Oops October 29, 2011

“The reports from the Phoenix Diocese concerning the expiration of an indult regarding Communion under both kinds seem to have been mistaken…”

— Diocese of Madison, 29 October 2011

They’ll still be restricting use of the cup, but for different reasons.

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10 responses to “Oops”

  1. Why does a bishop need a reason, when, apparently, the GIRM says that the bishop has the final say on this in his diocese?

  2. The Bishops in Madison and Phoenix should be ashamed of themselves. It’s obvious from the way that this has played out that they wanted to restrict either the use of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist or they wanted to restrict access to the Eucharist. Lacking the courage to explain their REAL reasons (clericalism? exclusivity? a return to 1959?), they came up with an arguement that has since been proven to be false. No matter, they say, their new policy is still in force. And they wonder why people question the honesty and relevancy of the heirarchy of the Church. As David says in #2, the Bishops can do what they want…yet they realized that the vast majority of people wouldn’t support their rationale, so they made up some legalistic excuse. Horrible….absolutely horrible.

  3. The argument against CUBK because it requires too many extraordinary ministers seems to me to fail because the administering of the Sacrament should be the primary issue, not the identity of the minister. To say, “We will withhold the cup because an extraordinary minister would be the minister — implying that they would grant it if more deacons were around,” is to let the tail wag the dog.

    The worry about profanation of the sacred species seem misplaced. After all, it’s much easier to conceal and carry off the sacred host than it is to take the Precious Blood away.

    And the issue of unworthy reception of the sacrament has absolutely nothing to do with CUBK, since all who receive from the cup — except those who are gluten-intolerant — also receive under the form of bread.

  4. In reading the threads on this subject, and the ones on the book about women deacons, one thing I am seeing is a lot of fear and anxiety about the priest getting upstaged or made redundant by the proliferation of EMHC’s. Some commenters even thinks we’ve got too many male deacons. (And Lord forbid if we had female deacons, they would be swarming all over and taking over the Church!) And I am thinking, seriously?? I believe there are a lot of irrational fears surrounding this. Consider the facts. Mass can’t happen without a priest. In addition to the Eucharist, the sacraments of Penance, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick can’t happen without a priest (or bishop). It is not even possible to upstage priests or make them redundant. They have the best job/vocation security in the world. Most priests I know in real time are mature, secure individuals who aren’t worried about lay people replacing them. They want lay people to be involved and be taking an active part in the Church. If there is some overlap of pastoral functions with lay people, it’s a non-problem. There is no way we are ever going to replace priests; we are all part of the body of Christ.

  5. I don’t think the concern for some is that priests might be “replaced.” The concern is whether we will always have enough of them. There is no shortage of deacons, lectors, Eucharistic ministers and ushers.

    Some who are old enough to remember the role of the priest prior to Vatican Council II and can compare it to the role of the priest today may think that the role of the priest has diminished not only in the priest’s eyes but in the eyes of some of the faithful as well.

    The role of “presider” at Mass is not an attractive one, I suspect, for many priests especially when the presider has to listen to lectors who have difficulty reading scripture they appear not to understand–well intentioned folks who perhaps would profit more from listening to the priest or a deacon read scripture. I don’t know if there is a politically correct way to “fire” a mumbling lector but I don’t see it being done. Mass after Mass, they mumble on in at least two of the three churches I attend.

    The plethora of Eucharistic Ministers is another matter altogether. Formal attire should not be required but something more than jeans and a T-shirt, even in summer, would seem to be in order. I have never inquired as to what requirements there are to be a Eucharistic Minister but they would not seem to be insurmountable–not much more than the desire to be one, a decent reputation in the community, and the belief that one is qualified for the role. And perhaps that is enough.

    The diminishment of the role of priests after Vatican II may or may not have something to do with the kind of priests ordained in the ’70s and ’80s. They differ in attitude in my experience from many of those ordained in the last decade and from those who ministered, sometimes “tyrannically,” prior to Vatican II.

    Something so simple as using a chalice made of base metal is something I witnessed recently for weeks by a pastor aged 60. Someone must have talked to him because his little white cup (Irish Belleek porcelain, perhaps?) disappeared one day (it was not lined with gold, silver or platinum).

