Who is HE (James Martin, SJ) to Judge?

Gotta admit, I thought this was coming days ago. James Martin, SJ must have been busy celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. Not surprisingly, albeit delayed, he took to Facebook and Twitter to whine about this one in his usual theologically incorrect way.

Judge Smolenski, 62, was baptized at St. Stephen. She and her nine siblings attended the church’s school from first through eighth grade. Her parents were married in the church in the 1940s. In other words, the judge has been a parishioner for 62 years.

Fr. Martin, apparently, thinks Judge Smolenski has some claim to ownership due to her years there. I would think that acting like royalty in the Church might be a little repugnant to him, but I guess not if said “royalty” agrees with him.

As with all these sad cases, the question is: Why are only married LGBT people being singled out? Is Communion denied to all parishioners who are not following church teachings? That is, married couples using birth control or IVF? Or young people engaging in premarital sex?

For those who missed the story on the latest “martyr” Fr. Martin is referring to, here’s a recap. Thanks to Rod Dreher for the in-depth. 

As usual, Fr. Martin is blurring the line between public obstinate sinners and private sinners. I’m pretty sure he’s heard it before, but he’s still going to insist on confusing the laity on the issue. So let me ask him again. Fr. Martin, when you look the average couple in the pew, do you know: 1) if they are even married; 2) what their sexual practices are; 3) if they are divorced and “remarried”; 4) engaging in premarital sex; 5) if they conceived their children via IVF, etc., etc. etc.?  Nope. Can look at a same-sex couple and know that relationship is objectively disordered? Yup. Can you look at a judge who PUBLICLY advocates for same-sex marriage, abortion, etc., and deny him/her Communion? Yup. These are all public actions. As I’ve said before, most of us don’t broadcast our sins as something of which to be proud. Those who do move into the PUBLIC sinner arena, which has the added bonus of spreading scandal.

And why are parishes focusing only on issues of sexual morality? Are there no other issues in the moral life? Are those who refuse to pay a living wage to employees denied Communion? How about those who do not give to the poor? Those who do not care for the environment?

Don’t you have any new material, Fr. Martin? You’re getting a tad bit repetitive, so I have to get a tad bit repetitive. First of all, are you in the pews at Fr. Nolan’s parish? How do you know that he doesn’t cover these? Besides, whether he does or not, they do not all carry the same weight. You’re promoting the creepy Cardinal Bernadin seamless garment theory again. I’m reasonably sure that, as with most good priests, Fr. Nolan doesn’t just talk to the laity about what goes on in the bedroom. Honestly, to hear Fr. Martin, you’d think that Fr. Nolan’s parish hears a homily on sodomy every Sunday. Please. Any priest that’s going to give a homily about traditional marriage or sodomy is probably going to cover the variations of the big seven: lust, greed, gluttony, envy, anger, pride, and sloth.

Also, if you want to get a small peek at life in a parish, you should check out their bulletin. Fr. Martin might want to note their help for the poor and refugees. Here’s the current one: http://bulletins.discovermass.com/download.php?bulletin=wn7iTp8iuQ1f1G%2FecBp6eztOMtvxFRE2uqV%2FECO6vnQaDFMz761n57q0YNksU2ZldwDN9quh2g2MjLx6R6yJzmzJwfGKuhnEw5B7aAztLgc%3D
And, here are the recent archives: https://discovermass.com/church/st-stephen-east-grand-rapids-mi/#bulletins  Oh my gosh! How does this parish do it? They actually address social AND moral issues! All this time Fr. Martin would have you believe it had to be one or the other! I think the real question should be is why Fr. Martin never addresses sodomy and masturbation?

Moreover, why is it only a “public” act that bars someone from receiving Communion? If pastors chose to, they could easily ask married couples if they are using birth control, or ask young people if they are engaging in premarital sex. Of course, they choose not to.

