Pro-Choice Catholic politicians and Communion

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Polish753

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Recently, my Archbishop announced that pro-choice “Catholic” politicians should not present themselves to receive Holy Communion, BUT if they do, the priest should not refuse to give it to them. My comment is : if it is wrong for a pro-choice politician to try to receive Communion, isn’t it equally wrong for a priest to give it to him? Two wrongs do not make a right.
 
Actually I agree whole heartedly with this approach. I’ve always understood that it’s not our place to tell another person that they are in a state of mortal sin. Which is pretty much what a Priest is saying if he refuses someone Communion. I’m all for VERY strong language to tell people that they may be pushing it though.

Even when someone is publicly excommunicated from all the sacraments this isn’t a punishment, but a mercifull last ditch effort to get them right with God.
 
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Polish753:
Recently, my Archbishop announced that pro-choice “Catholic” politicians should not present themselves to receive Holy Communion, BUT if they do, the priest should not refuse to give it to them. My comment is : if it is wrong for a pro-choice politician to try to receive Communion, isn’t it equally wrong for a priest to give it to him? Two wrongs do not make a right.
The problem is understanding the spritual condition of the individual at the time he/she present themselves for Holy Communion.

History might tell us that they are the most pro-abortion politicians imaginable. The problem with history is that the individual might have visited the medicine chest the night before at the Sacrament of Pennance. They could very well have confessed their sins, made an act of contrition and then had their sins absolved. It would be wrong to keep such a person from Holy Communion.

That said, more than a few will use this possibility as an excuse to serve obviously non-repentant individuals (such as California Rep. Nancy Pelosi who advertises her defiance of the Church’s teachings on abortion ) Holy Communion.
 
One would hope that if a person confessed to publically dissenting from the Church’s position that their penence would include an equally public denounciation of their former position, in which case the priest would know.

Furthermore, it is the duty of the priest to tend to his flock and if that includes acting in their interest by preventing them from commiting sacrilege, then he must do that according to Canon Law.
Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.
 
Crusader states that a pro-choice politician may have gone to confession before trying to receive Communion, and thus may have been in a state of grace and in a position to receive the Host. BUT isn’t one of the conditions of a good confession the resolve not to commit that sin any more? It is quite evident that these pro-choice politicians do NOT have that resolve . Denying them Communion does not necessitaste knowing their state of mind, but knowing their continuous pro-abortion activities.
 
I just wanted to make an obvious comment about the title of this thread.

There is no such thing as a “Pro-Choice Catholic” politician or a “pro-choice Catholic” anyone else.

You cannot be both pro-choice and Catholic. You are either one or the other. That is the heart of this communion controversy.
 
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pittsburghjeff:
You cannot be both pro-choice and Catholic. You are either one or the other. That is the heart of this communion controversy.
Hey, I’m pro-choice. I believe the little one should have a choice to live. 🙂

I though you should substitute “pro-abortion” for “pro-choice” in that sentence, since we should not allow them to hijack that term “pro-choice”
 
Pittsburghjeff is correct. there really is no such person as a pro-choice Catholic. I should have written pro-choice “Catholic” or pro-choice so-called Catholic.

By the way, a recent poll states that a good percentage of “Catholics” do not believe that that the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of our Lord. I do not consider them Catholics, even though they describe themselves as such.
 
Just a question - I really don’t know the answer.

Doesn’t it say somewhere that people who assist (even though encouragement) in an abortion are automatically excommunicated? I’ve seem to recall reading that somewhere, but I can’t find it, and am not really that sure that I remember correctly.

If that is the case, doesn’t that mean pro-choice (read that “pro-abortion”) politicians are automatically excommunicated?

Like I said, I’m asking because I really don’t know - and someone else asked me that same question. That’s when I realized I couldn’t answer it.
 
If I were a pro-abortion “Catholic” politician who was asked not to receive Communion, and I had a sudden change of heart, the first thing I would do is high-tail it over to my archbishop, confess, and then publicly denounce my past actions. I belong to the archdiocese of St. Louis, and I had the pleasure of talking to archbishop Burke, who insists that no pro-choice politician should be allowed to receive Communion. He made an excellent point: if these people were regular Joe-Shmos from off the street who were in a state of mortal sin, it would be impossible for a priest to know if they had repented for their sins or not. I don’t think he could really know what the condition of that person’s soul is.

