Church Youth Groups Destroy Faith…

A study commissioned by a protestant organization has found that Christian youth groups, with an infantile approach to the faith and aImage focus heavily on being “hip” to this fallen culture, are a predominate factor in driving many young people from Christianity.  Mind, this study looked at Christians in general and not Catholics, but the Church has mimicked disastrous protestant programs in recent decades and has reaped the same whirlwind of devastation:

A new study might reveal why a majority of Christian teens abandon their faith upon high school graduation. Some time ago, Christian pollster George Barna documented that 61 percent of today’s 20-somethings who had been churched at one point during their teen years are now spiritually disengaged. They do not attend church, read their Bible or pray.

According to a new five-week, three-question national survey sponsored by the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC), the youth group itself is the problem. Fifty-five percent of American Christians are concerned with modern youth ministry because it’s too shallow and too entertainment-focused, resulting in an inability to train mature believers. But even if church youth groups had the gravitas of Dallas Theological Seminary, 36 percent of today’s believers are convinced youth groups themselves are not even biblical……

……..“Today’s church has created peer dependency,” McManus says. “The inherent result of youth groups is that teenagers in the church are focused on their peers, not their parents or their pastors. It’s a foreign sociology that leads to immaturity, a greater likelihood of sexual activity, drug experimentation and a rejection of the authority of the Word of God.

I was going to go on about the Prussian school model and the isolation from the family it tends to engender in children (indeed, it was designed to do just that), and how it is unsurprising that when Christians – including the original Christians, Catholics – perpetuate this model by dividing up families and having special Masses for this group, special programs for that……it tends to be self-defeating.

The family is the Church in microcosm. As goes the family, so will go the Church, and vice versa.  Anything that tends to negatively affect the family – such as educating children away from parental influence, with huge emphasis given to how their peers perceive them – will negatively effect the Church.  Lifeteen Masses, CCD, teen youth groups with often highly questionable programs – all these things at least tangentially weaken family unity.  They also help further inculcate children in the culture of peer dependence noted above, and when many young adults today are not just unfaithful regarding their religious duties, but are out and out atheist-communist enemies of the Faith, it is not surprising that so many of these young souls fall away.

So many of these programs are adopted almost unthinkingly, in a spirit of imitation that demonstrates both a lack of understanding of the Faith and of human nature.  Catholic parishes have “vacation bible schools” because protestant sects have them. They even use the same, protestant-generated teaching materials!  That’s just one small example, I could continue on and on through the entire panoply of mimicry. It shows how deranged from the right understanding and practice of the Faith so many in positions of authority in the Church have become.

Anyway, go to Mass as a family.  Don’t go to goofy, gimmicky “special” Masses.  Home school.  Pray together daily. Carefully monitor your kid’s activities, especially on the computer. You can’t guarantee you’re children will remain faithful throughout their lives, but if you do the above, demonstrate virtue, and avoid obvious vice you will immeasurably increase the likelihood that your kids won’t fall away from the Faith.  Source

Comment

I could not be less surprised at the above findings. If anything insults the intelligence (and potential) of young people it’s keeping them rooted in their limited experience and catering for their imaginary need for perpetual entertainment.  Or maybe you disagree?

65 responses

  1. It’s beyond belief that just as this particularly penny is dropping for Protestants, Catholics are buying into this nonsense big style.

    I went to Confession in my local parish recently and saw a poster for “Simple Hope”, which is the youth group and it said, “We need Saints who eat pizza”. You couldn’t make it up. If I wanted entertainment and a good feed the last place I would go was a Church. It’s like dad dancing at the disco. I couldn’t think of anything less appealing.

    About ten years ago I attended a few youth Masses in the southside of Glasgow. It was a real odd mix. Protestant worship songs, all the young people holding hands around the altar during the Canon of the Mass and the infamous “XPO” – adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. However, it was the only time, outside the SSPX, that it have ever heard a priest preach on purity and modesty. I often wonder what has happened to all those young people because this particular craze fizzled out, as all gimmicks tend to do.

    What I find quite worrying about these special Masses is that they are not family inclusive. Young people are encouraged to go to Mass separately from the rest of their family, experience a high entertainment, unrealistic version of parish life and then parachuted back into normal parish life once they reach a certain age. A recipe for disaster.

