Closed communion in the news

Did you hear about how non-Catholic, apparently non-Christian took Communion at Tim Russert’s funeral?

Last Wednesday at Tim’s funeral mass at [Holy]Trinity Church in Georgetown (Jack Kennedy’s church), communion was offered. I had only taken communion once in my life, at an evangelical church. It was soon after I had started “On Faith” and I wanted to see what it was like. Oddly I had a slightly nauseated sensation after I took it, knowing that in some way it represented the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Last Wednesday I was determined to take it for Tim, transubstantiation notwithstanding. I’m so glad I did. It made me feel closer to him.

When Catholics objected, Quinn was so presumptuous as to defend what she did. Read this for the uproar her gesture rightly caused.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s some quotes from the WaPost theologian, Sally Quinn:

    http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200712/20071212_quinn.html

    “And we just started a conversation, because the whole idea, I think, of religion should be that we all admire and respect each other’s religious views and no one condemns anyone else’s religious views as long as it doesn’t impose itself on other people. And I’m a great pluralist. I really believe in separation of church and state and I also believe that everybody has the right to believe or not to believe what he or she wants.”

    “So I think one of the things that I’ve discovered is that most religions basically have the same tenets. It’s just that their rituals and their practices and their cultures are different.”

    “Well, I’ve tried out a number of descriptions as I keep making – I’m a work in progress, I guess you’d have to say. I’m not an atheist; I’m really not an agnostic, because I think that means you don’t know, and I think all of us are really agnostics, because nobody really knows. I tried out seeker, and that didn’t work.”

    “Well, I tried out freelance polytheist and that didn’t work, either. Actually, Tavis, today or yesterday I went to a Christmas pageant. I was listening to Christmas carols and I thought maybe I’m a Christian, because I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the last couple of weeks, I’m writing a piece for “The Washington Post” on religion.”

    “But a Christian in the generic sense, because when you look at the stories about Jesus Christ and you see what Christ stood for, there’s been a whole sort of a reevaluation of what Christianity means among free-thinking Christians.”

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/sally_quinn/2006/12/what_my_son_taught_me_about_go.html

    “My son Quinn, 24, believes in God. I did not know this until yesterday when I talked with him for this essay.

    “‘My image of God,’ he said, ‘is what Michaelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. God is a man stronger and more powerful than everybody else. I also believe that if you think about God, if you say his name all the time, then you will believe in him. It will be in your subconscious’

    “I had intended to write about what I had taught my child about God. But this piece instead is about what Quinn has taught me about God.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s some quotes from the WaPost theologian, Sally Quinn:

    http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200712/20071212_quinn.html

    “And we just started a conversation, because the whole idea, I think, of religion should be that we all admire and respect each other’s religious views and no one condemns anyone else’s religious views as long as it doesn’t impose itself on other people. And I’m a great pluralist. I really believe in separation of church and state and I also believe that everybody has the right to believe or not to believe what he or she wants.”

    “So I think one of the things that I’ve discovered is that most religions basically have the same tenets. It’s just that their rituals and their practices and their cultures are different.”

    “Well, I’ve tried out a number of descriptions as I keep making – I’m a work in progress, I guess you’d have to say. I’m not an atheist; I’m really not an agnostic, because I think that means you don’t know, and I think all of us are really agnostics, because nobody really knows. I tried out seeker, and that didn’t work.”

    “Well, I tried out freelance polytheist and that didn’t work, either. Actually, Tavis, today or yesterday I went to a Christmas pageant. I was listening to Christmas carols and I thought maybe I’m a Christian, because I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the last couple of weeks, I’m writing a piece for “The Washington Post” on religion.”

    “But a Christian in the generic sense, because when you look at the stories about Jesus Christ and you see what Christ stood for, there’s been a whole sort of a reevaluation of what Christianity means among free-thinking Christians.”

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/sally_quinn/2006/12/what_my_son_taught_me_about_go.html

    “My son Quinn, 24, believes in God. I did not know this until yesterday when I talked with him for this essay.

    “‘My image of God,’ he said, ‘is what Michaelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. God is a man stronger and more powerful than everybody else. I also believe that if you think about God, if you say his name all the time, then you will believe in him. It will be in your subconscious’

    “I had intended to write about what I had taught my child about God. But this piece instead is about what Quinn has taught me about God.”

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com TKls2myhrt

    Ay yi yi…I can’t believe an intelligent journalist showed such disregard for a church’s well-known practice. And then to pull the WWJD line out of the air when asked why she did it.

    Good quote from the excellent Slate piece : “Most intelligent people know a few facts about the Catholic church: this is one of them. And even if one doesn’t know this, one would know to act with great care when in the midst of a worshiping community not your own.”

    WHY, though, did no one mention this: Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 1 Cor 11:27. Has she at least been warned of her sin so that she has an opportunity to repent of it?

    Now my question is do most intelligent people that the Lutheran church (and several other denominations, according to Wikipedia) also practices closed communion?

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com TKls2myhrt

    Ay yi yi…I can’t believe an intelligent journalist showed such disregard for a church’s well-known practice. And then to pull the WWJD line out of the air when asked why she did it.

    Good quote from the excellent Slate piece : “Most intelligent people know a few facts about the Catholic church: this is one of them. And even if one doesn’t know this, one would know to act with great care when in the midst of a worshiping community not your own.”

    WHY, though, did no one mention this: Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 1 Cor 11:27. Has she at least been warned of her sin so that she has an opportunity to repent of it?

    Now my question is do most intelligent people that the Lutheran church (and several other denominations, according to Wikipedia) also practices closed communion?

  • Susan aka organshoes

    I don’t think they do know that. It’s never acknowledged in articles I read or in discussions I hear, anyways, except among Lutherans.
    I think people just know what they want to know in that regard. It helps to keep the practice as something ‘odd’ in their eyes.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    I don’t think they do know that. It’s never acknowledged in articles I read or in discussions I hear, anyways, except among Lutherans.
    I think people just know what they want to know in that regard. It helps to keep the practice as something ‘odd’ in their eyes.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    For Quinn, as for most moderns, religious observances are *purely* and *exclusively* about them and their own feelings. The idea that what they do should relate to any rules or doctrines outside themselves makes no sense to them. “A rule? About the spiritual, which is entirely irrational? What are you babbling about?”

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    For Quinn, as for most moderns, religious observances are *purely* and *exclusively* about them and their own feelings. The idea that what they do should relate to any rules or doctrines outside themselves makes no sense to them. “A rule? About the spiritual, which is entirely irrational? What are you babbling about?”

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s some quotes from the WaPost theologian, Sally Quinn:

    “And we just started a conversation, because the whole idea, I think, of religion should be that we all admire and respect each other’s religious views and no one condemns anyone else’s religious views as long as it doesn’t impose itself on other people. And I’m a great pluralist. I really believe in separation of church and state and I also believe that everybody has the right to believe or not to believe what he or she wants.”

    “So I think one of the things that I’ve discovered is that most religions basically have the same tenets. It’s just that their rituals and their practices and their cultures are different.”

    “Well, I’ve tried out a number of descriptions as I keep making – I’m a work in progress, I guess you’d have to say. I’m not an atheist; I’m really not an agnostic, because I think that means you don’t know, and I think all of us are really agnostics, because nobody really knows. I tried out seeker, and that didn’t work.”

    “Well, I tried out freelance polytheist and that didn’t work, either. Actually, Tavis, today or yesterday I went to a Christmas pageant. I was listening to Christmas carols and I thought maybe I’m a Christian, because I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the last couple of weeks, I’m writing a piece for “The Washington Post” on religion.”

    “But a Christian in the generic sense, because when you look at the stories about Jesus Christ and you see what Christ stood for, there’s been a whole sort of a reevaluation of what Christianity means among free-thinking Christians.”

    ———–

    “My son Quinn, 24, believes in God. I did not know this until yesterday when I talked with him for this essay.

    “‘My image of God,’ he said, ‘is what Michaelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. God is a man stronger and more powerful than everybody else. I also believe that if you think about God, if you say his name all the time, then you will believe in him. It will be in your subconscious’

    “I had intended to write about what I had taught my child about God. But this piece instead is about what Quinn has taught me about God.”

    (The two links to the quotes will be provided when approved.)

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s some quotes from the WaPost theologian, Sally Quinn:

    “And we just started a conversation, because the whole idea, I think, of religion should be that we all admire and respect each other’s religious views and no one condemns anyone else’s religious views as long as it doesn’t impose itself on other people. And I’m a great pluralist. I really believe in separation of church and state and I also believe that everybody has the right to believe or not to believe what he or she wants.”

    “So I think one of the things that I’ve discovered is that most religions basically have the same tenets. It’s just that their rituals and their practices and their cultures are different.”

    “Well, I’ve tried out a number of descriptions as I keep making – I’m a work in progress, I guess you’d have to say. I’m not an atheist; I’m really not an agnostic, because I think that means you don’t know, and I think all of us are really agnostics, because nobody really knows. I tried out seeker, and that didn’t work.”

    “Well, I tried out freelance polytheist and that didn’t work, either. Actually, Tavis, today or yesterday I went to a Christmas pageant. I was listening to Christmas carols and I thought maybe I’m a Christian, because I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the last couple of weeks, I’m writing a piece for “The Washington Post” on religion.”

