USA: Bishop Calls For Restoration of Communion on Tongue/Kneeling…

From One Peter Five

Father Richard Heilman

For I have learnt for a fact that nothing so effectively obtains, retains and regains grace, as that we should always be found not high-minded before God, but filled with holy fear. –St. Bernard of Clairveux

On April 11, 2017, the Diocese of Madison joined with Bishop Morlino at the Chrism Mass. It was a glorious evening, with many of our priests in attendance.  

Bishop Morlino

During Bishop Morlino’s homily, he alluded to a recent March 31 address by Cardinal Sarah, the “Vatican Liturgy Chief” (Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments). In his address, Cardinal Sarah was forthright in calling for a recognition of “the serious and profound crisis” which, since the Council, has affected the liturgy by placing man and not God at the center of worship:

“The serious crisis of faith, not only at the level of the Christian faithful but also and especially among many priests and bishops, has made us incapable of understanding the Eucharistic liturgy as a sacrifice, as identical to the act performed once and for all by Jesus Christ, making present the Sacrifice of the Cross in a non-bloody manner, throughout the Church, through different ages, places, peoples and nations,” he said.

“There is often a sacrilegious tendency to reduce the Holy Mass to a simple convivial meal, the celebration of a profane feast, the community’s celebration of itself, or even worse, a terrible diversion from the anguish of a life that no longer has meaning or from the fear of meeting God face to face, because His glance unveils and obliges us to look truly and unflinchingly at the ugliness of our interior life. But the Holy Mass is not a diversion. It is the living sacrifice of Christ who died on the cross to free us from sin and death, for the purpose of revealing the love and the glory of God the Father,” he added.

The notion that the Church is in crisis is not new. Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is, to a large extent, due to the disintegration of the liturgy.”

In his Chrism Mass homily, Bishop Morlino highlighted the fact that the Catholic Church is very good at social issues at every level – Catholic organizations, dioceses, parishes and individuals – but, ours is a crisis of faith, revealed by less than 25% of Catholics attending Mass any longer (less than 5% in many parts of Europe). Where we are failing is in a lack of fervor in our faith, Bishop stated. This is most evident in how we, as priests, are offering the Mass, and how the faithful are praying the Mass.

Bishop Morlino went on to speak about “actuosa participatio” as being more about “actual participation” than “active participation.” Bishop lamented that we seem to feel everyone needs to be busy “doing something” at the Mass, when it is more important that we are deeply contemplating what is being done at the Mass … that God is made Present – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. This should stir our soul and fill us with awe and wonder. But, are we too busy to take notice?

A year ago, Bishop called for all tabernacles to be in church and in the center of the sanctuary. Last Fall, as part of the Bishop’s overall plan to add sacred beauty and reverence to all Masses in his diocese, Bishop Morlino encouraged all of his priests to strongly consider Cardinal Sarah’s call to offer the Mass ad orientem. Bishop Morlino then announced he would, from now on, be offering all of his Masses ad orientem.

Now, during last evening’s Chrism Mass, Bishop Morlino concluded his homily by appealing to all of his priests in his diocese to strongly encourage their parishioners to begin receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling, beginning this September.

Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and forever!


A challenge for UK and Irish  bloggers:  name the bishop YOU think most likely to follow the example of Bishop Morlino…
clue: are there ANY in Scotland? England? Wales? Ireland? 

28 responses

  1. Bishop Morlino is excellent. He sets a very good example for his brother Bishops and prelates across the world would do well to learn from him and other stand-out prelates (such as +Schneider).

    (Incidentally, Bishop Morlino is the Bishop of the Diocese which the priest-blogger “Fr Z” is based in).

    The typical standard of modern Bishop today would make Count Dracula look good – after all, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King – but it is reassuring to know we still have men of the calibre of Bishop Morlino in the “canonically regular” (whatever that is worth) ranks of clergy.

    Precisely none of the Scottish Bishops will follow +Morlino’s example, of course. (They will continue to model themselves on Frank Spencer). Maybe they would consider offering a mass ad orientem if the local CofS minister was available to take the lead at such an event.

    The Irish are equally hapless as the Scots, as far as I am aware.

