Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron stated this past Sunday that those Catholics who receive Communion while supporting same sex marriage would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury”, and Detroit professor Edward Peters, who teaches Catholic canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, has called on a ban of anyone promoting same-sex marriage receiving Communion.
Vigneron also stated “For a Catholic to receive holy Communion and still deny the revelation Christ entrusted to the church is to try to say two contradictory things at once: ‘I believe the church offers the saving truth of Jesus, and I reject what the church teaches.’ In effect, they would contradict themselves. This sort of behavior would result in publicly renouncing one’s integrity and logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”
Peters stated that Catholic teachings make it clear that marriage is suppose to be between a man and a woman, and that means that “Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to [Catholic law] and should not approach for holy Communion.” He also wrote that “They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them … being rebuked and/or being sanctioned.”
He also told the Free Press that a person’s “public efforts to change society’s definition of marriage … amount to committing objectively wrong actions.” Peters, who is an attorney, was appointed to be a referendary of the Apostolic Sinatura by Pope Benedict XVI, an extremely vocal anti-gay Pope. His successor, Pope Francis I, has not been as vocal, nor as interested in interfering with American secular law.
Father Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, noted that Peters’ views are in the minority among the American based canon lawyers and stated that “Most American bishops do not favor denying either politicians or voters Communion because of their positions on controversial issues.”
Reese did note that there are roughly thirty bishops have a belief that anyone promoting same-sex marriage or a woman’s right to choose should be denied Communion. Peters, though, is pretty much focusing on Catholic Democrats such as Representative Nancy Pelosi and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. Peters stated last month that “Pelosi suffers from one of the most malformed consciences in the annals of American Catholic politics or … she is simply hell-bent on using her Catholic identity to attack Catholic values at pretty much every opportunity.”
Archbishop Vigneron claimed in a news conference that maintaining the opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage was important for Catholics stated “Were we to abandon them, we would be like physicians who didn’t tell their patients that certain forms of behavior are not really in their best interest.”
Maybe what needs to happen is that Catholics in Detroit choose a day when those who support a woman’s right to choose and/or same-sex marriage should just not show up for church that day. In fact, they should do that nationwide. After all, maybe if the priests, bishops, archbishops and cardinals saw nothing but nearly empty pews, they might figure out that their position is in trouble.