From Holy Mass to the marshal's bidet: that subtle border often crossed where children teach the father the art of generating

- the Church and the serious emergency coronavirus -

FROM THE HOLY MASS TO BIDET DEL MARESCIALLO: THAT THIN BORDER OFTEN CROSSED IN WHICH CHILDREN TEACH THE FATHER'S ART OF GENERATING.

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Honestly, there is to smile bitterly in learning of the obsessive care with which the Ordinaries advocated the scrupulous observance of the ministerial protocol to their priests, when in the not too distant past it was difficult even to observe the General Order of the Roman Missal with the corresponding headings, so much so that it must be considered necessary to produce education Sacramentum to correct the many priests, religiosi e laici da frequenti errori e fantasticherie che attenevano all’ossequio dovuto alla Santissima Eucaristia e alla sacra liturgia. Definitely, the editor - or the editors of the protocol - did like the marshal of the carabinieri of the famous joke, who after noticing the parish priest of the town with his arm in a plaster cast and learned by the latter that the accident had occurred due to the collision on the bidet, the respondent's question answered candidly that he did not know the bidet because his hiding from the church was thirty years old.

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Author
Ivano Liguori, Ofm. Capp.

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Today, Deo volente, they can resume celebrating Holy Masses with the presence of the people. A good news, long awaited, which will be welcomed with joy by all Catholic Christian faithful, especially by those who have always gone to church and who will not stop going there in the near future.

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Faithful Christians - in name and in fact - who are not afraid to affirm that the Eucharistic Celebration is the background and top of the whole liturgical life of the Church [cf. Sacrosantum Council, 10]. Faithful Christians who, although they lived in the time of the "much fearsome" Vatican II, however, they were educated by good priests to give God the best of their lives and not the waste of time and opportunity, making the Eucharist the fulcrum of one's spiritual life.

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Faithful Christians who grew up with the teaching of John Paul II and Benedict XVI and with conviction they have no problem in affirming that the Eucharist always feeds, build and run the Church [cf. Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 26; 32; Redeemer of man, 20; The Sacrament of Charity, 14] as it always has been, not only before the arrival of Covid-19 but also when it comes to the end of the current epidemiological emergency.

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In the face of simple faith but we are concrete of these brothers, their priests who - far from wanting to lead them towards rebellions, extravagant passionate motions or sterile controversies - we cannot renounce our role as shepherds who use reason illuminated by faith to teach, discuss and clarify issues vital to the supernatural life of the Church which still do not seem to be understood as expected.

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In the historical period we are experiencing it is necessary to carry out a pastoral care of the obvious, reaffirming with patience and humility the foundations of the Christian faith founded on the Apostolic Tradition and on the two-thousand-year Magisterium of the Catholic Church so often forgotten and mistreated by our laymen and adult clerics to whom the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians are well suited: «you are already satisfied, you have already become rich; without us, you have already become king » [cf. Color 4,8].

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In reaffirming this teaching, it is right to underline the importance of the Eucharistic sacrifice as it was transmitted to us, in particular the Catholic is aware that:

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  1. It is not possible to deny true presence, real, of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist [cf. DS 1636; Mystery, 40], just as the importance of the sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord cannot be questioned and therefore rejected, so much so as to demand with impunity a resizing on a sacramental and ecclesial level;
  2. It is not possible to insinuate an equivalence of the Eucharist with other realities, although sacramental. This is because we must distinguish between dynamic real presence and Christ's real personal presence. Indeed, the other sacraments have an efficacy from the moment they are received, instead the sacrament of the Eucharist has an efficacy "before use», that is, even before being received in communion [cf. DS 1639; G.L. Müller, Catholic Dogmatics, p. 829, St. Paul, 1999];
  3. It is not possible to boast a superiority or an equality of a figurative presence, analog, symbolic, historical or simply ideal of Christ with respect to his adorable Body and his precious Blood. This is because when Jesus at the Last Supper clearly says "This is my body", does not say "This means, is the symbol, it is an analogy, it's a return of my body », No, expressly says "This is my body". Therefore this "is" must be taken very seriously as it is from the very words of the Savior that the deepest and most authentic meaning of the Eucharist and its effect is hidden.

