Skip to comments.“How a Non-Catholic respectfully communes at Mass” (Presidents Bush and Clinton)
Posted on 08/31/2006 8:24:33 AM PDT by NYer
Thus says from my Li’l Bro Thom, no Bush-lover, he, who very much appreciated seeing this:
Non-Catholics and Catholics who have not yet gone through the process of formally receiving the sacrament of reconciliation and their first communion, but who wish to “participate” in that part of the Mass are invited to process to the minister dispensing the Holy Eucharist with their hands crossed upon their chest (not a humiliation, but a practical measure, so that there may be no confusion on the priest’s part that they are NOT receiving the Eucharist), whereupon the priest will simply touch his hand to their head and ask God’s blessing upon them. Here we see President and Mrs. Bush doing it the way we ask it to be done, and believe me we surely appreciate and honor their respectfulness.
That “arrogant” president, Bush, did Catholics the world over honor when he respected our ways.
And here we see how a Non-catholic disrespectfully communes at Mass:
Bill Clinton, obviously. A Southern Baptist with a penchant for carrying around big bibles took communion during a Roman Catholic Mass in Africa in 1998. When New York’s Cardinal John O’ Connor, doing his job, called Clinton on it, he was told that his (Cardinal John O’ Connor’s) understanding was deficient. “They do things differently in Africa,” was the answer from the Clinton administration. When pressed on the fact that even the African Bishops Conference complained about it, things devolved into “well, we understood it this way…”
The transcript: Clinton Press Sec’y Mike McCurry and the press (all boldface emphasis added - admin)
Q: …as you know, Cardinal O’Connor had some very strong things to say yesterday about the President’s taking of communion. In that light, I wanted to ask you three things. One, the Cardinal suggested that no one should take communion who’s not in a state of grace. Did the President feel he was in a state of grace, one? Two, does he regret taking communion? And three, the White House suggested it had contact with officials at the church who thought it appropriate but the pastor has said he was not one of them. Can you give us some names of who said it was okay?
MCCURRY: …our team on the ground indicated that the conference of bishops in South Africa had a more ecumenical view of the holy eucharist and had advised members of the traveling party it was appropriate for baptized Christians to share in communion. And the President acted on that guidance…And that includes the priest, and I thought also the bishop who officiated as well, is my understanding, but we can double check that.
Q: It’s a question about what the Cardinal is saying.
MCCURRY: Cardinal O’Connor may not be familiar with the doctrinal attitude towards the holy eucharist that the conference of bishops in South Africa brings to that question.
Q: The South African bishops have apparently now criticized the minister for having offered communion to the President or permitted him to take it. Does the White House have any reaction?
MCCURRY: I’m not aware of that. That’s contrary to the guidance that the President and his traveling delegation were given at the time of the service.
Q: Well, apparently they say he was supposed to have asked the local bishop for permission before permitting the President to take communion.
MCCURRY: Our understanding was that the invitation was extended on behalf of the Conference of South African Bishops.
Q: Mike, can you be specific about who extended it?
MCCURRY: I can find out if our advance people have got any idea who they spoke with.
Q: As I understand it, only Catholics are supposed to receive Catholic communion. Did that come up in the President’s mind?
MCCURRY: That is the attitude and posture of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, but our understanding is that the Conference of Bishops in South Africa have a different view of holy communion.
All so very vague, all so very arrogant…”someone told us…this was indicated…I’ll have to see if we know any names…” and “I’m not aware of that,” which seems to mean “that can’t be true…” It was all so very typical of that president and his administration which never admitted a mistake, not even one time. And boy, the press sure hates the Bush administration for not “admitting to mistakes…”. But different presidents, different letters after the name…they get treated differently, after all.
But you know, I don’t think I ever heard the besotted press call Clinton arrogant. “Not even one time.”
I’m frankly surprised to see that the issue came up at all, but then John O’ Connor was mighty, mighty - an enormous and heroic presence - and no one to be simply dismissed. Sadly, his successor - who hides out in his seat and keeps his mouth shut - seems to be a self-protective, aching void of a man. And we in NY feel the void keenly. I miss Cardinal O’ Connor.
For doing his job, Cardinal O’ Connor was also, apparently, targeted by the Clinton White House for surveillance.
This huge Clinton surveillance scheme was VAAPCON, the Violence Against Abortion Providers Task Force. According to the U.S. Justice Department, VAAPCON was charged with determining whether there was a nationwide conspiracy to commit acts of violence against reproductive health care providers. The more than 900 targets of all this surveillance included the Christian Coalition…the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and even then-Roman Catholic Cardinal of New York John OConnor.
So if you were close to the late Cardinal OConnor, or called him to discuss personal or family problems even personal sins to him, you may have been wiretapped and recorded by the Clintons VAAPCON surveillance. In that sense, the Clinton administration may have literally bugged the confessional.
That’s stretching it a bit, but the fact remains that America’s formost prelate seemed to pay a price for asking the president to just, you know…act respectable.
John Cardinal Connor, Priest, Patriot, Veteran and Holy Man - pray for us.
Why do you people insist on making me loath Clinton even more?!?!?! ;)
I didn't know one could do this. I've only been to a few Catholic masses, but I have always remained seated during that part of the service. I always felt a little out of sorts, so it's nice to know that I can participate in a respectful way.
This WAS, at one time (when ALL the Christian world was Roman Catholic) the prime consideration for participating in the Eucharist. It is still the prime consideration in CATHOLIC Anglican and Episcopal churches...HOWEVER, the Roman church requires that all desiring the Eucharist must first make a confession (which is exclusive to RCs and in which case we all know that St. Bubba would try to convince the priest what "is" is) while Episcopalians and Anglican catholics recite a general confession.
1 Cor 10:16 "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ?"
1 Cor 11:27 "Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord."
1 Cor 11:29 "For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the Body eats and drinks judgment upon himself."
Well, I'd hope you don't feel out of sorts going forward. Lots of Catholics who haven't been to Reconcilliation don't partake either. And I can tell you as a Catholic, we don't give any thought as to why folks aren't coming up. Perhaps they're guests, perhaps they're currious about what a Mass is like, who knows? It's their business.
I am glad to learn there's a more participatory role for you and others who join us for Mass though.
If what I just wrote made you sad or angry,
it was probably just a joke.
Of course, as an Orthodox Christian, I find the notion of communing anyone who is not in complete unity of faith outrageous.
It is amusing, though, one of those East/West ritual differences, that in the East, those who are to receive communion approach the chalice with their arms crossed on their chest, while those who are not Orthodox or are not prepared*, but wish to receive a blessing, approach with arms at their side.
*Preparation for communion properly consists of having confessed and receiving absolution a) at least once in the past year, b) since the commission of any grevious sin and c) since any absence from the synaxis of three or more weeks; keeping the fasts appointed for the previous week; fasting from all food and drink at least from the hour of rising (properly from midnight); abstaining from marital relations from the hour of Vespers the previous evening; some manner of prepartory prayer; and arriving before the Gospel. (The last sounds lax, but I think it arose because in the Great Church of Constantinople, the part of the Litugy before the Gospel was sometime done in procession through the City, and folks would join up when the clergy and faithful passed closest to their home.)
(The Slavs, who commune infrequently, generally fast the week before, confess the night before and attend the 'All Night Vigil' (= Vespers, Compline and Matins done all in a row the evening before), but this is folk piety, or (in the case of the Russian Synod) a local canon, rather than a universal canon.)
Clinton was every bit as bad as the Pharasees in his fake devotion to God. Actions speak louder than words, and good Christians don't commit adultery in the Oval Office. Can you ever see people like both George Bush's and Ronald Reagan ever doing such a thing.
No, I can't. I'm an atheist, but I have continued good feelings for Bush based on this story. He is a MAN, not a boy-man women can feel protective about and men can chortle with because he does what they in their most immature moments fantasize about. W demonstates respect for others; Clinton is a monument to self-indulgence.
Note: Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion CANNOT give a blessing, but may use other words to bless the person coming forward. Only the priest can extend the official blessing.
This is so wrong on so many levels it makes me angry at the person who published it because they are leaving a lot of FACTS out of their article.
"In order to safeguard the sacrament, and to ensure that Christ is received with the proper dispositions (something very important for the authentic good of the person receiving Him), the Church has enacted certain norms for determining those occasions when intercommunion is legitimate. In the 1983 Code of Canon Law the following is prescribed:"
Canon 844 (c.671 in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches)
1. Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments to Catholic members of the Christian faithful only and, likewise, the latter may licitly receive the sacraments only from Catholic ministers with due regard for parts 2, 3, and 4 of this canon, and can. 861, part 2.
2. Whenever necessity requires or genuine spiritual advantage suggests, and provided that the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, it is lawful for the faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose churches these sacraments are valid.
3. Catholic ministers may licitly administer the sacraments of penance, Eucharist and anointing of the sick to members of the oriental churches which do not have full communion with the Catholic Church, if they ask on their own for the sacraments and are properly disposed. This holds also for members of other churches, which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition as the oriental churches as far as these sacraments are concerned.
4. If the danger of death is present or other grave necessity, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or the conference of bishops, Catholic ministers may licitly administer these sacraments to other Christians who do not have full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and on their own ask for it, provided they manifest Catholic faith in these sacraments and are properly disposed.
5. For the cases in parts 2, 3, and 4, neither the diocesan bishop nor the conference of bishops is to enact general norms except after consultation with at least the local competent authority of the interested non- Catholic Church or community.
As much respect as I have for President and First Lady Bush, they were not in danger of death nor do they believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Giving Clinton Holy Communion was outrageous because of his unrepentant adultery. We can not nilly willy go around giving Holy Communion to people just because they are political figures. It cheapens the sacrament.
When my family and I were receiving instruction before being received into the Church, we remained in the pew. Our parish does not observe the practice of people going up with crossed arms. Please elucidate. Thanks
the Bushes didn't receive Communion - they had the grace to act better and the sense know better. They only went up for a blessing from the priest. Clinton however,
You're right! Stupid me, I am on lunch break and read through the article too rapidly. Note to self...slow down. When I first glanced at the picture, I thought I saw they were in the line for Communion. Apologies for that slip, but comments still stand for Clinton. Thank you for the correction on President Bush.
see post #18, I made a stupid mistake about Bush.. but Clinton...as I said earlier comments still stand and I see you agree, lol!
In reference back to the post about Jesus welcoming all and eating with sinners, in Benedict's recent address about the Apostle Matthew, many rightly suggested that a conversion was involved. This is true but was the conversion before or after Jesus shared a meal with them and did the meal contribute to the conversion as healing food and is this not what the Eucharist is.
We have all heard priests tell non-Catholics not to come to communion and if we listen to the remarks of guests after a Wedding or funeral we know how unwelcome they felt and in many cases downright insulted. I much better like the remarks of a truly pastoral priest who before communion said words to the effect. "Catholics believe that Holy Communion is what Jesus said it was - His body and blood , really and not symbolically. If you share that belief you are most welcome to receive, if you find this difficult to accept, honesty might suggest you not approach the table at this time but join in a prayful mood in your pew "
Many Catholics do not realize that many Protestants believe in the real presence, especially Lutherans and Anglicans and to tell them not to come forward is easily taken as an insult and hardly what Jesus intended. What think you?
no kidding. just when I thought I couldn't think less of him.
No problem. Hope lunch was good. :)
There has never been a time when "ALL the Christian was Roman Catholic", as you stated.
"It is amusing, though, one of those East/West ritual differences, that in the East, those who are to receive communion approach the chalice with their arms crossed on their chest, while those who are not Orthodox or are not prepared*, but wish to receive a blessing, approach with arms at their side."
I think, TRD, you'll find this is a Slavic tradition. In our Greek Orthodox parish, the only people who approach with their arms crossed come out of the Slavic churches. Our tip off of a non-Orthodox is when a stranger doesn't announce his/her name to the priest just before receiving. Never fails!
Lutherans believe in Consubstantiation, we Transubstantiation. Anglicans, from what I understand, totally reject Transubstantiation, and Low church Anglicans don't believe in the Real Presence at all.
Further, Jesus meant us all to be One, so when they seperated from us during the Reformation that was a choice of their own making, not ours.
They can not now expect to come into our churches, disagree with just about every single thing we stand for and then have the nerve to be insulted because they are denied Holy Communion.
It was, thank you. Now I'm stuffed, feel lazy and don't want to go back to work, but I must. Have a nice day and see everyone later.
The blessing thing is a nice, feel good option for people who can't receive, but it's not technically supposed to be allowed. If you can't receive, you're really supposed to stay in your seat. So says my priest, anyway, who does not offer blessings during Communion.
"Well, I'd hope you don't feel out of sorts going forward. Lots of Catholics who haven't been to Reconcilliation don't partake either. And I can tell you as a Catholic, we don't give any thought as to why folks aren't coming up. Perhaps they're guests, perhaps they're currious about what a Mass is like, who knows? It's their business"
There are plenty of times when I sit through communion...and I am a practicing catholic.
Sometimes it is because I haven't to confession for missing mass. Sometimes it is because I haven't managed to fast for one hour prior to communion.
You never know why someone is sitting, and I don't waste time wondering why someone is sitting. I always figure they are doing out of respect for the eucharist.
I think you are mistaken. President Bush only received a blessing.
"The blessing thing is a nice, feel good option for people who can't receive, but it's not technically supposed to be allowed. If you can't receive, you're really supposed to stay in your seat. So says my priest, anyway, who does not offer blessings during Communion."
It's probably an issue that individual bishops or even priests may have some discretion over?
I doubt that one priest saying it isn't supposed to be done necessarily means that is the position of the entire church on the matter.
In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the children accompany their parents up for communion. The priest blesses each child by touching the communion cup to their head. It is a beautiful and reverent practice that recognizes them as members of the congregation. I have never seen an adult go up though, for a blessing.
I miss Cardinal O'Connor.
Did you watch his funeral? I will never forget this moment .........
I wish the dreaded arm cross didn't look so "gay", if you will. Much as I love and respect W and Laura for doing it, it makes me cringe just to see it in the photo. I had to do it for 9 months -- and I couldn't even get out of it by staying in the pew, I was expected to get the blessing. I would cross, but more like wrists across my heart which looked and felt more graceful.
Many CATHOLICS may not receive for one reason or another.
No relations on Saturday night? I didn't know about that one. Bet that's honored more in the breach.
They lied to me. I figured a non-priest couldn't give me any more of a blessing than saying "gesundheit" when I sneezed, but they told me that they could.
This is harsh, but they are apostate and if they haven't confessed they should not receive communion. They can have their nibbles in their own churches. The Episcopal church did not used to be an open table...
Ah, so it's one of that very small number of instances where we Antiochians follow the Slavic rather than the Greek usage. (I used to know two others, but I've forgotten what they are.)
Not necessarily. There is an amusing story from Old Russia about its application to priests:
In a seminary class led by the local archbishop, the canons surrounding the celebration of the Eucharist were being taught. When the requirement to abstain from marital relations from Vespers the night before was brought up, one young seminarian was quite upset.
"But. . .but. . .Fr. Sergei, back in my village. . .he celebrates liturgy every morning. . . you mean he never. . . "
The archbishop (himself a celibate, like all Orthodox bishops) looked over his glasses at the young man, and asked, "And for what purpose did the Good Lord make the afternoon?"
I really liked receiving a blessing...and I used the option when a few weeks ago I couldn't make it to Confession and knew that I shouldn't receive the Eucharist. I am going to consult the Catechism to see what it says. I assumed that if we were doing this it was OK.
He shamed them into standing up. It takes something to shame those two.I remember thinking the only way they got into the cathedral was because the cardinal was dead
Do you remember after flight 800 went down, Clinton said he was going to come to NYC and comfort the families. As I recall the cardinal told him if he did, he would not be seen with him. I also remember he would not allow Gerald Ferrio (sp) to speak in the cathedral.
They dont make they like that anymore.
I always thought Rudy was what made NY so appealing to me; that he made NY great -- even though he cross dressed on Saturday Nite Live, even though he was liberal to the rest of us, Rudy said, "Not in my city!" to the sickening sacrilege that was on its way to one of the museums late in the 1990's...and Rudy was the right man to be in charge of NY on 9/11...he is a human being first, a politician second, and I value that...
But, on reflection, perhaps what made NY great to me is Cardinal O'Connor; and perhaps he is what made Rudy great, too.
Oh, yes they do! JPII's kids...just watch 'em.
"Ah, so it's one of that very small number of instances where we Antiochians follow the Slavic rather than the Greek usage. (I used to know two others, but I've forgotten what they are.)"
Must be an American/Slav thing. We have a number of young, old country Lebanese who don't cross their arms (nor do our resident Ethiopians or the lone Egyptian), but now that you mention it, we have a young American Antiochian woman who attends the Liturgy at our parish during the college year and she does cross her arms...but we all still have to know to give the priest our name if he doesn't know it, rather like the lodge password! :)
"In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the children accompany their parents up for communion. The priest blesses each child by touching the communion cup to their head. It is a beautiful and reverent practice that recognizes them as members of the congregation. I have never seen an adult go up though, for a blessing."
That's nearly the way an Orthodox priest would bless someone who wasn't Orthodox or for some reason (cohabiting for example)would be barred from Communion. In Orthodoxy, "First Communion", along with Chrismation, is given at Baptism. I have seen Orthodox priests simply bless adults on a number of occassions, the majority of which I suspect because of some irregularity of life or life style of which the priest is aware.