Friday 13th December 2019

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November 15, 2019 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: In a recent weekly bulletin, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City offered these perceptive comments:
“ ‘Secularism’ is a religion with a non-creedal creed censuring those who do not believe in unbelief. Young people in the United States who claim to have ‘No Religion’ — called ‘Nones’ — now outnumber Catholics, and they have their own prophets, redefining morality and predicting apocalypse by carbon emissions. ‘Politically incorrect’ thinkers are banned from universities as heretics. Attorney General William Barr recently exposed this in an address at the law school of Notre Dame University:
“The secular project ‘is taking on all the trappings of religion, including inquisitions and excommunication. Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake — social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social media campaigns.’
“Some church leaders have tried to cajole secularists by avoiding mention of true religion. By contrast, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, whose family suffered under Stalin’s pogroms, has said that a dispirited Catholicism is ‘an extremely cunning method of Satan to take away the successors of the Apostles and priests from prayer and evangelization — under the pretext of a so-called “synodality”.’ The Founder of what politically correct idolaters in every age have considered heretical atheism warned: ‘For he that shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him the Son of man shall be ashamed, when he shall come in his majesty, and that of his Father, and of the holy angels’ (Luke 9:26).”

Q. When a priest in South Carolina recently denied Holy Communion to presidential candidate Joe Biden, the priest was criticized for politicizing the sacrament. How do I answer this charge? — M.H.D., New York, and R.P.W., South Carolina.
A. After refusing Communion to Biden at Sunday Mass, Fr. Robert E. Morey of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, S.C., said that “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other, and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.” Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law says that those who “obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope St. John Paul II made clear just how grave the sin of abortion is:
“I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being. This doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written word of God, is transmitted by the Church’s tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium” (n. 62).
While Joe Biden was once pro-life, he is now as radical as they come in lobbying for abortion up to the moment of birth. He also recently reversed his one-time support for the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortion, saying that “if I believe [abortion] is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s ZIP code.”
When asked to comment on what happened in South Carolina, Biden said, “It’s not a position that I’ve found anywhere else, including from the Holy Father, who gives me Communion.”
And there’s the problem. While lowly priests go out on a limb to uphold Church teaching and canon law, they are left hanging there by their bishops. For example, Biden’s bishop in his home state of Delaware, Francis Malooly, has since 2008 refused to deny the former vice president Communion, saying that such an action would “politicize the Eucharist.” He said that he would rather “get a lot more mileage out of a conversation trying to change the mind and heart than I would out of a public confrontation.”
With eleven years having gone by without any apparent change in Biden’s mind and heart on abortion, isn’t it time for Bishop Malooly to reevaluate his stance?
Or take Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York. Asked on a cable news program about Fr. Morey’s action, he said first that the priest “had a good point” about an issue of “critical substance,” and that it was “a good teaching moment.” But then Dolan questioned whether Morey’s “prudential decision was wise. I don’t want to judge him either. I wouldn’t do it.”
The cardinal said that he has seen famous pro-abortion people in his congregation, and he’s “glad they’re here. All are welcome.” He said that he admires those people when they don’t present themselves for Communion, but if they do, “it’s difficult to make a judgment on the state of a person’s soul.”
With all due respect to His Eminence, it’s not that difficult to judge the state of Biden’s soul when he obstinately perseveres in what the Church considers “manifest grave sin.” For that reason, says canon 915, he should “not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
Or take Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., who presided over the recent funeral of pro-abortion journalist Cokie Roberts and praised her for fashioning her life around the word of God. Okay, perhaps Roberts repented of all her sins before she died, but why did Gregory allow pro-abortion fanatic Nancy Pelosi to give a eulogy at the Mass?
What about the argument that denying Biden Communion is “politicizing the Eucharist”? No, it’s not. It’s a commendable effort to protect the Eucharist from sacrilege and also to protect Biden from committing another sin by receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord while he’s in a state of grave sin. Morey would have been derelict in his role as a priest of Jesus Christ to give Communion to Biden. The words of St. Paul (1 Cor. 11:27-29) are relevant:
“Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
So three cheers for Fr. Morey in exposing a fake Catholic like Joe Biden and safeguarding the sacred Body and Blood of Jesus.

Q. At a Bible study I am attending, the instructor mentioned a man named Melchizedek. What can you tell me about him? — B.N., via e-mail.
A. Melchizedek is mentioned in several places in the Bible. According to Gen. 14:18-20, he was the king of Salem (later Jerusalem) and “a priest of God Most High.” He offered gifts of bread and wine to celebrate Abram’s victory over four foreign kings and the rescue of his nephew Lot, and he blessed Abram with these words:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, / the creator of heaven and earth; / And blessed be God Most High, / who delivered your foes into your hand.”
In Psalm 110:4, it says that “the Lord has sworn and will not waver; / ‘Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever’.”
The Letter to the Hebrews quotes Psalm 110:4 in chapter five and, in chapter seven, says that Melchizedek’s name “first means righteous king, and he was also ‘king of Salem,’ that is, king of peace. Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever” (7:2-3).
Melchizedek is considered a type or foreshadowing of Christ since both are kings and priests and both offered bread and wine to God. Thus, in the Rite of Ordination for a priest, it says, “Christ the Lord, a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek, offered bread and wine.” And in the First Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, the priest prays that God will accept his offerings just as He once accepted “the bread and wine offered by your priest Melchizedek.”

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Catechism

Today . . .

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Here Is Your God

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Catholic Replies

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