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The Beginning of a Persecution Against Catholics is also the Beginning of a new Missionary Age.

5/30/2004 - 6:20 AM PST

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By Rev. Mr. Keith A. Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC

On the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord I read an article in my local newspaper, the Virginian Pilot, entitled “Catholic Church officials should Not Use the Altar as a Battlefield.” The article was written by a Catholic attorney who did not understand the theological teaching of her own Church concerning the reception of the Sacrament we call the Eucharist. Oh, the article read as though she did, citing sources from the rich tradition that is Catholic Christian theology. However, as lawyers can do so well, she cited them in a manner that was completely incorrect. She did not agree with the teaching of her own Church and sought to change it by using a public forum to articulate her own agenda and make it sound “learned”.

This author and others like her are engaged in a form of “guerilla war”, theologically disagreeing with their own Church and using public forums to do so. That same week, I was invited to debate Linda Pieczynski, a leader of "Call to Action", (a dissident Catholic group) on a Public Radio Station, WHY in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the discussion I noted that it is not the Clergy who are turning the issue of receiving communion into a political battlefield but rather some Catholic politicians who, though holding open positions in complete opposition to the teaching of their own Church, insist on coming forward to receive the Sacrament of “full communion” knowing full well that they are not in full communion. By taking this approach, they have put the Clergy of their Church in a very tenuous position.

Above the protestations of this Catholic belonging to the dissident group “Call to Action”, I pointed out the clear language found in the pertinent Canon Law of the Catholic Church (Canon 915 in the West with a parallel Canon in the Eastern Code) which not only addresses those who are excommunicate but also those who obstinately “persist in grave sin” - which is what these politicians are doing. The teaching of the Catholic Church on the inviolable dignity of every human person from conception to natural death and the absolute intrinsically evil nature of every procured abortion is beyond dispute. Catholics in public life who politically support this intrinsic evil, as a legal “right”, while professing something different in their identification with the Catholic faith, need to repent, go to confession, and then act in a manner consistent with the truth both privately and publicly.

They should also refrain from receiving the Sacrament of Full Communion until they are back in full communion with their Church. Out of a concern for their fellow Catholics as well as their own public witness, they should refrain from receiving the Sacrament in order to avoid causing grave scandal to the faithful. Finally, out of respect for the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, the hierarchy of the Church, they should act with both religious and personal integrity and stop fomenting dissension and public confusion concerning this matter. It is their public behavior that has occasioned their own breaking of communion and they should not add to a growing “feeding frenzy” by turning to public forums in an attempt to change the unchangeable teaching of their Church. Yet, they have done just that and the hostility they have unleashed against the catholic Church is growing.

The altar is NOT the battlefield; it is the place of safety, love and welcome for all who approach in full communion. The real war is being waged in the first home of the whole human race, the womb. The weapons being used on our first neighbors in the womb are chemical agents, instruments of torture and the errant sanctioning of the taking of human life as a legal “right.” Now, a new “thought police” from a growing culture of death and instrumentalism, are using a new “fifth column” (a portion of a co-operative Press that has lost all sense of objectivity) to attempt to obfuscate the issue.

Masterfully, a propaganda effort is underway to make the Catholic Church and her leaders look as though they are “forcing” their position on others. When, in fact, it is dissident Catholics (and others) who are attempting to force their own beliefs on the Church through the use of calculated public efforts and the power of an increasingly hostile State.When I returned to my home office that evening, I had three very disturbing messages on my phone. They were all from a “fellow Catholic” who expressed disdain, rage and intent to physically harm me. The hostility and rage in the voice of this caller were palpable.

The clear, consistent and unbroken teaching of the Catholic Church is that the reception of the Eucharist is reserved not only to Catholics (and Orthodox in proper circumstances), but that the reception of communion connotes that the one coming forward to receive is in a “state of grace” (free from serious ...

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