Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


Peeking in the Closet — a SINKing feeling

June 20th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Yes, pun intended!  Of course!  But it is a very serious matter, about very serious matter.  The subject is Sacraria.  To serve those who prefer shorter posts, there is an abstract  on this main page, but click “Read the rest…” at the end to read the detailed post.  (Trying to be a little more “user friendly.”)   This post probably could be written about many dioceses, but it can only cover what is known, i.e. the local church, but there is nothing to be gained by “naming names;” hopefully anyone who responds will not “name names” either….

sacrariaThe “closet is the one under the sink in the Sacristy ….  There are sinks, and there are Sacraria ….  A Sacrarium may look like a sink, even be covered, to distinguish it from other sinks.  …. It is reserved for use in conjunction with the Sacred Species.  The main difference from a sink is a Sacrarium flows through a straight pipe, directly into the earth beneath the Church, never into a trap, never into a common drain or into — God forbid! — the sewer.  It is difficult to separate Sacraria issues from abuses caused by poor or no training, especially of EEM’s. But there are a few principles:

1) Christ’s Body and Blood are not to be poured down a Sacrarium to “dispose” of them.   Extra Precious Blood is consumed, …. Consecrated hosts are returned to the Tabernacle….   A pastor’s protection of the Eucharist is among his primary duties, including training  those handling the Eucharist….  If speaking to the pastor about abuses is without result, then Bishop Matano should be notified.  It is the least we can do for the Lord.

2) With the bishop’s permission, an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister (EEM) may consume the excess Precious Blood.…  It does not follow that the EEM may tell communicants to “finish it off” ….  The abuse of calling Precious Blood “wine” is widespread.  …. The situation is complicated by the generous willingness of well-meaning parishioners to “help out,” people who have had no training at all, and even feel free to change the words by which they present the Body or Blood of Christ to the communicant!  Other abuses include …. (click “Read the rest…” below).  …. Inappropriate use of a Sacrarium  (or non-Sacrarium!) should not be one more abuse.

Indult expired:  From 2002 to 2006 there was an “indult” in the United States for … EEM’s to purify the Sacred Vessels after Mass.  I have done so myself, under that indult.  When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope he refused to renew the indult….  The expiration of the indult was clarified in 2006 but is still problematic ….  Profound respect and care for the Eucharist demands such careful treatment.

Lest we consider that the Church herself is less than serious, and that pouring Precious Blood into the sewer is less than a heinous offense, consider an excerpt from Canon 1367:  “One who throws away the consecrated species … incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; a cleric, moreover, may be punished with some other penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.”

What is the obligation of clerics who see EEM’s cleansing Sacred Vessels  (as if the indult were not expired), or pouring that rinse water into a sink?  Anyone directed to use the Sacrarium has the right (and arguably the obligation) to peer into the closet beneath the Sacristy sink(s) to assure there is at least the appearance of a Sacrarium,… with no trap which would cause the Sacred Species to be in such an inauspicious position, and no connection to … a common sink.    I get a “sinking” feeling when I see plumbing diametrically opposed to the concept of a Sacrarium in some of our “best churches.”

I stopped being an EEM when, in spite of the expired indult, I was frequently left with sacred vessels to purify/cleanse.   I was assured it was not my sin to do what needed to be done in respect for the Eucharist, but rather the responsibility of the priest.  I found in my best conscience that it didn’t seem right to participate.   And, so, as St. Paul says in Philippians 2:12, we work out our “own salvation with fear and trembling.”  It is a good attitude for being an EEM.  It is a good attitude for not being an EEM.


Yes, pun intended!  Of course!  But it is a very serious matter, about very serious matter.  The subject is Sacraria.

Disclaimer:  This post probably could be written about practices in many dioceses,  but I can only write from what I have encountered, and that is  a relatively small sample size.   But the seriousness still requires comment.  As a disclaimer, it may even be that a remedy is already underway, and we just don’t know it, but would applaud a rapid amelioration of the situation.   There is nothing to be gained by “naming names;” hopefully anyone who responds with a comment will not “name names” either, unless praising a particular practice.  Please don’t read into this post that any particular parish is involved; the observations are over more than a dozen locations.

sacrariaThe “closet is the one under the sink or sinks in the Sacristy of most Catholic Churches.  There are sinks, and there are Sacraria (plural of sacrarium.)  They are not the same.  A Sacrarium may look like a sink, may even be located near a sink which is used for common (ordinary) purposes, and is usually located in or adjacent to the Sacristy where priests vest for Mass.  Often Sacraria are covered, to distinguish them from other sinks.  (There are a few small, rural churches which have no running water, and have other procedures.  That is a separate issue.)  A Sacrarium is reserved for use in conjunction with the sacred species.  The main difference from a sink is that a Sacrarium flows through a straight pipe, directly into the earth beneath the Church, never into a trap, never into a common drain or into — God forbid! — the sewer.  Unfortunately it is difficult to separate Sacraria issues from abuses caused by poor or no training. But there are a few principles; obviously it would take a book to cover the issue properly.

1)  The sacred species of Christ’s Body and Blood are not to be poured down a Sacrarium to “dispose” of them.  Those with permission (priests and deacons in particular, and also instituted acolytes) usually consume the extra Precious Blood, as none is to be reserved.  By rinsing the Chalice and Communion cups with water, then consuming the water, hopefully all of the Precious Blood is removed.  Particles on the paten from the fragmentation of the host are usually added to the Chalice before consuming the water.  Consecrated hosts are to be returned to the Tabernacle.  A Canon Lawyer has told me that, technically, the sacred vessels should be purified in the Sanctuary (yes, Sanctuary not Sacristy), by a priest or deacon or an instituted acolyte, minimizing the chance that any Precious Blood or fragments of the host will accidentally be unrecognized, and treated without proper respect.  A pastor’s protection of the Eucharist is among his primary duties, including having a secured Tabernacle, exercising care in who can take Eucharist from the church and why, and appropriately rotating the reserved hosts to avoid decomposition.  Training is  an issue in many churches, and it is the responsibility of the pastor.  If speaking to the pastor about abuses is without result, then Bishop Matano should be notified.  It is the least we can do for the Lord.

2) With the bishop’s permission, an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister (EEM) may consume the excess Precious Blood.   Sometimes, when a priest has a problem such as being diabetic, he may not be able to consume all the remaining Precious Blood himself.  It does not follow that the EEM may tell communicants to “finish it off,” as I’ve so often witnessed, even an EEM calling out to a  parishioner in the pew:  “Hey, honey, do you want some wine?”  (Presumably for the purpose of “using up” the rest of the Precious Blood.)  The abuse of calling Precious Blood “wine” is widespread.  I ran into it some time ago in a program in which a trainer of EEM’s kept calling the Precious Blood “wine” and refused to be corrected.  And I’ve witnessed EEM’s placing the purificator into the remaining Precious Blood in a Communion cup.    The situation is complicated by the  generous willingness of well-meaning parishioners to step forward and “help out,” people who have had no training at all, and even feel free to change the words by which they present the Body or Blood of Christ to the communicant!  Other abuses include taking a pyx with the Body of Christ and carrying it around all day until visiting a shut-in later in the day, or taking Eucharist to someone who didn’t get to Mass because he or she is too busy, not ill.  The list of potential abuses is enormous, and the burden on priests is correspondingly enormous, but there is no reason why inappropriate use of the Sacrarium should be added to the list.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Indult expired:  From approximately 2002 to 2006 there was an “indult” in the United States for laity serving as Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers (EEM’s) to be permitted to purify the Sacred Vessels after Mass.  I have done so myself, under that indult.  However, when Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope he refused to renew the indult.  After some months of non-renewal, it became clear that it was not going to be renewed.  Reportedly, one or more Cardinals gave their permission for EEM’s to purify the vessels , but that was not in accordance with Pope Benedict’s clear refusal to renew the indult.  The expiration of the indult was clarified in 2006 but is still problematic.  Word-smithing arguments are made about the difference between “purify” and “cleanse,”  as if grammar were the distinguishing characteristic.

Rinsing of the sacred vessels after all traces of the Holy Sacrament are cleansed, may take place in a Sacrarium “just in case.”  (For example, I once received from a Communion Cup which had a small dribble of Precious Blood on the outside.  I informed the celebrant, and I would imagine this is a situation in which rinsing in the Sacrarium would be appropriate.   Spills of Precious Blood must be cleaned up properly, and if not drinkable; the Sacrarium offers the most respectful way of disposition.  So too may a Sacrarium be used for respectful disposition of used holy water after a Baptism, last year’s holy oils, and the wash water from cleansing the sacred linens.  The profound respect and care for the Eucharist demands such careful treatment.

Lest we consider that the Church herself is less than serious, and that pouring Precious Blood into the sewer is less than a heinous offense, consider an excerpt from Canon 1367:  “One who throws away the consecrated species … incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; a cleric, moreover, may be punished with some other penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.”

What, then, is the obligation of clerics who see EEM’s cleansing Sacred Vessels containing Precious Blood (as if the indult were not expired), or pouring that rinse water into a Sacrarium which is not really a Sacrarium (in contravention of Canon 1367)?  It seems quite reasonable that any EEM or Sacristan who might be directed to use the Sacrarium, has the right (and arguably the obligation) to peer into the closet beneath the Sacristy sinks to assure himself/herself that there is at least the appearance of a Sacrarium.  The distinguishing characteristic is that the pipe should be straight down, with no trap which would cause the Sacred Species to be in such an inauspicious position, and no connection to any other sink which is being used as a non-Sacrarium (i.e. a common sink).   And, so,  I get a “sinking” feeling when I look in some closets and realize in some of the “best churches”  what is in the closet is diametrically opposed to the concept of a Sacrarium.  In one church the EEM’s leave the Sanctuary right after Communion and one can hear the water running without any time lapse to have attended to cleansing (which they are not empowered to do anyway) , and with the priest doing no purifying at the altar.  The sink is the only sink in the room, and it goes through a regular trap and into the sewer.   In several other locations I’ve checked, there are two sinks, and one is treated as a Sacrarium, but when one looks into the closet below, they are linked together, making it irrelevant that there are two sinks.   In  others, both sinks go through separate traps and disappear below the floorboards of the cupboard.  The two traps show that neither sink is a Sacrarium.

I stopped being an EEM and a Sacristan some years ago when, in spite of the expired indult, I was frequently left with sacred vessels to cleanse.  Even though I was assured that it was not my sin to do what needed to be done in respect for the Eucharist, but rather the responsibility of the priest for what he left me to do, I found in my best conscience that it didn’t feel right to participate.   And, so, as St. Paul says in Philippians 2:12: we work out our “own salvation with fear and trembling.”  It is a good attitude for being an EEM.  It is a good attitude for not being an EEM.

P.S.  This is a difficult subject, with many rules and conditions, and this post is in no way complete, or can claim to be any teaching.  If there are errors, they will be corrected as needed.  But the importance of such a subject can’t await perfection when it weighs so heavily on a soul.

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90 Responses to “Peeking in the Closet — a SINKing feeling”

  1. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    If I am doing wrong I will stand corrected. I am struck as to the seemingly excessive wine is consecrated into the Precious Blood . So when I receive I receive both species. If I know there is a risk of Jesus being poured down the drain, I will consume as much of the Precious Blood that I can to prevent this from happening.

