Deacon Sandy Speaks!

Deacon Sandy of the now infamous Good Shepherd in Wisconsin video has replied to me on Facebook. In fairness I think all people should see his response. Since this is already a public response, I think it is fair to re-print it here along with my brief reply.

Hi. Deacon Sandy Sites here. I am the one who is on the video that your website/blog is lambasting.

I could not find a way to post to the blog so, after some research about you, I found this Facebook page. First I wish you the peace of Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Having read all the posts, there are some things I wish to bring to your attention.

1) The bread we prepare for Eucharist allows us to experience both a licid and valid consecration. It is unleavened bread.

2) The fact that we do not have kneelers dates back to when the church was build in 1957. Canon law allows for an exception for a Catholic Church to not have kneelers in certain circumstances, including ours when there is a period of 30 or more consecutive years when kneelers have not been present. We have permission from our prior archbishop citing the expense that we - a parish facing financial hardship - would incur, and loss of worship space seating that would be caused by adding kneelers.

3) Our Gay and Straight in Christ ministry, (which I believe started this whole thing and brought us under your microscope), is consistent with Catholic Catechism #2358. We do not condone same sex marriage. We do not condone sex between members of the same sex. We do welcome our sisters and brothers who have been unduly shunned. (As we welcome all without asking questions. Who of us could withstand the judgement of God?) Like Christ engaging with the woman at the well, we begin by engaging in respectful dialogue, and then catechize.

4) I do not think you realize that the video you continue to show is being shown illegally. Given the negative (and angry) feedback generated by the video, we felt it best to take it down. On your blog page you admit to anticipating this and making a copy of it (downloaded it). Good Shepherd owns the content, and YouTube owns the distribution rites via the original poster. Your downloading and then re-posting constitutes a violation of YouTube licensing agreement. We respectfully ask that you remove the video. Your continued display of it is only causing further damage and separation between to groups of well intentioned Catholics who should be praying and reflecting together, and not arguing and condemning. I have said enough. I hope to get a reply.


And my brief reply.

Deacon Sandy Sites
1) Ok, that is good to hear.
2) That may be true, but it is not an ideal and probably not be presented in such a manner.
3) That is not something that brought you to our radar but rather added later and I critiqued only you verbiage which I think is fair game. You talked about a communities rightful place in the Church. Not individuals, but a community that identifies with a behavior, not just attraction. I think your language is fair game. I notice also that you do not address your linking to Call To Action.
4) Your video is fair game for discussion, you posted it to promote your parish and your ideals. Now you want to hide from it. The ideas and attitudes in it are wrong and I believe disastrous for the Church. I understand your wish to hide it now, but I don't think that is fair. This should be in the light. If you will no longer show it, somebody else should.

I will add that if Deacon Sandy wants to remove the video because you are now ashamed of it, I will gladly comply.

If however, he simply wants it removed because he doesn't like the scrutiny, I think it should remain.

I have now removed the video, see why here.

*subhead*Addresses video.*subhead*


  1. Wow! Just wow. Deacon Sandy sounds annoyed. ;-)

  2. Just for the record, it's being "discussed" lots of other places besides here.

  3. This guy seems nice and well-intentioned, but emphasizing what "sets us apart" from Catholic Tradition seems totally backwards. Jesus did not say, "Blessed are the unique."

  4. If you're facing financial hardship, deacon, do you think maybe you should have passed on the two large video screens and put the money toward those kneelers you can't afford?

  5. I was thinking just as wkndbeachcomber above. It strikes one as a bit absurd to argue that a church cannot afford kneelers while that same church brags about their fancy big screen televisions. And additionally, isn't it a bit disingenuous to post a video explaining why there are no kneelers by stating how they believe that bowing is more relevant and meaningful in expressing respect, and then to defend that video by arguing lack of funding to build the kneelers? That argument troubles me. It gives the appearance of dishonesty.

