The simple but wise words of His Eminence Francis Card. Arinze, Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni, have rung often of late in the ears of my mind. He famously responded to a question about Communion for public figure who are manifestly pro-abortion, “You don’t need a Cardinal of Holy Catholic Church to tell you what a 7-year old knows before First Holy Communion. If Communion should not be received, it should not be given.”
I read at the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald that Card. Arinze opined about the situation in Germany (aka Caput Malorum Omnium) and how the bishops of that sad place are going to the zoo about Communion for non-Catholics.
In an interview with CNS, Card. Arinze said that it would be wrong to allow the divorced and remarried to receive Communion based on Amoris laetitia.
On the matter that the Germans are (pointlessly) debating:
He said that while he wished other Christians well it was important understand that “the Holy Eucharist is not our private possession which we can share with our friends.”
“Our tea is such and also our bottle of beer. We can share those with our friends,” Cardinal Arinze said.
“It isn’t just that we wish one another well. After Mass, you can go to the refectory and have a cup of tea and even a glass of beer and a bit of cake. That’s OK. But the Mass is not like that,” he added.
“It is very important to look at the doctrine,” he said. “The Eucharistic celebration of the Mass is not an ecumenical service. It is not a gathering of those who believe in Christ and who invent a prayer for the occasion, it is a celebration of the mysteries of Christ who died for us on the cross, who made bread into his body and wine into his blood and told the apostles ‘do this in memory of me.’
“The Eucharistic celebration of the Mass is the celebration of the faith community – those who believe in Christ, they are communicating in the faith, and in the sacraments, and in ecclesiastical communion… ecclesiastical unity with their pastor, their bishop and the Pope. It is the community which celebrates the Holy Eucharist. Anybody who is not a member of that community does not fit in at all,” he said.
He said if Protestants wished to receive holy Communion in Catholic churches then they should become Catholics.
“Come, be received into the Church, and then you can receive Holy Communion seven times a week. Otherwise no,” said Cardinal Arinze.
Fr. Z kudos.
The Cardinal is exactly right, as any properly formed 7-year old would be able to tell you.