Kneeless in Seattle

St. Margaret beating the Devil with a hammer. A bit fuzzy…but hey!

From Fr. Carota’s blog:

I received this text message yesterday (Sunday) from a young man who is a member of “Juventutem” and had to go to Seattle for work.   When he went to mass there, this is what happened:

“In the Seattle Cathedral I was just denied communion kneeling and made a scene of.  He eventually, after a minute standoff scoffed, said I ought to learn obedience, and then threw the Sacred Host sideways into my mouth.”

“For every knee shall be bowed to me, and every tongue shall swear.” Isaiah 45:24

“That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:”  Philippians 2: 10.

Very ironically, the exact above reading (from St. Paul to the Philippians) was read at the Novus Ordo Mass this young man went to where he was spiritually abuse by the priest.   St. Paul is saying we need to kneel at only the name of Jesus.  What does that mean we need to do in front of the the presence of Jesus in Holy Communion which is a billion times more holy than on His Name.

God compelled the devil to show himself to the Desert Father Abba Apollo.  He was ugly, black, skinny limbs and had NO KNEES to adore God on.  Pope Benedict said: “The inability to kneel is seen as the very essence of the diabolical”.

[…]

That priest didn’t get the memo.

Redemptionis Sacramentum states:

[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.

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85 Responses to Kneeless in Seattle

  1. darthkorbus says:

    Seattle has a great and thriving FSSP apostolate. He should go there next Sunday.

  2. Christ-Bearer says:

    Hey, I’m quite sure received Communion from that same priest several years ago. I used to live in the Seattle Archdiocese and occasionally attended Mass at St. James Cathedral. Father never denied me Communion on the tongue, to his credit (though I was standing), but more than once he made faces or said things while doing so that made it quite clear he was displeased with this method of receiving. Well, I went to the FSSP Mass darthkorbus mentions whenever I could. :-) I miss them! (And the Dominicans near UW!) *sniff* :-<

  3. There are so many of them who want to Make A Point in this way. It’s so sad.

    I give away a little prayer card that I get from the most excellent Personalised Holy Cards people. I have it set up as a template there with a lovely image of Jesus wearing the Crown of Thorns on the reverse.

    If you would like to order these, they are kept on file under my name – Philippa Martyr – and if you ask, I’m sure they will gladly show you a PDF of the template, and then you can order them for yourselves as well if you like them. I just won’t pay for them, that’s all!!! (NB. The spelling on the cards is in Australian English, which is the same as UK English).

    O Jesus, I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests; for Your unfaithful and tepid priests; for Your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Your tempted priests; for Your lonely and desolate priests; for Your young priests; for Your dying priests; for the souls of Your priests in Purgatory.

    But above all, I recommend to You the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priest at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Your Body and Blood in Holy Communion; all the priest who taught and instructed me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way (especially…).

    O Jesus, keep them all close to your heart, and Bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

  4. incorpore says:

    Isn’t the rector there (he’s listed as “pastor,” but of course the archbishop is pastor of his cathedral) the one who led the petition drive to stop the new English translation of the Novus Ordo Mass in the United States?

  5. jacobi says:

    That priest does not believe in the Real Presence, [There isn’t enough evidence for that.] and there are many, many, like him in the Catholic Church today. That is the problem.

    The lesson is clear, if you accept the Real Presence, receive by mouth, only from anointed hands, kneeling at the altar rail, or without a rail if none is provided, and if like me you can’t kneel, then with a distinct bow.

    ps on a purely personal note, I would be inclined to have a word with him outside after Mass and make it clear that under no circumstances would he behave towards me in public in such a manner in future!

  6. incorpore says:

    Indeed, I just looked; Fr. Michael Ryan is the instigator of the movement Non Serviam (dynamic equivalence translation: What If We Just Said Wait ;) ). [The priest was not named in the post. Don’t make an assumption that he was Fr. Ryan.]

  7. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    There are three priests at the cathedral. They are listed here:

    http://www.stjames-cathedral.org/staff.aspx

    Click on a name to e-mail. Snail address and phone numbers are at the bottom of the page.

    The Archdiocesan website [ http://www.seattlearchdiocese.org/Default.aspx ] is extremely cagey about ANY contact information for the chancery or the archbishop. The only phone number I could find is this one:

    Sex Abuse and Misconduct Hotline: 1 800 446-7762

    This is certainly a case of misconduct. The three priests at the cathedral, and the archbishop, should hear from a lot of people.

    Why do I have a hunch that this priest would give Nancy Pelosi Communion?–even if she knelt.

  8. Lavrans says:

    Those dang ol’ fundamentalists and sourpusses!

  9. APX says:

    According to a priest from the FSSP, even though the priest is wrong to deny holy communion to someone who kneels, the appropriate and virtuous thing to do is be obedient since the priest is still above us and we will gain a lot more virtue through this one small act of humble obedience than if we remain obstinate.

  10. Spade says:

    Priest should be named and shamed with contact info provided so he may be reminded of the referenced document.

  11. robtbrown says:

    Apparently, Liberal Fascism is alive and sleepless in Seattle.

  12. Alaina says:

    Father quoted, “Pope Benedict said: ‘The inability to kneel is seen as the very essence of the diabolical’.” A very interesting point to what is underlying this situation. For whatever reason, the priest may not agree that someone has to kneel to receive the Eucharist, but he shouldn’t have a hostile reaction if someone does. As Jacobi said above, some individuals are unable to kneel. There are also some who can’t walk, and some can’t leave their homes. But if someone is able and willing to kneel in genuine reverence, why is that so distasteful and “disobedient” to him? And to whom is it disobedient? His own ego? I would say that should not be a priority in that moment. It would be interesting to ask this priest when, where, and how it is acceptable to humble ourselves before the Lord, and how he does it himself. Is he superficial in his faith where he feels that practices of faith should be only determined by what the majority is doing in the moment? For instance, if he had the privilege to receive the Eucharist from the Pope, and everyone else in the congregation kneeled to receive the Sacred Host, would he kneel? If so, would he be kneeling before the Pope or before The Body of Christ? Or would he stand to demonstrate what he calls “obedience”?

