The senseless proposal of the German Bishops and why only Catholic may be admitted to Eucharistic Communion

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THE INSENSE PROPOSAL OF THE GERMAN BISHOPS AND THE REASON FOR WHICH ONLY THE CATHOLIC CAN BE ADMITTED TO THE EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION

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The hypothesis put forward by some bishops, that the Roman Pontiff may grant permission to Catholic ministers to give ordinarily, albeit only in some cases of mixed marriages, Communion to the non-Catholic party or to meet the desire of that party to receive Communion, it is an idea incompatible with what the Apostle says about the internal dispositions, moral and canonical necessary to receive Eucharistic Communion conveniently and fruitfully.

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Author
John Cavalcoli, o.p.

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St. Thomas Aquinas in the grip of an apoplectic stroke start

A few days ago a letter from Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk was released, Archbishop of Utrecht, who explains why the Catholic Church cannot admit Protestants to Eucharistic Communion [Text of the letter WHO]. In this article I take up and develop the considerations of the Cardinal Primate of Holland starting from the conditions for accessing the Eucharistic Communion.

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Eucharistic communion it is the maximum expression and the main food of communion with the Church of the Catholic faithful, who is that Christian who, among all the other separated brothers, enjoys full and perfect communion with the Catholic Church. Access to Eucharistic Communion therefore presupposes that the faithful have made a sufficient spiritual journey of preparation and initiation into the Eucharistic mystery, which is that thanks to which the believer reaches the most intimate communion with God and with the Church possible on this earth. Those who wish to approach the Eucharistic Communion, therefore he must have a right faith in the Eucharistic mystery; he must know with certainty Who is He who wishes to receive in his heart. He must believe that under the species of bread and wine the substances of the body and blood of the Lord are hidden, thanks to the words of the consecration. The body and blood of the Lord are offered by the priest at Holy Mass, in sacrifice of impetration, of satisfaction and praise to the Father on behalf of the Church.

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The believer must know that in the Eucharist there is the total Christ, Head and mystical body, who is his Bride the Church. In the Eucharist, therefore all the good of the Church is contained, the source and culmination of his life, the foretaste and the pledge of future glory. All the mysteries of salvation are contained in the Eucharist, which it is therefore necessary to know and accept with faith, in order to achieve salvation. Certainly, this mystery is so high and we are so low on this earth, that those of us can say that they feel truly worthy to receive the Eucharist? For this, before you receive it, we humbly proclaim, but hopefully: «O Lord, I am not worthy of You entering my house; but one word and I will be saved ". Thus the Eucharist is indeed a medicine, but it is above all what Sant'Agostino called the "food of the strong". In fact, it not only presupposes that the faithful are already in the grace of God, but it gives him a supplement of strength in the fight against sin and against Satan, under the patronage of Maria, type and model of the Church, Messianic and apocalyptic woman who alongside her Son, supports the Church in the fight against evil throughout history, until the final victory of the Parousia.

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Although we can never feel fully worthy to eat the body of the Lord, however, St. Paul distinguishes a worthy way from an unworthy way of assuming the Eucharist [cf. The Cor 11,28], dependent on our will and therefore in our power.

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San Tommaso Aquino, the Eucharistic Doctor, in commenting on the warnings that St. Paul gives in the above passage to those who wish to approach Communion, reminds us of the regrettable eventuality of one, who unworthily assumes the body of the Lord. This eventuality would occur in the case of one who assumed the Eucharist "not with a devoted mind" [1]. This "lack of devotion" [indevotio] - explains Aquinas [2] - «it can be a mortal sin, accompanied by the contempt of the sacrament ". This unworthiness - notes St. Thomas [3] - can arise from the "will to access the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin, which however is not removed from penance. This happens thanks to contrition, which takes away the will to sin, with the intention of confessing and satisfying, as for the remission of guilt and eternal punishment " [4]. In this way, the penitent obtains "reconciliation with the members of the Church" [5]. But if the sinner does not accept the sacrament of penance and does not reconcile with the Catholic Church, what is the meaning of his access to Communion?

