Scots Priest Bans “Communion To Go”

ExtraordinaryMinisterWomanWe frequently hear stories of liturgical shenanigans from readers who are still attending the novus ordo Mass.  A reader sent us the bulletin for his parish in Glasgow dated 24th April, 2016, wherein the following item stood out – a mile…
NB: the item is copied below as originally published,  punctuation included, without comment, although the wrong use of “Eucharistic Minister” is highlighted throughout. Emphasis in the original…

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS [sic]. The new Eucharistic Ministers [sic] rota for the period May to July is now available in the sacristy. 

A very big thank you to Eucharistic Ministers [sic] – and all who exercise any liturgical ministry in the parish – reading, music, pass keeping etc.  New ministers for each of these and other parish activities are always very welcome!

Eucharistic Ministers [sic] who take Holy Communion to the sick and housebound parishioners do a wonderful job, and our grateful thanks go to all of you.  It may be opportune to mention however that parishioners who wish someone to bring communion to a relative or neighbour must always first approach one of the priests of the parish.  Eucharistic Ministers [sic] should never act on a request from another parishioner unless this has been raised with one of the priests. There are two serious reasons for this. First, Eucharistic Ministers [sic] are EXTRAORDINARY Ministers, which means they are always appointed to specific functions.  Second, only those who are PVG checked to carry out such visits are allowed to do so. The parish MUST always have a record of who is receiving Holy Communion and home, and by whom. [Ed: presume “and home” should read “at home”.]   END OF BULLETIN NOTICE.

Hi Katie! Do me a favour, would you? I'm racing out to a party, but been meaning to phone you all week - where DOES the time go? Could you be a darling and take my neighbour Communion, when you do your rounds on Sunday. I feel she's very lonely and could use a chat. I'm busy myself or... well, you know what I mean You will? Great! Thanks Katie.

Hi Katie! Do me a favour, would you? I’m racing out to a party, but been meaning to phone you all week – where DOES the time go? Could you be a darling and take my neighbour Communion, when you do your rounds on Sunday? I feel she’s very lonely and could use a chat. I’m busy myself or… well, you know what I mean  You will? Great! Thanks Katie. She lives right next door, so you’ll find her no bother.

Comment:

There are plenty of reasons why the indiscriminate distribution of Holy Communion by these lay people is not a good idea: it is, in fact, a huge scandal.  The priest who wrote the above bulletin notice has not even scratched the surface of why these lay people must stop, with immediate effect, this disgraceful practice of supplying the Blessed Sacrament on demand. Of course, they shouldn’t be handling the Blessed Sacrament at all, and this arrogance just proves the point made more than once on this blog, that this “ministry” bears all the hallmarks of the Devil’s prideful influence.  As, it must be said, does the now widespread practice of Communion in the hand itself. 

What would I do if I were the PP of that parish?  I’d (tactfully, of course, you know me…) dispense with the services of  every single one of these lay people without delay. I’d then use my NEXT parish bulletin to announce that, forthwith, we’d be offering the Traditional Latin Mass, in a serious attempt to offer true,  pleasing worship to God, in the hope making reparation for the many scandals that are now endemic in the novus ordo, especially this latest horror.  That’s what I’d do. What about you? 

51 responses

  1. Communion in the hand is a sacrilege. Dispensed by lay people’s unconsecrated hands simply adds to the scandal. Off to Mass now. Introibo altare Dei. Communion on the tongue whilst kneeling. Happy Sunday.

    Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

    • It is absolutely a scandal and for that priest to say nothing about the dogmatic teaching of the Real Presence in his notice to these lay people, is another scandal. The “two serious reasons” he gives for it not being permitted for the EMs to take Communion to whoever they want is (1) because they are Extraordinary Minister with the implication that only the ordained is authorised to decide this, and (2) they’ve not been police checked! In other words, he wants to protect the priest’s privilege (rightly so, of course) and cut out the risk of abuse to children, hence the police check, but no mention of the reverence due to the Blessed Sacrament! IMHO this is a priest who does not believe in the Real Presence.

  2. Such scandals are the inevitable result of the ongoing practice of receiving Holy Communion in the hand, along with the indiscriminate use of EMs.

    I think the widespread acceptance by parish priests in the use of EMs is yet another outrage in the continuing attack upon the Holy Eucharist. May God forgive them.

    • Therese,

      I completely agree. The fact that priests such as the one who posted the above (highly inadequate) notice in his parish bulletin, accepts that it is OK for lay people to handle the Blessed Sacrament and take the Blessed Sacrament to the sick speaks volumes about the decline in belief (among the clergy) in the Real Presence.

