Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quote of the Day

. . . I believe that using Communion as . . . a manipulative [and coercive] tool surely profanes the sacrament. Perhaps [those] Catholic leaders [who threaten to deny Communion to pro-marriage equality Catholics] should revisit their church’s theology of the Eucharist. Reception of the body and blood of Christ at Communion is God’s gift to God’s people, not a reward for right behavior. We receive Communion not because we are worthy of it, but because God’s offers us the body and blood of Christ despite our unworthiness.

While some are seeking to withhold Communion from pro-choice and pro-marriage-equality Catholics, I have heard no call to withhold Communion from priests and bishops who have engaged in horrific sexual abuse against vulnerable children, nor their enablers. Bernard Cardinal Law, whose administration actively facilitated the moving around of known pedophile priests to other unsuspecting parishes, has not been denied Communion, but instead been rewarded with a prestigious church in Rome.

It seems that the church hierarchy is sending the following message: two gay men or lesbians (not to mention their supporters) who want to vow a lifetime of commitment, monogamy and love should be denied Communion, but those who exploit vulnerable children (and those who facilitate their abuse) for their own sexual gratification are still welcome.

. . . The good news message of Jesus Christ is that despite our failure to be all that God would want us to be, we are all welcome at the Lord’s Table anyway. Until the Roman Catholic hierarchy gets that right, they might prayerfully consider quieting their judgmental rhetoric and contemplating the humility Jesus suggested as a value to be lived by all.

– Gene Robinson
Retired Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire
"Catholic Leaders Using Communion as a Weapon in the Culture War"
The Washington Post
April 24, 2013

Related Off-site Links:
Detroit-area Catholic Leaders Urge Gay Marriage Supporters to Skip Communion – Niraj Warikoo (Detroit Free Press, April 9, 2013).
Bishop Gumbleton to Pro-Marriage Equality Catholics: "Don't Stop Going to Communion" – Francis DeBernardo (Bonding 2.0, April 12, 2013).
Bishop Gumbleton Preaches on Christ’s Radical Welcome for All – Bob Shine (Bondings 2.0, April 19, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
"Receive What You Are, the Body of Christ"
Trusting God's Generous Invitation
My Rainbow Sash Experience
"Take, All of You, and Eat": Communion and the Rainbow Sash (Part 1)
"Take, All of You, and Eat": Communion and the Rainbow Sash (Part 2)
"Take, All of You, and Eat": Communion and the Rainbow Sash (Part 3)
Reflections on the Primacy of Conscience

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