November 12, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Submit a letter to the editor electronically | For our letter writing policy, click here

There were no letters to the editor published this week; here are the letters from two weeks ago:

Reader questions priest’s response about extraordinary ministers of holy Communion

I have never written to a newspaper in my 69 years of life, but I was so hurt and upset by the answer that Father Francis Hoffman gave in the “Go Ask Your Father” column in the Oct. 22 issue of The Criterion.

Father Hoffman states in his column—and supports it with half of the space in his column—that the Holy Father, along with most of his top advisers, issued an unprecedented instruction to the Church that we should not use extraordinary ministers of holy Communion at Sunday Mass unless there really is a large number of the faithful present for the liturgy.

I also understand from his column that the reason that the Church in the U.S. does this is because we do not like a Mass that lasts more than an hour. Father Hoffman reminds us that Christ himself was on the Cross for three hours.

Maybe the better reason that we do not have long Masses is due to the logistics involved in having four Masses on Sunday, and the amount of time required for everyone to leave the church, get into their car and exit the full parking lot so that the other church members who are coming to the next Mass can enter the lot, park their cars and get in the church early enough so they can pray before Mass.

Also, we have 600-plus members attend each of the Masses at our parish (St. Jude). With only one priest—or two in some of the other churches—trying to distribute Communion by themselves to this number of people would not be too efficient.

Also, our one priest presides at all of the Masses by himself, including giving the homily.

I might also ask if, by what is implied, are we to stop offering the cup to the congregation? It is going to be hard for our priest to minister both the consecrated bread and wine at the same time.

- David Gaither, Indianapolis


No confusion over role of laity as extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, reader says

I would like to comment on Father Francis Hoffman’s column in the Oct. 22 issue of The Criterion.

Does the hierarchy of the Catholic Church really believe that if the extraordinary ministers of holy Communion stand around the altar before the priest has received Communion it will lead to confusion of roles and “clericalize” the laity?

For 30-plus years after Vatican II, that was the norm and, in all of those years, I did not hear even one layperson verbalize or even hint that they were “confused.”

The bishops and cardinals need to give us “laypeople” more credit than that.

We certainly have been told often enough that our real contribution cannot be serving in the sanctuary. There is no confusion about that on our part.

- Helen A. Welter, Indianapolis

Local site Links: