Note in the second paragraph of the story that, at this blasphemous and sacrilegious “Mass”, the dissidents gave the Eucharist to a dog.
Let’s not be speciesist, after all. This is where dissent leads.
Note that this priest has already had his faculties removed. It could be that additional censures are now in order.
Dissidents preach a new breed of Catholicism
August 6, 2012
FATHER Greg Reynolds wants his church of dissident Catholics to welcome all – ”every man and his dog”, one might say, risking the non-inclusive language he deplores – but even he was taken aback when that was put to the test during Mass yesterday.
A first-time visitor arrived late at the Inclusive Catholics service in South Yarra with a large and well-trained German shepherd. When the consecrated bread and wine were passed around, the visitor took some bread and fed it to his dog.
Apart from one stifled gasp, those present showed admirable presence of mind – but the dog was not offered the cup!
Father Reynolds, a Melbourne priest for 32 years, launched Inclusive Catholics earlier this year. He now ministers to up to 40 people at fortnightly services alternating between two inner-suburban Protestant churches.
The congregation includes gay men, former priests, abuse victims and many women who feel disenfranchised, but it is optimistic rather than bitter.
Yesterday a woman, Irene Wilson, led the liturgy and another, Emmy Silvius, preached the homily. Two more passed the bread and wine around.
Father Reynolds – his only clerical adornment a green stole around his neck – played as small a role as he could.
Inclusive Catholics is part of a small but growing trend in the West of disaffiliated Catholics forming their own communities and offering ”illicit” Masses, yet are slightly uncertain of their identities. [D’ya think?] The question was posed during the service: ”Are we part of the church or are we a breakaway movement?”
Father Reynolds was a thorn in the side of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart when he preached in 2010 that it was God’s will to have women priests. He resigned as Western Port parish priest last August and had his faculties to act as a priest in Melbourne removed.
So…was it really the Eucharist? Was this really a valid (if illicit) Mass, or a mockery of the Mass at which nothing happened to the bread and wine? The story says a woman “led the liturgy” — what does that mean? Was she up there playing priest, or what? What were they using for hosts?
I don’t find the people’s “presence of mind” in the face of this monstrosity very “admirable,” by the way, even if it should turn out that it wasn’t really the Eucharist.
[We have to assume that, with a validly ordained priest there, what he consecrated was validly consecrated unless proof is offered to the contrary. Neither being stupid or doing silly things invalidate the consecration.]
@Miss Anita Moore, O.P.
So…was it really the Eucharist?
Whether or not it really was the Eucharist, they still believed it to be such, yet went ahead and gave it to the dog. The intent was there.
Perhaps a defrocking would be in order and a revival of that old custom of taking broken glass to their hands in the process to get the point across?
APX says: Whether or not it really was the Eucharist, they still believed it to be such, yet went ahead and gave it to the dog. The intent was there.
Not saying it wasn’t, or that God wasn’t offended regardless. But at least if it wasn’t, there is some comfort in the fact that the Body of Christ was not in fact fed to a dog.
He seems to have had his other faculties removed as well as his canonical ones, alas!
Anita, look at my list of valid and licit definitions on Friday
that might help. This happened before, in my memory, in Toronto and the minister ( I do not say priest) apologized. In that case, obviously, it was not the Body of Christ. The intent question has to do not only with intending to consecrate the Host as in Transubstatation, but the intent to be united to Peter. The Eucharist is either valid or invalid and the Mass is either licit or illicit.
There was a report of an Anglican priestess in Toronto giving the bread (which is all it was for her) to a dog. http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2010/07/priest-under-fire-for-serving.php/ . Her Bishop said “I think the reverend was overcome by what I consider a misguided gesture of welcoming.” All forgiven and forgotten. Nice and inclusive.
But for a Catholic priest to do the same with the true Body of Christ, it is difficult to imagine anything more wicked. “Non mittendus canibus.” Even that is violated now.
There are no limits once you go down the road of schism and heresy. Surely excommunication should follow, but will it?
