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)
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 wine-consecration. 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 Salmanticenses' Response To De Lugo
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
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?
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
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
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
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)
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-form-sufficiency 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
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 Inter-vention, "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
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
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 prophetic 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.