    Of course, the most worrying thing is what they are taught and what they discuss at these groups. I don’t think it would be authentic Catholicism.

    • I agree Petrus and it is terrible to think that parents will be thinking their children are doing something good, that will help to keep them faithful to the Church by attending these youth groups.

      There’s also a proposal to criminalise parents who are bringing up their children with religious beliefs that contradict the views of society.
      http://www.christian.org.uk/news/religious-parents-could-be-criminalised-under-new-law/

      It’s becoming a kind of martyrdom just to hold on to the faith these days, especially for parents.

      • There’s also a proposal to criminalise parents who are bringing up their children with religious beliefs that contradict the views of society.

        No there isn’t. ONE newspaper columnist has voiced an opinion about how SHE thinks the law could be (mis)interpreted. She may or may not have any knowledge of the subject.

    • Crofterlady

      “Petrus, what is EXPO?”

      Is that the sum total of your contribution to this (non) debate? Petrus has killed himself to write 5 thoughtful paragraphs on the topic and you write four words, one of which is his username.

      Ye saints…. gimme strength! 😯

      For what it’s worth, this mentality of trying to “win round” young people, whether to a school subject or a religion, has been going on in education for many years. Everything has to begin from “pupils’ own experience”. That’s the Gospel According to the Education Experts.

      Or maybe there are teachers or “education experts” out there who agree with this approach. If so, I’ll pay you handsomely for your views. I’ve never known a discussion like this one, over before it’s begun. Thank goodness for Petrus. He’s moved up the pay scale like lightning, now… 😀

      • Editor,

        I agree with you, the trying to “win round” the young people mentality by catering to their need for “perpetual entertainment” is what youth groups do.

        Somebody, somewhere has decided that children/youth are not interested in learning or acquiring knowledge and so they go about ‘dumbing’ down the curricula and lowering expectations until there is no motivation for the students to better themselves. If children being prepared for their First Communions, do not hear the word ‘transubstantiation’ because their teachers think it is too big a word for them to understand, what does that tell you?

        • Jobstears,

          It tells me, among other things, that they lack the skill of teaching what they clearly consider to be difficult concepts.

  2. Well … another 3rd class First Holy Communion-cum-Confirmation Sunday in a large St Andrew’s & Edinburgh parish?
    3rd class?
    Well, the minister of Confirmation was a priest … again!
    Confirmands lined up on the first step to the chancel, turned and stood facing the congregation, with their sponsors behind them.
    And the confirming priest walked in front of them, anointing them will the oil of confirmation and shaking their hands.
    There! A 3rd-class, conveyor-belt Confirmation and First Holy Communion all done and dusted within 55 minutes. And two rounds of applause thrown in for good measure!
    A special day for the First Communicants/Confirmands?
    Not really … but the clap was nice.

    • “A special day for the First Communicants/Confirmands?
      Not really … but the clap was nice.”

      I thought you were about to say “Not for the First Communicants/Confirmands but great fun for everyone else, especially the socialising priest!

      Sorry, Sarto, but I have no idea why your post went into SPAM. Mystery – apologies.

  3. I can’t believe young people have such poor taste. So much of the spiritual, liturgical and catechetical materials which are targeted to young people by the Church are so banal. Like the Youth Catechism for example (bright yellow and full of tacky cartoons, and a real boring read). I think they reveal the poor tastes of the ‘grown-ups’ more than anything else. Supreme example: World Youth Day.

    When I was a teenager I was learning Mozart and Beethoven on the piano. We studied Shakespeare from the age of 13, and it wasn’t particularly that great a school. Adolescents are far more sophisticated than people give them credit for. If I wanted to experience a music festival atmosphere I would go to Reading or Leeds, or T in the Park, or Glastonbury. Not World Youth Day, I don’t see the point. It’s cringe-worthy stuff. Some youth might have a taste for it, but most won’t. And the ones that won’t might not be able to articulate their displeasure intellectually, but they will just feel that they don’t like it, and they will avoid it. Can you blame them?

    I went to an Evangelical Anglican church when I was a child during the summer holidays. I loved it. It was a week-long summer camp called ‘Livewires’. We sang Christian folk/pop-style songs, there was a live band with drums and guitars, we watched comedic Bible story re-enactments performed by teenagers, we played games and did group bible study. Crucially, and this is where Catholics should take note, it was only for children below the age of 11 years. Yes, 11 years old. Above this age you shouldn’t expect young people to take it seriously.

