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Communion Under Both Forms Curtailed in Madison

Following on the decision of Bishop Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, Bishop Morlino, of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, has announced that Communion under both forms will be sharply curtailed in his own diocese as well. Its hard to believe it, butthis move is being presented as a universal necessity.Here is an excerpt from what the rector of the cathedral, Msgr. Kevin D. Holmes, has presented in the bulletin:

So, all over the United States, we now find ourselves needing to bring our practice into conformity with current regulations (and with the rest of the world). In his comments at Chula Vista, Bishop Morlino mentioned a few instances in which Communion under both kinds is still permitted: the Chrism Mass, the Feast of Corpus Christi, for the bride and groom at a Nuptial Mass, and for those so allergic to wheat that they cannot tolerate even low-gluten hosts. Beyond those occasions and circumstances, Communion can be offered under both species at celebrations of special importance. But it is clear that we will not be seeing Communion under both species as a weekly practice. [emphasis added]

Needing to bring our practice into conformity? This simply isn't true. It says in GIRM 283:

The Diocesan Bishop may establish norms for Communion under both kinds for his own diocese, which are also to be observed in churches of religious and at celebrations with small groups. The Diocesan Bishop is also given the faculty to permit Communion under both kinds whenever it may seem appropriate to the Priest to whom a community has been entrusted as its own shepherd, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and that there is no danger of profanation of the Sacrament or of the rites becoming difficult because of the large number of participants or for some other cause. [emphasis added]

Both Madison and Phoenix will surely experience considerable blow-back from these decisions of their bishops, and deservedly so. This isespeciallytrue becausethe move to curtail Communion under both forms is linked to the implementation date of the new translation of the Roman Missal. The new translation will be jarring enough in itself. Add this to it, and I think the shock in the pewsabout bothwill bemultiplied.


Commenting Guidelines

It is interesting to note that many Orthodox (I think wrongly) look to Hus as a possible "Orthodox Saint" -- here is an example: Now, why do I think wrongly? Because I think there is equivocation going on between Hus and other forms of communion under both species going on. I do think Hus had his theological errors, and this caused his call for communion under both kinds to be questionable - but it does not mean, all such calls must be seen as the same as Hus. That would be a logical fallacy. Just because cats are not mice does not mean there are no such things are mice. So, I think bringing up Hus is a wrong avenue here. I think the Orthodox looking to him misunderstand the overtones in his theology which were erroneous. I do think it is right to say there was abuse to Hus, and that JPII was right in calling that into attention. But I think we need to look to the modern world, and modern situation, outside of that context. In the US, the distribution of communion under both species has not been based upon eucharistic misunderstandings, and so the rightful return to the full symbolism of the eucharist is just. And going back to previous standards, in which they do not fit, would be like demanding a restaurant to never microwave anything because in the past, they didn't.

" **** which is plainly impossible since we are women and could not ever validly be ordained as priests**** "I do hope that was said with Elizabeth's tongue firmly implanted in her cheek!

"While we might agree with the bishop having the authority to do this, it is not the same thing as it is a good idea."Good shepherds dont need fences; poor ones erect them. What is permissible is not always honorable. Marcus Tullius CiceroChancery offices constantly view the faithful as so befuddled that, without unctuous instruction, they would confuse the holy water fountain with a birdbath.

Jimmy Mac: Pope John Paul II wrote in "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" : "Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."Cardinal Ratzinger wrote as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, regareding a formal response to a "dubium" about whether this must be held definitively :"...all members of the faithful are required to give their assent to the teaching stated therein [in "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis"]. To this end, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of the Holy Father, has given an official Reply on the nature of this assent: it is a matter of full definitive assent, that is to say, irrevocable, to a doctrine taught infallibly by the Church. In fact, as the Reply explains, the definitive nature of this assent derives from the truth of the doctrine itself, since, founded on the written Word of God, and constantly held and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary universal Magisterium (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 25). Thus, the Reply specifies that this doctrine belongs to the deposit of the faith of the Church. It should be emphasized that the definitive and infallible nature of this teaching of the Church did not arise with the publication of the Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.... In this case, an act of the ordinary papal Magisterium, in itself not infallible, witnesses to the infallibility of the teaching of a doctrine already possessed by the Church."As a Catholic, I don't believe it is possible for a woman to be ordained as a priest. All Catholics must assent to this teaching of the Church, since it is based in the will of Jesus Christ who is God.

No Jimmy Mac; women will not be priests.

Jimmy Mac;You have to understand that if you are struggling with any of the questions, you can always find the answers in the back of the book.

Elizabeth, Jesus DID NOT ORDAIN anyone. There is no ordination of priests, consecration of bishops or papal cornation in any gospel in the Bible. In the Gospel of John---the example of Jesus washing feet at the Last Supper and teaching them the importance of humility and service was more important than recording the institution of the Eucharist. This event was recorded in another place in this gospel.There was no ministerial priesthood for the first few centuries in the Christian communities. Presbyters or presiders were selected by individual Christian communities. St. Paul, who wrote before any gospel writer---tells us that: women were deacons---Phoebe. Women were leaders of Christian communities---Chloe (mentioned in Paul's 1st letter to the Corinthians. Women were apostles---Junia and her husband, Andronicus. Women worked side by side with Paul in preaching the word to the Gentiles---Prisca and her husband, Aquila.Our official Church has passed many ideas off as "official teaching" and "the will of God".The call of the Crusades was "God Wills It"----God had nothing to do with willing the death and destruction caused by the Crusades. And talking about the Galileo affair has been discussed ad infinitium. We also have the issue of "Americanism" which was condemned by Leo XIII which consisted of a number of concepts that we have in our Bill of Rights. Leo was against America's ability to change, against freedom of speech, against freedom of conscience, against the American desire for the practical, and against American initiative. Leo condemned all of this and demanded a 'submissive spirit" from clergy and heirarchy and for "obedience from the laity" {from Leo XIII "Testem Benevolentiae" 1899}. Thank God, Cardinal Gibbons sent a SHARP letter of rebuttal to Leo XIII on March 17, 1899.What is listed as infallibility in one age----becomes common practice in another age.

