Friday 1 June 2012

A true Catholic, and even more a Catholic Bishop, cannot ignore the Pope's gestures.

Auxiliary Bishop Schneider
on the Homepage of the
Shrine of Maria Vesperbild.
The Eponymous Flower carries the following post about Bishop Athanasius Schneider.  He is certainly not afraid of speaking out and though what he says might  be thought of by some as controversial or even divisive, we might recall the example of Our Lord in the Gospels: 

"Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?   ...After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him" 

(Jn 6. Douay-Rheims Bible).


Bishop Schneider Says: Communion in the Hand is a Great Wound in the Church

A reform of the Church is advanced by an end to Communion in the hand and 'supper tables'.  Proceedings and Old Liberal committees will play a completely subordinate role.

(  "The more committees, the more proceedings, the more fear of public opinion and the politically correct, the less there will be real reforms in the Church."

This is what Auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider from Astana in Kazakhstan said on Pentecost Sunday at the Swabian pilgrimage Maria Vesperbild.

For Msgr Schneider it is "more than clear that the Church has experienced a great crisis."

Communion is Handed out Like Bread

The crisis  shows itself in its most gripping in the declining Liturgy, for the prelate:  "Today's manner of receiving Communion spread throughout the world is a great wound."

The body of Christ has been received "without recognizable sacral gestures of worship".

Hand communion leaves one with the impression as if one is taking a regular meal, which "one puts in ones' own mouth".

The Bible gives a different example of reverence

Msgr Schneider recalled that the angel and prophets in Holy Scripture knelt before Jesus Christ:

"How great is the contrast between  today's widely spread form of hand communion with the minimalistic signs of reverence on the one side and the glorious examples in Holy Scripture and the examples of Catholics from the past two thousand years, and  also the edifying examples of our own associates, parents, grandparents on the other side."

The example of the Pope

Msgr Schneider recalled then that Pope Benedict XVI has been distributing Holy Communion in the mouth since Corpus Christi of 2008 to the faithful on their knees:

"A true Catholic, and even more a Catholic Bishop, cannot ignore the Pope's  gestures."

That would be a true renewal

For the Auxiliary Bishop it would be a poignant sign of Faith if all the Masses world-wide "were brought back to clear signs of reverence, silence, the holiness of the music".

He criticised the supper table very carefully:  priests and people should interiorly and exteriorly look together upon Christ -- he said.

All faithful should "receive the body of Christ self-evidently in the state of sanctifying grace, having gone too confession, and  to receive it directly in the mouth with the piety of a child."

In this Msgr Schneider sees "powerful sings of a true renewal in the Church".

In such Masses a God fearing man should fall on his knees and say:  "Verily,  God is among you"  [1Cor 14 24-25]

A Church of Believers -- not of Church-tax payers

The Auxiliary Bishop explained in his sermon an example of reform from Kazakhstan.

In the city of Karaganda the Catholics built one Church every 35 years under the Communists.

The authorities allowed only a lowly, utilitarian building without towers or a cross.

For two years the faithful -- also the elderly and the children --- were occupied with the building.

They dug even in the earth, in order to put the church deeper in order to allow for a larger interior space.

Without Discussions or Commissions

After the completion of construction there was no Bishop far and wide who could have blessed the church.

Actually the parish priest -- he was called Pater Alexander Chira by everyone -- promised the faithful that God would send a Bishop.

On the day of the blessing he appeared himself with a mitre and shepherd's staff in the church.  He was a secret Bishop.

According to a woman who witnessed the event, there were even more tears flowing than holy water.

The church blessing is an example for Msgr Schneider "of true reform of the Church without a lot of commissions and discussions."

Link to


English Pastor said...

I could not agree with the good Bishop more. So many committees and so few folk who can subordinate their own dignity to that of the Lord by kneeling to receive Him on their tongue; so few priests and bishops willing to turn towards the Lord for the offering of His Sacrifice and thereby forsake their central place at the supper table; a place wherein (no matter how sincere and faithful they are, which I do not doubt) they cannot help but form their gestures and phrasing in such a way as to engage their audience. Oh that this would get a red hat...and then a white Zuchetto...

Jacobi said...

Communion in the hand was introduced, illicitly, after Vatican II by reformers intent on attacking the doctrines of the Transubstantiation and the Real Presence.

Liturgy reflects our beliefs. But by changing practise we can change what people believe.
The reformers have been very successful. Treat the Host like a piece of bread and sooner or later you will believe it to be just that.

This must change, as per the Pope's example.

A Protestant minister once said that if Catholics really believed what they said they did, we would crawl into church on our bellies -and that was in the days when we received by mouth kneeling at the altar rails!