Posted by Christopher Johnson | Sunday, October 7th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 54 Comments

Legendary MCJ commenter Katherine informs me that my comment below actually made it into the Episcopal News Service story on the Marc Andrus controversy.  For which I can’t compliment ENS enough and I mean that sincerely.  I used to think that Episcopal Cafe was the Internet gold standard of the Episcopal left but ENS has just blown by Naughton’s joint to take a commanding lead.

That’s really the only way to run sites like this.  Let people say what they think.  ENS has standards about what it will or won’t run and I get that; I’ve got them myself.  Although I don’t moderate, I have pulled or severely edited comments that crossed my line.  I think more honest debate goes on in a week at ENS than goes on in six months to a year at Jim’s fine Web establishment.

Katherine also directs the Editorial attention to this comment from Doug Theuner, former Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire and the guy who greased the skids for the election of Gene Robinson and the destruction of the Anglican world.  Before you start, go and get yourselves something enjoyable to drink.  And then sit back, relax and get ready for one of the wildest anti-Catholic rides I can ever remember:

OY VEZ, Marc, sounds to me like just another example of the current Roman policy of hiding their true intentions behind a wall of deceit and deception.

And we’re off.  I’m guessing Dougie means oy vey there and I have no idea why he capitalized it.  And I don’t know where that “wall of deceit and deception” is coming from.

Several years ago when John McCormick, the then new Roman Bishop of Manchester, NH was “enthroned” as ordinary here (following a long career as infamous Bernie Law’s right-hand man in the pedophile scandals of the Archdiocese of Boston),

Ever hear the one about glass houses, “Bishop?”  Ever hear the name Bede Parry?  If you haven’t, here are some links to get you up to speed.

I was invited to attend the ritual

The ritual.  Not the consecration, not the installation.  The ritual.  Yeah, Vague, Ambiguous, Infinitely-Malleable, Inclusive, Affirming, Open-Minded And Tolerant Deity Concept knows what kinds of weird ceremonies those “Romans” perform.

in St. Joseph’s Cathedral (where I, myself, had been consecrated many years before as Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire) and I did so. After being seated with other ecumenical representatives, I was handed a four page document outlining in detail who could receive the Holy Communion (as I recall, the Orthodox and Polish National Catholics) and who could not (Episcopalians and other “PROTESTANT” – you better believe it ! – NON-churched members of “Christian Communities”).

Two things, Doug.  What’s with capitalizing words for no particular reason?  I’m sitting right here.  And you do know that you’re not supposed to use the “P” word what with the Anglican tradition being “apostolic” and Celtic Christian and via media and stuff.

Expecting as much, I had attended in only a purple cassock and I left – as surruptitiously as possible – at the Offertory, understanding that it was just rude and not done in ANYBODY’S BOOK to invite people to a dinner party and then tell them they couldn’t eat with the other guests.

I apologize in advance for what I’m about to write but when you run one of these things, sometimes you just have to cut loose or you’ll go nuts.

Dinner party, Dougie?  DINNER PARTY?!!  I shouldn’t have to explain this to someone who has presumably been to college but the Roman Catholic Church believes that the Eucharist involves the


of the real Lord Jesus Christ.  Really.  Insofar as they believe that and you just called the Eucharist a DINNER PARTY, what the


gives you the right to be offended when the Catholics won’t give you any bread or wine?  For the love of God, stick a sock in it, jackass.

I was later informed that NH’s then senior senator, Judd Gregg- a CONGREGATIONALIST!

Would it have mattered if Gregg had been a ZOROASTRIAN or a SHINTOIST?  Man, I am jonesing for a “the Pope is the false prophet in Revelation” take right about now.

who was, of course, seated in the front row (!) and all his family present received Holy Communion.

Given who wrote that, I rather doubt it.  But maybe there’s some sort of Catholic canon law which allows Catholic priests the option to give Communion to non-Catholics who aren’t insufferable, bigoted douchebags.

The Romans

The Romans.  Not Americans who are members of the Roman Catholic Church.  Romans.  Foreigners.  I’ll bet you thought you were Irish, didn’t you, Fuinseoig?  I’ll bet you think the Roman legions never crossed the Irish Sea.

