"Open Church" (from the fourteenth to the sixteenth episode) - Three meditations on the outskirts of a Triduum in its own unique way in the history of the Church: always open Church forced at this time to celebrate behind closed doors

- the Fathers of The Patmos Island close to the faithful in this quarantine -

"CHURCH OPEN» (from the thirteenth to the sixteenth episode) — THREE MEDITATIONS AT THE GATES OF AN Easter Triduum AT YOUR WAY ONLY IN CHURCH HISTORY: A CHURCH ALWAYS FORCED OPEN AT THIS TIME TO CELEBRATE IN CAMERA

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We offer our readers this valuable new video of our esteemed brother John Zanchi, priest of the Diocese of Arezzo, so that it can also serve as an effective and wise antidote to all those who unfortunately, at this time of extraordinary crisis and emergency, They have nothing better to do than argue, often in harsh and aggressive tone, against decisions taken by our bishops for safety reasons to protect public health: suspend the sacred celebrations and in many cases close the churches. Recall that the Church, during crises and emergencies, It has never been saved by the controversy of those who stand for all time the most faithful among the faithful or to the purest of the pure, but the unit. Someone has written these days that "the bishops are committing suicide the Italian Church". Unfortunately he did not understand anything of the essence of the Catholic faith: The Church “If suicide” attacking the bishops, instead follow them and support them in a moment of so severe test.

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VIDEO SHOOTING AND ASSEMBLY BY THE ISSUER TELESANDOMENICO (AREZZO)

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TEXT OF THE VIDEO

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The texts of Father John Zanchi, director of the Pastoral Center Divine Worship of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, They are not meant as articles but as audio-narrative texts. We proceeded to transcribe audio text for our Readers.

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John Zanchi

Welcome to the fourteenth episode of Open Church!

Not only in Italy, but also in other parts of the world, the Church has kept open the stone churches and made of brick and has also come up with new ways to remain close to the people. Today we mention a way of being Church that even during the pandemic should not struggle to find new ways to stay opened: we speak of the Church committed to do penance, especially during Lent.

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The Ash Wednesday, the first reading of the Mass, Holy Church has reminded us of the Three works of the Lenten penance: prayer, almsgiving and fasting. Let us dwell on the latter: Lent Christians practicing penitence also through fasting and abstinence from meat collectively Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and then by only abstinence every Friday of Lent. Even in the public penance days we just remembered, the practice of fasting and abstinence from meat is not practiced in church, but each in their own home, in the bosom of his family, or even in the workplace and at school.

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pandemic therefore it has no impact on the practice of fasting and abstinence, that they are possible in this Lent as always. I raise this issue because I have noticed that in various press and issued ecclesiastical provisions at this time we are concerned about giving rules and tips on how to handle emergency many aspects of church life, but almost never, if ever, there has been concern to remind the faithful that they could continue practicing as always fasting and abstinence; perhaps because these penitential practices, after he disappeared from the horizon Social, They have become unimportant for the Clergy and the people entrusted to it? On the contrary, in my humble opinion, this emergency requires not only to remind everyone of the meaning and value of Christian penance, but also to give precise provisions on exceptions to fasting and abstinence, always provided for various categories of persons, as they would present the poor, medical and welfare, patients quarantined, etc, etc.

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In this tragic juncture, from the many official expenses by ecclesiastical words - often excellent - I do not think, however, that it emerged the call to live the present sacrifices as an opportunity to do penance for their sins and come renewed in the spirit to celebrate the upcoming Easter. For example: the granting of new indulgences from the Holy Father the Pope could be a suitable opportunity to do so, but it does not seem to have been seized by the proper authorities. Let me be clear that I will not stir up any controversy against anyone, but only help to say an additional word to the many that are said currently.

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The penance as a virtue and can be practiced by the classical works of penance it is at the center of the Christian faith, as the Word of God teaches and as the Saints have always implemented. Nowadays the collective forms of ecclesiastical penance are reduced to a very mild form of fasting to prepare for Holy Communion, fasting and abstinence in only two days of Lent, abstinence from meat on Fridays in Lent and abstinence from meat or other work penitential choice in the other Fridays of the year; is therefore not just the case that the works of ecclesial penance be taken for granted and neglected in the common consideration of Christians. In a society like ours, where sin is passed off by virtue, there is even more need for Christians to give public testimony of penance for their sins and others'. In a society like ours, where in front of the public disasters it tend to rely almost exclusively on human strength, there is even more need for Christians to give public witness first invoking divine help, required through the prayer of supplication and intercession, fasting, the charity (which is authentic Christian charity only if the fruit of prayer and fasting).

