From a reader…
My Pastor allows 2 women who are in a public relationship (of the rainbow variety) to be Eucharistic ministers. What is the best way to approach him with my disapproval with the hopes of it stopping. (My 9 y/o daughter mentioned to me one morning at the end of Mass that she thought it was a man but when she got up close realized it was a woman.) If it does not stop and I am yelled down (as I expect, but pray not), what recourse is there?
GUEST PRIEST RESPONSE: Fr. Tim Ferguson
First of all, we must be precise with terminology. A lay person who distributes Holy Communion is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a title as bulky and uncomfortable as the regular use of such creatures should be rare.
Like all ministers of the Church, ordinary and extraordinary, it is required that they live according to the dictates of the Church, strive for holiness, and avoid giving scandal. It is difficult to see how someone living in an object state of sin could fulfill these obligations. In fact, it’s quite impossible.
The faithful, of course, have the right to bring their concerns to their pastors. First, one must be certain that one has all the facts at hand, mindful that gossip and calumny are sins. The virtue of prudence also comes in to play here. Sadly, in these days, our pastors don’t always respond to our concerns as they should. In this case, we should ask – is the pastor already aware of this situation? What is his likely response? Our interlocutor seems to expect being yelled down. What then would be accomplished by raising these concerns, if the situation is not thusly rectified? One might gain the moral satisfaction of having done the right thing, and there is much to be said about those who, in the face of grave opposition, hold fast to the truth. Our Dear Lord also advised us to be as “wise as serpents and as simple as doves.”
We often speak of prayer as a sort of last resort. If we can’t “do” anything, we say, “well, at least, I’ll pray for you.” That seems to betray a bit of weakness of faith, when prayer is quite often our most powerful weapon. Storm heaven, both for this pastor, and for this couple who are, apparently, living in a state of objective sin. Pray that their hearts be turned to love and to follow the Church’s clear commands – for those commands are the stones with which the path to heaven is paved. All other paths are perilous. Pray to Our Lady, that their hearts may be softened and become docile to the commandments of the Lord. Pray to St. Clare, so diligent in defense of the Blessed Sacrament. Pray to their Guardian Angels. Pray especially to the Lord Jesus Christ, who wishes their conversion and their sanctification.