Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix has backed away from his ban on using consecrated wine for Communion at most Masses, a decision that was originally met with widespread outcry.Actually, it is gloating. When Fr. Ruff states he has never heard of a bishop "retracting so quickly," the word "gloating" fairly springs to one's mind. More important, however, than triumphalism from a fan of bad liturgical English is that the reporter for the the Arizona Republic (whence this story comes) missed the lede. The underlying cause for temper tantrums thrown by the innovators has less to do with the limiting of communion sub utraque specie (under both kinds) than the limiting of civilians, otherwise known as Eucharistic ministers, the opportunity to do so (I'll wager the squawking would have been just as loud had the bishop ruled only clergy celebrants could administer the chalice). Post-Vatican II reformers were hellbent in reshaping Holy Church to resemble that of the groovier and far cooler (not to mention the higher-up-the-social ladder) Anglicans and greater involvement in the mass by the laity, whether they wanted it or not, was essential to that end (ironically, the Anglicans never went so far as to allow civilians to administer the elements, at least no Anglican church I ever attended did).
In an explanation of his decision in a letter to the priests of the diocese, Olmsted apologized for his own misunderstanding of church documents, including new guidelines and translations for the Catholic Mass, and for any confusion arising from his previous statement made at a priests' meeting in September.
Father Anthony Ruff, an expert on new translations for the Mass, who criticized the bishop's previous position as a "step backward," said he had never heard of a bishop "retracting so quickly."
"Anything I say could sound like gloating," Ruff said. "I think it's for local clergy and liturgical ministers to find the right way to express their goodwill and happiness with this.
Bishop Olmsted deserves credit attempting to contain one of the more egregious liturgical reforms of post-Vatican II, one for which there was no crying need other than that the protestants did it, and one deplored by our present Pope. The bishop has shown spine in the past. What a pity he felt it necessary to cave following the inevitable shrill complaints from innovators concerning the chalice (it is uncanny how fiercely Eucharistic ministers guard their turf--like lionesses watching over their cubs). Holy Church will never recover from her Procrustean protestantization in the1970s with feckless actions like this one from the Bishop of Arizona.