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Saturday 7 May 2016

Priests and Bishops of Canada : STOP beating up Catholics who KNEEL for Holy Communion! Where is mercy?

An email from a friend in a Canadian Diocese, contains the following information about a recent occurrence:

At a funeral last week, the person knelt for Holy Communion. She was refused to be given Holy Communion until she stood but was allowed to receive on the tongue.

Page 44, Paragraph 160 of GIRM for Canada (General Instruction on the Roman Missal), present in the front of every Roman Missal in every church in Canada states:

160. The Priest then takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession.
    It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. In the Dioceses of Canada, Holy Communion is to be received standing, though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive Communion while kneeling. When standing before the minister to receive Holy Communion, the faithful should make a simple bow of the head. When receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, they reverently join their hands; when receiving Holy Communion in the hand, they reverently open their hands placing one beneath the other, and they consume the host immediately upon receiving it.

From this perspective, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger assured that: "Communion only reaches its true depth when it is supported and surrounded by adoration" [The Spirit of the Liturgy (Ignatius Press, 2000), p. 90]. For this reason, Cardinal Ratzinger maintained that “the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species” [cited in the Letter "This Congregation" of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 1 July 1, 2002].

It is important to note that Pope Francis has not changed what Pope Benedict began. While in large "Papal" Masses, he generally does not distribute Holy Communion to the lay faithful, he has been quite consistent with Deacons kneeling for Communion. If one wishes to make a distinction, "well that is a Deacon," one should look up the definition of, clericalist

The question must be asked.

Why are you as priests and bishops doing this to the faithful and allowing it? The GIRM clearly acknowledges the right of the individual to kneel notwithstanding the general norm.

Fathers, do you not know this? If you do not know it, you do now.

Listen to me. If you do know it and you are denying the faithful of their right, then it is fair to say that you are, objectively speaking, in a state of severe disobedience to the Law of the Church and objectively, in a state of serious sin. You are committing an illegal act against the faithful. What will you say to Our Lord Jesus Christ on your particular judgement day for this action?

You, Bishop; why do you allow this. How will you answer for it? Will you simply plead ignorance?

Where is "mercy"?

Given the prevailing culture, I'm just a "rigorist" and a "self-absorbed Promethean, neo-Pelagian" who is "judging from the Seat of Moses."

As laity, in Canada in particular, what is your experience and feel free to name your diocese and parish.


Anonymous said...

I am a Principal at a Catholic school in America, Missouri to be exact. I was counselled two weeks ago for genuflecting before receiving on the tongue. I have just assumed this position of Principal last June, I have been attending school Masses with the kids since August, He tries to get me to change in April, go figure.

Not that He at all correct but, his main point was that if the children see me do it too much, they might do it and 1.) we will have chaos 2) they will obviously do it out of false humility (his words).

I said Boo, and I would encourage the students to do it if they wanted. Lets just say, he didn't fire me, but he definitely doesn't like me.

Anyone looking for a good and attempting to be holy, orthodox principal? Have family, will travel, even to Canada!

ps: this is one of about 5 incidents of attempted correction by said priest, it is becoming systematic.

Ignotus said...

Don't come to Canada. There is a teacher in a Catholic school in Ontario who was recently suspended from work for quoting the catechism on sexual identity and morality in response to questions from students.

Peter Lamb said...

Saint Thomas Aquinas:
"The dispensing of Christ's body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because . . . he consecrates in the person of Christ . . . Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people, hence as it belongs to him to offer the people's gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver the consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence toward this sacrament nothing touches it but what is consecrated, hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it, except from necessity — for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency."
Father Luigi Villa:
"With the Instruction, “Memorial Domini”, Paul VI authorized the Episcopal Conferences to grant the distribution of Communion in the hand. It was another sacrilegious act! – With the Instruction “Fidei Custos”, Paul VI, in 1969, authorized the “laity” to distribute Holy Communion, counter to the mission that Jesus had reserved for the Apostles and the Clergy."

