PODCAST EPISODE 007: Is Michael Voris Right About Kneeling?

by Jimmy Akin

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JIMMY AKIN PODCAST 007: Is Michael Voris Right About Kneeling? (8/2/11)

Here is Voris's original video on YouTube:


And the original CNA interview with Cardinal Canizares Llovera: 


And here's GIRM 160 (2011 ed.):

160.   The Priest then takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession.

It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, 25 March 2004, no. 91).  

When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister.  The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant.  When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.


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Paul S. August 2, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Hi Jimmy,
This is a clear example of why I like to listen to you discuss the issues within the Church. I believe you do an excellent job of presenting the issues in a well rounded manner. Also, to bring us back to OFFICIAL Church documents and then discuss them in “common-speak” is greatly appreciated.
God be with you!

Andrew August 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Quick question: Where can I find the full text of the 2011 GIRM?

Johnno August 2, 2011 at 11:48 pm

I believe what Voris and other Catholics are arguing if you follow RealCatholicTV etc. is not that the faithful aren’t allowed to receive communion on the hands or standing, but rather that the practice has encouraged irreverence for the Eucharist. It was strongly discouraged in the Church for a long time until bishops became more liberal about it. Now most Catholics don’t believe in the real presence of the Eucharist amongst other things.
A return to kneeling (if one is able) and receiving on the tongue will go a long way to emphasizing that the Eucharist is something special, and something we receive as a gesture from God that only the Priest with consecrated hands may touch. The Eucharist is not something we take for ourselves and treat as a trivial thing. In the Old Testament times one would be killed if they so much as touched the Ark of the Covenant upon which God came over. How much more then should we be careful with the Body of Christ, not to mention that reception on the hands makes our Lord’s Body more open to abuse if fragments rub off and are discarded and trampled upon.
All these gestures and acts and things we do reinforce principles and ultimately do matter.

Leslie Klinger August 3, 2011 at 1:51 am

Like you, Jimmy, I am a big fan of kneeling. Like you, however, it is important that the entire teaching be discussed so that we do not fall into sin by making our point at the expense of someone’s good name. I am tired of people inferring that someone else is not a good Catholic because they follow the directions of the magisterium to the best of their ability. Thank you for a reasonable and well thought out response. Be prepared to be villified.

Tim H August 3, 2011 at 4:51 am

In as unjudgemental a manner as I could manage, I watched the following scene unfold this Sunday at mass.
A young lady in a very skimpy “dress” was given Holy Communion by an extraordinary minister, while sitting in the front pew. After the EM looked at her in a confused way (uncertain if she wanted the little treat that was being dispensed?) she proceeded to give the young lady Holy Communion in the following manner:
– the young lady remained seated (although obviously in good health; she had spent much of the mass looking quite bored with things)
– no words were exchanged between them
– the young lady put both hands side by side, as to receive a platter of food
– the EM placed a consecrated host in the young lady’s left hand.
– the young lady picked up the consecrated host with her right hand, made the sign of the cross with it, and then ate it with disinterest.
An exercise for the reader: if the congregation had been receiving Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue, is it likely that this scene would have occurred?

Jeffrey Pinyan August 3, 2011 at 6:39 am

At the 13min 20sec mark, I believe I’ve just heard the modern equivalent of the Holy Hand Grenade!

Agnes August 3, 2011 at 7:22 am

+JMJ+ Here are two more Vortex episodes on the subject, made in April.
Frankly, I agree with Michael. I think the point he was trying to make in the Vortex in question, was that many people who don’t know their Faith will consider it, “self-communicating” even if that is not the definition given by the Church.
Here is the Bishop Athanasius Schneider video mentioned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jii6NCfTW68
And the Vatican paper: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_redemptionis-sacramentum_en.html
And the Cardinal Francis Arinze video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap1KL2D5ae4&NR=1
And lastly, a helpful overview article: http://www.pewsitter.com/view_news_id_6580.php

Dwight August 3, 2011 at 8:27 am

As someone relatively new to the Catholic Church (converted from Southern Baptist 2+ years ago) I find myself agreeing more and more with Michael Voris. Too many folks react “off the cuff” to his comments because of his style, rather than listening to the substance of what he’s saying. Thank you, Jimmy, for a fair assessment of Michael’s comments. My bottom line: yes, Voris is right. I do not believe that Voris is misleading anyone regarding the Cardinal’s quotes, I do believe that kneeling should be the norm, and that other postures should be the exception. Our Lord deserves no less than what we can physically give him. Too many Catholics (clergy AND laity) are of the “happy-clappy” variety, and I am anxious to see that trend go away as soon as possible.

abdiesus August 3, 2011 at 10:07 am

Leslie K.,
I understand what you say, and it’s something that Voris does need to be careful of, however, in this case, I think you may have overstated things. Frankly, *I’m* tired of people inferring that every goofy, liberal-whacko idea that comes out of the USCCB is automatically to be considered a statement of “The Magisterium” – Thank God this is not the case! If it were, we’d be in a LOT more trouble than we already are!
I also question why anyone who really believes in the Real Presence would bristle at the idea that our devotional practices should reflect our faith in the Real Presence. The problem here is that any real Catholic (e.g. someone who really believes in the Real Presence) should *want* to show the proper respect for it – and Catholic tradition has developed a beautiful way to show this proper respect – by kneeling and receiving on the tongue. The fact that the USCCB doesn’t believe that is necessary anymore (i.e. since Vatican 2 “supposedly” changed everything) tells us more about the USCCB than it does about the time-honored Catholic tradition of kneeling and receiving on the tongue.
Now, you have already stated that you are a “fan” of kneeling, and that means this is probably preaching to the choir in one sense. Similarly, I also believe Voris is quite well aware that receiving in the hand while standing is “licit” in the sense that it is allowed by ecclesiastical authority, and has actually made a “norm” for the US by the USCCB. Voris is merely asking “Why?” and “Ought it be so?” To ask such questions in this context is, by definition, going to imply that there is something amiss – that there is something wrong which “ought” to be changed – namely a US norm which does not adequately reflect the Historic faith of the Church in the Real Presence. I really can’t see how this point can be challenged, especially in the historical context in which the norm was changed. If you believe in kneeling to receive, why would you object to Voris pointing this out?
Pax Christi,
Jeff Holston

Tom August 3, 2011 at 10:56 am

I’m no liturgist and I find Voris’ promotion of TOB and Opus Dei, at times, irksome. Nevertheless, it’s fun to watch how a guy with a YouTube Channel and a bachelor’s degree from the Angelicum gives such fits to the cult of mutually adoring celebrity converts.
How dare this guy who has never been an evangelical nor worked for EWTN nor Catholic Answers have the temerity to try his hand at apologetics. How dare he! Make fun of his hair and repost that unsigned letter declaring him persona non grata at World Youth Day.