    As for the English, perhaps it is not too ridiculous to suggest +Egan or +Davies might follow +Morlino? Or is that just wishful thinking?

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Bishop Morlino once warned his people away from the SSPX. Watch him apologise here…

      Read more here

      I agree with your assessment – absolutely NO Scots Bishops would dream of ordering (or even approving) Communion on the tongue/kneeling. Frank Spencer, as their model, is spot on!

      • Editor,

        Regarding the unfortunate SSPX incident, I remember panning Bishop Morlino at the time for that! But he had the good grace to clarify and retract the statement issued in his name.

        His record since is welcome and he has surely shown himself to “right thinking” as regards the direction the Church should be taking.

        • Gabriel Syme,

          I realise that Bishop Morlino has redeemed himself by his generous apology and recounting of how his criticism had been leaked through an unapproved draft. I should have explicitly said so, but I presumed that the video would speak for itself (and me!)

          I was impressed with his apology and explanation. He’s obviously, as you say, moving in the right direction (no pun intended!)

        • Helen,

          Frank Spencer is the main character of 1970s sitcom Some Mothers do ‘av ’em.

          He is an accident prone bungler, who can do nothing right.

          The show was very popular, even long after the 70s, and gave rise to people calling others “Frank Spencer” should they ever exhibit clumsiness or do something stupid!

          Some of the episodes are absolutely hilarious.

          (I stress that, being born in 1978, I am much too young to have seen the original TV-run of the series! I saw the repeats!).

          • That’s hilarious! I’d never heard of it before and it sure beats most of what passes for entertainment these days!

  2. It is a hopeful sign that the reception of Communion kneeling and on the tongue is spreading in the new Mass. It’s a sign that belief in the Real Presence is still there, at some level.

    I can’t imagine any bishop in Scotland doing what the Bishop of Madison has done. No. I would have said Bishop Keenan at one time, but not now. He’s as bad as the rest.

    I do agree with Gabriel Syme that the bishops Egan and Davies in England might follow Bishop Morlini’s example, because they have a reputation for being more traditional than the rest, but they’d get stick from Cardinal Nichols, so who knows.

  3. I’d place my money on either Bishop Egan (Portsmouth) or Bishop Davies (Shrewsbury). I can’t think of any Irish ones and perhaps, only perhaps, one day Bishop Keenan might, just might, see the light. I think he is basically a good man who has been badly formed. Perhaps he should read some of Michael Davies’ books. That’s what put a young thing like me on the trail for the truth.

  4. Good Bishop Morlino should watch his back while he is looking upwards to better glorify God, as I’m sure there are at least several moles, including homosexual priests, who are just itching to denounce him to our Marxist Pope Francis on some fabricated charge. I’ll call it the “FFI Method.”

    • RCA Victor,

      “Moles”? That’s what I keep wondering – who was it released that “draft” letter without the Bishop having seen it in final draft? Miss Marple strikes again!

  5. Many churches in Edinburgh retained their Altar rails but introduced standing for Communion. The exception is the cathedral where they not only kept the rails but also kneeling for Communion. But unfortunately Communion in the hand is widespread. Four years ago the Dominicans built a new chapel in the city centre to replace their old chapel which had been three rooms of a Georgian house knocked together. The new chapel, which can only be described as hideous, serves the University and I have been told by a student who attends it that many of the students have started kneeling for Communion (despite the lack of an Altar rail) and many of the female students are wearing mantillas. They also, on occasions, have the Traditional Dominican Rite Mass.

    • Vianney,

      It always astounded me to see people kneeling at the altar rails to receive Holy Communion in the cathedral in Edinburgh, over the years. I wonder if you know how that came about? After all, there was a succession of modernist clergy not to mention Cardinal O’Brien at the helm, so how come they retained the altar rails and the practice of kneeling?

      • Editor,

        Edinburgh churches escaped much of the vandalism that churches elsewhere suffered and I think this was largely due to Cardinal Gray. High altars and altar rails remained in place although, for some strange reason, the Jesuit church (which is reputed to have the largest Stations of the Cross in the world) removed the marble rails and replaced them with wrought iron ones.

