Thursday, September 28, 2017
SPEAKING OF THE 1980'S AND THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES I THINK
The PBS time capsule video illustrates how Pope Saint John Paul II was heroically trying to reestablish the great discipline and orthodoxy of the Church run amuck by false interpretations of Vatican II.
The video also made clear problems that Pope Paul VI could not adequately address as His Holiness became very feeble, distressed and depressed in the later years of his papacy between 1975 to 1978 when he died.
The immediate problems just a few years after Vatican II had to do with heterodox teachings from well-know theologians whose teachings were used in the seminary of that period.
But heterodox practices were taking place on the parochial or parish level too and well into the 1990's.
I knew priests who would gladly give Holy Communion to people he knew were excluded to receive because of a valid prior marriage bond. There was no accompanying the person, calling them to conversion and integrating them, the priest simply wanted to be popular and easy with his parishioners and not make them feel excluded. It was as simple as that. "If you feel you should receive Holy Communion, go ahead, who am I to judge."
And I have known priests who have actually blessed illicit marriages without seeking an annulment. Of course if you allow them to receive Holy Communion which is a sign of being in Full Communion with the Church, why the heck not offer them the Sacrament of Marriage even if they aren't legally allowed to receive it. Why should we be so rigid with Marriage if we aren't discriminate with Holy Communion?
Also, I have known priests who invite non-Catholics (baptized or not) to receive Holy Communion at weddings and funerals. I witnessed it indirectly in my parish in Augusta in the 1990's when a visiting priest celebrated a large wedding in my church. I happen to be in the sacristy and heard him at Holy Communion time say explicitly that all present could come up and receive Holy Communion if they believed in Jesus Christ. It was as simple as that and certainly made him popular for being so magnanimous to the visitors who weren't Catholic. They all felt a apart of the joyful wedding between a Catholic and a Protestant who both received Holy Communion too.
And of course, when Catholics went to a Protestant Church where communion was served, they were glad to do so because they didn't want to offend anyone in the congregation by not going.
I think we are heading back to this flexible, welcoming inclusiveness and away from rigid, unwelcoming exclusivity when it comes to heterodoxy.