NCR 14 ctober, 2011
It is with great sadness that I see this kind of response to the distribution of Holy Communion by "Extraordinary" Eucharistic Ministers. It strikes yet another blow to the Vatican II concept of a Eucharistic community celebrating together with the ordained ministers. The Roman 'model' of receiving on the tongue accentuates the 'unclean' nature of the hands of the faithful to receive Holy Communion. The insistence of the laity kneeling during the Eucharistic Prayer--at least one of which declares that we all have been made worthy to stand before God--is yet another instance of that inconsistency. When I preside at the Eucharistic am I actually the only person--a priest--who has been made worthy to 'stand' before God? The gradual, intentional destruction of the norms and clear intentions of Vatican II by the Vatican, the Curia, and many bishops raise deep questions about the authority of a Roman Catholic Ecumenical Council, promulgated by the then Pope Paul VI, the decrees of which are being systematically abrogated by the present Pope, his predecessor and bishops appointed by those Popes. Was Joyce really right when he wrote that "the center will not hold"?