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Bishop Athanasius SchneiderJan Bentz / LifeSiteNews

February 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Kazakhstan Bishop Athanasius Schneider says bishops who order their priests to give Holy Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics are “committing a grave abuse of his power.”

“He’s ordering (the priest) to sin and when a bishop even or a Pope commands me to sin I have to refuse,” Bishop Schneider explained in a recent interview with Rorate Caeli and Adelante la Fe. “I have to obey God and therefore in this case the priest has to say to the bishop, ‘Your Excellency you order me to commit a sin and I cannot do this, I have to obey God and I cannot obey you.'”

“He has to resist even to the extent that he will lose his office,” added Bishop Schneider. “Better to lose all but not to commit sin against the commandment of God.”

The Archbishop of Malta has told seminarians that “the seminary gate is open” — meaning they are free to leave — if they do not agree with the bishops on allowing communion for remarried divorcees.

In Colombia a priest was suspended from his priestly ministry for insisting in a homily that he would not give Holy Communion to adulterers. In suspending Fr. Uribe Medina, Bishop Rigoberto Corredor Bermúdez accused the priest of “publicly and privately express[ing] his rejection of the doctrinal and pastoral teachings of his Holiness Pope Francis, especially with regards to marriage and the Eucharist.” Fr. Medina has since been reinstated.