Vatican Notes & Quotes
Vatican Archbishop Decries the Abuse of the Eucharist
Church norms require that those “who have violated any of God's commandments in a grave manner must purify themselves of the sin through the sacrament of penance before approaching eucharistic Communion,” Archbishop Herrantz said.
“These disciplinary norms are frequently neglected, perhaps because of poor catechetical preparation [regarding the] real and substantial presence of Christ in the Eucharist,” Archbishop Herrantz added. In addition to decrying the casual reception of the Eucharist, the archbishop listed other abuses which are “no less distressing and worrying.” They include an “erroneous ecumenical spirit, in which non-Catholics are allowed to receive Communion.” He also criticized a “false concept of mercy and pastoral charity,” that leads some priests to distribute Communion to parishioners who persist in grave sin. This includes couples who contract civil and not religious marriages, those who cohabit and those who, after obtaining a divorce from their valid marriage, remarry civilly. According to Archbishop Herrantz, “authentic charity requires respect for divine law and recognition of the truth.” He explained that the abuse of the sacraments follows from the loss of the sense of sin, which is “the fruit of the deformation of consciences caused by subjectivism … and the consequent moral relativism.”
Vatican Official Criticizes Media
Cardinal Arinze said.When asked what message children should be sent, Cardinal Arinze said, “Training young people is a very important duty. And children, inherit the best of what your teachers offer you.” The Nigerian-born Arinze, who converted from a traditional African religion as a young boy, preached at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne on the Feast of All Saints. He told the congregation that all people are called to holiness.
“It is not true that holiness is only expected of the clergy and others just sneak into heaven. No, no, no. It's not good theology,” the spirited Arinze said to the laughing congregation.
- November 14-20, 1999