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What's so extraordinary?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 23, 2007

There are roughly 900 priests in the Newark archdiocese.

So in John Allen's NCR conversation with Archbishop John Myers, this line is striking:

“For the most part, communion in this archdiocese is distributed by laypeople,” he said.

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Show 28 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2007 2:06 PM ET USA

    "When a raving gang demanded that holy Tarsicius, who was carrying the Sacrament of Christ, show it to their profane eyes, he chose to be beaten to death rather than hand over to mad dogs the sacred Body." http://www.stthomasirondequoit.com/SaintsAlive/id735.htm I will stand in line for any Eucharistic minister who is willing to die rather than hand Christ over to a pro-abort politico, gay activist or other "mad dog."

  • Posted by: - Feb. 27, 2007 9:15 AM ET USA

    Apples and oranges, cupertino.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 26, 2007 3:30 PM ET USA

    Try this line for comparison: “For the most part, air traffic at this airport is distributed by laypeople,” he said.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 26, 2007 1:49 PM ET USA

    "it keeps the lines short and gives otherwise bored laypeople something to do .." If Jesus were coming to town, would you wait in line to see Him? Guess what, not only is He in town, but He is there awaiting you at the altar. Get in line, wait it out. May we all have the perseverance to remain in line. For the priest, in persona christi, does that ring a bell? He hung on the cross as long as it took for you. Laity, need your place in the limelite? Tell the Lord, "I did it my way!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 26, 2007 9:05 AM ET USA

    With the huge numbers of people coming to Communion,that necessitates lay involvement so they won't be inconvenienced by a minute's wait, I wonder how the Confession business is going. Do the priests need help for that since frequent Communion should be preface by and lead back to thaat Sacrament?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 25, 2007 7:09 PM ET USA

    Dear O'Solanus, My intent is to provide the numbers. I do not want to get involved in the discussion of what the bishop should and should not do.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 24, 2007 6:04 PM ET USA

    Staggering numbers, Andy, and for the 70% you overlooked, who don’t attend Mass at all, perhaps you would have Archbishop Myers mail Holy Communion to them at their homes.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 24, 2007 5:11 PM ET USA

    Some questions with answers we should consider: How many of those priests are religious priests? 228 (These may or may not be in a parish) How many are diocesan? 690 How many deacons? 201 How many Catholics? 1,319,558 How many parishes? 234 (All statistics are from 2004 and are from http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dnewa.html ) Other questions: What is the median/mean/mode age of the priests?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 24, 2007 4:46 PM ET USA

    At our large local parish we have the usual parade of eucharistic ministers to the altar at Communion time, but all four priests are over seventy years of age. If something is being done that takes some of the burden off of them and that may prolong their service at the altar, great! The same goes for many parishes that have insufficient priests. The parish where we go on Sunday has five priests in their forties and no EMs, which also is as it should be.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 24, 2007 2:00 PM ET USA

    Come on Cupertino,the story of the "saintly" EMC is a red herring.It is a wonderful thing that we have EMC bringing communion to the homebound when no priest can.The problem with EMC is with their use at public masses where there needs to be a reason for their use.Fr.Robert Eno S.S.,the late Professor of Patristics at CUA stated that in the early church communion was ALWAYS distributed by a deacon,priest or bishop at Mass.Read Inaestimabile Donum by JPII regarding the consecrated hands ofpriest.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 24, 2007 12:34 PM ET USA

    Who knows who is in a perfect state of grace when they approach the Eucharist? Even the most public sinner could have just moments before repented and been reconciled. Yet public obstinate disobedience to Church teaching is public scandal and our priests & bishops must publicly repudiate it. Not by withholding Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but by publicly chastising and correcting them. It is the loving, charitable, thing to do! Save their souls and shield Mother Church from scandal.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 24, 2007 9:13 AM ET USA

    Egads, what a terrible interview. Very disappointing. I was under the impression that Bp. Myers was a fighter. How wrong I was.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 8:09 PM ET USA

    I guess what works in Newark isn't what played in Peoria.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 7:05 PM ET USA

