Someone… please calm McBrien down before he hurts himself?

From his platform in Dissenters Weekly (aka NCR), Notre Dame’s Richard McBrien, professor of theology, attacks Pope Benedict’s liturgical vision. 

My emphases and comments.

Reversing the liturgical field
by Richard McBrien on Sep. 21, 2009

Judging from the comments, some readers thought last week’s column on the "Year for Priests" unduly pessimistic about the present state of the Catholic Church. To the contrary, one of latest developments inside the Vatican only underscores the point of that column.

According to a report late last month by Andrea Tornielli in the Italian daily Il Giornale, the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, met with Pope Benedict XVI on April 4 (the fact that we have a precise date is significant) to present a list of proposed changes to the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist.

The proposals were said to have been formally approved at a meeting of the congregation in March, and were designed to "restore a greater sense of the sacred" to the celebration of Mass. [Which is precisely what McBrien objects to.  He would probably have Mass reduced to a horizontal and merely human experience.]

Among the proposals that had been approved by the congregation in March and presented to the pope early the next month were calls to end the practices of receiving Communion in the hand and having the priest celebrate Mass facing the congregation.

Once the story was leaked to the press, however, there were denials (of sorts) from the Vatican. Undoubtedly, Vatican officials were miffed by the leak and a statement was issued by the deputy director of the Vatican Press Office, Passionist Fr. Ciro Benedettini, that said only that "for the time being there are no institutional proposals for a modification of the liturgical books used at present."

Some Vatican observers predict that the delay may last as much as a year, or until the matter quiets down. [It would take that long anyway, since it is the practice of the Congregation to study and consult.]

But what is clear is that something is in the works and it is entirely consistent with what Roman sources have been hearing for some time about the pope’s desire to return gradually to Communion on the tongue as the normative practice. [Hang on…  Communion on the tongue IS the normative practice.  Communion in the hand is an aberration which is permitted according to decisions of conferences, of diocesan bishops and, in the case of risk of profanation, parish priests.]  At the same time, the Pope knows full well that such a highly controversial reversal of current practice could never be accomplished in an instant. [And the Pope has already written about patience in liturgical reform.]

The practice of Communion in the hand was originally granted by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship on May 29, 1969 (before it was combined with the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Paul VI in 1975), in response to requests from various episcopal conferences, including that of the United States, and with the explicit approval of Paul VI.  [But this is not the whole story.  What McBrien is ignoring here is that the practice began and continued for years contra legem, against the Church’s law.  But this would his his preferred way of making changes to his liking, no?  Forget about the church’s law.  Do whatever you find self-actualizing in this moment.]

Lest anyone question Benedict’s personal preference in this matter, it should be pointed out that, beginning on the feast of Corpus Christi last year, those receiving Communion from the pope must do so only on the tongue. He has also expressed support for restoring the practice of the priest’s celebrating Mass "facing the East," which means in plain English with his back to the people[Only if by "plain language" you mean "inaccurate clichés".]

Given the possibility that such reversals (sometimes referred to as a "reform of the reform") [He would think of this as a reversal. But when something has gone wrong – and so much has gone wrong – your choices are either the ignore the problem and blunder along or retrace your steps and fix the problem.] will eventually be mandated, one can only imagine the confusion, frustration and anger that many priests and laypeople will experience[What is the assumption here?  McBrien’s assumption is that this would be imposed suddenly, without explanations or catechesis.   Of course this is nothing but fear mongering, which is the perennial tool of those who themselves are fearful.]

Today, if individual Catholics choose to receive the sacrament on the tongue, they are free to do so. Eucharistic ministers — priests and laypeople alike [Correction: lay people are not "Eucharistic ministers".  They can be "Ministers of Holy Communion".] — respect their wishes. The great majority, however, prefer to receive Communion in the hand and continue to do so.

But this proposal, if enacted, would actually prevent Catholics from making that choice for themselves. They would be denied the option, approved by Paul, that has been available to them for the past 40 years, namely, to receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue. [Yes, indeed.  You would think that someone who has tried to write about Church history would understand that part of a reform means saying "no" to something that has been going on for a while.  And didn’t Paul VI also issue Humanae vitae?  What about that?  We should adhere to what Paul VI issued, right?]

The so-called "John Paul II priests" [NCR’s nightmare..] would very likely be happy with such a reversal of practice and would ostentatiously deny giving Communion to those with outstretched hands. [Why "ostentatiously" here?  Why the slur?  Why not talk about some people who go to a TLM and "ostentatiously" refuse to receive on the tongue?]  However, many other priests, whether old enough to have been shaped by Vatican II or not, would ignore the mandate and continue to distribute Communion in the hand to those who requested it. [And that is McBrien’s ignoble wish.]

[Now we see McBrien in the role of drama queen…] What would happen as a result of this tug of war at Communion time? Would some bishops threaten priests with suspension? If so, how many priests would expose themselves to such a penalty? If the numbers were large, how would the church be able to compensate for the additional decline in the number of available priests?  [The fact is that younger priests will implement the law they are given to implement. The older priests will just retire or die.]

[CLICHE ALERT!] Mandating the celebration of Mass with the priest’s back to the congregation [I wonder if he know how foolish this sounds to people who know anything about this issue?] might pose an even greater problem, except in churches built before the Second Vatican Council and still with main altars facing the rear wall. But such churches are probably in the minority today. The architectural problems would be exceeded only by the pastoral dislocations.

May none of this come to pass.

Year by year these priests of discontinuity and rupture are retiring or dying.  The biological solution is quickly taking care of them. 

He can see in his mind’s eye that faithful "John Paul II priest" standing by, ready to open the door for him to make room for the walker.  Another is holding McBrien’s hat with a smile.  Yet another is telling the visiting nurse not to forget to get more Depends.  Perhaps they are taking the old guy down to the park or out for a ride.

These young priests will in charity come to visit McBrien and sit with him and listen to his stories about the halcyon days of the "spirit of Vatican II" and listen to him rail about how his life’s work came to nothing.

And when this old dissenter comes to his final breaths, a "John Paul II priest" will come in his cassock, surplice and stole to give him last rites in Latin using the pre-Conciliar Rituale Romanum.

The clock is ticking for McBrien and his crowd.  

tick…

tick…

tick…

tick…

tick….

 

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54 Responses to Someone… please calm McBrien down before he hurts himself?

  1. Jack Hughes says:

    BOOM! as the newly regualrized SSPX is given the mandate of inquisition? :)

  2. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    He says that Ad Orientem posture would be hard, or even impossible in most churches, however I have yet to see one church in which this would be the case. Most freestanding Altars are movable, and simply could be moved back a couple of feet, and those that are not are not generally teetering on the edge of the step.

    And worse comes to worse, they found ways to make versus populum work(such as by building what I can only call “upside-down steps”, so that the steps then became a platform), I’m sure we can do the same.

    I also think that people who argue this much about liturgical direction fail to realize that a priest turns around to address the people pretty often, especially if we consider that the readings would be done towards the people in the OF, unlike in the EF.

  3. Fr. John Mary says:

    Dittos, Fr. Z! Loved the title! (He MAY work himself into a stroke or heart attack if he doesn’t calm down).

  4. mpm says:

    … except in churches built before the Second Vatican Council and still with main altars facing the rear wall. But such churches are probably in the minority today. The architectural problems would be exceeded only by the pastoral dislocations.

    I would imagine such altars have ever been in the minority. Both the architectural problems and the pastoral problems would be trumped by the problems stemming from the laws of physics!

    Fr. Z., your allusions to old age appear to be very apt.

  5. TNCath says:

    Father McBrien may be right: it may not come to pass…in his liftime, but it will come. However, it need not be a motu proprio that sees a restoration of Mass ad orientem and reception of Holy Communion on the tongue. The “motu proprio” will be from the initiatives of the bishops, priests and people who want these restorations. Except for a few cranky bishops and priests who don’t like it, there is nothing that prohibits Mass being celebrated ad orientem, nor is nothing that prohibits Holy Communion being received on the tongue. With a few more years’ education of the priests and people and the dying out of Father McBrien’s generation, it WILL come to pass. Tick, tick, indeed!

  6. Daniel Latinus says:

    …one can only imagine the confusion, frustration and anger that many priests and laypeople will experience.

    Funny how nobody worried about that around, say, 1964, or 1968, or 1969.

    WRT people preferring Communion in the Hand, if they’re younger than me, they were probably taught Communion in the hand is the only right way to receive Communion. If they’re older than me, they probably believed that by receiving Communion in the Hand they were doing what the Pope and bishops wanted.

    I remember hearing at the time Communion in the Hand was legalized that the bishops requested the indult for it because the practice had already spread illegally, and trying to suppress it would damage their credibility.

    My memory of the period: I may have seen a priest administer Communion in the Hand once between 1973 and 1978. Now I didn’t get out much in those days, but one wonders just how “widespread” the abuse was that it had to be legalized.

    And who petitioned for these kind of things anyway? Individual bishops? Liturgists? Groups of the faithful? And how do we petition to have some of these ill-advised indults recinded?

  7. ChristopherM says:

    Thanks for this Father-

    The Idea of Fr.McBrian getting his last rights in latin from the Rituale Romanum brought a much needed smile to my face

  8. RichR says:

    Fr. McBrien is very articulate. He would be a great ally for the cause of restoration. I propose we start lifting up Rosaries for a change of heart in this priest.

    Hey, it’s worked so far with the SSPX.

    As usual, you are to-the-point, Fr. Z. I appreciate your taking the time to analyze this.

  9. Ruben says:

    It’s as if there is a shadow church with shadow “catholics” in its membership. Would anti-church be too strong a term to describe the group of this group of shadowy individuals that seem to want to destroy any outward manifestation of belief in the supernatural? The outward signs McBrien objects to are like the bricks in the structure of our faith. Remove the bricks and you destroy the structure. It’s seems clear to me that McBrien is on a mission to destroy rather than to builds up. If this isn’t anti-Christ than what is?

  10. Dr. K says:

    “However, many other priests, whether old enough to have been shaped by Vatican II or not, would ignore the mandate and continue to distribute Communion in the hand to those who requested it”

    Fr. McBrien included?

    ~Dr. K

  11. Ruben says:

    Too many “groups” in my post. I need to spell check better.

  12. Marcin says:

    … except in churches built before the Second Vatican Council and still with main altars facing the rear wall.

    Isn’t it rather a front wall?

  13. Rob Cartusciello says:

    At our wedding last June, the Nuptial Mass was celebrated in the OF ad orientam & in Latin. Special thanks to Fr. Z for the citations to use ad orientam (brick by brick!).

    After the Offertory, all responses were sung in Latin to the standard plainsong arrangements.

    Not one person complained. Most found it beautiful. I was in tears for most of it.

    FYI, putting together a bi-lingual program (Latin-English) had its challenges, but those were overcome with some extra work. An added joy was the use of “clip art” from the old Benziger Bros. missals.

  14. Sandy says:

    The clock may be ticking for him and his ilk, but not fast enough! I always wonder what these people, especially if they are priests, will say when they draw their last breath and face the Lord. What a contrast to your previous article and the picture of the nuns in their beautiful habits.

  15. Cavaliere says:

    …one can only imagine the confusion, frustration and anger that many priests and laypeople will experience.

    Funny how nobody worried about that around, say, 1964, or 1968, or 1969.

    So true. I have a small pamphlet from the Bishop of Atlanta in 1965 describing the upcoming liturgical changes being implemented and the response given to the anticipated outrage they expected because of these changes was tough doodoo. Same goes for another book I have from the era explaining how we know you don’t like these changes but they are really gonna be good for you, really, trust us.

  16. Tominellay says:

    …as he finds fewer and fewer people agreeing with him, his voice becomes more and more shrill…

  17. Albwright says:

    My 45-year old daughter grew up in an outrageously progressive parish, one that experienced jack-hammered sanctuary, kumbaya music, versus populum, and standing for communion in the 1960s several years ahead of the great leap forward elsewhere.

    Nevertheless, she has received communion in the hand only a single time in her lifetime – recently at a church in Atlanta. When she approached in the normal way (for her), the priest hesitated and asked somewhat ostentatiously whether she wished to receive communion. She answered “Yes”, and he replied “Then you’ll have to receive it on the hands”. When instead she proffered her tongue again, he forcibly wedged the Sacred Host between the fingers of her folded hands.

    Despite the distress and even sudden trauma of being forced in this way to violate the standard of a lifetime of faithful practice, she had no choice but to consume the Host by hand and avoid the possible sacrilege that any other action might have entailed.

    Perhaps this account will warm the heart of any admirer of Fr. McBrien who’s lurking here, and who knows that a priest just cannot allow any sign of excessive reverence, else things get entirely out of hand (so to speak).

  18. AndyMo says:

    The article above:

    The only time in history McBrien has ever cared about anything Paul VI said. How about Humanae Vitae?

