A misleading article written by a Father Joseph M. Champlin was quoted in a recent Church bulletin. In the article Father Champlin referred to an older woman who knelt to receive Communion on the tongue as one “whose faith and piety were impressive; nevertheless, her action was neither inspirational nor appropriate.” It is apparent why he would say this, for Father Champlin, after Vatican II, was one of the early dissident priests who disobeyed Church instruction on how to receive Communion, and convinced whomever he could, to receive in the hand, instead of on the tongue. What is important in the reception of the Body of Christ is that it be done with reverence, not whether it is in the hand or on the tongue. The fact that a priest, who makes a promise of obedience at his ordination, would directly disobey the instructions of our Holy Mother Church, is another matter entirely. Should we, as Catholics, give any credence at all to the opinions or teaching of a disobedient priest?
His disobedience in the 1970’s might be a clue as to why he tries to mislead us further in his article by trying to have us believe that, in the new General Instructions of the Roman Missal (GIRM), we will only receive standing, and that the form of reverence will be only a slight bow of the head prior to receiving. What actually occurred at the meeting of the bishops is that proposals were made for changes in the new Instructions for the Missal approved by Rome for the United States, but that these changes had to be sent to Rome for approval before they can be used in the United States. To date, Rome has not passed a decision on these proposals. There is nothing in the existing regulations that say genuflection is not to be used as a sign of reverence, nor that we shall stand instead of kneeling to receive. This is one more step in the direction that was taken by our “separated brethren” leading to belief that the bread and wine are merely symbolic and not worthy of adoration. For your information, the slight nod of the head during the Eucharistic prayer is called for in the GIRM at the mention of the name of Jesus, the Trinity, Mary, and the Saint in whose honor the Mass is being celebrated. As the conference of bishops did not mention this, are we to conclude by this that the name of the Saint calls for the same sign of reverence as that which is given to the Blessed Sacrament? I hardly think so!
Father Champlin wrote a book titled Together for Life. In the book there is not one mention of Pope Paul VI’s or Pope John Paul II’s condemnation of artificial contraception being a mortal sin. The book is aimed at married couples, and although it does mention natural family planning, it also suggests that when a married couple has a problem of conscience, they should “seek out a priest who will be sympathetic” to their problems. His ambiguity in the handling of a question of such important proportions in the married life are a far cry from what the Church actually teaches, dogmatically. In other words, he is telling them that it is up to them to decide, and if their consciences permit artificial contraception, go right ahead and use it. He does not mention the Church’s teaching that a conscience has to be properly formed and properly informed in order to be licitly obeyed. The expression: properly formed and properly informed means that we are bound by Church law to learn exactly what Church teaching is on any subject when there is any question in our mind on the subject.
Why are our Church bulletins being used to promulgate so many opinions which all seem to have only one aim in mind; to diminish reverence for the things which we hold sacred? The Church bulletins that carry these denigrating articles are usually found in parishes where there is scarcity of devotions to Our Blessed Mother and the Saints, a lack of outdoor processions, novenas, first Saturday Mass for the Blessed Mother, adoration on the First Friday, and so many of the other beautiful demonstrations of our faith as Catholics that we have come to love. Also where these dissident articles are found, you will also usually find everyone at Mass receiving Communion, but only on rare occasions going to Confession, because Confession has already been denigrated in earlier Church bulletins. Pope St. Pius X warned us about modernism, and now we are living and breathing it! Stand up and defend the faith!
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