There was no film at 11, but I felt compelled to do what I did with good reason.
I have been attending my parish 37 years. For 34 of those years I have assisted at the 5:15 Sunday Mass as lector, EM, or server. Followers of this blog will know of the difficulties I've had since the supply priest who'd been at that Mass for most of the 34 years had been forced to retire last Easter.
Last night the deacon was not there, and in addition to serving the Mass, I assisted with giving the Host. About a 1/3 of the way through, some woman recieved from me, and did not put the Host in her mouth. I watched her for a few steps and as she got to the end of the aisle to turn, I was on her like white on rice and said to her that she MUST consume the Host right away. She looked at me blankly and consumed. This is not an everyweek occurence in the parish, but it is in a tourist area, and sad to say in recent years this sort of thing now happens several times a year.
As soon as I was back at the pastor's side, he turned on me and said in a sharp voice, "don't EVER do that again, you humiliated that woman, you do that again and you're through here." I "considered" for two seconds, and having already resolved from last year when he did the same thing to me, under a similar circumstance, I looked at him and said "I'm done."
I find it shocking and disgraceful that a priest would not want to put the care of the Eucharist as a paramount concern over someone's possible "humiliation." Either one believes in the Real Presence and acts like it, or one doesn't. If one believes, and is acting as EM or is a priest or deacon for that matter, it is shipshod at best, and I think a sin at worst not to follow through and do the right thing regardless of cost. What is the cost of NOT persuing a person like that? Scandal to the faith for the people who saw someone walk away with the Host and not consume and know that the party that gave it to them didn't seem to care either? Blatent indifference? Not on my watch. I either do the job right, or not at all. We have to ask why so many so-called "Catholics" no longer believe in the Real Presence.
So that's why I "quit" in 2 seconds rather than wait. With my luck some other person would have come up the same day and done the same. I put the ciborium on the Altar. Took the alb off, and put it over my arm. I didn't want people making up tales as to why I did what I did, so I went to the lectern and said "I care what happens to the Eucharist, and I hope you will too." and then I left.
Walked out of the sacristy, to my car, and went to the Sainted Fr. S's house to comisserate. I intend to take this to the bishop. And possibly, to the appropriate dicastery in Rome. I have no idea who served the rest of the Mass.
34 years, and that that was the endpoint. I believe the powers that be will try and make an issue that I announced what I did from the lectern, but I could not leave it as follows:
1) St Tarciscius: Martyred for protecting the Eucharist
2) St. Therese of Lisieux: Finds a morsel of the sacred species in the sacristy, and has the priest summoned while the sisters fall on their knees in adoration.
3) Pastor succeeds in forcing EM to not care about what happens to the Host.
I side with 1 & 2, and reject 3.
I have already sought the advise of another priest in addition to the sainted Fr. S.
I'll keep you posted how it comes out.