With the Synod of the Family looming only a months away, it is important that all Catholics realize what is at stake. There have been numerous attempts by many bishops, cardinals and even the Pope to look for ways which would allow those who are divorced, remarried, or engaged in homosexual behavior to receive the Holy Eucharist. We are told that we need to extend an olive branch; we need to show them mercy.
This message is in spite of St. Paul’s warnings from Scripture:
Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:27-29
The reality of the situation is this: those who are actively engaged in any immoral behavior and are both unrepentant and have not been absolved are living in mortal sin and thus cannot receive the Holy Eucharist. There is no tiptoeing around the issue. There are no loopholes. Only those in the state of grace may receive our Lord.
A number of Catholics who are considered good, faithful, conservative Catholics are viewing this Synod in a positive light. In mistaken attempts to be viewed as “good Catholics” they will submit to the decisions of the Synod. If the Synod decides that adulterers can receive the Holy Eucharist, then they will assume that is what the Holy Spirit wants, and it is now acceptable to allow the practice, regardless of almost 2,000 years of Church teaching against the matter.
This response does not make one a faithful Catholic in good standing, but rather a sheep who only follows orders, and uses neither the brain nor the intellect with which God has endowed him. It is crucial we view the Synod with a different example of Mortal Sin. Let’s view the Synod in terms of abortion.
Hypothetically, let us imagine this upcoming Synod is not the “Synod of the Family”, but rather, the “Synod of the Child”; bishops and cardinals from around the world and the Pope gather in Rome to discuss the need to be merciful to abortionists, their lobbyists, and those who are in favor of the abortion “option”. We hear the need to be merciful to these poor misunderstood sinners. We are told that there are avenues by which a person who supports abortion in some form or another needs to be accepted at Holy Eucharist, so that they too may not be excluded and may feel welcome.
We see reports from prominent bishops and public figures holding key positions within the Church hierarchy explain the great need for this dialogue. It is important that all of God’s children feel welcome and accepted at the Lord’s Supper. There are numerous articles by several cardinals who are themselves in favor of allowing unrepentant murderers to receive Holy Eucharist, without amending their lives. These same cardinals tell us that even the Pope is on their side. The Pope is even on record as saying that one particular Cardinal’s theology is serene and an example of “doing theology on one’s knees”.
But there are bishops and cardinals who are against this idea. They cite the Church teaching on abortion by citing the recently canonized Pope St. John Paul II. These faithful bishops and cardinals are told that these teachings are “too extreme”. At the end of the first “Synod of the Child” the Pope issues a statement declaring that we can’t be too strict, and we can’t be too liberal. He explains we need to find a happy medium. But we know that when the life of an innocent child is about to be brutally ended that there is no happy medium. The “strictness of the law” protects the innocent child. The Synod even releases a mid-session relatio explaining how abortionists “have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community” and asks if the Church is “capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?”
It seems to me that without a doubt this hypothetical situation would not only fall flat on its face in being implemented, but the faithful would rise up in unison to decry this heinous act against the magisterial teaching of the Church. Under no circumstance should an individual whose job is to destroy the life of an innocent unborn child, mutilate her, and sell off her parts to the highest bidder be able to receive our Eucharistic Lord. The evil of abortion is so strong amongst the faithful that they would not accept any teaching given by Rome that stated anything to the contrary.
Yet, the majority of the faithful seem ready to accept what the Synod might say in regards to adulterers being allowed to receive Holy Communion.
If the Church were to be wrong in coming out with some sort of plan allowing abortionists and pro-abortion individuals to receive Holy Communion, then the Church would be wrong in coming out with a plan allowing adulterers to receive Holy Communion. In both cases, we have evil and heinous acts (divorce, remarriage, and homosexuality are all condemned by Our Lord and the Church). If you are one of those Catholics who would accept the Synod’s decision to depart from Church teaching on divorce, remarriage, and homosexuality, then you must also accept a hypothetical future in which the Church might one day accept those in favor of abortion to Communion as well. This isn’t an either/or situation, but rather an all or nothing situation.