I was really shocked to read that Archbishop Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference,had stated that they do not support the notion of admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to the Eucharist.
Yes I know .. this has been one of the most controversial topics at the Synod. And I know the traditionalists are all out to uphold the existing church teaching – but I just could not believe that they can make statements like the following :
“People can participate in different forms and bear witness to the hardships of family life.” Gadecki added that remarried divorcees had the “right to participate” in the life of the Church without receiving the Eucharist.” How condescending!!
I have a lot of questions on this on his viewpoint …if anyone cares to respond :
- Aren’t we failing to practice the precept to ‘forgive seventy times seven’ the mistakes that people make?
- Aren’t we at odds with our mission to “set the captives free” ? i.e. set free those who have been bound by human weakness in graceless marriages?
- Does ‘if your eye offends you pluck it out’, have any application to marriages that are a source of ‘un-grace’ – even a disgrace of the sacrament of marriage?
- Aren’t these doctrines advocated by Gadecki – and written on Phylactories – to the precept that ‘salvation of souls is the supreme law’?
- In trying to uphold the sacrament of marriage, aren’t we guilty of withholding from persons the primordial sacrament, of Jesus in the Eucharist?
I penned a personal reflection some time ago on withholding the Sacrament from children …which is apt too for this subject of Communion for the divorced.
How would my Lord Answer?
We say that we are receiving the Body of our Lord;
That we receive his Real Presence at the table of the Eucharist.
Can someone tell me , why then do we exclude little children from the banquet?
I know what the Church teaches:
That we are receiving the Body of Christ;
That children should understand what they are doing …
That they should have respect for “the host”
That they may not understand, and desecrate It,
Even, spit it out.
When Adults, with full knowledge, deliberately
and maliciously spat on him, He spoke …
“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
Would not these words extend to innocent children?
And yet we hold their lack of knowledge against them.
I ask myself, “Are adults any better than children?
Can we really, give due respect to the Body of Christ –
… respect that is worthy of our Lord?
Can I ever receive the Blessed Sacrament in a worthy manner?
If I cannot, how can I withhold the Sacrament from the innocent children?
We feed our children, sometimes force feed them, with
food for physical nourishment when they are young.
Even though they may not know what it is they drink or eat
We still ensure that they get their daily diet.
Why then do we not give them spiritual nourishment
in the same manner … ?
but wait until we have “prepared” them
to receive the Lord?
Why do we not “share” our Lord with them at the banquet?
Can you answer why ?
I know many of the answers that I will be given:
Church teaching, catechetical instruction, doctrine etc
But I am not convinced and I still ask for explanation.
If my Lord were here in human form right now, I know
I would rush with all my nieces and nephews …
To place them in His arms
Without waiting till they are prepared to “receive Him”
For IT IS HE WHO RECEIVES THEM !!! welcomes them, embraces them.
But at the Eucharistic table, I “shoo” them away,
For they are not yet “ready”; they have to “be prepared” !!
To receive the Lord “worthily”
When it is really He and only He
Who can make us worthy of Him.
So I ask myself … If my Lord was standing beside me
At the Eucharistic table and I asked him
“Shall I give Thee to these little children?”
What would His answer be?
Today, if my Lord were standing in front of me, I would point to the latest Report on the Synod and ask him again … “My Lord … can we give thee to Divorced and re-married people.”
I think I know how my Lord would react. I think I would see him bend down and write in the sand.
Credit picture : new.rejesus.com.uk