Denial of Communion - WWJD?


#1

What if Jesus on the night of the Last Supper entered the room first. Then Judas told all the apostles outside that he had accepted thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus tonight. He had received the money from the church elders, and although he knows Jesus is innocent, he cannot in his conscience deny the church elders the right to judge & convict Jesus. So Judas enters next and the rest stand outside discussing the developments. Then they all enter and Jesus consecrates the bread & wine and distributes to all, maybe knowing he is betrayed but not knowing whether the other apostles know.

In this scenario, the situation raises these important questions.

  1. Does Jesus give scandal to Judas if he thinks the apostles are unaware of Judas serious sin by denying Judas the Eucharist?

  2. Does Jesus give scandal to the Eucharist if all know that Judas has betrayed him without publicly repenting of his action?

  3. Does Peter give scandal to the Eucharist if he passes the bread & wine to Judas, not knowing whether Judas had suddenly repented and confessed to Jesus just prior to the apostles entering the room when they were alone?

What message does one get in each of these three situations about the Eucharist if it is distributed to Judas?

Was the Body & Blood of Jesus sacrificed for ALL or for MANY?


#2

This is one of the strangest hypothetical questions I’ve ever seen.

The other 11 apostles did not know of Judas’ betrayal. There was only one traitor, Judas. Had the other apostles known, they would have undoubtedly attempted to save Jesus.

Concerning the Eucharist being given to Judas, there is nothing to be drawn from it except for the fact that he received unworthily, and probably committed a sin of sacrilege. However, I do not know of any Church teaching on the matter, so I will not conjecture.


#3

[quote="wynnejj, post:1, topic:320407"]
What if Jesus on the night of the Last Supper entered the room first. Then Judas told all the apostles outside that he had accepted thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus tonight. He had received the money from the church elders, and although he knows Jesus is innocent, he cannot in his conscience deny the church elders the right to judge & convict Jesus. So Judas enters next and the rest stand outside discussing the developments. Then they all enter and Jesus consecrates the bread & wine and distributes to all, maybe knowing he is betrayed but not knowing whether the other apostles know.

In this scenario, the situation raises these important questions.

  1. Does Jesus give scandal to Judas if he thinks the apostles are unaware of Judas serious sin by denying Judas the Eucharist?

  2. Does Jesus give scandal to the Eucharist if all know that Judas has betrayed him without publicly repenting of his action?

  3. Does Peter give scandal to the Eucharist if he passes the bread & wine to Judas, not knowing whether Judas had suddenly repented and confessed to Jesus just prior to the apostles entering the room when they were alone?

What message does one get in each of these three situations about the Eucharist if it is distributed to Judas?

Was the Body & Blood of Jesus sacrificed for ALL or for MANY?

[/quote]

I don't think the scenario works since Jesus being God would know that the other Apostles knew, I mean he already knew that Judas was to betray him, he told him to go and do what you have to do..
Peter being brash as he is, probably would have tried to strangle Judas with the others holding him back.:p

I could be wrong, but there is no scandal at all. Jesus' sacrifice was for all. body, blood, soul and divinity. I believe that includes Judas, however, Judas did not accept that and took his own life rejecting Christ's mercy and sacrifice. Peter may not have understood or if Judas repented, but would follow Jesus' example and still pass the bread and wine to Judas.


#4

Bogus situation. Didn't happen. Couldn't happen.

Jesus always knew what was in Judas' heart, and he knew that the other 11 were ignorant of it. The Gospels of Matthew and Mark report that Jesus did, however, tell the others that Judas was the betrayer before He consecrated the bread and wine. The Gospel of John reports that Judas left to do his dirty deed as soon as Jesus made the announcement, and before the other 11 realized what was happening.


#5

[quote="wynnejj, post:1, topic:320407"]
What if Jesus on the night of the Last Supper entered the room first. Then Judas told all the apostles outside that he had accepted thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus tonight. He had received the money from the church elders, and although he knows Jesus is innocent, he cannot in his conscience deny the church elders the right to judge & convict Jesus. So Judas enters next and the rest stand outside discussing the developments. Then they all enter and Jesus consecrates the bread & wine and distributes to all, maybe knowing he is betrayed but not knowing whether the other apostles know.

In this scenario, the situation raises these important questions.

  1. Does Jesus give scandal to Judas if he thinks the apostles are unaware of Judas serious sin by denying Judas the Eucharist?

