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Friday, May 10, 2013

Pope Francis' Communion Policy

Pope Francis doesn't like handing out communion lest it make for an unfortunate photo opp. Notice, he's not concerned about them eating and drinking damnation upon themselves, he's just concerned about the optics.

This is not an uncommon policy.

Recently I was made aware of a Mass of First Communion at which the priest's homily concerned the importance of receiving the Eucharist and making time for Eucharistic adoration. "Don't let anything interfere with your adoration time. No matter how difficult it may be, stick to it," he admonished the First Communicants.

Now, I'm a nut about promoting the doctrine of indulgences, and he failed to mention that everyone at Mass would win a plenary indulgence for participating in a Mass of First Communion, but that's not uncommon.

In any case, the homily might have carried more force if he hadn't begun it by making an announcement: the Eucharistic adoration which normally followed Mass would be cancelled so that he could enroll the children in the Brown Scapular and have pictures taken with them.

Now private devotions are all well and good, but the promises associated with them are not known with Catholic Faith. We hope that wearing the Brown Scapular brings graces at death, but we don't know it with Catholic Faith. Why? Because the Brown Scapular comes to us through private devotion, not through a doctrinal statement of the Church. Technically, the Brown Scapular is not part of the Deposit of Faith.

Indulgences, on the other hand, are doctrine. We know with Catholic Faith that a plenary indulgence brings us graces at death. Those are part of the Deposit of Faith.

So, the priest could have offered everyone at Mass a doctrinal surety, but instead gave to the children a mere hope. And instead of giving First Communicants an actual chance to worship the Eucharistic Lord, he took away adoration and give them a photo opp. With him.

The Pope is Jesuit.
The priest is FSSP.

And that's the state of the Church today.

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