Biden and Pelosi received Communion at Pope Francis’ Mass. Can. 915? WHEN?

Pro-abortion catholic Democrats Rep. Nancy Pelosi and VP Joe Biden received Holy Communion at Pope Francis Mass for the beginning of his pontificate on 19 March.

Canonist Ed Peters has this at his good blog about canon law.

Nancy Pelosi will not change on her own

Communion time in St. Peter’s is, for the vast majority of lay persons (not heads of state, and not folks chosen to receive from the pope), pretty much a mob scene, so there is nothing to be gleaned from the fact that Nancy Pelosi took holy Communion at Pope Francis’ installation Mass—nothing, that is, except that either Pelosi suffers from one of the most malformed consciences in the annals of American Catholic politics or that she is simply hell bent on using her Catholic identity to attack Catholic values at pretty much every opportunity. [Or… both at the same time.  Morever, it is entirely possible that she is also not very bright.  There is a difference between being shrewd and being bright.] Certainly, Pelosi’s taking the Sacrament is not, in the slightest, a Roma locuta on pro-abortion Catholics and Communion.

Nancy Pelosi is America’s problem, not Rome’s, and it is obvious that, if left to her own lights, she will never mend her ways. For her sake, therefore, and for those confused by the chronic scandal she gives, Pelosi needs to be formally warned against taking holy Communion for so long as she promotes, as consistent with our Catholic faith, a variety of gravely immoral policies (per cc. 916, 1339); ministers, meanwhile, in her environs need to be directed to withhold Communion from her till advised otherwise by the competent ecclesiastical authority (per c. 915).

I’ll take a moment to remind you of my Can. 915 stuff.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. rodin says:

    Does it strike you that this administration sent two of them to Rome as a test? Does the Church really mean what it is saying about abortion/HHS or will it fold? Given that there was no problem with their receiving communion do you expect negotiations with the White House will get any easier?

  2. poohbear says:

    I read that Rosa DeLauro from CT was going with Biden and Pelosi. She is another pro-abort politician. This administration really sent the cream of the crop, didn’t they.

  3. RichR says:

    she is simply hell bent on using her Catholic identity to attack Catholic values at pretty much every opportunity
    Succinct and well put.

  4. maryh says:

    I’d like to see a picture or video of that happening. I’m not sure I automatically believe it just because they said so.

    So basically, they were just part of the crowd and managed to get away with it that way?

  5. Bob B. says:

    Pelosi not very bright? But she went to a Catholic school!
    If she hasn’t been warned by now, good grief, which bishop or bishops are asleep at the switch?
    This has gone on far too long now and it seems this is not a politically correct thing for the bishops to do, so either replace the bishops with those who can do their job or tell the Vatican that they really don’t believe Canon 915 was meant to be enforced (like one U.S. cardinal has said) and ask them to do it for them. Get it done.

  6. vox borealis says:

    canon 915 will never be invoked, unless the culture of the Church changes radically. Never. OK, maybe one or two bishops will try to invoke it, they will be pilloried in the press and ignored by their priests and brother bishops. So, effectively never.

  7. HobokenZephyr says:

    Folks, the Administration and the current Democratic leadership in the Congress acts in ways antithetical to natural law and morals on a daily basis. It is not going to get easier … ever.

  8. Mandy P. says:

    “Does it strike you that this administration sent two of them to Rome as a test?”

    I don’t know. I do know that while I found it to be very offensive that they would send those two to the Holy Father’s inaugural mass, I wasn’t exactly surprised. The current admin doesn’t seem to care about the sincerely held beliefs of others, religious or otherwise. And yes, those two need to be publicly sanctioned by the Church, very badly. The example needs to be set that their support for grave evil is unacceptable for a Catholic.

  9. Christopher says:

    There needs to be a pronouncement of Excommunication. While Canon 915 is in effect, it is likely that not every Catholic is aware of Canon 915 at all.

    God Bless.

  10. APX says:

    Her bishop won’t deny her communion because he doesn’t believe in using communion as a weapon.

  11. rhhenry says:

    To be a bit contrarian for a moment, consider the perspective of the Minister of the Eucharist:

    The Minister of Holy Communion (Ordinary or Extraordinary) has no idea if a Perfect Act of Contrition has been made by the communicant, even moments before presenting oneself for Holy Communion. In that scenario, my understanding is that the doubt goes in favor of the one presenting himself for Communion.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see a more forceful application of canonical sanctions, but at the same time, I sympathize with those who are “on the spot.”

    Is there any clearer way out of this?

    With prayers,

  12. Supertradmum says:

    What about Christ in the Eucharist, the Real Presence, being abused by being given to those who disdain His Teaching? I am so glad Dr. Peters wrote on this, as I did on my blog from different points of view. I agree with everything he said except that it is not merely American’s problem. We are a universal Church, and when one member of the Body of Christ suffers, we all do. The universal Church needs to deal with this as a whole.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    What about Christ in the Eucharist, the Real Presence, being abused by being given to those who disdain His Teaching? I am so glad Dr. Peters wrote on this, as I did on my blog from different points of view. I agree with everything he said except that it is not merely American’s problem. We are a universal Church, and when one member of the Body of Christ suffers, we all do. The universal Church needs to deal with this as a whole.

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    It is, in no small way, an outrage that these politicians receive Holy Communion, and hold the views that they do. It is a scandal, and horrible to contemplate. Rosa DeLaura is a rabid liberal, with all that entails, and is undoubtedly also rabidly pro-choice. Why this coven would rush off to the installation of St. Francis is mystifying, but I can tell you in New England the media is covering well their enthusiasm and for the first time in I don’t know how many years every mention of the Vatican or the Pope is NOT including the words “sex scandal” and such. I feel in a Bizarro World, but I’m not too worried yet.
    Somebody ought to do something about these people receiving Holy Communion.

  15. StJude says:

    Sadly.. I dont see refusal of communion to happen … and I for see caving to Obamacare too.

  16. Jackie L says:

    I did expect that both Pelosi and Biden would receive communion(do we know that they did? footage?) though I was holding out some hope that Francis had some control over this mass, and would be able to prevent it.

    I think the clock is ticking on this, this opportunity will be lost if it is not acted upon soon.

    I recently saw the movie “For Greater Glory” there is a scene in which a priest does not allow a man to receive communion, when the man approached, the priest asked if he had been to confession, when the man said no, the priest simply said you should confess first, and moved on, it seemed appropriate in the movies.

  17. persyn says:

    I have been waiting to find out about whether this was allowed to happen, in spite of what now-Pope Francis has written. Now I know. Kyrie, Eleison. Dr. Peters has a long way to go to convince me this is not tantamount to Roma Locuta. As is often said, “silence gives consent”.

  18. Father G says:

    The only photo so far of Pelosi and Biden is their greeting His Holiness after the Mass:

  19. mamajen says:

    I was very frustrated to learn that they managed to sneak up to communion, since I had heard that heads of state do not receive at the inaugural mass–I had assumed they would be in that category. I agree with Dr. Peters that it was a mob scene at communion, so I do not blame whoever ministered to them in this particular case. Perhaps that person didn’t even know who they were, or didn’t recognize them. Back in America, though, it’s another thing entirely. If Biden, Pelosi and others like them had any respect for Catholic teaching and any belief in the Real Presence (which I am sure they don’t), they wouldn’t be able to bring themselves up to communion without feeling tremendously guilty about it.

  20. HobokenZephyr says:

    Pray for the conversion of their hearts and then Confession for their souls. While they may give scandal to the rest of us, they eat and drink damnation upon themselves.

    Oh, and remember not to present yourself unless in a state of grace, too. For me, that usually requires confession on the stairs into the Church! LOL

  21. tonyfernandez says:

    Did they receive in the hand or on the tongue?

    Though I detest the policies and ideals of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, I believe that there are some important facts to remember:
    1. None of us are worthy to receive the Eucharist. All have sinned and have fallen short. It is a beautiful gift from our Lord; it is his merciful gift.
    2. The Lord is not hurt by offenses against the Eucharist. All of the sacrilege that occurs does not harm our Lord because nothing can hurt Him. This is not to say that sacrilege is no big deal, not at all. I know of at least one case of sacrilege that produces an excommuication latae sententiae. That said, let us remember that the Lord doesn’t need our help; final judgment is up to Him and Him alone.

    Now I feel like I need to go to confession.

  22. jacobi says:

    I’ve probably said this before – and I am sure you have, Fr Z – but it is the clear teaching of the Catholic Church that only those who are in a State of Grace and pleasing to God and who have observed the prescribed fast can receive Holy Communion. For example, contraceptors, abortionists, or those who support it, and any person guilty of an unforgiven grave sin cannot receive.

    A statement of the obvious you say, certainly amongst us blog commentators. But in decades of going to Mass and listening to sermons I have not heard one priest in a sermon say that, or even hint at it. I hope it’s is not because they don’t believe it. More likely they are just frightened of a walk out.

    And there is the problem. Our Bishops and priests, (on both sides of the pond?) have stopped being shepherds and authoritative teachers to their flocks.
    Until that changes etc…..

  23. frjim4321 says:

    I have no idea if this is true but I’ve heard that Biden attends mass regularly but Pelosis is a C&E type.

