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Nowadays, “we’re” smarter than St. Thomas Aquinas July 12, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery, Papa, sadness, scandals.
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Aquinas wrote:

The dispensing of Christ’s Body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because he consecrates in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His Body at the Supper, so also He gave It to others to be partaken of by them.
 Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ’s Body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people, hence as it belongs to him to offer the people’s gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver the consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches It but what is consecrated, and likewise the priest’s hands for touching this Sacrament. Hence, it is not lawful for anyone else to touch It, except from necessity, for instance, if It were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency.

I wrote last week about the history, or lack thereof, of the practice of Communion in the hand, which goes ‘hand in hand’ (pun intended) with Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (the proper term for lay people distributing Communion).  The Vatican and our good Popes have written extensively on this subject.  Pope John Paul II, had the instruction “On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of the Priest.”  In Article 8  of this document, it states:

§ 1. The canonical discipline concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must be correctly applied so as to avoid generating confusion. The same discipline establishes that the ordinary minister of Holy Communion is the Bishop, the Priest and the the Deacon.(96) Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are those instituted as acolytes and the faithful so deputed in accordance with Canon 230, § 3.(97)

§ 2. Extraordinary ministers may distribute Holy Communion at eucharistic celebrations only when there are no ordained ministers present or when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion.(99) They may also exercise this function at eucharistic celebrations where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion. (100) [This is the crux of the issue.  What constitutes ‘excessively prolonged,’ and is there an assumption that Communion must be available under both kinds at every Mass?  Essentially, the answer to the latter is no, and the intention of the former by the Vatican was making the Mass 15-30 minutes longer, not 3 minutes.  But, this is the formal wording.]

This function is supplementary and extraordinary [Extraordinary ministers are just that, extraordinary, they are not intended for constant use, as has become the practice virtually everywhere.](101) and must be exercised in accordance with the norm of law. It is thus useful for the diocesan bishop to issue particular norms concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion which, in complete harmony with the universal law of the Church, should regulate the exercise of this function in his diocese. Such norms should provide, amongst other things, for matters such as the instruction in eucharistic doctrine of those chosen to be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the meaning of the service they provide, the rubrics to be observed, the reverence to be shown for such an august Sacrament and instruction concerning the discipline on admission to Holy Communion.

To avoid creating confusion, certain practices are to be avoided and eliminated where such have emerged in particular Churches:

— extraordinary ministers receiving Holy Communion apart from the other faithful as though concelebrants; [Isn’t this the practice in virtually every parish in the Diocese, where the extraordinary ministers receive separately from the Faithful, up around the altar, as though concelebrants?]

— association with the renewal of promises made by priests at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, as well as other categories of faithful who renew religious vows or receive a mandate as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion;

the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass thus arbitrarily extending the concept of “a great number of the faithful”. [Here it is, in black and white, the ‘habitual use’ of extraordinary ministers is…..an abuse, a violation of the norms?…..I think having extraordinary ministers at……every…..single…….Mass……..constitutes habitual use]

But wait, there’s more!  The Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, issued in 1997, further clarifies the use of EMHCs:


[154.] As has already been recalled, “the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest”.[254] Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone. Moreover, also by reason of their sacred Ordination, the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the Bishop, the Priest and the Deacon,[255] to whom it belongs therefore to administer Holy Communion to the lay members of Christ’s faithful during the celebration of Mass. In this way their ministerial office in the Church is fully and accurately brought to light, and the sign value of the Sacrament is made complete.

[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened. [How often are these folks referred to as ‘lay ministers of the Eucharist’ or ‘Eucharistic ministers?’]

[157.] If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.[258]

[158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.[259] This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason. [As I said, the use of EMHCs is not called for at the large majority of Masses where they are used, especially daily Mass, where the Mass would be prolonged by perhaps 2 or 3 minutes without them.  This does not constitute an ‘undue prolongation.’]

You can see the hand of Pope Benedict XVI all over both documents referenced above.  In fact, from the style, I would guess that much of the writing is his. 

I pray that extraordinary ministers will study these norms and reconsider their voluntary activities at Mass where they serve.  I pray that the letter AND spirit of these documents, and a number of others, which have tried to curb the abusive use of EMHCs, will be faithfully observed by all, at all times.

Contraception is the ultimate source of the destruction of marriage July 12, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I agree with this – contraceptive use and the contraceptive mentality have done more to damage the vocation of Sacramental Marriage than any other possible cause.  And it’s not even close.  The reason why we’re having debates on ‘gay marriage’ is that the institution of marriage has been wrecked by contraception, which led to pleasure-oriented marriage, which led to divorce, which led to more pleasure-oriented marriage, and if marriage is just for sexual fulfillment and an emotion called ‘love,’ then why can’t gays be married

Before the video, I’ll ask one question – when is the last time you heard a homily or sermon condemning contraceptive use? 

In point of fact, many priests know or strongly suspect that if they were to give a strong endorsement of Church Doctrine on marriage and procreation, they wouldface a reprimand from their bishop.  Being so forthright in defense of the Faith is often not supported by the episcopate.

h/t my friend Colleen!

Bettty Ford, RIP, was a big pro-abort? July 12, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I’m generally up on many topics, and will hold forth on many historical events, but this I did not know.  Betty Ford, who recently passed away, was a huge pro-abort.

While I empathize with the loss Betty Ford’s family and friends must be feeling at her death, I do not lament the passing of any unrepentant leader of the pro-abortion movement, bluntly speaking. The world is a safer place for children with one less person facilitating their murders.

Betty Ford was an unapologetic abortion activist. In her roles as First Lady and world dignitary, Betty Ford was, thus, partially responsible for untold thousands, perhaps millions, of their deaths.

Of course, Ford’s vision that legalizing abortion would “bring it out of the backwoods and into the hospitals where it belonged” proved unsound. All the Supreme Court did in 1973 was take abortion from the back alley into the front alley.

As I said, Ford was a pro-abortion activist….

In fact, she was such a pro-abort, she formed a pro-abort Repubnikan PAC in response to Bush 41’s squishy pro-life stance.  Wow. 

The pro-life movement’s unhappy alliance with the Republicans, for lack of any other alternative (pending my upcoming Catholic party that is sure to sweep the nation), has been fatally undermined for years by pro-abort R’s like this.  Many times prolifers had high expectations that a Republican White House and Congress would dramatically reduce the availability of abortion, only to see nothing happen.  With friends like this…….

I always preferred Pat Nixon.  She was no ‘Plastic Pat.’

And what is it with so many Repubnikans having wives that are cultural libs on key issues?  We find out now that Laura Bush is a pro-abort and pro-sodomite marriage, we know that Barbara Bush was a pro-abort, Cindy McCain seems to be, Nancy Reagan was “personally opposed, BUT…..”  I could go on, but you get the point.  Knowing what I know of marriage and the influence spouses have on each other, I don’t find it even slightly surprising that we have been so disappointed in their pursuit of pro-life policy goals.  Their pro-life stance may be only for ‘public consumption.’

The scandal of Catholic support for gay marriage July 12, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, episcopate, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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It must be said that government approval of two people of the same sex simulating marriage, and receiving government recognition of that simulation, could not have become law in New York without the active support (and positive votes) of Catholics in the New York legislature.  How can this be?  How can Catholics take public stands against the plain, constant Doctrine of the Faith, and even feel they are ‘Catholics in good standing?’  Thomas Peters explains:

In this revealing video, Catholic State Senator Jim Alesi (a Republican from Rochester NY who voted for same-sex marriage) tells a party hosted by the Human Rights Campaign (the wealthiest gay rights organization in America) how his Catholic parish and pastor celebrated his vote to redefine marriage (while harming society and threatening the Church with legal penalties, by the way.

In the video below, watch ostensibly Catholic senator Jim Alesi describe how he received the endorsement of his parish priest for this ‘gay marriage’ vote, as well as receiving Communion shortly after that vote.

Ah, the adulation of the world.  Is there anything more toxic for the formation and retention of virtue?

More from Peters:

I think this line by Sen. Alesi reveals his woeful lack of catechesis:

“The best story is the reverend on the right that was praying for marriage equality, the reverend on the left that was praying against gay marriage … they were praying to the same God, that created a dilemma for God and it created a dilemma for me. He Said ‘Jimmy, you’re on your own.’ I think we did the right thing.”

