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Ten questions regarding the denial of the Eucharist.

By Barbara Kralis
© 2004 Catholic Online

Several U.S. bishops have recently voiced their opposition and ersatz reasoning why no one should be denied the Eucharist according to Code of Canon Law n. 915.

Those in the pews are perplexed.  Which bishop is correct?  Why would some bishops teach that the laws are binding and other bishops teach that they are not?  [i]

Quizzically, people are asking ten questions:

1] “Why should the Church deny the Eucharist to hundreds of ‘Catholic’ pro abortion politicians?”

Answer:  The Catholic Church condemns abortion,[ii] euthanasia,[iii] sodomy,[iv] cloning,[v] embryonic stem cell research,[vi] as well as other attacks against the sanctity of life and the family.  It is the obligation of the bishop to follow canon law.  Canon Law n.915 mandates the denial of Communion to all “manifest, obstinate, persistent sinners,” including but not exclusive to politicians. [vii]

Canon 915 not only protects the Eucharist from sacrilegious reception, but also prevents the faithful from sorrowful scandal.

It’s important to understand what ‘manifest, obstinate, persistent’ means.  Many wrongly think it applies only to politicians. [viii]  This is not so.

If a Catholic is a ‘manifest’ sinner, that means he is ‘known,’ or ‘public.’  This must be differentiated from the Catholics who are in the state of ‘private’ grave sin, to whom their sin is known only to themselves and God.  The private grave sinner cannot be denied the Eucharist because their sin is unknown to the bishop, to his priests, and his ministers of the Eucharist.

If a Catholic is gravely ‘manifest’ and ‘obstinate’ in his sin, that means he pigheadedly continues to ‘persist’ or ‘stand firm’ in grave sin that is ‘public’ in nature and causes scandal to others.  This is quite different from those who persist in ‘private’ sin.

‘Catholic’ pro-abortion politicians are certainly manifest, obstinate and persistent sinners and they are thus subject to the provisions of c.915. [ix]

2]  “If they deny politicians, then shouldn’t they deny all public sinners?”

Answer: Not only does this canonical discipline c.915 include the estimated 500 so-called ‘Catholic’ pro-abortion politicians in the U.S., but it also includes other manifest, obstinate, persistent sinners such as homosexual couples approaching the Eucharist arm-in-arm or with sodomite rainbow banners over their shoulders, those divorced and ‘remarried’ without benefit of annulment [x], directors of abortion mills and Planned Parenthood, Mafia figures, drug lords, notorious criminals, couples living openly in fornication or adultery (this is certainly not an exhaustive list of manifest sinners).

3]  “What about the couple or individual who lives in grave sin ‘privately’ and their Pastor is made aware of their sin?  Should their Pastor deny them the Eucharist?”

Answer: No.  Not if most people do not know this.  He cannot make their sin known to people.  The priest cannot make known the sins of others, if it is not already manifest.  It’s related to the seal of confession.[xi]  If it becomes known by most in the parish, then the priest might then be obliged to deny the Eucharist under c.915 so as not to cause scandal.

4] “Isn’t there supposed to be a separation of Church and State?

Answer:  The Founding Fathers of our nation believed in the promotion of religion, as the text to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”

The Fathers merely wanted to avoid a state church or any other favoring of one Christian denomination over another.  In other words, the object was to avoid favoritism and compulsion, nothing more. [xii]

It would be a sad day in America if only Catholics believed in protection of innocent life. [xiii]

5] “Can the Church tell its members ...

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1 - 1 of 1 Comments

  1. R.T. Neary
    4 years ago

    Here in Massachusetts after Roe v Wade, politicians were squirming to find a way for justification of pro-abortion votes. U.S. Representative Robert Drinan S.J. opened the door by voting our tax money to support it in Washington, and this jarred open the floodgates in this state. No Cardinal, Archbishop or bishop has been willing to stop it, and it continues unabated. In fact, the entire delegation to Congress is lockstep in supporting abortion across the entire spectrum. With the exception of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the entire Kennedy family abandoned the Roman Catholic teaching and were heralded by the Boston Globe and other media for this stance.

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