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St. Thomas specifies: «This sacrament is a spiritual nourishment. But he is not fed unless he is alive. And therefore it does not belong to sinners, who do not live in grace " [6]. Now, if - as Luther believes - the sacrament of penance and the works of penance are not necessary to be in grace, but the faith of being saved is enough, whereby the sinner remains in sin or obtains grace while remaining in sin [at the same time just and sinner], with which front he will dare to approach the unrepentant and unpurified Communion? In addition to, osserva l’Aquinate, "The Eucharist is the sacrament of charity and ecclesial unity. But given that the sinner is devoid of charity and is deservedly separated from ecclesial unity, access to the sacrament, commits a falsity in signifying a charity that does not possess » [7]. The heretic and schismatic have or live separated from unity, effect of charity which builds and sanctifies the Church.

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THE PROTESTANTS MADE HIMSELF OF THE EUCHARIST

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visit of the Supreme Pontiff Francis I to the Anglican Community of Rome in February 2017

We must remember that Luther and Calvin's rebellion against the Church it destroyed some fundamental points of doctrine and practice, like the Eucharist and other closely related truths of faith, such as the primacy of the Roman Pontiff and the Magisterium of the Church, the priesthood, The holy Mass, Sacred Tradition, the sacrament of penance, good works, the veracity of concupiscence, and measure, the value of natural reason and free will.

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So how would you like, somewhere, that these separated brothers and sisters can sincerely desire, legitimately and with full knowledge of the Communion or Communion can be given to them, when they do not believe at all or falsely in what it means and implies, and their separation from Rome was motivated precisely by the refusal of those points? Certain, some of them may be in good faith: but then it will not be for the Catholic minister to clarify things with them?

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Certain, in the meantime the priest distributes Communion during the Mass, it can happen, without him knowing, that a non-Catholic or a false Catholic appears. It will be in good faith? It will be in bad faith? What can the minister know about it? Therefore he can and must give Communion quietly, entrusting them to the mercy of God. The faithful will answer before God, if he is at fault. Unless someone who the priest knows with certainty that he despises the Eucharist appears; in which case he must have the ready wisdom to drive him away with all circumspection, firmness and charity. But such cases are extremely unlikely, especially if the priest is known for his zeal for the Eucharist.

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PASTORAL CAUTION OF THE CHURCH

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the Supreme Pontiff Francis I receives the “blessing” by the Primate of the Anglican Community. The invalidity of episcopal and therefore priestly ordinations administered by the Anglicans, it was declared by the Supreme Pontiff Leo XIII with his Apostolic Letter Lett Cares of 1896 as they lack apostolic succession [text WHO, Trad.. Italian WHO]. What a blessing he is therefore receiving, the Roman Pontiff?

The sacraments are means of salvation in which man and God work together, therefore in their administration the Church always takes these two factors into account; but in the evolution of times and in the variety of human situations, That, with pastoral prudence, depending on how you feel better, now it promotes human action more, now gives more space to divine grace. In fact, it knows that, if in the work of salvation the contribution of the human forces of the intellect of will is ordinarily necessary, Sometimes, as for example in children or babies or in embryos, they are not yet able to practice. But since God wants everyone's salvation and salvation is a gift of grace, God disposes that these little beings, still unable to exercise reason, be saved only by the intervention of grace. However, since grace acts ordinarily through the sacrament, from here arose the use of the Church to baptize children.

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As for access to Communion, in the beginning of Christianity there was a long initiation, which ended with the declaration of the catechist that the catechumen, ordinarily adult, he was now fit to enter Communion. Ma San Pio X, as is known, he wanted the faithful to be children, albeit always prepared, could be admitted to the divine banquet.

