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By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Jul 07, 2004

Okay, pastors, here's your choice. You can crawl back into your defeatest swamp, agreeing that an election year is no time to start barring notorious facilitators of the brutal killing of unborn children from communion. (Not as though many of you actually face this test of fortitude, anyway.)

Or, you can emerge from the slime, agreeing that an election year is as good a time as any to begin to reform the understanding of the people. (A test of fortitude you actually face every time you wake up in the morning.)

You can begin teaching about all the ways the human heart has for offending God and making itself unfit to receive His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Some examples you might bring up that would prevent someone from receiving, beyond (but including!) promoting legislation for abortion: using pornography, lying, worshipping material goods, refusing the gift of children, neglecting the education of young people, and, of course, not fasting for one hour before communion. (Note how relieving of public shame this last one is -- why, half the congregation could cultivate the air of having had one sip too many of coffee that morning; who's to say?)

A full course in moral theology would be hard work, and people wouldn't be too happy with having their Sunday morning club disrupted by a lot of this sort of thing. They'd yell at you, or if they repented, you'd have to be available for confession more often. You'd have to clean up your own act, of course. Of course.

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  • Posted by: Fatimabeliever - Jul. 09, 2004 7:10 PM ET USA

    Priests should make themselves available for Confession and then announce to the Parishioners before Mass begins that anyone who knowingly receives Communion in the state of mortal sin is in the worst possible way of offending God. After all, people receive warnings on things that are dangerous to them why not a warning about what they are doing to their souls!!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 07, 2004 10:13 AM ET USA

    The communion flap over abortion is late in coming. As Leila points out, how many refrain from receiving even though they sin by all the means listed above? Why, to judge from the local parish church, everyone there is in a perfect state of grace every single Sunday! Either that or, they don't know what they are doing when they go up to receive.

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