    “But a Christian in the generic sense, because when you look at the stories about Jesus Christ and you see what Christ stood for, there’s been a whole sort of a reevaluation of what Christianity means among free-thinking Christians.”

    ———–

    “My son Quinn, 24, believes in God. I did not know this until yesterday when I talked with him for this essay.

    “‘My image of God,’ he said, ‘is what Michaelangelo painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. God is a man stronger and more powerful than everybody else. I also believe that if you think about God, if you say his name all the time, then you will believe in him. It will be in your subconscious’

    “I had intended to write about what I had taught my child about God. But this piece instead is about what Quinn has taught me about God.”

    (The two links to the quotes will be provided when approved.)

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    She named her son Quinn Quinn? And expects to be taken seriously?

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    She named her son Quinn Quinn? And expects to be taken seriously?

  • CRB

    Perhaps someone could direct her to the discussions on
    the new Issues Etc. program and she just might come to “a knowledge of the truth”?! God can open the heart
    of agnostics and atheists, but only through His Law and Gospel!

  • CRB

    Perhaps someone could direct her to the discussions on
    the new Issues Etc. program and she just might come to “a knowledge of the truth”?! God can open the heart
    of agnostics and atheists, but only through His Law and Gospel!

  • JP

    Sounds like her disrespect of the Body and Blood are at the bottom of her list of worries….

  • JP

    Sounds like her disrespect of the Body and Blood are at the bottom of her list of worries….

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Now let’s imagine that Quinn had gone to a mosque and inadvertantly broken one of its rules. I’ll bet she wouldn’t have had trouble apologizing for that.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Now let’s imagine that Quinn had gone to a mosque and inadvertantly broken one of its rules. I’ll bet she wouldn’t have had trouble apologizing for that.

  • http://thebookbeast.blogspot.com Darren

    But this wasn’t even inadvertant. This was deliberate flouting of the rules.

  • http://thebookbeast.blogspot.com Darren

    But this wasn’t even inadvertant. This was deliberate flouting of the rules.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Very true. But the idea of a journalist intentionally offending Muslims is so far-fetched as to pass the willing suspension of disbelief.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Very true. But the idea of a journalist intentionally offending Muslims is so far-fetched as to pass the willing suspension of disbelief.

  • JB

    I don’t get it. If Lutherans historically have believed that the Mass is a sacrilege, why side with the Catholic Church here? This woman may well have violated Catholic rules, but … who cares?

  • JB

    I don’t get it. If Lutherans historically have believed that the Mass is a sacrilege, why side with the Catholic Church here? This woman may well have violated Catholic rules, but … who cares?

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com TKls2myhrt

    I will trust that God is fully capable. At least she seems open to learning about God, though she was very irresponsible in her openness. Sounds like Sally and her family have had their share of difficulties.

    From Wikipedia: Quinn is married to Benjamin C. Bradlee… Quinn and Bradlee have one child, [Josiah] Quinn Crowninshield Bradlee … he was born with velo-cardio-facial syndrome, and Quinn wrote of her son’s learning problems and attendance at special schools in her 2006 article “What My Son Taught Me About God.”

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com TKls2myhrt

    I will trust that God is fully capable. At least she seems open to learning about God, though she was very irresponsible in her openness. Sounds like Sally and her family have had their share of difficulties.

    From Wikipedia: Quinn is married to Benjamin C. Bradlee… Quinn and Bradlee have one child, [Josiah] Quinn Crowninshield Bradlee … he was born with velo-cardio-facial syndrome, and Quinn wrote of her son’s learning problems and attendance at special schools in her 2006 article “What My Son Taught Me About God.”

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com TKls2myhrt

    JB, Lutherans are Catholics who separated from the mainstream a long time ago. To some, there is great fondness for the church, along with great concern. Of all the Christians I know, Catholics get it more right than other denominations. That’s just my opinion and personal experience, though.

  • http://bestronginthegrace.blogspot.com TKls2myhrt

    JB, Lutherans are Catholics who separated from the mainstream a long time ago. To some, there is great fondness for the church, along with great concern. Of all the Christians I know, Catholics get it more right than other denominations. That’s just my opinion and personal experience, though.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    JB,
    The idea that the mass is sacrelege is only partially true of the Lutheran understanding. We also believe that despite the Catholics turning it into a work we do, and not a work Christ does for us, they still have the Body and Blood, and Christ still does it for them. It isn’t the mass itself that is sacrelege, but a twisted doctrine behind it. We are in essential agreement with the Catholics on what is present in the mass, and who should and should not partake of it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    JB,
    The idea that the mass is sacrelege is only partially true of the Lutheran understanding. We also believe that despite the Catholics turning it into a work we do, and not a work Christ does for us, they still have the Body and Blood, and Christ still does it for them. It isn’t the mass itself that is sacrelege, but a twisted doctrine behind it. We are in essential agreement with the Catholics on what is present in the mass, and who should and should not partake of it.