  4. Everybody take note!

    Fr Noel Furlong of the Saint Luke’s youth group is the very worst example (although sadly not that uncommon) of what a youth group priest should be like:

    (Apologies for the poor audiovisual quality)

  5. We rarely went to Mass as a family, because back in the fifties and sixties when I was in primary school, we children were encouraged to be at the 10 o’clock children’s Mass where we sat together under the care and control of our teachers. By then they had stopped talking a Mass register on Monday at school, but my older sisters and their classmates had to tell the whole class whether they had been at 10 o’clock Mass and Holy Communion – the ideal – or some other Mass and Holy Communion or Mass without Holy Communion or no Mass. I imagine very few actually told the truth about the last two. I am very glad that no longer happens.

    When Glasgow started having full time secondary school chaplains I was not keen on the idea. They were always young, often good looking, with lively personalities and as someone said above, what happens at the transition back to boring old Fr Bloggs in the parish? (Apologies to Fr Bloggs who may not actuallybe boring at all, but in comparison to the type of priests who were school chaplains, he might well be perceived that way.) I am a bit surprised that Youth Ministry may actually have a negative effect. I would have expected it to be neutral at worst and sometimes positive.

    And any way – what age is a young person? I have, in the recent past, seen events advertised in Glasgow for “young people” aged 11 to 35!! At one end of that age range they are still children and they areat the other old enough to be parents of 11 year olds. Clearly the events that appeal to the oldest are unlikely to be appreciated by the youngest.

    • Eileenanne,

      “… what age is a young person?”

      Does 29 still count? 😀

      Actually, I was meaning to post something about children’s literature recently, when you came to mind (I recall you telling us you helped your grandchild, I think, with catechism.)

      Anyway, I’ve been reading a child’s story of the Life of Saint Pius X with my Great-Nephews and they are enthralled. It’s part of the 11 year old’s home schooling programme (in English, not RE) but the younger one (8 years) has been listening and both of them absolutely love the book. As do I! We’re half way through and it is beautifully readable. They also love the life of Saint Don Bosco.

      Learning about the saints is one of the best and quickest ways to catch the interest of young people – I know that was true of myself, in my long forgotten youth. I can’t imagine that I’d have enjoyed the kind of happy clappy youth clubs of popular acclaim today.

      • If you great-nephews do not become Priests, they i’ll be amazed. How could they not become Priests with a great great-aunt like thee?

    • In amongst your interesting posts, this video,is an aberration. It is entitled, by you, untruthfully, and if submitted as a joke, it has fallen flatly on to its face.

      Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American TV host, actor, comedian, writer, and political satirist who is definitely not a Catholic religious teacher.
      Misinforming readers may (justifiably) injure your credibility.
      In future indicate when you are trying to be funny. Please and thank you.

      • Oh mikikiki, don’t be silly, of course I don’t think he is a Catholic religious education teacher.

        I haven’t been untruthful, because I didn’t think anybody here would be so daft as to think he actually was a Catholic religious education teacher either. The video is manifestly satirical, him and the camera man even end up laughing at themselves towards the end.

        I posted it, because he looks like a teacher, and he looks like he is in a classroom. He is singing one of those happy-clappy Catholic hymns we are so used to having heard at Mass, and which are common at youth Masses and World Youth Day etc. and it also articulates my original point that what is actually thought of as youthful actually reflects the poor taste of the ‘grown-ups’ who dish out the stuff.

        I received a similar condemnation on this blog when I wrote a parody of Bishop Williamson on the Sound of Music, which was unfortunately taken seriously by another user, to his great displeasure. Even thought I was sure everybody would know I was joking. Am I really that subtle?

        I am also aware Graham Norton is not a Catholic priest!

        As another commenter has said, his portrayal of Fr Noel Furlong of the Saint Luke’s youth group is funny because their is an element of truth in it.

        I am also aware that Stanford Nutting is not a teacher either. I posted the link to the video because I thought people here had a sense of humour. I found the video funny, because a young person in his class says he read Chesterton and was scornfully rebuked by Nutting who “left seminary in the 1970s” and is “fascinated by the modern world”. It reflects perfectly the dumbing down of the faith which is passed on to our young by old ideologues. I thought people here would appreciate it.