Jon W August 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm

How dare this guy who has never been an evangelical nor worked for EWTN nor Catholic Answers have the temerity to try his hand at apologetics.
How dare this guy who has never been an evangelical nor worked for EWTN nor Catholic Answers have the temerity to give misleading advice to people who don’t have the opportunity to read the GIRM for themselves?

Brian Sullivan August 3, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Let’s see. The bishops are not faithful, priests are not faithful, the laity is not faithful? Who’s left?

Johnno August 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm

“How dare this guy who has never been an evangelical nor worked for EWTN nor Catholic Answers have the temerity to give misleading advice to people who don’t have the opportunity to read the GIRM for themselves?”
This is one Vortex episode of Voris’ out of many, not to mention the tons of other CIA episodes and media that RealCatholicTV has produced that has touched upon this subject matter.
If you’re familiar with him and the Vortex, then he has made it clear that it is not wrong to receive communion in the hand and is allowed by the USCCB and the GIRM. Perhaps he happened to slip up a little here in the way he delivered the message, it can happen, and usually if pointed out to him, a future Vortex episode will have him clarify something.
The main points Voris has been preaching about is with concern to the fact that certain priests and bishops on anecdotal evidence are actually REFUSING to give communion to faithful Catholic who kneel, telling them it has been abolished, or that the priest has a right to deny them communion unless they stand up and open their hands seeing their practice of kneeling as medieval and against ‘Vatican II progress.’ This is absurd… and meanwhile these same priests and bishops have no problem offering communion to public figures who openly defy Church teachings by living in or promoting sin and murder. As well as the fact that making standing the norm when the practice of kneeling has always been the universal norm before the USCCB changed it, has indirectly led to a lack of reverence for the Eucharist.
While that I believe was hopefully not the intention of the USCCB, Catholics by and large are not educated about their faith enough to know the difference between self-communicating as properly defined nor in the facts of the absolute presence and how they risk bringing damnation on themselves however, unintentional, to risk abuse of the Eucharist, not to mention that many no doubt receive it without believing in it, I know Catholics who receive the Eucharist while believing that Jesus Christ never existed! And also many receive it in a state of mortal sin and never go to Confession.
The point is that our actions reinforce our beliefs. Because of the ease and carelessness in which Communion is received nowadays, it’s no wonder that the majority of Catholics have trouble accepting the belief in the Eucharist and so too do non-Christians who wonder why if that piece of bread really was God, do its followers not treat it with the utmost reverence? Such actions also inform ones theology about God’s holiness and seem to misrepresent God as being someone who is easily grasped and relatable as another human being, which is a dangerous error.
If a case can be made as some claim that reception in the hands can be more reverential, it is clear that 90% of Catholics do not know it, and thus unwittingly desecrate the host by their actions and thinking. Not to mention that as others have demonstrated it risks dropping fragments of the host that can fall, be wiped off ones hands and trodden upon on the floor. The Eucharist is the Body of God offered for us and is more precious than gold dust. Yet we are never careful enough to treat it that way. And the fact that we don’t then makes people question the validity of it actually being Christ’s body. Because if we truly believed that, we’d actually take pains to acknowledge it.
This is why Voris and other Catholics can petition priests and the bishops to re-institute the practice of kneeling and reception on the tongue and at the very least inform the faithful of their options. We CANNOT DEMAND BY FORCE that the bishops reform it. But we have a right to strongly petition them and teach others.

Tom August 3, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Well said Johnno:
I had a priest deny me communion for not putting out my hand. I wrote to Rome and sent a copy to the ordinary of the diocese. The problem was fixed lickidy split.

Mark Shea August 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm

“If a case can be made as some claim that reception in the hands can be more reverential, it is clear that 90% of Catholics do not know it, and thus unwittingly desecrate the host by their actions and thinking.”
It is curious that so many people who are inclined to accuse brother Catholics of “desecrating the Host” for the imaginary crime of doing what Holy Church permits them to do, never stop to wonder if they are descrating the Host by receiving it while peering at their neighbors and sitting in judgment of them instead of minding their own business.

Benjamin Baxter August 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Hear hear, Brian!

dar August 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I think the Catholic Church is big enough for both Jimmy Akin and Michael Voris. I like them both and have benefited from them both. Both have different styles and neither of them claim to be infallible. I keep them both in my prayers and am thankful for the work they do for the Church.

JohnE August 3, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Careful Mark, I’ve never heard that looking at people receiving Communion is itself a form of desecration. In fact our pastor suggested it one time. And to say that those who notice irreverent behavior are intentionally looking for it and then “sitting in judgement” seems to be on par with the sweeping generalizations that you accuse Michael Voris of. Perhaps you two will indeed be chained together in Purgatory.

Mark Shea August 4, 2011 at 12:37 am

Communion in the hand is not “irreverent behavior”. It is permitted by the bishops of Holy Church in the US. Sitting in judgment of Catholic who are doing what Holy Church permits them to do is not a healthy use of your time at Mass. Making videos urging Catholics to sit in judgement of their fellow Catholics for acting in obedience to Holy Church is likewise an poor use of one’s time.

Jack Miller August 4, 2011 at 1:04 am

Never heard of Michael Voris before Jimmy’s post – I must be behind on the times. Gotta say though, flipping through a few of his past videos, he is frequently, and in broad strokes, reasonably orthodox – BUT – his approach is one I’m not interested in following up on. Telling other Catholics they’re phoneys (and headed someplace warmer than El Paso in August) doesn’t seem really helpful to winning people for the faith. Also, his lousy technical production values emphasize the nails on a chalkboard feeling. In hand, standing communion can be just as reverential as kneeling and receiving on the tongue; trying to judge the heart of the communicant is not a place I’m willing to go – personally, I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone else to either.
Also, while I disagree with Jimmy about posture (maybe – it’s complex), I recognize that both standing and kneeling postures are valid. I get the impression that a lot of folks here think that the reverence has gone out of the mass because of posture or language, or some one of a laundry list of technical issues with the ordinary form of the mass… I disagree. If reverence and appreciation for the true nature of the Eucharist has diminished, it’s because of poor instruction – mandating one posture over another will remain so much lipstick on a hog until the average level of instruction in the faith rises. I’d say that everyone involved probably ought to stop worrying about the window dressings of the mass, and work on instruction

Jeb Protestant August 4, 2011 at 5:18 am

It’s funny that Mark Shea doesn’t like Voris. They have approximately the same level of theological sophistication.

