Thesaurus responsorum ex « Notitiae » - Notitiae Response Database
[Part of Ipsissima-Verba]

Hoc in situ interretiali ordinantur responsiones, explanationes, et decreta ex « Notitiae » aliisque interdum fontibus (ut AAS) desumpta, quae aliis locis modo promptiore haud inveniuntur. Finis est praestare textum originalem, versionem anglicam, et exemplar PDF paginarum pertinentium ex « Notitiae » vel alio fonte. Presens igitur labor opusculum « Ordo Missae locis correspondentibus illustratus » aliquatenus extendit. Est enim labor imperfectus quem, cum operae mihi est, suscipio. Denique domino Daniel Gill, domino Radosław Gosiewski, et domino Abram Córdova y Muenzberg, qui nonnullas ex responsionibus transcripserunt, gratias refero, item etiam dominae Crista Mootz, quae in linguam anglicam responsiones quasdam verteri adiuvavit. Exemplaria PDF exstant etiam textuum nondum transcriptorum. This website organizes responses, explanations, and decrees from Notitiae and sometimes from other sources (such as AAS) that are not readily available in other places. The goal is to provide the original text, an English translation, and a PDF scan of the relevant pages from Notitiae or other source. In some ways, the project is a further development of my Cross-Referenced Ordo Missae. This is an ongoing prject which I work on in my spare time. I am also grateful for the help of Mr. Daniel Gill, Mr. Radosław Gosiewski, and Mr. Abram Córdova y Muenzberg in transcribing some of these responses and also to Miss Crista Mootz for helping to translate certain responses into English. PDFs are available even for texts that have not yet been transcribed.
Fac Patrem Dylanum Schrader certiorem si habes proposita vel corrigenda. Contact Father Dylan Schrader with suggestions and corrections.
N.B. In « Notitiae » 1 (1965) et 2 (1966), supra responsa, invenitur monitio: Solutio quae proponitur nullam induit vestem officialem. Solummodo habet valorem orientativum: solutiones enim ex officio publici iuris fient, si casus fert, a competenti Auctoritate in « Acta Apostolicae Sedis ». N.B. In Notitiae 1 (1965) and 2 (1966), this notice appears above the responses: The solution which is proposed takes on no official character. It has only an orientative force; solutions will be published officially, if the case warrants, by the competent Authority in « Acta Apostolicae Sedis ».

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TextUnofficial English TranslationCitationTagsPDF of the original document

14. Utrum ad Gloria Patri, quando in Missa occurrit, adhuc caput sit inclinandum?

Resp.: Affirmative, iuxta principa generalia.

14. Whether the head should still be bowed at the Gloria Patri when it occurs in the Mass?

Resp.: In the affirmative, according to general principles.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 139, n. 14bow, gloria patri, hermeneutics, posturePDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 139

52. Utrum in Missa sollemni ministri communicandi genuflectere debeant in ore suppedanei, an stare possint in plano ante altare?

Resp.: Servetur consuetudo localis.

52. Whether in a solemn Mass the ministers who are going to receive holy Communion have to kneel on the step, or can they stand on the footpace?

Resp.: Local custom should be observed.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 188, n. 52communion, posturePDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 188

77. Utrum ministrantes Missae lectae servare debeant veteres rubricas, praescribentes ut genuflexi maneant per totam Missam (excepto ad evangelium), an sese accommodare rationi genuflectendi, standi aut sedendi fidelium?

Resp.: In Missis cum populo ministrantes certe sese accommodare debent ordini statuto pro fidelibus, quasi eorum exemplar et speculum.

In Missis vero sine populo (seu « privatis »), nihil prohibet quominus veteres rubricae serventur.

77. Whether the ministers at a read Mass should observe the old rubrics which prescribe that they remain kneeling for the whole Mass (except at the Gospel), or whether they should adapt themselves to the procedure of the faithful for kneeling, standing, or sitting?

