Our Blessed Mother and the Return to Holiness |
by Cornelia R. Ferreira
Reprinted with permission of Catholic Family News, see Editor's Notes below.
Installment Three - Communion in the Hand
St. Thomas Aquinas said, "Out of reverence towards the Sacrament [the Holy Eucharist], nothing touches it but what is consecrated." Only the hands of a priest are consecrated.
The following article is an expanded version of a talk recently given by the writer.
Communion in the hand, a practice that arose with the new Mass, contradicts the traditional Church teaching that was enunciated by St. Thomas Aquinas, viz., "Out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches it but what is consecrated." Only the hands of a priest are consecrated. Communion in the hand was condemned by the Synod of Rouen in 650 A.D. to halt widespread abuses, and as a safeguard against sacrilege. However, starting with Luther, Protestants re-introduced this practice "to manifest their belief that there is no such thing as Transubstantiation and Holy Orders, and the bread used is just ordinary bread and the minister is just an ordinary man with no God-given power to consecrate." 
17. John Vennari, "Communion in the Hand------Why?," Catholic Family News, March 1998, p. 7.
Communion in the hand has given rise to many sacrileges and heresies.
First, it's the justification for lay Eucharistic ministers. If a lay person can receive Communion in his unconsecrated hands, then he believes himself justified in handing out the Sacred Host to others. There was first a transition period in which lay "extraordinary" ministers of Communion were allowed in cases of necessity [under the old Code of Canon Law, only deacons could be extraordinary ministers under grave circumstances, 
18. Canon 845. See Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 4th ed., ed. Canon James Bastible, trans. Patrick Lynch [Cork, Ireland: The Mercier Press, Ltd., 1960; reprint ed. Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1974], p. 398. all deacons then being recipients of Major Orders destined shortly thereafter to be ordained.] Very quickly, however, the "extraordinary" became ordinary as the ranks of Eucharistic ministers swelled. In short order followed the sacrileges of consecrated Hosts left on pews, sometimes in pieces; Hosts carried in pockets, passed around the classroom, found on the streets; and Hosts easily procured for the ultimate profanation in satanic Black Masses. Receiving Communion in the hand, and from a layman, has also contributed to the downgrading of the priesthood and other heresies concerning the Holy Eucharist.
Let's look at the attack on the priesthood now. Liturgical "ministries" seem to be the vehicle for effecting the chief goal of religious feminists, viz., women's ordination. In the face of the Church's refusal to ordain women, the strategy became to effect an eventual approval of ordination by involving females in other liturgical roles. This would prepare a climate of acceptance for priestesses by getting congregations used to seeing women around the altar. Feminists hope that eventually the clamor for priestesses will become so widespread that the Church will capitulate. Twenty years ago, arch-religious feminist Rosemary Ruether described this strategy of re-education:
"It is likely that a long seedtime must set in. A growing practice of ministry shared by men [i.e., priests] and women will develop on local congregational levels. A certain educational process will go on between women and ordained males on the injustices of the restrictions placed on their female colleagues. Laity will become used to seeing women ministers in a number of adjunct roles and wonder why not Sacraments. Perhaps there will be discussions and conferences around this . . . Eventually, more bishops will be consecrated who wonder at the absurdity of the exclusion [with a growing example of women in full Sacramental ministry in other Churches]."  [Emphases added.] 19. Cornelia R. Ferreira, The Emerging Feminist Religion [Toronto: Life Ethics Center, 1989], pp. 4-5.
Feminist Naomi Goldenberg, who calls herself a psychologist of religion, confirms this strategy that makes use of "devout" women who are unaware of the feminist agenda. She says these reformists and their clerical supporters think using inclusive language, highlighting the importance of women in the Gospels, and promoting women's ordination are means of "improving the practice of their religion by encouraging women to share the responsibilities of worship equally with men,"  i.e., with priests.
20. Ibid., p. 5 [emphasis added].
Notice that phrase, "share the responsibilities of worship." You'll hear it quite frequently. It clothes the revolution in fuzzy, positive terms. After all, you won't get anywhere by telling your pastor you intend to take over his job, and you won't easily win "devout" recruits to your power grab by this frontal assault. Satan deceives by posing as an Angel of light. Goldenberg openly admits that the planned reforms challenge the basic nature of Christianity; they are "not minor alterations," but "major departures from tradition" that will "shake Christianity at its roots."  Here we have it, straight from the horse's mouth: according to two feminist leaders, lay ministries are designed to destroy the foundations of our religion; they are a transitional step to priestesses.
As we know, in secular society, feminism, using role-reversal ideology , has emasculated the husband, stripping him of his role as provider, and destroying his hierarchical authority, all in the name of women's equality. This has resulted in the "fatherless" family. The liturgical role revisions have done the same damage in the spiritual sphere.
I also know of a suicidal man in hospital who several times requested a priest for Confession, but was only sent lay people. Finally, a visitor who overheard him brought in a priest friend. The patient made his Confession, his suicidal thoughts disappeared immediately, and he was discharged shortly thereafter. What might have happened to him without the priest's visit?
In his article entitled "The Emasculation of the Priesthood," 
22. The Latin Mass, Spring 1998, p.14.which deals with the psychological impact of lay usurpation of the priest's roles, Fr. James McLucas echoes Goldenberg when he says, "Our Lord . . . began the Church with the priesthood and the Eucharist. If what has been done in the past thirty years is harmful to either, we are perilously close to the foundations of the Church herself. The notion that the Church can offer the work of the priest to others without doing harm to both his masculinity and his personality is a gross presumption. It will affect the way he views his life and commitment . . ."
