Sacrilege: Does God Really Care?

Sacrilege: Does God Really Care?

The Remnant video where Michael Matt, Editor, discusses the shocking display of sacrilege at the papal Mass in the Philippines, is no longer available. Below however, is a video record of the scandal…

Comments invited…

Comments (224)

  • Christina

    CS May I remind you that at the beginning of this thread the rightness or wrongness of Communion in the hand was not the point at issue, but you have clearly enjoyed arguing all around that point while failing (in spite of several requests) to address it directly. So I would ask you to thoughtfully and meditatively read St. Thomas Aquinas’s Adoro te devote or a translation – the hymn ‘O Godhead hid, devoutly I adore Thee’, is, I think, the best – and then answer the question: Do you not think it an unspeakably shocking to see consecrated hosts being passed from hand to hand in a crowded Mass? A ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will suffice – please.

    I have some, admittedly second-hand, but nontheless reliable, knowledge of the Filipino people. in character they are a beautiful, kindly and very devout race, and, as you said, always eager to help one another. However I also know that since Vatican II they have been woefully catechised and thus betrayed by their priests (those same priests who were seen on another video, photographing the celebrity Pope instead of attending to the holy Mass at which they were present). It is not ‘judging’ the dispositions or souls of those present at that huge open-air Mass to guess that faith in the Real Presence has been weakened or lost, as polls indicate it has in America. What is done in innocence or ignorance is not sin.

    However, this is a blog contributed to mainly by well-catechised and faithful Catholics plus the odd troll. If you are one of the former you should be shocked by that video down to the bottom of your Catholic soul; if one of the latter you should go away and play somewhere else.

    January 27, 2015 at 12:19 am
    • Common Sense

      Can I remind you that one of your regulars has re-posted an article, in full, an article he wrote 3 years ago, on the subject of Holy Communion in the Hand etc, and was commended by The Editor for doing so. (The article is factually, and historically, incorrect but is liked by certain types.) Further, most posts are about people touching the Sacred Host for whatever reason.

      Many I remind you that every Pope, since Saint Pope John XXlll, has said The second Vatican Council is a central part of the unbroken Tradition of The Church, and we had a “Year of Faith”, promulgated by that great man Pope Benedict, just to mark its beginning 51 years ago?

      I don’t have to give yes or no answers, to your questions, as I have said the Holy Mass in Manila was a brilliant, exceptional, event that should be praised and commended and not denigrated by self professed “loyal” Catholics.

      January 27, 2015 at 8:14 am
    • Common Sense

      Your regular poster, Athanasius said Catholics never just say “Mary” but they do, including various Saints and Popes (some are now both!) That is the point I was making.

      I also, know, that many who post here doubt that he 1. Should have been canonised and 2. Some here still doubt he is a Saint.

      As a regular contributor, you should be aware of what some who write here think. It may be you are one of those who thinks 1 or 2.

      January 27, 2015 at 8:28 am
      • Dr John Dowden

        Common Sense,

        As a long-term, if somewhat occasional, contributor it may be worth confirming to a recent arrival that, in virtue of the Magisterium invested in her, the editor of Catholic Truth does not accept the decrees on the sanctity of John Paul II or John XXIII. Such decrees are (so far as I know) the only actual occasion on which bishops of Rome routinely invoke “infallibility” but, no matter, John Paul the Great (as he is universally known in Central and Eastern Europe) is not, for the purposes of this blog, “Saint”.

        It is as good an example as any of what a well-informed Italian commentator sees as the Lefebvrists cutting themselves off from the mainstream (

        On the other hand, given that this is the week of prayer for Christian Unity, it is progress when even the most extreme of the extreme see that over-centralization of decision-making is not the way forward.

        January 27, 2015 at 10:37 am
      • editor


        I am not alone in questioning the nature of the canonisations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII.

        Here’s an extract from an excellent Remnant article on the subject:

        “For all of the persuasiveness of the canonical, theological, and doctrinal arguments regarding whether the upcoming canonizations are infallible, they all seem to make one fundamental assumption: that Pope Francis understands the concept of Sainthood in accord with the Tradition of the Church and will intend to confer such Sainthood on April 27, 2014. But is this a safe assumption to make?

        Consider the following statement of Pope Francis, given during his interview with Andrea Tornielli on December 10, 2013:

        …I knew a parish priest in Hamburg who was dealing with the beatification cause of a Catholic priest guillotined by the Nazis for teaching children the catechism. After him, in the list of condemned individuals, was a Lutheran pastor who was killed for the same reason. Their blood was mixed. The parish priest told me he had gone to the bishop and said to him: “I will continue to deal with the cause, but both of their causes, not just the Catholic priest’s.” This is what ecumenism of blood is. It still exists today; you just need to read the newspapers. Those who kill Christians don’t ask for your identity card to see which Church you were baptized in. We need to take these facts into consideration.

        Thus Francis seems very open to the possibility of the beatification and potential canonization of a Lutheran pastor. Francis may have been referring here to the case of Lutheran pastor Karl Friedrich Stellbrink. Stellbrink and three Catholic priests were beheaded in quick succession as a result of speaking out against the Nazi regime in Germany. The causes of beatification for the three Catholic priests went forward under Benedict in 2011, but not for Stellbrink. This created a rift in German Lutheran relations… Click here to read the entire article – recommended.

        Since key elements were missing in these canonisation processes – notably the mandatory Devil’s Advocate (dispensed with by Pope John Paul II) then it seems clear that a future pontiff will have to pronounce on these events. In the meantime, I’m not buying any statues, medals or screaming from the rooftops about any fast track saints, including Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. And if they really are saints in heaven, they won’t mind – they’ll understand my desire to be faithful to Catholic Tradition 😀

        January 27, 2015 at 10:51 am
      • jobstears


        “And if they really are saints in heaven, they won’t mind – they’ll understand my desire to be faithful to Catholic Tradition.”


        January 27, 2015 at 2:12 pm
      • Common Sense

        If they are canonised they are Saints. That is Catholic Tradition. There is no two ways about it. Rome has spoken. The case is closed.

        January 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm
      • jobstears


        “If they are canonised they are saints”. So, if you knew the tried and true process of canonization was altered by removing significant checks and safeguards, you would not be curious to ask why?

