On Sunday at Masses in Chicago, gay rights activists wearing rainbow sashes were denied Holy Communion at orders from Francis Cardinal George, who pointed out that Holy Communion is not a political tool but the true body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. It is to be received reverently by those who hold the teachings of the Catholic Church. Those who espouse immorality in a public forum are to be denied the Sacrament which is to be received only by those in the state of grace.
Time To Sanction Pro-Abort Catholic Pols
We hope to see the same sanction applied to public officials who support abortion and claim to be practicing Catholics. They should also be denied Holy Communion until they make public their conversion.
So far, only a few bishops have shown the courage to stand by and carry out this basic teaching of the Church, but the number is growing, and we suspect that it will be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the bishops in Denver later in June. The Church will take flack from the media and non-believers, but it is the right thing to do and flack has never hurt the Church but rather makes it stronger. In any case, the Blessed Sacrament must be protected from abuse.
Public Sin Needs Public Repentance
Meanwhile, it would be nice if lapsed Catholics and others who don’t have a clue abut the Eucharist would remove themselves from the debate. Politicians are public figures. Any Catholic politician who supports abortion and helps keep it legal, is objectively in the state of grave sin.
Any bishop or priest has the responsibly to tell the public sinner to refrain from receiving Holy Communion. The fact is that even should such a public figure repent and confess his sin, he would still have to make his repentance known publicly before receiving Communion, or he would be guilty of giving grave scandal. A public sinner must make his repentance publicly known. It’s not that hard to figure out.
Catholics who see known supporters of abortion receiving Holy Communion are confused and scandalized. Giving Holy Communion — say to a John Kerry, for instance — says to the public either that abortion is not a mortal sin, or it says the Eucharist is not the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. But support for abortion is a mortal sin, and the Eucharist is the Body of Christ. So what is the average Catholic to think?
Stand Tough, Bishops
It is imperative that the Bishops address this question at their June conference, if they lack the courage to take action on their own before that. I know of nobody in my circle of Catholic friends who would give Communion to John Kerry. The Bishops meeting in Denver June 14 through 20 are being urged by Catholics and other Christians to address this pressing issue.
Vigils will be held nationwide during their meeting, and a group called Operation Witness will hold a vigil at the hotel where the Bishops are meeting. They urge that not only Catholic pro-abort politicians to be denied Holy Communion but also that the bishops declare that no Catholic in good conscience can support a candidate who supports abortion.
Pray that the Bishops get the message. Being pro-abortion is the ultimate litmus test, or as Deal Hudson calls it, the Dominant Issue. Russell Shaw, in the June 2004 Crisis Magazine, also gives advice to the Bishops about to meet in Denver. His “An Open Letter to America’s Bishops” is a must-read.