A reader sent me a link to the following article.
One of the founders of Call to Action Nebraska has been denied Communion twice in recent weeks at a Lincoln Catholic parish.
John Krejci, who often attends Mass during the week as well as on Sunday, said he was not allowed to take Communion on Feb. 7 and again Sunday at Lincoln’s Sacred Heart Church.
"It’s disappointing, and it’s unjust," he said.
Chancellor Mark Huber, the diocese spokesman, said in a statement that the bond to the church appears to have been severed "by the choice of one of the faithful."
In 1996, the Lincoln diocese decided it would excommunicate members who continue to associate with such groups as Call to Action, which supports dropping the celibacy requirement for priests and giving laypeople a say in the selection of their bishops.
"This means they may not participate in the sacramental life of the church," according to the diocese rules included in the statement.
Krejci, who said Call to Action members have appealed their excommunication to Rome, said he was first denied Communion by Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, who presided over the Feb. 7 Mass at Sacred Heart.
"I was the last one in line (for Communion)," Krejci said. "As I got up to him, he kind of waved me off with kind of a rude gesture. He spun around and went back to the altar."
What the article doesn’t mention is that Mr. Krejci is co-chair of Call To Action in Nebraska. Mr. Krejci and Bishop Bruskewitz are well know to each other especially since they appeared together on the Today Show in a segment with Matt Lauer. In the interview he said "I accept the Apostles’ Creed. I believe in the teaching of the church. I would just like to see some things change." Quite a funny statement when you consider the things he proposes to change are the Church’s view on homosexuality, abortion, and women’s ordination. Like most dissenters he tries to frame these proposed changes in the language that the Church is always reforming. Of course he doesn’t mention is that the reform is usually for the Church’s members to once again to return to Church teaching or is reform responding to a deeper understanding of Church teachings. He is not calling for a return but instead a U-Turn. The next line in the article is unbelievable.
Krejci followed the bishop up to the altar and, after the bishop sat down, took a wafer anyway.
I don’t know quite what to say about such an action. Bishop Bruskewitz action is based on charity by not giving Communion to someone that has been excommunicated in his diocese. Someone who truly spouts heretical beliefs and holds a totally deficient understanding of Christ’s Church. Even if Mr. Krejci was a Catholic in good standing he still would not have the right to self-communicate. When you scrap so much of the Church I guess just one more disobedience is not much more.
I do have some thoughts to his claim that he was "waved off" from Communion. During my Navy Career I served aboard four Aircraft Carriers and so as a result I am quite familiar with the term "waved off." Onboard the "Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System" or the "lens" uses a series of lenses focusing light into narrow beams at various angles. Depending on how the plane approaches the carrier the pilot will see different lights. If on a good path he will see an amber light (called the meatball). The meatball in reference to some green lights tell the pilot if he is too low or too high. If way to low he will see red lights. The Landing Signals Officer operates the lights and if he wants the pilot to make go around and make another attempt he will "wave him off."
Now in pure jest, what if we had a Fresnel Communion Receiving System and a CRO (Communion Receiving Officer) directing the system? Public sinners could be waved off to prevent moral crashes. They off course could then circle around for another attempt later after apply the proper course corrections through repentance. For those of us who receive Communion on the tongue it might be helpful to have the series of lights telling us if our tongue is both properly extended and at a good angle. I myself could have used some training instructions on proper tongue extension when I first started receiving Communion after being received into the Church. Once my assistant parish priest told me to extend my tongue farther out since I was pretty much just opening up my mouth. This was pretty embarrassing at first, though by the time I got back to kneel at the pew my pride had reduced swelling and I was properly thankful that this excellent priest hadn’t been silent in correcting me.
It would also be nice to have such a lighting system in the moral life. So that we could readily make changes in our spiritual path when our mark is too far above or below actual Church teachings. But then again maybe we already have this and it is called an examination of conscience. We have to properly inform our consciences to provide it with the "meatball" for us to follow. That when we deviate we can rapidly correct our path to come in on that narrow road that leads to Heaven. After all it would really suck to be waved off at the pearly gates by St. Peter.
Update: Domenico Bettinelli also comments on this story.