The Massachusetts family that was recently in the news protesting that their daughter who can’t eat wheat should be allowed to receive a rice host for her First Communion are in the news again. They’re appealing to Pope Benedict to make an exception for their daughter. They just don’t understand—or refuse to do so—no one can make an exception, not even the Pope. This is a dogmatic issue, not one of mere discipline. Of course, seeing their responses, I’m not surprised they don’t get it because they obviously aren’t all that familiar with the Catholic Mass. The only option open to her daughter is to receive from the chalice.
“I just don’t think it’s feasible for them to expect a 7-year-old to walk into Mass with a chalice, a bottle of wine and a letter from the archdiocese every week she goes to Mass,” Coyne said, adding that her family is not just concerned about Victoria’s First Communion but beyond. “They’re not thinking past this First Communion.”
Um, do these people go to Mass? Do they realize that there is a chalice consecrated at every Mass? Do they realize that if their pastor knows them—as he surely does by now—that he will arrange to have the chalice available for the girl. And that when they travel, if they choose not to make advance arrangements with the priest, the girl can simply make a spiritual communion, which in these circumstances would most definitely be attributed as a meritous sacrifice worthy of great blessings?
Either these people are being intentionally obtuse about the chalice and Precious Blood, or someone at the parish or archdiocese has done a very poor job at catechizing and communicating with these people. Does anyone know Fr. Paul Clifford, pastor at St. Marguerite D’Youville Church in Dracut and whether it’s likely he hasn’t catechized these people well?