About John Lilburne


20 July 2003 Discussion of Cardinal Arinze's posture decision


Delivering political correctness

I have been worrying about how catechists can deliver what cardinals seem to be asking for regarding posture in the Mass.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments seems to want the following postures:

- after receiving Communion, people standing, sitting or kneeling

- when receiving Communion, people standing or kneeling

There seems to be a policy of being politically correct.

"political correctness the avoidance of forms of expression or action that exclude, marginalise, or insult certain racial or cultural groups." (Oxford Concise Australian Dictionary, 1997, page 1038).

To use the language from Seinfeld: "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

The complicated message from the Vatican is that the minority groups, following a particular posture, are not to be excluded.

(I say "complicated" because the 2002 Roman Missal said that a nation's Conference of Bishops decided on posture, but since its publication the Congregation has written two letters indicating that these postures can be an individual choice.)

How should we teach children that each posture is acceptable and appropriate?

Here are some approaches:

If your surname starts with A-G after Communion you stand, with H-P sit, with Q-Z kneel.

After Communion stand for 10 seconds, then sit for 10 seconds, then kneel for 10 seconds, then stand for 10 seconds etc. ...

Front row sit, second row kneel, third row stand, fourth row sit, etc. ...

Is this "multi-postural" society what the Vatican wants?

By J.R. Lilburne, 21 July 2003. Links updated 22 July 2003. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.

Other sites:

Letter on Communion posture, 1 July 2002

CNS Report on letter re posture after Communion, 17 July 2003

Link added 22 July 2003:

Cardinal Arinze's reponse to Cardinal George's question at adoremus.org