  6. Deacon Sites: Canon law allows for an exception for a Catholic Church to not have kneelers in certain circumstances, including ours when there is a period of 30 or more consecutive years when kneelers have not been present.

    There is nothing in Canon Law about kneelers as far as I am aware. I think the deacon is referring to canons 23-28, which deal with custom and its status, but he appears to greatly misunderstand what canon law has to say on the matter. From the video, I can't say I'm that surprised.

    And, per GIRM 43, the default position of the faithful during the Eucharistic Prayer is kneeling, whether or not there are kneelers. But again, from the evidence of the video, I doubt the good deacon has even bothered to read the GIRM.

  7. The parish in question is built more on Sand(y) than the Rock of Peter.

  8. All excellent responses and wonderfully summed up by Wendell.

  9. I think Sandy deserves some credit for a clear statement in support of the authentic Church teaching.

  10. Dear Deacon Sandy, You said, "1) The bread we prepare for Eucharist allows us to experience both a licid (sic) and valid consecration. It is unleavened bread." Well unfortunately Deacon Sandy, leavened vs unleavened is not only consideration, or even the main one, in determining whether your "hosts" are valid matter. To be VALID matter, the "bread" must be wheat alone. This is not debatable. Anything contining more than wheat is invalid. No milk, no honey, no sugar, no anything. Somehow I'm still left with the impression that your parish bakers are oh-so-creative with recipes. Even if I'm wrong, and you are using unleavened bread made from wheat only, the use of such bread is STILL an abuse because it brings with it the probability of small particles of consecrated bread being created, overlooked and trod upon. Please stop it.

  11. Here's a thought. If you're facing "financial hardship" try a TLM once a week. The TLM folks are into hardship and will kneel on the floor. (Kneelers are for wusses anyway.) It will serve the twofold purpose of bringing in more money (the TLM folks support their parishes financially) AND affirming a "community" that is some places has been "unduly shunned." What now, Deacon Sandy?

  12. And in what Catholic church are the chaste shunned? In every church I've been in, chastity is praised. Unless....

  13. Well done, Patrick. God bless you.
    Good Shepherd must be scrutinized.

  14. The person is trying. I respect that. But individual interpretations of the Bible should be left to the Protestant heretics. We don't strive to stand apart from Christ's Traditions or teachings. We don't embrace communities or agendas that contradict our teachings, but as Bishop Sheen used to say, 'one may be intolerant of ideas, but ever tolerant of people'. We embrace sinners, not communities designed to eliminate or deny sin.

    The consecrated host? Thats one I would be eternally careful about. Not a good place to 'express yourself'. COnforming to Christ so that you may decrease, while He increases. I recommend the 'John the Baptist' approach.
    If you want to be 'set apart' from Catholic Tradition, there are many Anglicans who are good people and will embrace you. Please don't confuse Catholic Teachings for your own glroification. Christ isnt a tool for anyone's glory. We are His. For Him.

    To me the most important part is that they seek to distinguish themselves and be different. THe focus becomes the uniqueness. The buy-in. The show (yes, Ive sat through some non denominational performances). My question to those wanting to make the mass fit the audience is this: Isnt Jesus enough?
    More is required? How can that be? Those closest to Jesus probably spend a great deal of time, not being entertained or feeling unique, but sitting in silence with a rosary. Sitting silently meditating. Sitting in a monastery. Sitting in silence with God.

  15. In the 70's it was in vogue to take a baked loaf of bread and pull it apart into pieces, which I envisage here. I always wondered about the crumbs.... Jesus Christ was all over the floor. Please use hosts!

    My first thought reading the kneeler explanation was exactly everyone else's: big screen TVs???? Kneelers may be expensive... why not have parishioners get together and make kneeling pillows. Many of the churches in CA (LA to be exact) have kneelers, but don't use them after the Agnus Dei. When we visit our daughter, we drop to our knees in spite of dirty looks.

