Father Mark Kirby: Abuse Of The Holy Eucharist Is A Cancer At The Heart Of The Church!

The Faithful Must Adore The Eucharistic Lord To Make Reparation!

By:  Father Mark Kirby


A Cancer at the Heart of the Church

How and why does this sort of thing happen? It causes me a piercing sorrow because it is emblematic of the widespread loss of faith in the adorable mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist that is a cancer at the heart of the Church.

The Erosion of Faith

Several years ago, in the context of a course I was teaching, I suggested that the erosion of faith in the Most Holy Eucharist was, in fact, fostered by a number of liturgical and disciplinary changes:

— Minimalistic approach to the fast before Holy Communion.
— The offering of the Holy Sacrifice by the priest facing the congregation.
— The removal of the communion rail and obfuscation of the sanctuary as “the holy place.”
— The relegation of the tabernacle to the side of the sanctuary.
— The reception of Holy Communion standing, and in the hand.
— The introduction of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

Taken together, these changes sent a chilling message to the Catholic faithful (and even to confused clergy): “Folks, the Blessed Sacrament just isn’t all that we thought it was.”

The Protestantization of Catholic Worship

Let it be noted, en passant, that while all of these changes are a cause of scandal to Eastern Orthodox Christians, not one of them would be considered offensive to mainstream Protestants. When one begins to worship like a Protestant, one begins to believe like a Protestant.


The cumulative effect of these changes, compounded by a woefully deficient sacramental catechesis and by certain lamentable theological, liturgical, and moral sensibilities in seminaries during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, is the current Eucharistic CrisisRedemptionis Sacramentum (2004) remains, in most dioceses, a document that is virtually unknown. Pope John Paul II’s “Year of the Eucharist” seems to have faded into oblivion; his EncyclicalEcclesia de Eucharistia (2003), and his Apostolic Letter, Mane nobiscum, Domine (2004) seem not to have been assimilated at the parish level. Pope Benedict XVI’s Sacramentum Caritatis (2007) is, in many places, unknown.

Adoration and Reparation

Adoration in a spirit of reparation is more than ever necessary. Where are the adorers and reparators who will console the Heart of Jesus, wounded by the irreverence, coldness, indifference, and sacrilege that He receives “in the house of them that loved Him,” and in the Sacrament of His Love?

As for the much discussed “reform of the reform,” might it not be a case of too little too late? Can anything apart from a Divine Intervention, a new sacerdotal Pentecost, obtained through the intercession of the Maternal Heart of Mary, bring about the change of heart that is needed?

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68 comments to Father Mark Kirby: Abuse Of The Holy Eucharist Is A Cancer At The Heart Of The Church!

  • Diane McHenry

    I went back to receiving on the tongue after twice noticing particles of the Host on my hand.

  • Doris

    I am so fortunate to be able to receive our Lord on my tongue by a good, traditional priest. We use a Communion Railing and Father says Mass on a beautiful altar with his back to us. He also says the traditional Latin Mass which I love so much. Now my fear is that he will be transferred. Father is not popular with our Bishop and the other pastors in the diocese and is persecuted daily. However, I have noticed that many seminarians are also learning the traditional Catholic Faith. I feel there is hope for us as God will never allow His beloved Church to go under.

  • Tom Kearney

    It is no coincidence that the necessary element of holy fear and awe of the Supreme Being that is Almighty God, that all should hold and foster, is scarcely,if ever, mentioned from the pulpit nowadays, nor has it been preached for many a long year, not to say, day. And this dreadful dereliction of duty on the part of our priests has had an unbelievably adverse effect on the faith of the people.Indeed,I respectfully submit, that it is precisely this lack of faith in the existence of an eternal place of punishment which has become one of the greatest weapons in Satan’s armoury in the never ending battle for souls. After all, why should anyone care whether they receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue, kneeling or standing? And isn’t our God so loving and merciful that He wouldn’t dream of sending anyone to Hell? Trouble is, it is we who condemn ourselves to that awful place of damnation, not God. After all, God it was who gifted us free will in the first instance and we use it to either accept or reject Him, don’t we ? As for myself, and lest you think I exaggerate,I have been forty years resident in a parish in southern Ireland and, hand on heart, never once during that time, have I heard a homily on the existence of Hell and yes, I do attend Mass every weekend !

  • janis

    I love going to a holy Mass and it seems some are not being said our mass is 25 min. on Sat and 30 min on sunday and every one is happy with this. I don’t have enough time for adoration or thanksgiving… It makes me sad and hurts my heart how can a priest get away with this???? I keep praying for him. Daily masses can be 15 min. Sorrowful

  • Frances Sullivan

    While I wholeheartedly agree with Catherine that it is what in the heart that counts there are still things that go on at Holy Mass that make me sad. Especially in the summer when people come like they are going to the beach. When cell phones ring during Holy Mass never mind in the church. When people carry on a conversation during Holy Mass. So many things even though not everyone does this it does show a lack of respect to Our Lord “TRULY” present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. What I miss from years ago when we had the Latin Mass is the prayerful quiet and maybe they didn’t but people seemed to be aware that Our Lord was truly present and seemed to be more in prayer. It hard not to notice these things and I don’t think it is judging but just a fact. A lot of priests I know have spoke out against these things but are ignored. It is sad and that is why I miss the Latin Mass and I can’t go to one where I live because it is too far away.

