I didn’t get a chance to blog this before the Triduum, but here’s another story that seems to crop up every year: a First Communicant with celiac sprue disease whose parents cause a stink because they aren’t allowed to use a rice wafer. As usual, the media and others feel free to dictate to the Church what her theology and beliefs should be: “How could you be so cruel as to deny this little girl her rite of passage. It’s only a little wafer.”
No, it’s not.
On the other hand, I think blame must be equally spread among the pastor and DRE, the parents, and the media. The pastor and DRE should never have let it get to this point. If they were properly educating both parents and children they might understand the church’s teaching. I do recognize that you can’t make someone believe or understand, which is where I blame the parents. They’re treating the sacrament as a cultural custom and not as the most Holy Sacrament it is and at some point they decided to go to the media with this. Why? What do they hope to gain by this? And I blame the media for blowing this story out of proportion. Once again, we have what is really a non-story being fitted into the same old media template: Big, bad Catholic Church hurts little children.
What we end up with is more confusion about the Real Presence in the Eucharist and a little girl caught in the middle.