DESPICABLE: priests, lib website attack Spiritual Communion, private Masses, adoration, processions, video during #Coronavirus #SocialDistancing

This ridiculous garbage is just what you would expect from Germany and from the ultra-liberal, modernist, Pray Tell.

This, in the time of Coronavirus

Private Mass Does Not Fit with a Contemporary Understanding of Eucharist

By Albert Gerhards, Benedikt Kranemann, Stephan Winter
[FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE POST: The liturgical scholars who wrote this text are Albert Gerhards (Bonn, retired), Benedikt Kranemann (Erfurt), and Stephan Winter (Münster). This article is reprinted with kind permission of Translation awr. “awr” is the editor, a monk of the wacky St. John’s Collegeville.]


So priests celebrated Masses alone. In some pastoral letters it was stated, among other things, that these Masses take place vicariously for the people, with intercession for the needs of the community affected by the pandemic. In some places and in some social media this was welcomed and encouraged.

The Mass is not the private possession of the priest

But does this befit the circumstances and does it comport with a contemporary understanding of liturgy? Clearly not. It disregards e.g. division of roles, which of course for theological reasons should apply not only to the celebration of the Eucharist. In the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council it is expressly made clear that the liturgy is enacted communally and publicly by all the baptized (Sacrosanctum Conciliium, 7). Thus the Church came and comes entirely into its own when a local community gathers for worship in its differentiated membership, above all on Sundays and feast days. Private celebration in particular is not compatible with this understanding of Eucharist.


One sees the extent to which obsolete understandings surface again in the current crisis in some diocesan guidelines, local practices, and telltale language. Private Masses as described above are strongly encouraged – and admittedly, one can appeal to the church law in force (canon 904 in the 1983 Code of Canon Law). When such Masses are broadcast on social media, we see the painful and possibly fateful resurrection of things rightly done away with. Concerning what happens in secret in the sense of spiritual connectedness, we easily come to a double exclusion via social media presentation: within, the priest exclusively celebrating and communicating; without, the laity reduced to virtual presence and “spiritual Communion.”

One also comes across the suggestion in this connection to expose the Host in the monstrance in open churches; there are even videos of clergy processing through the city with the monstrance. A connection to the celebration of the Eucharist, which is a prerequisite for eucharistic devotion, is no longer present here. This is no longer acceptable today and does damage to the liturgy.


These … modernists say that private Masses and Eucharistic processions and Eucharistic adoration are doing damage to the liturgy. It is hard not to conclude that they don’t believe in the Catholic Faith.

I do not at the moment have the time to craft an longer expression – lacking inappropriate language – of my contempt for these despicable propositions or the willingness of people to post them in this time of need.

This is the embodiment of the modernist mentality: the reduction of the supernatural to the natural.

They even attacked making a “Spiritual Communion”.


Please… as you find sites with live streaming of Eucharistic adoration or of live private Masses, please say a prayer for these benighted souls. I don’t think they are malicious. But they are nevertheless acting as agents of the Enemy of the soul.

Fathers… multiply private Masses. We need MORE processions. We need MORE adoration.


Peter Kwasniewski responds to the dopey Germans.  HERE

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Fr. Charles A. F. says:

    Sed contra, in Mysterium Fidei, paragraph 11: « it is not permissible to extol the so-called “community” Mass in such a way as to detract from Masses that are celebrated privately». Scare-quotes in the original.

    When quoting this to a lib, make sure you mention that Mysterium Fidei is an encyclical by saint Paul VI, written after the Second Vatican Council. Then duck in case you get injured when their head explodes.

  2. robtbrown says:

    Every so often a reminder emerges that Protestantism is a product of Germany.

    They cite SC 7, but according to the text (Christ is especially present in the Eucharistic species) their objection to Exposition is refuted.

    Their comments indicate that if they would embrace Lutheran Consubstantiation, it would be an improvement–still not Catholic but better than their present

  3. rhig090v says:

    Unless talk shows are live streamed online during this time, they would cease. Why have a talk show without having an audience to benefit?

    I worry that this same concept is allowed to live on with Masses being live streamed so readily. What a blessing to priests to be forced into the awkward one on one Mass with God alone.

    What a blessing to have Masses live streamed. But I think the bigger blessing would be for laity and priest alike to be reminded that the Mass is an offering to God before it is all of the other great things that it is.

    I saw a story where a German priest put pictures of his parishioners on the pews. What a demonstration of this misunderstanding

  4. robtbrown says:

    Fr. Charles A. F. says:

    When quoting this to a lib, make sure you mention that Mysterium Fidei is an encyclical by saint Paul VI, written after the Second Vatican Council. Then duck in case you get injured when their head explodes.

    It would be like a septic tank exploding

  5. More Masses. Even if we, the laity, are not there, is as important as ever.

    My presence, as a lay person, is not required. It’s disordered to think that an assembly of people makes the Mass more ‘real’. As if anything I (or anyone) can do in the pew adds to it. It’s not something WE do for God, but something that God does for us. Those lines have been blurred…and maybe this is a chance for us to reboot that understanding.

