By John-Henry Westen

  SAN FRANCISCO, October 17, 2007 ( – The story of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” receiving Communion from the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco has been major news since the occurrence on October 7. However, despite the fact that the story made it to Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, the local San Francisco media refused to cover it until today.  (see the O’Reilly coverage:… )

  In a separate segment, O’Reilly railed at the local media for failing to cover the story. And it seems the verbal spanking had a salutary effect. 

  However, the San Francisco Chronicle which published a story entitled “Archbishop apologizes for giving Communion to gays dressed as nuns,” also published today a puff piece promoting the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence”. (see:… )

  Beyond that, the Chronicle was able to find a Jesuit Catholic Priest Professor willing to come out publicly saying that giving communion to the two transvestite ‘sisters’ was the right thing to do. Rev. Jim Bretzke, professor of moral theology at University of San Francisco, a Jesuit Catholic university, told the Chronicle: “While I can see Bill O’Reilly and others might be offended, the sisters do not meet the criteria the church has for denying Communion.”

“The general sacramental principle is that you don’t deny the sacrament to someone who requests it,” said Bretzke in a statement clearly at odds with Catholic teaching on the matter as voiced recently by Pope Benedict XVI just prior to his being elected Pope. 

  While Bretzke admits that those who have been excommunicated cannot be given Communion, then Cardinal Ratzinger insisted that beyond excommunicated persons, those persons with “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin” must be refused communion.  (see )

  Trivializing the matter, Bretzke, who for this year is a visiting professor of theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said, “Over-accessorizing and poor taste in makeup is not an excommunicable offense . . . Even if these people were bizarrely dressed, the archbishop was following clear pastoral and canonical principles in giving them Communion. The default is, you give Holy Communion to one who presents himself.”

  Archbishop Niederauer himself admitted his giving Communion to the sisters was wrong. In an apology letter to Catholics after the event he wrote in reference to the ‘sisters’: “giving them Holy Communion had been a mistake. I apologize to the Catholics of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and to Catholics at large for doing so.” (see:… )

  Explaining, the Archbishop added: “Someone who dresses in a mock religious habit to attend Mass does so to make a point. If people dress in a manner clearly intended to mock what we hold sacred, they place themselves in an objective situation in which it is not appropriate for them to receive Holy Communion, much less for a minister of the Church to give the Sacrament to them.” (see:  )

  See’s original coverage:

  San Francisco Archbishop Responds After Caught on Video Giving Communion to Gay Men Dressed as Nuns