Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Week 32 in Catholic Media, 2014

August 8th, 2014, Promulgated by Diane Harris

I am delighted to say that this is the first week in which I’ve DISCOVERED the reportable news in The Catholic Courier! The information, published in Rochester’s Diocesan newspaper on August 4th (Feast of St. John Vianney!), appeared in Catholic News Service on Friday, August 1st.   Kudos to the Courier for the timeliness of what seems to have been missed in many other media, but kudos even more so for publishing what — not so very long ago — would have been ignored, maybe even wished away?

Curbing of Liturgical Abuse in the Pew

This very welcome news is directed at curbing abuses around the liturgical “Kiss of Peace” also known more informally as celebratory glad-handing.  That the Courier promulgated content of the Vatican letter so spontaneously is a good sign, in my opinion, that we can hope for the path that we’ve seen emerging so far and so effectively: 1) make people aware of their responsibilities in and outside the sanctuary, 2) remind those of good conscience to humbly obey what they have an obligation to obey, and 3) then take action for the protection and care of souls.  We are being made aware.  A circular letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship was promulgated to curb the liturgical abuses at the “Kiss of Peace.”  Apparently the matter has been under study for about 9 years, including the possibility of moving the KofP to another part of the Mass.  The decision is no change in “when” it occurs, but a reminder of due reverence for “how” it occurs.

Here are the highlights of the recommendations in the circular letter:

“… it emphasized that ‘it is completely legitimate to affirm that it is not necessary to invite ‘mechanistically’ to exchange (the sign of) peace.’   The rite is optional, the Congregation reminded, and there certainly are times and places where it is not fitting.”  [Note: this rite among the laity is not done in the Latin Mass, e.g.]

‘…  as translations are made of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal, bishops’ conference[s] should consider ‘changing the way in which the exchange of peace is made.’   It suggested in particular that ‘familiar and worldly gestures of greeting’ should be substituted with “other, more appropriate gestures.”

“…  several abuses of the rite …  are to be stopped:  the introduction of a “song of peace,” which does not exist in the Roman rite; the faithful moving from their place to exchange the sign; the priest leaving the altar to exchange the sign with the faithful; and when, at occasions such as weddings or funerals, it becomes an occasion for congratulations or condolences.”

“… episcopal conferences [should] prepare liturgical catechesis on the significance of the rite of peace, and its correct observation.”

It would seem, having been informed through the Courier of this development, that little time should be wasted in implementing the practice.  Meanwhile, for those whose emails have not been blocked, you might want to go to the Courier site and post your comments:

The complete text can be found here:   and was signed by Pope Francis on June 7, 2014, and promulgated in Latin the following day.  The English language version was apparently promulgated on July 12th.


Lest we be without a thorn in the side today:

Sister Simone

Sister Simone

Consider the ill-advised award bestowed upon Nuns on the Bus leader, Sr. Simone Campbell, who scandalized many as she led support for Obamacare, which directly funds abortions, requires employer funding for abortifacients and contraceptives  and requires coverage for sterilization.   She has been named recipient of the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award, and will receive it on Sept. 21 in Christ the King Chapel at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. That is not to say she hasn’t made efforts in worthwhile areas as well, but she will likely be most remembered for grand-standing actions which oppose Church teaching and authority. See 


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