By Our Foreign Correspondent
Brasilia, Oct 20 (IVC) A pro-LGBT Brazilian archbishop invoked Pope Francis’ apostolic letter on liturgical formation and the documents of Vatican II to justify his choice to administer Holy Communion to a Muslim Sheikh at a funeral service here recently.
“Every reception of Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ was already desired by Him in the Last Supper”, argued the archbishop of Londrina , Geremias Steinmetz , quoting Pope Francis in a clarification issued on the diocesan website on August 30.
A video of Archbishop Steinmettz giving the Sacred Host to Sheikh Ahmad Saleh Maihairi at the funeral of Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo on August 28 went viral on social media, sparking outrage among faithful Catholics.
In the video , Sheikh Mahairi, fonder of the King Faisal Mosque in Londrina accepted the host in his hand and left the church without consuming it.
The Muslim leader told the diocese’s Vicar General that he consumed the Eucharist after sitting down in his pew.
In his clarification, the archbishop defended the sheikh’s reception of Communion on the grounds that “he participated in the Eucharistic celebration , as a friend and entering the communion line, received the Body of Christ”.
Abp Steinmetz said that Mahairi was in friendship with the late Albano Cavallin, a former archbishop of Londrina who had explained to the Muslim leader many years ago that “the Eucharist is the body of Jesus, who is considered to be a prophet of Islam”.
Quoting Vatican Second’s Nostra Aetate , the declaration on the relations of the Church with non-Christian religions, Steinmetz noted that the Church regards Muslims “with esteem” since “they adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself, merciful and all-powerful, the creator of Heaven and earth, who has spoken to men”.
Muslims “take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham , wih whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God” Steinmetz continued quoting verbatim from the Vatican II.