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What about Hispanic

Traditional Catholics?

 Priest Says Latino Children Can’t Kneel for Communion

Michael Fuller POSTED: 5/14/12

( With all the vindications of tradition coming from Rome these days—from the liberation of the Latin Mass to the crackdown of the LCWR nuns with all their ideas of what the Catholic Church should be doing—it is little wonder that certain hyper-liberal forces in the Church are starting to become panicky, even frightened, that just maybe the Catholic laity will actually begin opening their eyes to what has been happening for the last 40-something years. Hope is one of the theological virtues, of course, and Pope Benedict XVI has given traditionalists a lot to hope for. We can see that at least superficially things may be starting to turn around.

I personally do not attend the Novus Ordo Mass, but I sometimes visit Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in West St. Paul, Minnesota, where I pray the rosary in Spanish in a small area near the back of the chapel within a devotional area dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Catholic church that only offers the Novus Ordo Mass and Sacraments. It boldly displays the blueprints on a back wall of what appear to be the destruction of its original high altar. It is a somewhat small church with a flat roof, no communion rails, no confessional and is located next to a city dump or recycling center. However, on Sunday mornings the church is packed so full there is not much room to stand. I am told there are anywhere from 2 to 3 hundred faithful there at each Mass.

So what’s going on at this parish, located in one of St. Paul’s largest Hispanic neighborhoods? Well it is packed out mostly with families of first-generation Catholic immigrants. Its current pastor is a somewhat bilingual Fr. Kevin Kenney, who was recently made vicar of Latino Ministry by Archbishop John Niendstedt.

For those readers who aren’t familiar with Latino culture, it is important to understand that there are many traditional Catholic practices still evident in their culture and many things that present actual barriers to America’s decadent pop culture. For example, devotion to the Blessed Virgin, the Rosary, wearing the brown scapular, burning blessed candles, and much more. That’s why it is shocking for me to see some of the truly sad things going on at Our Lady of Guadalupe these days.

This afternoon, for example, I spoke briefly with Fr. Kenney to ask him if the children receiving First Communion this coming Saturday could kneel while receiving. He said: “No. The Church says no.” He then went on to say to me that it says so right in the general instruction in the Roman Missal. Because I was recording him I decided not to state that I believe he is wrong on this point, especially since receiving Holy Communion while standing has never been the custom in Latino countries.

Also the children will be receiving Holy Communion under both species much like the Protestants do. During a practice I saw taking place in the church tonight there were two women standing at the side of Fr. Kenney waiting for each child to approach. Father Kenney would administer the host while the women would present the chalice to the children. One child during the practice knelt and Fr. Kenney actually refused to give him the practice host, asking him to first stand.

By the way, and hardly surprisingly, also during the practice he referred to the Mass as a “cena”—the Spanish word for meal.   Par for the course, of course.  So on Saturday next 91 children will be making their First Communion in this manner at Our Lady of Guadalupe church, and on Sunday 70 more.  According to Fr. Kenney, they all must receive Holy Communion while standing because, well, the Church says so. 

Two of the children making their First Communion  this Saturday, by the way, have been attending the traditional Mass with their families at the SSPX chapel here in Minnesota.  They told me that they prefer the old Mass because it is more respectful, which hearkens back to the Latino culture’s overall respect for the sacred.  The children described their first Confession as having to sit at a table while being forced to look Fr. Kenney in the eyes.  Needless to say, they indicated to me that they like Confession much more in the traditional form with a confessional for kneeling. (I wonder if the Church also says we must not kneel for confession.)

As I was leaving the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe this evening, I couldn’t help but notice a brochure for the Shriner hospital, complete with a photo of a man wearing a fez cap embroidered with Masonic symbols. I remember my grandmother telling me years ago that when she was young Catholics were not allowed to go to the Shrine Circus because of its association with the anti-Catholic Freemasons. That was a long time ago.

If the Masons plan on attacking Catholic culture through what Archbishop Lefebvre termed enculturation, I think we have a pretty good idea of the ethnicity of at least one of their largest target groups.

Let’s pray to the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe to intercede for us in favor of the restoration of Catholic tradition in this church and all the Catholic churches of the world.

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