Aparecida, May 17, 2007 (CNA).- The archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, said Wednesday that although the bishops have not excommunicated lawmakers who voted to legalize abortion in Mexico City, they “are impeded from receiving Communion.”
While fielding questions from reporters, the Mexican cardinal explained that while “nobody has sent a declaration to any politician or lawmaker,” it must be stated that “we also have to repeat what the traditional doctrine of the Church is: Voting for those kinds of laws is not compatible with the reception of Communion, which is not the same as excommunication.”
“We are saying that this way of thinking is not compatible with Eucharistic Communion, we are not going to deny them the Eucharist. Every human being can have the forgiveness of the Church and of God when there is repentance,” the cardinal explained.
Unfortunately this seems to be the exact same mixed message so frequently given out. All of the responsibility is placed on the person receiving Communion. While this is necessarily true for the large majority of Communicants, it becomes a different story when the person is a public sinner where the one giving Communion knows that his reception is not only scandalous, but dangerous for his immortal soul. I just can not understand this reasoning. It is like saying no I am not my brother’s keeper. If he chooses to receive well I would rather he does not, but I will wash my hands of it if he does.
If a doctor told a patient that he should not take a certain type of medicine because for him it would have severe side effects and then told him that if the patient asks for it then he would write them a prescription you might think the doctor didn’t really care about the patients health.
This type of response I think only tells the public sinner that their sin is really not all that serious after all. How exactly this type of lame response causes somebody to repent is beyond me. Denial of Communion in these cases is an act of charity that hopefully leads to repentance.