Monday, October 23, 2006
Shorter Lines at Communion Soon
The United States Bishops are preparing a draft of a document, "Happy are Those who are Called to His Supper", for their November meeting in Baltimore. According to this document, anyone who rejects the defined doctrines of the Church or her definitive teachings on moral issues should not receive Holy Communion (see the CNS story here). The document was drafted in response to a proposal by Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey in 2004 after a presidential campaign in which many Catholics, including some Bishops, had objected to John Kerry's Madonna-like use of Christian imagery, in particular his attendance at Mass and reception of Holy Communion, during his campaign. Given his public and unapologetic defense of the moral licitness of abortion, some have speculated that Kerry was not in a position to receive Holy Communion in good faith, thus giving rise to scandal among the faithful. The new document would apply to everyone, not just politicians, and in spite of the obvious worry that it will be unenforceable in principle it is still a good idea, if only as a reminder to everyone who claims to be a Catholic of just what it means to make such a claim.