Wednesday, May 15, 2013


This report has been making the rounds on the internet.  It asks the question, "Why does Pope Francis not give out Communion?"  Though Sandro Magister's article attempts an answer to that question by suggesting that Francis does not want to be seen giving Our Lord to public sinners, there is a glaring question inside of that report that remains unanswered.  I would phrase it thus: why does Pope Francis not personally give out Communion, yet allow his priests, in his presence, to give out Communion to public sinners and cut-rate persecutors of the Catholic Church like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden?  Magister does not answer this question.

Speaking for myself, I would like it to be answered.

It is difficult to know what to make of such a situation.  We can hope that His Holiness is instructing his priests at his Masses to avoid giving the Sacrament to such people.  But there does not seem to be any way of knowing if he has or hasn't.  In the event that such things continue, however, how does a Catholic interpret it?

There is the amusing story of the fastidious Jew who, because it is a Friday, cannot do any kind of manual work whatsoever, and so when a light bulb goes dark in his house on that day he approaches his gentile neighbor to come and change the bulb for him.  The neighbor becomes his "shabbat goy", and our fastidious Jew does not soil his hands.  I would certainly not like to think that our Holy Father is emulating our Jewish friends here by leaving to his priests what he will not do himself.  We do need some clarification on this rather important point.

It is hardly newsworthy anymore when priests give out sacrilegious Communions to unrepentant sinners, even public sodomites.  Thus far few if any of these priests have been disciplined. for dishonoring the Body and Blood of Our Lord.  On the contrary, those courageous priests who do refrain from giving Communion to public sinners are often shamed, dishonored and disciplined by their superiors.  Or at the very least given a tiresome online lecture by the ubiquitous Dr Ed Peters (which may be a worse thing to have to endure than having your reputation demolished).

And there are Bishops, like Vincent Nichols and Timothy Dolan among others, who not only refuse to allow the feelings of public sinners to be offended by refusing them the Sacrament but go further by allowing sinners their own special "Masses" in their dioceses, a scandal that cries to Heaven (but seems to fall upon deaf ears in Rome).

Therefore, how do we interpret the Holy Father's attitude in this instance?  Magister seems to sense a contradiction in Francis' actions but will not say so directly.  But I believe we can say so directly: there would appear to be some contradictions.

The new Pope has, let us be truthful, been giving some mixed signals, some positive, some troubling.  One moment we can stand and cheer; the next, we cringe.  Who can explain it?  Even though most of us are willing to give the new Pontiff the benefit of the doubt we would be less than candid if we claimed not to have any major concerns about such issues.  The man is still getting his feet wet, and yet...

Perhaps there is in all this an element of new job jitters?  There are indeed many questions.

One always wonders if the Vatican is aware that others note these things, too.  The Orthodox see these conflicting attitudes and are puzzled by them.  Some are, very understandably, scandalized by them. 

The winds blowing off the Tiber will be either warm or deadly cold.  This writer is hardly in a position to understand the mind of the Pontiff let alone pass any kind of judgment on him.  Like many I watch and wait.

But there are still very serious questions, especially about an issue that involves the Body and Blood of Christ Himself.  The lowly Catholics and their insignificant blogs are the only ones, it seems, asking them in these very dark days.


Jay Boyd said...

I was wondering the same thing. If Pope Francis is that concerned, why would he allow others to do it? He did say it was about not allowing a "photo op", and of course a photo of a public sinner receiving from a Pope would be more of a "prize" than one of a photo with clergy lower in the hierarchy.'s the LORD Himself who is the most important "figure" in whatever photo op occurs at Holy Communion!

Anonymous said...

I feel some gladness that the Pope is denying these scurrilous persons
these opportunist opportunities.
Hopefully he is giving instruction
that they be instructed to not approach the alter.

Steve Dalton said...

Sadly, phariseeical 'looking good' is the rule for too much of the Church today.

Anonymous said...

It must be a challnge to find
people on your intellectual and perceptive wavelength...

Keep the faith!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 16 May 2:04 PM,
Do you have any thoughts about Pope Francis' decision ?

Anonymous said...

dear Aged parent, I replied to your comment kindly replying to my
question under the Post at another
blog, "Do Priests Have The Right To Do Whatever They Want - Liturgical Abuse" . (Clowns and all). Thank you. Your thoughts seemed to me to make what goes on,
blatantly clear. Thank you.

Aged parent said...

Dear Anon@3:19pm:

Apologies for not replying to you until now. And I am terribly embarrassed to admit that I'm not sure which decision you might be referring to. If you see this do comment again and I promise to offer a timely answer.

Aged P

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