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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.

About the Author

Rita Ferrone is the author of several books about liturgy, including Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium (Paulist Press).



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Rita--Monsignor Holmes provides a bit more color in his bulletin as to what he means by bringing practice into conformity, namely,"...the widespread American practice of offering both species at most Sunday Masses began here under an indult (special permission) given by the Vatican in 1975, which expired in 2005."It seems like there's a conflict between GIRM and the expiration of this indult. Can you provide any insight as to which is more "authoritative"?

Wow, that was fast. Coordinated, I wonder? I'm sure we're going to see more of these as the date for implementation of the newly-translated missal approaches.And yes, Mark P's question is mine as well. He just beat me to it. Any insights, Rita?

Yes, Mark.I didn't cover this because it was discussed in my thread below on Phoenix. The indult was offered to the US conference, as a whole. When it expired, it was not renewed, evidently because in the meantime the GIRM, which is universal legislation, had been updated and broadened to include the provision I quote here, which allows for the very same thing only via the diocesan bishop rather than by indult given to the conference.The GIRM has higher standing. The GIRM since 2002 puts communion under both forms on a regular basis within reach of any diocesan bishop, whether or not their conference has had an indult. This is not a restriction, but rather a more ample opportunity for all.

Just more from a US hierarchy pastorally out of touch to drive more folks away by fiat - not sense.

Thanks, Rita. So why would the folks in Madison present the current practice as an aberration--even a defiance of Rome? I struggle with the assumption that they know better and that they don't think anyone will call them on it.Say what you want about different bishops and their place on the left-right spectrum, but this would be either stupidity or cynicism on a colossal scale.Perhaps this is a matter of different interpretations of canon law. Or at least enough wiggle room to give them the cover to do something they've wanted to do anyway? Granted, that too is cynical, just not as bald.

I don't understand why they don't do it in a more diplomatic way: take advantage of some flu epidemic to temporarily withhold the cup, and then, after a few months, when people are used to only receiving under one species, announce that this temporary change is now permanent. Wouldn't that be much more effective?Maybe this is a secret strategic move: they are trying to accumulate reasons for people to complain this Advent. When protests arise, the bishop will yield on one issue, and, after listening to complaints, will generously let parishes continue to receive under both species. In that way, people will think that their complaints have been heard, will be pacified by the compromise, and will be mollified into accepting the new missal.

"[158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason."That is from Redemtionis Sacramentum. I don't know where that fits in the pecking order, but it seems to imply Extraordinary Ministers should only be used in truly extraordinary circumstances, i.e., not for regular Sunday mass. I wonder this has had an impact on the bishops' recent decisions.Rita, thanks for the additional information.

We all found out how the new Republican governors met to organize a state by state offense against public unions and put voter ID restrictions in place in their first year. .I posit the existence of Conservative bishops meeting to decide to roll back EMs and institute a host only Eucharist. Santa Rosa next? Additionally, not one of the other 200 diocesan bishops has said that he will keep both cup and bread? That's a sad political 'tell'.

Ed --Sadly, I must admit that my reaction was: they're organizing in secret, hoping to get back to the Latin Mass bit by bit. Bishop LeFebvre anyone? Given the large number of bishops in the U. S. it would be odd if there were no LeFebvrists among them, especially considering how conservative the American bishops generally are.

An underlying assumption in some comments above and on Rita's Phoenix piece below is that the impacts of changes on lay recipients of the Eucharist are a consideration in the thinking of bishops and their cathedral rectors, albeit not well handled. Similarly on the new missal translation. Evidence to support that is slim. Abp. O'Brien in his Sept 29 letter to bishops on religious liberty spoke corporately "as shepherds of over 70 million U.S. citizens " His choice of metaphor may say more about his and his confreres' view of the lay herd than about the bishops' view of their own role. The most charitable explanation is that, somehow, in a world in which you and I communicate two-way, near-instantaneously, anywhere (and the old means remain), they have so isolated themselves as to have no useful exchange with those whom they are supposed to sanctify and teach. If other explanations apply, as Ed and Ann wonder about, it remains puzzling why they seem to make such slight effort to bring the intended followers along. The cathedral rector in Phoenix had successful professional experience in corporate marketing before going to the seminary. Perhaps he could advise.

Jack,Or perhaps, as in the case of the new translation, these changes will have a good effect not fully understandable beforehand. I believe that both these changes will have a positive impact on the Christology of the faithful, which is to say, a positive impact on their faith.

Inanities such as this will continue as long as diocese are run as royal fiefdoms, which will continue until the faithful exercise their voice and their financial power to enforce accountability from their bishops.

"Both Madison and Phoenix will surely experience considerable blow-back from these decisions of their bishops, and deservedly so."I predict practically no blowback at all.I'm admittedly cynical but I don't think the vast majority of Catholics care enough. we'll see.

What it boils down to, I think, is that bishops have the power to turn personal preferences into policy, and some are willing to take advantage of that. The same happens with the way "Faithful Citizenship" is interpreted. It's poor management.

Or perhaps, as in the case of the new translation, these changes will have a good effect not fully understandable beforehand.Kathy,My sole complaint about the new translation is that it is so expensive! Print versions are running $60 and up, discounted on Amazon. What I have seen of the translation looks a lot like the English translation of the Latin that was in old Catholic missals back in the days of the Latin mass. If I am elected pope, I promise to restore the Latin mass and require all churches to install Met Titles. Those who have been to the Metropolitan Opera since about 1995 know that wherever you sit, on the back of the seat in front of you is a digital display that shows, in red, a simultaneous English translation of the opera libretto as it is being sung. Unlike subtitles or supertitles, Met Titles are very unobtrusive, and you don't have to turn them on if you don't want them. Of course, at the opera you're sometimes better off having only a vague idea of what is transpiring onstage instead of knowing exactly, but this would not be true of the mass.

David,I think you have the right idea. These bishops are trying to upgrade things, not take something away.

"An upgrade"? Please explain how returning to denying the cup to the laity is an "upgrade". Unless "upgrade" is the word we are now to use for a "downgrade."

Tom,No, I mean straight-up upgrade. Faith is a gift. Bishops have the responsibility to care for the faith of the people in their dioceses. I wonder if you've ever been to a Methodist church on a communion Sunday. I have, and the reverence of the people eating the bread, and praying afterwards is remarkable. Not so in your average Catholic parish. And this is the Blessed Sacrament. Acknowledging the divine presence among us is key to Catholic faith. We need to upgrade to that.

If you don't believe Rita, perhaps you will believe Msgr Moroney, who is one of the forces behind the new missal, and who explains the new norms about communion in those words: COMMUNION UNDER BOTH KINDS. Perhaps the most significant change in the entire document is a broader permission for the distribution of Holy Communion under the form of bread and wine. The limited list of occasions in the previous Instruction was supplemented only when a conference of bishops sought a broader permission through indult. The present Instruction, however, places the decision regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under both species in the hands of the "priest to whom charge of a given community has been entrusted as their own pastor, provided that the faithful have been well instructed and there is no danger of the profanation of the Sacrament or that the rite would be difficult to carry out on account of the number of participants or for some other reason." If you believe neither Rita nor Msgr Moroney, see for yourselves:Old text from Rome: II section 242New text from Rome: if you trust neither Rita, nor Msgr Moroney, nor yourself, you can look at the commentary from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worhip. It starts with the following words: These liturgical norms are a noteworthy extension of what was established till now, did Bps Olmsted and Morlino dream this up? Not quite. If you are desperate to agree with them, check out the following short quote from the document of the US committee for divine worship (but be careful to read only this quote, not the rest of the document!):In practice, the need to avoid obscuring the role of the priest and the deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary minister might in some circumstances constitute a reason either for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species or for using intinction instead of distributing the Precious Blood from the chalice. section 24 paragraph 2.

I've been trying to make a comment with links to relevant texts, but it keeps disappearing when I hit "Submit". Too many links, I guess, and so it gets automatically classified as spam. Is it possible for someone to retrieve from the spam folder the last version that I tried to write? Thanks!