        If tomorrow, Pope Francis wants to canonize non Catholics, and changes the canonization process to make this possible, would that be acceptable to you?

        January 27, 2015 at 9:30 pm
      • Common Sense

        The Pope has the power to do that!

        January 27, 2015 at 9:33 pm
      • jobstears

        The papacy is not his to do with as he pleases. He has to abide by the rules, not make them up as he goes along.

        January 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm
      • Common Sense

        However, as Supreme Pontiff he can change many rules, as he feels he is inspired to do so.

        January 28, 2015 at 7:44 pm
  • Christina

    Editor, 11.21 and 11.29 – I think that was game, set and match to you!

    January 27, 2015 at 12:30 am
    • Petrus

      I think it’s clear to one and all that Common Sense does not believe in the Real Presence. We would have an easier time debating with a bona fide Protestant!

      January 27, 2015 at 6:48 am
      • Petrus

        Common Sense

        Let me ask you again:

        Was the Church wrong to insist on Holy Communion on the tongue prior to the 1970s? What good has come of introducing Holy Communion in the hand?

        Not only does Communion in the hand attack the Catholic belief in the Real Presence, it also seeks to diminish the position of the priest. Everyone can touch the Blessed Sacrament, not just the ordained priest! In these Communist and Masonic days, it is unthinkable to respect, or have reverence for, authority figures. Actually, Communion in the hand embodies the sin of Lucifer – great pride.

        We’ve had not one justification for this abuse from Common Sense, only desperate ramblings of a deluded soul defending the indefensible. Satan’s masterstroke has indeed been creating disobedience in the name of obedience!

        January 27, 2015 at 7:07 am
      • Common Sense

        Catholic Scholars agree that in centuries past, and in the early Church, people did receive in the hand.

        Further, as you have read some actual Church teaching at some time, you might know, that as a reaction to things said at the time of The Reformation, Holy Communion under both kinds was stopped, but today we are taught to receive Holy Communion under both kinds is “a more perfect sign”, and is greatly encouraged.

        Likewise, The Permanent Diaconate has been restored.

        As, Blessed Pope Paul once wrote, in a different context, echoing Jesus himself. The Church must always draw on her store of things old and new


        January 27, 2015 at 8:35 am
      • Athanasius

        Communion under both kinds was never the Catholic practice, it was introduced in its present form by Anglicans at the Reformation who said that one did not receive Communion unless under both kinds. The Church condemned and fully resisted that error until the post-Vatican II period when it was decided for ecumenical reasons to permit it for the sake of Protestant sensibilities. It has nothing whatever to do with Tradition or things old and new in the Catholic context. Like Communion in the hand, it has its origin in Protestantism and is therefore repugnant to Catholics, not to mention extremely unhygienic.

        January 27, 2015 at 10:14 am
      • Common Sense

        I may be wrong, but from the earliest times including, and past the 5th Century, lay people would not seek to denigrate current Church practice, or seek to besmirch the hierarchy, without the possibility of excommunication. It is strange what bits of “tradition” you hold dear. But, of course, it the post Conciliar that has given you the freedoms you now seem to want to exercise.

        January 27, 2015 at 4:17 pm
      • Athanasius

        Common Sense,

        That’s because never before has the Church witnessed the Faith being undermined in so grave a manner by almost the entire hierarchy. Even the Arian heresy of the 4th century, which affected the entire Eastern Church, doesn’t come close to what happened after Vatican II.

        You should be more concerned about those Churchmen who denigrate and undermine the Faith they are supposed to protect and hand down unsullied. Bad shepherds do more damage than bad sheep. Maybe you should re-think your priorities.

        Besides, you besmirched the good name of Archbishop Lefebvre earlier and have still not made a public apology for your offence. You do know that your false statement about the Archbishop was calumny, a very serious sin?

        January 27, 2015 at 10:49 pm
      • Common Sense

        The Church is clear Holy Communion is a more perfect sign, and strangely mirrors the First Mass, and is written about, at length by St Paul. Just when did Tradition begin, and when was The Anglican Church founded. I may be wrong Tradition began with Jesus, and the Anglican Church in the 16th Century.

        January 27, 2015 at 4:21 pm
      • Athanasius

        Common Sense,

        Not “in centuries past, and in the early Church…” Only in the early Church, and the practice was not what you and others do now, which is the Protestant Reformer model.

        In the early Church it was forbidden to place the Blessed Sacrament in the left hand, or for the host to touch the fingers. Lay people had to bow and scoop up the host from their right hand using the tongue and then repeat the action to ensure no particles were left on the hand. Women had to wear a white cloth on the right hand and all had to wash their hands in water before receiving.

        But even with all these precautions the Church finally outlawed the practice in the 5th century as too likely to cause indifference and sacrilege. By that time the Church had sufficient priests to be able to banish forever a practice that had only been permitted because the Church was small in size and the times were times of persecution. After that, the Church grew stronger in her condemnations of the practice of Communion in the hand.

        As I said earlier, it was banned for all Catholics under pain of mortal sin and at one point excommunication.

        You simply cannot justify this practice, CS.

        January 27, 2015 at 10:47 am
      • editor


        Well said – I wonder if CS has seen this interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider?

        January 27, 2015 at 10:58 am
      • Common Sense

        Other members of The Episcopate would offer a different analysis, and I am sure is now reigning gloriously as The Supreme Pontiff, and Successor of St Peter.

        It is foolish to “champion” the views of one Bishop. Even The SSPX regret the statements of an holocaust denier.

        January 27, 2015 at 12:27 pm
      • jobstears


        Thank you for that outstanding post! Christians in the early Church received the Eucharist in the hand, this has been cited time and again as justification for its widespread practice today. But why is there never any mention of how it is the early Christians actually received the Sacred Host – in hands that had been washed and without fingers touching the Sacred Species? Until now, I didn’t know this :'( So, thank you!

        January 27, 2015 at 4:10 pm
      • pew catholic

        Why did women have to wear a white cloth on the right hand? Just curious.

