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Pope Francis has invited all Catholics to come forward and speak openly about their concerns and hopes for change within the Church. My hope is that there will no longer be any restrictions, regarding the reception of the Eucharist, placed upon couples, gay or straight, based upon their marital or non-marital status.

Pope Francis Gay Catholics

Throughout the four gospels, but most persistently in Matthew, Christ not only denounces hypocrisy but enumerates the many forms that it takes:

  • passing judgment on others but not on oneself (Matthew 7:3-5)
  • preaching but not practicing (Matthew 23:2-3)
  • cultivating the outside but not the inside (Matthew 23:28; Luke 11:39-42)
  • paying attention to speech but not to action (Matthew 23:13-26; Mark 7:6-13)
  • following tradition rather than the law (Mark7:6-13).

He repeatedly calls the scribes and Pharisees “hypocrites” (Matthew 23:13-36) and “blind guides” (Matthew 23:16) and accuses them of blocking others: “You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter” (Matthew 23:13-14).

Christ’s invitation, however, goes out to all those “who labor and are burdened” and, to those, he promises refreshment and repose. All sins, He tells us, will be forgiven, except for “blasphemy against the Spirit” (Matthew 12:31) which is the sin of attributing to Satan what is the work of the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28). As for approaching the altar, He welcomes all, but counsels us “to go first and be reconciled with {our} brother” (Matthew 5:23-24). As He tells Peter, “When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance” (Mark 11:25).

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Whenever I see adults remaining in their seats while the rest of the congregation lines up to receive the sacrament, if I look toward the side of the altar, I can always see a figure bent over writing on the ground.

Most strikingly in the gospels, forgiveness and love replace the judgment of others. When the woman in the gospel of John is taken in adultery, the Pharisees tell Jesus that the law of Moses commands that she be stoned to death. Jesus bends down and begins to write on the ground with his finger. He tells the Pharisees: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” As Jesus continues to write on the ground, they go away one by one. Jesus then asks the woman, "Has no one condemned you?” When she replies, ”No one, sir,” He tells her: “Neither do I condemn you. Go {and} from now on do not sin any more” (John 8:4-11).

At the Passover dinner on the day before He died, Jesus instituted the Eucharist which He offered to all those at the table, including Judas who would soon betray Him. All four evangelists make it clear that Judas ate this meal with Christ and the other apostles (Matthew 26:23; Mark 14:18; Luke 22:21; John 13:26).

If Jesus included Judas in the Eucharistic banquet only moments before he betrayed Him and if He said, as John records it in his gospel, “I am the bread of life…I will not reject anyone who comes to me” (John 6:36:37), how is it possible that the Catholic Church would exclude certain persons, divorced and remarried Catholics and gay couples, for example, from this sacramental source of spiritual nourishment?

Just before the distribution of the Eucharist, the congregation recites a variation of the words of the centurion found in the gospel of Matthew: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed” (Matthew 8:8). By excluding members of the Church from receiving communion, however, the Church is saying that some are worthy of receiving the Eucharist or at least more worthy than some others.

Whenever I see adults remaining in their seats while the rest of the congregation lines up to receive the sacrament, if I look toward the side of the altar, I can always see a figure bent over writing on the ground.

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Patrick Henry