JohnE August 4, 2011 at 7:41 am

“It’s funny that Mark Shea doesn’t like Voris. They have approximately the same level of theological sophistication.”
And a similar amount of tact from some of his articles I’ve read. I’ve heard some short audio blurbs he’s done for Catholic Exchange (I believe I’ve heard them on The Doctor is In podcast) which are very good though.
My apologies, Mark, for taking your previous comment out of context. As an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, it is fairly evident that many people are not being as reverent as they could be, and I have been guilty of it myself. I think the current practice of distributing Communion as “efficiently” as possible makes reverence difficult for many, some who don’t even realize it as they shift their gaze Host in hand to the next station.

Chet August 4, 2011 at 7:59 am

John E:
Efficiency is a bad excuse for the current state.
In fact, the communion rail is faster. My parish uses the walk up method and kneeling at the rail depending upon the particular mass. They communion rail is unquestionably faster. WE HAVE TIMED BOTH METHODS WITH LARGE CONGREGATIONS

Agnes August 4, 2011 at 8:07 am

+JMJ+ I’m surprised so many people don’t like Michael Voris. I have NEVER heard him contradict the Church. Sure, he may exagerate to make a point, such as the “three hours of intermissions for the kiss of peace,” but he never actually goes against Church teaching. I, for one, love his style, as I have been sick and tired of the “happy-clappy” crowd always stressing being “nice” and “tolerant.” (To extremes of course, I don’t mean the REAL thing.) They never really say much about the reality of Hell, which is the whole point of having a Redeemer. I’m glad someone has the guts to stand up to the crisis in the Church today, such as when the bishop gave the gays Holy Communion. Voris likes to expose the dark deeds to the light, and I am all for that. To see him at work with the CIA, click this link: http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/search/10/uMFAhW_ZmV8

Marie August 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

I, for one, love his style, as I have been sick and tired of the “happy-clappy” crowd always stressing being “nice” and “tolerant.”
Agnes – I take it you are a member of the choir?
That’s the problem with saying things like “happy-clappy crowd”: it plays very well with the choir. But how do others receive it?

Agnes August 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm

+JMJ+ No matter how you put it, there is always going to be at least one person who is “offended.” To quote from St. Catherine of Siena, “We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence.”
And again, Pope Felix the III: “Not to oppose error is to approve it, and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and indeed to neglect to confound evil men when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.”
Michael Voris exposes the evil, and preaches the good. Not everyone is going to agree with his style, but that’s fine. Everybody is different. Some would prefer the gentle priest in the confessional, while some prefer the priest who has a fiery temper. It all depends. But my point is that, whatever his style, Michael follows the Catholic Church, and would not purposefully lead souls astray. At least to the best of my knowledge.
By “happy-clappy crowd” I mean the “kumbya singing” Catholics (during Mass) and the whole, “God is Love” rainbows and kittens stuff. First of all, to set things straight, of course God is Love. We learn that in first grade catechism. He is Supreme Love, and all Love, Truth, and Beauty comes from Him. Sure. But there is more than that. God is also a Just God. To ONLY focus on the easy part, and to ignore the whole, “God is Just, and I am deserving of Hell” bit, is not taking all of Catholic teaching into consideration. You probably already know this, but after Vatican II, just about all the prayers and songs focused in on what God does to get us to Heaven, instead of what WE need to do to get to Heaven. Sure, there is a mix of both, but it gives the impression of a Salvation religion, instead of a Sanctification religion, which is what Catholicism is.
How do others recieve it? It depends on who the “others” are. If they are of the “happy-clappy” crowd, they may not like it, but then, not everything is based on mere feelings. But if they have true humility, they won’t take offense at the Truth. But they still may not like the style.

Johnno August 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Mark Shea –
For someone who is preaching to others not to judge, you sure judged my intentions without a second thought.
Quick question – Does one have to be aware of their sin in order to make a sin validly a sin? If for example a person raised in a non-Christian culture where sex outside of marriage is seen as normal has sex outside of marriage, will that make the morality of their actions okay?
The answer is that while there is less responsibility of their part to make such actions a mortal sin if they are ignorant about sexual morality as taught in Christianity, their acts are still wrong and endanger them.
Reception of communion on the hands is allowed. And a person can receive it on the hands with the best intentions. However they can still be unwittingly careless if particles of the host fall off and become trampled on the floor unbeknownst to them. The solution is either that EXTRA care be taken to make sure this doesn’t happen by taking great pains to make certain the host and particles of it are consumed with extraordinary attention and care even to lick their hands if necessary and pick particles of the host off the floor and eat them… Or, avoid the risk and extra trouble by having it placed on your tongue with a patten underneath and let the priests and servers do the work.
The person receiving communion on the hands may with the best of intentions want to behave reverently, but if particles do fall and are desecrated, then that is a problem. Even worse if they are unaware of it because as someone else has siad, many are not properly taught and instructed in their faith to have enough reverence in the first place. This is then not entirely their fault, but a fault it remains regardless.
That was the practical argument or reception on the tongue.

