A strange attitude towards distributing communion from the pope, no?


#1

At the moment of communion, Pope Francis does not administer it himself, but allows others to give the consecrated host to the faithful. He sits down and waits for the distribution of the sacrament to be completed.

There is one page in a book he published in 2010 that allows one to infer the motives at the origin of this practice. He says: "David had been an adulterer and had ordered a murder, and nonetheless we venerate him as a saint because he had the courage to say: ‘I have sinned.’ He humbled himself before God. One can commit enormous mistakes, but one can also acknowledge them, change one’s life and make reparation for what one has done. It is true that among parishioners there are persons who have killed not only intellectually or physically but indirectly, with improper management of capital, paying unjust wages. There are members of charitable organizations who do not pay their employees what they deserve, or make them work off the books. . . .] With some of them we know their whole résumé, we know that they pass themselves off as Catholics but practice indecent behaviors of which they do not repent. For this reason, on some occasions I do not give communion, I stay back and let the assistants do it, because I do not want these persons to approach me for a photo. One may also deny communion to a known sinner who has not repented, but it is very difficult to prove these things. Receiving communion means receiving the body of the Lord, with the awareness of forming a community. But if a man, rather than uniting the people of God, has devastated the lives of many persons, he cannot receive communion, it would be a total contradiction. Such cases of spiritual hypocrisy present themselves in many who take refuge in the Church and do not live according to the justice that God preaches. And they do not demonstrate repentance. This is what we commonly call leading a double life.”

Isn’t the Pope merely turning an error of commission into an error of omission? He thinks it’s OK to just not distribute communion while other priests do to public sinners like pro-abortion political people, etc?!


#2

He wrote that when he was archbishop. There can a a number of reasons why as Pope, he isn’t distributing communion to the faithful. This quote could be one side, another could be his health. I’ve been at Masses where the main celebrant didn’t distribute communion but had to sit down do to health reasons (he has having severe pain that made standing very difficult and was waiting surgery). I think that it is not for us to decide what Holy Father’s reasoning is. Looking at the above quote, I would imagine there are those that would try to make scandal by going to him to receive communion. I also think with one lung and his age might be another and maybe it is a little of both and not for us to judge or worry about.
I am sure his schedule is exhausting and the number of Masses he does can take it’s toll.


#3

My thought, as well. At least someone who may be receiving unworthily can’t receive it from the Pope, make it a Kodak moment and use it as “proof” that they are justified in their sin. (“See?? Even the POPE gave me Eucharist!”)

There’s no way to police (for lack of better terminology) who is receiving Eucharist, so it seems he is avoiding potential scandal.


#4

Bingo.


#5

Agreed. He cannot personally screen every such potential offender, given the scope of his work, so he’s made a prudential decision. And, if I dare say so, a wise one. :thumbsup:


#6

With some of them we know their whole résumé, we know that they pass themselves off as Catholics but practice indecent behaviors of which they do not repent. For this reason, on some occasions I do not give communion, I stay back and let the assistants do it

I find this statement confusing. If a priest knows that someone isn’t worthy to receive ( he goes on to state people known to be living double lives), then why allow them to partake while sitting by a having an assistant, as he put it, distribute to them?


#7

Right. Plus I imagine there are plenty of people who would turn the Eucharist into some sort of “souvenir” that they received directly from the Pope. That’s another danger he’d want to avoid.


#8

But the statement wasn’t made when he was Pope.


#9

Could it be for health and stamina reasons? Does he not have but one lung? He seems in great health, but minus a lung and serving communion to that many people?


#10

Serving communion is not an aerobic exercise. One of our deacons (who died only a week and a half ago – R.I.P.) was a Vietnam veteran who had been exposed to Agent Orange and who eventually was operating on 2/3 of one lung, and he had no problem serving communion.

I think that Pope Francis stated very clearly why he, as Archbishop, did not serve communion, and I can see how his reasoning would be even stronger as Pope.


#11

True, but if he felt that way as Archbishop, I’m assuming he feels that way as Pope- perhaps even more so.


#12

Of course, it is not aerobic. It was just a suggestion to consider. I am sure the man gets tired for a variety of reasons, and not just for the suggested reason. We each have different saturation points, too; what one person can do, another cannot. So again, it was just a thought.
Quite commendable of that vet, by the way!


#13

Other than avoiding scandal and possibly being very tired as an elderly man with such a grueling schedule could it also be for security reasons? I could see someone cleverly hiding a weapon and attempting or successfully achieving assassination by being able to get so close to Pope Francis.


#14

That’s possible, too. They do run people through the metal detectors when entering St. Peter’s Square for a Papal Mass, though. But you never know.

I guess there are a lot of reasons to consider. :slight_smile:


#15

And the Pope does not want them to use their sacraligious receiving of Holy Communion to be photographed with him to be spalshed all over the world. He is avoiding the possibility of scandal. It’s a shame some people have lowered themselves to that level. God Bless Pope Francis. God Bless, Memaw


#16

Even aside from reasons of health. It allows him to avoid (a) being the communion police, and possibly causing controversy by publicly denying communion to someone, and (b) allowing someone to use communion from the Pope as a photo-op or to score points against the Church.


#17

There’s a lot of talk about intention here. What matters in the end is what the rubrics mandate. As far as I know, Canon Law dictates:

Can. 910 §1 The ordinary minister of holy communion is a Bishop, a priest or a deacon.

§2 The extraordinary minister of holy communion is an acolyte, or another of Christ’s faithful deputed in accordance with can. 230 §3.

Can. 925 Holy communion is to be given under the species of bread alone or, in accordance with the liturgical laws, under both species or, in case of necessity, even under the species of wine alone.

It does not seem against the rubrics for the Holy Father to task other ordinary ministers (bishops, priests, deacons) to distribute Holy Communion. That’s all that truly matters. He does not need to explain nothing to anyone :smiley:


#18

Right you are!!! And never forget, that although he has been a Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal, and now Pope, Francis was trained as, and still is a Jesuit…and all Jesuits are trained to their very core to think ahead.


#19

Traditionally, pre Vatican II, the Sovereign Pontiff did not administer communion.


#20

He is our Pope and Father. We have trust in our parents - we should have faith in the Pope’s motives and not question him.


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