A Second Look at Weapons of Mass Destruction

Last year I posted a column title, Weapons of Mass Destruction.  In it I lampooned many of the abuses that arose out of the Second Vatican Council.

I revisit that post only to shed some light on how the abuses came about referencing Church documents, councils, and prelates.

Holy Communion in the Hand is allowed only as an indult, ie, a concession.  In May 29, 1969 the Congregation for Divine Worship issued a document allowing for, but not to displace the traditional practice of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue.

The correct reception of Holy Communion has always been and still is on the tongue.

Unfortunately this has become the norm which has resulted in the desacrelization of the Eucharist.

Ad Populum, or facing the congregation during Mass was recently allowed in Pope Paul VI’s Missale Romanum in 1969 (fully released in 1970).  Meaning it was not mandatory to face the congregation in all parts of the Mass, but only in certain instances.

Altar Girls, were allowed to serve in Mass by the Congregation for Divine Worship in a letter by Cardinal Ortas on March 15, 1994.

Basically there was a “reinterpretation” of Canon 230 that allowed a loophole for female altar servers.

So each national conference can decide to allow this, which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed to.  Meaning that each diocese can decide for itself whether or not to allow female altar servers.

It is important to note that the Bishop is in line with apostolic succession and has the final say for liturgical practices in the diocese concerning female altar servers.

Removal of Altar Rails has never been allowed for, asked for, or called for.

Basically the reason all altar rails that were removed was because of a misinterpretation of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

In Sacrosanctum Concilium there is a line asking for ‘active participation’.  Many bishops and priests took this to mean to remove barriers between the Tabernacle and the congregation, thus began the removal of altar rails.

What that line actually means is the ‘active participation’ of the laity lies in the relationship between ‘the sacrificial action of the laity and the self-sacrifice of Christ’ as Father Michael Carey points out in A Theology of the Sanctuary.

Guitars have not been explicitly addressed, though in my opinion it shouldn’t be allowed.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) does not say anything at all about guitars being used in Mass.

Liturgical Dancers have never been allowed for, asked for, or called for.

Cardinal Arinze summed it nicely by saying that it is allowable in some cultures, but definitely not in any Western culture.

Vernacular Liturgy, was allowed to play a more prominent role after the Second Vatican Council, though Latin was still to retain a place of primacy.

Nuns in Pants has not been allowed period.  It is a requirement that nuns wear habits to represent their vow of poverty.  If they are out of their habits, it is an act of disobedience and a mortal sin.

Finally as I stated above that the Bishop is in line with apostolic succession and has the final say for all liturgical practices in the diocese.

23 Responses to A Second Look at Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • Rhen says:

    I agree with most everything here, but there is one statement that isn’t completely true.

    “The correct reception of Holy Communion has always been and still is on the tongue.”

    St. Cyril of Jerusalem, writing his Catechetical Lectures back in the middle of the 4th century, clearly explains that Holy Communion was to be received on the palm. See paragraph 21 of Catechetical Lecture 23:

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310123.htm

  • Todd says:

    “The correct reception of Holy Communion has always been and still is on the tongue.”

    Cyril was obviously a heretic, as was that poseur Leonardo for painting the Eucharist as a meal. Good to know that Moses got it wrong in Exodus for neglecting to mention that the roast lamb also had to be fed on the tongue. The things you learn on AC!

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Maybe in the 4th century, Christians were holy enough to take communion into their hands.

    Today, it done for the sole reason of egalitarianism, to wipe out hierarchy and distinctions between man and man, and man and God.

    Today, more than in other periods, we ought to kneel and take it on the tongue, as a sign of submission and reverence. That’s my opinion. I don’t want to stand up to God in some defiant gesture, and get handed a communion wafer by some smug eucharistic minister. I don’t want a “community meal”, I want a sacrament.

    “It must be further noted that the relevant legislation “strongly urges and exhorts” us all to receive Communion in the traditional manner, which is officially described as “more reverent.”"

    http://www.catholic-pages.com/mass/inhand.asp

    Officially! Take that relativists.

  • Elaine Krewer says:

    Personally I’d like to see everyone follow the same tack as St. Paul did in Romans, with regard to a non-doctrinal issue like eating meat that had possibly been leftover from pagan sacrifices (which Paul made clear was NOT a sin): if you personally think it’s OK, fine, but avoid doing it in front of people who think it’s wrong and will be scandalized by it; if you personally think it’s wrong, try not to pass judgment on the people whom you see doing it.

    Wouldn’t it be great if people who are accustomed to communion in the hand out of habit (like me) started recieving on the tongue simply to show greater respect, while those who already receive on the tongue didn’t assume that those who don’t are being “smug” or “defiant” in their attitude.

