Archbishop Cupich again insists people in homosexual unions can receive Communion

Archbishop Cupich again insists people in homosexual unions can receive Communion

Steve Weatherbe

CHICAGO, December 11, 2015 ( – Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich has proved himself again the leading American exponent of the German school of theology, telling an ABC interviewer that it was up to divorced and remarried Catholics and homosexuals to decide for themselves if they took Holy Communion, not their priests or bishops.

The archbishop also reaffirmed his general opposition to Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which requires ministers of the Eucharist to withhold Communion from those who are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin.” The canon has been relevant most prominently in relation to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

Cupich first outlined his views on Communion for active homosexuals at a press conference during the recent Synod where he insisted such matters were for the individual to decide using his or her own conscience.

Now, back from that event, he told Alex Krashesky of ABC Eyewitness News the same thing, modifying his previous remarks only slightly to reflect conditions attached to the Synod’s Final Report – that every person’s conscience must be formed “according to the teaching of the Church.”

Krashesky asked for an explanation of the archbishop’s comments during the Synod. Cupich responded, “We expressed an aspiration that people who are stuck in a system who need to be reconciled to the Church … might have another opportunity to have their case considered through what we would call an internal forum rather than the external forum of the annulment process. That was presented to the Holy Father. The mechanism for that has not been defined yet.”

When asked if the same “internal forum” could be used to secure Communion for sexually active homosexuals, he said that it could. “When people who are in good conscience working with a spiritual director come to a decision, then they need to follow that conscience. That’s the teaching of the Church. So in the case of people receiving Communion in situations that are irregular that also applies. The question then was: Does that apply to gay people? My answer was: they’re human beings too. They have a conscience. Thy have to follow their conscience.”

He continued: “They have to be able to have a formed conscience, understand the teaching of the Church, and work with a spiritual director and come to those decisions. And we have to respect that.”

“It’s not up to any minister who is distributing the Eucharist to make a decision about a person’s worthiness or lack of worthiness. That’s on the conscience of those individuals,” he added.

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2 comments on “Archbishop Cupich again insists people in homosexual unions can receive Communion

  1. [Another Francis-effected bishop and a Francis-effected cardinal say similar things]

    From Bob Shine at

    Bishop Hopes Year of Mercy Will “Start a New Era for the Church”

    The Year of Mercy now underway will hopefully “start a new era for the Church,” said one Maltese bishop who recently spoke extensively about the need to welcome LGBT people and their families.

    Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo, part of the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, added that not only the style but content of church teaching must be different. In an interview with the Times of Malta, when asked whether same-gender couples in a civil unions should be welcomed by the church, Grech said:

    “Of course. They are part of God’s people, and like everybody else they are going through a journey and the Church needs to support them in revealing God’s hidden face. We cannot define such a journey in stages and put up barriers, as the road is wide open to those truly seeking to follow God’s footsteps, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

    Grech said that “there can be different forms of relationship” beyond marriage, though he still defined it hetero-normatively. He said the church must clarify the “difference between civil and ecclesiastical marriage.” Importantly, the bishop set questions about marriage and relationship within the broader context of Christian life:

    “We are neither condoning nor condemning anybody. As long as the individual tries to imitate the values preached by God, we embrace them. There are other values in the gospel, which are difficult to attain, such as forgiving the enemy. We need to strive to reach this goal. We seem to have very clear ideas about justice and love but then stumble upon kindness. These are all proposals put forward by God – like marriage between a man and a woman who form the natural family.”

    The bishop pushed back against those suggesting Pope Francis’ emphasis on mercy is just appeasing a culture in transition. Grech said mercy is not populism, but the gospel, and criticized those whose ecclesial vision has prioritized ethical judgment:

    “Before being a moral agency, the Church is an experience of God. I fear that at certain times we have put the cart before the horse as we speak on moral obligations but leave no room for mercy and forgiveness. The Church must be different. If God is at the centre of our lives all other things would naturally follow.”

    Commenting on the Synod on the Family, Grech said homosexuality was not discussed because it “could have seriously jeopardised the approval of the entire document.” He continued:

    “On many occasions accidental issues have replaced the core substance. If need be, we must cleanse ourselves of certain things in order to be close to the ideals. There must be greater urgency to reach out to people out there as many are looking for God, in various forms.”