Johnno August 4, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Mark Shea –
Now for the Spiritual argument…
Our postures and actions define our faith and how much of it we have. We either naturally do them, or instructed in how to do them by our clergy, reinforce principles of faith. Let us consider kneeling to pray. An adult for example who has great faith in God may ither pray standing, which is not an issue, or be moved by personal conviction to kneel and adore God. Their faith prompts them to such an action. Likewise it can work the other way around, where teaching children to kneel to pray aids reinforces them as to the importance of the One they are praying to and teaches them the posture of penance as well that reinforces them to easily understand greater mysteries and understandings of the faith through action.
A lot of cultural contet comes into play as well with regards to how peopel interpret actions. In the West, the action of taking something for yourself is an action you do of your own will because you want it and feel you deserve to have it. To receive however is to be offered something freely by someone of something you may or may not be entitled to. This is reinforced in principle by the use of ones hands.
Also the at of physically touching and contact assumes you are clean or worthy on a level to engage in that which you are making contact with. However the Body of our Lord is not something on the same level of everyday items that we freely see and use without thinking. It IS SPECIAL! In some high scale stores selling designer merchandise to people with high incomes, Prada bags, rare expensive jewelry, paintings etc. often customers are never permitted to so much as touch the merchandise unless they have fully paid for it. Only employees workign for the store may touch it and show it. They will wear gloves and treat these mere objects with such extraordinary care. Contrast such mere consumer goods with a brand label on them to the Body of God!!!
In the Old Testament, the priests had to be ritually clean in order to serve unto the Ark of the Covenant and enter the Holy of Holies. Why such extraordinary measures? Because God, through actions and ritual reinforces the truth that God is holy and nothing unclean comes near Him, and this is of utmost importance! There are two truths that come out of this. One is as Christ made clear, what is of importance to God is not ritual cleanliness, but cleanliness of heart. What comes out of a man’s heart is what makes him clean or unclean. The OT ritual actions were reinforcements of a greater truth. Because the Jews comprehended the ritual actions of their priests and the Arronite line, it PAVED THE WAY for understanding greater mysteries and truths and understanding what God wished of human beings to become!!! However at the same time it does not diminish God’s Holiness and the level of holiness and cleanliness we are to adhere to in order to intimately receive Him!
The unignorable truth remains today that the majority of Catholics receive next to NO INSTRUCTION about their faith. Neither from their parishes, not from the Catholic Schools, and not from their own Famalies! Thus when receiving the Eucharist they are neither clean on the outside (how many bother to wash their hands and avoid contact with anything before receiving Christ on their hands? Before women would actually use a handkerchief over their hand before the host was placed upon it to receive our Lord). And neither are many making certain to be clean on the inside either (How many go to Confession? How many even believe they need it? How many openly deny Church teachings and yet believe they are entitled to receive the Eucharist?). How many even comprehend the value of what they are receiving? They’ll treat and handle their consumer goods with more care than they will that ‘wafer of bread’! Their actions in ognorance reinforce their beliefs and its importance.
Now no offense to those who do take all the pains possible and necessary to truly reverently receive Communion on your hands, but you’re a minority. Polls with Catholics prove this to be true and undeniable.
So here is the solution. In order to better instruct Catholics in the faith, do what God Himself did, and have actions reinforce beliefs. Force people through required action to better understand and comprehend their faith. Catholics not accustomed to kneeling or reception on the tongue will do what they have never thought to ask before… that question is “Why? Why must we do things like this? Why has it changed?” And THAT is what we want! So that in asking they might be informed and learn and through actions, appreciate!
Faith ought to move men to action! And sunsequently actions can reinforce ones faith! These are works! Kneeling and receiving on the tongue humbly are works that justify faith. To say otherwise is to suggest that so long as one is justified in their hearts, they need not put it into action. If one believes, then one is justified and need not make un-necessary actions such as Baptism by water etc. A Protestant heresy! While it is true that God will under circumstances judge people in their hearts who have not had opportunity to justify it through action through Baptism of desire, or in instances during the times of Christian persecution where Christians in hiding had to take consecrated bread by their own hands and distribute it, or like in the Old Testament where David and his men in hiding were allowed to eat the Offeratory Bread that only the priests could (Providing of course that they had been abstaining from sexual relations/thus being clean, which they were!), the Church in her wisdom allows such EXTRAORDINARY measures when they are required and necessary.
The reinforcement of kneeling and receptionon the tongue for Communion will go a long way to teach teh faithful through their actions in Church the things they were not taught at home or in school. Especially in the West! While there is no inherent wrong in reception on the hands or standing, which method and actions are better at reinforcing the importance of the Eucharist, the Holines of God and the unworthiness of human beings in light of it? If one is being honest with themselves, then obviously it is that of kneeling and humbly receiving on the tongue by opening ourselves up to receive and not ‘reaching out to take’, despite that as Jimmy said the Church interprets the minister as giving it on the hands, the majority of Catholics interpret it in their hearts as ‘taking for themselves.’
Even those who wish to be holy while standing and receiving on the hands who understand these concepts can see the worth of it. And if I may ask, could not we all also humble themselves for the greater goal by returning to the practice of kneeling and reception on the tongue for the sake of reinforcing proper Church teachings and belief on the Eucharist for the many? It’d be nice if all Catholics were properly instruted and received reverently and carefully on their hands, but that’s simply not happening. So it would be prudent and useful to institute such actions as the norm once again for the sake of instructing Catholics in at least this little way when they attend Mass to make up for the lack of education they receive in school and at home. It can be the start of a great effort to properly educate them.

Johnno August 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

On the topic of Michael Voris’ approach…
If anyone has an issue with the way Voris does things, then they’d equally have an issue with a great number of Saints and Popes as well who all took hardline stances and preached uncompromisingly and used a lot of unkind words…
Not to mention they’d also have a problem with our Lord as well who spared no unkind words for the religious authorities in His day who were not instructing the people well and compromising with the secular Roman authorities and playing both sides. Heck, didn’t He also take a staff and violently chase those money-minded people out of the Temple?
People like Michael Voris are needed. There is a need for strong voices in the Church. We’ve had enough of only the sappy stuff and look where that got us.
But we also do need kinder and gentler voices as well. We need both approaches applied where they are needed. No solution is perfect for all. The Church has many members and talents and they must all be applied where they are needed and work the best.
Some need the voice of compassion and gentle love. Others need the voice of authority and tough love. We need both and not simply just one or the other.

vox borealis August 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Well stated. Mark Shea, despite his protests, seems somewhat fixated on Michael Voris. Shea no sooner claims that he is happy to ignore the man when he writes another blog post on him, then sprinkles the internet with his combox commentary. Odd.
In any case, Shea has clearly misunderstood what Voris has fairly plainly said: not that receiving in the hand is “wrong” in a juridical sense, but rather that the practice has contributed to diminished reverence for the Eucharist. On this he is, as I see it, spot on. More over, Voris seems to be saying no more than what Cardinals Canizares, Arinze and Burke, not to mention the pope himself have said. Where is the error in Voris’ video, other than the slip about “self communicating” (which really does not affect the bigger point that he made?

Agnes August 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm
joe August 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm

*Of course* Vorris is right. Even if his style is off-putting. The fact the issue is even debated shows how far we have slid. Kneel to receive, is that so hard. Apparently in a church made dense by Vatican II, it is. And the Council was supposed to make the faith easier to understand. What a laugh!!

