Pro-Abort Catholic Politicians to Receive Communion at Papal Mass [UPDATED]
Brian Saint-Paul reports at InsideCatholic:
Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry intend to receive Communion at a public, fully-televised Papal Mass? Recall the letter that then-Cardinal Ratzinger sent to the U.S. bishops on the subject of pro-abortion Catholic politicians just prior to the 2004 election.(emphasis added by Brian)
Here's the relevant section:5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s 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 Church’s 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.Given that these are the words of Benedict himself and hardly secret, it looks like Pelosi and Kerry are trying to make a statement. Tacky.
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" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" , nos. 3-4).
Deal Hudson responds:
Regarding the Mass at National's Stadium today this how pro-abort Catholic politicians like Pelosi and Kerry will receive Holy Communion.My Comments:
These politicians have what are called "advance" work done. They will make sure they know who the priest will be assigned to their section -- this priest will be well aware of who is in the line coming for the Eucharist. These arrangements will be made through the Archdiocese of Washington.
There will be no doubt, no hesitation -- very likely a television camera will be trained on Pelosi, Kerry, et al as they take Communion, and millions of people will be watching.
It will not only be a "statement," as described by Brian, it will also be a public relations coup of the highest order for the Democratic Party, an end to the threat of Canon 915 .
Why? They will have received Communion at a Mass celebrated by Benedict XVI.
I'm not sure what I think of this. Politicization of the Eucharist during the papal visit (either by those pro-abortion politicos who present themselves for Communion to, perhaps, make a "statement" or by those who loudly object to their doing so) is unfortunate. I do know that I am particularly unconcerned about whether these politicians receiving Communion during a Papal Mass is a "public relations coup of the highest order for the Democrat Party". Who cares which party is benefited by such things? Partisan politics is completely irrelevant in such a matter.
I'm more concerned about whether public reception of Communion by those who publicly dissent from Church teaching provides an occasion for scandal to the faithful, and creates the impression that the Church's teachings are "optional" - that, as one commenter at InsideCatholic puts it, "one can [publicly] dissent from the Magisterium teaching on abortion and other issues, and still remain in good standing with the Church."
From The Hill:
Pelosi takes Communion at papal Mass
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she felt very comfortable taking Communion during the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, who has said supporters of abortion rights should not receive Communion.
“Communion is the body of the people of the church coming together,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference after returning from the Mass. “I feel very much a part of that.”
Staffers said Pelosi received Communion during the service, but not from the pope himself.