Friday, March 14, 2014


 My Comments First: Okay, the news is the news. I am a great supporter of what Pope Francis has said, but not a supporter of who the news media, in this case, CBS, or the ultra-traditionalist Catholics or the progressive Catholics say Pope Francis is, their particular spin and there are many, many spins.

Pope Francis will not change the Faith and Morals of the Church! He has said so. He is a son of the Church and has called us to read and reread the Catechism of the Church and he said that immediately after he said "who am I to judge?" The catechism is very clear on what the Church teaches about chastity and it is the criteria by which we judge human behavior for good or ill in the complex realm of human sexuality, its purpose and disorders.And just as all of us are sinners, so too are all of us disordered, some more so than others. This is no secret!

The pope has not changed the Catechism and he has consistently called for fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church. This is only radical for the media and progressive Catholics who consistently omit this aspect of Pope Francis' papacy.

He is developing a theology (it can't be a doctrine) of pastoral care of God's people, especially the sinners out there. Those of you who are not sinners to skip to the rest of this post. He loves sinners and has made this known to the world. Jesus did too, by the way, and our Lord forgave sinners even before the sinner requested forgiveness! In fact, the very fact of Jesus forgiving sinners got our Lord condemned by the religious authorities and they conspired with the political authorities to have Jesus arrested and crucified.

Pope Francis' "pastoral theology" is revolutionary, not on the parochial level, since most of us priests are already practicing it worldwide and for centuries, but on the level of the Vatican. It is catch-up time for the curia and the papacy in this regard.

But what I resent in the little CBS piece below isn't so much the reporting of facts but pitting Pope Francis against Pope Benedict (the progressive Catholics tried to do that with Pope Benedict and Pope Paul) and then telling the world that Pope Francis will be judged by what he does next. Who in this case is the judge? It isn't almighty God, it is the media, it is the entertainment world, it is the world itself and yes, Jesus was judged by the world and condemned.

However, Pope Francis, while being judged by a variety of people in and outside of the Church will ultimately be judged by Almighty God as will the media, the entertainment industry, the world and everyone else, including you and me! And the judgment will be on the fidelity or infidelity we have promoted according to the Word of God, Tradition, natural law and the Magisterium.

ROME -- Most of the world had never heard of him. Few had seen his face. And when we were introduced one year ago today, many had trouble pronouncing his last name. Now, he goes by Francis, and his face is one of the most famous on earth -- the new face of the Catholic church.
The pope marked the anniversary of his election with a simple tweet: "Please pray for me."

Father John Wauck
CBS News
When Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope, he was not just an Argentinean outsider with a mandate to reform an unsettled church. He soon became a different kind of papal bull charging through the china shop of Vatican convention.
 Not just discarding the golden crucifix and red papal slippers for a simpler look -- not just abandoning the palatial papal apartment for plain rooms in the Vatican hotel -- this pope would not only carry his own bag, he'd carry the church, according to Father John Wauck of Rome's Pontifical University, in a new direction.

Marco Politi
CBS News
"He's probably the most popular guy on the planet right now, and people are expecting great things from him, " Wauck said.
 There's no doubt that in just a year, Pope Francis has changed the tone of the papacy. He's accessible and energetic, where his predecessor seemed reclusive and tired. But in becoming the face of change, Francis has also raised the expectation of change.

No more so than when, speaking on a papal flight, he seemed to reject the Vatican line that homosexuality was an "intrinsic disorder." Instead he asked, "Who am I to judge?"

It's a dramatic shift in approach, according to Vatican writer Marco Politi, who's called his new book "Francis Among the Wolves."

"This means a new look on divorce, on second marriage, a new look on homosexuality, on homosexual unions," Politi said. 
 But a new look that hasn't yet been reflected in any change, other than atmospheric, in church doctrine.

Asked whether people are dressing the pope in clothes that they want him to wear, Politi said, "In the Catholic church, the atmosphere is very important."

Francis' papacy will not be judged by what he said in his first year. It will be judged by what he does next.


Anonymous said...

