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Faithful German priest urges Church to end ‘catastrophic mistake’ of allowing Holy Communion in hand

‘Everything is at stake here, because the Eucharist is the heart of the Church, her innermost life and her greatest treasure’ 
Wed Jun 10, 2020 - 4:11 pm EST
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June 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Father Frank Unterhalt, a priest of the Archdiocese of Paderborn, Germany, and the speaker of the priestly group Communio veritatis, has written an essay in which he points out the importance of outward and inward reverence toward Our Lord when receiving Him (read full essay below). With reference to the Angel of Peace who appeared in Fatima and with the help of quotes from Cardinal Robert Sarah and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, among others, he points out how irreverent the gesture of receiving Holy Communion in the hand while standing is.

Father Unterhalt points out the disastrous effects of receiving the Holy Eucharist in a less reverent manner, noting the with a loss of the sense of the sacred. Indignant about the loss of reverence toward Our God, the German priest exclaims: “The deadly virus of disrespect has infected the Mystical Body of Christ and is dramatically worsening in the current crisis through the incomprehensible profanations!” and he asks “how could a servant of Christ remain silent on this?”

“One must fight for the inviolable holiness of the Sacrament of the Altar and thus overcome the hostile attack on the Eucharist! Against the disastrous sacramental abuse in the current confusion, it must be clearly affirmed that Communion on the tongue is the ordinary form of reception to which every believer has the right always and everywhere,” he concludes.

With a fervent love for Our Lord, Father Unterhalt calls for the practice of Communion on the tongue while kneeling: “When we look at all this, we recognize the most important mission in our apocalyptic time of decision: Communion in the hand must be ended urgently! Everything for the Most Holy Eucharist! God wants Communion on the tongue while kneeling!”

Father Unterhalt – together with his circle of German priests –  has published in the past some strong statements in the defense of the Catholic Faith. He has rejected the practice of Communion for adulterers as promoted by Amoris Laetitia; he has called out Cardinal Reinhard Marx for leading the Catholic Church in Germany into heterodoxy and into an adaptation to the zeitgeist; he has spoken about our times that remind him of apocalyptic times and even rebuked his own archbishop for allowing the practice of Communion for Protestants.

Father Unterhalt is to be commended for his courage especially since he is working within a German diocese, being pastor of a parish in Paderborn.

***

Father Frank Unterhalt's full essay:

Ecce panis angelorum

In a famous reflection on the revelations of Fatima, the renowned writer Paul Claudel described the events there as “the most impressive explosion of the supernatural in a world dominated by materialism.”[1]

It concerns first and foremost the Most Holy Eucharist. The Angel of Peace appeared to the children in an outstandingly beautiful form: “Kneeling on the earth, he bowed his forehead to the ground and made us repeat these words three times:
My God, I believe in You, I adore You, I hope in You, I love You. I ask Your forgiveness for those who do not believe in You, do not worship You, do not hope in You and do not love You.”[2]

The message of the Cova da Iria is the heavenly remedy in the apocalyptic crisis of the Church, and is especially relevant to our present time, when the predicted apostasy from the True Faith is taking place in a shocking way.

Joachim Cardinal Meisner, who was called to eternity in 2017 in the Jubilee Year of Fatima, said: “After the Council we have adapted ourselves so much to the spirit of the times that the sense of the sacred has been lost. We have gravely neglected sacramental catechesis and removed external signs of reverence without substitution. Such signs – Communion rails, Eucharistic fast, kneeling down or Communion on the tongue – were like a protective wall around the Holy Eucharist. [...] We no longer protected the mystery and now we experience the total profanation of the sacred. This is a terrible development that urgently needs correction.”[3]
Everything is at stake here, because the Eucharist is the heart of the Church, her innermost life and her greatest treasure. Holy Mass is the bloodless representation of the Lord's sacrifice at the Cross. In the Sacrament of the Eucharist Jesus Christ is truly, really, and substantially present – with Body and Blood, with Soul and Divinity.[4] This mystery is the supreme gift of the Savior and the most sublime of His miracles. The Holy Curé of Ars says: “All good works together do not attain the value of a single sacrifice of the Mass, for they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. In the Mass it is God who offers His body and His blood for man.”[5]
From this it follows that one must be prepared for the encounter with the Living God: “To receive Holy Communion, one must be fully integrated into the Catholic Church and be in a state of grace [...] Anyone aware of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Penance before receiving Communion.”[6] Against the background of today's mass Communions, how could we forget the admonition of the Apostle Paul (1 Cor 11:28)?

