Forget the priest, deacon or rabbi: my friend will do the wedding

That seems to be the way things are going, with online ministry services providing more and more instant wedding officiants. From the New York Times: For generations, getting married meant solemnly standing before an authority figure charged with upholding the rules of civil society or religious traditions. But when Amity Kitchen wed Matthew Saucedo in [Read More...]

On “honoring the communion line”

Last week, the Catholic Standard in Washington posted an editorial on receiving communion — clearly pegged to a story in the news — and it’s worth a read: In his last encyclical letter, “Ecclesia de Eucharistia,” Blessed John Paul II reminds us, “When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, the memorial of her Lord’s death and [Read More...]

“Prudential judgment” required when giving out communion

Another priest has added his voice to the discussion about the Archdiocese of Washington communion controversy: A priest who writes on faith and culture emphasized the need to balance respect for the Eucharist with pastoral sensitivity. “These are delicate matters,” said Msgr. Charles Pope, who blogs about culture and current events for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. [Read More...]

From the Archdiocese of Washington: “The prime obligation falls to the persons presenting themselves for Communion…”

Below is an essay, reprinted here in its entirety, from this afternoon’s Washington Post, by Fr. William Byrne, who works as the Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns  for the Archdiocese of Washington: In light of recent news this seems like a good time to explain (or review, in the case of Catholic readers) [Read More...]

On denying communion: “How grave does a sin have to be?”

The Barbara Johnson story continues to stir debate — including this item from the Washington Post about when communion should be denied: Some people believe Catholic teaching either required the Gaithersburgh priest to deny the woman Communion – or at the least gave him the right to – while others believe the opposite. Both sides [Read More...]

Full text: letter of apology to lesbian

From MSNBC: Comments are now closed. [Read more...]

The USCCB on communion: “We should be cautious when making judgments…”

Someone reminded me of this document, put out by the USCCB in 2006, which states: In virtue of our membership in the Catholic Church we are ordinarily free to receive Holy Communion.  In fact, it is most desirable that we receive the Lord’s Body and Blood, so that Holy Communion stands out clearly as a [Read More...]

Archdiocese of Washington sends apology to lesbian who was denied communion — UPDATED

Details: Late Tuesday, [Barbara] Johnson received a letter of apology from the Rev. Barry Knestout, one of the archdiocese’s highest-ranking administrators, who said the lack of “kindness” she and her family received “is a cause of great concern and personal regret to me.” “I am sorry that what should have been a celebration of your [Read More...]

In the e-mail: “I wanted you to know there is more to this story…”

A reader from Maryland writes about the never-ending communion controversy there: I just wanted to let you know that there is a lot more to this story than has been published. I was in a meeting with Fr Marcel and heard the whole story. The woman in question brought her lesbian partner into the vesting [Read More...]

Maryland priest denies communion to lesbian at funeral — UPDATED

Details: It’s been an extremely difficult week for Barbara Johnson — perhaps the most difficult week of her life. It all started on Saturday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, where friends and family had gathered to say goodbye to Barbara’s mother, who died last week after a brief illness. Just a few [Read More...]