Friday, January 20, 2012

Issues Over The Eucharist

When it comes to the Eucharist, in recent times there have been endless rows over who can and cannot receive.  Many of these rows emerge because the people involved do not have a proper understanding of the Eucharist, usually through little or no fault of their own, or if in irregular situations feel excluded from the Church because they are not allowed to receive Holy Communion.  Situations are often made worse when some priests disregard the rules concerning reception of the Eucharist and then we have all sorts of practices which only confuse people.

In the UK there is a storm brewing over a child with Downs Syndrome whose First Holy Communion is being postponed for two reasons: questions over the child's ability to understand what the Eucharist is, and the family's non attendance at Mass.   I was going to offer a few thoughts on it, but I found a blog which says exactly what I would have said, so I refer you to it and recommend you read it. 

Point of information: the Church does not exclude people from the Eucharist because they have a disability. I have given the Eucharist to many with Downs Syndrome and found them to be very devout when they know they are receiving Jesus.  Indeed I worked in a parish where one of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion had Downs Syndrome and she was very conscientious and respectful: a model for the others.

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Another issue.  I received an anonymous letter a couple of days ago concerning abuses at Mass, heretical teachings and refusal by priests in the church concerned to use the new translation of the Missal.  As I have no way of knowing who you are and contacting you, I would like to advise you here, as I share your concerns. 

Write to the local bishop with copies of the evidence that you have - even though the priests concerned are Order priests, they are still subject to the jurisdiction of the local ordinary when it comes to heretical teachings and the liturgy.  Write also to their Superior General in Rome - you can find the address on the internet.  If you hear nothing within a reasonable length of time, write to the new Papal Nuncio, again with your evidence and a copy of the letter you sent the local bishop, and write also to the following addresses in Rome with the same information:

Concerning the heretical teachings:  write to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith:

H.E. Cardinal William Joseph Levada,
Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith,
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11
00193 Roma,

Regarding the liturgical abuses and refusal to use the new translation: write to the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments:

H.E. Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera,
Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments,
Palazzo delle Congregazioni,
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00193 Roma,

I believe the people you are concerned with are already known to the above Dicastries, so if anything is to be done to resolve issues, they need to know how things are. 


  1. In no other area of life would this be accepted. Can you imagine an employee of Nikon Cameras slagging off the product to the customers and saying how much better Canon were? How Nikon cameras are so like backwards and that Canon uses modern technology? How Nikon Cameras are overpriced and Canon much better value? How long would that employee remain in Nikon? How long would it be accepted that that employee slags off the CEO of Nikon and wilfully disobeys orders from line managers? Only in the Church is such dysfunction accepted, even as the Church's 'customers' suffer, as the bad employees continue getting a very cushy living off Holy Mother Church. [By the way, I actually prefer Nikon cameras!]

  2. I think it is time that priests, before distributing Holy Communion, reminds those gathered that before receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, one must be in the state of grace and be compliant with the directives set by the church: one hour fast etc.

    I have noticed an announcement to this effect, at the beginning of the masses broadcast on EWTN. It is really necessary today with so many public abuses of the Blessed Sacrament becoming evident.