Sunday, June 01, 2008


In the thread below (the Sunday romp), Fran comments that St Louis Cathedral is the one place she saw someone denied communion.

The painting on the ceiling contains the passage at the end of John's Gospel where the risen Jesus tells Peter, "Feed my sheep." The text is in French, and here is the photo.
--the BB


FranIAm said...

Wow. I had forgotten seeing all of this.

You must know that I attended St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC in the early 90's when ActUp! was still raging and there was all sort of asshattery going on around communion.

No one was ever denied in my presences.

However at St. Louis, a young woman on a rainy Sunday in January 1992 approached the priest. She was in the line directly to my left.

She got there maybe a moment before me. The priest looks at her and says "Are you Catholic?"

She replies "Yes!"

He goes on (God have mercy) "Then say a Hail Mary."

We have all stopped in our places now, the priest in front of me, the lines are at a stand still.

She is visibly upset, but bowing to power - or abuse of power I say - she starts to stammer out a Hail Mary laced with tears.

Father Asshat looks at her and shakes his angry head and just says "NO!"

She stands there - incredulous - and cries!

He says - "No! GO NOW!"

She flees from the church.

I am crying now and the priest who is about to give me communion is visibly upset as well.

Who knows why that happened.

If that were to happen today I would not stand by silently, I tell you that.

Jesus denied no one.

Paul said...

OMG, what a horrible story.

As you so often say, Christ have mercy on us all.

Diane said...

oh my. Fran's story. I have never heard anything like this.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh, Fran! What a horror story! I have no words.

Ormonde Plater said...

When I spent a month in Provence in 1997, I received communion every Sunday at St.-Kean-de-Malte, a 12th century church with beautiful music. No one ever questioned me. Perhaps these horrible experiences reflect our American culture.

FranIAm said...

There is a reason we have all been thrown together in blogworld.

When I told this story to my well-intended but very conservative family they immediately went to the priest's defense, saying that he must know her.

The very pained and quizzical look on the face of the other priest indicated that he was as shocked as any of us.

Who know. Jesus was pretty good about feeding everyone and then wanting us to continue to feed his sheep.

At least as I see it.

Deep sigh.

Paul said...

When I was in Paris in December 1967 the vernacular Mass was brand new. So, with my bilingual Latin-French missal I looked as much at home as lifetime French Catholics. I never hesitated to receive since I knew I needed to be fed on Christ. No one ever asked. Nor have I ever asked anyone who came "to the rail" (quotes because we don't always have them anymore). Jesus can take care of Himself and, though he does make demands of us, simply saying "go away" seems never to have been his style. In life at least, Last Judgment speeches attributed to him notwithstanding.