Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Au Contrere, Mon Frere!

In this time of renewed episcopal spinal fortitude, these stories coming out of Chicago and Michigan make me proud to be a Catholic. The story is reported here. Beyond the issue of living a lifestyle that is not in conformity with the Gospel, there is another good reason to deny any sort of activist or politician Holy Communion under these circumstances. The reason, I think can be safely inferred with no loss of charity or clarity, for their communion is not union with Christ. They are receiving communion to make a point. How do I know? Well, why else would you advertise that you going to try this stunt and then wear a costume to tell everyone who sees it, "hey, we're taking part"? In this instance, the point is "I can be GAY and Catholic, and look, God didn't strike me down on the spot. So homosexuality isn't all that bad, is it?" Thankfully, the Final Judgment will sort out these details. For the interim, there is the hope that mercy will touch these people and lead to repentance from the wrong done.

What I especially enjoyed was the notion that it was wrong to bar people from Holy Communion. Holy Communion is a privilege and not a right. One must be properly disposed to receive the sacrament and living a homosexual lifestyle is not the way to do that. You could also look to Jesus's insistence in John 6 that people accept the whole mystery of the Eucharist without trivializing and whitewashing the reality of what they are to receive. Also, St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians reminds them that those who eat and drink unworthily are bringing down condemnation on themselves. So, in the end, when a Bishop declares a person excommunicated either because of their public actions or membership in a particular group, he is actually doing them a favor.

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