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April 20, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: In a recent reply, we stated that “bishops installed by the Chinese Communists are not true bishops, cannot legitimately ordain priests, and cannot confect the sacraments, including the Holy Eucharist.” However, Fr. E.B.C. of Pennsylvania wrote to say that we are guilty of “if not an error, at least a lack of clarity.” He offered the following comments on our three separate assertions about “bishops installed by the Chinese Communists”:
First: “are not true bishops” — The phrase “true bishops” seems to me to imply “invalid bishops,” but it is my understanding that the bishops in the schismatic Patriotic Catholic Church are, indeed, “true bishops” (valid bishops) because they are validly ordained, although they are, as you would agree, “illicit bishops” because they have been ordained illicitly, that is, without a papal mandate for their Ordinations.
Second: “cannot legitimately ordain priests” — That is correct, as long as we understand that “legitimately” and “validly” refer to two separate and distinct qualities.
Third: “cannot confect the sacraments, including the Holy Eucharist” — That is mostly incorrect. The fact is that any validly ordained bishop, even if he is illicitly ordained, can confect the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders. I deliberately omit Matrimony because at least in the Latin Rite, it is understood that the couple administer the sacrament to one another. I also omit Penance because that brings us into a gray area, inasmuch as jurisdiction is required in addition to priestly Ordination, in order for valid absolution to be conferred. Illicit bishops and priests lack jurisdiction.
It is possible that you inadvertently confused “cannot” and “may not.” As you know, the former refers to possibility and the latter to permission. Thank you for entertaining this correction from a faithful reader.

Q. If you have been commissioned to be a Eucharistic minister in the Catholic Church, do you need to be recommissioned every so many years? What are the requirements for a Eucharistic minister? — J.A.B., via e-mail.
A. First of all, the correct name for this ministry is Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. According to the guidelines issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“In every celebration of the Eucharist, there should be a sufficient number of ministers of Holy Communion so that it may be distributed in a reverent and orderly manner. Bishops, priests, and deacons distribute Holy Communion in virtue of their office as ordinary ministers of the Body and Blood of the Lord. When the size of the congregation or the incapacity of the bishop, priest, or deacon requires it, the celebrant may be assisted by other bishops, priests, or deacons.
“If such ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not present, ‘the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, i.e., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may also depute suitable faithful for this single occasion (General Instruction of the Roman Missal 162)’.”
The guidelines say that “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should receive sufficient spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfill their role with knowledge and reverence. In all matters they should follow the guidance of the diocesan bishop (Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds for the Dioceses of the United States of America, NDRHC, n. 28).
“When recourse is had to Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, especially in the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds, their number should not be increased beyond what is required for the orderly and reverent distribution of the Body and Blood of the Lord. In all matters, such Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should follow the guidance of the diocesan bishop.”
The guidelines also say that “all ministers of Holy Communion should show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine.”
As for whether EMs need to be recommissioned every few years, that depends on diocesan or parish policies. In our experience, recommissioning is not the usual practice. While the ideal would be to have new people transitioning into the position on a regular basis, in practice parishes consider themselves fortunate to have sufficient volunteers for this ministry and there is not much turnover.
It would be a good idea, however, to schedule a refresher course or a retreat every now and then for EMs to remind them of the awesome responsibility they have to distribute the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord in a reverent manner.

Q. I was recently reading the Book of Tobit in the Old Testament. It claimed that Tobit died at the age of 112 and his son Tobias at 117. I realize that the Julian and Gregorian calendars were not in existence at that time, but what calendar was used and did they actually live that long? — R.M., via e-mail.
A. We don’t know what calendar, if any, was in effect when the Old Testament was written, but there are people who lived a lot longer than Tobit and Tobias, for example, Methuselah, who lived to be 969! (cf. Gen. 5:27). Whether the patriarchs of old actually lived that long, we don’t know, but why couldn’t the God who made them keep them around for hundreds of years so as to generate many children and propagate the human race? Once humanity was up and running, there was no longer the need for this kind of longevity. Bear in mind, however, that there are still a few people today who are living to the ages of Tobit and Tobias.