  13. frjim4321 says:

    I find it quite interesting that the individual in question seems to be concerned much more with the mode of reception than with what/who is actually is being received and what participation in the Communion Rite is about. [Are you psychic? Otherwise, that’s a pretty big assumption.]

    With respect to the quote “The inability to kneel is seen as the very essence of the diabolical”, I would wonder how the dear woman who comes to daily mass and who has a double knee replacement and is prohibited from kneeling would feel about that unfortunate remark. [Don’t be silly. That’s not what the quote is about and you know it.]

    For a person to insist upon kneeling when it is clearly not the local custom seems primarily to be about a misunderstanding of the communitarian character of the procession and then secondarily to be an expression of a pronounced form of eccentricity which I associate with deeply seated narcissism. This is hardly compatible with a truly Eucharistic spirituality. [Again, with the psychic powers….]

  14. Scott W. says:

    You are blaming the victim frjim4321. We’ve two potential candidates for your ad hominem distraction of so-called “pronounced form of eccentricity which I associate with deeply seated narcissism.”: The priest or the communicate. Since the rules of reception are clear and unambiguous, and that it is primarily the priest’s duty to know and abide by them, it’s an easy and obvious choice to make: it ain’t the communicant.

  15. wised says:

    If I could knee on the floor without assistance I would. If there was an option to use a kneeler, I would use it. I bow deeply but not many even do this. How far we have fallen in honoring Our Lord.
    What was the reasoning used to remove the altar rails? Most church interiors were “redecorated” but even that would not have required the removal of the altar rails. Including the lay person in the celebration of the mass more inclusively did not have to mean removing Respect for The Presence of Our Lord from the mass. Why is it not possible to make kneelers available for use by communicants who are so inclined? What better way to educate the post Vatican II generation in Respect for the Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist.

  16. SimonDodd says:

    Isn’t it interesting how, for Fr. Jim, it’s the person who wants to keep doing what the Church has always done and won’t “get with the program” who is “concerned” about the “mode of reception,” not the priest(s) trying to impose that program? It’s always that way, isn’t it? The pretense of “what does it matter” always seems to appeal to those who understand bloody well why it matters and want to change it.

  17. RobS says:

    frjim4321 wrote: I find it quite interesting that the individual in question seems to be concerned much more with the mode of reception than with what/who is actually is being received and what participation in the Communion Rite is about.

    You don’t think that what/who is being received is driving the reverence that this young man was showing by kneeling during reception? I dare say that was the whole point.

  18. frjim,

    For a priest to unlawfully insist on one standing who prefers to kneel seems primarily to be about a misunderstanding of the participative nature of holy communion and then secondarily to be an expression of a pronounced form of eccentricity which I associate with deeply seated narcissism. This is hardly compatible with a truly pastoral charitiy.

  19. Charles says:

    Fr. Z, I have a quick question for you. Recently, there have been H1N1 scares in my neck of the woods, and the bishop’s office ordered that communion be given in the hand during these outbreak. Would a member of the faithful still be within his rights to request communion on the tongue in these circumstances, or would it constitute reasonable grounds to refuse communion? (Apparently, some priests have extended this policy, and refuse to distribute communion on the tongue “for health reasons” when no such reasons exist, sed abusus non tollit usus, if indeed this is a legitimate practise.)

  20. wised says:

    frjim4321, I wonder if Christ, Present in the Eucharist, would find a penitent kneeling in reverence to receive His Body, an eccentric narcissist? Is offending local custom more of a consideration than disrespecting Our Lord? Was not Our Lord the eccentric in His time? In this case, call me the happy eccentric.

  21. wised says:

    frjim4321, I wonder if Christ, Present in the Eucharist, would find a penitent kneeling in reverence to receive His Body, an eccentric narcissist? Is offending local custom more of a consideration than disrespecting Our Lord? Was not Our Lord the eccentric in His time? In this case, call me the happy eccentric.

  22. DavidJ says:

    Spade: “Priest should be named and shamed” No, the priest should be approached privately and if necessary, escalate it up the chain in a respectful manner. The priest should be prayed for, not publicly shamed.

  23. frjim4321 says:

    “Priest should be named and shamed.”

    Shaming speech is abusive speech.

  24. frjim4321 says:

    Scott W., talk to anyone with psychological training and experience. Eccentricity and narcissism are frequently related.

  25. Dialogos says:

    I feel this young man’s pain: two years ago I was received into the Church here in the Archdiocese of Seattle. A refugee from Eastern Orthodoxy, I came thinking that those in the Church actually practiced what the Church teaches. First: as has been mentioned in other posts, that young man should stay far, far away from St. James Cathedral and go to the FSSP or the Dominicans at Blessed Sacrament. There are other orthodox (i.e. faithful) parishes but they are mostly outside of Seattle. Second: while there is a 0% chance anything will get done, he should speak with the priest and send a letter to Archbishop Sartain. Many of us in the archdiocese are hoping that the Cathedral’s rector will retire soon, the sooner the better. Abp. Sartain will then (hopefully) install someone more open to sacred tradition. If anyone needs an illustration of attitudes at the cathedral, they need only go in the bookstore: Rohr, Chittister, Wills–need I say more? I wrote a letter to the Archbishop about the cathedral bookstore promoting heresy and received a non-committal response. My advice to the young man: don’t give up on Catholicism in Seattle. The old guard will pass. As for reception of the Eucharist: my wife and I receive on the tongue, standing. (She has bad knees; for me it is awkward to receive kneeling sans altar rail, and there are not many altar rails in this archdiocese, alas.) We always go to the priest to receive and never willingly go to an EMHC; except with the FSSP, anyone in this archdiocese may have to skirt around EMHCs to get to the priest. Kneeling reception is not common in this archdiocese and insisting on it may indeed incur hard feelings–but I am NOT calling on anyone to compromise(!) My pastor is young and very orthodox and slowly leading us back to more traditional practices. (We are about 35 miles from Seattle.) Please pray for us in this archdiocese: we are struggling against many years of liturgical abuse and a materialistic and hostile culture.

