Pelosi’s reception of Holy Communion overshadows Holy Father’s liturgical reflections – Catholic World Report

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Pope Francis greets U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, accompanied by her husband, Paul, before the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican on June 29, 2022. (CNS Photo/Vatican Media via Reuters)

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows how to make herself known in the newspapers, but she may have stepped in this time. She showed up for Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on the Solemnity of Saints. Peter and Paul, and presented herself for Holy Communion, which she received from one of the ministers. It was after, according to one report, that she met Pope Francis and received a blessing. This was to attract press attention in the secular and Catholic media. So far, so good.

Only, she may not have counted on Wednesday also being the day when Pope Francis dropped a long reflection on the meaning of the liturgy and good liturgical formation. Pope Francis may not appreciate being upstaged at home, and certainly does not smile at remarks like that of John A. Monaco, who joked on Twitter:

It’s hard to take a document on “liturgical formation” seriously when it comes out the same day a pro-abortion politician receives Holy Communion during a papal mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.

On the other hand, the document Pope Francis released on Wednesday has to be the front-runner in the race for the most Catholic story in baseball news of 2022, so maybe this will prove he doesn’t. there is no bad press. Others have also noted that Francis is willing – especially lately – to play fast and loose with the rules and regulations that govern Catholic liturgy, and wonder how seriously he wants to be taken when he calls people out. greater respect for these rules.

These observations are understandable, but to be fair to Pope Francis, he suffers from a very bad knee and has not been able to participate as fully as he would no doubt like in a host of functions recently.

Pope Francis’ letter presents itself as “incitements or clues to reflection that can help in the contemplation of the beauty and truth of the Christian celebration”. It’s not exactly headline stuff, but the apostolic letter, Desiderio desideravideserves your attention for several reasons, one of which is that it is a window into the mind of Pope Francis on a subject that has dominated his attention for some years.

A guy who doesn’t care about liturgy doesn’t use his power to overturn and nullify his ruling predecessor’s signing act and shatter the fragile peace that his predecessor had established in law before she really had a chance to settle. A guy who doesn’t care about the liturgy doesn’t bother, on fifteen pages of typewritten, single-spaced lines organized in numbered paragraphs, to unload his mind on the subject. Pope Francis cares about the liturgy, and he wants people to see how much he cares, and he wants to explain how and why he cares.

So, it should come as a surprise to exactly no one who intends to get wobbly enough, fast enough.

You have to go through about thirty of the sixty-five paragraphs of the letter before you get to the crux of the matter, which is this:

I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council — although it surprises me that a Catholic can presume not to do so — and at the same time not to accept the liturgical reform born of Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document which expresses the reality of the liturgy intimately linked to the vision of the Church so admirably described in Lumen gentium.

Pope Francis is not wrong to marvel. The Second Vatican Council is something that really happened. There was a far-reaching reform effort in the wake of the last Council, which saw new liturgical books promulgated and old ones effectively suppressed (even though they were never formally repealed). There are a small number of Catholics – albeit a number devoid of any real power or influence – who get worked up to explain that the Council never really existed and that its actions were and are therefore null and void. Some of them even go so far as to say that no one who has received the new rites is validly ordained.

There’s a lot more of that kind of craziness out there, mostly found on blogs kept in seedy basements and in internet communication boxes populated by people who have too much free time. They are not the kind of people who create problems in the real world.

Pope Francis seems to have decided, however, that no one should have anything these people care about, even if those who love the old books and the rites celebrated according to them accept the Council and the new books; even though they built their churches from scratch; even as they are the life of their diverse and vibrant parish communities.

It’s almost the ecclesiastical version of “You had to destroy the city to save it”.


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