Why Pope Francis does not give Communion

Pope Francis has a general policy of not administering Communion to members of the congregation at the public Masses he celebrates.

Though the Pope has give no explanation for this practice, Vatican journalist Sandro Magister has come up with the reason: He does not want to give unrepentant sinners a photo opportunity.

Magister said the reason emerged in a 2010 book of conversations the then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had with Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

In the book, the cardinal remarked that some people who come forward to receive Communion “take refuge in the Church and do not live according to the justice that God preaches. And they do not demonstrate repentance.”

The future Pontiff said: “I do not want these persons to approach me for a photo.”

At the time, Cardinal Bergoglio was speaking about employers who exploited their workers by paying unjust wages.

He also referred to “members of charitable organisations who do not pay their employees what they deserve, or make them work off the books”.

With others, he said, “we know their whole résumé, we know that they pass themselves off as Catholics but practise indecent behaviours of which they do not repent. For this reason, on some occasions I do not give communion, I stay back and let the assistants do it, because I do not want these persons to approach me for a photo.

“One may also deny Communion to a known sinner who has not repented, but it is very difficult to prove these things.

“Receiving Communion means receiving the body of the Lord, with the awareness of forming a community. But if a man, rather than uniting the people of God, has devastated the lives of many persons, he cannot receive Communion, it would be a total contradiction.”

Magister said Pope Francis makes a few exceptions to this policy. For example, at solemn Masses he gives Communion to those assisting him at the altar. Then he sits down.



Image: Lubbockonline

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