The Masked Chicken August 6, 2011 at 6:28 am

It is really unprofitable to complain about a practice which was properly submitted and properly approved by the Vatican. I believe the Vatican is aware of the dangers involved in receiving the Eucharist in the hand and standing, although if there is a valid expert out there who wishes to instruct the Vatican to help them form a more certain opinion, have at it. That is permitted under Canon Law.
Short of that, one might explain to others the preference and the reason that one has for receiving kneeling and on the tongue, but beyond that, your chief recource should be to prayer.
It would be more profitable, by far, instead of complaining, to have a discussion on why so many people are in the mess they are, today, with regards to moral and liturgical understanding. How did we go, in one generation, from being among the most theologically literate common folk to among the most ignorant? That is the real issue. Solve that and the matter of posture for communion will take care of itself.
Tradition does not die in a culture as fast as one generation and yet, it seems to have happened in the Church, especially the American Church. Railing against the trend without understanding it is largely unproductive. Even a New Evangelization, attempted without an understanding for why it is needed, will be largely unsucessful.
Communion in the hand is a symptom, not the problem. Don’t quote me the, “lack of reverence,” argument. There is a reason for the lack of reverence. Find it and you find the problem. Hint: it is not simply a matter of enculturation as some are trying to suggest. The symptoms go back long before Vatican II, a long way back.
I will leave it for discussion, as my take would be very long and very short.
The Chicken

vox borealis August 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Well put Chicken. However, I am of the opinion that form can influential belief. Maybe it’s the post-modern in me, but I am convinced that if the symptoms are addressed, the underlying problems will be at least lessened. In the case of communion in the hand, by re-imposing communion on the tongue, this in and of itself would move people toward greater reverence toward the eucharist.

Jeb Protestant August 8, 2011 at 4:06 am

Mark Shea is fixated on anyone who is to the right of himself.
Who made this guy a one man Magesterium?

The Masked Chicken August 8, 2011 at 7:26 am

Maybe it’s the post-modern in me, but I am convinced that if the symptoms are addressed, the underlying problems will be at least lessened. In the case of communion in the hand, by re-imposing communion on the tongue, this in and of itself would move people toward greater reverence toward the eucharist.
Perhaps. I know, Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, but are people really praying according to their beliefs? Sadly, the answer seems to be, yes. What do people believe about God and about the relationship of the human person to God? That is the central problem in Catholic life, today, to my way of thinking. I fear that no one fears God, anymore.
Annie Dillard, in a delightful book called, Teaching a Stone to Talk, made the comment that (paraphrase), “Liturgical Prayers are those that man has been able to say to God without getting killed.” Going to Mass for many people has become, liturgically, about equivalent to watching the contestant on American Idol. Even if the words are slightly altered, as they will be in November or the reception of communion is changed, while it may create a lot of gripping as in, “they changed the color of the curtains on stage,” but the sense of entertainment will continue.
In a world where there is no fear of God, there can be no prayer to God in any sense that is authentic. Of course, fear, here, is used in the authentic Hebrew understanding of awe and reverence, but it is often overlooked that the word, yârê’, as well as others related to fear of the Lord, indicate a healthy fear, as well. Even in the New Testament, the common terms, phobeomai and phobos, which mean something closer to reverence, also imply a type of servile fear.
The Traditional Latin Mass has this sense contained in it. The Mass of Pope Paul VI (the correct name for what is known as the Novus Ordo), not so much. Part of this is due to poor translation by ICEL, but part of it seems to reflect, I don’t know what, as psychologizing away of the fear of God.
This is why I do not think that changing communion to kneeling and to the hand will have much of an effect unless the underlying relationship between God ad man is properly restored and this is a matter of the heart, not performance.
How this all came about is quite messy and complicated, but Vatican II is not the root cause. Most people, here, including myself, are not old enough to have been really privy to the Catholic Milieu before the Council, but as an historian, it is interesting to research. There were two divergent strains of Catholicism present, one very conservative, almost reactionary, and one very liberal, almost to the point of, perhaps, Unitarianism, but this, in itself, did not cause the current mess.
Prof. Ralph McInerny wrote a book, well worth reading, called, What went Wrong with Vatican II in which he cites, partially correctly, I think, the co-opting of the texts of Vatican II (many of which, still, have not been authentically interpreted, since the original Latin is vague in certain places) by dissenting theologians as a way of advancing an agenda. This is partially correct, but Prof. McInerny does not take the one extra step demanded of the historian – an exploration of how the dissent came about. That takes us back much farther in history.
As this post is about Michael Voris’s video, I don’t want to side-track the discussion. My point is that, while I think kneeling and receiving on the tongue and a return to Latin is the best form for the Mass, Rome has permitted other things to be done and it is my duty to accept them with internal assent.
I do not think that a return to these actions, in themselves, will change much, so I have to disagree with Mr. Voris, to some extent. I have known may people who have been very orthodox and have a correct relationship with the Lord who receive standing (although most hate to receive in the hand – another long story about the ancient history on that). It is the heart that matters, and although the law of prayer reflects the law of belief, this is, strictly speaking, only true of those who create the prayer and there’s the rub. People do not go to Mass, today, to create, anew, at each Mass, a prayer. They do not go to hold a sacred trust in their hands and in their hearts. They go to feel good. Psychology, materialism, and scientism have so displaced the direct, unmediated relationship of a man to his God, that most people going to Mass have a sort of curtain thrown between themselves and God by virtue of their misunderstanding of the Mass, itself, since their understanding of the Mass is like to their understanding of God – an impersonal worship, or rather, a worship built on nothing but impulses that they have been told are neither right nor wrong, better or worse than any other; a worship based on a God who could never allow suffering; a use of materials that seem to point only to the now and not the next life.
Let’s not kid ourselves, Evangelists have their work cut out for them. People, honestly think that know God better, today, then people did, fifty years ago, because they feel it. It is a long discussion about how both the will and the intellect have been damaged in many people, today, but that is not the subject of this post, so I will leave it until I, myself am better disposed and until the situation for the discussion arises.
Again, a caveat – heat, poor sleep, means much of what I am writing may be poorly thought out or even downright incorrect. I respect Mr. Voris, at least from what I have heard of him (I have not watched his videos, so my sense is, at lest, second-hand) and I, too, would like to see a return to the older practices of kneeling and receiving on the tongue (I also favor Latin, but then, again, I think all Catholics should know Latin), but the issue has to be properly understood as part of a much larger picture, which perhaps Mr. Voris has or will addressed. Before one can be an evangelist, one must be a detective. It is that aspect that I wish to see done.

