Disturbing account of Catholic bishop and the distribution of the Eucharist

At 1:55 of the video, you’ll hear the opinion of the bishop on distributing communion: 

“I asked the chief of protocol what to do.  He told me ‘If they come up, it means they want to receive communion’.”

A Catholic Bishop should not be asking “the chief of protocol” what to do, and he shouldn’t be giving out communion simply because people “want” it.  He should be instructing everyone in attendance – at a very public function where there are non-Catholics and non-practising Catholics – to refrain from receiving the Eucharist if they are not in communion with the Church or properly disposed.

Please pray for our priests and bishops. The confusion in the Church today is an epidemic.

“Jesus replied, ‘You are the Teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things!” (John 3:10)

Addendum on the CommunionFlap:

Harper, during a lengthy news conference at the conclusion of the three-day G8 summit, denounced a report in a New Brunswick newspaper earlier this week saying he pocketed the Holy Communion host during the funeral at a Catholic church for former governor-general Romeo LeBlanc.

“First of all, as a Christian I have never refused communion when offered to me. That’s actually pretty important to me,” he said.

“Somebody running an unsubstantiated story that I would stick communion bread in my pocket is really absurd and I think it’s a real, frankly, a low point, this is a low moment in journalism, whoever is responsible for this. It’s just a terrible story and a ridiculous story and not based on anything, as near as I can tell.”


6 thoughts on “Disturbing account of Catholic bishop and the distribution of the Eucharist

  1. What a mess of a report. We know who our friends are not. Non one is ‘confronted’ by the Host, you come up (or not) to receive it. You are not being imposed upon, you are rather imposing yourself.

    You know, whatever Harper did with the Host, look at the way he receives it: the priest (archbishop) comes up to him and hands him the Body of Christ, which Harper casually receives between thumb and forefinger – like it were a business card or something. The whole body language is misleading. Normally it is Harper who should come up (or not), either hand on hand or mouth open, and receive thusly. Even better, have a church where you kneel to receive. It is amazing how in these circumstances this whole situation would have been quasi-impossible, and certainly would look differently.

    If we don’t respect the Eucharist, nobody else will.

    I am starting to have more and more sympathy with those insisting on communion rails and receiving on the tongue.

  2. Harper does not know what the host is. And I reject your interpretation of this. Harper is in the front row. He is given the host by the bishop. So he takes it. He simply does not know the protocol here BECAUSE HE WAS NOT INSTRUCTED. After all, if a Catholic bishop gives him the host, who is he to refuse it, if he doesn’t know any better?

    No. The fault here is clearly on our side, or more particularly, on the lack of catechesis of the last 40 years.

  3. Yes, yes – I’m not sure we disagree, maybe I didn’t express myself well: the problem is that all of the archbishop’s actions: you say ‘gives’ him the Host. You are not ‘given’ the Host – you ‘receive’ it.

    Normally at Mass, doesn’t the first row come up to receive just like everyone else (an exception might be the frail and disabled to whom the Eucharist is brought). It makes no sense to have the priest come up to you and ‘give’ you the Host, as we have a textbook example here.

    You say the problem is “the lack of catechesis of the last 40 years” – I agree in general, but how in this particular case?
    1. The archbishop (who seems the only really directly guilty party here, I am sad to say) is well into his seventies.
    2. Harper is not Catholic.
    3. Regardless of the state of Catholic education, Harper may have been briefed by incompetent/apostate/ignorant Catholic, a non-Catholic, or nobody at all.

    I fail to see where Catholic education comes in in this particular situation.

    The problem seems to be the way the Eucharist was distributed in the first place: body language is important here.

    By ‘our friends are not’, I meant the mocking attitude of the first reporter about the Centre of our Faith. (of course, education might be more to the point here, as Catholics’ attitude to our Sacrament somewhat influences that of society).

  4. As much as the Liturgy committee and Bishop missed an opportunity here to direct those in attendance, it is a very public scene that I would guess happens more often than we are aware. In my experience we cradle Catholics forget often to consider those who may be attending Mass for the first time and in so doing miss a great opportunity to extend proper hospitality where instances like the one with Harper can not only be avoided but a moment to evangelize as well. God Help us!

  5. I forgive Harper. I also believe he did consume the host. However, if he is an evangelical Christian, I just wish he would become pro-life like most evangelical Christians. I wonder how many “Catholics” who are pro-abortion consumed the host too.

  6. This is yet another symptom of the deep crisis of faith in the Canadian Catholic church. It would appear that there is much agnosticism in our church hierarchy. Let me explain :

    * Either there is a Magisterium or there isn’t – the Winnipeg Statement, while paying lip service to the Magisterium, says that, ultimately, one has the choice to disregard it. (It reminds me of Luther’s phrase “Every man is born with a Pope in his belly”.)
    * Either a child in the womb is a human being and abortion is murder or it isn’t – the general lack of response over the past 40 years from the Canadian bishops in defense of the unborn and the recent D&P scandal makes one wonder if our bishops are really clear on the nature of the little human that happens to still be “in utero”.
    * Either the host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord or it isn’t – the Archbishop should have known better (see Canons 389 and 392 – 1983 (CIC) ). Ignorance of these canons on the part of a Catholic bishop is unthinkable. The only other conclusion that I can come up with is that on the question of what it is that he did put in Mr. Harper’s hand, he’s an agnostic, and so he let the “chief of protocol” decide for him.

    more… http://www.dgermain.ca/en/sent/sent.html

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