Monday, October 26, 2015
JUST WHO ARE THE MEANY PRIESTS AND CONGREGATIONS EXCLUDING GAYS, DIVORCED AND REMARRIED AND OTHER PERIPHERAL CATHOLICS FROM COMING TO MASS AND OTHER CHURCH EVENTS?
In fact, I have preached that even though someone can't receive Holy Communion at Mass (let's say they broke the flimsy fast) they are obligated to attend Mass. Got that? Every Catholic is required by the Third Commandment, canon law, by conscience and by their pastors to attend Mass each Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation; every Catholic no matter if they are a murderer, mobster or other criminal! I think this is even true of the publicly excommunicated--they can't receive Holy Communion, but they should attend Mass unless there is a civil injunction against them attending (for example they are a threat of some kind).
We had our second "last Sunday of the month" Extraordinary Form High Mass on Sunday the 24th of October at our normally scheduled 12:10 PM Mass. At Holy Communion time as communicants knelt at the altar railing there were some who crossed their arms over their chest indicating that they wanted a blessing and not Holy Communion. I do not know the reason for this--perhaps they were married outside the Church? Maybe they committed a mortal sin(s) and had not been to confession? Maybe they broke the flimsy fast? I don't know, but they were not excluded from coming to Mass and even coming to the altar railing to receive a blessing instead of Holy Communion at an EF Mass no less! I was happy to over a blessing with the Host between my fingers, a Benediction in reality.
In fact, because of the use of lay Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion in the Ordinary Form the "Benediction" with the Host by the priest prior to giving Holy Communion on the tongue was suppressed. But how much more included and welcomed would that make a Catholic with a prohibition against receiving Holy Communion feel if they could receive a Benediction with the Host by the priest rather than a simple blessing? Thus the EF Mass can be more welcoming and inclusive of these kinds of Catholics than the Ordinary Form is!
In terms of Catholics who can't receive Holy Communion, none of them are excluded from participating in other church events, like dinners, faith formation and various committees to include also the Pastoral Council and the Finance Council. They can decorate the altar, be ushers, sing in the choir and be cantors from the choir loft.
The pope has wondered aloud if they should be allowed to be godparents for baptism and confirmation--I don't know; what do you think? Or be lectors at Mass. I know of many places where baptized non-Catholics are allowed to be readers at funerals and weddings. How kosher is that?
Finally, with divorced and remarried Catholics, what priests out there are not working with or encouraging these people not to make use of the external forum, the annulment procedure to assist them in returning to Holy Communion?
And what priests are denying the sacraments to people in unrecognized marriages when they are on their death bed or entering a critical life and death situation? Just who? Give me names, addresses and phone numbers!