Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bishops: I know you were busy with the Papal visit and all but Communion is...serious

Following Bob Novak's Washington Post column expressing dismay at politico Rudy Giuliani receiving the Blessed Sacrament at the Papal Mass in New York, New York's Cardinal Archbishop Egan expressed similar dismay, explaining that he and Giuliani had reached and "understanding...that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion."

"I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding."

I support and pray that the Cardinal Archbishop will be able to shepherd the Catholic ex-mayor into understanding the gravity inherent in receiving the Blessed Sacrament while not in communion with Catholic teaching, which includes — which somehow the Cardinal did not seem to address — irregular matrimonial status.

But there are further personalities involved here, aren't there?

Also receiving the Sacrament during the papal visit were Senators Kennedy, Kerry, and Dodd, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Novak gave Washington's Archbishop Wuerl some heat for this, since the reception occurred during the Mass in Washington. Fine. But I don't think the total responsibility belongs on Egan or Wuerl.

Have you ever heard a sermon regarding the proper disposition for receiving Holy Communion?

I haven't. (Wait...once I did. It was when Cardinal Law was still in Boston and at Sunday Mass he castigated Hillary and Bill Clinton from receiving, I believe it was, in Africa. But that was about non-Catholics and Communion, not about Catholics.)

Again. It's the job of all clergy — actually, all of us, but certainly the clergy! — to get us to Heaven.

This is not done, in my opinion, by ignoring people who bring down condemnation upon themselves by receiving the Blessed Sacrament while not properly disposed!

Can I get an amen here? For heaven's sake — literally — the pulpit folk have got to start preaching on this stuff! I know many people, Catholics included, who have no idea regarding the gravity of the Blessed Sacrament...even that little caveat in most missallettes doesn't go very far.