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Detroit archbishop says most Catholics should not receive Communion

Detroit archbishop says most Catholics should not receive Communion

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York made some mildly encouraging comments about the Catholic Church’s need to reassure lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics that it loves them, and that they, like straight Catholics, are created in the image of God.

This story from the Detroit Free Press suggests that other bishops feel rather differently.

Niraj Warikoo writes:

A Detroit professor and legal adviser to the Vatican says Catholics who promote gay marriage should not try to receive holy Communion, a key part of Catholic identity.

And the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, said Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

The argument that the archbishop is more nuanced–and perhaps more tenuous–than it might appear. One can believe, as the Catholic hierarchy teaches, that the church should never sanction same-sex marriage or remarriage without the benefit of annulment, yet still believe that the state has compelling moral reasons for permitting these practices. The issue, in this case, is not whether one accepts the hierarchy’s teaching, but whether one believes that teaching should be made the law of the land. Archbishop Vigneron seems to be arguing that Catholics are compelled, as voters, to behave as though church law should be civil law. This is not an assertion that commands universal assent, including from other U. S. bishops.

Theology aside, healthy majorities of U. S. Catholics support marriage equality, so if Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit actually paid attention to the archbishop–which seems unlikely–there would be a lot of extra room at the communion rail.


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It seems to be a common idea among RC bishops that they ought to be calling the shots in the civil realm: the Bishop of Providence often acts as if he thinks the problem with the state government is that he’s not in charge of it.

Bill Dilworth

Apps 55753818692 1675970731 F785b701a6d1b8c33f0408

This coming from a hierarchy that covered up the sexual abuse of minors for decades. What credibility have they left?

-Cullin R. Schooley

A Facebook User

Why is the Roman church so obsessed with sexuality and specifically homosexuality? Saddest of all, who do so many RC’s (both lay and clergy) who are GLBT stay within an institution that dishonors, discredits, dismisses, and demeans them? Make the circle bigger. The Episcopal Church welcomes you.

Peter Pearson [added by ed. – please sign your name when you post. Thanks]

Christopher Johnson

Of course, the opposite is also true. Inside church doors, the “civil law” has no legal right to determine any church’s doctrines or theology regardless of the “healthy majorities” who may or may not support such changes. Hate to break this to the left but the Creator of the universe neither has nor needs a Congress.

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