"We think we can say that the introduction of hand communion and its spread all over the world is the gravest disobedience to papal authority of recent times."
Msgr. Juan Rodolfo Laise wrote these words in the concluding remarks of his book
On Facebook, the Press Office of the Diocese of San Luis in Argentina announced that old Bishop Laise died at the age of 93 years at the sanctuary of San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy. There lived the retired bishop for 17 years. Yesterday afternoon he died in the infirmary of the Capuchin Friary.
Msgr. Laise was born on February 22, 1926 in Buenos Aires. As a young man he entered the Capuchin Order. In March 1949 he took the solemn religious vows and received priestly ordination in September of the same year. He then studied both civil and canon law. From 1954 he was a professor of canon law and morality at the Theological Faculty of Villa Elisa in Argentina. After becoming Provincial of the Capuchin Order, Pope Paul VI appointed him Bishop Coadjutor of the diocese of San Luis in 1971. In the same year he became diocesan bishop there. In 2001, Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation for reasons of age.
Msgr. Laise then retired to Italy in the Capuchin Monastery of San Giovanni Rotondo, where saintly Father Pio, also a Capuchin, spent most of his life, died in 1968 and is also buried.
As a great worshiper of the saint, the bishop moved near him. Since then he has worked there as a beloved confessor for pilgrims in Italian and Spanish. At the place of action for Father Pio was where he also wanted to die.
St. Padre Pio (1887-1968)
Bishop Laise is the author of numerous catechetical books and the social doctrine of the Church. He is considered one of the outstanding proponents of the Communion on the tongue, from which he also moved back to the traditional Roman Rite.
In 1997, he dedicated the book mentioned above to the rejected practice of hand-communion, which was translated into several languages and made him known internationally. In his diocese, he was the first diocesan bishop to refuse the hand communion and took back the corresponding dispensation. The prohibition of the hand communion has been keep since then also its two successors upright.
Every morning at 6 o'clock Bishop Laise celebrated Mass in the traditional Rrite in San Giovanni Rotondo. His confreres resisted a public celebration at the convent. In an interview in 2016 he said:
“Unfortunately, there is no openness to the traditional liturgy among the Capuchins of the Convention, who are generally at a certain age. In contrast, among the young priests who come to visit, there are some who are well-disposed. It would be good if there was a public celebration for the many pilgrims of the place of pilgrimage, and I am sure that the faithful would respond very positively. Time, however, does not seem to be ripe, as far as the superiors are concerned. As for me, pro bono pacis, I celebrate by trying to avoid any tension. "
"The example of the hand communion has made me think"
On the current situation among the priests, he said:
"It is necessary to distinguish between the generations. We experience a positive attitude among the young priests, an attitude that often arises when they get in touch with a priest, thanks to whom they are allowed to discover the traditional Mass. In this way they get access to a spiritual and theological treasure, which until then was unknown to them and which only needs to be explored and shared. The content of the traditional Mass is much richer, much more precise than the modern Mass. The Blessed Virgin, the Holy Archangel Michael, and the holy apostles Peter and Paul are present in all the formations of the extraordinary form, while in the ordinary form they have disappeared completely or almost completely. As long as I celebrated with the new Missal, I always chose the First Eucharistic Prayer, the Roman Canon.”He endeavored to assist young priests and seminarians in their quest for holiness. Accordingly, he also kept in touch with the International Seminary of the Society of Saint Peter in Wigratzbad, which he visited personally in 2004.
In 1949 he was still ordained a priest in the traditional form:
"I celebrated itfor 20 years, including my time in Rome, when I studied at the Gregoriana. I also celebrated it during the Bugnini reform, when it betrayed the intention of the Council Fathers - and perhaps Paul VI's. Anyway, the example of the "Handkommunion" makes me pensive, the Paul VI. not wanted, as instructed by the Memoriale Domini, but which was forced by the German and French bishops. "
Like a legacy he said then:
In the fall of 2016, Bishop Laise was one of the first signatories to the Lenten Declaration on Church Doctrine on Marriage and the Family, which called on Pope Francis to reaffirm the truths of sacramental marriage.
“I wish that all bishops become aware of the importance of oral communion as a reference to the Holy of Holies, then they will take the same position as the Bishop of Oruro! This is the only way to truly testify to the Lord's Eucharistic Presence through words and deeds. We regret that today it is not the same throughout the Church as Paul VI. in Memoriale Domini has defined that communion should always be received by mouth. Therefore, I am glad that the Bishop of Oruro, the words of Pope Paul VI. reaffirmed. "
"How should holy communion be received? Kneeling and in the mouth "
One year ago, exactly one year ago, the bishop and capuchin spoke publicly for the last time. In an interview, he criticized the actions of some German bishops who want to create facts in terms of inter-communion.
"I am strongly against it. How can we share this sacrament with someone who does not share the foundations of the doctrine? We are heading for a confusion. The entry of Luther's statue into the Vatican also surprised me negatively. The Protestants are heretics in every respect, which is why intercommunion is not possible. It is only when the Protestant shares the Catholic faith in an appropriate and accurate way. "
On Holy Communion he said on this occasion:
When asked how Communion should be received, he admonished:
"When you go to Holy Communion, you have to be aware of what you receive. Instead, in many cases, superficiality prevails. This does not depend on modernity itself, but on the careless climate, which has little inclination for the sacred, and which is a consequence of modernity. This climate, it is regrettable to have to say this, is present not only in everyday life, but unfortunately also in the church. We churchmen are partly responsible. I do not want to bring charges, but from this point of view, the Pope would have to insist more, but it does not. "
"Kneeling and in the mouth. The body of Christ whom we receive in the Sacrament is worthy of respect and honor. I repeat: We have also lost the value of sanctity in the forms, and that is a very grave misuse for which Paul VI. bears the guilt that opened the door to these behaviors. After the Second Vatican, the Church began to waver as far as the sacred is concerned."
He also affirmed that so-called remarried divorced people are "absolutely not" allowed to communion.
"Anyone who divorces and enters into a civil union is in a state of grave sin, beyond the grace of God, and can not receive the Sacrament unless he does penance and has a concrete and real resolution to change his life , In this question the Gospel, the Magisterium of the Church and the sacramental order are valid. Nobody has the authority to change it. We are only the administrators of the sacrament, but not the owners. It is therefore true that the concrete danger of relativism exists for the concrete implementation of Amoris laetitia. It would therefore be opportune to clarify how it was demanded with the Dubia.”
Bishop Juan Rodolfo Laise was buried on Tuesday afternoon. The Requiem was celebrated by Msgr. Franco Moscone, the new Archbishop of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo. It took place in the 1959 consecrated pilgrimage church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Our Lady, Help of Christians). Directly adjacent to it is the old 16th-century monastery church with the image of the Blessed Virgin, before which Fr. Pio celebrated Holy Mass offering in the traditional form of the Roman Rite until old age, and it was also the favorite church of Bishop Laise.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Paix Liturgique
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org