And it Makes Hippies really mad. Or… Facing God.

•February 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Conversi ad Dominum

This call by Saint Augustine, Turn to the Lord ! is the “battle cry” of a growing movement to restore the facing towards East / toward the Lord, ie facing in the same direction as the congregation, at least as far as the Liturgy of the Eucharist (speaking of the Novus Ordo) is concerned. Pope Benedict XVI. is the most popular exponent of this great movement. He wrote the introduction to the seminally important book Turning Towards the Lord by Father Uwe Lang of the London Oratory. Next to its link, some more great books. Turns out Father Lang is a regular Closed Cafeteria reader – he admitted to it in a very nice email 🙂

And also The Heresy of Formlessness (Ignatius)

In addition to the high quality of the people in favor of what is generally referred to as AD ORIENTEM, there is the fact that “Call to Action” types usually loathe it. While turning towards East is desirable, it’s often not possible. However, turning together towards the Lord is the essential element. This mainly applies to the liturgy of the Eucharist, so scared parishioners would still have the priest face them for quite a bit! 😛

I’ll write about the historical background of this another time, for this post the focus will be on theological arguments.

First, an excerpt from Pope Benedict’s foreword to Father Lang’s Turning Towards the Lord

To the ordinary churchgoer, the two most obvious effects of the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council seem to be the disappearance of Latin and the turning of the altars towards the people. Those who read the relevant texts will be astonished to learn that neither is in fact found in the decrees of the Council.

It is true that later GIRMs expressed that facing the people was “desirable” but it has never been made mandatory, according to Pope Benedict. In addition, by now it is painfully obvious that the “spirit of those liturgists” has failed. A reform is clearly necessary. Some say that in olden days the focus was wholly on the sacrificial character of the Mass. Well, be that as it may, to me it seems far more fatal that today, especially among the “spirit of Vatican II” crowd, the meal character is by far the most emphasized aspect.

Now for some fascinating, highly instructive quotes that Father Lang cites in his truly convincing book:

The direction of prayer should point towards the transcendent addressee of prayer. Hence the question of the focal point of the presidential prayer needs to be considered seriously…If the common direction of presider and congregation, in turning at prayer towards Christ, who has been exalted and is to come again, disappeared completely, it would be a regrettable spiritual loss.
– Andreas Heinz –

Father Lang himself writes

The constant face-to-face position of priest and people expresses a symbolism of its own and suggests a closed circle. The ideal of the Christian Church is not a circular building with altar, ambo, and sedilia in the centre. It is not mere accident that samples of this type are hardly found before the second half of the twentieth century; the celebratio versus populum tends to diminish the transcendent dimension of the Eucharist to such an extent that it generates the notion of a closed society. The communal character of the liturgy is no doubt important, but it is only one aspect of the liturgy.

The danger is that the congregation can become complacent and entertain a misconceived autonomy, thus disconnecting itself from the other assemblies of the faithful and from the invisible assembly of the saints in heaven, so that the community would just be in dialogue with itself. This betrays not only a deficient ecclesiology but also an erroneous concept of God. Half a century ago, Henri de Lubac warned Christians to be on guard “against the present tendency to absorb God into the human community.” Today, we are threatened by what Aidan Nichols calls ‘cultic immanentism’, ‘the danger of a congregation’s covert self-reference in a horizontal, humanistic world.”

As a glimpse on the historical treatise of this subject, here Pope Benedict in Spirit of the Liturgy

In no meal of the early Christian era did the president of the banqueting assembly every face the other participants. They were all sitting, or reclining, on the convex side of a C-shaped table, or of a table having approximately the shape of a horse shoe. The other side was always left empty for the service. Nowhere in Christian antiquity could have arisen the idea of having to ‘face the people’ to preside at a meal

In addition, the popular depicting of the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci is incorrect – the place of honor was the seat on the right. This was also the way it was depicted in churches and Catholic art before that time.