    Again, as much as we may dislike communion in the hand/standing up — as of right now, it is still an option permitted by Church law in the U.S. and elsewhere, and one does NOT commit a sin by doing it.

  • Richard A says:

    I understand this particular American Catholic to be in the Patriarchate of Rome, not Jerusalem, as also those of us who are participating in the discussion. At any rate, since you think the Jerusalem rite manner of reception of the Eucharist applies in the Roman rite also, do be sure to touch the sacred species to your eyes before consuming it – but don’t lose even the smallest particle! – and then intinct your eyes, ears and nose with the Precious Blood as well as your lips.

    Or do we get to pick and choose among St. Cyril’s instructions also?

  • Rhen says:

    Ouch.
    I find the lack of charity in these responses (at least in tone) to actually be rather painful.

    I think that it would be a great thing for the laity to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. I only wanted to point out that it hasn’t apparently been done that way throughout the entire Church for all of history, as was stated.

    It seems that the operating assumption here is that all of the laity is educated about the differences between the two methods of receiving and is largely receiving on the palm out of spite toward tradition.

    I was born in the 80′s, and never ran across anybody receiving the host on the tongue until the past few years when I moved and had to change parishes. I didn’t even know that it was an option before that time.

    My experience with people receiving on the tongue here has been a handful of people who make quite a show out of it and make sure that others see them being oh-so-pious, and treat others in a “Holier than Thou” fashion about not receiving in the same way. Talk about a turn-off. I didn’t want to be seen as one of those people.

    This is also the feeling I get from some of these comments above.

    Obviously the laity in general needs to be informed about the different methods of reception, but if their only education comes from a “Hey heretic, be like me or you aren’t holy” approach, why would they have any inclination to move away from what is now the status-quo in many places?

    The people need to be better informed, but it needs to be out of love and charity.

    Honestly, the mean-spiritedness of some of these responses leaves me with no will to participate in discussions here again.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Rhen,
    I agree that these conversations are all too often more “chippy” than the need to be. I think one thing that rankles traditionalists (like me) is the way so many liturgical changes were forced in through the back door. Accomodations were made in order to normalize abuses; idiosyncratic preferences give rise to innovations that are encouraged as though licit; and legitimate options intended as accomodations become normalized via agenda driven deceit. It does make folks angry. Examples include the treatment of Latin in the Mass, the use of altar girls, and the disappearance of communion rails and even statues.

  • Contemporary Catholic says:

    I can’t help but reflect on the title ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. Does reception of the Eucharist on the palm instead of on the tongue DESTROY the Mass? I serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and have seen many people come forward with their tongue extended and muttering ‘Amen’ with little visible reverence. I have also seen people come forward to receive the Eucharist in their hand with a respectful bow and a deliberate “Amen”.

    I also know several young women who are altar servers and they sometimes serve with more reverence and precision than the young men. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston recognizes altar servers who have served for 5+ years. I know several young women who received this honor and they are great examples for other young girls.

    I agree that adherence to liturgical standards as set by the Vatican and by our local Bishop is crucial. Above all the rules, the utmost importance lies in the full, active, conscious participation in the liturgy.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Rhen,

    It’s ironic that you lambaste those that find reception of the Eucharist on the tongue as holier than thou.

    When these changes were forced upon the laity it was the rebellious that scandalized the faithful.

    Now you come around and yell “wolf” when you are “scandalized” by those that receive it reverently.

    Contemporary Catholic,

    What you described is relativism.

    Since the introduction of female altar servers the amount of vocations, on average, that the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has produced is “0″.

    I’m sure those “commendable” female altar servers have done a good job of discouraging male youth from finding role models to pursue the vocation of the priesthood.

  • Rhen says:

    I think I was rather unclear.

    I am not against reception on the tongue. I generally find it quite reverent.
    I am against those who put themselves on a pedestal by putting on a show every time they go to communion, and put others down directly for not acting in the same way. I recognize that there are abuses like this in many other things, not just reception on the tongue at Communion, and that it is only a portion of people, not everybody who receives Communion on the tongue. Unfortunately I’ve had far too much experience with people like this, and have become a little jaded on the topic.

    I am highly in favor of a deeper reverence at Communion. I have a strong preference for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass because of this, but unfortunately the closest one to me is more than a 2 hour drive.

    I think we could take great steps toward deepening the reverence at Communion without one of the greatest travesties that popped up after Vatican II – the music. It’s tough to feel the deep prayerful-ness of the moment of communion with some folk-y rattling through the church.
    Almost all of the songs written since the second Vatican council illustrate the Eucharist as a meal, which has also served to cheapen it, at least in my experience.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Rhen,

    You understand that we have “free will”.

