Crap Magazine (no link!) has a Q & A “corner”, where the level of dirt reaches standards of dirtiness worrying even for them.
A reader “fights being judgmental”, but actually can't resist showing her supposed liberal superiority to the man who insists on receiving from the priest. She (or him, or it) asks what to do. She had not seen an abomination like this is 30 years (imagine the parish… or the liar…). She doesn't know what to do! To want to receive from the priest! Well, I never…
The answer, coming from a “Reverend”, is a mixture of contempt and patronising. The Rev symphatises with the reader, and assures him or her or it that his experience is more recent than thirty years. He tries to be a good Catholic, though, and shows tolerance to these poor deluded people, without trying to correct him. But then he observes how vaguely dangerous this people are, there was one who even knelt, and there's the risk of all the others tumbling over him!
These devout Catholics are a latent health hazard! But let's suffer them for the sake of inclusiveness. How good, how good we are!
A controversy has erupted on a well-known Catholic blog concerning whether those who receive communion on the tongue are better Catholics than those who don’t.
It seems to me this is muddling the waters.
I would never dream of considering myself a better Catholic than others just because I never received the Holy Communion in the hands once in my life (and, just so you know, never will). I am sure there is an army of people out there who receive in the hands – as they are, alas, allowed to – and are far better Catholics than the wretched sinner writing these lines.
But you see, this is just not the issue.
It is obvious to everyone worth his salt that, whatever was practised by the “first Christians”, later Christians decided pretty soon that kneeling and on the tongue is the proper, because most reverent, way to receive Holy Communion. There can be no discussion about that, because this is a historic fact on which there is no controversy.
Therefore, he who decides that it is fine to receive in the less reverent way just because this is now allowed has not become a worse Catholic than myself, but he certainly receives Communion in worse way than I do. Apart from this, it is still rather difficult for me (my bad, no doubt) to think how one can be persuaded that the consecrated Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and still think the Protestants, who do not believe in it, had found a better way to honour this very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity than the Church of Christ, before she did or after she forgot it. The other matter – how many still believe in Transubstantiation after 50 years of, well, receiving Communion like Protestants – I do not even consider, because I am interested here only in the True Catholics, those who believe all that the Church believes and profess all that the Church professes; and who can be excellent Catholics in many ways.
Still, how they can seriously reflect on what Holy communion is and still prefer to… give God to themselves is beyond me.
“He who is able to bow before the Eucharist, who receives the Lord’s body cannot fail to be attentive, in the ordinary course of the days, to situations unworthy of man, and is able to bend down personally to attend to need, is able to break his bread with the hungry, share water with the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned,” ….
Pope Benedict XVI
Yep, you saw it right.
Pope Benedict didn’t say “bow”.
He said “kneel”
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.
Father Z references a letter (in German) dated June 21st from Ecclesia Dei stating that
the celebration of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form envisages the reception of Holy Communion while kneeling, as the Sacred Host is laid directly on the tongue of the communicant. There is no provision for the distribution of Holy Communion on the hand in this Form of the Holy Mass.
One would think that in a Tridentine Mass the reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue would be obvious, but apparently this is not the case.
I thought that this letter would be worth a little hurrah.