The Church of England started to compromise on the little stuff with the “special cases” and ambiguous language and now the floodgates have opened.
Believe me. It begins with the fuzzy language and “special cases” and then everything else follows. Consider artificial contraception. It began with the Anglicans saying that married couples, “in special circumstances” with advice from their pastor might in some situations use artificial contraception. Now it is a sexual free for all and the whole concept of marriage is in free fall.
The Catholic Church must avoid yielding to the temptation of giving in on what seems a small matter in “special circumstances.”
It might seem harsh to exclude Protestants from communion, but every religious group has boundaries. Protestants claim open communion, but they have boundaries too. Most of them would not welcome Mormons or Moonies or Unitarians or Christian Science devotees. These people claim to follow Jesus Christ, but their theology is not acceptable so they would either be excluded or expected to forsake their false religion and join the Protestants’ church.
Furthermore, when you examine the facts you will also learn that in almost every situation the church already allows for pastoral decisions in special cases.
So, in the issue of communion for non-Catholics, we already allow for special cases. With the bishop’s permission at a family event like a wedding or funeral a non-Catholic may, in some instances receive communion. Also, on their deathbed, if a non Catholic requests the Catholic sacraments the priest is permitted to administer them.
I’ll finish with a very personal story. My own sister got cancer. She was an Anglican. When I went to visit her I took my holy oils and my first class relic of St Therese and learned that she had travelled to Oxford when Therese’s relics were on tour. She went to confession to a Catholic priest and he made an exception and heard her confession. She asked if I would anoint her and since she asked and was in a final illness, I was able to give her the sacrament of the sick. She planned to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes with my other sister–a Catholic, but she died the day she was to depart for Lourdes.
So the church already allows for “special cases” and we don’t need Cardinal Kasper pushing the envelope using ambiguous language and sentimentality to make disastrous changes.
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