Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rome has spoken

Limit role of extraordinary ministers, Vatican tells US
Oct. 25 ( - The Vatican has instructed the Catholic bishops of the US to discontinue the practice of allowing extraordinary Eucharistic ministers to assist with the purification of chalices after Communion.

In an October 12 letter to Bishop William Skylstad, the president of the US bishops' conference, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship reported that Pope Benedict XVI ordered an end to the American practice. Cardinal Francis Arinze was responding to a request from the US bishops' conference, asking for approval to continue the policy.

Bishop Skylstad, in turn, wrote to all American bishops on October 23, informing them that "it will be necessary to inform all pastors that extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may no longer assist with the purification of sacred vessels at Mass."

Although the General Instruction of the Roman Missal specifies that sacred vessels may be purified only by a priest or deacon, the American bishops had obtained an indult, or permission, to allow extraordinary ministers to assist in that role. This indult was intended to encourage more people to receive Communion under both kinds.

In his letter to Bishop Skylstad, Cardinal Arinze noted, "Sometimes, however, the high number of communicants may render it inadvisable for everyone to drink from the chalice." He recommended that the American bishops remind their people of the teaching from the Council of Trent, "that Christ is fully present under each of the species. Communion under the species of bread alone, as a consequence, makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace."

Bishop Skylstad, in conveying news of the Vatican decision to the American hierarchy, attached a list of questions and answers about the distribution of Communion, prepared by Bishop Donald Trautman, the chairman of the US bishops' liturgy committee. Bishop Trautman reminded his fellow bishops that the use of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist is intended "exclusively for those instances where there are not enough ordinary ministers to distribute Holy Communion."


Blogger Sorka said...

At every church I have been a extrodinary minster at I have never witnessed a "party" atmosphere. Instead, the job of tending to the sacred vessels is always taken with highest respect and care. Its a pity if thats what happens where you are Father. I do believe that people will respond when taught accordingly, they only want to serve God afterall.

So now there is one more thing in the Church I am not worthy of doing for my Lord. I can't pour and I can't clean. Whats next? Perhaps I won't be worthy to recieve the Precious Blood at mass next. Please tell me thats not where this is headed. I fear it is.

7:02 AM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...

Yes, it is very unfortunate what I experience at this particular parish. The noise is sometimes deafening while they "wash" the laugh and carry on.

This is not the case everywhere, of course, but I have been subject to this frivolity for 1 1/2 years. We have a small sacristy and with 5 people jockying for space increases the chaos.

If I say anything, they look at me as if I had three heads.

I go in, put my vestments away, and quickly leave for a quiet place to thank the Lord for the privilege of offering the Holy Sacrifice.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Publish this string (and your subsequent comments) in the sacristy and you will get your wish - an empty sacristy. A bit passive-aggressive I agree, but isn't that what this blog is all about? Underlying all this is the pervasive conservative clergy attitude that only you as priests are worthy to perform all things Liturgical. Share that view with your congregation and the emptiness might soon extend to the pews as well, with the exception of your target audience: those who pray, pay and obey.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How you must despise the people with whom you have been called to serve!

4:32 PM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...

It simply saddens me for their lack of respect. I pray for them.

6:29 PM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...


Here's my other cheek.


Sir, may I have another?

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our words can only have any value and usefulness if they come from the silence of contemplation, not falling prey to the proliferation of worldly discourse, which seeks the consensus of common opinion. -- Benedict XVI, Address to the students of the Pontifical Universities in Rome, October 21, 2006

9:03 PM  
Blogger gabdandie said...

Is it wrong to "pray, pay, and obey"? I thought that is what we're supposed to do.

9:42 PM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...

'Nuf said.

10:03 PM  

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