The February 10, 2011, installment of “Catholic Answers” featured a pre-recorded interview with Cardinal Francis Arinze. Once considered among the papabili, Arinze is the African prelate whose puckish sense of humor prompted him to cleverly declare that he was “personally opposed” to gunning down all the members of the U.S. Senate, including those Catholic members who “personally oppose” abortion but decline to enact legislation to outlaw it for everyone. (Arinze's audience chuckled appreciatively as the cardinal equated the slaughter of a legislative body with a “pro-choice” decision to terminate a pregnancy. Never doubt that the cardinal and his admirers really see no difference between abortion and murder.)
Arinze was momentarily flummoxed during his “Catholic Answers” interview when host Patrick Coffin quizzed him about permissible practices during the celebration of mass. After a brief discussion of the unsanctioned (but not forbidden) custom of holding hands during the Lord's Prayer, Coffin indulged in a bit of hyperbole:
People say that receiving holy communion on a pogo stick or letting monkeys into the sanctuary is also not forbidden. I guess it's a matter of balance.Balance? Yes, I would say that's pretty important in the instance of the pogo-stick eucharist. Catholic traditionalists should also be pleased that both hands are usually needed to maintain stability while bouncing about, so that pretty much settles the question of receiving the host in the hand or on the tongue. It puts a premium, though, on the priest's hand-eye coordination as he thrusts the wafer at the communicant's oscillating tongue.
I haven't quite wrapped my head around the monkeys-in-the-sacristy scenario (unicycles, perhaps?), but I have to admit that Coffin is a veritable font of ideas for resuscitating the entertainment value of the Catholic mass. I'd consider going back!