We've passed over the claim that the vatican refused to extend an indult. Unless someone knows of another, I think that indult dealt only with whether EMHC could purify the sacred vessels. That was terminated by Cardinal Arinze's letter of October 2006, on page 38, here: is an article about this on page 37 and a FAQ on page 39. Part of the article reads:"In public comments on the decision of the Holy Father, Bishop Donald Trautman, Chairman of the Committee on the Liturgy, recalled the conciliar mandate for more frequent reception of Holy Communion under both kinds as a fuller sign of the Eucharistic Banquet. While urging that the Holy Fathersdecisionbefollowed,he expressed his hope that each diocesan Bishop will continue to make full use of the authority granted him by the Missale Romanum, editio typical tertia, to foster the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds. "Does anyone know of a different indult that was not extended?

Kathy, I see that the bishops continue to do your thinking for you. You offer no liturgical nor theological reasons. Maybe you need to hang out more with the people in the pews rather than the hierarchy. That might help you out in being more objective.

Jack Barry wrote, "they have so isolated themselves as to have no useful exchange with those whom they are supposed to sanctify and teach" Jeanne Follman wrote that things like this "will continue until the faithful exercise their voice and their financial power to enforce accountability from their bishops" and others said similar things.Some of you are so very mistaken. As someone who attends both the parishes that will be the first to implement this, and read this in the Cathedral parish bulletin this morning, I assure you that your assumption is wrong! This is going to be generally accepted, particularly by the most active members of both parishes, and even popular here, where there is both strong liturgical formation and a relatively high level of reverence and devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In certain other parishes that may not hold as true. Monsignor Holmes' bulletin announcement says that Bishop Morlino has given a lot of leeway to pastors as to when they will put this into practice. I am delighted with this news. We have had here an extended experiment with Communion under both kinds, but Communion under one species is definitely the practice in most of the world. And restoring that here will tend to have good effects in reducing the need for EMHCs, ending the problems some parishes have with purifying large numbers of vessels, reducing spillage and profanation, and above all being a start to rectifying the confused understanding of the Eucharist that so many have today. Those who have a Catholic understanding that we receive the whole Christ whenever we receive even a small portion of either species of the Blessed Sacrament, can have no serious problem with this. I love my bishop.

Ed, you said: "Additionally, not one of the other 200 diocesan bishops has said that he will keep both cup and bread?" Two things: First, the fact that Olmsted and Morlino do something doesn't mean that bishops in other dioceses need to respond with announcements. Second, there is indeed a bishop who has taken a public position in favor of sharing the Cup widely. At a national meeting of the FDLC (Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions) in 2004, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg Florida said of Communion from the Cup: "That would be the 'liturgical ditch' I might choose to die in were that also some time in the future to be forbidden or limited." (as quoted in Liturgy: Sacrosanctum Concilium, Paulist 2007, p. 106; cf. Origins 34:25, 399-403). I hope he won't have to have that resolve tested.

Elizabeth, it is too bad that your parish had problems with spillage, profanation, and a confused understanding of the Eucharist. I guess that for your parish I am glad about your bishop's decree; under such conditions as you describe, in your parish the new norms will be an improvement over existing practices.

When we are invited to attend the wedding feast of the Son, we should put on a proper wedding garment and be thankful for the banquet, rather than insisting on wearing our own agendas instead and complaining, "hey, don't we get any wine with our food?" In doing the latter, we effectively invite ourselves to be cast out into the dark night, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. (See Mt 22:1-14)If Bishops Olmsted and Morlino, in the exercise of their authority as shepherd of their local churches, say distribution of the Host only, then the people there should receive the Body of Christ and rejoice, rather than grouse and be disappointed and resentful.If Bishop Lynch says distribution should be under both species, then the people there should likewise rejoice at receiving the Lord, rather than grouse and be resentful of what is the practice elsewhere, or rather than complain, like the rad-trads, that it should be only one species everywhere all the time.As stated above, Bishop Trautman is said to have "expressed his hope that each diocesan Bishop will continue to make full use of the authority granted him by the Missale Romanum."Well, Bishops Olmsted and Morlino have made "full use of the authority granted him," as will Bishop Lynch. It really is not all that difficult.

So Bender wants to forget the Trad stuff about how the Latin Mass gives us the 'same' all over the world. Bender is coming around to see that universal mandated conformity is not valid but validity rests only in districts/dioceses. No need for national conferences and maybe no need for Curia. We can all become Congregationalists.. I see a dawn of no more disputes.. (-:

These two Bishops, and any others considering a similar restriction, are well aware that no lay communicant is obliged to receive from the cup (chalice). They also know that most dioceses allow the communicants this option, and the right to exercise their own discretion in the matter. So why notallow those who wish to receive the Precious Blood and think this is right and appropriate to continue to do so?It is claimed that the Bishops have a teaching role. Anyone who has done any regular teaching is well aware that a real teacher is first of all still learning. Not a few Bishops appear to major in an autocratic style of administration.Are these two Lordships possibly trying to fend off criticism of the new Mass version by creating a diversionary bone of contention? I suspect that ambition lies behind the England-and-Wales bishops' re-mandating Friday abstinence! It loudly proclaims to the "Observers at Head Office" that we are such good, regular sheep.Meanwhile what of yesterday's Mass readings? - a banquet of "fine wines" was proclaimed. And the wiping away of all tears. I doubt we'll be offered either anytime soon.

@Kathy (10/9, 9:47 pm) "I wonder if youve ever been to a Methodist church on a communion Sunday. I have, and the reverence of the people eating the bread, and praying afterwards is remarkable. Not so in your average Catholic parish. And this is the Blessed Sacrament."While I appreciate your testimony of your experience at (at least one?) a Methodist church and of "your average Catholic parish", my own experience is quite different---both of Methodist churches and of Catholic ones. But my experience means little in the grand scheme of things; it's so limited after all.No, what troubles me in your post is (what seems to be) the assumption that you (or any of us) can know the kind and degree of reverence of the communicants in "your average Catholic parish". It's been a humbling experience over the years, but I've slowly learned not to make assumptions about people's reverence or prayerfulness based on how they're dressed, how they walk, or any other external signs.If you have some way of measuring how much your fellow communicants are "acknowledging the divine presence among us", I for one would be interested to hear what it is and whether it's something the rest of us could learn.

Luke,You ask a very fair question. I'm reminded of a time when I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird to a 9 year old boy. At a certain point he was wiggling around and fiddling with things so much that I asked him if I was wasting my time, reading out loud. He said, "I'm listening!" and basically recited the previous page and a half.That incident humbled me regarding 9 year old boys, but I am not sure about the rest of humanity. Watching this video, isn't it somewhat possible to tell whether there is an overall atmosphere of reverence or not? In the closeups, isn't it possible to tell a little bit about the feelings of the people? bishop can't escape the question. He must make decisions based on his pastoral priorities.

Bender, I don't completely disagree with you. Bishops, by church law, seem to have the right to restrict access to communion under both kinds in their diocese. But instead of just saying that it's their right, they provide reasons that, to put it plainly, are wrong. We can and we must point it out.

@Kathy (10/10, 8:58 am) Thanks for your thoughtful response. Having watched the video, I'm unsure what point you're trying to make. Aside from the preponderance of red robes and the fact that virtually all the worshippers appear to be over 50, what I noticed was a great (and typical) range of facial expressions. Some people were singing enthusiastically along with the (excellent) choir. Some appeared to be singing quietly. Some weren't singing at all. Some worshippers appeared to be praying intensely. Some appeared to be meditating quietly. Some appeared to be glancing about the church. Some appeared bored or tired or distracted. (See at 3:41 for a pretty full range of expressions by some of the clergy present.)I take all this as to be expected in most large gatherings of communal prayer. There are, it seems to me, many ways of displaying reverence---along a full spectrum from silent meditation in a monastic setting to jubilant, to the ecstatic song and praise common in Pentecostal and Holiness churches. I've seen people receive Communion with trembling and awe on their faces. I've seen people receive Communion with expressions of joy and gladness. I've seen people receive Communion as if they were welcoming an old and dear friend.I'm curious, what do the closeups in that video tell you about the feelings (and the prayerfulness and reverence) of the people at that Mass?

it seems to imply Extraordinary Ministers should only be used in truly extraordinary circumstances, i.e., not for regular Sunday mass.I see this interpretation occasionally, but it seems to me that this misunderstands the meaning of "extraordinary" in this context. The use of Extraordinary Ministers on a regular basis is no more excluded than is the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite on a regular basis.