      • “I completely agree”
        Me too, I share your position, Thérèse, as well as Gildaswiseman’s position. Communion in the hand is an abomination!…

  3. Editor
    I do not like the use of extraordinary ministers of a Holy Communion( and even less the needless parading by lay people, usually women, at every opportunity in churches I attend ); however, how can the sick and very old receive Holy Communion, when there is only one priest covering two, more often now, three parishes?
    I know the blog has covered the reasons for the present debacle, but it is as it is.
    Do you think it would be better that they only receive Holy Communion once a year? I ask this sincerely as I have often thought for instance, that it would be better that there be no pretence of any service, than promoting “Services of the Word,” which are leading to some people, often women, seeing themselves fulfilled as priest-like stand ins. Or should that read “shoe-ins? It is becoming preferable for many( this was alluded to in a previous thread) to have this kind of substitute for Holy Mass.
    The thing is, a single priest, especially if he is gentle, is no match for a flurry of females( you should know that, editor! ) and he can find himself at a loss all too quickly. I’ve seen how unpopular a strong orthodox priest can become among a firmly entrenched sisterhood. Hell hath no fury like women worthies being asked to change their ways. This applies to some men too, but from what I can see, it is the female contingent that dominates in most parishes.

    • Spero,

      Your argument is the one used by priests to justify Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion; they have so much to do and the sick would just never receive Holy Communion, unless the laity take on the task. Then, they must never receive Holy Communion, is my reply.

      According to the declaration of the Council of Trent, 13th session, 3d chapter, we can communicate in three ways:

      1. Sacramentally only; 2. spiritually only; 3. sacramentally and spiritually at once.

      Those persons receive sacramentally only whose souls are stained with mortal sin, and who consequently receive unworthily. These indeed receive the sacrament, and with it, instead of a blessing, a curse.

      Those persons receive the Blessed Sacrament spiritually only who are animated with a burning desire to receive sacramentally, and who are filled with such a living faith that, according to the words of the Apostle, they feed in spirit on the heavenly bread, by virtue of their longings.

      Those persons receive both sacramentally and spiritually who, in compliance with St. Paul’s injunction, have proved themselves carefully and closely, and then, arrayed in a wedding garment of grace, approach the sacrament with the required conditions.

      Thus spiritual Communion consists of a burning desire to receive Jesus in the sacrament, and of a loving union with Him, as if He had been actually received sacramentally.

      This pious practice has been most emphatically commended by all spiritual teachers, and by the Council of Trent; for it is a means most conducive to the perfecting of the soul, and brings manifold blessings and consolations, inasmuch as it contains graces and benefits almost similar to those received in sacramental Communion. Source

      The quotes below are taken from a variety of websites on the subject of the saints and Spiritual Communion… there are many more: below a few examples only:

      St Gertrude tells of one occasion when she was so physically ill that walking over to the chapel for Mass was out of the question. On this particular day, she had been preparing to receive with particular devotion, so when it became clear that Communion was out of the question that day, she consulted her Lord to know what would be most pleasing to Him. He replied:

      “Even as a spouse who was already satisfied with a variety of viands would prefer remaining near his bride to sitting at table with her, so would I prefer that you should deprive yourself of Communion through holy prudence on this occasion, rather than approach it.”

      “And how, my loving Lord, can You say that You are thus satiated?”

      The Lord replied, “By your moderation in speech, by all your prayers, by all the good dispositions with which you have prepared to receive My adorable Body and Blood; these are to Me as the most delicious food and refreshment.”

      This demonstrates the value of Spiritual Communion when the normal form of Communion is not possible.

      Next, the story is told of St. Catherine being presented by Jesus with two chalices, one of gold and the other of silver. The gold, He told her, was filled with hosts of her many sacramental Communions received at Mass over the years. The hosts in the silver chalice, He said, were from her many Spiritual Communions. Both types were very pleasing to Him, He said. Note: this quote is attributed to at least one other saint but that’s not a reason to doubt its authenticity any more than the fact that the same accounts of particular incidents in the life of Christ which are reported in more than one Gospel, is a reason to doubt that the incident took place. I repeat myself all the time – I’m the person Groucho Marx was thinking of when he joked “If I’ve told you this before, don’t stop me. I want to hear it again”!

      Spiritual Communion, according to St. Thomas, consists in an ardent desire to receive our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament
      . It is performed by making an act of faith in the presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and then an act of love, and an act of contrition for having offended Him. The soul then invites Him to come and unite Himself to her and make her entirely His own; and lastly, she thanks Him as if she had really received Him sacramentally.

      The Spiritual Communion may be made in the following manner…

      “O my Jesus, I firmly believe that Thou art truly and really present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love Thee with my whole heart, and because I love Thee, I am sorry for having offended Thee. I long to possess Thee within my soul, but as I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least in spirit into my heart. I unite myself to Thee as if Thou wert already there; never let me be separated from Thee.”