  • catherine

    The sacrament of The Holy Eucharist is only abused in the hearts of those receiving.
    Let us judge nobody. The hands receiving the Holy Eucharist are the hands which have kindly given aid to the sick before going to Mass. Our Divine Lord is knows the hearts….who are we to talk about where their hands have been? Unless , of course we have intimate knowledge.

    • JDC

      I am very, very sorry I said this. I apologize to you, Catherine. I don’t know what came over me. Please forgive me. It was a nasty thing to say. I am sorry.


  • Agnes

    What gets me, is, this, In the Novus Ordo. After all the shaking of the hands, ( no telling what those hands have touched,) people all line up to go and receive Our Precious Jesus in those “same no telling what they have touched hands.” I have seen people chewing gum, lining up to receive Our Blessed Lord. I thank God, you will not see this in the TLM Priests, when ordained had their hands wrapped, so the fingers that will be touching the Holy Eucharist, were anointed. We as lay people are not worthy of touching the Most Precious Body of Christ. When the Novus Ordo came in, Eucharistic Ministers were to be called on to help the priest, ONLY, when there were too many people to give communion to, weren’t they supposed to be men only? The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist has indeed been abused.

  • catherine

    I fully respect Fr. Kirby’s thoughts. I also respect Pope John XX111 and his successors who had The Holy Spirit with them. We are now in 2014. Everyone has their own spirituality as Christians. Some are called to religious life and some are called to a life of supporting a busy family. Those of us who can spend an hour of Eucharistic Adoration are blessed and are there not just for ourselves, but on behalf of our family and friends who are struggling to get home each evening with something to lay food on the table.
    Their efforts are just as precious to Our Divine Lord as those who can spend time in Eucharistic Adoration.
    I don’t know anyone in my parish who receives the Holy Eucharist in a disrespectful way.
    Receiving in the hand is as much revered as receiving on the tongue.
    Fr. Kirby and all clergy are at ONE with the Faithful in that we are ALL sinners and unworthy.
    Let’s try to encourage attendance rather than promote restriction. Remembering..’where two or three are gathered together in My Name….. It is not so productive in our wish to share Christ’s love, to get hung up on ritual.

  • Sue Kirby-Sidey

    Wonderful article but part of the problem has also to do with the peoples’ lack of formation of conscience. The line-up to communion is so long: people who live together or remarried, etc etc going to communion and yet the line up to confession is bare minimum. Sin is not preached in most pulpits, thus, everyone can go to communion because God is Love! Those who go to Mass periodically receive again and again without blinking an eye. That being said, what Fr Mark Kirby is telling is also said in the books–Fatherless, Motherless and Childless….the lack of respect to the sacrament of of the Blessed Eucharist, in other words, Our Lord, is the cancer that is killing the spirit, little by little…

  • Kathleen Riney

    Thank you Fr. for Speaking out….the SILENCE of our Clergy is Deafening!! Our Parish Tabernacle looks like Grey Plexiglass, & is shut up in a small, Dark, “Day Chapel” that’s almost never used. We have a huge parish….so…week day masses are said in a small room, NEXT to the Day Chapel!! So, the Tabernacle is stashed away even during the week. I made a rather loud comment that I thought the Tabernacle looked like a cheap plastic Bird House! I was told by one of the laity (the Laity runs our parish, & i’ve learned that’s not unusual) that the Tabernacle was “commissioned by so & so, a local Artist”….I simply replied, “I understand why he’s Local!” & walked away. I’m 72, so, in American ‘Culture’ I’m invisable, & in my Parish, well, one of the kinder phrases, “pre Vat II”. I insisted on my RIGHT to get my then, 16 yr old grandson ready for Confirmation myself. The then&now, head of the “Teen Life” Classes was furious! After the Confirmation Ceremony, she was standing at the end of the receiving line. After she shook hands with my grandson, I was next. She withdrew her hand & put Both hands behind her back as I extended mine. “Pax Christi” I said as I smiled at her. I was so Blessed to be able to hand on our Faith to this Great young man, who had come to me on his own, & ASKED to be Confirmed! We spent much longer than the Book foisted on us to use, required…Sadly, it confirmed my suspicions!! “SHALLOW”, wouldn’t begin to describe it. “Foggy” would be closer…Having lost 1-2 of our own Children to “Christ Among Us” back in the 70’s….I wasn’t taking any chances! That was ambiguous if I want to be charitable… but truthfully, it was a door opened to Heresy. Again, Thank You for saying yes to your Vocation & True to your Role’ as ‘Alter Christi’. You’re in our prayers & Fasts….Pax Christi…..

  • Linda Lind Bowman

    I believe the sacredness of the eucharist and The real Presence–That is my Faith, and If I believe, then I must act on it.
    We have been given Much–musch will be expected.

  • Chip

    At the heart of the problem, it seems to me, is the poor formation in our seminaries going back to the 70’s. The Holy Father and Cardinal Arinze have done so much to rectify the poor attitudes toward the Holy Eucharist at the parish level. We have a group of younger bishops and priests who have begun the transformation so badly needed. Hang in there Faithful Catholics! Pray in adoration and “fight” the good fight with these “protestant” priests. The Lord won’t ever let us down.

  • Tanya

    EK, as my previous comments indicate I wasn’t raised with the Latin Mass. I find it sad to think, as may be implied by your comments perhaps, at least by me, that those of us who have attended the Novus Ordo Mass, think that the Mass is “about us”. Dead wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Mass is the celebration, conmmemoration of the life and death of Jesus Christ, and in my experience, having “grown up” as Catholic with the priest facing the people HAS NOT( caps for emphasis only here) diminihsed My sense of reverence for the holy. Just my two cents here

  • Tanya

    Andy I also “respect” the structure of the Catholic Church. It’s something that I accepted, well anything that came from the Pople, before I got baptized. As for keeping people in the dark, why continue to blame a faith for the past?You as a Catholic, and that includes me too, have to put time aside to read the Bible and to try to get commentary’s eiher from the library or whatnot to help us out. Right now my concern is to make time to read it. I try to read the daily Mass readings most of the time but want to make it more of a habit. I don’t believe that it’s any less of an educationg effort on my part if I have used a commentary or not ….

  • Tanya

    Ahem, don’t want to spend a lot of time here. Just read a few lines of Rick’s post, a few down from the very beginning. I’m a convert to the Catholic faith here. was born here and raised in southern Spain. Although I’m sure every convert has a more or less “long” story smiles, I’m afriad that if I start sharing details here that I’ll end up writing my “long” story so, will try to keep this short, only commenting on the first part of Rick’s post. I can NOT believe that someone had the nerve to say that a Catholic isn’t required to believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.I was baptized at 18, summer of 1984. My conversion was largely brought about due to a family car accident that I was in, that brough life and death into my life. I had already read a biography of St. Francis of Assisi, Catherine of Siena and a Spanish saint, Blessed Angela de Foligno ( at the time) and spent a lot of time in front of the tabernacle at the Church of St. Joseph ( where I was baptized and closest walking distance) and also a lot of itme at Our Lady of the Rosary, in Fuengirola, (Malaga), Spain, a little bit further but within walking distance or bike, from where my family moved to. The parish priest, diocesan, who baptized me, recommended, suggested, that I read a book called Life of Christ, by a Spanish priest, ( who apparently died in the 1970’s), which was an Excellent book that covered a lot of stuff, not much about confession though. I read it through junior high and finished it in my senior year of highschool. It was spending a lot of time though in front of the tabernacle that, through God’s grace, led me to believe and accept in Christ’ Real Presence. It’s kind of hard to go to a Catholic church and in time to not be aware of that “special” presence smiles….
    As someone who was born in 1965, I can’t share the “love” that I have seen by many towards the Traditional form of the Mass. My first Traditional Mass was one that I had been invited to by a German girl, studying at St. Louis University also, who had gronw up with it. Pease don’t get me wrong, but I was so thrown off by the Dead Serious Faces, plus not understanding a word, that I said never again. I’ve always treated the Mass, assisting at it I mean, with reverence, and dont’ feel that I need the Traditional Mass to see “true reverence” if you know what I’m saying. At St. Joseph’s , when I was in Spain, there was practically no music. I never asked. Maybe because the pastor didn’t have time or money to put together a choir?, lack of interest from congregation? So I wasn’t exposed to the Amaerican Mass, where you get bombarded with music, Entrance hymn, beginning of communion hymn, middle of communion hymn, before end of communion hymn, um, did we forget a hymn just before receiving Communion starts( correct me if I’m wrong, and end of receiving communion hymn, AND, end of Mass hymn. When I came here to finish highschool it took a bit to get used to.
    Looking back, I’m beginning to think that the slowness of one or two brainwaves( I incurred a head injury from that car accident and it’s only in late fall of 2011 that I’ve gotten a sense that God, yes, believe it or not, has somehow been healing me little by little. Where I am now I don’t know but anyways but something’s changed. Maybe I’ll always have to do with a ? decrease in motivation but….Ouch, a 1000 apologies for having strayed so much right now. It was “easier” to “digest” all that music. Keep in mind that the only time that I heard music at St.Joseph’s was maybe the first strand of a psalm that Father John started and that was it. Or one song sung by a children’ choir at Our Lady of the Rosary, when we’d go up to receive Communion. So….
    For almost a year though, out of the blue, and yes I believe ( don’t know how to explain it okay) that healing from the head injury has contributed to this, perhaps making me more aware of the sound??, all of this “noise” started to become very very bothersome. Frustrated I came up with the idea of putting earplugs as soon as I’d come back from receiving Jesus, so that I could “celebrate” in peace.
    Browsing through the book He and I, by Gabriel Boussis, I happened to fall upon a comment, which showed, talked about what she was thinking of, you know, sharing with Jesus in her heart as the priest started to walk towards the altar ( think traditional Latin Mass here) and it said something about the priest walking to the Garden of Olvies ready to meet Judas? I read this “comment” and went ohhhhhhhhhh, I never thought of that!!! Little by little ( yes I probably had already started to put earplugs in) I tried to read a bit more about the Latin Mass. Have to get back into the habit of reading complete books sigh… It was beautiful to read the theological underpinnings of the traditional Mass, and how the Mass is Calvary once again, etc…. I ended up making myself go to a traditional Mass, High Mass. It was a huge shock because there was so much silence and I didn’t understand a word (THAT WAS THE BIG PART okay smiles?) that I felt somewhat miserable. On onhe hand, thank you Lord for so much silence. I basically spent the Mass flipping through this basic guide in My Sunday Missal, which explained i the Dialogue Mass, what the priest was actually doing etc… I only had one aid at the time so didn’t hear anything either. Now I have two buuuuuut, we shall see. It’s my intention to go to a Low Mass, since I would absolutely love to experience the Last Gospel being read, the one in which it says and the Word was God etc….
    I can see that I have a ways to go before I learn how to pray the traditional Mass but…..And don’t worry acoustics have a lot to do with understanding stuff. I haven’t understood a full homily for the past 18 years at least. I can’t share in all the woes that I’ve read about online , of how irreverently people receive Jesus at Holy Communion,misteachings of the Church in homilies. but….

