Thursday, April 05, 2007

Liturgical abuse at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

All this talk about clown masses and what not strikes one with outrage, but from a distance. But when liturgical abuse becomes up-close and personal, it's a different ball game altogether as Mark learned to his sorrow.

Mark experienced this personally when we went to the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit for some talks on St. John's account of the Passion.


First up, this sign, on both days that we were there. This has been up these for some time already, years. And the Cathedral does not even have a crucifix, but a Risen Christ figure on the cross.

This is pretty silly reasoning, even for these hippies who are still stuck in the cursed 1960's to 70's. Jesus said take and eat. Sigh...


On the first day, Mark went up and genuflected and received from Fr. FA, on the tongue. So far so good.

But on the 2nd day, Mark was in a lady communion minister's line. He was flatly refused communion on the tongue and was asked to take Him in the hand. Not wanting to cause a scene, Mark obliged.

The woman communion minister(going up the steps) who denied Mark his right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue.

Liturgical abuse, for Mark, has never been so personal. Mark's account of this can be found here.

Deus caritas est? It's time for Deus to kick some ass if you ask me.


The Hymn Selector said...

Sigh... priestesses-wannabes running wild with their ideas of the liturgy. When I was still attending the NO, I would flatly refuse to go into the lay minister lines, even though urged by the ushers. Buat tak tau ajer... :P

Andrew said...

Unfortunately, we were sitting in the wrong side of th aisle.

I thinks ushers are a bad idea for organizing Communion lines. It does make it orderly, but since people move line by line, it pressures those who might wish to abstain to conform and receive unworthily.

I understand Mark's hesitation to cause a scene. But I think a complaint must be lodged, to avoid this from ever happening again.

It's an indult, an authorized, ill thought perhaps, but authorized departure from the norm. An option. Not a must.

The Hymn Selector said...

Not sure if your bishop will reply even if you write in. I've done that several times to my bishop, the letters only gets forwarded to the Liturgical Commission head who responded in the typical "spirit of Vatican II" replies. I would reply quoting Church documents (including Vatican II documents, and nothing ever comes back, only dead silence.) Yes, the Commission head is a priest.

The Hymn Selector said...

Actually in all NO parishes that I know today, except for the rarities like the Brompton Oratory, communion in the hand IS the norm. It's like 99.9% receives communion in the hand.

Anonymous said...

Gosh that's awful - and of course Mark is in the right so perhaps he could write to the appropriate authorities if he has the time?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mark. I agree that an abuse has taken place here. Forgive the ignorant Minister, for obviously she does not know what she has done. Yes receiving on the hand is an option only.I never refuse anyone who wants communion on the tongue.
I too hate to see the sign flashing. It certainly needs to be revised. And I'll try to get it done.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mark,
When we had to attend a NO parish we would determine where the priest would be during Communion in order to receive from him....or if necessary, we would change isles. We NEVER received from a "minister"...poor misguided souls. God bless

Andrew said...

Hymn Selector, Communion in the hand is still and indult and in many countries, the norm is still the norm, pardon the pun =)

Joee, well, Mark is not one for confrontation, so... But perhaps my combativeness will rub off on him.

Uncle Greg, if you read Mark's account which I linked at the end of the article, you'll see that he had already spoken with Fr. FA who told him that its the practice there and if he wants to receive any other way, he better go back to his own parish =)

Good luck though! On the sign removed I mean. It's been there since Msgr. Stephen Liew's time.

Anonymous, thanks for your comment. However, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are sometimes a necessity, especially in large urban parishes like mine which has 6 or 7 hospitals within its bounds and many many homebound people who might only see a priest once or twice a year during Christmas and Easter sick calls. Many of these good and decent men and women who volunteer to serve are retired people who are truly devout and are answering the call of the Church to provide this necessary ministry.

It's when their illegitimate use during distribution of Holy Communion during Mass that's a concern, when extraordinary is not so extraordinary any more. I would have to agree that when there are more than a thousand communicants and only one priest present, extraordinary ministers are required in order not to excessively prolong the Mass, especially when elderly and young children are present in hot and humid Malaysia.

