Skip to comments.Bishop Martino counseling Eucharistic ministers to deny Holy Communion
Posted on 03/02/2009 3:23:22 AM PST by Born Conservative
Bishop Joseph F. Martino has taken an administrative step toward fulfilling his vow to deny Holy Communion to Roman Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights.
The prelate published an official notice in the diocesan newspaper on Thursday reminding all Eucharistic ministers of their duty to follow Catholic law and refuse Holy Communion to anyone, specifically Catholic lawmakers, whose unworthiness to receive the sacrament is known publicly.
No one having accepted this responsibility (of administering Holy Communion) has the right to ignore the Churchs law in this regard, the bishop told the ministers.
The notice, signed by diocesan chancellor James B. Earley, refers to church doctrine and Canon law on the matter of administering the Eucharist. Mr. Earley quotes from a 2004 statement to the U.S. bishops from Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, explaining how to deal with Catholic politicians who are consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws.
The cardinal noted pastors should first meet with such politicians to instruct them on church teaching, inform them not to present themselves for Holy Communion until they stop committing the grave sin and warn them they will otherwise be denied the sacrament.
The bishops notice does not explain how ministers will know if Catholic lawmakers have been counseled. The diocese also did not respond to questions about whether the bishop will distribute to ministers a list of those who should be denied Communion.
Bishop Martino has repeatedly said he will not allow Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights to receive Holy Communion in the Diocese of Scranton, but he has sharpened that call in recent months. The notice on Thursday was the first time he publicly instructed ministers throughout the diocese that they have a duty to comply.
In a pastoral letter read at all Masses in the diocese in October, Bishop Martino wrote that public officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion.
In a Feb. 6 letter to organizers of area St. Patricks Day events, the auxiliary bishop reiterated Bishop Martinos position that elected officials who vote so as to further the killing of the unborn are to be denied Holy Communion if they present themselves for the sacrament in the Diocese of Scranton.
How is that “passing the buck?” The bishop doesn’t personally give Communion at every mass in the diocese. Any one who is distributing Communion - that is, the priest or the “Extraordinary” ministers - is considered a minister of the Eucharist and obviously this is the person who would have to know that such and such a person is not to receive Communion and to deny it to them.
Presumably there will have to be a list, since the person distributing Communion is not necessarily going to know offhand whether the individual approaching for Communion has been warned or not.
Why are Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy and many others that we know publicly support the murder of babies receiving sacraments?
Why hasn’t Archbishop Wuerl of the Washington, D.C. addressed this issue with all of the Catholic Pro Abortion Politicians in his Diocese?
Is Archbishop Wuerl afraid that he won’t be invited to any of the parties in the Beltway?
>>They are Extraordinary Ministers not Eucharistic Ministers<<
Not if it’s a Priest or Deacon.
My husband is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, but our Priest and our Deacons are Ministers of Holy Communion.
The Bishop (may he be forever blessed) is talking to ALL of them. He just told his parish Priests not to give Communion to them.
The actual text of the bishop's letter read something like, “ministers of Holy Communion, both ordinary and extraordinary.”
I personally wish the Pope would put out a statement saying that as of today there are no Catholic politicians supporting abortion. They may support abortion still but as of this moment they are no longer Catholics as they have excommunicated themselves.
Priests and Deacons are ordinary ministers of Holy Communion.
[154.] As has already been recalled, the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest. Hence the name minister of the Eucharist belongs properly to the Priest alone. Moreover, also by reason of their sacred Ordination, the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the Bishop, the Priest and the Deacon, to whom it belongs therefore to administer Holy Communion to the lay members of Christs faithful during the celebration of Mass. In this way their ministerial office in the Church is fully and accurately brought to light, and the sign value of the Sacrament is made complete.
[155.] In addition to the ordinary ministers there is the formally instituted acolyte, who by virtue of his institution is an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion even outside the celebration of Mass. If, moreover, reasons of real necessity prompt it, another lay member of Christs faithful may also be delegated by the diocesan Bishop, in accordance with the norm of law, for one occasion or for a specified time, and an appropriate formula of blessing may be used for the occasion. This act of appointment, however, does not necessarily take a liturgical form, nor, if it does take a liturgical form, should it resemble sacred Ordination in any way. Finally, in special cases of an unforeseen nature, permission can be given for a single occasion by the Priest who presides at the celebration of the Eucharist.
[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not special minister of Holy Communion nor extraordinary minister of the Eucharist nor special minister of the Eucharist, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.
[157.] If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it. The practice of those Priests is reprobated who, even though present at the celebration, abstain from distributing Communion and hand this function over to laypersons.
[158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.
[159.] It is never allowed for the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to delegate anyone else to administer the Eucharist, as for example a parent or spouse or child of the sick person who is the communicant.
[160.] Let the diocesan Bishop give renewed consideration to the practice in recent years regarding this matter, and if circumstances call for it, let him correct it or define it more precisely. Where such extraordinary ministers are appointed in a widespread manner out of true necessity, the diocesan Bishop should issue special norms by which he determines the manner in which this function is to be carried out in accordance with the law, bearing in mind the tradition of the Church.