    In response to Andy: I personally find it very poor thinking to think that because the Mass started to being celebrated facing the people that “only or mainly” because of that ( and no I’m not quoting from your post okay? that the world started to go wrong, but after all the stuff that I’ve read online I’d suggest that for a lot of people there seems to be a huge drop in reverence towards the holy,towards God at Mass. I had no idea of the “atrocities” committed at Mass until I started to read about stuff like this on any link from SpiritDaily.com etc…. I myself would never dream of whispering during Mass, like a family of five in front of me was doing, or coming to Mass dressed the way some women have at my parish. I also starte to wear the veil at Mass about two years ago. Okay people, I rambled again. And Rick, its’ RCIA ,not RECA. I had to go through it before I got confirmed here in the U.S.. Had already learned everything through the book my pastor in Spain had given me. Just am realizing at 46, that I need some personal maturing to do to “help” me with confession. Will disappear now smiles.

  • Amanda

    Fr. Kirby,
    As they say: “Preach it brother!” I nearly lost faith after having all the spiritual energy sapped out of me by banal, if not completely abusive, liturgies and blatantly heterodox preaching–all the while trying to teach RCIA according to the teachings of the Church, which caused all sorts of feathers to be ruffled. People were shocked about the belief in the Real Presence, that birth control is a sin, and that “extra ecclesiam nulla salus” (oops, did I say that?). I ended up with a sort of spiritual burn-out.
    In the end, I shook the dust of the Novus Ordo parish I attended off my feet, and went to the Byzantine Rite Catholic Church. I transferred Rites, and will never look back. I was fleeing from the horrid mess of the Roman Church, and found my spiritual home, a paradise. The Divine Liturgy is the most perfect thing this side of Heaven. Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him forever!

  • Don

    1)The Church was flourishing before Vatican 11

    2)Vocations to the Priesthood/Religious were plenty

    3)Recently returned to T.L.M.became of something missing
    ( my conscience was no longer screaming at Me
    4) Go to T.L.M. focus on perfection/becoming a saint in PEACE!!!

    5) It’s that simple

  • EK

    I finally have found rest in the Latin Mass. No more scandals-at least for me-of altar girls, show choirs and extra ministers. Only profound devotion and humility. These words move me especially every Sunday now: Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuae: et locum habitationis gloriae tuae (I have loved, o Lord the beauty of Thy house and the place where Thy glory dwelleth). This glory is the Holy Eucharist dwelling in the Tabernacle and given to unworthy sinners through the gift of Holy Mother Church.

    The priest faces the Altar, because Holy Mass is not about us. The priest addresses the Most High for us. We need to be humble and in awe of the Real Presence. We are in Heaven, as unworthy as we are.

  • Nick

    I once was in knee-jerk agreement that priestly orientation facing the people in the Ordinary Form was problematic. I’ve come to more fully appreciate that the celebrant is acting in the person of Christ and as such should be facing the sheep. Better liturgical formation of our priests will rid them of the temptation to distract by emoting.

  • Magdalene

    I oversee adoration at my parish. It is a struggle! We do have good priests but the times they might speak of the Real Presence, they do not take the extra step of speaking of adoration. We can barely fill our one day a week and we have a big parish with good Sunday Mass attention.

    Today I met with the head of the litugy committee who sort of an oversight of adoration—but no one that I know of comes to adoration. They did have some suggestions but there is only so much a lay person can do.

    There are many factors that have contributed to the loss of the belief in the Real Presence. Just the way so many dress for Mass shows they have little thought as to Who is present there. And then there is the army of mostly women around the altar and the hands held out indifferently by so many to receive Our Lord….non-catechesis for so many years is also a big culprit for this loss of faith.