  16. I would like to ask Deacon Sandy where is the Parish Priest of Good Shepherd in all this. He appears to be voiceless.

  17. I would like to ask Deacon Sandy where is the Parish Priest of Good Shepherd in all this. He appears to be voiceless.

  18. Sandy - could we talk a bit more on the kneelers? You've said that the parish can't afford them. But you say that you use "two large video screens"? Are your spending priorities really in line with the needs of the faithful? Your commitment to be culturally consistent may be correct in the use of electronic images, but seemingly, TV, video games, film, represents the worst of our culture and the a/v equipment aligns with the kitsch of our time.

    But further, you feel that standing is a societal sign of respect. And you compare the presence of Christ to the presence of the President of the United States - seriously? I agree that that we stand in such circumstances. But the "respect" you feel toward a human being pales to the adoration accorded to the Creator. Awe and numinous are due God in the Blessed Sacrament, not mere human respect. Respect is fine for the president - the high (and mere) symbol of a nation; and we are the nations' citizens, not subjects; he works for us.

    On the other hand, if by our conceit we recognize the presence of God in the same societal manner, we are not acknowledging that we are His creation, but that we are His equals. If you believe God is there, adore him, and experience his presence in humility. If you don't believe He is there then don't even bother to stand.

  19. For all those crying heresy or apostasy (here or on CM's original post)...

    Given Deacon Sandy's written reply I see nothing invalid or illicit in what they are doing. The use of bread (even leavened bread, gasp!) along with standing rather than kneeling have a long history in the Eastern rites, and pre-date most of the Latin rite practices.

    It was nice to see Deacon Sandy actually reach out in person to offer clarification. If only the author of this blog was so thoughtful. It appears that this video was found and posted without first going to Deacon Sandy (see Matthew 18).

    For those who have a problem with them using video projectors (not big screen TVs) rather than spending money on kneelers there is a big price difference. You can purchase 2 projectors and a couple screens for under $3,000. It would be very difficult to retrofit a church with new pews or kneelers.

    Proteios1 said..."The person is trying. I respect that. But individual interpretations of the Bible should be left to the Protestant heretics." What individual interpretations of scripture did Deacon Sandy make? He affirmed the presence of Christ in the Eucharist--even if it's not the kind of bread/host you prefer. And those "heretics" are our separated brothers and sisters.

    To overcaffeinated, who rightly points out that Jesus never said "Blessed are the unique." I'd also like to point out that he also did not say "Blessed are the rubrics" or "They'll know you are Christians by your uptight liturgical purity."

    Finally, back to blog author Patrick Arnold. Deacon Sandy is correct in stating that your re-posting of the video (at least twice now) is illegal. It's also immoral and unethical to continue posting it after the legal owner of it has asked that it be removed. It is not for you to decide whether it should be removed or remain based on whatever motives you attribute to his request.

  20. I'mnot so sure re-posting the video is illegal. There is such a thing as "fair use" for things like discussion of public issues. Whether this meets those requirements or not is an open question, so let's stop playing district attorney. But that's kind of the nature of the nasty interwebs. You post things so that others may view, share and comment on it. Sometimes the comments are positive. Other times, not so much. If you can't stand the heat, stay off the internet.

  21. There's always wikileaks...

    Many places have individual knee cushions rather than one long kneeler. I'm sure we could find some willing knitters on the tradosphere to make some for the Deacon?

    Look, if people feel this discussion is uncharitable, that is one thing. But please don't kid yourself liturgical abuse is okay. You wouldn't put up with this in your parish and don't pretend you would.

  22. If Sandy is head of his parish council, then he controls the money and holds the purse strings.
    This is an affilitated parish directly connected to other parishes in their community. I wonder, what shennanigans going on. Its the "Sandy Sites" that are concerning.
    Why put "his" name on it, if it belongs to the parish ministries. 70 or so ministries do take extraordinary amounts of money. Here's a question. Would this parish exist without it social ministerial enterprises? Or if Deacon Sandy moves on does he take his enterprises with him? Food for thought.