Johnno August 8, 2011 at 11:50 am

Well said Chicken.
And given the various Vortex videos and even CIA episodes that RealCatholicTV has done, Voris has also talked about the points you bring up.
We do agree though. Simply reinforcing actions of kneeling and reception is not enough. Catholics must also learn why and have an interior change of heart. Fixing this problem requires approaching it from both angles. That of interior belief and prayer and that of outward actions. Each reinforces the other. We are justified by faith which is justified by works. The outward is representative of the inward sometimes, perhaps most of the time. But so too can outward action begin to reinforce inward action.
Someone who did a Bible study recently revealed to me that the entire time they went to Mass and sang hymns in the choir, it seemed like nothing but ritual and repitition. But as they studied the Bible and the faith, the rituals of the Mass began to have a more profounder meaning and they began to appreciate the things they had been doing all along and seeing the Mass and our actions and responses during the Mass, in a new light!
It’s the same way as disciplining children. Usually they don’t see the value of good manners and other proper conditioning their parents force them to adhere to until they grow up. And when properly understanding it, they have all this time been made used to behaving in a certain way that it is then naturally all the more easier for them to acclimitize to it. And it is preudent for parents to do so even if their children have not grasped the fullness of it.
So it is beneficial to do both. Not simply one at the neglect of the other. it is also worthy to note that the actions of Catholics, regardless of their interior heart, are outward witnesses to what we believe to others.
There is a remarkable story I’d read of a Catholic talking to a Muslim. The Muslim told the Catholic that he had trouble believing that the Eucharist was truly the Body of God. For if he were to believe it were, then he couldn’t imagine what would stop him from immediately prostrating before it and adoring it continuously? The Catholic, pausing for a moment, then agreed that he was right to think so… and it was a pity so many Catholics didn’t appreciate what stands before them…

anonisnowwhere August 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Mr. Akin,
While you are picking bones with Mr. Voris, why not call out the Cardinal who made the comments? (From your podcast it seems as if maybe you were doubting the accuracy of CNA’s quotes?) Maybe you want to call out Fr. Z also? http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/07/card-canizares-the-entire-church-should-receive-communion-kneeling-fr-z-rants/
Are you maybe reading a bit much into this Vortex episode?

John King August 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

I appreciate Jimmy Akin for pointing out that Voris is in fact fallible. Ten years ago I chose to become Catholic after listening to CA. What does concern me is the lack of solidarity with Voris and CA or EWTN etc. I have been paying close attention to this and what I see is Voris is quietly shunned by the most of the what I considered the faithful Catholic media. Once in a while a loose canon from this crowd will harshly criticize him.
I believe we are missing the point of Voris’s overall message here that the reason that most adult Catholics in the US (in the pews) do not practice or know their faith is because of unfaithful leadership (Many US Bishops) not standing up for it. Voris is working to unite the faithful against evil starting inside the Church.
I would think that many CA quests have said some things that were not accurate, but I don’t recall a program where these things a publicly pointed out in a charitable political campaign style.
I am saddened by us on one hand being silent on gross failures in the Church and then on the other hand pointing out smaller errors of someone who is trying to change things.
BTW is the GIRM considered an infallible document? I know there have been bad Popes so just because it was ratified should we accept it?
John King

The Masked Chicken August 9, 2011 at 11:31 am

BTW is the GIRM considered an infallible document? I know there have been bad Popes so just because it was ratified should we accept it?
Can. 838 §2 It is the prerogative of the Apostolic See to regulate the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, to publish liturgical books and review their vernacular translations, and to be watchful that liturgical regulations are everywhere faithfully observed.
The liturgical books are part of the ordinary magisterium and the actions prescribe, therein, are binding. No one has the right to change the liturgy except the Holy See.
The Chicken

Deacon Greg Kandra August 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Michael Voris has addressed this issue before.
You’ll note that in the video above, from last April, he says flat out that “the preferred method” of reception is kneeling. Which, according to the GIRM, is just not true. There is no “preferred method.” However, if you want to try and determine from a church document which method might be preferred, the GIRM from 2002 — while presenting the faithful with an even-handed choice — actually gives priority to standing: “The faithful may communicate either standing or kneeling, as established by the Conference of Bishops.”

Matthew Hysell August 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Michael Voris needs to be approached very carefully, if at all. I much prefer the Church’s supreme authority to a disgruntled layman:
Pax et bonum,
M. G. Hysell, MA MTh

Tradical August 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

“The liturgical books are part of the ordinary magisterium and the actions prescribe, therein, are binding. ”
A couple of thoughts:
Ordinary Magisterium. It has to repeat what has always been etc. So what you are referring to may be authentic magisterium not ordinary. There is a difference. In fact if it is something that can change then it is definitely infallible since what is once infallible is always infallible.
My understanding is that the practice of receiving communion in the hand is an indult from the Vatican. While it is standard practice in the US etc, this would not change the fact.
Have you ever considered what happens to the small particles of the host after you receive? Have you picked them up and consumed them? Do you realize that each particle has the same characteristics as the ‘full host’? How do you you purify your hands after receiving communion?
Have you looked into the history of how this practice was introduced after V2? It is definitely worth looking into.
The arguments about Voris vs the other ‘talking heads’ is, in my mind, irrelevant. The question is whether or not what they are talking about is true. Are they pointing out issues that are important to the life the Church? Their style etc is their style. It does not invalidate what they are saying.

John King August 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Awesome post Tradical! Jimmy just pointed out some holes in Voris’ particular message. I don’t see much of that probably because there are not that many holes in his overall work. Jimmy just confirms he is fallible like the rest of us and not that he is a divisive rabble-rouser. Like you said it’s about the message. Last ash wed I was in the front pew and witnessed a host fall to the floor and motioned the EM to pick it up which he refused until his line finished. I sent an email to the parish priest who didn’t even acknowledge my concern. The disrespect for the Most Blessed Sacrament is rampant. There is more respect for silence in a library than in my chapel! The problem starts as in my experience with the Bishops and Priests. That’s who Voris is addressing.

Joseph August 11, 2011 at 3:58 am

New prefect favours communion on tongue
Published: December 18, 2008
Incoming Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera has praised receiving communion on the tongue as recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ.
Cardinal Canizares Llovera made the comments in a telephone interview with a Madrid newspaper, Catholic Culture reports.
“What does it mean to receive Communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What does it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass?” Cardinal Canizares asked in the interview.
“It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, His goodness, and His mercy.
“That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive Communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way.
It is not the same to receive Communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants,” the new Prefect said.

Michael August 11, 2011 at 5:58 am

I would like to comment from a practical standpoint as a faithful Roman Catholic who works for an Orthodox Church. The Orthodox receive under both kinds standing and directly from the priest. It is a very reverent experience and one that is edifying to observe. In addition, I often assist at Mass at a nearby Catholic parish which did something very smart. The church makes reception of Holy Communion very convenient for those that kneel as well as stand. They simply set up two kneelers where one approaches the altar so that a communicant can either stand or kneel. In fact, many who stand receive on the tongue. No big deal is made of this. As you might guess, more and more people now kneel!