Silly you.  Turns out that they didn’t have to make the effort since you let them in on your own.  Dougie, some of the most fundamentalist Protestants I know think that’s messed up.  Jack Chick wants me to tell you that he’ll keep your resume on file.

I know that Catholics tend to laugh this stuff off but since it comes from the last person who should ever display these sentiments, I’ll be damned if I ever let this kind of religious bigotry slide.  To butcher that Churchill quote about the Church of England once again, while I’ll probably never be a pillar of any Roman Catholic parish, I can at least be a flying buttress and support it from the outside.

must have forgotten that the former Governor, as his like-named father had been before him, was merely a member of a “protestant Christian Community!

At least he had the Christian religion going for him.  So there’s that.



[As Lord Acton, prominent British Roman

You learn something new every day.  I thought Lord Acton was a Hungarian Aleut.

and supporter of Rome’s place in England, famously said of the pope just prior to the 19th century promulgation of the doctrine of papal infallibility: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.]

Prominent blogger Christopher Johnson famously said, “If Doug Theuner’s any indication, receiving a pointy hat and a hooked stick from the Episcopal Organization costs you at least 50 IQ points.”  Feel free to use that one any time you want.  You can also use this one.  “Doug Theuner is a whiny, petulant, classless little baby.”

I immediately went home and sent a letter to all of our diocesan clergy requesting that in the future they not wear eucharistic vestments to any place where their eucharistic celebrations were not recognized and that, if invited to Roman eucharistic liturgies, they leave, as I had, prior to the celebration.

And if you think Episcopalians like Marc Andrus are an exception, they’re not.

My actions had not been as surruptitious as I thought they might be (I frequently have that problem!) and, shortly after the incident in question the new Roman bishop invited me to a restaurant lunch at which, over a pleasant repast, he so informed me. I politely told him that, if he wanted to be known in New Hampshire, as a catholic, he would do well to behave in a more “catholic” manner.

I grew up with this same kind of arrogant, condescending crap from one-true-churchers like Doug Theuner.  I never heard more scorn and contempt for Roman Catholicism than I heard while walking around the parish hall during coffee hour and listening to the conversation between the clergy and our many ex-Catholics at my old Episcopal parish.

But since Dougie’s all butthurt because the Catholics wouldn’t give him a little bread and a sip of wine, here’s a situation.  My best friend is Catholic.  He’s about my age and, like me, he’s given up on the idea of ever getting married.

I don’t see him for a long time until he wanders by the library one day and we get caught up.  I tell him I’ve got Rams tickets for a game in about a month and does he want to go?  “No can do that weekend,” he says with a smile.

“Why not,” I wonder.

“Because I’m getting married,” he tells me.  “And is there any chance you can be my best man?”

“HELL YES!!” I shout at him.  “I’ll sell the damn tickets if I have to.”

“It’s going to be a Catholic service,” my friend continues.  “Which means that you won’t be able to take…you know.”

Here’s my question, Dougie.  Because I won’t be able to have a bit of bread and wine one time, should I get all angry and tell my best friend to forget it, find himself another best man and probably end our friendship?  Or should I tell my friend, “Whatever, dude.  When’s my tux fitting?” show up anyway and celebrate my friend’s joy?

Inquiring minds want to know, crapweasel.

54 Comments to WHORE OF BABYLON

October 7, 2012

Guys like Doug have superheros like Frank Griswold….you remember…the Episcopal Presiding Bishop who used to go incognito to the altar rails at Roman Catholic churches to receive communion.

But was he really incognito….or were there not even two Roman Catholics in the entire universe who would recognize him, or even care?

October 7, 2012

Go and look damn good in the tux while you’re at it. You might even suffer a stroke of good luck and meet someone nice and worth seeing again. And she would be all the better for it.

October 7, 2012

Christopher, I’m a Celtic Christian whose native church founded by St. Declan has been heinously oppressed and suppressed by the rigid legalists who were dispatched to Canterbury from Rome by the Pope on a mission to encourage the kings of southern England to enforce control of the tolerant, environmentalist, egalitarian, divine feminine-recognising Celtic churches of Britain and Ireland.