    He included in this outreach the children of LGBT parents, noting that such outreah is “already happening” and is “fully accepted” by the church, and necessarily entails full access to the sacraments. Children, Grech said, are not “accountable for their parents’ deeds, decisions or way of life” and therefore:

    “Why should the Church deny the opportunity for same-sex parents wishing to give a Christian formation to their adopted children? They are most welcome.”

    Bishop Grech’s pastoral vision for the church is inclusive of, but extends beyond LGBT considerations. He is proposing a renewed and reformed Catholic Church, which understands that life is complex and that the church is composed of human beings. In the bishop’s own words:

    “Life is not black or white – there are also a lot of shades in between. What makes a good Christian? Perfection? If this were the case it would probably be beyond everybody’s reach. . .Life is a journey from one stage to another, and the Church needs to support the faithful in their quest to find God.”

    * * *

    As Year of Mercy Begins, Cardinal Says Being Gay Is Not a Crime

    Being gay should not be illegal. This is a top Indian prelate’s message as the nation’s legislators consider decriminalizing homosexuality, coming just as Pope Francis formally commences the Year of Mercy today.

    Cardinal Oswald Gracias of the Archdiocese of Bombay (city of Mumbai) spoke to The Hindu Times about his public opposition to Section 377, which criminalizes homosexuality. He explained:

    “For me it’s a question of understanding that it’s an orientation. . .I know there is still research being done whether it’s a matter of choice or matter of orientation and there are two opinions on this matter. But I believe maybe people have this orientation that God has given them and for this reason they should not be ostracised from society.”

    Gracias was India’s only religious leader to criticize the re-criminalization of homosexuality in 2013. When the Delhi High Court’s decided to reinstate Section 377, he remained opposed to it in principle and is hoping legislators will act now to remove it.

    Criminalizing a person’s sexual identity is a form of discrimination which the church opposes. Gracias further noted that “the Vatican itself is not for criminalisation of these people” and that such matters are distinct from questions of sexual ethics.

    Beyond repealing Section 377, Cardinal Gracias’ encounter with LGBT people has implications for the church. He affirmed that those he met seek to serve faithfully both their church and their society. Citing the Year of Mercy, Gracias said “society should change its attitude towards [LGBT people], be more welcoming and understanding” and the church desires these same ends. The Indian Church can help expand people’s thinking, said the cardinal, and added:

    “The Church also has an important role to play in providing them a sense of security. It’s not just that they should be tolerated, they should also be accepted. For many of them, through no fault of their own, this is a great suffering. They may like to have a family, have children but they cannot. It’s a cross that they have to bear.”

    Gracias criticized “judgmental language,” mainly by those who think “it is a choice to be same-sex oriented.” Meeting with India’s National Conference of Catholic Bishops, which he heads, the cardinal said those gathered agreed their rhetoric about lesbian and gay people was too harsh. Locally, Gracias recently asked a priest to tone down his preaching on homosexuality.

    The cardinal is realistic, however, about both the local Church and broader Indian culture being very traditional and resistant to change. He expressed fears of a backlash if LGBT rights are pushed too far, but said fear could not stop progress because communities “should not suffer because of that.” He concluded:

    “Maybe this is a change that will take some time to come because Indian society is truly not ready for it but it is certainly a change that should come today, or tomorrow, whatever is the best time.”

    As the Year of Mercy begins, I would call attention to the reason Cardinal Gracias gave for his more inclusive approach to LGBT issues. He explained:

    “I had been reflecting on the question of whether the church should be more welcoming towards members of the LGBT community for some time. I met some groups and associations of LGBTs and I had an understanding for them. I don’t want them to feel ostracised. That’s why I came out publicly some time back saying I was in favour of decriminalisation of Section 377. . .

    “When you interact with them you realise that they are everybody, they are sons and daughters of our own friends and our own society. But it is still something that is hidden and in the closet. People are frightened to come out because of the lack of acceptance.”

    Cardinal Gracias’ public statements against criminalization are laudatory, as were remarks made in an exclusive interview with Bondings 2.o during the Synod on the Family that the church “embraces. . .wants. . .needs” LGBT people. What is most instructive, however, is his willingness to encounter LGBT people and risk being moved by their stories.

    * * *

  2. Cupich must figure that if he can receive Communion other homos should be able also,

    Lord help us!

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