This is a new blog post of my old letters to Archbishop Aquila reporting my last parish assignments in Colorado in reference to the Eucharistic abuse that I found there. During my last two parish assignments in Fort Collins, Colorado (2012 to 2014) I reported Eucharistic dangers directly to Archbishop Aquila. I have no record of his response to me on any account, except my removal from ministry in Colorado, found in the last paragraph of this blog post.
Before my most recent whistle blowing on my concerns regarding misconduct with children, Archbishop Aquila had allowed me to do the Traditional Latin Mass in other dioceses, on loan, from 2014 to 2018. That is the point of this blog post here.
However, the auxiliary blog post is only about the Eucharistic issues that made me have to shop for other dioceses. Except the hierarchy, the names below are the names redacted.
Dear Archbishop Aquila, 15 Oct 2012, St. Teresa of Jesus
Glory to Jesus Christ.
I feel it is my duty as an extension of your priesthood to inform you of what happened this weekend, specifically at the 10:30am Mass at X-parish in Ft. Collins on 14 October, 2012.
In concert with Redemptionis Sacramentum #84, I made an announcement on worthy communion and non-Catholics refraining from communion. Despite this announcement, three things happened in the next ten minutes that are noteworthy:
1. A 20-something year old man with his girlfriend came to receive communion from me. He was clearly confused. I asked him “Are you Catholic?” He said “No” so I gave him a blessing. When I saw him go try to receive the Precious Blood, I went quickly to the chalice to tell him not to.
2. An older man walked away with the Eucharist shortly after this. I had to chase him down. In his hand I found the Eucharist. I told him several times he has to receive it, and each time he said “I did” with it in his hand. Finally, he got mad at me and threw the Eucharist in his mouth. His wife is a long-time Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. She was very near us with the precious blood when this happened. One other Eucharistic Minister told me after Mass that he may have been on his way to his wife for intinction.
3. The most grave of all the Eucharistic matters from this Mass is as follows: A female-altar-server saw a man put the Eucharistic in his pocket from the hands of an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) who did not see the incident. The man who took the Eucharist left Church immediately. X, our sacristan, chased the man outside the Church, but Greg would not cross the street after him to recover the stolen host. I was only informed about this after Mass.
Of course, the people of our parish probably found all of this running around to be madness. I also find it to be madness, but for different reasons. Did this host of Our Lord’s body end up in a Satanic ritual last night? These were most-likely preventable abuses through training that my pastor and I disagree on: “However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.”—Redemptionis Sacramentum #92. In fact, Fr. X’s main concern was that these things never happen at his Masses, only mine. He never once addressed the stolen Eucharistic host.
Fr. X and I are long past mediation, as I brought the following to Msgr. Bernie Schmitz last month. Only the final one is worth reading to understand my conclusions that follow:
1. ca. 8/5: Eucharistic Ministry training is moved from the hands of Fr. David, in favor of Fr. X’s training for the EMoHC of the deanery or diocese.
2. 8/5: Bob, a Eucharistic minister tells me of a dropped host and how he did his best to clean the ground. I tell him it’s not his fault. We agree that we need pattens. Redemptionis Sacramentum 93 requires pattens or communion plates for the faithful. My request for these communion plates to prevent dropped hosts was dismissed nearly a month back.
3. 8/6: I get a text from one of the faithful about spilled Precious Blood, asking what to do with that on clothes. (Although this may have been at another parish, this man in Ft. Collins told me that he believes that few Eucharistic ministers notice these things that happen all the time, simply because few care to watch.)
4. 8/9: Our paid employee, the “Liturgy coordinator,” questions my announcement on worthy communion at Mass (cf. Redemptionis Sacramentum 83-84.) This was the concern she brought to me after repeatedly referring to Our Lord’s body and blood as “bread” and “wine” in that very conversation. At the Vigil of the Annunciation, she stopped my use of incense and publically disagreed with me on the number of chalices I chose, promoting an excessive amount of EMHCs, probably against Redemptionis Sacrametum 151.
5. 8/10: A woman tells me about certain EMHCs at X-parish who despise the Church and her teachings, including those teachings on abortion and confession. I explain that she needs to talk to the pastor.
6. 8/11: During Daily Mass, I make an EMHC refrain from serving, for she came to distribute the Eucharist in shorts and a sleeveless shirt.
7. 8/11: The Eucharist breaks in my hand and about a 1/16th of the host falls to the ground from my hand, while distributing to an elderly man. It takes me several minutes to stop the communion line. Not unlike my earlier incident, he keeps shuffling around the ground near where the host fell. Finally, my altar server comes over and is able to find the piece of Our Lord’s body on the ground. This too would have been easily prevented with a patten.
8. 8/11: I have to ask a female altar server to stop eating a mint or candy 15 minutes before Mass in the sacristy.
