Ottawa’s Catholic archbishop says he
will refuse communion
to any politician who “obstinately” supports access to abortion, but
he or she cannot be persuaded to stand down.
Archbishop Terrence Prendergast made the comment yesterday, expanding
remarks he made at a recent Theology on Tap question-and-answer session
Malone’s Lakeside Grill at the Dow’s Lake Pavilion.
At the event, an audience member asked if the church should invoke
915, which deals with who may or may not receive communion.
He told the crowd: “I think if a bishop is going to involve Canon 915,
to know (the politicians), and speak with them or have the priest speak
“As a Jesuit principle, I have to put the best possible interpretation
neighbour’s proposition, then speak to him about it, and only then draw
line and say, ‘Look, given your stubbornness on this position, I think
should not publicly receive communion until you change your mind’.
The rest of the article
unsurprisingly gives voice to Rosemary Ganley, co-ordinator
for a Free Choice Canada who as you would expect knows as much about
law as she does about the sanctity of life.
Wow! From a Jesuit, no less!
Only publicly? Does that mean if you are a public servant who is obstinately pro-abortion the Host can be delivered to your house?
His Excellency’s response was quite reasonable. As far as I’m aware, Msgr. Prendergast is completely orthodox on this issue. The two issues regarding giving Communion to pro-abortion politicians are A) the personal sinfulness of receiving Communion unworthily B) the public scandal it causes to others. His Excellency addresses both issues quite admirably.
The issue is whether he would invoke Canon 915 against pro-abortion politicians and he says he would but diplomacy, tact and caring are still required. He wouldn’t do it without meeting with the person and discussing it first. But he wouldn’t compromise on honestly telling them the situation. He says:
“At the end of the line, I would have to say, ‘Don’t pretend you’re in community with the Catholic Church, because that’s what communion is, a coming together.’ I think somebody has to come out and say that.”
By the way, here’s some great pictures of His Excellency celebrating the Extraordinary Rite at St.Clement’s, the FSSP parish near my alma mater, U of Ottawa.
Refusing Communion would be much easier when the communicant is kneeling and waiting to receive on the tongue.
If the would-be communicant gets uppity, the priest could simply move on to the next persons, instead of holding up an entire line.