  26. vetusta ecclesia says:

    Was the anti-trans movement in USA really called “non serviam”? These sre Lucifer’s words, “I will not serve”.

  27. paladin says:

    Jacobi wrote:

    That priest does not believe in the Real Presence, and there are many, many, like him in the Catholic Church today.

    Bingo. I can’t be the only one to have noticed the priest’s decision, for the sake of mere pique, to “throw the Sacred Host sideways into the recipient’s mouth”; that’s not something which one would do if one had even the slightest inkling of the fact that one is holding one’s Almighty Lord, God, Creator and Judge in one’s hands. Even if he were dispensing Oreo cookies in such a petulant manner, it’d be a moral failing (proper to a spoiled child having a tantrum, and throwing a coveted toy at one’s sibling when asked by parents to share it); but… to do that to GOD? My heart fails when I try to picture it.

  28. wmeyer says:

    Oh, frjim, how utterly unsurprising that you would prefer a psychologist’s notions to the canons.

  29. Thorfinn says:

    Let’s leave it as:

    “The priest should be ashamed.”

    Assuming it was a priest and not an extraordinary minister, which is implied but not spelled out. And yes, his superior should be informed, to handle the correction in the most appropriate manner.

    Like most people, as a child I was only taught one way to receive — in the hand. As an adult, I’ve decided to receive on the tongue, kneeling when feasible, for two reasons:

    First, to promote adoration of Christ in the Eucharist in my own heart (taking ‘reverence’ as “profound adoring awed respect”, I find ‘profound’ & ‘respect’ come more easily than the other two).

    And second, as a signal to others in the congregation that receiving on the tongue or kneeling is not just a fringe thing for weirdos; lots of people do it, and you can too, if you wish, without feeling too self-conscious.

    It would be ideal if everyone received the same way: but as their are four(!) approved ways, we are left encouraging those ways which tend to inspire greater reverence. Unless the bishop wants to ban those methods which tend to inspire less reverence.

  30. Gerard Plourde says:

    Without knowing the full context it seems pointless to speculate whether fault lies with either the unnamed priest or with with the unnamed member of Juventutem. It appears that neither party practiced the charity and deference we are called to have for each other as members of the Mystical Body of Christ and that both were a bit quick to make judgments about the other’s faith and devotion.

  31. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    “Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.”

    Maybe if you cut it out from felt letters, glue it to a burlap banner, and carry it down the center aisle in the entrance procession, they’ll get the point.

    [I’m glad I wasn’t drinking Mystic Monk when I read that.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  32. frjim4321 says:

    wmeyer, as far as I’ve seen psychological health and spiritual health are well correlated.

    But I hasten to add that this is based solely on my personal observation and experience.

    I don’t have any data to support this . . . however I think that was very much Allport’s take.

  33. thomas tucker says:

    I have gone to Mass there more than a few times. It is a strange amalgam of traditional, beautiful elements (Latin in many responses, chant, Sanctus bells) and spirit of Vatican2 elements (priest using red, glass chalice and same sex couples with their arms around each other.) The rector, I have to say, always seems very full of himself and very welcoming in thatcharacteristically liberal way of not tolerating any deviation from the way he wants it.
    Although the music is beautiful, it always gives me the feeling that it’s a performance rhather than worship. That’s my impression. I prefer Blessed Sacrament parish, run by the Dominicans.

  34. seattle_cdn says:

    It was from the combox at The Curt Jester over a similar issue that I came to discover Blessed Sacrament and make it my spiritual home. I’ve never looked back.

  35. Spade says:

    “DavidJ says:
    1 October 2014 at 8:32 am
    Spade: “Priest should be named and shamed” No, the priest should be approached privately and if necessary, escalate it up the chain in a respectful manner. The priest should be prayed for, not publicly shamed.”

    The priest is the one who decided to make a public scene about something he’s incorrect about. Plus, the church has already given him direction.

    Shame and embarrassment go a long way in correcting people. It’s what this priest tried to do to the guy in the original story. Evidently it’s what he uses because he’d probably respond to it.

  36. frjim: “talk to anyone with psychological training and experience. Eccentricity and narcissism are frequently related.”

    Hmm. What narcissism is frequently related to in priests (and others), is an interesting question, but perhaps one best not pursued here.

  37. yatzer says:

    “vetusta ecclesia says:
    1 October 2014 at 8:55 am

    Was the anti-trans movement in USA really called “non serviam”? These sre Lucifer’s words, “I will not serve”.”
    I believe the author meant that the movement “What if we just said Wait” could appropriately translated into a movement called “Non serviam” because of its intent.

  38. Scott W. says:

    Scott W., talk to anyone with psychological training and experience. Eccentricity and narcissism are frequently related.

    Your’re dodging the point.

  39. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear incorpore,

    Trying to find your source for the information about the troubling reference (given the source of the phrase) to a movement called “Non Serviam” connected with the revised translation of the Roman Missal. Google has drawn a blank.

  40. Scott W. says:

    Without knowing the full context it seems pointless to speculate whether fault lies with either the unnamed priest or with with the unnamed member of Juventutem. It appears that neither party practiced the charity and deference we are called to have for each other as members of the Mystical Body of Christ and that both were a bit quick to make judgments about the other’s faith and devotion.

    Respectfully, this is dousing plain truths with a freezing antiseptic bucket of professional neutrality. We know two things: 1). Communion cannot justly be denied to someone kneeling and 2). Priests are supposed to know this and abide by it. So, unless the “full context” is that the communicant was kneeling with a Waffen SS helmet on his head, there isn’t a real need to pretend there’s two legitimate sides to this story.

