Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Hey, lady, grow the h*** up already!
When you give aging flower children with time on their hands a glorified title, this is what happens. (Image from Bettnet.com)
Last September, mwbh did a piece entitled "Playing Priest," in which the problematic role of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist was analyzed, and a scenario for its reform was imagined. There has been a lot of news about parish closings and mergers, and out of the Boston area comes this story at Bettnet about a protest at a closed parish in Lynn, Massachusetts. A review of the local press, namely The Daily Item, reveals this gem of a quote: "Lois Bragan, a Eucharistic minister from St Pius Church, consecrates the host on the steps of the closed St Michael’s Church during Good Friday services."
Visiting the website of St Pius, one is introduced to the two priests under the title of "team ministry." Now, it takes laypeople to make a parish, but it takes a pastor to serve them as well. This is more involved than merely being a vending machine for the sacraments. But when the liturgical act itself becomes a rallying point for an ideological struggle, right or wrong, it is no longer an action of the entire Church, just the ones who agree with the actors. If you don't know that, it becomes easy to say, oh, so-and-so is a lay minister, you know, and she can do this. They could have simply conducted a Way of the Cross around the parish grounds. Alas, that would have been too easy.
And not as good a photo op.
It doesn't matter whether the woman in the picture is holding a consecrated host or not. If so, she is committing a sacrilege. If not, she is engaging in false worship of a wafer. Either way, she betrays her misunderstanding of the Eucharist, and so disqualifies herself to ever perform this role again. Beyond that, what is made manifest here, is the problem of a generation now entering its twilight, one which has been indulged to the hilt by the society around them, and remains steadfast in its refusal to grow up.
The above only reinforces this writer's contention, that the role of the "eucharistic minister" has gotten way out of control in the USA (to say nothing of elsewhere), and needs to be seriously curtailed on a massive scale, if not eliminated altogether.