Saturday, September 24, 2011

Diocese of Phoenix on Communion in both kinds

Now here is a classic case of journalism bias.

One report writes the facts behinds the decision, while the other conveniently misses it out (I guess) and gives more space to hippie rants.

I posted here both articles with my usual banter, of course.

This one from Catholic Culture

The Diocese of Phoenix has announced that it will issue norms specifying the conditions under which Holy Communion may be distributed under both species.

“The new norms will promote unity in the celebration of the Eucharist all around the world, and come from the revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 3rd Edition, together with the final edition of The Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds for the Dioceses of the United States of America,” the diocese stated in a press release.

“In the Roman Missal (1975), 14 instances were provided when the chalice could be offered to the laity,” the diocese noted. “From 1975 on, the United States, United Kingdom and Oceania were given experimental privileges for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds. [Now look out for this one here.] These privileges expired in 2005 and were not renewed by the Holy See. The new norms issued in June 2011 are what guide the liturgical practice today and in the future.”  [THERE WERE NORMS!!!  And the bishops did not tell us!  Then, why, pray tell, did the Philippines ever follow and are still DOING IT?!?!   Especially in convents and seminaries where seminarians and nuns receive Holy Communion ala Oreo Commercial, except the twist and lick that is.  They get their own Hosts and dunk it into the chalice!]

“These universal norms for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds greatly expanded those times when the chalice could be offered to the lay faithful for most of the Catholic world (since in most countries their practice was virtually non-existent),” the diocesan statement continued. “In the Diocese of Phoenix, like other places where the practice of reception from the chalice became frequent or even commonplace, the new norms call for the practice of less frequent distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds than the faithful may have been accustomed.”
[Here are the RARE exceptions.]
The ritual books state that Holy Communion may be offered at the Chrism Mass and feast of Corpus Christi. Additionally, it may be offered to a Catholic couple at their wedding Mass, to first communicants and their family members, confirmation candidates and their sponsors, as well as deacons, non-concelebrating priests, servers and seminarians at any Mass, as well as community members at a conventual Mass or those on a retreat or at a spiritual gathering. In addition, a priest may select other important solemnities in which it may be offered, e.g., parish patronal feast days or the celebration of the dedication of the church building, provided the conditions are met.

“In normal circumstances, only priests and deacons are to distribute Holy Communion,” the diocese added; “when both forms of Communion are used frequently, ‘extraordinary’ ministers of Holy Communion are disproportionately multiplied.”

And this one from the Arizona Republic.  Guess this paper needs a really serious reporter who knows Catholic teachings and liturgy

The Phoenix Diocese will stop offering consecrated wine for Communion at most Masses, a change considered one of the most fundamental to Roman Catholic Church customs in decades.

A diocesan statement said the change was being made based on Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted's understanding of the church's new translation of the Mass, called the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, and other church documents.

However, no other diocese in the country is known to be following suit, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told The Arizona Republic.  [So?]

An effective date has not been announced.

The change will be one of the most significant in the Roman Catholic liturgy since the 1970s, when the distribution of wine [Not just wine you idjit!]  was approved for the United States.

For many Catholics in the '70s, that change to Communion - the central act of worship in the Catholic Mass [ah, what?!] - represented a greater role for laypeople, [come again?!] who for the first time in centuries were able to take both forms of Communion, bread and wine, and help distribute it. Before, the use of wine was reserved only for clergy.

Communion, a sacrament that symbolizes a spiritual union with Christ, is a widespread practice among Christian churches, following the commands of Jesus in the Gospels. But the Catholic Church believes the bread and wine used during the service actually are transformed [uhm, geez....] into the body and blood of Christ.

The change in practice by the Phoenix Diocese stirred an immediate controversy among priests, deacons and laypeople. Wine will be limited to only special occasions.