Monsignor Klaus Gamber, considered by Pope Benedict to have been a liturgist of unsurpassed quality, wrote in The Modern Rite

According to the Catholic conception of the Mass, it is more than just a communal meal in memory of Jesus of Nazareth. The decisive element is not the way that the community spirit is made effective and experienced, even though that should not be underestimated, but the community coming to offer service to God. The point of reference must always be God, and not man. For that reason, from the outset, the turning towards him in prayer by all those present and no turning to face each other by priest and people. We must draw the necessary conclusions and see the celebration “turned towards the people” for what it really is, an invention of Martin Luther.

Zing! It really is very instructive that the most ‘progressive’ and dissenting people are opposed to ad orientem the most.

Again, Fr. Lang:

Pastoral experience over the last four decades can teach us that the understanding of the Mass as both the sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Church has diminished considerabl, if not faded away, among the faithful. I do not want to suggest that the sweeping triumph of the celebration versus populum is the only reason for this deplorable development. But the emphasis on the meal aspect of the Eucharist that complemented the celebrant priest’s turning towards the people has been overdone and has failed to proclaim the Eucharist as a ‘visible sacrifice (as the nature of man demands)’ – Council of Trent.

Max Thurian wrote in Notitiae, the organ of the Congregation for Divine Worship

The whole celebration is often conducted as if it were a conversation and dialogue in which there is no longer any room for adoration, contemplation and silence. The fact that the celebrants and faithful constantly face each other closes the liturgy in on itself. On the other hand, a sound celebration, which takes into account the pre-eminence of the altar, the discretion of the celebrants’ ministry, the orientation of everyone towards the Lord and the adoration of his presence signified in the symbols and realised by the sacrament, confers on the liturgy that contemplative atmosphere without which it risks being a tiresome religious disquisition, a useless community distraction, a sort of rigmarole.

Yes! I’ve been calling this type of liturgy the ‘spirituality of accounts’, and I just found out that there is a German book called “The Council of the Accountants”. This author, by the way, also dislikes putting the celebrant’s chair right behind the altar.

Another pest wrought on the Church following Vatican II was the disfiguring of historic churches by putting those unfortunate people’s altarts in front of the gorgeous high altars. If lucky, they matched them in style, something that often didn’t happen. And, often the high altar was torn out completely and replaced with a slab. If only we could sacrifice those people on their people’s altar !

From an editorial in Notititae, Congregation for Divine Worship:

The principle of there being only one altar is theologically more important than the practice of celebrating facing the people.

As a photographer it doubly outrages me. My definition of the people’s altar: the thing in the way of the beautiful high altar. Something newer churches woefully lack – a high altar. All we get is a table. Whoopee. And if you’re really out of luck, hippie Jesus is waving from the cross above. Such degeneration in so short a time would be unbelievable had it not really happened. It’s as if these accountants of faith had gotten together and said, “let’s see, how can we screw ourselves as hard as possible.”

I’ll end this post with the more civilized words of Father Lang:

Reclaiming the common direction of prayer seems most desirable for the liturgical life, and hence, for the welfare of the Church. In this liturgical gesture the Church turns to her source of life, the risen and ascended Lord, whose return she desires and expects.

(and it makes the old hippies really mad)

