Extra, extra! News and Views June 15, 2022 – Catholic World Report
Denver, Colorado, May 7, 2021 / 12:10 p.m. (CNA).
The Bishop of Phoenix supported this week a recent letter of the Archbishop of San Francisco declaring that Catholics cooperating with abortion should not come for Communion.
“Woe to us bishops if we do not speak clearly about the grave evil of abortion and the consequences of any Catholic who participates in the act or publicly supports it in word or deed,” the bishop said. Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix. said in a May 6 statement.
He responded to a May 1 letter from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco on “human dignity of the unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in public life.” Olmsted called it a “powerful defense of the Church’s teaching on the dignity of all human life”.
Referring to bishops who fail to clearly denounce the evil of abortion and the Catholics who support it, Olmsted condemned “a false patience and pastoral concern that year after year remains silent or speaks in abstractions as the slaughter continue with the full support of Catholic politicians”. under our spiritual care as bishops.
The Bishop warned that the reluctance to speak out in such cases is pastoral failure rather than charitable politeness.
“Such ‘patience’ is false because it is devoid of love and truth, and thus rather unmasks a deadly apathy toward one who professes the Catholic faith but whose public acceptance of abortion puts his eternal soul at risk. danger of damnation and the risk of dragging countless numbers to hell by their example,” he said.
Bishop Cordileone wrote in a May 1 pastoral letter that any Catholic cooperating with the evil of abortion should abstain from receiving the Eucharist. In his letter, he included a section on Catholic officials who advocate for abortion.
“You are in a position to do something concrete and decisive to stop the massacre,” Cordileone wrote, addressing these politicians. “Please stop the slaughter.”
“And please stop pretending that advocating or practicing grave moral evil – one that suffocates innocent human life, one that denies a basic human right – is somehow compatible with the Catholic faith. It’s not. Please return home in the fullness of your Catholic faith,” he wrote.
The topic of Holy Communion for pro-abortion Catholic politicians has become particularly relevant with the election of Joe Biden, the first Catholic US president in six decades.
Biden has publicly advocated for the protection of legal abortion, including codifying Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Biden has also supported taxpayer funding of elective abortions and has taken steps as president to allow taxpayer funding for pro-abortion groups in the United States and abroad.
The United States Bishops (USCCB) may address the topic of “Eucharistic coherence” at their spring meeting in June. However, if a document is presented on this subject, it will deal with the teaching of the Church on the general dignity of receiving communion, and will not constitute a specific incitement to deny communion to Biden.
A source close to the USCCB told the ANC on April 29 that at the June meeting, the bishops’ doctrine committee could present a “general document” on the general dignity for receiving communion; alternatively, the bishops could wait until their fall meeting in November to vote to consider such a document.
In its own apostolic letter beginning in early April, Olmsted wrote that Catholic teaching views the Eucharist as Christ’s transforming sacrifice on the cross, and that Holy Communion should only be received worthily. The Church teaches that to receive Communion, baptized Catholics must not be aware of having committed a serious sin since their last confession.
This teaching is not “partisan,” Olmsted wrote, adding that it certainly applies to political leaders who support evils such as abortion and euthanasia.
“Holy Communion is reserved for those who, with the grace of God, make a sincere effort to live this union with Christ and his Church by adhering to all that the Catholic Church believes and proclaims revealed by God,” wrote Bishop Olmsted, explaining that the Church’s teaching on this subject has “always been clear and based on the Scriptures”.
This is why the Church “demands that Catholic leaders who have publicly supported gravely immoral laws such as abortion and euthanasia refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they publicly repent and receive the Sacrament of Penance,” he said.
Olmsted recommended that all Catholics read Cordileone’s letter, as well as “all people of goodwill who desire to know why the Church cannot and will not change its traditional defense of motherhood and the most vulnerable in the uterus”.
The bishop also recommended that the faithful read a recent post on the question written by the Archbishop of Denver Samuel Aquila.
“When the Church downplays the danger of an unworthy reception of the Eucharist, she fails to properly love those who continue to put their souls in danger,” Bishop Aquila wrote in his April 14 article published in the magazine. America.
“Exchanging ‘civility’ and ‘commitment’ for eternal life is not a good exchange, and it is especially negligent for me as a bishop to remain silent when people whom I am called to love can put endangering their eternal soul. It’s a danger to them and a danger to me,” he wrote.
Individual bishops have spoken and written on the topic of “Eucharistic coherence” in recent months.
In March, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois told a Canon Law Society of America regional conference that Catholics who publicly and stubbornly advocate for abortion, including politicians, can and should be denied communion under canon law.
“I’m talking about their outward actions. If they live in a way or hold positions contrary to the teaching of the church, then the minister of Communion must deny them the sacrament,” Paprocki said.
During his homily at the Vigil for Life Mass in January, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas taught that Catholics should not receive Communion if they contradict the “fundamental” teaching of the Church. ‘Church.
However, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. and Bishop William Malooly of Wilmington, Delaware — Biden’s home diocese — have said in the past that they would not deny Communion to a politician who consistently pushes for permissive abortion laws or policies.
Msgr. William Koenig was chosen last month as the new bishop of Wilmington, with his episcopal ordination scheduled for July 13.
Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego also said in an online dialogue in February that denying communion to Catholic politicians stubbornly pro-abortion would be construed as “weaponizing the Eucharist.” He said bishops teaching “Eucharistic coherence” under President Biden was not a “good idea.”