During the Papal Mass at St. Patrick’s Rudy Giuliani received Communion.
Asked if he was uncomfortable with having broken the Church ban on the divorced and remarried taking Communion, Giuliani said, "No."
Now Tim Drake reports on a statement by Cardinal Egan.
“The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God. Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind. Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York, that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion. I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding.”
During his presidential campaign he was not receiving Communion and now it looks like that was more of a tactic to prevent John Kerry type coverage than any real obedience. Bravo to Cardinal Egan for saying this publicly and for meeting with Mr. Giuliani at a later date.
I have seen a lot of news stores and editorials lately trying to infer that since a bunch of pro-abortion politicians received Communion at Papal masses that somehow this was connected with a softening of the Pope’s opinion on the subject as if he had anything to do with what happened. This is what he wrote previously to Cardinal McCarrick in Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles.
5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, "the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it" (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration "Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics" , nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.
I am not sure why it seems that so few bishops seem to be concerned with the souls of pro-abortion politicians receiving Communion. You would think that there would be more concern for the person committing an act of sacrilege by receiving Communion unworthily. It is an act of charity to prevent a public sinner from receiving Communion and from eating and drinking judgment upon themselves as St. Paul said.
The issue of scandal is only secondary and the primary reason to withhold Communion is out of love for the person who is currently in a state unworthy to receive Communion. Exactly how are they going to repent when the issue is not given the weight it deserves. Somebody who constantly votes for the Culture of Death and is allowed to go on as if it is no big deal has little reason to take the Church’s disciplines in regard to Communion seriously. The idea that they should themselves not present themselves for Communion is of course what should happen, but for the most part his is not happening.
The supporters of the Culture of Death enjoy it when pro-Culture of Death politicians receive Communion since they can then infer that it is not that big of deal and that this issue is just one of many. Just look at all of the news stories and blog posts by dissidents who are in fact inferring this.
It seems from an observers point of view that this subject is just kind of icky for may bishops who don’t want to be seen as taking a political action. What those who would actually feel this way don’t understand is that their receiving Communion is also seen as a poetical statement. Though their largest concern should be the care of souls under their care. Though we should also be lifting up our bishops in prayer along with those Culture of Death polls.