It is therefore the duty of all the Church's servants to educate the faithful to receive the Holy Eucharist with dignity and to protect them from any abuse of the supreme sacrament. This genuine pastoral care is expressed in the words of St. John Chrysostom, a Doctor of the Church: “I too raise my voice, beg, request and implore you not to approach this holy table with a stained and corrupt conscience. Such an approach can never be called Communion, even if we touch the body of the Lord a thousand times, but condemnation, torment and increase of punishment.”[7]

How much the countless sacrileges and unworthy Communions wound in our time the Mystical Body of Christ! Away with this madness! Stop at last the appalling treatment of the sacrament of God's love!

Thus, in the third apparition of the Angel of Fatima in particular, we recognize a reference to our present situation:

In his left hand he held a chalice; above it was a host from which a few drops of blood fell into the chalice.

The angel made the chalice float in the air, knelt down to us and made us repeat three times:

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, in deep reverence I adore You and offer You the precious Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the earth, in reparation for all the abuses, sacrileges and indifference by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask You for the conversion of poor sinners.

Then he rose, took the chalice and the Host, handed me the Holy Host, and divided the Blood in the chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, speaking:

Receive the Body and drink the Blood of Jesus Christ, who is so terribly offended by ungrateful men. Atone for their sins and console your God. [8]

The Church's life depends upon the Eucharist, and the worthy reception of the Sacrament of the Altar is a source of immeasurable graces. The experience of many saints bears witness to this. In a prayer, Blessed Charles de Foucauld puts the following words in Our Savior's mouth: “One Communion is more than life, more than all the goods of the world, more than the whole universe, it is God himself, that is I, Jesus!”[9]

This supreme moment in our life of receiving Holy Communion requires us, besides being in the state of grace, a way of communicating that is worthy of God. From the earliest times, love of the Eucharist was expressed with an attentive caution: “The extreme vigilance and concern of the Church in the early centuries that not even a fragment of the Eucharistic Bread be lost was a widespread phenomenon.”[10] St. Cyril of Jerusalem gives such a testimony: “Tell me – if someone gave you grains of gold, would you not be attentive and careful with the utmost caution that none of it is lost and that you suffer no harm? Will you not then be even more careful that not a single particle of what is more valuable than gold and precious stones falls down?”[11]

In addition to this concern in the performance of the sacred action, from the very beginning the attitude of adoration has clearly developed, which is due to the encounter with the Living God. The absolute sacrament deserves all our love. This is why St. Augustine says: “No one eats this Body unless he has adored Him first; we sin if we do not adore Him.”[12] The inner attitude is expressed by outward gestures. The language of the body should correspond to the presence of the Lord according to Biblical examples. For “the bodily gesture as such is expresses a spiritual sense – of worship [...] and the spiritual act in turn must, by its very nature, due to the body-soul unity of man, be necessarily expressed in the physical gesture.”[13]

Under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, the Church, at the latest from the 6th century onwards [14], began to receive the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar in a manner particularly appropriate to the greatness of this reality: “The organic development of Eucharistic devotion as the fruit of the piety of the Fathers of the Church led all the Churches, both in the East and in the West, even in the first millennium, to administer Holy Communion directly into the mouths of the faithful. At the beginning of the second millennium, the profoundly Biblical gesture of kneeling down was added in the West.”[15] How important this light is for us today in the night of the great apostasy which is manifested above all in the sinister handling of the Sanctissimum!

