No doubt the title of this post is link bait, but I also use it as a truth.
Ever since I heard St. Thomas Aquinas’ definition of love – willing the good for the other – I have only become more convinced of its accuracy and a guide to how to love my enemies.
Recently Canonist Ed Peters has been much in the news because of his posting that Gov. Cuomo should be denied Communion because he is living with his girlfriend. Not only is this technically public concubinage, but adultery since they are both married and civilly divorced. His post addressed the Canons involved and what should be an easy application of them in this case. This of course was met with a firestorm of progressive Catholics attacking him along with non-Catholics who are politically liberal. Even the Diocese of Albany responded to the post in a unsatisfactory manner and it could easily be said that this Diocese seems to lean in favor of progressive Catholics. Ed Peters has spent considerable time addressing some of the articles written and responding to some requests. While this is a good thing to do, it is often a losing war to respond reasonably to those who won’t be reasonable.
Which brings me to the point of this post. Objectively Gov. Cuomo continues in a state of grave sin that he has not yet repented of. That he is committing an objectively grave sin can not be disputed. All faithful Catholics when it comes to Gov. Cuomo should desire his repentance so as to love him – to will him good. While we can not judge his soul and how culpable he is, we certainly know that the current state of affairs is an extremely dangerous one for him.
It has long been Catholic teaching that receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist when you are in an objectively grave state of sin profanes the Eucharist.
“For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died” (1 Cor. 11:29–30)
So anybody who loved Gov. Cuomo or anybody else in similar circumstances would want them not to receive Communion. Ideally they would want him to repent and thus be worthy to receive this great sacrament or to at least not go forward to receive being aware of his grave sin. Gov. Cuomo though does indeed still go forward even though he is aware at least of the controversy and surely knows his actions are not in accord with the Church. So again anybody who loved Gov. Cuomo knowing that he would still go forth to receive would want him to be kept from receiving out of concern for his soul in not adding another sin. All of this is of course in the context of a public sinner; one where the objectively grave sin of the person is well known. To think that Gov. Cuomo should be given Communion is to show an objective hatred for him in that you do not will him good, but evil.
I have not read one progressive Catholic who seems to be concerned at all for Gov. Cuomo’s soul and their concern seems to be almost totally political. Their anger is directed towards Ed Peters whose crime is pointing out the application of Canon Law in this matter.
Former Jesuit John C. Dwyer who hasn’t lost the Jesuitical touch said “Cuomo comes from a day and age when living with your girlfriend isn’t a serious, grievous matter … or something that’s seen as a serious violation of God’s will,”
Again confusing what is objectively grave with what a person is culpable for. And if Gov. Cuomo is truly confused about this it was with the help of theology professors like John C. Dwyer.
So why is it that progressive Catholics seem to care more about party affiliation than about someone’s soul? When Mayor Giuliani was running for President many Catholics such as myself were upset when he presented himself for Communion and was given it. Most faithful Catholics opposed his run for presidency because of his personal sins and his embrace of the Culture of Death. Yet so-called progressive Catholics seem to have little concern at all of how badly Catholic politicians are at odds with the faith they profess. Politics trumps sin and just as long as the politician supports the agenda you want – nothing else matters.
I don’t think we will be seeing any articles in America Magazine, National Catholic Reporter, and other outlets of the usual suspects asking people to pray for Gov. Cuomo to repent of his objectively grave sins. Profaning the Lord in the Eucharist doesn’t seem to bother them just as he is one of their guys agenda-wise.
So pray for Gov. Cuomo and his concubine and for those who ignore abuse of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
* Note: I use the term progressive Catholic since this is how they identify themselves. I only use it since I hate it less than such terms has liberal/conservative Catholics. Really there are only faithful Catholics and unfaithful Catholics. This does not mean that all Catholics will agree with each other on prudential applications, but that faithful Catholics take the Magisterium seriously.
Ed Peters’ original post: Cuomo’s concubinage and holy Communion