Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
May 31, 2004
WCR Letters to the Editor
Only Christ can say
After reaffirming the holiness of the Eucharist, in which the whole wealth of the Church is contained, as source and summit of the whole of Christian life, Redemptionis Sacramentum, the most recent Roman document on the celebration of the Mass, addressed the questions of the abuses against the nature of the liturgy and the sacraments which have plagued the Holy Eucharist for a very long time.
According to Scripture, the first Eucharist was celebrated in an upper guest room (this is barely acceptable, RS 108) and inserted into the setting of a common meal, Jesus and the disciples being seated (reclining) at a table with ordinary food set before them (this is not permitted, RS 77).
During the meal Jesus blessed the bread, broke it and gave it to his disciples, then said . . . (This practice is contrary to the tradition of the Church. It is to be reprobated and is to be corrected with haste - RS 55).
Other minor questions arise: Were the cup(s) and dish(es) used at the Last Supper only common vessels (RS 119)? Was Jesus properly dressed for the celebration (RS 121ff)?
In view of all the "irregularities" (not to say abuses) mentioned or implied in the institution narratives (synoptics and 1 Corinthians), should not the Holy See order that these texts be, from now on, omitted of all approved editions of the Word of God as they can create some confusion in the mind of the common faithful?
There is no question that the regulation of the Sacred Liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church (RS 14), however, the Church herself has no power over those things which were established by Christ himself and which constitute an unchangeable part of the liturgy (RS 10).
Youth disturbed by bishop's comments
I am a youth, and I have some comments regarding "Document calls for reverence-Wiesner" by Art Babych(WCR, May 3)
The article states: "The Vatican's new directive aimed at curbing liturgical abuses in the Church won't result in major changes for Catholics in Canada, predicts Bishop Gerald Wiesner of Prince George, B.C."
I do not see why Bishop Wiesner predicts this, for at numerous Catholic churches in Canada Masses are celebrated with a multitude of abuses. I have seen this with my own eyes. On the contrary, if obeyed (as it must be), Redemptionis Sacramentum will result in major changes for Catholics in Canada. Bishop Wiesner says: "But more important is the real call, the real challenge to deep reverence and respect for the full meaning of the Eucharist and its celebration, not just in terms of celebrating the Eucharist Mass itself but also with respect to devotion to the Blessed Sacrament."
This statement tends toward the notion that exterior reverence for the Eucharist is less important than it is. Every one of us must have interior reverence for the Eucharist, but that interior reverence is impossible without exterior reverence for the Eucharist.
Like Bishop Wiesner, I do not know how Canadian bishops will respond to the document's directive that pro-abortion Catholic politicians cannot receive Communion, but I do know how they should respond; they should - must, rather - not give pro-abortion Catholic politicians Communion.
Every bishop must submit to the authority of the Church, which is the authority of Christ. Hence, all bishops are morally obligated to assent to the document's directive regarding pro-abortion Catholic politicians being unable to receive Holy Communion.
Bishop Wiesner does not expect serious opposition to the directives in the new document. When we dissent with the directives of the Church, we dissent with the directives of Christ.
Bishop Wiesner says "that the directives 'were quite in keeping with what I expected, some of them are perhaps a little confined.'" I am astonished and dismayed that Bishop Wiesner, a successor of the apostles and one possessing the duty to uphold the doctrines and disciplines of the Church, would refer to some of the Church's directives as "perhaps a little confined."
If priests and bishops do not assent to the disciplines of the Catholic Church, the Church with the Christ-conferred authority to teach, judge, and govern the faithful (cf. Matt. 16:18-19; Luke 10:16), how are youth supposed to learn to assent to the disciplines of the Catholic Church?
Questions 'one-sided presentation'
I was pleased to see a conference on and for women reported on in your paper, even on the front page(WCR, May 17). I was, however, rather surprised at the one-sided presentation of the biblical reality that both man and woman are created in the image and likeness of God.
Everything which Katrina Zeno said at the conference is as true for men as it is for women. The image and likeness of God lies in the human capacity for relationality and in mutual self-giving in love between a man and a woman.
Either Zeno presented her perspectives as applying to both men and women and the reporter only reflected what she said about women, or Zeno only holds this one-sided perspective for women.
If the latter, we have a serious problem which contradicts Catholic teaching on human sexuality. In the past, one-sided perspectives like Zeno's have kept countless women in a "doormat" mentality which has obstructed the blossoming of a healthy self-confidence, thereby betraying the image and likeness of God which resides in these women.
I have seen and heard this over and over in the years I worked as a counsellor in a shelter for abused women. It's simple; if you've never learned to love yourself into God's image and likeness, you cannot love your neighbour. I'd be very interested in hearing what Zeno has to say to such women, and how Zeno suggests we avoid this deadly trap with the new papal theology on human gender.
And if women show men the meaning of life, what do men show women? Where is the mutuality? But if women truly have more to teach men than men have to teach women, it is long overdue that our Church with its male leadership starts heeding women's voices and reflecting women's realities in its theology, liturgy, leadership and ecclesiology.
Are women like Katrina Zeno an attempt by the Church to make up for the past mistake of making women's perspectives invisible? Taking Zeno's perspective to its logical conclusion leads me to fear that ignoring women's voices (which has been most of history) is at the Church's own peril.
Let's hope it is not too late. It's important to add to Zeno's voice the richness of the diversity of women's voices in the Church.
North Battleford, Sask.
Search for holy father's equality
I was disappointed by the report of Katrina Zeno's slanted and feminist presentation of the holy father's theological insights as presented in theMay 17 issue of the WCR.
The whole thrust of the holy father's teaching is the equality of man and woman, created in the image of God as male and female together, in that "communion of persons which man and woman form from the beginning" reflect the image of God. If, as Katrina Zeno asserts, "man cannot realize the meaning and purpose of his life" without woman, the reverse is equally true, woman equally needs man. To present the holy father's teaching in the style of male/female polemics is to distort it completely.
We should be thankful for the purity and truth of the holy father's deep insights, fruit of prayer, meditation and theological knowledge, which lift us far above controversial human thinking and enable us to appreciate that it is as male and female in communion, that man reflects the image and likeness of God.
Stop grumbling Ralph and finish your degree
As a senior, one of the many whose benefits were taken away by Ralph Klein and his government - and as yet to be restored - I am tired of his tantrums and diatribes when he can't have things as he wishes, by his rules.
When we seniors became vocal and persisted in our attempts to have these benefits restored we were accused, by Mr. Klein, of being a bunch of "whining left-wings nuts."
Mr. Klein, your whining, tantrums and diatribes in the legislature remind one of Xerxes who was arrogant as yourself. He, too, believed himself to be omnipotent and omniscient. During one of his tantrums he took a long chain and thrashed the Aegean Sea because the waves would not cease when he wished to cross over to the other shore.
I am 85 years of age. When I was 70, they amputated my right lower leg - malignant melanoma. I did not whine or throw a "poor me" tantrum. In February 1989 they amputated my leg. In September 1989 I registered at the University of Alberta - on crutches.
In June 1993 I graduated with a B.A. majoring in sociology, a minor in English. Playing by the rules, at the age of 74, I got, earned my degree.
Not bad for a "left wing" nut, eh!
Grow up Mr. Klein please. No more tantrums or diatribes.