        January 27, 2015 at 9:04 pm
      • Athanasius

        Pew Catholic,

        It’s a fair question for which I have no answer. I don’t know of any historical record that explains this. But even if women had not been required to place a white cloth over their right hand, the requirement not to touch the Blessed Sacrament with the fingers was still in place for all.

        Happily, the entire practice was eventually seen as too open to abuse and carelessness, and so the Church in her wisdom forbade it altogether. Then Vatican II happened, authority was lost and Cardinal Suenens of Belgium re-introduced the forbidden practice without Papal knowledge or consent. The disobedience soon spread to the extent that the Pope could no longer control it and was forced to concede more and more indults.

        If only more Catholics understood by what dishonest means this horrible practice was forced on their parishes, and not the ancient Christian practice but the Protestant Reformation model, which is absolutely diabolical in origin and intent.

        January 27, 2015 at 10:41 pm
      • Frankier


        “Catholic Scholars agree that in centuries past, and in the early Church, people did receive in the hand”. So does this justify the present day shambles?

        What about the old saying that some of these scholarly people are so fond of using at times – “you don`t look back in life”?

        I am not a Catholic Scholar but even I can tell you that in the not so distant past, probably just before you were born, people did receive on the tongue, kneeling and with no wine, so why not use that as a reason to revert to receiving again on the tongue?

        If the drinking laws in Scotland get reduced to zero tolerance it might be Nicola Sturgeon rather than the Pope who decides if reception under both forms continue. It may be that people will have to revert to the habits of “centuries past, and in the early Church” by walking to Mass or even riding on a donkey.

        January 27, 2015 at 11:07 am
      • Common Sense

        A Church in which Tradition is central will clearly constantly look back and forward. Echoing Jesus call that we always draw on our store of thins old, and new.

        Long before you were born, centuries in fact, Holy Communion under both kinds – which is a “more perfect sign – and Holy Communion in the hand was the norm. You have a strange view of Tradition. You appear to say that if you like something it is ok, but if not, no matter how ancient the practice, it is wrong.

        January 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm
      • Athanasius

        Common Sense,

        You’re not grasping this at all, are you?

        It is not we who say that Communion in the hand is wrong, it’s the entire magisterium of the Church right up to and including Pope Benedict XVI. All have stated that Catholics should adhere to the Tradition of the Church and receive Holy Communion on the tongue. If they have been forced, as they have, to legislate indults for disobedient bishops that doesn’t give you the right to go along. You have a duty to be faithful to the wishes expressed by the Holy See, not make excuses for abuses!

        That Pope Francis hasn’t spoken in tune with his predecessors alters nothing. It seems to me that you reverence more the human person of the Pope your divine Lord. In your case there’s no excuse for ignorance.

        January 27, 2015 at 3:03 pm
      • Confitebor Domino

        Common Sense

        Here are some more ancient traditions (in no particular order):

        1. Public penance
        2. Congregation stands throughout service (no seats)
        3. Women are to be silent in church
        4. All non-Catholics (including catechumens) removed from church for the Mass of the Faithful
        5. Women to cover their heads in church (still the law, by the way)
        6. Fasting and abstinence every day in Lent
        7. Mass only in the morning (and very early morning at that)

        How many of these are you petitioning the Holy Father to restore?

        The truth is that it’s not traditionalists who “say that if you like something it is ok, but if not, no matter how ancient the practice, it is wrong”. Rather it’s people like you – and those responsible for the NOM – who do this, whilst you practice what I think of as a sort of ‘liturgical palaeontology’.

        January 27, 2015 at 8:43 pm
      • Therese

        Confitebor Domino

        I didn’t think CS would answer your post, as s/he has difficulty in answering yes/no questions, but it’s a masterstroke to to include the points you mention.

        January 28, 2015 at 3:39 pm
      • Common Sense

        You missed out Listening to The Pope, and The College of Bishops, A much older Tradition than most of the others. On most of the issues you mention Rome has clearly spoken, and the Church distinguishes between Church Law and Divine Law, and much of what you mention is Church Law, which can change, and things based on a particular time and culture, and not eternal truths,

        Holy Mass, of course, was celebrated in the morning because of the fasting from Midnight the night before, and for no other reason. But of course everyone here still fasts from Midnight the night before. Yeah right, Guv!

        January 28, 2015 at 7:42 pm
      • Confitebor Domino

        The very early Church celebrated the Holy Sacrifice at dawn because that was presumed to be the time of Our Blessed Lord’s resurrection – we don’t know for sure what the fasting rules were at that stage.

        I’m sure many of those posting here do still observe the Eucharistic fast from midnight, but not all because many don’t have access to Holy Mass until afternoon or evening. The current law requires only a one hour fast.

        January 28, 2015 at 8:58 pm
      • Alex F

        According to the Didache the faithful were encouraged to fast every Wednesday and Friday. There’s no mention of the Communion fast, but if Mass could only be celebrated early in the morning, then it probably didn’t matter so much. Until recently, all Catholics were supposed to fast every day except Sunday during Lent and quite a few other days too. I always understood that the rules on fasting are the absolute minimum that the Church requires. In reality, much more is expected. In the Eastern churches things are still a lot more strict than in the West. I don’t think that does any harm. It would be praiseworthy to follow the pre-Vatican 2 fasting norms because at least that is a fast. It’s virtually impossible to break the modern Communion fast unless you are actually eating during Mass.

        January 28, 2015 at 11:09 pm
      • Athanasius

        Alex F,

        They were eating during Pope John Paul’s Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow in 1982. Some of them were still chewing in the queue for Holy Communion. Incredible, but true!

        January 28, 2015 at 11:12 pm
      • Alex F

        Nothing would surprise me these days. 🙁

        January 28, 2015 at 11:22 pm
      • Common Sense

        C.D. I have only just read this. You should yourself note what you said and take it to heart:”The current law requires only a one hour fast.”. The Law changes, and The Pope has the power to change it. Why not grasp that fact, and stop arguing on the basis of a false notion of what tradition is?

        February 2, 2015 at 6:45 am
      • Spiritus

        I canot understand why communion under both SPECIES is “a more perfect sign”, given that both the Body and Blood of Our Lord are each fully “Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity” of Jesus Christ. What can be more perfect than that?