"No Jimmy Mac; women will not be priests."Ken, women are already *priests* by virtue of their Christian baptism. So are you, even if you are a layman. Your Roman Catholic pastor, like you, became a genuine Christian *priest* at his baptism. Unlike you (presuming you are a layman), your pastor was ordained to the Roman Catholic presbyterate (or episcopate), not to any special or different kind of Catholic *priesthood*. Truly speaking, the Roman Catholic Church has only one *priesthood*, not two as Rome would like to have us believe.Ministerial ordination itself was a historical development, not at all part of our primitive Christian ancestors' ecclesial experience. I recommend Kenan Osborne's PRIESTHOOD: A HISTORY OF THE ORDAINED MINISTRY IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH as well as Robert Egan's "Why Not? Scripture, History & Women's Ordination" available on COMMONWEAL's website at or at In addition, I recommend Francis Sullivan's FROM APOSTLES TO BISHOPS: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EPISCOPACY IN THE EARLY CHURCH ( Church of Rome may not yet have women's ordination to the presbyterate and episcopate, but change is already here in the wider Catholic world. The Catholic Church (broadly speaking), indeed, has women presbyters and bishops.

Little Bear, there would be little sense in responding to all your anti-Catholic shots, which you can easily find reasoned responses to online. I will briefly defend the priesthood and the non ordination of women however. When the first Protestants did away with priestly ordination and the apostolic succession which goes back to the ordination of the 12 Apostles at the Last Supper when he said to them "Do this in memory of Me", they did away with the Eucharist also. In instituting the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Jesus also made it possible for the Apostles to do what He had commanded. They went on to confer the sacrament of Holy Orders on other men by laying on of hands. Lay people like you and I cannot consecrate bread and wine to be the Body and Blood of Christ. Women "deaconesses" ("deacon" means servant/minister) did not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders but were deputized for such purposes as baptizing women--a matter of propriety since at the time this involved nudity. What we know of how the early Church "made deaconesses" indicates that it was not identical with the ritual by which men received Holy Orders. It is also clear that their roles, especially in church, differed from men deacons and they were clearly not simply interchangeable with deacons, and could not be and were not ever ordained as priests (though pagan priestesses were entirely common in the ancient world). Although in practice priests and deacons are the ordinary ministers of Baptism, in a pinch anyone can baptize validly. Even someone who is not themselves baptized or even a nonbeliever can baptize if they use the correct basic form and have the intention of doing what the Church does when she baptizes.Anyone curious about Leo XIII's trenchant critique of "Americanism" (which is certainly a bad label for it, since people who aren't American exhibit the same problems!) and confounding license with liberty, can read that here:

"As a Catholic, I dont believe it is possible for a woman to be ordained as a priest. All Catholics must assent to this teaching of the Church, since it is based in the will of Jesus Christ who is God."Elizabeth D., you are not required to assent to the teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. In fact, may I suggest you reject JPII's teaching since it is neither accurate nor truthful.Please see my following exchange with Reverend ABC : Submitted by Reverend ABCMr. Jaglowicz:The pope defined the matter. It is an article of faith. To deny it is heresy. I can imagine it galls you that the pope exercises an infallible magisterium and you don't.After being condescending and insulting, the petty flourish of you calling me "pastor" is a nice touch. If you don't want to be Catholic, why do you stay?Submitted by Joseph JaglowiczPastor ABC:The pope did not define the matter of women's ordination as an article of faith. He used his ordinary papal magisterium, not his "ex cathedra" authority/mode. Even Ratzinger acknowledged this fact in his Letter.I address you as "Pastor" because I am not going to address you as "Father". Why? "Call no man 'Father' except your Father in heaven." We've seen the perverted "fruits" of a clerical culture that infantilized the laity, that elevated the ordained at the expense of the rest of us. Words and forms of address matter.If you have a better form of address, please offer.Submitted by Reverend ABCHere is a passage from a letter by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, dated Oct. 28, 1995, in his capacity as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), concerning Pope John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (May 22, 1994), and how the pope's letter bears witness to an infallible doctrine. I am quoting the statement at length so that the context is clear. Key words and phrases are in bold.There can be no question that the Church's teaching on holy orders being reserved to males is a defined, infallible doctrine of the Church--and to dissent from a doctrine of the Church is, by definition, heresy. Of course, Mr. Jaglowicz doesn't agree; but his exercise of the Magisterium is in question.Here is what Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:In response to this precise act of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, explicitly addressed to the entire Catholic Church, all members of the faithful are required to give their assent to the teaching stated therein.To this end, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of the Holy Father, has given an official Reply on the nature of this assent; it is a matter of full definitive assent, that is to say, irrevocable, to a doctrine taught infallibly by the Church. In fact, as the Reply explains, the definitive nature of this assent derives from the truth of the doctrine itself, since, founded on the written Word of God, and constantly held and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary universal Magisterium (cf. Lumen Gentium, 25).Thus, the Reply specifies that this doctrine belongs to the deposit of the faith of the Church. It should be emphasized that the definitive and infallible nature of this teaching of the Church did not arise with the publication of the Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. In the Letter, as the Reply of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also explains, the Roman Pontiff, having taken account of present circumstances, has confirmed the same teaching by a formal declaration, giving expression once again to quod semper, quod ubique et quod ab omnibus tenendum est, utpote ad fidei depositum pertinens. In this case, an act of the ordinary Papal Magisterium, in itself not infallible, witnesses to the infallibility of the teaching of a doctrine already possessed by the Church.Submitted by Joseph Jaglowicz Pastor ABC, JPII's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis does not qualify as infallible teaching.We both agree, I presume, that there are three modes of infallible teaching:1. Papal "ex cathedra" pronouncement on faith and morals,2. Conciliar teaching intended by the world's bishops (including pope) to be considered infallible (specific intent being the controlling factor here), and3. The ordinary universal magisterium.I trust we both agree on the following:a. Ratzinger asserted that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was an act of the ordinary papal magisterium, not of the pope's extraordinary teaching authority.b. Ratzinger asserted that JPII's ordinary (i.e., non-infallible) teaching conveyed the infallible teaching of the ordinary universal magisterium.c. Ratzinger asserted that the infallible nature of this teaching rests on three premises, to wit:+ It is founded on the written Word of God,+ It has been constantly held and applied in the Tradition of the Church,and+ It has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary universal magisterium.d. Ratzinger issued the Responsum ad Dubium and Letter with JPII's approval.Finally, I trust we both agree that the CDF has no authority to teach infallibly AND that such authority cannot be delegated to the CDF by the pope.At this point, I must refer you to my earlier link to my reply to Mr. XYZ on this issue.You stated above, "There can be no question that the Church's teaching on holy a defined, infallible doctrine of the Church."Please keep in mind, Pastor ABC, that Cardinal Ratzinger issued his Responsum and Letter precisely because there were serious questions about the level of teaching contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Please remember, too, that respected scholars in church history, biblical studies, theology, and canon law have challenged the accuracy of Ratzinger's assertions. Finally, please do not overlook canon 749.3, to wit, "No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident." The burden is on the official teachers to make their case that a teaching is infallible. This is church law.In addition to what I have shared, you may also wish to peruse "The Ordination of Women: Infallibly Taught?" by Peter Burns, S.J. at's no "heresy" here, Pastor ABC, merely intelligent and informed discussion of the issue.Please, sir, cut the crap.I should note, Elizabeth D., that Reverend ABC has not further replied as of this date to my comments.More to follow.

