66 – In those times, it was not possible to drink a little water before Mass. It was Pope Pius XII who saved us from this dictatorship!

When the Queen of Sheba heard of the great wisdom of Solomon, she allowed no obstacle to impede her undertaking the difficult journey to meet this great monarch, despite the fact that protracted expeditions at the time were perilous adventures. She made all these efforts just to encounter an earthly king, and to observe his wisdom. Impressed with all she had seen and heard in Jerusalem, and after presenting the richest of gifts to the king of Israel, she returned to her country, filled with admiration (cf. 2Chron 9:1-12).

Each one of us also has the opportunity to meet daily with a King ‘who is greater than Solomon’ (Mt 12:42), who is far more powerful and wise, for he is the King of kings. How much more then so should we -who are so much more fortunate and blessed in our encounter than the queen of Sheba – be willing to make all possible efforts and sacrifices to prepare ourselves? For this reason, Holy Mother Church – who never establishes laws above our capacity – has instituted certain norms throughout the centuries, so that we might present ourselves in a more worthy manner in our encounter with this august King, in order to demonstrate our respect and veneration for Him.

Perchance could the precepts – that Holy Mother Church has wisely adapted according to the necessities of each epoch – be considered a dictatorial burden? Or rather, are they a didactic way of forming the faithful in the respect due to the Sacrament of the Altar?

Francis

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Quote A

I remember it as if it were today. I prepared for a year [for my First Communion] with a very kind nun and two catechists. … In those times, it was not possible to drink a little water before Mass, nothing – not even a drop of water. It was Pope Pius XII who saved us from this dictatorship! (Visit to the Roman Parish of San Giuseppe all’Aurelio, December 14, 2014)

Quote B

“Pius XII freed us from the very heavy cross that was the Eucharistic fast”: “But some of you might remember. You couldn’t even drink a drop of water. Not even that! And to brush your teeth, it had to be done in such a way that you didn’t swallow the water. But I myself as a young boy went to confession for having made the Communion, because I thought a drop of water had gone in. Is it true or not? It’s true. When Pius XII changed the discipline: ‘Ah, heresy! No! He touched the discipline of the Church.’ So many Pharisees were scandalized. So many. Because Pius XII had acted like Jesus: he saw the need of the people. ‘But the poor people, with such warmth.’ These priests who said three Masses, the last at one o’clock in the after noon, fasting. The discipline of the Church. (Homily in Santa Marta, 15-12-2014)

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of Contents

I – The Eucharistic fast: a dictatorship or a mark of honor?
II – Why does the Church promulgate laws?
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I – The Eucharistic fast: a dictatorship or a mark of honor?

Sacred Scripture
– Since we are judged by the Lord we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world

Pius XII
– The Eucharistic fast pays due honor to our Divine Redeemer and fosters piety towards the first and loftiest Nourishment
– Strongly exhorted to observe the old and venerable form of the Eucharistic fast

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– For the honor of so great a sacrament, the Body of the Lord should take precedence over all other food

Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts
– It is understandable that the Church establish a series of norms for the most exalted of all the Sacraments

Saint John Chrysostom
– When our works are for Christ’s sake, nothing is burdensome


II – Why does the Church promulgate laws?


Sacred Scripture
– To keep the law is a great oblation

Leo XIII
– One who has embraced the Christian faith is by that very fact a subject of the Church

Pius XII
– Christ conferred a triple power on His Apostles and their successors
– Condemned: the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, where charity is opposed to juridical form. There is no opposition or conflict, but mutual complementation
– The practical observance of the same laws is an external manifestation of the union of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body

Pius X
– Christ made the Church the depositary of His doctrine and His laws

Saint Augustine of Hippo
– What we hold on authority are held as approved by the Apostles themselves or by the plenary Councils

Boniface I
– Ecclesiastic discipline took origin from the office of St. Peter

Zosimus
– The Roman Church is fortified by human and divine laws

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– The body of rules, commandments, and virtues proceed from faith in Christ

John Paul II
– The Code of Canon Law is founded on the juridical-legislative heritage of Revelation and Tradition
– The Code of Canon Law is extremely necessary for the Church: by their very nature canonical laws must be observed

Benedict XVI
– The Code of Canon Law contains the norms for the good of the person and of the communities of the whole Mystical Body
– The laws of the Church set us free to adhere to Jesus

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– The obligatory character of laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee growth in love of God and neighbor
– Personal conscience and reason should not be set in opposition to the moral law or the Magisterium of the Church
– Even if they concern disciplinary matters, these decrees call for docility in charity

Pius IX
– See to it with firmness that the holy laws of the Church are observed

Leo XIII
– Hallowed in the minds of Christians is the very idea of authority – A just and due reverence to the laws abides in them from a consciousness of duty

Pius XI
– The dereliction of the eternal principles of an objective morality is a sin

Leo XIII
– The civilization which conflicts with the laws of the Church is worthless

Saint John Chrysostom
– Laws are not hard and grievous – they proceed from one and the same providential care


I – The Eucharistic fast: a dictatorship or a mark of honor?


Sacred Scripture

Since we are judged by the Lord we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world

Pius XII

The Eucharistic fast pays due honor to our Divine Redeemer and fosters piety towards the first and loftiest Nourishment
Strongly exhorted to observe the old and venerable form of the Eucharistic fast

Saint Augustine of Hippo

For the honor of so great a Sacrament, the Body of the Lord should take precedence over all other food

Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts

It is understandable that the Church establish a series of norms for the most exalted of all the Sacraments

Saint John Chrysostom

When our works are for Christ’s sake, nothing is burdensome

II – Why does the Church promulgate laws?


Sacred Scripture

To keep the law is a great oblation

Leo XIII

One who embraces the Christian faith is by that very fact a subject of the Church

Pius XII

Christ conferred a triple power on His Apostles and their successors
Condemned: the pernicious error of those who dream of an imaginary Church, where charity is opposed to juridical form. There is no opposition or conflict, but mutual complementation
The practical observance of the same laws is an external manifestation of the union of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body

Pius X

Christ made the Church the depositary of His doctrine and His laws

Saint Augustine of Hippo

What we hold on authority are held as approved by the Apostles themselves or by the plenary Councils

Boniface I

Ecclesiastic discipline took origin from the office of St. Peter

Zosimus

The Roman Church is fortified by human and divine laws

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The body of rules, commandments, and virtues proceed from faith in Christ

John Paul II

The Code of Canon Law is founded on the juridical-legislative heritage of Revelation and Tradition
The Code of Canon Law is extremely necessary for the Church: by their very nature canonical laws must be observed

Benedict XVI

The Code of Canon Law contains the norms for the good of the person and of the communities of the whole Mystical Body
The laws of the Church set us free to adhere to Jesus

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The obligatory character of laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee growth in love of God and neighbor
Personal conscience and reason should not be set in opposition to the moral law or the Magisterium of the Church
Even if they concern disciplinary matters these decrees call for docility in charity

Pius IX

See to it with firmness that the holy laws of the Church are observed

Leo XIII

Hallowed in the minds of Christians is the very idea of authority - A just and due reverence to the laws abides in them from a consciousness of duty

Pius XI

The dereliction of the eternal principles of an objective morality is a sin

Leo XIII

The civilization which conflicts with the laws of the Church is worthless

Saint John Chrysostom

Laws are not hard and grievous – they proceed from one and the same providential care

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