So this person says the Church should consider giving Communion to non-Catholics
#1
Recently a blog I read linked to Fr. Z's article (http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/10/us-catholic-promotes-reception-of-protestant-communion-fr-z-really-rants/ ) in which he talks about US Catholic's article on whether or not it is permissible for a Catholic to receive "communion" in a non-Catholic (Lutheran in the example) church.  US Catholic says it's okay in certain circumstances like for helping give "unity" to a newly-wed couple or something like that.  Fr.  Z disagrees and posts comments and then paragraph 2 of canon 844 to show why US Catholic's stance is wrong:

Quote:“Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ’s faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.”

Good for Fr. Z.  But I also wanted to use this as an example of the how dangerously on the edge that particular part of the canon law regarding receiving in non-Catholic churches like the Greek Orthodox.  This one commenter on the blog I spoke about has really taken it to extremes going so far as to say that the Catholic Church should really consider permitted protestants to receive Communion at Mass as a way of unification.  I'll present the posts for your perusal:



Quote:I understand the position of the Church on intercommunion between Protestant and Catholic services. On the other hand, most Protestants and all Catholics have received valid Baptism, and, as such, are members of the priesthood of the faithful.

Is it the fault of any sincere Protestant that he/she does not know or accept the tradition of the Catholic Church as regards this matter? I wonder how cognizant the Apostles were at the Last Supper of the mystery of the Eucharist, or how aware a child of seven is of what the Eucharist means. They have barely become self-aware, much less able to comprehend what a mystery is. I've had children who received their First Communion ask how Jesus could fit inside of a host. Growth in understanding what the Eucharist really is may take a lifetime.

Yes, many Protestants believe only in the symbolic presence of Christ in their communion service and some denominations reserve their memorial service to rare occasions.

Christ prayed at the Last Supper that all be one. How is His prayer to be answered if we "protect" the Sacrament from Protestants? Christ must ache to be united fully with Protestants in the Eucharist. As a Catholic, I am embarrassed to read the missalette's exclusion of Protestants from receiving Christ.

Perhaps a better approach to intercommunion would be left to the conscience of the individual, on either side of the denominational aisle...and codified in the canon law of the Church whose mandate it is to assist the fulfillment of Christ's prayer for unity.

As to Father Z's comments, I cannot see Christ using his language.




I find it of interest that while Trent proclaimed that defined that the seven sacraments of the New Law were instituted by Christ (Sess. VII, can.i), the council did not define explicitly and formally that all the sacraments were instituted immediately by Christ.

For example, there is no scriptural reference that Peter or any of the Apostles were baptized before the reception of the Eucharist at the Last Supper. There is no scriptural reference that Christ used any ritual to forgive Peter's betrayal before receiving the Eucharist again after the Resurrection. There was no widespread use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the early Church, although the Council of Trent declared that Christ instituted the Sacrament of Penance after His Resurrection. An interesting timeline of the use of the sacrament can be found at http://www.ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/PENANC.TXT.

The reason I bring all of this up is that if Protestants were allowed to receive the Eucharist by reason of their conscience and belief in the Real Presence, what about baptized Protestants who had committed serious sin. Would they need to utilize the Sacrament of Penance before reception of the Eucharist as Catholics are required? Or would a simple act of contrition suffice?

Developed as the Catholic Church's canon law is today, how inhibitive is it for Protestants who crave union with Christ?

I realize that allowing Protestants to receive the Eucharist with a simple act of sorrow for past sins would tend to break down Church discipline. However, would it not allow Protestants to feel welcome at the renewal of the Last Supper, instead of being told in effect, that they are not allowed intimate union with Christ in the Eucharist?

Again, as to Fr. Z's rants, why would anyone want to be Catholic after reading his diatribal explanations of canon law?




I would like it understood that in my two above replies that I am not interested in challenging current canon law regarding intercommunion. What I am interested in is furthering discussion about the issue.

In 1967, the Ecumenical Directory was issued by the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. You can view the entire document at http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontif...ry_en.html.

What interests me is the following:

56. Ecumenism calls for renewal of attitudes and for flexibility of methods in the search for unity. Account must also be taken of the variety of persons, functions, situations and even of the specific character of the particular Churches, and the communities engaged with them, in the search for unity. Consequently, ecumenical formation requires a pedagogy that is adapted to the concrete situation of the life of persons and groups, and which respects the need for gradualness in an effort of continual renewal and of change in attitudes.

57. Not only teachers, but all those who are involved in pastoral work will be progressively formed in accordance with the following principal orientations:

a) Knowledge of Scripture and doctrinal formation are necessary from the outset, together with knowledge of the history and of the ecumenical situation in the country where one lives.

b) Knowledge of the history of divisions and of efforts at reconciliation, as well as the doctrinal positions of other Churches and ecclesial Communities will make it possible to analyse problems in their socio-cultural context and to discern in expressions of faith what is legitimate diversity and what constitutes divergence that is incompatible with Catholic faith.

c) This perspective will take account of the results and clarifications coming from theological dialogues and scientific studies. It is even desirable that Christians should write together the history of their divisions and of their efforts in the search for unity.

d) In this way the danger of subjective interpretations can be avoided, both in the presentation of the Catholic faith and also in Catholic understanding of the faith and of the life of other Churches and ecclesial Communities.

e) In so far as it progresses well, ecumenical formation makes concern for the unity of the Catholic Church and concern for communion with other Churches and ecclesial Communities inseparable.

f) It is implicit in the concern for this unity and this communion that Catholics should be concerned to deepen relations both with Eastern Christians and Christians in communities issuing from the Reformation.

g) The method of teaching should allow for the necessity of progressing gradually. Such a method makes it possible to distinguish and distribute the questions to be studied and their respective contents in the various phases of doctrinal formation, taking account also of the ecumenical experience of the person concerned.