However, these politicians are not just guilty of a mortal sin, they are guilty of scandal. They are in a position, as the Catechism states, “which leads another to do evil” (2284). The sins they have committed are not regular mortal sins, but ones that the entire world can see. Therefore, part of their penance must be to end their scandalous ways, to publicly denounce their past actions. How else could they do penance for their public sins?

Until pro-abortion politicians publicly denounce their sins of supporting abortion, they have not completed their confession. The CCC states that “contrition, the confession of sins, and the satisfaction or reparation together with the prayer of absolution by the priest constitute the esssential elements of the Sacrament of Penance” (CCC, 980, 1422, 1440, 1448). (emphasis added) If my readers do not want to look up the verses themselves, simply see “Penance, the Sacrament of” in the glossary.

Therefore, if the politician has not publicly recanted his past voting record, his penance is not complete. The priest has a moral obligation to protect the blessed body, blood, soul, and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ from sacrilege. No, politicians who support abortion should not be offered Communion even if they come for it. They must complete their penance first.
 
Folks, please take a moment to scroll back up and click on the scales of Sanosuke’s post. He definitely deserves a green dot.
 
Bravo! Sanosuke could not be more correct. Perfect answer to this thread. 👍
 
Bryan, As Catholics and lay persons, we are not saying they arenot in a state of grace. The Church and it’s leaders are. I happen to agree with them. If you are a Extaordinary Minister of Communion, and politicans normally go to your your church I would seek direct of the priest before mass. If one shows up without warning to recieve Communion I would go ahead and give them Communion. They must answer for their mortal sin
 
I think the archbishop probably handled it correctly, knowing that there are politics involved.

I know many of us think “Catholo-centrically” here but by threatening ex-communication or directly withholding a vital sacrment to politicians or that do not enact church law into state law, you validate fears that people have about Catholics:

Will the President be controlled by the Pope?

or

*Is the Presidency a mere pulpit for the Catholic Church? *

These sound ridiculous to us but it is a real thought out there among American voters. John Kennedy had to deal with that 30 years ago.

John Kerry is Catholic I believe, is he not? I am not certain of his views on abortion. But if he was/is “pro-choice”, it almost debunks the above fear in a way. Catholics may vote for George Bush because he is pro-life.

See what I mean?
 
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southernman142:
Bryan, As Catholics and lay persons, we are not saying they arenot in a state of grace. The Church and it’s leaders are. I happen to agree with them.
Whoa. Only one person decides if we are, or are not in a state of Grace. Christ. Not the Pope any Bishop or you and I. No one can tell if another person is in mortal sin.
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southernman142:
They must answer for their mortal sin
And so shall we all at death to our Lord Jesus Christ.

For any who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgement upon himself. (1 Cor 11:29)

We must keep in mind that the Church isn’t trying to punish by withholding Communion it’s doing the mercyfull thing.
 
Scanner:
I think the archbishop probably handled it correctly, knowing that there are politics involved.
I know many of us think “Catholo-centrically” here but by threatening ex-communication or directly withholding a vital sacrment to politicians or that do not enact church law into state law, you validate fears that people have about Catholics:
Will the President be controlled by the Pope?
Is the Presidency a mere pulpit for the Catholic Church?
These sound ridiculous to us but it is a real thought out there among American voters. John Kennedy had to deal with that 30 years ago.
John Kerry is Catholic I believe, is he not? I am not certain of his views on abortion. But if he was/is “pro-choice”, it almost debunks the above fear in a way. Catholics may vote for George Bush because he is pro-life.
See what I mean?
No, I don’t understand what you mean. 🙂 Could you name one person that has accused John Kerry of being controlled by the Pope? I didn’t think so. As the American public, I would also have to be suspicious of a man who so flippantly dismissed the opinions of moral leaders. If Kerry is so flippantly able to dismiss his religion, will he similarly dismiss the Constitution as well?

