One of my two parishes was just restored, thanks be to God.
I know a lot of the arguments and theological advantages of the communion rail, and that the Church has never said anything about taking them out. The following are advantages that I was NOT expecting
1) In announcing and catechizing about the new communion rail, I have said, from the beginning, that a person can kneel or stand and received on the tongue or in the hand. I have never stated a preference in any way for how a person receives.
On their own, over half of our congregation has CHOSEN to receive kneeling
2) The communion rail provides people with about 20-30 seconds to NOT be shuffling up in a line, but to instead stand or kneel facing the altar giving them a few precious moments to contemplate Whom it is that they are about to receive.
3) It has severely cut down on the awkward potentially non-Catholic person receiving Communion. Let's face it, the majority of Catholics today fail to prepare their visiting family and friends for how to handle Holy Communion (i.e. either stay in the pew or come forward for a blessing)...but standing there at a communion rail for 30 seconds before the priest arrives gives the Catholic friend a chance to say "No, don't hold out your hands, cross your arms on your chest" whereas this doesn't happen when Communion is done in the American style of emptying the pews in an orderly style and shuffle up in a line and then be offered the Eucharist as soon as the person arrives at the front of the line
Monday, September 25, 2017
Friday, September 22, 2017
I was listening to NPR this morning to keep tabs on what the left is promoting. There was a huge, lengthy, beautiful piece chronicling the plight of a refugee and his family in Germany.
It wasn't just a news story - it was an interview with a very noble purpose - to highlight the dignity of this man and his family.
The problem is that the left NEVER does this for the unborn....For the white Catholic father of 13 children...for the born and raised american business owner who sees his business as a means of helping his 200 employees grow in an awareness of their own dignity and support their families...the wall street worker who works crazy hours but gives a lot of her earnings away to charity.
No one thinks NO person has dignity
So everyone thinks SOME people have dignity. That's not hard. We shouldn't congratulate ourselves for thinking that SOME people have dignity
The challenge is to believe ALL persons have dignity. All races. All immigrants. The unborn. The poor. The rich. Men and women. The imprisoned. Your enemy
When you believe ALL people have dignity, that's to be congratulated.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Humanae Vitae is one of those pivotal documents in the history of the Church. Everyone thought the Church was going to cave on the issue of artificial contraception. Basically every other Christian denomination had caved.
And then the Church didn't and said artificial contraception for the purposes of impacting/influencing conception is ALWAYS evil.
It is, by all sober analysis, one of the most prophetic documents in the history of the Church as it lays out the serious things that would happen if contraception became commonly used.
Many still can't believe the document happened.
Many have stated a desire to overturn the document
Here are steps to follow if you want to overturn the document
1) Establish a group of experts to go back and look at all the source materials, letters, behind the scenes correspondence, etc. that lead up to Humanae Vitae's publication.
2) If at all possible, don't let anyone know this study group has been put together.
3) This process of discovery should come out with lots of complicated verbiage, giving the impression that the only people who TRULY understand Humanae Vitae's construction are the privileged few who have been able to look at all the "evidence".
4) Make sure that the discovery process mirrors the historical/critical process that has been used so often to deconstruct the Bible. In having experts deconstruct the Bible, it was really important that it was done by scholars, so that simple peasants and lay people could not mount any sort of argument. What worked with deconstructing the Bible were things like "You don't understand Hebrew, but actually Jesus DIDN'T say anything about Hell" or things like "We've learned that divorce IS okay, because that part of the Gospel was written in by a guy named Burt in the late 800's."
5) In announcing the things that you are overturning in Humanae Vitae, don't actually SAY you are changing anything, whether in doctrine or in practice. Continue to emphasize that Humanae Vitae is going to be left unchanged, that it is an AMAZING document, that we love Paul VI, etc.
6) Only after all that, then come out and say, in language that is really pharisaically theological and technical in nature (impossible to understand for most believers): "Well, surprise, when we looked at how Humanae Vitae was constructed, we were able to discover that the BEST way to live out this AMAZING document is by now doing things/allowing things to happen differently. WHICH ARE ACTUALLY A BETTER WAY OF DOING/ALLOWING THINGS, AND THIS NEW APPROACH IS
a) IN LINE WITH THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF THE AUTHOR and
b) A FULFILLMENT OF EVERYTHING THAT'S EVER BEEN WRITTEN BY THE CHURCH ON THESE TOPICS