Feature of the Week: Liturgy, Family, the Great Crisis of the Church (h/t LMS UK via Rorate)

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Interview excerpt with Bishop Athanasius Schneider – Auxiliary of Astana in Kazakhstan
Full text of the interview can be accessed at http://www.lms.org.uk/news-and-events/interview-with-bishop-athanasius-schneider

‘To my knowledge and experience, the deepest wound in the actual crisis of the Church is the Eucharistic wound; the abuses of the Blessed Sacrament.

‘Many people are receiving Holy Communion in an objective state of mortal sin…This is spreading in the Church, especially in the western world. There people very rarely go to Holy Communion with a sufficient preparation.

‘Some people who go to Holy Communion live in irregular moral situations, which do not correspond to the Gospel. Without being married, they go to Holy Communion. They might be divorced and living in a new marriage, a civil marriage, and they go nevertheless to Holy Communion. I think this is a very, very grievous situation.

‘There is also the question of the objectively irreverent reception of Holy Communion. The so-called new, modern manner of receiving Holy Communion directly into the hand is very serious because it exposes Christ to an enormous banality.

‘There is the grievous fact of the loss of the Eucharistic fragments. No one can deny this. And the fragments of the consecrated host are crushed by feet. This is horrible! Our God, in our churches, is trampled by feet! No one can deny it.

‘And this is happening on a large scale. This has to be, for a person with faith and love for God, a very serious phenomenon.

‘We cannot continue as if Jesus as God does not exist, as though only the bread exists. This modern practice of Communion in the hand has nothing to do with the practice in the ancient Church. The modern practice of receiving Communion in hand contributes gradually to the loss of the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.

‘A priest and a bishop cannot say this practice is ok. Here is at stake the most holy, the most divine and concrete on Earth.’

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