Well, it seems like he can’t totally ignore the public sin thing. But, uh, what?! Fr. Martin actually suggests a witch-hunt here. That’s not the role of the priest, at least outside the seal of confession and requested spiritual direction. Priests often ask follow up questions to help the penitent make a thorough confession. For instance, if one making the confession says “I watched porn”, the priest might ask, “Were there any other sinful acts involved while viewing this?” Still, all under the seal of the confessional.

All priests are bound to follow Canon Law, and Canon 915 states:

Can.  915 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.

Nowhere in Canon Law does it state that a priest has to go around asking people to spill all their sins. And as far as those who confess sins…

Can.  983 §1. The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.

  • 2. The interpreter, if there is one, and all others who in any way have knowledge of sins from confession are also obliged to observe secrecy.

Can.  984 §1. A confessor is prohibited completely from using knowledge acquired from confession to the detriment of the penitent even when any danger of revelation is excluded.

  • 2. A person who has been placed in authority cannot use in any manner for external governance the knowledge about sins which he has received in confession at any time.

Also, the Catechism states:

1467 Given the delicacy and greatness of this ministry and the respect due to persons, the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents’ lives. This secret, which admits of no exceptions, is called the “sacramental seal,” because what the penitent has made known to the priest remains “sealed” by the sacrament.

And let’s see what Aquinas had to say about public vs. private sinners…

A distinction must be made among sinners: some are secret; others are notorious, either from evidence of the fact, as public usurers, or public robbers, or from being denounced as evil men by some ecclesiastical or civil tribunal. Therefore Holy Communion ought not to be given to open sinners when they ask for it. Hence Cyprian writes to someone (Ep. lxi): “You were so kind as to consider that I ought to be consulted regarding actors, end that magician who continues to practice his disgraceful arts among you; as to whether I thought that Holy Communion ought to be given to such with the other Christians. I think that it is beseeming neither the Divine majesty, nor Christian discipline, for the Church’s modesty and honor to be defiled by such shameful and infamous contagion.”

But if they be not open sinners, but occult, the Holy Communion should not be denied them if they ask for it. For since every Christian, from the fact that he is baptized, is admitted to the Lord’s table, he may not be robbed of his right, except from some open cause. Hence on 1 Corinthians 5:11, “If he who is called a brother among you,” etc., Augustine’s gloss remarks: “We cannot inhibit any person from Communion, except he has openly confessed, or has been named and convicted by some ecclesiastical or lay tribunal.” Nevertheless a priest who has knowledge of the crime can privately warn the secret sinner, or warn all openly in public, from approaching the Lord’s table, until they have repented of their sins and have been reconciled to the Church; because after repentance and reconciliation, Communion must not be refused even to public sinners, especially in the hour of death. Hence in the (3rd) Council of Carthage (Can. xxxv) we read: “Reconciliation is not to be denied to stage-players or actors, or others of the sort, or to apostates, after their conversion to God.”

But what does he know? Sigh. Fr. Martin, this has been done to death. You’re just not that stupid. The public, obstinate sinner receiving Communion scandalizes the sacrament. Here’s just one more for you

Lots of people know Judge Smolenski civilly married her long time “partner”. She called the press about this, for goodness sake! That is against Church teaching, yet she’s made it clear she’s going to do whatever the heck she wants. Totally scandalous and privileged, I might add. However, she gave $7,000 to the parish and thinks she should just get special treatment? Where’s all the shock and horror about trying to buy salvation now?!  

The answer is often: “Of course. Because it would be unethical to investigate and pry.” Yet in many of LGBT cases, the news of the person’s marriage comes from scouring Facebook pages, from someone else reporting them, or from a priest grilling friends and family members. Investigation and prying seem to be acceptable when it comes to the lives of LGBT Catholics.

Really? I love how “many cases” is thrown out there and we’re just supposed to say, “Oh, OK. Happens all the time to poor LGBTQSJ people.” Again, please. I just checked. Judge Smolenski’s Facebook page is private. Can’t scour it unless you’re friends with her and she’s making it public to you. And, please, refer back to Dreher’s piece. She took her sin public and politicized it. Judge Smolenski being totally caught off guard doesn’t fly unless she’s really, really stupid.