        And what’s all this about my credibility being justifiably injured? Explain yourself. Am I not a credible person? Am I worthy of being discredited? Is this because of things I said on another thread?

        • Miles
          I have no idea as to what you posted on another thread. Should I?
          Your heading about the video in question was incorrect. It was false. It was untruthful.
          I am daft enough to believe what is posted on Catholic Truth. The blog is not non Catholic Spoof.
          Your lengthy explanation is self justifying and sadly rejected. An apology to fellow posters would have helped.

            • No, I am not a satirist.
              According to you I am daft, silly, unfair.
              Abusing fellow posters is discouraged; you are an unapologetic law unto yourself.
              But you are obviously young, and I forgive you.

              • Well you are being unfair, no doubt about it. And I give good reasons.

                I said “I didn’t think users would be so daft as to believe it”. I didn’t actually call you daft though, did I? You didn’t believe it either, because you promptly rebuked me saying I had been dishonest. So you wouldn’t logically fall under my category of who is daft.

                Is “Don’t be silly mikidiki” considered abuse? I mean, you were being silly, demanding I apologise to all the other users, accusing me of being untruthful etc..

                Someone else will have to judge whether I have crossed a line or not, by reading my comments in this thread so far. I am actually confused. I don’t know if I have done wrong or not, it was never my intention.

              • Why are you getting at me? You seem out on the attack against me.

                I am genuinely upset you have called me a liar.

                You also are taking the moral high-ground, saying I have done wrong, making me out to be the villain.

                I can’t apologise for something I haven’t done. You are trying to get me to apologise to the other users for lying, when I didn’t.

                If I have to make any such apology in public, I just don’t think I will be able to comment here again. You seem hell bent on embarrassing me.

      • Also mikidiki you are being unfair.

        I needn’t have mentioned I was joking, because if people watched the video to the end (it’s only 45 seconds) they would notice immediately links to Colberts other videos and they would realise he worked in the entertainment industry, and was not in fact a Catholic religious ed teacher!

      • Mikidiki,

        I went straight through to YouTube to check out the facts and discovered that Colbert is in show business. I then realised that Miles was trying to introduce a bit of humour – always welcome here.

        Still, folks, maybe best to give a clue in your posts that you are joking, just in case others skimming may not check it out and may, indeed, take your word for it that this is a real RE teacher. As a former RE teacher, I can say with some confidence that I can’t think of any who would be as wacky as Colbert, which is what alerted me to the fact that it may be a spoof.

        Mikidiki, we do often joke on this blog. Sometimes we even have jokes threads, in a spirit of “time for some good clean fun”. – sometimes after a particularly heated discussion when we need to relax a bit!

        As Miles says, there is an element of truth (sometimes more) in these spoofs, and satire is an excellent way of getting a message across. When our newsletter was first launched, it was described (somewhere, I forget where!) as “A kind of religious Private Eye” because of our use of satire/cartoons.

        Don’t feel bad about being “caught out”. I once posted a new thread after reading a “shocking” report on the Onion website, not realising it was a spoof site. Happily, one of our American bloggers happened to go onto the blog just as I posted it and he immediately emailed to alert me so I was able to delete it before anyone saw it! What a numpty! (me, I mean, not him, to whom I am eternally grateful!) It’s very easily done, especially these frantic days when we’re all busy, busy, busy and (in my case, certainly) tend to skim things more than read them properly or take a video at face value. Easily done.

        Anyway, let’s end this acrimony please – it’s not the end of the world. Miles posted a video which he thought everyone would realise was a spoof. Not unknown on the blog, by a long chalk. You, Mikidiki didn’t get it, others did. Miles meant no harm, and was, in fact, trying to give us a bit of fun. Let it go at that, please and thank you everyone.

  6. I heard, from a friend who has spoken to him personally, that one of the persons involved in establishing Youth2000 is disappointed with the direction it has taken.

    Let me explain. It was a Catholic youth movement that was supposed to foster Eucharistic Adoration and the message of Fatima. It has however turned into a thoroughly Charismatic and happy-clappy enterprise.

    This is certainly the impression I got when I visited a Youth2000 Mass/meeting.