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VERY HIGH DIGNITY OF THE EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION

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the Supreme Pontiff Francis I in Lund, in Sweden, during the celebrations of the five hundred years of the so-called Luther's Reformation, next to one Arcivescova covered with priestly vestments. This lady, in favor of abortion, euthanasia, genetic testing and marriage between same-sex couples, she is a declared lesbian, supporter of homosexualism and the theory of gender, as well as united in marriage with another woman

Communion is the summit and source of the whole life of the Church and the Catholic, source and summit of the Christian life, so who does not enjoy this fullness of communion, clearly he is in an interior condition which is disproportionate to the reception of the sacrament, that is, it lacks sufficient or suitable receptivity or availability to be able to conveniently assimilate a supernatural food, what is the Eucharistic bread, which, therefore, if he is hired with good dispositions, divinely nourishes the soul; but if these provisions are missing, and the subject still dares to take it, "Eat and drink" - as St. Paul says - "one's own condemnation" [The Cor 11, 29]. Indeed, communion with the Church is subject to different degrees of perfection, all of which are much higher, how much greater and more numerous are the elements of the Church which are made proper by the Christian. Thus it goes from a minimal degree, below which there is no visible communion, such as the condition of non-Christians or atheists, to a maximum degree, of a total communion, full and perfect, which is that of the Catholic. In between there are many intermediate degrees of imperfect and partial communion, more or less close to full communion, which are the degrees in which the separated brothers find themselves.

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Let us take two examples of these lower degrees of communion: Eastern dissidents, the so-called "orthodox", e and Lutherans. If we wanted to compare the Roman Church or the See of Peter to the center of an ideal circle, which represents the surface or area or space of the Christian being, or the surface or area of ​​the visible Church, we could say that concentric circles are given around the center, that gradually, starting from a circle of minimum extension, more and more amps follow one another until they constitute the maximum circumference, the furthest from the center, circumference that represents the fullness of all that the Church contains in its perfection and constitutes it in its firm essence, immutable and incorruptible, wanted and instituted by Christ, that essence and that integrity, that never, under the guidance of Peter and the Holy Spirit, can be deceived, altered, polluted, decreased, disintegrata, deducted, falsified or destroyed by the powers of hell. The said circumference represents the extreme boundary of the visible Church. Who is beyond this border, it would be entirely outside the visible Church, although, if he is honest and in good faith, it could belong to the invisible Church or - which is the same - to belong invisibly and unconsciously to the visible Church. Or the image of concentric circles could represent the different degrees of belonging to the Church in another way. The minimum circle, as close to the center, that is, to the See of Peter, it would represent the fullness of ecclesial communion. But, as we move on to circles increasingly wide and far from the center, we would have the decreasing degrees of lesser belonging, proper to separate brothers, until, reached the maximum circle, we would have the minimum membership, beyond which one is outside the visible Church.

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EUCHARISTIC COMMUNION IS CONNECTED TO FULL MEMBERSHIP TO THE CHURCH

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the Supreme Pontiff Francis I receives in audience a group of so-called vescovesse Lutheran from Finland

Now, by the same will of the Lord, full membership in the Church requires a series of requirements and conditions, missing even one of them, nobody can be in full communion, so he can't be saved, for the fact that salvation is obtained by accepting all the truths of faith and all the means of salvation, just as a living organism lives only if all the vital organs work in it. Which does not prevent divine mercy from saving even those who, without fault, if they were not to say at a lower level of communion, but even totally outside the visible boundaries of the Church, up to those who, as the Council says [Lumen Gentium, 16], had not even come to an explicit knowledge of God, which, however it does not mean atheism, as Rahner erroneously believes, for what sense does it make that an atheist consciously and voluntarily desires heaven, which consists in the vision of God?

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As has already been pointed out, the question of Communion to Protestants is very different from that of the Orthodox, although in both cases there is a lack of full communion with the Church in the separated brother under the guidance of the Roman Pontiff, guarantor of the unity of the Church, communion that gives meaning, authenticity and meaning to the Eucharistic Communion, which in turn builds this unity, Eucharistic communion which is therefore precisely the sacrament of unity and charity towards God and with our brothers and sisters, as we saw in St. Thomas Aquinas. So if the Orthodox Churches have preserved the element of apostolicity and therefore the Seven Sacraments, unfortunately, the Protestant communities rejected and lost it and thereby abolished the sacraments or at least, although they continue to speak of "sacrament" for Baptism and for the Supper, they have lost their authentic meaning, for for them the sacrament does not produce the grace which is signified by the sacramental formula, but this simply merely announces that grace is already present.