    1. Open Letter,
      Msg to Deacon Sandy,

      In regards to your ministerial practices.

      I'm very concerned (overwhelmed actually) by the many points of interests you have raised in your promotional video.
      It was quite unsettling.

      Discussion and discourse, which you invited, is not over.
      Just for your FYI. I usually have enough where with all, to walk into any Roman or Orthodox Catholic Church, celebrate Mass, in any language, with a Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chaldean, Syrian, Lebonnese, cultural either Eastern or Western Rites and fully experience the the Mass. Despite their cultural and regional uniquenesses the accomplishment of, the one body of Christ has been achieved. In addressing your commentary. What is scandalous is why do I need to be explained to, be so prepped and read into your Mass in order to receive the fullness of faith of it, let alone understand it? To the rest of us it is all quite confusing. Mass is not chaos. More questions than answers.

      I'll be keeping you in my prayers.

  23. Of course posting the video is not illegal. Talk to any copyright attorney on that point.

    But frankly, the sick-making phraseology of the Deacon's response is almost as offensive as the content of the video in question. And some commenters here demonstrate clearly that they have a very poor grasp of how the Church is supposed to operate. especially "Tom" who (gasp! - if I may use his writing style) offers unhelpful rebuttals to very serious business. I use the word "serious" because the thought that Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God is actually present in a valid Consecration should give us all pause. It is very possible that we are dealing with cases of invalid Consecrations in this church but if we assume they are valid then we must address the gravity of how we treat the Body and Blood of Our Lord. Those who are rushing to the defense of the deacon are, I believe, forgetting about the necessity of proper expressions of reverence to something so sacred.

  24. I think your reply to him was mean-spirited. If you think this is the mark of a bad parish you ought to see some others. I think they are wrong in some things but not nearly so wrong as you do. It's no wonder we Catholics can't seem to stand together when we are so prone to attack each other. Remember when your site used to be mostly humorous? I think we need a lot more humor in these dark days than we need this kind of thing.

  25. In the original video, it stood out to me what Deacon Sandy's justification for no kneelers was. He said, "When the president comes in the room, we stand up." Well, first, with the current president, that's a debatable point; but more importantly, we don't kneel for the president because the president is not God. But God is God, and merits obeisance at a level no president ever could. He is Lord Jesus, not President Jesus.

  26. In the original video, it stood out to me what Deacon Sandy's justification for no kneelers was. He said, "When the president comes in the room, we stand up." Well, first, with the current president, that's a debatable point; but more importantly, we don't kneel for the president because the president is not God. But God is God, and merits obeisance at a level no president ever could. He is Lord Jesus, not President Jesus.

  27. Assuming the homemade bread is licid (sic), the bigger question is whether it is prudent to use it when distributing to large numbers of people, and taking it to the home bound. The risk of profanation resulting from "crumbly" bread make it a really poor choice.

    Also, regarding kneelers - it really doesn't matter if your parish can afford them or not, there is no requirement to have kneelers in our churches. But there is a requirement in the dioceses of the United States to kneel during the consecration. Our own personal opinions about whether kneeling or standing is more respectful are irrelevant. We are called to be obedient to holy mother Church. If she asks us to kneel, we kneel.

  28. If you were to take it down, I will just repost it anyway.

  29. I noticed in other videos an aged priest and hardly anyone left in the congregation. Perhaps it is because this parish is on the fringes.

    I would kneel on the hard floor. Most churches that once removed kneelers have put them back where they belong. Just because some Eastern Rites do not use kneelers is moot because this parish claims to be Roman Catholic. I have indeed heard all these lame ideas in the past, like in the 70s-90s but mostly that junk is passing away. Sadly, millions of souls also passed away from the Roman Catholic Church in these decades.

