficacious.
Here is a passage from Omlor in which he speaks of the necessity of the entire form of
consecration

The position of St. Thomas that the entire form is essential for validity is clearly
expressed in three separate writings: Summa Theologica, In I Cor. XI, (lect. 6),
and in Scriptum Super Lib. IV Sententiarum. It is important to note that all of the
early commentators on St. Thomas agreed that he held that the entire wineconsecration
form is essential for the validity of the Sacrament.
The Meaning of ad integritatem eiusden locutionis from The Robber Church
If one is playing Omlors game and forgets that there is a difference between the sacramental
form and the sacramental formula this all seems very convincing. Omlors writing is always a
threat to those whose catechetical-theological formation is good but not very good. But he
reads St. Thomas in a spirit of literalist fundamentalism which if foreign to St. Thomas. He
attempts to get you to play his game. If you cant get all his readings to rhyme he has in any
case sown doubt in you. Maybe all the words are literally necessary. This of course makes a
translation impossible. It also makes any liturgical reform impossible. One must also reject
any organic relation between the Eucharistic Prayer and the words of consecration. All the
magic power is in the literal Latin words of consecration. Or maybe the whole Latin Canon
must also always remain literally identical, just to be on the safe side. You never know. The
important thing is that you accept the doubt and that you reject the Robber Church.
The literalist fundamentalism mentioned above means that one never digs to deeply into what
words mean. The fundamentalist thinks of himself as a champion of clear ideas. But one must
ask what he means by clarity. He demands that all meaning must be at the surface and at the
beginning. He thinks that any honest person must read as he reads,because everthing is
immediately evident.
Otherwise things are not regarded as clear and acceptable. One spots the presence of this
mindset when one reads, compares, reflects, analyzes the matters that the fundamentalist
claims to interpret and one notices that his ideas have remained stunted. There is no growth of
comprehension. His ideas do not grow in beauty and depth through a developing
comprehension of harmonies between the analogous manifestations of truth. His ideas are
never trimmed and pruned by critical processes because such processes are never called for,
because everything was present at the beginning.
Omlor shows at times a good capability of understanding theology, but when it comes to the
set of ideas which are directly in relation to the invalidity thesis, and those ideas which are
related to the sede vacantist thesis linked to it, one notices that his comprehension is
dominated by this fundamentalist-literalist hermaneutics.

There is a simplicity of the simple which is a virtue and is to be admired. Suppose that there
was a seminarian of the Post-Tridentine period, and with simplicity of heart he read the
introduction to his Roman Rite Missal De Defectibus where it says the form of the Eucharist
is such and such and ought to be respected in its integrity. He reads and embraces what is said
in all simplicity.
But then he goes further in his formation and he learns about the history of the liturgy and
hears about the possible historic evolution of the form, and he learns about the various rites of
the Catholic Church, and their historical development, and he experiences another Ecumenical
Council which asks for and sets in motion a liturgical reform of the Roman Rite. This person
will have to deal with the new data. His simplicity ought to remain, but he must mature
intellectually.

This kind of maturation is what I miss in Omlor. This maturation would lead him to
distinguish between the form which refers to a metaphysical category, and the sacramental
formula which evidently can vary. Mature thought is not the enemy of simplicity. Persevering
in mature thought leads to genuine, profound and simple truth. Dealing objectively with
complexities leads us back to a maturely simple vision of things.
Omlor goes to great length to defend the necessity of the complete form of consecration. He
needs this to defend his theses abbout the necessity of pro multis and mysterium fidei, and he
finds support in these passages from St. Thomas . In defending the necessity of the complete
form, St. Thomas defends the idea that the form of the sacrament was handed directly by Our
Lord to the Apostles. Scripture is not thus the absolute and unique criterion by which the
form of the Sacrament is to be judged. There are elements in the words of consecration which
are not directly to be found in Scripture. Among these is the combination of the words "pro
vobis and pro multis" and also the words "mysterium fidei" These elements are necessary
"determinations of the predicate" according to St. Thomas.
Omlor speaks at length about the controversy regarding the necessity of the long (complete)
form of the consecration as given in the Roman Rite. It is a common opinion (in casuistics)
that the words This is my Body together with This is my Blood would suffice to validly
consecrate the bread and wine. Omlor points out that this opinion was removed from
Cajetans commentary on the Summa at the order of Pius V. This does not necessarily mean
that this opinion cannot be held to be true, however. St. Thomas says indeed that everything
up to in remisionem peccatorum belongs to the integrity of the form. This does not mean
necessarily that all these words must literally be said to confect the sacrament; I consider it
probable that Thomas was aware that other rites used other words of consecration. These facts
lead me suspect that Omlor does not understand correctly what is meant by the form of the
Sacrament, that he understands it too narrowly. The form of the sacrament does not appear to
consist of a minimum of words
There is an interesting pair of articles written by Michael Duddy (writing at length against
Omlors theses) which support the short form theory, and look for support in the Catechism
of the Council of Trent. I am in agreement with much of what he says, but I believe that he
has not sufficiently freed himself from Omlors influence in his understanding of how to
understand what the form of the Sacrament is: he looks for the minimum of words whereas
the form of the sacrament is something richer than this. (Not something less than this.)
d. Two contradictory explanations
1. Multiple divine institution
Omlor's argument about the necessity of the words mysterium fidei comes here into a decisve
crisis when one discovers that they are not present in many of the Eastern rites the words
mysterium fidei are not present (beside the fact that they are not to be found among the
Biblical words of Institution). Is St. Thomas then wrong about the necessity of the entire
form? Omlor argues as if all the elements were literally necessary to the form handed down by
Our Lord to the Church, but then it appears that there are different forms of the words of
Consecration approved by the Church. The correct explanation of this phenomenon is that the
unique form of the sacrament entrusted to the Church must in some way be incarnated in the
formulas of the different rites. Omlor presents another explanation, for which he believes to
have support in Raymond Capisuccus, "a Dominican cardinal and a true Thomist" who tells
us that:
and whereas the other rites, of the Greek and of other Churches, do not have all
those words in the form, it may be reasonably said that all those other forms were

likewise instituted by Christ for the consecration of the wine, and that the Apostles and
their successors had them from Christ. And this does not change the fact that all those
words which the Latin Church uses in the consecration of the wine are of the essence
of that form. For it is one thing to say that all those words are not of the essence of the
form as such, and it is another thing to say that they are not of the essence of the form
that the Latin Church uses.
pp. 213-214 , De forma consecrationis vine eucharistici, 1677
Omlor adds then the following:
Hence we state that those words "mysterium fidei" are not necessary in an absolute
sense (which is self-evident by virtue o their absence from many of the liturgies), but
we affirm they are necessaary for those rites in which God has willed that they be
included.
For acording to the Divine Dispensation, the inscrutable wisdom of which no
man can comprehend, and according to which what was so evidently willed by our
Lord when eh He handed these words down to certain apostles to be used among
certian peoples of certain traditions and culturesthat is, in the Western Churchwe
must insist with the Angelic Doctor, whose teaching has been so lucidly defendend by
Cardinal Raymond Capisuccus, O.P., that the words "the mystery of faith" are
necessary for the validity of the wine consecration in the Latin Rite. "In adhering
rigidly to the rite handed down to to us we can always feel secure; whereas if we omit
or change anything, we may perhaps be abandoning just that element which is
essential." (From Vindication of the Bull Apostolicae Curae')
The Robber Church, pp. 366-367
St. Thomas does not say, however that, these words novi et aeterni testamenti, mysterium fidei
qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum are a necessary part of the
form in the Roman rite. He says simply that they are a necessary part of the form as
"determinations of the predicate."
Furthermore, that those posterior words form a necessary part of the form, does not mean that
any translation, any reformulation of their verbal structure would invalidate the mass.
This explanation, namely that:
that those words "mysterium fidei" are not necessary in an absolute sense (which is
self-evident by virtue of their absence from many of the liturgies), but we affirm they
are necessaary for those rites in which God has willed that they be included.
is not the only explanation that Omlor gives for the diversity of the formulae used in the
ancient Eastern Rites. There is another explanation given by Omlor, which is in fact in
contradiction with this one.
2. Identical wording not required, but rather an identical type, determined by four
notes which Omlor succeeds in naming
Omlor says I am a long-formist, with St. Thomas. But he is not consistent in this. As long formist he says that the whole thing is necessary, belongs to the substance, and that this is
what St. Thomas says. But when pressed he says of course not everything is necessary, there
is a necessary nucleus, and I know what it is and he even spells it out with a list of necessary
elements of the form of consecration. Thus he contradicts himself. (This contradiction
consisting of equivocation between words and concepts typically appears when the

fundamentalist/literalist finds himself cornerednot by some defect of the texts in question,


but by the simple reality of language.)
I do not think it is true that the Church has simply not yet given a judgement on the Longform versus short-form question as posed by Omlor (as if the question were correctly
formulated: one of the two options must be true, so which one is it?). The Church has
indicated that the answer it in reality is neither the one nor the other. Some , in all honesty,
call this not yet answering the question. But there is a difference between an as yet
unanswered question, and a question whose formulation is equivocal.
Here a passage wherein Omlor goes into the not everything is necessary mode
Identical Wording Not Required
143. One very elementary fact weighs quite heavily against those who assert that "This is
My Body. This is My Blood," and these words alone, are all that is necessary to effect the
Sacrament. If they could produce just one example of a liturgy (however ancient) whose
form for consecration actually uses only these words, then their opinion could at least
claim some justification. But there is no such liturgy on which they can rest their case. On
the contrary, every liturgy universally accepted as having a valid consecration form
contains additional words which signify the Mystical Body. And this fact weighs quite
heavily in favor of my opinion. Some examples of these other liturgies are given below.
But, before going ahead a point must be clarified.
144. After Pope Leo XIII had declared Anglican Orders invalid, the Anglican Hierarchy
argued that there are liturgies which Rome has always acknowledged as having a valid
form for the Sacrament of Holy Orders, but which do not employ the exact form used in
the Roman Rite.
145. This objection was answered by the Catholic Bishops of England: "But you are also
mistaken in thinking that matters have been left by Our Lord in so much uncertainty, and
that there is no one definite form which has prevailed in the Catholic Church, both in the
East and in the West. If, indeed, you mean merely that no identical form of words has
always and everywhere been in use, but that, on the contrary, several different forms of
words have been recognized by the Holy See as sufficient, you say what all will admit, and
the Bull nowhere denies. ...The Bull, however ... is requiring, not that the form should
always consist of the same words, but that it should always be conformed to the same
definite type." (Vindication of the Bull 'Apostolicae Curae'; emphasis in the original).
146. Consequently, although there is some variation in the wording in the examples which
follow next, it is quite clear that they all conform to the "same definite type"; that is to say,
they all contain the essential signification of The Mystical Body. (The parenthesized
comments are mine.).
Questioning the Validity of the Mass using the new all-English Canon
Here is another related text:
Perhaps our position is not clear to Father Healy. Never have we claimed that the precise
formula used in the Latin Rite, word for word and syllable by syllable, and not allowing for
any possible variation whatever, is absolutely essential. In our earliest treatment of this
whole subject, namely, "Questioning The Validity..." we did not fail to discuss the Eastern
liturgies. Moreover, certain ancient liturgies no longer in use were, also considered. In a
section entitled, "Identical Wording Not Required", (p.66), we, following the principles

laid down by Pope Leo XIII in his bull Apostolicae Curae, pointed out that what is
required is that the forms "should always be conformed to the same definite type."
In the liturgies recognized by the Holy See, it is easily seen that all the various formulas
used for consecrating the Precious Blood conform to the same definite type. In every
instance:
(a) The form is a single, somewhat lengthy, integral sentence beginning with the words,
This is the chalice of My Blood, or This is My Blood. These words denote
transubstantiation, which is one of the things that must be signified in this Sacrament.
(b) Following these initial words are additional words; to wit, some words which express
sacrifice, words which denote propitiation, and lastly, words which signify the unity of the
Mystical Body, which is the res sacrament (cf. Interdum #3).
(c) It is stated that Christ's blood "shall be shed" or "is shed," and this mention of the
shedding of blood expresses sacrifice.
(d) Immediately following the initial words in (a) above, is the phrase "of the new
testament," or else "of the new and eternal testament." These words express the true
propitiatory nature of this Sacrifice, through the use of the phrase "NEW testament." This
distinguishes the True Sacrifice from the sacrifices of the OLD Testament, viz., the blood
of animals,etc., which were powerless to atone for sins. Propitiation is also denoted by
these words, unto the remission of sins, (or other similar words found in every liturgy).
(e) The words: for you and for many, or else simply for many, -- but never "for all men"
are found in every Eastern rite. These words signify the unity of the Mystical Body.
Here Omlor gives a list of things that he proposes as necessary elements constituting the
linguistically different consecration formulas of the different rites as belonging to the same
type: transubstantiation, sacrifice, propitiation, the res sacramenti. He presents them as
separate and distinct concepts expressed by separate and distinct words. In dividing the form
of consecration in this way he is following his own authority and he calls it his own
contribution to theology. Omlor treats these four elements as four ideas that have to be
mentioned in order to get these formulas within the same type.
Omlor here tries to circumvent the weaknesses of fundamentalist thought by transforming a
fundamentalism of words into a fundamentalism of concepts. Just mention these four
concepts and everything is okay. Obviously he says I dont mean that the words have to be
identical, but the concepts have to be there.
But when LeoXIII says that the words used in the sacrament (of Ordination ) must conform
to the same type) he is referring to a sacrament which is said to have been instituted in genere,
whereas in the case of the Eucharist on is dealing with a sacrament which Our Lord instituted
in specie.
Our Lord instituted the Eucharist in specie when he said Do this in memory of me. He did
not say Do something similar in memory of me. So Omlor is mistaken when he says that
the form must merely conform to a certain type. The form must be identical. But Omlor does
not have clearly before him the idea of the sacramental action. The this refers to an action
which is specified by the word of the Lord. This explains in which way the form of the
sacrament is unique.

Certainly the varying formulae of consecration used in the diverse rites of the Church do
conform to one type; but this does not remove the full meaning of being instituted in specie.
On the other hand Omlor doesnt shy from using the doctrine that the Eucharist was instituted
in specie in order to strike at the validity of the translation in for all.
Note:The Sovereign Pontiff Pius XII had both the power and the right to determine further
the matter of Holy Orders, since that Sacrament was instituted by Christ "in genere."
Contrariwise, no agency on earth, neither pope nor council nor all the bishops of the world
collectively, can alter the substance -- i.e., the matter and the form -- of the Holy Eucharist,
which Christ instituted "in specie
The following text from Fr. Lawrence Brey is also included in The Robber Church:
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted the seven Sacraments. Several of these,
including the Holy Eucharist, were instituted "in specie"; that is, Christ determined in
detail and minutely their matter and form. Would it not seem incongruous for the same
Divine Lord to so prescribe, and nevertheless "supply" for flagrant deviations from His
sacred prescription? We can see the wisdom of the above teaching of the Trent Catechism!
TRC, p. 233
Fr. Brey seem also not to have present how the unique form is the determination of a unique
action. He says in detail and minutely, but by what criterion does one know to what degree
minutely and in detail? The thing remains vague.
Summing up: Omlor tries to avoid the contradictions inherent in his fundamentalism by a)
claiming that the Divine Institution of the sacramental form was done severally according to
the Ancient Eastern Rites and b) understanding the doctrine of the common type in a
conceptualist way, that does not take into account the difference between sacraments
instituted in specie and those instituted in genere. These doctrines are in conflict with each
other because a divine institution of the rites would not be necessary if the criterion were
simply the adherence to a common type.
But this is all in the end in passing because Omlor by preference keeps returning to the longform position. All the words of the Tridentine wine consecration are necessary for validity
because St. Thomas and the Roman Catechism say so. And forget the Eastern Rites if you
can. The little excursions beyond the literalist-fundamentalist border were of an incidental and
fleeting nature.
That fundamentalism has always existed in the Church does not mean that it faithfully
represents the Churchs teaching. One is doing a serious wrong by trying to claim that the
highest expressions of the Churchs thought are fundamentalist.

e) The ecclesiological foundation of the distinction between sacraments instituted in


genere and those instituted in specie. Its relation withe Councils phrase Subsistit in.
The theology expressed by Leo XIII regarding the distinction between the sacramental form
of sacraments instituted in genere and those whose form was instituted in specie (a distinction
which is used once again by Pius XII also in reference to the form of the Sacrament of Order)
is a springboard for the authentic and fundamentally significant development of sacramental
theology realized by the Second Vatican Council by which the Church is affirmed to be
Universal Sacrament of Salvation.

The distinction sheds light on what we are talking about fundamentally when we speak of
sacramental form, and protects us from the magical/fundamentalist notions of sacramental
form which underlie Omlors understanding.
The distinctions leads us to understand the sacraments within an ecclesiological context.
Traditionalists seem to believe that if Vatican II develops the the sacramental theology of the
Church it is necessarily departing from it. That it develops it is a fact. It is a fact whose
importance has been underestimated by those conservatives whose typical opinion about
Vatican II is Dont worry! the Council did not change anything (understood in the sense
that it did not really do anything, and implying that since the pre-Vatican II Church had
nothing to reform, that it reformed nothing, and therefore was a mere exercize in selfcongratulation, merely adding some banal ideas about how to do the old thing in a way
adapted to the times, for instance by dropping some Latin, and by other such tricks, which
might not make the Church more beautiful in her liturgy, but at least would reduce the tension
between her and the world, and serve to fill the coffers.
The Traditionalist point of view might seem at least somehow candid by comparison to this
conservative point of view. Nevertheless the Traditionalists do misunderstand the Council.
The Council did do something, and something that was worthwhile. Its sacramental theology
is a significant development. The theology of the sacramental form serves as a kind of
window into the great Ecclesiological-sacramental vision of the Council.
A focus of the Traditionalist misunderstanding of the Council lies in the misunderstanding of
the expression subsistit in from Lumen Gentium. Traditionalists use this as perhaps the most
significant example of Conciliar ambiguity: why should the document use this impossibly
obscure phraseology when Pius XII has told us in Mystici Corporis that the Church is the
Mystical Body. Did not Pius XII settle that question definitively? The Roman Catholic
Church is the Mystical Body. That is the relation between the two: identity! Vatican II should
have simply repeated what Pius XII said. But no, the Council was worried about scandalizing
the Protestants, so they gave us this ambiguous mess subsistit in. They should have simply
sent the Protestants into the exterior darkness (as in the good old days), a darkness of weeping
and gnashing of teeth. That would have made them convert!
But the problem is this: that simply repeating oneself does not declare clarity of thought.
Sometimes it is necessary to develop theology and doctrine in order maintain (and increment)
its clarity.
Another Traditionalist clich is to denigrate the ambiguous language of Vatican II in
comparison with the old scholastic clarity.
But one confuses scholastic clarity with ones bad habits of thinking and speaking
uncharitably about others, one feels apprehensive before the serene tone of the Council:
behind that serenity there mus be some lack of clarity!
The Council could not have used a more scholastic term than this subsistit in. When one
speaks of subsistence one is speaking not simply of being of existence, but of something
stronger: existence in oneself. What subsists exists in itself.
There are apparently two theories of the origin of the phrase. The first one i is that the phrase
came from one of the Protestant theological observers at the Council; the other that it came
from the Dutch Jesuit theologian. Sebastiaan Tromp. Sebastiaan Tromp man was the
theologian behind the encyclical Mystici Corporis. He was thus highly esteemed by Pius XII,

and no insignificant example of 20th century scholastic theology. Either or both of these
theories might be true. I find both interesting and neither scandalous.
The Church has herself posteriorly given a clear and convincing exegesis of subsistit in.
Subsistit in is at the same time weak and strong. But it is both weak in the right way and
and strong in the right way. It is strong, as we have said, in that it goes further than merely
saying that the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body; it adds that the Mystical Body subsists
in the Catholic Church, that it exists in itself, in other words that it exists per se and thus fully
and completely in the Catholic Church. But it is also weak in the sense that it allows for a
situation such as that in which we live, in which there could be and are means of
sanctification existing in fact outside the visible confines of the Church. This constitutes a
humble recognition of reality. It is weak in the sense that humility is weak, but it is also strong
in the sense that humility is strong. Humility according ot Theresa of Avila is truth.
The phrase pro multis seems to rhyme with the expression subsistit in, inasmuch as both
seems to give us a Church which is mysteriously small, is not all, and yet on the other hand is
universal, for all men, and in effect gives us more than all, and therefore includes all.
f. The history of the liturgy and of the sacramental formulae
Pope Benedict XVI, to his great credit, has insisted on the dignity and venerability of the
Tridentine Mass. The Liturgical Reform of Vatican II does not oblige us to think in a negative
way about the Tridentine Liturgy.
But truth obliges us also to affirm that the reforms of Vatican II are part of a broader
Liturgical Movement inspired by the Holy Spirit, and that they are also the fruit of renewed
liturgical scholarship and science: they are in this way a product of tradition.
In a passage of the Salamanticenses (cited by Omlor, translated by Fr. Brey) it is affirmed that
the sacramental formulae of the Tridentine words of consecration represent a synthesis of the
liturgical tradition of the Church. The same ought to be said, however, of the formulae from
Pope Paul VI in our times.
Scholars affirm that the Roman Rite is not simply Tridentine is not only Tridentine but
Ancient with its roots in periods the great liturgical reformer Pope St. Gregory I.
Having said this one must also accept the fact that the Liturgical Forms of the Church are not
simply static eternal objects. Liturgical history is complex. It is furthermore by no means an
easy subject matter to master.
Omlor demonstrates a certain knowledge of the subject matter. But what should our global
judgement of his conclusions be?
g) The Maronites

There are a number of pages in Omlor dedicated to the liturgical forms of the Easter Rites.
Among these the pages dedicated to the Maronites have a special place. The liturgical history
of the Maronites is particularly rich and complex.
Omlor records his brief correspondence in 1970 with the Most Rev. Francis M. Zayek, D.D.,
the Maronite, Apostolic Exarch, U.S.A. in a section of his essay Five Flaws Found entitled
Maron-go-round. The liturgical language of the Maronites is Syriac (Aramaic), the
language spoken by Our Lord. I reproduce here what Omlor offers us from this exchange of
letters:

#1 (dated April 9, 1970):


Your Excellency:
In the booklet, "THE DIVINE LITURGY ACCORDING TO THE MARONITE
ANTIOCHIAN RITE", published with your approval in June, 1969, the English
translation of the Form for consecrating the wine contains the words: "for all
men."
According to the text, "A GRAMMAR OF BIBLICAL ARAMAIC", which was,
published in Wiesbaden, Germany (1961), the Aramaic word which means "all",
"everyone", "all men", or "all mankind", etc., is the word "kol" or some
variation/combination of it, such a "kolla''. If Our Lord had intended "for all men",
then He undoubtedly would have used this clear and unambiguous word, "kol".
This word, "kol," is opposed in meaning" to the other Aramaic word, "sagueeia",
which is the word used in this place in your Maronite liturgy. According to the
same Aramaic grammar text mentioned above, this word, "sagueeia," means
strictly and unambiguously "many" (or "much", etc.)...
Asking Your Excellency's blessings, etc.
/s/ Patrick Henry Omlor
#2 (dated April 14, 1970; Prot: #234/70
Dear Mr. Omlor:
I thank you for your letter of April 9 and the copy of "Interdum".
I agree with you that in the actual Aramaic form of consecration, taken from the
Latin Rite liturgy, the word is indeed "sagueeia" and not "kol". ...
We have to follow the existing and approved translations of the Latin Rite. -Both forms are theologically sustainable.-- However, the words of consecration in
our Rite are very rarely said in English. Most of the time they are said In
Aramaic, which form has the word "sagueeia". ...
With every good wish, I remain ...
/s/ Francis M. Zayek
THE MOST REVEREND FRANCIS M. ZAYEK, D.D.
MARONITE APOSTOLIC EXARCH, U.S.A.
#3 (dated April 21, 1970):
Your Excellency:
...I am very grateful to Your Excellency for replying to me, because you have
given me the exact information I want.
Your Excellency, you say in your letter: "I agree with you that in the actual,.
Aramaic form of consecration, taken from the Latin Rite liturgy, the word is
indeed 'sagueeia' and not 'kol'." In other words, if for the moment we set aside
all, theological considerations and all other consideration, and treat this solely
form the viewpoint of the Aramaic language itself, then the correct literal
translation should be "many" and not "all men". And this, of course, is also in
total harmony with the Peshito, which likewise has the word "sagueeia" in the
words of Institution, as recorded by Sts. Matthew and Mark.
You go on to explain that, "We have to follow the existing and approved
translations of the Latin Rite." This, of course, explains why in your Mass Booklet
on the pages where the English-language version appears (opposite those pages

in Aramaic containing the word, "sagueeia" we find the words "all men" instead of
"many".
But let us examine the facts. The International Committee on English in in Liturgy
(ICEL), who are the ones responsible for the "all men" version in the first place,
made this change from "many" to "all men," giving as their sole reason the
absurd claim that "all men" is correct from the linguistic standpoint! Their pretext
is that Aramaic doesn't even have a word for "all", a claim which you yourself,
your Excellency, and every Maronite priest in the world knows is absolutely false.
...
Asking Your Excellency's blessings, etc.
/s/ Patrick Henry Omlor
(Ed. Note: The Peshito, or Peshito, is a 5th century Syriac version of the Bible.)
The foregoing farce may be summarized thus:
(1) The Maronites have allowed "for all men" in their new Mass Booklet
Because
( 2) the "Latin Rite" --which in the present case amounts to nothing more
than the ICEL-- has decided that "for all men" is correct; nevertheless
(3) the Maronites know that it is not correct, at least not as a faithful translation from the
Aramaic; and yet
(4) the sole reason given by the ICEL for the ''all men"
rendering is an alleged faithfulness to the Aramaic!
Why does Omlor call this exchange a farce? In his first letter he does not ask questions but
simply tells the Fr. Zayek of the existence of kol/kola. The answer he gets is polite but
maintains that both for many and for all are sustainable translations. He answers again
reiterating that Aramaic has a word for all. (Fr. Zayek should know this because he celebrates
his mass in Aramaic) and then he calls the exchange a farce.
But there may be something else in the air here.
In his book Is the New Mass Valid (or possibly in a pre-published version of it) Adam Miller
addresses critically Omlors invalidity thesis and presents the following paragraphs:

Is the New Mass Invalid, p. 17

Adam Millers documentation is here incomplete. The following sharp denial of what Miller
affirms appeared in a blog on Adam Millers website.
I have not read Adam Millers book as published. But I did read a pre-publication draft and
was asked to comment on it. I investigated the claim of Mr. Miller regarding the Maronite
anaphora.
I spoke with the director of the Maronite Seminary in Washington, DC, whose name I
cannot recall. He denied that any Maronite anaphora had ever used the word "all" in an
unrestricted. He put me in contact with the director of liturgical studies and Msgr. Assad
Awad, who is the author of an extensive book on the history of the Maronite liturgy that
document over 90 known Maronite anaphoras. Msgr. Awad told me that the referenced
quotations by Mr. Miller were not true.
I wrote a letter to Bishop Stephen Hector Doueihi, Eparchy of Maron in Brooklyn , New
York requesting an explanation of the attributed quotation. My first letter was not
answered so I sent another and received a very informative reply sent on August 2, 2000.
The reply was written by Very Rev. Francis J Marini, J.D., J.C.O.D., Chancellor & Vicar
for Administrative and Canonical Services at the direction of Bishop Doueihi. The
Protocol number of his letter to me is 490/3/00. Please note the following:
1) Bishop Doueihi had no recollection of ever making this statement attributed to him.
2) Bishop Doueihi denied the knowledge of any context in which this statement may have
been made.
3) The letter further explained the phrase, old Latin texts, and denied that any
mistranslation had ever occurred in a Maronite sacramental form.
4) The letter denied that the Maronite liturgy has ever used the word all in place many
in any sacramental form.
I then placed a telephone call to Fr. Richard Saad who at that time was a parish priest in
Birmingham, Alabama at St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church.
1) Fr. Saad admitted to having very limited knowledge on the history of the Maronite
liturgy.
2) Fr. Saad could not remember the specific quote attributed to him but recalled
corresponding with a priest in Texas on the subject. Regarding the subject, Fr. Saad
would not admit that the he said the quote attributed to him and he could not explain
exactly to what the quotation refered.
3) Fr. Saad agreed with the opinion expressed in the Bishop Doueihi's letter that was read
to him.
4) Fr. Saad said that he would defer to the liturgical opinions of Bishop Doueihi and Fr.
Awad, which were cited to him.
5) Fr. Saad was not interested in any further discussion on this subject nor was he
interested in receiving a copy of Bishop Doueihi's letter for his own reference.
I was satisfied that this claim regarding the Maronite liturgy having used a form of
consecration which used the word all in place of many is entirely false. The letter's
contents were posted on a discussion group hosted Michael Malone and I think Mr. Miller
was one of the moderators of the site. Michael Malone contacted me requesting that I mail
him a copy since his computer was unable to view the HP scanned image I submitted for
posting. My communication with Michael Malone gave me the impression that he was the
source of the quotations provided to Mr. Miller. Where he obtained them I do not know.
Once being informed regarding the contents of the letter he made no further reply to me on
the matter.

Bishop Doueihi is retired but still living and, as far as I know, Fr. Saad is still in Alabama.
You can contact them as well, and so could have Mr. Miller. I do not know Mr. Miller and
as far as the other citations from Malone, I do not know anything about them or is it clear
what they exactly refer to.
You apparently think the Pope has the authority to do anything he wants touching upon the
sacramental substance and the immemorial traditional rites, even to the point of approving
putting a lie in the mouth of God for when the priest consecrates at the altar he is acting in
the person of Christ. Christ, who instituted the sacrament said "many." He did not say "all."
The words do not have the same meaning and therefore they do not have the same referent.
The immemorial Roman rite of Mass and the sacramental substances are not simple
matters of discipline subject to the free and independent will of the legislator. I also think
that the sacramental theology that calls for sacramental signification to be supplied to the
sacramental substance rather than coming from the form and matter is a false theology that
would lead to the destruction of every sacrament. We disagree on these fundamental
principles. That being the case, there is really no grounds for any profitable discussion.
I hope at least that you will not make a reference to this claim of Mr. Miller regarding the
Maronite anaphora again. Mr. Miller said that this "fact" was his strongest argument in
making his case.

I have now asked Adam Miller in two emails about this question, and he has informed me that
he has no further evidence. That it all rests on the letters he has quoted, and that the memories
of their authors could have failed later on. This leads me, nevertheless, to believe that there
was no usage of for all in the Syriac of the Maronite rite: that the text cited by Adam Miller is
a modern English translation of the Syriac, one that is not faithful to the letter.
Omlor and Father Brey in their discussion of the Maronite liturgy do not even enter into this
question (as far as I have been able to determine) in their discussion of the Maronite liturgies.
Omlor establishes that the Syriac or Aramaic texts used by the Maronites use the Aramaic
word for many, and that there would have been reverence for the Aramaic expression which
Our Lord probably himself used.
But then the great point becomes the multiplicity of liturgical forms in the Maronite liturgy,
the many anaphora (Eucharistic Prayers) that form part of their tradition. How is this to rhyme
with Omlors long-formism?
In 1592 Rome imposed the Syriac equivalent of the Latin consecratory formula upon the
Maronite missal. But it seems that there were some exceptions permitted. One of them might
be the formula corresponding to the Liturgy of the Twelve Apostles, which is one of the most
ancient and venerable liturgies (and is closely related to the Byzantine Liturgy). In this
formula the expression the mystery of faith is not present.
The text that Miller cites does not correspond to the (Tridentine) Latin rite formula; it seems
to correspond (except for the expression for all) to the Liturgy of the Twelve Apostles,
Father Breys translation of a passage from the Salamanticenses regarding the Maronite
liturgies is included in Omlors The Robber Church. Omlor considered this to be important to
his overall argument because it is thought to defend his long-formism.
Here the text of Father Breys translation:

'THE SALMANTICENSES' RESPONSE TO DE LUGO


ON THE FORM OF CONSECRATION OF THE WINE
(A documentary translation
by Fr. Lawrence S. Brey,
with Introduction by Patrick Henry Omlor)
INTRODUCTION
Off and on during the seven centuries that have elapsed since the death of St.
Thomas, a quite legitimate theological controversy has been waged, with many
and various theologians and scholars (both the famous and the not-so-famous)
from time to time espousing one side or the other. The mooted question has
been and is: for a valid consecration of the wine during mass do the mere words,
"THIS IS MY BLOOD", suffice as the sacramental form? Or are the additional
words of the form, which are used by the Western Church (equivalent words
being used, by the way, in the Eastern rites), namely, "OF THE NEW AND
ETERNAL TESTAMENT...(ETC.)...FOR YOU AND FOR MANY UNTO THE
REMISSION OF SINS," also required for validity? (Those who are able to read
Latin may wish to consult De Eucharistia, by Immanuel Doronzo, for an
interesting account of this controversy. Doronzo airs both sides, giving the
principal arguments and counter-arguments of each, and he lists the main
theologians of note who, over the centuries, have allied themselves with one side
or the other. His own personal conclusion expressed at the end of his article is
that it comes out a "dead-heat"; that is, that both opinions are "equally probable".)
Until somewhat recently this controversy held interest from an academic point of
view only. But with the first appearance in 1967 of the vernacular liturgies, many
of which have the well-known "for all men" mutilation in the wine-consecration in
place of the words "pro multis" ("for many"), this particular controversy became
revived, and it is no longer of "academic" interest only. For the "for all men"
mutilation occurs in the latter words of the aforesaid sacramental form, that is, in
the part which is disputed regarding its necessity for validity.
This present article hardly purports to resolve this centuries-old controversy. Its
aim is merely to explode one, and only one, specific erroneous theory. John De
Lugo (1583-1660), a Spanish Jesuit and Cardinal, and a brilliant theologian
particularly in moral theology, at one time claimed to have discovered certain
ancient oriental liturgies that actually used only the few words, "This is My
Blood", (or a similar short form), as the complete sacramental form for the
wineconsecration.
De Lugo argued that the very existence of such liturgies proved
that those few words are enough, for validity, and that ipso facto the additional
words of the form, although used universally in the Church, are not essential.
Such weighty and wholly conclusive evidence ended the great controversy once
and for all; or rather, (to state it correctly), it should have done so, that is, unless
De Lugo's evidence turned out to be in some manner faulty. Of course, everyone
knows that the controversy has not in fact been settled even yet; otherwise
scholars of our times, including Doronzo, would not continue to write about it as
an open question. Occasionally, even nowadays, a rare amateur theologian or
dilettante will chance to discover De Lugo, exclaim to himself "Eureka!", and then
proceed to proclaim that "the ball game is over", the losers being St. 'Thomas
and his adherents who deny that the short form, "This is My Blood", is sufficient.
In De Lugo's own time, his evidence was weighed, analyzed, and finally rejected
by contemporary theologians on the "other side"; and what is perhaps the best

and most thorough rebuttal was made by the Salmanticenses. These were the
Discalced Carmelites of Salamanca, Spain, whose strict policy was an
unwavering adherence to Thomism. A most remarkable aspect of the
Salmanticenses' writings is the fact that they were from the pens of many
different theologians over a period of time spanning nearly a century. According
to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "the Salmanticenses have ever been held in the
highest esteem, particularly at Rome where they are considered a standard work
on Thomistic scholasticism" (Vol. XIll, p. 402, N.Y., 1912-1913).
Their "Cursus Theologicus" (written between 1631 and 1672) contains their reply
against De Lugo; and this reply comprises paragraphs 30-32 of disp. IX, dub. 3,
of the volume De Eucharistia, i.e. Vol. XVIII of the Cursus. An English language
version of this particular text (paragr.30-32) has most probably never been
published. One reason for this would be that even the Latin text is not all that
easy to find; and, secondly, the "Lugo argument" had already been laid to rest
long ago, before theological tracts in English became common. Consequently
the following translation by Fr. Lawrence Brey is in this sense an historical first.
Overriding that important consideration, however, is the vital nature of the subject
matter that is discussed and its current opportuneness. Also, readers of The
Remnant will, no doubt, enjoy and appreciate the Salmanticenses' brilliant
polemics. I trust, therefore, that I speak for the majority of Remnant readers in
commending and thanking Fr. Brey for his very able and valuable effort in
preparing the following excellent translation.
Patrick Henry Omlor
June 17, 1976
Feast of Corpus Christi
The Crucial Salmanticenses Paragraphs
(30-32, Disp. IX, dub. 3)
(NOTE: Having just refuted a certain argument by Cajetan, the Salmanticenses
now discuss De Lugo's thesis. Sectional headings and line numberings added
by translator).
Alleged "Precedence" of "Short Form" Usage
Paragr. 30
Of no better standing (than Cajetan's argument) is another argument derived
from Lugo (disp. 11, sect. 4), namely, that although in the liturgies we have
adduced one finds those subsequent words which we have just discussed (i.e.,
'novi et aeterni... pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum'), nevertheless
in other liturgies one finds only the five prior words (i.e. , 'Hic est calix sanguinis
mei'); consequently from the aforesaid liturgies of this type it is evident that those
words suffice. But in our considered opinion it is apparent that certainly if such
five words should suffice, then God would have provided that the Church
somehow would consummate the consecration form of the chalice by means of
those same words, and no additional words. For indeed according to this
argument (Lugo's) we arrive at that conclusion. That author (Lugo) claims that
this is indeed the case. Here are his words: "Certainly in some liturgies" (such as
used by the Maronites) "namely, of St. John the Evangelist, of the holy Apostles,
of St. Eustasius, St. John the Patriarch, the words are: 'Hoc est corpus meum:
Hic est sanguis meus'. In the liturgy of St. Mark the Evangelist: 'Corpus meum
est hoc: Sanguis meus est hoc'. In the liturgy of St. Matthew the Pastor: 'Hoc

caro mea est: Hoc sanguis meus est'. These forms from the manuscript Missal
of the Maronites, which was sent from Mt. Libanus to Rome, were given to me by
an erudite man, Victorius Scialach, Abbot of St. Gregory, a Maronite from birth,
and for many years a public interpreter of languages in the city of Rome." (End of
quotation from Lugo.)
Based on Questionable Sources
This argument, we say, does not in the least demolish the fundamental position
laid down by us; because our position assuredly relies only upon Scriptures,
liturgies, or Masses of some certain (certae) authority and approbation. Those
sources which do not have this certain authority and approbation ought to be
spurned and reputed as nought. And of that ilk are those which Lugo adduces in
the quotation just cited. For indeed, in the first place, Peter de Soto, Arauxo,
Labat, and other men no less learned than he, testify that at first the Greeks and
the Maronites used the same words in consecrating the chalice as those used by
the Roman Church, or at least their equivalent. However, after the Greeks and
their adherents became schismatics, just as they corrupted many canons of the
Councils, as all Catholics recognize, so also they perverted not a few liturgies.
Besides the malice of the schismatics and the heretics, there was at one time
added towards the growth of this erroneous position the ignorance and
carelessness of the transcribers; at another time the great catastrophe of the era,
bringing the Greeks and the Maronites under the power of the Turks; at another
time the distance and a diminishing commerce with the Romans; at another time,
finally, the self-love and the excessive attachment to one's own opinions of those
who did not neglect this means of overlooking the ancient form, in order to show
that the prior words suffice. And from all these factors it came about that in the
manuscript Missals of the Maronites prior to the year 1592 one may find some
forms for consecrating the chalice that do not have the final words which we
Latins use, and which it is certain that the Church of the Greeks once used.
Vitiated Missals - Pope Intervened!
Consequently whatever is culled from such Missals, thus vitiated to that extent,
has no firmness and authority. Secondly, because as N. Franciscus relates (loc.
cit., no. 42), the most learned consultants among the Maronites at Rome replied
that generally in almost all their liturgies (namely, of St. Peter, of the Twelve
Apostles, St. John Chrysostom, St, Cyril, St. Eustasius, St. John the Patriarch,
Pope Julius, and others) they have the same consecration form as the Latins,
albeit with one word or another transposed, or if not explicitly expressed
nevertheless implicitly contained in other words. Wherefore the Supreme Pontiff
ordered the manuscript Missals of the Maronites that were in any manner
corrupted to be corrected. And in accord with this mandate a Maronite Missal
was printed at Rome in the year 1592 in the Medici printery. That Missal has in
practically all the liturgies one and the same form for the consecration of the
chalice. This form faithfully translated into Latin from the Syriac text reads: 'Hic
autem est calix sanguinis mei, testamenti novi, et aeterni, mysterium fidei, qui
quo vobis, et multis effunditur in remissionem peccatorum.' ('This is the Chalice
of My Blood, of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which is
poured out for you and for many unto the remission of sins.') And it is to such
liturgies, of clearly certain authority, that one must direct one's attention, not
indeed to those corrupted ones and apocrypha, not a few of which were cited by
Lugo. For truly those must be estimated of no more value than the Scriptures
perverted by the English, and others, in times of heresy and schism. For just as
among those there were many Catholics who took pains to preserve the

authentic Scriptures, there were also many heretics who strove diligently to
corrupt them, distorting them into false meanings. So also among the Maronite
inhabitants of Mt. Libanus there were many Catholics; nevertheless there were at
the same time many schismatics and those addicted to the errors of the Greeks.
For which reason along with the legitimate liturgies and forms found in those
manuscript codices there are not a few spurious ones of no authority, namely,
those foisted by the schismatics. And of that ilk are those forms which lack the
latter words (namely, 'novi et aeterni... pro multis effundetur in remissionem
peccatorum'), and in this respect they differ from other forms of universal and
approved faith, which we reviewed in no. 28 supra. And for this reason the
strength of our fundamental position cannot be nullified through this avenue of
argument, just as the Catholic position neither can nor must be undermined by
the Scripture versions corrupted by the English and other heretics.
If Some Maronites Used the "Short Form", Then What?
Paragr. 31
Perhaps one might contend that the Maronites at one time consecrated the
chalice with only those words, 'Hic calix est sanguinis Dei,' (This is the chalice of
the Blood of God'), or 'Hic est sanguis meus', ('This is My Blood'), and that it is
contrary to reason that they would not actually have consecrated, i.e. , by
changing the wine into Christ's Blood; because from that it would follow that they
adored and exposed for adoration something which was not worthy of adoration;
and likewise they would not have completed the Sacrifice, along with "a thousand
and one" other absurdities. If anyone should contend all the foregoing, we shall
reply first of all that the Maronites do not in fact consecrate
in that way, but rather in accord with the mandate and the correction of the form
ordered by the Supreme Pontiff, as stated earlier. Just as in times past the
Armenians were consecrating with other words and other formulas, but
subsequently in the Council of Florence Pope Eugene ordered them to use the
common form, i.e., the one used by the Latins, so also de facto the same case
prevails with the Maronites as with the Armenians.
No "Ecclesia Supplet" For Defective Consecration Form
However, granting the contrary supposition that at some time they in
consecrating used only the five prior words, one could respond that they
confected a valid sacrament, not because such a form would be sufficient
according to the Institution of Christ, but by reason of some extraordinary
dispensation. For just as the Church gives jurisdiction to those who act with a
probable opinion, or in "common error", so also can it be piously believed that
God supplies whatever is lacking for the validity of the sacraments in the case of
those who act with a probable opinion, which sort of matter is generally
adjudicated in the Church; and similarly not a few believe that God supplies for a
defect of intention on the part of a minister, as is evident from what we stated in
an earlier tract (disp. 7, no. 37). But setting aside these predicated theories
(which we do not approve of, for the reasons already stated), we do admit that
the Maronites, or at least some of them, at one time (reportedly) used that form,
'Hic sanguis est meus'; but consequently we say that by no means did they
confect the Consecration and the Sacrament (emphasis added). That such a
thing befell them we do not deem absurd, One may say that this would not seem
fitting according to the disposition of Divine Providence, on account of a certain
remarkable Divine Government that is universal in all respects. However, it would

be by no means unfitting for Providence to permit the aforesaid error and its
effects in some small part of the world peopled by the Maronites of Mt. Libanus,
and among some of its inhabitants, especially the ignorant and the schismatics,
as some of them were. And that can be demonstrated by an example: for the
Ethiopians sometimes used this form in consecrating: 'Hic panis est corpus
meum' ('This bread is my body'), as Verricelli observes in de Missionibus, tit.15,
q.265, and nevertheless that form is plainly invalid, as all theologians concede.
Therefore, just as it is not improper to admit that the Ethiopians (even though
Catholics) did not validly consecrate in their extremely vast regions; so neither is
it absurd to say that some few Maronites (especially schismatics or the ignorant,
or those associated with schismatics), living in their small territory by sufferance
of the Turks, had or endured a similar error, in consecrating the chalice with only
those words, 'Hic est sanguis meus'; and that other absurdities ensued from this
error.
De Lugo Argument Proves Nothing, Is Untenable in Practice
Paragr. 32
From which it follows, firstly, that our adversaries (who are wont to prize so highly
this argument from the Maronite liturgies and other similar evidence) actually
demonstrate nothing; but they are even weighed down by difficulty. Because,
even granting that their opinion might be probable, they nevertheless cannot
deny that our opinion is most probable and of great authority, as Suarez said
(quoted by us supra in no. 22). According to this our opinion, a consecration of
the chalice expressed in these few words, Hic est sanguis meus, is invalid. And
consequently whoever would attempt to consecrate using only those words
would place himself in manifest danger of not consecrating, and therefore of
adoring and exposing for adoration that which is not worthy of adoration. And the
Maronites were guilty of all those things, if it be true (as Lugo and certain others
think) that they were employing those few words in consecrating the chalice. And
consequently this conduct of theirs is incapable of establishing any authority; but,
what is far more important, as it is so fraught with danger it should not even be
spoken of approvingly. Particularly so, since our Most Holy Father Innocent XI,
on March 2, 1679, condemned the following proposition: "In conferring the
sacraments it is not illicit to follow a probable opinion concerning what pertains to
the validity of the sacrament, while forsaking a safer opinion; unless law,
convention, or the grave danger of incurring harm would prohibit it. Hence it is
only in the conferring of Baptism and sacerdotal or episcopal orders that a
probable opinion must not be used." Wherefore the Maronites cannot use that
form, nor were they formerly able to use it licitly, unless ignorance might have
excused them: for in using that form one places oneself in manifest danger of not
consecrating, and of suffering the other consequences arising therefrom.
Secondly, it so happens that our opinion and that of the Doctor St. Thomas is, on
the one hand, most probable, from a speculative point of view; and on the other
hand it is the safer opinion and the one that must be wholly followed in practice.
Whereas in reality our adversaries' opinion is solely speculative, and "probable"
from, as it were, a metaphysical point of view only, but it is totally devoid of any
practical value, since it cannot be reduced to practice because of the danger of
not consecrating.
Thirdly, it so happens that what we have said about the Maronites' liturgies and
similar rites of uncertain authority must be applied a fortiori to a certain liturgy by
the name of "St. Peter", in which precisely these words, 'Hic est sanguis meus',

are set down as the consecration form for the chalice. For this liturgy is appraised
as being wholly apocryphal, and it was first brought out (made public) by
Lindanus, Bishop of Ghent, there being no evidence of it in the preceding
centuries.
Fourthly, it so happens that they err, those who say (as we insinuated in no. 23)
that the Doctor St. Thomas taught our opinion by virtue of the fact that he had not
been aware of those other liturgies, and that if he had seen them he would not
have opposed himself to them, but would have been prepared to teach
otherwise. They are deceived, we say, and they are lacking in the reverence due
to St. Thomas. First, because in the liturgies of any authority there is nothing that
does not favor the opinion of the holy Doctor (as we considered in no. 28). And
he himself encompassed all these in the liturgy of the most excellent Mass of all,
namely that of the Roman Church, which to his credit he expounded in his
dissertation, "Sed Contra". Also because in the other liturgies he sees nothing of
importance that he would have found necessary to exclude. And, finally, because
they are believed not to have existed at his time, but later were fabricated either
by schismatics or by certain partisans, and those who were most diligent in
promoting their own opinions. Just as there were those who, in the recent
editions of the "Fathers" took the trouble to excise and remove certain passages
from the fathers, which were least favorable to their cause, and especially certain
homilies of St. John Chrysostom, so also, conversely, there were those who
somehow concerned themselves with adding to the liturgies whatever might
more favorably further their purposes.
(End of Salmanticenses Text)

Translator's Comments
Special thanks are due to Patrick H. Omlor for locating the authoritative
Salmanticenses treatise and calling attention to the extremely significant above
passages and the desirability of their being rendered Into English, as an added
contribution to the study and clarification of the "for all men"/ invalidity
controversy of the "New mass" problem. Similar thanks are due to Walter L. Matt
and The Remnant Press for their instrumentality in the publication of this
important document.
I have endeavored to make this translation, from the original Latin, as faithful as
possible, and in cases of difficult idiomatic rendering, giving priority to the sense
of the text in a manner strictly compatible with or equivalent to the original. I am
also indebted to Mr. Omlor for his further suggestions and modifications that
were incorporated into the finalized translation. While we feel that the translation
is accurate and more than adequate, especially as regards the substance of the
Salmanticenses argument, the rendering, needless to say, remains open to any
responsible and warranted correction or modification. There were, admittedly,
some difficult passages, but apparently not in critical areas.
The gist of the Salmanticenses' refutation of De Lugo is this: (1) De Lugo cites
certain Maronite missals as "proof" for the acceptability and sufficiency of the
mere words, "This is My Blood", simply because these or similar abbreviated
forms were found in those missals. (2) But those particular missals were actually
corrupt and vitiated, products of a heretical and schismatic situation, hence have
no value whatsoever as evidence on behalf of the "short form" argument. On the

other hand, the missals of the non-schismatic Maronites and all other bonafide
Eastern traditions, incorporated the entire proper form, including the words
equivalent to "pro multis". (3) Moreover, the Roman Pontiff himself ordered the
correction of the corrupted missals, and the Insertion of the proper complete
Form. (4) If some of the Maronites used the corrupted forms, those particular
Masses are considered invalid, despite theoretical pious beliefs that perhaps
God's Providence would "supply" for the defect (which hardly can be presumed
and seems not in accord with the Will of Christ in instituting the Eucharist and its
absolute requirements); while "ecclesia supplet" would not apply at all, as it
regards jurisdictional, not sacramental defects. (5) The De Lugo short-formsufficiency
concept (whose probability was already outweighed by the teaching of
St. Thomas and arguments of the Salmanticenses later) is forbidden in actual
practice, as it exposes such consecrations to the danger of invalidity, and
counters the Church's directive that safer opinions must be followed in confecting
the Sacraments.
Thus, in but a few pointed and well-measured passages, these Spanish
theologians, highly esteemed in Rome as authoritative Thomists, as Mr. Omlor
pointed out, have pulled the props from under a specious and seemingly
"clinching" argument in defense of the validity of the "abbreviated form" (and
implicitly of the "for all men" mutilation or any similar corruption of the latter words
of the form): i.e., the alleged evidence that certain Catholic missals once
incorporated the abbreviated form, omitting the latter words which include "which
shall be shed for you and for many..."
Even very recent papal documents, by the way, testify to the use of "for many" in
the Divine Eucharistic Words. One not too well known is Pope John XXIII's
Apostolic Letter on the Precious Blood, in which he speaks of " the religious
worship of the Most Precious Blood of the Word Incarnate, which is shed 'for
many unto the remission of sins'" (June 30, 1960, AAS 52-545). As is well
known, these papally-affirmed Divine Words were soon to be swapped for the
"for all men" distortion; just as the same Pontiff's Veterum Sapientia (on the
importance of Latin) was replaced by runaway vernacularism!
The idea of God or the Church "supplying" for the defect is worthy of special
comment, in view of widespread misconceptions about the role of Divine Intervention,
"good intention", and "ecclesia supplet". While these considerations are
comforting and do fill some well-defined roles, it is wishful thinking, without
theological basis, to hold that any possible sacramental irregularity or defect is
"covered" or "saved" by one or the other of these. In regard to a defective
sacramental form, for example, while Divine power could provide for a valid effect
in such a case, this could not be gratuitously presumed as a matter of course,
and in fact would not seem to be in accord with the ordinary disposition of Divine
Providence nor with Christ's Will and requirements governing the Sacraments He
instituted. (On the other hand, regarding the overall universal situation, including
the subversion of the Mass, there is no doubt that Divine Intervention, direct or
indirect, will rectify things In God's due time; perhaps after the apostasy reaches
its apogee and the "Son of Perdition" has had his day, if these are indeed the
apocalyptic times). As for "good intention", no amount of a priest's "good
intention" can rectify or validate an objectively defective sacramental form unless the priest carry that good intention into action, by himself correcting the
form to its proper wording! But a thousand "good intentions" by themselves will
never make up for or validate an uncorrected form.
As for "ecclesia supplet ("the Church supplies"), this canonical provision (Canon

209, C.J.C.) regards the Church's supplying, "automatically", ecclesiastical


jurisdiction in certain cases where it is lacking and needed (in cases of "common
error" and "doubt of law or fact"), mainly in connection with the Sacrament of
Penance and certain other priestly functions requiring jurisdiction. It does not
(and cannot) supply for any defect of sacramental matter or form, nor does it
supply any power of Orders (as distinct from power of Jurisdiction); nor does it
give one a "blank check" covering "everything", even in an "emergency situation".
In cases of danger of death there is a similar canonical provision. "Ecclesia
supplet", somewhat like the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, is often wrongly
understood, or misapplied, or overextended; whereas in reality each of these is
limited to well defined functions. The Salmanticenses, in the above document,
cite the role of "ecclesia supplet" and conclude that no such supplying validates a
defective or incomplete Consecration form.
The Catechism of the Council of Trent states: "In our sacraments. . . the form is
so definite that any, even a casual deviation from it renders the Sacrament null."
Consequently if the wine-consecration-form, with the "for all men" mutilation, is
intrinsically defective to the extent of rendering the Sacrament and the Mass
invalid, then neither "ecclesia supplet", nor the "good and proper" intention of the
priest, nor any other force or argument can come to the rescue and make it valid.
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted the seven Sacraments. Several of
these, including the Holy Eucharist, were instituted "in specie"; that is, Christ
determined in detail and minutely their matter and form. Would it not seem
incongruous for the same Divine Lord to so prescribe, and nevertheless "supply"
for flagrant deviations from His sacred prescription? We can see the wisdom of
the above teaching of the Trent Catechism!
Finally, the Salmanticenses concede that there were at times cases of invalid
Consecration forms being used (and hence, invalid Masses!), in both a limited
area (the Maronites of Mt. Libanus), and also in extensive regions (among the
Ethiopians). In the former case, the invalid forms for consecrating the wine
resulted, at least partly, from the atmosphere of heresy and schism prevailing at
the time, and were used not only by the schismatics, but even by "the ignorant"
and those "associated with schismatics". Now, remembering the pro phetic
words of Pope St. Pius X, written in 1910, concerning the "universal apostasy"
that even then crept "insidious and hidden in the very veins of the Church", one
can easily concede the distinct possibility of invalid Masses in our present day,
on a far more extensive, Indeed universal, scale. In accord with the dispositions
of an all-wise and all-just Divine Providence, such an ominous situation would not
at all be "unthinkable", but rather might be a logical result of the present climate
of heresy, schism, and apostasy that is infinitely more far-reaching and
widespread than that which affected the Maronites of Mt. Libanus! In our present
circumstances, which clearly are those of a "universal apostasy" or the closest
thing to it imaginable, could we not apply and extend the conclusion expressed
by the Salmanticenses: "However, it would be by no means unfitting for
Providence to permit the aforesaid error and its effects" in virtually the entire
world?
Fr. Lawrence S. Brey
July 1, 1976
Feast of the Most Precious Blood.
TRC, pp. 224-234

I have respect for Father Brey as a faithful priest. I also admire his skill in translation.
But his ideas about sacramental form unfortunately resemble those of Omlor.
He speaks of the principle of Ecclesia supplet as a canonical provision as if it were a mere
positive disposition of the Church. Father Brey tells us correctly that ecclesia supplet does
not remove the need for the necessary form and matter of a sacrament: that is true, but the
principle of ecclesia supplet is invoked to obtain solution of problems regarding the validity
of sacraments. Therefore it does tell us something essential about the meaning of sacramental
form and matter. It tells us that literalism in the interpretation of sacramental form is
untenable. It is thus not a mere positive disposition of the Church, something that the Church
invented to clean up messes.
Father Brey and Omlor hold that the Salamanticenses are firm defenders of long-formism,?
but which long-formism, the original literalist one? Or that of Capisuccus? Or the
conceptualism of Omlors theory of necessary concepts? One has to take into account that
long-formism, as Omlor understands it, in any of its forms, represents a literalist
understanding of sacramental form. Are the Salamanticenses really defending such an
understanding, or are they simply defending what St. Thomas was saying when he says the
following words as determinations of the predicate belong to the integrity of the form?
The Salamanticenses show an apparent disagreement with Cajetan and De Lugo regarding the
sufficiency of the short form. Both Cajetan and De Lugo speak of liturgies which used simply
This is my blood, implying that the masses celebrated in this way were valid.
The text of Cajetan is to be found in the Leonine edition of the Opera Omnia of St. Thomas.
Omlor tells us that the opinion of Cajetan was expurgated by Pope Pius V. Yet Pope Leo XIII
seems to have allowed it back into the Leonine Edition of St. Thomas:

TRC, p. 41

Is there something expurgated here?


