October 3, 2003
"It is not our policy to deny Communion"
By Barbara Kralis

Archbishop Sean O'Malley made the following statement on July 29, 2003, from his Archdiocese's Public Release Office, "a Catholic politician who holds a public, pro-choice position should not be receiving Communion...." However, he added (incredibly!): "The Church presumes that each person is receiving in good faith. It is not our policy to deny Communion. It is up to the individual." (The presumption is obviously faulty.)

Therefore, on July 30, 2003, Archbishop O'Malley, at his Mass of Installation as Archbishop of Boston, permitted pro-abortion Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy to receive Holy Communion sacrilegiously.

If Archbishop O'Malley's statement and action in regard to Kerry and Kennedy is morally correct, this would mean that priests in the Boston Archdiocese, and everywhere else for that matter, should give Holy Communion without question to anyone approaching the Altar. This would mean that it is O.K. for all bishops and priests to give Holy Communion to people publicly professing beliefs contrary to the doctrines of the Catholic Church or publicly living lives at serious variance with the teachings of the Church. This would include homosexual couples approaching the Eucharist arm and arm, the divorced and "remarried" without benefit of annulment, directors of Planned Parenthood, Mafia figures, drug lords, et al.

O'Malley's statement is an evasion, and he has a responsibility to hold these pro-abortion politicians accountable to Canon Law. If his statement isn't backed up by canonical penalties, can he really expect Kerry and Kennedy to take him seriously? As we know, they didn't.

Canon Law is law; it's not a suggestion. Canon Law 915 states: "those who...obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Communion." For a Catholic to vote for pro-abortion legislation is a "manifest grave sin," and it is something Kerry and Kennedy have been doing for years, unabashedly.

According to Canon Law, a bishop has not only the right but the duty to stop a grave sinner from committing sacrilege and scandal. Canon 1369 tells bishops: "A person is to be punished with a just penalty, who...gravely harms public morals...." It is obvious that Kennedy and Kerry have "gravely harmed public morals" by repeatedly and publicly defying Church doctrine on abortion.

The Church has an innate and proper right to coerce offending members by means of penal sanctions (canon 1311). Diocesan bishops as well as the Pope possess legislative power, and the Code of Canon Law (canons 1315 and 1318) expressly recognizes their right to enact laws for their dioceses.

In August 2000, Mexican Norberto Cardinal Rivera responded to Mexico City's push to liberalize abortion laws by stating that, "anyone who promotes or practices abortion, including legislators and governors, will be automatically excommunicated by the Church."

In 2001, the Archbishop of Lima and Primate of Peru, Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani, instructed his pastors to deny communion to politicians who refuse to abandon their pro-abortion views. The instruction read: "the pastor who has a parishioner in this condition can deny him Holy Communion in public, after warning him in private."

Calgary Bishop Fred Henry, refusing to recant his earlier warning that Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's official political decisions were risking his eternal salvation, told reporters on August 2, 2003, that he would likely refuse the Prime Minister Holy Communion.

"As a Catholic, if he can't listen to the pope and he can't listen to the bishops, then we have a problem with the Catholicity of this man. We have a serious problem. You can't go around calling yourself a good Catholic and act in a contrary manner. Acts have consequences. If the Prime Minister were to come to Calgary and line up for Communion in the ranks at the cathedral and I were the celebrant, I would probably refuse him...."

Archbishop O'Malley is not off to a good start. He created a "false sense of Communion" and caused scandal to those who have authentic love for the Church. O'Malley was in charge as the main Celebrant of the Mass of Installation. As Archbishop, he is called to "govern" and "correct." He did not.

© Barbara Kralis

Comments feature added August 14, 2011

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Barbara Kralis

Barbara Kralis, the article's author, writes for various Christian and conservative publications... (more)


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