        January 30, 2015 at 4:46 pm
      • Athanasius


        You’re absolutely correct to say that the reception of either species is the reception of Our Lord’s full body, blood, soul and divinity. There is absolutely no diminution in the Real Presence for those who receive under one rather than both kinds, and the Church has always condemned propositions to the contrary.

        Those who have introduced this practice of both kinds for lay people in our time have done so for one reason only – to further confuse the ordained priesthood with the priesthood of the people.

        By permitting the people to receive in a manner previously reserved to priests alone, who received under both kinds in imitation of Our Lord and His ordained Disciples, these innovators play the part of the Reformation Protestants in that they subtly insinuate by the change that there is no difference between the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of the people.

        Very gradually with extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, Communion in the hand, lay people doing readings, etc., we can see how they have chipped away at the sacred nature of the priesthood to the point where priestless services are beginning to take place here and there with worrying regularity.

        It has all been very carefully (diabolically) thought out and introduced with a view to eventually eradicating the Catholic priesthood. And the real tragedy of it is that the priests themselves are obediently participating in their own demise.

        January 30, 2015 at 5:58 pm
      • Common Sense

        Jesus said eat my Body, drink my blood, and offered people both at the first Holy Mass. St Paul emphasises the early Church practice. Surely, Tradition begins with Jesus and The Early Church?

        January 30, 2015 at 7:29 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        It has been pointed out on the blog lots of times that the first people to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus were the first priests, not lay people. That’s why you are right, that tradition began with Jesus and the first priests.

        January 30, 2015 at 7:50 pm
      • Alex F

        I think it is better to have Communion under both species. That is what the command was, even though we receive Jesus’ entire Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity under just one, so strictly speaking it’s not completely necessary for both. I am sure that was the practice in the mediaeval church, but then there were far fewer people going to communion at every mass because you weren’t allowed to go as often as you can today, and I do believe you couldn’t go to communion every day until Pius X, so barely a century ago.
        There would be the logistical problem of giving communion and the chalace to everyone, but mist Sunday masses would have had a deacon and sub deacon so they could have helped. The orthodox and eastern Catholics have always had communion under both kind but that is different. They use leavened bread, and mix it into the blood and the priest administers it using a spoon into the person mouth.

        January 30, 2015 at 7:54 pm
      • Athanasius

        Alex F,

        Like Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, there are very, very strict and limited times when Communicating under both kinds is permitted. It should, according to the Church’s Indult instructions, be extremely rare in a parish. If that’s not the case in the average parish today then it is because once again the Popes have been disobeyed.

        So the question is not really one of whether or not it is licit to have Communion under both Kinds, which the Council of Trent answered in the negative, special Indults notwithstanding. Rather it is whether or not the practice at parish and diocesan level today is in accord with Church teaching which says it should be a very rare occurrence. On that question, the answer is absolutely in the negative. This practice is being carried on all over the place against the wishes of the Pope and the Church. The rest is really academic.

        Priests should stop administering the precious blood to the laity and the laity should stop supporting episcopal dissent from Papal teaching by refusing to communicate in this generally forbidden manner.

        January 30, 2015 at 11:03 pm
      • editor

        Alex F,

        The command to which you refer, as MM has already pointed out, was addressed by Christ to His first priests. NOT to the laity. And although it was the practice in the early church to permit Communion in the hand (with restrictions – not the free for all which we witness today), as the Church’s comprehension of the reality of the Sacred Species grew and developed, the Church ended the practise of the laity receiving in the hand, where it had been permitted. If you read the writings of Michael Davies on this, you will find them a gold mine of information about Catholic Tradition. Try Pope Paul’s New Mass by Michael Davies – great chapter on the subject in there.

        I have only one warning about that book. Michael (RIP) dedicated it to “the memory of Bernadette Keenan, the most saintly person I have ever met.” He’d not yet met me, at that time, remember. So, just bear that in mind 😀

        January 31, 2015 at 12:22 am
      • Common Sense

        Alex F

        In G.I.R.M. , in the latest Missal, and other recent editions, The Church says, as happened at The Last Supper, and as is recorded in other parts of The New Testament, i.e Holy Scripture, receiving Holy Communion under both kinds is a more perfect sign, and more faithful to what Jesus taught.

        That, however, doesn’t alter that the fact that to receive Jesus under one kind, is to receive him whole, and entire, but our sacramental life relies on, and is underpinned by, Signs and Symbols.

        February 3, 2015 at 7:04 am
      • Alex F

        Athanasius and Editor,
        Thank you for that. I’ve read some of Michael Davies’ work in the past so I’ll look that up, because I’m trying to learn more about this.
        I can see what you’re saying about Communion under both kinds being brought in by modernists to blur the line between the priests and the laity, much the same way the Protestant reformers did- the whole “priesthood of the laity” type of thing. If that’s the reason it has been brought in I wouldn’t take part in that.
        However, I’m just wondering why it wasn’t allowed in principle and how far back the practice of just having the host goes because from what I’ve read it does not seem to have been the practice throughout the West for all of the Church’s history, and it has never been the practice in the East. If Jesus was only speaking to the apostles who were priests at the last supper, how do we know that it was his intention for only priests to receive the blood and not the lay people when he didn’t actually say that? Under that interpretation, how do we know Jesus intended for lay people to receive communion at all, when from what we read in the Gospels, he didn’t seem to make any real differentiation.

        January 31, 2015 at 7:44 pm
      • editor

        Alex F,

        I’m very conscious that I’ve been away from my computer all day and now have to be brief, so I copied an article by a priest that I think will be helpful – more on that in a minute, when I’ll post the entire article and link to source.

        Firstly, yes, Michael Davies exposes the way Communion under both kinds has been used by the revolutionaries to further their ecumenical liturgy – and he goes so far as to say that – having outlined the similarities between the novus ordo Mass and the Protestant liturgy (Cranmer) that it is correct to describe the novus ordo as “an ecumenical liturgy”. You will find his book Pope Paul’s New Mass very instructive on the subject.

        Your key question, however, is the “how do we know what Jesus actually intended” given that His command to “eat and drink” was delivered to His first priests. You ask “how do we know that it was his intention for only priests to receive the Precious Blood and not the lay people when he didn’t actually say that?”

