QUAERITUR: keeping Hosts from different Forms of Mass separated

From a reader:

We have a sung Sunday Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form at a local parish. The priest who says the Mass is not the pastor, but a diocesan priest who says Mass in both forms of the Roman Rite. He was invited to say the “old” Mass there at the invitation of the bishop and welcome of the pastor.
It has come to my knowledge that this very wonderful priest keeps the hosts that are consecrated at the Mass in the Extraordinary Form separate from those consecrated at Masses in the Ordinary Form, so as to not risk upsetting some of the faithful attending the “old” Mass.
I find this extremely troubling, as it seems to send the wrong message. Instead of catering to some misconceptions (and heresy), wouldn’t good catechesis to the faithful in question be in order?

Yes, catechesis is in order.  However, some people are never going to be convinced because they happy only when they are unhappy.

I find it absurd to separate Hosts in that manner.

This sort of thing is fueled the handful of people who think that the consecration during Holy Mass celebrated with the Novus Ordo is invalid, or perhaps the priest was not validly ordained if he was ordained in the newer rite.

Both the consecration in the Novus Ordo of Mass and ordination with the post-Conciliar rite are valid.

Transubstantiation takes place during both forms of Holy Mass.

There is not "more" Jesus in a Host consecrated at one form of Mass than at another.

It could be that the pastor who makes a decision to separate the Hosts in different ciboria simply doesn’t have the energy to deal with the troublemakers.

However, it think it is an imprudent thing to give in to that sort of thing.


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  1. Tradster says:

    I believe (hope) the majority of that problem will vanish once the NO finally begins using “for manay” in place of “for all”.

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Thank you for posting this, as the TLM priest south of us in another town uses the Hosts from the previous NO Mass, if he runs out. He celebrates four Masses on the weekend, three NO and one TLM. Obviously, the Hosts in the ciborium is Christ’s Body. When there is a substitute priest, I am sure the same order is observed.

  3. “Comment by Tradster — 19 August 2010 @ 1:19 pm”

    If this were true, it would mean that the Church produced and promulgated an invalid form of the Mass. If she is free from error in matters of faith and morals under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this would be impossible. The impending translation of “pro multis” to “for many” was rendered more accurately, on the basis of fidelity to the original Latin text, unlikely for theological correctness, and definitely not for validity.

    Honestly, I don’t know why this is still even an issue, save the endless desire for rancor in some circles.

  4. TJerome says:

    sounds kookie and I attend both forms, the EF and OF.

  5. bmadamsberry says:

    There are two different extremes, the liberals who attack the EF and think that anything that has tradition should be thrown out. Then there’s sedevacantism, where people attack the OF and that anything new much be done away with.

  6. Fr Martin Fox says:

    If we had the Extraordinary Form in one of my parishes, and that request were made, I would not give an inch. If any priest did that in my parish, I am not sure that I’d allow him back.

    Just me, but to do that is highly disrespectful–not to the priest whose Mass is questioned–but to the LORD whose Eucharistic presence is not respected.

  7. pfreddys says:

    I have to say that I personally would appreciate such an arrangement. I have no doubt about the current ordination rite producing a true Priest of Christ; nor do I have any doubt that the Novus Ordo in the original Latin form is a true and valid Mass. I have attended/received communion at the Novus Ordo said in Latin; in fact, at the Mass at my wedding I requested the Priest use Canon I in Latin and he and I were fine with that.
    However, I do have sufficient doubt about the validity of those Masses said in English and using the words “for all” that this is a case where I personally have to follow my conscience and not receive Communion from Masses using that consecration formula.
    I have no desire to recruit anyone to this point of view but only want to thank God for the Eastern Rites, and say that I’m looking forward VERY much to Advent of 2011.

  8. Gulielmus says:

    It is kooky, but as Father Z opines, there are some who simply refue to receive the Eucharist if consecrated at the OF. I have a cousin who attends an SSPX chapel for this evry reason. When visitng DC she would not attend one of the EF Masses celebrated (under the then-indult situation) because she could not be positive the hosts from the tabernacle were “correctly” consecrated.

    As you might imagine, we have some lively discussions.

  9. Joshua08 says:

    I wouldn’r be mad at the priest. Obviously if he says both forms, he doesn’t himself doubt any validity. Nor would I presume that all those wanting this done reject the validity of the new Mass…I have heard some bizarre reasons before. To give examples. One person objected to the OF hosts because the ciborium they were kept in was ugly and he deemed that irreverent. Another objected because, perhaps being conspiracy minded, he thought that “foisting” OF hosts on those at the EF was some attempt to test their obedience and took offense. That objection might be valid in cases where a priest refuses or is forbidden to consecrate a ciborium of Hosts in the EF and is required to always use Hosts from the OF, because such a rule does have a suspicious reasoning. But when the Masses are treated the same (with ciboria consecrated as need at either) and the ciboria are used from the tabernacle during Mass under the same reasoning as normal, then the objection should disappear.

    There are other oddball objections. Frankly it should just be treated as you would any Mass. Ideally communion is given from Hosts consecrated at that Mass, and when ciboria from the tabernacle are used there shouldn’t be any discrimination based on what Mass they were consecrated at, except perhaps that “older Hosts” should be used first.

  10. Dr. K says:

    “I believe (hope) the majority of that problem will vanish once the NO finally begins using “for manay” in place of “for all”.”

    It probably won’t until mysterium fidei is restored to the consecration.

  11. Childermass says:

    Of course these people are mistaken, but the blame for this situation I place squarely at the feet of the Bugnini-lead Consilium and Pope Paul VI. They did the shocking and terrible thing of throwing out the venerable Roman Rite and manufacturing a new rite in its place.

    Such an act is unprecedented in the history of the Church, and it struck a grievous blow to the heart of many people’s faith.

    It is understandable (if mistaken) that some people reacted by denying the validity of the new rite while others (like most of my family) stopped believing at all.

    So our priests have their work cut out in catechesis.

    Michael Davies’ book “The Order of Melchizedek: A Defense of the Roman Catholic Priesthood” is a good place to begin, as it rightly criticizes the new rite of ordination while also explaining why it is valid.

    I believe you have a Podcazt on this subject, Father?

  12. paulbailes says:

    Even if the NOM is valid, I am confident that Our Lord wants us to avoid it and all its products.

    Why? Think about whose idea was the NOM – does anyone really believe that it was crafted under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost??

    God Bless

  13. Jack Hughes says:

    As far as I know the FSSP priest who comes to say Mass in the EF half an hour after the OF lot have left will distribute ‘left over’ Hosts from the OF, having said that everyone who goes to his EF Mass knows that the NO is valid

  14. asophist says:

    My catechesis from the SSPX (whose Masses I occasionally attend) on this subject is as follows: When the priest, as Alter Christus, says the words “This is my Body” over the hosts on the corporal, and he has the intention to do what the Church does, the hosts are validly consecrated, regardless of the form of Mass in which these words take place, and regardless of their being in the sacred language or the vernacular. Similarly, when the priest says “This is the cup/chalice of my blood”, the consecration is valid by these words alone, sacred language or vernacular. All else is not strictly necessary for validity if valid matter are used for the bread and wine. However, circumstances could be that these words and actions take place in an atmosphere of sacrilege. There seems little doubt in my mind that some abuses of the rite of Mass (as is often seen in the Novus Ordo celebrations) are sacrilegious. Perhaps then, one might be tempted to shun hosts consecrated under such circumstances. But I would not shun them because they are still Our Lord, regardless, Who – in His Infinite Love – still comes to those who desire Him even in sacrilegious circumstances; nay, even in a Black Mass (of which I shudder to even contemplate). Shunning Our Lord is always just that, regardless of how we think about it. Now I’ll get off my soapbox and just say that I hope those who make such a discrimination about the Body of Our Lord will start to think a little more about Him and a little less (maybe a LOT less) about themselves.

  15. Geoffrey says:

    “Even if the NOM is valid, I am confident that Our Lord wants us to avoid it and all its products.”

    Wow. Isn’t that called setting up your own magisterium?

  16. “Even if the NOM is valid, I am confident that Our Lord wants us to avoid it and all its products.”

    Even his Son’s own Body and Blood? Sigh.

  17. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:


    Shouldn’t this situation be impossible? Aren’t people now supposed to receive hosts consecrated at the Mass at which they assist? What “left overs” could there be?”


  18. paulbailes says:

    Dear Geoffrey

    Your problem should not be with people like us who are the victims of the NOM and other Vatican II outcomes and trying to do our best to deal with them, but rather with those who abused their power in inflicting same on us.


  19. o.h. says:

    At our TLM, which hosts you receive (just consecrated, or previously consecrated at the NO Mass earlier that day) depends on which side of the church you sit on. Some do refuse to go over to the side where the previously consecrated hosts are offered, even when beckoned by the priest on that side.

    This was explained to me as not a belief that the hosts aren’t validly consecrated, but out of concern based on tales of NO parishes accidentally storing unconsecrated hosts in the tabernacle, and/or inability to tell if the NO Mass at which they were consecrated was in fact celebrated validly.