Pingback: The Is Where Dissent Leads: Communion Given to the Dog « Fr Stephen Smuts
Tradmum, I read your post above and your blog post that you referenced. What is your source that the intent to be united to Peter is necessary for the validity of a sacrament in general, or the Eucharist in particular? I have never heard such a thing before, and I am fairly certain you are very wrong about this.
The Anglican mass is invalid because the Anglican priesthood is invalid, and the Anglican priesthood is invalid because the Anglicans reject the sacramental nature of the priesthood itself, and because they reject the sacrificial nature of the mass, and because they reject the doctrine of transubstantiation. It’s got nothing to do with not wanting to be united to Peter.
The Catholic Church has never rejected the validity of the masses of the Greek Orthodox Church, despite the fact that they are schismatic and reject the primacy of the pope.
In my town a bunch of dissenters have split off since the parish where they were allowed their dissent now has faithful priests. They call themselves the “ecumenical catholic church’ and meet over at the “welcoming, inclusive” episcopal church that has the lesbian pastor. (of course the faifhul who follow the Gospel and Church teachings are NOT welcome!).
There are as many as 9 ex-priests in this group, I am told. They were not laicized but went ahead and married. They conduct some of these ‘services’ and women do some as well. There is argument that when one of these ex-priests do the liturgy that it could possibly be a valid if illicit Eucharist. But perhaps not being in union or intent with the Holy Father, it may be invalid as well?
[Good heavens. Everyone: Get this straight. Even priests without faculties VALIDLY consecrate, so long as the matter is valid and they have the intention to consecrate. We have to assume that, with a validly ordained priest there, what he consecrated was validly consecrated unless proof is offered to the contrary.]
I love dogs, but that is just wrong.
Here’s hoping for the real absence and that Jesus was not present in the host. God have Mercy on us!
The first thing I thought of was the Lauda Sion:
“Lo! the angel’s Food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
See the children’s Bread from Heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.”
I think our German Shepherd would have something to say about this german shepherd!
This proves that canonical penalties don’t always work– not that they shouldn’t be applied when necessary anyway– but even if we had aggressive bishops who took immediate, decisive action to address the heterodox and the heretical, they might well continue to be a thorn in our sides. Of course, things not tried can’t work.
I think Rin Tin Tin would have refused “communion” and attacked the “minister”.
You mention, both in your post here and on your site, that an intent to remain united to Peter is required for the validity of the Eucharist. If you have sources from the Church’s Magisterium to support that, I would like to see them. (I see your quote from the Council of Trent, but that does not extend as far as requiring unity with Peter, and I see no other sources to substantiate that point.)
I do not mean to downplay the seriousness of schism and the importance of unity with the Holy Father, but it has always been my understanding that the sacraments of the Orthodox are valid, including the Eucharist. And there should be no question that they are not in unity nor do they desire unity with Peter (except on their terms).
“…at fortnightly services alternating between two inner-suburban Protestant churches.”
Didn’t Fr. Z just recently have a post about how we should respond to this? Something about the real nature of a proportionate response. (I comment mainly because nobody yet asked about this.)
“Surely excommunication should follow, but will it?”
Some friends of mine once asked an old tutor who had been taught Aquinas rather thoroughly at some point and had been around before Vatican II why prominent Catholic politicians who openly violate and advocate violating Church laws and teachings don’t tend to get excommunicated. He explained that excommunication’s mainly for dissidents who make international nuisances of themselves. I don’t know where he got that from (I am surprised, looking back on it, that I didn’t ask), but if it’s true a few things are worth noting.
1) That consecrating a bishop without Rome’s permission seems to be an exception (or maybe bishophood is by nature international, due to tying so deeply into the Church who is beyond and above nations?).
2) That the growth of nations that cover entire continents by uniting several smaller states as one makes it harder and harder for anyone to be considered international even as their words and deeds can affect more and more lands and peoples now united. In my opinion this is a potentially major flaw in the notion of international impact no matter what that notion is applied to.
