Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register is reporting that the German bishops have “overwhelmingly” approved a “pastoral handout” with guidelines that allow for Protestant spouses to receive Holy Communion.
According to the report:
At their spring conference in Ingolstadt, the German bishops’ conference agreed that a Protestant partner of a Catholic can receive the Eucharist after having made a “serious examination” of conscience with a priest or another person with pastoral responsibilities, “affirms the faith of the Catholic Church,” wishes to end “serious spiritual distress,” and has a “longing to satisfy a hunger for the Eucharist.”
Here’s the key phrase, and it illustrates beautifully why I so appreciate “scandals” of this nature:
Affirms the faith of the Catholic Church…
With just a modicum of sensus Catholicus, a sincere desire to know the truth, and the assistance of God’s grace, it should be entirely obvious to all that “the faith of the Catholic Church” in this case refers very specifically to that which has been presented as such over the last fifty or so years.
In other words, the German bishops are speaking of the faith that comes to us from the Council, and most certainly not the Faith that comes to us from the Apostles.
It is only common sense, folks – anyone who affirms the faith of the Catholic Church; that is, the authentic, immutable, one true Faith, is either a visible member of the Holy Catholic Church or is in the process of being received therein.
And yet, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German bishops’ conference, was very insistent:
Cardinal Marx rejected the idea that such a step would amount to a path that would call Protestants to conversion, otherwise known as an “ecumenism of return or conversion.”
Get that, my neo-con friends?
Just to be clear, let’s do the math together…
A Protestant who has no desire to enter the Catholic Church; that is to say, one who refuses to be numbered among “the congregation of all those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same Sacraments, and are governed by their lawful pastors under one visible Head” (Definition of “the Church,” Baltimore Catechism #3, Lesson 11, Q. 489) can still be considered as one who affirms the faith of the Catholic Church.
Bear in mind, we’re not citing a rogue priest in some obscure parish. This assertion is being made in the full light of day, in plain view of the Roman authorities, by a national bishops’ conference.
Clearly, the “faith” of which they speak is not the one true Faith; the same that very firmly insists that there is but one way for a Protestant to attain to the Christian unity that is made manifest in Holy Communion:
For the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it. (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos 10)
In other words, the so-called “ecumenism of return” so firmly rejected by the German bishops is the only ecumenism that is consonant with the authentic faith of the Catholic Church.
Yes, but is the German bishops’ rejection of this teaching really the faith of the Council?
Indeed it is, and one need only read the Second Vatican Councils’ Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio, to confirm as much; a document that calls for “dialogue” more than ten times and “conversion” not even once.
The document even goes so far as to say that Protestant “liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation,” and that Christ uses Protestant communities “as means of salvation.” (cf UR 3)
If this be so (and it is not) then conversion is not only unnecessary; it’s superficial.
In any case, the conciliar novelty cited above is how the German bishops can justify the notion that a Protestant need not convert in order to receive Holy Communion, which is a visible expression of unity with the community of salvation.
Every neo-conservative presently scandalized by the German bishops’ new “pastoral” initiative knows perfectly well that this program is not compatible with the faith of the Catholic Church.
The question is, how many of them have the integrity to acknowledge, or to even admit the possibility, that it is nothing more than a rotten fruit rooted in the errors of Vatican Council II?
If that isn’t a daunting enough of a task, those who seek the truth with sincerity will discover that it is a rotten fruit born of the Novus Ordo Missae as well.
As Cardinal Ottaviani et al. warned the soon to be “sainted” (in the conciliar manner) Pope Paul VI in their Brief Critical Study of the New Order of Mass (aka Ottaviani Intervention):
None of [the various changes to the rite] in the very least implies either the Real Presence, or the reality of the sacrifice, or the Sacramental function of the consecrating priest.
The Ottaviani Intervention even went so far as to say that the Novus Ordo amounts to a “systematic and tacit negation of the Real Presence.”
After more than fifty years of this abominable rite, is it any wonder the bishops of an entire nation are willing to invite recalcitrant Protestants to receive Holy Communion?
A better and more deeply disturbing question concerns whether or not it really is Holy Communion, or perhaps just a piece of bread.
In other words, given that legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, that is to say, the law of prayer establishes the law of belief, how can one be certain that any priest fully formed exclusively in the Novus Ordo really does intend to do what the Church does at the consecration therein?
It would better for Marx and company (as well as Bergoglio & Friends) if they do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist, and all indications are that this is indeed the case given their willingness to treat the sacred Host as if it is nothing more than a cracker; before which the Argentinian refuses to bend his knee.
In conclusion, as I’ve stated a number of times in light of such scandals, bring it on, and may it please the Lord to use this occasion to open the eyes of the blind.