Vatican Notes & Quotes

Vatican Archbishop Decries the Abuse of the Eucharist

L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO—Archbishop Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, said the growing number of Catholics who receive the Eucharist without going to confession beforehand, has lead to a “distressing and worrying” abuse of the reception of the Eucharist, the Vatican newspaper reported.

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

INDIANAPOLIS STAR NEWS, Nov. 2—Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the Vatican's interfaith council, told reporters in Fort Wayne, Ind., that the violent images presented to children in the media inspire them to commit violence, the news daily reported. The report said that after being asked about violence, Cardinal Arinze put the question back to the reporters. “To the news media: If you project violence, what to you expect to come? Unless we love our neighbor, this world will become like a war front,”

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.

The U.S. Capitol dome

House Expected to Pass ‘Respect for Marriage Act’ on Thursday

The bill, which would repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and recognize same-sex marriages on a federal level, has drawn criticism from Catholic leaders for not providing strong enough protections for those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman — a belief in line with Church teaching.