3) That notoriety on the internet seems not to count, perhaps because people go looking for stories that would otherwise not be heard of overseas and/or across borders.
I’d also be interested (I mean that in the straightforward sense) in seeing where Supertradmum gets the bit about validity of intent and how ecclesia supplet (which, if I’m not mistaken, supplies for defects of intent — somebody correct me if I’m wrong) fits into it.
Do the words “Do not give what is holy to dogs” (Mt. 7:6) mean anything to this priest!? He is giving what is literally the most holy substance in the universe to a literal dog. For this priest to pooh-pooh those who may have a problem with this with some vague “Well, God wants to give himself to all creation” or “What would Jesus do?” response is nonsense, because he clearly doesn’t care what Jesus really said.
It is no surprise that such a thing could happen – the article does say: When the consecrated bread and wine were passed around, the visitor took some bread and fed it to his dog.
Something happened to my last comment on this. I don’t deny there was a validly ordained priest involved, and that a validly ordained priest can confect the Sacrament. Nor was I delving into the question of his intent. What I’m getting at is that there are two facts introduced into the narrative, namely, that a woman “led the liturgy,” and the priest “played as small a role as he could.” What is meant by this? Was she doing everything and he was just window dressing? We don’t know from the article. Doesn’t this go to the question whether the dog was fed the Body of Christ or just a piece of bread? I’m looking for some crumb of comfort that it was the latter, sacrilegious as the whole thing is.
In addition to everything else, this is condescending to the dignity of the animal’s soul which does not suffer directly from original sin.
Mike, I am not sure I understand your point. But I am sure you know that an animal is not made in the image and likeness of God nor is its soul – which animates the animal – immortal like a human’s. When an animal dies, its soul dies, too.
I think he is saying that a dog does not need to have the Eucharist, and that it is an offense against God’s order of creation to give it to him. If so, I agree. While I would say that giving a valid host to a dog is a worse offense than an invalid one, let’s not miss the primary point here that here is a congregation gone completely off the reservation to say nothing of having a thin and strained tether to reality.
acardnal: I thought I heard somewhere that Plato taught that an animal’s soul is immortal just like a human’s soul is, whereas Aristotle disagreed, and Catholics are free to follow either philosophy regarding animals. Not to downplay this horrendous and disgusting crime, since an animal’s soul is qualitatively different still from a human’s soul, in that it is not made in the Image of God, and it is not a rational being. But simply talking about the immortal aspect of the soul, was I remembering wrong?
MikeJ9919: From what I know and have read, unity with the Chair of Saint Peter is a factor affecting the licitness of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, not one that affects the validity. It would simply go in the second of Supertradmum’s categories. Perhaps I’m wrong (and if I am, dear Supertradmum, do let me know and show me so I can be in line with Magisterial teaching) but I’m fairly certain that both Lumen Gentium and Dominus Iesus affirm that in order to validly celebrate the Holy Eucharist you simply have to be ordained in valid Apostolic Succession and celebrate the Eucharist in a Catholic Rite (such as the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, the Liturgy of Saint Basil, the Roman Missal of Blessed John XXIII, etc), while having the intent to consecrate the Bread and Wine and make them the Body and Blood of Christ and while using real and natural Bread and Wine. I’m pretty sure that’s all there is to it for the most part.
If that’s the case, Anglicans do not have a valid Eucharist not because they are separated from Peter, but because they have invalid Orders.
MikeJ9919, from Apostolicae Curae of Leo XIII, who should be canonized:
With this inherent defect of “form” is joined the defect of “intention” which is equally essential to the Sacrament. The Church does not judge about the mind and intention, in so far as it is something by its nature internal; but in so far as it is manifested externally she is bound to judge concerning it. A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do (intendisse) what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a Sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed. On the other hand, if the rite be changed, with the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church and of rejecting what the Church does, and what, by the institution of Christ, belongs to the nature of the Sacrament, then it is clear that not only is the necessary intention wanting to the Sacrament, but that the intention is adverse to and destructive of the Sacrament.