  41. frjim4321 says:

    “Hmm. What narcissism is frequently related to in priests (and others), is an interesting question, but perhaps one best not pursued here.” – Henry

    Stop all the clocks!

    Henry and I agree!

  42. Sonshine135 says:

    Perhaps the Priest would understand better if the person’s concerns for receiving the Lord on his/her knees were performed in interpretive, liturgical dance.

  43. So much for being pastoral and going out of comfort zones.

  44. New Sister says:

    Boy, there is nothing like the “Left Coast”!
    The same thing happened to me in the PDX (Portland, OR) diocese. A deacon in his late 60s refused me Holy Communion and kept called me (in my 40s) “honey” – bleh. “Honey, stand up… come on dear… you MUST STAND!” Result was the same as the young man in Seattle: deacon gave up after three requests and with a disgusted look on his face, dropped the Sacred Host upon my tongue, then fuming mad, chased me down after Holy Mass to tear into me while still in the Sanctuary, still in my chapel veil. The fact that this occurred on CORPUS CHRISTI (2012) Sunday was lost on him, apparently. I wrote the pastor and never received a reply.

  45. Lavrans says:

    Anyone thought, perhaps, both are at fault?

    The priest? Obviously, as his nose is out of joint because folks are doing things his way, and perhaps it sheds light on his own faith regarding the Real Presence. I don’t think he handled it well. In hindsight, it would have been best to give Communion and speak with the man afterward. Or, if he feared not getting the chance, put it in the bulletin about his preferences. Or, do what some priests do, which is put a kneeler up there and tend to it when someone comes. There is room for compromise.

    The communicant? I think so too. Look, I’ve done this out of protest of a liberal and annoying priest. The sin was mine. I own it now, though at the time you couldn’t have convinced me that I was wrong. I made a scene on purpose. I was showing how holy I was and how unholy everyone else was for not doing the same. Again, at the time, you would not have convinced me. Now? I know better.

    I want to receive from the priest, on the tongue, and kneeling. But that is not always an option. Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, however, always IS an option. He is always there. If I can’t be as reverent receiving Him as I like, I’ll make up for it in prayer on my knees afterward and outside of Mass as well.

    I think the priest stunk this one up AS WELL AS the communicant. Nobody wins.

  46. Franko says:

    Little late, but I’d second the advice given here: Go to the FSSP Mass in Seattle. North American Martyr’s Church. I was able to attend two weeks ago and it was well worth the drive down.

    As for the priest who was so disrespectful: He not only was completely condescending to his parishioner, he also used the Body and Blood of our Lord to push a political agenda in the Church. He is the worst kind of clerical bully who uses his spiritual authority to the detriment of his flock.

    “You need to learn obedience.” Bah. He is commanding you to not go out of your way to show reverence for Christ. You owe him no obedience on that score. In fact, I would argue disobedience is a moral imperative.

  47. TWF says:

    Just north of Seattle up in Vancouver, the majority of the faithful receive kneeling at the cathedral – and this has been the case as long as I’ve known the cathedral under two different archbishops.

  48. thomas tucker says:

    Isn’t it ironic that the priest would recommend “obedience” when he himself is not obeying the rules set down to allow Communion while kneeling, and that call for chalices made of noble metals? Ironic, but oh so typical.

  49. Gerard Plourde says:

    Dear Scott W,

    I’m not letting the priest who initially refused but then relented like the first son in Sunday’s OF Gospel, according to the report (“He eventually, after a minute standoff scoffed, said I ought to learn obedience, and then threw the Sacred Host sideways into my mouth.”) off the hook for his initial obstinance and the un-Christlike behavior evidenced by the reported sarcastic remark. But I am concerned that there is an equal lack of Christlike behavior by the reporter. Our Lord clearly instructs us that if we our brother wrongs us that we are to “go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two brothers along with you so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses’. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector.” (Mt. 18:15-17) I don’t see any report that the member of Juventutem sought to do that after Mass.

  50. AnAmericanMother says:

    I will note that, within my observation, this only goes one way and it’s always the Usual Suspects.
    My DH cannot kneel owing to bad knees and foot surgery. When we go to the local FSSP parish, the priest does not even raise an eyebrow when he makes a profound bow and then receives standing.
    My home parish priests & EMHCs (hey, the church holds 800 and is usually full) do not react negatively to genuflexion, kneeling, or communion on the tongue. Our rector has announced several times all the options for receiving and that all are valid.
    Unfortunately there is one “rainbow parish” in our town and the rector is loud, obnoxious, and insistent on his own way. I murmured “amen” upon receiving, and he apparently did not hear me because he yelled “AMEN! AMEN!” at me loudly enough to be heard down the block. I was at first confused, until he added, “Say AMEN!” I made full eye contact and responded softly, “Father, I’m sorry, I said ‘amen’.” He sniffed dismissively and tossed the Blessed Sacrament onto my tongue.
    Off to Confession I went for highly uncharitable thoughts . . . . :-(
    I try to avoid the place, but it’s right across the street from my job.

  51. New Sister says:

    @ Lavrans – I do not think we can blame the communicant. I thought the same after my incident, whether or not I was guilty of being disobedient, proud, etc. (though I do *not* owe “obedience” to a deacon/hippy). I did not remain kneeling in protest, but in shock — many thoughts churning at once, such as “this is illegal!… doesn’t he know better?… how can I possibly receive my LORD standing?… no way; this isn’t happening… Angel Guardian, please help!” etc.
    Before I could reason out whether or not should I stand up or not, he irreverently dropped Jesus Christ upon my tongue – and thank the Angels He did not fall upon the floor for it was most imprudent to drop Him like that. Mercy.

  52. Cajetan says:

    A few years ago I was in New Orleans for work and decided to attend Mass at the St Louis Cathedral. I usually visited St Patrick (where receiving on the tongue, kneeling at the alter rail is the norm), but decided to go to the historic Cathedral-Basilica on this occasion. When I went to receive communion, I noticed the priest distributing was clearly upset that I chose to receive on my tongue. He shoved the Eucharist into my mouth with such force, I can only describe it as an actual punch to the mouth. It was a disturbing experience.

