31 Jan 2017

Maltese Catholics rebuke ‘abominable’ Communion guidelines in stinging full-page ad

by Jan Bentz


January 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Members of the Catholic faithful in Malta have published a stinging rebuke of their bishops in a full-page newspaper ad calling on the bishops to rescind their guidelines allowing Communion to those living in adultery.
The ad in the January 25 Times of Malta featured an open letter titled “A Plea for True Mercy and Repentance.”
“You have permitted the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord and Master to be crucified and tortured once again in the mouths and hearts of filthy, impenitent adulterers and fornicators!” state the authors, identifying themselves as “members of Veri Catholici.”
“For those who do such things shall not, as the Apostle teaches, enter into the Kingdom of God,” they add.
The authors urge the bishops to re-read the Gospel message of St. Matthew, which states: “Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, they tear you up” (Matthew 7:6).
The group urges the bishops to “tremble with holy fear” and reminds them of the last judgement in order to convince the bishops “to heed these things and recoil from the abominable document which you have dared to presume to publish.”
The letter includes a “Nota Bene,” which in quoting St. Paul recalls that the faithful can, in a moment of impending destruction of the faith, take initiative even against their shepherds. “It must be observed, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. (Cf. Colossians 4:17, 2 Timothy 4:5, and Galatians 2:11)” They also cite the same teaching in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas (Cf. Summa Theologiae, II-II, q., 33, a. 4, ad. 2.). 
The Letter
Beside the text of the open letter, the faithful also printed a document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, entitled “Concerning the Reception of the Eucharist by Divorced and Remarried Members of the Church.” This document was issued on September 14, 1994, and signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
“Members of the faithful who live together as husband and wife with persons other than their legitimate spouses may not receive Holy Communion,” the Vatican document states. “Should they judge it possible to do so, pastors and confessors, given the gravity of the matter and the spiritual good of these persons as well as the common good of the Church, have the serious duty to admonish them that such a judgment of conscience openly contradicts the Church’s teaching.”
The open letter urges faithful from all over the world to join in with their support. Sign the petition online at vericatholici.wordpress.com.
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