Here is a little thought exercise about the lesbian/Communion controversy…

… conducted by canon lawyer, Dr. Ed Peters:

Perhaps this thought exercise might help folks to think through the lesbian/Communion controversy better. Imagine we’re looking at the line of those approaching for holy Communion one Sunday morning at Mass.

I see ten men approaching. One of them is dressed in Neo-Nazi gear. Quick, which one (in my view) is ineligible for holy Communion per c. 915? Would pretty much everyone there know why I turned him away?

I see ten people approaching. It’s Gay Pride Week and two of them are wearing Rainbow Sashes. Quick, which two (in my view) are ineligible for holy Communion per c. 915? Would pretty much everyone there know why I turned them away?

I see ten people approaching. One of them is Nancy Pelosi. Quick, which one (in my view) is ineligible for holy Communion per c. 915? Would pretty much everyone there know why I turned her away (even if they disagreed with my decision)?

Okay, now, I see ten women approaching. One of them is a lesbian. Quick, which one (according to some) is ineligible for holy Communion per c. 915? And how would anyone there know why I turned her away?

See the problem? Everyone knows what Neo-Nazis, and Rainbow Sashers, and Nancy Pelosi look like, but what does a lesbian look like?

Canon 915 (unlike Canon 916!) is about public consequences for public behavior. But “public” must be taken here as understood by canon law, and not necessarily as assumed from casual parlance.

Read the entire post on the “In the Light of the Law” blog.

 


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About Carl E. Olson 1098 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind", co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Word on Fire. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications.