Fr. McBrien Attacks Pope Over Liturgical Reforms [UPDATED]
(Hat tip: PewSitter.com)
Dissident priest and Notre Dame professor of theology, Fr. Richard McBrien, continues his campaign of waging war on the Church's traditional liturgical and devotional practices in a direct attack upon the Holy Father:
... Lest anyone question Benedict's personal preference in this matter, it should be pointed out that, beginning on the feast of Corpus Christi last year, those receiving Communion from the pope must do so only on the tongue. He has also expressed support for restoring the practice of the priest's celebrating Mass "facing the East," which means in plain English with his back to the people. [ED.: That's funny I was under the impression that the words "facing the East" were, themselves, "plain English". Does that, then, mean "facing the people" means in "plain English" with his back to God? Make no mistake that Fr. McBrien's purpose here is an appeal to a sort of emotional grievance populism that would be the envy of Huey Long and perhaps even Glenn Beck. Only it's worse ... he's resorting to a sort of populism that sets the people against God, with the grievance being that God is receiving more attention than they are.](emphasis and editorial commentary added)
Given the possibility that such reversals (sometimes referred to as a "reform of the reform") will eventually be mandated, one can only imagine the confusion, frustration and anger that many priests and laypeople will experience. [ED.: I never cease to be amazed by the chutzpah and blatant hypocrisy of those, like Fr. McBrien, who continue to make this astoundingly ironic argument. No one seemed to care too much about the "confusion, frustration and anger" experienced 40 years ago by those who were forced to endure far greater cataclysmic change in the years following the 2nd Vatican Council. And we're supposed to worry that such minor shifts as Communion on the tongue and Mass said ad orientem are going to suddenly turn the Catholic world upside down? Please.]
Today, if individual Catholics choose to receive the sacrament on the tongue, they are free to do so. Eucharistic ministers -- priests and laypeople alike -- respect their wishes. The great majority, however, prefer to receive Communion in the hand and continue to do so. [ED.: The great majority don't go to Confession, either. Oh. That's right. Fr. McBrien thinks that's a good thing, too.]
But this proposal, if enacted, would actually prevent Catholics from making that choice for themselves. They would be denied the option, approved by Paul, that has been available to them for the past 40 years, namely, to receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue.
The so-called "John Paul II priests" would very likely be happy with such a reversal of practice and would ostentatiously deny giving Communion to those with outstretched hands. However, many other priests, whether old enough to have been shaped by Vatican II or not, would ignore the mandate and continue to distribute Communion in the hand to those who requested it. [ED.: In case you haven't already figured it out, in this particular scenario, the faithful, devout, and obedient "so-called 'John Paul II priests' " are the bad guys and the defiant and disobedient priests who "would ignore the [Vatican] mandate and continue to [treat the Body of Christ disrespectfully]" are the good guys.]
What would happen as a result of this tug of war at Communion time? Would some bishops threaten priests with suspension? If so, how many priests would expose themselves to such a penalty? If the numbers were large, how would the church be able to compensate for the additional decline in the number of available priests? [ED.: Hyperbolize much? I doubt we would see such widespread rebellion against the Church's authority by priests. If the Bishops said do it this way, the vast majority of priests would comply, even those who would rather not.]
Mandating the celebration of Mass with the priest's back to the congregation [ED.: Too much ink has already been spilled on addressing the outright stupidness of this description. And Fr. McBrien is a disingenuous hack for continuing to spout such nonsense. Actually, he's a disingenuous hack for a lot of reasons, this being merely one among many.] might pose an even greater problem, except in churches built before the Second Vatican Council and still with main altars facing the rear wall. But such churches are probably in the minority today. The architectural problems would be exceeded only by the pastoral dislocations. [ED.: Pastoral dislocations? Again, hyperbolize much? This is, quite simply, a canard. There will be no widespread "pastoral dislocations" over such small (albeit significant) changes as Communion on the tongue and Mass ad orientem.]
May none of this come to pass. [ED.: May you soon come to see the error of your ways, stop rabble rousing for the pantsuit set, stop trying to remake the Church in your own image, and come to embrace the richness of the Church's traditional liturgy and devotions. Barring that, may you soon be defrocked, removed from your teaching position at Notre Dame, and be left on the outside looking in as the reform of the reform that you so abhor comes to pass right before your terror-stricken eyes.]
Fr. Z does his patented fisk of Fr. McBrien here.