Philly Archbishop: No Communion For You!

Jim Burroway

July 6th, 2016

11_11_08_ChaputPhiladelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput has a reputation for being one of the more hardline Catholic prelates in North America. He officiated the opening mass for the annual conference of Courage, the Catholic ex-gay ministry, in 2014. He has also co-sponsored the National Organization for Marriage’s futile and poorly-attended “March for Marriage” rallies Washington, which drew dozens to the nation’s capital to protest against marriage equality. So this latest directive from the Philly Archdiocese shouldn’t surprise anyone:

Divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, as well as cohabitating unmarried couples, must “refrain from sexual intimacy” to receive Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has asserted in a new set of pastoral guidelines.

Released Friday, the guidelines instruct clergy and other archdiocesan leaders on implementing Amoris Laetitia, a major document on family that Pope Francis issued in April.

His six-page instruction, which appears on the archdiocesan website, may be the first of its kind issued by the bishop of any American diocese in response to Amoris Laetitia, Latin for “the joy of love.”

Acknowledging that it is a “hard teaching,” Chaput goes on to say that Catholics in same-sex partnerships, those remarried without a church annulment, and cohabitating persons may not serve on parish councils, instruct the faithful, serve as lectors, or dispense Communion.

Allowing persons in such “irregular” relationships, “no matter how sincere,” to hold positions of responsibility would “offer a serious counter-witness to Catholic belief, which can only produce moral confusion in the community,” according to Chaput.

Amoris Laetitia is the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation that was the product of the 2014 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family. The Synod opened on a very positive note, with Pope Francis calling on the gathered bishops to provide a welcoming space for gay people in the church. The draft report placed before the bishops proposed: “Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community: are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?” That stunning proposition was met with fierce pushback from conservative clerics, resulting in a final report that obliterated any recognition of those “gifts and qualities.” Instead, the final version in Amoris Laetitia simply said (PDF: 1.2M/264 pages):

250. The Church makes her own the attitude of the Lord Jesus, who offers his boundless love to each person without exception. During the Synod, we discussed the situation of families whose members include persons who experience same-sex attraction, a situation not easy either for parents or for children. We would like before all else to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence. Such families should be given respectful pastoral guidance, so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives.

251. In discussing the dignity and mission of the family, the Synod Fathers observed that, “as for proposals to place unions between homosexual persons on the same level as marriage, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for mar- riage and family”. It is unacceptable “that local Churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter and that international bodies should make financial aid to poor countries dependent on the introduction of laws to establish ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex”.



July 6th, 2016

Known for his appreciation of Catholic history, he continued: “Neither the left-handed, nor persons with birthmarks, deformities or unpleasing faces may teach, serve in the parish, or be ordained. Amen”


July 6th, 2016

Bigotry comes in so many guises.


July 7th, 2016

It’s obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention that the ones suffering from “moral confusion” are the bishops.


July 7th, 2016

What makes this horse’s ass think anyone would want to commune with him in any sense? He’s a piss poor mediator for Jesus.

Joseph Singer

July 7th, 2016

And how is Charlie going to know if you’ve been “doing it” or not?

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