I have already written about Bishop Athanasius Schneider here and if you read the blog post you’ll see that Bishop Schneider is not one who takes his role lightly.
Thanks to another excellent comment of Schmenz, I was alerted to this great video from the “Athanasius Contra Mundum” Blog, in which this excellent bishop speaks about communion in the hand.
Many are the interesting issues touched in this fragment of TV interview. The parts which most impressed me are the initial ones, where a young boy (being raised up in a communist regime) is shocked at being informed that in Germany Holy Communion can be received in the hand as if it was a piece of cake. More moving still is the part when the bishop remembers his mother searching for a church distributing communion on the tongue and – after failing to do so – giving in to tears. May God bless these beautiful souls and give them back one thousand times in glory what they had to endure in suffering and persecution.
Imagine for a second a persecuted Catholic family in a communist country – people ready to suffer daily humiliations and discrimination for the Lord – at seeing the Body of Christ casually distributed and superficially received (or I should say: eaten) in a way that to these poor family must have seemed a perfect absurdity and the epitome of shallow and desecrating behaviour. This was in 1973, an age when the older generation had still been properly instructed and had to witness the crumbling of a liturgical world made of reverence and sacredness.
At the same time, the perfect shock of these pious and persecuted people at what they were forced to witness gives the full measure of tragedy of the drunken years following Vatican II, an unforgivable liturgical booze-up whose after-effect is still felt within the Church.
Bishop Schneider gives hope that a new generation of bishops will put things right but at the same time exposes the betrayal of the most elementary sense of the sacred incited, permitted or tolerated by most Western bishops.
Once again, Kudos to Bishop Schneider for his beautiful and moving words. We do need more like him, but why must we go as far as Kazakhstan to hear a bishop talking with such reverence?