Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Let us examine the key statements in the Cathedral Rector's February 14 missive to the Cathedral parish relative to the celebration of Mass:

"All Masses must be celebrated with the Roman Missal with adherence to the letter and spirit of its General Instructions or GIRM." 

"Some groups may have been given special permission (also known as an indult) by Rome to change certain parts of the Mass. If your group falls within this category, please submit such permission to me before Ash Wednesday so that we can all be advised. Also note that all indults must have a start date and specifically state if it has an expiration date or is permanent/ongoing."

Of course there are not "some groups," there is only one "group": the Neocatechumenal Way. The NCW claims to have special permission to "change certain parts of the Mass." We will examine those in a minute. But first we can expect the NCW to avoid the missive by resorting to any of the following:

(Note: "They" does not refer to the rank and file neo's, but the "kiko's, the teachers and leaders.)

1) They do not consider their celebration a "Mass." It is "Eucharist." And while we also call our Mass "Eucharist," they mean something very different by it because they fundamentally believe that the Eucharist is NOT a sacrifice. 

2) They will claim that the Cathedral Rector has no authority over them, that they are only answerable to the bishop. That worked so long as "the bishop" was Apuron. But guess what? The bishop is still Apuron. They will not recognize Byrne's authority. And if Byrnes finds the where-with-all to challenge them, they will say "the pope sent us." 

3) Next they will split the word "receives" into two acts: reception of the "consecrated" bread into their hands, and consumption. Article 161 of the GIRM reads: "As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely." The NCW communicant does NOT consume the host "as soon as the communicant receives" it, but holds it until the rest of the group has received, then they sit down, still holding the host, and consume it after the priest consumes his host - which is another matter that we need to discuss. 

(Note: I put "consecrated" in quotes on purpose because they do not believe what we believe about it - I'll explain later.) 

4) They will move their "eucharists" off the church grounds, thinking that this puts them beyond the authority of the Rector. It doesn't. But this is where Byrnes will need to clarify the Rector's duties. The celebration of the Mass in a parish, no matter where it is celebrated, is always under the competence of the pastor of that parish. The question is: Is the Rector also the Pastor? 

If you remember, I caught a lot of flak for questioning Archbishop Hon's assigning Fr. Paul to the position of Rector of the Cathedral. The website for the Archdiocese of Agana lists Archbishop Byrnes as the pastor. Fine. But then this puts the Rector's whole directive outside his competence and could be disregarded wholesale because it is not a directive from the pastor, but only from the Rector, who is the equivalent of a caretaker. UNLESS, of course, the Rector has been officially deputed to issue the directive. 

Do you see the problem? There are all sorts of land mines the Kikos will exploit because Byrnes "doesn't take sides" (his words). 

Meanwhile, though, let us educate ourselves, since it appears to fall to the laity to effect any real change in this diocese. Following are the relevant sections of the General Instruction for the Roman Missal:

157. When the prayer is concluded, the priest genuflects, takes the host consecrated in the same Mass, and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says, Ecce Agnus Dei (This is the Lamb of God). With the people he adds, Domine, non sum dignus (Lord, I am not worthy).

158. After this, standing and turned toward the altar, the priest says quietly, Corpus Christi custodiat me in vitam aeternam (May the Body of Christ bring me to everlasting life) and reverently receives the Body of Christ. Then he takes the chalice, saying quietly, Sanguis Christi custodiat me in vitam aeternam (May the Blood of Christ bring me to everlasting life), and reverently receives the Blood of Christ.

By the way. Do you see that the priest is supposed to say the key words in LATIN? (The English translation is added parenthetically.) 

159. The Communion chant begins while the priest is receiving the Sacrament (cf. no. 86).

A ha! So we see that the Priest is to receive his own communion before he ever steps foot off the altar and begins to distribute to the communicants. This is the BIG ONE. While the Kiko's will split hairs all day long over "receive," there is no doubt that the neocat priest himself VIOLATES the Roman Missal by NOT communicating at the designated time but delaying his reception till AFTER he has distributed the hosts to the communicants. There is NO indult for this. And if there is, then it must be on Fr. Paul's desk by Ash Wednesday. But then that brings us to enforcement and consequences, doesn't it. And that's where "I don't take sides" Byrnes will be exploited, unless of course he "sides" with the Church.

160. The priest then takes the paten or ciborium and goes to the communicants, who, as a rule, approach in a procession.

The faithful are not permitted to take the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them from one to another. The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.

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.

Here is another. At a neocat "eucharist" if you go, the neocat priest will NOT distribute on the tongue. Of course he almost never is challenged to do so since most neocat "eucharists" are private affairs by virtue of the fact that most are not publicly scheduled. 

161. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying, Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). The communicant replies, Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely.

If, however, Communion is given under both kinds, the rite prescribed in nos. 284-287 is followed.