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This exceptional Lent It coming to an end; Also the pandemic sooner or later it will pass with its tragic toll of death and suffering; but the difficult times and the great sacrifices that still await humanity can only be tackled with a renewed and strengthened human spirit even from Christian penance. Our domestic confinement even last for several days. Among the many things we can do to occupy profitably spent time in the house forcibly, invite listeners to read and meditate on the following and always current text: Italian Episcopal Conference, The Christian meaning of fasting and abstinence (4 October 1994). A reading that not only helps us to live spiritually this difficult present, but alerts us to face the difficult time that will be a Christian.

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Today and in the Future Church but always remains opened to help men to do penance for their sins and attain eternal salvation; "It is the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men, training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, upright and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify a people that are his, zealous of good works " (Tt 2, 11 – 14).

A resent the next episode of Open Church.

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Sansepolcro (Arezzo), 3 April 2020

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XV BET

VIDEO SHOOTING AND ASSEMBLY BY THE ISSUER TELESANDOMENICO (AREZZO)

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TEXT OF THE VIDEO

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The texts of Father John Zanchi, director of the Pastoral Center Divine Worship of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, They are not meant as articles but as audio-narrative texts. We proceeded to transcribe audio text for our Readers.

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John Zanchi

Welcome to the fifteenth episode of Open Church.

In the stone churches and remained open brick, sign of the Church that remains opened even in time of a pandemic, Clergy continues to celebrate the Liturgy, especially the Holy Mass, to the glory of God and for the good of the living and the dead. The faithful can attend church only individually but, while they are housebound, every day can be a viewing of many Masses, often the one celebrated by their parish priest. We reflect briefly on the value of such a practice, exposing the simple arguments of common sense. First, it must consider that nothing can ever replace the personal participation in the Liturgy, especially the Holy Mass; television broadcasting is a simple service offered to those unable to attend church personally, for example due to illness, of old age, the distance, etc.

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In normal times, Sunday the unable to attend the Mass in fact be exempt from the Sunday obligation and does not absolve seeing a television broadcast of the Mass; But it remains for them the divine obligation to sanctify the party by listening to the Word of God, personal prayer, Spiritual Communion, the rest, The works of charity. The unable can then be helped to do so by television link with a Christian community gathered to celebrate the Eucharist.

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Due to the personal and social limitations imposed by tackling pandemic, the vast majority of the faithful is unfortunately currently unable to personally attend the Holy Mass and the television connection even with only the celebrating priest at that time can be helpful in nurturing their spiritual union with the Lord and with His Church, as possible in an exceptional situation. For this ecclesiastical law it requires that the commentary of the Holy Mass is broadcast live and never delayed, because if there is no contemporaneity between those who celebrate it in a church, and those who watch and listen from home, It fails spiritual union with the liturgical act that takes place in a certain place. The Rosary is not a liturgical celebration and then I can ask him to help me mentally also follow an audio-video recording; but the Holy Mass is the liturgical act par excellence and guardarne a recorded commentary is equivalent to establish a framework that depicts the celebration of the Mass, nothing more.

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It must therefore remain clear to all who watch a TV show is not equivalent to participation in Holy Mass; what you see and hear on the television screen is not the Mass but only an electronic commentary of it, nothing more; as well as privately read the texts of the Missal and Lectionary is not to attend Mass, it is not even watching someone on television that celebrates. On the one hand, we must thank God, which giving us the intelligence and skill, He puts us in a position to take advantage of the mass media, by which in this emergency the vast majority of the faithful may be helped to join spiritually in the liturgical celebration. On the other hand we must ensure, so it does not take root in the common mind the erroneous message that get comfortable in front of the home television can certainly replace the personal participation in the Liturgy celebrated in the church with the clergy and other faithful, with the result that then, when we will again go to church without danger, Masses are more deserted than before, because many have become accustomed to making viewers.

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, many priests are exploiting with enthusiasm the possibility of transmitting the live commentary of the daily Mass: thus they remain close to their faithful and continue to prendersene pastoral care; perhaps many priests are heard now celebrating in solitude than before. However, It should be recalled that to celebrate a televised Mass not just put into operation a camera any; it is essential to safeguard the sanctity and dignity of the liturgical action, because otherwise there is a real risk of being counterproductive and that viewers from changing the channel! While those who go to church does it on purpose, the commentary of a Liturgy is not only watched by well motivated loyal, but it falls under the eye even of those who are ill-disposed toward the Christian faith or who are not Christians and that can pass more or less time on TV channel during Mass televised and can be removed, instead attracted, as a liturgical act sloppy and a rhetorical preaching.