    But is this surprising. Anything labelled ‘youth’ in the Church is inevitably happy-clappy. The two are synonymous. This is precisely the problem. Youth groups are fine in my opinion, it just depends on what their orientation is. Whether they are run by Fr Noel Furlong and Stanford Nutting, or, Saint John Bosco.

    The Faith Movement is alright. They are totally neo-Catholic, but as to their method of engaging with young people, they aren’t bad. I went to one of their conferences for young people. It wasn’t banal, or happy clappy, or dumbed down. No, the talks were solid, orthodox and edifying. The liturgy was very conservative by Novus Ordo standards. Nothing like how you’d imagine a youth Mass.

  7. Attempting to cater exclusively for the Youth has been a shambles for many years. In June 1982 when Pope John Paul II visited Wales, a Mass was celebrated at Ninian Park Football Ground. Thirty-five thousand young people attended and in amongst the flag waving, the clapping, the cheering one could hear the choruses of “John Paul Two, we love you!”

    • Ha, I remember a Scooby Doo video in the 1980s, which had the chant “Scooby Doo, we love you”.

      I bet they copied it directly for the Papal visit.

  8. Miles – great / hilarious videos you posted above (bar the tragic world youth day one!).

    Much of the content reminds me of my ‘Catholic’ primary school in the 80s.

    I remember the most appalling “Christian rock” being used for our assemblies, which the classes would take it in turns to present / perform. It sounded like a poor mans Dire Straits or something.

    I remember the other class in our year doing an assembly, which finished up with what we – as small children – thought was a “sad hymn”.

    Many years later, I found out he “hymn” was actually “The Streets of London” by Ralph McTell.

    What a laugh I had at that discovery. I still laugh, when I think of it (If I didn’t, I’d cry!).

    This is it:


    Have you seen the old man in the closed down market,
    kicking up the paper with worn out shoes ?
    In his eyes you see no pride, and held loosely at his side,
    Yesterday’s paper telling yesterday’s news.

    Refrain:
    So how can you tell me you’re lonely, and say, for you that the sun don’t shine ?
    Let me take you by the hand and lead you though the streets of London,
    I’ll show you something to make you change your mind.

    Have you seen the old girl who walks to the streets of London,
    dirt in her hair and her clothes just in rags?
    She’s no time for talking, she just keeps right on walking,
    Carrying here home in two carrier bags

    Refrain:
    So how can you tell me you’re lonely, and say, for you that the sun don’t shine ?
    Let me take you by the hand and lead you though the streets of London,
    I’ll show you something to make you change your mind.

    In the all-night cafe at a quarter past eleven,
    same old man sitting there on his own
    Looking at the world over the rim of him tea-cup,
    Each tea lasts an hour, then he wanders home alone.

    Refrain:
    So how can you tell me you’re lonely, and say, for you that the sun don’t shine ?
    Let me take you by the hand and lead you though the streets of London,
    I’ll show you something to make you change your mind.

    Most of the teachers were young women, who seemed to compete to see who could produce the most soppy / vacuous parody of Christianity possible. They were brilliant teachers when it came to reading, mathematics etc, but – my God – their musical tastes were downright awful. And they knew nothing of Catholicism.

    But in Primary 3, we had Mr McVeigh, who made us build a Marian altar in the class. He was an older man. Two desks pushed together, a white tablecloth liberated from someone’s Mother, two vases of daffodils and a statue of Our Lady (superglued together from countless accidents). We would then sing “May is the Month of Mary” every day.

    God save Mr McVeigh.

    • I am happy you found them funny. I have been told the Colbert one has fallen “flatly onto its face”.

      Tell me, you didn’t it was real did you? I thought it was obvious it was satire.

      The fact you have had experiences with teachers like this proves that my posting of the video was relevant after all. Colbert might well be a religious ed teacher!

      • I agree with you Miles – the videos are obviously satire.

        Do not be put off bringing a welcome bit of humour and lightheartedness to the blog, especially when it casts a light on the problems of the Church.

        I particularly enjoyed the video about “sharing”; you know what is coming when the guy starts talking about “seminary in the 70s”!