  53. AnAmericanMother says:

    New Sister,
    My experience exactly. I was in shock at being yelled at and entirely uncertain as to what I had done wrong. “Say amen! very loudly” was not on my radar — and I attend almost exclusively the Ordinary Form and never got that reaction before.

  54. CatherineTherese says:

    Upon reading this entry, I found myself spontaneously moved to write to said pastor per the suggestions of some of the earliest commenters above. Right away I received a response from a staff member – quite solicitous and appropriate – assuring me that kneeling is commonplace at the cathedral, never the cause for denial of communion, etc, and asking for details about the incident. If nothing else, I am surprised and somewhat encouraged – at least by the appearance of concern on their part.

    Dear Father ____,

    I was dismayed to read that kneeling to receive communion is so virulently frowned upon at Seattle’s Cathedral.

    As a millennial and a grateful convert to the Catholic Church – Deo gratias! – I feel strange *not* kneeling to receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord. Sometimes logistics require it, but whenever possible I kneel – not to show off, but to remind myself of what is happening in that moment.

    Indeed, as I reverence the Lord in the Eucharist, so too do I marvel at the beauty of the sacramental priesthood, your sacrifice to the Church, and the faculties bestowed on you through your ordination. In sincerity and humility, I thank you for your priesthood, your prayers, and for your consideration of my note and any others you might receive on this matter.

    For any emails that are sent or received in misunderstanding and/or a lack of common courtesy (including my own if that be the case), I apologize.

  55. Geoffrey says:

    “That priest does not believe in the Real Presence, and there are many, many, like him in the Catholic Church today”.

    That statement is both ludicrous and uncharitable. In his heart of hearts, we have no idea what the priest in question believes or does not believe. Pray for him.

  56. Mike says:

    The use of the term communitarian as a defense of the kind of scenario in which this priest’s behavior took place is arguably abusive, spiritually as well as psychologically. One of the more prominent signposts to Hell bears the text EVERYBODY’S DOIN’ IT in flashing letters.

    That said, Juventutem will probably be well advised to train its members (may their numbers ever increase!) to be ready for more of the same.

    All involved in the matter, including submitters of ill-thought comments (not necessarily excluding this one) to Fr. Z’s post, are in my prayers: may their Guardian Angels ever light their paths to sanity and sanctity.

  57. Federico says:

    The priest did not get several memos. Redemptionis sacramentum‘s guidance was incorporated in the new version of the GIRM, so all talk of “obedience” is now moot. The revised GIRM reads (emphasis mine):

    160. The Priest then takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession.

    It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91).

    When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.

  58. The Masked Chicken says:

    “According to a priest from the FSSP, even though the priest is wrong to deny holy communion to someone who kneels, the appropriate and virtuous thing to do is be obedient since the priest is still above us and we will gain a lot more virtue through this one small act of humble obedience than if we remain obstinate.”

    No.

    The priest may be above us, but the Holy See is above the priest and the rubrics, clearly, say,

    “The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91).”

    There is no obedience to the priest in standing because, the directing agent of what to do is the communicant. That is spelled out in the rubrics and it is the priest who is disobedient for not following what is allowed. One is to, ordinarily, obey one’s own prudential judgment about whether to stand or kneel, unless charity demands otherwise (no room to kneel, risk of injuring someone, etc.).

    In this case, the communicant is above the priest because he his standing on the steps of the Vatican.

    Now, one could, conceivably, misuse the freedom granted to kneel by kneeling under false pretenses, to show off, for instance, but in that case, it would be the priest who would be showing humility by giving the Eucharist to the kneeling person.

    Oh, and about that comment about eccentricity and narcissism, a recent study in England found that most eccentrics (and they are numerous in England, so form a studiable group), were, generally, well-adjusted people, if not a bit, well, eccentric.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/153678.Eccentrics

    The Wikipedia article on eccentricity lists character traits of eccentrics and narcissism is not among them.

    The Chicken

  59. AvantiBev says:

    Thanks Fr. Z. This comes at a very timely moment as my sister was visibly shaken after attending “liturgy” at a very modernist parish near our summer cottage. I try never to attend there preferring the 45 minute drive to Fr. Sirico and the E.F. at Sacred Heart in Grand Rapids. But when I do attend their N.O. I do not take Communion as it would be a lie.

    Anyway, sis was upset because as she approached the “take out counter” as I call their distribution of the Host and Chalice, she make a genuflection and then received on the tongue while standing. The priest made a point of announcing from the altar at the end of Mass before the final blessing that “all this bowing and kneeling” is so much silliness and showing off! Poor sis felt she and a few others that didn’t do the snatch and grab method of receiving were being unfairly singled out.

    Normally, I don’t concern myself too much having been spoiled by attending the N.O. at St. John Cantius when I absolutely cannot make the E.F. but I did feel sorry for my sister and the “remnant” still faithful despite a string of faithless pastors. The shepherds are not just running away to leave the sheep to the wolves, they are WILLFULLY leading the sheep off the cliff!

    You know folks I have listened to 40 years of this Novus Ordo being championed or defended and as I witness each new abuse over the years, I have to say I only grow to truly despise it and shun it all the more.

  60. acricketchirps says:

    Geoffrey – That statement is both ludicrous and uncharitable. In his heart of hearts, we have no idea what the priest in question believes or does not believe.

    You’re right. He may be holding a sign with big giant letters saying, “I don’t believe in the Real Presence,”… but we can’t know what he believes in his heart of hearts.

  61. mhazell says:

    frjim4321: For a person to insist upon kneeling when it is clearly not the local custom seems primarily to be about a misunderstanding of the communitarian character of the procession and then secondarily to be an expression of a pronounced form of eccentricity which I associate with deeply seated narcissism. This is hardly compatible with a truly Eucharistic spirituality.

