Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


It’s good for Buffalo, but apparently not Rochester…

October 30th, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

The local NBC affiliate has put up a story about the Diocese of Rochester’s response to the Swine Flu situation. NBC notes that the diocese of Buffalo has taken actions to prevent the spread of the disease, but apparently Rochester is content to just caution people.

Various passages of interest from News 10 NBC’s Web site:

“The Catholic Bishop of Buffalo is directing parishes to immediately suspend the distribution of Holy Communion through the cup and instead of shaking hands during the Sign of Peace at Mass, churchgoers should offer a nod or a verbal greeting of peace.” [Bravo to Bishop Kmiec! This prelate obviously understands the magnitude of the problem, and is willing to take measures to prevent it from getting any worse. We are not at all required to shake hands during the Sign of Peace nor to drink from the chalice (we receive the full Jesus, body and blood, when we partake of the host).]

“Parishioners in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo have eliminated the hand-shake as a sign of peace during mass but News 10NBC learned today that the Rochester Catholic Diocese won’t be following Buffalo’s lead.” [And why will the Diocese of Rochester not take any action? Are they really so attached to the touchy-feelyness of the Sign of Peace that they can’t tell people to take a break from it for a few months?]

“Doug Mandelaro of the Rochester Catholic Diocese said, ?It’s a moment before Communion when the Church comes together as one human family and when we embrace one another.?” [What about the rest of the Mass? Have we not truly come together until we hug and shake hands?]

And of course there is this ridiculous comment from a parishioner of St. Mary’s downtown (yes, the St. Mary’s) that proves that not only does the diocese have a problem dealing with a pandemic, but it also has major catechesis problems:

“Mary Hansen said, ?Some people aren’t shaking hands and stuff, but I still do. And I still drink from the cup. I feel like if it’s Jesus’ blood, I’m not going to get sick.?”

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16 Responses to “It’s good for Buffalo, but apparently not Rochester…”

  1. avatar Scott/Mary says:

    Of course if you attend the Latin Mass, none of this (handshaking/Communion from the cup) is a problem!

  2. avatar Nerina says:

    Oh, boy. Where to begin?

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    "I feel like if it's Jesus' blood, I'm not going to get sick."

    So if she gets sick, it's not the Blood of Jesus?

  4. avatar Dr. K says:

    Interesting, anon, interesting.

    ~Dr. K

  5. avatar Gen says:

    Behold the depth and breadth of St. Mary's theology.

  6. avatar Rob says:

    Does the bishop care if people get sick, or does he care more about protecting his progressive elements of the Mass? His silence is damning.

  7. avatar Kelly says:

    On another note, (in the DOB) we have a parishioner who suffers with celiac's disease. The priest provided a separate cup at the consecration so that she could still receive, yet not share the precious blood from the chalice. Also, at a school Mass a few weeks ago, the Priest omitted the sign of peace altogether. Sometimes, in some locations, common sense prevails.

    Perhaps in the DOR it is 'uncomfortable' for the Bishop to address this issue because he would have to acknowledge all of that hand-holding going on at Mass?

  8. avatar Sister Emily says:

    KELLY You hit the nail on the head.

    "Common sense prevails."

    That is what is missing in the DOR.

  9. avatar Anonymous says:

    "Perhaps in the DOR it is 'uncomfortable' for the Bishop to address this issue because he would have to acknowledge all of that hand-holding going on at Mass?"

    I don't think he's ashamed of it at all.

  10. "Doug Mandelaro of the Rochester Catholic Diocese said, ?It's a moment before Communion when the Church comes together as one human family and when we embrace one another.?"

    Someone should send Mr. Mandalero a copy of Pope Benedict's 2007 apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist, Sacramentum Caritatis; they could highlight the section on the sign of peace:

    Even so, during the Synod of Bishops there was discussion about the appropriateness of greater restraint in this gesture, which can be exaggerated and cause a certain distraction in the assembly just before the reception of Communion. It should be kept in mind that nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one's immediate neighbours (par. 49).

  11. avatar Gen says:

    In Rochester, "diocesan norms takes precedence over Church-wide norms."

    I quote the pastoral administrator of St. Anne/Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Rochester.

  12. avatar Sister Emily says:

    AND, "She am what she am!

  13. avatar Anonymous says:

    Now let's be fair: Buffalo is the only diocese in the state to do this. Syracuse, Ogdensburgh, Albany, New York, Rockville Center etc. (and the vast majority of dioceses/eparchies across the nation) are doing exactly what the DOR is doing.

  14. avatar Gen says:

    "If your friends all jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?"

  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    Re: Anon 2:20

    From what I've been reading about Swine flu, people do not necessarily show symptoms for up to 24 hours. So to rely on the "honor system", where people simply do not partake of the chalice if they are sick, may not be effective if people aren't aware they're sick until some time after contracting the disease. It would be much safer to temporarily suspend Communion under both forms until this flu season is over.

  16. avatar Anonymous says:


    I want to be safe and healthy.

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