MikeJ9919 and this is on my blog…sorry I could have put it above
Council of Trent, Seventh Session, March 3, 1547; Canon 11: ” If anyone says that in ministers, when they effect and confer the sacraments, there is not required at least the intention of doing what the Church does, let him be anathema.”
JonathanCatholic: I will get better sourcing for you if you desire. But as I remember the theology, man’s soul is also a spirit whereas an animal’s soul is not spiritual. It is strictly that which animates him. Man’s soul is spirit and his spirit is his soul. This does not apply to animals. And because man’s soul is spiritual, it is immortal by nature. It cannot die – unless, of course, God chooses to annihilate it.
…Reading this story makes me want to be sick. Add to it Father Z’s confirmation that it’s a valid sacrament we’re dealing with here and, well…gah.
Seeing that the story got out, it would seem that even most dissident, schismatic Catholics have the sense to be scandalized by an abuse of the Eucharist. Let’s pray that it leads them back to the Church. If that cannot be, at least let’s hope that the priest and his congregation institute some safeguards for the Eucharist.
I also observe that the other people at church were not dog-owners, because dog-owners have no compunction yelling “Drop it!” at a dog who eats what he shouldn’t. I admit that the Eucharist was probably gone at a gulp, but it would have been worth trying in such a case — if only to teach the poor dog better than his master.
A very Black Mass, in more ways than one.
These NO abuses almost make Martin Luther and John Calvin look decent.
JonathanCatholic: Appending my previous, I offer the following from the “Modern Catholic Dictionary” by Servant of God, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ and supported by other catechetical sources, and I believe St. Thomas Aquinas but I defer to others on Aquinas:
“[The soul is} the spiritual immortal part in human beings that animates its body. Though a substance in itself, the soul is naturally ordained toward a body; separated it is an “incomplete” substance. The soul has no parts; it is therefore simple, but it is not without accidents. The faculties are its proper accidents. Every experience adds to its accidental form. It is individually created for each person by God and infused into the body at the time of human insemination. . . . As as simple and spiritual substance, the soul cannot die. Yet it is not the total human nature, since a human person is composed of body animated by soul. In philosophy, animals and plants are also said to have souls, which operate as sensitive and vegetative principles of life. Unlike the human spirit, these souls are perishable. “
These NO abuses almost make Martin Luther and John Calvin look decent.
@JKnott: Really no need for N.O. bashing on this. This was not an Ordinary Form Mass, it was a priest without faculties assisting a group of women play pretend mass. You can’t blame the Ordinary Form for everything.
The only meaningful sentence in that article was the quote: ”Intelligent, educated, adult Catholics have had enough.”
Michael Bernard Kelly, one of the leaders or Inclusive Catholics, confirms that the sacrament had been validly consecrated by Fr Greg Reynolds, in a comment just posted at cathnews.com (a online news outlet supported by the Australian Bishop’s Conference) To his credit Archbishop Hart has publicly rebuked The Age newspaper for its flippancy in reporting this sacrilege. I was at Mass when Fr Greg’s announced his resignation in September. A very generous and gracious statement from Archbishop Hart was also distributed, but what struck me was how lightly the whole ‘leave from the priesthood’ was treated by both parties. Are we not talking about a man abandoning solemn and sacred public promises made at his ordination!? Then again, I know countless priests who vowed to pray the divine office at their ordination but never quite got round to unpacking their breviaries after the move from seminary to presbytery. If the promises of ordination are no longer expected, then every manner of clerical corruption will set in, up to and now including desecration of the Blessed Eucharist. Please pray for Fr Greg, a victim of his archdiocese’ appalling formation since the 1970s.
A key element of the story is not being discussed:
“A first-time visitorarrived late at the Inclusive Catholics service in South Yarra with a large and well-trained German shepherd. When the consecrated bread and wine were passed around, the visitor took some bread and fed it to his dog.”