    It seems pathetic to me that someone would go to mass and make a point of watching to see what other people are doing rather than simply praying and asking for their own forgiveness.

    Reminds me of the pharisee and the widow.

  24. NBW says:

    Is there an actual photo of them taking Communion, or are we to believe the Media?

  25. Anchorite says:

    Vatican officials knew ahead of time that Biden and Pelosi were coming. The new Bishop of Rome hasn’t stopped them receiving communion, the officials responsible hasn’t stopped them, nor has any of the US cardinals in attendance. Obama did wonderfully by sending two infamous “Catholics” to test not only the US Church, but the Vatican itself (as rodin already pointed out). This could support a perception that both US Bishops and that of Rome are just a bunch of well-meaning softies that can pretend that nothing happens while occasionally giving somewhat thundering sermons – just to keep up the appearances.
    Dr. Peters – that is not US problem now, that is UNIVERSAL. And the “show” in Rome tells US Bishops loud and clear to stay away from withholding Communion from the likes of Biden and Pelosi.

  26. Joseph says:

    The sentence, Pelosi takes communion, is already offensive and indicates the manner and mind set a lot of those types approach the sacrament. One receives the Holy communion I’d say. Outlawing communion into the hand would go long ways to correct this wrongful attitude.
    Further a lot of good priests give a heads up at masses (funerals etc.), where there are a lot of non Catholics are present (and de facto ex communicated types belong into that group) not to approach the altar.
    Would St.Francis have gone along with this now prevailing attitude?

  27. cmnunis says:

    One thing we can do – actually excommunicate her?

  28. Random Friar says:

    I looked through the Communion portion of the video at PBS of the entire Mass, and both the VPs and Representative’s own pages, and could find no video/picture or mention of receiving or not receiving Communion.

    IOW, I’m not sure where this came from.

  29. Random Friar says:

    I also did not see the Holy Father distribute Holy Communion for much time, if at all, beyond the initial altar servers, etc, so I can’t imagine them receiving from the Holy Father. He was seated for most of Communion.

  30. TLM says:

    Our Parochial Vicar, an FSSP priest (not RCIA) always reminds us that if you take Communion when you aren’t it a state of grace, it does nothing for you. I noticed Pope Francis appeared to give Communion to a very few people, but couldn’t tell who they were and I could be mistaken. But, knowing that this Mass would bring many who aren’t Catholic or are Catholic, but not in a state of grace, may be why he didn’t give Communion himself to a larger number. I would have loved to see Mr. Biden and Mrs. Pelosi denied, but I still think these are early days.
    But we too can admonish our own by writing to them. It would be great if the millions of Catholic’s in America flooded their offices with mail, email, phone calls, or even the old fashion letter by postal service explaining they don’t represent Catholicism due to the lack of words and actions against legislation that is against the word of our Lord. If it offends God, it offends me.
    Our Cardinals should also be speaking out and letting the world know these two politicians are not representing Catholicism and offer them confession and not absolving them until they amend their lives.

  31. Lot says:

    I doubt very much that Pres. Obama knows or even cares about who may receive Holy Communion.
    I’m also fairly certain he doesn’t believe that Christ is sacramentally present in the Eucharist.

    These people were sent because they are democrats and claim to be Catholic and that’s good enough for the secular world and its leaders. We also need to remember that being representative of a government to a Papal Inaugural Mass and then presenting oneself for Communion are two different things. There were representatives of governments there who were not Catholic.

  32. jhayes says:

    I had speculated before the Mass that one reason Francis might have decided not to distribute Communion himself was to avoid the possibility that he might be approached by some controversial person.

    A friend who had worked The Vatican f years replied:

    “At papal Masses the dignitaries present do not receive Communion from the pope, but rather a representative group of women religious and lay people, including families, is chosen in the days preceding the Mass. Representatives of national delegations receive from a priest assigned to give Communion on the right side of the Sagrato (the broad upper level of the steps, where the altar is placed.)

    I did see Joe Biden introduced to Francis at the reception inside he basilica after the Mass. They chatted for about a minute, which seemed to be about the normal amount of time allocated to the leader of each delegation.

  33. Johnno says:


    “It seems pathetic to me that someone would go to mass and make a point of watching to see what other people are doing rather than simply praying and asking for their own forgiveness.

    Reminds me of the pharisee and the widow”

    Sure we can! That’s because it’s reached the pathetic point where the sheep now have to watch the shepherds. When you see someone abusing someone or something right out in the open, do you ignore it? When you know someone is planning on openly doing something wrong, do you sit back and not keep a look out? Shall we all close our eyes to injustice and evil and call it holiness? You do realize that everyone was watching the Pharaisee and the Widow and the point of the story (that everyone saw btw) is more about the quality and quantity of what you offer as a relation to true dependence and giving and nothing whatsoever to do with open rebellion and illiicit reception of Communion? not only did our Lord see the Pharisee and the Widow, he then publicly pointed it out to everyone who was present. Did our Lord do a bad thing Fr. Jim?

  34. acardnal says:

    According to the Washington Times, the Vice President’s office confirmed that both he and Pelosi received Communion at the Pope’s Inauguration.

    Fr. Z cited this link above:

  35. The Sicilian Woman says:

    “Can. 915? When?” you ask, Father?

    When we get a pope who truly will drive the money-changers and others of their ilk out of the Church. Will that pope be our Pope Francis? I do not know, but I am not going to hold my breath.

    My parish priest told me the way he lets non-Catholics at Masses in which he expects their attendance (such as weddings and funerals) know that they are not to receive Communion is by his making an announcement just before Communion. He says that Communion is for Catholics only, and for those Catholics who are in a state of grace (having gone to Confession). He also says that anyone presenting himself for Communion is saying by doing so that he is a Catholic in a state of grace and one who fully accepts the doctrine and beliefs of the Catholic Church.

    Wonder if Pelosi and Biden would still present themselves after an announcement like that. Hubris knows no bounds…it would be interesting.

  36. majuscule says:

    I am wondering…if either of them received took communion, wouldn’t that have been a photo op for them? They surely would have had someone snapping pictures.

    Or maybe all the hosts being distributed weren’t even consecrated in order to prevent…

    Oh don’t mind me. I’m off to our parish penance service tonight. I will be confessing my judgmental thoughts and big mouth.

  37. Joan M says:

    Does anyone really think that there would be such an “international incident” at Mass at St. Peter’s? If Pelosi and Biden were refused Communion, what about Mugabe or other such individuals? Not going to happen. Surely you do not expect the priests who were giving Communion would be able to recognize people who should be refused? Pelosi and Biden are recognizable figures in the US and for some others in the rest of the world, but most of us non-US people wouldn’t recognize them if they tripped us up!

    Refusal of Communion needs to be done in their own dioceses, not at an event such as the Pope’s Inaugural Mass. They will have to answer to God for their actions.

  38. jhayes says:

    The only photo so far of Pelosi and Biden is their greeting His Holiness after the Mass:

    The woman in the picture is Valerie Biden, not Nancy Pelosi. The man behind Francis is Cardinal Bertone, the Secretary of State. He was he next person to greet you after you finished with the Pope.

    I was very frustrated to learn that they managed to sneak up to communion

    I don’t think it was a case of sneaking up to one of the 500 ministers sent out to the general public. If my friend who used to work at the Vatican is correct, “Representatives of national delegations receive from a priest assigned to give Communion on the right side of the [altar]”

  39. Johnno says:

    I believe photo ops receiving communion were forbidden by Pope Francis? Heard that somewhere.

  40. cheerios in my pocket says:

    The maxim is “Qui tacet consentire”: the maxim of the law is “Silence gives consent”. If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented.
    But, I felt nudged during prayer that I could be silent no more. I first looked for Biden and Pelosi diocesan bishops, and found…their names and possible emails, I then emailed them and sent an email to my Bishop asking that he contact them in case my emails failed to reach them…
    I, with utmost urgence, ask that Bishop Mulooly and Archbishop Niederauer (didn’t realize he is Emeritus, so) Archbisop Cordileone and Cardinal Wuerl inform Pope Francis of the U.S. representatives Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi attending his Holiness’ installation Mass on the March 19, 2013, the Feast (or is it Solemnity) of St. Joseph. I ask that his Holiness, Pope Francis be made aware of their statements on abortion and same sex marriage. I ask that your recommendation to deny both the Holy Eucharist be made aware for their souls as well as all souls under your flock and his flock. I am praying and awaiting your response. God bless you all and God bless Pope Francis!

    Please, dear Bishop Lennon, I ask that you forward this information to Bishop Mulooly, Archbishop Cordileone, Cardinal Wuerl and anyone else who may provide Pope Francis this important information on the day of his installation as the Vicar of Christ, the Successor to Peter, etc. My heart cries out to our Lord knowing that He so very much would not want our Pope to be uninformed of such a grave issue. As you can see below, our Canon is quite clear indeed. Please, if you would, let me know what success you achieve.

    I heard from no one. I thought I’d better try another avenue, and I emailed Fr. Z. I also mentioned it in a blog as to why we were concerning ourselves with shoes and apparel when souls are at stake. I received no response.