    Ordained in 1971, he is an affable man who communicates well with his parishioners. I don’t know that I have ever heard the word “sin” in one of his sermons but he does strive to interpret the scripture in his homilies. And I don’t recall ever being discomfited spiritually by anything he has had to say, although I certainly deserve to be discomfited in a number of areas. Maybe he has managed to bring the Protestant notion of “fellowship” to the Masses he celebrates. He does offer a pleasant Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist with very few hints of the Sacrifice on Calvary that makes any Sacrifice of the Mass possible.

    Some, too, may think that we have enough laity gamboling about the altar while the priest sits in a chair on the side and “presides”; others may prefer fewer laity with the priest performing once again several of the duties in the Mass that all priests performed prior to the arrival of the Novus Ordo.

    The question is, which scenario will lead more young men to become priests at a time when they seem to be too few in number. We seem to have enough deacons, lectors, Eucharistic ministers and ushers. But we need many more priests to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass since they currently are the only ones qualified to do that. Perhaps empowering priests with duties more important than the role of “presider” at Mass might help more young men consider entering the seminary.

  6. #6
    If the only way to get more priests is to give them more “power” or a more prominent place in the liturgy, we’re in trouble. The kind of young men who would be attracted for those reasons are not the type of young men we should be seeking for the priesthood. I suggest Donal and everyone who feels this way check out this week’s Gospel.

  7. Deacon Mike,

    “Power” is perhaps the wrong word and if I used that word I certainly did not mean “power.”

    Perhaps the only advantage to being away from the Church for 40 years is to come back to it with a memory of the way priests once were and the way many of them appear to be today.

    Prior to Vatican II, priests, for good or for bad, knew who they were. By and large, I found them to be strong people in a role that requires strength not so much to administer the sacraments and to say Mass but to put up with all the extraneous folderol that comes with administering a parish.

    I did not find in the “new” Church that I happily came back to in 2008 priests who had the same strong sense of themselves. It appears now that many of them will put up with anything in order not to rouse their parishioners. I don’t think this is directly related to the scandals but it is perhaps influenced by them.

    At the same time, the Church I came back to had a laity that was much stronger in opinion but far more “ignorant,” in the true sense of that word, about matters liturgical than the laity of the Church that I abandoned 40 years earlier.

    There are lectors and eucharistic ministers today who seem not too well schooled in matters liturgical but maybe that’s a misimpression on my part. I must say, though, that they seem happier at Church even if they are far fewer in number than the Church I left.

    I knew a great deal about the Church I left and matters liturgical, thanks to nuns and priests who taught me prior to the Council. They had the “power,” in the best sense of that word, to make a South Side Chicago rapscallion like me sit up and learn. They had nothing to do with why I left the Church and much to do with why I eventually returned.

    The real reason I returned–and the reason I will now remain in the Church–is twofold. 1) fear of Hell and 2) the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist that can be confected by a priest only within the Mass and not outside of it. As a result, the Mass and the priests who can say Mass are of paramount importance to the likes of me. In that respect, I hope I never change. And I hope we find the right way to attract more good men to the priesthood.

  8. I just got back from Mass; the 10:30 Mass is our more formal, “high” one. We had a priest, a deacon, 3 EMHC’s, 2 lectors, 4 altar servers. I certainly did not see anybody “gamboling”. Everyone knew what they were supposed to do; where to sit, when to come up. Nobody was confused as to who the priest is, Father had his place of respect as celebrant (I think that is a better word than presider). None of them were dressed inappropriately, actually any lay ministers who were in the procession were in albs; that’s one way to ensure that everyone is attired respectfully. The root of the word “liturgy” means “the work of the people”. Of course everyone sees things through their own experiences, but I couldn’t see anything terrible which needs to be fixed in the way our parish is doing things. Incidentally we do have some young men in seminary.

  9. One of the finest priests I know is a person who does not micromange but delegates. He is the “sacramentalist” and the “CEO” of his parish. He does not try to do everything himself, but allows the parish to run using the expertise of his people. He facilitates and doesn’t dominate.

    He’s happy and his people are happy with him.

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