Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 11, 2002
WCR Letters to the Editor
Communion protocol upsets
One week ago we received a message from our rector in the Church bulletin at St. Joseph's Basilica.
In it he asked that we remain standing after receiving Communion instead of kneeling. His explanation was that the Communion is a procession and that we remain standing as a sign of respect and solidarity for one another.
This was not a surprise for they have been telling people to stop kneeling for the past few years.
After around two months about two-thirds of the congregation would revert to kneeling after which they would give another lecture on standing.
This cycle has been going on for the past few years, possibly because the Basilica gets a lot of new parishioners and visitors. At one point we were even told that kneeling is rude.
The Basilica has already stopped the practice of kneeling for Consecration around six years ago.
My wife, who has been taught by very conservative Dominican nuns, and myself were taught that we were to kneel for consecration, genuflect before communion, and to remain kneeling until the priest had cleaned up after Communion and himself sat down.
We were also taught that the Lord is physically present at the Consecration. In the past the custom of kneeling in adoration while the Body and Blood were present on the altar grew from the awareness of the faithful that Jesus himself was physically present. Unless I am totally mistaken, the church still practices this theology.
The General Instruction to the Roman Missal encourages us to do the above unless you are not physically able to do so. To be fair it also mentions that we should follow the instructions of the priest or deacon in this regard so they are totally within their rights to forbid kneeling during the entire mass. However, I feel that the explanations for doing so were not adequate.
Does this reflect a deeper awareness of the mystery, or rather an attempt to wean us away from the any expression of belief in the real presence for the sake of false ecumenism?
This brings to mind a question. If our Lord suddenly appeared in front of us, right before our eyes, how would we react?
Would we just stand there? Would we genuflect?
Would we kneel?
That is precisely what is going on at the Consecration.
Priesthood needs fervent, not proudly cold members
The Holy Father is right on target when he points to the lack of fervour as the reason for the shortage of priests, especially in North America and Western Europe. (WCR, Feb. 25).
He is also right on target when he refuses to cave in to the pressure from those who want to make the priesthood more attractive to men who lack fervour. What better way could there be to cripple the Church even more in North America and Western Europe than to increase her supply of priests who lack fervour?
The fact is that the Church in North America and Western Europe is sustained by the generous and sacrificial ministry of those bishops, priests, religious and lay people who are fervent.
And she is constantly being wounded by those whose love, if they even had any, has grown cold and who seem proud of it.
They are the ones who think that the Church's only hope lies in making the priesthood and religious life more attractive to people just like themselves. Surely, that's no answer.
It is so right that we are asked by the Church to pray for "many and holy priests."
Thank you for exposing us to some of the sagest words on the priestly vocation ever uttered.
They belong in the "new edition" of The Liturgy of the Hours.
Rolheiser lauded for telling the reality of our humanity
I wanted to write and say how much I enjoy Father Rolheiser's articles, particularly the one headed "There is creativity released by sex."
My husband clipped it out of the paper, and we've been back to read it several times in the past few weeks.
Unlike another of your readers, I didn't find it at all vulgar, only a true expression of the human condition.
We can't sleep with the whole world, it's true, but it's that longing and urgency which can spur us on to the psychic and spiritual intimacy, vulnerability, and creativity our communities need.
I believe Peter Kreeft discusses the innate sexuality of the soul in at least one of his books, and it's delightful to me to consider that "soul-sex" engenders human endeavour and relationship.
Why is it vulgar to suggest that Mary would ponder the same thing? She was human, wasn't she?
Preach it, Father Rolheiser!
Sex must be kept within the marriage boundaries
I read Father Rolheiser's column in the Feb. 4 WCR and I was surprised that he was so confused in reaching the conclusion that there is creativity released by sex and that God will make us creative in ways that we cannot now imagine and that the Holy Spirit too makes us pregnant.
Yes, sex can be creative.
God intended it to be creative, but it can only be so in a permanent exclusive marriage union which fulfills both ends of marriage, unitive and procreative.
Outside of that, to engage in sexual activity is sinful. Official documents of the Church makes that abundantly clear.
This would include homosexual and lesbian activity which amount to no more than self or mutual masturbation which is an intrinsical evil.
I am surprised Rolheiser should be so confused in his thinking and that the WCR should print it and, by so doing, confuses the Catholic congregation and undermines the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Calgary bishop's actions queried
Re: "Henry apologizes for importing priest" (WCR Feb. 18).
In a less than brilliant move, Bishop Fred Henry appointed a priest convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy as parish priest in a parish in Calgary.
The question is why?
Certainly the bishop was not blind to the status of pedophiles in the community: his comments regarding pedophiles wearing a scarlet mark for the rest of their lives indicates he did know, perhaps since the priest came from Ontario which is a long way from here and no one would know, "he thought perhaps!"
That the bishop was totally aware of the controversy he would cause with this appointment is a source of anger and sadness. What was being accomplished with this move?
Are the members of the parish being served, or for that matter, the Holy Catholic Church? If the flock was not being served, was the Sheppard "Management" looking after itself and never mind the consequences?
I for one, do not like or want this kind of self-serving management.
John Van Buren
Pro-life should get priorities straight
In the last federal election candidates' speeches televised on national TV, Jean Chretien stood there and announced to the world, "I am pro-choice." Stockwell Day was the only candidate out of the four who proclaimed, "I am pro-life."
It is not as though we had no pro-life candidate to vote for.
Mr. Day knew full well that his pronouncement would bring jeers, sneers and guffaws from the other three candidates. They called him names, ridiculed his Christian faith and rudely interrupted him during his time to speak.
He was remarkably strong, composed and unwavering; a man we could have been proud to lead our country.