In his important new podcast “Plague,” released today, on #WorldAIDSDay, Michael O’Loughlin reminds us of how the Catholic Church ministered to LGBT people, but also how it targeted them for public opprobrium during the height of the crisis. Have we learned nothing?

Nobody is witch-hunting here. If you’re going to flaunt, you’re the one causing the publicity and scandal. As everyone has pointed out, there’s a difference between those who are repentant and those who embrace their sin like a pet.

The Catholic Church is called to proclaim church teaching. But church teaching is, at heart, Jesus’s message of love, mercy and forgiveness. The church also has rules. But these rules must be applied across the board, not selectively, and not simply to one group of people.

Otherwise it is no longer “church teaching.” It is merely discrimination.

I’m totally for equal penalties for public, obstinate sinners. Are you, Fr. Martin? I kind of doubt it, since you employ reverse “discrimination” all the time. You seem to think the contrite and the prideful should get the same treatment. Soooo many verses fly in the face of that. If someone marches in the Pride Parade, that doesn’t seem to count as sin in your mind. Something about them not accepting the Church teaching so it’s not really binding, or other drivel like that. To even suggest someone is sinning is just being mean, unless, of course, you don’t believe “climate change”. Then, boy howdy, you are probably going to hell. Somehow that’s when hell and sin are something one needs to worry about. Good luck with that.

Catholic Homophobia: Patheos or Pathetic?

Patheos!  What in the name of all that is good have you been smoking?  This might be the most laughable article I’ve read on the subject, and I’ve seen many.  I mean, don’t you people read the articles before you approve them?  Some of your people are great but then there’s some horrible and awful ones.  Let me tear this one to shreds in 5 minutes or less.  Seriously!  It’s so bad, that’s all it will take.  It’s like I’m Tom Servo reading an article worthy of the MST3K treatment.  (Oh yes, I did just reveal how cool I am! If you don’t know MST3K, Google.  I can’t help you.)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/catholicauthenticity/2017/06/straight-talk-catholic-homophobia/

Father Longenecker’s most recent post talks about the release of two different Catholic books on homosexuality (Fr. James Martin and Dan Mattson both put out titles this month). Longenecker basically lays out a very familiar approach to dealing with the problems raised by LGBTQ people with regard to the Church’s teaching on sexuality:

a) The Church’s teaching is simple and clear.

b) The Church’s teaching applies equally to everyone and is difficult for almost everybody.

c) There are plenty of straight people who can’t get married and they are expected to be celibate also.

Wait, before you talk about what it’s missing, where in the heck did it go wrong? Let’s not gloss over this one. It doesn’t really matter what’s missing or what’s not missing. What’s wrong about it?  It seems like you’ve got the Martin talking points about “unjust discrimination” down pat, as shown here:

This straightforward approach misses one really important aspect of the problem: straight people and their sexual sins are not treated the same way as gay people and their sexual sins. It doesn’t matter how often Catholics state and restate the fact that the Catechism is pretty much equal-opportunity in its condemnation of most people’s sexual behavior, because the actual Church on the ground is not equal-opportunity in terms of tolerating the fact that almost nobody really accepts the teaching in practice.

So, what you’re saying is that Canon 915 should be applied to ALL public obstinate sinners? I agree. Oh, that’s not what you’re saying?  Of course not. What you are suggesting is exactly what Fr. Martin has been suggesting: We all sin, so why don’t we just drop the whole sin thing?

Is it just me or does everyone run around their parishes telling everyone every intimate detail of what they do in the bedroom?  “I put on this piece of latex. I use this spermicide.  I’ve chemically altered my fertility for years!”  Give me a break.  I’ve attended Mass with a whole lot of people, and I really don’t ask and they really don’t tell.  Who in the H-E-double hockey sticks wants to know what everyone does when they are participating in the marital embrace?  No, thank you.

