Once again, pro-abortion politicians continue to abuse the Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion in direct violation of Catholic teaching and with the apparent support of their bishops.
Lengthening an alarming and scandalous string of protests designed to send mixed messages to the public, Governor Cuomo and his live-in girlfriend, Sandra Lee, received Holy Communion during Sundays Mass following a homily by Bishop Howard Hubbard. Preceding his January 3 inauguration, Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, who described himself as "pro-choice" on his campaign web site, received Communion at a special Mass concelebrated by Bishop Joseph Pepe of Las Vegas.
Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church, apart from the pope himself), explained during a November 19 interview, "On the question of a person who publicly and obstinately espouses the right of a woman to choose to abort the infant in her womb receiving Holy Communion, strikes me as something very clear. In the 2,000 years of the Churchs tradition, shes always firmly held that a person who is publicly and obstinately in grave sin should not approach to receive Holy Communion and, if he or she does should be denied Holy Communion."
What exactly is it about this clear statement in support of Canon 915 that these bishops do not understand?
This latest set of disgraceful insults to Christ in the Eucharist is but another in the long string of scandals that occur based on the insipid argument that pro-abortion Catholics do not necessarily have the obligation to stay away from the sacrament of Holy Communion and neither does the minister of Communion have the obligation to refuse the sacrament.
This is a mistaken notion. Both obligations exist. They exist based on the Catholic Churchs faith in the real presence of Christ and the responsibility it has to protect the dignity of the Eucharist. This reality is reflected in the code of Canon Law. These canons are to be obeyed in much the same way as our nations laws. When someone disobeys the law, the proper discipline should be enforced. This discipline, in the case of Church law, is designed to provide help to the wayward Catholic and bring him back into full union with the Church.
Specifically, Canon 916 obliges the grave sinner not to "receive the Body of the Lord" in Communion. And Canon 915 obliges the minister to deny the sacrament based on the criteria set forth in the Catholic Church law which states, in part, "Those who have been obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."
Over the years, multiple statements by bishops and their theologians on this matter have distorted the law and run contrary to the most basic sense of piety the faithful have for the sacrament which is "the source and the summit of our Faith." In short, "Give not that which is holy to dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet." (Matthew 7:5)
The big lie that we persist in repudiating goes like this: Obeying Canon 915 is OPTIONAL due to the PRUDENTIAL QUESTIONS involved.
Obedience to Canon 915 is NOT optional. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, wrote in his guidelines on Canon 915 for Catholic bishops in the United States,
5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a persons formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Churchs teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it."
Given this clear teaching, we are astonished that so many Catholic bishops do not publicly, and with Apostolic zeal, enforce Canon 915.
Are these bishops concerned that their action might result in a cut-off of federal funds for Catholic Charities, Catholic hospitals or Catholic schools?
Do they wonder whether their action will help or hurt them politically?
Is federal funding more important than correcting a recalcitrant public figure who politicizes the Holy Eucharist? Are temporal concerns more important than taking the proper measures in the hope that these grave manifest sinners may be brought to repentance and conversion?
What is more important: public perception or saving souls?
Please communicate your concerns over the latest outrages directly to those who could have avoided them:
Bishop Howard Hubbard
Bishop Joseph Pepe