    I emailed because I have learned so much from the courage of Michael Voris. (and I continue to learn more daily…what a wealth of information he has and is providing) But I received no response.

    I thought that I have done what I could except to continue to pray and offer sacrifices no matter how small on behalf of the souls involved. It wasn’t until just now that I opened up your blog to see this. Fr. Z, what more can one person do? This is quite confusing to have no one to go to about very important matters. Please let me hear from you. God bless.

  41. Patrick-K says:

    I was just about to mention Mugabe but it looks like Joan M beat me to it. As much as it would gladden my heart to see Pelosi and Biden refused Communion, keep in mind that once you refuse one person, you open up a whole Pandora’s Box of who is and who isn’t worthy of Communion. That’s walking into a minefield of international politics and diplomacy. I can’t really blame the pope for wanting to avoid that minefield and focus his energy on other areas.

    For any bishop that wants to take this issue on, my prayers are with them, but they better make sure they have the canon law issues thoroughly sorted, because they are really stirring up a media hornet’s nest. I can see the headlines now:

    “Bishop Declares Democrats Not Welcome”
    “Bishop Takes Strong Stance Against Reproductive Health”
    “Pro-Choice? You’re Not Welcome at Catholic Churches”

    While these are headlines I would certainly love to see (except the first one really is probably excessive), I hope bishops are prepared for the media witch-hunt.

  42. LaudemGloriae says:

    I say we get pictures of Pelosi and Biden receiving Communion and run them on the front page of the Washington Post with a caption that reads something like “In a stunning turn of events, Biden and Pelosi repudiate women’s reproductive choice and gay rights by receiving Communion at a Catholic Mass!!!” Keep running the pictures and running the story. “PELOSI – HOMOPHOBIC BIGOT? RECEIVES COMMUNION AGAIN!” They will stop wanting to be seen at Mass. They only receive Communion because they believe they are creating a center of gravity away from the Church’s actual teachings. If we turn it into a sign that they actually believe Church teachings, they will stop.

  43. Random Friar says:

    acardnal: Thank you for the link! I couldn’t find anything on their own official sites, but I imagine someone must have asked, especially if it was not clear from the available video.

  44. Denis says:

    If only Father Guarnizo had been administering Communion in her vicinity!

  45. TLM says:

    Look at Joe Biden’s expression in the photo on the link to the usnews. Who knows, perhaps a moment of consciousness…or could he be feeling the “heat”?

  46. rodin says:

    How difficult would it have been for those in charge of this event to have anticipated the presence of Biden (his intent to be there was in the papers) and possibly others of similar persuasion and requested Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal O’Mally to invite them to make a confession and perform penance prior to presenting themselves for communion? I have visions of such penance being a public retraction of support for abortion.

    Pelosi’s bishop, or Cardinal, is now Cordileone who is new on the job. However, Cardinal Wuerl is the head of the DC diocese I believe and has had a very long time to deal with this issue. Biden’s bishop is Malooly.

  47. greasemonkey says:

    I’m just not surprised one bit. The headline, the real news feed, would be that they did NOT receive communion.

  48. mammamia says:

    As someone whom works amongst college students, what a lost ginormous opportunity this was for a “teachable moment” by our new Pope. And we wonder why these kids are so confused?
    And we wonder why they, although Catholic, and at a “Catholic” college (that promotes the nuns on the bus spectacle) vote democrat?
    How sad that this opportunity was lost, and it’s not like they didn’t know they were coming. Actually, for the kids’ sake, if Pelosi and Biden really loved the young people AND were truly Catholic, THEY should have taken it upon themselves to cross their arms when approaching the Eucharist, and received a blessing, even if it meant they’d have to go to a private Mass earlier or later in the day. But they don’t care, and that is very, very sad.

  49. r7blue1pink says:

    If they did sit in the Dignitary section, how in the world were they do get out of that section without anyone seeing and shift to another section and get in line for communion???

    Kind of a remote possibility dont you think??

  50. Sofia Guerra says:

    We buried my father today. At his funeral Mass the priest came out before my father’s body was brought in (Latin Requiem EF) and instructed all in the Church that confession would be available for the next 15 or 20 mins or however long it took to hear the confession of any of the family and friends who were Catholic.

    He cautioned those who were not Catholic to please not approach the communion rail as it was not possible to administer Holy Communion to anyone not in communion with Rome and also the same warning to the Catholics present who were in mortal sin and not disposed to receive the Holy Sacrament.

    He added to please not take it as an insult but as an act of fraternal charity that he would and could not put their souls in danger as well as his own.

    No one was upset and in particular a Jewish friend said that he thought the priest was a brave man who was of God. There was a line to the back of the Church for Confession and the Requiem started 35 mins late. In addition, the non Catholics and some Catholics who hadn’t been to Confession in years remained in the pews.

    Afterwards after the grave site service, my mother thanked everyone who followed the priest’s instructions because my father would have wanted nothing less.

    We must pray for the Holy Spirit to cleanse the hearts of all who believe that they are entitled to the Blessed Sacrament. My father himself would always tell family and friends with a smile on his face..”Don’t you dare go to Communion if you are in mortal sin or are not Catholic at my funeral Mass…I will then have to do much more time in purgatory and explain to Christ if I gain heaven that I didn’t do enough to warn you…” Then he would pat them on the back as they nervously laughed.

    I guess this morning they were reminded of my father’s witness by a faithful priest… Deo Gratias.
    See you in purgatory, Dad

  51. majuscule says:


    Not exactly what you suggested but…

    Um, regular readers of this blog will not be shocked.

  52. r7blue1pink says:

    Sorry for the multiple posts, but how are they going to rush down the stairs and back up again without security seeing them leave the dignitary area??

  53. r7blue1pink says:

    Fr Beyers shared this earlier today:

    Update: Just to say: Some have been worried about Holy Communion being given to certain politicians. It has never been a practice to distribute Holy Communion to those in the dignitaries section for this and very many other reasons, even if they are devout Catholics and ferocious supporters of the Holy Father.

    Yvonne: I should clarify that this was the practice when I was in Rome. For instance, I was the priest responsible for giving Holy Communion to the choir next the Papal altar for the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Pretty much every dignitary in the world was there for that funeral. I was told multiple times that Communion was not to be given to those in the dignitaries section. This was always the practice for Papal Masses in the Basilica as well. At least, that is what I remember. I do recall for the funeral Mass that when a priest stopped and turned to give Communion to those in the dignitaries section, he was immediately shunted away down the steps and into the pathways through the crowds below. Of course, this prohibition may have been lifted, though I would be surprised by that. There are heaps of reasons not to do this… So, personal anecdote, which may be out of date.

    So did the protocol change and we are to believe that she actually made it OUT of the dignitary section down to the general audience areas?? I find that REALLY hard to believe… no?

  54. jhayes says:

    However, Cardinal Wuerl is the head of the DC diocese I believe and has had a very long time to deal with this issue

    Cardinal Wuerl has answered that question before:

    [T]he Church just didn’t use Communion this way. It wasn’t a part of the way we do things, and it wasn’t a way we convinced Catholic politicians to appropriate the faith and live it and apply it; the challenge has always been to convince people.” Whereas sanctioning them, in his view, has the opposite effect.

    For bishops, “there are two different approaches” to bring Catholic politicians in line with Church teaching. “One is the pastoral, teaching mode, and the other is the canonical approach” – the legal approach, in other words. He doesn’t think it’s a very close call: “I have yet to see where the canonical approach has changed anyone’s heart.”…

    Of Pelosi in particular, he cites two big reasons he hasn’t and won’t try to keep her from receiving Communion:

    First, “there’s a question about whether this canon” – the relevant church law – “was ever intended to be used” to bring politicians to heel. He thinks not. “I stand with the great majority of American bishops and bishops around the world in saying this canon was never intended to be used this way.”

    And second? Pelosi, as a San Franciscan, “isn’t part of my flock!”

    Dr. Peters disagrees, but Cardinal Wuerl and the other bishops get to make the decisions.

  55. TLM says:

    @Sofia Guerra. Your father sounds so wonderful. Thank you for sharing that with us. I will pray for his soul.

  56. St. Louis IX says:

    @ Sofia Guerra

    Thank You

  57. OrthodoxChick says:

    For those who have been wondering where the bishops have been in regard to Biden’s and Pelosi’s flagrant disregard for the teachings of the Church that they claim to belong to, here’s a link to the Kresta radio show. The first half of this is about Rep. Paul Ryan because this article is comparing and contrasting Ryan and Biden prior to the election. But the bottom half, across from the video clip of Bishop Chaput, is about Biden. According to this, Biden has been “criticized, reprimanded, and sanctioned” by 17 bishops. Link:

    This second link is regarding Pelosi. In 2008, Bishop Niederaurer asked her to refrain from presenting herself for Communion.

  58. Denis says:

    It is very convenient for Cardinal Wuerl that the “pastoral” strategy also happens to be what requires the no effort or courage on his part. This lazy, cowardly approach isn’t supported either by tradition or by the practices of the early Church, so beloved by the likes of Cardinal Wuerl. For example, Didache 14: “But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.”