Submitted by Joseph Jaglowicz Mr. XYZ, please demonstrate some knowledge of the women's ordination issue.On October 28, 1995, Cardinal Ratzinger issued his "Letter Concerning the CDF Reply Regarding Ordinatio Sacerdotalis". Ratzinger apparently wrote his Letter in order to clarify both JPII's document and the CDF Responsum ad Dubium. The key paragraph in this Letter reads as follows:"In response to this precise act of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, explicitly addressed to the entire Catholic Church, all members of the faithful are required to give their assent to the teaching stated therein. To this end, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of the Holy Father, has given an official Reply on the nature of this assent; it is a matter of full definitive assent, that is to say, irrevocable, to a doctrine taught infallibly by the Church. In fact, as the Reply explains, the definitive nature of this assent derives from the truth of the doctrine itself, since, founded on the written Word of God, and constantly held and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary universal Magisterium (cf. Lumen Gentium, 25). Thus, the Reply specifies that this doctrine belongs to the deposit of the faith of the Church. It should be emphasized that the definitive and infallible nature of this teaching of the Church did not arise with the publication of the Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. In the Letter, as the Reply of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also explains, the Roman Pontiff, having taken account of present circumstances, has confirmed the same teaching by a formal declaration, giving expression once again to quod semper, quod ubique et quod ab omnibus tenendum est, utpote ad fidei depositum pertinens. In this case, an act of the ordinary Papal Magisterium, in itself not infallible, witnesses to the infallibility of the teaching of a doctrine already possessed by the Church."Let's examine three critical (and erroneous) assertions made by Ratzinger with the "blessing" of his boss of "blessed" memory:1. JPII's conclusion is "founded on the written word of God."In fact, there is no basis for this claim. The Pontifical Biblical Commission determined that sacred scripture cannot reliably be used to support or oppose women's ordination. Please remember that JPII was a philosopher, not a theologian, much less a biblical scholar. Likewise, Ratzinger is a theologian, not a biblical scholar. To borrow language from the HR field, the biblical scholars in this case were the "subject-matter experts", not a philosopher or a theologian.2. JPII's teaching has been "constantly held and applied in the Tradition of the Church."In fact, such is not the case. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, a Roman Catholic bishop had secretly ordained several women to the presbyterate in order to meet the religious and spiritual needs of his people under Communist rule. Furthermore, no one today is qualified to use the word 'constantly' in this debate since there is no way for Rome to support its claim. We simply don't know. The word 'constantly' is empty of meaning.3. JPII's teaching "has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary universal Magisterium."In late 1995, Francis A. Sullivan, a leading theological authority on the magisterium, demonstrated how appeals to long-standing tradition of the past might not suffice as proof that a doctrine has been taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium (THE TABLET, 23/30 December 1995, p. 1646). (One should note that synomyns for infallibility include irreversibility, definitiveness, and irreformability.)According to Sullivan, "What has to be clearly established is that the tradition has remained constant, and that even today the universal body of Catholic bishops is teaching the same doctrine as definitively to be held."Sullivan outlined three Vatican documents that suggest the different ways it can be established that a doctrine is taught by the ordinary and universal magisterium:1. Papal consultation with all the world's bishops, as suggested by JPII in his encyclical Evangelium vitae (March 1995),2. The universal and constant consensus of Catholic theologians, as suggested by Pius IX in his Tuas libenter (1863), and3. Canon 750-1 of the Code of Canon Law (1983), which states that when a doctrine is proposed as divinely revealed by the ordinary and universal magisterium, this is "manifested by the common adherence of Christ's faithful.""The CDF," wrote Sullivan, "has not invoked any of these criteria in support of its assertion that the doctrine excluding women from the priesthood has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium."(At this point, one must ask if each and every bishop in the world, if given a secret ballot, would vote in agreement with JPII's teaching that the church lacks authority to ordain women to the presbyterate and episcopate. I suspect we would see divided opinion on the issue when results were tallied. Such being the case, JPII's conclusion could not be upheld as infallible teaching.)Ratzinger at least acknowledged that JPII's action was "itself not infallible." The promulgation of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, wrote the CDF head, was "an act of the ordinary [i.e., non-infallible] Papal Magisterium."You claim, Mr. XYZ, that we "are required, as an article of faith, to believe [JPII]."In fact, we are not so required. Canon 749.3 in the 1983 Code of Canon Law states, "No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident." In other words, Mr. XYZ, the law of the church requires the official teachers (pope and fellow bishops) to make their case when presenting a teaching as infallible. The purpose of this canonical requirement is, inter alia, to safeguard the Catholic faith. It implicitly recognizes the vital role of all the People of God in protecting the Deposit of Faith, defined as all that God has revealed through Christ for our salvation. Vatican II acknowledged the "sense of faith" enjoyed by all the baptized. The Spirit works among all the people, not just among the ordained, much less only among the hierarchs."The third paragraph of the canon [749.3] is perhaps the most important canonically. Unless a teaching is clearly established as infallibly defined, it is not infallible. 'Manifeste' means manifestly, plainly, evidently. Doctrines which are assumed or deduced or inferred to be infallible do not so qualify. The action of teaching infallibly must be clear and unambiguous, so that it does not engender confusion" (John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, and Thomas J. Green [eds.], NEW COMMENTARY ON THE CODE OF CANON LAW, Commissioned by the Canon Law Society of America, Paulist Press, 2000, pp. 913-914)."The statement by the CDF of October 28, 1995,...that the teaching to the effect that the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women requires the definitive assent of the faithful since 'it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium' is an exaggeration. The teaching (restated in the applet 'Ordinatio sacerdotalis, May 22, 1994...) does not meet the test of explicitness; neither the pope nor the college of bishops declared that they were making an infallible definition, nor has it been demonstrated that the whole body of Catholic bishops has taught the doctrine in such a way as to oblige the faithful to give it definitive assent. Consequently its infallibility can hardly be considered 'manifestly evident'. For a careful discussion of this point, see 'Tradition and the Ordination of Women', a document of the Catholic Theological Society of America of June 1997..." (COMMENTARY, Note 2, pg. above).You claim that not to believe JPII's teaching is "sinful and heretical."Heresy???Get real!!!Canon 751 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law defines heresy as "the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith."And what kind of "truth" is being referenced in this canon?Canon 750.1 provides the answer: "A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one *deposit of faith* entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church [papal "ex cathedra" or conciliar teaching] or by its ordinary and universal magisterium *which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful*..." (emphasis added).Again, we see canon law's acknowledgement of the vital historical role of the faithful --- ALL the People of God --- in safeguarding the Catholic faith. Canon law, in other words, highlights the role of ecclesial reception. When the faithful are not convinced of the truth of a proposed infallible teaching, they are exercising their God-given right to challenge the official teachers. Keep in mind, too, that most church teaching is not infallible.

