Apparently, Card. Marx is “überrascht… surprised” by the letter from Rome. HERE
What’s next? Will they play the money card?
Did they play the money card yet?
I’d bet that would wear pretty thin pretty quickly with this Pope.
“There has been much discussion about the Eucharist in recent weeks. Some people said ‘What is this all about? This is nonsense!’, others even said ‘This is a Punch and Judy show!’. I say – this is about life and death… This is fundamental! And that is why we have to fight and look for the right way. Not just any way, but the Lord’s way.”
“Once again, we in Germany do not live on an ‘Island of the blessed’, we are not a national Church,” the cardinal said. “We are part of the great Universal Church and all of our German dioceses are members of the global whole, united under the head, the Holy Father.”
The congregation – quite rightly in this matter – applauded him.
Originally Published on: Jun 4, 2018 @ 10:59
Today we have some good news.
First, sort of good news. SCOTUS ruled 7-2 that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated baker Jack Phillips’ civil rights under the 1st Amendment. The Colorado baker refused to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. However, But the court did not rule on the larger issue: can a business invoke religious objections and refuse service to homosexuals on the grounds that they are homosexuals?
Next, Pope Francis blocked the document that the wacky German bishops wanted to issue in favor of inter-communion. You might recall that a majority of German bishops proposed to admit to Communion the non-believing, non-Catholic spouses of Catholics. A few bishops objected.
On one side was the usual suspect Card. Marx and his crew, and on the other Card. Woelki and 7 seven other bishops.
At first, the Pope sent them back to Germany to work it out. That prompted Card Eijk of Utrecht to say that not not providing an answer to such a clear issue was inexplicable. HERE.
In any event, today, on the very day that Francis received a group of German Lutherans, a letter to the German bishops dated 25 May from the Prefect of the CDF, Card.-Elect Ladaria was released that nailed things down… with the explicit support of the Pope.
In a nutshell, Ladaria says that the German document should not be issued. He gave three reasons:
First, Ladaria stressed that admission to Communion of Protestant spouses in inter-confessional marriages “is a topic that touches the faith of the Church and has relevance for the universal Church.” [As Archbp. Chaput so ably pointed out the other day!]
Allowing non-Catholics to receive the Eucharist, even in certain limited conditions, would also have an impact on ecumenical relations with other Churches and ecclesial communities “which should not be underestimated.”
Finally, he said the question of Communion is a matter of Church law, and cited canon 844 of the Code of Canon Law, which deals with access to the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
Specifically, canon 844 states that “Catholic ministers administer the sacraments licitly to Catholic members of the Christian faithful alone, who likewise receive them licitly from Catholic ministers alone,” apart from a number of exceptions spelled out in the canon.
These exceptions include allowing non-Catholic Christians to receive the sacraments of Confession, the Eucharist, and the Anointing of the Sick by non-Catholic ministers in churches where these sacraments are valid “whenever necessity requires it or true spiritual advantage suggests it, and provided that danger of error or of indifferentism is avoided.” [One is forced to ask what those German bishops believe about the Eucharist. What a horrifying thing to wonder about.]
Catholic ministers, the canon says, can also administer these sacraments licitly on members of Eastern Churches that are not in full communion with Rome, “if they seek such on their own accord and are properly disposed.”
The canon says this is also valid “for members of other Churches which in the judgment of the Apostolic See are in the same condition in regard to the sacraments as these Eastern Churches.”
For non-Catholic Christians unable to approach a minister from their own confession, the canon says they are able to receive these sacraments only “if the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it.”
However, to receive the sacraments they must seek reception “on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.”
The canon concludes underlining that in the case of the exceptions, “the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops is not to issue general norms except after consultation at least with the local competent authority of the interested non-Catholic Church or community.”
In his letter to Cardinal Marx, Ladaria noted that while there are “open questions” in some sectors of the Church in regards to the interpretation of canon 844, “the competent dicasteries of the Holy See have already been charged with producing a timely clarification of these questions at the level of the universal Church.”
However, he said it would be left up to diocesan bishops to judge when there is a “grave impending need” regarding the reception of the sacraments.
So, SCOTUS didn’t definitively solve the problem and neither did the CDF and Pope Francis, since the Curia still has to deal with the larger question for the whole Church.
However, this shows that SCOTUS isn’t entirely insane and the Curia has not been completely stripped of authority, even though it seems that Francis wants to devolve authority to bishops conferences.
Each case point in a direction.
The first amendment still applies.
When bishops conferences do their own thing, chaos and confusion result.
We got an injection of common sense today.
Still, I am left a little melancholy. We are in a sad situation when these two bits of sort of good news make this into a good Monday.