Sunday, December 11, 2011

On rash judgment and genuflecting before the Eucharist exposed

In my last post, I noted how, "Just recently, I found it necessary to inform my parish priest that his promotion of CCHD in the parish bulletin was most unfortunate as the organization promotes abortion, homosexuality and so-called same-sex 'marriage.' Just yesterday, at Holy Mass honoring the Immaculate Conception, this same priest told the faithful present that they should not genuflect on one knee during Eucharistic Adoration and that doing so is a sign of irreverence. He asserted that Catholics must genuflect on both knees."  This information is incorrect.  The U.S. Bishops have said that genuflection before the Eucharist exposed during Adoration is on one knee.  And the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship has said the same in No. 84 of Eucharistiae Sacramentum which may be found here.

This is most unfortunate.  Not only were the faithful in attendance at Holy Mass [on a Holy Day of Obligation - the Feast of the Immaculate Conception] given information that is incorrect, but it was implied that those who follow the rubrics as set forth by the Church are not showing proper reverence for Our Eucharistic Jesus.  Now the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, "To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way.." (CCC, 2478).  And this because rash judgment, as the Catechism explains, "assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor.." (CCC, 2477).

When I wrote the priest in question to inform him about the background of CCHD, I made no assumptions about his motives.  In an email dated November 13, 2011, I wrote: "Good afternoon Fr. ......, Peace of Christ! Let me begin by saying that I really enjoyed your homily this morning. It is obvious that you value truth. And this is saying something today because most people in our society are allergic to the truth. I couldn't help but notice that the parish bulletin contains a little item regarding the 'Catholic' Campaign for Human Development. Knowing your attention to detail as well as your orthodoxy (not to mention how busy you must be), I know this item just escaped your scrutiny.

The CCHD, an organization which was inspired by radical agitator Saul Alinsky, a Marxist who dedicated his Rules for Radicals to Lucifer, whom he called 'the first radical,' is an umbrella and/or a front for various groups which dissent from the Church's authentic teaching. Especially in the area of sexual morality.

According to American Life League's Michael Hichborn, " less than fifty organizations (one-fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) are, in some capacity, engaged in pro-abortion or pro-homosexual causes." See here:

I have a post here reprinting an excellent article from The Wanderer on Saul Alinsky:

Another relevant article on the CCHD may be found here:

In other words, I gave the priest in question the benefit of the doubt.  I wrote him a personal email rather than going public on this Blog because I lacked sufficient foundation to assume moral fault.  What a shame that this priest couldn't find it in his heart to grant the same courtesy to his parishioners who actually attend Eucharistic Adoration (a very small number) and didn't do his homework before attempting to correct what he mistakenly perceived as a fault in these people.

The priest in question made no mention of his mistake in promoting CCHD.  Nor did he admit to giving his parishioners incorrect information pertaining to genuflection while in the presence of Our Eucharistic Jesus - even though I emailed him the relevant information from the U.S. Bishops and the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship.

In his classic work Transformation in Christ, Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand explains that there is a certain kind of man who takes "pleasure in contemplating the defects of others, against which [his] own superiority stands out more glowingly."  Dr. von Hildebrand explains that for such people, "there lives an evil resentment, not against value as such, to be sure, but against the virtues of others, which they experience as a threat to their self-glory.  Although..the merely self-righteous person is by one degree less execrable than the Pharisee, his attitude is still one of the prototypes of all morally damnable conduct and it insults God.  Although Satanism as well as Pharisaism proper remain excluded, self-righteousness makes a person obdurate and void of love to the extent that it takes hold of him." (Transformation in Christ. p. 172).

Now I'm not accusing this priest of self-righteousness.  And, as you may have noticed, I am not mentioning him by name for the sake of charity.  I believe he has many good qualities and he has not been publically dissenting from the Church's teaching.  But I am alarmed that while I have given him the benefit of the doubt, he was so quick to assume as true something about lay persons which was not true: that their genuflection on one knee constituted a lack of proper reverence for Our Eucharistic Lord.

Rash judgment.


Derek said...

Seems like a case of "physician heal thyself."

ACatholicinClinton said...

Any priest who is leading a parish must accept the responsibility of ensuring that what goes in the parish bulletin is sound. The priest has the responsibility to make sure an organization is not dissenting, or promoting dissent with monies, before promoting that organization in the bulletin.

Does this priest love truth? Apparently not enough to screen the parish bulletin.

Let's hope he doesn't make this same mistake twice.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

This isn't about "greater respect for the Eucharist." It's about control. Genuflecting on one knee conveys just as much respect for the Eucharist as kneeling on both knees. In both cases, one is kneeling. No, this is about wanting control and disobeying the rubrics as set forth by the competent ecclesiastical authority.

Communion on the tongue is the normative manner of receiving the Eucharist. Communion in the hand is allowed by indult (a sort of grudging permission if you will). Receiving on the tongue conveys greater respect for the Eucharist and is the norm. Where is the concern for showing "greater respect" for the Eucharist in this case?

ShrewsburyCatholic said...

It IS time to rethink Communion in the hand. If Catholics want to express more reverence for Christ in the Eucharist, they should receive in the normative way.

Robert said...

It is disobedience to set oneself against the Church's rubrics. Pope Paul VI, in Ecclesiam Suam, says that, "The Church's authority is instituted by Christ; it is indeed, representative of Him; it is the authorized channel of His pastoral charity. Obedience, therefore is motivated by faith, develops into a school of evangelical humility, and links the obedient man to the wisdom, unity, constructiveness and charity by which the body of the Church is sustained. It confers upon him who imposes it and upon him who conforms himself to it the merit of being like Christ who was 'made obedient unto death.'...The spirit of independence, of criticism, of rebellion ill accords with the charity which gives life to the Church's solidarity, concord and peace, and easily transforms the dialogue into argument, dispute and disagreement. This most regrettable attitude, so easy, alas, to produce, is condemned by the Apostle Paul in his warning words: 'Let there be no divisions among you' (1 Cor. 1:10).

Ellen Wironken said...

"Whenever we perform a liturgical action, our virtue is not in the details of the action itself but in our willing to be good servants who do only what they are supposed to do (see Luke 17:7–10).

Following the rubrics with precision is an act of loving service to God; to ignore the rubrics, or, even worse, to disobey them, is an act of pride by which we serve our own will, not God’s will. It doesn’t matter what we think about the rubrics; all that matters is that we surrender ourselves to carrying them out with loving precision. Carelessness walks the same path as disobedience, a path that takes you right into the service of the devil and his motto: 'Do what thou wilt.'"

Full article here:

Martin said...

Paul, perhaps you might consider a post about how best to 'pastorally' deal with liturgical abuses. This is, as you know, a MAJOR problem. I'm watching a lot of abuses in my own parish and figure I must man-up and make a move to correct them. It'd be good to see if you and your readers might share strategies, what work, and what doesn't. Thanks and God bless.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Martin, I'm sorry to hear that you too are suffering from liturgical terrorism at your parish. Here is an excellent resource from EWTN which should prove to be very helpful:

Martin said...

Thanks Paul. I wrote a very nice, positive letter to my local paper this week in response to a letter by some person, who didn't put their name to the letter but signed off as 'Thinking Catholic', criticising the new translation.
Anyhow, I had hoped that the new translation would help correct some abuses in my parish, but interestingly, we now appear to be increasingly using the Apostles Creed and the abuses continue. I know it's Advent and it is an option but it is unusual in my parish. There's also bits and bobs being omitted or changed illicitly. I could go on and on, but I'll check out your link now! God bless.

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