So why was it that the electorate voted for a known pro-abortion leader? The abortion holocaust would continue business as usual and before another election would take place, another 400,000 tiny human beings would be killed.
We had a chance to stop it, but the majority voted for the economy instead.
We cannot serve both God and mammon. Those pro-lifers who did not bother to vote at all were a detriment to our urgent noble cause.
The pro-life electorate must get their priorities straight before the next election and not be afraid to speak out to your families and friends so they can do the same. Let them know how urgent every pro-life vote is. The nation needs to cultivate a pro-life mindset before the next election.
Dissolute modernists corrupted society
The modernists in the secular world and in the Church created a wasteland and called it a renaissance. They were not the truth and they failed. Toward the end of the 20th century, it was not only the coercive utopia of Marx that lay in shambles, so too the dynasties of the mind built upon the ideas of those other gods of modernity - Freud, Keynes, Kinsey, Picasso and Margaret Mead.
Wandering in the ruin of these dynasties, men again search for meaning. The wise are returning to traditional beliefs.
Marx, Freud, Keynes, Kinsey Mead and Picasso - these great pillars of modernity, where did they go wrong? In some excellent books, E. Michael Jones, Derek Freeman and William Donahue among others have come up with the answers.
Jones asserts that our world has been shaped by morally corrupt men and women whose ideas were but rationalizations of their own sordid lives (all in the name of science).
In Jones' own words, "there are ultimately only two alternatives in intellectual life. Either one conforms desire to truth or one conforms truth to desire."
Jones argues the assaults by Freud, Kinsey and Mead on traditional beliefs were rooted in their own degeneracy. : "Rousseau, the writer of Emile, the first modern book on child rearing, sent his five illegitimate children to an orphanage which, given the conditions of orphanages of the 18th century, meant to their deaths."
Marx, champion of the proletariat, knew only one proletarian, his maid, Lenchen, to whom he paid not a single penny in wages. In addition to his economic exploitation, there was also sexual exploitation.
Mead claimed to have discovered in the Western Pacific a sexual paradise without the doctrine of original sin. Published in 1927, Coming of Age in Samoa caused a revolution in Western thinking.
"Now it could be shown," writes Jones, "not only that sexual licence led to disease and death, but that its papers had been forged as well." Mead's "idyll of casual sex beneath the palm trees" was proving to be about as scientific as the screenplay of The Blue Lagoon.
Kinsey we now know was a fraud whose report on the incidence of homosexuality in post-war America was attained by seeding his control group with deviants and convicts.
His report on children's sexual response relied on the testimony of pedophiles. The famous doctor who gathered the world's greatest collection of pornography falsified the report to justify his own aberrant sexuality.
Freud's Oedipus complex is a fraud and is very close to the terrible secret of his own life . . . probably sex abuse by his father whom he called a pervert.
While Keynes' rampant homosexuality was covered up at first, his disbelief in self-denial helped to explain the radically intemperate Keynesian theories of consumption that now afflict Western democracies.
These six, along with Darwin (with his science fiction), J.S. Mill, B.F. Skinner and Thomas Malthus, the amateur sociologist, form the greatest Liars Club in the history of the world.
Marx's ideas gave us an empire that lies in shambles along with history's greatest holocausts. Keynes gave us an overwhelming debt. Picasso's rebellion in art turns into the bizarre and nihilistic.
Freud, Mead and Kinsey gave us the sexual revolution, with its hedonism, disease, family breakdown and the collapse of society (abortion, euthanasia and the culture of death.)
Viability of Jesus' mission depends on all of us
Christianity, what art thou? What is Jesus all about?
On Friday evening and Saturday, I attended the Anthony Jordan Lecture Series at Newman Theological College sponsored annually by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
The speaker was Dr. Peter Phan, a Catholic University of America professor and president of the Catholic Theological Society of America.
He stated that after almost 500 years of Christian missionary work in Asia, only four per cent of the people are Christian.
For one, their religions predate Christianity by centuries. What does Christianity have to offer?
He quoted Gandhi. Western Christianity is very much intertwined with exploitive capitalism, colonization, oppression, European cultural domination. The focus of Christianity has been the Church, buildings, proclaim the Gospel, doing missionary work such as hospitals, schools, social services and the reign of God coming last.
He suggests Western Christianity has things backwards.
The "reign of God" should come first. He quoted Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free."
He also quoted Matthew chapter 25. The reign of God encompasses above all love of God and neighbour (all humanity, all creation). Love embraces justice, empathy, mercy, compassion, hospitality, forgiveness, trust, respect, tolerance, fairness, kindness, self-control and whatever else it takes to make us wholesomely human. Mission then will be a natural sequence, followed by proclamation (more by acceptance and example) and then Church, structure.
Lent is a good time for a conversion for all of us, including our hierarchical power brokers.
They too are human and called to humble service.
The viability of Jesus' mission depends on all of us, but to a very high degree upon our Christian hierarchy, Catholic, Anglican, Protestant and other.
Elijah Cup promotes vocation prayers
Re: Vocations director builds relationships WCR Feb. 11/02
The gentleman who interviewed Fr. Stephen Hero must not have understood him when he spoke about the Elijah Cup program.
Once the altar vessels are consecrated they are reserved for the precious Body and Blood of Christ only; for this reason the Elijah Cup is not one used by a priest at Mass.
This program is an exceptional family prayer program for vocations.
The idea is to use a sacramental; this could be an Elijah Cup, a cross, a statue or some religious article as a reference point to focus attention on prayer for vocations. The family who has put their name on their parish list to receive the prayer package for that week is called forward after Mass. This 'prayer package' includes prayer cards, booklets, information sheets and usually a prayer journal so that in time the journal is a record of the blessings the families have experienced.