I don’t rate the Archbishop‘s comments as very newsworthy really. His carefully worded statements might have sounded tough but there were no teeth in them at all. In fact, in a very important sense, his words misrepresented the teaching of the Catholic faith, which insists that the Minister of Holy Communion has a solemn obligation to deny the Eucharist to those "Catholics" who continue to obstinately reject Church teachings.
Vote Life, Canada! noted in their Open Letter to the Catholic Bishops of Canada the following tragic fact:
Up until last year, except for a five month break in 38 years, "Catholic" Prime Ministers have managed the affairs of Canada. Every one of them without exception has flouted Catholic teaching on sexuality through their pro-contraception, pro-abortion, pro-sodomy agendas. And every one of them considered themselves good Catholics and regularly presented themselves for Holy Communion. During that 38 year reign of social devastation and spiritual ruin too many Catholic Bishops failed to take steps to deal with this epic scandal. Despite the fierce defiance of Catholic teaching exhibited by the Prime Ministers there is no record of even one single occasion when a Catholic Prime Minister was denied Communion.
I give the Archbishop credit for even bringing up the subject, but unfortunately he has only muddied the waters with his confused equivocation.
More than two years ago, and again, about a year ago, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto went on record with what seemed to be an even stronger position on the matter of pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians. Again, it was a press release by Vote Life, Canada! which raised disturbing questions about the integrity of Archbishop Collins’ position and his dedication to his duty to defend the Catholic faith and deal with scandal.
Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, Mo. is one of the few Bishops in North America who gives us a clear, unequivocal demonstration of what is demanded of a Catholic Bishop in these circumstances. He has ruffled many feathers by reaffirming the teaching of then Cardinal Ratzinger in Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion which instructs that a pastor is to first meet with his parishioner when such questions arise, “instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.”
So to summarize, Archbishop Prendergast must take this matter to the next level, i.e. the level of complete adherence to Catholic teaching, in order to win any respect for his recent statements or to accomplish any desperately needed change regarding the scandal of pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians in Canada.
If you’re in the mood for more browsing on the subject, follow these links or go to the Vote Life Canada! blog and do a blog search for “Archbishop Burke.”
Association of 600 Priests and Deacons Support Archbishop Burke in His Denial of Holy Communion to Renegade Catholic Politicians