|No more of this kind of thing in Phoenix--except for official special occasions. Kind of like cake and ice cream special kinds of occasions I guess.|
While Pope Benedict was in Germany advising the government leaders and politicians in Bundestag on how not to abuse power, his handpicked bishop for Phoenix, AZ was abusing his power. The funny thing about this is when I was reading Benedict's speech I kept substituting the word bishop for politician. Other than that little trick of my mind, I did find Pope Benedict's speech very well articulated and definitely challenging, but in a good way. But then on the hand, we have Archbishop Olmstead, who has exercised his personal authority to decree that Communion will no longer be given under both species. I suspect this signals more changes are coming in the distribution of communion for Phoenix Catholics. Olmstead is lucky he isn't a politician, because his political success would be short lived. Unfortunately for the Catholics of Phoenix, all the cautions Benedict gives to German politicians don't apply to Benedict's own self serving bishops. The following is from AZcentral.com.
.......The change in practice by the Phoenix Diocese stirred an immediate controversy among priests, deacons and laypeople. Wine will be limited to only special occasions.
"The majority of priests were stunned and aghast at the announcement, and I hear some are planning to meet to see how best to respond," said the Rev. James Turner, pastor of St. Thomas More in Glendale. "While the bishop has the authority to make this policy change, there is no scriptural, theological or sacramental rationale that makes any sense." (No, but DSM IV probably has a rationale that makes sense.)
But the Rev. John Ehrich, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Phoenix, said the liturgical law of the church provides for only specific circumstances under which both forms of Communion may be distributed.
"Bishop Olmsted is merely expecting the priests to follow the teaching of the church in this matter," he said, adding that he imposed restrictions at his parish four years ago.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, is not aware of another U.S. diocese enacting such a restriction, although she noted that local bishops have the authority to do so.
The Rev. Al Schifano, a top church official in the Diocese of Tucson, said that Bishop Gerald Kicanas encourages Communion using both bread and wine and that the diocese will not change that under the new Mass translations.
The Rev. Anthony Ruff, a professor at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., called the move a step backward.
"It's sad to see," he said, because the move separates the church further ecumenically from others and gives up "the gains we've made in the last half-century in our understanding of liturgy and sacraments."
Catholic members of the community were as divided as the priests.
"I would think these church leaders would be more concerned about the droves of people leaving the Catholic Church as well as the worsening shortage of priests," said Dennis Kavanaugh, an attorney who attends Resurrection parish in Tempe. "These issues are much more substantial to the long-term health of the church rather than reinstating medieval rituals and directives."
Judi Wilson of Blessed Sacrament parish in Scottsdale said she will miss taking Communion wine, but she noted that the church teaches that Christ is fully available in bread or wine.
"It wouldn't make any difference," she said. "I will look forward to those times we can take the wine."
According to the diocese, the change was announced at a recent meeting of diocesan priests with Olmsted. A diocese statement said new rules will be drafted and a time frame determined in the next few months.
Some priests said the date initially was supposed to coincide with the new Mass translation, which is set to debut Nov. 27. But negative reaction from some priests may have persuaded the bishop to hold off.
Olmsted declined a request for an interview. The diocese issued a statement and a question-and-answer sheet to explain the move.
New norms, or guidelines, that came out this year, the statement said, expanded the offering of Communion under the form of wine for most of the world, "but in the Diocese of Phoenix, the new norms call for the practice of less frequent distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds than the faithful may have been accustomed."
The option of offering both bread and wine for Communion has been in place since 1975. Catholics never have been obligated to take both and, until 1975, the practice had been forbidden since the mid-1500s. The church teaches that Christ and the full blessings of Communion are present in either form.
According to the diocesan statement, the United States is one of only a few countries where offering wine became common at Masses, often distributed with the help of non-ordained parishioners.
The Rev. John Muir, a priest at the Newman Center in Tempe who is part of the diocese Office for Worship, said the change actually is a return to general practice of the church worldwide.
The use of consecrated wine for Communion "is a beautiful gift," he said, "to be given the right way, at the right time, with the right sacramental power." (That is of course, the whole issue.)
He added, "Nothing in reality is being taken away. Catholics believe they receive the Precious Blood (the consecrated wine) under the species of bread."