Here is my response to this: The Eucharist is not a Weapon: Part II (link: line: this is a power issue that draws on a technicality about who can and cannot purify chalices. A scandal indeed!

Kathy,What I'm missing in what you say is an argument for why restricting communion to one species would enhance anyone's faith and devotion. I'm not denying that this could happen -- unexpected stuff happens all the time. But unexpected stuff cannot be counted on, so I think it is incumbent upon us to ask why would we expect this restriction to have this effect? I'm all for obedience, and if my bishop issued such a directive I would, as a cleric bound by a promise of obedience, obey it (though it would pain me greatly). But as a theologian -- and a Thomist who thinks we should be able to offer at least argumenta ex convenientia in such matters -- I would look for a better argument than the bogus ones that have been offered thus far.

These Two, cut from the same cloth, typify exactly what's wrong with a morally corrupt hierarchy, void of transparency and accountability . . . to us. This serves to hasten the demise of this last major feudal monarchy.

Attending the same Mass in about 15 different countries in pre-Vatican II days persuaded me that what I had been told - that Catholic really did mean "catholic" - was true. It looked and sounded the same wherever I went to Mass. Latin was unintelligible to nearly all, but what people and priest did was understandable. Symbols and actions can be profoundly meaningful in context as no one understands and demonstrates better than the Catholic Church. The present discussion sounds like "Do your own thing" at the bishop's level, which I find surprising in something as centrally visible and significant as the distribution of the Eucharist. None of the arguments for or against Communion from the cup sounds so powerful that it couldn't be definitively overridden by a universal decree tomorrow. This all appears to be a sop to bishops to allow them a token display of individual authority and perhaps sidestepping some back-room arguments while their domains collapse around them.

In solidarity with the poor and the call of the Gospel, Olmstead and Morlino should abdicate their mansions for more humble abodes. Extraordinary and ordinary Ministers can help with the move.

I'm rather surprised my friend Kathy would be an apologist for the Hermeneutic of Subtraction.Communion from the Cup is another opportunity for the full experience of grace. Not everybody takes these opportunities. Not every Catholic goes to daily Mass, holy days, or prays the rosary, or reads the Bible. But the open door is always there in many of these circumstances.The Lord Jesus referred to a generous and demanding faith (see Luke 10:27, etc.) in which we are called to devote all to the life of faith and the love of God. It is a curious rationalism that suggests that deprivation of a spiritual good is somehow directly linked to an improved life of faith. Less smoking, less drinking, less computer time--stuff like this I can perceive. Good things abused to the point of addiction.But this whole line of reasoning aligns well with the notion of limiting our acts of virtue. Hey: if I take my wife and daughter out for dinner once a year instead of every week, they sure as heck will appreciate me and the experience more, right? Right?If there's any addiction in this sorry episode I'd say it's upper management concerned about their standing apart from the laity. Left and right seats next to Jesus, it seems. Bishops are looking more like the Sons of Thunder these days--minus Mom, I think.

Several years ago, Bishop Morlino took another step to minimize the risk of confusing laity with clergy: he disbanded the Madison diocese's diaconate formation program. That program had begun just a few years before, under the auspices of Bishop Morlino's predecessor. The first class of 'permanent' deacons in Madison had been ordained when Bishop Morlino discontinued the program. That means that there is only one class of deacons in the diocese. Those guys need our prayers, as do all the people of the Madison diocese.

The author correctly noted the GIRM regarding this: . . 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, . . On other words, among many other things, the local bishop gets to decide this one. As such why all the second guessing (judging?) on this. The GIRM clearly states this topic is well with the purview of the local bishop. As such, I do not understand the fuss when a bishop decides to allow the cup for the laity only on special occasions rather than at every mass.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.OK, Madison Catholics, your bishop has acted.How are you going to respond???*That's* the big question.

PS - My question suggests some degree of optimism on my part.To make clear, I am not at all optimistic that Madison Catholics will reject their bishop's behavior.Indifference to this ecclesiastical crap.Indifference.The opposite of love.

Ken--Although, like you, I don't share the suspicions others have about the bishops' motives, I do think the explanations provided could be clearer. If I had to guess, and this is not much more than speculation, I would say these bishops had concerns from the get-go about the use of EMs, or something's concerned them about how it's been implemented in their diocese. The recent changes to GIRM give them clearer authority to address their concerns, so they're moving forward (suppose some would say backward) now. My guess is they don't want to offend the EMs by coming out and saying that their widespread use works against the reverence for the Eucharist the bishops would like to see, but I think valor is the better part of discretion--I wish they'd be more clear.I wouldn't rule out the possibility that more infrequent access to both species could increase appreciation for it. I imagine if I only took my wife out to dinner once a year, she'd appreciate the meal much more, though me much less.Jim--Did Bishop Morlino give any reason why he cut back the diaconate program?

The whole concept of the action of Christ at the Last Supper is being obstructed in the decrees of both Bishops Olmsted and Morlino. It was HIS intention that the Eucharist was to be received under both bread and wine. The early Christian Churches followed Christ's example at their celebration of "The Meal". The only time Communion was distributed under bread only----was when communion was taken to the sick---a practice that is continued today.The comments of some of the bloggers above about 'up-grading' our faith by denying the cup to baptized Catholics (except at SPECIAL events) is a matter of special concern to me. Our faith was given to us at baptism. It was/is a GIFT of God to us and it is a mystery. So is the Eucharist. It is a GIFT of Jesus Christ to us----and is a mystery. None of us really can understand the full nature of these mysteries. But they are God's unmistakable GIFT to us.Are who are these bishops, now, telling us that THEY and THEY alone have the right to restrict the fullness of God's GIFTS to us? That they have a right, through their own warped understanding of the directives of GIRM, to block the intention of Christ in giving himself to us body and BLOOD. These bishops are saying in so many words that only the clergy/hierarchy have the right to receive the body and blood of Christ. What revelation from God gave them that right? What arrogance on their part! As John Chuchman accurately pointed out---these shabby excuses as successors to the Apostles are "cut from the same cloth". This is not an "up-grading" of our love and respect for the Holy Eucharist. It is a denigration, by these bishops, of the dignity of the People of God. Out of great love for us Christ gave himself to us in the Eucharist---BODY and BLOOD. Our salvation was paid for by the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross---BODY and BLOOD. We were always supposed to receive communion under BOTH species so that our participation in the Eucharist would also result in a life-long reflection of Christ's Death and Resurrection. "Do this in memory of me." This was the example of love that Christ gave to us. And this was the example that Christ gave to the Apostles----who wanted to be First in the Kingdom of Heaven. "As I have done, so also must you do." But as Todd Flowerday so correctly notes that when it comes to these bishops "it's upper management concerned about their standing apart from the laity. Left and right seasts next to Jesus, it seems."And neither of these two bishops are known as "Pastoral Bishops". They are not known for following Christ's command to minister to the least of his people. I KNOW of some bishops who have cooked meals for the poor in soup kitchens. I know of Bishops who have visited the homes of people suffering the violent loss of a loved one. I know of Bishops who have sold their mansions, and moved into simpler living quarters. I know of Bishops who have taken their seminarians down to South America to see how the poor (in their S.A. 'sister diocese) live their lives---and they had them to minister to them.But Bishops Olmsted and Morlino---do not fit into this category at all, at all. As Sister Mary Wood rightly referred to them as "Lordships" they are so much into their episcopal dignity, what concern do they have for modeling the example of Christ and the Apostles?And I return to a question that I asked in writing of the Phoenix situation. Who gave these bishops the right to crucify the People of God in their dioceses, without the people in these dioceses raising a cry of protest? The people of the Dioceses of Phoenix and Madison-- should get an on-line letter of complaint going to your bishop----and let them know that you are "mad as Hell" and that you are not going to take any more of their nonsense.

