Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Modern Day Pharisees

 I was shocked and appalled when I read in the Washington Post that my church, the Catholic Church, was taking steps–officially—to make Communion a political issue.  That is wrong on two fronts: 1) our constitution clearly mandates the separation of church and state, and 2) I have always heard it stated that the Church does not take a political position.  

 Lately, within the Church I’ve seen contradictions to the second point.  Here, in my blog of August 28, 2020 I posted Protesting The ‘Catholic Vote’ which was about the organization by that name.  It clearly takes a pro-Trump/anti-democratic stand, and its objective is to influence Catholics to vote that way.  The official church raised no objections to it.  This present issue again shows that same bias—the official church is trying to weaponize the Eucharist.  This past week, US Catholic bishops voted to back measures to limit Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.  That is specifically aimed at our President Biden who is a Catholic.  The ultra-conservatives in power have pushed it this far—following that intense election campaign to bring the vote to Trump which didn't happen, it now seeks to ‘punish Biden’.


They will of course deny that, yet this move is trying to limit who is ‘good enough’ to receive communion.  Who IS ‘good enough’?  The Catholic Church has once again become a body which, in his day, Jesus called the ‘teachers of the laws and the Pharisees . . . who shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.’  (Matthew was pretty strong on that point.)  


God’s greatest gift to humankind was free will; with it each individual is responsible for the choices he/she makes.  One’s own conscience is the final determinate.  Jesus did not command or demand, he respected one’s free will.  When Jesus sat at the table with his disciples on Holy Thursday he knew his betrayer, yet he offered him the cup and bread along with the others.  Jesus does not demand or command, he demonstrates Truth and leaves the choice to the individual.       . . . If the bishops are followers of Jesus, they should pay better attention to that! 

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