  2. avatar militia says:

    Unfortunately, this may not work very well, although your intentions are good. If little Precious Blood remains, the celebrant may just use more wine the next time. I wish churches would cut back on the number of EEM’s. Is it really necessary to have 6-8 people dispensing the host and 6-8 with the cup? Isn’t it ok to wait a few minutes in prayer while the Communion line finishes? When people receive at the altar rail it seem much more efficient. It doesn’t take the priest’s time to wait while someone bows, and approaches and then moves away. I miss the rail.

  3. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    That’s a good Point. My other pet piece is ushers letting people get in line to receive Communion. Now I am a product of the 50’s and 60’s. Then, people always knew when to get in line. They didn’t need ushers. They governed themselves

  4. avatar gaudium says:

    There is a distinction between purifying the vessels, which is a liturgical act, and washing them. If the priest or deacon has purified the chalice while quietly reciting the prayer (Quod ore sumpsimus…) is is okay if, after Mass, a EMHC or sacristan washes the chalice to, for example, remove finger prints and, therefore, prevent corrosion or tarnishing. Curiously, the purificators have remnants of the Precious Blood on them and there seems to be no restrictions on lay persons rinsing them out. Our EMHC do so and ALWAYS pour the water in a proper sacrarium. Bishop Matano’s proposed revised sacramental guidelines address the issue of the excessive use (and misnaming) of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at length. The number of EMHC will be greatly limited and each one will be appointed by the bishop. Each EMHC will be trained and must sign a significant profession of faith in the real presence as well as an acceptance of all that the Magisterium proposes. It’s a remarkable document.

  5. avatar gaudium says:

    Forgive me for getting away with this but I have pasted the sections of the proposed, revised guideline that pertain to EMHC. Here goes!

    The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

    An extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may be used only when pastoral necessity and insufficiency of ordained ministers require that help be obtained for distribution of Holy Communion. (CIC, c. 910, §2).

    “’The only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest’. Hence, the name ‘minister of the Eucharist’ belongs properly to the Priest alone. Moreover, also by reason of their sacred Ordination, the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the Bishop, the Priest and the Deacon, to whom it belongs therefore to administer Holy Communion to the lay members of Christ’s faithful during the celebration of Mass. In this way their ministerial office in the Church is fully and accurately brought to light, and the sign value of the Sacrament is made complete.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 154).

    “In addition to the ordinary ministers there is the formally instituted acolyte, who by virtue of his institution is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion even outside the celebration of Mass. If, moreover, reasons of real necessity prompt it, another lay member of Christ’s faithful may also be delegated by the diocesan Bishop, in accordance with the norm of law, for one occasion or for a specified time, and an appropriate formula of blessing may be used for the occasion. This act of appointment, however, does not necessarily take a liturgical form, nor, if it does take a liturgical form, should it resemble sacred Ordination in any way. Finally, in special cases of an unforeseen nature, permission can be given for a single occasion by the Priest who presides at the celebration of the Eucharist.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 155).

    “This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not ‘special minister of Holy Communion’ nor ‘extraordinary minister of the Eucharist’, nor ‘special minister of the Eucharist’, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 156).

    “If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 157).

    “Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 158).

    “It is never allowed for the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to delegate anyone else to administer the Eucharist, as for example a parent or spouse or child of the sick person who is the communicant.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 159).

    “Let the diocesan Bishop give renewed consideration to the practice in recent years regarding this matter, and if circumstances call for it, let him correct it or define it more precisely. Where such extraordinary ministers are appointed in a widespread manner out of true necessity, the diocesan Bishop should issue special norms by which he determines the manner in which this function is to be carried out in accordance with the law, bearing in mind the tradition of the Church.” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, 160).

    The need for such extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion should be presented to the Bishop through the Chancellor by the local pastor or by the chaplain of an institution.
    The Bishop’s permission is to be sought to select and prepare a definite number of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. (Addendum# 4).
    An excessive number of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion should not be requested. (Addendum #4).

    The invitation to serve as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion must not be offered until a pastor/administrator/chaplain has received permission to invite a definite number of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. (Addendum #4).

    Training for the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion will consist of at least three sessions, consisting of spiritual, theological and practical preparation. (Addendum #4).

    At the completion of training, candidates complete the biographical data and sign the Profession of Faith in the presence of his or her pastor. These are submitted by the pastor with a request that the candidates be officially commissioned by the Bishop. (Addendum #4).

    A letter of appointment is sent by the Bishop to the Pastor and accompanied by individual cards of authorization for each extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.
    Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion will be assigned for the parish or institution by the Bishop for renewable terms of three years.

    Requirements for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

    These men and women must:
    have completed their sixteenth year, be fully initiated, lead a life of faith in keeping with the function to be undertaken, and if married, be validly married within the Church and not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
    sign a Profession of Faith in the presence of his or her Pastor or Administrator. A copy of this Profession of Faith is to be filed at the Chancery Office;
    participate in training which includes a theological discussion of the Sacrament of Holy Communion as well as training on the appropriate posture and deportment of the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion during the Mass;
    and have a letter of appointment from the Bishop.


    A Formal commissioning according to the rite found in the Book of Blessings may be held in each parish after candidates complete the training.
    This commissioning is for three years.
    Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are commissioned for their own parish and are not to exercise this ministry outside their parish.
    When an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion discontinues this ministry for whatever reason, the Diocesan Chancery Office is to be notified.


    The responsibilities of the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at Mass:
    Approaches the altar only after the priest receives Communion.
    First receives Communion from the celebrant, or concelebrant, or deacon and then receives the sacred vessel from the celebrant, or concelebrant, or deacon for distribution to the people.
    Holds the host or chalice before the communicant at a level that makes eye contact between the communicant and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion possible.
    Offers the Body of Christ to the communicant in the hand or on the tongue, as the communicant indicates.
    Says only, “The Body of Christ” if offering the host, or only “The Blood of Christ” if offering the Chalice.
    Wipes the rim of the chalice with a purificator after each communicant and turns the chalice slightly for the next communicant.
    Properly consumes any remaining precious blood. Remaining consecrated hosts should be reserved in a ciborium in the tabernacle.
    Reverently handles and consumes any dropped hosts or dissolves such hosts in water and pours this into the sacrarium – spilled Precious Blood must be attended to with water which is then poured in the sacrarium.
    Is attentive to the presence of persons in the congregation who have special needs and adapts accordingly to give them access to Holy Communion.
    Returns the ciborium/chalice to the altar for purification by the priest/deacon either at the altar or credence table. The priest or deacon brings the Blessed Sacrament to the tabernacle.
    Participates in ongoing training throughout their service as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.

    Some extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may serve the homebound, ill or those in the hospital. These extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion:
    receive a pyx containing the Body of Christ for distribution to the home or hospital bound, maintaining reverence for the Blessed Sacrament which is brought to the sick without interruption or unnecessary conversation en route to the person’s residence;
    makes him or herself aware of the situation of each of the sick persons to be visited and is prepared for any special needs or circumstances;
    receive a copy of The Pastoral Care of the Sick, an orientation for its usage, and follows the appropriate ritual depending on the circumstances of the sick person(s);
    receive a theological context for the significance of this ministry;
    have a period of mentoring with a minister experienced in this care.

    The Selection, Preparation and Commissioning of
    Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

    Step 1: The Bishop’s permission is to be sought to select and prepare a definite number of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Selection should not precede this step. An excessive number of Extraordinary Ministers should not be requested. The number should be in proportion to the number of communicants. When ordinary ministers of Holy Communion (priests, deacons, instituted acolytes [seminarians]) are available, they should distribute Holy Communion.

    Step 2: Once the Bishop’s permission is given, the Pastor, after making the appropriate consultations, as needed, selects those to be invited to serve. Special care is to be taken to choose people who have a deep regard for the Eucharist, fully embrace the teaching of the Catholic Church that the Most Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and who enjoy the respect of the parish community. They must be eighteen years of age and, if married, must be validly married within the Church. Daily communicants usually are excellent candidates.

    Step 3: The preparation of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion is to consist of at least three sessions dealing with the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist and dealing also with the practical applications in the parish. (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church; Sacramentum Caritatis, Pastoral Letter: Gift of Life, Gift Eternal: The Most Holy Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Mass by The Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano)

    Step 4: At the completion of the training sessions, the candidates are to complete the biographical data requested by the Diocese and all candidates for Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion are required to sign a Profession of Faith in the presence of his or her Pastor or Administrator. These are submitted by the Pastor with a request that the candidates be officially commissioned by the Bishop.

    Step 5: A letter of appointment is sent by the Bishop to the Pastor and is accompanied by individual cards of authorization for each Extraordinary Minister.

    Step 6: A formal commissioning ceremony is held in the parish.

    Final Notations:

    Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are commissioned for a three-year term which may be renewed at the discretion of the Pastor/Administrator
    Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are commissioned for their parish only and are not to exercise this ministry outside of their parish
    When an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion discontinues this ministry, for whatever purpose, the Diocesan Chancery Office is to be notified.


    Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must fulfill requirements listed in the Code of Canon Law for sacramental sponsors (c. 874 §1, nn. 2-4). They must have completed their eighteenth year unless the Bishop establishes another age; be a Catholic who has been confirmed and leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be undertaken; not bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared.

    1. Name: Parish:

    2. Address:

    3. Telephone Numbers: a) Home:

    E-mail Address:

    4. Date of birth:

    5. Year joined present parish:

    6. Education:
    a)Highest degree attained:

    b)Catholic schools attended, if any:

    7. Marital Status (Married within the Catholic Church: indicate place, church and date):

    8. Employment:

    9. Contributions of service to:
    a)Parish Community:

    b)Civic Community:

    10. Other helpful information:

    Profession of Faith: All candidates for Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion are required to sign a Profession of Faith in the presence of his or her Pastor or Administrator. A copy of this Profession is to be filed at the Chancery Office.
    Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
    I, _________________________________, do hereby express my belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist taught and proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church.
    This belief in the Real Presence is expressed in the following teaching taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
    The mode of Christ’s presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as “the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend.” In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist “the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained.” “This presence is called ‘real’ – by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be ‘real’ too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present.” (No. 1374)
    The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: “Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.” (No. 1376)
    As an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion I will always express my belief in Christ’s Real Presence in this Sacrament, and under the direction and supervision of my pastor, exercise my ministry with reverence and devotion.
    Also, with firm faith I believe and profess everything that is contained in the symbol of faith and I also believe everything contained in God’s word, written or handed down in tradition and proposed by the Church, whether by way of solemn judgment or through the ordinary and universal Magisterium, divinely revealed and calling for faith. I also firmly accept and hold each and everything that is proposed definitively by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals. Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic Magisterium, even if they proclaim those teachings by an act that is not definitive.
    _________________________ _________________________________ Signature of Pastor/Administrator Signature of Candidate

  6. avatar Sid says:

    Some parishes avoid these abuses by
    1) …severely limiting the number of “extraordinary” ministers. People can wait in a communion queue for a few minutes. Very rarely are more than two people (including the celebrating priest ) distributing communion really necessary.
    2) …not distributing communion under both forms. The Blood is very susceptible to profane treatment and it is difficult to police. And, you typically need at least another two EMs to handle the chalices.

    On Ascension Thursday, I was not able to attend Mass at my normal parish, so went to a nearby one that evening. With only about 40 people in attendance, there was still an army of “extraordinary” ministers, so many that they were pretty ordinary, certainly a sizable minority of the total attendance. Anyhow, one of these “extraordinary” ministers handling a chalice was permitting communicants to “self-intinct” (dipping the consecrated host into the Precious Blood). This hippie practice is clearly prohibited and everybody knows it by this point, certainly a trained “extraordinary” minister.

