Communion Lines Too Long in Philadelphia

Posted by Censor Librorum on Jul 27, 2016 | Categories: Bishops, Humor, Lesbians & Gays, Scandals

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In what can only be described as an effort to shorten long communion lines, on July 1, 2016, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, announced that pastors in his diocese were not to distribute communion to couples who are divorced and civilly remarried, as well as couples who are cohabitating.

The directive was issued as part of his plan for implementing Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

Archbishop Chaput also addressed the pastoral care of lesbian and gay people.  He wrote that pastors must prudentially judge an appropriate response to couples who “present themselves openly in a parish.”

He continued – “But two persons in an active, public same-sex relationship, no matter how sincere, offer a serious counter-witness to Catholic belief, which can only produce moral confusion in the community.  Such a relationship cannot be accepted into the life of the parish without undermining the faith of the community, most notably the children.  Finally, those living open same-sex lifestyles should not hold positions of responsibility in a parish, nor should they carry out any liturgical ministry.”

The operative words are “open” and “public.”  It appears that same-sex couples, or single gay and lesbian parishioners, are welcome to carry on as usual provided they are closeted and unmarried.

Surprisingly, Chaput did not address the issue of married parishioners who use birth control.  They are easy to spot these days, since it is very rare to see a mother and father with 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or more children sitting in a pew together.

He did also not address the issue of gay priests holding leadership positions or carrying out liturgical functions.

On the opposite side of the country, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California took a slightly different tack:  “My own view,” the bishop said, “is that much of the destructive attitude of many Catholics to the gay and lesbian community is motivated by a failure to comprehend the totality of the church’s teaching on homosexuality.”

That teaching includes the conviction that “moral sexual activity only takes place within the context of marriage between a man and a woman.” But, “that’s not a teaching which applies just to gay men,” Bishop McElroy said.  “It is a teaching across the board, and there is massive failure on that.”

Bishop McElroy said that all Christians are called to a life of virtue, in emulation of Christ.  Chastity is among the virtues of that life, and an important one, “but it does not have the uniquely pre-eminent role in determining the character of a disciple of Christ, nor one’s relationship with the church.”



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6 Responses to “Communion Lines Too Long in Philadelphia”

  1. Póló Says:

    Good to see you posting.

    Where does the church get these relicts?

  2. Póló Says:

    Here’s hoping for a Happy and Serene 2017 (despite all the indications).

    We’ll be watching Pope Francis to see if he walks the walk. Shaping up to be interesting with your idol Cardinal (what do you think of this dress?) Burke coming out from under his rock.

  3. Censor Librorum Says:

    Dear Polo,

    Happy New Year to you! What do I think about Cardinal Burke? Well, his public rebuke of Pope Francis went nowhere. Now, the little cabal are hoping for a “private rebuke.” Good luck! As we say, “All dressed up and no where to go!”

    I think the thing liberals need to be mindful of with with Pope Francis is that he has a big world of Catholics to keep in the tent. For example, Africa isn’t a hotbed of support for lesbian and gay Catholics.

    I believe what he is trying to go is open the Church to the culture of “encounter” and see where the Spirit goes…. It is up to us to build bridges and “teachable moments.”

    My goal is to write weekly in Nihil Obstat. I hope to stick to it.

    Sending you good thoughts and affectionate New Year’s greetings.

  4. Póló Says:

    And a happy one to you too.

    Paul Lavelle’s take on Francis, which I may have mentioned already, seems to be playing itself out. My career was in the Government Civil Service and I do appreciate the need to bring the whole organisation along with you and not just cater for the high fliers.

    The problem facing Pope Francis is that Vatican II has been well and truly suppressed and the old pre-Conciliar traditions well cemented back into place during the reign of three* popes and particularly the last two who have not only ruled with an iron doctrinal fist but have also stacked the deck for the future with conservative bishops and cardinals.

    Meanwhile the church in Africa has expanded but on the old lines. So Francis has a lot of ballast whose inertia he needs to overcome.

    But he may not have much time.

    * [No disrespect to John Paul I who wasn’t around long enough to make an impression or leave a legacy. He might have been surprisingly good had he lasted.]

  5. Póló Says:

    On reflection, weekly might be a bit much for the in depth posts you do. Monthly would be a challenge.

    Looking forward to them, whatever the frequency.

  6. Póló Says:


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