QUAERITUR: Priest sits as lay people distribute Communion

From a reader:

What say you on the subject of a healthy middle-aged priest sitting
out the distribution of Communion to the faithful? When asked why, the priest said he didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the extra (sixth)
EMHC who arrived late to distribute Communion.

What do I say?  I think the priest made a bad decision.

This seems a good example of how some priests think they have to give their role to a lay person in order to make them feel as if they are “involved”.  This is the worst form of clericalism.

In many cases all Extraordinary Ministers of Communion are “extra” and should not be employed.

But to sit while lay people distribute?   Perhaps if the priest is injured, crippled, elderly.  Healthy?  No way.

It seems to me that the priest ought to rethink his approach to EMHCs.

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52 Responses to QUAERITUR: Priest sits as lay people distribute Communion

  1. WGS says:

    More important: What does the Church say? Take a look at Inaestmabile donum (Priceless Gift)dated April 3rd, 1980, Holy Thursday.
    Concerning “The Mass” – 1.10. “Accordingly, a reprehensibile attitude is shown by those priests who, though present at the celebration, refrain from distributing Communion and leave this task to the laity.”

  2. WGS says:

    Pardon. That should have been “Inaestimabile”.

  3. catholicmidwest says:

    Yes, this particular example is one of the grave confusion over liturgical roles that’s often seen in the Church. And it gives laypeople absolutely the wrong idea of what mass is about. Much confusion has resulted from this sort of thing. This able-bodied but somewhat contentious priest needs to get off his pompous tukas, perform his proper liturgical role, and stop confusing his flock.

  4. rayrondini says:

    “…The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum 157)

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  5. frjim4321 says:

    At the neighboring parish there are two priests who never distribute communion however they are both aged and infirm.

    With respect to concelebrants it can be difficult at times to match the number of EM’s to possible concelebrants who might show up unannounced.

    Ironically when there are concelebrants the fraction and procession go less smoothly because they do not know the procedure. [Though I think we have to admit that the point of priests doing these things is not the utilitarian aim.]

  6. catholicmidwest says:

    frjim4321,

    Aged & infirm is one thing, but I’m not sure that’s the main thrust of this post Fr. Z has made here. It’s disingenuous to make every case into the boundary case to force change and confusion, don’t you agree?

    I have also seen this sort of thing go on in masses here where I live, and it’s inexcusable UNLESS the priest is aged &/or infirm. The priest who sits and watches while someone else performs his role is shirking his duty…..and his vocation.

  7. Philangelus says:

    Both priests who regularly serve our parish are elderly. One is retired and the other arguably should be. They both have very serious hip or leg problems. They both sit during the distribution of Communion because otherwise, I believe they’d fall.

    I saw what was quoted above about it being a reprehensible attitude, but… Well, there’s only so much these men can do. :-(

  8. pelerin says:

    Of course for Priests who have a health problem it would be understandable to have someone else distribute Holy Communion. I attended a Mass this year celebrated by a Priest who it was obvious had suffered a stroke. However when it came to distributing Holy Communion he did not take the opportunity to sit down. He walked with difficulty forward and gave us Communion with his one good arm while someone else held the ciborium as he was obviously unable to do this. He also gave a homily slowly and deliberately. Very moving that he was able to once again celebrate Mass.

    It does appear from the above quotes that unless there is a good reason the Priest should distribute Holy Communion and not to do so is disobedient. On the subject of disobedience it is distressing to learn that 17 Priestsfrom the French diocese of Rouen have signed a call for disobedience following that of the Austrian Priests.

  9. rayrondini says:

    Undoubtedly, as with all things, Holy Church makes exceptions to the rules for extraordinary (no, really extraordinary, not “I have a football game to watch so let’s give the illusion of speeding up communion along”-extraordinary) circumstances, such as infirm, aged, lame priests incapable of performing their duties. St. Pio, for instance, was given special permissions to celebrate Mass while seated since he was unable to stand. So… I think common sense applies the Church documents to normative circumstances, thus leading us to think that healthy, physically-able priests ought to exercise their role of Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion in the distribution of such and it is reprobated to leave the role to laity unless strictly necessary.

