Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pope Benedict XIV: Lay Ministers May Not Cleanse Communion Vessels

Picture courtesy of St. Columbkille

The following was posted over at the
Roman Catholic Blog


Lay ministers may not cleanse Communion vessels, Pope Benedict says

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- At the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion will no longer be permitted to assist in the purification of the sacred vessels at Masses in the United States.

In an Oct. 23 letter, Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked his fellow bishops to inform all pastors of the change, which was prompted by a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The U.S. bishops had asked the Vatican to extend an indult -- or church permission -- in effect since 2002 allowing extraordinary ministers of holy Communion to help cleanse the Communion cups and plates when there were not enough priests or deacons to do so.

Bishop Skylstad, who heads the Diocese of Spokane, Wash., said Cardinal Arinze asked Pope Benedict about the matter during a June 9 audience, "and received a response in the negative."

Noting that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal "directs that the sacred vessels are to be purified by the priest, the deacon or an instituted acolyte," the cardinal said in his Oct. 12 letter that "it does not seem feasible, therefore, for the congregation to grant the requested indult from this directive in the general law of the Latin Church."

Although receiving Communion under both kinds is a "more complete" sign of the sacrament's meaning, Cardinal Arinze said, "Christ is fully present under each of the species."

"Communion under the species of the bread alone, as a consequence, makes it possible to receive all the fruit of eucharistic grace," he added.

Another "legitimate option" when "the high number of communicants may render it inadvisable for everyone to drink from the chalice" is intinction -- the practice of dipping the consecrated host into the consecrated wine -- "with reception on the tongue always and everywhere," the cardinal's letter said.

Along with the letters from Bishop Skylstad and Cardinal Arinze, bishops received a new resource prepared by the bishops' Committee on the Liturgy titled "Seven Questions on the Distribution of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds."

The committee document also suggested distribution of Communion by consecrated bread alone or by intinction when the number of communicants makes the purification of vessels by priests, deacons or instituted acolytes alone "pastorally problematic."

"Priests should also keep in mind potential risks associated with intinction, especially in the coming flu season," the document added.

The committee said extraordinary ministers of holy Communion may continue to "consume what remains of the precious blood from their chalice of distribution with permission of the diocesan bishop."

The document notes that the "extraordinary ministry" by which laypeople distribute Communion "was created exclusively for those instances where there are not enough ordinary ministers to distribute holy Communion, due to the consummate importance of assuring that the faithful have the opportunity to receive holy Communion at Mass, even when it is distributed under both species."

Ordinary ministers of Communion are priests and deacons, with instituted acolytes being permitted in the Roman Missal to help the priest or deacon "to purify and arrange the sacred vessels."

In the United States, instituted acolytes, who must be male, generally are seminarians preparing for priesthood.


Featured Artist - William

The artist is a former Hawaii Catholic homeschooler William. My friend emailed me these photos recently and I told her I'd to share them with others by posting them on my blog.

As you can see by the photo, William creates his masterpieces in wire. He seems to have captured the graceful movement of the horse, hasn't he?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Photos of the Eucharistic Procession - Part III

The Blessed Sacrament during Adoration. That is a portrait of Blessed Marianne Cope in the background.

This is the first Eucharistic Procession that my family and I were privileged to attend. It was so heartwarming seeing so many people there loving and adoring our Lord, together with our Bishop, priests, sisters, the Knights of Columbus.

The purpose of this day was in part was to pray for vocations. I believe I recognized a couple of seminarians in the pews. Please pray for them and for our bishop, Larry Silva, and for all our priests and religious.

Mahalo Nui Loa Bishop Silva.

Photos of the Eucharistic Procession - Part II

The final blessing and prayers before re-entering the Cathedral.

A better shot of Bishop Silva carrying the Monstrance and making a blessing.

Photos from the Eucharistic Procession Part I

The first time the Bishop (Silva) stops during the Procession to bless the people.

We are processing out of the Cathedral and following the Blessed Sacrament.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Baseball or Priesthood

Father Stephanos of Me Monk, Me Meander (Don't you love that blog name?) posted an interesting story of a baseball player with a calling.

This story caught my eye for a few reasons:

1. Thanks to our Dad, my family has been diehard Mets fans since the 1970's. At the time the Mets were thinking of bringing Father Ed Cipot to play for the majors, my family and I were going to Shea Stadium on a regular basis. It was during this period of time that the Mets had the incredible pitching team of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and my own personal favorite (and yes, I had a little crush on him) Jon Matlack. We actually met Jon Matlack and he autographed a baseball and a Mets photo album, but I digress...

2. Ed Cipot is a Jersey boy.

3. Ed Cipot became a priest.

As a side note, apparently, the Mets and Catholicism are no strangers. Our family friend, 97 year old priest Father Duffy, a native of Brooklyn and long-time Brooklyn Dodgers fan, was friends with Gil Hodges, (who was the manager of the Mets in the 70's). If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Hodges was a convert to Catholicism and Father Duffy invited him to his first Mass as a priest. It snowed heavily that day but Gil Hodges made it to the ordination. Father Duffy told me that Gil Hodges was quite the gentleman and a very nice guy.

So, if you'd like to read a very interesting story of a former "Boy of Summer" CLICK HERE