It is now generally granted that Cajetan does not always grasp the depth of the metaphysical
understanding of St. Thomas. Nevertheless he is still a highly regarded Commentator. But
Omlor, it seems to me, is much farther from understanding St. Thomas. He tells us that those
who do not accept that Saint Thomas really was a proponent of the long-form position of do
not know how to read.
7. Our Wishful Thinking Adversarii
There are three types of Adversarii. First, we have those who are able to read
and who honestly concede that they have the Angelic Doctor against them. All of
the earlier theologians who espoused the "short form" theory up through the time
of Cajetan, and including Cajetan himself, fell into this category. Earlier we
quoted the words of Suarez, who affirmed that the opinion of St. Thomas, though

opposed to his own, "is very probable and of great authority, and Scotus himself
did not venture to contradict it, but left it as a doubtful matter." Most of our
present-day Adversarii are of this first type.
The second class of Adversarii includes those who claim it is not clear what the
Angelic Doctor really taught, or that he wrote ambiguously, or that he
contradicted himself, or that he was unsure of himself. Or that he changed his
mind from one of his writings to the next! That ludicrous claim was actually made
by Billuart, who for so doing was derisively accused by Doronzo of "flying to the
extreme."47 To all those confused Adversarii of this class we reply in the words
of Capisuccus to De Lugo: "The opinion of St. Thomas is not difficult if it is
properly understood."48
[29 The edition of this date is documented by Cardinal Raymond Capisuccus,
O.P., Controversiae theologicae selectae, controv. 3, de forma consecrationis
vini eucharistici, 1677, p. 208. Although de la Taille cites this obscure work in
The Mystery of Faith, it is difficult to find its original Latin text. Nevertheless it
was located, and the late and beloved Father George Kathrein, C.Ss.R., scholar,
theologian and Latinist par excellence, translated into English the entire
Controversy 3, from pages 204-222 of the original text. (Incidentally, the Catholic
Encyclopedia does not mention this Venetian edition of 1533, but it does list a later
edition of Cajetan's commentaries, published at Lyons in 1540).]
47 Billuart inanely claimed that St. Thomas had "changed his mind," because
he switched from the word "necessary" in In 1 Cor. XI to the synonymous phrase
"of the substance" in the Summa which was written later. Doronzo's comment is:
"Quae tam evidentia sunt ut Billuart ad extremam hanc responsionem
confugiat...," (op. cit., p. 158), which could be loosely and idiomatically translated
as: Billuart is here grasping at straws.
48 Capisuccus, op. cit., p. 212.
TRC (TNS), p. 287
Cajetan and De Lugo are said to disagree with Saint Thomas. I do not see where Cajetan says
that he is disagreeing. One should take into account here that the comment of Cajetan
follows to S.T. III, q. 78 a. 1 which concerns the form of the sacrament and not S.T. III, q. 78
a. 2 which concerns conveniens forma.
Perhaps Cajetan says that he disagrees with St. Thomas in some part that remains expurgated.
Or maybe we should number him among those who cannot read!
The Salamanticenses tell us that the Latin formula does not consist of chaff: that the part
following sanguis meus belongs to the integrity of the expression of the form. They go one to
tell us that the Maronite formula which do not contain what follows and thus consist of the
hypothetical short form do not have an impressive authority, being associated with schism,
heresy and ignorance.
The Salamanticenses affirm that some Eucharistic formula used by the Maronites and others
might not have produced a valid mass and this by reason of defects in the form. This is
undoubably true. But this does not make the Salamanticenses into proponents of Omlors
long-formism.

Whether and which forms of celebration associated with the Maronites produced invalid
masses is not entirely clear. De Lugo, like Cajetan, is a highly regarded and erudite
theologian. Let us not brush him off so easily.
The history of Maronite liturgy is rich and complex. Omlors interpretation of it is simplistic
and harsh: a Procrustean bed.
The Salamanticenses tell us that practically all the formulae included in the Maronite missal
of 1592 use a formula equivalent to the (Tridentine) Latin formula; does this not mean that at
least one of the formula differs from the Tridentine, though it would certainly not be of the
mere short-form type.
Could it not be that St. Thomas, Cajetan, de Lugo,the authors of the Roman Catechism (and
the Salamanticenses) are really neither long-formers, nor short-formers, that they do not
subscribe to the magical words notion of sacramental form, which Omlor presupposes?
Michael Duddy points out that the Roman Catechism tells us that the sacramental form is
comprehended by the words used in the (Tridentine) Latin formula. Comprehended by does
not mean the same thing as is identical to, though one mightm in ones haste, think that it
does. But Michael Duddy, conditioned in spite of everything, by Omlors literalist
understanding of sacramental form, takes this as meaning that the Catechism must then be
endorsing the short-form position: in the venerable form of the Tridentine liturgy, there is
chaff alongside the wheat.
But this is also a poor reading of the text.

h) Was St. Thomas a proponent of the necessity of the long form as Omlor maintains?

1. If one read S.T. III 78, a.1, in isolation (and simplistically) one could only conclude that
Thomas is a short-former. He says that the form of the sacrament is This is my Body. This
is my Blood with no mention of the rest of the formula of consecration of the wine. He says
that the rest of the words of the mass are not necessary for validity.
quidam dixerunt hoc sacramentum perfici non posse praedictis verbis prolatis et aliis
praetermissis, praecipue quae sunt in canone Missae.
Sed hoc patet esse falsum.
Tum ex verbis Ambrosii supra inductis.
Tum etiam quia canon Missae non est idem apud omnes, nec secundum omnia tempora,
sed diversa sunt a diversis apposita.

He quotes Ambrose in the sed contra who says it is the words of Christ that effect the
consecration, not other words that come from the Church.
Sed contra est quod Ambrosius dicit, in libro de sacramentis, consecratio fit verbis et
sermonibus domini iesu. Nam per reliqua omnia quae dicuntur, laus deo defertur,
oratione petitur pro populo, pro regibus, pro ceteris. Ubi autem sacramentum conficitur,
iam non suis sermonibus sacerdos utitur, sed utitur sermonibus christi. Ergo sermo
christi hoc conficit sacramentum.
(De Sacramentis text is not currently believed to be from the hand of St. Ambrose, but that
does not matter for the argument.) What is of interest is that shortly after these words of

Pseudo-Ambrosius in the book De Sacramentis comes a citation of the liturgy, a earlier


version of the Roman Canon, in which the short form is used. Here we have this passage
from De Sacramentis

CAPUT IV.
Ut persuadeat hoc sacramentum divinius habendum quam manna, ex pane ipsummet
Christi corpus ejusdem Christi sermone fieri asseverat: quod postquam allatis variis
effectibus, quibus ejusdem sermonis efficacitas claret, confirmavit; cur sanguis sub aliena
specie detur, causam reddit.
13. Ergo auctor sacramentorum quis est, nisi Dominus Jesus? De coelo ista sacramenta
venerunt; consilium enim omne de coelo est. Vere autem magnum et divinum miraculum
quod populo pluit Deus manna de coelo, et non laborabat populus, et manducabat.

14. Tu forte dicis: Meus panis est usitatus. Sed panis iste panis est ante verba
sacramentorum (De Consec., dist. 2, c. Panis est) : ubi accesserit consecratio, de pane fit
caro Christi. Hoc igitur astruamus. Quomodo potest qui panis est, corpus esse Christi?
Consecratione. Consecratio autem quibus verbis est, cujus sermonibus? Domini Jesu.
Nam et reliqua omnia quae dicuntur in superioribus, a sacerdote dicuntur, laudes
Deo deferuntur, oratio petitur pro populo, pro regibus, pro caeteris: ubi venitur ut
conficiatur venerabile sacramentum, jam non suis sermonibus utitur sacerdos, sed
utitur sermonibus Christi. Ergo sermo Christi hoc conficit sacramentum.
[Boldface is added. This part is cited by St. Thomas.]
15. Quis est sermo Christi: Nempe is quo facta sunt omnia. Jussit Dominus, et factum est
coelum: jussit Dominus, et facta est terra: jussit Dominus, et facta sunt maria. Jussit
Dominus, et omnis creatura generata est (Gen. I, 1 et seq.) . Vides ergo quam operatorius
sit sermo Christi. Si ergo tanta vis est in sermone Domini Jesu, ut inciperent esse quae non
erant, quanto magis operatorius est, ut sint quae erant, et in aliud commutentur? Coelum
non erat, mare non erat, terra non erat; sed audi dicentem David: Ipse dixit, et facta sunt:
ipse mandavit, et creata sunt (Psal. CXLVIII, 5) .
16. Ergo tibi ut respondeam, non erat corpus Christi ante consecrationem: sed post
consecrationem dico tibi quia jam corpus est Christi. Ipse dixit, et factum est: ipse
mandavit, et creatum est. Tu ipse eras, sed eras vetus creatura: postea quam consecratus es,
nova creatura, esse coepisti. Vis scire quam nova creatura? Omnis, inquit, in Christo nova
creatura (II Cor. V, 17) .
17. Accipe ergo quemadmodum sermo Christi creaturam omnem mutare consueverit, et
mutet, cum vult, instituta naturae. Quomodo requiris? Accipe, et primo omnium de
generatione ejus sumamus exemplum. Consuetudo est ut non generetur homo, nisi ex viro
et muliere, et consuetudine conjugali: sed quia voluit Dominus, quia hoc elegit
sacramentum, de Spiritu sancto et Virgine natus est Christus, hoc est, mediator Dei et
hominum homo Christus Jesus (I Tim. II, 5) . Vides ergo quia contra instituta et ordinem
natus est, homo est natus ex Virgine?
18. Accipe aliud. Urgebatur populus Judaeorum ab Aegyptiis, interclusus erat mari: divino
imperio virga Moyses tetigit aquas, et se unda divisit; non utique secundum suae naturae
consuetudinem, sed secundum gratiam coelestis imperii (Exod. XIV, 21 et seq.) . Accipe
aliud. Sitiebat populus, venit ad fontem: amarus erat fons, misit lignum sanctus Moyses in
fontem, et factus est dulcis fons, qui amarus erat; hoc est, mutavit consuetudinem naturae

suae, accepit dulcedinem gratiae (Exod. XV, 23 et seq.) . Accipe et quartum exemplum.
Ceciderat ferrum securis in aquas, quasi ferrum sua consuetudine demersum est: misit
lignum Elisaeus, statim ferrum elevatum est, et aquis supernatavit (IV Reg. VI, 6) : utique
contra consuetudinem ferri; est enim materies gravior, quam aquarum est elementum.
19. Ex his igitur omnibus non intelligis quantum operetur sermo coelestis? Si operatus est
in fonte terreno, si operatus est sermo coelestis in aliis rebus, non operatur in coelestibus
Sacramentis? Ergo didicisti quod ex pane corpus fiat Christi, et quod vinum et aqua in
calicem mittitur: sed fit consecratione verbi coelestis (De Consec., dist. 2, c. Panis, Ergo,
et Sed forte) .
20. Sed forte dicis: Speciem sanguinis non video. Sed habet similitudinem: sicut enim
mortis similitudinem sumpsisti, ita etiam similitudinem pretiosi sanguinis bibis; ut nullus
horror cruoris sit, et pretium tamen operetur redemptionis. Didicisti ergo quia quod accipis,
corpus est Christi.
LIBER QUINTUS.
Ipsis Domini verbis corpus ac sanguinem ejus consecrari et vere confici; proindeque hinc
bene colligi prae manna excellere hoc sacramentum, cujus veritas consignatur per vocem,
Amen.
21. Vis scire quia verbis coelestibus consecratur (De Consec., dist. 2, c. Panis, Vis scire)
? Accipe quae sunt verba. Dicit sacerdos: Fac nobis, inquit, hanc oblationem
ascriptam, ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilem: quod figura est corporis et sanguinis
Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Qui pridie quam pateretur, in sanctis manibus suis
accepit panem, respexit in coelum ad te, sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus,
gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, fractumque apostolis suis et discipulis suis tradidit
dicens: Accipite, et edite ex hoc omnes; hoc est enim corpus meum, quod pro multis
confringetur (Luc. XXII, 19) .
22. Similiter etiam calicem postquam coenatum est, pridie quam pateretur, accepit,
respexit in coelum ad te, sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus, gratias agens,
benedixit, apostolis suis et discipulis suis tradidit, dicens: Accipite, et bibite ex hoc
omnes; hic est enim sanguis meus (Matth. XXVI, 27, 28) . Vide illa omnia. Illa verba
evangelistae sunt usque ad Accipite, sive corpus, sive sanguinem. Inde verba sunt
Christi: Accipite, et bibite ex hoc omnes; hic est enim sanguis meus. Et vide singula.
[Boldface added. Here the writer cites an older form of the Roman Canon, strongly
resembling yet different from the Tridentine, with a short-form consecration (of the wine),
within an argument suggesting that it is the words of Christ and not the surrounding words
that realize the consecration. It is very likely that St. Thomas was familiar with this text,
since in the Summa he cites the preceding text and speaks of development of the canon of
the mass. This text witnesses to a development of the Roman canon before the time of
Gregory the Great.]
23. Qui pridie, inquit, quam pateretur, in sanctis manibus suis accepit panem. Antequam
consecretur, panis est; ubi autem verba Christi accesserint, corpus est Christi. Denique audi
dicentem: Accipite, et edite ex eo omnes; hoc est enim corpus meum. Et ante verba Christi,
calix est vini, et aquae plenus: ubi verba Christi operata fuerint, ibi sanguis Christi
efficitur, qui plebem redemit. Ergo videte quantis generibus potens est sermo Christi
universa convertere. Deinde ipse Dominus Jesus testificatur nobis quod corpus suum
accipiamus et sanguinem. Numquid debemus de ejus fide et testificatione dubitare?
24. Jam redi mecum ad propositionem meam. Magnum quidem et venerabile, quod manna
Judaeis pluit e coelo (Exod. XVI, 13) : sed intellige. Quid est amplius, manna de coelo, an

corpus Christi? Corpus utique Christi, qui auctor est coeli. Deinde manna qui manducavit,
mortuus est: qui manducaverit hoc corpus, fiet ei remissio peccatorum, et non morietur in
aeternum (De Consec., dist. 2, c. Ante, Qui manduc.)
25. Ergo non otiose dicis tu: Amen, jam in spiritu confitens quod accipias corpus Christi.
Dicit tibi sacerdos: Corpus Christi; et tu dicis: Amen, hoc est, verum. Quod confitetur
lingua, teneat affectus.
CAPUT VI.
Excellentia sacramenti hujus inde probata, quod per illud Dominica passio renovetur,
sermonem finit, de materia proximis diebus a se tractanda strictim praemonens.
26. Ut scias autem hoc esse sacramentum, hujus figura ante praecessit. Deinde quantum sit
sacramentum, cognosce. Vide quid dicat: Quotiescumque hoc feceritis, toties
commemorationem mei facietis, donec iterum adveniam (I Cor. XI, 26) .
27. Et sacerdos dicit: Ergo memores gloriosissimae ejus passionis, et ab inferis
resurrectionis, et [0445B] in coelum ascensionis, offerimus tibi hanc immaculatam
hostiam, rationabilem hostiam, incruentam hostiam, hunc panem sanctum, et calicem vitae
aeternae: et petimus et precamur, ut hanc oblationem suscipias in sublimi altari tuo per
manus angelorum tuorum, sicut suscipere dignatus es munera pueri tui justi Abel, et
sacrificium patriarchae nostri Abrahae, et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos Melchisedech.
28. Ergo quotiescumque accipis, quid tibi dicit Apostolus? Quotiescumque accipimus,
mortem Domini annuntiamus (De Consec., dist. 2, c. Si quotiesc.) . Si mortem
annuntiamus, annuntiamus remissionem peccatorum. Si quotiescumque effunditur sanguis,
in remissionem peccatorum funditur; debeo illum semper accipere, ut semper mihi peccata
dimittantur. Qui semper pecco, semper debeo habere medicinam.
29. Interim et hodie quantum potuimus, explanavimus: sed crastina die sabbato et
Dominica de orationis ordine dicemus, quemadmodum possumus. Dominus Deus noster
conservet vobis gratiam quam dedit, et oculos quos vobis aperuit, plenius illuminare
dignetur per unigenitum Filium suum regem ac salvatorem Dominum Deum nostrum, per
quem sibi, et cum quo sibi est laus, honor, gloria, magnificentia, potestas cum Spiritu
sancto, a saeculis, et nunc, et semper, et in omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
LIBER QUINTUS.
373 CAPUT PRIMUM.
Primum repetit quod jam ante dictum est sacramenti, atque adeo ipsius Christi figuram in
Melchisedech ejusque sacrificio praecessisse: tum duplicem causam cur aqua in calice
admisceatur, in medium profert.
1. Hesterno sermo noster ac tractatus usque ad sancti altaris sacramenta deductus est. Et
cognovimus sacramentorum istorum figuram Abrahae temporibus praecessisse, quando
obtulit sacrificium sanctus Melchisedech (Gen. XIV, 18) , neque initium, neque finem
habens dierum. Audi, homo, quid dicat Paulus apostolus ad Hebraeos. Ubi sunt qui Filium
Dei dicunt esse de tempore Melchisedech? Dictum est, quia neque initium, neque finem
dierum habet: si Melchisedech non habet initium dierum, num Christus habere potuit
(Hebr. VII, 1 et seq.) ? Sed non est plus figura quam veritas. Vides ergo quia ipse primus et
novissimus (Apoc. I, 8) . Primus, quia auctor est omnium: novissimus, non quod finem
inveniat, sed quod universa concludat.

2. Diximus ergo quod in altari constituatur calix et panis. In calicem quid mittitur? Vinum.
Et quid aliud? Aqua (De Consec., dist. 2, c. In calicem. Exod. XVII, 6) . Sed tu mihi dicis:
Quomodo ergo Melchisedech panem et vinum obtulit? Quid sibi vult admixtio aquae?
Rationem accipe.
3. Primum omnium figura quae ante praecessit tempore Moysi, quid habet? Quia cum
sitiret populus Judaeorum, et murmuraret quod aquam invenire [non possent, jussit Deus
Moysi ut tangeret petram de virga. Tetigit petram, et petra undam maximam fudit, sicut
Apostolus ait: Bibebant autem de spiritali consequenti eos petra: petra autem erat Christus
(I Cor. X, 4) . Non immobilis petra quae populum sequebatur. Et tu bibe, ut te Christus
sequatur. Vide mysterium. Moyses, hoc est, propheta: virga, hoc est, verbum Dei. 374
Sacerdos verbo Dei tangit petram, et fluit aqua, et bibit populus Dei. Tangit ergo sacerdos,
redundat aqua in calice, salit in vitam aeternam, et bibit populus Dei, qui Dei gratiam
consecutus est. Didicisti ergo hoc.
4. Accipe et aliud. In tempore Dominicae passionis cum sabbatum magnum instaret, quia
vivebat Dominus noster Jesus Christus vel latrones, missi sunt qui percuterent eos:
venientes autem invenerunt defunctum Dominum Jesum Christum; tunc unus de miltiibus
lancea tetigit latus ejus, et de latere ejus aqua fluxit et sanguis (Joan. XIX, 33 et seq.) .
Quare aqua? quare sanguis? Aqua, ut emundaret: sanguis, ut redimeret. Quare de latere?
Quia unde culpa, inde gratia. Culpa per feminam, gratia per Dominum Jesum Christum (De
Consec., dist. 2, c. In calicem, De latere) .

St. Thomas had thus a version of the short-form (or at least something very different from the
long form) in front of him, as it were, as he was writing this. (It does indeed have for many,
but not in the consecration of the blood, mysterium fidei is left out, together with everything
else after This is my blood. It is thus very close to the pure hypothetical short form.)
But Omlor does not pay much attention to S.T. q. 78 a. 1. The argument that St. Thomas was
a long-former is based on the third article which speaks not of forma but of conveniens forma.
St. Thomas says indeed that all of the long form belongs to the substance of the form. But
what does he mean by that?

Respondeo dicendum quod circa hanc formam est duplex opinio.


Quidam enim dixerunt quod de substantia formae huius est hoc solum quod dicitur, hic
est calix sanguinis mei, non autem ea quae sequuntur.
Sed hoc videtur inconveniens, quia ea quae sequuntur, sunt quaedam determinationes
praedicati, idest sanguinis christi; unde pertinent ad integritatem locutionis.
Et propter hoc sunt alii qui melius dicunt quod omnia sequentia sunt de substantia
formae, usque ad hoc quod postea sequitur, hoc quotiescumque feceritis, quae pertinent
ad usum huius sacramenti, unde non sunt de substantia formae. Et inde est quod
sacerdos eodem ritu et modo, scilicet tenendo calicem in manibus, omnia haec verba
profert.
The expression hanc formam and formae huius do not refer to the sacramental form but to the
form (conveniens forma consecrationis vini) of the consecration of the wine. The article
regards the question of whether the form of consecration of the wine (that used by the Latin
Church) is appropriate, convenient. It does not regard the question of other forms which the
Church also uses, though his citation of De Sacramentis indicates that Thomas was aware of

their existence in the past, and certainly Thomas was aware also of the Eastern Church and its
liturgy.
The point of departure is that the Church (the Latin rite) uses a certain form. The first question
is what are its constituent parts, that is its substance? The criterion being used to discern the
substance is: What words does the Church use to consecrate the wine? One looks at the words
that are used in order to discern the words that are essential.
But the question about the substance of form of the consecration of the wine based on is
preliminary to the question which this article concerns directly, the question of whether
constituent parts of the form of consecration are fitting, if the constitute a harmonic whole.
One should ask the question what is the essential sense of being fitting? Is it not a question of
their being proportionate, of constituting a harmonic whole with the form of the sacrament?
What else could it be?
St. Thomas has cited De Sacramentis which tells us that the sacramental form consists of the
Words of Christ. But that was in article one, which concerned the form of the Sacrament.
Here the question is not: What are the words of Christ? But rather: Is the form used by the
Church (in the Latin rite) an appropriate, fitting, convenient form?
It concerns directly the form the Church uses, not the sacramental form, which is the words of
Christ.
What expression does the Church use in order to consecrate the wine? In other words, what is
its substance? In other words, what are its constituent parts? This question is precise and thus
it can be given a precise answer.
But by determining that such and such words are of the substance of this form, Thomas does
not determine that no other such forms exist in the Church.
He does not answer every question about every possible scenario.
St. Thomas defines the substance of the forma consecrationis vini, as a necessary step in
order to make the question of whether or not it is conveniens a well-posed question. The
practice of the Church, specifically the practice of the Latin rite, gives him the criterion to
define it precisely. But the very same practice of the Church shows that the forma
consecrationis vini is not everywhere (specifically, not in all rites) the same.
It is multiple, but the sacramental form is unique. It follows that they are not the same thing.
Acknowledging and beginning with the practice of the Latin rite St. Thomas defines with
precision the forma consecrationis vini; but the form of the sacrament, the words of Christ, is
a superior reality, not on the same plane, not subject to definition in the strict sense.
Let us recall what St. Thomas has said in his Commentary on St. Pauls First Letter to the
Corinthians:

Dicunt ergo quidam, quod quaecumque formae horum verborum proferantur, quae
sunt scripta in canone sufficere ad consecrationem.
Probabilius autem dici videtur quod illis solis verbis perficitur consecratio, quibus
ecclesia utitur ex traditione apostolorum structa.

Evangelistae enim verba domini recitare intenderunt quantum pertinet ad rationem


historiae, non autem secundum quod ordinantur ad consecrationem
sacramentorum, quas in occulto habebant in primitiva ecclesia, propter infideles.
Unde dionysius dicit in ultimo cap. Ecclesiasticae hierarchiae: perfectivas
invocationes non est fas in Scripturis exponere, neque mysticum ipsarum ante
factas in ipsis ex deo virtutes ex occulto in communi adducere.
Sed circa ista verba quibus ecclesia utitur in consecratione sanguinis, quidam
opinantur quod non omnia sint de necessitate formae sed solum quod dicitur hic
est calix sanguinis mei, non autem residuum quod sequitur: novi et aeterni
testamenti, mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem
peccatorum.
Sed hoc non videtur convenienter dici.
Nam totum illud quod sequitur est quaedam determinatio praedicati. Unde et ad
eiusdem locutionis sententiam seu significationem pertinet. Et quia, ut saepe
dictum est, formae sacramentorum significando efficiunt, totum pertinet ad vim
effectivam formae.
Super I ad Cor. 11

This constitutes a rejection of short-formism; but it does not constitute an affirmation of longformism. Totum pertinent ad vim effectivan formae. These words reflect the fact that the form
is the superior reality.
The power of the sacramental form does not come from any magical power of the letter of the
formula, but from the mystery of the person of Christ. The notion of form in St. Thomas is in
itself Christocentric.
One needs to reflect on the exact sense of being de necessitate formae. The sacramental form
is necessary for the validity of the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Transubstantiation. But what
kind of necessity is this? Omlors presupposition is that this necessity is arbitrary. The words
of consecration are a magical formula whose efficacy comes from an arbitrary determination
of the Divine Will. Closely examined this type of necessity is no necessity at all. God could
have decided upon any formula at all. None is better than any other.
But for St. Thomas the form of the Sacrament is by the strictest necessity necessary for the
efficacy of the Sacrament. There is in this a very deep truth of sacramental theology which
Omlor fails to recognize.
But when St. Thomas talks about the forma consecrationis vini he knows that the Church uses
not only the Latin rite formula (identical to that of the posterior Tridentine missal) but also
other formula. His point of departure is, and can only be, the practice of the Church. He tells
us (following Dionysius) that we cannot derive the form of the Sacrament from Scripture.
Then he asks himself: what are the words of consecration of the wine (starting with the
practice of the Church in the Roman rite). He affirms that the words following sanguis meus
and ending with in remissionem peccatorum are determinations of the predicate.
(Subject=This; predicate=what follows in the sentence). It forms part of the same sentence,
and this sentence constitutes in its entirety the words of consecration, necessary, according to
the logic of the practice of the Church, in order to consecrate.

And yet this does not mean that the Church has no other formulae in other rites, or has used
no other formulae in the history of the Roman rite.
The words of the forma consecrationis vini, although they are not unique, are nevertheless de
necessitate formae. They procede from the necessity of the form.
This does not solve the casuistics of the validity of a mass in which such or such departure is
made from the formulae prescribed by the Church, how the question of intention and the
principle of Ecclesia supplet bear upon the situation. Discussions about that indeed arose after
the time of St. Thomas.
St. Thomas says that the word enim does not belong to the substance of the form of the
consecration of the bread, but he says that all the words following This is my blood indeed
belong to the substance of the form of consecration of the blood. He makes both of these
affirmations according to a valid criterion: The enim is a connective, which does not belong to
the structure of consecration; of the words following sanguis meus he says this:
ea quae sequuntur, sunt quaedam determinationes praedicati, idest sanguinis christi;
unde pertinent ad integritatem locutionis
In other words, they do belong to the substance of the consecration of the blood and are
necessary. But this does not make him a proponent of literalism: in the Eastern rights the
formulae differ.
Therefore the first article of question 78 is not a simple affirmation of what Omlor calls shortformism; but neither can the third article be called an affirmation of long-formism. St.
Thomas is saying that the sacramental form is greater than the mere letter, that by saying that
the form is the words of Christ one is not referring to the mere letter, or to mere abstract
concepts.
Omlor cites the consecration form of the bread from this same work De Sacramentis

"De Sacramentis" of the Pseudo-Ambrose


150. Interestingly, the form given in De Sacramentis, dating from about the year
400, does not say "for you," but instead says simply "for many," which, of course,
conveys the essential signification of the members of the Mystical Body. "Take
ye all and eat of this: for this is My Body, which is broken for many (pro multis)."
(Source: Duchesne, op. cit, p 178).

He does not cite the form the consecration of the wine which was simply hic est enim sanguis
meus. Given his long-formism he would have to hold that this form was invalid or incorrectly
reported.
Msgr. J. F. McCarthy, a theologian who has discussed Omlors ideas over a long period of
time, writes as follows:
The opinion of St. Thomas Aquinas as to whether the following words are necessary for
the validity of the form is, in the expression of St. Alphonsus Liguori, "not very clear." St.
Thomas says, in S. Th., III, q. 78, art. 3, ad 1 and equivalently in some other places (no.
11 above) that the following words "are essential to the Blood, as It is consecrated in this
sacrament; and, therefore, it is behooving that they be of the substance of the form." But to

conclude from this statement that he meant all of the following words with no room for
variation would, in my estimation, be uncharacteristic of his method. First, he does not
analyze the various phrases in the following words to show why each of them is necessary
for the validity of the form. Secondly, contrary to his treatment of Baptism, he would be
ignoring completely the variations in the accepted Greek-rite forms for the consecration of
the Sacred Species. And in this reading he would also be taking for granted that the
liturgical forms have been exactly the same for all valid Latin-rite Masses since the time of
the Apostles, even though he knew that they varied considerably in the De Sacramentis of
St. Ambrose, which he had before his eyes as he wrote these articles (no. 16 above). For
their own reasons, many Thomistshave concluded that St. Thomas probably did not
hold the opinion that any of the following words are necessary for the validity of the
form, while other Thomists, such as the Salmanticenses and Maurice de la Taille, have
held the teaching of St. Thomas to be that at least some words "expressly signifying the
Passion of Christ" or that the action "be designated as propitiatory" are required for
validity (no. 14 above). However, neither of these interpretations of the opinion of St.
Thomas contains the implication that the ICEL rendering of "for you and for all"
would invalidate the Mass.
The Sacramental Validity of For You and for All Men, Living
Tradition, No. 89, September 2000
Msgr. McCarthy in this article correctly sees that Omlors invalidity arguments divide into
two 1) That the purported substitution of the sufficiency truth for the efficacy truth within the
consecration invalidates the sacrament and 2) That any deviation from the long form would
invalidate the consecration (though he forgets that he himself permits deviatons as long as
they conform to a unique type or that the variations existing in the diverse rites were
instituted by Our Lord severally to the several apostles at the beginning of the a ancient rites
according to the theory of Raymond Capisuccus).
Michael Duddy, arguing against Omlor, holds that St. Thomas was a long-former, but that the
Catechism of the Council of Trent affirms the short-form thesis. I think that it is absurd to
hold that Trent departs from the Eucharistic doctrine of Thomas. Both Thomas and the
Roman Catechism are neither long-formers nor short-formers.
Omlor tells us that Pius V asked the passage of Cajetan to be stricken in which he interprets
St. Thomas as a short-former, but this does not necessarily mean that he is in fact disagreeing
with Cajetan, or in what sense he is disagreeing. (He could have asked that these passages be
removed for pastoral rather than strictly doctrinal reasons.)
Omlor tells that the short-form/long form controversy has not been decided by the Church.
Thus in a certain way, he sees the problem, but I dont think he sees the solution. Furthermore
I do not understand how he can be sure of the invalidity thesis, making use of it to affirm his
as sedevacantism, and at the same time recognize that the Church has never decided this
question.
But for me there is an answer to all this. The rest of the form of the wine consecration can
belong to the substance of the form(ula) of consecration without excluding the possibility of
other formulae which are valid and approved by the Church.
Omlor is forced to admit this too. But then he passes over to the other extreme: the letter is no
longer the unique criterion, but the meaning becomes the unique criterion (but this, also, goes
against what St. Thomas says with the author of De Sacramentis, that the form consists of the
words of Christ).

The form of the sacrament of the Eucharist is unique, yet this does not prevent its being
expressed in different formulae in the different rites; neither does it prevent these rites from
having had the historical evolution regarding their accidental elements which evolution is
established by the facts of history.
Furthermore, the sense of the Eucharistic formula is determined within its context. The
Church has always taught that the mere physical reproduction of the words of consecration
does not suffice for the validity of a mass; a priest must intend to do what the Church does.
But this teaching helps us to understand what is meant by saying that the form of the
Sacrament is the words of Christ, and that integralism/literalism must be abandoned.
i) Polisemy
St. Thomas argues that the duality of for you and for many, and the resulting polisemy is
something necessary or at least fitting to the form of consecration. Why should this be the
case?
St. Thomas is arguing that this combination is not extra unnecessary verbiage? Why not? The
answer it seems to me is clear. The Eucharist has a duality which defines it: the duality of
Sacrament and Sacrifice. This duality specifies the Sacrament of the Eucharist: it is the only
sacrament which is both Sacrament and Sacrifice, and this duality is referred to by the
combination of the words for you (who receive the sacrament) and for many (for whom it is
offered). This duality is also and above all referred to by the fact of the Double Consecration,
which is the heart of the Sacramental form: the form of the Sacrament is the Double
Consecration, with the consecration of the wine representing in a special way the sacrificial
aspect of the Eucharist. The distinction of sufficiency and efficacy manifests this same
duality. This is the reason why the removal of the aspect of sufficiency (and not its
inclusion!) in the form of consecration would deliver a mortal blow to the form of the
sacrament
The duality which constitutes the Eucharist, is its form, is expressed also in the notion of
Covenant. In instituting the Eucharist Our Lord instituted the New and Eternal Covenant.
The Covenant is established by the Eucharistic act which is an act of thanksgiving. The act of
thanksgiving surpasses in some way that for which one is thankful. It surpasses it, but it also
supposes it.
In the Post Tridentine Church it has been falsely suggested that the idea of the mass as
sacrifice (the Catholic idea) is opposed to the idea of the mass as thanksgiving (sacrifice of
praise) (which is held to be Protestant and false). But in fact thanksgiving and sacrifice
coincide in the sacrifice of the mass.
When the Church remembers the sacrifice of the Cross, it gives thanks; giving thanks it
perpetuates the same sacrifice. Mass and cross cannot be separated.
Thanksgiving is the form of the Eucharist.
I would indeed affirm that efficacy reflects the sacrificial aspect ot the Eucharist, and that
efficacy is in a certain way the more important of the two aspects.
Does this mean that the sacrifice of the mass is only offered for some and not all? No. Many
expresses the field of efficacy indeed, but it is not opposed to all, it is simply different than
all. Many is opposed to few, it expresses the (super)abundance of efficacy. Many e expresses
abundance. It expresses the goodness of God, and rather than any limitation of Gods infinite
goodness.

The aspect of efficacy (superabundance) is expressed particularly in the consecration of the


wine, just as sufficiency is expressed in the consecration of the bread. The Precious Blood of
Our Lord is poured out, and from the side of Jesus Living Water will flow. The symbol of
Blood being poured out is similar to the symbol of the Bread being broken, and multiplied.
Both speak of efficacy/superabundance One should not forget the whole context of the words,
and the action of which they form part.
The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves achieves its full Eucharistic significance in the
light of a Eucharistic efficacy understood as superabundance: just as the loaves and fishes are
multiplied and given unto the nourishment of the People of God, so is the Eucharist
supeabundantly efficacious unto the building up of the body of Christ, whose fullness will not
be achieved before the coming of the Eschatological Kingdom
The many may be understood to be limited by human collaboration/non-collaboration with
grace; but this does not remove the sense in which efficacy, as superabundance, passes
beyond the mark of sufficiency. Passing beyond the mark of sufficiency, it contains, affirms,
guarantees the truth that Jesus died for all men, and realized the redemption of all. The aspects
of efficacy and sufficiency are co-present in the sacrament.
The superabundance denoted by many, and expressed in the distinction of efficacy and
sufficiency, is rooted in the Holy Spirit, Dominum et Vivificanten, the archetype of all life, the
Living Water given by Christ.10

10

Pope Benedict uses the striking image of nuclear fision to describe the superabundance at
the heart of the Eucharist:
Die Eucharistie zieht uns in den Hingabeakt Jesu hinein. Wir empfangen nicht nur
statisch den inkarnierten Logos, sondern werden in die Dynamik seiner Hingabe
hineingenommen. ( Er zieht uns in sich hinein. Die Wesensverwandlung von Brot
und Wein in seinen Leib und sein Blut bringt in die Schpfung das Prinzip einer
tiefgreifenden Vernderung ein, wie eine Art Kernspaltung - um ein uns heute
wohlbekanntes Bild zu benutzen -, die ins Innerste des Seins getragen worden ist, eine
Vernderung, die dazu bestimmt ist, einen Proze der Verwandlung der Wirklichkeit
auszulsen, dessen letztes Ziel die Verklrung der gesamten Welt ist bis zu jenem
Zustand, in dem Gott alles in allem sein wird (vgl. 1 Kor 15,28).
Pope Beneddict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 11.
Another such image is given in the following objection and response from the Summa:
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod haec non sit conveniens forma consecrationis vini,
hic est calix sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti, mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro
multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Sicut enim panis convertitur in corpus
Christi ex vi consecrationis, ita et vinum in sanguinem Christi, sicut ex praedictis patet.
Sed in forma consecrationis panis ponitur in recto corpus Christi, nec aliquid aliud additur.
Inconvenienter ergo in hac forma ponitur sanguis Christi in obliquo, et additur calix in
recto, cum dicitur, hic est calix sanguinis mei.

Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, cum dicitur, hic est calix sanguinis mei, est locutio
figurativa, et potest dupliciter intelligi. Uno modo, secundum metonymiam, quia ponitur

Omlor would accuse those who do not follow his conclusions to the blind following of the
Post Vatican II Church. He claims to be raising his protesting voice at once in the name of
rationality, and in the name of what the Church has always taught in regard to both ow
which he claims to be the rightful spokesman and prophet. But it is his interpretation of for
many which lacks evidence, and is not rooted in the tradition of the Church, in spite of his
efforts to demonstrate the contrary.
j) Following the Pope blindly?
Should one accept anything and everything from the Pope? Should one accept everything
blindly? No, one shouldnt. But this does not settle the question. And it does not remove the
role of the Magisterium and the right of the Church to legislate in liturgical matters.
k) The Res sacramenti should not be present in the form merely as one element among
others.
Omlor holds correctly that the res sacramenti which is the unity of the Church must be
expressed in the sacramental form. I would add that it should not be, as it were, hiding in a
corner of the sacramental form merely as one element among others (which is the case if one
follows Omlors explanations) but it should be rather at the very center of it.

continens pro contento, ut sit sensus, hic est sanguis meus contentus in calice. De quo fit
hic mentio, quia sanguis Christi in hoc sacramento consecratur inquantum est potus
fidelium, quod non importatur in ratione sanguinis, et ideo oportuit hic designari per vas
huic usui accommodatum. Alio modo potest intelligi secundum metaphoram, prout per
calicem similitudinarie intelligitur passio Christi, quae ad similitudinem calicis inebriat,
secundum illud Thren. III, replevit me amaritudinibus, inebriavit me absynthio, unde et
ipse dominus passionem suam calicem nominat, Matth. XXVI, dicens, transeat a me calix
iste; ut sit sensus, hic est calix passionis meae. De qua fit mentio in sanguine seorsum a
corpore consecrato, quia separatio sanguinis a corpore fuit per passionem.
S.T. III, q. 78, a. 3
Here St. Thomas clearly rejects what Omlor and Father Brey maintain when they reject
polysemy in sacramental formulae, making it equivalent to ambiguity. St. Thomas tells us that
there is a figurative expression here, and that therefore it may be understood in two ways:
potest dupliciter intelligi.) A figurative expression (locutio figurativa) may be understood in
two ways, either according to metonymy or according to metaphor.
St. Thomas is not speaking here simply of what accidentally and inexplicably pertains to this
figurative expression, but of what pertains to figurative expression as such. The Eucharist is
symbolic in the highest sense of the word, not merely symbolic. If it were merely symbolic, it
would be ambiguous, i.e., it would result in confusion.
Here we have the Kernspaltung of Pope Benedict in its linguistic expression. The
superabundance of efficacy is expressed in the consecration of the wine: the chalice
inebriates.

l) How the res sacramenti is expressed


The unity of the Church, the res sacramenti, is expressed in the very substance of the Double
Consecration. Unity is expressed by Duality, becaise the Father is totally and uniquely
expressed by the Son. One is expressed by Two. The unity of the Church lies in its being of
God (who is Father), and it is expressed by its being of the Son (who is Jesus). The Double
Consecration shows the origin and thus the unity of the Church. It shows us the Church as one
with Christ, who is Sacrament of the Father.
The Eucharist shows us dynamically the origin of the Church in Christ, in showing her origin
in Christ, her flowing from the side of Christ, it show us clearly the unity of the Church.
Being of Christ, She is of the Father.
To say this is to make use of the terminology of Vatican II, but the theology of Vatican II is in
harmony with the Eucharistic and sacramental theology of St. Thomas.)
One can argue that it would have been better to preserve the Biblical expression
many. This does not mean that one supports Omlors arguments for questioning the validity of
the existing approved translations using for all. Pope Benedict XVI has now determined that
for many must be restored in new translations. This does not make of him a follower of
Omlors thesis.

2. For whom did Christ die and for whom is the Eucharist offered: the relation
Church-world.
a) The simple violation of the words of Christ
A first approach, the prima facie approach to Omlors invalidity thesis is to understand it
simply as this. The translation in for all changes the words of our Lord. These words are
necessary for the validity of the Sacrament. Therefore the change puts in jeopardy the validity
of the Sacrament.
It is clear that Our Lords words ought to be respected.The change to a more faithful
rendering of pro multis which Pope Benedict has asked for through the letter of Cardinal
Arinze is in fact an expression of the desire to respect Our Lords words.
But the Church did and in an important way does still approve the translations in for all, at
least insofar as the Church has affirmed their validity. The Church has maintained their use
provisionally until a more faithful translation is realized.
The texts were duly confirmed. Their confirmation meant something and continues to mean
something.
But it also means something that the Church was capable of recapacitating in some way, and
realizing that those texts she had approved were faulty. We should not be afraid of that.
Omlor does not recognize properly the weight of Church approval and Church use as
argument in favour of the validity of a sacramental liturgy. Omlor holds that the Church is
bound to follow a fixed text in a fundamentalist way, which implies that She does not really
know what Christ meant.The Church knows and must know what Christ meant. Otherwise
she could not do what Christ did.

It is not thus true that Omlors invalidity thesis is about the simple changing of linguistic
expressions. It is also about the meaning of the expressions. Omlor claims that the meaning
of the texts in questionthat contradicts what Christ meant.
b. ) For whom did Christ die?
A first question is: for whom did Christ die? For all men or just for some?
Omlor observes correctly in his taped response to my objections regarding the text cited
above from Benedict XIV that Benedict XIV probably wanted to affirm the universal sense
of many because of the Jansenist controversy which he was also dealing with. I would here
like to present several Jansenist tenets specifically condemned by the Church:

Errores Jansenistarum
4. Christus dedit semetipsum pro nobis oblationem Deo, non pro solis electis, sed
pro omnibus et solis fidelibus
5. Pagani, Iudaei, haeretici aliique generis nullum omnino accipiunt a Jesu Christo
influxum: adeoque hinc recte inferes, in illis esse voluntatem nudam et inermem
sine omni gratia sufficienti
Decr. S. Officiii 7. Dec. 1690
D.S. 2305
Errores Cornelii Jansenii de gratia
5. Semipelagianum est dicere, Christum pro omnibus omnino hominibus mortuum
esse aut sanguinem fudisse.
D.S. 2005
Censura Propos. 5: falsam, temerariam, scandalosam, et intellecto eo sensu, ut
Christus pro salute dumtaxat praedestinatorum mortuus sit, impiam, blasphemam,
contumeliosam, divinae pietati derogantem et haereticam
Const. "Cum occasione" ad univ. fideles, 31 Maii 1653
D.S. 2006

Omlor affirms clearly that he is aware of and accepts the affirmations of the Church regarding
Jansenism, but if this is so, what is his objection to the presence of the translation of multis as
all in the words of consecration?
c) Omlor maintains that the Res Sacramenti, which must be expressed in the form the
Sacrament, is not expressed in the controverted forumula.
Omlors invalidity thesis is not based simply in a conviction that the Latin text of the
consecratory formula of the mass of the Roman Rite ought to be respected in translation. It is
based on the conviction that the change in question perverts and invalidates the form of the
sacrament. The res sacramenti which must be expressed in the sacramental form is the unity
of the Church. Omlor believes that this res sacramenti is expressed in multis and not
expressed in all. Something is left out that must be included, and something is made present

that doesnt belong (though it may be true), and through this change the sacrament is
(probably) invalidated.
d. Is the res sacramenti in some relation to all men?
A first observation: Many does not literally signify the Church. Many signifies multiplicity
and not unity. Many can be considered as the terminus a quo of unity. One speaks of a body
of many members, from many grains of wheat one wheaten host. This symbolism does have a
part in the symbolism of the Eucharist. But in this symbolism the universal aspect is also
present: from the many nations (that is all the nations) one new People of God is formed. If
we believe that the Church comes from or is built up in the Eucharist we affirm at the same
time and do not deny the universal (Catholic) dimension of the Church. One cannot divide the
one from the other, yet this is what Omlor seems to insist on doing. The Church is composed
of members from the entire world, the church has a universal mission of salvation, the Church
is sign and instrument of union with God and of the unity of all mankind, as the Second
Vatican Council affirms as a fundamental teaching:
Lumen gentium cum sit Christus, haec Sacrosancta Synodus, in Spiritu Sancto
congregata, omnes homines claritate eius, super faciem Ecclesiae resplendente,
illuminare vehementer exoptat, omni creaturae Evangelium annuntiando. Cum
autem Eclesia sit in Christo veluti sacramentum seu signum et instrumentum
intimae cum Deo unionis totiusque generis humani unitatis, naturam
missionemque suam universalem, praecedentium Conciliorum argumento instans,
pressius fidelibus suis et mundo universo declarare intendit. Condiciones huius
temporis huic Ecclesiae officio urgentiorem vim addunt, ut nempe homines
cuncti, variis hodie vinculis socialibus, technicis, culturalibus arctius coniuncti,
plenam unitatem in Christo consequantur.
Constitutio Dogmatica de Ecclesia: Lumen Gentium, par. 1
If this is so, how can the mass be for the Church without being at the same time for mankind?
The Church is unique, unique in its relation to God and in its relation to mankind, and there is
as Omlor rightly feels an essential relationship between the Eucharist and the Church. Yet
Omlor, as we see in the following text, would seem to belittle the essential relation between
the Church and mankind, and thus the relation between the Eucharist and mankind:
What is wrong with"For All men"
Since "all men" do not, never, have, and never will belong to Christ's Mystical
Body, it is evident that these words, substituted in the form, cannot possibly
designate the res sacramenti. On the contrary, they contain a false signification:
they are in opposition to the special grace of the Eucharist. "For all men" works
aginst the purpose for which Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist, namely the
unity of His Mystical Body. As long as these words are present, mutilating the
form, the Sacrament and the Mass must, in our opinion, be considered invalid, or
at least very probably invalid.
Does the Holy Eucharist strengthen the bond of union (does such a bond
exist?) among all men? Does the recipient of the Holy Eucharist solidify his
spiritual union with all men? With the enemies of Christ? With those who attack
the Mystical Body? The Holy Eucharist that Christ gave us strengthens no such
bond! It "has no effect," says St. Thomas, "except in those who are united with
this sacrament through faith and charity.Hence in the Canon of the Mass no
prayer is made for them who are outside the pale of the Church." But now

EVERYONE outside the pale of the Church gets a mention in the very
consecration form!
Sacraments effect what they signify and signify what they effect. SO IF THE
SIGNIFICATION IS DESTROYED, THE EFFECT IS ALSO DESTROYED. In
that the words "for all men" destroy, nullify and oppose the signification of the
grace of the Sacrament, they also oppose the very grace itself of the Sacrament.
These words, then in effect, attack the unity of the Mystical Body. They deny
the doctrine of the Mystical Body. What a mockery they make of the definition
of Trent that the Holy Eucharisst is "a symbol of that one body of which He is
the Head and to which He wished us to be united as members by the closest
bond of faith, hope and charity" In Our Lord's discourse on His Mystical
Body, His farewll address to His apostles, which he gave just after instituting
this Most Holy SacramentJudas Iscariot was absent, by the way, having
already gone but to betray Him--, He said: "I pray for them: I pray not for the
world, but for them whom Thou hast given Me because they art Thine.
The solemn teaching of the Magisterium, given through the lips of the Supreme
Pontiff Leo XIII: "THAT FORM CONSECUENTLY CANNOT BE
CONSIDERED APT OR SUFFICIENT FOR THE SACRAMENT WHICH
OMITS THAT WHICH IT OUGHT ESSENTIALLY TO SIGNIFY." What then of
a 'form" which actually destroys what it must essentially signify?

e) The Church and mankind


Omlor asks here does such a bond exist? The text from Lumen Gentium cited above affirms
that such a bond does exist. To it we can add the following text from Gaudium et Spes:
23. (De Christo Novo Homine). Reapse nonnisi in mysterio Verbi incarnati
mysterium hominis vere clarescit. Adam enim, primus homo, erat figura futuri,
scilicet Christi Domini. Christus, novissimus Adam, in ipsa revelatione mysteril
Patris Eiusque amoris, hominem ipsi homini plene manifestat eique altissimam
eius vocationem patefacit. Nil igitur mirum in Eo praedictas veritates suum
invenire fontem atque attingere fastigium.
Qui est "imago Dei invisibilis", Ipse est homo perfectus, qui Adae fjliis
similitudinem divinam, inde a primo peccato deformatam, restituit. Cum in Eo
natura humana assumpta, non perempta sit, eo ipso etiam in nobis ad sublimem
dignitatem evecta est. Ipse enim, Filius Dei, incarnatione sua cum omni
homine quodammodo Se univit. Humanis manibus opus fecit, humana mente
cogitavit, humana voluntate egit, humano corde dilexit. Natus de Maria
Virgine, vere unus ex nostris factus est, in omnibus nobis similis excepto
peccato.
Agnus innocens, sanguine suo libere effuso, vitam nobis meruit, in Ipsoque Deus
nos Sibi et inter nos reconcillavit et a servitute diaboli ac peccati eripuit, ita ut
unusquisque nostrum cum Apostolo dicere possit: Fillus Dei "dilexit me et tradidit
semetipsum pro me". Pro nobis patiendo non solummodo exemplum praebuit ut
sequamur vestigia Eius, sed et viam instauravit, quam dum sequimur, vita et mors
sanctificantur novumque sensum accipiunt.
Christianus autem homo, conformis imagini Filii factus qui est Primogenitus in
multis fratribus, "primitias Spiritus" accipit, quibus capax fit legem novam amoris

adimplendi. Per hunc Spiritum, qui est ,pignus haereditatis", totus homo interius
restauratur, usque ad "redemptionem corporis": "Si Spiritus eius qui suscitavit
Iesum a mortuis habitat in vobis, qui suscitavit Iesum Christum a mortuis
vivificabit et mortalia corpora vestra propter inhabitantem Spiritum Elus In
vobis". Christianum certe urgent necessitas et officium contra malum per multas
tribulationes certandi necnon mortem patiendi; sed mysterio paschali consociatus,
Christi morti configuratus, ad resurrectionem spe roboratus occurret.
Quod non tantum pro christifidelibus valet, sed et pro omnibus hominibus bonae
voluntatis in quorum corde gratia invisibili modo operatur. Cum enim pro
omnibus mortuus sit Christus cumque vocatio hominis ultima revera una sit,
scilicet divina, tenere debemus Spiritum Sanctum cunctis possibilitatem offerre ut,
modo Deo cognito, huic paschali mysterio consocientur.
Tale et tantum est hominis mysterium, quod per Revelationem christlanam
credentibus illucescit. Per Christum et in Christo, igitur, illuminatur aenigma
doloris et mortis quod extra Evangelium nos obrult. Christus resurrexit, morte sua
mortem destruens, vitamque nobis largitus est, ut, filii in Fillo, clamemus in
Spiritu: Abba, Pater!
This important passage is cited by John Paul II in Redemptor Hominis and elsewhere. Omlor
observes that in the Council there was much talk about "all men" and this is true. It is a note
of the Council, for historical as well as doctrinal reasons: it is a sign of a doctrinal
development, but a development clearly in continuity with the fundamental and perennial
teachings of the Church. Just the same and for the sake of refuting Omlor's ideas within his
own logic and principles I would like to present a passage from St. Thomas where he asks
the question: Is Christ the head of all men? And Let us examine the ecclesiology of St.
Thomas in this passage

AG1
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod christus non sit caput omnium hominum.
Caput enim non habet relationem nisi ad membra sui corporis. Infideles autem
nullo modo sunt membra ecclesiae, quae est corpus christi, ut dicitur Ephes. I.
Ergo christus non est caput omnium hominum.
AG2
Praeterea, apostolus dicit, Ephes. V, quod christus tradidit semetipsum pro
ecclesia, ut ipse sibi exhiberet ecclesiam gloriosam, non habentem maculam aut
rugam aut aliquid huiusmodi.
Sed multi sunt, etiam fideles, in quibus invenitur macula aut ruga peccati. Ergo
nec erit omnium fidelium christus caput.
AG3
Praeterea, sacramenta veteris legis comparantur ad christum sicut umbra ad
corpus, ut dicitur Coloss. II.
Sed patres veteris testamenti sacramentis illis suo tempore serviebant, secundum
illud Heb. VIII, exemplari et umbrae deserviunt caelestium. Non ergo pertinebant
ad corpus christi. Et ita christus non est caput omnium hominum.

SC
Sed contra est quod dicitur I Tim. IV, salvator omnium est, et maxime fidelium.
Et I Ioan. II, ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris, non autem pro nostris tantum,
sed etiam pro totius mundi. Salvare autem homines, aut propitiatorem esse pro
peccatis eorum, competit christo secundum quod est caput.
Ergo christus est caput omnium hominum.
CO
Respondeo dicendum quod haec est differentia inter corpus hominis naturale et
corpus ecclesiae mysticum, quod membra corporis naturalis sunt omnia simul,
membra autem corporis mystici non sunt omnia simul, neque quantum ad esse
naturae, quia corpus ecclesiae constituitur ex hominibus qui fuerunt a principio
mundi usque ad finem ipsius; neque etiam quantum ad esse gratiae, quia eorum
etiam qui sunt in uno tempore, quidam gratia carent postmodum habituri, aliis
eam iam habentibus. Sic igitur membra corporis mystici non solum accipiuntur
secundum quod sunt in actu, sed etiam secundum quod sunt in potentia.
Quaedam tamen sunt in potentia quae nunquam reducuntur ad actum, quaedam
vero quae quandoque reducuntur ad actum, secundum hunc triplicem gradum,
quorum unus est per fidem, secundus per caritatem viae, tertius per fruitionem
patriae.
Sic ergo dicendum est quod, accipiendo generaliter secundum totum tempus
mundi, christus est caput omnium hominum, sed secundum diversos gradus.
Primo enim et principaliter est caput eorum qui actu uniuntur sibi per gloriam.
Secundo, eorum qui actu uniuntur sibi per caritatem. Tertio, eorum qui actu
uniuntur sibi per fidem. Quarto vero, eorum qui sibi uniuntur solum potentia
nondum ad actum reducta, quae tamen est ad actum reducenda, secundum
divinam praedestinationem. Quinto vero, eorum qui in potentia sibi sunt uniti
quae nunquam reducetur ad actum, sicut homines in hoc mundo viventes qui non
sunt praedestinati. Qui tamen, ex hoc mundo recedentes, totaliter desinunt esse
membra christi, quia iam nec sunt in potentia ut christo uniantur.
RA1
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod illi qui sunt infideles, etsi actu non sint de
ecclesia, sunt tamen in potentia. Quae quidem potentia in duobus fundatur, primo
quidem et principaliter, in virtute christi, quae sufficiens est ad salutem totius
humani generis; secundario, in arbitrii libertate.
RA2
Ad secundum dicendum quod esse ecclesiam gloriosam, non habentem maculam
neque rugam, est ultimus finis, ad quem perducimur per passionem christi. Unde
hoc erit in statu patriae, non autem in statu viae, in quo, si dixerimus quia
peccatum non habemus, nosmetipsos seducimus, ut dicitur I Ioan. I.
Sunt tamen quaedam, scilicet mortalia, quibus carent illi qui sunt membra christi
per actualem unionem caritatis. Qui vero his peccatis subduntur, non sunt membra
christi actualiter, sed potentialiter, nisi forte imperfecte, per fidem informem, quae
unit christo secundum quid et non simpliciter ut scilicet per christum homo
assequatur vitam gratiae; fides enim sine operibus mortua est, ut dicitur Iac. II.
Percipiunt tamen tales a christo quendam actum vitae, qui est credere, sicut si
membrum mortificatum moveatur aliqualiter ab homine.

