Card. Sarah has frightened the libs… again. The vicious attacks begin.

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,…

Hypocritical much?

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.

The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New catholic Red Guards, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. iPadre says:

    Viva Cardinale Sarah! He is a bright light in our pilgrimage of faith.

  2. CatholicNerdGirl says:

    Cardinal Sarah would be exactly what the Church needs in our next Pope.

  3. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I’m not typically a proponent of outright dismissing someone, but once I read someone use words and phrases like “slander”, “an appalling ignorance of or an indifference to liturgical history”, “disparaging the Faith”, “lamentable lack of pastoral sensitivity”, etc, to Cardinal Sarah of ALL people….. it’s clear this author is herself quite ignorant and only interested in polemics. Her assonance and alliteration are quite nice, but her truculent calumny is entirely unnacceptable.

    I dare her to make those statements to Cardinal Sarah’s person, face to face.

  4. Sawyer says:

    Rita Ferrone uses her comments on articles at the modernist praytellblog as practice for whatever article she’s thinking about writing. If you read her comments about Cardinal Sarah from several days ago, she pretty much says the same things there in dress rehearsal as what she says in her article. For calling people to charity so often in her comments, she is rather quick to accuse Cardinal Sarah of some uncharitable things.

  5. bellator says:

    Would she say the same about attacks on the TLM? Because such attacks certainly “…reveal either an appalling ignorance of or an indifference to liturgical history…” and such attackers are “…disparaging the faith of many centuries of Christians…” Such attacks are “…a cruel and unnecessary affront to the person in the pew” and “a pernicious viewpoint to endorse…”

    Clearly not:

  6. CandS says:

    “Most people, when they are well-instructed, rethink Communion in the hand.”


    When I was in my late 20s, the liturgies were so bad I knew something was missing and had gone wrong. I tried to learn what I could from a bad example (one can do this, although there are limits) and I used that situation to learn more about what was going wrong in the Mass and then what ought to be the case. This also led to a greater understanding of, respect for, and love of our Lord in the Eucharist and that naturally led to an appreciation of receiving our Lord on the tongue. Having that realization was enough and since that point in the year 2000 I’ve not received Communion in the hand even once, although that had been the way I was raised and what I saw ubiquitously throughout my life to the point that on those rare occasions I had seen someone receive on the tongue, it seemed beyond weird to me and I had no idea what was going on (creating that impression is surely one of the goals of those favoring receiving in the hand).

  7. DeGaulle says:

    It’s probably an over-used cliche, but you know you’re over the target when you start attracting the heavy flak.

  8. David says:

    The hypocrisy involved in discourse about the Church today boggles the mind. The Left uses language so intemperate it makes Bishop Williamson look meek, and that’s fine. But the slightest and most delicate criticism of the Vatican is taken as contumacious slander.

    And to accuse Cardinal Sarah of ‘appalling ignorance of the liturgy’. I will restrain myself from commenting on that, but relate something a young priest friend told me. I said to him: “You must all be theoretically ready to celebrate the old rite, since you had to take courses in the history of the liturgy in the seminary.” His reply: “Unfortunately, the history we were taught was that there was the Last Supper and then there was Vatican II.”

  9. Greenfields says:

    This past weekend I had the pleasure to travel to attend the celebration of Msgr Matthew Koo’s 30th anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood in Cupertino, CA. Msgr Koo spent 29 years in Chinese prisons and labor camps, finally got out and followed his vocation to the Priesthood. Praise be to God. Presenting for Holy Communion on my tongue at the anniversary Mass, I was refused by the Priest and told “you can’t receive like that here (Diocese of San Jose), hold out your hand.” Shocked, I couldn’t do it. I lost the opportunity to receive Holy Communion. Returning to the pew I prayed for what Cardinal Sarah is encouraging.

  10. Adaquano says:

    I remember when my 3 1/2 y.o. was a small baby, and I would carry him in his car seat up to Communion and receive in the hand. It didn’t take long for me to grasp that despite believing in the Real Presence I was being too banal in my approach (though I’m not calling all who receive in the hand banal). It was a good opportunity for me to really examine how I practice and believe my faith

  11. tamranthor says:

    If I never hear the term “pastoral sensitivity” again, it will be too soon.

    How is it pastorally sensitive to allow parishioners to march lockstep into hell?

    Those who use the term are usually guilty of belonging to the Church of Me.

  12. Sawyer says:

    @Greenfields, regarding being told that you could not receive Communion on the tongue in the Diocese of San Jose, the diocese has adopted temporary measures during the flu season. The measure that pertains to your experience is as follows (available on the DSJ’s website):

    “2. For the duration of the flu/cold/virus season, Holy Communion will be distributed only into the hands of communicants; during this time, Holy Communion will not be distributed on the tongue. Should a communicant be unwilling to follow this directive, that person is to receive Holy Communion after everyone else has done so.”

    So you should have been told to wait until the end of Communion, then you could receive on the tongue.

    Additionally, of interest, I’m sure many readers here would love to see the following temporary measures become permanent in the DSJ and elsewhere in the U.S.:

    “3. For the duration of the flu/cold/virus season, people should refrain from holding hands during the recitation or singing of the Lord’s Prayer.
    4. For the duration of the flu/cold/virus season, the Sign of Peace should be adapted so as to allow for a greeting that does not require shaking hands or touching.”

  13. GHP says:

    You can receive on the tongue while kneeling at the altar rail at Our Lady of Peace — just a few short miles away in Santa Clara.

    The IVE fathers here pray a very holy Novus Ordo Mass; 24/7×356 open for Adoration; about 4 Masses DAILY (& confessions before & during most Masses); and — I think— six Masses on Sunday; and all priests wear the cassock.

    Come on over!


  14. Pingback: THVRSDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  15. Archlaic says:

    Alas, I’ve tried to give Miss Ferrone the benefit of the doubt in the past, but I seem to get bitten every time… I wonder if she is struck by the irony of it all? She and her ilk in the echo chambers of TellPray and Commonweal routinely denigrate the liturgical and Eucharistic piety of e.g. Cdl. Sarah, Benedict XVI, Saint Teresa of Calcutta and sneer at their “qualifications” – how many times have we heard some variant of ‘appalling ignorance of the liturgy’, pronounced with all of the hauteur and condescension they can muster? Meanwhile, under the flag of “defending the Pope”, she spurs-on those (e.g. “Max. Beans”) who with equal uncharity denigrate churchmen who’ve (far more respectfully) raised legitimate doctrinal questions regarding some of PF’s acts, pronouncements, and omissions. But it’s all ok, you see, because (as noted) she invariably includes a plea for charity, dialogue, irenicism, tolerance, etc… as such she must be considered as beyond reproach! “They are naughty, we are nice!”

  16. Andrew says:

    This lady is way ahead of her time: wayyyy back in 2013 she explained the idea of a paradigm shift. Interesting!

  17. Sonshine135 says:

    I expect a lot more from a person with a Masters Degree in Divinity. In reading her biography, Rita Farrone sounds like a fairly knowledgeable person, but then I see who she has written for. It reinforces in me this idea that we really are a divided church- one where people believe doctrine can change with the times, and one where it can’t. The doctrine changing crowd always opines in some way that for the last X hundred years, Catholics have misinterpreted or forgotten what the right way to do Y is, or what Jesus meant when he said Z. It is very cunning, and alas, a very Protestant argument.

  18. JustaSinner says:

    I think the larger issue is whether said writer even ATTENDS MASS. Opine all you want deary, but ya gotta go to get the Gift of our Savior’s Body and Blood. Snapchatting doesn’t cut it!

  19. TonyO says:

    In an odd sort of way, I find the hullabaloo about Cd. Sarah’s comments very invigorating. And here for these last 5 years or more I thought communion in the hand was so entrenched that there was no longer even a debate on it, (something fairly close to what Francis might have meant by his utterly silly “irreversible” about the “”reform”). But now I discover that not only would an important cardinal would like to see the issue re-visited, but that the comment gets absolutely ripped in the “catholic” (sic) red press! Who knew? They are sensitive about it! They feel threatened by Sarah’s questioning. This means that they feel uncertain about just how firmly in place it really is! They would just laugh it off if there were no longer any worry about how “irreversible” it is. Goodness, do they have any idea how telling their response is? No, I guess not, because they are also blind in this particular way. How can they see that squealing like stuck pigs about this issue tells us where they are hurting, without admitting that IT MATTERS whether you receive in the hand or on the tongue? But it only matters if … there is a substantial reality that is different from bread.

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