*sporfle* Okay, I would get victim points as a suppressed Celtic Christian if only I, y’know, wasn’t a cranky middle-aged traditional Catholic who thinks the Pope is the boss not just of me but of the lot of us.

October 7, 2012

Since the Eucharist is a mere “meal” and not letting PECUSA folk receive where they aren’t in the common faith is just a rude gesture, there are some conclusions to be made.

Ask a PECUSA layman or cleric and they’ll say the outrage of non-communion is equal to the only “real” sin of Sodom, inhospitable behavior. Maybe they’ll run with that.

The Catholics and Orthodox just have a more sophisticated understanding of things than one can expect from Andrus. The Orthodox bishop showed up, didn’t expect communion at all. Because he knows what he’s doing. Andrus just doesn’t and doesn’t want to.

If it’s “only” a meal, then there’s absolutely zero, that’s 0.000 reason to have to “ordain” anyone to “do” it at any church anywhere. that means bishops are unnecessary as well as any degree of clergy PECUSA thinks it has. So it doesn’t matter anyway. It means as little as any formerly-called sacrament among them, including marriage. We know how very much that means to them of late.

I assume *any* layman in PECUSA can decide to “celebrate” what they call a Eucharist any time, any place. See how that goes over with the Offended One.

Finally, I bet the Catholics know who not to invite to their “meals” in the future. Only adults who can be expected to understand adult matters.

October 7, 2012

I think I may remember a controversy about Sen. Gregg receiving. But how do we know that the priest (or eucharistic minister) who gave him the host knew that he was not Catholic? That would seem to be mostly Sen. Gregg’s responsibility. Either he didn’t know he shouldn’t receive, or he went anyhow. The truth is that non-Catholics can receive (can, not may) at any Mass unless they happen to be well-known to the servers as non- or anti-Catholic.

I do want to point out, mildly, that this Anglican also believes in the Real Presence. What part of “This is my body” do we not believe, and why? — But I understand that the Roman Catholic church requires full assent to all its teachings and full communion with it for receiving the sacraments. What Theuner and Andrus are making clear is that they do not respect Catholics. So much for tolerance and understanding.

You’ll look great in your tux, and you’ll behave with respect towards your friend’s church, and have a grand time, with no feelings hurt on either side.

October 7, 2012


They posted my comment, too. I don’t think it’s a sudden bout of even-handedness. I think they’re just happy for the traffic.

Christopher Johnson
October 7, 2012

Cliff, they’ve posted comments from me several times before. So I think they genuinely do want to encourage debate over there.

October 7, 2012

I also note that “Bishop Theuner” (I put it in quotes because I’m beginning to have doubts about how do we know this is the real former bishop, and not some joker taking his name in vain? I just can’t believe a real bishop would be quite this puffed-up with peacockery, purple cassock or no) – anyway, I note that the Artist Presenting As Rt. Rev. (Retired) makes a fuss about Senator Gregg being seated in the front row (and presumably the Rt. Rev. wasn’t in the front, but seated a row or two behind).

Well, that might have something to do with him being a SENATOR, you know? One of the local dignitaries? I seem to remember at the funeral of Blessed John Paul II there were all kinds of presidents and others present, and to quote Wikipedia: “At the funeral, the dignitaries were seated alphabetically according to the spelling of their country’s name and arranged according to diplomatic protocol.”

In other words, there is a protocol for these things and it was probably followed by the Master of Ceremonies as to who sits where.

Elaine S.
October 7, 2012

“The truth is that non-Catholics can receive (can, not may) at any Mass unless they happen to be well-known to the servers as non- or anti-Catholic.”

I’d rephrase that slightly to say: “Non-Catholics will usually not be PREVENTED from recieving Communion at any Mass, unless the priest or the lay persons distributing Communion know they are not Catholic, or that they are publicly hostile to the Church or its teachings and that serious scandal would be created by allowing them to receive.” There is no “Communion police” force checking credentials during Mass.