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Even in normal times, it particularly to the Bishops directions and monitor the progress of the television broadcast of the Liturgy, especially in this exceptional situation, and increasingly now with the approach of the Easter Triduum, the heart and summit of the whole liturgical year.

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Pure multiplication proportion of the number of Masses broadcast on TV at all hours of the day can be counterproductive in the long run, if it were a manifestation of a more clerical leadership in search of an audience before which to perform instead of souls to serve. God forbid that, to manage the liturgical emergency caused by the pandemic, dematerializing the Church and the faithful flock from scattering in the tide of anonymous viewers! The priests know that even in the time of a pandemic to the faithful there to ensure only the Mass, but also the other sacraments, especially Holy Communion, Confession, Anointing of the Sick, Sacraments no less important just because they are not televised!

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In the days of Easter imminent there will be decent televised Masses and sermons authoritative (beginning with those of the pope and of individual bishops) it falls to priests, especially parish priests, First give spiritual comfort of Communion and Confession and, under current conditions, this requires more dedication and creativity than simply broadcast a Mass of Facebook, however laudable.

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I conclude by pointing out the general attention workers of television and the many volunteers videographers, which with their work make possible liturgical commentary; though invisible, by the royal and behind the cameras, even in time of a pandemic help us to remain a Open Church.

A resent the next episode of Open Church.

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Sansepolcro (Arezzo), 4 April 2020

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XVI BET

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TEXT OF THE VIDEO

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The texts of Father John Zanchi, director of the Pastoral Center Divine Worship of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro, They are not meant as articles but as audio-narrative texts. We proceeded to transcribe audio text for our Readers.

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John Zanchi

Welcome to the sixteenth episode of Open Church.

Just ended It was another Sunday with stone and brick churches open only outside of liturgical celebrations, performed by the clergy without the presence of the faithful, join spiritually through direct commentary spread by television, the value of which I mentioned in the last episode of this column.

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For the faithful, only spiritually join the Holy Mass celebrated elsewhere is currently a necessary but painful deprivation, especially during Holy Week. This year the faithful also had to give up for now to bring in their own homes palms blessed in churches, which there remain, however, kept in waiting, completed the health emergency, everyone can go and take.

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On Sunday just passed bears the title of palm trees, the Lord's Passion; This title reminds us of the meaning of the blessed palm: 2000 years ago, for the crowds of Jerusalem, the joyful branches were a sign of their faith in Christ the Savior, faith but did not survive the test of next Friday; Today the branches blessed are the sign of our willingness to be public witnesses of Christ the King and Lord and to follow him to the cross, however,, for reaching out to share his glory as the Risen. If, then, we live in union with Jesus and this heavy cross of the pandemic, we will experience in our daily lives also the power of his resurrection and when the blessed palms will enter our homes, It will indeed be a sign that we are faithful disciples of Christ and, to his coming in the end of time, He will welcome us into His glory.

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The Mass of Palm Sunday, the Lord's Passion is one of the most frequented by Christians, because the sign of the branches blessed draws the faithful. It must be stressed that the climax of the Mass is certainly not the blessing of branches, but the Eucharistic consecration and Holy Communion, because the Eucharist is the sacramental participation in the redeeming sacrifice of the Cross. In this time of a pandemic the vast majority of the faithful can not receive Holy Communion in the sacramental form and had to settle the so-called spiritual communion. This is also one of the ways in which the Church remains opened for the faithful.

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Now I say a few words to help you understand the value and the way of spiritual communion: spiritual communion is a practice approved by the Church; The Ecumenical Council of Trent (Decree on the Eucharist, 11 October 1551) defines that there are 3 ways to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist: only sacramentally (who communicates in a state of mortal sin and then "eats and drinks judgment", cf. 1Cor 11, 29), only spiritually (it is the case that interests us now), sacramentally and spiritually together (for the faithful who communicates God's grace). The spiritual communion is therefore possible because, if he routinely God gives His grace to men through the Sacraments, But God is not bound to the sacraments, and may grant communion with him in another way.

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The end of the Eucharist It is not the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, but transformed in Christ who receives them. To this end there is not enough material reception of the Sacrament, if we remain obstacles to our union and assimilation to Christ the Lord. The Saints have always recommended the spiritual communion; We listen St. Teresa of Jesus: "When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can communicate spiritually, Wherefore it is very advantageous in you ... So it gives a lot of love of Our Lord " (Way of Perfection, 35). Spiritual Communion is to have a burning desire to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist and sanctifying grace, which; a sixteenth century Jesuit theologian thus explained: "Like when you have very hungry, He devours the flesh with eyes, so you have to eat with the eyes of spirit that heavenly meat ' (Manuel Rodriguez, Practice of Christian Perfection, (II), 8, 15).