    Also, how many bishops and priests have recognized the Holy Father 's decision to remove the American indult which had been allowing EMHC to ritually purify the sacred vessels? Our parish priest said he would not act on it until the Bishop directs him to do so. And many EMHCs are infuriated that their right to "wash the dishes" is being torn from them. Can you imagine our Bishops ending EMHCs? The Mass is all about us, very little about God, nothing about the priest in persona Christi.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 5:23 PM ET USA

    Come on people, breath into a bag for a couple of minutes. A wonderful woman eucharistic minister of my acquaintance goes to a nursing home for the dreadfully ill and dying three or four times a week and seeks out Catholics who wish to receive. The pastor simply does not have time to do this; he has a huge parish and little help. The Eucharist is efficatious by itself and doesn't require a priest to convey it to you. Would any of you stop this saintly woman?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 5:10 PM ET USA

    God Bless you Father Coleman.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 4:50 PM ET USA

    "it keeps the lines short and gives otherwise bored laypeople something to do .." Perceptive. I think that is exactly what is happening in such situations.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 2:56 PM ET USA

    If you don't agree with dogmatic Church teaching on the life issues, if you believe that these are issues which can be defined by your own parameters, then you can not believe that the Eucharist is indeed really and truly Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord. The one position is in direct opposition and disobedience to the other. So why do the obstinate, persistent and vain-glorious politicians still process up to publicly receive Our Lord? Surely, it is their sin to answer for.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 2:01 PM ET USA

    Isn't always an edifying experience at Sunday mass when half the congregation are Eucharistic ministers? Especially at concelebrated masses where also several deacons are present? Gosh, it keeps the lines short and gives otherwise bored laypeople something to do.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 1:55 PM ET USA

    I live in the Newark Archdiocese. I along with many others was thrilled at Arch. Meyers arrival. He was supposedly solidly pro life and very orthodox. He has been a major disappointment; he is nowhere on life in a very vocal and visible way. He has punted like Card. McCarrick on politicians receiving Communion. NJ is loaded with "Catholic" Democrat pro choice politicos and they get a pass. Every election we hear them loudly proclaim their Catholic faith and then proclaim pro abortion!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 1:52 PM ET USA

    I'm a priest, and I enjoy distributing Holy Communion. I also enjoy saying Mass, hearing Confessions, baptizing, etc. But sometimes, sure, I'd like to sit in the rectory, prop my feet up and watch an old movie or a football game while I eat a ham & cheese sandwich. But you know what, no one forced me to answer the call to be a priest, and being a priest means doing "priest work." More and more priests don't like doing priest work, a sad and dangerous situation. Ora pro nobis!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 1:50 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Myers' Hideous Strength is very impressive.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 1:23 PM ET USA

    Merciful God, please send something to "force [Archbishop Myer's] hand"--perhaps an Apostolic exhortation that he can blame on Pope Benedict XVI (or something like that). Amen.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 12:58 PM ET USA

    Yes, this is striking, Diogenes. But, will it be striking to Rome or will Abp. Myers be made a cardinal? Abp. Myers' other comments were striking -- about not denying Communion to public officials who obstinately promote the murder of pre-born children (he calls such folks "pro-choice"); about re-thinking HIS position vs. Church Teaching re: withholding food/water from the sick/dying. Jesus, help Abp. Myers & all the Church's disobedient bishops to actually be successors to the apostles.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 12:24 PM ET USA

    And this line, Di, is even more striking: “If Rome comes down differently,” he conceded, “then I’d have to rethink my position.” Translation: I may or may not obey. BTW: "Now, as to the reception of the sacrament, it was ALWAYS the custom in the Church that laymen should receive the communion from priests." (Trent, Session VIII)

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 11:57 AM ET USA

    The biggest fiction about this sci-fi writer is that he is conservative. He is lordly, aloof and covetous of a red hat, more focused on managing decline than in building up the Kingdom, and much too busy promoting himself to bother with the feeding of Christ's sheep.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 10:52 AM ET USA

    That's why people were baptized for or was that what we were ordained for. That pesky Catholic notion of the priest acting in persona Christi feeding His flock.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 23, 2007 9:57 AM ET USA

    Back off. Priests are busy. Like Archbishop Myers, they may be writing important sci-fi novels: http://theedge.bostonherald.com/bookNews/view.bg?articleid=184213

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