fredag 4 november 2016

Inter communion?

Bishop William Kenney, the Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham and former assistant bishop in Sweden, has been making statements about the practicability of inter-communion between Catholics and the Swedish Lutheran church.

I am no expert on these matters, to put it mildly, but I have always assumed that when one receives communion, one does so on the clear understanding that one accepts the teaching of the Catholic church on the subject ie that, as the Council of Trent declared

"in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue" 

Trent further added that anyone who "saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood - the species only of the bread and wine remaining - which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation, let him be anathema."

So far as I am aware, this teaching remains valid. It follows automatically that the Eucharist must be consecrated by a validly ordained Catholic priest.

Inter-communion is not inter-communion if it does not operate in both directions. That in turn implies recognition of the validity of Lutheran ordinations, which include women priests. But the Pope himself re-iterated on his journey back from Sweden, that the Catholic church would never ordain women, thereby reaffirming that the church does not believe it has the power to ordain women.

This means that though a woman may have been the subject of the rites of priestly ordination, that she may not thereby have become a priest, and consequently may not possess the power to carry out the Eucharstic consecration and that the elements cannot be guaranteed to be the Body and Blood of Christ.

Is it me who is confused here?

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