    These people who are ‘holier-than-thou’ may or may not be behaving this way, but they do recognize it is Jesus that they are receiving.

    Mother Teresa was none to happy seeing Jesus being desecrated and trampled upon because pieces of Him would fall from the hand to the floor.

    But to your point, they are not being charitable for behaving as ‘holier-than-thou’.

    It does harm the Church that there aren’t better examples of Christians, but you have Free Will.

    And if you choose to allow this to discourage you it is your choice, not theirs.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Rhen,

    You can read whatever motives you like into my post or anyone else’s post. If making up motives for people is how you deal with arguments, that’s your issue to work out.

    Taking communion kneeling and on the tongue is still considered the proper and most reverent form by the Church herself. I suppose Pope Benedict and the rest of the Roman curia are likewise only motivated by some base desire to out-pious all of their liberal critics by making that clear.

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope_prefers_communion_on_the_tongue_msgr._marini_says/

    The headline says it all: “Pope prefers Communion on the tongue, Msgr. Marini says”

    If it’s good enough for Benedict, it ought to be good enough for me and you.

    At any rate, this whole issue of “making a show” by taking communion one way or another is precisely the sort of thing that results when the Church is divided and politicized by subversive radicals who don’t think that the liturgy is “incluuuuusive” enough, that it isn’t sufficiently relativistic and egalitarian. So you let everyone do their own thing, and in some places people who believe in reverence and piety will continue to kneel and take it on the tongue and be singled out by such forward-thinking visionaries as “holier than thou.”

    I thank God and Pope Benedict that I can attend a TLM, where we have altar rails and EVERYONE kneels because EVERYONE has to show God the proper respect. That’s how it ought to be. And I won’t apologize for it. I don’t care if people think I am being “holier than thou” – the aim of our Christian life is to BECOME HOLY.

    If you don’t feel you have ANY holiness, then even a little in the simple people who want to show the proper reverence to God will look like a great deal, I suppose. And if you feel that way, its a problem YOU have. False humility is a heck of a lot worse in my view then false piety. At least the latter could inspire a person with genuinely pious feelings to stand up (or kneel, as the case may be) at the appropriate time. False humility just conceals a deep aversion to all things truly holy, sometimes even a hatred of them.

  • Contemporary Catholic says:

    Tito, in response to
    “Since the introduction of female altar servers the amount of vocations, on average, that the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has produced is “0?.

    I’m sure those “commendable” female altar servers have done a good job of discouraging male youth from finding role models to pursue the vocation of the priesthood.”

    Have you visited http://www.houstonvocations.com lately? There are 2 men to be ordained to the priesthood in July. Last year we ordained 5. Last weekend there were (I believe) 5 ordained to the transitional diaconate. What do you mean by 0?

  • Rhen says:

    If the moderator could remove me from this post or relieve me from receiving e-mails about comments, I would appreciate it.

    I either misstated my point or have been misinterpreted.

    I just wanted to point out St. Cyril’s writing, and it was taken that I hate reception on the tongue, which I do not. I essentially agree with everything in this post.

    Not a relativist, not a progressive in any way, and I LOVE our Pope. I hold very fast to the traditions of the Church, but I don’t want to be quick to cut down those who aren’t. It’s a process.
    I have a problem with show-boaters, similar to what was discussed on Patrick Madrid’s EWTN’s Open Line show last week. It’s a personal beef that has bugged me a lot over time; I apologize.

    I also apologize if I was abrasive in any way. I hope that dialogue and teaching (ESPECIALLY between fellow Catholics) can find a more reverent tone. I would hope to be politely corrected on anything I had wrong. I’ve just come to my faith, and I’m learning. Cutting down and labeling me is not instructive,and it isn’t helping me to look objectively at anything that is being said.

    Please remove me from this post, and if possible my comments. They weren’t written as well as they should have been.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    “Cutting down and labeling me is not instructive”

    As you did to me, or should I say, to “us”, when you said,

    “I find the lack of charity in these responses (at least in tone) to actually be rather painful.”

    And proceeded to compare those comments to the mutterings of self-righteous, holier-than-thou people?

    It is a lack of charity to not state the truth, plainly and clearly, for all to hear.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Though let me be more clear than I was: what I said in my last post, after “at any rate” wasn’t really addressed to YOU, Rhen, specifically… I suppose I should have made that clear.

    I switch from addressing an individual to a whole range of arguments without making it clear sometimes. For that I apologize.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Contemporary Catholic,

    I wanted to affirm what you wrote.

    The average I am quoting was during Archbishop Fiorenza’s term.

    Cardinal DiNardo has done yeoman’s work in improving those numbers and they will continue to grow!

    Rhen,

    We appreciate your comments and please return to reading and commenting as you have.

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

    P.S. Now the comments are closed.

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