Luke,My only point was that one can tell from the outside, somewhat, how people are doing at praying. I was just responding to your question on that point.Hi Todd,It's not subtraction but addition--a gift of better theology. Also, you have made a theological error in your comment: communing from the cup is not an additional grace. The fullness of the grace of Communion is given to me regardless of whether I receive under one or both forms.Deacon Fritz,You are right, I didn't explain. Ok, plenty of this is arguable, but here goes. I think that Catholics these days (speaking VERY generally) easily believe in Jesus as good, approachable, and kind, and as requiring the same attitude of us. All of which is fine. That has been our liturgical catecheis for the last 40 years and there is nothing wrong with it--it's one of the main points of Phil. 2. But this kind of warm, living-room Jesus--absolutely true, present in every one of the Gospels--has, in my opinion, overbalanced belief in the divinity. I truly think there is a neo-Arian spirit abroad. Certainly it is not absent from the academy. It doesn't have to be malicious to be present. It is present. In the moral life, it takes shape as a belief in God's unconcern about any virtues besides the strictly social. One great pastoral need-of-the-moment is a restoration in belief in Jesus Christ as "from above." One way to do that is to re-emphasize sacrality. These aren't our things, to be handled as we wish. These are things set apart, handled sacredly, worthy of special respect (latria, in fact). Protecting from spills and profanation is not a trivial matter. But this other thing is really exciting to me, increasing faith in the divinity.

Thanks for the input Mark. I just do not see the relationship between the clergy and the people as being a power struggle. There are times when I disagree with things; I am a conservative man and have come across priests who take a different view than I do. Nonetheless liberal or traditional - I listen to them because they are priests, and try to heed their words. There are times when the priest is acting in Persona Christi and so regardless of my or his political views, in matters of the Catholic faith, he is correct.Likewise, I do not think it good to be battling with a Bishop or a priest about anything.Power struggles are for politics and union negotiations, not for church.Per Little Bears post about the bishop crucifying the People of God, his rallying cry for protest, starting petition drives etc., regarding receiving the Eucharist under both species is an example of someone who is needlessly looking for a battle or contest with the bishop.

On other words, among many other things, the local bishop gets to decide this one. As such why all the second guessing (judging?) on this. The GIRM clearly states this topic is well with the purview of the local bishop. As such, I do not understand the fuss when a bishop decides to allow the cup for the laity only on special occasions rather than at every mass.Ken (and Mark),The fuss is, in part, that the bishop is not saying, "I am doing thus under my authority, as granted to me by the G.I.R.M." Instead, he (or his proxy, the Cathedral rector) is saying, "The indult expired in 2005 and so now we have to change our practice."This latter statement is false, as has been shown above (thanks to Claire for her thorough documentation). When someone utters a false statement, it seems to me that the only two options are 1) he is ignorant of the truth or 2) he is lying. I'm not sure which of these two unsavory options I would prefer to think is the case here.

Yes! Prof. Bauerschmidt is exactly on the mark here! The problem is this curious invocation of an indult that is really only focused on the ministers authorized to purify sacred vessels. If the bishop(s) wanted to use his (their) own authority, as is granted by universal and liturgical law in this case, that would be another story. I don't think it would necessarily be a prudent move either, but nonetheless it would be a legitimate use of ordinary authority. The question all this raises for me is, following Bauerschmidt's remarks above: what is 'really' going on here?

Neo-Arian spirit - spare me!How very secular, such relativism. Join the current fad for a "conspiracy" everywhere and behind every door including church doors.Yes, if we deprive folks of the eucharist; they might eventually better value Jesus Christ. Of course, if we take this to its logical conclusion, then we need to deny the faithful both bread and wine.Mother Teresa: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them!"

"Its not subtraction but additiona gift of better theology."I don't recognize policy as theology. The foundation of Christ indicates: eat and drink. Are you presuming to stand against the Lord and suggest a better expression of the Paschal Mystery."Also, you have made a theological error in your comment: communing from the cup is not an additional grace. The fullness of the grace of Communion is given to me regardless of whether I receive under one or both forms."Reading comprehension, my friend. I'm not limiting my definition of the importance of grace to the sacramental realm only. Denying the laity the Cup was serious enough that a whole theological justification had to be invented to make people feel better. I pretty much reject the notion that sacramental policy exists to salve the consciences of the powerful.

Oh my Bill, you are on a roll: Yes, if we deprive folks of the eucharist; they might eventually better value Jesus Christ. Of course, if we take this to its logical conclusion, then we need to deny the faithful both bread and wine.Please; nobody is denying the Eucharist to the laity. Some people search very long and hard for a perceived injustice and relish the role of being a victim of the powerful; a the people against the man sort of storyline. Ugh..Mother Teresa: If you judge people, you have no time to love them! Indeed. If only some here would extend this idea to the bishop.

Ken,Our Church does not do very well with the concepts of "CONFLICT". In fact, in most of the social encyclicals that our popes have written---the role of conflict with and against power are undeveloped topics.But conflict is a very real part of life (and yes our life in the Church, too). Our young people, in protest against the corporate greed and financial unfairness demonstrated by the giants of Wall Street, understand this concept well. How long are people to put up with a system that is dominated by 5% of the population with 1% holding more than 50% of the nation's wealth---by not generating more jobs---or by taking them overseas. It is an INJUSTICE!Many of us also have viewed what happened in Egypt this week-end with horror. Coptic Christians (read Coptic Rite Catholics as well as Coptic Orthodox Christians) have been engaged in conflict with the government and many died. It is an INJUSTICE.Our Church is also a social institution. Human beings and human society do not exist without conflict. But before Vatican II, our Catholic teaching downplayed this concept---in fact we rationalized it away. We emphasized harmony, that we are all called to rationally look at natural law as a means of participating in eternal law---and to do so as rational creatures. Everything was to be so neat, so orderly. We were to live our lives by an ordering of reason, rather than by the will.And of course, this emphasis on order and reason fits very well into the pre-Vatican II's concept of a hierarchial ordering of society. A hierarchical approach to society (and to how the Church wishes to operate) downplays, even opposes, freedom, equality and participation. In Catholic thought, human societies are often compared to a body---each with different parts---that contribute to the functioning of the good of the whole body of society. In ecclesiology, we have the same comparison. The Church as the mystical body of Christ, is also compared to different body parts as well. Total equality of parts would mean that there could never be a whole. Therefore an emphasis on freedom, equality, and participation threatens the order, unity, and cohesion of the hierarchically structured body or organism.After Vatican II---our popes still had trouble with dealing with conflict. We still like a TOP down approach to issues. And as American Catholics, we still have difficulty with this. We want to believe that those over us (bishops, cardinals, popes) issue JUST rules----and all we as subjects (Good Catholics) need to do is simply obey God's law coming down to us from above.Sorry, Ken, but one of my heroes is Saul Alinsky. an agnostic Jewish founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation (Saul is also the adopted hero of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as well). He believed in conflictual tactics. But he knew----that conflict is the MEANS not the END. This is my belief also.Yes, I believe that the people of the Dioceses of Phoenix and Madison should engage in confrontations with their bishops. Otherwise, all the talk of the laity as being the People of God----would be nothing more than whispers in a wind storm. Under Catholic Social Doctrines, the people have a right to organize, a right to protest, and a right to confront.Christ charged the Apostles to be Servant-Leaders, not feudal rulers. If the Bishops are forgetting that this is what they are called to be----the People of God need to teach them what their true calling is.

"I believe that the people of the Dioceses of Phoenix and Madison should engage in confrontations with their bishops."For starters, they might consider a withdrawal of their assistance in forming, scheduling, and recruiting lay Communion ministers entirely. Likewise the ordering of altar bread and wine. Let the faithful remnant have a turn at assisting Father. See how it suits them.For the past ten years, I have declined from organizing lay ministers for large diocesan or regional gatherings at which priests were expected to be present, but for which they rarely bothered to respond in advance. Let the clergy manage their own ministry, I figure.

Ed - I seriously doubt anyone would shout like that during mass.