Oops, here's the link to Kenan Osborne's book on the history of ordained ministry in the Church of Rome:

Elizabeth D., here's some historical background, including information from Kenan Osborne's text, that I shared on dotCom a few years ago:a. Only around 200 AD do we have an ordination ritual (Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus customarily dated about 215) that can be verified. Installation from 90 to ca. 200 AD remains a matter of hypothesis, with no historical data for verification. The episkopos in this ritual is ordained for pastoral leadership and exemplarity of Christian life. Liturgical leadership definitely mentioned is not the primary focus of the ordination rite. In the ordination of presbyter, providing pastoral advice to the episkopos is the central focus. No mention is made of liturgical leadership.b. From roughly 350 to 500 AD, the Latin term sacerdos (i.e., priest one who mediates between God and man and offers sacrifice to God) normally refers to the episkopos. The diversification process in which the presbyter assumes some of the liturgical functions begins in earnest between 400 and 500 AD. In the Carolingian period (751 987), the term sacerdos refers as much to priest as to bishop, but most often to priest. By the 11th century, the term refers normally to priest. The presbyter, i.e., the liturgical presider in the primitive church, has become the priest.c. In his commentary on 1 Clement, theologian Louis Bouyer engages in the act of foreshadowing when he compares the Christian bishop with the Jewish high priest, the Christian laity with lower-ranking priests, and the Christian deacon with the Levites in the Old Testament. Even if one accepts this approach/interpretation, it ultimately proves nothing in terms of historical development of the Christian priesthood.As both Robert Egan [Why Not? Scripture, History & Women's Ordination] and Kenan Osborne have noted, Jesus and his disciples knew only the Jewish priesthood, which disappeared after the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. Available evidence describes the Twelve as healers, preachers, teachers. Osborne states, Every study of Church ministry must begin with a study of the ministry of Jesus himself; this is the source, the model and the dynamics of all Church ministry. Various writers have said that the ministry of the Twelve was unique and, as such, could not have been passed down in its totality to other apostles and disciples. The passing of the Twelve marked the end of a unique Christian ministry.According to Richard McBrien (LIVES OF THE POPES, 1997), Clement wrote his letter to the Corinthians ca. 96 AD. In Clements view (one not grounded in the New Testament, however), the apostles themselves had established bishops (a term he uses interchangeably with presbyters) and deacons in all places According to Osborne, The naming of Christian ministers at this time was still in flux. Clement emphasizes that the ministry is one of preaching [although] mention is indeed made of a liturgical ministry.It would, however, stretch the evidence to say apodictically that in Clement the episkopoi/presbyteroi are sacerdotal figures.[S]ome comparison is made withOld Testament priestly figures. It is also true that Clement uses the Greek term hierus [priest] for the Christian minister. This seems to be the first extant occurrence of the usage. Osborne quotes R.M. Grant: [I]t seems hard to deny that for Clement the episcopate is analogous to the office of the high priest. But if this is so, we should expect to find presbyters the equivalent of priests, and deacons the equivalent of Levites. Writes Osborne, These analogies are not to be found. Moreover, presbyters and episkopoi, Grant notes, are interchangeable. The emphasis is not on the sacerdotality of the ministers, but on order. Osborne concludes, It is not a special ordination to priesthood which is the root for presiding over the community; rather, it is the commission to preside over the community which allows for presiding over the eucharist.d. About ten years later, Ignatius of Antioch, en route to Rome to face martyrdom, sends letters to various Christian communities in western Asia Minor. He describes a clearly monarchical episcopacy under which are presbyters and deacons. According to Osborne, Because [the episkopos] is the leader over the community, he is also the leader over the liturgical worship. In other words, his leadership is not attributed to an ordination. Presbyters function in an advisory role to the bishop. In his THE CHURCH IN ANCIENT SOCIETY (2001), the late Henry Chadwick writes, Ignatius uses sacrificial language for the eucharist but, for the minister, he never uses the term hiereus, priest.The priesthood of the whole Church as one person would be stressed by Justin in the Dialogue with Trypho (116.3): they are the high-priestly race offering pure sacrifices as prophesied by Malachi. And God accepts sacrifices from no one other than his priests.In contrast to the Ignatian letters, Osborne notes that the gospel of Matthew (ca. 95 AD), seemingly of Antiochene origin, [has] no mention of a Church leader beyond the Twelve and the apostles. Likewise, the seven churches mentioned in Revelation (ca. 95 AD?) do not seem to [have] an established Church structure as we find in the Ignatian letters. Yet these communities are, at most, perhaps 200 or so miles west of Antioch.e. In Matthew 9:13 and again at 12:7, Jesus tells his followers, I want mercy, not sacrifice. Given their Jewish background that seems (to me) to have stressed ritual worship and other formalities, Jesus appears to be expressing a radical wish: Get down to basics, i.e., reach out in Gods name to others in need and give them the Good News.f. Osborne suggests that when we discuss church ministry, it helps to be mindful of the timing of the churchs beginning, i.e., what he calls the ecclesiological presupposition. According to him, A view of a Church, instituted by Jesus during his lifetime, with the eucharist in a central position of such a Church, cannot avoid making the eucharist central to an interpretation of ministry. A view of a Church, coming into being after the resurrection, with leadership, not eucharistic presidency, as the dominant ministerial activity, will shade the interpretation of ministry quite differently.In this regard, the words of Paul are apropos: Now, since our message is that Christ has been raised from death, how can some of you say that the dead will not be raised to life? If that is true, it means that Christ was not raised, and if Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe..[I]f Christ has not been raised, then your faith is a delusion and you are still lost in your sins. It would also mean that the believers in Christ who have died are lost. If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world (1 Co 15:12-14, 17-19).If Jesus had founded the church during his lifetime but had not been raised from the dead, his disciples faith would have been in vain. There would have been no reason for them not to disperse and resume their previous labors. Given the resurrection, however, and the consequent credibility of Jesus message, the disciples would need to exercise leadership to spread this news and get nascent Christian communities off and running. As Osborne has noted, liturgical leadership was predicated on this organizing and community leadership.g. In his FROM APOSTLES TO BISHOPS: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EPISCOPACY IN THE EARLY CHURCH (2001), Francis Sullivan writes: We must conclude that the New Testament provides no basis for the notion that before the apostles died, they ordained one man as bishop for each of the churches they had founded. The only person in the New Testament whose role resembles that of a bishop is James the brother of the Lord, who was most likely designated for his position of leadership in the Jerusalem church by his relationship with Jesus and the special appearance with which he was favored by the risen Jesus. It seems extremely unlikely that he was ordained as bishop of Jerusalem by St. Peter. Nor does the New Testament evidence support the idea that Peter, Paul or any other apostle became bishop of any one local church or ordained one man as bishop of any local church. One looks in vain to the New Testament for a basis for the idea of an unbroken line of episcopal ordination from Christ through the apostles down through the centuries to the bishops of today.h. Joseph Komonchak, you wrote, That no Christian minister is called a priest in the NT writings is correct; that there is no ordination in these writings is incorrect, as the Pastoral Epistles make clear (laying-on of hands).Osborne devotes some attention to this issue. Inter alia, he offers the following for consideration:+ In all of the passages on New Testament ministries, we have no clear indication of any ordination rite. There are, of course, instances of a laying on of hands in the early Church, particularly in Acts and in 1 Tim 4, 14; 2 Tim 1, 6 (cf. also 2 Cor 8, 19 which speaks of an election). What this laying on of hands in each case of these New Testament passages might clearly indicate is arguable. Ordination, as we understand this term, does not seem to be the intent of these situations, and to read an ordination ritual, such as one finds from the time of Hippolytus onward, would be clearly an eisegesis.