Friday, January 11, 2013



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NBC NIGHTLY NEWS reported on Friday night's newscast that the Archdiocese of Boston is asking parishioners to stop shaking hands at the Sign of Peace and to bow instead. That seems like a grand solution to out of control signs of peace, doesn't it? But the reason is not liturgical, it is out of concern for health and spreading the flu virus by hand to hand combat, I mean, contact! Also since the flu, other viruses and deadly germs can be transmitted by the common chalice, the use of it is suspended. Now, I must query, who out there in progressive liturgy land (PI) and in their right mind still contends that no deadly germs and viruses can be transmitted by drinking after others? Is liturgical correctness more important than the life and health of our laity? Like those in the hierarchy and rank and file Catholics in denial of the sex abuse scandal before that was made clear by the media, especially in Boston and the scope of it, are these liturgists in complete denial too and will it take the media and lawsuits from laity who get sick and some who die from drinking from the common chalice that someone with a deadly disease has transmitted to others because that person chose to drink from that same chalice? As I've said before, if the city had to license us as it does a restaurant and saw our practice of the common chalice given to the laity, we'd be written up and ordered to stop and if we didn't we'd be shut down. Think about it. Liturgists and others in the Church of goodwill (I include myself here, from the dreary past of course) brainwashed the laity into thinking it is okay for several dozen people to drink from the same chalice all out of concern that liturgists shoved down out throats, quite literally I might add, that the Holy Eucharist is an action of "eating and drinking" and that we must provide for the laity the means by which they can do what Jesus told them to do. Of course that is a lie! Jesus told the apostles, the first priests to do it at the Last Supper. Eating and drinking should be changed to "receiving" or "partaking" in our Lord's sacrifice and in His Body, Blood,Soul and Divinity! The only sanitary way to make sure our people can receive our Lord under both forms of His Real and complete Presence is by way of intinction properly administered. Finally, some of us in the Church have asked that people who come to Mass feeling ill, should not drink from the common chalice. This in and of itself is an absurdity that most people would have heard this instruction or remembered it and that people will self-police themselves. On top of that, there are laity who think that God will protect others from such contagion as it concerns His Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity and that it is an act of faith to drink after someone who is well or sick because God will protect you. This is how silly all this has gotten to be and how the Church throws out in reckless abandon common sense concerning abuse of people and their health!


ytc said...

I do not oppose the chalice and Sign of Peace in principle, just in practice they can turn into a mess, particularly the latter. Perhaps they work well in a monastery, but in parishes they just often seem to not work well.

John Nolan said...

Shaking hands is not a liturgical gesture anyway and I hate to see it on the sanctuary. The the correct liturgical way of giving the pax takes about half a minute to learn.

I remember when it was introduced in 1970 at a Mass for undergraduates (Durham University). The couple in front of me went into a passionate clinch which lasted at least a minute. The bloke on my left held out his paw. I took it and wished him Good Morning. The tall scrawny girl on my right hissed in a loud stage whisper "kiss me!". I pretended not to hear. I did not attend that church again, except for a friend's wedding six years later.

Quilisma Ignotus said...

The only "lie" here, Good Father Chicken Little, is yours. No one ever asserted that "...there is no danger in transmitting a deadly contagion..." through use of the common cup. No one.

I am surprised, since the news of flu season has been all over, that your favourite twin sisters, Hysteria and Hyperbole, waited so long to show up in your rantings about contagion. The twins, as you know, are the younger siblings of Ignorance, of which you give ample evidence in matters epidemiological.

I suspect that there was much germ-sharing in your recent close-quarter chanting event - what with people standing next to each other, breathing, chanting, expelling microbes as quickly as their melismatic little diaphragms could push air through their germ infested bronchial passages.

But, why should facts stand in the way of a good rant, eh?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

QI, I love how you write and see you are in the same league as me in terms of the twin sisters "hyperbole and Hysteria" which for both of us in terms of accusing either or anyone would be a serious case of projection, no?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

BTW, QI, I think you spelling of "favourite" may have given you away, but I will honor your anonymity! :)

Anonymous said...

Our bishop just published an announcement in which he stated that people who are sick should not receive the Precious Blood and that instead of a handshake they should bow or nod to one another.

I have to confess that I have been guilty of feigning illness when someone who has been hacking and snorting and wiping their dripping nose with back of their hand all during Mass wants to shake my hand.

We are rarely offered the Precious Blood at my parish but we do engage in enthusiastic handshaking and hugging.

Question: in our Bishop's statement he said that in the new GIRM there is no option concerning the sign of peace. Did he mean that it is now required as part of the liturgy?

Quislima Ignotus said...

Good Father Chicken Little - There is no hyperbole or hysteria in my post. You have lied in saying that some claim there is "no danger in transmitting a deadly contagion." No one makes this claim; ergo, your assertion is untrue.

Anyone with a smidgen of understanding knows there is ALWAYS a chance of tramsmitting disease in any situation that involves one person who is infected and one who is not. The question isn't "Is there a chance?" but "What are the chances?"

With a number of people gathered in close quarters, pumping out chanted melodies through their germ-infested vocal cords, lungs, mouths, past their germ coated tongues and through their germ laden teeth, there is a "chance" that those millyuns and millyuns of droplets of fluid will contain and transmit "deadly contagions."

