Issue of Kneeling for Communion Revisited

I picked up a copy of the Winter 1999 issue of your newsletter and am provoked to comment on two points. The first concerns Bishop Keatingís directive to his priests that "no one is to be refused the Eucharist when he or she approaches to receive the sacrament." Canon 915 imposes on the priest a prohibition against giving communion to those who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin. This canon certainly applies to Catholic legislators who vote pro-abortion. Their vote is a grave sin because it approves of grave evil. Their vote is manifest because it is public. The legislators, moreover, are obstinately persistent because they refuse to obey the solemn teaching of the Church. Until such legislators publicly repent of their evil by a public repudiation of their abortion record, they should be denied communion. Ted Kennedy received communion at his motherís funeral mass from Cardinal Law but this in no way signified a repudiation of his abortion position as his subsequent record has demonstrated.

My second [point] regards the manner of receiving communion. The implication that a parish custom can prevent the faithful from kneeling for the Eucharist is too much. First of all, Canon Law does not recognize a custom which is peculiar to a parish rather than to a diocese. More importantly, the effect of this so called custom is to prohibit the faithful from kneeling for communion and thereby to nullify a practice which the Supreme Legislator, Pope John Paul II, has already applauded. Lastly, custom does not arise from a pastor or the majority of a parish disallowing the minority to exercise their recognized right.

A diocese which defends a priest who refuses communion to one who kneels and obliges a priest to give communion to one who persists in manifest grave sin is acting tyrannically.

With warmest regards and best wishes,
Fr. James Buckley, FSSP
Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary
Denton, NE

Troubled by Criticism of NY Cardinal Egan

Just finished reading your excellent newsletter and wish to say "thanks" for all your work in publishing it.

I am, however, somewhat troubled by your criticism of Cardinal Egan of New York for permitting pro-abortion politicians like Al Gore to attend the Al Smith dinner in New York. Didnít the Pharisees criticize Christ for doing the same thing? (see Mark 2:15-17). In this passage, Christ said after hearing about the criticism: "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." How can Cardinal Egan reach these sick people who support abortion unless he has contacts with them?

Roger Dolak
Vienna, VA

Meeting with pro-abort politicians privately and giving them media photo ops before an election are two distinct things. Jesus ate with sinners, but during his public trial refused to speak to Herod who murdered John. Ed

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