        We know, Alex, because of Our Lord’s promise that His Father will send the Holy Spirit “in My name, [to] teach you all things and bring all things to y our mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you.” (John 14:26).

        As St John tells us in his Gospel, not everything that Jesus said and did is written down – if it were, “the world itself would not be able to contain the books that should be written” (John 21:25)

        In other words, we know, Alex, because we believe – i.e. we know – that the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church, and that through infallibly binding papal statements and dogmatic Councils, God’s will on these matters is revealed to us.

        Pope John XXIII made an express point of saying that the most recent Council of the Church, Vatican II, was NOT a dogmatic Council and – apart from when it repeated previously infallibly defined teachings – it was not of the same binding character and force as previous Councils. Logically, therefore, the documents and practices issuing from Vatican II must be scrutinised for their fidelity (or lack of it) to Catholic Tradition. Senior churchmen (including Pope Benedict XVI) have acknowledged the limited pastoral nature of Vatican II.

        Therefore, on this matter, we look to the Council of Trent to discover the mind of the Church on Communion under both kinds, that is, if we wish to know God’s will in the matter. Here’s the article I mentioned at the top with link to source at the end. I have to finish with this, Alex, but if you are still not convinced, please say so and I’ll try again. I’m very trying, or so I keep being told 😀

        A Priest [who describes himself as ‘traditional’] writes…

        “There is no Divine precept binding the laity or non-celebrating priests to receive the sacrament under both kinds (Trent, sess. XXI, c. i.) (c) By reason of the hypostatic union and of the indivisibility of His glorified humanity, Christ is really present and is received whole and entire, body and blood, soul and Divinity, under either species alone; nor, as regards the fruits of the sacrament, is the communicant under one kind deprived of any grace necessary for salvation (Trent, Sess. XXI, c., iii).”

        As of right now, the permission to the reception of the Precious Blood of Jesus by the laity in the Novus Ordo Mass, is only an indult. An indult is an exception, a privilege, that can be taken away at any time so deemed necessary. It is not a right.
        When one travels all over the world, Catholics in most countries only receive the Holy Host. That is because these countries never ever received permission (indult) to also give the Chalice to the people. Most American Catholics will be very surprised to find out that, when attending Holy Mass at the Vatican, you will only receive the Holy Host.

        Byzantine Catholics do receive the consecrated bread dipped into the consecrated wine which is usually poured into the mouth of the communicant from a small dipper.

        Even though it is correct to say “receive the Body of Jesus (Host) or receive the Blood of Jesus (Chalice), I am trying to avoid using these words because it tends to separate Jesus into His Body and His Blood. That is impossible to do because as the council of Trent clearly stated, (again what Catholics have always believed), Jesus is totally present in either the Host or the Chalice. If one were to receive only the Precious Blood, Jesus is totally present. If one were to receive only the Host, Jesus is totally present.

        We have enough worries on protecting the Holy Host from being dropped and its fragments being walked on. It is very easy to have an accident with the Precious Blood spilling. I have seen it spelt many times on the floor.

        Another grave reason for receiving Jesus only in the Holy Host, is that it is very hard to purify the Chalices that the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion administer it in. They rotate the chalice as they administer it and purify it after each person receives from it. So the Precious Blood is all around the inside surface of the chalice.
        In the Holy Latin Mass the priest only drinks the Precious Blood from the chalice from the side of the chalice above the cross so that he after that he can purify chalice precisely where the Precious Blood flowed when he consumed it. In the first ablution, the priest holds the chalice in a certain way to be sure that the altar boy will pour wine exactly over where the Precious Blood had been consumed in the chalice. Then the priest, with paten under his chin, consumes the wine from the same spot of the chalice. There is then a second ablution of wine and water to be sure that every molecule of the Precious Blood is consumed before the chalice is purified by an purificator.
        sacrament3In the Novus Ordo mass, the chalice is only purified with water one time. I would purify the chalice with plenty of water. But what I found out was that after rinsing it out with water, when I went to dry it with the purificator, there would be red wine stain on the purificator from the molecules of the Precious Blood that still adhered to the Chalice even after being rinsed with water. Using wine to purify is much more effective. Then wine and water.

        We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be able to kneel and receive Jesus’ Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Host. Even the bishop and other priests at the Holy Latin Mass are thankful to receive only the Holy Host. They do not receive the chalice. At an ordination, the new priests does partake from the chalice. Source

        February 1, 2015 at 11:45 pm
      • Alex F

        Thank you for posting that Editor,

        I can see the practical reasons for giving just the host, but I the article doesn’t really answer the question as to why it would be wrong in principle to have the chalice. But I can definitely see where you’re coming from.

        February 2, 2015 at 7:56 pm
      • editor

        Alex F,

        The key principle which has always underpinned Catholic teaching on Communion under one kind, is that only the ordained priest should receive under both kinds, following the example of Our Lord at the Last Supper/first Mass. Protestant belief that we are all priests, that there is no need for ordained priests, is reflected in their practice of distributing symbolic bread AND wine.

        You may find the extract on the subject in this letter written by a priest for a Protestant audience, of much interest – I certainly did…

        However, I don’t think we can dismiss, as if of secondary importance, the practical reasons against Communion under both kinds. The safety of the Blessed Sacrament is paramount. Stories of lay people, whether Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion or sacristans, tossing the remains in the chalice down the sacristy sink, are shocking. Similarly, to watch (as I’ve done myself) a batch of females chattering away as they purify the chalices at the end of the novus ordo Mass, as if they were clearing up at the nearest bar after a busy weekend, is painful, to say the least.

        All in all, if we value Catholic Tradition sufficiently to want to be faithful to it, we will readily accept that the indult for Communion under both kinds, sought by those intent on protestantising the Mass and through the new Mass the Catholic laity, is not a good thing… to put it mildly.

        February 3, 2015 at 12:07 am
      • Common Sense

        Alex F

        In The Orthodox Churches not only do people receive Holy Communion under both kinds, a infant does at Baptism.

