German Bishop condones sacrilegious Communions

Libs do whatever they want, seemingly with impunity.

The UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald, reports that the recently appointed Bishop of Würzburg has allowed all Protestants married to Catholics to receive Holy Communion at jubilee Masses for married couples in his cathedral.

What difference does it make that it is a marriage anniversary if the Protestant doesn’t believe what Catholics believe? It is still an openly condoned desecration of the Eucharist and an insult to believing Catholics.

So it is an anniversary. So what? Again, I think that many priests and even bishops do not believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist. Instead, Communion is the moment when someone puts a white thing in your hand while you sing a song and you feel good about yourself.

Last week the Archbishop of Paderborn approved Communion for Protestant spouses “in individual cases” after a period of discernment.

Germany.

Please consider, dear readers, acts of reparation for this open disrespect.

Please share!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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14 Responses to German Bishop condones sacrilegious Communions

  1. Simon_GNR says:

    Fr. Z: “It is still an openly condoned desecration of the Eucharist and an insult to believing Catholics.
    … I think that many priests and even bishops do not believe what the Church teaches about the Eucharist.”

    This is spot-on. Some 30 years ago, when I was under instruction in the faith, before I was received into full communion with the Church, I was barred – rightly – from the Catholic sacraments. Despite my strong yearning to eat “the bread of angels” I accepted the Church’s position that its sacraments were for its members. What’s happening in some dioceses in Germany is contrary to what has been the Church’s practice and discipline for centuries. If a Protestant wishes to receive Catholic Holy Communion, the answer is simple – become a Catholic and assent to the Church’s doctrines relating to the Mass and Holy Communion. If one is a faithful and committed Protestant why would one want to receive Catholic Holy Communion? Surely as a Protestant one believes that “Transubstantiation…cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture.” and that “the sacrifices of Masses … were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.”
    (Articles XXVIII and XXXI of the 39 Articles of Religion, adopted by the Church of England in 1562 and never repudiated; still in the Book of Common Prayer.)

    As for Catholic priests who do not believe Catholic teaching concerning the Eucharist, I’ve come across one or two. One wonders they continue in post as parish priests etc if they don’t believe some of the doctrines they are supposed to be teaching. A priest in my own diocese (Hallam, England) who wrote an article in the diocesan newspaper implying that after the Eucharistic Prayer has been said at Mass there are still bread and wine on the altar. I e-mailed this priest to point out that after the consecration the bread and wine have ceased to exist – they aren’t there any more: what’s in the paten and in the chalice are the body and blood of Christ.

    He wrote back and stated: “I am happy to stick to my use of “bread and wine”. This in no way undermines the truth that after the Eucharistic Prayer we have with us the Body and Blood of Christ. But Christ himself chose to come to us in “bread and wine”. The theological truth is that they become the Body and Blood of Christ but they remain to all appearances as “bread and wine”. I don’t think I’m at ease saying, as you do, that “they cease to exist.” They are still there. They are the chosen vehicle for Christ’s Eucharistic presence.”

    I’d be interested in other readers’ views as to whether this priest’s beliefs are consistent with the doctrine of transubstantiation: I don’t believe they are. The council of Trent expresses this as the “change … of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord.” How can this be reconciled with a belief that after the consecration what is on the altar is still bread and wine?

  2. Ad Orientem says:

    Hi Fr. Z. First off full disclosure, I am Orthodox so my comment is from that perspective. Of all the various disturbing trends that have been observed from our side of the Bosporus, I would label this apparent move towards extending sacramental communion to Protestants as among the most alarming. The immemorial and absolute prohibition against communicatio in sacris with heretics is so firmly established in the Holy Canons of the Church and the consensus patrum that it is a subject that should not even be open for discussion. Indeed if one were to synthesize the Fathers on this subject one might say “you are who you are in communion with.”

    Granted, for now this looks like a local abuse of church discipline, albeit an egregious one. But like cancer these things have a way of spreading, sometimes quickly. One need only look at what has happened in the so called “mainline Protestant” sects over the last thirty or so years. Some of them have gone so far off the rails that they are now quite simply apostate.

    Whatever differences that divide Orthodoxy and Rome, they have never even come close to that point. Indeed, until quite recently Rome has admirably adhered to the prohibition against sacrilegious inter-communion as strictly as we have. But if what is going on in Germany were to spread, or God forbid, become normative, I fear that it could have a devastating effect on the relationship between our respective churches. We do not consider Protestants to be in any concrete way connected to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church spoken of the Symbol of Faith. And if Rome is going to endorse communing them, that would be an act with profound and serious implications. Again, from the patristic, and therefor Orthodox POV, you are who you are in communion with.

  3. richiedel says:

    Whadd’ya MEAN I can’t have da Communion?!?! But, it’s our ANNIVERSARY!!! Tell ‘im, Larry!

  4. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    The poor German bishops are evidently acting under some chronic disability. After all, Charlemagne converted the Saxons at the point of the sword and it’s been trouble ever since. What is profoundly disturbing and unprecedented is that this monstrous sacrilege has the approbation of the Bishop of Rome. Where, oh, where, are 200 Cardinals and 5000 Bishops?

