Bishop Thomas Paprocki, head of
the Catholic diocese of Springfield,
Ill. (Diocese of Springfield)
(CNSNews.com) -- In a recent video explaining basic Catholic Church teaching on why same-sex marriage is immoral and wrong, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, who heads the Catholic diocese of Springfield, Illinois, also explained why Catholics who engage in or support seriously sinful behavior must not present themselves for Communion at Mass until they go to Confession and amend their lives, and this is particularly true of politicans who made homosexual "marriage" legal and who "aid and abet abortion."
It is also true, said the bishop, for Catholics who use artificial birth control that they must "repent, go to Confession, and amend their lives" before they may present themselves for Communion.
Bishop Paprocki was assailed by homosexual activists and the liberal media in late June by issuing a decree to the priests and empoyees of his diocese to follow the Church's teaching on gay marriage. These policies include no same-sex marriages, no Communion for people in a smae-sex union, and no funeral rites for unrepentant homosexuals, among other teachings.
Given the blowback by the LGBT lobby, Bp.Paprocki posted a video on his diocesan website, and in the Catholic Times, clarifying the Church's teaching.
As he explained (starting at 7:58 in video), "According to canon [law] 916, all those who are 'conscious of grave sin' are not to receive Holy Communion without previous sacramental confession. This is normally not a question of denying Holy Communion, but of people themselves refraining from Holy Communion if they are 'conscious of grave sin.' While no one can know one’s subjective sinfulness before God, the Church can and must teach about the objective realities of grave sin. Speaking objectively, then, one can say the following:
"Those who have sexual relations outside of a valid marriage, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives."
"This includes the divorced and remarried without an annulment," he said. "An exception would be where the couple agrees to live as brother and sister, as long as there is no public scandal. Similarly, if there is no public scandal, two men who live chastely with each other as friends or as brother and brother, or two women who live chastely with each other as friends or as sister and sister, may receive Holy Communion if there is no public scandal."
"Those who have had an abortion or have assisted in performing or procuring an abortion should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives," said the bishop.
"Those politicians and judges who helped to make same-sex marriage legal and who aid and abet abortion, for example, by voting for taxpayer funding for abortion, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives," he said.
"Those who use artificial contraception should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives," said Bishop Paprocki.
"Those who miss Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, unless it would be impossible due to a grave cause such as serious illness, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives," he explained.
"These are just a few examples," said the bishop, "but in fact all those who are conscious of any grave sin should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives."
"Those who do receive Holy Communion while conscious of grave sin compound the moral offense by committing the sin of sacrilege," he said.
The Catechsim of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2120, states: "Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us."