Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

Thursday, September 10, 2020


 Zoom Eucharist has the priest presiding, short hymn of praise, collect, One lesson from the OT, a  hymn or psalm, the Gospel, short homily, break out groups, prayers of the people, the great thanksgiving and everyone at home eating some bread and drinking some wine. The finale is a prayer of corporate thanks, blessing and dismissal.

The celebrant says the Great Thanksgiving (Consecration) for all the people whether in church or at home. They all at home take and eat the bread and drink the wine in Eucharistic fellowship.

The great thanksgiving is said and done for us all everywhere in the immense presence of God in Christ at home and in church. Why limit the real presence to church attendance?

Thanks to Mark Stanger for stretching my imagination remembering the presence God in and though us in all that we do even the Eucharist.

What think ye?


One thoughtful response.:

At what distance do the prayers consecrating the elements stop working? Is it when the presider is 10 feet from the elements (which I’ve seen many times at large gatherings). Is it 50 feet? 100 feet? 300 feet (some cathedrals are that long, and diocesan conventions are, too)? Would we deny communion to an astronaut if he/she were dying in space and asked for communion one last time? (Obviously only the most Pharisaical of us would say “well, let’s just do Evening Prayer. Sorry.”)


When I’m in a Zoom meeting and the Bishop pronounces a blessing to conclude the work, is that blessing only for show? Of course not. Are the feelings I have at that moment simply wishful thinking? Obviously not. Given all that, why on earth would prayers said over Zoom not be effectual? Are we really willing to place some limit on the Holy Spirit’s power related to technology or distance? Of course we aren’t – or shouldn’t be.


However, if you just can’t get your arms around the idea, why not bless bread and wine and put it in baggies outside the church? Parishioners can come by, pick it up, and take it home for home communion done on Zoom. That would both give people the sacraments AND create a wonderfully sanctified home environment (which is where we want people experiencing faith anyway).


Honestly, this is not a difficult question. It’s just difficult for us to let go of being precious and in control.

Hello! This is what I have been doing every Sunday for six+ months. And what anyone who gave it a moment's thought could have been doing. Forget the Zoom. I can watch the live streamed or recorded video of the worship and make my Spiritual Communion, nobody needs to see my kisser on their monitor. I say or sing the Mass parts along with the celebrant and servers and the words of institution and consume my unleavened corn chip and port wine with a drop of water. BUT, these are not consecrated elements, that requires PRESENCE, my real presence with a priest ordained to consecrate and fellow worshippers. "When two or three are gathered together..." However, for the moment this online Spiritual Communion will do. 

What will not do are these lame Ministry of the Word efforts. The principal worship of ECUSA is the Holy Communion. Why is it not being offered online by every parish? Setting up a Smartphone on a tripod and live streaming or recording a video may be somewhat complex but it is not "rocket science". Many parishes are doing it. There is no difficulty complying with C-19 safety standards in the space of almost all church sanctuaries. What about the rest, even St. John-the-Divine? Are their clergy and staff just too lazy or is ECUSA rife with closet Presbyterians who were just waiting for an excuse to dump the Eucharist? Archbishop Laud, pray for us!



Tuesday, September 01, 2020


 Unity comes and goes. Under Obama there was unity among liberals and the conservatives were quiet. Under the present incumbent the liberal left is anxious and the conservatives are happy. There appeared to be unity during WWII, but isolationists were unhappy. The church yearns to be one, but is fragmented beyond repair. Jews and Muslims both have factions that do not talk. to each other.

There will never be perfect unity. We learn to live in  ambiguity and need to honor our differences.

Monday, August 24, 2020

TV NEWS. ????

 Watching the so-called news on TV is a sinful waste of time, so I believe. I get more than I want to know daily reading the SF Chronicle and NYTimes Digest. I truly believe reading writing cooking eating exercising and corresponding with family and friends are more creative and healthy things to do with our time. TV is passive. Creative activity expands the mind and heart. People have jobs and work ten hours a day can relax with TV entertainment rather than watching the news, a blinding waste of time.

