Bishops and Priests Stage Race Around “Communion for Everybody”
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
(Rome) To emulate the Pope is in itself laudable, but not always appropriate. In some parts of the Catholic Church there is a race among priests and bishops which has begun as to who will be the first – to give Communion to divorced and remarried – on behalf of the Pope.
Cardinal Schönborn may lay claim to this unusual primacy for himself. He was the first who already, at the launch of the Post-Synodal Exhortation Amoris laetitia, announced that the world Church merely accept what he had been practicing already for “15 years” in his archdiocese. He must have acted as a rather secretive practice because he was one of Ratzinger’s students, who never ceased being criticized in the notoriously in “progressive” and “conservatively” divided church in Austria by the “conservative” side.
Similarly of Schönborn of Vienna the church newspaper of the northern Italian Diocese of Bergamo also reports, that a Church praxis has been born of “local handicrafts.” In other words, what had already been conceived on the spot without approval and against Rome, now receives official Roman blessing. Msgr. Alberto Carrara, priest, editor of the church newspaper and even the author of the editorial, raised his glass to toast the fact that at last it could be done “in the light of the sun,” which previously had to be practiced in the dark.
Amoris laetitia makes that part of the church show its the true face, which had apparently been well camouflaged in the past. This outcropping reveals how many have, half-heartedly or not, imparted and defended the doctrine of the Church. Rather, they have promoted it with their hidden parallel magisterium those who with receptive attitudes towards the Church to adapt the teaching to the current wishes of the people.
What is astonishing is the speed with which the “prophets” of a “new church” have come to light, pushing their idea that goes back long before the current pontificate.
Pope says “Yes and Period” and appears annoyed by journalists
On the flight back from Lesbos, Pope Francis was asked for the first time to answer the question whether the divorced and remarried are now to be admitted to communion or not: “Yes, and period”. This is how he could respond, said the Pope, but it would be too short a response. He referred therefore to Cardinal Schönborn and his idea of Amoris Laetitia. There it is, in addition to the description given by Pope, a summary of response the longer version.
When another journalist inquired, Pope Francis was a bit annoyed and criticized the media. This would reduce the double-synod to a referendum on Communion for divorced and remarried. Considering the ecclesial reality, the Pope would have all the more reason to be upset with priests and bishops, who aren’t quick enough to sound their willingness give Communion to divorced and remarried (and who knows what else ).
Finally, it was Pope Francis, who had convened the Synod and Cardinal Kasper is to have provided direction for remarried divorcees, and not the media. Everything comes to admission to the sacraments and the doctrine of the sacrament of marriage, the Eucharist and the sacrament of penance has happened and is happening, is homemade. The media has so little to do.
“Proud they’ve been doing it for 40 years”
Shortly after the release of Amoris laetitia a priest active in Rome. Giovanni Cereti, gave an interview to the newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale. He stated emphatically with pride that he has been giving the divorced and remarried Communion for 40 years. Don Cereti belongs to the circle of Old-68ers, who presented even then the book on “Divorce, Remarriage and Penance in the Early Church,” which was reissued in advance of the second Synod of Bishops in 2015, in order to support the position of “communion for all.”
In the Philippines the same goes for the Bishops’ Conference. “Charity can not wait,” they explained to the faithful of the archipelago. It would be followed by “concrete guidance” by the bishops. Until then, “bishops and priests are already prepared to open their welcome arms towards those who’ve kept away from church out of a sense of guilt and feelings of shame. The laity have to do the same. ”
As said, the Pope should rather be annoyed over his closest associates, who pressed at every opportunity the question of Communion for divorced and remarried for two years to journalists. Since it is difficult to believe that the closest of the Pope’s confidants have done so against the will of the pope, the papal words against journalists have less to do with his response to the Communion question, but now that outbreak has happened, the pope no longer want to be bothered with it. In short, everything necessary has been said and the progressives have understood the message. When one speaks for too long on details, then the last “conservatives” could still get the idea to go behind the scenes and throw light on the operation, which took place under his eyes, but did not recognize his transfigured view of the papacy, and unintentionally supported the pope’s justifications.
