February 18, 2010

  • Question 224 - Question on the Anaphora of Addai and Mari

    Dr. Sungenis,

    I had a question that I am hopping you can help me with. I was brought up in a sedevacantist traditionalist sect. My parents, my wife, and I came into full communion with the Church last year. I actually talked with you on the phone before I made the decision and made my general confession. You helped me a great deal to see that Vatican II did not teach heresy and the Post Vatican II popes were not heretics. This I thank you for. My question is the following: I was surfing the internet and came across an article stating that the Catholic Church approved of the Anaphora of Addai & Mari of the Assyrian Church of the East to be valid albeit there are no words of institution. Does this not contradict the teachings of the Council of Trent regarding the from of the Holy Eucharist? I don't believe it does, because I don't think the Church can error when making declarations like these. But I have been tempted on the matter. Satan is good for temptation. My biggest temptation since coming into the Church has been reverting to that state of hopelessness of sedevacantism. I don't want issues like this be a reason for me to lose my faith. Any help is appreciated.


    Yours in Christ,

    Aaron French


    R. Sungenis: Aaron, first, please forgive the delay in answering your question. Second, I'm very glad to see you are back in the Church. Although the post-conciliar Church certainly has its problems and certain popes have said and done things that are suspect and may be uncomfortable for us, sedevacantism is not the answer. As for the anaphora of Addai and Mari, neither you nor I are in authority on that issue in order to make a judgment. Even if the anaphora proves to be illegitimate, this is hardly an indication that the rest of the Church will follow suit, and thus the alarm created over it by certain people (and I know who they are) is exaggerated. It is an isolated case that the Church will have to deal with. Once it is brought to the attention of the pope he can easily rectify the situation. In the meantime, it is no cause for you or anyone to use this as a black mark against the Church. Let the Church deal with it. They are responsible before God for it and they will be judged accordingly. Be happy that you don't have to take such responsibility or make such decisions.