The Masked Chicken August 11, 2011 at 6:30 am

Dear Tradical,
You wrote,
Ordinary Magisterium. It has to repeat what has always been etc. So what you are referring to may be authentic magisterium not ordinary. There is a difference. In fact if it is something that can change then it is definitely infallible since what is once infallible is always infallible.
There seems to be some confusion as to terminology. The word, “ordinary,” is used in two different senses in dogmatic theology. I will specify them as Ordinary and ordinary.
The Ordinary and Universal Magisterium includes those infallible doctrine always historically taught, but not declared as such by a Council or a Pope speaking, ex cathedra. An example would be the Assumption of Mary, prior to its ex cathedra pronouncement in 1950. It had always been held and was, therefore, infallible.
The ordinary Magisterium includes those day-to-day pronouncements of the Pope and Bishop Councils addressing temporal, social, or procedural matters. As Wikipedia puts it:
The Ordinary Magisterium includes the potentially fallible teachings of the Pope and ecumenical Councils (i.e., not given ex cathedra) and, more commonly, of individual Bishops or groups of Bishops as taken separately from the whole College. Such teachings are fallible and could possibly contain errors; they are subject to revisions or even, rarely, revocation. In the case of the teachings of individual bishops to their diocese, there can of course even be disagreement among the individual bishops on such issues. However, these potentially fallible teachings are necessary to contribute to the development of doctrine. Eventually, many fallible teachings progress to the point where they can be infallibly defined (such as when they become not only Ordinary, but Ordinary AND Universal). Thus, some teachings move from the Ordinary Magisterium to the Sacred Magisterium.
The teachings of the ordinary Magisterium, also called the authentic magisterium, because the teachings are “authentic” or authorized within the teaching authority of the Church, are not, ordinarily, known or expected to be considered infallible, although the infallibility of a particular doctrine may be expressed at a later date through a Council or a Pope upon better understanding and reflection of it.
Liturgical books are a product of the ordinary Magisterium, but, the authority to issue the books is infallibly with the Pope as part of his office. Also, while the particular form of expressions within the books are fallible, the parts of the liturgy within the books are part of the Ordinary and Universal Magisteium and, thus, infallible. A Mass MUST contain a consecration, for example, in order to be a Mass.
Now, the status of the pronouncements of the ordinary Magisterium is specified in several places in Canon Law:
Can. 11 Merely ecclesiastical laws bind those who were baptised in the catholic Church or received into it, and who have a sufficient use of reason and, unless the law expressly provides otherwise, who have completed their seventh year of age.
Can. 752 While the assent of faith is not required, a religious submission of intellect and will is to be given to any doctrine which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising their authentic magisterium, declare upon a matter of faith or morals, even though they do not intend to proclaim that doctrine by definitive act. Christ’s faithful are therefore to ensure that they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine.
Can. 837 §1 Liturgical actions are not private but are celebrations of the Church itself as the ‘sacrament of unity’, that is, the holy people united and ordered under the Bishops. Accordingly, they concern the whole body of the Church, making it known and influencing it. They affect individual members of the Church in ways that vary according to orders, role and actual participation.
Can. 841 Since the sacraments are the same throughout the universal Church, and belong to the divine deposit of faith, only the supreme authority in the Church can approve or define what is needed for their validity. It belongs to the same authority, or to another competent authority in accordance with can. 838 §§3 and 4, to determine what is required for their lawful celebration, administration and reception and for the order to be observed in their celebration.
Taken together, these laws indicate that one may not alter any aspect of the Sacred Liturgy without the permission of one so authorized to allow the exception or alteration. For the most part, this does not include the laity. Priests have so discretion as provided by the GIRM; bishops have more flexibility; the Pope has more, although even he cannot change the essentialbsubstance of the Mass.
While certain aspects of the liturgy are binding, infallibly, such as the consecration, the other actions of the liturgy are binding under religious assent, pain of sin, and the requirements of validity. While it is true that, “necessitas non habet legem,” (necessity knows or has no laws), such that in cases of extreme necessity certain parts of the liturgical action may be dropped – for instance, in danger of death only the triple pouring of baptism needs to be done and not the full liturgy, nevertheless, extreme necessity cannot remove infallibly necessary actions, such as the pouring. Thus, while the liturgy is part Ordinary and part ordinary, at least religious assent is required and religious assent is normally binding under pain of sin (with the exceptions provided by law).
Hope that helps to clarify. Tradical, I think you accidentally left out a word in you comment on infallibility. Once infallible, always infallible. Things fallibly pronounced may be infallible in reality, but not yet known, so even fallible statements should be given respect because one may be entertaining infallibility, unawares.
The Chicken

The Masked Chicken August 11, 2011 at 6:36 am

The GIRM, in itself, is not infallible, but see Can. 841, above and my comments, following.
The Chicken

Tradical August 11, 2011 at 7:34 am

Thanks for the info – it rounds out my knowledge. Re: infallible statement – yep I missed a word. But I think you caught it correctly.
Now back to the more specific point:
Each particle the separates from a consecrated host that can be identified as having the appearance of ‘bread’ is the Blessed Eucharist.
Until the particle degrades the Eucharistic Presences is maintained. How many people who receive communion in the hand properly ‘purify’ their hands?
As mentioned by John King the dropping of a host a major problem. There are protocols for handling this event, normally the host is picked up immediately, a veil placed over the spot until it can be purified.
The same principle applies to every particle that falls from the host. (not certain if that should be capitalized).
Looking forward to your thoughts!

philip August 11, 2011 at 9:22 am

All this coming from Mr. Akin? But sir, on Catholic Answers, you couldn’t even explain why we ought to have 4 Eucharistic Prayers during the mass, but yet tell us that it is good to have such diversity so as to not make the mass too boring?
For many years, I respected you and your commentary, but these days, not the same.
Thanks for posting this really. It is times like these that call for people to stand up and display their cards for all to see where they stand.
What you have spent time disecting is a serious matter, but your assessment of it is baseless and sounds like dribble.
The fresh tone that Mr. Voris brings is what motivates younger people like myself to really be consciencious in our daily approach to faith. Our prayers and actions matter and Voris does well to point that out.
What you and your friends do is something that amounts to “let’s tease the new guy out of the scene”.
I am a sinner, but the sense of the faithful leads me in confusing times as these.
I will add your blog to the list I no longer read.

John King August 11, 2011 at 9:38 am

Awesome post Philip! Could not have said it better. “Tease the new guy out of the scene!” Nailed it!

Teresa Beem August 11, 2011 at 10:38 am

I love Michael Voris. We need him. I love Jimmy Aiken and I love Mark Shea. We need all voices for balance. Being a very new Catholic, having come from a Seventh-day Adventist background, I want more than anything to be ALL IN when it comes to Catholicism. I want the traditions and rites! To me, and I would never judge anyone who wants to do it differently, but–to me, I have such a hard time keeping the sobs back when I go up for the Holy Eucharist that all I can do it shake and throw myself at the feet of the priest to receive. I don’t want to receive on my hand because it is so incredibly meaningful to me for the priest to bestow the grace upon me without my help. Feels so humble and full of grace–so miraculous. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

Wally Ballew August 11, 2011 at 11:54 am

After a 40-year “respite” from Roman Catholicism I returned to the Church in 2008 only to find the kneelers gone and everyone waving at each other after the Our Father. If it were not for the Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, I might be tempted to go to a real Protestant service. Faux Protestantism doesn’t move me.