9. 8/12: “L,” an EMHC at the 12:30pm Mass fished out some of the consecrated host out of the cup with her purificator. Our Lord’s sacred body stuck to the purificator, but she continued distributing the precious blood with that same purificator the rest of the time, losing the host by the time she returned to the altar. By the time she got to me, she tried to find the piece of Our Lord’s body on the purificator. She could not. Apparently, the host is lost on the ground somewhere. Although not ill-willed by this particular EHMC, this is preventable Eucharistic sacrilege via very basic obedience to Redemptionis Sacramentum (#102 especially, which states that “Holy Communion under both kinds…is to be completely excluded where even a small danger exists of the sacred species being profaned.”) My promise of obedience two years ago was to faithfully celebrate the Eucharist worthily according to the Roman Rite, not according to parish-custom.
Although I could name more, those are the incidents of only one week! I brought all of these to Msgr. Bernie, but I received no news of any changes in our parish. My out-of-state canon lawyer has assured me that these are not matters of scrupulosity. Some of the above issues stem from a most serious sacrilegious negligence, which I believe is happening all over the diocese. Fr. X said he never finds such abuses, and he even went so far (between two and five times over the past three months) to state that he believes that my discovery of these abuses is because I and my Masses are under “diabolical oppression.” Msgr. Bernie, he claimed, said that “Fr. David lives in his own reality.”
This may be true: As long as I am under a pastor, he should know I will not depart from Divine Law from Redemptionis Sacramentum regarding pattens (#93), Eucharistic catechesis on true-worthiness (#84), vigilance on watching the receiver of communion (#92), and pruning on excessive and untrained EHMCs (#151). This I will hold to, especially on weekends, which will be presumably very painful for almost any pastor in the Archdiocese (with a few exceptions like Fr. Y.)
To this point, I’d ask you to make me a chaplain somewhere, if you find me unfit to be a pastor. My conscience will no longer allow me to offer the Novus Ordo on weekends until the minimum of Redemptionis Sacramentum is met by both the pastor and parochial vicar at a parish. I understand that Redemptionis Sacramentum is not the maximum of Eucharistic pageantry, but the minimum of the Church’s standards to ensure the integrity of Divine Worship in the Novus Ordo.
Although the above paragraph may seem to be disobedient at first pale, the reason I cannot compromise on these Eucharistic matters is because the Vatican places Eucharistic matters at the level not of ecclesial law, but Divine Law: “Bearing in mind the nature of the above-cited norm (cfr. n. 1), no ecclesiastical authority may dispense the minister of Holy Communion from this obligation in any case, nor may he emanate directives that contradict it.”—http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/ pontifical_councils/ intrptxt/documents/ rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_20000706_declaration_en.html [Yes, I really linked it like this in my email to the Archbishop.]
I do not know what you are going to do with me, but this is my vote of no-confidence in Fr. X on Eucharistic protection, due especially to his responses to the above Eucharistic abuses and even the loss of two hosts from my EHMCs. I think my pastor and I would agree that we are at the point of irreconcilable differences on the Most Holy Eucharist, and I would rather sustain a leave of absence from the clerical state than risk such sacrilege in being joined to a pastor who does not welcome the aforementioned vigilance.
In Jesus and Mary, I remain your obedient son in Christ’s One Priesthood,
Fr. David Nix
Dear Archbishop, 16 September 2014
After prayerful consideration, I have come to the conviction that I need to present to you the following topics. They are:
1) My many assignments in four years of priesthood.
2) My most recent removal from Y-parish.
As to the first, I have attached the letters that I have written to you (and Bishop Conley) from previous assignments, most of which address my concerns regarding the negligence (and possible abuse) of the Holy Eucharist which I encountered at so many parishes. Bishop Conley met with me. As for the later assignments, I must ask: Have you been informed about the complaints of Eucharistic mishandling? I am attaching several letters from each parish, including a letter I addressed you from X-parish containing reports of two lost Eucharistic hosts. I do not have record of your reply. Please note, also, that I requested the move myself from X-parish explicitly and from Q-parish implicitly, both because of how Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion treated the Eucharist.
As to my most recent move from Y-parish, I have also attached the e-mail that I sent to Your Excellency on January 23rd, 2014. In it, I describe an unsafe work environment, using words like “outbursts and harassment” which has “forced me to inform R [and his wife J] that I would seek a restraining order with the police.” In that email to you, I made it clear that I was in an unsafe work environment. Again, I never heard any response from any authority of the Archdiocese.
This culminated with the employee from Y-pairsh, J (named above), having five verbally violent outbursts against me, all because I would not answer her theological question about suicide in the way she wanted. False accusations against me began in public on January 23rd, 2014. Nevertheless, I peacefully tried to avoid her during all of these confrontations, and I informed my pastor, Fr. Y. In her third to last outburst against me, July 30th, 2014, I was the only priest at the parish and I decided from my training as an EMT and paramedic that she was in danger of moving from being verbally violent to becoming physically violent. I asked her to leave peacefully, but she would not. I subsequently called the police for her removal.
All of my concern for Eucharistic abuse was answered in a five page letter from Archbishop Aquila to me, explaining that I can not get along with pastors. The center of his letter was this:
“In light of these concerns, I want to assure you that you will continue to have faculties for celebrating Mass and for hearing Confessions. However, due to these concerns, I do not believe that you can be assigned to parish ministry or serve in a parish.”—16 Sept 2014, Archbishop Aquila to me, Fr. Nix.