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Reaffirm a teaching today like this it does not mean to deny spitefully the affinity that there can be between the message of Christ and other humanly meritorious realities such as friendship between individuals, mutual support, assistance and reception to the needy. Reaffirm today the I believe in the Eucharist it means to testify, even to martyrdom, that the Eucharist is not an optional ceremonial tinsel that can be dismissed in times of catastrophe or crisis in favor of other surrogate presences but it is Jesus himself in his true body, blood, soul and divinity [cf. GV 6,51; DS 1640] that really makes itself present, for us men and for our salvation, as a sacramental sign of grace usable only and only through the hands of the priest [cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1131], real presence that always sanctifies, even before receiving it, insofar as the author of holiness is present in it [cf. DS 1639]. This real sacramental presence was never denied by the saints of the Catholic Church, even by those we remember as champions of charity such as Saints Vincenzo de Paoli, Vincenzo Maria Pallotti, Camillo de Lellis, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who never failed to be deeply and essentially Eucharistic souls and radiated their own from this identity and awareness Charis.

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As a Franciscan, I wish to recall an episode from the life of Saint Anthony of Padua - another sample in charity to which the devotional practice of “The weight of the child” better known as Bread of the Poor - who as true shepherd and enemy of heresy recovered the Cathar Bonovillo through the miracle of the hungry mule. The poor animal left fasting for days after being placed in front of the corn and the Blessed Sacrament, it was not long before he knelt before the Eucharist brought by the saint to the monstrance instead of giving vent to the natural need for nourishment, riconoscendo la presenza del Signore. Let me be clear, nothing could have prevented the saint of Padua from converting the Cathar heretic in any other way, eg, through the witness of the presence of Christ in the ecclesial community, in Sacred Scripture or in heroic charity and yet, he chose the Eucharist to convince the one who was obstinately opposing it, denying the divine person contained in it. Only the Eucharist is the living and life-giving sign "of that mystery of faith […] in which […] they are contained with singular richness and variety of miracles, all supernatural realities » [cf. Mystery, 15].

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After remembering briefly some elements of sacramental dogmatic theology, è bene trarre delle conclusioni in forma di interrogativi che possano guidare la riflessione. Therefore:

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  1. if for some the Eucharist is not so important that it can be neglected, equate or replace with something else, how to explain and understand Jesus' discourse on the Bread of Life present in the Gospel of John? [cf. GV 6,1-71]. «This bread of life, sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, it is given to us free of charge in the Eucharist table. Around the altar we find what feeds us and quenches our spirits today and for eternity. Every time we participate in the Holy Mass, in a sense, we anticipate heaven on earth, because from Eucharistic food, the Body and Blood of Jesus, we learn what eternal life is " [cf. Pope Francis, Angelus, Sunday 19 August 2018, Piazza San Pietro, see WHO];
  2. How to explain and justify to the beginners the importance of the Eucharist and the sacrifice of the Mass if we are ready to suspend it if necessary or to renounce it by justifying this choice with the motivation that in some areas of the planet Christian communities remain which cannot celebrate the Eucharist because without priests? This motivation appears as a false problem that proposes to suspend the Eucharist instead of working and promoting vocations and thus having enough priests to celebrate the holy sacrifice where it is missing.
  3. Why affirm, Jesuitly speaking, that in the history of the Church there have been blessed and saints who died without having been able to celebrate the Eucharist or participate in it if such episodes, actually known, in fact they constitute particularities to be contextualized both historically and pastorally, enough to represent exceptions?

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Perhaps it would be appropriate to say, once and for all, that such situations did not represent - and do not represent - normality but which constitute an exception which is wrong and dangerous to promote in accordance with the norm, precisely because we must remember that the bar of evangelical perfection makes us perfect like the Father [cf. Mt 5,48] solo se sappiamo abbandonare tutto per lui e cambiare quella mentalità farisaica che al tempo era capace di comunicare santità e iniquità nel medesimo atto. Unfortunately,, today there is a tendency to normalize everything, and in this normalization its sin is not exempt with the consequent disorder that derives from it. On the basis of that ancient proverb that says of make a virtue of necessity, it is measured with the meter of exceptionality instead of that of the rule, imposing de facto to the neighbor that presumed virtue not freely accepted without first trying to remedy the need.

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Starting from these considerations, while seeing the presence of Christ in all things created according to the teaching of the Apostle Paul who says that: "All things were created through him and in view of him" [cf. With the 1,16], and reaffirmed the principle of the Johannine Prologue according to which Christ is the origin and purpose of the universe so that: "Everything was done through him and without him nothing was made of everything that exists" [cf. GV 1, 3], we cannot forget that promise made by Jesus in Matthew 18,20 who says: "Where two or three are gathered in my name, io sono in mezzo a loro». Verse that St. Thomas analyzes very well interpreting it according to Origen who explains that: «Does not say, indeed, I will be among them, but they are: immediately (soon), indeed, when some are in communion, Christ is found among them » [cf. Golden Chain, Comment to Matteo, XVIII, n. 5]. It then goes without saying that this sudden and immediate communion of Christ's presence can be tasted in all its real fullness and authority when the Church is gathered to celebrate Sunday Easter.. John Paul II says

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"The intrinsic ecclesial dimension of the Eucharist is realized every time it is celebrated. But all the more so it is expressed on the day when the whole community is called to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord. Significantly, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that "the Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and Eucharist is at the center of the life of the Church" [cf. Dies Domini, 32].

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Where if not on Sunday, sacrament of Easter using Augustinian terminology, it is possible to make communion with Christ and with the Church? In an even more specific way, this communion of presence, it is realized in ecclesial communities by the person of the parish priest who

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"Ensure that the Most Holy Eucharist is the center of the parish assembly of the faithful, strive for the faithful to nourish themselves through the devout celebration of the sacraments and especially so that they frequently approach the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and penance » [cf. Sacramentum, 32].

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It should be clear to everyone like nothing, let alone the service and commitment to the poor and suffering can be conducted and exercised without a faith that feeds on the sources of sacramental life and which has its beating heart and its highest summit in the Eucharist [cf. Decree of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the position of the Italian Episcopal Conference, see WHO]. For this reason, before the publication of the Protocol of the Ministry of Interior, signed together with the Italian Episcopal Conference on 7 last May, a Christian can only be uncomfortable, especially if a priest, before a text written by specialists totally fasting of theology and discipline of the sacraments as well as that canonical and liturgical discipline useful to know in order to guarantee together with health security also the dignity of the sacrament celebrated without debasement.

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Honestly, there is a bitter smile in learning about the obsessive care with which the Ordinaries advocated the scrupulous observance of the ministerial protocol to their priests, when in the not too distant past it was difficult even to observe the General Order of the Roman Missal with the corresponding headings, so much so that it must be considered necessary to produce education Sacramentum to correct the many priests, religiosi e laici da frequenti errori e fantasticherie che attenevano all’ossequio dovuto alla Santissima Eucaristia e alla sacra liturgia. Definitely, the editor - or the editors of the protocol - did like the marshal of the carabinieri of the famous joke, who after noticing the parish priest of the town with his arm in a plaster cast and learned by the latter that the accident had occurred due to the collision on the bidet, the respondent's question answered candidly that he did not know the bidet because his hiding from the church was thirty years old.

