By Jennifer Hartline
Jennifer Hartline is a wife, mother, and daughter of the Church. She is a contributor to The Stream, Catholic Stand, and Catholic Online.
The learned and the mighty have been weighing in now for weeks regarding the ongoing scandal of Catholic pro-abortion politicians, particularly Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden, and the question of giving and receiving the Holy Eucharist.
I wonder if the USCCB will listen to a voice like mine. I am not a theologian or scholar. I am an ordinary laywoman. (Please note: This is not directed at the bishops who have spoken out publicly in defense of Eucharistic and moral coherence. Those few, steadfast shepherds are the exception, not the rule. I am immensely grateful to them.)
The scandal isn’t merely the Catholic politician who betrays the Faith. It is also those priests and bishops who shrug and nod, issue utterly worthless statements about the need for greater “dialogue” about what to do, and bemoan their “immense sadness” over the whole thing.
You lament the present “situation” and issue another statement about your sadness.
The “situation,” of course, is that baptized Catholics who publicly profess their devout faith are using all their political power and energy to facilitate the ongoing slaughter of the child in the womb. They guarantee half a billion dollars each year in funding for the killers. They protect this “right” (their language!) with legislation and fight every attempt at restricting the killing.
They do this gladly, without remorse, without any intention of ceasing. They are proud and empowered in their zealous advocacy of slaughtering innocents.
Yet, you only find your indignation and courage to condemn the “politicization” of the Eucharist. We must not “weaponize” the Eucharist, you solemnly warn, as though you are oblivious to the truth that it is Biden and Pelosi et al. who is “politicizing” the Eucharist. It is they who have made receiving Communion a litmus test of “inclusion” and “conscience” and “unity” according to the world’s demand.
To these scandalous Catholics (and to the rest of the Church listening) you speak with all the conviction and authority of a whimpering dog. The public figures in question laugh at your carefully worded, heavyhearted softballs, knowing they will whack it right back in your face.
They sing the tune, and you dance on the end of their strings. It is clear who preaches to whom.
I can only conclude, sadly, that you do not believe. Nothing else makes any sense.
If you truly believed the Eucharist was the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, then you could not be so careless. You could not be so indifferent to the mockery of the King by those who publicly disavow His authority.
Or maybe what you don’t believe is that abortion is evil. Maybe you do not really believe it is always wrong to kill the child in the womb. Maybe you do not believe it is morally imperative, or even a good idea, to outlaw abortion.
That would help explain why this “situation” has gone on for decades, like a horror movie on endless repeat.
If Pelosi and Biden championed the legal right to kill kindergarteners, and poured half a billion dollars each year into an industry that existed solely to kill kindergarteners, would you have any qualms about them receiving the Eucharist? Would you still say that it was a political statement to deny them the Sacrament?
The unvarnished truth is that Pelosi and Biden actively work for the abortion industry. Do you understand that? Who works that zealously for something he truly believes is wrong?
Or perhaps you do not love. It would seem so because there is no love in betraying the Lord. Nor is there any love in enabling the death of souls in your charge. Or will you argue it is not a mortal sin to kill the child in the womb? If it is a mortal sin, how can it be justifiable to deliberately enable that sin? What excuse can possibly be offered for one who champions the killing of innocents, who personally and professionally benefits from partnerships with those who kill?
These are the ones who scold and sneer at your gentle chiding about the “protection of the unborn.” You refuse to act with courage and clarity to confront their heinous actions. You refuse to call them to repentance and fidelity. You refuse to care for their souls.
It is not a private matter any longer. It hasn’t been for many years. The scandal is public, the effects far-reaching, the consequences of your inaction are devastating. It is incoherent, inconceivable, that you, as a body, are conflicted and unsure whether it is right and just to withhold the Eucharist from any Catholic who willfully persists in zealous facilitation of abortion.
One wonders if you still believe in sin at all or have any fear of Hell at all. The faithful sheep still do, and we need shepherds who recognize the wolf as a threat. Unfortunately, I have seen how you shepherd. I have seen how you compromise and make excuses, and I have no confidence you would act any differently toward me.
You would leave me to the wolf. You would choose some other, lesser love over love of God. You would “accompany” me on the wide road. If I were lost in mortal sin, deluded by the evil one, participating in acts that will condemn me to Hell if I do not repent and convert, I could not count on you to tell me unchanging, hard truths. You would not offer me severe mercy, only counterfeit mercy.
You are unwilling to risk the mockery and scorn of the world, so you preach inclusion and unity rather than repentance and conversion.
You pretend that a soul can openly betray Church teaching and still claim to be a faithful son or daughter of the Church. You are there with handy excuses for why all the teachings of the Church are hard to embrace in their entirety, given all the complexities and pressures of daily life.
You do not love. You do not believe. What other explanation is there?
There is set before us life and death, the blessing and the curse. How long will you go on pretending there is any “dialogue” still to have? What is left to say to Herod at this point?