Resp.: In Masses with the people, the ministers should certainly adapt themselves to the established order for the faithful, as their exemplar and mirror.

In Masses without the people (« private Masses »), however, nothing prevents that the old rubrics be observed.

Notitiae 1 (1965), 254, n. 77missa lecta, posture, serversPDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 254

89. Quomodo se gerere debet congregatio fidelium relate ad positionem corporis, scilicet quaenam est ratio standi, genuflectendi, sedendi, etc.

Resp.: Serventur dispositiones forte a competenti auctoritate datae; secus, quoad fieri potest, normae caeremoniales pro choro praescriptae (Cod. Rubr., 520-521).

Notitiae 1 (1965), 308, n. 89posturePDF of Notitiae 1 (1965), 308

3. Utrum homilia facta ab Episcopo in celebratione Missae haberi possit ab ipso ad sedem et quidem sedendo.

℟. Ad normam n. 97 Institutionis generalis Missalis romani homilia in Missae celebratione fit ad sedem vel in ambone. Nihil obstat quominus Episcopus, iuxta traditum morem, sedens homiliam habeat.

3. Whether the homily given by the Bishop in the celebration of Mass can be given by him at the chair and even seated.

℟. According to the norm of n. 97 of the Institutio generalis Missalis romani the homily in the celebration of Mass is given at the chair or at the ambo. Nothing stands in the way of a bishop, according to the traditional practice, giving the homily seated.

Notitiae 10 (1974), 80, n. 3bishop, homily, posturePDF of Notitiae 10 (1974), 80

INSTITUTIO GENERALIS MISSALIS ROMANI, nn. 21, 121

An post Communionem fideles sedere debeant necnon?

℟. Post Communionem fideles aut genuflectere, aut stare, aut sedere possunt. Ita statuit n. 21 Institutionis generalis Missalis romani: « Fideles sedent … pro opportunitate, dum sacrum silentium post Communionem servatur ».

Non agitur proinde de obligatorietate sed de possibilitate.

Ad trutinam ergo n. 21 interpretari debet etiam n. 121 eiusdem Institutionis.

Notitiae 10 (1974), 407communion, posturePDF of Notitiae 10 (1974), 407

1. Contingit in coetibus liturgicis magna varietas gestuum et corporis habituum in cursu celebrationis. Exempli gratia debentne fideles:
a) stare durante oratione super oblata?
b) genuflectere post Sanctus ac tota Prece eucharistica durante?
c) sedere post communionem?

Resp.
Ut assolet, IGMR dat regulas simplicissimas ad has quaestiones solvendas (IGMR 21):
a) Fideles stant dum orationes praesidentiales proferuntur; ergo etiam durante oratione super oblata;
b) Item, fideles stant durante tota Prece eucharistica, excepta consecratione. Practice, fideles genuflexi manent ab epiclesi ante consecrationem usque ad acclamationem post consecrationem.
c) Fideles sedere possunt durante silentio post communionem.

Ea quae supra definiuntur minime supervacanea censenda sunt, quia eo tendunt, ut unitas sese gerendi habeatur in coetu qui Eucharistiam celebrat, et ideo manifestetur unitas in fide et in cultu communitatis. Videntur saepe fideles statim post Sanctus, et adhuc saepius post consecrationem, corporis habitu diverso quasi oblivisci se esse participes Liturgiae Ecclesiae, quae est summa actio communitatis, et non tempus sese alienandi in actionem devotionis privatae.

1. A wide variety of gestures and postures in the course of a celebration occurs within liturgical gatherings. For example, should the faithful:
a) stand during the prayer over the offerings?
b) kneel after the Sanctus and during the entire eucharistic Prayer?
c) sit after communion?

Resp.
As usual the IGMR gives very simple rules for resolving these questions (IGMR 21):
a) The faithful stand while the presidential prayers are said; therefore, even during the prayer over the offerings;
b) Moreover, the faithful stand during the entire eucharistic Prayer, except for the consecration. In practice, the faithful remain kneeling from the epiclesis before the consecration until the acclamation after the consecration.
c) The faithful can sit during the silence after communion.

