This week we look at the impending canonization of Paul VI, the disastrous implications of new Chinese regulations on religion, and a Cardinal who steps forward in defense of Communion on the tongue.
Paul VI to be Canonized?
The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, announced in early March that Pope Paul VI could be canonized in October of this year. Previously in 2014, Pope Francis having already canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, went on a few months later to beatify Paul VI. The speed at which these canonizations are performed, focusing as they do around the papal contributors to Vatican II, seem to come from a desire to codify the second Vatican Council and strengthen the conciliar religion in its attempts to redefined Catholicism in concept, spirit, and practice.
The Latest from China
New regulations passed by the Chinese government to limit and control the Catholic Church in China took effect February 1st, stating that all groups not officially recognized as religious groups “must not hold religious activities” and “must not give religious formation.” These new regulations effectively keep Catholic priests from performing their daily duties as they are not officially recognized as a religious group by the Chinese government. Several days after the government made these regulation laws, the Cardinal emeritus of Hong Kong Joseph Zen announced that “The disaster has already begun… The clandestine priests of Shanghai asked their faithful to stop coming to their Masses under penalty of being arrested if they persisted in doing so!”
Defense of Communion on the Tongue
Cardinal Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, recently made a lengthy argument in favor of receiving Communion on the tongue in his preface to the book entitled “Distribution of Communion in the Hand: Historical, Juridical and Pastoral Considerations”. In it he writes, “Why persist in receiving Communion standing and in the hand? The liturgy is made up of many little rituals and gestures, each of them is capable of expressing attitudes filled with love, filial respect and adoration of God. Precisely for this reason it is advisable to promote the beauty, the appropriateness and the pastoral value of a practice that developed over the course of the Church’s long tradition, namely – the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling. Man’s greatness and nobility, as well as the highest expression of his love for his Creator, is to kneel before God.”