      • Miles,

        You need to remember that Mikidiki is new to our blog and doesn’t know everyone yet. He made a genuine mistake in thinking that you were being a tad dishonest in claiming the man in the video was a real teacher – he’ll be more alert to the goings on here now 😀

        Still, I think it is probably wise to give a clue that we are joking, when we are joking. One way is the use of these 😀 smiley faces. However we do it, I think it might be an idea to signal that this comment or that video is a piece of humour to underline the nonsense of the Modernist position on just about everything, their casual attitude to liturgy, and – in this case – their patronising “ministry” to youth.

  9. If it means anything to you good people, allow me to present my difficulties in organising a Catholic Student Group, at the University of the year (I kid you not), Huddersfield University. When I approached the Student Union, I was told that ‘a Catholic group already exists’. This ‘Catholic group’ was known as ‘Methodists, Anglicans and Catholics Together’, or ‘MAC-T’, if you don’t mind. Anywho, in spite of my difficulties, I am planning on going ahead in forming my little group. I will teach the students our faith .using the Baltimore Catechism no. 3 (which Petrus says is very good), and I will teach them about Fatima and how to say the Holy Rosary. Likewise, I will try to encourage them to attend the TLM, albeit at the Diocesan level. However, I will have to ‘bubble under’, avoiding the leftist Student Union and my PP at the same time, and I am probably fighting a losing battle here, but please can anyone offer advice on how I could form a ‘vibrant’ group. And believe you me, there will be NO tolerance towards guitars and happy-clappy songs or hippy-dippy theology.

    What about a name??

    • With all due respect, isn’t it a bit soon for you to be teaching the Faith to others?

      • Hardly – not if we follow the example of the apostles. The Gospel imperative is urgent. No time to waste. Baptised and Confirmed Catholics should be teaching the Faith to others from the git-go. Catholic Convert is to be commended for his zeal. I’m trying to come up with a name for his group so burst his bubble and you burst mine as well. I won’t have it I tell you!

        • When it comes to names, I think Our Blessed Lady should have an honourable mention.

      • Why should I not be teaching the Gospel??? Please tell me you are not another John Dowden, who erroneously thinks one needs a doctorate to be in a position of authority. I am not an expert, and it will be a great learning curve, as it were, but we will be discussing the Baltimore Catechism, which outlines teachings of the Church in a simple and concise manner. Likewise, teaching the Rosary is easily done.

        Who would you trust to teach your kids the faith? Me….or the Pope????

        • “Who would you trust to teach your kids the faith? Me….or the Pope????”

          You, catholic convert, any day. And I can say that, safe in the knowledge that I don’t HAVE any kids!

      • Converts are often more advanced in the knowledge of the faith. He probably knows more than the average ‘cradle Catholic’ his age.

        He has already been consecrated a soldier of Christ, I don’t think there is any harm.

    • CC:

      Some thoughts in response to your Q:

      – encourage them to attend the TLM exclusively and to learn about the Mass. For the latter I would recommend “The Latin Mass explained” (Moorman) and “Calvary and the Mass” (++Sheen). Versions of the latter are available online; the former is available from the LMS (perhaps there are online versions too).

      – do not take anything to do with this ‘MAC-T’ mob, save converting them .

      – I commend your using the Baltimore Catechism, and advocating Fatima and the Rosary.

      – encourage group days out to important Catholic sites (eg York, Walsingham etc); have a walk about / attend mass / have lunch or dinner / drinks together

      – take part in pilgrimages / processions / retreats around the country, run by SSPX / LMS

      – encourage discussion and activism regarding important/relevant Church and social issues

      – name suggestions (as you are an Englander) “Saint Margaret Clitherow Society” or “The Campionites”.

      Good luck!

      • Gabriel,

        Thank you so much for your kind advice. God bless you. I’ve thought of a name: ‘The Society of St. Edmund Campion’. St Edmund was a great and holy martyr, and remained loyal to his Queen and country. I think it would be important to present what Our Lady said at Fatima firstly, so they know what perspective we are coming from. Then we could go on to the Rosary and the Catechism. Discussion will be an integral prt of our group, although I expect that some modern neo-Catholics will leave. Also, if anyone has anything info about Communion on the Tongue and why it is the best way to receive Communion, that would be appreciated.

        Seeing as there is no Catholic chaplain (the old one has cancer), I could sneakily arrange for an SSPX Priest or any other traditional Priest to come and say Mass. I’ll probably get shot.