Q. In reading the account of the two disciples who encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus (cf. Luke 24:13-31), why do you think they did not recognize Him until the breaking of the bread at their house in Emmaus? — M.K., Florida.
A. We don’t know for certain how the two could walk seven miles with Jesus without realizing who He was, although Luke says that “their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” The same Jesus who could pass through locked doors, vanish from sight, and move from one place to another in an instant could certainly conceal His identity from those who had known Him. But we can speculate about some other reasons, too. Perhaps it was because Jesus was not in a resuscitated state, as Lazarus was after being raised from the dead, but rather in a glorified state, as Peter, James, and John had witnessed at the Transfiguration (cf. Luke 9:28-36).
Or perhaps the disciples never expected to see Jesus again. They were distraught over His death on Good Friday and had probably decided to return to whatever pursuits had occupied their time before they met Christ.
We recall a homily in which the priest compared the state of mind of the two disciples to the times in our own lives when we have experienced something traumatic. Perhaps we have been diagnosed with a serious illness. Or perhaps we have lost a job. Or perhaps we are undergoing a crisis in the family.
That problem is all that we can think about. It consumes all our attention. We are oblivious to everyone and everything around us so distraught are we over whatever trauma is affecting us.
However, it is particularly at this time, the priest said, that we must recognize the presence of the Lord in our lives. He is always there with us, in happy times and sad. He will never abandon us and is always waiting for us to cry out to Him, “Save us, Lord,” as the apostles did. It reminds us of that well-known story entitled “Footprints in the Sand.”
The story is about a man who dreamed that he was walking along the beach with his whole life spread out before him, the good moments and the bad. He described seeing two sets of footprints in the sand, his own and those of Jesus, most of the time, but noticed that during the worst moments of his life, there was only one set of footprints. When he asked the Lord where He was during those difficult times, and why there was only one set of footprints, Jesus replied, “My child, it was then that I carried you.”

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Wow—first, Dreamers shafted by Obama, who enforced DACA w/o congressional approval & failed to ensure them a permanent path to citizenship, and now they’re left hanging by Pelosi & her ilk. Maybe Dems don’t care about them as much as they pretend to?

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“Trump offers Democrats deal on immigration in bid to end shutdown but top Democrat Pelosi calls it "unacceptable" https://t.co/edz3WEREm3&#8221...

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it is striking how so many advocates of abortion in public life cling to their frayed fabric of fantasy and repeat the mantra — “I’m personally opposed but. . . .” https://t.co/TwIrf7G6GT

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Priest gives pulpit to homosexual partners to share ‘witness’ story prior to Sunday Mass

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China’s crackdown on Christians continues

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Cdl. Wuerl will not celebrate youth Mass prior to March for Life

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Support Archbishop Viganò on his 78th birthday!

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CARDINAL CUPICH KEYNOTE SPEAKER FOR DISSIDENT PRIESTS’ CONFERENCE

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Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

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  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

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Trump promises to veto any abortion legislation in March for Life address

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Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War With Iran?

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Theological Virtues — Charity

By DON FIER As we reflected last week on Pope Benedict XVI’s brilliant critique of the crisis of hope in the modern world as set forth in his 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi (SS), we saw that for many, “hope in the Kingdom of God has been displaced by hope in the kingdom of man, the hope of a better world…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. It is my understanding that if a priest is removed from active service, the bishop continues to support him financially. Am I right? Is there a similar obligation if the priest is laicized? I would suppose there is no such obligation of support if the priest decides he doesn’t want to be a priest anymore and walks away. Does…Continue Reading

His Bride Is The Church

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5 1 Cor. 12:4-11 John 2:1-11 In the readings for the past three weeks, the Church has given us the three traditional events which manifested our Lord’s divinity. The word Epiphany means manifestation. These manifestations took place thirty years apart, but were celebrated together because they point…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Wall And Abortion: No Moral Equivalency

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The Authority Of Bishops . . . The Hierarchy Of Orders In The Catholic Church

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Catholic Heroes… St. John Calabria

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Teresa of Calcutta answered a call within a call by founding the Missionaries of Charity to help the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Soon her apostolic endeavors to serve the most destitute of persons spread throughout the world, while she said that the greatest poverty is in the West where people do not know…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds are finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in…Continue Reading