VATICAN CITY, February 16, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, the top Vatican Cardinal in charge of the sacraments of the Catholic Church has made it plain in an on-camera interview with EWTN that pro-abortion politicians may not be admitted to Holy Communion.
A February 11 EWTN broadcast of the news program, World Over Live, with host Raymond Arroyo, featured an interview with Arinze, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The interview covered a wide range of topics, including female altar servers, Latin in the Mass, abortion and the rainbow sash movement.
Arroyo questioned the Vatican Cardinal saying: “Last year, you were asked at a press conference whether a politician, a Catholic politician who supports abortion publicly should be permitted to the Communion rail, should be permitted to receive Communion publicly. What is your response to that?”
Cardinal Arinze responded, “The answer is clear. If a person says I am in favour of killing unborn babies whether they be four thousand or five thousand, I have been in favour of killing them. I will be in favour of killing them tomorrow and next week and next year. So, unborn babies, too bad for you. I am in favour that you should be killed, then the person turn around and say I want to receive Holy Communion. Do you need any Cardinal from the Vatican to answer that?
Laughing, Arroyo responded, “It should be pretty transparent.” To which the Cardinal concluded, “Simple, ask the children for First Communion, they’ll give you the answer.” Similarly, Cardinal Arinze ruled out Communion for homosexual activists.
Arroyo noted that while some US bishops have refused Communion to Rainbow Sash activists, others such as Archbishop Harry Flynn of Minneapolis – St. Paul have not.
Flynn, after meeting with Cardinal Arinze in Rome recently, suggested that the Cardinal was open to allowing communion for Rainbow Sash activists.
Arroyo first confirmed the meeting with Archbishop Flynn took place. “Did such a conversation take place between you and this archbishop?,” asked Arroyo, to which Cardinal Arinze responded, “Yes.” Arroyo followed with “And were you open to allowing this group to receive Communion as he inferred in some of the newspapers.”
The Vatican Cardinal responded, “No, no. You see, let’s get it clear. These rainbow sash people, are they really saying we are homosexuals, we intend to remain so and we want to receive Holy Communion. The question arises; take the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It says it is not condemning a person for having homosexual tendency. We don’t condemn anybody for that. But a person stands condemned for acting on it.”
On homosexuality the Cardinal was clear. “The Catholic Church has never accepted homosexuality as normal. You read the scripture. It’s very clear. What exactly are we examining? Are we going to change Divine Law, how God made us?”
He made a distinction between active homosexuals and those with homosexual tendencies.
“Quite another matter if a person had just the tendencies and is making (an) effort to live the Divine Law, then that’s fine. So, we respect persons but be clear on the truth,” he said.