  5. Vincent1967 says:

    I was always told (by my mother and then by priests and teachers at school) that to receive Holy Communion I had to be in a state of grace. This, generally, has for me and probably all Catholics, required confession, unless I’m wrong. Please tell me if I got that wrong. I’m assuming that protestants don’t require confession to receive, since they believe no more about confession than they do about Holy Communion. Therefore, I can only conclude, neither will Catholics require confession before reception of Our Lord. The game is up. I am now thinking that enough is enough. To whom do I turn? The SSPX seems a good idea. And should all orthodox Catholics now accept the game is up? The Jesuit Fr General tells us that since there were no tape recorders, none of us knows Our Lord’s words regarding the sanctity of marriage (and, logically, anything else in Holy Scripture); the Holy Father himself seems to suggest that adultery is ok in Amoris Laetitia; German bishops insist that German Catholics pay the church tax or will be excommunicated, but they themselves no longer believe the truths of the church about the Eucharist and Marriage, and goodness knows what else; the BVM can no longer be considered a virgin in light of the recent instructions about Consecrated Virgins…I could go on but you get my point. And actually, it’s more than that. I’m worried. The only reasons I still practise in the mainstream church is because I believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church. Should I/Can I, give it up to attend orthodox, compassionate and faithful Catholic worship at the SSPX? Are others of the same mind?

  6. TonyO says:

    I’d be interested in other readers’ views as to whether this priest’s beliefs are consistent with the doctrine of transubstantiation: I don’t believe they are. The council of Trent expresses this as the “change … of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord.” How can this be reconciled with a belief that after the consecration what is on the altar is still bread and wine?

    Simon, you are completely correct and that priest is blathering ignorance and heresy. Sadly. After the consecration, the accidents of bread and wine cease to inhere in bread and wine, and instead they are present but without the substance of the bread and wine. The substance of Jesus Christ is present, under the species (outward accidents) of the bread and wine.

    There are, I think, some fairly old hymns that refer to the consecrated reality as “bread and wine” but do so in the manner of a metaphor, using an expression for what appears so as to stand in for what is really there. But a Catholic priest should never be confused by this, and if that priest cannot tell the difference between thinking that the substance of the bread and wine cease to exist but the accidents remain, and the Anglican teaching that the substance of Christ comes to exist where also the bread and wine exist, (they teach consubstantiation), then more than likely he has been infected with the heresies of the Anglicans. It is not surprising that lay Anglicans should be fooled by the Anglican teaching, given that they have heard the error all their lives; but it is certainly surprising that a Catholic priest can’t figure out the difference.

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    If people want to be in communion with Catholics, and receive Communion at Catholic Mass, they should become Catholic! Easy-peasy!

    If the archbishop wanted to abolish RCIA, and declare everybody Catholic and get them baptized and Confirmed on the same day they asked (and agreed to pay German church taxes, no doubt), it would at least make sense.

  8. ChrisP says:

    Germany recently never made it past the first round of the soccer World Cup. Last time that happened was 1938.

    This communion proclamation might be another act of war.

    We shall see.

  9. catholiccomelately says:

    Father Z., you also still remeber the Lutheran Eucharistic teaching: Christ is present in, with, and under the forms of bread and eine.
    That is not Catholic teaching.
    In the several years before I could become a confirmed Catholic, after leaving the Lutheran Church, I respected and appreciated the prohibition against my receiving the Sacrament. Now it becomes … unnecessary? Too much of a burden? Un- ecumenical?
    God demands of us sacrifices and fidelity, and gives us the graces to live them. I do not understand this apostasy.

  10. Fr. Reader says:

    @Vincent1967
    This is a very important point. Do protestants go to confession before receiving communion? of course not.
    May I ask, do all protestants have valid baptisms? (I do not know what these bishops think about this.)
    Who defines who is a protestant and who is not? Born-again Christians?
    What about anonymous Christians? Can they receive the Holy Communion?
    I suppose anonymous Christians can also concelebrate the Holy Mass.
    And why not just celebrate the Mass?

    From another perspective. If what is important is to receive Communion, it is better to become protestant and not to pay the tax, but receive communion. It is enough to marry (will they ask for a certificate?) randomly a catholic just for the sake of receiving communion.

  11. JabbaPapa says:

    I think that people need to be a bit careful with this one — Bishops have for a very long time indeed been able to authorise exceptional access to Holy Eucharist for non-Catholics in Jubilee Masses, or more to the point in some Masses provided with particular Indulgences.

    Of course, this Bishop appears to be exploiting this fact within the context of all of the silly German politics, so that some people might conceivably accuse him of this or that, rightly or not I don’t know, but one shouldn’t IMO start condemning a practice that has existed for centuries simply because one might suspect a particular Bishop of some manner of misusing it.

  12. Kerry says:

    If Protestant spouses were given a pressed flat disc of Wonder Bread, embossed ‘WP’, would they grouse at not receiving the Real Presence? If so, why?
    I am reminded of the Duke’s “So, you do have objections to the Act!”, and Leo McKern’s reply, “Well, we knew that”.
    So, you DO believe in the real presence!

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  14. Mike says:

    I am now thinking that enough is enough. To whom do I turn? The SSPX seems a good idea. And should all orthodox Catholics now accept the game is up?

    Your argument is compelling, Shepherds who denigrate liturgy and sacraments, as has been happening more and more openly in our Church for most of our lifetimes, are false shepherds. If true shepherds exist who uphold the eternal truths of the Faith, it behooves those desirous of their salvation to find and follow them.

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