Also, let’s stop and think about something as we end this “Pride Week.”  We have “Pride Week.”  Do we have “Marital Infidelity Week?”  How about “Artificial Birth Control Week?”  “Pornography Week,” maybe?  If we do, please don’t tell me.  I’m happy in the sanity bubble.  So, is it really the Catholic Church that is treating those embracing the “gay lifestyle” differently, or is the reality that those “embracing the gay lifestyle” are really demanding to be treated differently than any other sinner?

I recently wrote specifically about the problem of homophobic firings within Catholic and Christian institutions. I also wrote about the fact that the Catholic media-sphere tends to get way more up-in-arms about portrayals of homosexuality than about unmarried heterosexual behaviour. I could add the fact that except in a very small minority of hyper-Catholic communities you can be twice married, sterilized and/or living with your opposite-sex partner and nobody will bat an eye. Nobody will say anything. Nobody will make uncomfortable comments in your presence. Nobody will question whether you should be involved in ministry to the youth. And you probably won’t hear anything about it from the pulpit.

OK, because you didn’t link, it’s going to take me longer than 10 minutes to put this one to bed.  Nevermind.  I’m just going to assume some teachers were found out to be in a same-sex marriage and got themselves fired because they a) didn’t repent, and then b) fell into public obstinate sin providing scandal to the faithful.  Or was it maybe the math teacher that came out as transgendered?  Wait, I don’t think she got fired, so probably not.  Regardless, MANIFEST sinner.  You need to learn the difference between “manifest sinners” and those who don’t shove their sins in other peoples’ faces.

Seriously, most of us don’t run around telling each other things we’re doing that are considered mortal sins.  My plan of action is usually to run to the nearest confessional line.  I’ve got this crazy fear of not getting to Heaven.  Silly me.

In the many years that I’ve worked as a Catholic writer, I’ve met a number of married people who work for the Church or teach in Catholic schools who haven’t felt the slightest need to conceal their use of contraception. In some cases these are folks who I’ve met exactly once…yet I know that they don’t follow the teaching of Humanae Vitae. That’s how not worried they are that if anyone ever finds out they will lose their jobs. Why? Because everybody knows that if the Church suddenly fired everyone who uses contraception we would face a Catholic schoolteacher crisis, a finance officer crisis, a music-director crisis, a children’s liturgist crisis, and a parish secretary crisis to go along with the oft-lamented vocations crisis.

Umm, can we go over the “why” they don’t worry about getting fired again?  They don’t give it a second thought about concealing their contraception because A) they’re tacky and B) because they don’t have a fear of getting fired by the liberal powers that be.  Duh.  If their boss was an educated and/or faithful Catholic, they might possibly think twice about 1) sinning and 2) getting their butts fired!  Take a look around, Melinda.  Is the list of institutions who care about souls of sinners and protecting the laity from scandal small or large in our country?  There’s no wholesale fear that they are going to get fired because their sin is of the same-sex attraction kind.  There’s no fear because the bulk of these institutions aren’t going to fire any manifest sinners – SSA, heterosexual, or otherwise.  The only places this is going to happen is where the bishop is a true shepherd of souls.  I mean, seriously, the Cupiches and McElroys of the world are basically fine with telling people to have at it and going on a lovely vacation with their friends.

Thankfully, there are still places that dismiss teachers who cause public scandal for their students.  While you’re going to insist that this only happens on the same-sex highway, you’d be wrong.  Here’s just a few for you:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/26/teacher-says-catholic-school-fired-her-over-ivf.html
https://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/06142013unmarried-pregnant-teacher-fired-by-catholic-school-wins-lawsuit/
http://www.christianpost.com/news/catholic-teacher-fired-over-artificial-insemination-66020/
This one’s from Germany but the Church is universal, so: https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=5b5_1419820767

And there are MANY other similar stories out there.  What makes these people different from all of the people who didn’t get fired?!  They had shepherds who cared for their flock enough to get serious with the issue. There was no repentance, and so THEIR SIN BECAME MANIFEST!