By the way, Chris: is the story of your best friend true or just an example of how you WOULD react if invited to a Catholic Mass under those circumstances? If it’s the former, congratulations to your friend and yourself, and have a great time!

October 7, 2012

Okay, is this petty of me? Arra, feck it, if it is, it is.

So I went to the website of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Well, do you know what it is, you couldn’t be up to the cunning and fine Italianate hand of us Papists, so you couldn’t. Not a whisper or a word about the Horrid Popish Plot to snub, insult, do down, and generally kick poor Bishop Andrus in the – teeth. Not even in all forty pages of the diocescan newspaper’s most recent issue. No gloating about the success of the plot or anything – why, if one did not know better, one might even think there wasn’t a concerted and sinister plot!

Luckily, the Episcopal Diocese of California website is not afraid to tell it like it is, shine a light on the dark corners of ecumenical relations, and let the world know all about the sinister machinations of the Scarlet Woman in the person of the newest representative in San Francisco of the Man of Blood, right there under “Headlines from Pacific Church News” and a helpful link.

October 7, 2012

Elaine, yes, that’s what I meant. Even at an event like an episcopal installation, they don’t have police enforcing the rules. But an ECUSA cleric in a purple cassock would be pretty conspicuous. 🙂

October 7, 2012

Elaine: Certain non-Catholics such as Eastern Orthodox, Coptics and Polish National Catholics are free to receive the Eucharist at Mass if they have no church of their own accessible, because they believe in the Real Presence as Catholics understand it and come from churches with apostolic succession. However, they are cautioned that their own churches (e.g. the Orthodox) may or do not approve of that. Catholics in Orthodox countries where there is no Catholic church available, may receive at Orthodox churches although once again, the Orthodox do not approve of that.

October 7, 2012

I am reposting this on this thread as it is very apropos

Re the Purported Universal Right to Holy Communion in the Catholic Church:

The Parable of the Wedding Feast: Matthew 22, is relevant:

“22 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,

2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The issue is not one that stems from the invitation but arises with the individual’s disposition to that invitation. In this context even Catholics in good standing, without the right disposition may NOT approach to seek Holy Communion and if they do they may be denied. Details at:


October 7, 2012

Arnold, It’s never been the case ever that Orthodox approve of receiving at a Catholic Eucharist, ever. It has also never been the case that Catholics were permitted communion at an Orthodox Eucharist. You won’t find any exceptions to this anywhere at any Orthodox church. It’s sad, but both churches are mature enough to understand *why*. They aren’t in communion. They may agree on a fair number of things, but not enough. This is something you can’t expect Anglicans like Andrus to understand. It’s a whole different discussion.

Christopher Johnson
October 7, 2012

It’s just an example, Elaine. Would that it were true.

October 7, 2012

As an ex-Pisky Roman convert, my only response to that quivering bundle of wounded vanity and supercilious ego is “basia nates meas”.

Ad Orientem
October 7, 2012

Memo to “bishop” Andrus: I picked this up in the Navy, so I’m cleaning it up a bit. But here’s the gist …

One does not urinate on the welcome mat and then expect to be received as an honored guest.

Ad Orientem
October 7, 2012

On the subject of intercommunion… We Orthodox don’t do it. Period. No exceptions. Taking communion in a non-Orthodox church is a form of self-excommunication. I have never been in any Orthodox parish where there was not some sort of caution for visitors, that while they were welcome only fully baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christians who had prepared themselves properly could approach the chalice.

In some jurisdiction like the Russians they are uber-strict about this. I have seen on more than one occasion someone unknown to the priest (we also don’t do lay Eucharistic ministers) approach the communion chalice and get the third degree.

“Are you Orthodox?”
“Have you kept the fasts?”
“Did you attend vespers?”
“When is the last time you went to confession?”

Hint: If you want to be communed the correct answers are Yes. Yes. Yes. Last night.

October 7, 2012

It’s when you get a candle plonked down in front of you on the communion rail and it’s upside down you know you’re in trouble.