        A couple of churches removed the Blessed Sacrament onto a side altar but the Cardinal later issued a directive that it should returned to the high altars. It was really after the Cardinal’s death that some churches removed the altar rails and a couple of churches removed the Blessed Sacrament to a side altar again.

        The Jesuits removed the altar rails although left the Blessed Sacrament on the high altar.

        As I said in my earlier post, many churches still have their altar rails but it’s only at the cathedral that they are still used for their proper purpose. How this practice survived there is nothing short of a miracle. Cardinal Gray loved the cathedral (and it is a beautiful building) and he himself was greatly loved and respected in the city.

        I remember, perhaps some 30 years ago, there was a great deal of heavy snow, the temperatures plummeted and the city ground to a halt because council workers were on strike. People couldn’t get out for their messages, buses stopped running, ambulances couldn’t get through and doctors couldn’t make visits because the road hadn’t been cleared. The Lord Provost and other politicians appealed to the strikers to go back to work but to no avail. Finally, the Cardinal went on the local radio and asked them to abandon the strike until the bad weather was over so that the sick and vulnerable wouldn’t suffer. Within a couple of hours they were all back at work clearing the roads. Such was the love and respect in which he was held. And I think it’s perhaps because of this, and in respect of his memory, that standing for Communion was never introduced in his beloved “gateway to Heaven.” as he referred to the cathedral.

        • Vianney,

          Thank you for that potted history – very interesting indeed. I hadn’t realised that Cardinal Gray was held in such high esteem, although I knew that the founder of our newsletter,Charles J. Smith, was a personal friend and that HE held the cardinal in high esteem. Charles told me that during the Second Vatican Council, the cardinal phoned him every day with news. I’ve toyed with the idea of deducing from that, that the cardinal would support our work but decided, better not 😀

  6. The cynic in me says that whichever protestant/Mason/Modernist controls the Congregation for the Clergy nowadays will have a polite request for his resignation letter in the post very shortly.

    Apart from that, the story, edifying in itself, shows very clearly what a total mess the Church is in. One Bishop does this, another does that. They’re all over the place, aren’t they?

    Not that it matters: it’s all Novus Ordo and Vatican II. They have those things in common.

  7. I think this thread is the most suitable home for posting this shocking report from The Remnant. Unbelievable! Please pray for that poor priest, and obey the request from the Remnant moderator to comment on their blog, as the more comments are posted, the better to help support the priest.

    For the record, I know that SSPX priests here have responded to those mischief makers who stick out their hands for Communion by saying, simply and firmly, if quietly: “on the tongue or not at all.” I’m told that it works, if occasionally takes a few seconds while they probably wrestle with their desire to cause trouble and score points. It’s just a pity that the priest in the report gave in, and handed over the Blessed Sacrament. He’s certainly paying the price now. I wonder if (hope) somebody videoed the whole incident.

    • I’ve posted a couple of responses on The Remnant site, because – to my surprise – the Remnant moderator is being a tad sarcy with those who criticise the priest for having given Communion in the hand to the bullying man, now suing him for his trouble.

      Since The Remnant is a moderated site and I may not see the light of publication there,I’m copying my posts here.

      The first one is a response to a priest who said he has had to chase people down the aisle after seeing they didn’t consume the Eucharist: I wrote –

      The very fact that any priest – even ONE – has to chase people down the aisle after not consuming the Eucharist, is reason enough to stop the diabolical practice of Communion in the hand. There are reports abroad of the Blessed Sacrament being sold on the very streets of Rome. Scandalous.

      I hope you, Father, no longer participate in this insult to the Blessed Sacrament. I am wondering – having read of this South American situation – just what it will it take for all priests to refuse to participate in this, what is, in fact, a grave liturgical abuse.

      And my second comment is in response to the Remnant Moderator. Here is the exchange…

      THE REMNANT MODERATOR… (responding to a critic who thinks the priest could have done more)

      Yeah, Father Steven Seagal would’ve roundhouse-kicked that dude right into the choir loft. We need more priests that are into martial arts because you know why? That’s what Jesus would do!


