Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Open Altar. . .

While the presumption is that Rome cares about who steps up to receive the Sacrament in a Roman Catholic Church, the shocking reality is that the rail in Rome may be as open as the typical Protestant y'all come.  Consider this.  A Roman Catholic Archbishop gave communion to a Muslim sheikh at a mass on August 28 in Brazil.  While it might not quite raise an eyebrow in Rome if a conservative Protestant or Lutheran were communed, what is the justification for communing a Muslim?  According to the video of the service, Sheikh Mahairi was not seen partaking of the Sacrament placed in his hand but what did he do with it?  It took an inquiry before it was found that the Muslim, concerned about disrespecting the Roman Catholic faith, Sheikh Mahairi explained that he went back to his pew, sat down, and consumed the host.  There are many times when a pastor does not recognize the faces of those who come to the rail but in this case the Sheikh was pretty obvious by dress and was well known as an invited ecumenical guest at the mass.  

All of this matters because fewer and fewer churches are respecting the rail and the orthodox, catholic, and Lutheran practice of close(d) communion is more and more seen as the refusal of simple hospitality and rudeness without understanding what is given, who is to receive what is given by the Lord, and why.  Apparently some in Rome are quick to agree with the critics.

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