Those in charge of this service were surprised, perhaps shocked, when the first-time visitor fed some “bread” to his dog. (We don’t really know if it was the Body of Christ or bread because we’re not told whether the priest consecrated it. Perhaps the woman who led the liturgy said the prayers of consecration or blessed the bread with other prayers.)
So, misguided as they are, the “Inclusive Catholics” didn’t give Communion to a dog, a visitor took it upon himself to share with his dog. Of course the visitor could have been invited to do this by someone in the group who wants inclusiveness for canines but without any evidence of that, we must presume they are innocent. They are guilty of foolishness in allowing a dog in church. Do the ushers in your parish know to keep animals out?
The dog is an innocent animal but there are humans who are guilty of stealing Hosts for various nefarious purposes. Does your parish do anything to prevent that? We can learn something from this story if we go beyond the “weird people doing weird stuff” aspects of the story.
Fr Z. Can we perhaps hope the matter was wring? Sweet egg bread perhaps?
I read this story early today and have been sick at heart all day.Archbishop Hart is my archbishop. Catholicism as I believe it and as I experienced it as a primary school child only exists in my corner of Australia in small pockets. I truly believe that other than the priest and pastoral associate who should know better most of the people who form congregations today simply don’t know about the Real Presence, what the Mass is all about and all of the teachings which form our Catholic Faith. The praise and worship services with their theologically bankrupt songs sung in concrete bunkers presided over by disinterested men who preach “God lurves you as you are and wouldn’t want you to change” homilys are the norm and Pope John Paul II’s “new springtime” is just a hollow joke.
Thank you, Revixit; just the point I was going to make. This priest may be guilty of much, but not of feeding Jesus to a dog. That sin lies on the dog’s owner. The fault of the priest is in giving Communion in the hand, so it COULD be fed to the dog, and for allowing the dog inside (but what about service animals?) I must note that at least the dog got communion on the tongue.
Can I say an act of reparation for this on behalf of the folks who did it?
Is it valid to make such an act on behalf of someone even if they did what they did on purpose?
This calls for a bit of uncommon sense: bite the hand that feeds you.
Come back, Luther & Calvin, all is forgiven!
A simple question the answer to which might at least resolve the issue of whether the Mass was licit or not – Was the bread used an unleavened host or a piece of unleavened bread, or was it ordinary bread? [NO. That would affect validity, not liceity.] If it was the latter, my understanding is that the consecration would not have been licit since the use of unleavened bread with at least a small portion consisting of wheat bread is required. Since my understanding about how the satisfaction of that requirement affects the licitness of the consecration might be flawed, I would welcome correction. But if my understanding is correct, and regular bread was used, then at least the sacrilege of intent is not increased by the sacrilege of actually giving the Body of Christ to a dog.
What a bunch of phoneys. If the ex-priest really did have mind of unclericalism (as most of these dysentery-ists claim to have), then he wouldn’t wear any distinctive garb, not even a green stole. In fact, why not be so unclerical to the point of not leading anyone at any time? A real uncleric would blend in with the crowd so as to be unrecognizable. All creatures being equal (isn’t that the protest wail of the dysentery-ists?), he should have tied the stole around the dog’s neck and allowed the German Shepherd to lead. What could be more ‘natural’?
This is horribly sacrilegious, but I have to say I am more sickened by the fact that the persons engaging in this sacrilege received communion themselves.
Well – taking one from the page of the dysenters (We ARE CHURCH!), and loosely using the Cyprianic formula: once ‘PRIEST’ no longer has anyone to ‘PRIEST’ for or to and is exdependant on any bishop, he is no longer ‘Priest’ing. Perhaps he should be treated as he chooses to live.
The human soul, that of a brute animal, and that of a plant are all formal, i.e., non material. In that sense all can be said to be spirit rather than matter. The soul is both the mover and the form of the thing. As form it gives it unity, thus after death the bodies of all three begin to decompose, i.e., disintegrate.
The human soul, however, has rational power, by which it can operate in a non material way. It does this by abstraction from concrete experiences, even to the point of abstracting from all matter (metaphysics). This is why the human soul is said to be spiritual.
