Protestant Scholar Agrees with Denying Biden Holy Communion

News: US News
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by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 1, 2019   

Michael Brown disagrees with Cdl. Dolan

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Michael Brown, a Protestant biblical scholar and convert from Judaism with a formidable track record of academic debates and publications, supports the priest who denied Joe Biden Holy Communion on Sunday, inadvertently contradicting Cdl. Timothy Dolan's political stance on the subject.

Appearing on Fox News Thursday, Dolan explained why he has never denied Holy Communion to anybody: "I personally can never judge the state of a person's soul. So it's difficult, that's what I'm saying. I'm not there as a tribunal, as a judge in distributing Holy Communion."

Asked whether Fr. Robert Morey was correct to refuse Holy Communion to Biden, Dolan answered: "Uh, I think what he said was very to the point, I thought that was a good teaching moment. But whether that prudential judgment was wise, I don't want to judge him either."

Dolan want on to say, "I wouldn't do it."

Communion is not for those in outright, public disobedience to the Lord's commands.

Indirectly contradicting Dolan's stance in a piece for The Christian Post, Michael Brown explained why Fr. Morey was correct to deny Holy Communion to Biden and directly called out pro-LGBT Jesuit priest James Martin for decrying Fr. Morey's action on Twitter

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Michael Brown

Brown began his commentary by drawing a few parallels to show that Holy Communion is not for individuals publicly breaking divine commandments:

I am not Roman Catholic, but from my perspective as a Protestant believer ... [Fr. Robert Morey] ... was absolutely right in refusing to allow former Vice President Joe Biden communion this past Sunday. Communion is not for those in outright, public disobedience to the Lord's commands.

If a man left his wife and was shacking up with his girlfriend, should he be allowed to take communion? Obviously not.

What about a drug lord who was dealing drugs to minors? Or a gang leader feared for his brutality and cruelty?

In each case, the answer is a clear and obvious "No."

Brown then noted that Biden's ever more radical pro-abortion position was enough reason to deny him the Eucharist. 

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Brown quoted the words of Fr. Ryan Hildebrand of Huntingburg, Indiana on the matter, as found in a tweet: "Grave sin must be MANIFEST — that is, public and enduring over time — before I can deny someone Holy Communion. This is where Mr. Biden comes in. Voting to protect abortion 'rights' is clearly grave matter for sin."

"By his actions, he leads us to believe that he has willingly placed himself outside the communion of the Church. Therefore, so that he does not 'eat and drink unto his own condemnation,' it is an act of mercy to deny Mr. Biden Holy Communion," continued Fr. Hildebrand's tweet.

Brown compared Fr. Morey's denial of Holy Communion to that of Charles Finney, a minister in the 1800s who refused Presbyterian communion to slaveholders. 

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Jesuit Father James Martin

Brown then spotlighted a tweet by "left-leaning (and gay-affirming) Jesuit priest James Martin" that read: "Denying Communion to politicians, Democrat or Republican, is a bad idea. If you deny the sacrament to those who support abortion, then you must also deny it to those who support the death penalty. How about those who don't help the poor?"

Martin's thread continued to discuss the personal nature of sin and what he learned as a theology student, saying that a priest "has no idea what the state of a person's soul is when the person presents himself or herself in the communion line. As we were taught in theology studies, the person may have repented of any sins and gone to confession immediately before mass. You have no idea."

Brown noted that Martin is correct and that God alone knows an individual's heart, but also noted that public repentance is required for public sin. 

Biden has publicly declared his increasingly aggressive pro-abortion stance many times and has voted for the same, leading Brown to conclude that a public renunciation of his position would be necessary before receiving Holy Communion. Failure to deny Holy Communion to an unrepentant public figure such as Biden sows confusion in the hearts and minds of fellow worshippers, according to Brown, who added, "And doesn't a change of heart require a change of action to be considered true repentance in God's sight?"

"May this be a wake-up call to the conscience of Joe Biden," concluded Brown at the end of his article.

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