November 13, 1997   vol 8, no.30

SECTION TWO Text of Today's Issue - to print out SECTION ONE, Click here.

We must do our homework!

      We can get fed a lot of bologna, and we're not talking about the school cafeteria but rather the agenda of "cafeteria-Catholics" and radical liberals who have succeeded in pulling the wool over the eyes of many of the faithful in respect to changes due to Vatican II. When we do our homework, we realize in a True/False quiz, most of the answers the modernists claim are: False. Yet the abuses continue. We expose some of them by going to the source, the post-conciliar documents of the Second Vatican Council. In this week's installment we lay it out straight regarding the responsibilities of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, a new phenomenon during the last thirty years that has rubbed many Catholics the way scratching a blackboard does. Once that chill subsides, Click on VATICAN II VERIFICATIONS to get it straight from the teachers: the Council Fathers.

Vatican II Verifications

The Eucharist

     There have many misconceptions that Vatican II changed many things in the Church and "we don't do it that way anymore" has become the refrain in all too many parishes throughout the world. However, surprise! It hasn't changed that much! To prove this, we go to the source: the Vatican Council Postconciliar Documents, expertly compiled by the revered Dominican Austin P. Flannery in two volumes.

      Our second "bone to pick" with dissenters is on the role of Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist. Note, they are not called "Eucharistic Ministers" which everyone seems to think so, but "Extraordinary Ministers." That, in itself, speaks volumes about what they should be doing and the role that has evolved through misuse and abuse. The main reasons Extraordinary Ministers were created and allowed among the laity was to assist the priest in taking Holy Communion (Holy Viaticum) to the sick and house-bound elderly. Many could do this in deference to one man trying to accomplish this. The sad fact is that so few Extraordinary Ministers today actually fulfill their roles of ministering to the sick, opting instead to flood the altar at the Our Father and, after glad-handing everyone at what should be the reverent "Kiss of Peace," grab the ciboriums off the altar and trod down to their station to pass out the hosts. In all fairness, there are some very reverent Extraordinary Ministers who often times present a more edifying presence than some priests. That's a sad state of affairs to some of the celebrants who have turned the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a circus, greatly saddening Our Lord and the countless angels who worship at every Mass said throughout the world. The Vatican II documents are very clear on warning priests to not allow the laity to completely take over the distribution of Holy Communion. On the distribution at Holy Mass, we've seen it in every parish, four to twelve lay Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist get up and tredge to the altar no matter how many people are in the congregation. Often times assistant priests and deacons are not present (where they should be) and everything is left to the laity. In our last parish all the priests and deacons assigned to that parish took part in distributing Holy Communion at every Mass and at our new present parish all Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist don white albs and present a reverence for Who is truly present in the Bread and Wine. If a deacon is present at Mass, he must take precedent over any assigned Extraordinary Minister as the documents clearly state as well as Canon Law. Another way parishes have gotten around this is to claim that the Extraordinary Ministers are needed because if only the priests distribute Holy Communion the Mass will take too long. What about the days of pre-Vatican II when one or two priests distributed Holy Communion at the Communion rail where everyone took their turn...was Mass too long then? Very few complained. Now it's all whiz, bang, let's get outta here...but save 3 to 5 minutes for announcements! How many have noticed how the offertory is extended so the choir can have their day, and the Lord's Prayer and "Kiss of Peace" are extended so we "touch" all those around us in a show of "lateral" worship towards each other while forgetting the "vertical" worship to God? Then how many have noticed how parishes race through the Consecration of the Mass and Holy Communion and then wrap things up fast so they can get in the announcements, while the Extraordinary Ministers tail back to the "gathering area" by going through, around, on and over the altar, bowing everywhere but to the Tabernacle, and then gather to gulp down the remaining wine. What ever happened to purification? Ah, we'll cover that the next issue. For now we're concerned with abuses by Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, many of whom have no idea they are in violation of the Canon Law and what the Church officially prescribes. Below are the verifications of the documents on reception of the Holy Eucharist that state this, taken from VATICAN COUNCIL II, VOLUME II, More Postconciliar Documents; General Editor Austin Flannery, O.P. Costello Publishing Company, page 96 on the Instruction on Certain Norms concerning the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery (S.C.S.D.W., Inaestimabile Donum 3, April 1980.