The group “Spezzare il pane” (“Breaking the Bread”) in the archdiocese of Turin, Italy, has officially started with the celebration of “ecumenical masses” where Holy Communion is distributed to Catholics and non-Catholics.
The group is headed by Catholic priest Father Fredo Oliviero, an apologist for illegal immigration, who has the support of his archbishop, Monsignor Cesare Nosiglia. The practice of the group to distribute Holy Communion to non-Catholics, is openly promoted in the newspaper of the Turin Archdiocese “La Voce e il Tempo”.
Among the members of the group are “Catholics”, Anglicans, Baptists, Waldensians and Lutherans. They gather once a month in one of their churches, where they celebrate a “Eucharist” according to the respective denomination, distributing “Communion” to everybody.
It is now customary that once a month, the group meets in a Catholic, Lutheran, Waldensian, or Baptist church to share the “Eucharist”, partaking in worship or Mass – officiated according to the liturgy of the host church. According Fr. Fredo, the ecumenical ceremony replaces “in the foreground the identity of Christians with respect to belonging to a specific Church.” He likewise said that the practice is spreading in other cities in Italy as well.
The Catholic Church teaches that non-Catholics may not receive Communion because they do not share our belief in the doctrine of Eucharistic transubstantiation. According to transubstantiation, the bread and wine are actually transformed into the actual body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ, with only the appearances of bread and wine remaining.
These developments, indeed, seem to be a corroboration of the various reputable prophecies in recent times that predict the rise of a false church in the end times, just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. This false church, according to prophecy, will promote a false “ecumenical mass” that will deny the real presence of Jesus. These prophecies are likewise supported by the testimony of the late Gabriel Amorth, former chief exorcist of Rome, who said that Padre Pio told him that the third secret of Fatima refers to a false church that will rise in the end times.
Not Required to Have a “Single Thought” on the Eucharist
In an article written by Breaking Bread Founder Fr. Fredo Olivero last May in Turin Archdiocese’s official newspaper and website, he said that attendees to the “Ecumenical Mass” are not required to have a “single thought” on the Eucharist: “It is not required, in order to live together this event, to adhere to a ‘single thought’ on the Eucharist, but rather to respect everyone for the thought of each.”
He also likewise cast doubt on the Doctrine of Transubstantiation of the Catholic Church, saying: “Neither Jesus nor Paul explained the ‘how’ of this presence [in the Eucharist], why then should we do it?”
Eucharistic “interpretations” not part of the Gospel?
Aside from support from his bishop, Fr. Fredo likewise claims that Pope Francis supports this concept of an “Ecumenical Mass”. In the same article in the Turin Archdiocesan newspaper, Fr. Fredo recalls the visit of Pope Francis on June 22, 2015 to Turin Italy. Pope Francis then became the first pope in history to visit a Waldensian evangelical church, and in that trip, asked Waldensian Christians for forgiveness for their past “persecution” from the Catholic Church.
Fr. Fredo recalls that on the occasion of that papal visit, Pope Francis did not refute or deny the point of view raised by the moderator, Eugenio Bernardini, who pointed out that the various “interpretations” on the Eucharist were not part of the Gospel. Fr. Fredo quotes Bernardini, who then said in the presence of the Pope and Waldensian ministers and Christians:
Among the things we have in common are the words that Jesus gave on the occasion of the last supper, “I am the bread… and the wine.” The interpretations of those words are different between the churches and within each of them. But what unites the Christians gathered around the table of Jesus are the bread and wine that He offers us and His words, not our interpretations that are not part of the Gospel.
He said that unlike previous pontiffs who had “solved the question [on the Eucharistic presence] precisely”, Pope Francis admitted that could not solve the Eucharistic question precisely himself, because he was moving the Church from an authoritarian decision-making model, to a more “synodal” model.
Pope Francis Says to Lutheran Woman to “Go Forward” and Receive Communion
Fr. Fredo likewise recalled the answer given by Pope Francis to a question posed to him by a Lutheran lady during his visit to a Lutheran church in Rome on November 15, 2015. During the question-and-answer session after a joint prayer service with Lutherans, Anke de Bernardinis told Pope Francis that she was married to a Catholic and that she and her husband share many “joys and sorrows” in life, but not Communion at church. “What can we do on this point to finally attain Communion?” she asked.
The Pope responded by saying to the Lutheran woman to “talk to the Lord and then go forward”, suggesting that she could receive Communion in the Catholic Church:
To your question, I can only respond with a question: What can I do with my husband, so that the Lord’s Supper accompanies me on my path? It is a problem that everyone has to answer, but a pastor-friend once told me: “We believe that the Lord is present there, he is present. You all believe that the Lord is present. And so what’s the difference?”—“Eh, there are explanations, interpretations.” Life is bigger than explanations and interpretations.
Always refer back to baptism. “One faith, one baptism, one Lord.” This is what Paul tells us, and from there take the consequences.
I would never dare to give permission for this, because it’s not my jurisdiction. “One baptism, one Lord, one faith.” Talk to the Lord and then go forward. I don’t dare to say anything more.
by Paul Simeon, Veritas