RA3
Ad tertium dicendum quod sancti patres non insistebant sacramentis legalibus
tanquam quibusdam rebus, sed sicut imaginibus et umbris futurorum. Idem autem
est motus in imaginem, inquantum est imago, et in rem, ut patet per philosophum,
in libro de memoria et reminiscentia.
Et ideo antiqui patres, servando legalia sacramenta, ferebantur in christum per
fidem et dilectionem eandem qua et nos in ipsum ferimur. Et ita patres antiqui
pertinebant ad idem corpus ecclesiae ad quod nos pertinemus.

ST III q.8 a.3


Paticularly noteworthy here perhaps is the argument presented under sed contra: Salvare
autem homines, aut propitiatorem esse pro peccatis eorum, competit christo secundum quod
est caput. Ergo christus est caput omnium hominum. The major premise is provided by two
scriptural citations where it is affirmed that Christ (God) "is the Savior of all men and
especially of the failtful" (1 Timothy 4) and that "He is a propitiation for our sins, but not for
ours only but also for those of the whole world" (1 John 2). This resembles the "soteriological
argument" used by the early Church against the first christological errors: what was not
assumed was not saved. To be the Savior of all Christ must be the head of all. If Christ did not
establish a bond with all men (through the Incarnation, as the text of Gaudium et Spes
affirms) then all men could not have been redeemed. But this is de fide. Therefore Christ did
establish a bond with all men, as their head. If one doesn't affirm this one has not understood
the true sense of the Incarnation. At the center of history, "in the fullness of time" Christ
established a bond with all men, those who would reject him and those who would accept
Him. This is why Saint Thomas can say in his response: Sic igitur membra corporis mystici
non solum accipiuntur secundum quod sunt in actu, sed etiam secundum quod sunt in
potentia.Christ, at the Right Hand of the Father continues interceding for men. The bond with
all men continues because the Incarnation has not ceased.
The Biblical image of Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church is perhaps the most convincing
image of the note of exclusivity and fidelity in Christ's love for the Church. This is a
tremendous reality, yet this reality does not nullify this other truth: that Christ, by becoming
man, and by founding the Church as universal sacrament of salvation has associated himself
with all men in such a way as to make it impossible to pray for the Church without praying
for them. The universality of salvation and the faithful love of the Bridegroom are not in
opposition: they express the same reality. The prayer of Christ at the Last Supper, at
Gethsemane, on the cross, and in the sacrifice of the mass a prayer for the Church and the
same time a prayer for all men, inasmuch as Christ lovingly obeyed his Father and offered
himself for all; from His side came forth the Church as universal Sacrament of Salvation. If
Our Lord prayed on the Cross and prays in the Eucharist for all men, which he did and does
do. (He prayed also and expressly for his enemies, he prayed for their salvation, and their
salvation is in the Church: extra ecclesia nulla salus. It seems to me highly illogical to
oppose an orientation to the Church to an orientation to mankind. This doesn't mean that one
confuses the Church with mankind and our interpretation maintains that both conceptual
elements can be and in fact are in the words of consecration: the aspect of sufficiency and the
aspect of efficacy; the sacramental aspect (sacrament of the living) and the sacrificial aspect
(propitiation for our sins); foretaste of final salvation and re-presentation (not just notional but
real) of the redemption achieved on the cross. The Church has not only actual members but
potential members and she prays also for those in the mass that they too make come to the

faith and to the Eternal Life which consists of the knowledge of the one true God and He
whom he has sent, Jesus Christ.

This universality of the Church, does not cause any blurring of distinctions if it is properly
understood. Universality is one of the marks of the Church. There is no refusal here of the
necessity of free human collaboration with grace, no "universalism", there is no denial of the
necessity of grace, no Pelagianism.
Omlor remains behind such deeper theological reflections, remaining at the level of a
superficial patchwork of concepts in the midst of which he can confidently inform us for
instance that:
Jews, Freemasons, Moslems, Hindus, tribal animists in Africa, members of non-Catholic
sects, pagans, apostates, infidels, atheists, etc. -- for example -- are not members of Christ's
Mystical Body.
The Robber Church, p.307

f) For whom is the Eucharist?


The concept of "an elect" is not foreign to the Eucharist. Beati qui ad cenam agni vocati sunt.
In the Bible election has an historical aspect as well as an eschatological aspect. Within
history the chosen one is he who is called to participate in God's plan of salvation for men.
Think of the most crucial figures in salvation history: Abraham, Mary, Paul. Jesus Christ is
the prototype of the elect, Jesus Christ, the chosen one of God. Jesus Christ won our
redemption by his free obedience to his Father. "No one takes my life from Me" God wills
the salvation of all, but salvation is dependent on freedom, and if one reflects this is not
contradictory: God wills also that the entire man be saved, man in his deepest dimension, man
in his freedom. Salvation is thus not and cannot be automatic. Salvation is nevertheless our
final destination. At the end of history (personal and collective) the chosen ones will enter
into the joy of the Father. Omlor associates at one point the concept of the elect with God's
justice, but it should be associated above all with God's infinite and eternal love. God chooses
out of love. God's choosing is grace. There is a distinction of redemption and salvation This
distinction is not maintained by reducing and minimizing the content of one term or the other.
The Eucarist as sacrament is nourishment for the living, not for all indiscriminately. In the
words of consecration of the reformed liturgy is pro vobis present in the consecration of the
Body and pro vobis et pro multis in the consecration of the Blood. This expression pro vobis
seems to refer to those who partake of the sacrament, the living members of the Church. This
is in accord with the interpretation of St. Thomas:
Dicit autem signanter pro vobis et pro multis, quia hoc sacramentum valet in
remissionem peccatorum sumentibus per modum sacramenti, quod notatur signanter,
cum dicitur pro vobis, quibus dixerat accipite. Valet etiam per modum sacrificii
multis non sumentibus, pro quibus offertur; quod significatur cum dicitur: et pro
multis.

Super I ad Cor. 11

SC
Sed contra est quod in celebratione huius sacramenti fit pro multis aliis deprecatio.
Quod frustra fieret nisi hoc sacramentum aliis prodesset. Ergo hoc sacramentum non
solum sumentibus prodest.

CO
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut prius dictum est, hoc sacramentum non solum est
sacramentum, sed etiam est sacrificium. Inquantum enim in hoc sacramento
repraesentatur passio christi, qua christus obtulit se hostiam deo, ut dicitur Ephes. V,
habet rationem sacrificii, inquantum vero in hoc sacramento traditur invisibiliter
gratia sub visibili specie, habet rationem sacramenti. Sic igitur hoc sacramentum
sumentibus quidem prodest per modum sacramenti et per modum sacrificii, quia pro
omnibus sumentibus offertur, dicitur enim in canone Missae, quotquot ex hac altaris
participatione sacrosanctum corpus et sanguinem filii tui sumpserimus, omni
benedictione caelesti et gratia repleamur.
Sed aliis, qui non sumunt, prodest per modum sacrificii, inquantum pro salute eorum
offertur, unde et in canone Missae dicitur, memento, domine, famulorum
famularumque tuarum, pro quibus tibi offerimus, vel qui tibi offerunt, hoc
sacrificium laudis, pro se suisque omnibus, pro redemptione animarum suarum, pro
spe salutis et incolumitatis suae.
Et utrumque modum dominus exprimit, dicens, Matth. XXVI, qui pro vobis, scilicet
sumentibus, et pro multis aliis, effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.

ST III q. 79 a. 7
Ad octavum dicendum quod sanguis passionis christi non solum habet efficaciam in
Iudaeis electis, quibus exhibitus est sanguis veteris testamenti, sed etiam in
gentilibus; nec solum in sacerdotibus, qui hoc efficiunt sacramentum, vel aliis qui
sumunt, sed etiam in illis pro quibus offertur.Et ideo signanter dicit, pro vobis
Iudaeis, et pro multis, scilicet gentilibus, vel, pro vobis manducantibus, et pro multis
pro quibus offertur.
ST III q. 78 a. 3

g) For whom the sacrifice of the mass offered?

In the Summa St. Thomas gives a twofold explantation of the words pro vobis et pro multis:
one based on the distinction and the summing of Jews and Gentiles, the other on the
distinction and the summing of of those who partake of the sacrament and those for whom it
is offered.
Et ideo signanter dicit, pro vobis Iudaeis, et pro multis, scilicet gentilibus, vel, pro vobis
manducantibus, et pro multis pro quibus offertur.

Here we speak of the second of these aspects.


In ST III q. 79 a.3? St Thomas asks if this sacrament has effects only in those who partake of
it. His answer is no, because it also has effect in those for whom it is offered. The sacrament
of the Eucharist is different than the other sacraments because it is also a sacrifice.
Here we can ask this crucial question: For whom is the sacrifice of the mass offered?

The answer:

h) The mass is offered for the members of the Church

S.T. III q. 79 a. 7

AG2
Praeterea, effectus huius sacramenti est adeptio gratiae et gloriae, et remissio culpae, ad minus
venialis. Si ergo hoc sacramentum haberet effectum in aliis quam in sumentibus, posset
contingere quod aliquis adipisceretur gloriam et gratiam et remissionem culpae absque
actione et passione propria, alio offerente vel sumente hoc sacramentum

RA2
Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut passio christi prodest quidem omnibus ad remissionem
culpae et adeptionem gratiae et gloriae, sed effectum non habet nisi in illis qui passioni christi
coniunguntur per fidem et caritatem; ita etiam hoc sacrificium, quod est memoriale dominicae
passionis, non habet effectum nisi in illis qui coniunguntur huic sacramento per fidem et
caritatem.
Unde et Augustinus dicit, ad renatum, quis offerat corpus christi nisi pro his qui sunt
membra christi? unde et in canone Missae non oratur pro his qui sunt extra ecclesiam.
Illis tamen prodest plus vel minus, secundum modum devotionis eorum.

We now turn to the text of St. Augustine which St. Thomas refers to:

ANOTHER ERROR OF VICTOR'S, THAT INFANTS DYING UNBAPTIZED MAY


ATTAIN TO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. ANOTHER THAT THE SACRIFICE OF
THE BODY OF CHRIST MUST BE OFFERED FOR INFANTS WHO DIE BEFORE
THEY ARE BAPTIZED
But when he wished to answer with respect, however, to those infants who are prevented by
death from being first baptized in Christ, he was so bold as to promise them not only paradise,
but also the Kingdom of Heaven,--finding no way else of avoiding the necessity of saying that
God condemns to eternal death innocent souls which, without any previous desert of sin, He
introduces into sinful flesh. He saw, however, to some extent what evil he was giving

utterance to, in implying that without any grace of Christ the souls of infantsts are redeemed
to everlasting life and the kingdom of heaven, and that in their case original sin may be
cancelled without Christ's baptism, in which is effected the forgiveness of sins: observing all
this, and into what a depth he had plunged in his sea of shipwreck, he says, "I am of opinion
that for them, indeed, constant oblations and sacrifices must be continually offered up by holy
priests." You may be here behold another danger, out of which he will never escape except by
regret and a recall of his words. For who can offer up the body of Christ except for those who
are members of Christ? Moreover, from the time when He said, "Except a man be born of
water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven;" and again, "He that
loseth his life for my sake shall find it;" no one becomes a member of Christ except it be
either by baptism in Christ, or death for Christ.
St Augustine, ad Renatus, Ch. 10
The case of infants who die without baptism may seem to prove definitively that we do not
pray for all men in the mass; yet this is not the case. Not praying for unbaptized infants
does not imply a limitation or a denial of the universal breadth of the intention of the sacrifice
of the mass. It is rather an affirmationagainst the Pelagiansof the importance of Baptism.
i) The mass is offered for the members of the Church, but since all men are in some way
associated with the Church, therefore the mass is offered for all men.
Further, we offer you this rational worship for the whole world, for the holy catholic and apostolic
church, for those who live chaste and holy lives, for our nation under God, for our government and for
all in the military. Grant them, O Lord, a peaceful governance so that in their tranquility we may be able
to lead calm and quiet lives in all piety and dignity.

The Divine Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, after the consecration

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Part Two - The celebration of the Christian Mystery


1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of
the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:
[Christ], our Lord and God, was once and for all to offer himself to God the Father by
his death on the altar of the cross, to accomplish there an everlasting redemption. But
because his priesthood was not to end with his death, at the Last Supper "on the night
when he was betrayed," [he wanted] to leave to his beloved spouse the Church a
visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands) by which the bloody sacrifice which
he was to accomplish once for all on the cross would be re-presented, its memory
perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power be applied to the
forgiveness of the sins we daily commit.
[Council of Trent (1562):DS 1740; cf. 1 Cor 11:23; Heb 7:24,27]
1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The
victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who
then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different" "In this
divine sacrifice which is celecrated in the Mass, the same Christi who offered himself

once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an
unbloody manner."
[Council of Trent (1562): DS 1743; cf. Heb (9:14,27)

1368 The Eucharist is also the sacrifice of the Church. The Church which is the Body of
Christ participates in the offering of her Head. With him, she herself is offered whole
and entire. She unites herself to his intercession with the Father for all men 11. In
the Eucharist the sacrifice of Christ becomes also the sacrifice of the members of his
Body. The lives of the faithful, their praise, sufferings, prayer and work, are united
with those of Christ and with his total offering, and so aquire a new value. Christ's
sacrifice present on the altar makes it possible for all generations of Christians to be
united with his offering.
In the catacombs the Church is often represented as a woman in prayer, arms
outstreched in the praying position. Like Christ who stretched out his arms
on the cross, through him, with him, and in him, she offers herself and
intercedes for all men 12.
1369 The whole Church is united with the offering and intercession of Christ. Since he has
the ministry of Peter in the Church, the Pope is associated with every celebration of
the Eucharist, wherein he is named as the sign and servant of the unity of the universal
Church. The bishop of the place is always responsable for the Eucharist, even when a
priest presides; the bishop's name is mentioned to signify his presidency over the
particular Church, in the midst of his presbyterium and with the assistance of deacons.
The community intercedes also for all ministers who, for it and with ist, offer the
Eucharistic sacrifice:

Let only that Eucharist be regarded as legitimate, which is celebrated under


[the presidency of] the bischop or him to whom he has entrusted it.
[St Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Smyn. 8:1; SCh 10,138]
Through the ministry of priests the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is
completed in union with the sacrifice of Christ the only Mediator, which in the
Eucharist is offered through the priests' hands in the name of the whole Church
in an unbloody and sacramental manner until the Lord himself comes.
[PO 2, par. 4]
1370 To the offering of Christ are united not only the members still here on earth, but also
those already in the glory of heaven. In communion with and commemorating the
Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, the Church offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. In
the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the cross with Mary, united with
the offering and intercession of Christ.

11

Reference to all men.

12

Reference to all men

1371 The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who"have died in
Christ but are not yet wholly purified," [Council of Trent (1562): DS 1743.] so that
they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:
Put this body anywhere! Don't trouble yourselves about it! I simply ask you to
remember me at the Lord's altar wherever you are.
[St. Monica, before her death , to her sons, St. Augustine and his brother; Conf.
9,11, 27: PL 32, 775.]
Then, we pray [in the anaphora] for the holy fathers and bishops who have
fallen asleep, an in general for all who have fallen asleep before us, in the
belief that it is a great benefit to the souls on whose behalf the supplication is
offered, while the holy and tremendous Victim is present. ... By offering to
God our supplications for those who have fallen asleep, if they have
sinned, we ... offer Christ sacrificed for the sins of all, 13 and so render
favorable, for them and for us, the God who loves man.
[St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech

At the offertory in the old missal:


Suscipe Sancte pater, omnipotens aeterne Deus, hanc immaculatam hostiam,
quam ego indignus famulus tuus offero tibi Deo meo vivo en vero pro
innumerabilibus peccatis et offensionibus et negleigentis meis et pro omnibus
circumstantibus et pro omnibus fidelibus christianis vivis atque defunctis: ut
mihi et illis proficiat ad salutem in vitam aeternam.
And then:
Offerimus tibi calicem salutis tuam deprecantes clementiam: ut in conspectu
divinae majestatis tuae pro nostra, et totius mundi salute cum odore suavitatis
ascendat
One can easily see a relation with the text from the first letter of John
Filioli mei, haec scribo vobis: non peccetis. Sed et si quis peccaverit,
advocatum habemus apud Patrem, Jesm Christum iustum; et ipse est propitiatio
pro peccatis nostris, non pro nostris autem tantum, set etiam pro totius mundi
Christ who continues interceding for us, as mediator, as priest. The same Christ who offers
himself in the mass for our salvation and for the salvation of the world. St. Thomas comments
on this passage:
ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris, pro aliquibus efficaciter, sed pro
omnibus sufficienter, quia pretium sanguinis eius est sufficiens ad sadutem
omnium: sed habet efficaciam nisi in electis propter impedimentum.
Super ad Thim 1

13

Another text where all men are mentioned.

If one takes St. Thomas seriously then one would have to conclude that in the offertory of the
mass of Pius V, it is affirmed that the Eucharistic offer is for all using the terminology of St.
Thomas with regard to sufficency: pro totius mundi salute. The mass is offered for all.
Also after the consecration (after what is now called the Eucharistic Prayer, but a part of what
was then called the canon missae)
Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi, miserere nobis
Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi, miserere nobis
Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi, miserere nobis
In the new missal this is followed by:
Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi
Beati qui ad cenam agni vocati sunt
Here is a solemn affirmation of Real Presence and reference to universal propitiatory
sacrifice. Speaking of the elect qui ad cenam agni vocati sunt does not contradict an
affirmation of this universal dimension. Both aspects are affirmed, just as they are in the
passage from the offertory of the mass of St. Pius V.
Agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi. Here is a reference to affirmation of John the Baptist Jn
1:29 Ecce agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccatum mundi. This Johannine passage refers us alsoto
Isaiah, chapter 53, verse 7 and verse 12. The Eucharistic pro multis is also related to this
Isaian passage. (Omlor disputes and discounts this, we will return to the evidence behind this
affirmation in the following section on "the Biblical argument"). The Johannine kosmos
(mundus) can be considered as a type of translation of the Isaihan rabiim (many) There is in
the New Testament a very wide diffusion of references to this chapter of Isaiahan. Exegetes
also find in the Johannine passag a certain suggestion of an Aramaic word-play between
"lamb" and "servant". Biblically there is a twofold argument about multis/polloi: reference to
the Hebrew rabiim allows us to understand that the inclusive sense of the semitic expression
is intended; but also (and this is not circular argumentation) the New Testament affirmation of
a universal redemption interprets rabiim as theologically universal: Jn 1:29 qui tollit
peccatum mundi; and I Tim 2:1-7
Obsecro igitur primum omnium fieri obsecrationes, orationes, postulationes, gratiarum
actiones pro omnibus hominibus, pro regibus et omnibus, qui in sublimitate sunt, ut
quietam et tranquilam vitam agamus in omni pietate et castitate. Hoc enim bonum est et
acceptum coram Salvatore nostro Deo, qui omnes homines vult salvos fieri et ad
agnitionem veritatis venire. Unum enim Deus, unus et mediator Dei et hominum
homo Christus Jezus, qui dedit redemptionem semet ipsum pro omnibus,
testimonium temporibus suis.

This passage is about prayer and explains why Timothy should pray for all: Christ offered
himself for all and it is his will that all should be saved. I Tim 2:6 is parallel with Mt. 20:28
and Mk 10:45 (also with the Eucharistic passages), hyper panton is parallel with Mk 14:24
with regard to hyper. Why does Paul introduce "all". Because he wants to, but also because it
is legitimate to do so. He, like John can be considered to be translating Our Lord's semitic
many. (The exegetes affirm that the language of Paul much less semititsms than the language
of Matthew and Mark.) Would the apostle ask the bishop Timothy to pray for all explaining

that Christ gave himself as a redemption for all if the Eucharist were not offered for all, if the
Church did not pray for all in the Eucharist?
j) The argument for the validity of masses using the formulae in question
The principal argument for the validity and provisional adequacy of sacramental celebrations
according to the rite approved and used by the Church is this approval and usage. Some
persons may ask how certain liturgical forms could have been approved, being convinced that
there is something unreasonable in them?
This critical question deserves an answer.
Omlor contends that the necessary form of consecration is violated by the vernacular
translation of multis as "all" (and also by the omission of the words "the mystery of faith",
which procedes not from the vernacular translations but from the form of consecration
introduced universally in the order of the Roman rite by Paul VI) To defend such a contention
Omlor needs to bring forward a standard which he believes is being violated. Is it a scriptural
standard? One can look at the words of Institution in the Gospels to see if the liturgical
translation is faithful to their sense. One can also look at parallel or related passages in
scripture to try to discover a coherent exegesis which would help to establish their particular
meaning. Omlor does not procede in this way but rather prefers to put the translations to the
test of authoritative statements of (pre Vatican II) Magisterium (above all the Catechism of
the Council of Trent and of the Doctors of the Church, particularly St. Thomas. But we have
seen that his arguments from authority are substantially flawed..
An important part of the argumentation for the inclusive sense of the Eucharistic many is in
the analysis of certain parallel passages in the NT (Mt. 20:28, Mk 10:45, Mk 14:24, Hebrews
9:28, where many is employed and Jn 1:29,1 Tim 2:6, 1 Pet 3:18, 1 Jn 2:2, where
universal/inclusive terms are used, and Rm 5 where many and all are used side by side and
interchangeably) in their relation to the OT, particularly to the many of Isa. 53:12.
Rabiim has an inclusive sense there which projects itself into the passages in the NT
providing a key to their exegesis. Omlor does not accept the exegetical arguments affirming
these scriptural parallels, rejecting particularly a reference of the NT many passaages
mentioned above (Mt. 20:28, Mk 10:45, Mk 14:24, Hebrews 9:28) to the fourth poem of the
Suffering Servant,who "bore the sins of many". He feels that this type of exegesis implies an
attemmpt to "read Our Lord's mind" (TRC, p 342).

Was the translation of pro multis as "for all" approved by the Church?
Yes. Repeatedly, in all the versions of vernacular missals with this translation approved by
Rome. (Cfr. Documents on the Liturgy 1445, n R13)
Has Rome ever addressed the question of pro multis/for all?
Yes. Cfr. Notitiae 6 (1970), nr. 50
Has Pope John Paul II ever spoken about the sense in which pro multis is to be taken in the
words of consecration? Yes.
Instead of following with confidence the word of the Vicar of Christ, and of the Church,
Omlor says we need first of all to disprove Omlor. If we do not do this we risk being
becoming irrational fideists. Omlor pretends to be in harmony with the whole tradition of the
Church until Vatican II-- at which point in history he feels himself entitled to criticize
everything. But one can have grave doubts also if Omlors theology represents indeed
traditional and perennial Catholic theology. Is it not so that he comes to use an (incorrect)

idea of the traditon of the Church against the Church, Her authority and tradition, with the
result of effectively wrenching himself free from an obligation to submit to an authority? No
authority, not even that of a Pope can stand in his way. Omlor writes as if Paul VI acted
criminally and outrageously in executing the liturgical reforms decided upon by an
ecumenical council inspired by the Holy Spirit. These reforms even if they were realized with
difficulty have been accepted by the universal church.
Omlor claims to value St. Thomas above all, but the atmosphere of his pronuncements is
becomes rather like that of the nominalist background of the reformation. He is impressed by
authority, but at the end of the day he seems rather to be terrrified of authority and he rejects
authority, driven by cold (and flawed) logic. In his reading of St. Thomas he never seems to
be interested in the nature of his argumentation but only in his authority (and above all when
St. Thomas supports or seems to support his contentions.)
A curiosity for me is that Omlor's position's regarding the Eucharist tend toward the denial of
what many traditionalists see as a central truth suppressed by modernism: the sacrificial
character of the mass.If the mass is only for the many, interpreted as the Church, interpreted
as the elect, simpliciter and exclusively, then there is no place for the mass as a propitiatory
sacrifice. The liturgy becomes something less important and less real, and colder. Omlor's
writing is armed with learning but there is in his writing a lack of fundamental theological
understanding.
For St. Thomas as for St. Paul it is the faith which unites us as persons to Christ and to the
objective redemption. Faith is also however obedience and sacrifice, faith unites us to the
universal dynamism of the redemption, like Abraham and Mary and Paul. That I am free, that
God addresses me in my freedom, that he does not negate my freedom, but rather addresses
me integrally as a free person, does not mean that God does not love all me. On the contrary.
He loves all and each personally, and that is the challenge and the beauty of our faith. Christ
committed himself to mankind, and doing that he put himself at the mercy of our freedom.
That I am free and therefore free to refuse God's love is really a condition and a proof of
God's love. Faith is walking with God, like Abraham. On account of his faith God promised
him that he would become the Father of many nations, which expression the Bible interprets
as all, for all nations will be blessed in his offspring. This equivalence of many and all, is
admitted by Augustine, who Omlor cites.
Mary is the Mother of the Church, but also the Mother of all mankind. She couldn't be the one
without being the other. Just as Christ couldn't be the Head of the Church without being the
Head of all mankind. If Christ were not the head of mankind he couldn't have redeemed
mankind.
Augustine says that the mass cannot be offered for children who die unbaptized. St. Thomas
says that no prayers are offered in the canon for those outside the Church. Our Lord says I
pray not for the World but for those you have given me. This all sounds hard but it is all
Christian. Christianity is renouncing the world and choosing God. But by choosing God you
save the world. Sacrifice is for another, is for another in need of help. Sacrifice is for another
but I sacrifice myself for another who is in some way united to me. Sacrifice is above all an
offer to God. I offer myself as a person but as a person open to others. I sacrifice for those I
am united to. hyper pollon. That is why Augustine says that about children who die
unbaptized, although it sounds hard. Someone can say. "Then you don't pray for all." But
they are wrong I do pray for all because the Church prays for all.
Further, we offer you this rational worship for the whole world, for the holy catholic
and apostolic church, for those who live chaste and holy lives, for our nation under
God, for our government and for all in the military. Grant them, O Lord, a peaceful

governance so that in their tranquility we may be able to lead calm and quiet lives in
all piety and dignity.
The Divine Liturgy of St. Chrysostom, after the consecration
Catholic, a mark of the Church.
Paul: don't waste time on merely verbal arguments.
Christ has united himself, in a certain way, with each human person, doctrine of John Paul II,
denied by some, but truly a fundamental Christian doctrine.
The Word has become flesh and dwelt among us.
3. The later Omlor, the final shape and consequences of his thought. His
misunderstanding of the efficacy of the sacrament, his inattention to the abundance
expressed with many.
a) Long-formism, its mitigation, and its resurgence in the multiple long-formism
attributed to Capisuccus
For a long time I thought that Omlors ideas at a certain moment simply stagnated and
became dominated by self-defense. Omlor had the trained intelligence of a professional
mathematician, however, and if one perseveres in analyzing the thought processes in his
diverse later works one gains the sense that Omlor became increasingly aware of the structure
of his own argumentation, and the necessity of a greater synthesis.
a) On one hand was his theology of why for all men does not belong to the Eucharistic
form, the theology of a defective, less-than-all Church with its appropriate concepts: a limited
predestination, a positive reprobation, a conception of God as arbitrary and tyrannical, the
pagan sense of a fatalism which eventually dominates over the Christian sense of Providence,
his way of understanding efficacy in a voluntaristic metaphysical setting, an underestimation
of the efficacy of grace, a Pelagianist separation of free will from grace, his substitution of a
sense of the Church by the sense of Christendom as a naturalistic (Pelagian or Pagan) elite, as
a group of superior beings (superior either by own merits or by some blind twist of fate like
race) without any further necessary relation or responsibility or debt to mankind in general: all
of this justifying the rejection of the thought of all men from the thought at the heart of the
Eucharist. Whatever may be said about the meaning of the Eucharistic words, it is certain that
a thought regarding all men does not belong there.
b) On the other hand his long-formism, the position that anything done to the Eucharistic
form, will necessary invalidate it. Anything!
An important later work of Omlor is his The Necessary Signification in the Sacramental Form
of the Holy Eucharist. (Henceforth we will abbreviate this with TNS.)
Here Omlor tries to synthesize these two sides of his argument.
There is in the background and ongoing discussion between Omlor (and Fr. Brey) with Msgr.
John F. McCarthy. Before TNS there is a piece of Omlors entitled Questioning the Validity
of McCarthys Case; afterwards there is the piece Monsignor McCarthy Again! Another
Fiasco! This latter piece is reproduced only fragmentarily in The Robber Church (which is
in fact the Collected Works of Omlor, rather than the Complete Works); the complete piece is
however to be found on the internet. Reading it gives insights into the workings of Omlors

mind at this point. There is a certain nervousness as Omlor deals with Msgr. McCarthy as a
rather dogged and theologically equipped adversary. It is not so much arguments ad
hominem that Omlor uses against him as a sort of nit-picking approach, interspersed with
gotchas and remarks to the effect of And you call yourself a theologian!
(McCarthys articles are to be found in turn in the periodical Living Tradition, number 24
(July 1989), number 35 (May 1991), number 36 (July 1991) and number39 (January1992)
with the last three constituting a work in three parts.)
But Omlors mind is still active and searching. In TNS he goes once again in depth into the
question of long-formism before entering into a theologically interesting explanation of the
three cornerstone structure of the sacraments: 1. Sacramentum Tantum 2. Res et
Sacramentum 3. Res Sacramenti.
From Pope Leo XIIIs Bull Apostolicae Curae (declaring Anglican Orders to be invalid)
Omlor takes the notion that the forms of the sacrament do not have to be literally identical but
have to conform to a certain type.
Now as is above observed, Omlor is not consistent in accepting this principle, since he always
feels himself free to go back as needed to that other principle of his that even a casual
deviation from the one unique literal form can/will invalidate the sacrament. (The fallacy here
lies in his confusion of casual deviations with small deviations; but a substantial and in this
sense large deviation can be on the other hand casual: for instance if the priest should forget
to pronounce a major portion of the words of consecration)
But this doctrine of a certain type allows Omlor the luxury of being able to speculate on
what constitutes this type in the case of the Eucharist. And once having set up the rules for
valid words of consecration, Omlor is free to apply the self-created criterion to fail the texts
approved by the Post Vatican II Church for violating them.
Omlor has found a hole in the market. No one else (for some obscure reason) seems to have
set up these rules, he is then free to do it.
But Leo XIII was speaking specifically of the Sacrament of Order, which is one of the
sacraments was instituted in genere and not in specie. The form of the Eucharist does not
simply conform to a certain type, but it is unique, it is simply what it is, because Our Lord
said do this in memory of me (not because He gave us a magic formula of words which must
be reproduced with microscopic accuracy in order to do the trick).
Omlor in following this stratagem clearly fails to harmonize long-formism with Catholic
sacramental theology. The long-formism gets weakened and replaced by the conceptualism of
conformance to a certain type. Omlor arrives at a conception of the necessary signification of
the sacrament as conformance with a type that is defined by the possession of certain
concepts: 1. Transubstantiationon 2. Sacrifice 3. Propitiation 4. The res sacramenti= the unity
of the Church. This is explained in Omlors earlier piece Res Sacramenti:
In any case, as for those who claim the abbreviate "form", This is the chalice of
My Blood, is sufficient for the wine consecration, we would be interested in
seeing how they will attempt to reconcile this opinion with the teaching of Pope
Leo XIII that the res sacramenti must be signified in the form of the sacrament
Presenting Our Opinion
It would seem that there are four things that are signified in this Sacrament: 1)

transubstantiation; 2) sacrifice; 3) propitiation; 4) the res sacramenti: the unity of


Christ's Mystical Body. Transubstantiation, the conversion of the substance of the bread
and wine into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ, is denoted by the words: This
is My Body. This is the chalice of MY Blood. Although these words denote the
transubstantiation, the change of the wine into Christ's Blood (and also His Body,
soul and divinity) does not actually take place until the entire form is completed.
Had Christ so willed it, He could have left us the Sacrament of His Body and
Blood completely apart from Calvary, simply by giving his priests the power of
transubstantiation. But He actually willed the Holy Eucharist to be given to us in
the context of Sacrifice. The Holy Eucharist is Sacrament and Sacrifice. The
words given above (which denote transubstantiation) do not in themselves
denote sacrifice. Therefore these words of the form, "which shall be shed," fulfill
the purpose of signifying the shedding of Christ's Blood; i.e., sacrifice.
The sacrifices of the Old Law were not true sacrifices of propitiation; they did not
actually have the power of expiating sins; for the blood of animals is powerless in
this regard. Christ's Passion and Death, the Atonement of the Son of God, was
truly propitiatory (expiatory) for the remission of sins. This propitiatory aspect of
Calvary is denoted by these words of the form, "of the NEW and eternal
testament," and also by the final words of the form, "unto the remission of sins."
Of course, this was the effect of Calvary, but it is not the principal effect of the
Holy Eucharist. "If anyone says that the principal fruit of the most Holy Eucharist
is the remission of sins, or that other effects do not result from it, let him be
anathema."
And this leads us to the fourth thing that must be signified in this Sacrament: the
unity of the Mystical Body. It is our belief that this vital signification is found in the
words of the form: "for you and for MANY." For these words denote the purpose
or end of Our Lord's institution of the Sacrament. Therefore these words
comprise a key part of the determining principle in the form.. Just as the words, "I
confirm thee with the chrism of salvation," denote the purpose or end for which
the sacramental chrism is being used; just as the words "I baptize thee" denote
the purpose for which the water is being used in Baptism; so also --and this is the
crux of it -- the words, "for you and for many," designate the purpose or end
which the matter, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, was
intended by Christ to be used. And this purpose is to establish the unity of the
many members of the Mystical Body. This sacramental aspect of the Holy
Eucharist has nothing to do with the other doctrine of faith that "Christ died for all
men."
The Robber Church, p. 126-127
The weak point of the conceptualism tied the notion of the common type is that one can
always ask: why are these four concepts necessary to the Eucharist rather than some other
ones? The logic is merely inductive and that is weak logic.
Omlor seems to abandon this logic at the moment that he observes how the res sacramenti is
determines the form of the sacrament. The res sacramenti expresses the purpose or end of the
institution of the Eucharist. Omlor sees this in Res Sacramenti and reflects on it further in
TNS. It is almost as if Omlor finally has realized that the Eucharist is an action that as such
has an end. But not quite. Omlor does not seem to want to go there. Considering the Eucharist
as an action might lead to definitive questions about the action that the Eucharist is. Omlor
want to remain in the region of conceptualism/literalism. The res sacramenti will finally
remains a concept among other concepts, an element parallel with the other elements that for
some arbitrary reason have to be there. The theory of conformance to a certain type is in
effect nothing more thatn an escape mechanism to defend long-formism from being attacked

on the basis of its evident absurdities. But then he will need long-formism in all its crudity to
proclaim the invalidity of the mass of Paul VI even in its Latin form with pro multis in place,
but with mysterium fidei removed/relocated, so Omlor will take it up again in the notion of
multiple institutions of the sacramental form, which he attributes to Capisuccus. In order to
defend the invalidity of the mass of Paul VI for Omlors reasons (and consequently to declare
Paul VI a false Pope) one would have to hold that the suppression of mysterium fidei
suppresses one of the four necessary concepts constituting the unique type, but the Eastern
Rites do not all have mysterium fidei (the exceptions being those which have in fact assumed
the Latin form!) and therefore why not return to strict long-formism, but allowing for the
existence of multiple forms, all instituted by Jesus Christ, and to be used in the corresponding
rites. This might suffice to convince simple souls who have failed to observe that sacramental
formulae have not passed through history in an absolutely static form.
Omlor affirms correctly and significantly and the Eucharistic words are rich in signification:
one needs four concepts to express their content, and I would say also that Omlors
enumeration is founded and important, yet having discovered this rich signification, Omlor
goes on to deny it through his invalidity thesis 14

14

If the later Omlor show signs of a certain reflection and desire to synthesize and nail down
what he had offered in a somewhat more tentative fashion in QTV, one also experiences in
these later works the sense that he is no longer really addressing a universal public, but above
all those of his own camp.
1. He generalizes his attack without corresponding substantiations. The Church of for all is the
Church of ecumenism. And Ecumenical Movement Equals Universal Apostasy [TRC, p.
262] He does not really try to convince you of that. If you think that Ecumenism is not the
same as universal apostasy you will not be comfortable with his cocksure affirmations and
satirical handling of the ecumenical gestures of Pope John Paul II. And if you have any
sympathy with John Paul II or with Mother Theresa of Calcutta, you will of course not
understand or be particularly motivated by his ironical treatment of Mother Theresas praise
of the ecumenical prayer gathering at Assisi [TRC p. 274]. Omlor is not for you then. Or if
you are not the type of person who has any doubts about the matter when shadowy Italian
sources produce lists of freemasons in the Vatican. Or if the fact that the purported list
involve figures who are connected with the conciliar reform of the liturgy does not fill you
with delight, and confirm you in your satisfied feeling of belonging to those who had
suspected it all along, you might not feel at home with Omlors treatment of these matters
[TRC p. 263]. Freemasons are always talking about mankind; if the Church prays for all men
in the Holy Mass, is that not a sign that the Church has been kidnapped by freemasons. And if
there is documentation!
2. His response to those objecting to his theses takes on a certain coloration. There is an effort to
respond to objections, but these responses have their mannerisms. Those who object are
called adversaries There is a liberal and constant stream of ad hominem argumentation. One
of the most dogged adversaries is John McCarthy. The following passage from Omlors
Msgr. McCarthy Again! Another Fiasco! will give you some idea of what can happen in the
heat of the battle.

Now lest my present readers, in perusing the remainder of my essay, might suspect that I indulge in
exaggeration or take "out of context" or blow out of proportion anything the Monsignor has written, I
strongly suggest to, nay, heartily urgeeveryone to procure copies of these issues of Living Tradition (LT-F,
LT-1, LT-2 and LT-3). And that is the reason the Monsignor's address was displayed so prominently towards

the very beginning of Part I. No doubt the good Monsignor will reciprocate by heartily urging all of his
readers to procure copies of this present effort of mine.
By way of preview (which we hope will whet the reader's appetite, induce him to stop everything, and
immediately follow our "heartily urge" appeal) we present the following delicate vignettes from the
Monsignor's pen. They represent a mere sampling of his offerings, being gleaned from just the one issue LT3, which was his response to the sincerity I displayed in my correspondence to him of August and October
1991. What follows just below illustrates his forte as a writer. Were it not for these colorful, nay brilliant,
little barbs, so very copiously interspersed throughout all of his confusing, confused and tormentingly tedious
prose, I am quite sure that all of his readers would very quickly lose interest in such thoroughly boring
bavardage. I mention this as a forewarning to those of my present readers who will be procuring this
collector's item, LT-3, before they embark upon the atonement for their sins, doing salutary penance in the
reading of those pages. Also it is a medical warning to those who are chronic sufferers from migraine.
"In the first part of this study, I have uncovered the hidden equivocation in Omlor's use, ... etc." (p. 1).
"Omlor's claim...is a false appeal..." (p. 1). "But Omlor was deceiving his readers in this argument..." (p. 2).
"Omlor's attempt...produces a false translation..." (p. 2). "This is a false and deceptive example ..." (p. 5).
"But Omlor has again twisted the discussion away from the point at issue" (p. 5). "Omlor's appeal...labors
under the same delusion" (p. 6). "Omlor uses a fundamental equivocation when he says..." (p. 7). "Omlor,
with a show of overconfidence not indicative of a cautious thinker..." (p. 9). "Omlor does not refrain from
adding gratuitous insult to his panoply of specious argumentation" (p. 10). "But this device increases the fault
of leading into error those of his [Omlor's] readers who are not, in fact, capable of analyzing his logical
fallacies" (p. 10). (He even insults my readers!)
"Thus does Omlor cast himself in the role of the classic deceiver who, like a shell-game operator at a country
fair, invites the simple readers [that's you folks out there] who gather around him to `use their
eyes' and `see for themselves'..." (p. 10). "In trying to prove too much...Omlor failed to prove anything. This
should give him cause for a sincere examination of his whole approach, followed by an act of repentance for
having offended against justice, charity and filial piety in rashly transgressing the limit of what logic and
historical fact might otherwise have enabled him to demonstrate" (p. 12). "Not only does
he [Omlor] present subtle equivocations while hiding important facts, but he also uses disparaging
language as a rhetorical device to lead his readers into error. The damage that he has thus caused to
simple [have you gotten the point yet?] believers is great" (p. 12). "...many Catholics were
led out of the Church and became Protestants in the sixteenth century because of real abuses that were
stretched out of proportion by anti-papal preachers. The case of Patrick Omlor, polemicist, would seem to be
the same" (p. 12).
We all recall the axioms of Euclid that were drilled into our minds during our study of geometry. Those
utterly simple, self-evident truths that cannot actually be proved, because there are no simpler terms to rely
upon to explain or prove them. For example, "the whole is equal to the sum of its parts and is greater than
any one of them." Now I have noticed something mathematical about the Monsignor's writings, and I am
prepared to state an axiom. In any given lengthy preachment the number and the frequency of his
interspersed disparaging comments are always directly proportional to the degree of vacuity of thought in the
surrounding material.

Msgr. McCarthy Again! Another Fiasco!


Omlor quotes a few pages later McCarthys acute observation:
"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept
even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions
which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which
they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives. "

Msgr. McCarthy Again! Another Fiasco!

b) A Thought Experiment
But let us realize a thought experiment. This will consist of supposing the things be as Omlor
suggests they are without making further qualifications, and then seeing what the
consequences logically would be.
Omlors long-formism means ostensibly that any deviation from the Tridentine formula of
consecration would render the new formula invalid. (But then he backs away from that and
says that not all the words are necessary, that only a certain content is necessary, a content
whose essence is conformance with a certain type, which he spells out as the presence of four
necessary features. And then he creates a third entity which is a kind of multiple longformism corresponding to the different rites which are held to be specifically instituted by
Christ.)
If one forgets the discourse about a necessary type, and holds to unmitigated long-formism
the for all translation is invalid simply on account of differing from the long form and that
is that.
Such a point of view may be absurd, but at least it has a certain clarity, a certain simplicity.
But if one rejects such long-formism, and says that there is some essential nucleus, some
transcendental form, which is expressed in the Tridentine formula, but also is expressed in the
formulae of the Eastern Rites, then it follows that an invalidity thesis would be based on on a
violation of this form, and not simply of the Tridentine formula.
Omlor oscillates in regarding this disjuncture and it is unclear where he stands. On the one
hand he is a stubborn long-formist, on the other, he presents his theory of the certain type,
which becomes an ostensibly mitigated literalism, a conceptualism, a literalism of concepts:
the words are not the important thing, but certain concepts must be communicated; and these
concepts can be listed.
The certain type is defined as a collection of concepts (things that need to be signified) by the
form. By definition all of them must be signified: the set is a fixed set. By definition the lack
of any of them is deadly to the form. And, by definition, all are equally essential. There is no
additional structuring. The only structure holding them together is the fact that all are
necessary for validity. They must only be there. Their being there, their being conjoined, is
the validity of the mass.
The idea of a set of a certain fixed set of concepts (integralism of concepts), and the idea of
one necessary fixed formula (literalism) are both aspects of fundamentalism in the
interpretation of Scripture and Sacrament. The fundamentalist needs the integralist conceptual
scheme in order to rationalize and defend his literalism. Conceptualist integralism, does not
therefore mitigate his literalism; it is simply part of one and the same system, the
fundamentalist system.

But Omlor supposes that his reader will be sympathetic to his confidence that this
principle ought to be turned against McCarthy. He is the one who rejects the most
obvious truths! He is the one who fails to accept the most obvious truths!

Integralism is often thought of as a political phenomenon, one that typifies the Catholic Right,
here I am referring above all to its doctrinal foundation. Political Integralism is born of
fundamentalism which is both literalist and conceptualist. The State becomes the Idea-Police.
At the center of the system is the fixed formula with its occult arbitrary efficacy. This shows
that the system has a cultic nature and is a religious system.
But how does this system relate to the Church and her sacraments? Are they the same thing?
When Omlor employs his system to prove his invalidity thesis, his reasoning implies that his
system represents Catholic doctrine faithfully.
One cannot accept Omlors conclusions without accepting his system. My thought experiment
consists in assuming that Omlor was right in his reasoning and therefore in his conclusions
about the validity of the mass. What would the consequences be regarding the faith? My
conclusion is that one would be forced to substitute the faith with Omlors system, his
fundamentalism, which is a mere parody of the faith. My conclusion is that this parody is
intolerable, and that for this reason Omlors invalidity thesis ought to be rejected and that one
is therefore free to move on.
At the root of Omlors presuppositions, of his fundamentalism, is a positivist philosophy
according to which reality is simply that which is. This might seem to be an attractively
simple and therefore plausible philosophy until one realizes that it imposes on one the worst
sort of Procrustean Bed; it is the Procrustean Bed in its very essence. It is the perfect Police
State. Reality is held to be what is out there; the idea seems plausible, but philosophical
reflection shows that in spite of appearances it is not complete.
The perfect Police State is perfectly exclusionary, and this characterizes the world that Omlor
proposes very well
The Eucharist has an essentially exclusionary purpose. Evil, the only real evil in this system
of thought, is inclusiveness.
But to exclude something you have to include something. What is included then by a system
whose sole purpose is to exclude the other? The dialectical partner of the other is yourself. A
Church defined by its exclusion of the other is a Church which is yourself, or to say the same
thing in other words which seemingly mitigate the thing: ourselves.
Christianity becomes a code name for Christendom, and Christendom becomes a code name
for our civilization, and our civilization becomes a code name for my race, and my race
becomes a code name for my interests, and my interests becomes a code name for my ego.
With these presuppositions what would the form of the Eucharist be? Would it not be that
verbal form which excludes the other? Such a form must be the right one, if the Church is
exclusion.
And if the right form is exclusion, one can deduce the transformation into a form including
all men would constitute the deadly attack which would produce an invalid mass.
Omlor does not tell us merely that the idea of the mass being offered for all men is extraneous
to the form of consecration, that this idea is not among the magical set of ideas which
constitute the valid form; he tells us that this idea in itself strikes a mortal blow against the
form.

Omlor and with him Father Brey speak of the advance of Evil Forces in the Church. But what
is the notion of evil which is being employed? Is the inclusiveness of the all translation not
for them something like the archetype of evil? If that is the notion of evil, what is the notion
of good?
Omlors long-formism plays upon the liturgical scrupulosity of the pious Catholic: If one
deviates from the form how do we know that the form remains valid? Let us be careful!
But does the Church not know what She is doing when she celebrates (and regulates) the
sacraments? This knowing what She is doing is called acting in conscience, and it gives us the
only true security.
But long-formism has its own philosophy which goes beyond the squeamishness of the
scrupulous person: the long form is the necessary one because it is the only possible one. It is
the form of exclusion. Any other would be another, and would therefore as such be wrong,
bad, evil. The long form is the right one because it does the trick, because it excludes, and any
other form would be implicitly or explicitly inclusive.
Positivism is that philosophy according to which all truths are merely parallel, existing on the
same plane, and in which things are right and true for no good reason but just because they
happen to be right and true,
Jesus (supposedly) just happened to use the long form and therefore it is the only true and
good form).
Positivism is ostensibly scientific thinking, but under its scientific surface it is allied to
occultism. 15 It is allied to that form of thought in which something is true and good, because
it does the trick. The long-form is thus the right one, because it does the trick.
But what trick is this? The res sacramenti is signified and brought about. That is indeed so,
but how does Omlor understand the res sacramenti, the unity of the Church?
Does he not understand the unity of the Church as the form of exclusion, in accordance with
that positivist philosophy which excludes the Spirit?
Does the corresponding concept of Church represent the True Church? This question is beside
the point he who has decided arbitrarily that things are so. One does not need to reflect on
ones presuppositions. They are mine, and that is good enough. Or (which is the same thing in
other words) they are ours. Thinking something else is excluded by the principle that the other
is wrong, bad and evil.
One can live under this Police State for a while in relative peace and security. But fear is on
your horizon.

15

Understanding this allows you to understand many paradoxes of our contemporary culture which seems to be
based on science, but is infected by a magical understanding of technology. I was listening the other day to an
otherwise very illuminating explanation of Dirac notation (something very much at the center of the theory of
quantum mechanics, and thus very much at the center of modern science); the speaker at a certain point
expresses his consternation before the fact that the mathematical formalism describes physical reality, and tells
us that the only reason for accepting the truth of the theory is that it works. It is true because it works: in other
words one has redefined what truth is: truth is what works. It works because it gives us things that tickles our
craving for magical results (like the Atomic Bomb). Thus this science forms its alliance with capitalism, with
the military-industrial complex, with consumerism, and the Culture of Death. For Omlor the Eucharistic form is
true because it works, it is the one that produces transubstantiation, because God made it so, imagining God as
He who makes arbitrary decisions. It is so, thus for no good reason. But the Catholic Faith teaches us that the
Eucharist is the work of Christ, having the Divine Logos at its center, that it is thus the work of the Holy Spirit.

When the Church speaks of a God of Love, a God who is Love, She is not speaking in coded
language of something else. This is her fundamental message. Fear is not our central word.
Love is our central word. It is our truth. It is the truth.
The thought experiment shows us how the two branches of Omlors argument (the longformism and the exclusivist theology are connected. They stand or fall together. Both are
opposed to genuine Catholic thought. The thought experiment leads us to the conclusion that
Omlors invalidity thesis, dependent on an un-Catholic and untrue presuppositions, ought to
be discarded. One ought not worry about it any more. One can move on.
The consequences of Omlors error may certainly be something that he had not contemplated.
We should not judge the person, only we should recognize the error itself, on account of its
grave consequences.
The Semitism of the inclusive sense of the Biblical many is not simply an arbitrary fact of
linguistic history, but is connected to the history of salvation, and to a Covenant which (in the
Old Testament is not yet a definitive and universal Covenant, but nevertheless foreshadows a
universal and definitive Covenant. It is something marvelous that in these humble building
stones of the edifice of Biblical Revelation the grand design is present.
The Covenant is both inclusive and exclusive. It is inclusive because it includes God, of
whom are the heavens and the earth. It is exclusive because it is born of a decision. The
exclusive nature is expressed when the relation between God and Israel is expressed as a
spousal relation. God loves Israel and no other. Israel should love God and no other.
There are Biblical passages that speak of the exclusive character of the Covenant. But the
Bible itself shows that the one unique Covenant has these two aspects. One is not dealing with
a splintered reality. The central Biblical Image for the Covenant is that of Marriage. Marriage
helps us to understand a Covenant which is at the same time exclusive and inclusive. There
are these two aspects but the Covenant is one. The exclusive aspect of the Covenant says
Love. But so does the inclusive aspect. They agree.
This is why both aspects, that of efficacy and that of sufficiency can be, are, and must be
present in the Eucharistic form.
Omlor plays on one hand with our fearfulness, our liturgical scrupulosity ; but scrupulosity, is
a cruel sickness. He says on one hand. Dont mess with the mass, it is holy! But he forgets
naturally that the Liturgical Reform is substantially a work of the Church, and not as he
suggests, a work of bandits. A liturgical reform has also necessarily a human element, and
consists also of certain things subject to improvement and correction
c) Omlors disagreement with the Roman Catechism
From the last pages ot TNS:

One last topic needs some brief discussion. Some may argue that the
designation of the res et sacramentum, the True Body of Christ, by means of the
words, "This is My Body. This is the Chalice of My Blood," is sufficient to signify
the Res Sacramenti also. The argument would rest on the assumption that since
God is the Author of all grace, this would automatically fulfill the requirement that
the grace of the Sacrament be signified.

But such a theory cannot hold. For firstly, even though it is true that the Author of
all grace is signified by the words, "This is My Body. This is the Chalice of My
Blood"; and, moreover, once the entire consecration form has been pronounced
He is there present on the altar; nevertheless to suppose this would suffice to
signify the sacramental grace effected by the Holy Eucharist would be grasping
at straws. For such a supposed signification would be too vague. What is
essential is that the Res Sacramenti be explicitly denoted, as was explained by
Cardinal Vaughan and the Catholic hierarchy of the Province of Westminster in
the Vindication of the Bull 'Apostolicae Curae': "Moreover, the signification must
not be ambiguous, but so far definite as to discriminate
the grace effected from graces of a different kind."
Secondly, God is the Author of grace, but He is not grace. When the Catechism
of the Council of Trent speaks of "Christ the Lord, who is true grace,"127 this is
only a certain figure of speech and is not be taken literally, for the sense of this
statement is brought out later in the same sentence, "and the fountain of all
heavenly gifts." "Sacramental grace consists in divine help towards the
fulfillment of the duties imposed by the particular sacrament."128 God is the
giver and the principal cause of grace (the sacrament itself is an "Instrumental
cause"); and sacramental grace is the effect. Now an effect cannot be the same
as the cause, or be contained in the cause as an integral part of it; for in such a
case the cause would cause itself, which is impossible. Hence one must not
confuse the Author of all grace with the sacramental grace itself.
127 Christum Dominum, qui vera gratia... est." (Part II, Chap. IV, Q. 3).
128 Quoted from p. 251 of My Catholic Faith, published by My Mission House,
Kenosha, Wis., 1955, and authored by Most Rev. Louis La Ravoire Morrow,
The Robber Church, p. 323

Here is the text cited from the RomanCatechism

Here once again Omlor applies the general principles given by Leo XIII without considering
sufficiently what is special to the Eucharist. The res sacramenti corresponds to what is
realized in the sacrament ex opere operato (which is very much the point if ones discourse
regards the validity or non validity of a sacrament, because a sacrament is valid exactly when
its effects ex opere operato are realized).
d) Res Sacramenti: the unity of the Church
In TNS Omlor develops what he calls the three cornerstone theory of sacramental
signification, and thus clarifies in what sense the unity of the Church is the Res Sacramenti of
the Eucharist. These pages are some of the most theologically rich in Omlors works, and
there is nothing that taints them with his own errors, or almost nothing.
First here you have his citation from St. Alphonsus referring to the three elements:
Sacramentum tantum, res et sacramentum, and res sacramenti
"Here it must be observed that in all the Sacraments there
are three things to be distinguished, namely the 'sign only' (sacramentum

tantum), the 'reality only' (res tantum) and the 'sign and reality' (sacramentum ac
res). The 'sign only' is that which signifies; the 'reality only' is that which is
signified, namely, the effect of the Sacrament; the 'sign and reality' is at the same
time that which is signified by one thing and signifies another thing."95 As the
Doctor St. Alphonsus notes, this threefold structure is found in all the Sacraments
("in omnibus sacramentis"), not just in the Holy Eucharist.96 Throughout his
discussion on the Sacraments in general in the Summa as well as in his
explanations on the individual Sacraments, St. Thomas Aquinas also frequentlyalludes to
these three elements.
Here is his remarkable citation of Duns Scotus applying the threefold structure to the
Eucharist:
"Let us now see what is the Sacrament and what the reality. 'A Sacrament is the
visible sign of invisible grace,' as we read in Augustine (De Civ. Dei, lib. 10, ch.
5). Therefore the species of bread and wine is the sign, that is, 'the sign of a
sacred thing, which besides the appearances which the senses perceive, brings
yet another thing to our cognition [i.e., the Real Presence].' The sign therefore
consists in those things that existed before [transubstantiation], namely, the
bread and wine.
"Now in this Sacrament the reality is twofold; the first is that which signifies and is
signified (contenta et significata) the other is that which is signified but does not
signify (significata et non contenta). The reality that signifies and is signified is
the flesh of Christ, the same which was born of the Virgin; and His blood which
He shed for us. The reality that is only signified and which does not itself signify
anything is the union in the Church of those who are predestined, called, justified
and glorified. ...
"There are then three things which must be distinguished here. The first is that
which is sign only; the second, that which is sign and reality; and the third, that
which is reality only. That which is sign only is the visible species of the bread
and wine [the significance of which is determined specifically by the form of
words]. That which is sign and reality is Christ's own flesh and blood. And that
which is reality only is His Mystical Body.
"Moreover, the visible sign of the Sacrament has two realities, inasmuch as it
signifies both of them and conveys the distinct symbolism of both. For just as
bread above all other food restores and sustains the body, and wine gladdens
and satisfies man, so also does the flesh of Christ refresh and feed the inner man
above all other spiritual gifts. ... And in like manner do bread and wine signify the
mystical reality, which is the union of the faithful. For just as the one bread is
composed of many grains of wheat and the wine is the product of many grapes,
so does the unity of the Church [the Mystical Body] consist in many persons,
namely, the faithful. (Thus John Duns Scotus).97
TRC, p. 312-313

Duns Scotus serves him well here because in describing the first of the three elements, he
only speaks of the bread and wine, and not of the words of consecration, because they, as
Omlor has himself admitted must signify both the true presence of Christ and the unity of the
Church, and this will present for his ideas about sacramental form an insurmountable
problem. He has said this:
The first cornerstone is the "sign only," which is twofold in that it
signifies (but not in an ambiguous manner) two different realities. It is, moreover,

twofold in another way; for it comprises two elements, namely, the matter and the
form of the Sacrament.`
TRC, p. 311

Omlor holds that a sacramental form does not have levels of meaning, what must be present,
is present in a parallel way with the other elements that must be present, so as not to be
ambiguous. This creates a disarticulated whole. His description of the threefold structure
does not in fact describe the working of the structure correctly insofar as it does not mention
how the sacramental form expresses (and accordingly produces) the res sacramenti through
that which is res et sacramentum. Omlor only tells us that the sacramental form must express
both, but does not really tell us how this is done. Instead he tells us that the res et
sacramentum signifies the res sacramenti without words:
Secondly, the "reality and sign," being partly res is one of
the two realities signified by the "sign only." It in turn signifies another different
reality, namely, "the reality of the Sacrament," the Res Sacramenti. This
signifying is done without words
TRC, p 311
This is not true. In the case of the Eucharist, the Presence of the true Body and Blood of
Christ expresses and produces the unity of the Church through the elements of the sacrament:
bread and wine constituting the matter of the sacrament and the words constituting the form
of the sacrament, which being united produce that presence. It is done with words. The words
are behind the true Body and Blood, but that does not mean that the res et sacramentum does
not signify through the words.
e) Omlors hidden Pelagianism, and the corresponding perverse image of God
One of Omlors works, is for some reason, only included partially in The Robber Church.
This is Monsignor McCarthy Again! Another Fiasco! I feel that Msgr. McCarthy, a
competent, knowledgeable Thomist, and a dogged opponent of Omlors theses, manages to
get on Omlors nerves, and this state of affairs is visible in this work, and for this reason I
believe that Omlor decided not to reproduce this work in its entirety. It is written shortly after
TNS. The first part of the work constitutes a valuable summary of Omlors thinking about the
validity question. Regarding the question of the position of the res et sacramentum in the
threefold structure of the Sacrament, Omlor has this to say:
At the Consecration during Holy Mass, when the priest brings about the Real Presence of Our Lord through
transubstantiation, not one iota of increase (if we may use that expression) of sanctifying grace nor a scintilla
of sacramental grace is thereby automatically conferred on anyone at all. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the
Author of all grace, becomes sacramentally present -- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity -- but He does not
confer grace merely by this sacramental Presence any more than His mere physical presence on the Cross
conferred grace on any one. The Source of all grace was there, but none save Dismas and Longinus (to our
certain knowledge) benefited by His Divine Presence, co-operating with the actual grace that He (as He, the
most loving superabundant Source of grace, is always eager to do for all) gave to them.
It is in the reception of the Holy Sacrament that the res sacramenti, the reality of the sacrament, is conferred
(the res sacramenti also can be received, though not fully, through the desire for it, but that topic is outside
the scope of our present discussion). But it is also in the reception of the Holy Sacrament that some bring
about their eternal damnation.

The res et Sacramentum, which is the True Body and Blood of Christ, is thus isolated, is, in
effect, turned into something useless. But the res et sacramentum is the immediate effect of

the sacramentum tantum, the joining of matter and form, which effects the transubstantiation
which is the essence of the Holy Mass. We have seen how Omlors thinking isolates the
Eucharist and thus effectively separates the Eucharist from Calvary; we see here how it
isolates the res sacramenti, the proper effect of the Eucharist, from the essence of the mass,
which is the transubstantiation, effectively separating them. Their relation is only a logical
one: in order to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, it must first be present. But the grace is
produced by the receiving of the sacrament not by the sacrament. And in this Omlors
Pelagianism appears. It is the receiving that counts, that is, the merely human appropriation of
the sacrament. The receiving is not part of the sacrament. This innocent sounding phrase of
Omlor: It is in the reception of the Holy Sacrament that the res sacramenti, the reality of the
sacrament, is conferred is true in itself, but in its context conveys something false: it conveys
the idea that the receiving is not part of the sacrament, but is merely human. But the reception
is part of the sacrament, it is part of what the sacrament realizes ex opere operato. This does
not mean that there is no human dimension in the reception of the sacrament: there is. And it
is true that the transubstantiation makes the Body and Blood of Christ available, but it doesnt
merely make them available, which is what Omlor is saying, and which is his error. (Similarly
it is true that the Cross makes the graces of salvation available, but it is Omlorian error to
think that it merely makes them available. Omlors terrible phrase about Christs merely
physical presence on the cross is telling: if Christ were as Omlor tells us, only physically
present on the Cross, the Cross would be no sacrifice, and if the cross is no sacrifice, neither
is the mass. But the words of Christ at the Last Supper establish in the clearest possible terms
the sacrificial nature of Christs action on the Cross, which mean that Christ was not merely
physically present on the Cross, but that He was present as Priest. Christ is present not only
physically present on the cross he is present fully, consciously, theandrically. The Cross is
part of the Sacrament, because on the Cross Christ does what he said he would do at the Last
Supper, he gives us his Body and Blood, and therefore when we do what Christ did at the Last
Supper, we receive his Body and Blood, and the reception of the sacrament is part of the
Sacrament.
Omlor splits the reception of the Sacrament into two things which are dissociated; the
reception of the Body and Blood of Christ and the receiving of the res sacramenti, the unity
of the Church, the sacramental grace of the Eucharist. If, as Omlor tells us, Christ is not grace,
then it follows that grace is not Christ, and why should it be necessary to receive Christ to
receive the sacramental grace? For Omlor receiving Christs Body and Blood brings us the
sacramental grace for magical reasons, not for logical ones. For Omlor the sacramental grace
is not produced by the sacrament (it is signified, wordlessly, he tells us, but he forgets that a
sacrament produces what it signifies).
In TNS Omlor tells us that only in the res sacramenti is grace produced
Of these three cornerstones only one of them, the last one considered, the Res
Sacramenti, is grace, which is invisible. The "sign only" is not grace; it is bread
and wine morally united with the Words of Consecration, and hence perceptible
by the senses. It is that which satisfies the first part of the definition of a
Sacrament, viz., "an outward sign." The "reality and sign" is not grace; it is the
transubstantiated species, namely, the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of
Christ. Now, since the only one of these cornerstones that is grace is the Res
Sacramenti, it is easily seen that it alone is the ultimate result that fulfills that
essential third part of the definition of a Sacrament "to produce grace."
TRC, pp. 310-311
This comes at the end of a series of pious reflections and citations about how sanctifying
grace unites us with the Mystical Body, which are beautiful in themselves, but there is

something here which undermines them. The res sacramenti is the grace produced by the
sacrament, but Omlor turns it into something produced effectively outside of the sacrament,
by the reception of the sacrament, an action which is human, not divine. Grace has become a
thing rather than a person, and it comes to us by our taking it, our snatching it, rather than by
Gods giving it to us sacramentally, graciously.
You cannot have it both ways. What is taken is not given. And the affirmation that grace is
taken subverts the whole idea of grace.
The Pelagianism is well disguised. Omlors well-disguised Pelagianism is symptomatic of the
well-disguised Pelagianism threatening the Catholic Church in a more general sense, and to
which the Second Vatican Council reacted. This well-disguised Pelagianism presents itself as
Thomism, but misrepresents St. Thomas. 16
16

Father Brey helps to delineate the shape of this Pelagianism: When John Paul II affirms that
Christ by his Incarnation is united in a mysterious way with each man, Omlor reacts
skeptically with Does such a bond exist? But Father Brey responding in a letter to an earlier
version (1983) of my objections to Omlors thesis, admits that such a bond does exist
(Catholic theology obliges that), but distinguishes it from the bond of sanctifying grace, trying
to put it to one side, to forget it, and to suggest that it does not have anything to do with the
question at hand.
Father Brey nevertheless wants to separate the aspects of sufficiency and efficacy in such a
way that the Incarnation becomes the mere condition of what happens or does not happen at
the moment of efficacy or no efficacy. Everything depends finally upon our taking of
grace. (You can call it the reception of gracethat is a merely verbal distinction-- but what
you mean is simply the taking of it. Here you have once again the Pelagianism. Here are his
words:
By the Incarnation there is obviously a kinship with all men, by his sharing of our human
nature. This is certainly a grace, but it is not a justifying, sanctifying or saving union, such
as that resulting from an individuals accepting and coperating with Christs graces, or that
resulting from the Holy Eucharist.FR. FAHEY re Christ as HEAD OF FALLEN
HUMANITY is not referring to the specific Mystical Body of Christ (which is only and
solely the Roman Catholic Church). He emphasizes Christs Headship and authority over
mankind, because of His Divine Rights and His Incarnation: men therefore must be subject
to Him and become incorporated in Him, but de facto only MANY, not all men do this
L.S. Brey, Points & Comments on Carl Kusss arguments in defense of the validity of for
all men, October 1983
Justifying, sanctifying or saving union results thus from an individuals accepting and
cooperating with Christs graces, or from the Holy Eucharist.
This is unclear. Father Brey does not mention any role of faith (or baptism) in justification.
There is Pelagianism: It is not Christs grace that justifies, rather it is our cooperation:
justifying, sanctifying or saving union results from an individuals accepting and
collaborating with Christs graces. This is Pelagian: Christs grace becomes the mere
condition of justification, the mere material.
A priest such as Father Brey could feel himself justified in making such an assertion because
it seems to rhyme with with a rejection of the Lutheran assertions about grace, and the role of
free will. Father Brey felt himself on solid Catholic ground, but in fact he is not.

That the Pelagianism of Omlors theology disguises itself, should not be a surprise. It is not a
matter of a deceptive intention, but of the logic of things.
The res sacramenti is the proper effect of the sacrament , but transubstantiation is the
immediate effect of the joining of form and matter in the sacrament, and this implies that the

But Father Brey goes on to affirm that this justification and sanctification is at the same time
the work of the Eucharist. It is true that our justification is at once a work of God and a work
of man. But that is not what he says: he says that it results from our collaboration, or from the
Eucharist. In other words, he is inserting the Pelagian interpretation of grace inside the
Eucharist.
Thus Father Brey thinks that it is fine to emphasize the duty that all men have to Christ as
Head, the duty to be subject to him and incorporated into him, following Father Fahey. But
the ought should be based on an is. Father Brey first admits there is a kinship, but he goes
on to forget it. He dissociates that kinship from the Church. He says that whatever it may be,
it is not the Church, the Mystical Body. In effect, He splits the Mystical Body up: there is the
Church, and then there is this other thing, which one neglects and finally forgets. The
important thing becones what you have to do, and therefore the real role of grace is
undermined. Christ the Redeemer, is no longer necessary, sin is not that bad, since you can
fix it yourself. The Eucharist becomes a moral discourse rather than a gracious act of Christ,
the gracious act of Christ. Pelagianism is in the air. And the moral discourse is already on its
way to becoming a mere form of bullying people.
This methodology of bullying people into the faith shows itself in the sympathy shown by
Father Brey for the politics of extreme right: the nostalgia-dream of the (good) (Catholic)
dictator. In traditionalist writers such as Father Brey there is on one hand a deep Catholic
piety, which it is not my task to question, but on the other hand there is the presence of toxic
pagan elements, which one must come to grips with in order to see the whole picture of what
radical traditionalism represents. It is simplistic to identify radical traditionalism with pious
Catholicism. Father Brey mentions Father Dennis Fahey, a writer with whom Father Brey has
deep sympathy. Father Fahey is champion of the Kingship of Christ, understood of in terms of
the rights of God. He opposes the Kingdom of Christ to the Anti-Christian Reign of Jewish
Naturalism, with its political manifestations. But the problem is that, in spite of its pious
ambience, this notion of the Kingdom of Christ, which gives us a Christ who enters the world,
above all, looking for his rights, does not do justice to the data of the Gospel of a Christ who
came to serve and not to be served, and is put in service of a politics which is vitiated by
paganism, proposing an order of things in which above the pious fools at the base of the social
pyramid there is hard-handed pagan power, the ideal dictator, who shouts and bullies (but on
the other hand is a true Catholic.) Below the surface there is the influence of the pagan
naturalism which one imputes, schizophrenically, to the Jews: Father Fahey, defender of the
rights of God, favorite of Father Brey and of those who sprinkle their discourses with
phrases like I am not anti-Semitic, but. and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, may
not be of proven authenticity, nevertheless
Anti-Semitism in the Church is the ally of Pelagianism in the Church. Anti-Semitism is not
only anti-Christian, it is anti-human, because the Church is the true Israel, and from the
beginning the supernatural vocation of Israel, was of universal significance. When Vatican II
condemned anti-Semitism it was doing something of the first importance. It was doing
something profoundly Catholic.

proper effect is mediated by the transubstantiation, which produces the Real Presence of
Christs True Body and Blood, the res et sacramentum.
When St. Thomas tells us that the sacrament has no effect save in those united to it by faith
and charity he is saying that Christs True Body and Blood has no effect save in those united
to it by faith and charity. Omlor tells us that he follows St. Thomas, but he was so pleased by
what St. Thomas was denying, that it has no effect in those without faith and charity, that he
forgot to take into account what St. Thomas is affirming: that the Sacrament (the res et
sacramentum) is efficacious in those united to it by faith and charity.
St. Thomas is defender of grace. He is not saying what Omlor says which is that grace in
effect does not exist: that there is no effect of redemption (no objective redemption) in
mankind as such, because redemption only makes salvation possible, and therefore the
sacrament has no effect save in those united to it by faith and charity, meaning that it has no
effect at all, since faith and charity are reduced to the merely human response, the
appropriation of something by a merely human mechanism.
This error is called Pelagianism, is a type of Pelagianism.
Grace is reified. It is something that you get from a merely human initiative. Grace becomes a
question of having, not a question of being. This is why Omlor does not know what to do with
a Tridentine Ecumenical Council which affirms that Christ is true greace. When grace is
reified, one reduces it to something which is in effect merely human, although one tries to
defend this way of thinking on the basis of texts of Scripture, and one tries to insist that this
point of view not only belongs to the Catholic boat, but is the Catholic boat.
This point of view is ostensibly but not authentically Catholic. It is not the point of view of St.
Thomas, and it is not the point of view of Trent. But it is not merely Omlors point of view. It
is a post-Tridentine error, but not a Tridentine error. Vatican II was necessary to clear up this
error, this pseudo-Catholic Pelagianism, which claims to be Catholic, which claims to be
Tridentine and Thomistic, and which claims to be the Churchs defense against Protestant
errors.
Faith and charity are theological virtues, not mere human responses.
But is the reception of the sacrament an appropriation of something? Some what? Is the
Sacrament then some thing?
The sacrament is indeed some thing: Our Lord by becoming our food, has reified Himself.
The Pelagianism consists not in the idea of Gods reifying himself out of love, but in our
reifying Him.
Our appropriation of the food which is the true Body and Blood of Our Lord is an
appropriation moved by the Holy Spirit.
St. Thomas tells us that the Sacrament of the Eucharist is efficacious, and this is what Omlor
denies, although he is always talking about efficacy and always talking about St. Thomas. His
Pelagianism entails that the Sacrament is not efficacious at all. The efficacy of the Sacrament
would have to be a divine efficacy, it would mean that the Body and Blood are the Body and
Blood of a Divine Person who lives, and that this living Person touches and moves the hearts
of those united to Him by faith and charity.

The snatching of the Pelagian is concretized in the person who partakes unworthily of the
Sacrament.
Partaking unworthily of the sacrament represents the archetypal sin of taking what is Gods
and attributing it to yourself. This snatching is the sin of Adam. In the Bible, all sin is, in
effect a variation and concretization of this sin. All sin is a denial of grace.
The sinner, who denies grace, demonstrates grace by his denial. He demonstrates the
universality of grace, he demonstrates that everything depends on grace by the selfcontradiction shown in demonstrating the contrary.
Naively one places Pelagianism in the category of errors which exaggerate the role of human
freedom, and thus it would not have much to do with the error of those who imagine a God
who uses fear tactics to impose an arbitrary and tyrannical will. A God who does not simply
warn but threatens:
Dont rebel against me, or you will end up like Judas, condemned to hell for ever.
That is the kind of language all tyrants use, they tell us, and why should God be any
different?
The Bible presents a terrorist God (they tell us) on every page. And If you can get people to
be good Catholics by threatening them, you should be congratulated for your efficacy. That
was the way we always use to do it, and it worked. It is the only efficacious way of doing
things. When we stopped using such tactics the Church pews began to empty.
A false reading of the Bible! And a false reading of history!
But analyzed more closely Pelagianism is akin to and in harmony with such a perverse
understanding of God. It is the imitation of such a God. Like father, like son.
Interesting from the point of view is the title that Omlor chose for his collected works: The
Robber Church. A Pelagian Chucrh really is a Robber Church, because it attributes to itself
the dynamism of grace.
It arrogates. And this arises from a lack of confidence in Gods love. That was the sin of
Adam, and it corresponds to the lie about God presented by the Evil One.
The efficacy of the Pelagian snatcher resembles the efficacy of the Tyrannical God, and his
tyrannical priests and followers.
This diabolic efficacy is not true efficacy. Like everything proposed by Satan, it is a lie.
The efficacy of the Eucharist is true efficacy and is diametrically opposed to that Satanic form
of efficacy. It is an efficacy which respects your freedom, unlike the maneuvers of the Tyrant.
The Pelagian preaches that he has saved himself, and that others will only be saved, if they
follow him by negating their faith in the God of Grace and follow him along the grim paths of
his arrogance.
Thanksgiving is a sentiment unknown to the Pelagian, absorbed as he is, by his project of selfsalvation.

Pelagianism, the denial of the Catholic and Biblical doctrine of grace, is closely connected to
the historical drama of anti-Semitism within our Church. When one fails to see how the Bible
reveals the God of Grace and how the history of Israel and the history of the Church a history
of sin corresponding to the failure of faith in the God of Grace, one encounters the necessity
of explaining Biblical history according to another key of interpretation. The anti-Semitic
interpretation is somehow always the chief alternative. The Jews are always the obvious
candidate-scapegoat. Was it not the Jews who killed Jesus after all? I do not have to reflect on
the nature of sin (discovering then that sin is a refusal of Gods grace) when I can resort to a
scapegoat. I can give the impression of taking sin seriously while in fact I am simply avoiding
the question of sin by the stubborn practice of blaming others.
The Bible reveals that sin is ever rooted in arrogant projects of self-salvation which constitute
a denial of the God of Grace.
F) Dare we hope for the salvation of all?
As Hans Urs von Balthasar has said: we may hope and we ought to dare to to hope for the
salvation of all.
Some were shooken by what von Balthasar affirmed.
The Church offers the sacrifice of the mass for all her members, because salvation is not
automatic. The mass offers us food for the road. The fact that the mass is offered for all her
members means that it is offered for all men, has as inescapable consequence that it is offered
for all men.
From this fact it follows that we may and we ought to dare to hope personally for the
salvation of all men then.
This is a step that we can take, that we must take.
The Church prays for the dead, for the faithful departed. This is a significant fact whose
significance ought to be prayerfully meditated.

Do we know how many people are in hell? Do we have even a partial answer to this question
regarding fact.
No. But be careful, because the no does not simply refer to our ignorance, that is to our
accidental ignornce. As if it were simply true to say that there is a certain number of people
in hell right now but we just do not know it (fully) for some accidental reason, that there is
some accidental veil between us and that knowledge, which God, being almighty, could lift,
and has in fact lifted a little, given that Jesus has informed us that hell is populated, and has
informed us (and him) that Judas Iscariot, not only had committed a grave sin (Jesus did say
that) but that he would be (and therefore is) eternally damned for that sin (and that a series of
private revelations, which are to be put on the same footing as the Bible and which are not
analyzed as to literary genre, talk about souls in hell, and that maintaining the freedom of
Judas (that is Catholic doctrine) one makes at the same time a joke of that freedom, because it
is absurd to think that the weak and vulnerable thing which is human freedom could resist
Eternal Judgement, spoken in its face.
Thus when our answer to the question is no, the no rejects the question, and does not merely
give one of the two answers which are supposed, a priori, to be the adequate answers to an
adequate question.

The nave and false way of thinking makes both our ignorance of the statitistics of hell, and
our knowledge of those statistics a mere question of accident. Those who say, as von
Balthasar does, that we do not have such statistics, and more importantly that we do have the
Gospel, are accused of not taking the Bible seriously. The Gospel tells us that the Lord has
come not to judge but to save. That ought to be taken seriously.
It is untrue to say that I , right now, am damned or predestined to heaven but I just do not
know the result of Gods coin-toss, so that what we call freedom is really nothing more than
ignorance.
No: our freedom is real. Our freedom is our human condition. If Jesus had said to Judas Oh
by the way, you are damned to eternal punishment he would have lied, and Jesus being
eternal Truth, cannot lie. He would have denied his own human condition. And it is no good
saying that the Bible tells us that he did say that. That too is untruth. The Bible does not tell us
that.
Then can we infer that we do not know if there is anyone in hell? Is hell empty? We must asks
ourselves what exactly such a question means.
The Bible tells us about Satan, his fall, and his punishment. It tells us above all about Christ,
and about how he realized our Redemption through his Cross and Resurrection, how He drank
the cup of punishment for our sins.
Jesus can testify to hell because he has been there.
The Bible tells us, furthermore, about man and about our human condition under the light of
Salvation History. The Bible does not allow us to be deniers of hell. Christ teaches that hell
exists.
Hell is not empty, because Satan is there. Satan is the quintessence of hell. It is his place.
And for that reason hell is not empty: Satan is there.
Hell is not empty because sin exists and the gravity of the state of a soul in mortal sin ought to
be recognized.
The doctrine of the eternity of the fires of hell is a simple reflection of Gods greatness, of
what the loss of God means.
It casts a light over human existence. It helps us to take our lives seriously.
We have the right and duty to hope and pray for the salvation of all our brothers and sisters,
for sinners, and for our enemies.
When Jesus teaches about the eternal fires of hell he is teaching about the consequences at the
moment of death of the loss of God which mortal sin entails.
Repentance is in the first place the gift of Gods grace. By Gods grace something can happen
which is impossible according to human logic.
If we teach about sin in such a way that the first thing that comes to mind is an extrinsic
eternal punishment that (may) follow upon it, then we have not taught as Jesus taught and

teaches. The evil of sin is intrinsic to it. What must be taught about sin is the evil that is
intrinsic to it, not that God arbitrarily punishes it.
A hell-centered morality warps the image of God as well as the image of sin.
The doctrine of hell should make us think, and not make us fear. Thinking, one ought to fear
both sin and hell.
Hell consists essentially in the eternal pain of the loss of God and his friendship. Jesus
testifies to hell, because he passed through it, in other words, because he drank the cup of
punishment for our sins, drank it completely. But this does not mean that we may not dare to
hope for the salvation of all.
Christ shed his blood for all, and that gives us ground for hope, not just for me but for all.
By praying for the salvation of all we pray simply that the number of the elect be fulfilled. We
pray simply that Gods will may be done and that His Kingdom come.
The Bible tells us that the number of the Elect is many, but that many is greater than all, not
less.
Father Prosinger denies that Biblical many is rooted in a Semitism (which I think is false); but
he tells us also, interestingly, that Biblical all sometimes must be understood as a Semitism. 17
In other words in many places the expression for Biblical all does not have the sense that one
would expect in the non Biblical and not Semitic context, that all means Israel, the people of
God, believers. This principle is especially illuminating as one reads the Epistle to the
Romans. Paul speaks of all, and you would think he means all men, but then the context
shows that all has the sense of all believers. Still, if one thinks that Paul thus has a narrow
vision of the Church, and that the Redemption has no universal repercussion there are texts
enough to show you are wrong. The Bible is the story of the People of God and it speaks of
that people in concrete language, but the Church interpreting the Bible, and basing itself on
what the Bible says, affirms that People of God has a universal dimension, that the many of
the Church is greater, not less, than all and therefore touches all.
By praying for the fulfillment of the number of the elect, by praying that Gods will be done,
we are praying for the salvation of all.
Hope is not presumption. It is opposed both to despair and to presumption. Jesus gave us
hope, that is the content of the objective redemption. It is something real. It is our freedom,
the freedom that Jesus won for me and for all my brothers on the Cross. That freedom is
therefore not something merely neutral that I would therefore have the right to misuse. It is
something positive. It is something blessed. It is the Gospel itself: Jesus has freed me from my
sins, and he has freed you. It is outrageously positive, blessed, and joyful. The Christian living
in this world has work to do, but he has the right to happiness, he has happiness, he has the
Gospel. It is the truth, and it is therefore the private possession of no one. The Gospel is
Christ-centered, but it also has repercussion in you and me. Many Catholics have forgotten
the Gospel; the Gospel has come to sound strange to our ears. I hear many Catholics saying
things like If you tell people that God has forgiven their sins, they will stop going to

17

Frans Prosinger, Das Blut des Bundes: Vergossen fr Viele?, Verlag Franz Schmitt,
Sieburg 2007, p. 48

confession, and that cant be Catholic18 or I prefer to think not so much that God has
forgiven my sins as that God has given me a recipe for getting them forgiven or There is the
Gospel, of course, but there is also the other side of the story, and if we are content with the
Gospel we will sound very Protestant: balance in all things. But I for myself know only one
word, one way to respond to the Gospel: Amen. Amen, Alleluia. And from that point I go on to
live my life with humility, faith, trust in the Lord.
We must follow the example of Jesus. My order is called the Legionaries of Christ. We are
fond of the idea of a militant Christ, whose example we follow. But what was this militance
of Christ? Did Christ not fight for the salvation of all, even for his enemies, even for the
Pharisees, even for the apostle who betrayed him? I reject the idea of a Manichean Christ who
came to judge and not to save, who tells us whose salvation is not worth fighting or praying
for, who tells us that there is a whole series of human beings regarding whose salvation I have
the right to be indifferent. The Gospel speaks of a different Christ.
I have the right to be joyful in the Gospel of Jesus Christ; but I also have the duty to fight for
the salvation of all, following the footsteps of Christ.
g) the relation between many and all: many is more, not less than all
The German theologian Cardinal Leo Scheffczyk (mariological theologian, theological
advisor of Pope Saint John Paul II) 19 wrote an article about the validity question in which he
makes the profound remark that sufficiency and efficacy are aspects which can be expressed
separately, but which cannot be thought separately.
And Pope Benedict XVI says something similar in his letter to the German Conference of
Bishops regarding the translation of pro multis

18

Reminding me of Robin Williams joke about Episcopalianism being like Catholicism Light: same ritual, but

with only half the guilt!

I have to add that Leo Sceffczyk was, in a certain sense, the pillar of the priestly
association of Linz; the cornerstone to look to in a particularly confused theological situation.
[Note: The Priests Association of Linz, or Linzer Priesterkreis, is considered a leading
forum for traditional Catholic thought. It sponsors an annual Summer Academy in the small
Austrian town of Aigen.] He participated every year in the summer theological academy,
enriching the meetings with his presentations: in this sense, Leo Scheffczyk did a great deal
for Austria.
During my activity as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, we often
asked Scheffczyk to elaborate a votum. [Note: the term refers to a formal theological
judgment.] We were aware that, from the moment he was asked to do something, he would
not only do the work efficiently, but very well. This was the fruit of a common path we had
taken over many years, and thus Leo Scheffczyk was a great help to me.
At one point, the Holy Father asked me if there was a theologian in Germany who was over
80 years old, who might be worthy of being made a cardinal. I had already spoken of Leo
Scheffczyk to Pope John Paul II several times, and the pope too knew him personally. In fact,
it was John Paul who told me that the name Scheffczyk is a Polish name that means little
shoemaker. We all know how good it was that Scheffczyk was created a cardinal. In this
period, we got to know one another again.
19

Extract from interview with Benedict XVI on Cardinal Leo Scheffczyk


John Allen, National Catholic Reporter, October 20, 2007

Schlielich mag ein dritter Aspekt dazukommen. In der heutigen Gesellschaft haben
wir das Gefhl, keineswegs viele zu sein, sondern ganz wenige ein kleiner Haufen,
der immer weiter abnimmt. Aber nein wir sind viele: Danach sah ich: eine groe
Schar aus allen Nationen und Stmmen, Vlkern und Sprachen; niemand konnte sie
zhlen, heit es in der Offenbarung des Johannes (Offb 7, 9). Wir sind viele und
stehen fr alle. So gehren die beiden Worte viele und alle zusammen und
beziehen sich in Verantwortung und Verheiung aufeinander.
Many and all belong together, Pope Benedict tells us. He also tells us that the concrete
historical many of the Church is image of the Eschatological Many, which is uncountable,
infinite. Many has a spiritual and not simply quantitative aspect.

Leo Scheffczyk
Der Fels 8 (1977) 179-83

Die Frage nach der Gultigkeit: zur Konsekrationsformel in der neue Liturgie

For many, reflecting and not denying an input of human freedom in the proper effect, the res
tantum of the Eucharist, can be taken as reflecting a limitation, a number which is many, but
less than all, due to the limitations of our cooperation with Gods grace, which limitation is a
fact that no mature person would want to deny, and which is amply attested to in the Bible.
This can be understood as reflecting the not yet completed nature of human history, and of the
Kingdom of God.
But does it tell us about the final number of the elect, that it is less than all?
The anti-von Balthasarians will gladly think that it does. But the fact of sin, even of grave sin
(and grave sin is a fact) does not imply that sin, evil, Satan will have the last word. Our faith
tells us that it will not: God will have the last word.
But does this mean that everyone will finally be saved? In other words has God revealed to
us that everyone will be saved? No, He has not. Such a revelation would imply that grave sin
is not really grave, that what we experience as evil is just superficial, is not real. Some Eastern
religions apparently tell us this. If evil, which we experience, and which is part of Biblical
revelation, is illusory, good is also illusory. But the Gospel gives us Christ who dies for our
sins. In this fact, the ultimate gravity of sin is revealed. Grave sin is real.
Omlors point of view is that of a certain catechetical tradition, which tells you that grave sin
is grave because those who commit grave sin go to hell if they do not repent. This is seen as
the most important thing to teach about sin: If you die in mortal sin you will go to hell. This is
true, but it does not tell us why grave sin is grave. Grave sin is not grave because those who
die in the state of mortal sin will go to hell, rather the damnation of those who die in grave sin
reveals the gravity of grave sin.
Grave sin, all sin is essentially an offense against God. If one teaches hell as essentially a
threat from God, one accepts an essentially man-centered vision of sin. Fear-centered, and
therefore man-centered.
The doctrine of hell taught by Jesus Christ is something extremely vivid and concrete. But
what does this tell us? Why is it concrete?
The anti-Balthasarians are right when they say that Christ in teaching hell is clearly not
teaching a mere theory.
There is one man who has drunken the chalice of the the consequences of grave sin, who has
suffered all the consequences, who can speak about the consequences, concretely and vividly,
and who has spoken concretely and vividly of those consequences, and therefore is not
speaking of a mere theory. That man is Jesus Christ.
If hell is without end it means that human beings in hell will never have suffered all the
consequences of grave sin, that there will always be infinitely more of the deserved
punishment waiting for them.

But Christ suffered all the consequences of sin by dying for us. This allows his discourse
about hell to be concrete and vivid. He knows what he is talking about. If he had not suffered
for our sins, his discourse about hell could never have been cast in human language.
He descended into hell. This was the chalice that He had to drink.
Sic et Christus, semel oblatus ad multorum auferenda peccata, secundo sine peccato
apparebit exspectantibus se in salutem. (Hebrews 9:28)
so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not
to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.
In this passage from the letter to the Hebrews, the distinction between the objective
redemption and the subjective redemption is made, that is to say both terms are spoken of
through the contrast of semel..secundo: 1. the taking away of sins (objective redemption) and
2. a salvation which includes our participation by free will (exspectantibus); one need to
consider the whole to understand the parts.
One might relate the many of ad multorum auferenda peccata to the Church, just as one ought
to relate the many of Isaiah 53:12 to Israel: the Servant bears the sins of Israel, but this does
not remove that here a sacrifice for sins, a sacrifice on behalf of sinners is spoken of: if the
Servant bears the sins of Israel, the justness of a prophetic application of the text to a Servant
bearing the sins of mankind cannot be denied.20

Father Franz Prosinger, the scholar who helped Pope Benedict XVI arrive at the conclusion
that for all is not an adequate translation of the sacramental pro multis criticizes von Balthasar
for translating Hebrews 9:28 with all men, where the letter gives us many, saying that it
reflects his teaching regarding the question of an empty hell. which the Swiss Theologian
was at that moment defending:
20

Dagegen findet man relativ hufig in unserer Zeit eine Allerlsungslehre",


die hinsichtlich ihrer tatschlichen Verwirklichung keine Sttze in der biblischen
Offenbarung hat. H.U. von Balthasar zitiert zur Sttzung seiner These
von der begrndeten und sogar gebotenen Hoffnung auf eine leere Hlle Heb
9,27 und bersetzt: Christus hat sich einmal dahingeopfert, um die Snden
aller hinwegzunehmen. Wenn dort das artikellose und ohne Prposition
stehende polloi/ fr eine im Endeffekt allen zukommende Heilsgnade
sprechen sollte, so da niemand verlorengehen wrde, dann wrde das wohl
auch fr das polloi/ in den Worten ber den Kelch zutreffen. Auch wenn
die Beurteilung des hermeneutischen Horizontes unserer Zeit den innerbiblischen Standpunkt verlt, so kann sich doch auch der Wissenschaftler nicht
der Auseinandersetzung mit der konkreten Situation seiner Leser, bzw. Hrer
entziehen294. Wer dem fr alle mentaliter hinzufgt die es wollen", sagt zwar
nichts Falsches, mu aber in Kauf nehmen, da etwas Falsches gehrt wird.
Als Beispiel sei ein Text angefhrt: Gg. Schraml, Seelsorgeamt Regensburg, zur Osterbeichte
1989: In der Auferstehung seines Sohnes Jesus Christus sagt Gott unwiderruflich
Ja zu uns. Wir sind erlst. Freilich, oft genug mssen wir uns den Vorwurf des
Philosophen Nietzsche gefallen lassen: Erlster mssen sie aussehen! Knnte nicht der
Empfang des Busakramentes wieder Ansto dazu sein? Gott hat mich befreit von
meiner Schuld. Dies steht im Gebet vor der Beicht Ich bin erlst. Voll Freude und
Zuversicht darf ich wieder neu anfangen. Offensichtlich geht es nicht um die konkrete
Heilszuwendung, sondern nur um die Bewutwerdung und das entsprechende Aussehen
des Erlstseins.
294

Das Blut des Bundes: Vergossen fr Viele? Franz Prosinger, Verlag Franz Schmitt, 2007,
pp. 127-128.
Yet the teaching of a universal objective redemption ought not to be confused with the
teaching that everyone will finally be saved, and it seems to me that Father Prosinger is the
one who is confusing the two, not von Balthasar. Further it is interesting to observe the
connection that Prosinger makes between Hebrews 9:28 and the chalice-word: If the word for
many here with neither article or preposition can be taken in the universal sense, then it can be
taken in the chalice-word in the same way.
I would like to place here the full text of von Balthasar in the Spanish translation that I have at
hand.
Pero qu ocurre con las frases de la segunda serie, en
las que la obra redentora del mundo pecador, emprendida
por Dios en Cristo, se manifiesta como la victoria total
sobre los enemigos de Dios? No saldremos bien parados
si no hacemos algn distingo: Dios tiene buena voluntad,
pero permite que sta fracase ante la maldad de los
hombres. Dios quiere que todos los hombres se salven y
lleguen al conocimiento de la verdad. Pues slo hay un
Dios y un Mediador entre Dios y los hombres, el hombre
Jesucristo, que se entreg a s mismo como redencin de
todos (1 Tm 2,4s.). Permteme, Seor, que hagamos algunas
distinciones en tu voluntad: Dios quiere con
voluntad antecedente (volntate antecedente) que todos
los hombres obtengan la salvacin, pero consecuentemente
(consequenter) tambin quiere l que algunos se
condenen, segn las exigencias de su justicia (Tomas de
Aquino, S.Th. I, 19, 6, ad 1; De ver. 23, 2). Podramos
incluso hablar de una voluntad de Dios absoluta y otra
condicionada (ISent. 46,1.1, ad 2). Digamos, adems,
que Cristo es llamado el salvador de todos los hombres,
sobre todo de los creyentes (1 Tm 4,10): No se apercibe
ya en esta formulacin una limitacin? Pero qu decir
de la palabra victoriosa de Jess, con la que l predice el
efecto de pasin: Ahora el prncipe de este mundo ser
arrojado fuera, y yo, si fuere levantado de la tierra, atraer
a todos hacia m (Jn 12, 31s.)? Bien; l procurar quizs
atraerlos, pero no lograr mantenerlos. Estad tranquilos,
yo he vencido al mundo (Jn 16, 33). Desgraciadamente,
slo a la mitad, Seor, a pesar de todos tus esfuerzos. Se
ha manifestado la gracia de Dios que trae la salvacin a
todos los hombres (Tt 2, 11). Digamos con ms precisin:
ha ofrecido la gracia, pero no sabemos cuntos la
han recibido. Dios no quiere que nadie se pierda, sino
que todos vengan a penitencia (2 P 3,9). L gustara eso,
pero, por desgracia, no lo consigue. Cristo se ofreci una
vez para soportar los pecados de todos (Hb 9, 28). Quizs
sea verdad, pero la cuestin es saber si todos quieren
que se los quiten. Dios nos encerr a todos en la desobediencia
para tener de todos misericordia (Rm 11, 32).
Que l se compadezca de todos, puede ser que s, pero no
por eso podemos decir que todos admitan esta compasin,

es decir, que permitan que se extienda a todos. Y si en


toda esta cuestin afirmamos que llegar el momento en
que todo Israel se salvar (Rm 11, 26), con esta explicacin
generalizada no necesariamente incluimos a cada
individuo. Las cartas de la cautividad parecen hablar con
una generalizacin parecida cuando dicen de Dios que
ha reconciliado todas las cosas en el cielo y en la tierra
(Col 1,20). Ha recapitulado todas las cosas en Cristo, las
del cielo y las de la tierra (Ef 1,10). Unas expresiones de
este tipo de carcter ms bien hmnico y doxolgico no
hay porqu interpretarlas literalmente. Lo mismo hay que
decir, naturalmente, del himno de la carta a los Filipenses,
en el cual toda rodilla se dobla en el cielo y en la tierra y
en las regiones subterrneas, y toda lengua confiesa que
Jesucristo es Seor para gloria de Dios Padre (Flp 2,10s.).
Y cuando Jess ora al Padre diciendo: T le has dado
poder sobre toda carne, para que a todos los que T le diste
les d l vida eterna (Jn 17, 2), lo mejor que podramos
hacer es diferenciar la primera expresin: toda carne, que
puede ser universal, de la segunda: todos, que se refiere
slo a una porcin de elegidos. Pero podemos interpretar
el impresionante pasaje de 2 Co 5,20s., limitndolo de esta
manera?: Dios, a quien no conoci el pecado, lo hizo
pecado por nosotros para que en l furamos justicia de
Dios. Y no nos da casi una lastimosa impresin cuando
el mismo Pablo en Rm 5 nos insiste diciendo que en Adn
(origen de la humanidad natural) todos han sucumbido a la
muerte, pero el don gratuito conferido por la gracia de un
solo hombre, Jesucristo, ha abundado mucho ms en beneficio
de todos. Y esto mismo se repite hasta siete veces,
amplindolo incluso hasta decir que por la transgresin de uno
llega a todos la justificacin y la vida. La insistencia en
decir mucho ms y abundado no se puede pasar por
alto (Rm 5,15-21). Acaso nos encontramos ante una serie
de piadosas exageraciones?
Podramos seguir aduciendo ms pasajes. Nosotros no
negamos en absoluto que la serie de amenazas pierdan su
fuerza; negamos tan slo que la serie de amenazas quite
su fuerza a las citadas expresiones de carcter universal.
Y no afirmamos ms que esto: que las expresiones nos
dan derecho a esperar a favor de todos los hombres, que
es como decir que nosotros no nos vemos constreidos a
dar el paso desde las amenazas a la posicin de un infierno
lleno de nuestros hermanos y hermanas, con lo que
destruiramos nuestra esperanza.
Hans urs von Balthasar, Qu podemos Esperar?, en Tratado sobre el Infierno: Compendio,
EDICEP, 2000, pp. 147-149
(I have added the color scheme which puts the infernalist voice in red, and the Evangelical
voice in blue.)

The Eucharist in any case is an extension of the objective (universal!) redemption); it may be
considered as a limited extension, because of the fact of resistance to the Gospel. The realism
of admitting that there is resistance to the Gospel, does not, however, mean that Gods plan
will be frustrated in the end; The Bible speaks only of the fulfilment of Gods plan.
On the Cross Christ drinks the chalice of Redemption, the (identical) sacrifice which he had
offered in the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper and which the Church continues
to offer in the Holy Mass, which is the identical sacrifice, which differs only in how it is
offered, now in an unbloody fashion, so that the offering of Holy Mass constitutes
the perpetuation of the same identical offer.
One cannot deny that Christ spoke of (that is meant!) all men at the Last Supper, without
denying the universal intentionality of Christs offer on the cross. The price of doing so is the
denial that the sacrifice is really the same sacrifice, and the affirmation that at the Last Supper
our Lord was speaking of another sacrifice, or something else.
The Church knows what the Lord meant at the Last Supper.
Omlors position thus entails an effective denial of the sacrificial character of the mass.
To search for further information about hell (how many people there are in hell, whether such
and such a person is in hell presently, whether there will be more people condemned than
saved) is engage in idle curiosity, which means an attempt to know the unknowable: the
unsurmountably unknowable.
But if Jesus did give us such information about hell in the Gospel (Did he though?) then it
follows that such information is not unsurmountably unknowable, in other words that such
information (that is, such truth, because from this point of view, truth is nothing more than
information) is there, behind a certain barrier, which can be overcome by a reliable and
efficacious communicator (Jesus)
But to entertain this point of view is to:
1 )deny the truth of the human condition: our condition is one of real freedom bought by the
blood of Christ, but our condition is also not yet the eschatological fulfillment. We are really
One can perhaps object to von Balthasars translation of Hebrews 9:28 (but does it pretend to
be a translation?); one can perhaps object to his way of criticizing St. Thomas, but I find that
von Balthasar makes a cogent criticism of those who have forgotten the Gospel. And
overcoming this forgetfulness of the Gospel is my chief object in all that I am saying in these
pages. My battles with Patrick Omlor are a mere platform in which I would like to pursue that
larger object. Both Prosinger and Father Manfred Hauke make an appeal to the seeking
balance, against the Spirit of the Times argument, that, although in the past there have been
Jansenists and others who who have neglected the for all aspect the real danger in our time
is from the other side.
I would say, rather, that the real danger is from Satan, the principal liar, who would bury the
truth of the Gospel, and that there are two ways to do that: one being the suggesion that
salvation is automatic, and the other way is to suggest the cruel God who condemns and
predestines arbitrarily. But Where the light of the Gospel shines, Satan retreats.

free, the sinner really does have time that he can use to obtain salvation, but we have not
reached our final salvation, and therefore presumption and despair are sinful. It is
contradictory to treat as a fact what has not yet been decided.
2) deny the Incarnation. One denies that Jesus is truly on this side of the Eschaton. One turns
the Incarnation into a mere myth about God. Jesus is then not truly God, but simply a puppet
of God, a mere prophet, a mere messenger of mere information. And if such mere information
is part of Revelation, then Revelation can be nothing more than an arbitrary communication
of information, and ceases to be the full Revelation of The Divine Mystery21.
Jesus did not therefore give us such further information. He did experience the full
consequences of sin, drinking the bitter chalice of the Cross which culminates in a descent
into hell. His doctrine of hell is based on this experience, and the vividness of the experience
is expressed in the vividness of the doctrine. His communication has therefore the character of
seriousness, and not the character of something belonging to the agenda of idle curiosity.
Jesus reveals the serious doctrine of hell to us, because He is seriously interested in our
salvation. The salvific motivation, and a motivation of trying to coerce people to do
something by means of fear are mutually exclusive.
h) Many (greater than all) signifies the Church as a living reality, vivified by the Spirit
of God.
A simple reflection on the word many (abstracting from the question of a possible Semitism)
tells us that many is not in logical conflict with all. Many does not mean less than all, it means
more than few, and more than a mere sufficiency. If the sufficiency aspect is reflected by the
word all, and the efficacy aspect is reflected in the word many, many refers to a number
transcending the sufficiency reflected in all. This may seem paradoxical, impossible: how can
there be a number greater than all?
If Christ, the head of all mankind, is made present in the res et sacramentum of the Eucharist
by the realization of transubstantiation, and by the corresponding perpetuation of Calvary in
the offering of Holy Mass, it follows that the Eucharist constitutes in some way an extension
and completion of the Incarnation. This corresponds to and harmonizes with the idea that the
res sacramenti is the unity of the Church: the Church grows through the mass, without
ceasing ever to be what She is.
Omlor is appalled at John McCarthys affirmation that the Sacrament produces Christ. He
says that is absurd. He tells us that the effect of the sacrament, the res sacramenti is not Christ,
but the unity of the Church. He is right. The sacrament does not produce Christ, because it is
Christ, his true Body and Blood. The question is what does the Real Presence produce. The
answer given by Omlor is that it produces the unity of the Church. But the idea of the res
sacramenti as the unity of the Church which is Omlors key idea, which is something that
Omlor rightfully insists upon, says something yet greater and more astonishing regarding the
Sacrament: that it produces the Church, Christ and his members.

21

I would also like to warn about a possible dodge regarding the present discussion: that of politically correct
neutrality, which can hide behind words like I wont commit myself because I just follow the Magisterium (yet
ignoring in fact what several recent Popes have said about these issues). A mature Christian should know what
the Gospel means in its basic message, and therefore has the sensus fidei by which he should be able to discern
more and more of the consequences by the light of the Spirit. One can make mistakes of course along the way,
but as Chesterton said A thing worth doing is worth doing badly, and defending the Gospel is worth doing, and
worth doing valiently.

The Church is in an unceasing process of becoming who She is. This is characteristic of living
organisms. The Church is not simply a living organism, but the arechetypal and supreme
living organism. The Eucharist is related in an essential way to her growth process.
The fact that the Church is born of the Eucharist has been highlighted both by Pope St. John
Paul II (Ecclesia de Eucharistia) and by Pope Benedict XVI (Sacramentum Caritatis). Living
things live by a process of continual self transcendence. To recognize the Church as a living
organism implies no naturalistic understanding of supernatural realities: the soul of the
Church is the Holy Spirit, and to say that the Holy Spirit is her soul is to say that the Holy
Spirit is her life principle, and when one recognizes the Church as the archetypal living
organism, one arrives at the undoing of every naturalism, and at the same time, on arrives at
the full revelation of the mystery of nature as the place of divine revelation
Jesus spoke of the growth process of the Church in his parables about the Kingdom of God
(the mustard seed); and the miracle of the loaves, which occurs at the hands of the apostles, is
a concrete image of a Church which grows the Eucharist. Many is the number of the Church
and the term of the growth process, but the eschatological many is imaged along the way, the
local Church resembles the Universal Church, the Church is self-similar (to use the term that
mathematicians use in describing fractal processes: the part resembles the whole.
The many of the Pilgrim Church, reflects human limitations, human brokenness, limited
human correspondence, incompleteness and sin. Yet ones vision of the reality of the Church
ought not to be dominated by negativity. The light of the eschatological Church is already
breaking in the Church of today.
Those participating in the banquet of the Church are many, not all, but the many presupposes
an all which it transcends. The many receive a foretaste of the eschatological fulfilment which
passes beyond the redemption shared by all in its character of sufficiency, but at the same
time is related to it and supposes it.
Redemption (won for all) and salvation (for the elect) name the same Gospel, but they see it
from different points of view. As Cardinal Scheffczyk affirms, they can be be named
separately but must be thought together.
Both have reference to human freedom. Redemption is the freeing of mankind from the
dominion of Satan, opening the gates of heaven. Salvation depends not only depends on
human freedom (Augustine: God who made you without you will not save you without you)
but is the fullness of human freedom. Omlor and kindred thinkers emphasize that the negative
use of human freedom limits the number of the elect, but the principle behind this truth means
that the magnitude of the number of the elect is determined by human freedom: that the
number is determined positively, and not only negatively by human freedom, that salvation is
the fruit of human freedom, the final fruit of human freedom.
This does not lead us into Pelagianism, and the denial of grace, because it is not grasping and
arrogance. Salvation is affirmed to be human, fully human, and completely human, but not
merely human. Not human in a sense which excludes God.
Salvation is a human work and a divine work. It is fully divine, completuely divine, but not
divine in a sense which excludes man. There is a human input, and yet it is work which is
completely divine. Being completely divine does not mean excluding a human input, just as
being completely human does not exclude a divine input.

I recall a phrase, which I believe has its origin in St. Thomas, and which was taught to us by
our professor of theodicy in the Gregorian universisty, Father Biolo : that human acts are totus
et totaliter from man and totus et totaliter from God.
He who partakes of this Pasch makes up in his own flesh for what is missing in the Passion of
Christ in such a way that the Passion of Christ is completed in him. And thus the the res
sacramenti is produced by his reception of the sacrament.What is missing in the Passion of
Christ is precisely our subjective, contingent, human participation which is our reception of
the Sacrament, which produces the unity of the Church, the res sacramenti.
In this way there is explanation of the sense in which the many is greater than the all, and at
the same time includes the all as it surpasses it. The reception of the sacrament adds an effect
to the objective redemption, and through contingent human participation entailed in the
reception of the sacrament, it shows the sublime generosity of God, when one examines the
grand eschatological scheme, but also when one simply considers todays concrete reality, in
which it is evident that Gods salvation has not yet reached the ends of the earth and in which
mans response to the Gospel is limited by how his freedom has been exercised.
At the end of history when the number which is the many of the Church is fulfilled, God will
have triumphed. But man also will have triumphed. Gods triumph does not mean mans
defeat, just as mans triumph does not mean Gods defeat (Gods exclusion from the
Kingdom of Man).
The Church is composed of men. We are the living stones of Gods Temple. We are Christs
members. This simple truth needs to be taken seriously. We ought not to be frightened by the
humanity of the church
At the moment when the number of the elect, the many of the Church, is completed, history
will have ended and Gods plan will have been realized in its entirety.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son,
in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he
predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he
justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)
We know that the number of the elect, which is a mystery, is many. We know the number and
yet we do not know it. We know that it corresponds to Gods plan, which is great, which is
beautiful and glorious, and not the fruit of a stingy mind, we know that we should confide in
God and his plan, that our salvation depends on that confidence.
We do not know if it includes all men. We do not know that it does not include all men. We
do know that it is more than all, in other words, we know that the objective redemption, which
is the Gospel, exists, and is not reducible to the insignificant. If that were so the Gospel
would not be good news, it would be good only secundum quid, and we know, our faith tells
us that the Gospel is good, and good absolutely.
The Gospel is good news for all, though it will prove a stumbling block for mankind, a sign of
contradiction, set for the rising and falling of many in Israel, though many will say Lord,
Lord, and will hear the terrible words, depart from me you workers of iniquity. God will
reject the evil doer, and is not impressed by the sea of evil doers in the world. His
compassion is not weakness. The army of the wicked will be defeated. Their punishment will
be eternal.

Yet all of this does not mean that there is no hope for mankind, that we should not pray for all
men. The Church does pray for all men, and we can deducd from that fact that such prayer is
not absurd, since the law of prayer is the law of faith.
Jesus told us at the Last Supper that we should not fear because in the house of the Father
there are many mansions, which means that it is not true that we should fear for the same
reason. That there are many should give us confidence.
Many includes all, in the sense that it includes the objective redemption, which is the Gospel,
which is joyful. The objective redemption means that we really have been freed from the
tyranny of Satan. That does not mean that we will automatically be saved and obtain the
eternal happiness of heaven. If it were automatic the Gospel would contradict itself, and selfdestruct.
In the mass the Church prays for the dead. If one celebrates the mass with a mind attuned to
the language of Scripture one cannot possibly deny that the Church prays for all men:
Biblically the concept of death is always connected to the concept of sin. The Church prays
for sinners, even for the dead. Therefore the Church prays for all. (And this does not deny
Christs teaching about eternal damnation, but presupposes it.)
Our salvation depends on our use of freedom. If this is so, it is contradictory to posit a
salvation which is automatic.
i) Omlor is on to something and yet does not escape from the
literalist/fundamentalist/magical understanding of the sacramental form.
Omlor is on to something in his analysis of the threefold structure of the sacraments
(sacramentum tanum, res et sacramentum, res sacramenti), and he is on to something when
he affirms the importance of the res sacramenti, which is the unity of the Church.
The theology of Vatican II would have helped him to understand and penetrate into the
structure of which he had reached the threshhold. But he is hindered by his
fundamentalist/literalist understanding of texts.
The form of the Eucharist does not have power because it merely happens to have power, it
has power because it is the word of the Lord, whose word is efficacious.
To get around the fact of the existence of multiple Eucharistic formulae in the Church, Omlor
resorts to the curious theory which he attributes to Raymond Capisuccus, that Our Lord
created a number of valid forms of consecration, one for each of the ancient rites. (One thing
is to affirm that the venerability of the ancient rites of the Church is rooted in Tradition which
is both divine and unique, another is to create a number of Last Suppers, whereas there could
only have been one, and to create this arbitrary scenario in which valid Eucharistic formulae
are those which were personally instituted by Jesus Christ, and invalid ones are all others.
Jesus did not say use the set of Eucharistic formulae which I will give you. He said do this
in memory of me. The this is one unique thing. This is what is meant by the affirmation
that Our Lord instituted in specie the form of the Eucharist.
Omlor ignores the fact that there has been historical evolution of formulae of consecration. He
ignores the fact there are many instances in which Rome has (for justifiable or injustifiable
reasons) asked the Eastern Churches to use a formula of consecration identical to that of the
Western Church. According to Omlors theory in this matter such a change would produce an
invalid consecration, since one would not be using the formula that Our Lord mandated for
them. The Popes behind such a mandate, by Omlors logic, could not have been real Popes

and would have been guilty of the same misdeeds as the Popes who have realized the
liturgical reform of Vatican II.
Omlor ignores also the fact that such evolution, has also occurred in the West, a fact which St.
Thomas, with a much more limited access to the documents of liturgical history than that
which is available today, nevertheless was apparently aware of.
Omlor tells us that all of the valid formulae instituted by Our Lord, have nevertheless,
inexplicably, to be of the same type, and goes on, to present his own theory of what it means
to be of the same type.
But why is it not enough that they be instituted personally by Our Lord? If they are just magic
formulas as Omlor insinuates, a magician God could have instituted any formula that he
wanted to. Omlors long- formism, which he tries to associate not only with St. Thomas but
with the majority of the most respectable authorities, implies that Our Lord gave us a magic
formula (or a set of magic formulae).
But the Church teaches us something more simple, and more profound: that the
transubstantion of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is realized by Christs
word.
There is a substantial difference between saying that the validity of the mass depends on the
power of Christs word, and saying that it depends on a magic formula: Christs word is
efficacious in itself, a magic formula is efficacious by some trick, is efficacious for arbitrary
reasons. Omlors theology, thus will never tell you why the priests pronunciation of the
words of consecration result in the transubstantiation of bread and wine, they just do, its
magic! But this reduces the Catholic Faith to being nothing but another instance of hocus
pocus or mumbo jumbo similar to every other form of religion (an ecumenism done badly!).
The authentic Catholic theology, in contrast, tells you why, is full of its why, is full of the
Word. And by functioning in this way authentic Catholic theology makes it clear why the
Catholic Faith is unique.
The hermeneutics of Omlor, being literalist/fundamentalist, will never give you reasons for
anything. All trruths are merely parallel.
The sacraments are effective not for magical reasons, but because they are part of a salvific
action of God
j) The Sacrament of the Eucharist is only efficacious in those united to it by faith and
charity: St. Thomas compared with Omlor.
Let us examine a key passage of St. Thomas which Omlor cites both in QTV and in TNS.
First I will reproduce the Latin text:
Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod hoc sacramentum non prosit nisi sumenti.
...
Praeterea, effectus huius sacramenti est adeptio gratiae et gloriae, et remissio culpae, ad
minus venialis. Si ergo hoc sacramentum haberet effectum in aliis quam in sumentibus,
posset contingere quod aliquis adipisceretur gloriam et gratiam et remissionem culpae
absque actione et passione propria, alio offerente vel sumente hoc sacramentum
...