  2. Does Jesus give scandal to the Eucharist if all know that Judas has betrayed him without publicly repenting of his action?

  3. Does Peter give scandal to the Eucharist if he passes the bread & wine to Judas, not knowing whether Judas had suddenly repented and confessed to Jesus just prior to the apostles entering the room when they were alone?

What message does one get in each of these three situations about the Eucharist if it is distributed to Judas?

Was the Body & Blood of Jesus sacrificed for ALL or for MANY?

[/quote]

I am not sure what you are driving at but hypothetical questions are traps and those are the kinds of questions the enemies of Jesus always tried to use on Him to "get Him".
If you have an honest question, then ask it but hypothetical questions aren't.


#6

[quote="wynnejj, post:1, topic:320407"]

Was the Body & Blood of Jesus sacrificed for ALL or for MANY?

[/quote]

This is a slightly tricky question.

Not ALL will accept Jesus Salvation. Therefore only Many will accept and recieve the benefit of the Salvation which Jesus brought about by his Passion and Death on the Cross.

However, Jesus came that all my have Life and have it to the Full.
He Dearly wishes that All will accept His Salvation. therefore as I understand it both are true at the same time.

He dies offering his forgivenss and the ransom for All, but in the full knowledge that only Many would actually be saved.

therefore he died for ALL and for MANY.

Others may correct me if I'm incorrect on this.


#7

[quote="wynnejj, post:1, topic:320407"]
What if Jesus on the night of the Last Supper entered the room first. Then Judas told all the apostles outside that he had accepted thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus tonight. He had received the money from the church elders, and although he knows Jesus is innocent, he cannot in his conscience deny the church elders the right to judge & convict Jesus. So Judas enters next and the rest stand outside discussing the developments. Then they all enter and Jesus consecrates the bread & wine and distributes to all, maybe knowing he is betrayed but not knowing whether the other apostles know.

In this scenario, the situation raises these important questions.

  1. Does Jesus give scandal to Judas if he thinks the apostles are unaware of Judas serious sin by denying Judas the Eucharist?

  2. Does Jesus give scandal to the Eucharist if all know that Judas has betrayed him without publicly repenting of his action?

  3. Does Peter give scandal to the Eucharist if he passes the bread & wine to Judas, not knowing whether Judas had suddenly repented and confessed to Jesus just prior to the apostles entering the room when they were alone?

What message does one get in each of these three situations about the Eucharist if it is distributed to Judas?

Was the Body & Blood of Jesus sacrificed for ALL or for MANY?

[/quote]

Are you asking, in a roundabout way, if communion should be denied to those who manifest public grave sin, such as politicians who actively promote abortion? According to canon law, the answer is yes, but it is not done (or rarely done), at least in this country for the following reasons:

1) In many situations, the priest does not nor cannot know the actual state of a person's soul, and
2) there has been no direct mandate from the Vatican, as a result I think many bishops feel they will not be supported in their decision to refuse communion outright. Hence, they will usually try "pastoral" means to effect a change of heart in the person, and
3) priests are told not to make a scene at the communion rail.

We will have to wait and see if any of this changes under the new Pope.


#8

[quote="dshix, post:2, topic:320407"]
This is one of the strangest hypothetical questions I've ever seen.

The other 11 apostles did not know of Judas' betrayal. There was only one traitor, Judas. Had the other apostles known, they would have undoubtedly attempted to save Jesus.

[/quote]

Minimally, they wouldn't allowed him to come to table of the Lord in friendship.

Concerning the Eucharist being given to Judas, there is nothing to be drawn from it except for the fact that he received unworthily, and probably committed a sin of sacrilege. However, I do not know of any Church teaching on the matter, so I will not conjecture.

Jesus telling Judas that it would be better that he were not born seems at odds with the idea that one can always repent afterwards and be saved. It would make sense if Our Lord at the point of distributing the sacred meal would warn those who sit there in the guise of friendship, yet betray him in a most vile manner, that it would be better that they were not born. Paul channels the same message when he warns those that share in holy communion unworthily also bring condemnation on themselves for the death of Jesus. This message ... better that you were not born ... is a message of the seriousness of desecration ... much in the same way as saying one should cut off a limb rather than desecrate the temple of the body.