  10. ipadre says:

    Next time this priest is in need of surgery, he should let the nurse do it!

  11. ray from mn says:

    I attended Mass once at a parish where it was the practice for the EM’s to distribute Holy Communion and even worse, the celebrant did not take Communion until everybody else had done so, and then he received it from one of the lay ministers, rather than taking it himself.

    The perfect host, waiting until everybody else had eaten. A priest friend had asked me to confirm this because he had been asked to celebrate a Mass there and he wanted to confirm what he had already heard. He didn’t accept the invitation.

  12. Cincinnati Priest says:

    This question has come up a few times with brother priests, who have argued that it wouldn’t be charitable to ‘bump’ an EMHC who was scheduled to “serve” that day if a concelebrant arrived unexpectedly because that EM “made special efforts and sacrifices to come to that particular Mass.”. ( Really. I am not making this up.) Apparently, they heard this from the EMs themselves.

    I think that illustrates in a nutshell the problem with EMs being used so indiscriminately. There will always be a percentage who perceive it not as a privilege, but as a constitutional / God-given “right.”. This will be true no matter how carefully they are trained otherwise, whether or not they are given the pertinent Vatican documents, etc.

  13. MyBrokenFiat says:

    This sorta thing always makes me cry a little inside. My prayers go out to this priest and his flock.

    For the first time in my life, this happened to me. I honestly didn’t know how to react or what to do. Considering that I’d made a promise to Jesus to only receive from a priest (or deacon), I almost felt like I was committing an even graver sin by accepting from an EM. Bah.

    http://www.mybrokenfiat.com/1/post/2011/08/broken-eucharistic-promise.html

    I still get this awful, awful pit in my stomach when I think of that (which was really recent). Poor Jesus. :( That’s like being with your best friend at a party and relying on folks you sorta-kinda know to introduce you to everyone because your best friend is off ignoring you somewhere.

    May this priest have his heart melted a bit by the Holy Spirit so that he always feels the honor and love offered through feeding his flock the Eucharist. {hugs} to all priests everywhere.

  14. Dr. Eric says:

    At my mom’s parish, there is a former parishioner who is now a Franciscan priest. He shows up from time to time and he sits in the congregation. Should he not put on a stole and help with Communion instead of having one of those extraneous ministers do it? The parish is very small the sanctuary is smaller than my dining room and the entire church proper is about the size of my house. There might be 10 rows of pews- max.

    Also, we sometimes have a Benedictine monk show up at our parish and he sits among the congregation- our parish is slightly larger than my mom’s parish. We have probably 20 rows of pews. Should the monk not help with Communion instead of the EMHCs. Father can see from the sanctuary everyone who is at Mass.

  15. cblanch says:

    I saw a priest over the summer do this and I tried not to read anything into it…I guess I mean I tried not to imagine that he was trying to teach those pious folks a lesson who only receive from the priest. Totally distracting and discouraging.

  16. jbas says:

    If he doesn’t want to do his job, then the bishop should dock his pay.

  17. chloesmom says:

    This happens quite a bit at my parish – our pastor has had heart problems, and perhaps this is the reason he delegates distribution of H. Communion at Mass. However, those distributing are not EMHCs (AFAIK) – one of them is actually the sacristan. But our parish is so far out in left field nothing would surprise me. And, BTW, there has not been ONE WORD about the upcoming new translation. Wouldn’t surprise me if it will never be used. Everything coming from Rome is routinely ignored (“we close our eyes”) – I don’t think about it too much any more, I just pray – a lot!

