Every practicing, devout Catholic in the United States knows there is a crisis in the Church more serious than the cover-up of pedophile and homosexual clergy.
Catholics know that Jesus Christ is present, body, blood soul and divinity in the Holy Eucharist. We believe what Christ said “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you will not have life in you.” We believe without question that He conferred on his Apostles the power to consecrate bread and wine into his body, blood, soul and divinity.
The Holy Eucharist is Christ who resides in the tabernacles and Whom we receive in Holy Communion. All true Catholics believe that. This is Catholic dogma and will not change. Christ becomes present through the words of Consecration at Mass. In fact, the priest is ordained primarily to confect this Sacrament.
“Thou Shall Not Kill”
Catholics also believe, as do millions of others, that abortion is the deliberate commission of a grave sin as a direct violation of the Fifth Commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” We believe that anyone who takes part in or makes abortion possible commits a mortal sin. So to give Holy Communion to a known public sinner, such as Sen. John Kerry, Gov. Jennifer Granhold of Michigan, or Sen. Dick Durbin, is simply wrong.
Our good Protestant friends understand our concern. Yet pitifully few Bishops have done anything about this moral contradiction. No Catholics we know could let this sacrilege continue. But most Bishops allow it to go on.
Serious Catholics believe the matter should be brought to a head. We are tired of skewed arguments that it’s too political, will result in bad press, will make a martyr out of the rejected Catholic.
These arguments have nothing to do with the seriousness of the problem. The Bishop is the Guardian of the Sacraments. Right is right and wrong is wrong and that should be all that matters. This scandal goes beyond politics, and is more important than the seamless garment of a dozen social issues.
Eating and Drinking Condemnation
No place is this so clear as in 1 Corinthians 11, where St. Paul writes, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore, whoever eats the Bread or drinks the Cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. . . . For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
How can a Bishop, the official guardian of the Sacraments, allow a public pro-abortionists to receive Holy Communion? The message this sends the faithful is that either abortion is not a serious sin or the Eucharist is not really Christ. The two are incompatible.
We pity the Bishops who allow it and the priest or lay ministers who give the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ to a public pro-abortion politician. Fear of making a martyr of the politician is of no consequence when the gravity of the sin is considered. Catholics we have talked to are frustrated with the shallow, cowardly and superficial excuses they’ve heard from many members of the hierarchy, as to why they will not deny Communion to supporters and promoters of abortion.
The kindest thing the Bishops could do is to deny public sinners Communion. But they haven’t been listening. Most of them allow the Sacrament to be abused.
Pray Our Bishops Will Find Courage
I asked a group of Catholics recently, if any of them could give Communion to John Kerry or Dick Durbin or Ted Kennedy. None could. One woman said she’d cut her hand off before she’d give them Communion.
The Cardinals wear red and the Bishops wear purple as a sign that they are willing to die for their faith. Many Catholics wonder when they are going to abandoning their cowardly approach to this serious problem. Perhaps letters and e-mails and many prayers could start the ball rolling.
The laity are tired and while we’re not holding our breath for action very soon; still, hope springs eternal. I pray for the Bishops daily and count many among my friends. I have great admiration for those who have taken a strong stand on this issue. But they are too few. Let’s hope their tribe increases.
The U. S. Council of Catholic Bishops is studying the problem. Bishops are meeting with pro-abortion politicians. So take heart; this may be my last commentary on the Bishops until they do something spectacular.