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  #16  
Old Mar 2, '12, 1:55 pm
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RastaPasta RastaPasta is offline
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Question Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

Hello:

But then you have this story that was recently in the news. Was the priest right for what he did, or did he step over the line?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1031166
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  #17  
Old Mar 2, '12, 2:00 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRose73 View Post
I am participating in the "Living the Eucharist" program through my mother's parish. During our most recent class, my aunt (who is the group leader in the class session I am in) mentioned at a few funerals and weddings she has attended in the past few years that the priest mentioned before Communion that only practicing Catholics may receive the Eucharist. I found that quite unusual for a priest to say that at Mass.
Apparently it is quite common in some places to have such an announcement made at Weddings and Funerals and other celebrations w,here a number of non-Catholics and non-practicing Catholics are likely to be in attendance.

Personally, I've only ever heard such an announcement made once, last year by a priest who was providing ministry to our pastorless parish last year. He was aiming at non-Catholics and couched his remarks in these terms, "When we receive Communion in a Catholic church we are proclaiming that we believe everything that the Catholic Church teaches. I'm sure that those of you who don't share our beliefs don't want to make such a proclamation. "

I'm in full support of having such an annoucement made but you'll never get it to happen in my parish. Here the priests routinely give out Communion to the non-Catholic clergy and our former pastor received Communion in the Anglican Church. When they saw him do so, parishioners, who had until then refrained from going to receive, got the message that it was OK so they also went to receive. They would view such an announcement as 'not neighbourly'.
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  #18  
Old Mar 2, '12, 2:10 pm
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promethius promethius is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by RastaPasta View Post
Hello:

But then you have this story that was recently in the news. Was the priest right for what he did, or did he step over the line?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1031166
He might have handled it better by making an announcement before hand, or by speaking to her specifically and privately before hand.

HOWEVER, he was not wrong to deny someone communion knowing that they were living in a state of ongoing mortal sin, which he gleaned from a conversation before the mass... this leads me to several questions:

1) Was the woman even catholic? If not, then she should have known not to go up for communion in the first place.
2) If she was catholic, was she ignorant of the fact that living a sexually active homosexual life is gravely disordered? Or was she somehow ignorant of the fact that you should not receive in a state of mortal sin?

These are things the woman herself had a responsibility to know BEFORE she went up and caused a scene by trying to make a priest give her the Sacrament when she knew that he knew about her situation. It would have been better had the priest re-highlighted the criteria for her, but it doesn't change the fact that before presenting herself for communion she had a christian duty to understand that it was illicit and immoral for her to do so.
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  #19  
Old Mar 2, '12, 2:20 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

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Originally Posted by promethius View Post
He might have handled it better by making an announcement before hand, or by speaking to her specifically and privately before hand.

HOWEVER, he was not wrong to deny someone communion knowing that they were living in a state of ongoing mortal sin, which he gleaned from a conversation before the mass... this leads me to several questions:

1) Was the woman even catholic? If not, then she should have known not to go up for communion in the first place.
2) If she was catholic, was she ignorant of the fact that living a sexually active homosexual life is gravely disordered? Or was she somehow ignorant of the fact that you should not receive in a state of mortal sin?

These are things the woman herself had a responsibility to know BEFORE she went up and caused a scene by trying to make a priest give her the Sacrament when she knew that he knew about her situation. It would have been better had the priest re-highlighted the criteria for her, but it doesn't change the fact that before presenting herself for communion she had a christian duty to understand that it was illicit and immoral for her to do so.
She's a former Catholic School teacher so it seems disingenuous for her to claim she did not know that her public homosexual relationship, which she apparently proclaimed to the priest just before the ceremony, would keep her from receiving Communion.

OTOH, it's been argued by canon lawyers that until she had been counselled about it, he should not have publicly denied her Communion. There are many Catholics who don't believe that sex outside of marriage and/or homosexual sexual activity is wrong. Until they have been counselled of such and taught the difference, their 'sin' is not as grave as the same action by a well catechized, knowledgeable Catholic.
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  #20  
Old Mar 2, '12, 2:23 pm
PJM PJM is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

Quote:
=MissRose73;9027380]I am participating in the "Living the Eucharist" program through my mother's parish. During our most recent class, my aunt (who is the group leader in the class session I am in) mentioned at a few funerals and weddings she has attended in the past few years that the priest mentioned before Communion that only practicing Catholics may receive the Eucharist. I found that quite unusual for a priest to say that at Mass.

I do remember nearly 5 years ago at my grandmother's funeral Mass, most of the family & friends went up for Communion. Some are practicing their Catholic faith, some have not been to church in years for various reasons, others go a few times a year but the priest did not deny them the Eucharist nor did those who practice their faith say to those not to go up & receive either ahead of time.

I can understand that the priest asking only Catholics in attendance to receive as some other Christians have no issue with who goes to receive Communion in their church especially for funerals and/or weddings.

Can a priest stand up and say "only practicing Catholics can receive" and "only if you have no mortal sin on your soul" then you can receive. I know we are all sinners but we cannot judge others either.

How does a priest know if a person is a practicing Catholic or not? How does the priest know the person going to receive the Eucharist has mortal sin on their soul & has not gone to Confession first? (unless of course the priest knows the person personally).
BOTH CAN AND SHOULD It is His GRAVE responsibility to do so.

God Bless,
Pat
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  #21  
Old Mar 2, '12, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by RastaPasta View Post
Hello:

But then you have this story that was recently in the news. Was the priest right for what he did, or did he step over the line?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1031166
The priest was right, IMO. Perhaps he should have spoken to her beforehand but he was completely right not to profane the Holy Eucharist by giving it to her. Knowingly allowing someone living in a mortally sinful state to receive the Eucharist is far graver than any hurt this woman may have experienced. Not to mention, the article suggests she went to Catholic schools and was raised Catholic so she should have known better than to try and receive.
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  #22  
Old Mar 2, '12, 2:37 pm
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

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Originally Posted by alwayslooking View Post
I'm of the opinion that it is the minister's responsibility to enforce rules regarding communion. I'm sorry that it offends some when they can't receive, but those are the rules.

This is not about political correctness; this is about protecting the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.
I have no issue with the priest who said that at the Masses my aunt was attending. I just never have encountered such an announcement personally, and I've been a Catholic all my life.
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  #23  
Old Mar 2, '12, 10:46 pm
Mountain Man Mountain Man is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

When I attended my grandmother's funeral several years ago, the priest invited practicing Catholics to come forward for communion. Around two-thirds of those present received the Eucharist, the rest remained seated. I hadn't been to church in years, so I remained in the pew. It really wasn't a big deal.
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  #24  
Old Mar 3, '12, 1:31 am
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Gordon Sims Gordon Sims is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

I wish more priests would do this, particularly at weddings at funerals. I've seen some really nutty and disgraceful behavior at both. One several occasions I've seen people go up and walk around with the host, looking at it like they weren't sure what to do with it. At another, what looked to be a homeless man showed up and went through multiple lines multiple times, getting a host and taking a big drink each time. The worst was the funeral where the non-Catholic family brought all three kids up, and when the priest finally caught on and didn't let the youngest of their three kids have a host, the three boys started wrestling up next to the altar, fighting over who'd get the two they'd received. The mother, who hadn't eaten hers yet but instead stood there laughing about her boys' behavior, finally gave them hers to put an end to the fight.
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  #25  
Old Mar 3, '12, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by alwayslooking View Post
I'm of the opinion that it is the minister's responsibility to enforce rules regarding communion. I'm sorry that it offends some when they can't receive, but those are the rules.

This is not about political correctness; this is about protecting the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.
I am not offended to say the least, but I've never heard any priest in my life ever saying before Communion was to be given that you must be a practicing Catholic and in a state of grace. Then again, too many forget that you should be always be going to Mass on Sundays, etc.
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  #26  
Old Mar 4, '12, 10:49 am
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agnes therese agnes therese is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissRose73 View Post
I am participating in the "Living the Eucharist" program through my mother's parish. During our most recent class, my aunt (who is the group leader in the class session I am in) mentioned at a few funerals and weddings she has attended in the past few years that the priest mentioned before Communion that only practicing Catholics may receive the Eucharist. I found that quite unusual for a priest to say that at Mass.
That's very sad.
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  #27  
Old Mar 4, '12, 3:59 pm
Deo Gratias42 Deo Gratias42 is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

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Originally Posted by triumphguy View Post
They usually phrase it the form of an invitation:
Practicing Catholics and those in union with the Church are invited...

Rather than:
If you are not a Catholic or are not practicing then you cannot come to the altar for Communion.
My priest gives the reminder during the announcements prior to the sermon even on regular Sundays.

He'll usually say something along the lines of,
"Just a reminder, for those who may not have received communion in the traditional Latin Mass before, that it is received at the communion rail, kneeling, and on the tongue. If you are unable to kneel, that's okay. When I come to you, stick out your tongue and I will place the host on it for you. In the traditional form of communion reception, you don't say "Amen". The priest says it for the communicant.

Also, in order to receive communion, one must have fasted for at least one hour prior to receiving communion, not be in the state of mortal sin, and must be a regularly practicing Catholic. I say that because some Catholics will only go on certain days, such as Christmas and Easter.

Finally, one must not judge those who do not go up to receive communion to be in the state of mortal sin. They may not have fasted, or may not wish to receive this Sunday. So...yeah..., communion is received at the communion rail, kneeling, and on the tongue."
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  #28  
Old Mar 4, '12, 4:25 pm
superamazingman superamazingman is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by RastaPasta View Post
Hello:

But then you have this story that was recently in the news. Was the priest right for what he did, or did he step over the line?

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1031166
No he was not wrong. It was not told out that this woman came into the sacristy before Mass and introduced her lover to the priest (introducing her as her lover, not as a friend). She wasn't quiet about it, and if she is going to do things like that, it's no surprise that the priest denied her.

And also, the priest did not "walk out." He felt ill, and found a substitute priest to complete the graveside rites.
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  #29  
Old Mar 4, '12, 10:35 pm
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: Denial of Holy Communion at Funerals, etc

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Originally Posted by superamazingman View Post
No he was not wrong. It was not told out that this woman came into the sacristy before Mass and introduced her lover to the priest (introducing her as her lover, not as a friend). She wasn't quiet about it, and if she is going to do things like that, it's no surprise that the priest denied her.

And also, the priest did not "walk out." He felt ill, and found a substitute priest to complete the graveside rites.
The supreme authority on how pastoral care is to be handled in a diocese is the diocesan bishop, not the individual priests. If this priest's bishop had let him know previously that Holy Communion was not to be denied under this kind of circumstance, because in the bishop's judgment the possibility exists that the person's culpability (rather than the gravity of the sin) might not rise to the level of a mortal sin, then the priest was wrong.

I can't imagine he will be removed from the ministry for this, however. If the bishop removed every priest who made judgement calls like this against his wishes, he'd soon have very few priests left! This world is nothing if not a pasture full of thorny pastoral issues.
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