Saturday, April 18, 2020

"The pandemic may speed up change in the Church- Unplanned for, unexpected and, perhaps, even undesired, the approaching end of the cultic priesthood has been accelerated by our present situation"

Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory of Washington celebrates Easter Mass to a virtual congregation at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington DC, April 12, 2020. The Archdiocese of Washington closed the basilica to the public and live-streamed...
My Response: Inclusive Catholic Communities with ARCWP/RCWP priests are providing Zoom liturgies where participants bless/consecrate bread and wine in weekly Eucharistic celebrations.
Our theology affirms that it is the gathered assembly who celebrates Eucharist, not the priest alone.
We are already providing leadership in this transition that Fr. William Grimm writes about in the article below.
From What Jesus Meant by  scholar Gary Wills:
Jesus disapproved of the sacrificial system and confronted the religious leaders, the priests . In the Gospels the priests are the most active plotters to kill Jesus. There were no priests among Jesus’ followers. Jesus did not ordain anyone.
(The Catholic Church claims that the apostles became priests at Last Supper and that Peter was the first Pope! no scripture basis!)
The early church functioned without priests. Gary Wills writes:
“nowhere  is it indicated that there was an official presider at the Christian meal (agape)much less that consecrating the bread and wine was a task delegated to persons of a certain rank. When the term priesthood finally occurs in the Pseudo Petrine letters it refers to the whole Christian community. (1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9 Peter refers to himself as a  “fellow elder” among the other elders. ) (What Jesus Meant, pp 69-70 
Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP 

"Now, because the pandemic has required the cancellation of liturgical gatherings in much of the world, we are experiencing what many Catholics, such as those in Amazonia, have experienced for years and which is the obvious future for the whole world. We are no longer able to gather in presbyter-led liturgies as we have known them for centuries...

Catholics are beginning to find new ways to share faith with each other, a search we must believe is inspired by the Holy Spirit who will not leave us bereft of the opportunity to gather in the name and real presence of the Lord.

Our new digital age of communications offers ways for communities to gather across vast distances. Someone in East Africa can worship with others in Scandinavia, South America and Oceania.
Obviously, sharing the Eucharist will mean something different from what has been the norm. Breaking bread and sharing the cup may take place simultaneously, though not in the same location. In that case, the declaration that the bread and wine are the Body and Blood of the Lord will take place in the “gathered” community, not relying upon a cleric who may not be “there.”
Father William Grimm is the publisher of UCA News and is based in Tokyo, Japan. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.

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