Dr. Mabuse
October 7, 2012

I’ve never understood the big deal about not taking communion if you’re not a member of the faith. Once an atheist friend was invited to a Catholic wedding, and she emailed me all concerned for instructions on what to do so she wouldn’t inadvertently blunder and cause some hurt feelings. I told her just to stand when everyone else stands, sit when they sit, and when the priest invites everyone up for communion, just step out of the pew to let other people pass by to get into the aisle, then sit down again and listen to the music until everyone comes back again. There are ALWAYS people who don’t take communion in a Catholic church, and I assume they have their reasons, so she wouldn’t be the only one. Some very devout people attend more than one mass in a day, but you’re only supposed to take communion once – how would anyone know that that wasn’t the reason a person didn’t go up for communion?

Carolyn P
October 7, 2012

Not quite sure what to do with myself now that I realize that Robinson is actually an IMPROVEMENT over this douchebag.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
October 7, 2012

I though the phrase was “oy vey.” What’s “oy vez?”

mary martha
October 8, 2012

I really think what bugs guys like this is that the Catholic Church just really doesn’t care about them nearly as much as they care about the Catholic Church.

It’s interesting that he said that he as consecrated at St. Josephs Cathedral. See what the Catholics get for being welcoming and friendly and allowing the Episcopals use of the Catholic Cathedral? Nothing but vicious hatred.

Ir really struck me as odd that he spoke of what Catholics were doing in their own cathedral as a ‘ritual’ but then laid some sort of claim to the cathedral for himself because he was consecrated there.

For someone who clearly holds Catholics (or Romans as he calls us) in very low esteem it seems strange that he would deign to use the Catholic Cathedral.

Donald R. McClarey
October 8, 2012

“After being seated with other ecumenical representatives, I was handed a four page document outlining in detail who could receive the Holy Communion (as I recall, the Orthodox and Polish National Catholics) and who could not (Episcopalians and other “PROTESTANT” – you better believe it ! – NON-churched members of “Christian Communities”).”

Four pages, hardly! It is less than a page and appears in our monthly Mass missals:

“For Catholics: As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. In order to be properly disposed to receive communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (CIC 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.

For our fellow Christians: We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (CIC 844.4). Members of the Orthodox churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to reception of communion by Christians of these churches (CIC 844.3).

For those not receiving Holy Communion: All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.”

For non-Christians: We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share in our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and unity of the human family.”

My mother-in-law is a Methodist and goes to Mass with us whenever she visits. She does not receive communion and would not expect to since she is not a Catholic.

The young fogey
October 8, 2012

You’re in for a chilly, snotty anti-Catholic ride when they start saying ‘the ROMANS’ (to-ga! to-ga!). ‘RC’ is a shade less nasty. (There’s another old, nasty name, ‘The Italian Mission (to the Irish)’.) To be fair, it comes from the Anglicans’ claims to be a branch of the Catholic Church and to be THE legitimate church of England. My guess is, in the mainline mergers, the Episcopalians, because they claim to share the historic episcopate with Catholics, think they’re the Vatican of the mainline, top dog. (Even though they’re in communion with non-episcopalians and historically always were, depending on what England needed diplomatically from Protestant northern Europe.) Trying to receive Catholic Communion is out of spite and condescension, to flout Catholic rules for fun. Logically, why would they want to receive there? They think the church is sexist and homophobic; didn’t Bishop Andrus just put it out in the open again, encouraging San Franciscan Catholics to convert? Telling people to leave one minute, then showing up for Communion the next. Please.

In Catholic doctrine, corporate union and cases of intercommunion are possible with other churches with real bishops, the most important being the Orthodox. The church tells the Orthodox that while they must obey their own church to remain in good standing there, born (never Catholic) Orthodox may receive because sacramentally we’re the same.

In some parts of the world local custom trumps the rules: in Syria and Lebanon the Orthodox and their Catholic equivalent, the Melkites (former Orthodox who went under Rome in 1724), intermarry and intercommune all the time; the wife always goes to her husband’s church. The Arab Christian laity in that situation are one church, same rite (Greek/Byzantine) and all. (The Melkites remain the most Orthodox of the Eastern Catholic churches that have any real numbers.) The clergy all know it; the only division is they don’t concelebrate. Probably united vs. a Muslim majority, and time healed the split among the people. Not so in other Arab countries (they don’t intercommune in the Holy Land).

