Fr. Peter is an Oblate from Peru stationed in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. He is careful to uphold the teaching and practices of the Catholic Church as is the duty of every priest. He encountered a situation where people who are not practising their Faith and have not been to Confession for a very long time expect to take Communion at funerals.
A priest in the Territories has encountered the same situation. He says “ people who haven’t been to church for ages who are shacking up and who may be the biggest drug dealer in town come up for Communion at funerals. They have been taught to think of it like holy water, holy salt, holy bread.”
Communion, that is the Consecrated Host, is the actual body and blood
of the Living Christ. We accept or receive Jesus after we have repented of our sins. According to the Bible and Tradition we confess our sins to Jesus, whose replacement is the Priest. That is Confession. When Jesus, in the form of the Priest, gives the repentant absolution, the person is free of sins and is worthy to take Communion. Confession must proceed Communion.
Fr. Peter refused Communion at a funeral on a reserve to people who had not been reconciled to Christ for a very long time. One woman who had been refused came up to the Priest and stated. “ Father, you insulted me “ She shouted “ You’re a prick, not a priest” over and over again.
That would have never happened twenty years ago. That woman is certainly accountable for what she did. However the attitude has been set by others. People have
“ Sunday Celebrations” instead of Mass where local lay people, usually women, pass out Communion to anyone who comes forward. Communities can go for months or even years without a Mass and Confession. Lay people are being trained to take on jobs rightly belonging to a Priest. Comunities are commended when they go for a long time without the services of a priest. A lay person may have a few weekends of training . A priest studies for ten years, takes vows of chastity, obedience and proverty and is ordained by 2000 years of Apostolic succession.
The effort expended to promote these Mass replacements could be used to recruit priests who would be glad to serve in the North or to recruit young men who may have a Vocation. But who wants to devote his life to a vocation that supposedly can be filled by a housewife ?
Is the Consecrated Host the actual living body, including the blood of Jesus or is it a nice symbol of Community ? In short are we Catholics or Protestants? If we believe the Host is Jesus then we need to act like it. Kneel when he comes into the room and when He is received. Reverence the person who has been given the power to turn bread and wine into Jesus present. Meet the criteria for the acceptance of Jesus which is Confession and Absolution.
If the Host is just a wafer and a symbol then why bother being Catholic at all? Gay