No Communion for Public Sinners

You can read the original article here, at EWTN.com.

Finally, a bishop who actually upholds canon law!  This article elicited a small squeel of joy from my lips as I read the headline (I sound like a mouse… you can ask any of my friends).  Too long the bishops of our country have stood idily by, letting our politicans get away with grave sins, and allowing them to receive communion.  It’s almost a sin in itself for the priests who let public sinners receive the Eucharist, because wouldn’t the mortal sin be transferred onto the priest for allowing the mortal sin of the person who took the Eucharist without confession to occur?  *sigh*  I don’t know enough Catholic Apologetics to actually answer that question, but it’s a good one.

Why won’t other bishops take up the cause and do that as well?  Do they feel embarassed?  I would love to see the day when Nancy Pelosi is denied communion.  Actually, I’d smile a little if she were excommunicated.  By far, out of all the publicly Democrat/Liberal Catholics in politics, she is the worst of them.  Despite claiming that she is a “devout” Catholic, she didn’t even know the Church’s stance on when life begins (umm, conception anyone?).  I even knew that when I was a child.  How utterly ridiculous.  I don’t even want to count the number of times she’s tried to foist some pro-choice nonsense through the legislative branch.

I am glad that Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) was quoted thusly:

Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

Woohoo!  Excellent.  Now, if only our Archbishop Vlazny would deny communion to the Governor of Oregon… Ted Kulongoski is another argument for another day.  He’s just pure evil.  If he would stop saying he were Catholic, then I’d be fine with it. I do NOT want my faith to be associated with people who support death as blatantly as he does.


The Eucharist… from behind the Altar

St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Corvallis, OR is nearly done with their remodeling! Those of you who know me know that I’m in the 9 AM choir on Sunday mornings (despite the fact that it’s been hard to make that mass lately… it’s just so early!) So yeah, our choir space is finally done. If you imagine a fairly austere church, with a large single piece of marble in the front for the altar, and the two reading thingies on either side, the choir area is now to the right. They put in really nice light maple wood risers, with chairs for us to sit on during the Homily (if we want to… we don’t have to), and we’re kind of right behind the altar. Not *behind*, but you know what I mean. We’re behind it on the horizontal. So, I got to watch the Eucharist this morning from the perspective Fr. John sees it every weekend. It was amazing. When the bells rang when the host and wine were transubstantiated, it had a totally different feeling than when I’m kneeling in the pews.

Not many people who read this blog are Catholic (which is a shame, since being Catholic is awesome and full of Tradition [with a capital ‘T’]), so you really don’t know what goes on during the Eucharist. If you ever get the chance, go to mass with a Catholic, or visit your local Catholic church, so you can experience it just once. It may not feel the same to you, and you won’t be able to have the Host (since you aren’t Catholic), but the mass is a beautiful part of the Church. It’s great because, wherever you are, the mass is (theoretically) celebrated in the same way.

Advent is a beautiful time of year. We have Advent wreaths, we get to celebrate Mary’s virgin birth (which is my favorite), and Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is the best. I mean, granted, it’s at midnight (which is when I like to watch TV and play my Xbox) but we sing xmas carols and it’s all lit by candles, and it’s the best.

Ok, I’m getting off topic. I’ve not slept in two days, so I’m going to go try to lay down again (sigh).

Final email about kneeling

Well, I received an email from Fr. Ligot in San Jose regarding kneeling during the Eucharist.  Apparently douchebag McGrath got permission from the Pope or some such nonsense.  I’m still incised, but whatever. Here’s the email.  It honestly makes very little sense when you come down to it. Oh well. I wish it came to more than this, or that he would have said, “Yes, Kristin, you’re absolutely right!” But alas, nothing of that sort.  I still want to email the Vatican, if anyone has an email address.  This isn’t totally over.

Dear Kristin,

Thank you for your e-mail that was forwarded to me by Fr. C. Michael Padazinski, JCD, Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. I am Fr. Andres C. Ligot, JCD, from the Diocese of San Jose. 

As you have read in the communication sent to you by Fr. Padazinski, your e-mail was forwarded to me since your place of domicile or quasi-domicile and the Church in question are within the territorial jurisdiction of the Diocese of San Jose. 

I would like to reply to the points that you have raised in your e-mail. I wish to assure you that no Canon Law was broken by reason of Canon 835,§1 and Redemptionis Sacramentum, # 21, the Instruction on the Holy Eucharist approved by Pope John Paul II on March 9, 2004 that stated that the diocesan Bishop within the limits of his competence can set forth liturgical norms in his diocese by which all are faithful are bound.

The intent of the Bishop in issuing the directive was to address unifying the posture of the assembly at Mass since a unified posture not only helps is to be mindful of our unity in faith, but also communicates a message of unity and solidarity to the world. The Bishop in the same communiqué has stated that standing during the entire period of Communion would be normative in the Diocese of San Jose the reasons of which he has stated in his message. 