    More time before the Tabernacle (assuming the doors are open). Maybe He needed to clear away the noise of daily life to allow us to hear HIS MESSAGE more clearly?

    In the quiet of the St Anne’s Shrine, with the candles lit by visitors slowly dying out, perhaps a mirror of what we’re going through? But…His promise to us is still applicable. His presence is still palpable. And it will all work out in HIS time.

    So, I keenly miss the Mass. And will appreciate His gift of it even more when it returns.

    So, Fathers…please don’t stop.

  6. JabbaPapa says:

    Concerning the Spiritual Communion they of course have things exactly 180° backwards …

    Proper Spiritual Communion is of course a necessary prerequisite for every Eucharist.

  7. KateD says:

    My boys wanted to know if they could exchange the dispensation from the 3rd Commandment for a dispensation from the 4th….

    Or maybe husbands want a dispensation from marital fidelity…oh wait that was already covered at the Synod of the Family …emphasis on “sin”. (The “Sin-nod”, perhaps would be more accurate ~truth in advertising.)

    How can one have a dispensation from the Mass? It’s like having a dispensation from a part of oneself. Mass is not just something we do, THE MASS IS THE MOST VITAL PART OF WHO WE ARE. It is more precious and life giving than the blood in our veins, or air in our lungs….

    What’s next? A dispensation from breathing?!?

    [Careful…. you are comparing apples and oranges. Worshiping God is divine law. You can worship God without Mass. Would Mass be better? Sure. Are your own devotions nothing? No. Also, Christ gave His own authority to the Apostles and their successors, to the Church, regarding the discipline of the Sacraments. They are exercising authority. Think of it in terms of “healing on the sabbath”.]

  8. Amerikaner says:

    Wow, boy are their eyes going to be opened when they die.

  9. JakeMC says:

    As usual among that crowd, too much horizontal and not enough vertical – in this case, they sound horizontal to the exclusion of the vertical – which is exactly why we’re in this mess.

  10. JMody says:

    Hm, didn’t something at Vat-II also say that all dogmatic statements of Trent are still in force unless specifically reformulated ‘here’ (Vatican II)? And when reading Trent, particularly the 22nd session, we see:
    CANON VIII.–If any one saith, that masses, wherein the priest alone communicates sacramentally, are unlawful, and are, therefore, to be abrogated; let him be anathema.
    Why am I thinking that the simplest explanation really does fit — nobody believes this anymore?

  11. Mike says:

    The postconciliar insurgency has spent the past two generations embedding its agenda at the Vatican, and to Hell with councils and encyclicals. (Recall that the author of Veterum sapientia has been raised to the altars, although one cannot imagine that work having had much to do with it.)

    Catholics are getting wise to how they and their parents have been played for all these years, and the minions of Satan to whom the Mystical Body has been in thrall since at least the 1960s are panicking.

  12. Imrahil says:

    Hm… allow me to step in in defense of my Fatherland a bit.

    It is no news that you would find some theologian in Germany who’d oppose private Masses, nor that he would be given publicity by the usual channels. No. We all have known about these opinions since childhood.

    The real news is that the said theologian feels, as he certainly does feel, the need to do speak them out now. The real news is that some German dioceses are demanding the daily private Mass by virtue of bishop’s orders, and in the others the multitude of priests do it as the thing a priest just does in these times. Sunday Masses are broadcast, etc. That is the real news.

    There are any number of things, both in general and w.r.t. Covid-19 crisis, that one could critize about both bishops and governments. But when it comes to the continuation of the Holy Sacrifice in the form of private masses, there is really only one thing to say:

    Germany rose to the occasion. I would not have expected her to.

  13. Rob in Maine says:

    Contemporary understanding? You mean it hasn’t meant the same thing for 2000 years??? What balderdash.

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    Today, being a Friday in Lent, is an excellent day for outdoor Stations of the Cross, which we plan to do today. We have done this before, and there is something wonderful about being out in a field virtually alone, giving homage to God. We don’t need to be in a church with the interior stations, outdoors may serve even better. I imagine you could look them up online, if you don’t happen to know where your closest one is, or your local chancery should know. Might know.
    What an amazing Lent this year.

  15. gio says:

    Private masses are also avenues for ad orientem. One more reason for libs to fear it.

  16. rmillare says:

    Here are some responses to Gerhard et al from other German Theologians (all is not lost in the German church): – Professor Helmut Hoping;art4874,206510 – Abbot Pius Maurer O.Cist

    h/t to Fr. Leo Sven Conrad, FSSP

  17. KateD says:

    Sorry. The comment was put on the wrong post…

    Nonetheless, Thank you for the perspective assist.

    I didn’t realize there were any factions of the Church that were against private Masses and Eucharistic processions and Adoration. Mind boggling!

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