    It is both a distortion and a misunderstanding to see the character of the communion procession as exclusively communitarian, or communitarian to the extent that one minimises its individual and personal character. I have always found it odd that many liturgists are seemingly unwilling to allow a little diversity in this particular regard – for of course, all the options in the post-conciliar Missal are A Good Thing, but everyone must receive communion standing and in the hand or else. (Who do those ignorant plebs think they are anyway, amirite?)

    It is also regrettable that you see kneeling as “a pronounced form of eccentricity”, and are seemingly happy to judge the spiritual life of people based solely upon how they receive Our Lord at Mass. What ever happened to “who am I to judge”?

  62. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    APX wrote: “According to a priest from the FSSP, even though the priest is wrong to deny holy communion to someone who kneels, the appropriate and virtuous thing to do is be obedient since the priest is still above us and we will gain a lot more virtue through this one small act of humble obedience than if we remain obstinate.”

    Following this FSSP priest’s advice is to place the development of one’s own character before justice and liturgical law. I.e., it is self-centered. “Let injustice continue, let the Blessed Sacrament be insulted, provided I can cultivate my personal ‘virtue.'”

    I am reminded of all those victims of abuse by priests who were told (and themselves believed) it was “for the good of the Church” to keep quiet, or even that it “sinful” to say ANYTHING negative about a priest.

    Such clericalism (it is NOT due reverence for the priesthood) needs a stake driven through its heart.

  63. Magash says:

    As someone who was present in the silly season right after Vatican II I would like to ask Fr Jim where he thinks this “local custom” came from? As someone who was there its certainly didn’t come from the community. It was imposed by the clergy and a small number of theological progressives, along with Extraordinary ministers of Communion, reception in the hand, altar girls, versus populum and other practices. In no way were these changes either organic or customary. Using the standard applied at Trent that any custom be at least 200 years old when it comes to the Mass, these practices I mentioned above hardly could be considered “custom” in any sense.

  64. DavidJ says:

    Spade said: “The priest is the one who decided to make a public scene about something he’s incorrect about. Plus, the church has already given him direction.

    Shame and embarrassment go a long way in correcting people. It’s what this priest tried to do to the guy in the original story. Evidently it’s what he uses because he’d probably respond to it.”

    So, how exactly would you propose is the proper, licit, and morally sound way for the laity to shame a priest?

  65. Spade says:

    “DavidJ says:
    1 October 2014 at 2:00 pm
    So, how exactly would you propose is the proper, licit, and morally sound way for the laity to shame a priest?”

    Fill his inbox with questions about the incident, with attached documents. Phone calls to the secretary complaining about it. Asking him about it before and after mass.

    Pretty much the same stuff you’d see in some parishes from some parishioners if they had to sit through a homily on NFP.

  66. Uxixu says:

    I’ve so wanted to take Communion at the rail since our parish has a beautiful marble altar rail… that’s sadly never used except for devotions outside of the Mass, where some will pray after Confession.

    That said, I don’t want to be disrupt the flow of the line, so I will present myself with folded hands and take on the tongue..

    The only time I’ve been able to kneel without being self conscious of appearing TOO pious was at my wedding Mass when we were kneeling. Same Church but inside the Sanctuary

  67. Uxixu says:

    I wouldn’t agree with ‘public shaming’ of a priest. He definitely should be corrected, however. A letter (keep a copy!) to the priest as well as his immediate superior (pastor aka parish priest in a parish) and if satisfaction isn’t obtained his (arch)bishop.

    [184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.[290] It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

  68. jacobi says:

    To Geoffrey:
    Anyone, priest or layman in the presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ and believing in that Presence, would be expected to behave suitably, with respect. Probably Awe, would be a better word.

    This priest did not. As the incident is described, the priest scoffed, then falsely accused the communicant in the Presence of Christ of disobedience, which is wrong since reception by mouth is fully permitted, but most importantly, he “threw the Sacred Host sideways into my mouth” That is objectively speaking of course, a Sacrilegious act.

    Now there are two possible conclusions to be drawn here. One, that he did believe in the Real Presence and was deliberately insulting Our Lord, or that he did not believe and was behaving in a simple bad tempered manner.

    Being of a natuarally charitable nature, I sincerely trust that it was the latter. The former is surely not to be considered in a Catholic priest.

    Therefore, my statement was very charitable. What is more, although I can’t see into his or anyone else’s heart, including yours, one can, and indeed should, draw obvious, simple, sensible, logical, conclusions, and this I did.

    That is one of the reasons we have our God given intelligence, and why we use the term “objectively speaking” these days, when we state the blindingly obvious.

    Should you for a moment think there are no “Catholics” who reject the Real Presence, think again. I would refer you to the recent report by Voris in which a researcher at a Catholic university in the US of A, investigating this subject did not find one single “Catholic” student who believed in the Real Presence.

    Makes you think, doesn’t it?

  69. eulogos says:

    I think people are a mixture of a lot of things and it is not easy to say quickly that one knows either that it is all narcissistic eccentricity which makes the young man want to kneel when others stand, or whether it is all eucharisitic piety. Most likely he wants to honor Our Lord, has been taught that this is how to do it, and actually fears both that others will think him merely eccentric, and that he might be so. When I pray my Rosary in the car, if I put my hand on the Rosary high on the steering wheel, I suddenly fear I am doing that so others will see, so I put my hand down, and then fear I am doing it so others cannot see…

    I admit to liking kneeling at the altar rail and receiving on the tongue, and to feeling more awe when I receive that way. I think it gives one a moment of time in stillness to reflect. But I have gone round and round about receiving on the tongue during the OF mass when few others are. I finally came to the point where I could not force myself to receive in the hand just so as not to stand out. I really hope I don’t come to the point where I feel I have to kneel, because I genuinely don’t want to make a scene, and besides, I need something to hold on to to stand up again once I am down.
    Please Fr. Jim, don’t judge the young man, or anyone who may do this in your church, so quickly. We really, really cannot know, and likely the person himself can’t dope out his own motives perfectly. Accept what he intends to intend!
    Susan Peterson

  70. frjim4321 says:

    Excuse the rabbit hole but this reminds me of a visit I made to the NW a couple years after ordination (mid-’80’s) and attended mass at that cathedral . . . all I remember is that the music was terrific.

