Sunday, July 19, 2009

Put the Tabernacle Back Where It Belongs

Bishop John M. D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend has issued a directive in his diocese to put the tabernacle back where it belongs by August 4, 2009.

Saying tabernacle placement has become “a source of controversy,” he said the Eucharist should always be “a means of unity and communion, and never of division.”

“The place of the tabernacle in our church should reflect our faith in the real presence of Christ, and should always be guided by church documents,” Bishop D’Arcy continued.

In his experience, people have always desired the tabernacle to be “central and visible” and find it “confusing” when it is not.

The norms state that the tabernacle should be “prominently located in the sanctuary of the church, along the central axis behind the main altar ... at an elevated, open location in the apse area, or in another central place in the sanctuary that is equally conspicuous.”

If a high altar with a tabernacle remains in place, the norms add, “it is appropriate to continue using this noble structure for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.”

The norms are to applied to all future construction or restoration projects, and in churches where the tabernacle is not centrally located a consultation should begin to determine how to do so.

When priests in Boston started literally pushing Christ off to "side Altars", it won't surprise anyone to know I started to ask questions (and track down the wizard who came up with this harebrained scheme) that were never answered to my (or anyone's) satisfaction.

They said when priests were performing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, they were watching where people were looking and they all noticed that people's eyes were looking at the Tabernacle behind them.

"And you believe that rubbish?", I'd ask, "the Tabernacle is directly behind the priest. You'd have to be superhuman to measure the tiniest fraction of a gaze. What kind of priests take inventory of where people's eyes are when they're supposed to be entering Golgatha and literally sacrificing himself at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? By any chance were they wearing rubber noses and circus hats? "

"Nobody that adores the Eucharist is going to get up out of bed on their day off, go to Church and then not pray the Canon, enter into Golgatha themselves, lift their prayers and petitions up with the Sacrifice "

Then they'd say it was because all the people stampeding in to pray while Mass was going on needed a place to flock undistracted.

Those conversations typically went like this:

"That's amazing", I'd say. "This I've got to see. What time do they come?"

"Well, not here"

"Where then? At what parishes is this happen in? I want to witness these miraculous pilgrimages."

"At Cathedrals and Shrines, when tourists come"

"You mean, like St. Patrick's in New York or the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C.?"


"They've got that covered. There are multiple Sanctuaries in Cathedrals. The people coming to pray who don't want to pray in a Mass, go to a Chapel or side Altar or Sanctuaries downstairs or upstairs."

"That's true"

"Are buses of tourists being diverted from some Cathedral that has this flaw that you're trying to accommodate here?"


It's the devil. You want to fall for his nonsense, don't let these facts stand in your way. Just don't spit on us and tell us it's raining. We're not as stupid as we look.

Kudos to Bishop D'Arcy.

Woe to the shepherds
who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture,
says the LORD.
Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
against the shepherds who shepherd my people:
You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.
You have not cared for them,
but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.
I myself will gather the remnant of my flock
from all the lands to which I have driven them
and bring them back to their meadow;
there they shall increase and multiply.
I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
so that they need no longer fear and tremble;
and none shall be missing, says the LORD.

Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
as king he shall reign and govern wisely,
he shall do what is just and right in the land.
In his days Judah shall be saved,
Israel shall dwell in security.
This is the name they give him:
"The LORD our justice."


TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

Pardon the crudeness but...
I heard a good one from the pulpit last week. "Many people today would see a prophet as a sanctimonious prick" this from a priest during a homily. THE SODOMITES and WITCHES have put the tabernacle exactly where they want it. These evil clowns don't want to share the limelight with GOD. Could it be clearer?

mike hurcum said...

I have asked this question of priests in very much the same vein. How many confessions have you heard this week father? Some honest one's say not very many or maybe twenty. Out of 500 who receive communion? I cannot bring myself to say holy in the majority of cases. Where do they go for confessions? The next parish I guess. Tell me which one so I would not have to stand in a long lineup. One when questioned this way will not, even years later stay in the same room as me. Ah well.When will they realise there is not much trust anymore?