    Personally, I have taken up always sitting on the side with the newly consecrated hosts due to an acute sense of taste; often when I received a previously consecrated host, it has had a rancid taste that makes it difficult to swallow. This is especially bad in the southwestern summer. I don’t know why I taste rancid oil; I had thought hosts were made only of flour and water; but I do taste it.

  20. Random Friar says:

    This kind of situation is quite sad. It seems to me to be virtually Donatism.

    Good catechesis is a must.

  21. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Of course the correctly-said OF Mass confects a valid Eucharist!

    But I do wish I could receive the species confected at the EF. So many times, the priest only consecrates what he consumes and then goes to the Tabernacle for reserved Hosts to distribute. I do wish I could receive the species confected then and there at the EF.

    What the reader above describes does sound divisive. I’ve never seen that happen around here.

  22. Geoffrey says:


    My “problem” is not with so-called “victims of the NOM and other Vatican II outcomes”, rather with those who set up their own magisterium. You said “I am confident that Our Lord wants us to avoid it and all its products.” That kind of talk sounds much more Protestant than Catholic, regardless of the reasoning. It sounds as though you presume to speak with Christ’s authority, which only His Vicar and Holy Mother Churcfh can do. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  23. paulbailes says:

    It sounds as if some contributors to this discussion think that validity is the only thing that matters when judging whether or not to attend Mass or to receive Holy Communion. But that is not so! The Church has always taught that there are some valid Masses and Communions nevertheless to be avoided – and it’s not Donatism to think so.

    The question is then whether or not the NOM (and its consecrated hosts) fall into the category of those to be avoided. To answer that question, simply consider – where did the NOM come from? From God? or somewhere else??

    Cheer as ever

  24. paulbailes says:

    Dear Geoffrey

    Thanks for your kind reply. My point is that when those in authority do weird things (such as illicitly try to suppress the TLM in favour of the NOM), the rest of us have to exercise somewhat greater discretion than normal.


  25. muckemdanno says:

    Why is everyone here so willing to compromise with the Anglicans to get them to come back, but not willing to compromise with the ‘traditionalists’ to get them to come back?

    There is no rule against keeping the hosts separated, and it pleases some and encourages them to come back to their diocesan churches. So, why the negative talk?

  26. Random Friar says:

    @Paul: My understanding of the question was not of a “scandalous” Mass, but of a valid OF Mass. Implying that the fruit of consecration is anything less than valid is, essentially, neo-Donatist. You are denying a valid Sacrament for some non-existent defect in validity. But even if the Mass were “scandalous,” yet licit, or said by the worst of all priests, there is still validity. That is the heart of the Donatist heresy.

    @muckemdanno: I think the difference is that there is no theological controversy (pastoral, perhaps you can argue, but I do not believe so) in granting the Anglicans concessions to come. There is no great theological import in this. Rome has not said “Since you’re coming over, your orders are just as valid.” Plus, there is a lessening of culpability with the distance of time and history.

    But we are here and now. Granting “separate” consecrated Hosts sends a strong implication, and I know that some folks think so, for we have run into them, that the “OF” Hosts are not validly consecrated, or somehow defective as a Sacrament. We have even had run-ins with poor souls confused as to whether our Dominican Rite Masses had valid Eucharists, of if folks should receive Hosts from said Mass. (The answer we’ve heard related to us from those who came was, “Yes, but make sure you’re not getting those OF hosts!”). Those same priests who offer the Dominican Rite Mass, trust me on this one, are as likely to offer a “sacriligious” or invalid OF Mass as I would be of personally leading the Chicago Cubs into winning the World Series.

  27. Random Friar says:

    @muckemdanno: It skipped my little friar mind, but Rome *has* made concessions to traditionalists, and keeps trying to get the local bishops to play nice (brick by brick…). I am both/and in granting the Anglicans and SSPX whatever we can in charity and truth to heal division in the Church.

  28. Jerry says:

    @paulbailes – “The Church has always taught that there are some valid Masses and Communions nevertheless to be avoided”

    Off hand, I cannot recall these teachings. Perhaps you might elaborate on which Masses/Communions are to be avoided and the sources of these teachings? Thanks.

  29. “However, I do have sufficient doubt about the validity of those Masses said in English and using the words ‘for all’ that this is a case where I personally have to follow my conscience and not receive Communion from Masses using that consecration formula.”

    One is obliged to form one’s conscience according to the mind of the Church, and She alone has the authority “to bind and to loose” in such matters. The Church upholds the validity of the Mass where the formula for consecration is rendered thus. Therefore, your conscience is misinformed.

  30. orthros says:

    _Off hand, I cannot recall these teachings. Perhaps you might elaborate on which Masses/Communions are to be avoided and the sources of these teachings? Thanks._

    How about all of the Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgies, for starters?

  31. I’m disappointed. It’s a bit uncharitable to call the few traditionalists who attend former indult TLMS and who are uncomfortable receiving the Eucharist consecrated at a novus ordo as “troublemakers.” For many of these people this is a real struggle of faith. Many people ever since the unjust changes that took place have understandably struggled with the question of validity. While those who reject or question the validity of the sacraments may be objectively wrong, it’s unfair to belittle their struggle, and a little accommodation along with that catechesis will go a lot farther than belittling and berating. At any rate, I know people who struggle with this, and they don’t even come close to causing the amount of trouble that is caused by the typical lay member of a parish pastoral council!

    Isn’t it a definite step in the right direction that they are attending a Traditional Latin Mass offered by a priest consecrated under the new form? Why would you risk running them away, back into the fold of sedevacantists and schismatics, by berating them??

  32. Fr. Basil says:

    \\Even if the NOM is valid, I am confident that Our Lord wants us to avoid it and all its products.\\

    Surely you do not have such a mechanistic approach to the Eucharistic Sacrifice that you think a consecrated host is the “product” of a Mass?

    \\Why? Think about whose idea was the NOM – does anyone really believe that it was crafted under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost??\\

    If an angel of the Lord could speak through Balaam’s ass, what would keep the Holy Spirit from working through the priests and hierarchs in the post-conciliar concilium functioning under the authority of the Pope himself?

    Speaking as an Eastern Christian, the problem is not so much with the Pauline Missal as its abuses, in other words NOT following it, and possibly its present English version.

    Believe me, there were liturgical abuses before 1962, but they were of another kind.

    NO rite promulgated with the authority of the Church can be invalid or efficacious.

    **But I do wish I could receive the species confected at the EF.**

    Why? Is it somehow MORE the Body of Christ than what is consecrated at an OF?

  33. Geoffrey says:

    “Why is everyone here so willing to compromise with the Anglicans to get them to come back, but not willing to compromise with the ‘traditionalists’ to get them to come back?”

    As someone said above, there is no compromise. I believe the traditional Anglicans actually signed “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” en masse when they sent their very first letter expressing reunion to Rome. Would the SSPX sign the Catechism? Doubtful. Isn’t that the reason for the theological discussions currently taking place?

    “Many people ever since the unjust changes that took place have understandably struggled with the question of validity.”

    Many years ago I thought about this for a very brief moment, until I remembered that Christ promised to be with His Church for ever. If the new Mass and rites were invalid, then the Holy Spirit was no longer with the Church, and that just cannot happen. Deo gratias!

  34. Fr. Basil says:

    ++NO rite promulgated with the authority of the Church can be invalid or efficacious.++


    Make that “invalid or INefficacious.”

    BTW, when I referred to Balaam’s ass, I was not making a perjorative comment. Priests and bishops of the Church are sealed with the Holy Spirit, not only at their Confirmations, but at their ordinations.

    Either we trust the grace of the Holy Spirit given them, especially in mystagogical matters, or we do not.

  35. Sixupman says:

    I travel to a parish where both rites are celebrated, I cannot account for what the parishioners believe, but I have every confidence that the PP is the genuine article relative to belief in Transubstantiation. Hosts are retained in a single chalice.

    In my actual parish, which I have abandoned, the PP has preached his view of Communion as something entirely alien to me. Clearly, he would never Celebrate to the 62 Missal and we shall (not) see what he does with the new NOM format.

    What is happening in the UK is, that when the TLM is incorporated into the weekly parish timetable all sides accept the same and attendances rise accordingly. Though the hierarchies are not necessarily happy with such developments. Where a difficulty does arise is when the parish is run by the laity and the PP subservient to them. In an Australian parish recently, the PP posted notices that one must be in a State-of-Grace to partake of Communion – he lost parishioners!

  36. paulbailes says:

    Dear Othros, thanks for replying to Jerry for me.

    So, it’s now established that some masses, celebrated reverently and validly by doubtlessly well-meaning priests, are to be avoided by the faithful; and I think clearly by extension hosts consecrated at same.

    I am not saying that priests who say the NOM are heretics or schismatics; but that there is something fundamentally wrong with the NOM that means we should avoid it like the plague, even if valid.

    Continued cheers

  37. Random Friar says:

    Dear Paul:

    Equating Latin Rite NO Mass with Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy is a categorical mistake. One refers to the same Church with different valid celebrations of Holy Mass. The other refers to a Church with valid sacraments but not in Communion with Rome (ut unum sint!).

    Logically following, it really is equating the OF with the Divine Liturgy of “heretics or schismatics.” The fault is not in the Divine Liturgy (for some who celebrate it ARE in Communion with Rome and follow nigh identical Divine Liturgies), but with the intercommunion of Churches.