  71. APX says:

    Jacobi,

    We can’t take what the person said about the priest as fact. It is hearsay and very well likely has been exaggerated by an emotionally upset person. [Again, with the psychic powers and psychologizing. After I posted this I was contacted by the person who had this experience in Seattle and I happen to know him. He’s enthusiastic but by no means either slow-witted or fragile.]

    Regardless of how we feel about various priests and how unholy and irreverent they appear, they still stand in persona Christi when administering the sacraments and offering Mass. They have the power to command the Sacred Species to become the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. They have the power bind and loosen my sins. Sure, the priest in and of himself is absolutely nothing, but his office requires our respect and reverence. Rather than our condemnation, armchair quarterbacking, and judgmentalism, priests need our prayers and penances to be strong enough to fight off the devil and demons waiting in the corners to pounce on them when they least expect it, not to mention their need to become saints and to lead their congregations by example.

  72. AvantiBev says:

    Jacobi, I was at Northwestern U in the mid 1970’s. We had a Newman Center that was outrageous, complete with a crucifix made out of chicken wire (my roomie and best friend from a devout Byzantine Catholic family kept wondering when the crucifix was going to be “done”)! We had dancing around “the table” and walls so bare that any Quaker would feel at home having meeting service in there. Though the center held less than 100 people we had no shortage of those who wanted to be Extraordinary ministers of Communion. Those that didn’t make the cut got to beat on the tambourines.

    I remember well speaking to a senior from my dorm who served as a Newman Center EMC and I mentioned transubstantiation. I then had to define it for her and she scoffed and said that of course she did not believe in such silliness. This was 1974; we are 40 years on and I assure you NO liturgical innovation, improvisation or abuse surprises me anymore.

  73. Christophorus1208 says:

    Dr. Peters quoted Redemptionis Sacramentum, “Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.”
    However, it seems to be pretty common that one is still accused of disobedience. As I personally experienced, a priest (Air Force military chaplain) told me after Mass not to kneel again to receive Communion, kneeling was not allowed . He wouldn’t refuse me Commuinon if I knelt to receive because he can’t refuse one Communion on the basis that they are kneeling. Yet, he still thought and told me, it was an act of disobedience if I did so again.

    I have seen on the internet an alleged letter from the Congregation of Divine Worship (to whom the letter is addressed, I don’t understand) on this very topic. Maybe people are familiar with it? I am wondering what kind of authority a letter like this carries and if one were to question its authenticity, how to go about proving its credibility? In it the letter it is stated,

    “while this Congregation gave the recognitio to the norm desired by the Bishops’ Conference of your country that people stand for Holy Communion, this was done on the condition that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds. Indeed, the faithful should not be imposed upon nor accused of disobedience and of acting illicitly when they kneel to receive Holy Communion.”

  74. wmeyer says:

    I have no tea leaves handy, but thankfully, the exemplary Chicken has quoted the rubrics, and made very clear in his exposition the reality that it is up to the communicant whether to kneel. Perhaps even frjim will recognize that. If not, and referring to the denial cited on the original article, there is another clear exposition on the topic here by a canon lawyer.

    From all that I have read, this matter has been much more clearly established than the use of EMHCs, which seems to me, at least, questionable.

  75. iamlucky13 says:

    “For whatever reason, the priest may not agree that someone has to kneel to receive the Eucharist, but he shouldn’t have a hostile reaction if someone does.”

    It’s more than just “he shouldn’t have a hostile reaction.”

    The priest, and all priests, and extraordinary ministers were explicitly ordered not only by the Vatican in the Congregation for Divine Worship’s instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, but also by the USCCB, and less directly by the GIRM, not to refuse the Eucharist to a communicant kneeling. I struggle to figure out if the minister in question is remarkably ignorant of these instructions or outright disobedient, making the retort about “learning obedience” sound absurdly hypocritical.

    “For a person to insist upon kneeling when it is clearly not the local custom seems primarily to be about a misunderstanding of the communitarian character of the procession and then secondarily to be an expression of a pronounced form of eccentricity which I associate with deeply seated narcissism.”
    and
    “as far as I’ve seen psychological health and spiritual health are well correlated.”

    frjim, please be very careful about how you make your case. You come across as accusing a person you don’t know of being narcissistic and mentally unhealthy simply because he chooses to receive communion in a posture in which the Church has quite strongly stated he must be granted it.

    Not that it matters considering the multiple, unambiguous instructions that have been issued on the topic, but while it may not be the “local custom,” I am from this diocese and can state factually that receiving while kneeling is not at all uncommon and thus is concretely not “a pronounced form of eccentricity.”

    Furthermore, as demonstrated by the instructions on the topic, the Church has given significant consideration to posture while receiving communion and found that not only is kneeling to receive the Eucharist compatible with any “communitarian character of the procession” that might be essential to the liturgy, but even that the such communitarian character can be preserved if in some areas like the US the people are allowed to receive Our Lord standing, as long as “they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms.”

    I would argue that the communitarian character which we should protect is shared recognition of the true presence and the aforementioned reverence.

  76. The Masked Chicken says:

    “As I personally experienced, a priest (Air Force military chaplain) told me after Mass not to kneel again to receive Communion, kneeling was not allowed . He wouldn’t refuse me Commuinon if I knelt to receive because he can’t refuse one Communion on the basis that they are kneeling. Yet, he still thought and told me, it was an act of disobedience if I did so again.”