+ Very little Old Testament data for a laying on of hands as an installation ritual is available, and this dearth of evidence does not bolster the view that a true ordination ritual can be found in the New Testament passages. When one realizes that between the few New Testament indications mentioned above and the ritual of Hippolytus at the beginning of the third century there is absolutely no documentary evidence for ordination, then the conjectural status of any statement on ordination prior to Hippolytus becomes even more apparent, cautioning us to avoid any apodictic approach.+ In themselves, phrases which include the words laying on of hands do not essentially include an appointment to office or ministry. A laying on of hands, in both Old and New Testaments, can be found for blessings, healings, receiving the Spirit, reconciling. In other words, laying on of hands in itself is not a technical term for an ordination.i. In THE APOSTOLIC TRADITION: A COMMENTARY (2002), Paul Bradshaw, Maxwell Johnson, and Edward Phillips state, The oldest explicit reference to presbyters sharing in the priesthood of the bishop occurs in Tertullian [ca. 155 - 225], who says that they belong to the ordo sacerdotalis (De ex cast. 7). Cyprian [b. 200, bishop of Carthage 248 - 258 AD] similarly understood them to participate in the episcopal sacerdotium (see, e.g., Ep. 1.1.1; 61.3.1).As mentioned earlier, the oldest known ordination ritual is The Apostolic Tradition, customarily dated ca. 215 AD. Only the ordination for episkopos includes priestly/sacerdotal language. (The ordination ritual for deacon includes some rather odd phraseology, to wit, because he is not ordained to the priesthood but to the service of the bishop Osborne surmises that this language was placed in the text to preclude diaconal encroachment into presbyteral tasks, as also to clarify the distinctive rites. It may also, Id suggest, reflect a redaction process.) The ordination for presbyter, per Osborne, has no mention of offering a sacrifice.In their commentary, Bradshaw et al write, [Marcel] Metzger has argued that [The Apostolic Tradition's] lack of unity or logical progression, its frequent incoherences, doublets, and contradictions, all point away from the existence of a single editorial hand. Instead, it has all the characteristics of a composite work, a collection of community rules from quite disparate traditionsThey continue, We believe that Metzgers general approach is correct, and would take it even further. Because of the features to which he has drawn attention and others that we have observed, we judge the work to be an aggregation of material from different sources, quite possibly arising from different geographical regions and probably from different historical periods, from perhaps as early as the mid-second century to as late as the mid-fourth, since none of the textual witnesses to it can be dated with any certainty before the last quarter of that century. We thus think it unlikely that it represents the practice of any single Christian community, and that it is best understood by attempting to discern the various individual elements and layers that constitute it.j. Several New Testament passages reveal the earliest understanding of Christian priesthood:+ Ro 12:1Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God dedicated to his service and pleasing to him.This is the true worship that you should offer.+ 1 Pt 2:9But you are the chosen race, the Kings priests, the holy nation, Gods own people, chosento proclaim the wonderful acts of God.+ 1 Pt 2:5Come as living stones, and let yourselves be used in building the spiritual temple, whereyou will serve as holy priests to offer spiritual and acceptable sacrifices to God through JesusChrist.+ He 13: 15-16Let us, then, always offer praise to God as our sacrifice through Jesus, which is the offeringpresented by lips that confess him as Lord. Do not forget to do good and to help oneanother, because these are the sacrifices that please God.+ Phil 2: 17-18Perhaps my lifes blood is to be poured out like an offering on the sacrifice that your faithoffers to God; if that is so, I am glad and share my joy with you all. In the same way, youtoo must be glad and share your joy with me.+ Rev 1: 5-6He loves us, and by his sacrificial death he has freed us from our sins and made us akingdom of priests to serve his God and Father.+ He 7: 26-27Jesus, then, is the High Priest that meets our needs.He is not like other high priests; hedoes not need to offer sacrifices every day for his own sins first and then for the sins of thepeople. He offered one sacrifice, once and for all, when he offered himself.k. In his FROM SYNAGOGUE TO CHURCH: PUBLIC SERVICES AND OFFICES IN THE EARLIEST CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES (1992), James Burtchaell writes that well before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD, [t]he local synagogues had already chosen to deny priests any special privileges or position.The priesthood had anciently been associated, not simply with sacrificial worship, but with the interpretation of the Torah and with judicial discipline.[I]n the villages and towns and cities, where priests in plenty dwelt and were available, a totally lay synagogue organization had long since decided it needed no legitimacy which the priests could give.[As a result], priests were not officiants at any synagogue activity. There were still some rituals explicitly assigned to them by the Law, and these they presumably retained: receiving the five-shekel redemption money for each first-born son, reciting certain blessings at worship services, receiving tithes on produce, and performing certain purification rituals. The kohanim = hiereis = priests would form a cadre of identifiable members in any synagogue, to whom biblical imperatives reserved certain ritual actions, but to whom no further deference on the part of the community is in evidence. They had minor hereditary prerogatives but cannot be considered officers of the community. Jerusalem, as it turned out, was not merely the only place where priests might preside at sacrifices; it was the only place where they presided at anything.l. In light of the close relationship between sacred orders and worship in the Catholic Church, it helps to acknowledge the fundamental changes in, and popular understanding of, the liturgy that occurred in the first millenium. Liturgical change would be accompanied by changes in popular understanding of the role and identity of presider/priest. Nathan Mitchell, in his CULT AND CONTROVERSY: THE WORSHIP OF THE EUCHARIST OUTSIDE MASS (1982, 1990), summarizes this development: Worship changes because people do, [but] the fundamental shape of the eucharist has survived: we still take, bless, break, and give bread and cup. Gradually, these ritual verbs would be inserted into a new liturgical genre (drama instead of meal, allegory instead of symbol) [and] absorb different meanings and inspire different interpretations [that would] come into conflict with one another. This happened, surely, when the ancient symbols of dining together, obviously intended as invitations, to eat and drink at the eucharist, gave way to ocular communion the desire to see the host. The bodily symbolism of ingestion and nourishment was all but overpowered by the visual symbolism of gazing at the Beloved.m. In his COMMONWEAL article, Robert Egan suggests that [i]f evidence of Jesus way of acting were to be consistently normative, its hard to see how we could justify having a priesthood at all.n. Osborne has a brief section in his book on Leo XIII and the Question of Anglican Orders (beginning at p. 294). One cannot do justice to his observations in this thread. Suffice it to say that perhaps the old expression People in glass houses should not throw stones might be appropriate in our considering the Catholic Churchs official condemnation of Anglican orders.o. Felix Just, SJ, PhD provides a nice outline of ancient church ministry on his website. In particular, you may wish to visit the following:+ Ministry and Leadership in Early Christianity Disciples and Apostles in the New Testament In considering the role and identity of priestly ministry, I think Egans quote from Bernard Lonergan is quite appropriate: The meaning of Vatican II was the acknowledgement of history. Perhaps its time for another paradigm shift here, a return to the understanding of priesthood from cultic-authoritarian to servant leader.