How certain clergy deal with the Sacraments
The above-mentioned Msgr. Carraro expressed surprise that his article caused such a fuss. In his reply, he reported on his discussions with divorced and remarried. It is worthwhile to reproduce his description, in order to understand the significance certain clergy attaches the sacraments.
I met people who had entered into a new marriage many times. With them I had something like this conversation: “Your marriage, the first which failed, is indissoluble. This is written in the Gospel. You have not managed to live it to the last detail: to live as a united flesh is no easy matter. I know this because many I speak to do not separate, and so to live a whole lifetime is hard.”
” It was he, however, who has run away with his secretary … ” she answered me. “But living together had become a hell.” “We would have been forced to do the whole life as if …” I listened. Often tears flowed.
I continued: You are protesting because the Church excludes from the sacraments. If you give to that the Church has some decision making problems with this Gospel in its hand? Look at you. You can live your faith without confession and without communion, you are a Christian, you’re all Christian in every respect.
“Excuse me, why do you persist then so much on the Eucharist?” I listened. I could not answer, because I myself made this objection, which the Church, as I was seen as its official representative at this moment. I felt like two parts, both accused and accuser.
I continued: “But, according to me, you can also opt to receive Communion. I give you absolution.This does not mean that the problem is solved. It remains in limbo. It’s just outside my conscience as a priest, it seems to me that I can not tell you that you are sentenced for life. You take the responsibility to ask the absolution, I take the responsibility to give it to you. And then we wait with confidence.”
After I give them absolution, I always felt extremely quiet. I always thought: If I’m going to hell, then at least not because of these absolutions. Maybe I’m being immodest, but it seems to me that my Church has been vindicated in the end.
Downside of outings : Hunt for faithful priests
The “outing” of priests and bishops, who “always” gave public adulterers communion or wanted to give it, is only one side of the coin. The other side is the hunting, which has now been opened against those priests and bishops, who oppose this “opening”. The framework is already established: A priest holding a sermon, a catechesis or a marriage preparation seminar and someone starts to complain about the “backward-looking” and “ruthless” ideas of the priest with reference to Pope Francis. The priest will demonstrate and defend the doctrine of the Church and therefore stand as an “enemy” of the Pope. Because whatever he says, he will raise the impression in his opponent or must allow that it is possible from this that he thus claims, that the Pope is not Catholic. Is it possible to defend the Catholic doctrine against the Pope? It is possible, yes, but also a very difficult task.
Aside from that, journalists who will give the “suffering of (the priest) discriminated” a fair hearing are few. The priest will be lynched by the media in no time. His own bishop will let him down quickly in many cases.
The experience of Father Maurizio Vismara, vicar of the Diocese of Pistoia Montemurlo, is already in the making. In a preparation for First Communion, usually a family event, the Chaplain told the parents that he could not give them Communion, who are in an irregular situations. One of those present felt insulted and the case ended up in the media. The daily newspaper Il Tirreno gave him an entire page, in which the priest was attacked who had dared to call to memory the doctrine of the Church, because the “mature” Catholic knows only rights but no duties, at least none that he does not want to know.
And the next target is the priest celibacy?
“That’s just a taste. In the coming months we will live to see everything. And maybe even the official announcement of the next target: priestly celibacy. Maybe it is just an unattainable ideal, which is too heavy a yoke for many priests?” said Riccardo Cascioli, the editor of the Catholic Internet newspaper Nuova Bussola Quotidiana .
Schönborn’s gradualism theory would, if applied to celibacy, just mean that while everyone should strive for the ideal, it is not given to everyone to achieve the ideal in the same rate and to the same extent. Therefore, various levels reached would need to be recognized and appreciated. Or this, then, might be the justification for lifting the celibacy priest.