Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kneeling Catholic 'goes after' Dave Armstrong 'going after' Michael Voris !!!

Against my better instincts, I am wading into a hard-ball-with-hand-grenades discussion on the renowned, Dave Armstrong's blog

"Michael Voris Lies About Communion in the Hand (and Standing) Having No Historical Basis Whatsoever"

Hello  Mr. Armstrong!  I think your headline is a real grabber.

If you could prove that Voris really 'lied', it would help your standing (in my eyes--for what that's worth!)
I think you yourself are battling a 'straw man' of sorts. 
Today's Communion practice, I think you might agree, is not the Communion-in-the-hand you ascribe to Church Fathers. Correct me if I err, but even the oft-quoted Cyril considered the Holy Crumbs as more precious than gold.

I get the picture of the carefully guarded use of the hands with a careful inspection afterwards, with people no-doubt licking their palms afterwards.

Sadly, that ancient practice is not what was forced on us. What was pushed on us was/is a very careless Communion-any-old-way.

For us moderns, Voris included, Communion-in-the-hand = the careless modern practice.  This is what we are familiar with.  http://kneelingcatholic.blogspot.com/2013/08/please-write-to-pope-francis-and-tell.html  This was never-ever advocated by any Church father.  Modern Communion-in-the-hand , as Voris correctly points out, has no support from tradition.

[UPDATE: Dave A replies!!! I will try to get an autograph!!! I do remember some very well written Armstrong articles.  I have great respect for Mr. A. ]

Blogger Dave Armstrong said...
I was arguing against any notion of an intrinsic inferiority of in the hand, and that argument still works (and the support from the fathers is valid). I also argue against impiety, however communion is received.

You mix the two, and so your reply has no effect on my argument as I would actually make it.

Any serious, devout Catholic will oppose impiety and irreverence.


Thanks for your reply, Mr. Armstrong!  I think we can resolve our difference right away. If you see today's Communion-any-old-way, plastic cups for our Lord notwithstanding, as one and the same with the ancient and reverent practice described by St. Cyril, et. al..  then I can understand why you accuse  Mr.Voris of 'lying' when he says our modern practice has no support from tradition. 

Maybe all I need to do is convince you that the modern Communion-any-old-way is not what Cyril advocated and then you can be reconciled with Mr.Voris.

[UPDATE, again]
Dave Armstrong said...
Nice try at sophistry. This isn't even honest conversation, for you to make such a ridiculous statement.

Me again...[time out! I need to Google what 'sophistry' is.  I seriously hope it is something good!]
Hello again!
Please do not be offended by my denseness.  I am trying to understand. But now I really don't know whether you think
a. our modern hand Communion  as we practice it, with its attitude of supreme  indifference towards the Holy Fragments on the hands of lay Communicants, would have had the support of early Church fathers.

b. It wouldn't.

Try not to be upset with me. I really do think on-the-whole you do a fine work!


  1. Nice job. He is a piece of work.

  2. Thanks, TTC!

    Mr. Armstrong let it drop, either from exasperation at my 'sophistry', or who knows...maybe he is quietly reconsidering his defense of hand Communion?

    We have a 'new' priest at our Cathedral. He takes extreme care to cleanse his fingers after distributing Communion and he very deliberately cleans every paten. It really is quite beautiful. If anyone would ever consider why such-a-fuss is necessary for the priest, but not the hundreds of hand Communicants---as it most certainly was in the days of our much-quoted Cyril, it would be the end of modern-Communion-any-old-way.

  3. btw, the discussion on his blog has continued without reference to my last post......I enter Mr. Armstrong's latest thought with my comment....

    Dave A>>>Exactly; one of my points: reverence is culturally and liturgically relative to some extent. But it all goes back to the interior disposition of the heart, in any event. <<<

    two points:

    1) interior disposition is not independent of 'body english'. otherwise teachers would never tell a pupil to 'sit up straight!'
    I believe Benedict XVI emphasized this body-soul connection and hence saw it necessary to re-introduce kneelers for Holy Communion.

    2) we can say what we will about the meaning of standing. it can mean respect, it can mean we are waiting in line at the 7-11. kneeling, otoh, is more intense and lets us know we are not at the 7-11. certainly small children witnessing their parents kneel down to consume the Host get more of a sense of wonder at what this Marvelous Food is!