TX- Child with cerebral palsy denied First Communion

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by peeples, Apr 24, 2011.

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  1. peeples

    peeples New Member

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    This is sad :(

    As for the grandmother saying the annointing of the sick prayer is for people who are dying... I thought that was Last Rites....


    http://www.ksat.com/news/27643782/detail.html


    that because Kevin had cerebral palsy and has the mental capacity of a 6-month-old, he didn't qualify to receive his first communion.
     
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  3. Charlie09

    Charlie09 Former Member

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    I am not Catholic....but protestants have communion too, and I know my parents had us wait until we were fully able to know what it meant. (Same for baptism) I do the same with my daughter. It sounds reasonable based on the reason why.

    Did the child want it? Or did a family member want it on the child's behalf? Do you have to sign up ahead of time, or just go?
     
  4. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Yes, you are supposed to be able to understand what it means, rather than having it chosen for you. I might have given some leeway, here, but I understand the reason, too.

    Anointing of the sick can be for anyone who is sick, not just the dying.

    Praying for them.
     
  5. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    from the OP's link:

    Castro said this doesn't just make her question her pastor, it makes her question her faith.



    I think the grandmother has it backwards!

    But maybe her faith wasn't that strong to begin with if this makes her question it. Also, she clearly doesn't understand the sacraments herself. Anointing of the sick is not just for people who are dying. I've had it before surgery. You can have it multiple times in your life. (And yes, that's what used to be referred to as Last Rites.)

    How did she prepare a child for reception of the Eucharist if he has the mental capacity of a six month old? My friend who's son is autistic (and profoundly affected) had him wait until he was 10 or 11, and even then she had doubts. The priest was tremendously helpful to her in helping prepare and decide on the appropriate time.
     
  6. Daisyjane

    Daisyjane "All the clouds are clearing, and I think we're ov

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    I'm not sure what to think of this. I agree that Communion should be for believers, and that it's hard to 'believe' if you are not capable of understanding instructions in the meaning of the bread and wine. If the church has a rule that Communion is served only to those who've completed instructions in the faith, this boy's family should abide by that rule.

    But the Catholic church DOES practice infant baptism as a sacrament, with parents taking vows on behalf of the child. Some denominations do not believe in infant baptism, feeling that one should be old enough to make an educated decision about his/her own relationship with God. So I suppose this should be left up to the policymakers of the church.
     
  7. wfgodot

    wfgodot Former Member

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    The Wiki entry for Holy Communion in regards the mentally disabled is instructive:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communion_and_the_developmentally_disabled
     
  8. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    Kinda sad really, if the child can't understand what it's about. But who are we to judge if the child can or cannot understand. He is the only one that can do that. Personally, I see no harm (really - what harm can it be to bless a child so ill).

    I had to wait 14 years before my first communion (raised Lutheran). Had to go to all these bible classes 2x a week - felt like an absolute chore to a growing teen. Of course now I know why my mum did it (to keep me out of trouble) but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth regarding that faith (which I don't practice). I consider myself a Christian and not a Lutheran. If that makes any sense ;)

    MOO

    Mel
     
  9. tfrohning

    tfrohning Rest in Peace

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    All I can comment on this " I hope the preist gave the little one a blessing has he walk in line for communion". Childern that have not made First Communion are alway blessed by most preists.
     
  10. badhorsie

    badhorsie Mouth operational, brain elsewhere...

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    In my experience the Catholic church is very strict on who can and cannot receive communion.
    We have to fast before communion, be in a "state of grace" (up to date with confession) and be following the doctrines of the Catholic church.

    I personally know people who are refused communion because they are perceived to have sinned in some way, a lady whom I was in hospital with was refused as she married a man who had been married previously.

    We, as 8 year olds, had to receive instruction, be questioned and recite a catechism before our first holy communion. There were no exceptions.

    I would have thought that this child's parents, as Catholics, would have been aware of this.

    I would hope that the child would routinely receive a blessing though.

    The above is my experience of being a Catholic in England, maybe things are different in the US
     
  11. badhorsie

    badhorsie Mouth operational, brain elsewhere...

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    Roman Catholic Canonical Law CIC 913, Section 1, states that a person must be at least 7 years old and have the reasoning to understand the basic teachings of the meaning of communion. There are some children and adults that do not have the ability to understand and are therefore not eligible. This includes people with developmental disabilities or brain injuries.


    Catholic priest
    According to Roman Catholic Canonical Law CIC 914, it is the responsibility of Catholic parents, guardians and parish pastors to make sure children receive the proper preparation and learn the teachings about First Communion. They are obligated to make sure children receive the sacrament when they are deemed ready by a teacher, parent and priest.



    Read more: Requirements for Catholic First Communion | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6187368_requirements-catholic-first-communion.html#ixzz1KSdxb6SI
     
  12. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    I like to think WWJD? Would Jesus bypass this lone child without a blessing? I don't think so -- as a matter of fact, I think He would go out of his way to bless this child.

    Thus the reason I'm not so much into organized/strict religion. My DH was born/raised in the Church of England. He has very bad memories and will no longer go into any house of the Lord. Or what these so called preachers, money-grubbers call the House of the Lord.