  18. Nora says:

    Obviously if the priest was indeed healthy and was simply trying to “not embarrass” someone, he made the wrong call; don’t we all, all too often. However, lots of folks appear to be “healthy” when in fact they have some passing or permanent infirmity that is not visible. Better that he should sit than drop Our Lord all over the floor because of vertigo or something. I am all about “hearing the black and seeing the red”, but most of the deviations I see are either entirely inadvertent or involve some additional principle that is not obvious, like a sudden physical symptom. Our pastor plays a “what if” game during altar service practice, of what to do “if”. There are all sorts of well thought answers that I would have never imagined.

  19. moon1234 says:

    Keep in mind that receiving Holy Communion is only REQUIRED once per year. It is a very good thing that you try to receive each Sunday (providing you are in the sate of grace). What kind of a statement do you think it would send if people refused to receive our Lord from an emhc? This has happened in several parishes where a priest has been moved and a more liberal priest installed.

    The more liberal instituted EMHC almost immediatly. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE received communion from them. It had to be extremely awkward for two people to stand there in a packed Church and be left standing ALL alone. You would THINK that would send a message to father. What happened? Father sat out distributing communion completly the next Sunday. Half of the congregation did not receive.

    I have not attended that parish in almost a decade now. Many times the Priests “sitting it out” have a social plan for the laity.

    Just keep in mind that if you are worried about profanition at all, then do not receive. Make a spiritual act of communion. Our Lord is not FORCING you go to communion.

  20. Re: priests sitting in the congregation, I think it’s probably not my business to speculate on why they’re there, or if they’re capable of helping with Communion distribution. Obviously it would be good for them to distribute, if they don’t have any health problems or other reasons against it; but that’s between them and Father.

    Sometimes Catholics should notice things and be worried. There are real abuses. But honestly, sometimes people are paying attention just a little too much to the world beyond their folded hands and Jesus on the altar. I’m not an usher or a Knight of Columbus or a teacher, so it’s not my business to be looking around, keeping tabs on people. When it comes to anything about receiving Communion that’s not about my disposition for it and my receiving Him safely, it doesn’t seem to be my business unless somebody waves something bad right in my face.

    If one of the priests wants to come sit in the back or the choir loft and then vanishes away again, I’m going to ignore him just like I’d want to be ignored, if I came over to church to pray for just a little bit. If the pastor wants to get in his pre-Mass prayers over in the pews to the side because the sacristy’s still being set up, he clearly doesn’t want or need me rubbernecking. So why would it be anybody’s business but the pastor’s, if a visiting priest (possibly ill) goes and sits up front but doesn’t concelebrate or distribute Communion?

  21. Supertradmum says:

    At almost every Catholic chaplaincy where I have attended Mass, except at the “new” Catholic colleges, I have seen this happen on a regular basis. Also, in my home diocese, several youngish and healthy priests do this, allowing the laity to distribute, while they sit down. My parents’ pastor does this weekly, as I was asked about it! He is not an ill man, but seems to prefer letting the laity do his priestly duties.

    Without creating a rabbit hole, in some parishes here in England, the EMs are still cleansing the vessels, as they are not supposed to do. This is done almost daily in Walsingham as well, where there needs some liturgical tightening-up.

  22. RichR says:

    There are easy ways to prep laymen for this scenario.

    1) At EMHC training sessions, remind them that they are temporarily filling a role that is ordinarily done by priests. If a priest shows up, they can sit with their family and not help with Communion.

    2) If EMHC’s are required to sign in, make a note on the sign-in sheet that, should a priest arrive, they may be asked to sit out this Mass.

    3) If EMHCs pray together before Mass, be sure and add a prayer for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and diaconate.

    4) If a priest does show up, and all the slots are filled with EMHCs, make sure that there is an order of replacement. IOW, if people sign up to distribute in a certain position in the sanctuary (eg. one of the Ciboria distributing next to the main Celebrant), then they are the first to be chosen to step down.

    It’s all about managing expectations. Now that this is seen to be a problem, make arrangements to avoid the situation all together.