Does the American public really believe that Kerry is above the laws of his Church? It sounds like Monica Lewinsky all over again. In which case, if people get upset for a rule being enforced, let them get upset. As leaders of the Church, our bishops have spent 30 years being silent on Church law, ignoring their duties to both their diocese and to God. Anyone who has read the writings of our Church Fathers can see that bishops have been exiled, punished, or even killed for the sake of performing their duties. And yet, when we get into the United States, we are afraid of being…gaspcriticized for standing up for God’s law.

Politics was bad back in the early Church, too. The Emperor was both head of state and head of Church (starting with Caesar, the Emperor carried the official title Pontificus Maximus, which made him head of Rome’s religion). The Emperor oftentimes tried to assert his authority over the Church, and bishops were often terribly punished for doing so when they took a stand for their Church.

And you are right, Scanner. I am most certainly Catholo-Centric. Anyone who has the luck (for lack of a better word) of being in this Church should be. With that said, I don’t care what other people say about us, I am putting my Church first. I refuse to put politics first and my Church second. How did Thomas More say it in a Man for all Seasons? “And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?”

Politics indeed.
 
Sanoske,

This has the makings of a huge hot topic, Religion and Politics, not Religion or Politics. 😉

You see, that’s why we have Bishops, Cardinals, and Popes, with absolute hierarchial authority over Priests - to prevent a renegade Priest from making a political point with his pulpit. I can understand now more this hierarchial structure.

If Catholics do think like you as a majority, (and I pretend to not know one way or the other) and it becomes public that we want our Church law enacted into State law, we will have a heck of a time ever getting another Catholic elected as President. People don’t want the White House to be ruled vis a vis from the Vatican.

“Mr. President, we are awaiting your orders.”

“Hold on, patch me through to the Vatician, I want to check with the Pope if we can counterattack or if we should turn the other cheek with the terrorist attack on the daycare center. I am unsure on Church law in this matter. . .”

That’s what the average American will think if they read your post. It’s ridiculous but you are actually making it sound less than fiction, with maybe an element of truth in it.

And a politician is not guilty of scandal if he or she advocates a pro-choice movement. He/she is only guilty of being human and an American politician in that he/she is trying to best represent the will/desires of the people in a democratic way and maybe having a hard time reconciling that with right or wrong. He or she may feel it is so wrong, but also feels the tug of representing the will of the people. It’s part of the human experience.

Like it or not, our country is a democracy, not a theocracy.

I think that is why the archbishop in this case wishes the priest to not withhold communion and let the politician wrestle within his conscience, through prayer, about right and wrong, and the majority opinion, on which our nation is founded.

As the poster above me said, only one can judge and God understands forces at work much better than you or I.
 
Sanosuke,

PS:
that’s the interesting thing about our country - you can form your own party, maybe call it Catholic Theocratic Party, and try to get elected along with Democratic, Republican, Communist, Socialist, Green Party and so on.

If you get enough popular and/or electorate votes, you can get your Church law enacted into State law. In a lot of ways, we are more a Republic than a democracy.
 
You see, Scanner, this is the problem we have had with abortion for over 30 years now. Every time the laypeople ask a bishop to do something or say something on abortion, they claim that it is a state issue and they shouldn’t get involved. Every time we ask the politicians, like John Kerry, to do something about abortion, he claims that he is personally opposed to abortion, but he doesn’t want to force his religion on others. Our leaders have been playing this game for 30 years now, and nothing has gotten done because of it.