  59. Denis says:

    “I stand with the great majority of American bishops and bishops around the world…”

    and against the bishops of courage and principle.

  60. Juergensen says:

    Homosexualist abortionist politicians receive Holy Communion all the time in America while their bishops stand by fiddling.

    This is a matter that needs to be handled by each homosexualist abortionist politician’s bishop, but seldom is.

  61. OrthodoxChick says:


    Thanks for the link to the picture of Biden and Pelosi greeting the Holy Father. I’m surprised that she’s actually wearing a chapel veil. I wasn’t ready to see that!

  62. Imrahil says:

    Dear @rhhenry,

    I think Dr Peters could pretty well explain on this… to my understanding, in simplificated form, can. 915 effectively enacts a penalty, which is removed when the public stance is altered. The interior thing is can. 916.

    Dear @The Sicilian Woman (and @HobokenZephyr),
    I know the priests cannot say all things in a moment, and those who need not feel addressed, well, need not feel so. (A vice of mine, alas.) But for the record, “state of grace” does not equal “having gone to Confession”. First, we do not strictly dare to approach Holy Communion “when we are in the state of grace” but “when we are naturally certain not to know a reason for not being in a state of grace”. There’s a difference; and though that dwells mostly on the natural/supernatural knowledge distinction, there’s some traditional highlight on the fact we do not know whether we are.
    And what I wanted to say, it is not necessary to come freshly from Holy Confession to be in a state of grace.
    With all due respect to the dear @HobokenZephyr’s humility, but if you are no can 915 issue and believe what Catholics believe, I’d rather suspect you are confusing venial sins for mortal ones than that what you say is actually true.

    three points.

    First, I’d be interested under which circumstance the two delegation members made know that they have received Holy Communion. Sneaking It up is bad enough, though it may at least come under the “that’s what all do” and “after all I feel I’m doing the right thing with my policy, so why not receive Christ” excuses. (I do not say these excuses excuse!) But actually making that public is still a different animal! Isn’t that totally propagandistic and nothing else? Unless it was in mere answer for a question… even then they could, though, have said that this is a private matter which concerns them personally alone.
    I do not like to throw this word into the discussion, but if we actually take Holy Communion for the sake of propagandizing for an agenda objectively wrong and fought against by the Church, the mere qualification “forbidden reception of Communion” seems somewhat weak. Forgive me, but I’m thinking of another word that starts with b and ends with asphemy.

    Second, if it is true what the dear @mamajen reports, that heads of state do not receive at the inaugural mass, this is throwing the baby out of the tub together with the bathwater. This should not be so. Even if you are a Head of State, if you’re Catholic and (now speaking myself colloquially) in a state of grace, you can and should receive the Blessed Sacrament!

    Third, – and I’d like to point out this is a not a suggestion but merely thinking out loud. The “can. 915 state” is something of a limbo… you are under no penalty, you are technically, as the phrase goes, a Catholic in good standing, your interior state of the soul is not so really the thing in focus either (that’s can. 916 which is an appeal to the communicant himself, rather than an order to the distributor to withhold), and yet… you may not Communicate. Pope emeritus Benedict himself, as a Cardinal, said to an interview question (where these were called “excommunicated”) that “Let us mention first that they are not excommunicates; they do not suffer this penalty, although they have to bear the chief effect of it” (no literal citation), and then answered the question with just the same things he’d have said had they been actually excommunicated.
    Back in the days, such a thing would, I guess, not really have existed. Divorced and remarried could safely be excommunicated or interdicated under can. 2356/1917, those who fight the Church under can. 2334/1917, and for those who fight for abortion probably a similar solution could have been found.
    I’m not suggesting anything. But “excommunication” or also “interdict” (to which latter, at least, the can. 915 state seems fairly equal to a non-canonist as myself) is something readily understandable. “a Catholic under no censure who is to be withhold Holy Communion on account of public manifestation of objective grave sin” is, well, a much longer phrase.
    Just some thinking.

  63. PA mom says:

    It makes the most sense to move in tandem if taking on such a high profile person/s. I should think that Pope Francis would desire an agreement with the particular American bishops regarding this issue. Making a case of it, just to get back the States and have them flaunt receiving here is not a desirable outcome. That would turn into a demonstration of how little authority the Pope has.

    Give His Holiness time to tune up the team, tighten up the formations, run some drills, make some faithless heads roll (metaphorically speaking of course) and demonstrate that HE MEANS BUSINESS…. I suspect that there will be more ears open to his wishes by then.

  64. JARay says:

    Yes, I have a copy of “For Greater Glory” and the priest when he came to General Gorostieta knew that he was a non-practicing Catholic and told him “You should confess first” before moving on. When I told our assistant priest of this scene he said “I can’t see that happening here. There would be huge repercussions if it did”!
    But the film does go on to show the General asking for, and receiving, absolution from that same priest a short time before he was killed. And then the priest is shot and the General makes sure that the priest gets the chance to confess himself before he too dies of his wounds.
    These are just some of the really Catholic features in this film. It is well worth seeing. I’m so glad that I bought the DVD because that film never saw general release here in Australia.

  65. Southern Catholic says:

    Remember that Cardinal Wuerl will not deny communion to pro-abortion politicians, he also compared it denying communion to “wielding a weapon.”

    A full text of his statement can be found in the following article:

  66. Raymond says:

    The blatant sacrilegious receiving of Holy Communion is really an American problem–exacerbated by row-by-row communion assisted by ushers. In most Catholic countries, you will notice that many Mass attendees do not take communion–for whatever personal reason. In fact, if you go to a Spanish-language Mass in the US, you will also notice that many Hispanic-Americans do not approach the altar for communion. Not just bishops and priests, but also parents, and religion and RCIA teachers here in the US really need to address this forcefully. This is a big failure in catechism.

  67. kap says:

    Go over to EWTN YouTube — watch the video of their coverage of the Installation Mass. Watch it at the first min. for the intros (to be familiar with commentators) and go to 38 mins. and onward about 8-10 mins. I think you all will get a sense of the situation.
    The WH confirmed that they received Communion:
    I’m praying for all of us!
    Lord have mercy…

  68. Nancy D. says:

    There is no reason why a statement could not have been made that those who do not support the teaching of The Catholic Church on The Sanctity of Human Life from the moment of conception, and The Sanctity of Marriage and The Family, per Catholic Canon 750, should not present themselves for Holy Communion, as those who deny the personal and relational essence of the human person created in The Image and Likeness of God, deny God, and are thus apostates.

  69. Nancy D. says:

    I am beginning to think someone needs to check in on our Holy Father Benedict, as he stated in February, that those who deny the essence of God, deny the inherent Dignity of the human person who has been created in The Image and Likeness of God, and I would add, vice versa.

  70. ReginaMarie says:

    Ack! No time to read whether this was already mentioned by above posters…but we do not TAKE Holy Communion…we RECEIVE Holy Communion!

  71. TLM says:

    @ReginaMarie. Thank you, I too mis-stated and said take instead of receive.

  72. heway says:

    Nothing new here. I remember crinching when I saw the late, great Ted Kennedy receiving communion at a papal function. Same ol’, same ol’. They only fool themselves, but don’t get caught up in the blame game. Don’t judge if you don’t want to be judged……not worth the bother.

  73. TNCath says:

    Cardinal Burke and a few bishops here and there, have publicly spoken. However, I don’t foresee the USCCB or this Pope enforcing Canon 915 anytime soon. I hope I’m wrong.

  74. BLB Oregon says:

    If this happened, isn’t that not just a question of canon law, but also a question of protocol, since the persons in question are members of a foreign delegation?

    Father, does the Vatican discourage people from photographing others receiving Holy Communion, that you know of? If it were possible to prevent that or discourage that, I would think it a very good idea, for many reasons.

  75. jhayes says:

    Orthodox Chick wrote: “jhayes, Thanks for the link to the picture of Biden and Pelosi greeting the Holy Father. I’m surprised that she’s actually wearing a chapel veil. I wasn’t ready to see that!”

    The photo link was originally posted by Father G. However, accordingto the caption, the woman is Joe Biden’s sister, not Nancy Pelosi.

  76. jesusthroughmary says:

    Honestly, there is no way that a random Italian priest is going to recognize the Vice President of the United States and the House Minority Leader in a huge crowd.

  77. boxerpaws1952 says:

    “The Minister of Holy Communion (Ordinary or Extraordinary) has no idea if a Perfect Act of Contrition has been made by the communicant, even moments before presenting oneself for Holy Communion. ”
    i find it very hard to believe anyone thinks Pelosi and Biden(to name a few)have changed and are suddenly obedient faithful Catholics. It’s gone on far too long.Run into Catholics who believe you can support a pro abortion,same sex marriage and euthanasia politician? Think some of this might be the result of public figures like Pelosi and Biden. Our evangelical brothers/sisters must wonder.
    We’re called to evangelize-then we vote pro abortion candidates in large numbers and put them into office. IMHO it makes evangelization just a little tricky. Sorry,but i think excommunication of these PUBLIC figures is long overdue. It’s an act of charity on every level.

  78. jhayes says:

    OrthodoxChick wrote “This second link is regarding Pelosi. In 2008, Bishop Niederaurer asked her to refrain from presenting herself for Communion.