      I remember, some years ago, publishing a sheet of paper about Spiritual Communion, which we inserted into one of our early editions of Catholic Truth. A Glasgow priest emailed to ask if I could send him a plain white Word copy of that page as he wanted to copy and distribute it to his parishioners. I was very happy to do so – never heard from him again so I don’t know how well (or otherwise) the document was received. However, that was a very healthy sign: a priest trying to educate his people about the importance of Spiritual Communions when they are not able – for whatever reason – to receive sacramentally.

      Now, at a time of monumental crisis, when we have very few priests and an ageing population, it seems to me that the obvious thing to do is to educate the faithful about the desirability of making a Spiritual Communion rather than allow lay people to handle the Sacred Species. If, however, this is not acceptable, and the laity is going to continue to engage in this work of the priest, then they ought to follow the custom described by Bishop Schneider, and wear white gloves and use pincers, so that they do not actually touch the Blessed Sacrament with their hands.

      I fear, however, that, such is the loss of faith today, the widespread apostasy, there would be an arrogant backlash to any such restriction from the laity who have become accustomed to their “role” within the parish. And there is, too, the story floating around in my head, told to me a couple of years ago by a priest, who, when he took Communion to an elderly lady in the parish was shocked to see her disappointment and hear her expression of preference for the lay woman EMHC. Check out the cartoon above to see the danger…

      To answer your question, do I think the sick should only receive once a year (rather than have Communion brought by a lay person) – I say it would be better if they NEVER received sacramental Communion rather than be attended by any lay person. Once a year, however, should be possible since at some point, surely, the sick need to have a priest hear their confessions. He could then take Communion as well. Nobody is complaining about the lack of confessions available for the sick and elderly, do you notice that? So either the sick never sin, whether in thought, word or deed – in which case, we’d all be praying “bring on a sickness!” – OR they don’t think the Sacrament of Penance is important. Yet, they consider themselves “deprived” if they do not receive Holy Communion. Something’s not right.

      In summary, Spero – I do not see any reason EVER for having lay people handling the Blessed Sacrament. Our Lord has revealed, through many of His saints, what our common (and Catholic) sense should teach us, that our interior (spiritual) union with Him is more pleasing to Him than a sacramental Communion made under the circumstances of liturgical abuse and desecration so commonplace today. Every particle of the Host, remember, is the precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, whole and entire. Name the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion who even knows that, let alone can guarantee the safety, if not the honour, due to this most Holy Sacrament.

      • I do not think I have ever heard mention of spiritual communion in parishes and I doubt whether it is taught in our Catholic schools either. It is this kind of traditional Catholic spirituality which is slowly dying and yet could and should be taught either in sermons or in parish newsletters as the priest you referred to made possible. Likewise the Morning Offering and other devotions. I thank God for the sound teaching I was fortunate to receive at my convent school!
        I agree that bringing Holy Communion and Confession to the sick should be a priestly priority and not off loaded to laity. I know there are or must be hard working priests but sometimes I think I would love to see a breakdown of what they actually DO during a typical week. My husband used to work long hours as well as take part in normal family commitments and I doubt if the average priest puts in the same hours, or rather does he spend too much time on meetings, committees etc? Now I do believe that the practical skills of laypeople could be usefully deployed in helping with the practical needs of the parish: finance, building, social arrangements etc thus freeing up the priest to do what he was ordained to do.

  4. Spero

    Forgive me if I say “I hear what you’re saying”. Ugh! But I know what you mean. However, if we really get down to the basics, and I’m afraid we’re at that stage now, the principal duty of a parish priest is to administer the Sacraments to those in need, and that should be their first duty; there are many fewer Catholics to minister to these days. This is a siege situation. We must get our priorities right.

    For partly principle – but mostly practical – reasons, a priest feels that he must obey his bishop. In worldly terms, the bishop is his boss, who controls his career, his income, and his opportunities, and can generally make life unpleasant, should he chose. The bishop may feel himself at the mercy aof female harridans in parishes – for he knows that his superiors would not support him against this monstrous regiment of women! It’s simply the world, writ large, on the Church. I fear one needs to be a saint to oppose it.

  5. Therese
    Exactly so with regard to the female harridans. There are some priests who do try to oppose them but maybe not strongly enough.
    With regard to the first duty of a priest I.e. Of administering the sacraments to those in need, it would be very difficult for one priest, overlooking three parishes to do that regularly.
    So Editor,
    Your answer is clear cut. It is better that extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not used at all.
    However spiritual communions are beyond the ken of poorly catechised Catholics today. I don’t think most would understand this.
    Your answer articulates what I, in an ill informed but intuitive way, really think is the appropriate way. But so far, I’ve not heard mention of this from any source in any Novus Ordo parish in twenty years.
    I once put the point to a parish priest some time ago and the suggestion was summarily dismissed.
    Thank you for your full answer.