  38. orthros says:


    In fairness, I think Friar has a valid point. Although, I must sadly say, I wish that the Church allowed us to fulfill our Sunday requirement at an Eastern Orthodox Liturgy.

    In my neck of the woods, it is at least a half hour drive (more like 45 minutes) to get to a reasonably reverent church. Such are the times we live in.

  39. Random Friar says:

    Dear orthros (and all who may endure poorly celebrated Masses):

    I sincerely regret that you are unable to find a relatively close Mass that is reverent. I believe, and Fr. Z. has posted evidence, that the times, they are a-changin’, and God willing His Church’s liturgy will be celebrated always and everything in meet and fit worship.

    But know that the Lord is still there, still waiting for you.

  40. pfreddys says:

    I’m certainly aware of what a misformed conscience is. I struggled with that when I finally completely rejected any artificial birth control over twenty five years ago {misformed on that issue to a great extent by my sixteen years of ‘Catholic’ education; but that a whole different issue}.
    Basically, I cannot completely put aside all the arguments put forth by Omlor; and also the authority of the Council of Florence, The Catechism of the Council of Trent, and St. Thomas Aquinas.
    The Church is indeed indefectible, which is one of the arguments for the validity of the Novus Ordo in its original Latin form issued by Paul VI. The International Committee for English in the Liturgy and any particular Roman congregation does not enjoy the same protection. Indeed, some would say that certain ICEL members were from beyond the gates of hell.
    A good thing that has come out of this inconvenient doubt is my familiarity with the sometimes breathtaking beauty of our Eastern Rites.

  41. Fr Martin Fox says:

    David Werling:

    I agree we shouldn’t belittle anyone, but my thought–albeit from the sidelines–is that however kind and understanding as I would hope to be, I believe it would be very wrong to go along with segregating hosts from one another!

    That offends me to the core and, as I said above, seems to me to be profoundly disrespectful to the Real Presence.

    Look at it this way: the divisions among his Body on earth–whether between separated Christians, or even between fellow Catholics (I pastor two parishes, so you can imagine what I might be thinking of!)–are a scandal and offend our Lord.

    Now, that is bad enough–but here was have someone–however well intentioned–actually bringing that very division, into the holy of holies, into the tabernacle itself, and saying to Jesus, our God and Lord: Sorry, Master, but due to our divisions, we must divide You!


  42. Nathan says:

    I fear that this issue may be, to some, much more of a visceral than an intellectual thing. Fr. Fox’s and Fr. Z’s arguments are well taken, but I’m wondering if the clamor this priest is hearing is perhaps along the lines of:

    1) Blaming the NO, in toto, for injustices suffered at the hands of its implementers and refusing to have any part of it. Or,

    2) Playing it safe. As in “the NO doesn’t look like the Mass I know, I’ll just receive Holy Communion from the TLM to make sure its really valid.”

    I think, given that we (even Trads) have to exist in a culture where feelings trump reason and individual experiences are equated with the totality of reality, overcoming this objection may be particularly difficult.

    In Christ,

    In Christ,

  43. wolfeken says:

    I will admit that I much prefer a priest to distribute communion consecrated at the traditional Latin Mass he offered. It is not so much a theological issue as a safety one.

    Who the heck knows what went on at the novus ordo before the TLM? There are just way too many stories of clearly invalid tomfoolery — from form to matter at the typical novus ordo service. I want no part of it. Zero.

    The nice thing about exclusively attending the TLM is not having to worry about such shenanigans. I am 100% sure of the validity of communion there. This is not to say the novus ordo is inherently invalid. But the sad fact is that several of the novus ordo liturgies out there are indeed invalid — and it is dang difficult to find a TLM that is anything but totally valid.

  44. lampada says:

    I would agree that the Hosts from the NO Mass can be mixed with EF Mass as they are presumably both valid. For those who have a difficult time believing that the NO Hosts are consecrated, I would suggest looking at the Church’s stance on Anaphora of Addai and Mari .

  45. asophist says:

    I see no one took my point. Everybody seems to be all about themselves and their opinions and not about Our Lord. What a bunch of windbags (in all due charity).

  46. Fr Martin Fox says:


    With respect, that no one responded explicitly to your point doesn’t mean no one read it or was influenced by it.

    Your lattermost post would seem to be (unconscious?) irony: “everyone seems all about themselves and their opinions”…

    In all due charity…

  47. paulbailes says:

    Dear Random Friar,

    I am not “Equating Latin Rite NO Mass with Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy”

    I am merely using the latter as an example of a valid liturgy that has been forbidden.

    The reasons for not attending the NOM are perhaps similar, but different.


  48. Fr_Sotelo says:

    No Catholic priest, much less a layman, has any authority to pronounce on the validity of a particular rite of Mass or the Mass in a particular parish except the Ordinary or Diocesan Bishop for his diocese or the Roman Pontiff for the universal Church.

    Everyone else is blowing a lot of hot air, puffing themselves up with theological pride, and lording their sanctimonious judgments over the other members of the Church. The faithful should approach Holy Communion with serene and complete confidence when their Bishop gives them no reason to doubt within the diocese and the Vicar of Christ vouchsafes for the validity of the rites *and their translations* which leave the approval of “his august chair” as one author put it.

    This separating of Hosts from two perfectly valid Masses has absolutely no justification. One could excuse the lay ignoramus whose faith is shallow and superstitious. But the priest who does such a thing is committing an abominable sacrilege against the Most Blessed Sacrament. [Depending on the reason why the priest does this of course, perhaps this is a bit of an overstatement.] Such a priest should never deny before the laity the importance of Our Eucharistic Lord, or permit any doubts to be sown or linger, so long as He comes to us in a Mass approved by the Bishop.

    Brother priests, if you believe that we will be rigorously judged and have more to answer for, remember the words of Our Savior if you have fear of eternal hellfire: *If you deny Me before men (in the Host just because it is from the OF), I will deny you before My Father and His angels!*

    [In the top entry, I suggested that perhaps a priest might keep Hosts separate because he has too much on his plate and doesn’t have the energy to deal with troublemakers. Weak-kneed? Perhaps. Spine-less? Perhaps. Human? At least. My point is that it might not be a abominable sacrilege.]

  49. Random Friar says:

    Dear Paul:

    The very same Eastern liturgy done by priest or bishop in a Church in communion with the Pope who celebrates NO Masses would not present any problems whatsoever for you or me. The “defect” has nothing to do with the hosts or validity, but of a defect in communion between sister churches. The liturgy “in se” is not forbidden.

    In Christ,
    Random Friar

  50. JonM says:

    There are, in my view good reasons and then some which are completely expected.

    NO parishes let lay ‘ministers’ and ministerettes parry the Tabernacle at will. Many of these baby boomers have way too much time on their hands and in their ennui are prone to do odd things (doubting the existence of hell as well as the Real Presence e.g.). That they would fill up the Tabernacle with plain hosts is very possible.

    Further, the matter is important. Trads would not like tasting pan pizza or sugar when receiving.

    Valid? Sure, but not very encouraging.

    Those were good reasons. An expected one is that some traditionalists so disgusted with 99% banal or worse Masses should be shunned as a matter of course. I’m not supporting that, but I think it’s to be expected.

  51. Geoffrey says:

    “NO parishes let lay ‘ministers’ and ministerettes parry the Tabernacle at will. Many of these baby boomers have way too much time on their hands and in their ennui are prone to do odd things (doubting the existence of hell as well as the Real Presence e.g.).”

    There are no “Novus Ordo parishes”. There are only Catholic parishes. Are there some extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist who have no idea what they are doing? Sure. But there are many who know exactly what is going on. I often see more than a few genuflecting before the tabernacle and even receiving on the tongue, and it does my heart good.

  52. JonM says:

    @ Geoffrey

    Using the term ‘NO parishes’ is only short hand. It means parishes that exclusively celebrate in the vernacular Novus Ordo. Blackberry typing is arduous.

    Typically, it also suggests a neo-conservative to flaming liberal bent possessing a general rejection of traditionalists.

    This is not a suggestion that the new rite is invalid; it cannot be. The fact that it is valid (and usually celebrated validly, but not always so) makes the situation even more painful because Jesus Christ is made present in horrible conditions.

    We all know progressives are open in your face heretics. But over the next two decades, I believe the field of battle within the Church will be between neo-conservatives and traditionalists.

    Demographics always win. This suggests traditionalists will have a super majority within a generation if not sooner.

  53. “Comment by pfreddys — 20 August 2010 @ 8:09 am”

    That ICEL lacks the promise Christ made to Peter is immaterial. The translators’ work was approved by the Church, as is the translation to come. Either “for all” or “for many” can be, and have been, authoritatively defended at one time or another. (The “many” to which the text refers is not a finite number, hence the call from some to render it as “the many”). That said, the overriding concern was fidelity to the Latin text. To say otherwise is to suggest — and how in the name of Heaven could it not be — that the Church erred on a matter of faith.

    At any rate, we won, so maybe 16 months from now we can all find something else to b**** about. I know I will.

  54. “Comment by Fr_Sotelo — 20 August 2010 @ 4:43 pm”

    What he said.

