Passing around the Eucharist: Part Deux

Okay, so the other thread got removed because apparently I am not allowed to copy responses here on CAF that I have received, without the permission of the sender.

Here is a link to the first part of this discussion:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=457365

Basically, the director from the Office of Worship responded to me saying that he was “troubled” that I was using church documents to prove my point, and that I should just attend the liturgy meeting in September and hope that I can get the illicit practices changed. He also said that the abuses I described did not seem like grave matter, and that they are more worried about the “disposition” with which communion is received as opposed to the “mechanics.” :eek:

So… some of you recommend that I should write to the Vatican… but how do I do that? Who exactly do I write to? And what exactly should I send in? All the emails between myself and the priests, the letter I sent to the bishop, the response I received from the Cardinal… I am really confused, but I don’t want to give up on this. I feel like I was just dismissed, and this isn’t something that should just be thrown to the side. I want to make sure that mass is being celebrated correctly!

I hope someone can tell you who to write to, as this info might be beneficial to others too.
It would be hard to get this information from the diocese. Maybe you can search it on the web.

I found this on fisheaters.com/addresses

For Liturgical Abuses, contact:

           Francis Cardinal Arinze
           Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments
           Piazza XII, 10
           00193 Vatican City,
           Italy, Europe

telephone: (011)39-6-6988-4368

You’re in my prayers! God love you.

The prefect is now Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera. And according to the congregation’s website (in Italian, sorry), the address is

Palazzo delle Congregazioni
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00120 CITTÀ DEL VATICANO

“Italy” is wrong because the Vatican is not in Italy, and “Europe” is unnecessary. The letter should be addressed as given here:

S.E. Antonio Card. Cañizares Llovera, Prefetto
Congregazione per il Culto Divino e la Disciplina dei Sacramenti
Palazzo delle Congregazioni
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00120 CITTÀ DEL VATICANO

As I understand it, the Italian postal system (which is known to suck) will handle it before it gets to the Vatican, so you don’t want to tempt too much fate by addressing it in English.

By the way, I’ve come to the conclusion that I agree with the above posters that it’s probably fruitless to deal further with the Archdiocese and it’s time to move on. The response you got seemed to display no apparent knowledge of liturgical norms or the Church’s expectations. If it were just that your correspondent were uneducated, perhaps by further writing you could show him where he was wrong. But it’s impossible that the guy the Archdiocese of LA put in charge of handling liturgical-abuse letters just isn’t aware of how he’s supposed to be handling things. It would be pointless to write back and say, “But Father So-and-so, with all due respect, the manner of distributing Holy Communion is not supposed to be put to a straw poll of college students.”

Thanks for the correction. I think the website I mentioned needs updating.
I had typed in “How to contact Vatican Officials”, and that was one of the sites
listed. It lists addresses for various offices. “If you bishop isn’t doing his job” contact:
Prefect, for Congregation for Bishops; “In case of Liturgical Abuse” contact:the one I mentioned; “In case of bad catechesis” contact: Congregation for the Clergy;,“for problemsw/ Catholic schools, universities, and seminaries” contact:Congregation for
Catholic Education and Seminaries.

Is there another sight that might have more updated information?

so what should I write? just tell this Cardinal about the situation, and include my letter to the diocese and their response? do I need to include any emails that were exchanged between myself and the priests at the Catholic center?

I think yes, to both questions. Feel free again to post whatever you come up with for comment if you’d like.

Okay, so thanks to some help form Benedict Gal, this is what I have so far:


Your Eminence and Dear Cardinal Canizares:

My name is _______ and I am a layman attending the University of ----, located in the Archdiocese of [edited]. As a student, I assist at Mass at the [edited] staffed by the [edited].

Your Eminence, there are some serious liturgical abuses that occur with great frequency at the UCC. At daily masses, the attendees stand around the altar, and the chalice and the ciborium are passed around the room, from communicant to communicant, with each person expected to self-communicate and then hand the sacred vessels along to another. At Sunday masses, the priests allow EMHC’s to break the bread after the consecration during the Agnus Dei, an illicit practice which is in violation of GIRM Paragraph 83 and Redemptionis Sacramentum Paragraph 73. Both documents clearly state that the rite of the Fraction is reserved to the role of a priest or deacon, not to any layperson.

Under the guidelines established by Redemptionis Sacramentum, I contacted the priests, both by email and in person. I spoke more plainly about these concerns to Father _____ and Father _____ on June 5, showing them the relevant portions of the GIRM and Redemptionis Sacramentum. After almost two hours of discussion, neither Father _____ nor Father ____, the pastor of the [edited], conceded any willingness to put an end to these grave practices, allowing only that the issue could be slated for additional discussion at a meeting of the liturgy committee – next September. Sadly, the end result was that the UCC would continue the illicit practices.

As per the guidelines established by Redemptionis Sacramentum, I sent a letter to His Eminence [edited]. The response was somewhat confusing to me.

The written response given to me from the Archdiocesan staff left me rather perplexed. It seemed to have emphasized the “spirit” of the documents rather than what both the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and Redemptionis Sacramentum actually say. What was also troubling was their concern about my reading the authoritative documents of the Church.

