Skip to comments.Vatican Criticizes People Who Receive Communion While Living in Mortal Sin
Posted on 07/07/2005 7:46:28 PM PDT by murphE
The Vatican singled out divorcees who remarry and Catholic politicians who support abortion on Thursday in criticizing those who continue to receive Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin.
The lament came in a new document on the Eucharist that details abuses of the sacrament and the need for better instruction to ensure it remains sacred. The 85-page text is the working draft of a final document that will be developed during the global synod, or meeting, of bishops Oct. 2-23 in Rome. The paper covers a range of issues related to the Eucharist: It suggests, for example, that Latin be used during international gatherings so all priests involved can understand the proceedings, and it suggests that parishes consider using more Gregorian chants to prevent more "profane" types of music from being played during the liturgy.
It calls for priests not to be "showmen" who draw attention to themselves and says lay people can have an important but "minimal" presence in Masses. It says the tabernacle - which holds the bread and wine held by Catholics to be the body and blood of Christ - should have a prominent place in the church and not be shunted off to a corner.
Most significantly, though, the document laments the fact that fewer and fewer Catholics are going to Mass on Sundays - in some countries, only 5 percent of the faithful attend - and that fewer Catholics are going to confession.
As a result, many Catholics are living in a state of mortal sin when they receive Communion, it said. The Church defines sin as a free and deliberate violation of God's law; a mortal sin is one that involves a "grave violation of God's law" and "deliberate consent." Catholics can repent their sins by confessing them to a priest.
"The faithful frequently receive Holy Communion without even thinking that they might be in a state of mortal sin," the document said. "As a result, the receiving of Holy Communion by those who are divorced and civilly remarried is a common occurrence in various countries."
It noted that confession isn't always available to the faithful because of the acute shortage of priests in parts of the globe, but said the sacrament nevertheless was necessary. It cited statistics showing there was one priest for every 1,797 Catholics in 1978 compared to one priest for every 2,677 Catholics in 2003.
The document, "The Eucharist: source and summit of the life and mission of the church," was written starting in 2004 based on responses received by bishops from around the world reporting on their own experiences. It stresses that it is not a theological treatise on the Eucharist and in fact it restates church teaching on most key issues.
In one section, for example, the document criticized the faithful who support Catholic politicians who themselves back abortion and other policies contrary to church teaching.
"Some receive Communion while denying the teachings of the church or publicly supporting immoral choices in life, such as abortion, without thinking that they are committing an act of grave personal dishonesty and causing scandal," it said.
"Some Catholics do not understand why it might be a sin to support a political candidate who is openly in favor of abortion or other serious acts against life, justice and peace."
The issue was highlighted during the U.S. presidential election campaign after St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said he would deny the Eucharist to Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, a Catholic who supports abortion rights.
It will be interesting to see the reaction of some prominent groups on this.
People who receive Communion while living in sin couln't care less what the Church teaches. In their minds THEY are the church, and therefore a law unto themselves.
Why is this a problem? Most of the catholics I know have just had their marriages anulled. I'm sure many of my catholic friends on this forum can enlighten me as to the practice.
In one of my friends cases, it was very difficult to get his anullment.
The problem comes in if there has not been an annulment. And not all requests for annulments are granted, contrary to popular belief.
yet another document that will probably be ignored.
On confession: if they'd make it a practice of having it available before Mass, rather than one hour on Saturday afternoon, this might not be as much of a problem.
You're right. The annulment situation is a huge scandal for American Catholics. Far too many are granted. However, even with the high amount of annulments being granted, most divorced Catholics do not bother (paperwork, hassle, intrusion into personal life, etc) to obtain one. It is when these same people want to remarry that their status becomes a problem.
**divorcees who remarry and Catholic politicians who support abortion**
**On confession: if they'd make it a practice of having it available before Mass, rather than one hour on Saturday afternoon, this might not be as much of a problem.**
This was one of the first thoughts I had too. Longer Confession lines. I pray that more frequent Confession will happen.
Do these really equate?
No wonder no one believes in the efficacy of Confession.
Do these really equate?
Adultery and abortion are both mortal sins.
But it doesnt say adultery, it only says divorcess. Do you think they mean both people that got divorced? Even the one that didnt commit adultery?
It seems to be an old understanding regarding what marriage really is:
"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
Looks simple enough.
Do these really equate?
Absolutely. Murder and adultery. Both made the Top Ten List.
When a couple makes a promise to the Lord with their vows...who is breaking it when adultery occurs?
You mean regular old marital infidelity? I would say the one who acts. The one who is faithful is a victim.
2380 Adultery refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at least one is married to another party, have sexual relations - even transient ones - they commit adultery. Christ condemns even adultery of mere desire. The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely. The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image of the sin of idolatry.
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