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Bishop Robinson: Catholic prelates playing politics with Holy Communion

Bishop Robinson: Catholic prelates playing politics with Holy Communion

Bishop Gene Robinson thinks that Roman Catholic bishops are playing politics with the sacrament of Holy Communion, and he is not impressed. Writing for the On Faith section of The Washington Post’s website he says:

Perhaps these Catholic leaders should revisit their church’s theology of the Eucharist. Reception of the body and blood of Christ at Communion is God’s gift to God’s people, not a reward for right behavior. We receive Communion not because we are worthy of it, but because God’s offers us the body and blood of Christ despite our unworthiness.

While some are seeking to withhold Communion from pro-choice and pro-marriage-equality Catholics, I have heard no call to withhold Communion from priests and bishops who have engaged in horrific sexual abuse against vulnerable children, nor their enablers. Bernard Cardinal Law, whose administration actively facilitated the moving around of known pedophile priests to other unsuspecting parishes, has not been denied Communion, but instead been rewarded with a prestigious church in Rome.

It seems that the church hierarchy is sending the following message: two gay men or lesbians (not to mention their supporters) who want to vow a lifetime of commitment, monogamy and love should be denied Communion, but those who exploit vulnerable children (and those who facilitate their abuse) for their own sexual gratification are still welcome. Those who make the excruciating and gut-wrenching decision to have an abortion (not to mention those who understand why this might be a moral choice) are barred from receiving Communion, but those prelates who live a lavish lifestyle far from the real-life, harsh circumstances some women face that might make such an abortion morally permissible are accepted at the Communion rail.


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James Mikolajczyk

I don’t care for the Catholic Church’s typical threat of withholding Communion for any political cause, but Gene Robinson comes across the same way – here and in all of his public speeches. It seems as though being a Christian in his eyes is promoting the “marriage equality” message rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve never heard him even invoke Jesus’ name or say God. In all honesty, Gene Robinson’s public persona is merely a man fighting a culture war than one communicating religion.

Someone’s opinion on gay rights is NOT indicative of Christian faithfulness. Whenever we use false measures like this as a litmus test, we wander far, far away from what Jesus taught.

James Mikolajczyk

Chris Arnold

Jim, you said something about how I need to look for a mirror. Can you explain what you meant by it? I am supposing that you are picking up on my characterization of Bishop Robinson’s comments as “graceless and scornful”. Do you think I was being similarly graceless and scornful? How so? Despite my respect for Bishop Robinson and my loyalty to the Episcopal Church, I feel his comments were an error. You and I disagree on this point. Is it graceless and scornful for me to point this out?

I’d like to know, since the Cafe is now the only remaining forum for Episcopalians to discuss our faith with any shred of sanity or fellowship. I don’t want to be chased off, but I don’t want to be forced to concur with every editorial position that the Editor in Chief might hold.

A Facebook User

And that was twelve hours notice the Vatican gave Rowan Williams about the launch of the Anglican Ordinariate?

I don’t think any thoughtful Anglican would worry too much about being lectured on ecumenical propriety by a member of the Italian Street Mission.

As I recall Walter Kasper, who curiously recently proposed a female diaconate, told Anglicans they could get lost if they ordain women bishops ….. So it seems rather mild to hear someone pointing out the scandalous way some Roman Catholics treat their own at Mass …. More of this please.

Martin Reynolds

Geoffrey McLarney

Fr McQueen: it’s one thing to censure extra-marital sex, but in the Roman Catholic Church (whence I myself hail) gays and lesbians are under interdict for fidelity _to_ their marriages.

Fr. Will McQueen


Therein lies the ultimate problem. When you completely disregard the Biblical mandate that sex outside of Holy Matrimony is a grave, mortal sin, then I suppose you can explain away the Exhortations command to “repent you truly for your sins past.” If sex outside of marriage is no longer sin, well then no problem. However, that doesn’t square with Biblical teaching, church teaching, or the natural created order.

Also Jim, you’d better be very, very careful before you lob an accusation stating that the Catholic Church doesn’t speak for God. So I suppose you would say that TEC has filled the void left by Rome in your view? What an incredibly narcissistic and myopic view of things. You sir need a dose of humility, reality, and a long look in the mirror.

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