Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Unnecessary Broads

People have been telling me to quit criticizing the New Mass. They say it developed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I'm wondering how far that protection goes.

Take the question of the Extraordinary Gropers of the Blessed Sacrament. There seems to have been some confusion over what to call them.

In 2004, John Paul cleared up the question in Redemptionis Sacramentum: "This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and notspecial minister of Holy Communionnorextraordinary minister of the Eucharistnorspecial minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened".

Right-o then. No more unnecessary or improper broads, he says. Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion it is. Strictly so called.

But where did these other names get started? Just who is responsible for "unnecessarily and improperly broadening the meaning of this function"?

Well, Paul VI. Immensae Caritatis, under the altogether improper heading "Special Ministers Of The Eucharist", says "Pope Paul VI has decided it opportune to authorize special ministers" and goes on to discuss the qualities to be found in '[t]he faithful who are special ministers of communion".

So there goes Paul VI right off the hop improperly broadening. The Great wasn't gonna be happy when he heard.

And it turns out he wasn't. But to solidify the confusion, John Paul II ordered the publication of Inaestimabile Donum. That's where he did a bit of his own improper broadening when he said "[t]he faithful, whether religious or lay, who are authorized as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist…"

Four different official names in thirty years.

John Paul again:
"Undue experimentation, changes and creativity bewilder the faithful."

"None of these things can bring good results. The consequences are -- and cannot fail to be -- the impairing of the unity of Faith and worship in the Church, doctrinal uncertainty, scandal and bewilderment among the People of God, and the near inevitability of violent reactions."

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