  6. Perhaps if the priests restricted their social lives a little to do more priestly work, such as did the Cure of Ars, their patron, they could get around those sick and elderly parishioners on a fairly regular basis. It seems to me that many priests are only prepared to give so much of themselves to Our Lord and the souls under their care, while the example of Our Lord and the saints is that they should give everything. That, presumably, is why they renounced the world and became priests of God. Or am I being too harsh?

    Communion in the hand as practiced today is the Protestant Reformation model, and as such is an abomination that has led to numerous other abominations. Ditto “extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion”. Both abuses were illicitly introduced into the Church by rebel bishops who had lost the faith. They are at best stricted Indults that the Popes were forced to concede because of their own weakness in ruling the Church, and yet they have been established everywhere as though they were the normal discipline of the Church. They are not the normal discipline, they are practices of rebellion against authority; the practices of those who have lost their Eucharistic faith. No knowledgable Catholic who truly believes in the Real Presence could tolerate the handling of the consecrated host by unconsecrated hands. These heathen abuses should have been killed at birth. As I said before, the only people recounted in the Gospels as having laid hands on the Lord were those who beat and crucified Him. The genuine penitents and petitioners are always described as approaching Him on their knees in supplication. These modern pagans lay hands on the King of kings as though they were His equals, yet not one of them would dare to place their hands upon the Brtish monarch if they were presented to her. Such utter hypocrisy! I get really animated by these self-important abusers of the Blessed Sacrament, not to mention the treacherous and/or cowardly clergy who encourage them in their irreverent “ministry”

    • Athanasius

      I completely agree. Priests find time to do lots of other activities. Lots of these are social and some are being deemed as “work” but are more accurately the work of a local councillor. I’ve known priests who sit on local community groups etc. Surely the laity could represent the parish on these groups and that would allow the priest to fulfill sacramental duties?

    • Steady on ATHANASIUS! You will be asking them to give up golf next. The Editor’s explanation was exceptional and clearly demonstrates the acceptability of spiritual communion in the eyes of Our Blessed Saviour and the Church, when priests are not available. It could even be merit-able as an act of devotion by regular communicants from time to time; though not to be seen as an habitual practice. Regarding men and women as extra-ordinary ministers, I wondered how useful it would be to envisage parish prayer “ministers”( I am certain that the more enlightened could come up with a more appropriate name) who visit the housebound in order to pray with them, making together spiritual communion and offering consolation and company; especially for the lonely. The parish priest could organize a annual timetable in order to bring the Blessed Sacrament by rota.

      • Gildawiseman,

        Your suggestion of charitable visitation of the sick and elderly by lay people is exactly right. That’s what the Legion of Mary used to do – often visiting to pray the Rosary with a family, and leave Our Lady’s statue with them for a week to encourage the family Rosary.

        That sort of visitation by laity is a good thing – or was a good thing when we all knew the Faith and there was no risk of the spread of heresy. Now, I’m not so sure. In theory, certainly, and in theology (!) it’s a great idea and – unlike the EMHC “ministry” – is a perfectly Catholic activity for lay people.

  7. Here are Father Gruner & John Vennari on Communion in the hand (Part II is at top, right column, if it doesn’t automatically follow):

    • RCA Victor,

      Many thanks for posting the Fr Gruner video on Communion in the hand. I’ve often posted the interview with Bishop Schneider on the same subject, so here it is again…

      • That video never fails to drive home to me the seriousness of Communion in the hand. Why can’t the clergy see it?

  8. I’ve got a few thoughts on this article, but to deal with just one that Spero has raised here, and that I have heard many times as a ‘justification’ for EMs.

    …however, how can the sick and very old receive Holy Communion, when there is only one priest covering two, more often now, three parishes?

    My maths is abysmal, so I’m providing the link from which I’ve worked so that someone can tell me where I’ve gone wrong, as the conclusions I’ve reached are startling.

    First of all, clustered parishes are generally fairly close together, and diocesan priests these days have all got (nice) cars, so time spent travelling between parishes shouldn’t enter the equation. What is important is the number of souls who are entrusted to the care of each priest. So, for some statistics.

    In 1993 the Catholic population of England and Wales was 4,280,000. Of these only 1,280,000 attended Mass. I am assuming that only Mass-goers would be asking to receive Holy Communion if sick. There were, in this year, 6016 priests in England and Wales. Therefore on average each priest had the care of 211 souls.

    A few years later, in 2010, the Catholic population was 4,030,000. Mass attendance was 890,000. there were 5453 priests. Therefore each priest on average had the care of 163 souls.