Gay marriage creates a “dilemma” for God? I know Sen. Alesi told this story as a joke, but come on. God tells us “we’re on our own”? Again, how woefully inadequate (and offensive).

It’s not surprising that that Sen. Alesi hails from the Diocese of Rochester. It’s probably the most heterodox diocese in the United States, and this is directly due to the (mis)governance of Bishop Matthew Clark. [In a sea of bad episcopal leadership, Bishops Matthew Clark of Rochester and Howard Hubbard of Albany are two of the very worst, there is no question.  The Faith in their dioceses, where they have been ‘in command’ for over 3 decades each, has been all but destroyed. They are both to retire soon.  Their replacements will have their hands full] 

This is a diocese where priests use super-soakers during Mass. There are blogs dedicated to cataloging the woeful liturgical and doctrinal abuses that take place in that diocese. A member of the Rochester diocese wrote to me:

The Diocese of Rochester, NY, led by Bishop Matthew Clark has created an environment where many Catholics felt they were obliged to support SSM legislation.  Many outside of NY find that a ridiculous statement, but nevertheless it is true.  Homosexuality has been subversively (and even openly at times) endorsed by our local Church hierarchy. [It needs to be added that when asked about same sex marriage and Church Doctrine shortly before the NY vote, Bishop Clark could come up with no rational reason why traditional marriage should be defended or false gay marriage should be opposed]  I’ve heard that the diocese of Albany is as bad with Bishop Hubbard.  I can’t speak of the other dioceses as that’s beyond my realm of understanding.  […] To these bishops (Clark and Hubbard) [this] isn’t merely a question of logistics, it is a question of faithfulness and attempting to change the Church. [In fairness to Archbishop Timothy Dolan and other New York bishops who did try to oppose this gay marriage debacle, they were dealing with brother bishops in their conference who could not be counted on to support their opposition.  In fact, the conference was badly split, which may have accounted for the lack of effective response.]

I agree with the author that Bishop Hubbard’s (lack of) governance is a problem as well.

My regular readers will know that I’m not a fan of “bashing” bishops. But this is an extraordinary example and we can see the direct proof of Bishop Clark (and Hubbard’s) dereliction of episcopal duty in Senator Alesi’s ability to vote for redefining marriage (and all the harmful consequences that entails) while simultaneously deluding himself that he is in good standing with his pastor, his bishop, and the Church.

Sen. Alesi’s story of the “reverend on the right … and the reverend on the left” perfectly illustrates the scandal caused by the leaders of the Church when they send mixed messages. The devil doesn’t win our hearts by convincing us of evil, he does so by convincing us that we cannot or do not know the true good – that God has left us “on our own.”

We see this agnosticism about moral norms perfectly illustrated by Sen. Alesi’s answer explaining what he thinks his job as a legislator includes (and doesn’t include):

It’s not our job to be moral, it’s our job to be functional as a legislature. So religion cannot enter into this in any way, shape or form.

What we see illustrated here is a perfectly malformed conscience. And the great scandal is that Sen. Alesi’s pastor and bishop have done demonstratively nothing to properly form it. [In fact, it appears they have done a great deal to MAL-form it.  They have catered to the wisdom of the world rather than the eternal Truth revealed by Christ through His Church.  While defeats in the realm of worldly politics are one thing, the damage to souls and the potential for souls lost is of incalculably greater cost.  We have no idea how  much God loves one soul, and how much sin disfigures all of us, especially mortal sins like rejecting the eternal Truth. It’s beyond sad, it’s a tragedy beyond calculation.]

Shame on me! July 12, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Eucharist, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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I failed to provide a reminder for the Latin Mass at St. Mark last night.  Attendance was down – I don’t know if that is because there were some other activities ongoing that prevented folks from coming, or what, but I will have reminders every week.  They’re needed, as the Mass isn’t listed on the schedule in the St. Mark bulletin.  Sorry, I meant to provide an update but got busy with something else and wound up forgetting to do it at all! 

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, St. Mark in Plano has a Novus Ordo Latin Mass every Monday night at 7pm.