  55. I second “manwithblackhat” and raise a toast in your honor, Fr. Sotelo for your most wonderful comment!
    Anecdotally, I have experienced someone who wanted to receive from the priest’s Host at the EF (being paranoid about me going to the tabernacle for consecrated hosts…); a DEFINITE “NO” on that one.
    And someone visiting our Oratory asked if the OF is ever celebrated here (it is, in both English and Latin) and if the hosts would be consecrated at the EF Mass this individual was attending; the answer was, “I don’t know” (our Sister handled this one). This person did not come for Holy Communion.
    Even though we usually consecrate hosts for the faithful at our EF Mass to distribute and do not go to the tabernacle, this kind of thing is just “off the beam”. If there are sacrileges going on at OF Masses where the EF Mass is celebrated, then THAT is the issue; not whether or not our Lord is present in the hosts consecrated at OF Masses.
    And, as an aside, and this is in no way a slap at anyone; our Lady, Saint John and the Magdalene were beneath the Cross where PLENTY of sacrilege, blasphemy and deicide were going on. They wept, prayed, suffered and loved the Lord. Isn’t that the proper attitude to have when we unwittingly encounter liturgical abuses, rather than shunning the Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, Truly Present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, regardless of Rite or language, as long as the words of consecration are not changed or bungled?

  56. paulbailes says:

    Dear Fr Sotelo

    I think your advice to people like me is to be quiet and trust the pope and my bishop.

    But I don’t think we can, not when the pope and the bishop are promoting revolution (which is what e.g. the NOM represents).

    God bless

    PS I wonder who you are calling “sanctimonious”? Let’s not call each other names please; but thanks for the reminder – one doesn’t have to question the good intensions of all concerned (e.g. with the NOM) even if one rejects what they’re about.

  57. Paul:
    The Pope is promoting revolution by saying and trying to make the NOM (as you call it) more reverent?
    I don’t think Fr. Sotelo is telling you to be quiet when there is obvious abuse and sacrilege.
    But to call into question the present Norm of Mass is to question the very authority of the Church, of the authority of Christ.
    And so, the question is: whose authority do you follow? Your own idea or the present legislation of the Church?
    The Ordinary Form, per se, is not heretical, it could not be under the authority of the Magistierum; it might have lots of problems, etc.
    But there is a very crucial distinction here: problems or invalidity?
    That’s the question you must answer; because you cannot straddle the fence post for long.

  58. paulbailes: What we are dealing with here are issues that are way beyond your, or my, or Fr. Sotelo’s, paygrade. Way beyond.

    I think it is necessary to maintain silence rather than undermine other people’s faith. I think that is why Fr. Sotelo made that recommendation.

  59. Fr. Fox,

    The wisest priest I’ve ever known was confronted with this problem a number of years ago. On occasion the indult TLM here in South Bend would be so well attended that Father would run out of Holy Communion and would have to retrieve more from the Tabernacle that had been consecrated at the novus ordo. When someone told him after Mass that he and his family would no longer attend because of this, Father kindly smiled and said, “Well, just sit in the front, and you won’t have to worry about it.” Not only did that family continue to attend, but they vacated the “Catholic” seats, and started sitting up closer. Our Blessed Lord certainly was not divided or mocked, and no one offended.

    This is all I’m trying to say: we have to choose our battles carefully. Prudence sometimes dictates putting aside our sensibilities in consideration of another person’s sensibilities, the highest consideration being the salvation of souls.

    Best regards.

  60. David: With all due respect to you and to the people to which you refer;
    to question the validity of the OF and the consequent consecrated hosts, is, in my mind, a definite problem.
    The priest you mention was very kind and pastoral;
    I would have tried to catechize the individuals because the Catholic Faith, obedience to the legitimate authority of the Church, and (okay crucify me here) a ‘fetizization,’ yes, you heard me correctly, of “ritual” (which St. John of the Cross, by the way, clearly and emphatically denounces) as opposed to the “living voice of the Church”, of Christ Himself, which gives the proper “form and matter”, which is present in both Forms of the Roman Rite, says that the Sacrifice of the Cross is represented in either Form of the Holy Mass, apart from egregious and obvious invalidity.
    We have to be clear here. The Mass is the Mass. It is “beyond” forms; whether Eastern or Western. It is the Sacrifice of the Cross being made present mystically, sacramentally, truly and really.
    And if someone is “inordinately” attached (and I say this with the greatest reserve…I say this with the meaning of rejecting the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form) to a particular form, they are in spiritual trouble. I say “inordinately” because someone who is ordinarily attached attests to the authenticity of any Rite approved by the Holy Church and will, when necessary, assist and receive Holy Communion.
    Okay, my rant is done:<)!

  61. Father, I don’t think its about validity, but I could be wrong. Speaking for myself and my friends, we don’t question the validity of the Eucharist offered at a novus ordo Mass. However, many of my friends refuse participate in any way with the novus ordo. That’s their prerogative, and, NO, they are not in any more spiritual trouble than the Maronite or Byzantine Catholic who refuses to attend a Latin Rite. Insinuating that someone must be just as attached to the novus ordo Mass as any other Catholic liturgy is just about as wrong as anyone can get.

    And seriously, Father, I’ve heard the contention before that a Mass is a Mass, but anyone who has attended the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the old Dominican Rite Mass, the Mass according to the 1962 missal, and the novus ordo knows that they are all very different. They are different for a reason, and that must be respected. Likewise, anyone who knows about the black mass, knows without doubt that any Mass is definitely not just any Mass.

    Best regards!

  62. David: My meaning about “a Mass is a Mass”, and please, do not get me wrong about this, is that the transcendent, mystical, sacramental and theological meaning, reality of any valid Rite in the Catholic Church, any Rite, is the same; it has to be. The “variables” according to tradition, culture, etc. are absolutely authentic and real; but for a Byzantine Catholic to refuse to attend a Mass in the Ordinary Form and not receive Communion is, I’m sorry, wrong, if, it was the only available Mass and if, for some reason, they would be obliged to attend (funeral, wedding, etc.)…that is, I’m sorry, a sign of “trouble”; I would not go so far to say anything further. But we have to delineate between “taste”, “personal desire” and “cultural” things and the reality of the Mass, as the Mass. Otherwise, we are in very hot liturgical and theological waters; I appreciate that there are many who abhor what goes on in the ordinary Mass in the Parish according to the OF; please don’t get me wrong; they have a right to be upset and at times, outraged. But that has to be differentiated from a situation where the Mass is absolutely, objectively invalid. And although the cases where the Mass is poorly celebrated with many abuses is in fact invalid, it may be a cause for the loss of faith.
    I do not deny that. And I encourage anyone who is in that situation to go elsewhere.
    But we’re not talking about a pastoral situation; we’re speaking of a theological and sacramental reality.
    And although Fr. so and so does all kinds of liturgical abuses, if he says the words of consecration with the proper intention and in the right manner, the Sacrifice of the Cross is re-presented.
    That’s the Catholic teaching.
    And the black Mass is NOT a Mass.
    It is an outrage; a horrid sacrilege upon the Body and Blood of Christ, in hatred of Him, of His Church…I’d be careful about associating THAT with anything else.
    It’s in a category of its own: absolute hatred of almighty God, pure and simple…and inversion of what actually happens upon the Altar; liturgical abuses are sinful and wrong; liturgical invalidity is absolutely an outrage and an abomination before God; and injustice to His People.
    But a Black Mass is something altogether different…maybe there are some similarities; but I’d be careful about assigning it to the same Reality.

  63. And one more thing: the Black Mass requires an already consecrated Host; this is the horror of the violation of tabernacles (one event of which we have heard of recently); the participants in a Black Mass don’t “confect” the Eucharist; they depend upon an already consecrated Host, stolen from a tabernacle or provided by one of the communicants at a Mass (probably an OF Mass, by the way) in order to do their dastardly obscenities, violations, sacrileges…I, do, in fact, know a bit about the Black Mass…and what happens is absolutely horrendous; God willing, few will have to know; the one thing that the participants believe is that JESUS IS PRESENT and they hate Him;
    would that many, many souls know that JESUS is PRESENT and LOVE HIM! in reparation!
    These souls given to Satan believe int he Real Presence and hate Him, while many of us receive Him and could care less or don’t know that He is truly Present.
    That is a real irony!
    Pray God we can reverse this.
    Blessing and prayers to you, David. You have a good heart.

  64. Fr_Sotelo says:

    David Werling: You stated, *Prudence sometimes dictates putting aside our sensibilities in consideration of another person’s sensibilities, the highest consideration being the salvation of souls.*

    After Vatican II, that seems to be the cardinal rule, isn’t it? Let’s not hurt anyone’s sensibilities, “Gee Father, I have feelings too.” I can understand the heterodox and the dissenter who go on about what feels right as opposed to what *is right.* But now the traditional Catholic doesn’t want Jesus coming to them in the Blessed Sacrament if He was consecrated at the OF Mass because, even if the OF Mass is valid, *it just doesn’t feel right?*

    This has nothing to do with prudence. This goes to the very heart of why the Protestant heresiarchs attacked the Church, the priesthood, and the Blessed Sacrament. The point here is that positive divine law commands that you present yourself for Mass to keep holy the Lord’s day. As Catholics, we have a right to Mass, but we cannot dictate to the Church how this must always be provided, as did the so called Reformers.