If the Holy Father wishes to embrace sinners then he has to embrace all of us, including the SSPX. He can't draw demarcation lines and say that he is only going to embrace the poor or the marginalised. Many traditional Catholics are indeed marginalised and badly treated. If Traditionalists have become sour then many Catholic priests need to examine their consciences and think how they reacted to people who approached them in a reasonable manner to ask for the Latin Mass. For example, kneeling and communion on the tongue was the normal in the 1980s in one of our main churches in the capital city. Until the parish priest decided he was introducing extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, despite the fact there were eight priests living in the presbytery and henceforth communion would be distributed by them and no one was allowed to kneel. When some persisted in kneeling, as I believe was their right to do so, they were denounced from the pulpit as being "singular"; those who asked in a polite manner for the Latin Mass were derided and called "nutters". This is the "local" Catholic Church I have survived in for the last 40 years and in parts it has been worse. You cannot possibly know Father what it has been like for those in the pews where priests have been liberally minded - and in the majority I am afraid. Because of this treatment there is a very bad reaction against Pope Francis. I can tell you grassroots loyal Catholics are not happy.


Gene said...

Pastoral care does not include making ambiguous statements to the flock, creating anxiety in people, instilling doubt regarding long-held doctrinal beliefs, and behaving in ways that seem to demean the Mass.
This business of , "Well, Francis is taking a "pastoral" approach is nonsense…just another effort to justify his questionable behavior.
I took pastoral care courses in seminary, then spent years practicing it. Some of the fundamentals are to comfort the people and not create more anxiety, remain in their frame of reference, and be clear in your statements and advice. Pope's grade: F

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The only Catholics that are confused are those who don't want to offer mercy to anyone. In terms of the clergy of the Church, Pope Francis has been ultra strict and more so than any of his predecessors including Pope John Paul II. I now feel guilty for the things I have and in the future I will be more careful especially of the cars I buy.

Gene, only coloring book Catholics would be anxious of Pope Francis' teachings (I'm not talking about the spins on his teachings by you or the media or ultra conservatives or ultra progressives, I'm talking about his teachings without spin)and he constantly refers us to the catechism, has upheld the right to life of the most innocent amongst us the unborn and has called their exclusion from life corrupt.

If you don't know what the CCC teaches, that's your problem not Pope Francis' problem.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Cardinal Muller of the CDF has stated no doors are closed to the SSPX yet, except the ones they themselves have shut! They had their chance and blew it and continue to blow it and then blame everyone else for it.

I don't disagree with you about how those who simply want more Latin, kneeling for Holy Communion and the like have been mistreated in a very fascist sort of way by many clergy including bishops.

Gene said...

Jan, I sympathize regarding EMHC's. It is laughable, at a Mass with a couple of hundred people to have a herd (sometimes as many as 8!) of these variously attired folks stomping through the Church and Sanctuary. With a Priest and a Deacon, Communion is orderly and fast enough. What is the hurry anyway? Fried chicken? A ball game?
The entire EMHC thing is just a sop to the laity and a further protestantizing influence in the Church. It was a deliberate effort to reduce the Priest's role and de-construct the Mass.
As a protestant minister, my old church had an altar rail. I would serve Communion to a couple of hundred people, sometimes more, by starting at one end of the rail and moving down the line for each group of 20 or so that came down. A Deacon followed me with the bread and wine. Everything went smoothly and everybody got to the restaurant on time. It ain't rocket science...

Gene said...

Fr, I know very well what the CCC teaches, I've been teaching it in RCIA. Referring to the CCC and to doctrine doesn't mean much if your behavior indicates that your references might be tongue-in-cheek. The jury is still way out on this Pope.

You are doing a fine job of following in Francis' footsteps when you refer to devout Catholics as, "coloring book Catholics." Oh, and I have never put any "spin" on what the Pope has said. I may have repeated things the media has said but, then, one must ask, "Where did the media get this idea?" It wasn't out of the blue.

Anonymous said...