Ed the Roman
October 8, 2012

Tell the Rt Reverend Theuner to call me when he learns how to spell ‘surreptitious.’

Daniel Muller
October 8, 2012

call me when he learns how to spell ‘surreptitious.’


Scott W.
October 8, 2012

I really think what bugs guys like this is that the Catholic Church just really doesn’t care about them nearly as much as they care about the Catholic Church.

Yep. We sure are taking up a lot of space in his head rent free.

October 8, 2012

It’s possible that some are confusing Eastern Catholics with Eastern Orthodox. It’s also possible some are confusing Western Rite Orthodox with Catholic.

Not all the EO use the Byzantine Rite. Not all the Catholics use the Roman Rite.

Errors are made. Misunderstandings occur. And Catholics are, alas, notoriously lax (and often confused) about who should and should not approach the Holy Communion.

I’ll note the few times I’ve been to Divine Liturgy among the Eastern Orthodox I’ve not approached for Holy Communion.

And the few times I’ve been among Eastern Catholics, for one reason or another, the priest did a quick, cursory interview similar to the one above, before admitting me to the Holy Communion.

Southern Methodist
October 8, 2012

Johnson, My wife and I have a farm just inside Iowa from the Missouri boarder off Interstate 35. We get out there several times a year from North Carolina. We usually make it for Easter, the 4th of July, and Thanksgiving. While there, we love to attend the Catholic Church in Grand River. We are aware we are not allowed to participate in the communion and it doesn’t bother us a bit. It’s great to know that the Catholics respect it enough not to give it to everyone that comes through the door. It is sacred to them and to us. I’m proud of them for it.

I’ve told my wife that I’m begining to think that those folks that don’t believe in anything, don’t understand those that do. Doug appears to be one of those. He’s only worried about himself.

Steve l.
October 8, 2012

I notice that there has been no mention of going to the rail yet signifying that you did not expect to receive the host by holding your hands to your chest.

As I was taught as an administant (Anglican) to bypass these folks and the priest with the wafers would bless them in whatever fashion he chose. Usually crossing or hand on head.

Daniel Muller
October 8, 2012

I notice that there has been no mention of going to the rail yet signifying that you did not expect to receive the host by holding your hands to your chest.

As I was taught as an administant (Anglican) to bypass these folks and the priest with the wafers would bless them in whatever fashion he chose. Usually crossing or hand on head.

That is also true in Latin and especially Eastern Rite Catholic churches. However, it seems to test the patience of liturgically-minded (and not necessarily members of the mod squad) priests as it does come right before all the Mass participants are blessed and dismissed.

ann r
October 8, 2012

I have heard that in a crisis situation (battlefield, hurricane, major earthquake) Catholics may receive sacraments from Orthodox priests and vice versa. I have heard that on the Titanic, a Catholic priest heard confessions from anybody who wanted to confess, no matter what affiliation.

Anne B.
October 8, 2012

Ann R, what you say sounds legitimate to me (re: crisis situations). But not even wearing a purple cassock will turn Bishop Andrus’ situation into a crisis.

When I saw “Oy vez,” I wondered if the writer was summoning his readers to attention, as in a law court. But I agree that it’s probably just a misspelling of “Oy vey.”

October 8, 2012

oy vez, suruptitious … communion discipline; yup, he theologizes as well as speels.

Ed the Roman
October 8, 2012

Blessing in lieu of receiving has become common, but it isn’t really supposed to be done. See Father Z at wdtprs.com for details.

Lakeland Two
October 8, 2012

Enjoy the wedding, Chris. Going and not being offended because Communion is withheld shows that you are a mature Christian.

I guess that’s the difference between people like Theuner/most of TEC these days and mature Christians – it is all about them and their rights. I find it highly unlikely that Andrus had never heard about the limits on Communion before.