The things which have been defined above must not at all be regarded as superfluous, for they are meant to secure a unity of posture among the group that celebrates the Eucharist and thus so that the community's unity of faith and worship might be manifested. The faithful often seem to assume a variety of postures immediately after the Sanctus and still more often after the consecration, as if they forget that they are participants in the Liturgy of the Church, which is the highest action of the community and not the time for separating oneself for an act of private devotion.

Notitiae 14 (1978), 300–301, n. 1congregation, posturePDF of Notitiae 14 (1978), 300–301

4. Alicubi, sublata sunt genuflexioria in ecclesiis, quapropter fideles tantum stare vel sedere possunt, non sine detrimento reverentiae et adorationis Eucharistiae debitae.

Resp.
Suppellex aedium sacrarum aliquam relationem habet ad consuetudines uniuscuiusque loci. Exempli gratia, in Oriente inveniuntur tapeta; Romae in basilicis, nostris tantum diebus, plerumque scamna habentur, quae genuflexoriis carent, idque ad ingentes multitudines accipiendas. Nihil impedit quominus fideles genuflexi maneant humi ad suam adorationem manifestandam, quantumvis res incommoda inveniatur. In casibus, in quibus genuflecti non possit (cf. IGMR 21), profunda inclinatio et modus digne sese gerendi, signa erunt reverentiae et adorationis manifestandae tempore consecrationis et communionis.

4. In some places, the kneelers have been taken out of churches on account of which the faithful can only stand or sit, not without detriment to due reverence and adoration of the Eucharist.

Resp.
The furnishings of sacred buildings have some relation to the customs of each place. For example, in the East rugs are found; at Rome in the basilicas in our days there are more often benches which lack kneelers and therefore can accommodate greater numbers which otherwise would be inconvenient. In cases in which it is not possible to kneel (cf. IGMR 21), a profound bow and dignified posture will be signs to manifest reverence and adoration at the time of the consecration and communion.

Notitiae 14 (1978), 302–303, n. 4kneelers, kneeling, posturePDF of Notitiae 14 (1978), 302–303

Gestus reverentiae

11. Quidem gestus reverentiae ponendi sive ex parte celebrantis sive ex parte fidelium, in desuetudinem aliquo modo venerunt, uti, verbi gratia, inclinatio corporis profunda, facienda loco genuflexionis antea adhibitae ad verba quae Mysterium Incarnationis in professione fidei annunciant. Suntne gestus isti adhuc servandi?

Resp.
Patet quod homo fidem suam necnon devotionem et reverentiam non tantum verbis sed etiam gestibus et habitu corporis exprimere debet. Hoc autem maiore cura fieri oportet, cum gestus qui post restaurationem liturgicam praescribuntur, minus frequenter et simpliciores indicentur.

Ita OM et IGMR nonnulla momenta assignat, in quibus gestus verba comitari debeant. Sufficit recolere n. 234 IGMR huiusmodi casus diversos agnoscendos:

Inclinatio capitis fit cum Divinae Personae simul nominantur, ad nomen Iesu, Beatae Mariae Virginis et Sancti, in cuius honorem Missa celebratur.

Inclinatio corporis seu profunda fit ad altare, si tabernaculum cum SS.mo Sacramento non adsit; ad orationes Munda cor meum, In spiritu humilitatis, Supplices te rogamus; ad verba Et incarnatus est ... homo factus est in professione fidei. Hoc in casu etiam rubrica Ordinis Missae n. 15 habet: Omnes se inclinat.

Meminisse iuvabit, quod in Nativitate Domini, tum ad Missam in Vigilia, tum ad Missam in nocte, in aurora, in die, ad verba Et incarnatus est genuflecitur (cfr. MR, pp. 153, 155, 156, 157); similiter ad Missam in Annuntiatione Domini (cfr. MR, p. 538).

