The Catholic Defender takes a look at ABC's Coverage of the Bishops Document of the Communion debate
The following is an article by Matthew Vann writing for ABC News, "Catholic bishops approve new guidance on Communions for pro-abortion politicians" with responses from Donald Hartley, President of Deepertruthblog and known as the Catholic Defender
U.S. Catholic bishops on Wedn
esday overwhelmingly approved a controversial teaching document on who should receive Holy Communion that many believe was aimed at President Joe Biden and other Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. But the document, passed by a vote of 222-8 at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore, does not mention Biden or any other politician by name, avoiding a more direct confrontation.
My Response - The U.S. Catholic bishops as Shepherds guarding the flock, protecting the faithful from moral corruption has the responsibility to hold fast to the teaching of the Catholic Church. We are not to compromise with evil just because opponents to the faith have a political agenda. Our bishops must have courage to lead by example as St. Peter called for (1 Peter 5:1-4). "So I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, [overseeing] not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory."
It (the document) appeared, however, to empower individual priests to deny Communion to pro-abortion rights politicians should they encounter them. "It is the special responsibility of the diocesan bishop to work to remedy situations that involve public actions at variance with the visible communion of the Church and the moral law," the document reportedly said.
My Response - Pope Francis is using the Authority of the Bishops to curtail some of these problems facing the Church. The situation concerning the Latin Mass is an example. The Pope is not doing away with the Latin Mass, but he believes abuses can be handled more readily at the local level. Same thing here, the bishops should be giving guidance to the priests to teach and guide the parishes at the local level. The Church is Universal, but it's outreach goes down to the lowest level. Seminaries are critical in this process as priests are given the most important foundations to pass down the teaching of the Catholic faith (1 Timothy 4:11-16). "Command and teach these things. Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. Until I arrive, attend to the reading, exhortation, and teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was conferred on you through the prophetic word with the imposition of hands of the presbyterate. Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone. Attend to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in both tasks, for by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you."
The vote is the culmination of year-long debate between America’s largely conservative bishops and the Vatican about whether punitive measures should be taken against public officials who are at odds with the church’s teaching on abortion.
My Response - Since 1973 with the Roe V Wade Supreme Court Decision, nearly 60,000,000 unborn children have been sacrificed to the god of this world. That is only in the United States. This year alone, there has been 37, 533,929 and counting by the second world wide. This is by far the largest destruction of man in history and the Catholic Church is clearly losing the political battle. That is why the Church Leadership must take courage and be strong for the defense of life in all the world (Acts 15:22-29). "Then the apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers. This is the letter delivered by them: “The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings. Since we have heard that some of our number [who went out] without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: ‘It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell."
Biden, only the nation’s second "Catholic" president, who has said his "personal" views were a "private matter,"
has openly professed his faith throughout his political career -- diligently attending Sunday Mass, infusing speeches with scripture and wearing his late son Beau Biden’s rosary beads.
My Response - Consider Biden's "Catholicism"? Yet he pushes his "private matter" on all people. He has avowed to undo the Hyde Amendment that protects Pro-Life Medical Professionals from being forced to participate in Abortions and utilize everyone's tax dollars to fund Abortion. A Catholic is deadly wrong when they choose to be a "Cafeteria" Catholic, especially where Mortal Sin is involved (Titus 3:9-11). "Avoid foolish arguments, genealogies, rivalries, and quarrels about the law, for they are useless and futile. After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned."
After his meeting last month with Pope Francis before the G-20 summit, and amid criticism from conservative bishops, Biden said that the pope told him that he should continue receiving Communion and said the pope called him a "good Catholic?"
My Response - I think context is very important here. The media was not permitted to cover the event nor did Pope Francis grant Biden a Mass which would under normal circumstances with a "Catholic" VIP be customary. Consider how much Biden lies, how can he be believed on something the Pope would not support, especially when the American Bishops are criticizing him? Would the Pope be trying to reach out to Biden on the importance of the Mass and the Rosary? Possibly, but the media was not permitted to cover their meeting.
Pope Francis is not condemning, but being a Pastor (2 Peter 1:1-11). "Symeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of equal value to ours through the righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ: may grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power. Through these, he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone who lacks them is blind and shortsighted, forgetful of the cleansing of his past sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to make your call and election firm, for, in doing so, you will never stumble. For, in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you."
