Cleansing Fire

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Calgary Bishop Bans the Latin Mass Because of Swine Flu

November 30th, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

According to Rorate Caeli, the bishop of Calgary, Bishop Frederick Henry, has recently banned the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass in his diocese because the TLM community can not accommodate his demand that Communion not be given on the tongue during the Swine Flu situation. The Bishop’s letter banning Communion on the tongue can be seen on the diocesan home page here: http://www.rcdiocese-calgary.ab.ca/ .

A couple of blatantly obvious issues here:
1. Communion on the tongue can not be banned, ever. It is the universal norm for the reception of Communion, despite local norms. Additionally, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments recently reminded us that the reception of Commuinion on the tongue is a right for all Catholics that can not be denied.
2. A bishop can not ban the Latin Mass in his diocese. All priests everywhere are free to offer the Mass according to the 1962 Missal without the approval of his local ordinary. Maybe Bishop Henry should actually read Summorum Pontificum?

The blogger at Rorate Caeli reports of correspondence with the bishop concerning this matter. Here are two of his excellency’s responses:

From: Bishop F.B. Henry
Date: Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM
Subject: RE: Calgary’s Saint Anthony Parish: forbidden to have Mass if communion in the hand is not offered?
Dear [edited out]

The Fraternity ahs [sic] informed me that they are unable to comply with the directives in my pastoral letter re reception of communion. Therefore, the Latin Mass will be suspended until the temporary sanctions have been lifted as recommended by the Medical Officer of Health.

Peace, Bishop Henry

and

From: Bishop F.B. Henry

Date: Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 12:22 PM
Subject: RE: Calgary’s Saint Anthony Parish: forbidden to have Mass if communion in the hand is not offered?
To: [parvenu74]


I am well aware of what the congregation decided but quite frankly, it is not their call. It is mine.

Stay tuned for updates on this situation.

The bishop may be reached here: bishopfh@rcdiocese-calgary.ab.ca

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3 Responses to “Calgary Bishop Bans the Latin Mass Because of Swine Flu”

  1. I hate it when otherwise decent bishops do stupid things

    nothing quite like being pompous enough to believe you know more than everyone else

  2. avatar Nerina says:

    WOW! What else is there to say? The Bishop's second response is petulance defined.

  3. avatar Mike says:

    It seems that many Canadian bishops develop backbone problems when a possible confrontation with their government is involved.

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