Daily Archives: September 1, 2011
There is a brilliant (and long) post of Father Z about a rather good (and long) pastoral letter of Archbishop Conti, the well-known adversary of the Tridentine Mass, about the new translation that will, as he says, “grace our altars” starting from Advent.
The long message of the Archbishop jumps a bit here and there, and it would not be easy, nor interesting to read, to comment on it in its entirety.
What I find rather worthy of consideration, because denoting a mentality that is spreading more and more under the blanket of “niceness”, is:
a) the position of the Archbishop towards kneeling to receive communion, and
b) his reasons why one should not genuflect even when he has been queuing in standing.
It is very surprising to read from a bishop that standing be “the” sign of reverence in the Western Civilisation. Granted, standing is traditionally considered a sign of respect, but I can’t remember it being used in preference to kneeling in matters regarding the religious sphere.
When the Headmaster enters the class, everybody stands up. When women enter the room, everybody stands up (unless the lady in question is a feminist, in which case the standing men sit down). You are supposed not to sit unless asked, and so on.
But note that this does not happen in the religious sphere. For centuries, Communion has been received in the West by kneeling and not by standing. There can be no sign that more eloquently shows the difference between respect in front of human authority and reverence for the Divine one. To ignore this means to willingly and willfully want to reduce the Divine to the rank of the human. It is surprising – not to say, scandalous – that an Archbishop would pretend not to know these simple facts.
Those who approach communion in standing are invited not to kneel, in order to be sensitive to those who can’t. This is not only plain stupid, but stupid in the most arrogant of ways: the passive-aggressive manipulation under the blanket of the protection of the old. Hostage-taking of the slimiest sort.
If we followed the genial train of thought of the Archbishop, we shouldn’t jog in the park in order to be sensitive to those who can’t; we shouldn’t drive a motorbike in traffic, out of respect for those who can’t ride their BSA anymore; we shouldn’t, actually, even go to Mass in order to be sensitive to the countless faithful who every Sunday, actually, can’t. I could go on, but you get my drift.
This arrogant manipulation and hostage-taking of old people – who certainly, for the most part, wouldn’t even dream of asking the congregation not to kneel just because they themselves can’t; and if they did, would deserve to see people kneeling particularly deep and for very long – is not heard by me for the first time and, stupid as it is, risks to become a leitmotiv of the liberal battle against kneeling by communion. I know that you think that this is too idiotic to ever take hold, but you never know what people end up believing – or not daring to contradict – if it is repeated long and often enough. Particularly if some high-value hostages are taken: the old, the children, the “environment”.
I do hope that this mentality doesn’t take hold. If it does, I’ll immediately suggest to take communion by kneeling in order to give some relief to the older members of the congregation, whom it would be insensitive to let be standing when they can get some moment of rest. Or I would suggest that everyone who can kneel also does it in a particular reverent way, offering his kneeling to the older members of the congregation, who are thus specially remembered and honoured.
As you see, the PC-whining and fake-considerate manipulation is a game everyone can play.