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April 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — After Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila wrote a hard-hitting article last week explaining why pro-abortion politicians who say they are Catholic — without mentioning President Joe Biden by name — cannot receive Holy Communion, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago wrote to him to express “a number of concerns,” urging the archbishop to issue a “public clarification.”
In an April 14 piece published in America Magazine, titled “For the church to live in eucharistic coherence, we must be willing to challenge Catholics persisting in grave sin,” Archbishop Aquila argues that love demands that shepherds speak the truth of the faith when it comes to them receiving the Body of Jesus.
He references St. Paul who outlined the danger to one’s soul of receiving the body and blood of Jesus in an unworthy manner. Aquila makes the case that the Church fails to “properly love” those who jeopardize their souls by unworthy reception when she minimizes the danger of such an unworthy reception.
“The truth may be hard to speak and hard to hear, but love speaks the truth. To approach the Eucharist casually and without the fear of possible condemnation is to risk one’s eternal salvation,” he wrote.
The Archbishop goes on to quote canon law (can. 915), according to which those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” He makes the case that individual conscience cannot override God’s law and the laws of the Church.
Aquila called it an error for Catholics to hold that “any baptized Catholic can receive Communion if he or she simply desires to do so.”
“None of us have the freedom to approach the altar of the Lord without a proper examination of conscience and proper repentance if grave sin has been committed. The Eucharist is a gift, not an entitlement, and the sanctity of that gift is only diminished by unworthy reception,” he wrote.
“Because of the public scandal caused, this is especially true in the case of public officials who persistently govern in violation of the natural law, particularly the pre-eminent issues of abortion and euthanasia, the taking of innocent life, as well as other actions that fail to uphold the church’s teaching regarding the dignity of life,” he added.
It was especially Aquila’s line that the “sanctity of that gift is only diminished by unworthy reception” that disturbed Cupich, prompting him to write the archbishop the very same day the article appeared to voice his concerns.
“I respectfully note that to claim that we can do anything to diminish the Eucharist, or its effects, is contrary to the church’s longstanding teaching,” Cupich wrote, reported The Pillar about the letter. The Pillar reported that it had viewed the letter sent from Cupich to Aquila.
“Catholic sacramental theology is based on the premise that the sacraments are the work of Christ, which is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation at Trent (DS 1608) that the sacraments act ex opere operato, or, as St. Thomas wrote in the Summa, III, 68,8: ‘The sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.’ Owing to the nature of God, Christ and his works can never be diminished by any act on our part,” wrote Cupich in his letter to Aquila.
“I write as a brother bishop with the suggestion that you consider offering a public clarification of your point,” he added.
Cupich, who was made a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2016 and is considered to be one of the most outspoken champions of the Pope’s agenda for the Catholic Church, has previously defended giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians and has made it clear that he sees no problem for same-sex couples and the divorced and remarried to receive Holy Communion in accordance with their consciences. In January, Cupich rebuked the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for issuing what he called an “ill-considered” statement on the day of President Biden’s inauguration. The USCCB warned in its Jan. 20 statement about Biden’s pledge to pursue anti-life and anti-family policies that would advance “moral evils” in the areas of “abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender.”
It appears that Aquila accepted Cupich’s suggestion of offering a “public clarification,” writing in Catholic World Report on April 18 that “one bishop expressed a concern” about his words and had asked for a clarification.
“Because of the confusion I may have caused, I promised the bishop that I would make a public clarification,” Aquila wrote, without naming Cupich.
Aquila goes on to offer what he calls an “amplification of the point” he had previously made about grace being “diminished by unworthy reception.” The Archbishop writes that he holds, “as does the Church, that grace is available ex opere operato, that is, the valid enactment of the sacraments makes available the grace of the sacraments.”
“Thus, neither the minister of the sacrament or the person partaking of the sacrament can dimmish the grace of the sacrament. However, how it is received (ex opere operantis), that is, the benefit of receiving the sacrament, is dependent upon the condition of the subject’s spiritual disposition.”
He goes on to quote St. Thomas, St. Augustine, St. Paul, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Second Vatican Council as evidence that the Church does, in fact, teach that “unworthy reception of the Eucharist diminishes the effect of the sacrament.”
Aquila concludes his argument with a note of warning that those who receive Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin participate in a lie since they are neither in communion with Christ nor his Church.
“When one partakes of the Eucharist, one is stating by one’s very action that one is in communion with Christ and his Church. However, if one is in mortal sin when receiving Communion, one is telling a lie, for, in being in a state of mortal sin, one is neither in communion with Christ nor his Church,” he writes.
The Vatican has announced its fifth International "Health" Conference on "Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul," to take place between May 6-8, and nearly everything about the conference is rotten -- morally, scientifically and culturally.
Incredibly, the conference organizers have listed huge numbers of globalist and abortion-promoting speakers such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, vaccine developers, Mormon elders, pro-abortion Chelsea Clinton, population control advocate Jane Goodall, a New Age activist, a prominent UK Muslim scholar, and pro-abortion American actress Cindy Crawford, among others.
