Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ecumenisn in the Park

Today, being Palm Sunday, our town's churches did the usual ecumenical blessing of the palms in the park nearest to all the churches. All the Protestant denominations met there along with the Catholics and held a prayer gathering before going to their respective churches for their Sunday services, or in our case, Sunday Mass. What bothers me is that it was the Anglican priest who blessed the palms. Yes, he used holy water from the Catholic Church in his blessing, but can he actually confer the blessing of God on these palms to make them sacramentals of the Catholic Church?

Sacramentals are holy things or actions that the Church makes use of to obtain for us God's blessings in spiritual and temporal matters. Priests are authorized to give the blessing for sacramentals, with the exception of those especially reserved to the bishop. I doubt if an Anglican priest can authoritatively bless palms in the name of the Catholic Church, thus making them sacramentals of the Church. Wouldn't it be the same as if a member of the laity blessed these palms? I am aware that the more piety a person possesses, the greater are the effects of a private blessing, but I'm really left wondering if these palms have any true sacramental value as a blessed object of devotion.



Adoro te Devote said...

That's a very good question. I haven't looked it up in canon law, but logic may answer this.

Let's reason it out:

I know that some Anglicans can claim "apostolic succession" although I don't know the details.

I know that if we are completely bereft of the sacraments of the Catholic Church, we can receive the sacraments of the Anglican, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox churches, in obedience to their own directives on this. (ie "reciprocity" of sorts).

I know that if we have access to our own sacraments, then the other sacraments are not licit.

So the question remains; are they valid?

If they are valid but illicit, then by logic, the blessing, which is lesser than a sacrament, would be a valid blessing.

But it still leaves the question; is this LICIT?

I'm sad for you; it seems the misunderstanding of "ecumenism" has completely cowed the Church in your area.

Here in MN, our own priests bless the palms, none of this allegedly "ecumenical" nonsense.

We have our own black eye parishes, and they may engage in such theatrics as you describe, but I have never met a Baptist that blesses anything other than their meal. Or a Methodist, or Congregationalist, etc. They simply do not recognize blessings from a priest of any sort.

Maybe the Anglican blessing carries weight, but if you have the ability, I'd advise you to get a blessing for your palm from real priest. I assume you have real priests in your area, not just those who have been completedly undone by secularism?

God bless them.

Anita Moore said...

Whaddya expect in an age when people think we need to be deprived of sacramentals like holy water during Lent? (Which, by the way, we should not put up with. When I came across a sand-filled holy water font a few weeks ago, I dumped the sand and replaced it with holy water.)

Correct me if I am wrong, but when a priest blesses an object, he is praying on behalf of the Church; and it is the prayers of the Church that make a sacramental effective. How can somebody who is outside of the Church pray on behalf of the Church?

paramedicgirl said...

I'm pretty sure that the blessing for these palms is the same as if any member of the laity blessed them. It's so sad that we are being deprived of our traditions in the name of ecumenism.

Anonymous said...

Well, it was April Fool's Day today....

I'd get my palms blessed by Father privately.

Mark said...

You are correct; an Anglican priest does not have the faculties to convey the blessing of the Church to the palms, and your priest should never have permitted it; the blessing only carried the merit of the individual, who may or may not have more merit than you; but far less that Jesus Christ, whose merit the Church draws from.

ADT above is mistaken, I believe, on receiving sacraments under necessity in an Anglican Church. The Anglicans do not have a valid eucharist, and it must be assumed so, per the document issued by the CDF a few years ago, even though the occasional reprobate Catholic priest is hiding in Anglicanism.

paramedicgirl said...

I think so too, Mark. This happens every year, unfortunately. I guess there's not much point in keeping the palms, is there?
I certainly don't need to worry about burning or burying them, do I?

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

ADT: is so far off the mark...

Anglican orders are absolutely null and void, period, HELLO! As to receiving "sacraments", as far as I am aware. only from the Orthodox and only in extreme necessity.

Burn them. They have absolutely no value. That man, has no authority, and as it is not possible he is an state of grace (is he invincibly ignorant of the claims of the Catholic Church? Is he also perfectly contrite? etc don't make me laugh.) his supernatural merits are next to zero...assuming YOU are in a state of Grace, you bless them yourself! My 5 month old has more authority than this man.

What the hell is wrong with you people?

He's a damned material and formal heretic and schismatic.