Losing One’s Soul For Preservation of the 50’s

More from the self-styled orthodox in the combox at Rorate Caeli:

If Benedict XVI revokes completely communion in the hand I shall return to Mass.

Does this seem to be eerily similar to the pro-torture premise:

(L)et’s say that I lose my soul to save innocent lives. Then so be it.

Let me get this straight: other people receive Communion in the hand … people concede you may receive on the tongue … there are certainly Catholic Masses in the world in which one need not even watch believers receive in the hand … and this is why a person has boycotted the source and summit of the Christian life? That somewhere, out of sight, some Catholic is touching the host not with their lips, tongue, and palates, but their palm and fingertips.

Another wonderful politicization of the Eucharist. Do you suppose it ever occurs to such protesters–aside from the damage done by absenting oneself from Christ’s worship of the Father–that the tactics of bygone days get rather tired.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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15 Responses to Losing One’s Soul For Preservation of the 50’s

  1. GodsGadfly says:

    Maybe the person can’t stand to see rampant sacrilege.

  2. GodsGadfly says:

    Not saying the guy’s right. But first he’s not just “preserving the 50’s” but preserving the tradition of the Church dating back to . . . whenever . . . a traditoin that Pope Benedict himself has expressed the desire to see fully restored. A tradition whose alteration was an indult forced upon Rome by rebellious bishops who permitted it without prior authorizatoin. Reception on the hand has led to daily sacrileges and desecrations in almost every Church–any time a person receives in the hand without having washed first, it’s a desecration–and has made it much easier for witches to steal hosts.

    You compare his argument ot torture apologists, but your argument sounds like that of gay rights activists: “What’s it hurt *you* if I want to marry another guy?” “What’s it hurt *you* if I want to drop particles of the Sacred Host on the floor?”

  3. GodsGadfly

    Communion in the hand is also a tradition of the Church dating back to… beyond whenever. And the argument “it was forced upon Rome” doesn’t mean it isn’t the right thing for the time. Remember, the filioque was forced without prior authorization.

  4. Todd says:

    I can’t escape the image of bishops in rainbow stoles pointing sharpened mitres at the CDWDS and Pope Paul VI.

    Does Mark 7:15 apply about defilement?

  5. Liam says:

    Obviously, the same goes for the sentiment I’ve heard from some that if the indult for Communion in the hand is repealed, or the Precious Blood is once more withheld permanently from the laity, they will also consider going elsewhere.

    Likewise, we do read of priests who will refuse to celebrate Mass with the new Missal translation texts, or people who will refuse to utter or sing them. Et cet.

    They are all of a piece.

  6. Todd says:

    “They are all of a piece.”

    Not with the example I offered.

    There is a difference between an imposed alienation from above — the notion of a last straw spurning people to search for another faith community to affirm what many people have found to be spiritually and liturgically fruitful– and an embittered isolation. Why would a person separate from sacramental Communion when the world is full of TLM’s?

    But in essence, yes: many Christians do silly, self-harmful things in the name of some imagined greater cause.

    • Liam says:

      “Why would a person separate from sacramental Communion when the world is full of TLM’s?”

      Precisely because “many Christians do silly, self-harmful things in the name of some imagined greater cause” and we live in an era (a long era) where ideological mindsets are widely and deeply cultivated. Interestingly, it is connected to sentimental faith (that is, a faith grounded on feeling), which might surprise those who assume ideology necessarily prefers the soil of intellect to the soil of feeling; we live in an age where many seek to keep their faith in a state of constant affective stimulation and affirmation/validation, and ideology helps mightily to do that. Another fruit of failing to train souls to recognize, use and accept the necessarily extended experience of the spiritual desert. Ideology provides a kind of high for those addicted to a sentimentalized faith or belief system.

    • Harry says:

      Not to speak for Liam, but I read him as saying that those who would deny themselves Communion for whatever reason, be they left or right, are united in their lack of full appreciation for it in the first place.

      • Liam says:

        Denying oneself Communion because one is not in a state of grace is, of course, hardly objectionable. Also because of illness or similar reasons that make it inopportune.

        The Jansenists encouraged the practice of fasting from Communion, but the orthodox Catholic approach is to rely on the direction of a confessor and/or spiritual director to avoid the spiritual pathologies that can come into play with that approach.

  7. Oh, good Lord. I wish Catholic Christians would study up on the Jewish roots of Christian worship before invoking what is or isn’t historically accurate. Jesus weeps. I take more Zantac.

  8. smf says:

    For my own part, I do think that those who have decided they are going to get off the boat for whatever reason have a great deal in common. Some are threatening to leave now if they don’t get their way on certain things. Some in the past left due to things going the way they are now. It is the same in a sense.

    For my part, I think communion in the hand is not a particularly brilliant idea. As an objective matter, I favor communion on the tongue. However, due to subjective considerations I very often receive on the hand. (i.e. I do not wish to cause a scene, I don’t want to make the extraordinary ministers of communion feel awkward (many don’t like giving on the tongue, most were never really trained for it), and quite frankly I am not very good at receiving that way (I am a somewhat clumsy sort, and I do did not have the advantage of being taught how to do this at reasonable age))

    Objectively speaking, I see many advantages to communion on the tongue. It seems to be far more in keeping with the liturgical tradition of the west, it does encourage reverence in a particular way, and it mitigates against certain profanation. On the other hand, communion on the hand seems only to have pragmatic advantages, and I can think of no spiritual or theological argument in its favor.

    If I were Pope for a day I suspect I would be tempted to push for the ideal being communion on the tongue, kneeling when practical, and given by a proper minister by the method of intinction when possible.

  9. Tony says:

    Todd, you have it backward. Receiving on the tongue is the normative method of receiving communion. You may receive in the hand by specific indult. That indult could be revoked at any time.

    • Todd says:

      Actually, Tony, this post has nothing to do with the way to receive Communion. It’s about a person who risks significant spiritual damage to make what seems to be a political point. Only unlike Fr Ryan, he seems concerned only with himself.

      • Tony says:

        Always like to be correct, because if you keep saying “people are allowed to receive on the tongue, it give a false impression that communion in the hand is the normative method of receiving when this is not the case.

        Is the first communion classes at your church taught about receiving on the tongue and are they given the opportunity to do so?

        Just curious if your church teaches the normative method of receiving Holy Communion.

  10. Michael says:

    It’s arguments like this one that have convinced me that the Roman Catholic Church has as much to do with God as a Martian does with proper batting technique.

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