Your Eminence, from the tone of the letter, it seems to me that the abuse will continue to persist. This is not the first time that liturgical abuses have been brought to the attention of the Archdiocese. What concerns me is that this is happening at a university where many young Catholics assist at Mass. Redemptionis Sacramentum warns us that such abuses are going to cause confusion among the faithful. It is sad, but what is happening at the UCC is an example of what was noted in the document’s preamble.

Attached, please find copy of the correspondence exchanged between the [edited] and myself. I respectfully request intervention from your Congregation on this issue, per the guidelines outlined in Redemptionis Sacramentum.

I thank you beforehand for your consideration and pray that the Lord will continue to bless you in your work as Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In Christ’s Most Holy Name,


So how is that? Any gramatical errors? Any issues with the tone or substance? Do you think I am missing anything, or put too much detail? ANY input would be good input! :slight_smile:

I do have another concern though. There are other illicit practices that hapens at these masses (priests/laypersons pouring the wine, the priest never consuming the Eucharist and precious blood until after the congregation has, etc.) I never included these in the correspondence to the cardinal, so should I include these in my letter to the Prefect? I’m not sure if this would just make it look like I have a “laundry list” and therfore make him less likely to take action…

He needs to read everything. My dad included the other abuses that were happening at his parish. These, eventually, were also addressed. Great letter! :thumbsup:

Don’t send it regular mail. Send it international express ($24), return receipt requested. It took my dad three weeks to get the orange card back and then a week later, he received a letter from the Cardinal’s personal secretary.

The UCC is the United Church of Christ. Either introduce the abbreviation earlier, or use “Center.”

At daily masses, the attendees stand around the altar, and the chalice and the ciborium are passed around the room, from communicant to communicant, with each person expected to self-communicate and then hand the sacred vessels along to another.

Phrase in terms of what the priests do – what they allow, what they demand, etc. – ranter than what the congregation does.

At Sunday masses, the priests allow EMHC’s to break the bread after the consecration during the Agnus Dei, an illicit practice which is in violation of GIRM -]P/-]paragraph 83 and Redemptionis Sacramentum, -]P/-]paragraph 73. Both documents clearly state that the rite of the Fraction is reserved to the role of a priest or deacon, not to any layperson.

Write out “lay Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.” Why do you cite specific paragraph numbers with respect to the Fraction, but not to the passing around of the sacred vessels and self-communication? You should do both or neither.

As per the guidelines established by Redemptionis Sacramentum, I sent a letter to His Eminence [edited]. The response was somewhat confusing to me.

The written response given to me from the Archdiocesan staff left me rather perplexed. It seemed to have emphasized the “spirit” of the documents rather than what both the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and Redemptionis Sacramentum actually say. What was also troubling was their concern about my reading the authoritative documents of the Church.

The tone of this section is off. If someone sends you a confusing letter, you write back to him and say, “Hey, I couldn’t figure your letter out.” You don’t run to his boss and complain, and if you do the answer ought to be, “You were confused by it? Did you ever bother to ask for clarification?”

The problem isn’t that the letter was confusing, it’s that the letter was deliberately vague, wrong about how liturgical issues are to be decided, and it reflected the Archdiocese’s failure to acknowledge or correct plain liturgical errors.

Your Eminence, from the tone of the letter, it seems to me that the abuse will continue to persist. -]This is not the first time that liturgical abuses have been brought to the attention of the Archdiocese. What concerns me is that this is happening at a university where many young Catholics assist at Mass. Redemptionis Sacramentum warns us that such abuses are going to cause confusion among the faithful. It is sad, but what is happening at the UCC is an example of what was noted in the document’s preamble/-].

Explain what you disagree with about the letter. Avoid snarky-sounding, opinionated language and making liturgical predictions and judgment calls. That’s their job, not yours, and they’re fairly good at it.

-]Attached/-] Enclosed, please find a copy of the correspondence exchanged between the [edited] and myself. I respectfully request intervention from your Congregation -]on this issue/-], -]per the guidelines/-] as outlined in Redemptionis Sacramentum, to put an end to these practices.

I thank you -]beforehand/-] for your consideration and pray that the Lord will continue to bless you in your work as Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In Christ’s Most Holy Name,

Ask for a specific outcome, not a vague “intervention.”

Other than these things, the letter is just fine. You could stand maybe another sentence or two’s worth of detail on the specific practices you’re complaining about, though.

Your Eminence and Dear Cardinal Canizares:

My name is _______ and I am a layman attending the _____ located in the Archdiocese of _______. As a student, I participate in the Masses at the ________ Catholic Center staffed by the Paulist Fathers.

Your Eminence, there are some serious liturgical abuses that occur with great frequency at the Catholic Center. At daily masses, the priests allow the attendees to stand around the altar during the consecration, and the chalice and the ciborium are passed around the room, from communicant to communicant, with each person expected to self-communicate and then hand the sacred vessels along to another. At Sunday masses, the priests allow lay Eucharistic Ministers of Holy Communion to break the bread after the consecration, during the Agnus Dei. The rite of the Fraction is reserved to the role of a priest or deacon, not to any layperson.