I made my observations in the two replies above based not only Christ's call for unity at the Last Supper, but on our need as Church to deepen relations both with Eastern Christians and Christians in communities issuing from the Reformation, as stated above in subsection "f".

Granted that this will take time...it's approaching fifty years since Vatican II, which attempted, more than any other ecumenical council, to further ecumenical progress toward unity.

At the end of Vatican II's Decree on Ecumenism, there is an as-of-yet unfulfilled hope expressed in par. 24:

"It is the urgent wish of this Holy Council that the measures undertaken by the sons of the Catholic Church should develop in conjunction with those of our separated brethren so that no obstacle be put in the ways of divine Providence and no preconceived judgments impair the future inspirations of the Holy Spirit."


I've made comments against this guy before when he was attacking the TLM and home-schooling, but I've found out it's a waste of time.  After all, he once published a hymnal and has a doctorate, which clearly (in his mind) makes him an authority on Church matters.  In particular, I find his one comment about not wanting to change Canon Law funny, specifically because his next sentence indicates that he does want to change it.  More than funny, however, I find this whole thing sad and indicative of the general state of the Church and Her members.  It's not just one layman who thinks these things, but many bishops, priests, and religious. 

I no longer bother replying to this guy and neither does the author of the blog, but I'm curious what all of your reactions are aside from heavy sighs and rolling of eyes.
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#2
It is communion in sacris, which was tolerated in a few circumstances in the past, mostly amongst the Eastern Catholics who lived amongst the Orthodox. It is asinine and immoral to tolerate communion in sacris with a group that doesn't even have the Eucharist, like the Lutherans. As for us giving communion to non-Catholics. It should never be permitted unless they have converted and been baptized. No brainer.
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#3
(10-24-2011, 03:46 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: It is communion in sacris, which was tolerated in a few circumstances in the past, mostly amongst the Eastern Catholics who lived amongst the Orthodox. It is asinine and immoral to tolerate communion in sacris with a group that doesn't even have the Eucharist, like the Lutherans. As for us giving communion to non-Catholics. It should never be permitted unless they have converted and been baptized. No brainer.

Ah, yes, I agree.  But for some reason it's still amazing to me to see comments like this guy has put forth.  It shouldn't be, but it is.
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#4
Communion (=union with) is not a way to union, it is an expression of an already existing union. To give communion to non-Catholics or to receive in non-Catholic Churches is to pretend that union exists where it doesn't.
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#5
(10-24-2011, 03:50 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: Communion (=union with) is not a way to union, it is an expression of an already existing union. To give communion to non-Catholics or to receive in non-Catholic Churches is to pretend that union exists where it doesn't.

THIS.
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#6
It always bugs me when Catholics make the claim "no scriptural evidence" like a Protestant when they want to disprove something they don't like.  Especially when it either does not contradict scripture, it is implied by scripture, or it is in fact in scripture and they overlooked it.

I find it hard to believe that Christ Himself would go get publicly baptized at the start of his ministry, spend a lot of time with His disciples hanging out around water, and then command His disciples to go forth and make disciples of all nations and baptize them, and never have actually baptized His disciples Himself.  How could they know what to do unless they had been through it themselves?

As for the sacrament of penance, on one of the occasions that Jesus sent out his disciples (I can't remember the passage right now) he gave them the authority to preach and forgive sins.

Not to mention how he specifically gave Peter the authority to bind an loose.

And then when he appears after rising from the dead he says to his disciples: "If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:23)

I'm sure it took time to evolve into the formalized ritual we use today, but Christ gave his priests the authority to do it even back then.  It's a safeguard against sinning against the Body and Blood of Our Lord (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).
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#7
The church perhaps should consider it, for about two seconds, realize how stupid it is, and dismiss it.
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#8
I long for the day when the Church will once again hold a hardline stance against dead and dying schismatics (to say nothing of Protestants).

Denzinger, quoting the Holy Offices reply of 17 May 1916 Wrote:2181a  I.  Whether when material schismatics at the point of death, in good faith seek either absolution or extreme unction, these sacraments can be conferred on them without their renouncing errors? -- Reply:  In the negative, but that it be required that they reject errors as best they can, and make a profession of faith.

II.  Whether absolution and extreme unction can be conferred on schismatics at the point of death when unconscious? -- Reply:  Conditionally, in the affirmative, especially if from additional circumstances it can be conjectured that they at least implicitly reject their errors, yet effectually removing scandal, at least by manifesting to bystanders that they accept the Church and have returned at the last moment to unity.
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#9

I think all Baptists have a "closed communion" as well.  But there are many types of Baptists.

Any religious group has the right to set its own rules as long as they violate no laws.
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