        It is difficult to claim that that is because people wanted to cease to make a distinction a priest or lay person, or that it is any down to a Protestant influence. Protestants didn’t exist when most Orthodox Traditions were established!

        February 3, 2015 at 8:04 am
      • Athanasius

        Common Sense,

        Where’s your common sense? Jesus offered both at the first Mass to His ordained priests, not to lay people.

        St. Paul does not emphasise the early Church practice. Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei calls returning to early Church practices a grave error.

        Stop making things up to justify soft shoe Protestantism!

        January 30, 2015 at 10:36 pm
      • Common Sense

        I know of no scholar who would say only The 12 were in The Upper Room!

        February 2, 2015 at 6:36 am
      • editor


        “Scholars” have no authority to teach and they are divided among themselves about everything from how many women were present at the Last Supper to how did that Muslim woman get there?


        February 3, 2015 at 12:15 am
      • Dr John Dowden


        Prior to the 1970s does not, necessarily, mean prior to the 1370s. Just because something existed last century in Western Europe and its colonies, does not actually mean that it much older in time than Pius X or perhaps Pius V, or that it ever extended in place outside the western rites.

        It is fascinating to see how far people can miss the real point. On any historical view, the means of communicating at the Divine Liturgy have varied enormously in different places and different times. The English Use (a tradition valued by the Bishop Emeritus of Rome and which, with the Ordinariate, has given Scotland its first married Roman-Catholic priest in recent times) has no problem with communion in the hand, and is following one strand of ancient tradition.

        But the more serious departure from catholic and orthodox tradition is that this vast number appears to have been communicated using the species of bread alone. The Eastern churches are clear that communion is to be given in both kinds and the reformed churches have long-since gone back to that tradition – it is clear, for example, that in the Scottish Sarum rite before 1400, ordinary people were not denied the cup. So, from the point of view of respecting the ancient traditions of the church, the major problem is that both scripture and tradition are clear that communion should be given under the species of bread and wine. Those sections of the western church (and their former colonies) which fail to do so are not even respecting the obvious meaning of the Latin rites: “bibite” is both a plural and an imperative.
        [Ed: this comment reveals a failure to understand Catholic Tradition – Dowden, being a Protestant of the Anglican persuasion, continually makes the mistake of forgetting that Christ founded only one Church, the Catholic Church, not thousands of churches].

        In the week of prayer for Christian Unity it makes a whole lot of sense to think about how the Orthodox understand tradition before lamenting the abandonment of Tridentine customs which are far from universal, defective and not particularly old.
        [Ed: the Orthodox “tradition” is only a little older than the rest of the Protestant tradition and we really have nothing to learn from schismatics, thank you very much, when it comes to our liturgy, i.e. our holy Mass.]

        January 27, 2015 at 10:43 am
      • Athanasius

        Common Sense,

        It should be pointed out to you that Dowden is an Anglican with a novel understanding of history. Beware!

        January 27, 2015 at 10:56 am
      • Therese


        Yes, quite clear. Tragic.


        January 27, 2015 at 10:07 am
  • Athanasius

    Common Sense,

    A little further back you insisted that Pope Paul VI’ comment about the “smoke of Satan” was directed at Archbishop Lefebvre. How you came to that conclusion still has me scratching my head. Still, you were adamant that this was the context of the words.

    Right, here’s a segment of an interview with Cardinal Noè in 2008 in which His Eminence speaks precisely on this subject. I hope subsequently to see your admission of error posted here and your regret at having insistently calumniated the good name Archbishop Lefebvre.

    I should point out that the Cardinal being interviewed was a very close ally of Pope Paul VI and is speaking here in relation to his conversations with that Pope. Here’s the important part of the interview:

    Interviewer “Paul VI’s denunciation of the presence of the smoke of Satan in the Church is unforgettable. Still today, that discourse seems to be incredibly relevant.”

    Cardinal Noè “I am in a position to reveal, for the first time, what Paul VI desired to denounce with that statement. Here it is. Papa Montini, for Satan, meant to include all those priests or bishops and cardinals who didn’t render worship to the Lord by celebrating badly (mal celebrando) Holy Mass because of an errant interpretation of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council. He spoke of the smoke of Satan because he maintained that those priests who turned Holy Mass into dry straw in the name of creativity, in reality were possessed of the vainglory and the pride of the Evil One. so, the smoke of Satan was nothing other than the mentality which wanted to distort the traditional and liturgical canons of the Eucharistic ceremony.”

    Communion in the hand was one of those distortions, which is obvious from the pride of Satan that turned kneeling adorers into standing equals!

    You can read more on that interview here:

    January 27, 2015 at 10:30 am
  • Alex F

    I don’t think the main issue here is Communion in the hand. Even if it is allowed by the Church (although I don’t think it should be) the way Communion is distributed in that video does seem very disrespectful and would lead one to ask if they believe that Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament. That’s not to say that the people were deliberately being disrespectful to Our Lord. He knows the intentions of their hearts, and as Commonsense says, many will have gone to great efforts to have been there. Surely they will receive graces from their sacrifices.

    Given that a similar thing happened in Rio, and the logistical problems of giving Communion to several million people, it may be better to encourage the lay people to make a spiritual communion. Jesus is every bit as much present in the tabernacle in their local parish, so they will gain nothing extra from having gone to communion at a pope’s Mass, and they will still get graces from the spiritual communion. I can see why they wanted to go to Communion at the pope’s mass, but if they understood the faith on this matter, they would see that it wasn’t necessary.

    I’m not an expert on the liturgical practices of the early church, but Protestants (including Anglicans) don’t believe that Jesus is present in the holy Eucharist, so it seems obvious that their practices will reflect what they believe- that it is just bread. So I don’t think it makes sense for Catholics to imitate them, when they believe they are receiving two different things. The Orthodox, on the other hand, do believe pretty much the same as the Catholics, and they don’t have Communion on the hand either. It should reflect what you believe in.

    January 27, 2015 at 6:59 pm
    • Athanasius

      Alex F,

      While I agree in general with your wise observation concerning the distribution of Holy Communion at these rally Masses, I respectfully disagree entirely with your assertion that Communion in the hand is not the main issue.