#9

[quote="Z_Ninja, post:3, topic:320407"]
I don't think the scenario works since Jesus being God would know that the other Apostles knew, I mean he already knew that Judas was to betray him, he told him to go and do what you have to do..
Peter being brash as he is, probably would have tried to strangle Judas with the others holding him back.:p

[/quote]

I take his message as a warning at the point of distribution of the Holy Eucharist as a message in principle about sharing the holy meal as a friend when you betray him. If Judas had repented after the crucifixion, then he would have been saved ... so "better that he had never been born" is more a testament to the seriousness of making a mockery of the Holy Eucharist as a friend of Christ

I could be wrong, but there is no scandal at all. Jesus' sacrifice was for all. body, blood, soul and divinity. I believe that includes Judas, however, Judas did not accept that and took his own life rejecting Christ's mercy and sacrifice. Peter may not have understood or if Judas repented, but would follow Jesus' example and still pass the bread and wine to Judas.

I think Peter would done what any one of us would do at the point of distribution ... questioned Judas as to whether he had repented and then accept his answer if he lied.


#10

[quote="Nan_S, post:4, topic:320407"]
Bogus situation. Didn't happen. Couldn't happen.

Jesus always knew what was in Judas' heart, and he knew that the other 11 were ignorant of it. The Gospels of Matthew and Mark report that Jesus did, however, tell the others that Judas was the betrayer before He consecrated the bread and wine. The Gospel of John reports that Judas left to do his dirty deed as soon as Jesus made the announcement, and before the other 11 realized what was happening.

[/quote]

This is true but not germane to this admittedly hypothetical situation. Try to roll with the scenario as is, because I think there are elements that go to the heart of what we are seeing today.


#11

[quote="robwar, post:5, topic:320407"]
I am not sure what you are driving at but hypothetical questions are traps and those are the kinds of questions the enemies of Jesus always tried to use on Him to "get Him".
If you have an honest question, then ask it but hypothetical questions aren't.

[/quote]

An abstract question that speaks to principles is not necessarily dishonest or to everybody's taste.


#12

[quote="anruari, post:6, topic:320407"]
This is a slightly tricky question.

Not ALL will accept Jesus Salvation. Therefore only Many will accept and recieve the benefit of the Salvation which Jesus brought about by his Passion and Death on the Cross.

However, Jesus came that all my have Life and have it to the Full.
He Dearly wishes that All will accept His Salvation. therefore as I understand it both are true at the same time.

He dies offering his forgivenss and the ransom for All, but in the full knowledge that only Many would actually be saved.

therefore he died for ALL and for MANY.

Others may correct me if I'm incorrect on this.

[/quote]

I see nothing to correct, but I'm more or less trying to put the idea in terms of what we know about friendship in our daily lives ... and how we would feel if one shares a meal with us in friendship while sneakily betraying our friendship, due to personal injury or injury to our other friends ... and how we might express ourselves to a betrayer at the point of sharing a meal.

Jesus offers his friendship to all but confers it on only those who do not betray his friendship. To sit at his table in friendship when living a lifestyle that betrays that friendship and demanding the rights of friendship despite the breach is truly a double betrayal.


#13

[quote="owensjo, post:7, topic:320407"]
Are you asking, in a roundabout way, if communion should be denied to those who manifest public grave sin, such as politicians who actively promote abortion? According to canon law, the answer is yes, but it is not done (or rarely done), at least in this country for the following reasons:

1) In many situations, the priest does not nor cannot know the actual state of a person's soul, and
2) there has been no direct mandate from the Vatican, as a result I think many bishops feel they will not be supported in their decision to refuse communion outright. Hence, they will usually try "pastoral" means to effect a change of heart in the person, and
3) priests are told not to make a scene at the communion rail.

We will have to wait and see if any of this changes under the new Pope.

[/quote]

1) Yes, a priest does not know the state of person's soul, but in the case of public scandal he could easily ask if the person has repented and take his word for it.
2) It's a deficiency that needs to be remedied from the Vatican, IMO.
3) Jesus sure made a scene at the point of distributing the sacred meal. But he did so by talking to principle, not a specific person. He did the right thing by warning the person who was about to receive the meal in friendship while betraying that friendship at the same time.


#14

[quote="wynnejj, post:13, topic:320407"]
1) Yes, a priest does not know the state of person's soul, but in the case of public scandal he could easily ask if the person has repented and take his word for it.
2) It's a deficiency that needs to be remedied from the Vatican, IMO.
3) Jesus sure made a scene at the point of distributing the sacred meal. But he did so by talking to principle, not a specific person. He did the right thing by warning the person who was about to receive the meal in friendship while betraying that friendship at the same time.