Having sung many years in choruses, I'll bet not a few of the chanters licked their fingers to facilitate the turning of pages. Is it not "reckless abandon" to allow such vectoring of germs to go on under your very roof? No, of course, it is not.
But the chance is so slight, it doesn't matter. Neither is the chance that sharing a common cup will result in an epidemic.

Oh, and by the way, don't touch any of the doorknobs in your church or rectory.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

QI, you assertion that, "You have lied in saying that some claim there is "no danger in transmitting a deadly contagion." No one makes this claim; ergo, your assertion is untrue." is what is untrue and there were vociferous objections to my assertion that one could get germs and contagion from the common chalice and this was especially true of commenters on the Pray tell blog.

John Nolan said...

So one assumes that QI is British. I can think of one or two people on this side of the pond who might descend to his type of invective, but they are not typical. Perhaps he might comment in his own name?

Quilisma Ignotus said...

Good Father Chicken Little - Attention to what you said is needed. You said that it has been asserted that "there is NO danger of transmitting..."

No one said that. It is your hyperbole, based on your germophobia, that leads to this false assertion.

Of COURSE you can get germs from a common cup. I never objected to that fact, because I know better.
The question is, "What is the probability?" Your error is in reporting that anyone said there was "No" danger.

You are begining to believe your own hype - that's dangerous.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Again, we were told in the 1980's or possibly slightly before, when we were trying to convince reticent parishioners from enjoying the full sacramental sign of Holy Communion, that of eating and drinking, and such parishioners in large numbers feared contagion from drinking after their neighbor, that we should tell them the facts:

1. The alcohol content of the wine combined with turning the chalice and using a purificator to wipe the rim would reduce and eliminate the possibility of contagion.

We were told to they the laity this was proven through scientific analysis. And further, we were told they could get more germs simply by shaking someone's hand compared to drinking after them. But comparative scientific studies were not supplied nor even was the one study given to us, it was all based upon word of mouth certitude about these things.

Never mind, that we are talking about people having their saliva and in large amounts mix with the content of the Precious Blood, backwash as well and the risk grows greatest for the last communicants and the poor soul who has to consume what remains, mostly saliva and consume the ablutions.

The absurdity of this entire practice and now for over 40 years is astounding. Thank God for acts of God that bring these silly, nonsensical practices to an end.

Carol H. said...

I have had at least 2 priests and several DREs tell me that it is impossible to receive germs from the communion chalice because most are lined with gold on the inside. They claim that gold has antibiotic properties and germs are killed when they come into contact with it. I'm NOT kidding!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Carol that is truly sad and what is even worse is that these people should have known that in more instances than not, glassware or pewter or just plain old ceramic was used as chalices or as we called them in the olden days, "cups" not gold line chalices.

Quilisma Ignotus said...


The biosynthesis of nano size gold particles was carried out successfully using bacillus sp. The small nanometer scale gold
particles which enhanced activity of several antibiotics. Further work is needed to find out the exact reasons for enhancement of activity of antibiotics in presence of gold nano particles.

Journal of Ecobiotechnology 2012, 4(1): 43-45

Gold nanoparticles are harmful to bacteria and fungi. They bind closely to the surface of the
microorganisms causing visible damage to the cells with complete destruction of flagella, stimulate
production of biofilm and aggregate within this biofilm. The results verified that drugs coated with gold nanoparticles had more hindrance activities than the pure drugs. They were more effective against Gram negative bacteria due to the thin peptidogycan layer in the cell wall. Thus the use of Au nanoparticles coated drugs can minimize the treatment durations and side effects of drugs.

Life Science Journal, 2011;8(4)

The medical uses of silver include its incorporation into wound dressings to treat external infections, and its use as an antiseptic and disinfectant in medical appliances.

Hippocrates in his writings discussed the use of silver in wound care. At the beginning of the twentieth century surgeons routinely used silver sutures to reduce the risk of infection. In the early 20th century, physicians used silver-containing eyedrops to treat ophthalmic problems, for various infections, and sometimes internally for diseases such as tropical sprue, epilepsy, gonorrhea, and the common cold. During World War I, soldiers used silver leaf to treat infected wounds.

Wikipedia - Medical Uses of Silver

Gold and silver DO have well-known antibiotic properties, but the priests and DRE's overstated the known value of such. Their hyperbole is the same as Good Father Chicken Little's when he claims that people say there is "no danger" of contagion from the common cup.

Add to that the 1) alcohol, 2) the turning, and 3) the wiping, and you have as low a chance, I would guess, of getting germs by cup as by sitting next to a basso profundo chanter with the flu.

Anonymous 2 said...

Just a couple of comments:

(1) Although I am not personally affected by this issue, as I never take from the Chalice, it would seem prudent to be guided by the evidence. I assume the evidence shows a significant enhanced risk for use of the common Chalice.

(2) Father, perhaps I am alone in this but I do find the photograph of the diseased mouth to be absolutely gross. It turns my stomach just to look at it (which is one reason I went into the legal and not the medical profession – too squeamish). Is it really necessary to show it to make the point, its hyperbolic shock value notwithstanding? If not, perhaps you would consider removing it, at least if others feel the same way too. That might in its own way also make a small contribution in trying to resist the ever-increasing coarsening of our culture. Thanks for considering this.