Saturday, May 26, 2018


 I am beginning to think that the real effort of the Germans and maybe the pope is to return us to the 1960's protestantizing of the Catholic Church and her liturgy to be more like Protestants who have a kind of Christian unity under the "protestant umbrella" which includes intercommunion about the various denominations.


by Charles J. Chaput

Who can receive the Eucharist, and when, and why, are not merely German questions. If, as Vatican II said, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our life as Christians and the seal of our Catholic unity, then the answers to these questions have implications for the whole Church. They concern all of us. And in that light, I offer these points for thought and discussion, speaking simply as one among many diocesan bishops:

1. If the Eucharist truly is the sign and instrument of ecclesial unity, then if we change the conditions of communion, don’t we in fact redefine who and what the Church is?

2. Intentionally or not, the German proposal will inevitably do exactly that. It is the first stage in opening communion to all Protestants, or all baptized persons, since marriage ultimately provides no unique reason to allow communion for non-Catholics.

3. Communion presupposes common faith and creed, including supernatural faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, along with the seven sacraments recognized by the perennial tradition of the Catholic Church. By renegotiating this fact, the German proposal in effect adopts a Protestant notion of ecclesial identity. Simple baptism and a belief in Christ seem to suffice, not belief in the mystery of faith as understood by the Catholic tradition and its councils. Will the Protestant spouse need to believe in holy orders as understood by the Catholic Church, which is logically related to belief in the consecration of the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ? Or are the German bishops suggesting that the sacrament of holy orders might not depend upon apostolic succession? In such a case, we would be confronting a much deeper error.

4. The German proposal severs the vital link between communion and sacramental confession. Presumably it does not imply that Protestant spouses must go to confession for serious sins as a prelude to communion. But this stands in contradiction to the perennial practice and express dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church, the Council of Trent, and the modern Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as the ordinary magisterium. It implies, in its effect, a Protestantization of the Catholic theology of the sacraments.

5. If the teaching of the Church can be ignored or renegotiated, even a teaching that has received a conciliar definition (as in this case, at Trent), then can all councils be historically relativized and renegotiated? Many modern liberal Protestants question or reject or simply ignore as historical baggage the teaching on the divinity of Christ from the Council of Nicaea. Will Protestant spouses be required to believe in the divinity of Christ? If they need to believe in the real presence of Christ in the sacrament, why would they not need to share the Catholic belief in holy orders or the sacrament of penance? If they do believe in all these things, why are they not invited to become Catholic as a means to enter into visible full communion?

6. If Protestants are invited to Catholic communion, will Catholics still be barred from Protestant communion? If so, why would they be barred? If they’re not barred, doesn’t this imply that the Catholic view on holy orders and valid Eucharistic consecration is in fact false, and if it is false, that Protestant beliefs are true? If intercommunion is not intended to imply an equivalence in the Catholic and Protestant confections of the Eucharist, then the practice of intercommunion misleads the faithful. Isn’t this a textbook case of “causing scandal”? And won’t it be seen by many as a polite form of deception or of hiding hard teachings, within the context of ecumenical discussion? Unity cannot be built on a process that systematically conceals the truth of our differences.

The essence of the German intercommunion proposal is that there would be a sharing in holy communion even when there is not true Church unity. This strikes at the very heart of the truth of the sacrament of the Eucharist, because by its very nature, the Eucharist is the body of Christ. And the “body of Christ” is both the real and substantial presence of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine, and also the Church herself, the communion of believers united to Christ, the head. To receive the Eucharist is to proclaim in a solemn and public way, before God and in the Church, that one is in communion both with Jesus and with the visible community celebrating the Eucharist.


Henry said...

You're beginning to think that the real effort of ... the pope is ...? Hasn't it been pretty obvious at least since the manipulated snynods?

Marc said...

The German intercommunion proposal is in line with Vatican II’s new ecclesiology, and it is already enshrined in the Novus Ordo canon law. The bishop needs to start with the source of the problem: Vatican II.

Anonymous said...

With speeches like this he never be a Cardinal....unless!

Mark Thomas said...