  19. JosephMary says:

    Perhaps it is time to stop caring about what this ‘has been’ Fr. McBrien is saying. We can predict it anyway. It is a travesty that some diocesan papers still carry his shrill dissenting articles But as the Holy Father continues to name orthodox bishops, one by one those papers will stop paying (literally too?) tribute to this dissenter whose time is passing away. He has done much damage and continues to throw stones; I suppose some are still fooled by his diatribe? But I would not mind if I never saw that ridiculous picture again or read another word from him.

    And the story from Albwright above shows such a lack of charity and love and tolerance–you know those things the peace and justice folks like to speak about. So little reverence for Our Lord in the Eucharist…

  20. robtbrown says:

    For Fr McBrien mass is just the liturgical version of a Happy Meal.

  21. robtbrown says:

    <BOOM! as the newly regualrized SSPX is given the mandate of inquisition? :)
    Comment by Jack Hughes

    This is the group that posted an article on the Internet that showed an extraordinary ignorance of the relation between Minimal Intention and Sacramental Form.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  22. M J Ryan says:

    At the time of Vatican 2, I wonder why no one said we can’t celebrate mass facing the people because we would have to change all the churches. Wasn’t a problem then to change the altar, should not be a problem today.

  23. M J Ryan says:

    I have also been denyed communion of late because my diocese (Hartford) will not allow reception on the tongue due to swine flue fears. I think its a ruse to stop the last few of use from receiving on the tongue.

    Frankly, I am seriously considering attending a nearby SSPX chapel but I wonder if this is a cross I have to bear for now. My wife who regularly receives in the hand has stopped receiving in support of me and to help me bear this cross.

    (I have never considered attending an SSPX mass before. No offensive intended to any SSPXers, I can appreciate the suffering they have been through.)

  24. JayneK says:

    Our archbishop had a letter read out at Mass throughout the diocese about swine flu precautions. He said that we should not receive on the tongue if we feel sick (and that we shouldn’t come to Church at all if we feel sick.) There as also a lot of advice about the importance of handwashing and a recommendation to use gestures other than handshakes for the kiss of peace. So I can still receive on the tongue AND I don’t have to shake hands anymore. Win-win for me. :)

  25. wmeyer says:

    The clock cannot run out too soon for me on Fr. McBrien and his ilk. The damage they have done the Church, and the damage the continue to seek to do, are tremendous.

  26. Girgadis says:

    The solution to the health fears related to Communion on the tongue is to offer the
    faithful the amenities to kneel. The priest is far less likely to contaminate
    his fingers in someone’s mouth if the person is on their knees and at a
    height lower than Father.

    “For Fr McBrien mass is just the liturgical version of a Happy Meal.”

    Very sad, but true. God forgive me for saying this, but something seems to
    have taken over this man’s soul. Anyone with such an obvious repulsion for
    the Eucharist, as he seems to have, cannot possibly be centered in Christ.

  27. mpm says:

    JayneK,

    When I first saw your post I thought you were going to say that the Archbishop had counseled that, to prevent getting swine flue, everyone should refrain from reading McBrien’s column!

  28. robtbrown says:

    Very sad but true. God forgive me for saying this, but something seems to have taken over this man’s soul. Anyone with such an obvious repulsion for the Eucharist, as he seems to have, cannot possibly be centered in Christ.
    Comment by Girgadis

    It’s just his own version of liberal Protestantism. A lot of sentimentalism and almost nothing of Revelation.

  29. Aaron says:

    Today, if individual Catholics choose to receive the sacrament on the tongue, they are free to do so. Eucharistic ministers—priests and laypeople alike—respect their wishes.

    Oh, do they now? I know people–kids, even–who have been denied Communion because they knelt and stuck out their tongue.

    People like this writer are facing the possibility that by the time they die, or soon after, all the changes they spent their lives pushing will have been taken back, leaving them with nothing to show for their vaunted smarter-than-everyone generation except a minor historical blip. I suppose I can see why that bothers them.

  30. Jack Hughes says:

    robtbrown

    As someone who attended SSPX Mass’s for a while I’ll choose the overly critical approach of my old buddies over the likes of Mcbrien anyday, I’m not saying everything on their websites is accurate and that some of their methodology is warped but overall I think that they’d be good as heresy busters.

