Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
January 24, 2005
WCR Letters to the Editor
Legionaries speak out
Regarding the article "Legionaries barred by archbishop" in your Dec. 27 issue:
On Nov. 23, 2004, Archbishop Harry Flynn of St. Paul-Minneapolis wrote a letter to all pastors and parish administrators of his archdiocese to communicate to them his decision not to allow the pastoral ministry of the members of the Legion of Christ in the archdiocese and asked not to have Regnum Christi activities in diocesan or parochial facilities. This is the archbishop's prerogative as pastor of that archdiocese. The Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi will faithfully observe his dispositions in a spirit of filial obedience.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has not made a public statement regarding this disposition. Others have posted Archbishop Flynn's letter on the Internet and have faxed it to several news agencies.
The Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi exist to serve and support the universal and local Church and her pastors. We work in harmony with archbishops and bishops in the U.S. and around the world for the good of the Church and of many people who grow in their love for God, for the Church, for their pastors and for others through the ministry of Legionary priests and the apostolic action of Regnum Christi members.
We would like to respectfully point out that there has never been deliberate neglect in complying with Archbishop Flynn's wishes and requests, but perhaps we have not understood properly his concerns as pastor and thus have not acted as he wished and expected of us.
We are sorry that this situation has come about, and we are confident that the suffering we may now experience due to these circumstances will bear fruit for the Church. Father Marcial Maciel, LC, founder and general director of the Legionaries of Christ, has appointed a personal delegate to speak with Archbishop Flynn who has kindly agreed to receive him in the near future.
We have encouraged Regnum Christi members in the Twin Cities to continue to support diocesan and parochial programs and activities as they have always done, as well as being faithful to their spiritual commitments and formation.
As we work to clarify this unfortunate situation, we pray that Regnum Christi members will not waver in their love for Christ and for the Church nor decrease their commitment to preach the Good News and to serve their fellow men and women.
This is what the holy father recently asked, only a few days after approving the Regnum Christi statutes: "Remain united around the Eucharist! Faithful to the charism that distinguishes you, continue your evangelizing mission nourishing yourselves with Christ and making yourselves his intrepid witnesses" (John Paul II, Address to the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi Movement, Rome, Nov. 30, 2004).
Legion of Christ - Regnum Christi
Why not serve a complete Communion?
The practice of Communion under both species seems to be a matter that the Church pays only lip service to. This past Christmas my wife and I were visiting our daughter and attended Mass four times at her parish church. On all four occasions the Communion in the form of wine ran out when only about two-thirds of the congregation had received Communion.
I was puzzled by the message this sent about the value of both the theological and liturgical symbol of Communion in the form of wine. It appears to send a message that it is not of the same value as Communion in the form of bread.
I wondered, if they ran completely out of hosts with one-third of the congregation still to receive Communion at four consecutive Masses but there was still ample wine left, would that be acceptable? I suspect that there would be much anguished questioning in the parish.
Once, when visiting a parish in Washington State, I experienced seeing the priest handing the hosts to a layperson to distribute and he took one of the cups of wine and administered the Blood of Christ. That simple gesture sent such a powerful message about the equal status held by the Blood of Christ, which is certainly consistent with Church teaching.
I have since asked myself, why do we never see that symbolic gesture by priests in other parishes, or do our churches not believe that the wine represents as valid an expression of the body and blood of Christ as is present in the host?
The official Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 1333 states: "At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's body and blood." No. 1390 declares: "The sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds (bread and wine), since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly."
If indeed the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the foundation of what the Church teaches, why then does the Church not practice what it preaches.
North Battleford, Sask.
Gospels are being 'grossly misunderstood'
In Dr. Tim Heaman's letter to the editor(WCR, Jan. 17), he incorrectly stated that the Church is "calling me and my sexuality" an "intrinsic evil." What in fact the teaching says is that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered" - not the homosexual person.
Jesus demonstrated this in telling the adulteress he did not condemn her - but that she should "go and sin no more." But it's not just practicing homosexuals whom the Church admonishes: I may sincerely love my neighbour's wife, but the Church will also tell me this is "intrinsically disordered." A young couple deeply in love may wish to live together before marriage, but this too is "intrinsically disordered."
To say, as Dr. Heaman has, that the teaching on homosexuality is "spiritual violence" is a gross misunderstanding of the Gospels. Jesus' mission is to call mankind out of the destruction of sin - not just to profess his unconditional love for us.
He loves us by freeing us from the bondage of sin which includes homosexual acts, and heterosexual acts outside of God's order.
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