posted by Gerald Augustinus

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May God Have Mercy

•February 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Propaganda

•February 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Main Entry:
pro·pa·gan·da Listen to the pronunciation of propaganda
Pronunciation:
\ˌprä-pə-ˈgan-də, ˌprō-\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
New Latin, from Congregatio de propaganda fide Congregation for propagating the faith, organization established by Pope Gregory XV died 1623
Date:
1718
1capitalized : a congregation of the Roman curia having jurisdiction over missionary territories and related institutions
2: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
3: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect
The Propagandist of an Organization (or as the more P.C. among us might call it the “Press Relations man” or for the Truly P.C. the Press Relations Person.) is extremely important. The Reason for this is because if you don’t have a good propagandist then your cause dies. The Responsibility of the propagandist is not only to bring new members into an organization but also to keep the members it has in the organization.
Now I already hear the objection “But Cane…”(Here I interrupt) “Citizen Cane” I correct. “But Citizen Cane don’t you know Propaganda is bad the Nazi’s used it”. Here I will admit the Nazi’s did use it, and so did the British the Irish the Americans and everyone else who ever lived. In fact your very objection is a form of Propaganda it is an attempt to influence my thought in such a way that I stop using the term propaganda. the origin of the word “to Propagate” which literally means to have children or to have offspring (Pro pangere). There are many different ways to have offspring, there is of course the classic method of procreation however we are not limited to such primal means. I have and create many children of thought, sometimes I do this deliberately sometimes this is done through common and constant contact. But no matter how it begins it always begins the same way, that is it begins with one person listening to what I have to say and then internalizing it.
I will here confess that it normally begins with someone pinning me as “out of his mind”, but this tends to be due to the rather old nature of my thinking. (Lament: aw the days when continuity of thought was once common) all propaganda is spread the same way and it is made effective or ineffective by the same things be it economical, patriotic, socio-political, or religious. You have the age old tried and true method of coercion. Now the only problem with this is well… its not a true converting so it does little to no good with the exception of keeping civil order… not only that but it tends to be rather messy and usually the leaders normally end up beheaded or shot.
Then you have brainwashing. Now brainwashing is a rather sticky matter not for the least of which reasons is it is nearly impossible to define, to live is to be brainwashed into this camp or that. So for simplicities sake I will give two workable definitions the first is the most accurate “Brainwashing is that activity which uses propaganda to influences others to think in a way which I(insert yourself) do not like”. The second I think is more practical “Brainwashing is that activity which is done by another to cause or attempt to cause someone to do something which left alone they would find immoral or destructive in a negative way”.
A third (but not only other option) is through the use of rhetoric, as well as clearly defined and strong arguments. This is not only the most effective but it grants the disciple the power of freewill. Here the point is not to coerce but rather to present multiple options and then give various proofs and rebuttals for or against this position or that. The Art or rhetoric having been lost toward the middle part of the last century (with the last great rhetorician being Ronald Regan [if you liked him or not]) recovering this way of thinking and arguing is not easy. The arguments of today are based much more on emotion not logic “I feel” “In side” “emotionally”, these are the terms we use instead of “I think” or “I know”.
Here are some rules and tips on how to be a good Propagandist.
1) know your opponents arguments. You should Know their argument better than they do and you should know it so well that you can anticipate what they are going to say next. on OCCASION to let them know that you are not just trying to over power them with your own though and beliefs present there next stage in the argument to them. so for example some minutes into the debate you know are really making head way but they are not listening to you they are just arguing. Take advantage of the situation by saying something like “Your next argument is going to XYZ” and now that you have shocked the day lights out of them and have their attention go “and this is where XYZ is lacking ABC”
2) Know your own side. there is nothing more annoying than to be in a debate with someone who does not know what they believe or who cannot express their own beliefs. Now the first few times you might not be that good at articulating your position don’t let this scare you it takes experience to learn. So here is the best hint I can give you; find a friend or a like minded individual to practice with. argue both sides. When I began I would find someone who held my position (say Pro-Life) and began to debate with them (I would not let them know I was Pro-Life or they would not present the best case they could). during the conversations I would make mental notes as to where I could strengthen my Pro-choice arguments and where I could strengthen my Pro-Life arguments, as well as noting what tips I should give my opponent when the conversation was done so they could improve their argument(Help a friend).
3) Know more than the other guy. Now this you have to be careful with because it depends on your opponent as to how you want to play this if your opponent is more gentle overpowering them with a hammer is not going to help you. But if they are more stubborn you wont really get anywhere anyway because they have already determined that they are right and you are wrong. Remember though that sometimes it is not as important that you win individual conflicts with individuals. For example if I am in a debate with someone who is not listening sometimes I will continue the debate for the benefit of those who are hearing us. By reducing their arguments to rubble and they continuing to hold this position is just goes to show exactly how insane an untenable their position really is.(If you can save the one save the one if you can save the one save him but sometimes Simon Magus will not convert and it is the crowd you save)
4) Know when to cut your losses, and know when to admit your wrong. Sometimes admitting defeat only makes your position (not your argument stronger). If you did a poor job defending your position say so openly and promise to do better next time. Take mental
notes and read read read.
5) Most important is number 5 on the list. Pray and pray often. what does it profit me if I convert the world and am lost?

Baronius Press Missal

•February 4, 2008 • Leave a Comment

    *  Baronius Press Missal
* A must have! This thing is packed with all kinds of little goodie
*

Its features include:

* 2,224 pages printed in red/black.
* Size approximately 3.75″ x 6.3″
* Full Latin and English text of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum issued by Pope Benedict XVI on 7th July 2007.
* 115 engravings throughout carefully scanned, corrected where necessary and digitally remastered (see sample).
* Foreword and Imprimatur from the Most Reverend Fabian W. Bruskewitz, STD, Bishop of Lincoln.
* All the Masses of the Liturgical Year, in Latin with English translation, according to the Roman Calendar of 1962 – Temporal and Sanctoral Cycles and accompanying rites (Blessing of Ashes, Blessing of Palms, Chrism Mass, and the Blessing of Holy Oils, etc)
* Ordinary of the Mass, in Latin with English translation
* Liturgical Calendar
* Table of Moveable Feasts up to AD 2066
* Complete Holy Week Liturgy of 1962 (including the Office of Tenebrae)
* Common Masses of the Saints and the Blessed Virgin
* Supplement of special Masses for the Dioceses of the USA
* Supplement of special Masses for the Dioceses of England and Wales
* Supplement of special Masses for the Dioceses of Scotland
* Feasts celebrated in particular places and in certain religious congregations
* Votive Masses for the days of the week
* Sixteen Votive Masses for various occasions
* Masses for the Dead (including infants), Complete Burial Service, Prayers for the Dead
* Marriage Service and Nuptial Mass
* The Churching of Women
* Kyriale, in traditional Gregorian chant notation, including:
o Tones for the most common Ordinaries: I (Lux et Origo), IV (Cunctipotens Genitor Deus), VIII (De Angelis), IX (Cum Jubilo), XI (Orbis Factor), XXVII (Sundays of Advent & Lent), XVIII (Deus Genitor Alme)
o Tones for the Asperges and the Vidi Aquam
o Tones for the Credo: I, II, III and IV
* Vespers for Sundays and Feasts
* Compline for Sundays
* Hymns and chants for Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
* Anthems to the Blessed Virgin Mary
* Li tan y of the Saints
* Various Devotions and Prayers including favourite Litanies, the Way of the Cross, prayers of the Rosary and others
* Morning and Evening Prayers
* Devotions for Confession
* Devotions for Holy Communion
* Te Deum Laudamus
* The Itinerary or Office before a Journey
* Various Blessings
* An explanation of “The Liturgy or Public Worship of the Catholic and Roman Church”
* An Abridgement of Christian Doctrine
* Expect me to update you as I become more and more familiar with it.

Kneeling While recieving communion II

•February 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Prot. n. 1322/02/L

Rome, 1 July 2002

Dear Sir,

This Congregation for Divine Worship gratefully acknowledges receipt of your letter, regarding an announced policy of denial of Holy Communion to those who kneel to receive it at a certain church.

It is troubling that you seem to express some reservations about both the propriety and the usefulness of addressing the Holy See regarding this matter. Canon 212 ¶2 of the Code of Canon Law states that “Christ’s faithful are totally free to make known their needs, especially their spiritual ones, and their desire: to the Pastor of the Church”. The canon then continues in ¶3: “According to their own knowledge competence and position, they have the right, and indeed sometimes the duty, to present to the sacred Pastor; their opinions regarding those things that pertain to the good of the Church”…. Accordingly, in consideration of the nature of the problem and the relative likelihood that it might or might not be resolved on the local level, every member of the faithful has the right of recourse to the Roman Pontiff either personally or by means of the Dicasteries or Tribunals of the Roman Curia.

Another fundamental right of the faithful, as noted in canon 213, is “the right to receive assistance by the sacred Pastors from the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the Sacraments”. In view of the law that “sacred” ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them” (canon 843 ¶ 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person’s unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institution Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

Please be assured that the Congregation takes this matter very seriously, and is making the necessary contacts in its regard. At the same time, this Dicastery continues to be ready to be of assistance if you should need to contact it again in the future.

Thanking you for your interest, and with every prayerful good wish, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Monsignor Mario Marini
Undersecretary

Kneeling While recieving communion I

•February 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Congregation de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum

Prot. n. 1322/02/L

Rome, 1 July 2002

Your Excellency,

This Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has recently received reports of members of the faithful in your Diocese being refused Holy Communion unless while standing to receive, as opposed to kneeling. The reports state that such a policy has been announced to parishioners. There were possible indications that such a phenomenon might be somewhat more widespread in the Diocese, but the Congregation is unable to verify whether such is the case. This Dicastery is confident that Your Excellency will be in a position to make a more reliable determination of the matter, and these complaints in any event provide an occasion for the Congregation to communicate the manner in which it habitually addresses this matter, with a request that you make this position known to any priests who may be in need of being thus informed.

The Congregation in fact is concerned at the number of similar complaints that it has received in recent months from various places, and considers any refusal of Holy Communion to a member of the faithful on the basis of his or her kneeling posture to be a grave violation of one of the most basic rights of the Christian faithful, namely that of being assisted by their Pastors by means of the Sacraments (Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 213). In view of the law that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them” (canon 843 ¶ 1), there should be no such refusal to any Catholic who presents himself for Holy Communion at Mass, except in cases presenting a danger of grave scandal to other believers arising out of the person’s unrepented public sin or obstinate heresy or schism, publicly professed or declared. Even where the Congregation has approved of legislation denoting standing as the posture for Holy Communion, in accordance with the adaptations permitted to the Conferences of Bishops by the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani n. 160, paragraph 2, it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.

In fact, as His Eminence, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has recently emphasized, the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species.

Given the importance of this matter, the Congregation would request that Your Excellency inquire specifically whether this priest in fact has a regular practice of refusing Holy Communion to any member of the faithful in the circumstances described above and — if the complaint is verified — that you also firmly instruct him and any other priests who may have had such a practice to refrain from acting thus in the future. Priests should understand that the Congregation will regard future complaints of this nature with great seriousness, and if they are verified, it intends to seek disciplinary action consonant with the gravity of the pastoral abuse.

Thanking Your Excellency for your attention to this matter and relying on your kind collaboration in its regard,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Jorge A. Cardinal Medina Estévez
Prefect

+Francesco Pio Tamburrino
Archbishop Secretary

Kneeling while recieving communion

•February 3, 2008 • Leave a Comment

A post from NLM http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2008/01/ranjith-on-kneeling-for-communion.html

Ranjith on Kneeling for Communion during the liturgy and Communion on the Tongue

 Dominus Est by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, where that Bishop analyzes the question of communion recieved kneeling and on the tongue.

In the Book of Revelation, St. John tells how he had seen and heard what was revealed and prostrated [himself] in adoration at the foot of the angel of God (cf. Rev 22, 8). Prostrating, or getting down one one’s knees before the majesty of the presence of God in humble adoration, was a habit of reverence that Israel brought constantly to the presence of the Lord. It says the first book of Kings, “when Solomon had finished putting this prayer to the Lord and this plea, he stood up before the altar of the Lord, where he was kneeling, with palms stretched heavenward, and blessed the whole assembly of Israel “(1 King 8, 54-55). The position of supplication of the King is clear: He was kneeling in front of the altar.

The same tradition is also visible in the New Testament where we see Peter get on his knees before Jesus (cf. Lk 5, 8); when Jairus asked him to heal her daughter (Luke 8, 41), when the Samaritan returned to thank him, and when Mary the sister of Lazarus asked for the life of her brother (John 11, 32). The same attitude of prostration before the revelation of the divine presence and is generally known in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 5, 8, 14 and 19, 4).

Closely linked to this tradition was the conviction that the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was the dwelling place of God and therefore, in the temple it was necessary to prepare one’s disposition by corporal expression, a deep sense of humility and reverence in the presence of the Lord.

Even in the Church, the deep conviction that in the Eucharistic species the Lord is truly and really present, along with the growing practice of preserving the Holy Sacrament in tabernacles, contributed to practice of kneeling in an attitude of humble adoration of the Lord in the Eucharist.

