Denver, Colo., Jul 3, 2021 / 09:01 am (CNA).
“Those of us who have followed the news in the last week or so know that the press has declared that the U.S. Bishops are planning to ban President Biden from Communion, allegedly ignoring the Vatican’s guidance,” Archbishop Aquila wrote in his July 2 column, “Enter the narrow gate to receive the Eucharist”.
He explained that “after hours of discussion, the bishops voted 174 to 55 to draft a document that addresses both this issue and the broader question of what places any person in a state of not being able to receive Communion. The document, which will be drafted and then discussed regionally in the coming months, will strive to make the Church’s teachings on the Eucharist and worthily receiving the Lord more widely known.”
Reacting to the 60 Catholic lawmakers who released a letter justifying their support for legalized abortion, the Archbishop of Denver said, “instead of accepting their own responsibility to understand and follow Church teaching, these politicians are the ones who are ‘weaponizing the Eucharist’ by insisting that they remain in good standing despite publicly committing grave sins and continuing to receive Communion.”
“One cannot say one believes something, do the complete opposite and then credibly say that they are in communion with a Church that believes what they did is evil,” he added.
In his column Archbishop Aquila revelead that many US bishops, including himself, have been privately dialoguing with Catholic politicians on abortion and other issues for years, urging them to refrain from Communion if they won’t change their immoral political positions.
“Unfortunately, many – but not all – of these public figures have chosen political expediency over the Gospel. They value their political party and their power more than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They do not serve as a leaven of the Gospel in society, but rather build a culture of death. They cite the importance of following their consciences but fail to explain how their conscience is a properly formed conscience,” he said.
After recalling that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches explicitly that “anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance”, Aquila explained that he has “two motivations in speaking out on this subject: first, to protect and faithfully hand on the teachings Christ has given us, and second, to warn those who are endangering their souls by receiving Communion in a state of grave sin, whatever that grave sin is.”
“The people who I hear from the most about these issues,” the Archbishop of Denver wrote, “feel betrayed by the Catholic lawmakers and other public figures who claim that they are Catholic but then vote and act against the faith. What do these people have to say to the young children, moms and dads and grandparents who are fighting for the lives of the unborn by praying outside of abortion clinics or caring for young moms in need before and after they’ve had their baby?”
“Every Catholic, regardless of their prominence, must choose who they will follow – Jesus Christ and his Church, or the false gods of power, influence and the world’s acclaim. May we all respond to this choice as Jesus did when Satan tempted him, ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve’.”