Father, with due respect, I feel you and others are the ones putting a hopeful spin on what Pope Francis is saying. When he calls a pentecostal "my brother bishop" who hasn't even been ordained it does cause anxiety to me as Gene says. I wonder what he is going to come out with next. Also, since he has made these comments in the parish I attend the parish priest is having difficulty because many parishioners are expecting what are fairly modest altar cloths to be replaced with something more simple - perhaps a table cloth - anyway it has got to the point where, no doubt fed up, he gave a sermon the other day and he said he is totally fed up with the glamourising of the poor. I was quite shocked but this is what he said. "In my experience the poor (and here I'm not talking about the fellow down the road who can't afford a cell phone) are dirty, they stink, they smoke, they drink, they take drugs, they will steal from you, they will beat you up. Their situation is largely of their own making. I am keeping as far away from them as I can. Instead, this is our job, offering the Mass and praying for them".

I asked a friend who does counselling and is involved a lot with people in difficult situations what he thought of the sermons. He said, "Unfortunately, I have to agree with him. What he said is true".

So there you are, Father, a young priest who pulled no punches. Perhaps instead of helping the poor Pope Francis is creating a worse situation for them.

I think Pope Francis does indeed make ambiguous statements and it is confusing to the laity - on the one hand you have got some people who are now wanting to reduce the Mass back to sitting cross-legged around a table. At the other extreme there are those quoting some women who is supposed to have foretold a black Pope and I don't need to spell it out for you what people are saying.

Soon, Father, you are going to find such difficulties yourself. I give you a year and we'll what you're saying then. If you wear a hat, you may have to eat it.

Anonymous said...

No, I know the door isn't closed to the SSPX, and I know in many ways they have been their own worst enemy. But as Benedict XVI did the Pope needs to be conciliatory but all the reports of what he has said will only make the gulf wider and the trouble is he seems to be including all those who have a love of the Latin Mass in his comments and alienating them as well.

Gene said...

John Rockefeller, upon being confronted by a group of media who said he did not give enough to the poor, "The poor be damned."

Voltaire: "I'd rather be dead than poor."

Sometimes you just get fed up. The poor in this country are nothing but a foil for left-wing agenda. The Left gives less of a damn about the poor than anybody.

Anonymous said...

Gene, we even have EMHC during weekday Mass when there are very few people in attendance. In reality according to the instruction they are only to be used if the Mass is going to be extraordinarily long and the Mass never is.

In the days when there was a large number at Mass the priest was able to manage quite comfortably on his own.

Often the Extraordinary Ministers at the local cathedral are young women, short skirts, very little on top, who also serve at the altar. (The parish secretary advertises in the newsletter for 'table setters' so you can get the idea).

A large number of people could have received communion by the time the large group standing behind the priest, including some of them raising the host into the air along with the priest, have received theirs. Instead of the orderly lines where people used to go up to altar rails people are dodging in and out all over the place.

I really do believe now, as I have been doing a lot of reading of late about the Mass, that the English martyrs who died for the Latin Mass should no longer be considered martyrs because everything they died for is now in the OF Mass, in light of the fact that at the reformation Latin was removed, the altars were smashed and a table with the "priest" facing the people was introduced.

Because of what I have read - especially the Ottiviani Intervention on EWTN, I have a lot of sympathy with the SSPX, but I think AB L made a grave error in ordaining bishops. I feel that the fact that so many traditional-leaning people left the church has meant the Church was unbalanced and there were not enough to withstand the onslaught of liberalism that took place under the so-called "Spirit of Vatican II" and so we have had the serious problems that have led to more and more people leaving the Church. No catechesis, etc, people just became ambivalent and stopped going to Mass.

Things improved under Bl Pope John Paul The Great and Pope Benedict, but now, unfortunately, things are going backwards in my country. It sounds much better in the States but unfortunately we will have to wait until the majority of our bishops in my country retire, and at least one very liberal emeritus bishop still retains his position at the Bishops Conference. This has all occurred since the election of Pope Francis. It appears as if they see "hope again" of a revival of the "spirit of Vatican II".


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Jan, this is where conservatives derail in terms of griping about Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. These are allowed and have been a blessing to most parishes, especially those specially trained to bring Holy Communion to the homebound. Prior to EMHC's and I remember this well when I was first ordained, the homebound were fortunate to receive Holy Communion once a month if at that from the priests in the parish. We usually went out on First Fridays to do this. Today though, the homebound receive almost every Sunday and some receive more frequently.

The chalice in this country is allowed at every Mass and no longer reserved for special ocassions and this is concretized in the current adaption of the GIRM for USA. It is liturgically allowed and has been since I have been ordained.

We offer the chalice for those who wish to receive at every Mass including our weekday Mass. Weekday we have two Host Stations and two chalices. Thus we have sometimes up to 3 EMHC's to accomplish this and at Sunday Mass we have four Host stations and 4 to six chalices depending on the Mass and thus EMHC's are required.

Prior to Vatican II one priest could easily distribute Holy Communion as only a small percentage of Catholics actually went to Holy Communion, the majority not being in a state of mortal sin, but who willingly broke the long Eucharistic Fast in order to enjoy breakfast. There was no sin in breaking the fast, but one then could not go to Holy Communion. Thus the Church required that Catholics go the Holy Communion at least once a year and during the Easter season (Easter duty) which included the Sacrament of Penance.

Girl Servers and male and female EMHC's are allowed in the Ordinary Form--there are more important things to worry about that this.

Gene said...

Well, Jan, imagine my shock in coming to the Catholic Church from Calvinism and a 70's seminary/grad school background only to find the Catholic Church making the same mistakes as the protestants! I had attended St. Jo's in HS because my girlfriend was Catholic. I remembered the Latin Mass and an overwhelming sense of awe and mystery then. I am lucky that Fr. MacDonald brought me into the Church because his (and his Vicars') celebrations of all Masses are dignified, profound, and proper. He is also a fine pastor and true to Catholic doctrine and teaching, and not just with lip service (yes, he makes me mad sometimes, but that is my problem and not his). Had I attended somewhere like Holy Spirit with a Priest like Ignotus, I might well have run back to Calvinism except that my reasons for coming over were, in a large part, theological and doctrinal.
So, when I am away from St. Jo's and attend other Masses, I am almost without exception either horrified or bored to death. But, the problem is a deeper one…Catholicism, with Vat II, has adopted the same neo-protestant, humanizing, social gospel stance that has destroyed the protestant church and the faith of thousands. I was there while it was happening to the protestants, and Hans Kung was one of their idols. I had to read his droppings in seminary. So, we have a long way to go…"it doth not yet appear what we shall be."

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene says: "My conservative politics have nothing to do with my Catholic faith."

Then he says: "The poor in this country are nothing but a foil for left-wing agenda." (Tea People talk at its finest.)

Oh yes, your politics color virtually every aspect of your faith. I would go so far as to say that your radical right-wing politics dominate your faith.

Oh, and Google keeps track of your comments so the rest of us don't have to.

Mantovani said...


The tone of your posts seems to suggest that Catholics live in a sort of "EITHER/OR" dichotomy: Either you love Pope Francis and completely support everything he says and understand it in a completely Catholic sense or you hate him and you are in a state of mortal sin, not to mention you have placed yourself outside the Church." If it were only that simple. I can't speak for others, but I don't hate Pope Bergoglio. However, I have some serious reservations about him. One has to look at history and see that we have had a few bad popes. I am not qualifying Francis as a bad pope, mind you, but I am not jumping on the cheerleader bandwagon either. It's been a year, and on the Church clock, that's not a lot of time. So I don't think it's unfair to still not know quite what to make of this pope. I, for one, don't. He confuses me and your increasingly insistent cheerleading isn't clearing the air for me. I think it's reasonable to suggest that MANY Catholics still don't know what to make of this pope. I am sorry if this offends you, but I remain, "on the fence" as they say.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Mantavani, I personally think Pope Francis should be more papal in his speech so that he is not misinterpreted. That is a fair criticism. You should see some of the comments that I must delete because these are far from Christian let alone Catholic in their attitudes and are rubbish.
I wish Pope Francis would not have done away with some of the imperial aspects of papal protocol and dress--but this is a minor criticism and another pope could revive some of it. I do think if Pope Francis had maintained some of the papal protocol and formality and been informal in other ways, that he wouldn't have the more traditionalist side of the Church acting in the same way to him as the progressives acted toward Pope Benedict. I was scandalized by the way the progressives denigrated Pope Benedict and equally if not more so scandalized by the traditionalist who do it now to Pope Francis. There is something wrong in the Church when Catholics think they can do this and in public rather than as a private sin.

