Jul 30, 2009

Your Communion Isn't Good Enough

From Catholic News Agency

Lancashire, England, Jul 30, 2009 / 03:17 am (CNA).- An Anglican cathedral is trying to accommodate those of its faithful who do not accept female clergy by allowing parishioners to decide whether to accept communion bread blessed by its female canon or by a male priest. Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire recently installed Rev. Sue Penfold as a residential canon. Cathedral canon Andrew Hindley explained the decision to This Is Lancashire, saying it was agreed by all the clergy that it was the best way to handle what they called a “mixed economy.”

The congregation can choose whether to receive communion bread blessed by Rev. Penfold or bread blessed by a male priest at the main cathedral service on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.


After reading this story I have a feeling that in the Catholic Church there is an equivalent snubbing going on. There are a good deal of people who won't receive communion from a lay minister or a deacon and will go out of their way to receive communion from the priest.

Um, last time I checked we were all giving out Jesus.

5 comments:

Ann said...

I've been a Lay Eucharistic Minister for years, and I've had plenty of folks step out of the line I was distributing to, so that they could:

1. Take Communion from a priest
2. Take Communion from a male Lay Eucharistic Minister.

When I first started, this happened a lot. Then it dropped off. Now it's starting up again. Go figure.

Maria said...

Hi there,

First time I've left you a comment.

I am guilty as charged. I won't switch lines because I happen to line up in the line with a lay minister distributing Communion, but most of the time, where I sit, the line always queues to receive from the priest.

I think part of why I feel this way is when I stopped going to church in college lay minsters weren't in use then and when I came back they were very common and it wasn't something I wasn't used to. I'm getting used to it and having practicing "Communion" with my students, I gained a very healthy respect and admiration for the lay ministers.

St Edwards Blog said...

I agree with you Mike and this happens quite frequently.

The whole Anglican thing is kind of a sad mess - I have a lot of Episcopal and Anglican friends, this whole thing is heartbreaking for them.

Fran

Garpu said...

Being an EEM (and a female one, to boot), I wish I could say I'm surprised that it's happening.

badsede said...

There is something substantially different going on in the article.

First of all, people switching lines in order to avoid a deacon, an extraordinary minister, and especially a female extraordinary minister demonstrate particularly bad theology.

But the situation described in the article isn't about the person ministering Communion, but rather the person consecrating Communion. If you believe that the Church cannot ordain women, and that therefore female priests are invalidly ordained, then the natural consequence is that the Eucharist too is invalid. If the Eucharist is truly important to you, that is a very, *very* big deal. The parish is therefore offering a way for those people to receive Communion they feel is valid - consecrated by a male priest - at a liturgy presided over by a female priest.

Sure it is very hurtful. But it is also the natural consequence of the position that the Anglican Communion has taken that you can have Communion without having theological union.

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