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We can only resign ourselves the fact that today many wear the role of the unsuspecting marshal of the carabinieri of the joke and ignoring the existence of the bidet, they ignore a people of believers who sincerely want to worship their God freely, following the two thousand year old customs of the Church which await heaven and not earth and therefore cannot be understood and adequately regulated by those who alone are the guarantors of a passing immanence. Whereuponit will be well to remember how the Church not only exercises a caring motherhood but also has an authoritative fatherhood with which she guides her children to holiness which includes sacrifices, that is, sacred gestures of grace. Unfortunately,, instead of finding obedient children, for some time he has found himself dealing with children who claim to teach the art of generating and dictating the educational line.

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I want to focus on some points now of the ministerial protocol that leave me perplexed, which manifests an official editorial staff with no "ecclesiastical hand" to direct it:

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2.2 «At the end of each celebration, the sacred vessels, cruets and other items used, as well as the microphones themselves, are carefully disinfected »

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All the liturgical furnishings which is used for the celebration of the cult, it has a particular dignity and decorum so as to receive a special blessing. Among the things used for worship stand out, particularly, the chalice and the paten which have their own blessing which manifests - before the community of the faithful - the will to allocate these vases only for the Eucharistic celebration [cf. Roman ritual - Blessings, Chapter 42, 1287-ss]. The materials with which these jars are made, elected for the sacrifice of the altar, they are usually precious and robust, this condition is dictated by the sublimity of the content that they will have to accept and preserve over time [cf. General Order of the Roman Missal, 328].

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These premises lead to understand that an effective disinfection practice with specific products, if operated after each Mass, it could cause damage to the sacred vessel, decreasing its preciousness and artistic prestige and producing injury to materials so as to lead to a situation of desecration. In addition to, it should be remembered that sacred vessels must not be manipulated by everyone and that supervision of cleaning and care is the responsibility of the minister who will abstain and ablution by pouring the water used in the appropriate sacristy sacrarium [cf. General Order of the Roman Missal, 334] or other suitable place.

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3.1"To encourage compliance with the rules of distancing it is necessary to minimize the presence of concelebrants and ministers, who are in any case required to respect the distance provided also in the presbytery ».

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Also this point of the protocol appears hazy. The minimum presence of the actors is required at liturgical celebrations without, however, quantifying the number and without determining the authority responsible for the control. So cI hope that this check does not implicitly authorize other unpleasant episodes that have occurred in recent weeks by the praiseworthy law enforcement officers. Per questo è doveroso chiedersi: can a state document regulate the presence and activity in the presbytery, which obviously does not concern the State as an act of worship, without specifying - as we rushed to do in the Easter Triduum - those essential ministry figures known from the liturgy? Why llack of clarity, Alas, it only causes a discretionary application of the rules which will create confusion and tension, things we don't need at the moment.

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3.4 "The distribution of Communion takes place after the celebrant and any extraordinary minister have taken care of the hygiene of their hands and put on disposable gloves; the same - wearing the mask, taking utmost care to cover the nose and mouth and maintaining an adequate safety distance - take care to offer the host without coming into contact with the hands of the faithful ".

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In this part of the protocol a very dangerous practice of distributing the Eucharist is recommended. Secondo questa prassi operativa si presuppone il serio e il fondato rischio di profanazione e irriverenza dell’Eucaristia che non è bene né tacere né silenziare. In fact, in the reception of the Most Holy Eucharist with gloved hands - whether it be the minister or the faithful - the real possibility arises that the plastic material of which the gloves are made retains fragments of consecrated particle in which the real presence of the Lord always remains [cf. DS 1653; 1654]. This must lead to paying close attention to the way in which we approach communion, concern that was already addressed forty years ago in the letter Sunday dinner.

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It is useful at this point to remember the illuminating intervention of John Paul II on 24 February 1980 which remains binding even today:

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«In some countries communion on the hand has come into use. This practice was requested by individual episcopal conferences and obtained the approval of the apostolic see. However, rumors come about cases of deplorable lack of respect for the Eucharistic species, shortcomings that weigh not only on those guilty of such behavior, but also on the pastors of the Church, that they had been less vigilant about the behavior of the faithful towards the Eucharist " [cf. Sunday dinner, 11].