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Other sacraments, like Baptism and Marriage, they do not represent ecclesial unity as much as the Eucharist represents it. For this, the Church has no difficulty in recognizing the Baptism given by the Protestants or the Orthodox. Similarly, there is a liturgical-canonical legislation relating to mixed marriages. Ecumenical activity encompasses vast sectors of dogmatics and morals, which are Christian values ​​common to Catholics and non-Catholics. But the persistent presence of heresies in the doctrines of the separated brothers still prevents the Communication in the sacred, which requires the total integrity of the faith, because by its essence, represents the maximum expression of this integrity, lacking which, put this communicatio it would be fiction, desecration and sacrilege.

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The same brothers separated serious and honest they are the first to reject such a play, since they were born and were characterized precisely by the clear and conscious refusal of those conditions which make the practice of Eucharistic Communion possible. For this, Canon Law, when he grants Communion in special cases to the "willing" non-Catholic, comes to say that he can receive it only in so far, at least implicitly or intentionally, he wants to become a Catholic.

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A SENSE PROPOSAL

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the Pope Francis I, visiting the Evangelical Community of Rome in November 2015, offers a glass as a gift

The hypothesis put forward by some bishops, that the Pope may grant permission to Catholic ministers to give ordinarily, albeit only in some cases of mixed marriages, Communion to the non-Catholic party or to meet the desire of that party to receive Communion, it is an idea incompatible with what the Apostle says about the internal dispositions, moral and canonical necessary to receive Eucharistic Communion in a convenient and fruitful way. The Pope, as universal Pastor of the Church, he certainly has the power to legislate and regulate the exercise of the Eucharistic cult, but always within the context of the intangible divine right. Christ, indeed, giving Peter the power to "tie and untie" [Mt 16, 19], granted him ample discretion and considerable legislative power regarding the particular and changing ways of administering the Sacrament of the Eucharist, according to circumstances of time, of place and people; but of course always in the context of nature, conditions, the essential and unchangeable purposes and prerequisites of the administration and reception of the Sacrament itself. Which means that the Pope exercises this power as universal Pastor of the Catholic Church and therefore towards all and only the Catholic faithful. Obviously it does not exercise jurisdictional power over those Christians who, for various reasons, in various forms or degrees, in the past they have escaped this pastoral and juridical guide or because of schisms or heresies, even if this does not prevent him from establishing ecumenical agreements or establishing special agreements with brothers separated for particular circumstances, pastoral opportunities or needs, and precisely also within the administration of the Eucharist, without, however, this should not cause scandal or prejudice to respect for the sacrament and the faith that justifies its existence.

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The reasons that are put forward for the granting of Communion to non-Catholics they are completely inconsistent and pretentious. In fact, we would like to invoke the ecclesial practice of mercy and hospitality. Now, it must be said that these virtues, though so precious in themselves, in this case they have nothing to do with it and instead it is necessary to invoke the virtues of discernment and prudence, which enable the minister to verify whether the applicant is "well disposed", as canon law states [Can. 844 § 3].

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THE PROVISIONS OF CANONIC LAW

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the Supreme Pontiff Francis I visiting the Lutheran Community of Turin in June 2015, receives a free copy of the Bible translated by Martin Luther

In this regard,, Canon Law states that "Catholic ministers licitly administer the sacrament of the Eucharist to members of the Eastern Churches, if they ask for it spontaneously and are well disposed; this also applies to members of other Churches, which, in the judgment of the Apostolic See, relative to the sacrament in question, they are in the same condition as the aforementioned Eastern Churches " [Can. 844 § 3]. Again read the Law: "If there is danger of death or if, the diocesan Bishop or the Episcopal Conference, urgesse other grave necessity, Catholic ministers lawfully administer the sacrament of the Eucharist to other Christians as well, who have no full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot access the minister of their own community and ask for it spontaneously, provided they manifest the Catholic faith about this sacrament and are well disposed " [Can. 844 § 4].