Pro consecratione panis et vini, in eodem n. 234 praescribitur: « Sacerdos parum se inclinat cum, in consecratione, verba Domini profert » (IMGR 234b). Insuper ipse genuflecit post ostensionem hostiae, post ostensionem calicis (IMGR 233); genuflexus adorat (OM 91-92, 104-105, 111-112, 120-121).

Ad concelebrantes quod attinet, ipsi stant ad elevationem hostiae et calicis, ea aspicientes, ac postea profunde se inclinantes (IMGR 174c, 180c, 184c, 188c).

Similter ante communionem, gestus revenatiae et fidei ponitur sive ex parte celebrantis sive ex parte fidelium, qui Eucharistiam accipiunt. Ita pro celebrante IGMR 115 et OM 133 dicunt: ... sacerdos genuflecit, accipit hostiam etc.; similiter pro concelebrantibus a Missali statuitur: Concelebrantes ... genuflectunt et Corpus Christi reverenter ex altari accipiunt (IGMR 197). Ad fideles vero quod attinet, quando Eucharistiam stantes accipiunt, aliquod signum reverentiae facere debent (IGMR 244c, 245b, 246b, 247b).

Reverential gestures

11. Certain reverential gestures have to some degree fallen into disuse, both on the part of the celebrant and on the part of the faithful, as, for example, the profound bow of the body, made in place of the genuflection that was formerly made at the words in the profession of faith which proclaim the Mystery of the Incarnation. Are such gestures still to be observed?

Resp.
It is clear that man has to express his faith and devotion and reverence not only by words but also by gestures and posture. But this must be done with great care, since the gestures which are prescribed after the liturgical restoration are less frequently specified and more simple.

Thus the OM and the IGMR designate certain instances in which gestures should accompany words. It is sufficient to recall n. 234 of the IGMR which deals with various such situations:

A bow of the head is made when the Divine Persons are named together, at the name of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor the Mass is being celebrated.

A bow of the body that is a profound bow is made to the altar if the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is not present; at the prayers Munda cor meum, In spiritu humilitatis, Supplices te rogamus; at the words Et incarnatus est ... homo factus est in the profession of faith. In this case, even the rubric of the Order of Mass n. 15 has: All bow.

It will help to recall that on the Nativity of the Lord, both at the Vigil Mass and at the Mass in the night, at dawn, and during the day, at the words Et incarnatus est a genuflection is made (cfr. MR, pp. 153, 155, 156, 157); likewise for Masss on the Annunciation of the Lord (cfr. MR, p. 538).

For the consecration of the bread and the wine, in the same n. 234 it is prescribed: « The priest bows slightly as, at the consecration, he says the words of the Lord » (IMGR 234b). Moreover, he genuflects after showing the host, after showing the chalice (IMGR 233); he adores with a genuflection (OM 91-92, 104-105, 111-112, 120-121).

With regard to concelebrants, they stand at the elevation of the host and chalice, gazing at them, and then bow profoundly (IMGR 174c, 180c, 184c, 188c).

Likewise, before communion, gestures of reverence and faith are specified both on the part of of the celebrant and on the part of the faithful who receive the Eucharist. Thus, for the celebrant, IGMR 115 and OM 133 say: ... the priest genuflects, takes the host etc.; likewise for concelebrants it is established by the Missal: The concelebrants ... genuflect and reverently take the Body of Christ from the altar (IGMR 197). But with regard to the faithful, when they receive the Eucharist standing, they should make some sign of reverence (IGMR 244c, 245b, 246b, 247b).

Notitiae 14 (1978), 535–536, n. 11gestures, posturePDF of Notitiae 14 (1978), 535–536

Utrum in Missae celebratione christifidelibus genuflectendum sit tempore consecrationis?