  • tom

    @Carol and and all eucharistic ministers

    Read the book: Maria Simma “My Personal Experiences With the Poor Souls” There is a one soul with special punishment for touching,holding Most Holy Sacrament without prior consecrations (means if You are not Priest or Deacon can’t hold, distribute etc). Simma afterwards could recognize those persons from blackened hands (caused additional suffering in Purgatory)

  • Lynne Newington

    What does it say to clergy who in most instances in an act of Obedience, continue offering the Mass on behalf of the faithful knowing full well they are not worthy.
    When in time immoral acts that had no immediate effect, gradually gain significance and they are convicted in a court of law.
    Who is to blame?

  • Elina

    Andy,I am from the Vatican II Catholic generation, born in 1962 and had no knowledge at all of the traditional Latin Mass. Novus Ordo Mass started in my country as early as 1966. The true Catholic faith of my children is being undermined and destroyed by the novelties of Vatican II. A short-sighted educated libertine you are.

  • Andy

    Really that sounds God like. Do you really think God cares about this stuff? I really doubt it. He is more worried that this world is headed in the wrong direction. All of you are worried about changing something because it was always done this way. I am willing to bet you are an older catholic and don’t want to give up the old ways. Not really I am a very educated libertine that feels that the church needs to change. And don’t come back with the church doesn’t change as it has over the years.

  • Agnus Dei

    If you want to please our Holy Lord, then receive kneeling and on the tongue. Even in novus ordo Masses this is possible. Myself and most of my family receive Holy Communion this way. It is a sign of respect, reverence and disposition to the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, and many graces flow to those who humble themselves in such a way. I would say there are many people out there that would like to receive kneeling and on the tongue but are “too embarrassed”. How silly that they would consider the opinions of man over the opinion of God. And Andy, you sir are obviously not very well catechized and you sound like an ignorant libertine.

  • Andy

    I don’t anything about he old ways. Converted 6 years ago.

  • Scott101

    I understand your concern and I don’t think you should take any personal blame for the lack of reverence to Our Lord, but perhaps, after some soul searching, you come to agree with Father’s opinion, you can do much good for restoring the traditional eucharistic disciplines by not only stopping your ministry but work towards educating others about why it is so important to restore the past traditions in this area.
    Personally, I think it is just a matter of time before the previous discipline is restored, it just doesn’t make sense to treat Our Lord like a cracker to be passed around casually by laypeople if he is indeed Our Lord and Our God.

  • Andy

    Patricia keep thinking that way. The higher ups like it when they can push women around. Barefoot and pregnant.

  • Patricia

    I receive the Eucharist on my tongue because I have respect for my Holy Savior. I miss the communion rails we had when I was a child. Although I appreciate people wanting to serve Christ, only the priests and deacons should give Communion. Also only the priests, deacons, and male altar servers should be behind the communion rails. I am a woman who loves her Lord Jesus Christ and has respect for the patriarchy of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, I am not intimidated or offended by it. God is our Father. Under Jesus, does any person have higher honor than Jesus’ mother? No. Traditional Native American women “knew their place” and were comfortable and comforted by it. I raised my children as a single mother, but saw the heartbreak my children and I had in not having a participating father. Give men their honor due as well and quit trying to take their place. Jesus told the men to love their women, even giving up their life for her, as Jesus did for us, His Church, His bride. Women are to honor their men. We, the Church, are to honor Jesus, as the Church is called to be the bride of Christ. We can honor this oneness with Christ in taking Communion on our tongue. After all, he did die for us so that we could have Communion with Him.

  • Teresa

    There were things “perceived” after Vat.11 by clergy wanting to open the windows and let the fresh air in, that they also let the stench of Satan in at the same time. They wanted to do their “own thing” their “own way”. Talk about giving the Church a Protestant look…..it is really no wonder as there were Prostestants that headed up several committees in Vat.11. I am in no way denegrating our Prostestant brothers and sisters but, uh, excuse me…… this is the CATHOLIC CHURCH. There were a lot of good things that came out of Vat 11 but there were also a lot of dissenting practices…….and a lot of false teaching from our Priests and Bishops as well…..and to sum it up……a lot of garbage. The sacrament of Reconcilliation was at one point all but abandoned, our love of The Blessed Mother and her most powerful Rosary trampled on, belief and respect for the Real Presense marginalized, and relative theology elevated. Communion Rails also RIPPED OUT of our Churches, Crucifix’s hidden, TABERNACLES put in broom closets. UGH!!!! I STILL GET ANGRY AT THE DEVASTATION.

    As far as Ministers of the Eucharist go, yes, because of the Priest shortage, we need them, but I have seen far too many times the Ministers distributing and the Priests sitting. That is a NO, NO, NO, NO!!!!!!! I receive on the tongue, The Pope would like us to do that, and I will continue no matter how much the clergy complains. I wish they would provide a kneeler for us, but no luck.

