Communion is for all

Communion is for all

An Irish bishop has said Communion at Mass should be available for all, even if others think they are unworthy.

In his homily in Knock on Sunday, Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran, said he would seriously question the “cancelling” of an invitation to Communion.

“When the Eucharist is thought of as a prize, there seems to be winners and losers; there are some who quite comfortably think of themselves as worthy, while judging others to be unworthy,” he acknowledged.

The bishop said neither he as a bishop nor any member of the Catholic faithful have “any business in classifying any group of people as unworthy” of receiving Communion.

His stance would appear to be at odds with several US bishops who have targeted pro-choice Catholic politicians like President Joe Biden and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In May Ms Pelosi was barred from receiving Communion by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in her home diocese of San Francisco..

However, a month later, Pelosi received Communion at a papal Mass while in Rome to meet Pope Francis.

The Pontiff has said he has never denied the Eucharist to anyone.

Last year US president Joe Biden, another Catholic who supports abortion rights, said after meeting Pope Francis in Rome, that the pontiff told him to continue receiving the sacrament even as debate continued among US bishops whether the president should be refused Communion.

Dr Doran acknowledged that the Synodal discussions in the Church had made it clear that “many Catholics for various reasons, feel uncomfortable or unwelcome at the Eucharist”.

He said this was not just a problem for those people but “a problem for all of us”.

Nevertheless, the outspoken bishop said there are times when a person “cannot honestly accept the invitation to come to Holy Communion, because he or she has done something gravely wrong with full knowledge and full consent”.

But he added even then, the invitation is not cancelled. Nobody, he said, “should receive the body and blood of the Lord unworthily. But nobody should stay away unnecessarily”.

“In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of each woman or man to follow her or his well-formed conscience in deciding whether or not to come to Holy Communion.”


Irish Times


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