Eat At Joes

Just a regular Joe who is angry that the USA, the country he loves, is being corrupted and damaged from within and trying to tell his fellow Americans the other half of the story that they don’t get on the TV News.

Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Thursday, July 01, 2004

An update on the Topic of Withholding Communion from Politicians Who Don’t Oppose Abortion

I am a Roman Catholic who attended Catholic school and learned from Dominican Sisters here in Illinois. So that is the basis of my claim to have some level of knowledge on this topic. As I understand it the whole rationale behind Roman Catholic Church leaders calling for withholding of Holy Communion from Catholic politicians who do not publicly oppose abortion or who support abortion rights in their duty as elected officials boils down to the fact that Catholics are not to receive communion when they are in a state of Mortal Sin. Being in a state of Venial Sin is okay. In fact communion will remove Venial Sin, but not Mortal Sin. So what is a Mortal Sin? A Mortal Sin is defined as a grievous offense which is committed after sufficient reflection and with full consent of the will. Three conditions. Abortion is according to the Catholic Church Murder. The politician him or herself is not the one performing the abortion, but rather offering support for laws which guarantee the right to have an abortion by other people. An argument can be made that offering support for laws guaranteeing the right to have an abortion is aiding and abetting a murder. So I will give the Church leaders that. We can argue that Politicians from the viewpoint of the Catholic Church have committed a grievous offense. So that condition is satisfied. Now can we or the clergy distributing communion determine if the politician in question has sufficiently reflected on what committing that offense has done to the politician’s relationship to God? Certainly not. Furthermore we cannot know if the politician felt compelled to offer support for these laws if the politician felt that he or she was representing a constituency who supported those laws. Also most elected officials take an oath of office (often on a Bible) that they will follow the laws of the land which currently includes that abortion is legal and women have the right to have an abortion. Even if a clergy member knew for a fact that a politician had sufficiently reflected on a grievous offense, and committed it with full consent of the will. That clergy member would not know if the politician had confessed the sin and made a good act of contrition thereby removing the sin from his or her soul. Therefore, a clergy member cannot know the State of Grace of a politician in order to determine whether to withhold Holy Communion. For decades it has been case that Roman Catholic clergy left to the conscience of the communicant the duty of examining his or her soul to determine whether they had a Mortal Sin on their soul. This recent decision is a departure from that, and a dangerous one at that. Who gave these Bishops and Cardinals the psychic ability to look into the souls of communicants to determine their State of Grace? No one. And the Bishops and Cardinals must know this since so few of them have called for the withholding of communion from politicians or as the mind reader in Colorado, Bishop Sheridan proposes withholding communion from lay people who have voted for a politician supportive of abortion rights. This combined with the
earlier point
that these Church leaders are ignoring a host of other teachings of the Catholic Church that other politicians violate is cherry picking and an obvious politicizing of the Sacrament of Holy Communion! The vast majority of Catholic Clergy have not called for refusing communion to certain politicians based on their political stances on this one issue. Those clergy who have are using their vaulted positions within the Catholic Church to further their political goals of electing certain politicians at the expense of others. This I believe is reprehensibly shameful. I as a Pro-Life Roman Catholic am mortified and ashamed that members of the Catholic Clergy would behave in such a contemptuous manner and bring such dishonor to the Catholic Church on the heels of the Sex Scandals which have already reduced called into question the honor of the clergy. Are these few Right-Wing Political Pundits in priestly cassocks TRYING to undermine the Catholic Church in the United States? It would almost appear so!


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