Holy Communion and Its Denial To an Individual…

Holy Communion and Its Denial To an Individual…

” Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself (1Cor 11,27-29) ”

” The denial of Holy Communion can be the effect of the imposition or declaration of the canonical penalties of Excommunication and Interdict (cf. cann. 1331 §1, 2º; and 1332), but there are other cases in which Holy Communion must be denied, apart from any imposition or declaration of a canonical penalty, in order to respect the holiness of the Sacrament, to safeguard the salvation of the soul of the party presenting himself to receive Holy Communion, and to avoid scandal.
There seems to be some confusion on the part of some who seem to belive the the denial of Holy Communion to certain people is used  primarily as a punishment for acts committed by the person being denied Holy Communion.   In the case of a person who has been Excommunicated for one reason or another, the denial of Holy Communion is just a side effect of the fact that they have left the teachings of the church, they no longer belong to the Body, and so should be recieve Holy Communion as they are no longer part of the Body, and can no longer “become what they recieve”. ( ibid. Code of Cannon Law 915 )

Now in more recent times across the world, there are those who have not been able at one point or another to recieve Holy Communion due to the fact that they have publicly supported and embraced some act or process, or belief that is intrinsically evil, and therefore against the Churches teaching.

Let us take for example a politician who supported or even implemented legislation that would allow for abortion and its promotion  as a preferred method of family planning, or birth control.  Possibly they were involved in the promotion of a union between people of the same sex, or infantcide, for the purposes of medical research or organ harvesting.

Such a person would be denied Holy Communion if, after being counseled, and educated in the issues involved, that they persisted in their actions or possibly even promoted these evils to others to bring them into schism, or grave sin.

But a deeper look into the reasoning is more essential to our understanding of why this would be the case.

The priest, is the shephed of souls.  He is like a physician.  The first oath of a physician is ” To Do No Harm..”.
The priest has the overwhelming responsibility of the care and feeding of the souls within his particular flock.
Like a physician, he looks at the soul before him.  He does the triage, and diagnostics, and develops a prognosis and plan of treatment.

Just like in medicine, the idea is the give counsel, not to press the soul into submission, but rather into understanding.  To provide information and counsel for what is going on in their lives spiritually and what needs to be done to correct the problem. This so that the soul involved can have a cooperative place in the assent of the healing and process of correction.

Just like a medical patient, the patient has the free will to decline the treatment, and to do what ever it is that he or she wants to do.  They  would be free to go outside the Doctors care to seek solice and comfort in the world. The Doctor has a particular responsibility to the patient and to the community to do no harm, and to provide the best care possible.  That care is not only for the sake of his own soul, but for the sake of the soul of the person who is in sin.

Just like in medicine, the healing process is not always a pleasant experience.  The “medicine” is bitter, or the surgery is painful at the outset.. and it takes work, trust and understanding.

Just like in medicine, the soul who presents themselves for healing, will go through struggle, there may need to be some medicinal (spiritual) therapy that is necessary before the healing begins to take shape in the form of a spiritual,healing.

THe priest can not in good conscience, provide communion to a soul to which damage might be done, as his first mission is to the pastoral and spiritual care of those in his charge..

The Christian has the responsibility as well to examine their own conscience, in the light of the Gospels and Church teaching, to make the determination if they are able to recieve Holy Communion worthily, and make a restoration if that is not the case.

I pray this provides light for the your journey.

May God give you the gift of His peace !   Pax Tecum !

Read Here the words of St Francis Admonition to the Clergy..
“Let us attend, all clerics, to the great sin and ignorance, which certain men have concerning the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most holy Names and His written words, which sanctify the Body. We know, since there cannot be a Body, unless first it is sanctified by the word. For we have and see nothing corporally of the Most High Himself, in this age, except the Body and Blood, Names and words, through which we have been made and redeemed from death and life (1 Jn 3:14). However all those who minister such holy mysteries, should consider within themselves, most of all those who minister illicitly, how vile are the chalices, corporals, and altar linens, where the His very Body and Blood are sacrificed. And by many in vile places He is placed and abandoned, borne about in a wretched manner and consumed unworthily and ministered to others indiscretely. Even His Names and writted words are sometimes tred under foot; since the bestial man does not perceive the things that are of God (1 Cor 2:14). Is not our piety stirred concerning all these things, when the pious Lord Himself offers Himself into our hands and we handle Him and consume Him each day with our mouth? Or are we ignorant that we must (one day) fall into His Hand? Therefore let us correct quickly all these things and the others; and wherever the Most Holy Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been illicitly placed and abandoned, let Him be removed from that place and let them be placed in an honorable place. All these things all the clerics together are bound to observe according to the precepts of the Lord and the constitutions of Holy Mother Church. And those who will not have done this, let them know that they must render an account before the Lord on the day of judgement (cf. Mt 12:36). This has been written so that it may better be observed; let them know themselves to be blessed by the Lord God, who would have it copied.”


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