        • Catholic Convert1

          If you go ahead with this, I suggest you make sure it doesn’t degenerate into a way for you to exercise your own particular hobby horses. It would be important, IMHO, not to stick exclusively to the issues where YOU believe other people have got it wrong. Communion in the hand is permitted in many places so I hope you will mention that as well explaining why you prefer to receive on he tongue, which is also permitted. You might also want your group to have a look at Redemptionis Sacramentum so that any who are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are clear about their role, though most will have been adequately trained for the task in their parishes. I mention that particular document because it is clear proof that the Church allows EMHCs, a fact that is occasionally denied here. It is important your group learns about the Church as it is – not as you would like it to be.

          Discussion is not necessarily the best way to conduct a group unless you are very skilled and experienced in handling that kind of potentially contentious situation. Also, I would advise against labelling those who disagree with you, not necessarily with the Church as “neo-Catholics”. Do you want those who disagree with you to abandon the group? Or do you want to try to win them over to your way of thinking? Or would you actually prefer to have the kind of group that where people gather to tut about the shortcomings of those who have a different view of the Church, which is not wrong, but differs from your own?

          • Eileenanne,

            It has been explained on here loads of times that Communion in the hand is one of those “permissions” that came about through disobedience. It isn’t right just because some disobedient bishops forced it on the people. I’ve seen the video of Bishop Schneider on here many times, and if you haven’t listened to him on this subject before, I urge you to do so now. Pope John Paul II took Communion on the tongue from Cardinal Ratzinger – there’s a photo of this, and Pope Benedict gave Communion to people who knelt and took on the tongue. Obviously those two recent popes were not happy about Communion on the tongue. It says something that even a pope wouldn’t take Communion on the hand when receiving from another priest, yet arrogant laity thinking nothing of it.

  10. …Communion in the hand is one of those “permissions” that came about through disobedience.

    Like Summorum Pontificum?

    • Eileenanne,

      Please explain. This is a new one on me. How on earth can anyone claim that SP came about through “disobedience”.

      • Do you think it would have come about without Archbishop Lefebvre’s disobedience? I colud have picked it up wrongly but that is the impression I get from reading this blog.

        • Eileenanne,

          I never think of Archbishop Lefebvre being “disobedient” because, as pointed out on this blog regularly, and it is very true, Catholics have to be obedient to Catholic Tradition, not to any priest or bishop or pope if he is contradicting Tradition.

          Also, no pope is authorised to invent a new Mass which is what happened (as Pope Benedict admitted when he said there had been a “ground zero” approach to the liturgy instead of the traditional grafting on) so if the pope had not right to make up a new Mass, there cannot be any disobedience in sticking with the old one. I’m not a theologian, but even I can see that.

  11. Eileenanne has already perused Redemptionis Sacramentum which gives very clear instruction as to how EMHCs are to handle the Sacred Species which icannot be reconciled with the Eucharist being handled exclusively by priests.

    • Eileenanne,

      If you had perused the first document on this subject, the Instruction on the Laity of 1997, you would know that the Pope instructed that even a packed church was no reason to use lay people to distribute Holy Communion (# 8). Only when the bishops and clergy persisted in their disobedience did the Vatican do what it always does these past fifty years, refuse to enforce its own rules and make the best of a bad job by trying to bring in new rules which, of course, also get ignored. Enter Redemptionis Sacramentum.

      Communion in the hand is a sacrilege. All those who participate in it, are guilty of perpetuating this sacrilege. So, it’s “permitted” – big deal. So were concentration camps during the war. Didn’t make them right or moral.

      Which brings me to Gabriel’s quite legitimate praise for Fr Morris, one of the best and well meaning of the Glasgow priests who regularly offers the TLM several times a week, although never on Sundays. Even well meaning priests like him are participating in this shocking departure from Catholic Tradition by distributing Holy Communion on the hand. I can say that with confidence because were he NOT doing so, he’d have been in deep trouble with the archbishop and we’d all be hearing about it. I don’t mean this to be personal to Fr Morris – whom I like a great deal – but generally speaking the priests of any diocese are limited in what they can do in the way of ridding their parishes of liturgical abuses which are now accepted as the norm. It’s one reason why there is no use playing around with the novus ordo and talking about this or that priest offering it with reverence. Who cares? No matter how “reverent” if the priest is still giving Holy Communion on the hand and standing alongside lay distributors of Holy Communion, it’s just not Catholic. End of. Get thee to a TLM and forget about the mess which is the new Mass and all the shenanigans that go with it.