". . . what will animate the celibate male to . . . embrace his commitment to be a spiritual father is the sure knowledge that there are no rivals to his spiritual paternity. Manufacturing positions that substitute for his pastoral care contradicts the very notion of paternal certainty."
Since the priest is an alter Christus and a spiritual father, his identity and authority have to be protected "through a structure which visibly reinforces key components of his masculine nature . . ." The act of "feeding" the lambs and sheep with the Bread of Life is crucial to the perception of his spiritual fatherhood." The traditional role of the celibate priest as the sole administrator of the sacred assisted him in sublimating his natural desire for exclusivity with another in marriage, and preserved his orientation toward his spiritual espousal to the Church and his spiritual fatherhood."
Minimizing the priest's sacramental and liturgical duties, says Fr. McLucas, has led to him becoming the "CEO of a parish plant. He oversees countless committees" and "begins to delegate the more burdensome pastoral duties," such as visiting the sick, Baptizing, instructing converts, etc. He becomes a careerist and abdicates his fatherhood, leading to "Fatherless" parishes led by lay "pastoral administrators," and featuring priestless Communion services run by lay "presiders"------usually women. Remember, Ruether predicted, "Laity will become used to seeing women ministers in a number of adjunct roles and wonder why not Sacraments. Eventually more bishops will be consecrated who wonder at the absurdity of the exclusion." Right now there are Cardinals waiting to elect a new Pope who, they hope, will approve priestesses.
Limiting the priest's function merely to consecrating makes him an "ecclesiastical technician" says Fr. McLucas. He's correct. More and more, parishes believe they possess what's called "communal ownership of the liturgy." 
23. Father Kwatera, p. 19. "Full participation" through the use of many liturgical ministers is meant to cement this "broad ownership of the service itself."  Owning the liturgy and taking over the priest's duties has led to the heretical belief that the priest does not get his authority directly from God, through the Apostles, but from the community. This belief is tied to the assertion, "We are Eucharist people."
There's an article in the October 1999 issue of Eucharistic Minister 
25. Ibid. [emphases added]. about a "Eucharistic community" that takes away the pastor's stole and commissions" and "blesses" him when he moves elsewhere, then gives the new pastor the stole and the keys to the church. The author describes what it means to be a Eucharist community: "No individual member holds status or authority that . . . is not derived from the community itself. The outgoing pastor did not take his role in the community with him as he left. Like the stole, that role resided in a relationship to the community . . . Every minister is empowered by the community s/he serves." This tells us, first, that the priest is a minister equivalent to lay ministers; and second, you are only a priest if somebody wants you.
A deacon's wife told me: "Women are doing priestly duties because we haven't a choice. Being in a hospital setting, priests are often impossible to get. We are hearing their confessions and praying with them."
The article gloats over the coup d'etat, painting it as altruism and a blessing: "It would be hard to imagine a generation ago that shared leadership among ordained and non-ordained members of the [sic] church would be either this possible or this productive. If grace is visible in crisis [i.e., the priest shortage], the transfer of responsibility to all the baptized has blessed the [sic] church." Pastors who don't share responsibility are "autocrats." In a bold distortion of Scripture, the authority for the coup is seen to be Jesus Himself! Washing the disciples' feet was allegedly a "stunning gesture of giving away power." [By contrast, the Church explains that this act was meant to teach humility, and also signified the state of grace required for the reception of Holy Communion.] 
"Shared leadership" and "the transfer of responsibility to all the baptized" are euphemisms for the old Protestant heresy that denied the ecclesiastical hierarchy by equating the royal priesthood of the faithful [1 Pet. 2: 5,9] with the ordained priesthood, a heresy condemned by the Council of Trent. 
27. Denziger, nn. 960, 966. Pope Pius XII said this error leads to the belief that "the people possess the true priestly power, and that the priest acts only in virtue of a function delegated to him by the community. Consequently, they regard the Eucharistic Sacrifice as a true 'concelebration'," in which the priest "concelebrates" with the people. 
28. Mediator Dei, sec. 87. The heretics are now moving beyond "concelebration." At the 1999 Call to Action conference, termed an "experiment in the inclusive and collegial church envisioned by Vatican II," the assembly did the "consecration" at the concluding "Eucharist" [Jim Loney, "A Church Called to Action," Catholic New Times (Toronto), 28 November 1999, p. 10]. With no condemnation from the Vatican, more and more weak and ignorant Catholics will be pulled into this heretical practice. The assertion, seen above, that the "community commissions pastors," and that the pastor "derives his authority from the community ," was condemned by the Council of Trent, arose two centuries later, and was re-condemned by Pius VI as follows: "The proposition . . . that the power of ecclesiastical ministry and of rule is derived from the COMMUNITY of the faithful to the pastors------heretical." 
29. Denziger, ibid. and nn. 967, 1502.
Next Issue: Installment Four - The New Transubstantiation
EDITOR'S NOTES: We have received the gracious permission of John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News to reprint various articles that have appeared in his publication that would be of interest to our readers. We urge you to subscribe to John's excellent monthly publication for only $20 a year by calling 1-905-871-6292 or e-mail them at CFN.
December 17-23, 2001
volume 12, no. 161
THE SANITY OF SANCTITY