In many countries, ten days after the feast of Pentecost, elaborate and beautiful Corpus Christi processions along the streets have been held for centuries and are still being held today in cities and in towns of mainly Catholic countries, although in nearly all places the feast has been transferred from the traditional Thursday to the following Sunday.
For about a hundred years, in Rome, Italy, the centre of Roman Catholicism, these processions were only held within the confines of St. Peter’s Square, which is within the boundaries of the autonomous Vatican state, not technically part of Italy at all. In 1982, Pope St. John Paul II, recalling the elaborate processions through the streets of his native Poland, brought the Corpus Christi procession out of St. Peter’s Square and back to the streets and the people of Rome. “Pope John Paul wanted the Blessed Sacrament carried into the city, where the people lived, as they did in Poland” – (Remembering Corpus Christi with Pope John Paul II–Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades.) This custom has been continued under Pope Benedict XVI, and, so far, under Pope Francis.
However, it was reported in the UK Catholic Herald last week that, “Pope Francis moves Corpus Christi procession to Sunday”:
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said a Sunday celebration will cause ‘less inconvenience’ in Rome
Pope Francis is to celebrate Corpus Christi on Sunday rather than Thursday next month.
Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said the Pope had decided to postpone the celebration next month from June 15 to June 18.
He said a Sunday procession would be easier for people to attend and would also cause less inconvenience in Rome.
Pope Francis made the decision, he said, “in favour of a better participation of the People of God, of priests and of the faithful of the Church in Rome.” He added: “There is a second reason: Thursday is a weekday and so there will be less inconvenience in Rome.”
So in the same sorry way that the glorious feast of Our Lord’s Ascension into Heaven, 40 days after Easter, was pushed forward to the following Sunday, throwing the dates of the feast all out-of-sync, the feast of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in Rome, under Pope Francis, has now also given in to pressure to make the celebration with the procession of the Most Holy Eucharist along the streets, less “inconvenient”.
Inconvenient to whom? To Rome’s drivers, with the city’s already chaotic traffic conditions? How could a Continent like Europe, built on Christendom, that spread the One True Faith to the four corners of the Earth, put anything like traffic problems before our sacred duty to give honour and homage to Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Adorable Sacrament on this one day of the year?
We already have our answer to the above questions, don’t we? Europe can no longer be described as a Catholic continent. Starting with the Protestant Revolution, through the worldly ideology of the Enlightenment, it has been handing its glorious Christan heritage over to the ‘g’od of Mammon… whilst the false religion of Islam, with its intrinsic hatred of Christianity, gradually and silently gains ground.
HERE is my little rant from three years ago about that so-called “inconvenience”. The well-loved Father Z has periodical little “rants” on this topic too, of the unnecessary pushing forward of Liturgical feast days to the following Sunday!
It may seem like an insignificant matter in the grand scheme of things, when far more serious attacks with grave, far-reaching consequences for Catholic doctrinal teaching and tradition are continually being aimed at the Church today. But for what purpose have we been created? It is precisely through these overlooked small ways, in the slackening of the spirit of sacrifice, putting our comfort and worldly ease before our love and duty towards God, that the greater, more dangerous issues that wish to undermine the Catholic Faith are able to flourish.
Time to wake up and take to heart the First Commmandment to love Our Lord and God above all things!