In considering a renewed paradigm of Roman Catholic ordained ministry, perhaps we can benefit from the insights of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI:"Criticism of papal declarations will be possible and necessary to the degree that they do not correspond with Scripture and the Creed, that is, with the belief of the Church. Where there is neither unanimity in the Church nor clear testimony of the sources, then no binding decision is possible; if one is formally made, then its preconditions are lacking, and therefore the question of its legitimacy must be raised" (Joseph Ratzinger, Das neue Volk Gottes. Entwuerfe zur Ekklesiologie, p. 144, Patmos 1969)."[F]acts, as history teaches, carry more weight than pure doctrine" (Joseph Ratzinger, THEOLOGICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF VATICAN II, Paulist Press/Deus Books, 1966, p. 16; reprinted 2010)."In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful" (Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum; I suggest these words should apply equally to our primitive understanding of the eucharistic liturgy as led by unordained presiders, i.e., presbyteroi or episkopoi, before the eventual development of ordained orders of presbyters and bishops with which we are familiar today; we should recall the understanding of baptism as admission to a priestly community under the leadership of respected persons who, by virtue of such leadership, also presided at their communal worship).

Joseph Jaglowicz, we have now officially fallen right down a rabbit hole. Women cannot be ordained as priests, the idea that they can is heretical. Priests act in the person of Christ who is Bridegroom of the Church. A woman cannot be a bridegroom or a father, nor an image thereof. A woman is not a man. Thanks be to God, women and men are not interchangeable. The nuptial meaning of our differentness is a wonderful and fruitful mystery. As a lay woman celibate for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, the priest is an image of my Spouse.In other news, a man cannot be a bride or mother.

Elizabeth, you obviously care about your understanding of the Eucharist, as I do about my own understanding. You can bring forth quotes supporting your opinion, I and others can bring forth quotes as well. We have differences, and it is not just about the cup or some specific liturgical practice, but really about something essential - the Eucharist. That's what makes it so upsetting. This is a deep, hurtful division. I am starting to be better able to imagine how Protestants and Catholics got to the point where they started killing one another. So, you've laid out some of your beliefs, Joseph Jaglowicz has laid out his. You're not going to change your life because of what he wrote, and he won't change his position because of what you wrote. Now what? Go to war? Pray for him (or Pope Benedict, or "Vatican II Catholics") to die?

Dear Claire, St Paul calls the Church "pillar and foundation of the truth"! When the Church teaches something in her charism of infallibility, I am most content to think with the Church, knowing I will not go astray under the good shepherding of the Lord.Truth is really what saves everything. There are upsetting disagreements there in this fallen world now. The thing to do is to keep seeking the truth, with much charity, and insofar as we find it to rejoice and hold fast to it. Jesus Himself tells us that following Him in this world is going to entail division. When the truth we stand for is unpopular, things are not going to go gently with us even if we are gentle people. There have been many Christians who resisted lies and evil with their very lifeblood, and became martyrs. And many others who devoted their lives in the long white martyrdom of purity, to the contemplation of Truth to the end of their days. St Teresa of Avila (a holy and strong Catholic woman if there ever was one--and a Doctor of the Church :-) wrote that "people came to me in great concern to say that these were bad times and that it might be that something would be alleged against me and I should have to go before the Inquisitors. But they only amused me and made me laugh, because I never had any fear about this. I knew quite well that in matters of faith no one would ever find me transgressing even the smallest ceremony of the Church, and that for the Church or for any truth of Holy Scripture I would undertake to die a thousand deaths." "I am a daughter of the Church" she said on her deathbed.Alas, there is sin in the world and even within the Church, and this is always the cause of divisions that happen, such as the Protestants becoming separated (sin on both sides). The authentic pursuit of Charity in Truth and Truth in Charity doesn't lead to killing but rather protects life and gives of oneself. The way we conduct ourselves and treat others matters, but we always have to remain faithful to the truth even when there is conflict and we may have to suffer for it. May we remain close to Jesus united with His passion and Cross, giving ourselves not killing others.

Elizabeth,Actually, it is much more complicated in relation to women deaconesses. In the East, what you said above is not true.