  • Chris Hemmelman

    Good grief, she has a lot of ideas about God, but none that aren’t filled with pop psychology and postmodernism.

    As an Evangelical Christian who has at times attended Mass with friends, I know enough to pass on Communion. I do so largely because of my disagreement with their doctrine, but at the same time I’m respectful of the fact that I am not Catholic. It isn’t a hard thing to do if you believe the world doesn’t revolve around you and your need for experiences.

  • Chris Hemmelman

    Good grief, she has a lot of ideas about God, but none that aren’t filled with pop psychology and postmodernism.

    As an Evangelical Christian who has at times attended Mass with friends, I know enough to pass on Communion. I do so largely because of my disagreement with their doctrine, but at the same time I’m respectful of the fact that I am not Catholic. It isn’t a hard thing to do if you believe the world doesn’t revolve around you and your need for experiences.

  • JB

    http://www.mtio.com/articles/bissar92.htm

    I’m dropping out of this conversation by posting a link to an article by Daniel Preuss, which describes Luther’s dim view of the Mass. Can this woman disrespect the body and blood more than the church than offered it to her? Again, folks, I don’t understand the uproar.

  • JB

    http://www.mtio.com/articles/bissar92.htm

    I’m dropping out of this conversation by posting a link to an article by Daniel Preuss, which describes Luther’s dim view of the Mass. Can this woman disrespect the body and blood more than the church than offered it to her? Again, folks, I don’t understand the uproar.

  • Don S

    What struck me was a passage from the quotations Carl Vehse set out at post #4. She is saying, on the one hand, that we should “admire and respect each other’s religious views”, and “everybody has the right to believe or not to believe what he or she wants”, but then she goes into the Catholic church and deliberately does not respect their views and beliefs by taking communion unworthily and against their practices and beliefs. The selfishness of that action is beyond comprehension.

  • Don S

    What struck me was a passage from the quotations Carl Vehse set out at post #4. She is saying, on the one hand, that we should “admire and respect each other’s religious views”, and “everybody has the right to believe or not to believe what he or she wants”, but then she goes into the Catholic church and deliberately does not respect their views and beliefs by taking communion unworthily and against their practices and beliefs. The selfishness of that action is beyond comprehension.

  • FullTime

    I am slightly amused at her going through religions as if she were sampling appetizers at a buffet. “I went to a Christmas pageant so maybe I am a Christian.” And she studied religion?

    Whether one believes in the religious observance or not, it is disrespectful to break it tenets. You don’t bring a baked ham to a Passover seder, you don’t invite a Muslim to lunch during Ramadan, and you don’t take Communion in a Catholic church if you are not Catholic.

    To dismiss the church’s regulations pertaining to who may partake and then claim to be respecting their beliefs is paradoxical and just plain wrong.

    FT

    and Lars…puh-leeze! You didn’t figure a woman journalist/intellectual would be oppressed into working under her husband’s name, did you? Naive
    - but perhaps an assumption that shows a worthy traditionalist view.

  • FullTime

    I am slightly amused at her going through religions as if she were sampling appetizers at a buffet. “I went to a Christmas pageant so maybe I am a Christian.” And she studied religion?

    Whether one believes in the religious observance or not, it is disrespectful to break it tenets. You don’t bring a baked ham to a Passover seder, you don’t invite a Muslim to lunch during Ramadan, and you don’t take Communion in a Catholic church if you are not Catholic.

    To dismiss the church’s regulations pertaining to who may partake and then claim to be respecting their beliefs is paradoxical and just plain wrong.

    FT

    and Lars…puh-leeze! You didn’t figure a woman journalist/intellectual would be oppressed into working under her husband’s name, did you? Naive
    - but perhaps an assumption that shows a worthy traditionalist view.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Sally quinn is married to Ben Bradley, former (?) editor of the Washington Post.
    So her son is Quinn Bradley.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    Sally quinn is married to Ben Bradley, former (?) editor of the Washington Post.
    So her son is Quinn Bradley.

  • Jonathan

    God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this columnist.

  • Jonathan

    God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this columnist.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    That’s Ben Bradlee, I think.

  • Susan aka organshoes

    That’s Ben Bradlee, I think.

  • mirian

    Good 235rter2rwer23r

  • mirian

    Good 235rter2rwer23r

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