Archbishop Sean O’Malley of Boston gave an interview at the March for Life last week to a Canadian pro-life news web site. in the interview he said that Catholic politicians “should know that if they’re not voting correctly on these life issues that they shouldn’t dare come to Communion.” That’s a nice, bold statement, but it assumes that they do know. If no one tells them, then how will they know. And if they persist with admonishment or correction, what should they assume? That is why it is not enough just to say that they should not come to the altar, but to enforce such a ban—like Archbishop-elect Burke did—out of charity.
I also like that Archbishop O’Malley went on to chide Catholics who vote for pro-abortion politicians as well as the commonplace going to Communion when not in a state of grace. When no one is at confession on Saturday, yet everyone goes up to Communion on Sunday—and knowing human nature—we have to assume that at least some portion of the difference is people not in the state of grace. But once again, we have no one teaching them, admonishing and correcting them. It’s not enough just to note there is a problem, our pastors must work to inform and instruct in charity. Not nagging and badgering, but in a loving way that inspires. I know: easier said than done, but what’s the alternative? Doesn’t Jesus Christ deserve at least that much?