Sed contra est quod in celebratione huius sacramenti fit pro multis aliis deprecatio. Quod
frustra fieret nisi hoc sacramentum aliis prodesset. Ergo hoc sacramentum non solum
sumentibus prodest.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut prius dictum est, hoc sacramentum non solum est
sacramentum, sed etiam est sacrificium. Inquantum enim in hoc sacramento repraesentatur
passio christi, qua christus obtulit se hostiam deo, ut dicitur Ephes. V, habet rationem
sacrificii, inquantum vero in hoc sacramento traditur invisibiliter gratia sub visibili specie,
habet rationem sacramenti. Sic igitur hoc sacramentum sumentibus quidem prodest per
modum sacramenti et per modum sacrificii, quia pro omnibus sumentibus offertur, dicitur
enim in canone Missae, quotquot ex hac altaris participatione sacrosanctum corpus et
sanguinem filii tui sumpserimus, omni benedictione caelesti et gratia repleamur.
Sed aliis, qui non sumunt, prodest per modum sacrificii, inquantum pro salute eorum
offertur, unde et in canone Missae dicitur, memento, domine, famulorum famularumque
tuarum, pro quibus tibi offerimus,

Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut passio christi prodest quidem omnibus ad remissionem
culpae et adeptionem gratiae et gloriae, sed effectum non habet nisi in illis qui passioni
christi coniunguntur per fidem et caritatem; ita etiam hoc sacrificium, quod est memoriale
dominicae passionis, non habet effectum nisi in illis qui coniunguntur huic sacramento per
fidem et caritatem.
Unde et Augustinus dicit, ad renatum, quis offerat corpus christi nisi pro his qui sunt
membra christi? unde et in canone Missae non oratur pro his qui sunt extra ecclesiam. Illis
tamen prodest plus vel minus, secundum modum devotionis eorum.
S.T. III q. 79 a. 7
The issue in this article is whether the Sacrament of the Eucharist benefits (prodest) only
those who receive it 22. The answer of St. Thomas is that it benefits others also.
The foundation of the answer of St. Thomas lies in the truth that the sacrament of the
Eucharist is distinguished by being both sacrifice and sacrament. Like all the sacraments it
benefits its recipients through a sacramental grace communicated to the recipient; but also
as a sacrifice it benefits others. This is shown in the fact that in the celebration of this
sacrament there is prayer for many others, which would be senseless if the sacrament did
not benefit them.
The second objection, (that is, in this case, the second argument in favor of the position
that St. Thomas will reject, namely, that the sacrament of the Eucharist only benefits those
who receive it, is that, since the effect of the sacrament is making a person suitable for
grace and glory, and the remission of at least venial sin, it would seem absurd that this
effect could be realized in those unrelated to the Sacrament by either action (as is he who
offers the sacrament or passion (as is he who receives it).
St. Thomas answers that this sacrament like the sacrifice of the Cross (which benefitted all ad
remissionem culpae et adeptionem gratiae et gloriae) only has effect in those united to it by
faith and charity.

There is a moment in Omlors polemics with McCarthy in which he tells us that building a case on what he
calls the title of an article in the Summa in which the point to be discussed is announced is the mark of the
rank amateur, the dilettante de luxe (Monsignor McCarthy Again! Another Fiasco) I, unfortunately, am one of
those amateurs, one of those nave souls, who believe that St. Thomas habitually really is talking about the point
that he is talking about, that he loved straightforwardness.
22

One notices the distinction and composition of 1) being benefitted by the Cross (or the
Eucharist) and 2) receiving their effect.
I have spoken often in the past of an efficacy of the cross in all men. St. Thomas speaks rather
of the Passion as benefiing all men. The difference between the two is verbal, not
substantial. What I meant by saying that there is an efficacy of the Cross in all men is that the
benefit that the Cross has given to all is something real. Therrefore there is a certain efficacy
in all men. An efficacy secundum quid. St. Thomas means to say the same thing. My
Omlorian interlocutor might pursue me by saying: Did you or did you not say that the Cross
is efficacious in all men? And my answer is that if I used such an expression, what I meant to
say was that there is an efficacy in all men, which is not the same thing as to say simply that it
is efficacious in all men.
Worthwhile discussions are about things, not merely about words.
To use a homely expression one could say that the Cross gives us a little push in the direction
of salvation. (prodest quidem omnibus ad remissionem culpae et adeptionem gratiae et
gloriae), But that little push is important, crucial. It is our redemption, it is the content of the
Gospel. It contains all the infinite love of the heart of Jesus. Is the Passion thus efficacious in
all. The answer is no. But behind that no is a yes secundum quid, which Omlor and those of
his camp lose track of. Their hermeneutics is therefore defective.
Omlor is right and is in agreement with St. Thomas in holding that the effect of the Sacrament
is only in those united to it by faith and charity. He disagrees with St. Thomas (and with me)
in holding there is absolutely no effect of the Redemption (and of the Eucharist) in all men,
since there is an effect, only one must still clarify in what sense there is an effect, and St.
Thomas does this by explaining how the Redemption (and the Eucharist, which perpetuates
the Redemption, extends it, benefits all men ad remissionem culpae et adeptionem gratiae et
gloriae,
If one only pays attention to half of this article of the Summa (ignoring along the way, what is
the actual subject being considered specifically), it is a perfect demonstration that Omlor has
been right all along. Why, doesnt it say here in plain English that the effect of the sacrament
(And of the Cross!!) is only in those united to it by faith and charity? That therefore is no
effect at all in those not united by faith and charity.
Case closed.
One might even wax enthusiastic and say that where there is no effect, there is no real benefit.
That outside the Church there is no salvation (a phrase which is confirmed by the
Magisterium) and that therefore outside the Church everything leads you to hell, and that
what leads you to hell does not benefit you. And all those who never enter the Church, or
who finally reject the Church there has been no benefit done to them by Jesus Christ or by the
Cross.
Except that St. Thomas is not with you. St. Thomas has said that the cross has benefitted
everyone. St. Thomas therefore has left the Gospel standing.
What does Omlor do with this passage of St. Thomas? He knows how to take advantage of his
half of it. In QTV we find this:
78. "As Christ's Passion benefits all" says St. Thomas elsewhere, "... whereas
it produces no effect except in those who are united with Christ's Passion through
faith and charity, so likewise this sacrifice, which is the memorial of our Lord's

Passion, has no effect except in those who are united with this sacrament
through faith and charity ... Hence in the Canon of the Mass no prayer is made
for them who are outside the pale of the Church." (Summa Th., III, Q. 79, Art. 7,
emphasis added).
79. But if no prayer is made anywhere in the Canon of the mass for those
outside the Church, least of all should the words "for all men" be placed in the
very form for the Consecration! For, as shall be explained later, this Most Holy
Sacrament of the Eucharist is uniquely the Sacrament of the Mystical Body of
Christ, of which Body not all men are members.
He does, to his credit, include thus the part mentioning that Christs Passion benefitting all,
but it is a truth which he later loses track of.
In fact he loses track of it very quickly, because four paragraphs later he continues:
83. It is important to note, in passing, that if the words all men had been
substituted for the word many, without changing anything else, the "form" would
have read: which shall be shed for you and for all men unto the forgiveness of
sins. This "form" is heretical. Since unto denotes efficacy, this "form" says that
the benefits of Christ's Passion are actually communicated to all men unto the
forgiveness of sins. And this is contrary to faith.
Summary and Conclusion
84. We have considered the Passion and Death of Christ from two
standpoints, each of which contains a separate and distinct truth. Christ died for
all men without exception so that all their sins may be forgiven. And this is the
aspect of sufficiency. However, Christ's Passion is not profitable for all men,
because we know de fide that not all men attain eternal salvation. Thus many
men, but not all men, have communicated to them the benefits of His Passion
unto the forgiveness of sins, and this is the aspect of efficacy or effectiveness.
QTV, in TRC, p. 27
Having quoted St. Thomas to the effect that Christs passion is profitable for all men (passio
christi prodest quidem omnibus ad remissionem culpae et adeptionem gratiae et gloriae; with
ad being distinct from in, as Omlor would agree, but the text does indeed tell us that Christs
passion benefits all) we now hear that Christs passion does not benefit all. (Actually he uses
the expression the benefits are not actually communicated unto the forgiveness of sins,
which is in itself a valid expression, but he would have us understand simply that Christs
Passion did and does not benefit all. And why? Because we know de fide that not all men
attain eternal salvation. Ergo.)
There are, Omlor would tell us, modernists (von Balthasar for example) who fly in the face of
that defined doctrine of the Church that not all men will achieve final salvation, but that does
not prove anything.
Not yet having commented upon his difference of opinion with St. Thomas about this prodest
omnibus ad remissionem culpae et adeptionem gratiae et gloriae he goes on to reaffirm with
augmented confidence:
In "Questioning The Validity of the Masses using the New All-English Canon," I

wrote the following sentence. "However, Christ's Passion is not profitable for all
men, because we know de fide that not all men attain eternal salvation." In
writing this book I was aware that I would have to be prepared to defend my
position on many of its points, but I never dreamed that that particular sentence
would be challenged. But it was! "He also says somewhere in the document,"
argued Fr. Theodore Mackin, S.J., ''that the Church teaches that some men are
damned. Mr. Omlor is the first theologian ever to propose that doctrine that I
know of.''- (!) Father Mackin, incidentally, is the Head of the Theology
Department at Santa Clara University.
TRC, p. 144, from The Ecumenism Heresy.

He tells us that the Eucharist is uniquely the Sacrament of the Mystical Body of Christ
(which is true, taking uniquely to refer to the one unique sacrament from which the Entire
Church is born, but which is not true if taken to mean that the Eucharist is the Sacrament of a
Church which is of its very nature not of all men, which affirmation constitutes a formal
denial of the Catholicity of the Church.
He tells us that if no prayer is made in the canon of the mass for those outside the pale of the
Church, it follows a fortiori that the words for all men should not be placed in the very form
of the Consecration. This seems like a terribly strong argument, but it must be noted that to
pray for all men does not directly violate the norm of not praying for those outside the
Church. (Just as when Christ says at the Last Supper that he is not praying for the world but
for those the Father has given him, that does not mean that he is not praying for all men.)
If the Church is Catholic it follows that to pray for the Church is to pray for all men.
In TNS Omlor cites the same passage of St. Thomas in this way:
"(W)hereas it [Christ's Passion] produces no effect except in those who are
united with Christ's Passion through faith and charity," remarks St. Thomas, "so
likewise this sacrifice, which is the memorial of our Lord's Passion, has no effect
except in those who are united with this Sacrament through faith and charity.
TRC, p. 317
Here not only is there no longer any mention of a benefit done to all is but there is also the
curious whereasso likewise construction, which begins as a contrast and ends as a
parallel. You see, for Omlors notion of the Sacrament to succeed there ought to be a contrast
with the Redemption. The Redemption was for all, that is the Catholic doctrine (which we
need to admit, only later to ignore it), but the Eucharist is for many only, for less than all.
Therefore the whereas is useful, for it suggests this contrast. The only trouble is that St.
Thomas affirms a parallel when he should be affirming a contrast. He says that Christs
passion has no effect save in those united to it by faith and charity (that sounds like grist for
the mill too, doesnt it?) and similarly the Sacrifice of the Mass. The only trouble is that this
leaves open the idea that if the Cross was offered for the good of all men, then the Mass,
being the identical sacrifice, would have to be offered for all men. And that is awkward.
And as we have seen the Patristic/Medieval/Thomistic reading of the many passages in
Scripture (all those passages rooted in Is 53:12) consistently reads many as many with regard
to efficacy, but all with regards to efficacy, but without any suggestion that passages using
many refer to the Eucharist rather than to the Redemption. In other words there is a scriptural

basis for what Leo Scheffczyk has said: that the ideas of sufficiency and efficacy can
expressed distinctly, but cannot be thought in isolation. That Christs word therefore
expresses both.
k) Omlor atomizes the Sacrament. Omlors discussion with McCarthy regarding St.
Thomas.
Omlor needs to dissociate the production of the effect of the sacrament from that which is
really must be the source of everything produced by the sacrament: the transubstantiation,
or the sacrificial action realized by the priests joining of the form to the matter, which
produces directly the transubstantiation, and consequently, the res sacramenti.
He needs to atomize the Sacrament. He needs to break it apart. To remove its structure. The
sacrificial action is then superficially accepted, but it is put to one side where it can be ignored
and then virtually denied. The identity of Calvary and the mass is ignored (virtually denied),
so as to obviate the necessity that the mass should be then offered for all men.
This enters into Omlors discussions with Msgr. McCarthy. McCarthy tries to remind Omlor
of what Calvary has to do with the mass, and consequently of what Transubstantiation has to
do with the mass. Omlor resists.
Part of their discussion concerns the first article of the question in the Summa which concerns
the effects of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I will reproduce that article here.

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod per hoc sacramentum non conferatur gratia.
AG1
Hoc enim sacramentum est nutrimentum spirituale. Nutrimentum autem non datur nisi
viventi.
Cum ergo vita spiritualis sit per gratiam, non competit hoc sacramentum nisi iam habenti
gratiam. Non ergo per hoc sacramentum confertur gratia ut primo habeatur. Similiter etiam
nec ad hoc quod augeatur, quia augmentum spirituale pertinet ad sacramentum
confirmationis, ut dictum est.
Non ergo per hoc sacramentum gratia confertur.

AG2
Praeterea, hoc sacramentum assumitur ut quaedam spiritualis refectio. Sed refectio
spiritualis magis videtur pertinere ad usum gratiae quam ad gratiae consecutionem. Ergo
videtur quod per hoc sacramentum gratia non conferatur.
AG3
Praeterea, sicut supra dictum est, in hoc sacramento corpus christi offertur pro salute
corporis, sanguis autem pro salute animae.
Sed corpus non est subiectum gratiae, sed anima, ut in secunda parte habitum est.
Ergo ad minus quantum ad corpus per hoc sacramentum gratia non confertur.
SC
Sed contra est quod dominus dicit, Ioan. VI, panis quem ego dabo, caro mea est pro mundi
vita.
Sed vita spiritualis est per gratiam.
Ergo per hoc sacramentum gratia confertur.

CO
Respondeo dicendum quod effectus huius sacramenti debet considerari, primo quidem et
principaliter, ex eo quod in hoc sacramento continetur, quod est christus. Qui sicut, in
mundum visibiliter veniens, contulit mundo vitam gratiae, secundum illud Ioan. I, gratia et
veritas per iesum christum facta est; ita, in hominem sacramentaliter veniens, vitam gratiae
operatur, secundum illud Ioan. VI, qui manducat me, vivit propter me.
Unde et Cyrillus dicit, vivificativum dei verbum, uniens seipsum propriae carni, fecit
ipsam vivificativam. Decebat ergo eum nostris quodammodo uniri corporibus per sacram
eius carnem et pretiosum sanguinem, quae accipimus in benedictione vivificativa in pane
et vino.
Secundo consideratur ex eo quod per hoc sacramentum repraesentatur, quod est passio
christi, sicut supra dictum est.
Et ideo effectum quem passio christi fecit in mundo, hoc sacramentum facit in homine.
Unde super illud Ioan. XIX, continuo exivit sanguis et aqua, dicit chrysostomus, quia hinc
suscipiunt principium sacra mysteria, cum accesseris ad tremendum calicem, vel ab ipsa
bibiturus christi costa, ita accedas.
Unde et ipse dominus dicit, Matth. XXVI, hic est sanguis meus, qui pro vobis effundetur in
remissionem peccatorum.
Tertio consideratur effectus huius sacramenti ex modo quo traditur hoc sacramentum, quod
traditur per modum cibi et potus.
Et ideo omnem effectum quem cibus et potus materialis facit quantum ad vitam
corporalem, quod scilicet sustentat, auget, reparat et delectat, hoc totum facit hoc
sacramentum quantum ad vitam spiritualem.
Unde Ambrosius dicit, in libro de sacramentis, iste panis est vitae aeternae, qui animae
nostrae substantiam fulcit.
Et chrysostomus dicit, supra Ioan., praestat se nobis desiderantibus et palpare et comedere
et amplecti.
Unde et ipse dominus dicit, Ioan. VI, caro mea vere est cibus, et sanguis meus vere est
potus.
Quarto consideratur effectus huius sacramenti ex speciebus in quibus hoc traditur
sacramentum.
Unde et Augustinus, ibidem, dicit, dominus noster corpus et sanguinem suum in eis rebus
commendavit quae ad unum aliquod rediguntur ex multis, namque aliud, scilicet panis, ex
multis granis in unum constat, aliud, scilicet vinum, ex multis racemis confluit.
Et ideo ipse alibi dicit, super Ioan., o sacramentum pietatis, o signum unitatis, o vinculum
caritatis.
Et quia christus et eius passio est causa gratiae, et spiritualis refectio et caritas sine gratia
esse non potest, ex omnibus praemissis manifestum est quod hoc sacramentum gratiam
confert.

RA1
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod hoc sacramentum ex seipso virtutem habet gratiam
conferendi, nec aliquis habet gratiam ante susceptionem huius sacramenti nisi ex aliquali
voto ipsius, vel per seipsum, sicut adulti, vel voto ecclesiae, sicut parvuli, sicut supra
dictum Est. Unde ex efficacia virtutis ipsius est quod etiam ex voto ipsius aliquis gratiam
consequatur, per quam spiritualiter vivificetur. Restat igitur ut, cum ipsum sacramentum
realiter sumitur, gratia augeatur, et vita spiritualis perficiatur. Aliter tamen quam per
sacramentum confirmationis, in quo augetur et perficitur gratia ad persistendum contra
exteriores impugnationes inimicorum christi. Per hoc autem sacramentum augetur gratia, et

perficitur spiritualis vita, ad hoc quod homo in seipso perfectus existat per coniunctionem
ad deum.
RA2
Ad secundum dicendum quod hoc sacramentum confert gratiam spiritualiter, cum virtute
caritatis. Unde Damascenus comparat hoc sacramentum carboni quem Isaias vidit, Isaiae
VI, carbo enim lignum simplex non est, sed unitum igni, ita et panis communionis non
simplex panis est, sed unitus divinitati.
Sicut autem Gregorius dicit, in homilia Pentecostes, amor dei non est otiosus, magna enim
operatur, si est.
Et ideo per hoc sacramentum, quantum est ex sui virtute, non solum habitus gratiae et
virtutis confertur, sed etiam excitatur in actum, secundum illud II Cor. V, caritas christi
urget nos.
Et inde est quod ex virtute huius sacramenti anima spiritualiter reficitur, per hoc quod
anima delectatur, et quodammodo inebriatur dulcedine bonitatis divinae, secundum illud
Cant. V, comedite, amici, et bibite; et inebriamini, carissimi.
RA3
Ad tertium dicendum quod, quia sacramenta operantur secundum similitudinem per quam
significant, ideo per quandam assimilationem dicitur quod in hoc sacramento corpus
offertur pro salute corporis, et sanguis pro salute animae, quamvis utrumque ad salutem
utriusque operetur, cum sub utroque totus sit christus, ut supra dictum est.
Et licet corpus non sit immediatum subiectum gratiae, ex anima tamen redundat effectus
gratiae ad corpus, dum in praesenti membra nostra exhibemus arma iustitiae deo, ut
habetur Rom. VI; et in futuro corpus nostrum sortietur incorruptionem et gloriam animae.
S.T. III, q. 79 a.1
The sacraments produce sacramental grace (the res sacramenti) and therefore the
proposition which St. Thomas is rejecting in this article (quod per hoc sacramentum non
conferatur gratia) is accordingly a proposition which would entail the exclusion of the
Eucharist from the list of the sacraments.
When one speaks formally about the grace produced by a sacrament (its res sacramenti)
one is speaking formally of the efficacy of that same sacrament: the effect of the
sacrament is its sacramental grace.
Yet this does not prevent res et sacramentum from being effect of the sacrament, since the
union of sacramental form and matter has as its direct product the res et sacramentum. In
this sense it is effect of the sacrament.
Thus: What is the effect of a sacrament? The res sacramenti. (This answers the question
formally.)
But is the res et sacramentum effect of the sacrament? Yes, in the sense that it is directly
signified and produced by the sacramentum tantum. (One needs here an explanation,
because the res et sacramentum is effect of the sacrament secundum quid.)
Thus the res et sacramentum is an effect of the sacrament, but it is not the effect of the
sacrament.
Omlor ought to look at the second defense of the controverted proposition, and the answer
of St. Thomas, because this second defense represents his own way of thinking. Omlor
tells us that the Sacrament of the Eucharist produces the sacramental grace of the unity of

the Mystical Body, but in effect he denies that it does, because he affirms that this grace is
something that we obtain by receiving the sacrament, but he is not aware that the reception
of the sacrament is part of the sacrament, and that this obtaining is, in the first place, a
passive expression whose active subject (in accordance with the Scriputural way of
speaking) is God.
The sacrament of the Eucharist produces grace. It does not simply produce this stuff
(which we call grace) which we appropriate in such a way that it is essentially a gift that
I give to myself.
Jesus does indeed say Take and eat: it is not that we do not have to anything. But our
taking and eating is part of the sacrament, it is our participation in the sacrament. Therefore
it is not something outside of the sacrament.
The sacrament remains in its totality a work of God.
What we take and eat is the Body and Blod of the Lord. It is not the sacramental grace.
The taking and eating is part of the sacrament, but the res sacramenti is an effect that the
sacrament realizes outside of itself, an effect consequent upon the reception of the
sacrament; it is not something which exists prior to the reception of the sacrament.
And therefore St. Thomas can say that the sacramentum non habet effectum nisi in illis qui
coniunguntur huic sacramento per fidem et caritatem. S.T. III, q 79 a.7, though the same
article affirms formally that the sacrament is also beneficial to others.
The reception of the sacrament is formally part of the sacrament. Is the res sacramenti not
part of the sacrament? Yes it is part of the sacrament, but one needs to explain what one
means by saying that it is part of the sacrament. It is part of the sacrament secundum quid.
The sacrament applies the graces won by Christ on the Cross, the application is the very
dynamism of the sacrament, and has a divine subject. It is not something merely human.

l) Analyzing Omlors Criticism of Father McCarthy


Now let us consider a passage from Omlors work Monsignor McCarthy Again! Another
Fiasco! He pretends to refute Msgr. McCarthys reading (translation) of St. Thomas in which
he would have him saying that Christ is effect of the sacrament of the Eucharist:
1. Some of Monsignor John F. McCarthy's Erroneous Theology
The teachings of Apostolicae Curae and of the "Vindication" specifically and directly
referred to the Sacrament of Holy Orders. But these principles, especially the vital point of
sacramental theology Pope Leo XIII laid down infallibly, which was quoted in step [1] of
Part I above, apply to all the Sacraments, which is a fact that has never been challenged,
nor can it be challenged. Monsignor McCarthy does not deny that all these teachings do in
fact apply to the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. In LT-2 (p. 2) he reproduces
accurately the aforementioned principle that was quoted in step [1]. But his understanding
of it is absolutely unorthodox, confused and false.

"I understand Pope Leo XIII to mean that the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist signifies
principally and immediately the grace of the Real Presence and of the renewal of the
Sacrifice of Calvary. Consequently, that form cannot be apt or sufficient which omits
signifying this. But the res tantum, the producing of sanctifying grace in those rightly
disposed to receive it [this is not the res tantum], is secondary and less
immediate; it need not for validity be mentioned expressly in the form of consecration."
Later on the same page he attempts to quote St. Thomas to support this, but in these
quotations the Angelic Doctor merely says the following: that Christ "bestowed the life of
grace upon the world"; Christ "works the life of grace"; "Christ and His Passion are the
cause of grace"; "this Sacrament [the Holy Eucharist] confers grace". The
Monsignor continues (top p. 3): "From this response of St. Thomas we see that the first and
principal effect of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is Christ Himself, Who, `by coming
sacramentally into man, works the life of grace'."
The Monsignor has thus misinterpreted the words of the Angelic Doctor. For here is what
St. Thomas actually says: "The effect of this sacrament [which is the unity of
the Mystical Body, as the Angelic Doctor clearly teaches
elsewhere] ought to be considered first and principally from what is contained in this
sacrament, which is Christ, Who, ... by coming sacramentally into man, works the life of
grace" (Summa, III, Q. 79, A. 1). Hence it is clear that St. Thomas does not teach here that
"the first and principal effect of the Holy Eucharist is Christ Himself," as the Msgr. so
erroneously misreads, but rather that "the effect," the unity of the Mystical Body, is to be
considered principally from what is contained in this Sacrament -- to wit: Christ, He
Whom all Catholics know to be the Author of all grace ("works the life of grace in man"
and "bestowed the life of grace upon the world" and is "the cause of grace"). But to think
that He is "the effect" of His Sacrament, namely, the grace of the sacrament, namely, the
union [of] the Mystical Body is absurd!
The Monsignor confuses "the effect" (res sacramenti) of the Sacrament with the primary
and most awesome effect (i.e., result) of the Consecration; namely the bringing about of
the sacramental presence of Christ; and this is to confuse two entirely different applications
of the word "effect." Therefore, not only does he make a false appeal to St. Thomas, but he
thoroughly misunderstands the nature of sacramental grace and the teaching of Apostolicae
Curae; namely, that the sacramental grace (which is created and finite habitual grace) that
is conferred on the recipient who is properly disposed spiritually, must be expressed in the
Words of Consecration.
Omlor, significantly, allows this:
The Monsignor confuses "the effect" (res sacramenti) of the Sacrament with the primary
and most awesome effect (i.e., result) of the Consecration; namely the bringing about of
the sacramental presence of Christ; and this is to confuse two entirely different applications
of the word "effect."
But if the Transubstantiation, and thus the Real Presence, is effect of the sacrament, as
Omlor here admits, then this Sacrament realizes, actualizes a benefit for all men, though its
effect is only in those united to it by faith and charity, because it contains Christ, who by his
Incarnation has united himself to every man, and the Eucharist presupposes this union, and
extends it beyond the cosmological plane (in the very fact of the Incarnation in itself) into the
human plane (whose key is human freedom) This is the precise meaning of what St. Thomas
says:

Qui sicut, in mundum visibiliter veniens, contulit mundo vitam gratiae, secundum illud
Ioan. I, gratia et veritas per iesum christum facta est; ita, in hominem sacramentaliter
veniens, vitam gratiae operatur, secundum illud Ioan. VI, qui manducat me, vivit propter
me.
The Church arises from the Eucharist: Ecclesia de Eucharistia. The unity of the Church is the
res sacramenti of the Eucharist, but the production of the Church, necessarily has a
repercussion on humanity, because the relation between Church and humanity is not
something merely accidental, but belongs to the essence of the Church.
There is this effect which is the Real Presence, which is Christ. Thus Christ is an effect, and
the chief effect of the Sacrament, though not the res sacramenti.
Let us ask the following simple question: Is Christ the effect of the sacrament of the
Eucharist? No Christ is not the effect of this sacrament. The effect of this sacrament is its
sacramental grace, the res sacramenti.
Is Christ an effect of this sacrament? Yes, because the Real Presence is result of the joining
of form and matter.
In calling Christ effect of this sacrament on needs to make an ulterior explanation justifying
why this is so. It is so secundum quid.
Now if Christ is an effect of this sacrament, can he be called its principal and chief effect?
Yes, Christ is the principal and chief effect of the Sacrament, because He is the effect, from
which all effects flow. Namely, He is the effect from which the res sacramenti flows, the res
sacramenti which is the effect of the sacrament.
The error that Omlor makes here is that he assumes that since the res sacramenti is the effect
of the sacrament, that Christ is not the principal and chief effect. Here are once again the
words of St. Thomas:
Respondeo dicendum quod effectus huius sacramenti debet considerari, primo quidem et
principaliter, ex eo quod in hoc sacramento continetur, quod est christus. Qui sicut, in
mundum visibiliter veniens, contulit mundo vitam gratiae, secundum illud Ioan. I, gratia et
veritas per iesum christum facta est; ita, in hominem sacramentaliter veniens, vitam gratiae
operatur, secundum illud Ioan. VI, qui manducat me, vivit propter me.
In the first sentence, when he speaks of the effect of this sacrament, he is speaking clearly of
the res sacramenti. But this does not mean that the Real Presence is not an effect of this
sacrament, and that it is not the principal and chief effect, the effect that causes the other
effects, Coming into the world he brought the life of grace to the world; coming into man
sacramentally he realizes the life of grace, as is said in the sixth chapter of St. Johns Gospel:
he who eats me lives through me.
There is something here that does not fit into Omlors notions about grace: namely that the
Real Presence should be cause of the life of grace in man. Omlor would say that Christ is
simply the creator of grace.
Omlor thus reduces grace to created grace. This forms part of a theology forgetful of the
Incarnation the very center of the faith. The word Christ is used as if it were a mere
synonymn for God: Christ giving us the sacramental grace of the Eucharist is simply God
creating that grace in us, a grace which is therefore merely creature. It is a theology which

merely terminologically Christian, ostensibly but not substantially Christian, because it has
forgotten the central mystery of the Incarnation.
The faith becomes thus disarticulated. The parts are torn out of their root and center.
There is a God who creates grace in some arbitrary way, essentially unrelated to the Mystery
of the Incarnate Word. But on the other hand there is the receiving of this grace. The grace is
given without man on one hand, but on the other hand it is received without God.
There is a logical contradiction in this, because one is speaking of one and the same grace.
This contradiction allows us to see the relation, the identity, between the notion of a God who
acts arbitrarily and the Pelagian denial of (the importance of) grace.
The Pelagian pretends to be defending the truth that salvation requires the collaboration of our
human freedom. But what in fact he is doing is denying (the importance of) grace. In the final
analysis we save ourselves.
Communion is not received, it is snatched.
There is an issue here, we are not dealing with mere verbalism, with two shades of the same
thing. Grace is on the line. The cop-out, the refusal to theologize is to say: Grace is important,
and free will is important too (true enough), so there is no problem here (untrue): Pelagianism
is thus not held to be an error, but merely an exaggeration. So lets just be balanced and not
worry.
With that attitude one allows oneself to be infected by the deadly contagion: grace will be
relativized, put to one side. One might still give mouth service to grace, but snatching
becomes ones life.
Our reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, cannot be a merely human thing, a mere
created reality.
If grace were a mere created reality, as Omlor maintains, it would follow that the reception of
the sacrament would accordingly be a merely human thing, the same identical thing. But it
would also follow that in receiving the Sacrament one would receive a mere created reality,
and this implies a fundamental denial of the doctrine of the Eucharist.
The opposition and contradiction between a God creating created grace as an isolated
arbitrary intervention, independent of the Incarnation, and thus not passing throught the
humanity of Christ, and mans appropriation of that grace, on his own, independent the
Divine Person of Christ is resolved by Pelagianism on one hand and the affirmation of an
arbitrary, frightening God on the other.
I am sure that Omlor himself did not realize this. He would say, I am sure, as he does say in
the passage cited, that the res sacramenti is the grace conferred on the recipient of the
sacrament who is correctly disposed to receive it. That by worthily receiving the true Body
and Blood of the Lord, one receives the res sacramenti of union with the Mystical Body: he
who eats me lives through me.
But that is all simply Catholic teaching. The problem is that at a certain point Omlor
misunderstands Catholic teaching, and this is to be seen when he insists that grace is a mere
created reality, that is a mere thing, and if that is so, it follows that the grace conferred in the
Sacrament is a mere created thing.

How should sacramental grace become mine when I receive the Sacrament? Omlor with his
fundamentalist/literalist hermeneutic leaves us with it being so because it is so. It is Catholic
doctrine, he tells us. But he forgets the Catholic doctrine that the Sacrament causes the res
sacramenti. God does not give us the res sacramenti outside of the action of the sacrament,
but through the sacrament. St. Thomas tells us that Christ, by coming into man sacramentally
gives him the life of grace.
Yet Omlors scheme of things thus has the sacramental grace coming to us from outside the
sacrament. The hidden Pelagianism reveals itself here.
If the sacramental grace of the Eucharist arises outside of the sacrament, the efficacy of the
sacrament is formally denied. The structure of a sacrament working ex opere operato is
undone.
To say that sacrament of the Eucharist produces its sacramental grace ex opere operato does
not mean that a person who receives the Eucharist with greater devotion will not receive more
grace from it.
But the reception of the sacrament is part of the sacrament, and thus there is a res sacramenti,
a sacramental grace produced ex opere operato..
Many indeed reflects on one hand the limitedness of the human response at a given moment
of time or a given historical situation. Realism in recognizing human fragility, weakness,
failing, sinfulness, does not mean that one should fight any less for ones salvation or that of
ones brothers, or have less confidence in the God of Salvation.
It reflects the unknowns of freedom. But it reflects also the positive spiritual thing thing that
freedom is. It reflects above all Gods holy freedom, which is revealed in the Spirit. Gods
freedom is not mere arbitrariness. It is the goodness, and generosity of the Spirit.
It does not represent a mere fearful unkown. On the contrary it should help us to confide
more, and to pray more, with greater confidence in Gods mercy.
One should rather accept the exegesis of confidence given by Our Lord himself at the Last
Supper to this many as the number of the elect:
LET not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's
house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a
place for you. (John 14:1-2)
Through the Eucharist the Church continues on her pilgrimage towards her eschatological
fulfillment. If her many were simply less than all there would be no possibility of
eschatological fulfilment.
The term many which Our Lord has given to us cannot tell us simply that all will be saved,
because that would contradict the content of freedom which the term itself represents.
We are in a realm of higher mathematics. This higher mathematics is the mathematics of
Christ.
Jesus in offering himself for us all did not spare Himself, and in that sense the many of his
sacrifice is less than all, since one is offered for many.

But if the many represents in the first place the elect, it represents more than all, because it is
a number whose center is Jesus Christ, the Chosen One of God. The number of the Church,
which is the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is greater than all, and therefore must be
said to include all, because it surpasses all.
The notion that many means more than all is supported by the very formula of consecration
which speaks of bread offered for you, and then invites all to drink from the chalice (with the
all referring to that same you), but then goes on to speak of blood shed for you (the same you)
and for many, which expression underscores the idea that the measure of that many passes
beyond the measure of you
If the words of consecration of the blood refer to efficacy (which is what the Roman
Catechism tells us) does it not make sense that for many would be would be added to for you
precisely in the wine-consecration, and that this for many thus expresses the way that efficacy
passes beyond the measure of sufficiency, which is all?
Otherwise the distinction between you and many becomes a trivial one, and it becomes
unclear how it then must be held to belong to the form of the sacrament. This point was made
by St. Thomas.
The zeal of Jesus for her Bride the Church will not not permit us to entertain a defective
image of the eschatological Church. She is for Christ all beautiful. Radiantly beautiful.

Part V. The Church has approved and Uses These Translations. That this is
of decisive value.
Several things must be taken into account. Starting with the most recent:
1. The ordinary organs of the Holy See governing liturgical matters, with the theological
judgement and authority of Pope Benedict behind them, have determinded that the pro multis
in the liturgical words of consecration is not adequately translated as for all men or its
equivalents. (Cfr. the letter of Cardinal Arinze.)
But we should also not forget this:
2. The same ordinary organs of the Church have in the not too distant past repeatedly
approved liturgical texts with such translations of the phrase pro multis, and produced
theological justifications of the translation.
How is this possible? Omlor tells us that a Church approving the translations in for all is
necessarily a false Church, and a Pope approving such translations must be a false Pope. This
is an intelligible argument, an ostensibly plausible argument, but this does not make it
necessarily a true argument.
Church authority approving an invalid mass would most certainly be a false authority.
But Church authority has never affirmed the invalidity of the mass celebrated with the
translations in question, or suggested a doubt about it; on the contrary it has said that there is
no question of invalidity.
The approval of liturgical texts by the Church means something: if the mass is thus licitly
celebrated, celebrated as the Church asks, it is also a fortiori validly celebrated.

What was done during the pontificate of Pope Benedict is not the pure contradictory of the
approval. It simply says that the translations can and ought to be improved with regard to the
point in question, and that the translation in for all is defective. But it does not promise that a
new translation, when approved, will necessarily be without defect.
Those who are not capable of overcoming integralist conceptions will not be able to accept a
Church in which things happen in this way, because integralism in doctrine will necessarily
be reflected on the one hand in an integralist reading of Scripture and an integralist
understanding of liturgy. The integralist will always be in denial of the real historical life of
the Catholic Church, preferring his own myth to the reality of the Church.
The short explanation given by the the Apostolic see in the response in Notitiae 6 (1970), nr.
50 (and the longer explanations which I present) serve to show that there are indeed
arguments behind the translation in for all, and that these arguments make certain valid points.
Pope Benedict simply judged that there are arguments of superior weight for adhering more
faithfully to the letter in spite of what can be said for a translation in for all.
But the reasons given in justification of the translation in for all have not lost their essential
validity as an argument for their provisional adequacy and tolerability.
Rome asked that there be new translations that are more faithful, and literal; it did not ask
every priest to immediately stop in his tracks make his own new translation ad hoc in order to
safeguard the validity of the mass.
Before getting to the evidence of this approval let us inspect also the principle expressed in
the following authoritative explanation given by Rome:

We are bound to understand the vernacular translations in the sense of the original. This is not
to be understood as simply a positive/arbitrary norm but as a principle flowing from the
nature of things: the nature of original texts, and the nature of translations.
Omlor would answer: But what if the translation contains an abomination by which the
substance of the original text is falsified and betrayed

The answer is that there would then be a problem. But the concession of the possible
existence of such a problem does not create any evidence that such a problem does in fact
exist.
One must take into account the structuring of the one Eucharistic Celebration according to the
diverse rites (Roman and oriental) existing in the Church, of how such rites may further be
inculturated by the realization of translations and what Church authority has to say about all
this. The situation is complex, but does not imply absurdities.
Omlors understanding of all this is simplistic and rooted in fundamentalism and the
corresponding doctrinal integralism.
Rome has asked for literal translation. Rome has not asked for literalist mentalities with
regard to the liturgy.
One needs to make a fundamental reflection about the nature of translation, and about
vernacular liturgy.
To be an authentic traditionalist, one needs not only short-term memory, but long- term
memory. Vernacular liturgy is not an innovation of the Council. The difference between a
mass in English and a mass in Latin is not that the mass in English is in a vernacular language
and the mass in Latin in a non-vernacular language (a dead language, as we used to call it, so
charmingly); it is that the mass in English is in a newer vernacular language, in comparison to
the Latin.
The Church has always stood behind vernacular liturgy (although for a large number of years
it has chosen to maintain the Latin tradition. The Latin tradition is not a anti-vernacular
tradition.
Vernacular liturgy ought not to be regarded as a more or less shabby derivative of liturgy
celebrated according to the original text.
One follows a normative text out of obedience and fidelity to Church authority, not out of
literalist superstition and scrupulosity.
Vernacular liturgy is not the same thing as decadence. Translation does not produce
decadence by necessity.
Vernacular liturgy is not only authorized (grudgingly, as it were) by the Church, but
corresponds to something essential in the Churchs liturgical activity. At the Second Vatican
Council the Church was doing something that it always has done.
The normative texts comes from the legislative activity of the Church. The liturgy has been
commended to the Church, and therefore it is her right and duty to norm it.
Nevertheless the Church in her liturgical legislation never starts from zero, but rather starts
from pre-existing liturgical practice: Primum est esse. When the Church gives us a normative
text, it is because the Church has normed something pre-existing. Liturgical texts do not come
out of thin air, they come from liturgical practice which the Church in turn has the right and
duty to govern.
Befor the existence of liturgical norm there was liturgical practice, which by necessity
involved human language in which the mystery was expressed of which liturgy is always the
expression.

Ones squeamishness about vernacular can be connected to an affective resistance to the logic
of the Incarntion, to the Word who became flesh and dwelt amont us.
The Incarnation of the Word is Translation. The Paschal Mystery itself is Translation.
Tradition is translation.

Omlor goes to great length to defend the necessity of the complete form (that is, formula) of
consecration. He needs this to defend his theses about the necessity of pro multis and also to
defend his theses about the expression mysterium fidei, and he finds support in passages from
St. Thomas.
In defending the necessity of the complete form, St. Thomas defends the idea that the form of
the sacrament was handed directly by Our Lord to the Apostles. Scripture is not thus the
absolute and unique criterion by which the form of the Sacrament is to be judged. There are
elements in the words of consecration which are not directly to be found in Scripture. Among
these is the combination of the words "pro vobis et pro multis" and also the words "mysterium
fidei" These elements are necessary "determinations of the predicate".
Omlor's argument about the necessity of the words mysterium fidei comes here into a decisve
crisis when one takes into account that in many of the Eastern rites the words mysterium fidei
are not present. Is St. Thomas then wrong about the necessity of the entire form? Omlor
argues as if all the elements were literally necessary to the form handed down by Our Lord to
the Church, but then it appears that there are different forms of the words of
Consecration approved by the Church.
The correct explanation of this phenomenon is that the unique form of the sacrament entrusted
to the Church must in some way be substantially incarnated in the formulas of the different
rites. Omlor presents another explanation, for which he finds support from Raymond
Capisuccus, "a Dominican cardinal and a true Thomist"
and whereas the other rites, of the Greek and of other Churches, do not have all
those words in the form, it may be reasonably said that all those other forms were
likewise instituted by Christ for the consecration of the wine, and that the Apostles and
their successors had them from Christ. And this does not change the fact that all those
words which the Latin Church uses in the consecration of the wine are of the essence
of that form. For it is one thing to say that all those words are not of the essence of the
form as such, and it is another thing to say that they are not of the essence of the form
that the Latin Church uses.
pp. 213-214 , De forma consecrationis vine eucharistici, 1677, cited by Omlor
Omlor adds then the following:
Hence we state that those words "mysterium fidei" are not necessary in an absolute
sense (which is self-evident by virtue o their absence from many of the liturgies), but
we affirm they are necessaary for those rites in which God has willed that they be
included.

For acording to the Divine Dispensation, the inscrutable wisdom of which no


man can comprehend, and according to which what was so evidently willed by our
Lord when eh He handed these words down to certain apostles to be used among
certian peoples of certain traditions and culturesthat is, in the Western Churchwe
must insist with the Angelic Doctor, whose teaching has been so lucidly defendend by
Cardinal Raymond Capisuccus, O.P., that the words "the mystery of faith" are
necessary for het validity of fo the wine consecration in the Latin Rite. "In adhering
rigidly to the rite handed down to to us we can always feel secure; whereas if we omit
or change anything, we may perhaps be abandoning just that element which is
essential." (From Vindication of the Bull Apostolicae Curae)
TRC, pp. 366-367

St. Thomas does not say, however that, these words novi et aeterni testamenti, mysterium fidei
qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum are a necessary part of the
form in the Roman rite. He says simply that they are a necessary part of the form as
"determinations of the predicate".
The Eastern rites complicate life for Omlor, and he needs to step over the fact of their
diversity in order reach his conclusion : Paul VI by altering the formula of consecration in
what was necessary to the form of consecration (in the Roman rite) did something for which
he had neither power nor right. Therefore:
[1] Paul VI's Novus Ordo Missae is per se invalid; and [2] its corollary that he was not
a bona fide popethe true Bishop of Rome and the Patriarch of the West, the Vicar of
Christ on earth, In refuting me an Adversarius must first disprove (or attempt to do so)
my case that Paul VI's Novus Ordo Missae is invalid. But he cannot do so by building
his case on the premise that Paul VI was a true pope, incapable of promulgating an
invalid mass.

TRC, p. 374

So this is where his argumentation not only with regard to the question of mysterium fidei but
also with regard to pro multis leads inexorably.
The problem with his solution to the problem of the diversity of forms of consecration, is,
however, that the formulae used within the different rites have not existed statically. For
instance, there are a number of cases where Rome has asked the Eastern Rite churches to use
a form of Consecration uniform with that of the Roman form; but there are other moments in
history when diversity and proper forms have been permitted and fostered. There has been a
historical development and it is thus unjust to think that these forms were received in a static
literalist sense from the apostles. Omlors solution is literalist and anti-historical. He simply
insists on his own thing.

Let us examine a two texts of St. Thomas (both cited by John Paul II in a footnote to the PostSynodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis) texts regarding the authority of the
Church.

Respondeo dicendum quod maximam habet auctoritatem ecclesiae consuetudo,


quae semper est in omnibus aemulanda. Quia et ipsa doctrina catholicorum
doctorum ab ecclesia auctoritatem habet, unde magis standum est auctoritati
ecclesiae quam auctoritati vel Augustini vel Hieronymi vel cuiuscumque doctoris.
[Translation] I answer that, The custom of the Church has very great authority and
ought to be jealously observed in all things, since the very doctrine of catholic
doctors derives its authority from the Church. Hence we ought to abide by the
authority of the Church rather than by that of an Augustine or a Jerome or of any
doctor whatever.

ST II-II q.10 a. 12
Videtur quod haeresis non sit proprie circa ea quae sunt fidei
[Translation]
It seems that heresy is not properly about those things proper to faith
AG3
Praeterea, etiam circa ea quae ad fidem pertinent inveniuntur quandoque sacri
doctores dissentire, sicut Hieronymus et Augustinus circa cessationem legalium.
Et tamen hoc est absque vitio haeresis. Ergo haeresis non est proprie circa
materiam fidei.
[Translation]
OBJ 3: Further, we find the holy doctors differing even about matters pertaining
to the faith, for example Augustine and Jerome, on the question about the
cessation of the legal observances: and yet this was without any heresy on their
part. Therefore heresy is not properly about the matter of faith.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Augustinus dicit, et habetur in decretis, XXIV,
qu. III, si qui sententiam suam, quamvis falsam atque perversam, nulla pertinaci
animositate defendunt, quaerunt autem cauta sollicitudine veritatem, corrigi parati
cum invenerint, nequaquam sunt inter haereticos deputandi, quia scilicet non
habent electionem contradicentem ecclesiae doctrinae. Sic ergo aliqui doctores
dissensisse videntur vel circa ea quorum nihil interest ad fidem utrum sic vel aliter
teneatur; vel etiam in quibusdam ad fidem pertinentibus quae nondum erant per
ecclesiam determinata. Postquam autem essent auctoritate universalis ecclesiae
determinata, si quis tali ordinationi pertinaciter repugnaret, haereticus censeretur.
Quae quidem auctoritas principaliter residet in summo pontifice.Dicitur
enim XXIV, qu. I, quoties fidei ratio ventilatur, arbitror omnes fratres
nostros et coepiscopos non nisi ad Petrum, idest sui nominis auctoritatem,
referre debere. Contra cuius auctoritatem nec Hieronymus nec Augustinus
nec aliquis sacrorum doctorum suam sententiam defendit.Unde dicit
Hieronymus, haec est fides, Papa beatissime, quam in catholica didicimus
ecclesia. In qua si minus perite aut parum caute forte aliquid positum est,
emendari cupimus a te, qui Petri fidem et sedem tenes.
Si autem haec nostra confessio apostolatus tui iudicio comprobatur, quicumque
me culpare voluerit, se imperitum vel malevolum, vel etiam non catholicum sed
haereticum, comprobabit.
[Translation]

Reply OBJ 3: As Augustine says (Ep. xliii) and we find it stated in the Decretals
(xxiv, qu. 3, can. Dixit Apostolus): "By no means should we accuse of heresy
those who, however false and perverse their opinion may be, defend it without
obstinate fervor, and seek the truth with careful anxiety, ready to mend their
opinion, when they have found the truth," because, to wit, they do not make a
choice in contradiction to the doctrine of the Church. Accordingly, certain doctors
seem to have differed either in matters the holding of which in this or that way is
of no consequence, so far as faith is concerned, or even in matters of faith, which
were not as yet defined by the Church; although if anyone were obstinately to
deny them after they had been defined by the authority of the universal Church, he
would be deemed a heretic. This authority resides chiefly in the Sovereign
Pontiff. For we read [*Decret. xxiv, qu. 1, can. Quoties]: "Whenever a
question of faith is in dispute, I think, that all our brethren and fellow
bishops ought to refer the matter to none other than Peter, as being the
source of their name and honor, against whose authority neither Jerome nor
Augustine nor any of the holy doctors defended their opinion." Hence Jerome
says (Exposit. Symbol [*Among the supposititious works of St. Jerome]): "This,
most blessed Pope, is the faith that we have been taught in the Catholic Church. If
anything therein has been incorrectly or carelessly expressed, we beg that it may
be set aright by you who hold the faith and see of Peter. If however this, our
profession, be approved by the judgment of your apostleship, whoever may blame
me, will prove that he himself is ignorant, or malicious, or even not a catholic but
a heretic."

ST II-II q.11 a. 2
The use of "many" in the words of consecration is a venerable consuetudo ecclesiae, in others
words it is supported by tradition and the constant historic practice of the Church; but what
about the translation in "all" which the Church has implicitly approved repeatedly by
approving texts containing it, and explicitly defended (the text in Notitiae, and in expresions
of John Paul II) and which was widely followed for a considerable number of years of recent
history?
The Church is now telling us that it is a defective translation, but is it not possible that it also
contains a positive aspect, and that positive aspect was referred to as the Church acted in its
regard as it did?
The translation in all has been repeatedly (implicitly) approved by legitimate Church authority
by its confirmation of translations of missals in vernacular languages, not only in the English
versions but also in a large number of languages, containing it. The Holy See has also
responded specifically to the question about its possibility and legitimacy by defending it.
This is decisive regarding the question of validity. The authority of the Church in approving
these translations should be considered infallible, with regard to validity. This does not
terminate all discussion of what a best possible translation may or may not be, but certainly
ends all doubt about the validity and essential legitimacy of a Eucharistic celebration
according to the approved norms approved by the Church.
Omlor argues that the Church does not have power over the substance of the sacraments. This
is true. The Church in its task of liturgical reform must respect the sacraments in their own
substantial nature. It is bound to reform them according to objective criteria. It must not act
arbitrarily.

But If one maintains the possibility that the Church could err in this one falls into an absurd
and untenable ecclesiology, an absurd rupture between the Church and the Good of the
Church, and not in a minor and accidental matter but with regard to the most essential task of
the Church: the worship of God in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
Individual Christians may fall away from the true faith but it would imply a lack of
understanding of the charism of the Church to believe that the Church could fail in this. Here
we agree with Omlor: a Pope approving an invalid mass would not be a true Pope. A false
Pope could approve an invalid mass.
In the first text cited St. Thomas affirms of the supreme authority of the custom or practice of
the Church and he adds Quia et ipsa doctrina catholicorum doctorum ab ecclesia
auctoritatem habet. The Church is the source of the authority of the doctrine of the doctors of
the Church. The Church, however, teaches first of all in her most essential activity which is
the liturgy. A Church without authority over the liturgy would not be able to teach.
In regulating the liturgy the Church performs a function which is essential to her, the Church
acts as Church and this asks for our adhesion.
The criterion of the consuetudo ecclesiae becomes absurd if one does not accept that the
Church can regulate herself through her supreme authority: one falls into a blind
traditionalism in which there is no way to distinguish between essential elements and
inessential elements. Our Lord could not have established such an absurd structure in
founding the Church
The Council of Trent rejects with an anathema the idea that the canon of the mass could
contain errors. Surely this must also hold with regard to the liturgy legitimately reformed
according to the mandate of the Second Vatican Council.
The Church has approved translations which include the rendering for all. Not individuals, but
the Church.
But now, simply the Church has seen fit, for valid reasons, to abandon that translation, after
having repeatedly approved missals containing it. Let us examine the factual evidence of
approval:
Here is the text found at the beginning of the official Dutch missal:
Goedgekeurd door Nederlandse bisschoppenconferentie en vervolgens voorzien
van de goedkeuring daarvan door de Congregatie voor de Sacramenten en de
eredienst op 10 mei 1977(and afterwards the protocol numbers of these
documents of approval)
[My translation]
Approved by the Bishop's Conference of the Netherlands, and subsequently
confirmed by the Congregation of Sacraments and Liturgy on the 10th of May
1977.
I believe similar texts are/were to be found in the official missals approved in the English,
Spanish, German, Italian (and other) languages which, like the Dutch missal employ the
expression "for all" in the words of consecration. James Akin, author of of the Book Mass
Confusion (which succinctly deals with the problem of many and all) cites the following text
as documentation of the approval of this translation in the English version: Documents on the
Liturgy 1445, n R13.

Here are some questions that might arise, and some factual responses:
Has Rome ever addressed the question of pro multis/for all?
Yes. Cfr. Notitiae, 6 (1970), nr. 50
Has Pope John Paul II ever spoken about the sense in which pro multis is to be taken in the
words of consecration? Yes. This text is from his Letter to Priests dated 13 March (Holy
Thursday) 2005:
4. "Hoc est enim corpus meum quod pro vobis tradetur." The body and the blood of Christ
are given for the salvation of man, of the whole man and of all men. This salvation
is integral and at the same time universal, because no one, unless he freely chooses, is
excluded from the saving power of Christ's blood: "qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur".
It is a sacrifice offered for "many'', as the Biblical text says (Mk 14:24; Mt 26:28;
cf. Is 53:11-12); this typical Semitic expression refers to the multitude who are saved by
Christ, the one Redeemer, yet at the same time it implies the totality of human beings to
whom salvation is offered: the Lord's blood is "shed for you and for all", as some
translations legitimately make explicit. Christ's flesh is truly given "for the life of the
world" (Jn 6:51; cf. 1 Jn 2:2).
And this is not the only time he has addressed this issue.
A simple, sober sensus fidei is enough in the face of this approval of the Church to cause our
confidence in the validity of the mass celebrated according the corresponding rites.
Omlor holds that if the Church approved such things it cannot be the True Church and if a
Pope approved such things he cannot be the true Pope. But the scandal he attempts to
demonstrate in these things is not born out by his arguments. These things are of a different
nature than that which he pretends.
2. Conversely, the approval of an invalid form would indeed argue for sedevacantism.
The argument for the validity of the sacraments celebrated according to the approved usages
of the Church is not simply an argument from authority, as that commonly is understood.
The infallibility of the Church is in play. (Even the infallibility of the Pope must be
understood in the context of the infallibility of the Church; there is where one finds the
foundation of Papal infallibility. The reasons grounding belief in the infallibility of the
Church and her fundamental liturgical practice are deep and fundamental and ones faith in
the sacraments can and ought to be a faith which is far removed from anything resembling
fideism.)
Nevertheless one can ask the question in theory of what one ought to do when one is
confronted by a pseudo-sacrament, when there is some solid evidence for the invalidity of a
Sacrament in a context that pretends to be ecclesial. What woud happen for instance if
Omlors arguments against the validity were solid arguments? One could construct this
thought experiment.
Something would have to give. The arguments of Omlor in favour of sedevacantism would
indeed be cogent if his arguments in favour of invalidity were cogent. Saying this, however,
does not make the arguments against the validity of the mass any more cogent than otherwise.
One has the right not to be worried about things that one has no good reason to worry about.

The logic of a thought experiment in which a merely ostensible Church authority (i.e. one
such as Omlor suggests in his phrase the Robber Church) would approve an invalid
sacramental form does not mean that the Church does not regulate the liturgy with infallible
authority.
Sedevacantists make use of an analogous thought experiment (which St. Bellarmine also
realized) in speaking of the case of a heretical Pope. What would happen if a Pope fell into
heresy? Sedevacantists argue (with Bellarmine) that he would cease to be Pope. But this
doesnt mean of course that any Pope has fallen into heresy. The world of fact must be
respected. And it does not mean that the Pope has no teaching authority. It does not mean that
the Pope is not infallible in the sense defined by the First Vatican Council. That definition
presupposes a (true) Pope.
Our acknowledgement of the value of Church approval of the texts in question is not,
therefore a sign of fideism.

Part VI
The Church has asked that these translations be changed.
Here in the following letter of Cardinal Arinze one finds a striking development with regard
to this question.
To their Eminences /Excellencies,
Presidents of the National Episcopal Conferences

CONGREGATIO DE CULTU DIVINO


ET DISCIPLINA SACRAMENTORUM
Prot. n. 467/05/L
Rome, 17 October 2006
Your Eminence / Your Excellency,
In July 2005 this Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments, by agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to all
Presidents of Conferences of Bishops to ask their considered opinion regarding the
translation into the various vernaculars of the expression pro multis in the formula for the
consecration of the Precious Blood during the celebration of Holy Mass (ref. Prot. n.
467/05/L of 9 July 2005).
The replies received from the Bishops Conferences were studied by the two
Congregations and a report was made to the Holy Father. At his direction, this
Congregation now writes to Your Eminence / Your Excellency in the following terms:
1. A text corresponding to the words pro multis, handed down by the Church, constitutes
the formula that has been in use in the Roman Rite in Latin from the earliest centuries. In

the past 30 years or so, some approved vernacular texts have carried the interpretive
translation for all, per tutti, or equivalents.
2. There is no doubt whatsoever regarding the validity of Masses celebrated with the use
of a duly approved formula containing a formula equivalent to for all, as the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has already declared (cf. Sacra Congregatio pro
Doctrina Fidei, Declaratio de sensu tribuendo adprobationi versionum formularum
sacramentalium, 25 Ianuarii 1974, AAS 66 [1974], 661). Indeed, the formula for all
would undoubtedly correspond to a correct interpretation of the Lords intention expressed
in the text. It is a dogma of faith that Christ died on the Cross for all men and women (cf.
John 11:52; 2 Corinthians 5,14-15; Titus 2,11; 1 John 2,2).
3. There are, however, many arguments in favour of a more precise rendering of the
traditional formula pro multis:
a. The Synoptic Gospels (Mt 26,28; Mk 14,24) make specific reference to many ([Greek
word transliterated as polloin])) for whom the Lord is offering the Sacrifice, and this
wording has been emphasized by some biblical scholars in connection with the words of
the prophet Isaiah (53, 11-12). It would have been entirely possible in the Gospel texts to
have said for all (for example, cf. Luke 12,41); instead, the formula given in the
institution narrative is for many, and the words have been faithfully translated thus in
most modern biblical versions.
b. The Roman Rite in Latin has always said pro multis and never pro omnibus in the
consecration of the chalice.
c. The anaphoras of the various Oriental Rites, whether in Greek, Syriac, Armenian, the
Slavic languages, etc., contain the verbal equivalent of the Latin pro multis in their
respective languages.
d. For many is a faithful translation of pro multis, whereas for all is rather an
explanation of the sort that belongs properly to catechesis.
e. The expression for many, while remaining open to the inclusion of each human
person, is reflective also of the fact that this salvation is not brought about in some
mechanistic way, without ones willing or participation; rather, the believer is invited to
accept in faith the gift that is being offered and to receive the supernatural life that is given
to those who participate in this mystery, living it out in their lives as well so as to be
numbered among the many to whom the text refers.
f. In line with the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam, effort should be made to be more
faithful to the Latin texts in the typical editions.
4. The Bishops Conferences of those countries where the formula for all or its
equivalent is currently in use are therefore requested to undertake the necessary catechesis
of the faithful on this matter in the next one or two years to prepare them for the
introduction of a precise vernacular translation of the formula pro multis (e.g, for many,
per molti, etc.) in the next translation of the Roman Missal that the Bishops and the Holy
See will approve for use in their country.
With the expression of my high esteem and respect, I remain,
Your Eminence/Your Excellency,
Devotedly Yours in Christ,

Francis Card. Arinze


Prefect
(It is interesting, and consoling to me, to note that the letter of Cardin al Arinze corresponded
almost to the day with the day of Fr. Breys passing. May it have been a consolation for him!)
Still more recently Pope Benedict XVI has written to the Bishops of the German Conference
of Bishops to insist that the more literal translation (return to for many) indeed be realized.
Below the German text of this letter.
24.04.2012: Brief von Papst Benedikt XVI. an die Mitglieder der Deutschen
Bischofskonferenz zur Frage der bersetzung des Kelchwortes
Papst Benedikt XVI. hat mit Datum vom 14. April 2012 einen Brief an die Mitglieder der
Deutschen Bischofskonferenz verfasst. In diesem Brief geht er auf die angemessene
bersetzung des Kelchwortes im Hochgebet der Heiligen Messe ein. Der Stndige Rat der
Deutschen Bischofskonferenz hat diesen Brief auf seiner Sitzung am 23. April 2012
errtert. Wir dokumentieren den Brief des Heiligen Vaters im Wortlaut.

Exzellenz!
Sehr geehrter, lieber Herr Erzbischof!
Bei Ihrem Besuch am 15. Mrz 2012 haben Sie mich wissen lassen, dass bezglich der
bersetzung der Worte pro multis in den Kanongebeten der heiligen Messe nach wie vor
keine Einigkeit unter den Bischfen des deutschen Sprachraums besteht. Es droht
anscheinend die Gefahr, dass bei der bald zu erwartenden Verffentlichung der neuen
Ausgabe des Gotteslobs einige Teile des deutschen Sprachraums bei der bersetzung
fr alle bleiben wollen, auch wenn die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz sich einig wre, fr
viele zu schreiben, wie es vom Heiligen Stuhl gewnscht wird. Ich habe Ihnen
versprochen, mich schriftlich zu dieser schwerwiegenden Frage zu uern, um einer
solchen Spaltung im innersten Raum unseres Betens zuvorzukommen. Den Brief, den ich
hiermit durch Sie den Mitgliedern der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz schreibe, werde ich
auch den brigen Bischfen des deutschen Sprachraums zusenden lassen.
Lassen Sie mich zunchst kurz ein Wort ber die Entstehung des Problems sagen. In den
60er Jahren, als das Rmische Missale unter der Verantwortung der Bischfe in die
deutsche Sprache zu bertragen war, bestand ein exegetischer Konsens darber, dass das
Wort die vielen, viele in Jes 53,1l f. eine hebrische Ausdrucksform sei, um die
Gesamtheit, alle zu benennen. Das Wort viele in den Einsetzungsberichten von
Matthus und Markus sei demgem ein Semitismus und msse mit alle bersetzt
werden. Dies bezog man auch auf den unmittelbar zu bersetzenden lateinischen Text,
dessen pro multis ber die Evangelienberichte auf Jes 53 zurckverweise und daher mit
fr alle zu bersetzen sei. Dieser exegetische Konsens ist inzwischen zerbrckelt; er
besteht nicht mehr. In der deutschen Einheitsbersetzung der Heiligen Schrift steht im
Abendmahlsbericht: Das ist mein Blut, das Blut des Bundes, das fr viele vergossen
wird (Mk 14, 24; vgl. Mt 26, 28). Damit wird etwas sehr Wichtiges sichtbar: Die
Wiedergabe von pro multis mit fr alle war keine reine bersetzung, sondern eine
Interpretation, die sehr wohl begrndet war und bleibt, aber doch schon Auslegung und
mehr als bersetzung ist.
Diese Verschmelzung von bersetzung und Auslegung gehrt in gewisser Hinsicht zu den
Prinzipien, die unmittelbar nach dem Konzil die bersetzung der liturgischen Bcher in

die modernen Sprachen leitete. Man war sich bewusst, wie weit die Bibel und die
liturgischen Texte von der Sprach- und Denkwelt der heutigen Menschen entfernt sind, so
dass sie auch bersetzt weithin den Teilnehmern des Gottesdienstes unverstndlich bleiben
mussten. Es war ein neues Unternehmen, dass die heiligen Texte in bersetzungen offen
vor den Teilnehmern am Gottesdienst dastanden und dabei doch in einer groen
Entfernung von ihrer Welt bleiben wrden, ja, jetzt erst recht in ihrer Entfernung sichtbar
wrden. So fhlte man sich nicht nur berechtigt, sondern geradezu verpflichtet, in die
bersetzung schon Interpretation einzuschmelzen und damit den Weg zu den Menschen
abzukrzen, deren Herz und Verstand ja von diesen Worten erreicht werden sollten.
Bis zu einem gewissen Grad bleibt das Prinzip einer inhaltlichen und nicht notwendig auch
wrtlichen bersetzung der Grundtexte weiterhin berechtigt. Da ich die liturgischen
Gebete immer wieder in verschiedenen Sprachen beten muss, fllt mir auf, dass zwischen
den verschiedenen bersetzungen manchmal kaum eine Gemeinsamkeit zu finden ist und
dass der zugrundeliegende gemeinsame Text oft nur noch von Weitem erkennbar bleibt.
Dabei sind dann Banalisierungen unterlaufen, die wirkliche Verluste bedeuten. So ist mir
im Lauf der Jahre immer mehr auch persnlich deutlich geworden, dass das Prinzip der
nicht wrtlichen, sondern strukturellen Entsprechung als bersetzungsleitlinie seine
Grenzen hat. Solchen Einsichten folgend hat die von der Gottesdienst-Kongregation am
28.03.2001 erlassene bersetzer-Instruktion Liturgiam authenticam wieder das Prinzip der
wrtlichen Entsprechung in den Vordergrund gerckt, ohne natrlich einen einseitigen
Verbalismus vorzuschreiben. Die wichtige Einsicht, die dieser Instruktion zugrunde liegt,
besteht in der eingangs schon ausgesprochenen Unterscheidung von bersetzung und
Auslegung. Sie ist sowohl dem Wort der Schrift wie den liturgischen Texten gegenber
notwendig. Einerseits muss das heilige Wort mglichst als es selbst erscheinen, auch mit
seiner Fremdheit und den Fragen, die es in sich trgt; andererseits ist der Kirche der
Auftrag der Auslegung gegeben, damit in den Grenzen unseres jeweiligen Verstehens
die Botschaft zu uns kommt, die der Herr uns zugedacht hat. Auch die einfhlsamste
bersetzung kann die Auslegung nicht ersetzen: Es gehrt zur Struktur der Offenbarung,
dass das Gotteswort in der Auslegungsgemeinschaft der Kirche gelesen wird, dass Treue
und Vergegenwrtigung sich miteinander verbinden. Das Wort muss als es selbst, in seiner
eigenen vielleicht uns fremden Gestalt da sein; die Auslegung muss an der Treue zum
Wort selbst gemessen werden, aber zugleich es dem heutigen Hrer zugnglich machen.
In diesem Zusammenhang ist vom Heiligen Stuhl entschieden worden, dass bei der neuen
bersetzung des Missale das Wort pro multis als solches bersetzt und nicht zugleich
schon ausgelegt werden msse. An die Stelle der interpretativen Auslegung fr alle muss
die einfache bertragung fr viele treten. Ich darf dabei darauf hinweisen, dass sowohl
bei Matthus wie bei Markus kein Artikel steht, also nicht fr die vielen, sondern fr
viele. Wenn diese Entscheidung von der grundstzlichen Zuordnung von bersetzung
und Auslegung her, wie ich hoffe, durchaus verstndlich ist, so bin ich mir doch bewusst,
dass sie eine ungeheure Herausforderung an alle bedeutet, denen die Auslegung des
Gotteswortes in der Kirche aufgetragen ist. Denn fr den normalen Besucher des
Gottesdienstes erscheint dies fast unvermeidlich als Bruch mitten im Zentrum des
Heiligen. Sie werden fragen: Ist nun Christus nicht fr alle gestorben? Hat die Kirche ihre
Lehre verndert? Kann und darf sie das? Ist hier eine Reaktion am Werk, die das Erbe des
Konzils zerstren will? Wir wissen alle durch die Erfahrung der letzten 50 Jahre, wie tief
die Vernderung liturgischer Formen und Texte die Menschen in die Seele trifft; wie sehr
muss da eine Vernderung des Textes an einem so zentralen Punkt die Menschen
beunruhigen. Weil es so ist, wurde damals, als gem der Differenz zwischen bersetzung
und Auslegung fr die bersetzung viele entschieden wurde, zugleich festgelegt, dass
dieser bersetzung in den einzelnen Sprachrumen eine grndliche Katechese vorangehen
msse, in der die Bischfe ihren Priestern wie durch sie ihren Glubigen konkret
verstndlich machen mssten, worum es geht. Das Vorausgehen der Katechese ist die

Grundbedingung fr das Inkrafttreten der Neubersetzung. Soviel ich wei, ist eine solche
Katechese bisher im deutschen Sprachraum nicht erfolgt. Die Absicht meines Briefes ist
es, Euch alle, liebe Mitbrder, dringendst darum zu bitten, eine solche Katechese jetzt zu
erarbeiten, um sie dann mit den Priestern zu besprechen und zugleich den Glubigen
zugnglich zu machen.
In einer solchen KATECHESE muss wohl zuerst ganz kurz geklrt werden, warum man
bei der bersetzung des Missale nach dem Konzil das Wort viele mit alle
wiedergegeben hat: um in dem von Jesus gewollten Sinn die Universalitt des von ihm
kommenden Heils unmissverstndlich auszudrcken. Dann ergibt sich freilich sofort die
Frage: Wenn Jesus fr alle gestorben ist, warum hat er dann in den Abendmahlsworten
fr viele gesagt? Und warum bleiben wir dann bei diesen Einsetzungsworten Jesu? Hier
muss zunchst noch eingefgt werden, dass Jesus nach Matthus und Markus fr viele,
nach Lukas und Paulus aber fr euch gesagt hat. Damit ist scheinbar der Kreis noch
enger gezogen. Aber gerade von da aus kann man auch auf die Lsung zugehen. Die
Jnger wissen, dass die Sendung Jesu ber sie und ihren Kreis hinausreicht; dass er
gekommen war, die verstreuten Kinder Gottes aus aller Welt zu sammeln (Joh 11, 52). Das
fr euch macht die Sendung Jesu aber ganz konkret fr die Anwesenden. Sie sind nicht
irgendwelche anonyme Elemente einer riesigen Ganzheit, sondern jeder einzelne wei,
dass der Herr gerade fr mich, fr uns gestorben ist. Fr euch reicht in die
Vergangenheit und in die Zukunft hinein, ich bin ganz persnlich gemeint; wir, die hier
Versammelten, sind als solche von Jesus gekannt und geliebt. So ist dieses fr euch nicht
eine Verengung, sondern eine Konkretisierung, die fr jede Eucharistie feiernde Gemeinde
gilt, sie konkret mit der Liebe Jesu verbindet. Der Rmische Kanon hat in den
Wandlungsworten die beiden biblischen Lesarten miteinander verbunden und sagt
demgem: Fr euch und fr viele. Diese Formel ist dann bei der Liturgie-Reform fr
alle Hochgebete bernommen worden.
Aber nun noch einmal: Warum fr viele? Ist der Herr denn nicht fr alle gestorben? Dass
Jesus Christus als menschgewordener Sohn Gottes der Mensch fr alle Menschen, der neue
Adam ist, gehrt zu den grundlegenden Gewissheiten unseres Glaubens. Ich mchte dafr
nur an drei Schrifttexte erinnern: Gott hat seinen Sohn fr alle hingegeben, formuliert
Paulus im Rmer-Brief (Rm 8, 32). Einer ist fr alle gestorben, sagt er im zweiten
Korinther-Brief ber den Tod Jesu (2 Kor 5, 14). Jesus hat sich als Lsegeld hingegeben
fr alle, heit es im ersten Timotheus-Brief (1 Tim 2, 6). Aber dann ist erst recht noch
einmal zu fragen: Wenn dies so klar ist, warum steht dann im Eucharistischen Hochgebet
fr viele? Nun, die Kirche hat diese Formulierung aus den Einsetzungsberichten des
Neuen Testaments bernommen. Sie sagt so aus Respekt vor dem Wort Jesu, um ihm auch
bis ins Wort hinein treu zu bleiben. Die Ehrfurcht vor dem Wort Jesu selbst ist der Grund
fr die Formulierung des Hochgebets. Aber dann fragen wir: Warum hat wohl Jesus selbst
es so gesagt? Der eigentliche Grund besteht darin, dass Jesus sich damit als den
Gottesknecht von Jes 53 zu erkennen gab, sich als die Gestalt auswies, auf die das
Prophetenwort wartete. Ehrfurcht der Kirche vor dem Wort Jesu, Treue Jesu zum Wort der
Schrift, diese doppelte Treue ist der konkrete Grund fr die Formulierung fr viele. In
diese Kette ehrfrchtiger Treue reihen wir uns mit der wrtlichen bersetzung der
Schriftworte ein.
So wie wir vorhin gesehen haben, dass das fr euch der lukanisch-paulinischen Tradition
nicht verengt, sondern konkretisiert, so knnen wir jetzt erkennen, dass die Dialektik
viele- alle ihre eigene Bedeutung hat. Alle bewegt sich auf der ontologischen Ebene
das Sein und Wirken Jesu umfasst die ganze Menschheit, Vergangenheit und Gegenwart
und Zukunft. Aber faktisch, geschichtlich in der konkreten Gemeinschaft derer, die
Eucharistie feiern, kommt er nur zu vielen. So kann man eine dreifache Bedeutung der
Zuordnung von viele und alle sehen. Zunchst sollte es fr uns, die wir an seinem

Tische sitzen drfen, berraschung, Freude und Dankbarkeit bedeuten, dass er mich
gerufen hat, dass ich bei ihm sein und ihn kennen darf. Dank sei dem Herrn, der mich aus
Gnad' in seine Kirch' berufen hat .... Dann ist dies aber zweitens auch Verantwortung.
Wie der Herr die anderen alle auf seine Weise erreicht, bleibt letztlich sein
Geheimnis. Aber ohne Zweifel ist es eine Verantwortung, von ihm direkt an seinen Tisch
gerufen zu sein, so dass ich hren darf: Fr euch, fr mich hat er gelitten. Die vielen tragen
Verantwortung fr alle. Die Gemeinschaft der vielen muss Licht auf dem Leuchter, Stadt
auf dem Berg, Sauerteig fr alle sein. Dies ist eine Berufung, die jeden einzelnen ganz
persnlich trifft. Die vielen, die wir sind, mssen in der Verantwortung fr das Ganze im
Bewusstsein ihrer Sendung stehen. Schlielich mag ein dritter Aspekt dazukommen. In der
heutigen Gesellschaft haben wir das Gefhl, keineswegs viele zu sein, sondern ganz
wenige ein kleiner Haufen, der immer weiter abnimmt. Aber nein wir sind viele:
Danach sah ich: eine groe Schar aus allen Nationen und Stmmen, Vlkern und
Sprachen; niemand konnte sie zhlen, heit es in der Offenbarung des Johannes (Offb 7,
9). Wir sind viele und stehen fr alle. So gehren die beiden Worte viele und alle
zusammen und beziehen sich in Verantwortung und Verheiung aufeinander.
Exzellenz, liebe Mitbrder im Bischofsamt! Mit alledem wollte ich die inhaltlichen
Grundlinien der Katechese andeuten, mit der nun so bald wie mglich Priester und Laien
auf die neue bersetzung vorbereitet werden sollen. Ich hoffe, dass dies alles zugleich
einer tieferen Mitfeier der heiligen Eucharistie dienen kann und sich so in die groe
Aufgabe einreiht, die mit dem Jahr des Glaubens vor uns liegt. Ich darf hoffen, dass die
Katechese bald vorgelegt und so Teil der gottesdienstlichen Erneuerung wird, um die sich
das Konzil von seiner ersten Sitzungsperiode an gemht hat.
Mit sterlichen Segensgren verbleibe ich im Herrn Ihr
Benedictus PP XVI.
This last letter reflects the ideas of Pope Benedict expressed in the earlier cited pages from
his book Jesus of Nazareth, vol. II
Neither the letter from Cardinal Arinze nor the ideas of Pope Benedict represent a substantive
departure from the other moments in which Rome has addressed the question of the validity
of the mass using the new tranlantion. It is not presented as the rejection of a of a scandalous
translation or an invalidating translation (this last is specifically denied), but as the choice for
a better translation, with reasons supporting the choice.
The translation in for all does not do full justice to the Biblical word, and to what we ought to
understand as the expression used by Our Lord.
It is thus a confirmation of an element of truth in Omlors writings. Those who have
maintained that a better translation was possible have now been confirmed by the authority of
the Holy Father. Was the fight for a better translation worthwhile? The Holy Father has now
confirmed that it was worthwhile. Does this question represent a serious issue? The Holy
Father has now confirmed that it is. (To affirm that it is a serious matter is not to affirm that
the translation as for all approved by the Church was invalidating, sacrilegious. It may be
regarded as a bad translation.
Yet the bad translation also contains an element of truth. And I dont think that it is impious
to imagine that God allowed the bad translation to exist in order to bring out that element of
truth.

The Holy Father has affirmed that many is more than all, not less. The many of the
Eucharist, of the Bible and of the Tradition is an expression of a wonderfully rich content. It
ought to be preserved. The issue has allowed us to penetrate more deeply into the words of the
Lord. Pope Benedict has mad a determination. But not for Omlors reasons.
If the many is legitimately interpreted (but illegitimately translated) as all, it follows that
many means all, but in a more profound sense than those liturgists thought who simply
thought that of for all as a simple improvement on that awkward Semitism for many.
Franz Prosinger, and following him, Manfred Hauke. have written extensively, and in
scholarly fashion (in a more scholarly fashion than Omlor) about the question of the
Eucharistic for many and their ideas have influenced Pope Benedicts judgement that the
consensus accepting the argument justifying the translation in for all based on Joachim
Jeremias has broken down.
But this must not be taken for something that it is not. What is no longer standing is the
argument in question: that the translation ought to be for all based on Jeremias. I do not
believe that Pope Benedict is endorsing the point of view of Frs. Prosinger and Hauke in its
entirety. They tell us that in effect there is no Semitism present in the many of Mk 14:24, that
the inclusive sense described by Jeremias is chimerical. I do not believe that this expresses a
majority view among scholars, although Prosingers study was accepted as by the Pontifical
Biblical Institute. In this they are in the same line as Omlor. They tell us that it is doubtful
whether the many in question means all, because it seems to mean the Church, the elect, and
not all. They say: let us remain with what is said literally, and for them the idea that all men
are signified by this for many is nothing more than an opinion held by some exegetes, but
lacking weight.
Analyzing the texts that Jeremias proposes as evincing the inclusive character of the Semitic
many, Prosinger shows time and again that a translation in the sense of all is not necessary
and in many cases ought to be avoided.
Many is not a Semitism if one means by a Semitism a mere barbaric expression, which can be
cleaned up with a little application of modern grammar and good taste, producing a
translation which is superior to the original text.
Many means all for reasons that transcend the idiosyncracies of one language with regard to
another.
This does not however exclude that many in the New Testament should be read as a
Semitism. If the Biblical languages are the prime matter of Biblical Revelation, and if there is
some fundamental relatedness of the (Greek) New Testament with the Old Testament (largely
written in the Semitic languages) it is natural that the Greek New Testament would need to be
read as reflective of linguistic patterns characterizing the Semitic languages.
Many does not mean all because of a supposed rule by which many was the Semitic way of
saying all, corroborated by a supposed absence of a word for all. The Semitic many suggests
all or inclusivity. It suggests it because it is bound to figurative language, it conveys the idea
of many (which is naturally the same in all languages) by means of a figure: multiplicity is the
quality of a multitude. The concrete precedes the abstract, and accordingly primitive language
will naturally be more concrete than language growing out of its primitive antecedensts.
The multitude which becomes a principal theme of Biblical Revelation is the multitude of
Gods people, the Church of God, the Body of Christ. When the Bible speaks of the Church as
many it is not contrasting many and all with many being some number numerically inferior to

all. It is speaking of the Church as that archetypal multitude which is archetypally great. Her
greatness is not considered to be inferior to some all because she is great with the greatness
of God.
Prosingers arguments that O.T. and extra-Biblical texts using the Semitic expressions for
many do not demand translation in for all, does not affect the core of what Jeremias is saying
about the presence of an inclusive nuance. Prosingers arguments do, however, have bearing
on the question of how to translate the Semitic expression, and the Semitism that transports
these expressions into the Greek New Testament.
One may want to ask me why I am going on about this question now that Rome has spoken,
and chosen for many. The reason is that there is at stake here something more than a
question of words: the most important thing is at stake here: the Gospel is at stake. One may
want to say to me that No one is denying the Gospel. Everyone admits that Christ died for all
men.
Yes but the Gospel is being reduced to a mere formula, it is being robbed of its power and its
joy. A literalist/fundamentalist reading of scripture always has the effect of disarticulating the
truth of scripture:
In dialogue form:
Yes we believe as Catholics that Christ died for all men, but that is not what this many
refers to,
--But what does it mean that Christ died for all men?
That he made it possible for all men to be saved
--But what does that mean?
It means that he died for all men! That he made it possible for all men to be saved! Dont
you understand simple English!!
--Yet if one believes in the objective redemption (Cfr. Ludwig Ott) then why does one get
emotionally upset when the interlocutor shows signs of believing that the objective
redemption has content and is not just a verbal formula that one repeats mindlessly?
What content then?
--That Jesus freed us: freed us from sin. That is the meaning of the word Redemption.
But that does not happen until one is baptized! Or at least until one believes. I know what
you are saying: We are all redeemed, we are all Christians, and that is the same thing as
saying that everyone goes to heaven automatically. You are denying that the Catholic Church
is necessary. I saw this coming.
--If the Gospel means anything, it means that Jesus has indeed freed us. We are on the road,
but that does not mean that one has reached the final destination. The Gospel does indeed
imply the brotherhood of man. Through Christ we call God our Father. This does not deny
ecclesiology; it is rather at the basis of ecclesiology. A universal redemption does not make
final salvation automatic, it does give us the obligation to hope (von Balthasar) and to pray
and to fight (alongside Our Lord) for the salvation of all. I cannot wash my hands of Gods
will that all men achieve salvation.
The truths of the faith being disarticulated, become isolated and begin to cancel each other
out.

By suspending and leaving in doubt the universal sense of many, one separates the Eucharist
from the sacrifice of the Cross, and instead of defending the Catholic sense of the mass as
sacrifice (as the traditionalists pretend to be doing) they are in fact undermining it.
Pope Benedict speaks of for all as belonging to catechetical interpretation rather than to
proper translation. This does not mean that the opinion that the for many signifies all men is
just an interpretation that is, something doubtful (which appears to be the opinion of
Prosinger and Hauke).
Prosinger seems to believe that many ought not to be taken as all, because it speaks of the
Blood of the Covenant, and the Covenant is bilateral, and not all men take part in the
Covenant. But his point of view does not seem to take into account sufficiently that the New
and Eternal Covenant of Christ is founded not on our response but on Christs response, his
fidelity and response to the Father, and that Christ as the Head of all humanity, realizes a
universal Covenant.
That for many signifies the Church, the elect, the community of believers, seems on the
other hand to be well founded. It seems to be the first thing that it signifies.
Omlor, Hauke and Prosinger seem to believe that if it means the Church it does not mean all
men, whereas a deep understanding of ecclesiology leads one to conclude that if it does
mean the Church, it does mean all men.
(Tellingly, both Hauke and Prosinger are opponents of von Balthasars affirmation that the
Christian soul hopes (ought to hope) for the salvation of all, which they refer to as the theory
of an empty hell, but which in fact is not a theory, but expresses how the Christian should
regard his fellow men, including them in his own theological hope)
Hauke, who is on one hand a tireless scholar, is on the other hand weak when it comes to
drawing final conclusions. He tells us this:
In order to belong to those whom Christ has chosen, an active care for ones personal
salvation is necessary. In a time when the biblical concept of election has been thrown into
a limbo of forgetfulness, such a wake-up call is most timely.
It is true that the concept of election has been thrown into a limbo of forgetfulness, and there
is nothing objectionable in a wake-up call regarding active care for ones salvation, but I think
that there is a lack of reflection in Hauke (as in Omlor) regarding precisely the question of
election.
Election is the work of God, not of man. And It is the work of the God of love. God who
loved us first.
Hauke says that there is this disbalance in our world, that there is more danger at the present
time that people will think everyone will be saved automatically than there is that people will
fall into the Jansenistic error that Christ only died for some. This legitimizes the return to for
many.
But thinking in this way, one relativizes the question of truth. One says that it legitimate to
imagine (in our present situation) that Jesus was trying to scare us into being good, because in
the present world, dominated by universalism, we need to be scared. (Since though it is okay
to talk about a God of love, one must at the same timemaintaining the disarticulated
disarray of doctrines---defend what is the opposite, for the sake of that balance which we
like to give the euphemistic name doctrinal clarity.)

On one hand Jesus warns us seriously by affirming the reality of hell; on the other hand he
affirms that he came to save the world, not to condemn it. But the teaching of Jesus is
consistent. He is saviour, but the salvation he brings cannot imply the negation of our liberty,
and the denial of the reality of sin because our liberty was wrought precisely by the
redemption in which He bore our sins. A teaching of universal eschatological salvation (all
men will be saved) would thus be self-contradictory, and for exactly the same reasons a
teaching which gives us statistics about the damned would be self self-contradictory. There is
in both a denial of the fundamental truth of faith: the Incarnation. Jesus Christ, like unto us in
all things but sin, would be negated.
What about those difficult expressions in which Jesus speaks of the definitive reprobation of
evil-doers? Manfred Hauke tells us that we should take such expressions seriously:
That according to the words of Jesus there
will be many who (through their own fault) will not enjoy eternal
blessedness (e.g. Lk 13:22-24), would be defined as infernalism by
an accomplished theologian who enjoys the highest sympathy at the
top levels of the Church.235 Even the words of the Lord himself here
become ideologically charged: whoever takes them seriously is considered
fundamentalist.236
235 See in this connection, and with further literature, M. HAUKE,
Sperare per tutti? Il ricorso allesperienza dei santi nellultima grande controversia
di Hans Urs von Balthasar, Rivista teologica di Lugano 6.1 (2001)
195-220; idem, Auf den Spuren des Origenes: Gre und Grenzen Hans
Urs von Balthasars, Theologisches 35 (2005) 554-62.
236 Thus the Rahner disciple H. VORGRIMLER, Geschichte der Hlle (Munich,
1993) 440-41. For the biographical background of this polemic, see D.
BERGER, Man knnte meinen, man sei im Irrenhaus. Herbert Vorgrimlers
Lebenserinnerungen, Theologisches 36 (2006) 353-62
Manfred Hauke, Shed for Many: An Accurate Rendering of the Pro Multis in the Formula
of Consecration, Antiphon 14.2 (2010): 169-229
But there are indications here that Hauke is misinterpreting the sense of Our Lords words.
Our Lord affirms two things clearly: 1) Evil is something real, and 2) Evil-doers will not
inherit the Kingdom.
But we may also be sure that Our Lord is not saying certain things. He is not saying that He
has despaired of the salvation of sinners. He is not saying that there is nothing more he can do
for them.
Our Lord speaks of the seriousness of his battle against sin, and against the Evil One. He
makes no deal with our wicked curiosity concerning the statistics of final Damnation.
A God who lifts the veil of the final judgement, to communicate information regarding who
will be eternally damned (which information cannot but realize that damnation, given that
Gods knowing is efficacious) is not the God who has revealed himself in the Incarnation,
whose Only Begotten Son become like unto man in all things but sin, come in order to save
the world, not to condemn it, uttered the words Father forgive them for they know not what
they do. Do we have to accept such a schizophrenic Christ?

Possibly our image of Christ has this schizophrenic aspect. What do we do about that? What
does the word of God tell us?
Jesus himself constantly praises those who take his hard sayings an interpret them according
to the interpretive key of the Gospel, of a loving Father who radically wills the salvation of
siners, and the healing of the human person.
Jesus just shows us how we ought to interpret his hard sayings.
A believer ought to distrust any pretended fidelity to the letter of the Bible, projecting a false
image of God.
Imagining that God works by playing on fear corrupts the Christian idea of God, and to
corrupts the idea of the good. A God who is fear and love by oscillation, is indeed a
frightening God.
Lurking in the background is the idea of a double predestination erasing human freedom:
those walking the earth are either predestined to perdition or predestined to eternal life, the
idea that our freedom is an illusion, although one can be motivated in some sense to do certain
things, through mechanisms of fear. God acts arbitrarily.
Deeply connected to this false image of God is the Pelagianism which denies any real
importance to grace.
The Pelagians denied the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin. The universality of Original Sin is
the counterpart of the universality of the Redemption. We as Catholics defend both poles,
following the doctrine of St. Paul in the fifth chapter of his Letter to the Romans. If there were
no universal Fall there could not have been a universal Redemption. The modern neoPelagian sees neither the disaster of sin, nor the joy of the universal Redemption wrought by
Christ. Sin is not that bad, they insinuate, we can fix it ourselves.
As Pope Pius X affirmed there is some doctrine (he gave it the name Modernism) which
synthesizes all errors, and it is thus a many-headed monster.
The point is not to go to any extreme, but rather to ask ourselves What did Our Lord mean
with for many?
He meant the Church, the Church which Vatican II affirms to be a mystery, the sacrament of
salvation. A Church which is guardian of the Gospel, not the denier, of the Gospel.
Did he mean all men? Yes, also, but not directly. Did he mean many in the sense of just
some? Yes, also. What do I mean by that? I mean that this or any concrete stage of history the
Gospel has not yet reached all men, there is still work to do, and that this limited state of
things reflects human resistance to Gods grace, the existence of sin. To affirm this is to have
a realistic vision of things, but it is not to abandon that hope expressed in the prayer of
Fatima: Lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy! The realism, by
contrast, stimulates hope and prayer.
But this all and this just some are not the primary thing meant by many. The primary thing is
the Church, the Church is the great reality of which Biblical many speaks, the People of God,
the Israel of God. In the Biblical vision of the Church there is nothing sectarian or merely
tribal. The Biblical vision of the Church is illumined by the eschatological light of God in
which the Church is Mother, radiant, beautiful.

For Pope Benedict, (the upright) interpretation arrives at truth, and therefore the catechetical
interpretation of many as meaning all is a true interpretation, neither unjust nor doubtful.
I have come to understand that he point of my dealings with Patrick Omlors ideas is
something larger than simply the ideas of a single man. His ideas are representative of a
situation in the Church, whose gravity was sufficient to merit the convocation of an
Ecumenical Council, the Second Vatican Council.
Yet more dangerous than Omlor finally were those whose line was Dont worry about
Omlor, because he is a fringe figure, but who simply meant that the clericalist, selfreferential Church on which they had placed their money, will get along just fine without this
Omlor, who dared to say something clearly (something anti-Catholic) and so doing, helped to
delineate the proper form of that self- referential anti-Church. Such a person can be sent into
the desert as the umpteenth scapegoat, whose sacrificial demise (disappearance into the
forgetful sands of history) will guarantee the continued existence and apparent triumph of the
self-referential anti-Church.
But a frank analysis of Omlors thesis has lead me to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a treasure
which, I never hope to lose. In this way I have come to regard these pages as pages belonging
more properly to the genre of narrative than to that of pure speculation. The Gospel of
Jesus Christ is my Pearl of Great Price, which a believer will naturally be willing to fight for.
Part VII
Reprise and Summary
1. A Semitism expressing the Essential Self-consciousness of the People of God

Mira profunditas eloquiorum tuorum, quorum ecce ante nos superficies blandiens
parvulis: sed mira profunditas, deus meus, mira profunditas! horror est intendere in
eam, horror honoris et tremor amoris.
(Wonderful is the depth of Thy words, whose surface lies before us, inviting the little
ones. But their depth is wonderful, O my God, wonderful is their depth. Entering into
this depth is awe-inspiring; an awesome honour, and an awesome love.
St Augustine, Confessions XII, 14

Wonder is the beginning of philosophy


Socrates

To see a World in a Grain of Sand


And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand
And Eternity in an hour.
William Blake
These are the sons of Shem, by their families, their languages, their lands and their
nations

Genesis 10:31

1. Omlor (and Father Prosinger with him) reject the idea of a Semitism present in Biblical
many that would justify the translation of Biblical many as all men.
There is no such peculiarity present in Biblical many, they tell us. They affirm that Biblical
many is not, in itself, different from extra-Biblical many.
They react, correctly, against the spurious notion that there is no way to say all in Hebrew
and Aramaic. But they use the fact that there are distinct ways to say many and all to
conclude that many and all work the same way in the Semitic languages and in the Bible as
extra-Semitically and outside the Bible (although Father Prosinger, as we have seen, does
admit that Biblical all can show a Semitism which shows it to have a limited sense).
Here there is an illegitimate inference: that from the fact that Semitic and extra Semitic (or
Biblical and extra-Biblical) language share the pair many/all it follows that this pair works the
same way in the Semitic and extra-Semitic (or Biblical and extra-Biblical) contexts.
Omlor admits that many might mean all at some point in the Bible (as Augustine, et al,
affirm), but this would not be so for philological reasons.
Omlor tells us that Eucharistic many does not mean all, and means less than all, and that we
know this not based on philology but from the fact that the Church teaches us that it refers to
the aspect of efficacy, and refers thus to just some, not all.
Omlor legitimately rejects the idea that there is some defect of the Semitic languages (the
absence of a way to say all) which imposed the use of many, and ought to be corrected in
translation.
What is illegitimate is the inference that from the affirmation that there is no such defect it
follows that there is no Semitism to be found in the Semitic/Biblical pair many/all.
A trick is being played. This trick must be carefully analyzed.
Omlor tells us that the liturgical reform of the Council was a work of Modernists and of
Modernism, that it was the work animated by the express intention of destroying the Church,
and that this Modernism is historically connected with the historical phenomenon of
Freemasonry.
This is a complex and vast assertion which deserves to be analyzed in part and whole. As a
whole, it ought to be rejected, but does that mean that it may not be, in some way, be
expressive of certain realities?
Omlor tells us that Archbishop Bugnini was a Freemason (because he appeared on a certain
list of Freemasons). Was he indeed a Freemason? I dont know. A judgement about facts
implies, furthermore, no judgement about the interior things of the soul.

But it must be clear that the value of the liturgical reform mandated by the Council and
realized by the Church does not depend on the outcome of such an investigation.
I do know that the appearance of the list in question was taken as red meat by a certain radical
Traditionalist imagination, as can be seen in this text of Omlor:
Those vernacularized liturgies that started popping up "spontaneously" in 196768, in a multitude of languages all over the globe, all at about the same time and
all without official approbation, were all produced by various national or
international "Committees on the Liturgy," which were the counterparts of the
English-speaking ICEL. This orchestrated global operation was directed and
controlled by the Vatican's now defunct "Sacred Congregation for the Divine
Cult," that nefarious creation of Montini which supplanted the Sacred
Congregation of Rites. At the time of the 'For All Men' International Conspiracy
the Secretary of this "Sacred" Congregation was Msgr. Annibale Bugnini who
was later (1972) made an archbishop. He died in 1982 at the age of seventy.
The reader will recall that Bugnini, the ringleader of the conspiracy, was publicly
exposed in 1976 as having been secretly a Freemason since April 23, 1963,
Code Number 1365-75, and Code Name "BUAN". Pope Leo XIII (encyclical
Humanum Genus, 1884) declared Freemasonry to be of "the kingdom of Satan";
and eighteen years later in "A Review of His Pontificate" (March 19, 1902), the
same Pontiff spoke again of Freemasonry as "Full of the spirit of Satan." Now I
ask, can any person of sound mind conceivably suppose that Annibale Bugnini,
that most talented operative of Freemasonry, which is of the "mystical body of
Satan" would be taking pains to preserve the validity of the Catholic Mass and
would be making sure that the Mystical Body of Christ was being properly
signified in the words of the consecration form?
TRC, p. 255
If you buy the whole thing everything becomes as clear as day, and there is no stopping you.
But what happens if you want to go one step at a time?
I restrict myself, however, to the question of pro multis, because I am here in the process of
analyzing the above mentioned trick.
It is supposed that pro multis was translated as for all for Modernist reasons: to make the
Gospel palatable in our modern world, to take the hard edge off of it, to create the illusion that
all men will be saved, so do not worry, to express a type of universalism taken to be in accord
with the Council, to dissolve the tension between the Church and the World, to narcotize the
fear of the Lord.
This is in itself probable; yet to affirm this is not to judge anyone.
Can the translation, with its Modernist animus, be taken as typical expression of the spirit of
the Council?
Benedict XVI decided that for many ought to be preserved. One might reasonably say that he
held that this translation was not an expression of the spirit of the Council, as had been
thought.
Benedict allowed himself here, as in other matters to think critically about the Council
(something that cannot be taken as rejection of the Council).

While the letter of Cardinal Arinze clearly expressed the will of Pope Benedict that many be
preserved, and gave reasons for this decision, at the same time it affirmed significantly that
the translation in all (part of many vernacular versions of the Roman Missal missal whose
texts had been confirmed by the Apostolic See for liturgical use in the Catholic Church) did
not invalidate the Sacrament.
It affirms that the translation in all was a mistaken translation. The Church had made a
mistake.
One may make an historical analysis of why such a mistake was made; but the simple fact of
the matter is that a mistake was made.
There are those who do not like the idea of a Church that makes mistakes, admits them and
seeks to correct them. They believe that a Church admitting her mistakes will throw the pearl
of Christian doctrine to the swine of passing fashions.
They think that a Church admitting her mistakes is too human.
They prefer, perhaps, the historical myth of a Church, which in the past never made mistakes,
standing in stark contrast with the shipwrecked and false Church which calls itself the
Conciliar Council.
But there are also those who prefer an alternative myth which is no more than another
version of the same fundamental rejection of our being human: the myth of a Post- Conciliar
Church which never makes mistakes, which pretends, for example, that clericalism died with
the Council, and that we have now stopped making mistakes altogether, and that every word
of the Pope invalidates every previous word in such a way that memory becomes entirely
unnecessary.
Are we capable of rising above such myths and accepting the humanity of the Church?
Fundamentalism is something that ensues as one forgets the humanity of the Church.
The person who does not understand this and who sympathizes with the fundamentalist will
answer that one must be balanced in all doctrinal questions, and that therefore one must keep
in mind that alongside whatever other truths one might believe in, Church and Pope are
infallible. By talking about the humanity of the Church, about the making of mistakes and the
correction of mistakes, on will cause confusion among the faithful.
Better not to talk about that.
But that balance one claims to have cherished ends up being washed away.
One has recalled a conception of the infallibility of the Church, but not the true one, because
one has forgotten that Infallibility of the Church is grounded on the Church being a living
reality, because of the Holy Spirit having been given to her as Dominus et Vivificator, the
Holy Spirit who is God. One has forgotten how the Church as a living reality, which is both
human and endowed with the Life of the Holy Spirit, will be, inasmuch as human, at once
mistake-making and capable of rising above error by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism makes it clear that the Church arises from both the water of our humanity and from
the Holy Spirit of God

For human being growth coincides with process of admitting mistakes, and dealing uprightly
with them. The Church is human. The infallibility of the Church does not negate this, but
rather is expression of the unending and unconquerable growth process which is life itself.
The life of the Church, which is the Holy Spirit, does not fail, because it is Divine.
The admission of mistakes is the essence of humility. Humility is something fundamental in
the Church.
One should admit, thus, the error that was made in translating Eucharistic many with all and
learn from it.
One learns that there is no Semitism justifying a translation in all. This is fruit of a close
reading of the pertinent texts. One executes a close reading by examining the words in
question and their context.
Omlor claims to have realized such a close reading and to have come to the conclusion that
there is no Semitism justifying all. This is fine in itself.
But does it mean that there is no Semitism at all in Biblical many? That there is no Semitism
at all in the Biblical pair many/all? That there is nothing special about this pair?
Omlor is right in saying that the translation in all represents a gross one size fits all reading
of Scripture with an air of Liberal or Modernistic exegesis
Omlor is right in saying that the close reading of Scripture and Tradition will show that this
reading does not fit.
Where he goes wrong is in transforming the idea of close reading into an atomized reading, a
fundamentalist reading which is finally no reading at all.
It will have been noted that I speak of Biblical many, and of the Biblical pair many/all.
Omlor never speaks in such terms.
It may seem that by speaking of Biblical many I engage in the same sort of one size fits all
exegesis as those who translate in all. The difference, however, is in my intention to read the
Bible Biblically, and not according to extraneous criteria which are foreign to the Bible.
Reading the Bible according to the Bible is not only licit but necessary.
Reading the Bible Biblically does not destroy close reading; rather it is part of what is
demanded by reading closely, which, as you will recall, requires attention to the Biblical
words and their context. The context of Biblical words is the Bible.
These remarks are not trivial, because the unity of the Bible is not trivial. The Bible is a work
which is ordered in a way no other book is or can be ordered. Its order is archetypyal as no
other book is or can be. It is the Book of the Alpha and the Omega.
Omlors reading of the texts to which he gives the most weight is constantly hampered by
inattention to context. This indicates the lack of close reading, not its exercise.
Reading Biblical many, Omlor tells us that the Roman Catechism tells us that it refers to
efficacy, and thus to only some. He ignores the fact that the context of Biblical many is the
Bible, and he decides the matter by appeal to an extraneous authority: The Roman Catechism.

I am not here saying that the Church is not interpreter of Scripture. It is rather Omlor who
turns the Church into an extraneous interpreter of Scripture, acting upon Scripture arbitrarily
and from outside, an interpreter that does not read, an interpreter that does not interpret.
Such a conception of Church authority is wedded to Omlors conception of sufficiency and
efficacy (opposed to the distinction of sufficiency and efficacy rightly understood), a
conception in which efficacy is realized outside of the economy of Biblically revealed
Salvation History.
Omlor not only neglects the Biblical context of Eucharistic many (Its relation with Isaiah
53:12 is a key to that context, and Omlor makes light of the presence of that context, ignoring
the typology of the Suffering Servant in the Biblical rendition of the Last Supper.), but he
also ignores the context in which the Roman Catechism speaks of Eucharistic many: the
context of the consecratory formula of the wine, distinguished from the consecratory formula
of the bread, which distinction constitutes the double consecration, which is the site of the
distinction sufficiency-efficacy, which gives the basic configuration to this greatest of
Sacraments, which alone is both Sacrament and Sacrifice.
This all leads Omlor into a misreading of the Roman Catechism, a misreading which tempts
us, but which is resolved by a careful analysis of the context. Omlor tells us that there is no
appeal beyond the authority of the Catechism, but he misreads the Catechism.
By not taking into account the context the readings of Omlor distort the content of the texts to
which he gives most weight.
The problem of interpretation thus can only be resolved by recourse to external authority, but
in recurring to external authority one always will run into the problem of interpretation.
Omlor always will say any idiot can understand these texts of ultimate authority in a contextfree way, and is surprised when his own interpretation is not accepted by others no less
learned than he.
Omlor attempts close readings, but the literalism and fundamentalism, behind his context-less
readings always thwarts the attempt.

2. From the legitimate affirmation that philology does not show something (that it does not
show that there is some defect in the Semitic languages which requires improvement in the
translation of Eucharistic many), Omlor passes illegitimately to the conclusion that philology
shows nothing and can show nothing.
Philology, in what I hold to be Omlors conception, will not help you to understand the Bible
better, because the Church has a series of doctrinal pronouncements (such as those of the
Roman Catechism) which contain everything you will ever be able to learn from the Bible but
in a superior and clearer way. So the study of the Bible is not necessary, except for purposes
of apologetics: the only thing that the Bible gives us are proof-texts, which show that the
Church is always right, that is that we are always right.
But there is a problem of logic here: if the Bible is (relatively) unclear, how can it serve as a
proof text for what is more clear?
The attitude by which the Bible is held to be (relatively) unclear is an attitude which will
lead one to distance oneself from the Bible, despising the Bible.

The Moslem holds that the Koran forfeits its identity in translation; the Christian, who does
not identify the Word of God with the letter, maintains that (a translation of) the Bible is the
Bible.
The Koran is all that the Moslem has of the word of God, and so he is, by necessity a
literalist. The Christian who has, by the grace of the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God
in Person, reads the Bible by the light of the Spirit, and is not a literalist.
Omlor is a literalist, but the literalism is displaced from the Bible to doctrinal pronouncements
such as that of The Roman Catechism.
As noted above, his literalism, becomes at a certain point an integralist conceptualism (as
when he tells us that he is not a long-former at all in the strict sense with regard to the
Eucharistic form: he only demands that the essential concepts be represented), which
transformation attempts to disguise its essential identity of the conceptualism with the
literalism from which it derives. But, also as noted above, literalism and integralism (which is
essentially an unbounded exaggeration of the police-function) have always worked hand in
hand; the step from literalism to conceptualism is not a liberation from literalism.
Omlors conceptualism means that language, in the final analysis, does not matter: one passes
to concepts and thus one has the thing in its pure form, and can leave the shell behind. This
sounds like a liberation from literalism, but one remains, alas, haunted by its ghost.
The problem with the Traditionalist is not that he lives in the past, but that he only lives in the
recent past. Thus the Traditionalist will love the Latin Vulgate with which he is familiar from
his cherished experience of the Tridentine mass. He will prefer the Vulgate. Did Trent not say
that the Vulgate was free from error? If the Vulgate is free from error, why should one study
the languages in which the Bible was originally writtenexcept perhaps as proof-texts.
When it is pointed out that his attachment to exterior aspects of liturgical form and language
is a sentimental thing; he will answer that he is not a sentimentalist at all, but rather an
enthusiast of the strict school of doctrinal orthodoxy. This transformation corresponds to
what we have seen in Omlor: the transformation from literalism to conceptualism, and has the
same value, as a transformation only in the order of appearance and accident.
When Trent said that the Vulgate was free from error, it based itself on the fact that the
liturgical use of the Vulgate: from the identity of lex orandi and lex credendi it follows that
the Vulgate is free from (doctrinal) error.
The canon affirming the inerrancy of the Vulgate does not mean that it contains no
mistranslations; similarly the liturgical translation in for all is not invalidating, although we
hold it to be a mistranslation.
The affirmation of Trent is similar to the affirmation of Cardinal Arinze regarding the validity
of masses using for all. Trent did not mean to tell us that the Vulgate is in some magical,
unhistorical way the measure of all Bibles, the one text that can be read without regard to
context (alongside the Catechism of the Council of Trent, and whatever else one would like
to include in that club).
Indeed there is no one definitive text of the Bible. (To the question of which text is more
original, the Masoretic Hebrew or the Greek of the Septuagint there is no simple answer; the
question of the Greek codices of the New Testament is also complex.)

Thus in going back to the original texts one does not ever find the text from which all others
can be judged.
What, then, animates the Catholic Biblical scholar, what original reality does he seek?
A fundamentalist/literalist/integralist hermeneutics will set him on a false path.
He does however have a principle that he can work with: the principle of the unity of the
Bible. Here he will find the original reality, that he, as scholar, seeks.
Unity and originality are one.
The Catholic scholar, by definition a man of faith. He will thus understand that the Word of
God is a spiritual reality, that at the heart of his search there is spiritual reality, and not the
letter.
But what of the letter? What of language? What of philology? What of Biblical language?
The Catholic scholar will not allow himself to despise these things. The Word has become
flesh. The Word is expressed Biblically, that is in Biblical language. If I despise Biblical
language I will not find the Word, I will despise the Word.
Hidden in Omlors rejection of the Semitism is a rejection of Biblical language of the clothing
without which the Scriptural Word does not exist.
This is the trick that is being played: Omlor speaks of the rejection of a silly idea that there is
no way to say all in Hebrew and Aramaic. He calls that idea the Semitism. He uses it to
negate the idea of Biblical language as such. He says there is no Semitism. But now he means
that there is no Biblical language at all. The philologist has nothing to study as he turns to the
Bible, because the Bible has disappeared!
The Bible is Biblical language, just as the human body is the human person. This does not
mean that the Logos is denied, just as it does not mean that the soul is denied.
When I affirm that the Bible is Biblical language I am affirming and not denying that the
Word of God is the center, the principle of unity of the Bible.
Similarly when one affirms that the human body is the human person, one affirms that the
soul is the form of the Body, and does not deny it.
By affirming the Semitism one affirms Biblical language. By affirming Biblical language one
is not inventing a strange, new and unnecessary category (in violation of Occams Razor) but
simply affirming that something belongs to, and reflects, the unity of the Bible.
The Semitism, thus, is a little Bible
What do I mean by saying the Bible has disappeared?
In Omlor the Bible disappears into the Vulgate, and the Vulgate disappears into The Roman
Catechism, which disappears into Omlors context-less interpretation of the Roman
Catechism (and St. Thomas), which supposedly says things clearly, namely that Christ did not
die for all men, but just some.
One will object that Omlor also adheres to the doctrine of sufficiency. He says he does!

But one has to follow the story. Sufficiency exists in chapter one, but in the denouement,
sufficiency gets routed. Only efficacy exists in the final analysis. But this efficacy is also not
what it was. It has not grown out of the Biblical humus, but comes from outside, it comes
from Omlor, which is to say that it does not come from the source of the salvation revealed
Biblically.
The Bible is beside the point. One can neglect it. It disappears.
So if the Semitism is affirmed, against Omlor, what exactly are we affirming?
We affirm a Semitism which is expressive of that which is special about Biblical language as
such, which is expressive of the essence of Biblical language as bearer of the Word, as the
Biblical matrix of the Word.
Is it absurd to connect such an elevated function to the humble reality of Semitic language?
Let me ask you in return this question: Is it absurd to connect the sublimely elevated function
of Mother of God with a humble and poor virgin of Nazareth?
The Semitic languages may be poor, but in the Biblical Semitism, this poverty becomes like
the poverty of the Virgin, an Evangelical Sign.
The poverty of Biblical many is in its weakness and humility. It doesnt say how many. It
doesnt say all. In a way, it is less than all, because it doesnt say all. It doesnt have the
arrogance of all.
But if one examines this many more closely you will discover that this Biblical and
Eucharistic many beams with Evangelical joy. Its less is more. It shines with confidence in
Gods plan, with confidence in Gods greatness and generosity, with confidence in Gods
Promise.
The Semitism in Biblical many is not just a Semitism, but a Biblical Semitism.
In calling it Biblical one is not just trivially saying, that it occurs in the Bible, but something
much more.
As Semitism it has its haecceitas, its particular and concrete character; but as Biblical
Semitism it has a universal significance. It is a little Bible; it refers to the Biblical whole.
It is a concrete universal.
It is the Whole in a fragment. (Cfr. von Balthasars use of this concept).
In this greater context we can make sense not only out of Father Prosingers rejection of the
Semitism, but also of his radical refusal to accept the universality of Redemption as Biblical
teaching. He has a point. Yet the Bible contains more than the Bible. The soul is greater than
the body. The Gospel surpasses the Law. The Bible can contain the Gospel only because it
transcends itself.
In the Biblical Semitism there is the Biblical paradox of God working through mans
weakness. Exaltavit humiles.

The analogy between Biblical language and the body confirms the analogy between the Bible
and the body of Christ.
The risen Christ is recognized for two reasons, which are in effect one single reason: 1. His
wounds, and 2. The Breaking of the Breaad.
Similarly, the Bible is recognized in the Biblical Semitism,

3.When we affirm the Semitism we are affirming the self-consciousness of the People of
God, a self-conciousness, which, in the final analysis, is Christ-centered, and rooted in the
mystery of the Incarnation of the Word.
Omlor affirms the relation of many to the Church, but he does so without a good
reason; he does so only because the Roman Catechism and Saint Thomas told him to.
But we know have a good reason for doing so: there is a Semitism expressing the selfconsciousnes (thus the consciousness, the conscience) of the People of God. We have
an intrinsic and not merely extrinsic and authoritarian reason for doing so: the
consciousness of the People of God is our consciousness.
Far from rejecting the philological study of Biblical texts, the Church has encourages
historical-philological study of the Bible, and insisted on its value for the Churchs growth in
understanding of the Bible.
The Church grows in love and understanding for that Biblical matrix of the Word which is the
Bible itself.
In rejecting the Biblical matrix of the Word one is already on the path of anti-Semitism,
because one has rejected at the very root the identity and dignity of the Biblical People of
God.
Every single Pope, at least from Pius XI on, has insisted on the evil of anti-Semitism.
Nevertheless the Church still suffers from the merely apologetic approach to anti-Semitism, in
which the Church merely defends herself against accustations of anti-Semitism without
admitting her mistakes, pretending that anti-Semitism has had nothing to do with the Church.
We can make mistakes. We make mistakes. The Church makes mistakes.
The self -consciousness of Israel includes consciousness of error, but also eschatological faith,
hope and charity which relate the soul directly to God.
Abraham will be the father of many (that is all) nations.
In other words, the self-consciousness of Israel is at the root of the self-consciousness which
unites mankind. The self-consciousness of Israel is archtetype of the conscience which is at
the center of the moral and spiritual journey of mankind and of each man.
Denial of the self-consciousness of Israel is denial of the conscience of mankind, the spiritual
root of mankind.
The Nucleus of the Bible and of the People of God is the Word. Christ is the Head of the
Church.

