Where to begin the refutation, HMiS?
I will start here:
The Meaning Of "Ad Integritatem Ejusdem Locutionis"
By Patrick Henry Omlor
From a single isolated phrase in St. Thomas's Summa Theologica, III, Q. 78, Art. 3, some commentators have claimed that the Angelic Doctor's opinion is that the entire form for the wine-consecration is not essential for the validity of the Sacrament, but essential only for the integrity of the form. The phrase in question is "unde pertinent ad integritatem ejusdem locutionis."
These commentators argue that St. Thomas teaches that the words fol-lowing "This is the Chalice of My Blood" -- namely, "of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins" -- pertain to "integrity" and not to "validity." They give the analogy that the integrity, meaning wholeness, of a human body is destroyed by, say, the loss of an arm or a leg, but that does not destroy the essential being of the person. Hence (so they argue) if one were to omit the words following "This is the Chalice of My Blood" that would destroy the integrity, or wholeness, of the sacramental form, but not its very essence. They claim this is what St. Thomas means.
On the contrary, I will show that by the word integritatem St. Thomas does not mean "integrity" in the limited sense of wholeness, which is its common meaning in English, but he uses this word as a synonym for "meaning or signification." Hence "pertinent ad integritatem ejusdem locutionis" can be correctly rendered as "they [i.e., the words following 'This is the Chalice of My Blood'] pertain to the meaning or signification of the very recitation [of the form]."
Consider two parallel passages from the pen of St. Thomas.
In I Cor. XI, (lect. 6) |Summa Theologica
Sed hoc non videtur convenienter | Sed hoc videtur inconveniens, quia
dici: nam totum illud quod sequi- | ea quae sequuntur sunt quaedam de-
tur est quaedam determinatio prae- | terminationes praedicati, id est,
dicati: unde et ad ejusdem locu- | sanguinis Christi; unde pertinent
tionis sententiam seu significati- | ad integritatem ejusdem locutionis.
Although the actual words used differ slightly in these two parallel passages, the idea that St. Thomas is conveying is identical in both. Often I (and many others, I am sure) do the same thing; that is, in several different writings I will be making the same point, but my actual wording differs in these several writings.
In these two treatises St. Thomas is saying that the opinion that the words "This is the Chalice of My Blood" suffice for validity does not seem to be correct ("Sed hoc non videtur convenienter dici" and "Sed hoc videtur inconveniens"). He then explains that the words which follow are "determinations of the predicate" ("quaedam determinatio praedicati" and "quaedam determinationes praedicati").
He concludes by saying "therefore they [the words 'of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of faith, which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins'] pertain to the meaning or signification ['sententiam seu significationem' are his words in In I Cor. XI, (lect. 6)] of the very recitation [ad ejusdem locutionis] of the form."
But in Summa Theologica instead of "sententiam seu significationem" he uses the word "integritatem." Since the meaning he intends must be the same in the two treatises, it is evident that by integritatem in the Summa St. Thomas does not mean simply "wholeness"; but by this word he intends to convey the idea of "meaning or signification."
In the very next sentence of In I Cor. XI (following the last one quoted in the table above) St. Thomas explains the vital role of signification in sacramental forms, which in turn explains his use of the words "pertain to the meaning or signification" : ("sententiam seu significationem pertinet"). He continues: "And because, as has often been said, it is by signifying [emphasis added] that the forms of sacraments produce their effect; hence all of these words belong to the effecting power of the form."
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 wine-consecration form is essential for the validity of the Sacrament.
Among these commentators were not only those who espoused this view, but also those who held the opposite opinion and those who, like John Duns Scotus, did not state a definite opinion. The Salmanticenses re-mark: "All the earlier Thomists up to Cajetan, who rejected it, unani-mously [emphasis added] taught the same [i.e., the necessity for validity of the entire form]." "Et idem unanimiter docuerunt omnes antiqui Thomistae usque ad Cajetanum, qui recalcitravit" (De Eucharistiae Sacra-mento, Disp. IX, Dub. III, Sec. 2, par. 22).
Hervaeus Natalis and Aegidius Columna (Colonna) were disciples of St. Thomas, who learned from the very lips of the Angelic Doctor. Both of these renowned Thomists strongly upheld the position that the entire form is essential for validity. Another staunch defender of this position was the Dominican theologian John Capreolus (d. Apr. 6, 1444). Capreolus is known as "Prince of Thomists" and, moreover, "a scrupulous fidelity to the Angelical Doctor earned for him the extraordinary appel-lation 'Soul of St. Thomas'." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908 edition, Vol. III, p. 314c).
Surely all of the early Thomists, who unanimously taught the necessity of the entire form for validity, are more reliable interpreters of the mind of St. Thomas than those innovators who came upon the scene much later. For it was not until three centuries after the death of St. Thomas that the hollow "integrity" argument surfaced, a fact that in it-self would seem to destroy all credence in it. St. Alphonsus remarks that how such a theory squares with the mind of St. Thomas is not at all apparent (cf. Theologia Moralis, Lib. 6, Tract. III, Cap. I, Dub. VI, par. 223).
The analogy comparing the integrity of the human body to that of the integrity of the sacramental form is a fanciful invention, and nowhere does St. Thomas say or even imply that such is his meaning. Seizing upon just one word (integritatem) out of all of the Angelic Doctor's writings (the significance of this word in this place they misinterpret!), certain bearers of a novel theory groundlessly and belatedly, after a lapse of three hundred years, build a bizarre case upon this single word, thus contradicting all the preceding Thomists. Such behavior strikes me as being fatuous to the extreme.
Patrick Henry Omlor
February 27, 1995
Feast of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows