Skip to comments.PRIEST REFUSES COMMUNION TO KNEELING PRO-LIFE POLITICIAN
Posted on 10/10/2002 6:17:10 PM PDT by Flying Circus
PRIEST REFUSES COMMUNION TO KNEELING PRO-LIFE POLITICIAN Calls Pro-Life Delegate a "Conservative Idiot"
ARLINGTON, VA, October 10, 2002 (LSN.ca) - Honorable Richard Black, member of the Virginia House of Delegates and a heroic defender of life and family in the state legislature, was refused Holy Communion at Arlington's St. Thomas More Cathedral. On September 22, the Cathedral Rector, Fr. Dominic Irace refused to give Communion to Delegate Black since Black was kneeling to receive. Fr. Irace told him he must stand to receive but Black chose to rather to genuflect and withdraw.
In a letter of concern to Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde, Catholic pro-life activist Dr. Joseph Strada, wrote: "This affront to Delegate Black, and his family, is doubly shameful because Delegate Black is, without question, the most courageous defender of the innocent unborn on the floor of the House of Delegates in Richmond. One has to wonder if Fr. Irace would have been so bold as to refuse Holy Communion to Senator Ted Kennedy or other militantly pro-abortion "Catholic" politicians who regularly attend Mass in Arlington churches."
After Mass, and in the presence of Black's wife and daughter as well as other faithful, Fr. Irace shouted insults to Delegate Black as he exited the Cathedral. When Delegate Black tried to avoid Fr. Irace, pointing out that he had refused him Holy Communion, Fr. Irace shouted "you liar!" several times. As Delegate Black left the Cathedral, Fr. Irace loudly called him a "conservative idiot."
In an interview with LifeSite, Delegate Black said that while he has been under tense situations in combat for his country and in the war-like political realm, he was concerned for other faithful Catholics who may be intimidated by Fr. Irace.
To express your concerns:
Bishop Loverde: The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde Diocese of Arlington 200 North Glebe Road, Suite 914 Arlington, VA 22203 Or email family life office at email@example.com
Delegate Richard Black 20978 Flatboat Court Sterling, VA 20165 (703) 406-2951 fax: (703) 450-2076 firstname.lastname@example.org
See Joseph Strada's letter to the Bishop: http://www.rcf.org/docs/strada01.htm
(More pro-life news at www.lifesite.net)
For those of you with access to a law library, the case is cited as R. v. Skoke-Graham  1 S.C.R. 106.
Fr. Irace's response was, Ive never dealt with anything like this. In this Diocese weve never had anything really serious like that happen.. .1 tell people that its almost like voodoo in a way. If you dont believe in it, it cant hurt you.
Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Kneeling has always been considered a sign of reverence. Up until Second Vatican Council II (1965), communion was distributed on the tongue to those kneeling at the communion rail. That rule was modified to allow the distribution of communion in the hand to standing communicants.
Recently, the USCCB (US Catholic Conference of Bishops) announced:
"The U.S. bishops' Committee on the Liturgy has said that Catholics should not ordinarily receive Communion while kneeling."
It is nothing but the opinion of a small group of bishops -- a committee. Tremendous grief and problems have arisen in the last 30 years because of the "authority" unjustifiably accorded (by individual bishops, priests, and laymen) to statements of mere committees -- particularly this notorious Liturgy Committee (and its 1970s document on art and architecture, for example). A committee has NO power whatsoever, except to propose its opinion to the entire bishops' conference. This was later clarified to state that NO catholic can be refused communion if they choose to kneel.
Obviously, Fr Irace was wrong to refuse communion to Mr. Black.
It's not forbidden. It's just not recommended.
If you want to look at "Tradition," standing was the customary posture for reception of the Eucharist for the first millenium and some.
So, kneeling was an "innovation," and standing is reverting to the ancient practice.
The priest is being too rigid. OTOH, if the delegate really wanted to receive the Eucharist, he should have swallowed his pride and done so instead of making a scene.
100% BS. Tradition no more trumps scripture than scripture trumps Tradition. In the Catholic Church there are two types of tradition. Small t tradition is usually the practices that the church has encouraged through canon law as matters of discipline. Sacred Tradition is a part of the Apostolic deposit of faith and is the source of Scripture. Scripture is a part of Sacred Tradition, it is not the totality of it as Sola Scriptura holds. Saying that Scripture conflicts with Tradition is like saying Scripture conflicts with itself: only true because the language, the context and symbolism of scripture has been obscured by time and by the reader's understanding.
In this case, "kneeling" now violates the "traditions" of the RC Church, and is therefore forbidden!
Buzz. Wrong on both counts. Kneeling is a part of small t tradition to show a proper respect for God. Kneeling at communion is part of the recognition that the very flesh of Christ is there before us. Kneeling is not forbidden in the church, to the contrary, it is REQUIRED by the Roman Missal. Bishops and priests in this country are wrong in their attempts to ban the practice. What makes this story so disgusting is how far out-of-line this priest is in his actions. The Mr Black had every right to receive Communion on his knees, both his posture and his conscience were probably much better than most of those Irace would be proud to give communion to.
No, it's more serious than that -- kneeling for Communion is ILLICIT, except under extraordinary individual circumstances as identified by the chancery of a diocese. (BTW, they made no exception for Indult Tridentine Masses! They're covered, too!)
The Bishops' Committee declared that kneeling is "not a licit posture for receiving holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States of America unless the bishop of a particular diocese has derogated from this norm in an individual and extraordinary circumstance"
You can say that the Committee doesn't have the proper authority, but the bishops of the USCCB have delegated their authority to it, and until they show enough backbone to wrest that power back, the Committee's ruling will stand.
Not only that, but Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship agreed in principle with the Committee's ruling that kneeling should be illicit, but thought that a "clarification" should have been added not to deny the Eucharist to Catholics who did illicitly kneel.
And don't think that the modifications are going to stop here. Probably the next thing to happen will be for kneeling during the Eucharistic Prayers to be declared "illicit." The GIRM originally posited that standing should be the norm, but in 1969 and 1995 the US Bishops amended the GIRM so that in the US kneeling during the Eucharisitic Prayer would be the norm. But that debate is far from over.
Since standing was the normative posture for the entire Mass during the first millenium and some, returning to standing (as the Eastern Rites ALL do for their liturgies) would actually be a return to the ancient practice.
So talking about kneeling or standing is foolish. It's not the kneeling or the standing that causes us to remember Christ Jesus' sacrifice. We celebrate the communion (eucharist) to remember what Jesus did on our behalf. So talk about this, not about whether one should kneel or stand while remembering the sacrifice that Jesus went through on our behalf. You have just destroyed the very reason for the communion (eucharist), "Do this in remembrance of Me". --Jesus. You can't remember Jesus while arguing about kneeling or standing while receiving the elements of communion (eucharist)
Well, we have to do one or the other, but to be preoccupied with posture is to miss the point.
I areee with you that the disposition of the heart and mind is of primary importance in celebrating and receiving the Eucharist.
Phil 2:10 - that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth
If at the very name of Jesus "every knee should bow", then kneeling before Him makes perfect sense (at least for the @30% of Catholics who still believe Our Lord is present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist).
I simply don't understand why it has to be one or the other. Why can't it be both? Why can't the priest give the sacraments to the recipient in either position? This distraction, if you will, is from the "Pit of Hell" itself, and the devil has dangled it from his fishing pole in front of the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church has taken that bait and swallowed it, hook, line , and sinker. The devil did this so that you will take your attention away from the reason Holy Communion is taken which is, "do to this (communion) in remembrance of me", to the ridiculous distraction of the "position to take when taking the sacrments. How foolish. It's tells God Almighty where our priorities lie, and reveals to Him that we are so very much "Babes in Christ, and cannot be fed the "meat" of the Word of God, because babies can only be fed "milk" How disappointing this must be to God, after 2000 years of existence on this Earth, we are arguing about "whether we should take communion standing up or kneeling" down. God help the Catholic Church!!!
I think you and I are saying the same thing; you're just carrying it out six decimal places.