Talk:Minor orders

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I dispute the reversion and deletion of some of my recent comments by Esoglou, though I acknowledge that not all were cited thoroughly. I had made an attempt to clarify the page, which was even less frequently cited and contained inaccurate or misleading information. The latest revision, in my opinion, represents a step backward in that effort. Though it has provided more references, I believe those references are misunderstood, particularly by interpreting sacramental theology (that is, in this context, regarding either Sacraments or sacramentals -- under one category or the other the minor orders necessarily fall) through the lens of canon law. This is precisely the opposite approach that ought to be taken in understanding the orders or any matter of theology. Canon law follows theology; it does not form it. Theology is the necessary condition for canon law and dictates the nature of the law. This is readily admitted when speaking of matters that are of divine faith (de fide) but applies to every matter of theology and every relevant law that flows from it. In plain terms, the current article reflects an entire misunderstanding of the nature of canon law and its role in understanding the place of the minor orders historically and today. I have prepared some thoughts that I intend to organize appropriately and to add to the talk page within the next several weeks to specify these comments. I would appreciate if Esoglou would be willing to acknowledge a difference of opinion and state whether he is interested in a collaborative effort to arrive at a conclusion to such a disagreement. --CallidusUlixes (talk) 07:54, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I just want to add that one comment in the article is entirely uncalled for (which I had changed in my original overhaul of this article). "Although in the Middle Ages some theologians considered minor orders and the subdiaconate to be sacramental, that view was completely abandoned before the 20th century, since they did not originate with Jesus or the apostles." (Emphasis added.) This makes two principle misrepresentations: 1. It claims that the view was completely abandonded by the 20th century, whereas several authors held such a position before the 20th century and through the turn of the century, notably the renowned Thomists Adolphe Tanquerey and Louis Billot, both of whom wrote into the 1930s, the latter being made Cardinal by St. Pius X in 1911. 2. It explicitly claims that only "some" (thereby implying a minority of) Medieval theologians held such a position. On the contary, such a position was nearly unanimous among Scholastics and was considered probabilior, which Tanquerey asserts multiple times in his Synopsis Theologia Dogmatica; this near-unanimous consent is not denied by a single theologian or historian. Just last night I read in the third book of Tanquerey's Synopsis Theologia Dogmatica (published in the 1890s, 1910s, 1920s, and, in the edition I was working with, 1930s) his own defense of the minor orders as a part of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, constantly referring to Billot, who held the same position. I would appreciate if this at least were changed immediately, even if it means removing any reference to their potential Sacramentality altogether.CallidusUlixes (talk) 08:28, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, Ulixes, Wikipedia articles are not for comments, yours or mine. They are not for original research. They are only for "what has already been published by a reliable source". We cannot add our own interpretations: we can only report. The phrase you objected to above only reports what the cited source said. I will willingly help you to insert into the article any properly sourced information that you wish to include.
You deserve praise and thanks for your observation about Billot and Tanquerey, in the light of which I have modified the text on the basis of the sources at my disposal. If you want to put in what Tanquerey said - perhaps in 1890, since I presume that the 1930s printing of his Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae (he died in 1932) that you have is precisely a reprint and may be giving on this point what he wrote in 1890 - just quote what he said with an indication of the work, the publisher and date, and the page number.
Billot, as you know, is the only cardinal for well over a century who resigned the cardinalate because of a disagreement with a pope. Esoglou (talk) 14:54, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, Esoglou, for your response. I agree wholeheartedly that there ought to be no original research. My contention is that we have two differing interpretations or readings of the material as cited. In other words, I do not believe that the authors quoted intend to convey the meaning portrayed in the article, especially regarding the state of the minor orders today (something, of course, that none of the authors could directly address, as there have been no contemporary theologians cited in the article). I appreciate the clarification in the article, but I still think it makes the article say more than the source intends. The exact wording from the source is: "Although several medieval theologians regarded minor orders as sacramental, this opinion is no longer held, for the fundamental reason that minor orders, also the subdiaconate, are not of Divine or Apostolic origin." In theological parlance, this is quite different from saying "completely abandoned"; his intention is clearly that this is "no longer held" by several (or a near-unanimous majority of) theologians. This is evident because the author, himself a Frenchman, could not have been ignorant of Billot's writings, as Billot was arguably the most important French theologian at that time.CallidusUlixes (talk) 19:43, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the adverb "completely" is unnecessarily strong. I myself see no difference in meaning between "has been abandoned" (without "completely") and "is no longer held", but perhaps you do. I am therefore changing the text so that it has the latter expression. I presume that there is no danger of copyright infringement of something written so long ago. Esoglou (talk) 21:09, 3 January 2012 (UTC)