Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Mean Ole Catholic Church and Children With Mental Disabilities

The new auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has quite a Internet presence both on his blog and his twitter account. He is a Catholic social media must add in my view.

He has a blog post up that is pretty good. See Food allergies and the Eucharist with a serving of "humble pie" . Now he does not mention it but it is likely he posted his thoughts because of that sad case in the Archdiocese of San Antonio dealing with first a First Communion and a young boy that has a severe case of mental retardation or that word is no longer proper a severe mental disability.

Now that case is very interesting in several ways. First it shows that in the Catholic Church one can be Catholic yet have different viewpoint and acceptable theology. For instance I think in the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with Rome in which we can too go too communion at this is not a huge issue. They give the Eucharist to infants!! ,and from what I understand those with severe mental handicaps. So it interesting to see the difference there.

I have not been too pleased how this story has played out. The theme seems to be mean ole Catholic Church is at it again. Everyone seems to assume the Priests that is close to the situation is wrong. Regardless I think it is fair to say that the Catholic Church moves Heaven and Earth in most situation to allow children in this state to receive.

That being said the Bishop's post is good and a reminder of how we should approach these situations . However there was something that bothered me about it that gets picked up in the comment section.

I'm a bit confused. I have heard people, time and again, make the assertion that somehow doctrinal correctness and "being pastoral" are a dichotomy, but this is patently false.

I am not saying that this is what you are stating, Your Excellency. In fact I actively doubt it. However, I think a naive reading or a biased one could interpret it that way.

I think what you have identified, as a great many people before you have, is simply very poor catechises. Unfortunately, I don't think simply offering the Precious Blood solves that issue. In fact, many people I have talked to who are used to receiving the Precious Blood mistakenly believe that you must receive under both species in order to receive the entire sacrament

EXACTLY!! In many ways this is similar of the whole issue of of Child abusing Priests and laicization. Many of use were wondering why laicization was such a big issue. The whole "once a Priest always a Priest "thing comes into play. One can make an argument that huge focus on laicization because of public pressure is giving some pretty bad theology about the Sacrament to the general public. That is by signing a piece of paper poof he no longer has the mark of Priesthood. I will not even get into the issue of if the Church should be removing an impediment that allow sex abusing Priests to marry and thus have kids.

Regardless I think both the Bishop and the Commenter is right as to situations like this.

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