Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-16-2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. The Indian Catholic is reporting that Pope Benedict’s next encyclical will be on the global meltdown.

The Pope’s message fundamentally will be one of hope… …it will be filled also with truth about how false economic principles and moral ideals can lead mankind toward the abyss…”

For the link click here.

2. Communion in the hand, this recent innovation, is dissected by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf on his blog.  Fr. Z wants us to consider the following:

Consider the lack of care with which many receive, how they move the Host around and handle it.

Consider that often there is a more or less properly prepared EMHC also handling the Host.

Consider the condition of the skin of the palm.

Consider the few seconds after a person transfers the Host from palm to mouth.

Consider that the Host has been in contact not only with the palm, but the fingers of the other hand.

For the link click here.

3. Some cool numbers regarding the exponential growth of Catholicism in the United States and the world.

For the link click here.

4. My alma mater, the University of Arizona, was selected for the NCAA 2009 Men’s Basketball tournament for the 25th consecutive year!  March Madness here we come, Bear Down Wildcats!

For the link click here.

5. Speaking of March Madness, congratulations goes out to Vox Nova for making the field of the Top 64 People Destroying our Culture.  They meet Linda Ronstandt in the first round.

For the link click here.

6. For even more commentary, analysis, and news from CVSTOS FIDEI click here.

For the previous Res & Explicatio click here.

44 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-16-2009

  • Speaking of March Madness, congratulations goes out to Vox Nova for making the field of the Top 64 People Destroying our Culture. They meet Linda Ronstandt in the first round.

    And potentially match up against George Clooney or Mariah Carey if they make it to the second round. Who knew that a member of the St. Blogs circle had such pop culture pull?

  • I’ll take George Clooney over Mariah Carey. He should pull it off considering that he has the most Iraq War themed movie failures.

  • Who knew that a member of the St. Blogs circle had such pop culture pull?

    If only they did; I’d take the VN contributors over anyone else on that list as making positive contributions to the culture.

  • Yeah, throwing in VN is a fit of pique.

  • They probably should have said certain bloggers, so as not to paint JonathanJones and BA as part of that bunch.

  • I don’t think it’s a fair rap to accuse anyone on Vox Nova as “destroying the culture”. Honestly, if the differences between our writers and those on Vox Nova were the widest cultural and moral gaps we had in this country, we’d be in a very, very good place.

    But then, I don’t really think Mariah Carey and George Clooney are going to destroy our culture either. So I was just swinging with it as humor.

  • But then, I don’t really think Mariah Carey and George Clooney are going to destroy our culture either. So I was just swinging with it as humor.

    There’s an alternative way of looking at these things too: Without drawing any judgment on who should or shouldn’t be listed, or if a list should even be attempted (though I think this list is meant to be more of a humorous exercise), I’d say that these people are products of our culture more than they are an influence. Enough to make you weep…

  • They probably should have said certain bloggers, so as not to paint JonathanJones and BA as part of that bunch.

    Honestly, there isn’t anyone in ‘that bunch’ that I see as harmful to the culture. At the end of the day, they are practicing Catholics. I’m a practicing Catholic; we agree 90%-95% of the time on issues of significance, and where we disagree I’d generally like to hear more from them rather than less. My main frustration with VN is that unnecessarily antagonistic behavior by some contributors creates an environment in which a clear exchange of views is difficult. To be fair, it’s probably a problem with the architecture of blogs and blog comment sections rather than the contributors much of the time.

  • DC & JH,

    It’s a humorous post by CMR.

    But I’m not going to defend Catholics who deliberately mislead others away from the truth.

    You guys can cut hairs, I’ll stick to the truth.

  • I think the danger of Vox Nova is not their own impact on the culture, as their lack of appropriate response to the culture…. appeasement and permissiveness.

    Concurring with Tito that’s not ALL of them but perhaps most.

    I agree with DC that if the whole range of opinions represented between here and there were the whole range of the culture we really wouldn’t have a serious problem at all (at least not culturally)… unfortunately, the liberal Catholic approach is an enabler of the liberal secular approach.

  • ;)

    Tongue in cheek.

    I have no hair! lol

  • I would have sworn that the explosive issue for this post would have been communion in the hand or communion on the tongue.

  • Matt and Tito,

    You two can and do more to damage Catholic culture in your often faulty and wanting presentation of it in one post than V-N has done in its entire history.

    The examples are aplenty.

    Congratulations.

    Oh, I am saying this tongue in cheek.

  • They probably should have said certain bloggers, so as not to paint JonathanJones and BA as part of that bunch.

    It’s hard work being super cool. :)

  • Consider the lack of care with which many receive, how they move the Host around and handle it.

    Consider that often there is a more or less properly prepared EMHC also handling the Host.

    Consider the condition of the skin of the palm.

