Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Modest Proposal

In reading elsewhere about the extremely hate-filled loon who is PZ Myers and his vile plans to desecrate the Blessed Sacrament, I am struck with the thought that we Catholics must take action now to prevent this and similar outrages from being committed against Our Eucharistic Lord and ourselves as Catholics.

Here is what must be done:

1. The bishops of America ought immediately to declare that in the face of these growing attacks upon our faith, the practice of receiving Communion in the hand must be suspended for an indefinite period of time. A month or so of instruction in the art of reverent reception by mouth will be followed by the implementation of this new directive.

2. In any church where there is more than one priest in attendance and where the distribution of the Blessed Sacrament will not be prolonged more than ten minutes, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion will not be used except in special circumstances. In this way an EMHC will not have to determine whether someone is attempting to pocket the Sacrament immediately after receiving, something that should properly be the responsibility of ordained priests and deacons.

3. To facilitate the swift distribution of Holy Communion by fewer people, altar rails will be used where they exist, and installed where they do not. In churches where this is architecturally impossible a row of prie-dieux may suffice.

4. If it is necessary to keep the Communion distribution of a reasonable length, the distribution under both species will be reserved for special feasts, holy days, and occasions like First Communion or weddings. On those days if EMHCs are not required, Communion may be given by intinction by the ordained priests or deacons for those who wish to receive under both species, lessening the chance even further that someone will be able to pocket the Blessed Sacrament in a larger crowd.

5. To further prevent acts of desecration, the doors into the church will be guarded by ushers or extra altar girls from the time Communion begins to be distributed until the final blessing of the Mass. Anyone who needs to leave early will have to notify the ushers and explain their reasons (except for parents toting obviously distressed infants or toddlers, of course).

If you like these ideas, please feel free to forward them to your local bishop! Perhaps we should make the safety of the Blessed Sacrament a top priority in the current hostile environment here in the United States.

13 comments:

Irenaeus said...

That's my Red Cardigan...making lemons into lemonade:)

~~~mary said...

Red -
I was w/you all the way, until #5. Not so sure that one is feasible,would be effective or legal. Peace. ~~~mary

Scott said...

I was w/you all the way, until #5. Not so sure that one is feasible,would be effective or legal. Peace. ~~~mary

I took it as satirical, but goodsatire in that it is fully grounded in truth. That is, all 5 ought to be the standard even without a direct threat against the Blessed Sacrament, including stamping out the mass exodus (pun sort of not intended) from church once communion is distributed. But you are right that #5 is a bit off as a solution to a real problem.

If these were actually implemented on a wide scale (God willing), could we anticipate dissident books with titles like, Catholic Shock Doctrine? :)

Anonymous said...

Even if they went to communion on tongue only....that would be a big step.
This is such a maddening and sad situation.

Irenaeus said...

Re: #5: Isn't it true that back in the day, there used to be folks who acted like sergeants-at-arms, keeping the door to the sanctuary? Not young girls, of course, but I do think it was something of an official...office.

Red Cardigan said...

Yes, #5 was meant a bit tongue in cheek. Of course, even in the present day ushers are supposed to watch out for suspicious behavior, and someone darting straight from the communion line out the door *used* to be so rare as to be considered suspicious...


...sigh.

Ragamuffin said...

4. If it is necessary to keep the Communion distribution of a reasonable length, the distribution under both species will be reserved for special feasts, holy days, and occasions like First Communion or weddings.

I have to say, I don't like this idea at all. I know, I know...the sacrament is in its fullness in either species, but it smacks too much of the medieval times when communion was denied the people in certain parishes for various reasons having to do with desecrating it. It wasn't a good idea then, and it isn't now.

Honestly, we should do what we reasonably can to prevent it from happening and stop it if we see it about to occur, but we can't let the threat of someone doing the wrong thing inordinately change how we worship. Let God handle them how He chooses.

Red Cardigan said...

The thing is, Ragamuffin, Catholics received Holy Communion under one species only for many, many centuries--it's quite traditional. And while allowing the faithful to receive under both species may have been an excellent idea in some respects, at the practical, parish Sunday Mass level its implementation has not been such as to lead to greater respect or reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. For one thing, to offer the Precious Blood involves deputizing an inordinate number of lay people to distribute the Sacrament under this species; this has had, in effect, the tendency to weaken the sign of the ordained priesthood in many places. A smallish parish like one I used to attend until recently needed, in addition to a priest and a deacon, two people to help distribute the Body of Christ--and *eight more* to hold chalices and distribute the Precious Blood, each and every Sunday.

I really don't think this has been the best practice from many standpoints.

matthew archbold said...

Red,
this is brilliant. Wish I'd thought of it!
The altar girls thing killed me.

Red Cardigan said...

Thanks, Matthew! :)

MacBeth Derham said...

Oh, Red! Sooo good. I'm with you all the way.

I'd be LOL, but I think it's a plan that needs to be taken very seriously. There's too much at stake, right?

K.H. said...

#1 alone would go a long way toward fixing this problem that should never been possible in the first place. The rest, while funny (and I share your sentiments), just kind of seems like agenda-pushing. An agenda I have no problem with, but an agenda all the same. I would just hate to see your eminently reasonable and prudent #1 suggestion to get written off with the rest of it ...

Tony said...

Red,

In an effort to make sure that none of the sacred species escapes, we will have a special on the CPF enterprises Jesus Positioning System (JPS)

You can scan those leaving with it (ignoring the false positive in the tabernacle).