    At times, even the Maronite or Byzantine may have to attend a Latin rite Mass. At times, the one devoted to the EF Mass may have to go to an OF Mass.

    You put aside your feelings. If you feel your sanctimony places you at a superior vantage point than the rest of the Church which doesn’t know better, the crowds of great unwashed (“thank you Lord, that I am not like the rest of men!”), you swallow your disgust and deign to rub elbows with those with whom you do not “feel like” maintaining unity.

    Paulbailes: I’m not “calling names” with the use of the word sanctimonious. The behavior which I am describing is there, and the reason for this behavior is because certain people do believe their personal standing before God makes them better than the rest of the Church or gives them a right to judge the Church. I did not direct this term at you personally. I simply say if the shoe fits anyone, then wear it.

    At Holy Communion, at the rail where we are going to receive the Bread of Angels, we simply have to put aside hurts and brooding over the injuries of Vatican II (“charity does not brood over injuries”). The feelings, sensibilities, or hurts won’t mean anything on Judgment Day, unless you allow them to send you to hell for scoffing at Our Lord for the way He deigns to come to you.

    This comment is meant in general: This is not even a question of participating in an OF Mass! We are talking about consuming the Blessed Sacrament during the EF Mass! The OF Mass, which you so abhor, has already been celebrated. The people and priest exited the Church and are not there to stain your purity. You don’t have to breathe their same air. But in the Tabernacle, Jesus is there.

    To deny He is there, or to deny His right to be received with love and devotion regardless of which Mass He came from, is sacrilegious. The term Donatism used by another poster is not extreme. It is easily the next step to say, “I don’t want to receive Hosts consecrated at the Tridentine Mass, for even that is not enough. Now, I demand that they be consecrated by a priest of my choosing, whose holiness in my estimation exceeds the holiness and worthiness of other priests celebrating the EF Mass.”

  65. Thank you, Fr. Sotelo.
    Your most instructive and beautiful comments are appreciated by this most unworthy and ignorant of priests! I say this sincerely. Our Lord Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He, by authority of His Holy Church, makes Himself present to us, most unworthy recipients of His Body and Blood through His Most Sacred Liturgy, no matter the form or Rite.

  66. Fr Martin Fox says:


    I have no problem with the response of the priest you mentioned. My objection has been to the proposal our genial host referred to: to segregate hosts in the tabernacle. That offends me to my core.

  67. paulbailes says:

    Dear Fr Z, I trust needless to say the last thing on my mind is undermining anyone’s faith. Please do not hesitate to correct me. [I think that publicly pressing the false notion that the Hosts in one ciborium are to be considered “better” than the Hosts in another ciborium is dangerous to one’s own faith and undermines the faith of others.]

    Dear Fr Sotelo (and everyone else), I have no doubt that I am among the most sinful of contributors to this discussion. But I don’t think that means I should set aside the limited reasoning power I have at my disposal.

    Dear Nazareth Priest, in response to your kind enquiry, may I reiterate my position: I accept the validity of the NOM, at the same time as contending that it is a product of revolution and thus “problematic”. The proposition that we should accept a problematic, revolutionary form of the mass seems remarkable in the extreme, which I why my family and I reject it and attend the TLM exclusively. Re the Holy Father, it’s certainly extraordinary for any Catholic, let alone unworthy me, to question his behaviour. But he should just avoid the questionable behaviour … and I think it’s indisputable that the last 50 years have seen some very questionable papal actions, notably the imposition of a liturgical revolution. We have it from Pope Benedict XVI himself (in Summorum Pontificum) that the suppression of the TLM was illicit (I would say an abuse of power). But Benedict also seems to think that revolution was basically OK, in that he calls the NOM “ordinary” and celebrates it himself (exclusively in public). Under these extraordinary circumstances, I can’t believe that we can safely trust the hierarchy when it asks us to follow them down the NOM revolutionary path.

    God bless, as ever

  68. Fr. Z, may ask why Fr. Sotelo can call other people names, but to attack him in the same way will cause an immediate end to posting privileges here? This is the second time in this thread he has insinuated that a person is sanctimonious. To call me sanctimonious for doing nothing more than exercising my rights as a Catholic is beyond the pale. I’ve kept my comments charitable, reasoned and well intentioned, and do not deserve character attacks from someone who obviously doesn’t know me, not even from someone who claims to be a priest on the internet. I will follow this up with an email to you. [You are free to write, but in this case, having read these comments, I don’t think Fr. Sotelo stepped over the line onto any toes.]

    Fr. Fox, and Nazarethpriest, thanks for your comments and thoughts, however, Fr. Sotelo has made this particular forum into a hostile environment and I see benefit in continuing this debate here. [Hasta la vista.]

  69. Fr. Fox, nazareth priest, if you would like to contact me regarding this matter, please email me [Email removed so the spam-bots don’t get it.]. Thanks for your time. God bless!

  70. Fr_Sotelo says:

    David Werling: I am not claiming to be a priest on the internet–I am a priest. I work in the Diocese of Fresno, California, and am a pastor. If you Google me, sometimes you will even see articles of funerals or other Masses which I have offered, so the “Father” part is not fictitious.

    When I wrote, ” If you feel your sanctimony….” I did not mean you personally. I often begin a post addressed to a person, but then move onto themes which are addressing the readers at large. In retrospect, I should have made it clear that after the first paragraph, I was no longer addressing you personally but everyone in a general and non-specific sense.

    But beyond my poor writing skills, I notice you do not address the specific points I make theologically or spiritually. Neither does Paulbailes. In fact, you make the comment about “exercising my rights as a Catholic.”

    Neither you, Paulbailes, or any other layman, have a right to judge the decisions of the Roman Pontiff. Neither do you possess the right to advocate for the apartheid or discrimination of Novus Ordo Hosts at the celebration of Mass in favor of Tridentine Hosts. The whole language of “rights” is more Vatican II talk that is never found in the documents of Tradition. In Tradition, the term the Church has always used for us priests and you laymen is “duty.” We have duties. We have reponsibilities. Vatican II inserted the notion of “rights” a term of the French Revolutionaries and the Englightenment.

    I accept Vatican II as a legal and canonical Council, so I am not going to begrudge the traditional Catholic when they wish to avail themselves of the Vatican II “rights of laity.” But it does seem quite odd to me that some (not you personally) can be critical of Vatican II and at the same time assume Vatican II language in discussing matters with the clergy.

    Paulbailes: Along these lines, you speak of being told to be quiet or set aside your reasoning. Actually, if you admire St. Pius X, as I do, you will find in his writing to Abbe Loisy and the other Modernists that this is precisely what he ordered them to do (clarification, *I am not calling you a Modernist*). And they were not laymen, but educated clergy. In Tradition, this is the concept of the “obsequiem religiosum.” There are times when the Church says we have no right to voice an opinion if that opinion is erroneous.

    Being that the Church has never taught nor has it ever been approved of discriminating against certain Hosts in the Tabernacle, I would say that “Hosts Discrimination” is reprobated as an erroneous position. There was, pre-Vatican II, a movement to “Host Discriminate” but for very different reasons. Even then, there were already some priests who said they would not give Hosts at Communion time unless they had been consecrated at that same Mass, claiming that this would promote “bad liturgy.” If you research the documents of the Holy See, you might actually find some reaction to this practice.

    As a spiritual bouquet to David Werling and you, I offer these words of St. Joseph Cafasso, who Don Bosco called “a great saint”: *when there is question of something necessary, something that must be done, there is no room for further discussion about it. When there is no way to avoid it, we must go forward whether through movtive of love, or by doing violence to ourselves.*

    Don Cafasso was speaking to priests about developing a prayer life, but the words could be applied to that moment when Hosts must be retrieved from the Tabernacle, regardless of which Mass they were consecrated at. But the spiritual concept is operative in many; namely, we feel that doing what the Church asks is doing “violence to ourselves” because it imposes upon us changes which we must make in our mind or heart, but which must be made. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament deserves no less.

    While repugnant to pride and sensibilities, our actions which show respect to the rites approved by the Holy See will show our virtue and obedience to be something of action, and not just words.

  71. Fr_Sotelo says:

    As a general note, I want to say to the readers of this blog that I harbor no hostility whatsoever toward traditional Catholics but very much admire their loyalty, faith, and love of the sacred liturgy. It is this very fondness and admiration which provokes me to write when I believe a certain thought is extremely dangerous to their spiritual life.

  72. Fr Jackson says:

    Just for the sake of discussion, allow me to present two ideas why some faithful might not wish to receive sacred hosts consecrated at the New Mass.

    Firstly, one shows union with the sacrifice by receiving communion. There may be people who have read the “Ottaviani Intervention” for example, who may not wish to show union with the new rite of Mass for the reasons that are listed in that study. Yes, validly consecrated, but may not one have some reserves? Can the situation really be entirely summed up as a black and white “yes” or “no” / valid or not valid? Although valid, do I necessarily wish to receive and show that degree of unity with a rite of Mass that can be criticized from some points of view?