The fact remains that when one receives the Eucharist in either species (i.e., bread or wine) he or she receives the full Eucharist. In other words, one does not get more grace by receiving the Eucharist via both bread and wine; nobody is deprived of anything when they recieve the Eucharist only under one species.With all the high-hollering and hissing around about this, I get the impression that those who are so upset with these two bishops (AZ and WI) do not understand that if you receive the Eucharist via only bread (or only wine) it is the same as if you receive under both species.With the truth in mind then, the bishops have simply decided to reserve the Eucharistic vino for special occasions.In any case, most Catholics around the world receive the Eucharist simply via the form of bread.

Suggestion for laity in Phoenix and Madison; In the distribution lines for the Eucharist there is a usual place for the distribution of the cup. over to the side aisles in most cases.. Just have a few brave souls line up [5-10 ] and await the cup distribution which does not come. A respectful stance for about 5 minutes till the final blessing. Three Sundays in a row should get the message across. Ignore shouts of ' sit down' which will come ...sad to say.

Ken, you've said several times that the communicant receives no more grace in communion under both forms than in communion under one form. I'm not sure that's correct.I reproduce for our consideration a comment posted at Pray Tell by learned commenter Brian Duffy:"DeLugo states that Francis Blanco, archbishop of Compostella, who took part in the Council of Trent, declared that it was the unanimous opinion of the Fathers that the Chalice imparts additional grace, but that they were unwilling to define it out of due season, lest occasion should be given to the heretics to raise an outcryhe refers especially to Sess CFO.c.3, where it is cautiously declared that those who receive only one species are not defrauded of any grace necessary to salvation. The implication, in De Lugos opinion, is that they are defrauded of some grace.Liturgy & worship, p. 614."I could not find the book to check his citation, but this sounds right to me theologically. If there were no grace at all imparted by the fullness of the signs, why would we seek them and why would the church approve them? You are perhaps unconsciously assigning the consecrated wine a merely decorative function, which is something I warned against in my post on Phoenix. Perhaps one of our historians could shed additional light on this subject. Consider, in parrallel, the case of emergency baptism. No one would say that a baptism consisting only of water and the words was invalid or insufficient for salvation. But the full celebration of the rites most certainly is grace-filled. Otherwise, why "supply the rites" as soon as possible once the emergency has passed?For years the church celebrated adult baptisms using the rite for children in danger of death. That doesn't mean those baptisms were invalid, but surely the way we celebrate today with full rites for adults has enriched our experience. Is this not a grace? We've heard and affirmed several times the right of bishops to make decisions for their dioceses. I stand by that. But I would add that they don't have any business using that freedom except in service to the good of their people. I'm just a little concerned that the bishop's discretion is being interpreted by some in this discussion as license to do just whatever he darn well wants to. No. The freedom is for the exercise of pastoral prudence and wisdom in particular circumstances, not for "proving something" about the ordained vis a vis lay ministers, or for indulging personal whims and preferences that have no relationship to pastoral needs. So I return to the strangeness of the case in which the pretexts given for doing something quite serious are not convincing, and I ask, "What is really going on?"

@Ken (10/10, 4:17 pm) I'll try to leave the theology of the Eucharist to you and the others here who are more knowledgeable about such things than I. Speaking just for myself, I've never really though about Communion as an occasion to "get more grace" as if the grace of the Eucharist were a matter of collecting more points. [If so, I'd have gone back for seconds. :-) ]And I understand that if I receive communion under one species, I've still received communion.This just seems to me like another of those situations in which I'd prefer that the bishops simply say (for example), "Under Church law, I have the power to decide how communion is distributed in this diocese; and from now on it's going to be bread only---except on special occasions. I could make a different decision, but it's my decision to make and this is the way I prefer to have it."Instead, we get bishops insulting our intelligence by playing games with (what are for most of the laity) obscure Church documents and regulations.

Not to get all scholastic on everyone, but the distinction between the effect of the sacraments ex opere operato and their effect ex opere operantis might help here. Receiving under both species might not affect the working of the sacrmanet ex opere operato, but why couldn't it be seen as increasing grace ex opere operantis ?

Joseph Jaglowicz wrote: "OK, Madison Catholics, your bishop has acted. How are you going to respond???"I will thank him, since I and many other people here in the Madison Diocese really appreciate this. It will help reduce the need for EMHCs, and correct widespread Protestant-influenced misunderstandings of the Eucharist. We receive Christ fully, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, when we receive even a tiny portion of the Eucharist under either kind. Communion under one kind (the form of bread) is the traditional practice in the Latin Rite and remains the practice in most of the world. On particular occasions, communion under both kinds will still be offered.It is bizarre the motives some people want to attribute to these good bishops, who are loving fathers to the people of their diocese, and amazing the hostility and attitude of rebellion many seem to have. Anyone who thinks they would be deprived of anything essential or any grace by receiving under one species only, misunderstands Catholic doctrine regarding the Eucharist, particularly as defined by the Council of Trent. After the consecration, the substance of the Eucharist under either kind is the risen Jesus Himself; the appearances of bread and wine are termed the "accidents". When you are in the state of grace and you receive the Eucharist, you are incorporated into Christ's very Body, you are united profoundly with God. He has given all. The appropriate response is total thanksgiving to God.Finally: Bill Mazzella wrote that "Olmstead and Morlino should abdicate their mansions for more humble abodes"He beat you to it, Bill. Bishop Morlino does not live in the Bishop's Mansion, he lives in a modest old parish rectory in downtown Madison. He is my neighbor. I don't know how the "bishop's mansion" is used, probably some of the retired priests live there.

Deacon Fritz,How would faith and love of God increase, with two forms? Could you spell that out? Would it really be hugely different for anyone, more than any other sign or symbolism?

Rita --You've hit the nail on the head -- if it makes no difference whether we receive both species, then why have both? And we can ask the same of the priests and bishops themselves -- why both for them? I think we need the help of the theologians here about what grace is and what it does. I learned that graces are helps to salvation and that there are many, many different kinds. But I never learned much more.Anybody know a reliable source online?

I think the question that should be asked here, is why the celebrant MUST consume both, and the laity needn't.I think the answer will shed light on the need for the restored translation: "Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters), that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

Kathy wrote: "I think the question that should be asked here, is why the celebrant MUST consume both, and the laity neednt."This is a good question with a simple answer. The forms of bread and wine are signs of the sacrifice of Christ. Christ shed all his blood for our sake, His blood was separated from His Body as He offered Himself to the Father in atonement for our sins. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass makes this already-consummated event present in our own time and place, present to us for our salvation. Christ is risen, He is not dead on the altar, rather as Revelation says of the Heavenly liturgy, "a Lamb was standing as though slain." Consecrating the Eucharist is not, as some people assume, simply making Holy Communion to give to the people. Rather, at the heart of the Sacrifice of the Mass is Christ's propitiatory self-offering of Himself to the Father, through the priest who acts in His person. This offering is not only for baptized Catholics who can receive the Eucharist, but for all the living and also the dead in Purgatory. All those who will be saved, are saved through Christ and His Church, even those who are not part of the visible unity of the Church. The priest's Communion under both species is essential to complete the sacrificial action of the Mass, and if the faithful are also to receive Communion this happens only after the priest's Communion. The Precious Blood is reserved in the tabernacle only briefly and under extremely rare circumstances, such as the need to take Communion to a sick person who cannot consume a Host. The Eucharist must never be discarded or put down the sacrarium, because truly it is the Lord. The Precious Blood is therefore normally always consumed completely during the Mass.So, to sum up, as best as I understand it, the Holy Sacrifice is offered by the priest and is complete with his Communion under both Species. The people receiving Communion or not, or under one species or two, is not essential to the Mass. When I write to the Carthusian hermit monks to request them to celebrate a Mass for the eternal repose of one of my loved ones, there is no congregation that receives Communion at that Mass, yet the Mass has infinite value for the salvation of all, and my deceased loved one in particular.

So, Kathy, does this quote protect us from neo-Arianism? And, how do we interpret what you have said - reading between the lines? Is this back to the "alter Christus" stuff and the laity in their place?Please, enlighten us - hopefully, your quote clears up any conspiracy that the rest of us have been hatching for 40+ years.