NB: Minimal Intention for every Sacrament is always general and always the same for every celebration of every Sacrament. It is to intend to do what the Church intends.
I don’t know what went on at the above foolishness, but there is the question of whether a priest walking by a bakery can consecrate the bread in it. I think the general opinion is that he cannot.
I am appalled by this but not surprised. This kind of charade is to be expected from the likes of the above mentioned priest. In the matter of the nature of the human soul and the nature of an animal soul I have always understood that what distinguishes us from the rest of the animal kingdom is that we have a SUPERnatural soul, where the word SUPER means ABOVE. Our souls are above natural souls. Our souls, being “above” those souls which are merely natural, means that our souls do not die whereas natural souls do die.
Is my understanding here correct then (based on your interjected comment), that if plain bread had been used, the consecration would not have taken place since the conditions required, that being unleavened bread at least fractionally made from wheat, had not been present, so that the transubstantiation of the bread into the Body of Christ would not have taken place?
Michael, my understanding is that it has to be wheaten bread to be valid; in the Western church it has to be unleavened to be licit.
The Eastern Churches, including those in communion with Rome, use leavened bread as they always have and their eucharists are certainly valid.
Fr. Z says:
“[We have to assume that, with a validly ordained priest there, what he consecrated was validly consecrated unless proof is offered to the contrary. Neither being stupid or doing silly things invalidate the consecration.]”
>> So then this was an intentional act of public desecration of the Eucharist:
Can. 1367 A person who throws away the consecrated species or takes or retains them for a sacrilegious purpose incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; moreover, a cleric can be punished with another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.
What part of, “Give not what is holy to the dogs” don’t they get? Obviously they have no more respect for the Liturgy of the Word than they do that of the Eucharist. By what stretch of the imagination does one offer worship to Jesus by spitting in His face? Do these dullards even realize they’re engaging in de facto satanism?
Abp Hart’s letter to the Melbourne Age:
Date: 6 August 2012
ARCHBISHOP HART PROTESTS RIDICULE OF CATHOLIC ‘S DEFINING BELIEF
Archbishop Denis Hart of the Archdiocese of Melbourne said today that Melbourne’s The Age newspaper was holding Catholicism up for ridicule in an article published in The Age this morning.
The article ‘Every flock needs a shepherd’ (The Age, 6/8), reports that at a Mass conducted by a group called Inclusive Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament was given to a dog.
The Archbishop said “that anyone would feed the Eucharist to a dog is an abomination.”
Writing to the Editor of The Age today, the Archbishop said “Your article ‘Every flock needs a shepherd’ is in bad faith. It is the most fundamental and defining belief of Catholics that what you call ‘the consecrated bread and wine’ is the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”
“That you should choose to report the matter in the way that you did can only be understood as an attempt to hold Catholicism up to ridicule.
“Your integrity in this matter can be judged by asking whether, if something sacred to Judaism or Islam had similarly been desecrated, you would have treated the matter with such flippancy.”
Archbishop Hart has talked the talk.
When this sacrilegious heretic and schismatic priest is removed from the clerical state, he will have walked the walk.
I have no problem with reaching out to Catholics in difficult situations (chaste homosexuals, secularly divorced Catholics who remain true to their sacramental vows, etc.). It is sad that some of those Catholics feel alienated from the Church and God’s love and mercy.
However, giving the Most Holy Eucharist to a dog is beyond the pale . . .
Is there the possibility (and forgive my seeming “un-reverence” — is is well-intended) that the real Presence “jumped out of” the consecrated host, so as to avoid desecration? When faced with such a horrible desecration, wouldn’t Our Lord “bail out” of the consecrated wafer, leaving only a piece of bread to be consumed by the dog in question?
Maybe the more global question is, at what point will Our Blessed Lord not permit sacrilege and desecration of His real presence in the Eucharist and instead “withdraw” from the above?
I apologize if the above seems irreverent — such was honestly was not my intent, but I don’t have the verbal subtletly to express what I’m thinking . . .