    This all said, the ship is beginning to turn around…….THANK YOU LORD!!! Looks like it will be up to the laity to charitably “encourage” our reverent practices.

  • […] Father Mark Kirby: Abuse Of The Holy Eucharist Is A Cancer At The Heart Of The Church! […]

  • Andy

    Sure keep women and the people un the dark like the old days. My older friends were never incouraged to read the bible. Let the priest tell you what it means. Do you really think God cares how we worship? I get tired of hearing that is the way always did it.

  • Mary

    No one has mentioned to the virtue of OBEDIENCE which Our Blessed Lord revealed to the Saints such as Sr. Faustina, is always the most pleasing virtue to Him. If Pope Benedict asks for the faithful to recieve on the tongue, then the FAITHFUL should obey. What is so hard about that?

  • Steve

    Perpetual Adoration Chapels can be a positive addition to any Parish. Too often though, adorers do not have a proper idea of reverential silence. They visit at leisure in front of the Real Presence. Is that kind of Parish calling down blessings? I would think that opposite is the case.

  • Scott W

    These are very important issues that Father raises, but they are prudential questions that good Catholics can disagree on. So be at peace. I am with Father on these issues, however.

  • D.

    Re chatechise. Have masses with no reception. Mass of the Catechumens. Get real stop moaning. The priests have alot to do, or alot to answer for this is not some joke… SAY THE LATIN MASS Prevent abuses and teach the people.

  • I am a woman who is a Eucharistic Minister. I agree with what you say about the erosion of faith in the Holy Eucharist. And I tell you that if the Church reversed its decisions regarding Extraordinary Ministers, I would obey, but I would be heartbroken in doing so. This is a ministry and a privilege so precious to me I cannot begin to imagine it being rescinded. And when I read an article like yours and catch the hint that it might actually be wrong that I am permitted to do this, I am deeply, deeply concerned, almost I want to say horrified. The Lord has taught me so very much about the Eucharist, but I have never felt that He disapproves of the ministry I am in. I have never gotten the feeling that it displeases Him. And I have often thought of His words that uncleanness comes from within us, not outside of us. I believe I make no unclean gesture by receiving the perfect unblemished sacrifice in my hand. And with my hands – and indeed my whole being – I lift it back to the Father in reparation for sin.

    You leave me speechless. Where I was at peace, you leave me disturbed.

    Carol R. A.

  • To Whom It May Concern,

    While I don’t disagree with what Father Kirby has to say, I must point out that some of his bones of contention are changes that are approved by the Magesterium, ie., the priest facing the people and the removal of the altar rail. I would argue that it is just as dangerous and disobedient to argue against approved aspects of worship, that are approved/mandated, by the Magesterium, as it is to argue against the Church’s stand on contraception, gay marriage, etc. Both instances are occasions of scandal and implied disobedience.



  • Uh, I appreciate overall what is being said but without elaboration on the issue of Eucharistic ministers, this creates an impression that such ministry is wrong. It is not, when done with respect. The priest shortage makes it difficult to get the Eucharistic presence of Jesus to the sick and homebound. If the priests didn’t have help …

  • Sister Marie

    I could not remain with them. My faith is too precious

  • Sister Marie

    I reentered my former religious community at the end of 1999 only to discover they no longer believed in Jesus’ Presence in the Eucharist as the church teaches,! They also refused to call God Father. I was devastated! Sister I had known and loved were lead astray by the devil. And what is worse they are teaching others. Pray for all of the religious orders who threw away their sacred habits. The habit was a defense against the devil. Now he has entered into the hearts of those who should be sacred to the Lord

  • Elleblue

    While we have an exceptional parish priest he cannot be responsible for everything or everybody. Parents have to start setting a better example in terms of dress and behavior in Church. They also have to start taking the religious education of their children seriously. Being great at sports won’t get their children into heaven!!!

  • roxanne


  • digdigby

    I am a three year convert from Judaism. I have only known the TLM and the one time I had to fulfill my Sunday obligation at a small town NO mass – communion in the hand made me literally want to PUKE. Catholicism without reverence is…is… I don’t think there are words for it.l…

  • Kathleen

    Fr. Kirby,
    Thank you.
    Glad to see that what you learnt as a child – The True Faith, and Catholic teaching is what you are passing on to us. If every Tom, Dick and Harry can distribute Holy Communion why did you bother spending all those years in the seminary. Shame, Shame, Shame on all those evil people who think they know better and destroy souls destined for eternal glory. Thank you Father and God Bless you. I only wish you were in my parish, but then you would not be allowed to promote true catholic teaching, you are not allowed to offend the prodestants, its o k to offend Almighty God.

  • JudeThom

    There are solutions: Refuse to attend the Novus Ordo; refuse to receive from a lay minister; refuse to attend Mass in a church that resembles a Protestant sanctuary. It is really tragic what has happened to the Catholic Church. Most of family has gone over to the Orthodox, where the ancient Liturgy remains intact, and where there are NO lay ministers, etc. The Liturgy is everything. Thank God for the Orthodox, thank God!