Anonymous said...

"The only Catholics that are confused are those who don't want to offer mercy to anyone."

I doubt, Fr. McDonald, that you don't really mean this! On its face, so shocking as to be offensive to numbers of deeply faithful and believing Catholics, many or most of them are not "traditionalist" in any identifiable way, not Latin Mass attenders, many of them daily OF worshipers (and dedicated priests), people who know the CCC well and believe everything the Church teaches, not merely by lip service but in daily practice, people who don't have time to stand around griping about EMHC's, altar girls, etc, instead devoting their efforts to parish support and right-to-life work, etc.

These good and devout Catholics likely are less confused by actual teachings of Pope Francis than by continual signals that the Church's official teachings may now more flexible in their application than previously thought, and indeed that official doctrine may not be considered as important anymore.

They may be confused by the increasing use at high Church levels of epithet terms such as "coloring book Catholics" or equivalents to marginalize and dismiss those who may disagree or simply express confusion, and particularly the most faithful Catholics, those whose loyalty to Faith, Church, and Magisterium are the most reliable.

Of course, this standard ad hominem tactic is familiar from decades of use by parish and diocesan functionaries against these most faithful of Catholics. However, its resurgence now in people whose leadership is otherwise much to be admired is a surprise. In the present case, perhaps it is a public response to local pastoral problems that we afar have no reason to concern ourselves with. But it would be a concern if this behavior were a result of current papal behavior.

Православный физик said...

Father, I apologize for this super long post, but I think it's necessary.

I make no secret that I'm not number 1 on the papal cheer team, but as I've also said, sometimes it is the media misinterpreting the Pope, sometimes it's words of Pope Francis himself that are the problem.

There is often a failure to distinguish the actions of the Pope versus the person of the Pope, and too often by the papal defense team there's an equating between the actions of the pope and the person.

There are things that we can tell about the person, from the actions of the person, but is that always the case, absolutely not....looking at the past year:

1. On day one: ditches the moezetta and the stole...intentionally or unintentionally placing himself above the office. It would have been one thing to change it over the course of a year, but on day one it's rather disrespectful of established protocol...this turned many people, (including myself) with eyes of weary towards him....who is he, and what is he doing you know?...His own preferences above what is received....

2. Holy Thursday fiasco: Again the same issue, it's not that in of itself, the washing of the girls feet was the problem, it's just that the proper way to change law is not by ignoring it, but rather changing the actual law. The pope is servant to the law just as all of us are...if he had done this before Mass, no one would have made a big deal about it...but during the Mass where there's clear established rubrics which haven't been changed, again showing contempt for the rubrics...Celebrating in the prison again wasn't the problem in of itself, time and place, on one of the more solemn days of the Liturgical year, the establishment of the priesthood, and Holy Eucharist...the Mass should have been in the Cathedral. (I'll ignore the fact that he was able to get down on the floor okay for the poor, but does not do so in other situations)....Again another situation where an action, for better or for worse shows something about a person...The fact that there's a repeat shows there's no naivete in what he's doing....and no a pastoral situation does not justify an abuse of the Liturgy

3. The Vatican Motel 6: Which actually costs more money to run than it would for him to live in Vatican itself...All of course for the appearance of humility...(The Papal apartments are smaller than the Vatican Motel 6)...

4. The who am I to judge, off the cuff comments in general: While the papal apologetics team has said time and time again, he wasn't condoning homosexual behavior (bear in mind, I agree, and read the comments in full)...who was he kidding to think that this wouldn't be manipulated...after the backlash of that, he still keeps making imprecise statements, to his own pitfall...At some point he has to realize he's on the world stage, and he can't be saying stuff in such a way that can be so easily manipulated, even if what he's saying is completely referenced in the catechism, he has to know to be precise as to not let this happen by now, doesn't he, when do we hold him accountable for the things that he says, obviously this is just one comment, but there have been a number of times this has occurred.