    I don’t quite understand why people continue to support parishes that are lax (or worse) in the liturgy. If you don’t like the way things are done at your parish, PICK ANOTHER ONE! Leaving and taking your check book (!) is the only way to get pastors (or ahem, “Pastoral Associates”) to understand. Support a parish that does it right and don’t forget to tell (nicely) the old parish why you are leaving. They need to understand.

  7. avatar gaudium says:


    People have been voting with their feet for quite a while. This has resulted in having parishes with rather wild behavior. Corpus Christi used to attract many people from the suburbs. It gained nationwide attention and had to be disciplined by Bishop Clark. Others voted with their feet and went to St. Thomas the Apostle. Mass is no longer said there. I appreciate your frustration and moving to a different parish is sometimes necessary but it only solves the problem FOR YOU — not for the parishioners who are not well informed or for the children who are being poorly formed in the faith. Pray for Bishop Matano who is striving mightily to restore reverence for the Holy Eucharist. Many support him and many do not. I know he is up to the task but he has called all of us to support him.

  8. avatar Sid says:


    You are raising a strawman argument with respect to Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi gained national attention because it made great tabloid press. Every time a line was drawn in the sand by a very sympathetic bishop, the then-pastor crossed it. His simple intent was to see how many mores could be violated without invoking discipline. He found out where the Rubicon was…and crossed it. What happened there has no bearing on parishes that behave appropriately.

    I agree that there should be a general tightening of standards and that would be good for everyone, including the ignorant (not trying to be pejorative, just precise) whom have never been properly catechized. But, I stick by my central point. If you know the liturgical practices are abhorrent and bring this to the attention of the pastor, something should be done to rectify it. If nothing is done, I think you are MORALLY OBLIGATED to leave and tell them why. If you do not, you are frankly complicit. I shake my head when I hear people continually complain about what is going on at their parishes and the soap opera tales of infighting. If you don’t like it, stop whining and leave. Why are you subsidizing any parish at odds with Church teaching? Financially support the ones that provide a proper liturgy so that they might have a chance of not being merged/shuttered. Parishes that are packed and well-supported financially, are not (often) closed.

    I am not a member of the parish that is by far, the closest to my house. I went once and found the atmosphere overly casual, the liturgy sloppy, and (if I recall correctly) around 10 “extraordinary” ministers. Earlier this year, I attended once again, this time guests of some friends. That week (and apparently for some weeks prior) Boy Scouts were allowed to sell popcorn in the vestibule *before* Mass which resulted in pews full of kids (and not all little) munching the snack throughout the Mass. Some of them even presented themselves for communion! I was aghast. Sure, their parents needed a swift kick in the behinds, but so did the pastor for allowing the snack sale on the way in, as if people were going to a Sunday matinee at the Bijou. I was fuming the whole time–it definitely did not put me in the proper frame of mind for Mass. I shan’t be going back…

    Don’t vent endlessly about sloppy Masses and liturgical violations at your home parish. Tell the parish administration and then give them a month or so to change. If there’s no attempt to fix things, leave and tell them why. Anyone reading CF regularly knows which parishes work hard to do things properly. Go check one of them out… How lazy have we become that we won’t drive and extra 10 minutes on Sunday to support pastors and parishes doing a good job? You are not stuck going to the closest (ahem) “Faith Community.”

  9. avatar gaudium says:


    I apologize for my poorly worded post. I realize that Corpus Christi is an extreme example and perhaps my use of that example clouded what I was trying to say. What I meant to say is that parishioners change parishes for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for a parish that has a large number of laypersons engaged in liturgical ministry, that has lay preachers, etc. Others are looking for a parish that follows the rubrics, has orthodox preachers, etc. This is a fact, not a value judgement. This does have a polarizing effect. Just a fact, not a matter of choosing sides. Only strong action on the part of the bishop can really bring liturgical, disciplinary, and doctrinal order to a diocese. If and when this happens, it should be a rare occurrence for a parishioner to fell it necessary to attend Mass at another parish because of liturgical or other abuses. Parishes with an agenda that leads them to manipulate the liturgy are not really bothered by people going elsewhere because like-minded folks from other places take their place.

  10. avatar Persis says:


    I would be very interested in reading the “proposed guidelines” from Bishop Matano that you quote above. Do you have a link to these or know where one could find these proposed changes?

  11. avatar Chrysostom says:


    I found a link to these guidelines posted on the website of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish.

    I also found Father Spilly’s commentary (bulletin of May 25th) on the proposed guidelines to be quite interesting…after claiming that some “changes” (!) will include children receiving First Penance prior to First Communion, and only priests and deacons being permitted to preach the homily during Mass, he states:

    “These, if they go forward as is, could have a profound impact on our parish. I have met
    with Bishop Matano privately to express my deep regret and disappointment about some of these proposed guidelines.”

    (Gosh…I hope His Excellency does not intend to rescind the Guidelines as a result of that conversation…).

  12. avatar Sid says:

    The link Chrysostom shared was heartening. The guidelines are a good thing, but there really are not any *new* directives in there, are there? Rather, what is contained is already present (yet openly and persistently ignored) in documents of the USCCB and Vatican curia,

    So if they were ignoring (or barely following) Redemptionis Sacramentum, what will really change? I suppose it comes down to recognizing we now have a Bishop who cares. That is indeed a great thing, but we all know that those dragged under duress to toe the line will not, shall we say, “have their hearts in it”. Do you want your kid(s) being catechized by them? I submit that if a pastor(al administrator) needs to be forced to walk under the yoke by the Bishop, he’s not a great leader of his flock. In the words of Monty Python, “Run away! Run away!”.

    In the linked guidelines, one of my favorites (referencing my recent experience I related in the earlier post) is:
    “The communicant, including the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, is
    never allowed to self-communicate, even by means of intinction.”

    Reading the guidelines further… As I can’t find any newly-promulgated prohibitions on the selling of snacks in the vestibule prior to Mass, we must assume that is still OK. Phew… It would be a shame to lose attendance if that were restricted. Perhaps they should consider popping the corn fresh and offering butter. There is probably an extra confessional in which that could be set up permanently. 😛

  13. avatar militia says:

    If lay communicants are not allowed to self-communicate,why does the celebrant offer the paten filled with hosts or fractionated large host for the EEM/EEHC to pick up the host, like taking from a passing tray at a cocktail party? Is that kind of selfi allowed? Is presenting the paten enough to avoid being “self-communication?”

  14. avatar gaudium says:


    The practice you mention is specifically prohibited. Not even the deacon may self communicate as though he were a concelebrating priest.

  15. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Thanks for the links, Chrysostom.

    I also found Father Spilly’s commentary (bulletin of May 25th)

    here’s a direct link to it.

    and yes, we have a tag for Fr. Spilly here:

  16. avatar Sid says:

    Thanks Ben for posting the link to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton bulletin. I found Fr. Spilly’s commentary odd and disturbing. Are the four points he specifically enumerates all that unreasonable or difficult to follow? Again, these really are not *new* guidelines at all, but perhaps this is the first time the Rochester Ordinary has specifically told pastors to comply.

    Looking further through their bulletin, I see a lot of “Communion Services” listed on their parish calendar. I’m in my Forties, but I have to admit, I’ve never been to one of these. Can somebody confirm my assumptions, namely that these are a quasi-liturgical miniMass without a priest officiating? Without the priest, there can be no consecration of the Eucharist, but this presumably happened earlier and so is distributed by lay person(s). Since it isn’t a Mass, lay persons are free to preach pseudo-homilies as well. Is my understanding correct? Are “communion services” recognized as legitimate forms of liturgy within the Church and under what circumstances may they be performed? Just curious…

  17. avatar gaudium says:

    Communion services might be led by a deacon or a lay person. There are different rubrics for deacons than for lay persons. For example, a lay person would not use the versicle, “The Lord be with you,” or give the blessing at the end of the service. If a lay person leads the service, he or she is to be assisted by at least one other lay person, lest the one person seem to be of a special semi-clerical status.

    The basic format is as follows: Greeting, Penitential Rite, Collect, Liturgy of the Word, Homily, Prayer of the Faithful, Lord’s Prayer and Communion Rite, Song of Thanksgiving (this can be at different point in the rite, Prayer after Communion, Dismissal, Blessing. A song could be added before and/or after the rite. Note the words “basic format.” There are differences, as I mentioned, between a lay-led and a deacon-led service. It is utterly forbidden to have an Offertory or anything resembling a Eucharistic Prayer. Since, in some places, lay leaders would say all the parts of the Mass, calling the words of Consecration a “narrative,” I cannot say for sure that this is something that never happens anymore. I have never witnessed it but have heard that it was done, at least in the recent past.

    There is a different issue, however. Official documents regarding Sunday Worship in the absence of a priest are very specific with exact rubrics. They seem to favor a Service of the Word and a Communion Service pretty much equally. Since there is not a clear preference, there is much debate about this part of the issue. Some bishops or pastors insist that there be no homily except by a deacon, others that a homily prepared by the pastor could be read by a lay leader, others simply allow (by silence?)the lay leader to preach. This last option is allowable by canon law. The big question that I have attempted to have answered by the bishop’s office is that of regularly scheduled Communion Services on days other than Sundays. There is no clear guidance on this. Some bishops interpret the fact that the ritual books refer only to Sunday celebrations that daily Communion Services should not be permitted. In the absence of an explicit universal norm, a bishop could choose to prohibit daily Communion Services. This is not a complete explanation but I hope it is helpful.

  18. avatar Sid says:

    Thanks, Gaudium. It seems like while there is some official sanction, there may be perhaps a lot of latitude for local interpretation. If that is the case, that kind of setup always spells trouble. I’m fortunate that our parish keeps it traditional, still offering daily Mass and no ersatz alternatives.

  19. avatar ROBERT says:

    Billy Spilly, always playing your games ! Maybe it’s time to RETIRE and move in with Jim Callan !

  20. avatar militia says:

    While this post is still active, I’d like to weigh in on a complaint, which I am greatly relieved to see the new Sacramental Guidelines do address. More often than not, actually MUCH MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, when I receive from the cup, the EEM (I think I will wait until they seem to be functioning under the new guidelines to use EMHC) offers the cup in exactly the same spot on the lip of the cup each time. They wipe the lip, and without rotating, offer again in the same place. I hope I’m not wrong, but I turn the cup to a new spot when I receive. The EEM’s seem a bit huffy about it, but I do it anyway. I was taught to turn 1/8th of a turn each time, or 1/4 is OK too….but to rotate the cup. We all know that receiving from the cup does have the potential to communicate germs too, though I don’t needlessly worry about it. But I also don’t subscribe to the theory that “Jesus’ Blood can’t have germs!” or that God somehow chooses to work a miracle in germ control every time we receive, although of course He can do anything He chooses. When did that practice of not rotating begin? I’ve only noticed it the past few years (along with EEM’s urging communicants to finish the cup,apparently avoiding germs themselves!) Thanks for letting me vent. This is right up there with EEM’s who receive in the sanctuary and don’t wipe the rim after they receive, before offering the cup to others. After all, they don’t have germs I guess.