The Masked Chicken August 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Who is teasing anyone? To my knowledge, this is the only commentary Jimmy has made with regards to Mr. Voris. Talk about hasty generalizations.
As far as the comment about explaining why we “ought” to have four Eucharistic prayers – you do realize, Philip, that this is the fallacy called, to quoque? It is a type of diversion from the subject. Jimmy’s comments on the Eucharistic prayers has nothing to do with discussing the propriety of receiving in the hand. Stick to the subject. If you find a defect in Jimmy’s arguments relating to the video, then state it.
As for why we currently have the four Eucharistic prayers, do YOU know the answer? I read Bugnini’s book, the Reform of the Liturgy, 1948 – 1975. Have you? He was the secretary most responsible for helping to bring about the current Mass form. In fact, there are several reasons for the current four Eucharistic prayers, one reason being for diversity. There is no reason we must have four Eucharistic prayers, much less a simple “ought.”. The Mass would still be the Mass if we only had one.
You come here with ad hominems without leaving anything like a reasoned comment about the issue of the post and then use this as a “reason” for not returning? If you are serious about studying the Faith, then start with two premises, please. They will spare you a lot of disappointment: 1) in discussing the Faith with others, one should try very hard to stay on topic without over-emotionalizing, 2) assume that your interlocutor is acting in good faith and try to assume a charitable reading of his comments. Both are simple Christian charity.
Now back to the more specific point:
Each particle the separates from a consecrated host that can be identified as having the appearance of ‘bread’ is the Blessed Eucharist.

Until the particle degrades the Eucharistic Presences is maintained. How many people who receive communion in the hand properly ‘purify’ their hands?
This is a true problem of catechesis. Hands should be purified (clean) before receiving the Eucharist and afterwards, as well. It is the responsibility of the pastor to make sure that such is done by the parishioners.
The Chicken

The Masked Chicken August 11, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Hi, Teresa Beem.
I went over to visit your blog, but I could not leave a comment because I have neither a Google ID nor an OpenID. If you would like to discuss intercessory prayer (from a post at your blog), I would be happy to do so if we can find a way to communicate. I don’t have a public e-mail as the Chicken. I don’t want you to have to modify your security settings to allow open posting at your blog, but prayer is a matter worth discussing.
In any case, welcome.
The Chicken

Allan Wafkowski August 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Jimmy, I don’t believe you addressed the reason for Michael Voris’ objection to receiving Holy Communion in the hand. Standing is not a respectful posture. Come on Jimmy, it’s God we are receiving!
At least six times I have found discarded Hosts on the floor after Mass. Once I saw a teen place the Host in his pocket. I informed his mother, but I don’t know what happened afterward.
I assure you that the current state of disbelieve and disrespect in all areas of Catholic Church life was not the norm before Vatican II. We need to start the restoration somewhere, and the manner in which we receive the Son of God seems like an excellent place to start.

The Masked Chicken August 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Standing is not a respectful posture.
Check your Scripture and the Church Fathers. Yes, it is. For example:
Exodus 33: 9-10
When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the door of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses.
And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the door of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, every man at his tent door.
The Chicken

JeffJ August 11, 2011 at 6:24 pm

What is the spirit of the law in regards to the norm for standing while receiving communion? Why did the US feel it necessary to establish the norm?
Also, in regards to posture, Cardinal Ratzinger in the Spirit of the Liturgy explains the proper place of kneeling and standing in the liturgy. While yes, standing in the liturgy is appropriate for the liturgy at certain times of the liturgy, ie: the Gospel reading, it is inappropriate during the consecration.

Tradical August 12, 2011 at 6:26 am

“This is a true problem of catechesis. Hands should be purified (clean) before receiving the Eucharist and afterwards, as well. It is the responsibility of the pastor to make sure that such is done by the parishioners.”
I think the problem extends beyond catechesis. One aspect is infrastructure. How are the faithful going to purify their hands – beyond picking the particles with their fingers? You would need some sort of sink that drains into the ground in order to facilitate the proper purification.
From this point of view it would appear that communion on the tongue has a distinct logistical advantage. Much fewer hands to purify.

Tradical August 12, 2011 at 10:39 am

I was looking for something else and came across an interesting posting regarding reception of Holy Eucharist. Pretty good background information.

Michael H September 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm

As someone entering the Church out of a evangelical background this Easter because of Christ’s Eucharistic presence, I want all who are concerned about what “outsider” feel about “Voris’s style”, I doubt I would have believe Catholic’s believe the Church’s teaching without hearing people fight to speak the Truth over apathy in the Church laity and priesthood. I loved all the truth I was gleaning from books but I still only see hints of the Truth of the Faith demontrated in the Mass. I needed to hear that at least there were Catholics who saw it too and were sorrowful to see our Lord used as a ritual that Catholics are just use too. I know that Voris is not the only Catholic who sees this with me as many on this blog do. I just want “cradle Catholic’s” to know, believe what the Church teaches and find ways to let other around you to see that you do for the sake of the blessing Christ want to give those around you. Yes, of course you may have others think of you with the “holyer than thou” and you may have to answer some questions from a protestant like me who is confused. But is it really that hard to say the True presence of Christ is in the Church and we receive Him as part of His Bride. Blessings to all.

Christine September 28, 2011 at 3:17 am

Everyone here ought to read Bishop Athansius Schneider’s recent book, “Dominus Est,” which is backed by both the Prefect and Secretary of the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. Extremely brief, the book offers historical commentary on reception of Holy Communion, with many quotes from the fathers and saints, with the view that history (and practice) favors a return to kneeling and reception on the tongue as the truest, most genuine form of reverence.
As to Voris’s reference to “self-communicating”, I think what he meant is that reception of Holy Communion in the hand, as practiced today, is nothing like the way it was practiced in the primitive Church. Apologists for communion in the hand always point to the early Church as justification for this practice, when in fact, the early Church required that (1) the communicant thoroughly wash his hands before receiving, (2) make a sign of profound adoration before the Host, (3) drape a cloth over his palm, and (4) consume the Host directly with the tongue. One could NEVER pick up the Host with the other hand; this would indeed have been considered self-communicating, and would have incurred severe penalties. Thus, the way we receive today is vastly different from the way the Church has done it for the vast majority of Her history.

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