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Text from which it appears clear come il Pontefice desideri preservare i fedeli e i pastori da deplorevoli mancanze circa l’attenzione necessaria con cui l’Eucaristia deve essere offerta e ricevuta. For this reason, aware of the disciplines on the sacraments and magisterial recommendations, the protocol on state health precautions, starting from a substantially secular vision of the question, in reference to disposable gloves to be used in any celebration, encourages their disposal according to the criteria established by law for non-biodegradable plastic materials, actually constituting a liturgical offense, canonical and moral.

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All this appears unacceptable not so much because one wants to foment a controversy or a State-Church conflict but because the trespassing of state competences within the proper ecclesiastical ones appears real. It is hoped that the Italian Episcopal Conference will immediately enter into the merits of the question of how to avoid unpleasant crises of conscience in ministers and faithful.

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Laconi, 18 May 2020

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To stay as close as possible to the faithful in this moment of emergency from Covid-19, the drafting of The island of Patmos informs the Readers that our author Father IVANO LIGUORI, Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Care on Facebook the heading 'THE WORD NETWORK ", offering of three times a week meditations. You can access the page prepared by our Father clicking on the logo.

 

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4 thoughts on "From Holy Mass to the marshal's bidet: that subtle border often crossed where children teach the father the art of generating

  1. dear father Ivano
    ho letto il documento, con il quale uno stato laico, e per niente preparato in materia(disgraziatamente con il concorso della cee, che lo ha adottato e firmato)and’ entrato a gamba tesa contro (non le religioni) ma la religione cattolica,.Non ho mai sentito e visto nulla di simile in 74 year old (ad agosto) di primavere.Ma non ho visto neanche mai una gerarchia cosi prona,e un vaticano cosi assente-il diritto canonico quello ecclesiastico, e il concordato sono stati azzerati.Per molto meno uno stato ritira il proprio ambasciatore quando ritiene che non siano state rispettate alcune normericordo che quel graduato che ha interrotto la santa messa a mio avviso eincorso in una scomunica latae sententia oltre ad avere infranto un articolo del codice penale…..ad ogni modo non sopporto la mascherina per piu di un quarto d’ora..figuriamoci i guanti di plasticae poi non accetto per niente cioche si sta ordendo contro NOSTRO SIGNORE SACRAMENTATO……pertanto le chiedo…….PUO VOSTRA REVERENZA DISPENSARMI DALLA MESSA DOMENICALE……per continuare ad ascoltarla in diretta sui social fino a quando si potratornare alla normalita’ (which) ? la ringrazio mi benedica e mi ricordi nelle sue preghiere
    affettuosamente
    Domenico Maggiore
    bagheria 18 May 2020

    1. In base alle norme contenute nel documento deldipartimento per le libertà civili e l’immigrazione” della nuova chiesa di stato direi proprio di si, perché tu hai già superato i 65 year old: 5.2. Si ricorda la dispensa dal precetto festivo per motivi di età e di salute.

  2. Quando ho sentito un gesuita affermare, pontificando, that ” in Italy, da domani si potrà celebrare la Santa Messa con il popolo; but please, andiamo avanti con le norme, le prescrizioni che ci danno ( quelli deldipartimento per le libertà civili e l’immigrazionedella nuova chiesa di stato), per custodire così la salute di ognuno e del popolo.”,
    ho capito il senso delle parole di chi non ledisse da se stesso, ma essendo sommo sacerdote profetizzò”: ” Oggi nel mondo c’è un grande sentimento di orfanezza: tanti hanno tante cose, ma manca il Padre.”… La Chiesa Cattolica sembra infatti essere veramente rimasta senza il Santo Padre.

  3. Dear Father Ivano,

    grazie per questa sapiente articolazione che, come a me, penso sia stata di aiuto e conforto anche a molti altri sacerdoti che vi seguono con molto interesse.
    Un fraterno saluto

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