Oh please Henry, Eastern deaconesses and all talk about going down the rabbit hole. Of course Elizabeth is correct; men and women are sufficiently different that one cannot be the other; a nun cannot be a priest and a priest cannot be a nun. That some people would feel the need to force the Pope to take time out and explain this is amazing.Women and men are not the same; rather, they are complimentary.And yes we all know Joseph, about the priesthood of the laity; that we are a priestly people etc. But the fact of the matter is the priest (as Elizabeth points out) sacrifices much and takes holy orders that seals his vocation and allows him to offer mass and confect the Eucharist. Lay people cannot offer mass, we cannot act in the person of Christ as the priest does.Over the years the popes have indicated time and again that women will not be ordained priests. It is not important what other faiths and traditions do, and arcane references to what happens in Timbucktoo, or some exceptional arrangement in an obscure thread of Christianity are silly. Popes have indicated - as nicely as they could by the way - that men and women are not the same and that in the Roman Catholic Church, men will be priests and that only priests can offer mass; period.It is not "complicated" at all.I do not understand why (for some apparently) this so difficult to accept. We might have a shortage of priests but at time it seems everyone wants to be a pope.

KenElizabeth brought up deaconesses and said they were not ordained; the truth is, historically, in the East, they were. I'm Byzantine. I will point out what happens in the East. Your mockery of the East as if it is obscure shows the problems of many in the West, the kind which Blessed John Paul II said needed to be eliminated.

For better or for worse, I decided to write a post on this controversy:

Part of the problem here is the mantra of the the Truth put forward by those who think whatever authority decides (right or wrong) is right.That divide runs deep and will continue on, hurthfully ,as we move to the smaller purer three legged stool Church.A friend obseved that if we go back to just reciving the host, many will just go along; but, if altar girls are removed, many women wil be so angry they may well withdraw in one way or other.Pastoral implications, however, are jujst the tip of the iceberg in the problem of rules/canons/command control versus pastoral servant/leader issues surfaced here.As to Madison, i stand by my original post that it's just more of the same from the traditionalist who don't listen.

Back to Bp. Morlinos diocese and his REAL problems not the alleged profanation of the used of wine during the Eucharist.Lafayette County is a small part of his diocese: 13 municipalities; 5 cities/towns; 13 parishes/mission churches 7,200 congregants (38% of the county population of 18,650). There are currently 5 pastors/parochial vicars in Lafayette County. There is an Annual Cluster Plan #102 that clearly anticipates a time in the very near future when there will be 2 or less priests in the county. At that time 5 parishes/missions will be clustered into one. The entire diocese has 95 priests serving 134 parishes. The first class of 20 deacons was ordained in 2004, none of whom are serving in Lafayette County. I have family connections at 2 of the rural missions and know that these churches are active communities with appropriate financial support, even though they only have one mass every other week there. They are currently mission churches of a parish 30 miles away, the parochial vicar of which is from India.The question is this: how exactly does restricting the use of wine during the Eucharist address this rather critical situation?

Elizabeth D, it is quite apparent you are wearing blinders that prevent you from seeing, much less grasping, historical fact and primitive Christian belief in the eucharist and related. Believe as you will, m'am, but your views are without historical warrant. As a future pope acknowledged more than forty years ago, historical fact trumps doctrinal belief. Always.Ken, you likewise demonstrate a blindness to revelations from history. You fail to recognize a doctrinal development --- albeit very early on --- that would see the one common Christian priesthood morph into a bifurcated priesthood that resulted in the artificial separation of the ordained from the laity. Accompanying this regrettable development, of course, was the understanding of the mass as sacrifice rather than a commemorative meal where Christians shared bread and cup, where every baptized man and woman was a true priest of God. The primitive notion of sacrifice was that of living as best one could the good Christian life, not the theologically novel (albeit quite early) understanding that some so-called "traditionalists" hold today.Recent years have shown us the perverted "fruits" of this Tridentine culture, a scenario involving the ill-advised elevation of the ordained and subordination of the laity. How many more children must be sacrificed on the perverted altars of clerical privilege before Catholics finally "get it"?????? Past performance is the best predictor of future performance. Yet we have a reactionary pope with sycophant hierarchs in Rome and elsewhere more concerned with restoring so-called "Tradition" than renewing the Church as called for by Vatican II. Claire, you wrote, "Joseph Jaglowicz has laid out his [beliefs]." In fact, I think it would be more accurate to note that I have laid out historical points which inform my beliefs. Ken and Elizabeth D, on the other hand, have laid out their beliefs with nothing that refutes the historical information I've presented."You can lead a horse to water....."

Joseph J --It seems to me that the problem with discussing disputed matters with some extreme conservatives is that they do not find it necessary to be self-critical in matters of thinking. Yes, they will be self-critical in matters of sin, and I applaud them for it. But they do not seem to see the necessity to ask themselves: why am I so sure that what *I* think is true? Or put it more specifically: could I possibly be wrong in my judgements about what the Church does and does not teach? They do not seem to see the necessity for self-criticism in matters of knowing the Faith.I am constantly amazed at how often the phrase "Of course" appears in their posts, as if when their assumptions are *clear* that what they think has must be true . They seem to think that they *cannot* be mistaken about what the Church really teaches if only they tell the truth as they see it. This is an idolization of one's own thinking.

Yes Ken, pleeease yourself.That stale bit about everyone wants to be pope is just another clumsy facility trotted out .As to cpmplemetarity, etc. there's an interesting thread by Sydney Callahan over at America's "In All Things" (Sorry, Matthew) under the heading of transgended persons nad right to life."She calls for anew and better theology of the body based on our better understandings today.While I'm sure that will get all the JPII lovers in a snit. it's worth a look and (open minded ) thought.

Ann, thank you for your observation. I agree. I would think part of human maturation is examining our customary "taken for granteds" when the opportunity presents itself.Years ago a pastor of mine stressed the need to distinguish our Catholic faith from our Catholic church. He likened our faith to a crown jewel --- and the church to a musty old container, thereby suggesting the periodic need to examine and update the container to meet emerging challenges. It's sad when "extreme conservatives" confuse church with faith. I do believe our ecclesial history can offer us some valuable lessons in matters of church --- if only we heed them. Such an effort, however, requires an open mind, something apparently lacking among some of our brothers and sisters in the faith.

In discussions such as this one I always find it helpful to recall that Jesus himself was a layman. He did not come from the tribe of Levi, and so he could not himself have claimed the Jewish priesthood. Hebrews explains this pretty clearly when it says that he could not be a priest on earth. Thus the author of Hebrews constructs a fascinating theological argument for why he is a heavenly priest. Not being a priest on earth, and especially not being a High Priest on earth, it was not possible for Jesus to have ordained anyone else a priest.