    Secondly, one might have doubts, at least in the abstract, about the intention of some Novus Ordo priests. Anecdotal evidence at least would suggest that there are some (or many?) priests who are not clear on their beliefs in the real presence. Some have never heard the word transubstantiation. Yes, the minimum required for validity is to intend “to do what the Church does”, but when does that line get crossed? Is it wrong for one to be uncomfortable with the intention of someone who does not have a clearly defined belief in the real presence? Without wishing to insult in any way the many good priests who surely confect a valid eucharist at their Novus Ordo Masses, may not one express reserves about the cases of the not-so-good priests out there?

    We need to respect the simple and sometimes fragile Faith of God’s people.

  73. Alice says:

    Fr Jackson,
    1.) The Sacrifice of the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary. When we receive Holy Communion, we take part in the Sacrificial Banquet and feast on the Sacrificial Lamb. It is always the same Sacrifice and the same Victim and the same Priest no matter what form it takes. Our Communion is not with some form of the Mass, but with a Person, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity and with His Bride, the Church. It is possible to be critical of the form of the Mass; however, when that criticism divides (literally!) the Body of Christ, it should not be tolerated.

    2.) A priest who welcomes the EF into his parish or who says both forms of the Mass himself is very unlikely to be confused about the Eucharist. (Plus, knowing the word transubstantiation is not a requirement to saying a valid Mass: the Orthodox tend to avoid the term.) Nor is such a priest likely to bring in a substitute priest for a weekend who is completely wacko. One could have reservations about certain priests’ Masses, but unless there is reason to believe that one of those priests actually consecrated (or didn’t consecrate) some of the Hosts in the tabernacle, what does that have to do with anything?

    We need to respect the simple and sometimes fragile Faith of God’s people.

    I cannot believe I just read that as the closing argument from a Traditionalist perspective! Isn’t that the “Modernist” argument for not not teaching the hard truths from contraception to the Sunday Obligation? Respecting the “simple and sometimes fragile Faith of God’s people” does not mean shielding them from truths they find hard to accept! And it certainly does not mean insulting Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar because He happens to be the “product” of a carpenter from Nazareth, oh, wait, I mean of the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

    Thank God for the “indult” priest who had the guts to stand up against this kind of nonsense when I was in my formative years! If it weren’t for him (and a few other priests who were “intolerant”), I’d probably have drifted from Catholicism, to sedevacantism, and finally to agnosticism because “you just can’t be sure.” And may God have mercy on those who spread these kinds of erroneous teachings and on those whose faith is shaken by them.

  74. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Fr. Jackson: Simple or fragile faith of devout Catholics is always trusting of God and the Church. My grandparents had simple faith in the Catholic Church, and in spite of the disturbances after Vatican II, always approached the sacraments of the Church with complete confidence.

    When people begin to pronounce on questions of validity, between the different forms of Mass, or when they are drawing up reasons for doubt and reservations, I do not believe we are dealing with simple faith. If the faithful start to grapple with the polemical debates, at least let us help them to know the facts.

    Cardinal Ottaviani wrote before the Paul VI Missal was published. After Paul VI incorporated changes, Cardinal Ottaviani stated that no one should be “genuinely scandalized” about the new Missal. Ottaviani lived until 1979, and never spoke out against the orthodoxy or validity of the rites published by Pope Paul VI, *in spite of the fact that Lefebvre had already incurred suspension over these issues.*

    As far as priestly intention goes, there has to be specific grounds for doubting the intention of a priest, not merely anecdotal evidence. Stories about a priest’s Mass being invalid without proofs and due process are potentially defamatory. The decision also to approach Communion based on the perceived worthiness of the priest and with little else which is manifest is Donatism.

    We have the Pope to decide for the universal Church and the diocesan bishop to decide for his diocese. If we start to self-appoint ourselves or stand by while our laity self-appoints itself to judge these questions, we no longer have the Catholic sense of rightful authority before whom to submit these questions.

    The sour fruit of this is that good people who once approached the Communion rail with serenity and peace have this stolen from them and replaced with “reservations,” or “uncomfortability.” This is not helpful to Divine and Catholic Faith, and a priest must cultivate this kind of faith in the people.

    Giving in or compromising is abdicating our role as leaders and fathers. Allowing people to erroneously believe there are serious grounds for doubt when neither the Pope or the diocesan bishop have concurred in these doubts is going against the priestly work of building the communion of the Church.

    If we see the article about “The Rule of Faith” in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, we will find these quotes which give the foundation for trust in the Church and her sacraments: “”it is not right to seek from others that truth which it is easy to get from the Church, since the Apostles poured into it in fullest measure, as into a rich treasury, all that belongs to the truth, so that whosoever desires may drink thence the draught of life.”

    And from St. Thomas Aquinas: “it is certain that the judgment of the universal Church cannot possibly err in matters pertaining to the faith; hence we must stand rather by the decisions which the pope judicially pronounces than by the opinions of men, however learned they may be in Holy Scripture.”

  75. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Fr Bsil, you quoted me “But I do wish I could receive the species confected at the EF.”
    You replied, “Why? Is it somehow MORE the Body of Christ than what is consecrated at an OF?”
    I hope you can tell by my description of the practice of separating the Hosts as ‘divisive’ that I think its a bad idea, and it undermines the Faith. I have no authority to make any decisive statements about the OF Mass, and I never do so. I may wonder about certain aspects of the OF, like others do. That’s it. I hope everyone submits to the Church’s Magisterium too.

    In short, your conjecture does reflect how some must feel but the Host is either consecrated or its not. That’s pretty much it.

    My desire to receive the consecrated Hosts from the EF I am attending is normal. Isn’t it in the GIRM somewhere that the Faithful have the right to ‘participate fully’ in the Mass they attend by receiving the Host confected at that Mass? If I go out of my way to attend the EF, isn’t it logical to also want to receive the Host confected thereby?

    This thread struck me suddenly as illustrating a succinct point. Those who prefer and love the EF attend because of its fuller expression of the Faith, its continuity with the Church of history, and all that it offers.
    >>Then, can we blame people for the logical conclusion that this ‘fuller’ EF would also produce ‘fuller’ fruits?

  76. Fr_Sotelo says:


    You have raised a very good point when you state that receiving a Host confected at that same Mass is the ideal, for it is the nature of sacrifice in worship that you eat part of what has been sacrificed. The priest, for instance, *must partake* of the Host and Precious Blood from the Mass he offered, not from another Mass. I believe it was Pius XII who said this was also right for the laity, who are not offering like the priest but who nonetheless offer at Mass according to their mode of sharing in the priesthood of all the baptized.

    Sadly, there is a mindset with some priests that when lay people offer the Host and Chalice to God, it really isn’t that important like the priest’s offering and so they will just have to accept not getting Hosts from that Mass. Some priests have even made the joke that they should just leave the laity at the rail with no Communion at all to teach them once in a while how unimportant their role at Mass is!

    Unfortunately, most laity at the EF Mass who ask not to receive Hosts already in the Tabernacle are asking for a different reason. Instead of wishing to unite themselves to the best of liturgical tradition (eat what you sacrifice), what motivates them is doubt of the Real Presence from a Novus Ordo Mass. And when the Holy Father and the local Bishop do not concur in that doubt nor do they give us any reason for sustaining the doubt, it is also the loss of Catholic Faith.

  77. Fr Jackson says:

    Dear Alice,

    Thank you for your comments on my post. Firstly, I will disagree with your idea of “communion” being limited only to expressing communion with Our Lord. While we all agree that this aspect is primary, there is much more implied in communion than just this. For example, you could use your argument to justify receiving communion at a schismatic’s valid Mass – the reason why we don’t do this in ordinary circumstances is because “communion” implies more than what you have said.

    Secondly, I appreciate your comments that it is very unlikely for a good priest who welcomes the traditional Mass to have problems with his intention in consecrating. I fully agree. And yet, that is not what my post was about. I was speaking about the possible crossover with those other types of priests and other types of Masses about which one can legitimately be uncomfortable. Sharing tabernacles does put us in the possibility of such crossover. Good faithful should not have to worry about this.

    And that would bring us to the final point: the ordinary good faithful using their somewhat vague “sensus fidei” have often steered themselves away from abuses when they see them. Repeated abuses weaken their faith (small “f”) in the human aspect of the Church and lead them to ask legitimate questions about the ceremonies they attend. They are not to be blamed if they do not wish to receive communion (and thereby express communion in the fuller sense) with abusive ceremonies. Nor can they be blamed if they feel unsure about the origin of the hosts in the tabernacle. In any one specific case – as you pointed out very nicely in your post – one could check on their origin, but “in the abstract” (as I originally said), one cannot be sure in general. To put this in another way, while we all agree that a good priest saying the Novus Ordo will confect a valid Eucharist, the Novus Ordo has opened the doors so wide to abuses that the faithful cannot be blamed for feeling uneasy in the cases where they do not know the priest. This would be one “hard truth” or statistic that you need to take into consideration before forcing this usage down our throats.

    In closing, I just noticed the photos that Fr Z posted: two ciboria: one gold, the other earthenware. Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words. What traditional faithful would wish to receive from the earthenware vessel with all that this implies? It’s not about validity, it’s about respect.

