Holy Communion

Right to Work as a Religious Liberty Concern

With a new Republican governor and a legislature with a strong Republican majority, Missourians saw some changes this year coming out of their state capital. One of the quickest and most striking turnarounds had to do with right-to-work legislation. This had been a top priority for Show-Me Republicans for years, fought ardently by labor unions [...]

A Trinity of Bad Hygiene

“Let us continue to abuse one another / With the kiss of Peace.” ∼  Geoffrey Hill, “The Triumph of Love,” part XLIV Few moments are as completely uncomfortable, for me at least, as the “Kiss of Peace” or the “Sign of Peace” at the Novus Ordo Mass. It’s actually painfully awkward. And during this high-point [...]

Intercommunion: The Next Step in Theological Ambiguity?

A recent issue of the Italian daily Avennire suggests the next possible front in the effort to accommodate the sacraments to “pastoral” problems (at least as Cardinal Walter Kasper sees them): intercommunion. The December 9 issue features a brief interview in which Kasper reflects on Pope Francis’s October 31-November 1 visit to Sweden to mark the [...]

Contraception and Communion

It is puzzling: why do many Catholics receive the Eucharist, the source of all grace and the sign of being in communion with the Catholic Church, and yet support and practice contraception, abortion, and unnatural relationships such as homosexual “marriage,” all of which are in direct contradiction to the Church’s teachings? How can there be [...]

Sin and the Reception of the Eucharist

In Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis reminds us that the Eucharist is “not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” Amen to that. It is also true, however, that the Eucharist is not magic dust. The Eucharist, like Jesus during his ministry, “works” in relationship with the faith of [...]

Is Francis Ready for a Confrontation at the Cuban Altar?

Catholic and international media are abuzz over Pope Francis’ trip to Cuba, the third consecutive pope to visit this island thoroughly destroyed by the two Castro brothers. The Castros have utterly ruined this onetime bastion of Roman Catholicism with a cruel, morally unconscionable Marxist-Leninist atheism. A dozen Hurricane Katrinas could not have generated the mass [...]

The 2015 Synod: The Real Issue at Stake

When the Church gathers in Rome from October 4-25 for a much-publicized Synod, the centerpiece topic will be “The Family.” We are living in a time when the family unit, which is at the heart of the human experience, has taken on “hot button” status. That is troubling enough. But other fiery issues are also [...]

The Proper Role of Eucharistic Ministers

Every three years as the Church is reading the Gospel of Mark, during the dog days of summer it stops for five weeks and turns instead to the Gospel of John for instruction on the Eucharist. We began this process July 26 with the account of the sign of the multiplication of the loaves, and [...]

Kneeling Ban: Good Liturgy or Loss of Religious Freedom?

Some religious leaders in the Latin Rite are pressuring Catholics not to kneel at the Consecration, or to genuflect at their reception of the Eucharist. This trend has gained a great deal of traction in recent years, and is causing alarm among those who see it as a restriction of religious freedom. As Catholics, we [...]

Kasper’s Flawed Path to Mercy for Divorced and Remarried

In a recent interview with EWTN journalist Raymond Arroyo, Cardinal Walter Kasper stated that Pope Francis never approved his “proposal” that would permit divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion. Most of those commenting on Kasper’s clarification focus on this aspect of The World Over interview. After all, this seems to be something of [...]

Further Problems With American Eucharistic Practice

Christian Browne’s excellent critique of how receiving Communion-in-the-hand while standing are practices that might be reconsidered to strengthen American Catholics’ understanding of the Eucharist properly notes that these ideologically driven changes were required in no way by Vatican II or even the Holy See. Let me add three additional Eucharist-related phenomena bedeviling the “American Church” [...]

The Reception of Holy Communion in the United States

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis has decided to mark the occasion with the “Year of Mercy.” Despite much happy-talk and positive papal press, it is a time of foreboding in the Church. The anxiety over the coming Synod on the Family is substantial and growing, [...]

The Impoverishment of Liturgical Culture

On his flight back from the Holy Land recently, Pope Francis made it clear to the journalists he was addressing that he dislikes the discussion, and press coverage, of the prospects for the forthcoming synod on the family being focused mainly on the question of Communion for the divorced and remarried. What he wanted instead, [...]

Will Pelosi Finally Get Her Comeuppance?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., perhaps the most rabidly pro-abortion Catholic woman in Congress, has finally gotten what she deserved. Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has ratified the opinions of Canon lawyer Ed Peters. The former Speaker of the House, the Cardinal said, is not to present herself for Holy [...]

Breaking Bad Liturgical Habits

  The long-awaited introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal on November 27, the First Sunday of Advent, offers the Church in the Anglophere an opportunity to reflect on the riches of the liturgy, its biblical vocabulary, and its virtually inexhaustible storehouse of images. Much of that vocabulary, and a great many of [...]

Five Myths About Worship in the Early Church

As the forthcoming new translation of the Roman Missal debunks the myth that liturgical language must be so banal that even the muppets on Sesame Street can understand it, it’s a good time to examine five other untruths that have been wreaking havoc on the Church’s worship in recent decades.   1. Mass facing the [...]

I Was Young, and Now I Am Old

This laconic statement in Psalm 36 does not, of course, express a choice of the psalmist. It is the realistic observation of a man lucky to have lived long enough to make it. We are the age we are whether we like it or not, but there are good and bad ways of accepting it. [...]

The Chattering Classes Are Us

Catholics once had an intuitive understanding of sacred space: To enter a church, especially in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, was to enter a different kind of environment, one of the hallmarks of which was a reverent silence. Some of that intuition remains. But much of it has been lost. Thus, within the past [...]

Muzzling the Bishops With ‘Civility’

On Tuesday, a group of Catholics in Washington, D.C. issued a statement calling for a greater "spirit of civility" as Americans approach the 2008 presidential elections. When I saw the title of the statement -- "A Catholic Call to Civility in Public Debate" -- I thought, what a great idea! Then I read it, and [...]

Blood on Their Hands: Exposing Pro-abortion Catholic Politicians

  "Pro-choice" Catholic politicians support abortion mostly for political reasons. The U.S. bishops say this is unacceptable. So why do they accept it?   "Do you know what the Negro is?" Leander H. Perez once asked in 1965. "Animals right out [of] the jungle. Passion. Welfare. Easy life. That's the Negro." As a state judge [...]

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