Kathy --Why must the celebrants take both? Because Jesus told them to, saying "Do it in memory of me". The question is, did He mean to include the rest of us when He said "Take and eat . . .". As I see it, either He meant that only the priests should consume both, or He meant that all should consume both, or He meant that the priests should consume both but the others should consume only one, the bread. Since all the members of the early Church received both, it would seem to me that they understood that Jesus meant that *all* should receive both. Do you mean to say the early Christians didn't really know what Jesus was intending, but we do?We need an exegete here.

Kathy,We are creatures that live by symbols, right? The symbolic nature of the liturgy acts upon us to create certain dispositions. Off the top of my head, I'd say that receiving from the cup could help to dispose us to make use of the grace offered by reminding us of Psalm 23:5 or Psalm 116:3 or Matthew 20:22-23 or Matthew 26:39 (and the parallels in the other gospels) or of Paul's warning in 1 Corinthians 10:21. It can call to mind the wine of Wisdom's feast, or simply the festivity of natural human celebration. It can also, of course, help us to focus on the saving blood of Christ poured out for the life of the world.We can do all of these things, of course, without receiving from the cup, but then we can also do them without beautiful music or buildings or vestments, without good preaching or a prayerful celebrant. But why should we poor sinners, who need all the help we can get to open ourselves to the grace given to us in the sacrament, have to do without any of these things? Cui bono? Not, I fear, the people of God.

I felt a small sense of despair come over me as I read this this afternoon.The loss of sense of pastoral theology and the defenders of Mor;lino, Olmsted and others of that ilk who join the move backward to drive people away astonishes me.I know conserbative Catholics are big on hierachy, authority and loyalty bu t the Church's mission is to build up the body of christ, not keep knocking it down.

I found a particularly excellent and fascinating theological explanation, likely to be of help to many people:

Ann - You raise an important point. The preist takes both bread and wine because he is acting at that moment in persona Cristi; both the body and blood.

I second Elizabeth D's comment at 6:51.Deacon Fritz,Why indeed to we have to do without beautiful music or buildings or vestments? Why, in this era of the image, do we have image-less churches? My guess is that someone decided that there is another theological principle that outweighed the benefits of statuary and polyphony and dignified vestments. So I'm assuming that Bishop Morlino has in mind either theological principles that outweigh the sign-value of Communion under both kinds, or the sign-value of Communion under one kind only, which I've tried several times to describe here.

And is it not amazing that Eastern Catholics, from time immemorial, have received the Eucharist under BOTH species? Eastern Catholic infants are baptized, chrismated (confirmed) and receive the Holy Eucharist (a drop of the Precious Blood) all on one day.When the little ones are able to take in solid food---and are able to understand that they can receive the Holy Bread (yes, that's what the little pre-schoolers call it), their parents carry them up in their arms. And the young children receive Communion under both species, as do their older siblings, parents, and grandparents. Reception of the Eucharist under two species is more than just symbolism for the Eastern Church since the Apostolic Age. Just try telling Eastern Catholics that they can receive Communion under only one species....By the way, Elizabeth, it has only been since the year 1123---Lateran Council I that it was deemed necessary to limit the Eucharist to the reception of only the Bread (hosts were not as uniformly thin as they are now). Because there already was hostility with the Eastern Church (The Council of Constantinople IV, 869-70 was the last ecumenical council to be held in the East), Pope Callistus II---was seeking reform within the Church. He also wanted to change the concept of the reception of Communion so that it would be markedly DIFFERENT than what the Orthodox Church had. The actual break with the Eastern Church had occured 1055 (actually had been building up long before that point). It was easier to reserve the Eucharist (convenience was also important to the Western Church) as only bread, sans wine. And the theology for why we receive Communion under one form was finally supplied by the most powerful (and saintly) church leader of the day---Bernard of Clairvaux (a Cistercian monk)---around the year 1136. "When we receive the Eucharist, we receive the living body of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we receive the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ."Of course, in the next century----the great schoolmen---such as Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Duns Scotis----would bring in a deep and rich theology to support the Latin Rite practice, after all----by their time----reception of the Eucharist under one species was TRADITION. I would like to say that from being both a student and a teacher of Church History, I know that there are plenty of personal motives involved in Church decisions both from the past and TODAY. Synods and ecumenical councils from the ancient past often ended up turning into brawls. This is one of the reasons that Bishops started wearing such largerings. Usually bishops were of nobility and they wore their family's coat of arms on their rings---but it also served as a form of 'brass knuckles' if the bishop got into a fight with another bishop. Council of Chalcedon in 451 was one example of some very upset members of the hierarchy. A synod or second council of Ephesus (called the 'robber synod')had been held after the last official ecumenical council in Ephesus in 431----and the patriarchs, archbishops, bishops and others were in a very foul mood as a result of the shenanigans that occured there. While actual fistfights usually don't occur today----there is enough 'political wrangling' going on during bishops' meetings, and especially during a conclave----to make the national conventions of either the Democrats or Republicans look like a nursery-school picnic. To believe that the dear bishops discussed on this blog don't have personal motives behind their proclamations is the height of naivete---sooner believe in the Tooth Fairy.

I wonder about the accuracy of "So, all over the United States, we now find ourselves needing to bring our practice into conformity with ... the rest of the world." I don't recall the cup being offered in Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, or Bamberg, but then I really wasn't aware that this fracas might arise. Ten years ago in Vancouver, I recall that in the Cathedral we were expected to to kneel at a Communion rail, but my knees would not bend all the way.----The Madison and Phoenix pronouncements remind me how, in 1975, a priest in our parish argued against communion in the hand. Shortly thereafter, we were at Sta. Maria Maggiore and found that the congregants received all standing and many in the hand. ----Can anyone provide examples of Asian, African, Latin American, European or Australian Latin-rite reception under both species?

"When someone utters a false statement, it seems to me that the only two options are 1) he is ignorant of the truth or 2) he is lying."F.C.There may a third option, for example, I don't think a spouse's response to the question, "Honey, do you think I've put on weight?" would fit either category. The monsignor here may be trying to spare feelings. But I agree with you that fuzziness (my word) doesn't help.L.B."Saul [Alinsky] is also the adopted hero of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development as well."Hmmm, that's interesting. Never saw that in the CCHD promotional material accompanying the 2nd collection in our parish.

As to reasons why some prefer to receive communion under both forms:The Instruction "Sacramentali Communione" of June 29, 1970 published a list of 13 cases in which an Ordinary could authorize distribution under both forms (leaving to conferences of bishops to define other cases). It said:"Among the ways of communicating prescribed by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, receiving from the chalice itself ranks first."GIRM 1975 said:"240. Holy communion has a more complete form as a sign when it is received under both kinds. For in this manner of reception a fuller light shines on the sign of the eucharistic banquet. Moreover there is a clearer expression of that will by which the new and everlasting covenant is ratified in the blood of the Lord and of the relationship of the eucharistic banquet to the eschatological banquet in the Father's kingdom.[68]"GIRM 2002 said the same thing, renumbering that item as 281

I must say that this all is of no surprise to me as I have written several time in this forum about the insidious takeover of the American church by those who would deny Vatican II and return us to the days when the Priest in the Parish was GOD and the people were to be kept dumb and obedient. Opus Dei, SSPXII, Legionnaires of Christ, whomever. I do not need everyone to agree with me, but there will soon be a day when you all will say, "O My God, How did this all happen; why didn't we see it coming; we don't like being religated to the masses of powerless Catholics like our ancestors.Girl Altar Servers are disappearing in some dioceses, now the EM's, look next for more chant and plainsong and Latin.Practice up, folks, 'et cum spiritu tuo' is back. 'worthy to come under my roof' is back, the 'Lord God of Sabaoth' (hosts) is back, 'Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa' is back and so much more is on the way. I guess most of you will not notice the completed takeover of the American Church until you enter church one Sunday and find your Altars reversed and the Priest (no longer called the 'celebrant') will say the 'prayers at the foot of the altar' and be dressed in fiddlebacks.Elie Wiesel said it best, "those who do not condemn evil condone it'. Cheer up, though, there is always good Episcopal Liturgy and Lutheran Liturgy.