[/quote]

Thank you for your post. In answer:
1) It would be difficult for a priest to ask about a person's repentance at the point of receiving communion. Not practical, in my opinion.
2) Agreed.
3) See my remarks about bishops giving pastoral council. And although Jesus did speak to principle, he distributed the meal to Judas anyway knowing what he was about to do. That's about as personal as it gets.


#15

[quote="owensjo, post:14, topic:320407"]
Thank you for your post. In answer:
1) It would be difficult for a priest to ask about a person's repentance at the point of receiving communion. Not practical, in my opinion.
2) Agreed.
3) See my remarks about bishops giving pastoral council. And although Jesus did speak to principle, he distributed the meal to Judas anyway knowing what he was about to do. That's about as personal as it gets.

[/quote]

1) Would it be impractical to simply say that those who receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin confer condemnation on themselves. There are many Catholics who have confirmed, long standing life styles that are at odds with the church who receive the Eucharist (when they occasion Sunday Mass) simply because everybody else is that would do a little re-thinking.
3) This is basically the point of the thread actually. Jesus knew that Judas betrayal was a private matter between Jesus & Judas. If Judas had proclaimed the sovereign right of the chief priests & elders to put Jesus on trial, or declared that Jesus is a heretic, then the matter would probably have to be treated much differently.

What we are exploring here is what kind of public matter and what level of public manifestation constitutes a requirement to deny communion.

Do we have to walk up the aisle with a "Planned Parenthood - Support Abortion On Demand" T-shirt, only to be administered communion, turn around and on the flip side it says "You know what we profess but you don't know what we confess. Therefore, we assert our right for Eucharist On Demand."


#16

What message does one get in each of these three situations about the Eucharist if it is distributed to Judas?

Here's my opinion...

  1. Does Jesus give scandal to Judas if he thinks the apostles are unaware of Judas serious sin by denying Judas the Eucharist?

Yes. I think Jesus has set the standard that non-public matters, one does not draw attention to the sins of others, no matter how great, unless there are those who need to know for their own protection. I think Jesus has set the standard that the communicant is solely responsible for his own actions for non-public matters.

  1. Does Jesus give scandal to the Eucharist if all know that Judas has betrayed him without publicly repenting of his action?

Yes. Paul says that those who receive the Eucharist unworthily heap condemnation on themselves. If that is so, it seems incongruous that Jesus would extend friendship in the form of the Blessed Sacrament when betrayal of friendship is openly professed. It's like administering communion to the hypocrites & vipers that He so soundly condemns. Wouldn't this be officially accepted spiritual assisted suicide?

  1. Does Peter give scandal to the Eucharist if he passes the bread & wine to Judas, not knowing whether Judas had suddenly repented and confessed to Jesus just prior to the apostles entering the room when they were alone?

Yes. If the body & blood of Our Lord is precious, then Peter is duty bound to challenge Judas before passing the Blessed Sacrament to Judas. If Judas lies when challenged, he must be presumed innocent and not be denied.


#17

According to Canon 915, communion must be denied to those who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin. To be manifest the sin must be known to the greater part of a community (which is more difficult in an urban area than a rural area), and warning must be given to the individual to determine what degree of obstinacy exists…

So is a pro-abort politician on the same footing as someone wearing a “Support Planned Parenthood” tee shirt? I would say in most cases no unless you’re talking about a small rural town, as the majority of the congregation are probably not aware of the latter. Same goes for couples, heterosexual or otherwise, who are cohabitating, or divorced and remarried couples. The point is, the larger the community, the less public the “public sin” is, which is why I can only see politicians or other public figures that actively support and promote abortion as coming under canon 915 in most cases. As for small towns and rural communities, my mother comes from a small rural village so I can tell you these communities see all kinds, but there is more pressure to conform and I doubt you will see too many “Support Abortion on Demand” tee shirts worn in church or in public. These are just my thoughts on the subject. I come from Massachusetts, where Ted Kennedy was given a hero’s send off by some pretty high-ups in the church, so I think this problem is much more complicated than I stated in my original post.


#18

[quote="owensjo, post:17, topic:320407"]
According to Canon 915, communion must be denied to those who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin. To be manifest the sin must be known to the greater part of a community (which is more difficult in an urban area than a rural area), and warning must be given to the individual to determine what degree of obstinacy exists..

[/quote]

That's an interesting point about manifest as the greater part of a community. It is not something that I had considered. You have some good insights. :)


closed #19

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