American Catholic Church, Pope Francis, Heidi discussed on The Argument

The Argument


For the church to be called the house of the father. With the door's always open. So that if someone moved by the spirit comes. They're looking for god he or she will not find a closed-door communion to me and the tradition in which i was raised is the ultimate recognition of christ's sacrifice for us. It is the reenactment of the last supper. In which christ knew that he was going to die for the sins of humanity and he asked his brothers to come and take and eat of him. Catholics believe in trans injury. Which is the idea. That the communion bread the community wind become the body and blood of jesus christ in recognition of the sacrifice. He made in catholic tradition. There's this debate about approaching communion if you're not in a state of grace but then we have pope francis saying that in some senses receiving. The eucharist is about receiving that greece. Heidi how do you think that this. Because you said it's not really about communion but it clearly is a little bit. How does this figure into the debate. About what communion is foreign. Who comedian is for. I guess what i would say is that it can be both both something that is for centers and in which we receive grace but at the same time the church does have some appropriate role in deciding how the sacraments are celebrated in who celebrates them and who partake of them. The eucharist is the source and summit of the christian life according to the catechism. Certainly it's very important. And visible way that catholics practice their faith so i believe that the bishops have a right duty of course to teach about the eucharist and to teach about what the church says about the dignity of human life and i would like to see our bishops teach and persuade but i don't think an emphasis on the punish side of how to get people to do what you want them to do is very effective and i say this both as a former teacher and as a parent my friend john carr who at georgetown now formerly with the bishop's conference always says we need to make abortion unthinkable before we make it illegal and i don't think the bishops are doing a very good job of persuading people about that. Ross this seems to make abortion the litmus test for whether or not the american catholic church or followers of the american catholic church will support a particular politician. What gets me about. This is that this is a very public and performance of action. Because if you're a priest you have absolutely no idea in general what most of the people who are receiving communion have done that day they could have committed any number of mortal or venial sins. They could have been divorced. They could have had extramarital sex and the reason why catholic politicians who are supportive of abortion rights come in for particular opprobrium is because we know where their positions are because they're public figures. Why abortion is the thing to make the stance on why not the death penalty or getting divorced or any number of factors because not saying that abortion abortions. Not an incredibly important issue to catholics. Who do believe that. It is a grave sin but there are lots of other grave sins on the abortion. Point is just that abortion is murder is worse than other sentence. Right i don. I don't think it's i think it's not actually particularly complex. The reason that people bring up the death penalty is that that's the closest you can get to parallel case where it is actually a matter of life and death where a human being is being killed. Now you can argue various reasons why we shouldn't think of abortion as murder and you had my colleague michelle goldberg and i on on the show and we you know we. We've had that argument but within the context of catholic teaching. That's the logic. Now i think having a preeminent issue like this does create a problem for the church where the other political parties seems to sort of accumulate a long list of issues that taken on their own or all less significant than abortion but in the case of certain aspects of the trump presidency. Do seem to add up to take the case of the death penalty abortion and the death penalty even so are still different because the death penalty is the execution of a person who's been found guilty of a serious crime in some cases. That person may actually be innocent. But that's what the state is attempting to do their to execute guilty. Which is again different from. What happens in abortion. No one is arguing that the unborn human being is guilty of a capital crime. My view is that the public nature. The performing nature is sort of the point. Right that yeah. In most cases nobody knows what kinds of sins were committing. Thank god in secret that we may or may not have confessed before we go up to take communion but politicians by virtue of being politicians by choosing the life. They've chosen they're responsible directly for war and peace and all times of things. You know where you can trace direct consequences from their policies and so the church does have a different relationship to them. Necessarily i mean. I guess i push heidi a little bit. I would say that. I wouldn't agree with it but i don't think it would be crazy for the church in the case of a death penalty supporting catholic politician to have a conversation about withholding communion given how that teaching has developed. I respect that. Heidi doesn't think that's appropriate. But i guess i'd ask. Is there anything where it would be appropriate. Yeah i mean. I can't think of a specific example but i do recognize that. That is the purview. And the responsibility of church leaders. I just think in this situation. It pretty clearly is not and with william bar. I pray for his conversion on that issue. And i think he's less likely to convert on that issue. If he's not receiving communion. I can speak personally about the importance of receiving the eucharist in my own life. And how i think it's been transformative. So the idea of denying that to someone seems counterproductive. I guess i would push back a little bit on you about the simplicity of abortion being murder. It's certainly is the taking of a life. I don't want to contradict church teaching here but it can be complicated. It's the reason why. Most i think pro-lifers do not call for the imprisonment or execution. I guess of a woman who has an abortion because they don't see it as simply murder in that way and i also think that while politicians need to be responsible for the positions that they personally hold or that they support either from their party or actions of their own as politicians. I do also think there's a little bit more nuance here in this situation. With biden at the same time it is currently the law of the land here and he has moved towards being more accepting of his. Party's you know liberalism or whatever you call it on abortion but he has never taken back the fact that he says he has personally opposed to it and i think that when we start thinking that a politician who's member of a party or an administration or a country that has anything that's against the catholic church. Then we're all kind of in trouble. Not just the republicans and their as you said growing number of things that they oppose that. Just don't happen to be abortion but many of us and we don't want the communion line to be.

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