Athanasius Schneider

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His Excellency
Athanasius Schneider
Auxiliary bishop of Mary Most Holy in Astana
Mgr Schneider, Chartres 2015.jpg
Bishop Schneider in Chartres, France
Diocese Mary Most Holy in Astana
See Celerina
Appointed 5 February 2011
Other posts Titular bishop of Celerina
Ordination 25 March 1990
by Manuel Pestana Filho
Consecration 2 June 2006
by Angelo Cardinal Sodano
Personal details
Birth name Anton Schneider
Born (1961-04-07) 7 April 1961 (age 56)
Tokmok, Kirghiz SSR, Soviet Union (present day Kyrgyzstan)
Nationality German
Denomination Catholic
Previous post Auxiliary bishop of Karaganda
Motto Kyrie eleison
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Athanasius Schneider
Coat of arms of Athanasius Schneider.svg
Reference style The Right Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor

Athanasius Schneider, O.R.C. (born Anton Schneider on 7 April 1961) is a Kazakhstani Catholic bishop. He is the auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan and titular bishop of Celerina. He is a member of the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross of Coimbra.


Anton Schneider was born in Tokmok, Kirghiz SSR in the Soviet Union. His parents were ethnic Germans from Ukraine who were sent by Stalin to gulags in the Ural Mountains after the Second World War. They traveled to the Kirghiz SSR after being released from the camps and, later, to Estonia.[1] [2] In 1973, shortly after making his first Holy Communion by the hand of Bl. Oleksa Zaryckyj, priest and martyr, he left with his family for Germany. When he joined the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross of Coimbra, a Catholic religious order, he was given the religious name Athanasius. He was ordained a priest on 25 March 1990. Starting in 1999, he taught Patristics at Mary, Mother of the Church Seminary in Karaganda. On 2 June 2006 he was consecrated Bishop at the Altar of the Chair of Saint Peter in the Vatican by Angelo Cardinal Sodano. In 2011 he was transferred to the position of auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Astana.[3] He is the General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference of Kazakhstan.[4]

Dominus est[edit]

Bishop Schneider defends the traditional form of receiving Holy Communion (kneeling, on the tongue) in Roman Catholic liturgy.[5] This is the theme of his book Dominus est,[6][7] published in Italian, and since translated into English, German, Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, Hungarian and Chinese. The book contains a foreword written by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, then the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the current Archbishop of Colombo and Metropolitan head of the church in Sri Lanka.

Bishop Schneider encourages Catholics who truly believe they are receiving Christ in the Blessed Sacrament should kneel and receive Communion on their tongues: "The awareness of the greatness of the eucharistic mystery is demonstrated in a special way by the manner in which the body of the Lord is distributed and received".[8]

English liturgical scholar and commentator Alcuin Reid wrote in a review of Dominus est in The Catholic Herald: "Bishop Athanasius Schneider, a patristic scholar, appointed a bishop by Pope Benedict in 2006, has raised his voice in prophetic call for the western Church to recall the importance, if not the necessity, of returning to the previous discipline of the reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue."[9]

Currently in the Catholic Church in many dioceses with the consent of the Holy See, the practice of standing and receiving communion on the hand is permitted. However, many Traditionalist Catholics consider this an unacceptable break from the Traditions of the Roman Church, and call for the practice to be banned on these grounds, and because of its tendency to spread particles of the Eucharist that remained on the hands of one who received. All Eastern Catholic Churches receive communion on the tongue while standing.

Call for a papal document on Vatican II[edit]

At a theological conference in Rome in December 2010, Bishop Schneider proposed the need for "a new Syllabus" (recalling the 1864 Syllabus of Errors), in which papal teaching authority would correct erroneous interpretations of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.[10][11][12]


  1. ^ "Kazakhstan's Deep Christian Roots – ZENIT – English". 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  2. ^ "Kazakhstan, Outpost of Catholic Orthodoxy". Jan 27, 2017. Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  3. ^ David M. Cheney. "Bishop Athanasius Schneider [Catholic-Hierarchy]". Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ "News Features". Catholic Culture. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  6. ^ Dominus est - It Is the Lord: Reflections of a Bishop of Central Asia on Holy Communion (ISBN 978-0977884612)
  7. ^ Latin Mass Society of England and Wales: "Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider" May 2014
  8. ^ "Vatican Newspaper Article Says Catholics Should Receive Communion Kneeling and on the Tongue | Mary\'s Anawim". 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 16, 2009. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Bishop calls for new document correcting misinterpretations of Vatican II". Catholic Culture (Catholic World News). January 21, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Bishop Schneider speaks again, this time on Vatican II – In Caelo et in Terra". 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2016-04-01. 
  12. ^ "Proposals for a Correct Reading of the Second Vatican Council". Retrieved 2016-04-01.