Perhaps these excerpts from an article by the former professor of liturgy at Munster, Arnold Angenendt, will be helpful. The article, "Questionable Praise of the Old Liturgy," is found in the May 2011 issue of WORSHIP (vol. 85). This is not available on-line. I hope that I am in the bounds of "fair use." As well, my typing is laborious and erratic. (For long years I wrote literally thousands of letters and memorandums in longhand, and always with a fountain pen. Others did the typing for me. Not too difficult. The Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia drilled into us (in Bethesda, Maryland) the Palmer Method, and I pretty much succeeded, though now it is a bit idiosyncratic.)The excerpts from WORSHIP:None of the eastern liturgies gives any indication that "the saying about the offering points to anything other than the sanctification by means of the gifts of bread and wine that the Spirit of God has placed before the faithful. An offering of Christ, or even merely a consecratory interpretation of the words of institution, is excluded from the sequence of ideas of the eastern anaphoras."The Roman Eucharistic Prayer [Canon] reveals yet a third change of direction. Jungmann also pointed out a singular peculiarity of the Roman Canon: "The remembrance should be realized not only in and by the priest but also in and by the entire congregation assembled." The Roman Canon is explicit in mentioning that the subject of the act of remembering includes both priest and people ('nos servi tui, sed et plebs tua sancta'). By specifying that "we" includes priests and people it is made clear that all the participants offer spiritual sacrifice without exception and that they enter into the self-offering of Jesus Christ by their own self-sacrifice. Even the Ambrosian interpretation of a metabolic change in the elements does not exclude this idea common to East and West: everyone, and therefore the entire Church, offers the sacrifice.Precisely this approach, however, was revoked and reinterpreted in a clerical sense in the early Middle Ages. Instead of the totality of clergy and people, now only the priest emerges as the one who truly offers. ( WORSHIP, 85,202)--- --- ---The history of the "Orate, fratres" is quite complex. Jungmann says: "The version familiar to us, which appeared but seldom outside Italy, had become the only formula current in Italy since the eleventh century, and thus reached the Missale Romanum." (The Mass of the Roman Rite, II, 88)So this clericalist tendency is quite a late development.

I just returned from a visit to that part of Wisconsin. I went to my old home parish for mass and met a couple who used to attend a parish in Platteville, WI - 9 miles north of my home town. They said that the parsh which has been "given" to the 3 uber conservative priests from Spain to ruin lost about 40% of its membership. They indicated that this new episcopal misdirective will only help exacerbate an already upset diocese. But what to they know, right? Morlino is, after, a direct descendant of the apostles.Life outside of the wretched arms of an increasinly-reintrenched episcopacy is most certainly looking better by the day.

Joe MacMahon: in France when I go to Mass at a monastery or a place with religious, usually communion is offered under both kinds; and when I go back to my old university and attend the small group Mass in the tiny chapel, communion is offered under both kinds. So there are at least those two locations where I can pretty reliably find it.

Jimmy Mac wrote: "They said that the parsh which has been given to the 3 uber conservative priests from Spain to ruin lost about 40% of its membership."...and people actually come from far and wide to their beautiful and reverent Sunday High Masses with Gregorian chant and magnificent Renaissance polyphony. The Society of Jesus Christ the Priest are diocesan priests who do also celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass. When they arrived some of the parishioners got excessively upset for strange reasons such as the priests said no altar girls (my pastors at St Paul's on the UW Madison campus who are keen to promote priestly vocations did away with altar girls too and I am not aware of anyone even noticing), and EMHCs became unnecessary since they have 3 priests, and the priests wanted to make sick calls personally rather than have EMHCs do them. I'm not kidding, some parishioners seemed to feel even that was an affront even though priests can hear Confessions and administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick when appropriate and EMHCs cannot. They also renovated St Norbert's church which is absolutely GORGEOUS now, and you guessed it there was great complaining. There is nothing strange about these priests, they are just good Catholic priests and people who appreciate what they are doing are seeking out their parishes. Other Catholic groups pitched in to fundraise for the school they run, etc. The SJCP priests are doing a great job. It just isn't what some of their former parishioners were used to.

Rather, at the heart of the Sacrifice of the Mass is Christs propitiatory self-offering of Himself to the Father, through the priest who acts in His person. Well, if that were correct then my life would be quite different. If I am not participating directly in the Sacrifice of the Mass myself, then I don't have to go so regularly any more. If the Mass only serves to satisfy my own needs by the reception of Communion, then, in good periods of my life, attending once in a while will suffice. After all, I'm the only one who might be hurt by my absence from the Mass. It's selfish to always be going to Mass instead of spending my Sunday morning taking care of other people, preparing an elaborate meal for my family, or doing something else that would be useful for others. I can always do my own private prayers at another time, or by myself while I am peeling my vegetables. Why should I watch the priest do his thing Sunday after Sunday? Others need me. He doesn't need me. But that's not my understanding. I believe that when we are not present at Mass, the communion of the church as a whole is weakened. I believe that we're all participating in the Eucharist. As Pope Pius X strongly recommended, we are saying the priest's words with him (internally, for some parts of the Mass), we make them ours, his sacrifice is our sacrifice, his prayer is our prayer, and as Pius X explained, that's what it means for us to pray the Mass. Our participation is what gives meaning to our presence. Frankly, if I was merely a spectator watching the consecration being done solely by the priest at the altar, that would be a great impoverisment. The idea is almost as offensive as if someone turned to me and said: "What you do or think doesn't matter. You thought your presence was useful? You are superfluous. You are not needed here. You are nobody." I know I am not saying quite the right things, that I should be more careful and use quotes rather than a subjective reality rooted in nothing other than my personal experience, but Elizabeth D's description of the Mass is disturbing. I protest. I thank John Page for his objections. And that's enough from me on this thread.

"Well, if that were correct then my life would be quite different. If I am not participating directly in the Sacrifice of the Mass myself, then I dont have to go so regularly any more.... Frankly, if I was merely a spectator watching the consecration being done solely by the priest at the altar, that would be a great impoverisment."Fortunately we are certainly not just spectators at Mass, and Vatican II calls for our "full, conscious and active participation". Even when for some reason I am not able to receive Communion, I do not ever feel that I am just a "spectator". Of course I cannot consecrate the Eucharist (which is plainly impossible since we are women and could not ever validly be ordained as priests), but through our Baptism we are able to participate in the Liturgy profoundly.This is a quote from the Vatican II Constitution on the Liturgy: "The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ's faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators. On the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God's word, and be nourished at the table of the Lord's Body. They should give thanks to God. Offering the immaculate victim, not only through the hands of the priest but also together with him, they should learn to offer themselves." There is more explanation about how we participate at Mass here: reason you have a grave obligation to go to Mass every Sunday is because of what the Mass IS, the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of your soul, and source and summit of the whole life and activity of the Church, and what the Eucharist IS, Jesus who loves you completely and deserves the love of your whole heart, soul mind and strength--certainly not because Mass cannot occur without you. Sunday Mass attendance is also the way in which Christians observe the Commandment to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (for us, now, this is not the 7th day of the week but the "8th day" the day of the resurrection, of the new and eternal life in Christ). It is also a requirement of canon law. Because there is a grave obligation to attend Sunday Mass, it is possible to sin mortally by skipping it without something serious preventing you.

Elizabeth wrote, "people actually come from far and wide to their beautiful and reverent Sunday High Masses with Gregorian chant and magnificent Renaissance polyphony."Well, well, well. I thought many people had complaints about masses being used as a show -- but now the people should be happy that their own mass isn't for them, but a show for people who are not from the parish! How nice!

I find arguments about "what happens around the world" which ignores the Eastern Churches to be dangerous. More importantly, I think Todd is right -- the subtraction being done is dangerous and indicates a "do as little as possible" mentality -- in spirituality as well as in liturgy. If there were legitimate reasons for communion under one species, fine. But it must be something which counters the symbolic value being lost. I don't see it. I don't see the need. Does the bishop have the authority to do this? Yes, and it should be followed until changed. However, this doesn't mean one can't question, and point out why people think the discipline is not needed.

Little BearI also see a dangerous misunderstanding of liturgy, one which ignores the people, something which the East also finds problematic.