      It is absolutely the main issue because it fundamentally underlies these atrocities committed against the Blessed Sacrament. And not just the latest example being discussed here but countless other such terrible crimes, all of which could not have taken place had Communion on the tongue remained the norm, as the Popes have insisted.

      To give just one example. A French art student was able to gather several hundreds of consecrated hosts by means of Communion in the hand, from which he “created an art pattern” of sacred hosts, each pinned one over the other. You would be truly appalled if you knew what I know, and I have researched this abusive practice very deeply.

      January 27, 2015 at 10:59 pm
      • Alex F

        I agree with you on Communion in the hand. Unfortunately, though it’s allowed at present, and is even the de facto rule in some places, with the priest reacting like you might be carrying ebola when you try to take communion on the tongue!

        I was referring to the video when I say it wasn’t the issue here. It’s possible to receive Communion in the hand with a certain reverence and decorum, even though I agree it shouldn’t be allowed as it’s much better to receive on the tongue. But the free-for-all in the video was very disrespectful and not just because of communion in the hand.

        January 28, 2015 at 1:04 am
      • Athanasius

        Alex F,

        Yes, we are living in very tragic times for the Church, there’s no doubt about it.

        Pope Pius XII recognised what was about to come upon the Church when he spoke the following words: “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith in her liturgy, her theology and her soul…I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past. A day will come when the civilised world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God.” (Mgr. Roche, Pie XII Devant L’Histoire, p. 52-53).

        How prophetic were these words in light of what we see happening in the Church today?

        But it wasn’t just Pius XII who seemed to sense what was coming. Pope Gregory XVI in his 1832 Encyclical Mirari Vos also lamented the reformation mindset that was gaining ground in the Church. He wrote: “To use the words of the Fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human Church…”

        It is no coincidence that the Church’s natural preoccupation with the dignity of God prior to Vatican II has, since Vatican II, become an unnatural preoccupation with “the dignity of the human person”. Almost every innovation, from the new Mass to Communion in the hand, is rooted in this inversion of priorities.

        Well did St. Pius X condemn Modernism as “the synthesis of all heresies” and warn that it’s chief error is to divinise man. “Pride,” said he, “sits in the Modernist mind as in its own house”. The problem with pride is that it blinds its victims to truth.

        January 28, 2015 at 2:53 am
      • Alex F

        That’s very true. A lot of the abuses of the Blessed Sacrament we see today would be avoided if we still had Communion on the tongue, and kneeling down would be even better still. It’s just more devout and recognizes our place before Jesus our Redeemer. Thank you for posting those quotes.

        January 28, 2015 at 11:20 pm
  • Nolite Timere

    This seems to be indicative of a bigger issue, it seems that reception of communion has now become the norm without due regard to the proper dispositions to actually receive. Many believe that the reception of communion is necessary every time you attend Mass and now most Mass attenders without thinking march forward to receive as if it was their right.

    In the example provided it would be much better if communion was only received by the Pope himself and maybe other clergy concelebrating. If need be a small group of laity could also receive.

    It is completely inappropriate for communion to be distributed in the manner of this video, I’m not even sure how you would produce/store 6 million hosts, or have enough sacred vessels for this. It’s about time people realised that frequent reception of communion is praiseworthy and ultimately a good thing it is not a necessity, attendance at Mass in itself suffices.

    Common Sense

    Surely you are not telling me that just because something is licit (Communion in the hand/ extraordinary ministers etc etc) it is necessarily good?


    If you refuse to accept the Canonisation of 2 Saints, which was defined as an infallible action then surely that pushes you over the edge towards formal Schism?

    January 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm
    • editor

      Nolite Timere,

      Welcome back – and well said! An excellent post! But what happened to your lovely avatar? Remember, avatars are linked to the email address you used to set it up.

      Turning now to your question about the canonisations …

      We ran two threads on this at the time of the canonisations and thoroughly explored all the issues – I’m sure you would have paid a visit if not contributed, but you may have forgotten. Anyway, a couple of key points made by me (and others, I am sure) in those debates, follow…

      According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, no definitive and binding statement on the infallibility of canonizations has been made by the Church. I cannot think of any document on this subject – probably because it’s never been an issue before. We can expect one in the future, no doubt about it. We have always accepted the infallibility of canonisations based on the opinions of theologians including those we respect as “Church Fathers”.

      However, a key fact to bear in mind is this: no theologian has the authority to teach in the name of the Magisterium.

      The work of theologians is not to teach; their work is to speculate, enquire, deliberate on questions of theology, and those who did so in the past and who concluded that canonisations were infallible – that is, the pope enjoyed the assistance of the Holy Spirit when considering a Cause – did so because the process in place at that time was so strict that they believed we could enjoy certainty that the candidate was worthy of being “raised to the altars”. A key element in that process was the Devil’s Advocate – dispensed with by Pope John Paul II – read about the central importance of the Devil’s Advocate here.

      Undoubtedly, future theologians will study the question again – watch this space!

      In fact, I have noticed that very few people refer to “Saint” John Paul II or John XXIII. Very few. I think there may be a kind of instinctive dislike of the unseemly haste to canonise these two popes and to beatify Pope Paul VI and not just among those of us dubbed “traditionalists”. I think it’s more general than that.

      Anyway, it’s definitely NOT verging on schism to reject these canonisations. I’m not saying the two popes are not in Heaven – I don’t know. However, I do know that neither of them is worthy of Catholic veneration of the kind traditionally associated with devotion to the saints. Just as I would argue that a father of a large family who neglected them, who was a negligent father, was not worthy of canonisation even if he ran soup kitchens, gave all his money to the poor, and travelled the world encouraging folk to support Celtic FC. If he did not attend to his elementary duties of state as a parent, then he most certainly is not a candidate for canonisation, Catholic Truth reader or not. The two popes of popular acclaim, all but destroyed the Church, humanly speaking – the last thing they deserve is to be venerated as heroes of the Faith.

      The “new” canonisations – like the new everything else we’ve had to suffer these past fifty years – will, I have no doubt, in future be seen as part and parcel of this unique and terrible crisis in the Church. That’s why no-one should be scandalised (unduly) by them.

