|Catherine of Siena, Saint of|
the Eucharist, pray for us.
In 2011, Fr. Tom Collins sent two letters to Archbishop Timothy Dolan while he was head of the USCCB (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) raising some important issues about the Holy Eucharist. They remain relevant, and, in fact, are even more important considering that sacrilegious Communions are actively encouraged since the publication of Amoris Laetitia. And so, I offer excerpts from Father's letters while encouraging Catholics to meditate on Jesus' Real Presence in the Eucharist.
Do we approach Communion in fear and trembling? We certainly should!
Here are Father's thoughts from his letter of August, 2011:
I am writing to raise some important, but neglected, issues about the widespread practice of allowing Catholics, who are actively promoting the expansion of “abortion rights”, to receive Holy Communion. [This equally relates to allowing those in adulterous unions and non-Catholics in mixed marriages to receive Holy Communion.]
The first issue has to do with the nature of sacramental communion. Specifically, reception of the Holy Eucharist involves a commitment to abide in obedient communion with the Person of Jesus Christ and with His Mystical Body, the Church. This communion with the Church is indicated by the offering of the Eucharistic Christ to the communicant by a Eucharistic minister and the reception of the Eucharistic Christ by the communicant. Both the minister and the recipient must participate in the act of sacramental communion.
|St. Padre Pio, pray for us!|
This being the case, I must ask why I, as a priest, cannot get the unambiguous support of the USCCB, when I seek to uphold the integrity of my rightly formed conscience by not consciously participating in the sacrilege of handing Jesus over to one, whose perverted conscience and actions hold that the Eucharistic Christ is pro-actively pro-abortion. Why should I be required to violate my sincere conscience in order to appease the sin-seared conscience of such a person? By way of analogy, is the currently tolerated praxis to be applied also to a virtuous girl, so as to give her the impression she should suppress her own conscience and capitulate to the perverted conscience of a man, who believes that “true love” requires that she give herself completely to him? Should she be urged to give into his lust, so as not to hurt his feeling or violate his conscience? Or should she stand firm in affirming the universal validity of the virtue of chastity?
This brings us to a second neglected issue, expressed so eloquently by Judas – “How much are you willing to pay me to hand Him over to you?”. Jesus can be sold for thirty pieces of silver – or for a vacuous sense of political power, or for a manipulative condescending smile from an arrogant academician, or for a vapid guarantee that the demons in the depths of a soul will not unleash their wrath on me. In each of these cases, integrity is compromised for the sake of expediency, and co-dependency is camouflaged as “pastoral compassion”. In order not to hurt a person’s feelings, we are willing to the seriousness and urgency of his/her need for repentance.
|St. Clare & St. Francis,|
pray for us.
The third issue neglected by the USCCB is my personal accountability for my actions. On Judgment Day, any “going along to get along” with the praxis currently tolerated by the USCCB will not be acceptable to the absolute Truth of God’s holiness. “I was just following the perpetuation of discernment by the USCCB”, along with other popular excuses for capitulating to cruel, obscene or sacrilegious practices (e.g., “I was just following orders”, “Everybody else was doing it”, and “Who am I to judge?”) will be swept to oblivion by the penetrating gaze of divine righteousness.
The fourth neglected issue is the sacrilege that endorses the idea that the Eucharistic Christ wills to give His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity to endorse the sin-seared perspective that that brutally butchering innocent children in the womb is pleasing to Him. I cannot conceive how Jesus would give a smiling “thumbs up” to such cruelty. But apparently, some deceptive spirit is keeping the USCCB from firmly incarnating His condemnation of abortion in decisive and consistent pastoral policies. Any spirit that asserts that Christ came to endorse perversion, rather than call us to conversion must be decisively exorcises from the sanctuary. Failure to do so will imperil our salvation and the salvation of all those entrusted to our care.In a second letter in September Father continued his concerns:
The USCCB has wavered for decades as to whether a priest has a firm mandate from the Church not to desecrate the Holy Eucharist by such a ratification of a sin-seared conscience, I am in a real dilemma....
This raises another important issue. Is the Gospel of Christ the proclamation of eternal truth, calling all to repentance and holiness of life? Or is it merely a proposition, inviting people to participate in the perpetual dialogue of Hegelian dialectic? To put it more succinctly – must the truth of God be tangibly incarnate (as firm teaching and discipline concerning Faith and morals) in order to save humanity? Or is that truth only able to be indicated, as we “evolve” from a Faith guided by integrity into a faith that is ever capitulating to expediency?
|Ven. Pope Pius XII, pray for us.|
The third issue that needs to be decisively addressed is whether we are to insist that the Eucharistic Christ is truly the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Or, to put it another way, is the Blessed Sacrament the Person of Jesus Christ Himself, or merely a “mode of God’s Presence” (like a letter or a phone call can be a mode of one’s presence to another)? And if the Eucharistic Christ is a Person, is He to be reverenced as our Master? Or is He merely to be used as the mascot for the ever-evolving politically correct agendas of secular society. Blessed [now Saint] John Paul II repeatedly warned of the evil tendency to treat persons as objects. I believe that danger is even more insidious when we allow the Eucharistic Christ to be treated and referred to as merely an object.
I pray that the Holy Spirit may guide and strengthen the USCCB to decisively affirm the pastoral preeminence of respect for sacredness of the Eucharistic Christ, of respect for the sacredness of a rightly formed conscience, and of respect for the sacredness of the human person and of the sacred covenant, in which God wills that person to be created nurtured and sanctified. Anything less would be tragic beyond comprehension.We are living the tragedy today, aren't we, where reception of the Body and Blood of Christ is being treated as a right that can't be denied to those whose consciences (false consciences, actually feelings and emotions) tell them they are "good guys" who deserve to go to Communion. Who is anyone to judge them unworthy, even Christ Himself?
How many will go to hell because, as St. Paul says, they "draw condemnation" on themselves by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ unworthily? Anyone in mortal sin who approaches for Communion commits a sacrilege. Those in an objective state of mortal sin, like those in invalid marriages, will not receive grace from the sacrament, but fall deeper into the hands of the evil one. God loves sinners and we're all sinners, but we are called to repentance and to amendment of life. If we can't make that amendment for whatever reason, we may NOT approach the sacrament of Communion.
Let us pray today for the intercession of the many saints of the Eucharist for an increased love of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and for an end to sacrilegious Communions.