It’s almost impossible to be unaware of the problems that are going on between Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and the Catholic Church. Their support of abortion rights is not compatible with the teaching of the Church and they should not receiving Holy Communion. It’s really that simple and shouldn’t be open to a public debate. Before I go on, I want to be perfectly clear that I agree with this position. What troubles me is a trend that I see among some Catholic conservatives. It involves telling our bishops how to do their job.
A Catholic website (I am not mentioning their name, as I don’t want to give them publicity) is collecting signatures from individuals who feel that prominent Catholics who dissent from Church teaching should be denied Holy Communion. As I mentioned earlier, I agree with this stance but I don’t think that this is the right way to go about it. Many of our bishops are starting to speak out about this. On February 27, Bishop Joseph Martino of the Scranton diocese clearly told all ministers of Holy Communion (ordinary and extraordinary) that they should deny the Eucharist to those individuals whose unworthiness to receive Communion is publicly known. Read the article here.
This came on the same day that Bishop Martino publicly rebuked Senator Robert Casey for his vote against the Mexico City policy, which supports federal funding for abortion and family planning. The message being sent to Casey is pretty obvious, and I commend Bishop Martino for being a good shepherd of his flock. I also commend the other bishops who have spoken out publicly about this matter. They are doing their job as successors to the Apostles.
I realize that there are some Catholics who will disagree with on this, and I accept that. To be perfectly clear, I am also outraged that these Catholic politicians are making a mockery out of the Church that I love. However, my love for the Church causes me to love and respect the office of the episcopate (The Bishops) and those who fulfill the role of modern day Apostles. The Church is not and never was a democracy and I have no right to criticize a bishop for doing his job. I’ll leave that to the Holy Father and the other bishops. Instead, I should be doing what I can to educate my fellow Catholics on the teachings of the Church. I also need to pray for the Bishops and those Catholic politicians who don’t understand what the Church teaches.
I’m sure that we will see more and more of our Catholic bishops stand up and criticize those “sheep” that stray from the flock. That convinces me all the more that the Catholic Church is functioning just the way Jesus intended and that the Apostles are still alive today!