On Politicians or Activists Going to Communion

The Church warns that sinners who are in grave sin or not in union with the Catholic Church should not present themselves for communion.  It is said that if they do, they eat and drink damnation to themselves as St Paul stated.  Politicians who come to communion despite causing grave harm to the Church and its teaching are given communion on the basis that to refuse them would be politicising the eucharist.  Communion however is always potentially political.  It is often actually political.   It is political in the sense that unbaptised people are banned and will be refused at the altar, eg a Hindu politician trying to honour inclusivity will be unwelcome.  Religion impacts on culture and that impacts on politics.  Not politicising the eucharist does not excuse how politicians are given communion and never told they are unfit. 

In his letter that covers the feast remembering Jesus and his sacrifice, Paul wrote, "I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no one must eat."  Read it in 1 Corinthians 5:11.  The 1 Corinthians 5 text makes the common sense observation that if people enroll in a church they consent to be judged and disciplined by that Church. Outsiders then are not to be held to the same standards and treated like believers in Christ. That does not mean they should not learn and have similar standards. It only means the Church can only deal with its own.

Many politicians are covetous railers and fornicators.  We must remember that there is no evidence that Jesus was inclusive of sinners at the Last Supper.  He even told Judas to leave.

Religion is so powerful at conditioning and brainwashing that politicians fake belief to take advantage of it. A politician who wants a savage abortion regime for it will make him popular will soften Catholics up by taking communion like a person in tune with God and the wider faith community. Politicians like to use religion to get good works done that they are too lazy to do. They do not care if the Christians running the homeless shelter are doing it to deal with an aberration their religion inflicts on their minds as long as it gets done.

Catholicism claims that you should not go to communion if you are a politician who advocates for abortion and other things considered to be seriously evil by the Church. We are told that communion is not a reward for being good, but is a remedy for sin and you have to be open to letting it work. If you are not then you are a hypocrite if you go.  The rule claims not to be about excluding anybody but about protecting people from your bad example but protecting you from the bad spiritual and other consequences of abusing a sacrament.  The Bible warns that God will not tolerate the abuse of anything assigned by him for worship.

Going to communion and getting it speaks to the congregation and the members of the Church. That is why unbelieving politicians who believe in things forbidden by the Church such as same sex marriage, gay rights and abortion go. Enda Kenny here in Ireland goes to communion despite admitting that his faith is not what the Church would call Catholic. He finds it necessary to achieve political and human right ends that are more important than religious doctrine. It gets him the Catholic vote.

Sometimes LGBT activists and politicians are refused communion.

If enough LGBT people, of Catholic origin or not, start going to communion the priests will lose the courage to refuse people. It will send a message to the people. When people see LGBT people getting communion unhindered it will promote gay rights better. People tend to like those who they see getting communion.

Communion is only bread and there is nothing to worry about if you want to take it to help improve people’s support for LGBT people and their rights. Anyway Jesus does not deserve the respect the Church demands for him.

There is blood on the hands of those who would refuse to support the monogamous love between two people of the same sex. That hurts the depressed young gay person the most - many of whom end up as suicides.

For Catholics, Jesus who took responsibility for writing the Old Testament through divinely inspired men has the last word. He said that not a dot of it would pass away until God fulfilled it - meaning God fully approves of it. And one should be aware that it reports God as saying homosexuality is an abomination that must be purged from the midst of the people by stoning homosexuals to death. And then we have Jesus himself indicating and authorising the apostles to preach with his authority that homosexuality is a mortal sin that will lead to everlasting exclusion from God in Hell. Jesus was to blame. Views like that are not tolerable. One can believe it is wrong without going that far

The Church needs to stop pretending that it does not hate. Violent scriptures should be rejected and disdained outright without excuse. A vote for Jesus is a vote for homophobia in the worst sense of the word even if you don't know that he was a bigot. The Church by upholding a homophobic God and Son of God is guilty of at least leading the people into implicit or indirect homophobia. There is no way to support the Church financially or by joining its ministry or baptising your children into it without undermining gay rights.
On “Politicizing” the Eucharist

December 2013
By Regis Scanlon

Fr. Regis Scanlon, O.F.M. Cap., has for the past 25 years been spiritual director and chaplain for Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity in Denver. The director of the Catholic Prison Ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver from 1999 to 2010, he is currently in the process of developing the Julia Greeley Home (juliagreeleyshelter.net), a shelter for homeless, unaccompanied women in the metro Denver area.