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What does "well disposed" mean? It is equivalent to saying, as St. Paul warns, "In a worthy way" [The Cor 11, 27]. Which means, first of all knowing how to "recognize the body of the Lord" [The Cor 11,29], that is, knowing how to see, with the eye of faith, that the consecrated host looks like bread, but it is not: It is the body of the Lord. But also Paul says that, one must "have examined himself" [in. 28], that is, to have verified that we are in God's grace, convinced of all truths of faith, guilt-free, animated by charity, in communion with the Church and the Pope, eager for holiness. Now, not all of these conditions are present in separate brothers.

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From the Canons of Law, however, it appears that the exclusion of separate brothers by Communion it is not to be understood in an absolute way. In particularly serious and urgent cases, if I'm well disposed, that is, if they accept the Catholic faith, they can receive Communion. But this is equivalent to saying: "If they convert to Catholicism", since it is clear that if instead they conscientiously and voluntarily conserve the heretical or schismatic elements which are incompatible with the Communion, which requires full communion with the Catholic Church, they cannot be in communion with God.

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AN UNPROPRIATE ATTITUDE

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… but finally the truth is realized, large and authentic MYSTERY OF FAITH: the pedicure ritual to the Ladies at the Mass of the Lord's Supper, when the universal Church remembers the institution of the Eucharist and the ministerial priesthood during Holy Week

The desire of the Protestants to receive the Eucharist, it does not seem dictated by authentically spiritual motivations, because otherwise they would accompany that desire with that of converting to Catholicism, in which only the Eucharist can be understood and lived; but it seems dictated by the purely psychological need not to feel discriminated against by Catholics, from a purely emotional need to share and feel welcomed, and from a confusing and easy-going idea of ​​ecumenism, which is made up only of a pleasant enjoyment of life together, apart from matters relating to the true and false in faith.

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The Christian dynamic of a mixed marriage it is certainly delicate and requires prudent and comprehensive pastoral attention. The couple are called to live intensely the common Christian values ​​that have remained in Catholics and Protestants. As the Second Vatican Council prescribes in Unitatis redintegratio [No. 3], the Catholic part performs a guiding function towards the fullness of belonging to the Catholic Church, in full respect of the values ​​of Protestantism. Eucharistic Communion is a goal for the Protestant side, but which must be achieved by fulfilling the necessary conditions, which require full entry into the Catholic Church.

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Varazze, 10 May 2018

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NOTE

[1] Commentary on I Cor 11, 27-29, in You do the Pauli Lectura, vol.I, reading 7, n.689, Marietti, Turin 1953, p.363.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., pp.363-364.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

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About Father John

Giovanni Cavalcoli Dell'Ordine dei Frati Predicatori Presbitero e Teologo ( Click on the name to read all its articles )

One thought on "The senseless proposal of the German Bishops and why only Catholic may be admitted to Eucharistic Communion

  1. They are also heretics, not just schismatics, already the Christians mentioned in §3, not only those mentioned in §4, del Can. 844. All these, when they receive the sacraments lawfully from Catholic ministers, the Canon considers it NON-CATHOLIC, either because it calls them “membership” of fully sacramental non-Catholic churches or calls of “own” belonging to ecclesial communities not fully sacramental, and because §5 supposes them to be subject to their respective non-Catholic religious authorities. The Canon does NOT require the prior conversion of all of them to Catholicism as a condition for receiving these sacraments, but it requires that they have the Catholic faith LIMITED TO these sacraments: in the case of §3 this faith is tacitly presumed by virtue of the sacramental situation of the churches to which it belongs, while in the case of §4 this faith must be manifested by the individual applicants, since it lacks the ecclesial communities to which it belongs. At last, all of them the Canon tacitly presumes them in good faith as to the heresy and schism in which they objectively pour (invalidating the points 5 and 6 of the Declaratio del Convegno “Catholic Church, where are you going?”).

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