In regard to Archbishop Chaput and liturgy, I wonder whether today he actually believes the following from June 30, 2010 A.D:

Archbishop Chaput:

"In this regard, the Novus Ordo, the new order of the Mass promulgated after the council, has been a great blessing to the Church.

"Our liturgy gives us the zeal for the evangelization and sanctification of our world.

"The vernacular has opened up the liturgy’s content in new ways. It has encouraged active, creative participation by all the faithful — not only in the liturgy but in every aspect of the Church’s mission.

"By the way, for the record, I’m also very grateful that the Holy Father has allowed wider use of the older Tridentine form — not because I personally prefer it, in fact I find the Novus Ordo, properly celebrated,

******* a much richer expression of worship..." *******


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

"If the teaching of the Church can be ignored or renegotiated, even a teaching that has received a conciliar definition (as in this case, at Trent), then can all councils be historically relativized and renegotiated? "

Sadly, Archbishop, that would be a "yes." That is what the "progressives" in the Church want. That's what they have always wanted. That's what they always will want.

I have been thinking the progressives are not so much Christians (followers of Christ) as they are Rahner-ians, Gutierrez-ians, Barthian-ians, Curran-ians, Schillebeeckx-ians, Tillich-ians, and so many others, or a combination of them..... promoters of these alternatives to Christianity that will address "modern" problems (as if homosexuality, wanting to use sex for enjoyment without the consequence of children, materialism, pride of life, and all the other pressing needs of human beings are "modern" problems, and haven't existed from day one.)

Poor Jesus. So out of touch with modern man. His was a good start, but He just doesn't speak to modern man's needs. And the "progressives" have just the solution...

God bless.

Dan said...

Mark Thomas, so what? The Archbishop may love the NO mass and STILL believe that those who wish to receive communion in the Church, should BE in communion with the Church. Conversion isn't very difficult you know....

TJM said...

Dan, MT is a simpleton, ignore him. He is a waste of your time

George said...

If a person accepts and believes that the Holy Eucharist is the Body and Blood of Christ, of He who is the Second Person of the Trinity, is it unreasonable to expect the person to to embrace our Faith in its fullness, to profess and believe in our Creed, and participate in the sacramental life of the Church?
Who, if they are a good Christian, would find acceptable the viewpoint of a married person who wants to participate in intimate conjugal relations, but without accepting any of the other responsibilities and obligations that are a necessary part of marriage? Even more so would this be true concerning the person who did not desire to enter into marriage at all. And what person would realistically expect to receive the same benefits of a person whose benefits come from being a member of an organization without also belonging to that organization?

To its efficacious effect, there exists(or should exist) a unity between the partaking of the Eucharist and the profession of our Creed, along with the acceptance and practice of the filial obligations expected of us by God, since these are the means provided for the faithful to be ever incorporated into Christ's Mystical Body on earth, and in communion with all its members.

Victor` said...

Mr. Thomas:
Your quotes from Archbishop Chaput as given are deceiving. Given the choice between the NO properly celebrated and the EF, he preferred the NO because its vernacular was better suited for Evangelisation. But I do not think his article is very consistent since he implies that the NO is not that perfect itself, lowering itself to conform to the modern "culture." Was he thinking of the Reform of the Reform? Here is the link:

The discussion about Romano Guardini's thesis is interesting:
"Is not the liturgical act, and with it all that goes under the name ‘liturgy,’ so bound up with the historical background—antique or medieval or baroque—that it would be more honest to give it up altogether? Would it not be better to admit that man in this industrial and scientific age, with its new sociological structure, is no longer capable of the liturgical act?"

Guardini had a tremendous influence in the Church in instilling the need of liturgical reform before the Council, particularly in clarifying what that "modern man" was, and that this modern man was essentially incapable of real worship. I think Guardini was dead wrong. One ought not to mix the strength of one's faith in the modern world with the need to change the liturgy for the modern world.

Gene said...

Bee, Please don't lump Karl Barth with those others... "My friends, instead of following Karl Barth, you should be following Him about whom Karl Barth is writing and preaching."