Meanwhile, back in Washington, DC…

I was alerted by a friend to something very interesting.

There was an AP article by Julie Pace on about Pres. Obama at Notre Dame. 

At the very end of that article, originally, this paragraph appeared:

"Back in Washington, Vice President Joe Biden attended Mass with his family at Holy Trinity Church, where a granddaughter received her first Communion"

Great news!  I always like stories about First Communions.

However, you have to go back to a cached version of that article now, or find it where it was posted by other interested readers.

The newer posting of that article for some odd reason edited out any mention of the Vice President attending Holy Mass in Washington.

I found a cached version, an image of which is below, of the article as it was before that news was edited out of the story.

I really enjoy reports of First Communions. 

These are moments when families come together and celebrate the gifts of the sacraments Christ gave to Holy Church.  Very often people who may have not been to Mass for a while are moved to rethink how they are practicing their faith. 

Sadly, some people who shouldn’t go to Communion go anyway.  That happens, sadly.  In most cases the priest really doesn’t know the personal situation of guests to his parish – or even all of his parishioners. 

But we can all be glad, in this time of year, that so many children are making their First Holy Communion.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. mike hurcum says:

    If a priest does not know the spiritual situation of his parishioners then he has a major problem. [He might also have several thousand people in his parish, some of whom are rather tenuously participating. However, I suspect a pastor would recognize the VPOTUS and the Secret Service who explored his church before Mass.] He must urge them to go to confession. He represents Christ and as Jesus told us He Himself will have to justify to His Father all the souls He lost even we must believe those priests whom He made Himself for our benefit. How will they, the priests explain themselves and their l;ack of forgiving sins to Christ at their final judgment. Not a situation I would want to be in. Pray for them and an awakenin g of their conscience

  2. Ken says:

    Holy Trinity, for those who don’t know Washington, D.C., is the most liberal parish in the archdiocese, run by Jesuits in Georgetown. It is a who’s who of the Catholic left.

    Sadly, Archbishop Wuerl has allowed it to become a virtual Green Zone for every pro-abortion, pro-sodomy politician with zero fear of discipline.

  3. Rancher says:

    Just another nail in the coffin of credibility. When oh when are our leaders going to say “here are the rules…obey them or get out” If and when you are ready to come back and obey the rules the path to a return is called confession. We are gaining nothing and loosing much by continuing to give prominent “catholics” who flaunt their disagreement the benefit of the doubt. Too many of our Bishops will take an occasional but not consistent gutsy stand but then they back off. There is too much fear of “offending” someone and too much emphasis on the usually failed “can’t we all just get along” mentality. No, we all can’t get along when some obey the rules and others do not and those who don’t suffer no consequences.

    The Bishops as a whole seem to focus on “being fair”…well what about fairness to those who are obedient to Church teaching? Seeing just one of the dissident catholics so deserving of chastisement get what is coming to them would be a tremendous boost to the morale of believers. Is wanting such an outcome wrong? I don’t know. But it certainly is no more wrong than letting dissidents not only get away with it but use it for their selfish political purposes.

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again. One of the courses most needed to be taught in semanaries today is a course in what good leadership is all about and how to excercise good leadership especially during times of difficulty. There is not one Bishop in ten in this country that evidences any understanding of good leadership on anything close to a consistent basis.

  4. Justin in Ohio says:

    I was going to echo Ken’s remarks on Holy Trinity. It doesn’t sound like a pro-life group is one of their important parish committee or ministries. Although this one is prominently displayed on their

    I thought that Voice of the Faithful was not an official Catholic Church organization….apparently it is
    at some dissenting parishes. Sad.

    First Communion’s are always important, however. Maybe one or more of the Vice President’s grandchildren
    will discover the beauty and majesty of the liturgy and the Church’s true teachings one day (it could
    happen….I’d wager that many devout and orthodox Catholics today had parents or grandparents that
    unfortunately latched onto some of the more “progressive” changes in the Church of the late 1960’s and 1970’s but we were able to see through that in time….I know I did)

  5. Marcin says:

    I concur with opinions about Holy Trinity at Georgetown. We used to go there as a family, when unable to go to Sunday Mass in ‘a normal’ church in the morning. But it was when our boy was a toddler, and we avoided it when he grew up. The argument “but it’s valid” is valid only to a certain point. Holy Trinity is beyond this point (I hope that Mass is valid). I am sorry to say that, but there is no reason to expose children to it.

  6. ED says:

    I remember as a little boy their was the custom of dressing the little boys in white suits emphasizing their purity during First Communion. Has this changed they now wear all varities of suits, of course the little boys of today drenched with vulgarity from the media, schools and their own parents juvenile behavior have lost much of that purity foul language shoots out of their little mouths these days. Its a custom that should be reinstated , explained and stressed again.

  7. Ricky Vines says:

    I hope a group organizes a protest against Abp. Wuerl’s decision to
    not enforce canon 915.