[…]

…faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species already belonged to the essence of the faith of the Catholic Church and was an intrinsic part of Catholicism. It was clear that we could not build up the Church if that faith was minimally affected.

Therefore, the Eucharist, bread transubstantiated in Body of Christ and wine into the Blood of Christ, God among us, is to be greeted with wonder, reverence and an immense attitude of humble adoration. Pope Benedict XVI… points out that “receiving the Eucharist means adoring him whom we receive […] only in adoration can a profound and genuine reception mature.”(Sacramentum Caritatis 66).

Following this tradition, it is clear that it became coherent and indispensable to take actions and attitudes of the body and spirit which makes it easier to [enter into] silence, recollection, and the humble acceptance of our poverty in the face of the infinite greatness and holiness of the One who comes to meet us in the Eucharistic species. The best way to express our sense of reverence to the Lord in Mass is to follow the example of Peter, who as the Gospel tells us, threw himself on his knees before the Lord and said, ‘Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinner ” (Luke 5, 8).

As we see in some churches now, this practice is decreasing and those responsible not only require that the faithful should receive the Holy Eucharist standing, but even eliminate all kneelers forcing the faithful to sit or stand, even during the elevation and adoration of the [Sacred] Species. It is ironic that such measures have been taken in [some] dioceses by those responsible for liturgy, or in churches, by pastors, without even the smallest amount of consultation of the faithful, even though today, more than ever, there is an environment desiring democracy in the Church.

At the same time, speaking of communion in the hand, it must be recognized that the practice was improperly and quickly introduced in some quarters of the Church shortly after the Council, changing the age-old practice and becoming regular practice for the whole Church. They justified the change saying that it better reflected the Gospel or the ancient practice of the Church… Some, to justify this practice referred to the words of Jesus: “Take and eat” (Mk 14, 22; Mt 26, 26).

Whatever the reasons for this practice, we cannot ignore what is happening worldwide where this practice has been implemented. This gesture has contributed to a gradual weakening of the attitude of reverence towards the sacred Eucharistic species whereas the previous practice had better safeguarded that sense of reverence. There instead arose an alarming lack of recollection and a general spirit of carelessness. We see communicants who often return to their seats as if nothing extraordinary has happened… In many cases, one cannot discern that sense of seriousness and inner silence that must signal the presence of God in the soul.

Then there are those who take away the sacred species to keep them as souvenirs, those who sell, or worse yet, who take them away to desecrate it in Satanic rituals. Even in large concelebrations, also in Rome, several times the sacred species has been found thrown onto the ground.

This situation not only leads us to reflect upon a serious loss of faith, but also on outrageous offenses…

The Pope speaks of the need not only to understand the true and deep meaning of the Eucharist, but also to celebrate it with dignity and reverence. He says that we must be aware of “gestures and posture, such as kneeling during the central moments of the Eucharistic Prayer.” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 65). Also, speaking about the reception of the Holy Communion he invites everyone to “make every effort to ensure that this simple act preserves its importance as a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ in the sacrament.” (Sacramentum Caritatis, 50).

In this vein, the book written by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Karaganda in Kazakhstan entitled Dominus Est is significant and appreciated. He wants to make a contribution to the current debate on the real and substantial presence of Christ in the consecrated species of bread and wine… from his experience, which aroused in him a deep faith, wonder and devotion to the Lord present in the Eucharist, he presents us with a historical-theological [consideration] clarifying how the practice of receiving Holy Communion on the tonue and kneeling has been accepted and practiced in the Church for a long period of time.

Now I think it is high time to review and re-evaluate such good practices and, if necessary, to abandon the current practice that was not called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium, nor by Fathers, but was only accepted after its illegitimate introduction in some countries. Now, more than ever, we must help the faithful to renew a deep faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in order to strengthen the life of the Church and defend it in the midst of dangerous distortions of the faith that this situation continues to cause.

The reasons for this move must be not so much academic but pastoral – spiritual as well as liturgical – in short, what builds better faith. Mons. Msgr. Schneider in this sense shows a commendable courage because he has been able to grasp the true meaning of the words of St. Paul: “but everything should be done for building up” (1 Cor 14, 26).

MALCOLM RANJITH
Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship