Monday, October 26, 2009

Communion Scuffle at St. Anthony's Shrine

At this morning's 6am Mass at St. Anthony's Shrine,the celebrant (according to the schedule was Fr. Raphael Bonnano)announced that Obama has declared the United States was a state of emergency and reception of the Blessed Sacrament on the tongue was strongly discouraged. I'm sure you won't be surprised to know Father proceeded to pass around the Cups though without a peep.

Obama is dictating how Catholics receive the Eucharist is he?

This is news to me.

As far as I know, any directives about the reception of the Eucharist comes from the Ordinary in the diocese.

I forgot to ask my friend whether Obama's instructions affected shaking hands and embracing at the kiss of peace. Somehow I doubt it.

The 6am Mass at Downtown Crossing are hardcore practicing and faithful Catholics, most of whom have been going to that Mass for 30 or more years and have seldom, if ever, used their hands to touch the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord.

An older gentleman waited at the very end of the Communion line and when he approached the priest, he approached the Blessed Sacrament to receive on his tongue like he's been doing all his life. The priest refused and began an argument.

Everyone's attention was drawn to the priest arguing with the gentleman and the scuffle carried on until the gentleman finally walked away, still refusing to touch Christ's Body.

Finally seeing the agitation of several Catholics in the pews, he acquiesced, called the gentleman back and gave him Communion by mouth.

I thought the whole idea of delivering reception of the Eucharist sacrilegiously to excommunicated Catholics was because the Communion line was not to be a place for confrontations?

Yet, this priest didn't hesitate to kick up a fight and refuse a worthy recipient?

First of all, no priest is permitted to dictate how you will receive the Eucharist. If you ever see a priest doing it, take out your phone and start recording it. Gotta be a lot quicker with those recording cameras. More importantly, if you hear dictates from Obama, it isn't rocket science to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the priest has derailed.

Here are the dictates from the Boston Archdiocese that will be in effect starting October 31:

In addition to practicing good hygiene, the Cardinal directs the following
for the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy and for flu prevention:

v The Holy Water fonts are to be drained, cleaned with a disinfecting
soap, and re-filled with holy water on a regular basis. Please note that
old holy water should be disposed of in the sacrarium.

v The distribution of the Precious Blood for the faithful is suspended,
with the exception of those who must receive from the cup due to medical
reasons. The faith of the Church teaches that Christ, whole and entire,
is received even under only one species.

v The exchange of the Sign of Peace is to be offered without any physical
contact. If the priest celebrant chooses to extend the invitation for the
sign of peace, the faithful, instead of a handshake, may bow to the
persons nearby.

v While the faithful retain the option of receiving Holy Communion on the
tongue or in the hand, all ministers of Holy Communion are advised to
distribute the consecrated hosts with care, being cautious not to touch
the tongue or the hand of the communicant.

v Parishioners should be reminded that if they are ill or suspect they
are ill with a contagious illness, they are not bound by the Sunday Mass
obligation. They should remain at home and return to church when they are

These directives are effective Saturday, October 31, 2009 and remain in
effect until the cold and flu season has come to an end. We thank you for
your understanding and support of these directives, which aim to protect
the health of our people.

Let's hold onto our rights as Roman Catholics, shall we?

We have a generation of Catholics to whom we owe the hand-off of the Deposit of Faith the same way we received It for the last 2000+ years.


Kathy said...

Dearest Carol, I knew this would come in handy, I'm sorry it has to be now.
Reception on the tongue is the norm, even if reception in the hands is also allowed. A bishop or archbishop cannot abrogate universal law. Neither can Obama or the Swine Flu!

From the beautiful City of Boston said...

Thanks for the clarity.

Anonymous said...

Carol, send this to Fr. Z's blog. He's widely read, and he also defends the Eucharist as a universal right. Throwing light on this may lead to some relief...

TheLastCatholicinboston said...

Classic Boston,

The term is - Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.

Obama Nation
Obaman ation
Obomina tion

From the beautiful City of Boston said...

Yeah. It's brutal.

Oddly enough - today, the priest repeated his nonsense and the people that receive on the tongue avoided the priest and got in the line of the Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist. They received Christ on the tongue without a glitch.

I'm making a phone call to Fr. Convertino tomorrow. Perhaps we should fan out and get a couple of hundred to make similar phone calls - call CJ Doyle and descend upon the place to pass out literature if he doesn't retreat.

St. Anthony's has been a disaster under his leadership. It is only by Grace that the priests there confided about their sex lives to the porn writer who was the lector or EMU. Only then, was the place cleaned up. If the porn star had written about the sex lives of the people in the pews, he'd still be in full swing at St. Anthony's shrine.

No - I do believe we should push back on this one until we obtain the relief under Obama's new directives at the Shrine.