The most pastoral thing any of us can do as proclaimers and teachers of God’s word is to tell the truth. The problem with allowing persistent, unrepentant, and public sinners to receive Holy Communion and then excusing that sacrilege by mumbling something about the Eucharist not being “used as a carrot and a stick,” is that it is a copout, as my generation used to say. We do the sinner no favor by turning a blind eye to his sin just because we may like his politics. More than that, we send a message to the Faithful that presenting ourselves for Holy Communion while not in a state of Grace and conscious of unconfessed and unrepentant mortal sin is no big deal. and the we wonder why more and more young people do not see the teachings of Christ and his Church as the guiding moral force in their lives.
Father Kevin Gillespie believes the Catholic Church should not deny communion to President Joe Biden even though he persists in advocating for the killing of unborn babies in abortions. Gillespie is a Jesuit priest at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown, where the president attends Mass regularly. The Atlantic reports the church is associated with liberal politics and politicians; it has a Black Lives Matter banner hanging outside, and its priests often speak about social justice issues. In an interview with the news outlet, Gillespie weighed in on the contentious debate within the church about Biden, who claims to be a devout Catholic while pushing policies that contradict church teachings and jeopardize millions of innocent lives. Gillespie said receiving the Eucharist is a “sacred and intimate moment,” and Biden sees it as a “gift that enhances his faith, and it energizes his witness.” “It’s really an encounter with God,” he told the news outlet. “We most certainly encourage him to improve his intimacy with God through the Eucharist.” Follow LifeNews.com on Instagram for pro-life pictures and videos. Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. also has welcomed Biden to attend Mass and receive communion. Gregory said it is normal for Catholics to have disagreements; they are part of “being a family, a family of faith. The difficulty is too many people want to throw out of the family of faith people with whom they have disagreements.” Gillespie said the church has received a lot of complaints about its decision to give Biden communion, including more than 100 letters, phone calls and emails in the past month, according to the report.Joe Biden’s Catholic Priest Defends Giving Him Communion: It’s “an Encounter With God” | LifeNews.com
You know, the priest has a point. Who are the sacraments for if not the sinner who needs an encounter with God. However, there’s an adjective that should define the noun ‘sinner’ and that adjective is ‘repentant’. God knows my sins and the years I’ve fought against them, and that’s exactly the point. I fight against them. I confess. I beg for the grace to change. Perhaps this priest is also the President’s confessor, knowing Mr. Biden is repentant and better understands the need for the Eucharist.
We cannot know fully Mr. Biden’s nor any other professed Catholic’s sins, no matter their public persona (Pelosi, the Cuomos, our neighbors) This does not alleviate our confusion with understanding God’s divine guidance and the perceptions these public figures present. Recently I was devastated by my own pastor’s admission to supporting formation for same-sex couples’ civil weddings.
We are left with only disciplining our own souls and teaching by word and deed how we understand nature, natural, and divine laws. We have only to answer for our own embodied spirits and how we interact with the world to meet the Genesis Mandate (have ‘dominion’ over the world) and the Great Commission (preach the Gospel and baptize in the Trinitarian form).
Terribly, terribly frustrating….which likely makes it penance….
The Eucharist should not be used as a weapon, but neither should it be used as a photo op. When the Church does not take a stand because somehow the taking of innocent life is considered a political issue rather than the inherent evil that it is, it confuses the faithful, demeans the Blessed Sacrament, and puts the souls of those very politicians in peril.
LikeLiked by 1 person