LGBTQ employees of Catholic institutions, on the other hand, do know that they have to stay in the closet or risk losing their jobs, because LGBTQ people do routinely get laid off because of their sexual choices – or in some cases, just because of their sexual orientation.

Can we at least qualify that with “authentically Catholic institutions?”   Or do you really believe this to be true for all “Catholic” institutions?  Personally, I think it should be true, but sadly it’s rare.  Case in point…
https://cardinalnewmansociety.org/transgender-teachers-catholic-schools/  Please.  You know for every transgender, homosexual, or openly birth-controlling teacher who gets fired, there are a whole bunch that do not.  Tell me you honestly think Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Bishop Joseph Tobin, etc., are going to pull that trigger. Sorry.  Ain’t going to happen.  I live in California. Do you know how many SSA teachers I’ve had/seen over the years?  Nobody was quaking in fear, because they worked for people who were just fine with it in the first place.

Now, it’s true that the Church’s teaching is consistent.

How nice of you to notice!

So far as I can make out that’s pretty much how it’s always been done, at least going back as far as the formal institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Folks who have sufficient sexual self-control to actually put the teaching into practice are about as common as folks who perfectly exercise justice towards the poor, folks who never covet their neighbour’s goods, and folks who literally pray without ceasing. We all know we’re commanded to do these things, and mostly we all know that we stand more in need of mercy than of plaudits.

Joel Robinson:  Anyone think she missed something in Catholicism for Dummies?
Tom Servo: It wasn’t the dummy part!

Patheos peeps have a really, really big problem with writing about things they know nothing about (and she should know about Catholicism, because she claims Catholic).  First of all, God is the “insanely demanding” one.  Would you like to tell Christ, who was crucified on the cross after being scourged, that celibacy/chastity is insanely demanding?  They must have missed that whole CROSS thing.  I mean, Melinda mentions a cross, but it’s right up there with talking about “gay pride.”  They have no clue as to what that truly means.  It’s just a nice little Catholic colloquialism.  That whole “take up your cross” thing just means skipping meat on Fridays during Lent, right? Get. A. Clue.

Which is why pretty much everyone deals with the demands of Catholic sexual morality by either ignoring it, or being unaware of it, or using the “frequent recourse to the Confessional” method of fidelity to the teaching.

Really?  Everyone?  Yep, not one of us struggles with the sins of the flesh.  I am soooooo sad for you and anyone who buys this load of hooey. No, seriously, I’m so sorry that somehow you missed the beauty of our struggle with the Cross and the reward for doing so.  It’s simply all about sex with you.  Her claim is that she “speaks directly to every Christian who has experienced same-sex attraction.”  That might be so, but she doesn’t necessarily speak for them.   You do not speak for Thomas here (The Catholic Church Thinks We Deserve Better), and you don’t speak for the rest of us who do not fear people who suffer from SSA but who fear for them.  Our goal is to struggle on with them to Heaven. 

And, can I just say, from the heterosexual point of view of struggle, ours is every bit as real.  Have you ever known a heterosexual couple who has lost a child?  You think that celibacy is “the more onerous cross?” Wow!  I’m not sure the person who buries their child will ever agree with you.  Be they right or be they wrong, comparing crosses is a losing battle. It’s how you carry the cross that matters.  And, more importantly, it’s how we help others to carry the cross that matters.

So far as I can make out that’s pretty much how it’s always been done, at least going back as far as the formal institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Folks who have sufficient sexual self-control to actually put the teaching into practice are about as common as folks who perfectly exercise justice towards the poor, folks who never covet their neighbour’s goods, and folks who literally pray without ceasing. We all know we’re commanded to do these things, and mostly we all know that we stand more in need of mercy than of plaudits.