  78. Fr Jackson says:

    Dear Fr Sotelo,

    Point taken about the faithful not judging that which is above them. And yet, I can’t agree with your comment to Tina that the Pope or Bishop must concur in a doubt or else one loses the Catholic Faith. You go to the other extreme there. I think you idealize a bit much the integrity of the hierarchy and their role in defining the object of Faith. Remember that the main reason why this question is coming up is because the hierarchy neglected the discipline in the Church, particularly in what regarded liturgy. You know as I do how hard it has been since the 1970’s to get them to effectively exercise their authority precisely in this domain of liturgical abuse. It is not that we self-appoint ourselves to judge, but rather we find ourselves like orphans in front of abuses and the healthy reflex is to have nothing to do with them.

    Let’s get more concrete in our examples. And, yes, you may wish to call this “potentially defamatory” or “Donatist”, but let’s take the example of Father O’Brien at Notre Dame. Perhaps Fr. Z could back this up with some specific quotes, but it would not be an exaggeration to say that Father O’Brien believes that the consecration is a moment of the Mass in which the congregation effectuates something symbolic. Now, we all know that authority is not going to take effective action in this case – here is not the place to discuss why – but we are left with a situation in which I, as a priest, could not in conscience distribute hosts for communion that were consecrated by Father O’Brien: his ideas about Mass and the real presence are just too far out there to leave his intention to consecrate entirely beyond reasonable doubt. So, if I were to celebrate one of the Traditional Latin Masses at Notre Dame, I would have to be sure not to mix ciboria.

    Now let’s turn this around the other way. I cannot in good conscience leave hosts that I consecrate at my Traditional Latin Mass in the tabernacle to be distributed by a lay eucharistic minister – into the hand, of course – at a Novus Ordo Mass. I have serious objections in conscience to cooperating so directly in what I view as abuses.

    Notice, please, that this discussion is not about the validity of the different forms of Masses. It is, however, about the greater or lesser barrier to invalidity that the different forms present. Cardinal Ottaviani’s point on this topic remains valid. As Alice pointed out, the problem is not with those who welcome the Extraordinary Form, it is with those who reject it. It is legitimate to ask why they reject it and what that says about their theology.

  79. Fr Jackson says:

    Oops. In that last post I meant McBrien, not O’Brien.

  80. Marcin says:

    @Fr Jackson,

    I was to quip equating this separation with a situation in Anglican/Episcopal churches, where they keep and distribute separately communion originating from consecrations by men and women clergy – the fact that causes so much painful eye rolling…

    However, your lucid analysis stopped me in my tracks. Thank you.

  81. asophist says:

    Fr. Fox,
    Thank you. That was a brilliant riposte.

  82. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Dear Fr. Jackson: If Cardinal Ottaviani followed his support of the “intervention” of Lefebvre et al. with a statement that says his concerns are abated with the final version of Mass published by Paul VI, I do not understand how his “point on this topic remains valid.” I see that for the archbishop and his supporters, the usus antiquior continues to have more safeguards for orthodoxy, and less danger to being rendered invalid by means of the intention of the priest.

    However, I’m not sure that Ottaviani held those positions. I see no evidence that the aging Cardinal ever felt that the Ordinary Form presented “lesser barrier” to invalidity, for after the promulgation of the OF, he stated that his previous concerns were addressed; then his Eminence remained silent on the topic. However, your raising of Ottaviani’s role in the intervention (who was a supporter but not actually an author in the wording of it), brings me to the subject of Aquinas and possession of Catholic Faith or loss thereof.

    What role should a great author or orthodox defender play in our faith concerning the Blessed Sacrament and the liturgy? What process guides us to the act of Catholic faith? What is it that should reinforce a doubt we have about the Hosts in the Tabernacle or should remove that doubt completely with an act of firm faith? You have stated that the hierarchy has neglected discipline and liturgy, and failed to exercise their authority in the faces of abuses. I am not going to argue with that.

    But is that neglect sufficient grounds for going from being “orphans” to arrogating to ourselves decisions which are not ours to make as priests and laity? I don’t mind saying that since the bishops do not guide us we will have to study diligently and offer the Mass correctly. I do not mind teaching the faithful even that abuse is going on and that we must strive to reform this situation of the Church. However, to now start telling them, “I think Father so and so might not have a correct intention, and we are going to separate our Hosts from his,” goes into the realm that only a higher authority can make. And in spite of how well meaning you might be, you must know that the action speaks even louder than words. It plants enough doubt so that soon there is real loss of faith in the Blessed Sacrament confected at other Masses.

    The faithful who once trusted the authority of the Church, present in those who have jurisdiction in these matters, now no longer have that trust in the Church. They have transferred that trust to you. You are the new pope. You give the signal when they may approach and receive a “real Host” and when they should not. Now they wait for word from this SSPX priest, or that FSSP celebrant. Add to this problem that some of the SSPX adherents will not even receive a Host consecrated by an FSSP priest, and you have really started a crisis for the faithful. To use the example of Aquinas, they need not listen to the one who has the charism of the Holy Spirit to pronounce on these matters (the pope), but rather on the learned man who can convince their reason with the right rationale for trusting or not trusting (the Scripture scholar).

    In the passage of the Angelic doctor which I quoted, he compares the decision of a pope to that of a scholar, a learned man of Scripture. Aquinas writes, “we must stand rather by the decisions which the pope judicially pronounces than by the opinions of men, however learned they may be in Holy Scripture.” To make an act of faith in that which is decided by the Pope is based upon his office as Vicar of Christ and the divine authority which God has attached to that office. In other words, believe because God has assured you that this office can teach you what you must believe and do to be saved. That is Catholic faith in the sense that it trusts the divine authority and veracity of the Church.

    The opinions of men, “learned in Holy Scripture,” give you explanations and reasons for what you should submit to and believe. But then that is not an act of faith, is it Father? For if you have faith by the lights given to reason, you are not assenting based on the authority of the Revealer and His Messenger (the Church).

    If I join the Catholic Church based upon the compelling logic of a good philosopher of religion, who has helped me deduce that there must be a God, and there must be a true Church, I might believe Catholic doctrines, but I do not yet have Catholic faith–I have human faith and trust in the authority of someone’s erudition. Later, if a Catholic teaching does not seem logical, I might retract that faith. However, if I trust and believe because I now understand the Church is divinely founded and infallible, then I am making a supernatural act of faith, aided by grace, by which I assent to Catholic doctrine, even if I do not understand its reasonableness.

    So, it is dear Father, with these Hosts. If I, as a Catholic, have reason to doubt in the validity of certain Masses because of their form or celebrant, and this may indeed happen because of the state of things, I give that doubt to the Holy Father, or diocesan bishop, whoever has the jurisdiction by virtue of the charism of their divine authority. Integrity may not always be there, and these shepherds may also be poor to act with authority. But if I have Catholic faith, I see that divine authority is there and it is worthy of my assent. If I will not listen to the Pope, or the diocesan bishop, because I find the reasonings or explanation inadequate to my logic, and rather assent to Fr. Doe, SSPX, or Fr. Roe, FSSP because of their learning, then I may have faith. But it is a kind of human faith. It is a faith based upon how well you are arguing your position, how well you seem to know tradition, and how well it is convincing my reason. It is not the assent to a charismed authority who stands in the place of God, aided by grace, but assent to a certain line of argumentation based upon my perception of what is logical.

    It is in this sense that I meant certain faithful lose Catholic faith. I understand such people are very orthodox. But if the act of faith does not follow from the rightful authority of the Church, then it follows from something else. This type of faith is less Catholic not in doctrine. It is less Catholic in the sense that trust in the Pope or my bishop has been transferred to another priest or person, who does not have jurisdiction over me by God’s grace.

  83. Fr_Sotelo says:

    In the final analysis, what if we get to heaven and find out that all along, Fr. McBrien’s Masses were invalid and that the hosts from these Masses were just pieces of bread? Someone might say, “we will have committed the sin of idolatry, for having treated these hosts as if they were the Blessed Sacrament!” No, this is not true.

    Idolatry is no more involved than when we genuflect before the Tabernacle on Good Friday only to realize that the Blessed Sacrament has been reposed somewhere else. You must consciously choose the adoration towards an idol before you can be accused of formal idolatry.

    No, there is no sin, for it was the responsibility of the bishop to remove or suspend those priests who should not offer Mass. It was my responsibility to obey the bishop and trust in his guidance over the liturgy. The bishop sins if he does not do his job well, but *I do not sin for obeying and respecting his authority* so long as the Holy Father constituted him a legitimate bishop.

    However, if Christ commands me to respect the authority of the diocesan bishop, and St. Irenaeus says this is so, then I must present myself for Mass before priests in good standing in the diocese and receive devoutly the Blessed Sacrament with the sentiments of latria, adoration. I must render acts of faith, even when human flesh and its darkened intellect present me with doubts.

    If in the final analysis it turns out that the Blessed Sacrament was there, and He was treated in any way conditionally as if He might not be there, then I will have acted from doubts and not from faith. These doubts have no merit or grace whatsoever, for they do not originate from rightful authority–there is no teaching of the Holy Father to validate my dissent that the Ordinary Form is as much the Roman Rite as is the Extraordinary Form. To act from doubt, instead of acting from faith, when the Church summons from us at the liturgy an act of faith, is indeed a sin.

