In a recent Baltimore Sun commentary (“Bishops debate over who is worthy of Eucharist when really, no one is — including them,” July 9), the author chastises the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for emphasizing the fact that individuals need to meet certain conditions prior to receiving communion in Catholic churches. But his greater complaint appears to be that the bishops have displayed the audacity to defend Catholic doctrine in general. How should the bishops respond when some of the nation’s most visible “devout” Catholics persist in proudly and publicly rebuffing the Church’s core teachings? By ignoring the situation? Doing so implies that the bishops aren’t serious about what they claim to believe.
Undoubtedly, we’re all sinful and unworthy of communion. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recognizes this fact and provides a remedy. It prescribes that “In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession.”
Clearly, some Catholics unabashedly fail to abide by these guidelines. Should the bishops to say to such people: “Not our place to judge. You do you?”
Bradford Sharpless, Reisterstown
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