Etiamsi Conferentiae Episcoporum est gestus et corporis habitus in Ordine Missae romanae descriptos ingenio populorum aptare (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 39), ad hanc quaestionem solvendam serventur dispositiones forte a competenti auctoritate datae, cf. Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani quae in numero 21 regulas simplicissimas dat: « Genuflectant vero [fideles], nisi ob angustiam loci vel frequentiorem numerum adstantium aliasve rationabiles causas impediantur, ad consecrationem ». Practice, fideles genuflexi manent ab epiclesi ante consecrationem usque ad acclamationem post consecrationem.

Contingit tamen certis in ecclesiis sublata sunt genuflexoria, quapropter fideles tantum stare vel sedere possunt, non sine detrimento reverentiae et adorationis Eucharistiae debitae. Nihil impedit quominus fideles genuflexi maneant humi ad suam adorationem manifestandam, quantumvis res incommoda inveniatur. In casibus, in quibus rationabiles causae genuflectionem impediunt, inclinatio corporis et modus digne sese gerendi, signa erunt reverentiae et adorationis manifestandae tempore consecrationis.

Ea quae supra definiuntur minime supervacanea censenda sunt, quia eo tendunt, ut unitas sese gerendi habeatur in coetu qui Eucharistiam celebrat, et ideo manifestetur unitas in fide et in cultu communitatis. Videntur saepe fideles post consecrationem corporis habitu diverso quasi oblivisci se esse participes Liturgiae Ecclesiae, quae est summa actio communitatis, et non tempus sese alienandi in actionem devotionis privatae. Quaod etiam expresse et accurate definitur in Can. 837, § 1. Actiones liturgicae non sunt actiones privatae, sed celebrationes Ecclesiae ipsius, quae est « unitatis sacramentum », scilicet plebs sancta sub Episcopis adunata et ordinata; quare ad universum corpus Ecclesiae pertinent illudque manifestant et afficiunt; singula vero membra ipsius attiingunt diverso modo, pro diversitate ordinum, munerum et actualis participationis. § 2. Actiones liturgicae, quatenus suapte natura celebrationem communem secumferant, ubi id fieri potest, cum frequentia et actuosa participatione christifidelium celebrentur.

Notitiae 35 (1999), 41–42consecration, posturePDF of Notitiae 35 (1999), 41–42

LITTERAE CONGREGATIONIS

Nuper notitiae pervenerunt ad Congregationem de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum de sacerdote, qui sacram Communionem in Missae celebratione fideli laico negare dicebatur, ob eiusdem laici desiderium genibus flexis communicandi. Inde Dicasterium id opportunum duxit litteras Episcopo illius dioeceseos necnon Oratori exhibere, quae ob peculiare momentum etiam publici iuris fiunt.

Prot. n. 1322/02/L

Rome, 1 July 2002

Your Excellency,

This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has recently received reports of members of the faithful in your Diocese being refused Holy Communion unless while standing to receive, as opposed to kneeling. The reports state that such a policy has been announced to parishioners. There were possible indications that such a phenomenon might be somewhat more widespread in the Diocese, but the Congregation is unable to verify whether such is the case. This Dicastery is confident that Your Excellency will be in a position to make a more reliable determination of the matter, and these complaints in any event provide an occasion for the Congregation to communicate the manner in which it habitually addresses this matter, with a request that you make this position known to any priests who may be in need of being thus informed.

The Congregation in fact is concerned at the number of similar complaints that it has received in recent months from various places, and considers any refusal of Holy Communion to a member of the faithful on the basis of his or her kneeling posture to be a grave violation of one of the most basic rights of the Christian faithful, namely that of being assisted by their Pastors by means of the Sacraments (Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 213). In view of the law that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them” (canon 843 § 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person's unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

In fact, as His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has recently emphasized, the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species.

Given the importance of this matter, the Congregation would request that Your Excellency inquire specifically whether this priest in fact has a regular practice of refusing Holy Communion to any member of the faithful in the circumstances described above and — if the complaint is verified — that you also firmly instruct him and any other priests who may have such a practice to refrain from acting thus in the future. Priests should understand that the Congregation will regard future complaints of this nature with great seriousness, and if they are verified, it intends to seek disciplinary action consonant with the gravity of the pastoral abuse.

Thanking Your Excellency for your attention to this matter and relying on your kind collaboration in its regard,
Sincerely yours in Christ,

Jorge A. Card. Median Estévez
Prefect

✠ Francesco Pio Tamburrino
Archbishop Secretary

A LETTER OF THE CONGREGATION

Recently news came to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments of a priest who was said to have denied holy Communion during the celebration of Mass to a member of the lay faithful on account of the same layman's desire to receive Communion kneeling. Thus, the Dicastery considered it opportune to send a letter to the Bishop of the diocese and to the Oratory, which is also being published because of its special importance.

[Textus originalis iam anglice exstat. - The original text is already in English.]

Notitiae 38 (2002), 582–584communion, kneeling, posturePDF of Notitiae 38 (2002), 582–584

Prot. n. 1322/02/L

Rome, 1 July 2002

Dear Sir,

This Congregation for Divine Worship gratefully acknowledges receipt of your letter, regarding an announced policy of denial of Holy Communion to those who kneel to receive it at a certain church.

It is troubling that you seem to express some reservations about both the propriety and the usefulness of addressing the Holy See regarding this matter. Canon 212 §2 of the Code of Canon Law states that "Christ's faithful are totally free to make known their needs, especially their spiritual ones, and their desire: to the Pastor of the Church". The canon then continues in §3: "According to their own knowledge competence and position, they have the right, and indeed sometimes the duty, to present to the sacred Pastor; their opinions regarding those things that pertain to the good of the Church. ..." Accordingly, in consideration of the nature of the problem and the relative likelihood that it might or might not be resolved on the local level, every member of the faithful has the right of recourse to the Roman Pontiff either personally or by means of the Dicasteries or Tribunals of the Roman Curia.

Another fundamental right of the faithful, as noted in canon 213, is "the right to receive assistance by the sacred Pastors from the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the Sacraments". In view of the law that "sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them" (canon 843 § 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person's unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

Please be assured that the Congregation takes this matter very seriously, and is making the necessary contacts in its regard. At the same time, this Dicastery continues to be ready to be of assistance if you should need to contact it again in the future.

Thanking you for your interest, and with every prayerful good wish, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Mons. Mario Marini
Undersecretary

[Textus originalis iam anglice exstat. - The original text is already in English.]Notitiae 38 (2002), 584–585communion, kneeling, posturePDF of Notitiae 38 (2002), 584–585

Multis in locibus christifideles solent in privata oratione genibus flexis sistere vel sedere postquam repetunt suas sedes, cum singuli recepissent sacram Eucharistiam in Missa. Utrum statuta editionis typicae tertiae Missalis Romani prohibeant hunc usum?

℟. Negative et ad mentem.

Mens est ut per praescripta Institutionis Generalis Missalis Romani, n. 43, intenditur ex una parte praestare latis terminis aliquam uniformitatem habitus corporis in congregatione pro variis partibus celebrationis sanctae Missae, simulque ex alia parte non moderari habitum corporis ita rigide, ut qui velint genibus flexis sistere vel sedere non amplius ad id liberi sint.

In many places the faithful are accustomed to remain kneeling in private prayer or to sit after they return to their seats once they have individually received the holy Eucharist at Mass. Whether the provisions of the Third typical edition of the Roman Missal prohibit this practice?

℟. In the negative and with a rationale.

The rationale is that by the prescripts of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 43 is intended to give, on the one hand, within broad limits some uniformity of posture in the congregation for the various parts of the celebration of the holy Mass, and at the same time, on the other hand, not to regulate posture so rigidly that those who wish to remain kneeling or to sit would no longer be free to do so.

Notitiae 39 (2003), 533communion, hermeneutics, posturePDF of Notitiae 39 (2003), 533