Thursday, September 25, 2014
FR. ANGELO (?) ANSWERS: IS "BENEDICTION" LITURGY?
In general, the word "benediction" can either refer to a blessing or an invocation. In the Catholic Mass, the "Benediction" is the blessing at the end of Mass. However, in Catholic usage, it can also refer to the "Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament" which is contained in the Order of the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist, of which we sometimes refer to simply as "Benediction". With these different references in mind, let us review the following convoluted exchange between a deacon candidate and a mystery speaker* who also made the strange claim that Jesus "was a sinner".
*Note: So far, we have been able to partially identify the "mystery speaker" as a priest from Italy named Fr. Angelo. If anyone can further verify his identity or how he came to be here instructing candidates for the diaconate, please send what you know. Likewise, you can also send information that disproves what we believe we know.
Here's the conversation:
The way the question is asked, it first appears that the candidate is speaking of the blessing at the end of the Mass, but we'll soon see that he was not.
SPEAKER: It’s not.
CANDIDATE: But it’s Christ.
He's obviously referring here to the Exposition of the Holy Eucharist.
SPEAKER: The blessing, yes. The blessing, yes, but not the adoration, not -- something like that.
The speaker makes it also clear that he is referring to the "Exposition" since he refers to "adoration".
CANDIDATE: But it doesn’t degrade, it’s not a degradation. The devotion is not a degradation, no?
CANDIDATE: It has valid effects?
SPEAKER: Oh, blessing, yes, because it’s God who blesses us. It’s God. Jesus Christ blesses us. And he is with me and with you, with the people.
So, according to the speaker, only the blessing part of the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist is "valid", meaning "valid" as liturgy, but not the "adoration." He is obviously in disagreement with Rome which codified the LITURGY of Eucharistic Adoration here:
Roman Ritual, Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, nn. 82-100; Missale Romanum, Institutio Generalis, n. 317; Code of Canon Law, can. 941 § 2.
For our general edification, let us contrast what was told to the deacon candidates by this "Fr. Angelo" with what St. Pope John Paul II instructs on Eucharistic Adoration in Redemptionis Sacramentum:
2. Certain Forms of Worship of the Most Holy Eucharist Outside Mass
[134.] “The worship of the Eucharist outside the Sacrifice of the Mass is a tribute of inestimable value in the life of the Church. Such worship is closely linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.” Therefore both public and private devotion to the Most Holy Eucharist even outside Mass should be vigorously promoted, for by means of it the faithful give adoration to Christ, truly and really present, the “High Priest of the good things to come” and Redeemer of the whole world. “It is the responsibility of sacred Pastors, even by the witness of their life, to support the practice of Eucharistic worship and especially exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the eucharistic species.”
[135.] The faithful “should not omit making visits during the day to the Most Holy Sacrament, as a proof of gratitude, a pledge of love, and a debt of the adoration due to Christ the Lord who is present in it.” For the contemplation of Jesus present in the Most Holy Sacrament, as a communion of desire, powerfully joins the faithful to Christ, as is splendidly evident in the example of so many Saints. ‘Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, a church in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved should be open to the faithful for at least some hours each day, so that they can spend time in prayer before the Most Holy Sacrament.”
[136.] The Ordinary should diligently foster Eucharistic adoration, whether brief or prolonged or almost continuous, with the participation of the people. For in recent years in so many places “adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament is also an important daily practice and becomes an inexhaustible source of holiness”, although there are also places “where there is evident almost a total lack of regard for worship in the form of eucharistic adoration.”
[137.] Exposition of the Most Holy Eucharist must always be carried out in accordance with the prescriptions of the liturgical books. Before the Most Holy Sacrament either reserved or exposed, the praying of the Rosary, which is admirable “in its simplicity and even its profundity”, is not to be excluded either. Even so, especially if there is Exposition, the character of this kind of prayer as a contemplation of the mystery of the life of Christ the Redeemer and the Almighty Father’s design of salvation should be emphasized, especially by making use of readings taken from Sacred Scripture.
Note: Once again PROOF that "Benediction" (Exposition of the Most Holy Eucharist) is "liturgy" since the pope refers here to the "prescription of the liturgical books."
[141.] The diocesan Bishop should acknowledge and foster insofar as possible the right of the various groups of Christ’s faithful to form guilds or associations for the carrying out of adoration, even almost continuous adoration. Whenever such associations assume an international character, it pertains to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to erect them and to approve their statutes.