Little Bear: that was not about you, but rather, those you are responding to... they seem to misunderstand liturgy -- the work of the people -- and return it to a thing of clerics alone.

The idea that it is a gift of a better theology is also -- wrong. What better theology is being given which is not already known or appreciated? Better theology, I would say, comes out of the fullness of symbolism, not the lessening of it. There can be reasons to limit reception to one species -- but to say it is because it is better theology to do so -- is utterly ridiculous. It is worse theology, because it is worse symbolism. There is, after all, a reason why Jesus offered both species and not just one. I think he is the best executor of theology of all. I would say, without proper reasons for such discipline, we are actually getting closer to a semi-gnostic idoelogy, because the full incarnational theology of the symbolism is lost!

@Little Bear (10/10, 8:03 pm) Thank-you for the brief history of how the 12th century innovation of receiving Communion under only one species developed in the Roman Catholic Church, and of the subsequent development of a deep and rich theology around that innovation once it had become a tradition.That is evidence (as is this thread)---as if more were needed---that we humans have a seemingly endless capacity for reflection---including theological reflection---on our lives and experiences. It's also evidence (or so it seems to me) of the Church's ability to adapt to different cultures and different times.

Yes, how odd that parents of female altar servers would be upset when their new priests--missionaries from Spain installed in Catholic Wisconsin--have told their daughters that they are no longer welcome to serve the Mass, presumably because they believe mingling altar girls with altar boys stymies priestly vocations. Why in the world would such parents find that transparently sexist?

Good News!Bishop Morlino has issued a letter to priests on his own stationery clarifying his position. It doesn't have any references to Indults expiring, etc, but says:"The Third Edition of the Roman Missal reinforces the right of bishops to make additional allowances for reception of Communion under both species, beyond that which the documents already mention: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 (Roman Missal, 283).This permission has been assumed, if not expressed directly in the past. I recognize this, and I understand fully that communion under both forms at every Mass has become common practice at some parishes.However, I have been told of, and have personally experienced, the reality that the provision both that the faithful be well instructed and that there be no danger of profanation of the Sacrament, is not being met. As such, while recognizing the need for patient, prudent and practical steps according to your individual parishes, Ive asked you to move in this direction.Thus, I cannot in good conscience, allow us to go forward without addressing these matters. Thats specifically what Ive asked you to do. Please help your people to know and understand the beautiful gift we have in the Eucharist, to know our obligations of preparing for reception of the Sacrament, both in terms of our preparation through the Sacrament of Confession, our observance of the pre-communion fast, our attending to our attire as best we can, and the like. Please help them to know of Christs presence, fully and entirely in the Sacred Host. Our people know well, the aspect of the Mass which is the Sacred banquet, but help them to know the Eucharist at the Memorial of Christs loving Sacrifice for them. Help them to understand your role in laying down your own life as the minister of Christs Body and Blood, present in the Host.Christ offers Himself, whole and entire, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at every Mass to every woman and man who is prepared to receive Him. At the end of the day, our goal should be to help every, man, woman and child really to understand this, in a profound and life-changing way. If we recognized the gift that we already have, what an impact that would make upon us and upon the world! So, let us tell out this Good News!

In my excerpt of the Bishop Morlino's letter, my symbol to indicate a jump from one point to another disappeared in the HTML. THe paragraph starting "Thus, I cannot in good conscience..." is after the break. See the linked original text for the complete text of teh lettehe

So, because of crumbing and other problems are possible with the species of bread, why not just make the species of wine the one given to everyone? The logic being given still is not satisfactory, because if it followed, as many pointed out, there would be greater restriction on the species of bread than what we find. This is never done. 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. So far I have seen nothing which has been said which shows why this is a good idea.

@John Hayes (10/11, 8:49 am) Many thanks for your post and for the link to Bishop Morlino's letter. Here's hoping that the priests of his diocese will undertake the pastoral catechesis needed so that their parishioners may continue the ancient practice of the Church of receiving both bread and wine at Communion.

Thank you John, for posting the Bishop's clarification; that settles the matter.

"Our people know well, the aspect of the Mass which is the Sacred Banquet, but help them to know the Eucharist as the memorial of Christ's loving Sacrifice for them. Help them to understand your role in laying down your own life as the minister of Christ's Body and Blood, present in the HOST [emphasis supplied]."Luke Hill:These two sentences, especially the second, cause me to be less optimistic than you are, and not only for reasons related to the question of Communion under both kinds.

What would Jan Hus (1369-1415) do? He was the Czech priest who demanded communion in both kinds. His followers soon split along moderate and radical lines into three groups: Utraquists, Calixtines, and Taborites. As far as I can tell, Huss theological patrimony is most clearly to be found in contemporary Moravian churches. Here are excerpts from one discussion of the Moravian communion ceremony from a faculty member of the Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, PA:A typical Moravian communion is conducted with quiet reverence and simple dignity, punctuated with lots of joyful singing, as the presiding clergypersons personally serve the communicants in the pews, first distributing the bread, then the wine (juice)...The manner of distribution in the Moravian Church presents another set of issues. Most members seem to appreciate the way in which the presiding clergy come down to the pews to distribute the elements individually and personally to each communicant. I have no quibble with this in principle except that the whole procedure becomes laborious and time-consuming . Bread is given to each person, after which all partake together; then the wine is handled in the same manner. Thus the meal becomes somewhat fragmented, as well, with the partaking of the wine separated by perhaps ten minutes from the partaking of the bread...The Moravian form of communion simply takes too long to complete and thus discourages a weekly celebration. If the church wishes to return to the basic structure of worship that calls for table fellowship every Lords Day, then the question of efficiency needs to be addressed... page)------------------------Ive looked at a few Moravian church websites. Many congregations appear to be very small and the schedule of their services doesnt seem to allow for what Catholics consider to be frequent communion. BTW, many have an interesting ritual which they call a love feast. As the excerpt points out, it may be that practical considerations at some point become spiritual concerns since unwieldy methods of distribution might discourage frequent communion.

Today, Tuesday, is the feast of Blessed Pope John XXIII---a member of the Third Order of St. Francis---Secular.On November 2, 1962, Cardinal Bea (leader of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity) addressed the General Session of Vatican Council II. Bea was a personal friend of Pope John XXIII---and his words---were actually the words of John XXIII. Bea stated:"The faith of the Church should be presented in all its integrity and purity, but in such a manner that it will be received today with goodwill. For we are shepherds...What our times demand is a pastoral approach demonstrating the love and kindness that flow from our religion."In too many of the decisions made by bishops today----the managerial style overrides the pastoral, and the people know it.John XXIII was a pastoral pope whose background in history and his life's experiences---trained him to truly be a good shepherd who did all that he could to restore the lively faith of the early Church in the Church in the Modern World. And he inspired hope in millions by stating that he 'disagreed with those prophets of gloom who are always forecasting disaster as though the end of the world was at hand.Divine Providence is leading us to a new order of human relations which, by the very effort of the people of this time, is directed toward the fulfillment of God's great plans for us. Everything, even human differences, leads to a greater good for the Church.'

Ken: that settles the matter.Well, yes and no. It settles the matter of the bishop offering the bogus excuse of an expired indult. It leaves open several other matters, not least of which is why catechesis is the answer for every problem except when it isn't.People don't understand "consubstantial"? CATECHIZE! People don't understand that "many" really means "all"? CATECHIZE! People don't catch the allusion to the healing of the centurion's servant in the Domine non sum dignus? CATECHIZE!People are confused about the doctrine of concomitance? Stop communion from the cup.

So much for the words of Christ in the Gospels when, at the Last Supper, he invited His disciples to remember him by eating bread and drinking wine. These were the elements for communing and sharing in his sufferings (broken bread) and pouring one's life out for others (drinking wine from the cup). Sounds to me like another betrayal of Christ's teachings -another rationalization and accommodation to man made norms and guidelines. Here we are as Catholics sailing along in our Roman Titanic which is fasting going down and with "leaders" more concerned with rearranging the chairs so everyone will be more confortable. How does this latest gesture speak to you?

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!

I just read that the Phoenix diocese has reconsidered and will NOT be going in this direction. What about Madison in light of this news?

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