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Pro-homosexual author and speaker Fr. James Martin took to the Wall Street Journal's opinion board Thursday, blasting prelates who withhold Holy Communion from pro-abortion politicians. Martin even attempted to use Scripture to illustrate his opinion and contradict Catholic Church teaching.
Martin reveals his thesis in the title "Abortion and the Grumbling Crowd, the case against denying Communion: Jesus broke bread with sinners."
The Jesuit trains his crosshairs on canon 915 of the Church, which states that those "obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone launched canon 915 into the spotlight earlier this year when he declared the rabidly pro-abortion speaker of the House, sham-Catholic Nancy Pelosi, would be barred from Communion.
Father Martin attempts to explain, "Abp. Cordileone, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, calls abortion the 'preeminent' moral issue of our time. If a Catholic acts against that teaching or opposes it in the political realm, then that person is not 'in communion' with the Church."
In a similar turn, leftist Bp. Robert McElroy of San Diego has argued that enforcing canon 915 is a "weaponization" of the Eucharist. Martin picks up on McElroy's argument and posits the question: Could any Catholic pass the test of worthiness for Communion?
The Jesuit then quotes McElroy:
It is the moral obligation of Catholics to embrace all the teachings of the Church in their entirety. ... But failure in fulfilling that obligation in its fullness cannot be the measure of eucharistic worthiness in a Church of sinners and questioners, who must face intense pressures and complexities in their daily lives.
Turning to Rome, Martin even quotes the Holy Father, who claimed "I have never denied Communion to anyone ... ."
Martin, McElroy and America's host of other leftist clerics have picked up the so-called "seamless garment theory," which was described as a "consistent ethic of life" by the infamous scandal-ridden Cdl. Joseph Bernardin of Chicago. The theory downplays abortion as only one of the many moral issues facing Catholics today, giving murdered unborn children no more importance than poverty or inequality.
Father Martin tops his article off with an original comparison, using the Gospels to defend abortion-supporting Catholics:
The best solution may be to observe Jesus in the Gospels. He called people away from sin and to a metanoia — a word usually translated as "repentance" but better understood as a thoroughgoing change of mind and heart rather than solely a desire to repent. Yet during his public ministry, Jesus also regularly dined with "tax collectors and sinners," much to the consternation of not only the crowds but his disciples.
Martin appears to be claiming that Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors despite the grumblings and disapproval of those around him; therefore, abortion-supporting politicians should be admitted to Holy Communion despite Church teaching and the concerns of conservative Catholics.
But according to the catechism, Jesus' eating with sinners and those seen as unclean was a symbol of the salvation He was bringing about for the world, not just the Jewish people. Until then, God's chosen people frowned upon eating and associating with Gentiles — those of other races. Jesus, in eating with the so-called unclean, was revealing that He had come for Jews, Gentiles and the whole human race. Yet Martin construes Jesus' dining with sinners as an invitation for anyone to receive Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
While Christ died for all, He left the Church to administer the sacraments in accordance with the dictates of His divine will. Christ physically eating with sinners, therefore, can't be viewed as a sign for all sinners to approach Holy Communion without the proper repentance, according to Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.
If Fr. Martin were to look beyond his Gospel citation, he would quickly find St. Paul warning in I Corinthians against the unworthy reception of Holy Communion:
Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.
After a brief reflection, Catholics can easily see the widespread murder of innocent unborn life is far more evil than poverty or a lack of social justice. In suggesting abortion is just one issue among many of equal importance and gravity, Fr. Martin seems to have forgotten the Church condemns abortion in no uncertain terms:
Those Catholics who promote abortion are automatically excommunicated for two reasons. First, they have fallen into the sin of heresy by believing that abortion is not always gravely immoral (canons 751 and 1364). Second, these Catholics are providing substantial assistance for women to obtain abortions by influencing public policy to make abortions legal, and to keep abortions legal, and to broaden access to abortion.
The Church teaches that any Catholic receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is committing the grave sin of sacrilege. So, while Martin claims to be compassionate, he may be leading Catholic politicians into grave sin, which is not pastoral but scandalous.