  • […] VIEWPOINT: Father Mark Kirby: Abuse Of The Holy Eucharist Is A Cancer At The Heart Of The Church! […]

  • Magdalene

    While I prefer the TLM when I can find one, our Novus Ordo parish does things by the rubrics. There is an SSPX church in town but they have no adoration, etc. But we do! One full day a week and a first Friday all night adoration. We have two daily Masses and confession times eleven times a week.

    Another local parish has now begun to put a kneeler out for the daily Masses so we can again kneel to receive Our Lord. That parish is hoping to have a priest in resident to only offer the TLM and to have that liturgy available daily–perhaps by summertime.

    The return to faithfulness has begun–at least in the Archdiocese of Denver.

  • TG

    I agree with Father Kirby. I receive Holy Communion on the tongue because after coming back to the church after 30 years, it’s more comfortable and reverant to me. I tried it with the hand and just felt awkward. I wish I could kneel because it would be less awkward when receiving. I also try to receive from the priest or a deacon only. I’m shocked at the comment about the Bishop of Corpus Christi. He was once a priest in my diocese. Let us pray for all priests.

  • Dixibehr

    I forgot to mention that when I attend a Roman rite Church, I always receive on the tongue.

    I am not averse in principle to receiving kneeling, but the trouble I have had with them for years makes this impossible.

  • Dixibehr

    The Roman Church is not the totality, or even the standard, of the Catholic Church.

    The Byzantine churches–Catholic and Orthodox–have NEVER received kneeling. Standing has always been the posture.

    The same can be said for most of the Eastern Churches.

    Furthermore, the Byzantine Liturgy of St. James requires the faithful receiving the Body of Christ in the hand. This is also the practice of the Assyrian Church of the East.

  • Marlene Stoos

    Yes I agree with all of the above….we must all of us please pray, pray, pray, for out priests….Marlene Stoos

  • Lisa M.

    Yes! We need more priests who know it to have the courage to say it and act. We must pray for them to have it. This will be one of the fruits of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle in Ireland, and to obtain the grace of conversion for those who do not believe or who are indifferent.

  • Thanks to David Martin for this great site. I had no idea it existed. Fr Mark is spot on about irreverence and the centrality of the Mass and Eucharist in the Churh. For years I have witnessed appalling indifference towards the Holy Eucharist.This takes the form of: talking before, during, and after Mass; going to and from communion with hands in pockets, yes, even children do this; Eucharistic ministers dressed in trainers, jeans and tee shirts;priests bantering and joking with the congregation; banal hymns that bears no reflection on the liturgy; applause in abundance, (i) for the children who are preparing for Communion/Confirmation;(ii) for lay members who have something to say about the parish council;(iii)for the choir’s contribution to the liturgy; (iv) for missionaries appealing for money. The sacred is gone. Do Catholic priests and their Bishops really believe in the Real Presence, or just some watered-down version of it? I wrote to my bishop expressing my concerns. He was generous to reply, and prior to the new translation of the Novus Ordo, some very cautious mention was made as to the loss of respect in our Churches, asking why, e.g., conversation could not wait until Mass was over. In my view, this ony gives the green light for yet more talking following the last blessing. Silence should be maintained until the faithful are out in the street, if only to consider those who want to remain after Mass to continue thanksgiving. But there is no thought for them. Such a contrast with the TLM where reverence is deep and powerfully present. Disrespect for the Eucharist is a symptom of a deep malaise within the Church. The Pope realises this and is desperatly trying to correct the drift but I fear he may be too late. Dissent, for one thing, is now very deeply rooted.

  • Manue Rivers

    I happen to be a member of one of the SSPX chapels. The Eucharist is the main focal point of our being. Our tabernacles are not shut away in some obscure room, we have Eucharistic processions, we have First Friday Masses with adoration, we have Benediction every Thrusday with Rosary. Somewhere in the World there is a SSPX church having All Night Adoration in reparation for these abuses, and I have to ask what is your Church doing?

  • Kim Consiglio

    ” Oh My God I Believe I Adore I Hope and I Love You, I Beg your Pardon for those Who do not Believe do not Adore do not Hope and do not Love Thee. Amen…

  • David Martin

    You hit the nail on the head, Fr. Kirby! The widespread and rampant desecration of the Eucharist is the very eye of this Apocalyptic hurricane that is roaring against the Faith and tearing the Church asunder. When all is said and done, the profanation of the temple is what is inciting the coming wrath upon humanity, so the true apostles of these last times must repair to Christ at the tabernacles of the world and ease His injured Heart in imitation of St. John and the Blessed Virgin who remained anchored at the foot of the cross in spite of the sacrilege of the jeering crowd. Only God can rescue the Church from the present flood of evil, but we have to help hold the ailing Bark of Peter afloat until help arrives from Heaven.

    [email protected]

  • Nancy

    Thank you Fr. Kirby I totally agree with all you have said.
    We need more priests like you!

    One comment I heard some time ago from a non Catholic that was a real wake up call…

    “If Catholics really believed that what they are receiving the actual Body of Christ…then why aren’t they down on their knees? And how, after receiving God…do they get back up?