    I haven’t seen anything that says he asked her not to receive Communion. The linked article says he asked her to come to a meeting, which she did in February 2009, but nothing I know of was ever published about what they discussed . In 2010, +Neideraurer published this article criticizing her positions but it doesn’t indicate that he had asked her to not receive Communion.

  79. Ed the Roman says:

    Even were a perfect act of contrition made, absent imminent danger of death, shouldn’t one confess sacramentally first?

    Really: how big an egotist do you have to be to be quite sure your act of contrition was *perfect*?

  80. Absit invidia says:

    The rebel, Pelosi believes in her self-defined religion because she is being emboldened by other wayward Catholics. If the Church got serious and made an example of this dissident, it would reverberate and finally draw the line in the sand to say, “enough is enough”. The remaining Faithful would get the message loud and clear and the confusion of “I can be a weekly Communion receiving Catholic AND have my contraception and abortions on demand” would be dissipated by one ecclesiastical disciplinary action. Pelosi must be made an example for the good of the whole. One bad apple is spoiling the entire bunch and enough is enough.

  81. netokor says:

    What tremendous dereliction of duty it is for a shepherd not to take care of his flock. He is in danger of going to hell. In all charity he must warn that souls who receive Holy Communion in mortal sin or as outspoken heretics are likewise in a real danger of eternal damnation. I hope our new Pope will instruct and inspire all of our Bishops to be as heroic as Father Guarnizo. This is all very scandalous, but also quite terrifying. Christ save us from the fires of hell.

  82. JacobWall says:

    I suspect that they received communion, not out of approval of their actions, but more out of ignorance of who they are. Does anyone imagine that Pope Francis actually knows who Polesi and Biden are? Even less so his ministers of communion. Here’s something that would probably shock them: they are not important enough for anyone at the Pope’s inauguration to know who they are.

    Of course, the American Cardinals would have known. In any case, those distributing wouldn’t have any idea, and thus it would be absurd to expect them to have denied them communion.

    Finally, a point few people consider is this; what about the souls of Biden and Polesi? Recently, in a sermon, my pastor told the parish that any one who actively supports abortion commits a sacrilege every time he/she receives communion. From what I understand, denial of communion is not only a way of preventing scandal, but also medicine for the one who is denied. At the very least, it prevents their soul from being farther separated from God; at best, we would hope that it would begin the path to healing.

    If what we are reading is true, then imagine how many sacrileges Polesi and Biden have committed, imagine how separated from God their souls have become. They need our prayers.

    And as much as the scandal he causes, it worries me that Card. Wuerl would care so little for their souls that he wouldn’t give them this medicine (i.e. denial of communion) that they so direly need.

  83. kneeling catholic says:

    Random Friar >>>I looked through the Communion portion of the video at PBS of the entire Mass, and both the VPs and Representative’s own pages, and could find no video/picture or mention of receiving or not receiving Communion.

    IOW, I’m not sure where this came from.<<<<

    Exactly RF ! I think it fair to say that Pope Francis checkmated their opportunity for a Blessed Sacrament photo-op..((please do not get irate, but he has done this more effectively than either of his two predecessors)) high and low…examine video tapes frame by frame….so far all I have found is this

  84. Absit invidia says:

    Tony Ferandez: I hope you’re kidding.

    When you say that “All of the sacrilege that occurs does not harm our Lord because nothing can hurt Him” you are forgetting that God is not just the Almighty but he came in the form of a man Jesus Christ who showed us that he feels pain. From His Agony in the Garden to His apparitions to Sister Faustina, Our Lord showed that God is a very human and divine God, who is hurt by our offenses:

    Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
    37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
    38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

    “Oh, how painful it is to Me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in Holy Communion. I wait for souls and they are indifferent to Me. I love them tenderly and sincerely and they distrust Me. I want to lavish my graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat me as a dead object, where as My Heart is full of love and mercy.
    “In order that you may know at least some of My pain, imagine the most tender mother who has great love for her children, while those children spurn her love. Consider her pain. No one is in a position to console her. This is but a feeble image and likeness of My love.” (#1447)

    So don’t think for a minute that Pelosi’s rebellion doesn’t matter. It clearly does.

  85. BLB Oregon says:

    –Even were a perfect act of contrition made, absent imminent danger of death, shouldn’t one confess sacramentally first?

    Really: how big an egotist do you have to be to be quite sure your act of contrition was *perfect*?
    –Ed the Roman

    Well, the point is not that anyone would recommend that I (for instance) blithely gamble my eternal destiny on the premise that I myself made a perfect act of contrition when I could simply go to confession. The point is not that we ought to counsel someone who is asking us that they ought to depend on that. No, the point is that we have a valid reason to refrain from coming to any conclusion about someone who did not ask us and whose objective violations of moral law seem beyond doubt: that is, we don’t know whether she has been to confession, and even if we knew for a fact that she had not, we don’t know her interior state. If we are not bound to judge her, we’re rather bound to avoid it. We can certainly judge objective and exterior things, and our duty to teach and admonish others can demand that we do. The interior things that are beyond our sight, though…well, in this case, the possibility of a perfect contrition allows us to let go of judging those things.

    Any time we see someone in a moral ditch, we have to be very careful to avoid rubbernecking. The road is not just hard only because it is narrow. The real danger comes because the narrow road also has a ditch on both sides of it. So in this case, we need to stick with the judgment that is necessary in order to help someone out of the ditch or help someone avoid going into a ditch, and avoid the other one, lest we fall, too.

  86. Oneros says:

    What is Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden’s sin?

  87. Publicly promoting intrinsic evils, especially abortion.

  88. Absit invidia says:

    Oneros, Biden and Pelosi have gone public as Roman Catholics who are defying the Church’s Teachings concerning the crime of abortion. Both of them actively support legislation that protects abortion instead of legislation that protects innocent human life. What I see as the biggest problem is SCANDAL. Abortion is the direct killing of a human life and murder is a sin against the 5th Commandment. They are political leaders claiming to be Catholics but acting against the Church’s Teachings. Our catechism teaches:

    2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

    “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”80

    “The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”81

  89. Absit invidia says:

    What the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about scandal:

    2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

    2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.87

    2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

    Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to “social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible.”88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

    2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!”90

  90. JabbaPapa says:

    Father Z, sorry but — you’re forgetting two things :

    “During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

    “(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.

    and (from the booklet for the Inaugural Mass)

    The faithful who take part in this liturgical celebration in Saint Peter’s Square can obtain a Plenary Indulgence under the usual conditions:
    -Freedom from all attachment to sin, including venial sin
    -Sacramental Confession
    -Reception of Holy Communion
    -Payer for the intentions of the Holy Father

    Now — I don’t want to start any arguments about the state of the souls of Biden and Pelosi during that Mass, not least because it would be a mortal sin to engage in such idle speculations —

    However, because neither of them is in a state of excommunication ferendae sententiae, the remission of temporal punishment for one’s sins that is attached to such a plenary indulgence means that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi certainly can take Communion at any Mass that provides such a plenary indulgence.

    The gravity of sins that would prevent someone from taking Communion at such a Mass is of a completely different order than that provided in Canon 915 — such sins as denying the Divinity of Christ, or denying the Real Presence in the Eucharist, and other such extremely grave sins against God Himself or His Holy Mass would create such conditions whereby the sinner could not partake of Communion at such a Mass.

    Case in point : A Catholic who were a murderer and who fulfilled the stated requirements could partake of the Holy Communion at such a Mass.

    (whether Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi could take Holy Communion at Mass this coming Sunday is a completely different question, concerning their own immortal souls, their confessors, their curates, and their Bishops and the Canon in question — but again it’s none of our business to speculate about this, and the Catechism and the Canon Law forbid such speculations)

    Now — given the public nature of the sins in question, public discussion of them is naturally not forbidden ; but there’s a thin dividing line between discussing these particulars within the framework of Canon 915 and the temporal punishments that derive from it, and engaging in idle speculation about the state of these individual souls that might openly break the Ninth Commandment : Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

  91. hawkeye says:

    Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi have scandalized themselves by publicly professing their support for abortion, contraception, gay marriage, and so on. As soon as they made their announcements, they should have been excommunicated, but their bishops didn’t have the guts. Very few bishops and arch-bishops want to take a stand on this issue. They are afraid to use the “excommunicate” word for fear of “offending” someone. Even the Pope skirted the issue by simply not distributing Communion to the faithful himself at his inaugural Mass. He just left it to the priests and deacons from the seminary and local area. They had no idea to whom they were distributing Communion, and they had no authority not to give those two Communion.

    Until the upper echelon clergy decide to make a unified decision on what to do about pro-abortion politicians, there is absolutely nothing us lowly people in the pews can do about it. Sad but true.

  92. Clinton R. says:

    It is a testament to the infinite love Our Savior has for us when He suffered a violent and bloody death, and is a prisoner of love in the tabernacle, and gives His Precious Body and Blood to us who are wretched sinners and so unworthy of His gifts. He foreknew the sacrilege that would repeatedly be done to His Body and yet He still is there in the Sacrament. His Sacred Heart is full of love for us, even when those who He has entrusted the care of His Church fail in their solemn duty to prevent profanation of His Body and those who call themselves His people oppose Him.

