BAM! Paprocki Drops a Knee on the Head Bob crowd

thomas_paprocki_APThank God! Do you hear the sound? (bam!) That’s the sound of a knee being dropped. In a pastoral letter, Ars celebrandi et adorandi, given to his diocese on June 22, Bishop Paprocki says it:  “the proper reverence to the Blessed Sacrament is ‘to bend the knee,’ to genuflect.”  THANK GOD!

On Bending the Knee

Wait! Do you hear the next sound? thats the echo of what our readers heard three years ago! If you recall, the Bellarmine Forum Magazine, especially our Englishing the Liturgy issue of 2011 featured an article by your author titled Let’s Fix the Body Language of the Mass. Within that article, I had a subheading, “To Bend the Knee” with a long exposition of the history of genuflection, and it’s meaning on serving as a reminder of Who it is that in the Blessed Sacrament, and Who it is residing in the tabernacle, as well as Who it is that comes to us in the flesh at Mass. It’s nice to see Bishop Paprocki go there as well! He starts his letter with this very point. I lamented in that article that it was the Bishops who ought to correct this mess in America (of people hardly even bobbing their head, but flailing their arms about and making up a bunch of other gestures not found in the traditional body language of Catholic tradition) and lead people back to proper body language before Our Lord, Jesus. Paprocki does just that. His letter addresses the points:

  • A stress and focus on the Blessed Sacrament as the Real Presence of Jesus;
  • Genuflection is the bending of the will (also a major point of my article); and,
  • that the act of genuflection serves the purpose of strengthening the heart and mind as to the Real Presence (also in my article).

I know I’m excited about pointing out that the pastoral letter and the points I made correlate well, and I am. why? Because this is what Bishops need to do! They need to lead in the proper expression of our faith! Do you hear that? Here is a bishop being a bishop! Thank God! We called for bishops to do this and lo!, a bishop is doing this! What’s not to be excited about? (it’s also worth noting that I again asked, begged, and have been praying for something like this repeatedly, even in articles like What really killed the church in America)

Vol2Cover: Englishing the Liturgy, showing a tabernacle and cross

For decades, I have lamented the ignorant orthopraxis insisted upon by the willfully ignorant in the AmChurch. In fact, I say that those of us who want ordinary worship of our God, must suffer these ignorant diffusions of proper Roman practice. How long have you seen people with able bodies and good knees make a slight bob of the head to Our Lord? It’s almost as if they don’t believe that is God right in front of them. Bishop Paprocki whacks the head bob, too. He does it in a sleight of hand, though, by stating what a reverential bow ought to look like (hint: it’s not a head bob):

Such a profound bow — made purposefully and reverently from the waist — can be a fitting way to reverence the Divine Majesty, but only if one cannot genuflect, which is not always the same as having some difficulty genuflecting.

I love his further instruction here:  “having some difficulty” is not an excuse to fail to genuflect. A reverent bow is not a mere bob of the head.

It gets better, though.

Restoration of the Tabernacles

The first half of the pastoral letter speaks to the proper place for Our Lord in his churches:  at the center! I love the smack down he makes on the progressive idiot logic that tried to remove Our Lord to a broom closet somewhere in Siberia. Bishop Paprocki comments that people no longer visit Our Lord because “the reality [is] that the tabernacle is not always easily found in many of our churches today.”

He further says that they’ve destroyed the churches in moving Our Lord out:

The great majority of our parish churches and chapels were designed to house the tabernacle in the center of the sanctuary; removing the tabernacle from these sanctuaries has left a visible emptiness within the sacred space, almost as though the building itself longed for the return of the tabernacle. With the removal of the tabernacle from the center of the sanctuary, the architectural integrity of many churches and chapels has been severely compromised.

“Severely compromised” is the unfortunately nice way bishops have to speak these days, but it means “messed up beyond recognition.”  How many times have you walked into a Catholic Church and been lead to believe the you’d need an Indiana Jones adventure to find Our Lord? Unless the church was built with the neo-gnostic-pagan grotesque style that is unfortunately kind of common in America (such as the church in the round style or the one pictured in this article), Bishop Paprocki is correct:  the removal of the high alters and tabernacles leaves this awkward negative space in the middle of the church.

I love how he anticipates that tired old rag of a canard they use to justify the removal of Jesus, too. Says the bishop:

Some may object to this directive and point, by means of example, to the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome to suggest that tabernacles should not be located in the sanctuary. Saint Peter’s, of course, is different from the average church or chapel in many respects. Chief among these differences is the number of tourists who visit the Basilica each day, with no intention of praying to the Lord therein. These tourists enter this remarkable edifice built to the honor of the Prince of the Apostles simply to look around, to see the architectural beauty and perhaps to see some aspect of Catholic worship, but not to pray. The Eucharist is reserved in a special chapel into which tour groups are not permitted so that the reverence and adoration due the Eucharist can be properly accorded him by pilgrims seeking to speak with him.

There’s a lot more in his letter. Go check it out and be prepared to cheer!

Did you see something to cheer about in his letter? Tell me about it in the comments! I’ll respond!

Hooray for Bishop Paprocki!

This article, BAM! Paprocki Drops a Knee on the Head Bob crowd is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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