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Cardinal notes centenary of lowering of age of First Communion

August 09, 2010

Writing in the August 8 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recalled the 100th anniversary of Quam Singulari, the decree issued during the reign of St. Piuu X that restored the discipline of admitting children to First Holy Communion at the age of seven. Under the influence of Jansenism, First Holy Communion was delayed until the age of 12 or 14 in some places.

“Greater love does not exist, nor a greater gift,” writes Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera. Holy Communion “is a gift of love that is worth more than every other thing in the life of every man.”

Cardinal Cañizares Llovera criticized the recent practice in some places of raising the age of First Holy Communion and called for a “new and vigorous pastoral program of Christian initiation” based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the General Directory of Catechesis.


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