  93. Peter in Canberra says:

    This happens because their bishops don’t have the you know what to excommunicate them.
    Nor do the great majority of their brother bishops to deal with similar public officials who vote on the public record to legislate for things in clear convention of Catholic teaching.

    And re JabbaPappa’s blank cheque theory about plenary indulgences, well I figure it is blank.

  94. Peter in Canberra says:

    ps that should have been “clear CONTRAvention of Catholic teaching”

  95. JabbaPapa says:

    Peter : And re JabbaPapa’s blank cheque theory about plenary indulgences, well I figure it is blank.

    No blank cheque, and I apologise if I mistakenly gave any such impression — Masses with a plenary indulgence are the ONLY Masses where some people may legitimately take Holy Communion, and then ONLY under certain conditions and requirements.

  96. JonPatrick says:

    I think we have to take the longer view with this issue. The Church is in a sorry state right now, where many Catholics believe that they can hold views that contradict Church teachings yet still consider themselves in good standing. We didn’t get to this state overnight and it won’t get resolved until the Church is reformed from top to bottom. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has his work cut out for him in cleaning out the Augean Stables, starting at the top and working down. He will be opposed by many withing the Church. I believe he can do it but he needs our prayers.

  97. Joan M says:

    JabbaPapa: “Masses with a plenary indulgence are the ONLY Masses where some people may legitimately take Holy Communion, and then ONLY under certain conditions and requirements.”

    Kindly supply documentary support for this. I find it totally unbelievable.

  98. Ambrose Jnr says:

    @ Raymond

    It’s not merely a US problem…sacrilegious communions are the norm all over Northern Europe as well, where confession is pretty much non-existent and pretty much all the politicians are pro-abortion and more and more pro-so-called homosexual marriage…

  99. Jim Dorchak says:

    I thought that the chruch did away with Can 915?

  100. vox borealis says:


    I’m not sure I understand how plenary indulgences have anything to do with can. 915. All the indulgence does is liberate the individual from the temporal condition of purgatory. That does not bear on the worthiness of an individual who is “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” to receive communion.

  101. Imrahil says:

    Really: how big an egotist do you have to be to be quite sure your act of contrition was *perfect*?

    It is, perhaps, unfortunate that this name has the word “perfect” in it. What is meant is an act of contrition as also opposed to attrition; which does not seem that difficult. If I understood that correctly, the difference from attrition is that you do not only remember God’s penalties, but also that God is ultimate good and worthy of being loved, and actually choose to do so. (So there are acts of contrition with more or less fervor.)

    St. Thomas treats forgiveness by contrition as the normal state of affairs, and forgiveness by absolution, perfecting imperfect contrition, as the exception. (He actually wonders what absolution is then there for still; but he has answers to that, of course.)

    Nevertheless, and here’s another problem with the “being in a state of grace” wording: Being such does not suffice: but also, if you have committed mortal sins even forgiven by contrition, and unless you are in danger of death or a priest unable to refuse saying a Mass, you have to Confess first.

    Dear @BLBOregon, can. 915 has to do with exterior behavior.

    Dear @JabbaPapa, an indulgence is defined as remitting temporal (as opposed to eternal) punishments remaining after absolution.

    re: wielding a weapon: Yes, withholding Holy Communion is a weapon and is meant to be a weapon. It is, also, meant to be used.

  102. Imrahil says:

    Btw, I think the background thought behind “let’s not wield a weapon” is that the US has a two-party system, with one party in favor of abortion and one party against it. Withholding Communion from Democrat politicians is hence necessarily (and really, not only misunderstood as) a partisan action.

    But while impartisanness is, perhaps, the calling of the Church under normal circumstances (and when do they exist?), sometimes you cannot have what you want. We have to stick to our morality even if it means openly favoring the Republicans.

  103. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Ambrose Jnr,

    it’s not a problem in Northern Europe, if only because Northern Europe is not Catholic.

  104. persyn says:

    If you have any sin that has not been dealt with Sacramentally, you can’t receive an indulgence in the first place. That’s what’s meant by the line “the usual conditions” you see in the indulgences.

  105. Anabela says:

    Dear Fr. John
    If the Pope (whoever that Pope was) changed the rules regarding the washing of feet on Holy Thursday, to include women, what would the position be then ? In obedience would Priests have to follow suit ? Sorry to ask but it is just something that is bothering me. We all have to be obedient to the Church so if things changed for the worse what would happen ?

  106. mamajen says:

    When a person has done something severe enough for Canon 915 to be invoked, it is not only the state of their soul at the time of communion that matters–the public scandal they are causing needs to cease, too. Yes, it would be nice if they repented unbeknownst to us before the inaugural mass, but that’s not all there is to it. Pelosi and Biden could go to confession every Saturday, take communion on Sunday, but if they are back to publicly supporting abortion by Monday, they are still causing damaging scandal that could lead others to sin. A person who is not ready to abandon their public sin should not take communion until they have corrected themselves, publicly.

    And, no, we should not feel guilty about “judging” somebody’s public actions. Maybe we don’t know the whole story about how they came to be the people they are, we definitely don’t know the state of their souls, but we know that they are confusing a great number of people with their actions, and that outweighs all else. Canon 915 is about helping people, including the offenders themselves, not judging.

  107. HobokenZephyr says:

    Does anybody here actually think that the Obama Administration is deciding how hard the Church can be pushed in the US based on whether or not Pelosi and/or Biden receive Holy Communion at a Mass? Please. They are going to push as hard as they can on what they want regardless of Canon 915, excommunication or the Second Coming itself. If you think differently you are just kidding yourself.

    Fr. Jim raised an excellent point. Other than the act of profaning the Sacrament or of not consuming the host after receiving [which I’ve been alerted by the priest to check out in the past], I’m much more worried about how I am internally disposed — and how those I am responsible for are internally disposed — than about how others are. That’s for the pastor and Bishop to deal with, not for me.

  108. Anabela says:

    Sorry Fr. John I have just seen where the Pope will be celebrating Holy Thursday Mass not at St. Peters or St. John Lateran, but at a juvenile Prison. This Prison has both men and women.

  109. LarryW2LJ says:

    Three things that come to my mind:
    1) Pelosi and Biden think that abortion is no big deal, this we know. OK, they may “be personally opposed” (Thank you so much for THAT, Kennedys and Cuomos!) but they can’t see themselves imposing their beliefs on anyone else. If they’re so wishy-washy and lukewarm regarding THAT tenet of their faith (being opposed to murder, for crying out loud!) what makes you think they believe in the Real Presence, anyway? The bottom line is, they are condemning themselves.
    2) As far as receiving during the Papal Mass …… if they received from a Deacon or Priest who lives in Europe …… well, we in the US know very well what these two look like, but might that Priest or Deacon? If Berlesconi came to the US, and if I was a Priest, and I was told not to give him communion ….. well, somebody better show me a good photo because I’d be in a quandry, as I’m not sure what he looks like in person.
    3) Look what happened to Fr. Guarnizo …… need I say more?
    The whole matter is a mess. I sure wish we had more Bishops with backbone.

    Sorry for these ramblings, I’m not as good as putting my thoughts together as well as the rest of you..

  110. fizzwizz says:

    Absit invidia
    Pelosi self designed religion ,well, PF self designed Pope- green light for self designed catholics. trouble ahead me thinks…. trouble ahead

  111. rcg says:

    It could very well be that a politician becomes ineligible for communion when the oath of office is administered.

    My actual concerns are two: Is Pope Francis ignorant of the public and clear positions of these politicians not only on Life, but in how they portray the Church and Her teachings? Secondly, if he is aware, what does this mean concerning taking Communion in a public state of mortal sin? This very publicly approved the position of the US government’s pro-abortion position.

    This last part is especially troublesome as it raises how the Holy Father views the Consecrated Host, or is it a lesson for us that, like the workers last hired into the vineyard, a person who is accepted into grace is done so at the Father’s will and we are not to question it? Does this mean HV is more of a flexible guideline?

  112. Ed the Roman says:

    If Berlesconi came to the US, and if I was a Priest, and I was told not to give him communion ….. well, somebody better show me a good photo because I’d be in a quandry, as I’m not sure what he looks like in person.

    Excellent point. What’s more, the photos need to be good enough to preclude false positives.

  113. gretta says:

    I think you guys are giving folks too much credit. Biden and Pelosi were sent because they were two of the highest ranking Catholics in the government. You think Obama would have any clue regarding their status within the Church? He just knows that they are Catholic. I think he likely believes this to be an honor to send the Vice President and the House Minority Leader. Without being Catholic, how would he know what the importance of this is? It isn’t as if Biden, Pelosi or Sebelius is going to be explaining it to him.

    Also, whoever the priest was responsible for communing that section (or near that section) might have no idea who Biden and Pelosi are. The priest was likely Italian, and not someone high up in the hierarchy for this exact reason. He might recognize Biden, maybe (but I don’t get the sense that he is very well-known on sight outside the US. He isn’t the face folks would know). But Pelosi? How many Italian politicians can you recognize on sight? And even more, how would you know what their status was in their home country? It isn’t as if some cardinal is going to be sitting next to the priest in the communion line pointing out who’s who and what is their current state of grace. There are way too many people and way too much confusion to do something like that. And you wouldn’t want a “known” priest distributing communion to that section precisely because you don’t want it to be used as a photo op.