  23. MJ says:

    This exact thing – the priest looking on while laity distribute the Eucharist – is what caused my parents to leave the OF.

    They actually got up and walked out of Mass when they saw it happening. As they headed towards the door they saw the priest at the back, watching the proceedings…my mom asked him, “Why aren’t you up there giving communion?” Tthe priest said, “Now isn’t the time to talk to me about this.”

    My parents left, re-found the EF (of course, those were scarce in the 80s!), and they haven’t looked back since.

  24. frjim4321 says:

    Hmmm, I certainly buy that the presider [I think he means "priest... celebrant"....] should not be sitting out the communion procession (in fact I think doing so in the case of illness requires permission from the bishop). But considering it some kind of virtue to pass up an EM and refuse to receive communion by anyone but a priest seems twisted and a bit sad. [Is is "twisted and sad" to desire to receive Communion from consecrated hands?] At the very least, priorities like that are very distorted.

    Behavior like that seems more related to the sin of pride rather than any virtue. Related to the idea that “I’m so much better than these others who are going to the EM.” [But that imputes a bad motive, which doesn't really seem fair.]

  25. Ef-lover says:

    In my parish, one or two of the parish priest will walk into the church around the time of Holy Communion and stand in the back watching the EMHC’s giving communion and then head out the door to greet those leaving mass early.

  26. MJ says:

    frjim4321 said:

    “But considering it some kind of virtue to pass up an EM and refuse to receive communion by anyone but a priest seems twisted and a bit sad. At the very least, priorities like that are very distorted.
    Behavior like that seems more related to the sin of pride rather than any virtue. Related to the idea that “I’m so much better than these others who are going to the EM.””

    No, no no – it’s not twisted, sad, or prideful. It’s very simple: EMHCs are not supposed to be used on a regular basis. Many people (myself included) prefer to receive from the ordinary ministers of the Eucharist (a deacon or the priest) and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t need to get into the reasons why – there are plenty, and they should be fairly obvious.

    I would be curious to see (perhaps this is a good poll topic, Fr Z ;-) how many of us who prefer to receive from a deacon or priest *also* only receive on the tongue.

    Just personally, if my option is to receive from an EMHC or not at all, I would choose the latter. Similarly, if my option is to receive in the hand or not at all, I would also choose the latter. This is how strongly I feel about this.

  27. MarkJ says:

    @frjim4321: You said: “But considering it some kind of virtue to pass up an EM and refuse to receive communion by anyone but a priest seems twisted and a bit sad… Behavior like that seems more related to the sin of pride rather than any virtue. Related to the idea that “I’m so much better than these others who are going to the EM.””

    I and my whole family go almost exclusively to EF Masses, but on the occasion when we are travelling and have no choice but to go to an OF Mass, we only receive from the priest, and kneeling. For me, this is because EMHCs are way over-used to the point of being a liturgical abuse, and I cannot in good conscience condone this liturgical abuse by “availing myself” of an EMHC. It has nothing to do with pride, just a desire to be in line with the Church. We also choose sometimes to not receive Communion at all if the Mass has been so altered as to be of questionable validity. Again, our overall focus is to be in Communion with Rome, not with any particular liturgically-abusive parish. And above all to show reverence to the God we are receiving, which is why we kneel as is our tradition at our EF-only parish.

  28. MikeM says:

    In the Priest’s partial defense, while he should have been distributing communion instead of the EMHC, the bad practices in this regard have gone on for so long that a lot of EMHCs get very upset when they’re told not to do something. There was nearly a revolt against one priest I know when he told the EMHCs that they were no longer permitted to purify the vessels.

    In some parishes, hell hath no fury like an EMHC scorned.

  29. everett says:

    While I always prefer to receive from an Ordinary minister (priest/deacon), the idea that I should not receive if an EMHC is distributing is silly. You’re basically saying that its more important that you make a point (that most people won’t notice) than it is to receive the Eucharist. You are choosing to pass up the opportunity to receive sacramental graces for that? I’ve got no problem with sitting in the part of Church that will go to Father to receive, or even to moving over to that line, but some things are just a bit over the top.

  30. ncstevem says:

    presider Jim is at it again.

  31. MJ says:

    I don’t believe those of us who prefer not to receive from an EMHC are trying to “make a point”.

  32. MarkJ says:

    @everett: The only point I’m trying to make is with God, who is the ultimate Judge of all my motives and actions. If my striving to be obedient to God and His Church offends someone, I’m sorry, but I will not fall in line with a parish that is out of step with Rome just so I don’t offend the parishioners or the priest.

  33. eulogos says:

    Fr. Jim, I don’t think we ought to judge the motives of those who feel strongly about only receiving from the priest, or those who kneel when others stand, etc. It might be that if *I* did this, I would be thinking “I am so much better than those people who-” but that doesn’t mean that they are. Whether one does, or does not do, any of these things, will I hope be brought to the Lord in prayer by each person. The Lord might even tell one person something different than what He tells another, because one person’s temptation might be to carelessness and irreverence, and another’s to pride.

    However I do think it would be a good idea to alter the expectations of the EMHC’s (called EM’s in official literature in the diocese I live in, where they have no intention of altering their expectations.) The worse thing I ever saw was the time our gentle and learned priest from Kenya came to all the masses to speak about the school he was financing there and when he took the second container full of hosts off the altar to give out communion, a woman came up and literally grabbed it out of his hand, saying “I’m host minister today!” He looked astonished and taken aback, then made a little shrug and took a chalice from the altar (one EHMC had had the decency not to come up when she saw there was another priest there) and adminstered the cup instead, although he was obviously unused to doing this. I am still kicking myself for not saying something to this woman afterwards. It does make one think that no all EHMC’s are motivated by the spirit of service!

    I can’t resist repeating again how glad I am that I now attend a Byzantine parish where ONLY priests or deacons give communion, on a golden spoon, into the mouths of the servants of God, saying, “The servant of God-name-receives the Body and Blood of Christ.”

    Susan Peterson

  34. HyacinthClare says:

    Ncstevem, you said it, I don’t have to.

  35. Mundabor says:

    Ahhh, “sensitivity”….

    The best way to do what one wants to do anyway, but looking good in the process.

    Mundabor

  36. PomeroyonthePalouse says:

    FrJim4321 said, “Behavior like that seems more related to the sin of pride rather than any virtue. Related to the idea that “I’m so much better than these others who are going to the EM.”

    Please don’t judge us. Perhaps those who prefer to receive from a priest do iot because they prefer to receive from someone whose hands have been blessed for such as purpose as opposed to someone who was asked, “Hey do you want to distribute Communion at mass? Great, I’ll put you on the list.” And yes, that was the way it has been in our parish.

  37. Shadow says:

    FWIW:

    1) “Priests are to remember that they are not thereby excused from the task of distributing the Eucharist to the faithful” (Immensae Caritatis, 1973)

    2) Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of the Priest (1997): “Extraordinary ministers may distribute Holy Communion at eucharistic celebrations only when there are no ordained ministers present or when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion” (Congregations for Bishops, the Clergy, Divine Worship, Doctrine of the Faith, Evangelization of Peoples, Institutes of Religious Life, Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, and the Laity).

    3) Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004): “The practice of those priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons” (Congregation for Divine Worship).

    The contents of these three documents pretty much trump what any individual priest may think about “sitting it out” so that EMHC’s only distribute Communion. Said contents also similarly trump what any individual priest may personally think about laypersons choosing to receive only from ordained hands.

  38. gambletrainman says:

    My own experience. Our newly-assigned pastor (around 1971) told me after his arrival that he would only do what was necessary, and delegate the rest to others. I didn’t know exactly what he meant at the time, just figured he was talking about certain parish board things, etc. As time went on, I saw that he was sitting during the distribution of Communion (perfectly healthy priest in his mid-fifties) while lay people would distribute Communion (even had an assistant pastor as well as a retired pastor who were able to help out). Finally it took someone travelling from out of state to report this to the bishop. The bishop said he would resolve the matter. The next week, the pastor was transferred to another parish, by himself, and in a remote village in the far eastern part of the state (probably around 1975-76). The priest eventually died (in the ’80′s) and the bishop involved has retired and is living on the shore.

  39. gambletrainman says:

    By the way,what is the rule on someone other than the priest distributing Communion outside of church? There was a nun here in town who would very often take Communion to parishoners in the hospital. I also have a cousin who was very active in church on a military installation where her husband was stationed, and would frequently distribute Communion to hospital-bound patients on base. In both cases, the priest and chaplain were always available and healthy.

    In my cousin’s case,she felt “a sense of awe” to be able to bring Christ to patients.

  40. ncstevem says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf, I hope my comments below don’t get me in hot water with you.

    I made the following comment above, “presider Jim is at it again.”

    For those who are wondering, my comment is directed at the poster frjim4321 who apparently is an ordained Catholic priest. Several posters in previous threads have questioned said priest about some of his comments (like defending homosexual priests).

    This priest also makes use of faddish ‘spirit of Vatican II’ language such as ‘presider’ rather than ‘priest’. I ask Father (again) if he was ordained a ‘presider’ or a ‘priest’.

    What I think this Father fails to realize is that his use of 1970′s ‘cutting edge’ language is akin to the 60ish pony tailed hippie who never moved beyond tie dyed t-shirts, sandals and making the peace sign. Serious people laugh at these juvenile attempts to be ‘with it’.

    But I think many/most who frequent this blog understand the motivation of many Catholics who use terms like ‘presider’, and it’s really not an attempt to be ‘with it’. There’s a more pernicious reason for the language they use.

    Again Fr. Zuhlsdorf, I apologize to you if my comments come across as uncharitable but I honestly believe this priest needs to be taken to task for his comments. [Not your job on this blog. Right?]

  41. albinus1 says:

    This question has come up a few times with brother priests, who have argued that it wouldn’t be charitable to ‘bump’ an EMHC who was scheduled to “serve” that day if a concelebrant arrived unexpectedly because that EM “made special efforts and sacrifices to come to that particular Mass.”.

    Good grief. Some years ago when I was regularly serving the TLM at a parish, one day I arrived for my scheduled Mass and found that a couple of seminarians were visiting for the day, and so they were going to serve the Mass instead. So I attended the Mass with the congregation. No big deal. Had I “made a special effort to come that that particular Mass” so I could serve? Yes. But so what? No big deal. Honestly, some people need to get over themselves.

  42. albinus1 says:

    PS to gambletrainman: I’m not sure what the rule is, but it seems to me that if there is any real justification for EMHCs, it is to take Holy Communion to shut-ins, those in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, prisons, or who are otherwise confined and can’t always physically get to Mass, when priests aren’t able to make these trips themselves. Not just to “speed up” the distribution of Holy Communion during Mass. I’m sure there are real occasions when a priest’s or deacon’s time is spread too thin to enable him to visit all the people who are genuinely unable to church, and EMHCs could perform a real ministry of service in this area. I’m not claiming it’s ideal, but rather that a good case can be made for it.

  43. gambletrainman says:

    albinus1

    Thanks. That sounds logical.

  44. MJ says:

    frjim4321 is a priest…??

    ncstevem, thanks for the background info…I too have been quite annoyed with frjim4321′s comments lately, but didn’t realize the situation.

  45. frjim4321 says:

    LOL, I only wish I could wear a pony tail but I assure you that gene skipped my generation.

    Indeed I am the pastor of a growing parish and thank you very much it is rather orthodox. Catholicism is quite a big tent and there is a wonderful continuum from progressive to traditional and many places in between.

    With respect to orthodoxy you will not find a more orthodox penance service in the first form anywhere in the diocese. Two thirds of them don’t even have the Lord’s Prayer. Nor will you find many parishes in which all parishioners are able to participate in the anointing of the sick on a regular basis.

    More to the point of this thread, nor will you find many parishes in which the fraction and communion procession is celebrated as smoothly, prayerfully and beautifully, with the presider always as communion minister#1, always standing in the same place so the “choosers” can go to him if they want.

    With respect to ncstevem whose main objection to me seems to be my concern about the pastoral care of our sisters and brothers who may be homosexual, I personally ascribe very much to the theory that sexual orientation is hardwired from very early in life (a theory that is not contested by church teaching) and therefore such individuals deserve to be ministered to in a comprehensive manner that does not compound the shame that has been instilled in them by others.

    With respect to presider/assembly language these are valid terms which are related to appropriate roles specifically with respect to the dialogical nature of the liturgy.

  46. mrose says:

    frjim4321:

    Are the terms Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Celebrant deficient in some manner?

    [This is turning into a rabbit hole.]

  47. puma19 says:

    I was visiting Southport in Australia a couple of years back and at the Sunday Mass the priest sat down during communion and let laypeople distribute communion. He stood for the whole Mass and yet sat for communion. I was stunned at this. The priest is the ordinary minister of communion and NOT the laity or anyone else. This was a total travesty of the eucharist and its celebration. I felt like writing his bishop to complain, but as i was an overseas visitor, did not. But this is the problem with many Australian liturgies – they have gone beserk with their own implementation of the liturgy, making changes, introducing self-promotion elements, protestantising the sacrifice of the Mass. No wonder people are angry and are being short-changed spiritually. This is a problem that bishops there have not been facing up to and recently of course the bishop of Toowoomba was ‘removed’ by the Pope.
    At their current ad limina to Rome, I have to hope that bishops will be told to be the leaders of their liturgies and show example and proper government of their diocesan practices, because it has gone out of control. Next we’ll have priests just sit down for the whole Mass and the laity stand around the altar ‘celebrating’ – just like protestant services.
    An horrendous fate awaits if that occurs.
    Pax

  48. Midwest St. Michael says:

    “Next we’ll have priests just sit down for the whole Mass and the laity stand around the altar ‘celebrating’ – just like protestant services. An horrendous fate awaits if that occurs.”

    Something the infamous (except to Fishwrap “catholics”) but sadly influential Dutch theologian Edward Schillebeeckx advocated for even up to his death in 2009 (+RIP). Which in a lot of ways is why the Church in that part of the “Old World” is in shambles.

    MSM

  49. ncstevem says:

    OK presider Jim, I’ll bite. [No. Actually, you won't. This thread isn't about pastoral care of homosexuals. Review what it is about in the top entry.]

  50. albizzi says:

    …”refuse to receive communion by anyone but a priest seems twisted and a bit sad”…
    Frjim 4321,
    I myself (I am not a priest) obey the “Redemptionis Sacramentum” rules when the priest looks to be totally ignoring them:
    In the case he makes an overuse of the EMHCs, that is to say at almost all masses (when giving communion shouldn’t last more than 5 minutes with no EMHC helping) I come to the priest exclusively and many faithfuls are doing so. Thus the EMHC keeps standing feeling a bit useless.

  51. MJ says:

    [I'll delete this whole comment as an off topic ad hominem.]

  52. James Joseph says:

    I can’t say that I haven’t encountered this sort of thing before.

    We once had a rector who had lyme disease after living in South America. He was an extraordinary ill man, and could barely stand.

    I have seen it with perfectly healthy priests as well.
    I have also seen it where priests told people to commune themselves from the altar.
    It happens. Hopefully it will go away sooner than later.