      So, Gabriel Syme, while it is tempting to encourage newcomers to the TLM to support the diocesan priests (and I do the same, as long as we are talking about weekday Masses) we have to draw a certain line, and for me, that certain line is Sundays and Holydays of Obligation, even if they were provided, because that would be tantamount to supporting the revolution in the Church. It’s only when we find priests who are wiling to make a stand, refuse to participate in this sacrilege, that more and more laity will begin to be informed on the subject. Going along with it most of the time then switching to a TLM a few times a week, is really more confusing than anything for us hoi polloi.

      • In every debate here about EMHCs I say two things:
        1. They are often used inappropriately and unnecessarily. Contrary to what is often said here.the Church, however does NOT forbid them absolutely.
        2. I have never seen any EMHC who did not carry out the role with reverence and decorum, even in situations where they should probably not have been employed at all.

        • Eileenanne,

          1. If EMHCs are used “inappropriately and unnecessarily” even once, then in my book that’s once too often to expose the Sacred Species to possible danger and sacrilege.

          2. I have seen EMHCs who did not carry out their role “with reverence and decorum” but I don’t think that’s the issue anyway.

          I have never met a Catholic who liked seeing EMHC giving out Communion. It doesn’t look right and once you’ve been to a traditional Mass you realise how awful it actually is. If you don’t mind me asking, when was the last time you were present at a traditional Mass, Eileenanne?

          • Fidelis,

            Catholics who think nothing of lay people being EMHC are protestantised. That’s why they think nothing of it. The excuse that the Church allows it, is unthinking. Eileenanne seems not to ever take note of the fact that the Church is in crisis and most of the bishops are disobeying Vatican instructions on the liturgy all the time. The truth is, Eileenanne is like most modern Catholics, quite happy with the changes in the Church since V2.

        • Eileenanne,

          You really do cling on tenaciously to your opinion, despite the facts repeated here over and over again.

          You write: “….the Church, however, does NOT forbid EMHC absolutely”.

          Well, since “the Church” has never introduced EMHC, that’s a moot point.

          The practice of lay people handling the Blessed Sacrament is an innovation pushed through by some dissident bishops which the Vatican congregation responsible for liturgical discipline has found impossible to correct. They then do what all bad teachers and weak Head teachers do, they make the best of it, and tolerate what should never have been allowed in the first place.

          But here’s the litmus test. If God isn’t too bothered by this innovation, then, the problem goes away. So, tell us, Eileenanne – do you think God is pleased that His Sacred Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is handled by lay people? Do you really believe that the widespread disobedience to the 1997 Instruction NOT to use these people “even in a packed church” (Article 8) pleases Our Lord?

          Really? Is that what you think?

          • Allowing lay people to handle the Sacred Species has led to other abuses. I’ve seen EMHC in two ‘orthodox’ parishes, drop the pyxes with the Sacred Hosts in their handbags along with their wallets and keys and whatever other common place articles they might happen to carry. They also stop to chat with other parishioners on the way to their cars. Why it is necessary for lay people take Holy Communion to patients in hospitals and nursing homes when the parish has at least 2 permanent deacons, is a mystery!

            • Jobstears,

              I saw that throwing the pyx into handbags routinely when I attended the novus ordo and on one occasion, one of the male EMHC couldn’t stop giggling when he returned to his pew with the pyx for taking Communion to the sick. I (as always, charming, to a fault) glowered across the aisle at him.

              Afterwards, I found he’d waited for me outside (instead of taking the Blessed Sacrament to the sick asap) and said that he knew I was annoyed at him and his family laughing but he wanted to explain that he had been expecting to receive Hosts for a couple of sick people but had got “landed” with another one.

              I couldn’t believe my ears. I suggested he go now, as I would say something I really shouldn’t but that, in fact, I understood that the fault did not lie with him, it lay with the priest who had neglected his duty to protect the Sacred Species from both physical harm and such shocking profanity. He went on his way.

              It was round about then that I realised I had to make a move out of this “reformed” diocesan church. And fast.

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