In the January 12, 2004 letter stating the norms to be used, Bishop directed that “the posture during the Prayer of Consecration would be determined by each parish and would be the normative posture for that parish.” Hence, the pastor of St. William in compliance with Bishop’s letter directed that standing during the Prayer of Consecration would be the normative posture for that parish.

Reverence, whether standing kneeling, can still be present and evidenced in one’s posture.  What is important is how we pray the Eucharistic Prayer together. That we as the assembly by our words and posture do so together giving thanks to God, joining our voices in praise (whether recited or sung).  

With sentiments of esteem, 

Rev. Andres C. Ligot, JCD
Judicial Vicar
Diocese of San Jose

An Update on my Raising a Stink in the Catholic Church

That’s right, people.  I’m sending respectful, but angry, emails to the Catholic Church.  My last convoluted post roughly entitled “Every Knee Should Bend” lays out the story quite nicely, but I wanted to post the emails I’ve received and such since.

Here is my original email:

Dear Very Rev. C. Michael Padazinski,   

I grew up in the St. Nicholas Parish of the Diocese of San Jose, and then moved to Oregon for University in the fall of 2004.  I noticed upon my leave that our congregation had slowly stopped kneeling at the Consecration of the Host.  When I would come back home from school for Christmas and Easter, we were told at St. William’s Church that they did not kneel during the mass at all, and kneeling was strongly discouraged.  I know, as permitted by GIRM 43, that no longer kneeling after the Agnus Dei or while others are receiving Communion is fine, but I thought, under Canon Law, a congregation must kneel at the Consecration.

I didn’t know whom else to email, and it’s bothered me every time I come home.  I feel as though the ‘unity’ of our diocese is taking away the mystery and prayer of the Mass.  The Most Reverend McGrath wrote a statement to the diocese on January 12th, 2004 outlining his expectations for the ‘unity’ of each parish at mass.  The link is: http://www.dsj.org/dsj/statements/04_01.asp 

Thank you for your help.
Sincerely,
Kristin Dexter
Los Altos, CA

And, the response at 10:30am the next morning:
Dear Kristin,  

Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding kneeling at the consecration during the Holy Mass in the Diocese of San Jose.  May I suggest that you contact the Judicial Vicar of your home diocese, San Jose, with your question.  He would be better able to address your specific concern.  The Judicial Vicar’s name is Reverend Andres Ligot and his e-mail address is noted above.  I have copied Father with your message.

Many thanks for your sensitive and respectful question.

Wishing you all the best, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

//s//
Very Reverend C. Michael Padazinski, J.C.D.
Chancellor & Vicar Judicial
Archdiocese of San Francisco

How nice 🙂  So, I wrote to Rev. Andres Ligot like the Very Rev. Padazinski said I should:
Dear Rev. Andres Ligot,  

I emailed the Very Rev. C. Michael Padazinski in San Francisco regarding kneeling during the Consecration of the Host in your diocese, and he advised me to email you.  I know you most likely have more important matters to discuss and think about, but the breaking of Canon law is very important to me, and kneeling during the Consecration is an important part of mass in the whole.  I just feel that the Very Rev. McGrath’s decision back in 2004 to cease kneeling entirely takes away from the mystery of the mass, and disrespects the Lord as He enters the Host.

Thank you so much for helping me in this matter.

Respectfully yours,
Kristin Dexter
Los Altos, CA

Yay, I’m a nice person too.  I included copies of both emails in that email so he’d have a reference in case he didn’t receive Bishop Padazinski’s email.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but if the Vatican finds out (which is what I’m hoping for), then Bishop McGrath is going to get in all sorts of trouble.  Woo trouble!  So, I’ve been a bit of a stinker for the last 24 hours.  Now I have to go to mass at 6:30 since it’s a Holy Day of Obligation.  Ok bye 🙂

…Every knee should bend…

Sean and I started to go to mass together (regularly) at the beginning of June.  I liked to go to the Sunday 9 am mass and sing in choir, and he hated to get up that early, so he usually attended Sunday night college mass at 8 pm (it was too late for me, since I used my Sunday nights to do homework).  So, we agreed on Saturday evening.  I noticed that after we sang the Agnus Dei (or Lamb of God), he would kneel.  I gave him a questioning glance, and he forcefully whispered back, “I’m kneeling in defiance of the Bishop.” I shrugged my shoulders and dropped to the kneeler beside him, enjoying my bit of rebellion.  So, every week, we groan, go to reconciliation (usually every-other week), and then Saturday evening vigil at 5 pm.  I’ve given up on choir for now – cancer kind of takes early mornings out of you.  Regardless of what mass we attend, the Eucharist is a special time for me.

