Summoning the nastiness of which liberals are duly known, Rita Ferrone demonstrates how mean-spirited a lib can be in piece penned for Commonsqueal. She attacked Robert Card. Sarah because he has called for a rethinking of Communion in the hand.
Card. Sarah opined in a preface he wrote for a recent book (HERE) that Communion in the hand (with other practices and influences) has diminished faith in the Eucharist. He is, of course, right. Hence, the spittle-flecked nutty from Ferrone.
It’s soooo predictable.
She doesn’t offer much in the way of counter arguments, except to cite the tired old claim that in the ancient Church some people received Communion in the hand and some writers wrote eloquently about that. Never mind that the practice of Communion in the hand dropped away for a good reason, such as deepening appreciation and understanding of the Eucharist. She also makes the point lots of people receive Communion that way in good faith. In other news, water is still wet, the sun still rises in the East, 2 plus 2 still equals 4… well… you get what I mean.
In effect, Ferrone’s attack on the Cardinal consists mainly of calling him stupid and mean.
“…Sarah manages to slander…”
“…Sarah’s comments reveal either an appalling ignorance of or an indifference to liturgical history…”
“… he is disparaging the faith of many centuries of Christians…”
“… Sarah’s remarks display a lamentable lack of pastoral sensitivity…”
“Why did Pope Francis appoint Sarah—not to a niche position, but to a mainstream post in a field about which he knows little? And why does he let him go on blundering in this way?”
She goes on and on and on.
Ironically, however, the first sentence of her piece is:
In an arena where, arguably, the most important thing he could do is to encourage charity and an irenic spirit toward various forms of Eucharistic piety,…
Look, these issues are really important and – simply put – we have to “have the fight“. Heated language is part of that. But clearly Sarah scared the stuffing out of Ferrone and she lashed out with a clear meanness, a littleness of spirit, because he is writing on a wholly different level: spiritual.
Her accusation that Card. Sarah denigrated people who receive Communion in the hand is simply A LIE. Libs are seldom checked by facts. Clearly what Sarah did – as when he made a call for ad orientem worship – is attempt to promote a more thoughtful, prayerful attitude of worship and reception of the Eucharist.
Pointing out that profanation of the Eucharist takes place more easily because of Communion in the hand is NOT a denigration of people who have never been taught about Eucharist. Most people, when they are well-instructed, rethink Communion in the hand. It’s not their fault if they haven’t been well instructed. Card. Sarah isn’t blaming people for something that isn’t their fault. His call is for a deeper understanding of what we do at Communion.
Here’s a taste of what Card. Sarah wrote in the preface she has reacted against so violently with my emphases:
May this book encourage those priests and faithful who, moved also by the example of Benedict XVI — who in the last years of his pontificate wanted to distribute the Eucharist in the mouth and kneeling — wish to administer or receive the Eucharist in this latter manner, which is far more suited to the Sacrament itself. I hope there can be a rediscovery and promotion of the beauty and pastoral value of this method. In my opinion and judgment, this is an important question on which the Church today must reflect. This is a further act of adoration and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ. I am very pleased to see so many young people who choose to receive our Lord so reverently on their knees and on their tongues. May Fr. Bortoli’s work foster a general rethinking on the way Holy Communion is distributed. As I said at the beginning of this preface, we have just celebrated the centenary of Fatima and we are encouraged in waiting for the sure triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that, in the end, the truth about the liturgy will also triumph.
Here’s one of Rita’s comments about the Cardinal:
“… What a cruel and unnecessary affront to the person in the pew! What a pernicious viewpoint to endorse…”
I think we are all familiar with the startling statistics about knowledge of and acceptance of what the Church teaches. I think we know that huge numbers of those who go to Communion at Mass are committing acts of sacrilege.
Card. Sarah, who regularly retreats from the hurly-burly and spends days in prayer and fasting, in his preface wrote openly about the war that Hell and demonic forces wage on people’s belief in the Blessed Sacrament.
If you were looking for confirmation that Card. Sarah’s call for consideration of ad orientem worship and the reduction of Communion in the hand are dead on target, look no farther than Ferrone’s mean-spirited spittle-flecked nutty.
I suspect that most of the unhinged reactions which will be flung – chimp-like – at Sarah stem from his unambiguous reference to the spiritual battle being waged for souls even on the angelic plane. Card. Sarah believes in the Devil and the spiritually deadly effect of Hell’s war on souls. Libs don’t believe these things. As a matter of fact, when they are brought up libs become either a) dismissive about such fairy tales, thus confirming the truth that the Devil’s greatest victory is to wipe out people’s belief in him or b) angry and violent, which is another kind of confirmation.
The Enemy doesn’t like resistance. When challenged demons commonly raise a hellish squeal.
You might try an experimental gut check.
Read a little bit of one of Card. Sarah’s books. Then read some of Ferrone’s invective.