Friday, July 10, 2020


The SF Chronicle published my letter

The Supreme Court says RC institutions may not have to provided birth control teaching or procedures. Too Bad. That great old church’s sex-negative stance is the root of its deep problems. No birth control, no sex outside of marriage, no marriage for priests, no abortion and no homosexuality. A great church is locked in trying to control human sexuality.


A friend replied:

Thu, Jul 9, 2:07 PM 

Christian religion's prepossession with sexual mores is the very sort of obsession with rules and regulations that Jesus condemned in the Pharisees. Based on, among other things, my recent reading of the whole of Paul's Letter to the Church at Rome, he, or those who subsequently interpreted his writings, is largely to blame for this futile attempt to dictate human sexuality. So, Paul, "get a life", as St. John saith, if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves.

Friday, July 10, 2020

I replied to my friend:

Poor St. Paul. He never intended his moral teachings to be universal laws. They were written to handle  specific issues that arose in the communities he founded. Augustine, Aquinas and Calvin added to the sex control.



Monday, July 06, 2020

Boycott Israeli Products

Dear Friends at Netflix,

Last evening I watched an episode of you delightful program Lillyhammer.

A man and woman were humiliated and endangered be cause she supported boycotting Israeli imported wine. The show continued with the main character approving the Israeli wine. Finland is one of many countries, which boycott Israeli products because of the countries’ illegal and immoral treatment of its Palestinian neighbours.

I also am also a critic of that country’s abuse of Palestinian rights and humanity.

I am offended that you program seems to endorse the racist and bigoted policies of the Israeli government.

Please keep your viewers free of your political biases.


Robert Cromey

Thursday, July 02, 2020


Why are we so surprised that Russia tries to influence American politics? I’ll bet we pay for American spies to infiltrate Russia’s politics. What do you think the CIA does for a living?

Nations have spied upon each other since tribal days. Spies have always infiltrated each others lands. Political leaders have condoned nefarious ways of securing information from their opposition and other countries.

American presidents have condoned toppling elected leadership in Chile, Argentina and El Salvador. How self-righteous we can be?

Thursday, June 25, 2020


I Lost My Cell Phone

I emptied my pockets when I got home. Randy Broman and I had had lunch on the bench across the street in Dolores Park. No cell phone. I moaned and searched my hoodie, rifled my trousers, looked on the floor and stairs, no phone.

I searched the flat thinkingI had not taken the phone with me. Then I remembered I had received a call from my dentist while I was waiting for Randy. I dismissed the call when Randy appeared and put the phone in my pocket.

I got on the stair lift taking the keys to the house and hobbled across the street to look around and under the park bench where we had eaten our sandwiches. (A salmon cream cheese spread on whole wheat bread and smoked salmon.) No cell phone. I figured someone had picked it up and removed it. I was mad at myself for being so careless with the phone. While I chatted Randy It must have slipped out of the wide pocket of my red hoodie.

Back upstairs I tried to nap and dozed off. Ann came home from her swim with Sue. I grabbed her cell phone and punched in my cell phone number. The lost phone rang and rang. I redialed and a man picked up. I told him I was the owner of the phone he was using. He said, “Yeah, I found it in Dolores Park.”

He said he would meet me at the bench at 6:00 PM that evening. I was there and waited for twenty minutes. I was about to go home when a teen sitting on the bench asked me if I wanted to use her phone to contact anyone. That sure was a generous and trusting gesture. She dialled my cell phone number at my instruction, handed me her phone and turned to join her friends. The man answered and said he couldn’t make the date as an  emergency had come up. (That was a lie if I ever heard one.)  He took our address and said he would bring the phone to me at 3839 20th Street on Wednesday. I told him I had some money for him. I hope that helped motivate him.

A scruffy young man showed up at 10 AM on Wednesday morning and gave me the phone and I gave him $100 for his effort and returning the phone. He thanked me for money and said he really could use it. We left each other happy and grateful.