In case someone is unaware, tv's hit sitcom, 'The Office', is set in Scranton, PA. Scranton is also the Episcopal seat of Bishop Martino, perhaps the most plain spoken and publicly engaged member of the American hierarchy. The sort of man one wants to follow, why? because he speak with authority--which is how the masses described Christ, "he speaks with authority" unlike the scribes. He speaks objectively, rather than skeptically as Pilate did to Christ, "What is Truth?" If the Church is unable to confidently speak truth in its third millenium then can it exist in a fourth? At any rate, the point of this post is as follows: Bishop Martino continues to serve his flock by doing all he is able in preventing scandal and doubt as to the respect and reverence due to the Blessed Sacrament, the Panus Angelicus.
Bishop Martino posted the following:
Therefore, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, reminds all ministers of Holy Communion, ordinary and extraordinary, that:
1. To administer the Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord is a serious duty which they have received from the Church, and no one having accepted this responsibility has the right to ignore the Church’s law in this regard;
2. Those whose unworthiness to receive Holy Communion is known publicly to the Church must be refused Holy Communion in order to prevent sacrilege and to prevent the Catholic in question from committing further grave sin through unworthy reception.
Earlier this month the forthright bishop informed his own Senator: “Your failure to reverse this vote [Obama's rescinding of the Mexico City Policy, which prevents US aid money from providing abortions overseas] will regrettably mean that you persist formally in cooperating with the evil brought about by this hideous and unnecessary policy,”
As #915 of theCode of Canon Law instructs: Eucharistic ministers are not to administer the Blessed Sacrament to Catholics "who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin."
Bishop Martino is far from alone, as former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in his 2004 message to the bishops of the United States stated:Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
When it comes to the reception of the most holy Eucharist...should the congregation need to ask, "what is truth?" Or should truth be most manifestly obvious and reverence for that which we proclaim to be Christ's transubstantiated body and blood be maintained? If someone who public supported the tax payer's well-earned money being used to execute the children not wanted by a parent, the unborn through 'abortion,' received communion at Mass...would you want to receive from the hands (Eucharistic minister's, priests, etc.) that gave to this man, would you want to stand in line behind him, thinking: this man voted to use my money (from tax dollars) to kill children, to murder children...Scandal??? At the immediate judgement that follows death, if you are asked about standing their dumbly how will you respond...I didn't know what the truth was, honest...I just followed what my bishop said or didn't say...who am I to judge? I didn't know...Sorry...