  84. Fr Jackson says:

    Dear Fr Sotelo,

    It looks to me as though we agree on the principles, but we disagree on their application. Of course I agree with you when you say that we must respect the judgments of Popes or Bishops on concrete cases. My point is that the Pope and Bishops are not judging these problematic cases, and until they do, certain reflex principles apply. Applying reflex principles in the interim until authority chooses to judge is not making ourselves little “popes”. It’s just using common sense and prudence.

    If – for example – the Holy Office (now CDF) were to examine Father McBrien’s troubling statements we would rejoice at the clarification. Then all your argumentation above would be meaningful, and I would agree with you. Meanwhile, I will disagree with you if you mean to say that before then I have no ability to judge or to steer the souls confided to my care away from danger. Basically, if you take the line that you outline above to its full extent, then you end up disagreeing even with the type of criticism that Fr Z makes of Fr McBrien on this blog. “The Pope and Bishops haven’t criticized Fr McBrien, and so we must simply accept what he says and does.” – Come now, Father. That can’t be right.

    I don’t know enough about the development of Cardinal Ottaviani’s thought over time to make any remarks on this topic.

    (And again, this isn’t about “doubt in the validity of certain Masses because of their form.” I thought we already went over that.)

  85. Supertradmum says:

    I have wondered that maybe one reason why the laity seemed to have strayed in so many areas, such as morality, modesty, and heterodoxy, would be that the Holy Communion some have received is not the Body and Blood of Christ, and therefore, there is no sanctifying grace. St. Catherine of Siena writes about this and this point is part of The Dialogue. She notes that priests who are not saying the correct words of Consecration may be depriving the laity of grace.

  86. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Dear Fr. Jackson:

    You stated: “Applying reflex principles in the interim until authority chooses to judge is not making ourselves little “popes”. It’s just using common sense and prudence.” I am not familiar with this concept, Father. I am thinking that since there is a reigning Pope and he has not endorsed the “separate ciboria” practice, that the regular practices of reservation and Holy Communion as prescribed by the Holy See would apply, and that we as priests should obey them.

    As far as the mind and discipline of the diocesan bishop goes, I imagine that each priest could simply ask the local bishop where they offer Mass for this permission: “do you permit that I keep the ciborium of the EF Mass separate from the ciborium of the OF Mass so that at my Mass, Hosts are received only from the former and not the latter?” I don’t need to ask my bishop. I know he would reprobate the practice, and in conformity to my ordination promise of obedience, I will not undertake the practice.

    However, I do laud the teachings which both you and Fr. Z give to instill the true spirit of the liturgy. I see nothing wrong with pointing out clearly the abuses and dangers which you see originate from certain members of the Church. My disagreement, Father, would be in going one step further from teaching and warning, to a judgment that “we will not be receiving Communion from the ciborium which Fr. John Doe consecrated. Unfortunately, the Holy Father and the bishops are not correcting certain priests as they should, and in view of their dereliction, I must make this decision as the safer course.”

  87. Fr_Sotelo says:


    I think if there had been no Body and Blood of Christ, and this was the cause of the straying, the same effects would be produced by the same cause. However, in the very same parishes where there is straying and disobedience, there are also devout and faithful people who have held on to the faith and whose children and grandchildren are part of the restoration of Pope Benedict XVI.

    The history of the Church also shows us terrible infidelity even where the Blessed Sacrament is available in abundance. Look at Mexico in the 1920’s, and Portugal in the days of Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima. Entire groups raised in the sacraments apostatized to join anti-clerical forces. And as you would remember from St. Catherine’s dialogues, although she warns priests about offering Mass correctly, she points to other reasons for decadence in the Church that have nothing to do with the possibility that there is no Real Presence in the Communions of the day.

  88. Geoffrey says:


    I would rather think that the much longer lines for Communion and the much shorter lines for Confession have something to do with it. An elderly priest once told me that receiving Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin brings upon a curse, rather than a blessing. Saint Paul, of course, says as much. So, perhaps more people have been receiving the sacrament unworthily, rather than receiving an unconsecrated host.

  89. Fr Jackson says:

    Dear Fr Sotelo,

    I notice that your last answer focuses on liturgical practice in the abstract: “Should we have the practice of separate ciboria?” The answer to any such question in an ideal world would naturally be negative. But the world is not ideal, and the problem is not only about liturgical practice! We are dealing with a real world situation where the problems are doctrinal: to go back to our example, Fr McBrien has doctrinal problems in his theology of the Mass and the Eucharist and the authorities have chosen not to address these. Posing the question of liturgical practice still doesn’t address these. Go ask your Bishop a different question: “Excellency, I have grave doubts about the intention of Fr John Doe when he celebrates Mass because of X, Y and Z. Sacramental theology teaches us to be tutiorist in the administration of the sacraments and hence I have chosen to avoid distributing the hosts that he consecrates at his Mass. What is your opinion of the situation?” – Then you will have begun to address the real issues. You didn’t need “permission” to act in this way, for you as a priest bear a responsibility for your own actions. Your bishop cannot force you to act against your conscience. Your discussion with him will either clarify your doubts and allow you to distribute hosts consecrated by Fr John Doe or it will not. In the latter case, you still cannot distribute them. Claiming “obedience” would not be enough to excuse you from sin if really had grave doubts about his intention.

    The quote that you gave to end your last post was perfect. It only remains for you to explain why you disagree with it. If the priest in question is notoriously proffering heterodox theology on the Mass and the Eucharist, why on earth would you not choose the safer course?

  90. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Dear Fr. Jackson:

    If we come out of the abstract to deal with specific priests, I would have to honestly say that I have never dealt with a priest who has caused me to doubt his proper intentions in the Holy Sacrifice. Perhaps there is ignorance, or lack of precision, but never an intention which would overthrow the end of doing what the Church does by means of consecrating. Perhaps I have been sheltered, but I mean that sincerely.

    If a man is ordained a Catholic priest, then the Church and his bishop have made a public and manifest decision that he is fit to confer the sacraments validly. If in spite of this decision of the Church, I am doubting him, I would have to wonder first if my doubt was emotional, prideful, exaggerated, or simply theological error. My belief is that I should give presumption of validity to the sacraments of a brother priest, even one who profers heterodox teaching about the Eucharist. After all, even schismatics and heretics are purported to transubstantiate validly.

    It is quite possible that I have misunderstood a brother priest, that he himself spoke poorly of his real intentions, or that in the end, the priest is beset with more ignorance than a truly invalidating intention. Practically speaking, if someone of credible authority does not give me reason to remove presumption of validity, then I am not going to have grave doubts. With no grave doubts, my conscience would not accuse me of sin for distributing his Hosts.

  91. Fr Jackson says:

    Dear Fr Sotelo,

    I too have thankfully been sheltered from having to deal with any such situations and I hope I never am confronted with one. But since we were engaging in a discussion on this blog about principles with universal application, and since I just had a conversation on Tuesday with a graduate from Notre Dame who said he would definitely steer clear of hosts consecrated by Fr McBrien (not to mention his Masses), the application seemed apt. Supposing that I were offering the Traditional Mass for the EF group at Notre Dame, this question could become very real.

    I agree that in principle we give the presumption of validity. But I don’t agree that the Church presumes the validity of the sacraments “even (from) one who proffers heterodox teaching about the Eucharist.” Heretics are NOT purported to transubstantiate validly. I just cannot agree with you there.

    As priests, we are on the “front lines” and are the first ones with responsibility – albeit delegated – to confront theological problems when they put souls at risk. True, we don’t pronounce judgments on people – particularly fellow priests – for this must be left to competent authority. And yet, this doesn’t mean that we do nothing. It will not always be true that your only reasons for doubts will come from clear directives from your superiors. A priest will encounter situations where he has to make provisional decisions before the Bishop has chosen to address problems in a more formal way. Until the superiors choose to address Fr McBrien’s deviations, I must simply steer clear of him because everything in my theological training says to do so. I could not on good conscience distribute hosts at my traditional Mass that were left in the tabernacle from his Mass.

    For what it’s worth, I guess it goes without saying that I would not consider Fr McBrien a “brother priest”. A priest, yes, but not a brother. In the battle we are fighting, he and I are not on the same side. When dissenters go public with their dissent, things change. It’s called notoriety.

  92. Fr Jackson says:

    Perhaps I ought to add that I think the “separate ciboria” solution is really far from ideal. If there is need to worry about separation, it would be more reasonable – not to mention diplomatic – to have separate tabernacles, separate chapels, etc. Earthenware vessels for the Novus Ordo and gold and silver for the Traditional Mass. Orange windows and green carpet in amphitheater-shaped halls for the Novus Ordo; Gothic spires and traditional stained glass for the Traditional Mass. It’s an entire culture that goes with both. (And yes, that is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but you get the idea).

  93. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Dear Fr. Jackson:

    You wrote: “When dissenters go public with their dissent, things change. It’s called notoriety.” Placeat! A brother who breaks communion with the true Faith is like a severed limb.

    Although you are tongue in cheek about the separate tabernacles, chapels, etc. I could not help but agree as well–wholeheartedly. Even those of us who work in the Ordinary Form cannot help but wonder at times, in these new churches, and at their liturgies, whether or not we are even in the same religion. O tempora! O mores!

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