5. The name calling of traditionalists: Really, and there are people trying to defend this? Name calling is beneath people. It's one thing to disagree on substance as to what people are doing, pointing out the mistakes and such, but to openly mock those that pray for him, it's ridiculous and quite frankly very discouraging. be continued

Православный физик said...

continued from my last comment

I could go on and on, but you get my point, the criticisms come from the very actions of the Holy Father doesn't mean we hate him, but we point things out, and we just want clarity, what's going on? why the name calling? why this? why that?

To be fair he has done good things as well
1. Preach about the devil
2. Pointing out corruption in the clergy
3. Called all to be faithful to the Magisterium
4. Celebrated Ad Orientem
5. Pointed out the humility of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI

The jury is still out on Pope Francis, but I must say when Cardinal Mahony was rejoicing, I thought there were going to be problems. He may very well make a huge turn around, and suddenly much will change...(Hopefully some of the bad praxis will stop)...I'm not holding out much hope, but in charity, pray for Pope Francis because well he needs it. But trying to make all things that Pope Francis says into something good, I think sometimes is a bit of a stretch, I think we need to take the good statements with the bad ones, and just accept them as they are. Neither sunshine and rainbows, nor doom and gloom.

Let us pray for Francis, Pope of Rome, Lord have mercy.

Gene said...

Ignotus, you are such a typical arrogant, hypocritical lib…avowing a hatred of stereotypes and name calling, then proceeding to engage in the same. LOL!
You have no idea about my politics, but no one who knows me well, whether friend or foe, has ever referred to me as "radical right wing." LOL! No, I am not a member of the Tea Party, either. Are you a member of the American Com,units Party?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

He has done things that have startled some but he has captured the attention of the world in a way I never thought possible again.

I wish he hadn't gotten rid of this, that or the other, but his theology is one of a "poorer" Church and thus he is modeling it. I'll cut him some slack especially since as a Jesuit he is vowed to poverty.

I wish he would explain why he washed the feet of muslims and girls. Of course he was modeling for bishops and priests that our ministry is one of service and to go beyond the boundaries of our own faith in charity and care. The foot washing is optional and can be explained in a variety of ways in terms of what Jesus meant by it. I have always believed that Jesus was making the newly established Christian ordained priesthood not only cultic, which was exclusively the nature of the Old Testament priesthood, but one of service and fearing not from becoming "unclean" for worship by showing kindness and generosity to those in need. (remember the Old Testament priest passed by the injured man on the road to Jericho. Catholic priests are not to act like Old Testament priests.

I am willing to see where this pontificate will bring the Church and if in a bad direction and toward even more collapse, then the next pope can rebuild. Ultimately, the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church no matter the pope be he traditionalist or iconoclastic.

Gene said...

PS In my previous post, I was asking if Ignotus belonged to the American Communist Party, not Communits party…LOL! But, he could also be a closet Muslim, a Weatherman, or a member of some other radical Left-wing group. Perhaps he may be the unfortunate issue of a union between one of the Berrigans and Bernadette Devlin. Ya' never know...

George said...

Should we not at least try to adopt the attitude of Christ toward His Church? For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health love and to cherish; from this day forward ad vitam aeternam.

We should endeavor to cultivate a proper respect for the Petrine office, to petition for Divine solicitousness for the occupant, and to trust in the perpetuation of his fidelity to the truths of our Holy Faith.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - You call the Bishops communists and say they should be ignored and you call ME arrogant?

You call the President "Obammy" and African-Americans a "feral minority" and talk about Black women altar servers who "come juking and jiving down the aisle dressed in African looking clothes" and claim you are not racist?

You say women are too dumb to need a watch and you call ME hypocritical?

You may not have signed on to the Tea People mailing list, but you wear the hat well.

And now, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Community Party?" We all know what became of Joe McCarthy....

Anonymous said...

