Sent: Tue, Nov 3, 2009 7:45 pm
Subject: Memorializing our conversation from this afternoon
November 3, 2009
I am sending you this email to memorialize our conversation from this afternoon about the reading of an announcement at Masses which you authored "strongly discouraging" people from receiving the Blessed Sacrament on the tongue because Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency - and the confrontation and denials happening by priests at the Shrine while attempting to carry out your instructions.
When I tried to explain to you how the reading of your Memo, written as though Obama has placed governmental restrictions on how Catholics receive the Eucharist and the confrontations initiated by priests at the Shrine taking place when communicants who would never touch the Blessed Sacrament with their hand come forward to receive were scaring and intimidating to the faithful and explained that the authority to issue restrictions and instructions comes from the local ordinary - you told me that I was the third person to call you about this and I was adding to your anger. You described the previous people who attempted to speak to you about your pastoral error as "nuts" and people with mental problems.
You then asked me whether I was a Eucharistic Minister. When I responded to you that I had been in the past, you asked me if I had ever given Communion on the tongue. When I said I had, you said you were revolted by the practice. "Isn't it DISGUSTING" , you said, and "It's the most DISGUSTING thing I can think of" and "touching the tongue and then touching people hands, DISGUSTING".
I replied I found the practice, which is ancient, an absolute treasure for the two people engaging in it and that a novice could give the Blessed Sacrament to the faithful without touching the communicant's tongue OR hand and finally the hands contain many more germs than a tongue. I'd be happy to stop by the Shrine and demonstrate the discipline of giving Our Lord to Communicants without touching tongues and hands. Please feel free to give me a call at ***-***-****.
You also said I had "no right" to tell you "about rules". I explained to you that I have every right to defend the practice and the people being affected in the situation - many of whom have been receiving the Blessed Sacrament without touching the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord for 50 or 75 years. I would also be pleased to bring a copy of the Canon of the Catholic Church which refutes your understanding. The faithful has every right -and in fact duty-to ensure the practices and rituals of the Catholic Church are handed to the next generation intact. The fact that you find any of them "disgusting" is irrelevant.
I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate that the authority to distribute instructions about the reception of the Eucharist in the diocese in which you reside comes from the Cardinal. His instructions about reception of the Eucharist by mouth were diametrically opposed to the instructions you have delegated to the priests at the Shrine.
I am including a link for your convenience.
I would invite you, once again, to reconsider your Memo and align your instructions to your priests with the local Bishop's.
You may also be interested in information demonstrating that Obama's hysterics about the sniffles is just that:
There isn't a shred of evidence that 900 people have died from swine flu. The CDC stopped testing back in the Summer and everyone they did test, had some other kind of very serious medical condition. I'm in touch with many people across the Nation. Oddly enough, nobody I know has had it or even knows of anybody who has had it. It seems premature for Obama to be giving out emergency instructions for the reception of the Blessed Sacrament and I believe the powers of separation of Church and State actually forbid it.