Sunday, May 31, 2009

Things were quieter than in past years at the Cathedral this Pentecost Sunday

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After attending Mass at my regular parish, I zipped on down the freeway to St. Paul to see what might be happening at the Cathedral of St. Paul where Rainbow Sash homosexual protestors (and their supporters) had promised to show up to make their annual statement to nobody that was listening about how persecuted they are.

As I crossed the street to the side entrance, a bit late, I noted a small group of demonstrators sunning themselves. As I approached them, I asked one wearing a sash if she was relaxing in the sun rather than attending Mass before going in to commit a sacrilege. She said "yes." I muttered something about hypocrites and entered the Cathedral. Later I found out that she was a nun and part of a group that had left St. Stephen's parish in Minneapolis with a group of 200 other apostates who have now formed their own religion. Don't ask me how she could be a nun. To say the least, she didn't look like one.

The Cathedral staff, having experienced quite a few of these events is well prepared, like a Special Forces A Team (12 soldiers, trained to do whatever needs to be done).

Right before Communion the celebrant, Father James Adams I believe (I don't go to the Cathedral that often), read a statement informing all that Holy Communion in the Church is only for those who acknowledge their communion with the Church and its rules and regulations and who are in a proper state of grace. Those individuals wearing rainbow sashes or buttons (a new twist this year, I believe) would not be given Communion. Displaying a sign of protest, Father said, is a statement that a protestor is not in communion with the beliefs of the Church. Then Father asked the protestors to remove their sashes and buttons before coming forward.

Of course, they didn't.

In Canon Law, only priests (and bishops, of course) and deacons are the official ministers of Holy Communion. No Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are used at Masses at the Cathedral where protestors are expected. Communion is given as the Sacred Body only as the Ushers stand on each side of the main aisle watching for protestors.

In the past, protestors not having sash or button have put the Sacred Host in their pockets or kept it in their mouth so that they could share it with protestors when they returned to their seats. That did not happen today, but I have seen it in past years. Ushers actually have used mild force to keep the Sacred Host from being desecrated.

Church regulars specifically state that Communion, a Gift of Our Lord, is to be given to the communicant by an ordained minister or by an Extrraordinary Minister. It is not to be taken. That is why, self-intinction, where a communicant receives Communion in the hand and then dips it into the chalice of the Precious Blood is strictly forbidden. If there is to be intinction, it must be done by the minister and then given to the communicant.

There probably were about forty or a bit more protestors present today at the Cathedral. A bit less than last year. It was difficult to count because last year they all stood up after Communion (when they should have been kneeling in thanksgiving) so that we shouldbe sure to count them.

Thanks be to God, no cases of attempts or actual sacrilege were observed.
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