A Bunch of Hypocrites

Homily for Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

5 thoughts on “A Bunch of Hypocrites

  1. Question – you mentioned at the very end that Jesus doesn’t distinguish between saint and sinner. He offers Himself to all of us. It is up to us to discern for ourselves whether we should receive (Communion) or not. I keep hearing mixed views on this. Some say that if a priest knows for certain that a person is in a state of mortal sin (like some of our legislators who promote/support abortion), that the priest must withhold Communion. It sounds like you’re saying that this really isn’t the case. Can you explain this more clearly?

    • Jennifer,

      A priest may not withhold Holy Communion from anyone who approaches the altar, except in particular cases delineated by canon law, namely, those in which sinner “obstinately perseveres in manifest grave sin.” This phrase has precise canonical meaning. It has nothing to do with what the priest may or may not know about the situation personally. No one has a right to reveal hidden sin of another, and everyone has a right to their good name. Furthermore, to act otherwise would be to make the altar rail a a place of judgment which even the average Catholic would hesitate to approach.

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