    Consider the few seconds after a person transfers the Host from palm to mouth.

    Consider that the Host has been in contact not only with the palm, but the fingers of the other hand.

    CONSIDER, THAT JESUS SAID “TAKE AND EAT.”

  • CONSIDER, THAT JESUS SAID “TAKE AND EAT.”

    :) That’s a pretty good one!

  • Interesting article here on the reception of communion:http://www.franciscan-archive.org/apologetica/tongue.html.

    Catholic Anarchist, I believe that Christ at the Last Supper was giving communion to a room full of priests.

  • Catholic Anarchist, I believe that Christ at the Last Supper was giving communion to a room full of priests.

    I just don’t get this bizarre thinking. 1) No, Christ did not “give communion to a bunch of priests” at the Last Supper. 2) Are priests’ hands cleaner or holier or what? I don’t know what Tito is doing with his hands that makes his palms something of a threat to the host. What are you people talking about?

  • Communion in mouth recipients remind me of the “look at me, I am holier than thou” crowd…especially whenever they disrupt the flow of the communion line, with their insistence upon kneeling at reception.

  • “No, Christ did not “give communion to a bunch of priests” at the Last Supper.”

    You deny that the apostles were priests? Why am I not surprised.

    Priests hands are consecrated Catholic Anarchist and only priests are able to change the bread and wine into their body and blood. Of course this makes them different in regard to handling the body and blood.

    “with their insistence upon kneeling at reception.”

    Mr. DeFrancisis, when it comes to an efficient flowing of the communion line or allowing someone to pay traditional reverence to the Lord of the Universe, perhaps you could show some Christian charity.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    The current Mass already has its built in many practices to show reverence, as practiced in dioceses all across America.

    The insistence to go beyond the prescribed alternatives in one’s diocese is odd at best, whenever one kneels in cases in which this is not a prescribed option, and clearly works, inadvertantly or not, as a means to disrupt the communio that the Eucharistic sacrifice is to effect.

  • especially whenever they disrupt the flow of the communion line, with their insistence upon kneeling at reception.

    Maybe our expectations of how the communion line should flow (like a drive-through???) are wrong. Maybe if everyone knelt at communion, it wouldn’t feel like the holier than thou crowd is trying to set themselves apart. I don’t have strong feelings about the reception in hand/mouth debate, but sometimes I wish that the faithful could take an infinitessimally longer amount of time to show reverence and recall what is actually happening at that moment. Something about the rushed atmosphere just seems out of place.

  • I think it is a minor disruption at most Mr. DeFrancisis. I do not kneel myself, but I have only respect for those who do. I think the Pope agrees with me, judging from this:

    “Congregation de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum

    Prot. n. 1322/02/L

    Rome, 1 July 2002

    Your Excellency,

    This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has recently received reports of members of the faithful in your Diocese being refused Holy Communion unless while standing to receive, as opposed to kneeling. The reports state that such a policy has been announced to parishioners. There were possible indications that such a phenomenon might be somewhat more widespread in the Diocese, but the Congregation is unable to verify whether such is the case. This Dicastery is confident that Your Excellency will be in a position to make a more reliable determination of the matter, and these complaints in any event provide an occasion for the Congregation to communicate the manner in which it habitually addresses this matter, with a request that you make this position known to any priests who may be in need of being thus informed.

    The Congregation in fact is concerned at the number of similar complaints that it has received in recent months from various places, and considers any refusal of Holy Communion to a member of the faithful on the basis of his or her kneeling posture to be a grave violation of one of the most basic rights of the Christian faithful, namely that of being assisted by their Pastors by means of the Sacraments (Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 213). In view of the law that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them” (canon 843 ¶ 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person’s unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

    In fact, as His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has recently emphasized, the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species.

    Given the importance of this matter, the Congregation would request that Your Excellency inquire specifically whether this priest in fact has a regular practice of refusing Holy Communion to any member of the faithful in the circumstances described above and — if the complaint is verified — that you also firmly instruct him and any other priests who may have had such a practice to refrain from acting thus in the future. Priests should understand that the Congregation will regard future complaints of this nature with great seriousness, and if they are verified, it intends to seek disciplinary action consonant with the gravity of the pastoral abuse.

    Thanking Your Excellency for your attention to this matter and relying on your kind collaboration in its regard,

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estévez
    Prefect

    +Francesco Pio Tamburrino
    Archbishop Secretary”

  • Michael I/Mark D.

    Did you even click on the link that Tito posted? You are apparently unfamiliar with the FACT that the universal norm in the CATHOLIC Church is that communion is to be received on the tongue. The use of communion in the hand in the modern era was out of DISOBEDIENCE and as a result of a faulty theology. Ultimately, the Holy Father granted an indult for certain places were this illicit practice had developed, in the document granting this, the universal norm was defended despite permitting limited use of the alternate practice.