Gene...I Googled you. Saw a list of organizations who claim you as a member: NRA, John Birch Society, KKK, Americans for Jesus, Fox News Channel, Tea Party, Ted Nugent Fan Club. You're my Catholic-American hero.

Gene said...

Very funny, Anonymous.

Ignotus, the women and the watch thing was a joke, get it? It is humor.

The rest about Obammy, the Bishops, the black women juking and jiving down the aisle, and black youth in this country being largely a feral minority are things we see every day. You mean you haven't noticed? LOL!

Anonymous said...

Father, while I agree with you that Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are permitted. The instruction is: "The faithful, whether religious or lay, who are authorized as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist can distribute Communion only when there is no priest, deacon or acolyte, when the priest is impeded by illness or advanced age, or when the number of the faithful going to Communion is so large as to make the celebration of Mass excessively long."

None of the Masses I attend conform to that instruction. Also, there is no necessity to distribute communion under both kinds because we receive the full sacrament under either species.

Do your Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist use a paten when they distribute the precious blood at Mass? I suspect as is the custom here "No" is the answer.

With due respect, Father, are you yourself not able to take communion to the sick? In many instances the sick are not even being annointed or having their confession heard because of this custom. In one Catholic home here the priest isn't even called to dying Catholics.

I have heard a priest say that the biggest wound to the priesthood was the introduction of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist because up until then it was the priest's role to "feed the sheep". That job has been taken from him. Why be a priest when you can be a married deacon or an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist without the sacrifice?

I think these are fundamental and serious problems and have led to a downgrading of the priesthood and belief in the real presence and people treating the sacrament as mere bread.

The priest has lost contact with the people and with the promotion of girl altar servers, etc, it is no wonder vocations to the priesthood dropped.

I have no doubt that you are faithful as Gene has mentioned, but I can say that there are other priests, faithful too - perhaps a bit older than you - who haven't bought into this new type of priesthood. In that I agree with what Pope Francis has said about some priests. Although in many ways they can't be blamed for going along with the system.


Rood Screen said...


Just a point of clarification: there's no such thing as an "extraordinary minister of the Eucharist". They are called "extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion". A Eucharistic minister is an ordained man who offers the Holy Mass.

Pater Ignotus said...

Jan - "There is no necessity" is a poor argument.

"There is no necessity" for a priest to wear vestments as the mass is perfectly valid without them. "There is no necessity" for the Litany of the Saints to be prayed during a Baptism as the sacrament is perfectly valid without it. "There is no necessity" for a pope to wear a white cassock, a cardinal a red cassock, a bishop a purple cassock. They are all popes, cardinals, and/or bishops without them.

However, the sign value of vestments, litanies, and cassocks of various colors cannot simply be dismissed as "not necessary." And neither can the practice of offering the faithful the option to receive communion from the cup.

Not one Catholic is confused as to who the priest is by the use of EMHC's - not one. Not one Catholic thinks that priests are not needed.

And any priest who is "wounded" by the use of EMHC's has, I would suggest, a very narrow understanding of his role and the role of the Ministers.

If he could give up the priesthood and all that that entails because he could get married and still distribute communion on Sundays, then he has no understanding of the priesthood at all.

John Nolan said...


On the website of the cathedral of the diocese in which I happen to reside, EMHC are still referred to as 'Eucharistic Ministers'. In England and Wales they have been seen since the 1980s as a means of giving lay people, particularly women, a visible liturgical role. At a weekday Mass in Westminster Cathedral (it was the 10.30 a.m. said Latin Mass) there was one priest, one adult male server (in choir dress), one lay reader (in a dark suit) and two female EMHC. The chalice was not offered, the number of communicants was not large, and in any case most elected to receive from the priest. The first lesson could have been read by the server, and the EMs were surplus to requirements.

There is no point in the relevant authorities in Rome reprobating as an abuse (cf Redemptionis Sacramentum) a practice which they knew was being abused when they retrospectively legitimized it, and which they knew would be abused when it was introduced legitimately. Father MacDonald's argument that if Rome tolerates a particular practice it is therefore praiseworthy doesn't hold water.