There IS a point to this story, I promise.  The point is, our parish kneels at the Consecration of the gifts, like any other Catholic Church.  Strange?  No.  Expected?  Yes.  Back home in California, this is NOT the case.  They don’t kneel at all during the mass.  You’re expected to stand through the Consecration, and after receiving Communion, until the Priest sits.  What the hell?  When I was at home during Christmas in 2005, I distinctly remember being told before the midnight mass by the new Father at St. William’s, “In this diocese, we stand throughout the Eucharist.”  What? We do? Since when?  Since Bishop McGrath said so in this letter.  I had thought St. William’s was just being hokey at the time, since St. Simon’s down the road did kneel, as did St. Nicholas and St. Joseph.  This bothered me whenever I went home and went to mass, but I thought, “Hey, it must be okay, since the Bishop said so, and no one’s complaining.”  It did take some of the magic and mystery out of the mass, unfortunately, and it made me feel distanced from the Host, and almost like Jesus wasn’t there.

Back to Sean, he quoted me Philippians 2:6-9, about how every knee should bend at the name of Jesus.  That was a good reason to kneel after the Agnus Dei, and during the Consecration.  Because He’s there, and yeah, if you saw Jesus, you’d kneel too.  I found an article explaining how kneeling after the Agnus Dei is optional, and how it’s okay to do it either way.  It also said how kneeling during the Consecration is mandatory, and if a diocese illegally decides not to kneel at that time, well, bad times for them (I’m paraphrasing).  Authority in the Liturgy says that Bishops can’t change the liturgy without the body of the Church behind them (ie: the Pope and the Vatican), and I doubt Bishop McGrath really got permission.

I was a bit incised.  Granted, it’s not really my place to say anything since I’ve moved away and belong to a new parish (which I love).  But, my parents still live there, and they never said a word.  Not one word!  So, to make a very long story a bit shorter, I had to find who was in charge of Bishop McGrath, who turns out to be the Archdiocese of San Francisco and Most Rev. George H. Niederauer.  Hooray!  Seriously, it took me 2 days to find that out.  Catholic hierarchy is hard.  Well, you can’t email their Archbishop, unlike the Portland Archdioceses‘ Archbishop (I totally emailed him asking him something… and I know I won’t hear a response, but it’s nice to be able to do that).  But, they have a general email, and a list of offices within the Archdioceses.  I found the Metropolitan Tribunal and Department of Canonical Affairs to be promising, so I sent them an email a few hours ago, and maybe I’ll hear back sometime tonight.  Actually, I won’t, since it’s the Feast of the Assumption (Holy day of Obligation!), but maybe next week.

I feel better after emailing because I’ve done my part to point out an error.  If he says, “Oh, well, we think it’s okay and don’t tell anyone,” I’m calling the Vatican.  I don’t care how long distance it is, or that I don’t speak an ounce of Italian.  I just wouldn’t know who else to tell, because it doesn’t seem right.  

After this VERY long-winded entry, I’m headed to bed.  It’s 3:55 am, my tummy hurts, and it’s about 75-80 degrees right now.  Ouch.

Saturday Mass

I love going to mass on a Saturday. It’s seriously my favourite time for mass. It didn’t take much convincing, but Sean came with me. He had already gone that morning because it was his little brother’s First Communion. Man, I wish I had a picture from mine, because I looked like a 7 year old mail-order bride, complete with lacy gloves, veil, and beautiful white, lacy dress.

Right, so, Saturday mass. I dressed nicely to match how Sean usually looks (which is ridiculously nice – he dresses to impress 100% of the time) in a black and white flowy dress-top, jeans, and those cute kitten-heeled pink shoes. I usually meet Katrina at mass, so it was nice to have them both there. I wouldn’t say mass is more ‘meaningful’ when you have family or friends with you, but it’s more enjoyable. Depending on who I’m with, I get a running commentary about Fr. John’s homily (usually from Sean, sometimes from Ashley), and if I’m with Katrina, we’ll share a Missal, sing the songs together, and smile a lot. But, having them both there made me experience both things at once, and it was a special experience. I feel bad for not kneeling in defiance of the Bishop like Sean does during communion, but I don’t usually… and I had very little reason to do so. I’ll just go about my business like I usually do 🙂  Oh, if you’re not Catholic and don’t know the order of mass, here’s a link to explain everything to you.

Saying the Lord’s Prayer with both of them, though, was kind of special. Katrina grips my hand like a lifeline, and Sean just holds it gingerly. You know, I’ve gone to mass at the same time as Sean, but I’ve never gone *with* him. But, having them both there felt right, like I had been doing it for months or years. It was comforting.

I miss going to mass with my family. I miss my brothers not sitting still, and my parents telling us to shuttup and pay attention. But the one thing I miss the most was saying that prayer and holding their hands, then hugging at the sign of peace. We went at Easter, but it was just my mum, dad and I. Stevie didn’t come with us. It just wasn’t the same without him.

Well, this post has gotten out of hand, so I’m going to stop while I’m still ahead. *waves*