    Let me reduce obedience to its essentials. The central rule of obedience is: he who has the right to command has the right to be obeyed. The Vatican has the right to command and they have commanded that kneeling is a personal decision. No one lower than the Vatican has the right to command anything different and they do not have the right to be obeyed. One might give them what they ask for as an act of Charity, realizing their human limitations and faults (perhaps of not knowing what they command is without authority), but, strictly speaking, it would not be obedience, but a type of condescension in charity that one is offering.

    In other words, one must pick and choose one’s battles. If a superior commands something they are not authorized to command, but the command is not, in itself, sinful, one may, as an act of charity (not humility, per se, since humility goes to truth and their command is not a truthfully established one) do what they say and offer the charity both to the superior and to God. If the proposed act is sinful, it, of course, must be resisted.

    As to kneeling, one must make an on-site decision. Will not kneeling foster bad liturgical practices? Will kneeling win a battle, but lose a war? Will others notice that one is no longer kneeling and mistake charity for acquiescence or even an admission of error? One may do as one pleases, so says the rubrics, but one must know what is prudent. That should be the governing virtue. When kneeling is more of an act of charity than the charity of not kneeling, then one must kneel, but even if one has the right to kneel, sometimes, one must take into account human weakness and not exercise one’s freedom at the cost of harm to another. That is what St. Paul was talking about in Romans 14:

    “Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

    I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean.
    If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died.
    So do not let your good be spoken of as evil.
    For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit;
    he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
    Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
    Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for any one to make others fall by what he eats;
    it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble.
    The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves.
    But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

    So, love and do what you please, to quote Augustine. Personally, I don’t know if I would want to rile up a military chaplain, even if he were wrong. I’m just saying. Pick your battles…pick your battles.

    The Chicken

  77. spock says:

    I was at a store run by the Pauline sisters recently. We were talking about the magnificent churches in the city. I made the comment that they look much better than the cathedral. I cited my inability to quickly find the tabernacle as a problem. The sister said something that I never heard before, that the norm for cathedrals in the United States is not to have the tabernacle in the center. Essentially that it is correct for it not to be there. If that is true, (would like to corroborate that if possible) then it is clear why some priests have an issue with people kneeling for communion. A non reverent attitude is being fostered from above them. Am I missing something

    spock

  78. brk says:

    My husband was chastised by a priest at that very same cathedral for trying to receive on the tongue. It WAS NOT Fr. Ryan. When it was obvious by my husband’s posture that he wanted to receive Our Lord on the tongue, the priest got a disgusted look on his face. He barked “Say AY-MENNN!… in the hand, on the tongue, whatever, I DON’T CARE, just SAY AY-MENNN!” My husband was confused and in shock – he DID say AMEN after the priest said “The Body of Christ” and held up the Host. Perhaps he didn’t hear my husband, but that seems unlikely, as my husband has a loud voice. The priest was very irritated. He was annoyed that my husband wanted to received on the tongue. My big, tough guy husband was so hurt and surprised he couldn’t say or do anything. He just took the Host and walked back to our pew with tears in his eyes. He felt like he’d been slapped in the face.

  79. mrshopey says:

    Spock, I remember reading something like what you were told but I was under the impression that they had permission to do it. IOW, if it was a Cathedral that had many tours, etc, it could be a reason to move the tabernacle to a separate chapel. Now, if that is a trendy Cathedral and not many tours, there would seem no need to do it. Our Cathedral doesn’t have a separate chapel. I am uncomfortable when there are obvious tours going through as the reverence doesn’t seem to be there. So, I could see the benefits if it was one that had a lot of tours.

  80. AndyMo says:

    The salient points here have referred to Redemptionis Sacramentum and, even better, the reference to it in the most recent GIRM.

    What is an even stronger reinforcement here is what is missing from the most recent GIRM. While the previous translation included a direction to “catechize” a kneeling communicant, that direction is left out of the current translation. It was deliberately left out.

  81. av8er says:

    I would add this to all. What would you do if Christ was right in front of you? My only thought is that everyone would dive to the ground reaching for His feet or garments pleading for forgiveness. If He Is who we say He Is in the Eucharist, then an incident like this would never happen because to kneel would seem logical to point of ridiculously obvious. (Of course taking into account the sick, elderly etc ) Everyone should, in my opinion, evaluate Who we receive and not who we “Take and eat”.

    Regarding military chaplain, just got back from my deployment and outranked both Chaplains out there so no funny business while I knelt. ;-)

  82. av8er says:

    Just to clarify, He isn’t present because “we” say He is present in the Eucharist. But because He, Christ, said so. For those non-Catholics out there.

  83. acricketchirps says:

    Susan Peterson,
    Pride is a snake of the worst sort of venom, which twists, when you grasp it to thrust it away from yourself, back to bite you again. The secret seem to be not to fight but to snub the snake.
    From your post, I think you have a beautiful soul.

  84. Mike says:

    spock says: . . . I cited my inability to quickly find the tabernacle [during a visit to a cathedral] as a problem. The sister said something that I never heard before, that the norm for cathedrals in the United States is not to have the tabernacle in the center.

    According to the 2010 edition of General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 314: “In accordance with the structure of each church and legitimate local customs, the Most Blessed Sacrament should be reserved in a tabernacle in a part of the church that is truly noble, prominent, conspicuous, worthily decorated, and suitable for prayer.” A tabernacle that one has “difficulty in finding” would seem not to fit that requirement.

    GIRM 315: “It is more appropriate as a sign that on an altar on which Mass is celebrated there not be a tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved.” The norm to which the Sister referred would fit that requirement. However, one wonders why concealing the tabernacle behind an altar card during the celebration of Holy Mass (in those few churches that have retained a high altar with a tabernacle and use that altar to celebrate Mass) would not satisfy the spirit of that directive.

    I yield the floor to Dr. Peters or to anyone else Fr. Z sees fit to designate.

  85. Gemma says:

    I have a relative from that part of the world. He is a fallen away Catholic. I have been praying for him forever. He finally made a decision to cleanup his life and go to confession. The priest told him that he did not need to go to confession. The moment of grace passed. Back to ground zero.

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