Further developments around Reusel

The case in Reusel of the local priest denying communion to the openly homosexual carnival prince of the village continues to stir up the blogosphere. In Dutch, both Frank Meijneke and Father Cor Mennen comment on it. The original news item was even picked up internationally by LifeSiteNews and commented upon by the iPadre, Father Jay Finelli. In local news media, sadly, various dissident Catholics, such as former abbot Ton Baeten, criticise Father Buyens for his actions. But that was not unexpected. In orthodox circles, developments are sometimes reconsidered good because these people are against them.

The announced protests by homosexual organisations at the church in Reusel on Sunday did not fully materialise, luckily. Some people did show up, and others attended the Mass in protest. They handed out pink triangles to parishioners. Some politely returned them, others enthusiastically accepted.

Fearing a demonstrative refusal of the communion by people who attended Mass in protest (something for which the Body of Christ may never be used), Father Buyens decided to not distribute Communion at all. A sad but necessary decision to protect the Blessed Sacrament against possible profanation.

Translating from Frank Meijneke’s article linked to above:

“Receiving Holy Communion is seen as a right, which has led to the humble realisation of the gift of grace falling out of sight. […] [H]e who consciously denies God’s approach in an act of ‘protest’ does not deny the priest and not even the Church, but God Himself. With such an attitude it is of course not proper to receive the Body of the Lord as long as the relationship with God has not been repaired.”

And Father Mennen:

“It is disgusting to have to read in the newspaper how people speak about communion as “giving a host”, as if it is a piece of candy that everyone in the building has a right to receive.”

The latest news is now that the protesters, or possible a handful of instigators, plans to go to the cathedral of St. John the Baptist in ‘s-Hertogenbosch next Sunday. Why there? Because the next televised Mass will be broadcast from there…

TV Masses new style

The tower of St. Boniface in Leeuwarden

Tomorrow I will be attending Mass in another church: With some friends I am going to St. Boniface’s in Leeuwarden for two reasons.

The first is the fact that this Mass will be first Mass organised by my diocese for live television broadcast. A bit of an event, especially since, starting this year, the dioceses have taken the responsibility of the televised Masses in their own hands. The Masses rotate through the dioceses, so that each organises seven TV Masses per year. In Groningen-Leeuwarden, they have chosen for the church of St. Boniface in Leeuwarden, with Father Albert Buter as celebrating priest.

Leo Fijen, head of the Religion & Culture department of the KRO, the network responsible for the TV broadcast, says that the new arrangement shows “the diversity and vitality of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands”. What I’ve seen of the Masses broadcast up till now is that the quality is actually quite good. Of course, there is always room for improvement: priests should use proper missals instead of binders, ugly glass ‘altar tables’ and choirs in the sanctuary have to go, but in general, the impression is positive.

Let’s hope that tomorrow’s Mass will fit in that trend. I’ve never attended a Mass by Father Albert, but the church will be impressive enough. St. Boniface is a massive building, larger than the cathedral here in Groningen.

The Mass will be broadcast live on Nederland 2, starting at 10:00, and will be preceded by an interview with Fr. Albert starting at 9:35.

After the Mass I intend to stick around at a diocesan youth platform event to mark the start of Lent. A nice occasion to see some people I haven’t seen in a while.