You are trying to paint me as a theocrat. So instead of acutally addressing what I said, you instead spend half of your post making an absurd claim that by taking a stand on abortion (which is not just a Catholic issue, by the way) our bishops are not only injecting themselves into state affairs but are taking over our government. I guess if you can’t beat 'em, you just beat the straw man.
And a politician is not guilty of scandal if he or she advocates a pro-choice movement. He/she is only guilty of being human and an American politician in that he/she is trying to best represent the will/desires of the people in a democratic way and maybe having a hard time reconciling that with right or wrong. He or she may feel it is so wrong, but also feels the tug of representing the will of the people. It’s part of the human experience.
So politiicans aren’t held accountable for what they think and how they vote? Do you realize, Scanner, how much money is being spent domesticly and internationally by the United States in the name of population control? You don’t think it is scandalous to vote to send an entire country’s money towards abortion around the world? That money is going towards “educating” people about the glories of birth control and abortion, and also towards actual abortions themselves. And you are going to try to convince me that a politican who votes pro-choice is not guilty of scandal? And if politicians are so spineless that they can’t even stand for what they believe, they don’t deserve to be public servants.
As the poster above me said, only one can judge and God understands forces at work much better than you or I.
When did I ever make a statement on whether a pro-choice politican obtains salvation? Yes, that is God’s job, and I haven’t ever tried to take it from Him. However, God has left us a pretty clear-cut set of laws to follow through His Church. So while I cannot (and have not) ever judged a pro-choice politician, there actions speak loudly of sin. I don’t have to do any judging to know a sin when I see one.

And we are a Republic, by the way.
 
You see, Scanner, this is the problem we have had with abortion for over 30 years now. Every time the laypeople ask a bishop to do something or say something on abortion, they claim that it is a state issue and they shouldn’t get involved.
Um, I do think they say something on abortion. It’s wrong. And in this case, the bishop instruced a member of his flock that in his conscience it should be wrong and not present himself for communion.
Every time we ask the politicians, like John Kerry, to do something about abortion, he claims that he is personally opposed to abortion, but he doesn’t want to force his religion on others. Our leaders have been playing this game for 30 years now, and nothing has gotten done because of it.
Yeah, it’s an interesting price, isn’t it?. We have the freedom to practice Catholicism here but at the same time have to live with the seperation of Church and State. Our forefathers, who were Protestants by the way, were wonderfully wise but yet paradoxically humanly flawed. . .
You are trying to paint me as a theocrat. So instead of acutally addressing what I said, you instead spend half of your post making an absurd claim that by taking a stand on abortion (which is not just a Catholic issue, by the way) our bishops are not only injecting themselves into state affairs but are taking over our government. I guess if you can’t beat 'em, you just beat the straw man.
Well, what aren’t you doing if you try to publically exert influence over our politicians via directly refusing a sacrament? And publically declaring them guilty of scandal because they are trying to best represent the will of the people? Call me naive but I don’t think a politician wakes up every morning and says, “Hmmmm. Let’s see. What scandal can I conjure up today?”

(Well, maybe Clinton . . .:D)

Being a Republic has it’s challenges. I accept that abortion right now may be a “mob rule” kind of psychology at work on pro-choice politicians. But that doesn’t make them guilty of scandal.
So politiicans aren’t held accountable for what they think and how they vote?
Well, are you held accountable for voting for Bush, because he is fighting an unjustified war or held accountable for voting for Kerry because he advocates pro-choice? Just curious.
Do you realize, Scanner, how much money is being spent domesticly and internationally by the United States in the name of population control?
By who? Taxpayors? The last I thought people who practiced population control spent money on condoms and oral conception themselves, not the taxpayors. I will admit that health insurance will pay for a vascetomy, which is sort of akin to sharing the cost. Honest question - how do the people spend money on abortion and birth control? I am not sure if abortion is covered by health insurance, actually. . .I thought it was elective. I will admit I don’t know.
And if politicians are so spineless that they can’t even stand for what they believe, they don’t deserve to be public servants.
Then vote them out. Apparently you have a lot of anger towards our politicians. Remember that is the nice thing about democracy vs. theocracy. You can get rid of them. If you have a scandalous archbishop, it ain’t that easy.
Yes, that is God’s job, and I haven’t ever tried to take it from Him. However, God has left us a pretty clear-cut set of laws to follow through His Church. So while I cannot (and have not) ever judged a pro-choice politician, there actions speak loudly of sin. I don’t have to do any judging to know a sin when I see one.
Welcome to politics - you vote Bush, you advocate an unjustified war. You vote Kerry, you advocate pro-choice.

Looks like you’re a Nader guy.
 
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