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…]

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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…]

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Full text: letter of apology to lesbian

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

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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New call for divorced and remarried Catholics to be able to receive communion

It’s something the pope himself has said needs a closer look.  And now a leading theologian is adding his voice to those calling for “re-evaluation.”  Details: At the seminar in Salzburg by Austrian Catholic Action, the German theologian Eberhard Schockenhoff, a professor of moral theology at the University of Freiburg, has launched an appeal for [Read More…]

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Why do Catholics have to get married in church?

That’s the gist of this piece by writer Cara McDonough, who raises a question that’s increasingly common these days.  I get several calls a year from people who ask if I can do a wedding for them in a catering hall or on a beach.  (Usually, it’s after a priest has turned them down; deacons, [Read More…]

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Family charges “cruel discrimination” over communion

Details, from the London Daily Mail: The parents of a seven-year-old boy with Down’s Syndrome have accused the Catholic Church of ‘cruel discrimination’ for refusing to allow him to take Holy Communion. Denum Ellarby attends a mainstream Roman Catholic primary school and his parents wanted him to join his classmates in the First Communion ceremony. [Read More…]

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