Bishop Hollis urges fidelity to the Church’s discipline

Earlier this month, Bishop Crispian Hollis wrote to all the priests of the Portsmouth Diocese to make it clear that the conditions do not exist in this country for a licit celebration of “Rite 3” of the Sacrament of Penance (i.e General Absolution.) He urged priests to find ways in which individual confession could be made available to the people.

In the same letter, he re-iterated the norms regarding the admission to Eucharistic Communion of those who are not in communion with the Catholic Church. The Ordinary may grant permission for a particular person to receive Communion on a particular occasion according to conditions laid out in “One Bread One Body.” After referring to this restricted exception, he made it clear that “general invitations to all and sundry to receive Communion should never be offered.”

He also emphasised the importance of being faithful to the discipline of the Church:
In the matter of General Absolution and Sacramental sharing with other Christians, I ask you, therefore, to be faithful of the norms of the Church which govern these celebrations.
Since I have not always been in complete agreement with Bishop Hollis, I feel that it is only fair to draw attention to this excellent letter to clergy which, as I understand him to have affirmed, has been sent on his own initiative and without any pressure from Rome.

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