"Everything was done to cheapen the appearance of the church, but wreckovation worked hand-in-glove with its destructive cousin, liturgical revolution, to do more than a mere makeover, for this had to do with winning minds and hearts to a new religion. Every step in the wreckovation process had a corresponding one in the changes of worship. For example, removal of our Lord from the sanctuary (out of sight, out of mind) and another destructive act, the elimination of the altar rail (no more reverent kneeling to receive), were accompanied by lay "Eucharistic ministers" and communion in hand, all of which combined to reduce significantly belief in the Real Presence. And for all the avant-garde, Dadaesque or just plain bad art that's forced out the venerable furnishings in these wreckovations, such as the "holey" cross and the Jesus as ET, there is one crucial thing to remember: It's not just about substituting the cheap and the ugly for true Catholic art, as bad as that is, but about using these substitutions to ruin Catholics by changing how they perceive the essentials of the Faith to the point where they gradually lose it altogether. That's what this is all about.
It's a wearing down process. At the initial change, Catholics may protest and resist it for a time, but if there isn't a strong inner resolve, the resistance breaks down and the voices of disapproval subside. In time, those changes become almost commonplace to the Catholic and the subversives perceive that eroding process now can be taken to the next phase, only this time with more daring changes. It's like the fabled frog in the pot that will allow itself to be cooked to death if the temperature is gradually increased beneath it. This is how it is that many older people in the Novus Ordo church who grew up before the Vatican II have lost their faith, because all of these changes have had corresponding changes in doctrine, so that once they compromised a little the first time, the easier it was to give in more and more come the next rounds of "re-education." By the time they're able to remain in a church where processions are led by a cross with a hole in it rather than a corpus, they've passed over into a new false religion, whether they realize it or not. In its way, the subversion of religious art is nearly as ruinous of a person's profession as a Catholic as is the subversion of the liturgy. Indeed, to broadly paraphrase Martin Luther: Wreckovate their art [or liturgy] and you will wreckovate their faith."

Anonymous said...

The Cathedral of St. Boniface in Winnipeg actually lacks kneelers, and the pews are too close together to make kneeling on the ground feasible. The Archdiocese of Winnipeg in the same city, under the liturgical leadership of Fr. G. of St. G. M. Parish, encourages standing as a sign of unity. They actively discourage kneeling as "contrary to the historical tradition of the Church." Canada needs new many new priests and bishops with a sense of piety and dignity.

Unknown said...

Can you tell your readers where this happened?

Vox Cantoris said...

Diocese of London, not told which parish or priest.

Anonymous said...

The Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is the bone of contention with Protestants ,along with devotion to the Blessed Virgin ,which is why every effort is been made to desacralise the Blessed Sacrament ,it is the obstacle to "unity". Marian devotion is also been played down ,look at the light show held at the Vatican ,designed to take the emphasis of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Any priest who prevents a person kneeling before their Lord in the Blessed Sacrament no longer believes in it.

Anonymous said...

When I lived in the Diocese of London, it was the same thing. Forget about kneeling to receive Communion, you can't even kneel after returning to your pew. When a few people did kneel after returning to their seats, at the end of Communion the priest proceeded to berate them for doing this and lectured the congregation on how everyone should be standing instead. This was at St. Peters's Cathedral.

In my current Diocese no one kneels for Communion in the first place but we are at least allowed to kneel before. However the rector of the Cathedral in Hamilton here, who by the way is a relatively young priest, now requires everyone to stand and not kneel at the end of Communion as the ciborium is returned to the tabernacle. What the point of this is I have no idea.

I think we can safely say it will be many, many years before this kind of crap stops happening in Canada. There are simply no orthodox priests or bishops who can fix these things yet.

Vox Cantoris said...

We are, it seems, quite fortunate in Toronto. Nothing changed. Other than a few parishes, the culture of kneeling here in the Ordinary Form is from the end of the Sanctus to the Great Amen and then again after the Agnus Dei is sung and nobody bothers anyone about post-Communion posture. There may be the odd parish acting differently, but nowhere that I have been.

The priests who do this are acting incorrectly. It may be out of ignorance but I suspect it is simply, malicious.

Brian said...


Why are you as priests and bishops doing this to the faithful and allowing it?

Because these priests and bishops simply disagree with kneeling for communion. The GIRM be damned. "I don't believe in kneeling for communion therefore you shouldn't either, you cookie worshiper...". Perhaps the devout kneeler reminds them of something wonderful that they have abandoned and pride prevents them from ever admitting it. Visceral hostility towards those who would kneel is not uncommon.