Regarding Ann's keen observation about what she would call extreme conservatives and what I would call traditionalists: . . . Yes, they will be self-critical in matters of sin, and I applaud them for it. But they do not seem to see the necessity to ask themselves: why am I so sure that what *I* think is true? . . . Reminds me of an old proverb (probably Hebrew, but no matter) that I either read or heard that went something like; "He who places his fear of sin before his wisdom; his wisdom will endure. He who places his wisdom before his fear of sin; his wisdom will not endure."While I realize there is an important balance between faith and reason, I admit that regarding Church doctrine, I readily and simply accept what the Pope and the Bishops say; it seems natural to me. Frankly, even regarding lesser matters of ritual, routine, and practicality at the parish level; I find it relatively easy, and quite comfortable, to simply accept what the Pope and the Bishops say, and move on.

KenAre you being honest here? When a sainted bishop says to a woman, you are an ordained deacon, you dismiss it as something weird and not important.

Henry; I am being honest and intend no offense. In the Latin Church (I am Roman Catholic), we have nuns and women who are engaged in one of several lay ministries (e.g., music, extraordinary Eucharistic ministers, etc.), but we do not have deaconesses.

Ken The discussion was about the ordination of women deacons -- and the point is that the East has had such ordinations (long before the great schism). In other words, within the Catholic Church, such women have existed. You acted like I was bringing something strange up - however, women included in this list are saints!

"I find it relatively easy, and quite comfortable, to simply accept what the Pope and the Bishops say, and move on."Ken --Why in the world do you think that being a Christian was meant to be easy and comfortable? Remember -- "Take up they cross and follow me". Following Him is HARD.

"Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable." "A fanatic is a man who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case."Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936)

Ann I did not say (certainly did not intend to say) that being a Christian is or should be easy. I was trying to say that for me personally, ceding authority over Church matters to the clergy comes easy. The two things are not the same.Remember - Christ also said; ". . . My yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Ken --Interesting word, "cede". Do you grant that you have some authority to think for yourself to begin with? What justifies giving it up, when those to whom you cede it are no smarter or more honest than you?

Ann,Thanks and you are correct; I used the wrong word. I should have said " . . . accepting that authority over Church matter belongs to the clergy, submitting to that, comes easy for me."

"[A]ccepting that authority over Church matter[s] belongs to the clergy...comes easy for me."Given church history, both times past and very recent, may God forbid!!!I've got a west coast orange bridge for ya', Ken. Normally, I'd charge $100 for the bridge itself, not to mention another hundred dollars for processing & shipping. In your case, however, I'm prepared to GIVE you the bridge, but I will need the hundred dollars for shipping & handling. Believe me, it'd be a steal!!! I know you'll LOVE your new bridge!!!(my word is my bond, my lack of ordination notwithstanding)

On a more serious note, Ken (and Elizabeth D), did our primitive ancestors in the Christian faith receive the body and blood of Christ at their eucharistic liturgies (aka "masses") even though they didn't have ordained priests and bishops?

Good NewsBishop Nickless of Sioux City has authorized distribution of communion under both species at Weekday and Sunday/Holyday masses.Particular Law for the Diocese of Sioux City2. In parishes, chapels, and institutions in the Diocese of Sioux City, Communion under both kinds is permitted on those times specifically instructed in the ritual books, i.e. Confirmation, Ordination.3. Communion under both forms may also be distributed at Masses on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.a. This should be done in such a way so as to avoid the excessive use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Communion may be briefly prolonged, so as to use fewer Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.4. Communion under both forms may be distributed at daily Masses at the discretion of the priest who is celebrating the Mass whole "Guidelines and Norms..." document is worth reading. For instance, it suggests that "Priests in the Diocese of Sioux City might consider using intinction or offering Holy Communion only under the species of bread, so as to avoid such an excessive use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion."

BIshop Nickless' document is dated June 24, 2011.It is interesting that it expands the role of EMHCs:VIII. Other Functions of Extraordinary Ministersa. Ash Wednesdayi. EMHCs may distribute ashes on Ash Wednesday according to the Order for the Blessing and Distribution of Ashes found in chapter 32 of the Book of Blessings.b. Saint Blaisei. EMHCs may also bless throats on the feast of St. Blaise (Feb. 3) according to the Order for the Blessing of Throats on the Feast of Saint Blaise found in chapter 51 of the Book of Blessings.

Archbishop O'Brien of Baltimore established Holy Communion under both kinds as normative for the archdiocese in Dec 2010. His instructions are partly reprinted in his diocesan newspaper this week (10/7/11) in response to a question on the Phoenix developments. Parishes that did not offer Communion under the species of wine or had stopped during the H1N1 virus scare were told to implement the practice. Exceptions in special circumstances are allowed.'s%20Rite The Phoenix norms Q&A #13 assert that "You can see, then, how the new [Phoenix] norms will promote unity of practice around the world, ". Clarification may be called for.

Baltimore -The Catholic Reviews electronic edition is currently unavailable. Please contact your parish or visit your nearby Royal Farms, 711, Giant, Safeway, or Highs to pick up a copy of the paper.

This link to the Catholic review works for me's%20rite

It will work if you copy it and paste it into your browserThis blog has a problem with commas in links.

To make the link work, you have to click or copy it to your browser's address bar - and then delete the apostrophe and insert a new apostrophe by typing it on your keyboard. In the meantime, here is the money quote:"The Archbishop may establish norms, within the limits of universal and particular law, for the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds in his own diocese (GIRM, no. 283). In the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Holy Communion under both kinds is to be considered normative. Parishes that do not currently offer Communion under the species of wine should implement this practice."That should make it clear that there is no requirement from Rome to limit distribution under both kinds.

Whether the Abp. MAY do something and whether what he does is useful/good is another.This discussion has some continuation in the Finn indictment thread and undoubtedly wil hav ea new thread or more as Advent draws near.In the meantime, we hopelesly watch as we're told how good the orders from on high are!

"What is permissible is not always honorable." Marcus Tullius CiceroNever has there been so much knowledge and so little truth. Fulton J. Sheen"Never attribute to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence." Napolean Bonaparte"Once a fixed idea of duty gets inside a narrow mind, it can never get out." (Unknown)Power brings a man many luxuries, but a clean pair of hands is seldom among them.

I like the quote that you attribute to Napoleon, Jimmie, but I somehow doubt it really was Napoleon who coined it. :)Many thanks to John Hayes for these updates. So far, no great rush to follow where Phoenix and Madison have trod. On the plus side (re-affirming communion under both forms) I've heard from Sioux City, Baltimore, and Oklahoma City. And we know where St. Petersburg stands. If there are other dioceses out there where the bishops have made or reaffirmed a ruling, please do let us know!