    MOO

    Mel
     
  13. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    For any man to refuse a child is a sin (IMHO):

    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

    James 1:17

    Shame on those who have turned this poor child away. They will have to answer someday!
     
  14. joeskidbeck

    joeskidbeck Rest in Peace

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    I am not a Catholic; however, I am a Christian and as such I believe that Jesus Christ is the ultimate Authority on all matters. He said in Mark Chp. 10 verses 13-14:
    "And they brought young children unto Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."
    I guess you could say that I don't have a dog in this fight but I believe this child should not have been turned down. JMHO
     
  15. badhorsie

    badhorsie Mouth operational, brain elsewhere...

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    I totally agree with WWJD and he would not tun a child away, disability or not.

    The Catholic church is full of rules and dogma, it is not a forgiving church which, in itself, is not what Jesus taught.

    BTW The cruelest people that I ever encountered as a child were the Roman Catholic nuns who taught me from age 4
     
  16. BuzzieCat

    BuzzieCat New Member

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    I don't know, though. The Church is not saying the child can't attend there or receive a blessing, are they? Communion is, in my understanding, something that has to be done with awareness by the person receiving it. I'm not Catholic, but I can't imagine this child's family were not aware of Catholic rules regarding Communion if they have been in the Church for any time at all. I personally don't take this as the Church rejecting the child, just that he doesn't have the capacity to participate in this particular ceremony.

    ETA: The Catholic Church does have a reputation for being pretty strict, so it's hard for me to believe the family didn't know this might be an issue. They might be able to find another church or priest or preacher who would let the child have Communion.
     
  17. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    No great fan of the Catholic Church's politics here, but this isn't about heartlessly turning away a child, it's about preserving the meaning of Holy Communion as a sacred ritual. In all Christian denominations that I know about, taking Communion represents the free acceptance as Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. One can't exercise free will without an intellectual understanding of the consequences of one's actions.

    The good news, I believe, is that the Catholic Church considers a person who is unable to understand Communion to be already saved through the ritual of Baptism, just as any child between Baptism and First Communion. The child is not "turned away" by the Church or by God.

    So Communion isn't necessary for this individual and wouldn't mean anything to him anyway. It's simply a matter of the grandmother demanding that others pretend her disabled child isn't disabled.

    It would be easy for me to say, "What's the harm? Let the kid have his wafer!" But then I see the rite as purely symbolic anyway. The Church and this priest do not. If the grandmother is so determined to have her way, she is missing the point of Communion; but she can probably shop around until she finds a priest who sees the issue differently.
     
  18. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    In the Catholic Church, Baptism, Holy Communion, and Confirmation are known as the Sacraments of Initiation, the early steps in a lifelong process of commitment to serve God. The child in question does not possess the faculties or awareness to enter into a commitment of any sort. The Church would be remiss if it engaged him in a binding relationship with obligations he will never be able to fulfill. Therefore, the pastor's refusal to allow the boy to receive Holy Communion was a responsible decision and serves the best interest of the child.
     
  19. Sooner Fan#1

    Sooner Fan#1 Rest in Peace

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    My oldest child, a son, now 42 years old, was born with cerebral palsy. At the age of 4, he was in enrolled in early childhood classes, or pre-school. I did not work outside of the home at that time because his disease was extremely demanding. I was 19 yrs old at the time and he weighed 2.7 oz. when he was born 3 months early.

    There were no special classes for handicapped children back then, and I was called to his school one day and I arrived and he was screaming and crying. The teachers said they had no idea what was wrong with him. He wore heavy leg braces from the toes to the top of his knees. After taking him home and questioning him and trying to calm him down, I found, to my horror, that he had been locked in a closet for 2 hours, while the rest of the class went on an outing. I was so outraged and livid and crying and called my husband home and we immediately went to the superintendant of the school system.They immediately started an investigation. The idiot teacher (don't want to use the language I'm thinking) admitted it after all the kids told us what had happened. I was totally beyond control and traumatized, not to mention how he was affected then and to this day. The teacher was fired immediately, but I sincerely wish I had filed a lawsuit against the school system. I am constantly beating myself up that I didn't. I was young and back then, lawsuits we not as common as they are now...but oh...how I wish I had...It haunts me. Do they realize what they are doing to these children mentally? Mine has suffered severe depression all of his life and I do too, wishing I had done more. I truly want to punish the school and even moreso myself. It just has been a nightmarish life for us all. We underwent family therapy, which we PAID for... but still will never get over this. I have never told anyone this other than family members...but it still just makes me so ill, some days I don't think I can look at him without crying. He is getting married to a WONDERFUL girl May 11th in the Philippines, and we are attending by skype, as my husband is suffering from cancer and cannot make the trip. I am so devastated that this has gone on so long and I still can't live with it. I don't know if I could still sue them and give him all the money, but I'm pretty sure the stats have run. Even talking about it makes me run to the bathroom to throw up. The evil creatures need to be stopped at ANY level! I am not catholic. I am a baptist, but what does that have to do with anything? My son is very, very, intelligent and in no way impaired mentally! He is a Graphic Design artist and a very good one
     
  20. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    This is certainly not true. While the Eucharist is one of the few areas in which they are very strict, they are far more forgiving regarding God's mercy than many other churches are. That's been my experience for the past 17 years or so, and speaking as a former Protestant.
     
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