In our day anti-Islamic thought has arisen as a new form of anti-Semitism. It is not really
something else, something opposed to anti-Semitism, but is a new manifestation of the same
thing and offends against the same spiritual root.
One can and should understand the self-consciousness of Israel in such a way that it becomes
expressive of the essential equality of all cultures. One defends that there is something special
about the People of God, but this very special quality, in its specialness, establishes, illumines
and confirms the equality of cultures, the essential dignity of culture.
When one is stripped of culture, one is naked, one is stripped of everything, one dies.
The self-consciousness of Israel (that is, of the Church) is an essentially humble
consciousness.
The question of the self-consciousness of the Church is connected to the question of the
cenrality of conscience. When the Integralist conception of the Church is shown to be
inauthentic, the idea of a self-conscious Church is shown to be in harmony with the doctrine
of the central place of conscience in mans metaphysical structure. The Conscience of the
Church and the Conscience of man are not dialectical opposites.
Joseph Ratzinger gave an important conference to a group of American bishops regarding the
theme of conscience, in which he cites Socrates, Thomas More and John Henry Newman, as
prophets of conscience:
Conscience for Newman does not mean that the
subject is the standard vis-a-vis the claims of authority in a truthless
world, a world which lives from the compromise between the claims of the
subject and the claims of the social order. Much more than that,
conscience signifies the perceptible and demanding presence of the voice
of truth in the subject himself. It is the overcoming of mere subjectivity
in the encounter of the interiority of man with the truth from God. The
verse Newman composed in 1833 in Sicily is characteristic: "I loved to
choose and see my path but now, lead thou me on!"
Joseph Ratzinger, Dallas Texas, 1991
10th annual workshop for Bishops

Pope Francis has insisted valiantly on the fact that conscience is at the center of morality,
against all those who, thinking themselves champions of morality and orthodoxy and thinking
the Pope to be highly dangerous, have an essentially positivist, materialist and extrinsecist
vision of the moral field, in which conscience only enters by attack from outside, as a
manipulation ordered to impose upon the soul the arbitrary will of an arbitrary exterior force,
which calls itself God, and which appropriates to itself the monopoly of moral rectitude.
The Pope defends the self-consciousness of the People of God, the Biblical humus.

4. If one language is held to be shallow, one will view the language of Scripture as shallow.
It will just mean what it means. This follows from the shallowness of language. The
shallowness of language reflects a principle which dissembles and disguises itself.
This principle pretends to be an angel of light. It pretends to be a lover of clarity.

Why language means only what it means, and nothing more, this principle tells us
When words mean what they mean and nothing more one calls that clarity. When words do
not submit to this regime they lack are said to lack clarity; they are failed words.
Scripture has an essential relation to the rest of language. Scripture, by being what it is,
cannot consist of failed words and must consist of words which express clearly.
But what is meant by expressing clearly is governed by the axiom that language is shallow,
that is, that it means what it means and nothing more.
Scripture then shows us definitively that language is shallow.
Scripture, expressing things shallowly, expresses the shallowness of things.
An intellectually honest and virtuous scholar, reading Scripture, will come upon its meaning
(its shallowness).
He who finds depth in Scripture will sooner or later reveal the defective nature of his
scholarly enterprise. This is inevitable, because he who finds depth in Scripture mystifies.
Thus a regime of fundamentalism will impose itself, since he who does not appreciate the
sense of Scripture (its shallowness) must be held to account for his deviance and subversion
With fundamentalism comes an integralist or ideological conception of doctrine.
This does not mean, however, that the shallow conception of language (allied essentially with
fundamentalism) cannot express itself in the language of scientific rigor, for it is also allied
with a positivist conception of science, and that expressing itself in (apparently) scientific
terms, it will not appear as allied or related to fundamentalism.
He who writes about Scripture in such a way will show a will to establish the text, and to
establish the sense of the text. He will say that this is what the scientific study of Scripture
does, and he will be right. But he will also leave behind him the suggestion that this is all
there is, since the text means only what it means.
This excludes in fact any substantial role for the Church in interpreting Scripture.
There is also no role for theology.
The notional understanding of the text is really all there is. Faith does not add anything to the
understanding. How could it, when the text means merely what it means?
There is no room for anything beyond fundamentalism, literalism, and a conceptualist,
integralist conception of doctrine which implies and necessitates the policing of minds.
There is a lazy and inauthentic response to the radicality of this point of view which says
sure the text means only what it means, but let us be balanced. One has ingested the poison,
but one strives to keep smiling, to keep ones hair combed and ones shirts ironed. One has
accepted the grimness and cruelty of the fundamental philosophy, but one strives to be breezy
about it. There arises a split between the cloying language that one employs in ones
preaching and the grim reality one has in effect begun to believe in.

5. The opposite of such a conception of language is one in which language is seen to be not
shallow but deep
If it is deep, its depth ought to characterize Scripture.
Depth must, furthermore, characterize Scripture (and language) both in the whole and in the
part.
This is so because the shallow conception of language implies that language means merely
what it means: the parts of language therefore an only sum in a trivial sense, that is, in a
shallow sense.
Summing only means summing, because it cannot, according to the axiom mean anything
else.
Otherwise it must have a deeper sense, and if it has a deeper sense, this sense must
characterize both part and whole.
Depth implies obscurity, because it speaks of the far shore of the transparency of the shallow,
but it also implies clarity, because if it only means obscurity, its meaning would be shallow.
Eastern Religion in its characteristic and most profoundly meditated forms (Vedanta,
Buddhism) often speaks of a consciousness pervading the cosmos.
One must, however, ask the critical question if this consciousness is nothing more than the
consciousness of universal shallowness, corresponding, once again to the shallow conception
of language, and not to the conception opposed to it.
That this Eastern Religion encodes nihilism is a possibility which ought not to be taken
lightly.
And yet, that does not mean that it should be affirmed without reservation. The Catholic
Church speaks, by way of contrast, with a positive tone of the great religions of humanity.
This is read by the fundamentalist as a superficial and facile irenicism. But is that so?
The Christian (or Islamic) fundamentalist will not readily see that his position and that of the
Eastern nihilist are essentially linked, inasmuch as both subscribe to the idea of the essential
shallowness of language. He himself will use the term nihilist as a brick that can be hurled
at the Eastern religion which appears as competitor and threat to his own preferred ideology.
But he will not see the link between his fundamentalism and that nihilism. He does not see the
link between his own adherence to the shallow theory of language and nihilism.
The depth or thickness of language implies that language has soul, that it has interiority, that
there is something there that one ought not strip away, that there is something which one
ought to regard with respect. That there is consciousness. That there is conscience.
The interiority of language is related to its body as the Word is related to the human nature of
Christ: there is a deep and mysterious analogy between the two, and this analogy is
Christocentric.

2. Omlor and St. Thomas: Sufficency and Efficacy


But when the kindness and generous love
of God our savior appeared,
not because of any righteous deeds we had done
but because of his mercy,
he saved us through the bath of rebirth
and renewal by the holy Spirit,
whom he richly poured out on us
through Jesus Christ our savior,
so that we might be justified by his grace
and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
This saying is trustworthy.
Titus 3:4-8
Patrick Omlor, as we have seen in Part I, marshalls a group of texts of magisterial and
theological authority as support for his invalidity thesis. In his interpretation of all these texts
Omlors way of understanding the distinction sufficiency/efficacy (sufficient
grace/efficacious grace) plays a key role.
He assumes that he understands this distinction as the Church does. He assumes, particularly,
that he understands it as St. Thomas Aquinas did, and as the authors of the Roman Catechism,
following St. Thomas.
We have examined these texts with detail in Part I; now we want to attempt to illuminate the
distinction sufficiency/efficacy having seen how Omlor has misused it and thus shown that he
misunderstands it.
Omlor cites St. Thomas in QTV:
65. Hence we can say that Christ's Passion is the sufficient cause of the
salvation of all men. In the words of St. Thomas, "Christ by His Passion
delivered us from our sins causally - that is, by setting up the cause of our
deliverance, from which cause all sins whatsoever, past, present, or to come,
could be forgiven: just as if a doctor were to prepare a medicine by which all
sicknesses can be cured even in the future." (Summa Th., III, Q. 49, Art. 2). [sic]
TRC, p. 24
Omlor makes a mistake in the citation: this is from article one, not article two.
This in itself shows carelessness, given that the correct understanding of the distinction of
sufficiency and efficacy is the heart of the matter with which Omlor is dealing. But more
important is the fact that Omlor does not give the context of what St. Thomas is saying here.
We are in Question 49 of the Third Part of the Summa: de ipsis effectibus passionis Christi in
the third article: Videtur quod per passionem Christi non simus liberati a peccato.
The principal response reads as follows:

Sed contra est quod dicitur Apoc. I, dilexit nos, et lavit nos a peccatis nostris in
sanguine suo.

Respondeo dicendum quod passio Christi est propria causa remissionis


peccatorum, tripliciter. Primo quidem, per modum provocantis ad caritatem
Quia, ut apostolus dicit, Rom. V, commendat Deus suam caritatem in nobis,
quoniam, cum inimici essemus, Christus pro nobis mortuus est. Per caritatem
autem consequimur veniam peccatorum, secundum illud Luc. VII, dimissa sunt
ei peccata multa, quoniam dilexit multum. Secundo, passio Christi causat
remissionem peccatorum per modum redemptionis. Quia enim ipse est caput
nostrum, per passionem suam, quam ex caritate et obedientia sustinuit,
liberavit nos, tanquam membra sua, a peccatis, quasi per pretium suae
passionis, sicut si homo per aliquod opus meritorium quod manu exerceret,
redimeret se a peccato quod pedibus commisisset. Sicut enim naturale corpus
est unum, ex membrorum diversitate consistens, ita tota Ecclesia, quae est
mysticum corpus Christi, computatur quasi una persona cum suo capite, quod
est Christus. Tertio, per modum efficientiae, inquantum caro, secundum quam
Christus passionem sustinuit, est instrumentum divinitatis, ex quo eius
passiones et actiones operantur in virtute divina ad expellendum peccatum.
S.T. III, q.49, a. 3
The citation from the Apocalypse of John provides a direct and powerful negation of the
thesis: It seems that we were not liberated from sin by the Passion of Christ. It is remarkable
that St. Thomas, who untirely argunes every point, does not argue the point here, but here
simply affirms rather that the Passion of Christ is the proper cause of the remission of sin.
This Biblical text is directly and fully kerygmatic, and therefore sits atop the hierarchy of
Biblical doctrine. Thus it cannot be argued for on the basis of truths to its right or to its left
and therefore not atop the slope. It cannot be argued for Biblically. But this does not follow
from its weakness, but rather from its strength.
Its strength is in its intuitive character; but its intuitive character is special. It is intuitive not to
the eye but to the ear. For as St. Paul tells us:
Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of
Christ.
Romans 10:17
When St. Thomas tells us that the passion of Christ is the proper cause of the remission of sin
he is telling us that the relation between the remission of sin and the Lords Passion is not
accidental but essential and that therefore outside of this connection there not only is no
remission of sin, but also there could be no remission of sin.
This is the response to an objection according to which Christs Passion could not have freed
us from our sins, because future sins were not yet committed:

(Third objection)
Praeterea, nullus potest liberari a peccato quod nondum commisit, sed quod in
posterum est commissurus. Cum igitur multa peccata post christi passionem sint
commissa, et tota die committantur, videtur quod per passionem christi non simus
liberati a peccato.
(Response)

Ad tertium dicendum quod christus sua passione a peccatis nos liberavit causaliter,
idest, instituens causam nostrae liberationis, ex qua possent quaecumque peccata
quandocumque remitti, vel praeterita vel praesentia vel futura, sicut si medicus faciat
medicinam ex qua possint etiam quicumque morbi sanari, etiam in futurum.
ST III, q. 49 a.1 ad3
St. Thomas is not thus saying that Christ did not free us from sins, but rather just made it
possible. The article concerns the proposition that Christs passion freed us from our sins, and
St. Thomas answers positively: he did free us. His answer is not: No, he did not free us: He
only made that liberation possible.
St. Thomas argues that the Lord, through his Passion, instituted the cause by which sin in the
future could be remitted.
The phrase could be remitted reminds us that all sins in the future will not be remitted
automatically, that repentance is necessary, that a human input is necessary....
In short: Something must intervene.
A God who remits future sins automatically, giving us automatic salvation, would give us a
false salvation, which would not befit a good God.
St. Thomas in saying that God frees us from our sins is not saying that God frees us from our
sins automatically. Freeing us through his Passion and Death is hardly freeing us
automatically. Jesus frees us from our sins but it is a salvation which we participate in through
our freedom, and is thus by no means automatic.
Yet St. Thomas is not arguing for a disjunction between a sufficient cause which merely
makes something available and a merely human application, which would entail the outright
denial that Christ is the Protagonist of Salvation.
By calling the grace of Christ medicine, St. Thomas is not arguing for such a disjunction;
rather, he is arguing, against it. By arguing against it, he is arguing for a link between
sufficiency and efficacy.
Only when it is understood as an argument against such a disjunction does St. Thomass
response to the objection make sense as a defense of the proposition that by his Passion Our
Lord frees/freed us from our sins.
In considering the case of future sins we have seen the necessity of an intervention by which
the fruit of the Passion (spoken of by St. Thomas as medicine) can be applied. This entails the
necessity of human collaboration with grace: the sinner cannot be saved without repenting of
his sins.
St. Thomas speaks here, however, not only of future sins, but of all sins, past, present and
future.
The point is that an intervention becomes necessary when ones point of departure is sin. The
sinner is by definition in need of a Redeemer, and thus in need of an intervention.
In my most recent discussions with my sister Karen (Phd. in Philosophy from the Universtity
of Notre Dame under Ralph McInerney), I was reminded that one must learn from the physics

of St. Thomas (and thus also from the physics of Aristotle) in orders to grasp what St. Thomas
is doing as he employs the categories of act and potency.
I agreed with her that one indeed needs to think of the physics of what St. Thomas is speaking
of, namely about the nature of causality and about the nature of time.
The Christological center of the Redemption means that something very special has been
revealed about causality and about time. Time is no longer the impersonal Lord of all things:
at the center of Time we find the Incarnate Word, founding the order of the cosmos in all its
dynamical, historical fullness. Something utterly marvelous has been revealed, a Copernican
Revolution before Copernicus, an Einsteinian Revolution before Einstein. Something
infinitely greater than all such revolutions.
An intervention is of its very nature from outside, but this is not to be understood as implying
that the intervention comes from outside of the dynamism of Christs Passion. It comes
outside with respect to the sinner, who has distanced himself from Christ. Thus this
intervention shows us that the dynamism of the Passion of Christ is essentially a spiritual
dynamism, a dynamism informed by the Holy Spirit. The intervention is an intervention of the
Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, however, ought never to be considered as dissociated from the Incarnate
Word.
The intervention spoken of here does not serve as proof the inefficacy of the Passion; on the
contrary it is proof of it. It is proof that the sufficient cause is efficacious.
The medicine must be applied because the sinner has stopped applying it, not because it is not
effective medicine.
The fourth objection in this same article of the Summa and the corresponding response is also
pertinent:
(Fourth objection)
Praeterea, posita causa sufficienti, nihil aliud requiritur ad effectum inducendum.
Requiruntur autem adhuc alia ad remissionem peccatorum, scilicet baptismus et
poenitentia. Ergo videtur quod passio christi non sit sufficiens causa remissionis
peccatorum.
(Response)
Ad quartum dicendum quod, quia passio christi praecessit ut causa quaedam universalis
remissionis peccatorum, sicut dictum est, necesse est quod singulis adhibeatur ad
deletionem propriorum peccatorum. Hoc autem fit per baptismum et poenitentiam et
alia sacramenta, quae habent virtutem ex passione christi, ut infra patebit.
ST III, q. 49 a.1 ad4

St. Thomas accepts the premise of the objection which is that sufficient causes are effective.
If he did not accept it he would be saying this: that the presupposition that sufficient causes
are effective is mistaken, since the Passion, though a certain kind of universal cause of the the
remission of sins is not sufficient for the remission of sins, but rather needs to be actuated fby
means of Baptism, Pennance and the other sacraments.

This would correspond to Omlors understanding of sufficiency and efficacy, but it does not
correspond to that of St. Thomas
The sacraments are indeed necessary for the application of the Pasion, but they are not added
from outside. If that were the case, Christs Passion would not be sufficient. Sufficiency
would not be sufficient. This is clearly not what St. Thomas is saying here, since the context
tells us that he is arguing in favor of the proposition that by Christs Passion we are freed
from our sins.
The sacraments owe their power to the Passion of Christ, St. Thomas affirms, and not the
other way around: it is not the Passion of Christ that owes its power to the sacraments.
Efficacy is not implied by the mere concept of sufficiency, for the two concepts are distinct.
The fact that, with regard to the Passion of Christ, sufficiency does not exist without efficacy,
is a property of the Passion of Christ, of what Christ realized for our salvation, and not a
mere logical necessity.
The premise of the objection is correct: a sufficient cause needs nothing to produce its effect,
for otherwise it would not be sufficient: if it were not sufficient it would need something.
If the Passion of Christ were such an insufficient cause, which had to be complemented from
outside (by the sacraments, or whatever), the power of the Passion of Christ would not come
from itself but from outside. This would not simply give different trimmings to the edifice of
salvation but impose an entirely different edifice.
The concepts of sufficiency and efficacy of the Passion imply each other mutually and are
linked.23 This does not deny the fact that the concepts of sufficiency and efficacy in
themselves are logically distinct concepts (which means precisely that one does not imply the
other. In fact it supposes that they are logically distinct.
They are distinct and yet one. This means that their unity is at a deeper level, at a level that
does not contradict their distinction.

When Omlor sums up his thought about sufficiency and efficacy in QTV, he puts it this way:
84. We have considered the Passion and Death of Christ from two
standpoints, each of which contains a separate and distinct truth. Christ died for
all men without exception so that all their sins may be forgiven. And this is the
aspect of sufficiency. However, Christ's Passion is not profitable for all men,
because we know de fide that not all men attain eternal salvation. Thus many
men, but not all men, have communicated to them the benefits of His Passion
unto the forgiveness of sins, and this is the aspect of efficacy or effectiveness.
TRC, p. 27
Here it is clear that the Passion of Christ is sufficient in Omlors mind in the sense that it
merely makes something possible rather than realizing something.
This is clear because Omlor tells us here that Christs Passion is not profitable for all men.
But being profitable for all men is exactly what is affirmed by sufficiency. St. Thomas tells us
that the Passion of Christ, while not efficacious in all, is profitable for all (S.T. III q. 79 a. 7)
23

See the earlier cited remarks of the theologian Leo Scheffczyk regarding this linkage.

If the passion is profitable for all, it cannot be said that it merely makes something possible
But what does it means to say that the Passion merely makes something possible?
Omlor explains what he means as he affirms that we know de fide that not all men attain
eternal salvation. It sounds as if this is something that he has established here in these pages.
But where has he established it? Perhaps in his citation of Trent?
"But, though He died for all, yet all do not receive the benefit of His death, but those
only unto whom the merit of His passion is communicated." (Session VI, Ch. 3).
TRC, p. 24
Yet this Tridentine text does not say exactly that which Omlor claims: that which he claims to
be de fide.
This purported doctrine of the Catholic Church is really the very essence of what Omlor
thinks of as the distinction sufficiency/efficacy:1. Sufficiency refers to mere possibility 2.
Efficacy refers to that which only some will obtain. In other words, only some men (many as
it might be) obtain eternal salvation. Others will not. This latter fact is a revealed truth that
we know de fide.
To say that the Passion merely makes something possible is not simply to affirm the
distinction of sufficiency and efficacy, but to affirm the disconnection of sufficiency and
efficacy. It does not give us the content of the distinction, but rather gives us an interpretation
of the distinction.

Omlor tells us that this interpretation, the interpretation affirming the disconnection of
sufficiency and efficacy, corresponds to the doctrine of Thomas and the Church. He says that
St. Thomas holds that there are two truths to be maintained: 1. That Christ died for all (so that
sins may be forgiven) and 2. That Christ died for many (not all, but only some, in
remissionem peccatorum) and that this second group is called the Elect or the Church. The
first truth is called the truth of sufficiency; the second is called the truth of efficacy.
In the following Gospel passage Our Lord speaks of his laying his life down for his sheep. He
speaks of his intention, and he speaks of its being a free act:
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father
knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other
sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my
voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I
lay it down of my own accord.
John 10: 14-18
If Christ did lay his life down freely, as the Gospel tells us, the question: For whom did
Christ die? must have a clear answer.
It is a question regarding the Lords intention.

Omlor with his distinction of sufficiency and efficacy does not answer the question for
whom did Christ die? but does a dance around it, pretending to have answered it.
The question regards Christs intention, but Omlors discourse avoids the question of
intention, of what Christ had or has in his heart and mind. Omlor pretends that he can answer
the question for whom did Christ suffer and die? without addressing the question of his
intention. He pretends that he has answered it. But he has depersonalized the question.
St. Thomas does in fact speak of a distinction of sufficiency and efficacy regarding Grace and
Salvation. But he makes this distinction with care. Let us enter into this key question with
care.
Omlor does not enter into it with care; the question is addressed with a prejudice.
He has a prejudice regarding the nature of truth. He says that there are these two aspects, and
that if there are two aspects then there are two truths. Thus he confuses aspects with truths.
Naturally sometimes we use aspect and truth as synonymns. Sometimes that does not matter.
But not always.
Truth cannot be reduced to aspect. St. Thomas is clear about that, but Omlor does not follow
Thomas on this key point: for Omlor two aspects means two truths.
For Thomas, it is not that simple, because for Thomas the two truths are connected.
(Omlor says also that they are connected, intimately related (TRC, p. 24) but he does not
show that he is aware of what that means.)
Omlors hastily supposed axioms regarding truth lead inexorably to his invalidity thesis; but
they also have a repercussion grave consequences regarding the foundations of faith.
It is important to establish what the distinction sufficiency/efficacy does not mean. This is
necessary to eventually understanding what it does mean.
St. Thomas says that that the grace of Christ is sufficient for the salvation of all and
efficacious in many. He uses this distinction constantly in his interpretation of Biblical many.
Omlor understands in a superficially plausible way: Jesus died to save all, but not all will be
saved.
I submit that this is not what St. Thomas means. When St. Thomas says that efficacy does not
reach all he is expressing the fact of sin, of human limitation, of the historical/human nature
of the Church, the human condition. It is an expression of the profound realism of St. Thomas,
it is not a claim to know hidden things (statistics!) about the final outcome of human history
which St. Thomas never claimed to know, which the Church never claimed to know and
which Biblical Revelation does not tell us.
Omlors believes that he knows for certain that not all men will be saved, that not all men are
part of the elect, that not all men will end up in heaven. He holds that this is the teaching of
the Church, what the Church has always taught, that it is what the Bible teaches and what
Jesus taught.

But if a person claims to know that some people are eternally damned, he must know at least
one case in concrete, or at least he must be affirming that one concrete case is known;
otherwise this knowledge does not pass scrutiny.
He must either know of some concrete case of damnation or he must at least know that it is
known.
He is saying either that he knows of concrete cases of damnation, or that the Church knows of
them, or perhaps that God alone knows them and has simply revealed to us that such cases do
exist. But in any of these cases there is such knowledge, which supposes that there is no
analogy of knowing, that knowing is univocal, that there is thus no essential difference
between Gods knowing and mans.
Knowing that it is known means, in this case, knowing that it is revealed: that Christ revealed
that eternal condemnation of concrete individuals, with or without saying who they are.
Omlor believes that this doctrine is the exact content of the doctrine taught by St. Thomas and
by the Church in the texts that speak of the distinction of sufficiency and efficacy in which
Christs salvific enterprise will be efficacious in many.
The point here is an important one, and it is a controverted. Omlor has many allies here, and
they are not all radical traditionalists, or sedevacantists.
They are all something, however, it seems to me.
Clearly the Church affirms the reality of a human freedom which implies that salvation is not
automatic. An automatic salvation would be damnation in disguise.
The true salvation which Christ brought to the world is not an automatic salvation.
Nevertheless it is something real.
But we have the right to ask this question: If the Gospel contained the statistic: Some are
damned eternally, would this not be self-contradictory, given that the Gospel is Jesus Christ,
Redeemer of Mankind?
The affirmation of this contradiction, arises out of solid theological foundations. It seems thus
warranted to affirm that we do not know that some men will be eternally damned.
It is not thus part of Revelation.
Although the Magisterium may not have settled this question definitively, it is nevertheless
warranted and responsible to say that the affirmation that some men will be damned eternally
is not part of Revelation. It is also warranted and responsible to say that the Magisterium does
not teach as a fact that some men will suffer eternal condemnation.
There certainly are texts in and outside of Scripture which seem to speak of a populated hell,
and thus to affirm that some will be condemned eternally.
But the fact of texts seeming to say something is not the same as texts actually saying
something.
The multiplicity of texts which seem to say something is not convincing evidence, even
though it can be presented, tendentiously, as such.

I contend that all such texts bear upon the crucial problem only in this way: that they affirm
the reality of hell; they do not tell us how many human beings will finish there or are there
presently, not even in a minimal sense: that there is or will be a single soul in hell.
What Jesus told us about hell, beyond its existence, is not a fact but a warning.
It is not simply that we have not been endowed with these statistics, that we simply,
accidentally, do not know them. It is that the very conception of such statistics is wrong, that
it is un-Biblical, and that it arises from false axioms regarding truth.
It follows that it is not true that we simply do not know whether anyone is in hell. It is not
true that we simply do not know these statistics; neither is it true that we know them.
At first glance this might seem like nonsense.
Yet this is the governing principle of what the Church says and does not say about this
matter.24
In the general audience of July 28 1999 Pope John Paul II spoke of this matter. But the text
of his remarks underwent a slight correction in a second edition. Here the first English
version:
24

Christian faith teaches that in taking the risk of saying yes or no,
which marks the (human) creatures freedom, some have already said no.
They are the spiritual creatures that rebelled against Gods love and are
called demons (cf. Fourth Lateran Council). What happened to them is a
warning to us: it is a continuous call to avoid the tragedy which leads to
sin and to conform our life to that of Jesus who lived his life with a yes
to God.
Eternal damnation remains a possibility, but we are not granted, without
special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human
beings are effectively involved in it. The thought of hell-and even less the
improper use of biblical images-must not create anxiety or despair, but is
a necessary and healthy reminder of freedom within the proclamation that
the risen Jesus has conquered Satan, giving us the Spirit of God who
makes us cry Abba, Father! (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6)
But the corrected version of the final paragraph now presented by the Vatican reads as
follows:
Damnation remains a real possibility, but it is not granted to us, without special
divine revelation, to know which human beings are effectively involved in it.
The thought of hell and even less the improper use of biblical images
must not create anxiety or despair, but is a necessary and healthy reminder of
freedom within the proclamation that the risen Jesus has conquered Satan,
giving us the Spirit of God who makes us cry Abba, Father!
(Rm 8:15; Gal 4:6).
Changing whether or which into which (removing the whether), is however not the same thing
as to affirm that we do know that at least some people are damned eternally. To affirm that it
is, is to permit the interchange of what seems to be said (which is not controlable) into what is
in fact said.

There is a fundamental issue here about the nature of space and time, and about the nature of
knowledge and truth: metaphysical issues.
By identifying truth with facts Omlor and his allies conjure these statistics into existence,
statistics which are nothing more than facts, which one either knows or doesnt know, or
partly know.
Many Christians will have the feeling that a factual populated hell belongs to their beliefs.
Such people will be susceptible to Omlor and his allies when they teach that a populated hell
is Catholic Doctrine, and revealed truth.
But here one has to distinguish between beliefs which are no more than ones accustomed
imaginings (imaginings which are perfectly normal and useful as imaginings can be usefu so
long as one is conscious that they are imaginingsfor example those of Dantes Inferno), and
the real state of things itself; between what one has always imagined and the actual content of
doctrine and of Revealed Truth.
Distinguishing between one and the other is part of theological maturation.
Christian faith is not simply a blind adherence to traditional beliefs, it is above all the hearing
of the Word of God, of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians are people who are illumined by
the Gospel, who are conscious of the Gospel.
The faith makes us conscious of the Gospel; the funny thing, however, is that forgetfulness
can set in.
The faith gives to the Christian a criterion according to which he will capable of rejecting
certain ideas as not being in accord with the Gospel.
The Bible, and the Gospel in particular, affirm clearly the reality of hell. But we have the right
and duty to ask ourselves what is it that is actually affirmed with Christs affirmation of hell?
A Christocentric understanding of the Gospel illumines the doctrine of hell. If one tries to
dissociate the doctrine of hell from Christ, one will end up with hell as a mere threat of an
arbitrary and tyrannical God, who may be lying, and whose discourse may therefore change
tomorrow.
To believe in the Gospel of Christ is to believe in the definitive victory of Christ over evil. In
this victory is contained the whole doctrine of hell.
The fact which Christ communicates to us about hell is nothing other than the fact of His
definitive victory over Evil. But this fact is not the only thing that Christ communicates to us:
there is to say about hell, however: He also warns us that he who rejects God definitively will
suffer the consequences of such a rejection, and will be condemned to hell.
Jesus is not a villain who threatens, but a Savior who warns. We may be shaken by his
warning. We are shaken by his warning. But as we penetrate into the heart of this message of
warning we find the Heart of the Savior, not the heart of a Villain.

This means that if your understanding of hell undermines the doctrine of the definitive victory
of Christ over Evil, you have in your mind a false understanding.
The Gospel means that salvation has come, but it also means that salvation it is not automatic,
because if the salvation that has come were automatic, it would be a false salvation, and the
Gospel would be a lie.
St. Thomas, it seems to me, is realistic about human reality. This does not however mean that
he does not believe in the salvation brought by Christ. Believing in it, he hopes for the
salvation of man he shares the hope of the Church, which is the hope of Christ: the active,
passionate committed and valiant hope that Jesus taught and teaches by the example of his
life. This hope is the hope for mans salvation. Not just for some but for all.
St. Thomas believes in the Gospel, it seems to me.
The Gospel as a whole represents the most radical condemnation of sin, and affirmation of the
reality of eternal punishment.
This condemnation is part and parcel of its salvific message, not something opposed to it, not
a counterweight to it. It is the effective salvific and liberating message of the Gospel.
The Gospel speaks frankly about the reality and gravity of sin. It does not, however, satisfy
any wicked desire of ours for wicked knowledge. Rather the Gospel speaks clearly and
insistently: Do not judge.
It is absurd and reprehensible to think that the Bible at the same time reveals the loving face
of the Father and satisfies wicked curiosity about the fate of our brothers, about the number of
the damned, which number is not just abstract but implies individuals.
There is a contradiction at the heart of Omlors understanding of efficacy, because it turns the
doctrine of efficacy into a doctrine of inefficacy.
If one holds that the Salvific Will of Christ fails, one has turned it into a merely human will,
into a mere wish which is finally impotent: a mere nothing.
Efficacy for Omlor is thus at the end of the day, everything.
But which efficacy is this?
The true conception of the efficacy of grace does affirm the necessity of collaborating
freedom. Naively, one might think that Omlor simply wants to emphasize the truth that our
free collaboration with grace is necessary.
Naively one could construct a discourse of balance which no one can object to: Omlor is
merely reacting against the modern tendency of saying everyone gets saved automatically; he
is insisting on the other side of the coin, and presenting a balanced doctrine.
But Omlor is not merely emphasizing the role of the free human response to grace.
What is he doing then?
There is a bifurcation:

On one hand, his conception of efficacy puts man in the place of God; man by his arrogance
realizes what the impotent Salvific Will of God, with its merely possible salvation, has
shown that it could not do.
On the other hand his conception posits an arbitrary and tyrannical God, who realizes the
crucial realization of both salvation and damnation, outside of the order of Biblical Salvation
history, outside of the order of the Incarnation, which has been shown to be impotent.
To grasp Omlors error one needs to be aware of both terms of this bifurcation.
This bifurcation corresponds to the duality between the Pelagian negation of grace and a
Manichean vision of the cosmos, behind which there is an evil God, eternally divided against
Himself.
Once again one might think naively that Omlor is emphasizing both the input of human
freedom and Gods sovereign power in his doctrine of efficacy; and what could be wrong
with that?
The syllogism is this: The orthodox position affirms both the importance of mans free
collaboration with grace and Gods sovereign will. Omlors doctrine of efficacy does this.
Therefore Omlors doctrine of efficacy is orthodox.
But Omlors error consists in separating efficacy from Christs will and deed of dying to
save all, in separating it therefore from the Incarnation, from the Divine Plan fully revealed
in Jesus Christ, in separating it from Jesus Christ.
He is speaking of some other efficacy, that is an efficacy of some other act, and some other
author, whether that author is considered to be Divine or merely human.
The affirmation that Omlors efficacy is another efficacy, that it comes from somewhere else,
is made evident from the fact that Omlor affirms that by putting sufficiency into the form of
consecration the sacrament is made invalid. Sufficiency cannot invade the space of efficacy. If
it does, efficacy is undone. This demonstrates that in Omlors conception sufficiency and
efficacy are not connected, and that they at the deepest level are contradictory, in spite of
Omlors having spoken of two truths.
When Omlor says that sufficiency and efficacy are two truths, he means that they are
contradictories.
This is why what Omlor calls efficacy has the final say. Sufficiency gets blown away, and
ceases to matter.
Here one sees the theological repercussion of the invalidity thesis.
Omlor tries to harmonize sufficiency and efficacy: Sure Christ died for all, but you see only
some will be saved, which implies that.
Von Balthasar (who at the end of his theological career chose to risk his theological neck by
writing about this theme) asks the authors of such harmonizations 25: Who asked you to
harmonize something?26

25

See above.

26

Hans Urs von Balthasar, Tratado sobre el Infierno: Compendio, Edicep, 2000, p. 17

The problem is that these human harmonizations do not harmonize, but rather undermine both
terms of what one thought one was harmonizing.
Harmony (in other words, beauty) is at the deepest level at stake in this matter. Will we allow
ourselves to be seduced by merely human and false harmonizations, or will our ears be
capable of waiting for the harmony and beauty of the Divine Plan to be revealed?
Will we, in other words, be capable of believing in Gods Word and confiding in Gods
Word? (And conversely have we realized that a God who is other than the one revealed in
Jesus the Lord is not worthy of confidence?)
The distinction sufficiency/efficacy is connected with the question of beauty: in the final
analysis is beauty real? Or is it an epiphenomenon? Is it a mere drug? A mere rhetorical
device?
If the Divine Plan is not beautiful, what else can be beautiful?
The name Omlor gave to his collected works is The Robber Church, with which he
denominates the Post-Conciliar Church; but his conception of efficacy is a Robber
Conception, an arrogant conception: it is not Grace which is efficacious, but human
arrogance.
Whatever sufficiency may be, according to Omlor, it is not sufficient. It only makes salvation
possible. There you have it: sufficiency, according to Omlor is not sufficient. It self-destructs.
Omlor plays with the image of material sufficiency. He enlists St. Thomas, and his image of a
medicine which is available for use; but this image has been torn from its context and forced
into another context which reverses what St. Thomas meant it to illustrate.
Omlors doctrine of sufficiency tempts you: the gold is there, but you have to take it.
The key to things is not Grace, but taking things violently and arrogantly into ones own
hands. Gods project of salvation has failed, producing an ineffective salvation. Now is the
turn of the thief.
The following passage from the Gospel of John expresses the teaching that in the economy of
salvation everything is grace and that buying and selling have no place in the House of the
Father:
In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers
seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple,
both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and
overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, "Take these things out
of here! Stop making my Father's house a marketplace!"
John 2:14-16
When Omlor presents his version of the distinction of sufficiency and efficacy at the
beginning of QTV he believes he is following Trent and St. Thomas and he cites them, but he
abuses them.

He says that he accepts the truth of Christ dying for all men, but he then explains to us the
purely formalistic sense that he is giving to the doctrine. Christ made it possible, abstractly,
for all men to be saved, but that is it. He merely made it possible.
But what is meant by merely possible is explained by the other truth, that of efficacy,
which tells us that only some, the elect, will have the benefits of salvation communicated to
them and therefore some will be damned for all eternity.
But the real point of this so-called revealed truth that some men will be damned is not truth
at all, it is the threat, and the will to manipulate is behind the threat. There is a manipulation
on behalf of God or on behalf of someone.
If efficacy (real salvation) does not come from Gods salvific will, which has already been
tested and has failed, producing a merely possible, and thus powerless salvation, it must come
from somewhere else. From where then?
Here is where the bifurcation arises; there are two paths two choose from: efficacy and real
salvation will either come from mans arrogance, or it will come from some other God, the
God of some other radically different salvation, and will be as a lightning bolt of an arbitrary
and tyrannical God who takes no account whatsoever of human freedom.
If you deny that Christ loved sinners and loves them, you are denying that he loved at all.
You are saying that Christ, although he may have become incarnate in some theological
sense, that is, some merely formalistic sense, which is doomed at some point to evaporate, did
not get his hands dirty with sinners.
Omlor gives a different and perverse content to the doctrine of hell. Christ affirms hell as the
punishment for sin, but Omlor understands it as a manipulation on Gods part, as Gods
threat over the non-elect who are those who do not connect with with an efficacy which,
whatever it is, is not the efficacy of Gods salvific will, which has been proved powerless,
producing a merely possible salvation, which is useless.
There is this threat: God, Christ, or whoever, motivates, threatens, manipulates us into doing
something, into making yourself part of the elect, whatever that means.
You had better make yourselves part of the elect, or you will suffer the dismal and inevitable
fate of those who merely trust in Gods salvific will and in the Redemption won on the Cross
by Jesus dying for sinners.
But one can only make one part of the elect by arrogant action.
Thus Omlors notion of efficacy does not respect the idea of the elect. He does not merely
misunderstand sufficiency, but he also misunderstands efficacy. He replaces the efficacy of
the Gospel with a surrogate.
Though it is clear that a surrogate has been introduced, the nature of the surrogate is
ambiguous: Is it the efficacy of a Pelagian and arrogant human will without any relation to
Gods grace? Or is it the efficacy of a different God, of a God who predestines and damns
arbitrarily, acting outside of the whole economy of the Incarnation of the Word, and without
respect for man and his freedom?
Before this bifurcation you can effectively take your pick; but th fact that you can take your
pick shows that the two choices are profoundly related.

Here also, we should remember Pauls words to the Galatians (often cited by my mother in
our discussions about Traditionalism):
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of
Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- not that there is another gospel, but there
are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if
we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we
proclaimed to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, so now I repeat, if
anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that one be
accursed!
Galatians 1:6-9
Omlors teaching about sufficiency and efficacy effectively presents another Gospel, though
perhaps Omlor himself was never conscious of the fact
The idea of making yourself part of the elect is founded on a false notion of conversion, a
conversion which is mere human movement, motivated by fear, whereas the Gospel speaks
only of a conversion whose soul is faith.
Those who trade in fear trade wil always be trading in ulterior motives. (To say this is not to
accuse Omlor personally of ulterior motives; it is only to say that behind his position there
are, logically, ulterior motives.
When St Therese of the Child Jesus praises Gods great mercy for having prevented and
protected her from sin, she praises a great, loving, personal and effective deed of grace, not
just some nebulous making- something-possible before which one attributes the essential and
all-important actuation to oneself.
As Theresa of Avila had told us centuries before St. Therese, humility is truth.
St. Thomas tells us that the Passion of Christ benefits all (S.T. III q. 79 a. 7)
and this means that in the discourse that speaks of efficacy the truth of sufficiency will always
be virtually present.
Thus the words of consecration of the wine not only speak of an efficacy among the chosen
Jews, but also among the Gentiles, not only among the priests who offer the sacrifice (of the
mass) and among the faithful who receive the sacrament but also among all men, for whom
the sacrifice (of the cross!) is offered and who are beneficiaries of the universal redemption
(cfr. S.T. III, q. 78 a. 3 ad 8)
St. Thomas tells us in the same article of the Summa (S.T. III q. 79 a. 7) that the Passion is
only efficacious in those joined to it by faith and charity.
This affirmation of St. Thomas teaches us something important about what he means by
efficacy, something that Omlor does not grasp, though one might think superficially that it
confirms what Omlor says.
When St. Thomas says that Christs passion is only efficacious in those joined to it by faith
and charity, he is telling us that salvation really is produced by Christs Passion (and at the
same time saying that it is not realized without our free participation as evidenced by faith and
charity.)

The unexpressed assumption of Omlor is that this is not the case: i.e. that Christs Passion
does not produce our salvation, that it merely makes something available with which we must
save ourselves.
Here is the Pelagian conception which undermines the entire doctrine of grace.
If one closely analyzes Omlors either/or thesis and the use made by Omlor of this same
thesis to affirm that the translation in all men says the direct opposite of what is meant by
many, and therefore invalidates the Sacrament, one cannot escape from the conclusion that
Omlor entertains this Pelagian conception of grace.
The Pelagianism present in a hidden way. Perhaps Omlor is not even aware that the Pelagian
conception of grace is at work in his argument. Still it is effectively present, structurally
present. That it is present in a hidden way ought not to surprise us.
This Pelagianism is an attack against the Gospel.
Efficacy is more than sufficiency, not less. Accordingly many means more than all, not less.
This does not mean that salvific efficacy has reached all men: It is clearly true there are men
whom the Good News of the Gospel has not yet reached, and it is also clearly true that there
are also those who have heard it and rejected it. It is clear that we are free to either accept or
reject the salvation that Jesus won for us on the cross. We are not condemned to salvation.
To affirm the universality of the Redemption does not contradict the fact that the salvific
efficacy of the Cross has not reached all men. One is speaking of truths in different orders.
The Church dedicates herself to her salvific mission because she believes in the universality
of the Redemption, and because she has before her a world in need of the Salvation of the
Lord. There is no contradiction there. There is indeed a mystery before which one must kneel.
The Church grows through the Eucharist. Every growth is a passing beyond.
At the end of history, the efficacy of the Passion will be revealed in the total realization of the
Divine Plan, something whose greatness no human mind can limit. The Bible speaks only of
the greatness of Gods plan and that it will infallibly be realized.
Efficacy is something of greater diameter and irradiation than sufficiency, and this is why the
words of the consecration of the wine are said to speak of efficacy, following upon the words
of consecration of the bread. But by speaking of what is greater, the lesser is included.
This is something which the Eucharistic words in their totality make clear. St. Thomas is
speaking of this by the phrases that begin sed etiametet.
Where efficacy is expressed, sufficiency is present also, is co-present, is virtually present.
That this could be the case is denied by Omlor. It is something that his philosophy of
language, and the sacramental theology connected to it, does not allow.
For Omlor it is eitheror
There is an important point here regarding the structure of the Sacrament, that is, the form of
the Sacrament. This is that the distinction of sufficiency and efficacy is sacramentally
represented by the double consecration.

Omlor tells us that the structure sufficiency+ efficacy cannot be present in the form of the
Sacrament, because that would make the form ambiguous and the sacramental form cannot be
ambiguous.
Here Omlor responds to an objection of Father William Most in regarding this point
Objection E
Concerning the new, English consecration "form," Fr. Most claims that "one can
with equal ease think of the fact that the redemption was sufficient to forgive all
sins, or the fact that it actually or efficaciously leads to forgiveness only in some
men, in those who accept its fruits."
Reply to Objection E
Though it is not the case, let us assume (for argument's sake) that the new
"form" actually does convey both sufficiency and efficacy. The "form" would then
be automatically wrong, for the proper form should denote efficacy only. In
explaining why "all men" should not be used, the Trent Catechism gives this
reason: "in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the
elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation." (Emphasis added).
Secondly, if the new "form" does convey these two entirely different concepts, it
is, by definition, ambiguous. Hence it cannot be a valid form, which must be
definite, as stated above in Reply to Objection C.
But, finally, the new "form" actually denotes sufficiency only (as explained in par.
72 and in pars. 80-82 earlier in this monograph), because the phrase "all men,"
by its universality, cannot possibly denote "the elect only."
T.R.C., p. 63
But there is no ambiguity when both aspects, sufficiency and efficacy being present in the
form of the sacrament.
One must consider the basic structure of the form of the sacrament, which is the double
consecration: Efficacy is represented in the consecration of the wine, whereas sufficiency is
represented in the consecration of the bread.
This fundamental structure makes the expression of the distinction sufficiency/efficacy
luminous and not ambiguous.
It then becomes clear why St. Thomas speaks of efficacy at S.T. III q. 78 a.3 ad 8.
It becomes clear why the Roman Catechism will tell us
cum hoc loco tantummodo de fructibus passionis sermo esset, quae salutis fructu
delectis solum attulit.
Hoc loco refers to the consecration of the wine, not to the sacramental form as a whole. The
fact that the elect are spoken of separately does not mean that sufficiency is not spoken of at
all in the sacramental form.
The only reason that Omlor can give for the fact that the wine consecration speaks of efficacy
is that the Roman Catechism and St. Thomas say so; but now we understand why.

Neither the Roman Catechism nor Thomas deny that the aspect of sufficiency is virtually
present, co-present, in the form of consecration of the wine.
The twofold structure of the Sacrament (expressed in the double consecration) makes
luminous and well-expressed the idea that efficacy exceeds and therefore includes sufficiency.
The double consecration makes evident the way in which efficacy passes beyond sufficiency.
The notion that efficacy has a greater diameter and radiance than sufficiency becomes
luminous.
The double consecration, in expressing the distinction sufficiency/efficacy, expresses the
wonderful power of the Eucharist.
In his homily at the World Youth Day in Cologne in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI expressed this
power in the following way:

By making the bread into his Body and the wine into his Blood, he anticipates his death,
he accepts it in his heart, and he transforms it into an action of love. What on the outside
is simply brutal violence - the Crucifixion - from within becomes an act of total selfgiving love. This is the substantial transformation which was accomplished at the Last
Supper and was destined to set in motion a series of transformations leading ultimately
to the transformation of the world when God will be all in all (cf. I Cor 15: 28).
In their hearts, people always and everywhere have somehow expected a change, a
transformation of the world. Here now is the central act of transformation that alone can
truly renew the world: violence is transformed into love, and death into life.
Since this act transmutes death into love, death as such is already conquered from
within, the Resurrection is already present in it. Death is, so to speak, mortally
wounded, so that it can no longer have the last word.
To use an image well known to us today, this is like inducing nuclear fission in the very
heart of being - the victory of love over hatred, the victory of love over death. Only this
intimate explosion of good conquering evil can then trigger off the series of
transformations that little by little will change the world.
Pope Benedict XVI, Marienfeld, August 21 2005
Understood in this way, the essential structure or form of the Eucharist rhymes with the deep
meaning of the distinction sufficiency/efficacy: the distinction reveals the power of Christs
Redemptive Sacrifice and not as limitation or denial of its power.
The universal repercussion of Christs Redemptive Sacrifice is explicitated as liberation in
the following texts from St. Paul:
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear
again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
freedom.
II Cor 3:17

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do
not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you
receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.
Galatians 5:1-2
It will be argued that whatever it is that Christ did for all men, whatever making salvation
possible may mean, the freedom of which St. Paul speaks in these passages is obtained with
baptism and not before: one will insist on a purely diachronic conception of the distinction
sufficency/efficacy= universal redemption/salvation of the elect.
This merely diachronic conception is naive, simplistic and ultimately false. Sufficiency and
efficacy are related concepts; the merely diachronic conception makes of their connection a
mere accident.
This conception makes of time a mere fourth dimension with no essential difference from the
other three. Thus things that happen sequentially are have mere parallel existences.
Yet when scripture speaks of Baptism it is also speaking of the Redemption; when it speaks of
the Redemption, it is also speaking of Baptism.
It will be argued that if sufficency and efficacy are connected in this way, they cannot be
distinct.
But one must pay attention to the raw data, the phenomenology.
The distinction sufficency/efficacy arises out of the heart of the Paschal/Eucharistic Mystery.
It arises giving emphatic affirmation to both terms, sufficiency and efficacy. Neither term is a
mere specter; both are emphatically real, and yet reflection reveals to us that they are
connected.
I cannot argue against their being connected because they present themselves to me as
1. existing emphatically 2. distinct and 3. being connected.
The aspect of sufficiency does not affirm a merely potential redemption, which would be a
redemption without actual redemption and thus a mere nothing.
This does not mean that that there is no analogy between the distinction sufficiency/efficacy
and the distinction potency/act. Indeed this analogy can be stated formally: efficacy is to
sufficiency as act is to potency.
Omlor misinterprets this analogy when he says that sufficiency by corresponding to potency,
must be interpreted as mere potency.
But when was observes how the distinction efficacy/sufficiency is expressed in the double
consecration, one receives a clue to understanding the analogy in the right way.
One may have noticed that I have changed the order of the terms. Formally one should speak
of the distinction of efficacy from sufficiency, rather than of the distinction of sufficiency
from efficacy.
The order matters.
As a consequence of the distinction of efficacy, sufficiency becomes distinct.

Efficacy expresses act. Sufficiency expresses potency.


Here we speak of the act of Christ, the central act by which men are redeemed, a theandric
act, the Theandric Act par excellence.
The Potency corresponding to this act is the Person of Christ.
Thus we can see what sufficiency has to do with the bread consecration, which expresses
most clearly Transubstantiation: This is my body.
As one touches the Body of Christ, one touches the person of Christ.
Thus we can cannot speak of a merely potential Potency:
The (redemptive) act is in the most profound sense His.
It is not actuated from outside; it has its profound origin in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Here the distinction of efficacy (of the Redemptive act) from sufficency (of the person of the
Incarnate Word, becomes clear.
The Redemptive Act of the Lord (His Passion) reveals the Potency correseponding to this
selfsame Act, which is the Divine Person of the Incarnate Word.
It will be correctly observed that by calling the Potency corresponding to the Redemptive Act
the Person of Christ we are using the term Potency in a special way, not corresponding to the
concept of potency as the material upon which an actuation is realized.
The material upon which the Redemptive Act of the Lord is realized is nothing other than the
sin which is destroyed by the Lamb qui tollit peccata mundi.
Thus if you are asking about potency in this sense one finds, immediately, an answer to ones
question.
Responding to the question of how these two senses of potency are related we find a
Scriptural foundation in the following passage from St. Paul:
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him.
II Cor. 5:21
In this Redemptive Act which is a work of the Father Christ is made sin for us, and through
the Annihilation of the Cross our sins are annihilated.
Redemption means Liberation, and if the distinction Redemption/Salvation affirms
Redemption emphatically, Liberation is affirmed emphatically.
Merely potential freedom is no freedom.
For Omlor the distinction sufficiency/efficacy pulls the two terms apart, weakening and
finally destroying both terms.
The phenomenology of the distinction is ignored.

The phenomenology places us before the heart of the Mystery.


Sufficiency and Efficacy are not mere parts; they are parts in which the whole is present; they
exemplify what in mathematics is called a fractal character.
As the form of the Eucharist is revealed, the distinction sufficency/efficacy is revealed with it.
In the distinction sufficiency/efficacy the measure of Gods mercy is shown to us, but that
measure is not a limitation.
The measure of Gods mercy is great, beautiful and wonderful.
Give thanks to the Lord because He is good, for his mercy endures forever
Omlor tells us that he recognizes the distinction between sufficiency and efficacy, the two
truths, the first of which is that Christ did die for all men, and the second that only some will
appropriate salvation.
But a close analysis of Omlors discourse reveals that he regards the two truths as essentially
in conflict.
When one meditates on the fundamental structure of the Eucharist (which is its form) one
finds that the distinction of sufficiency/efficacy arises from the profound depth of this
structure.
Both truths are thus necessarily expressed in its form. Omlors theology not only does not
recognize the true distinction of sufficiency and efficacy, but destroys it.
His Pelagianism means that human arrogance triumphs over Divine Grace.
The Gospel is not only in the objective redemption, but also in the subjective redemption: the
two truths are not in conflict.
The theologically lazy mind will say oh yes there are these two truths; one must be
balanced but he will not strive to penetrate into the unity. He will fail to see the real problem
behind Omlors way of understanding of the distinction sufficiency/efficacy.
Omlors understanding of the distinction sufficiency/efficacy is not that of St. Thomas, and it
leads to the utter destruction of the doctrine of grace.

3) The Eucharist is Work of the Holy Spirit


It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail (John 6:63)
The fundamentalist/literalist/positivist understanding of the Eucharist is a carnal
understanding, that excludes the work of the Spirit. If we deny that the Eucharistic Sacrifice is
work of the Spirit, one will necessarily fall back into literalism in ones understanding of the
form of the Eucharist, a literalism of the type that Omlor shows us, in which the sacramental
form is confused with the sacramental formula and this formula is understood as possessing
magical occult properties.

The form becomes the formula. The form is the formula because God made an arbitrary
choice to give us this formula. God gave to the Church this magic trick which works because
He decided arbitrarily that it will work.
The literalism is connected logically to the idea that all of Gods work and message is
arbitrary, because God is arbitrary.
Omlors error here is emblematic of a more generalized error.
Gods law is thought of as a structure legitimizing wickedness, by which we are invited to
take the side of Blind Power. This affects ones understanding of morality. And it affects
ones understanding of the Church, because it affects ones understanding of who Christ its.
One says or even thinks that one is defending traditional morality, but what one in effect
means is to defend an essentially pagan notions of morality.
One confuses ones subjective notions of traditional morality with the Gospel and the
Teaching of the Church.
John Paul II considered of great importance to explain in Veritatis Splendor how there are
universal negative moral injunctions prohibiting acts which are by their very nature immoral
and thus never can be good (Thou shal not steal), that is that such acts are not evil because
of the arbitrary will of an arbitrary (false) legislator but because of their very nature.
One can place ones confidence in an essentially anti-Christian notion of authority, believing it
to be the Catholic and traditional one.
In the conflict between conscience and this pagan version of authority which one has taken
for true, conscience is the pre-determined loser.
When these pagan notions of authority dominate, he who witnesses to the centrality of
conscience will be accused of undermining morality, whereas by defending the sovereignty
of conscience, he is simply defending the foundation of the objectivity of moral law.
He Follows the footsteps of such figures as Socrates and Saint Thomas More, but above all
Jesus Christ.
When these pagan notions dominate in the Church blind obedience will be enjoined, because
when the principle of authority is a mere arbitrary will, obedience must always be blind.
In the mass the priest will be enjoined to practice the blind obedience of the Church. in using
the magic formula that Jesus, arbitrarily, established.
Priest and Church are accordingly thought to be following the model of the supposed blind
obedience of Christ before a false God who punishes his opponents terroristically and rewards
magically those who blindly obey with goodies (but not with the good that all things seek),
and allows such perverse obedience to perversely be called salvific.
In such obedience there is no room whatsoever for conscience; though one is forced to sing a
little ditty about conscience from time to time in order to cover ones tracks. Obedience, as
obedience is here understood, means that by the strictest logic, conscience must be thrown
overboard.