    The Vatican did make it a point to note that none of the political figures were specifically “invited” but they were sent by their governments. As representatives of their government, they were welcomed. Also, they said that while the pope distributed communion to some of the deacons, he sat after that to ensure that he was not communing people who could be considered problematic.

  114. tealady24 says:

    Plain & simple, these people are not Catholic, and can go around the world promoting themselves as such, but real Catholics know what they are. Over the decades there has been such a falling away of many people from the faith; and why not, when all it is supposed to be is an extension of the culture?

    My children went to Catholic schools and no longer “bother” going to church; because that’s what it is, isn’t it, a bother? When you have everything material you could possibly need or want, what’s God got to do with your life? That’s why Grammy is headed back to NJ to introduce my granddaughter to her beautiful Catholic faith, because no one else is going to do it!

    Pelosi can’t put two coherent sentences together consecutively; both she and that laugh (and disgrace) of a VP, and many others in this world are possessed, I’m convinced. Evil abounds.

    The Blessed Mother has been warning against this for decades! Just keep praying.

  115. PostCatholic says:

    Morever, it is entirely possible that she is also not very bright. There is a difference between being shrewd and being bright.]

    I’ve had the occasion, twice, to have dinner with the Hon. Nancy Pelosi. They were intimate parties both (one was for eight guests, one I think was smaller). So here are my anecdotal thoughts, because the memories of those evenings are quite vivid in me.

    On topics discussed on those evenings, those that interested her (women’s rights, the Chesapeake bay–I was quite surprised at her command of this topic and only later learned she is from Maryland–, crime, California history, and Cuba) she seemed to me very well-informed and occasionally quite insightful. She does ask a lot of questions in conversation, which is so often the mark of an educated mind. On topics which interested me (religion and law, social trends and youth, travel) she was less so, and in the religious discussion dropped kind of a clunker.

    There’s a big generation gap between me and former Speaker Pelosi which in part explains the divergence of our interests. I think politicians often are best equiped by being talented generalists with broad ranges of interest, because policy making is essentially interdisciplinary work. I wouldn’t say that Pelosi is that sort of auto-didact but I do not think she is by any means “not very bright.”

    I think many, many people in the pews have a Catholic faith which is steeply divergent from the Magisterium. For a lot of people, devotional religion is sufficient to their spirituality and they don’t bother to go too much deeper into its ins and outs. If that makes it an inauthentic Catholic faith (or a catholic faith) you’re more qualified to judge. I guarantee you that my grandma, who went to mass every morning, said her rosary multiple times a day and increasingly relied on Saint Anthony to find her glasses or car keys as she got older, had no position on the filioque, shared insights on last things much at odds with Aquinas, and thought Paul VI was dead wrong about contraception (which she herself had never used) despite never having readHumanae Vitae. Of course, she never held public office or went to a papal installation representing her country, either.

  116. Cathy says:

    Why has Canon 915 fallen into disuse? Maybe I’m wrong here, but it seems a great discipline that requires the discipline of the clergy from Bishop, the head of a religious order, as well as the priest who administers Holy Communion. Look, I’ve been witness to parents who threaten their children with discipline, do not carry through, and far from raising disciplined children, raise brats who are used to getting their own way through committing themselves to ceaseless dialogue, emotional tantrums, threats against themselves, against others, rages and tears. To be honest, the great burden of discipline is on the shoulders of the parent. Far from using Holy Communion as a weapon, as some bishops would describe it, Pelosi and Biden traipsing up to Rome and receiving Holy Communion should be a source of shame to their local bishops. To the local bishops who might possibly see this as an affirmation of their own inaction, I simply ask, why would you let Pope Francis be used in such a way? Do you hate the Church? Do you hate Our Lord?

  117. jhayes says:

    There seems to be an assumption in some comments that if a priest or deacon distributing Communion at the Papal Mass had recognized Biden or Pelosi he would not have given them Communion.

    I don’t think that is so. Unless their bishops have met with them, told them not to receive Communion and made that action known to priests in their dioceses, I don’t think even a priest in Washington, San Francisco, or Maryland who recognized them could withhold Communion from them. I’m sure we would have heard of it if they had ever been refused Communion here.

  118. JacobWall says:

    Doesn’t a perfect act of contrition include a sincere intention and effort not to repeat the sin? I can’t imagine that either of them has any such intention.

    I still believe that their souls are grave danger because of the sacrilege they are committing EVERY TIME they take communion. Again, I’m less surprised by the fact that Card. Wuerl is unmoved by their scandal, than by the fact that he simply doesn’t care that they are separating their souls farther and farther from God every time they commit such a sacrilege. Even if he doesn’t care about scandal (which is a serious problem) his pastoral side should care enough about their souls to refuse them communion.

  119. JacobWall says:


    I agree with that point. The ministers of communion at the papal Mass, even had they recognized them AND known about their scandal, they are not the ones responsible for their pastoral care, or that of the American people. I don’t think the papal Mass is where our focus should be.

    However, I simply refer to what I wrote above. Is their own bishop not moved by the fact that they are hammering another nail into the coffin of their dead souls every time they receive communion? This is one of the most anti-pastoral actions I could imagine.

  120. Ambrose Jnr says:

    Dear @Imrahil,

    Following your reasoning, then the US is no problem either, since it’s not officially catholic…

  121. JacobWall says:

    I haven’t heard of my priest refusing anyone communion yet. (I’m not watching, so I can’t say for sure.) But since his arrival last year, he’s emphasized repeatedly that people in a state of mortal sin – e.g. actively supporting abortion, he even mentioned “rejoicing” in abortion – are committing a sacrilege and killing their own souls by receiving communion! Recently, he has also started asking why he has heard confession from only about 20 people, and where the others are going for confession.

    I think something is coming …

    We can talk about the papal Mass all we want, but it’s really an unreasonable expectation that somehow, some planning could have prevented them at that moment. That would have had to been communicated to a bishop back home, and reinforced by consistent denial of communion back home.

    If they received communion at the Papal Mass, that’s only a result of the slackness back here in North America. The Church is what we see in our parish and diocese. That’s why I’m so delighted that my priest is emphasizing confession, the process of healing for those in graver situations, and the sacrilege of receiving communion in the state of mortal sin. What happened with Polesi and Biden in Rome can only be fixed when we see this happen in our own parishes.

    We can all start by going to confession as often as possible. (And praying for their souls.)

  122. JabbaPapa says:

    Imrahil : Dear @JabbaPapa, an indulgence is defined as remitting temporal (as opposed to eternal) punishments remaining after absolution.

    That’s exactly my point — the inability to partake of Holy Communion is exactly that, a temporal punishment.

    There is more than one Saint of the Church, and more than one Pope, who suffered the temporal punishment of public excommunication prior to their canonisations or elections to the Pontificate.

    The extraordinary indulgences provided in certain circumstances, allowing some of those to take Holy Communion who are normally forbidden from doing so, do NOT magically vanish away these temporal punishments in question — nor do they even suspend them in any way.

    These are special Graces that are exceptionally provided in certain exceptional circumstances ; they do not cancel out the Canons of the Catechism nor the Law.

    JacobWall though makes an extremely good point : If they received communion at the Papal Mass, that’s only a result of the slackness back here in North America


  123. BLB Oregon says:

    “Dear @BLBOregon, can. 915 has to do with exterior behavior.”

    I did not even mean that it is wrong to judge any exterior behavior, because how else could we fulfill our duty to admonish one another? No, I only meant that it is getting onto shaky ground to make conjectures on matters of someone else’s ego. We have to stick with what we know and what our duty is, and leave what we cannot know and ought not do to God. The tempter is very sly about using that gate for “extra tricks” that way. Those he does not use the scandal to mislead about what is right behavior, he will try to mislead about what is and is not the dutiful response to the scandal.

  124. Imrahil says:

    Dear @BLBOregon, what I meant to say was that can 915 enacts a penalty, is hence to be interpreted on strict juridical grounds, and has little to do with having insight in souls.

    Dear @JabbaPapa, on the concepts of indulgence, of temporal punishment (hint: it has, perhaps not everything, but at any rate very much to do with Purgatory), you are mistaken.

  125. BLB Oregon says:

    BTW, ever since the “Roman Catholic Womenpriests” announced that they were “rejecting” their excommunications, I’ve decided there is nothing an American Catholic can do that could possibly surprise me by its audacity. There are some ducks flying in an odd formation out there. They can’t take down the Church, but they could do what Luther and Henry VIII did (which is to say, find a way to unjustly seize a substantial amount of real estate, mislead a huge number of Catholics, and sow untold strife and mayhem in Christendom as a result). Heaven preserve us from this new brand of literal Protestants.

  126. JabbaPapa says:

    Imrahil : Dear @JabbaPapa, on the concepts of indulgence, of temporal punishment (hint: it has, perhaps not everything, but at any rate very much to do with Purgatory), you are mistaken.

