What has been considered a "right" of the laity was soundly squashed Sunday when Francis conferred the ministry of lector and catechist on ten lay people at St. Peter's, four men and six women. In the protocols before the event, the laity were instructed (mandated) that they could not kneel or receive Communion on the tongue. It's unclear from reports whether the mandate applied only to the ten or to all those attending the event (5,000).
What's more than clear, however, is that this is one more "radical departure" from Sacred Tradition and another display of the hermeneutic of rupture. It also shows a mean-spirited and petty tyranny on the part of Cardinal Arthur Roche, liturgy head, who replaced Cardinal Sarah, a friend of the TLM.
Cardinal Sarah criticized Communion in the hand in the introduction to a book on reception of Communion published in 2018. In the introduction the cardinal wrote:
The most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, by sowing errors and fostering an unsuitable way of receiving it. Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and Lucifer on the other, continues in the hearts of the faithful.
Francis was not overly enthused by Cardinal Sarah's positions and removed him as liturgy head shortly after he reached mandatory retirement age. Many bishops are asked to continue beyond 75, but Francis lost no time in ditching Sarah and naming NO enthusiast and TLM adversary Roche to the position. What happened today is consistent with Roche's contempt for the TLM whose adherents he describes as "more Protestant...than Catholic." He apparently considers those NO Catholics who receive kneeling and on the tongue as spiritual twins of the despised traditionalists.
Today's event, seems to legitimize rumors that a new, more dogmatic Francis document is in preparation. It's expected to further clamp down on the TLM and also make more changes to the Novus Ordo. Catholics, both those who attend the TLM and those who attend the NO, have legitimate reasons for concern.
|Two iconoclasts at work: "We'll suppress the TLM altogether and ban Communion
kneeling and on the tongue in the Novus Ordo. The Protestants will love it!"
Roche claims that the TLM was "abrogated" by Pope Paul VI, a fact disputed by Pope Benedict who said it was "never abrogated" and any priest could celebrate it without permission from his ordinary. Today's event suggests that norms for the Novus Ordo may be in the works that forbid the reception of Communion kneeling or on the tongue.
The TLM obviously isn't the only target of these iconoclasts! Reverence for the Eucharist has to go as well. If they accomplish what seems to be in the works, how many will never attend another Novus Ordo Mass?
Stay tuned. 2023 is likely to be a very unsettling year for Catholics. But we've become used to it in the era of Francis the friendly (to everyone but traditional Catholics).