Home Us bishops No Catholic has ‘business’ deciding someone is unworthy to receive Communion, Bishop says

No Catholic has ‘business’ deciding someone is unworthy to receive Communion, Bishop says


The Bishop of Elphin said neither he, as bishop, nor any member of the Catholic faithful had “an interest in classifying a group of people as unworthy” to receive Communion.

In his homily at Knock on Sunday, Bishop Kevin Doran said he would “seriously question” the “cancellation” of an invitation to communion.

“When the Eucharist is seen as a prize, there seem to be winners and losers; there are some who quite comfortably view themselves as worthy, while judging others as unworthy,” he acknowledged.

His stance appears to be at odds with a number of US bishops who have targeted pro-choice Catholic politicians like President Joe Biden and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In May, Ms Pelosi was banned from receiving communion in her diocese of San Francisco by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

However, a month later, she received communion at a papal mass while in Rome to meet Pope Francis.

The Pontiff said he never refused the Eucharist to anyone.

In Knocking at a Mass to Mark the Anniversary of the Marian Apparition of August 21, 1879, Dr. Doran acknowledged that synodal discussions in the Church had made it clear that “many Catholics, for various reasons, feel ill at comfortable or importunate at the Eucharist”.

He said it was not just a problem for these people but “a problem for all of us”.

Nevertheless, the outspoken bishop said there are times when a person “cannot honestly accept the invitation to come to Holy Communion, because he has done something serious with full knowledge of cause and with his full consent”.

But he added even then the invitation is not rescinded. No one, he said, “should receive the body and blood of the Lord unworthily. But no one should stay away unnecessarily”.

“In the final analysis, it is the responsibility of every woman or man to follow their well-formed conscience in deciding whether or not to come to Holy Communion.”

Speaking about the Catholic Church‘s synodal process and efforts to hear a diversity of viewpoints, Dr. Doran said the Church is not just what happens around the altar.

Acknowledging that the reality of the church in Ireland “is that people are drifting away and the rest of us take it for granted, or worse yet, don’t even notice it”, he prayed that the church becomes a place where “everyone is really welcome”, supported and no one feels excluded.