Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stick to what you know

For the record, if I offer advice on financial planning, space travel, or nutrition, I recommend ignoring that advice. I have no experience in these, or many other, areas and frankly have no reason to offer my opinion on them.

In the same way, when non-Catholics, (particularly those on national television) proclaim Catholic doctrine; I suggest finding something else to watch for a bit. Below is a transcript of a recent broadcast of “The View” (courtesy of the Catholic League) in which the discussion about the revelation that Bishop Thomas Tobin asked Congressmen Patrick Kennedy to refrain from presenting himself for Holy Communion.

My comments are in red.

Whoopi Goldberg: Now, Congressman Patrick Kennedy said he was asked by a Rhode Island bishop to stop receiving communion because of his stance on abortion. The Church has been sparring with lawmakers about restrictions in the health care bill. But, is this the right tactic to do? To say that you cannot come and take communion? When on one hand…

As we will see later, this occurred in 2007, long before the healthcare debate.

Joy Behar: You know, Teddy, his father, Teddy Kennedy was pro-choice. And Teddy Kennedy was divorced. And they all, the bishops and whatever all went to his funeral. He was not denied communion. So this all seems political to me. I don’t get it exactly.

This is exactly why so many Catholics call the lavish funeral Ted Kennedy received a scandal. It opened the Catholic Church up to comparisons like this.

Sherri Shepherd: He was asked not to take communion in 2007. So why is he bringing it up now?

Joy Behar: Why is he bringing it up now? Because he’s running for office.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Somebody brought it up again. This is my home state. I’ve done breast cancer walks with Patrick Kennedy before. And you know, I’m not, uh, the Catholic Church in terms of communion, I remember one of my friends who got divorced, they asked her not to go up and take communion. And for me, communion is the opportunity for someone to take part in and enjoy the sacrament as well, so I never, even from a young age, I never appreciated it when someone was not allowed to go up and receive communion with the rest of the church.

Joy Behar: You’re supposed to be without sin.

No, you’re supposed to be without MORTAL sin. Also, if you persist in publicly supporting a grave moral evil you should be asked not to receive Holy Communion.

Sherri Shepherd: But who is without sin?

Joy Behar: What you’re supposed to do as a Catholic, you go to confession. You get the absolution and then you can receive communion. That’s the way it works. But it doesn’t always work that way. I mean, they don’t allow divorce. Yet, if you’re married 25 years and have 5 kids and you have a lot of money, you can get an annulment. So, I mean, there is a lot of hypocrisy in every religion.

Confession removes venial and mortal sins and it does always work that way but we are called to avoid our sins again. If I divorce and remarry then Jesus says I have committed adultery (Lk 16:18). I can confess all I want but as long as I persist in that relationship I am in a state of sin. I don’t see that as hypocrisy but simple logic. As an aside, why are all religions hypocritical because of this?

Whoopi Goldberg: I thought in the Catholic Church, that in the Bible, at least as I remember it and I could be fuzzy on this, but I thought that God pretty much says to you, you don’t have to talk to anybody but me. You don’t have to talk to anybody but me. And I’m the one. I’m the one you go to. You don’t need a liaison. Now, great, if you happen to go into the Church, but basically your relationship with God is personal and, and, very clear. So I don’t think anybody is supposed to tell you what you can’t participate in. I don’t remember that as being part of the deal.

St. Paul tells us that we can’t participate in the Eucharist if we are in a state of sin. 1 Cor 11:27 says “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord”. This is the basis of the denial of Holy Communion to those who persist in public sin; to protect them from condemning themselves.

Barbara Walters: It’s interesting that he’s bringing it up.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Political season.

Barbara Walters: Yeah, and it is certainly for Catholic’s…

Whoopi Goldberg: Do you know why he brought it up?

Barbara Walters: Well, I don’t know why he brought it up.

Whoopi Goldberg: Because they recently clashed over the Church statement that they won’t back the health care overall without tighter restrictions on abortion. That’s why it coming up now.

Barbara Walters: So there is a political overtone to it.

Maybe next time they feel the need to discuss teachings of the Catholic Church they could invite Scott Hahn or Patrick Madrid to join their panel. That would be fun to watch.

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