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Appropriateness of receiving the Eucharist by Catholics who support abortion
Oct 9, 2008

It has been asked several times about Catholics who support abortion and the receiving by them of The Lord in the Eucharist and if this is permissible or appropriate.  Of course the first point of reference to this for all Catholics should be Church teachings and statements on this.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

1385: to respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment.  St Paul urges us to examine our conscience: “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of The Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and the blood of the Lord.  Let a man examine himself and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drink s judgement upon himself.”  Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.

1415: Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in a state of grace.  Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

Pope Benedict XV1 wrote a letter in June 2004 to the US bishops when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger stating the principles of being worthy to receive The Lord in Communion.  Cardinal Ratzinger, the head of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith at that time, said that strong and open supporters of abortion should be denied Eucharistic communion for being guilty of a grave sin.

Some of the Bishops’ comments:

(Zenit) - New York prelates are urging citizens to get informed about the platforms of Congressional and state candidates, since they say many moral issues are decided at the state level. This was one of the points highlighted in a statement released last week called "Our Cherished Right, Our Solemn Duty."

The prelates first recalled that life issues are the most important criteria when it comes to casting a ballot.

"It is the rare candidate who will agree with the Church on every issue," they acknowledged. "But […] not every issue is of equal moral gravity.  The inalienable right to life of every innocent human person outweighs other concerns where Catholics may use prudential judgment, such as how best to meet the needs of the poor or to increase access to health care for all.”

"The right to life is the right through which all others flow.  To the extent candidates reject this fundamental right by supporting an objective evil, such as legal abortion, euthanasia or embryonic stem cell research, Catholics should consider them less acceptable for public office."

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

It would be refreshing if we could find candidates whose records, party platforms, and personal commitments embody the full range of the Church’s social teaching, reasonable as that teaching is.  Unfortunately that seldom happens.  That is why we must have a well-formed conscience capable of giving each issue its proper moral weight and making other important distinctions and judgments.  For example, a Catholic may never vote for candidates precisely because they advocate and advance intrinsic moral evils like abortion; to do so is to cooperate formally (intentionally) with a grave evil.  And while Faithful Citizenship acknowledges that one may vote for a politician who supports pro-abortion policies “only for truly grave moral reasons,” a conscientious voter must question what grave moral issue rises to the level of nearly 49 million lives lost to the evil of abortion.

In Scranton, Pa., every Catholic attending Mass this weekend will hear a special homily about the election next month: Bishop Joseph Martino has ordered every priest in the diocese to read a letter warning that voting for a supporter of abortion rights amounts to endorsing “homicide.”  “Being ‘right’ on taxes, education, health care, immigration and the economy fails to make up for the error of disregarding the value of a human life,” the bishop wrote. “It is a tragic irony that ‘pro-choice’ candidates have come to support homicide — the gravest injustice a society can tolerate — in the name of ‘social justice.’ ” --- 5/Oct/2008

So, from Holy Scripture and from church statements it is apparent that those who promote, support or vote for a politician who is pro- abortion are in a state of grave sin and should not receive the Lord in the Eucharist.  Some Catholics however disagree with this and do not accept what the church says or what is said in the Holy Word of God.  Some say it is their right to receive communion, however receiving The Lord is not a right but a privilege that God offers people in His love. This privilege should not be abused for as St. Paul states there are serious consequences for doing so. Those who are in a state of grave sin must have a good confession before receiving The Lord and must, after that confession, not return to their old ways.  To go to confession with the intention of once having confessed to continue the bad behaviour or beliefs does not make the confession valid.  Some cannot accept this and in their pride believe they know better than the church and the Word of God not seeing that this arrogance is a serious sin in itself as the person is placing their will before that of the will of God and the will of His holy church. The person is saying that their knowledge is greater than that of the church and the person is rejecting the commandment of God ‘Thou shalt not kill’ and saying that they or those they support or follow can decide if life is valuable or not and that God has no say in this. Today many Catholics demand their rights which in truth are their wrongs but they are so blind they cannot see this as they believe more in the word of the world instead of The Word of God.

To come to communion in a state of grave sin makes true union with God impossible as the person holds on to a barrier between them and God which blocks unity with Christ, Our Lord. To be one with Him means to be one in the truth of His love, to be obedient to His will and to reject all sin. While the world and people’s pride may make many arguments against this none of them change this eternal truth.  People should think about how it hurts Our Lord, that those who profess to love Him, come with that on their hearts which is of the dark and not of the light of His love. No Catholic in a state of grave sin should ever consider partaking of The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of The Lord, Jesus, in the Eucharist for doing so in itself is an insult to God and to all those who live or have lived as God asks.  It is time for those who support abortion in any way to realize the wrong they embrace excludes them from receiving The Divine Lord, Jesus, in the Eucharist and in humility confess their wrong and reject it from then on and in true love come and be one with and in Him in communion in the state of grace they are supposed to be in.

God bless,

Alan Ames


Alan Ames Ministry

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