No 1st Communion for kid with cerebral palsy


#1

How is the "sufficient knowledge" requirement usually implemented in parishes? How do y'all feel about this story?

Link to story:
ksat.com/news/27643782/detail.html


#2

priest is right, family is wrong and displays unwillingness to even listen to church law on the topic.

the child is not denied because he has CP but because his cognition is that of 6th month old, meaning he cannot understand enough to recognise that the sacred species is Jesus, not ordinary bread and wine, and to ask for Him. 'that is the law in the Latin rite, these people are not Eastern rite Catholics, so it is of no use to bring up Eastern practice in this instance. Not all children with CP also have cognitive delays of this magnitude so that is not the reason, just makes a tear-jerking headline. Any reason for at least delaying reception is with a child whose physical disability make him unable to swallow at this time. The child should have been confirmed at the same time as baptism.


#3

[quote="Birdpreacher, post:1, topic:237407"]
How is the "sufficient knowledge" requirement usually implemented in parishes? How do y'all feel about this story?

Link to story:
ksat.com/news/27643782/detail.html

[/quote]

I think it's the perfect example of the "I should get whatever I want" mentality that pervades our society.

Never mind if it is appropriate, never mind if it will do more harm than good, if "I" don't get what "I want" then instead of accepting that I can't always have everything that I want, and that not everything I want is necessarily appropriate, I tattle-tale and cry-baby my way through every news agency until someone puts my tears and outrage on the front page, and make it known just how mean those big meanies were to me. :dts:

:rolleyes:


#4

And it sounds like Grandma needs a little catechesis as well: The Sacrament of the Sick isn't reserved for those who are at death's door. I should know, I've been annointed four times (three times before non life-threatening surgery, and once when I was pretty banged up in an accident, but certainly on the mend!)

Just more anti-Catholic media drama, if you ask me.


#5

someone brought this story up to me I think it is in line with cannon law.

if it is how would you explain this to someone who sees this as wrong as discrimination

k5thehometeam.com/story/14503697/mom-disabled-son-denied-religious-sacrament


#6

I know it sounds like a fine line between denying and discerning. But I do agree with the stand, as his diocese teaches. There are two standards for the sacraments of Baptism, holy communion, and confirmation. The standard in the USA is:Baptism near birth reconciliation and first communion at the age of reason (marked in the US at age 7) and Confirmation as an adult (in the US teenagers can make adult decisions)

now with that said. If you are not able to reason, understand why you are putting this flesh in your mouth, then you are not ready. If your mind does not know it is not bread. Then the host has no meaning.

However, some diocese and parishes have gone to something called restored order. This places first communion with Confirmation at Baptism.

But since this child was already baptized in the standard order we can not re-baptize. So restored order can not apply. My advice would be to continue to work with the child. Some day he may truly show he understands and will be accepted. Who knows what special role the lord has called this beautiful boy to teach the world.


#7

Who knows what special role the lord has called this beautiful boy to teach the world.

What a great point. It is something we cannot forget. I hope his parents know this is the case.


#8

[quote="catholictiger, post:5, topic:237407"]
someone brought this story up to me I think it is in line with cannon law.

if it is how would you explain this to someone who sees this as wrong as discrimination

k5thehometeam.com/story/14503697/mom-disabled-son-denied-religious-sacrament

[/quote]

I would seek advice from the archbishop...this is not right. Who is to say how much is understood? My autistic son was confirmed as were others in our Catholic church. I do think some do not understand the disabled...or how it all fits...I would do more to find out the particulars...


#9

please note i am not affected by this story I just wanted to see what the board thought about it and the church teaches about this stuff.


#10

[quote="aimee, post:8, topic:237407"]
I would seek advice from the archbishop...this is not right. Who is to say how much is understood? My autistic son was confirmed as were others in our Catholic church. I do think some do not understand the disabled...or how it all fits...I would do more to find out the particulars...

[/quote]

The article says that he has the cognitive ability of a 6 month old. Canon Law says that a child under the age of reason (7) can receive Communion if he/she can understand ... wait, I'll let the Canon speak for itself:

Can. 913 §1. The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion.
§2. The Most Holy Eucharist, however, can be administered to children in danger of death** if they can distinguish the body of Christ from ordinary food and receive communion reverently.**

Obviously, he cannot meet that requirement so the priest is doing what he is supposed to do.

Confirmation does not have a requirement that the person 'understand', since an infant in danger of death is to be confirmed.


#11

isn't there another thread on this forum about the same story?


#12

[quote="puzzleannie, post:2, topic:237407"]
priest is right, family is wrong and displays unwillingness to even listen to church law on the topic.

the child is not denied because he has CP but because his cognition is that of 6th month old, meaning he cannot understand enough to recognize that the sacred species is Jesus, not ordinary bread and wine, and to ask for Him. 'that is the law in the Latin rite, these people are not Eastern rite Catholics, so it is of no use to bring up Eastern practice in this instance. N.

[/quote]

Thank you for going into deeper detail about the Latin Rite requirements for first communion.

It is sad that a baby people would consider aborting due to its mental disability also can not experience Christ in the Eucharist because of the same mental disability. It is heart wrenching to see that this child will have to live a life of spiritual imprisonment, barred from the grace which the Holy Spirit bestows upon everyone else capable of communion.

I agree with the Church that the sacrament must be limited to people capable of comprehending the presence of God in the Eucharist, but are man's methods of perceiving spiritual cognitive prowess as scientifically quantifiable as mental cognitive prowess?

After all, John the baptist, as a fetus, was capable of recognizing the spiritual presence of God when he leapt in Elizabeth's womb. Luke 1:43-44.

