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A Matter of Preference?

by Christopher A. Ferrara

As we witness the astonishing collapse of the corrupt Novus Ordo establishment, which is still wedded to the phony "renewal" of Vatican II, we are also witness to the feeble protests of certain "conservative" Catholics who, with all due respect, simply don’t get it.

For example there is the recent declaration of the U.S. bishops' Committee on the Liturgy newsletter, which states that kneeling is "not a licit posture for receiving holy [sic] Communion in the dioceses of the United States of America unless the bishop of a particular diocese has derogated from this norm in an individual and extraordinary circumstance." That’s right - in the midst of the homosexual priest scandal, the bishops have decided to inform us that kneeling for Communion is now "illicit."

And what is the "conservative" reaction to the latest episcopal outrage? Consider an article in the National Catholic Register entitled "No-Kneeling Rule Sparks Widespread Outcry" (September 29-October 5, 2002). Reporter John Burger observes that "Adoremus Bulletin editor Helen Hull Hitchcock and EWTN news anchorman Raymond Arroyo said they have heard from people all over the country who are being forced to stand. ‘We've gotten a lot of reports from Southern California of people being interfered with, told they must stand during the distribution of Communion, stand until everyone has received and refused Communion if they knelt,’ Hitchcock said."

Note well: these organs of "conservative" Catholic opinion do not protest the bishops’ declaration that standing during Communion is now to be the norm. Rather, they protest that they should not be forced to stand if they prefer not to.

Accordingly, in true "conservative" fashion, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., "has given a derogation so people can kneel if they prefer," according to NCR (quoting Father Mark Huber, chancellor).

Oh, I see. So, some people can kneel, if they "prefer," while everyone else stands. And some can receive Communion on the tongue, if they "prefer," while everyone else receives in the hand. That is, some people can show the utmost respect for the Blessed Sacrament  —  if they "prefer"  —  while everyone else can go on receiving Communion as carelessly, or as sacrilegiously, as they have been for the past forty years.

And what does the Vatican have to say about all this? More "conservatism." According to NCR, the Vatican’s Cardinal Medina, in his letter on this issue, states that "This dicastery [Vatican department] agrees in principle to the insertion [of the standing adaptation]. At the same time, the tenor of not a few letters received from the faithful in various dioceses of [the United States] leads the congregation … to urge the [bishop's] conference to introduce a clause that would protect those faithful who will inevitably be led by their own sensibilities to kneel…." If they prefer.

Welcome to the smorgasbord liturgy of the collapsing Novus Ordo: standing for many, kneeling for some. Communion in the hand for many, Communion on the tongue for some. Whatever you like. Whatever you prefer. Meanwhile, no one gives a thought any longer as to what the tradition of kneeling means for the integrity of the Faith this timeless gesture expresses, or how the elimination of this tradition - along with just about every other element of the traditional Latin Rite - has left us with a liturgy that no longer teaches what the faithful are supposed to believe: that they are in the presence of God Incarnate, Whom they dare to consume.

But the timid "conservatives" go on with their timid resistance to a total onslaught against the Faith of our fathers. Day by day, foot by foot, they give ground to the vandals who have wrecked our Holy Church. Oh please, please, just give us what we prefer, they bleat, as an army of vandals tramples them underfoot. Of such "resistance" are successful revolutions made. May God save His Holy Church, and soon.