There is a grave crisis in the Church today, and it is centered on the reception of Holy Communion. Sadly, many, MANY bishops and priests are playing fast and loose with the distribution of Holy Communion to the great peril of their own souls and the souls of those they are scandalizing.
Just a few days ago, Chicago’s new archbishop, Blase Cupich made national headlines for comments he made during an interview on Face the Nation. During the interview, Archbishop Cupich was asked, “when you say we cannot politicize the communion rail, you would give communion to politicians, for instance, who support abortion rights.”
Cupich’s response was:
“I would not use the Eucharist or as they call it the communion rail as the place to have those discussions or weigh in which people would be either excluded from the life of the church. The Eucharist is an opportunity of grace and conversion. It’s also a time of forgiveness of sins. So my hope would be that that grace would be instrumental in bringing people to the truth.”
While the archbishop is right in suggesting that Holy Communion brings an abundance of graces which forgive a multitude of venial sins, there can be no grace for those who have killed the life of grace within themselves through mortal sin. Giving support and promotion of such intrinsic evils as abortion, even after correction from the local ordinary, is the very definition of what Canon 915 states is “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin.” As such, it is an obligation on the part of the priest or bishop distributing Holy Communion to withhold Holy Communion from those individuals.
Canon Law doesn’t exist as a set of arbitrary rules intended to “get” people acting out of line with the wishes of white-haired men in the heart of Italy. Canon Law exists to preserve order and grace for the members of the Mystical Body of Christ. So, when Holy Mother Church requires prelates and clergy to deny Holy Communion to individuals, She does so for the salvation of both the individual and the bishop or priest.
In his book, “The Blessed Eucharist,” Fr. Michael Muller said of those receiving Holy Communion unworthily, “they receive the innocent Lamb of God and make Him a prisoner in a sinful and polluted heart.”
In the Gospel of John, we are given to understand that Satan entered into Judas after he received Communion unworthily. “Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.’ So he dipped the morsel and [took it and] handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. After he took the morsel, Satan entered him.”
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he was very clear about what happens to those who receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin. “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.”
So, it’s clear that matters pertaining to the reception of Holy Communion are not to be taken lightly, and the privilege of receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Lord must not be abused. Abusing this greatest of all sacraments has eternal ramifications, and the shepherds, whose primary duty it is to see to the salvation of the members of their flocks place themselves in grave danger by treating Canon 915 too loosely.
When a priest or bishop knowingly gives communion to a notorious and obstinate sinner, in rejection of Canon law, in effect, he is no different than Judas was in handing Our Lord over to His tormentors. And just as Our Blessed Lord said to Pilate, “the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin,” I can only imagine that those words are reserved for those pro-abortion politicians being allowed to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion at the hands of bishops and priests who truly know better.
Dear readers, too many are ready to speak in condemnation of the new archbishop, and many like him who declare an intent to distribute Communion to pro-abortion politicians. What these cardinals, bishops and priests need are not our condemnations, but our prayers and acts of reparation. This weekend is the First Friday and the First Saturday of the month. In 1925, Our Lady told Sr. Lucia:
“See, my daughter, my Heart encircled by thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you, at least, strive to console me. Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.”
I am resolved to make the five first Saturdays in reparation for the scandalous distribution of Holy Communion to notorious individuals “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin.” And I am offering my daily Rosary for Archbishop Cupich and others like him. I ask, in sincerest charity, that you do the same.