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The effectiveness of desire proceeding from faith can make up the time of Sacramento; we know, for instance, that if the water baptism is impossible, the baptism of desire is an open door for salvation. Spiritual Communion must necessarily be made in the state of grace, because it is a manifestation of a spiritual desire powered by a living faith; those who are spiritually communicated in a state of mortal sin and with the decision to stay there, would commit another sin and would not receive any spiritual fruit.

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In the present situation, who was conscious of being in mortal sin, First of spiritual communion must make an act of perfect contrition, for example reciting the Act of Contrition, with which they recognize his sins before God and renunciation of all attachment to sin; contrition is perfect because it necessarily includes the firm purpose of just can receive the Sacrament of Confession. The act of spiritual communion can be accomplished by praying with spontaneous words, or reciting one of the usual formulas; one of the best known is the one composed by Saint Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori, easily available on the Internet. Let us remember that the prime time for a spiritual communion is the time of the Mass; you can associate the time at which it is celebrated.

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This kind of devotion It must above all be a complement to our usual Communion and can help during times when it is more difficult the Sacraments; in normal times this can happen for example due to an illness or during holidays. If the interior dispositions are perfect, the effects of spiritual communion will be the same or even better than those of a sacramental Communion made distractedly.

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It is said of St. Angela Merici that, when it was banned daily Communion, There she made up for with frequent spiritual communions during Mass and sometimes she felt flooded with graces similar to those that would have received if he had communicated with the sacramental species. Eucharistic communion, moreover, does not invariably produce an increase of habitual grace, since the latter is related to the interior dispositions of who you communicate, which can also prevent the spiritual effect of the Sacrament received: for instance, It distracted the automatism with which so many are talking blithely does not bring them any real benefit, but an additional fault.

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Until the recent past, sacramental communion was very rare and the use of spiritual communion was very frequent. If in the past there were few sacramental communion and frequent spiritual communions, today there are far too communions sacramental (often carelessly or, worse, unworthily), without the indispensable spiritual disposition. This depletion of Santa sacramental Communion is an opportunity to rediscover the practice of spiritual communion, waiting to be able to return easily to receive Holy Communion sacramental.

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Remember the way, the value and the way of spiritual communion, it is necessary to note that we have already entered into Holy Week and one of the general precepts of the Holy Church is confession and Communion at least at Easter, ie within the next Pentecost, this year celebrated on 31 next May. Because no one knows when they will be again celebrated Holy Mass with the people it is urgent to facilitate the faithful as possible to confession and receive Holy Communion outside of Mass sacramental, moreover, provided mode and practiced under certain conditions even in normal times. The rest, in the churches remained open the Clergy continues to offer every day the Eucharistic Sacrifice, Also to be able to donate to the dying as Viaticum, and to all the faithful who find themselves in the disposition to receive it; spiritual necessities must remain available, as are those essential materials.

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Many bishops and priests You have already taken action because their faithful can safely confession and communion at Easter time and we hope that many are those who will benefit. In this regard I note that in recent days the Prime Minister's Office has changed to be less restrictive the norms given previously by the Interior Ministry, stating that:

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"The access to places of worship is allowed, as long as you avoid gatherings and make sure the distance between the goers not less than one meter. You can reach the place of the worship close to home, meaning such a shift as far as possible in the vicinity of their home. They can be also achieved places of worship on the occasion of journeys are still allowed, ie those determined by proven business needs or needs and which are located along the route already planned, so that, in the case of control by law enforcement, It can display or make the planned self-declaration '.

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The way is thus open because even in a time of pandemic least once during the time of Easter the faithful receive the Easter sacraments. The spiritual communion instead you can every day and even several times a day, especially when the believer is spiritually united to the Holy Mass celebrated in a particular church, looking at the live commentary transmitted with a television medium. Especially at Easter Church It does not close but remains opened.

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Sansepolcro (Arezzo), 6 April 2020

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NOTICE TO READERS

The Editions The Patmos Island they use for printing and distribution of its books of the great Company Amazon, that at this time it suspended the shipment and distribution of all kinds not urgent and not strictly necessary for related problems emergency coronavirus. At the moment it is therefore not possible to order and receive our books, But that can be ordered after 3 April.

 

 

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