The “respect the dignity of every human being” is a one-way event: only if that human agrees with their own agenda. There is nothing in what Andrus or Theuner has done that respects the dignity of the new archbishop or any Catholic.

searching Episcopalian
October 8, 2012

So, one of the underlying issues behind these tantrums by Bps Andrus & Theuner is – Apostolicae Curae … and the more recent Dominus Iesus? After all, being seated with the beige Protestant clerical persons is the logical visual consequence of these decrees. Serious Catholics rarely put too fine a point on these distinctions out of politeness to TEc & Anglican friends … except when ‘Piskies get pissy’.

Christopher Johnson
October 8, 2012

Thanks, L2. But that was an entirely theoretical situation.

October 8, 2012

I received Holy Communion one time from an Orthodox priest. I was working in a crab packing ship in the Aleutian Island in the spring, and when Easter rolled around I was able to attend in a tiny Russian Orthodox Church there. The (quite young) priest heard confessions before Liturgy. He specifically asked me if I was a Roman Catholic, yet he still heard my confession. I suppose it was as a spiritual work of mercy.

There were another dozen or so guys there from the processing ship, all of them Roman Catholic, most Filipino. It was Palm Sunday in the calendar of the RO Church, and Easter for us. The sermon was a very profound reflection on the Kingship of Christ. I was one of 3 whites there, not including the priest, who was Aleut. His beard was not up to Russian Orthodox standards.

I was a callow youth at the time and I did not know that the Russian Orthodox Church did not allow intercommunion. It was in the bad old days of the soviet occupation of the Russian Orthodox Church. Perhaps that can explain the laxity. Or maybe the priest didn’t want to abandon a bunch of Roman Catholic kids, who were about as far from home as it was possible to be for months, who just wanted to worship God.

David Fischler
October 8, 2012

It’s always amusing when the tolerant and inclusive apostles of diversity throw a tantrum and scream, “YOU’RE NOT DOING IT THE WAY WE DO IT!!!!!”

October 8, 2012

Like Donald R. McClarey, I find it hard to imagine that the Catholic rules on communion could be stretched to “a four page document”, no matter how comprehensive the detail. Perhaps what Bishop Theuner meant to say was “a four page document which, among various other details regarding the service, stated who could receive the Holy Communion.” Or maybe it was a four-page document of which three pages were blank (in which case, shame on those benighted Romans for such flagrant waste of the earth’s resources!)

Either way, you might have thought it was something worth mentioning. I’m sure none of us would want to think that Bp Theuner had been trying to discredit the Catholics by being less than honest about the facts.

Martial Artist
October 8, 2012

Dear Mr. Johnson,

I fear that I must lodge a written complaint about this particular article, because it contains two insults, one each against one of God’s creatures. In the first instance you write to the Bishop emeritus of New Hampshire [bold emphasis added]:

…stick a sock in it, jackass.

Then, at the end of the article you again address that worthy as follows [bold emphasis added]:

Inquiring minds want to know, crapweasel.

You have thereby insulted both a humble beast of burden and a small carnivore that keeps the population of pestiferous rodents in check. Both creatures a part of God’s creation, and both of immense service to humanity. I am truly amazed at your lack of consideration for two of God’s creatured that are valued to us who are also His creatures, and neither of them deserving of being impugned by a suggestion of similarity to Theuner.


Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

Jim the Puritan
October 8, 2012

Reading mindless drivel like this, one understands why the hierarchy in TEC have no concept of the sanctity of the Eucharist and instead are for giving juice and crackers to everyone, baptized or not, Christian or not. Even I, as a dumb “Protestant,” understand and respect that I cannot take communion in a Catholic church, Orthodox church, a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod church, many Baptist churches, and a lot of other churches where you have to be a member of the church to take communion.

The Pilgrim
October 8, 2012

Ann r:

Orthodox only commune the Orthodox. http://www.orthodoxanswers.org/answer/29/

If I am going to be traveling, I look up the nearest Orthodox church on the internet, then call the priest to tell him I will be visiting. Once I arrive at the new church, I introduce myself to the priest beforehand, to let him know I have arrived. I have found out later that my parish priest has been contacted to verify that I am actually a member of my home parish. We take Paul’s admonitions on receiving while unworthy very seriously.

