Don’t Tell Me I’ve Sinned!
In my last piece on the twirling and swirling media, I wrote about the media hype around the action of Pope Francis concerning the Traditional Latin Mass. I suggested the media had their own agenda in their way of reporting the story with an undertone of cheering for the modernization of the Catholic Church. They made it sound like the Latin Mass was the last bastion of the Faith that had to be routed on the way to freedom from sin.
How can I say this? Because consider the article by Jason Horowitz (nytimes.com, 7-16-21). Early in his article on the motu proprio, he inserted this observation:
“His latest salvo in the church’s so-called liturgy wars came weeks after conservative American bishops, many of whom are attached to the old Latin Mass, essentially shrugged off the Vatican’s strong guidance to slow down a potential confrontation with President Biden over his support for abortion rights.”Pope Francis Restricts Use of Old Latin Mass, in a Blow to Conservatives
Marrying two diverse topics as the limits on the Traditional Mass and a possible confrontation with President Biden over abortion rights (no, the actual issue is the public scandal of a proponent of the murder of innocent unborn children receiving the Holy Eucharist) shows a clear bias. Horowitz says as fact that conservative American Bishops, many of whom are attached to the old Latin Mass, wanted to proceed with challenging Biden.
How does he know this? Did he google names of American Bishops who support the Traditional Latin Mass? and then look for Bishops who are inclined to censure Biden about receiving Holy Communion? Where did he find the questionnaire and responses with names of those supporting limits on the Traditional Mass when some Bishops claim they never received it? Where did he find exactly which prelates are unhappy with President Biden when several, like the Archbishop in my own area, have said nothing publicly about where they stand on the Communion issue?
That is the clue here, said nothing publicly. I’ll wager many prelates have said nothing publicly. So the assumed connection between conservative Bishops and the Biden issue and the connection between conservative Bishops wanting the skewer Biden being the same as supporting the Traditional Latin Mass are both made up. Fake news. Creative writing but not proven fact. And in a “news” story, no less.
The media was in a rant after news got out that at their June 16-18 meeting, the U.S. Bishops were going to have a discussion about writing a letter to the faithful about the Holy Eucharist; some prelates had publicly said the President of the United States should not receive the Holy Eucharist at Mass – it being a public scandal since he supports abortion rights and several executive actions in the last six months confirm this. The abortion buck stops at Biden for the actions of the Biden administration.
The media happily publicized the response of those in Congress (60 Democrats) who urged the Bishops not to deny Biden Holy Communion because of his views.
We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties and best serve our constituents,…The Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory.See, e.g. Rosa Delauro Press Release, Catholic Members of Congress Release Statement of Principles June 18, 2021. (emphasis added)
Weaponizing the Eucharist? Weapons kill. Are they talking about spiritual death because of sacrilege here? Unlikely.
No elected officials have been threatened with being denied the Eucharist as they support and have supported policies contrary to the Church teachings, including supporting the death penalty, separating migrant children from their parents, denying asylum to those seeking safety in the United States, limiting assistance for the hungry and food insecure, and denying rights and dignity to immigrants.Id.
The Bishops voted to draft a letter on the Holy Eucharist, its meaning and our own worthiness to receive it. No one at this point has said they were writing about denying Holy Communion to the President any more than about denying any other person who may be guilty of serious sin.
In another section these lawmakers said:
To pursue a blanket denial of the Holy Eucharist to certain elected officials would indeed grieve the Holy Spirit and deny the evolution of that individual, a Christian person who is never perfect, but living in the struggle to get there.Id.
This response is laughable. I wasn’t aware that the Holy Spirit gave a press conference lately to announce being grieved. Was it the Holy Spirit of God they were talking about? Are they saying the Holy Spirit of God wants women to abort their living babies? Or perhaps they meant some other spirit, one entrenched in the world, who would be grieved if Church officials called a sin what it is: evil.
These legislators missed the point of the Bishops’ action. They voted to write a letter. The legislators and the media will always miss the point. The Holy Eucharist is not a voting rights issue you get elected to receive. It’s not a right. For believers – is that the real problem, if you don’t believe, who cares? – it is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Who is worthy to receive Him? Yes, we are sinners, but before God we are to be trying to do better, not continuing on our merry sinful way. Public support of abortion policy that directly kills is not the same as immigration and social justice issues. If these lawmakers truly want to serve God and the Holy Spirit, they simply would not vote in support of abortion policy.
The Bishops are merely doing the job they were ordained for: teaching the faithful. We all need a reminder of the meaning of the Holy Eucharist, proper reverence and the state of grace. And perhaps – I say perhaps because I do not know what their writing will compel their hearts to do – they will courageously call for an end to the scandal of those publicly involved in promoting sin to receiving Communion.
And the media? Are they doing their job of reporting or are they whipping up public opinion in a certain direction? Are they promoting a how-dare-you-say-that-I’ve-sinned mentality? Sin is the old way, the old church no one wants because all of our actions need to be answered for. A modern, lax church is better, easier to live with.
So the pressure is on, public opinion is being guided by the media against the Catholic Church, which even some prelates believe to be not modernized enough. We need to stay strong. Defend the Faith. Perhaps some of these change mongers will eventually come to their senses. But it may not be until they face the true Holy Spirit at the end. There they will understand the spirit of the world made them fools. Unfortunately, at the end of life, as I have said before, there is no time for defense. You don’t get to speak; it is God who judges, not public opinion.
The call for discussion centers around a document by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, which is supposed to clarify the Church’s stance on the issue of abortion and public office, according to a story by David Crary (AP, reported on ABC News, Enter the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, referred to as “the Vatican” in many news stories, but as yet not conferred with infallibility. According to NPR News, Sylvia Poggioli reported that Luis Cardinal Ladaria told Archbishop Gomez that a policy such as this regarding Communion requires first dialogue among the bishops, then between bishops and Catholic politicians who support “pro-choice.” The euphemism again.
Ladaria said it is misleading to present abortion and euthanasia as “the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest accountability on the part of Catholics.” Not the only grave matters? Perhaps he has forgotten that in actuality, protecting God-given life is the very cornerstone of our actions. He also said the issue is contentious and could become a source of discord.
This article, Don’t Tell Me I’ve Sinned! is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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