Some bishops, however, see things differently, citing Biden’s vocal public support of abortion rights as a key reason why clarification on who can receive Communion is necessary. Prominent Catholic politicians, including Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have typically been careful about where they attend Mass so as to avoid controversy. While Cardinal Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Washington has said that he doesn’t plan to deny Biden Communion, he has publicly questioned whether the president is living up to Catholic Church teachings on controversial issues, including abortion.
My Response - This is a very important point. What about the teenager who is influenced by the actions of these "Catholic" politicians? The role of the bishops are to protect the innocence of our youth. We should not sacrifice them for the agenda of the liberal left which is not Christian at all but continues to seek to challenge our Christian roots. The recent election for Governor in the State of Virginia centered on whether parents had any rights to be involved with the education of their children in public schools. That was a huge win against the far left. Parents should be involved with their children's education and concerns of them being taught agendas against America (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). "Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
"The Catholic Church teaches, and has taught, that life -- human life -- begins at conception,” Gregory told journalists at the National Press Club in September. "So, the president is not demonstrating Catholic teaching."
While the document does not mention Biden or other pro-abortion rights Catholic politicians by name, its intent is to issue a stern rebuke of individuals, especially of public officials, who present themselves for Communion after breaking with church teaching on fundamental issues. In a leaked draft of the document before the conference, the bishops reportedly wrote "there are some sins, however that do rupture the communion we share with God and the Church." "As the Church has consistently taught, a person who receives Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin not only does not receive the grace of the sacrament, he or she commits the sin of sacrilege by failing to show the reverence due to the Body and Blood of Christ," the document said.
My Response - The quotation of the document it self is very important here and should be quoting the source (1 Corinthians 11:23-34). "For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment* on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment; but since we are judged by [the] Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that your meetings may not result in judgment. The other matters I shall set in order when I come."
An official at the bishop’s conference insisted that they are staying true to their mission of defending church teachings, pointing to the conference’s outspoken disagreement with the Trump administration’s policies regarding undocumented migrants.
My Response - It is interesting that the bishops have a problem with the United States protecting our Southern Border where human trafficking is creating a billion dollar industry, disease is spreading, drugs are entering in, gangs and crime is taking place. We have serious problems with these invasions taking place. President Trump was not against immigration, he was requiring that they enter legally. Our bishops should not be a voice box for the Democrat Party. We spend money protecting other nations borders but we can't defend our own (Revelation 21:22-27)? "I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and to it the kings of the earth will bring their treasure. During the day its gates will never be shut, and there will be no night there. The treasure and wealth of the nations will be brought there, but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any[one] who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life."
According to a Pew Research Center survey, many American Catholics are divided about whether Biden should be denied Communion over his support of abortion rights. A majority of U.S. Catholic adults say Biden should be allowed to receive Communion during Mass, while nearly 30% say Biden should not be allowed to receive Communion.
My Response - I hear this kind of rhetoric quite often as it is reported that 70% of Catholics reject the teaching on the Eucharist. Among practicing Catholics it is much higher in those who follow the Churches teaching. When they conduct such a survey, they are talking with people who do not attend Mass regularly. Maybe once or twice a year if that. They are being grouped as if they are part of the Church. Those who are part of the Church and practice their faith, they believe Christ in His holy Catholic Church (1 John 2:18-29). "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number."
The divide underscores a growing tension amongst American Catholics about who they see as the true authority on matters of faith and what they should believe. "The U.S. bishops, and Pope Francis see things in very different ways," said Massimo Faggioli, a theology professor at Villanova University. "American Catholics for the first time in many decades have to decide if they want to follow Pope Francis or U.S. bishops, which is new, because U.S. bishops are traditionally very Roman, loyal to the pope."
My Response - This is a heretical perspective as a Catholic has to follow the Bishop of Rome, the Successor to St. Peter who holds the Keys of the Kingdom. The Local bishops are in union with the Pope. We must pray for the bishops who are under attack from all sides. The Church from the very beginning have been challenged by those who reject authority (St. Thomas is mentioned by St. john to be with the Apostles at the Sea of Tiberias fishing when Jesus again appears to them. This event is important because St. John gives the colorful picture of the Apostles hauling in 153 fish representing every nation, tribe, and people of the earth. The one net that did not bust represents the one faith without schism.) "Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead."
I just wanted to give a quick snap shot of why it is important for the Catholic Church to hold the line not only protecting the integrity of the Sacrament, but for the souls of the lost because of confusion and bad examples.