    Bring back access to the TLM!

  30. I sent an email to thus parish asking if they have a Respect Life Ministry. The Deacon boasted about having 70 ministries in the parish. So far, no response. Not surprised

  31. I sent an email to thus parish asking if they have a Respect Life Ministry. The Deacon boasted about having 70 ministries in the parish. So far, no response. Not surprised

  32. @Tom, based on your post here, you're part of the problem.

    Many of us that read this blog see the obvious: the loss of Catholic identity has led directly to the loss of Catholic belief. The survey responses from laity recently in the news - including from your neighboring Tampa diocese - shows just how ignorant of and disobedient to Catholic teaching Catholics have become. This state of affairs didn't just happen.

    When you go to Navy boot camp, the first thing they teach you is how to tie your shoelaces. Why? Will a war be decided on how you tie your laces? No, they are teaching you discipline, obedience, attention to detail and doing things the Navy way, all to make you over from a civilian to a sailor. And properly trained sailors do decide wars.

    Sandy and others like him, including his defenders like you, Tom, have for decades been subverting Catholic identity; first with small, seemingly inconsequential things, and then over the years as the subversion becomes the norm, subverted more and more signs and rituals and the ideas they convey - the ideas of what it means and how it is to be Catholic.

    Your journey as an Evangelical and then reverting back to Catholicism, Tom, is yours. God bless you and your large family. You are working out your salvation. But you are the equivalent of someone in a Navy boot camp following behind the company commander whispering to people "nah, don't worry about tying your laces like that... don't worry about doing up your bunk right". You are tearing down things put in place over 20 centuries that form Catholics correctly. You have the idea that you know better.

    You do a good job of bonding with the brethren here on the horizontal plane of the cross - but there are those on the vertical plane of the cross: the faithful departed in purgatory who are no longer prayed for; the souls of those who come after us who will inherit a Church in tatters. What about them, Tom? What will be passed to them? Video screens and saccharine welcome committees and a "worship space" so loud with chatter about the latest sale at Walmart that no one can here the voice of Jesus calling from the tabernacle.

    The little things matter. For want of a nail, a kingdom was lost.

  33. Bahahahaha!
    I love Creative Minority!

  34. D.A. Burke - Yes I have read the GIRM (not straight through).

    wkndbeachcomber - With all due respect you couldn't be more incorrect about me or my motives. Not only do I pray for the souls of purgatory, I teach about the reality of it to others. I devote my time, talent and treasures to engaging Catholics who are ignorant of the faith or don't have a meaningful relationship with Christ. Making everyone attend the TLM is not going to suddenly change Catholic attitudes about contraception, divorce, etc. In fact we have a growing number of young Catholics (who like guitars at mass) that have changed their lives to conform to the Church without one TLM. They have encountered Jesus in a personal way and have come to seek him in the sacraments. They've even petitioned our pastor to add confession times, engage in monthly holy hours, and have put aside their contraceptives.

    Here's the problem I have with many in the TLM crowd. First, Vatican II and the missal of Paul VI are valid and part of the continuous tradition of the Church. There tends to be a great deal of ignorance for those who claim that there is an attempt to tear down "things put in place over 20 centuries". There are many aspects of liturgical development that have greatly changed over time, especially in the West. The Apostles did not celebrate mass in the TLM form. They didn't even use Latin. If you really want to seek liturgical purity then look to the liturgies of the East which predate TLM and have been consistently practiced with little change since the earliest centuries.

    Rubrics are good. I don't want clown masses anymore than you. But many in the TLM crowd fall into the trap of "straining a gnat, but swallowing a camel." I have met so many in favor of the TLM who hold a romanticized version of it. Go back prior to 1950 and really examine the TLM. Most of the laity were completely disengaged with what was happening. The priest would speak in barely audible tones in a language few understood (bi-lingual missals were a relatively new development). So while the sacrifice of the mass was being offered by the priest, few knew what was happening or even paid attention as they remained focused on private devotions.