  8. EDG says:

    When is somebody (Apb Wuerl, for example) going to do something about this? ND would never have happened if the local bishops had stood up and done their jobs over the last few years. But they won’t. Why?

  9. Marcin says:

    When is somebody (Apb Wuerl, for example) going to do something about this? ND would never have happened if the local bishops had stood up and done their jobs over the last few years. But they won’t. Why?

    On the principle, I agree. But the story says nothing about VPOTUS himself receiving Communion.

  10. Ken says:

    Marcin — maybe that story didn’t mention it, but VPOTUS has indeed been given Communion at Holy Trinity, his D.C. church of choice (which, BTW, is not the nearest parish to the VP’s residence):

    When in Delaware, he does the same at his local parish:

  11. Ricky Vines says:

    I guess to refuse the pro-aborts Communion is to demonize them
    and Obama exhorted us not to do that. Abp. Wuerl is just being
    collaborative even if he violates Canon law. It might not be
    important anymore nowadays.

  12. mike hurcum says:

    have we all forgotten Archbishop Wuerl was a nominal disciple of Archbishop Huns. in Seattle, A disciple who never enforced many of the prohibitions that the Vatican placed upon Hunthauser’s behavior. I remind you all of the rebuilding of the cathedral in Seattle with a shaman, some kind of new age woman priest and other wonks helping to bless the Cathedral and of course the pyramid upon the roof of the Church. I remind you of the scandal this caused and ask can we really expect anything better to happen in Washington DC than in the State of Washington. I am sorry to bring this up but many of the very devout faithful in Seattle were devastated.

  13. Eoin Suibhne says:

    I, too, like stories about First Communions. Alas, my daughter’s First Communion was this Saturday. We belong to a fairly orthodox parish in which most of the parishioners receive on the tongue. I would call our pastor orthodox, but not conservative — and most definitely not traditional.

    The Director of Religious Education, who directly oversees preparation for First Communion, was careful to instruct the children to receive on the tongue. Not that he specifically said, “Do not receive in the hand;” He simply didn’t mention it. Come Sunday (much to my chagrin) our pastor went out of his way during his homily to give specific instructions to the children on how to receive in the hand. That was bad enough, but what was worse was his description of it as “a great privilege.” Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the children would be receiving on the tongue — not because it was preferable, but because it was “faster.”

    This act of our pastor’s just cut me to the heart, knowing that Communion in the hand began as an act of disobedience (as you noted in a recent post, Father) — not as a “a great privilege.” We’ve instructed our daughter why we receive on the tongue, and immediately after Mass told us, “Father said we could receive on the tongue.”

    In happier news, we have been attending the Extraordinary Form every Sunday at a nearby parish. It is an oasis of peace in a restless world.

  14. michigancatholic says:

    So who’s using the little kid as a news plug? Our trashy news media, Biden or Obama? Don’t tell me it’s a coincidence that this was printed on the very weekend Obama was at Football University. I don’t believe it.

    Poor little girl.

  15. EJ says:

    Holy Trinity Parish was very forcefully brought into line within what the Church considers the “bare minimums” in the mid-1990’s by order of the then-archbishop, the late and great James Cardinal Hickey, chiefly through his equally great (then Auxiliary) Bishop Alvaro Corrada, himself a Jesuit (a very orthodox one)currently the excellent bishop of Tyler, TX. The parish was nothing less than heterodox before it was at least partially reigned in. A war of dissent against the Cardinal and Bishop lasted for years until finally things there appeared to have died down. It wasn’t until the tenure of Cardinal McCarrick and now Archbishop Wuerl.. that Trinity is once again the DC refugee camp for the heterodox. Honestly though, if there is a Gay and Lesbian Ministry (no…not “Courage”) conducted in the Archbishop’s own cathedral, where there is a lively Gay friendly PM Sunday Mass…then what could we possibly expect elsewhere in the diocese? Paternal correction? Disciplining? Consequences? PLEASE! If I discern a vocation, I will be crossing the river (where I avail myself of the sacraments anyway) to apply with the Diocese of Arlington.

  16. Sandra in Severn says:

    The “community in the catholic tradition” a.k.a. St. Bernadette is our “geographic parish” although St. Lawrence Martyr(Jessup) is closer, and the military parish on Ft. Meade is the closest.

    St. Bernadette is the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Holy Trinity. (Yes I have been there before, “interesting” does not describe it, or St. Bernadette’s.)

    I wonder if Archbishop O’Brien has been out this way yet?

    “But we can all be glad, in this time of year, that so many children are making their First Holy Communion.”

    Yes, that is what we should all be attending upon, the blessings of the sacraments.

  17. Antiquarian says:


    The “Gay and Lesbian Ministry” at St Matthew’s Cathedral (“Always Our Children”)is entirely dedicated to encouraging chastity and adherence to the Church’s teachings. What part of that do you find objectionable?

    As for the “gay friendly” Mass, what does that mean? Given the Cathedral’s location in one of the most “gay friendly” neighborhoods in the country it’s hardly a rational criticism that the congregation includes gays. Should they be barred at the door?

