An Update, Responses, Clarifications, and Reactions to My “Denied Communion on the Tongue” Post…

An Update, Responses, Clarifications, and Reactions to My “Denied Communion on the Tongue” Post… March 13, 2015

… Let me take a moment to respond.

My previous post about being refused reception of the Eucharist on the tongue during my grandmother’s funeral has received quite a bit of attention and with over 570 comments and an inbox overflowing with emails I have found it impossible to respond to each one individually.

For the sake of efficiency I decided to break down the responses by category and respond here. Before I do, this must be said.

I received a very gracious response from the parish priest who celebrated my Abuela’s funeral mass and I wish to clearly state that I am completely satisfied with his reply and apology. There are still some things that I think need to be addressed but I am confident that they will get handled appropriately.

Reactions to my post have varied widely. Some praising me for exposing what happened, others admonishing me for publicly airing a bit of personal business that should have been addressed privately. Both reactions are right.

Reactions and questions I have received so far:

Did I thoughtlessly post in anger?

No. The post was written on the 10th and published on the 11th. My grandmother’s funeral was the 9th. I intentionally made a point to wait and let my anger subside before sharing what happened. No, I do not believe I posted in anger. Instead I posted in sorrow – still probably not the best state of mind to be addressing such a painful recounting.

Did I write the priest and ask for his side of the story? Did I make any attempts to contact him and privately express my hurt?

Yes. But not right away. Unfortunately I posted here first, then wrote him a full day later. It should have been the other way around. It should always be the other way around.

Did I exaggerate the events and rage bait readers in order to generate revenue through excessive pageviews?

No. In fact all the attention my post has created has caused me additional grief and created a rift in my family that no amount of pageviews are worth. Such are the consequences of my actions. I have decided to donate a sizable portion of this month’s writing revenues to adult catechism programs.

Do I plan to involve Bishop DiLorenzo and take this all the way up the chain of command?

Many of you have written to me and advised me to write to the bishop; however, due to the satisfactory and prompt reply I received I don’t feel like that is necessary.

Some clarification.

Church Militant TV reported that I was kneeling to receive Communion. That is inaccurate. I was standing. There may have been confusion because I wrote that we were asked to stand and not kneel during the consecration. St. Therese does have kneelers they just don’t use them.

Did I go to mass looking for abuses and to pick a fight? Was I properly disposed to receive the Blessed Sacrament?

No, I did not go to my grandmother’s funeral with my liturgical abuse binoculars on. I am quite familiar with St. Therese because I’ve been going there for as long as I have been Catholic, about ten years now. Every time I was in Virginia I went to mass with my grandmother here. Before I even stepped out of the car I knew what I was getting and I was 100% prepared for it … I even 100% didn’t care. It was my grandmother’s funeral and I had other things on my mind, obviously. Truthfully.

Surprisingly I was in joyful mood. I was just thankful she was getting a funeral mass and genuinely happy to see all my family together inside the walls of a Catholic Church. You see, we are all technically Catholic, but my son and I are the only ones that are left as practicing Catholics.

There’s more I need to address but it’s getting late. I will update again tomorrow. I just simply couldn’t rest without mentioning that I did receive a reply from the priest and that I consider the matter settled. That needed to be stated immediately. More later.

Updated 3/15/14.

As promised, the “more later.”

I am still going through the comments to the original post, which is now up to 691 comments, and my in-box. Here is more of what some of you have been asking.

What did I hope to accomplish by making the events public?

My first thought was to publish what happened to serve as a cautionary tale and a warning to others to seek another parish if they happen to find themselves in the Tidewater area. The second was that I had an unique advantage with this public platform that provides me the means and the voice to actually make a change where change is much needed. I had an obligation to make public the events.

Do I regret publishing my post?

Yes and No.

Yes, because it has caused some issues with my family. And yes, because I don’t like my post being used as proof that N.O. masses are abuses and that the Church in America is doomed. Doomed I say.

Listen, do not take what happened to me and use it to fuel your N.O versus M.E.F debate. If you do, you detract from a very real and important opportunity to make difference at this one parish. I am not trying to take on an entire diocese or the Church in America. I’m not trying to say one type of liturgy is superior or inferior to the other.

I have been a Catholic close to a decade now and have been to mass up and down the east coast, and even along the West coast. I’ve been to mass at the beach, in the mountains, in the country, in the city, at ethnic parishes, in other countries, and yes, even in the woods. And for all that massing about this is the first time something like this has ever happened to me.

I’d say that is a pretty good run, especially since other blogs and Catholic outlets report that this type of thing happens all.the.time. Which leads me to suspect that 1) I’m must incredibly lucky, or 2) things really aren’t as bad as they say they are, and 3) some people are probably looking too hard for the negative.

So those are the regrettable outcomes of my post. The not so regrettable is the dialogue it has opened it and the receptive ear I have gained. The attention has shown that lay people do have a sense of power over their situation and the ability to make changes and be heard if they need to speak out. It’s shown some important people who have been watching and reading, that we won’t stand for anything less than a fullness of faith. Not a half faith, a compromised faith. A fully Catholic and authentic practice and understanding of our faith. And seeing that come to fruition has been a beautiful thing.


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