There is no way that the fetus could have used its sensory organs from inside Elizabeth's womb to examine the world outside of the womb. John the Baptist's recognition required something which Science can not quantify. Who is to say this child is spiritually incapable of recognizing Christ just because her physical organs under man's current knowledge says otherwise?

To clarify, I am not saying Church is wrong, I am just curious as to why default on science for the administration of sacraments? We don't depend on science for proof on the existence of souls, why spiritual competence?I fully accept Church's authoritative teaching on the subject, I am just have some questions that I would be grateful for guidance on. Thanks and Happy Easter!


#13

What a beautiful anti-Catholic story for Easter.

:tsktsk::tsktsk::tsktsk:

The Church's stand is what it is. It is, actually a wise and loving stand and is the Biblical stand:

[BIBLEDRB]1 cor 11:29[/BIBLEDRB]

This is the verse that is the reason why Protestants and pagans are not to receive the Blessed Sacrament as they do not discern "the body of the Lord." One who is mentally handicapped to the point described in this item would be totally unable to discern "the body of the Lord" either.


#14

[quote="Howeler, post:6, topic:237407"]
If you are not able to reason, understand why you are putting this flesh in your mouth, then you are not ready. If your mind does not know it is not bread. Then the host has no meaning.

[/quote]

This is false. It is the legitimate practice of the Eastern Catholic Churches to administer baptism, chrismation (confirmation), and baptism to infants. Furthermore, that once was the practice in the West. Understanding the sacrament is not necessary for the sacrament to have meaning or to be efficacious.


#15

It is sad that a baby people would consider aborting due to its mental disability also can not experience Christ in the Eucharist because of the same mental disability. It is heart wrenching to see that this child will have to live a life of spiritual imprisonment, barred from the grace which the Holy Spirit bestows upon everyone else capable of communion.

I agree with the Church that the sacrament must be limited to people capable of comprehending the presence of God in the Eucharist, but are man's methods of perceiving spiritual cognitive prowess as scientifically quantifiable as mental cognitive prowess?

After all, John the baptist, as a fetus, was capable of recognizing the spiritual presence of God when he leapt in Elizabeth's womb. Luke 1:43-44.

There is no way that the fetus could have used its sensory organs from inside Elizabeth's womb to examine the world outside of the womb. John the Baptist's recognition required something which Science can not quantify. Who is to say this child is spiritually incapable of recognizing Christ just because her physical organs under man's current knowledge says otherwise?

To clarify, I am not saying Church is wrong, I am just curious as to why default on science for the administration of sacraments? We don't depend on science for proof on the existence of souls, why spiritual competence?I fully accept Church's authoritative teaching on the subject, I am just have some questions that I would be grateful for guidance on. Thanks and Happy Easter!


#16

I have two granddaughters, who, because of their handicaps, may never be able to show that they understand Holy Communion, even if they do.

However, this story is so short that it cannot tell all the details. I would like to know how the priest/bishop came to the conclusion that this boy has the mental capacity of a 6 month old?


#17

[quote="Birdpreacher, post:12, topic:237407"]

To clarify, I am not saying Church is wrong, I am just curious as to why default on science for the administration of sacraments? We don't depend on science for proof on the existence of souls, why spiritual competence?I fully accept Church's authoritative teaching on the subject, I am just have some questions that I would be grateful for guidance on. Thanks and Happy Easter!

[/quote]

From a practical point of view, there is a risk of sacrilege when someone who is not mentally capable of understanding what the Eucharistic Species is, is given it. He might play with it, spit it out, drop it, or who knows what, if he just thinks it's a piece of bread - or a toy - or whatever someone with the comprehension of an infant might think it is.

Even in the Eastern Rite, although First Holy Communion is given at baptism, it typically isn't given every Sunday thereafter - they often don't receive it again until they reach an age of understanding, and have the ability to receive it correctly and reverently.


#18

Very interesting and enlightening responses. I hadn't heard of this before -- this is the first I have come across something like this.

I guess, from the perspective of the Grandmother I can feel sorry for her, but she apparently wasn't aware of the facts pertaining to being able to receive certain Sacraments.

That being said, would she expect Holy Matrimony as a right for her grandson as well even though his mental capacity is that of a 6 month old infant? What about Holy Orders? :shrug:

blessings,
CEM--HAPPY EASTER! :D


#19

[quote="jmcrae, post:17, topic:237407"]
From a practical point of view, there is a risk of sacrilege when someone who is not mentally capable of understanding what the Eucharistic Species is, is given it. He might play with it, spit it out, drop it, or who knows what, if he just thinks it's a piece of bread - or a toy - or whatever someone with the comprehension of an infant might think it is.

[/quote]

Thank you for your response. I wholeheartedly agree that the rationale is sound. But why are we deferring to man-made science when there is scriptural proof that a fetus, who was no where near the age of reason, who science would have said was physically incapable of perceiving the world around him, recognized the presence of Christ?


#20

[quote="Birdpreacher, post:19, topic:237407"]
Thank you for your response. I wholeheartedly agree that the rationale is sound. But why are we deferring to man-made science when there is scriptural proof that a fetus, who was no where near the age of reason, who science would have said was physically incapable of perceiving the world around him, recognized the presence of Christ?

[/quote]

Not every foetus in Israel did that, though - only John the Baptist.

If this particular child were showing evidence of understanding what the Eucharist is, I am sure the priest would be allowing him to receive it.

I have seen many disabled children receive the Eucharist in as reverent a manner as anyone could wish for.

But if they are not able to do this, then the Church in her wisdom advises that we delay (never deny, but only delay) the Sacrament.

And that's another point to understand - I doubt that anyone has told this child that he will never receive First Holy Communion - but only that he is not able to do so right at this moment.


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