    The sick who require to have Holy Communion taken to them are in reality the ‘housebound’. Nobody with a dose of the ‘flu, as far as i know, feels entitled to this ‘service’ (for that is how many seem to view it). Realistically, how many out of 163 might be assumed to be housebound? 8% of the population is over 65, but of these most ar economically and otherwise active until very late in life, and the percentage of the younger handicapped and housebound is relatively very small. So again, how many housebound are we looking at in our average priest’s care? Out of 163? This argument for the use of EMs is a monstrous red-herring

    To look in stark contrast, at the pre-conciliar picture, and I have chosen 1952, as I remember it well. Because people moved about much less, Catholic parishes were quite tight-knit little communities. I was baptised, went to a 100% Catholic primary school, made my first Confession, received my first Holy Communion and was married in the same parish church. While the survey linked did not have the numbers of Catholics attending Mass at that time, I am as certain as I can be that very few people who claimed to be Catholic did not do so. There were 2,840,000 Catholics and 6684 priests. This gave each priest the care of 425 souls, and even allowing for some who did not attend Mass, he still must have had a great many more than his modern counterpart.

    Every pious home had its ‘Holy Communion set’, of white cloth, crucifix, candlesticks and candles stored ready for an emergency when the priest might have to be called, and priests not only took Holy Communion regularly to the housebound, but regularly visited all the homes in the parish.

    EMs have never been anything other than a huge con, demonstrably totally unnecessary in the developed world. The ‘monstrous regiment of women’ has played a large part, but it is only a pawn in the game of other diabolical agents. What we do have, as a corollary is a largely emasculated priesthood when what we need so urgently is a manly one.

    http://faithsurvey.co.uk/catholics-england-and-wales.html

    • P.S. I know some of the things that are correctly said about statistics, but the above figures do suggest that things touching on EMs are not quite what they seem.

    • Christina,

      The lady whom I mention below, who is virtually housebound, mentioned your post in particular when she rang, as the statistics really hit home. Every priest in Scotland ought to read those stats – and then hang their heads in shame. Many thanks for posting them here. Brilliant.

    • Christina,

      WHAM! BANG! Those statistics say it all, they really do!

      I’m going to use them – thank you ever so much for posting those facts. They really do point to the con of Extraordinary Ministers.

  9. Christina

    You left one thing out, which is that in 1952 the priests were on foot or bicycle. No car conforts in those days! Yes, EM’s are a huge con, as you rightly say. They were deliberately introduced by apostate bishops without Papal authority with a view to undermining Catholic belief in the Real Presence. Once the abuse became widespread, it was too late to control. The Popes manifesty failed in their duty to stamp out these heathen gymnastics when they first made their irreverent presence felt in the Church. Ditto Communion in the hand and Communion under both kinds. Weak liberal Popes make for universally denigrated faith.

  10. I’ve always thought of Communion in the hand and EM’s as a diabolical insurance policy, just in case the denatured liturgy of the Novus Ordo failed to accomplish its mission of destroying the Faith, or worked too slowly to satisfy Satan’s minions.

  11. RCA Victor,

    That’s a legitimate observation, to be sure. When you’ve braced yourself – read on.

    I’ve just had a telephone call from a lady who is virtually housebound, in that she has been ill for a long time and hasn’t been able to get to Mass. There is no way she would accept Holy Communion from a lay person. She has been able to make her confession and receive Holy Communion from a priest – and when my own mother was ill, for a period stretching over years, I asked the priest to attend her himself and not send lay people. He did that. So, the 11th Commandment is not “thou shalt accept the “role” of EMHC.” If enough people refused them, they would soon disappear. Or at least their “role” would disappear. That is, this particular liturgical abuse would disappear.

    The lady who is virtually housebound rang me to say that she (who reads our blog regularly) thinks that this is THE most important thread we’ve ever published.

    The discussion has reminded her of a number of incidents which she has personally witnessed.

    One incident occurred when she was making a cup of tea for an EMHC who said that she was put out because Mrs S & So, wasn’t in when she took her Holy Communion and so she put “it” in an envelope and posted “it” through the letter box. Incredulous, I said “you GOTTA be kidding” and from there the stories went from bad to worse.

    On another occasion, she met a parishioner coming out of the church gate. It was a scorching day and the girl was wearing – wait for this – a bikini top and shorts. The two got chatting and eventually the girl said she had better get going as she had to take Communion (patted the back pocket of her shorts) to a sick friend.

    The above accounts – and more – took place in parishes in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, so I’m not sure if there’s a particular problem in that neck of the woods or if it is just as bad everywhere else. The reader who rang me today, certainly thinks such scandals are widespread. But then, when we recall that we once reported on a claim that Hosts were being sold on the streets of Rome, can we really be surprised at this level of desecration in Glasgow, or anywhere else?

    • Editor,

      Consider me braced….yet, all this is really not surprising when I recall, during my Novus Ordo days, how these mini-skirted EMHC’s would hand out Hosts as though they were movie tickets to the lineup of modern Catholics, accompanied by a perfunctory “The Body of Christ.” Keep that line moving, folks! No time for kneeling in our “community”! And keep your tongues firmly inside your mouths, please!

      All accompanied, of course, by a “homily” about “love,” from a discreetly homosexual priest.

      Suddenly, I’m depressed…..

