In a small village in the Bergamo province of Italy, a Catholic priest has found himself at the center of a heated debate after involving an altar girl in a Holy Communion service.
Father Eros Accorigi, a devout clergyman, made the controversial decision when faced with a predicament – the absence of an “extraordinary minister of communion.” His reasoning was simple; he chose “the purest heart among so many sinners” to assist him.
According to the report by Premier, the unexpected turn of events took place during a routine Holy Communion service, which was recorded on video and swiftly went viral on social media platforms. The footage caught the attention of countless viewers, many of whom expressed their disapproval through comments and emails directed at the Curia of Bergamo. Some even went so far as to label Father Eros’s decision a “liturgical horror.”
Father Eros Accorigi, bewildered by the backlash, gave an interview to the local news outlet, La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. In the interview, he expressed his surprise at the intensity of the controversy that his actions had ignited, stating, “It was as if I had killed someone.”
He further defended his choice by saying, “I don’t think the Eucharist has been vilified, I really don’t… I didn’t do anything wrong.” Father Eros’s words reveal his belief in the purity and sanctity of the Eucharist, which, in Catholic theology, represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
According to the laws of the Catholic Church, the administration of Holy Communion is traditionally the responsibility of bishops, priests, or deacons. However, there are circumstances in which a priest can call upon an “extraordinary minister of Holy Communion” to assist. These extraordinary ministers can be seminarians or laypersons, although they are typically trained and authorized by the Church to handle such responsibilities.
In this particular case, Father Eros chose to involve an altar girl, a decision that has sparked intense debate within the Catholic community. Many traditionalists argue that the inclusion of an altar girl in the Holy Communion service goes against established Church practices.
The liturgical office of the Bergamo curia has taken notice of the controversy and, in response, cautioned Father Eros against repeating the act. The Church’s stance remains rooted in tradition and its adherence to established liturgical guidelines.
Father Eros’s decision to involve an altar girl highlights the ongoing debate within the Catholic Church concerning the role of women in its religious services. While some see this as a progressive move towards greater inclusivity, others interpret it as a violation of the Church’s long-standing customs.
The inclusion of women in the Church has been a topic of discussion for many years. In recent times, there has been a push for more prominent roles for women within the Church, particularly in the wake of the global #MeToo movement and calls for gender equality. Pope Francis himself has expressed a desire to involve women more in decision-making processes within the Vatican.
However, it is important to note that while some may view Father Eros’s actions as a step in the direction of increased female involvement, others see it as a deviation from established norms. The Catholic Church remains rooted in its traditional teachings and liturgical practices, which do not readily embrace significant changes.
The controversy surrounding Father Eros Accorigi’s decision shows the tensions within the Church, as it faces modern societal expectations and the desire for reform while maintaining its deep-rooted traditions.
While Father Eros maintains his decision was in the spirit of inclusivity and the sanctity of the Eucharist, traditionalists have raised concerns about its departure from established Church practices. The Catholic Church continues to navigate the delicate balance between tradition and reform, with discussions on the role of women in the Church ongoing.