FW Ken
October 8, 2012

Thank you, Jim the Puritan for reminding us that many Christian communions restrict Communion to their own membership. Heck, the first Episcopal priest I met said that I could partake, but not as a regular thing until I joined the church.

I hope all of us understand that membership in our churches is a grace from God, a gift unearned. We sit in our congregations and offer prayer as the Spirit gives us utterance. The fullness I experience in the Catholic Mass, or the joy of pentecostal exuberance, the intellectual stimulation of an expository sermon, the quiet reverence of Anglican worship, done fervently and in order, the mystical Orthodox liturgy: these are all gift that have to do with the grace of God, not my virtue.

No idea why Jim’s comment set me of on that.

FW Ken
October 8, 2012

Anglican worship, of course, is done “decently” and in order, but I hope fervently as well. 🙂

I know what set that off: some of the most joyous liturgies I’ve been to were ordinations and installations. When our bishop was ordained and installed in 2005, I was pretty sure I’d died and gone to heaven. The music at ordinations tends to excellent and well-sung, not something you get that often in Catholic worship.I would have loved to be at Abp. Cordileone’s installation.

Lakeland Two
October 9, 2012

Oh… theoretical… You wrote it so well, I could see it happening! Except for the in one month thing – but then again – yeah. LOL. Well, here’s praying that if it is truly a desire of your heart, God will send your better half your way now. I met mine later in life than I thought I would, our life is not without challenges, but I’m glad God gave me L1 – indeed my better half.

Therese Z
October 9, 2012

That goes both ways. As a Catholic, I respectfully decline receiving the Lord’s Supper when I go to other churches. I am not disdaining it, but we are not in communion and receiving it would be signalling that I think we are.

S’okay with me. Gives me a chance to pray for unity.

Ed the Roman
October 9, 2012

I always declined on the grounds that I was forbidden. The other grounds being that since I believe RC doctrine on the Eucharist, there isn’t much to Protestant communion anyway.

Shouldn’t Protestants reasoning from their principles and Anglicans who believe the Articles think that the Catholic and Orthodox Eucharists are idolatrous? Why would they want to partake?

Catholics and Orthodox who accept their churchs’ teaching think that Protestant Eucharists, well, really aren’t.

October 9, 2012

I don’t know that many regular Mainliners would believe in things like the 39 Articles or any of the foundational teachings of their founders. In my experience, its all about “including” everybody and making everybody feel “welcome” and so there is no “judgment” involved at the Jesus Juice Buffet.

When Catholics (real ones, not CINO folks that probably would agree w/ folks like Theuner) or Orthodox decline Protestant open communion or tell them not to try to partake in our churches, it says in a nutshell everything of our Eucharistic doctrine rehashes all the disputes over this from the last 500 years or so. However, to your average person or to those with advanced theological degrees from Mainline institutions, they are not thinking systematically or historically. They are hearing something like, “We think queers are icky and now you’re icky too because you like queers…” Thus, we aren’t being open and inviting or we’re doing the equivalent of going off to be the cool kid while everyone else is having mandatory fun. Now they are feeling uncomfortable, judged, etc. whatever and when that happens the bad feelings have to be stopped-however they can be.

That’s just my experience, ymmv. One brilliant exception for me was actually an Episcopal ladydeacon who got that without any hissyfit whatsoever. I tip my teacup to her.

October 9, 2012

This sort of stuff reminds me of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-Iraq war protester who camped outside Bush’s Texas ranch. She “just wanted to talk” with the President and acted petulantly when (repeatedly) turned down. This sort of victimization must be denounced _wherever_ it is seen (b/c, let’s be honest, conservatives are capable of acting the same way). It is a LIE.

October 10, 2012

My understanding is that if you receive communion unworthily (see I Corinthians 11:29) you are taking God’s judgment on yourself and that’s what the 1 page of instructions is all about. Who loves you more, someone who thinks that and refuses to cooperate in that or someone who thinks that and lets you have it anyway?

Now you may agree or disagree that this is what is happening but the priest who is charged with handing out the eucharist believes it and the love and kindness of his actions should be judged based on his beliefs, no? Given that belief, the Catholics getting verbally attacked for denying communion are being grievously abused.

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