    That's not to say that all since VCII has been a bed of roses. Catechesis failed to pass on the truths of the faith. Many priests shirked their duties in leading their flocks in and to the truth and preached warm and fuzzy feel good sermons.

    There is much work to do to fulfill the call of the new evangelization. As long as were are arguing with each other we are not seeking personal conversion. We need to meet people where they are and then invite them to come with us. They won't care about liturgical forms if they think we care more about rubrics than them.

    I for one am tired of the TLM crowd judging the faithfulness of other Catholics on how well they conform with their own self-righteous opinions of faithfulness. Standing to receive communion in the hand or liking well done contemporary music at mass does not make someone a "bad" Catholic.

  35. My own replies:

    1) It is not enough that the bread be unleavened, but that its ingredients are only wheat flour and water. The addition of other ingredients lends doubt to its validity. He made an issue of his defense; he needs to follow through.

    2) What parish other than the very poorest would legitimately avoid budgeting for kneelers for more than three decades? His appeal to canon law omits the fact that custom cannot abrogate ecclesiastical law (which would know if he had actually read it, or was being honest in his claim).

    3) The deacon's own reply lends sufficient doubt to this ministry's compliance with Church teaching exhorting those with such proclivities to chastity. Associating with Call to Action does not help their case.

    4) He is correct, but as his use of the law is very selective -- employed when it works for him -- it obviously suggests that he has been found out. Any appeals to the civil realm would have to come through the archdiocese as corporation sole, which would open him up to scrutiny at that end. By all means, Patrick, just dare him to come and get you.


  36. @Tom

    I never mentioned the TLM. Nor did I mention Vatican II. Or your personal faithfulness. Or your motives. Those prejudices and that defensiveness existed in your mind before you even read my post.

    What I did question was your mindset, and it is one of novelty and disdain for tradition. It evident from your characterization of the TLM where you write:

    "Most of the laity were completely disengaged with what was happening. The priest would speak in barely audible tones in a language few understood (bi-lingual missals were a relatively new development). So while the sacrifice of the mass was being offered by the priest, few knew what was happening or even paid attention as they remained focused on private devotions."

    Please tell me, Tom, how do you know what was going on in the mind of a 1950 Catholic attending mass? How do you know that "few knew what was happening or even paid attention"? You raised your hackles because you imagined I was questioning your faith life, but you have no problem questioning the faith-life of hundreds of generations that came before you. I guess they were "bad" Catholics? That's a charge no one leveled at you, but one you seem to be leveling at others, others long gone and not here to defend themselves. Well, I'll defend them. The 1950's weren't perfect, but Catholics attended that mass. And those people didn't support gay marriage, divorce, contraception, or abortion, like the majority of Catholics do now.

    To further push back on your characterization of 1300 years of Catholic worship, it turns out that liturgy scholars now admit that the 'disengagement' you and many others poke fun at was what it always had been: holy contemplation, the model for liturgical prayer. Not according to me, but according to the Catechism:

    2711: ‘Entering into contemplative prayer is like entering into the Eucharistic liturgy: we “gather up” the heart, recollect our whole being under the prompting of the Holy Spirit, abide in the dwelling place of the Lord which we are, awaken our faith in order to enter into the presence of him who awaits us.’

    2716: ‘Contemplative prayer is hearing the Word of God. Far from being passive, such attentiveness is the obedience of faith, the unconditional acceptance of a servant, and the loving commitment of a child. It participates in the “Yes” of the Son become servant and the Fiat of God's lowly handmaid.’

    2718: ‘Contemplative prayer is a union with the prayer of Christ insofar as it makes us participate in his mystery, the mystery of Christ is celebrated by the Church in the Eucharist, and the Holy Spirit makes it come alive in contemplative prayer so that our charity will manifest it in our acts.’

