Bully Bishop Orders Removal of Kneelers

From a reader….

We had a kneeler for those who wished to kneel and receive on the tongue. The Bishop ordered kneelers removed from the three parishes in the diocese that allowed their use. This impacts the elderly and infirm. His reasons: We have the right to kneel but no right to a kneeler and it’s not in the rubrics. Later, pushed by a fellow parishioner, he back pedaled to: It’s not recommended. I want to submit a written “request/protest”. Any suggestions for a defense for those of us clinging to the faith by our finger tips? Unfortunately, TLM is out of reach for many of us. Thank you for the opportunity to ask.

GUEST RESPONSE: Fr. Tim Ferguson

Men who do this sort of thing are bullies. It’s nice that he’s backed off on an outright ban and moved to a mere “recommendation.” If the pastor is comfortable with it, then keep the kneeler in place. If the pastor is unwilling to do so (and he may have good reasons – disobeying the bishop’s “recommendation” may come at a cost too high to bear), then we have to get creative. Kneelers are forbidden, but are large, firm pillows, with Knights of Columbus standing by to help up the elderly when they kneel? What about reserving the front pew for those who wish to kneel for Holy Communion, and once the priest is finished distributing to those coming up in file, he goes over to the front pew and dispenses to those kneeling in the first pew?

Bullies are tough to fight. When the bully is also the principal’s pet, then creativity needs to ramp up even higher.

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