    • Years ago, when I was in Novus Ordo land and attending my parish church, I saw some terrible abuses committed by EMHC’s. One EMHC who was giving out the Precious Blood, returned to the sacristy and brought out a bottle containing unconsecrated wine, and poured some of it into the chalice, before continuing to offer the chalice to the laity. Also, I saw another EMHC purifying the vessels after Mass while the priest swanned off to the sacristy (this is forbidden – vessels should be purified by the priest) and I actually saw her using a large paper kitchen roll to clean the chalice, and when she had finished with the paper, she screwed it up and threw it into a waste paper bin which was under the credence table in the sanctuary.
      I did report both incidents to the p.p. and he said that he would ‘deal with them’ but I also reminded him that he should be purifying the vessels, and not the laity – which I don’t think went down too well. Anyway, that abuse didn’t stop because they continued to purify the vessels right up until the time he left the parish (and then I left it shortly after as well).
      Also, I noticed that the whole EMHC thing is very cliquey. It says in one of the Vatican instructions (Instruction on the Laity? – I can’t recall which one now) that those who are made EMHC’s should only hold the position for a time, before relinquishing it. That NEVER happens. The ones I knew would have fought tooth and nail if anyone had tried to decommission them.
      I am also concerned how these EMHC’s are recruited. I was approached by one after a weekday Mass who said to me that ‘we’ think you ought to become an EMHC – when I enquired who he meant by ‘we’, he said himself and the other EMHC’s. I told him in no uncertain terms that (a) recruitment of EMHC’s was surely the business of the p.p. and no-one else, and (b) they were only meant to be used for ‘extraordinary’ circumstances, and not for the dozen or so who used to come to weekday Masses – at which, in our parish, the priest used to give out the Sacred Hosts, while two EMHC’s used to flank him either side, each holding the Precious Blood. Ridiculous. I never made many friends in that parish. Can’t think why . . . .

      • Westminsterfly

        I know I should be shocked by what you write, but I’m not. It is not uncommon for EMHC’s to empty what remains of the precisious blood in the chalice down the sink after Mass. I have said it often, I now say it again, these people and their priests DO NOT BELIEVE in the Real Presence. There is no doubt in my mind about this. But what of the bishops and the Pope who encourage these heathen gymnastics? Well, the Church will one day declare on them and their indifference.

        • But there are solid grounds to hope that what went down the sink and ended up on paper towels in a wastepaper basket was only wine. These priests who do not believe in Transubstantiation cannot intend to do what the Church does.

        • . I have said it often, I now say it again, these people and their priests DO NOT BELIEVE in the Real Presence.

          You are absolutely right Athanasius. They do not believe.

          They do not even confront the cognitive dissonance between their behaviour and their claim to profess the Catholic faith.

          Such persons can become quite angry, when asked about their behaviours in the context of their supposed faith.

          I remember attending a mass, years ago, in a now-defunct Church on the south side (the especially hideous-looking one, which looked like it was built from an assortment of WW2 Gun Emplacements).

          It must have been around the time of my becoming aware of tradition, as by then I had ceased to take communion in the hand and frowned on the practice.

          At communion (where most people received in the hand) I was impressed to see a young woman genuflect just before her “turn in the queue” but then my head nearly exploded when she then proceeded to receive in the hand.

          I couldn’t fathom that at all and it still hurts my head to ponder it!

          • Gabriel Syme

            You will quite often hear proponents of Communion in the hand speak of being “adult”. “We are not children,” they say “we are mature in the faith”. Such great pride!

            Did not Our Lord say: “Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of heaven”. And little children don’t feed themselves!

            You’re right though, they just get angry and abusive when confronted with the truth about what they’re doing. They simply will not bend the knee.

      • WF,

        “The ones I knew would have fought tooth and nail if anyone had tried to decommission them.”

        That reminds me of the priest who, some years ago, took up a new appointment and soon had a visit from the usual brigade of busy-body women who approached him to say they had been in the habit of conducting a Eucharistic Service on the previous priest’s day off, and, in fact, had allowed him a second break by replacing Mass with their Service on another day as well. They were happy to do the same for this new priest.

        The new priest sent them packing, saying he offered Mass every day including his day off. They returned the next day to say that they hadn’t made themselves clear, that they actually preferred their Eucharistic Services.

        Father then broke the news to them that, in that case, they were not Catholics. Next up, he’s hauled into the Bishop’s office and told to “give the people whatever they want” (obviously this was prior to Summorum Pontificum or he’d have named the obvious exception.)

        That priest managed to get out of the diocese but not before he discovered that those trouble-making women were now “worshipping” at the local Episcopal church.

        A key question for the bishops and priests who are encouraging these lay people to play at being priests has to be: are you all stupid? Can you complete the exercise below….

        0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

        Well? How many dots did you manage to join up? Now read this entire thread and see how many more you can connect. It’s really NOT rocket science.