The neocats are permitted to receive under both kinds (we'll review that indult later), so lets go to the designated section to see if there is anything different:

284. When Communion is distributed under both kinds,

The chalice is usually administered by a deacon or, when no deacon is present, by a priest, or even by a duly instituted acolyte or another extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, or by a member of the faithful who, in case of necessity, has been entrusted with this duty for a single occasion;

Whatever may remain of the Blood of Christ is consumed at the altar by the priest or the deacon or the duly instituted acolyte who ministered the chalice. The same then purifies, wipes, and arranges the sacred vessels in the usual way.

Any of the faithful who wish to receive Holy Communion under the species of bread alone should be granted their wish.

285. For Communion under both kinds the following should be prepared:

If Communion from the chalice is carried out by communicants’ drinking directly from the chalice, a chalice of a sufficiently large size or several chalices are prepared. Care should, however, be taken in planning lest beyond what is needed of the Blood of Christ remains to be consumed at the end of the celebration.

If Communion is carried out by intinction, the hosts should be neither too thin nor too small, but rather a little thicker than usual, so that after being dipped partly into the Blood of Christ they can still easily be distributed to each communicant.

286. If Communion of the Blood of Christ is carried out by communicants’ drinking from the chalice, each communicant, after receiving the Body of Christ, moves and stands facing the minister of the chalice. The minister says, Sanguis Christi (The Blood of Christ), the communicant responds, Amen, and the minister hands over the chalice, which the communicant raises to his or her mouth. Each communicant drinks a little from the chalice, hands it back to the minister, and then withdraws; the minister wipes the rim of the chalice with the purificator.

287. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by intinction, each communicant, holding a communion-plate under the chin, approaches the priest who holds a vessel with the sacred particles, a minister standing at his side and holding the chalice. The priest takes a host, dips it partly into the chalice and, showing it, says, Corpus et Sanguis Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ). The communicant responds, Amen, receives the Sacrament in the mouth from the priest, and then withdraws.

As you can see, there is NO permission to delay consumption. And there is NO permission for the priest to distribute communion before he receives. NOTHING.

Now, lets look at those changes which are permitted to the Neocats in their approved 2008 Statute:

Art. 13 § 2. The neocatechumens celebrate the Sunday Eucharist in the small community after the first Vespers of Sunday. This celebration takes place according to the dispositions of the diocesan bishop. The celebrations of the Eucharist of the neocatechumenal communities on Saturday evening are part of the Sunday liturgical pastoral work of the parish and are open also to other faithful. 

So they are permitted to celebrate "in the small community after the first Vespers of Sunday" which is Saturday evening. As you can see, these celebrations are to be part "of the work of the parish," thus they MUST be publicly scheduled and the locations made known. Now for the key section:

Art. 13 § 3. For the celebration of the Eucharist in the small communities the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed, with the exception of the explicit concessions from the Holy See. (49) Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive it standing, remaining at their place.

They are permitted to "receive it standing, remaining at their place." So they are not required to process towards the altar as we are. But then there's that infamous Footnote 49 which fills us in on the "explicit concession from the Holy See." 

49 See Benedict XVI, Speech to the Neocatechumenal Communities on January 12, 2006, in Notitiae 41 (2005), 554–556; CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP, Letter of December 1, 2005 in Notitiae 41 (2005), 563–565; “Notification of the Congregation for Divine Worship on celebrations in groups of the Neocatechumenal Way,” L’Osservatore Romano, December 24, 1988: “The Congregation consents that among the adaptations foreseen by the instruction “Actio Pastoralis”, nn. 6-11, the groups of the above-mentioned “Way” may receive communion under two species, always with unleavened bread, and transfer “ad experimentum” the Rite of Peace to after the Prayer of the Faithful.” 

Let's work from the bottom. They have permission to transfer the Rite of Peace to after the Prayer of the Faithful (instead of right before Communion like the rest of us). However, note the words "ad experimentum." Those words are there because at the time, the whole Church was reviewing "ad experimentum" the suggestion to move the Rite of Peace. However, the "ad experimentum" period closed a couple years ago with the Church ruling that the Rite of Peace is to remain where it is. Thus this would apply to the Kiko's as well (it is no longer permitted). 

They also have permission to "receive communion under two species." This might be a surprise to some of us non-Neos because communion under two species is a regular thing at many of our non-Neo Masses. Obviously this is not permitted as evidenced by the fact that the neocats needed a special indult to do it. 

And now for the biggee. The reference to "the Arinze letter," of December 1, 2005. The letter which occasioned Apuron's taking to the air waves, publicly condemning Arinze and siding with Kiko. (Audio here. Transcript here.) The speech by Benedict of January 12, 2006 is referenced because the neocats promptly and publicly announced their intent to disobey the directive from the CDW, the "Arinze letter." To this day, they still disobey. I explained this in detail in THE NCW'S ILLICIT LITURGY. 

A PDF of this can be downloaded here

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