Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Catholic MPs and the Eucharist

The article Will Catholic MPs have to toe the line, or else? in this past week's Macleans magazine shows a lack of basic Catholic theological understanding on the part of the author.

In this article, discussing the reception of the Eucharist by MPs (Members of Parliament in the House of Commons) who go against the Church's teachings on issues such as abortion and same sex marriage. Obviously whoever wrote this article isn't a Catholic themselves since they refer to the Eucharist as "the holiest sacrament -- the taking of bread and wine symbolizing Christ's body and blood." Apparently someone has missed the mark.

It's sad to read the reaction of some of these politicians who have been denied communion.
"I'm a Catholic in exile," says the New Democrat MP for Ontario's Timmins-James Bay riding [Angus]. "I wouldn't want that to happen to any other MPs and their families. I'd prefer to be the sad anomaly."

Angus has been denied communion by his parish priest since affirming his support for same-sex marriage last January. A former Catholic school trustee and choirmaster, he no longer feels welcome at his local church. His wife and three young daughters don't go anymore either, the youngest missing her first communion as a result.

First of all, the Church hasn't exiled Mr. Angus, but rather, he has exiled himself. He was fully aware of the Church's teachings and chose to go against them. In fact, Christ, in His Body (both in the Church and through the Eucharist) is continually calling Mr. Angus back to Him every minute and every second of the day. Christ is calling him to repentence and union with Him, not sending him into exile. Christ has not chosen to exile Mr. Angus. The Church has not chosen to exile Mr. Angus. Mr. Angus has chosen to act in a fashion which he knew would result in him exiling himself from Christ and His Church.

Secondly, if Mr. Angus truly believes that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ (unlike whoever the uneducated author of this article is), then why would he not encourage his family to continue attending Mass? They are not responsible for his scandal. What kind of Catholic father would deny their children the opportunity of receiving the graces of a sacramental life if they truly believed in the Eucharist?

Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin, another NDPer who supported gay marriage, was banned from teaching marriage preparation classes and other church activities.
Thank God for courageous Canadian priests who are faithfully serving Christ. How could a person who did not share the Church's understanding of the fundamental requirements for marriage teach marriage prep?! Thanks be to God that his parish priest recognized this absurdity.
"I'll go take communion with the United Church, for heaven's sake," scoffs Vancouver Liberal MP Hedy Fry.
Go ahead. If that's her view, she probably shouldn't be receiving communion in the Catholic Church anyways.

Anyways, I could go on and on about this article. I'm sure if you read it you'll have your own frustrations.

I guess in essence, all I really wanted to say is that if these politicians aren't able to receive communion in the Church it's not because of something the Church did, but because of their conscious disregard for the teachings of the Faith. Furthermore, the Lord is merciful and forgiving. The sacrament of reconciliation is available for all Catholics. If any of these politicians truly believe in the real presence of the Eucharist I'd urge them to repent and be reconciled to Christ and His Church.

St. Thomas More ... pray for us!