The logo for the conference is a circle of people linking hands, colored in the tones of the LGBT rainbow flag, and positioned next to the crossed keys and Papal tiara of the Pontiff. In the ten goals listed for the conference, the Pontifical Council for Culture makes no reference to God or the Catholic Church.
The organization and promotion of this conference is beyond an outrage, it is a closer to a sacrilege (also outrageous!).
Indeed, of the conference, Archbishop Viganò has said that the Holy See is "making itself the servant of the New World Order." [More below about Arbp Viganò's reaction to the conference...]
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition urging the Vatican to CANCEL this desperately wrong-headed appeasement to the secular world disguised as a "health conference."
114 speakers are set to appear at the event, including prominent and diverse names such as:
- The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna, the former of which produces abortion pills;
- The Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Francis Collins, who advocates using fetal tissue in research projects;
- Chelsea Clinton, a strong advocate for abotion;
- The head of Google Health, David Feinberg;
- And, Dr. Anthony Fauci from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose advice to government officials played a major role in shutting down American churches last year.
These "VIP" speakers are also joined at the Vatican conference by the following: United Nations representative and conservationist Jane Goodall, who supports population control; new age activist Deepak Chopra; rock guitarist Joe Perry; Mormon Elder William K. Jackson; executive chair of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf; pro-abortion model Cindy Crawford; and, by Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, who has firmly aligned himself with the globalist, liberal elite, by censoring conservative voices on his platform.
The sheer number of speakers holding anti-Catholic views has sparked a firestorm of well-deserved criticism.
And, in an letter published by LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Viganò roundly condemns this conference and, moreover, the infidelity to the Church's perennial teaching. Here is a brief excerpt (read the whole letter by clicking on this link):
"...The Holy See has deliberately renounced the supernatural mission of the Church, making itself the servant of the New World Order and Masonic globalism in an antichristic counter-magisterium.
The same Roman Dicasteries, occupied by people ideologically aligned with Jorge Mario Bergoglio [i.e. Pope Francis] and protected and promoted by him, now continue unrestrained in their implacable work of demolishing Faith, Morals, ecclesiastical discipline, and monastic and religious life, in an effort as vain as it is unprecedented to transform the Bride of Christ into a philanthropic association enslaved to the Strong Powers.
The result is the super-imposition over the true Church of a sect of heretical and depraved Modernists who are intent on legitimizing adultery, sodomy, abortion, euthanasia, idolatry, and any perversion of the intellect and will. The true Church is now eclipsed, denied and discredited by her very Pastors, betrayed even by the one who occupies the highest Throne."
The fact that there is so much anti-Catholicism (i.e., anti-truth) held by so many of the speakers makes it impossible to ask for the organizers to simply disinvite disreputable speakers.
That is why we are urging the Vatican to CANCEL this anti-life, anti-truth, anti-Catholic, anti-health "health conference" altogether!
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking the Vatican to CANCEL its fifth International "Health" Conference on "Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul."
This conference contains such a high concentration of poison for the Faith and the faithful that is should be canceled, not only for the contents itself, but also for the grave scandal it will (and is, already) cause.
After SIGNING and SHARING, please take a minute to contact the following Church authorities to politely, but firmly, voice your dismay and displeasure at the anti-God, anti-life and anti-faith conference which the Vatican has scheduled for the beginning of May.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi - Head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture
Email: [email protected]
Phone: [+39] 06 6989 3811
His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre - Papal Nuncio for the United States
Email: [email protected]
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Viganò on Vatican ‘health’ conference with Fauci: Holy See is ‘making itself the servant of the New World Order’' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/vigano-on-vatican-health-conference-with-fauci-holy-see-is-making-itself-the-servant-of-the-new-world-order
'Vatican hosting Fauci, Chelsea Clinton, Pfizer CEO, Big Tech oligarchs at ‘health’ conference' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-to-host-conference-featuring-covid-jab-developers-big-tech-leaders-fauci-and-chelsea-clinton
Photo Credit: HTTPS://VATICANCONFERENCE2021.ORG/
The Archbishop ends his piece with a note about why he is obligated to speak out on this matter.
“I take seriously my obligation, lest I be condemned, to proclaim clearly, fully and coherently what the Church believes and teaches, for only then am I feeding the faithful under my care the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he writes.
Aquila’s two pieces come at a time when U.S. bishops grapple with what is to be done about the fact that the president of the United States calls himself Catholic, attends Mass regularly, and receives Holy Communion, all while championing positions on life, marriage, and the family that are explicitly contrary to Catholic moral teaching.
Several high-ranking Catholic shepherds, such as Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, have suggested that pro-abortion politicians such as Biden must be denied Communion to safe-guard the sacrament, to avoid scandal, and to call the sinner to repentance.
A doctrinal committee of the U.S. bishops is now examining a letter on “eucharistic coherence” to the faithful that was drafted by a now-dissolved special working group of the USCCB that was formed last November to deal with how to navigate the relationship between the bishops and Biden. It’s expected that the bishops will decide at an upcoming virtual meeting in June if the letter will be released.