        • I’ve seen the best and the worst in these cases. The worst? Priests who have a ‘nine-to-five’ mentality, who quite happily relinquish what responsibilities they can to lay people. After 5pm? Need a priest? Sorry, no can do. Too busy watching television. Send Mrs Busybody out with Holy Communion instead – and believe me, I’ve seen that scenario.

          The best of cases? A dear friend of mine RIP (also known to Editor CT) dying of cancer, who only attended the TLM and never went to her modernist parish, even though it was just round the corner. In her case, a traditional priest used to drive for MILES to see her, and I mean MILES – to hear her confession, give her Holy Communion and also the Last Rites. How many would do that these days? I do wonder. At least those laypeople who have made the First Nine Fridays have Our Lord’s promise that they won’t die without the Sacraments, which is a comfort.

          As well as the loss of belief in the Real Presence and the efficacy of the Sacraments, I find this ‘office hours only’ mentality among priests very, very disturbing. Sure, there has to be some boundaries, but I’ve heard of cases where people have been turned away for confession – even when they phoned before hand to ask for it, let alone just turn up at the presbytery. One case particularly springs to mind, where on more than one occasion, a young man with a family who worked Saturdays and odd hours, was brusquely told that confessions were only heard after Mass on a Saturday in his parish. The priest seemingly couldn’t spare 10 minutes of his time. Terrible. Priests who act like that will have to answer for it one day. In fact, in the case above, the priest unwittingly did the young man a favour. He was so fed up with him that he abandoned the parish and now attends the TLM and gets confession elsewhere. He was fortunate – but how many people just drift away?

          • WF,

            Your mention of the first nine Fridays reminds me of a wonderful story in which I was privileged to play a small part, a few short years ago. I can’t give too many details to protect the identity of others but here’s the core of it

            I had an email from a woman via the website, asking if I could give her the name and contact details of a traditional priest in the far north of Scotland. I was about to reply “you kidding?” when I remembered that there was an SSPX-affiliated priest on a Scottish island and on the off chance that he might be able to help, I emailed to ask if I could pass on his details. He replied right away to say he was just closing down his computer to head for the mainland, when my email arrived, but yes, give his details to anyone, as they are publicly available anyway.

            I then replied to the lady’s email to give her Father’s details and that was the last I heard of it until the next time I met the priest. He then told me that the lady who contacted me lived right across the other side of the world, and her mother was dying in hospital in the north of Scotland. The lady from abroad said she knew her mother would want the Last Rites from a traditional priest, although the rest of her family would not be happy and might be a bit troublesome if they saw the priest. Father said not to worry about that, he was, as it happened, going to give the Last Sacraments to another lady in that very same hospital on that very same day – hence the lady was ringing him just at the right moment.

            When he arrived at the hospital, he first went to attend to the patient he’d originally arranged to visit, and then to the room where the second patient was, as it turned out, not able to communicate, as he’d been warned by her daughter. There was no-one else in the room so once he’d ascertained from the staff that this was the correct patient, he administered the Last Rites. As he was packing away the oils etc he turned to look at the patient, wondering if she knew what had just happened, when he saw two tears rolling down her cheeks. She knew.

            Father opined that, more than likely, this lady had made the first nine Fridays, because here she was, in one of the most Protestant places on earth, where – even when the Church was in a healthier state – Catholic priests were scarce, and yet here, in this time of monumental crisis in the Church, Our Lord had fulfilled His promise that she would not die without the Sacraments, sending her a priest to administer the traditional rite. Astonishing.

            This coming weekend is the First Friday and First Saturday of the month – the month of Mary, so this is a very good time to begin the devotions for those who may still have to make the nine First Fridays and the five First Saturdays.

  12. These things are really hard to believe when I remember how a priest, on his way to take Holy Communion to a sick parishioner, would hurry along, head down and hand to breast, and one knew not to speak to him, as he would not reply.

  13. Yes, Christina. And when you opened the door to the priest you held a lighted candle and led him to the sick person, without speaking.

    • Therese,

      Not bragging or anything… well, not really… but one of the priests who brought Communion to my mother once a month (we had a string of priests at one point. all different nationalities) – anyway when I was thanking one of those on his final visit before moving to another parish, he, to my amazement, said that HE wanted to thank ME! I thought me? moi? and then noticed him pointing to the candle on the hall table. I used to greet the priest with the Blessed Sacrament, simply by appearing at the door with a lit candle, and if he was still carrying the Blessed Sacrament, I did the same on exit. The original PP clearly wasn’t too impressed with this “fuss” so I thought better of the bell (I, too, recall my mother leading the priest into the house with Communion for my grandfather,ringing a bell and carrying a lit candle). Anyway, my concession to our original modernist priest extended to his successors, was to omit the bell but carry the lit candle.