  31. Geoffrey says:

    Where are these wonderful “JPII Priests” I keep hearing about? Why are they not in my diocese yet?!

  32. Dave N. says:

    Agree with Geoffrey–but I do see a lot of JPII Bishops–who need to go.

  33. BLC says:

    I was denied communion kneeling, on the tongue, at one of the few NOs I’ve ever been to. I knelt down and the priest glared at me and waited for me to get up, and when I stood up with my mouth open he waited for me to put my hand out, and seeing that it wasn’t going to happen, shoved Our Lord towards my mouth so that He nearly fell from my lips onto the floor. I walked out at the end of Mass in tears and I’ve not been to a NO Mass since.

  34. Fr_Sotelo says:

    In a not too distant future, the young “John Paul II priests” hold the door open to make room for McBrien’s walker, hold his hat, remind the nurses to keep a steady supply of his Depends diapers, and finally come to give him last rites in cassock and surplice……Fr. Z, you have truly outdone yourself with this post. I laughed so hard at the image you draw, I will certainly have to confess the sin of taking delight in a person’s future calamity. But I can’t help joining in the fun and adding a few more details….

    What you forgot to mention is that as the young, “say the black, do the red” priest approaches, McBrien sees that the surplice is dripping in lace, and the young priest is rattling off everything in Latin. Fr. McBrien, with one last rabid outburst, which brings one last fleck of spittle to his cheek, yells at the poor priest, “take off that friggin lace!!” and attempts to rip the beautiful surplice.

    At this moment, the horrified Daughters of Charity, standing nearby in the full, St. Vincent de Paul era coronet they have begun to wear again, gently restrain Fr. McBrien’s arms and then employ straps to restrain him on the convalescent bed. With the demeanor of a bride of Christ, one sister says, “please forgive him, Father, for he knows not what he does.” The priest finishes the rites and the other Daughter says to her fellow sister, “you better get another Depends. I think McBrien was overcome with the emotion of a pre-Vatican II annointing of the back of his priestly hands, in Latin.”

    McBrien then just gives a blank stare into space, and mumbles unintelligibly, “it’s as if the Council never happened…oh me, oh my, it’s as if the Council never happened….”

  35. pattif says:

    McBrien’s assumption is that this would be imposed suddenly, without explanations or catechesis.

    You mean, as the changes were imposed 40 years ago?

  36. irishgirl says:

    Another great ‘dissection’ there, Fr. Z!

    With regards to Communion on the tongue and swine flu fears-at the TLM I go to, I never feel the priest’s fingers touch my tongue when he puts the Host in my mouth. They’re pretty careful about not touching the tongue.

    As regards to the ‘horror stories’ of communicants being denied Communion on the tongue or having the Host shoved into their fingers…it’s terribly sad.

    Fr_Sotelo: that was a good addition to Fr. Z’s scenario! You’ve got quite the imagination!

  37. Fr. John Mary says:

    Fr_Sotelo: “The hermeneutic of continuity”…”The hermenuetic of continuity”…that is the ‘mantra’ that will drive the devils from all those who have abandoned the Holy Catholic Faith!
    Loved the “scenario”!

  38. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. John Mary and Irishgirl: Indeed, “the hermeneutic of continuity” is a more appropriate mantra. I’m thinking what a good novela it would make–to picture the last days of a “hermeneutic of rupture” priest as he sees the continuity returning to the Church.

    Back in 1973, there was an aweful Martin Sheen movie called “Catholics” which did the opposite. The movie gloried in the confusion and rupture and pitied the older priests who just couldn’t get with it.

  39. Jayna says:

    “one can only imagine the confusion, frustration and anger that many priests and laypeople will experience”

    Is that kind of like the “confusion, frustration, and anger that many priests and laypeople [did] experience” in the 60s and 70s with his vision of reform? I’m just askin’…

  40. Fr. John Mary says:

    Fr_Sotelo: Sorry I missed “Catholics”…with Martin Sheen.
    He, hopefully, will get “with the program”, the “hermeneutic of contintuity”, if ya know whatta I mean!
    Poor old soul; hope he refers to WDTPRS to get a refresher course!

  41. Tom Ryan says:

    Where are these wonderful “JPII Priests” I keep hearing about? Why are they not in my diocese yet?!
    Comment by Geoffrey — 22 September 2009 @ 8:56 pm

    Training the next crop of altar girls?