When you throw your conscience overboard, you are praised for something that is praised as
obedience.
But what is it that one gains by throwing conscience overboard? One avails oneself of the
magical power of the Eucharist which means that at the expense of conscience one is
Churched but then according to a perverse notion of Church that arises at the expense of
conscience, which means at the expense of Truth.
A notion of obedience is exalted, but it is a false notion, a notion of obedience disconnected
from faith (although perhaps associated to a surrepetitious and false notion of faith, as blind
submission to an ideology, to the myth of the tribe).
Here one can begin to see the importance of understanding the Eucharist as work of the Holy
Spirit, that the discourse about the work of the Holy Spirit is something more than pious
words, another one of those forced marches, that we must do from time to time, out of
conformism.
A priests liturgical obedience is expression of his faith and is conscious and done in
conscience. This reflects the fact that the Church in celebrating the Liturgy is expressing her
faith and is therefore conscious and acting in conscience. This in turn reflects the fact that
Jesus entered the Paschal Mystery of his death and resurrection consciously and in
conscience, that He knew what He was doing, that he submitted lovingly to His Loving Father
for our salvation being faithful unto death. That Jesus realized a work which was objectively
good. That the words of institution give definitive expression to this surrender of Our Lord to
the will of the Father for our salvation.
This all roots finally in the Word of God being truly the Word of God.
Through all of this blows the breath of the Holy Spirit.
The Church renews herself by an increasing testimony to the authentic work of the Holy
Spirit in her own conscience and in the conscience of the faithful.
It may be that the magical understanding of sacramental words (which Omlor presupposes) is
more familiar to one than the true Catholic understanding. It may be that the magical
understanding has become habitual, and that by having become habitual, one mistakenly
understands it to be the true Catholic understanding, and that therefore one reads not only
works of theology, but also the words of the magisterium in the light of ones (false!)
preconception. Ones notion of sacramental form is then understood from the very beginning
confused, one is thinking of sacramental forms in terms of of magical words.
This consequently will determine ones understanding of what the Church means by saying
that the sacraments are efficacious ex opere operato. This too is subsumed under the
categories of magic.
Michael Duddys works on the invalidity thesis are valuable for their critical examination of
Omlors readings of St. Thomas, Benedict XIV, St. Alphonsus and the Cathechism of the
Council of Trent. In each case he has come to conclusions similar, if not identical to my own.
Yet his analysis remains crippled by a residual presence of this magical understanding of the
sacramental order
Duddy therefore cannot overcome the short-form/long-form dichotomy. If the magical words
are not those represented by the long form, he reasons, they must be those represented by the

short form. He rightfully observes that the Cathechism of the Council of Trent tells us that the
sacramental form is contained by the words of the long form and not that it consists of those
words. But he naively concludes that the short form, i.e. the magic words, must be hiding in
there some place. The short form is the wheat, and the rest of the thing can be disregardes as
chaff, as unnecessary verbiage.
Duddy cites the decrees of the Council of Tren ss. XIII ch.3 which states: Immediately after the
consecration ex vi verborum (from the power of the words) the true body and the true blood of
our Lord exist , the body under the form of bread and the blood under the form of wine. 27
But this ex vi verborum is understood in terms of magic.
But this is not what the Council Fathers intend.
Duddy follows Omlor in this. But Omlors way of thinking here is once again emblematic of a
whole current of thought within the Church, of which he is not the origin.
Duddy, following Omlor in spite of himself, thinks of the words of consecration not so much as
the words of Jesus but as the words that Jesus took, and by an arbitrary act of divine will endowed
with magical properties.

This way of thinking creates a distorted view of the sacramental order according to which the
power of the sacraments does not come from the word, but from an arbitrary divine act giving
magical power extrinsically and accidentally to the word.
The phenomenon of the denial of the Holy Spirit, reflected in the negation of conscience, has
furthermore a profound relation to the philological question, the question regarding the
Semitism present in Biblical many. The Semitism is not, as Omlor presupposes, a question of
a mere deficiency of language. It is a question of the self-awareness of Israel, of the selfawareness of the People of God, of the conscience of the People of God. It is a question of
critical importance, because this self-awareness is essential testimony to the Holy Spirit.
By denying that self-awareness, expressed in the Semitism, one denies the very substance of
Israel, of the People of God.
Thus there is a real logical connection between Omlors position and anti-Semitism.
The renewal of the Church is blocked at the most critical point if one considers the power of
the Eucharist to root in arbitrary magical words, supplying us with the dubious magical fruit
of incorporation in an exclusionary, Church breathing a Pelagian, prideful ethics, denying the
primacy of grace and the fundamental truth of the Gospel.
This is so because the authentic renewal of the Church can only be based on the most
profound root of Tradition, which is the Divine Word itself. The Divine Word is the root of
all true consciousness and authentic conscience.
The magical conception of the Eucharist is centered in obtaining what you want (egotism); it
allies with clericalism and simony. The true conception of Eucharist and priesthood is
centered in the very opposite: love and self-giving. The Eucharist is the Good Gift par
excellence. The Eucharist is enlivened by the Spirit of God. The Eastern theology of the
Epiclesis is thus in harmony with a correct understanding of the Eucharistic Words of Jesus as
the form of the sacrament.
27

Is the Novus Ordo mass Valid? Part II, p. 43

In this regard one should read the beautiful words of John Paul II in his last letter to priests
dated Holy Thursday 2005 as he speaks of the Eucharist as Memorial of the Lord.
Where conscience is blocked by the arbitrary manipulations of will, the Holy Spirit cannot
blow. There is no room for Him.
If there is a discourse about the Holy Spirit, it is a dead discourse that treats the term Holy
Spirit as if it were merely a synonym for God, in other words it treats the discourse about the
Holy Spirit as mere verbalism. One ignores the Event of Pentecost. (Just as one has ignored
the Incarnation by speaking of Jesus as if the term Jesus were a mere synonym for God.)
One protests: Why of course we believe in the event of Pentecost, that is part of Catholic
Doctrine!
But one has gotten into such a terrible and mortal habit of doctrinal integalism that one has
become insensible to the fact that one has fallen into the habit of ignoring the very foundation
of the Churchs faith: the Holy Spirit.
2. I want to close this section regarding the Eucharist as work of the Holy Spirit with this
passage from Benedict XVI regarding these matters:

The Holy Spirit and the eucharistic celebration


13. Against this backdrop we can understand the decisive role played by the
Holy Spirit in the eucharistic celebration, particularly with regard to
transubstantiation. An awareness of this is clearly evident in the Fathers of the
Church. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Catecheses, states that we "call upon
God in his mercy to send his Holy Spirit upon the offerings before us, to
transform the bread into the body of Christ and the wine into the blood of Christ.
Whatever the Holy Spirit touches is sanctified and completely transformed" (25).
Saint John Chrysostom too notes that the priest invokes the Holy Spirit when he
celebrates the sacrifice: (26) like Elijah, the minister calls down the Holy Spirit
so that "as grace comes down upon the victim, the souls of all are thereby
inflamed" (27). The spiritual life of the faithful can benefit greatly from a better
appreciation of the richness of the anaphora: along with the words spoken by
Christ at the Last Supper, it contains the epiclesis, the petition to the Father to
send down the gift of the Spirit so that the bread and the wine will become the
body and blood of Jesus Christ and that "the community as a whole will become
ever more the body of Christ" (28). The Spirit invoked by the celebrant upon the
gifts of bread and wine placed on the altar is the same Spirit who gathers the
faithful "into one body" and makes of them a spiritual offering pleasing to the
Father (29).
The Eucharist and the Church
The Eucharist, causal principle of the Church
14. Through the sacrament of the Eucharist Jesus draws the faithful into his
"hour;" he shows us the bond that he willed to establish between himself and us,
between his own person and the Church. Indeed, in the sacrifice of the Cross,
Christ gave birth to the Church as his Bride and his body. The Fathers of the

Church often meditated on the relationship between Eve's coming forth from the
side of Adam as he slept (cf. Gen 2:21-23) and the coming forth of the new Eve,
the Church, from the open side of Christ sleeping in death: from Christ's pierced
side, John recounts, there came forth blood and water (cf. Jn 19:34), the symbol
of the sacraments (30). A contemplative gaze "upon him whom they have
pierced" (Jn 19:37) leads us to reflect on the causal connection between Christ's
sacrifice, the Eucharist and the Church. The Church "draws her life from the
Eucharist" (31). Since the Eucharist makes present Christ's redeeming sacrifice,
we must start by acknowledging that "there is a causal influence of the Eucharist
at the Church's very origins" (32). The Eucharist is Christ who gives himself to
us and continually builds us up as his body. Hence, in the striking interplay
between the Eucharist which builds up the Church, and the Church herself which
"makes" the Eucharist (33), the primary causality is expressed in the first
formula: the Church is able to celebrate and adore the mystery of Christ present
in the Eucharist precisely because Christ first gave himself to her in the sacrifice
of the Cross. The Church's ability to "make" the Eucharist is completely rooted
in Christ's self-gift to her. Here we can see more clearly the meaning of Saint
John's words: "he first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). We too, at every celebration of the
Eucharist, confess the primacy of Christ's gift. The causal influence of the
Eucharist at the Church's origins definitively discloses both the chronological
and ontological priority of the fact that it was Christ who loved us "first." For all
eternity he remains the one who loves us first.
Pope Benedict XVI
Sacramentum Caritatis
4. The words of Jesus are the Form of the Sacrament.
Memores igitur, Domine,
Eiusdem Filii tui salutiferae passionis
Necnon mirabilis resurrectionis
Et ascensionis in caelum,
Sed et praestolantes alterum eius adventum,
Offerimus tibi, gratias referents,
Hoc sacrificium vivum et sanctum.
Respice, quaesumus,
In oblationem Ecclesiae tuae
The Third Eucharistic Prayer
There was some one thing that was too great
for God to show us
when He walked upon our earth;
and I have sometimes fancied
that it was His mirth.
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Omlor argues for his invalidity thesis on the basis of a violation of the form of the Eucharist.
This implies a claim to know the form, to know that which has been violated. Similarly in
rejecting the invalidity thesis one necessarily claims to kn the substance of the form of the
Eucharist is. This is simply derived from the fact tha
St. Thomas teaches that the form of the sacrament consists in the words of Christ.We have
seen how Omlors literalist hermeneutics misinterprets what St. Thomas and the Magisterium
of the Church have said in this regard.
We could ask what did St.Thomas then mean by affirming that the words of Chirst constitute
the form of the sacrament? That would be the legitimate object of another study. Here,
without claiming to have realized that study, I would like to conclude this final part with some
fundamental reflections regarding the form of the Eucharist and the words of Christ.28
If one sets aside literalism and the idea of magic words, what can be meant by calling the
words of Christ the form of the Sacrament?
One can only grasp the words of Christ by adhering to Christ, by centering ones attention in
Christ, by listening to Christ who is the Incarnate Word of God.
What are then the words of the Word through which the Eucharist is realized, and which are
the form of the Sacrament?
What communication is this?
Here we can begin with a deep Thomistic axiom a thing is intelligible inasmuch as it is in
act: to understand what the form of the Eucharist we should examine the Eucharistic act.
Our Lord specifies the Eucharistic act when he says Do this in memory of me What is this
this? The Lord has shown us clearly, for He took, blessed, broke, gave and said
The form is thus five-fold: take, bless, break, gave and said.
The structure is fractal, which means to say that the whole is present in each of the terms. The
terms are thus not simply parts.
In using the recent mathematical terminology of fractal structure I am not suggesting that
there is a mathematical a-priori determining and limiting what Our Lord could do; I am
suggesting rather that the fractal structure found in nature is a manifestation of the unique
Divine Plan.
Something similar must be said with regard to the use of Aristotelian categories in the
formulation of Eucharistic doctrine.
a) Took
Taking bread refers to the Mystery of the Incarnation which is consummated in the Eucharist.
Jesus took our nature, and therefore the Eucharistic mystery cannot be dissociated from the
Mysteryof the Incarnation which it consummates. It is essentially Theandric. It cannot be

28

Though I am not intending to realize a full study of St. Thomas regarding this point, I am engaging in realizing

a rewriting of this last section of my work on the basis of some Thomistic inspirations.

dissociated from that Mystery by which the Lord united himself in a certain way to all men.
(Saint John Paul II).
The Eucharistic action of the Lord must be understood in its integrity, as a Sacramental
Action. Thus the taking of bread (and chalice) cannot be ignored.
The Eucharist is Memorial of the entire Mystery of the Incarnation.
It cannot be reduced to an afterthought, something tacked on, in order to justify the Age of
Clericalism.

b) The Blessing of the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine is the Consecration of those
elements.
But this Blessing is at the same time Thanksgiving It is the Eucharistic Blessing., and
Eucharist means Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is revealed to be the form of the Eucharist.
Thanksgiving is the inner principle of the Eucharist, and the form of something, is
fundamentally its inner principle.
The prayers that we are wont to say at meals show us in a simple way the connection between
blessing and thanksgiving: Bless us o Lord and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive
from Thy Bounty When one blesses, one thanks. Our prayers confirm this, though our
minds might not underdtand.
This is illumined by the context of the Incarnation. The Thanksgiving of the Lord follows
upon the Incarnation: Having taken bread, He gave thanks.Because it follows upon the
Incarnation, it includes us: It is (also) our thanksgiving.
There is only one Thanksgiving. There is only one Eucharist. Our Lord does not say Do
something like what I am doing. He does not say Give thanks because that is a good thing.
He says Do this.
The Blessing constitutes the Consecration. St. Thomas insists on this. The words of Blessing
are the words of Consecration, and the words of Consecration realize Sacrifice. It is a rational
sacrifice (Ratio in Latin is Logos in Greek). It is a spiritual sacrifice. The Thanksgiving and
the Sacrifice coincide. 29

29

The Council of Trent upheld the sacrificial character of the mass against the Reformers,
who tried to weaken the sense of sacrifice by saying that the mass was merely a sacrifice of
praise.
Yet the phrase sacrifice of praise is Biblical; Trent affirmed that the mass was not a mere
sacrifice of praise, something merely verbal; it affirmed that the mass truly is an act of
sacrifice.
The problem of the Reformers lay in their conception of the relation between the sacrifices of
the Old Law and the Sacrifice of Our Lord. For the reformers the sacrifices of the Old Law
were something essentially carnal, which Christ put an end to on the cross. The Sacrifice of
Christs Sacrifice that put an end to all sacrifice, and represents rupture with the Law, and the
dawn of the economy of grace.

The relation between the Old Law and the New is conceived of as dialectical: a relation of
pure opposites.
For the Reformers, the Catholic notion of priesthood represented an abandonment and
betrayal of the sense of the death of Christ: the Catholic priesthood attacked the very efficacy
of the cross. The Catholic priesthood was one with Pelagianism and with Catholic clericalism,
and ought to be destroyed with root and branch.
The Reformers defended the notion of spiritual sacrifice. The Cross represented a spiritual
sacrifice. The Christian is invited to follow the footsteps of Christ in spiritual sacrifice. This
seemed to the reformers to be the language of the saints and of the Christian Masters of
spirituality.
They supported themselves also with Old Testament texts in which God announces his
preference for the sacrifice of a contrite heart.
The criticism that Trent makes of this theology is the opposition that is supposed between a
spiritual sacrifice and a true sacrifice.
The mass is a true sacrifice, not simply a spiritual sacrifice.
But this does not mean that the mass, having been definded as a true sacrifice, can no longer
be called a spiritual sacrifice: that the mass is not a spiritual sacrifice.
Here at Trent an immensely significant and yet largely overlooked development of doctrine
was taking place and took place: a development of doctrine overlooked both by Trents
enemies and its uncomprehending friends.
Trents enemies held and hold that the Reformers were essentially right in their rejection of
the sacrifice of the mass and of the sacramental priesthood; her uncomprehending friends, on
the other hand, unwittingly concede the false premise of the Reformers that the Catholic
conception of the mass is carnal and believe this is what the Church has always taught and
defend such a conception against the Protestants.
In defending Catholic doctrine, Trent developed that same doctrine. It helped to make clear
what is meant by sacrifice, as we say that the mass is a sacrifice. And in making this clear,
there arose that immensely significant, deep, development of doctrine, whose significance has
not been fully realized.
The sacrifice of the Cross, the sacrifice of Our Lord, which the Church remembers and
renews, is not a carnal sacrifice but a spiritual sacrifice, in the fundamental and definitive
sense of being the work of the Holy Spirit.
It cannot be carnal and at the same time work of the Holy Spirit.
One might reply here (in the line of Omlor) that carnal things can also be the work of the
Holy Spirit, that the creation is not purely spiritual and that God is the creator of all.
It is true that God is the creator of all. It is true , in this sense, that the creation is not purely
spiritual. But at this point the equivocation is revealed: Creation is purely spiritual in the
sense that it is all the work of the Holy Spirit.

Is the affirmation that Thanksgiving is the form of the Eucharist a naturalistic humanization of
the Sacrament?
This supposes that Thanksgiving is a merely human sentiment. Certainly Thanksgiving is a
human sentiment, but if it is human, it is at the same time and essentially a theological
sentiment.
Thanksgiving and charity are essentially related, and imply each other.
There are moments when charity manifests itself in a secular way; it is a virtue which is
recognized outside the institutional walls of the Church; and the same is true with regard to
for thanksgiving.
This witnesses to the Spiritual nature of both charity and thanksgiving, and neither of them
can be reduced to the merely human and secular.
St. Thomas, and Pope Benedict call the Eucharist Sacramentum Caritatis. It seems to me
logical that being the Sacrament of Charity, the Eucharist is necessarily, in an intimately
related way, the Sacrament of Thanksgiving, and in such a way that Thanksgiving may be
called the form of the Sacrament.
What do I mean by affirming that thankfulness is theological, a theological sentiment? I mean
that at the deepest level the sentiment is oriented toward God.
This is why he who is thanked, in receiving thankfulness, must receive it in the Spirit of
thankfulness, one must receive thankfulness thankfully, thankfulness is only received in the
Spirit with which it is given.
He who thanks must be touched by the Spirit of thankfulness, though he does not know how
to name it.
For the Christian this Spirit can only be the Spirit of God. This Spirit is God, and the Final
Cause of thankfulness.

To say that creation is work of the Holy Spirit is not to say something trivial: Why of course
creation is work of the Holy Spirit: the Holy Spirit is God, and God is the Creator.
Here Holy Spirit is taken as a mere synonym for God, and one has forgotten both Biblical
revelation and the real content of our Trinitarian Faith.
Creation is spiritual, and the Sacrifice of Christ is spiritual.
Spiritual and true are not contradictories.
Trents enemies and her uncomprehending friends both affirm that spiritual and true are
contradictories: that the mass is either a true sacrifice or a spiritual sacrifice, and cannot be
both.
In affirming the mass to be the True Spiritual Sacrifice, true and therefore spiritual, one both
learns from the Reformers and overcomes and corrects their error.

This Spirit is not distant from he who thanks, but rather it has entered his heart, and touches
him intimately.
If the Eucharist is Sacramentum Caritatis, one might be tempted to say that Charity, rather
than Thankfulness is the form of the Sacrament.
Yet Sacrament means sign, so that one will ask, what is the Sign of Charity and the answer
will be The Eucharist
Not every act of thankfulness has God as its immediate object, just as not every act of charity
has God as its immediate object.
Yet there is no other road to God, than that of thankfulness.
Is it not characteristic of the God revealed in Jesus that he would make so much depend on
something as humble as the sentiment of Thanksgiving? That the Eucharist, sacrament whose
form is Thanksgiving would be his great gift to mankind?
The form of the Eucharist is in the words of the Lord and therefore it is right to say that the
form is the words of the Lord. But Thanksgiving determines and unifies these words:
Thanksgiving is their face. Therefore Thanksgiving can be called the form of the Eucharist..
But we ought to consider this Thanksgiving of the Lord. We ought to examine this
Thanksgiving and allow ourselves to be astonished by it.
We ought not understand this Thanksgiving of the Lord in a moralistic sense, as if Jesus were
not actually thankful, but rather simply telling us to be thankful, participating in a
manipulation whose origin is in a manipulating God.
Jesus was thankful, felt the theological sentiment of thankfulness.
Salvation is the only thing that one can, in the final analysis, be thankful for. All other things
for which we express thankfulness, are tied to salvation. All other things that we are thankful
for become, in the final analysis, signs of salvation.
Jesus was thankful for Salvation or He was not thankful at all.
The Eucharist forces us to reject an idea of Jesus as God in a man-suit; though we may have
become quite accustomed to thinking in that way, and not thinking in that way may lead us on
unexpected paths.
The Last Supper precedes the Passion. The Eucharist of Jesus takes place before the Passion.
The Lord celebrates the Jewish Passover, which is Remembrance=Thanksgiving, but Jesus
mind is not merely on things past. His Thanksgiving is eschatological.
There is thus on one hand his Divine Foreknowledge; but there is, on the other, His faith.
Faith seems to be the correct word, although the Bible does not apply literally and directly,
the term faith to Jesus30. Here one has before one another controversy in which von Balthasar
We have seen how, with the exception of Hebrews 12:2, the NT never explicitly makes the earthly Jesus the
explicit subject of the verb "to believe" or clearly characterizes him by using the corresponding noun "faith."
Faith in the NT Church was very much associated with believing the proclamation of Christ's resurrection from
the dead (e.g. Rom 10:9-10), with baptism in the name of Jesus himself (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5) or "in the
30

participated in (and in which, I believe, he spoke well): Can faith be attributed to Jesus? His
answer is no, but with the question implying an inquietude which is not satisfied by the mere
no. Faith can be predicated of Jesus in a way, and in order to answer the question about the
faith of Jesus in a deep way, this must be recognized.
The argument that faith in no sense can be predicated of Jesus, given that He had the Beatific
Vision from the moment of conception (major premise taken from both St. Thomas and Pius
XII following him), seems to involve a misunderstanding of the Beatific Vision, as if the
Beatific Vision did not depend on Jesus having assumed human nature, but rather removed
Jesus from the human condition. The thing should be reversed: the Beatific Vision
presupposes faith.
If faith is a dark night of the soul, as St. John of the Cross affirms, ought we not affirm that
Jesus is the exemplar of our passage through this dark night which passage and which night
(the passage and the night are the same) is faith.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also
lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with
perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and
perfecter of our faith
Hebrews 12:1-2
If Jesus in instituting the Eucharist at the Last Supper knew the joy of Thanksgiving, which
Thanksgiving is theological at its root, a Thanksgiving for Salvation, and if he knew this joy
at the moment when consciousness of His Mission was foremost in his mind, with
consciousness that this mission was about to be fulfulled through an imminent Passion and
Death for our salvation, with consciousness that his Hour had come, are we not then forced to
accept the fact of the faith of Jesus, faith which is supernatural, a gift of God, and at the same
time human?
But this joy of Thanksgiving is not simply a passing and essentially insignificant sentiment
which accompanied (or did not accompany) the institution of the Eucharist, this joy of
Thanksgiving is the Thanksgiving itself, and the Thanksgiving is the Eucharist itself, which
the Lord gave to the Church.
This Thanksgiving is the same sentiment (numerically identical!) which animates the
Sacrifice of the Cross, which fact makes of Cross and Eucharist one sacrifice, and here one
has the profound answer (as opposed to other merely verbalist/conceptualist answers) to the
Protestant charge that the mass repeats what cannot be repeated.
Here we see the faltering of the argument that Thanksgiving is something too human to be the
form of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
It will have been noticed that in calling Thanksgiving the form of the Eucharist I have chosen
to write the word with a capital letter.

name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:9), and with faith in Christ (e.g. Acts 20:21;
Gal 3:26; Col 1:4). These associations undoubtedly made it harder to draw from the memory of Jesus' ministry
the conclusion, which is drawn in the Letter to the Hebrews, that we are called not only to believe in the risen
Christ but also to believe like the earthly Jesus. Despite the tension, there is no contradiction here. To find in
Jesus the supreme exemplar for the life of faith in no way excludes believing in him as the risen Lord of our
lives. Gerald OCollins, S.J. , and Daniel Kendall, S.J. The Faith of Jesus, in Theological Studies D, 53, 1992

If I had left it with a small letter the affirmation that thanksgiving is the form of the Eucharist
might be understood as an identification of the sentiment of the Eucharist with a merely
human sentiment of thanksgiving (whatever that might be) oriented by a merely human option
(whatever that might be) towards God.
It might be understood that I was pretending to define the Eucharist by merely affirming that
the concept of thanksgiving can be predicated of it. According to such a definition not only
any act of thanksgiving towards God, but any act of thanksgiving whatsoever would be
Eucharist.
By writing Thanksgiving with a capital letter I do not, on the other hand, mean to say that by
Thanksgiving I mean the Eucharist. If that were so, the thesis that the form of the Eucharist is
Thanksgiving would be a mere verbal trick, based on a submerged tautology.
By writing Thanksgiving with a capital letter, I speak of something which is at once concrete
and universal in signification: concrete (that is, ontologically dense) and at the same time the
foundation of the thanksgiving in every form of thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is not thus a merely human and naturalistic sentiment. Thanksgiving is grace; it
is as one says in Spanish accin de gracias.
St Therese taught the world that everything is grace. Priesthood also is grace. Being grace
does not mean being merely passive. The Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist is the act of grace
par excellence.
Thanksgiving is theological, and at the same time it is essentially human. Only man can give
thanks. And when man gives thanks, he is doing the most human thing, he is revealing the
profound secret of his being human.
Thanksgiving is, in relation to the Institution of the Blessed Eucharist, no mere accidental
element.
This can be seen in the relation of the Eucharist with the Jewish Pasch. The Jewish Pasch is
all about Remembrance and Thanksgiving; but by Instituting the Eucharist Jesus at once takes
a step beyond the Jewish Pasch and renders it its profound foundation.
The Institutilion of the Eucharist is the Consummation of the Incarnation of the Word. The
Eucharistic Jesus is the Lord having become fully human, through the Eucharistic
Consummation of the Kenosis.
The Eucharistic Thanksgiving of Jesus is at once supernatural and the ultimate authentication
of the humanity of Jesus, and thus of the Incarnation: the Incarnate Word is not just another
avatar of Divinity , another God-in-a-man-suit.
Took, blessed, broke, gave, said. These are in some remarkable way equivalents: there is a
five-fold symmetry.
One is dealing with the consecration. Consecration is blessing. Thanksgiving is the soul of
blessing.
In the consecration there is form and matter. In the Eucharist there is substance and accident.
Took, blessed, broke, gave, said. There is an order and yet there is equivalence, and
symmetry.

St. Thomas tells us that the form of the Sacrament consists of the words of the Lord; by
affirming that Thanksgiving is the form of the Sacrament one does not go against St. Thomas
but explicates what St. Thomas tells us. One makes it clear that the words in question are not
mere exterior words, that they are not mere magic words, that the power of the words is
intrinsic to them. By affirming that Thanksiving is the form of the Sacrament we affirm the
internal principle of those words.
It is the internal principle that vivifies: they are words of the heart.
Certainly the priest must prounounce the words of Christ: what is interior must be uttered.
These words cannot be described as merely interior; but Thanksgiving can never something
merely interior; it is something the heart expresses.
To obtain the full picture of what the form of the Eucharist is one needs to take into account
the five-fold symmetry of Took, blessed, broke, gave and said so as to understand what is
referred to by this as Christ commands us to do this in memory of Him.
One must look at the Euchartic action as a whole, applying, one could say, the Thomistic
principle that a thing is intelligible inasumuch as it is in act.
Thus one can answer the question Which words are the form of the sacrament? The answer
remains the words of Christ; only now we have gained insight into the depth of that answer.
Here once again one can profitably reflect on the way that the Catechism of the Catholic
Church speaks of the Eucharist, as something above defninition, not as something vague.
Here one can contemplate by the light of faith the mystery underlying the fractal structures
that the mathematicians (Cfr. Benoit Mandelbrot) and cosmologists increasingly appreciate
and which appears ever more ubiquitous and typical in nature.
The consecration is a double-consecration, a double cycle: In the same way also the cup.
(I Cor. 11:25). Here we see how breaking belongs to the very form of the sacrament, the
consecration, which is blessing, which is thanksgiving, which is double through this very
same breaking, which constitutes the double consecration.
The Eucharistic Kernspaltung is beyond the realm of empirical investigation, nevertheless
there is a rhyming between the supernatural and nature.
For the first Christian communities the Eucharist was the Breaking of Bread. The evangelical
sign given at the Multiplication of loaves points to the Eucharist as Breaking, Multiplying,
Giving.
There is connection also with the Parable of the Sower which speaks of this same
multiplication, and of the growth which is sign of the Kingdom of God and of the Divine Life
which the Spirit has poured out on the world.
Here also we touch the profundity of Eucharistic many as expressive of the autogenerosity of
the Spirit.
The Eucharistic Thanksgiving of Jesus is work of the Holy Spirit, which is to be seen in the
fact that it is a totally unified way both human and Divine.

The sentiment of joyful Thanksgiving animating the Eucharistic Lord, as He regards His
imminent Sacrifice for our salvation radically authenticates the disinterested love animating
the Heart of Jesus.
Now we see why Pope Benedict XVI, following St. Thomas Aquinas, call the Eucharist
(word which means Thanksgiving) Sacramentum (word which means sign) Caritatis: the sign
of Charity.
To celebrate the Eucharist is , to give thanks.
Here the reason for affirming that Thanksgiving is the form of the Eucharist.

c) Broke the bread.


The Eucharist is known in the first Christian communities as the Breaking of Bread. And thus
the Breaking of Bread expresses in yet a new way the form of the Sacrament.
The disciples recognized the Lord at the Breaking of Bread. Jesus in person is the Paschal
Sacrifice.
If the Eucharist Blessisng is indeed Consecration and if Sacrifice is the efficacy of
Consecration by which the Holy comes into being, as bread and wine become the Body and
Blood of Christ (Transubstantiation) manifesting the power of the Lords words, the Breaking
of Bread expresses the depth of the Sacrifice.
The Breaking of Bread expre in expressing the core of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, expresses
the core of the Eucharistic form.
It expresses the unicity of the Sacrifice: the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the Sacrifice of Calvary
are one unique Sacrifice.
Breaking of bread is also connected to the Evangelical Sign of the Multiplication of Loaves as
manifestation of Divine Charity and Generosity in the growth of the Church, growth which is
essential to the Church as the Living Reality par excellence, the Bread of Life. We are the
loaves. The Church lives from the Holy Eucharist, as Saint John Paul II in his Eucharistic
encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.
It expresses what Pope Benedict XVI calls the Kernspaltung im innerste des Seins.
It is also connected to the Eucharistic word pro multis: the multiplication is rooted in the
Breaking.
It is related to the distribution of Holy Communion.
It is intimately related to the essential structure of the Double Consecration; the structure is
Double because of this very Breaking, at the center of the unique Sacrifice.
The breaking of bread signals the Eucharist as the most radical, sacrificial, self-giving of
God.
d) Gave it.

Breaking is connected to giving. The Lord breaks in order to give.


This giving is at the core and center of Tradition. The Lord entrusts the Eucharist to the
Church
The Eucharist is something new. With the Eucharist the Church is instituted. The Eucharist
represents and realizes a New and Eternal Covenant.
The Eucharist is profoundly Evangelical. It is new with the radical newness of the Gospel.
Here we come into contact with the authentic Catholic conception of Tradition a tradition
which is Christocentric, Pneumatic and Evangelical.
Christ in giving the form of the Eucharist to the Church was not secretly transmitting a magic
formula as the gnostics had imagined.
Christ gives Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist. There is no greater gift.
The Gift is a gift of life. It is a spiritual gift.
Here we call to mind St. Pauls doctrine regarding the Spirit and the Letter.
The Spirit surpasses the Letter.
The form of the Eucharist, accordingly, could not be given by the letter of the Bible.
What does it mean to say that these words of Christ are not Biblical, are extraBiblical, if the Bible gives us unfailingly and completely, the letter?
What is meant by saying that Christ endowed the Church with these words, and that endowing
the Church with them, the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted, and the
Church came into being?
Here we are at the heart of the authentic doctrine regarding Scripture and Tradition, in which
the two sources of doctrine are not merely parallel sources of information; if they were merely
parallel they would be, in the final analysis, in conflict.
This is what happens in Omlor where Tradition (for instance the Roman Catechism) has the
final word and the Bible is thus doomed to obsolescence.
Omlors literalism/conceptualism does not allow Tradition to be on a different plane from
Scripture, but rather postulates that they are parallel, because for him truths are merely things
and things are merely parallel.
Omlors misunderstanding of the pair Scripture/Tradition is one with his misunderstanding of
the pair Sufficiency/Efficacy. Joined concepts are torn apart, and considered to be merely
parallel, which leads them to come into conflict and destroy each other.
St. John tells us this at the end of his Gospel:
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not
written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that

Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have
life in his name.
John 20:30-31
But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them
to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that
would be written.

John 21: 25
Here the mystery of Divine Revelation is suggested, in which there is some word beyond the
Biblical word, but which does not simply supplement the Biblical word in a parallel fashion.
The Church possesses the fullness of Divine Revelation, which does not consist of Biblical
Revelation and another Revelation, as if the Word were not one. Scripture and Tradition are
linked, but also are distinct, in which truth the Mystery of Revelation shows itself.
Here light is shed on the positive aspect of the exegesis realized by Father Franz Prosinger,
concerning Biblical Many. He comes to a remarkable conclusion that is disconcerting: that the
doctrine of universal redemption rooted in that many of Isaiah 53:12 is without a strictly
Biblical foundation. For even when all is substituted for this many within the Bible one
cannot on the basis of strict textual analysis affirm that a Universal Redemption is affirmed:
the all can be understood in a reduced sense as meaning the People of God.
Yet the Church teaches the universality of Redemption on the basis of a certain Biblical
foundation, that must thus exceed that of strict textual analysis.
Given that a Universal Redemption is identically the very Gospel itself, there arises the
paradoxical conclusion: that the Gospel itself is extra-Biblical.
This helps us to understand many things. It helps us to understand how the Eucharist (whose
form is extra-Biblical is intimately and essentially Evangelical, a truth that renders an
enourmous opening for ecumenical progress.
It helps us to understand what preaching the Gospel really means, how great and how primary
is the preaching of the Gospel.
It helps understand what the Bible teaches by contrasting a Letter that kills with a Spirit that
quickens.
No one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3).
It helps us to understand what the Church teaches regarding Scripture and Tradition in a
profound way, excluding the hidden fundamentalist presuppositions underlying every
Integralist ecclesiology
Just as sufficiency and efficacy are distinct yet linked, so too are the Bible and the Gospel
distinct yet linked. By affirming that the Gospel is extra-Biblical one is affirming that the
Bible and the Gospel are distinct; not that they are not linked.
The dimensions of the Gospel are those of the Spirit. These dimensions are larger than those
of the Letter.

The Bible is not complete in itself, for it is the Lord who fulfills the Scripture.
Or, to say the same thing in other words, the Bible is only complete when one understands it
by the light of the Spirit as centered in the Lord, He who in his very person is the Gospel, and
cannot be grasped when one limits oneself the Letter.
As Pope Benedict has affirmed with theological profundity and simplicity, Christianity is not
simply a religion of the Book, but it is the religion of the Incarnate Word, of the Person who
is the Lord, who is the Gospel in Person.
The truth that the Gospel is not Biblical, is linked to other surprising and marvelous truth: that
the Bible is integrally Evangelical.
kai lambanw enwpion autoj esqiw eipon de proj autoj outoj o logoj egw oj
lalew proj su eti eimi sun su oti dei plhrow paj o grafw en o nomoj
Mwushj kai o profhthj kai yalmoj peri egw
And he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, "These are my words
which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about
me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled."
Luke 24:43-44

In order to grasp the form of the Eucharist, one needs to attend to the context of the Last
Supper. St. John who gives us no narrative of Institution, gives us in chapters 13-17 of his
Gospel a sublime description of the Last Suppers Eucharistic context.
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his
hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to
the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son
of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus,
knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and
that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from
the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around
himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash
the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied
around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord,
are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered, "You do not
know now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus
answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me."
Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my
hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "One who has bathed
does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean.
And you are clean, though not all of you." For he knew who
was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of you are
clean." After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and
had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I
have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord--and you are
right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's
feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I
have done to you.

John 13:1-15
The Eucharist is instituted at this Supper of Divine Charity and Humility. In the trajectory of
the the Son of Man the highpoint of loving humility has arrived (He loved them to the end.
e) Saying
We arrive now at the peak of the five-fold structure constituting the form of the Eucharist
(Took, blessed, broke, gave and said). Having seen the richness of its structure, we are now
prepared to grasp in what sense the form lies in the words of the Lord.
Here we confront the full mystery of the words of the Word.
The Sacramental action is twofold, consisting of a double consecration.
The words of Christ are not only those spoken over the bread; they are the words spoken
severally over bread and wine. Thus one does not speak of a word, but of words.
The Church, reflecting on her liturgical prayer affirms that Christ is truly present when the
word of consecration over the bread have been spoken by the priest, and that the wine is not
converted into the Blood of Christ until the word of consecration has been spoken.
This does not, however, divide the sacrament in two.
If the sacramental form is considered to be a magic formula, one will necessarily divide the
sacrament in two. It would depend upon two magic formulae, one for the consecration of the
bread, the other for the consecration of the wine. This would make it two distinct sacraments,
lumped together only by purely verabalistic convention.
To split the form of the sacrament in two is to split the sacrament in two. And this is to
destroy it.
The words of the Lord pronounced in the double consecration are one unique reality.
They are the form of the sacrament and as the form of the sacrament they must be and are
indeed one unique reality.
The words of the Lord recapitulate the Sacramental action as a whole.
Recapitulation is expressed by the double Consecration.
But it is the Words of the Lord that recapitulate.
Thus those theologians who tell us not to obsess about the formula of consecration speak
wisely: the whole discourse of the Last Supper is summarized by the Words of Consecration,
and the Last Supper symbolizes the Mystery of the Incarnation. The Eucharist the Memorial
of the Lord.

There seems to be a slight discrepancy between the Gospel accounts of Institution and the
Narrative of Institution in Holy mass. The Gospels say (after?) having given thanks, He
said whereas in the mass it reads giving thanks, he said, and, taking these facts in their

totality, one has found a strong, if subtle, Biblical/liturgical foundation for the affirmation that
Thanksgiving is the form of the Eucharist:
26VEsqio,ntwn

de. auvtw/n labw.n o` VIhsou/j to.n a;rton kai. euvcaristh,saj e;klasen


kai. evdi,dou toi/j maqhtai/j kai. ei=pen La,bete fa,gete tou/to, evstin to. sw/ma, mou
27 kai. labw.n to. poth,rion kai. euvcaristh,saj e;dwken auvtoi/j le,gwn Pi,ete evx
auvtou/ pa,ntej
28 tou/to ga,r evstin to. ai-ma, mou to. th/j kainh/j diaqh,khj to. peri. pollw/n
evkcuno,menon eivj a;fesin a`martiw/n
26

Cenantibus autem eis, accepit Iesus panem et benedixit ac fregit deditque


discipulis et ait: " Accipite, comedite: hoc est corpus meum ". 27 Et accipiens
calicem, gratias egit et dedit illis dicens: " Bibite ex hoc omnes: 28 hic est enim
sanguis meus novi testamenti, qui pro multis effunditur in remissionem
peccatorum.
26

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and
gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 And he took a
cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all
of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew 26: 26-28
Kai. evsqio,ntwn auvtw/n labw.n o` VIhsou/j a;rton euvlogh,saj e;klasen kai.
e;dwken auvtoi/j kai. ei=pen La,bete fa,g ete\ tou/to, evstin to. sw/ma, mou
23 kai. labw.n to. poth,rion euvcaristh,saj e;dwken auvtoi/j kai. e;pion evx auvtou/
pa,ntej
24 kai. ei=pen auvtoi/j Tou/to, evstin to. ai-ma, mou to. th/j kainh/j diaqh,khj to. peri.
pollw/n evkcuno,menon
22

22

Et manducantibus illis, accepit panem et benedicens fregit et dedit eis et ait:


" Sumite: hoc est corpus meum ". 23 Et accepto calice, gratias agens dedit eis;
et biberunt ex illo omnes. 24 Et ait illis: " Hic est sanguis meus novi testamenti,
qui pro multis effunditur. 25 Amen dico vobis: Iam non bibam de genimine
vitis usque in diem illum, cum illud bibam novum in regno Dei ".
22

And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave
it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." 23 And he took a cup, and when
he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said
to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.
Mark 14: 22-24
kai. dexa,menoj poth,rion euvcaristh,saj ei=pen La,bete tou/to kai. diameri,sate
e`autoi/j\
18 le,gw ga.r u`mi/n o[ti ouv mh. pi,w avpo. tou/ genh,matoj th/j avmpe,lou e[wj o[tou h`
basilei,a tou/ qeou/ e;lqh|
19 kai. labw.n a;rton euvcaristh,saj e;klasen kai. e;dwken auvtoi/j le,gwn Tou/to,
evstin to. sw/ma, mou to. u`pe.r u`mw/n dido,menon\ tou/to poiei/te eivj th.n evmh.n
avna,mnhsin
20 w`sau,twj kai. to. poth,rion meta. to. deipnh/sai le,gwn Tou/to to. poth,rion h`
kainh. diaqh,kh evn tw/| ai[mati, mou to. u`pe.r u`mw/n evkcuno,menon
17

17

Et accepto calice, gratias egit et dixit: " Accipite hoc et dividite inter vos. 18
Dico enim vobis: Non bibam amodo de generatione vitis, donec regnum Dei
veniat ".19 Et accepto pane, gratias egit et fregit et dedit eis dicens: " Hoc est
corpus meum, quod pro vobis datur. Hoc facite in meam commemorationem ".
20 Similiter et calicem, postquam cenavit, dicens: " Hic calix novum
testamentum est in sanguine meo, qui pro vobis funditur.
17

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, "Take this, and
divide it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink
of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to
them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in
remembrance of me." 20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup
which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Luke 22:17-20
VEgw. ga.r pare,labon avpo. tou/ kuri,ou o] kai. pare,dwka u`mi/n o[ti o` ku,rioj
VIhsou/j evn th/| nukti. h-| paredi,doto e;laben a;rton
24 kai. euvcaristh,saj e;klasen kai. ei=pen La,bete( fagete( Tou/to, mou, evstin to.
sw/ma to. u`pe.r u`mw/n\ klw,menon\ tou/to poiei/te eivj th.n evmh.n avna,mnhsin
25 w`sau,twj kai. to. poth,rion meta. to. deipnh/sai le,gwn Tou/to to. poth,rion h`
kainh. diaqh,kh evsti.n evn tw/| evmw/| ai[mati\ tou/to poiei/te o`sa,kij a'n pi,nhte eivj
th.n evmh.n avna,mnhsin
23

23

Ego enim accepi a Domino, quod et tradidi vobis, quoniam Dominus Iesus,
in qua nocte tradebatur, accepit panem 24 et gratias agens fregit et dixit: " Hoc
est corpus meum, quod pro vobis est; hoc facite in meam commemorationem ";
25 similiter et calicem, postquam cenatum est, dicens: " Hic calix novum
testamentum est in meo sanguine; hoc facite, quotiescumque bibetis, in meam
commemorationem ".
23

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord
Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given
thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in
remembrance of me." 25 In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in
remembrance of me."
I Cor. 11:23-25

In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite, formerly the unique Eucharistic prayer or canon
we have:
P. Qui pridie quam pateretur accepit panem in sanctas, ac venerabiles manus
suas, et elevatis oculis in caelum ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipotentem, tibi
gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, deditque discipulis suis dicens:
Accipite, et manducate ex hoc omnes,
HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM

P. Simili modo postquam caenatum est, accipiens et hunc praeclarum Calicem


in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas; tem tibi gratias agens, benedixit,
deditque discipulis suis, dicens:
HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI, NOVI ET AETERNI
TESTAMENTI: MYSTERIUM FIDEI: QUI PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS
EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM.
Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis.
The do this of the Bible and ordinary form is rendered as do these things (haec, plural).
Which things? Certainly it refers to the verbs benedixt, fregit, deditque. But these are summed
up by gratias agens..dicens.
In all the Biblical accounts, where the form of the Eucharist is not given, there is no gratias
agensdicens. There is, instead, a type of differentiation suggested between the giving
thanks and the word indicating what we call transubstantiation: having giving thanks he said.
What is the meaning of this suggested differentiation?
There is one exception above, in the Vulgates translation of I Cor 11:23, which resembles the
Roman liturgy, which does not seem to correspond to the Greek letter, and perhaps
corresponds to early liturgical practice.
The gratias agens..dicens of the first, second and third Eucharistic prayers suggests that
Thanksgiving is the form of the Eucharist.
It also suggests that the words of the Lord recapitulate his Eucharistic Action.
But as one passes from the liturgy to the Bible (which is the normal order of in the process of
Christian formation) one discovers that this structure is not present Biblically, but there is in
its place another structure, one of having given thanks, He said.
But one takes into consideration the meaning of the Institution of the Eucharist as that
moment in which the Lord endowed the Church extra-Biblically with the Eucharist (thus with
its form, or interior principle, the principle that determines it essentially), the discrepancy
between Liturgy and Bible suddenly makes sense, and shows in what sense the words of the
Lord are the form of the Eucharist.
The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life (John 6:63)
St. Thomas is aware of the problem of this seeming discrepancy:
AG1
Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod haec non sit forma huius sacramenti,
hoc est corpus meum, et, hic est calix sanguinis mei.
Illa enim verba videntur pertinere ad formam sacramenti quibus christus
corpus suum et sanguinem consecravit. Sed christus ante benedixit panem
acceptum, et postea dixit, accipite et comedite, hoc est corpus meum, ut
habetur Matth. XXVI; et similiter fecit de calice.
Ergo praedicta verba non sunt forma huius sacramenti.

RA1

Ad primum ergo dicendum quod circa hoc est multiplex opinio.


Quidam enim dixerunt quod christus, qui habebat potestatem excellentiae in
sacramentis, absque omni forma verborum hoc sacramentum perfecit; et postea
verba protulit sub quibus alii postea consecrarent.
Quod videntur sonare verba innocentii III dicentis, sane dici potest quod
christus virtute divina confecit, et postea formam expressit sub qua posteri
benedicerent.
Sed contra hoc expresse sunt verba evangelii, in quibus dicitur quod christus
benedixit, quae quidem benedictio aliquibus verbis facta Est. Unde praedicta
verba innocentii sunt opinative magis dicta quam determinative.
Quidam autem dixerunt quod benedictio illa facta est quibusdam aliis verbis
nobis ignotis.
Sed nec hoc stare potest. Quia benedictio consecrationis nunc perficitur per
recitationem eorum quae tunc acta sunt. Unde, si tunc per haec verba non est
facta consecratio, nec modo fieret.
Et ideo alii dixerunt quod illa benedictio eisdem etiam verbis facta est quibus
modo fit, sed christus ea bis protulit, primo quidem secreto, ad consecrandum;
secundo manifeste, ad instruendum.
Sed nec hoc stare potest. Quia sacerdos consecrat proferens haec verba, non ut
a christo in occulta benedictione dicta, sed ut publice prolata. Unde, cum non
habeant vim huiusmodi verba nisi ex christi prolatione, videtur quod etiam
christus manifeste ea proferens consecraverit.
Et ideo alii dixerunt quod evangelistae non semper eundem ordinem in
recitando servaverunt quo res sunt gestae, ut patet per Augustinum, in libro de
consensu evangelistarum.
Unde intelligendum est ordinem rei gestae sic exprimi posse, accipiens panem,
benedixit dicens, hoc est corpus meum, et deinde fregit et dedit discipulis suis.
Sed idem sensus potest esse in verbis evangelii non mutatis.
Nam hoc participium dicens concomitantiam quandam importat verborum
prolatorum ad ea quae praecedunt. Non autem oportet quod haec
concomitantia intelligatur solum respectu verbi ultimi prolati, quasi christus
tunc ista verba protulerit quando dedit discipulis suis, sed potest intelligi
concomitantia respectu totius praecedentis, ut sit sensus, dum benediceret et
frangeret et daret discipulis suis, haec verba dixit, accipite etc..
S.T. q. 78 a.1

St. Thomas insists that it is not necessary to interpret this differentiation as a temporal
differentiation: the having blessed is not necessarily understood as after having blessed.
Nevertheless the option that St. Thomas proposes is clearly interpretive; there is something
funny in the text, something asking for interpretation: St Thomas opts for the interpretation
according to which the giving thanks/blessing, and the saying refer to one thing, in the

Thomistic interpretation, there is concomitantia. This interpretation allows the Evangelical


words of Christ to render Christs words of consecration directly.
And therefore St. Thomas rejects the four other interpretations:
1. That Christ consecrated without words, giving us the words that others were to
use later.
2. That Christ consecrated with words unknown to us.
3. That Christ used the same words both times, the first time secretly, the second
time in giving instruction to the Apostles
4. That things did not happen in the order given by the Evangelists.
But one is left with this question: Why did the Evangelists chose to use expressions which are
in need of interpretation?
St. Thomas himself helps us to answer this question in the following passage:

AG1
Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod haec non sit conveniens forma
consecrationis vini, hic est calix sanguinis mei, novi et aeterni testamenti,
mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem
peccatorum.
AG9
Praeterea, verba quibus hoc sacramentum conficitur, efficaciam habent ex
institutione christi. Sed nullus evangelista recitat christum haec omnia verba
dixisse.
Ergo non est conveniens forma consecrationis vini.
RA9
Ad nonum dicendum quod evangelistae non intendebant tradere formas
sacramentorum, quas in primitiva ecclesia oportebat esse occultas, ut dicit
dionysius, in fine ecclesiasticae hierarchiae. Sed intenderunt historiam de
christo texere.
Et tamen omnia haec verba fere ex diversis Scripturae locis accipi possunt.
Nam quod dicitur, hic est calix, habetur Luc. XXII et I Cor. XI.
Matthaei autem XXVI dicitur, hic est sanguis meus novi testamenti, qui pro
multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.
Quod autem additur, aeterni, et iterum, mysterium fidei, ex traditione domini
habetur, quae ad ecclesiam per apostolos pervenit, secundum illud I Cor. XI,
ego accepi a domino quod et tradidi vobis.
S.T. III, q. 78, a.3

In the liturgical versions of the words institution there is nothing to interpret, it says plainly:
gratias agens, dicens; in the Scriptural texts, by contrast, there is some mysterious
differentiation, which nevertheless allows an interpretation according to which the blessing
and the words This is my body...This is my blood... refer to one identical reality.

The form of the Sacrament is not given Scripturally, yet it is given in Scripture. It is given in a
hidden way, which is explicitated by the Church interpreting in the light of the Spirit. St.
Thomas, following Dionysius, tells us that the Evangelists did not intend to give us the forms
of the Sacraments, since it was fitting in the primitive Church that they be kept hidden.
This reminds of the fact that liturgical practice precedes liturgical texts and liturgical
regulation.
It also suggests a danger of throwing what is holy to the dogs. But one needs to reflect
carefully about the nature of that danger. The danger is not that a magic formula might fall
into the wrong hands; rather it is that the form of the Eucharist might be taken as a magic
formula, and Christianity might thus degenerate into Gnosticism.
The Apostolic Church was very conscious of this danger.
The literalist interpretation of the Eucharist fails to put the Institution of the Eucarist at the
center of Tradition. It becomes a mere afterthought, a patch. Given that Scripture and
Tradition are merely parallel sources of information, dissociated one from another, the
institution of the magical verbal formula of the Eucharist is merely on among many quanta of
information passed along, with all these quanta being on the same footing.
Scripture and Tradition are really distinct, but it remains so that all of Scripture is
ontologically oriented towards Tradition, that all of Scripture is oriented to the Gift of the
Eucharist, Gods great Gift in the Spirit.
Scripture does not give us the form of the Eucharist; nevertheless all of Scripture speaks of
the Eucharist, is oriented towards the Eucharist. Scripture and the Eucharist, though distinct,
are linked.

The Recapitulation of the Eucharistic Form does not merely look to the past, but also looks
prophetically to the Eschatological Fulfillment:
"These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that
everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the
psalms must be fulfilled."
Luke 24:44
Here we encounter the fullness of the mystery of language: it is a wonderful thing how the
words of the Lord can recapitulate the Salvific Intervention of God.
For ecclesiology to make sense according to the terms given by Holy Scripture, there must be
a final connection between ecclesiology and cosmology.
The Second Vatican Council represents a significant development of the sacramental doctrine
of the Church. This development illuminates the relation of sacramental sign (and thus the
form of the sacrament) to the Beginning of Salvation History and to its End 31.
31

A key document for the Traditionalists is the so-called Ottaviani Intervention, a criticism of
a first version of the Pauline mass realized by a group of Cardinals with an introductory letter
of Cardinal Ottaviani. It is indeed a document of great historical interest. Two of the more
general criticisms made of the proposed new form of the mass were that it gave an
exaggerated place to the Paschal character of the mass (replacing the idea of the mass as

representation of Calvary with a misplaced accent on the Resurrection) and that it had a
strange accent on eschatology:
-l'ossessivo paschalismo: quasi che la comunicazione della grazia
non presentasse altri aspetti altrettanto importanti;
- l'escatologismo dubbio e maniaco, in cui la comunicazione di una
realt, la grazia, che permanente ed eterna, ricondotta alla
dimensione del tempo: popolo in marcia, chiesa peregrinante - non
pi militante, si badi, contro la Potestas tenebrarum - verso un
futuro che non pi vincolato all'eterno (quindi anche all'eterno
presente) ma a un vero e proprio avvenire temporale.
Breve esame crtico del Novus Ordo Missae, V
Earlier on the document had also criticized the new mass for the following:
Come fin troppo evidente, l'accento posto ossessivamente sulla
cena e sul memoriale anzich sulla rinnovazione incruenta del
Sacrificio del Calvario. Anche la formula Memoriale Passionis et
Resurrectionis Domini inesatta, essendo la Messa il memoriale
del solo Sacrificio, che redentivo in s stesso, mentre la
Resurrezione ne il frutto conseguente(5). Vedremo pi avanti con
quale coerenza, nella stessa formula consacratoria e in generale in
tutto il Novus Ordo, tali equivoci siano rinnovati e ribaditi
Ibid, II
Conservative theologians, accepting the Pauline reform, have typically played down the
changes, and told us (truly) that the doctrine of the mass remained unchanged.
But the Ottaviani Intervention remains important for the issues it raises.
It is now clear that it had misinterpreted the reform: underscoring the Paschal character of the
mass relates the mass to Salvation history, and shows its newness with respect to the Old
Testament and does not represent an attempt to silence the scandal of the Cross and its
relation to the Eucharistic sacrifice: The Mystery of the Cross is the Paschal Mystery. The
highlighting of the eschatological character of the mass has, furthermore, nothing to do with
horizontalist interpretations of the Kingdom.
The Ottaviani Intervention criticizes the definition of the mass in terms of the liturgical
assembly and the presiding priest given at the beginning of the General Instruction, taken as
indicating a horizontalist conception of the mass, weakening the Catholic conception of the
priestly function. It is true that the General Instruction went through a posterior evolution
which supplemented its formulations, nevertheless the affirmation of the presidential function
of the priest at the Eucharistic Celebration is not heterodox; it correctly takes the assembly
into account but also articulates the function of the presbyter according to the nature of the
hierarchical priesthood.
The Pauline reform thus does reflect the development of sacramental theology effected by the
Council. A development doctrine is not the same thing as a change of doctrine, but it ought
not to be reduced to nothing. If one rejects the development of doctrine one will fall into gross
errors. The development of doctrine is work of the Magisterium (supported by theology and

Correspondingly I have given attention both to the question of the Biblical Semitism
contained in many, and to the eschatological sense of many as the elect of God.
A Eucharist having an Eschatlogical Horizon, must also have a Cosmological Horizon, and
both John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have written sublime things about the cosmological
dimension of the Eucharist.32
When the Church in the Nineteenth Century in various pronouncements condemned the
doctrine of rationalism, a significant development of doctrine was realized. A path to Pure
intuitive knowing for unaided reason was declared impossible; yet at the same time the
Church has always defended the notion of Absolute Truth which contains the reality of
intuitive knowing.
A parallel limit on the limits of systematic rational knowing appeared with Gdels proofs of
the two Incompleteness theorems.
Both of these historical developments help us to place the hope of unitary ultimate knowing
in its proper perspective.

the sensus fidei of the People of God). It is expression of a living Church. When there is an
effective development of doctrine it comes as something irrerversible and definitive that
cannot be rejected.
32
However a difficult question remains, one I cannot answer at length at this moment: why
was it necessary to suffer to save the world? It was necessary because there exists in the world
an ocean of evil, of injustice, hatred, and violence, and the many victims of hatred and
injustice have the right to see justice done. God cannot ignore the cries of the suffering who
are oppressed by injustice. To forgive is not to ignore, but to transform. God must enter into
this world in order to set against the ocean of injustice a larger ocean of goodness and of love.
And this is the event of the Cross: from that moment, against the ocea