But abusing their use, for example, when priests are present but do not distribute Holy Communion or having an inordinate amount of extraordinary ministers when there are only a small number of communicants, is wrong.

But I don't want to confuse their legitimate use with abuse. Many of them, and most of those whom I know personally, are holy and dedicated people who only want to serve, without any agenda at all. They only want to answer the call of Holy Mother Church, giving up their time and convenience in Her service. Kudos to them!

But to those who have an agenda, perhaps in many Western countries with feminist movements who promote priestesses and 'lay-priests' who usurp, in the rebellion of Korah, the ministerial priesthood, all I have to say is "Anathema sit!"

Anonymous said...

That's kind of strange re the Brompton Oratory...i've felt led to receive on the tongue at the Birmingham one!

Re the Usher thing..that should never be allowed. As a child & an adult in Miles Jesu, we practiced the freedom of the children of God. So even as a 7 year old you examined your conscience, & if unworthy declined to go until you had been to Conession.You also went at random, after an appropriate amount of prayer, not when someone else herded you up. generally it is stated that all those in a state of grace may receive Holy Communion. i think we should remind our chilren more & as for the adults?

Aaron Alammalay said...

What's more disturbing is the reminder on 'what to say' when receiving Holy Communion. Non Catholics can go and receive coz they know now what to say...

Andrew said...

Aaron, thanks for commenting. I agree with you that there needn't be a reminder on what to say. One would have learned it in catechism or RCIA and if one still doesn't know and makes no effort to know, then perhaps one has no business receiving.

Aaron Alammalay said...

And on another thing... what if a Tridentine mass is to be celebrate (just an opinion)... If abuses like this are practiced... I don't see why not this practice will creep into this beautiful mass... tsk tsk...

Andrew said...

You are absolutely right of course. The Tridentine Rite is celebrated meaningfully and worthily now because only those who love it celebrate it. I don't see why it cannot be abused just as the NO is routinely abused.

Abuse is not, IMHO, related to the Rite but to the spirit of the priest celebrating it and their desire to be masters of the liturgy rather than it's servants.

nettemag from the Philippines said...

You're a young fighter for the faith, Mark. You've fought for your faith to honor Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament by kneeling in Communion, on the tongue. But maybe you didn't know yet that had you tried further, you would have fought fiercer and won. Never fear to displease the nonbelievers, the faithless. You have been given much - the knowledge of the true Faith, and so, much is expected of you.

I mean, since you know, understand and believe the Real Presence, never be tricked or coerced into receiving Him from a non-priest, or standing up, or in the hand. Squeeze your way through the crowd of people to the line where the priest gives Communion. Then kneel when it's your turn.Don't just genuflect then receive Him standing. Kneel at Holy COmmunion.

If the priest reprimands you, tell him reverently, "Father, I'm following the example of the Holy Father. If you insist that I am wrong, then you are saying that the Holy Father is wrong. You cannot do that. So just give me Communion like the Pope does."

Or, you can say, "I'm sorry I can't do that, Father, I want to give Jesus the greatest honor I can give him, and that's kneeling, on the tongue, from you."

Many times when the priest refused me, I pleaded on my knees, palms together - rather than argued - and all the priests ended up conceding.

IF the priest stops giving Communion before your turn, it may or may not be because he's avoiding you or that's his way of not giving you Communion, like it's it's pull in the tug-of-war of his way or God's way. This has happened to me several times. I would return to my pew crying and receiving Jesus in Spiritual Communion (which is equally pleasing to Him.

But after each time this happened, after Mass I approached the same priest to give me Communion, and the priest always gave in. One time, I told the priest, Father, you got back to your seat before I was able to get to your line, so I failed to receive Communion from you. Please give me Communion. I can't miss this Communion. When the churchgoers were gone, he gave me Communion on the tongue as I knelt in the chapel.

Never give up, never compromise. As you defended the Son before all men, so will the Son defend you before the Father.