Last updated on April 22nd, 2022 at 04:39 pm
In the Catholic faith, the Eucharist or Holy Communion is the “’the source and summit of the Christian life.’” (Catechism 1324) (The Catechism is a compendium of the teachings of the Catholic Church. In essence, it is a “Cliffs Notes” of the Bible and 2,000 years of Church thinking.) When the priest consecrates the wafer and wine at mass, Catholics believe that they actually become the Body and Blood of Christ. (This is known as transubstantiation. “’[B]y the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine in the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.’” (Catechism 1376))
A Catholic may receive the Eucharist or Holy Communion (that is, partake of the wafer and the wine, the Body and Blood of Christ) provided he has not committed a grave sin. If a Catholic has committed a grave sin, before he can receive Holy Communion he must first go to Reconciliation or Confession; that is, he must confess this sin to a priest, repent of it, make a firm commitment to not commit it again, and receive absolution. (“Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.” Catechism 1385) What is a grave or mortal sin? The Catechism states: “For a sin to be mortal [or grave], three conditions must together be met: ‘Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.’” (Catechism 1857) What is grave matter? “Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: ‘Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.’” (Catechism 1858)
Significantly, a person can be guilty of a grave or mortal sin even if he does not directly commit it. As the Catechism states:
“Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:…
-by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
-by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
-by protecting evil-doers.” (Catechism 1869)
As almost everyone knows, the Catholic Church holds abortion to be a mortal sin. The Catechism declares:
“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law….” (Catechism 2271)
And since Catholics are responsible for the sins of others that we cooperate in (i.e., approve of the sins, not hinder them, protect evildoers), any Catholic who supports abortion is committing a mortal sin and hence must go to Reconciliation before he can receive Holy Communion.
Unfortunately in America, many politicians and government leaders who hold themselves out as “Catholic” openly and unapologetically support abortion. President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Maria Cantwell, Bob Casey, Catherine Cortez, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tim Caine, Mark Kelly, Patrick Leahy, Ben Lujan, Ed Markey, Patty Murray, and Jack Reed, and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, among others, are proud and long-term supporters of abortion. Since these “Catholic” leaders have not made a proper confession (it they had, they would have repented of their support for abortion and vowed not to support it again), they are not eligible to receive Holy Communion–yet most of them still do. Unfortunately, many of their bishops do not stop them from doing so.
But this is not the case for Bishop Jonas Guerrero Corona of the Diocese of Culiacan in the Mexican state of Sinaloa on the Pacific coast. As reported by the Catholic News Agency, when the legislature of Sinaloa recently legalized abortion in the state, the diocese boldly declared that any “Catholic” politician who voted for the measure would be denied both Holy Communion and becoming a godparent. In a letter addressed to Catholic leaders, the diocese stated that denying these heretical “Catholic” leaders Holy Communion is merely a “recognition of the objectively unworthy state of a person to receive the Body of Christ.”
The letter then noted the grave scandal the actions of these “Catholic” politicians was causing:
“[T]oday we have many people scandalized by the public betrayal of the Church’s teaching on faith and morals by those legislators who call themselves ‘Catholic’. Indeed, the questioning of the faithful makes sense: How can a Catholic who openly promotes and is in favor of policies contrary to Life come to Mass and approach to take communion? In the Magisterium [teaching] of the Church, the value of life has always and at all times been defended from its conception until its natural death.”
Significantly, the letter explicitly rejected the argument of “Catholic” politicians that they are acting in accord with Church teaching because while they support the legalization of abortion, they “personally believe in the immorality” of it. Citing Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae (the Gospel of Life), the letter declared:
“[T]his is an erroneous theory, since ‘no circumstance, no purpose, no law can make an act lawful that is intrinsically illicit, since it is contradictory to the Law of God, which is written in every human heart, known by reason itself and proclaimed by the Church.'”
In its unwavering conclusion, the letter declared:
“Answering the question: Can a deputy or any person who professes to be a Catholic, while openly cooperating or legislating against life, receive Holy Communion? No. You cannot approach Sacramental Communion. Nor that person can be a godparent or companion of other people who want to receive other sacraments such as baptism.”
Bishop Corona of the Diocese of Culiacan in Mexico has boldly declared communion and being a godparent off-limits to “Catholic” politicians who support the legalization of abortion. Let’s hope that more Catholic bishops in the United States will gain courage from Bishop Corona and likewise hold allegedly “Catholic” politicians accountable for their immoral actions.