Kitchener Waterloo Traditional Catholic said...

I don't know about other cities in the Diocese of Hamilton, but in Kitchener/Waterloo there are several parishes where some people kneel to receive Holy Communion. Last time I was at the cathedral I knelt and the rector didn't object.

Of course everyone at the two Extraordinary Form Masses in the Diocese (Kitchener & Hamilton) kneel as in the universal norm of the Church.

This 'standing in unity' things is quite bizarre. I haven't experienced it yet but I pity the poor soul who tries to make me stand after I've just received the Blessed Sacrament.

Don't be too harsh on our younger priests. Many times they just doing as they are ordered by the older generation who unfortunately are still in power.

The Biological Solution can't come soon enough. Their Particular Judgement may be quite the surprise for them.

Anonymous said...

KW Trad, in this case it was the priest himself who pursued this strange practice, which was then approved by the diocesan liturgy office and the bishop.

I have not been to every parish in the KW area but maybe there are a few somewhat reverent Masses there I was unaware of. It seems KW is slightly better off on average than the other cities in the diocese, which admittedly are still not as bad as the absolutely horrid situation in the London Diocese.

Maudie N Mandeville said...

they reverently join their hands;
they reverently open their hands;
They do the hokey pokey
And turn themselves around
That's what it's all about

Anonymous said...

Dear Vox,

I am Ukrainian Greek Catholic and as far as I can remember, we have to receive standing because we receive under both Species.

However, my Mom said that she received kneeling when she was growing up and she is Byzantine Catholic. I suppose if the kneelers were high enough, one could receive Holy Communion under both Species without the danger of spilling the Precious Blood (God FORBID!!!)

I have gone to the TLM and received kneeling.

The one thing that I can't fathom is sitting down in the middle of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (unless one is elderly or are in a wheelchair). It irks me because everyone should stand and profess the Faith (literally and figuratively speaking). I wish someone can give me a rational explanation as to WHY one would sit during the Creed.

Sorry - I had to vent. Thanks for understanding.

By the way, it is forbidden to kneel during the Divine Liturgy from Pascha to Pentecost Eve. Reason: Christ is RISEN! On the vigil of Pentecost, after the first AMEN, everyone - priest, altar boys and people - kneel down and pray to the Holy Ghost "Heavenly King...". After that prayer, you are allowed to kneel down again during the Liturgy (at the proper time, of course). So consider yourself charitably forewarned if you ever visit a Ukrainian Greek Catholic or Byzantine Catholic Church during Paschaltide. ;-)

In Christ the King,



Vox Cantoris said...


I agree with you, I detest the sitting during the Creed in a Sung or Solemn traditional Latin Mass.

Let me explain it.

The priest must recite, not sing, the whole Mass, he sings the sung parts and reads the read parts. The Credo is a read part. When it is sung in polyphony it can take five, seven or more minutes. This is why I always prefer chant. The chant takes about three or four minutes.

Why does he sit?

Because he is finished reading the Creed and the choir or people are still singing it, he goes and sits down because maybe, not being Byzantine or Syriac, these Romans can't stand too long. He would need to stand at the altar while the schola continued or sing, or worse the choir singing Schubert and his bastardised Credos!

Because he sits down so does the congregation.

As someone who chants and leads the music for 75 Masses per year, it is simple, Father, we sing chant, when you're finished reading it, then sing it or pray. We don't need all the coming and going.

You see, truly, the rubrics of the Tridentine liturgy needed some work. This is an example, (some will sit at the Gloria). The solution was simple, no polyphony, chant only, priest sings.

But then, "no polyphony?" Yes, Trent actually considered banning it!

Anonymous said...

Just my 5 cents.
Maybe someone should look for correlation between rising of "culture of death" in certain countries (abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage) and abuses against our Lord (receiving in hand, receiving standing, women not covering their heads in the presence of the Lord).
I just found out that Netherlands was one of first to disobidiently start giving our Lord on hand, maybe it is not at all surprising that this country is a leader in euthanasia debate. Also, i recently learned that laypeople are allowed to distribute Holy Communion in Ireland. Maybe not surprising that they have legal same-sex merriages now.
I am not suggesting anything, but if someone more intelligent would research this and submit to bishop, i would be grateful.