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It seems that the Dutch bishops are gearing up for the Year of Faith – set to start in October – by focussing squarely on the source and summit of our faith: the Eucharist. Following the brochure by Roermond’s bishops on Jesus Christ, the Eucharist and Communion, and a letter by Cardinal Eijk in which he emphasised the proper way of celebrating the Eucharist, the Dutch Bishops’ Conference now release a letter about Holy Communion (my translation here).
The letter, titled ‘Worthy Communion’ focusses on the conditions for receiving Communion. An important part of the text also focusses on the order of conduct if a person or group tries to use Holy Mass or the reception of Communion as a form of protest. The bishops firmly state that no Communion may be distributed under such circumstances and they expect the faithful to understand that a spiritual Communion is proper then.
Of course, we’ve seen such situations in recent years, when representatives of homosexual interest groups tried to receive Communion despite not being Catholic or, if they were, hardly in line with the teachings of the Church.
Let’s see what this letter may lead to, especially in the upcoming Year of Faith. One thing is clear, we won’t have a proper Catholic life and understanding if we don’t bother to invest in Christ’s sacrifice in the Eucharist; in the way we speak about it, think about it, consider it, reflect upon it, pray before it and, certainly, how we receive it.