Tuesday, October 7, 2014
HOW DO CATHOLIC PARISHES NOT WELCOME PEOPLE?
Much is being made of what the first married couple said to the Synod on the Family fathers about families and the parish family welcoming homosexual and divorced Catholics.
I was born in 1953 and I am a life long Catholic and a priest for over 34 years. I cannot ever remember hearing that homosexuals were not welcome in an particular parish and that divorced Catholics should join other churches.
I have heard that Catholics should show proper decorum at Mass. Prior to Vatican II there was seldom public displays of affection in the church building or at Mass. Of course this changed with the Sign of Peace being introduced and relaxed rules in the church building about proper decorum.
Also Catholics were told to dress properly for Mass. I have seen a man in a tank top and short gym shorts and flip flops asked not to enter the church. In Europe those who are scantily clad cannot even tour some of the tourist churches.
I suspect if a homosexual or heterosexual couple are showing overly overtly signs of sexual attraction in a church building they might be told this activity is not welcomed.
Now we enter into a more precarious discussion. Who should receive Holy Communion during Mass, that is who is welcomed to do so and who isn't?
Of course those of us old enough to remember know that a small percentage of Catholics actually received Holy Communion during Mass prior to Vatican II. Part of it had to do with a well formed conscience and understanding of sin. Part of it had to do with the lengthy fast that up until 1958 was from midnight until Mass and even for water and medicine. From 1958 to 1966 it was three hours prior to Mass and water and medicine was allowed up to any time. Since 1966 it has been one hour before Mass and shortened then to one hour prior to Holy Communion. And of course there were the Jansenists who were very scrupulous about receiving Holy Communion. So few people were receiving Holy Communion that the Church formed a canon law saying Catholic must go to Holy Communion at least once a year and preferably during the Easter season, to include the Sacrament of Penance also.
Apart from those who are welcome to receive Holy Communion at Mass, meaning that they are in a state of grace, have no impediments and have fasted one hour, and apart from proper decorum in a church building, does anyone know of anyone who is homosexual or divorced not being welcomed to Church?