Saturday, September 02, 2006

No open communion?

Some people think the closed Catholic communion is a bad thing--it's elitist, uncharitable, whatever. Other churches (some of 'em, at least) practice open communion as a forward-looking, optimistic expression of common faith. I can appreciate that sentiment, and I'm not faulting other traditions for having different practices; their different eucharistic theologies can lead to understandably different standards and expectations.

Please, try to understand the Catholic perspective, though. The Eucharist is a sacrifice--the Sacrifice--and a meal, but it's more than a commemoration/reenactment and incidence of fraternity amongst those like-spirited people who have gathered for the occasion.

It's a nuptial event, an intimate union of God and human. We can no more have universal communion in anticipation of universal union than I could spend the night with my fiancee in anticipation of our wedding night. The effective difference between an early honeymoon and a proper one might be quite fine in many eyes, but please recognize that, to us, it's still no less important for its subtlety.

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