Yesterday we said farewell to Natalie's gran. She was Catholic, but more important, as she always reminded us, she was Greek - from ATHENS!
Sadly, as we wished to express communion with her, the priest - as is his right - reminded the congregation that only Catholics in good standing were allowed to receive the sacrament. Not only did he remind us, but he rubbed it in, for about three minutes!
I found two statements interesting:
First, he said: "If you do not believe like we believe, then please do not come to the altar".
Second: "If you remain in your seats, please commmit yourself to praying for church-unity".
To me, communion is about community. Community is not about uniformity, it is the celebration of acceptance in the midst of divesity. How can I believe like you believe? How dare you or I exlude each other from celebrating God's act of love based merely on whether we agree or not?
What is church-unity? Once again, did he mean that I should pray that I may reach the point of becoming a Catholic?
I do not understand.
Out of about 250 people, only about 50 went up for mass. This is a statement in itself!
But, as Pete Grassow says, anyone is welcome to receive the elements at the church at which I serve. In fact, the more broken you are, the better.
Ciao nonna. Sorry about the church.