Thus Robert Cardinal Sarah urged us to “reflect on and promote the beauty and pastoral significance of a practice which has developed in the Church's tradition during her long life: the reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue.” The Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has stressed that this way of receiving is the “norm for Catholics of the Latin Rite.”[16]

How much we must today lament the catastrophic mistake made 50 years ago – with all its terrible consequences! “For the Apostolic See, with the permission of Communion in the hand, opened the floodgate in 1969, through which the flood of Eucharistic indignities and sacrileges has since poured and continues to pour down upon the Catholic world.”[17]

The deadly virus of disrespect has infected the Mystical Body of Christ and is dramatically worsening in the current crisis through the incomprehensible profanations! How could a servant of Christ remain silent on this? One must fight for the inviolable holiness of the Sacrament of the Altar and thus overcome the hostile attack on the Eucharist! Against the disastrous sacramental abuse in the current confusion, it must be clearly affirmed that Communion on the tongue is the ordinary form of reception to which every believer has the right always and everywhere.[18]

In light of the message of Fatima, the courageous appeal of Bishop Athanasius Schneider is to be fully endorsed: “All those in the Church who still take seriously the faith in the Eucharistic presence of the Lord and who love Him ardently should, as it were, cry out in chorus [...]: 'Stop insulting our Eucharistic God, who has already been insulted too much by the practice of Communion in the hand!'”[19]

For this reason, we owe heartfelt gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI, who 12 years ago opened the door to true reform by giving Communion on the tongue and while kneeling without exception from the Feast of Corpus Christi in 2008 on.
When we look at all this, we recognize the most important mission in our apocalyptic time of decision:

Communion in the hand must be ended urgently!

Everything for the Most Holy Eucharist!

God wants Communion on the tongue while kneeling!

Corpus Christi 2020
Pastor Frank Unterhalt
______________________________

[1] Paul Claudel, in: Fr. Charles Olmi, Méditations sur les révélations de Fatima, Le Puy 1945, Introduction.
[2] Schwester Lucia spricht über Fatima [Sister Lucia speaks about Fatima], 2007, p. 83 (9th edition).
[3] Die Tagespost, December 29, 2012.
[4] Cf. Council of Trent, Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist, Canon 1: DS 1651.
[5] Janine Frossard, Ausgewählte Gedanken des heiligen Pfarrers von Ars [Selected Thoughts of the Holy Curé of Ars], Leutesdorf 1999, p. 50 (11th edition).
[6] Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 291.
[7] John Chrysostom, Omelia in Isaiam, 6,3: PG 56,139.
[8] Schwester Lucia spricht über Fatima [Sister Lucia speaks about Fatima], p. 84.
[9] Charles de Foucauld, Die geistlichen Schriften [The Spiritual Writings], Wien 1963, pp. 61-62.
[10] Athanasius Schneider, Dominus est. Es ist der Herr [It is the Lord], Neusäß 2008, p. 39.
[11] Cyril of Jerusalem, 23rd Catechesis to the Baptists, 21.
[12] Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos 98:9: CCL XXXIX, 1385.
[13] Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Der Geist der Liturgie [The Spirit of the Liturgy], Freiburg 2002, p. 164 (6th edition).
[14] Cf. Pope Gregory the Great, Dialogues III: PL 77,224.
[15] Athanasius Schneider, Dominus est, p. 62.
[16] Robert Cardinal Sarah, Lecture at the International Congress Sacra Liturgia 2017.
[17] Athanasius Schneider, in: Wilhelm Schallinger, Das Lamm in Menschenhand [The Lamb in Human Hands], Heimbach/Eifel 2016, p. 16.
[18] Cf. Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction Redemptionis sacramentum, 92; cf. Missale Romanum, Institutio Generalis, 161.
[19] Athanasius Schneider, in: Wilhelm Schallinger, Das Lamm in Menschenhand [The Lamb in Human Hands], pp. 15-16.

Translation by LifeSite's Dr. Maike Hickson


  catholic, communion in the hand, communion on the tongue, fatima, fatima children, frank unterhalt, holy communion, our lady of fatima

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