  • Rick

    The devaluation of the Blessed Sacrament is something that came out of Vatican II. Lets face the facts people. The mass was dismantled as to look like an Anglican Mass. They now use the same lectionary as Roman Catholic pries up to the most recent change. All of the above changes mentioned have brought this about. I have heard from the lips of converts that in the course taught to converts RECA I think those are the initials. That it was no longer obligatory that a person believe in the real presence to become Roman Catholic. I later ran across the person who told this person that and she said yes in fact that she did say it. That’s what is wrong. Benediction was dropped out of popularity after Vatican II the monstrances were tossed in the garbage cans literally ok. I happened. Then every body and their brother was walking up to the tabernacle like a kitchen cabinet helping them selves to a hand full of host and going to administer them to the sick. I have seen this done on many occasions and the individuals did not show any reverence to the Blessed Sacrament. Now the church under our current Pope and his directives is trying to come back to the center at least but there is great resistance. If you look at the liturgy of the Latin Mass and observe the rubrics of the priest then read text then attend the current Mass facing the people you can clearly see the problem. What will it take a reform of the reform as this Pope wrote the preface for as the book written by Hans Gamber. As they say the cow has run out of the barn keeping him there was easier than try to catch him. At the end of the day the saying so as you act so as you believe, so as your believe so as you act. There are many divisions in the church and on top of it we are faced with a shortage of priest where do you think that shortage is coming from. Lack of faith in the real presence. A pole was taken of Catholic if they believed in the real presence and the number was staggeringly low about 30% taken several years back. You can research it it was shockingly low. It is the root of what we are as Catholics it is the heart and essential of our faith. When you have destroyed that faith in the Euchrist you have been successful in destroying the Roman Catholic faith. Many believe it is only a symbol why else has the reception of the Blessed Sacrament become such a casual posture by the people at large. Sad this awesome Pope is 85 he will not be with us long enough and the next person to sit in the Chair of Peter will have his work cut out for him. Lets pray to the Holy Ghost to inspire those in the church that still have the faith to stand up for their faith and fight for their faith if they are to preserve it. God Bless.

  • Bill

    I don’t believe that any of these “abuses” are abuses. I have no less respect for the Eucharist than I did 50 or 60 years ago. The way things are done now is just fine with me. Some of you folks need to take a look at the Society of St. Pius X especially if they gain communion with Rome.

  • Marcy

    It is truly sad to see how our Blessed Lord is treated, but when you have priests and even some bishops who have little belief or respect for the Holy Eucharist, what are we to do? You have a bishop in Corpus Christi Texas the only city in the world name the Body of Christ, who has not had a Eucharistic procession since he became bishop of that diocese in early 2009. This very bishop gave a talk in 2010. He basically rejects what the Church teaches about the Real Presence. He kept saying many times that we cannot “absolutize” the Eucharist. The Church, however, says that the Eucharist is the “source, center, and summit” of the Church’s life – sounds quite absolute to me!The bishop disagrees, who is right? I believe I am!

  • Patricia Walsh

    Right on, Fr. Kirby. Simply: Actions do speak louder than words! Proof is in the pudding! What more confirming evidence do we need? God bless.

    P.S. might add: the aesthetically inappropriate type of music often accompanying the Mass – hence, most people have no concept what is actually occurring at Mass, which is not a bible study, or a Christian Rock concert, or even a praise and glory mission.

  • Claire

    I have shared with several Facebook pages. I whole heartedly agree with Fr Kirby. We need to go back to kneeling and receiving on the tongue from the priest.
    I agree with Rene above …we need to console our God for these abuses.

  • Mrs. Rene O'Riordan

    The prayer of the Angel in Fatima was timely – He said to the children “Console your God” – “MOST Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly.
    I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity
    of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world,
    in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference
    by which He is offended. And through the infinite merit
    of His Most Sacred Heart, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
    I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners”. Say this every time you are in the Church and think with amazement how you are “consoling God” – Rene

  • Michele Jansen

    I do believe we send signals that aid in lack of belief that the Blessed Sacrament is what it is, the Body of Christ, the precious gift given to the Church. I went back to receiving on the tongue and taught my young daughters to do the same. Thank God we have a wonderful, young, orthodox priest who encourages this practice and reminds us often about what the Eucharist truly means and is. We also bow deeply before we receive but I do remember the days when some churches (they were already rare when I was a child) still utilized the communion rail before receiving in the hand and I think the loss of them contributes greatly to the lack of reverence and the loss of belief.

  • Rita Kozel

    I whole heartedly agree. I can’t tell you the awkwardness I feel sometimes when I receive on the tounge, for one thing the standing posture is wrong and makes it hard to receive with the head tilted back. And I feel so uncomfortable receiving from a lay person who is afraid to touch your tounge ( I feel humiliated for My Lord)as placement comes close to being dropped. I recently viewed a Lutheran communion service
    and the reception of communion on the hand “looked just like Catholics receiving today” there is no difference except for the consecration. It break’s my heart. I hope things will change…

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