    Michael, do you adhere solely to Vatican II and Sacred Scripture? You throw out nearly 2000 years of the Church’s development of theology and discipline in favor of antiquarianism, and Vatican IIism. You are PRECISELY the sort that the Holy Father is warning to reform.

    There should be no mistake by any of the moderates here that Michael and Mark’s hostility towards traditional piety and reverence to the Blessed Sacrament is not a matter of personal preference but represents a serious theological flaw. They feel deeply threatened by the Holy Father’s steps towards a reform of the reform… their anger belies a deep fear.

    If Christ Himself in natural form were to stand there at the altar would not EVERY knee bend? Then why would we show any less reverence to His REAL Presence in the Sacrament?

  • Donald,

    Tamburrino? that old relic, why should Mark or Michael listen to him, isn’t he one of those hundred of year old bishops still clinging to the pre-Vatican II Church?

  • “There should be no mistake by any of the moderates here that Michael and Mark’s hostility towards traditional piety and reverence to the Blessed Sacrament is not a matter of personal preference but represents a serious theological flaw. They feel deeply threatened by the Holy Father’s steps towards a reform of the reform… their anger belies a deep fear.”

    Matt,

    I think you may have missed a doasage of your meds, as you are clearly frothing at the mouth in your assinine accusations. They deserve no further response.

  • Mark is right, Matt. You’ve gone over the line in judging our view toward “traditional” piety and in questioning our reverence for the Eucharist. So as Donald, but you, Matt, have become a caricature of yourself and of the supposed “moderates” you claim to represent. You’re a reactionary nut case.

  • Alright that is enough. This is Tito’s thread, but I will delete the next comment that insults anyone.

  • Donald – Have an equal hand, friend. God’s watching. Are you as willing to give witness to “true christian charity” in your dealings with Matt as you are will me?

  • As I stated Catholic Anarchist, I will delete the next insulting comment made.

  • Deleted your last comment Catholic Anarchist. I’m not a policeman, merely one of the posters on this blog who does not wish to see the comboxes devolve into endless, boring flinging of insults. I blog for fun. Reading back and forth insults is not fun.

  • Communion in mouth recipients remind me of the “look at me, I am holier than thou” crowd…especially whenever they disrupt the flow of the communion line, with their insistence upon kneeling at reception.

    Such love expressed here. Rest assured Mark, God knows what’s in our hearts. If people receive Our Lord kneeling because they think they can put themselves above you, the Lord will deal with that. If they’re doing it because they’re humbled in the presence of the Lord and at the thought of receiving this great Gift, I would guess He’s quite okay with it. Really, think about what you’re saying and griping about. I mean, even if a communicant is kneeling for what you consider to be self-righteous motives. How does it really affect you? Why would you want to let something like that disturb you so? And don’t say because you have to spend a few extra minutes in the Communion line, that will sound even worse.

  • Yeah, I get kick out of this. Seeing how the VN bloggers join the other 2% of Catholics who actually follow the Church’s teachings on Sexuality in our daily lives and our commitment to pro-life work and corporal works of mercy, yeah, we are DEFINITELY destroying our Culture. If you mean destroying the American individualism and culture of death, YEP! Guilty as charged and PROUD of it!

  • Rick,

    I am only speaking from personal experience, reflecting back on whenever I received by mouth and occasionally kneeled, in settings in which communion in the hand was the dominant practice.

  • If one did study 2000 years of history and Christian tradition, one would know how common communion by the hand actually was. And one would learn of other odd practices. I am sure Matt would be horrified if he learned about St Macrina and the eucharist.

    The problem is that those who say “it is not just the modern age,” while correct in stating that, ignore the whole 2000 years, when they judge what happens in the modern age. They also act like Martin Luther, who said “Well, the modern age gets it wrong, but let me show you how I read tradition.” No, the Church reads tradition, and we must understand the modern practices in relation to that.

    “IT started as an abuse.” So did many other things Romans do. Shall we mention the filioque?

  • Ok, since I am one-quarter Irish I will give myself a dispensation from abstinence from blogging for St. Patrick’s Day :)

    I was about 12 or 13 years old when communion in the hand (as well as face to face confession) started, and accepted it in good faith. I do it to this day simply because it’s what I’m used to, and because I’m kind of self-conscious about subjecting the priest or EM to my potentially virus or halitosis-contaminated breath. Then again, cold viruses allegedly spread faster through your hands than your breath anyway so I guess that argument is a wash.

    I personally feel the most dignified and least potentially disruptive way to show reverence before receiving the Eucharist is to bow slightly from the waist while the person in front of you is receiving. My daughter and I both do this. This shows reverence but doesn’t hold up the line or call attention to oneself.

