Support This Website! Shop Here!

Friday, July 16, 2004

DOMA and Eucharist

Shared viewpoints

"Marriage should be reserved to relationships between a man and a woman. Only these pairings can produce children. But I do not believe an amendment to the Constitution of the United States is the appropriate answer at this time." – Sen. Kent Conrad, D, N.D.

"I have not gotten to the stage where I'm comfortable in denying the Eucharist," - Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C.

"Changing the Constitution of the United States of America is a very serious business and should only be used as a last resort." – Sen. Max Baucus, D, Mont.

"I have a deep reverence for our Constitution, and believe it should be amended only when absolutely necessary." – Sen. John Edwards, D, N.C.

"In the nature of the church, the imposition of sanctions is always the final response, not the first response, nor the second nor maybe even the 10th," Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, Belleville, USCCB president

"Our Constitution has traditionally been used to expand rights, not to restrict rights, and I do not support amending it." – Senator Carl Levin, D, Mich.

"I believe that 'marriage' should be reserved to a woman and a man, based on the long tradition and religious context of the institution. But I see no need for a constitutional amendment." – Sen. Bob Graham, D, Fla.

“I’m slightly mystified why this is all coming up now. We’ve had pro-choice Catholic politicians going to Communion since Roe v. Wade,” - Cardinal Mahony, Los Angeles

"Marriage between a man and a woman is an honored social and sacred institution that dates back thousands of years in civilization. It is for this reason that I am opposed to same sex marriages. However, I do not support amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same sex marriage at this time." – Sen. Chuck Hagel, R, Neb.

"Though I oppose gay marriage, I believe a constitutional amendment is neither appropriate nor necessary." – Harry Reid, D, Nev.

“The prophet Isaiah has that wonderful line about peace-making – turning swords into plowshares, spears into pruning hooks… I fear that we are reversing the situation, and taking God’s great gift to our Church and using it as a weapon of divisiveness and destruction... I strongly oppose using Eucharist as a weapon.” - Bishop Skylstad, Spokane

Opposing viewpoints

“Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak man say, ‘I am a warrior!’ ” – Joel 3:10

“[When] the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist [the minister giving Communion] must refuse to distribute it… This decision properly speaking is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person's subjective guilt, but rather (he) is reacting to the person's public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin." – Cardinal Ratzinger, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

"When politicians agree with the church's position on a given issue, they say that the church is prophetic and should be listened to, but if the church's position doesn't coincide with theirs, they scream separation of church and state." -Archbishop O'Malley, Boston

Interesting facts
135 of 154 bishops polled felt Eucharist should not be denied to anyone, or if denied, only as a last resort. Only five out of 178 Latin-rite Roman Catholic dioceses in the US have indicated that they will deny prochoice Catholic politicians the Eucharist (Camden, NJ; Colorado Springs, CO; LaCrosse, WI; Lincoln, NE; and St. Louis, MO). These dioceses are following the directives of four bishops: Bishops Bruskewitz, Burke, Galante, and Sheridan. Just 17 bishops have encouraged Catholic policy makers to abstain from communion because of their prochoice position.
- Catholics For a Free Choice poll of all American Latin-rite bishops.

Bishops are consecrated to defend the Eucharist.
Congressmen are sworn to defend the Constitution.

The Constitution is to US politics what the Eucharist is to Catholics.

Thirty-eight Congressmen complain to the USCCB about the possibility of being denied Eucharist. The USCCB complains to the Congress about its failure to add DOMA to the Constitution.

Some say that we can't withhold Eucharist if only because the bishops have not properly instructed the faithful on life issues. Indeed. If that is true, then the bishops really can't expect to win on DOMA, can they, since they haven't properly instructed the faithful on life issues, specifically contraception and its links to homosexuality.

If either side had the backbone to do what they are supposed to do - safeguard the Constitution, safeguard the Eucharist, we wouldn't have these problems. If American bishops had a tradition of sticking to the constant teaching of the Church and always insisting that the Catholic Faith is what informs Constitutional principles, not vice versa, we would not have this problem.

As it is, because American bishops have throughout the history of this country, almost NEVER taught the fullness of the Faith, the high holy of secular America and the High Holy of the Catholic Faith are now both up for grabs. And both discussions revolve around a single issue: the proper place of the Bridegroom in the Wedding Feast.

No comments: