Catholic World Report has published an interview with Bp. Thomas Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois. This is a followup to the vicious and undeserved criticism that the homosexualists have rained down on the bishop since he promulgated particular law for the diocese in his care. Bp. Paprocki holds that anyone who has sexual relations outside of a valid marriage (heterosexual or homosexual), should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives. This is, of course, can. 916. Included in this are the divorced and civilly remarried without an “annulment”.
As you can imagine, the fury of those who are devilishly working to detach sexual activity from marriage are outraged, and they are using their usual tactics.
Ed Peters handled one hapless critic HERE. Jesuit homosexualist activist James Martin has reacted across social media with bad arguments. Over at the National Sodomitic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) the usual suspect, the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left, Michael Sean Winters, is crying from his fainting couch for Paprocki’s removal. Watch for the Fishwrap to “Finn” Paprocki… if you will permit the neologism in the style of “Bork”.
Let’s see some bits from the interview:
On June 12, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois issued a decree regarding same-sex “marriage” (SSM) and “related pastoral issues”. In it, he reaffirmed traditional Catholic teaching that marriage can only be “a covenant between one man and one woman …” and promulgated diocesan norms relating to SSM. Norms included that no member of the diocesan clergy or staff is allowed to participate in a SSM service in any way, nor is church property to be used for SSM services or receptions. Persons in SSM relationships may not receive Holy Communion, and when in danger of death, persons in SSM relationships may not receive Holy Communion in the form of Viaticum unless they express repentance for their lifestyle. [This is nothing different than what the Church has always taught. The Sacrament of Anointing is a sacrament of the living, to be received in the state of grace. The modern vandals are working to convince us that sinners are sinners.]
Additionally, persons in SSM relationships may not receive a Catholic funeral unless they offered some signs of repentance before their death, nor may they serve as lectors or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass. Children of parents in SSM relationships may receive the sacraments and attend Catholic schools; however, such parents should be aware that their children will be instructed in the fullness of Catholic teaching.
In a follow-up statement released June 23rd, Bishop Paprocki added that “the Church has not only the authority, but the serious obligation to affirm its authentic teaching on marriage and to preserve and foster the sacred value of the married state.”
CWR: Fr. James Martin, SJ, has complained (on his Facebook page) that this decree is “discrimination” against people with same-sex attraction because it does not include heterosexuals who commit sin or non-sexual sins. Additionally, relating to people in same-sex “marriages” receiving Holy Communion, he recently told The New York Times, “Pretty much everyone’s lifestyle is immoral.” How do you respond?
Bishop Paprocki: Father Martin gets a lot wrong in those remarks. Everyone is a sinner, but not everyone is living an immoral lifestyle. [To what low point have we arrived if that has to be explained to a priest. No. Wait. He’s a Jesuit. I take it back.] Since we are all sinners, we are all called to conversion and repentance. He misses the key phrase in the decree that ecclesiastical funeral rites are to be denied to persons in same-sex “marriages” “unless they have given some signs of repentance before their death.” This is a direct quote from canon 1184 of the Code of Canon Law, which is intended as a call to repentance. [Because such behavior is sinful and scandalous.] Jesus began his public ministry proclaiming the Gospel of God with these words: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Applying this biblical teaching to the specific issue of funeral rites, people who had lived openly in same-sex “marriage,” like other manifest sinners that give public scandal, can receive ecclesiastical funeral rites if they have given some signs of repentance before their death.
Father Martin’s comments do raise an important point with regard to other situations of grave sin and the reception of Holy Communion. [NB] He is right that the Church’s teaching does not apply only to people in same-sex “marriages.” According to canon 916, all those who are “conscious of grave sin” are not to receive Holy Communion without previous sacramental confession. This is normally not a question of denying Holy Communion, but of people themselves refraining from Holy Communion if they are “conscious of grave sin.” While no one can know one’s subjective sinfulness before God, the Church can and must teach about the objective realities of grave sin. Speaking objectively, one can say, for example, that all those who have sexual relations outside of valid marriage, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives. This includes the divorced and remarried without an annulment, as is well known from all the recent media attention on that issue.
CWR: Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, said that the decree will drive people with same-sex attraction away from the Church. How do you respond?
[NB] Bishop Paprocki: Gay activists have harassed my staff and me with obscene telephone calls, e-mail messages and letters using foul language and profanity, supposedly in the name of love and tolerance. I am sorry that people around me have been subjected to such hateful and malicious language. [I’ll wager that there have been threats, too.]
CWR: Is there anything you’d like to see Catholics who support the decision do to help?
Bishop Paprocki: Please pray for the conversion of sinners.