      Anyway, the point of all this bragging is that when I thanked the priest for his attention to my mother during his stay in the parish, HE pointed to the candle and said he wanted to thank ME for greeting him with the candle, for showing respect for the Blessed Sacrament because…. nobody else does that. he said.

      Don’t they join up the dots, these clergy? Or are they still blaming “secularism” for the loss of faith in the Real Presence?

      It’s like the fire brigade, faced with a hundred fires in the same area on the same night of the week for six months, refusing to name arson as the problem and blaming, instead, some unidentified electrical fault! Gimme strength!

      .

      • Editor

        It makes you weep to know that there are priests who consider such reverence for Our Lord to be a “fuss”. I really have to doubt their belief in the Real Presence. I really do. What other reason can there be??

  14. Editor,

    That’s the excuse – secularism every time. It’s really madness to allow actions that are clearly going to and have led to a diminution of belief in the Real Presence.

    Obviously, priests who do believe, would not permit such abuse.

  15. Michela

    The problem is that the longer this abuse is permitted, the more Eucharistic faith will diminish, even in priests. They’ll get used to the irreverence and gradually lose their devotion. I still can’t believe that the bishops of the Church, barring a few faithful ones who have since banned it, ever imposed this scandalous practice on the faithful. Where is their Sensus Catholicus? They can’t possibly believe in the true presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament when they permit so grevous a crime against the sacred species continue. It just beggars belief!

    • I totally agree with you all on this matter. The disgraceful way in which the Blessed Sacrament is treated at all levels (during communion in church, tabernacle ignored, communion to the sick and housebound rarely taken by priests) has led us to the shabby state of affairs in which we are wallowing today.
      Re. confession, Canon Law 986.1 states that “All to whom by virtue of office the care of souls is committed, are bound to provide for the hearing of the confessions of the faithful entrusted to them, who reasonably request confession, and they are to provide these faithful with an opportunity to make individual confession on days and at times arranged to suit them”.
      Bearing in mind that our priests are celibate, I contend that a request made outside what others would look upon as “normal working hours” is reasonable and can never be refused. However, sad to say, I believe that once reverence and belief in the real presence diminishes, the reverence for the soul of the penitent quickly follows. What a sorry state we are in.

      • Perplexed,

        Well said. I mean, REALLY well said! I knew if we just hung on to you long enough, you’d come in useful! 😀

    • Gerontius,

      For the life of me, I can’t see any mention of an EMHC in that report about a gun attack on the bishop! 😀 But, for the record, we’re not recommending violence against anyone, not even EMHCs!

      Just a tactful reminder that we have a General Discussion thread for such off topic nuggets! Feel free to re-post over there.

      • Editor,

        You recently mentioned that the “Patron Saint of Computer Numpties came to my aid”

        Ah want tae see if heez got any vacancies for old age Numpties – Gonnae geez some info?

        • Try St Gabriel – Patron Saint of Communications. I have a statue of him close to my desk. When things go wrong, he hears about it, and voila! All fixed!

  16. Here is an extract from the current SSPX newsletter, and link to the entire article on a recent Eucharistic miracle. In the context of this discussion, this explanation of why Eucharistic miracles sometimes occur in relation to the novus ordo Mass, is very interesting indeed.

    FROM SSPX NEWSLETTER…

    Answer to a Common Objection

    Some may ask the question: how can God allow a miracle to happen in the context of the New Mass?

    When we say the New rite is defective, we do not say all the Masses celebrated with this rite are invalid. We say that the rite in itself departs from the unequivocal expression of the Catholic doctrine about the priest, the Real Presence, and the propitiatory character of the sacrifice.

    During any valid Mass, the host is consecrated and therefore Our Lord is present under the species of wine and bread, no matter how the reverence of the priest and of the assistants treat Him.
    In fact, Church history shows us that Eucharistic miracles – which consist precisely in the appearance of other species – often happen because of doubt or irreverence. At Lanciano, the priest doubted the Real Presence. At Cascia, the priest was irreverent by putting the host in his breviary for a sick call.

    Whenever the mass is valid, Our Lord is present. God freely manifests His power by a miracle to rectify the attitude towards the reality of the Eucharist. May these miracles lead to the suppression of Communion in the hand and bring the definitive triumph of the traditional Mass! Click here to read the rest of the article and details of the miracle…

    • What an amazing Eucharistic miracle and a very clear explanation about how this can happen “in the context of the New Mass”.

      It is a reminder that God does not abandon his people.

    • That is very interesting. I hadn’t thought of it like that, the other Eucharistic miracles came about due to doubt or irreverence, so it should not be any surprise that they still happen in the new Mass. That’s something to think about, really and is a consolation to those of us who are stuck with the new Mass.

  17. Margaret Mary, I’d recommend NOT attending the NOM as it won’t do you any good spiritually. Stay at home and read your missal and pray the Stations if the Cross in the afternoon, or some such devotion.

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