Derry priest Father Michael Canny has branded some parents as ‘hypocrites’ and ‘delusional’ for failing to take their children back to church following their First Holy Communion.
Writing in today’s ‘Sunday Journal’ he says, “To some families First Holy Communion is an important sacrament, to others it’s an excuse for a party, and it is with regret that I say for many it’s an exercise in hypocrisy and mass delusion.”
His comments come as many children across the city prepare to take the sacrament for the first time.
He also reflects that most of those he sees on First Holy Communion day will not be back to church.
“Out of any group of 20 or 25 children who receive the sacrament for the first time, as few as 4 or 5 might be back at Mass the next weekend.”
Again he goes on to blame their parents, saying, “It’s not the children’s fault that they are not back at Mass; indeed they frequently say that their parents will not take them.”
Finally, he insists that the practice of coming to church for ‘cultural events’ only, is also widespread.
“Likewise, many people who present themselves for the sacrament of the Eucharist do so all too often without regards to any kind of regular church practice.
“For many they only go to church for cultural events, like birth (Baptism), death (funeral) and marriage, with little or no religious significance.”
He concludes, “The truth about the Eucharist is a far cry from what is experienced in modern everyday life of the church.”