Sunday, January 01, 2012

Archbishop Vincent Nichols: Respect for the Holy Eucharist and Church Teaching?

The Sacred Congregation of the Sacraments, in its document entitled Immensae Caritatis: On Facilitating Reception Of Communion In Certain Circumstances, provided for the use of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist under rather strict guidelines and said that "The faithful who are special ministers of communion must be persons whose good qualities of Christian life, faith, and morals recommend them. Let them strive to be worthy of this great office, foster their own devotion to the eucharist, and show an example to the rest of the faithful by their own devotion and reverence toward the most august sacrament of the altar. No one is to be chosen whose appointment the faithful might find disquieting." (No. 6).

Apparently Archbishop Vincent Nichols could care less about this teaching.  For one of his Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist is Mr. Terence Weldon, a radical homosexual activist and propagandist who has engaged in blasphemy against the Lord Jesus and who routinely dissents from the Church's teaching on homosexuality while holding the Bishops of the Church up to ridicule.  As I noted in my last post, Mr. Weldon's hatred for the Holy Catholic Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is so intense that, referring to the CDF document entitled "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons," which says that the homosexual inclination is intrinsically disordered, he writes, "I just don’t buy that. The claim may be in the notorious CDF document, but anybody who is prepared to swallow every disordered statement on human sexuality from the Vatican, just because it has been written by sexually repressed, celibate theologians with no real-life experience of the subject they are able to admit to, is not living on the same planet as the rest of us. (See here).

An individual who has such disdain for the Lord Jesus, His Church, and the Bishops who serve in His name and with His authority cannot honestly be said to possess those "good qualities of Christian life, faith and morals" which the Church demands in its Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

Additionally, Archbishop Nichols continues to tolerate the scandal of the so-called "Soho Masses," a bizarre experiment in liturgical terrorism where Christ is mocked in the Eucharist and Church teaching is relegated to the waste bin.  So much for the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that the Eucharist is properly the sacrament of those who are in full communion with the Church (1395). 

In a Keynote Address entitled Good Shepherd: Living Christ's Own Pastoral Authority, which was delivered at the 10th Annual Symposium on the Spirituality and Identity of the Diocesan Priest on March 18, 2011, Bishop Samuel J. Aquila had some important things to say about the role of Bishops. His Excellency noted that:

"Perhaps most difficult for us who lead in the Church today, due to the influence of the secular world with its rejection of God and the authority of God, along with a real skepticism of authority, is the exercise of the office of governance. Benedict XVI reminds us as bishops and priests again to turn to Jesus Christ to learn how to exercise this authority. No one is really able to feed Christ's flock, unless he lives in profound and true obedience to Christ and the Church, and the docility of the people towards their priests depends on the docility of the priests towards Christ; for this reason the personal and constant encounter with the Lord, profound knowledge of him and the conformation of the individual will to Christ's will is always at the root of the pastoral ministry. (General Audience, May 26, 2010).

Jesus at times was direct in calling people to conversion – to change their way of acting and thinking. This directness makes many of us uncomfortable today. We should follow his example and language, even if we do not use his precise words. His language is good to contemplate and definitely should challenge us to look at how we correct the faithful, including priests and bishops, and speak the truth especially with those who say they are with Christ and the Church but do not accept the teaching of Jesus and the Church.

One has only to read Matthew 23 to hear the forceful language Jesus uses when speaking with the Pharisees and Scribes. He refers to them as ―hypocrites, blind guides, and white washed tombs and towards the end asks them the question, ―You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? In our politically correct world this type of language would never be tolerated today, and yet the Gospel writers were not hesitant to pass on these exhortations of Jesus.

Furthermore, when Peter began to remonstrate with Jesus about going up to Jerusalem, he did not softly tell Peter, ―You do not understand. Rather Jesus spoke the vigorous words, ―Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men (Mt 16:23). Jesus speaks these words with force to the apostle he has chosen and the one whom he made first among the apostles. In love Jesus makes these direct statements to open the eyes of those whose hearts and minds are hardened. His straight talk, given in love for the person, desires the conversion and holiness of the person to the ways of God.

Jesus provides the Church and her leaders with the criteria for correcting a brother or sister. ―If your brother sins against you; go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Mt 18:16-17).

The steps in this passage are clear and Jesus is teaching us, but do we listen and follow his example? If this criteria had been followed with dissenting theologians, priests, religious and faithful in 1968 with the encyclical, Humanae Vitae, would we still be dealing with the problem today of those who dissent on contraception, abortion, same sex unions, euthanasia and so many other teachings of the Church?

One must honestly ask, how many times and years may a Catholic politician vote for the so called ―right to abortion, ―murder in the words of John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae (58), and still be able to receive Holy Communion? The continual reception of Holy Communion by those who so visibly contradict and promote a grave evil, even more than simply dissent, only creates grave scandal, undermines the teaching and governing authority of the Church and can be interpreted by the faithful as indifference to the teaching of Christ and the Church on the part of those who have the responsibility to govern. If we honestly pray with the Gospel we can see that hesitancy and non-accountability are not the way of Jesus Christ, but rather are a failure in the exercise of governance.