      EditorCT to Remnant Moderator • 10 minutes ago

      Well, no, not what He WOULD do, that’s what Jesus DID do! Just ask those “dudes” on the receiving end of his corded whip in the temple…

      The account of that idiot man’s behaviour is totally shocking, and I do have a great deal of sympathy for the poor priest, faced with all the worry involved in having a legal case brought against him, when he has done nothing to deserve it. Not remotely.

      I also think, though, that priests who offer the TLM need to (as is the custom with the SSPX clergy) begin with the clear understanding that they do NOT give Communion in the hand, end of discussion. Where I live, and move and attend SSPX Masses, the priests respond to those who stick out their hands with the quiet but firm notice that they will receive Communion “on the tongue or not at all”. It works, albeit with some of the troublemakers taking some seconds to work out whether it is worth causing a fuss. Sometimes they opt for “not at all” but mostly, I believe, they receive in the tongue, having made their sacrilegious point.

      The diocese definitely needs to counter-sue. I can’t see how Father can be charged with anything except, possibly, being far too nice and patient with that headcase. END.

      • Editor,

        I will certainly pray for that priest, but I’ve given up trying to comment on The Remnant site. It seems that negative appraisals of their articles are not wanted.

        • RCA Victor,

          I guessed that. They want to try editing Catholic Truth 😀

          A few minutes later…

          Well, I now have to eat humble pie because both of my comments have been published on The Remnant blog. Maybe you should have another go, RCA Victor, although I, personally, do not, as a rule, risk non-publication. If a site is moderated, I don’t bother, but on this occasion, couldn’t resist… So, go ahead, but just remember to come back here, to your natural home, asap!

        • That’s why I have given up on the Remnant altogether, after having had two articles published by it. The so-called ‘moderation’ is a joke. Its leadership has become rather frantic and paranoid in recent times. A shame.

  8. I read the Remnant report about the priest who gave Communion in the hand to that very bad mannered man at the traditional Latin Mass, and I do sympathise with his plight, but he really shouldn’t have given in to the man’s demands. He should have insisted reception on the tongue at this Mass, with no exceptions.

    What he did to the Host is shocking beyond words. If his identity is known, he surely would be forbidden from receiving Holy Communion until he has made reparation for his sacrilege.

    • I’m quite sure it says in Canon Law somewhere that anyone may receive Communion under the Church’s conditions and that one of the conditions is being in a state of grace, and properly disposed, or in a proper disposition of spirit, or some such statement.

      That man was definitely not in a proper disposition to receive the Eucharist, so I would say he should be told never to approach the altar without first reporting to the priest before Mass, to make sure that he is calm and not going to be disruptive. I find it hard to believe that this was a one-off, because it was such an extreme behaviour.

      • Given the behaviour of this man throughout Mass, and especially at the time of Holy Communion, the priest had a duty to refuse him the Eucharist. Had he been refused the Blessed Sacrament he could have done nothing about it. I suspect the priest was overwhelmed with fear for his own safety, human weakness, but the integrity of the Blessed Sacrament is a more paramount concern.

        I’m afraid if I had been present the man in question would have had a genuine assault claim to take to the prosecutors. Charity does not require Catholics to become door mats for blasphemers.

        • Athanasius,

          Well said! If only you’d been there… I would definitely have been in the courtroom, testifying to your impeccable character – and great left hook!

  9. Editor

    Are you sure you didn’t mean giving me a great left hook? I know all about you and that rolling pin!

    Seriously, though, I cannot abide these sacrilegious clowns who enter our chapels looking for sport. Maybe some will think it wrong of me but I reckon they fully deserve a smack in the mouth, or two.

    What a judgment our Catholic bishops have awaiting them in eternity for permitting a disgraceful and illicit practice (Communion in the hand) that gives the right to blasphemers to demand the Blessed Sacrament be placed in their unclean hands. The post-Vatican II hierarchy, with a few exceptions, is wholly responsible for the resultant explosion of Eucharistic sacrileges over the last 40 years or so. What a terrible weight of responsibility they bear before Our Lord. And the really frightening thing is that we cannot say “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”, because they do know what they do.

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