Archbishop Charles Chaput: Biden ‘not in full communion with the Catholic Church’
DENVER, Colorado, December 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver has given his public support to Archbishop Charles Chaput and his declaration that former Vice President and ardent abortion supporter, Joe Biden, “should not receive Holy Communion.”
On Saturday, Aquila tweeted a statement by Chaput and then added his own thoughts. Chaput stated in the journal First Things, regarding Biden’s promotion of permissive abortion laws, “Mr. Biden has said that he will continue to advance those same policies as president, and thus should not receive Holy Communion. His stated intention requires a strong and consistent response from Church leaders and faithful.”
Aquila, answering Chaput’s call, wrote “Archbishop Chaput speaks the truth for the salvation of souls. The scandal & confusion are real & when we don’t treat the Eucharist with love & reverence our faith is weakened in the real presence.”
Archbishop Chaput speaks the truth for the salvation of souls. The scandal & confusion are real & when we don’t treat the Eucharist with love & reverence our faith is weakened in the real presence. +sja https://t.co/q1ZriUTb6A— Archbishop Aquila (@ArchbishopDen) December 5, 2020
In his First Things essay, Chaput wrote about the disagreements and soul-searching among American bishops when public figures who identify as Catholics “publicly and persistently diverge from Catholic teaching on issues like abortion.” The archbishop stated that he didn’t think denying Holy Communion to public officials “was always wise or the best pastoral course.” However, he also didn’t think the bishops should just maintain silence regarding their high-profile co-religionists' blatant disregard for Church teaching.
Moreover, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made it clear in its July 2004 to then-Cardinal McCarrick that politicians who support permissive abortion or euthanasia laws should be told by their pastors not to present themselves for Holy Communion if they persist in their formal cooperation with evil. If the politicians do so anyway, they should not be given Holy Communion.
“This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty," the CDF declared.
“Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.”
Chaput noted that this statement is still in effect. He also explained that both politicians who flout Catholic teaching and bishops who do not correct them cause scandal.
“Public figures who identify as “Catholic” give scandal to the faithful when receiving Communion by creating the impression that the moral laws of the Church are optional. And bishops give similar scandal by not speaking up publicly about the issue and danger of sacrilege,” the archbishop wrote.
Chaput reproduced sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that explain the meaning of scandal: “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.” The person who gives scandal becomes “his neighbor’s tempter.” The Catechism notes that scandal can be brought even by laws and institutions, and that these can make it almost impossible for Christians to live a faithful life.
The next part of the archbishop’s essay seems to be a reproof to the recently promoted Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C., Wilton Gregory, who has declared his willingness to give Holy Communion to the nominally Catholic Joseph Biden. Chaput wrote:
When bishops publicly announce their willingness to give Communion to Mr. Biden, without clearly teaching the gravity of his facilitating the evil of abortion (and his approval of same-sex relationships), they do a serious disservice to their brother bishops and their people. The reason is obvious. By his actions during the course of his public life, Mr. Biden has demonstrated that he is not in full communion with the Catholic Church. To his credit, he has championed many causes and issues that do serve the common good. However, many of his actions and words have also supported or smoothed the way for grave moral evils in our public life that have resulted in the destruction of millions of innocent lives. Mr. Biden has said that he will continue to advance those same policies as president, and thus should not receive Holy Communion. His stated intention requires a strong and consistent response from Church leaders and faithful.
Chaput underscored that barring Biden from the Eucharist was not a “political” matter but rather a deeply spiritual one, preserving the “integrity of the sacraments,” but also protecting the erring Catholic from committing the sin of profanation.
“...There is also the pressing matter of pastoral concern for a man’s salvation," the archbishop wrote.
“At minimum, every bishop has the duty of privately discussing these vital moral issues and the destructive effect of receiving Communion unworthily with public figures who act contrary to Church teaching,” he continued.
“Reception of Communion is not a right but a gift and privilege; and on the subject of “rights,” the believing community has a priority right to the integrity of its belief and practice.”
LifeSiteNews has reached out to the Diocese of Denver for a fuller statement from Archbishop Aquila.
But since all mortal sins, even those of thought, make men children of wrath (Ep 2,3) and enemies of God, it is necessary to ask pardon for all of them from God by an open and humble confession. (Denzinger-Hünermann 1680. Council of Trent, Session XIII, October 11, 1551)
So important is it that confession be entire that if the penitent confesses only some of his sins and wilfully neglects to accuse himself of others which should be confessed, he not only does not profit by his confession, but involves himself in new guilt. Such an enumeration of sins cannot be called sacramental confession; on the contrary, the penitent must repeat his confession, not omitting to accuse himself of having, under the semblance of confession, profaned the sanctity of the Sacrament. (Catechism of Trent, 2400)
Cardinal Burke: Joe Biden is not a Catholic in ‘good standing’, should not receive Communion
Now ecclesiastical usage declares that this examination is necessary, that no one conscious of mortal sin, however contrite he may seem to himself, should approach the Holy Eucharist without a previous sacramental confession. This, the holy Synod has decreed, is always to be observed by all Christians, even by those priests on whom by their office it may be incumbent to celebrate, provided the recourses of a confessor be not lacking to them. But if in an urgent necessity a priest should celebrate without previous confession, let him confess as soon as possible [see n. 1138 ff.]. (Denzinger-Hünermann 1647. Council of Trent, Session XIII, October 11, 1551)
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