Well it certainly hasn’t got a damn thing to do with whether or not they eat a piece of bread/cracker symbolic of the body a 2000 year dead jewish zombie, that’s for sure!
In his article, Cardinal Cañizares said that Pope Pius’s insistence on the careful preparation of children to receive first Communion still stands, but so does his concern that children have access to the grace that will help them be good and to mature into strong Christians.
‘Grace’ does not make anyone good and it is not something you can force-feed a child. Grace has to be earned and developed, and it’s not at all clear that any child of seven years old could easily fit into a common description of grace and do so knowingly and in full command of that grace.
You help a child become good and moral and strong, you do not make a child do or become anything for that is the wrong path. A parent’s role is to nurture and guide the child in their growth as a person, not to drag them kicking and screaming behind them along a pre-determined path.
I’m all for Catholics having the freedom to specify whatever doctrines they see fit within the confines of their own dogma, however, all controversies aside, it’s abundantly clear that the Catholic Church is not a suitable place to look for good child developmental strategies.
If you want to purport that force-feeding a child a meal of bread it cannot truly grasp the supposed significance of and the full ramifications for, that is your right within the confines of your faith; but if you wish to go further and thereby claim that that meal in and of itself will aid in that child becoming a good and moral person, you have a lot to answer for. You also may have stumbled across a magical drug of sorts too. Imagine the world we could live in if by giving children a simple meal of bread, a one-time only affair, they would grow up to be upstanding moral citizens and productive members of society! It would be amazing.
Yet, as amazing a claim as it would be, not only would it be complete bollox and hocum in the highest (I sense a twist on a common hymn theme after that one) it’s not even close to the claim the Catholic is making. They are instead claiming that through this one-time meal that a child will develop a communion with Jesus (the aforementioned so-old-his-bones-had-they-ever-existed-have-turned-to-dust jewish zombie) and also thereby grow up to become a good Christian.
Where’s the evidence? Oh, wait, they’re only claiming that it will “help” them to grow up to be so. Well, again, where’s the evidence? Where’s the study of child after child being given the rite and given the same developmental support throughout their growth as compared to a control group of youngsters not given the bread meal? Where’s the resulting evidence supporting these claims?
Nowhere to be found. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Why? Because even children who grow up finding themselves having distinctly religious experiences in their lives, including one particular meal of bread, grow up to be murdering assholes, mysogynistic pricks, whores and criminals.
Would feeding them this meal any earlier solve that issue? Not a hope. And why? Because it is the nurture and care and time and love and lessons that a parent gives to it’s child that helps it become who it will become, not some meaningless piece of bread symbolising the long dead head of a fishing club that got out of hand.
Do not look to religion to make a good person out of your child, look in the god-damned mirror and ask yourself is your child learning the right lessons.