Under the guidelines established by Redemptionis Sacramentum, I contacted the priests, both by email and in person. I spoke more plainly about these concerns to Father ___ and Father ____ on June 5, showing them the relevant portions of the GIRM and Redemptionis Sacramentum. After almost two hours of discussion, neither Father ____ nor Father _____, the pastor of the Catholic Center, conceded any willingness to put an end to these grave practices. Sadly, the end result was that the University Catholic Center would continue the illicit practices.

As per the guidelines established by Redemptionis Sacramentum, I sent a letter to His Eminence _______, Archbishop of _______. The response was somewhat confusing to me.

The written response given to me from the Archdiocesan staff left me rather perplexed. It seemed to have emphasized the “spirit” of the documents rather than what both the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and Redemptionis Sacramentum actually say. What was also troubling was their concern about my reading the authoritative documents of the Church.

Your Eminence, from the tone of the letter, it seems to me that the abuses will continue to persist. What concerns me is that this is happening at a university where many young Catholics assist at Mass. Redemptionis Sacramentum warns us that such abuses are going to cause confusion among the faithful. It is sad, but what is happening at the University Cantholic Center is an example of what was noted in the document’s preamble.

Enclosed, please find a copy of the correspondence exchanged between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and myself. I respectfully request intervention from your Congregation as outlined in Redemptionis Sacramentum, to put an end to these practices.

I thank you for your consideration and pray that the Lord will continue to bless you in your work as Prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In Christ’s Most Holy Name,


There are other abuses that go on at these masses. One of the priests does not consume until after the congregation does, and of course both the priests and EMHC’s pour the wine into chalices after it has been consecrated. And then of course there is the problem of crumbs falling all over the floor and not being picked up :mad:

How would I include these abuses into the letter? Or more specifically, where in the letter? I never talked to the priests about these issues, so I don’t want to make it seem like I did. On the other hand, these are abuses that need to be fixed…

I go off to school in a couple weeks again, and I want to have this sent by the end of this week!

I would include the other matters, as well.

Troubled that you were using Church documents to clarify (a better word) your point??? :confused:

Why don’t I send you my Volvo owner’s manuel and you could try to use that. Perhaps that would make Office of Worship more comfortable.

Geez…Where, oh where, do these people come from? Seriously!

I plan on doing so, yes. I just need help on the specific details, i.e., where in the letter to place the other abuses

No, you don’t. In fact, you should not give quotes from any official church document - it would sound like that the Cardinal does not know that these are abuses! The Cardinal knows exactly why and in which documents they are stated.

All you need to do is list all the abuses that occur. All abuses directly related to the Holy Eucharist are grave abuses.

I need to give context, however. There were some abuses that were made known to the priests and the archbishop, and there were some that were not. I do not know where to include the unmentioned abuses because of lack of context. I do not know where in the letter to include the other abuses without making it seem like these abuses were reported. Basically, I need a way to include these abuses and make it clear that they were never brought to anyone’s attention, but due to the priest’s and archdiocese’s unwillingness to change any of the other abuses that I did bring to their attention, I figured I should include the “new” ones as well.

You do not need to tell the Congregation what they already know, i.e., the proper way to do things. Simply let them know what things are being done improperly. A bulleted list suffices:
[LIST]
*]The congregation is instructed to stand around the altar.
*]The sacred vessels are passed from communicant to communicant, each of whom is expected to self-communicate.
*]Priests assign the fraction of the consecrated Host to the laity.
*]One priest does not consume the Eucharist until after the congregation has done so.
*]The Precious Blood is poured into chalices after It has been consecrated.
*]Visible fragments of hosts can be seen on the floor.
[/LIST]

You just said the same thing twice.

Don’t give them your impression of their response. Simply include the text of the response (indented) in your letter.

Spell-check before sending.

Oh, Los Angeles?! That changes everything. I’ll pray for you.

I would enclose the correspondence, but quote the particular part that perplexed/confused you.

thank you :slight_smile: do you see any way that I could differentiate between the abuses that were already made known to the archdiocese, and the ones that I “added” on later?

Just do two lists:
I contacted the Archdiocese and let them know about the following:
[LIST]
*]The congregation is instructed to stand around the altar.
*]The sacred vessels are passed from communicant to communicant, each of whom is expected to self-communicate.
*]Priests assign the fraction of the consecrated Host to the laity.
[/LIST]Other liturgical abuses I noticed, but did not bring to the attention of the Archdiocese, were:
[LIST]
*]One priest does not consume the Eucharist until after the congregation has done so.
*]The Precious Blood is poured into chalices after It has been consecrated.
*]Visible fragments of hosts can be seen on the floor.
[/LIST]

This hasn’t been mentioned yet, but as a courtesy, a copy of all the correspondence should also be sent to the co-adjutor bishop of that archdiocese–since he will become the Ordinary in a few months.

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