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The remodeled church

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Nov 18, 2004

With reporters standing by-- and every media outlet seems to have picked up the same sound-byte--Cardinal McCarrick reminded his fellow clerics that "you don't have a confrontation at the altar rail."

First you'd need to have an altar rail....

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Tony D - Nov. 18, 2004 8:12 PM ET USA

    I find it amusing that Cardinal McCarrick made that comment about confrontations just before we encounter tomorrow's reading from Luke 19:45-48. Certainly our Savior would never be confrontational! Ah, but in chasing the money changers from the Temple He was precisely that. If only our bishops occasionally would show some passion for the faith and take an unambiguous stand...

  • Posted by: windsor - Nov. 18, 2004 7:55 PM ET USA

    And with the new chairman of the BCL, there will be fewer of them!!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 18, 2004 12:16 PM ET USA

    Why not have a confrontation at the alter rail? I don't recall the passage were Jesus tells the apostles to avoid making a scene at all costs. If someone who publicly deviates from Church teaching presents themself for communion, they are the one causing the confrontation anyway. What better place to clearify a public scandal, than in public?

  • Posted by: patriot6908 - Nov. 18, 2004 9:54 AM ET USA

    Tut, tut! If we had altar rails, how in heaven's name would our priests be able to rush down into the congregation to press the flesh at the "sign of peace"? Would they vault over the rail? And how would dozens of unwilling urchins be able to approach the altar to better witness how Father consecrated the bread and wine into the Eucharist--while looking bored and stupified?