There’s a little part about “firmly resolving to sin not more and to avoid the near occasion of sin” that she missed somewhere in her catechesis.  I’m sure it’s not her fault.  She was probably taught by the likes of Fr. Martin.

But when it comes to homosexuality, suddenly that’s no longer okay. If you’re gay you can expect to subjected to an inquisition by random internet trolls with handles like SuperApologeticsMan or CatholicusMaximus or SledgehammerOfGod. You may be called upon at any time to publicly endorse the most harshly worded phrases from random Vatican documents concerning your sexuality. You might be literally asked to sign a document confirming your acceptance of the Church’s teaching before you can rent space in the parish hall.

What a great idea!  That might have prevented the little debacle in the Los Angeles Archdiocese where a pro-abort organization rented their property. I’m all for signing a statement of faith.  I’m all for diocesan speakers bureaus which vet the Catholicity of the speaker.  I’m all for teachers’ handbooks.  I think you can see how well that went over. People don’t want to be called out on the carpet, which really isn’t the intent at all.  It’s to protect souls, dummy!

Can I also point out her “harshly worded phrases” comment? Hello! It’s just the Catechism of the Catholic Church you’re talking about.  You say “harshly worded” but a lot of us say “reality.” 

If you’re gay, the usual ways that Catholics deal with sexual desire are no longer sufficient: you must be constantly on guard against every vestige of homosexuality, and your sole purpose in life must be the crucifixion of same-sex Eros. Anything less and you’re a heretic who is probably being paid by George Soros to advance the gay agenda.

What are you talking about?!  You’re supposed to be constantly on guard for near occasions of sin.  Sorry it’s inconvenient to you but that IS how it works for ALL of us.  My temptations may be different from yours. And?  The temptations can be different between any two people you meet on the street.  You’re so incredibly focused on your sin that you cannot see the forest through the trees.

I’m not saying that this is how Longenecker sees things (he mentions that most people struggle, and points out that Confession is an option.) Rather, I’m saying that the simple fact that LGBTQ people do consistently meet with this kind of toxic double-standard in Catholic culture has to be taken into account. It’s not enough to say that this is a “one-size fits all” teaching when the truth is that the teaching being given out to straight folks is made out of super-stretchy material and nobody says anything when it really doesn’t fit, while the one being given out to gay people is a hairshirt adorned with spikes and chains.

Honey, I’m sure if you talk to the nearest person who is extolling their cozy sin of abortion, birth control, in vitro fertilization, infidelity, pornography, sodomy, etc., you will find the same martyr complex.   Nobody wants to feel uncomfortable.  They want everyone to bow down to their sin like it’s something special. It ain’t.  It is what it is: sin.  Some are more egregious TO GOD than others, but they all lead to sickness and death of the soul (and sometimes body) if we don’t struggle against them.  Get over yourself and move on with us in the struggle.

Rather than adopt the liberal “let’s call the whole sin with guilt thing off” attitude, how about we get a dose of reality before we get hit by the proverbial bus?  Stop whining about the martyrdom of this group or that group and get thyself right with God and jump into the confessional with the firm resolution to sin no more.

Remembering the Real in Real Presence

I woke up this morning to find this story: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-priest-to-tim-kaine-dont-show-up-in-my-communion-line  I LOVE to see somebody actually defending Our Lord!  That’s exactly what Fr. Thomas Petri, OP, did.  Thank you so much, dear father!  Some are going to rant and rave that he is using the Eucharist as a “political football”, but he’s simply showing belief in the Real Presence.  This is a no-brainer.  All the other priests not coming to the same conclusion are the ones who are playing “political football.”  Quite sadly, some aren’t going to be like Tarcisius because they don’t want to get beat up. (For those who don’t know the story: (http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/TARCIS.htm)  They are the ones that are constantly weighing the benefits and the consequences of whether or not to prevent the sacrilege of the Eucharist, when we all should really just be following the law that guides us.  Can’t go wrong there.  It’s a sacrilege, plain and simple.

