Receiving the Eucharist is not a ‘political’ issue

Thank you for Russell Shaw’s excellent article “Striving for coherence.” It cannot be overstated that the great gift of Our Lord in the Eucharist at Mass is the focal point of our Catholic faith.

When public figures hypocritically state that they are “Catholic” but openly advocate a position that is condemned by our Church as intrinsically evil (abortion), they are apostatizing — rejecting a cornerstone tenet of our faith, in effect denying that they are truly Catholic. If I am understanding canon law correctly (#1364) by their “public show or speech” that is contrary to the faith they have excommunicated themselves (“latae sententiae”) and are prohibited from receiving the sacraments (#1331). Ergo, if they approach the altar to receive the Eucharist they should be turned away.

The only persons making this a “political” problem are the persons unabashedly advocating this terrible evil. Our U.S. bishops should make a definitive statement to the public at large and to our Catholics in particular how this freely-chosen conduct on their part has in effect excommunicated them from our faith by their own choice and negated their opportunity to receive the Eucharist. My ardent hope is that the bishops will ignore the strident squawking of the secular media and stand up for the truth by clarifying this issue at their general meeting this month.

Greg Polito, MD, KM, Dallas, Texas

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