The good news is that a priest in loony Austria told a parish congregation that if they were not in the state of grace, they should not receive Communion… and they didn’t!
The bad news is that… they didn’t!
At least that is what the National catholic Fishwrap thinks. I am pretty sure that the folks at NcR think that anyone for any reason at any time can and should receive, since sin and the Four Last Things were done away with by the spirit of Vatican II.
They have a story on this:
Austrian parish listens to priest, none receive the host
May. 03, 2012
By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt [Who also writes for The Bitter Pill.]
VIENNA, Austria — The parish church of Amras, Austria, near Innsbruck in Tyrol, was chock-a-block full for the first-Communion Mass on April 22. Shortly before Communion, the parish priest, Norbertine Fr. Patrick Busskamp, announced that only Catholics who were in a state of grace should come forward to Communion. Catholics who are divorced and remarried and Catholics who do not attend Mass every week were not worthy to receive the Eucharist, he said. [I wonder if he used the word "worthy". That could be the writer's own interpolation.]
When Communion time came, not a single adult came forward. The entire congregation demonstratively remained seated. [Suggesting that they were, what, organized? NcR would approve of that, since it meant getting a priest in trouble for teaching the truth.] Only the children received Communion.
In an interview with Austrian state radio in Tyrol, Busskamp confirmed that his words to the congregation had been accurately reported, but added, “I wouldn’t have refused anyone Communion had they come forward.”
Abbot Raimund Schreier of the Premonstratensian Monastery of Wilten, to which the parish belongs, said he regretted what had happened.
“It was most unwise of him to act like this at such a ceremony. [?] I have told him that. Behaving like a policeman shows a lack of pastoral sensitivity,” [So does not telling people what a serious sin it is to receive Communion when you know you are not in the state of grace. What is truly un-pastoral not to instruct people about what is sinful and what isn't.] Schreier told the press.
The church had to accept reality, he said. It is necessary to keep reminding people of the rules, but that does not mean handling a situation as insensitively as Busskamp had done, he said.
Read the rest there, if you care to.
It is good that we are having these fights. In the process of duking it out about Communion and divorce and remarriage or the Eucharistic fast, or moral sin, or formal membership in the Church, etc., we are regaining something of the clarity we have lost during the last few decades of catechetical and liturgical devastation.
Look. We don’t know all the circumstances of the Austrian parish and the priest.
That said, priests are obliged to teach their parishioners. It a priest’s job to try to keep as many people out of hell as possible. If we don’t do our part, we ourselves will wind up in hell.
Hell is the consequence for priests and bishops who don’t work to keep others out of hell.
Because priests are, by the sacrament of Holy Orders, priests forever, they remain priests in hell, thus increasing their eternal agony of separation from God.
St. Augustine, in one of his tough sermons to his flock, spoke about the heavy responsibility of teaching a message that was hard for people to hear and accept. First, he invoked the stern warning in Ezekiel 3 about negligent pastors. Then, Augustine began to explain himself, tell his people why he was teaching and why he being so tough.
Here is some of s. 17.2.
I am saying this to you and I am saving my soul. If I will have kept silent, I won’t be in great danger, I’ll be in utter ruin. But when I will have spoken, and when I will have fulfilled my duty, pay attention then to your own danger.
What, after all, do I want? What do I desire? What do I long for? Why am I talking? Why am I sitting here? Why am I even alive, except for this intention: in order that we may live together with Christ.
That’s my desire, that’s my honor, that’s my treasured possession, this is my joy, that’s my glory.
But if you will not listen to me and if I haven’t been silent, I will save my soul. But I don’t want to be saved without you (Sed nolo esse salvus sine vobis.)
Priests and especially bishops must stand up in the public square as well as in their pulpits and teach the truth as the Church and nature instruct us. If they don’t, there are eternal consequences for those priests and bishops, because they have endangered their flocks either by lack of instruction or by false instruction. This doesn’t mean that they have to be harsh or aggressive or try to take people from point A to Z without patience. But they do have to do something!
Priests and bishops who don’t teach the truth are in danger of eternal damnation. They have to preach the truth, whether people listen or not, for their own sake if for no other reason. Charity requires finding the best way. The tough part is finding the right ways to preach the truth. But the truth must be preached, nevertheless.
And remember to send a donation to the Diocese of Madison as a sign of support for a bishop and some priests who are being attacked by liberals and the Fishwrap. May I suggest that you all make a donation of, perhaps $1? You can do more, of course. If the bishop were to hear that a large number of folks from all over the place made a little donation, that would be a real shot in the arm.