    Yeah ?

    Catechism : 1496 The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:
    – reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
    – reconciliation with the Church;
    – remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
    – remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
    – peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
    – an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.

    1497 Individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by absolution remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with the Church.

    1498 Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.

    Fact is, you’re just assuming various things that I’ve neither said, nor do I believe.

    Excommunication is a temporal punishment, including as described in Canon 915.

  127. JacobWall says:

    Guess what? In the case of Biden, there’s nothing to worry about anymore:

    Biden Steps Down As VP Hours After Becoming Pro-Life.

    (Note: Eye of the Tiber)

  128. JacobWall says:

    oops, I’m not too good at this HTML thing yet. Let me try again:

    Biden Steps Down As VP Hours After Becoming Pro-Life

  129. cheerios in my pocket says:

    When we sin, I was taught a long time ago, we offend God. I was also taught that each offense harms the Body of Christ, which is the Catholic Church, which is made up of all Catholics. Thus we offend God and harm His Body. Sin, particularly grave sin, affects all of us (whether we are in the U.S. or any other nation) and isn’t “private.” It was in the care of the flock, in the early Church, that ex-communicated, would be clearly made known to all. Although there would be sorrow (I imagine) for the ex-communicat’s (or is that communicant’s?) soul to be separated from the Church, it was a necessary action because of the gravity of the offense(s) against God, and the harm that would continue to His Body, the Church. Our Bishops continue to remain silent while the flock is slaughtered.

    Here is a copy of Canon 915 and Fr. Z’s blog from a while ago (I don’t have the date)…

    It’s clear to me that the Code of Canon Law, Canon 915, says that a Catholic politician who publicly espouses positions that are contrary, not just to any teachings of the Church, but to serious moral teachings, should not receive Holy Communion until they recant those positions publicly.

    Canon 915 is a codicil of canon law that governs who may received Holy Communion and under what circumstances. It says that “those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

    Canon 915 explains that “[a] person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition (i.e., sorrow based on sincere remorse at having offended God, rather than mere fear of eternal punishment) which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

    Thus, pro-abortion Catholic politicians are barred from Holy Communion.

    Fr. Z’s Blog

    Your Excellency? Your Eminence? How much longer does this have to go on? What else does she have to do?

    If I am wrong about this, I will accept correction. I am not canonist, but – for the love of God – I can read. I am not a bishop – thanks be to God – but you don’t have to be a bishop to figure this one out.

    Please, somebody, explain to me how we square doing nothing about her scandal with can. 915 and the sacred duty bishops have to protect the flock?

    Can. 915 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law authorized that ministers should withhold holy Communion from those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin“. Can. 915 actually requires ministers to withhold Holy Communion in such cases on pain of dereliction of their sacred office (can. 128 and 1389).

    This isn’t a matter of a private conversation of an unknown woman in her living room.

    I cannot imagine how anyone can question that Pelosi’s actions, which are public and clear and defiant and wicked and scandalous when it comes to serious matters of life, qualify her as “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin”.

    For the good of souls, Nancy Pelosi must be denied Holy Communion and the Catholic people should be informed that she is being denied Holy Communion.

  130. Imrahil says:

    Dear @JabbaPapa, I don’t know what I am assuming. But no ecclesiastic penalty, nor the can 915 state, nor (for that matter) any imprisonment inflicted by secular authority, is what is meant by temporal punishment as remitted (simplifyingly speaking) in parts by absolution and partial indulgence and totally by baptism and plenary indulgence.

    In fact, I am assuming not so much about what you said or believe, but… sorry! … about what you know. I have the feeling, not that you believe anything not Catholic or whatever, but simply that when pressed to answer the question “What is Purgatory?”, you’d not really know what to say. This is no reproach. But if it is really so, I’d suggest that you’d look that up (not the Catechism only, also some popular apologetics), and I’d not be surprised if you’d afterwards have a rather better idea of what “temporal punishments” are and what an “indulgence” is.

    In fact, I had been trying not to speak so clear as I spoke now, for fear of offending you. Forgive me, please, if I did.

  131. JamesM says:

    In my opinion I feel excommunication would be a more appropriate sanction than invoking Canon 915.

    As a Brit I wasn’t subjected to every part of the Romney/Obama election. What I did see a lot of was Biden playing his Catholic card strongly – giving the impression that it was OK for a Catholic to support abortion.

    Formal excommunication would send out a very strong message that Catholics cannot support abortion under any circumstances.

  132. BLB Oregon says:

    “Formal excommunication would send out a very strong message that Catholics cannot support abortion under any circumstances.”

    You mean that the Holy See might send this message by announcing that Catholics who have or seek lawmaking authority in matters of public health and who publicly support abortion would incur latae sentiatae excommunication?

  133. JabbaPapa says:

    Guess what? In the case of Biden, there’s nothing to worry about anymore:

    Biden Steps Down As VP Hours After Becoming Pro-Life.

    Awesome News !!!

    Guess these Indulgences actually work then !!! :-)

  134. JabbaPapa says:

    Imrahil : when pressed to answer the question “What is Purgatory?”, you’d not really know what to say

    As an ex-agnostic and convert to Catholicism, I do tend not to have hard and fast answers to that particular type of metaphysical question, you’re right — so I simply abide by the constant Church teaching.

    Oh, and please don’t worry — you’ve offended me not in the slightest !!! Contrariwise, I’ve enjoyed your interventions, and perhaps learned from them.

  135. JabbaPapa says:

    aaah never mind, didn’t realise the Biden news was satire … meh

  136. BLB Oregon says:

    “Imrahil says:
    21 March 2013 at 10:32 am
    Dear @BLBOregon, what I meant to say was that can 915 enacts a penalty, is hence to be interpreted on strict juridical grounds, and has little to do with having insight in souls”

    Agreed, absolutely, and I did not mean to imply that I got a different impression from any of your posts. My impression is that the entirety of canon law and moral law is the same. The Church teaches what are sins and which are mortal in gravity, she admonishes those who objectively stray and may do so both in public as well as in private, she has the power to excommunicate as well as to absolve, but she does not damn anyone.

  137. Volanges says:

    How likely is it that the priest or deacon who gave them Communion knew who they were and what they supported? I think this one is entirely on their heads.

    This is a recurring problem at ceremonies like these and even at local events like funerals. A few years ago controversy erupted when a priest walked down to the pew of our Evangelical Protestant Prime Minister and give him Communion at the funeral of a politician. Our own former bishop, upon being asked by another dignitary’s aide-de-camp whether or not his non-Catholic boss could receive Communion, replied, “Pretend you never asked me this question.”

  138. Random Friar says:

    @BLB Oregon: Oh, I don’t know about that. I’ve damned a few cell phone users at Mass. Sotto voce, of course.

  139. ChesterFrank says:

    As not being supporters of Biden and Pelosi, I have always had one question when it comes to politicians receiving communion when their political rhetoric is so distant from communion with the church teachings. Are they to be denied communion for these speeches they make, or does the church see that their speeches are the representation of the positions of a select group of people, who gave those politicians the authority to express that groups opinions on the public stage? An analogy to the argument is the lawyer who is given the duty of defending in court a person who is not only accused of a heinous crime, but also clearly recognized as the author of that crime. Should that lawyer be considered as guilty as the person they represent? It is the same with political representatives. Should a political representative who speaks for a constituency that is in direct opposition to the Church be themselves considered to be that Churches opponent? Many times party politicians choose a political party independent of that party’s platform. The party simply provides them (the politicians) with an opportunity to serve as a groups representative, and they do so with the deep seated belief that all people deserve representation. Many times these political people in their personal lives conduct themselves in direct opposition to the platform they “preach.” The ones who preach on behalf of the morally correct platform often are the most lacking in terms of a moral code, while those who represent the sinners of society are champions of church teaching in their personal lives. How does the Church judge their ability to receive communion? Is it on the basis of their political rhetoric, their personal conduct, or some other metric? Again, this is no argument in defense of Biden and Pelosi.

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  141. cheerios in my pocket says:

    This is no argument. An attorney is by law obligated to defend the person…good news, too. The crime is over. There MAY be additional crimes should the person go free, BUT the political representative who “represents” an INTRINSIC EVIL is either in the wrong political party or the wrong CHURCH.
    Additionally, I’m aghast so if my head shaking shows through with my response, I apologize…those who represent the sinners of society are champions of church teaching in their personal lives? Champions? Those who support abortion…murder of the most innocent? Do you truly understand what you are saying? What you are asking? Try this…
    Champion: Defender? One that does battle with another? One that wins?
    Let us say you are conceived but not into your “born” stage as yet. Are Biden and Pelosi your champions? For your voice cannot as yet be heard…are they your champions as you are being born and they stand by allowing an abortionist to murder you in a heinous way because they defend, who? Please consider the fullness of what you are proposing. They are pro-abort a.k.a. pro-murder…at least 55 million lives thus far. No sir. These politicians defend intrinisic evil and should be told they are not to receive the Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, our Lord. And, if they refuse, they should be “outlawed” or refused reception. Does this ring true at all?

  142. Rep. Pelosi is indeed an American problem.

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