So, can we look at the canons pertaining to reception of the Eucharist in the cases of Catholics (and yes, they are still Catholics, albeit bad ones) who hold a pro-abortion stance?  There are really two kinds. There those who hold this position privately and those who hold this position, and even champion it, publicly.

Canon 915 addresses the public sinner.  You know, the guy who says “I am a devout Catholic BUT I believe in a woman’s ‘right to choose’, gay marriage, and priestesses!” (Cough!  Tim Kaine!):

Can.  915 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. (Emphasis is all mine because I didn’t want anyone to miss anything!)

Tim knows what the Church teaches, yet he rejects it, and he does so very manifestly.  Canon 915 says he should not be admitted to Holy Communion.  Easy peasy.  Please note that it doesn’t say that HE should not present himself for Communion.  It says he should not be admitted to it.  It’s not a judgment call on his part, nor on the part of the person holding the Host up in front of Tim Kaine, who knows who he is and what he champions. (Ideally that should be a priest, but that’s another blog post.)

Canon 916 addresses the sinner whose sin cannot be determined by the priest (or whoever) holding the Host in front of them.  The burden of not allowing admittance now shifts to them.

Can.  916 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 which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

I’ve heard some political linebackers in the Church try to do a bit of pretzel twisting and colluding of the two canons by saying “Well, how is the person distributing Communion to know if Tim Kaine truly understands the Church teachings?” or “Well, how do we know if Tim Kaine didn’t go to confession right before Mass?”

Well here’s the answer to this nonsense.  First of all, stop blending Canon 915 and 916, which deal with manifest sin and private sin, respectively.   Canon 915 has no remedy for lack of understanding or going to confession.  Why?  Because the sin is so public it is scandalous and it can cause even more scandal and sacrilege when people see someone who’s never publicly recanted walking up to receive Our Lord.  A public, obstinate sinner must not only repent and go to confession privately but must publicly repent, or they continue to commit the sin of scandal.  It’s gone beyond the simple private sinner’s examination of conscience because it’s brought public scandal.

For instance, unless you live under a rock, we all know Tim Kaine’s stance on abortion.  Say Tim Kaine repents of his position, goes to confession, but never publicly recants the ideology.  What are the people in the pews to think?  Uh, maybe “How can we be giving Our Lord to someone who is pro-abortion???”  They have no way of knowing if he repented and went to confession.  All they see is someone publicly opposing the teachings of the Catholic Church receiving Communion, which is supposed to be a sign of communion with the truths of the Church!  Others might also be thinking “Hey, if he can hold this position and receive Communion, why can’t I?”  Still others might be led to a lack of belief in the Real Presence.  I mean, hey, if they’ll give Our Lord to someone touting those positions, why would we believe that we hold the Eucharist as something as precious as Our Lord, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity?  In short, it’s scandalous all the way around, which is why we have Canon 915.

A failure to hold people to Canon 915 does great danger to the Faith and surely doesn’t encourage the rest of the faithful hold ourselves to Canon 916.  All of this contributes to lack of belief in the Real Presence.  If we don’t get serious as a Church about sacrilege, well, I suppose, it can’t get much worse than the world we’re living in today with such a blatant disregard for life and morality.  Maybe fire raining down from the sky?  It’s kind of ironic that Tim Kaine was chosen on “Sodom and Gomorrah” weekend, isn’t it?

Let’s also remember that denial of the sacraments is not only to protect the rest of the faithful from scandal, but it’s also a remedy to help the sinner.  Letting Tim Kaine, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, the Kennedy family, etc., skate on the Eucharist doesn’t help their souls.  It’s called “tough love”, my friends, but it is love no less.  Spare the rod, spoil the child.

Please, Holy Father, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests of the Church – restore the belief of the real in Real Presence!   Thank you to all of you priests who have been willing to suffer abuse to do so.  Let us pray for them and many more to join them!