"The majority of priests were stunned and aghast at the announcement, and I hear some are planning to meet to see how best to respond," said the Rev. James Turner, pastor of St. Thomas More in Glendale. [HIPPIE PRIEST ALERT!] "While the bishop has the authority to make this policy change, there is no scriptural, theological or sacramental rationale that makes any sense."  [Well ask this priest is there is any "scriptural, theological or sacramental rationale that makes any sense" as to the distribution of Communion under both kinds?]

But the Rev. John Ehrich, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Phoenix, said the liturgical law of the church provides for only specific circumstances under which both forms of Communion may be distributed[Unless you are Fr. James Turner who thinks the Catholic Church is now the Episcopalian or Lutheran Church?!]

"Bishop Olmsted is merely expecting the priests to follow the teaching of the church in this matter," he said, adding that he imposed restrictions at his parish four years ago.  [The priest did it a loooonnnggg time ago and did you hear anyone getting "stunned"and was "aghast"?   Guess none!]

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is not aware of another U.S. diocese enacting such a restriction, although she noted that local bishops have the authority to do so.

The Rev. Al Schifano, a top church official in the Diocese of Tucson, said that Bishop Gerald Kicanas encourages Communion using both bread and wine and that the diocese will not change that under the new Mass translations. [Guess the bishop has his own set of laws, right?]

The Rev. Anthony Ruff, [*belch*] a professor at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., called the move a step backward.

"It's sad to see," he said, because the move separates the church further ecumenically from others [what others?!  And you taught that this guy is a "world-renowned Benedictine liturgist".  No seriously.  He acts the same way as the OTHER GUY.]  and gives up "the gains we've made in the last half-century in our understanding of liturgy and sacraments."  [What gains?!  Empty churches?  Fewer priests?  More lay people at the altar?  Pro-abortion nuns?  Pro-RH priests?]

Catholic members of the community were as divided as the priests.

"I would think these church leaders would be more concerned about the droves of people leaving the Catholic Church as well as the worsening shortage of priests," said Dennis Kavanaugh, an attorney who attends Resurrection parish in Tempe. "These issues are much more substantial to the long-term health of the church rather than reinstating medieval rituals and directives."  [And the doomsdayers are here again.  These same group of people are the very same ones who said that if the Traditional Latin Mass gets regularized, droves of Catholic would leave the Church.  I guess it didn't happen.  Maybe they belong to that same group who predicted the end of the world, eh?]

Judi Wilson of Blessed Sacrament parish in Scottsdale said she will miss taking Communion wine, but she noted that the church teaches that Christ is fully available in bread or wine[God bless Judi!  And a laywoman knows and believes this!  But the attorney and that world-renowned Benedictine monk did not realize that, eh?  No, not the Filipino monk.  He did not say that.  But if he did, a package will be on its way to the Vatican, ASAP.  Bet on it!]

"It wouldn't make any difference," she said. "I will look forward to those times we can take the wine."

According to the diocese, the change was announced at a recent meeting of diocesan priests with Olmsted. [It was announced among the priests yet the priest in the earlier part of the news said that they will meet the bishop and were stunned and aghast!  Was he absent during the meeting?  He did not get the memo?!?!]  A diocese statement said new rules will be drafted and a time frame determined in the next few months.

Some priests said the date initially was supposed to coincide with the new Mass translation, which is set to debut Nov. 27. But negative reaction from some priests may have persuaded the bishop to hold off. [may!]

Olmsted declined a request for an interview. [Not with this reporter if you ask me!]The diocese issued a statement and a question-and-answer sheet to explain the move. 

New norms, or guidelines, that came out this year, the statement said, expanded the offering of Communion under the form of wine for most of the world, "but in the Diocese of Phoenix, the new norms call for the practice of less frequent distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds than the faithful may have been accustomed."

The option of offering both bread and wine for Communion has been in place since 1975. Catholics never have been obligated to take both and, until 1975, the practice had been forbidden since the mid-1500s. The church teaches that Christ and the full blessings of Communion are present in either form[And yet Fr. Anthony Ruff thinks this is a move backwards.  And the other priest were stunned and aghast!  Is this like a burger and fried thing?  Or pancake and syrup?  That you cannot enjoy the food without the other one?  Kinda like coffee and pan de sal here, eh?]

According to the diocesan statement, the United States is one of only a few countries where offering wine became common at Masses, often distributed with the help of non-ordained parishioners.  [Because the bishops of the USA, led by Cardinal Bernardin at that time, were the most stubborn and the ones who lead the dissent.  Poor Paul VI and John Paul II had to put up with them!]

The Rev. John Muir, a priest at the Newman Center in Tempe who is part of the diocese Office for Worship, said the change actually is a return to general practice of the church worldwide[That is what being Catholic is!  That is why Anthony Ruff and Anscar Chupungco despise the  Traditional Latin Mass because they lose their speaking engagements and won't sell books!  They need a Mass that they treat as a production number or a TV show!]

The use of consecrated wine for Communion "is a beautiful gift," he said, "to be given the right way, at the right time, with the right sacramental power."  [Ooooooo.....MST would hate this especially the underlined words!  Ha!]

He added, "Nothing in reality is being taken away. Catholics believe they receive the Precious Blood (the consecrated wine) under the species of bread."  [Unless you are talking to those two Benedictine monks and the theologians of MST, LST, Euntes and SVST.]


Read the actual statement from the Diocese and judge for yourselves.


  1. I Agree with Bishop Olmsteed's Decision,but What do YOU mean Pro-RH priests?(as a gain)

    I Know it's off-topic,but do you know of Pro-RH priests other than the Jesuits?

    What do You mean that our Lord is Present in Either Form?

  2. The Eastern Church (Catholic and Orthodox) always had communion under both species. But the Easterners have a rather strict tradition on preparing for communion unlike in the West. They internalized that very well and one has to receive the Eucharist in high reverence.

    One of the main reasons why the chalice was restricted to the clergy in the Latin Church starting in the Medieval period was to prevent profanation of the Sacrament and for practical reasons. Wine was too expensive for most of the poor parishes. Not all can be given the chalice.

    The Reformers in their own interpretation of scripture, argued that the Eucharist is not complete under one species to which Trent infallibly said otherwise. All the Reformed Churches give communion under both kinds. But many do not celebrate the Eucharist frequently. The problem with wine may not be that great.

    Anglicans receive the Eucharist under both kinds but some Anglo Catholics receive it under one kind.

    In the old rite, the bride and groom are offered the chalice. When I was received in the Church and confirmed, the bishop offered the chalice. At UP, the chalice is offered only during the Academic Mass (for college students about to graduate and their professors) and the Parish anniversary dedicated to the Holy Sacrifice.

    The comments of the critics on the diocese's new regulations is telling of how many Catholics today think what the Eucharist is. They think receiving Him is a right. It is not. A sinner has no right to receive the Eucharist. Since WE ALL come to the altar as sinners, we don't have the right to receive it. The Centurion's prayer before communion "Lord I am not worthy That thou shouldst come under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed"

    None of us is worthy to receive Christ, truly present in his humanity and Divinity in the Eucharist.

    The Anglican tradition has even a longer and more penitential prayer before receiving the Eucharist. This is the prayer of Humble Access. My favourite line here is a reference to the Gospel episode of the Syrophoenician woman when she met Christ.

    "We are not worthy so much to gather up the crumbs under thy Table"

    And those who know their Bible will get the idea. Only the dogs get at the crumbs but we sinners are even lower than the dogs and we shouldn't get any but Christ raises up high from our state of sin and to His fellowship.

    In the Anglican Use of the Catholic Church both the Centurion's Prayer and the "Domine non sum dignes" is said at Mass.

  3. Josemaria, Christ is present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in both the consecrated wine and host. As the lay woman, Judi Wilson said. You receive Christ whether you receive just the bread or both the bread and wine.

  4. One time I attended Mass in a parish near my Alma Mater. The commentator announced: "During communion, please receive our Lord only by the hand."



    Calling all liturgists of Manila and of Quezon City!