      I hope I have answered your question, Nolite Timere, and that you will agree with my ever so humble assertion that I am not a schismatic; however, that might change: check back when they canonise Pope Francis 😀

      January 28, 2015 at 1:07 am
      • Common Sense

        One reason why some people may not always refer to them as the Saints they are is because their canonisations were so recent, and they lived in the lifetime of so many alive, and their “names” are so familiar. However,, as you state above, some do not accept they are saints and, therefore, do not do so, and that may put those people in schism.

        January 28, 2015 at 6:33 am
      • editor


        From the Catholic Encyclopaedia…

        “… no definitive and binding statement on the infallibility of canonizations has been made by the Church.”

        It is, therefore, incumbent upon you to specify on what grounds someone is excommunicated (in schism) because they do not accept the two canonisations (and possibly others in the fast-track category of recent years.)


        January 28, 2015 at 11:39 am
    • Common Sense

      If you think The Church Jesus founded would render licit something that is not good, and that some things, of necessity and for good reason, can change you are probably in the wrong Church. For example, The Rite of Mass has, clearly, changed more than once, and Latin was not always the official language of The Church.

      January 28, 2015 at 6:25 am
      • Petrus

        Common Sense

        Have you ever studied the liturgy? You said the Rite of Mass has changed more than once. This is incorrect. There have been minor changes to the Mass, usually always adding something in, but the Rite of Mass contained within the 1962 missal stretches back to at least St Gregory the Great, and most liturgical scholars agree that the Roman Rite of Mass stretches back even further into antiquity.

        Only once in the history of the Church was continuity and organic development ruptured – 1969. What was the motive for this rupture? To bring about a second Protestant reformation. Indeed, six Protestant ministers helped to write the New Mass and Fr Annibale Bugnini, Secretary of the Consilium charged with writing a New Mass stated quite openly:

        “We must strip from our Catholic prayer books and from the Catholic Liturgy everything that can be a shadow of a stumbling block to our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants” [L’Osservatore Romano, 19/3/65]

        Fr. Joseph Gélineau S.J., a Council peritus and liberal apologist for the new liturgy, states in his book “Demain la Liturgie” (1976 MD p.77-8): “To tell the truth, it is a different liturgy of theMass. This needs to be said without ambiguity. The Roman rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.”

        If you look at the main innovations, sacrileges and abominations which are now common place in the New Mass you will notice that Vatican II did not sanction any of them. I speak of a New Mass, abandonment of Latin, Communion in the hand, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and altar girls. You won’t find any mention of these things in the documents of Vatican II. What happened after the Council was ambiguous documents were hijacked by the Modernist enemies of Tradition. Couple this with an extremely weak pope and the result is an ecclesiastical coup d’etat.

        How anyone could I ignore these things, never mind promote them, is beyond me. As for me, I will cling to Tradition rather than embrace innovation. Innovation that leads to the abandonment of vocations, falling Mass attendance and ultimately loss of Faith. If we cling to the Faith of our fathers we cannot go wrong.

        January 28, 2015 at 8:22 am
      • Common Sense

        So Gregory the Great was a contemporary of Jesus and The Apostles. History isn’t your strong point, is it?

        February 2, 2015 at 6:34 am
      • editor


        Pope Paul VI said that he had intended the novus ordo Mass to be an option, not a replacement of the old Mass.

        Please reflect on where the true disobedience lies, then, when so many (majority of ) Catholics think the new Mass replaced the old?

        January 28, 2015 at 11:41 am
      • Athanasius

        Common Sense,

        You’re wrong! Latin has always been the language of the Church.

        And please do not confuse the Church with Churchmen, the latter being fallible and prone to error when they make changes. You really don’t understand a thing about Church teaching. All you’re doing here is making things up to suit your mindset, not an uncommon trait in Modernists.

        January 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm
  • damselofthefaith

    Frankly, I find it absurd that this sacrilege has to be ARGUED, as is happening here.

    This is the God of the Universe, Our Lord Jesus Christ, being passed around like candy and trampled underfoot and this sacrilege is being JUSTIFIED and DEFENDED?!

    Folks, this will have to be accounted for on the Day of Judgment. Do not forget that. God is not mocked. Those Bishops who rebelled against the Blessed Sacrament ultimately, by opening the door to Communion in the hand are responsible for this.

    We say we have the real thing. We say we have the Real Presence, but our conduct doesn’t say so. To those who receive Holy Communion in the hand, do you not realize that you are imitating the Protestants? If you believe it’s just bread, then you treat it accordingly. But, if you believe that is your Creator and God, why are you not kneeling in humble adoration and being fed like a child?

    January 28, 2015 at 3:49 am
    • Athanasius


      You are so right!

      There has been more than sufficient evidence provided by the bloggers here to make any genuinely objective Catholic think twice about Communion in the hand. Yet, this Common Sense person is making up every kind of excuse in its defence, even in the face of that horrendous video.

      That’s why I’m now of the opinion that this particular person is either not very bright or not fully Catholic. Innocent ignorance I can happily deal with. But belligerent, arrogant and determined ignorance is something altogether different. St. Peter himself could come to this person with the truth and still he would argue the point. I say we’ve done our duty and that the time has come to just leave the matter in God’s hands.

      January 28, 2015 at 2:41 pm
  • Common Sense

    I gather a multitude of learned people have subjected your scholarship to peer review, when you have published, and have found it wanting. No serious scholar would say that Latin was the language of The Early Church. Are you saying The New Testament, written in anything but Latin was written by other than The Apostles, and their co-workers?

    February 2, 2015 at 6:48 am
    • editor


      You are being mischievous. You must know that Athanasius means to say that Latin is the language which has the been in use longest, in the Church. Maybe this, from the Vatican website, will convince you – although I can’t be sure they’ve had it “peer reviewed”… would their “peers” be Justin Welby or the nearest Imam?

      “Undoubtedly, Latin is the language that has the most longevity in the Roman Liturgy: It has been in use for over sixteen centuries, that is to say, from the time when the official liturgical language of the Church went from Greek to Latin – a change completed under Pope Damasus (+384). The official liturgical books of the Roman Rite are still published in Latin today (editio typica).” Source

      February 3, 2015 at 12:20 am

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