Bishops and priests, as an act of loving obedience to Christ, must return to a full exercise of the governing authority of Christ witnessed in the Gospel. If we do not exercise that authority, are hesitant to exercise it, or doubt it, then it only leads to the ―father of lies taking hold of the minds and hearts of the faithful, and their continuing to act in the ways of man and not the ways of God.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his conversation with Peter Seewald in the book Light of the World, made the following observation concerning the sexual abuse crisis among clergy, after speaking with the Archbishop of Dublin. In their conversation they spoke to a mentality prevalent after Vatican II. ―The prevailing mentality was that the Church must not be a Church of laws but, rather, a Church of love; she must not punish. Thus the awareness that punishment can be an act of love ceased to exist. This led to an odd darkening of the mind, even in very good people. Today we have to learn all over again that love for the sinner and love for the person who has been harmed are correctly balanced if I punish the sinner in the form that is possible and appropriate. In this respect there was in the past a change of mentality, in which the law and need for punishment were obscured. Ultimately this also narrowed the concept of love, which in fact is not just being nice or courteous, but is found in the truth (emphasis added). And another component of truth is that I must punish the one who has sinned against real love (Pages 25-26)." (Full Address here).

Is Archbishop Nichols being a good and caring shepherd of souls?  Or are his actions [and lack of] merely ensuring that the Father of Lies [John 8: 44] will take hold of the minds and hearts of the faithful who have been entrusted to his care?

As I ponder this, I cannot help but think of the words which came forth from St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, "The road to Hell is paved with the skulls of many bishops."  Strong words from a great saint who was known for his pacific spirit and outstanding charity.

Dear Lord, mercy.

Meditation: Luke 12: 48.


Ellen Wironken said...

This constitutes a huge scandal which threatens to undermine the credibility of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Westminster. One can only hope and pray that Rome will intervene with due haste.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Deacon Nick Donnelly has an excellent article on the scandalous Soho Masses. It may be found here:

I couldn't agree with you more Ellen. Without such intervention, we may witness the disintegration of yet another diocese.

Amanda said...

This is terrible. Why is the Church tolerating this brazen dissent? A travesty.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Amanda, Dr. Oddie hits the nail on the head when he writes, "Archbishop Nichols, it now has to be accepted, has had plenty of time to 'make a clean sweep' of this problem and not only has done nothing but almost certainly presently intends to do nothing about these Masses. The fiction which justifies the archdiocese in its support for the Soho Masses is that they are celebrated for the benefit of gays who accept the teachings of the Church and therefore refrain from any form of sexual activity."

Terence Weldon, at his "Queering the Church" Blog, ridicules the CDF document entitled "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons" which refers to the homosexual inclination as "intrinsically disordered" and says that the document was "written by sexually repressed, celibate theologians with no real-life experience of the subject they are able to admit to.."

In other words, Mr. Weldon is admitting that he is not celibate and that he engages in homosexual sex. Why else would he ridicule celibacy and assert that those theologians who say that the homosexual inclination is intrinsically disordered are "repressed" and have "no real-life experience of the subject"?

The Soho Masses are not for the benefit of homosexual persons who accept the Church's teaching and are striving to live chaste lives. Mr. Weldon's own commentary and his "Queering the Church" Blog provide more than ample evidence of this.

Michelle said...

"Fr. John Q" identifies himself as a "gay Catholic priest who lives in New England and teaches at a small college.."

Fr. John Q defended Terry Weldon in his blasphemy. Now we can understand why. He self-identifies as a homosexual. One has to wonder how many of our youth are being infected by his dissent as he teaches in that "small college" in New England.

Jennifer Goguen said...

In a truly evil Blog post, Weldon writes, "There is abundant evidence from the Gospels as we have them that Jesus was if not 'gay' in any modern sense, then at least gay-friendly, and CERTAINLY queer.."

And Archbishop Nichols has no problem with this reprehensible person serving in the Church as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion?

It is time for the Archbishop to apologize for his spiritual negligence and his failure to protect and guide the faithful in his diocese.


Jonathan said...

Terry Weldon has a vicious post on Pope Benedict XVI here:

Why such nonsense is tolerated by Church officials in England, I have no idea.

jac said...

Stephen Brady ( has given up fighting that rampant "queering" of the Church because he reckons that (I quote)
"the present post-Conciliar ecclesial establishment has, in large part, lost the Catholic Faith"
The Archbp Nichols is one more member of this corrupt establishment.
Don't wait for the Vatican to discipline him: This never will happen and Mgr Nichols knows it.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

We have a great Pope who has spoken loudly and clearly against homosexuality and same-sex "marriage." We have many good Bishops and priests who oppose the homosexual agenda. We must avoid blanket condemnations of our Church or its leadership. It is not the Church which is "corrupt" but certain of her members who are responsible for their own sins or failures.

jac said...

Will Rome act? That is the issue.
If Rome doesn't act against Arbp Nichols, this will mean that the "good Bishops and priests who oppose the homosexual agenda" are outnumbered by those who have apostazied and that the Pope no longer has control over this sad situation.
I am extremely pessimistic.

Martin said...

I think the bishops often lack masculine leadership qualities. That is to say, they need to MAN UP and deal with this problem, as with the others, manfully. An emasculated Church is incapable of doing the work which Christ has entrusted to it. An effeminate church man appeases and compromises and refuses to stand for anything. He is a wet noodle, good for nothing. He fears suffering, and so achieves nothing. There is no growth.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Well said Martin. Well said. See my latest post. It is most relevant.

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