  18. Joanne says:

    Just as an aside, St. Matthew’s Cathedral in DC is one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever been in.

    Carry on. ;)

  19. Veritas says:

    I admire the Pope but cannot join his communion because I am not happy with beliefs being held without evidence other than their having been defined as true. This does not prevent me believing in much more of the Catholic Faith than many Catholic clergymen of my acquaintance. How can they do it please? Have they any conception of authority? I am under the impression that the Holy Father’s religion is not an a la carte one. Should I like Mr Bidden join and then pick and choose what I can believe? Should I follow the example of Hans Kung who is I believe in full communion with the Holy See? Having left the C of E because of its tolerated heresy, am I confronted with the same situation in considering the Catholic Church?

  20. Ricky Vines says:

    Veritas: Church is like a net full of fishes. Some edible, others
    trash. Some priests and bishops are conscientious even holy; others
    will have to answer for their negligence and mediocrity. Unlike C of E,
    We have the Pope but the Pope cannot force obedience just as God respects
    people’s freedom. Re: discipline for Kung, I don’t know what to say
    as far as the limits before one gets kicked out.

  21. Veritas says:

    Thank you Mr Vines. I was not talking about people being conscientious or holy, or negligent or mediocre, but about the acceptance of doctrine and morality. Where are the boundaries? Why do you tolerate people like Pelosi, Bidden, Blair, and thus give the impresion that their view is a legitimate one? I would agree with you about abortion, they don’t, yet you regard them as members in good standing of your church.

  22. o.h. says:

    My little girl received her First Holy Communion Sunday before last, at our parish’s TLM. An older couple among our guests, brought up in the pre-V2 Church, were nearly in tears at the beauty and reverence of the Mass, and spoke movingly afterwards about how much it meant to them. Alas they live in a small town with no TLM anywhere near them.

    Last Sunday, the TLM was delayed by the photo-taking after the First Holy Communions at the Spanish Mass. Nobody minded; it was so wonderful to see the exuberant joy of the communicants and their families. Many of the first communicants were older, and I was touched to consider that their families were “making things right” with their children’s sacraments. Somewhere far away, Pres. Obama was giving a commencement speech; here, children were receiving Jesus into joyful hearts.

    Glory to God!

  23. Ken says:

    Okay, how about some good news? Here are [No… how about sticking to the topic of the entry and not turning posts into college campus telephone polls. You can send news or post in relevant threads.]

  24. EJ says:

    Antiquarian – if you have attended the Mass and you are familiar with the rector and how arguably to the “left” the 5:30 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral is… i.e. let’s focus on seamless garments and the social justice heroine that the Church is versus the LIFE ISSUES and issues concerning sexual morality that are very much at stake and quite relevant to that particular congregation… all I will say is that there are ways to get away with things, there are ways to veil things to get away with things and that is exactly what is going on at the Cathedral. If you argue that “Always Our Children” is the guiding light for the cathedral’s Gay and Lesbian Ministry (called just that.. go to the website) and NOT the Catechism …then let’s agree to disagree here – It is really stretching it to say that the Cathedral’s ministry to them is particularly aimed at encouraging chastity – it is vastly more of a singles support group if you ask me. I am well aware of the “neighborhood” that the Cathedral is located in, all the more reason for the cathedral of this archdiocese to be clear and unambiguous, out of love for truth in charity, about the Church’s teachings on sexual morality.

  25. Ricky Vines says:

    Re: “Why do you tolerate people like Pelosi, Bidden, Blair, and thus give the impresion that their view is a legitimate one? I would agree with you about abortion, they don’t, yet you regard them as members in good standing of your church.”

    Actually there is a Church law, canon 915, that was intended to show the Church
    that these pro-aborts are not in good standing so much so that they cannot
    receive Holy Communion and that is absolute according to Abp. Burke who is
    like the chief justice of the entire Church. So, there’s that and there’s
    enforcement. I don’t understand why Abp. Wuerl of DC will not deny Communion
    to these pols.

  26. Rancher says:

    True believing, practicing Catholics do not accept the words and actions of the politicos you mentioned as being in good standing with the Church. An increasing number of Catholic Bishops are making it clear that such people are not Catholics in good standing. That is widely known among Catholics who take their faith seriously and keep abreast of what is really going on in the U S Church.

    Catholics who confine their faith to once a week (at the most) visits to Church are often clueless. They are the very ones who are influenced by the secular, anti-Catholic media because the only information they have about what the Bishops are saying and doing about the likes of Biden and Pelosi come from that source. And the secular media is doing its very best to present only a slanted view of the issue with the specific intent, like Obama’s intent, of dividing the Catholic Church in this country. If they, through their inaccurate reporting (editorializing rather than reporting quite frankly) can lull some Catholics into believing that the Church official condones pro abortion “catholics” like Biden, Pelosi et al then they have accomplished their purpose.

  27. John Womack says:

    God bless Joe Biden’s granddaughter! :-)

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