26 September 2009

Can The Bishops Ban Communion On The Tongue?

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Fr Z offered advice to a correspondent who was being hounded by her PP for genuflecting before Communion and receiving on the tongue. According to the CDW’s 2004 Redemptionis Sacramentum, it seems that communion on the tongue may not be prohibited. Is swine flu such a uniquely deadly disease that Bishops are entitled to ignore the instructions from Rome? In how many countries, and in how many dioceses in those countries has such a ban been introduced?

[90.] “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined”, with its acts having received the recognitio of the Apostolic See. “However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms”.
[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.
[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.

20 September 2009

Archbishop Nichols On The Money Again

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To what is to me a baffling lack of comment, the Archbishop has issued a pastoral letter about the importance of prayer and Confession, with a bonus of how to obtain a Plenary Indulgence when visiting St Thérèse's relics. He also says something else, talking about Cardinal Newman:

"As you know, he came only gradually to the fullness of Catholic faith. It was a difficult journey for him. Yet, in his own words, he came to recognise our faith as “a working religion”, not concerned with ideas or vague generalities, but taking us up into the true worship of Christ himself. At the heart of Newman’s sense of the realism of our faith was the real presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, “as real”, he said “as we are real”.

We can learn from him to reawaken in ourselves this faith in Christ’s real, abiding presence in the Holy Eucharist, reserved in the Tabernacle. When this happens, we behave accordingly in His presence, giving Him our attention and the love of our hearts whenever we are in church. In this way we not only build up our own life of prayer but also encourage each other, in church, to give this precious time to Him. After all, He is the only one who can bring lasting peace into our lives."


We seem to have got a Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, who understands Catholicsm and who preaches it. But all there is to read about him on the Internet is how he gets things wrong.

"Tell it not in Geth, publish it not in the streets of Ascalon: lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph".

16 September 2009

Archbishop Nicols On Mission

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On Sunday there was the annual Missions appeal, at which a nun told us that missionaries were not in Africa to convert people. Luckily, the Archbishop seems to have more robust ideas: read through to the end.

"St Paul, in his reflection on the outreach of faith to the Jewish community of his day, reminds us of the need for people who will speak of Jesus, who will act as missionaries. He asks ‘And how will there be preachers if they are not sent?’ This ‘missio’, this ‘sending’ is central to the dynamic of the Gospel. It is a dynamic in which we all share, for at the end of every Mass there is indeed a ‘missio’. We are sent out to fulfil our share in the mission given to us by the Lord.

St Matthew gives us the words and actions of the Risen Christ in ‘sending out’ his disciples and commissioning them to proclaim the Gospel and to baptise. It is, indeed, a co-missioning because Christ also gives us his unfailing and consoling promise to be with us always. Yes, the mission we receive is one and the same as the mission of Christ himself. He was sent by the Father ‘that we might have life and have it to the full’ (cf. John 10.10). And this mission of the Son exists from and in all eternity. Here is its deepest meaning on which we must reflect today.

The Father ceaselessly ‘sends out’ the Eternal Word, that expression of the very mystery of God, and does so in the utter, self-emptying love which is also the nature of the Godhead, the love which is the Holy Spirit. This giving out and receiving in of love, which is the very life of the Holy Trinity, is the first and unequivocal meaning of the word ‘missio’. God, of his infinite nature, is ‘missio’ and, of course, ‘communio’. These are the foundations of our use of this word, its most profound truth for us to keep in mind always.

The first outward expression or fruit of this inner ‘missio’ of the Godhead is, of course, the work of creation. St John tells us that all creation, every being, has its existence through the eternally spoken Word of God.

And so that this creation might indeed find its integral and full development or salvation, that Word become flesh in a particular and historical Incarnation. This ‘missio’ of the Eternal Word into our flesh and history gives all the defining characteristics of our sharing in that mission, in our work of ‘missio’ today. It is the full revelation of ‘integral human development’ and establishes for ever the need for the Gospel to be present as an essential part of human progress. Only in the Gospel is the full truth of our humanity told; only in the Gospel, which is Christ, does our humanity come to its true source and fulfilment, the mystery of God and God’s unequivocal love."

13 September 2009

I Thought I'd Escaped

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... but I think I might be going back here soon!
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08 September 2009

The Pope To The Bishops Of Brazil

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Nobody else seems to have noticed this rather important text, or maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. Is reading what is being said on other Conferences' ad liminae a requirement for our Bishops before theirs?

(Not my best translation - I want this out there!)

Dear Brothers

in the decades following Vatican II, some people saw the opening to the world, not as a requirement of the missionary zeal of the Sacred Heart, but as a gateway to secularisation, seeing in this some values of great Christian density, such as equality, freedom, solidarity, being willing to make concessions and find areas of cooperation. This led to the intervention of some Church leaders in ethical debates, meeting the expectations of the public, but not talking about fundamental truths of the Faith, such as sin, grace, the theological life. Many Christian communities unconsciously fell into self-secularisation: these, hoping to please those who never came, saw the departure, cheated and disillusioned, of many of those who had come: our contemporaries, when they come to us, want to see what they do not see elsewhere, that is, the joy and hope that spring from the fact that we are with the Risen Lord.

There is at present a new generation born into this secularized church environment, which, instead of being part of this openness and consensus, sees the gap between Society and the Magisterium of the Church, especially in the area of ethics, widening even more. In this desert of God, the new generation feels a great thirst for transcendence. It is the young men of this new generation who are knocking at the door of the Seminary and they need to find true men of God, priests fully dedicated to formation, to witness to the gift of self to the Church through celibacy and an austere life, following the model of Christ the Good Shepherd. These young men will thus learn to be available to meet the Lord in daily participation in the Eucharist, to love silence and prayer for, first, the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Dear Brothers, as you know, it is the task of the Bishop to establish the essential criteria for the formation of seminarians and priests in faithfulness to the universal law of the Church: in this spirit the ideas on this subject, which arose during the plenary assembly of your Episcopal Conference, in April should be developed.

Assured of your zeal with regard to the formation of priests, I invite all bishops, priests and seminarians to emulate in life the love of Christ, Priest and Good Shepherd, as the Curé d'Ars did. And, like him, take as a model and as a protection of your own vocation the Virgin Mother, who responded in a unique way to God's call, by bearing in your heart and in your body the Word made flesh in order to give it to mankind.

To your dioceses, with a cordial greeting and the assurance of my prayers, please bear my paternal Apostolic Blessing.

06 September 2009

Fr Fortescue

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No, I'm not going to write the whole book out, bit by bit. I note that Abebooks has plenty of copies available. But I liked this enough to want to share:

"Our so called Missa Cantata is the compromise of a compromise, a Low Mass, with singing as at High Mass, only justifiable to enhance the dignity of Sunday Mass when a deacon and subdeacon cannot be had. (And the practice of saying a Low Mass while the choir sings bits of things is too dreadful to be described.)"

04 September 2009

Lucky ...

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A first edition of Fr Adrian Fortescue's "The Mass: A Study Of The Roman Liturgy" came my way today.

The person to whom thanks are owed has been thanked.
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01 September 2009