  21. avatar y2kscotty says:

    I suspect that where the Profession of Faith says, ” Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic Magisterium, even if they proclaim those teachings by an act that is not definitive.”, there may have to be a “catechesis on what it means. “Religious submission of will and intellect” is not a phrase that has any meaning to most Catholics, I would say. So, I think the Bishop and his Pastors will have to explain this very carefully. Otherwise, people will be signing a document they don’t understand.
    Also I think the Bishop should explain that some magisterial teachings such as assertions that Moses wrote the Bible were erroneous (or do I have it wrong… I am open to a fraternal correction). To be frank, I don’t know if I could sign that Statement if I understand what it seems to be saying. Oh, I suppose I could sign it if I append a clause that says “properly and historically understood”.
    Any comments that can help me with this?

  22. avatar Hopefull says:

    I am thinking that might be part of what the training program is going to be …. ??

  23. avatar annonymouse says:

    Regarding Father Spilly and his letting His Excellency know about his deep disappointment, I do hope Father Spilly also let His Excellency know about his long and active involvement in Call to Action. Bishop Matano has the need and right to know about which of his clerics are faithful and which are heretics. Spilly, it would seem, falls in the latter camp.

  24. avatar gaudium says:


    I believe that the phrase, ” Moreover, I adhere with religious submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops enunciate when they exercise the authentic Magisterium, even if they proclaim those teachings by an act that is not definitive.” is made so that a Catholic would not think that anything not explicitly declared as infallible yet asserted by the Magisterium is up for grabs. For example, Humanae Vitae. It is not an exercise in creeping infalliblism that would take every utterance of the pope as infallible. Notice the sub-phrase, “…they proclaim those teachings by an act that is not definitive.” These are for proclaimed teachings, not offhand remarks or opinions. Notice Benedict XVI’s book Jesus of Nazareth. In his forward, he makes it clear that the faithful are free to accept or not accept his opinions as expressed in the book. You are right about catechesis and Bishop Matano calls for it. One who dissents from proclaimed teachings should not be a lay liturgical minister.

  25. avatar annonymouse says:

    Gaudium – thank you for that. There are a number of (perhaps former) posters here (BigE, are you reading?) who could not, in complete honesty, sign up for that – despite the lengthy discussions/arguments we’ve had on these pages over the last few years. BigE, for one, argued vehemently that he/she need only agree to that which has been declared infallibly. This document, hopefully soon to be promulgated by Bishop Matano, will make quite clear what “all that the Catholic Church believes and teaches” means.

    My fear specific to BigE is that he/she is only an EMHC and not an Ordinary one – therefore (presumably) bypassing this new requirement.

  26. avatar BigE says:

    Yep, I’m reading…and since you obviously want to bring me into the conversation:
    1) Yes…I believe “blind obedience” and a lack of discussion around any issue is not a good thing for ANY organization – including the Catholic Church.
    2) And yes, I think we are obligated to follow our conscience and do what we think is right and good (always after much prayer and discernment).
    3) And why you would want to be “fearful” of me or any other individual who could be very much in love with Jesus, very much in love with the Sacraments, and very much in love the Church; just becsue they struggle with some some non-infallible issue is beyond me…..

  27. avatar militia says:

    annonymouse, I hope you will please get over your obsession with Big E, or take it behind the barn. This is not, IMO, the right forum for making a personal target of any brother or sister in Christ.

  28. avatar gaudium says:

    One might even “struggle with” an infallible teaching. Take the Big One, the Trinity. How can anyone not find comprehending the ineffable God, One in Three, Three in One a struggle? In fact, to say we understand it is to put ourselves above God Who is beyond our understanding. The act of faith and of submission of intellect and will might be a struggle but we do it anyway.

  29. avatar BigE says:

    One could struggle with any issue I suppose – so I’m not sure what your point is.
    In fact, one might ask why are 99% of Catholics willing to “act on faith and a submission of intellect” relative to the Trinity and less than 15% are relative to contraception?

  30. avatar gaudium says:


    I was making a response to your reference to having a struggle with a non-infallible teaching. I’m not sure what your history is with other posters but I don’t think anyone is feared who struggles with a teaching. If a person openly dissents from a teaching, that is substantially and essentially different from struggling. By struggling, do you mean an internal struggle (which is what I was referring to in my earlier post) or engaging in an open confrontation?

    We might also ask why almost 100% of Catholics fail in their attempt to follow faithfully Jesus’ new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Truth is not determined by majority vote. I presume you would agree with this so we are all left with the question of what we are to do when a truth is difficult for us. I would certainly say, and we can be sure Bishop Matano would agree, that a person who openly opposes the Church’s teaching on artificial means of contraception, on the dignity of unborn life, on the reservation of priestly ordination to men alone or other consistently proclaimed teachings even if not infallibly declared would not be a suitable candidate to become a EMHC.

  31. avatar annonymouse says:

    Militia,you are correct, this is not the correct forum. Gaudium’s (and Bishop Matano’s) reference to a “religious assent of the intellect to all the Church believes and teaches” (regardless of infallibility, as Gaudium points out), brought back fresh some old unsettled arguments about exactly that phrase. But I should have stayed quiet. BigE, I apologize.

  32. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Both the intrinsically evil nature of contraception and the male-only priesthood are infallible doctrines. To dissent on these topics is to “oppose the doctrine of the Catholic Church” and to separate one’s self from full communion with the Church. See here:

    I spent much time researching and writing the above linked post because this same old conversation was being had over and over again and people were mostly speaking out of ignorance. These are complex topics with very nuanced answers, but I believe every Catholic should spend the time it takes to fully grasp these concepts. The church’s teachings on these matters are much stronger than most people realize. If anyone wishes to discuss these topics feel free to do so in the comments of that post.

  33. avatar BigE says:

    no problem…thanks for the apology….

  34. avatar gaudium says:


    You are correct. However, religious submission of intellect and will is not just for infallible teaching. I think that’s where y2kscotty had a sticking point.

  35. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    right, I cover that as well over there, although I don’t have any specific examples. It might be good to provide one – I’ll see if I can find one. Again, I think this shows that the Church asks much more of us than we realize. This language “require religious submission of will and intellect” is used on teachings that haven’t been raised to the same status as teachings many people readily dissent on. IOW – we’re far below the bar of where we should be.

    To this [3rd] paragraph belong all those teachings ­on faith and morals – presented as true or at least as sure, even if they have not been defined with a solemn judgment or proposed as definitive by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. Such teachings are, however, an authentic expression of the ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff or of the College of Bishops and therefore require religious submission of will and intellect.

  36. avatar christian says:

    militia-You’re right on the your observation on wiping the cup and rotating the cup when administering the Blood of Christ. Without trying to infer prejudice, most of those who hardly touch the rim in wiping it after a communicant drinks from the cup are women; not to say there aren’t women who do it properly and men who do it improperly. But I find it very annoying when these people merely touch the cup in their wiping before offering me the cup to drink from; more like dabbing it slightly instead of bearing down and wiping the rim of the cup with proper friction. When I incur this, I rotate the cup myself in an effort of less immediate contamination. I have seen this happening in a variety of churches, so I cannot say it is in conjunction with one particular parish.

    Thoughts have gone through my mind of taking the purificator and wiping the chalice myself or bringing my own purificator to wipe the chalice. I make no judgment on any of these people’s Christian character, but little do they know that they are causing a distraction in the partaking of Holy Communion by not carrying out a basic duty and need when offering the cup. (I would say the same thing if a priest or deacon failed to truly wipe the chalice and rotate the cup). In these cases, I rotate the cup myself to get a further distance away from immediate, direct contamination.

    I would have to say that it is the fault of those who prepared these people and who are responsible to observe these people in action, to why the right actions are not being observed.

    I have been an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist (Holy Communion) since the early days when lay people were allowed and asked to fill this role. The initial priest training me, and subsequent priests afterward, were very meticulous in the manner in which the extraordinary ministers held the purificator and how they wiped and rotated the cup. We were taught to hold the purificator in the correct manner, firmly wiping the rim of the cup with due friction before rotating the cup for the next person to drink from. We were also taught to thread the purificator through our fingers to a drier area of the cloth if the section we were using became significantly damp.
    We were observed holding a purificator, wiping a cup with a purificator, and rotating the cup. We were also observed moving a purificator through our fingers in the correct manner, to obtain a drier area. Likewise, we were taught the correct manner of holding the host and presenting it to the communicant. We were observed doing this. We were taught to do eye contact and to say the correct formula when presenting “The Body of Christ” and “The Blood of Christ.” (There were some nuns who taught the course who gave the same instruction). I also had many years of ongoing training seminars with discussion and I was given a bound red book for Extraordinary Ministers regarding that specific role with rules and formulas for visiting the sick.

    In addition to seeing this slight dabbing done, I also see Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion holding the purificator for the cup in an incorrect manner (bunching it together at the top) and also not rotating to a drier area of the cloth when the area of the cloth they are working with becomes excessively damp. These people only reflect their teaching and lack of teaching.

    If you reflect on the proper manner of holding the purificator and wiping the cup, as well as rotating the cup, and being able to thread easily to a drier area on the purificator, you are able to understand that the culmination of these methods are used to decrease direct contamination of the cup. Friction is the method of killing germs. A drier cloth helps to create better friction (and it also has less saliva count). Scientific studies have shown that there are some antimicrobial properties associated with silver and wine. Additionally, ***a study done in 1967 by B.C. Hobbs and associates concluded that the most important action in reducing pathogen (germs) count on the rim of the shared communion cup is by wiping the rim of the cup with fricion from a purificator.

  37. avatar militia says:

    Christian, you have described perfectly and in precise detail the abuse that is going on around the Communion Cup. Thank you.

  38. avatar gaudium says:

    As long as we’re on the subject…

    The absolutely worst example of how not to distribute from the Cup I have ever witnessed was done by a priest. We had a multi-parish Confirmation ceremony and there were enough priests and deacons to distribute the Eucharist that no EMHC’s were needed. Our pastor, having no previous experience distributing the Precious Blood to so many people, dropped the purificator into the Cup. When he came back to the altar, the purificator was soaked. Certainly not deliberate and it illustrates the need for good training.

  39. avatar christian says:

    gaudium-I agree with you. You are absolutely right that priests (or deacons) not used to distributing the Cup needing a refresher course and good training.

    Many years ago, I was put in an awkward, disconcerting predicament as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, while on the altar, when the priest celebrant spilled the Blood of Christ onto my clothing after he knocked me in the mouth with the chalice, in his effort to offer me the Cup.

    After mass, I thought I should at least pour water over my clothing and pour the Blood of Christ mixed with water out of my clothing down the sacraria (holy sink). I also said I would bring back my clothing to be rinsed out thoroughly with the contents going down the sacraria. (I was trying to address the situation with the best anecdote I could think of, because usually lay people and ordained clergy are not usually faced with the Blood of Christ spilled onto their clothing). The priest deemed it unnecessary to do anything and would not accept any of these actions.

    I think hurrying and not focusing was probably responsible for the priest knocking me in the mouth with the chalice, causing the Blood of Christ to spill over me.

    I think it is important to remember that people can wait and it is more important to focus on what you are doing. We can all learn from our mistakes and there is always more to learn; it’s an ongoing process.

  40. avatar JLo says:

    I echo those who are happy to see norms are going to be presented by Bishop Matano and also echo those who rightly say that the norms are nothing new, except maybe to Rochester. Having lived in another diocese for many years and serving in that diocese as a EMHC (and lector), I experienced getting a letter from the bishop allowing my service, after training and testifying. It was made clear that the commission was to my parish only, except, for instance, when on pilgrimage.

    Some of my hopes in Bishop Matano’s document rollout:

    — I hope that my pastor instructs that EMs should not approach the altar until AFTER he has received.

    — I hope some of the priests and people there stop adding words like “precious” when offering Our Lord. I swear there is a concerted effort among them to find the BETTER adjective, as some say “Beloved Blood of Christ” and “Sweet Body of Christ”, etc. Nightmare. They just can’t seem to help themselves from inserting THEMSELVES, being more, except not a one of them EVER bows before the altar before ascending or after descending, and so…

    — I hope the norm includes the requirement to bow to the altar coming and going during Holy Mass (and NOT to the tabernacle once Mass has begun!).

    — I hope all those people arrayed behind the altar and celebrant will STOP briskly wiping their hands with the antibacterial stuff they obtain after going up there. Just awful.

    — I hope those arrayed up there are taught that when Holy Mass has moved on to the Agnus Dei, one should no longer offer the sign of peace! (Do you think Bishop Matano will remind priests and deacons to stop routinely leaving the altar and marching around with what is only supposed to be decorously offered to those on either side of where one stands?)

    — I hope he reminds his priest sons to wear the chasuble during Holy Mass and not eliminate it. Stripped down, sandaled priests at even Sunday Mass… I really wonder what is going on.

    — I hope he reminds priests and deacons that one is to deliver the homily FROM THE AMBO! I was at another parish last night where the pastor actually walked to the SIDE of the church to deliver half his homily. What is that?!!

    — I hope all the parishes stop using the ambo for other than parts of the liturgy. In these days of so easily wiring up and even wireless, I so wish cantors would stop going to the altar to lead all singing.

    You get the idea… I could go on and on. I am in a parish of lovely people and priests who obviously care about each other; but as happens when the people and their activities become the center of attention, worship is not, and it should be. We are community of course, but we gather first of all and primarily to WORSHIP!

    Like all of you, I have great hopes in our new bishop leading us to Christ and to His proper and beautiful worship. +JMJ

  41. avatar Hopefull says:

    JLo, you are so right! And your list is a great collection of what needs to be done. I do get your point about reverencing the altar after Mass has begun, but I have seen priests bow first to the Tabernacle (if it is off to the side) and then to the altar of celebration when they enter. Perhaps that is ok, since Mass hasn’t “officially” begun?

    On the altar reverencing subject, this is what I find uncomfortable (perhaps I’m wrong; please tell me). After Mass, when the priest is ready to exit the Sanctuary (and not recessing through the Church) I have often seen priests in one particular church turn their backs to the altar on which they have just celebrated the Eucharist, and bow to the high altar which no longer has a tabernacle, and even genuflect to the “empty” high altar. Is this done to ‘remember’ prior celebrations there? It is very awkward, even embarrassing to see a priest and servers, with backs to the altar of confection, ignoring the Tabernacle, and genuflecting before a plastic Boston Fern! (Maybe they are Red Sox fans?)

  42. avatar JLo says:

    Too funny, the Red Sox thing! I am no expert, but if I remember correctly from the reading I’ve done, the tabernacle, if at the altar, is reverenced at the foot of the altar after having processed to the altar. From there on in, it’s the altar of the Sacrifice that is reverenced. I don’t know why priests, who should KNOW this, do otherwise. As to the people, they have not been rightly taught and obviously have no interest in reading about what they’re doing or attending. I have no quarrel with those people… some just don’t need to know more than is presented to them, and their hearts and souls could very well be in better places than mine. God gets to sort that all out. But I’m a person who just needs to look things up, and I love to read about my Faith, so Liturgy is high on the list. We all have great hopes going forward here, don’t we, Hopefull. God is good… always! +JMJ

  43. avatar christian says:

    Thanks for your words JLo and Hopeful.

    Today at church, I had a blessed experience at Holy Communion particularly when I was offered the Cup. The woman who offered the Cup had direct eye contact, and had a beaming smile and very welcoming look as I was approaching her. It was if Christ Himself was bidding me welcome and offering me His Cup-His Blood.

    This woman emulated all that Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, priests, and deacons aim for in offering the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ to another Catholic Christian. You could tell that she wanted to be there and was present to the moment. Because she was engaged, God could work through her.

    *Years ago a parish priest once said, “We should approach Holy Communion each time as if it were our First and Last Time.” That concept, in addition to good training, would help all concerned to be less rushed and more focused, and truly present to the moment.

  44. avatar annonymouse says:

    Jlo- great list…just one nit to pick – there is no requirement that the priest, deacon or bishop give the homily from the ambo. Bishop Matano preached from in front of the altar at STA, for instance.

  45. avatar annonymouse says:

    Oh, and the cantor is supposed to lead the Psalm from the ambo (the Psalms, after all, are Sacred Scripture)…but that is the only sung part that should be led from the ambo.

  46. avatar gaudium says:

    One more nit to pick…

    The Exsultet is also sung from the ambo.

  47. avatar JLo says:

    Of course, annonymouse and gaudium… Psalms are the Word of God and I didn’t intend my list to infer that cantors should NEVER lead from the ambo; sorry it was written to confuse that.

    As to where a priest/deacon preaches after proclaiming the Gospel from the ambo…. I didn’t know that it isn’t specifically stated that they can preach from anywhere in the church! I’ve read the GIRM and the wonderful Redemptionis Sacramentum, and so I wonder where I got that objection of mine in my head… must be a personal wish that took hold as “law” in my own head! Thank you for the needed correction. I confess, though, that I will alway prefer that they stand still and preach from the ambo; that moving around makes me think “entertainment”, and I don’t want that at Holy Mass. +JMJ

  48. avatar annonymouse says:

    Not to quarrel, but the Exsultet may be proclaimed from either the “ambo or a lectern” according to the Missal.

  49. avatar Chrysostom says:

    On the topic of homilies and liturgical norms…it seems that over at Assumption Parish, Father Ed Palumbos may be putting an end to the long-standing abuse of allowing Deni Mack to preach at Sunday liturgies.

    In the June 29th bulletin, Father Ed says:

    “Over the next few months you will be seeing Fr. George Heyman, Fr. Mike Costik and myself rotating the presiding and preaching roles in our parishes.

    Our parishes are very blessed with some competent preachers, diaconal and non-ordained. Bishop Matano is asking us to follow a strict interpretation of the liturgical law regarding non-ordained preaching, so we will be finding ways to keep the non-ordained preachers’ powerful voices present in our community.”

    (How he intends to keep the “powerful voices” of the non-ordained “present in our community” is anybody’s guess, but it seems at least the faithful will be spared having to hear them at Holy Mass!)

  50. avatar annonymouse says:

    How sad…Fr. Ed is the second priest mentioned in this single thread who has chosen to openly disagree with +Matano (albeit a little less flagrantly than “Fr.” Spilly) in his parish bulletin. No, Fr. Ed, the bishop has NOT chosen a strict interpretation of liturgical law. Rather, he is simply requiring you to humble yourself and FOLLOW liturgical law for a change. There really is no way to “interpret”liturgical law in any other way.

    We all knew that the new bishop would have to deal with a recalcitrant presbyterate; but who could have expected it to be so “in your face” and out in the public?

    SHAME on you, Reverend Fathers.

  51. avatar lucia says:

    “so we will be finding ways to keep the non-ordained preachers’ powerful voices present in our community”

    Lest anybody shed a tear that Deni Mack is no longer giving the homily at Assumption, she’s still the celebrant (and I assume the preacher as well) at the homosexual liturgies referred to as “Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest” for Rochester’s Dignity-Integrity.

    I hope Bp. Matano will take a visit to this link:

  52. avatar militia says:

    Well said, Annonymouse! And how many souls have been led astray not only by a mindset of finding liturgical loopholes, but especially by seeking loopholes in the Church’s moral and ethical Teaching. I believe that Bishop Matano is coming from a deep and holy place, and that he is a person whose “yes” means “yes” and his “no” means “no,” and that God will bless his work, and bring us comfort from what we have been suffering for so many years. And those who have most caused the discord are so entrenched in their personal pride defects that they will be easily identified by their continuing to disobey, not even seeing the opportunity our new bishop is giving them for repentance.

  53. avatar gaudium says:

    Aren’t there about four deacons on staff at Assumption? Apparently, if a non-ordained person is not to be allowed to preach the homily, the deacons won’t be able to do so either. It reminds me of a priest of our diocese who said, “A deacon will never serve in my parish until women can be ordained to the priesthood.” Bizarre reasoning. Kind of like swatting the dog when the cat is bad. Why didn’t HE refuse to serve in the parish unless women were ordained as priests? Actually, he retired three years early so that, as he told me, he could get out of the way and let what was going to happen, happen. A lay woman was appointed as pastoral administrator.

  54. avatar annonymouse says:

    Gaudium – checking the COTA website, they list their presiders and preachers – a deacon “RC” is scheduled to preach all the masses on the 20th, so if the pastor is instituting a “no deacon preaching either” policy, it hasn’t begun yet.

  55. avatar Hopefull says:

    Deacons ARE ordained! With the pastor’s permission, they have every right to preach. As a matter of fact they have MORE right when they are present to read the Gospel than the pastor does when a Deacon is present. Even the Pope steps aside for a Deacon to read the gospel, as we saw at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome at the 2013 Midnight Christmas Mass, when the (Transitional) Deacon who is now Father Peter Van Lieshout chanted the Christmas Gospel.

  56. avatar gaudium says:

    Wow. I checked out that Dignity/Integrity website. Gloria Ulterino and Deni Mack are both… well, look for your self. We find the remarkable statement that, “Nevertheless, it does fulfill your Sunday obligation, and it’s based on the Roman Catholic guidelines for Sunday celebrations in the absence of a priest.” Actually, nothing other than a Mass fulfills your Sunday obligation. Another way to put this is: If you are on a remote, uncharted island and the only service is a properly conducted Sunday celebration in the absence of a priest, you are in no obligation to attend the service — you are simply not bound by your obligation to participate in Mass because one was not available.

  57. avatar annonymouse says:

    Hopefull, at the risk of coming across as a total obnoxious know-it-all:

    The deacon (if present) is the ordinary proclaimer of the Gospel. So if there is a deacon present the deacon will proclaim the Gospel even if the presider is the Pope!

    The presider, on the other hand, is the ordinary homilist. The deacon may preach (if allowed by the bishop – not all bishops do) the homily if so delegated by the presider.

    Gaudium – well said. I do hope that website comes to his Excellency’s attention. It is both shocking and wrong on many levels.

  58. avatar Hopefull says:

    Annonymouse, I don’t see where you are disagreeing with my prior post. My point was that a deacon IS ordained. That he has the right to proclaim the Gospel (even the Pope acknowledges, as *I said) and that the pastor gives or withholds permission from the Deacon for preaching. I would assume that if the bishop said Deacons can’t preach, that the pastor wouldn’t give permission. He wouldn’t have the power to do so. In most dioceses that would be logical and obvious. Historically, not necessarily so in the DoR.

    But to pick a bone with what you said: “The deacon may preach (if allowed by the bishop – not all bishops do) the homily if so delegated by the presider.”

    It is my understanding that it is not up to the presider, but up to the pastor of a parish to determine if a certain deacon may preach or not (always with the Bishop’s permission) in his own parish. A pastor’s responsibility for his parish can’t be diminished by either another presider giving permissions with which the pastor disagrees, or by a deacon asserting more than that to which he has a right and permission.

  59. avatar annonymouse says:

    H – my only disagreement with your prior post is where you said the deacon has “more right” to preach – that isn’t so.

    With respect to your third paragraph – it is, of course, true (I thought goes without saying) that the deacon may not preach the homily without the permission of the pastor But the presider is the ordinary preacher of the homily, and a deacon may preach only if the presider so delegates (according to the rubrics). So to correct my statement above, I should have added the word “only.”

    From the GIRM: “The Homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate.” (GIRM 66)

    Now I’d like to know how Fr. Ed thinks there is more than one interpretation of “but never to a lay person.” Perhaps they were doing the 20-second priest “homily” followed by the 12-minute lay “reflection.” So maybe interpreting that to be an abuse of the GIRM is a “strict interpretation.” It seems pretty black and white to me.

  60. avatar Hopefull says:

    Annonymouse, please re-read what I said. I did NOT say the deacon has more right to preach than the pastor. You have misquoted me. What I said was that the Deacon has “more right” to read the Gospel. And I think you have agreed with that…..

  61. avatar annonymouse says:

    You’re right – I misquoted you. The point you were replying to was all about preaching, not about proclaiming the Gospel, so I’m not sure why that was introduced, but we’re on the same page with proclaiming and preaching.

  62. avatar Hopefull says:

    Thanks, Annonymouse.

  63. avatar christian says:

    Many years ago, in my youth, I traveled abroad with friends in a tour of the British Isles during the summer. There was no problem finding a Roman Catholic church in Ireland to attend for mass and I freely did so. However, when I was in England, there was no Roman Catholic church in the area where we were staying one Sunday. There were others on the tour who were also church going people, who were not able to find their denomination’s church as well. The old and new Coventry Cathedrals were in “our backyard,” within walking distance of the hotel where we were all staying. We all decided to go together to a morning church service at the new Coventry Cathedral.
    Their missalette was similar to the Roman Catholic church and I believe it contained the same readings for that Sunday. There happened to be a noteworthy college choir present as a guest choir, who performed classic musical pieces in an exceptional manner. (I had performed some of their pieces in the Roman Catholic church choir I was singing in at the time). I found the entire service to be uplifting and a special blessing. Personally, I deemed it more advantageous to attend an available church service which shared some commonalities with my own church, and be in the company of other Christians on my tour, than to sit by myself in my hotel room. I believed God would honor my best choice for worshipping Him on a Sunday.

    What is proposed by Dignity/Integrity Website for fulfilling your Sunday obligation as a Roman Catholic is a completely different situation from choosing an option on a Sunday where you are in another country and there is no Roman Catholic church available within the area. There are plenty of Roman Catholic churches and mass times to pick from in the Rochester area to attend on a Saturday evening and throughout the day on a Sunday. ***What’s at the forefront of this option on a Sunday is a means to promote priesthood for women and marriage for same sex couples within the Roman Catholic Church. It is true, that in some parts of the world, there is no priest to celebrate mass on a Sunday, so a Communion Service with sharing of the Word is used instead of a Sunday mass. But my understanding is that in an area where you have sufficient priests and access to a Sunday mass, a Communion Service with sharing of the Word does not fulfill a Sunday obligation.

    In news articles since 2012, there has been a reported collapse of the Episcopal Church in the United States since there has been an acceptance of openly gay Episcopal priests, endorsement of cross-dressing clergy, and blessing of same sex marriages. They have had to sell their main headquarters in New York City because they cannot maintain it. It had been estimated that they would have to spend at least 18 million suing congregations who had protested their policies by trying to secede. The hierarchy has consistently won in court causing some of the largest Episcopal congregations to vacate; leaving many empty church buildings. Between 1992-2002, membership in the Episcopal Church in the United States plunged from 3.4 million to 2.3 million, a 32 % loss. In 2012, another 2.7 % loss was reported.

    The appointment of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States,(formerly, a Roman Catholic), whose term began on November 1st, 2006, has been a major factor causing decline in Episcopal church membership. Her tenure has been “highly controversial and marked by nearly unprecedented schism”,…”At her direction the national church has initiated lawsuits against departing dioceses and parishes, with some $22 million spent thus far. She also established a policy that church properties were not to be sold to departing congregations.” Bishop Jefferts Schori “voted to consent to the election of Gene Robinson, an openly gay and partnered man, as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003, to which some conservative Episcopalians have objected strenuously.” She supports same-sex relationships and blessing of same-sex unions and civil marriages, and she also supports abortion.

    On July 8th, 2012, Dr.Sarah Frances Ives, a convention attendee, stated, “Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preached her brand of post-Christian religion while masquerading as a Christian bishop.”“She mocked most of the crucial doctrines of the Christian faith, including the God of creation, the Incarnation, and the Trinity. She accomplishes this through her demeaning use of rhetoric. She taunts the Lord by the use of the name ‘Big Man’ and then points her finger at everyone listening and tells them that they have ‘missed the boat. Jefferts Schori then proclaims that she has the answer for this. We all need the ‘act of crossing boundaries’ to become God after which our hands become a ‘sacrament of mission.’” There’s more, but she is regarded as a heretic by what she preaches and what she endorses by many Episcopalians in America; especially among those who are conservative.

    Some of the Episcopal churches in the city of Rochester are reportedly made up of large numbers of homosexuals and same-sex couples. And a good percentage of these homosexual parishioners and same sex couples are former Roman Catholics who left for the Episcopal Church to gain acceptance for their lifestyle. *There is probably some outreach intended for former Catholics by lay women Gloria Ulterino and Deni Mack by conducting these services at St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church Downtown. Many of us from a former Roman Catholic parish know of two men in the parish who were good friends for years, who eventually made hints that they were in a homosexual relationship. They left to join the Episcopal Church where they would find acceptance for their lifestyle. We learned that they were eventually “married.” Recently we learned from a fellow, former parishioner, that the one man had taken up with another man and had left “his spouse”.” (I think he met his new male partner at church). The Episcopal church congregation was supportive and even threw a party for this man and his new male lover before they left town.

    “Marriage Equality?” Even when going beyond the concept of a man being married to a man, and a woman being married to a woman, there isn’t the same regulations regarding same sex marriage as there is for heterosexual marriage in the Episcopal Church. (This is probably also true with other mainline Protestant churches who accept it).
    I read an Episcopalian-based article awhile back, depicting marriage between a heterosexual couple in the Episcopal Church, considered Holy Matrimony vs. marriage between a same-sex couple, regarded as a Blessed Union. The writer pointed out that marriage between heterosexual couples is regarded as a permanent union. If someone(s) were ever to seek having their marriage dissolved, there would be a whole lot of legality, money, and time involved with civil and church authority. They would have to petition and receive permission to be remarried by the Episcopal Church. Two individual church processes are conducted within the Episcopal church to allow someone to remarry. 1. return a person back to the single state and 2. to obtain permission for remarriage. -Each process requires an application form filled out by the petitioning person, and a certificate filled out by a rector or priest in charge, accompanied by a letter from that rector or priest in charge, and all of it is sent to the Bishop. The Bishop then makes a decision after reviewing all the facts. *But with regards to a homosexual marriage, they would be free to leave “the marriage” at any time, and “marry” someone else. They would not have to go through the same legalities and steps as heterosexuals.
    Episcopal church members have relayed the terminology may differ with “Holy Matrimony” vs. “Blessing of a Union/Marriage, ” but the same ceremony is used for both both unions, including an exchange of rings and vows.

    As you probably recall, there has been a lot of support among priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester for members of the LGBT population and for same sex marriages, and among the groups they advocate is Fortunate Families. There certainly needs to be compassion and acceptance for homosexual and gender-confused individuals, but there should not be an endorsing and propagating of homosexual sexual acts and blessing homosexual unions. I think that if the American Bishops ever endorse homosexual marriages or unions, or cross-dressing clergy, there will be a division in the Roman Catholic Church between those who have allegiance to the Pope and the Church in Rome, and those who would have allegiance to the Church in America.

  64. avatar christian says:

    ***I wonder if Bishop Matano is aware that these Communion Services conducted by Deni Mack and Gloria Ulterino , are going on at St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church Downtown for Dignity/Integrity, (a church-based organization for Roman Catholics and Episcopalians which accepts and supports the LBGT Community and same-sex marriage). Additionally, I wonder if he knows these Communion Services are listed as fulfilling your Sunday obligation. (Doesn’t the Roman Catholic Bishop of Rochester have a say in what constitutes fulfilling your Sunday obligation for Roman Catholics in Rochester).

    I would also wonder where the Holy Communion is being obtained to conduct these services and what happens to any hosts that are not consumed. I would also wonder if the Holy Communion Services are being conducted under both species.

  65. avatar JLo says:

    Who cares about hosts that are not consumed in that service or about wine… IT ISN’T THE BODY OF CHRIST!

  66. avatar christian says:

    My Bad. When I looked further on Dignity/Integrity Website, there is no Holy Communion administered during these services conducted by Gloria Ulterino and Deni Mack. There are comments to the fact that they have education and training in this ministry-and they would make great Catholic priests if the Roman Catholic Church would allow women to be ordained to the Priesthood.

    The Service without Holy Communion, in the formula “in the absence of priest,” is listed as fulfilling your Sunday obligation for Roman Catholics (on whose authority?)

  67. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Gaudium says, “You are correct. However, RELIGIOUS submission of intellect and will is not just for infallible teaching. I think that’s where y2kscotty had a sticking point.”
    And, yes, it is a sticking point.
    From the Syllabus of Errors:
    55. The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church.
    77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. — Allocution “Nemo vestrum,” July 26, 1855.

    78. Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. — Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.

    The Papal condemnation of these “errors” is non-infallible. I think that most American Catholics would regard these three statements as non-erroneous. Would I have had to submit to this, back in the day? Obviously (to me, that is)I would not have to “religiously submit” to this non-infallible teaching of the Roman Pontiff, which has effectively been over-ruled by the Second Vatican Council.
    Also it seems to me that the average EMHC, even with a superb educational background, might be hard-pressed to understand what “religious submission” means or be able to to explain it, no matter how much explanation the Bishop gives. A lot of people will sign it anyway, despite not really knowing what it means.

  68. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Oh – I just checked out Dignity/Integrity. In the interest of presenting documentation, here’s what it says about their worship services:

    July 2014 Schedule

    July 13th at 5 PM
    Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word with Gloria Ulterino presiding.
    July 20th at 5 PM
    Quiet Episcopal Eucharist with Reverend Carolyn Lumbard presiding.
    July 27th at 5 PM
    Prayers to Start the Week followed by a potluck supper.
    Our theme today is “Sunday Sundaes.” Please bring your favorite topping.
    We will provide the ice cream.
    August 2014 Schedule
    August 3rd at 5 PM
    Episcopal Eucharist with music with Reverend Carolyn Lombard presiding.
    A Healing Rite will also be held at this service.
    August 10th at 5 PM
    Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Word with Deni Mack presiding.

    Nothing is said here about “Communion Service” at the “Catholic” liturgy.

    The website also says:
    Second Sundays
    On the second Sunday, our Liturgy of the Word is in the Roman Catholic tradition, and
    it is led by a layperson who has studied theology or has other suitable
    qualifications. The service has many of the elements of a Mass, with a few extra
    features thrown in, but no communion. Nevertheless, it does fulfill your Sunday
    obligation, and it’s based on the Roman Catholic guidelines for Sunday celebrations in
    the absence of a priest. The presiders and homilists are people who would undoubtedly
    make great priests if the Roman Catholic church was fully open to the gifts of women
    and married men. Following the service, there is a coffee hour social starting around
    6:15 PM.
    For a sample of this Liturgy of the Word (including our prophetic “Liturgy of the
    Stones”), visit the liturgical resource site STICKS & STONES / FLESH & BLOOD:
    Liturgical images and movements that SPEAK to experience at

    I agree they are wrong to say that this fulfills a Catholic’s Sunday obligation.

  69. avatar annonymouse says:

    “Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful “are to adhere to it with religious assent” which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.” CCC892

    The key word, Scotty (and BigE), is submission. It is something that requires humility. It means that I might, with my not-so-perfectly-formed conscience, not know what is right and what is wrong as perfectly as I may some day. It means that the old guys in Rome, who are better educated than I, better formed in the Faith than I, holier than I, and graced with the call and responsibility of guarding and revealing the truth, might just be worthy of my submission, of my putting aside my personal opinions and thinking, and meekly following.

    Hmmm….meekness and humility….where have I heard those words recently?

    The alternative to “religious submission of intellect and will” is what BigE has expressed here so many times – my paraphrasing now – I agree with Rome where they are right and disagree where they are wrong. Which implicitly puts me as the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, rather than the successors to the Apostles in communion with the Bishop of Rome, whom Christ Himself place as the arbiter, whom Christ Himself empowered to forgive and bind sins. The alternative to religious submission is obnoxious arrogance.

  70. avatar JLo says:

    OMG, Buffalo Road just MUST contact them to have that changed!! No way does that service fulfill a Catholic’s Sunday obligation. All those involved in that post should add “lying” to their list of personal sins because NO one could be mistaken in that regard. How do such people justify such behavior?! It’s always just about them and their desires trumping truth. +JMJ

  71. avatar gaudium says:

    Yes, y2kScotty, back in the day you would have had to submit to those teachings. That doesn’t mean you would have to stand on the street corners and actively promote them. Submission is often just a quiet silencing of one’s own opinion or view. In our present time in this diocese, all pastors are asked to submit to sacramental guidelines that will result in EMHC’s having to sign a profession of faith. Being a EMHC is not a right. We are not asking everyone in the pew to sign the statement before they receive Communion or Absolution, or Anointing of the Sick, etc. Are you saying simply that you couldn’t sign the form or that the bishop is wrong to require the profession? Just wondering.

  72. avatar BigE says:

    1) Feel free to continue referencing me all you want…but please refrain from putting words in my mouth (even paraphrased) that I’ve never spoken. I’ve NEVER claimed to be the “ultimate arbiter” of right and wrong. That would imply that I demand that everyone believe as I do and I’ve never, ever, made that demand. I am certainly responsible for, and the final arbiter of my own beliefs and my own actions. And when I disagree with something or someone within the Church I will often offer my opinion up for discussion and reflection (where it’s appropriate, and both for others AND for my own reflection) but that is a long way off from your characterization of me.
    2) And your premise that humbleness can only = submission and that someone can not humbly disagree with someone else (in authority) is just plain false. The opposite of humble submission does not have to be obnoxious arrogance: it could just as easily be respectfull dialogue. Oh that more people would have humbly challenged the authority of our Church in her darker times (the inquisition, the treatment of jews, the abuse of indulgences, the coverup up of sexual abuse….)
    3) And those old guys in Rome “who are better educated than us, better formed in the Faith than us , holier than us, and graced with the call and responsibility of guarding and revealing the truth” most definately deserve our attention and our respect – but should never require us to leave our brains at the door and stop thinking. That’s what cults demand. And to do so would be a waste of the beautiful gifts that God has graced upon us all (discernment). I would hope that with all those gifts, those old guys could teach us to think critically and do the right thing without us having to stop “thinking”.
    …but I guess this is just more obnoxious arrogance on my part…..

  73. avatar lucia says:

    I believe Fr. Bausch has managed to out-do Fr. Palumbos with regard to disappointment over the bishop’s new guidelines on lay preaching!

    Check out the Transfiguration bulletin for June 29th (

    “Dear friends,
    I write today with news I wish I did not have to share
    with you!

    For the past several months a number of you have
    asked me about a rumor regarding lay preaching. The rumor
    – lay preacher would no longer be able to share in my
    homily, at the time of the homily, during the celebration of
    the Eucharist. That would include Damian, Tim, Anne and
    Margie. When asked about the rumor I responded truthfully
    that I had not received official notification from the Pastoral
    Center and until I did we would continue as is our custom.
    Recently I received official notice withdrawing all authorization
    to preach given to lay preachers in the Diocese of
    Rochester. The instructions are clear – only the priest presider,
    a deacon or a concelebrating priest are authorized by
    Canon Law and liturgical documents to preach at the time
    of the homily during the celebration of Mass. This decision
    rests on existing liturgical documents and Canon Laws that
    govern who can preach at Mass, at the time of the homily,
    and we have been asked to follow these instructions.
    These instructions supersede the document, Norms
    for Liturgical Preaching, issued by Bishop Matthew Clark in

    It is indeed with deep sadness of heart and spirit that I
    am obliged to follow the mandate.
    Over the last 25 years a
    wide variety of lay preachers have shared in my homily. I
    always respected this right with a great deal of care in selecting
    who would share in the privilege of breaking open
    the Word of God. Here at Transfiguration we are blessed
    with extraordinarily fine lay preachers who have exceptional
    theological education, a love and understanding of the
    Scriptures, and have appropriately shared their personal
    spirituality and love for our God.

    I am aware that the Church, similar to other organizations,
    relies on guidelines and laws for good order. It is unfortunate
    that sometimes organizations, while respecting
    tradition, are unwilling to change to meet the needs of the
    times. As your Pastor, I invite you to join me in praying for
    the grace of conversion, that we, the Church might have a
    change of heart, and with compassion and courage. I realize
    this directive may contradict the footsteps that Pope
    Francis is taking, a leader with whom I share a profound
    love for the Church which I have faithfully served for thirtysix

    I am well aware that this change will be difficult and
    disappointing for some of you, yet I am relying on your understanding
    and we place this in prayer and await God’s
    Holy Spirit of love. Thank you!

    It is summer, are you taking time to “just sit” and take it
    all in to your spirit?

    Let us continue to pray and sacrifice for peace in our

    In peace and courage,
    Fr. Mike”

    Don’t forget, Fr. Bausch, that it was Pope Francis who appointed our wonderful leader!

  74. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Regarding my “sticking point”: thanks to Mouse and Gaudium for their comments. I do prefer Gaudium’s interpretation. So, if and when I have to sign it, maybe I can add a statement such as “as explained by Gaudium on Cleansing Fire”… LOL!!!

    Lucia, maybe Fr. Bausch is showing what obedience can mean in the face of his own disagreement. Be grateful that he and Fr. Palumbos are setting an example of “submission”. They are teaching their parishioners to accept the ruling.

  75. avatar christian says:

    JLO-I hadn’t seen your entry posted for July 9th, 2014 at 10:05 A.M. until now. My entry at 10:09 A.M. was shown directly after my last entry.


    My prior concern (before I found there was no communion service) was if Deni Mack and Gloria Ulterino brought Holy Communion-consecrated hosts from the tabernacle of Our Lady of Assumption Church or another Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese, or if they they brought consecrated wine from Our Lady of Assumption Church or another Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese. – It would be the Body of Christ (and the Blood of Christ also if they brought consecrated wine). As you can see, that is not a concern at this time, because they are not administering Holy Communion.


  76. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Lucia, maybe Fr. Bausch is showing what obedience can mean in the face of his own disagreement. Be grateful that he and Fr. Palumbos are setting an example of “submission”. They are teaching their parishioners to accept the ruling.

    You call these bulletin articles submission? Hardly! It’s more like “you can twist my arm and make me, but I’m still going to mouth off against you and the Church to my parishioners about it.” (and make false assertions that Pope Francis somehow wishes us to break liturgical law?) This is far from what obedient submission looks like.

  77. avatar annonymouse says:

    BigE –

      This portion of Annonymouse’s post has been deleted. Expressing concerns about the bulletin writings of pastors is permitted since they are public persons, expressing their opinions very publicly, and accountable for their magisterial or non-magisterial teaching and influence. The same does not apply to individuals who, while not known by name, nevertheless have a ‘recognized presence’ on this blog. (D Harris, as writer/poster)

    Father Mike – Alternatively, rather than to pray that the Bishop might have a change of heart and behave more to your liking, you may wish to pray for the conversion of your own and your congregation’s hearts so that you think and act more in concert with the magisterium. The GIRM is and has been clear on lay preaching at Mass and we’ve been disregarding it in Rochester. And DO NOT presume to know what Pope Francis is thinking on this – as Lucia points out, Pope Francis is the one who sent Bishop Matano to us.

    Ben – EXACTLY. If Frs. Spilly, Ed and Mike wish to truly submit to the authority of their bishop (to whom they’ve promised respect and obedience), they would not be using their bulletins to stir the pot of discontent in their congregations. Even if privately they disagree with the decisions that are being made, they ought to encourage unity around our shepherd rather than foment dissention, discord and anger.

    These priests are obeying…but I would argue that they are certainly NOT respecting their bishop.

  78. avatar annonymouse says:

    Before someone corrects me – re-reading Fr. Mike’s bulletin, it may appear that he is praying for himself and the congregation to have a change of heart…if that’s the case then my comments above should be revised and corrected.

    Given the tenor of his comment on the direction “Pope Francis is taking,” however, I think his implication (and for what he’s praying) are clear.

  79. avatar y2kscotty says:

    Ben – it’s still obedient submission. It’s just not abject, groveling submission. And I believe they are implying that parishioners who disagree with the rule should do the same. They are respecting the bishop’s decision and the bishop’s authority – and, ultimately, the authority of the Church Universal. Roma locuta est. That said, would this be a “religious submission”? Maybe not quite. Note that Fr. Mike was not asked by the Bishop to say, “mea culpa” or “I was soooo wrong.” I would venture the guess that the Bishop is happy just to have the practice stopped. Just a guess.

    On a different topic: Do you think that Bishop Matano has written a letter to Father Jim Callan and asked him to reconcile? (that would necessitate opening another thread…or unwinding another spool…)

  80. avatar gaudium says:

    I would not be in the least surprised to hear that the bishop has reached out to Jim Callan. I know that Fr. Antinarelli has finally been appointed as a pastor. I am sure that Bishop Matano would want to heal in other places whenever it is possible.

  81. avatar snowshoes says:

    I must agree with Ben, Father Bausch has not expressed obedience to his bishop. As St. Paul said, “If I preach with the wisdom of the angels but have not love…” Where is the love in what he wrote in the bulletin? He is absolutely wrong to say that Bishop Matano’s Instruction “supersedes” Bishop Clark’s “Norms”. Those “Norms” were always null and void, any seven year old kid preparing for First Holy Communion knows that! Bishop Matano is rightly simply recognizing reality, and vacating the evil abnormal Norms. I could respect Fr. Bausch if along with such a snippy, and truly cowardly statement, he also tendered his resignation.

    I wonder how the poor Bishop became aware of this sad act of petulance? It makes me think of Our Lord’s parable about the landowner who left his possessions in the care of others and then returned to become king, and certain of the populace sent an embassy to say, we do not want this man to be our king… As I have said before, the abuse of lay preaching is spiritual child molestation of the worst kind, it is the evil fruit of physical sexual child molestation! No wonder the children are fleeing such churches, they can sense the evil intent, the diabolical workings of those who would induce stupid prideful laymen to “preach the homily”, or “share in my homily”. God have mercy on us, and bless our courageous Bishop Matano, he has so much to suffer, pray for him.

  82. avatar christian says:

    Regarding Gaudium’s post of July 10th-the prospect of Bishop Matano reaching out and healing with regards to priests.
    I hope Bishop Matano reaches out to Fr. Adam Ogorzaly, the former pastor of St. Stanislaus Church on Hudson Avenue.

    I had concerns when I learned that Fr. Adam was being moved to Our Mother of Sorrows Church in Greece from St. Stanislaus Church in 2012. It was not only with regard to the parish he was leaving. I was concerned about Fr. Adam’s welfare because I thought he would be suffering “culture shock.” It is true that Fr. Adam served a diverse crowd at St. Stanislaus Church, celebrating an English mass as well as a Polish mass. He was very welcoming to people of non-Polish roots who came to worship on a holiday and on a holy day of obligation (or former holy day of obligation still observed there). He went out of his way to facilitate visiting guests and show them hospitality. He was very involved in parish functions and was committed to bettering the Rochester community. I could tell the people of his parish really loved him.

    Fr. Adam always struck me as a kind, gentle, pious man, who truly loved the Lord and His church. He also exuded an innocent, child-like quality. He was very much a part of his Polish heritage and culture, yet he was proud of becoming a United States citizen, and of his American citizenship. He would get excited every year when Thanksgiving came around and do a special decoration and arrangement in church, including the Plymouth Rock. The children would then have a Thanksgiving pageant and he also celebrated mass.

    Fr. Adam delighted taking part in the particular Polish traditions on various feast days throughout the year. I am sure they were traditions he practiced in Poland in his youth and then as a priest, and traditions he continued to practice in Polish Catholic parishes in England and the United States where he was sent to serve. Fr. Adam Ogorzaly came to St. Stanislaus Church on Hudson Avenue in November 1997 by request of the outgoing administrator, Fr. Mitchell Zygadlo. He served as a parish priest after receiving Bishop Clark’s blessing. In 2002, he became pastor after being incardinated into the Diocese of Rochester. In 2010, he celebrated 25 years of priesthood. I thought Fr. Adam thrived at the St. Stanislaus Church location in the city, and he was well planted in that spot.

    But after remaining and serving at St. Stanislaus for 15 years after he was requested to come, he was sent to a non-Polish Catholic church in the suburb of Greece. He was away from the people in his parish and their church traditions, including Polish traditions. It appears there was a planning committee process going on regarding multiple parishes and those parish’s pastors when he got to Mother of Sorrows. Fr. Adam returned to St. Stanislaus to concelebrate at Tomacz Kaczowka’s Funeral Mass early January 2013. (Tomacz, who died on December 24th, 2012, was an altar server at St. Stanislaus Church as well as being a regular, life-long parishioner. Undoubtedly, Fr. Adam knew Tomacz and his family well. It probably rekindled feelings for St. Stanislaus coming back for the funeral). Reportedly, Fr. Adam missed Bishop Cunningham’s mandate for individual confessions during one specified day in Lent 2013. It was then reported that he was on a leave of absence.

    I thought of Fr. Adam the other day after reading gaudium’s post. I wondered what happened to him. According to posted church bulletins on the Internet of St. Stanislaus Cathedral, Scranton, Pennsylvania, Fr. Adam was incardinated into PNCC at St. Stanislaus Cathedral in Scranton, Pennsylvania on November 10th, 2013, but in the December 22nd 2013 bulletin it read: “NOTICE It was discovered that Fr. Adam Ogorzaly abandoned his Cathedral post as associate pastor with no prior notification, and has since refused
    episcopal directives to return to his assigned placement here. Fr. Ogorzaly has been suspended for his conduct and is no longer an active priest of the Polish National Catholic Church.”

    I cannot help but think there was a case of “culture shock” here and Fr. Adam went to serve in the Polish National Catholic Church to have a connection with his Polish heritage and culture while serving in a Catholic church, but then left shortly after because it was not the Roman Catholic Church where he was brought up in and served as a priest for 28 years. (I do not know personal details).

    Under Intelius, there is an Adam R. Ogorzaly listed as Chaplain at Rotech Consulting Inc.
    (I’m not sure it’s the same person).
    But I feel quite saddened at the turn of events for Fr. Adam, for all those he has served in the Diocese of Rochester, the Roman Catholic Church, his priest friends and colleagues, and his former parishioners at St. Stanislaus Church.

    I just wanted to remember Fr. Adam Ogorzaly and his priesthood in the Diocese of Rochester. I feel compelled to pray for him and I hope you will join me in prayer. I hope if it’s God’s will, he makes it back to serving in the Roman Catholic priesthood in a joyful, prosperous spot ordained by God.

  83. avatar christian says:

    In regard to my previous post-I will never understand why some priests are allowed to stay virtually their lifetime as a priest or their vocation as a pastor at one parish while other priests are moved around to another parish within 1-3, 4-6, or 12 years. It doesn’t seem to depend on what type of job you are doing at the parish or the parishioners like or dislike of a pastor.

    Richard Thomas-in regard to your first post-It would not be a problem if you consumed a large amount of the Blood of Christ from the Communion Cup if you were the last one in line, or if you took a larger than usual amount near the very end of line, leaving a sufficient amount for fellow parishioners behind you. Actually, that is a pet peave of mine-parishioners taking too much of the Blood of Christ on their turn of the Cup and leaving very little-drops for those left behind them. In some instance, it is all one can do is to try to obtain that one tiny drop at the bottom of the Communion cup. I never thought that it was any of those who took too much, that their intentions were of trying to save the Blood of Christ from going down the Sacraria. I thought they were centered on their own experience to such an extent, as to not care about others in the community, particularly those in back of them who might want a share in the Cup.

    There is usually not a problem with the Blood of Christ being poured down the Sacraria as EMHC’s are asked to consume left over wine (the Blood of Christ) in the Cup, and if there is a particularly large amount or if an EMHC does not want to drink all of the remaining amount, they can ask another EMHC to share it with them. In all my time as an EMHC, I have never seen the Blood of Christ poured down the Sacraria.

    militia is correct. If you and others make a point of consuming large amounts of the Blood of Christ, it will only result in more wine being consecrated in effort to make sure there is enough to go around. And the priest will be stymied to why there is a continual problem with not enough wine despite consecrated larger amounts. While I commend your intentions, I would suggest that you are the last in line if you wish to continue your current practice.
    The amount of EMHC’s at a mass should be in accord with the number of expected attendees (and the size and structure of the church building). 6-8 EMHC’s of the Cup seems excessive in most incidences. Most parishes have 2-4 Ministers of the Cup for a Sunday mass.

  84. avatar Interstate Catholic says:

    “I just wanted to remember Fr. Adam Ogorzaly and his priesthood in the Diocese of Rochester. I feel compelled to pray for him and I hope you will join me in prayer.”

    He was (is?) a good priest.

  85. avatar Diane Harris says:

    I am not surprised at reports of never having seen Precious Blood poured down the drain. It isn’t that obvious. After the Precious Blood is consumed by communicants, there do remain drops or traces that may not even be visible. That is why the sacred vessels must be cleanSed with water, and the water drunk, so that not a droplet of Precious Blood remains. If the vessels are not properly cleanSed, there remain traces. So anyone (priest, deacon, unauthorized EEM/EMHC) who only rinses the communion cup or Chalice under the tap and lets that water run down the common drain is, in fact, pouring Precious Blood down the drain. To know there is even a trace in the cup (and there always is!), and to allow the first rinse water to flow into the sewer, is sacrilegious. If one wants to know what his or her priest really believes about the Eucharistic Presence of Christ, just watch his cleanSing (purifying) of the Sacred vessels after communion. (Not implying anything about ordinary and later washing/cleaning of a properly cleanSed vessel.) Similar comments can be made about particles of the host, on the paten and corporal, e.g. I knew one priest who usually fractionated the Consecrated Host directly over the Sacramentary. What does that say about respect for or belief in the Real Presence?

  86. avatar snowshoes says:

    Thanks, Diane, excellent post. One of the fruits of love of God is reverence. In the Mass it takes the form of diligent care of the Sacred Species. The thread got a bit off track with the subject of priest’s reaction to Bishop Matano’s good guidance on preaching, but it still has to do with love of God in the Holy Sacrifice as shown in reverent, diligent execution of each part of the Mass. THIS is the way to truly “get the people involved”. Our pastor is one priest who is very reverent and kind. We have seminarians, with an “s”!

    One time I was at a neighboring church for Sunday Mass. I arrived late and the only place was in the front pew. After receiving communion, I was making my thanksgiving as others received, and with my head down, I was looking at the carpet. I happened to notice a white particle fall on the carpet. I don’t know if it was a piece of the sacred host or not, but I asked my Guardian Angel not to let anybody see, and I got back out of the pew and went and knelt down and placed my tongue on the particle and “received” it, and got up and went back to my place and continued my thanksgiving. Nobody mentioned it to me, so I assume my Guardian Angel did his thing! Have a great Lord’s Day. St. Jean-Marie Vianney, priez pour nous.

  87. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Beautiful story, Snowshoes! Thanks for sharing with us.

  88. avatar christian says:

    I commend you snowshoes for what you did and I admire you for your humility and reverence.

    Diane-Before the expired indult, I and fellow EMHC’s: 1.Made sure all of the Blood of Christ was consumed in the Communion Cup. If there was an exceptional large amount left, we would share in drinking it. 2. We did at least 2 thorough rinsings with water, and drinking the contents afterward. 3. We then wiped the cup with the purificator. 4. We then placed the folded purificator over the Communion Cup.
    I would hope all involved with the Communion Cup are as fastidious as we were in making sure none of the remnant of the Blood of Christ remains behind in Cup.

    Care should be taken in making sure none of the crumbs of the Body of Christ are left behind also.

    Many years ago, in a former parish in the Diocese of Rochester, we found a large amount of the Body of Christ strewn about the floor between some left front pews following Holy Thursday Mass. The large group of people who were sitting in those pews where the Holy Communion had been thrown on floor, were apparently passing through -because we had never seen them before and we had never seen them since. Like snowshoes, a group of us had to retrieve the Communion off the floor to consume it. The priest and the group of us couldn’t believe that these people could do it; especially on a Holy Thursday.

    The liturgy committee had voted on having special unleavened bread made with wheat flour and spring water for Holy Communion for this special holy day of the year. While there are plenty of people who object with baked unleavened wheat bread over communion wafers, these people should have returned their Holy Communion after Mass if they did not want to consume it. They also could have just taken the Blood of Christ if they did not want the Bread of Christ in that form. We wondered if they just had a total disregard for the Body of Christ. I have been left wondering to this day, if these people would have thrown Holy Communion onto the floor if it was in wafer form.

    I thank you for writing this post Diane. I think there needs to be a lot more education done for the people who sit in the pew in addition to EMHC’s and ordained clergy.

  89. avatar Richard Thomas says:


    I try to judge how many people are in line ans how much of the Precious Blood is left. Usually, there is a lot in the chalice. I try just to “titrate” the amount so there is some for the bacck of the line, but not too much to pour It down the drain.

  90. avatar Roffensis says:

    Does anyone have an address for the priest who recently resigned from the parish in Henrietta? I read that his mother died and that he was now sick. I would like to correspond with him, as he was a very inspiring priest and had a wonderful congregation.

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