  42. Fr. John Mary says:

    Geoffrey and Tom Ryan: Please God, they’re about to retire or expire (to Purgatory, I pray)…just hold your breath and count to ten…it’s supposed to work in therapy, ya’ know…:<)!

  43. Fr. John Mary says:

    I did not mean the “JPII priests” or the B16 priests…sorry…it’s the ‘old rank’ I was thinkin’ of… you know…the polyester Sisters, the feminist pastoral ‘associates’, the ‘with-it’ associate pastors and associate pastors (from the ’70s and ’80s…maybe a hold-over from the’90’s[good Lord!])?

  44. ssoldie says:

    Now after 40+ years, the shoe is on the other foot, and look at all the progressives crying, their dishonest propaganda is catching up with them. Maybe they should all get the small booklet “The Eternal Sacrifice” by Michael Davies, The Liturgy Since Vatican II, What the TRUTH is and has been all these years in the desert, like finally admitting that the ‘Mass of all time’ was never abrogated and could have been said, so why was it surpressed and then an indult……Why if it(“Gregorian Rite”) could have been prayed all these years was an ‘indult’ necessary? Chaos, confusion, disunity, deceit and some time I believe even demonic, has been in the Church these last 45 years.

  45. Fr. John Mary says:

    ssoldie: Absolutely.
    The “demonic” aspect, I believe (in all humility), has been ignored. “The smoke of Satan has entered the Church” (Paul VI); we are not vanquished; we are “empowered” to use the gross language of the feminists. The Holy Mass must be restored to it sacrality in every way possible. Amen.

  46. bernadette says:

    Father Sotelo, I saw the movie “Catholics” both the original and the re-make. I thought it was absolutely prophetic and was sympathetic to the traditional monks. Martin Sheen came off as somewhat of a jerk.

  47. germangreek says:

    The first three comments on NCR’s website (or 3 of the first four) expressed the same wonder that the large-hearted liturgists of 40 years ago thought not at all about the “confusion, frustration and anger” that their changes might provoke.

    But, surveying the comments that support McBrien’s rant, one becomes astonished at the breath-taking ignorance most of them have regarding what the Mass is actually about. Which is perhaps not so astonishing, after 40 years of “liturgical renewal”.

  48. gmarie says:

    McBrien may want to take heed of this quote from this upcoming Sunday’s Gospel (OF, 26thSunOT/B): “Whoever cause one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

  49. Jayna says:

    The movie Catholics was actually based off of a book of the same name by Brian Moore. It was published in 1972, I think. A great read.

  50. Cavaliere says:

    Last night (Wednesday) on EWTN Live with Msgr. Stanley Deptula of the Archbishop Sheen Foundation, discussed the life of Bishop Sheen and the incredible love of the priesthood that Bishop Sheen had. As he often said he never wanted to be anything else and it was evident throughout his life. After watching that and remembering the recent comments from Richard McBrien what an amazing contradiction in his life which seems so full of anger and bitterness toward his vocation.

    What I also found interesting was how he foresaw the disaster about to befall the Church because of the desire by so many to implement illegitimate reforms in the name of Vatican II but which resulted in a complete rupture. No doubt if he were alive today he would be one of Pope Benedicts strongest supporters of the “reform of the reform.” Let us pray for his intercession now to help the Pope against his detractors. If you didn’t see the interview it should be re-broadcast on EWTN. The show was EWTN Live.

  51. PostCatholic says:

    This argument over hands vs. tongues is analogous to watching conjoined twins in a slapfight. Very amusing, loud and impassioned, with plenty of incivility, but of no ultimate consequence and in the end a trivial event.

  52. BLC says:

    PostCatholic, I think your name says it all. Why would you bother posting such a comment on a Catholic blog if you believe you are beyond or ‘post’ Catholicism?

  53. robtbrown says:

    This argument over hands vs. tongues is analogous to watching conjoined twins in a slapfight. Very amusing, loud and impassioned, with plenty of incivility, but of no ultimate consequence and in the end a trivial event.
    Comment by PostCatholic

    If it’s so trivial, why are you bothering to comment on it?

  54. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic, I think your name says it all. Why would you bother posting such a comment on a Catholic blog if you believe you are beyond or ‘post’ Catholicism?
    Comment by BLC

    When lapsed Catholics make such comments, they often think it’s something practicing Catholics haven’t heard before–they speak to enlighten others.

    In fact, it’s little else but the same old superficial comments