Bad TV Theology; Down Syndrome and 1st Communion
BY Jimmy Akin
| Posted 1/21/12 at 8:43 PM
Can you watch a TV show if it has religious aspects and it doesn’t get those quite right?
Is it okay to do that for purposes of assessing how “the world’s” ideas about theology compare with the Church’s teachings? Or can you watch the program just because you enjoy it, even though it has theology in it that isn’t accurate? Can you ever reach a point where you need to just shut it off because of how bad its theology is?
What about going to movies or plays or reading novels that have bad theology?
What are the theological problems in It’s A Wonderful Life?
Is it really true that every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings?
On a much more serious note, what are the implications if your child has Down’s syndrome for his ability to receive Communion? Can he be denied the opportunity to make First Communion with others his age? If so, why?
And more importantly: What can you do? Whether your child has a cognitive impairment from Down’s syndrome or another condition, what are your options?
These are among the questions we explore in this week’s episode of the Jimmy Akin Podcast.
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JIMMY AKIN PODCAST EPISODE 028 (01/21/12)
* (00:30) JIMMY ANNOUNCES HIS NEW WEB SITE
www.JimmyAkin.com (the new home of JimmyAkin.org!)
* (03:25) SAM ASKS ABOUT WATCHING TV SHOWS THAT HAVE INACCURATE THEOLOGY
Plus: The horrible theology of “It’s A Wonderful Life”!
* (16:50) JUST A CATHOLIC DAD ASKS ABOUT CHILDREN WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME RECEIVING FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
From the western Code of Canon Law (CIC 1983):
Can. 912 Any baptized person not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to Holy Communion.
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.
Can. 914 It is primarily the duty of parents and those who take the place of parents, as well as the duty of pastors, to take care that children who have reached the use of reason are prepared properly and, after they have made sacramental confession, are refreshed with this divine food as soon as possible. It is for the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach Holy Communion.
Can. 11 Merely ecclesiastical laws bind those who have been baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it, possess the efficient use of reason, and, unless the law expressly provides otherwise, have completed seven years of age.
FROM THE EASTERN CODE OF CANON LAW (CCEO 1990):
With respect to the participation of infants in the Divine Eucharist after baptism and chrismation with holy myron, the prescriptions of the liturgical books of each Church sui iuris are to be observed with the suitable due precautions.
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Copyright © 2012 by Jimmy Akin
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