    My daughter (13 and mildly autistic) always receives on the tongue. When she was going through instruction for First Communion they taught her how to do it both ways and she showed a marked preference for on the tongue, and that is how she does it — perhaps because her manual dexterity leaves something to be desired and she doesn’t want to take the chance of dropping or fumbling with the Host. So there are valid reasons for people to receive both ways.

    I suggest that we approach this the way St. Paul asked the early Christians to approach the question of whether or not to eat meat (purchased in the marketplace) that had been or may have been sacrificed to idols at the time of slaughter.

    St. Paul said that while eating such meat wasn’t wrong in itself (since the false gods to which it had been “sacrificed” really didn’t exist), it was better to refrain from eating such meat in the presence of “weaker brethren” who might be offended or scandalized by it. But he also told the latter group not to be overly judgmental of those whom they saw eating such meat. His point was that he did not want to see the Body of Christ torn apart on an issue that wasn’t a matter of faith or morals, just because one side wanted to prove itself “right.”

    There is also a passage in C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters that applies Paul’s approach to the differences in piety between High and Low Anglicans. Lewis (via Screwtape) says that if Anglicans took that approach, one might see “Low Church” people genuflecting and crossing themselves so their “High” bretheren won’t be tempted to irreverence, and “High Church” people abstaining from those gestures so their “Low” bretheren won’t be tempted to idolatry!

    Imagine a Church in which Catholics who prefer receiving kneeling and on the tongue instead receive standing and in the hand (perhaps offering it up as a penance) because they don’t want to distract or offend their “weaker” brethren — while, at the same time, those who normally receive in the hand decide to make the sacrifice of receiving on the tongue, or kneeling, so as not to offend or tempt to irreverence THEIR “weaker” brethren and sisteren. :) Wouldn’t that be a lot better than bickering about it?

  • Thank you Elaine for your insightful comment. I am glad you gave yourself the “Saint Patrick’s blogging dispensation”. I have always loved the passage you cite from the Screwtape letter.

    My position is not to say that all Catholics should receive communion on the tongue, as I do, and kneeling, which I do not, but that they should be respected when they do so, just as no aspersions should be cast on those Catholics who receive communion in the hand, as my wife does.

    I would note that the norm at papal masses apparently is now kneeling and communion on the tongue, so I believe those Catholics who choose to receive God in that manner are in good company!

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0803381.htm

    I have a son too who is autistic. Alas, I wish I could I could state his condition was mild, although there is nothing wrong with his manual dexterity. He too receives on the tongue. I am sure he is merely copying his old man, although he very much has a mind of his own on most things. Having him worship by me at Mass has added a great dimension to my own experience of the Mass, and I thank God for it.

  • I only receive on the tongue, mostly because my tradition uses a golden spoon for the distribution of communion, and I am used to it, even when I go to a Roman liturgy. It’s just easier not to get confused and to follow one practice. But again, distribution to the hand is not an abuse (it was when it was not approved discipline, at those times it was not; but before it was an abuse, it was not an abuse, and I think people should remember that, because it points something out about the whole matter).

    Sergius Bulgakov reminds us that Christ’s blood did fall upon the earth, and the tomb shows the ground took his body; as such, if Christ was able to distribute his graces to the earth, we might also use that to reflect upon many of the things being discussed here and now. His idea that the earth itself is the holy grail has all kinds of implications, from ecology to sacramentology and even soteriology; I think a reflection on it would help everyone.

  • “at those times” should have been “at other times times it was not” should have been deleted, but I generally write comments quickly without editing them, and I sometimes don’t delete everything I intended to as I change the way I am saying something.

  • Has anyone here read the document of Paul VI that granted the indult for communion on the hand in certain places? If you are serious about your faith, regardless of your communion practice, you ought to read it.

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDWMEMOR.HTM

    This method of distributing holy communion must be retained, taking the present situation of the Church in the entire world into account, not merely because it has many centuries of-tradition behind it, but especially because it expresses the faithful’s reverence for the Eucharist. The custom does not detract in any way from the personal dignity of those who approach this great sacrament: it is part of that preparation that is needed for the most fruitful reception of the Body of the Lord.[6]

  • Elaine,

    Thank you for your intervention, especially as it has affected me.

    The funny thing is, if we were to return across the board to kneelers and a communion rail at the altar and communion for everyone in such a way, I would be more than happy.

    As it is I actually regret the hodge podge of standing, kneeling, mouth and hand reception that occurs only because of the apparent discord it seems to express.

    And, yes, Donald, your examples prove that this apparent discord may be minor, in comparison to the good that the alternatives serve in individual cases.

    My bad.

Follow TAC by Clicking on the Buttons Below
Bookmark and Share
Subscribe by eMail

Enter your email:

Recent Comments
Archives
Our Visitors. . .
Our Subscribers. . .