One feels sorry for the bishops and pastors of the Catholic Church today. It’s not easy to be a shepherd in the twenty-first century.

In a short span of about sixty years, the Judeo-Christian heritage has suffered what is perhaps the greatest and most rapid moral deterioration in its history. Tragically, many of the people — including Catholics — who should be standing firm against this collapse have chosen to embrace it.

The evidence is as close as today’s headlines and news reports. Huge swaths of Catholics who once scowled at divorce and remarriage argue today that, yes, maybe it’s time for same-sex marriage. Likewise, poll numbers reveal that many Catholic women who once cherished the role of mothers now find it difficult to condemn abortion. The disintegration has happened not just in the major issues of morality but in the realm of common kindness and decency: Where once hats were tipped to priests and nuns, today half-naked activists can interrupt a prayer service to dump water on an archbishop — as happened this April in Belgium — and all most people can do is shrug it off as the “new normal.”

The particularly thorny problem for Catholic pastors is that many who have rejected the Church’s teachings on morals, particularly in the area of family life and human sexuality, remain cultural Catholics. In other words, it’s still politically advantageous for Catholics, especially politicians and other public figures, to present themselves to the public as part of the general Catholic subgroup because it remains a powerful voting bloc. So they march up to Holy Communion in order to get fellow Catholics to support their personal ambitions, even though they are determined to advance policies that offend God and harm the Church, such as their support for abortion, homosexual unions, and infringements on the freedom to publicly practice one’s faith.

Obviously, this is a serious matter for the Church. Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law states, “Those who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

Attention must be paid here to manifest and not to be admitted.

The word manifest shows that the Church is not pretending to read anyone’s heart. Rather, the Church determines objectively, based on a person’s public actions whether or not he has acted in according with the teachings of the Catholic Church and Sacred Scripture.

The phrase not to be admitted (ne admitantur in Latin) is clearly in the passive voice. This means that the decision not to admit someone to Holy Communion is not that of the person himself. Rather, the one who makes this decision is the pastor or administrator of Holy Communion.

To refuse anyone Holy Communion is certainly a loathsome thought. I can’t blame any pastor for searching for a valid reason to squirm out from under the obligation to follow canon 915. But the question must be asked: Is there ever a good reason for a pastor to give the Body and Blood of Christ to a “manifest” sinner who presents himself for Holy Communion?

This problem was recently brought to the doorstep of the Irish hierarchy. They found themselves in a terrible predicament when Enda Kenny, introduced legislation that would allow the abortion of children in some instances. Should the Taoiseach be refused Holy Communion? Sean Cardinal Brady, the head of the Irish Bishops Conference, didn’t think so. He reassured Catholic politicians that there would probably be no consequences for them if they were to support the bill that would introduce abortion into Irish social life. Why? Because Cardinal Brady said among the bishops “there would be a great reluctance to politicize the Eucharist.”

The phrase “politicize the Eucharist” is a troubling one. It has become more and more common to see this idea offered in defense of giving Holy Communion to Catholics who support morally indefensible policies such as abortion. Now Cardinal Brady has added his voice to the chorus. But this trend does not end with Enda Kenny. When the issue has arisen with pro-abortion Catholic politicians in the U.S., the same defence has been offered by the American hierarchy.

On the face of it, a desire not to politize the Eucharist sounds reasonable, even prudent. Nobody wants to see the Eucharist “politicized”. I would agree that politizing the Eucharist is a valid concern for the Catholic hierarchy - but for the opposite reason.

To continue to give Holy Communion to a politician who is well known for sponsoring pro-abortion and same-sex marriage legislation is how the Eucharist truly becomes politicized. Why? Clearly, the politician is using Holy Communion because it is a politically astute thing to do: it lends legitimacy to his policies by giving the appearance that the Church has no problem with them. In short, it is a clever way to garner a greater share of the Catholic vote.

But for a “manifest” sinner to approach the Communion table is a violation of the moral and canonical laws of the Catholic Church. So, if a pastor chooses to give Holy Communion to that prominent Catholic person who chooses to support sinful public policies, that pastor is complicit in the politician’s campaign to “politize” the Eucharist.

It is precisely at the point when the pastor refuses to go along with the politician and instead denies him Holy Communion that the pastor takes the matter out of politics. That’s when he makes the reception of Holy Communion a moral and canonical matter rather than a political one.

To ignore any canon at will is imprudent and a morally grave issue. Laymen who do it are often referred to as “cafeteria Catholics”. The Church hierarchy should know they are not immune from that charge, nor should they excuse themselves.



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