    Disengaged? Ha.

    So you're tired of the TLM crowd judging, and just to prove it, you're going to judge the TLM-goers and call them a crowd. Instead, why do you not, to use your words, "meet them where they are?" You seem to be falling down to go out and meet everyone else where they are, why not the TLM "crowd"?

  37. Tom,

    You make many assumptions about "the TLM crowd" and about posters here.

    Yes, Vatican II was valid, and so is the Mass of Paul VI (which has, by the way, nothing much in common with the declarations of Sacrosanctum Concilium, which I have studied.)

    Not only do I not want clown Mass, I do want a Mass which is not so adapted that visiting a neighboring parish is not a disquieting experience. I'd like less banality in the music (see Benedict's "Spirit of the Liturgy"), and a good deal more reverence, before, during, and after the sacrifice of the Mass.

    It is not so much that catechesis has failed to pass on the truths of the faith as that catechesis has been all but absent, especially for adults.

    I attend the NO Mass. I arrive 20-30 minutes before the scheduled time, that I may have time for prayer, and a review of the readings, composing myself for Mass. This is why many of us are so unhappy with the happy clappy behavior of many in the pews, especially those who seem to think that as long as they arrive in time to receive, they have been to Mass. They may have been; they most assuredly have not worshipped, in any recognizable understanding of that term.

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. *cough* let's all buy Deacon Sandy kneelers *cough*

  40. Just one note on kneelers. Many monastery chapels do not have kneelers. The monks and visitors as well, are, however, expected and instructed to kneel unless physically unable. The novice master said, "you are expected to kneel. You do not have to be comfortable."

  41. Thx GOD for the internet!!

    The NON-SENSE that is Deacon Sandy is all 4 us to see.

  42. Tradition in the Roman Rite and in the United States is to kneel. It is not the right of a pastor to pick local custom over what is laid down for dioceses in the USA. In fact, the good deacon claims they follow the ancient practice of standing during the Eucharist. Pius XII condemned antiquarianism in his encyclical Mediator Dei.

  43. Which is another good reason to...chip in for some kneelers. They cost a fiver. Am I wrong?

  44. Since Deacon Sandy indicates that they are going to redo the video, I hope he will note that his reference to canon law and kneelers needs to be redacted. First, canon law has absolutely nothing to say about kneelers specifically. Canon 846 §1 requires that the appropriate liturgical books be followed in celebrating the sacraments. For the celebration of the Eucharist this includes the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the Order of Mass which have required kneeling at various points of the Mass in every version since the Council. By making reference to "30 years" Deacon Sandy appears to be misunderstanding the liceity of a custom contra legem (against the law) mentioned in canon 26. As the parish began in 1957 any such custom prior to the 1983 code was suppressed in 1983 according to canon 5. If a custom contra legem was revived after this it must have been observed for 30 years without the legitimate authority correcting it (among other requirements). Since the Apostolic See has published multiple documents since 1983 requiring kneeling, not the least of which are the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Roman Missal, it is not possible for a custom of not kneeling to have the force of law under canon 26. Perhaps lost in this is that Deacon Sandy is claiming a legitimate custom not to have kneelers. Even if that were true, the law does not require kneelers in the first place. What is required is kneeling. By not having kneelers, at best all they could have is a custom of making kneeling more difficult.

  45. Kneelers a hardship.... Lord have mercy. What is a church for? Sorry Jesus, we can't afford kneelers, oh wait.. crap.. could this financial hardship be just one outward worldly consequence when the world is your god? Those who are not faithful in small things..

  46. Fr Shawn; Fr Finelli - as priests, what would you say to a web-based lay initiative to fix some hassocks for Deacon Sandy's parish? If he says no, then we know it's not really about money. If he says yes, then it could be the start of something.

  47. wkndbeachcomber, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter! Lol. Am very much enjoying your responses to Tom. You should blog. :-).


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